On Being Useful

Somewhere, in a notebook from when I was maybe 12 or 13 which, if the fates are merciful, has gotten eaten by Portuguese rats (last found in the potato cellar at mom’s house, with a ton of my other stuff from that time. In a box. Note I didn’t bring it with me. No complaints) was a phrase penned with great solemnity by adolescent Sarah: The important thing is not to be happy. The important thing is to be useful for something.

Now, look, it wasn’t even a bad idea for a creature caught in a vice grip of hormones to fixate on. I mean, not so long as I only applied it to myself (and I only did.) It gave me something more useful to do than focusing on what made me happy, particularly since at 13 happiness is a moving target, and a thing of passing state of mind. Something that doesn’t last, and has nothing to do with what adult-me comprehends as happiness.

It was also a key to … becoming who I wanted to be. After all to be useful, you have to have practical skills, right? It probably led me into languages, when I could easily have studied something I could do in my sleep, like philosophy. Mind you, languages haven’t been impressively useful in my life, but that’s because I took a sharp sideways turn and chose another fate. If I’d stayed in Portugal, it was a practical and useful degree. (Even if I didn’t like it.)

It also led to things like learning to keep house (more or less in the face of mom’s baffled protests, since I was on a college track and college track means “never having your hands in dishwater.”) and cook, and how to make at least some things.

No, the problem with that maxim is when you take it out of the real of trying to shape your own character. Or of course when you take it to excess. (Excess, me? Don’t be ridiculous. Moderation is my middle name. My very occluded middle name. Spelled in invisible ink. At midnight. In an alien alphabet.) When you take it to excess, you’ll torture yourself trying to be useful, get upset when you have to take a day off because you’re sick/tired/depressed, and generally treat yourself like crap. Maybe it’s better than being useless, but speaking for a friend — a very close and personal friend who shares the space behind my eyes — you’d have to look at it from outside. Because being a neurotic mess who routinely fails at self-care has its own price. As do my occasional total depressive shut downs when the bitch who runs my subconscious decides that writing isn’t important and won’t change anything, and I’m a useless waste of breath, because that’s all I know how to/can do. (And no, the bitch isn’t amenable to my pointing out that on various occasions books — written by others — have saved my sanity and once or twice my life. She’ll just sneer I’m not Heinlein or Pratchett or any of those other “real” writers. They might be good for something, while I’m mostly good for occupying space.)

However the real evil of it is when you turn it outward and start applying it to… well, everything else.

Today I read one of the most shocking headlines I’ve ever read. “What are pandas good for?” And then the entire article went on to evaluate how each species isn’t or isn’t good for the “environment.”

What in the name of holy fandago is that shit? pardon my Scroladian. First of all, when has the “environment” become something away and aside from the species inhabiting it, and some ‘scientist’ or idiot with too much time on his hands and a bureaucratic job gets to decide what is good for it or isn’t? It’s like they imagine themselves priests of the “environment” interpreting its needs.

Which is the other side of this: when you or anyone else in power decides what is good for something, and what is good for nothing, it’s going to end in tears. When the purpose of everything — particularly living things — has to be justified, it means the default mode in your head is non-existence, and everything that exists has to justify its existence.

It means that your “environment” ideally is nothing. Not even rocks, because rocks exist.

At which point I have to ask…. Where precisely do you come from? The void, without form or being? May we request you go back there, then?

The worst regimes of mankind came from people who decided who was useful and what they were useful for.

In the entire sorry history of tyranny, mass graves and suffering caused by such regimes, there is one thing that was never recorded: a decision that made sense or was justified by its results. Unless of course, the results desired were death and “void without form or being.”

It doesn’t matter what they considered useful, or preferable, or what philosophy they used to justify giving someone the power to choose, the result is always death in batch lots, both for those slotted to die, and for those who die later, because those people knew how to do things like raise food, and int he dark ages that come after the massacre, no one knows that.

Utilitarianism has been applied to people for my entire life. And those of us who know history and have more than one functioning brain cell, have screamed against it. Because sometimes, someone’s entire life might seem like a waste, until that crucial moment when their being there keeps a car from running over the much shorter kid they’d never see; or their lending a helping hand keeps someone alive another day, who in turn keeps someone alive another day; or their lending a ear makes someone’s life burden a little easier, and allows the other person to create something that improves lives for millions.

The world and life is a complex tapestry. There is no one who has perfect knowledge of it. And no one who can decide who needs to be here and who doesn’t, who is useful and who isn’t.

Heck, we saw during the covidiocy that the decision on what was essential and who was essential were a comedy of errors. The dairy plants were essential, but the factory that made the essential filter to make that milk legal to sell wasn’t, for instance.

How much more difficult is it to decide if someone should be alive at all or not. And why should anyone?

Over a lifetime of arguing with friends who are abortion advocates, the most hilarious of arguments adduced by their friends is that it’s better for an unwanted baby to never get to be born, because they’d be unwanted, which means unhappy and probably criminal and destructive. (My husband and I would very much like to show you our middle fingers. We have TWO complete sets. Sure our life is not unalloyed bliss, but by and large we do better than most. And better than a lot of extravagantly “wanted” children.) Coming down on “these people aren’t useful because they won’t be happy” is perhaps the most hypocritical weasely position in the history of weasels. Who are you to judge who is happy? Or what leads to happiness? Or even what is happiness for someone else. There have been times when sitting on a sunny chair by the window and reading a not totally repulsive book was happiness to me.

But applying that to entire species?

I’m used to the insanity of applying it to humans. “Humans are bad for the environment” say the half educated morons, as though humans weren’t natural creatures and as such part of the environment. (Yes, natural. Last I checked I’m not even a tiny bit unnatural. No preservatives or colorants went into making me, last I checked.)

But now apparently the crazy idiots (do they still call themselves greens? I don’t think they like plants very much) who want to kill the environment in order to save it are extending this to other species.

I will make a prediction that before another year passes we will see articles on how some species should be “eliminated” to “save the Earth.”

And of course it will be species like pandas which are cute, and relatively inoffensive. Though I suspect they’ll start with apes first, because they’re most similar to humans, and we know these asshats hate humans most of all.


I have no idea who they think they are to decide whether a species is needed or not, or whether in the vast, unimaginable panoply of the Earth or even the Universe it might not be a panda, or a naked mole rat, or perhaps a sloth who provides the final piece of the puzzle, be it psychological or physical that propels humans (and with it all of Earth life) to the stars, perhaps filling a desolate and empty universe with life and purpose.

I suggest next time they start intoning in polysyllabic words about how a species is or isn’t “necessary” for “the environment” we take them to the nearest zoo and tip them into the tiger pit, thereby allowing them to attain their highest purpose in life.

And if there is no zoo in your area, a landfill will do. The rats are small but very industrious.

Or at least I suggest we take them to that location and suggest this could be their utility. Make them wake up before it’s too late.

Because the poisonous idea that one person, or even a group of them gets to dictate what person, what animal and what rock has purpose, and what should be destroyed is obscene.

And it consumes everything till nothing remains. Because in the end, in the vastness and emptiness of chaos, nothing is useful for anything.

Sure. Perhaps they are tools, and as such only good for one thing. But anyone else, including pandas has purposes they can’t even guess. Even if it’s (just) sitting in a patch of sun, gnawing on bamboo, while a little kid watches them enthralled.

394 thoughts on “On Being Useful

  1. Well, those idiots have a purpose too, as many people have said:

    No man is entirely worthless, he can always serve as a bad example.

    1. There have been days when I tell students that I serve as the horrible warning about “getting a PhD in history – don’t do it unless . . .” We need more Shelby Foote and David McCullough type historians and fewer academic types.

      1. Winston Churchill wrote quite a few history books. The outrage of the academics, that he dared to do such a thing without even a lowly Masters in History, was impressive. And still pops up from time to time, how his work is not to be trusted because it doesn’t have their official seal of approval.

      2. This. If there is one screamingly important, dire need that spans beyond the limits of its discipline it is that quality historians and teachers of history do the dirty work of recording the hard lessons won in the past and ensuring that costly mistakes are at least *commonly known* rather than the province of dusty shelves and dim library basements. Fewer examples such as revisionist China and her rigid insistence that the past conform to the ever changing present…

        1. I minored in philosophy without ever having to crack a work of Aristotle.

          My self education has been more useful. Even in spotting bad worldbuilding.

  2. This idea is eugenics– pure and simple. It is a heresy of the academics who are brainwashed and should never have been educated. I have a Down’s syndrome sister who calmed down my parents during their worst fighting and violent periods. I’m on dialysis. So who is useful and who is not? I find that the train of thought these “academics” are on is abhorrent and not useful.

    1. They’ve “cured” Downs in Iceland. They aborted them all.

      Utilitarianism is incoherent at its base since there is no way to determine what the greatest good for the greatest number is. In economics we talk about societal Pareto efficiency and other nonsense as if these things actually existed Like so much academia, it’d be lovely if only we could actually compute it.

      One of the key things in my life was coming across Cobett’s dismantling of Malthus, Bentham, Mill and all that crowd when I was young enough that my opinions had not ossified. The utilitarians have only become worse since.

          1. Hell, even the test to SEE if the unborn child has it has a higher-than-average chance of causing a miscarriage. Or at least it did 20 plus some years ago, which is why my then 41-year old mother refused to have it, despite her doctor’s pressure. (Doctor was shocked when Mom also said “And *if* my child has it…well, so what? We’ll love it all the same.” Doctor was also horrified at such an old woman having a child. If I remember right–I was 17 then, and while interested in the pregnancy because sibling, did not pay close attention to all the details–Mom also changed obstetricians about that time.)

            1. Good for your mom. Yes, when dealing with doctors asking for tests, always ask the question, so what do I do if the test is positive? So what do I do if the test is negative? If the answer doesn’t change, don’t have the test, duh! My wife’s mother used to rant at her teenage daughter that if abortion would have been legal, she would have had one. Nice thing to say to your daughter.

              1. Yeah, Mom has never had a problem telling doctors where they can get off on most things. At least, where her children are concerned.

                Yikes. What a thing to say to your kid. And yet–obviously, your wife is yet another example of why the abortion-lovers’ mantra of “better to die than be unwanted” is a fallacy! The world–and your world in particular–is better for her being her, whether or not her mother wanted her.

                1. What worries me is the serial killers out there who DIDN’T come from a severely abusive background. They’re a minority, it is true, and it’s possible there was still abuse but folks are in denial about it (in the case where the killer says “No, my home life was fine, no abuse”) or didn’t see it, but…

                  1. There’s also the possibility that some of the “abused” serial killers weren’t, but know it’s a very effective emotional hook.

                  2. My neighbor growing up was the doted-over firstborn son of a well-to-family….and he liked to kill things. I know, he killed my mantises in front of me, because he knew they were important to me. And he did other things. I got off very lightly, but his family utterly refused to believe my parents when they tried to tell them.
                    I still wonder how he turned out.

                    1. because he knew they were important to me

                      The one time I went to the Councilor’s Office for a violent response, it was because of this kind of stuff.

                      (I responded violently before, but the offenders didn’t think they had a chance– things like “didn’t let go of book bag when snatched.”)

                      It was STUPID, but — I sorted the “reading charts” for “reading hour” by name, so folks could walk in and get their stuff easily.

                      And #UNNAMED identified that I found it worth while…so walked in, and threw the papers all around the room.

                      …I stopped #UNNAMED.

                      And when in the office, I refused to back down.

                      Nothing came of it, and #UNNAMED never did it again. Probably in large part because
                      1) I was voted most likely to walk in with a gun (yes, they were morons, yes it was harassment, and yes it was false, but the THOUGHT that), and
                      2) my mom would back me up when I didn’t do anything wrong, and mom is TERRIFYING.

                    2. Decades later, I went back to the neighborhood to look around. My mother’s hairdresser was still running her home salon and I visited. This guy’s mother showed up. She told me how successful he was and tried to set me up for a date. She also told me he loved to hunt. Somehow, I kept from saying, “Oh, he still likes to kill things?”

                    3. The funny thing is how many people with the danger signs actually do stop. Heck, even some serial killers eventually find better hobbies and more fulfilling lives.

                2. A failure despite her parents’ best/worst efforts although many might suspect it from reading some of her short stories.

              2. A woman found out her baby had spina bifada. She was able to arrange for the operation at birth, and also stay with her mother for a month before her due date so if she went into labor she would be taken to the hospital where she had scheduled the operation.

                Some diagnoses are useful.

                BTW, it was a great relief to everyone because the initial possibilities had been lung issues — one that half the babies died, the other where all did.

                1. I got checked for that with last doctor.

                  …found out prior five kids are genetically impossible…. all HAD to be born with open spines, I can’t process the nutrients right…. Was literally impossible to birth a healthy baby without special supplements….

                  All prior five, and new baby, are fine, yes I used supplements on last, I got renewed “Do not trust ‘SCIENCE’!!!”……

                    1. Yeah, obviously it works, but it still tickles me. (Science! We don’t know as much as we think!)

                      Was just one of those things where the doctor was all “yes, see, this result means you *cannot* turn folic acid into the stuff your body uses… so, where were you getting your supplement before? What do you mean, you never heard of such a thing?”

            2. We refused the test and all the “genetic counseling”. Since we wouldn’t abort for any reason — we will not murder — so what, exactly, would be the point.

              Number one son is on the spectrum, should I have killed him? My wife says he was given to us for a reason. Don’t know what the reason was, but it might be important. We’ll see.

              1. Harrumph. Elitsts like you don’t think of the doctors, lab techs, and downstream businesses who eke out a living doing testing, counseling, ‘termination’, and further counseling. You just thought of yourselves and your child, without considering the children who had to make do with last month’s Nikes, the parents who had to buy a smaller boat than they wanted, the whole cascade of disappointment and loss that’s all your fault.

              2. As I say of #2 son (who isn’t on the spectrum, but has his own issues and is so self-willed we can’t help him) “maybe he’s here to teach my limitations.”

              3. I would argue that even if the only reason is because you opted to let him live where another family might have aborted, that’s an important reason all on its own. I’m sure there’s more to his life than that, but without the chance to live, he (and you) would never find out what those purposes are.

            3. I was 36 when I got pregnant (one of the best “accidents,” of my life). An acquaintance “asked” my husband, “Of course, she’s going to have an abortion, isn’t she?”
              He didn’t tell me until after our son was born, to save the life of the acquaintance. Our son turns 30 in August.

              1. A gal I know got pregnant, in a manner that messed up the wedding that they’d been planning for over a year.

                Husband told me, saw my eyes get big, and when I asked “she’s not going to do something stupid–?” knew exactly what I was scared of.

                The gal is very impulsive, and had been loud about not wanting kids, so it wasn’t just “this messes up big party”. From other clues, I’m guessing that was because she didn’t want to be bugged about it, and wanted EVERYONE TO KNOW SHE DIDN’T HURT AT ALL about not having a baby.

                  1. Never even crossed her mind, so far as we can tell.

                    Since she went off her birth control and was expecting it to take the 6-9 months that is common for the chemicals to clear out enough to have a chance at pregnancy, she apparently really really really wanted a baby…which is why she was so loud about not wanting one. While holding her buddy’s kids.

                    A neat thing– the very expensive* wedding gown she’d already bought, and that she THOUGHT had already been altered to her pre-pregnancy fittings, was literally minutes from being started on when she called the tailor to see if they could put it on hold. It had also gone up in value since she’d bought it, so they made money on her planned wedding gown….

                    * as in, “cost more than my weddings.” Which sounds much more impressive than it is. 😉

                    1. Ahhh. Well, good. I wonder why she felt the need to claim she didn’t want a kid, though…?

                      Eh, nevermind. I remember the looks of contempt I used to get in my 20s when people asked me what my goals were and I said “wife and mother.” (Alas, I haven’t achieved those, but they might happen. 😀 )

                      Apparently, openly wanting children is Gauche. ::eyeroll::

                    2. Man. That’s a thought. And young enough, the language barrier ceases to be an issue very quickly, as kids under 6 can often just acquire a new language.

                    3. Well…um… Just be aware that the language the kids speak might not be Spanish. A lot of kids from fairly remote tribes are getting recruited, sent, or trafficked, so they might speak some variety of Maya or even more obscure tribal languages.

              2. I was 32, and in my last year getting the second degree, when I (finally) got pregnant with our son, who just turned 32. The doctor and nurse had already filled out the “over 30 first pregnancy” form for me “Are you F$%^ crazy? It took 10 Years! 10. Years. No. And H3LL NO!”, I laughed and signed. OBGYN Fertility Clinic.

                My youngest sister never went on birth control. Me and our other sister weren’t on it long. Their oldest was born 11 months after their wedding. Their reasoning was, given both of us older sisters were having problems getting pregnant, odds were she would too. If pregnancy happened before the big wedding being planned, oh well. Note, she did eventually have problems getting pregnant with their third child. He is 8 years younger than the two older girls. The three oldest grandchildren were born: January (adopted, be three years before the first of their 3 biological miracles), June, then August, the same year, to us three girls.

              1. “Defective” according to whom? The unwritten right to be stupid (or perhaps on of the Founders slipped it in there in invisible ink- I could believe that of a certain few) can be taken to extremes. If we’re going down that road, they don’t mind when the power to determine a human beings worth is on the other foot now do they?

                In my darker moments I can think of… several. Whole classes. That in a fit of wrath I could possible see the world doing without. A little (mental) list. And none of them’d be missed, no, none of them’d be missed.

                1. While I agree with the impulse– my eyes are defective. *waves glasses that would be coke-bottle thick if she didn’t have space glass available* Something doesn’t work right.

                  Of course, most people have something about them that doesn’t work right.

              2. One of the most heartbreaking-yet-inspiring stories I’ve read in the last few years was of a young couple who found that their unborn daughter would not survive outside the womb. She had a number of issues–but she was doing fine inside the womb for now, and after much discussion, they also found that she could possibly save the life of other infants, if they carried her to term and let her be born and then die. That had to be a *hard* call–but on the other end of it, they got to hold her, however briefly.

                I have a birth brother who did not survive longer than 6 hours after birth. My parents have both mentioned that, however hard it was, they are grateful they got to hold him and tell him how much they loved him. And Mom has said that she could SEE him fighting, hard, trying to make it even though it was clearly agony–until they told him it was okay to let go, that it would be all right even if he left us. (And he did in fact play a very important role in our lives after his death, in the form of showing up the night before his funeral and basically telling grandpa he needed to sort things out. Which put my grandparents’ life–and especially grandpa’s–on an entirely different, and better, track. He had a job. He didn’t need to be alive to do it.)

                1. I’m among the ‘no way no how’ crowd for kids personally for many reasons, but it’s the logical answer. Plus you know in advance even as you’re hoping against hope.

                  The ones that hurt most are the ones that you don’t expect. Thankfully I never worked any of the critical pedi calls but heard plenty of stories and some miracles. But seen it in friends who have lost family from one in a million diseases.

              3. That’s what we thought.
                He’s bright, hard-working and wants to protect people. He’s more “liberal,” than we are, but that’s not surprising. And he’s delivered a couple of good, solid clue-stick whacks to me when I needed it.

            4. There is a new kind of test where they can actually find the baby’s DNA in the mom’s blood, which has no more intrinsic risk than all the other blood tests they do on the mom during pregnancy, and check for various chromosomal conditions. One tech doing an ultrasound on my first baby mentioned she was really glad not to be called on to do amniocentesis as often.

              I did get the blood test done; I usually tilt toward wanting more information than not, and there was explicit clarification that the OB practice I was using understood viewing it as a way to prepare better rather than a screening for whether to keep the baby. (And… I was really glad to get “nope” results back for the assorted intrinsically lethal stuff.)

            5. I had one (female) doctor at a group practice who mysteriously became unavailable every time I needed an appointment, after I laid out the rule that there was to be no testing that did not have a treatment other than “kill one of the patients.”

              Not sure if she just really wanted to soak with tests, or what.

        1. If I had known ahead of time that my second son was autistic, I might very well have pushed to have him aborted.

          But that’s okay, because your tax dollars are what’s supporting him while he works at minimum wage jobs without benefits. While he takes off as frequently as possible to support Progressive Left policies that support those like him at our expense.

          Am I conflicted? Oh yeah.

          1. Speaking as someone who’s doing my level best to get by myself, on my own dime, despite autism, I prefer breathing.

            I can only hope your son gets more sensible as he gets older.

              1. He’s the one they convinced was trans. He also stomped out of the house to keep from physically attacking me when I said I supported almost all of Trump’s positions. At least he had that much presence of mind. But the kid has bought their party line hook line and stinker. And neither reason, nor trying to set up cognitive dissonance to break through the block works. When the call goes out to list the enemies of the state, he’ll probably be putting my name at the top of it for them.

                  1. Or he accepted a comfortable lie.

                    As my husband spends a LOT of time telling me– the kids get a choice.

                    Figure Himself spends a lot of time biting nails about that, too, although we MUST allow it….even though we know what pain comes, an we could stop the pain if only we would just… mind control them into nothing.

                  2. Sadly it’s an easier sell to the atypical, including the odd. You give a chance to feel normal and threats to withhold that feeling have extra cachet. I’ve seen it multiple times . But all one can do is not support the stupid even if your blood. Sometimes it’s gotta hurt.

                1. I grew up in a household of committed liberals (well, they should have been committed) who took The Population Bomb as gospel and never met a government program they didn’t like. I preferred Conan the Barbarian, Sherlock Holmes, and biographies of Patton, and made darn sure I was at the polls for Trump.

                  So. Buying the progressive party line, really not from the autism.

                2. Duuuuude, that’s my younger brother! Except he’s not even on the spectrum!

                  (Not the enemy of the state part, but he’s getting there. Kinda worries me, because he’s more a natural libertarian, and he’s not even one of those Twitter addicts. Weird weird stuff.)

        1. William Cobett was a pamphleteer in the first third of the nineteenth century so it’s scattered. You can find his denunciation of a Malthus throughout, but Cottage Economy is a good place to start. He wrote a series of Rural Rides, which are masterpieces. He’s best read in chunks. Basically, he said the poor could look after themselves if only the elite would leave them alone. I love him.

          1. William Cobbett also wrote this history book where he basically denounces Henry VIII for stealing from everybody, and Elizabeth I, and…. He also took the radical position (for the early 1800’s) that Catholics Weren’t All That Bad, and that monasteries had had a good thing going, especially with all the free hospitals and free old people homes and free places for travelers to stay.

            He was the kind of guy that Chesterton liked and recommended, so you know he’s a trip.

            1. One of the Dame Frevisse Historical Mysteries had a historical note about the monasteries & abbeys that before Henry the 8th providing those services.

              The author didn’t have anything nice to say about old Henry. 😉

    2. Ezekiel Emmanuel. I read his paper where he basically said if you’re under 15 or above retirement age the state shouldn’t waste resources trying to keep you alive, because you aren’t contributing to the welfare of the state. Only people in their working years should be given full treatment, because they are contributing. The idea that the child wil contribute or the elder, besides sharing passing along useful knowledge deserves a reward for his service, isn’t in his worldview. A humans only value is as a cog helping to maintain the health of the state. And decent people will kill themselves at 75 because noone should live beyond that age. If the man isn’t a monster he’ll do until the real thing comes along. ( And now I’ve got to remember to pray for him. Somebody has to).

      1. Makes perfect sense if your only individual is the State and the meat puppets are just components of it.

        Their whole population is 195 countries, of which half a dozen would run everything, and 150 would effectively be serfs.

      2. Except the person between say 10 and 15 will still likely grow to be a system asset in minimal time. (Probably earlier but I’m thinking more kid diseases come back). Usually by then you know if they are “worthy”.

        From a pure utilitarian view the elderly only have any value prior to senility and that value is only to the amount of willingness from the rulers to allow knowledge to pass down.

    3. Hawking, Steinmetz, and Edison, just for physical disabilities. Legions of “autism spectrum” types like Newton, Cavendish, and Dirac, and “went off the deep end” types like Tipler and Crick.

      Clearly of no use to society; defectives any sensible eugenicist would have culled.

      1. And you know that defect will inevitably be extended to cover anyone who is any way Odd or nonconforming (and I wish the LGBT activist idiots would get it through their thick skulls that THIS INCLUDES THEM).

        1. Nod, what’s useful to the human species about having “same-sex attraction”?

          Note, I might want to swat the Same-Sex Assholes, but see no reason to “wipe out all gays” (and of course, doing so wouldn’t be Morally Right).

          1. It’s useful for inter-tribe negotiation. At least for male homosexuality. Yes, I can give the details. No they’re not gross. Note this held true throughout history and is still to an extent true today.

            1. Note, I see that as “have a lemon, make lemonade” sort of thing.

              Otherwise known as “making a flaw useful”.

              Of course, gays are still human and worthy of respect for that reason.

              1. I mean…you can trust a gay diplomat to NOT seduce the ruler’s wife, at least 😀 (And so long as he isn’t dumb enough to seduce the ruler’s son…)

              2. Richard Grenell… may just be a modern case in point. (As well as a true patriot who ought to get Some Big Award, one of these days.)

                1. But his success wasn’t because he was gay. It’s because he was loyal (and luckily good). He wasn’t (to my knowledge) someone who defined who he was on who he lusted after.

            2. I think they’ve pretty much decided from an evolutionary standpoint that gay couples are useful when birth parents become unavailable (dead.) They often want kids but can’t have them easily, so they are nature’s adopters.

              1. ….

                It may be a cultural issue re: SSA, but…the track record for such adoptions is… um… not generally compatible with the assumptions that all living humans have inherent worth.

                Rather similar to single men adopting very young females. Or males actively seeking out single females with minor offspring.

                1. As an option of last resort in a culture that didn’t see that sexuality as a mark of superiority.

                  Just as with single parents, if one pushes interaction with positive role models of opposite sex you can get good outcomes. It’s the support of negative role models that causes most of our problems today

                  1. I don’t think I can agree, because those cultures which did not “push” that sexuality it also saw no issue with rape of children.

                    You’d have to find a whole new example which recognized children as people, both aspects of progenerative sex as equally persons to those children, and didn’t have cut-outs for Not People/ allowed to rape someone groups.

                    1. Note:
                      MOST cultures see no issue with what we would describe as the rape of children.

                      With more or less levels of polish.

                      Which is part of what fuels the “nuke it” response.

        2. And this would be why every totalitarianism has outlawed homosexuality: if you’re not producing babies for the State, you need to be eliminated.

          1. Very few homosexuals are actually incapable of doing their duty to have children. In The Symposium, it is casually mentioned that the men must be forced by law to do it, but no one argues that they can’t.

            1. For what it is worth:

              From my theological perspective, this is no less evil than rape. Since it’s a form of rape, forced sex.

              humans as a means to an end is BAD. Very short form.

              1. Classical Greece was one of the most homophilic societies in history and a bad place to be female. So, can we lay out the argument that supporting homosexuals is supporting the patriarchy?

                1. You could make a case for saying that sodomitic societies regard women as inherently inferior and probably not quite human. (These days that would probably get you praised by the transactivists)

                  But you can’t have a patriarchy if the men are to busy with each other to be fathers.

                  1. Um… actually… Classical Greeks doing the same sex thing were not sodomitic. They seem to have sorta… whapped each other with their dangly bits, or similar. The sodomy thing came along later, in different places, and then spread to Greece and Rome.

                    Yes, yes, you can find books on classical Greeks’ sex lives. With documentation of various kinds. No, I don’t know how I find these things, but sometimes I do.

  3. on the other hand, I would say that extraordinary methods and efforts to save a subspecies (and NO a fish that lives in this half-mile long reach of this particular river, and nowhere else, but is genetically able to breed with that subspecies that lives in two dozen rivers is NOT a separate species) is not warranted.

    Frankly, if you’ve genetically narrowed your range that dramatically, you are one random event (landslide, earthquake, drought, etc) from extinction. I don’t care much if you get whipped out by a dam that we need to power our civilization, even if some Amerind tribe’s religion claims that their God said their tribe’s survival is dependent on this fish surviving.

    1. This is true, but if these effers are justifying it as ‘for the environment’, we are replacing one crazy standard with another crazy standard. As opposed to replacing a crazy standard with a sane standard.

      If they may the traditional environmentalists accept this, it is a further step down the road to mass murder.

      I’m pretty sure this is more about breaking a subset of human beings than it is about anything else.

      True communism is the destruction of human beings in as many ways as possible, for the sake of the enjoyment of a few extremely evil people.

    2. Heh. You want to hear swearing in my BLM field office, bring up sage grouse–or burrowing owls–with some folks (usually NOT the wildlife biologists, though–they’re the greenie loonies, generally, lol).

      My opinion of sage grouse: they are some of the stupidest birds on this planet, and if they are THAT sensitive in their breeding habits, they’re gonna go extinct for one reason or another no matter what.

      On the other hand, realists who look into it will tell you that it’s not humans killing the sage grouse off, it’s the damn crows and magpies–who are largely an invasive species. And we aren’t allowed to cull THIER population either.

      1. Up here, way back in the day, atop the world, mid-Alaska, spruce hens (spruce grouse) and porcupines were protected by custom, not law.

        The reason being if a miner or trapper got lost in the bush the porcupines were slow enough, the spruce hens dumb enough, one could take and make a meal of either.

        Last summer, by the way, I had a spruce hen spending most of the time I was outside with me, preening and showing off while I was working or, if I was resting often sitting on my knee or climbing up on my shoulder.

        She started hanging around when I was cutting down some trees in the spring. I figure she heard the chainsaw,, thought it was a male grouse booming and figured if I could boom that loud, I was the guy for her!

        Here’s a shot of her & I enjoying a well deserved beer after a day’s work: http://www.ipernity.com/doc/319805/50114044

        1. That’s actually kind of sweet, in a weird way…

          I don’t dislike sage grouse themselves–they’re beautiful birds, and I gather quite tasty. But, I mean…there IS a reason ‘sage chicken’ is a variation on the common name for them. They are very, very dumb. (Though I’m not sure they’re as vicious as the average chicken–if they were, they probably wouldn’t be having problems, heh.)

      2. I had a sage grouse set up a nest in the middle of our meadow. Zero cover, though it took a few minutes to figure out that the wounded bird call was Momma grouse trying to divert that mean ol’ tractor from running over her eggs. The ravens and feral cats enjoyed the feast, I’m sure.

        OTOH, I had to kick a robin out of the dog’s kennel when she was ready to start laying eggs. The lab-aussie really liked robins–found them quite tasty. Mama-to-be robin was quite incensed that I had the nerve to pick her up and set her outside the kennel. (Yet another built a nest on top of the weed-whacker in the implement shelter. That didn’t work out well…) There’s a reason why “bird-brain” is an insult.

        1. the old plant building my dad worked in had two pair of killdeer that had nests on the roof (one north and one on the south end) and every year the heat killed the chicks, yet the birds showed up every year.

        2. >> “There’s a reason why “bird-brain” is an insult.”

          Maybe for most bird species, but from what I’ve read of corvid and African Gray parrot intelligence they might be better candidates for uplift than Leslie Fish’s cats.

      3. *EG* If you want real fun, get some red-cockaded woodpecker biologists and black bear biologists together in a small room and ask them what the proper prescribed burning schedule for longleaf pine flatwoods should be.

        (RCW 1-3 years, 1 preferable, for max insects to eat. Black bear 3-5 years, 5 preferable, for saw palmetto roots to eat.)

      4. Yeah, but do the government research grants pay the field researchers to find that crows and magpies are the predators in question?

        All the justifications for field supplies I’ve seen in the faculty’s expense reports suggests they’re looking at ground-based grouse predators.

        1. The problem with not being able to cull the corvids isn’t lack of research as it is the damn Migratory Bird act of 19-whatever. They’re ‘protected’ by it, and therefore off limits to everyone.

          And I do *like* crows and ravens–I find them very interesting because of their incredible intelligence (magpies are just straight a**holes). But that intelligence means they do some serious damage to all manner of less-smart species, and we can’t teach them NOT to. (Like, as was discussed elsewhere, one can do with coyotes.)

    3. If a species is in such dire straits, maybe that’s nature’s way of telling it that its time is past.

      Fact is a lot of what are being OH NOED as endangered species are just minor (because less viable) cosmetic variations of the parent species. See also the so-called spotted owl (recessive variation of barred owls).

      1. Yeah, basically this with bells on.

        The fossil record basically implies very large number of extinctions. Geology and some other things show changes ranging from ‘the surface was lava’ to the thing with oxygen to maybe climate cycles having nothing to do with humans.

        Okay, maybe North American megafauna was humans. I’m not sure what size populations of large animals I /want/ sharing range with humans.

        I’m pretty sure it is not correct to consider collections of plants and animals in a geographic location to be a self regulating system. Climate is a snapshot in time, something that is normally changing, and any appearance of consistent periods over the long term may be purely data error. In engineering and mathematics, we started to get a better understanding of dynamical systems, and feedback regulation over the past half century or so. Some of the life scientists started borrowing those ideas, and fitting population counts and estimates to them, but their ‘systems identification’ may simply be fitting stuff to noise and measurement error.

        Fundamentally, there is some rate of extant species going extinct that is a normal churn. We have some rate of species going extinct that we estimate is the fault of humans. Fundamentally, if we have no course of action that we can choose to reduce the human caused rate to within measurement error of the normal churn, I’m not seeing how we are morally culpable.

        I’m sick and tired of people trying to guilt trip me, or capriciously harm human welfare, using these arguments.

        Okay, I do believe that attempting to eradicate an animal or plant can be a moral course of action. I also vehemently concur with ‘but not from these Jokers’. Fundamentally, a rancher’s argument that killing wolves protects his stock is not less legitimate then these technocrats with their fancy life sciences degrees and talk of ‘nature’ or ‘the environment’. I dislike the technocrats, and would rather not give them decision making power on behalf of others.

        1. Something like 99.995% of all species that have ever existed are extinct. Almost all of them went extinct millions of years before us Eeevul Hoomans arrived on the stage. There have been a dozen mass extinctions in which more than 80% of all species in existence at those times were wiped out.

          Our industrial civilization has altered some of the natural selection factors. Life reacts to those changes by adapting, or not. Species might go extinct, new species might arise. How is that unmitigated Eeevul?

    1. Utilitiarianism as in Bentham’s stuff and what the philosophers mean by it is garbage.

      Game theory emphasizes and explores some of the reasons why it fails. The key problem is that there is no global utility function: Situations where you can sort of get away with acting like there is a “common good” that everyone agrees on are the measure-zero minority of possible situations.

      A utility function (as used by very careful economists, not philosophers) is a rank ordering of preference of a set of states, for a single agent. Every agent has their own “utility function” (and in reality these functions are just a stand-in for what people actually do when making decisions”.

      Is it useful? – Incomplete statement: Useful to whom? Is it good? Incomplete statement: Good according to whose preference? “Should” can mean two seperate things: “Given what I know, I expect that this will follow”, and “I desire X”. A fox is chasing a rabbit: Should the rabbit escape, or should the fox get to eat today? Anyway, utilitarianism the philosophy is often a way for someone to smuggle their desires into the authority of unexamined passive voice.

      1. The totalitarians /cannot/ experience experience a global utility function, so they substitute their own utility functions for the global utility function. The true communism is this, when those utility functions are the utility functions of sadists who live to destroy others.

      2. Economists often get the utility function wrong too. The error goes back to Bernoulli and is absolutely fundamental. It gets into ergodicity. Gripping stuff. Ole Peters and Murray Gell-Mann published the primary paper. I think it was Gell-Mann’s last. It captured what the practitioners, not the academics, have known for a long time.

      3. Yep. A couple of weeks ago I was out walking early and saw a pair of rabbits racing past me, full throttle. I looked in the direction they were fleeing, and there stood a coyote. The coyote stayed in view a while, and I realized that one, it was a fairly scrawny specimen and two, it was probably female. So one one hand, I sympathize with the bunnies, but on the other, if the coyote was hunting for her pups, she needed a bunny…

          1. ^ This. Same goes for gophers, the nasty little buggers.

            So long as Mr. Coyote leaves my pets alone (or chickens, if/when I have them again), I have no issues with him. (And if he does get at the chickens, it’s probably my fault for not securing them properly. Can’t expect him to turn down an easy meal, after all.)

            1. And coyotes can be hazed into good behavior. Scare the living shit out of every one you see, and they’ll cause far less domestic trouble.

              When I got my desert acreage, it had been vacant a long time and had five coyotes in residence who clearly thought they owned the place (and its leaking irrigation head, only water for miles around). We soon reached an agreement: you don’t crap in my yard, and I won’t pepper your asses with bird shot. So I’d see ’em in the area, but they always went around the yard.

              Fast-forward to the Mouse Plague Year. Caught 230 mice in ten days in a single bucket trap on the porch (didn’t do much for the numbers, but kept ’em out of the house). Every morning I’d count the day’s catch, then toss the drowned corpses across the road for whatever wanted to eat ’em. Come the third morning, across the road sitting in a neat line are my five coyotes, waiting for breakfast. (And about had heart failure when they saw me coming… hadn’t occurred to them that I was involved.)

              Over time they disappeared, but I found three of ’em busted up in the side yard — apparently got hit on the highway, and dragged themselves the half-mile home before expiring.

            2. Coyotes, wolves, and wild dogs have their place. There are times when you have to cull the population, and that does suck mightily. It comes down to the difference between the brainless ecofreak and the conservationist.

              The latter comes at the problem in a healthy way that allows the species to survive. The former would allow them to grow to the point that disease starts taking its bite, the critters expand into other places and conflict with humans and other animal species, start attacking herds and pets, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. It takes a lot more work and practical knowledge to be a conservationist. You can’t just point at a critter and say “Pretty! Lets make killing the pretty SUPER illegal, so all the bad people can never hurt the pretties again!”

              1. I.e., deer in New Jersey. (Also known by the “uncaring,” as, “New Jersey Road Rats.”) When we lived there, there were people who seriously believed the Evil Department of Wildlife was in league with the Evil Hunters to persecute-hunt- the poor, innocent deer. And it was totally unnecessary- all they needed to do was put out feed laced with birth control medication in the woods and the problem would be solved. I’m paraphrasing actual letters to the editor in the Asbury Park Press. I replied in print that having seen a fawn with its ribs staved in by starvation one winter, I figured shooting them was more humane in the long run.
                My spouse suggested reintroducing wolves and mountain lions to cull the deer “naturally,” and if people lost the occasional dog, cat or child it would be a small price to pay. He had to stop because too many people agreed with the idea.

                1. Doe season. Happens every so often when the herd gets too large. Most often deer season is just the bucks. And good, smart hunters take the old, sick, and weak ones, thus keeping the herd healthy. Controlling populations comes down to the breeders, in this case the does. Going after the food supply is inefficient and cruel. A good hunter wants to make the kill in one shot, swift and merciful.

                  1. Some time back, WI had a mandatory doe season. You want a deer tag? You had to get two does, then you could claim your buck. The Upper Midwest was having a BAD outbreak of wasting disease because of overpopulation that year.

                    1. It showed up in my little mountains two years back. Wasting disease is flat awful for the deer, and with fewer hunters nationwide its no surprise that some locales weren’t keeping up with their conservation. We weren’t. It wasn’t urban sprawl edging into deer habitat, it was overpopulation.

                      Then there is the wild hog population, which is a perpetual thing a ways west of here. Which boggles the mind. It’s bacon. And ham on the hoof. Tasty, tasty bacon! They could make it a charity and feed the homeless the entire winter long. It’d barely make a dent in the wild hog population, most like.

                    2. Unfortunately, the wild boars tend to have very nasty meat– I’ve heard of both urine and plain old “game-y” smells.

                      You could probably make very strongly spiced sausage?

                    3. “… and also loaded with nasty parasites” from what I’ve read. As in, the Fish & Wildlife biologist who said he would only eat it if he were starving and there were no other protein sources at all.

                    4. MOST pigs are loaded with stuff that wants to eat people.

                      Which is why I’m shocked my husband is alive, his mom always cooked pork medium rare…. thank God for America’s food safety programs.

                      (I grew up with a mother than explained food safety in terms such as “Yes, this is pork. If you don’t cook it right, you have a chance of getting sick with tiny worms with teeth that will eat your eyes.” Trichinosis: teaching me to wash my hands! And knife, and board, and….)

                    5. Heh. Which is why, despite various cooking show chefs going “These days, it’s totally safe to cook pork medium” (including Alton Brown) we go “hahahahah NO”

                    6. In context, the biologist’s implication seemed like mere trichina worms were the least dangerous parasite in wild hogs.

                      I solve the problem by just not eating pork.

                    7. *gets the giggles*

                      This amused me, so I’ll share, not for everyone but will amuse some.

                      K, I listen to Catholic Radio.
                      They got a call about the No Carne Fridays vs meat Fridays vs alternate sacrifice thing.
                      The guy– Dr. Anders, I think?- answered it very well, the whole language lesson about English says meat but word is carne etc and all, caller thanks him, hangs up. And then a pause, and the producer-guy (manages calls, introduces hosts, etc) guy says “You know, I avoid that problem really easily!”
                      Dr Anders, in the ‘I know what’s coming but sure I’ll be the straight guy’ voice: “Oh?”
                      producer: “I don’t eat meat any Fridays. Or any animal parts. Or on any day…. hey, you know how you can identify a vegan? Don’t worry, give him ten minutes, he’ll tell you….” *fades off into very masculine giggles*

                      It was definitely the most cute vegan push I’ve ever heard. Or maybe sweet.

                    8. While I YELLED at Mr. Brown, in front of my children– he did explain the involved risk factors.

                      It’s just that the cost is not high enough for the risk of “worms with teeth eat your eyes.”

                      (husband finds 99.9% of meat dry, his vote on “but it’s more moist!” doesn’t count, especially since I figure out a way to wrap in tinfoil and get acceptable results)

                2. Yeah, we refer to the “town deer” here in Wyoming as giant rodents too.

                  What I find somewhat hilarious is that on the first day of hunting season? The town deer population miraculously triples. Mostly all bucks. (Though the wise hunter knows that does are tastier.) Buggers are smart about the hunting…but completely stupid about cars.

                  1. The local city-edge deer here seem to have learned – or is it been selected – to stop at the edge of the road/street and wait for traffic to go by. I’ve seen this a few times now, in the past several months.

                3. There was a university back east that tried to use birth control to deal with it’s deer problem. Then that university belatedly discovered that deer In heat the don’t get pregnant immediately go right back into heat…

                  Bow hunters were hired not long afterwards.

                4. Oh, the best part is?

                  They’ve done this.

                  When you stop a doe from cycling… she goes in season permanently.

                  The college that spent a ton of money to spay all the does in the area then had to pay more to have archery snipers go get rid of all the spayed deer, and the gazillion bucks that showed up…..

          2. I’m against Team Coyote just on general principle. They’re starting to become more and more abundant in urban areas in LA recently and are pretty brazen. My parents lost two cats to them in quick succession, which is why my parents’ current cat isn’t allowed to go outside.

            If every last coyote were to suddenly drop dead, you’d find me cheering ecstatically.

            1. I suspect that urban coyotes–like urban raccoons and foxes–are far more of a nuisance than their more rural siblings.

              (And there is some indication that urban bears and urban cougars are beginning to be a thing. Thankfully still rare.)

              1. Here in DFW, it’s coyotes and bobcats, Which is one reason our outdoor cat population has taken a dive.

            2. Team Coyote has opened up a franchise in my corner of Silicon Valley suburbia. Vids of ‘yotes trotting along the top of the redwood backyard fences have been posted, cats go missing with regularity with the carcasses showing up later all chewed up, and even smaller dogs are getting attacked and torn up ta night in their own backyards. Those coyotes are likely keeping the roof rat population up in the wires.

              I suppose the coyotes and the raccoons, which have worked out the storm drains are dry subways safe from predators during the 9 month not-rain season, will meet up some night on someones fence and have it out, with the local possums hiding until the noise dies down.

              1. And lo, the age of information delivers yet another new piece of knowledge: Coyote Rollers:

            3. Coyotes become brazen when they’re neither hunted nor hazed. Give every one you see the fright of its life, and pretty soon they stop being a problem. Here in the Northern Wastes, ranchers with rifles keep coyotes shy of people, so they almost never come into town. How to do that within a major metro is left as an exercise for the exasperated. Turns out coyotes are not native to most of North America; they followed humans across the continent. They’re VERY adapted to us, not least because they’re partly domestic dog by ancestry (from crosses as far back as 2000 years ago), and frankly adaptation to cities was to be expected. At some point in the far future, our feral street dogs will be descendants of coyotes.

              Tho they’ll still take outdoor cats if they cross paths. In the desert, I couldn’t grow barn cats fast enough (and I collected every feral cat I could lay hands on, and kept all their offspring… tho owls took more of ’em than coyotes did). Part of that being cats have shrunk, as we’ve spayed-and-neutered all the big buff cats out of the gene pool. Six pound cats afraid of their own shadow are one bite. A self-confident twenty pound cat is a different matter.

              But if the coyotes all dropped dead, you’d soon regret it. There aren’t nearly enough coyotes to deal with the rabbits as it is. We’re having a nasty uptick in rabbits and gophers here in the Northern Wastes, the introduced Canadian wolves having largely killed off the coyotes (along with most of the elk and moose and all of the much-smaller native timber wolves; too bad these big wolves don’t stick to the decidedly-surplus deer, but deer seem to be their last choice). And starving jackrabbits have absolutely no problem coming into your yard and stripping it bare, and they’ll climb up and eat what you thought was out of reach, too (voice of experience, from the year of the Great Jack Plague in the SoCal desert… a year or two after the last of my resident coyotes died off). Think of ’em as mini goats and you won’t be far off.

              1. Giving a coyote the fright of its life isn’t going to happen in an urban area, generally. Shooting them isn’t an option due to the local gun laws in most cities. And they’re smart enough to watch from a safe distance so long as you’re watching them. They only move when you’re not looking at them (unless you charge one, of course; but that would likely require you to run through a stranger’s front lawn if you’re out for a walk).

                As for rabbits –

                The ones around here tend to be small enough that the local hawk population would probably explode right along with the rabbit population.

              2. I admit, in hindsight (not that I had an option with adopting from a shelter) I rather wish my 25lb (slimmed down from being overweight at 30lbs) monster cat had had a chance to reproduce. And my mother’s calico is a solid 15 pounder (and only a little of it is chub)–we were just lamenting last night we rather wish they’d had a litter of freakishly large kittens 😀

      4. It’s the “coyote vs. the roadrunner” thing.

        Most people sympathized with the roadrunner. I always rooted for the coyote.

        1. Me too. There’s a guy named Ben Hunt who uses the distinction between coyotes and raccoons to discriminate between good and bad investors. I hate raccoons.

          1. Sure. But I loved the raccoon cub who found himself orphaned and decided he was GREEBO’S cub and was going to be exactly like him. To the point of lying down to sleep next to him on top of our garage, and frequently half-opening an eye to make sure that he was still in the exact same position as Greebo. I wish I had movies. I also wonder how the poor mite fared after we moved.

        2. Note, a real coyote could outrun (on a straight run) a real roadrunner. 😈

          1. I’ve seen one chase a runner who then became a flier when the yellowdog came too close. ‘yotes can’t run as fast as a roadrunner can fly.

        3. >> “I always rooted for the coyote.”

          I never really thought about it as a kid, but as an adult I find I also have more sympathy for the coyote. Yeah, he can be an arrogant jerk with a vastly inflated opinion of his own intelligence, but ultimately he’s just trying to eat and the universe itself keeps cheating to screw him over. He might deserve SOME suffering, but not nearly as much as he gets.

          1. At least the reply went to the right person this time.

            Sarah, I realize you probably can’t do anything about it, but I keep having to post my comments twice because WP rejects the initial attempt.

          2. The roadrunner never suffers. It’s hard to have fellow feeling for so inhumanly free from the slings of fortune.

            Jerry had stuff go wrong. He shares our common fate.

            1. True, but it’s worse than that: not only is the roadrunner untouchable, he seems to KNOW he’s untouchable and is a complete asshole about it. If he acted afraid when chased and relieved to have escaped it would be one thing, but instead he takes pleasure in screwing with the coyote (such as by startling him into falling off cliffs).

              He reminds me of those invincible NPCs in some games who get to screw with you with total impunity: https://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=30344

              Mayor MacCready from Fallout 3 is another big example of this.

  4. This.
    I have been preaching, screaming and crying to anyone who would listen about this for years, and the train is not only still on the track, we are going around that last bend before the tracks end on the broken bridge above a gorge. When the ‘Elite’ or upper class in a society develop contempt for the lower classes, AKA not themselves, slaughter inevitably ensues.World war I was made possible in part by the contempt for the working class. The industrial revolution made people replaceable cogs in the Big Machine. Who cares if three or four million of them die in the maw of interlocking fields of fire? World War II (Actually Round Two of War I) Saw the precept of the sub-human and the ‘Useless Eater’ perfected.
    Today’s excuse is the BS Climate Change agenda and the population bomb lie. Once again, the Uppers believe that there are just too many damn humans on the planet, and we got to do something about them. Like spray for that or something.
    I see rumors of things like, Catholic Bishops are saying that 50% of Tetanus vaccine in Kenya had an additive that would cause women to abort and/or be temporarily infertile. That may be untrue, but The public comments by our so-called betters make it mighty damn believable. Yeah I’m looking at you Bill Gates.

    1. If the stories I saw a while back were true, the Kenyan health ministry signed off on it, and is puzzled that anyone sees anything objectionable. Clearly it’s an enlightened and humane solution to the problem of eliminating some Deplorables.

    2. I’ve seen some reports that the Gates Foundation did some sort-of-experimental vaccine trials in Africa with decidedly less than optimal results, assuming that the goal was to *save* lives. With Bill, ain’t necessarily the case.

    3. Those lower classes are the trestle holding up the tracks so the elites’ train can cross the gorge. Should be a wee bit more appreciative of ’em.

    4. I see rumors of things like, Catholic Bishops are saying that 50% of Tetanus vaccine in Kenya had an additive that would cause women to abort and/or be temporarily infertile.

      Not a rumor.

      And by the behavior of the Kenyan health authorities, entirely believable.

      They agreed to provide samples of vaccine to be checked at a third party lab if the Bishops would; the Bishops followed through, the health department didn’t.

      The Catholic provided doctors got suspicious because the way that they were told do do the vaccinations was really odd (five-injection, two-year vaccination project on female Kenyans aged 14-49) not at all like … well, the US’s very effective program of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months, 5 years old, then every ten years or when pregnant.

      If you want the biggest bang for your buck, you vaccinate women when they find out they’re pregnant– the kid gets residual protection.


      The timing and repeated vaccinations for adult women of reproductive age did match the late 60s to late 80s studies of using tetanus vaccines laced with HCG in order to cause the woman’s immune system to attack HCG as a pathogen, thus causing a pregnancy loss, which was officially abandoned as unethical because it is not reversible. (link to follow from old article that should have enough stuff to do your own research)

          1. I know, it’s freaking evil, isn’t it?

            “Here…take our gift of life saving stuff… if you use it, we murder your children; if you don’t, you may die. Oh, as a bonus, it makes folks distrust the life saving gifts of the future less trustworthy, so more dead people! Yay!”

              1. No.

                The children, themselves.

                The immune system attacking HCG will only come into effect *after* there is a child– fetus, literally “offspring”– implanted in the womb.

                It’s a “vaccine” to produce the effect that Sarah has sometimes mentioned– you become pregnant, and then in a month or three, your body….rejects the child.

                Because the hormone that prevents that, has been made an enemy.

                Even for those who hold that only those humans who have drawn breath are persons, this has a very high cost for damage to the woman involved.

                  1. Theologically, no, you should not confess any such thing.

                    YOU were following the correct theology; he was not, he abused his office to order you into objective immorality.

                    Unless I have your age utterly off target, there is not a physical possibility that he was telling to to do something that had not been objectively identified as immoral.

                    It’s no different than not refusing to confess that you rejected the advances of a priest who ordered you to sleep with him.

                    1. No. He was telling me I should go on birth control to recover, because I’d had a string of miscarriages and was physically weak. (Because of the ah… whimsicality of my cycle (First son, 27th day, second 4th. I know, TMI) natural JUST didn’t work.)

                    2. That still isn’t moral, because the method is “prevent fertility.”

                      If he’d told you and your husband to abstain, that would be licit. But “do thing to make it so you can have sex but the kid dies” isn’t.

                    3. Besides which, one’s pastor or confessor has very limited authority over one’s actions, and absolutely none over matters of medicine or psychological health. Advisory position, sure. But that was very buttinsky, even if the priest were also a physician.

                      One of the beautiful things about studying a little bit of canon law, or medieval historical applications of canon law, is that it teaches one the limits of pastoral power. And that beyond a certain point, one has every right to tell Father, or the bishop, or the pope, to honk off. (Politely.)

                      Also, when people are trying very hard to do the pastoral obedience thing, it is _more_ important for a pastor not to be a buttinsky. Because the good Lord is not super-enthusiastic about abuse of power, or presumptuousness, or anything else of that kind.

                  2. *IF* his goal was to avoid the death of future children, then either hysterectomy or more likely ovariectomy would have been the solution.

                    Both of those “too extreme”?

                    …kinda points to the objective goals, and dehumanization of very young human organisms.

                    1. No. It was to avoid my getting pneumonia again that year. Honestly, I think he was friends with my doctor, who attended the same congregation. And who yea, shouldn’t have talked, but….

                    2. Still, that’s a don’t have sex or you could die situation.

                      Look, my husband did 9 months without sex. Yes, a lot of that he was deployed–but after that, he CHOSE to abstain, and yes it was horrible for both of us, because we decided further kids would be a health issue/risk.

                      If “literally killing a child is less important than sex” is the metric, then they done wrong by mad levels.

  5. Probably the CCP has decided that eliminating the pandas is the way to preserve the regime.

    Now, I am extremely resentful of “must preserve endangered species”, and think extermination is worth pursuing to rob the environmentalists of the excuse, or as some other security precaution.

    This new talk is crud, and I do not welcome it.

    The concept of ‘the environment’ does not talk about a real thing, and has long been based in a lot of sophistry. ‘Ecological diversity’? Lots of extinctions would have nothing to do with any human business. And, some of those species are not a real species.

    Human welfare is the correct objective.

    I have no doubt that the PRC regime, as a group that cares nothing for the environment, and which resents any check on their power, has a great grudge against the environmentalists. I’m guessing that they figure that with Biden frauded in, the power of their influence in America is so great that they can simply adjust the environmentalist pressures away.

    1. Two good books on the CPC and “nature” are “Mao’s War on Nature” and “China: An Environmental History” by Robert Marks. “The Retreat of the Elephants” by Elvin is OK, but I prefer the other two. The book by Marks covers all of China’s history, but that helps show just how little the Han culture “respects” the environment. Mao set about to completely dominate the environment, until the disaster became soooo obvious that even he had to back off. Yes, the CPC created nature reserves and parks, but that was mostly to please the West (when that mattered).

      1. Mao: let’s kill the birds that eat the grain. The rider on a pale horse: yes, do that. Famine, pestilence, get your boots on.

        1. The park across the way from the “Captain Kirk’s Future Birthplace” museum (awesome, 11 on a scale of five*, go, plus the guy who runs it is a geek who didn’t use charisma as a dump stat) has THE most awesome mosquito prevention system I have ever seen.

          They’ve got a really freaking weird looking bunch of pod things, which Elf and I thought were cameras that for some reason needed massive 360* coverage with three-D of… the picnic tables?! And two of them?!?

          …They’re bird houses.

          Designed to appeal to sparrows.

          There’s a lovely little drainage area with a kid-magnet bog near the play area, and THERE WERE STILL NO MOSQUITOES!!!!!

          * yes, NSP fans, that was on purpose.

          1. Oh, wow, that does sound fun. Apparently there’s also a bridge set people can visit, that’ up in New England somewhere, but I can’t remember where it was….

    2. Probably the CCP has decided that eliminating the pandas is the way to preserve the regime.

      That would be profoundly idiotic, because pandas are one of the very few reasons that people in the west have good feelings about China at all.

      1. a) But how much do Gwai Lo matter to future of the Middle Kingdom?
        b) Communists in regime preservation mode can be profoundly stupid.

      2. Q1. Are pandas edible?
        Q2. If so, why are we not eating them?
        That seems to be the Chinese approach to wildlife, going back centuries. (China hit its ecological/environmental limits the first time in the late 1500s. The population crash of the early 1600s reset things, but it hit the limit again in the 20th century.There’s no land left to expand into and convert to food production. Even artificial fertilizer can’t fix that problem.)

      3. I kinda hope China DOES decide they need to wipe out pandas– then the ones in US zoos will be kidnapped, kind of like King Tut was for a while, and we might manage to get the species protected…..

    3. I find it highly unlikely that the government in Beijing has decided to get rid of pandas. The government knows that the animals are a huge PR boon, and treats them as valuable commodities. Zoos don’t buy pandas. They’re allowed to have them on loan for so many years. Making it possible to kill pandas will get your video game banned in China. Etc…

      In short, the CCP has been very careful to generate a benign and cuddly image for the animals. I can’t see the Party suddenly tossing that out the window.

      1. Last time I was at the San Diego zoo, they had a couple of CCP goons hanging out around the pandas.

        So my kids got educated about the “don’t say anything right now, but those guys work for basically Sauron as a country” after we got further away.

      2. One thought that occurred to me –

        The classic traditional Chinese world-view is that foreign countries send representatives to kowtow to the Emperor in the Imperial Palace. The Emperor then bestows gifts of things that can be found in abundance in China, but not where the representatives are from. In centuries past, that was things like silk, porcelain, etc…

        Nowadays, it’s pandas.

            1. Correct. The loan itself is a gift from China, and a sign of China’s favor. Unlike porcelain and silk, offering permanent ownership of pandas to foreigners would cause China to lose its monopoly on them. China could gift porcelain and silk because doing so didn’t interfere with China’s status as the sole source of the commodities. Only the Chinese knew the secrets of producing silk and porcelain in mass quantities. Even with plenty of examples on hand, it took Europeans centuries to figure out the secret behind making porcelain (a Pole first figured it out), and even then the Europeans still couldn’t produce it in the huge volume that the Chinese did.

              Pandas are another matter. Pandas are made in the same fashion as any other animal. If China were to gift or sell them to non-Chinese organizations, then China would lose its monopoly on them. Instead, China shows its largess by loaning the animals out, and retaining the ownership rights to any offspring that happen to result while the animals are on loan to a foreign zoo.

  6. Whenever someone asks the question, “What is ‘XYZ’ good for?” it always pays to remind everyone that ‘good’ means a value judgment is involved. And the value of anything is variable to the point of chaotic. (See free markets.)

    A long time ago I decided that I was going to be a survivor, even of a nuclear holocaust. Think of Khan on a dying planet holding together a band of humans with string and bubblegum (okay, dried grass roots and masticated pine pitch.) I was doing great at it; except for one thing.

    The world didn’t end.

    So I reevaluated and decided to be the best provider and father I could be. Except When you have contact with each of your kids of only 2 to 3 hours of dedicated time while the public school system has them for10 to 12 hrs. per day, guess who has a greater impact? Call it a partial success raising them to adulthood.

    But what do you do when the kids are gone, and they think you’re an evil, racist, white supremacist, Bible and gun clinger, who supports Hitler?

    Time to redefine what you’re good for.

    Try to remember that you are always good for more than just worm food.



    Mr. Trashbags for President!

    If we’re going to have a spineless, amorphous, evil blob for President; we may as well elect a good one!

    Get out the shoggoth vote!

    TRASHBAGS 2024!

    1. I identify as an eldritch abomination, and I (garbled translation) this message.

    2. > Think of Khan on a dying planet

      Khan appeared in one episode and one movie, as far as I remember. And he was the hero in both of them.

      Yes, he failed both times, but that’s not the point. Khan was *made*; genetically engineered and then programmed. And then rejected for doing exactly what he’d been created to do, and cast out, with a handful of survivors. The Federation *hated* his kind, more than the Germans hated the Jews or the Chinese hate the Uighurs; Khan’s kind weren’t fully human, and they were a proven threat.

      Khan was the leader of his people; he accepted the responsibility, and he gave everything he had to fulfill that obligation.

      “Injustice” is a co-opted word now, but in its original meaning, I understood that when I watched “Space Seed” when I was… probably twelve years old. Kirk did try to help them, within the limits of what he could do, but there was still no place for them in the Federation. Blacks, Russians, Andorians, Vulcans, and others, yes. And they’d treat with enemies like Romulans and Klingons as equals. But not the likes of Khan and his people.

      1. And Kirk was going so far outside of what the Federation would permit, he couldn’t even inform them where Khan’s people settled or have anyone check on them to make sure everything was okay, because then Kirk and likely every other senior officer on the Enterprise would have been cashiered right out of Starfleet at BEST. Is it any wonder Khan wanted revenge after Ceti Alpha 6 blew up turning Ceti Alpha 5 into a total wasteland.

      2. 3 movies now. Although the reboot one, “Into Darkness”, left quite a bit to be desired. Considering the freedom of movement the Abrams Khan had, he should have been able to rescue all of his people, and abscond with the dreadnaught, and fled the Federation for greener fields. Khan 1 and Khan 2 both had an obsessive-compulsive need for revenge which was their first weak spot. The second weak spot was an inability to realize that even he could be beaten.

        Khan’s government would have been a pretty brutal, if not Darwinian, totalitarian meritocracy.

        1. Had and have zero interest in the reboot movies, especially with “I don’t get Star Trek” Abrams in charge. CBS/Paramount should have put their money into backing Axanar and making it an official Trek project.

          1. The 3rd film is actually quite good–it helps that it was written, in large part, by the guy who plays Scotty these days, and *he* at least is a huge Trek fan.

            1. Agreed. I like Cumberbatch in most other things (he’s a *fantastic* Stephen Strange, for one thing, even if his American accent is sometimes a bit iffy), but NOT in Into Darkness. He just…didn’t gel as Khan. For one thing, as good as he is, he still hasn’t got Ricardo Montalban’s smoldering charisma/rage combination that worked so VERY well.

              1. On that timeline only the Federation CIA Admiral and other-timeline-Spock knew who Khan was directly – otherwise he’s just a historical figure from hundreds of years ago.

                So the JJ scene where Cumberbatch mugs “I’m….KHAAAAN!!!” from his overlit cell should have been answered by:

                KHAN looks expectantly at them through the force field, looking for a reaction, but he doesn’t get the one he’s looking for – KIRK and SPOCK don’t get it. They are looking at each other in confusion.

                “Khan who?”

                “Is ‘KHAAAAN’ in this usage a name or a title?”

                “Or first name or last. Can you give us your full name?”

                1. And that honestly might have saved the film from being a poor rehash of the original. As it is, they seemed to think a.) fans of the original wouldn’t notice until their BIG TWIST!! and b.) that having Kirk and Spock switch roles in the ‘self-sacrifice’ department was sufficiently ‘different’ (and then cop out on the actual sacrifice part).

                  Frankly, I pretend it doesn’t exist. I found the first one to be entertaining, if rather predictable, and I thought it was a decent job of bridging the ‘old’ universe with the ‘new’ universe (and without crapping all over the old). The third is utterly silly, but so very fun. And Idris Elba’s character was a rather better villain, if still rather two dimensional and didn’t have a patch on original-Khan for ‘complex and sympathetic.’

          1. The voice of Smaug is also the voice of Paladin. There is no other.

            It still messes with me that the one true Bard was played by Tony the Tiger, and that Legolas’ dad was a famous director, doing a favor to John Ford.

    3. I once read of an exchange, possibly apocryphal, between an early electrical experimenter and a local politician.
      Politician: “What is this electricity good for?”
      Experimenter: “I have no idea, but in ten years you’ll be taxing it.”

      1. The Electrical Experimenter must not have known all that much about politics if he thought it would take ten years.

  7. Irreversability is the root of all evil: The 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    Don’t destroy what you can’t replace.

    1. They not only “didn’t built this”, they have no idea what it cost, or what it would cost to replace. And certainly no desire to pay the cost themselves.

      1. Just look at that idiot city (I forget which one) that decided it was going to demolish its big freeways because they are racist (in essence, that’s the reasoning). Without, apparently, sparing a thought to how things like food and so on are going to get into the city without a LOT of difficulty.

      2. The critical theorists did not build mathematics, and the mathematicians did not build critical theory.

        The collective respectability of university academics was not earned by any one group or scholar, nor was it purely a matter of propaganda. Awful lot of folks spending wildly against that account.

  8. I’m aware of the charismatic megafauna issue, but I don’t trust any of these people. The fact that “domesticate and breed” is a plan which they scream bloody murder at the mere suggestion of is evidence of the goal not being preservation, but punishing humans.

    In that context “maybe we should let the koalas go extinct” cashes out not as “we could do so much more good if we stopped fighting a lost cause”, but “crap, humans are getting enjoyment out of this, that wasn’t the plan”.

    Or phrased differently; it is the watermelon version of “We got gay marriage! Yay! Bring out the trannies and pedos!”.

    1. Look at the screaming when the wildlife conservation specialist de-horned the rhinos so that poachers would ignore them. “No, you can’t do that! They’re better off dead” was the gist of the fake do-gooders’ hissy-fit.

      1. I could see an argument it losing the horns cripples the rhino in a major way (like declawing a cat).

        But as my original post stated: I don’t trust these people.

        Plus my preferred method would involve ambushing and killing the poachers :D.

        1. Rhinos do okay without the horns. Apparently it’s pretty common in the wild for rhinos to have horn-related accidents which they survive, and the breeding tussles are equaled out by all the males being hornless. Usually the more aggressive, stronger, heavier male wins, with or without horn.

          Wild Earth had some rhino fight footage, at the appropriate time of the year.

      2. I’ve had some luck by pointing out that the sudden drop-off in populations reported often happen shortly after there is talk, or actual passage, of “we will take your land, and your family will starve, if we know these animals are on your land.”

        And then point at the cases where folks who *liked* the Monarch butterflies living there destroyed their nesting areas– because they loved their families more, and the rules passed would mean their families starved.

      3. Or the attempts at farming them. Which iirc did increase numbers until the west got the vapors.

  9. The natural state of the Universe is empty space.
    Therefore, according to their ‘logic’, their greatest good would be to disperse their atoms as far from each other as possible.

    1. “As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of resolving approaches zero.”

      1. A more general case of “there are very few problems that can’t be solved by the judicious use of plastic explosives”.

        1. “All problems can be solved by the proper use of chocolate.
          Sometimes the proper application is 1 kg slugs moving at .99c.”

      2. For certain values of ‘resolved’, anyway. Blowing up all parties to an argument will end it. Not generally regarded as a preferred solution, however.
        Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

    2. The natural state of the universe is an immeasurably dense immeasurably hot immeasurably small region of pure energy. The fact that after being in that stable state for an immeasurable amount of time the universe expanded in the Big Bang and started cooling is simply an aberration due to Author Intervention.

    1. If you try to figure out the artist by the art: It seems God doesn’t ask why, but why not? Throws possibly literally everything at the wall and sees what sticks.

        1. It’s one of the reasons I love looking at the pre-dinosaur fossils. Back in the Cambrian, God was really having fun with his designs!

  10. Nature has never done anything for me except try to kill me every day of my life. I don’t return that indifference because I am human, and that makes all the difference. “There’s a reason for the world, you and I.” John Ondrasik Once you abandon the God of Jacob, the God of Moses, you’re left with Moloch, Baal, and Huitzilopochtli.

  11. It seems relevant that two authors (or pairs of authors) have written stories where the Adversaries are supernatural entities that want all life eliminated so the Universe can billiantly and silently blaze in eternal stasis. (Stirling’s Change series and Lee and Miller’s Liaden series).

  12. > No preservatives or colorants went into making me, last I checked.)

    Yeah, but what about the “11.3% unknown fibers” part?

  13. I seem to recall Mao trying that sh*t with his whole “sparrows are a useless plague” schtick . Remind me again, how many millions died in the resulting famine?

    This murderous idiocy is the morbid fusion of the worst tenants (not that there are any good tenants, mind) of Marxism and ecofascism. Eugenics 2.0, conveniently rebranded (yet again) after that mad German fellow made v1.0 suddenly unpalatable to the masses.

    1. Yeah, except That German Fellow seems to be rapidly becoming Re-palatable to a number of them, given by the multiple lefty loonies I’ve seen out there singing his praises in ways both subtle and on occasion very obvious indeed (Up to “he had the right idea” kind of obvious ::shudders::)

      I predict that over the next couple of decades–if things continue as they are, anyway (I hope not)–we’re going to see ever more swinging around to things like “he was misunderstood” and “oh, it was evil advisors who didn’t quite implement the glorious vision correctly” on a broader scale among them, as it is becoming very clear NOW that hinting such things no longer gets you exiled from society. At least, not from leftist circles. Look how many were screaming as much as five years ago for those of us with the wrong political views to put into re-education camps. Or to have the CHILDREN of such taken away and ‘re-educated.’ Those people are still in good odor on the leftist side of things, and more and more of their fellows are nodding along in agreement.

      1. Appeals to pride and envy are always popular. The rest is empty rhetoric to disguise the issue.

      2. They’re still on the whole take-children-away-from-their-parents-to-be-“educated” schtick. Look at their visceral hatred of the homeschooling movement. And while Mr. Mad. Moustache and his methods may be secretly in back in fascion (see what I did there? sorry not sorry) in at least some Looney Left circles, the unwashed masses still hate him. For now, anyways. Hence the rebranding efforts.

        1. Yes, the masses do still hate him–but even the fact that you can have some of the loonies NOT be so secretive about their admiration, and not get squashed despite that hatred of the masses for the Mad Moustache, is a Very Big Red Flag.

          1. Agreed.

            And on a semirelated note, I REALLY hope the freedom seed and boomstick part famines end soon. Need to finish putting Tolerance together.

            1. I was reading yesterday that one of the boomstick companies cleared a billion in sales for the first time, and paid off all their debts. Unfortunately, the freedom seed companies for some reason aren’t keeping up with the demand (and I’m over here going “What are you idiots waiting for? You could make money hand over fist right now!!”)

              1. Problem is that dramatically scaling up production of freedom seeds is a very expensive and very slow process, and once the backlog is filled, the extra lines will almost certainly sit idle for forever. Large sunk cost with almost no guarantee of long-term ROI.

                But things are getting better: my LGS is getting the more common freedom seed sizes back in on an almost-constant basis, and prices are slowly going down.

              2. I think that expanding capacity for the latter is really hard; Dad Gum Government ain’t helping, especially with plants that could have interesting issues in case of a serious mishap. Also didn’t help that Remington went offline for a while until their ammunition factory was bought in the bankruptcy liquidation.

                My understanding is that the component manufacturers have enough OEM business that they don’t have much extra capacity for the roll-your-own crowd.

                I’ve seen the odd conspiracy theory, but as best as I can puzzle it out, Freedom Seeds (love that term 🙂 ) have become the 2021 version of 2020’s toilet paper. The panic buying has lead to shortages, which lead to more panic buying and thus a positive feedback loop. The not-Cabela’s store has a good selection of odd (hunting specific) calibers, and the mini-box store just got a modest supply of seeds for the AK and AR boomsticks.

                I have a fair amount of the useful varieties, though I’d like a bunch more .357s for my lever action boomstick. Alas, I have everything but magnum pistol primers, and have serious doubts that the powder I have on hand would work properly with the standard primers I do have. Suitable powder seems as hard to find as suitable primers. Sigh.

                With a lever action boomstick, a stuck-in-barrel squib would be a royal PITA to deal with, so I think I’ll have to wait until that happy day when suitable anything becomes available. It doesn’t help that the not-Cabela’s that does get occasional shipments of primers announces it on Fakebook, and nowhere else. And not on the side where you can see the news without surrendering to Zuck’s data-vacuums. Nope. Not gonna.

              3. Well, the essential problem is that the government is sterilizing the ground:

                1. The lead supply is being restricted via regulations on mining and smelting.
                2. At the same time, regulations on lead levels is inspiring ranges to restrict the use of lead bullets. While you might think this helps, what will be allowed to replace it? New and exotic materials may not be compatible with your firearms.
                3. Of course, there is the new threat of lawsuits if any of your ammo is used in a crime.
                4. Financial services are hard to come by.

                Bottom line, no one is going to build a factory that could be closed by government fiat.

                1. Sig recently announced a major expansion, so yes they are willing to do it.

                  For one thing Sig knows that Sig will defend the 2nd. That is different from the bad old days when firearm manufacturer strategy was to get out in front and assist the grabbers in hopes of being eaten last.

                  1. Well, until you factor in a few things…..

                    “Cost from Switching from Lead to Copper Bullets
                    Solid copper is about 30% more than lead bullets. Part of this is perhaps related to scale. Far more bullets have lead cores versus the solids. With higher production rates the cost may fall somewhat. Another aspect of cost is the wear and tear on the gun. Harder bullets erode and wear down the gun faster, particularly in the barrel’s throat area. Lead core bullets are softer. Yes, the jackets are copper but are relatively thin and the lead core accommodates deformation better than a solid copper bullet.”


                2. Pure copper freedom seeds that comply with hunting lead bans are cool, but the commodity exchange price of copper is currently 4x that of lead.

                  1. Plus haven’t there been attempts at calling solid copper armor piercing and thus making illegal as “copkiller bullets”

                    1. Pa was amused by the complaints of Teflon coatings in that regard… pointing out there are Teflon sprays, and noting the small injection molder that we *DID* use to make some plastic-coated parts (Nylon over steel, fwiw).

              4. Ammo is difficult to ramp up in the first place. But primers are a downright nightmare.

                Priming compound and primers are made by hand. Attempts to do it by machine haven’t met with much success. Shock explosive remember?

                1. There’s a manual (army field, mayhaps) that I have in a corner of the file system that describes redoing primers with sort-of easy to get chemicals. (for various levels of easy.) I hope not to be that desperate, but if it comes to that, it’s a possible.

        2. I admire Mr. Mad Moustache for his ability to go, in 10 years, from being a mere corporal in WWI, to prison, and finally to top dog of Germany for almost another 10 years. What I don’t admire is the things he supported on the way and while in office; not to mention his world view was flaming nutso. But enlisted swine to Fuhrer? That’s almost as good as saying any schmuck can become President of the United States.

      3. What most of his followers don’t realize is that practically everything – platform, policies, organizational structure, political goals – was simply copied from the Italians, sprayed with NEW! IMPROVED! National Socialist sparkle, and adopted almost without change. From Fuhrerprinzip tight down to Lebensraum, concentration camps, and exterminating unwanted populations.

        Mussolini and the Fascisti were delighted to see their system exported and working elsewhere. But Italy changed sides, and it became ne kulturny to acknowledge they were the parents of our other enemy.

        1. Italians were inspired by Wilson’s progressives. So, Wilson was Hitler’s grand daddy, and FDR was Hitler’s uncle.

          1. Don’t forget that Margaret Sanger, founder of what is now known as Planned Parenthood, was directly cited by the Nazi’s as inspiration for the Nuremberg Laws and their eugenics program down to the first sterilizing and then murdering all those they considered “subhuman”.

            Shrillary is still proud of her Margaret Sanger award and Democrats still praise her and her legacy.

            1. There is little historical awareness on the antihumanity side.

              As evidence I cite the name of this ship:


              “Oh, banning DDT was not actually the cause of all those deaths, there’s a tiny little bit of evidence that malaria-bearing mosquitos were developing some resistance when DDT was overused, and there are other things that can combat malaria albeit more expensive, and the fact that DDT it still works incredibly well when applied to walls in rooms where people sleep in Africa is just one data point, and she died in 1964, which means she’s not responsible for her book anymore, and besides she was rilly rilly sincere!”

      4. That German fellow got a lot of his ideas from American progressives, all in for eugenics they were.

        1. The Europeans are terrifying when they decide to follow us — always only our stupid shit – so what they’re doing with the covidiocy …. shudder.

      5. I wonder what would happen if you replied to the idea that The Austrian Corporal “had the right idea” with a comment along the lines of “I completely agree. Assuming. of course, that you’re saying that his attempt to destroy the Stalinist regime, and along with it international Communism, was the right idea. Based on the initial reception German troops received upon entering places like Ukraine, the local populations also agreed with that worthy goal.”

    2. Yeah. This reminded me of that too. The Sparrows ate grain of the state, so they has to be vermin. They did not understand that Sparrows also ate the locus of the fields, and in far greater number.

      I’m not sure it is worth moving heaven and earth to save the pandas from themselves, but if people want to fund it and move their own heavens a early ha to do it, who am I to tell them no?

      1. I had a sparrow looking for water when I was tending the zucchini (it didn’t want to risk going to the nearby river, AKA the predator’s dining room).

        So one hill of zucchini got some extra water until Mr. Sparrow drank his fill. That was useful to me; I relished the opportunity to smile yesterday.

        1. We bought a stupid expensive heated waterbowl this winter, officially for the feral cat that is so feral we didn’t see her until that patch of -10 or more (less) days this winter– but also because even the obnoxious raccoons shouldn’t die that way.

          Also put out cat food. Cat ate in day, coons and anything else ate at night.

          Goal for next year is goldfish puddle that will happen to act as non-mosquito watering hole.

      1. I think for these people everything exists in a vacuum and never (in their heads) can have any impact on anything else. Unless they want it to. I suspect it’s an inevitable offshoot of refusing to accept consequences for ANY choices they make, as well as the refusal to accept personal responsibility for anything.

        So naturally they not only don’t understand where food comes from (other than “the store”) or how it gets there, they don’t understand how it is grown, what is required for it to do so successfully–and not just by humans, but by weather and soil and animals and bugs all the way down to microorganisms. They can’t grasp how species of ANY kind interact with and impact each other. It’s all in it’s own little pristine bubble, and only changes if they want to change something about it.

        The worst part is, we’re getting more and more of those idiots in sciences. Including the kind that might result in the creation of something that could cause massive devastation. I cant’ remember what it was now, but I read many years ago about scientists creating a bacteria to do one thing, but turned out that if they’d set it loose in the soil it could have wiped out ALL the microorganisms in the soil, essentially sterilizing life from the planet. Thankfully, they realized this before, you know, conducting field tests.

        I don’t have a lot of faith that this kind of obvious sense is still present. Too many idiots think that nothing affects anything else, and so whatever they do is totally okay and couldn’t POSSIBLY have unforeseen and widespread consequences!

        1. I think for these people everything exists in a vacuum and never (in their heads) can have any impact on anything else. Unless they want it to.

          The annoying philosophical libertarians do this, with added “but if it does anyways it’s your fault or it will fix itself.”

          Which was, I think, why I got annoyed.

          Been elbowed in the nose a few too many times when it didn’t make sense even with EVIL!!!! to assume that it has to be malice.

        2. So naturally they not only don’t understand where food comes from (other than “the store”) or how it gets there, they don’t understand how it is grown, what is required for it to do so successfully–and not just by humans, but by weather and soil and animals and bugs all the way down to microorganisms.

          K, minor panic attack story…actually rather long lasting anxiety, but the impact when I figured out what was bugging me was minor-ish.

          I grew up with “changing sprinklers” as a major summer chore.

          We move to Iowa at some point later, and the fields… look wrong. But hey they grow, etc.


          These…these… these HUMANS go “oh, yeah, we’ll get roughly enough water from the sky, without help, it’s not worth trying to water.”

          This boggles me to the core, STILL.

          Even after years of watching it work.

          There isn’t even any obvious flood irrigation, which is what my brain kind of put in place for the corn.

          1. I grew up in the Midwest, so irrigation was a bit unusual. (Though the town was on short water rations until they redid their old and too-shallow well. They found a much better aquifer and built a *much* larger water tower than what they had–it was pretty, but not practical for $MODERN_ERA.)

            Moving to Cali was a bit of a shock, particularly after I bought a home and had the first-hand results of drought mitigation measures. Whee.

            Now, we’re in not-quite permadrought, and it’s only a rancher with lots of gall and a few connections (mostly lots of gall) who keep watering. I think the connections keep the rancher from a stay in the greybar hotel. He’s been cut off before; expect it to happen sooner or later this year.

          2. If it makes you feel any better, irrigation canals and sprinklers make me think WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!! WHERE’S THE RAIN????

            Of course, it could be worse. The Mesopotamians in some areas couldn’t even grow crops along their canals and irrigation ditches unless they also grew date palms, to shade the other crops. And that’s why there’s always all those date palms in Mesopotamian art….

  14. Dickens got it right:

    “Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”

    1. “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.” — Gandalf the Grey

        1. Damn it, that was meant to be a reply to Jim. WordPress rejected the comment the first time and when I back-buttoned to try again it somehow ended up as a reply to Sara.

        2. Both metaphors are inexact. (Given that they are not identities.)

          Mosquitoes kill more, but have vastly more interactions that are minor. It would lead to widespread invariably lethal stuff, so six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    1. I love the 3000 or so species of mosquito that do not suck blood.

      I don’t love at all the ..four? species that do, one of which is massively invasive and has displaced many native species. I especially do not love the diseases they spread.

      So I’m all for killing off the bloodsucking species. The harmless species will fill back in.

      1. As of last count we’ve 35 mosquito species in Alaska. The vast majority of them find humans quite tasty.

        I’m fairly used to the little guys. I don’t bother with repellent unless they’re thick enough I start inhaling them.

        I have found the best way to keep them off is to have visitors from outside, fresh, imported, blood seems to appeal to them. They show a great preference for Japanese fast food. Many a day I’ve rather enjoyed watching my Japanese visitors running up the trail from the river to my house being herded by the mosquitoes.

  15. Having repeatedly failed to prove my own worth to certain critics and skeptics, especially those who equate a person’s worth to his net income or accumulated possessions, I have a deep and abiding antipathy for the notion that any human being is useless.

    1. Do not get me started on folks who want to institute the “you’re only a citizen if you, directly, provide taxable income to the government” crud.

      Seed corn eating nonsense.

    2. Ugh, been there as far as the failed to prove one’s own worth goes, though the harshest critic of all was always myself. I only just recently dealt that old demon a pretty big wound as well so I know what a nightmare it is. Glad it led you to a more protective state of mind where people go, though, if that bit of phrasing makes sense.

  16. BTW, Sarah, do you know if your inner bitch moonlights? She sounds a LOT like mine.

  17. Life has value.

    If you don’t believe that, why are you still here?

    Everybody alive believes that life has value, whether they admit it or not.

    Life does not have infinite value, or absolute value. Some lives have more value than others. The lives of spiders have value, but the one in my shower is going to get squished and washed down the drain anyway.

    Everybody’s lives have value, but the way they live their lives can increase or decrease that value. Some folks do things so horrible that their lives have negative value — serial killers, child molesters, mass murderers and the like. Even ‘white collar’ crimes like fraud can be so egregious as to exceed the value of the criminal’s life. Bernie Madoff stole more money than 40,000 ordinary people would make in their lifetimes and wiped out hundreds of people’s life savings.

    In order to live in a functional society, we have to do something about those that destroy other people’s lives. One way or another, that job WILL get done. If the government won’t do it, somebody else will.
    Those who do not remember the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes. Those who do remember are doomed to watch everybody else repeat them.

    1. If I may gush here for a bit….

      This is what is so amazing about Nier: Automata’s writing and structure.

      N:A’s world is horrible. Every individual and faction has one or more ideas which justify their existence. Invariably those ideas are some sort of lie (simplest version: an entity exists to protect X, but there are no longer any X). The entire story is steeped in one character after another having their hopes and dreams dashed, with several outright losing their minds because of it and going omnicidal. And the execution is so skillful that anyone who isn’t an automaton will eventually take the emotional hit and feel the despair.


      All of that pain and suffering it there to set up the final ending. The final ending forces the player to admit through their actions that even in this meaningless world they believe there are things worth fighting for. First through an extended fight which is completely stacked against the player (technically winnable, but most players will be unable to), and then by asking the player to bear a real cost, which the player is not forced into, but nearly everyone does anyway.

      For that reason even though Nier: Automata is not my favorite game of all time I consider it to be one of the Great Works of Art that humanity has ever produced.

  18. One of my characters is the 10,000 year old lady Nammu Chen. She arrived one day because the whippersnapper characters in my story were all getting a bit out of control. Some balance was required, she arrived and started kicking them into shape.

    So, when some smartass says “the important thing is to be useful”, Nammu Chen says “useful to who?”

  19. My conflicted POV on this subject could be summed up as, “I recognize that there’s some validity to the points made, but who ultimately bells the cat and who decides? And, from what perspective? And, most of the time that those kinds of ‘decisions’ get made, the decisions are usually horrible ones. Often, unneeded beyond the ability of people to demonstrate that they can make those decisions, regardless of the need for the decision being made.”

    My hatred is based around these three points-
    1-When people start to decide that kind of thing on any large scale, it always goes downhill very, very fast in very bad ways. Often ending in “fast” or “slow” eliminations of the “unwanted.”
    2-The people that decide these kinds of things are dilettantes, who often sound educated on the subject, but their knowledge is very shallow and often built around simple concepts that sound great and scale terribly. They also make sure to delegate to spread blame for failure, rather than delegate to get results for success.

    Hitler was a dilettante.
    So was Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Woodrow Wilson…
    (Not Theodore Roosevelt, who seemed to be this genuine polymath.)
    3-Often, the process to fix the issues being addressed will lead not only to a solution to the problem, but solutions to problems that you didn’t even know existed.

    I’m just hoping we can make it to through to the other side and we can go “why did we let those crazy people run things?” rather than complain in a gulag. At best.

    1. Eveyone I have had say “We need to do ‘X’ (stop hate speech, decide who is productive, who deserves what, etc) I always say “Fine, and I get make the final decision” and inevitably it soon becomes “NO!!!”
      “What, you don’t trust me to make the correct decision?”

      1. Often, the people making these decisions-on that scale-are so incompetent as to be completely unable to pour piss out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel.

        Then, somebody else has to come along and clean up their mess. Often with a shovel.

            1. I can’t find the link, but some entity (a province in Oz, perhaps) made it a felony for a doctor to prescribe HCQ or Ivermectin for the Chinavirus.

              1. See, this is where the “Get Trump” argument breaks down. Especially now, that Trump has been Gotten, and they’re still pulling this kind of crap.

                To paraphrase Bret Weinstein, there’s a big dark planet out there distorting all other orbits, and it’s hard to come up with a map of that planet that doesn’t require very large numbers of people to either be completely psycho-/sociopathic or utterly under the control of some malevolent organization. Both of which don’t quite pass the smell test, unless everything I know about humans is wrong and the Illuminati really do control everything and they’re actually alien lizards.

                The problem with conspiracies is that someone always talks. Where are the whistleblowers?

                1. Dammit. “… and they’re still pulling this kind of crap in countries that shouldn’t care about Trump.

                1. That was one, I think. And then more(ons…) with Ivermectin. Might be a Good Idea to stock up on the not-overregulated Quercetin before they go after that as they push Delta Panic or sommat.

                2. I think the latest is a province in Oz. NSW? I couldn’t find the link, so it’s a guess. At least it’s plausible, since they’ve shown a tendency to overreact on anything Chinavirus related. They’d make some of our more lefty governors envious.

          1. I suspect that was largely greed. If HCQ had gone into wide circulation, no one would care about financing new cures and vaccines.

            The fact that someone went to the trouble to publish a very large set of (almost certainly) falsified data so that third parties (such as Lancet) could release studies proving that HCQ didn’t work tends to encourage my thinking along those lines.

            1. It turns out that was an American virologist guy who was deep in bed with the Wuhan lab getting US funding, doing work there, etc. He published under a pseudonym and other shady indicators, but the Lancet apparently was okay with that.

              1. I don’t know anything about that. What I know is that the data set was released by an outfit called “Surgisphere” that had both a CEO and a website that made a number of claims about awards and affiliations that were promptly scrubbed when people started to ask questions about the company. He had published stuff in the past, though – for obvious reasons – those papers all became suspect a little over a year ago.

                The guy who published the Lancet study using the Surgisphere data is – so far as I can tell – not the same person.

    2. I think a very good way to distinguish between experts and dilettantes is to ask whether they think it will work in practice. Anyone who thinks it will is a dilettante who hasn’t thought it through. It’s all very easy at a high level of abstraction but it becomes rather more difficult when you try to put it into practice, Even if one leaves all the ethical issues aside, the sheer number of factors is overwhelming, Hayek’s pretense of knowledge speech when he won the Bank of Sweden Prize in the Memory of Alfred Nobel is appropriate here.

      1. Well, in theory there is no difference between theory and practice…

  20. Too many of those making such demands are unable to tell the difference between science and ‘Science!’ — the latter being ‘whatever spews from the pie-holes of self-proclaimed Scientists!’ Like most of the Scientists! practicing Science! for the government.

    If their response to questions is “Shut up, I’m the Expert!” or “Conspiracy Theory!” you know you’ve found another Scientist!
    We need more Conspiracy Theories. All of our old ones have come true.

  21. To be of use… Well, I can see something in it. A bit. Sideways and cross-eyed, maybe.

    Hierarchies are a function of more than human nature, but life itself. Some things are just plain *better* than others. Capitalism is better than Marxism/Socialism for bringing people out of poverty, feeding large numbers of people on something better than bugs and gruel, innovating and creating wealth, and creating and maintaining social trust. If you value those things over central control (which is *not* more agile and reactive to the ever changing nature of economies and geopolitics), then it is a better choice. Tasting bad is a better strategy for avoiding being eaten by predators- new species are advised to select against it. And learning how to learn is a better strategy for gaining a better understanding of the world and greater general cognitive ability than unquestioningly accepting whatever teacher tells you.

    Being of use always begs the question, to what or to whom? When they don’t tell you and when you can’t readily tell, it usually turns out the answer is not anything food for you and yours. It isn’t readily apparent to the average person why Democrats want more abortions, fewer intact families, more poverty, and less individual freedoms (vs. governmental freedom to do as it pleases- that, they *always* want more of). Not unless you have the background knowledge or the wit to see all of those things increase the power of government by creating a permanent dependent class that will vote for them that takes from Peter to pay them- once the government takes its cut, of course.

    If a certain policy *always* results in something you could call an objectively bad thing- crime, unless you are a criminal, for example, then maybe that was the point all along. Defunding the police certainly achieved a goal in getting many conservatives and conservative leaning folks to move out of Portland and Seattle, turning those areas more blue. Second order effects? Collateral damage? Why Comrade, what are you saying? We’ve won!

    Skills can be useful. Practical ones and difficult ones, like plumbing, engineering, welding, and electricians, these are easy to see the use of. Soft skills like managing, customer service, and writing- harder to see, but still useful to have. I have gotten jobs more because of my writing skill, I think, because for some reason I don’t interview well, but cover letter can make up for some of that. Social skills, if you’re not a pain in the butt, its easier to work with you. And there are very, very few jobs that are solitary these days.

    People are not the sum total of their skills. Nor animals. Cats are more than simple furry ratcatchers that make a pleasing noise when you pet them. Chickens are more than tiny tasty murderhappy dinosaurs with feathers. It is human nature to treat things (and people) as their use, though. Tools become extensions of ourselves, stools are “things to sit on,” cars are “things that move us places.” We don’t think deeply about such things, often not until they break. Treating people like that always causes problems though. Eventually, if not in an immediate fashion. Some folks (raises hand) seem to have an irritating inability to allow bullsh*t to pass unremarked.

    So even if it is useful and natural, there are limits, I suppose. In the philosophical sense, like Kant and the martyrs and the suicides- can’t they will such that it becomes a natural law, too?- seeking to improve oneself with practical skills (becoming useful for certain goals) is not a bad thing. Someone else telling you to make yourself useful (or else) can go too far. And inevitably does when that someone is the government.

    1. Defunding the police certainly achieved a goal in getting many conservatives and conservative leaning folks to move out of Portland and Seattle

      Latest email blast from the Seattle Times asks if “defund the police” is over, because in the recent town hall none of the six mayoral candidates even mentioned it.

      Maybe the horse will learn to sing after all. At least so far it might be getting better at neighing on key.

  22. “What are pandas good for?” — has to be one of the most… revolutionary ideas that’s popped up in a while.

    It turns that old “the Earth is a garden” faith on its head. Suddenly, instead of being (ideally) a vast nature-preserve where only humans don’t belong, it looks on the natural world as a sort of farm field where designated “weed species” have to be eliminated in favor of “crop species” (and such names are already almost implicit in the concept). Nothing exempt from such “management.”

    And that’s in the ideal; the question really sounds a lot more (though I have not read the original article and I’m not aiming to either) like “What have pandas done for us lately?” — where “us” and “done” and all the rest are inherently and necessarily defined in some political (likely leftist) sense, as of some moment.

    Revolutionary… in a very French, Russian, Cambodian Revolution sort of way. Buckets of heads, mounds of skulls, millions of instant graves and all. (“Who’s next in line for the guillotine, step right up!”) And that way is quite… one-way. (The Mammoth Lobby need not apply. Passenger pigeon fans, pass by.)

    And since “all lives matter” is already attacked and denied in a human context, how could “all lives matter” even in a species survival context, either..?

    “They have made a wasteland, and called it ‘the environment'” — I’d expect.

  23. Today I read one of the most shocking headlines I’ve ever read. “What are pandas good for?” And then the entire article went on to evaluate how each species isn’t or isn’t good for the “environment.”

    What in the name of holy fandago is that shit?

    Leftard believing he is God, same as any other day.

    Worst part is, unlike God they have no sense of beauty or even consider beauty valuable (often quite the opposite).

  24. I’m going to focus in on 1 small part of your blog.
    Yes Sarah you are useful. Even if you take the 2nd Tuesday of each week off. Taking a day off to recharge your batteries keeps you being useful.
    This is just my own personal opinion and free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.

  25. Between this and your MGC post you don’t shy away from tough topics do you? Both of them did need to be addressed, though, and I agree about how much, and how dangerous, the evil that can result from this notion is. Telling yourself to be useful and time off, or worse a full-on stumble with the thing, is inexcusable is a grand banquet for a lot of black dogs, mine included. It’s been especially difficult in light of all this insanity, the Covidiocy in particular, when voices like yours got blown off or attacked while idiots like Dr. Fasci got acclaim. It’s made your frequent admonition to be not afraid extremely difficult, though I’m doing what I can to keep it in mind.

    The panda thing, though? That’s not something I expected to hear, but somehow I’m not surprised. Like Herb says people like this really do believe they’re God, and their hubris never seems to get the consequences it’s begging for. I just hope we all make it through this mess as well as possible…

  26. Can we agree to make an exception for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes? I’d be happy to CRISPR that particular subspecies into manmade extinction, yesterday! As long as we can be certain the genetic modification won’t spill over into other less lethal species…

  27. I have a reply to pro-abortion folks. Test case. Young couple, poor as church mice. He’s in college, just enough aid to pay tuition, maybe some books. She’s working as many hours as she can get as a minimum wage bookkeeper using her high school accounting class knowledge. Living in a one room walk up on beans and rice, ramen, hamburger on a good week. Whoops, birth control failure. Should they abort? If they say or imply yes, I respond. I’m glad they didn’t, I like being alive.

    1. How about– lady with four kids, gets raped at a wedding, she was coming off pregnancy and drank more than she should’ve because of it.

      She’s Filipino. So is her husband.

      Rapist is a big, red-blond.

      Should she kill the result?

      ….if so, I may need to kill you for suggesting that one of my best shipmates is better off dead, at least if you try to enforce it rather than do the shitty effort of going “oh, no, the baby will be HAPPIER if they’re dead.”

      She is awesome, and the terror of the Filipino Mafia, which should bring joy to all lawful minded sailors everywhere; it really freaks the SOBs out to have the target of their lewdness turn around and inform them of the defects in their ancestry when the comment on her…uh… desirability.

      1. The weird part for me was – knowing my parents used birth control – I asked my mom why they had me when they did. I had a really good relationship with mom, and we were quite honest with each other. She replied “Failure to take the diaphragm on a weekend trip, and having a husband who’s a smooth talker! Remember, one time is enough to do it!”.

        1. Well, and even then those measures don’t always work! My unofficially-adopted-older-brother (joined the family when he was 20, lol) and his wife got pregnant on almost every form of birth control known to man, short of surgical measures 😀 Their five kids are awesome, though, they just never quite came when scheduled (well, their eldest might have–they had been trying, though she had picked up a nasty recurring intestinal bug while on her mission to Ecuador that caused some health issues that delayed things a couple of years after their marriage. After that, though, it was “But we weren’t TRYING!!! heh.)

            1. My sister, the one with the 3 miracles (technically 5 miracles, they lost 2, one each between each live birth from tubal pregnancies, one automatic, the other had to be aborted, or 3 little girls lost their mother and unborn sibling) after they adopted the first … Sister’s tubes are blocked. And she has extreme scaring outside the womb. As BIL was heard to state “We have proof! See pictures!” Until her full hysterectomy (medical reasons) there were jokes that she could get pregnant if he looked at her.

              Then there was the first time I got pregnant, and lost the baby. After two weeks of bed rest, and in the hospital, we came home, without baby. Hubby had no longer got me settled when the phone rang. It was a recently barely married friend, calling to cry on hubbies shoulders on how the wife had gotten pregnant on birth control … I remember hubby *said* the right words …

              1. Second son shouldn’t be here. He must be here for a reason. We don’t know what the reason is, but it must be pretty important.
                a) I don’t get pregnant naturally. Just don’t. Doesn’t happen.
                b)if it happens, I miscarry, because I do not produce pregnancy hormone (which is why pee tests NEVER work for me.)
                c) as we found out when I had the hysterectomy, the caeserean for first son was done by monkeys on LSD. My uterus was so scarred, it was like a clenched fist. With criss crossing bands of scarring. So there was like a pin point he could implant in. Nothing else.
                AND one of my ovaries was bissected, and cut off and set adrift, attached to the body wall by MORE scar tissue.
                Oh, and I had the beginning of thyroid issues.
                And yet here he is. And though I’m told he should be mentally retarded because of beginning thyroid issues, he’s probably the highest IQ in the family.
                So. There. He’s a miracle. As I tell him when I’m mad “I just don’t know from which side!”

                1. I’m pretty sure that the world should be thankful that both your kids (and you) are mentally retarded. If you had your normal level of intelligence, the world might not survive.

    2. I would not presume to tell them what to do. It’s not my place. It’s not my BUSINESS. Their lives, their choice, their FREEDOM.

      Quite often, the right thing to do for somebody is NOTHING.

  28. Projected headlines for future editions of the Utilitarian Times:

    “Are Snakes Necessary?”

    “Who Asked for Cormorants?”

    “Can Sea Urchins Be Logically Justified?”

    “What Are the Consequences of Australian Giant Earthworms?”

    “Is the Four-Spotted Orb Weaver (Araneus Quadratus) Really in America’s National Interest?”

    And, the one that really summarizes them all: “What’s the Upside-Down Catfish Ever Done for *Me*, Anyway?”

    (Props, by the way, to anyone who can tell me where I stole one of these headlines from.)

  29. Wonderful essay. Environmental policy and issues have been my thing for many years, and I’ve always marveled at the arrogance of the greenies. Sarah nailed it with the panda anecdote. Likewise, greenies know what the “right” temperature of earth is. And the spotted owl must be saved even though it’s being pushed out by another species of owl. I think there is something deep in the psyche of greenies (and other activists) that is at work, and I believe it is pure narcissism. Regardless, the old saying applies: scratch an environmentalist and inside you’ll find a Marxist. They are called watermelons for good reason. Green on the outside, red on the inside. Never forget it.

  30. I have always thought the idea express in the book/movie: Pay it Forward, showed us what a person is worth. That we don’t do things looking for pay back or reward, but we do things to help others. Maybe a bit selfish but I enjoy doing it and maybe it gets passed along.

    1. Agreed, though in light of humans gonna human, I’m in favor of “enlightened self interest.” If you can’t do something good for others/community/etc because it’s the right thing to do, then do it because, in the long run, it’s better for YOU. Your life will be easier/better/more profitable if you help others 😀

      (I prefer the Christ-like approach–charity is the pure love of Christ–but sometimes one isn’t feeling very charitable, or perhaps that just isn’t going to work for someone for whatever reason. Fine, okay, let’s teach enlightened self interest as an alternative approach.)

      1. A certain degree of environmentalism IS self interest. Keeping the Earth a nice place to live benefits us all.

        1. No argument. I remember rivers burning. We were reminded on how bad smoke filled air is, this last summer. I agree burning rivers, burning air, is bad.

          What gets me is NOW the local environmentalists are putting advertisement on how bad the pollution was the worst ever last summer, how it “needs to be better”. Wait! What? How are they going to stop Wildfires? Cut down all the trees and brush? They won’t let the burned dead trees (once the trees fall and pile up on their own would be fire danger again) be taken down and pulled out. (Note, this is the status of the fire area that the 2003 Santiam Fire is now at, or a good portion of it, at the top of the pass is.) My head would hurt if I tried to follow their logic.

        2. No argument on common-sense environmentalism–if you want a religious take on it, we’re supposed to be good stewards of the Earth Himself has gifted us with.

          But the loonies that call themselves environmentalists aren’t so much interested in helping the environment as a.) virtue signaling, b.) lording it over those they deem inferior (and would love to reduce us to actual serfdom, with they idea of LITERALLY lording it over us), and c.) don’t actually care about the environment itself because they can’t be bothered to learn how it works. Because it’s not actually about the environment.

          And look, I was a kid who read Ranger Rick and all back in the 80s, and for some years bought the lie of how awful humans, and especially Americans were, to the environment (though never to the extent of ‘humans should all die’ or ‘everyone should stop having kids’…and then I grew up and looked around, and especially looked at the cleanliness of the air and cities in, for example, Europe as opposed to most of the cities I’d seen in the U.S. and went “hm.” Even the difference in air quality between Denver (which by comparison to where I live sucks, unless its wildfire season) and Salt Lake City is remarkable. (Denver is–or was–a lot better. Holy cow has SLC gotten bad)

          1. Also, you have to be affluent enough to care about the environment. The left wants us to all be poorer.

            Poor S**tholeistanis across the world do not care about the environment other than “will it continue to keep us fed”.

            1. Want to watch an eco-weenie’s head explode? Remind them that unless enough safari hunting is allowed to keep cash flowing to compensate the indigenous population for crop destruction and predation of their livestock, not to mention them, the indigenous population is simply going to kill Cedric the Lion, Jumbo, and all their friends and relations, either for food or safety, no matter how much the eco-weenie howls.

        3. Don’t confuse conservation with the Gaia cult known as “environmentalism”.

          Ducks Unlimited does more for waterfowl than Earth First.

  31. It occurred to me this morning that the whole horrible litany of CRT training in schools (separating children into “affinity groups,” telling white children they’re like the devil, classing the kids as “oppressed,” or “oppressed,” and so on) is the other side of the self-esteem movement. Or the swing of the pendulum. Instead of being told to feel good about themselves, children are now being told to feel very bad about themselves. By the same people.

    1. Then comes the ones that go “If I’m irredeemable because of my ancestors and my skin …. Watch this …” It will be 100% the fault of CRT and those that push it.

  32. “Opressed,” or “oppressors.” Don’t know if it’s my bad or WP.

  33. And then there are the “Environmentalists” who believe H. sapiens is the only useless species on the planet. It’s kind of a religious belief, that the world was created in a state of perfection and every change wrought by humans pulls it away from that perfect state.

    1. Yep. At worst – humans are the Serpent in the Garden. At “best,” modern western free-market culture is the Serpent.

Comments are closed.