Stop Collaborating With The Enemy

You ain’t Tokyo Rose. Before words come out of your mouth and memes out of your fingers, ask yourself “am I being used?”

For some reason, I keep running against this bilge on mewe. I think because honestly when I go to Facebook it’s mostly or private groups, a chat with a friend, or for echoing the blog posts. So time spent looking at my main page is….. short. Though to be honest, my time on FB is short and getting shorter.

What bilge? Oh, memes extolling the Chinese in relation to us. And all conservatives pick this crap up and echo it, because it happens to “side rail” against things they hate (and which it’s valid to hate.)

But the memes are crap. The aggrandizing of the Chinese bastards is crap. They’re either outright lies or laughable lies. And the memes, somehow, never hit the Chinese where it hurts: the fact their economy is so f*cked most of their people live like Medieval peasants; the fact their army of little emperors cried when they went up against India; the fact that they are having trouble feeding their own population; the crumbling empty cities they think are “investments”; their population collapse; Xi’s pretensions to world leadership; their slave camps. Which you know, tells you exactly where the meme factory is and who is propagating it.

The problem being when conservatives seize the memes and distribute, they are actively collaborating in the aggrandizing of China and putting down the US. They are also convincing the Chinese their victory over us will be easy. (This is good and bad, but if you have friends and relatives in large cities, think about the chances of it ending up with one of those catching a nuke because the idiots get cocky, okay?)

Chinese are masters of propaganda and psychological warfare, while Americans are so bad at it that it hurts. If you loved 2020 keep collaborating with the enemy.

If not, listen up:

Yeah, sure, the fact that the usurpers of our governmental institutions are making our armed forces participate in inclusivity and CRT training, and prioritizing bullshit SJW goals over preparedness IS a problem. But that doesn’t mean we’re not still the best fighting force in the world. Sure, it’s damning with faint praise, but comparing us to China and saying they’re “prepared for war” and “will win” is bullshit. You know it’s bullshit, I know it’s bullshit. It’s bullshit so rank I can smell it through the internet.

The Chinese have Little Emperors — single descendants of multiple families — who are no more prepared to risk themselves in war than I’m prepared to fly unassisted. Their army is bullshit.

Why is it bullshit? Because they don’t have a fighting force. The only fighting strength they ever had was the ability to submerge any enemy in a wave of people. But they can’t. Because the communists destroyed that too.

Their weapons are bullshit. I’d like independent confirmation of their “achievements in space.” Why? Because, well, the USSR achievement in space was a) what they could steal from us b) flimsy and c) mostly trumped up. In the sense that they only publicized their wins, while it might be one in ten that succeeded.

Look, by definition an authoritarian regime sucks at tech. I’m not saying anything about “capabilities of the people” (duh) but seriously? If you can’t report failed experiments, failed assemblies or builds that need to be improved, you’re going to have crappy tech. And you can’t report any of that, because in a centralized authoritarian regime you’ll be punished for failure, even if it’s not your fault. And you might get accused of doing it on purpose.

When nothing less than 100% success is allowed, the process is corrupt and the result is excrement. (Look at our “science” right now. No, seriously. We’re sliding that way.)

So, no matter how made you are at what the army and our government is doing, stop echoing Xi’s bullshit. And counter it every time you see it. This is war by other means, or in the ancient Chinese tradition, softening the enemy so they’ll surrender at first attack.

Yesterday, I came across probably the most egregious of this load of bullshit: It claimed we get MOST of our food from China.

No, I’m actually serious. It claimed that we get fish and meat from China.

I know we get some “food” ingredients from China. It’s very easy to find out which, if you remember what failed during the lockdowns and is still iffy.

Most of that, in most of the country (except for some parts but that’s explainable other ways. Like of course big cities when people mostly ate out, restaurant supply stores were overfull, and groceries empty, when restaurants closed) is extremely processed food (some of the low carb stuff, which I’ve started phasing out for obvious reasons, in favor or more locally available) or pet food. (And pet food now is not as much dependent on China as it was, since they killed a bunch of dogs and cats by doing Chinese trade bullshit.)

China, in point of fact, imports vast amounts of its food from the US. VAST. Without us they couldn’t feed their people even at the pitiful subsistence level they manage.

The US is largely food self-sufficient. And feeds half the world. Now we get out of season stuff from Mexico and other points South, and shrimp from tropical waters, but that’s about it.

Now, sure, you get a lot of your food from Chinese owned corporations.

That is because they have bought several American corporations like Smithfield Hams. But they did that not because they’re feeding us from their surplus, but because they want to make sure their people get food if/when they f*ck with us enough that food becomes scarce here. That’s all.

As for why our corporations (and politicians) are letting themselves be bought with what amounts to monopoly money? Because they’re stupid. And they believe the propaganda with which you’re collaborating.

You see, the Chinese money is worth what the Chinese government says it is. And that’s part of the reason why the local sh*theads believe you can just print money without diminishing the value of money. Look at the Chinese. They do it!

Yeah. There is one TINY problem with that. This type of scam goes on until it doesn’t. If the economy behind it isn’t worth what is being printed/distributed/used…. sooner or later it all implodes.

And the Chinese economy isn’t worth spit, and will be worse less as we stop buying their stuff. (Which honestly has already started. And will get worse as their vice-roy makes our economy worse.)

Again, totalitarian regimes are above all terrible at communication. Which is all that money is. Money is communication. It’s a way to signal “more of this. Less of that.” When you cut that off and interpose yourself, you cut the bonds of the economy and leave production and demand to flap lose in the wind. Which is why the Chinese build ghost cities that crumble within years. (To be fair, so do normal Chinese cities.)

So, yeah, they’re buying us up with monopoly money, and lending us monopoly money, and our people are too stupid to understand that. But they are at danger and they know it. Which is why they buy American companies and land. Because they are desperate for something solid to own that won’t turn to vapor when the morning sun hits.

If you remember the early oughts, husband kept trying to explain to me how perception was reality or whatevs, because that’s what it looked like. Companies popped up overnight, and got massive IPOs without having produced a single thing, and seemed to be thriving. He interviewed and was actively headhunted by a bunch of these, so I read their brochures and researched them and kept telling him “That’s nice, but there’s NOTHING there. They’re fairy gold.”

And true enough, when the fog cleared, they were nothing.

For a strange illustration of this — it’s not what he thought he was doing — read Simak’s They Walked Like Men, where aliens are buying up the Earth using …. themselves. They’re shape shifters who turn into money, then revert to their form.

In the book, the time comes when everyone is homeless, because they’ve sold their house which stands empty. Until someone goes “Hey, you know what? The money disappeared anyway. Let’s go get our houses back.”

Which is what I envision at the end of China’s bullshit.

They think that because we deal fairly we’re weak. But in the end it is they who are weak, because all their streams of information are corrupt. And they’re so used to living in a semblance of reality that they don’t understand REAL reality. Which will bite their ass when the fog evaporates.

If we let the fog evaporate and stop collaborating with the enemy.

Because you know what? The left echoes these memes because since the USSR died China became their beau ideal, to show us communism can work. (More like fascism, but sure, whatevs. If you like slavery, China has slavery.) And the right echoes it, because they don’t like certain practices in our country.

When what we need to do is stand up for and by America. Sure, our government are occupiers, our political class is corrupt, our institutions need a fine scouring (which is a weird term for burning and salting the ground, I get it.)


But we’re still the best in the world, and the last great hope of mankind.

D*mning with faint praise? Oh, sure. But broken and with our feet in a bucket, we’ve preserved civilization before, and I’m betting we can do it again.

The current sclerotic Junta is not a patch on Woodrow Wilson or FDR who were COMPETENT evil. They are in fact the decaying results of the left’s illusions. They are a paper tiger. And behind them, America remains, as strong and stubborn and able as ever.

Perfect? Oh, hell no. And yeah, there’s a reckoning coming, and we can’t avoid it.

BUT we’re still miles better than China or any of our other vainglorious, ridiculous “rivals.”

We have no rival, because we have no equal.

Oppressed people screaming for freedom — as in Cuba — lift high the stars and stripes.

Will you not do likewise?

656 thoughts on “Stop Collaborating With The Enemy

  1. I just had an “ah-ha” moment when you called the consequences of the Chinese “one child policy,” a nation of “Little Emperors.” It means that an entire family line will disappear because of the loss of one child in a war. Plus we know from slips of info coming out of China like they aborted so many of their girl children that they have to buy girls from places like North Korea, and their diminishing population numbers. This makes me believe that the control they have over their own people is becoming problematic. Also it occurred to me that the nukes they are building could be as much a threat to their own people as they would be to us and our allies.

      1. Not only that, but the communists made one child families the expected norm. When they started allowing everyone to have more than one kid, there was a very brief baby boom… and then the numbers dropped back down to the usual level because most Chinese citizens only want one kid nowadays.

        And those official baby birth numbers are generally considered suspect, as well. The bump numbers might be legit, since they were unusual. But it’s generally understood that the regular baseline numbers are not.

        1. Centrally planned societies tend to crush birthrates. That was a huge problem in the Soviet Union and is a huge problem in centrally planned areas in Europe and the US too.

          There is serious indicators that the car seat mandates in the US are part of the reason there are so few families with more than two children. You can’t fit them without a massive investment in vehicles big enough to fit more than two carseats.

          1. PSA:
            Kia minivans are big enough you CAN wedge three kids across teh back seat, even with Washington State seat mandates (anyone under 13 MUST have a seat) and they are affordable to buy and own.

            …but is not a norm, no.

            1. Our older son was off carseat at 3. He was 50 lbs.
              Not fat.
              We were pulled over on it ONCE. We explained to the policeman. We were let go.
              My kids, at 13 were the size of LARGE adults and over six feet. That is beyond ridiculous.

              1. They are in a car seat. One built in to the car in fact. Even the adults are in car seats because we care about safety so much.

              2. In Indiana the rule was basically over age X or over weight Y (don’t recall the specific numbers) so at least some consideration that people are not the same.

                1. Here back then it was till five period. Either car seat or booster seat. Kid was over 3 feet tall and 50 lbs by three. He broke the car seat, then the booster seat.

                2. In Texas, you can’t get a definitive answer, and I suspect it’s a deliberate and cynical, Kafka-esque scheme for money and ‘services’ to be extracted. Those people should be strung up from lamp posts.

            2. Interesting. We don’t have one of this yet. I’ve been looking into the Safe Ride 4 Kids harness.

              Essentially, instead of building a seat, what they’re doing is building a harness that adapts the seatbelt to fit children 3 and up. And it meets the legal requirements in most states.

              It’s a lot more compact and also travels with the kid instead of with the car.

              1. *evil grin* From memory?
                It was epic backpedaling.

                Because a five foot even lady sued the state about the law that required her to use a child safety seat…. at 30. Was originally just size based.

                1. Flat State had that same thing – lady was 4′ 10″. Small enough to get air-bag deactivated, but supposed to drive from the back seat. Oops. The law got re-written.

            3. Graco makes a narrower child seat so families can fit three across in normal cars.

              Not the norm, but a market sufficiently large for product development.

          2. And just to make it even more frustrating, they don’t even save many kids. Certainly not enough to make up for how many they cost to society. 60 or so saved a year, in exchange for demographic winter.

          3. I think there’s a way to at least partially reverse the preference for only child families among the general population in China. It would require the country’s leadership showing up to public events with multiple kids (or – given the age of the leadership, more likely grandkids) in tow. For instance, Xi shows up at an event, and his daughter (assuming that she’s married; I don’t know if that’s the case) comes up on stage with him along with her husband, and she and her husband have three kids in tow. People *like* little kids. So it’s a good move politically. And it would likely get at least some members of the Chinese general public thinking that maybe they should have more kids, too.

            1. Having a stay-at-home wife has been an upper middle class success marker since the 1990s — almost all the mothers of my daughters’ friends were doing the PTA mom thing. The Ivanka Trump generation has added three-plus children as their demonstration of success, whether or not the wife stays at home. Mr. Wife’s two nieces have seven sons between them; one of my foster daughters is also on number four, and may continue beyond that for the sheer joy of the exercise.

          1. I must heartily disagree. Americans were already paying down debt (which everybody said was impossible). A LOT of affluent women suddenly decided last year that staying home with the kids is cool. If stay-at-home-mom becomes a fashionable choice, with modern medical technology and food production and distribution, population numbers could reverse in a hurry. It’s probably too late for Millennials (all those women with useless student loans and a chip on their shoulders!!), but GenZ could throw a baby boom that makes the 50’s look like a dearth.

              1. This is the part where you need to tell the black dog to shuddup and recognize that America is a drunk underage fool, and thus protected.

              2. True, but the lack of reversal would not be a direct result of the decline in population–it would be a continuation of trend due to externalities.

          2. The few who have more take over eventually, but it takes a long time when they are so few.

      2. oh yes– I did have some exposure to ancestor worship in Japan when I was there. I think that not having ancestors maybe very de-stabilizing.

            1. Regarding yourself as another generation in a chain helps encourage becoming an ancestor.

    1. I still feel sick, thinking of the exchange student I spent one Christmas break with (husband’s co-worker put us up over the December working period with the reserves, I was the only other non-reservist in the house) where I did my usual chattering away with family stories, and afterwards she blinked at me and asked what (paraphrasing) the hell an ‘uncle’ was.

      She didn’t *have* the words for parent’s siblings, much less parent’s parent’s siblings, and their offspring; she had the words for siblings, because most people use those.

      From her grandparents down to herself, there was NOBODY ELSE.

      *urge to go puke rises*

      1. To be fair, the Chinese guys who know what they are doing are probably the least likely to do it for the CCP.

        “Lying flat” and using as little effort or brains as possible is a strategy that is hard for your supposed superiors to discourage.

      2. And it was quite ordinary Indian troops, mostly the Bihar regiment a good regiment but not an elite one. Can you imagine what the Gurkhas would do to them?

        1. It would probably be in accordance with Gurkhas humor.

          I’m not sure what that would be like, but I imagine it would be hilarious and terrifying in equal measure…

          1. Field Marshal Slim had an anecdote about that. He was caught out in a barrage and was wondering whether he should run or walk into cover. A Gurkha Subedar stood there laughing at him. Slim said an ordinary Punjabi sepoy would have run out under fire quite gallantly to recover his body if he fell, a Sikh would ostentatiously stand between Slim and the fire while being thrilled to be meeting with his CIC, but only a Gurkha would figure out that the general didn’t know what to do and laugh. Slim was a Gurkha officer as was one of my great-grandfathers. I’m a huge fanboy.

      3. “It was hilarious the way China troops with tanks and machine guns got beat by Indians with baseball bats.”

        Link please? Haven’t been here in a long while, and can’t find anything about this. All the stories I see say that the Chinese killed 20 Indian soldiers and that guns weren’t used.

        PS Thanks for this post, Sarah!

    2. India and China are both likely to experience horrible social upheaval because of their artificial gender imbalance. I figure the imbalance they admit to … in both countries … is actually 3 or 4 times worse.

      1. Yep.
        It’s also the result of novel theories and unproven social experiments. (Like the rat thing, which was bullshit. And the number game of “overpopulation” also bullshit.)
        Now that we’ve experienced covidiocy, can we stop believing the idiocy?

        1. Naw, they lied to us about the ‘pandemic’ but we can totally trust ’em about everything else! 😛

          It wasn’t just the lies, it was the different lies every week that SHOULD have led folks to the beginnings of a clue. Most of ’em tripped over the truth, picked themselves up and kept right on. Only a few stopped and said, “WTF, O?”

          1. “But we’ve always been at war with Eastasia…”

            For most people, “news” is like schoolwork; mindless babble they mostly ignore. And if their memories don’t agree with today’s Narrarative, they don’t care; they just make the adjustment and carry on.

            It’s ‘problem thinkers’ like you that disrupt an orderly society.

          1. *sigh* Proofing Is My Friend PIMF!! Why. Sarah. (All else remains the same.)

          2. I’ll try to find it in the archives again, but like the Stanford Prison Experiment– bad design, but told story that someone wanted to hear, thus popular. ISTR inbreeding was involved as well?

          3. K, here’s one of the articles– if you ctrl-F for Skinner you reach the comment thread discussing some of the other big issues.

          4. because it was. I just don’t have the time to look for the debunking. It’s feeding them and stealing their roles, not overpopulation.
            (Like, welfare?)

      2. Illustrating my ignorance.
        India has a gender imbalance problem?
        I knew about China; that’s been obvious for years.
        But why India? I could see a lot of the same reasons (overpopulation worries, social pressure to have a boy etc.), even if it wasn’t a government program.

        1. IIRC part of the “issue” is that higher class folks have a *worse* imbalance— which calls to mind the early Christian “thing” where they converted folks because the Christians picked up abandoned “useless” girl children, and then that’s where most of the wives were 20 years later.

        2. Parts of India (up near Kashmir) have up to 150 males to 100 females, if the numbers are correct. That . . . may explain a lot of the unrest and mess, beyond just the “It’s mine! No, it’s mine!” between India and Pakistan (and China).

        3. Don’t you remember? 10-15 years ago there was a YUGE hooraw amongst the proto-Woke moonbats about India using ultrasound to facilitate sex-selective abortions. That being the ONLY aspect of the whole situation they found troubling. Some talk about restricting exports of ultrasound equipment to India, but I don’t think it got beyond talk.
          Mollari: “Perhaps it was something I said?”
          G’Kar: “Perhaps it is everything you say.”

          1. More Americans support abortion on demand at any point in pregnancy for any reason than support sex-selective abortions. I actually saw a leftist once try to argue that this is not inconsistency.

        4. They’ve got the same problem as China, in that everyone wants boys, not girls. If I recall from a particular class in college right, it’s because cultural mores dictate that it is the boy who cares for aging parents–girls once they marry go to their husband’s family. Ergo, girls were getting aborted in massive numbers.

          And then there’s the little problem of how a lot of them then TREAT the brides. (I haven’t looked at numbers recently, but the number of brides killed or maimed in “accidental” burnings in the past few decades is statistically horrifying. And in instances where they’ve actually managed to look into it–it’s often mothers-in-law. Or sons doing it at the instigation of their mothers.) And, of course, they have something of a rape problem in a lot of places–though that, from what I’m seeing from casual glances (I am by no means an expert, just casual information seeker), is finally seeing pushback One of the most tear-jerking and inspiring things I saw was a father who has been fighting tooth and nail to rescue his daughters–sold by, if I remember right, his inlaws–from forced (and underage) marriages. I think he got one out, and he’s got her in school and she was on her way to college within a year or two. The other he is still trying to get out. And mind you, this is a POOR man, who is probably of ‘lower caste.’ That and other stories make me think that, while they are facing a terrible demographic problem with the gender imbalance, there’s a groundswell of hopefully-positive social change building up in India.

        1. India has a problem with how they treat their girl adults, too. It would be funny how our proglodytes treat American women vs. how they treat foreign women living in other countries… If one had a particularly twisted and sick sense of humor.

          They’re not China bad. But they aren’t good at it, either.

          1. They’re not China bad. They’re worse. China, so far as I know, does not have the kind of patriarchal culture where a girl being out alone after dark, or out with her boyfriend, is grounds for gang rape and murder, as India has had happen a few times. “Honor killings”, acid attacks, and similar are disturbingly common, especially for reasons like dowry and brideprice being deemed too low.

            Seriously. I’d rather walk alone at night in Bahrain than India. (Though at least there I would be more clearly an outsider and thus less likely to be “taught” how to behave.)

            1. And bride burnings. “Pay us even more dowry or we burn your daughter to death.” Or “mysterious kitchen fires” that kills the woman and the husband remarries for an even larger dowry.

              1. That is a funny way of saying “The British clearly weren’t thorough enough and we need to go do some cultural imperializing to fix that oversight.”

                1. Yeah. They didn’t go NEARLY far enough. (It wasn’t helped by the fact that, in their own way, the British also still have a caste system, and so couldn’t fully eradicate India’s caste system.)

                  At least when I was still in school, for all the shrieking about imperialism/colonialism, most of my teachers couldn’t *quite* bring themselves to assert that the British Raj doing their darndest to stamp out suttee were wrong. (I’m sure there would be plenty nowadays, what with moral relativism *really* having taken hold in so-called ‘places of education.’)

            2. Women I worked with told me they were more comfortable in China than India as they could go out unaccompanied. I’m told it’s better in the south than the north but American feminists ought to go spend a few weeks there, and not at the Oberoi hotel either, and see exactly what oppression looks like. Never mind that, let them go to Europe.

              1. I’ve never seen any indication of that. And it doesn’t really fit with their culture. Taboos about homosexuality (especially female homosexuality), sure. They’re about as prudish about sex as leftists think conservatives are.

                But they don’t go for the “Your low-caste brother was talking to a higher-caste woman, so you will be gangraped to punish the family for his transgression” thing that is, if not common, not unheard of in India. Some of that is the caste system itself, most likely.

                    1. This. Mussolini; “Everything in the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state.” Sounds poetic in the original Italian. Prager, “the bigger the government, the smaller the citizens.”

        2. Philosophy/theology wise, they have a huge issue with PEOPLE and it’s most obvious with the “little girls” ie bottom of the deck folks.

    3. Remember also that the girls who remain aren’t stupid and are commanding a high price. This has some interesting effects on, say, the housing market since a prospective groom has to show solvency and the ability to buy property. Another effect is that the money tends to be in the cities with the women following, but China tends to draw its soldiers and gendarmerie from the countryside. Having your armed men unable to find wives through the normal course of things has bad, very bad, outcomes

      This is really the great tragedy of FICUS. All the CCP needed was a good shove and Trump knew this, ditto the Mullahs. The rest of the so called great and good are either stupid or compromised (or one can embrace AND)

      In any case, fear our elites not China and be careful you don’t get caught up in their death throes.

            1. I believe we saw this with the royal families of Europe… and how they became weird, strange, and unbalanced in all ways. Some of it was inbreeding

      1. Getting a house in China is a bit trickier than it is in the US. You need to have a permit (and I don’t know how difficult that is to obtain). And you also have to accept the fact that you’re not really “buying” the house as we understand it. You’re essentially making a long-term one-time payment to lease the land that the house is on… and the government can revoke the lease early if they choose. That means that unlike in the US, having a house isn’t really a long-term investment. It’s a place where you live, and nothing else. Even if you leave it to your kids, they’re not going to have it for long if you die a natural death at the end of a long life.

        1. There’s a reason why they’re basically giving Uighur women to Han men as “concubines” and only some of it is subjugation of the Uighurs.

        1. Yep. They’re providing comfort women as a perk. I got a glimpse of it once through the line outside a brothel near a railway station in south China and again in Bangkok where plane loads of men are bussed in, left at a brothel for a week, then picked up and taken home. It’s a factory reward program. The Japanese used to do it too, but I’m told it’s much worse now. Considering that the brothels in Bangkok are six and seven story affairs capable of tremendous … throughput … the mind boggles.

          Minorities in China, Falun Gong, Tibet. — China can do and does what it wants to them. Burma and Laos can’t protect their women and are in need of money. North Korea needs the money too and there’s a flow of European, mostly eastern, women for the connoisseur with access to hard currency.

      1. There’s also the problem that the Chinese–the ones who consider themselves ‘real’ Chinese–are stone cold racists toward everyone else (including others that, to us, also appear to be Chinese). And so while those Other women might be okay to use as sex-slaves, you can bet any children resulting (if they actually reach live birth) are considered to be less than human just as their mothers are considered less than human.

        Case in point: a friend of mine became engaged to a second-generation Chinese/American girl (parents had immigrated, and so still strongly steeped in the Culture.) A few things really struck me about her: a conversation about tv or movies wherein she sneered about Lucy Liu, who, apparently, is from “peasant stock” and thus in her/her family’s opinion has no business being famous/wealthy. Her offhand comment that her parents had said directly “We’d rather you be lesbian, so long as your girlfriend was Chinese, than you be engaged to this boy” and the way she treated her fiance. Who was a lovely young man, but she was very openly verbally abusive to him–to the point that I was relieved when I heard the engagement was broken off (not sure by whom). (He then went on to marry a girl he met online from the Phillipines–who the couple of times I interacted with her seemed to treat him no better, but…not my circus, sigh.) That was really the first time I’d interacted with anyone with a close tie to more “traditional” Chinese culture, instead of just being of Chinese or other Asian descent, but otherwise as American as everyone else. I was shocked how racist she was–I suspect I would have had more opportunities to be shocked had Laramie, Wyoming had a higher black population.

    4. The nukes they’re building are unquestionably more of a threat to their people. Not only do you have to factor in the “Made in China” Quality issues, but there’s also the matter of that they’re more likely to loose them on internal disputes if the situation gets REALLY dire than on a foreign country capable of MADing them.

      But the Chinese are very family conscious so I guess we’ll see how it goes there.

  2. What groups are you bumping into that has that sort of sh*twater coming out of them?

    I’ve been on MeWe and been there for a lot longer (Since Google nuked G+) than most that’re going over there now.

    And yes, this is an OFFS item that they’re extolling CHINA of all things.

      1. I think a lot of it is people taking counsel of their fears. It’s something I struggle with.

    1. Dude, reveling in one’s own failure is one of the most sacred of conservative behaviors. All you have to do to find it is go anywhere conservatives are.

      The nice thing about this blog is that that garbage gets stepped on before it can fester.

      1. See the fetishizing of the fall of the Alamo. Yes it did lead to San Jacinto but…

        1. I think the important thing to remember is it isn’t entirely fetishizing defeats, it’s fetishizing “But we still didn’t give up! We will NEVER give up!” At least in the healthy ones that aren’t secretly authoritarians like the lefties 😀

  3. CCP propaganda is brutally clumsy, especially when aimed at westerners. They succeed against the west because they offer material quid pro quo where our governments think propaganda alone will succeed or even believe it themselves.

      1. This. There is a definite and yuuuge difference in *culture* that they do NOT get. Cultural themes are very, very different. What is accepted and acceptable is different. It is NOT just food and clothing and holidays.

        The US has at least two major competing cultures and a wide range of local ones. It used to be that we had a common history, despite our political disagreements. Despite that, we *get* the other side. It’s stupid, illogical, and built on lies- but honestly, we can argue like a leftist. We’ve heard it and lived through it, escaped it to islands of sanity in best cases.

        China is not like us. And not like the US. They aren’t like the D party leftists. They aren’t like the R party, either. They don’t even have analogous political structures. They don’t have a Constitution. They don’t have a Bill of Rights. No rule of law, either. Common moral structure in the US is still based on Christianity, just as the legal precedents are based on English common law. China *isn’t.*

        Protests in China that *don’t* follow the official, pre-approved narrative are *destroyed.* Not like what happened here around the first of the year. China still disappears people. Chinese people have a sort of Irish democracy approach to some rules- oh, the rules are there, but they don’t apply to *them,* see.

        You can see it in their fiction, and in practice. Despicable behaviors are accepted that never should be. If you recall the videos of people being shouted at in outdoor restaurants here- there, a person could be beaten bloody in full view and *no one would lift a finger.* It might be more difficult if they died. But otherwise? Not their problem. More, people would just be annoyed that it happened while they were trying to eat.

        Similarly, in their stories and popular fiction the hero can indulge in despicable behaviors without consequence- he’ll achieve perfection in the end, so it doesn’t matter. The end really does justify the means.

        Chinese people don’t protest for “democracy” for at least two reasons. One, they don’t quite know what democracy *is,* and two they can’t (not and live. Where is Tank Man today?). Tiananmen square began with carefully couched protests using government approved language. And when it went off the rails, people went insane. There are no easy pressure relief valves in a totalitarian system. If an approved protest is suddenly unapproved, and unapproved protest get death and revolt gets death…

        The empire of Han has its own internal enemies and problems. Big ones. And not just a failing economy.

        1. IIRC, the Chinese, their educators, their elite, their entire populace- look at our elections and a new president every 4 or 8 years as a “controlled revolution”. While I can understand our system from their point of view, they cannot see that we do no see the elections as a controlled revolution- Although I’m beginning to suspect the establishment viewed Trump’s election as revolution- and they didn’t like it one bit….

          Several references I’ve seen throughout the years say that The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution simply don’t translate properly into any other language because the espoused concepts in them simply don’t exist in the other languages.

          I know that in most of the world the fact that Americans of any class will look them RIGHT IN THE EYES when talking with them unnerves them greatly. Makes it impossible for them to tell whether an American is higher or lower in class then they are….

          1. *waggles hand* Translation is at least a little bit lying, at least some of the time anyway. Even our neighbors in Mexico don’t quite get us, let alone Canada, England, Australia…

            Tracking the human universals vs. the cultural variances is another deep, deep rabbit hole. Trust and truth don’t work the same way in other cultures, and a casual conversation can lead to some… curious reactions, as Bob mentioned below.

            One human universal (because it is how our brains work) is how we project our thoughts and values onto everyone and everything else. We humanize everything, even objects, let alone non-humans like pets and farm animals. Other cultures default into thinking we’re like them, and view our actions in the frame of their experience. So do we, unless trained otherwise.

            That’s why I say other cultures are not like us. It helps to remind oneself that yes, different cultures are *different.* They don’t value the same things we do. They don’t see things the same. When they use a word in English, it comes loaded with the weight of a different culture’s experience. That makes translation difficult sometimes. Not impossible, but not simple, either.

          2. I know that in most of the world the fact that Americans of any class will look them RIGHT IN THE EYES when talking with them unnerves them greatly. Makes it impossible for them to tell whether an American is higher or lower in class then they are….

            On one level I can answer that for them: the American is upper class, aristocracy, Brahmin, whatever, you want to call him. There’s no one inherently better than him except for God.

            As to how he compares with the foreigner, that’s really up to the foreigner in question. The American believes that he’s talking to a peer; it’s up to the individual whether he decides to live up to that or not.

        2. I’d clarify that *MAINLAND* Chinese don’t get “democracy”. Chinese in Taiwan, Singapore, and (up until recently) Hong Kong, all seem to have been able to understand it just fine.

        3. If an approved protest is suddenly unapproved, and unapproved protest get death and revolt gets death…

          On the other hand, China is where the story of the general who was late comes from:

          Aide: General, we’re going to be late to meet up with the Emperor’s army.
          General: What’s the penalty for being late?
          Aide: Death.
          General: What’s the penalty for revolt?
          Aide: Death.
          General: Ah, so.

          And then there was a revolt, and the Emperor was overthrown.

          1. You know that. And I know that. But do peasant farmers and factory slaves, all the futureless souls in China, land of the revisionist history know that? Any more than they know about Tiananmen square? Ask one today, you’ll hear confusion most like. Or that it was an internet hoax, at best.

            After the Great Leap Forward (and the gigadeaths from starvation alone), the ruling class has kept a firm grip on its people through means that Stalin could only dream of. The average Russian peasant had a cynical and depressed view of life. The average Chinese peasant had his history ripped away by ‘One China.’ The average Chinese general today knows that his country hasn’t been on the winning side of a major war (except against *itself*) in generations. And was invaded by its tiny island neighbor during WWII.

            Seriously, I’m not trying to dismiss the point you made. It’s a good one. I just wish *more* Chinese people took the lesson from it. Well, more mainland Chinese people. Or West Tiawanese, if you prefer. *chuckle*

            1. *Everyone* in China knows of at least one individual who took the same path as the general mentioned in the old story. The founder of the Han Dynasty found himself in a similar situation. He was a farmer (and village headman) escorting prisoners, and some of them escaped. Since the Qin would kill him and everyone with him as punishment, he revolted.

              Two wars later, he took the throne, and founded China’s first great dynasty.

              Do modern Chinese know about this? Given that there’s at least one Chinese TV show that depicted it, I’d say that the answer is yes.

              1. I think the issue is that despite the stories of uprisings, etc, in their mythology, the goal is to place oneself on top as Emperor. NOT to bring individual freedoms to the masses as a whole. And so while most of them are aware of it, the message we’d take from it is very different from the message they’re taking from it.

                1. Confucianism puts a heavy emphasis on virtue, and the idea of putting the good of the nation ahead of the good of the self in officials. Obviously, the theory has the usual human nature problems when put into practice. But the idea is that a virtuous ruler (still just kings when Confucious lived; the first emperor came later) rules the nation with the assistance of virtuous sages – the court ministers – who provide advice and suggestions on how to run the kingdom. If you are a government official, and the king decides that he didn’t need your advice anymore (i.e. he fires you), you are expected to commit suicide. For most of China’s history, political parties and similar factions amongst the elite were banned as being not in compliance with Confucianism. Virtuous sages were guided by their virtue, after all, and had no need to form political factions to work against others in the government.

                  On the other hand, this didn’t stop particularly bloodthirsty emperors from going on killing sprees that targeted a particular unfavored individual, that individual’s family, extended family, or even entire clan plus everyone married to a member of the clan.

                  There’s a lot more to Confucianism, of course. But that’s the part that I’m mostly familiar with.

                  For a while, Confucianism was done away with in the PRC after Mao took over. But it’s been a part of the culture for probably around 2500 years. You don’t get rid of that overnight.

                  1. One of China’s big problems is that ALL of its schools of thought think there is a way by which you can make your subjects virtuous and law-abiding. Even the Legalists.

                    1. Indeed. Pretty much every Chinese regime of the last thousand years has paid lip service to Confucianism but has actually been Legalist in practice. Legalism is the philosophy where the government says “we don’t give a crap about ‘morality’: these are the laws and if you break them we punish you”.

                    2. Some of that is just par for the course Confucianism, so far as I’ve been able to tell. Openly Legalistic rulers (i.e. not just limited to the Qin Dynasty) tended to have *extremely* harsh and brutal punishments, even for China.

                  2. Especially given that, as you said, one of the core tenets is “sacrifice yourself for the good of the realm (ie, the State” is very, VERY much a part of communism/socialism as well. In fact, the similarities are such that this is probably why the CCP is holding on longer than a lot of the other communist regimes. (Though hopefully not too much longer)

                  3. Yeah, this is why some of the Asian other world reincarnation novels just do not work for me,

                    The realm building ones where the hero is a virtuous ruler (whether an emperor or a baron), get virtuous advisors, and tech up to a significant degree because of some objects they saw on earth, or are Korean and know about underfloor heating, or whatever.

                    I tend to think more in terms of information flow, competing interests, and what little I understand of tech. So those stories tend to come off to me as unrealistic sketches.

                    There are more than a few similar types of story that I like, and I have enjoyed that sort of thing when it is run as a game on a forum, so I find this a little frustrating.

          2. And then, within two generations, the Great General’s descendants implemented exactly the same stupid policies… 😛

    1. Some of it may be intended for Chinese agents-in-place and allies, to keep their resolve up.

      1. In fact the Chinese themselves call ’em “Tofu buildings” and there are interesting videos demonstrating said buildings losing body parts, like concrete zombies.

        Just a matter of time before one of those quick-built skyscrapers goes sideways (I wouldn’t trust ’em to vertical-pancake, as would a properly-engineered skyscraper). If they’re lucky, not in an inhabited city.

        A lot of ’em have morphed into real estate scams — you buy the apartment, but the building is never finished, and now you’re screwed.

        It’s occurred to me to wonder if a lot of this mass-building that no one needs is their form of a jobs program for millions of restless young men, much as some contend the pyramids were in ancient Egypt (gotta occupy all those farmers, idle for several months of flood season, with something more than beer).

        1. They’ve already had whole blocks collapse. It is a thing.

          Top Gear aka The World Tour did China eps. The Colombia eps looked like a better place to live, infrastructure-wise.

        2. I wouldn’t think it’d be farmers though. A lot of men, particularly if they’re young and unattached, hanging around in your cities with nothing to do would be a problem.

          1. It is. And it is a problem irrespective of culture. The US has a problem with unmarried and unmarriageable youths of both sexes, too. People with families (and proper family values, of course) tend not to riot until they can’t not.

        3. There’s actual demand for much of this building at almost any price. There’s a severe shortage of women so you can’t marry unless you have enough property to meet the bride price. Basic economic reality can be a stone cold b-tch since the response to the one child policy has made women significantly more valuable than they were, which when you consider what men will do to get a woman in normal times ought to be frightening.

          1. And they were pretty valuable in old times. I read a Protestant missionary’s book once, published in 1899, where he recounted how a new bride was sullen and resistant and was finally caught trying to poison the bridegroom. The missionary thought that of course they must be separated. The family thought that they had after all paid a pretty sum for her.

          1. They have flipping skyscrapers, worlds tallest building candidates, wobbling and collapsing. It’s so bad they stopped all new construction of them. There was a report in the South China Morning Post today about a shopping mall collapse. Evidently the mall was new but heavy rain caused a collapse. Typical China, bad construction and then ignore the situation. Happens every day I’m afraid. The clowns who did that building in Florida are going to get wiped out. the mall in China, nah, everybody involved is state owned.

  4. Back in maybe ’04 or so, we had a “diversity” nonsense mandatory training.

    Lead by the single nastiest individual I met in the Navy, a bad Hollywood casting type chaplain. (The only problem for Hollywood is she was a black female; other than that, throw ALL the stupid tropes out, including “openly whoring around.”)

    And my department was called in, she told us to give her biased slurs, wanted someone to say “the N Word”…..

    God bless the geeks, AIMD spent the next hour and change giving her everything EXCEPT for the N word for racial slurs, including some that SHE used. With much innocent eye-blinking, because SHE wouldn’t say that.

    Same unspeakable who claimed that some folks in the PI doing crucifixions was orthodox Catholic teaching.

    Stupid bigots are stupidly bigoted. 😀

  5. Yesterday, I came across probably the most egregious of this load of bullshit: It claimed we get MOST of our food from China.

    No, I’m actually serious. It claimed that we get fish and meat from China.


    well, we get fish, but… I only know that because of the “issues” with IIRC the tapia that were…not fed good stuff.

    1. My spouse has been to China many times on business, in the food business..She won’t touch any food product from China, and has said you’ll be lucky if there isn’t used motor oil in it…

          1. I think in the UAE it was goat- I didn’t ask. So many veggies in it the meat was king of an afterthought.

            1. Considering the UAE, probably goat. Safe bet. Street food in Asian countries… Well, dog and cat aren’t the worst possibilities, to be honest.

            2. From what I’ve heard, the “meat as an afterthought” thing is pretty much the norm outside of the US, and maybe parts of Europe.

      1. Leaving aside that China, unlike say Japan, has never had a tradition of cleanliness, you can see the iridescence in the irrigation water while riding on the train between HK and Canton. The fields glisten like a driveway under a Lada.

        Article in the Daily Mail today, so you know it must be true (snort), that over half the “urban greenhouse gases” come from China with 25 of the worst 27 cities being there. They took time from England’s loss and Kate’s clothes to talk about it so it must be huge.

        Unless you’re a useful idiot, the cure for the China story is going there.

        1. I have read many stories of what Peace Corps volunteers think after a tour in Africa….

          1. I’ve been to China, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh to pick four sh-tholes, I mean garden spots, at random. My colleagues who spent time in Africa told me I hadn’t seen nothin.

            Number two son loves to watch the African Nations cup both for the quality of the attacking football and the sheer randomness of it all. On the other hand, he has several African African friends and they tell him stories of what it’s really like.

          2. Speaking of which, I have a request:

            I remember reading an article about a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa and the serious cultural differences she found. However, I can’t find it now. I think I originally found it through a link in one of the comments at ATH, but I can’t find that now either. Can anyone help?

    2. That was my question too. The US’s top three exports were food, aircraft and entertainment media. Though looking at the current exports, we’ve added electronics, oil and medical everything to the list too.

      I remember hearing the Chinese lamenting that, in the US you could just pull carp out of the river and eat them to the point they were a pest fish here, while in China, you couldn’t get edible carp to save your life.

    3. Most of our food from China …?*blink* *blink*
      Damn, someone has been bogarting the good drugs, for sure. Personally, I and almost everyone that I know who pays attention wouldn’t touch Chinese export food items with a ten foot pole. Not after reading about contaminated dog food. Not after reading about horribly tainted food items, and what they feed the fish at fish farms. Gag.

      1. I’ve been very careful since getting a down and dirty explanation of cultural norms/expectations—
        k, the old story about M&Ms with all the green ones removed? Can’t remember the band, but it was at least mostly true.

        In the US, that’s a “see of they pay attention to what htey agreed to” thing so you don’t blow up your expensive equipment.
        In China, it’s a “look at all these dumb demands, we’re so powerful, and the stuff that actually matters we’ll check individually.”

        And if you can find a way to cheat the checks, you ‘win’.

        Their baseline is “you violate the agreement unless stopped,” our baseline is “you keep the agreement in as much as you actually understood it.”

        These DO NOT MESH WELL.

        1. Yep, Van Halen. I saw an interview with Eddie Van Halen and he said they put that clause in there because if there were no green M&Ms, then they knew that the rest of the contract, the big important things, had been taken care of.

          1. …and if there were green M&Ms then it means the contractor missed something and they’d have to go doublecheck everything on stage before the concert.

        2. Different cultures. If screwing your neighbor is *moral behavior* and *on the path to enlightenment,* you’re an idiot if you don’t. Game theory and the prisoner problem aren’t taught in China like they are here.

          People who do international trade and don’t get that different cultures are *different* tend to do poorly. The State Department is the same, but much, much worse. They aren’t playing the game with their own money.

        3. Brown ones.

          When telling the story of getting all the details right, it helps to get all the details right.

          1. When trying to dunk on someone about the purpose of a story, it might be wise to notice that it was a story about verifying folks had actually read what they signed, and the cultural differences in what the purpose of an agreement is. Not about getting all the details correct.

    4. Yeah, I was like… *blink*

      Per what I know of it, China imports about 40% of their food from the U.S. (along with most of their animal feed, mostly as soybeans. They also import most of their feeding hay from the U.S., cubed and compressed. Which is another reason why the price of alfalfa went up so much.)

      But far as I’ve seen, China exports relatively trivial (but relatively expensive by the pound) foodstuffs: mostly tea, condiments and snacks, and vitamins.

      Pet food imported from China is mainly limited to the specialty brands that neither own a mill or cannery, nor have an established relationship with an existing mill or cannery, and are low bulk vs high price. The vast majority of domestic pet food is made either by Diamond (if the bag says “Meta, Missouri” it’s made by Diamond, regardless of the brand on the label), or by one of the contractors in the old Purina and Doane’s networks (the latter now owned by Mars/Pedigree), tho increasingly I’m seeing the odd shipment from whoever contracts for Black Gold (you can tell because of the beet pulp that’s obvious if you know what it looks/tastes like, but is not on the label). And Atta-Boy is made in Utah, tho far as I’ve seen doesn’t contract for anyone else. A lot of grain mills run a dog food mill on the side, since it’s mostly made from mill waste for human products.

      I did see some highly suspect dry dog food from right after Mars acquired Doane’s (appeared to contain waste petro-oil rather than rendered fat) but that problem has since gone away, probably because customers don’t like it when dog food smells like burning tires. (Or why you should always take a good sniff before feeding it.)

      When you buy dog food by the pallet, you get a different perspective.

      1. It is difficult to determine where pet food is actually made. To the point where “Feeding Raw” is a huge trend.

  6. I am looking at acquiring a particular.. item.. (it does NOT go bang, fwiw) and the product is likely made in Thailand. And for all the silliness of Thailand (Whaddaymean I can’t say the Fing is a Kink?) at least it ain’t China.

    1. I’ve noticed that goods manufactured in Viet Nam have been considerably better in quality than the Chinese (s)crap. I’ve been looking to buy American as much as possible, but that’s probably going to be a long game, at least until the FICUS administration is defenestrated.

      1. All the women’s clothes I’ve looked at recently (basics like jeans and, ahem, foundation wear) comes from Honduras, Taiwan, and Vietnam now. Nothing from China. Even from Wally World. That’s pretty new.

      2. Yeah. Been noticing an increasing amount of auto parts sold by my store chain made in Vietnam.

        1. This is interesting since the more reliable and timely Chinese economic statistics — such as they are — have flattened out and in some cases declined. Add that to the People’s Bank of China starting to open up some spigots and the additional bumptiousness of Chinese rhetoric and you have the beginnings of an explanation and possibly a short. Hmmm….

        2. In 2018 I needed a bunch of 3″ pipe (structure for the solar system), and that came from Viet Nam, too. Seemed quite good in quality, too.

      3. When Trump made it clear that he was about to start a trade war with China, a number of American companies decided that it was time to relocate. Vietnam apparently managed to make itself look like a very good destination.

        1. A friend of mine is employed by a Chinese company. He said when the tariff thing hit the company just ramped up “their” factories in other countries. So if it says “Taiwan” or “Vietnam,” you might still be buying Chinese.

      4. The other day a PCIe card I ordered arrived. I noticed the box said Made in Vietnam.

        So there is at least some electronics production infrastructure there, and it is presumably ramping up.

    2. There is a pattern that nations pulling themselves out of third-world status seem to follow. Japan did it. Korea did it. Taiwan is doing it. Vietnam seems to be doing it. Hell, England to a certain extent started it with the industrial revolution.

      – You start industrializing with textiles. This gets you used to coordinating work in a factory environment.
      – Next you do cheap knock-offs of other people’s products. You can’t compete on quality at this point, so you have to compete on price.
      – You ramp up the quality of your output, until you’re producing on a par with the “industrialized world”. One thing that will happen here is that you’re businesses will need to start competing for good workers in order to keep up with the greater sales caused by you’re being more competitive on the open market.
      – Those same workers will start demanding more and better goods and services.
      – Keep going and you’re no longer competing with the “industrialized world” because you’ll be a part of it.

      China, however, appears to want to do it differently and appears to be stuck on phase 2. The use of force labor seems to be the cause of the stall. Say what you will about “sweat shops” they don’t send press gangs out. They don’t have concertina wire and fields of landmines to keep workers from running away. All they do is offer a better deal than is otherwise available to those people in that time and place. And that’s something that tends to be self-correcting as per-worker productivity goes up.

      1. Krugman won his Bank of Sweden in honor of Alfred Nobel prize for essentially this analysis back before the late 1990’s Asian flu. There come a point where you can’t simply add more input. He ended his first article on it by asking why only the west and Japan had made the transition where output increases faster than input. The answer, of course, is free markets and free peoples, It’s characteristic of the limits in his thinking that he’s never figured this out.

      2. I’ve noticed the quality of Chinese goods has slipped. I frequent charity shops and sometimes get hand-me-overs from a fashionista friend. Comparing brand-name clothes in similar style shows big difference. Those from late-’90s/early-Aughts have better fabric, seams, and finishing touches; e.g. lining and buttons. Seems like the Chinese haven’t figured out that increasing price and decreasing quality aren’t a winning combination for long-term profitability.

        1. Yep, good observation. But if you’ve managed to gain monopoly control over that market (as I mention below), it’s definitely a winning combination, because there is nowhere else to go. At least for long enough for someone to get rich, and while China-the-CCP may take the long view, Chinese business seems to be all get-while-you-can.

          1. That get-while-you-can is a losing philosophy to engage the world. It makes me wonder if the CCP’s propaganda is convincing Chinese business that they have a monopoly or if the business people see the Chinese economy as a house of cards ready to collapse.

      3. In my observation, based mainly on computer bits, tools, and various small metal bits, China did things even more differently:

        — make cheap knockoffs that are so terrible no one wants them except real cheapskates.
        — radically improve quality to attract market attention, but keep prices below market, until you manage to capture that market, most notably as a contractor for what used to be made domestically. (Eg. Craftsman, Fiskars, etc. that are now Made In China)
        — Once there’s no competition left, cheapen everything down to the bare minimum that doesn’t lose those contract customers, but still well below the quality of whatever product the Chinese knockoff has now replaced (and isn’t coming back because the domestic factories have been sold and demolished).

        So basically it’s a targeted replacement policy, with no intention of quality products. While other industrializing nations compete more or less on quality vs price points, China competes entirely by gaining monopoly status.

        They have no interest in being part of the industrialized world, only in sucking all the money out of it. In fact when my sister was in China for a project, her minder said flat out, “All this capitalism will end as soon as we’ve sucked all the money out of the West.”

        1. Point of interest: this post is getting a ton of hits from China.
          Waves at CPR peasants.
          Come to the free side dudes. Communism sucks hairy goat balls (with apologies to hairy goat balls.)

          1. Probably mostly automated search engine as a clipping service. (About 90% of all traffic is bots.)

            But yes, to any humans over there… we have cookies. Wanna share?

                  1. Former co-worker suggested getting swimming goggles, a snorkel and a large sack and heading for the golf course pond. Slip in, find gaggle of geese, pull goose down by the feet, wring neck, put in bag. Da-dum, da-dum,dadum,dadum,dadum…

                    1. I gotta question if your coworker has ever had a close encounter with a goose, though… I mean, I can see that working okay with ducks, but a goose might straight up murder you if you try that, and whether it would be beating you to death or causing you to drown is a tossup! 😀

                      Much better to shoot geese. Much safe. Much less likely for the angry, angry cobra chicken to try and kill you.

                  2. Well, our local tiny park *used* to have hundreds of the honking things around. Several hundreds, in fact (town is not large). People- well, visitors and kids mostly- used to feed ’em.

                    Couple years back, I was known to opine that considering the amount of homeless veterans around, that was a lot of Thanksgiving dinner on the wing going to waste. One good charity event to cull the flock so disease didn’t take root. They were making a mess of the park and starting to chase the little ‘uns.

                    Got busy, traveling and working. This year there’s less than fifty. And a bunch of signs saying not to feed the little beggars. And lo, it happened that the people read the signs, and did just that for a change. Perhaps some of our less fortunate got a tasty meal around Thanksgiving or Christmas at some point.

                    1. Once was in an online discussion about an attack by a winged humanoid where one person observed that the wings were well-done, looked like a goose, and explained why looking like an attacking goose was a good depiction, following by a long string of discussion of the ferocity of geese.

              1. >> “We also have a more clean carp than we know what to do with…”

                Oh, WE know exactly what to do with them. We use them as munitions.

          2. Just be aware that if you come to America, acculturating might be difficult- but so very worth it.

            Freedom is amazing. Sometimes terrifying. Always worth defending. Study the history, study the culture, become one of the Free. Hong Kong is welcome, too, all those suffering under the jackboot. We only ask that you do not oppress your fellow citizens. Becoming an American is not simple. But the difference between life as a Communist slave in all but name and a citizen of the US is the difference between Heaven and Earth.

                  1. Well, thanks for ruining Christmas carols for me forever. I’d tell you exactly where to go for that, but as an atheist I believe in no Hell. 😛

                    1. Well, of course. You can’t subscribe to the religion of Hoytianity and NOT believe in The Carp.

      4. Which is why the articles in places like the Wall Street Journal, where pundits are puzzled China isn’t working to “rebalance” their economy for domestic consumerism are so frustrating. They take it for granted that OF COURSE the Chinese government thinks about what would be best for its people…

        1. Sure they think about what’s best for their people. They just think that what’s best is social harmony. Keeping that carrot just in front of people, and not applying the stick so much they rebel.

        2. Tyranny has a logic of its own. Drives me crazy when they say this or that tyrant is irrational when they do something obviously bad for their country. They’re only irrational, and usually soon dead, when they do what’s good for the country and not what’s good for them and the few people needed to keep them in power. The Kim’s (e.g.,) in NK are completely rational, much more rational than their foreign critics. They may be crazy to want to be a tyrant, but once they are one they must ride the tiger or die, usually messily. This notion that we all have the same goals is one of the primary reasons that social science isn’t.

          1. While true, Kim Jong Un did seem open to Trump’s ideas about how to improve his country. Kim had one of his government functionaries executed after the bureaucrat in question annoyed the US so badly that our government called off a planned summit between President Trump and Kim.

            There used to also be another option. The dictator gets the country into a condition where a responsible government might be able to take control, and then accepts voluntary exile in a Western country (France used to be popular for this). Unfortunately, trends over the last couple of decades have led to international organizations subsequently pressuring the new civilian governments to revoke the agreement after the dictator has already stepped down and left, and then submitting a request for extradition back to the dictator’s home country so that he can stand trial for crimes he committed while in office.

      5. A book I was listening to recently actually went into some detail about the transition from “poor third world country” to “rich industrial or post-industrial nation”. There is a detailed process that was outlined, though it wasn’t exactly the one you laid out. And it’s a “one chance” process. You either get it right, or you end up screwing over yourself so badly that the only way to resolve it is to get yourself bombed back to the stone age by the USAF, and have to rebuild *everything* from literally the ground up (note that the author didn’t actually *say* that last bit, but that’s probably the level of civilizational overhaul that would be required to “undo” a screwed up transition).

        It was a book talking about how China might not really be all that. And the reason why the author brought it up was that he was sure that China had screwed up the transition. I just wish I could remember why the author felt that way.

  7. Hum, hum, hum, HUM, hum.
    I haven’t noted any pro-china memes at mewe, not saying they’re not there but I guess it’s ’cause I look mostly at art, homesteading and Sarah’s stuff. The only politic group I follow is her backroom politics.

    1. I’ve seen one floating around that notes that the US military trains by attending diversity training, while the Chinese military trains for war.

        1. On the other hand every single defeated or conquered great power throughout history has thought its military was still the best and its technological advantage still in place, right up to the moment they lose because their advantage is gone and the military is not adequate.

          I include willingness to use even a capable military in this category. Even if our military remains superior notwithstanding all the woke nonsense, if the politicians do not have the will to use it to defend us, superior capability becomes effectively irrelevant.

          1. Ok, let’s run with this; political ratfucking results in the US either losing or simply never showing up for the fight outside the country.

            What then?

            Because that doesn’t get us to “and then the enemy has their way with us”. Said ratfuckers attempting to stop the general population from defending the country is one of the shorter paths to getting strung up.

            1. The CCP just carried out a large scale biological warfare attack on us and our feckless political class essentially helped them do it. Democrats have already signaled that if people get fed up enough at their fecklessness that they will use the military against Americans; they will have no problem doing it in the scenario where we are being attacked by a foreign enemy at the same time. Indeed they will use such attack as a pretext for their long desired domestic purge.

              1. Ok, so we go straight to CW2. With the bonus of a severely weakened US military. So even more of a lopsided fight in favor of the citizenry than usual

              2. That ‘bio-warfare attack’ was just making the most of a bug that got out. They were disappointed not to see death rates similar to those in their own deprived and malnourished population. Seriously, a bio-weapon with a 0.02% overall fatality rate, mostly in those over 70? The H5N1 flu in ‘The Last Centurion’ was 30% fatal, mostly to those between 15 and 50. THAT could bring down civilization. COVID19 was a nasty version of the common cold, period.

              3. Yeah, I know I’ve been saying some of that stuff, but that is not unambiguously clear.

                There’s more than a little purely domestic motivation for pulling that crud for Democratic Party ends. Pelosi is pretty clearly pushing things along for before she passes, has most likely been working towards this for decades, and the timing of Democrat prep may well predate PRC prep. It may be that Fauci was brought on board an existing Democrat plan, and if so it may then be that Fauci’s research in Wuhan was in service to that plan.

                Okay, I’m pushing the idea that the vaccine and a masking could be a deliberate effort to make us vulnerable to follow up weapons released this fall.

                What information we can reliably infer about PRC covid points to a bunch of lies and incompetence. Having actual follow up weapons would imply a plan somewhere that is being adhered to. A rational person making such a plan would pay some attention to how persuasive the information warfare would be on one of the given audiences. If there was such a plan, it didn’t consider information warfare against Americans, or it did so very badly. Now, it is very possible that the PRC is run by crazy people, or are terrible at information warfare against Americans. The idea that the only possibility is that there was such a plan, and it was carried out, feels incredible to me.

                Part of my going in that direction is my extreme interest in wars that use WMD as part of a mass murder or two. If you give me an ink blot test, I would probably see such things, and start talking about it.

                Another part, people were lying to me, I want to screw with them, and I really, really, want to extract an apology for the lockdown. (Well, I would like to hang some folks over it, but could maybe live with an apology.)

                You should not get too confident in what I am saying until a follow up weapon shows up, and we can authenticate it.

                1. If it happens, I tend to think a competent enemy would time it for fall.

                2. It’s worth remembering that bio-weapons are generally seen as *really* reckless and stupid by those who spend actual time thinking seriously about such things. The reason for this is fairly simple – you can’t really control them. Sure, with modern technology, you might be able to do some interesting things that cause those weapons to prefer certain genetic profiles. But it is also known that infectious things mutate, and can mutate very rapidly. So within less than a year, there’s probably going to be a version of your bio-weapon running around that completely ignores the genetic profile you fitted it out for.

                  Of the NBC triangle, nukes are (oddly enough) generally considered the safest. That’s because you shoot the thing at a location, and it generally sticks to that location only. Chem has a bad habit of wandering back and affecting your own troops. And using bio is just plain reckless for the reasons I outlined above.

              4. Worst bio attack in the history of ever. If you take it from an utterly ruthless perspective: all it did was cull the weak in our population. (You know, elderly, those with fairly severe pre-existing conditions). And even then, not really a lot of those, barring places like New York, where the most vulnerable were pretty much deliberately exposed to it.

                Note I don’t advocate the ruthless worldview–I’m grateful the only person it hit in my family was the robustly healthy 23 year old and his wife. But. Looking at it from the perspective of someone who would think a bio attack was a great idea, this one failed utterly to do much anything that a bio attack is really supposed to. The only reason our economy isn’t bouncing back is because FICUS and the loonies are in charge.

                1. Not only “Worst bio attack in the history of ever.” But by getting “FICUS and the loonies” in charge, they helped exposed FICUS and loonies for what they are. I mean sure the loonies were working on doing that themselves, but CPP helped them put them over the top, and keep helping to add up the evidence. If they do not want President Trump back, or someone President Trump backs, they are sure using the wrong plans.

                  1. I take great comfort in the incompetence of communists/socialists/leftists in general. Yeah, it might really suck for a time, but I firmly believe that, having shown the world for 200 years what actual freedom is, tyrannies (*especially* here) are gonna have a much harder time of things. I’m pretty sure the CCP is only still in power because of a.) inertia, and b.) they haven’t quite pissed any budding peasant rebel leaders off enough yet to start the next round of “China has a rebellion, which turns into a bunch of rebellions, which then fall apart for awhile until the next wannabe emperor climbs to the top” (because you can’t convince me that Xi-the-Pooh doesn’t actually consider himself emperor, any more than you can convince me Putin doesn’t actually see himself as a new Tsar.)

          2. The US also has around half of the small arms on the planet. I suspect even if the federal government welcomes China in with open arms, they would find less ravishment, than a humping of the hornets’ nest.

              1. Haven’t you heard? Neutering and spaying animals is now white privilege. BAD HOSTESS! BAD! BAD!

            1. Almost all of those small arms are in the hands of American private citizens. The ones the Feds have are barely a rounding error compared to the ones sitting in peoples’ closets and gun racks.

              1. Don’t forget the huge arsenals at the bottom of America’s lakes, due to the many catastrophic “boating accidents” we have.

        2. OTOH, “our enemies are a joke so we should prepare for war well” is poor propaganda.

          I think I liked the comparison of the Russian and American advertisements for the armed forces better, though.

      1. I’d seen that elsewhere, not on mewe (Again, not saying it’s not on mewe, just not where I’m lookin’.) but I see it as a fair cop. No ideal how well China trains for war but such training is a bit more suitable for a military organization than CRT or such.

          1. T’is too a fair cop.! I’m saying training military folk for war’s better’n training them for diversity/CRT/unicorn hugging/ etc., not saying, not knowing, if China’s doing it well but the aim’s better than our present standdownandexpelextrenestlincludinganyonethatlovesAmerica training program. -grin-

            1. Still not a fair cop, because comparing to China as the ideal.
              China is shit. Seriously. And the constant ping ping ping will destroy our morale. And make them dangerous-cocky.
              Make all the memes you want ridiculing the diversity bullshit. Leave China pumping out of it.

              1. Hum I wasn’t comparing or suggesting pro Chine memes, I was postulating any nation should be recruiting and training military personnel to fight and win, I’m not at all sure that’s a priority with our military leaders these days.

                OK. I assume comparing to Russia’s bad too?

                    1. Regarding all of them, I’ll have to take your word for it, I only drank vodka on the tarmac with Russian military pilots at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy before they took off.

                  1. When I was in DLI, some of the writings used for learning the Russian language were firsthand accounts of conscripts in the Soviet military. Said accounts confirmed by the ex-pats who taught most of the classes. Truly horrifying stuff (and not in a “The Russian military is badass” sense, more a “the Russian military is self-destructively toxic” sense.

                    It may have gotten better since then. Probably has, in fact. But how much?

                    1. If you want a laugh, look up the T-22 Supersonic booze carrier on youtube.

                      That’s the Russian airforce in a nutshell. Remember the civilian airliner they shot down a few years back? They were only able to scramble two planes from two different air fields because the rest of the pilots in the Squadrons were to drunk to fly.

                    2. And you can’t talk about such things with most Russians online because the Russians I’ve chatted with online (mostly in relation to miniatures wargaming) are some of the most overly nationalistic, “any negative criticism of our armed forces is foreign propaganda” people that I have *ever* had the “pleasure” of exchanging forum posts with on-line.

                      And, of course, meanwhile they’re busy accusing the Americans in that same forum of having those exact same traits. Mote, beam, some disassembly required…

              2. I have no idea what kind of military training China does behind the scenes. But we know they train for uniformity in their schools, and… was watching video of a recent Chinese military parade, and had the thought that they’re spending an awful lot of effort ensuring picture-perfect parade-ground performance, which is kind of the opposite of chaotic-battlefield performance.

                Or why King George’s troops were so flummoxed by those durn Colonials, who lacked the decency to wear brightly-colored uniforms to identify themselves, and had absolutely no clue how to fight in anything like a proper formation.

                1. They were used to fighting other Europeans, who also dressed like peacocks, or primitives, who didn’t have guns.

                  It wasn’t until the Germans adopted “field gray” that staff officers started thinking, “gee, maybe we wouldn’t lose so many soldiers if they weren’t dressed like targets.” Though I expect the real reason for the feldgrau was due to budget reasons, not combat.

                  1. Ummm, no. The Germans only went into Field Grey in 1910. The British had gone into Khaki for home/European service in 1902 and had been in Khaki for foreign service for at least twenty years — longer in India. I would argue it was the Boers who showed what accurate, long range, magazine rifles with smokeless powder in the hands of a capable marksman — Mauser’s — were capable of. The Americans went into Khaki at about the same time as the British caused, again, by the Mauser, Spanish this time. The machine gun just made it all the more clear.

                    The French had been trying to move out of the colored uniforms for some time but it was too expensive, they had Khaki for colonial service and the colonial troops wore it throughout WWI even when the home army was in horizon blue.

                    Germans had Khaki for colonial service too they wore it in Africa and their marines wore it against the Boxers. The Nazi’s wore brown uniforms because there was a huge stock of surplus colonial uniforms they could buy cheap.

                    1. Tuchman in The Proud Tower talks about how the French army had to be dragged kicking and screaming into adopting bleu d’horizon. IIRC the quote was “le pantalon rouge, c’est France!”

                    2. Thanks, BG. I had the idea the Germans had gone to inconspicuous uniforms somewhat earlier.

                    3. Both things existed at the same time. The uniform being tested had red/white/blue thread and looked much like the Horizon Blue they settled on by taking the red thread out to simplify manufacture. The Belgians and Austrian cavalry wore red trousers too. There was a great deal of resistance to giving up the colored uniforms across Europe. The last continental European war was fought in colored uniforms in 1870 and Khaki was for colonials. Germany going in to Field Grey in 1910 had not been an inevitable thing and Austria had tended to be the most practical going into Pike Grey in 1909. Grey was cheaper and they would have gone much earlier did their finances allow but they had to use up stocks.

                      In many ways, France was the most progressive army around in the run up to the war. They had the 75mm gun and the Lebel bolt action rifle. Trouble is that changing the equipment of a large, conscript army is expensive, which is why the 75 was never improved and the Lebel never replaced. Ian McCulloch at Forgotten Weapons has, literally, written the book on French small arms and the Lebel story is in many ways the story of the French Army.

                2. Those stupid colonels insisted on dressing in camouflage and hiding behind solid items, you know, like the natives taught them …

                  1. While they were fighting for the British. . .

                    At Concord, the militia had higher average military experience than the regulars.

                3. Eh…

                  The British tactics made sense in Europe. The Napoleonic era came shortly after the American War of Independence, and you *wanted* your army to fight like that. Massed musket fire was the only was to inflict sufficient casualties on the enemy formations, and that meant lining up in neat firing lines. And if you didn’t cause enough casualties with the musket fire, then the fighting was going to involve bayonets, which – again – favor mass formations. As for the uniforms, the bright colors meant that you *might* have a chance of recognizing the troops barely visible through the haze in front of you as friendly.

                  The Thirteen Colonies, on the other hand, were made up of much more rugged terrain, with a lot fewer open fields. Neat ranks don’t do as well in those circumstances, and the terrain is more conducive to having lots of skirmish formations.

                  Keep in mind that roughly “four score and seven years” later, both sides in the American Civil War were fighting using large formations with firing lines. And that’s the war that (if people had been paying proper attention) should have alerted Europe’s militaries to what the slaughter that would begin in 1914.

                  1. That was also the war in which the troops would entrench every night after marching all day, even though they knew they would march on in the morning. They learned quick.

                    1. Yup. It apparently took the generals a little longer to figure some of it out, though.

                  2. Thank you. The “look how stupid the Europeans were for fighting in massed formations with brightly colored uniforms” thing always annoys me. There were reasons, good ones, for why they did things that way. Sometimes they can lag a bit in responding to changes in technology and situations making the former method of fighting inappropriate (we did it too…see “Picket’s charge” as one example) but that’s different from the claim that the whole thing was dumb.

                4. Umm.. No. Don’t believe the legend. The militia was mostly useless and the battles were, by and large, fought in a linear way and the British won most of them. The Continentals took great pride in their ability to stand up and fight. The only real difference to Europe was the lack of cavalry. The SYW had an awful lot of petit guerre as it was called, the British officers were well aware of it. They didn’t wear the full uniform, but rather cut down coats and round hats. the red coat was more a brown in any case. In the south, there was a fair bit of guerrilla fighting, but that was fought, on both sides, by Scots highlanders and the British gave as good as they got.

                  Edmund Burke was right. Once the colonists decided they wanted out, the British couldn’t field a large enough army from 3000 miles away to keep them in. Once the French fleet was brought in it was all over bar the shouting.

                    1. Indeed. His speech on the impeachment of Warren Hastings is appropriate too. “Those who give and those who receive arbitrary power are alike criminal.” Burke’s speeches were once the basis of the rhetoric curriculum in American Catholic schools. It’s a measure of how far we’ve fallen that we don’t teach rhetoric anymore never mind Burke. I got the last dregs of it because my school used old books. The thing about studying rhetoric is one learns how to use it and one learn how it’s used. Propagandists can’t have that so out it went.

                      Burke is, by a huge margin, the greatest man Ireland ever produced.

            2. It’s only a fair cop if you assume that the ONLY training currently being run by the US military is CRT. And, you know that’s simply not true. The CRT training is pure b.s., but it’s not the only training going on. It might seem like it because of all the media attention, but it’s not. So, no. Not a fair cop at all.

                1. Back when I was in, the last PT I had to do before ETS (would have been the last but one but…hit by a car. Seriously. So was exempt from that last one) we were given an option of the 1.5 mile run that we’d done since I was in Basic or a 3 mile walk. Just for giggles, I tried the 3 mile walk.

                  The time standard was a bit longer on a per-mile basis than the 1.5 mile run, but not all that much longer. To put it frankly, the walk was harder than the 1.5 mile run. As for push-ups, when battles are decided by sending champions out for push-up competitions, I’ll worry about that.

                  1. I hear you but if I were 60 years younger out for a jungle stroll, I’d rather have a guy that did the runs, pushups, etc. on my six that one who hadn’t.

                    1. This presumes a correlation between the particular exercises and ability to pull his weight in that jungle stroll that’s, well, more presumed than demonstrated.

                      Also, different missions. Different requirements. I know the military adores “one size fits all” (okay, two sizes: “too small” and “too large”), but the real world tends to be more complex.

                    2. You made a specific claim about PT standards about a specific service. I rebutted it. Now you bring in “hormone therapy” which both moves the “specific service” goal post and the PT standards goal post.

                      You’d prefer to have some testosterone laden lug who can crank out pushups while crawling through the jungle? Fine. I’d prefer my air cover come from people whose support personnel know in their bones that their mission is to launch and recover aircraft not get a high PT score. The number of pushups that the guy making sure that aircraft up there is armed, fueled, with working electronics and other systems is kind of secondary.

                      Like I said, different missions, different priorities.

                    3. I’ll simply quote Colonel Tom Kratman, in a statement over on Baen’s Bar some years back (used with permission–I asked):

                      “Remember the time Air Force personnel disgraced themselves working with ground troops? Me neither.”

      2. I’ve seen one floating around that notes that the US military trains by attending diversity training, while the Chinese military trains for war.

        ….difference being that the US military does war training for FUN.

        That’s at the heart of our second amendment. We don’t HAVE to train for a lot of this stuff– between “yay guns,” HALO and various other video games, we do this stuff for FUN.

        My husband managed to freak a professional Force Protection Training guy out, using stuff he figured out from video games.

        At another point, he used a map from a video game to plot out the attack on our ship– all open source stuff, and he deliberately “believed” the video game over what he actually knew, and it *still* worked out well for the training.

        We do this stuff for fun, and WE ARE ALLOWED TO.

        That’s our advantage.

        1. There’s more to it than just that. You have to train on things like combined arms tactics, and it helps if your troops have had the training that involved battlefield conditions in the real world.

          But yeah, you can get at least some understanding of the basics via video games, particularly if you do so with a regular team.

          1. Of course there’s more to it than that, but when one is looking at training– the baseline matters.

            IE, “why Germans told their guys NOT to snipe the officers.”

          2. Ah, but that term “basics” covers a lot of ground. Including many things which are very hard to train into people but get picked up naturally.

            1. Yeah, we Americans do not fully appreciate how seriously weird we are, and what advantages this brings.

              Look, on tech development for defense alone, we have serious advantages that are blatantly obvious to very few.

              First, some of the relatively liberal American graduate students in engineering working on defense projects still enjoy hunting, and fishing, etc., because poor people who do not entirely match upper class signalling can still get advanced degrees in America. Note, this includes straight white male students who signal left, are in school, and have girlfriends that are probably drawn towards the left by occupation.

              Second, very few people are both hanging around engineering graduate students, and paying close attention to ways that their backgrounds are shaping their thought processes. Specifically, the folks with their early training in the PRC definitely have a tendency towards certain blind spots. Now, if their work in the US is with a competent advisors, they learn enough “but does it work in the real world” to function in the real world. Even then, the ones who go back to the PRC to practice are probably not going to achieve their best professional selves. Okay, ‘All A’ students from everywhere, Americans who go to an engineering bachelor’s straight from highschool, or Americans who go to engineering graduate school straight from undergraduate may have some similar blindspots. There is a difference in learned blindness between ‘people will shun me’, and ‘people will shun me, and then I will be tortured to death in a labor camp’, and American culture is still a great place to learn that the ivory tower BS is nonsense.

              Third, the amount of veterans we have, the number that can have a successful post military career in tech fields, and maybe even the number of officers and NCOs with advanced degrees. (Officers and NCOs are probably too trusting of academic work, but the support for studying engineering is a little bit beneficial.) I mean, how many Americans even go to wikipedia, read about the Indian defense sector, and think about the implications of that dispute about how military retirees are paid versus how civil service retirees are paid?

              The US looks like it is very strange, and it appears that most Americans think here is normal for the whole of the world.

        2. Way back in the last century, when I was playing soldier at Ft. Benning if I remember right, I talked the crew I was on into loading our 155 mm gun with; “MIC, ram, KEY, ram, MOUSE, RAM!”. We shot a pattern far tighter than any other crew that day.

          Yep, was fun!

        3. I’d be willing to bet if you took some fresh-out-of basic US troops (Army or Marines, lets stick to ground combat,) and put them up against REAL Chinese fresh-out-of basic troops in a war game (that hasn’t been munchkin’ed into a pretzel to give the Chinese a leg up,) the Chinese troops would get walked over like a sidewalk in NY…

          1. My instant reaction is, I kid you not, “that’s not fair!”

            Because….look, Americans, we get to CHOOSE that stuff. Really choose.

            And on top of that, we’ve got a TON of different cultures that it’s OK to be.

            So… we really have a big advantage.


            Stupid example, at my first office there was a six foot eight guy (Named Krul, not joking), a five eight former drug dealer, and five three me.

            We had to get the toilet paper from 12 foot up, where some moron had stored it.

            I shocked them by grabbing a broom and looping exactly the number we needed— but at other times Krul used the “Hi I am f’ing high IQ hulk” to solve stuff, and Lawrence was freaking genius at the dealing with people thing.

            China has a ton of cultures, but it’s not *OK* to be of them.

            Which means they leave money on the table.

            1. It may be apocryphal, as it was in (I think) a Tom Clancy novel, where it was mentioned that in the Soviet military, the senior officers had to micro-manage the enlisted because they barely trained them. It would not surprise me in the least to find the Chinese military to be a similar situation.

              If you’re not from the *right* families / have the *right* connections, you’ll never be an officer. And of course, if you’re an officer then there’s NOTHING the enlisted could possibly know or have a better way of doing than you, thus, they’re not worth listening too.

              While in the US military, largely speaking, the officers have either “mustanged” up from the enlisteds, or worked to get into one of the academies to go in as an officer. The smart ones know to listen to not only the Sgts, but the Corporals and Privates, because even Pvt SNAFU might just have an idea that’ll work. They’ll point the Sgts at an objective and tell them “get it done” and turn them loose.

              The sort of military that does that is going to be MASSIVELY flexible and adaptable.
              What’s the saying? No battle plan survives contact with the enemy?
              If you’re a flexible military, you improvise, adapt, and overcome. If you’re a non-flexible military, well, you’re not coming out of it well…

              1. Not even Soviet, the UK military is…. uh…. very rude comments about training their enlisted.

                They have a LOT of good enlisted, it’s just not “guys good because trained” enlisted. (Canadian military has a lot to be proud of, their training isn’t involved.)

                our entire PHILOSOPHY for military is different.

                1. A lot of this relates back to the underlying cultural position on the relation between groups (or classes, if you will). I saved something from Samizdata almost 20 years ago, which explicates the heart of these cultural differences:

                  This, it seems to me, is
                  part of a wider absence of caste or class distinctions.
                  Indian intellectuals have tended to downplay these
                  American achievements: the respect for the individual, the
                  remarkable social mobility, the searching scrutiny to which
                  public officials and state agencies are subjected. They see
                  only the imperial power, the exploiter and the bully, the
                  invader of faraway lands and the manipulator of international
                  organizations to serve the interests of the American
                  economy. The Gulf War, as one friend of mine put it, was
                  undertaken “in defence of the American way of driving”
                  Ramachandra Guha, ‘What We Think of America’ Granta 77, 3/28/02

                  Will Warren: The Unremitting Verse
                  The Dean’s Box

                  A dean totes his box up the stairs,
                  Confounding an onlooker’s code:
                  In what land does an eminent chair
                  Serve as coolie, disgraced by his load?

                  A people who seek subjugation?
                  Inveterate bullies, the lot?
                  Who plunder to fatten their nation
                  And would rather be cruel than not,

                  With a lust for power demonic
                  And a fondness for robbing the poor,
                  Hellbent on a world hegemonic,
                  Just itching to start up a war?

                  Or a country concerned with essentials,
                  Tired of customs with no useful part,
                  Where hard work is perceived quintessential
                  And the practical raised to an art,

                  Where careers are thrown open to talents,
                  Where caste has been left behind,
                  Where mobility generates balance
                  And competence stands enshrined?

                  Is it bullies in search of new servants
                  Or a people too busy for airs?
                  Let seekers of truth be observant
                  Of that dean with his box on the stairs.

                  Posted by Samizdata Illuminatus (Arkham, Massachusetts) on Monday, April 01, 2002

                  Our so-called ‘elites’ act like they are Brahmin deans. They will not, can not carry their own boxes. That is beneath them. As is doing menial things such as minor household repairs. And a sure tell, is your ‘elite’ “apologizing” (this is a virtue signal analog of humble bragging) for “not being able to do ‘that sort of thing'” when said elite has a post-grad degree or two, and the menial task involves something as difficult as replacing the flapper valve in a toilet. Once upon a time, I had to deal with a Deputy Minister level character in Ottawa (think Sir Humphrey Appleby), who was a long time buddy of Trudeau Pere. I forced him to do it *himself* while I instructed him on how to do it. He never spoke to me again. Objective attained!

                  1. Let seekers of truth be observant
                    Of that dean with his box on the stairs.

                    Oh, I like that one!

                    Oof, I’ve run into folks who do the “I, uh, don’t know how to do that….” thing, but when I offer to help them figure out how, they tend to perk up.

                    I’m not a very GOOD teacher, I tend to teach-by-showing and then take it back apart and have them do it.

                    I guess if someone is that hoity-toity, they’re not going to be talking to the fat little house-wife with a horde of kids. 😀 Decent number of folks never bother to speak once they see the kids, which as you point out is probably best for the both of us!

              2. The Soviets also didn’t have a Western-style professional NCO tradition. That’s a big part of why the US Army can be so flexible.

                I know the PLA took a long, hard look at the US military following the first Iraq War, and made changes as a result. But I don’t know whether they attempted to emulate Western-style NCOs. And if they did, how well the emulation worked.

                1. They CAN’T emulate it.

                  The NCO culture comes from the American philosophy.

                  It would be like us trying to have nobility bullshit in our ranks.

                  1. Same as their ooooh so scary carriers.

                    Except that if they try to use the things in combat they will end up with a burning flight deck and a bunch of dead soldiers. Because communist chinese culture cannot run the safety protocols which are vital to keeping your flight deck hellscape-free.

                  2. Plus, totalitarian governments, as well as run of the mill standard tyrannical governments, are insanely jealous of power.

                    Their Colonels didn’t get there in a day, they want to enjoy all of their power, not devolve some onto junior officers or NCOs.

                    Their ministry of defense officials and generals likewise do not want to devolve power onto Colonels, much less risk someone outside of their direct control ticking off the extraordinarily jealous dictator himself.

                    Totalitarian dictators are feeding personal appetites, and think they want people too frightened to go to the bathroom without orders. They put in place vast bureaucracies intended to give them control, metaphorically, over when people go to the bathroom. At the same time, they want the bureaucracies crippled to the point that no one is in a position to unseat the dictator.

                    We should expect the militaries of totalitarian regimes to have NCOs who are metaphorically unwilling to go to the bathroom without orders prepared by a bureaucracy, and signed by the Colonel, and a Ministry of Defense official. Okay, they will some of the time experiment with developing officers who can use initiative, but they will kill off or imprison these officers at other times. Ergo, institutional experience and confidence are usually pretty poor.

                    I’ve enjoyed me some Chinese webnovels over the years. But, I don’t think I’ve seen any good military sci fi, and military scenes in fantasy, contemporary or ‘historic’ settings rarely felt like a realistic depiction of a functioning military.

                    I’ve read maybe one novel in Xianxia that I recall as managing to plausibly come off as realistic and even minimally functional. Which is written by a guy in Ireland, who presumably has at least commonwealth grade interest in warfare and knowledge of functional militaries. And the military he writes is operated by a government very jealous of power, in a contested region surveiled by a totalitarian dictatorship, and we don’t actually see what it is like to be part of that military. Just about all of the cast from there so far are auxiliaries or retired veterans or bureaucrats so high level that they only are seen doing normal bureaucratic things. Okay, one sergeant out on patrol before and during the security situation experiencing a significant decline, involving both militias, political intrigue, and the mistaken deployment of strategic WMD. For the genre it is awesomely close to achieving military sci fi, and he is clearly drawing on knowledge of at least Irish or UK militaries to write it.

                    The good stuff written in China feels like the military scenes are written to rote knowledge from ‘historical’ novels and historical military events. Info dumps on characters based on a historical record of what the bureaucracy said, etc. There have been some things that seem a bit better researched and conceived than that, but I’ve never read a PRC Drake, Ringo or Kratman. Good political intrigue novels where one of the background characters was a general previously trusted by the regime, sure. Good stuff based on historical militaries with magic grafted on, involving intrigue in military camps, sure. But, partly because I read the kung fu wizard genres, the characters primarily thought like crazy kung fu wizards, and there was very little realistic attention to how the experience of working in a functioning military changes one’s thinking. Crazy kung fu wizard, with the venegence/action plots being driven by military flavored intrigue, but they usually are not holding down responsibilities for their superior that require them to cooperate with peers, develop their subordinates, see to the welfare of their soldiers, etc. A lot of wandering off on one’s own to fight the experts on the enemy side, etc.

                    1. Part of the lack of a Drake, Ringo, or Kratman, might be that the PRC doesn’t really have much in the way of veterans. The Korean War veterans are likely almost all dead. The Vietnam veterans didn’t really fight for very long. And the most that’s happened since then is the occasional border flare-up with either the USSR/Russia, or India.

                  3. Something I mentioned elsewhere yesterday re Washington at Valley Forge. He didn’t start camp there with a trained regular Army. Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben came over and instituted drill and training- not without some initial problems. Perhaps apocryphal, but IIRC it was him or another foreign military adventurer who said of the American enlisted man- “You can’t just tell them what to do or how to do it. You have to explain WHY it’s done that way. Once they know WHY they have to do something, they’ll learn to do it better than anyone else.”

                    One of the big differences between the Russian navy and American. (and I presume British and Australian…) As an aux machinists mate, I worked on hydraulic pumps, air compressors, atmosphere control equipment, oxygen generators- basically, everything. And the average American enlisted man works on everything remotely related to his field (although we joke about the USAF having left wing mechanics who can’t work on the right wing…..). In the Russian navy you’d report aboard, and if it were time for the air compressor operator/mechanic to leave, he’d train you, and when done, he’d get to go home. Hydraulic pumps? Not your job…. We are. for the most part, JOATS, jacks of all trades. The rest of the world isn’t. Particularly collectivist societies.

                    Having people who can do anything is great advantage when chaos arrives.

                    1. Once they know WHY they have to do something, they’ll learn to do it better than anyone else.”

                      That is America.

                    2. “but IIRC it was him [von Stueben} or another foreign military adventurer who said of the American enlisted man- “You can’t just tell them what to do or how to do it. You have to explain WHY it’s done that way. Once they know WHY they have to do something, they’ll learn to do it better than anyone else.””


                  4. In the guards, and my uncle was a major in the Irish Guards, when the men dig, the officers dig. When the men sleep out, the officers sleep out, and no officer eats until the men are fed. My uncle’s two best friends in the regiment were the late Duke of Norfolk and the late Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Hard to get more noble than they. It’s not a noble thing, it’s a privilege thing.

                    1. I don’t have a dog in the fight really since I didn’t serve but I’ve found that actual nobles, and I know a few, are often quite normal since they have nothing to prove. Middle class officers in a society with nobility now, that’s a different story. The change in Japan between the Russo Japanese war and WWII is interesting in that way. The Japanese acted entirely correctly in 1905 but horribly in 1940, the difference is that middle class officers bought the whole bushido theory as a way to move up in class. German “frightfulness” in WWI can be seen in the same light as can some of the differences between the army and SS in WWII.

                      I used to listen to interminable arguments between my father, uncle, and grandfather about this. My father was a battlefield commission in the US army in Korea, my uncle a guardsman in WWII, and my grandfather an Indian Army piffer. All of them had seen extensive combat with the accompanying medals — DSO, MC, my dad got the bronze star with V. My uncle was, by far, the most bolshie about the whole thing, but then he’d also been on the Republican side in the Spanish civil war until he found out just how anti-religious they were. He was an actual Christian socialist and like many socialists, all his friends were either rich or noble. My father was a thoroughgoing cynic, he didn’t have much time for armies, or officers generally.

                      My grandfather did remark that American officers didn’t dig, make of that what you will, perhaps they do now.

                  5. Not American. European.

                    Or at least parts of Europe.

                    The Germans under the Nazis did fairly well with their own NCOs during World War 2. Yes, Americans excel even more in the “chaos that somehow works” field (aka “little groups of paratroopers”). But it would be a mistake to not recognize that the Germans had excellent troops (among the personnel, at least; no comment on the massive equipment problems that they had, such as the huge lack of motorization). And a good part of that is because they – like the Americans – had a good quality NCO system.

                    Now many parts of Europe never really managed to pull it off. The English speakers and the Germans were far better at it than everyone else, so far as I’ve been able to tell. And there’s reason to suspect that the British and Germans have slipped of late. The French are supposed to be pretty good these days, though, much as Americans like to mock them.

                    1. I believe it was John Keegan who noted that even in the increasingly-desperate last year of the war, the Wehrmacht still ran their NCOs through a 12-month training school.

                    2. The French military members are good folks, they just have the whole lack of numbers and lack of support issue. Canadian are better, they’re almost American, in the crazy sense.

              3. Old example comes to mind, for US military:
                The correct solution to “go get guys over there” is “turn to your sgt and say, ‘get this flag over there, now!'”

                1. The correct order for the officer to give for almost any task is “Sergeant, take control of your detail and…” It’s the NCO’s job to see that the task is done and done properly. The officer’s job is to be thinking three or four tasks ahead so as to be ready to give that order when it is needed.

                  This, of course, like all short descriptions, is an oversimplification, but I believe correct in the gist.

                    1. There’s always somebody* to come in with the “but it’s more complicated than that!” and I wanted to head that off.

                      *And, yes, sometimes I’m that somebody.

                  1. My dad told me just this. He also told me to come back and check from time to time to check that what you intended was what was being done.

              4. The late Joel Rosenberg had an addendum to all battle plans in his Masada ‘verse: If the plan fails, improvise . . .

                Damme, but I miss that man.

        4. > WE ARE ALLOWED TO

          Generally, we’re not asking permission, nor paying much attenting when told not to.

      3. Honestly, I’m not worried about it. They train our military in diversity and inclusion and in extremism. Then put military goes back to thinking about killing bad guys on a level that shocks pretty much any other military out there. When push comes to shove, the US will steamroll any other military that wants to take us on. It’s the rebuilding afterwards and sustaining the political will to keep up the peace that kills us.

  8. “Conservatives” love to attack the alt-right or in fact anyone who is seriously interested in preserving Western civilization…Rod Dreher would be a good example…And I remember when NRO posted an editorial making the “conservative” case for gay marriage…”Conservatives” conserve nothing except the profits of their sponsor corporations.

    1. The alt-right doesn’t want to preserve civilization; they just want to keep the curtains while they wholeheartedly adopt the enemy’s ideology.

      1. The fastest way for what Col Schlicter calls Cruise Ship Conservatives to dismiss the opposition, of course, is to call us “alt-right”. What was that about not echoing enemy propaganda, again?

        1. The “cruise ship conservatives” and the “alt-right” are the same in their destructiveness. The only difference is one martyrbates, while the other decides the enemy were right all along.

          1. The Blogger-who-should-remain-nameless is pretty bad for that. Not sure which is more tiresome; his asserting that “China (and/or Russia) Will Stomp the US” or that “Boomers Are the Evil Evilness Personified”.

            OTOH, on rare occasions, he has an intelligent essay. Too bad he’s not as smart as he thinks he is.

              1. A friend nutshelled the nameless one’s motivation thus: he just wants to be able to say, “See, I was right.”

                Ankle-biter beta, if ever I saw one.

              1. Hmm, think of the guy who derides civic-nationalism, *all* immigration (but lives in Italy as an ex-pat), and has a hard-on for the Boomer generation. I’ll leave final detection as an exercise for the interested student. 🙂

                1. Ah, I wondered if it were he.

                  Quine and Ullian in their Web of Belief wrote of the distinction between wanting to be right and wanting to have been right. The first is a dedication to finding out the truth, the second is the enemy of the truth since it’s pride and stands in the way of our seeing we were wrong, thus blocking growth in our knowledge.

                  Quine often makes my teeth hurt, but I find this more and more profound every day.

              2. >> “Can you at least give a clue as to who he is?”

                I was just about to tell you until I noticed who you were. Aren’t you supposed to be banned?

            1. >> “OTOH, on rare occasions, he has an intelligent essay.”

              That, and the fact that he’s sometimes the first to bring interesting news to my attention, is why I still read him despite disagreeing with most of what he says.

          1. Which is not what I said. Period. Full Stop.

            I’ve been on the receiving end of that label HERE for years. Doesn’t make it true…. but it sure is a convenient insult. Kind of like raaaaacist.

            1. You haven’t been on the receiving end here for years — rolls eyes.
              You have been called when you echo the nonsense from a self-labeled alt-right blog. So, you’re being called gullible, not alt-right.
              Feel better?

              1. Gullible…. until what I stated starts appearing in front of everyone’s eyes.

                And it has been. Why else would you find it necessary to flee Denver?

                1. Some of what you stated starts appearing, yes. But for heaven’s sake, it doesn’t mean it’s all doom.
                  Zero Hedge is sometimes right. Not, thank heavens, most of the time, to give an example of non-alt-right, just chronically depressed.
                  But a lot of what the alt-right spews is the “causes for this are races and blah blah blah”
                  And that’s bullshit.

                2. Steve, I will definitely concede that you have been much more correct on some things than I was.

                  /I’m/ looking like I was more correct on some things than some of the other regulars here.

                  This does not mean that the most extreme parts of where I disagreed with them on those issues have been proven correct.

                  In particular, from what we actually know, the objective reality, I could still possibly be incorrect, and a raving lunatic on ‘we should kill all of the stoners’. It is much too soon for me to take a victory lap, or to expect others to celebrate with me.

                  And, at current stress levels, some of us are going to mentally freeze in place, and not continue analyzing, even if all of the facts really do support your models more than they do anyone else’s.

                  You may be fully vindicated soon, but the rest of us are stubborn jerks, and are almost certainly going to wait on fully conceding.

                  1. at current stress levels, some of us are going to mentally freeze in place, and not continue analyzing
                    I think I may have reached this point. Ugh.

                    1. Yeah, I have a pretty bad situation some times. I can ‘freeze’, and get stuck in an analytical mode, trying to figure things out, unable to stop. as I run out of the resources I need to do good analysis.

                      Not fun. And getting fixed on things is a pretty routine danger for me.

                      I actually should not be here, I tried to impose a break on myself for today so that I can recover to the point of not being a raving loon.

                      Anyway, self care is really important. If you are having a very bad time, you should try to find something new that you can do to help you get your stuff together.

            2. And Ian didn’t say that everyone accused of being alt-right was the bastards he was talking about.

              To use one of your favorite jabs– pot, kettle.

      2. I think a lot of ’em just want to see it all burn. Sort of like the arsonist who becomes a fireman so he can admire his work.

    2. The Alt-Right is not interested in preserving Western civilization. They’re interested in their bizarre, twisted version of it.
      They’re also mostly Russian agents. Though largely unwitting.

    3. I think we’re more seeing a fracturing along class lines than along political lines. A noticeable number of the old school conservatives were also beltway creatures, who were conservative more because the social vices of the left repulsed them, rather than because they believed liberty was essential. So tribe of Jeb! ends up being far more closely aligned to Pelosi and crew that to those who value personal freedom more that politeness.

      1. It’s more the populists vs. the Kakistocracy. This is worldwide.
        The alt-right is not populist. They are people who instead say “let us of the designated race lead you. We are better.”

        1. Yeah. I’ve heard what the newsies say about the alt right, but haven’t met any that call themselves that myself.

          I’m talking more along the lines that our movement does not have a solid name for itself yet. For me, I stand for individual freedom, and equal treatment and equal representation under the law.

          If that is what a populist is, then I am that. If it isn’t, I’m something else, but right now, I don’t know what my true name is.

          1. I’ve met a few self identified alt-right, most of them align with the guys I ID as “college libertarian.”

            With emphasis on the all-means-to-my-end notions.

              1. Such as the same need to change human nature to make it work that is the major problem with the various socialisms.

                I’m also tolerably sure the Libertarian *party* is a DNC op, specifically used to split the conservative vote, with the L candidates mostly as unwitting dupes.

                I began having this suspicion back when I went to a talk by an early (first or second) L presidential candidate. That man had no opinions of his own, as determined when afterward, I asked him some Hard Question (I forget what, this was like 1980 or before) about some L policy that he’d spoken about… and one of his minders stepped in front of him and gave me a brush-off answer. My Node of Perversity was thereby stimulated to ask another Hard Question, and Mr.Candidate was promptly whisked away and that was the end of the informal Q&A session.

                Everything I’ve seen since has done nothing but reinforce my suspicions, and is why I left the L party faster than I arrived.

                1. The Misis caucus seems to be taking over the Libertarian party right now. But yes the previous Presidential Candidate used the slogan “we must be anti-racist.” I was completely turned off–

                1. Rez’s quick guide (from 2006) to the American political parties:

                  Democrat: Give us all your shovels, so we can dig those po’folks ditches, whether they need ’em or not.

                  Republican: Here’s a shovel. Go dig your own damn ditch.

                  Libertarian: I ain’t diggin’ no damn ditch!

                  Green: You ain’t diggin’ no damn ditch!

                  Peace and Freedom: Hey man, spade me up a new patch for my pot.

                  American Independent: Covet not thy neighbour’s shovel, and what is this ‘ditch’ of which thou speaks?

                  1. The Huns and Hoydens Party: You can borrow the shovel if you ask nicely and really need it. If your house is flooding, I’m on the way to help. Otherwise b-gger off, because I have work to do.

        2. The “alt-right” are leftists who are of the Left’s current scapegoat group and they don’t like it so they’re pushing to make it so they’re in charge and someone else is the scapegoat.

      2. It is not classism, class is a simple model that isn’t capturing everything here.

        It is straight up, heavily who has shaped you because you spend a lot of time around them, and are emotionally invested in those relationships.

        You can get some insight by looking at people, seeing what any college degrees they have are in, which university, etc., but it is a very loose heuristic, not an algorithm.

        Okay, a lot of Conservative. Inc, have BAs, are lawyers, or both. Raffensperger is clearly aligned with the Republican Establishment, may be a crook, and he has a bachelor’s in civil engineering. Okay, he also has an MBA, which is a danger signal, but I would expect even a PE with an MBA to be a bit more careful about practicing engineering outside their field by making public statements.

        Yes, we can point to a bunch of JDs who are clearly full of it. Barr, McLaughlin, the twitter guy with the handle esoterrccd, Tax Prof, etc. We can also point to people with JDs who have clearly not lost their minds, such as Tom Kratman, Amie Gibbons, Amanda Green, James Saxon Eastham, and maybe Schlichter.

        The JDs are clearly running calculations about whose opinions they value, and what kind of statements will have which effects on their future earning potential. Okay, running those calculations about long term consequence of statements is a product of training and experience.

        Law is a profession, and one of the occupations that one can have a vocation for. In addition to the sunk cost of the training and the experience, if you have a vocation you will be extremely reluctant to abandon an occupation. Saying outright ‘these courts appear crooked, and they might perhaps throw out cases with merit, because of a corrupt bias against those bringing them’ is actually something that is bad for the earning potential of a lawyer. Judges have to deal with a lot of lunatics. Being able to let go of a case is something that they prefer to see in a lawyer, if someone fights everything to the end and at all costs, they are going to be hugely painful to work with. One of the professional services of a lawyer is telling people not to make stupid statements. So, knowing that it is long term stupid for a lawyer to piss off the judges is actually a core professional competency for a lawyer.

        So, this particular situation is actually a very difficult one for lawyers who wish to have a future career as a lawyer. Less so for someone like Kratman, who has quit law, and now largely works for the type of people who read military science fiction.

        That isn’t the dividing line here, some of the sane JDs are planning to continue using the law for their income, or still care what other lawyers and judges think about them. These are the ones who have shut up about things, except for making some careful, calculated statements, or for saying things under a pseudonym that cannot be tied to their professional identify.

        The dividing line is ‘cares for their status/reputation among other lawyers, that results from the positive statements that they have made’. These are the people who brand themselves as following a certain flavor of conservatism, and want to make statements that fit that branding, and also make statements that fit what they think the other lawyers want. Since the ABA is converged/long marched, they are superficially thinking, sucking up to the ABA, and avoiding the deeper thoughts of ‘theory of profession’, ‘theory of expertise’, and ‘theory of law’ that might otherwise cause a lawyer to realize “hey, we could seriously screw up the amount of business that laymen are willing to provide to lawyers”.

        It is basically a combination of ‘who goes Nazi’, how background experiences shape thought, and keeping terrible company. Yes, the people who make those choices match to what passes for class markers in American society.

        But American class markers also match people that are very much opposed. Consider the people here who are out as engineers with advanced degrees. Some of them are very very careful about what statements they make. Some of them are more blunt. But they are disbelieve in the nonsense, and do not pretend to like it here. Outside of the engineers, BGE, Herb N, and Steve. N, have some of those same class markers, and for many things have zero f*cks to give.

        The Marxists are as full of crap on class as they are on race and sex.

          1. Partly, but we are talking the part of culture that one can choose to learn relatively late in life.

            Lawyers think like lawyers, doctors think like doctors, accountants think like accountants, and engineers think like engineers. This tendency of thought has two components. One is early childhood learned culture, and the personality traits one is born with, and contributes by informing the choice to study, and what to study. Second is a combination of learned professional culture, learned professional skills, learned academic culture, and learned national culture.

            Forex, international students studying graduate level engineering in the US are going to learn bits of engineering, academic culture and values (I think see Bill Reader’s Brahamandiran sp? essay for details on part of this culture), and American culture and values.

            My dad grew up in an academic town thinking of academia as being a thing of status, and his values did shape me growing up. My maternal grandfather lived in that same town, but adhered to values more skeptical of the ivory tower, and those also shaped me. As an adult, Kratman inspired my intellectual journey towards anti-intellectualism, and I’ve chosen to hang out on the internet with fellow trolls, and to value their opinions and companionship.

            I very strongly believe that there are people who have done cool things within academia, but the key element is people doing cool things, a lot of academics are as boring as a drug addict without credentials who is also ruining their own life. People without degrees can do awesomely cool things, I’m even suspicious of how much in a middle school or high school education is really all that worthwhile. (Okay, elementary level education, done correctly, is almost essential for the breadth an adult should have. It is pretty hard to do Cool Things without breadth.)

            1. I was reading Ursula Vernon’s Digger. In it, Digger is asked what she would do if she was given a box and told it must never ever ever be opened.

              Being Digger, she started talking about what to encase it in and what sort of building to put it under.

        1. I agree. Class is not really the right word here. I’m having real struggles figure out what it is and what it should be called.

          Constitutionalist is the best name I have right now, but it feels like there is a deeper word under that. That there is a well that the US Constitution was drawn from and is the best current expression we have, but that I don’t yet have a real word for.

          I think we need to find that word, that describes the current fracture line. MartyrMade’s Twitter thread described the symptoms of the fracture and what much what our side thinks about it very well, but the break needs a name. And I’m not sure what that is yet.

          1. Doug Loss used the acronym TWANLOC. Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen.

            Thing with my father’s generation, and the one before, there were/are a bunch of people who were definitely religiously left, but the culture that they internalized was the mainstream, Christianity influenced culture of the day. These people are/were different from the moderns that are religiously left, and culturally are of that left subculture cultivated in the hothouses of the schools.

            The older cohort who were culturally American might religiously reason themselves into lying to you, and murdering you, but the American cultural influence meant they had preventative scruples and were/are still basically safe to be around. The folks in that age cohort who are that dangerous are not just religiously communist, but lived in a sub cultural group that was communist.

            In my wording, this is basically a case where our cultural value of religious tolerance has hit a problem that we might have difficultly coping with.

            The cultural values we are now forcing on people here, are not enough to make the the left religious safe to be around.

            I’ve recently upset an immigrant from Russia/the USSR by saying that I thought that American culture and Russian culture had serious incompatibilities. I took for granted that I was talking about Americans living along side Americans, under an American government, contrasted with Russians living alongside Russians under a Russian government. One of my big takeaways from that, if someone has lived in America as an adult for twenty or thirty years, and has learned to behave well enough that they haven’t killed anyone, and they have stayed out of prison, they are culturally American in a sense, regardless of what culture they identify as.

            George Maledon was an immigrant from another country, and he did kill people, but all of those killings were inside the bounds of American culture, so he had assimilated to American culture in some of the most essential aspects.

            I think the religious element is important. But, because of yet another thing involving another blog, I think we should not be thinking in terms of ‘we suck because we are now all of a sudden not winning this religious war’. Thing is, I’m not sure Americans have ever successfully waged a religious war, I think all of our successful wars may have been of other types. I think we have, however, killed a great many individuals of whatever background who were wildly dis-behaving by local community norms.

            I have no useful suggestions.

            1. Twanloc says that the separation exists, but it does not explain why. It does not explain what we believe and what we stand for that is so removed from what they believe in and what they are standing for, that we can no longer see ourselves as one people?

              1. Culturally and behaviorally, they are so far outside of any American ‘norms’ or mores that they cannot function at peace with Americans. In fact, drawing so much of their behavior from religious communism, they are incapable of being at peace with each other. Warring against them in return is no morally worse than some of the wars against the indians, and I’m speaking of the morally licit wars against the indians, not the ones that were pretty clearly bullshit.

                Americans are a bunch of peoples who really do not entirely get along well, and have somehow managed peace anyway. Many of our wars against outside peoples have reflected that, and were only because of really unreasonable refusal by them to have peace. Okay some of the wars were wrong on our part, but far from all of them were.

                Fundamentally, TWANLOC are the people in American territory who have chosen the behavior such that we cannot have peace with them, and probably have no alternative but war against.

                This makes their set very similar to the set of criminals.

                I have pretty huge differences with Ian, BGE, etc. at great and stupendous length. (I’m conflicted on issues, and thus count /myself/ as one of my political enemies. So, I pay attention to philosophical differences with everyone I know, and many of the ones I cannot specifically say exist.) I still believe that I can speak honestly with them, and in principle negotiate some form of peace acceptable to all parties.

                TWANLOC are outside of that. Okay, some folks are presenting as TWANLOC, but are actually go along to get alongs, and will present as American once the TWANLOCs lose, and the diehard TWANLOCs are gone.

                1. Per your latter, consider the TWANLOC to be hostage takers. There are those who are just plain ignorant, those that know and are too afraid (or remain silent for fear of harm of those under their care). The true believers will not change their minds. Or rather, they very very rarely do so, and it takes special circumstances to occur. Efforts to persuade true believers are largely wasted if that is your only audience.

                  The beliefs of true believers are largely not falsifiable, thus unscientific. If there is no evidence that would persuade them, there’s no point trying unless you’re either pitching to the audience or just like to fight.

                  Lately the self-identified TWANLOC (through action and behavior) should, in a system based on rule of law, have been investigated, arrested, tried, convicted, and jailed. Remove the agents provocateur from the equation and things begin to settle down. The social good of criminals being taken off the streets happens, people begin to trust the justice system more, et cetera.

                  They are the minority. Loud, but few. Put enough of them behind bars for a good while and you will see a change in the culture. Those of us that remember when mandatory minimum sentences went into effect might recall how crime seemed to miraculously fall around the same time… And for the same reason.

                  1. I still remember in the early 2000’s how Leftroids were wondering, “Crime is getting lower, why are there so many people in prison?”

                    Clueless, absolutely clueless…

                    (I’m with the British bloke who calls 2000-2009 ‘The Naughties’)

      3. Yea– Beltway conservatives were not the normal conservative. AT least the conservatives that I grew up were religious right … but also liberty minded. AND one thing my dad said when I was a girl was that the 1st amendment protected offensive speech. If we didn’t protect speech then we would lose our own free speech rights by offending someone else. It was one of the main reasons I’ve been totally against “political correctness.”

        1. Political Correctness was the first, easy step on the path to Cancel Culture. The second you accepted that there were certain things you ‘shouldn’t’ say it became inevitable that there would eventually be things you ‘couldn’t’ say. And as soon as you accept that there are things other people shouldn’t be allowed to say, you open the door for anything anyone says to be forbidden. It was using westerners’ sense of politeness against ourselves to stick in the first wedge for thought policing.

          1. Now the First Amendment has been torn down by the Perpetually Offended. They’re always ready to be Offended by anything.

            The only proper response to “Shut Up, you’re Offending me!!” is “Go fuck yourself!”

            1. No. The correct first response is “Thank you for letting me know what offends you. I shall remember that when I want to push your buttons in future.”

              1. “Your claim that the first amendment doesn’t protect offensive speech offends ME, so per your own rules you can shut the hell up about that.”

      4. The see themselves as “good aristocrats,” with a sense of service and maybe noblesse oblige.

    4. I read the ideas that some self identified alt right bloggers were promoting.

      They had taken the left, and flipped a couple of bits.

      I have a perfect right to say that this is not my definition of conservative, and does not represent or advance my interests.

      In taxonomy, ‘conservative’ is a branding for a wide range of very different concepts. No one speaks for conservatism, and nobody gets to be the conservative police, tell me that I am not conservative, or tell me what policies I must support because I am a conservative.

      The French, NRO, etc. Conservatives Inc. types do not get to so instruct me.

      The alt-right does not get to so instruct me.

      Ian, Sarah, or Phantom do not get to so instruct me.

      Just like I do not get to tell them that they must comply with my own ‘idiosyncrasies’.

      The information warriors have very comprehensively confused things. There is no true consensus on conservatism, and there will not be a consensus in the near term.

      I still think it might be funny to call Sarah a lefty, but people are stressed enough that I think it would not be funny to her, and so I will try to refrain.

      (My personal stress levels are such that I could probably take a bunch of people chiming in on how deeply distressed they are that a raving madman such as myself is saying something that sounds reasonable.)

      1. *laughs*

        Had a sudden mental voiceover:
        “Conservatism is someone yelling ‘STOP BREAKING MY SHIT, YOU A-HOLE!‘!!”

            1. I do assure you that it glistens just as it is. I’m just removing the dash, but then I’m a Brooklyn boy and we’re prone to profanity — we use f-ckin as punctuation.

            1. Were they not? they were, plus or minus a few details, preserving the Everyman’s England that hied back to common law and the Magna Carta… by rubbing out the stains of an overbearing and unresponsive government that had grown over Everyman’s rights.

              Occurs to me that the only real difference between an “elected president” and a “king” (in the Saxon sense, where he was more agreed-upon than hereditary) is that the president gets pitchforked by the peasants on a more-predictable schedule. Neither do presidents come from any but the existing ruling class, or the choices thereof. Trump is as close to a jumped-up-peasant king as we’ve had in living memory, and perhaps beyond.

      2. There is no true consensus on conservatism

        Oh but there is! Conservatives use the Conservative Pride Flag during Pride Month. They (currently) reject the Racial and Trans Pride Flag.

        Until next year when Conservatives will adopt the one with two wedges, rejecting anything newer.

        1. Some point out that this is why the Leftists can beat us at all: they organize as one and march in lockstep, while we’re like herding cats (if you’re lucky).

        2. Is the “conservative pride flag” the old, plain rainbow one? I have one of those (although it is packed away in a box, right now – with the blue line, gadson, and pow flags).

          1. The rainbow flag is the Sexually Transmitted Diseases flag. Not sure what other connotations there are for it.

    5. As long as marriage is a government regulated status with tax and other regulatory benefits, there is a perfectly valid conservative case for gay marriage: “It ain’t none of the gubmint’s business who I sleep with or spend my life with as long as they are an adult!”

      1. Bullshit.

        There is a very solid reason why government is involved in “marriage”– because “marriage” MAKES NEW PEOPLE.

        That is literally required for “government” to survive.

        Which, if you recognize it… goes back to the actual “involvement” in “marriage” for government.

        It WAS an incredibly limited “register the relations that might produce the future, thus protecting that future, and it’s optional” set up.

        Then…short sighted *blanks* decided to insist that groups that cannot ever produce children be drafted in.

        1. Assumes the government has a legitimate interest in the population.

          And even if it does, taking an active interest in it is a sure-fire path to screwing it up. Which is in fact what we are seeing right now.

          1. Yes, the government HAS an interest in not ceasing to exist.

            Also, the *purpose* of government is to protect the rights of the citizens.

            ….even the ones that are helpless.

            1. Yes, the government HAS an interest in not ceasing to exist.

              It really doesn’t. Except in the tautological sense of “by doing your job well you don’t get removed”.

                1. Existence of government is not the same as for people.

                  The only reason for government to exist is because there are certain vital functions which for one reason or another can’t be performed otherwise. It is the most literal possible form of “necessary evil”*.

                  The state trying to manipulate society for the good of the state flips the value system on its head, making the state the entity which has value, and the population a means to that end. That the manipulation may have good effects is not the relevant issue here, only the overstepping of bounds.

                  * people tend to throw out that phrase, and then blot out the “evil” part.

                  1. Government *is* people.

                    thus, the desire to exist is a positive.

                    And no, “government manipulating culture” is not inherently wrong; it is just PEOPLE.
                    That is what LAW is.

                    Government RECOGNIZING “hey, this reproductive act might, maybe, make new citizens— if you want, you can register it to cut down on paperwork” is not wrong, even if it is popular.

                    1. Government *is* people.

                      Uh……. no. That’s just a slightly different phrasing of the BS line that “government is just the stuff we do together”.

                      And no, “government manipulating culture” is not inherently wrong

                      [citation needed]

                      Unless you are going for things like “we will set up our gallows next to your widow pyre”. Which would be somewhat fuzzy, in being a matter of a socially accepted crime so dealing with the crime has an effect on the culture.

                      Government RECOGNIZING “hey, this reproductive act might, maybe, make new citizens— if you want, you can register it to cut down on paperwork” is not wrong, even if it is popular.

                      Casting it as registration is having the opposite effect I think you are going for.

                    2. Being faintly kinda sorta sounds the same is not “the same,” and appeal to your prior assumptions isn’t an argument.

                      You want to make an argument, then do it. I made one. Bust a move.

                    3. It is the same when the root assertion is the same, namely that the government is just the people and not a distinct entity.

                      You want to make an argument, then do it. I made one.

                      For this particular sub-subject you didn’t. You merely asserted that government is people* without evidence.

                      * must…. not…. make….. soylent…. joke….

                    4. Government is composed of a certain kind of people. Ours seems to be heavily biased towards left-wing sociopaths. Their goal of creating a ‘perfect society’ is so noble and lofty that no cost is too high, no sacrifice too great, no atrocity too horrendous. Like nuking American cities to ‘save’ them.

                      They condemned Trump, claiming he secretly wanted to nuke American cities, while THEY openly called for exactly that. Nobody held them to account.

                    5. Government is people.

                      What kind of people can change– but progressivism is based on ignoring that it is people, doing stuff.

                      Both in the sense of “oh yeah well people can’t do that but Government can” and in the sense of going “oh well people don’t do that but gov’t can.”

                    6. As a former Federal employee, I’d note many of the worker bees (ok, it was the Department of the Army logistics people), are a specific, non-sociopathic type. My coworkers strongly tended to be methodical, conscientious, detail oriented, and frustrated by a system that did not allow them to serve the troops as they felt they should be served.

                    7. ^ current fed employee here. Most of us on the lower tiers are just folks (and many, at least where I am, quite conservative). We think most of it’s stupid, but we have no power (in the job) to change it, and since the insanity usually starts from about field manager level and gets worse going up…

                      My biggest complaint from what I’ve seen of the government service system is the near-inability to fire the crazy/incompetent/criminal, barring *really* egregious and obvious behavior. The more likely solution is to “promote them elsewhere to be someone else’s problem” which is why all the crazy is in managment…

        2. So marriage makes new people? Gee, I thought it was sexual intercourse. If the government stays out of it, most people will make children. Are you advocating that those who chose not to should be penalized? That’s a pretty totalitarian viewpoint.

          1. *flat look*
            You have even the faintest involvement in family court?

            You want to inflict that on EVERYONE?

            Look, I get the nonsense rhetorical flourishes, but sit down and THINK about what you are promoting, and incidentally pay attention to what I actually said.

            Giving those who are in a situation that will produce new citizens an option to prepare a legal framework to protect those new citizens, which cuts down on the paperwork involved in protecting the basic rights of those new citizens and the adults involved in their creation, is a no brainer obvious choice.

          2. As I already stated, ‘registering a subsection of marriages which can be expected to produce new citizens protects the new citizens’ protects those new citizens inherent rights.

            It’s more a “recognize obvious biological facts”.

        3. Marriage CAN make new people. It can also create familial bonds, assumed kinship bonds EVEN IF there are no new people created. Widow’s portions are a thing.

          Government enforcing marriage contracts is not the same thing as registration of a marriage with the government automatically assumes specific contractual terms exist.

        4. “It WAS an incredibly limited “register the relations that might produce the future, thus protecting that future, and it’s optional” set up.”

          No, it was the Commonwealth of Massachusetts looking for tax revenue.

      2. I grew up around MULTIPLE families that were married, religiously, without gov’t involvement.

        …actually probably at least one I didn’t realize, nasty Mormon offshoot who would be whatever their version of excommunicated is nonsense, but anyways.

        The gov’t *isn’t* involved in “marriage,” the government HAD limited involvement in those forms of marriage that produce future citizens WHEN citizens decided to register their marriage, and the setup was designed around that “makes new citizens” fact.

        1. Unfortunately this is one of those areas where even if we assume that they are completely justified in doing so, the current system will always be tainted by its origin as a weapon of the Progressives.

          Big shock that the descendants of the Progressives picked up the same weapon….

          1. Assuming conclusion again, Ian.

            You gotta show that “respect the rights of newborns” is a risk first, then carry on.

                  1. No, I stated it simplified protecting the existing basic rights.

                    Recognizing that infants are not so good at self defense.

                    1. Ok, that makes more sense.

                      To my original point on this thread: I was not talking about protecting infants. The taint I was referring to is the corruption (if something starts out corrupted does that truly count as “corruption”?) of the eugenicists “protecting” the population from the horror of not being cattle to be bred. The tooling was left behind, and then the modern progressives picked it up as a cultural bludgeon to hit those icky deplorables with.

                      As for simplification; that is not an automatic good. Our entire governmental structure was designed to make it as hard as possible for the system to function. Not because we want good to be retarded, but because if any mechanism is allowed to be “efficient”, it is guaranteed that that function will turn to tyranny.

                      I was about to make a comment about this being a relatively small issue given how much of the rest of the system has been corrupted…… and then I remembered the school system. “Register your kids with the state” is not in fact a small issue, as the last few decades of abuse by the schools / CPS / etc. have shown.

                    2. You *assumed* corruption of a set-up that recognized, and protected, the basic rights of the most denseless of citizens.

                      In response to a comment pointed at exactly that protection.

                    3. Go back and read my comment. I said it would always be tainted from its origin, even if it were completely innocent.

                      In other words: it is always going to be sus, regardless of current status, in the same way the FBI will always be sus, because it began as a president’s personal jackboots. That says nothing whatsoever about the current status.

                      One of these days I’ll get jumped on for something I actually said……

                    4. Which comment?

                      Because YOU responded to ME making an argument, and didn’t meet that argument– nothing you said can be framed as ‘the original’ argument.

                      I made arguments. You can answer them, or not, but you can’t claim the starting point.

                    5. Original comment doesn’t address argument it was addressed at, nor does it form its own argument.

                      Asserting a claim is not an argument.

                    6. Our governmental structure was not intended to prevent tyranny, only to limit the damage it can do. Those limits have been progressively broken down over the last hundred years.

      3. And a perfectly valid reason for governments to restrict the NUMBER of persons who can enter into a contract of marriage.

  9. If Frederick Douglass could say “I do not despair of this country” then so can I.


    1. Oh. That explains why the crazies vandalized his statue.

      Definitely counter-Narrative.

  10. As to propaganda, the US made a bizarre, ahistorical, and perhaps noble attempt in our most recent wars to eschew propaganda. In no war anywhere, ever, was the demonization of the enemy discouraged rather than encouraged. Now as a Christian, I can take the attitude that I’m sorry I have to kill these poor, deluded evil-doers, and tell myself that makes me better than Torquemada, but he too only wanted to save men’s souls, even if he thought he had to torture and kill them to do it. If you doubt America’s historical capacity for propaganda, look at the 1940’s comic books. Our current problem is that the swamp is full of social climbing little princes who view any freedom other than licentiousness as evil and, in their opinion worse, a threat to their crazy whims.

    1. Oh, sure, we have a capacity for propaganda. But we also tend to believe it from outside, if dressed as “news” and “analysis.”
      See covidiocy for illustration.

    2. Someone pointed out that the Left’s root problem is that they have conflated (or confused) freedom with licentiousness,

  11. I would make one quibble Sarah. Communists and other totalitarians are GREAT at communication. What they can’t handle is honest feedback. Money is nothing after all but artificial feedback. (I know that’s what you meant.) Without feedback, every living thing dies. Even an amoeba knows enough to move away from the acid dropped in a petri dish. The totalitarians are great at narrative (false narrative) creation and even more dangerously poisoning good narratives. It doesn’t take much to poison the well.

      1. Well, we both agree about what they’re good at and bad at. The rest is semantics, but are we not writers? If you prick us, do we not debate what exclamation to use? 🙂

      2. They’re the same thing to them; in their vocabulary the word has been redefined to “we speak, you listen.”

        1. Indeed. Just as they have redefined “cooperation” and/or “bipartisan” to mean “you other party do all the things that we want, and we do none of the things you want, and if you complain, you’re a big evil meanie tyrant.”

    1. Acid is good for you. Move away from it, and I’ll squish you.

      — Communist Microbia

  12. “They are in fact the decaying results of the left’s illusions.”

    Decaying is right. Pelosi, Biden, Schumer et al. is like looking at the swimming pool scene in Poltergeist.

    1. Except we would be better off if the poltergeist’s from Poltergeist were running Congress in place of Pelosi and Schumer

  13. Yeah, as screwed up as we are, the PRC seems to have done much worse in the way of self inflicted harm.

    We are closer to our own damage, what the PRC has done to even the Han is unbelievable, and we suppose that because we see the Chinese strings on the ‘you should feel bad about being American’ that the Chinese are smart enough not to be inflicting that crap on themselves. Well, the regime is inflicting different crap on them, and because they are closer and more terrorized the crap inflicted on them is worse.

    PRC has been pushing “PRC is safe and crime free” and “America is dangerous and crime ridden’ for years.

    In fairness, if we kowtow to our current bunch of loonies, let them tread all over us with jackboots, and don’t fix things, we will have less moral authority for telling the rest of the world to get their act together and fix their own tyrants. I’m not bragging about our practices right now, but I will concede that I have failed in implementing them /after/ I am dead.

    The odds are in fact quite favorable that we will fix things, and can return to telling the rest of the world to leave us alone /and/ to get their own houses in order before worrying about ours.

    1. Serious question: Why should we yell at the rest of the world about fixing their tyrants?

      Not every people is suited to live under every king of government. If a dictatorship (of whatever level of benevolence, called by whatever name is convenient for the locals) suit them, why should we try to change it?

      … as long as we are not sending money to prop them up.

      1. Because people have inherent worth.

        Tyrants, by definition, offend against that worth.

        And if they are not born of survival need, they will try to expand.

        It’s like the difference between survival cannibalism and ritual slaughter and cannibalize; one is a horror that reaches for good, the other is a horror dragging folks down.

        Give them a hand to drag them out of the pit, yes— but also say, loudly, that there IS a pit in the first place.

        1. People also have an inherent right to self-determination. And if they determine that they want a benevolent (they hope) daddy, provided there is provision for those who wish to live elsewhere to do so, they have the right to choose a strong man form of government. Most people, unfortunately, will choose security over liberty given half a chance. They might have different places on the see-saw of which they prioritize, but if they had to choose, they would choose security.

          Few are the people who realize that the only real security is IN liberty, and fewer still who are willing to actually deal with insecurity.

          Basically, the question comes down to, who gets to decide who is a tyrant and who isn’t? The people who live under the tyrant, or those outside?

      2. At least three reasons a) created in the image of God b) pragmatically, totalitarian nutcases destroy wealth in ways that are not limited by borders, making all the populations of the world poorer c) attractive nuisance d) Starting off discussions with yelling at them over crap sets more reasonable expectations for what they think they can get us to do. Last is the same reason for my ‘we should start out by saying that killing everyone else is our fall-back/alternative to negotiate, and why we should work to believe that this is true’. Our elites work with theirs to screw us over, and we should discourage their elites from the expectation that this is a good idea.

        If the rest of the world really wants to fight it all out, is willing to die to see us in chains, then we should cheerfully fight it out, with a smile on our lips, and a song in our heart. If when it comes down to brass tacks, they don’t care enough to spend the blood, we’ve bitten our thumbs at them, showing them how little we think about their so called civilization and so called law.

        This is a situation like utilitarianism, where some people can and will reason themselves into morality from first principles, most will not, and so accepting morality on faith, and enforcing it by social pressure, is the more effective ‘collective policy’. If we do not actively pressure people to dislike tyrannical foreign governments, the go along to get alongs will suck up to tyrannical foreign governments.

        Whereas if we are a mix of people who insist that we shout at the world over not fixing their shit, and maybe a few lunatics of my grade, the go along to get alongs will stay much too worried about satisfying us to suck up to overseas elites.

        Fundamentally, trying to make other populations learn to manage their own business is futile. This only works for populations on the edge of learning to be able to function, when they are seriously terrified of you.

        Killing a bunch of people for pushing us too hard from time to time makes a certain amount of sense. If you communicate to the alien elites that ‘doing this stuff gets you in trouble’ and to the alien peasants that ‘maybe our elites are not scarier than pissing off the Americans’. If we are only killing people in the first place when their elites and their peasants strongly disagree with these two ideas.

        Nation building, careless foreign aid, and pointless wars are all bad things.

        In another way, international law, trusting too much in ‘friends’ or ‘allies’, and treating foreign populations as if they are American are bad things.

        There are a bunch of different mistakes we can make, and avoiding some means we make others.

          1. My general argument there, or my specific example?

            Because I thought the specific example was arguing the negatives of utilitarianism. That while as an intellectual theory it might appear broadly usable, we can show that it practically is not. Background for that is a response to some of those intellectuals who have reasoned themselves to a semi-moral position, and then assume that because they have done so, others will, and thus what purpose does imposing Christian morality serve?

            I have a huge interest in looking at exactly how some of these ideas break, possibly because I am a lunatic.

            If you disagree with my general argument, fine.

            That is one of the things where I’m perfectly happy if I am genuinely insane, and everyone disagrees with me. I am rather obsessed with avoiding the mental traps set by others, I see my thought process as one of the big tools for that, and am OCD enough that I probably cannot avoid getting stuck in my own thinking.

            I do not see my theory of foreign policy as being utilitarian. I see it as having a moral foundation. Specifically, one that rejects some of the false moral teachings of communism. One of the games they play is with a moral teaching (which they do not themselves strictly hold to) that asserts that peace is possible and desirable between many or all groups. I may go too far in rejecting that, to reach ‘one should be happy if one finds oneself in the circumstance of warring against everyone’, supposing that perhaps no two groups exist where I must morally treat peace as desirable. Are you working from the Catholic theory that there can be a central authority on Christian teaching, through the result that ‘there can be two or more countries under that teaching authority, and war between them is morally not desirable’, to reach the conclusion that ‘morally, peace between nations should be preferred’?

            1. Sorry again, I often find you entirely sane. Where I disagree, or perhaps don’t understand, is your point that one can argue oneself into a moral position from utilitarianism. Morality, Christian or otherwise, and it seems in its essentials to be much the same across cultures and times, is a rejection of utilitarian thinking. I suppose one can move away from utilitarianism but it can’t serve as a basis for morality.

              Every culture and time produces apologists for arbitrary power, utilitarianism is ours and justifies everything. I would maintain that Marxism as a system as opposed to practice, is utilitarianism too. The only difference between the utilitarian state and the Marxist state is quoting Lenin, who/whom. Both ignore the centrality of human flourishing since you can’t quantify it.

              I suppose that last gives me away, though you find it in Aristotle. I. was brought up in a very Catholic culture and it permeates everything i do and think even in those case where I reject it. I do believe in the teaching authority of the church over faith and morals. I also have a good knowledge of what the church as a political entity. The tragedy of the reformation is that it rejected the church’s authority in the area where it was valid and built up the power of the state with no intervening institution.

              Don’t think I answered you but I would really have to think it through to take it further,

              1. You’ve provided me some direction for thought. Thank you.

                My position is that I assume others are alien, and that I cannot persuade with only the arguments that would persuade me. (I’m also nuts enough that some of the arguments that reach me easily, rapidly, or strongly are pretty weird.)

                If I know someone has some cultural or religious value in common, I may simply be able to point it out, and leave it at that. But I don’t know very many people that well, and one of my defaults for trying to reach a wide audience is trying to list /all/ of the arguments. Which obviously turns off a lot of people, who don’t want to wade through that crap. 😀

                I’m quick to defend the position of “kill ’em all”, but I am actually pretty reluctant to start implementing. I’m not entirely sure why.

                That practicality drives me to try persuasion. I may also have a strong drive to persuade or communicate.

                I identify as being bad at communication. Definitely, when I try to understand how other people think, I get strange and unreliable results. This hurts me at understanding what other people are trying to say, and at understanding how to reach them.

                Basically, I have an irrational belief that I can reach people if I try hard enough. This includes some of the people who will not be reached by morally framed arguments. (In my eyes, ‘it will not work, and is stupid to try’ counts as a moral argument. I think destruction that serves no purpose is immoral. I think waste is immoral. So appealing to that hits me as a moral argument. But it is not explicitly “do not do it, it is immoral”.)

                I also have some very bitter experience with trying to reach people, and in some cases realizing that I would never make any progress.

                For example, my relationship with my father was more difficult for very years, because our natural ways of thinking, feeling, and learning have some very profound differences. (He and I also have a lot in common. We are very into our own interests, and very readily try to impose them on each other. 🙂 ) He made arguments that would persuade him but bounced off me, and vice versa. Took me a long time to grow up enough to learn, and then to learn, that I needed to take a mental step back and frame my concerns in a way that he could comprehend and possibly retain.

        1. I like the formulation I saw somewhere years ago:

          We’re Americans.
          If you have cool stuff, we’d like to buy it.
          If you think our stuff is cool, we’re happy to sell it to you.
          If you fuck with us, we’ll kill you.

  14. Is anyone old enough to remember Sputnik 1, (only 1 year older than I am) and how the USSR had the first artificial satellite and first man to orbit the earth meant Russian technological superiority, and how we had to catch up? Well, it turned out that the USSR had thrown proportionately more money at the problem, invested more in high prestige items, which they touted with great fanfare, and hid their failures. When the US finally got a look at their much-vaunted military aircraft, they turned out to be kludgebuilt. And the USSR (and later Russia) couldn’t keep up the pace, because their infrastructure (roads, electrical systems, plumbing, etc.) wasn’t up to the demand. The Chinese space program is run on the same principles, and is based on borrowed Russian technology which is already at least 20 years out of date.
    The American space program is crippled (in oversimplified terms) because after Apollo, NASA laid off most of its engineers and kept the bureaucratic administrators as skeleton staff….and then when it got more money for the Space Shuttle program, hired bureaucrats and engineers in the same (new) proportions, which choked the program in red tape. After decades of investing in highly advanced experimental technologies which routinely got cancelled as soon as they got off the drawing board and which might have been successful had the planned vehicles actually been built, flown and tested, NASA is no longer your grandfather’s space program. It has become so sclerotic it can hardly get a vehicle off the ground anymore, let alone to the Moon or Mars, and has been passed up by the likes of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic.

    1. It’s telling that the only Soviet fighter to survive the collapse of the USSR and continue as a success on the international arms market looks *exactly* like a smaller version of a specific US aircraft.

    2. A magazine in the ’60s (Mechanix Illustrated, if memory serves) used to have articles on various Soviet failures in the space program. Some of these were radio intercepts of a cosmonaut (or multi-passengers) who made it to orbit and got stuck there.

      I was born 5 years before Sputnik, and was a bit skeptical of the MI articles. Not so much anymore.

      1. In one of the essays collected in Expanded Universe, Heinlein talks about speaking with cadets at a Soviet academy (during his tour of the Soviet Union) who were bragging to him about their manned flight into orbit (this was before Gagarin). Later, an officer approached him and “explained” that it wasn’t really a man, but a dummy sent up that failed to make reentry.

        Heinlein said that he did not know the truth, but those cadets seemed awfully sure that they’d sent a man up there.

            1. Put me on that list too. If there were any justice in the cosmos, the USSR would have fallen when they were bombarded from orbit by intelligent space-faring canines.

    3. I am old enough to remember Sputnik (I was a space geek at 4). When I got a little older I dove into the history of Project Vanguard (which spectacularly failed to launch a US satellite several times) and how the Army team doing ICBM work at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville were explicitly forbidden by the Eisenhower administration from putting anything in orbit so the US space program wouldn’t have a military ‘taint’. The Jupiter C they developed was eventually pressed into service to put the first US satellite in orbit. It flew several tests in 1956 and 1957 to test reentry nose cones. Any one of those flights could have put the test body in orbit instead by having the last stage fire up instead of down. Even without the elevated focus the US could have orbited a satellite first if the Eisenhower administration had foreseen the prestige impact in advance.

      1. Look, I know this is in the “make folks feel old” range, but….

        It’s so COOL to be chatting in the same area/with folks who can even sort of remember stuff when my mom was the age of my youngest child.

        This makes the internet great.

        In person, I’d be hiding out as far from anybody as possible, trying not to upset anyone; online? “Oooh, ooh, shiny thing!”

        1. I suspect the vast majority of us here are much happier talking to people online than off. I know I am.

          Oh, and speaking of you and shiny things, I stumbled across something weird last night that you might appreciate. I don’t know if you’ll find this amusing or creepy, but either way I’m going to inflict it on you:

            1. Told you it was weird. But I figured you weren’t one to see that as a problem. 😉

                1. Call it a hunch. 😛

                  But while I’m utterly unsurprised to learn that you’re so into this sort of thing that you take notes, I am curious about what you’re scribbling over there. And I should probably make a note myself to show you weird stuff like this when I find it.

                    1. So you’re taking notes on plotting, pacing, characterization, etc. in order to become a better writer? Fair enough. And while I’m almost afraid to ask what you’re taking away from CliffSide’s story, I have to congratulate you if you managed to learn something from it. After all, that’s more than Waylon did. 😛

                      As for Inu Yasha, I don’t know the story arc you’re referring to. I saw one or two isolated episodes many moons ago, but I generally don’t follow anime.

            1. Heh. Little of both, maybe. But what parts of it gave you the urge to commit axe-murders?

                1. Fair point about spiders. Cordie is the main reason I figured some would find it creepy, in fact. But according to TVTropes she turned out to be the dark horse of the show; apparently most of the fans love her far more than any of the other characters.

                  As for the double-talking twerp, yeah, he annoys me a bit too. But he does seem to get plenty of comeuppances. Including Cordie’s unwanted affections, which he probably find horrifying.

          1. Does it help to know that I am going “wait, you weren’t born when I joined the Navy, how are you graduating college?”

            1. I was in the gynecologist office and there were two young pregnant women who were there for appointments. I was thinking “wait.. .are you old enough to have children?” lol

                1. Something mom takes offense to, FYI.

                  Every couple of months she hears sis talking about taking away her keys … it does not go well. Mom is 86 …

                  “But mom forgot where she parked.’

                  “Um. I park pretty much in the same area every single time I go to (pick something), or I forget where I parked … and I’m driving the freaking truck!!!!”

                  “Mom doesn’t know where anything is downtown.”

                  “Neither do I. Never have.”

                  I’m not 72 or older (although it is getting too darn close).

                2. Saw something the other day, “Well, 10 years ago…” and I looked at Mike and said, “No way that was 10 years ago! That was like just a couple years ago! Right?!” He laughed at me and then agreed. Sigh. I’m still really trying to come to terms with actually *being* 60.

              1. My teacher mother was having to send at least one 4th grader (actually 6th, they’d flunked a couple of years) off for pregnancy tests a year. That was 30 years ago.

                1. Well, I saw a schoolmate of mine (she was 14 at the time) and had already a child and was pregnant with her second. Family was from Mexico and married her off at 12.

      2. It’s worse than you think. The Redstone test flight in September 1956 was a near-duplicate of the Explorer 1 flight (first American satellite). They may not have had the instrument package that discovered the van Allen radiation belts, but everything else was the same. The fourth stage would have gone into orbit. Eisenhower personally ordered the Army to post guards around the rocket to ensure that Wernher von Braun did not arm the fourth stage rocket motor, so nothing would reach orbit. Von Braun was pissed — he’d spent his whole life building up to an orbital launch — but he knew where his bread was buttered so he went along.

        Why? Eisenhower didn’t explain to the Redstone folks, but he was already thinking ahead to reconnaissance satellites. He WANTED the Russians to launch the first orbital satellite, because then they themselves would have established the principle that satellite overflights of other countries were okay and not grounds for protest. And, in fact, Eisenhower got what he wanted. He just didn’t expect the magnitude of the propaganda coup the Russians achieved by their accomplishment. “Be careful what you wish for.”

        This was all covered up back when spy satellites were deep dark secrets. It’s fairly well documented now that spy satellites are unremarkable historical fact, but it’s not “common knowledge”; you have to look for it. One proof is that Explorer 1 was launched in less than 60 days from a cold start, after the Vanguard failure. You can’t do that unless you have all the design work done and most of the hardware already lying around. The Explorer 1 hardware was basically the flight spares from the September 1956 test.

    4. I’m thinking it was the MIG-25 that had the USAF / DoD in a tizzy as it (they believed) could fly high and fast enough to go after US bombers (and led to the F-15)

      Then they got a look at it and found out the only way it could reach the speeds and altitudes was by having nothing but the pilot in the aircraft. No weapons at all.

    5. My dad had stories of talking to retired Russian army officers and one of them telling him that the MiG could do what was called a ‘cobra’ maneuver. It could almost stall out, flip nose up and bounce on its tail exhaust. As dad pointed out, not very useful in combat. But that was their one-up on American fliers. The other story was of how proud one retired general was to tell him that they’d converted their missile factory into a ski factory. That’s when my dad knew that the Russian military was no real threat (he’d started his Army career on the German-German border playing cat and mouse games with the Soviet army).

      1. The F-14 could shoot straight up like a rocket. The engines generated more thrust than the plane’s weight. It was FAST, and still maneuverable like the F-4 was not. The F-4 was proof-of-concept for ‘You can fly a brick if you put big enough engines on it.’

        1. The F-4s wound up flying a tremendous number of combat missions, most of them in regimes they weren’t designed for. And wound up outlasting several generations of “better” replacements.

        2. It also had the dubious distinction of being the plane that got shot down a lot by silly little MiG-21s, armed with their “useless” guns that the Phantoms didn’t need because missiles had made guns useless.


        3. There’s a scene in GATE where a JSDF F-4 pilot found out the hard way that F-4’s are faster, but dragons are far more maneuverable. He caught a lot of ribbing for getting his plane all scorched up.

          Missiles won’t lock onto a dragon, either. Minimal radar profile, and no hot-spots visible when it’s not actively shooting fire at you.

          1. One would think that the great big wings on the dragon would present a nice, juicy radar profile…

            The F-4 did what it was supposed to do. Missiles were supposed to mean that guns and dogfighting were no longer needed. So a fast, but not very maneuverable, fighter was supposedly called for. Unfortunately, the people who came up with that theory turned out to be very, very wrong. And the result was a subsequent generation of much more maneuverable US fighters, along with Top Gun and Red Flag.

            1. Skin and bones don’t reflect radar, they absorb it. Dragons have natural stealth.

              1. Depends on the dragon.

                Smaug would have made one heck of a radar return; all those gold coins embedded in his skin.

    6. The Soviet space program was a Potemkin Village writ large. And it fell way behind once we got serious about competing with them.

      And then we stopped being serious about it for entirely too many years.


    7. Talking a gander at the captured Soviet-built Iraqi aircraft I was exposed to in Saudi back in ’91 was an – eye opener.

      1. The Soviet planes I saw where a metal-worker’s nightmare. No two rivets were the same size, some had been ‘Snowmanned” (two so close that they overlapped, so no real metal under them), you had flush rivets next to standard rivets . . . I was afraid to get under that plane, for fear it would shed parts on me.

    8. They are still flying the same basic machine that put sputnik in orbit, basically the same system used by the V-2. Pure retro 1950s technology in the Soyuz, and it works pretty much all of the time, hydrogen peroxide driven pumps and all.

    9. My mother’s college class had a vast increase in the number of chemistry majors compared to the one before. They had been told they had to catch up.

    1. The author spent several years in China for one of those American-Chinese collaborations and barely got out when COVID erupted. He has great respect for the Chinese people, but not much for their government. I believe he knows whereof he speaks.

  15. It’s actually funnier than that. The guy they had design their nuclear missiles, Sergei Korolev was a huge spacehead, so instead of a practical nuclear weapons delivery system, he actually designed them an orbital launch vehicle.

    That’s the only reason they were able to put men in orbit first: their lead designer had hijacked their entire ballistic missile program to feed his personal ambitions.

    Then they managed to botch it by killing him on the operating table. He had hemorroids.

      1. Huh. Hemorroids was what I’d heard, but now that I’m looking into it, that could have been an official or unofficial cover story for screwing some other operation up. Right now I’m seeing reports ranging from hemerroids, to heart attacks, to an intenstinal tumor the size of a grapefruit, to gallbladder rupture to who knows what else. Maybe he was caught in flagrent delecto, by a jealous lover, and tripped on his pants and fell on a knife, and this was the less embarrassing story they cooked up to cover it up?* At this point, who knows?

        I… I can’t even… That is such a gloriously Pravda ending to all of this.

        *For the record, I have not seen that speculated anywhere. I am merely pulling it out of a convenient orifice for comedic effect. Whixh, this being the Internet, means in about five years it will be cannon…

  16. And you can’t report any of that, because in a centralized authoritarian regime you’ll be punished for failure, even if it’s not your fault. And you might get accused of doing it on purpose.

    Solzhenitsyn, in The Gulag Archipelago noted people who were sent to the camps for “wrecking”, i.e. having a position of responsibility in an engineering project or production activity and having problems arise. Another common one was “anti-Soviet agitation” which included things like commenting favorably on German equipment and/or training.

    I see no reason to believe China is any different from other totalitarian regimes on that score.

  17. Yesterday, I came across probably the most egregious of this load of bullshit: It claimed we get MOST of our food from China.

    The US is the largest exporter of food in the world. I think, IIRC, more than the next two, and half of the third, after that combined (similar ratios to the number of immigrants we accept–more than the next two and half of the third combined). So even if we really got “most of our food from China” (as risible as that is, let’s go with it for a moment of steel-man argument) and we lost that source, we could more than compensate by simply reducing our exports. However much China exports in total (not just to us), we export more.

    1. On the food side, though, one thing that has been puzzling me. I use Kroger brand heavy cream as the fat in my Keto Chow shakes. I generally buy it by the quart which lasts a couple weeks the way I normally use it. However, lately the local Kroger has been completely out of stock and it has stayed out of stock for something like two weeks. I can shift to other fat sources if I must but I simply note that particular shortage item.

      1. Milk has been going up, too, in Iowa.

        Cheese roughly steady.

        Might be feed chain issues? (Cheese has been somewhat inflated as a norm because of the volatility.)

        1. Okay, because low carb, I buy corn BRAN so I can give corn flavor sans carbs.
          It’s now impossible to find. Apparently it’s going to China. That will be a problem.

        2. I wouldn’t know. I live in CA, land of artificial price supports where Milk costs $3.50/half gallon and gas $4.50/gallon.

        3. Don’t forget that the government has a pile of cheese stored that would rival Mt McKinley from the milk/dairy price support programs. The Cheese Strategic Reserve can be and probably is being tapped to keep that steady.

        1. The same amount of milk is produced every bloody day, whether it gets to the processing dairy and thence to the store or not. So nope, no shortage, but maybe busted logistics.

          I didn’t know you could buy corn bran except as livestock feed.. you might try a country feed store. Or… starting with 1 pound bags (see the PDF for info on that):

          (They have other interesting products, too. No idea what the minimum order is, didn’t see that.)

          Occurs to me that you could make your own … .grow corn (feed corn with big-ass kernels would have the most per ear), harvest while still soft, cut off the kernels and smash all the innards out, then wash, toast, and grind up (blender would work) the shell that remains, which is the bran.

  18. About a year ago, the Director of Radiological Controls gave a presentation that can be summed up as “The shipyard needs to get its shit in one sock and fix boats on time. To support that effort we need to change our culture from slamming on the brakes every time something is wrong to pumping the brakes and working with production and engineering to fix the problem.” As part of that presentation he showed a motivational video from China about their navy with an emphasis on their carrier. Having seen real flight operations, what they had in that video was…off. It reminded me of kids dressing up in their parents’ clothes and acting out grownup things they don’t fully understand.

    Couple that with facts like 100% of China’s shipbuilding capacity is within striking range of the US Navy while none of America’s shipbuilding capacity is within range of the PLAN, that we’ve been sending our spook boat out to that part of the world every year, and that anyone who has been enlisted for more than 15 minutes understands the difference between attending training and internalizing training and I have no fear of a non-nuclear war with China.

    1. I’m rather impressed the thing floats. And moves under its own power, occasionally. In a “huh” kind of way. Sort of like a boat made of aluminum cans. Impressed that they did it at all, not in any way that it is a proper warship with a proper, trained crew.

      I’m more worried over slippage in military standards in our own forces, to be honest. We’ve had problems in the past and overcame them. We will again. But the doing of it is going to suck. Mightily.

      1. Oh, we’re at the beginning of the times of suckage. If we’re lucky they’ll be done in forty or fifty years. which is brief, by historical standards.

        1. Yep. Millenials, Gen Z are going to have a rough time of it. I believe we owe those that will live on an honest effort to save as much as we can, and to give them truth despite all the liars that profit from it.

          The idea of a free people took hundreds, thousands of years to finally come about. It has shocked the world pretty badly since. May it continue to do so, until all are free.

      2. Meh, at this point they’re still copying a Russian design. Say what you will, but the Russians could at least design ships that floated. Until they ran into Japanese warships.

  19. I dislike the focus on the Chinese because it distracts how our politicians, bureaucrats and big business CEOs weaponized COVID and used it on us.

  20. It does amaze me how easily a large portion of Americans accept Russian and Chinese propaganda at face value. I always made it a point in my comparative politics classes to have students explain their thought processes behind such acceptance. Then I would ask why they assume that American values hold elsewhere. Then I asked why they disbelieved American media, but believed Chinese media…and we went from there. I always had fun in those classes because I got to see the light come on for many of them, and the ones that wanted nothing more than to fight with me usually dropped the class after that. Win-win!

    1. Gell-Mann amnesia? It’s one of the reasons I stopped reading the papers or watching the news since it took more effort to pull the truth out of them than that truth was worth.

    2. Some folks are so honest that they have trouble understanding that others enjoy profiting by lying.

      Some folks are incredibly dishonest, figure everyone is lying, and calculate which statements they want to pretend to think are true.

      Both models probably explain parts of the American behavior.

      1. I’m going with both Gell-Mann amnesia and Bob’s “so honest” and “incredibly dishonest”. But I think there are fewer of the incredibly dishonest than the G-M and so honest. As cynical as I am, I have come to realize that the majority of people default to G-M for their sanity’s sake (some part of them is saying that if they use the critical eye on *everything* as they do on areas they know, they’ll become a tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist). And thinking about it, I don’t know that “so honest” is really it, or rather that while they’ve likely run into a narcissist in their time, they simply cannot apply the lessons learned outside of the context in which they were learned. Thus, they still believe the other stories in the newspaper.

          1. There exist reports that both his parents were CIA. I have no idea if accurate or not, but might explain some of the apparent tinfoilery.

            1. I heard him say something about it– but he was cagey about which alphabet soup. Plus uncles and others close to him in his childhood were involved in these games as well.

              1. Don’t pay enough attention to him to have heard that (he can be a really good reporter when he wants, but most of the time his style makes my ears bleed, and I rapidly tire of sifting out bullshit) but I’ll take that as a confirm. What I’ve seen had some photos and timeline-fits type circumstantial evidence, not really proof but apparently not denied either, and not from a nutjob. (Pretty sure I saved it, somewhere…)

                Just went looking for whatever-I’d-found and it’s nowhere to be seen, results being dominated by an overwhelming volume of crackpot-illuminati theories.

        1. Thing is, what other cultures interpret as loud is sometimes us being both outspoken and freakishly honest by their standards.

          Some places, I could look at your surname, or listen to your accent, and have a good, or good enough, idea of whether you wanted to kill me or not.

          Here, in America, we have a lot of people, very strange, very different people. If you do not say it explicitly, I do not know. Little bit of a challenge.

          Thus, Americans have developed the culture of saying so, outright. Also, I heard somewhere than smiling, in American body language, means ‘at this time I do not intend to kill you’. We smile a lot, and it freaks out the Europeans, who use it to mean something else. Much less the issues with some of the mid east cultures, who apparently use it to mean ‘have sexual intercourse with me’.

          ‘So honest’ was meant as a cultural comparison to Russia and China, especially after the USSR and the PRC coerced so many people into extreme habits of lying. Okay, American politicians are mostly lying sons of bitches (except for the daughters), but modern Russians go some very weird places when they try to parse Americans. And the way characters in Chinese webnovels parse other characters when those characters lie or speak truth is a bit informative. Okay, also to mid east, and many other cultures, but…

          CRT is a similar flavor of paranoid in some ways to the Chinese web novel flavor. You can function at that level of paranoid about whether others are lying if you have an in group, and think screwing over everyone outside of that group is reasonable.

          My assumptions about what it takes to function in American society are a bit incompatible with that. I figure I have to only say things I think are true (except in rare cases where everyone will get the literal joke), and that I should assume others speak truly, unless I have had time to figure out their tendency to lie.

          So, if I thought exterminating American blacks was a good goal, I would say so, or at least not deny that I thought so. (This may have been obvious during the time when I was pretty confused because of my anger at the CRT, and letting myself believe that they spoke for American blacks. I got my head sorted out again, and I again say that I don’t think it is a good goal.) I assume that the people who have not been shown to be liars, and who do not endorse murdering American blacks likewise do not want blacks murdered. I also assume that the people who endorse murdering American blacks are sincere in that, and have something wrong with their thinking.

          I may have badly misread American culture, but that was my reasoning.

          1. “‘So honest’ was meant as a cultural comparison to Russia and China, especially after the USSR and the PRC coerced so many people into extreme habits of lying. Okay, American politicians are mostly lying sons of bitches (except for the daughters), but modern Russians go some very weird places when they try to parse Americans. And the way characters in Chinese webnovels parse other characters when those characters lie or speak truth is a bit informative. Okay, also to mid east, and many other cultures, but…”

            Okay, gotta admit this made me laugh. Because it is true. The assumptions that get tossed out there when other cultures try to “get” Americans are… well, they’re quite interesting. And false, mostly. But interesting. Even the English, Lord bless ’em, they go a bit wonky on things sometimes. And don’t get me started on Vietnam or Japan… Japan-weird is practically a meme. South Korea had some odd misconceptions, too, when their military and ours got together at the DMZ some decades back.

            My anthropological training tended mostly towards the physical, hard science side, but I did take enough classes in the sociological/cultural side to get the idea that different cultures are, shocker, *different.* Subsequent real world interaction only backed this up.

            The wonderful, crazy internet allows us to experience other cultures at a remove- but we don’t have to leave our comfortable, safe bubble if we don’t want to. Most people don’t. This is a human universal, not a cultural thing- people who want to actually confront their own ignorance are rare. The continued existence of that trait leads me to believe that it is also necessary for cultures to survive. And that’s a rabbit hole best left for another time, I think…

            1. There are almost certainly things that we are not being scrupulously honest about, perhaps even that other cultures can legitimately analyze and show are lies.

              But the other cultural takes on American culture that I have seen have been as weirdly wrong as the American cultural takes on other cultures apparently are. And that is speaking as someone getting a lot of my better information on other cultures from other Americans. So, I haven’t gotten any real information about those other cultures, I’ve just seemed to do better analysis than other Americans bother with. (Of course, this is checking my own work, so I could be wrong about how well I have done.)

              Doing an actual good job seems to be pretty seriously hard.

              I’m hobbyist in that, as in so many other things, and it is probably safe to assume I am wildly overconfident in everything but the few things I’m actually trained in. (Even those, I could stand to be more humble in all the areas where I do not have experience, plus some skill verifiable by others. Seriously, the better trained I get, or the more experience I get, the more I realize that my previous skill levels were not as good as I thought they were. If I had less freakish luck, I could have hurt some people very badly. Seriously, just the actual near fatal incidents, or things I should not have done, still have me reflecting on my short comings some times.)

              And I probably need to shut the hell up. I think I’ve forgotten to have lunch. Would explain the maudlin aspects of my current state of mind.

              1. A good idea. I… may have forgotten to eat today, too.

                My training and my job involved dealing with other cultures, once upon a time, so I’ve some small bit of experience. But a careful amateur could very well discern a truth I’ve misidentified. I make no claims of being an expert, and may often sound more sure than I am. Perhaps food would be a good idea, indeed. *chuckle*

          2. Yes, we do have a high trust culture. It’s not that we don’t believe government is not corrupt, it’s that we trust that the corrupt will be brought to justice eventually. In terms of society at large, we do not start out assuming that everybody and their brother is out to get us before we’ve even met them. Other cultures do have some interesting ideas as to how we function and react. And other governments, steeped in those cultures often don’t expect us to react the way we do (forex, Yamamoto…don’t wake the sleeping tiger). Those governments take quiescence for weakness. We’re more of a you leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone type of culture. But we will help if asked, just don’t expect us to change our way of doing things if you do ask.

            American Progressives have also mistaken their own culture. They decry the idea of American exceptionalism as ethnocentric, but at the same time, they use it as the basis for their reasoning that they, American Progressives, have all the answers and can and should fix the rest of the world’s problems, and fix them better than locals can. And, not only that, the rest of the world *wants* them to.

            1. Yeah, I’ve been looking at Walter Russell Meade’s four tribes lately.

              First, I concluded that each of them was wrong in some way.

              Then, I concluded that all four of them were wrong in ways that result from American culture, and which have a same root cause as all of our wrong understandings of other cultures.

              Of course, I’m much too crazy to assemble an alternative basis for foreign policy that is anywhere near sane.

              I think the progressives being wrong is probably annoying for a lot of the aliens. I rather suspect that we are all wrong, all annoy the aliens, and many of them would be happier to have more distance from us.

              I can’t help but think that other cultures are different, and feel that we would all be happier if we just left each other alone. Apparently isn’t going to happen, and my answers to that are not useful.

              That ‘we should shout at them’ ‘after we get our own act together again’ thing, is probably by far the most reasonable of my foreign policy thoughts. Try to be from an alien population, and understand why that statement could be true. 🙂

            2. At this point I keep thinking what do I have to do to get American Progressives to leave me alone.

              1. Keep in mind, even where Bob is correct, he may also be nuts.

                I’ve had some interesting difficulties in my life experiences, and I started out, as a kid, a bloody minded fanatic.

                Sometimes my extreme statements are informed mostly by personal unhappiness, and desperation.

                It is possible to life a happy life in a difficult circumstance.

                We not need a theoretical model of a solution, before we can solve a problem.

                We are very angry now, and the harsh measures are a bit attractive because of that.

                We Americans are, in fact, going to fix this.

                You and I can start the next step right now, just by trying to know the truth, and to speak it.

                Our adversaries really are of lies. Probably both in the religious and purely secular senses.

                Right now, the enemy disinformation has magnified the appearance or sound of certain vicious idiots all out of proportion with the reality of those vicious idiots. Some of these idiots became vicious because of studying past vicious stupidity, and seeing it out of proportion with the actual reality. One of the ways we fight them is by refusing to learn the viciousness set by their example.

                Okay, sure, I am a very angry person, and at times take pride in having a brutal mindset. I still do not need to be spending my time mirroring the opposition in everything.

        2. We live in a high-trust society. Honest is the default setting.

          Tho the needle is being slowly turned to the other end of the dial.

        3. There’s and old rule of thumb from the web’s early days: 10% of the people give you 90% of your problems.

          I think that’s a pretty decent starting point for the super liars vs the G/M and high honesty.

          Actually saw it play out in Eve Online. For the first few months, 0.0 space was a cooperative anarchy. Everyone was mining like nuts, wanted to get rich and didn’t want to get eaten by rats, so things were fine.

          Then a group of people figured that was dull so they got cheap ships and just started killing everything in sight. From there, nation/tribes formed. (Complete with city council/HOA meetings. It was uncanny.)

        4. Thomas Sowell had a line to the effect that good people don’t understand just how bad some people can be and how dangerous it is to trust them. For myself, I’ve cut way back on the information flow because it was making me nuts.

          What gets me though is how many of the conspiracy theories turned out to be true.

          1. One of my sisters is like that. She really has trouble comprehending malice from other people.

        5. Decades ago I had a coworker who was astonishingly sweet-tempered…and naive. There was a news scandal – it may have been the exploding Pinto story – and he was bewildered by it. I suggested to him the network had, ahem, “exaggerated,” the problem and he looked at me in horror. “But that would mean they lied to us! They’d never LIE to us!”
          I’ve wondered ever since how many other people are like him.

          1. Your coworker sounds like an associate of mine who didn’t believe me when I warned her about a civil war in a country she was going to. “But [my destination] is at the other end of the country. It’s safe.”

  21. Anybody that believes PRC propaganda probably was also believing USSR propaganda to justify “throwing in the towel and letting the ‘right people’ run things.”

    I grew up on the end of Soviet-era propaganda and even then I knew it was all lies. One of my Junior High teachers knew enough to get off “the beaten path” in Russia and he pointed out a lot of what Heinlein noted years earlier. There was no way the Soviet Union could have the claimed production levels with the infrastructure they had.

    China? I’ve had friends go there and the stories of what they’ve found if they get far enough off the beaten path will put paid to any ideas that the PRC is “well run.” And, if the scandals that do get out are just the tip of the iceberg, it’s a big iceberg…

    Yet, people will believe this, because the lies are coherent and have structure, unlike messy and chaotic reality.

    1. New Soviet Man is our physical and moral superior, and it is pointless to fight him.

      Chinese martial cultivation makes them our physical and more superiors, and it is pointless for us to fight them.


      Fight anyone who pushes things to violence. Even if you are sure to lose, and to die painfully.

      Anyone who says that it is impossible to fight them, foolish to fight them, or immoral to fight them is wrong, unless they do not push things to violence. If they do not push things to the brink, it can be appropriate to refrain from bringing the fight to them.

      Perhaps peace is even possible.

      There are people who betray the norms underlying peace, who refuse the restraint that underlies agreement, and it is wrong to extend to them the benefits of the agreement.

      It is wrong to meekly get into the car with someone who threatens you with a knife, they violate the norms of society, and extending them the norm of trust in return is wrong.

      It is wrong to meekly accept an ’emergency policy’, that in panic or sheer stupidity is not consistently designed to meet the nominal goal.

      It is wrong to sit waiting for the death camp, after a would be mass murderer is frauded in, because ‘muh principles’, ‘democratic norms’, or ‘precedent’. In frauding in someone who can’t at least be trusted not to murder a chunk of the population, they violate republican norms, and republican norms do not then compel inaction.

      If a communist government cannot avoid waging war against a free country, it is immoral not to return the favor and wage war in return. Even if that war is waged to the very end, and at every cost.

      1. The founders understood this. That’s why the right to own and bear weapons was not to be infringed- the right to defend oneself against violent aggression was assumed to be implicit, so much so that they didn’t think they needed to say “you can fight back if attacked.” Even against their own government.

        To empower the wicked by not fighting back is itself an immoral act.

        1. In fairness to some of the points of disagreement with where I go with it, I am a little bit extreme, and may have rushed past important sticking points in my rush to reach an actionable opinion.

  22. > But in the end it is they who are weak, because all their streams of information are corrupt.

    “…the worst part of being a thief isn’t that nobody trusts you, it’s that you can’t trust anybody else.”
    — Foxfier, 03/02/2020

      1. All the best stuff is stolen. Many times stolen, in some cases. Good ideas tend to come back around.

        Of course, the bad ones do, too. Unfortunately.

      2. Reminds me of this scene:

        The “what do you have to do to get people to TRUST you” part specifically. 😀

        1. Amusing that one of the recommended videos that comes up as a thumbnail at the end is the “never talk to the police” video. 😀

  23. Mrs Hoyt has hit an essential nail on its head.

    The CCP understands very well Sun Tzu. “When weak, appear strong. When strong, appear weak.”

    However, the latter case, loses Face, and That Must Not Happen.

  24. OK, this is off topic, but I’ve recently been made aware of one of the ways the junta youth live in a separate reality. A recent discussion on my company’s internal social media brought to light that universities mostly require internships for some required coursework. From what data I’ve collected so far, internships in engineering firms tend to be paid, but internships in media and politics tend to be unpaid especially in places with high costs of living like DC and NYC. Guess who can afford those? No wonder America is a foreign country to people in the federal government and news media.

    1. Yeah, setting up an unpaid internship in engineering is actually sometimes considered dubious. The value of the work done by the interns is actually pretty small, but you develop that student, and maybe learn some things about goodness of fit. A summer or two with an intern is a smaller risk than hiring an engineer out of school. And sometimes the business and the faculty have enough of a relationship that the business knows that the faculty is teaching some of the specific skills they want to borrow. Faculty who are teaching actually valuable engineering skills, may want students to earn money on internship during the summer to pay for classes. They do not only think in terms of scholarships or loans.

      Media and political internships, the fundamental economics of the business are bad, so less support for interns. Sometimes the economics are even so bad that they actually need what ‘interns’ do for them, and can’t afford to pay them. Okay, some of the politicians are creeps who want interns because they are more ignorant and vulnerable than people who have just graduated with a humanities degree.

      From sources I have information about a number of interesting advertisements for unpaid internships with left wing political organizations in recent years. (but not this year or last year.)

      Anyway, the public schools pushed ‘university for everyone’, and a lot of students were gullible enough to go along. Universities are happy to charge for tuition, and to not be ‘discriminatory’*. As a result, people with college degrees and no strong motivation for what they intend to do with them have been a bit of a glut on the market.

      Employers are looking fairly blindly for people with credentials, and people with credentials are looking fairly blindly for employers.

      Internships can address that for some situations, so the universities decided to push internships hard for everyone, because then the problems are not their fault.

      We have a problem of a bunch of useless degree programs, before considering the fields that are completely lunatic. Of course, central control restricting the useless program would also be pretty destructive. I have no useful answers.

      *I kinda like universities being widely accessible. The administrators would definitely be making terrible choices if they saw themselves more strongly as gatekeepers carefully curating things.

    2. It’s been that way for a long time. I have a journalism degree (among other things) but couldn’t afford to take yet another unpaid or half-paid internship, let alone a 50-hour-a-week job for $15K and no reimbursement for gas. One of my classmates (who spoke four languages and freelanced for years) scored a CNN internship, but had to live with five other people in a 2-bedroom apartment in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Anderson Cooper was rising in the ranks. (Cooper was a frequent topic of discussion in media ethics because of Channel One’s “captive audience” for Nike ads despite kid and his faked credentials; try finding that information now on Wikipedia or online!)

      1. I’m so sorry my generation allowed this whole university/industrial complex scam to rip off so many kids. It’s truly criminal how universities with the assistance and encouragement of the government have crippled a generation with debt for a product designed to destroy their lives and allow scam artists (the whole absurd layer of administrative bureaucrats) to get rich making everyone’s life miserable.

  25. Curious and interesting. Yesterday’s word was Arrogant. And today, we speak of China. History of and current trends which I’ve been mining for story fodder (the refugees story). Silly CCP propaganda pops up, obviously false on the face of it. The CCP government just happens to be a proper example of arrogance in how they deal with their neighbors and people they trade with.

    This consanguinity- or seeming so- has been popping up rather more often of late. Or perhaps I’m just seeing patterns where no causal links actually exist. It’s possible.

  26. I don’t get out much, social-media wise. The only “their macho army rules /our rainbow soy army drools” memes I’ve seen are about Russia. ***waves hand in the air*** maaaayybe… The Russians are mostly headed in the right direction, and we’re mostly not. But we still have a ways to fall, and they have centuries of ground to recover. More importantly, it’s a goad to the SJWs who’ve recently discovered we’ve always been at odds with eastasia Russia, so top kek. No-one expects the Russians to care, one way or another.

    I have seen “our army is so useless even the Chinese can beat it” memes, which, again. Maybe? Even after all the purges are done, the Bidenreich and the AINO congressminks* still hate our own military’s guts and want to hurt it, while the CCP is the opposite, but cannot admit they’re military is hurting or failing.

    It’s a tossup.

    I guess the question is whether or not the memes Mrs. Hoyt is seeing demoralize team America and prop up the paper tiger in our imaginations. If so: Yeah. Don’t do that.

    *apologies to the mink.

      1. ***scratches head*** Why should Russia not be Russia? Or Japan or Finland or France… ?

        I don’t want to be Russian, Jap, Finn , or French, myself, but it’s not a *vice*

        Russia has a lot to overcome, but recovering themselves as Russians (not Comintern) and Christians is on the right track.

        I wish them well. They’re not us, but that’s fine.

    1. Russian culture seems to be the exact opposite of American culture in terms of stupidly tolerating destructive tyranny.

      I recently lost a few points of SAN recently due to this, reading Daybreak on Hyperion over on Royal Road.

      Basically, an original ZnT knockoff, gender flipped. MC is a Japanese-Russian boy who gets summoned into the body of an Isekai Russian girl. (There’s some shenanigans involving reincarnation and magical aging up from the zygote/fetus.) Author has been working on it for years, and apparently has a lot of issues understanding how to connect with certain audiences.

      Anyway, back before I noped out, I read some of the author’s comments about development process, editing changes, etc.

      One of the things they were proud of is being complemented by Russians for getting the MC right, when the MC decided to stay with a difficult known situation instead of risking things to try an unknown situation.

      The Russians are not going in the right direction. They are very likely going to sit on their rear, and tolerate scheming tyrant leaders doing stupidly destructive things, because their tyrants are at least not foreign, and the foreigners are ‘much more dangerous’. If you meet a Russian who has immigrated to the US, you are probably dealing with a very introspective and thoughtful Russian, at least where the differences between Russian culture and American culture are concerned.

      It might be insane to conclude that the only improvement in Russia that can occur is by the Americans exterminating the Russians.

      Yes, the information warfare environment is very active, and once we filter out that we are left with pretty near nothing. The Russians have had a lot of time to get their act together since 1992. They have not. If they had a healthy society, that was moving in a healthy direction, they would not have internal pressures to satisfy with their current degree of foreign adventuring.

        1. Like the female Russian official screaming at a group of toddlers/small children being adopted, “You should not be leaving! You should stay here and suffer like the rest of us!”
          (Witnessed by the American adoptive father of one of the kids).

      1. It might be insane to conclude that the only improvement in Russia that can occur is by the Americans exterminating the Russians.

        As well say that the only improvement in China is for us to exterminate the Chinese. Or in Africa, the Africans. Or for them to exterminate the USAians. If a healthy society is the benchmark, we are all of us on Earth screwed.

        I say the only improvement is for us to share the gospel message such that the Spirit of Love and Truth changes their hearts. So that the long, slow, bloody changes neccesitated by the stubborn human self- and other-destructiveness can take place to free the winged glory of humanity.

        Russia is on the right track. Based on their history they’ll probably be derailed. But maybe not. Deo Volente.

        1. As well say that the only improvement in China is for us to exterminate the Chinese. Or in Africa, the Africans.

          This is actually a viable strategy for the previous state of the foreign policy meta. If you want to exterminate one population, you are open to being called racist. If you want to exterminate all of the foreign populations, you are definitely crazy, but anyone who says that it is racist is impeaching their own credibility.

          And as a practical matter, a lot of populations may exterminate themselves part way, but the only way to finish the job is if someone else does it. If you look at groups large enough for xenocide to be almost possible, but small enough not to be a majority of humanity, the US population looks like the best bet.

          Okay, realistically, the US population isn’t interested, so it won’t happen. But it is still a fun and effective way to test the rest of people advocating remedies for AGW.

          And, while possibly also true of China and Africa, there are non-American countries that it is not true of.

          Russia is on the right track.

          Haha. No.

          A despot ruled nation is not on the right track when the despot is having people murdered. It is not on the right track when its despot is having its nationals murdered overseas. It is not on the right track when it its despot is murdering other nationals overseas.

          In a despot ruled country that is on the right track, the despot feels secure enough that the cost of carrying out murders is outweighed by the cost in ticking off other countries.

          The pattern of murders that Putin has made into a spectacle impeaches the argument that Russia is on the right track.

          Okay, congress is hypocritical to apply the magnitsky act to other governments, and not to itself. Okay, the federal government is a bunch of scumbags that would absolutely unjustly persecute a hypothetical innocent Russian despot. Putin’s handling of that matter is not how an innocent man would act, even if we accept the argument that Bill Browder is a liar and a fraud. And I’m pretty suspicious of the guy on Redstate who was persuaded that Bill Browder was a liar and a fraud. I think the guy on Redstate was probably played by Russian security services.

          1. . If you want to exterminate one population, you are open to being called racist. If you want to exterminate all of the foreign populations, you are definitely crazy, but anyone who says that it is racist is impeaching their own credibility

            Yes. I noticed this. One of the reasons I do not worship that tart Sancta Racisma.

            I do not dispute that Mr. Putin is a tyrannical despot. He is a better caliber of same than all the ones previously for a very long time. I am comparing Russia not to any other country, but to herself in the past. Nor am I claiming that this monstrous man means any good to the other countries of the world. Even so, I hope Russia gets better.

            I hope the same for China, but her case seems even worse and even less likely.

          2. Russia no longer has lines around the block for basic commodities. Russia now has supermarkets. Russians now commonly have cars. Russia has a convertible (if low-value) currency. Russia is on the right path, it’s just taking longer than we would like, and maybe it won’t ever get where we would like.

          3. I suppose for that argument–they’re on the right track for Russia–I’d agree. If that’s “Putin is actually trying to resurrect the tsarship (tsarism? I dunno) and place himself as Tsar, and this time around they’re mostly avoiding serfs on a large scale” then…yeah. Still not great in terms of human rights and individual freedoms, but they only way Russia is going to get that is for the majority of actual Russians to do what the USAians did and stand up and take those rights and freedoms and declare them to be natural and not granted by anyone other than God.

  27. Where I am, carp are considered ‘trash fish’, and are usually thrown back. They’re an invasive species that the anglers hate, but they’re too well established to exterminate.

    1. Down in the Czech part of Texas, carp are caught with great glee and canned (and pickled). This makes them edible, and are a regional holiday favorite.

      1. I swear, Eastern Europeans (and apparently their descendants) will pickle ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

        I mean, I once ate pickled watermelon. NOT pickled watermelon rind, which I am told is a thing they do in the South here (another group that will pickle almost anything that stands still long enough and is mostly edible). But actual. Pickled. Watermelon.

        It was extremely weird. Also impressive, given that watermelon is mostly water to begin with, so pickling and still having anything resembling fruit bits has GOT to be tricky.

  28. > Simak’s They Walked Like Men

    That, and “Way Station”, and the short story, “Goodnight, Mr. James” are Simak’s best.

  29. Haiti’s president has been assassinated, Cubans are protesting in the streets and something seems to be happening in South Africa.

    Interesting times indeed.

    1. “It’s like 1959 all over again!”

      Back then, most of the turmoil in the Caribbean and Africa was due to Soviet agitators.

    2. Former president Jacob Zuma got convicted and imprisoned for corruption*, and now his supporters (aka tribesmen) are rioting.

      * (I gather on good grounds, but being a tribal society, probably no more grounds than would be found against the current or any prior president, Nelson Mandela personally possibly excepted (i.e. not his massively corrupt wife Winnie).)

      1. Not convicted of corruption (yet). Convicted of contempt of court for failure to appear in court for the corruption trial.

        At least ten of the dead were killed in a stampede during the looting of a mall.

        (I MAY have spent four hours or so this morning reading a bunch of press coverage on this and the Haiti thing and various other things, including PRC “fishing boat” sewage dumps in the South China Sea.)

        The Haiti thing amuses me greatly. Dude flies into Haiti accompanied by some security goons “for his own protection while doing business in the country.” Which totally makes sense, because Haiti. Except then he brings in more goons (from a country that doesn’t even speak the language. Like, at least get some mercs from an African Francophone country or something) because he’s decided that if he murders the President and takes over, people will just go along with it, and he’ll be golden. Clearly, nobody in Haiti will care.

        1. Holy crap. I haven’t been following beyond the initial “Haiti’s president was assassinated in his home” report. Is that what happened? Some random wannabe evil overlord decide this was a Thing that would Work?!?!

        1. That would be reason enough to not go down the doomer-blackpill path.

          Even in our screwed up state the rest of the world still looks up to us. If someone can see that and still think it needs to be destroyed, then that person is trash.

  30. Once in awhile (not frequently, which is good for my sanity) I run into similar sentiments re: Russia and Putin from generally conservative folks who are not very interested in, or knowledgeable of, the reality of life in places like Russia. Usually I get to hear this when my Russian accent is recognized as such.

    ‘But Putin puts Russia first!’

    Erm… Dude… No, he really doesn’t. He is essentially a small time crook and bully who, through a fortuitous confluence of events, has been allowed to grow into a world-class turd. Yes, now we can even smell him from across the ocean. No, this isn’t good even for Russia, much less anybody else. The only thing he puts first is his personal power.

    ‘But he is promoting religious conservatism in Russia!’

    Again… Dude… No. The dominant Russian church – the Russian Orthodox – has not been a religious denomination in a way recognizable by American Christians ever since Peter I remade it into one more department of his government in the mid-18 century. It had a brief period of freedom immediately after the revolution (not the Bolshevik coup — the revolution the Bolsheviks overthrew), and then, after a brief but intense period of active persecution, Communists realized its value to the regime and fully coopted it to serve them. Putin is doing the exact same thing, by means perfected by his tutors in KGB.

    Sadly, the typical reaction to me saying things like this has often been a (more or less openly voiced) suspicion that I am some kind of a leftist pretending to be a reasonable person. I guess my persuasion skills in English are still lacking…

    1. You watch Star Trek: Deep Space 9?

      I’ve gotten some folks to get off the Putin worship by describing him as a Russian Garak. (He’s probably closer to Enabran Tain, but even geeks often don’t know “Garak’s father.”)

      1. Watched it for awhile a long time ago. Forgot most of the characters’ names, unfortunately. Might try it on the next Putin admirer, though. 🙂

      2. That actually works? Given the amount of love for Garak that exists, I’d think that would make people like Putin MORE.

        1. As best I can tell, it works *because* Garak is such a hoot.

          ….as I’ve said, anyone sane would SHOOT HIM, like yesterday, that might be fast enough.

          But drawing the connection makes it OK to laugh at shirtless-putin-on-a-bear memes, but still recognize the whole evil thing.

          1. Yes. Mark of a well-written character (Garak, that is, not Putin 😀 )

            I mean, let’s face it: anyone sane would shoot Miles Vorkosigan in real life, too, and not let him near any jobs bigger than, say, retail 😀 (And he would inevitably end up as owner of the retail chain, and exhaust everyone who came into contact with him.)

          2. Although most days, Putin seems to be a Bond Villain who inexplicably is existing in reality, and most people haven’t noticed. Or noticed, but can’t quite believe it.

            1. Akshully, at least in some of the novels, Fleming knew that the communists were evil, and some of what they got up to.

              1. Honestly, I was thinking more of the movie villains, and specifically the WTF flamboyance. Haven’t actually read the books (not particularly fond of the movies, but I have seen a few.) 😀

                1. I remember reading Diamonds Are Forever and wondering, What happened to the laser satellite?

                  1. Well, in the movie, they actually showed James and Tiffany looking up at it from the cruise ship (just before the Bombe Surprise) and basically it was left in orbit.

                    1. No, no, I mean there WAS no laser satellite in the book. It was all about diamond smuggling and organized crime, not a Bond SuperVillain™.

    2. Hobbit may be the sort of person who would, in a US context, mistake implementing a state run church (and coercing support and attendance) with actually growing the faith.

      Conservative is a very wide category, all of those who are not members in good standing of the church of the left. There is much deep and fundamental disagreement within the category of conservative.

      Some people have ‘conservative principles’ that are exactly in line with the crud Putin is apparently pulling. Some of these are very fast to call everyone who vocally disagrees with them a leftist.

      Funny thing, on those last two points, I really should not be throwing stones. 🙂 Because of the conservatives I’ve called leftist, and because of how crazy some of my policy preferences are.

  31. I got totally laughed at in business school for predicting the Dot Com collapse. Tried to convince friends to stick with stocks from real companies with real products.
    Oh well… they took chances andmy military retirement is still secure… so far

  32. I’m more worried about our internal divisions than I am about China. Americans could destroy the U.S. and I don’t want to see that happen.

  33. Dang, Sarah! Even all tired and “homeless” and stuff you beat the stuffin’ out of the [commie] bloc-heads!!!!!!

    I am so thankful to God that you chose America!!!!!!

  34. I think of scouring like the Scouring of the Shire or scrubbing the sink with Comet. It’s getting rid of a very thin layer of scum to get to the good layer below.

    1. Then scouring the U.S. government wouldn’t work. It’s scum most of the way down. It’s like a cast iron sewer pipe — after a few decades marinating in sewage, there’s not much left but rust and crud.

Comments are closed.