Monsters of the Id

Normal human beings don’t aspire to power. Or I should say, normal human beings don’t aspire to power over everything and everyone.

Oh, it’s fairly normal in kids.

I know it will shock you, but I wanted to control the way other kids played with my toys (to some point, because thanks to several relatives abroad I had better toys than run of the mill in the village, and they had a way of ending up broken when other kids played with them) so I would enforce “the one correct way to play.” Weirdly — ah — I didn’t have many friends till I got over that, which was when I realized it was just too much work to control everyone and make them do things my way and also that wild fun ensued when I didn’t. I was, I think, about three years old. And this was with very few opportunities to play with other kids, since I was — BY FAR — the youngest in the family and sickly to boot in a society that hadn’t yet internalized antibiotics, (by which I mean the main way to combat illness was isolation.)

So how is it even possible to get to be an adult and want to be a totalitarian dictator who wants to control EVERYTHING: what people see and do, and think and– everything.

Honestly, I think it comes from fear.

The reason infants and children try to control everything is that they can’t separate themselves from what’s around them, psychologically. They want to control everything so that they can’t be suckerpunched by what feels like other parts of themselves. They feel like they should control all that so it never happens.

And adults who want to control everything have the same problem to some extent. It’s both an immense arrogance of thinking they know how everything should be done/turn out, and a terrible fear of something out there that will turn and bite them. The arrogance comes from insufficiently separating from their environment. (There’s a word for this, but I’m not being scientific, here.) And the fear mostly comes because their best laid plans backfire, and people don’t do what they’re told reeeeeee. This is mostly, btw, because unlike the image in the head of these deranged idiots, people aren’t widgets or chess pieces to be moved around at will and the more you try to control them, the more they rebel.

Because it’s impossible for anyone to control everything or even be aware of everything, what the person who tries to control everything — be it a family or a group or a company or a country (and more so with the size increases — gets is lied to. Repeatedly. So they think they’re in control, when in fact people are just doing whatever and trying to survive. In the case of countries, trying to survive around increasingly crazy rules and ideas.

Look, this is brought to mind because as highlighted by Razor Fist, Fauci had fears that AIDS was transmitted by air and aerosol back in the eighties, and contemplated masks as a solution.

I think airborne disease is Fauci’s own particular mental demon, and at some point — probably long before he studied any science — he calmed himself with the idea that airborne disease could be combated with masks, and that would make all safe. Kind of like my obsessive fear of wolves (partly due to mom’s doing “voices” when telling the story of Little Red Riding Hood) was calmed at about age 3 by convincing myself that wolves couldn’t climb stairs. By the time I realized that was nonsense, I was safely past the point of fearing wolves picking locks and coming into the house at night.

Now, if by some strange series of events — and note I really don’t want that kind of power — I found myself in charge of animal control in the entire country, and there were some kind of animal attack going on, it would be completely possible for me, in a panic to default to stairs as a solution, and order that all humans should live atop a flight of stairs.

Sounds crazy? Well….

Every authoritarian and totalitarian leader we know of had some kind of bizarre panic fear, which he imposed on those poor people he chanced to rule. Don’t believe me? read their biographies. I mean Hitler’s is perhaps the best known, but every one of them, great and small suffered from something that both drove them to rule and made aspects of their rule bizarro-insane and the kind no human being would ever consider.

And that ladies and gentlemen is the main reason for distributed rule. As we found in 2020 and arguably part of this year, that distributed rule is already fatally wounded, so that a minor and rather insane bureaucrat who has failed at his stated mission every single time can control the entire nation, put us all under house arrest and make us use face diapers. Because HE is morbidly afraid of airborn diseases and his childish brain is sure masks are the solution.

In the same way, I’d bet you a lot of people in the supreme court fear “riots” and therefore sold the country up the river to avoid that.

We all have monsters of the Id. Mine is actually — no longer — wolves. And no, you’re not entitled to know what it is.

But my monsters of the id affect no one but me. I will spin out of control when I encounter them, but mostly those who live with me get subjected to a storm of shouting and tears. I neither want nor would accept total control of anything. Not even my family. The boys are perfectly able to fend for themselves, and so is my husband. We rarely disagree on direction to go, but when we do we discuss it like rational human beings.

I don’t want to live others lives for them, because they don’t need my fears, and heaven knows I don’t need theirs.

We must, with all possible alacrity, return to distributed rule in all aspects. Not just by curtailing elected official, but by clipping the wings of non-elected bureaucrats.

Because otherwise the end is death and insanity. Or insanity and death. First one, then the other.

Humans are social apes. We stay sane by reality checking each other. And there is no one so healthy that they can remain sane while allowed to run roughshod over everyone else and treat everyone else like things to be moved about and disposed of.

Freedom. Liberty. Being left alone.

No more centralized rule; no more faceless bureaucracy.

No Mas Comunismo.

273 thoughts on “Monsters of the Id

  1. As my wife used to say fear drives out love and love drives out fear. They can’t coexist.

  2. Hmmm. I’d be willing to bet your monsters of the id look a lot like demonic Gestapo wearing human masks; that will descend upon your home in the middle of the night, or some place where you’re isolated and vulnerable, and haul you away to torture forever.

    Room 101, was one of the scariest things George Orwell appropriated for his 1984 novel.

  3. My daughter rather agrees with Kurt Schlichter – that the people running around with their hair on fire regarding the Commie Crud are actually enjoying the excitement and the power. Governors like Gruesome Newsome, and Gretchen the Governator are positively getting chills down their spines by being able to say “Simon says – masks on! Simon says – lockdown!” Makes as good an explanation as any, I suppose.

    1. Micromanaging was Whitmer’s superpower long before she became governor; the WuFlu is the perfect environment to flex that well-developed muscle. Couple that with her (and her husband’s) attitude that the Whitmers have privileges because they deserve them for working so damned hard. Their M.O. hasn’t changed, whether it was drinking maskless with a big group of people or (as exposed by old-fashioned reporter Charlie LeDuff) leaning on business men who had private planes so she could fly out-of-state to visit her ailing dad.

  4. Sarah, I’d like to believe your premise but I don’t think it is correct. The desire for power among humans appears to me to be a spectrum on a scale from ‘leave me the heck alone’ to HOA czar to the worst of the totalitarians of the 20th Century with most of the niches in between filled. I think this is why Jefferson said “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” Decentralization is a good premise to minimize the problem, but, humans being what they are, liberty will always be a challenge to maintain.

    1. I think yours is more accurate to avoid the “control people by telling them they’re not allowed to object” type controlling people– I took her target to be the others-are-dolls type controlling.

      Motivation is *hard*.

        1. I sometimes attract bullies.

          A lot of people think that “no, you cannot take my stuff” is “controlling them.”

            1. Neglecting of course that if teacher would stay the hell out of it, =some= kid would give Timmy paper and pencils. Maybe out of kids’ inherent (and rather Marxist) sense of fairness, maybe because being kind is a good way to win friends, allies, and followers.

              1. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years trying to explain to people that in many ways The Golden Rule is really just enlightened self-interest. If you treat people nicely, they are far more likely to be nice back, (and give you help when you need it) and that is the grease that keeps society working at all.

                1. Yep. Forget who pointed it out, but they said to the effect that ALL altruism is fundamentally self-interest. At the very least, it makes you feel good. At best — just as you say.

                  1. I like to explain it by telling people if they’ve worked customer service, how differently they automatically respond to the folks who come up with “I don’t know if it’s possible, but could you help me with …” as opposed to the ones who come in angry as heck, screaming at you, and demanding that you do what they want (without telling you what it is most of the time). The first group are far, far more likely to get help from the hapless customer service person than that latter.

                    I actually hung up on a customer once when I was an H&R Block store manager. Bless him, he called back ten minutes later and told the receptionist that “I know she won’t want to talk to me, but I’d like to apologize.” So I took the call, and since he was being rational and nice (and had a legitimate complaint) I was able to find out what it was and fixed it, and we were all happy. Of course it would have gotten fixed on the first call if he hadn’t lost it.

                    1. I have a big problem with that. Went back and apologized at a beauty salon today (after I’d gotten my hair done) because they had insisted I HAD to give them a phone number. So they could call me if “someone got sick,” within four weeks of my visit.

                    2. I’ve apologized to, though at least I was only shrieking at the world, not the poor pharmacy tech (the doctor’s office had sent the script to the CVS is a town of a similar name in a different state, it was Friday at 6pm, and we really, *really*, needed the script. Bless her, she got the script transferred back to the store a mile from us instead of a hundred, and after I had calmed down I called back and apologized profusely. I think she was surprised at that, though pleasantly so.

                    3. It was a well-known national chain salon and I’ve had trouble there before. (Strange town, local salon I found was booked up). But the employees don’t have any control over what Corporate wants, and Corporate seems to be, ahem, obsessed with phone numbers.

                    4. I temped once at a very, very busy switchboard at a company that was known for being horrible to its employees. Had a British guy call in looking for X, who wasn’t there, Y, who was in a meeting, Z, who was on vacation, 17, who was at lunch, and Pi, who had just faffed off entirely. He was understandably exasperated but taking it out on me. After a failed search for Pi, he snapped “is ANYONE working there today??” “Sir, I’m still being nice to you, and I believe that qualifies.”

                      Thankfully, he cracked up. 🙂

                    5. I try to open contact with customer service, when I know I’m, ahem, over-wrought, with something to the effect of “look, I’m upset, I know your grand total power is like a check-sheet and maybe “customer was upset about specific thing,” so if it sounds like I’m upset at you, I really am not, I just get emotional.”

                      When I’m not upset, just have a problem, I try to stick to the bare bones minimum because I know how tiring it can be to answer “I’m wonderful, and how are you?” 8 times an hour.

                  2. That assumes that the feeling good is the goal, not the accidental side effect. If you could feel just as good by taking a drug, would you take it rather than do good?

                2. I can’t find the cite at the moment, but I remember that some mathematics games theorists ran a huge number of simulations of various “prisoner’s dilemma” type games. They found the most successful strategy was “tit for tat” – cooperate with the players that cooperate, and kick the @55 of the players who try to do you wrong. The golden rule/karma seems to have a mathematical basis. Whoda thunkit?

                  1. The problem becomes when you conflate the Golden Rule with “Turn the other cheek” and “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” and then claim that you’re unChristian when you defend yourself, or even (horrors) push back.
                    against people who won’t follow any part of those verses while controlling you.

                  2. Anatol Rappoport. It’s been beaten by a strategy that tries to establish collusion. Humans cooperating to get a better outcome, who would have thunk it?

              2. Local school district used to (still probably does, just we don’t have any kids in school) have grade school supplies listing, double or triple, the supplies your child will use during the school year. When showing up with said supplies, the supplies, do not go in YOUR child’s desk, to be used or shared, they go in a common supply closet. No. Just No. Forced charity is not charity.

                  1. More precisely forced charity is theft under the cover trying to do something good.

              3. *Wry* Nope. I always had pencils and paper (because no one else would ever lend me any if I ran short, school social hierarchies are ugly), so the teachers always went for me if they needed extra. If I tried to say no, I got detention.

                So, like progressives on the streets today.

              4. I wish it were so. No classmate will lend Timmy anything because he doesn’t return it. So Timmy asks Teacher every damned day to borrow a pencil. It must be a sharpened pencil or Timmy will spend 3-5 minutes sharpening it to perfection before he can possibly start working. If Timmy “forgets” to return it or “accidentally” breaks it, it’s Teacher’s fault because she’s supposed to be on pencil patrol instead of answering kids’ questions (or providing an audience to their jokes) at the end of class. And Teacher better NOT wonder why Timmy has a Smartwatch, Smartphone, and all the other good things of life but doesn’t have any of the five pencils he “borrowed” in a five-day week. Because Mommy will call the principal… (Do not ask me how I know this. Ha ha ha!)

                1. Or if he didn’t have them because the teacher, upon arriving late from a field trip, wouldn’t let him retrieve it from his locker.
                  Sorry, collusion to land son in detention in middle school year from hell.

                  1. Yeah, reason gazillion that we home school.

                    I neither make good teachers’ lives hell, nor do my kids drive them to drink, nor do their abuse of power bullies hurt my babies.

                    (for folks whose kids are over teen or who are even having kids now: you cannot BELIEVE how much easier it is now than when I started, just a few years back– SO MUCH PROGRESS. You guys broke the trail that I am now walking, DO NOT start going “oh I should’ve done this it’s relatively so easy”)

                    1. cannot BELIEVE how much easier it is now than when I started, just a few years back– SO MUCH PROGRESS

                      ^^This, so much this.^^

                      I think now “We really should have tried to made this work!” Reality check. He graduated 14 years ago, now.

                      It was difficult enough dealing with tutoring (by us), extra curricular topics, whether he was just learning the topic early or never touched at school, because of scouting merit badge, interest, or because we went somewhere. Because, you know, not fair to other students (although with scout stuff, at least he wasn’t the ONLY student ahead of the teacher …. *cough* compound interest and exponential results *cough* … the math teacher even used the same extreme example).

                      ** Choose 1 of the following. Explain why:

                      1. $1/day for the next 30 days.


                      2. $0.01 on first day, each day there after get double the prior day, for 30 days. So, $.01, $.02, $.04, etc.

                      All the scouts, who’d completed their Finance Merit Badge, not just from their troop, all picked option #2. Reason, way, way, more money. None remembered the exact amount, but some did remember it was: (2 ^ 30)/100 – .01 🙂 or $10,737,418.23 total.

                    2. My grandson, who currently is only two months old — will, by my plan — never darken the door of a public school, or even a private one, so badly have they all gone down in my estimation. Wee Jamie will be homeschooled, by me. He will be reading fluently by the time he is five years old. Those racist perverts infesting the public school system will never get their nasty perverted paws on him.

                    3. Great niece isn’t going back to school, age 9. Neither is her little sister (age 2). Local school district blew it. Once the parents figured out what to do … Grandma is handling overseeing online schooling for the 9 year old, through one of the online academies. Ditto with the great *nephew and his soon to be half sibling. Don’t know what will happen with the other half sibling once she hits school age. Niece is overseeing his education, as she works from home, I think. Again, local school district where they are blew it. He was in an language immersion school … but with the closures. First niece is the one with immune suppression problems due to Lupus, so it benefits her to home school. From what I understand, the two kids prefer homeschooling … Great-Grandma isn’t on board. but like she says, she’s out of those decisions.

                      * His situation is a little different. Dad and bio-mom never married. They’d dated in HS, he enlisted in the Navy. One time on leave they met up for a date, and kid happened. They’ve co-parented from the start. When he was deployed and he had custody, his mom had the baby/toddler/youngster, until niece came along. Then mom got married. By mutual agreement there are 4 making educational decisions. He has left the Navy (didn’t reup) before he and niece got married.

                    4. Look, I’m random crazy on the internet, but:

                      Especially with anything LIKE Oregon involved.

                      HSLDA eats stupid power stuff for breakfast, and B&N takes the membership card as proof of being a teacher for discounts. (Which is why I bought all the kids’ physical supplies from B&N this year…which was actually more complicated, I had the card in the car. The “girl” [24 or less] went “I believe you” and re-upped our sub which meant a week later, after I decided the books we bought were a good fit, I bought three times as many for the rest of the kids.)

                      It’s like car insurance, if you do everything right you ALMOST won’t ever need it….but when you do, it’s a life saver.

            2. Hate this! Then they hit the junior high/high school where the teacher says, “If you forgot your pencil, you better have a friend to lend you one” and the meltdowns start.

              1. Nope. They took my pencils, pens, and paper there, too – at least until my parents moved me into a private school. One of the few lifesaving things they ever did, and I’m sure they did it because they didn’t want me to be in a position to be taking remedial math courses in college. Grandma was a math teacher, you see, she’d never have let them hear the end of it.

          1. An ex-girlfriend called me a ‘control freak’ because I wouldn’t do everything she told me to.

            1. ^^That kinda stuff, exactly.^^

              Now, I know I’m a control freak, because I try to control the situations, exactly because I know I can’t control people. I need information!
              Thus, scared of the dark. *grin*

              There are non-freaky ways to express these kind of fears. Although my tendency to do two (day’s worth if canned good) is one and one is none for the pantry sometimes exasperates my husband.

              1. There are a couple of reasons I haven’t chimed in more on this post.

                One is that sometimes my personality and emotional baggage take me to some pretty destructive conclusions.

                (Part of the reason I throw in utilitarian arguments so much. Utilitarian arguments have helped me talk myself out of some of the conclusions, when the other sorts of arguments were not gaining traction due to how screwed up my thinking or feeling was. Or at least to talk myself out of immediate action.)

                Another reason is difficult personal times recently. Yesterday I made some progress getting organized on some things. Would have been bad to spend time, energy and emotion commenting about difficult subjects.

                If I had fewer screws loose, I would probably be more comfortable spending a lot of time sharing space with other mentally ill people, including some of my seriously ill relatives.

                1. *hug*

                  Stuff you can see/touch/feel is a strong tool. You already know it’s not the only tool, and that it can cut you.


                  1. There’s always the ‘Clans Of The Alphane Moon’ approach (Philip K. Dick): everybody’s crazy, so categorize the crazy and find useful social roles for each type.

              2. Suddenly things fall into place.

                It can appear to someone you are arguing with as Super-Autism. As in the literal “More autistic than the autists”.

                1. Of course, because information matters.

                  Other influences that have made me recognize the tactic of “throw stuff out, then object when someone points out it’s inaccurate and demand that they shouldn’t care about what YOU cared enough about to say in the first place” as a Really Bad Thing do not help that impression. (Speaking of ways to control others….)

    2. Both Sarah’s and your writing are developed examples of the old (but oh so accurate) saying that the people who desire the levers of power are the very people who shouldn’t get them.

  5. In Christopher Stasheff’s “About The Author” (at the end of his books) was the line “He tends to pre-script his life, but can’t understand why other people never get their lines right”.

    Of course, that was intended to be humorous but I wonder how much truth there is in it for everybody. 😀

  6. I don’t know if your hypothesis covers narcissists. They stare into a mirror, not because they love themselves, but because their reflection tells them who they are. That mirror is other people, and if the reflection is not pleasing, then the mirror must be warped until it is, or if that is not possible, destroyed. If they are not reflected in the mirror, they melt down because that means that they do not exist.

    1. Congratulations, that is the most chilling description of narcissistic behavior I have ever read.

  7. Interesting.
    I’ve known some that definitely spread a little tyranny because they’re trying to avoid effects of something they fear.
    OTOH I know people that act from a self-elevated view simply because they think they have superior abilities. This is sometimes found in those that use their mouths far more frequently than their ears. Coincidence?

    1. I think it’s fear of being found out. At bottom even the narcissists know how inadequate we all are

    2. I think it’s fear of being found out. At bottom even the narcissists know how inadequate we all ate

    3. I’m of the opinion that only people who know their own failings see tyranny as response to fear. Tyrants don’t see it that way. They believe they’re better than you, and if part of that is overcompensating for past slights or deficiencies, that just demonstrates that they’re right. It’s not fear, it’s opportunistic revenge: “Now that I’m in charge and you can’t stop me, I’ll make you pay for what you did to me, and I’ll do whatever I like as much as I want. Off to the gulag with you!”

      Tyrants are just career criminals writ large. Late friend was a prison shrink, and told me this: the notion that “self esteem” is a positive had been assumed but never studied or tested. Well, someone finally studied it, and found that self-esteem was by far the highest in … career criminals. Naturally, since they believe that the world owes ’em, and that no one has any right to stop them from doing whatever they like.

      The documentary that followed Idi Amin around for several months was… enlightening about this.

      1. I don’t think the sudden shift to, “You, white kid, are inherently, incurably bad and you, brown kid, are inherently, incurably the product of oppression,” is an improvement.

  8. Stairs? Rope ladders pulled up after ingress.

    Alas, unless one hermits, only way today to avoid being dictated, is to dictator.

    Have to allow, my id monsters are bears, wolves come second, but politicians are bears in wolves’ clothing.

    1. Wolves are a fair proxy for politicians: if a wolf starts watching you, he’s not curious; he’s considering whether you might be lunch.

      1. If you see a wolf watching you, he’s there to distract you from the other two sneaking up behind you.

        I’m not sure if that applies to politicians or not.

          1. Well, the visible politician could just be sitting there thinking “look at meeee! pay attention to meeee!”

    2. The scariest critters I’ve seen in years were the “Two by two, hands of blue” from Firefly.

      That I find them that much nightmare fuel probably explains why I haven’t been happy with mask mandates, and work mandates and lockdown mandates, and all the other you-must-do-what-we-tell-you-even-especially-if-it’s-stupid mandates. I suppose it’s a fear of slavery of the soul.

  9. Yes, fear is a big element, but hubris also is. Our domestic aspiring totalitarians truly believe that they know better than everyone else and therefore they MUST direct the lives of the ignorant masses, “for their own good” of course. Obama’s “we are the ones that we have been waiting for” (and he was certainly thinking of the royal “we”) is a perfect example of this hubris.

    1. I feel exactly the same. I spent a good chunk of my life managing people. I semi retired to make it stop. I took a massive cut in pay,but kept my sanity so it’s all good

      1. I hated it. Sadly I was good at it. I found out that I’m good at a lot of things that I don’t actually like. I was a
        Managing director in an investment bank. You don’t get that by being a nice guy. At the end though I wasn’t sufficiently ruthless and just walked away

        1. I was as well. I got into technical management at 28 and stayed there for 12 years. At 40 I went from running a group of 70 engineers with 3 subordinates back to technology as an individual contributor and spent the next 25 years having a successful engineering career. The move saved my sanity. I could be certain kinds of ruthless pursuing technical ends but not with organizational power over other people. The amusing thing is that I turned down at least a half dozen attempts to pull me back into management at a much higher level than I left. No meant no, however.

          1. Every time I get a new boss or grandboss, I explicitly tell them “do not promote me to management”.

            I would rather be an extremely senior geek than any kind of manager of geeks. For one thing, my ADD means I would very likely fail at the task of keeping up on paperwork. Plus I don’t suffer fools gladly.

  10. Collectivism is simply fear. They are unable to deal with any change and so look to freeze everything. You can’t reason with them because no probability is sufficiently low — wuflu has demonstrated that yet again. It’s no accident as the commies used to say that so many dictators have weird dietary habits and fear of contagion.

    1. OCD writ large: All things must be organized and pigeonholed. if something can’t be pigeonholed and defined as black or white. it can’t exist, and they can’t cope with it. Thus the immature mind’s desire to destroy what doesn’t fit. Shades of grey are scary, because they do not fit.

  11. “Honestly, I think it comes from fear.”

    Thus, George Soros. He wants complete control, because at one point in his early life he had none and he did evil things to cope with that.

    1. I wonder if he wasn’t a Soviet-era plant. “We’ll do everything we can to help you get rich, and you will use your riches and influence to undermine the capitalists.”

  12. I see what you are saying. And how much malicious joy are these people having when they orchestrate the riots and burnings? I do have a monster and I am stile trying to integrate it instead of lock it up. I found that my monsters become less frightening if I face them. Also I think writing has taught me how to loosen my grip on control. My late-hubby was also one of those people who was able to teach me how to be happy and less controlling. I am learning that I have less stress when I try not to overthink other people’s reactions to me.

    1. Yes. I have finally internalized the concept that as long as I am not causing harm or hurt, if people don’t like what I do or say, I really don’t care. And I totally relate to the whole overthinking reactions. For example, I have a friend/former colleague who I haven’t spoken to since about March. I’ve been worrying that she’s not interested in keeping the friendship together now that I’m not at the university any more. I’ve been saying to hubby I should text but then I don’t. Finally did. She’s in Spain visiting family for the first time in almost two years. We’ll get together when I get back. So, yeah. Totally overthought that one.

  13. Another point of data to support Our Hostess’s hypothesis — this is a Facebork post from a very liberal/progressive acquaintance of mine. (He works in the mental health field.) Note the fear, and the desire to “do things the RIGHT way”:
    I’m so terrified about this drought. Wildfire season always destroys me, and this is gonna be a terrible one.
    It’s only compounded by the political leadership being as limp wristed about effecting meaningful change
    (Looking at you, Manchin, you are letting the world burn) as possible. I want rain. I want a better political
    situation. I miss the old days when I used to get angry over Half Life 3 not happening, not the risk of
    complete societal collapse due to the ineptitude of old men today.

      1. Perhaps he’s afraid, like most men are when they hit a certain age, of having nothing when they finally go. There’s no legacy that he knows others will be proud of. He’s built nothing, made nothing, created nothing. So, there’s nothing for him to give or have pride in when it is his time to go. So…why not let the world burn, as long as it burns him last?

        1. The person in question is married, but does not want to bring children into a nasty world full of systemic racism, police brutality, climate emergency, and every other leftist trope. He also was going to be a science teacher but (thankfully– less damage this way) he did not do well in the classroom training. He found that he just could not maintain order in a Jr. High school class, and so he abandoned that idea.

          1. Dealing with Middle Schoolers requires a sort of refined, careful application of authority with the occasional application of the (metaphorical) Hammer of $DEITY$. And patience enough to sort out what is “boys being boys” and what is “wilful mischief that has to be stopped now.”

            1. Right. So instead he chose a much more vulnerable population – people reeling from emotional damage – for him to manipulate. Talk therapy can be hurtful and it is rife with manipulation:

              1. the clients are in some sort of severe emotional distress, meaning they are desperate to connect with anyone who promises to pull them out of it.
              2. they are probably coping with psych drugs and not thinking clearly.
              3. the clients are advised to open themselves up emotionally. To lower their defenses, to ‘let someone in’.
              4. the linguistic manipulations by the therapist are being done for the client’s own good, thus giving the therapist a powerful self-righteous drive.

              The problem is that when one person has power over another, like in these situations, the weird passions and desires of the therapist will exert influence. You never want to go to a crazy therapist.

              1. No. I tend to be wary of therapists of all kinds, but part of that stems from a truly idiotic FAA decision twenty years ago that made all pilots steer clear of licensed counselors and psychiatrists for a while. Part of it is because I know just enough about the current state of the medical profession to guess what I’d get diagnosed as.

              2. We had an acquaintance who was extremely suggestible (and other problems) and his parents sent him to a therapist. Within a few weeks the therapist, who believed in repressed-memory treatment, had him firmly convinced his parents were secret Satanists who had subjected him since childhood to horrible rituals.
                Fortunately, the parents had the sense to get him away and to a different therapist who told him repressed memory theory was bunk, and being suggestible, he nodded and dropped the whole Satanist timeline.

                1. Oh yes.

                  Those types also find people who were kidnapped by aliens.

                  Those types also find people who “remember past lives”.

                  [Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

                    1. “Kidnapped by aliens” or “Remembering Past Lives”? 😉

                      Seriously, I don’t mind either in fiction but I don’t think much of those idea in the “Real World”.

                      Oh, in a not-written-SF-universe I had aliens kidnapping humans (and not returning them) but later on Humanity was “Going To Have Words” with the aliens involved with Humanity having the Firepower to back up the Words. 😈

                    2. I’m assuming that the Aliens aren’t voluntarily returning the humans. 👿

                    3. Ah! Look forward to reading it! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

                    4. IIRC there was a scene in a 1st season episode of Bablyon 5 in which a human was suing a Gray on the grounds that his ancestor had been abducted by the Gray’s ancestor.

                2. My own experience is in the opposite direction. The therapists tried to manipulate and influence me that my family wasn’t very bad, and worth having a relationship with. They were wrong, I was right. The Satanic stuff gets all the attention, but it’s just as bad when they go the other way and in a deluded state try to convince clients everything was great.

          2. Someone who is that convinced the world is going to Hades in a handbasket… went into the mental health field…

          3. What it sounds like he really wants is Papa to make everything better, like it was when he was younger.

      2. He’s also stunningly ignorant of history. California and the desert southwest have had droughts that lasted centuries; the one from 850 AD to 1100 AD happened not only well before the invention of the internal combustion engine and the industrial age but before European arrival in the Americas. There is nothing unusual about droughts in that area.

        The only “failure” has been the failure of the governments to allow new reservoirs to be built, to have a rational forest clearing program, and to look at things like desalination, which countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia do quite well. Of course lots of luck building a desalination plant with the bureaucracy and activist litigation that makes it impossible to build anything these days.

        1. I alternate between believing SoCal will run out of water or power first. 24 million people live in the desert between the northern end of the LA basin and the Mexican border and most believe water comes from their tap and electricity comes from a wall socket. Whichever it is, it is not going to be pretty to watch.

          1. Repost; I got my name wrong…

            The Bootleg fire (and I have no idea where the name came from; the initial attack lead usually gets to pick a name, and they can (sometimes) be really creative) covers a bunch of the Pacific Intertie that connects SoCal with the hydropower plants on the Columbia–the Bonneville power project. I gather the Intertie normally handles 40% of the power needs in the south, particularly the water pumps at Tehachapi.

            My least favorite headline from the fire was from the Portland Fishwrap, stating that the wildfire “robbed” SoCal of the power. Really didn’t go over here, since TPTB in the guise of a judge decided that southern Oregonians didn’t deserve to get Bonneville power, and then other PTBs arranged to do away with *our* hydropower dams, with the enthusiastic backing of Warren Buffet. He didn’t have to pay for any fish ladders that way…

            Jerry (spit) Brown went along with the Environazis to eliminate as may dams as possible, with hydropower being a high priority for destruction. Hmm. I think the monsters of my Id look like Jerry and Kate Brown, with some others (Gavin Nuisense and Wrteched Gretchen) in supporting roles. Both of the Browns seem to think that there’s very few problems that can’t be solved by screwing over rural Oregonians.

            Side note: “Monsters of the Id” bring memories of Forbidden Planet with Leslie Nielsen as the dramatic lead and Walter Pidgeon as the monster-generator. A very young RCPete couldn’t decide which was scarier; the Id Monsters or Robbie the Robot. I *might* have been 5 when I first saw it…

            1. Was about to say “my Monsters of the Id could probably wipe out Krell” or similar. 😮

            2. As I recall the phrase was “Monster from the ID”. Once given the magic machine all the uncivilized parts of the Krell had an outlet for their passions. They sought a utopia and it destroyed them. One of the reasons that move is still high on my list of favorites.

              1. Doc [last words]: “Monsters, John! Monsters from the Id!”

                Adams [to Morbius]: “And so those mindless beasts of the subconscious had access to a machine that could never be shut down. The secret devil of every soul on the planet all set free at once to loot and maim. And take revenge, Morbius, and kill!”

            3. In California, the fires are often named from a street at the point of origin. Which is how we got the Carr Fire (started by a sparking rim of a flat tire on a trailer, as it happens) and the Camp Fire (which burned down Paradise) in the same year. And it’s actually possible that we’ll get a Friendly Fire if one starts in Manteca. (On that note, there is a city named Lard. Yes, that’s what Manteca means.)

        2. California and the desert southwest have had droughts that lasted centuries

          Not to mention that in pre-Columbian California, an area roughly equivalent to the state of Maine would burn up every year.

          Whenever anybody starts going on about how the climate is getting worse, I want to ask them, “are you 10,000 years old? No? Then how the hell do you think you know this isn’t just a natural cycle?”

          1. The thermometer was invented less than 320 years ago. We have NO temperature records from before 1709, no accurate ones before 1714.

            1. And the records we do have from the first 250 years of thermometers tend to be from places where Europeans and their descendants like to live. Hardly a representative sample.

              1. Add to this that modern thermometers are often located in urban heat islands and stationed near sources that either enhance or outright emit heat (remember the LA record set by the airport thermometer near the rooftop HVAC unit). Yes people have an impact, but its not from CO2; its from concrete and asphalt, which enhance local impacts (such as increasing flooding due to impermeability of paved over land) but does not impact climate on a large scale.

                The current amplified jet stream is due to a period of low solar activity for several years plus LaNina, both of which act to amplify the jet stream.

                  1. Current temperatures are within the natural limits that we have recorded. The temperatures of the 1930s in the United States were higher than those we have currently. Look at the newspapers from the 1930s. Some of the public temperature records have been altered by global warming advocates to reduce the temperatures of the 1930s. Global warming is used as an excuse for exercise of government power in all areas of life. It also fits the extreme ecology/Gaia religion.

                    1. Recall how all the “coming ice age” people in the 1970s also promoted global communism as the “answer” to the coming “climate disaster”. They simply swapped out warming for cooling, but the end goal is the same-global totalitarian socialism,.

                      Proof is that over 50% of CO2 emissions come from 25 cities, 23 of which are in China and NONE of which are in the USA. Of course they have no problem with the CCPs use of fossil fuels, because they are already communists.

                1. But they have models that tell them that humans have a large impact on the climate. Never mind that’s exactly how they were programmed, you can’t argue with a computer. Look at all the red it puts on the maps!

        3. also BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has been known to break reservoirs that were built by cattlemen a hundred years ago to the present day

          1. The federal ownership of so much land in the western United States creates some of the BLM problem. Here in Wisconsin water retention structures are common to provide drinking water for cows. Also, Wisconsin law allows cranberry farmers to build dams and other butter management structures in order to create and use cranberry bogs.

            1. Water management. Butter management is done by giant federal purchasing programs that stockpile butter in refrigerated warehouses. When one of them caught fire there was a river of melted butter flowing from the building.

            2. If Democrats get their way, an EPA permit will be needed for every small pond and drinking water well anyone builds or alters.

        4. San Diego built one. From what I’ve heard, it’s been doing well.

          Part of the lack of further construction might be due to fear by the local communities that if enough are built, the state will start seizing the drinkable water produced by them.

          1. The greenies freak out at the propsect of a dam, and that drives a lot of the reluctance to build any more. Part (IMHO, a major part) of the sad state of the forests is the green/marxist “thinking” that if anything is done for profit, it must be bad/evil/unclean. Witness there reactions to salvage logging in big burn scars. Logging to clear out overgrown forests? Clear the path to the fainting couches.

            Salvage logging can prevent return fires, but the econazis are against that, too. The biggest one I know of was the 2002 Biscuit fire, near Brookings in extreme SW Oregon. 200K acre fire, but with a bunch of salvageable logs that could have been extracted. The econazis applied lawfare to delay and obstruct the effort until there was zero economic benefit in removing the old logs, so they “won”. Until a couple-three years ago, when a lightning-started fire burned another 200,000 acres, much of which was the leavings of the Biscuit fire.

            I’ve been given to understand that it’s not safe to be either a known-greenie, nor a federal woodlands worker in town after the second fire. (That was due to some unfortunate policies–the NIMO teams are tasked to monitor, but not to surpress wildland fires. This makes for some really bad PR unless the reason for using a NIMO team is clear. It wasn’t, and a lot of houses got burnt. I got the impression that some of the feds made *really* unfortunate comments as houses were burning…) Note: I think it was a NIMO team, but if not, it was a team whose leader acted in that manner, until a Type 1 suppression team replaced the previous one.

            1. You also have the religious environmentalists who firmly believe in the idea of the “pristine, untouched wilderness” as the start/end state for the ecosystem. And who labor very hard to ignore how the Indians managed the landscape through fire and other things. Because in their minds, apparently, Native Americans didn’t exist in wherever region the religious environmentalists happen to be interested in. Or they didn’t practice land management and so were “in harmony with their environment.”

              Hey! Bad soapbox, get away! Shoo, shoo.

              1. The book 1493 makes a good case that the Indians were burning so much land for resource management that when the post-contact pandemics cut their population by 90-95% the sudden drop in CO2 release contributed to the onset of the Little Ice Age.

                  1. I also recommend the book. It’s an essential read for understanding the Americas.

              2. I wonder if the underlying motive isn’t really a hysterical fear of change. EVERYTHING must remain exactly the way it is or was because otherwise, nothing is safe!

                More and more I think Mercedes Lackey was on to something when she had one of her characters (a peasant woman) state that the ideal conditions were those of a village of peasants….where every day is exactly like every other day, the years go by in an utterly predictable cycle and nothing ever changes. I think a lot of people may want that a lot more strongly than they realize. (The n protagonist, by the way, gently but firmly disagreed with her).

                1. I think you’re on to something, Dorothy. And I think it has to do with control as well. If nature changes as it will, then humans can’t control it — stopping change is exercising control. So, despite the ecofreaks stated desire to have no human impact, they are actually rooting for humans to make changes by stopping natural changes. Which is why so many of them angrily ignore the evidence regarding sunspots.

                  1. My favorite piece of sociology talks about this. I’ve probably written here about the cultural theory of risk developed first by Mary Douglas and then by Aaron Wildavsky. Risk being change. Collectivists fear change above all things and hence look to develop a strict hierarchy with no change since any change may be bad. They’re governed entirely by fear and no level of risk is low enough.

                    She had unkind things to say about the lack of anything reason at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and was, thus, cancelled avant la lettre.

                    I wonder if our hostess might consider a guest post. It’s a very interesting thing and the four groups — collectivists, authoritarians, individualists, and schlubs — are very useful for understanding (e.g.) why several here reacted to the WuFlu the way they did and why death rates went up after motorcycle helmet laws were put in place, but not where they were not.

                    1. I’m sure she’d go for a guest post. Write it up and send it to her. I’m familiar with Wildavsky, but not a great deal. But, yeah, risk averse is a very strong governing structure.

            2. While true, I should perhaps clarify that what San Diego built was a water desalinization plant, and not a dam. Apparently the city is satisfied with its operation. But so far as I know, it’s the only coastal municipality that’s built one.

              1. The desalination plant runs on electricity, lots of it, which is getting less available and reliable all the time as their efforts ‘to save the planet’ destroy our industrial civilization.

                Higher technology is almost always cleaner and more efficient than primitive technology. By impeding new, better solutions to old problems they are making the environmental impacts WORSE.
                Nobody has so little that some asshole doesn’t want to take it. And the government is full of assholes.

                1. Not any more. Faulconer was term limited out and last year’s ‘jungle primary’ yacked up two Democrats to ‘choose’ between. Todd Gloria hasn’t made much impression so far, positive or negative.

                  1. “Filthy” Filner, the one who got revealed as a serial sex abuser (going back to his days in Congress; he’d apparently been at it a *long* time, and a lot of people probably knew about it), was a Democrat as well.

                    1. I called Filner ‘Weasel Boy’ (with apologies to innocent weasels everywhere).

            3. I recently spent a week at a BSA summer camp, and happened to sit in on part of a merit badge session for Sustainability. You’ll be happy to hear that the topic under discussion was forest management, including fire, and that the counselor was pointing out that over-management of what a forest “should” look like has led to the current buildup of fuels that leads to mega-fires instead of manageable fires.

          2. They have a habit of doing that in the West. Cali seizes water from all the Western states until they are sued. (Still manage to get more than they should)

            1. Haven’t got the Rogue, Umpqua, Siuslaw, or Columbia (thus Mckenzie, Willamette, Descutes, and Snake, water is safe … so far). But there have been more than a few undercurrent comments about how it is a shame that a drop of water actually gets to the Astoria Bar (never mind that the major port is Portland, upriver, not Astoria). Not sure how the rivers that flow south form Oregon in to California survive once they cross the border (guessing, not well).

              1. There aren’t many which flow from Oregon to California.
                There is the Klamath River (begins in Oregon, crosses the Cascades north of Mt.Shasta, and goes through the eponymous Klamath mountains to the Pacific.
                There is the Lost River, which begins in California, flows north into Oregon, but then ends up turning south and coming back to California.
                Other than that, I don’t recall any others.

                1. There is the Lost River, which begins in California, flows north into Oregon, but then ends up turning south and coming back to California.

                  That’s how you can tell it’s Lost.

                2. Knew the east side of Oregon is mostly high desert and rivers are few and far between and most are part of the Snake/Columbia river basin system. Did know the Klamath flowed south into California, and actually has water when it gets there. What I don’t know is has California claimed what water gets there?

                  1. Too far from any population centers. California only really bothers with the Sacramento from the north, and since it starts in California *and* makes its way south on its own, it’s all dealt with.

          3. Desalinization requires lots of electrical power.
            It is best achieved by nuke plants.
            CA doesn’t like either lots of electrical power or nuke plants.

    1. Yet somehow millions of people seek to enter the country even though they, according to this leftist and the rest of his loony comrades, they seek entry into an irredeemably systemically racist country. They aren’t rushing to go to Venezuela or Cuba (unless they are American Marxist criminals seeking refuge in places without extradition agreements with the USA)., If the USA is really what leftists claimed it is, why would they want to come here? Oh wait, the Democrats are promising them a grab bag of goodies as long as they vote for Democrats (thus why Cuban refugees are expressly rejected by our aspiring totalitarian overlords).

    2. Newt has some interesting things to say about Manchin: nicest guy around, everyone likes him, but he never, ever sticks his neck out. If you need ONE vote, he will not be it. But if you need a second vote, well, someone else went first, so Joe can now follow.

      1. Given that Manchin’s a Democrat in a Republican state, a certain amount of caution on his part makes sense.

          1. I’ve noticed that the the “good” Democrats are uniformly spineless. Tulsi Gabbard is another. All principled until she has to stick her neck out.

            1. Actually, Gabbard struck me as another who is plausibly playing a disciplined game of long term calculation.

              Thing about Manchin, that pattern of only being on board for a second dissenting vote? That’s a strategy you might implement if you calculate that you will only be sufficiently punished for acts of dissent where one is the only dissenter. It also takes some ability to implement, because you have to be able to judge that first dissenting vote correctly.

              Being fairly reliably in a position to swing the vote is perhaps a way to make one’s vote and influence more valuable. And, preventing one’s party from being able to cheat one’s state’s politics reliably in favor of one’s party makes a long term career as a sometimes dissenter safer.

              Manchin has calculated that the Democrats have not won themselves a permanent tyranny, and is playing to still have a political career after the house of cards collapses, and everyone else gets payback.

              Gabbard was pretty clearly playing a calculated game of “yeah, this won’t last. After this cycle concludes, I will still have a reputation viable in the old political calculus, and I can present my failure to suck up to current power as statesmanlike.” Obviously, was not taking the fraud into account, or the blowback from the fraud.

              1. Either that or genuine fear of Clintoncide given that Hillary calimed that Gabbard was a “Russian agent”.

        1. Manchin has voted to abridge the Bill of Rights without due process. There’s nothing he can be or do that can erase that.

    3. I used to see that a lot, but lately I’ve noticed fewer of those types of post. Of course, that could be because I’ve unfollowed a number of people who are prone to writing those, and its possible they have unfriended me. At the same time, the people that I knew well in college and high school are still in contact so I know who my real friends are and who has no interest in completely controlling everything.

    4. What is it with some mental health professionals? We had an acquaintance who would call my poor husband and unburden herself for HOURS. And she told him since her pay and position depended on her client number, it was essentially a motivator to make sure none of them ever got better and left her….

      1. Mom’s kid sister was a social worker, and she echoed that statement. It was common for people entering the mental health professions to be messed up at some level–beyond the normies out there. Two of her kids went that way, and there was a lot of messed up family in there. I’ve encountered enough others to give that a lot of credit.

      2. If you’re broken, there’s a much bigger motivation to find out how people work, so maybe you can unbreak yourself.

        1. Thing is, there are two major challenges with this approach.

          One, the quality of information in psychology is not sufficient for a ‘fixing yourself’ algorithm.

          Two, you tend to need to be pretty grounded to be very effective at applying the actual knowledge in psychology. If you are the type of person who, if they hang around me a lot, concludes that I am basically right about everything, but otherwise can tell that I am nuts, being that way would make the practice of psychology an endless queue of problems.

          Yes, knowing how people work is useful. But the best answer is a holistic multi-disciplinary synthesis, that can, for example, tell that sociology is pretty nuts, etc.

          To the extent that it is doable, ‘unbreaking’ oneself is /hard/.

          1. Yep. Psychology and related stuff can be *interesting*, but it’s not a very good tool.

            Philosophy is better, though it has all the same flaws and you can REALLY mess yourself up.

            “The kitchen sink approach from a person that charitas-loves you” is probably the best.

          2. To the extent that it is doable, ‘unbreaking’ oneself is /hard/.

            One of the things I appreciate about Christian theology is that it RECOGNIZES that unbreaking yourself is a literal miracle from God, and even then it takes a lot of work.

            But you should try anyways.

            It just hits all my “noble quest against all odds, that can still succeed” buttons.

        2. I read a *lot* of psychology and sociology as a child and teen. Eventually I realized that most people were just as clueless as I was; they just hid it better.

    5. Maybe I’m just really slow, but it took me a few hours to decode (mostly in the back of my head, Bletchley-Park random-keysearch-style, I guess) the above:

      I’m so terrified about this drought. Wildfire season always destroys me, and this is gonna be a terrible one. It’s only compounded by the political leadership being as limp wristed about effecting meaningful change (Looking at you, Manchin, you are letting the world burn) as possible. I want rain. I want a better political situation. I miss the old days…

      to read (in plaintext) something a lot more like:

      “The whole world will burn down unless we sacrifice everything to the New Green Spiel! Joe Manchin won’t let the Good Guys blow up that nasty old filibuster, so they can bring in their Green Save the World Agenda. Because, unless we give up our cars and hamburgers and all our other Bad Stuff, the Rain Gods will keep on withholding our rain, and droughts and fires and all the rest won’t just magically stop like they, well, never have before. So get out of their way, Joe Manchin, and let the [compulsory] sacrifices begin!”

      Never realized, before now, just how Aztec this crowd sounds. Yet when you’re held fast in the grip of (unquestioned) cultic beliefs…

      Meanwhile, the real world was not at all “destroyed” by CO2 levels several times what they are today, during the dinosaur era. While there was a time like he described, apparently, much further back, it was because of too much oxygen, not too much CO2.

      Because in the Carboniferous, as today in the lab, even wet trees will burn if the O2 content gets up around 35-40% (IIRC). So back then, they did, a lot.

      At least according to the papers I’ve read, researching stuff like “can you have a 50% oxygen atmosphere in your aerial or space habitat?” (Uh, not easily…)

      1. Meanwhile, the real world was not at all “destroyed” by CO2 levels several times what they are today, during the dinosaur era.

        Nor did the Earth suffocate back during the Pleistocene, when the “lungs of the world” a/k/a the tropical rainforests were semi-arid savannas almost devoid of trees.

        The greenies are worse than our liberal friends: they don’t know squat and they know so much that ain’t true,

        1. It turns out that the oxygen produced by terrestrial forests, even the rain forests, gets used up when the trees and whatnot die and decay. The real lungs of the planet are phytoplankton in the ocean, since the carbon they pull out of the air sinks to the bottom when they die, leaving the oxygen behind.

          But phytoplankton aren’t in any particular danger, so you can’t pretend to be a good person by performatively worrying about them.

          1. Sure you can. You just have to plug your ears and scream LA LA LA LA OCEAN ACIDIFICATION.

            It doesn’t make any difference if that isn’t hurting the phytoplankton. It sounds bad, therefore we must be causing it with our evil SUVs and air travel and guns and stuff.

            1. But if you actually survey ocean biology, turns out that life is thickest where the ocean is most acidic. Life generally doesn’t like alkali. Dr. Willie Soon has a good video on this.

              1. There you go, trying to bring actual data and science into it. As if any of that matters.

                1. The oceans are a great example of how bad the current global warming scare crowd is. It was shown decades ago that if you said sterile areas of the ocean with powdered iron it triggers massive growth of phytoplankton which pulls CO2 from the atmosphere. When they die the phytoplankton sink to the bottom removing the CO2 from the global system. But the greenies seem to have entirely forgotten that this easy way to store CO2 is available.

                  1. It’s probably a good thing that the greenies do *NOT* pay attention to this, or some billionaire would get it into his head to try seeding the ocean with iron on a truly massive scale.

        2. And that’s probably the one thing that’s amazed me the most (out of so many amazing things) about the entire greenie-leftist-“wet” flock: their “five minute” level of ignorance and/or mis-information.

          That is, the stuff that they’d know, or know better than to say, given only five minutes with an encyclopedia or library or (now) decent Internet browser.

          Jerry Pournelle’s “A Step Farther Out” column once had an installment called (IIRC) “Physics Without Ex-Lax” — because one of the leading spokesmen for some anti-nuclear-power campaign had said, “The only physics I ever had was Ex-Lax.”

          It was not meant as a confession. It was a boast.

          1. >> “That is, the stuff that they’d know, or know better than to say, given only five minutes with an encyclopedia or library or (now) decent Internet browser.”

            Remember the CHAZ garden? I recall mentioning how easy it would have been for them to just look up some gardening 101 videos and they couldn’t even be bothered to do that.

            There was a great meme image comparing the “enlightened” people working on the chaz garden with the ignorant, knuckle-dragging rural hicks successfully growing acres of crops, but I can’t find it now.

        3. [2nd try]

          And that’s probably the one thing that’s amazed me the most (out of so many amazing things) about the entire greenie-leftist-“wet” flock: their “five minute” level of ignorance and/or mis-information.

          That is, the stuff that they’d know, or know better than to say, given only five minutes with an encyclopedia or library or (now) decent Internet browser.

          Jerry Pournelle’s “A Step Farther Out” column once had an installment called (IIRC) “Physics Without Ex-Lax” — because one of the leading spokesmen for some anti-nuclear-power campaign had said, “The only physics I ever had was Ex-Lax.”

          It was not meant as a confession. It was a boast.

          1. I suspect that the wokefication of math education is an attempt to pull the same Ex-Lax trick with respect to school kids. If nobody can do math, any numbers out of the bowels of DC won’t be challenged as the crap that they are.

            1. Yeah, I had that realization late last night.

              It regards to the statistical numeracy to detect fraud in presidential elections by way of merely dumping LOL absurd fake ballots in specific cities.

              But it also applies statistical tests for discrimination. Fundamentally, there is a difference between the people with genuine educations that are recent, contrasting with uneducated children, and the judges whose mathematical background essentially predates modern statistics.

          2. I just ran into some idiot trying to tell me how to run farms and ranches….whose sole expertise was… well, let me quote the idiot:

            “My view of farming and ranching is colored by DoAg white papers. Yours is colored by American agricultural myth-making.”

            Bragging on being literally “All hat and no cattle.”

            But yeah, this has become the way things are in the policy sphere. It’s part of what killed my own profession, where public wisdom became — the more you do it, the less you know about doing it. Only people who almost never do it know how to do it right.

            So, the less you practice, the more skilled you are. *headdesk*

            1. It’s the same nonsense that Mike Bloomberg spouted when he talked about farming in his brief run for the Democratic Party nomination; they have no clue how farming actually works.

            2. Or the doofus that said Larry Correia knew too much about guns to discuss gun control. Which makes sense, but not in the way Doofus meant it — the more you know about guns, the more obvious it becomes that ‘gun control’ is totalitarian bullshit.
              The Democrats trust violent criminals with guns more than they trust you.

      2. Yeah, the Aztec Triple Alliance’s state cult was interesting.

        “If you don’t let us cut your hearts out, the sun will die without replacement.”

        Hence, one of the reasons why “if you don’t want to exterminate all of the Spanish speakers, the earth will make the sun explode” is a fun and appropriate troll.

        Sad thing, most people are evenly divided into ‘realizes AWG is an absurd scam’ and ‘can not and will not think no matter what you do’, so the utility of the troll is nil these days.

        “Have you ever wondered what the level of environmental regulations would be if we simply asked ourselves ‘what would the conquistadors do’?” Because that is Mexican culture, and we are all multicultural these days, quiaff*.

        *For folks wondering if I think this proper Spainish, I do not. It is an idiom of the somewhat insane invading Clans of Battletech.

        1. Not exactly “will not think,” there’s also a lot of people who need a religious belief, but think “religion,” is all primitive and uncool, so,they substitute “Science.”

      3. Western Europe (Northwest Germany and Belgium in particular) have been having horrible floods caused by severe thunderstorm rains, sort of like the US Southwest. This is, of course, according to German and EU politicians, because of Anthropogenic Climate Change/Global Warming in particular, and thus prove that the technocrats have to take over the world. Meanwhile, Eastern Europe has been cold and damp since last November, with occasional blistering heat waves, then cold and damp again.

        1. Early little ice age pattern. Same as North America being blistering in the west, cold and damp in the east.

          1. It is very simply the combination of a negative AMO (Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation) and a negative PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscilattion), along with a recent La Nina and an oncoming LaNina. Combined with low solar activity, it amplifies the Polar Jet and enhances high-latitude blocking, that keeps a consistent ridge over the US Southwest and a Western Atlantic Ridge. This impacts ridging/troughs across the glove, and the negative AMO-negative PDO combo has a tendency to feed back (as noted in an earlier post), thus leading to things like the 850-1100 California mega-drought.

            This was going on long before the industrial age.

      4. But you guys, that’s exactly why the “planet is doomed” folk need the man-caused climate change disasters. They know all those things are true, they know the data is out there, but what they can control is the narrative and that narrative demands that human agency is the primary, if not only, cause of climate change. They want control, if climate change is manmade, then the enviro folks get to control how change is stopped or reversed. It’s all about control of things you can’t control.

        1. Yep. And if their “solutions” make things worse for people, well the answer is to do more of it, because imagine how bad things would be if the HADN’T taken over your thermostat and instituted rolling black-outs and eliminated internal-combustion engines. (I listen to people like Gates talking about trying to mimic volcanic aerosols to cool the planet and think, “Y’all really want to bring back the Little Ice Age, don’t you? Because 20-50% regional population loss — 90% in some parts of China — is such a great thing.”)

          1. Same thing, different flavor — The Federal Reserve Bank. All the evidence is that they don’t do anything, it’s even hard to find harm, yet they preen and throw billions of dollars around to no effect. Everyone waits on their every word as they used to wait on the words of the prophets and their gnomic utterances are parsed and examined for a profundity they quite simply lack.

            At least the people got a good dinner when the haruspex was done.

  14. I also wonder how “much” control these people had over their lives, especially in their childhoods and as young adults. A lot of these people were very unable to have any control over their lives. They had so little control, that they had to take everything that they could get. They’re so afraid of losing what little control they have, they can’t let go of anything. Or, they do things to assure themselves that they are able to have control.

    (I was thinking about when I was reading about JFK and how when he was in the Pacific was the best time of his life-his father wasn’t hanging over his head and controlling his life, etc, etc, etc. Also how much Theodore Roosevelt did things because of his medical issues when he was younger-a lot of his actions could have been from this as well.)

    Seeking power isn’t a bad thing in itself. Without power, often you can’t do anything. It is how you get power and what you do with it when you get there that tells the difference and it is far too easy to let the neurotic gain power than for the virtuous to be given power.

    1. The supervisor I learned the most from could not control his five children, so he micro-managed his subordinates. He taught me everything I really needed about how not to treat subordinates, and how not to react to problems. It was invaluable experience – once I found different employment.

      1. I learned how to be a manager by seeing how other people managed me and the hovering, “if I can’t see you, you’re not working”-style of management made me irritated and frustrated.

        1. I’ve actually told a prospective manager that the style of management I preferred to be used on me was make sure I know what I’m supposed to do, and then let me do it. Be available if I look for you for help, but leave me alone if I’m doing OK. He must have liked that answer, because I got the position. 🙂

          1. I’ve had managers in daily meetings go, “So what are you working on? and you? and you? [balzacq], I’m sure you’re working on something useful, don’t bother trying to explain it. Next, you? and you? etc.”

          2. Which sounded like me when I was managing things at my previous job. I do expect to see some initiative and thinking, and I don’t want to have to hover over you to get stuff done.

    2. Certainly Obama and Clinton both had severe “Daddy” issues. Made them need to control their environment. Also made them desire adulation and visible achievements to bring daddy to praise them. Clinton had sexual issues, I suspect Obama might have hade similar in his past but Michelle rode better herd on him than Hillary did on Bill (probably severe lack of interest in Hilary’s case).

  15. I think this smacks of Trevor-Roper’s psychohistory (not Hari Seldon’s version): Hitler was a monster because his momma spanked him too much, or whatever.

    The classes of “born tyrant” are larger than that, though, and encompass at least:

    1. Neurotic, you must do as I say to assuage my unreasonable fears
    2. Narcissist, you must recognize my superiority (because deep down I know I’m crap)
    3. Psychopath, pulling the wings off flies was small time, I’m gonna do it to people
    4. ???

    1. *snort*

      Funny you should mention Hitler’s mother, as he was very fond of her. The doctor that was treating her during her final illness was Jewish, and Hitler spared the doctor from the ensuing events out of gratitude.

      I know the example you gave was just made up as a random possibility, but it amused me given how Hitler felt about her.

  16. The ones who pick your locks and come into your house at night are werewolves….
    Our current national wolves, the FBI, doesn’t bother with locks- they just break the door down. No knock warrants are out of control- and shouldn’t be a thing in any event.

    1. Side thought about breaking doors down: why bother? so long as the suspect is stuck behind their own door and not burning down the neighborhood or shooting at passersby or holding hostages, they’re not going anywhere. If they’re really that dangerous, turn off the power and water, and wait ’em out.

      Oh, but that won’t get you any newsreels and budget increases.

      For unrelated reasons I just looked up the city of Long Beach budget for 2021. “Public Safety” (police department) is about 70% of it.

      1. “Public Education” must not be part of the city budget. Around here the schools are about 50% and the last time I had to deal with the town budget, the police were only about 10% of the rest of it.

    2. If there is a crew from CNN outside when they break down the door, you know it is the FBI-Stasi

  17. I get my inner control freak to chill by gaming scenarios out in advance. 95% of the time, it’s wasted effort and worry. 5% of the time it saves by furry hind end, and those of other people. Plus I’m happier knowing that I’ve got at least the first two steps sorted out so I won’t have to spend time thinking about how to respond to things.

    Besides, if I can’t get the fictional characters I write to behave the way I want them to, how in the name of little green apples can I get actual people to obey?!?

    1. My wife told me I’m not a control freak, I’m an in control freak, I was the guy who never went anywhere if I didn’t know how I was getting back. My more adventurous friends used to laugh about it but I noticed that they also were happy to let me get them home.

      I have no desire to control anyone else, my greatest happiness has been my children getting to the point where I don’t have to run their lives anymore.

      1. You mean that you’re the guy that when everybody else is Lost that they look to for getting them unlost. 😆

        1. Yep. I always had car fare, money for a pay phone, directions. I always knew where I was and can only remember two occasions where had drunk too much to perform my usual function. I was born to be dad. I got really tired of it as time went by because girls seemed to like the idiots. Mary may have chosen the better part, but it was Martha that put dinner on the table.

          1. Somebody posted a note left by the random drunk guy at the party who fell asleep on their couch.

            Apparently he woke up early, did the dishes, cleaned the stove, took out the trash, documented his activities by leaving a note on their refrigerator grease marker notepad, and drew them a picture that he put up on the refrigerator. And about that time, he must have gotten tired of waiting for his hosts to wake up, and he went home.

            I think this is your tribe, BGE.

            1. LOL. Yeah. That would be me. Not that I’ve ever gotten drunk at a party. But I’ve left homemade pizza behind for friends after crashing overnight at their house. (I got invited back. A lot.)

              1. Thank you for that like. I was re-reading “The Sons of Martha” with tears down my cheeks when the notification came. Maudlin, I know.

            1. I have a sermon extolling the virtues of Martha. Including her profession of faith, which rivals Peter’s (see the story of the raising of Lazarus in John). Of course, she backslid a little later, but Peter did too.

              1. Oh, hey, found out something today! The Greek name “Meris” comes from “portion, part.” And the accusative form used in the story of Martha and Mary is “merida” (it’s “agathen merida,” the good/excellent part).

                So you get older Latin versions that have it as “meliorem partem,” (the better part) and then you have the Vulgate using “optimam partem” (the best part).

                I guess it’s not important, but it’s fun.

      2. My more adventurous friends used to laugh about it but I noticed that they also were happy to let me get them home.

        Well, SOMEONE has to be the adult!

  18. Without going into details, I have personal experience with tyranny on a domestic level. Fear of what children (or other family members) will do if they are not rigidly controlled with things such as whipping, shaming, verbal abuse, and threats is a major component, although there is also a certain pleasure and satisfaction in compelling others to obey. Likewise, there is a distrust of their ability or disposition to govern themselves “properly” and an inability or unwillingness to teach or persuade. But it’s not confined to one personality type. It has been claimed that for most people, as soon as they get a little authority or power, they immediate start to abuse it.
    In their attempts to compel outward obedience, whether they operate on a micro scale or macro scale, 1) tyrants always underestimate the resistance their methods create, and 2) there is always a resistance. (yes, even among those who have been beaten, and whose open resistance is broken.) Generally speaking, the more intense the force, the fiercer the resistance. There are different forms: gross retaliation, open combat, grudging partial compliance, non-cooperation, open or concealed evasion and subversion, malicious compliance, and passive inaction. There is even endurance of the endurable, if the tyranny is not too harsh and has a foreseeable end. I think I’ve seen most of them on one scale or other.

      1. Same here. Thankfully only physical damage over the years was a broken/dislocated nose…

        Took until I was in my 50s to admit that my childhood qualified as at least mildly abusive. I wonder if that’s part of why I am so dang stubborn, even over doing things which rationally I accept might do me good? The more The Powers That Be try to force me to do something, the more firmly my heels dig in.

        1. “my childhood qualified as at least mildly abusive.”

          *blinks* *sees “broken nose”* Um… you may want to remove the qualifier from your statement. “Mildly” isn’t what I’m seeing there.

              1. “that’s also abuse, not just the physical.”

                Just remember that the next time someone claims they’ve been traumatized by something you said or wrote. Because moving the standard of “abuse” to the non-physical has led by maybe two steps to the woke snowflakes who can’t read Huckleberry Finn because of the n-word.

                And I really don’t have a good answer for it. I can measure the physical: how many bruises, how large, made by what, I can even judge pain and suffering, to an extent, from that. I can’t measure hurt feelings; I’m not that wise.

                1. Verbal abuse can be a real thing, especially when the potential for physical abuse is present. But being ‘traumatized’ or ‘triggered’ by READING WORDS in a FICTION STORY they can just STOP READING at any time? Bullshit!

                  Those are whiny babies squalling for attention. Don’t reward the bad behavior by giving in to them. You tell them to GROW THE FUCK UP and put a sock in it.

                  1. Ah, but you can’t. That’s more verbal abuse. No, you say? Not surprising, what criminal confesses to his crime, be it “verbal abuse”, or raaaaacism, or theft, or…..?

                    Again, you have defined something you can’t measure except subjectively as the legal term “verbal abuse”, and thus you have no firm and objective standard to judge how much harm has been done to that person. Theft can be measured.

                    And yes, I’ve been “verbally abused” both as a child and adult. It’s the price for being Odd.

        1. Writing is why I only had one breakdown in grad school, and that only lasted a day. (A lot of things had ganged up on me, and I couldn’t deal with them or escape them for several hours. I cracked the instant I got home and closed the door behind me.) I vented a lot of anger, frustration, and ire into fiction.

            1. Naw, I don’t want a breakdown. Unless it’s by Tom Petty or The Alan Parsons Project.

          1. Bah, all I did was give you permission to accept what you had already recognized. Like the intro to The Gift of Fear, where the guy lays out how the folks SAW all the stuff, but predators are good at getting folks to ‘have to’ ignore what they see.

            Double-checking yourself is a good habit, but it can be taken too far. 😀

    1. Count me in as another who dealt with it. I didn’t even really grok what I went through until I read that book Arsenal of Hope that Mrs. Grant recommended. It described the way my now-former stepfather, a 25 year military veteran who served in Vietnam, ran the household to a T. Now that I can actually comprehend things I’m slowly getting on my feet mentally but damn if it still isn’t rough going… Glad none of us here are alone, though.

  19. One of my favorite quotes, from Herschel Smith is “The desire to control others is the signal pathology of the wicked.”

  20. Oh, yeah. Control and leverage over people. I thought that my time in aerospace was as bad as it could get. I was partially wrong. Grad school and faculty life had moments that were far worse. The only saving grace was that the control aspects were not as continuous as they were in aerospace. But, in the end faculty life became unbearable. So, now I write. And, I’m a much happier person.

  21. I find it telling that the Left are always so terrified of what people MIGHT do if their lives are not micro-managed ‘for their own good’. So, every right that MIGHT allow people to do Bad Things must be taken from them. They might say Bad Words, so no freedom of speech. They might buy the Wrong Things, so nothing ‘objectionable’ must be offered for sale. They might vote for the Wrong Candidates, so elections must be ‘fortified’. Everybody must be punished for what a few of them MIGHT do.
    The world is full of self-important, self-righteous, obsessed assholes, tormented by the conviction that Somebody, Somewhere is Doing Something they don’t approve of, and driven by a compulsion to Do Something About It at any cost.

    1. Silver lining: it provides endless entertainment when they are forced to confront someone who has a real imagination for What Someone Might Do.

  22. BTW I finished Witcher 3 during June’s bout of insomnia, and that picture is spot-on for the topic of rigidly imposing rules. Poor Iris!

      1. Looks like Twitter, but founded by a former Trump person (and with a commitment to free speech that will hopefully last). I don’t know how useful I’ll find it, but I’ve gone ahead and signed up.

  23. Freudian labels provide an interesting framework for discussion as long as they’re not taken too literally.

    I made friends with Mr. Id some time ago; now it’s a pleasure to have him around. Energizing.

    Mr. Ego’s power was crucified a long time ago; I experienced it 12 years back. Since then his emotional output is tempered by a much greater power.

    Mr. Superego is a great source of entertainment! “Sorry buddy but you ain’t my boss no more.”


    a) It is not that Psaki has gone too authoritarian-statist for Garland. But Garland is still a lawyer, and understands that some statements are excessively damaging to the cause of authoritarian-statism. In this case, Garland is a scumbag lawyer, and is trying to promote the cause of authoritarian-statism, and understands that this is more difficult when Psaki, Harris, and Biden are profoundly stupid, and say truthful things. Garland is trying to preserve the scam he is running with other scumbag lawyers, in preserving the pretense that they have anything to do with rule of law. Note: not all lawyers are scumbags. The scumbags do seem to have coopted just about all of the official spokesmen for the lawyer profession.

    b) China Mike’s objection being labeled China Mike may not have anything to do with it accurately summarizing his character. It may be that he, like several other current and former federal employees, is an agent of influence for the PRC. Or at least thinks he is, I’m not sure that he has any actual influence. Thus, it is possible that he genuinely fears being brought to real justice.

  25. While I agree with the substance of your post, I think you’re very wrong to use the phrase “distributed rule”. The central thesis of America is not “distributed rule” (i.e. democracy) but “no rule” (i.e. freedom). It’s the notion that we all rule ourselves, possessing rights which no entity–distributed or centralized–has the ethical authority to usurp. It’s the notion that the purpose of government is simply to act as guarantor of those rights, and that it is empowered to do only a very few things which we have explicitly ceded our innate right to decide for ourselves.

    I think far more than centralized rule, the disease afflicting us is the idea if “rule” in general. As soon as we bought into “distributed rule” we created a throne; sure, we all crammed our butts onto it simultaneously at first, but as soon as it came into existence so did the possibility of its usurpation, and centralized rule became our inevitable destiny. If we would regain our freedom, we ought not to get carried away by fear of “a tyrant”, and instead fear “tyranny”. We must rip down the edifice of “rule” entirely, and return to the concept of limited government, conceived of not as a ruler of any kind but as a peer entity with special powers granted by mutual consent: in essence, the government is supposed to be a decision-making and enforcement body for a treaty among sovereigns, a sort of UN for individuals–NOT a ruler.

    1. No. Distributed rule. I.e. the rights are reserved to the people AND THE STATES. I.e. you still have city governments and state governments.
      “Rule” in this case is used in lieu of “government.” Not as in royal rule.
      And no, it’s not democracy. Democracy is rule by the mob.

  26. Am I the only one who is considering the possibility that the three “positive” CCP Virus by Texas State Dems after their flight to DC is a concocted pretext to keep them from being forced back so the Texas Assembly can vote on strengthening election integrity? Almost all of the references to it that I have seen, even on Insty, don’t raise this as a possibility.

    1. We know that the tests can be scammed positive. We can also be fairly confident that the virus is mild enough for deliberate infection to occur.

      Either that, or we have a freakish coincidence, such that there is grounds to capriciously and arbitrarily restrain Democrats from gathering in groups of three or more.

      At first I thought you were reading too much between the lines. Now, I think you are correct.

  27. It just happed while I was reading this, that Mysteries of the Abandoned showed the abandoned Doftana prison where King of Romania imprisoned all the communist radicals that later come to power, including Nicolae Ceaușescu. The result, after wars and much suffering of the people was yet another tyrant, leaving an improvised corrupt nation that is still recovering. We have known several Romanian people. The old nomenclature did not disappear, but still holds positions of power, much like Albania where my wife is from.

    Interestingly enough Albania is now much more open than the US where they openly debate to pro and cons of the vexine on National TV and, one of the TV personalities is having a big debate with a feminists on family, etc. He says now half the country now hate him, but is willing to stand up to all the criticism.

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