It’s Not The Worst of Times

It’s not the best of times. It’s not the worst of times.

And curse you and fate for putting me, a chronic depressive, in the position of giving you reality checks, over and over and over again.

I’d much rather be in a corner moping or as mom used to call it “Being all three ravens.” (No, I have no idea what she meant by that, and I’m afraid to ask.)

No, correction, I’d much rather not be in a corner, moping, because that leads to suicide, or suicidal depression, and I’ve been managing my tendencies with strict thought-hygiene for years, and am not about to give up now.

So you get the thought hygiene inflicted on you. It mostly consists of reality checks.

Catastrophism is not reality. Catastrophism is the reverse image of the triumphalism of the left which goes something like this: Stop everyone from saying they disagree with us — ?????? — victory.

So take a damper, and some reality checks, will you?

Yes, the left thinks they’re on the road to communism. That’s why you’re recognizing some of the guide posts we pass, and some of their actions.

But just because they’re stupid and uninformed, it doesn’t require you to be the same. You can be alarmed and disgusted at their attempts without assuming “all is lost, abandon ship. Communism wins forever.”

Because that’s not how the world works. That’s not how the world has ever worked. If you think communism is that fatally attractive that everyone will fall in with it, or that it is pre-ordained they win, you might be my age or older and have been indoctrinated into this belief EVEN FROM THE RIGHT. Which btw is what created the eGOP: “The same only slower.” Note the real right is not like that now. So, ignore them. It’s cultic beliefs that have been imposed on you and you never examined.

Yes, some of the kids believe that shit. What did you expect when you sent them to public school and didn’t pay attention to what they were taught, or teach them to question everything? They’re indoctrinated and inducted into a cult. Most of them will shake it off. Some of them already have, but know better than to talk aloud. Give a kid a copy of Peterson’s “rules.” I’ve seen it make a big difference and start a turn around. And remember they’re kids. And also that this isn’t the world Heinlein envisioned. There aren’t enough of them to make a difference. And most of them have never been told no/punished. They’ll change when they’re scared.

Now, the for reals, okay? The reality check for you to pay attention to when you start swallowing that poison black pill. (And it’s important not to swallow the black pill. The black pill means you, personally, have stopped fighting and might want to burn it all down and thereby become a tool of the puppet masters trying to destroy Western Civilization. It’s cowardice and desertion in the face of the enemy. Is that what you want to do?)

1- No country has gone communist or stayed communist without massive help from the free world. This is because economically and at a functioning level, communism is basically feudalism with more bureaucracy and more stupidity and fiefdoms corrupting the information flow.

Feudalist societies can’t support societies as complex, populous and prosperous as ours. If communism lasts long enough — North Korea — the feudalism becomes obvious. As does the grinding poverty.

But here’s the thing: even with that communist countries wouldn’t survive if the surplus of the free world weren’t feeding them. Also, if the fighting of the free world didn’t afford them protection. North Korea survives because of China. China survives because we feed them. Just like the USSR did.

China’s attempts to take us down betray both insane hubris and an utter lack of understanding of economics and how the world works. It’s what we expect from China, because they’re xenophobic, isolated, and — like all very old societies — mildly insane.

They won’t succeed because when America sniffles, the world catches pneumonia. Long before we fall, they starve.

2 – No country has ever been taken over and stayed communist that is as varied, as rich, as huge and as populous as ours. Or, btw, as well armed.

If you’re going to make noises about Russia or China, go teach your grandma to suck eggs. Russia was never as populous, and China is not diverse. Besides having a culture of collective guilt/responsibility that led them directly into communism.

We don’t have that. And our base culture is “you and whose army?”

3- “But Sarah, they’ll do it through the insurances, through economic controls, through–“
They’ll TRY. Oh, they’ll try, because they’re stupid and overconfident and basically cultists.
BUT like China, they need us more than we need them. They just haven’t realized that yet, because people are still in the “putting up with it” phase. Because things aren’t bad enough.
Though notice how scared corporations are of CRT indoctrination leaking, or how quickly Coca Cola tried to walk back the “too white” bullshit.
When people have had enough, they’ve had enough, and outside the fast-emptying big cities, people have just about had enough.

4- Yes, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. If we’re all very unlucky, it will get as bad, economically, as in the seventies. Maybe.

In the seventies, Jimmah Carter was fucking up by the book. He was doing exactly what people at the time thought should bring about a prosperous society. (For the record I think Obama was doing the same only he thought it would bring about a prosperous WORLD.)
When it failed he was baffled, and his followers spent the next twenty years explaining how it would have succeed if only we’d given it time.

But by then we knew better. We knew decline and poverty were not inevitable. They were the result of progressive policies. Up with which we would no longer put (;)). Reagan burst that soap bubble. It remains bursted. Even China tries to implement marketing stuff. (Stupidly. Badly.)

We are now not looking at the crazy that Carter 3 is turning into and going “well, that’s the logical thing to do” — well, outside academia, and those people are nuts — we’re looking at it and going “Oh, you want to destroy us. No.”

But still, they’re running around with a hammer, and it will get worse before it gets better.

5- A lot of the worse is a good thing. No, listen to me. Two generations have been indoctrinated on how progressives are so caring and nice. And how refusing illegals is racist.

Experiencing just a bit of the chaos won’t hurt anyone. And it will give them a clear view of what this brings. just like Jimmah Carter destroyed the idea of controlled economy.

6- Yes, they’re going to do stupid sh*t including trying to lock us down again. My guess is outside the big cities it will back fire, and make them lose power and face. Note they’ve lost a lot already.

Yes, in the middle of it all, some people will be caught in the maw and have their lives destroyed. Try to make yourself as safe as possible, but remember there is never safe enough. And some things are worth dying for.

7- Most people will just go through a bad patch. And get vaccinated. Oh, no, I don’t mean against Wuflu. I mean against a lot of the spectacularly bad ideas that the 20th century infected us with, from “scientific government” to “centralized control is better.”

8- Stop swallowing the black pill. You’ll be needed for the rebuild.

Communist/fascist push will fail, because it always does. It will fail faster and harder because we’re American.

It needs to fail here and in public, before it’s fully discredited.

NOW: Be not afraid and get back to work. Work at making you and yours safe. Work at communicating ideas of liberty and hope for the future. Work at pulling brands from the fire.

Work while you can. Because, yes, night is coming. But no night is permanent and I’m betting this one will be brief. And after that, the light will be clear and blinding.

482 thoughts on “It’s Not The Worst of Times

      1. lol. What happens in Vegas (or in the Marketing Department) stays on the Internet forever. No matter how much the censors try to “walk it back.”

        1. I think they are counting on the short-term memory and inattention of the general public. Who cares, as long as they don’t play games with the flavor and branding (again).

        1. I vaguely remember Pepsi Clear. And there are some Cola based drinks that are more golden (I think there was one from Goya) rather than the brown that basically just uses caramel coloring.

            1. Which is what the Goya stuff is I think. I never really liked it unlike their Ginger Beer which is quite lively.

              1. I do like the Ginger Beers from Goya and whoever made the cola. The Jamaican Ginger Beer was really spicey. It Has Bite, would be a good motto for them.

          1. In S America there are a variety of “colas” based on the caffeine vehicle, the cola nut. Yellow “Inca Cola” (Peru) is great — tastes like bubble gum. “Cola Inglesa” (“English cola”) is like American “Big Red.”
            I wanna know who took the “coca” outa “cola?”

          1. I had to look that one up (dislike the Skittles alleged candy). They “gave their rainbow” to try to support for the “Pride” rainbow… and it got interpreted in another way. And they were somehow surprised…

            1. Yep. I’m not even sure people actually took it that way, but the way store price tags were, well, that’s what popped out of the blender.

              And they can’t seem to sell them either, so they still there, stalking the grocery store aisle like some ghost of bad ideas past.

          2. I had to look that one up, too. Yeah, not the brightest move. Rumor has it they even pissed of the Wee Folk (who can be a bit proprietary about rainbows) which is never a good idea. If I hear of a Banshee haunting their corporate headquarters, I’ll be the guy laughing my arse off.

      2. I’m surprised it wasn’t more successful. Most white people nowadays consider Coke to be highly unhealthy, and prefer fruit juice. I would expect the anti-white campaign to be popular with minorities, who are probably more likely to drink soda.

            1. Yeah, but I figured I’d label the bullshit as such, and wasn’t quite up to a ‘bless your heart’ with him when I figured he would understand. So stuck with the simple. Possibly a mistake.

          1. Also, given the current, “White supremacy! White is icky!” Theme, I’d think everyone would be searching for a rich, dark brew…if I thought it mattered at all.

            1. Well, with all this talk about how Supreme White folks are, I’m starting to feel godly and invincible.
              Thank goodness I have a cat that comes by and reminds me, “Thou art but a mortal man.” Usually after sinking her claws in my leg to climb up to be petted.

        1. Ken, is there some reason you have such a hard-on for this place? The site owner has made it clear you’re not welcome and it’s not like the rest of the people here are begging you to stay.

          What do you think you’re achieving?

      3. Too late. After 60 years of only Coke, and including a basement with a Coke theme, I walked away. I hold a grudge. They are done.

    1. Yep. Marketing campaign telling their customers to “be less white.”

      I don’t look at my subsequent action as a boycott so much as respecting their decision to not want my money. But it’s damn difficult seeing as how many brands I didn’t realize they own.

      1. I had occasion to go to fast food joints while dealing with some interesting (!) dental issues. Seems MacD, Burger King, and Wendy’s use Woka Cola products, but I almost like MacD’s milk shakes. 🙂 (They could use a better chocolate syrup. Won’t hold my breath. Thought so in 1969 when I worked at one.)

        Costco switched to Pepsi a few years ago, and I’m happy to skip the drinks coolers at Home Desperate. The local restaurants serve Pepsi, since there’s a bottling plant in Flyover Falls.

        FWIW, Doctor Pepper isn’t a Coca Cola brand, though it can be bottled by Coke plants (along with Pepsi and independents).

        1. Avoid everything made with high fructose corn syrup, which is pretty much all the major brand soda’s made in the USA. High fructose corn syrup is just about the worst thing you can eat or drink short of actual poison. I strongly suspect that the widespread use of it is the fundamental cause of the high diabetes rate in the USA, more so than even lack of exercise/physical activity. Even physically active people who eat/drink the HFCS are susceptible to blood sugar control issues.

          1. I prefer my sweeteners to have nothing natural about them. 🙂 Sucralose is my current favorite, though some of the diet sodas (particularly in fountain formulations, though some in bottled form) still use aspartame. Considering how it loses its sweetening capability after heat exposure, aspartame is iffy. (The Swiss Miss sugar-free hot cocoa was “interesting” until they replaced the aspartame with sucralose.)

            Still not a fan of diet Coke, regardless of the sweetener. Diet Pepsi is OK. I got out of the habit of keeping a stash of diet sodas in the shop when I couldn’t be in the shop for a few months. If I’m in town, I’ll get a diet Pepsi at lunch. Was trying Gator-Ade Zero when I was in physical therapy, though some flavors use modified food starch. Since much of that is wheat based, I found having to check the formula for each bottle too annoying.

            I’m a diet controlled Type II diabetic, though my A1c numbers put me in the normal range nowadays.

            1. A year ago my doctor wanted to put me on metformin (I think it was). I told him to let me try controlling my glucose and A1Cs with diet. They were not too high and he agreed. After a year of avoiding too many carbohydrates I am now in the normal range — just barely but still normal.

              I sweeten my coffee and lemonade with stevia and use erythitol (Swerve) when I need some sugar for a recipe.

          2. High fructose corn syrup is just concentrated plant sugar, same as in fruits, and fruit juice. It’s chemically identical to honey, naturally enough since honey is just concentrated fruit sugar (in fact you can’t tell pure honey from honey adulterated with HFCS without microscopically examining it for pollen contaminants, and that is easy enough to “fix” should someone think to shake flowers over the vat). Sucrose (table sugar) is just fructose plus glucose smucked together.

            Aspartame is a lot worse for you. It gradually destroys thyroid tissue, and thyroid decline is at the root of type 2 diabetes… that decline makes you crave sugar for your starving brain, because all the sugar is stuck in your blood… leading to high insulin and galloping fat deposits, which in turn make you hungry all the time due to leptin resistance; rinse and repeat until 400 pounds and diabetic.

            Soda with HFCS (or sucrose) doesn’t cause the problem. Soda is the self-medication to make the brain feel better. For a while. Consider its excessive consumption a predictor (not a cause) of creeping metabolic problems.

            Increased rates of thyroid decline is partly from all the soy and flaxseed products in processed food (high in phytoestrogens that are thyroid inhibitors, probably by suppressing gonadal hormones and breaking that feedback loop) but partly because thanks to modern medicine, now we live long enough for most people to experience the decline of gonadal hormones that triggers natural thyroid decline… which would normally kill you in 10-15 years, but now we treat the symptoms (tho rarely the root) and people live long enough to gripe about it.

            Fix the damn thyroid (and ideally, also the gonadal hormones) so tissues can use energy normally, and your brain won’t crave sugar, and the diabetes will go away. (Stimulating the thyroid is actually one of the effects of intermittent fasting, and why it works. However, calorie restriction does the opposite.)

            1. [HFCS is] chemically identical to honey, naturally enough since honey is just concentrated fruit sugar

              Well there you go, bringing science into it…

              1. It’s as if the anti-HFCS mania is just a sublimation of hatred for Eeevul Big Corporations. I’m no fan of Archer Daniels Midland, but that’s more because of subsidies and regulatory capture and ethanol-gas rather than HFCS and “poison in the food supply” and all that naturopathic/naturopathic-adjacent nonsense.

                1. Honestly, I don’t avoid HFCS because it’s evilbad, I avoid it because it’s a useful signifier for “this food uses cheap products.” Especially in things where it doesn’t belong to begin with, like bread.

                  I mean, if I see HFCS in candy, I’m going to shrug, because it’s CANDY. But seeing HFCS in a theoretically savory sauce means I’m going to step back and think that maybe I should get something else, because that’s garbage food.

                  1. That’s pretty much it; it’s sweeter than sugar, so they can use less, making for a cheaper product; what did they make up the difference with??

                    Plus in stuff like iced tea mix, I don’t like the taste. To me (somewhere waaaaay out beyond supertaster) it makes for a weird stale-sugar-water taste.

                    [I am incongruously reminded that the well water at Universal Studios tastes faintly like grape koolaid.]

                2. To be fair, fructose in any form is mildly dangerous, because it goes into your blood whether you need it or not.
                  So it creates hyperglycemia.
                  Our fruits have got massively sweeter through selection so well, eating a peach is like eating a snickers. Have fun.

        2. It was jarring after moving from a place where Dr. Pepper was bottled & distributed by Coca-Cola (and thus followed the Coke sales events) to one where it was bottle by Pepsi (and thus followed the Pepsi sales events). Though I now only very rarely drink soda-pop, I still find Pepsi cloyingly sweet. And no matter how good Royal Crown might be, I never think of it as any good as I always recall it being served at a county fair – and it was always warm and thus nasty.

        3. How can MacD’s make shakes when their Ice Cream Machine is always broken? 😉

          Five Guys serves Woka Cola, but their shakes are pretty dark good, especially considering they’re fast food. And if you’re ever in or around Pittsburgh, find yourself a Burgatory. Not fast food, but the burgers are excellent and the shakes are to die for.

          1. The last time I tried MacD for a shake, the lobby was closed. The other one in Flyover Falls got the lobby redo with kiosks torwards the end of the lockdown, but this one is considerably older and will likely have some major changes. So, I went across the street to Burger King. It was *their* shake machine that was broken. 🙂

            The best fast food shakes are over in Lakeview, at the Burger Queen. (They named it, not me. 🙂 ).

      2. I swear, I look around where I live, and only see a percentage of black people more or less in the proportions that they are, statistically – say, 12-13% of the total population. This part of Texas is about half Hispanic (Hispanic and mostly of the paler variety) and a little way north and into the Hill Country, almost entirely white, or ‘Anglo’ (even of most of them there are of German descent, ethnically) and I wonder who the hell are the marketing geniuses who thought that annoying eighty percent of the country with racial wokitude was a good move.

        1. Woke isn’t aimed at minorities, it’s aimed at White women (of both sexes) who use it as a social signal and a means of punishing themselves because subconsciously they know that they’re horrible people.

          1. Also, it’s cheap virtue, and they don’t want to do anything actually virtuous and therefore costly.

            1. One of my favorite bands, Carbon Leaf, has a lyric that runs though my head every time I see virtue signalling:

              I want to
              Change the world
              It’s easier
              Than changing me.

              1. I prefer Ozzy:

                I don’t want to change the world
                I don’t want the world to change me.

                1. Lennon’s “Revolution”
                  You say you want a revolution, well, you know
                  We all want to change the world
                  ….
                  You tell me, it’s the institution, well, you know
                  You better free your mind instead
                  ….
                  Don’t you know, know it’s gonna be
                  Alright, alright, alright

  1. First! Erm, I mean, keep your heads and work as though the world will spin on. If it doesn’t, you’re off the hook, and if it does you’re not caught with no chair when the music stops, even if you had to build it yourself.

  2. I’ve been having a rough patch (had plans. Outside forces changed those plans. All I could say was “thanks for updating me. I’ll work with that.”) I had to forcibly shake myself and remind myself that I have a split Vocation for a Reason. What that Reason is I don’t know, but I do know that my job is to deal with what I can deal with, not make more work for other people if possible, and to tell stories. One of which I got a considerable chunk of material into yesterday, once I quit moping and just worked.

    1. I hate this vocation of speaking cheerfulness to normies, myself.
      And I’m frantic that I’ll never get to see dad in this world again.
      I miss him rather horribly.

      1. Thats it our hostess isn’t a white male mormon. She’s a Kzin, Speaker to Normies styled by her profession. Also has to be a Kzin from the Ringworld, something highly suspect here… Be on the lookout for Pierson’s Puppeteers.

      2. At least you’ve already had the practice of explaining it to yourself, when the brain wants to go “Woe and sadness! All is lost!” and then that other annoying part has to metaphorically turn the crucifix to the wall and speak blunt truth. Folks not practiced in self-correction tend to go rather farther off the rails when things Don’t Go To Plan. Often because they’ve less experience of failure, and the picking oneself back up out of the dirt and trying again.

        Take care of yourself. You’ve little people of your own that want you around, too. And who knows? Might be littler people come along someday. I have it on good authority that grandkids are awesome.

      3. >> “I hate this vocation of speaking cheerfulness to normies, myself.”

        Sorry for what you’re going through, but… I thought we didn’t have many normies around here. I was under the impression you were trying to keep OUR spirits up.

    2. Hugs– I know how outside forces can forcibly change plans. Sending you good vibes. Yea– and in my case chronic illness completely changed all of my plans and vocational trajectory.

  3. Regardless of the times we’re in, they’re the ones we were sent to handle, so anything and any thinking that cripples your ability to function needs to be torched. Even if it’s more realistic to be blackpilled, if blackpilling doesn’t goad you to get up and do what needs to be done, then it’s time to go Pollyanna on this mess.

    1. I do spend a lot of time yelling at Himself that He needs a writers’ group, though.
      Yes, some of us will die in this.
      So? We all owe G-d a death.
      Do it as bravely or as snidely or both as you can.

      1. That you’re counseling optimism to normals is probably yet another sign of Himself’s sense of humor ( somewhat laced with irony).

        1. Himself has a rough sense of humor. Sort of like Mycroft in TMiaHM. Itching powder in a space suit? Yikes!

            1. Heh. That’s the usual answer Himself likes to give. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating, I gotta say…but that’s probably part of the point, heh. :p

      2. I always liked the Ythrians take on death. Death is a hunter and the best death is to go into the dark night screaming defiance. Kicking and gouging eyeballs all the way.

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

      ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

      I carry a copy of this quote around with me.

      1. Tolkien could certainly turn a phrase. Here is another I like

        > “What do you fear, lady?”
        >
        > “A cage. To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

        The movie quote is a bit different and still moving.

        > Aragorn: What do you fear, milady?
        >
        > Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

    3. Yes…We were sent, and we sent ourselves to be in these times, so suck it up and stay focused….

  4. Amen!

    I’m about ready to tell the “gloom-and-doom” folks to “put your self out of your/my misery”. 😡

  5. Thank you for my daily dose of “Don’t give up the ship!” It does help. Really it does.

  6. Things are very hard and awful right now. It makes it easier to say “F no” to any and all weirdness, craziness, or commie talk.

    I forced a muzzle wearer off the sidewalk yesterday just by standing, glaring, and refusing to step into the street.

    We fight.

    I think though, Sarah, you need to go see your Dad. Illegally if you have to. I’ll pray that you find a way.

    1. Last year, mask wearing morons would CROSS THE STREET because I was on the sidewalk without one.

      There’s drinking the kool-aid, and then there’s power-slamming it. All because of the common f-ing cold.

      Fauxi and Daszak need to decorate lamp-posts. They paid the communist Chinese to make this disease in a lab already notorious for containment failures. It’s like this is what they WANTED.
      ———————————
      Governments can’t create prosperity; at best, they can refrain from destroying it.

      1. Your intensity makes me happy, as if I’m not the only one barely holding back the screams.

      1. I’m starting to think that those of us with family in Europe should see about splitting the costs of a private jet…

      2. I haven’t figured out the “how to” part yet. I think Cyn may have hit on an idea that I can at least pray on.
        My Mom died about a month ago and I think that makes your situation with your Dad hit me harder that it might ordinarily. It’s just an awful situation.

          1. Prayers for you, Kathy. It is hard to lose a parent.
            And prayers for a solution for you, Sarah, re dad, and move, etc. And I too thank you so very much for your encouraging posts.

            1. OK that might have sounded trite, Kathy. I don’t mean to be. I lost both my parents after difficult last illnesses, within the last several years.

            2. Thanks so much. It’s kicking my butt at the moment, as these things can do. And you don’t sound trite at all. You sound kind, and it feels wonderful.
              I’m praying for Sarah and her Papa to be able to see each other. Somehow.

  7. The kidney transplant process is starting for me at the end of this month (no not a transplant, but the journey towards a transplant). I think I need to get off the pot and do what I need to do. IF I black-pilled, I wouldn’t do it. BTW I was hoping for a 3d printed kidney using my own DNA. That would be optimal… but I think the “overlords” are slowing down good stuff to go with their agenda.

    1. About a year or two ago I read there was as startup company in Manchester or Nashua NH that was going to be developing 3d organ printing. Haven’t checked to see if they’re actually in business or didn’t get the initial funding.

        1. https://school.wakehealth.edu/Research/Institutes-and-Centers/Wake-Forest-Institute-for-Regenerative-Medicine

          “The first instance of a 3D printed organ was achieved in the Wake Forrest Institute for Regenerative Medicine back in 1999. Researchers created an artificial scaffold for a human bladder — and follow-ups 10 years later found the patient had no complications. Three years later in 2002, Wake Forrest researchers 3D printed a fully functional kidney.”,https://www.3dsourced.com/guides/3d-printed-organs-bioprinting/, 7/24/2021.

          My God, they’ve already done it. Supposedly the kidney didn’t survive long; they don’t say why but I imagine because they never implanted the thing into a living body. So not on a commercial basis yet, Put your name in for clinical trials.

      1. Last I read, they had funding, but couldn’t get the never to be sufficiently damned government to give them a roadmap on how they could run clinical trials.

    2. Best of luck for getting in line to get a transplant kidney. My own daughter is halfway through the functioning of her one kidney and is expected to need dialysis or a replacement kidney then. The FDA making any medical advance take 10 years and 500 million to 1 billion $ is incredibly frustrating.
      But my prayers are with you for your progress towards this relief.

        1. Thank you. Hopefully 3D printing will advance rapidly enough to help everyone with kidney issues.

        2. Thank you. Hopefully 3D printing will advance rapidly enough to help everyone with kidney issues.

    3. Prayers. May the process be easy* to go through and the result satisfactory.

      (*) I know, but I can pray for that.

    4. I’ll be praying about the 3D version, Cyn. That’d be neat. I’m really glad for you.

  8. It can be very therapeutic to sharpen one’s fighting knife. On a particularly bad day, sharpen the axe. (Grin)

    What?

  9. I feel fired up and hopeful…at least long-term, for my kids’ future. Not so much MY immediate future 🙂

  10. It’s hard a lot of the time to remember this, and I had a good-sized bout of doubt and anxiety night before last dealing with this.

    I’ve been telling people this-we’re seeing the ’70s play out all over again. With even uglier people and maybe better porn (at least more of it so that there’s more chances for that 10% that’s good to be there). We’re seeing efforts to keep the cash cows in the entertainment industry alive (think spaghetti westerns in the ’70s and superhero movies today). We’re seeing urban blight come back with a vengeance because the ANTIFA/BLM leadership wants to make their nut now and move to reasonably run areas to enjoy their wealth. We’re going to see a lot of the “we should just accept the decline, eat bugs, and emulate the well run parts of the world like China and India.”

    (Yes, you may laugh yourself sick over this idea.)

    We’re going to get more dystopian movie porn. We’re going to get more crappy novels and stories. Pretty much write off DC and Marvel, and maybe the rest of the comic book industry because it’s done. Maybe even Disney and a lot of Hollywood as well. It’s not going to be fun by any stretch of the imagination.

    But, as long as they don’t win, we can’t lose. It’s going to be a slog. But don’t stop fighting.

    1. Interestingly, I’ve noticed that the fad for dystopian teen fic seems to have burned out. (Well. Maybe. I also haven’t been in a tradpub bookstore in forever, and I mostly buy indie/baen ebook so I could be wrong.)

      1. Dystopia is a favorite location for SF writers for the obvious reason that it makes for wonderful conflict.

    2. I do remember the 70s very well, and I do agree – this is the rerun, only with the Potted Plant in the White House instead of Jimmy Carter and with his black cloud of malaise hanging over his head like the character of Joe Bftsplk in Lil Abner. (Yeah, I’m old enough to remember Lil Abner…)

            1. If you see a rabbit and it lunges at you, panic.

              It’s very likely sick with something that you might be able to catch, and you don’t want to catch it.

        1. I’d love to have Lil Abner back! Too bad it’s way over the heads of our current “elites.”

    3. ” Maybe even Disney and a lot of Hollywood as well. It’s not going to be fun by any stretch of the imagination.”

      Sad to say it, even as I’m getting ready for a day at the House of Mouse, we lost them years ago.

      1. A lot of Hollywood got lost years ago. Once again, repeat of the ’70s, the end of one system of making movies that is followed by something that looks like it works but fails, then something that does work…

    4. I suspect we are also going to see a lot of alternative entertainment stuff pop up as well.

      I somehow wandered into the Touhou fan music scene pretty much by accident. I haven’t played the games, and while they aren’t really a genre I’m interested in, the fan music and remixes are very very good, and a lot of fun.

      I suspect we will see more and more of this emerge as the mainstream media loses its collective marbles and destroyed their product in fits of peer signalling.

      1. I suspect so as well. As long as Amazon (outside of it’s streaming service) doesn’t kill that particular golden goose of new content, they’ll have an advantage as time goes on.

  11. It is hard to think there will be a snap back because the Biden team are importing so many millions of third world illegals who are either covid positive or have refused the vacine that there won’t be enough cohesion left for a united response. If we have become a country of waring tribes, it is like the joke about crabs in a basket always pulling each other back down. I hope you are optimistically correct and look forward to how navigation is possible through all of this.

    1. The illegals are here for money AND benes. When it gets worse, they leave. Trust me on this.
      Also cohesive response to WHAT? Covid?
      Do you need a cohesive response to the common cold?
      PFUI

      1. This insight you have shared has been greatly reassuring to me. The Democrats think the illegal immigrants will fight for them in their war. But they are running away from the problems in their own countries. They are not the sort of people to stand and fight.

        I’ve been white pilled on the future of America for a while, I think you pointed out that cultures slide back into standard cultural norms after top down changes, (Putin -> Neo-Czar, Xi-> Neo- Emperor). I have a deep faith that the ideals of America will survive and bloom again, I think within my lifetime.

        But now Im struggling with the black pill in my personal life.

        Trying to work on that.

      2. I know it’s ‘benefits’ but I keep reading it as ‘beans’ (phonics…) and pondering ‘bennies’ but that has another meaning as in Bennies & Dexies…

        What, me normal?

    2. Just two warring tribes: Americans and Progressives. Nonsense like CRT is just a gambit by the Progressives to break the Americans up, because they know they can’t win against us. Not only is it not working, it’s backfiring SPECTACULARLY. Normal Americans are waking up to the garbage being put out in the schools and they’re not having it. I think people are beginning to realize that the madness during the Trump administration wasn’t coming from Trump. A lot of people voted for Biden because he promised to bring us back to normal, and it wasn’t nearly enough. I actually have some doubt that the Democrats are physically capable of cheating enough to win after Biden treated that promise like his Depends.

  12. I can see that times of major suckage are coming, and it won’t be fun, but when I see what is coming for the left I almost feel sorry for them.

    Almost.

  13. My reality check; saw a couple of Eskimos selling baleen on the street corner next to Safeway yesterday.

    Yep, no matter what, I’m still sitting on top of the world.

  14. Australia is now completely locked down. People aren’t allowed to leave their homes. Businesses are shut. This, after one death from the “Delta Variant.” They’re not even trying to hide their glee at tormenting their own people. Australia gave up their guns, but there’s plenty of sharp things. And lamp posts. Come on, Aussies, show us some moxie.

    1. Australia started as a penal colony. What prison doesn’t do lockdowns? 😎

    2. There are few people that I would think would be worse to piss off than Aussies. Definitely US (outside of the blue zones), maybe Nepal (think ghurkas). I don’t think the Aussies have had the rebellious/tough streak beaten out of them quite yet (unlike UK and perhaps Canada). The Anglosphere is a sad shadow of what it once was.

      1. Despite their current attitude toward the world and ostensibly toward military conflict in general, a part of me wonders what the result might be if someone *really* pissed off the Japanese.

    3. One death and something like 11 positives. Out of ~40,000 tests. That’s barely statistical noise.

      WTF has happened to the Australian spirit??

    4. The couple of Aussies I still have on my friends list are outraged… at people who want to live their lives.

      The propaganda there is **strong**

  15. Like it.

    Thanks.

    Turns out that I can’t think of anything useful to say.

  16. Sarah, none of us can even fix our own stupid, much less that of someone else.

    But we can be grateful for the good and celebrate that. Like the USAian movement. Even if it started as fiction, it’s catching on…

  17. Here’s hoping you get to Portugal sooner rather than later.

    I am seeing the signs of things circling the drain, and I’m also seeing signs of people trying desperately to not notice that anything is wrong. I’m seeing very little “wear a mask you granny killer!” type comments on FB – my totally anecdotal source. And, the small uptick in outdoor mask wearing I saw in the last couple weeks, presumably in response to the delta/lambda scare, has dropped back down again.

    I’m starting to get concerned about our inability to get the hell out of Dodge, but there’s not a lot I can do about that right now. Hubby is on the job hunt and doing everything and more that he needs to do to find a job in a state we’d like to live in. All I can do right now is pray and think good thoughts. We are okay, we will be okay. I have to remember that. And we will keep moving forward.

    1. The comments on Not Always Right seem to be a lot more mask/vaccine pushing now than they were in the height of the pandemic. Also a lot more anti-Trump, which seems odd, considering he’s been out of the office for months.

  18. To expand on an old folk saying:
    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me, because I gave you a second chance under the assumption the first time was an honest mistake. Twice is coincidence and coincidence is highly suspect. You are now my enemy.
    Try for a third time, and I and those of like mind will treat you as the existential threat you purport to be and not only make you die, we will show you the true meaning of cancel culture. Think the gentle encouragement Rome gave to Carthage, no two blocks one upon the other, and salt the earth.

      1. Very true as a learning meme, but in actual point of fact in our current situation it was enemy action from the get go. This is not a disagreement amongst reasonable people. The left hates everything we stand for and would see us dead and our children enslaved. Looking back we will always wish we had cut them off at the knees with their first attack on our institutions and traditions instead of trying to be reasonable and reach a compromise.

        1. No argument there. — This is something I usually have to beat into my clients (when I was giving dog training fixit lessons) — always make the FIRST response to egregious bad behavior strong enough that the misbehaving dog goes, “Boy, that was DUMB” and NEVER TRIES IT AGAIN. Otherwise you’ve just taught the dog how much it can take, and created incentive to try it again only worse, because now it knows there will be no forbidding response. This is how mischief becomes outlawry. The nipping puppy, if not roundly discouraged, becomes the biting adult.

          Likewise with the hardwired Left (and its close cousin, Islam), reason and compromise are unfailingly seen as surrender and encouragement, and responded to accordingly.

          The big advantage of cutting it off at the knees is that then you never have the argument again, and life is so much more peaceful for everyone. Even for the Left.

        2. Democratic Party Congressman Hank Johnson (of Guam is going to tip over due to global warming infamy) said the quiet part out load today when talking about HR1. After ranting about election integrity laws he said that Democrats need to ignore history and “seize control”. Yes, he actually used the phrase “seize control”-several times. I suspect that he represents the majority view in his party and was simply stating their actual game plan out loud.

          1. Yep. Which means they think WE have a chance to “seize control” in the 2022 elections. So they’re gonna preemptively “seize control”.

  19. To give the old phony peanut-growing antisemite his due, Jimmah Carter did deregulate air travel. That’s one way he “destroyed the idea of controlled economy,” for which we should all be grateful! And IIRC, didn’t he do something similar for interstate trucking as well?

    1. He removed the weight restrictions on interstate bridges, based on thinking pulled out of his nether regions. A friend who used to engineer for CalTrans said that managed to cause a boatload of problems later on.

      1. Ah. So the truck deregulation thing was NOT a net positive. Great! because that leaves only one credit due to Jimmah. Thank you!

        1. And it was particularly bad in Oregon, because the state was an early constructor of the Interstates. IIRC, the Oregon bridges were designed assuming 60,000 pound limits, while later ones used 80,000. I believe Jimmeh decided that 105,000 was safe.

          Lots of bridge rebuilding, all over the country.

          Arggggggggghhhhhh!

  20. Ecc 7:10 ULB Do not say, “Why were the days of old better than these?” For it is not because of wisdom that you ask this question.

    The Lord made us for this time. We may not like it, no one likes discipline when it’s being administered, but it’s for our good in the long run.

    Repent, submit to God, resist tyranny, and overcome. There is a time for turning the other cheek, there is a time to flee, there is a time for David. May the Lord give us the wisdom to know where and when, but there is never a time for complacency and despair.

    Break their teeth Lord, break the teeth of those who seek to eat your people like bread. Turn their weapons upon themselves

    1. Or, as Tolkien so aptly summed it up:

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

  21. The 70’s might well be a good model, but for one thing.
    This is being driven by resource collapse, and attempts to “manage” it.

      1. I wouldn’t say that; the last vestiges of intelligence on the Left are also collapsing.

      2. My koolaid began with James Burke (in the 70’s, oddly enough), and appears to me as simple physics:

        It’s objectively measurable over here.

        1. Except it’s not. Exponential growth, long term, is a myth. It was a myth when Malthus wrote his seminal alarmist works. It’s been a myth ever since. Now, nearing on 50 years after the Oil Embargo that led to the 70’s “Energy Crisis” and people panicking about running out, we have more and larger proven reserves than we had then. The reason is that technology advances and the economic situation changes, what was once not a useable resource becomes not one.

          People have been telling you scare stories about resource depletion and the coming collapse. Those people have been lying to you. Are there ultimate limits? Of course there are. In a finite universe there have to be. However as Thomas Sowell is won’t to say “That ultimate limits exist does not mean that we are actually approaching them.”

          There are resources we use now. There are substitutes for those resources that for reasons (usually economic or political) that we aren’t currently using, or not using much. There are things that aren’t currently “resources” but awaiting only a turn of the technological wheel to become so.

          Example: Back in the 19th century, oil refining was basically to produce kerosene and fuel oil. Other outputs such as gasoline, were waste products and simply dumped into local waterways (Yikes!). Well, John D. Rockefeller and the folk working for him figured out how to use the gasoline to power the refining process. So instead of being wasted it was used to produce more kerosene. This had several effects. It made kerosene cheap, like better than an order of magnitude cheaper. This meant people could use kerosene for lighting cheaply enough that they could stay up past sunset reading, studying, socializing, what have you–something that people before didn’t do much because of the cost of maintaining lighting. This improved the quality of life for many people in all walks of life. In addition, it made one of the main competing products–whale oil–less economically viable. People bought a lot less whale oil because kerosene was a lot less expensive. This, BTW, reduced hunting pressures on whales and might well have saved several species long enough for Greenpeace to become a glimmer in its founder’s eye. This in addition to no longer dumping the gasoline in local waterways.

          What constitutes “resources” changes. And when one gets scarce, people, being clever monkeys, keep finding new ways to use other things to accomplish their ends. Thus, the idea of “resource collapse” that’s not deliberately engineered through political power is nonsense. It can never (in human terms anyway–I don’t want to hear about 5 billion years from now when the Sun exits the Main Sequence) be more than a temporary inconvenience.

          1. It can never (in human terms anyway–I don’t want to hear about 5 billion years from now when the Sun exits the Main Sequence) be more than a temporary inconvenience.

            So… I shouldn’t bring up Peak Hydrogen? (When the Universe gets too low on hydrogen to create new stars…) 😉

            1. After peak hydrogen, according to know physics, we will start black hole farming.

              Once we run out of black holes, we will probably move on to iron stars, if we haven’t dumped them into the black hole farms.

              However, if any of us are still around by then, we’ll likely be completely unrecognizable to our current selves.

          2. Interesting thing about exponential growth is to think how long you could go at 1% annually. If you take the Eddington number (10^80) as the limit, then 1% growth will get you there in ~18,500 years from a starting point of 1. If you look at it as joules of energy usage annually, then 1% growth will get you to 10^80 about the year 16,000. This points to a finite end to history or an ultimate slowdown and stagnation.

            Interesting to contemplate either way from multiple points of view.

        2. In that case, consider the North American maps of oil and gas fields:

          www DOT eia DOT gov/maps/maps.htm

          Consider also proven world reserves:

          www DOT .indexmundi DOT com/g/r.aspx?v=97

          Consider too that the relative depths of fossils (mostly fairly shallow) vs the deeper oil wells (over 3 miles) conclusively proves that oil is not “dead dinosaurs” (seriously? do they have any clue about the volume of decayed corpses??) but probably is the result of a natural carbon layer under extreme pressure, slowly seeping up to where we notice it. Funny how almost everywhere they look for oil, they find it. Maybe not convenient, but it’s there. (Areas where the crust is thin and flat are relatively convenient.)

          One can make similar observations about geologic structures known to commonly contain gold and silver and various other useful minerals, vs the tiny fraction of such structures that have been mined.

          We don’t have resource collapse; we have artificial scarcity due to either mismanagement (witness Mexico and Africa, both richly laden with natural resources, yet mired in poverty) or purposeful restriction (such as in the U.S. and Europe), or occasionally by becoming uneconomic (as happened with domestic metals refining, where union demands intersected with rising costs).

          As to starvation, that pretty much went away with modern agriculture really taking off in the 1960s, and for the previous century correlates well with communist takeovers. (And before that, with cold periods.)

          Wait, how did we get an inverse relationship between population and famines??!

          1. oil is not “dead dinosaurs”

            As far as I can tell, the only reason people believe that is because of that wonderful (but wrong) Chevron ad back in the 1977.

            Oil is mostly made of up decomposing plankton and algae, so much so that petroleum geologists (like my dad) used to refer to “bug men” whose job was to look at wellhead samples in a microscope and determine the types and kinds of plankton it had come from by the skeletal remains. (Presumably the job still exists, I don’t know if they’re still called that or not.)

              1. My first exposure to the Brontosaurus was the Sinclair logo on the gas station. Walked by it on the way to first grade in the late 1950s. It seems to be a regional brand now, but you can find it in Nevada and not too far from Sinclair, Wyoming.

        3. Someone once said of the night sky,

          “While some may look up and see stars, I see a billion bondfires made of burning libraries.”

          Our sun flings billions upon billions of of power into the void every moment of every day, and has for billions or years, and will for billions of years. Of the billions upon billions of stars in the sky, our world intercepts less than a billionth of our one stars’ input, and of that, we perhaps use a bare billionth.

          The rest is simply wasted, thrown into the empty dark of space for no-one to see or use again.

          If we are short of resources, it is only because we pour 99.9999+% down the drain every single day.

      3. I am quite convinced the notion of “population collapse” is mostly yet another excuse to flood the first world with third world economic migrants. Have been watching the idea of “importing labor” being floated in Japan — even as Japan moves to ever-greater automation and ever-shrinking need for a semi-skilled workforce; how’s THAT supposed to work?? And there are still 80M Japanese; there’s a lot of wiggle room in the population, even if half are aging out. Yeah, city investments will decline in value, but that will mostly hurt those who can afford the loss.

        And those migrants are only likely to leave if things are better back home, which is seldom the case even if we stop giving ’em welfare.

        Meanwhile, we’re told that the U.S. has a housing crisis, so by all means let’s import more people who can’t afford housing! meanwhile, Detroit is full of empty homes, slowly decaying into ruin. Was just looking around the south side of Chicago, and it’s got some neighborhoods that are much the same. But a lot of the problem is obviously the people living there … “big man, come save us” translated into “someone needs to fix my roof” but zero effort at anything like maintenance.

        When it don’t rain, the roof don’t leak.
        When it rains, I cain’t fix it no-how.

        Was watching flood footage from China and it’s the same mentality: people screaming for someone to come rescue them from impending death, but almost NO ONE actually gets up and tries to rescue themselves. They literally sit there waiting for the water to close over their heads.

        1. No. There is massive population collapse. in the third world too. The kakistokrats know it and are trying to solve it in the stupidest way possible.

          1. Decline, yes. I would not characterize it as “massive collapse”. Nor would I necessarily regard that decline as a problem. We carry a lot of dead weight (in the form of welfare, and feeding countries that can’t feed themselves, thus encouraging them to make more people who can’t feed themselves), because we =can=. Advances such as getting into space don’t happen during periods that are dominated by dead weight. I think we’re on a downcycle due to the sheer mass and drag of dead weight, but if we don’t stupidly try to preserve that drag (which seems to be what the cacobrains are doing), the problem will correct itself.

              1. Third world numbers, yes. Mostly (not entirely) exaggerated for best monetary effect. But first world — we’re going to decline some as a non-reproducing generation ages out, but from what I see here in Flyover Country, that’s starting to reverse. Couples who have young kids usually have 3 or 4.

                And I fail to see how having fewer dysfunctional third worlders than expected is a problem. Because if the count is wrong, that’s most of where it’s wrong. (China not excepted.)

                And yes, I’ve done the grand tour of supposedly-crowded places, both satellite and streetview. Egypt has tens of thousands of shiny new condos out in the eastern desert, with full infrastructure but nary a human to be seen. Lagos’ population is nowhere near what they claim, by an order of magnitude (same for most of Africa). But at the far end of the scale, Bangladesh appears as packed as it claims.

                I’d question Mexico City, except I’ve seen video from on the ground in the slums. They don’t have infrastructure; they have public water taps (or sometimes just a ditch), and shit on the paths between their 10×10 tin-and-cardboard shacks. There’s no electric service. Kids carrying water bottles is a cottage industry. And these slums go on for miles. I remember when the State Department recommended that Americans not travel to Mexico City, because that pinkish haze over the city is dust from human feces. (How these people support themselves, well, mostly they don’t. We feed them.)

                Anyway, there’s an example of why you can’t assume first-world infrastructure in third-world slums, even if those slums are attached to a modern city, making infrastructure a useless metric for gauging population. But you can get a pretty good idea from satellite and streetview.

                As to our own census, I’d guess it’s probably off a bit, having failed to count a slew of illegal aliens (thank goodness, or California would gain a bunch of congressmen). But we have a fairly accurate addressing system, so even if it’s done by mail and sloppily tallied (tho I’d guess it was not cheated, or CA =would= have gained congresscritters), we can guess that it’s at least in the ballpark. And against some 300M, even being off by 50 million wouldn’t mean much.

                1. Part of the rural/smaller city thing is that people who have a normal income and want more than 2-3 pretty much have to go to lower population areas, so they can get houses. Housing-occupancy regulations are enforced against intact, legal households.

                  1. I’ve heard of occupancy enforcement, but only in apartment buildings with fire code restrictions. Never heard of it in single-family dwellings, and Federal housing law prohibits refusal to rent on the basis of family size. (And I can tell you it’s sure as hell not enforced in SoCal. There used to be …interesting… trailer parks east of Bakersfield… old flat-roof singlewides surrounded by tinshack lean-to’s, with enough jalopies in evidence to indicate those tinshacks were extra dwellings for the cousins. Land has since been sold for malls.)

                    I’ve noticed that hereabouts, the couples with 3-4 kids are nearly always of a certain type, what in days of yore would be promptly ID’d as cowboys and hired hands, and the kids are obviously sharp and well-behaved. I take this to mean that there’s a positive influence from a retro gene pool.

                    1. It’s technically families with children, or putting special restrictions on those with children.
                      So the house that by square foot is a “reasonable” max occupancy of 2 could be a parent and child, or two adults, but if they have a child they’re in violation.
                      https://www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act-1

                      My sister got bitten by it in Oregon; it can also be a city or county regulation, or just the landlord, but they had to move when their son was born and the illegals in an identical house not far away were more to a room than they had in the whole house.

                      I’ve noticed that hereabouts, the couples with 3-4 kids are nearly always of a certain type, what in days of yore would be promptly ID’d as cowboys and hired hands, and the kids are obviously sharp and well-behaved. I take this to mean that there’s a positive influence from a retro gene pool.

                      :chuckles: 30 years ago, that’s my parents. 😀 Good to hear that they are showing up elsewhere, too!

                  1. Assertion is not evidence. However, every western U.S. metro that I’m familiar with is 2-4x bigger than it was 40 years ago (when I first started paying attention to such local populations) and at near-100% occupancy, and tho the unattractive-to-yuppies minor metros (eg. Great Falls) haven’t always grown, neither have they shrunk. When I moved to L.A., there were still cows in the San Fernando Valley, and we ran retriever field trials at Coto de Caza, then a wilderness area. ALL of that is now built over, miles and miles of houses and 10x more traffic. Here in the Northern Wastes, Billings and especially Bozeman have grown whole new cities outside their original boundaries. In the western U.S., population shrinkage is definitely not happening.

                    Tiny midwestern towns that were never more than a couple thousand and are now a couple hundred (or in the case of my family heritage town, going from a historical high of about 200 to the current population of 8) are insignificant against the mass of cities, as we rediscover with every election.

                    Places like Detroit are anomalous; when its auto industry mostly went tits-up, it went from the employment capital of the western world to nothing much; naturally it shrank. But the people it’s lost all went somewhere; they didn’t just *POOF*.

                    And if the books are being cooked, it would show in the property tax rolls.

                    So: show me the evidence. Show me how cooking the census books resulted in California LOSING congressmen who were a guaranteed Democrat lockstep vote, cuz we all know who cooks election books.

                    I can bloody SEE the evidence of exaggeration in Lagos, from the sheer lack of enough tin shacks and people on the streets. I don’t see it here in the U.S.; indeed, I see the opposite.

                    And my little town is in the process of building another school, something those who pay property tax do with great reluctance since it comes straight out of their wallets. (Targeted mill levy that requires a popular vote.)

                    1. ” When I moved to L.A., there were still cows in the San Fernando Valley”

                      Same thing here in Plano; in 2006 I drove past an actual herd of longhorns on my way to Wal-Mart.

                      OTOH, there’s a LOT of retail space going begging, and that was true before COVID. Now…. ghost strips.

                    2. Assertion is not evidence. However, every western U.S. metro that I’m familiar with is 2-4x bigger than it was 40 years ago (when I first started paying attention to such local populations) and at near-100% occupancy

                      OF THOSE HOUSES BEING OFFERED, which is a sub-set of those houses that are actually there.

                      Every US city I have been in, in the last twenty years or so, has break-your-heart places that are falling down.

                      At the same time, the regulations to be able to sell a house have gotten tighter, and there are a lot of buildings very obviously sitting empty (other than the squatters) because it would cost more to fix them up than you could possibly get for them, and even the cost of knocking them down so you can sell the lot would be too high.

                      Our first house had sat empty for over two years before HUD finally was able to sell it in a condition that would’ve been illegal for anybody else, and even here in Iowa we can tell there’s a HUGE housing boom because houses that were sitting empty for years before now, ever since some variation of “grandma moved into assisted living” happened, are being cleaned out and sold almost before they are ready.

                    3. Until the last year, Kansas towns were offering MONEY for people to move in.
                      And they weren’t the only ones. There’s almost-ghost towns that went from thousands to 100s.
                      Because cities is where the jobs were.

                    4. The metros are bigger, yes. But the hinterlands are DESERTED. Though that’s reversing at speed.
                      Fact fucking well in evidence, pardon my Klatchian. WHY do you think the census starting counting the “uncountable” illegals and homeless by adding random numbers under Clinton?
                      Bah.

                    5. Can’t talk about E Oregon. But small towns in Willamette Valley, and South, are growing. Was surprised how much building has occurred in and around Drain. But that is those who have been pushed out of the Eugene/Springfield, even outlying Junction City/Veneta/Creswell, even Cottage Grove Markets. Housing in the outer reaches of Eugene is crazy. But heart of Eugene is different, that is at best, new hotels or student housing, which has always been limited. Biggest growing *housing* are the Conestoga Huts, in “Safe Zones”. The 4J school district has lost grade schools. Not seeing any of the above as growth, but as redistribution. Some would disagree because of the increased housing and apartment costs (which are insane). But people have been buying because interest rates are low. As far as malls, stores are empty, but they finally filled the huge empty “core” store (forget who was in there wasn’t Sears but high end “Sears Like”) but they filled it with a midway type gaming play for tickets, redeem tickets, type.

                    6. I guess S. Central Oregon counts as eastern Oregon (I can’t speak for the very eastern counties), but housing started to go bonkers in 2020 and is worse now. A lot of Californians have decided to brave the winter weather and moved to our county. The only places lingering on the listings are the ones completely inappropriate. I’m thinking of the 2 story, 3000 square foot -footprint pole barn thoroughly ugly house that was built on a 2.5 acre lot. The top story is storage, but that “house” was shoehorned in the lot. Would not have been allowed near town. It looks like a pole barn with shutters, because that’s what it is. SMH.

                      Even the houses that got a hell-no from us (because serious fire danger from grasses and overgrown forest) are selling at a premium.

                      The eternal optomists near us put the 1 acre river front parcel on the market at $29.5K. Considering you need 2.3 acres to have a well and septic, and the two people on the shareable well are *not* interested in having a third party, any buyer will be screwed. I’ve got popcorn ready. (FWIW, it’s been sitting idle for years. Listed at 6K a dozen years ago when similar property would have gone for 2K. And at that time, the shared well was at the limit of 3 parties.)

      4. Resources are fine, or would be but for government decree and the surrender to the CCP by our feckless politicians and corporate elites.

    1. Not sure where you’re getting resource collapse from. That’s, uh…no. Not even close. The only places where people are starving to death isn’t because of lack of food, but corruption in their own governments that keeps food from getting TO them. Communist hellholes, in particular.

      1. True enough. If one sees an unpleasant future is unavoidable, one might try to manage it by bringing it about early on your own timeline and terms. But *here* I’m merely speculating. Resources, and their production and consumption, can be objectively measured. That’s math, not speculation.

        1. Yes. They can. And there’s nothing resembling resource collapse in any way shape or form.
          There wasn’t in the seventies either. The bullshit about peak oil was bullshit.
          There’s been a bet made by someone who said resources aren’t scarce. He won. Look it up.

        2. You forgot to actually look at those numbers.

          And at the numbers for the output from those resources.

          The known unknowns are huge– the unknown unknowns are, likewise, immeasurable.

      2. Same thing across the board. We have all the energy resources we need; the fracking boom proved that, if we can get the Leftists out of the process.

          1. Exactly so, and one must needs ask the classic question “who profits?”
            In their heart of hearts the true progressive socialist “knows” that communism is the only correct answer.
            And for that to succeed they must first destroy everything that is counter to that glorious ideal.
            Once the United States of America is ground down to ashes and bare earth socialism shall rise up as a Phoenix to reign over a better world. And if a few billion must die in the process, can’t make an omelette without breaking a few egg shells. And since humans are just interchangeable widgits we can birth, raise, and train whatever we need when the time comes.
            Note! This is not me being sarcastic, this is me giving you an insight into the deepest bowels of the inner sanctum of the liberal mind. I will hasten to point out that what we see with a clear libertarian view is exactly what you expect to find in the bowels of a creature, piles and piles of purest shit.

            1. Honestly, though? I think that belief system is for their useful idiots–the ones who actually believe it. But the leaders? The ones “in charge”? (Including most if not all of our political class, ESPECIALLY in DC?) No. They don’t believe that. What they want is the power and riches they think that destroying freedom and bringing about communism will give them. Because communism is just feudalism under another name (but without even the notional obligations of feudalism), and they want to be the kings and the nobles. They’re not true believers, they are *evil.*

              1. Feudalism depends on two-way duties and responsibilities, and land rights in exchange for labor or service. Irks me no end when the term is misapplied to the master-and-peasants model of communism, where there are no rights and all the duty flows one way, completely contrary to the feudal model. Which unlike communism, was stable for centuries, perhaps because everyone had skin in the game.

                1. Fair enough. How’s about this: it’s what communists think feudalism is–masters and peasants, with only the masters getting any benefits.

                  It’s wrong, it’s inaccurate, and it’s totally typical of a communist, because they never get anything right 😀

                2. That’s a found point. One of the things I strongly remember from The Ancient Regime is part of why the French Revolution was so vindictive was because the French nobles had shed all of the responsibilities of the nobility, while retaining all its powers and privileges.

                  By the time the revolution came, they did nothing and took everything.

                  1. And you had to perform ANY feudal duty that was performed at any time unless you could prove that it had been given up — and it was frequently a matter of duties that had been exchanged for each other over the centuries. But unless you had written proof, you had to do them all.

                    1. Often to the point of absurdity; in the Gies book “Life in the Middle Ages”, IIRC, detailing how he would fulfill his military obligations to the King and a Duke, with a provision spelled out that if the Duke rebelled against the King, he would send half his troops under his XO to the Duke and lead the rest to the King.

                      I’d pay good money to have heard His Majesty’s reaction…….

                  2. Pretty much this – the lord gave protection, representation at the higher levels, and protection to his tenants, and in return, the lower orders gave service and loyalty. It was a deal, although perhaps attenuated in practice at the end of the period. But yes – the feudal system was a two-way bargain, in which both parties gave honest service. The current socialist version is … not. The nomenklatura give orders and the serfs obey. No two ways about it.

      3. Back in the 70’s when I was working with the Food Aid Program there was a famine going on in Bangladesh. We were sending in large quantities of grain to Bangladesh at the time, which they could sell and use the funds for development projects. I was there at the time and the government would gauge how bad the famine was by the number of bodies that were picked up in the street every morning. At that time most food was rationed and I went out several times where people were lined up to get rations of wheat. One of the conditions for being able to sell the food aid grain was to gradually raise prices as prices went up and also not wait for aid before going out on the market and importing grain themselves.

        Bangladesh never had a major famine after that. Several years later because droughts, like now, the Bangladesh government went out on the international market and purchased a million tons of grain and famine was averted, while at the same time major shortages and famines were going on in Africa. Of course we had surplus grain because we were keeping prices high for farmers and Bangladesh was having shortages because the kept prices low.

        1. Thereby demonstrating that basic economic principle: anything you’re willing to pay more for, you get more of.

  22. A positive: also a negative. When the San jose library opened, I was able to actually look at real books that are not one of my 12,000. I just finished reading a book called “The Nine Lives Of Pakistan”, by Declan Walsh. He was a reporter in Pakistan, until the ISI kicked him out.

    This book reminded me that things can get worse. That describes Pakistan. There are also some lessons for us about splitting. He describes the India/Pakistan split in 1947. If we have to abandon our long time homes, we may go through something similar. On page 69 he quotes a moslem writer Saadat Manto who lived in Bombay. Talking to a Hindu actor friend, Manto heard from his friend “When I was hearing about the atrocities committed by Muslims, I could have killed you”. Manto shortly boards a ship for Karachi. Our breakup would be way more complicated and dangerous. So both hopeful and a warning. We have not reached the break point. Be grateful. Warn others of the danger the left sends us toward. Once the egg is broken, you can’t put it back.

    I warn people: Civil war will kill 2 billion people, (in world) and crash world civilization. Do you really want that?

    Even tho this writer writes for the New York slimes, and the “guardian”, this book has the ring of truth.

    1. Ehhh…but Partition was basically splitting out two pretty specific and entrenched cultural/religious groups and forcing one to go somewhere else whether they wanted to or not. That’s not the US, where you can have three people in a room and have six cultures, fifteen opinions, and those might shift around by tomorrow. Even in most religions in the US, you’re gonna have wild differences in personal culture and political opinion/outlook.

      1. Yeah, this, times a thousand.

        Communism and Christianity are different religiosn, and this would potentially be a viable divider, if we were not so mixed, if people stayed with the affiliation of their parents, and if communists could live peacefully in a civilized society.

        1. And given that Communism is, at its core, a *Christian* heresy…there’s an awful lot of Christians who buy into an awful lot of what communism/socialism promotes. So yeah, bit too mixed on that front :p

          1. The defining difference is that Christianity believes in charity, caring for others, and fair play as choices one makes, basically free will. Communism believes that what they say is how things shall be and if you do not comply we will kill you.

            1. AN even more important distinction is that orthodox (note the little o) Christianity believes that ALL are fallen and that man is not perfectible (without divine intervention/salvation). The deepest heresy of Communisim is that it DOES believe that Man is perfectible. It is essentially the Pelagian heresy writ large with lots of ludicrous additions.

            2. And CRT is the equivalent of hard-core Calvinism- there are the saved and the damned, and other groups have been fixed for eternity.

              1. I’ve studied enough Christian theology and Church history to understand how the Calvinists got there. It’s just always struck me that, having arrived at that conclusion, nobody went “well that can’t be right” and went back and revised some earlier step.

          2. In theory, that could be addressed by a Revivalist movement, in combination with a theological push that articulates the why of the incorrectness of the heresy.

            In practice, it is not humanly possible to cause discoveries in the theologies of the Christian sects, and deliberately cause a Revivalist movement. Also possibly rebellious to try to so use God’s Church for secular ends.

          3. When I attempted to read Martin Luther, I didn’t get far… in part because, well, the man was a proto-communist, and made my teeth itch. So there ya go.

            1. The general basics–community where everyone shares stuff so that no one goes hungry or without shelter or clothing–is pretty common throughout all sects of Christianity. I mean, at the heart that’s one of the basic tenets of the faith–feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, comfort the stricken, etc etc. But–and this is the important part–it has to be by individual *choice* NOT mandated from a mortal government. (It *is* mandated from On High–but He very pointedly makes it, like every other commandment, our choice. Forcing us to it defeats the purpose, after all.) But then you get the wannabe petty tyrants who decide that it SHOULD be mandated from on high, so to speak, and that everyone should be forced to do it, and of course THEY (the petty tyrants) are the ones to be giving the orders, so naturally they are more special and do all that work, so therefore they deserve more, and, and, and…

              I gather that some of the small–SMALL, mind you–early monastic communities managed to make it work pretty well. But the larger they got, the more that broke down. I think because those communities went from “everyone’s living here by choice, no formal ruler” to “not everyone is here by choice, and there’s a formal ruler (abbot, or what have you).

              It was attempted on a large scale in my church early on. It did not work well. As I understand it, in part because, while it was a small group, it still ended up with the “I get to say who gets stuff” “No *I* get to say!” silliness, until people tried to take their toys (and a bunch of other peoples’ toys) and go home and it became essentially a dumpster fire. It is notable that while our bishops are still considered to be responsible for caring for the poor, etc (not only within the congregation, but all within the ward’s boundaries), they do NOT dictate their congregation’s donations to that purpose. Paying tithing is a choice, and what while ‘a tenth’ is what is requested, no one is allowed to check your finances and demand more or less (or that you pay at all).

              1. Like most Christian reform movements, Luther wanted to go back to the “early church”*, when it was literally 13** guys and a few hangers-on.

                But as we all know, or should know, that which works at the scale of the extended family DOES NOT WORK at anything larger than that. Christian, Communist, homesteader, what have you, IT DOESN’T SCALE.

                * (not an impulse limited to Christians; tne reason I despair of an Islamic Reformation is that the “early umma” was a communal group that immediately set out to kill everyone who was mean to them.)

                ** (a coven? 😀 )
                *

                1. Actually about 120 were present at Pentecost, when the church underwent explosive growth.

                2. *points at how many neo-Pagan symbols are straight up copies of mostly Catholic symbols, taken by mostly Protestant cultures*
                  Eh, why not?

              2. In a society where charity is voluntary, the charitable are seen as virtuous.

                The act of material sacrifice, is a way of not only helping those in need, but helping with letting go of materialism, and growing in personal virtue.

                The left’s policies create a situation where their base can claim to be ‘charitable’ by giving other people’s money.

                The act of sacrifice is of another’s possessions. The focus is on the material as the ends. The ‘taxpayer’ can be vilified always as not giving enough. It offloads the personal decision to give, so virtue is not built.

                Government ‘forced’ charity, removes the spiritual growth gained by voluntary giving.

                Often the money gets lost in transit, to go to some bureaucrats swimming pool. Also not reliving the physical needs. This happens in organized charity too, but you can always stop giving voluntary charities money, not so, with the government.

                1. Government ALWAYS takes a rake off any funds that pass through their fingers. Otherwise they could not afford perpetual bureaucracies and little middle management fiefdoms.
                  And will tell you that it’s only fair and their just reward because they care so very much.

                  1. Oh my, yes. My husband is still fuming at the (female) preacher who told her congregation to contact their representative and insist they Do Something to increase benefits. She was incensed she’d had to dip into the Pastor’s discretionary fund. HE was incensed she was griping about doing her job. He wrote her a letter explaining the difference between personal and government “charity.” She told him she understood his argument, but she wasn’t changing her mind.
                    I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to Rhode Island.

                    1. Did the churches of Asia Minor Petition Rome to relieve the suffering in the church at Jerusalem? The hell they didn’t (pardon my language please)! They gathered up money amongst their own (often poor) members and sent it back to Rome. Get off your lazy backside preacher and get something formed up in your church and DO SOMETHING rather than grouse about it. Although I am an evangelical I am NOT opposed to women preaching or in the “clergy”. What I am opposed to is folks preaching who have little to no knowledge of the various biblical texts or in the historical creeds (e.g. Nicene) and instead have substituted SJW platitudes for the gospel of Christ. You may or may not believe in a final judgement but I would not want to arrive unrepentant at the seat of judgment with that attitude. The gospel of Matthew has this quote (Matthew 7:22-23 NET version). “22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many powerful deeds in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’ “. That is the definition of a bad day…

                    2. I point out now and then to the, “Well, if you were a REAL Christian, you’d want Communism, because the early church practiced it,” types that within a decade or so of Pentecost Paul was routinely doing fundraising among his churches “for the poor saints at Jerusalem.”
                      If they couldn’t make it work….

    2. There will be no separation.

      Separation requires the ability to deliver on agreement to live apart. If the left could make itself deliver on that, circumstances would /not/ have reached this point.

      I may come back in a bit, and expand on this properly.

      1. I think that’s it, in a nutshell. Our side could peaceably separate, because we can say, “Fine, do your thing, just do it in your own house.” Their side cannot, not only because of resources (mostly on our side) but more because of their mindset that we’re stupid children who obviously need their guiding hand, and by damn they’re going to guide us into the One True Way like it or not. Hence their typical rejoinder to secession that “flyover country can’t survive without tax transfers from blue states” … which isn’t even true, tho the numbers can be deceptively interpreted.

        It’s especially not true where blue meddling (central control) hasn’t yet reached.

        1. “I think that’s it, in a nutshell. Our side could peaceably separate, because we can say, “Fine, do your thing, just do it in your own house.” Their side cannot, not only because of resources (mostly on our side) but more because of their mindset that we’re stupid children who obviously need their guiding hand, and by damn they’re going to guide us into the One True Way like it or not.”

          And that, right there, is why I’ve never believed there wouldn’t have to be violence. Only an idjit wants it; but the Left demands submission or death.

      2. Yes, but they are delusional enough they may not realize how weak and dependent they are. If we can get separation, that could give a short breather to prepare for when they began militaristic expansion.

        1. Nope.

          It is not ‘and then they go adventuring to fund their empire’.

          It is ‘these people are playing silly games because they are viciously insane, and nothing you do with ‘separation’, will stop them from hurting you, nor will it cause their enablers to reconsider’.

          I frame it in terms of values that permit peace, crossover talks of cluster B personality disorders, and for the lunatics we are discussing, both are correct.

          We could not have peace if seperated, because those norms would be deeply broken, and because of what kind of country we are.

          We also could not have peace, because these lunatics see us as toys, and will continue to hurt us for the joy of it so long as their enablers permit themselves to be used.

          We also cannot separate, because the 25 million Biden voters of the opposition are not enough to support them, and we would be abandoning a bunch of people who chose Trump.

          Furthermore, the prison population is 2 million or so, plus another 2 million or so on stuff like parole. This suggests that the small minority of Biden voters who are dangerous to others are not an intractable problem.

          The majority of Biden voters are less persuadable enablers. The more persuadable people who are still acting as enablers, voted for Trump. Fundamentally, we need to make both groups of enablers stop. Moves towards separation do not stop the enablers on the ‘safe’ side of the border.

          Yes, this is a terrifying gamble. It has been forced upon us, and trying to soften the psychological impact of the risk could throw things against us. I think it is less likely to go against us then when I first started guessing at paths to win a civil war some years ago.

          We are in a phase where the potential fighters are measuring things up, looking at the sides, and considering the best time to pick a side, or to join the fight. Many more have made the choice, tentatively, compared to last year, but there are still some swing ‘votes’ to court. And separation is a bad cause to court them with, for several reasons.

          One, some of these people are very risk averse in certain ways, and someone eager to leave a committed enemy alive is perhaps not wise to fight on the behalf of.

          Two, many of the more ideological ones believe in the ‘one nation at peace’ prior status quo, and may be inclined to oppose separatism. If for no other reason than that this does, legitimately, seem to be a tactic used by foreign disinformation warriors such as the Russians. Who remember the break up of the USSR, and would really prefer that happen to the US, or at least a prolonged civil war.

          1. “It is not ‘and then they go adventuring to fund their empire’.”

            Came to that, I think it would be more like, “And then they hire a few boatloads of foreign mercenaries and inner city feral thugs, who expect to be paid via pillage.”

            Which tends to end well for no one.

    3. “Civil war will kill 2 billion people, (in world) and crash world civilization. ”

      And allowing the Marxists to impose their will through a corrupted government / election process will kill fewer and avoid it? Someone needs to read the Black Book of Communism.

    4. The analogy isn’t very accurate. For one thing, India as we know it today, or as it existed in 1947, is entirely a creation of the British. Before that the entire subcontinent was a patchwork of small-to-medium kingdoms and empires, which is how the British managed to take the whole thing over in the first place. Carving out some of those previously independent areas into a separate nation from the rest of the subcontinent was a much smaller mental leap than breaking up the United States.

      The other problem with a split scenario is that the Blue areas aren’t a viable state. They’re mostly a handful of large cities and suburbs (blue states are simply those states where the large cities have enough population to overwhelm the Republican-leaning rest of the state) with a scattering of college towns in each state. You can’t build a nation spread out like that.

      Here’s how I see the closest we’ll get to a split play out: FICUS will do something far beyond the pale, like start going door to door confiscating weapons or declare the midterms void after the Republicans win veto-proof majorities in both houses. One of the large Red states like Texas or Florida will declare that the federal government is no longer legitimate and their directives will no longer be obeyed. The smaller red states will quickly follow suit, followed by the red areas of the Blue states – in other words, most of the landmass of the country. The administration will panic and do something drastic and violent, which will cause the deep purple areas to join Red America. At that point, the saner Democrats will realize that their position is untenable and negotiate a way back. Or Red America will stop delivering everything to the Blue enclaves and the Democrats will end up lynched by the underclass when the food runs out. Buying a mob works really well right up until you run out of money to pay them with.

      1. Jeff Gauch said “At that point, the saner Democrats will realize that their position is untenable…”. There is a supposition there that there ARE sane democrats. I think this is a case of facts not in evidence. They wandered off totally on the crazy train somewhere between the Reagan Administration and the end of the Clinton Administration.

        1. Saner, not sane. No Democrat currently lives in reality, but I think a few of them still remember its ZIP code.

          1. HMMM Jeff. Is a man that thinks he’s Napoleon saner than one that thinks he’s Yeshua Ben Joseph? Although we do have a president that thinks he’s a turnip. Strike that he actually IS a turnip…

            1. Yes. The guy who believes he’s Napoleon won’t try to take a stroll on the nearest lake.

              FICUS is not in the saner wing of the Democrat party.

              1. Yeah, but the guy who believes he’s Yeshua won’t try to conquer Russia in the winter. 😛

                1. Still not a problem unless he can muster up a Grande Armee, and if he can do that are you sure he isn’t Napoleon?

        1. My mom isn’t Sarah’s– though she may be rather like my grandmother was– but unless she used the term and I was able to *immediately* ask about it, there’s a good chance that she 1) wouldn’t remember it, 2) would make a huge freaking deal about my imagining/making up things, 3) proceed to make a huge freaking deal of it for months on end, even WORSE if she remembered shortly after starting step 2 because she’s embarrassed.

  23. This is an off-topic question I have been meaning to ask for a while, and never quite got around to it.

    Stipulate for the moment that I am not talking about the practical implementation issues here, such as the real world results or the economic factors. I am only talking about the conceptual issue.

    What is the objection to the NHS?

    Now to explain that….

    The classical-liberal defense of NHS-like entities goes something like “this is a privilege of citizenship, same as access to the court system or defense from invaders”.

    A simple objection — and more or less the one I’ve operated on — is “this is not a legitimate function of government”.

    But once we have the idea of citizenship as something with traits which give it value. And have anything more than the bare bones “the government had to beg for someone to let it meet under their carport during the rain because it isn’t even allowed to have a building”, the question arises of whether a particular privilege should exist or not. If citizenship is a reciprocal set of duties and privileges, I cannot see an objection to government paid medical costs outside of purely pragmatic matters.

    Or put more snarkilly: How are we *not* in a situation of “we already know what kind of person you are; we are just haggling over the price”?

      1. One objection to NHS and similar schemes is that there’s no escape. Recall Alfie Evans. Recall the “Liverpool Pathway”. Recall that Italy’s death toll from Xi’s Disease was so high in part because anyone older than 70 was ineligible for medical treatment. Recall the dark suspicions about Gov. Cuomo’s motivation for his orders which forced NY nursing homes to spread Xi’s Disease among their residents. Recall that the Soviets decided that anti-Communism was a psychiatric disease requiring drastic treatment. Observe the number of Canadians who come to the US for treatment of problems that would be delayed until after their death if they stayed in Canada.

        I read Haldeman’s Forever War at an impressionable age, and the horrifying opening has stuck with me ever since. Recap: the book opens with Our Hero back from The War. Goes to visit his mom, finds her dying of pneumonia, then finds out that she’s too old to be allowed any medical treatment whatsoever (what the Nazis called a “useless eater”, although I don’t think Haldeman uses that term). The laws at home changed while he was away fighting the war. He desperately tries to score some black-market antibiotics, but it’s not enough, and she dies in front of him. After some more similar suckage, he signs back up with the military and goes back to war for the rest of the book. That opening and its implications gave me nightmares.

        I’ve had the same car insurance company since I bought my first car several decades ago. Why do I need to change medical insurance each time I change jobs? Why can’t I just keep the same medical insurance?

        If the government is paying for your care, it has every incentive to reduce costs. Unlike a competitive insurance market, there are no countervailing incentives. To the NHS, you are a cost. Expect to be reduced.

        1. “Recall the dark suspicions about Gov. Cuomo’s motivation for his orders which forced NY nursing homes to spread Xi’s Disease among their residents”

          Nothing to suspect; after all, the DOJ has said so.

          https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/kevindowneyjr/2021/07/23/bidens-doj-wont-investigate-nursing-home-deaths-in-michigan-and-pennsylvania-n1464334

          And the author knows what will happen:

          “New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo haven’t received an all-clear letter from the DOJ yet. Both are Democrats, so I think we can predict what will happen.”

          1. Cuomo can thank his lucky stars that my grandmother was already deceased. Otherwise, he’d be top billing on a murder one charge against him and the Empire.

    1. Balancing competing interests/rights is difficult.

      So the problem is the practical “how could this be made to work” aspects.

      I can think of various setups that would make it so that “offer healthcare” is no worse than “offer roads,” though they’re all scifi or A Wizard Did It situations.

      1. Balancing competing interests/rights is difficult.

        Um, I’m missing something…… where is the thing being balanced in this question?

        1. ….you know how they decided it was in Alfie Evan’s “best interest” to be killed, because he was going to be expensive?

          Those kind of competing interests.

          1. But that wasn’t the question of……….

            hmmmm

            So it looks like it is my snarky comment of haggling over the set of privileges, and then consequentialism the rest of the way down.

            1. *scrolls up, snags quote*

              If citizenship is a reciprocal set of duties and privileges, I cannot see an objection to government paid medical costs outside of purely pragmatic matters.

              You have two people agreeing with you.
              Well, I’d say “rights and obligations,” not “privilege and duty,” but….

              1. I wouldn’t use “rights” for two reasons:

                1. The word “right” is so easy to abuse. Because it is a very complex idea compacted into a single word, that has other complex ideas *right next to it* in idea-space.

                2. I would define a “right” as something that exists before any government could ever provide it. Everything else is a privilege from being part of some polity / having been earned in some way.

                You have two people agreeing with you.

                They would only be agreeing with me if that were the position I held, rather than the position which I’m trying to understand.

                Hence the entire question, trying to deal with a case where as far as I could tell a contradiction existed (state provided healthcare == bad, vs no obvious objection in principle).

                1. On what would the principle of “X providing healthcare is inherently wrong” be based?

                  I can tell you what is wrong with, say, communism– it denies the inherent worth of individuals.

                  I can point at the practical aspects of government provided healthcare that are bad, and that barring something like holo-docs and matter synthesizers with basically unlimited energy I can’t see a way around them, but— not an inherent problem with the possibility.

                  1. On what would the principle of “X providing healthcare is inherently wrong” be based?

                    “Not a legitimate function of government”, depending on one’s legitimacy function.

                    For a christian that would cash out as “not a Biblical function of government”.

                    1. Assumes the conclusion– “government shouldn’t because government shouldn’t.”

                      On what *principle*?

                      Especially since it would be hard to form a basis that wouldn’t also apply to *any other* group.

                    2. On what *principle*?

                      hmmmm

                      Maybe this is something where the single concept of a balanced relationship can’t handle this particular detail on its own.

                      I am still shocked that no one actually has a principled non-consequential reason against state funded healthcare……

                      Especially since it would be hard to form a basis that wouldn’t also apply to *any other* group.

                      huh?

                    3. I am still shocked that no one actually has a principled non-consequential reason against state funded healthcare……

                      Why?

                      Maybe this is something where the single concept of a balanced relationship can’t handle this particular detail on its own.

                      Since it’s your philosophy that is having issues with it, not mine (which recognizes that governments exist to defend our inalienable rights), the challenge of balancing conflicting rights isn’t that which has issues with the detail.

                      huh?

                      How, exactly, would you craft a principle, argument or limit that only restrains a single specific type of humans-working-organized-together, especially when we know from history and even current events that it’s a very squishy concept.

                    4. Why?

                      Because “no state healthcare” is such a central trope of the non-left. So a much larger field to be satisfied than just the people who are willing to accept a consequential argument.

                      the challenge of balancing conflicting rights isn’t that which has issues with the detail.

                      You misunderstand; I meant in the sense that a wrench can’t deal well with a nail. It is no fault of the wrench, merely the wrong tool for the job.

                      How, exactly, would you craft a principle, argument or limit that only restrains a single specific type of humans-working-organized-together, especially when we know from history and even current events that it’s a very squishy concept.

                      Ah!

                      Well, I have a system which can provide non-circular definitions of what a government is, but is incompatible with the one which is listing off the limitations. And after the last argument that went here I went reading into the sources and found that no they didn’t have an answer for “what is a government?”. A very serious flaw when giving strict commands on the relationship between citizen and magistrate…

                    5. Because “no state healthcare” is such a central trope of the non-left.

                      Oh, the same reason my college-libertarian cousin thinks that the right are “hypocrites” because we don’t like government, but we do like the military.

                      You have to start looking at why people think things, if you want to try to pick it apart. Taking a reasonably-accurate-but-shallow description of a stance, strip away all practical considerations, and demand that it be justified, then misunderstand the description of balance competing rights as some sort of “it’s OK to do mass damage if it gets spread around” or something.
                      It’s balancing competing rights– you might have luck reading something like Catholic.com on the moral question of when theft is licit.

                      And after the last argument that went here I went reading into the sources and found that no they didn’t have an answer for “what is a government?”. A very serious flaw when giving strict commands on the relationship between citizen and magistrate…

                      Seems like the obvious conclusion there is that they’re speaking of their own, not just generic “government.”

                    6. then misunderstand the description of balance competing rights as some sort of “it’s OK to do mass damage if it gets spread around” or something.

                      I said Sparta was a bad choice of example…. My corrected example put everything within a single individual.

                      you might have luck reading something like Catholic.com on the moral question of when theft is licit.

                      1. Whenever I post a link to something, saying or implying “ok this is the fleshed out argument where I got the idea”, I’m scolded for it.

                      2. You know I’m not Catholic.

                      Seems like the obvious conclusion there is that they’re speaking of their own, not just generic “government.”

                      Yes and No: one of the major questions handled is what the individual is to do when the state becomes evil.

                      OTOH, so deeply enmeshed in the Europe of a few hundred years ago that it probably wouldn’t even recognize the system we are under *now*.

                    7. 1. Whenever I post a link to something, saying or implying “ok this is the fleshed out argument where I got the idea”, I’m scolded for it.

                      You get *argued with.* And folks point out problems with the arguments.

                      2. You know I’m not Catholic.

                      Is 2+2=4 less valid because a Catholic says it?
                      There’s thousands of years of very carefully supported reasoning, from people who figured out they had to explain *everything*, and give their reasoning.
                      So even if you don’t share all the assumptions, it makes it so you can walk through the line of logic involved, and even identify where some source had an unsupported assumption that slipped in and changed their conclusion. It can help *you* identify what your conclusions are.

                      Natural Law theory would probably help you a lot.

                    8. Is 2+2=4 less valid because a Catholic says it?

                      2+2=4 is something established that everyone outside a few lunatics agree is true.

                      When the question is whether a conclusion is true saying “the guy you disagree with on everything says X” isn’t all the useful.

                      There’s thousands of years of very carefully supported reasoning, from people who figured out they had to explain *everything*, and give their reasoning.
                      So even if you don’t share all the assumptions, it makes it so you can walk through the line of logic involved, and even identify where some source had an unsupported assumption that slipped in and changed their conclusion. It can help *you* identify what your conclusions are.

                      Frankly, I mostly avoid christian discussions despite (theoretically?) being one. Because all of the time has to be spent attempting to figure out where they slipped in the poison*. Elsewhere I can assume 100% poison and things are much simpler, and with the freed up energy can sometimes even get an interesting discussion. Probably part of the reason I can get along here — to the minimal degree I can — is because the religious members are mostly catholic or mormon, and thus can register on the simpler mechanism.

                      * that is on a good day, when discussions don’t consist entirely of tossing virtue signals back and forth.

                      Natural Law theory would probably help you a lot.

                      Am aware of it. Don’t know what the point would be, as if there is any value you could just go back to the source.

                      Most of what I know of it is that its presence serves as the foundation for cutting the knot of the endless arguing over whether the founders were christians or not: no, but immersed in that culture and thus can’t be separated from it.

                    9. 2+2=4 is something established that everyone outside a few lunatics agree is true.

                      Why is it established?

                      Because you can show the steps, defining each one.
                      “This is one. This is two. This is three. This is four. Take two, and two, and it is four.”

                      When the question is whether a conclusion is true saying “the guy you disagree with on everything says X” isn’t all the useful.

                      That would be a fallacy.

                      Which is part of why I pointed to guys who lay out “this argument doesn’t work because Y” not “OrangeManBad.”

                    10. Why?

                      Perhaps an analogy will make the confusion clearer:

                      I was expecting something akin to ProLife: “No, Never, Period, End of Story”.

                      The responses I got were more akin to “Safe Legal, and Rare”.

                      *head proceeds to spin*

                    11. Wow.

                      K…. the reason you’re confused is because you’re asking for principles, but seem to want simple, unquestioned rules.

                      The principle behind pro-life– not killing innocents, even if it’s really handy– is based on the inherent moral worth of a human/person/individual’s life. (As is self-defense, even to the point of the death penalty.)

                      The opposition to National Health Care is it doesn’t work, and barring a MASSIVE change in facts on the ground it cannot work without abusing the basic rights of the providers for the benefit of the rest.

                      For the abortion comparison, there are many reasons that it would be very handy to just kill folks and put them out of the killer’s misery; but taking actions you know are almost certain to cause the innocent’s death can only be justified by a similarly dire threat. Tubal pregnancy, the ship is sinking and we are pretty sure there’s guys still under the waterline but if we don’t shut this door we ALL die. Apply technology to it, and the end result is still no-you-can’t-kill-them-even-if-it’s-easier.

                      In contrast, NHS is “and where does the work and material come from?”
                      If you have a TechnoMagic literal doc-in-a-box where the cost is next to nothing and the benefits are literally life-saving, making the magic-boxes available could become not just practical but an outstanding idea for national defense.
                      So, practically speaking, impossible. It’s a scifi style “and if this BIG FREAKING HUGE MORAL ISSUE is fixed, then what?” question, which is important for understanding principles in philosophy, and honestly lots of fun…..

                    12. K…. the reason you’re confused is because you’re asking for principles, but seem to want simple, unquestioned rules.

                      When dealing with deontological moral systems, the rules come first, then principles are derived from attempts to understand the finer details around those rules.

                      If you remember I was asking for the non-consequential reasons. I am well aware of the consequentialist reasons against the idea.

                      The opposition to National Health Care is it doesn’t work, and barring a MASSIVE change in facts on the ground it cannot work without abusing the basic rights of the providers for the benefit of the rest.

                      There is an edge case here: government doesn’t run the medical system, merely pays for it. Then you just have taxes, and are back to “we already decided this was ok”.

                      Of course such a system is unstable, being a monopsony.

                      If you have a TechnoMagic literal doc-in-a-box where the cost is next to nothing and the benefits are literally life-saving, making the magic-boxes available could become not just practical but an outstanding idea for national defense.

                      In the usual irony associated with such topics, that situation would make state provided healthcare completely unnecessary. More likely to be handed out like pens or suckers at the bank.

                    13. You asked:

                      Stipulate for the moment that I am not talking about the practical implementation issues here, such as the real world results or the economic factors. I am only talking about the conceptual issue.

                      What is the objection to the NHS?

                      Rephrasing, “other than practical, what’s the problem with the NHS?”

                      And you don’t seem to get that the objections are practical. It cannot be done, with modern or near-modern resources, without violating folks’ rights.

                      To rephrase: “what’s wrong with this?”
                      “Well, it’s impossible to do morally. If it could somehow be done morally, it’d be fine.”

                      The classic scifi question:
                      “Well, the problem with X is it’s not possible. What if it was?”

                      In the usual irony associated with such topics, that situation would make state provided healthcare completely unnecessary. More likely to be handed out like pens or suckers at the bank.

                      You didn’t ask about probability, you asked about if it would be wrong in principle for a government to provide the general public with healthcare.

                      The MagicTech doc-in-a-box is pretty dang unlikely, too!

                    14. Yes and No.

                      A Christian who is a believer also in the Constitution of the United States, may also judge a governmental action based on his/her understanding of what the Writers of the Constitution believed were legitimate functions of the Federal Government.

                    15. That can only work in one direction however.

                      Hypothetically if there were a verse which said “Thou Shalt Not Have Magistrate Funded Medicine”, one of the Founders writing “Congress shall provide for the cost of medicine” would not be able to override.

                      Assuming of course we are talking about a Christian, not one of the flavors of Christian-oid cosplayer.

                      And presumably something similar for any other totalizing belief system…..

                    16. Perhaps, but the “sky’s the limit” once people get talking “hypothetical” systems especially ones that are unlikely to exist (or survive very long).

                    17. On the principle of “if not specifically required or allowed by the Constitution, the answer is ‘no’, the government doesn’t have the power to do $X’.

                      The Fed’s reaction to that is to “re-interpret” the document in their favor, or simply ignore it entirely. But it doesn’t make what they’re doing right or lawful, it just means they’re trying to turn the country into a giant banana republic.

                    18. The opposition to National Health Care is it doesn’t work, and barring a MASSIVE change in facts on the ground it cannot work without abusing the basic rights of the providers for the benefit of the rest.


                      You don’t give them enough credit; National Health abuses EVERYBODY’S rights. The doctors and nurses, the patients, the pharmaceutical companies, the medical device and equipment suppliers, and the taxpayers. Nobody gets left out.

                      0bamacare was supposed to ‘Make Health Care Affordable For Everybody!!’ Says so, right in the title. Okay, it’s been 10 years, what has it accomplished? No more doctors have been hired; in fact, a lot have retired or otherwise left the business and not been replaced. No additional hospitals have been constructed because of it. The only tangible result has been to add millions more bureaucrats to the health care sector of our economy.

                      Over the last 50 years, as the government has intruded more and more into health care, the number of doctors has about doubled while the number of medical bureaucrats has multiplied by 32 times. More money is spent on bureaucracy than medicine. I don’t see how that has helped the patients.

                      And we’ve STILL got the world’s best health care. American patients wait about 3 hours for an MRI. Canadian patients wait 3 months. Canadians come here in droves to pay for American health care rather than rely on their ‘Free Socialized Medicine’.
                      ———————————
                      It’s dark here. You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

              2. And just to cover one line of argument: I would list the VA as an obligation on the Government’s side of the ledger. Someone wrote the proverbial life-check to the government, so it is now the government’s duty to take care of the costs the person incurred in that service.

                (of course when talking about the VA we have to be even more careful about the reality vs theory distinction)

                1. I use the U.S. Family Healthcare Plan (Tricare). Better service than the VA; but I still have to pay some $600+ bucks a year plus copays. I have friends who have nothing but the VA and their service is substandard compared to what I get. I’d like to run every high school sophomore or junior through a day at a VA facility where they have the permanently disabled; let them see the costs for their liberty, both as citizen-taxpayers, and before volunteering for military service.

                2. The VA (for what it’s worth) is the equivalent of employer health care. It’s part of the contract signed on enlistment.

                  In terms of the USG, the issue is from the issue where govt health insurance crowds out and causes damage to health care providers and circumscribes rights (I can have govt penalize you for smoking because I pay treatment).

                  The idea of actual health insurance for stuff like accidents and heart attacks or cancer could easily be covered by govt but it would mean that people without money wouldn’t get the latest and greatest

              3. Third reply’s the charm, I hope :D.

                Ok, the question embedded in the question, and why I assumed that it couldn’t just be balancing whatever privileges by whatever obligations, is: Where is the limiting factor?

                Because under that model you could go full-Spartan-lunatic, but everything balances out so things are just peachy.

                1. I’m pretty sure they’ve seen me lay out similar to the below essay before.

                  They may have simply not wanted to expand the whole thing.

                  If you give a bureaucracy that portfolio, you empower the bureaucrats to impose those decisions. A bureaucracy that disburses all the healthcare funds has a lot of coercive power, and can squash outside interference. If it is wrong for them to impose those decisions…

                  Anyway, I wrote the long form out fresh, so the mention of congressmen in a positive sense was willful and knowing. I decided not to get sidetracked, and went with the old understanding.

                  Now, it is pretty clear that much of congress is out of their freaking minds. Congress is nuts, their decision to chase public health care is nuts, they probably have only the vaguest imagining of what the nitty gritty of implementation would be, it would either be LOL huge or some sort of public/private partnership, and their part in the oversight of a national health bureaucracy is at this point a major downside in of itself.

                  1. Lots of the Founding Fathers and heroic Patriots were medical doctors, but NONE of them pushed for government healthcare. Not even for the poor. Not even federal hospitals.

                    Meanwhile, charity or religious hospitals were dotted across America early and often. Until regulations and Medicare drove up prices, there were free hospitals in every city, and in a lot of counties. The destruction or takeover of religious orders and foundations by for-profit corporations has been a huge loss to American civil virtue and pleasant was.

                    Healthcare is either a trade and art, for money, or a charity, for kindness. I would object to state or local government doing healthcare, much less the federal government. I don’t trust them, and it is not their business.

                2. Well, no, because Sparta literally killed its people.

                  When you are killing your people, you don’t get to go “oh but the ones still around are better, so it averages out.”

                  It’s the rights of each, not “rights of vague concept.”

                  1. Bad choice of example……..

                    What I mean is that once you have accepted the premise that “society” (aka the state which claims to represent “society”) is allowed to make a claim on someone under the theory of “but we also give you these privileges”, then there isn’t anything wrong with a near-totalitarian state so long as it stays out of a couple areas.

                    Citizen’s Duty is your entire existence, because we give you a crapton of privileges as well.

                    1. Well, no, that would also mean things like “you cannot demand that people follow any law or agreement they do not wish to.”
                      You can’t have the principle that a claim on someone cannot be allowed in exchange for them to have a claim on you.

                    2. Waitaminute, am I correctly understanding that you are applying the idea of a claim/demand to everything?

                      Why on earth would you put “you are not allowed to kill someone else” in the same category as “come do work for me and you don’t get a choice in the matter”?

                    3. You’re asking for a philosophical principle as the basis.

                      I’m expecting that you’re at least familiar with the shared philosophical principle behind those two….

                    4. Rights, cost nothing. Privileges always cost something, either from the person bestowing them, or from other people they’ve taken them from. If it’s the government, then the taking is ALWAYS by force.

                3. There are 2 primary objections I have, with a third caveat:

                  1) bureaucracies are very inefficient. Full stop. Balancing the fact that there will not ever be enough medical care for what everyone wants, with who should receive it without working the docs to death requires efficiency or becomes horror. Non-governmental bureaucracy is bad enough when it interferes, governmental is much harder to curtail and prevent from getting out of hand.

                  2) He who pays the bills makes the call on what is and isn’t paid for. We have seen evidence of how this goes in practice with Afie Evans and Charlie Guard. There cases out of the VA as well.

                  The caveate: I would have no trouble with the government having Healthcare of last resort, but the way of governments means once it exists at all it will try and expand and take over. When that happens, you start getting the worst excesses that are being reported. There’s a reason the Canadians who can afford to do so come here for their medical treatment.

                  1. Governmental abuse is much harder to curtail due to the fact that force is not a lawful means of curtailing government abuse. But the government has no problem at all using force themselves.

              4. There can be no ‘rights’ which have to be supplied by other people! If it’s not something you can do entirely on your own, it ain’t a right. Rights include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to own a gun, freedom to provide for the security of your person and your property.

                Which is exactly the problem with all of the ‘rights’ Leftroids have contrived out of their nether orifices. Other people must be compelled to provide them.
                ———————————
                Under socialized medicine, each patient incurs expenses which end when the patient dies. In private practice, each patient provides profits which end when the patient dies. Which patient would YOU rather be?

                  1. I don’t see anything positive about ‘rights’ which impose costs on other people. There has to be a better expression. One that conveys the basic vileness of the concept.

                    Parasitic rights, maybe?

                    1. No, the terms are defined as “negative” rights, which are defined as those that cost nothing; and “positive” rights, which are defined as those which require resources i.e. impose a cost to give them. As I mentioned above, since the government has no resources of their own, the only way to pay for positive rights is to take something from someone to give to someone else.

                1. No, you are conflating “a right” to “an inherent (universal, moral) right.”

                  The word, “a right,” means a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.

                  I do not have an inherent moral right to drive; I do have a legal right to drive.

                  Part of why they abuse the word “right” in that manner is because either they get to demand everybody act like their injustice is a right– or they get to gut rights down to anarchy levels of “If I can take it from you, you don’t have it.”

                  1. That is the proper definition of ‘a right’. A freedom that is inherent in your status as a person. A freedom which you can exercise without diminishing other people’s rights to exercise the same freedom. Saying whatever you want does not prevent other people from saying whatever they want to say. Praying to your god does not prevent other people from praying to theirs.

                    Placing arbitrary limits on what other people can say (or write, or read) because you are So Offended would impose involuntary costs on them. Forbidding them to own certain items of personal property because you are So Terrified of what they might do imposes another involuntary cost. Religious practices that include murdering nonbelievers and molesting children are incompatible with any definition of ‘rights’.

                    Whether you consider your right to drive a legal or moral one, your actions of buying a car and driving it do not impose involuntary costs on other people. Of course, you don’t have a right to collide with other people, or their property. If you do, you are morally and legally responsible to compensate them for the damages.
                    ———————————
                    Why should I listen to what athletes say about politics? If I wanted advice from somebody that chases a ball around, I’d ask my dog.

                    1. *checks multiple dictionaries, including one from the 40s*

                      No, it’s a special definition which is used in some– but not all– philosophical arguments, whose other terms of art do not match the current conversation.

                2. I’m going to note that the Bill of Rights does contain at least one right that requires the assistance of others. The Bill of Rights guarantees a Trial by Jury, and we all know how popular serving on a jury is these days. Without the government telling the citizenry, “You will do this!”, juries wouldn’t get formed.

                    1. Yes, but Trial By Jury was something that Nobles disliked to allow for people who broke Their Laws and the English Kings disliked when Nobles broke the King’s Laws. IE Trial By Jury means that the Rulers can’t “just declare somebody guilty”.

                      IE “Trial By Jury” was a limitation on the Power of Ruling Powers even if it is a disruption in the lives of people who serve on Juries.

                    2. “Trial By Jury means that the Rulers can’t “just declare somebody guilty”.”

                      Which is precisely why it’s being bypassed by Administrative Hearings, plea bargains, etc.

                    3. The counter would be that right or wrong is not a question of now disruptive it is.

                      “oh we only killed some people no one will miss”

        2. Just like in the final analysis, any law carries the implication “we will send men with guns to make you comply on pain of death”, any positive “right” carries the implication of “we will enslave someone in order to give this to you”.

          In this case, doctors: if everyone has a “right” to health care to be provided by the state, the state must assure the availability of the people to do the work. Preferably by contracting in the market, but states have always reached for the tool of coercion to provide services they desire, from building canals in Mesopotamia to building the Great Wall to “forced loans” from Renaissance-era bankers.

          We sort of grudgingly accept the military version of this, but only in times of national survival-level crisis (and the Cold War was an artificially-extended crisis).

          1. As one of my main characters says:

            “The basis of law enforcement is force. That is always the government’s final argument, the last unwritten clause in every law: ‘Obey this, or the government will kill you’.”

            1. Which is why, if a law is on the books, it should be enforced, and against everyone. As it is, too many laws are written and sold with the idea that they’ll only be enforced against “people I don’t like”, and such things as “prosecutorial discretion”, “qualified immunity”, asset forfeiture prior to trial and conviction, etc. only make that clearer.

              That’s what infuriates people about Jan 6; the double standard is obvious.

    2. There comes a point where practical objections combine to have ramifications that carry a moral weight.

      One of the moral arguments for killing or confining serial killers is the practical impossibility of any other way of preventing them from killing again.

      The case against government bureaucracies paying the healthcare costs for their tax base is actually pretty similar.

      Okay, if you want a visceral argument, laying out how crazy Bob is, and asking people if they want Bob overseeing their medical care, works some times, but other times gets ‘yes’, or ‘we just need to make sure someone saner than Bob is overseeing my medical care’.

      The basic and fundamental driving factor is that nation states use bureaucracies to disburse funds. (Okay, technically in other forms of government… Forex, Feudalism has a lot of funds collected and disbursed through lower level nobles… Anyway, we are talking modern governments, at modern population scales, not stuff that will suck worse when applied to 100s of millions of humans.)

      Like serial killers have certain psychological tendencies, so also do bureaucracies.

      First is the way that the operation of a bureaucracy in reality differs from how people may imagine that a government works. Some people, such as ‘if the Czar only knew’ believers, think government can function with a benevolent god-king, who waves his hand, and utterly controls the behavior of the lowest level functionaries. Bureaucracies are things of rules and forms, so it is tempting to believe that a King can set the rules to operate in a purely beneficial fashion. And, if one’s personal experience is as a single person designing programs or machinery, it is tempting to believe that a bureaucracy’s operation and use cases can be foreseen. Hahaha, no, bureaucrats are human beings, and just that is enough to make perfect predictability and perfect reliability impossible. This is actually a good thing, in some ways, when a bureaucracy is operating on a group of people outside the bureaucracy, because a system operating perfectly according to rules would regularly break on the unusual inputs.

      Leaving off a deeper dive into other types of organizations, a federal bureaucracy is typically headed by one or more presidential appointees, and then has several layers of civil service below that. The bureaucracy inherits some sets of rules from the overall federal government, but writes itself a bunch more rules in addition to those. Maybe the appointees can somehow motivate the top bureaucrats, I guess maybe they write the evaluation reports for the bureaucrats? With the top bureaucrats writing the evaluation reports for those in the next layer of bureaucrats they are responsible for, and so on and so forth? I dunno. I do know that firing federal bureaucrats is really hard, takes a lot of paper work, and time building a paper trail of misconduct. I also know that the hiring process for positions is a little bit interesting, very irregular in the results it produces. So, you don’t really have the options of firing someone for making mistakes, or not doing anything, and you can’t just hire people you know will do the job either. Bureaucrats spend time appearing to follow the rules, because it helps justify things when they try to manipulate the rules for their own benefit. So, actual behavior does not automatically stay in lockstep with what the official rules currently are.

      Now, people might say “but Canada/Spain/Ethiopia/China is different”. It is true that they are different, and it is true that in some cultures you cannot find people who will function in bureaucrats, and that in some countries the public will never pay a bureaucracy any mind. In large countries with national bureaucracies, that aren’t totalitarian, there tends to be some sort of civil service system. (Totalitarian bureaucracies are dysfunctional in other ways.)

      For a federal agency of about 200 bureaucrats, whose portfolio is some tiny thing, remedying the wrong doing of a bureaucrat can be fairly easily addressed. Write a congress critter, congress critter speaks to the head of the agency, and the bureaucrat can be encouraged to correct their actions. If they refuse, the case can be reassigned to a more cooperative bureaucrat.

      This is preliminary, the first real part of the case against national health bureaucracies is some limiting cases involving Dunbar’s number.

      For a national health bureaucracy of size one thousand, congress can still potentially get things adjusted if they dislike what one bureaucrat is doing. But, each bureaucrat is overseeing 300,000 people. Which is well over Dunbar’s number, so the people are only numbers to the bureaucrat, and the bureaucrat only has crude tools for inflicting ‘policy’ on them. So, you are SOL if you have any problems.

      What about a bureaucracy of size one million? Well, 300 is not that much bigger than Dunbar’s number. However, at that scale, you have to consider the possibility that ‘your’ bureaucrat might be a sadist or incompetent. Such an organization is too large to have much control over what every functionary can do. Furthermore, would you really want even just your major medical decisions to go through someone spending a bit over eight hours a year on them?

      So, item one, national health is a textbook example of a bureaucracy that scales with population, which is a very bad thing to implement. Imagine a federal department of eating and shitting, with the power to coerce choice and timing of meals, and of restroom breaks. Most people can see that individuals have more of the relevant information for these decisions, and may realize how badly trying to control everyone’s restroom breaks would suck.

      Item the second, governments collect income from taxes, and bureaucratic rules have compliance costs. Economists can choose to assume a sort of anti-friction in their models. This has the opposite effect of the reality of government spending for cases where the individual has the information, and the distance and delay of the bureaucrat mean that they know less. So, this is a sort of bureaucracy that ‘sucks money out of the economy’, and destroys some of the wealth. Okay, BGE can explain exactly how I have that all wrong. The key thing, more of this sort of bureaucracy tends to eat into receipts.

      Anyway, innumerates and inobservant morons assume that there will always be enough receipts to be disbursed by all of their favorite bureaucratic endeavors.

      The core issue of the second problem, is what will a national health bureaucracy do with falling receipts? Because they will have falling receipts, especially when you make health a significant fraction of the economy, and then nationalize. Eventually, they will start rationing care. And how will they ration it? Well, there are some people that you will never get any more tax receipts from. Those are very attractive targets for ‘cost savings’. And what do we see in the modern states with national healthcare?

      Fundamentally, the core issue is similar to serial killers. If you leave a serial killer free, they are likely to kill again. If you let a national health system operate, it is very likely that the bureaucracy will eventually go into the business of putting a value on every subject, and trying to kill the subjects that they deem worthless.

      Practically, there are issues of whether any bureaucracy can have complete information on the worth of a person, or the future value. (Hahaha. No.) The pragmatist/utilitarian moral argument is that this will always be an awful mess.

      But there are also people who believe that this bureaucratic behavior is inherently immoral. For them, the moral argument is that setting up a bureaucracy that will drift into this behavior is itself wrong.

      1. “And how will they ration it? Well, there are some people that you will never get any more tax receipts from.”

        This actually happened to a friend’s mom in Canada, about 15 years back. When son demanded to know why he got cancer treatment and his mom did not (in fact, was not even told she had it) … family doc who was retiring confided on his way out the door: “Because you’re young and will pay lots more taxes. She was retired and would pay no more taxes.”

      2. I guess we shouldn’t be scared any more when Bob starts making sense, but Bob has just combined Dunbar’s number, Hayek’s knowledge problem (aka “the pencil problem”), “public choice” economic theory, and probably some other stuff I missed, into a little gem of an essay. Wow.

        Maybe the times Bob wasn’t making sense, he was just writing for an audience with a higher IQ level than we actually have? And now he’s learned to turn it down a little?

        Bob, whatever you’re doing to cope with whatever problems you’re having, from the outside it looks like it’s working. I enjoy your insights and perspective and would miss them if you stopped writing. Hope this helps.

        1. I think most of the issues are not an issue of writing for ‘too high an IQ level’.

          One of the reasons people disagree with me is because they disagree with my premises or assumptions.

          I’ve been trying to do this type of thinking and writing for a couple decades, ever since I got into Denbeste’s essays.

          Success is partly a matter of improving writing skill.

          My mood has probably been a real improvement. For many years, I was bored, and had nothing to really put my time and energy into. I was pretty angry at my inability to find anything to do, strongly hated myself for that, and as a result tended a bit more towards being angry at the world. When one is very angry ‘at the world’, one’s policy feeling might be quite a bit more heated than a reasonable man can agree with, and one might be eager to shout at others for ‘being wrong’. This can still occur while one thinks that one is speaking deliberately and calmly. Fixing my life to some degree seems to have helped my emotional state a great deal.

          (Then 2018, 2020, etc. occurred. I’m actually still happier and more personally hopeful than I was in 2015, probably 2010, and maybe 2005. Even if that so called success comes with enforced exposure to an organization with issues, and some very bad people. (Turns out that being willing to get fired mid project, because of disliking the senior management, actually does seem to improve how I handle stress.))

          Genuine multi-disciplinary thinking can be very hard to do. Even if I am not trained, educated, or skilled in many fields, I can still work on learning how economists, lawyers, etc., think. In this case, I used concepts I learned second hand, from Eric Raymond, Kratman, and maybe BGE. I work after my intuition gives me the mental outline, usually in response to a problem statement. I think my lack of depth means that this happens when, by chance, I have already learned the pieces. I can be so shallow in one of the disciplines that I could, metaphorically, confuse tedious bookkeeping enough to make a perpetual motion scheme look plausible, while being entirely ignorant of the proofs that perpetual motion is impossible. Genuine multi-disciplinary thinking is very easily done badly.

          I think the most common issue is confused thinking on my end. My choice to write these things, my plan of how to write, and my execution of the mental outline are often a compulsive behavior. So, I may find myself trying to write after waking up in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, when I can and should be doing something else, or late in the evening after I should have stopped everything and gone to bed. Improving my mental flexibility and ability to control compulsive behavior can be expected to improve average results by preventing the worst results. Even when I am deliberately choosing to write, and reading it afterwards to see if it makes sense, I may not have practiced the area of thinking enough to judge the quality well. I have to consider the audience to judge things like ‘is it concise enough’, ‘do I leap too far between points’, ‘do I spend too much words talking around the point’, ‘do I explain several things the audience understands’, ‘do I reference things I should be explaining to this audience’, etc. I have to work to consider the audience, and I have to work to make sure the writing is clear.

          It is not ‘writing for too high an IQ’ when I forget to do an easy task that can make things coherent, or when people understand me and disagree.

          1. Darn you, Bob! (jk)

            I had never heard of “Denbeste”, so of course I had to go search. And eventually found him. Stephen den Beste, stopped blogging circa 2004, which was back when airhead me still thought that weblogs were just another pointless techno-hobby for male nerds. (Obviously, I’ve learned better since.) Which was why I’d never heard of him.

            And, wow, he wrote some good stuff! (For anyone as clueless as I was, there are a lot of “Denbeste”s out there. The search term you want is “USS Clueless”. Really. That was the name of his blog.) So, over the last day or so, I’ve spent more hours than I could really afford reading through his essays. Which was why I said “darn you, Bob”. I needed that time for other stuff. But it was time well spent, anyway.

            If you’re aiming for that level of analysis, you’re aiming high. But it’s clearly not out of reach. Good luck!

            1. He actually didn’t stop blogging entirely, just decided that it was eating too much of his life, so he started a new blog solely on anime and manga.

              1. Too much of his retirement life, with a degenerative health condition. So, he stopped writing those multi disciplinary synthesis essays about topics of political significance.

                So he wrote about anime at Chizumatic, and not all of what he wrote will be of interest of everyone who is into anime.

                Anyway, he passed. I want to say October of 2017.

            2. Steven Den Beste and the USS Clueless was some of the best analyses and commentary out there in the earliest of the blogging age. Say, the early oughties, He went to doing mostly commentary on anime and then he passed away a couple of years after that.
              So many of the early best bloggers sort of faded out, after a certain point in time. He was one of the best and most sorely missed by those who appreciated his take on things.

    3. Medical care is not a natural geographic monopoly or a public good. Not the way National Defense or a criminal justice system is. It is thus more like the provision of food, or other normal goods & services.

      1. Obligatory quibbles:

        1. *Most* things which get paraded around with the “public good” label, aren’t. Most people fail to understand economics, film at 11.

        2. Criminal justice has been done as a private good, arguably for far longer than as a public good. Admittedly with a very different set of tradeoffs, though on the other hand we could argue that many of the problems with our justice system stem directly from the attitude of the criminal owing their debt to “society” (*spit*), rather than the individual(s) they harmed.

      2. The British National Health system came into existence immediately after WWII, while British soldiers were still coming back from the far reaches of the world. HM Government didn’t want to see a new version of the Great Influenza ripping through the home islands. Making medical care free and prompt could cut a plague off before it got a good start. Also, years of rationing had left the general population less healthy than they might have been.

        “Modern Medicine” in the late 1940s consisted of X-rays, sulfa, that new ‘penicillin’ stuff, a few vaccines, anesthesia and opiates, and a relative handful of surgical procedures. It was simple and didn’t cost much, and the projected social return in quality of life and labor hours saved looked good.

        The problem was, medicine moved on, and got vastly more complex and expensive, and the new medical industry chafed at the financial restrictions which made them paid comparatively less than professionals in other countries, and since the service was “free”, it was used far more than the planners had allowed for. And the costs kept on going up, and then generations of Parliaments poked their sticky fingers in and swirled them around, with “fixes” that were generally worse than the original problems…

        The original system was actually a pretty good idea, that probably paid off for the British economy, for whatever values you might apply to lives that *might* have been lost. They got blindsided by Progress, as has happened often in the 19th and 20th Centuries…

        1. In theory, they could’ve gotten relatively good results by having the NHS stay small, and cheap-vs-return, getting out of the way of private growth.

          …this is the same country that was rationing for waaaaaaay after the war, that’s why it’s very, very theoretical.
          -.-

    4. An effective implementation of NHS entities requires omniscience and omnipotence to achieve just and effective results for all. Several problems with that: it’s impossible for man both individually and collectively; it’s idolatrous; and the net result is an entity constantly expanding in scope and power over citizens, while simultaneously delivering less and less of anything good and more and more of everything miserable. As Ben Franklin said those who choose security over liberty deserve and will get neither.

    5. Ian, I think there is a subsidiarity argument to be made against a NHS-type system. The principle of subsidiarity basically says that things should be handled at the lowest level that can effectively handle them. There is nothing about the provision of health care that requires a top-down bureaucracy, nor would it be better that way (as many others have commented).
      You can read a bit about subsidiarity in the Catholic catechism 1883-85, e.g. here: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c2a1.htm

    6. NHS, I’m a cost.

      Free market, I’m a profit source.

      Which system wants me around longer?

  24. Have begun to see pushback to our “esteemed overlords” in certain parts of the Christian community.
    Recently watched “Noncompliant” an hour and twenty minute movie that can be found at https://noncompliantmovie.com/. Well worth your time. Very encouraging.
    It recommends that the pushback needs to start at the local level and extend up to our individual state leaders. Refuse to comply with the tyrants and criminal actors at the federal level.

  25. 1- No country has gone communist or stayed communist without massive help from the free world. This is because economically and at a functioning level, communism is basically feudalism with more bureaucracy and more stupidity and fiefdoms corrupting the information flow.

    And Leftists make the argument, with a complete lack of irony, that Cuba is a hellhole because of the US embargo. This is not the winning position that they think it is. Socialism/communism can apparently only stand if it has a large, wealthy, mostly capitalist nation to leech off of. They don’t put it in those terms but that’s what they’re saying.

  26. As for China, people whine about the debt “owed” to China. There’s an old saw: if someone owes you $10 and doesn’t pay, they have a problem. If someone owes you $10 million and doesn’t pay you have a problem.

    How much more when it’s $1.1 trillion?

    I mean, first think I would do in a shooting war with China is repudiate all that debt.

    1. And confiscate all property owned by Chinese-gov’t-connected interests.

      I expect repudiating debt was where Trump was headed when he started talking about making China pay for turning Covid loose on the world.

      1. And it keeps coming to me thatnif China has some massive disaster (Three Gorges Dam collapse, for example) and we instantly pledge massive amounts of aid, it would be nice to get a cancellation of debt in return.

        1. At this point my response would not be massive amounts of aid, but rather “You’ve got assets, sell ’em and fund the aid yourself. If you cancel our debt, we might buy those assets. Oh, and about Hong Kong…”

          Besides, any aid we give them will be massively skimmed, and mostly wasted money and resources.

            1. Yep. Trump would likely have tied aid to debt cancellation, but Biden and Co would virtue-signal how generous we are by pumping money in hand over fist (even if they had no other reason to do so).

            1. Oh, THAT. Yeah, that’s China’s definition of a disaster. Displacing two million peasants? not a problem!

    2. There isnt going to be a shooting war with China..That would be a 20th century solution to 21st century problems. it is inconceivable and impracticable on too many levels to ever happen for either side. 21st century wars will be fought on the economic and technological fronts. China doesnt have a sufficient population young enough to fill their ranks, because their 1 child policy put a huge gap in their age demographics… and the U.S. is busy lowering the bar to accommodate the woke. Oh, we may Skirmish over Taiwan and the south China sea in the next decade or so, But the majority of the fighting will be with economic and tech assets..I would say look for increased disruptions in goods, supply chains, and tech problems, Brownouts, Blackouts and power grid disruptions…. these are where the most damage can be done with plausible deniability..Just my 2 cents.

        1. And wars can happen no matter how rational the “players” are.

      1. That’s exactly what was said by that Chinese official at a big CCP function, whence video leaked: it’s a war of attrition and subversion and assets, with the damage to be done mostly the West itself, hence a shooting war with the West is a needless expense.

  27. It strikes me that the black pill does not necessarily lead to inaction.
    Most mass movements require martyrs.

    And we simply must quibble about the definition of “all” that must be burnt.
    I’m pretty sure my list of worthless things to be jettisoned would be met with horror by those currently befouling the loci of existent power structures.

  28. If I may insert a point of my own:

    2.5 – No country that has once been communist, has ever reverted back to it. Ever. There’s a reason pretty much all the post-socialist countries of Eastern Europe have right to center-right governments, and a public sentiment to match. Even those nostalgic of the old days mostly just miss the sense of “law and order”, somewhat akin to Americans idealizing the 1950s (which itself isn’t without its merit, but I digress), and look on the modern woke mob as if they’re mentally deranged. Couple that with an absolute lack of any kind of white guilt, and a 60% female labor force that regards third-wave feminists with abject disdain, and you can see why we’re practically immune to modern liberalism, with no great change in sight.

    Basically, communism is like smallpox – if it doesn’t kill you, it’ll scar you for life, but at least you’ll never have to worry about it again. Now, whether there’s a vaccine for it that can save you the trouble – that’s not for me to say. I can only hope there is, but as to how it may come around…

    For some reason, I tend to compare most liberal talking points to the cigarette smoking debates of yesteryear, right before vaping came into vogue. You know – the dangers of passive smoking, the indoor bans, the great healthcare crusade… and how that whole narrative was shattered by a pen-sized device that practically negated all those concerns. And was immediately demonized for it, with efforts ranging from pretentious hit-pieces about its “theoretical” dangers, to the obligatory “vaping is lame” jokes in just about every liberal media outlet. Because it had ruined the narrative. It had spoiled the fun. It had rained on the crusade.

    So I figure, when the other liberal talking points go down, it’ll be over something like this – some kind of technological or simply practical development that negates the original point, so its proponents bend over backwards to try and keep it relevant. To try and keep themselves relevant. Again, I cannot say for certain what these developments will be, and when exactly they’ll enter the scene… but I strongly suspect at least some will have “doge” in the title, or be named after some other silly meme that’s yet to come.

    1. Must provide what might be a counterexample to your argument about inoculation against Communism: Chile. It was narrowly rescued from full-on Cuba imitation by the overthrow of Allende, and soon had the healthiest, most prosperous economy in South America. Forty years on, and the people voted for socialism and free stuff again. Maybe it’s because Allende wasn’t given enough time to run the whole country into the ground.

      1. Hasn’t Chili had a bunch of immigration from the less prosperous nearby nations. They may have brought an outside infection of socialism. 🤔💭

      2. To outside appearances, that election in Chile was even more corrupt than ours.

        Which is saying something.

        1. No doubt with help from the CIA which seems to be in the business of helping communist regimes these days.

  29. I only have so much room in my pea brain for too much negativity to leak in. When there’s too much my head starts turning into a tilt-a-whirl with imaginary riders starting to puke.
    There are certain thoughts that are present at certain periods, like what will the next crazy leftist move be, but that’s a given. Russia and China bother me not in the least. Our biggest enemies are within, and there are far more of us. We just need to act in our best interests and take things back..

    Can you or do you skype or something similar with your dad?

  30. Jeez Sarah, who have you been talking to? What kind of imbecile thinks this is the worst time in history? It’s not even the worst I’ve seen.

    Let’s talk reality check, shall we?

    Anybody still remember the 1960s when we little kids were all being taught to duck and cover when the air raid siren blew? (I used to see those “Duck and Cover!!! PSAs on American TV. Saturday morning cartoons. Rocket Ship Seven with Promo the robot!)

    Anybody still remember that friggin’ beeping from the Emergency Broadcast System? “This is only a test.”

    Anybody still remember the 1970s with Jimmah Caaaahtaah and the worst military disaster in America history? Not to mention Trudeau The Elder selling Canada to the Russians?

    Anybody still remember the ten minute warning thing? You’ve got ten minutes after the siren goes before you and your house are vapor in a firestorm? Yeah, good times.

    Anybody still remember there were friggin’ air raid sirens? Like, all over the place, every town and village had at least one? And they used to test them all the time?

    I remember that shit. This we have here now? This is a f-ing holiday.

    1. Aw heck, I remember doing duck-and-cover drills (though not entirely for nuclear bombs, they WERE mentioned alongside the tornadoes) in kindergarten to first grade or so…and that was 1985/86!!!

    2. Anybody still remember there were friggin’ air raid sirens? Like, all over the place, every town and village had at least one? And they used to test them all the time?

      They still have them. Tested at 10am on the first Tuesday of the month.

      — signed; Tornado alley.

      1. (::waves:: hail fellow Tornado-alley veteran! I grew up outside of Tulsa 😀 )

        Heck, in my teeny town they used to blow the siren at noon everyday. They haven’t for several years now, dunno why. Probably people got tired of it, and there really wasn’t a reason for it any longer.

        1. Ours blows it three minutes before noon.

          EXACTLY three minutes before.

          Yes, they do have a more accurate clock than that, it’s on purpose.

          No, I don’t know why. No other town is close enough to be confused for it.

        2. In the ’60s, the volunteer fire department was summoned by siren. There was a regular schedule for training; I was fascinated when they took a couple of structure rigs and played “beerkeg soccar*” with fire hoses. Done on the residential street; houses on one side, playground (with other kids watchig) on the other.

          This was a smallish suburb in Metro Chicago, population about 12,000.

          (*) Aim your hose at the keg and get it across an arbitrary line. The opposition is doing the same in your direction. Quite wet.

          1. (Oh, general purpose siren. Fire call, tornado, nuclear attack, same siren, same pattern.)

      2. Noon, first Wednesday of the month. Can hear the one at the park and the one at city hall.

      3. Yes, the tornado sirens every Wednesday. But the air raid siren had a different pattern, they only tested that one once or twice a year.

        My 2nd grade teacher retired the year after my class, we went through all the emergency movies 🎥. Practiced for earthquakes, tornados, and duck and cover drills for nuclear air raids.

    3. I remember sitting at my dining table looking out the window, wondering if I’d be able to see the warheads on the way in. I lived in Anchorage, and we were going to get at least three nukes if the balloon went up.

      I remember the air raid siren tested every Friday at 3pm, with the understanding that if I heard it at any other time, we were all about to die. (This is why that Green Day song “Warning” from 2000 always made my hairs stand on end.)

      On the other hand, Desert One was hardly the worst military disaster in US history. It was an embarrassment that probably sealed the deal on Carter’s re-election, that’s all.

        1. So did Montgomery AL, because Maxwell AFB was home to the Air War College and also the Squadron Officers School.

        2. Redstone Arsenal, home of MICOM the Army Missile Command, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Brown’s Ferry nuke plant. Plus a bunch a ton of ancillary government support contractor facilities. For years we were on the certain foreign visitors not allowed list.

          1. Also now home to the Aviation Command (in fact, MICOM was retired at least a decade ago for “Aviation & Missile Command,” also now home to the “Army Materiel Command,” and has the second-largest research park in the country. Probably still have at least three nukes.

          2. Not sure how many nukes were reserved for Silicon Valley. The Satellite Tracking Center (AKA the Blue Cube) and the Moffett NAS anti-sub base likely had high priority. The folks who did a story on targeting in the SJ Murky News had the Valley as tertiary. This was when semiconducters were important and a lot of the Mil-spec ICs were dealt with in the valley.

            OTOH, the B-52 bases near Sacramento were expected to be primary .

            “We will all go together when we go.
            All suffused in an incandescent glow.
            No one will have the endurance
            To collect on his insurance.
            Lloyd’s of London will be loaded when they go.”
            –Tom Lehrer

            1. I grew up in Sacramento. In high school, shortly after the Soviet Union fell, our history teacher showed us a fallout map from projected MAD. Bright red spot on Sacramento, plume trailing east right over my house. Fun times!

    4. Our son was born in 1991, when we were living in New Jersey. A few months later I was home alone with him listening to the classical station from New York City when the “Beep, beep, beep,” of the Emergency Broadcast System came on. Then I heard, “This is the Emergency Broadcast System. This is not a test. Repeat, this is NOT a test.”
      I just stood there, frozen, until they announced the emergency was NYC was getting some flooding. But for a moment, it was, “Dear God, and we’re only 60 miles from New York!”

    5. Anybody still remember that friggin’ beeping from the Emergency Broadcast System? “This is only a test.”

      We have that still!

      I had to drop a package off, we were under whatever the “tornados can form” thing is, and of COURSE it went off while the kids were home “alone.”

      And they hit it out of the park– got everyone to the basement, including the cats, and THEN sent me a message on the tablet that the tone had sounded.

      It was several counties over, and I would’ve gotten it on my phone, but still!

      1. Back in the ’90s, when I still listened to the radio, there were advertisements that started with the Emergency Broadcast Signal sound.

        1. Our NOAA weather radio operators do a test every Wednesday over lunch hour. When you have a major thunderstorm coming your way, it’s A Good Thing to have warning. Recalls a far too interesting night spent at North Platt, Nebraska. I thought the LAL 6* thunderstorm was bad, but the tornado warning an hour later was worse.

          (*) Lightning activity level. 6 is the worst, as far as I can tell.

      2. I found out during the eclipse that they can send emergency alerts to your phone even if your phone isn’t set up *as* a phone. (I had a spare that I was using for video and photos.)

        Said emergency alerts included being careful about parking on the verge (because of sparking a fire in dry grass) and stopping rock-climbing during the eclipse because emergency crews might be otherwise employed if you fall. Seriously, it was that specific.

    6. The radio and TV stations still do the Emergency Broadcast tests weekly. But if they go for real, it’s always going to be weather-related. (Fire is almost synonymous with weather, given a sufficiently large fire…)

  31. Hm. Apparently WordPress has decided I don’t need notification of new comments, no matter how many times I click the box.

    WPDE

  32. Recent news for the children of the ’80s has been a sequel to the popular “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” cartoon from the ’80s. Rumors, however, included troubling things like claims that the main character in the show isn’t the titular He-Man. Instead, the rumors have been claiming that it’s his female friend, Teela. Kevin Smith, who is in charge of the series, angrily fired back at such claims when they were first published, stating that there was no truth to them.

    And then the pre-release reviews started to show up, and confirmed that Teela is, in fact, the main character, with He-Man apparently receding into the background (note that these were from reviewers who thought that this was a good thing). And now that the show’s out, even Netflix isn’t pretending that He-Man is an important character in his own show. I just got an ad from Netflix advertising the series, and the very first sentence includes this fragment – “Teela and an unlikely alliance…”

    1. I was Hoping that you were talking about a Babylon Bee story, but you weren’t. 😦

    2. So why not do She-Ra’s show?

      I mean, yes, they are same milieu – but i seem to remember He-Man and She-Ra having separate simultaneous shows?

  33. Thanks for the continued encouragement! I can’t speak for everyone but I think I finally figured out what had been nagging at me and keeping the black dog around in this area while out today: mainly the uncertainty of it all since the Covidiocy in particular started. What can’t go on won’t and the mess when it gets to that point isn’t going to be fun but waiting for it, and figuring out how to weather that particular storm when it hits, can definitely wear on you. Just one more bit of uncertainty on that pile, I suppose. Heh, it really is the only dependable thing about the future, isn’t it?

    1. Uncertainty in moderation can be a good or a neutral, depending. Massive uncertainty is disorienting.

      Disorientation is scary and stressful. Ergo, black bog.

      I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had a mad scheme I’ve been chasing for a few years, with the expectation I may fail before I can complete it. Has given me some certainty, orientation, hope, and something to do, without necessarily being ‘too much to lose’. Okay, there have been times that I stressed out too much, because of parts I was afraid to lose, but it has been pretty good on net.

  34. Thanks. I needed that. I knew it deep down but I needed someone else to say it cause it’s getting intense out there and they will now use this “Delta” thing to try and clamp down further. Since I have to periodically go to doctors because of meds to be prescribed, I worry about them pushing me to get the shot and maybe telling me they won’t see me anymore if I don’t. Don’t know if they can do it. Maybe I’m taking counsel of my fears. I’ll still fight it. Will not acquiesce in my own destruction. But still . . .

    Any way thanks again.

    Was concerned there’s no paperback out for the new book with the android sleuth. Sounds good and I want to read it but I like to read letters on paper. (plus the e book is the same price as most paperbacks.)

    Keep on keeping on and Have Fun in the meantime.

    1. With private health care, if a doctor won’t treat you because you haven’t been vaccinated against one specific disease, you go find another one.

      With socialized health care, ALL doctors are part of the Borg Collective and must ALL follow the same government policies. Patients are SOL.

      Hmmm, would that lead to black-market medicine? Underground doctors and clinics? A Medical Mafia?
      ———————————
      There are forms of stupidity that businesses can’t indulge in. There are no such limitations on the stupidity of government.

      1. On paper, we have a private healthcare system. What do we have in reality?

        DEA: you will not treat your patient’s pain as YOU judge appropriate because we will yank your license to prescribe any drugs (and criminally charge you) if you don’t follow our definition of what’s appropriate..

        State Hospital licensing board: You will have your license to operate yanked if you aren’t following our mask policy.

        State medical licensing board: You will preach the gospel of “social justice”…. or you won’t get a license.

        Etc. etc.

        My science classes taught me that theory is always beaten by actual real-world events…. and that even one example is enough.

  35. “Catastrophism is not reality. Catastrophism is the reverse image of the triumphalism of the left which goes something like this: Stop everyone from saying they disagree with us — ?????? — victory.”

    Need to frame that and hang it up!

    Problem with progressivism: “evolution” does not destroy earlier iterations along the way. Ancient anthropology proposed cultural evolution — savagery> barbarism> civilization. But we still have savages and hunter-gatherers among us (gangs, the homeless) and barbarians (the federal government) in the midst of our civilization.

    Countries (like China) that have dabbled in “capitalism” are still stuck in mercantilism, but are still dependent on capitalist countries to suck life from them.

  36. I read you, Sarah, because you give me hope whenever I start to get down and think all is lost. Thanks for that, and keep up the good work.

  37. There’ll be a Satanic Wig (Hell Toupe) but I must relay:

    Look guys, I know we’re all Mythicals. And the Humans… are,.. well, mundane. The [HELL] they are! Who the [HELL] spends near an eternity dreaming of the impossible, and then decides that within ten (10) years they’ll go and DO IT…. and then DO SO? The centaurs? No. The Fae? No. The ‘Old Ones’? Not even. The freaking humans did that. Yeah, they’ve paused. Count yourselves LUCKY they have’t looked seriously in our direction – yet.

    These are the jokers that either worked out or summoned into existence the Gremlins… and then had the sheer audacity to NAME a machine after machine-breakers! You what this means? It means we must ally with them. Why? Look, who is going to “take over the world”? I’ll tell you: The insanely audacious. Sure, they seem to be idling back and squabbling NOW. But even now, one or two are doing “impossible” things… either with a Grand Plan..or, worse, just to SHOW OFF. Ponder that. “Let’s do the IMPOSSIBLE… for *bragging rights*.” The Heroes of Old had to be PUT TO IT. These guys do it for *funsies*.

  38. I don’t remember the ’70s as a bad time. I was in the AF. I was in missiles, and was in 33 missile launch control centers, under the desert and under the prairie. I met and married my first wife. But that’s just me, and as I keep saying, my memory ain’t what it never was.

    1. Double-digit inflation, price controls, the oil embargo, “malaise”, domestic terrorists, the military cannibalizing vehicles for spare parts, bell bottoms, disco, polyester pants…

      I could go on…

      It was so bad that the economy did poorly during Reagan’s first two years in office. That’s how long it took for Reagan’s economic policies to fix the mess that Carter had left the country in.

  39. The cult of Jonestown democracy, choose Pepsi or Coke, comrade.
    These are the last of the good ol’ days and the gates of Hell are about to open courtesy of the fifth column of traitors known as the Üniparty.

  40. Interesting take on things.. For some reason I envision this as sitting in the passenger seat while a 16 yr old with no experience takes control of the car for the first time, and allowing the lad the experience of every bad thing that can possibly go wrong, because, ” Hey, based on last time, we know it wont kill us”

    I don’t have that kind of faith in Humanity, let alone todays youth.. Remember, this is the generation that came up with the bright idea of eating tide pods, and their Parents who didnt teach them otherwise.

  41. The future belongs to those who show up for it. The West – and Westernized countries outside The West – have quit breeding. It will simply be Russian/African history on a grander scale: “And then things got worse.”

  42. And as of about 10 minutes ago, thanks to the CDC and their flopping about like a dying fish, those of us who work in federal buildings have to wear the stupid face diaper again, regardless of vaccination status. THEN WHY THE HELL DID WE PUT UP WITH THE MISERY OF THE STUPID VACCINE?!?! And it doesn’t even make sense. Say masks actually worked (which we know is a load of hooey). What good is it to wear it in the office, but nowhere else…?

    I will not comply outside my job. I may not be given a choice at the office, but nowhere else are they gonna force me to wear it.

    Sorry, had to vent somewhere. :p

      1. I would, but my grand-boss (who is pretty danged humorless) would undoubtedly write me up for it, and I don’t care to land myself in hot water, sigh.

    1. Heh. A Legal Assistant (very lowly clerk, essentially–GS5) just wrote a scathing email to the ENTIRE Department of the Interior about how this is an illegal order, the CDC has no authority, and that this whole thing is a runup to forced vaccination.

      I agree with her. She’s inevitably gonna get fired, but I admire the hell out of her stones.

      1. Since teh POTUS said that kids don’t have to wear masks (Yes, he said that, no I’m pretty sure he has no clue why he said it), at least now the CDCDMP3VHS will have to figure out if he overrides them or not.

    2. Ah, so that is what the noise around latest CDC bullshit is.

      Makes me glad I had hit the current level of disgruntled with the senior leadership of my large organization, because I will have minimal regrets is decreed that it is time for me to leave.

  43. What she misses here is what communist totalitarians do to those who disagree with them which is to slaughter them wholesale so there is no disagreement which has happened in every country who’s done it.

    1. Yes. You’re right. Gee, how could I have missed that. (Sarcasm.)
      Are you stupid or did you have to study long to become that goofy.
      What I say, dear clothead, is that there is no way for as few and as stupid as they are to take on armed Americans. A LOT of armed Americans.
      If you think they’re going to slaughter us wholesale, and we’re — throughout the vast geography of the US — going to sit down and take it, you’re either a leftist, or you’re not an American and have never been to America.

      1. What I say, dear clothead, is that there is no way for as few and as stupid as they are to take on armed Americans.

        Yep. From Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago”:

        And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur—what if it had been driven off or its tires

        That would be the US. It might take a bit before people realize that it’s mass arrests for political purposes (although not all that long considering the way people are grumbling about not-so-mast arrests and show trials for political purposes that have already been happening), but once an armed people with the spirit of resistance learn that justice is not to be had, then folk going out to “round them up” are going to start finding out that each time they do, there’s a good chance that at least some of them aren’t going home afterward. I figure, they may take me down but if there’s one or two less to go after the next guy, that’s a win. They’ll run out of bodies before we will.

          1. “Be careful what Paradise you deal,
            What hope you make other dreamers feel,
            for if too many hear it, they will struggle to draw near it.
            And in the search, they just might make it real!”

        1. >> “then folk going out to “round them up” are going to start finding out that each time they do, there’s a good chance that at least some of them aren’t going home afterward.”

          I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them got hunted in their off hours, too.

        2. The 1% solution:

          10% of Jews armed
          10% of those take an SS man with them

          è 60K dead Nazis and no holocaust.

          I figure the US numbers would be a *tad* higher

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