The Cake Is A Lie

There is no cake. The cake is a lie. What’s more, it always was and it always will be.

Last week I was treated second hand — not first, because I’ve blocked the individual’s delusional ass some time back — to the spectacle of a man 20 years older than I arguing in public that having to work for a living is a bad side effect of capitalism, and that “Wage slavery” is in fact slavery, which only exists because the evil capitalists want to step on the common man.

Holy shades of slither-shitting Jean Jacques Rousseau Batman! That is more actual stupid than should fit in a human cranium. In fact, any human brain crammed with that level of insanity should spontaneously explode creating a crater the size of the pacific ocean.

How is it possible to live over seventy years in the world, to read and write, to be in touch with people of various professions and different avocations, to have traveled and seen the world and still come away convinced of the infantile idea that whatever you wish will materialize because you wish it.

I would like to invite the distinguished idiot to go and lay down under Rousseau’s proverbial apple tree and open his mouth wide, until an apple falls in it and chokes him. Though to be fair, he’s more like to die of exposure, insect bites, or pneumonia. Oh, yeah, or of hunger, unless someone takes pity on his complete and utter insanity and feeds him and takes care of him. Which is what he’s counting on.

What he is counting on is a delusion partaken of by libertarians who subscribe to the voluntarianist brand of insanity: If people just do what they want to do with no compensation, everything will work out in the end. We’ll be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. And blessings and glory will be showered on everyone, without anyone having to do anything to receive them.

That is the cake. The beautiful illusory frosted cake that socialism and communism, and utopian philosophies hold out.

I bet you it was what the serpent whispered in the garden. (I find it hilarious that Rousseau used the apple tree as an example of the all-providing bounty of nature.) “Just do what you please, and the world will take care of you.”

Or as a long ago friend (who I think no longer speaks to me because I had an habit of being rude) used to put it “I worked very hard in other lives. In this life, the universe just wants to take care of me.”

Having watched her progression through life, the universe had many names and many faces. It was relatives, friends and casual acquaintances, and people who thought she was going through temporary inconvenience, which couldn’t possibly be permanent, because who wanted to live like that? …. until eventually it ran out.

We are born naked, mewling and weak, with no ability to stand or feed ourselves, or do pretty much anything. Those of us who survive our first week do so because others work for us.

There are pretty strong bonds and instincts, and impulses pushing us to care for a baby. (I read an article, must be 20 years now that said the cats evolved to mimic the signs of human babies, and the gestalt impression of a baby, which then caused humans to look after them.)

However, unless you’re extremely generous, or morally impelled to do so, no one is going to pick up a baby not their own and look after their every need because they like doing so.

Look, I’ve looked after babies not my own, human and cat and on a singular occasion, a rabbit. I did it because I believe life is precious and worth it. I did not do it because it was enjoyable, and I liked the process.

Looking after babies is bad smelling overflow at both ends, and unending drudgery. You do it for love, and you do it for conviction. No one does it for fun.

“But you see, Sarah, people do that for free.”

I waggle my hand at you. Sort of. In the case of human babies there is usually a non-verbal contract that you look after them and eventually they’ll look after you. But that’s neither here nor there.

This is exactly where these half-cocked lunatics get the idea that someone or something should look after them forever. That they’re entitled to have every need met, as they did when in their cradles.

Hell. In most cultures throughout the world until the Christian era, even babies might not get those needs met. Until people believed that each baby was specially created by the hand of the Most High and therefore precious in and of himself, they stood a good chance of being drowned in the slops pail and taken out with the trash, if the family already had all they wanted or simply was not at home to a baby girl.

The adult-infants shitting in civilization’s cradle and blaming “capitalism” for not getting the pacifier of their preference shoved in their greedy mouths need to grow up.

Until our rich, sassy and frankly stupid era, most people’s working life started at two or three. And before these reticulated imbeciles start talking about capitalism: that is through the extent of humanity as far back as we can tell, back to primitive tribes who had never heard of money; back to isolated communities where money did not apply.

We have letters written by colonials in the US (and btw, anyone who thinks colonialism is white supremacy and “easy” is invited to spend a month — just one — living as these people did) talking of their two, three and four year old children doing tasks that in our day and age we’d be hesitant to entrust to a ten or fifteen year old, from feeding the livestock to caring for cows.

I know in my mom’s day by the time you were five you were looking after your younger siblings, and might be making food (over an open fire) to free your mother to do enough work to keep the family afloat.

Yeah, I know, I know “Capitalism.” My sore ass.

Most of human history, since our species, metaphorically speaking, emerged naked and squalling onto the Earth there hasn’t been enough to go around: Not enough food, not enough time, nor enough strength, not enough covering against the cold, and certainly not enough rest. To keep a family fed, the entire family worked. And it was brutal and relentless work morning to night.

I love the fact that the neo-Rousseauneans, primitive fantasist edition, look at the graves of the neolithic and tell us before agriculture these people lived wild and free. Each did what they wanted. And they had no disease, no–

No life. They died young and often brutally. At 58, I’d look to them like an impossibly ancient human. And not having scars, broken bones, and being relatively well fed, I’d look to them much younger than I am.

Shakespeare is estimated as having died at my age “old and full of years” and btw the Elizabethans were already, compared to the history of the human race, already living high off the hog.

This same idiot, btw, who thinks wage slavery is still slavery also is convinced that humans always lived about as long as they do now. Sure. In some very prosperous pockets. In certain places or classes in the world. It seems that the extent of our genetic longevity is somewhere around 120 if everything goes just right for us. But you know, those last twenty years you’ll be like the infants and depend on the love and kindness of those around you.

For most of human existence upon the Earth, reaching sixty was a fabled dream. Sure, the statistics we have include a lot of infant death, but dear bog, it wasn’t that long ago or faraway that, as a kid in a relatively (and by historic norms astonishingly) well off village in a not barbarous country, when someone died at sixty there was a shrug and a “he was old.” I was 14 before I met my first 80 year old. There simply were none around. (And that 80 year old looked worse than my dad who is now 90.)

Most people died relatively young, of horrible stuff. And remember I was born after the advent of antibiotics (without which I wouldn’t be here and writing this at you. In that universe I died somewhere around 6 of tuberculosis.)

Sure. “Everyone does what they want, and we will all be provided for.” We have it now. Or we did, before these mind-wiped gapeseeds came onto the landscape. It’s called free trade and a money economy.

Heck, it might be the greatest invention of the human mind.

Look, as anyone who has lived in a commune, or even gone on vacation with a handful of close friends knows, there are always people ready to eat. There might even be enough to cook (for a definition of cook) but no one ever wants to wash the dishes.

In the same way, while I know people who dig ditches (or furrows) for fun, or who enjoy fixing cars, I don’t know a single human being who cleans septic tanks for a lark, or who irons clothes for eight hours a day, or who–

Hell, even the things that are fun — I confess to a weird love for painting and fixing furniture — aren’t fun if you do them day in, day out, eight to ten hours a day. Look, I love writing. And I’m lucky enough to make enough from it that it constitutes “making a living.” It’s not a great living, mind you. And it’s insecure. Most years I make somewhere between 30 and 50k. I don’t remember what letter that makes me in the Correia author alphabet. But there is always a year or two, often when we can least afford it, that I make 10k. Or 5k. Or a few years ago 2k. So without a husband who has a regular income, I’d be in serious trouble.

Ah, but that’s the inherent issue of the capitalist system, idiots would bleat. I should have everything I want to live, and then if I felt like writing, I would.

There are only two problems with this: I might not feel like writing anything others wanted to read; and I certainly wouldn’t do it with any degree of assiduity. Certainly not enough to develop my craft so that what I produced was readable. And I don’t think I’m the exception. I’ve seen trust fund babies, and other fully-supported writers, and 99% of the time, they go nowhere.

And keep in mind what I do is only of value to a highly wealthy society that has leisure time to day-dream in other worlds.

But the incentives are the same as for the person who farms wheat or cows, or for that matter grows apple trees. If they had everything they needed, they wouldn’t work every day. Just when they felt like. Which means we rapidly, all of us would stop having everything we need.

You can say what you want about the inequities of wealth distribution. I have my own views on it. I’ll note that fields dominated by leftists are always the worst for exploiting workers.

However most of the time, when people complain about wealth distribution or disparate payment for work, they aren’t seeing the whole picture. Like the idiots who say doctors should be paid like teachers: they have no idea what’s involved in the training of a doctor, nor of the hours doctors work, when fully formed, nor of the responsibilities and pressures weighing on them. If they did, they might realize most doctors aren’t even particularly well paid (particularly when you take into account malpractice insurance. If teachers had to pay malpractice insurance, they’d have to pay to work. Particularly if we sued them for malpractice. (I have a list.))

Ultimately what those complaining of wage slavery are saying is “I want the world to look after me.” And when they get power they make everyone else slaves, and do away with those that require care, and take us all back to a brutal primitivism all so they can stay adult babies, mewling and puking their death cult philosophy.

The cake of communism/socialism is a lie. It’s stuffed with mass graves and worms and lives of misery, beneath the glittery frosting.

It put 100 million human beings in their graves in the 20th century alone. Let’s not give it another try. This has been tried, over and over. It’s impossible. The result is always death at the hands of the greedy psychopaths who resent us for not catering to their every need real and imagined.

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

477 thoughts on “The Cake Is A Lie

  1. It put 100k human beings in their graves in the 20th century alone.

    Typo alert. Actually 100M (million). Up to 120 million by some estimates.

      1. To us, Hitler was a monster.
        To Lenin and Stalin, he was an amateur.
        To Mao, he was oh so adorable.

        Collectivism is quite possibly the worth evil the world has ever come up with. “Central control of the means of production” doesn’t sound too bad if you don’t think about it too hard*, at least not until you realize that people are, and always have been, the primary means of production. Thus they must be controlled, completely and absolutely. Collectivism–socialism, communism, whatever term you want to apply to whatever flavor–must, in the end, become totalitarian.

        *Most of is here, of course, have thought about it plenty hard. I’m referring to the naive young folk lacking the experience and knowledge to really understand how they’re being played by those of evil intent.

        1. Oh, and after finishing The Gulag Archipelago, I’m not so sure that first digit isn’t some number higher than one, and an extra zero would not be beyond possibility.

          1. Since historians keep nudging Stalin’s numbers higher, and are starting to tease apart Lenin’s numbers . . . I’m pretty comfortable with 180 million. Stalin – 60 million. Mao and Co. – 80 million and I’m being conservative. Toss in Pol Pot, Castro, everyone running around the African continent . . . I’d be willing to say, “as high as 200 million, based on currently available data.”

            1. I think Mao and his Chicom associates are good for about 100M, especially if you include N Korea in the Chicom number, which you should because if it hadn’t been for the PLA helping them, the Norks would have been utterly defeated in the Korean war.

              I think the number is likely to be between 150M and 200M for all Socialism inspired deaths but my error bars are pretty large on both ends of the range and I accept that there’s a good chance we can never know the true figure or even a decent guess

                1. Clean water and pest control are capital projects, requiring an excess of resources to accomplish the goal of cleaning the water or killing the pests. But yeah, capitalism’s fault… /s

                2. Malaria, yellow fever, any disease, really, is/are equal-opportunity killers; they don’t care if you’re a filthy capitalist lackey of the imperialist running dogs or a [insert political creed of your desires] ‘freedom fighter.’

                1. Since those numbers credit credit our good buddy China with an aggregate of ~14.5 million (if I read that chart correctly), I have to say it is not very credible at all.

                  1. They have PRC China at 76,702,000 – USSR at 61,911,000 – Hitler’s Germany at 20,946,000 at the page I linked.

        2. The biggest con job of the 20th century was the one that made “International Socialism is completely totally utterly 100% the absolute opposite of National Socialism” into the conventional wisdom.

          1. As I understand it, the Nazis and the Communists were bitter enemies, mostly because they were so much alike.

            1. The “Communist who wised up and became a Nazi” was a stock figure of Nazi writing. Down to one who literally switched sides after a fight and was heartily welcomed by the men he had fought minutes earlier. (And seriously enough that doctors had work to do.)

            2. The Crips and the Bloods, the Blues and the Greens, just two gangs fighting over turf.

            3. They were *after* WWII and really only because Hitler lied to Stalin. It was personal for Stalin and that got handed down through the Politburo. But prior, Nazi officers went to the Soviet Union to get tips and information on how to build the death camps and methods for implementing their “Final Solution.”

              1. After June 22, 1941, when the International Socialist Party Line did a complete 180. “We have always been at war with EastAsia” in *1984* had a real-world inspiration, and this was it.

                “The relative ease with which a young communist could be converted into a Nazi or vice versa was well known, best of all to the propagandists of the two parties. The communists and Nazis clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties simply because they competed for the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. Their practice showed how closely they are related. To both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common, was the liberal of the old type. While to the Nazi the communist and to the communist the Nazi, and to both the socialist, are potential recruits made of the right timber, they both know that there can be no compromise between them and those who really believe in individual freedom.” – FA Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

        3. There is also the aspect that a command economy has preempted all channels of communication to carry commands rather than information. How can you plan without information?

          It is no more possible than running on perpetual motion machines.

          1. The lack of proper information is why it’s unworkable. That “control of the means of production” by definition means “absolute control of the people” is why it’s evil. It’s not just foolish and stupid. It’s foolish, stupid, and actively evil.

        4. And the way the education system presents it to the young doesn’t help either, showing Marxism as, at worst, a noble idea that people just can’t seem to get right in practice. I didn’t even get the details of Marx’s life until I started reading here and lurking in the comments. Fixing that educational mess is going to take several lifetimes, if that opportunity even presents itself… Yeah, it’s been that kind of day.

  2. My Nana lived with us while I was growing up, and she was old. And this isn’t just the misty eyes of childhood talking—there are photos of her, bent-backed, white-haired, down to two teeth that didn’t meet.

    In her 60s. (She died at 73, 74? of diabetes and complications from a lifetime of smoking.)

    Contrast that with my mom, in her late 70s, who has white hair, yes, and a little bit of a slump, but has all her teeth, can still stand up straight and tower over her friends, and is currently on a road trip of a couple thousand miles because she wants to. And she still doesn’t look as old as her mom did fifteen years prior in age.

    You can also look at mid-19th-century literature and plays. The aged, decrepit nursemaid Ruth from The Pirates of Penzance is 47, and these days, you couldn’t have a 47-year-old play her believably. Heck, I’m in my mid-40s and they still stick me in “maiden” roles for Gilbert & Sullivan. We don’t have all the physical and immune system insults that they had to put up with back then. We didn’t have to survive the “normal childhood diseases” that killed off so many and caused health issues for others. We didn’t have malnutrition during growth that caused rickets, or pellagra, or beriberi, or even scurvy.

    1. My mom might have made it to her late 80s if it wasn’t for cancer. Mostly because her older sister lived to about that age and both were pretty good about their health.

    2. I’m soon to be 70 and find it very disconcerting to see people who are stooped over and finding it hard to walk. I think to myself, “How old are they?”when as a youngster, I used to just think of them as old. But, of course, it’s not just age. Some of us are blessed with good health. We’ll see how long it lasts for me.

      1. I’m 62 and the number of people I see coming into the hospital with terminal illnesses and dying at age 50 is staggering. Mostly smokers, heavy drinkers, and heavy eaters.

      2. Part of it is keeping your health up. My Nana certainly never did. My mom’s finding it hard to go on walks with the local heat, but at least she’s trying. My goal is stupidly long walks and making sure I keep up my posture.

        1. Encourage her to keep it up as long as possible. My mom’s dementia took off after she stopped walking. Dad stopped because of his hip and she wouldn’t walk without him to protect her.

    3. I’m in my 50s and I’ll play the “guess my age” game with people. They’ll sometimes go as low as early 30s (and that’s WITH my wife along with me,) and not believe me when I tell them my age.

      My Dad is in his 70s and could probably pass for 10-15 years younger, my Grandpa (on Dad’s side) was in his 90s (I think) when he finally passed and up until his 80s, him and Grandma would walk around a mile or so a day, with a little more than half being up a very large hill.

      1. I’ve played that guess my age game. I just turned 60 a couple months ago. I usually get people guessing ~10-15 years younger. Both grandfathers died at 65, dad’s mom died at 69-70, and mom’s mom died at 95. I hoping for her genetics as she didn’t quit smoking until 92 and quit drinking at 94ish. But my dad was 79 when he died so he outlived his parents.

        1. That guess my age game can be very amusing. When I was 25, most folks guessed my age as 35. When I turned 50, most folks guessed my age as “mid-30s.” Now that i’m 59 the typical guess is “early 40s.” Then they look REALLY surprised when I talk about being 8 years from retirement.

          Note: The biggest change in my looks between 50 and 59 is the arrival of some white hairs in my mustache and at my temples…

          1. I don’t usually bother playing the game. I turned 69 last week, and on the odd occasion when someone asks my age they seem pretty surprised that I don’t look more decrepit than I do…but my dad and all his brothers were in their mid 90s when they passed, so I figure I’ve still got 20+ years in me…

            1. I’m 69 and long retired (dot-com bust and my industry moving to Asia had a lot to do with it), but other than having an extinguished look on my hair (facial and head), I’m more-or-less OK. Mom isn’t in great health, but she’s buried two husbands and two younger sisters. Still going, not strong, but at 98, she has a right to be in shaky health.

              Dad passed at 53 from his third heart attack. My heart has its issues, but the cardiologist thinks I’ll be OK for a decade or two.

        2. Peole are generally flabbergasted to find out that I’m sixty. The hair dye accounts for part of it, but only part of it. By my age, my mother had been in a nursing home, paralyzed on one side from a stroke, for about 11 years and only had about another 11 to live.

          1. I look younger than I am, and style my hair younger as well. Decent genes, and staying out of the sun help a lot. Most people peg me at at least 10 years younger, 25 years younger if they assume my clothes mean “just out of teen years and still being strange.”

          2. Mid-50s, but same. I think mostly because I don’t have a beer belly, although sadly I seem to have inherited my hair color genes from my mother’s side (Pop is only a little bald and still red-haired at 93).

        3. I’m 65, and my hair is gone mostly white, and I’m about 50 pounds overweight – but a neighbor of mine says I look about 50, through never having smoked or sun-tanned. No wrinkles, and all of my teeth still. And I walk about 3 miles every morning, or hit the gym for an hour.
          My paternal grandmother was pretty much one-foot in the grave by the time she was the age I am.

        4. I get a kick out of kicking the butts of people half my age at endurance sports. I think the silvery hair makes me look older than I am in though. Mind you this is definitely genetic, apparently both my mother and her mother went grey/silver/white in their forties as did I and I recall my grandmother (who died at 77) having completely white hair.

            1. First white hair found: Age 22

              All red highlights white: Age 30 which is when I really started coloring.

              Never colored often enough to not have the white/gray show through, just enough to tone it down. Been going lighter & lighter in the brown spectrum color, without going blond, to start phasing out coloring altogether long before the shutdowns. Shutdowns just was the trigger to cutoff the coloring.

              Almost 65 and my hair is mostly white, with gray and black.

              Definitely genetic. Dad and his brothers saw their first white/gray hairs before they were 20. But never went full white. Maternal grandmother’s hair was pure white, forever. Suspect combination of the two.

              OTOH maternal side grandfather, mom’s brother, and all 3 of his boys, were all but bald before they were out of HS. Mom has the female version of baldness. I do not have this. Neither does our son.

      2. It’s one I’ll play sometimes, too. People can’t believe I’m in my late 30s, usually guessing late 20s/early 30s. Not as good as it used to be but I’ll take it. =P On longevity my grandparents both lived until their early-mid 80s, though my grandmother, well…did not go naturally. My mom passed away at 63 and she definitely could have done better at taking care of herself (smoking a lot, working a physical job late in life with MS and no medicine to control it) but she still only had a few grey hairs when she passed. I’ve only just recently gotten the kick I needed to do better with my own health and we’ll see if I met my main goal in this after labs on Friday and a doctor appointment next week. If losing 53 lbs between January and now didn’t do it I don’t know what will. The looking younger part is also why dating doesn’t feel quite as hopeless as it did, though meeting anyone, especially with all the Winnie the Flu Kabuki Theater coming back, is tricky as it is. And I’ll stop there since I’ve gotten whiny enough about other things elsewhere…

        1. I have consistently been mistaken for 10 years younger throughout my life. It’s partially genetic, my grandmother also looked very young for her age. Both sides of my family have consistently lived into there 90’s since the late 1800s.

          I think the youthful looks has been a curse so far. In dating, I never interest people in my age range unless they are creepy guys trying to rob the cradle.

            1. I’d love to see those, there was a couple that were awesome at my Church, for their 60th anniversary, among many other yummy things, they had Hershey bars with custom slip on wrappers with a their wedding photo. The were such adorable geeky looking kids.

            2. Now I have an urge to scrounge up one of our wedding pics and put it over on the MeWe and have people guess our ages in the pic…
              *I* look at them, and think we’re barely out of HS…

          1. I usually get too nervous to even make any kind of move personally. Maybe that’ll change now that I’ve made progress on my weight, though the anxiety and depression is still there. Even moreso with all this crap coming back and feelings of resignation everywhere I go offline…

    4. I’m fortunate to come from a long-lived family. When I was a small child in the early 60’s I met my 91 yr old great grandfather. One of my great uncles was still driving other seniors around at 98, He died at 99 – the same age my grandmother made it to, although she needed care for the last 8years of her life due to a series of mini strokes.
      So I’m always surprised when somebody who looks like they’re 70+ is actually in their 50s.
      Good nutrition starting early on, staying physically and mentally active, moderation in one’s vices and a dose of good luck seem to be the formula. Those who ignore the first three almost always (there are the David Crosby type exceptions) seem to complain of having the worst luck.

      1. My mother will be 95 in a few days. One of her double second cousins (two brothers married two sisters) died at about 98, way overweight. Another one is still alive at 101, although he has lost a lot of his marbles in the last year.

        I’m 72, walk a couple of miles a day, am taking no prescription medications, and have several patent applications pending (and more to be filed soon) on my computer science inventions. I can still work 12 hours a day on those projects although not necessarily every day.

        I’m planning for my retirement funds to have to last me until I’m 100.

    5. This kind of blindness in young folks is problematic but understandable. But it anyone past the age of 40, it’s nearly inexcusable. Do people really not realize how much our standard of living has risen in just the past 30 years?

      1. I can’t think of any example right off, but I am *sure* there are things I dreamed off ‘back when’ that are now considered obsolete – and I mean stuff that was futuristic at the time, not “this model of computer” or such.

        1. I remember to this day my wonder and fascination at getting access to an electronic calculator. It was a major purchase by my family, but Mom used it for doing our taxes and I was very interested in math. It was the first one I’d ever seen. One plugged it in to the wall and it had a vacuum-flourescent tube display. Very futuristic. And the latest thing … not only would it add, subtract, multiply,and divide …. but it would even take square roots!

          I don’t know the exact year but I would guess that was around 1975.

          Now, I still like calculators, I find them easier to use error free than my calculator app on my cell phone, but they’re clearly a near-obsolete technology. And when I buy one, it does a heck of a lot more than add, subtract, multiply, and divide …

    6. If they survived their first year, Rousseau’s ‘Noble Savages’ had a life expectancy of around 30. A lot were killed by other ‘Noble Savages’.

      Now we live long enough to get cancer and Alzheimer’s in our 80’s and we’re working on that.

    7. My grandfather, at age 90 could pass for 70 or younger. By the time he died at age 94, he looked every bit of his age.

      Recently I could pass for being in my 30s, but I’m not sure I could anymore (though there are some people who still confuse me for my daughter).

        1. That’s wringer. Have you ever seen an old, OLD washing machine with an attachment that, instead of a spin cycle, squished the water out of clothes between two hard rubber rollers? DO NOT get your hand caught in the wringer. You probably wouldn’t get rolled out flat like Wile E. Coyote, but it would cause serious injuries.

          Grandma still had one of those back in the 60’s. I found it fascinating for a while, then boring.

          1. Yeah. I have. I had a toy one. 🙂
            It’s a typo. I’m sooooo tired.
            The curious thing is that I had a toy one, but there were no real ones. All the clothes had to be twisted by hand.

            1. Roger on the typo. It’s just that sometimes I can’t tell if it’s a typo, or because English is not your first language. I never mean to be rude or insulting. And, of course, pointing out crazy Typo Puns like ‘codded messages’ or ‘bear and wine ban’ is all in fun and Carp.

              A year or two ago, I mentioned to somebody that ‘per say’ was actually spelled ‘per se’ because it’s Latin. She didn’t know that. So you just never can tell.

          2. Y’all talk like those were museum pieces. When I was a boy we had wringer washer which we used, not every time we washed clothes, but enough that it wasn’t an occasion for the kids to come watch.

              1. Well, I saw a washboard and metal tub used too…I was too little to help, but when the electricity went out (as it did not infrequently back in the 1950s) the wringer washer wouldn’t work anyway. Since the wringer was hand-cranked we used it after the clothes were washed in the tub, though…

                You know, there are probably a goodly number of younger folks who wouldn’t even recognize a washboard as an implement for cleaning clothes.

                1. I’m old enough to recognize a washboard, but I have no idea how you would operate one. Tub-and-wringer is pretty obvious.

                    1. >> “At least you Portugal”

                      I don’t know what it means to Portugal, but I thoroughly approve of you using your native country’s name as a verb.

                    2. >> “I think I meant IN Portugal….”

                      Yeah, I figured, but it was one of those typos that’s just too good to let pass. 😛

                      But enough talk. I’m gonna go America for a while.

                  1. Sigh. I am just old enough to remember seeing my grandmother running the washed clothes through the wringer attachment to her washing machine … which sat in the enclosed and covered back porch. I think the whole system drained through a hose into the utility sink in the back porch.
                    She wouldn’t let us even come near the wringer, when it was in operation.

                2. Ah. We had stone tubs with sculpted (kind of rounded) scrubbing areas.
                  The public one in the village (my family had three private ones) was built by…. Trajan, I think? It was still used.

          3. My mother washed with a wringer until the day she died at 80… in 2012. Was the reason I went to college with no idea of how to do laundry. She wouldn’t let me near it.

            1. My mom used one of those new newfangled solar/fusion-powered units, seasonally too. Grandma did for decades regardless of the season, she didn’t have an option to do otherwise.

          4. attachment that, instead of a spin cycle, squished the water out of clothes between two hard rubber rollers

            Yes. Used one summer of ’75. A hose of cold water, little soap, turn unit on, it agitated, turn off, drain, rinse, put through ringer, hand on line to dry. Either that or wash by hand & twist dry (some items I did).

  3. I will admit to having volunteered to wash dishes at a party. It was the end of the party and the males were tasked with moving the furniture back where it was before the party. My ankle was still sore from having been shattered, and washing the dishes and cleaning the gunk out of the crevices of the turkey roasting rack was something I could do without putting weight on that joint.

    And when the homeowner woke up the next morning and realized she didn’t have any dishes to wash after all, she nominated me for sainthood. (Which has me believing the claim that offering to wash the dishes is a good way for men to get laid.)

    1. I have also volunteered to wash dishes, because it kept me from having to socialize (We introverts are tricksy, we are.) BUT I can’t see doing it without pay day in day out for years.

      1. On outdoor outings (think scouts), I’d rather clean than cook. I can cook, but would rather not. OTOH I drive the cooks nuts because the minute, absolute minute, something can be soaked, it will be. Hot water will be prepared ahead of time. Or you know, they can do the dishes. And yes, holidays, doing the dishes is a way to be “busy” and not directly contributing to the conversation.

        1. Aye on soaking NOW. Let physics/chemistry do the work.
          (Oh the times at work I’ve told someone to SPEED UP by DOING LESS WORK. No, you don’t have to slowly and precisely [ARGH!] cut all that cardboard apart for the recyclers, let the hydraulics do the work!)

          1. Even less work, cleaning for the adults? Cook something using Dutch Oven. Guarantied to be leftovers. Offer leftovers to the boys (you know 11 – 18 year olds, most of whom are on the see food diet) to bring back cleaned out … Add hot water, swish, dump, and dry.

    2. The version of that thought I’ve heard most frequently is “No husband was EVER shot while doing dishes.”

      1. Modern kitchens promote sexism is by liberating men. In the old days, men who wanted decent meals had to get married, and that caused them to value women. Now, with modern kitchens, “Men can cook for themselves and then put the dishes into the dishwasher; women, minorities hardest hit.”
        (/sarc because Poe’s Law)

        1. The washing machine has done more to liberate women than all the political posturing in history. Two days of drudgery reduced to ‘dump in clothes and detergent, set the dial, wait an hour’.

          Hardship is defined as having to load your laundry in your car and drive to a laundromat.

          Marxists would extol the virtues of scrubbing clothes by hand. In cold water. They should all be forced to spend six months living without the products of capitalism.
          Governments can’t create prosperity; at best, they can refrain from destroying it.

          1. Two days of drudgery reduced to ‘dump in clothes and detergent, set the dial, wait an hour’.

            You must not have a high efficiency washer. Those take three hours, if you use the settings that actually get the clothes clean.

            1. The idea that “efficiency” requirements and other government mandates have zero cost is another cake that’s a lie.

            2. I’ve been using front loaders for thirty years now, last one lasted 25. Current Maytag does take a bit longer, something like 95 minutes for my work clothes, but as I daily have salt rings halfway down my legs from sweat I put them in a sanitize cycle.

              Try a shot of white vinegar instead of fabric softener and see if you have better results from your washer.

              1. Hm… white vinegar might help. The water here is hard and has a fair bit of minerals in it.

                1. I’ve put it through the bleach pouring hole in our washer a few times, seems to help with stuff that detergent doesn’t work for.

                2. Well, I live in central Florida, so the water here’s about 80% limestone. Without the vinegar my work clothes smell musty, even after a 2.5 hour cycle. 14 hour days marinating in sweat is just gong to make stinky bacteria fruitful and multiplying.

            3. And note there are now ads for products to make your clothes “smell clean,” without ever mentioning the reason for why they don’t smell clean after washing.

              1. Which is why I went to the store and bought the cheapest machine they carried, over the sales lady’s screams that it uses too much water.
                The ones being left behind in house we’re buying are ancient Maytags that we’re told run fine (had motor replaced.)
                We’re still taking ours for kid.

  4. The people that I generally want to smack the most are the ones who bewail how they can’t bring a child into this world that’s so screwed up from racism/sexism/homophobia/climate change/etc…

    1. Most of those in my acquaintance are leftists, so this is probably a good thing, since this reduces the number of leftists a bit.

      1. And honestly, would you want to see wokesters raising children? Those kids would be (and are becoming) severely misinformed and psychologically traumatized.

        1. One of my former students and his wife have a 4-year old daughter. Parents are 30ish. Last year they started referring to the child as “they”. My eyes rolled out of my head.

          1. I know, it’s not my place, but I suggest that you not play their game, and refer to their daughter as “she” and “her.” If they shun you for being realistic, you’re really not losing anything, you know. (Yes, I’ve had leftist “friends” stop communicating when I wouldn’t apologize for not being leftist like them.)

            1. Absolutely! I have made it clear to everyone that I refer to people by their sex in proper English style, and if they don’t like it, tough…

              1. Eh, it’s automatic. My parents were born in the Edwardian age and Southern. I had “ma’am” and “sir” whaled into me at a very early age. Son & Heir and Daughter did also, then had it re-inforced by stints in the Marine Corps.

              1. That makes two of us. I’m not looking forward to seeing just how much repair work is going to have to happen once CRT explodes.

                1. I fear almost as much as when the trans-fad collapses. [There are people with gender dysphoria and other problems for whom living as a member of the opposite sex is helpful. Those are not the ones being groomed in junior high and later by internet “influencers”.]

                  1. More like junior high and earlier, with people advocating starting transition at 3-4.

                  2. And the Leftroid enablers are desperate to get ahold of them immediately, apply hormone ‘therapy’ and surgery, before the ones who are just having a bit of temporary confusion get over it.

                    What’s the difference between ‘trans woman’ and drag queen, anyway? Just own it!

                  3. All of that too. The physical damage that’s causing is insane and makes me glad I only have kitties to deal with!

        2. Can confirm, having grown up in a household where “overpopulation is going to do us all in, so don’t any of you be so selfish as to have children!”

          …You cannot believe how long it takes to even start untwisting your brain from growing up like that.

        3. Unfortunately I get to see the hipster/wokester crowd “raising” children (think of the kids as life accessories would be a good corollary) and it is grim.

      1. Well, for you to *father* a child, you need a female.

        For you to raise a child, you might be able to adopt one. 😉

        1. Unfortunately, that brings in legal and other costs (presuming you can find an agency willing to adopt to a single father) that so far as I’ve been able to see, are…prohibitive.

          1. My Mom looked into adoption when I was a teen. The reason there are ‘fads’ in where people adopt from, is because that is where it is easiest to adopt from at the time. If a country will let you walk up to the orphanage and receive a baby or child with minimal paperwork then that’s where the majority adopt from.

        2. Having gone through the experience of raising two so far (oldest is three years old now), my life experience backs up what I’ve always believed: that it’s far, far better to have two people involved in raising the child. Because if you’re working with a partner, you can occasionally give her a break, and then she can take care of both kids to give you a break, and you don’t burn out. But if I was doing this alone, I don’t think I could manage day-in and day-out without neglecting the kids in some way, probably an important way. Research has long shown that children raised by single parents have worse life outcomes (on average, individual experience will of course vary) than those raised by two parents: X% more likely to end up in jail, Y% less likely to obtain a college degree, that sort of thing. Nobody has been able to demonstrate the cause for that, but I’m starting to wonder if part of that might be the fact that it’s nearly impossible for one single person to raise multiple kids on their own without burning out at some point along the way.

          (Note: it’s probably different for kids where one parent died when the kid was ten, or eight, or twelve, but no research I’ve seen so far has divided up the kids of single parents between the categories of “never married and never had a long-term partner / never married and long-term partner left / married but divorced or separated / widowed”. Probably because they don’t want to see what that division would reveal.)

          1. I suspect that a widow/widower is far less likely to have a revolving door of partners. That alone is a positive step towards the kids growing up half-way well. Plus she/he likely has a support network in the late-spouse’s family that can take up a little of the slack, even if it is just “Aunt Martha and I want to take the kids to the zoo on Saturday for a treat. Is that OK?”

            1. Oh yeah, that too. Forgot about the extended family network, in part because my wife and I are living too far away from our families for them to be able to help us out like that. (One of the inherent costs of living overseas). But that’s absolutely right. And in cases of divorce or separation, the family of one spouse is far less likely to help the other spouse out, because the betrayal involved causes resentment. (Though it sometimes happens, e.g. “Look, son-in-law. We know our daughter was crazy to have left you. So she’s the one who’s no longer part of this family, and you’re now part of us and we’ll help you raise the kids that she abandoned.” Or flip the genders. I remember hearing about one case that was exactly that, though even if I remembered names I wouldn’t name them, of course.)

                1. 100%.

                  And folks who have the support– or had it– simply don’t get that yes, your mom dropping in once a month or so is stressful. You still knew that you could call her to watch the kids, you still got a weekend for your anniversary, your mother in law could keep an eye on the kids for an hour so you could clean the house….

                  It’s gotten to where I don’t want to call my mom when I’m stressed, because when I’m holding on by the skin of my teeth I don’t want to hear about how much worse she had it when I can remember how at least once a month, she got a full day when she didn’t have to keep an eye on us. It is a really bad time to be told how terribly hard it was for her, seriously.

                  1. THIS. Particularly with husband working 16 hour days, as he did when we were young.
                    I remember once he got a full weekend off, and took the kids, so I could rest. What did I do? Clean and organize, because the house was insane.
                    My brother and SIL don’t know what it’s like raising kids. Sure, my mom is nuts and redecorates their house on a whim. But they handed the kids off randomly and went to the movies or concerts, and mom and dad kept the kids every weekend pretty much, and for a whole month in summer.
                    I can guarantee I’d have been published earlier, and have a ton more written ont hat regime.
                    I just never slept. I went to bed, dozed four hours,a nd was up again, and trying to watch the kids, and write and–
                    I don’t even know how I managed it. But I’m fairly sure I’m paying for it now.

          2. I think there’s even more to this. When my sons do something that is incomprehensible to my wife, which is often, and I tell her it’s OK she’ll often say that’s why they have a mother and a father. We agree in all the fundamentals, but there are areas where I am more tolerant than she, and areas where she is more tolerant than me. We balance each other. Children need balance.

            1. Exactly. Not just our son. But in scouts. The boys would always grip, when things *didn’t go their way, how the adult males scouters knew they were up to **something, and a good idea of what that something was. Hint. The scouters in question used to be 11 to 18 year old scouts …

              * When something went their way it just meant that the scouters in question still knew what was going on, just they probably joined in, or refined the plan.

              ** Not the safest idea. Most likely from experience. Times have changed a bit from when the scouters in question were in scouts …

          3. I have heard of such studies, albeit second hand.

            Children of the widowed do best, never-married do worse, divorced in between — the later the divorce, the better.

    2. And there are people claiming that Critical Race Theory is realizing that your grandfather robbed people and now their descendents live in poverty because of it.

      In reality, the grandfather bought stolen goods that did not improve his life, the robbery victims’ descendants are much better off (the paradoxes of history), and the robber’s descendants are living in poverty.

        1. My grandfathers, both of them, were dirty colonialists, one army, one navy. My ancestors certainly did a fair bit of looting, we had a lovely Ming vase that came out of the burning of the summer palace in 1860, selling it educated several of my cousins and bought the estate, such as it is, out of debt.

          Am I responsible for it? We’ll, if I am are the Chinese responsible for the murder and torture that led up to it? Following the same logic are American blacks responsible for their ancestors that sold their other ancestors into slavery? Where does it stop? No, I’m only responsible for what I do not for what my ancestors did.

          it’s all just a grift anyway, BLM is just Buying Lovely Mansions and ANTIFA is just white punks on dope. I’ve noticed that the people involved are entirely about other people giving their stuff to them., you know … parasites. What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own.

          If you have the opportunity, get some African Africans going on about it. Number two son has a couple of African African friends that we have over for Thanksgiving — they had no idea what it was about — their perspective is … interesting. What all the African Africans I’ve known have in common is just how hard they work and just how far away from Africa they all want to stay. None of them are from government families, which may be what that’s about.

    3. My leftist cousins are like this. They are saving the planet through not having kids.

      On the right I have encountered the ‘waiting for the perfect time’ crowd. I want to dump ice water over their heads. It’s never the right time, and they will be empty nesters soon enough to do all of the other things. If they miss the window for children they will regret it.

      Children love seeing their parents increasing in resources as they grow up. I think moving to the larger house as the kids get older shows an example to them of how people save and accumulate resources through their married life. Also people in the community usually want to help young couples with children.

  5. That’s essentially the entire message in Marx’s Kapital. All left wing thinking seems to come down to their trying to explain away their bad behavior. Marx was a lazy bum, hence thrift and hard work are bad — that’s surplus value in a nutshell. Foucault was a pedophile whose parents locked him up over it, hence madness is a social construct and pedophilia not really so bad. Paul DeMan was a Nazi, hence all facts are unreliable narratives. Sartre was a satyr, hence his and deBouvoir’s going on and on about how bad bourgeois values are.

    Our billionaires going on about greed is the same thing.

    I simply find out what the lefty in question is going on about and assume that’s their dirty little secret. it’s been very reliable.

    1. And if I’m remembering my left-wing loonies correctly, Rousseau was one of those who didn’t bother even to try to take care of his children. Awfully amusing to see his name in connection with any philosophy that assumes people will take care of others just because.

      1. Emile. It’s the background to progressive education, which is to education as Amtrak is to schedule.

    2. A few years ago I realize this. Typically people project their own morals and behaviors on others.

      Which is when I started to become truly concerned about what the left was up to, previously I just thought them ignorant, but when I realized that it was likely that the crazy conspiracy theories on the left were likely akin to crimes they were actually commuting or would commit if given the opportunity….

      Well we live in interesting times.

  6. Like the idiots who say doctors should be paid like teachers: they have no idea what’s involved in the training of a doctor, nor of the hours doctors work, when fully formed, nor of the responsibilities and pressures weighing on them. If they did, they might realize most doctors aren’t even particularly well paid (particularly when you take into account malpractice insurance. If teachers had to pay malpractice insurance, they’d have to pay to work. Particularly if we sued them for malpractice. (I have a list.))

    *wags finger in State Enforced Shortage*

    1. Wait, you don’t think teaching has a state enforced shortage? Teaching certificates, department of education edicts, war on school choice?

        1. Oh, I don’t have to ask. My mother was going to have to take two years of education courses (in spite of a BA Cum Laude from Baylor, a Master’s from the University of Louisville, and 10 years teaching experience) until my dad mentioned the problem to one of the lawyers he worked with as a claims manager, who found out that AL and KY had a teaching license reciprocity agreement covering the period she was licensed to teach in Louisville.

          They treat fellow Americans equally badly…. and have for a while.

          1. They treat fellow Americans equally badly…. and have for a while.

            Yes. Teachers do not get to move to other states easily, as their teaching certificates do not travel. Same with accountants, real estate, lawyers, and a lot of credentialed occupations. The excuse for some occupations “but it different depending on the state”. That applies year to year in the same state. Keeping up with current laws is a known occupational hazard/cost.

            1. Depends. The unionized states generally have little reciprocity, particularly with non-unionized states. The non-unionized states are often quite helpful in greasing the way to moving a teaching credential to a new state. I was able to transfer an OH license to SC, and then to NC.

        1. Oh, “shortage” was a correct term. It’s just that a lot of people confuse the two and use the existence of scarcity as an “excuse” for shortages.

    2. The doctors I know up here in Alaska make a very comfortable living.

      On the other hand teachers in Alaska don’t do too bad either, their average salary being over $66.5 thousand for 9 months work a year.

      1. The doctors I know up here in Alaska make a very comfortable living.

        Um, yes?

        Aside from the harsh environment specific to AK and the difficulty of training doctors there is a severe legal restriction on the supply of doctors which are allowed to practice.

        Given that even if doctors were easy to train you would have high cost / income (depending on which side of the transaction you are on).

        1. Ok, this story is old, so I don’t know how accurate it is now, but I was told never to go to Alaska, because of you don’t stay(even if you were a temp) they can sure you for abandonment. Since you have no docs to sign out to afterwards.

  7. “Those who will not work, will not eat” said by Paul of Tarsus.

    1. And note that he said that in the context of a church that took care of its poor people. But there were spongers, too, and Paul was condemning the people who were “eat[ing] anyone’s bread without paying for it”. I conclude that there were people who went from house to house asking for help, just like the person Sarah mentioned in her post, and Paul was saying “Look, if you’re capable of working, work.” (In a different letter he said “Don’t put anyone on the widows-in-need-of-help list unless they’re truly widows; if they’re under sixty and can remarry, they should remarry instead, so that the help can be reserved for those who truly need it.” That’s a paraphrase rather than a direct quote, because I’m in a rush and can’t look up the source right now.)

      1. The KJV (which is the version I am most familiar with, being the one I grew up with) has it “will not work” which is quite distinct from “can not work.” Even this old heathen can see how very important that distinction is.

        1. Yep, the original Greek text makes that distinction, so a good English translation will also make that distinction. My favorite translation has it as “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat”.

      2. Also that widows should have no families. Otherwise, it was time to teach that piety begins at home.

      3. I’ve assumed that only the apostles were able, for a short time, to hold everything in common. But that quickly, by the time Paul came on board, ‘you don’t work, you don’t eat.’ became the rule.

        I thought the widows under 60 were to remarry because they were too frisky, but the above 60 were assumed to be able to devote themselves to G-d without undue distraction?

      4. Also, don’t put them on if they have family that can support them, because the family should be doing so.

  8. I’ve done a lot of different things to ‘earn’ money over the years. My question is, what has he done with all the money he made writing? Did he ‘distribute’ it to the needy? Did he pay his co-authors, or expect them to survive on ‘exposure’???

    1. Similar to a discussion I had on Facebook recently with somebody who was complaining that Jeff Bezos should have spent his money on helping other people rather than on a space trip. Just leaving aside the strong possibility that cheap access to space will help far more people than charitable contributions will, I pointed out that Bezos had given 5% of his net worth to non-profits and charities in 2020. I then asked what percentage of *his* net worth the complainer had given. That was about the time the discussion ended.

      1. Dr. Becky – a British astrophysicist with a YouTube channel – mentioned the same thing. I generally like her, but that was the end of that video. As if her work studying galactic black holes with billion-dollar equipment is helping resolve world hunger. (Yes, _I_ know it’s not a “grow more food” problem.)

    2. To answer that one: I have co-authored a lot of books with him, and the division has always been 50:50 which was fair enough, as I could get no work unless I co-authored. When I did finally get some solo work I made approximately the same money, so financially I lost nothing. Yes, I did 90+% of the work, but I did benefit, and I found that a fair deal. Unlike publishers he’s always paid any money he owed me. We don’t agree on many things, but the ‘exposure’ and other cheating I had from the professed Democrats, not the person in question.

  9. I’ve lived in a culture where they had 50% infant mortality and old age was by 40. The slash and burn agriculture and hunting lifestyle is not for the weak of will and/or body. And those people don’t produce writers and poets and thinkers, they live too close to the bone. No thank you. I don’t want to go back.

    Second thought, the Apostle Paul had it right when he said, “if they won’t work, don’t let them eat.”

  10. But we are EEEVUL RRRAAACIIISSSTS!!! for refusing to inflict our Eeevul Capitalist Profits on Cuba, and allowing the Cuban Proletariat to enjoy all the benefits of communism without interference!
    There is no shortage of people convinced they can create the perfect world. They just have to eliminate all those imperfect people who don’t fit in it.

  11. I am 66, spouse is older. We’re on the road and I’m reliably getting laughs with a t-shirt reading, “I’m still hot – it just comes in flashes now.”
    And I can still get away with wearing t-shirts.

  12. “I’ll note that fields dominated by leftists are always the worst for exploiting workers”

    Yes, had a discussion with some younger work colleagues about colleges requiring internships as part of their coursework. Engineering majors were paid (and apparently pretty decently). Guess which professions insisted on unpaid internships: non-profits, government, and journalism (especially broadcast),

    1. And there are people lining up for those unpaid internships. So what is the need to pay them?

      Just as there are always people ready to become teachers, for all that they complain about the pay and hours.

      1. Note that the professions with unpaid internships are the ones that are constantly telling us how to live our lives because they know better.

        1. A lot of those potential unpaid interns have parents who are well-off and willing to support their kid for the duration of the internship.

          1. ^^this, right here.
            Many college students (such as myself) could not get the benefits of unpaid internships because we were busy working to put ourselves through college.

      2. Some good schools have a waiting list of people who want to teach there, just like they have waiting lists of students.

        1. And there are shitty schools, in which both the teachers and the students are indentured… 😦

          1. My vicarious experience of most shitty schools is that they have shitty teachers because all the good schools had the juice to get rid of them but they can’t actually be fired.

    2. It’s almost as though lefty’s are drawn to fields that allow them to exploit others. It’s all projection.

      I have a certain, very limited, sympathy for the people trapped in this. They think exploitation is common because it is endemic in what they know. Education is the most exploitative field going, just look at what adjuncts are paid. Harvey Weinstein was better than the average university, he only wanted to rape the body. Academia rapes the body, mind, and soul.

      Frank Herbert had it right in Chapterhouse Dune. “ It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible,”

      1. I think the left is driven by the dark part of everyones soul that desires power over other people … in the bad old days it was pushed down by the need for power over your life i.e. shelter, food, safety … once modern society made it easy to survive then the baser human desire of power over others could rise to the surface in more people … and the only way to that power was thru social work, academia and politics (but lately business as well) … too many people do not recognize that the desire to “help others” feeds that dark part of the human soul … the desire to reach down and lift up others is only virtuous when the other is reaching up for help … otherwise the helping person starts to reach down and grab the other by the neck to “lift” them up …

        1. Based on the last 18 months, I think you need to add “public health” to your list.

    3. The environments they dominate tend to be toxic, period. See Twitter for everything wrong with a leftist-dominated platform all laid out in the open and some writing/RP groups I’ve been involved with in the past had those exact same qualities. If our hostess didn’t provide a good environment here I’d never have even considered scraping the rust off and trying to write, or at least be creative, again.

        1. Honored to hear you say so, Mrs. Hoyt. I really need to rebuild my notes for these settings and get serious about them.

  13. I realize this fantasy of “from each according to his means” comes from the narcissistic idea that one’s obsessions or flights of fancy are wonderful things that would be appreciated by the entire world, if only one had the free time to indulge them. However, this ideal is usually espoused by people who absolutely detest some large portion of humanity (whether it’s whites, blacks, straights, gays, jews, whatever…). Don’t they ever stop to think that the folks they despise are going to have all sorts of free time too?

    1. Look at all the readers fleeing away from trad-pubbed books in favor of games, fan-fic, and indie-pub books. Who really wants to spend $$ to read about a generation-ship plantation in space where the eeeevil rich white passengers enslaved the innocent, honest poor passengers of color? Not me!

      1. Unfortunately games have more than their share of woke BS and even a Japanese game may not escape unscathed due to woke localizers. Still, it’s better than trad pub and TV/movies for finding something that isn’t a woke sermon.

        1. And even if the big game developers/publishers go woke, the interwebs allows for indie game development just like it allows for indie writing, indie music, etc. We’re not trapped anymore.

          1. That too, and I haven’t looked into enough of them even though I should. AAA stuff from EA, Ubisoft, and that bunch has zero interest for me between their money-grubbing business practices, love of DRM, and wokeness and a lot of my old Japanese favorites have either gone to crap or faded away, too. Shin Megami Tensei/Persona and Trails are about all I have left in that area.

  14. Rousseau was an idiot for — well, for a lot of reasons, but in that case for not understanding how many people spent generations laboring to breed and cultivate that apple tree to produce “Nature’s Bounty”.

    Natural Nature ain’t bountiful. Food is hard to find, and you have to fight over it with everything from leopards to mice to bugs. We’ve spent 12,000 years making our vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts and critters into much better food sources than their Natural ancestors.

    One of many graves that should be equipped with urinals…
    Not everybody should go to college. Some folks, you send ’em to college and you just wind up with an educated idiot.

    1. You know what’s fairly comical to those of us who grew up knowledgeable in such things? Apple trees that bear edible fruit aren’t remotely easy to grow. Apples don’t breed true–a tree grown from a seed from a Red Delicious apple won’t produce Red Delicious apples. In the great majority of cases, such trees are “spitters,” where you’d take one bite of an apple from such a tree and then spit it out. In the rare case where you get good apples, twigs from such a tree are cut and grafted onto a good apple rootstock.

      Nature’s bounty indeed. Only through dint of knowledge and effort do we have orchards full of edible apples.

      1. Most pioneers brought apple seeds if they wanted apples. They would get enough edible ones.

        Besides, hard cider was the big end product.

    2. Rousseau should have tried living in Texas. I love my home state, but it does make it abundantly clear that Nature is not your friend.

      Of course, that was already clear from childbirth mortality in Rousseau’s age, but I suspect he never noticed that.

      Come to think of it – forget Texas. Substitute Australia, where I gather from reading that Nature is trying to kill you.

      1. I doubt it would have penetrated his narcissism. He gave his own children up to an orphanage. The death rate was astronomical.

      2. Substitute Australia, where I gather from reading that Nature is trying to kill you. Not ALL the time, Margaret. :-). Parts of it are softer than Texas. Parts aren’t.

      3. I told my husband that the “feeling,” I get fom New Mexico is, “Of course I’m gonna kill you if I can. It’s nothing personal.” And for some reason, I’m fine with that.

    3. A 17th Century painting by Giovanni Stanchi shows just how far the lowly watermelon has come. Look in the lower right. That is what a watermelon was 400 years ago.

  15. Kind of funny, I was just listening to a clip of Thomas Sowell over lunch where he talked about the market, and why it was essential, and he pointed out that even Engles understood that they were essential, let’s we have “no trousers to cover our nakedness while we were drowning in trouser buttons.”

        1. Actually, it was because some Party functionary in charge of the jar factory decided that standardized five-liter jars were a more efficient way to meet their quota than a variety of sizes ranging from half-liter on up. Those were the jars available to the pickle packers, so that’s what they used. The pickle supply was deemed to be adequate, so many pickles per person, therefore, Success!

          Whether most people would actually want to get pickles five liters at a time was never considered.

          1. Obviously anyone who doubts whether a 5-liter pickle jar is appropriate has never been to Costco.

            1. Under communism, nobody had enough money to buy regular food and that giant jar of pickles in the same week. The 5-liter (1.3 gallon) jars of pickles sat there unsold for ages.

              Like I told an idiot on David Weber’s Politics forum last year: “You must be happy. Now we’ve got grocery stores full of empty shelves, just like a communist country!”

      1. I see you’ve been to my garden, where the solitary cucumber is producing giant green things by the bucketful. And to my kitchen, where presently there is no bread.

        Wait, where the heck am I today??

        1. When I blew out my knee, we gave the summer squash seeds to our neighbor. When I was somewhat recovered we bought 6 potted squash plants and put them in one of the raised beds. We’ve gotten three(!) usable squash so far from our plants, while our neighbor is giving back more squash than we can eat. OTOH, the Gospel Mission can use them.

            1. Nice try. 🙂

              Actually, they were thrilled to get fresh veggies, though the guy who got the package (one of the managers) was even more thrilled at the tube of Neosporin we included.

              They get basics (we donate 50# sacks of rice and beans monthly, and I’ve seen one of the egg farmers do a donation), but this year has been brutal for fresh produce.

              Obligatory recipe: Peel and slice* zucchini (any color) and/or crookneck squash. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then dust with steak and chop rub. (Mrs Dash works, too, but the salt is nice.) Grill 3 minutes on a medium gas grill, flip and do three more. Serve hot. It’s damned good.

              (*) Depending on size, I’ll get 4 to 6 wedges from a squash. We’re not getting the Mongo Zucchini this year.

              1. When the local food bank packs Christmas boxes, there are usually bags of funny-looking sweet potatoes some farmers has donated (as in, theee feet long and and an inch in diameter). Be interesting to see if we get them this year.
                I got a chuckle going into Whole Foods (yes, I go into WF. They’re a heck of a lot better than Trader Joe’s) because they were selling “organic,” sweet potatoes that looked just like the ones we getnat the food bank.

                1. The seconds.

                  I once was discussing how a local food bank had told my mother that they got a lot of pasta — a lot less sauce; a lot of peanut butter but not much jelly; veggies but no fruit — and she observed her local food bank never had a sauce problem because there was a spaghetti sauce factory in town. That produced seconds from time to time.

                1. First year planting squash, zucchini and yellow. Getting enough to give to the neighbors.

                  1. We did the year that *I* was in charge of the garden.

                    This year… the kids wanted to be in charge…. heh, it’s…a learning experience.

                    1. Well, it was supposed to be ‘my’ garden, but I got ill, so Mrs. Scot took over. Probably have more than if I had been in control.

  16. Hypothetically, might be evil, not stupid.

    If someone’s religious beliefs have caused them to spend their life working, in word and in deed, to destroy society and to destroy peace, they may continue that pattern in advanced old age.

    If one has worked diligently on learning to write plausible enjoyable fiction in order to spread poisoned ideas, to build up credibility with readers in order to make them swallow lightly contaminated stories, then speaking poison in public when one’s favored faction of lunatic mass murderers has a propaganda advantage will seem useful. Especially when that faction is panicking about their inevitable victory not quite going as they imagine.

    If one’s end goal is mass graves, and if one is reaching the end of one’s life span anyway, spending one’s remaining credibility salvaging a bad gamble might appear to make sense.

  17. From my wisdom file:
    “The fundamental paradigm of Communist ideology is guaranteed to have wide appeal: you suffer; your suffering is caused by powerful others; these oppressors must be destroyed.” –Leszek Kolakowski

    “There are no causes of poverty. It is the rest state, that which happens when you don’t do anything. If you want to experience poverty, just do nothing, and it will come…. We should ask what are the causes of wealth and try to recreate and reproduce them.” – Dr. Madsen Pirie

    1. Or in the words of Solomon, ” A little slumber, a little sleep, a little folding of the hands to sleep.”

  18. I consider communism a classic fairy tale. The monster wears your mother’s face. She promises you food, shelter, clothing, and warmth. Everything will be provided to you, for free! Then when once you’re in her lair and under her control, she drops the mask and eats you.

    1. Marx says just this. He never hid it. The capitalists will build an economy that provides enough for everyone then the proletariat will steal it. That’s Kapital in a sentence. The intellectuals will stand by to give guidance to the proles since they won’t make the right decision on their own.

      1. Exactly. Marx flat out says that capitalism is a necessary stage that society must go through in order to have communism work. What he failed to take into account was that the “workers of the world” didn’t really like each other. He assumed that British and French workers would bond over their shared economic status. He absolutely failed to recognize patriotism as a driving factor.

        1. Workers of the world didn’t exist. There are no workers only people who work, which didn’t include Marx because he spent all his time sponging off his friends and exploiting actual workers by begetting children on them that he didn’t support. In fairness, he didn’t support his wife either. A parasite who spent his entire life justifying his parasitism.

          God, how I despise him and his ilk.

          1. Or why I describe marxism as the politics of envy…

            … and as I recall, his diatribes usually erupted when he ran out of other people’s money.

      2. So, did he ever say how long he expected communism to survive on other people’s money?

      3. >> The capitalists will build an economy that provides enough for everyone then the proletariat will steal it. That’s Kapital in a sentence.”

        Except that enforcement of property rights is essential for the economy to work. If the proletariat is allowed to just take whatever they want then the economy will collapse and there WON’T be enough for everyone any more. What then, Marx?

        1. More than that, either you have property rights or you are a slave. If what you work for can be arbitrarily taken from you, it’s no different from forcing you to work for nothing.
          Welfare is pay without work. In order to provide pay without work for some, others have to work without pay. We used to call that slavery. Now they call it socialism.

        2. The original, theological “Social Justice” was about the duty of the social sphere (mostly looking at government) to be formed in such a way as to protect folks’ rights.

          Such as property rights. It’s part of WHY communism isn’t compatible with the Universal Church; it is built on denying the most basic rights of the individual.

          No wonder they’re so desperate to hijack the term, eh?

    2. That could change. There are more and more transnational aristos (pinkos or otherwise) whose rapacity, corruption, and incompetence is uniting folks of different cultures and creeds against them.

      Who knows? It would be interesting if comintern + cheap international communication created solidarity amongst those who work for a living, as a reaction against their socialist ruling class.

  19. Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then— are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people.Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as “bad luck.” Robert A. Heinlein

  20. That fellow thinks I’m a wage slave huh? Strange, I thought I was an independent worker who can provide a service to someone in exchange for a mutually agreed on amount of money. And we formalized that agreement with an employee contract. The day I get too aggravated with the working conditions, I either ask for more money in compensation, or I can quit and go find a better place to work. And if they’re not happy with my work, they can fire me anytime they feel like it, and then have to spend even more to hire two or three more people to do all the things I’m doing now. So far, it’s win-win. I’m not a slave. And the day they start acting like my lord and master, they’ll find they are neither.

    I can do what I want to, without compensation, and become rich beyond the dreams of avarice? Uh, no. Not in this reality, or anyone anywhere nearby. Things that I like to do require resources to build with. But I prefer to build for myself, not others. So why should they give me resources when I’m not going to compensate them for it? Eh? On the off chance I might decide to build something for them anyway? Yeah, that banned old guy of your acquaintance is a fool.

    Nobody looks after babies for free. Babies are an investment. They are our future, our only form of corporeal immortality. They’re whom we hope to raise up to become productive individuals on their own who will hopefully feel grateful enough for us to help care for us in our old age. Those bonds are formed partly from instinct, and largely from socialization. For parents, we’re paying it forward. We’re not asking to be cared for by our children for nothing. And even then, we save for our retirement because we know that even kids don’t always work out.

  21. Fun exercise. Next time somebody spouts “from each according to his means, to each according to his needs.” Ask what those needs are. Ask them to be specific. Most people will say food, shelter, clothing. Ask what, exactly they mean by that. Have fun pointing out that shelter is not necessarily defined as their current abode. Ask if a homeless person considers a tent to be shelter…let that hang there for a while.

    I used to do the above with students. It always caused some concern. Even the more Marxist minded had to stop and think. When they protested my definition of shelter, I’d ask why they thought it would be more. We had those discussions and then moved the next week into a discussion of limited government and what the difference was between rights the government recognizes and rights the government gives. I’m mean in that I made them think.

    1. Which is why the Soviet Union built so many stack-a-prole tenements with communal bathrooms. They were shelter, weren’t they? What more do those peasants comrades want?

      1. Half of the dining room in your own home is plenty. Then we can put other families in as well.

    2. I had an interesting argument with a Marxist cousin about class based on the same premise. What class are we? I then went through the biographical, economic, and genealogical factors that made us a member of every class and none. She called me a fascist. I laughed at her. Pity, she was a lovely, sweet little girl who became a truly awful adult. She went to a progressive school in NYC and never had a chance.

      1. Of course she called you “fascist” . That which opposes Communism, in any way is “fascist” .

        Note that standard definition when the wont-admit-it-Communists call themselves “anti-fascist” .

        1. Just so. the fact that the fascists were socialists and it was just a question of who/whom can’t penetrate their heads.

          1. They have been indoctrinated that socialism requires state ownership of property and thus anything where private businesses exist cannot be socialist, and thus fascism can’t be socialism., They are utterly ignorant of Mussolini and his very succinct definition of fascism; “all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state”.

            They simply do not grasp that nominally private businesses that exist only if they carry out the will of the state as de facto instruments of the state are very much socialist in nature, notwithstanding the dead skin of capitalism/free markets that they wear. It is why the aspiring totalitarians here work so hard to benefit a few large monopolistic mega-corporations while crushing small business; it is far easier for the state to use a few mega-corps as instruments of the state. Just look at HarrisBiden and how they are actively working with the tech oligarchs to silence speech they don’t like in the name of “stopping misinformation”.

            Both are collectivist ideologies, they simply differ in methods of achieving the same totalitarian socialist goal.

            1. In the here and now US we have genuine corporate socialism run by big tech and China Inc. Krupp had nothing on them.

            2. Andrew Cuomo is “encouraging,” businesses to deny service to the unvaccinated.

                1. I’m curious what the administration plans to do about social media platforms like Parler and Gab that basically tell the administration to buzz off when approached about “censoring misinformation”. Because I’m certain that the administration won’t be willing to let that go.

                  1. They could encourage Google and Apple to deplatform them by removing their app from their respective app stores, but to the best of my memory that’s already been done, so it’s kind of hard to do it more. Which means the next thing they’ll do is issue a bill of attainder against Parler or Gab. Yep, a full-on, explicitly unconstitutional, bill of attainder. I’ll put money on it. I’m not good enough to bet on when it’ll happen, but I’ll bet that it will happen/

                    1. IIRC, one of the two – Gab, I think – moved to be completely and totally independent of any ability to outside influence after the progs got Gab kicked from its hosting service.

                    2. 1. They’ve basically frozen them out of the financial system. Gab is sending me e-mails and basically they’re down to Bitcoin and checks. Which may have something to do with the section of the “infrastructure bill” that involves taxing cryptocurrencies.

                      2. There’s also a move afoot to have the ISPs block their traffic. I’m not sure that is in this bill, but I know it’s been talked about.

                    3. My second point has to do with the providers of the “last mile” to your house just filtering out their domain. It would mean that, for example, I couldn’t get to because the request/response from my house wouldn’t get through Frontier’s backbone.. I can see them being able to do that with all the current providers except possibly Starlink, and I suspect Elon would cave if they told him that he can either keep launching rockets or censor.

                      And I’m not sure that VPN is an answer either; it’s now routine for sites to simply refuse you access if you are showing an IP known to be in the ranges used by a VPN.

              1. Wait until they find out who, exactly, isn’t vaccinated. I saw that half of NYC employees, 40% of teachers, and most of San Francisco along with large portions of the black population are not vaccinated., though in fairness to the black population their experience of Uncle Sam bearing shots is not one that would encourage anyone to take one. In any case, Killer Cuomo is acting with his typical adroitness, you know FUBAR.

                Before this whole thing began, the best places to catch the measles was in an illegal alien holding facility or the Whole Foods in Berkeley California, I suspect that’s still true. So what you’ll have is a set of people who will tell them where to stick their BS and another population, much larger than the first, made up entirely of the critical supports of the regime.

                Facts are obdurate things and I can’t wait to see how the narrative will shift to accommodate them. UPI has already been laying out the new found enthusiasm for vaccines by American blacks, so I suspect they’ll just lie. that’s what they usually do. the only good thing that’s come out of this has been to prove to me how empty our institutions are. I always rather thought they were but there was this nagging feeling that I was wrong. Not any more.

                1. Soo… if they actually do a “test”, can it tell the difference between someone who was vaccinated (and note not all the “vaccines” are actually vaccines) and someone who wasn’t, but already had the ‘rona and therefore has antibodies floating around?

                  Sure, they could just stick people anyway… but getting multiple vaccinations used to be bad juju, yet we’re being told it’s safe to have multiple COVID vaccinations, and mix-and-matching types is totes OK. The Science says so!

                2. Openly Marxist Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is suing to prevent mandatory vaccination of their union members where such mandates are imposed. Waiting for the sue and settle where the mandates are imposed on everyone-except the union members because “friends of the program”.

            3. Or as I occasionally have been known to quip –

              Under fascism, the government tells you how to run your company, but lets you hold onto the title. Under communism, the government removes even that pretense.

                  1. Yeah, but you don’t need to ship them off to the gulag under fascism. You just make them eat the loss. Then you can continue to keep the company.

  22. Speaking of lying socialists, they have eaten one of their own again. Frank Miller had been dis-invited, with prejudice, from a con in England.

    His crime? Not important! Not mentioned in the complaint! One (1) person complained, and now he’s out. I speculate it is because the con managers didn’t want to get stabbed, but that’s just my common sense talking.

    What used to only happen to those nassssty Conservatives (Ringo, Correia, Weisskopf) is now happening to paid-up card carrying Lefties.

    1. Their delusions require enemies. When there are no external enemies, they eat their own. Any excuse will do.

      1. Feeding the alligator hoping he gets to you last means eventually you get eaten.

        I’m thinking we just trap the alligator and make him a zoo exhibit.

  23. What he is counting on is a delusion partaken of by libertarians who subscribe to the voluntarianist brand of insanity: If people just do what they want to do with no compensation, everything will work out in the end.

    I have never met anyone calling themselves a libertarian who didn’t realize you had to at a minimum have something someone else would trade for to meet the needs you couldn’t make for yourself. It’s sad to hear they exist – but libertarianism is by nature focused on the individual. Anyone expecting others to take care of them would more properly be called liberaltarian (or communist).

    1. No, anyone expecting others to take care of him is properly called a child. There are only two things needed for someone to be an adult: an acceptance of responsibility for the consequences of his own actions, and recognition that his momentary desires don’t define the things that need to be done at the moment. Those that meet these criteria are adults (regardless of age); those that don’t, aren’t. I think we all know where the wokesters fall.

    2. Anyone expecting others to take care of them would more properly be called liberaltarian (or communist).

      I call it the “spoiled child” version of libertarianism, and unfortunately, it’s all too common. They want the freedom that libertarianism promises but refuse to acknowledge that the responsibility has to be tied to it. It’s the same philosophy that says, “You can’t tell me where to go or who to see, Mom! I’m sixteen, and I can do what I want. So I’ll need the car to go over to Joey’s house. And give me fifty bucks because it’s almost out of gas.”

      1. Ah, well, back in my teen years of borrowing the car a tenner would get it done. Doncha love ‘progress’?

        1. Costs $155 to fill up the truck here in the Demented Dominion. $1.30 a quart now, because carbon tax. (A liter is a US quart, right? !@#% metric #$%&*%!!!) $50 would be like a dream.

          Something else fun about Canada, or Ontario anyway, boys don’t drive. Girls drive, boys sit in the passenger seat. I see it all the time. The boys can’t afford car insurance.

          1. I couple of years ago I read an article about a young Canadian who had his birth certificate changed from “male” to “female” because it got him a tremendous break on car insurance.

            I applaud anyone who can exploit the Establishment…

            1. That is a real thing here. Some kids have changed their sex on the driver’s license to get the insurance break. I don’t know if the insurance company actually gives that break though. There might be some hanky-panky there.

              One thing I fully expect is that if enough boys clue in to this loophole, the insurance companies will raise teen girls rates to match teen boys. Equality!

              1. No, that would be ‘Equity’. Which is all the rage these days. Like making single men buy maternity insurance.

            1. $1.70/liter for those of us in US, is $6.449 + local and state add on tax / gallon (even in Oregon, which isn’t % but a fixed amounts). Which is $155/tank when filling a 24 gallon pickup (which means starting the pump 4 times when pump cuts off at $50, sigh … when towing trailer, cannot pull out without a full tank. Motorhomes tanks are a lot bigger.) Now everyone knows why when RVing into Canada and back, one crosses the border into Canada as close to ones destination as possible, and crosses back into the the US as quickly as possible. FWIW (we did the math), RV VS more economical vehicle and hotel, is a push (not low end on the hotel either). The only advantage of an RV is Hwy 1 has surprisingly few rest area stops.

    3. Seconding Zsuzsa, I find it all to commonly. (I call it “college libertarian,” though. Sometimes Liberal-tarian.)

      You’re free to want what they think you should, and you’re free to have what they think you should have.

      They usually do it via the apple tree route– they have no clue that apples weren’t always like that, refuse to recognize that someone planted the tree, aren’t going to water the tree and are innocent as babes about the idea that raising apples takes any work beyond picking the ripe fruit.

      1. There are socialist/leftist/nonpropertarian libertarians who reject the concepts of private property and free market exchange. But their views make even less sense than those of ordinary socialists. They also have roughly the same relationship to free-market libertarians as European monarchist conservatives have to typical American conservatives.

  24. I would like to invite the distinguished idiot to go and lay down under Rousseau’s proverbial apple tree and open his mouth wide,

    Somebody needs to invent a time machine so they can go back and shove a Leviathan up Rousseau’s nether regions. Laying under that apple tree would is to end up “Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

    1. If I ever get a “Strangle One Historical Figure in His Crib, Free!” time machine coupon, forget Hitler, I’m taking out Rousseau. Robespierre and Marx and Engels and Lenin and Hitler and Mao would have never happened if it hadn’t been for all that “noble savage” “Will of the People” crap.

      1. OTOH, it’s entirely possible that people raised in terrariums by Martian zoologists would “reinvent” bad ideas like Communism in pretty short order, whenever they felt like making someone else work for them for free. (See feudalism, egyptian palace-economies, Aztec empire, Spanish empire with infinite gold… etc) Karl Marx might have just had more free time to bang on a typewriter than the next disaffected trust-funder.

        The idea that these ideas only have one genesis, and “if it weren’t for…”, seems wrong to me.

        Take Hitler for example: You use your “time machine coupon” to ensure he dies in a trench in WWI. Germany was being strangled by the restrictions of the Versailles treaty. Even if it didn’t take the disastrous form that it did, the Germans were going to do *something* about it eventually.

        1. Yes, and no. Yes, bad things likely still would have happened in Germany. But the thing is, the failed painter apparently had a rather unique level of personal charisma, and an ability to sway the masses that is difficult to come by. Without that, the NASDAP would have probably been just another footnote in history.

          As for Versailles, IIRC, by the time Hitler rose to power, the financial obligations of the Versailles Treaty had been dealt with, and the economy was well on its way to recovering. There were restrictions on the size of Germany’s military. And there were still things like the demilitarization of the Ruhr. But at that point, the British and French seemed to realize that some of the treaty restrictions were probably overly punitive, and seemed to be willing to look the other way (no doubt at least in part because actually doing anything would have required threatening to go to war with a public that probably wouldn’t have supported said war). After all, when Germany sent troops into the Ruhr, the response by the French and British was a collective shrug.

          1. > rather unique level of personal charisma

            I dunno… read Shirer’s books, and any of the histories of the early Reich, and some of his biographies, and it doesn’t look like Adolf had any great amount of charisma. In fact, somewhat the opposite, from the comments of other Party member and ordinary Germans.

            There were two major factors for his success: Germany was looking for a leader – *any* leader – who would step up and take charge, as the Kaiser had… and Adolf had set his eyes on the gold ring and never gave up. The failed coup and prison, the suppression of his Party by the government, the eternal slog for funds, simply *being there* in the public eye, and taking every advantage, no matter how small, to reach his goal. He just kept on going as his competitors dropped out, until he had enough power to crush those who remained.

            Sure, people listened to him once he was in power, but he was telling them what they wanted to hear. And they’d better listen approvingly, because they were being watched…

            Yeah, after the war some people tried to claim he was some kind of Rasputin who enthralled them into doing his bidding, but most of them were facing prison or the noose, which might have affected their claims a bit.

            1. Look at stuff like Dorothy Sayer’s then-current-day writing– Hitler had that kind of charisma that swept folks into it unless they stopped and thought about what he’d actually said. (Chesterton definitely noticed it, but the workman in Gaudy Night thinking Adolph was… well, kind of like some folks who approve characterize Putin… was just basic character building, and she had to have read what Chesterton had noticed.)

              Yes, this should give you freakin’ chills, given some of the more popular politicians of the last decade or two.

                1. I have an attention thing where I just can’t stand to listen to politicians talk– the “Make a slow…statement, and then pause… look around, and see; then you continue to say… what you were saying, as if– *long pause for applause* — as if your coach was Parody Shatner!”

                  Drives me up a wall.

                  So, I do transcripts.

                  ….yeaaaaaah. ugh.

                  1. That head-tilt thing he did was a dead-on copy of Mussolini’s “il duce” pose. You can’t see that and ignore it.

                    I can’t listen to Trudeau. Can’t do it. Video of him? Nope! Nopenopenopenope. Even with the sound off it’s hard to take.

            2. Shirer notes that while Hitler was still formulating his crackpot theories – even before he met the group that would make up the initial core of the NASDAP – he spoke so intensely and passionately to others about his theories that it was hard for listeners to not give at least some credence to his ideas. People were getting caught up in his spell – however briefly – even before he went into politics.

              But it was only when talking about his theories that he had the intensity that drew people to him.

              1. If one isn’t entirely grounded, and if one has a lot of experience with people who speak with great intensity regardless of merit*, one can see how this can work, and how one can learn to mitigate the vulnerability.

                Lot of folks maybe didn’t have the experience to have learned the resistance skills.

                *Some bipolars. Emotional intensity isn’t regulated, so even the terrible ideas are ones that must be done, right away.

            3. George Orwell commented on his charisma and how he, though he would certainly kill him if he ever had the chance, couldn’t bring himself to hate the man.

        2. Strangling Woodrow Wilson in his cradle would have solved the Hitler problem by keeping the US out of WWI.

      2. Read the Ten Commandments, properly translated. Moses came down from the Mount, broke the da*n things and went back up in frustration with the leftists he found at the bottom. Ain’t no running from it, or strangling it in the cradle, it’s just people.

  25. I seriously can’t see how someone can be so… spoiled, that they don’t grasp the idea that the world won’t just support you because you’re there.

    Is it some kind of comforting lie to sooth any hint of guilt over taking and never giving?

    1. Alas, I have one or two relatives who fit that definition all too well. Not sure of the motivation, but it’s been going on for a very long time.

    2. see: “Participation trophy.”

      Plus families were the kid is fawned over until he’s turned out to daycare, which will damned well recognize his Specialness if they want to continue being paid, then into the school system, where no kid is left behind, and they’re all winners.

      Why *wouldn’t* the world support them just because they’re there? It’s all they know.

    3. Pretty people sometimes think that being pretty is a sufficient gift that the rest of us should shower our worldly goods upon them, and cater to their every wish and whim.

      Hitting 40 is usually quite a shock to them. >:D

  26. I learned today that “You didn’t build that!” dates back to at least the twenty-teens. I’m listening to “The Forgotten Man” right now, and a picture of a skyscraper was mentioned with a caption talking about how the skyscraper was built through communal effort.

  27. Or as I like to put it,

    “Smash capitalism,” he tweeted from his smartphone while sipping coffee at the corner Starbucks.

  28. Sci-Fi idea: What happens if Rousseau’s effortless apple-trees could be engineered? (Well aware of how divergent this is from current reality, and the slavery that communists would use to pretend to have accomplished this.) After all, the point of technological advancement is to get the chores done faster/more-efficiently/with-less-effort so that you can spend your time on longer ranged goals. Presumably the apotheosis of this progression is technology you don’t have to think about that takes care of this stuff without needing to do more than hit the start buttons.

    (Not for me though: This gets into something that Matthew Crawford touched on in one of his books: The idea of solving problems by choosing discrete effects from a menu is inherently limiting and disempowering. I’d want to be able to create the effects I was looking for under my own power – analog technology is closer to how our analog world operates anyway – and that always requires control, skill, and thinking to accomplish.)

    Home appliances are sort of this: Dishwashers, laundry machines. They free up time for me to “waste” in my workshop on other things.

    1. Sci-Fi idea: What happens if Rousseau’s effortless apple-trees could be engineered?

      I think in a “post-scarcity” (physical scarcity, that is) world humans would find something else to consider “scarce” and compete over. Mostly one-on-one human services, probably.

      1. If those things weren’t really *needed* though, you could hypothetically have people living more or less independently of civilization: Just them and their machines. Maybe they use it to veg out and play videogames (or turn into mindless drug-zombies).

        Maybe they use it to do something constructive that you couldn’t do otherwise: Go colonize places where you need the machinery to survive and there *isn’t* any civilization around.

        1. Ringo’s The Council Wars was pretty much set in this ‘post scarcity’ world, where no one -had- to work for a living unless they really wanted to. At least at the beginning. Until someone decided that everyone else was doing it ‘wrong’ and decided to impose their idea of ‘right’ on everyone else.

    2. The the Government comes along and turns something that WORKS into something that almost works. Like todays Dishwashers and laundry machines. Saves water by taking 2 to 3 times as long and still doesn’t clean as well as the old ones did.

        1. You just have unreasonable standards of cleanliness. The dishwasher meets official standards, insisting on more is a waste of precious resources. Never mind those standards are far short of what commercial enterprises are required to meet…

      1. Thought experiment: stop bitching, buy old appliances and learn to fix them (YouTube, my friend, and replacement parts are usually available). Is the New Frontier really beyond the atmospherre, or is it a 3D printer keeping 1980’s Whirlpool appliances running?

        1. Last washer I did repair a few times, then couldn’t find parts. Whilst I can print some parts, the water damage from a failed part will greatly eclipse the cost of a new washer.

        2. Do you really have the time to reverse-engineer and 3D print all the parts for a 40 year old machine that was made as a replaceable throw-away in the 80’s? Also including casting and machining the unobtanium brass doohickeys, precision grinding the discontinued valve seats and rewinding futzed electric motors?

          And before you say “crowdsource” I’ll remind you that Whirlpool Corp will sue anyone selling reverse engineered parts or even plans for their old machines. For sure. Because they want you to buy a new one. And so does the government, you polluting peasant. You’re not allowed to circumvent their idiot regulations.

          I don’t have that kind of time. Easier and cheaper to do them in the sink. Besides, the government hates it when you do them in the sink. No sales tax on the expensive dishwasher.

          1. Nobody can sue you for selling reverse-engineered parts, unless they have a patent on them. And nobody’s got patents on old dishwashers.

            The documentation might get you sued, because that comes under copyright, and is subject to the Micky Mouse laws. But places like eReplacementParts do it, so I’m not sure about that either.

            1. “Nobody can sue you for selling reverse-engineered parts, unless they have a patent on them.”

              Sure they can. There was a case where some poor guy got sued by a woman for taking her on a bad date. He lost. Ryobi USA got sued by a guy who cut his own hand in a tablesaw with all the guards removed. They lost. Yes, they can oh so very definitely sue you.

              Will they? If you’re some guy with a dishwasher nerd website, probably not. If your nerd website is costing them 10,000 new sales a year? Yeah, they’ll get to you. Remember Napster?

              “And nobody’s got patents on old dishwashers.”

              They have IP on -everything.- They have patents on anything that can be patented. But mostly they have lawyers and you don’t, so the advantage is all to them.

              Anybody doing this kind of thing at the hobby level is probably going to be okay, they’ll never even hear about you. But if you start encroaching on their margins? You’ll be getting a letter. Probably hand delivered by a cop.

              1. If you’re selling 10K units/year, you’ll have lawyers too, and hopefully are taking their advice. Patents are not like copyright. Napster was doing something blatantly illegal (thanks largely to the heirs of one W.E. Disney), and hoping to get the law changed by judicial fiat.

                Patent-holders of expired patents don’t have nearly so much power–and they do, in fact, expire. They might have a “design patent” on some things, but that and $6 will get you a coffee in the courthouse cafeteria.

                And, of course, this doesn’t need to be large-scale on the part of any one person. There, I said it, it can be crowd-sourced. Because it can.

          2. “And before you say “crowdsource” I’ll remind you that Whirlpool Corp will sue anyone selling reverse engineered parts or even plans for their old machines. For sure. Because they want you to buy a new one. And so does the government, you polluting peasant. You’re not allowed to circumvent their idiot regulations.”

            THIS. Corporations have lawyers on retainer; they’re a sunk cost, so they might as well use them. It’s why Tom Smith couldn’t record his parodies based on Disney tunes.

            “Yeah, we know SCOTUS says parodies are fine. Let’s take a tour through the courts and you can prove your songs fit that. At your expense, of course.”

    3. Then everyone complains about having to eat apples ALL THE TIME. And do we *really* have to have apples again? Can’t we plow that orchard under and use the land to grow something to add variety to the meal, like beets? Because apples are just soooo boring these days.

      See also mana, Children of Israel, Exodus, 40 years wandering in the desert

    4. And some Vile-Prog will complain about creating the wonderful apple tree has led to more work for [insert group here]. Like the wymynist historian who insisted that electric light made life harder for women because you could see dirt more easily, and so women were obligated to spend more time cleaning, and buy more cleaning products. (Yes, this person managed to stop the monograph before the vacuum cleaner arrived on scene.)

      1. I know she meant “took more effort” but in so far as “more is done” the advances have meant more work.

        Everybody is doing massively more work, just with less effort, investment and time.

        That’s a good thing!


        1. Can everybody tell one of my kids got to Simple Machines and we’ve been focusing on work as that-which-is-done, especially if it’s done with less effort?

    5. LLL (perhaps), but until then it will be like mango trees vs everything else in Agua Limpa. Basically free, but not a complete diet. I sometimes wonder if that’s one (of several) reasons why Africa Always Wins (TM)

      The Mango Tree (local African equivalent) Diet is enough to support life, but not civilization (cities) or regular, population-wide brain-development. Just enough for tribes, despots, and slaves, and the entropy of human nature (sin) takes it from there.

      1. Hmm. That idea is really good. Perhaps civilization arose because life was so difficult. Like in the Northernmost climates, where the ice and snow kept the growing season to a minimum. When the hunting and fishing were the thin thread that kept tribes from dying out.

        1. That was always the big WTF of the New World: Central and South America worked stone and metal, and had recognizeable civilizations. Yet North America never got that far. And by the Land Bridge theory, they had thousands of years of head start, too.

          1. Cahokia and the other mound-builders had substantial communities, building those huge ceremonial mounds with stone tools and woven baskets.

    6. Sci-Fi idea: What happens if Rousseau’s effortless apple-trees could be engineered?


      Read a story, loooong ago, possibly in Analog, about a man who’d finally managed to equip his house with ALL the appliances, which supplied every possible need with the push of a button. The loans would have to be paid off by his grandchildren, but they’d inherit the house and appliances too so it’s all good.

      His job in the automated factory was to push the TEST button on every brand-new washing machine, which would respond with “Ready for the wash.” He’d never seen one fail the test.

      The last line of the story was him confronting an awful realization:

      He hated pushing buttons.

    7. Interestingly, for decades SF writers thought disposable clothes were more believable than washing machines in every home.

    8. Sounds like the genetically engineered forests the Darrians from Traveller developed in. They worked for some time, though the Darrians had to develop/grow later on.

  29. One other thing:

    I don’t think the idea of “wage-slavery” is incoherent under all circumstances. The communists may be arguing in bad faith (after all, their “solution” to the problems of worker powerlessness is to double down on it and ensure the workers are de-jure slaves of the state), but the problem they point at isn’t implausible: It’s been historically mostly absent from *American* history, but in many times and places in the world, people who do useful things for a living, whose work makes the country function, can end up living like slaves while others end up with the fruits of their labor: Labor oversupply driving wages below what is needed to live can cause this, absurd taxation can cause this. Fiat BS like we’re seeing now with money raining from the sky to connected cronies, while farmers and shopkeepers and tradesmen have to work for a living for monopoly money: That can cause it.

    Labor is dignified when you own the results of your efforts. In too many times and places in dark and twisted human history, being useful made you livestock.

    1. Preventing abuses like that with property is one of the reasons that property tax and squatter’s rights exist, to keep land from being locked away with a relatively low cost– a monopoly.

      And now I’m wondering if some of the reasoning that earlier Americans used on that might be useful to prevent the growth of Federally owned land that is not directly used for things like bombing ranges. If the Feds had to pay property tax, and there was some sort of adverse possession, on federal parks…..

      1. >> “If the Feds had to pay property tax, and there was some sort of adverse possession, on federal parks…..”

        Uncle Sam paying rent to the states for using/reserving land?

        I think I’ll add that to my list of “if I ever get to rewrite the constitution” ideas. Thanks!

        1. Uncle Sam paying rent to the states for using/reserving land?

          Federal government does pay “rent” to local counties and states. They pay a percentage of the revenue received in lieu of property tax. This is the big controversy with shutting down timber harvest in a large percentage of Oregon Counties. That is the primary revenue for the timber lands and it has been shutdown to between a trickle and nothing. Wilderness areas, where located, is different, the revenue options are limited anyway, so little lost whether the land is in Federal hands or state. Private, one would presume there would be property taxes paid, but so would probably be a new category that it would be minimal or nothing. National Parks pay a percentage of gate receipts, and off concessionaire fee payments received, that manage the campground and other paying facilities.

          One of the big reasons that when someone gets an annual NP pass or gets their Senor National Park pass, I recommend they do not get it online, or through a vendor like REI, but get it at the first NP on their itinerary. Paying for it at the park entrance or outside Visitor Center, means not only the park purchased at gets to keep a larger percentage of the payment, but a percentage is paid to the county and state the park entrance is located in. I suspect the states that share a national park (Montana, and Wyoming, Yellowstone) the states have something worked out sharing that amount, but IDK.

          FYI. Annual passes are $80 for a 13 months (technically a year, but the way it expires, works out to 13 months). Worth it if going to multiple parks in one year. Beyond your second park, parks are then free.

          Senor passes are $80 one time fee. Or buy three consecutive $20 senor passes, trade in those three passes + $20, for the final $89 lifetime pass. Hubby got his when they were still $10/lifetime. I just missed out on that one (turned 62 a year too late). Oh well, as long as he is along, covers our vehicle.

  30. Today’s youths’ fascination and adoration with Marxism is due to their belief that they are entitled to have everything they want given to them; it is essentially Slayer Faith from Buffy’s “want, take, have” enlarged to a global scale.

      1. The way you beat that out of a kid is giving them “fair” for a week.

        Pretty soon they’ll be begging for mwrcy.

        “This is not fair” is a valid judgement, if supported by the evidence.

  31. Was on the periphery of that whole discussion about he who shall remain nameless.
    Know for a fact that he is a cruel, selfish, commie bastard who had one good idea once upon a time and has ridden it to death for his own benefit at the expense and hard labor of better writers than he could ever hope to be. His “collaborations” are all his name on the cover and a lion’s share of the profits while others do the actual work.

    1. all his name on the cover and a lion’s share of the profits while others do the actual work.

      That is the truth (no comment on The Nameless One, whoever he is) that the assorted pinkos used to sell their lie: The bloody factory owner takes it all and steals your labor. He’s also a [Jew] (see the founding of the ADL ), or a Catholic, or a White Supremacist or whatever Unclean category the manipulators can come up with.

      The point of all this, by the by, is to guarantee that the Factory is not run by a reasonably decent fellow citizen (ala Chick Fil-A) but by a connected aristo.

      You still get workers in cages at Amazon, just no alternatives.

      1. You still get workers in cages at Amazon, just no alternatives.

        Mini-rant: “workers in cages” is what happens when your perfectly standard safety system in an automated environment is seen by hostile press.

  32. So yesterday I post a vignette in this space maintaining, implicitly, that wage-earners are less free than landed farmers because they don’t work their own property. And today we have an article about someone claiming that wage-earners are less free than welfare beneficiaries because they work at all. Is there the faintest chance, in light of this, that we can all stop pretending that Socialism and Distributism are the same thing? -No, I didn’t think so.

    (And, by the way, speaking of free trade and property, is the book-box sale promised on the 24th still yet to happen, or did it happen someplace else while I was waiting for it here? I asked about this on Friday, but I’m not sure anybody noticed.)

    1. The book sale will come. We had …. family health issues and are sort of holding a death vigil for close-but-not-living-here family. Which, as you can probably guess makes the already crazy move crazier.

          1. Bad timing. Someone asked about the boxed books and I replied it hadn’t happened yet as you were swamped. Thing was that I was getting interrupted and you had already responded to them by the time I sent my reply. Was just sticking up for you!

    2. I don’t think the sale has happened yet, as our host has a wildly overflowing plate.

  33. As far as I can tell, people perform services and transfer resources for reasons of devotion, trade, or coercion. The catch is, keeping ourselves healthy is a constant drain. Which might be worth a fourth category when describing basic economics for developing settings, since so many people unconsciously imagine themselves as the important ones to whom resources should flow freely according to their appetite.


  34. I feel gobsmacked. It’s like I woke up from a severe illness (yes?) and the entire country went crazy and stupid. I just heard someone mention that mental illness is on the rise and IQ is going down. *sigh

      1. That makes three of us. Like you, I keep getting my feet kicked out from under me when I’m ready to restart my life and the Winnie the Flu freakout was one more. I haven’t been in a good place mentally for the past few weeks because of the resurgence of the theater, in a rage turned inward sort of way. It’s nice to know we’re not alone thanks to our hostess’ blog and MeWe groups but it still feels completely overwhelming.

        1. On top of everything else… federal gov’t just demanded another piece of signed, sealed, officially certified paperwork related to the death in the family I’ve been cleaning up after… in 2 weeks it’ll be a year.


          1. Hugs.
            I remember the trips down to Florida to get another piece done on my father’s estate. Took over a year. Meanwhile brother was blowing his share as it became available to him.

          2. Nothing like family, government (or the economy) or both to throw multiple monkey wrenches in the process, huh? If it wasn’t for the former I’d have relocated six years ago and if it wasn’t for the latter (Covidiocy specifically) I’d probably be settled into a new place right now. It feels like I’m too old to call whatever I end up with, assuming this nonsense doesn’t get me first one way or another, a fresh start too. It’s exhausting, huh?

    1. Been feeling that way since the 2008 election, to be frank. Both Ace and Glenn Reynolds used to occasionally post things with the most *outrageous* “Obama is the new messiah!” sorts of stuff. This was the sort of stuff that you’d hear about and think, “You’re screwing with me. There is NO WAY that this is legit.”

      And yet, when you clicked the link in the post, the book by the University Professor really was available for purchase on Amazon.

      And that’s not even talking about the people who quite literally fainted at Obama’s campaign rallies.

      That was also when I started to get the “Am I sure that I’m not a tin-foil hat wearer? Because this laundry list of presidential administration scandals sure *looks* like something that a tin-foil hat wearer would believe in.” self-reaction sometimes when I thought about the various things that the “most transparent administration in history” was known to have done.

      1. One gets the feeling the last ten years or so that if we knew what those “power elite” types were doing under cover of all this media squid ink, there wouldn’t be a telephone pole in the country without a politician hanging off it. Really, I think that “Pizzagate” is probably the least of it.

        Not a fan of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories. But when you have guys like Epstein -right-freaking-there- in plain view, operating with complete impunity for 20 years, I wonder what else is going on under cover of night by people who are just a little bit more careful. When you turn on the kitchen light and see one roach, that’s not the only roach in the kitchen.

        1. Yeah.

          Epstein didn’t kill himself.

          That simple set of four words speaks volumes about the state of cynicism in the country.

          Word was that under President Trump, there was a massive increase in the success of the battle against sex trafficking (particularly including minors) in the US when compared with any previous administration. I suspect that under the current administration, the progress has been lost. And not just because of the risk of accidentally catching Hunter Biden in any such sweep.

          1. Well, we know that a) Trump threw Epstein out of Mar-A-Lago and b) actually helped get him arrested / indicted. I suspect Trump knew a LOT more rocks to look under.

          2. How many of those ‘unaccompanied minors’ disappear after they get on the buses at the border?

            1. A lot of the human trafficking busts that resulted in Trump’s admin having huge numbers included kids who vanished to be “With family” from the border.

            2. Enough that it was (briefly) a scandal during the Obama years. ACORN processed some of them.

              1. I find it interesting the left is saying we accuse them of being pedophiles and necrophiliacs and cannibals.
                I don’t know about you but I never heard the last two. And now I’m doing the head-tilt “um?” thing.

                1. There were pictures of some of the “elites” at parties with cakes designed to look like “realistic”, not cartoony, babies and women, occasionally with fake blood. Not around Halloween either. Not actual cannibalism, but hits a lot of squick buttons.

          3. When you look at the horrendous push to normalize transgenderism, pedophilia, drag and S&M, it is no accident that they all hated Trump. It wasn’t just about that hairdo, right?

            All you have to do is count the number of DemocRat boosters and donors busted by #MeToo, and notice that #MeToo seems to have fallen off the map lately.

            My supposition is that they’re malicious perverts, and socialism is a smokescreen to keep them supplied with victims. I guess time will tell.

        2. In support of this– look at the stuff Sarah mentioned as being normal assumptions among educated folks, even if her brother’s friends chose to be decent while saying the Right Thing.

          Consider how many of that generation very likely listened and acted on this junk.

          Then look at the completely out of the blue outrage at Cuties— where the only thing that should have surprised someone who has girl-children interested in dance is that the talking heads were UPSET BY THIS. Overnight it went from “how dare you object” to “oh my gosh, sexualizing children!” Oh, gosh, you don’t say? Was it the stretch pants with “JUICY” written across the bum that clued you in? Did you somehow miss that the entire point was that the lady who produced it watched this happen when she was a kid?

          The parents of some of these girls are the age that JonBenét Ramsey would have been, or younger. (born 1990) Where the FRICK have these folks been? Shall they next discover that the pregnant teen girls are usually not impregnated by same-age boyfriends? Perhaps discover that skeezy college guys bring beer to high school keggers so they can hook up with young, stupid girls who are also drunk?

          Just a few years ago, one of my homeschool buddies was doing an “am I crazy over-protective?” check with me because she objected to her young teen daughter doing a can-can dance with their supposedly hyper-conservative dance class. Because 14 year old girls showing their underwear to an entire auditorium is super-conservative…. Then, over night, folks discover that dance groups have 9 year olds doing writhe-on-the-floor dance numbers. Uh, yeah, been doing that since shortly after Madonna’s Like a Virgin.

          Do we get a cheat-sheet on when it’s OK to notice and object?

          Or is it only OK when someone like Epstein gets caught, and some French gal makes a show that goes the whole brutally realistic route on the social setup where this is happening?
          (I know that I noticed that the attacked problem was the show about it, not the actual “is it a dance class or is it pedo-grooming?” behavior.)

          1. “am I crazy over-protective?”

            No, it’s grooming. I attended a local dance class for toddlers once. The impression I took home was “young strippers in training.” But more insidious than that, it isn’t even overt grooming because the instructors and the owners are all normal straight women in a conservative community. They think this is normal. The base aesthetic is grooming.

            So the young relative went to lego computer camp instead. Made a car. Money well spent, IMHO.

            1. They think this is normal.


              And they “help” the girls “get over” being uncomfortable with being looked at, before they’re even old enough to process “hm, what is this reaction TELLING me?”

              1. Like the whole, “If you won’t sleep with your boyfriend you are frigid. Here, take this to get over it,” thing that cranked up in the ’60s-’70s. Just, aimed a lot younger.

                1. Yeah.


                  I recall being around the age of ten or so, and what the schools were pushing.

                  Yeah, this is worth talking about where the successes of the long march are concerned. At the same time, it is very much not grounds for ‘long march has totally won’, full on doomerism.

                  (I’m probably just too salty on long march discussion and doomerism. Recently, and it took me some time to realize in one case, had a couple of people suggest that I was a leftist, and advocating surrender. For saying largely the same thoughts I say here, my current position on the boog. Over at OldNFO’s.)

                    1. All I did, compared to here, was leave off some of the comments about bringing people to justice.

                      I’m actually fairly sure they were false flag trolls, a glowie and a doomer.

                      My last reply to the one, I mentioned why the opposition thinks that glowies and doomers are a useful information warfare strategy. As well as why people who are realizing late that Biden was cheated in might incorrectly move into despair or ill-thought rage. (I myself have spent some time in despair, and in ill-thought rage, but I usually assume that people know me enough that I do not need to outright say so. 🙂 )

              2. They got rid of the classical rules, so all they have is the “sexy.”
                The same way they got rid of the classical rules in writing so all they have is the Marxism.

      2. It’s enough to make me believe in SOME kind of Russian conspiracy, because d*mn if it doesn’t sound a lot like the actual plots that came out of the USSR. Some of which WORKED.

        (Example, “Hitler’s Pope.” They took a guy who was lauded left right and center by actual Jews of the time for his efforts and wrote a freaking stage play to erase it…and now the fluff for brains have taught it in school long enough there are multiple books debunking it and folks STILL believe that lie.)

          1. The biggest problem is– was it really them, or was it the guys who swallowed the “story” of how to do stuff whole?

            Would we be able to tell?

    2. Well, the IQ instruments are sketchy enough that I’m not sure I buy we can estimate trends of that sort meaningfully.

    3. If it’s any consolation, it’s not the entire country, just the loudest gang of assholes. Before long, they’ll start something they can’t finish, because they’re just that stupid.

      1. Yep. The clock is ticking to exceedingly stupid. Some idiot (not approved) linked here climbing that I’m inciting a civil war, in concert with all the bloggers on the right.
        Yeah. Or you know, we’re looking at the sky and saying “It’s gonna rain” which is not the same as saying we want it to rain, much less that we’re doing a rain dance.

        1. If the would be regime was anything but a Gu jar of vicious morons, they might have been able to play the game well enough to avoid starting a civil war, or even sustain entrenched tyranny.

          Thing about tyrants, they like to squash dissenting voices.

          Blaming the dissenters for the violence against the dissenters has it backwards. When Joe Mid East Dictator kills the family of a supporter, it isn’t because of anything the supporter did, it is because Joe is evil and treats people as toys.

          The left has never had enough advantage to carry out the mass murders they wanted to carry out in America. All of those refugees*, beyond the reach of their dictator idols, and the people the refugees were living safely among.

          If now their domestic sociopathic ‘leaders’ are stupid and ignorant enough to start the violence, it is the left’s incompatibility with civilization, and incompatibility with peace.

          *Notice the push for international identification documents for and oversight of refugees? Now, I have to wonder if this isn’t an attempt to deal with refugees from communism.

          1. Bob, don’t wonder. It’s exactly what it’s about, because they think that if they can track all the dissenters, we’ll give up when we realize there’s nowhere to run.

        2. Inciting a civil war? Just recognizing that we are already in one.

          What a maroon. Tell it you’re actually de-inciting.

    4. “2021: sucks, do not buy.”

      If someone in 1990 put 2018-2021 into a novel, it would have been rejected as ridiculous. The US Government subsidizing internal terrorist organizations? Voter fraud in public? Supreme Court full of traitors? Fed outsourcing repression of the population to corporations? “Aw, c’mon, man!”

  35. It does feel like GLaDOS has been jerking us around for the past few years, huh? Great takedown of Marxist garbage and reminder of Kipling’s thoughts regardless.

    1. I will say whomever made the X-COM 2 voicepack using GladOS’s voice did a good job.

      *missed shot*
      “That’s funny. I didn’t see you cheat.”

      1. I’m afraid my Portal knowledge doesn’t rise above general gaming stuff and meme level but I can only imagine how fun that must be. X-COM is a series I’ve always wanted to try but my emulator and Steam/GOG backlog is already to the point where I could win the lottery tomorrow, dedicate the rest of my life to gaming, and still probably not finish everything.

        1. Never played Portal myself. Mostly I saw a “Let’s Play” thing by a streamer named Sethorven and he was using a GladOS voicepack, plus some others, including Freeman’s Mind and I loaded up the game and picked them and some others I found on the Steam Workshop. It definitely makes it very amusing. Though I have my usual “find new mod and end up starting the game over” habit, though I’m going to try to finish my current campaign before trying other mods.

  36. [Possible reducio ad absurdum] Your voluntarist may be right in one sense: When you get hungry enough, in most cases you will WANT to work at something you can trade for food. Not what he meant, but pretty much the only valid case.

  37. In other news, it seems the vegans are violating their principles by eating each other. They hit every bloody fashionable ism from ableism through racism by way of cultural appropriation. The Daily Mail has all the gory, hilarious detail. I can hear the hectoring accents as if they were next to me. you’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

    I don’t like popcorn, but I’m.buying some, with extra butter, for this.

    All we have to do is keep the faith and let them eat each other. As our hostess often says, in the end we win and they lose.

    Who knew that the people’s front of Judaea sketch would be so prophetic?

      1. If there’s anyone I hate more than the bloody Romans it’s the bloody Judean People’s Front.

        Cheddar is OK, as long as it’s not vegan.

    1. >>”The Daily Mail has all the gory, hilarious detail.”

      Wait, for REAL?!

      Imma need a link to that, please.

        1. Ah. For some reason I thought BGE meant they were eating each other literally, not metaphorically. Too damned literal-minded sometimes, I guess.

          Thanks for the link, though.

  38. On the topic of washing machines / automation making our lives better. . .

    One thing that *always* gets lost in automation is the sheer amount of skill required to do a task. And by skill I mean – even in the smallest chore, your brain collects an absolutely enormous amount of data and processes it all to make the job faster. Need to do something every day? Muscles start growing in response, your body adjusts its balance, you become better at spotting the smaller details that matter to the task at hand, and that’s just the subconscious brain function. Then you get the higher functions that deal with interruptions, analyze time spent, change the order of operations, experiment to find better / easier ways to do things . . and so on.

    This gets lost when you strip everything down to ‘put a in b, swish around for x’. It becomes ‘good enough’ for daily use, making it both cheaper to do, but definitely at a cost of quality. You end up with the lowest common denominator, the solution that fits the most problems, not the solution that’s the best for the problem at hand. This is good for simple things like laundry but . . .

    What I see with Big Tech is they think that because they can accurately simulate *some* of the decisions people make on a day to day basis, they believe they can automate making decisions for people en-mass (driven by the conviction that Some Few Experts are much more qualified to make life decisions than the Little People). If you can replace all the decision makers in an economy with simulated, automated decision makers that can be controlled from the top . . . you will have utopia, and the Communist dream.

    But, like all automation, in the process they will smash flat every single piece of individuality in order to make us fit into their pattern, and society devolves to the lowest common denominator. They want you to be a cog . . a set direction, a limited number of teeth, and only turning when others around you are turned . .

    I truly detest the mindset that is based on believing that just because people can be stupid, they therefore have no agency and must be controlled for their own good.

    1. To continue the metaphor of the laundry machine– that “good enough” will spread, and become less expensive.

      Which means that the edge cases where it doesn’t work will become more popular– and as long as you don’t have Only One Allowed Source for the solution, people who value that edge-case will buy stuff that allows them to do a better job of solving that problem.

      So you go from the old laundry machine my grandmother had (probably third hand) which was literally a tub with a paddle in it that had ONE purpose, swish back and forth in whatever water you poured in, to the laundry machine my mom had, with settings for “delicates,” “normal,” and “heavy duty” with either hot or cold water. Then you have mine, chosen for cheapness and durability which has five cleaning settings, a rinse and spin, a drain and spin, and a clean the machine cycle; there are five levels of cold to hot, and four levels of “how deep do you want the water?” including “you do it.”

      My sister in law’s has an actual degrees temperature setting, a steam option and like six various auto-setting things.

    2. Remember, one size fits some. When it comes to programing languages, Java runs poorly everywhere, and it still must be customized per platform, is limited by all the weaknesses of each platform and can take advantage of none of the benefits of any platform.

      I think you miss the worst fault of automation, the biggest conceit.
      In order to think you can fully automate any process, you have to assume that you have qualified all the answers possible to all the questions possible and understand all the logic required to match question to answer as per current conditions.
      In very specific processes with limited applicability, it is possible to get close. In human processes, so many details have to be averaged to the mean in order to fit them into an algorithm that the resulting answers are garbage as often as not. Our minds are cosmic machines that can absorb brand new information, new patterns, recognize them as new and improvise a solution on the spot. Machines cannot do that, they can only do what someone has told them to do.

      From where I sit, machines are not getting smarter, the people are getting dumber. Mostly they accept what the machine tells them and the machine may have jammed the results into the closest answer, not being capable of recognizing that the answer is still wrong.

      1. Tbh you nicely summarized what I was trying to get at. The human brain handles so many more inputs than we consciously realize, that automating the process nearly by definition trims all the questions down to a tiny subset of what actually needs to happen. And that’s with physical, observable tasks

        (Side note: Java is horrible. Web development is even worse, and the push to make it work on every device no matter what has spawned a coding nightmare that only promises to get worse)

        1. Web development is even worse, and the push to make it work on every device no matter what has spawned a coding nightmare that only promises to get worse

          Oh. Heck. The concept of “everything has to be available on every device” is a hoax. Devices do not have the memory capacity for everything. Not needed you say? Just go to the source? There will always be a connection for the device to go get the information, or storage is big enough to temporarily store new information. Ummmm. No. They aren’t. Something just as simple as BarkFit, which requires a connection to translate the data from the device to the app. Have huge gaps in data when we are outside of connection areas, because device isn’t saving enough (s/b per specs, but isn’t). No biggy, it is a for fun item. OTOH there are working applications that when it is pointed out that the client in question has wide swaths of area where even (eventually) satellite access is going to be a problem (stupid canyons), let alone now, the look on the face of developers and programmers is priceless. I didn’t say “I told you” (much) later, when it was obvious there was a problem and there was a major rewrite, when field tested … I got away with the “I told you” because I was retiring. Already quitting. Didn’t need future references. Otherwise, would have kept my mouth shut (on the I told you, not the original assessment, that would have been wrong).

    3. Some of the industrial engineering literature on procuring automated capital equipment says that there are tasks computers/machines do well, and humans poorly, and tasks humans do well, and computers/machines poorly. Sometimes what you really need are a bunch of nails, literal nails, very similar to each other. Good task for a machine, because making a bunch of similar nails is a task with a lot of repetition, and humans might get fatigued from the sameness of it all. But figuring out if the machine is working, or figuring out if you can use the same machine to make different nails, etc., are tasks more suitable for humans. But a fully automated line that takes in the rolls of wire, and pallets the boxes to go on the truck, is expensive and not very flexible, so you had better be very sure you want all of those nails. This quibble is not relevant to your main argument.

      First relevant point, my name is Bob, and I am a recovering technocrat. A technocrat is someone who thinks experts can make decisions for society, or who tries to use machinery or rules to address difficult human problems. I have realized that the theory behind this is not sound, and work to overcome my destructive behavior when I find myself doing it again. But, I am a recovering technocrat, /not/ a former technocrat. My basic personality is bent towards technocracy, I have deep habits of defective thinking that draw me back again and again.

      Second relevant point, a full understanding of why some of these techniques work for manufacturing of widgets shows why they do not work for humans. Using nails again, I can measure nails. If I measure length of nails, that may be enough to tell me that they will go through the wood I am trying to fasten. Okay, other details of nails may be important, but I specifically am bad at woodworking, so length may actually be all the information I know how to use. If I have a bunch of nails from the same material and process, they may be similar enough that I can use destructive measurements of some to let me guess the same properties for the other nails. Humans are very different from each other in ways that may be important, the differences can go back at least as far as birth, and the processes are all essentially different.

      Third point, even for purely widget problems, some models are not useful. All measurements have error, and a cost. Measurement can be used in manufacturing to guide improvement of the process, but expense limits the number of experiments. ‘Traditional’ industrial engineering has some techniques for trying to identify process problems with few experiments. Even those will be garbage if you are not careful about asking the right questions in the first place. Big data analytics, such as with artificial neural networks, requires very large data sets. If the data required is more than could have been gathered in human history, continuing to try to apply big data techniques means misusing them by aggregating data that is not validly aggregated, etc. Another area, measuring a physical situation, and fitting a mathematical model to it. Suppose the measurements are good, and the known rules of physics are good. The computer still can’t blindly solve it numerically. Among other reasons, for a large physical situation, the bits of matter are too many for a humanly possible computer to keep track of. So the computer needs to break the situation into larger chunks, and you need a skilled human watching it to make sure it doesn’t outright ignore what you want to learn, or do something else terrible.

      Fourth relevant point, fundamentally, machines operate according to the essential rules of machinery. Attaching a fancy computer with a fancy programs to a machine, results in a machine.
      “But remember, please, the Law by which we live,
      We are not built to comprehend a lie,
      We can neither love nor pity nor forgive.
      If you make a slip in handling us you die!”
      -Rudyard Kipling, The Secret of the Machines

      Fifth relevant point, a lot of policy coming from Big Tech is made by executives, and these executives are largely ignorant of the technical tools they are pushing, or of what the limits of the tools are. Sometimes they do very terrible jobs of managing just the technical work that they are actually supposed to be doing. The creation of a complicated computer program, of scope requiring a team, becomes difficult. It seems likely that some of the software that has been produced is much too complicated to be ever implemented in any reliable way. Perhaps this can result from executives permitting or demanding that a scope be set that is much too large, being unable to tell possible from impossible, not understanding the limits of the tools, or not having the ability to manage a programming team of that many people. Yes, Computer Science and Business are trying to develop theoretical models that can show people how to make these horrible messes actually produce something. I’m not sure that they are successful, or that they are much aware of there being a problem in the first place.

      It /cannot/ go as they plan. We know that they are malicious, and that gives us incentive to find behavioral changes that make their models useless. Possibly even changing our behavior invisibly as far as their measurements are concerned. They are only trying to pull this stuff off in the first place, because they do not understand the why and the how of their proposed implementation. They would fail to successfully implement even if they were not stupider than a crate of stones.

  39. If we don’t heed your closing stanza, the conclusion is inevitable: “The Gods of the Copybook Headings, with terror and slaughter return.”

  40. My Dad survived the privations of childhood polio, The Great Depression, World War II and lived to have his first heart attack at 60 but has lasted another 32 years with stents and a daily handfull of pills for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes. He’s the oldest member of his family as far back as we can trace – every other ancestor died younger – not because of any personal virtue, but because he benefitted from medical procedures and drugs which did not exist in the past, developed by scientists and doctors who worked for paychecks funded by voluntary payments, taxes or charitible contributions from capitalists. Thank God for capitalists!

    1. Mom comes from a long line of long lived. Her parents lived to be 95. Their parents almost as long as well as their siblings. But her quality of life is much better because she isn’t all but blind. She lived her life all but blind, but cataract surgery (not new), plus a few other eye procedures that are new (in the last 10 years now) means she is now almost 20/20. She’ll be 87 in November.

      Dad died younger (73). His mom died at 80, and his dad at 60. None of grandma’s siblings made 70. But her oldest and youngest 3, are all over 70, oldest surviving 80 this summer. They are all surviving because of now standard medications and procedures that were Hail Mary’s when dad all but died in ’86.

      Heck I have a TAP device that prevents the type of death that probably killed grandma, sleep apnea.

  41. Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  42. From a friend and fellow cancer-survivor:

    DANGER: Stay Away!

    Long before the days of the automobile, when the wealthy traveled by horse and carriage, there was a very rich man who’s house was high on top of a mountain. His carriage driver was getting up in years, and the man knew he would have to find a new driver soon. So, he put an advertisement in the local newspaper in the town that was located near the base of the mountain. He announced that he would be interviewing for a new driver on a certain day, and that everyone who wished to apply for the position should be at his house on that day.

    Well, on the day when he was to give the interviews, many people lined up outside his front door eagerly waiting. He had his butler bring them in, one by one, and he would talk with them.

    He would conclude his interview of each person with the same question, “As you traveled up her this morning for this interview, you noticed the road that leads up the side of the mountain to my house. If I were to choose you as my new driver, how close to the edge of the road do you think you could get with my carriage without my life being in any danger?”

    The road coming up the side of the mountain was long and steep. On one side of the road was the mountain that continued upward, and on the other side of the road there was no shoulder, just a steep drop that went down hundreds of feet to the ground below the mountain. All it would take was for one wheel of the carriage to go over the side, and the entire carriage, horses, and riders would plummet to their death below.

    Many of the men boasted about how good of a driver they were, and how they could come within mere inches of the side of the road, and the rich man’s life would be perfectly safe. However, soon a man came into the study where the rich man was interviewing, and when asked the same question, he replied, “I don’t know sir. All I know is that if you choose me as your driver, I’m going to stay as far away from that side of the road as I can possibly get.” And the rich man immediately told everyone else to go home, he had found his driver.

    The Bible tells us in Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Yet, we try to stay as close to this world as we can possibly get, and still follow Jesus Christ.

    We, like the man in the above story, should stay as far away from this old wicked world as we can possibly get. Truthfully, the new driver of the carriage would most of the time be perfectly fine driving up the side of the mountain and having the carriage only a foot or so away from the edge without any trouble. But, what would happen if one of the carriage wheels hit a large rock or something, it wouldn’t really take much to push it closer to the edge than the driver wanted it. And in our lives, we think we can control our flesh and play around with this world, and not be in any danger. There are countless thousands who have thought the same thing only to end up with their lives destroyed because they didn’t want to stay away from the evil that surrounds us.

    The new driver of that carriage knew that the absolute safest place for him to drive the carriage was as close to the other side of the road as he could get. And the same is true with our lives, the best and safest place for us to live is as close to Jesus Christ as we can possibly get. For in HIM we find protection, strength, and all that we need to fight off the temptations of this world. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 tells us, “Abstain from every form of evil.” And only through God’s help can we do that.

  43. I’m late to the discussion (penalty for reading in the morning when posts are being made in the afternoon), but the idea of “wage slavery” came out of Marxism and the Frankfurt School “labor theory of value”. They claimed that the value of the labor required to create something should be equal to the value of the something. To completely oversimplify it (and therefore probably make it wrong) if the amount that a worker was being paid wasn’t equal to his share of the work that went into it, he was being treated as a slave by not getting his just share of the product. From a voluntary perspective this makes no sense as the worker has chosen to work for a certain amount at a certain job, but I’ve had discussions (arguments) with people who then claim that the worker has no choice, because he has to feed his family and there aren’t other jobs available. Ergo, slavery.

    1. Right now, I’d make more $$ per hour as starting kitchen staff in any of the desperate restaurants here than I do at Day Job. I would not enjoy it as much, but it’s dang hard to sustain the “wage slave” argument at this moment in time, here. Especially if you have a shred of work ethic and a hint of experience.

    2. George Bernard Shaw, no conservative he, shot that down years ago. It’s only slavery if there is only one employer.

      We could extend that notion by observing that only Marxist states have only one employer and therefore wage slavery only exists under Marxism QED but that would be logical, thus white, thus bad

      It’s really amazing how few marxists seem to have read Marx

        1. “Many employers, but all in cahoots.”

          Which is not really a free market, is it?

            1. Ah, but publishing gives large contracts to powerful people who sell few books. One needs the houses for that.

      1. …if you’re required to be in a union to work in a field– and to hire from the union if you hire people to work in that field– wouldn’t that be a monopoly on employment?

    3. As a consultant helping people try to develop properties, I soon realized that if I did not make more money for my client than they were paying me, why should they hire me? This is why it is important to have competition. The monopoly will always turn workers into slaves if there is no freedom.

        1. … And? Does that mean that everything he says unrelated to Trump is a lie?

          You know his biases, now filter for them. Cancel culture is for leftists.

          1. Some of #NeverTrump appear to be willing and knowing information warriors for the left.

            Anything that those say which seems correct and useful may be calculated in order to build credibility with the right, for the sake of spending that credibility later in support of critical objectives of the left.

            The correct filter, for me, to deal with that degree of ‘bias’, is ‘no pass’.

            If someone is so numerically blind and pattern blind that they still don’t see the issues with the current Dems, and further fail in hindsight to see the information warfare against Trump in the true context of the Obama years, they are almost certainly useless. If they do see that, and refuse to say so, or at least will not shut up, they are dishonest.

          2. He asked, I answered. Your attempt to tell me what I meant is noted…. and ignored.

            1. I was just responding in sequence of conversation. If you think my response was better suited as a response to the previous comment, please assume that it was so.

  44. Andrew Cuomo is the latest example of a prominent leftist who has turned out to be a horrible human being. I wonder why this keeps happening? It’s so confusing. If only there were some way to predict this. Oh well.

  45. There’s some commentary on Twitter that it’s interesting that deBlasio announced he was considering a ru. For governor right before the AG dropped the report. And then deBlasio announced Vax passports needed to eat or enjoy other indoor activities in NYC.

  46. Ah, but the amount of stupid there is directly proportional to how supple they are to manage to insert their head fully up their *rse to the shoulders. That’s why we call it sh*t for brains. X-D

  47. “Just do what you please, and the world will take care of you.”

    Joke’s on them. The more you ask others to do FOR you, the more power you give them to do TO you.

    Example: the government in a social technocracy like ours.

    OTOH, what I told my kids: you have to balance how much you love what you’re doing, with how well you want to eat.

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