I was raised to be a gentleman.

And before any of you raises an eyebrow, no that had nothing to do with my sex or gender, or my pronouns or whatever.

My being a woman of …. odd disposition, I think my parents decided I’d never marry when I was around 3, maybe 4. (They weren’t entirely wrong for that place and time. Any of you women who want to hold forth on the unbearable patriarchy in the US, let’s find a quiet corner where I can slowly beat you to death with a wet sock. Because you have NO idea. NONE.)

So, my parents decided early on that I’d most likely have to earn a living. Which is why dad trained me to be a gentleman. In business. In private life, I could be — and was — as feminine as I wished. Okay, most of the time I wasn’t because I fell in the broad category of “women who do carpentry” and “women who play with gears” so, stereotypically speaking, and in every other way as well I was …. odd. Not to say strange. But I loved (still do, though alas my hips disagree) pretty high heels, and I do crochet and embroidery. So stereotype by stereotype it kind of cancels out.

OTOH I sucked at the non-stereotypical parts of being a woman. The ones the culture doesn’t talk about. The politics of the serraglio: undermine the rival. Kick them while they’re down. Start character-tearing campaigns. Sleep your way to the top. Emotionally manipulate everyone.

I don’t know if I suck at it because my instincts are broken, or because I was raised to be a gentleman.

What I do know is this: “gentleman” mode is the mode to keep society functioning. Every company and institution that gets taken over by the politics of the serraglio subverts its own purpose and ends up unable to function. Because women in that mode don’t care about the shared purpose, and can’t be depended on. They do what AT THE MOMENT seems to help them. And they have no loyalty or honor.

Most of our society has gone that way. Even men operate in serraglio mode now, because it’s all they’re taught.

I have absolutely nothing against women working for a living, be it as janitors or as managers. But women need to be taught that in the realm of business they have to be gentlemen: keep your word. Pay back kindness and favors. Be generous to rivals. Be honorable. And above all, work for what you’re supposed to do/were hired to do. (Which falls under “keep your word.”

Teach yours sons, and especially yours daughters to be gentlemen. It’s inconvenient and troublesome, but it’s the only way civilization gets to come back.

348 thoughts on “Gentlemen

  1. Huh.
    I just thought that was part of being a decent human being.
    I guess that shows the kind of upbringing I received.
    (Of course, my religion also taught us from an early age that gossip, hate and spitefulness were things to be avoided.)

  2. I was taught this too, as a young girl, though it was more ‘this is how a lady behaves’, where ‘lady’ is akin to ‘feudal matriarch’, not ‘pretty girl.’ But I had family whose culture hadn’t lost its ties to the whole Spanish honor thing, and still spoke of honor as if it was a real thing. ‘You’re a disgrace’ was a real and powerful reprimand. Calling someone a bastard didn’t mean ‘he’s mean and interesting,’ it meant ‘he’s proof that your family didn’t act with moral rectitude, and that is a serious accusation.’


    Even now, when I write about how you do marketing properly, it’s from a position of ‘there is an honorable way to do this’ and it comes across as… bizarre. But it’s the way I was raised.

    (This is what gets me about almost ever modern story about paladins. They don’t act honorable. Their moral framework has been caricatured to someone’s idea of a puritanical bigot’s.)

        1. Mine is not close enough for this, I think.

          That being honorable is important, yes, of course.

          …But I also remain wholly bewildered by a post suggesting that if someone looks comfortable and declines an offer to open the window, I am derelict in duty unless I open the window anyway.

          1. I understand it seems nonsensical to people who didn’t grow up with that set of social rules, but to people who did, it’s a completely predictable set of responses. The mistake is in not realizing that it’s not caprice, it’s a separate interaction mode. You can learn to play by those rules if you care to, but whether you want to learn multiple social interaction modes is totally up to the person passing through those environments.

            1. If you read tourist advice for South Korea or Ireland, they explain stuff like ” how many times does the hostess offer X before you stop gracefully refusing and gracefully accept,” and so on. In our own countries, with so many different ethnic politeness forms, we often don’t talk about them explicitly. Which is annoying.

              1. My husband is annoyed by it, but a lot of my family’s “officially nobody knows but really everyone knows” stuff is for things like this– and it annoys me to no end to have people who get huffy about the politely-avoid-making-someone-spell-out-their-limitations thing where you ask the friend of the person you’re accommodating about what is needed.

                The unspoken understanding there is that if they don’t answer right away, they probably go ask the person who has a problem. But nobody has to flat out SAY “Look, you really can’t put me on the second floor, it takes me a half hour to do more than ten steps up and I can only manage it once a day.” So you ask their spouse/daughter/friends and do things like “decide that we ran short on room, so the buffet is going to be on the same level as the bathroom, and there’s a few tables– [person whose knees don’t work] can you help me monitor the levels on stuff, your voice carries better than most.”

                Or the relative with a history of pregnancy losses is pregnant again, so make sure there are soft drinks and don’t tell any medical stories.

                The weaponized version is where people start informing you of things you need to do for someone who doesn’t need, or want, such a thing done.
                (Well, and people forgetting that they do actually have to tell people the things they don’t officially know before they can expect the other person to only OFFICIALLY not know.)

            2. I finally looked up the post again and realized I had misremembered it, as it involved initiating the conversation with “You can open the window if you want” instead of declining an offer to do so. I apologize for the error.

              …The impression I did remember correctly was that I would get it wrong. Partly it’s the specific example. You suggested that looking comfortable should make it more obvious that the person wants the window open (but doesn’t want to get up, I guess?), whereas I would take looking very comfortable as evidence against actually wanting major changes to the environment, so I’d interpret as “if you want… I won’t mind/I can put up with it” or perhaps even “if you want… but it would be very inconsiderate.”

              On the other hand, if somebody said, “You can get me a drink if you want” or “You could hand me that book if you want,” I would realize it meant “if you want to do something for me.”

    1. > still spoke of honor as if it was a real thing.

      It *was* a real thing, as real as your credit score, except more broadly applied and more final. To be dishonored was to be crippled in society; honor was important in a way that the moderns find risible.

      1. I generally opt for “integrity” or “character” in place of the word “honor”. Using modern definitions they seem to be closer to what honor meant for most of the history of Western Civilization.

        You are correct that many modern sophisticates find the concepts droll or ludicrous. I was once told in a meeting that, “There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’!” To which I responded, “Yes, but there is in ‘Integrity’.”

        Probably why I never made it into management.

    2. Western culture has a problem with “honor”. Most of us brought up in the Western Tradition of Knights of the Round Table, etc., hear the word and think nobility of purpose and deed. What “honor” cultures mean by the word is reputation. I know the words are frequently mixed up, and some would have us lose the meaning of honor as I describe and just leave it as a synonym for reputation. It’s an important distinction to make for those of us horrified by the concept of “honor killing”. It’s not honor but reputation that such people are trying to preserve. It may in fact be a mistranslation, or maybe some languages have no word for nobility of purpose and deed. Just my 2 cents.

      1. I like “face” to describe the non-Christian-morality-type honor.

        It better describes the cultures where the idea of losing your reputation but keeping your honor would make them head-tilt.

            1. G-d bless Lois. If you want to learn to be a decent human being, you could do a lot worse than listening to Aral, Cordelia, Miles, and Ivan.

        1. A reviewer once criticized Louis L’Amour for his characters tending toward extremes of good and bad. He replied that by his research, when there was no rule of law, people tended toward their natural inclinations.

        1. I’m a fan of the way it was put in the Vorkosigan books: “Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.”

        2. Thanks for pointing me to that essay TXRed. I remember reading it long ago. Not that it recommends any solutions other than the useless “liberate the women”. A good thing that doesn’t solve the problem, but leaves the “shame people” looking for someone else to blame. I believe Christianity is the true answer to the “shame” culture (Puritans notwithstanding) because it focuses on individual rectitude as the only true liberation even if only The Big Guy sees your worth.

          1. I agree, with the mild caveat that we Jews have a helping hand in there. There is an interesting balance between community and personal responsibility. Forex, if a good man falls on hard times, and it becomes necessary for the community to support him, he should be provided with enough means so he can contribute at least a small amount to charity from it. The sages say he is not relieved of the obligation to give to tzedakah (literally “justice”, usually translated as charity) just because he is receiving charity himself.

            1. Geoff. Thanks. I absolutely agree. Leaving the Jews out was an oversight on my part probably because they’re not big on proselytizing.

  3. Indeed.


    …this may just be my most favorite Hoyt Post of all time.

    Since I’ve been reading SH since the, hmm, early oughts, that’s probably something, eh.

  4. Had to have a TALK with the youngest nephew about him lying to the household about his school work and the finished/unfinished state thereof. (He hadn’t realized that the distance learning teachers could monitor how long it took him to ‘read’ the assignment and would reach out to us when he started treating the reading like a EULA.) He came back with, ‘but I’ll have to lie in business’.

    This produced an even longer TALK about how lying in business will soon mean that you have no business. Word will get around, because people DO find out, they always find out eventually, and no one will trust you. “You wonder why we always demand to actually see your school computer and see that the assignments have been completed and turned in. It’s because you lie and we don’t trust you any more. When that stops happening we might begin to trust you again, but certainly not right away, and no way in heck when it’s still happening.”

    Being known as the honest person at work… I got left out of the gossip circles (thank goodness!) but when I said something people listened. I mean, I had a boss once that ignored me for the first bit because she thought I wanted her job (where she got that bit of derangement I’ll never know because it required living in Detroit and being in charge of other people, and I’d honestly rather chew glass thank you very much). Then she would come ask me my opinion and ignore what I said because it didn’t fit her plan. Then, when what I predicted happened right down the line, she started taking me seriously and would listen, then wait a week so when she came back and proposed my plan she could claim it was her own idea. Whatever. I wasn’t in the job for recognition.

    Which is why I generally prefer male bosses, because most of them still have some vestige of gentleman training left in them, despite what the radical feminists have tried to do.

    1. 𝑊ℎ𝑖𝑐ℎ 𝑖𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑦 𝐼 𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑒𝑟 𝑚𝑎𝑙𝑒 𝑏𝑜𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑠
      Someone else had to say it.

      Someone 𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘦.

      Lord knows I’m not brave enough. Even here lol.

      1. Sadly, my experience of female bosses has been mostly negative. The two I did like… conducted themselves like men of their respective professions. (And were old enough that it was probable that they couldn’t have held their positions had they not done so.)

        There are few good role models of what female power is like. We need more examples of how honorable matriarchs rule.

        1. With exactly two exceptions, every female boss I had was someone I wouldn’t want to see at any other time. Perhaps over a rifle sight, but not anywhere else.

          My previous boss was female, had favorites, didn’t like me because I wasn’t Filipino (she was a member of the Filipino Mafia), and I tried to make things work. I know she would have fired me after one incident if the office manager hadn’t gone to bat for me-and she couldn’t fire her because the office would have otherwise fallen apart.

          And, it doesn’t help that HR is the place where a lot of women get jobs in big companies. If they aren’t hiring to create their own version of Friends (complete with the hot boys for them to drool over), they’re aiming to either get their Mrs. Degree or Slut Certificate with somebody from the C-suite. Or angry that they can’t do either of these things and they will take it out on anyone that they can. Not all, but enough to set the standard.

          Seraglio politics are nasty, and it’s because of the nature of the stakes. It’s not fun to be involved in them when you’re trying to get anything else done. And, politics fall very quickly into the seraglio mode when you’re in a mostly-female office, mostly-female organization, or mostly-female business. (Just reading about the stories of various writer’s groups and organizations that had female leadership…)

          This is not to say that men aren’t as bad. Or sometimes even worse (my experience with openly gay bosses has been about 60/40% good, straight is roughly 70/30% good), because you don’t expect it at first.

          I’m there to do a job. I’m there to be polite, respectful, work hard, and get things done. To the extent that I play office politics, it’s mostly in the category of getting the job done. And, working anywhere these days with female leadership or a female-majority HR department is terrible. It’s probably why I’m finding it hard to get a job, because I don’t fit neatly in their casting choices.

          And, yes, it’s frustrating. Seraglio politics are terrible politics and it will destroy everything you love dear if you let it take root.

          1. I personally know two men who successfully passed themselves off as gay until after they could no longer be fired except for cause. It’s going to be interesting to see how that kind of thing plays out (both ad other pokemon points going for them as well though)

          2. Filipino Mafia

            We had a huge Filipina contingent in the IC fab area when I worked at an HP semiconductor division. Actually, the worst supervisor was a lesbian who seriously played favorites (this was in the early 1980s), but she didn’t last that long.

            We had a programming/production IT group that supported the fab area directly. One of the techs had a hispanic surname and appearance, but was Filipino. The Tagalog gossip he heard was *amazing*. (See the soon-to-be-former supervisor mentioned above.)

            1. There’s a lot of “ethnic mafias” that you get when you have large imports of people from areas that are outside of the normal culture. Just around here, it tends to be Chinese, Filipino, and/or Indian.

        2. I’ve been lucky. My first might’ve qualified as matriarch, I suppose. She was actually in business with her husband too. Current employer, I’ve had both male and female managers and they have been uniformly great with… actually remarkably similar approaches. Maybe the training is really good?

          1. I would guess “selecting against political nonsense.”

            I was going over bad chiefs I had in the Navy, and it was uniformly– the ones who were good politicians were horrible people. They used people to get advantage, that’s how they got higher up.

            Basic high school political nonsense*.

            The ones who just did their job didn’t buy much favor, but they did make things run.

            * which actually worked out for me… I was fresh out of high school, and never played those games (see statements: re: boundaries) so when the womanizer chief did the “[last name], you don’t like me much, do you?” in what I now realize was an attempt to embarrass my chief and myself, I blinked at him and responded, with very obvious honesty, that I didn’t know him enough to from a view on liking him. Which set the entire chief’s mess to laughing, and the SOB never deliberately spoke to me again. (WIN!)

          2. My last two engineering managers (first level mgmt) were women, and it was a decent environment. One was relatively young, with the other a bit older, but they both were working at HP for 5 to 10 years before getting the position. (Note, that dates to the late 1990s into 2001. Mileage might be quite different now.)

            The fab and test area supervisors in our semiconductor department were a mix. One of the more horrible supers seemed to have been a lesbian and played favorites a lot. She left after a few years and two women and one man were long term sups in the fab, generally well liked. The test area supervisor was a prickly bitch, but she was equal opportunity bitch–the good news is that she had no opportunity (not sure about desire) to play political games. OTOH, she did have a turnover problem…

            After I was laid off from HP/Agilent, HP went with Carly Fiorina as CEO. She helped make Lucent the non-dominant player it was, and she started a long term trend for HP’s slow spiral into irrelevance in a lot of business areas.

            1. I remember during Fiorina’s candidacy in the Repubican primaries, one blogger I used to read but have since drifted away from — I think it was Clayton Cramer — talked about how he used to work at HP and would rather vote for anyone else but her.

              Incidentally, the reason I drifted away from reading Mr. Cramer had nothing to do with any positions he took. I just had less time for blogs. There are other bloggers I stopped reading hard because they went full TDS, but AFAIK Mr. Cramer is not among those so afflicted.

          1. The current dean, male, acts female, and the previous dean, female, acted male. She angered a LOT of the men in Humanities because she didn’t conform to their ideas of what a female, humanities (she was philosophy) dean should be like. I liked her as a dean, but as a professor, according to my students, she was arrogant and believed herself to be above evaluations. So, mixed bag there. Still way better than current dean.

        3. I have had very good female bosses, who were both feminine in style and businesslike, and who were as ethical and moral as one could expect without sainthood. But that was how my was run, and who got promoted – honorable smart people of either sex. If sneaky stupid women had been promoted, in a company of 70% or 80% women, there would have been blood on the floor.

          1. My experience of female managers has been good with three excellent ones. However, I think the environment was unusual, DEC was predominantly male and very much a collection of Odds. Odds (male or female) never seem to get the back biting politics quite as well (although recent World Cons seem to belie that assessment, and Mid level management at DEC got into empire building) as those more on the normal spectrum. These ladies were both technically competent (had been good engineers) and had a nurturing nature that worked fairly well herding a bunch of rather exuberant males.

            1. HP & Agilent were like that, at least into 2001. (I was laid off in the Dot Com bust in 2001 and was out of the industry for good after 2002. No idea of current behavior, though the executive board issues at HP have been more entertaining than encouraging. Agilent kept spinning parts of itself off; not sure what’s left, and not sure if I can care.)

              I never encountered problems from female managers nor engineers. Actually, the bad actors tended to be engineers. One managed to drive a very laid back engineer into making threats of physical harm (and he would have had solid alibis if necessary) and eventually left the industry altogether. Another was notorious for credit stealing; though I *think* he was getting his comeuppance. I switched to a different group in another site, but this guy hit the “avoid at all costs” list. If nothing else, he would have been caught up in Agilent’s departure from semiconductors in one of the waves of layoffs.

              1. HP story: I was at HP for a tour (workstation and graphics industry press at the time) and they were showing us how they test the workstations with various hardware configs etc.

                I hold up my hand and ask what audio interfaces they test them with…

                Reply is ” we make sure we’ve tested them with the latest Avid (Digidesign) and M-audio interfaces”

                this was 2014. At that point, those audio interfaces accounted for maybe 15% of the market.

                1. Hfff. I’ve been looking at an HP for my next replacement laptop, alternative to a friend’s recommendation of Lenovo. Not sure this is encouraging, but then, I’m not sure who’s likely to be doing better.

                    1. note that most ‘refurb’ hp business and workstation laptops (and desktops)) are actually off-lease units and the ‘refurb’ means blow the dust out and reformat the hard drive….

                    2. depends where the system is off-lease from. sometimes its ‘pull the high end video card and put the crappy one in’

                    3. Vote for Dells, with minor caveats.

                      Three of my production (sort of) computers are refurbed units done by non-Dell providers. One might be the original configuration (the build ticket is on the machine, and can be compared to Dell’s info), but the others have upgraded disks and frequently more memory than it came from. Dell sells refurbed machines through their own site; those seem to be dusted off off-lease machines. They do have a good reputation.

                      I went the Amazon route for mine. Two are Optiplex desktop machines, close to identical to each other. These were done by third party people, and one got a disk upgrade to 1TB from the original build. I think both now have more memory than the Dell build ticket said.

                      Also have a small Latitude 5450 that got a larger SSD drive. It was to be the token Windows machine, but I found Linux replacements for what I bought it for. It’s now running bleeding edge Slackware Linux. Not many features (no room for an optical drive), but it’s really portable and the drive makes it fast enough.

                      Also have a 2012 Inspiron 17″ laptop that was a Win 7 machine, now also has the Linux upgrade. It’s my travel machine, with a built in DVD drive, but it’s not terribly portable. That machine needed a new keyboard module (got from the ‘zon), and one of the Optiplex machines had a PSU fail after a year. A replacement was affordable and easy to swap.

                      My experience with HP hardware ended with a 486 tower. No clue as to how good newer machines are. At one time, HP tended to be non-standard in the internals. No idea now.

                  1. The tech support guys I work with always recommend Dell laptops. So when my wife’s laptop died last week and I was looking for a replacement for her, I ended up picking this one:


                    Very recent processor (came out last year), 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, decent built-in graphics card that can handle the not-too-demanding games that she enjoys, on sale right now for $650.

                    Then I discovered that that deal is not available in the country where I live, and I ended up buying a Lenovo with the same specs (exact same processor, even) for about $750. But that Dell model is serious value for money at $650. I don’t know how long their sale lasts, but hopefully by the time you make your decision you’ll still be able to get that price.

                    1. Wow! That *is* a good price. I’ll have to see if I can nuke Windows and install something useful to me like RHEL 8.

                      Dell has a pretty good reputation for being Linux friendly. Not a good as Lenovo’s but, still, pretty good.

                    2. The one I’ve been using since 2013 has 16 GB RAM, so I’m not eager to step that down, I admit.

                      I’d finally pinned down a refurbed Elitebook (consistent with what Foxfier noted, the folks I know with their business laptops seem happy) with adequate specs/features and the ability to accept the upgrades I want to put in, but I suppose maybe I still need more research. My brother likes Lenovo and with good sales they may be the least expensive I’m likely to find new, but I’d been thinking of going for something with more… well, at least nominal participation from outside China. Thought I’d read that Dell’s were not great, but perhaps I was mistaken.

                    3. Dell’s “trendy” stuff has been expensive kill-it-with-fire bad in my experience, and I also had bad luck with anything that was on the decked out end of their spread. IE, if that model tops out at 5As, 5Bs and 5Cs, don’t buy anything higher than a 4 in any of those categories. They don’t put enough breathing space in their design extremes. Since I couldn’t play with the suggestion Robin shared, couldn’t get data to comment on if it fit any of those.

                      I do, however, seem to remember they got hit bad with that one batch of capacitors from China, so the bad reputation may be from that.

                    4. Ah, hmm, does that also make Dell a suboptimal candidate for “buy adequate, upgrade memory/storage when I get space to deal with fiddly screws”?

                      The link appeared to be “good sale on decent computer” not “souped up” but I did not explore the limits of that model’s close kin.

                    5. Insufficient data, and my sample is old. That said, it didn’t *look* like one of the ones they were trying to make all shiny looking.
                      Only Dells I’ve bought recently were refurb business stuff, it works for the kids.

                    6. That wasn’t ‘one batch’ it was billions of capacitors made with substandard ceramic dielectric and they got into everything. Dozens of manufacturers were hit. The communist Chinese, of course, didn’t give a rat’s ass.

                  2. One blogger I used to read, but drifted away from as I had less time for blogs, mentioned that he used to work for HP in their printers division. He was of the opinion that their computers division was as bad as their printers division was good, and the only reason HP sold computers was so that they could sell more printers. I don’t know if that still holds true, but when I was looking at laptops last week to replace my wife’s laptop that died suddenly, all the HP laptops I saw had prices so low that it had me wondering what was wrong with the machine that wouldn’t be obvious until after you bought it. Because if they allegedly had the same specs as other laptops but a price a couple hundred dollars less, they clearly cut some corners somewhere, and I wanted to know what corners they cut and how much that would hurt the machine’s performance.

                    1. Huh. That’s… not my experience of price-shopping them but I guess I was looking at sales not immediate availability.

                    2. This is in an undisclosed* country in Asia, not in the US. Might be that what gets into the stores here is priced a little differently.

                      * Someone who really wanted to find out could probably figure out pretty easily what country I’m in, but I don’t intend to come out and actually say it. Why make things easy for someone with hostile motives? Anyone who’s my friend and needs to know where I am can email me.

                    3. Possible concurrance on HP computers as a vehicle to sell printers. They got into the PC game about the same time as IBM, but with a machine that had no commonality with IBM. By the time the PC-AT came out, HP went IBM compatible, but as the sales guy at long-forgotten computer store said, “HP computers are the least compatible of the IBM-compatible computers”. This was true throughout the machine; the motherboard didn’t comply, and the power supply was non-standard.

                      The printer division(s) did well, though when our semi group fielded a request for inkjet driver chips that would stop the cartridge after a certain number of dots got printed, I (and a bunch of co-workers) got a very sour opinion of the business practices. A friend transferred to the Corvallis inkjet operation, and he related that the litigation department (plaintiff and defendent) had an abnormally large amount of work.f

                      They did support older machines. One of the huge headaches I had was for the spare parts operation for the big printer/plotters out of San Diego. They could *not* come up with a coherent plan to have spare ICs for repair. We had to keep special equipment running for over a year until they finally agreed that they had enough spare parts. (Orders following upon other orders. The only similar headache was for a display IC used in one military application. It was a truly shitty IC, but It Was The Specified Part, and by God, we had to keep them in supply for too long.)

                      My computers are Dells. My printer is a Brother.

                  3. One thing to note about HP laptops (in particular) is that they switched the positions of the Fn and Ctrl keys.

                    Which is mostly annoying when you are trying to copy and paste something, and keep hitting the function key instead.

                    1. I’d be switching from a Mac. That corner of the keyboard is going to be an adjustment regardless, although that seems like a heck of a weird decision.

                  4. HP’s computers are generic, and their printers are pure poison.

                    There *might* be some justification for hiring them for single-source provider/support in a business environment, but little justification otherwise for buying their computers unless they’re cheap. As for their printers, “run away!”

                    1. I’ve been using HP Printers since Jerry Pournelle recommended them, and they’ve always given great service. I don’t think I’ve ever had one break; I just upgraded when a capability was added that I wanted.

                      I honestly think that different people are more “compatible” with Different brands; mine seem to be Asus, Toshiba (for laptops), and HP printers. I wouldn’t have a Lenovo on a bet.

              1. Indeed worked in Nashua (ZKO 1-3) from 1983 until 2005 (when it was HP) with Compaq in the middle.

                  1. Worked on the Alphas in all 3 OS (VMS, Tru64 and NT), Mostly doing graphics drivers and software (PHIGS) for the workstations and mostly on the NT 3.5-4.0 period (and Win2k port before they killed it). Played with Maya and Softimage on NT Alpha, that was quite fun (got to debug somehow 🙂 ).
                    Last bit I did was on Tru64 Unix some of its graphics drivers and finally the tape and tape changer drivers for Tru64. Ultimately HPUX won out and the efforts to feed in things (in particular ADVFS and clustering) from Tru64 came to nought because Ms. Fiorina had no real control over the HPUX teams (think deep state and internal turf battles).

        4. From my IT consultant friends, I have repeatedly heard two criticisms of female supervisors…First, they are way too obsessed with office politics, and second, they don’t know enough about the problem to supervise anyone effectively, so the consultant just does his thing…the only problem being if they try to supervise the work, which threatens to wreck things…

        5. Been there as far as female bosses go, too. They were some of the most demanding and hateful (sometimes aggressively so, sometimes more passive-aggressive) I’ve had with a few decent enough ones. Funnily enough the younger ones who were among the worst always seemed to get fired for sleeping with multiple male subordinates, too…

        6. If Kirk is still hanging around, perhaps he might re-share his story about his best boss ever, who basically made herself Team Mom in a Mama Bear kind of way. As in, “Nobody, but nobody, messes with my men.” When another officer started jerking them around (I have a vague memory of their team getting orders changed on them with no good justification), she went to that officer’s CO and made the behavior stop, because it was harming her men. Result: pretty much everyone who worked for her would have done pretty much anything for her.

          I’m sure I could find his story with a couple hours’ searching through the past five years of According To Hoyt posts and comments, but I have other things I really should be working on right now.

          1. One of my two best bosses was like that. She would defer to us on technical matters and allow us to dispute ideas that came down from her boss, as long as we could back it up. (In other parts of our division, this is Not Done.)

            One time when the division finished up a huge technical project that we had been a part of, the Executive VP (3 or 4 levels up) sent out an email blast thanking, by name, all of the teams that had gone the extra mile and put in all the overtime at the last minute to deliver on time. My boss sent out a public reply-all email saying “We delivered our part on time and under budget. My engineers should be the ones getting the praise.” And lo and behold the EVP replied-to-all back and agreed with her.

            We all got raises and bonuses that year, but mysteriously we got broken up and split among a bunch of different projects a few months later. We asked the EVP why at the next all hands and got “reasons” and a bunch of evasions. I think we were making the other teams look bad.

            I miss her. She transferred to a different division and moved out of state.

          2. That’s great! I would love to hear the story! ❤

            I think the problem with female leadership is that "Mama Bear" is the primary female power template, and it's based on family survival imperatives… which means it's a nuclear "salt the earth and sow it with the ashes of my enemies" option. You don't take prisoners when your kids are in danger, you kill what's threatening so dead it can never come back. That's exactly the kind of no holds barredness that wrecks the fragile balance of "we shall act with honor" modes. So it's reeeeeeeeeeeeally hard for women to find the right way to channel that 'mess with me and die, and all your kin with you' energy into a socially workable mode.

            When they do, though (or when they find a situation where it's appropriate to be the Mama Bear, no limits), it is truly powerful. (Witness all the Angry Moms now at school board meetings. A thing of glory.)

            1. “She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
              As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
              And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
              Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

              She is wedded to convictions — in default of grosser ties;
              Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies! —
              He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
              Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

              Unprovoked and awful charges — even so the she-bear fights,
              Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons — even so the cobra bites,
              Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
              And the victim writhes in anguish — like the Jesuit with the squaw!

              So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
              With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
              Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
              To some God of Abstract Justice — which no woman understands.”

            2. Well, there are a lot of Team Moms that have other settings besides “everything’s good” and “It’s on like Donkey Kong!” But yes, it’s perilous to get them into Donkey Kong mode.

              Most of the good female bosses had the setting of “I am now talking to you very rationally and kindly, asking if everything is okay with you, and going over everything in detail with plenty of room for you to respond; but there darned well better be a valid explanation or a sincere apology.”

              1. Yeah, I currently have one of the Mama Bear types. When I interviewed with her to get the job she told me that I had to be a grown ass adult to work on her team because she just jolly well didn’t have time to micromanage and could I work unsupervised? When I am in the wrong she gently corrects me, when I am right she goes to bat for me, she leaves and encourages plenty of opportunities to grow, and when necessary she has gone to war for our team.

                Love her to death, and other than my own mother, I’ve never met another female manager like her.

              2. It’s true, yes. But in my experience, people who hate conflict have only two settings ‘I will pretend this isn’t bothering me in the hopes it will go away’ or ‘It’s not going away MAKE IT STOP.’ And more women hate conflict than men. :,

                I think it’s good that there are people willing to tolerate greater-than-average/necessary levels of awful; they can be amazing peacemakers. But learning to control your outrage/rage takes practice, and men get more practice than women.

                1. :grimace:

                  Ugh, I can sympathize with the desire to just ignore things, but the coast along until you go nuclear option is terrible.
                  Basic conflict resolution, you try to fix the little problems FIRST! Yeah, with mean girls that usually means they know where to aim– but there are non-mean girls….

                  1. “Ugh, I can sympathize with the desire to just ignore things, but the coast along until you go nuclear option is terrible.”

                    And yet, that is precisely what you and several others have done by “crying Peace, Peace when there is no Peace” WRT our creeping government tyranny.

                    1. I was not going to bring up your long standing demand that everyone join you in the “‘It’s not going away MAKE IT STOP.’” stage of the two options she described, since that would be rude and not constructive to accurate identification and solving of problems.

                  2. That’s something I’ve been trying to learn myself, getting better about confronting problems before they get out of hand even if the end result is only “at least I tried.” Still have a long way to go there of course…

      2. I’ll say it for you. With very few exceptions, working for a woman is shite, hell on earth, awful, time to quit because it won’t get better.
        They bring issues, and they have no idea how to be a gentleman.
        Sarah nailed it, they actively try to destroy everyone around them, including their staff.

        1. It’s really simple, and applies to other social animals as well: Normal males are wired for the benefit of the group; competition is against other groups. Normal females are wired for the benefit of themselves; competition is against other individual females. This should be obvious when you realize that the bigger, stronger male group defends the whole and is less concerned with individual survival, while the smaller, weaker females need to stay alive individually, and need to be selfish with resources, so their own kids can arrive and thrive.

          There are exceptions (eg. alpha females, wired to behave like males; neutered males who behave like females) but they’re not the norm.

          So… female bosses (including politicians) mostly suck. And female-heavy workplaces also tend to suck, unless there’s an alpha male in absolute charge, then the petty infighting stops. It’s the same in a kennel. All females is a recipe for never-ending battle; add an intact male and the female aggression suddenly stops.

          Back in the olden days of competitive performance dogs, successful females were rare, and nearly always behaved like males. The electric collar was the great leveler, because you could finally halt the typical female bullshit on the spot.

          Someone once said words to the effect of “Men dress like gentlemen to put down other men. Women dress like queens to put down other women.” Same principle.

          Side thought: I watch a channel called Gentlemen’s Gazette. It’s interesting to watch how the hosts body language changes depending on what they’re wearing.

          1. Normal males are wired for the benefit of the group; competition is against other groups.

            There can be plenty of competition between males in a group, but the group task comes first.

            I was just thinking how I would explain an idealized male group: Tribal Warrior A is hunt leader. TW B really really wants to be hunt leader, and will challenge TW A at the first permitted opportunity (seasonal festival, etc.) and will lobby his friends and the elders to support him. But while TW A is still the hunt leader, TW B would never in a million years think of sabotaging the hunt just to make TW A look bad.

            Now, that’s idealized so YMMV and counter-examples exist yadda yadda yadda. But it rings true for me.

            1. “Enlightened self interest” is the term. 😀 “I do what is good for you and/or the group because it also benefits me.” Which includes under its umbrella things like, oh, being kind to others (unless given serious reason not to, on an individual basis) or helping the poor/hungry/widows/orphans. Because you would like to receive the same, should you ever need it…

              Honestly, if more people in the world–male AND female–would just internalize it. It’s not a complicated concept, or at least I don’t think it is… :p

              1. Because human, the simplest of things can be made complicated. This is not a good thing. Also because human, occasionally complicated things can be made simple. The latter requires discipline, which cannot be inherited- but *can* be taught. Lack of discipline has sunk more human endeavors than any thing I can think of save disease and famine.

                Good moral character helps immensely in setting humans on the right track, too. There’s almost as big a lack of that in the world as there is of self discipline.

            2. Part of that behavior is recognizing limits and boundaries in competition. Fist fights, for example, will almost never be escalated by someone pulling a knife if both combatants are men who have that sense of honorable manliness. If two men are having a fist fight and one of them pulls a knife, it’s generally the dishonorable one who pulled the knife. (Or there’s a long history of bad blood between them that made a normally-honorable one break the rules of engagement).

              I believe our esteemed hostess has written about how girls fight on the playground. It’s not something I have any direct experience of, but as I recall, there are almost no rules. Hair-pulling, scratching, all kinds of tactics get deployed, which are tacitly off-limits when boys fight each other on the playground.

              Standard disclaimers about generalizations and counter-examples apply to this too, of course.

              1. tacitly off-limits when boys fight each other

                Off-limits often because the other boys watching will cry foul and stop the one who is out-of-bounds. And sometimes join in against him.

                There’s also that old tradition of the referee who says “okay now shake hands” when the fight is over. Because the issue was decided fair and square and the group expects the loser to abide by the outcome.

                I don’t think boys get in refereed fights out back of the gym anymore, because nowadays everybody involved gets expelled from school. I never got in fights myself, and most of the fights I was aware of were mostly for show, but I think it’s pretty clear that suppressing the whole notion of a fight between boys makes the group dynamics worse, not better.

                1. I had a few since I was a Catholic school boy in a sea of public’s and I was just that little bit younger than the average coming as I did at the end of the baby boom. It more or less ended when I put a beating on my primary tormentor. Christmas Eve 1974 it was, the postman pulled me off him and told me we shouldn’t be fighting on Christmas Eve. I took out number two and three a bit later and that was, as they say, that.

                2. They got suppressed because too many cultures where pulling a knife, or actually trying to kill the target, was acceptable. My mom’s first teaching job, the school bully pulled a knife on her- and lost. (Migrant families.)

                  You could see that starting in the late 60s and 70s where it was acceptable for the big guy to beat on the little guy, but it got worse. (Predictably enough.)

                  1. The Bryant shooting.

                    I literally saw complaints that cops should not interfere in kids’ knife fights. (Yeah, apparently it’s a knife fight if one had a knife, and the other is holding a dog.)

              2. Fist fights rarely caused major injury. But even a small knife wound could be fatal when the causes of septicemia were unknown and antibiotics hadn’t been invented yet.

                There really wasn’t much difference between a knife fight and a gun fight back then, as far as wounds. But since gun fights didn’t have to be up close and personal, they evolved into something closer to “chicken” than “kill you filthy!”

          2. Finally figured out one of the problems with the sex tendency patterns outlined– it requires a situation where either they need multiple males, or there are extreme limits on competition for females.

          3. I once heard a couple of female relatives comparing notes on clothing. The one in a majority-female profession has a walk-in closet the size of a child’s bedroom for her outfits, because the other women WILL notice what she’s wearing. The one who works in a heavily-male profession has about six identical outfits for work.

        2. I’ve taught hundreds of kids, mostly middle and upper middle class families, from 6 to 14, and I have found that those under 11 never lie to me, and I haven’t detected a lot of manipulative behavior either, even in the girls(the boys are too oblivious at those ages)….At some point thereafter, a minority start to pick up bad influences from their friends and the “real” world, they get that “I am special” look in their eyes, and some of the rules start getting bent… but many of the kids remain absolute straight shooters…What happens in high school…,.

          1. Man, you must have met some awesome kids. I love my brother (one of several) but when he was a kid he’d lie like a rug. And it was NOT something the parents encouraged or did themselves, and it was always punished. And yet…he did it. And about stupid stuff, too. Heh. And not a few of the kids I babysat pulled the same sort of thing…

            I guess it just depends. I mean, I can say from personal experience (at the age of, oh, six or seven) that having one’s mouth washed out with soap for lying or using foul language makes a DEFINITE impression 😀

            1. Yeah even my well behaved daughters learned to lie at an early age. My elder daughter at three was caught messing about with the diaper cream from her infant sisters changing table. She had it smeared on her face and hands (it was the white kind so VERY obvious). My wife asked if she had put it on her face, and my daughter denied it. My wife asked her who HAD put it on her face and she pointed accusingly at our large orange cat and said “Spike did it”. Needless to say keeping a straight face was almost impossible for my wife and I. We did later observe no one had taught the 3 year old to lie, and she made up blaming the cat as the fall man on her own. Just simple proof that mankind is fallen.

        3. Over the years I have had four supervisors who I still dream of shoving under busses. All were women.

          I’ve also had excellent women managers, but without knowing the people involved, given a choice I’ll take a male over a female supervisor, just because the odds are better.

          Even if I’m not odd (the jury is still out on that one), I grew up with odd parents (an aspie and a child of an alcoholic who might be aspie too), my husband is aspie, my elder daughter is aspie, you get the drift. I can’t play office politics to save my life, and I’ve learned to start looking for a new job as soon as that shlt starts happening.

          1. Office politics make me want to light myself on fire. Petty ingroup squabbling is so frustrating. Maybe that’s why I am currently unemployed.

            1. Years ago, I was working for a temp agency, and they pulled me from one long-term post to another, since they “needed someone mature enough to stay out of the office politics”. After 3 days at the new gig, which was also supposed to be long-term, I discovered I’d efficiencied myself out of a job, by getting more done in a day than anyone else had in a month. Day 4 we were closed for Thanksgiving, and when I asked if I was supposed to come in on Friday, or wait til Monday, they told me they didn’t need me anymore because they didn’t have anything left for me to do. And of course my previous gig had been filled.

            2. “Dilbert” had been running a while before I became a corporate sarariman, but I didn’t encounter the strip until I’d been in a cubicle for a while. I thought it was hilariously funny.

              Mrs. TRX bought a couple of the compilation books for my birthday. About twenty pages into the first one, it wasn’t funny any more. Even with my relatively short time in that environment, I’d seen most of the things Adams’ strips punked, and it wasn’t sitting too well.

              BTW, Gun Jesus has reviewed several Elbonian firearms on his Forgotten Weapons channel on Youtube, complete with detailed histories.

    2. This produced an even longer TALK about how lying in business will soon mean that you have no business. Word will get around, because people DO find out, they always find out eventually, and no one will trust you.

      Which is why I’m glad I no longer work for my previous employer (got laid off about three weeks into COVID, but I was starting to look anyway): owner insisted on lying about our capabilities when it came to anything. His philosophy was “promise them whatever it takes to get the contract, then figure out how to do it all after we win,” and he genuinely believed that to be a sound business strategy. And couldn’t figure out why the company was hemorrhaging clients and employees, or why our reputation in the industry was suddenly lower than dirt.

      I’m honestly amazed they’re still in business.

      1. If only people would stop trusting them … but the dePress is busy lying to make the bad guys look good and the good guys look like something hungry that just crawled out of the privy.

    3. Having the passive lying Fight with two of the girls.

      One goes into waterworks… I think part of it is how popular it is to have lying as the correct way to get out of problems in fiction.

      1. I hate that kind of fiction.

        Stories that would be resolved in minutes instead of hours if the damn characters would JUST STOP LYING! Stop trying to cover up lies with more lies. But no, they’re too stupid to think of that.

        1. While frustrating, that doesn’t exactly sound like presenting it as right? Or even particularly useful?

          1. Most of the ones I’ve run into, it took me walking the kids through it for them to identify that the entire problem was started with one lie.

            Frequently, it’ll be framed as telling the truth being WORSE, and not in the “so this is the price for lying” manner.

            1. Oh dear.

              May I ask for examples, if it’s not too much trouble? I’m drawing a blank and not sure if I’m unhealthily overlooking examples, assuming the problem is obvious, unfamiliar with the works you’re thinking of, or just failing to think of things I’d recognize if they were in front of me, and I want to be on the lookout.

              1. One of them was on PBS kids, INCREDIBLY obnoxious and I can’t remember the danged thing. Generic round heads on everybody, scribbled on clothes, aimed at maybe 4 year olds.

                Ninja-Go the TV series had some of it, though we canceled that one because of how people treated their friends, withthe lying being slightly less obnoxious than that.

                Book side, Wings of Fire has a rather elaborate setup where the characters have the defense of being amoralistic dragons raised via basically neglect completely outside of normal culture, but the only issue with lying is that you might get caught.

                I seem to remember there was some in Dragon Prince, as well– to be expected, Avatar had an entire episode with Aang lying like a dog because it was easy being a GOOD thing.

                Those are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head, I’ll probably think of others later.

                1. “…the worst part of being a thief isn’t that nobody trusts you, it’s that you can’t trust anybody else.”
                  — Foxfier, 03/02/2020

                  [the difference between “liar” and “thief” is hairsplitting, IMNSHO]

                  1. I still don’t remember where I heard it, and it’s still true.

                    (I was going to say that I wished it was original to me, but — I’m glad that it’s not, honestly. It’d be sad if it took until NOW for someone to lay out that thinking so nice and short; it points to the tragedy of evil.)

                2. I don’t recall ever being taught not to lie, or being punished for lying. But on my mom’s side there’s this familial trait of being obsessed with the factual, and the non-factual is like having sand in our brains. Lies are by definition not factual, and are therefore too uncomfortable. We don’t do well even at “little white lies” of the socially lubricating variety. (Only ask eldest aunt’s opinion if you want it wholly unvarnished…)

                  So how the hell do I write fiction? perhaps by only writing what’s true for the POV character. (Of course, some have totally wrongheaded beliefs, but that’s on them.)

                3. I remember that Avatar episode now that you mention it. That was annoying. The rest are not familiar. (Well, I’ve heard of Dragon Prince. It sounded interesting at first. Sigh.)

                  1. Yeah, DP was definitely more interesting in premise than post-writing-group.
                    ::points at Sarah’s Mad Genius post for probable issue sources::

                    Seriously, the check-the-boxes stuff is obnoxious. At least the old standard of “mother is dead, how tragic, here’s a half-sibling or step sibling” had the excuse of mothers actually dying in childbirth pretty often, even if it was a little lazy.

            2. And yet Sarah and several others have wanted to paint the ability to lie well and at the drop of a hat as an essential skill to be cultivated in the face of the Woke and the Junta.

              When honesty is not always the best policy…. how do you stick to truth?

              1. Are there Jews in your basement?

                It’s a go-to example because it makes things very stark.

                This is where boundaries and right to the information come into play, as well as respect for the truth– and even respect for the person who will be maiming their soul if you give them what they ask.

                It’s actually a really interesting subject, but not one that is easily boiled down and quickly answered– I know I heard a really good run down on it on Catholic Radio, but that was nearly a decade ago; I believe it was Father Mitch, and an extremely short version is that you have to figure out what exactly you mean by lying, what exactly you mean by misleading, and that you have to keep in mind that lies of omission are just as bad as actually lying….if someone has a right to know the truth.

                Ie, “I didn’t say the bridge was safe, I just took the sign that said DANGER BRIDGE OUT off of the road” is not less culpable for the harm done when someone behaves as if they can trust the bridge.

                Do they have a right/reasonable expectation to what they are asking for, do you have the information to offer (both is it yours, and is it accurate), is giving it to them cooperation with evil, what is the least harmful method you can balance the demands.

                In most cases, people have a reasonable expectation that information you give them is accurate. In most cases, nobody even thinks about lying, because there is no purpose to it.

                1. Interesting. So might be boiled down as: A lie is that which damages my personal integrity (which might be defined for the religious as “my rightness before G0d). My personal integrity would be far more damaged by betraying the Jew hiding in my basement than by spinning a tale for the jackboot.

                  1. ^ This.

                    Also, it’s worth noting that the commandment is NOT “Thou shalt not lie” it is “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Those…are two very different things. I’d make the argument that “false witness” would include not just lying to get someone else into trouble, but also lying for personal or selfish gain (lying so my kids or my spouse, for example, would gain something is wrong). However, lying in order to protect another person, or to prevent an unjust punishment being brought on someone else (ie, if I had a friend with an abusive spouse, I would 1000% lie to abusive spouse so that he would not punish the friend) is something altogether different.

                    I once had an idiot Sunday School teacher at a ward I visited as a teen try to make the argument that the article of faith in our religion regarding obeying the laws of the land meant that you had to obey the law even if the law required something evil. (I am glad to say that not ONE of us in that class agreed with him. If he really believed that crap, I hope someone from that congregation said something to their parents or the bishop. And if he was doing it to play devil’s advocate, he was just being an ass. Sunday School is NOT the place for that kind of contention–it’s one thing to ask thought-provoking questions, it’s quite another to deliberately start an argument.) To be sure, the article in question doe not have the caveat of “so long as it is a righteous law” but…Himself up there DOES expect us to use our brains, after all. I don’t think He is going to be upset if I tell a lie to protect my family from a tyrannical government, for example (“Why no, officer, I lost all my guns in a boating accident…”) Or if He is, I guess I’ll take the consequences when the time comes. We’re supposed to bend the knee only to Him, not to anyone on this earth, after all…

                    1. ::nodnodnod::

                      The “false witness” thing is at least as important as the exact phrasing on murder vs kill.


                      For the unjust laws — as I understand it, that’s generally recognized as covered under render unto God what is God’s, and unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. You cannot subject God’s orders to Caesar’s laws.

                  2. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light” has to be taken with “Whatsoever you do unto the least of these-”

                    One of the hardest parts is remembering that you have to love the Nazis, too. Truly wish for their ultimate good, and yes you have to consider that. You can’t go “I’ll save the Nice Person, and get to hurt the Bad Person!” rather than “I’ll save Nice Person, even though it might harm Person Who Is Doing Evil Act.”

                    Huh. YOu know, that might be why the whole antifa thing didn’t hook into me– because I was “trained” that desiring to harm someone is bad. Recognizing it as sometimes needed, that’s just true— but dearly wishing for a legitimate target because it would let you do something bad was still desiring evil, just with a better excuse.

                    1. When I was a Sunday School teacher and the lesson covered such subjects as sin and repentance, I liked to point out that God loved Hitler as much as he does us, and that if Hitler truly repented then the Atonement covered him just as it would anyone else. Sometimes I spotted some very shocked or miffed expressions, heh…

                    2. Yeah. I don’t deny that there are some people in the world that just need killin’…but that does NOT mean I’m going out and actively seeking to do so. I don’t know that I’d have a lot of angst if I ended up killing someone trying to harm me or mine…but even then, that’s different to “This person is evil and must die.” That’s violating the commandment to “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Men may be judged before a mortal court, and they will ALL be judged at the Throne, but it’s not on us as individuals to arbitrarily decide who gets to live and who gets to die.

                    3. Basically, if the brownshirt turns around and says, “Wait, everything I did and believed in was wrong?” do you welcome him as a lost brother or respond “FO and die”?

                    4. The older I get, the more it really hits how hard it must have been for folks to listen to Saint Paul.

                      Dude literally held coats during the murder of a a guy who was so holy that even other members of the group that killed him said “this was bad.”

                    5. If I see the Brown-Shirt in Heaven, I’d accept him as a Lost Brother Who Was Found.

                      On Earth, I’d likely give him a chance to prove that he had actually repented.

                      IE G*d would know if he truly repented, but on Earth G*d hasn’t told me that he truly repented.

                    6. Remember the scene in Starship Troopers where the discussion is on executing a murderer who “wasn’t responsible for his actions”? Bottom line, God has the luxury of omniscience to know if repentance is sincere…. and the equal luxury of omnipotence to stop the harm if it isn’t.

                      I have neither. If I am the only one who can be harmed, I can decide to take that chance.

                      How do I explain to the next victims that they had to die so I wouldn’t get my hands bloody?

                    7. It’s a ‘trust but verify.’ Yes, if they say “What I did was wrong, I’m sorry” you DO have to give them the shot to prove that they are in fact being truthful. If it proves that they are not, well, that’s another story.

                    8. Oh good heavens, yes, the “but how do you figure out they’re telling the truth” part can be a BEAR.
                      Doesn’t change the theory, just one of the issues of implementation.

                    9. Yes, it really is. And sometimes a LOT more damage is done by the time you know they are not. But then again, He never said it was gonna be easy…

                    10. It do help when God tells the church to trust him. I’ll trust anyone God specifically tells me to, also.

                      Acts 4:10 10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ He answered, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ 11The Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 12and he has seen in a vision* a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ 13But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 14and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.’ 15But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; 16I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’ 17So Ananias went and entered the house.

                    11. Himself was only recorded talking to *one person*.

                      Not everybody Saint Paul had hurt.

                      And we already know He doesn’t take away what it is to be human, even when it would make it easier, because overcoming that is the point. Himself was vastly wronged and still offered forgiveness– there is a great deal to be impressed in, with those who followed in His footsteps.

                    12. But Himself was also recorded as showing His presence and attention with contemporary miracles by the same people claiming that.

                      Classic IR error: assuming your silo is the whole system.

                    13. *waves as Snelson runs off after a rabbit of an entirely different set of claims, and goes back to admiring saints demonstrating Christ-like love*

                    14. Waves as Foxfier realizes she’s made a totally false comparison of situations and tries to pretend she didn’t do so.

                    15. It is interesting that there is a gap between Saul’s period of persecution and the beginning of his period of missionary work.

                      He does appear to have been a member of the church in Tarsus for part of that time.

                      IE Saul allowed the memories of his persecutions to lessen before he became a missionary.

                    16. I also suspect that’s also why much of his mission was amongst the Gentiles rather than the Jews-turned-Christian that he had previously persecuted. (That, and he was a Roman citizen.)

                    17. Yeah, this is basically one of the problems with where I’ve been for a fairly long time.

                      Even if I happen to have the actual necessities calculated correctly about drug use, a lot of my motivation is emotionally not based in ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’. The hatred of that specific sin has bled over too much into hatred of the people who do it. And, it is a strong irrational hatred, and I do not have the same irrational degree of hatred for some of the other similar sins of self destruction. Forex, the self destruction of wasting time is probably one I indulge in too much.

                      I do sincerely have the thoughts and feelings I mention, but that those not mean that they are correct, or that others should act on them.

                      Which, of course, is one of the reason I’ve been skeptical of dictating /behavior/ based on feelings or inner reality.

                    18. Yeah, but the point isn’t necessarily that you ACHIEVE this ideal on this mortal coil. The point is to work at it. I think one of the biggest fallacies of modern society is the idea that “to forgive” means “it’s totally okay what you did and we are now and instantly 100% okay” when that’s really not how it works. You might never manage to fully forgive someone that did something terrible while you (either one of you) is alive. But the point is to work at it. The important bit is being on the path, not that you’ve hit the finish line with a perfect score. (And also, whatever wrong they did is NEVER okay–forgiveness is separate to that. I see at basically starting with “I’m not going to waste any more of my time and energy hating you” and proceed from there, even if its at a geological rate of speed.)

                    19. The problem with where I am is that, as an example, it is not something that I can say is spiritually correct.

                      And I am tempted to argue that it is spiritually correct.

                      If it were spiritually correct, that would be one less obstacle to acting on it, and one less obstacle to persuading others to act on it.

                      I’m sincerely confident that execution can definitely be spiritually correct, and also that not all of the executions that I counsel are spiritually correct.

                      So, that is an example of a category of argument that I am drawn to, and requires that I walk the line carefully.

                      Also, I am terrified of mental illness, at this point that is a significant amount of what drives me. At the same time, I have mental health issues, so my thinking is sometimes objectively crazy, and sometimes objectively sane. I try to check my thoughts against my thoughts, identify sane, and follow it. Knowing when I am in spiritual error is one form of test. And certainly I want to avoid being stuck in ‘What I want is what God wants’. That form of religious practice is one I am deeply uncomfortable with.

                    20. There is nothing wrong with setting guards on yourself; the issue comes in requiring them on others. 😀

                      Hm, this might be related to private revelation and how it’s binding on the person involved, but not on others….

                    21. > Basically, if the brownshirt turns around and says, “Wait, everything I did and believed in was wrong?” do you welcome him as a lost brother or respond “FO and die”?

                      Shoot him in the face and pray for his soul.

              2. The idea I’ve always had is you lie to your enemies. If you have to lie to someone, then they’ve made themself your enemy somehow (or you are about to become their enemy.) Don’t point a lie at someone you wouldn’t point a gun at. The “jews in the attic” thing fits this paradigm

                1. Well, there are enemies you speak truth to.

                  There are enemies that you withheld information from to prepare the battlefield, in case.

                  There are enemies that you lie to for the purpose of killing them. Hence the idiom ‘ruse of war’. But those are not necessarily appropriate for all wars, some wars you have some intention of living with the people you don’t kill after.

                  People who are at war with everyone are not people that anyone can reasonably expect to be at peace with.

                  There are situations where a child does need to have to understand when it is correct for them to kill others. These aren’t desireable situations, and we do try to shelter children from them.

                  As a general rule of thumb, children should have a habit of avoiding lying.

                  Children absolutely do have enemies it is appropriate to withhold information from. If those around you /know/ that you will tell the truth, this is actually some protection against those enemies. See, some of them will use the lies you tell against you. If person A knows you did something, and person B is someone you lied to, and said otherwise, person A can threaten you with telling person B. I was very fortunate that one of the times I was a child around such an enemy, I knew better than to trust anyone enough to allow them to be person A to me. I outright told the person who would have tried to be person A, that I had a policy of telling the strict truth to everyone, and that if I could not say something to everyone, I would not say it to anyone.

                  Because of that, I was not targeted. Sucked for the other children, but the person who should have acted had been told, and did not act, so there was nothing I could have done, even if I had been clever enough to deduce it at the time. I did have a secret at the time, that I was not telling people, that could have been held over me if I had been led to trust someone enough to share; There was a situation with my parents that I was unhappy with, and not willing to speak to them about. I speak of it now, somewhat, because I am now willing to discuss it more, and have discussed it.

                2. Well, not exactly. The “Jews in the Attic lie” is a lie that is told to defend others’ lives. That’s quite different from a lie told that only benefits you.

                  1. That way lies the “doing good and feeling good about it is less good than doing good and hating every minute of it” logic– who it benefits would work into temptation, but not to the inherent morality of the act.

                    1. I don’t follow at all. I think you skipped a step or two that might be obvious to you but aren’t obvious to me. How do you get from “lying to benefit yourself is never okay, but lying to save others’ lives can be okay” to applying morality based on whether you enjoy, or don’t enjoy, some action? I believe I understand what you’re saying about inherent morality of an act, though I disagree in part, at least if I’m understanding you correctly. (More on that below). But I don’t understand how you see a connection between the “No, we’re not hiding any Jews” lie and the idea that morality depends on your not enjoying the good act. You lost me there.

                      Now, on the disagreement. If I understand you right, you’re saying that the ends never justify the means; am I right? That’s a statement I can’t agree with. Some ends do justify some means, though some means are never justified by any ends, and some ends are so evil that they automatically make any means used to achieve them immoral. But some ends do justify some means. For example, it’s almost always wrong to break the front window of someone else’s house. But if you’re walking down the street and you see, through someone’s front window, a man clearly choking on a piece of meat (and who’s all alone so there’s nobody inside the house that can save him), and the door is locked so you can’t get in, it’s perfectly moral to break his front window so that you can go in and apply the Heimlich maneuver. The end of saving someone’s life justified damaging his property. (Up to a point: damaging his property more than necessary to save his life would not be justified. You could break the window in order to get in, but you wouldn’t be justified in breaking all the windows of his house because you only needed to break one.)

                    2. I don’t follow at all. I think you skipped a step or two that might be obvious to you but aren’t obvious to me. How do you get from “lying to benefit yourself is never okay, but lying to save others’ lives can be okay” to applying morality based on whether you enjoy, or don’t enjoy, some action?

                      Because enjoyment is a benefit.

                      I’ve seen the arguments made– it’s actually a pretty common way to minimize saints, because if they’re happy then they’re not really sacrificing.

                      That cannot stand with loving thy neighbor as thyself; you have to love you, too.


                      The ends justifying the means is for inherently evil actions; ie, ‘do not do evil that good will come of it.’
                      Gets confusing because evil gets over-expanded, and folks confuse it with not sacrificing a greater good for a lesser one.

                      Toddler throwing self around lap you get brief response. Don’t die of shock. *grin*

                3. While I also tend to agree with the idea of “Don’t lie to someone you wouldn’t point a gun at”, there are some exceptions to that general rule. For example, the classic “Those guns were all lost in a tragic canoe accident” lie. If you were ever in a position where you had to deploy that one for real, it’s likely that you’d be saying it to a police officer whom you wouldn’t actually want to shoot, for one of two (or more) reasons:

                  1. He’s not actually your enemy, the governmental structure he represents is your actual enemy. In fact, if he officially accepts your obvious lie and sympathizes with you on losing all that valuable property, it’s very likely that he is on your side and engaging in Malicious Compliance to get around having to enforce a law that he believes to be unjust (and probably un-Constitutional, given that there are almost no circumstances in which it would be legitimate for a LEO to be asking you about the whereabouts of guns you’ve bought in the past).

                  2. He really is your enemy and is actually trying to enforce that un-Constitutional confiscation law, but you still wouldn’t actually want to shoot at him for prudential reasons: it wouldn’t be good tactics, because it would not lead to your preferred strategic outcome of having the law overturned and those who voted it in turfed out of office. (And it would likely not be morally justified in that situation, even though lying to him would be justified, because things hadn’t yet progressed to open warfare).

                  There might be other reasons besides those two, but those are the ones that immediately spring to mind.

                  1. > He’s not actually your enemy, the governmental structure he represents is your actual enemy.
                    The SS who rounded up Jews and the technicians who ran the gas chambers weren’t actually the enemy, the governmental structure they represented was the actual enemy.

                    Somehow, I doubt the people at the pointy end would appreciate the difference.

                    If you choose to ally yourself with evil, then you yourself are also evil.

                    1. Somehow, I doubt the people at the pointy end would appreciate the difference.

                      If the SS guy is looking at a still-wet certificate showing that of course these people aren’t to be rounded up, nodding, and saying “yes, ma’am, have a nice day” I doubt you are correct.

                      The people at the “pointy end” are exactly the ones who will care if the person they are facing is an enemy, or someone who will take the flimsiest of excuses to help the targeted “prove” that they are innocent.

                    2. In general, the SS were people who were not only employed in a not-nice job, but who had applied or been chosen to be SS, spent a lot of time going through weird cult-occult training and indoctrination to become SS, continued that training throughout their career, and had really really creepy recreational facilities. The Nazi party and SS leadership really went to a lot of effort to let these people know that they were the baddies.

                      Now, some of the concentration camp staff thought they’d just applied for a job, but not many. It was a job that was only offered to hardcore Party members or their families, and generally their hands were dirty before they got there. (Some of the women’s guards, not so much, but they went along when they got there.)

                    3. Most victims of the Holocaust were shot. They gave it up because it was too hard on the shooters. Indeed, men who refused to be part of the firing squads were assigned to other duties and faced no punishment except a lower rate of promotion.

                      The gas chambers were particularly choosing for those who could cope. They are not nice people.

                    4. You may have missed the part where he was choosing *not* to enforce the unconstitutional law if he had a figleaf reason he could put down in his report. Someone who *is* choosing to enforce the unconstitutional law would fall under condition 2 (really is the enemy, but likely not tactically wise to engage at this time).

        2. I generally run across the ones where they keep secrets.

          The problem is that they often have good reasons to keep secrets and people still complain about it. . . .

          OTOH, having the secret come out and send the plot off in a new direction is often good because the more chances an improbable thing has to happen, the less probable it is that it won’t EVER, and because it’s a bit monotonous to see people in conflict always over the same thing.

      2. I once observed that in every episode of “I Love Lucy” – at least the ones I saw – the plot was about the trouble she got into for lying about something.

        1. I don’t think I ever made it through more than a few minutes… I know it’s a classic, and I know the actress could act and was a decent person, but I’d rather watch … gah, what’s that variety type show, where the lady had a cleaning lady skit….
          Carol Burnett Show! (Thank goodness for the internet.)

          1. I LOATHE “I Love Lucy.” Every episode was the same thing. Lucy does something stupid. Lucy covers up by doing something even more stupid. Lucy gets caught. Lucy cries.

            Stupidity is not funny, it’s disgusting.

        2. Someone I knew wrote an essay that boiled down to — the show was based entirely on one person being mean-spirited to another. Tho now that you mention it, seems to me the lying might have precipitated the mean-spiritedness.

    4. Let me review my multi-decade career…

      My very best boss was female who acted like a honorable male leader in the workplace. She even was helping repair equipment while 8 months preggo.

      And my absolute worse bosses were men without honor that either acted like teenage idiots or slave drivers that destroyed people or down right slime-balls that would back-stab you in a heartbeat. And in between those two extremes was a full spectrum of good, bad and ugly of both sexes including an insane Woke t-person that destroyed an organization.

      There’s a handful that I would love to buy lunch for and a handful that I would have kneecapped if I thought I could get away with it…

    5. “When that stops happening we might begin to trust you again, but certainly not right away,”

      My ex-wife would predictably bring this out in arguments about her habits. “Are you going to hold that against me forever?”. My response would then have to be (up til when I walked away) “Every time I trust you again, you abuse that trust. How many times does that have to happen before you acknowledge a problem?”. It was a horrible circular argument which ended predictably.

  5. I was also taught a few other rules:

    1. Show up for work
    2. On time
    3. Every day
    4. Sober
    5. DO THE JOB

    You’d be amazed how many of today’s ‘adults’ can’t handle one (or more) of those requirements.

    So, obviously, those rules are all RRRAAACISSST!! They’re all part of ‘Whiteness’.
    It is not within the power of any government to increase the value of unskilled labor, only to raise its cost.

    1. This was how I was raised as well. Show up for work (people are counting on you). You need to be there on time (same reason, and you need to set the example). Every day (within reason, if you’re sick, let them know ASAP if not sooner.) Sober. (Might have been there sober…sleep deprived, maybe, but not drunk…) And, do the job. (Because that’s what you’re being paid for.)

      It’s scary to see people’s eyes glaze over when you explain this to them, like it’s brain surgery with a jackhammer.

      1. 80% of success in life is showing up on time and not leaving early. 15% of success in life is doing what your supposed to be doing while you’re there, and 5% — Max — of success in life comes from doing it well. Or so I’ve told my children.

        1. Don’t forget:

          If there’s something extra that needs to be done, do it! Don’t spend ten minutes arguing that it’s not your job. If you don’t know how to do it, then say that.

        2. I took the Civil Service test (twice) back in the day, and eventually was told to come down to Orlando for an interview. For reasons known only to God, my parents insisted on taking me there . But I made sure to get there at a reasonable time.
          At the end of the interview, I asked, “When will I know I got the job?” The reply: “You had the job when you showed up.”
          Which is how I did 32 years working for the Army.

      2. The only time that didn’t work for me was a union job. Unions, by design, treat people like engine parts–don’t replace one until it fails, and parts is parts. Unions are evil. The propaganda they fed us in school about unions is all lies.

        1. I’ve come to see Unions like wars. When it’s necessary to start one, do it, and get it done as thoroughly as needed, then stop.

          Hanging on to one for decades just makes things worse for everyone.

              1. After they turned from, “make sure you don’t drive drunk” to “drinking is, in and of itself, evil” the woman who founded MADD quit in disgust.

      3. A conversation I’ve had far too frequently with some of the other Huns has been me thinking doing those things, supporting myself, and keeping out of trouble is just the bare minimum expected of a functioning adult and not really worth being proud of myself over, much less – to use a term that’s come up on a subject that frequently gives me headaches (as much due to me getting frustrated with myself for not being able to immediately stop it with a “Self. STFU. About. That. (Litterbox Scrapings). Right. Now.” when it gets going) – makes me a catch. Yet the idea has recently cropped up of “Just how bad have things gotten to where that might actually be true?!” Scary thought indeed…

          1. Unfortunately what I tend to run into most in that area is going for the very top or very bottom only. Surviving well enough just doesn’t cut it.

    2. Why do you think there is such a labor shortage these days? Half the people you could hire are extremely unreliable on all 5 points…

  6. I think it was G. Harry Stine who said a gentleman was someone who strove never to be unintentionally rude.

    1. I have it noted in my commonplace book, I found it in Augustus Hare who wrote it about 1900. That said, my father and grandfather used to say much the same thing.

  7. On occasion it’s necessary to strike the ungentlemanly across the face with your gloves and challenge them to a duel. Metaphorically at least.

  8. I’d lean toward the “broken instincts”; I was not raised to be a gentleman, darn it, but I also suck at the seraglio stuff. I’ve tried to teach myself to be a gentleman, at least in the whole “show up on time, keep your word, be civil at all times” sense, but…

    Let’s put it this simply: my mother did not teach me how to do makeup. She just… didn’t. Not how to do that, or wear high heels, or any of the feminine arts. And no one else would.

    Granted, I have allergies. Granted, I was never interested in dating. She just couldn’t be bothered.

    I believe we have a serious problem in our society today in large part because parents just didn’t parent.

    1. I notice this now. A lot of the kids mine interact with don’t know things I consider very basic. Courtesy/manners stuff. How you say thank you. How you talk with people. How you respond to authority figures. How you dress. WHY you do these things and why they’re important. Etc.

      1. Yes. There’s a real problem, and hardly anyone will put their bank statements down to see it. How do you get across to people that civilization is fragile, and has to be reinforced with every new generation, and it’s a lot of work?

        1. I guess the only possible answer to that is ‘each person offers what their talents makes possible.’

          So us parents gotta parent. It starts with one, and it spreads.
          Us artists gotta art. We write it/draw it/hold it up to scrutiny, people respond.
          Businesspeople gotta business like they are people of honor.

      2. It follows them into their working life.
        The young people I worked with in retail were either “gentlemen” who knew how to work, that was about 2%, and the rest of the 98% were useless sexually deviant grifters with rainbow hair that giggled and ran when there was work to be done. Then lied about it.

        1. Yep. It’s amazing how often you can peg the good worker just from whether they tip the hat and say ma’am.

      3. A gentlemen is never rude, accidentally.

        My children are always talking about how few of their acquaintances know how to use a knife and fork, but then we always ate as a family, unless I was on the road, and we insisted they eat properly. Learning how to eat, learning the language, learning what dress is appropriate. All these things must be taught, but they’re not.

        1. Register switching, too, which is part of dignity and privacy. “The way you talk to your parents is not the way you talk to your friends, which is not the way you talk to strangers. No, this is not lying, this is recognizing boundaries, and boundaries are healthy.”

          1. “No, this is not lying, this is recognizing boundaries, and boundaries are healthy.”

            Repeat after me, folks!
            “You have no right to that information, I DO NOT have to give it to you!”

            ….almost always said internally, while dodging like crazy.

            1. A lot of problem with modern life is a lack of understanding of boundaries, something accelerated by the intrusion of technology into everything. Kids are used to everything being watched/recorded… so how can any relationship be any more meaningful than another? There are no secrets left. If every book is open, people get bored of reading.

              1. The lack of boundaries can be astounding. My son had a collection of miniature trucks and cars that he loved. He would play with them with other children, except this one neighbor’s child. The young brat (too weak a term, but I can’t think of a better) would pull the wheels off. Repetitively. I told Joe, just put them away when he is around. The kid’s mother actually complained to us that Joe “wasn’t sharing”.

              2. Answer is, someone who will lie to you, especially on the record, where you can check for reference, those people aren’t worth trying to please. Pay attention to how truthful people are to you, and in what ways. If someone isn’t at least courteous enough to tell you plausible lies, they can go die in a fire. Okay, well-hidden lies are also rude, and a huge pain to deal with later. The people who are honest with you, who you know from previous interactions are truthful, are valuable relationships. And people you’ve known over more interactions, over more kinds of interactions, who are honest, are more valuable to have a relationship with than strangers whose honesty you do not know yet.

                Of course, honest but seriously insane is probably also less valuable than honest and sane.

                1. Last major library job, I had to deal with an HR head who would like to me. Things like “You can’t be salary anymore simply because you don’t supervise anyone”, and “We checked with other hospitals to see where their libraries are in the org chart and that’s why we’re moving you from reporting to the Head of Medicine to the Head of PR”. Seriously, did she think that org charts weren’t something the medical librarian associations *don’t* talk about? I think I must have been the only librarian in the country reporting to PR.

                  As it was, it worked for us, but geez, lady. If she’d just come straight out and said that Medicine had too many reports and they’d all talked about it, and felt that for our hospital, PR would be a good fit, I’d have been fine with it, but she had to lie about it.

      4. Was talking to my mom– pointed out that part of why I, the anti-social one, have more social skills than the Miss Social Butterfly sorts is…. I didn’t have massive scheduling.

        I had school, and I went and DID stuff that involved interacting with not-my-school-mates.

        Even THEN it freaked out adults to be spoken to, politely and directly, by a 14 year old.

        My kids freak out adults now by answering the adult when the adult is trying to do the “talk about child like it isn’t there” thing.

        1. Maybe twenty years ago I started noticing how *most* of the children I encountered couldn’t speak plain English. Not dialect or Ebonics, but “Uh… ubbuh… the thing… thing… pencil… uh…” while jerking and rolling their eyes like they were having some kind of seizure. Not just little kids; probably nine or ten years old. And after that I started noticing it in movies and videos.

          I don’t know where that came from, but someone finally created something more annoying than gangsta or Valley Girl.

          1. I wonder to what degree it comes from the death of rote learning — which means they literally =don’t= have ordinary English ready to their command without having to stop and think about it. So they have continuous brain stutter from trying to retrieve what ain’t there.

            1. That’s me when too exhausted or very short on sleep. Also, I was getting a bit like that in the months before I had my sleep apnea diagnosed and then treated.

    2. Where would they learn how? We have multi-generational feral families that were raised by public school and television, and a new one coming up raised on “social media” which borders on outright poisonous.

      1. Where would they learn it? Just so.

        I am technology support at a middle school. A district wide email just went out to all staff and parents. There are tik tok videos circulating showing students destroying school property and encouraging others to do the same. In the last week we have had soap dispensers ripped off the walls, stall doors taken off, feces smeared in every bathroom (boys and girls). There have been balls of tinfoil placed in microwaves to ruin them, cars vandalized in the parking lots and other more random things done. Elementary through high school. Thousands of dollars of damage in about two weeks time.

        This sort of thing has NEVER been a problem here ever.

        We have all social media blocked on school equipment, however, almost every kid has a personal cell phone and you can’t stop the signal.

        So the school is pleading for help from the parents to try to contain the damage. We’ll see what happens.

  9. On the other hand, being a “gentleman” in politics is why the Republican party gets run over by the Democrats (not counting of course those on the “payroll”); they are too worried about appearing to the public and acting like gentlemen to oppose the Democrats push for absolute power and to impose their communism/fascism hybrid.

    Sometimes one cannot be a gentlemen. Context and venue matter.

    1. It’s not so much that sometimes one cannot be a gentleman, so much as people misunderstand that part of being a gentleman is protecting those who look to you. Dueling was very much a gentlemanly thing. And pointing out when someone else was being underhanded or untrustworthy was part of being a gentlemen. You didn’t let people like that take advantage of other gentlemen who may not yet know the people they are interacting with are Cads or Scoundrels. Defending the honor of your wife or children was very much a thing. Whether you did it with words or weapons didn’t matter, so long as it was done.

      There’s a difference between being a gentleman and a doormat.

      1. “There’s a difference between being a gentleman and a doormat.”
        As I say in what I call my work biography:
        It’s most important to defend the innocent and the picked-upon, and many people find that easier to do than to defend themselves. Practice stiffening your spine when you’re doing right, and someone tries to deter you. John Wayne’s character in “The Shootist” may have said it best, “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” Many difficult people actually respect those who stand up to them. Also, attacking ill-intentioned people should only be done at a place and time of your choosing, so you have nothing to gain by escalating a confrontation someone else initiates. Just standing your ground usually leaves them flustered, and if others witness such a confrontation, they know whom to respect and whom to be wary of. Walk the line between kindness and standing up for yourself and your principles, and you will do well.

        1. The chorus of a song on my Spotify frequent playlist:
          “I am a stone, unaffected
          Rain hell down onto me
          Flesh and bone, unaffected
          Your fool I will not be”
          Not quite on point, but near enough.

      2. I don’t want to look the quote up, but so will satisfy myself with an incomplete paraphrase.

        A partial definition of a gentleman is someone who controls their behavior, so that the weak are safe when near them.

        A gentleman is not gentle to the strong who show themselves not to be gentlemen.

        Of course, in these times with Marxist religionists, they skew the understandings of the these words out of contact with reality.

        1. not gentle to the strong

          Obligatory reminder that the “gentle” in “gentleman” originally refers to circumstances of his birth, not his personal attributes.

          “When Adam delved and Eve span, who then was the gentleman” confused the hell out of me until I realized that’s what it meant. Language changes and leaves fossils all over the place.

        2. A partial definition of a gentleman is someone who controls their behavior, so that the weak are safe when near them.

          In other words, the very definition of “meek”. When Jesus said “Blessed are the meek”, he wasn’t saying “Blessed are the doormats, who let people walk all over them”, or even “Blessed are the weak”. The Greek word used in the original manuscripts (Jesus was speaking Aramaic, but all the Gospels were written down in Greek since that was the lingua franca of the time), which has been translated “meek”, carried the meaning of strength that has been brought under control, like a young horse that has been trained to wear a saddle and let people ride him instead of bucking and throwing them off. “Meek” doesn’t mean “weak”, it means “gentle, not using your strength against people”. A strong man, gently holding a baby and rocking her to sleep, is the picture you should have in your head when you read or hear the word “meek”.

    2. They need to learn to be a Southern Gentleman – which means being a cast iron sob when the situation requires.

    3. I disagree. The problem has been the passing off of cowards as fake gentlemen. The cornerstones of a gentleman are Courtesy, Integrity, Bravery…and Lethality. That willingness to go out for pistols for two – and breakfast for one.

  10. Teaching guys to be gentleman is the most obvious demonstration of it– but I was taught it more as “public manners.”

    All the emotional fighting stuff is inside the family. Yeah, that includes very close friends– trying to use it OUTSIDE is like walking around addressing total strangers like they’re intimate friends you can tease without any consideration at all.

    There are fuzzy edges and it’s a scale, not a switch, but it’s there.

    It’s a matter of respect. Two-way respect.

    …the folks pushing the nonsense have an issue with respect.

    1. All the emotional fighting stuff is inside the family…

      Which may be part of the reason why social media is so awful. It’s on your phone – in your home, where you work, where you relax – and so psychologically seems not public whereas it’s actually the most public area possible.
      How to train children to use public, not family, manners online is something we need to come to grips with.

      1. Not all online activity is “public manners,” though.

        If I am at Burger King with my buddies, I am not going to address them formally, even though it is public.

      2. Print your kid’s tweets and post them on some public place, like the grocery story message board. That’ll teach ’em to be circumspect…

        ….I’m not sure I’m joking. After all in the olden days we learned that the best way to not become an object of gossip was to not perform scandalous acts in public.

        1. That kinda requires a standard of “scandalous” that goes a bit further than “not in the current fashion, even if it was hip when it was actually done.”

      3. My early rule of thumb.

        If it is not over an electronic device, or if the electronic device is secure, I may say things that I would be uncomfortable having anyone hear. Everything else I say, I will defend if anyone finds out, and asks.

        Now, I have fallen away from this standard.

        I have used the internet in states where my judgement was too impaired, and have made mistakes that I regret.

        I also have drifted into using the internet as a refuge, when I found myself surrounded more with people who apparently lie to my face, and will punish me for telling them that. Okay, bad position to set myself up to care about something that such people can hurt me by destroying. That was still a position I let myself wander into, and it has only been fairly recently that I realized that truth, again, and found myself willing to throw down if it comes down to it.

        It came down to a heart for heart’s desire situation, and temper. This thing I love I cannot have without integrity, so fearing the loss of it is not something worth sacrificing my integrity. I had not lost myself to the point of forgetting that, but I had patiently tolerated too many lies, and was unwilling to sacrifice that love purely for the principle of resisting evil. Now, anger has helped me draw a stricter line in the sand, and to be prepared if or when it really happens.

        1. “If it is not over an electronic device, ”

          I misread this as “If it is not over an electric fence, ”

          Not sure this isn’t more accurate. Try gossiping over an electric fence….

  11. I was still in college the first time I got married. (Odd, socially naive, and grateful for the attention kind of describes me at the time.) It only lasted three years, and while I don’t regret the marriage, I’ve NEVER regretted the divorce.

    The most damning thing I can say about him is that he had no sense of personal honor. It took me a long time to realize that, but when I finally did, it explained almost everything else.

    1. > while I don’t regret the marriage, I’ve NEVER regretted the divorce.
      Oooo… that’s brutal. [makes a note] You never can tell when that line might be useful…

  12. I always say that “my parents raised me right,” but it didn’t really click just what that meant until this past weekend. See, last weekend was my brother’s wedding, and during the rehearsal dinner, one of the bridesmaids was giving a speech about, among other things, the first time she met my brother. She didn’t have the greatest first impression of him since they went out for a meal with a group of (my SIL’s friends), and Little Brother insisted on picking up the check for the table.

    Now, LB did that because that’s how we were raised: you pay for everybody’s meal because it’s The Right Thing To Do. Whereas in the bridesmaid’s family, picking up the check was a power play, a way to gain leverage/a favor/whatever on everyone else. The concept of doing it “just because” was completely alien to her, and likewise the idea of doing it to gain some advantage over your friends/family members was completely alien to him (and me, TBH).

    Thankfully, the misunderstanding was cleared up in short order, and LB and that bridesmaid became fast friends (in part, no doubt, because they’re both total nerds and understand the obscure references that they each both constantly make).

    1. Don’t take this the wrong way, but reading your comment gave me a twinge of nausea… because yes, that’s exactly how my relatives would play it, “who has the money has the leverage and they use it.

      Augh. Thank goodness for books to model SOME decent behavior from!

      1. OMG. That explains a lot about the reactions of a certain relation through marriage. OMG.

        Well, not the only problem with that person, but it totally goes along with what I know of her family.

        That said, if she had just said that she wanted herself and husband to prove to themselves that they could do it all themselves, no offense would have been taken.

        That said, if people don’t want to accept gifts, for any reason, letting people know about favorite causes, or donating gifts elsewhere without advertising it, is much better than sending them back. (Unless you are a woman who just received an overly expensive gift from a man.)

        1. Personally, I’d be a huge fan of the idea of everyone just flat out stating “This is what I need/this is what I want to do because .” Then again, my views on the dating front mean that I’d really prefer it if a guy came up to me and said “You seem like an interesting person and I would like to get to know you better, let’s go have dinner” or something like.

          Heh. Which probably explains why I’m single, sigh.

        2. That only works if the gift-giver is operating in good faith. *Shudder* I know you would be; I assure you those pulling the strings also pull shenanigans to make sure it’s “an offer you can’t refuse”.

          1. Actually did that “no forwarding address”, for someone whose “gifts” came with nasty strings attached.

            Was mildly amused to note that one rural property I looked at was right next door to the avoidee’s sister, with whom she is no longer on good terms.

  13. Today’s neo-racists would say that “honor” and “gentlemanly behavior” are merely aspects of “whiteness” which they must loudly despise in favor of “diversity” and “equity.”

      1. You don’t need to go to Twitter or other social media to confirm. Any corporate “diversity training” session will say it straight out, and declare that anyone who doesn’t agree is a racist.

  14. I’d venture a guess that Dan likes the way your hips go when you’re wearing heels. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. 🙂

    The operation of business by gentleman rules probably started dying about the same time that dueling went out of fashion, late 1700s to early 1800s. It accelerated when men started being arrested for assault when they punched out anyone who falsely called them a liar. The grave got dug when guys were arrested for assault when defending their wives’ honor with fisticuffs. And it was dead and buried once we started imprisoning people for use of force, deadly or otherwise, for self defense.

    Business under gentlemen rules can and was just as brutally cutthroat as it is now; but the environment was far more formal and polite. Heinlein was right about an armed society being a polite society; but only then society allowed the use of those arms.

    1. I gather the “dueling gentlemen” plan had its downsides. _Dueling In the Old South_ mentions bullies who knew they were deadlier fighters than everyone else and took advantage of that opportunity to humiliate others. (I should find the book–Google’s snippets look interesting.)

      Of course, you didn’t duel social inferiors, you horse-whipped them.

      I’m not sure Heinlein was right. If you restrict “society” to just one class, perhaps he was–provided people stayed sober.

      “In those early days dueling suddenly became a fashion in the new territory of Nevada and by 1864 everybody was anxious to have a chance in the new sport, mainly for the reason that he was not able to thoroughly respect himself so long as he had not killed or crippled somebody in a duel or been killed or crippled in one himself”
      but perhaps they weren’t gentlemen…

  15. When LJ was still something cared about, but was busy burning through good will and reputation, the operator of “InsaneJournal” seemed to be ever so surprised at the compliments he got even when things were ragged or worse. His comment on it all was of the order, ignoring the technical/legal stuff, “None of this is complicated. Good customer service is just honesty.” And that, right there, “just honesty” shows the difference in World Views. For one, it was a basic thing that was just there because that’s how things should be done. And for others… compass, maps, inertial guidance system, seeing-eye dogs, etc. would not be enough to find it.

    1. I had to take a Principles of Marketing class a few years back, and our instructor, an older woman, ie older than me, and I’m older than our hostess by a couple, was constantly drilling into the class that real marketing was about integrity, it was about helping the customer, even if it didn’t immediately help the business, if only because by helping the customer, (e.g., not trying to sell him something that wasn’t what he/she really wanted/needed, sending him to a competitor if that was the best thing for him, etc.) you were building up goodwill. Or basically, Miracle on 42nd Street.

  16. We win. They lose. No matter what they try.

    “What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted!
    Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just,
    And he but naked, though locked up in steel,
    Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.”
    – William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, Act 3, Scene 2.

  17. What you said about “seraglio politics” reminded me of something I remember reading, years ago, about a woman who went to work in an all-female law firm. She expected Feminist Utopia; what she got was more like the Kilkenny Cats.

    Being a long-time amateur student of foreign cultures (including non-Western ones) I can say that periods of effective seraglio rule, whether it’s in China, Persia or the Ottoman Empire, are Not Good. Part of the problem is that the women in the seraglio have little-to-no idea of realities outside of it, and judge officials based on how useful they are to the concubines, not on how well they do their jobs. Cixi, in late-Qing China, did a lot to accelerate the fall of the Qing dynasty, and Roxelana single-handedly set the Ottoman Empire on the course to destruction by conning the Sultan into killing his promising heir so that Roxelana’s own worthless son could be Sultan.

    1. A while back, one woman wrote an article in a British newspaper about the all-female (media, I think) company that she started. As the alpha female, she wasn’t caught up in the petty crap (at least, not to her face). But she related how it went down for the rest. Her employees were all catty, constantly had knives out for each other, and there was almost always someone sobbing her eyes out in the bathroom. Men sometimes got brought in to do contract work, and the attitude of the women *immediately* changed whenever any men were around. The mean girls attitude changed to flattery and sweet-talk – albeit just as competitive. She related that one man had a female employee throwing herself at him so aggressively that at one point she physically grabbed his hand and yanked it onto her breast.

      Fun times.

      The company didn’t last. Strange how that worked out.

      1. Tom Kratman has some stories of his time in the military, and how mixing women and men together didn’t work out.

        No, not all women are sluts and not all men horndogs, but even if you *could* identify them and post them elsewhere or riff them out, that’d probably violate one or more of the anti-discrimination regulations.

      2. I shared a story like this with my female friends, and they said, almost universally, “women don’t do this!”

        One of the women also said that she’d sleep with David Tennant-any time, any place-if she could. And, she’s married with kids.

        I’ve seen groupies in action, and oh yes will women compete for a high-status male. Even if that “high status” is “the only male in the room.”

        1. I mean…While I agree that David Tennant is hot, for me one of the admirable things about him is that he IS devoted to his wife and children…

          But, then again, I’m an Odd, so I don’t behave like “normal” women…

            1. Define “ideal man” as “one not already in a relationship”, and it cuts down significantly on the number of available fantasies.

              1. Usually a celeb’s spouse isn’t really visible. It’s not that the spouse is hiding. It’s that the spouse isn’t involved in whatever makes the celeb highly visible to the public. And as the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind “. The spouse might as well not exist.

                For actors, a situation like the one had by Michael Shanks and Lexa Doing – who are married – during the final seasons of SG1 is very unusual unless the couple met on the set.

                1. *Doig, not Doing. Stupid auto-correct…

                  Amusingly, given my last bit, they did meet on a set. But it was the set of Doig’s previous series, Andromeda, in which Shanks had a guest appearence.

        2. I suspect that for many women who do it, it’s one of those things that they do without realizing that they’re doing it. You would need to catch them in the act and point it out to them in order to get them to realize that they’re doing it, and even then many of them would probably find excuses and rationalizations as to why the example you pointed out doesn’t count.

        3. One thing I’ve noticed is that women will say things like that about attractive male celebrities but if a man expressed a similar opinion of about attractive female celebrities; he’s complete scum. They don’t even see the double standard.

          1. They want complete fidelity from him. It is indeed imprudent to marry someone willing to be unfaithful.

          2. I’ve noticed the folks doing that tend to do the stupid power games otherwise.

            Rules aren’t rules, rules are ways to signal that you’re so important you don’t have to follow rules, but other people do.

        4. I once worked backstage security for Quiet Riot. Groupies will *absolutely* compete. Also, the most aggressive ones seemed to be in their early teens and jailbait even by the looser definitions of the time.

          Also picked up a ringing phone nobody was paying attention to and wound up talking to “Sweet, sweet Connie” for a while. I thought my leg was being pulled at the time.

    2. One of the stories that is on a back burner has some of the characters talking about how they make their harem work. The Teal Deer version is simply, “If we play too many seraglio games, we are going to lose him and he’s been the best thing in our lives. So, most junior woman here, if you start playing bitch games, we’re going to beat you soundly until you learn why. All of us.

  18. I’ve worked for several female bosses and only one was a problem, she was nuts. not my choice and I ran like hell, On the other hand, women liked to work for me, seriously this was borne out in anonymous surveys and everything and over the years I had a large enough sample to tell, because I didn’t try to hit on them, didn’t condescend to them — I think this one’s hard to tell — made sure they got pay and promotion, and didn’t fall into the tittle tattle BS. I certainly don’t identify as a feminist, I just didn’t care what you were outside the workplace. Do your job and don’t make your problems my problems and everything will be OK. I did make sure that I didn’t hire crazy to the degree I had control over it, but crazy can be man, woman, or mu.

    At least in my line of work and after eliminating crazy, I preferred to work with women because I didn’t have to deal with the macho BS and that bro cr-p. I prefer female doctors for the same reason. Crazy would say that this was male dominance, but that’s, umm, crazy.

    Several women over the years have told me they couldn’t work for other women because of crazy and that women in the workplace treat each other very badly. I think this is true. Again, in my line of work, there is a cadre of very ambitious women in their 40’s who sacrificed everything for their career and are now finding out what the cost is. Bitter and resentful on top of the other Wall St virtues. Brrr…. The worst ones are the women who think they’re acting like men. They really don’t know how men act.

  19. Born in Ohio, raised in the northern most state south of the Mason Dixon line, Florida, me and my no account white trash redneck relatives were all raised to be ladies and gentlemen. Adults were Mr. John or Auntie Jane and please and thank you sir or mam were automatic.

    Foxfier’s noting “public manners.”; yep, ladies and gentlemen, that was and is the grease that allows society, business and even government to operate smoothly.

    I find, other than sci fi, most of my reading these days consists of texts published before 1920, back when men were gentlemen (Ideally) and gentlewomen were glad of it.

  20. It’s a problem in psychology also – male therapists who adopt this dysfunctional-female approach to life.

    I’m not talking about the denunciations of toxic masculinity. The bad ones are male therapists who preach the feminine, but do it with a tough-guy, John-Wayne-would-fear-me persona. It creates cognitive dissonance in the clients because intuitively they know it isn’t consistent. The result is either emotional paralysis or modifying themselves in unhealthy ways to resolve this tension.

  21. > keep your word. Pay back kindness and favors. Be generous to rivals. Be honorable. And above all, work for what you’re supposed to do/were hired to do.

    The Users have a word for people like that. They call them “suckers.”

    They don’t realize they can only take advantage of them *once*… probably because they don’t look into the future to see how they just turned a casual ally into an enemy.

    1. Yeah, it’s the Ender Wiggin situation. You get once chance with an honorable person (who has a backbone). If you prove you can’t operate within the bounds of social conventions, then you are eliminated as thoroughly as possible, because you are a danger to the system, and the system is what prevents everyone from descending into unending tribal warfare.

  22. I think I’ve mentioned that I had experience with domestic tyranny. But, on the other side of the coin, my late father was an honest man. He did not lie, cheat, or steal. He never preached on the subject, he just lived and expected it of his children as a matter of course. One of his former bosses (who was also a church leader) described him as the most honest man he knew. Included in this was his belief in doing an honest day’s work for a day’s pay, which was a handicap in some work environments. I do not ever recall him yelling at, threatening, or striking my mother, but always treated her with respect, and again, he didn’t tolerate any of his children disrespecting her. Such marital disagreements as they had were kept in private. He also didn’t gossip or defame others.
    With respect to other social behavior, Judith Martin, writing as Miss Manners, used to have a column in our daily paper, which I always appreciated. I see that she is still active. One could do much worse than to follow her advice.

  23. Sorry, one of my soldiers in X-COM2 has the voicepack for this character so the first thing that popped into my head upon seeing the title was:

  24. Re: “Teach yours sons, and especially yours daughters to be gentlemen. It’s inconvenient and troublesome, but it’s the only way civilization gets to come back.”

    In the private sphere, yes, by all means… but in other areas, this may – at least temporarily – prove problematical. The “right” – here to include traditionalists – have been losing “with honour” for a very long time to the left/communists, whose only real rule is “do anything it takes to win.” In other words, Trad-Americans have shown up for that rumble/street fight with their boxing gloves and Marquis de Queensbury rules for a fair fight in their hands, whereupon that leftist thug kicks them in the balls and pounds the crap out of them… again!

    Why? Because the other side is prepared, even eager, to wage a dirty fight to win.
    The bad news is that if you are not also ready to match them, low blow-for-low blow, dirty trick-for-dirty trick, you’re not ever going to win a fight again.

    That’s the paradox, ethically-speaking, that sometimes those in the right and doing their best to take the high road, have to get down in the mud and get dirty themselves.

    Do you want to “fight fair” like a gentleman, or do you want to survive and win? Someday soon, you may be confronted with just that question. Or as our special ops warriors say: “Always cheat, always win,” and “If you find yourself in a fair fight, something went wrong.”

    1. Actually, I think what’s coming next will be a different sort of conflict. Playing by the left’s playbook just destroyes the things we wanted to keep, but as yet, the tactics that might work are also immensely costly.

      The left wing example of violent protests will just break things, but to do a serious peaceful protest that could move the needle, we’re not talking about a weekend in DC. It would need to be an enduring protest that stays until their requests are met, or it is dispersed with force.

      But to do that, to actually do that, one must be prepared to give up everything, your job, your home, your family, your comfortable life you’ve been living up to that point. I don’t know that we are to that point, yet. We may get to that point, but I don’t think we are there at this time.

      Borne cities was never a fundamental right. The petition for the redress of grievances is. The question is, is there yet a grievance worth dying for? I don’t know, yet.

      1. Yeah.

        We don’t need the left’s playbook, we have the American playbook, including the pages that they have been trying to convince us are not there.

        The left is trying to destroy America, so their playbook involves things like trying to do enough damage to every child to destroy them.

        If that was what we wanted, the left’s playbook would serve us.

        As our goals are different, we must play according to our own thinking.

        1. And one of the more interesting observations I’ve heard on this, is that the current conflict is more of a religious war than a material or economic driven one. The core questions are about what is and is not moral.

          Given that, and that our country’s ethos is fundamentally based in Christianity, I think we would be most effective by looking to those strategies and tactics, rather than the nihlistic ones the modern governing classes uses.

      2. That’s why the Jan 6 events are so distorted by the Left. The “capital insurrection” was really nothing more than a sit in; but they spun it like it was Russia Launching WWIII.

    2. As Americans, it is our custom that we treat men according to their behavior, with some behavior earning one treatment, and other behavior earning different treatment. It recent generations, we had driven off enough of men behaving one way that we assumed that all deserved the treatment accorded those behaving the other way.

      We are now dividing into camps of differing behavior. The appropriate treatment for the other behavior will be resumed. We are waiting on the rest of the preference cascade in people understanding this.

      We will be cutting certain persons out of the herd, and we will be doing something with them. But it is also very likely that what we will be doing, we will be doing after we are very sure that those who see it understand why we must do it.

      I would quote something that one of us wrote, well before current events.

      ‘Push comes to shove, we can tell our “shogun” where to stick it. Nobody gets away with mass murder.

      “If our country’s commander did what Shogun Amatori did?” Jack arched an eyebrow. “We’d take him for a trial, first. But if it was proved? Oh yeah. Someone would die.”

      Three hundred-odd million angry Americans, enough guns in-country to arm every last one of ‘em and then some. If someone’d betrayed an American army the way Amatori had, not a prison in the world could keep the bastard alive.

      Give a round of applause to our Founding Fathers. We can vote the bastards out.’

      That quote is probably based on true observations of Americans. Of course, some of the information the author had was mistaken. Date stamp on that chapter? 2020/4/4.

    3. Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent…
      When I was a scout we always joked the 13th point would be ‘Hungry,’ but I read somewhere that BP wanted to include ‘Not Stupid,’ but could not come up with a positive way to phrase it. (All the other points of the Scout Law are positives – a Scout is X, not a Scout is not X)

      The idea being that an adversary should not be able to use one’s honor (or loyalty ect) to force the performance of a dishonorable act.

      1. “Cunning as snakes and innocent as doves” expresses the idea very well, but isn’t the single-word adjective they were looking for.

      2. A scout is prudent. To be prudent is to know what ought to be done and do it. Straight out of Aristotle’s Ethics where he describes what a gentleman is.

    4. Apples and oranges.

      Your special ops guys will hopefully never meet their opponents again.

      Your gentleman will be interacting with his for the rest of his life, win, lose, or draw. And his behavior as he does so will affect his social and career opportunities. And his family’s, too.

  25. When I first saw the title “Gentlemen”, my first thought was that the image would be more like this 🙂

    Of course these are the Gentlemen our politicians deserve.

    1. Okay, we’re definitely an Odd bunch.

      o/~They need to take seven and they might take yours.. o/~

  26. Somehow I decided, growing up, that I needed to act like the gentlemen I wasn’t seeing around me (peer group). So I dressed like a lady and did my best to be an honorable gentleman. That served me well, years later, even though at the time it was rough. Still can be rough.

  27. Tomboy, can still crochet, carpenter, defended self and others, *ahem* great rack.

    Solo…Agatha Heterodyne or an RAH heroine.

    You really did need come to the USA to fully be you, didn’t you?

  28. Being gentlemanly seems like a very biblical concept.

    Help your neighbors, pray for your enemies and treat them well, that they may see the light of prosperity if they should take it upon themselves.

    Given the lack of morals and biblical concepts in Western Culture over the last many decades it’s no wonder we’re heading for such trouble.

  29. Ninon de l’Enclos has been quoted as asking God to give her the honor of a gentleman, and never that of a woman. I rather liked that.

  30. Good thoughts, especially when combined with your MGC post today! It does appear to be a lost art sometimes and I’m still having trouble applying the “good is not soft” aspects of it to my own life. Had to look up seraglio and yeah that is fitting… *Looks above at the earlier comment about how most of the younger horrible female managers I’ve known ended up getting shown the door* Still, we’re all better for you learning these lessons and passing them on to us.

  31. “Any of you women who want to hold forth on the unbearable patriarchy in the US, let’s find a quiet corner where I can slowly beat you to death with a wet sock.”

    Yes! Beat them to death with the wet sock! And put it on YouTube for the delectation of decent folk everywhere! 🙂

  32. Commandancy of the The Alamo

    Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

    To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World-

    Fellow Citizens & compatriots-

    I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna – I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man – The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken – I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch – The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country – Victory or Death.

    William Barret Travis.

  33. I just struck gold in, of all places, the YouTube comments:

    “AOC is not ready to sit at the adults’ table.”

    1. Does anyone else feel that the junta is simply reacting to events randomly? It’s like the Clinton War Room react to all stories with overwhelming force and move on to the next news cycle a l’outrance. Even under Barry the Unready, I got the feeling that there was a plan, a plan inimical to the country and to me yes, but a plan.

      Now it’s just random noise. Every piece of what might conceivably be considered bad press is immediately reacted to with overwhelming force. No more horses because they don’t know the difference between reins and whips, dishonorable discharges. WTF? We know Biden isn’t there anymore, not that there was much to begin with, but this is nuts. I suppose it’s all his minions know since all they’ve ever done is work on campaigns. Nothing matters except the next news cycle. I don’t even think they’re lying because lying requires knowledge of falsity. They know literally nothing and somehow I find this more frightening than their being evil. Evil is predictable, this is just chaos.

      1. Biden doesn’t have enough mind left to be out of. It’s the Washington vaudeville show with half a dozen ventriloquists squabbling over one dummy.

        1. Or, hypothetically, a Gu jar of vicious morons.

          I have been arguing lately for the nefarious plan model. Or at least, if I’ve been too confused to say anything, thinking that the nefarious plan model is plausible.

          But, let’s run down the obvious possibilities.

          Barack Obama outright said that he was unhappy with his effectiveness as a Senator, and that this was why he was trading up to a more prestigious office. Chicago way, sure, but the leadership theory of a damp sock.

          Hillary Clinton, by this point, is relying on persuading people under the age of eight years old. Everyone else, who isn’t a worshipper at the idol of female power, sees through her. She has the subtly and keen political judgement of a steam roller being used to drive nails into wood.

          Edith Biden used her husband’s influence to get a graduate degree in Education. Yeah, you could say that she is after the social status of teachers, and maybe prefers to enable pedophiles, but her dishonesty is boring and lacking in ambition.

          Kam Harris is really bad at this.

          And hypothetical PRC backers are used to being able to murder their way to propaganda success.

          It feels like I may have been looking for intelligent master planning from a group as sharp as a bag of bowling balls.

          I suppose it is possible that I’m neither too optimistic now, nor too pessimistic back then. Confusing mess, glad I don’t need to sort it out before bed.

          1. Well, one thing’s for certain. We’re seeing proof that cream is not the only thing that rises to the top of the container. The container in this case being the DC Beltway.

          2. It is possible that it is a person or people of no public prominence. Infighting can add to the just reacting, both by diverting attention and making plans impossible.

      2. I think it is blind panic. None of them thought past getting into power. Now that they have to be responsible for something, they’re flailing. A good villain is competent. The area of that competency may lie outside the bounds of what is considered civil society and proper morals, but they have to be good at what they do. This group? They don’t think about cascading consequences.

        This truly is weaponized stupidity, without anyone actively directing it. It’s just lashing out at anything and everything, with the results the rest of us would expect.

        1. Thought /realistically/ past getting into power.

          Dog chasing a car.

          Dog has chased other things before, and at some level thinks it understands what it is doing, and what it will do when it catches the car.

          Or a spree killer. The spree is a repeated fantasy, but they often suicide as soon as something happens that they weren’t dreaming about.

          These people, broadly speaking, are wildly overconfident in models of ‘what happens next’ that are probably wrong. If they were not so overconfidence, the risk of the true unpredictability of such events might have deterred them.

        2. I agree that they didn’t think past the election. It’s clear to me that nobody in this “administration” has any idea of how governing in this country, under our constitution, works. They simply don’t get it. They also, clearly don’t understand how foreign governments work, or how international relations work. I’ve come to the conclusion that they are panicked and shocked.

          1. Back during the Obama administration, it was pretty clear to me that his White House staff thought that governing was like an episode of The West Wing: policies decided on the fly in walk-and-talks, Cabinet secretaries as off-stage annoyances, crises wrapped up neatly in short order, helpful assistants you could mistreat, and so forth.

            The Biden administration* is populated by people who were those people’s interns.

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