Slouching towards progress

Like many, if not most of you, I thought this “progressive” thing on the left was a new thing. Yet another name change, like a bad Chinese restaurant.

Turns out I was wrong and suffer from historical blindness. Apparently progressivism was a thing of both parties in the early to mid twentieth century. FDR was progressive, but so was Eisenhower, and so, of course, was Nixon.

Progressivism was loosely defined as “dragging the American people to the future.” The kicking and screaming was implied.

As for the future, the dear little (big, actually) statists had forgotten the first rule of the future: it’s hard to tell what the future is. Because it hasn’t happened yet.

In their little shriveled power-hungry hearts they had seen the future. And it looked like Russia. Or Germany. (No seriously. That’s what they thought, before Germany imploded.) It was glorious future, comrade. The people at the top, the best men, you understand, told the masses how to live, and everyone was happy. I understand the peasants danced on the streets in celebration every other Thursday. Well, they did if they knew what was good for them.

And I can see you guys ruminating and saying “Yeah, but Sarah! Rural electrification. Highways! These are fair and just things to pursue.”

The thing is, were they? Were they really?

All of these bullshit directives from above might have “achieved” something. And from the perspective of us now, looking back they might seem right.

What I want to ask yourself is “Is it survivor bias?” “Was there an ignored path?” And “What about the squid farms on Mars?”

I guarantee the answers are “Yes. Yes.” And “We’ll never know, because it’s impossible to know if they’d have existed in another time line.” The squid farms on Mars are short hand for opportunity costs. For things that never existed. We don’t know what they are because they never existed.

The thing is, in almost every case where we have “another way” the “other way”, the way of individual choice is better: More efficient; less wasteful; more human.

Take the internet. Yes, I know it started as a military project. And was useless as tits on a bull for the general public, until it escaped via cat memes and porn and became the engine that transformed society in the very late twentieth century, and is transforming it again with a little help from covidiocy into a place where well… cities aren’t as important (reversing the trend of millenia) and parents can actually raise their own children (reversing the trend of centuries.)

France, which does statism on pro mode had a model for the internet. When I attended an extension of a French university (long story) in the 80s, an entire unit of teaching was devoted to it: how the government had planned everything, so in the near future, a woman in one end of the country could call her aunt in the other and learn to knit a pattern via the video phones that would be provided to everyone.

Meanwhile…. Yeah. Private enterprise, software, people wanting to see cat memes — and porn — and by fits and starts, Americans got there before this multi-decade, carefully directed French project.

Is it what the French government envisioned? Well, no. For one, they wouldn’t want us to share cat memes and porn. And certainly they wouldn’t allow people to coordinate opportunities for throwing burning smart cars at the Arc du Triomphe. Ca alors, non, you peasants.

There is a reason that all progressive efforts are so deeply unconstitutional that if the constitution were holy water they’d burn on contact.

Because they are against individual choice. The “progress” is “someone in the know” and their VISION of progress. Which might or might not have anything to do with real progress. In fact, most of the time all it is is another layer of distortions, forcing commerce and the future into another channel than the one it would have taken naturally.

Better or worse? Well, usually worse, because individuals do what is good for them. Not what other people think is good for them.

And before you tell me about sanitation and roads and…. yeah and? Do you know for sure what individuals would have achieved without these massive centrally administered “progressive” projects would be worse? Because I doubt it. Every project in my life time has been way worse if done by the government. More wasteful, and generally some form of insane.

It is very important to remember this, because the current progressives have soured.

Look, every progressive project implies and necessitates a certain level of disdain for the “masses” and the “common people.” If it didn’t, they wouldn’t think themselves anointed to tell others what to do.

But at least FDR and his successors IMAGINED themselves benevolent. They imagined a better future for humanity, even while they f*cked us over. They thought humanity could become, of its own volition, collectivist and non-greedy and– and it’s a case of their not having any introspection, yes — but they wanted to gift humanity things like electricity and better/faster industrial production and such.

The current progressives have soured. We broke their little RedMarxist wagon. The USSR was not as wonderful as they knew it was, because humans refused to play along. And here in the US we hold onto the constitution, which prevents them doing all their wonderful stuff.

They not only disdain us, they hate us. All humans. Every single man jack and woman jill of us. They want us reduced, destroyed, diminished, humiliated; forced to grovel in the dirt for their favor.

That’s the progress in their minds.

It’s important to remember that progressivism has always been wrong. Always been evil. It’s the imposition of a vision of the future by people who think of themselves as anointed. I don’t see any way it wasn’t always wasteful, evil and wrong, and forcing humanity into paths better left untrod.

It’s time to give progressives the good old heave-ho. They know it too. They know they’ve failed, which is why they’ve gone rabid.

Let the future build itself. One individual at a time, from our own decisions and beliefs.

Let no one command us to the vision in their diseased heads.

Let my people go.

271 thoughts on “Slouching towards progress

  1. In short: They are stupid enough to believe they can micromanage the lives of 326 million people.

    No matter how many times their idols failed at the job, they will succeed because— reasons. Shut up! Do as you’re told! Alles in ordnung! Submit to the Plan!! Arbeit macht Frei!
    The government is just another corporate monopoly. This explains everything.

    1. & corporate monopolies today think they should govern, control, every aspect of our lives and we all should be grateful. This explains everything today.

      1. I’m getting to the point where I want to slap someone every time they say something about the “corporate capitalist machine” BECAUSE THAT IS NOT CAPITALISM. I don’t care what the cyberpunk writers called it when corporations took over the world–it was damned centralized planning/progressivism via corporations who, like the govs, want to be the tinpot dictators. Drives me nuts, when everytime I see something about a company misbehaving or mistreating employees, someone–at least one, usually more–refers to it as “capitalist greed.”

        Yet another reason I wish I could go back in time and beat Marx into paste.

        1. May I toss in the folks who aver that “Fascism is anything I don’t like?” Because dang it, I’ve read those guys (in translation, granted). Capitalism (coined by Marx and his ilk) is not the free market is not corporation-government interlock.

          1. Oh! And “capitalism is when you use resources for anything selfish.” “State capitalism” is the STUPIDEST term…

            1. More like “Capitalism is when you use YOUR OWN MONEY for your own benefit.”

              When politicians buy votes with our money, all is good.

        2. It’s mercantilism! Not capitalism. Really annoying how few people even know the word.

          1. Mercantilism used to be in every American history textbook, in the chapter about the reasons for UK colonialism turning into colonial reasons for the American Revolution.

            Hmmm. Why would that word have disappeared?

            1. Mercantilism doesn’t apply here. It was the policy whereby a nation’s colonies could only trade with the parent nation, and not with other European nations or other nations’ colonies.

              What we have is “corporate capitalism” or “corporatocracy”.

              I dislike the word “capitalism” as well, because of its Marxist origin, and also because it so easily shades over into “crony capitalism” which then shades over into corporate capitalism and/or fascism. I vastly prefer “free markets” or “free enterprise”.

              1. Another made up word by communism is racist. without free markets and individual enterprise marxism would have died on the vine. By borrowing money from our federal government over the decades it managed to muddle through, existing for 72 years. And who are we going to borrow money from if we fall to communism?

        3. You mean a worldwide plague with companies and politicians jockeying to get the treatment so that a major pharma company could rake in millions as those not of the body were tossed into ghettos and major media corporations were used to spy and propagandize for the corporations and politicos they controlled?

          Although there is an issue regarding economies of scale and how to deal with the crowding out of money. But maybe a quarter of the theoretical issue and tenth of the realistic one Is actually a free trade one while political bs is the remainder. Corps are not friends and as they get bigger they become less and less responsible but with their funds they are obscenely able to throw weight around.

          1. Exactly. I have no objections to a business looking to make money–but when it’s SO big that it’s pretty much unaccountable to anyone or anything (including the law) that is something that needs broken up right quick. Like, it make sense for medications to cost x amount, even if x is not as cheap (or as free) as a lot of people would like–but that profit ought to be going to R&D as well as the shareholders. NOT to ensuring the company is not held responsible for anything, and buying off politicians via lobbyists. We have an astonishingly worrying number of monopolies going on right now, and it’s very clear WHY anti-trust actions were taken in the past (even though often they were done for equally corrupt/wrong reasons, sigh).

            Though I’d say a big root of the problem is too many regulations–only very very large corps can afford the armies of lawyers to navigate the endless regs…and they use those same armies of lawyers to destroy any potential up-and-coming competition (or buy it and use it to gain more influence/power). And given the sheer SIZE of the Federal Code of Regulations (and I’ve only seen the bit to do with my department–the BLM–and it’s still freakin’ huge and insane)…I’d bet that 90-98% of them should be done away with.

              1. Oh, of that I have no doubt. Which is yet another reason heaven and earth was moved to remove Trump. Because he was doing a damn fine job of slashing regulations–and given his background in big business, he probably knew how to do it *really* efficiently, and of course they just couldn’t have that! Why, they might end up with actual competitors!!

          2. Don’t forget, the asshole that CAUSED the plague and orchestrated at least 3 months of cover-up is in charge of Public Health. The one that predicted “a surprise pandemic during Trump’s term in office” in February 2019. Every decision we’ve seen so far has been the least sensible scientifically, the least effective medically, and the most disruptive socially and economically. And is STILL in charge after two straight years of successive blunders. Almost like that was the whole purpose.

            And even after a year an a half of different porkies every week, the sheeple STILL instantly believe the next one.
            A good Zombie Apocalypse novel is at least as believable as anything we’ve heard out of the ‘Publick Health Authoriteez’ over the last year and a half.

            1. There are fewer sheep every week, if not every day.
              EVERY store has signs saying “please wear a mask.” The occasional mask is startling enough to be obvious.

              1. Not here. Masks at the grocery store were 90%+ last week. Sheeple as far as the eye can see.

                Most of them actually believe Herr Fuhrer Newsome ‘won’ the recall with 62% of the votes! After the Democrats spent months screeching ‘Fraud! Fraud! Fraud!’ and calling us all Nazis for wanting to vote a rich white asshole out of office, now anybody whispering about election fraud are Eeevul White Supremacist Tin-Foil-Hat Conspiracy Theory Nutjobs! Even though the leading contender to replace Herr Fuhrer sure looked black to me.

                I guess the view is different through their glass belly buttons.

                1. At least you have the excuse of being in a terminally blue state. I’m in the red part of a newly blue state and mask compliance is usually 40-50% in stores because “it’s just being courteous to/respectful of others” and mask required signs creeping back up everywhere. It’s extremely depressing, especially when you hear about the states – even blue ones – who just don’t care anymore. And my state never got too crazy on this crap to start with for extra fun…

                  1. Given what I know of where you live ( my brother is in Atlanta and the majority of my in-laws are scattered over points rural in the state).

                    I think it is more that the other side has weaponized politeness. Playing on the bone deep courtesies that most people aren’t introspective enough to realize are being manipulated.

                    1. Yep, and that’s one of the hardest things to push back against because of the sheer volume of ammo and motte and bailey chicanery that gives them vs…if anyone against their crap has come up with an effective counter I have yet to see it. One more reason my state is screwed.

                    2. Unfortunately I was only born in the South as a result of someone or something’s idea of a cosmic joke. I’m not the least bit Southern culturally and can’t pull that off.

                    3. It was more a suggestion to use some of the same psychological points to your advantage. I’m a Midwest girl over 40 with enough grey in my hair to pull that line off. You might think of others. (For any you know who are die hard types, acting surprised they’re following “Yankee rules” might be effective)

                    4. At this point I’m just hoping to be out of here and somewhere saner (if I can decide on one) before Stacey Abrams’ pending coronation in January ’23. It’s all I can do with this place.

                2. At a guess, it was 70% masked at the Kroger affiliate, and maybe 50% at the large independent grocery store. About 50% at Home Desperate. We’re in the flyover portion of Oregon, where Kleine-Fuhrer Kate Brown’s (D-espicable, OR) orders have some sway, but not as much as she’d like.

                  FWIW, I had to get a “quick” lab done at the hospital-affiliated clinic yesterday. Normally 3 chairs, with a 4th for overflow and/or more complicated labs. Only two were populated, and it took the better part of an hour to run through the crowd. The not-Vax mandate and attendant Hell-No resignation/walk/sick outs are taking an effect. Because medical, masking was more-or-less 100%, though people occasionally dropped the face diaper to facilitate talking.

                  I haven’t been bothering with the shield (every non-medical place I’ve been to in several months has the mask signs, but a Do-Not-Care attitude for Deplorable violators), but will put one on the next time I need to do a medical run.

                  1. 90%+ masked here (sigh)

                    I mostly get away with just walking in unmasked – I’ve only been bugged a few times.

                  2. Medical offices hate to see me coming. I always ask them to repeat themselves multiple times (I’m not JUST being difficult – I’m hearing impaired, and really have a hard time understanding them with the masks on).
                    But, I like to think of myself as the little boulder in the road.

              2. Here the cops come if you don’t wear a mask. And if you refuse to show a “vaccine passport” as well. If you make a scene, they’ll kick your ass. How do you like that?

                And we just had a national election here too. The guys who did this -won- that election.

                On the other hand, random flash crowds of -thousands- of kids throwing shit at the cops are starting to become a thing.


              3. Here in Groton, CT, you see a lot of masks. There is a town mandate that they be worn in every public place of business and government. I’m not sure on schools, but I’d say it was a good bet. You go into Walmart and they try to hand you a mask, but admit they can’t make you wear it. >95% do though. New London has the same stupid mandate. So I just drive an extra two or three miles (to where gas tends to be cheaper anyway) and go into a liquor or grocery store where no one has a mask, because apparently the virus knows exactly where the town lines are and therefore Ledyard, Stonington, and Waterford are safe.

                As it is, my daughter knows that she can call and my mother and I will both drive up to Potsdam and go full-blown Karen on their tuchuses if they don’t let her out of solitary on Thursday like they’ve promised. She has never tested positive, but while vaxxed and masked she was in the same classroom as someone who tested positive while also vaxxed and masked, but she had a stuffy nose for half a day, so she must be locked up in a poorly cleaned empty dorm room and fed bad food for a week.

        4. It’s time we start labeling corporatism and corporatism greed, etc. If we succeed we can use capitalism safely, otherwise we need look for a new word.

        5. You are right, of course. But I have a bone to pick with the very word “Capitalism.” I’m not sure where the word came from but it has a Germanic, central European flavor. If the word wasn’t coined by Marx himself, it might as well have. Capitalism Communism Socialism are all heavy scholastic words that reek of university academicians who try to rule the world from their faculty lounges. I much prefer the simpler term of “The Market.” A free market sums up perfectly the sum total of transactions of free people engaging in their individual self interest. The corporatist globalist corporations who try to control the market just distort and diminish it. But, despite all their efforts, they can’t destroy it, because the market is a naturally human endeavor that the globalists cannot eradicate.

        1. There has been a truck with massive Trump (was 2020, I see he has a 2024 now) and F*ck Joe Biden flags tooling around here since not long after the election.

        2. You can always cheat, “Foxtrot Juliett Bravo” is the military phonetic spelling and will easily slip most censors as well as go over most progressives head’s. Wait long enough and some enterprising vet will have t-shirts, signs, and hats.

          1. Probably too late, but I would favor inserting ‘Oscar’ into the phrase: F*k Off Joe Biden!

            And all of the ventriloquists, too.

            1. Doesn’t make a good chant. The best chants have a 1+1+2 cadence. FJB fits that cadence, as does FOB. But FOJB is 1+1+1+2, and therefore doesn’t sound as good.

              Trying the chant with the previous president doesn’t work as well, either, as the cadence because 1+2+1.

              Let’s Go Brandon! also fits the 1+1+2 cadence (for obvious reasons), and will work until the left decides it’s a white supremacist chant.

              1. But you can sing “F*** Off Joe Biden” to the Mission Impossible theme!

                (The original TV series one in 5/4, not the hiphop abomination they adapted for the movie.)

                1. Nice syncopation to it too.F—k OFF Joe Biden. Don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

        3. Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, vetoed bills handing out small amounts of money to cities for disaster relief, as unConstitutional…Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you got till he’s gone?!

      1. An NBC haircut was interviewing a winning NASCAR racer named Brandon [something] while in the background the crowd was chanting FJB. So she tried to cover and/or gaslight by remarking how the crowd was actually saying “Let’s go, Brandon!”

      2. Because a reporter tried to spin the chant as saying “Let’s go Brandon!” — after he had won the NASCAR race.

    1. Teddy alleged that there was a fundamental discontinuity in flavors of American progressivism.

      He called Wilson a fake progressive, and FDR was of Wilson’s flavor.

      The people who argue continuity do have some points.

      I would allege that Wilson and FDR were definitely totalitarian, which isn’t necessarily the same as local enforcement of whim by way of vigilantism.

      1. Teddy’s take on Progressivism was more populist. His biggest thing was breaking up monopolies.

        1. I was going to comment on about the same thing.
          There was a heavy strain of “rugged individualism” and opposition to the rich and powerful colluding against the common good in “smoke filled rooms” in early Progressivism.

          If the GOPe hadn’t managed to do to TR what it later did to Goldwater, the Reagan Revolution, The Contract With America, Porkbusters, the Tea Party, and Trump, then Woodrow Wilson wouldn’t have been able to effectively claim ownership and wear the skinsuit. And the “pragmatists” parasites like James, Lippman et al. would have attached themselves to some other title.

          1. So long as Teddy got to define what was a monopoly. But yes, he had a Populist streak as well as Progressive [using the platforms of the political parties as short-hand.]

      2. Wilson wanted to be Bismarck right down to the Kulturkamf against the Catholics. I still believe that Wilson beats Obama for the worst of all time. Zho Bi Den doesn’t count because he’s not really there.

  2. I remember being somewhat dumbfounded reading the intro to Chesterton’s Eugenics and Other Evils. He claimed to have written it before World War I; he tossed it because the war made it obvious that the scientific state exemplified by “Prussianism” was wrong.

    “And then the hour came when I felt, not without relief, that I might well fling all my notes into the fire… the issue itself was being settled in a very different style. Scientific officialism and organisation in the State which had specialised in them, had gone to war with the older culture of Christendom. Either Prussianism would win and the protest would be hopeless, or Prussianism would lose and the protest would be needless.”

    “I am greatly grieved to say that it is not irrelevant. It has gradually grown apparent, to my astounded gaze, that the ruling classes in England are still proceeding on the assumption that Prussia is a pattern for the whole world… They can offer us nothing but the same stuffy science, the same bullying bureaucracy and the same terrorism by tenth-rate professors that have led the German Empire to its recent conspicuous triumph.

    It’s Kipling’s bandaged fingers over and over again.

  3. IMO sanitation was something that needed to be done by LOCAL Governments.

    IE Non-Government groups would have a hard time getting all building owners to allow sanitation systems in their buildings.

    Of course, in general local governments can be more responsive to the voters impacted by “Great Ideas” than some Government thousand of miles away.

    1. Some basics are better done by the group as enforcer (which is to say, government), because without that, it doesn’t happen. We already know what sanitation looks like when the gov’t doesn’t build it; it’s called India. Even if everyone does their own, the limitation is the max safe density of septic systems, and who determines that? (Lots of places, that’s one per acre, or entirely undoable. I can show you properties where the septic above perforce drains onto the yard below, or directly into the ground water.)

      Always, the local group knows more about local conditions than the distant overseer, but sometimes that needs coordination, frex, so Town 1 is prohibited from dumping raw sewage into the river above Town 2’s water intake.

      We also know what private communal roads look like; at best someone might throw a few logs across the boggy spots. I give you Clarkston MT, where most of the public roads are privately, uh, maintained. (About 300 yards of one private road gets some group maintenance, mostly because the guy in the middle was tired of getting stuck. The many more miles, outside of the main county road, are on their own. The HOA owned a grader, but no one used it, and eventually it got embezzled away.)

      My own thought is that there are areas government should be involved in, as local as possible but absent of feature creep. And sometimes it needs goosing along. Almost none of rural America would have phone or electric service to this day, absent support for a run of wire too long to ever show a profit at rates the residents can afford. (Think otherwise? There are significant chunks of Los Angeles County just a few miles outside the city limits that still lack electric service, because they were settled after the rural electrification program expired, and it’s never been profitable to bring in power. And normal people can’t afford $40 per foot to run buried cable. More recently a rural co-op in MT quoted me $25k just for the drop, and a bigger outfit quoted me $75k for the drop and $300k if they had to go up the hillside, cash up front. Er, never mind…)

      As to schools, we also know how this looks when someone doesn’t organize it; the more foresightful educate their kids, monasteries educate a few more, and everyone else remains illiterate peasants. Schools did fine so long as they were smallish, local, and had zero control from on high. But just assuming everyone can and will educate their kids has been a fail every time throughout history. Broad literacy has been a direct benefit of compulsory education. That modern schools have become leftist cesspits is the fault of leftists, not of schools as originally conceived.

      We Odds are outliers. It’s a mistake to assume that because we the Odd 1% would do the obviously beneficial thing (and considerately of our neighbors), the mass of average folks would do likewise. Historically, it just ain’t been so.

      1. My local Road Users Association, back in Cali, was just efficient enough to get stuff done, and just inefficient enough not to try to run people’s lives or try to turn into a HOA. We got together once or twice a year to discuss the condition of the road. We all paid a bit into the coffers, and when it needed to happen we got the road patched or repaved. When the big winter storm took out part of the road and the embankment above it, the RUA got together, picked someone to be pointman, and petitioned the state for emergency funds to repair the road (which took two years to wrangle our way through, which is why local is always more efficient than state or federal).

        Of course, it helped that we were all mountain folks. We lived out in the sticks, where electricity was iffy in bad weather or when the squirrels got frisky. When the Loma Prieta earthquake happened my dad hiked up the road with his chainsaw and cut open folks garage doors so they could get cars out. When mud slides covered the road the guy below us brought out his little cat and dozed the mud off. You looked out for your neighbors and they looked out for you, because sure and certain no one in the government was going to do it, and if they did, it was guaranteed that you wouldn’t like how they did it.

      2. Schools…. yeah, but at least the government isn’t ACTIVELY indoctrinating everyone.
        Do you really think most kids learn even hte basics in school?
        If so, you have no kids under 30.
        I say bullocks. Sorry. BULLOCKS. The government can’t educate your kids. You’re the only one who can. Charity organizations sometimes help.
        The government can only indoctrinate your kids.
        Bullocks for the roads, too. Come to Colorado. Experience our wonderful roads. With my eyes closed I can tell when we cross the state line. Never have so many purchased so little for so much money.

        1. Chuckle Chuckle

          At one time, you could tell the difference when you drove from Illinois into Indiana (on non-Interstate roads). 😈

          1. In present time you can tell when you’ve gone from Ohio into Michigan on Interstate 75…
            You have to worry your car is going to break when you cross into Michigan…

          2. You definitely can tell now when you drive from California and go east into another state. My daughter can confirm this. She says that the very worst road in urban San Antonio is several degrees better than the best roads in Los Angeles, these days.

            1. California used to have good roads. Then Jerry Brown got elected as governor the first time, and he diverted the funds used for road upkeep to other things. The irony about this is that, iirc it was his own father who was largely responsible for the excellent state road network to begin with.

          3. Hell, at one time you could tell when you crossed from King County (Seattle) to Pierce County (Tacoma), because maintenance on I-5 was per county, not per highway.

            Ka-thump, budda budda budda budda. Oh, I guess we crossed into Pierce.

        2. Except the government schools did use to educate kids.

          By the early 1900s, every town in the US, if it was big enough, had a fully-developed system of grade school and high school that physically looked a lot like the ones we all went to (sometimes in those same exact buildings) and behaved like ours are currently supposed to. Think of the school scenes in The Music Man, for instance (set in 1910): classrooms, gymnasiums, lockers, etc.

          Were those kids only getting indoctrinated?

          Sure, there was the Dewey/Bismarck “teach them to be obedient factory workers/soldiers” thing, but were the not also being educated to a level that most college students nowadays can’t match?

          I agree with Reziac that the primary problem with government school today is who’s running them, not the schools in and of themselves.

          At this point I don’t think they’re fixable; we need to blow up the entire system and fire everyone involved, and rebuild it from the ground up on a hyper-local basis (maybe hiring back some of the teachers), and there are plenty of things we could do to make the successor system better. None of this will happen while the left controls the deep state, of course.

          1. Except they were being educated to a lower standard each class. Those without a history of education were advancing from their historical mean but the curriculum wasn’t equivalent to what many private schools had done to those that were the first educators. With every cycle of student to teacher you had losses until we are where we are now.

            1. That’s the thing; we can’t go back because the past led us here. So how do we move forward?

            2. I believe the Vietnam era draft greatly accelerated the decay of public schools. All those young men who certainly didn’t want to go to Vietnam, but were really unqualified for any science, engineering or business curriculum, (they expect you to know and use all these nasty formulas) found the schools of education. No great mental ability needed, just spit back whatever buzz word theory of education the prof used. And there was still the vague feeling that being just a teacher wasn;t enough – so get the graduate degrees and become an administrator. So the schools are then being run by wimpy males, whose life experience tells them the way to succeed is to repeat the latest cant.

              1. World Wars did it too.

                When my mom was a kid, well before Nam, everyone knew a teacher or priest (or several) who only chose that job to avoid the military.

                It, ah, was mentioned when I hit one of the female Nam era trained teachers who thought it was her job to enforce the culture of the summer of love, complete with bullying.

                Sent from mobile email, pardon typing errors. ________________________________

          2. Now if you go to a school board meeting to criticize what’s going on you’re a domestic terrorist. Keep your nose out of the system and don’t interfere with their time with your kids. So many gov’t. organs need to be removed or operated on.

            1. Conservative Treehouse has a nice article on how AG Garland’s son-in-law is the co-founder of an outfit that supplies CRT materials to school districts. Nice conflict of interest there. Saw it posted on Gab, but at now at least, even Insty hasn’t pointed it out. I won’t hold my breath about MSM covering it…

              Linky love:

          3. Iron Law of Bureaucracy. A new bureaucracy might, just might, actually be dedicated to the purpose for which it was created but sooner or later–without fail and usually sooner–it shifts over to being dedicated to its own existence and growth. With sufficient feedback where “dedicated to the organization” is most easily served by “dedicated to the organization’s purpose” (as is usually the case in the free market), that’s not a problem. Take away that feedback or, worse, reward excuses for failure and that’s what you get, more excuses for failure.

            1. Because even if you get a bureaucracy staffed by people dedicated to solving problem A, in a few years they will announce, “Look, we cut the problem down by 25%!” And the response from the system will be, “Good. You get a budget cut and you have to let people go so we can give the money to Fred, who tells us he might be able to cut problem B down by 3 % if we only double his budget and staff.” At that point even the most altruistic bureaucrat is going to start playing the game to save his own people and work ability.
              Bureaucracy incentivizes inefficiency.

              1. I’d say the problem here is that we let our public school system become a bureaucracy*. Why do we need state curriculum boards again? Why do we need giant urban school districts? Why do we need a federal Department of Education?

                The Catholic Church still maintains a huge number of primary and secondary schools. The Church itself is a giant bureaucracy, but their schools are better than the public schools in the SU. How do they handle it?

                * or at least a faceless non-local one

                  1. There are two aspects to “better”:
                    (1) Academic performance on specific tests – HEAVILY influenced by family income.
                    (2) Cultural norms that reflect the community. MOST of what parents are furious about is the crude language, the sexualization of kids, the ‘Norming’ of depravity. Parents want their kids to be polite, respectful, and treated fairly by teachers and staff. They want bullying – not just the hitting that boys do, but the truly vicious torture that many girls inflict – stopped. Completely. Without blaming both sides.

        3. Well they got the votes of the govt workers that get the money. Who cares about Richie riches like you who are not part of the storied middle class of PEUs

        4. There is a fairly long book titled “The Privatization of Roads & Highways” because a libertarian got sick of the endless chants of MUH ROADS.

          As is usual with such things, that which is completely impossible and if tried would cause the immediate agonizing deaths of every puppy within a hundred miles……. is everyday life in other places and times.

          And now with the mileage tax proposals we are seeing that, behold! government doesn’t have the faintest idea of how to build roads either. They just faked up something which appeared to sort of work as long as the tech never changed and put a gun to the head of anyone who tried to prove otherwise.

      3. Also on the roads: now they’re destroying highway access to some cities to “force people to live there.”
        This is the government for you. Not your purpose but theirs.
        AND BTW bullshit, with a topping of bullshit. I read the history of my husband’s family who colonized in CT in the sixteenth? Seventeenth? century.
        The families banded together and hired a school master. They also built roads, so commerce could work.
        F*CK government along with Joe Biden and all its minions, and all its lures, and all its empty promises.

        1. It’s notable that in some of Louis L’amour’s books, set in very early eras in this country’s history, make a point of noting, frequently how much the settlers–most of whom were from very poor backgrounds–valued education. And not necessarily as a ‘means to get ahead’ but rather the fierce, independent, “we’re not going to let some other bloke interpret the word of God for us, we’re gonna read it for ourselves” thing that led to the Bible being translated into English (not to mention the prior invention of the printing press and suddenly reading wasn’t just for rich folks anymore). It’s something that gets glossed over–quite deliberately, I am sure–in most histories one can read or in most history classes. After all, the progressives want to paint the settlers as backwards, uneducated oppressors, not independent people looking to determine their own lives, and sometimes doing a lot of good and sometimes not along the way. No no, they must all be evil capitalistic oppressors, and of course all THOSE sorts are uneducated, unintelligent louts to boot. (Which, with the usual complete lack of logic, ignores the “then how did they so successfully tame vast wilderness if they were so stupid” question.)

          1. Ever notice any of the programs that use letters written during the Civil War?
            From Privates and such. They don’t sound very low brow. Make anything written by people today sound very poor. Education in the US has declined and the Progressives want it that way.

            How are the students today going to understand the past works when they don’t recognize allusions to the Bible, Shakespeare, and the other great works that everyone was expected to know in the past. All those Dead White Males that the schools don’t allow to be taught any more.

            If you want to be scared get a set of the McGuffey Readers and look through them and realize that you were supposed to finish ALL of them by the 6th grade. I didn’t have some of the topics covered until I was in Baylor University in 1971. Some part are still scary.

              1. Or one of the eeeeeeevillll capitalist “robber barons” spent tons of money putting libraries in towns that were in the middle of nowhere. Laramie, Wyoming, for example. It’s not the library anymore, but that building began its life as one of the Carnegie libraries.

                1. When people get substantially wealthy, they often start thinking in terms of legacy. And, you know what, however “self serving” or “a monument to ego” a library or school or clinic might be, it’s still there and it still serves the needs of people.

                2. Henry Ford quite self-consciously set out to make his workers rich. He wasn’t just indifferent/self-interested, he was an actual humanitarian.

                    1. ((waggles hands))

                      If you look at the wages, a car was still more or less out of reach. He did pay far better than his competitors, which increased worker loyalty and reduced turnover. That boosted his profitability by quite a bit.

            1. Selection bias. Reading For Cause and Comrade will get you a number of letters of inferior construction.

            2. Yeah, the Protestant ethics often had the Pastor of the local church acting as schoolmaster in his town. Had to do something the other six days of the week, and ensured that his flock could follow along when he made references. Not compulsory, but a (not particularly) surprising number of families took advantage of that.

        2. Destroying highway access… what the actual F-???

          How do they expect this to work?

            1. Ooookaaay then…..

              And they expect to feed these people how? Trucks kind of need to get off the highway.

              1. I don’t know, but one trope on Twitter is the urban guy gloating on how the illiterate, stupid louts Outside the Big City can’t possibly live without the goods and services cities provide.
                The last one actually stated the cities would become city-states – you know, like Athens and Sparta. I asked him if we could watch him doing his daily exercises. (I “forgot” to ask if he realized the Spartans did them naked). Then I reminded him Sparta lived on the backs of lots of slaves, so he might be more accurate than he knew.

                1. Cities produce the circuses. Finance and academy are the two items that they produce still since we’ve given away so much of our industry. Otherwise much of cities are there to entertain their denizens.

              2. You have seen their obcession with having ‘protests’ shut down the roads, right?

                Including letting the mobs divert trucks off the freeway, on to surface roads, where they’re looted. Several of the “protester deaths” were from looting MOVING TRUCKS.

                And the utter lack of realization that THIS IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE STORES BEING EMPTY?

                ::rages for a few minutes, quietly::

                Or blocking imports by slow-rolling the unloading process, then talking about how Christmas is going to be hard to shop for, gosh I wonder why?

                At least they didn’t prevent the idiots who attacked a train from being smacked……

          1. Returning to the Underpants Gnomes
            1) Public Transport!!!
            2) ???
            3) Profit!!! (no wait Utopia, profit is dirty)

            This seems to have been the basis of Progressive/Tranzi/SJW strategy since time immemorial. There’s probably sections of hieroglyphics in the pyramids extolling these kinds of strategies…

          2. Somebody should inform them there are these big machines called trucks that bring food into their glorious cities, and require roads to do so. Maybe drag them out of their condos, show them the roads, and the trucks, and the process of unloading food? Demonstrate that it doesn’t just magically appear in the deli cases during the night. Might that get through to them?

              1. Oh, great, the tofu-eaters leading the tofu-eaters. I’m sure that will end well. NOT!

                We are in for a time of suckage.

            1. No, the purpose of a “road diet” is to have just enough roads for supply trucks and public transport and emergency vehicles. Personal transportation is to be taxed and fee’d and inconvienced out of existence.

              That this is entirely delusional just makes them want to do it harder.

              1. Balzacq I think the purpose of the road diet is to keep the serfs from moving away. The goal is to get rid of any kind of middle class/bourgeoisie. These idiots long for a feudal society and a middle class breaks that. They want proles and party members (and upper party members with all the goodies being them) and NOTHING else. I wonder if you looked whether the middle class really expanded initially as cars became cheaper (e.g. Model T/ Model A) and really took off as the number of cars and roads expanded after WWII.

                1. Oh yes. The ready availability–and affordabilty–of cars was a MAJOR factor in the boom of the middle class in America. Mobility = freedom, after all. The ability to pick up and go find a better job somewhere else. Naturally the progressives hate that–the serfs must stay on their lord’s land!! They can’t be allowed to leave and look for better options!

                  1. That’s also why they one world government. Can’t have people voting with their feet either.

                2. Except the middle class and small business pay most of the taxes. They’re driving out the tax payers, and keeping the tax consumers. That’s why they want to expand the IRS — to chase down those runaway tax dollars and extort them back to the cities.

                  1. Imaginos1892 I believe you have several invalid assumptions. You have assumed the Tranzi/Progressive types
                    1) Actually Think, Most Days Eliza would beat them soundly in a turing test
                    2) actually know more economics than could be printed in 72 pt type on a gum wrapper
                    3) Actually give a rats patootie about anything other than their immediate desires

                    The jump to increase IRS is because with that they can favor their preferred people (i.e. themselves!). They’ll suck in a bit more briefly, but very quickly the flow will stop. They do not know they’ve got the neck of the golden goose on the chopping block. They just know the pate foi gras will taste lovely followed by $15 /pint ice cream…

            2. Aren’t these the same folks who think hunting is morally wrong because it kills animals so you should just get your meat from the store? I’d bet they also think all vegetables and fruits and grains just show up like mana from heaven on the stores’ shelves, and don’t have to be grown and produced anywhere first.

              1. “It is not pleasant to kill any creature, but to pretend that one can live without doing so is self-deception. There has to be meat in the dish, there have to be vegetables forbidden to flower, seeds forbidden to germinate; even the cycles of microbes must be sacrificed for us to continue our cycles. It is neither shameful nor shocking that it should be so. It is simply a part of the great revolving wheel of natural economy.” — The Chrysalids, John Wyndham

          3. One of the reasons I saw, at least last summer, was “because racism(tm)!!!” See, those highways were DELIBERATELY put there to split up ‘neighborhoods of color’ dontcha know. So they are racist and should be destroyed. Without, of course, any thought given to any reasonable alternative for things like, say, food and other necessary things to reach the stores IN the city proper. Because those things just magically appear, you see.

            1. And this is arguably true to an extent. You make sure you’re constituents get benefits without cost and your poor tend to have less clout. Same as how we take money from gas taxes for city bike paths or light rail that goes thru the Tony part of town but really just enough for you to hit the wine bistros cheap.

            2. Some highways were set up by racists, but most of them just didn’t think neighborhoods of any kind were progressive. Repeat for anything not liked or embarrassing to the progressive masters.

              1. That, and as aacid said above, the poorer neighborhoods ARE easier to bully than the rich ones. Poor folk can’t afford lawyers to fight the eminent domain crap.

                And I am vehemently opposed to “eminent domain” which really means “gov or business-in-bed-with-gov can steal your land/boot you out of your home because reasons involving them making a whole lot of money.” That being said, however, the folks wronged by the construction of those highways (if the highways were put in using the force of eminent domain) are by and large long gone–and unless and until they have a workable alternative plan for NEW highways to get supplies into the city AND have it actually in place. It’d be nice if they also atoned for the past wrong in some way–but we all know the inherent problem behind ‘reparations.’

                (Although I was reading where a city that essentially stole a valuable piece of land from a black family in the 1920s is finally giving it back? Though probably that comes with a lot of strings attached to “giving it back.” But at least in that case there are living descendants–and also they have been fighting the city about it pretty much SINCE the 1920s.)

                1. Tribes regaining recognition, and land in parts of their traditional roaming and/or settlement areas, with cultural centers then built on Federal dime VS tribal allotments. Again, some members of those tribes never stopped fighting the tribal dissolve. Ironically, a few of them, then found themselves de-enrolled when money started rolling in from the casinos that were then built, no matter the *ancestry proof available; “No good deed goes unpunished.”

                  Know a local family this happened to. Kid was in the class behind son’s. Parents are 1/2 west-coast-plains native by ancestry. Problem is, because of the reservation system, between the two of them they represent about 6 to 8 different tribes. None of the individual tribes recognize them, or their child, as tribal members.

        3. Haven’t you heard, Sarah, highways are racist!

          No, really. Not making this up. Could I make up something this nutty?

        4. As Milton Friedman (damn, that man is missed) noted, one of the first things communities did as soon as they were to the point where every day wasn’t a total scramble just for bare survival was to set up a school. It may have been a little one room schoolhouse, or even simply set up in somebody’s home, teaching all the kids in the community, but by gum those kids could read, write, and do arithmetic by the time they graduated. More than that they had a grasp of history, had probably read the “classics” as they were known at the time, and were generally better educated than many, if not most, of our schools turn out today.

        5. How long did it last after the population broke 4 digits? How about 5?

          Communities can only grow so big self organizing and we’re well past that point.

          1. Umm, no. Self organization works at all scales it’s central authority where the span of control breaks down.

            1. I’d love a historical example within 1 standard deviation of current tech and population. I’ve never found one.

      4. Not necessarily, Reziac.

        I give you the town of Yingi. Twenty years ago, as newlyweds, if we wanted to call my inlaws, we called the mayor, he sent one of his youngsters to find the folks, and we called back half an hour later. Only the mayor had a phone line.

        Today, we call the family over cell phones. Because turns out cell towers are cheap enough and profitable enough to bring phones to most everyone. Even Yingi. Even further out, in Ndokanyak, where there was never a single phone line, the cousins now have cell phones, and can place international calls, and get on the internet.

        And I bet you have power at your place, just isn’t grid power. Would we be better off with a hundred million private power plants? Well, in some ways, sure: squirrel wouldn’t take out power to thousands anymore. Of course, they couldn’t use remote controls to turn up AC temps that way, or instutute rolling brownouts: people might do all sorts of unwise things.

        We don’t know what options might’ve come up if it weren’t for public roads. Maybe we’d have a cheap, sturdy chopper in every garage. Maybe public roads were inevitable. Maybe public sewer was, too.

        As for public schools, literacy rates in the USA were higher before they existed.

        1. There’s all kinds of not-necessarily.
          The problem is that all the not-necessarilies are outliers, and small communities. Not-necessarily is great if you’re part of a small community. It doesn’t work so well running a megapolis.
          Siberia has almost no public roads. What did they come up with?? (besides 6WD.)

          As to literacy… nope, other way around:
          Percentage of persons 14 years old and over who were illiterate (unable to read or write in any language), by race and nativity: 1870 to 1979

          Agreed it’s gone back the other way since this chart ends (mostly for inner city kids, tho), but funny thing, that’s about when the Chicago method (whole word recog, etc) got full traction. It’s also about when the first generation of those raised and trained as liberal loons completely took over most school systems.

          It’s not that the public school system can’t be good (it certainly was excellent when I was a kid); it’s that while we were busy with our lives, the worst elements took over, and that led to top-down control, with the usual results.

        2. Eh, for the steam cycle generator tech you do need a semicentralized method. Today, light modular reactor tech is there and would be better in many cases over long distance transfer (but oooh scary nookular), but when initially building out it makes sense. The problem is sunk cost fallacy and the scare tactics as times change. The scientific literacy re kung flu is slightly better than nuclear energy

      5. Cardinal Charles Borromeo (later St. Charles) put the alphabet and basic math instruction in the front of catechism books, and then ran a School of Catholic Doctrine for all ages that was voluntary and free. This was in Milan, in every parish church. On feast days, when everything was closed.

        They had official lay persuaders called “fishers,” whose job was literally to persuade people to come and attend the free classes.

        Of course, Borromeo had a lot of cash from inheritance and offices held before Milan, so he was pretty much paying for anything that the rich donors didn’t cover. And he’d already bought the seminary a printing press, so printing a city’s worth of catechisms was easy.

  4. “Yeah, but Sarah! Rural electrification.”

    You made me think right there. Thanks for the exercise.

    Rural electrification, as it was actually done here in Canada, served to increase the power of centralization. Because BIG, HUGE! generators with wires fanning out to electrify every farm and crofter’s hut in Canada allowed the creation of BIG, HUGE! infrastructure projects with lots and lots of juicy side deals for everybody concerned. And if there’s -one- big huge generation station, then there’s one authority in charge of dealing out the power. As in, there’s no competition.

    What was the missed opportunity? There was lots. Less centralization is almost always a better way to go. Just as cars are better FOR THE USER than trains, localized power generation would be a lot better for consumers than the government monopoly put in place back in the 1940s and 50s here in Canada. No single point of failure, for starters.

    “Get Off My Lawn!” is the true opposite of Progressive-ism.

    1. Power generation under private utilities was just starting to take off in the US when the FDR administration killed it with the Tennessee Valley Authority. The TVA itself was a regional thing. But it became clear that the intent was to duplicate it across the country.

      Wendell Wilkie, FDR’s opponent in the 1940 election, lost his utility company as a result of the TVS.

  5. Insert long rant about the difference between the EU Airline Transport Pilot License, which carefully managed and harmonized all the different countries such that it takes 14 written tests to get an EU ATPL, but no oral exam to make sure you actually understand and correlate the information with scenarios in which things go wrong… and if you do the tests in the right order, you can be flying in your countries’ airliners with 70 hours of flight experience under your belt,… which is *exactly* as unsafe as you’d think…

    And the American system, which, despite 70 years of bureaucratic ossification and ass-covering stupidity, manages to result in people who are experienced, and can do *critical thinking* in the cockpit.

    I occasionally astound people when they ask why the USA’s instructor-level tests don’t need an endorsement, and I tell them “In order to be an instructor, you must be able to exercise judgement on student readiness. Therefore, one of your firsts tests toward instructing is exercising judgement on whether or not you are ready to take the test.”

    Because no big beautiful bureaucratic scheme can replace critical thinking and judgement calls.

  6. Free choices by free individuals are always best. Every trial of socialism has failed. But the socialist say that real socialism has never been tried. It’s the road to Hell.

    Whatever can be done to remove the so-called progressives must be done.

    1. My reply is “Then go fix the places that are doing it wrong first and show us, instead of making those who don’t want it try your new correct way.”

    2. Partially concur.

      There is a very large set of ‘things that can be done’. Some of them would seem to serve the purpose, but carry the costs of worse problems than they solve.

      I may simply be overlooking the implication, but there should be a qualifier, some sort of additional test.

    3. “Whatever can be done to remove the so-called progressives must be done.”

      I already shot through my ‘money into noise’ fund for the month, get back to me next month.

  7. “There is a reason that all progressive efforts are so deeply unconstitutional that if the constitution were holy water they’d burn on contact.” Yes, exactly. Woodrow Wilson used to be open about his disdain for that “obsolete” document. I know TR was a progressive, but progressive light perhaps, because he still sympathized with ordinary Americans. Calvin Coolidge was the last good president before Reagan. Reagan unfortunately was constrained and focused on ending the Soviet Union, but had to leave other important things undone. Likewise Trump demonstrates the failings of “The Great Man” theory of history. Trump is a genius at accomplishing whatever task he sets himself to, but progressivism is a giant formless blob that will either absorb you or crush you and leave your desiccated entrails along its slimy path. Little successes by the great and good that resist for a time are as nothing to its menacing encroachment. It needs to be attacked with flamethrowers or nuked from orbit.

    1. Teddy, despite everything, had worked for a living, and had been around people who worked for a living. He’d also seen the joys of corrupt government when he was NY police commissioner. Wilson was a 100% Simon Pure academic, bless his heart.

      1. Teddy was a “city-slicker” who impressed the ranch hands that worked for him. 😀

        1. Honestly, Teddy was probably a one-of-a-kind unicorn, given his accomplishments (and the handicaps he started with). Pity we can’t resurrect him and turn him loose on the progressives today. It would probably be extremely entertaining.

  8. Ace of Spades has an interesting piece up today. Sarah: “They not only disdain us, they hate us. All humans. Every single man jack and woman jill of us. They want us reduced, destroyed, diminished, humiliated; forced to grovel in the dirt for their favor.”

    Ace: “Leftists do not want to hear a contrary word. And this is why any kind of peaceful coexistence is not possible with them. Our very existence is an affront to them. Because even if it were possible for us to set up our own country, the “red” states of America, alongside the “blue” states of America, it wouldn’t last. Because they hate us and want us dead. Doesn’t matter where we are. No matter where we went, they’d still hate us and want us dead. If peaceful coexistence with the left was possible, we would have done it by now. That is, we wouldn’t be in this state of constant warfare. “Laissez faire”, “live and let live”, “let us alone and we’ll let you alone” are concepts that are completely anathema to them. With progressives you have two choices: it is either their way or the whole world burns.

    “Channeling my inner Kyle Reese, I say this: Listen, and understand. The progressives are out there. They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.” –

    I’ve said for years that Charles Krauthammer’s analysis from, I think, 1992 was correct. The Right thinks the Left is stupid. The Left thinks the Right is Evil.

    You don’t debate with Evil. You don’t negotiate with Evil. You don’t compromise with Evil. You don’t tolerate Evil. You placate Evil until you find a rock big enough to crush its skull.

    When enough on the Right finally figure out they’re serious about it is when either they reach that rock, or the maps get arrows and squiggly lines and it gets really sporty.

    1. Most of leftism, especially in its “critical” version, is an attempt to weaponize the mainstream’s morality against it in order that it grant the left unearned power. So far they’ve been almost entirely successful.

      At some point, the mainstream — not even just the right — will have to say “no, I don’t care about your [nice-sounding motte value], because we know you mean [indefensible bailey value] and we don’t want that, and we know you’re coming to us in bad faith, so go away.”

      This cartoon should have only two frames:
      “you do not fit in here”
      “too bad, we have a right to be here, so f*** off”

      At worst it should have four, but end this way:
      “you do not fit in here”
      “okay we will make our own place”
      “why are you excluding us”
      “because it’s our place, we made it, so f*** off”

      1. There’s a version where the ones in the Place Of Their Own use a flamethrower on the NPC Hive. I need to remember to save it when I encounter it later.

  9. We have experience with micro aggression by government and sanitation. First the sewer system was introduced into the Eugene area in the late 60’s, put on the “North” end of town. When the “North” end of town said “Hey we want to connect too, since you put it in OUR neighborhood, we’ll pay our portion”, the city said “No (go away peasants)”. Fast forward 30 years, the DEQ requires the outlying neighborhoods to be connected to the same sewer system (note, other than original farm houses in the area and fmost of those, all homes are already connected to EWEB or EPUB treated water systems). Technically it is the County that is doing this. But, Eugene PTB go “Oh, we’ll handle it (fronted with the federal money provided, but actually paid for by home and business owners)”. Okay so far (after 20 years well water is still not recommended for anything, including lawns and gardens), but it is now safe to eat the fish in the Willamette. But Eugene with the club they had … Required to pay for the sewer lines going in front of property. Required to connect to the Sewer. These are services that would have been paid for if part of original infrastructure when home was purchased, no one objected to this, especially with 10 year interest free loans. BUT to actually pay for the infrastructure and connect home owner had to agree to be incorporated into the city!!! Lawsuit threw out the latter (city got their hands slapped, hard) but not before a lot of people were forced into the city (funny how those didn’t get reversed) and at least one home lost to the owners (elderly siblings who died during the process, the heirs, if there were any, didn’t regain it back, it went to auction). Note, our neighborhood, one of the last to be connected, was not forced into the city; neither was my parent’s home.

    Eugene has been playing these forced incorporation games on the outlying areas (particularly the Santa Clara area on the north end) for 58 years, that I know of (parents built the family home in ’63 and we bought our family home in same area in ’88). Then there were two distinct towns/cities with farmland between them. Now that farmland is history. Now, while part of the “urban growth boundary”, Eugene can’t force incorporation, without existing homeowner’s approval, unless property is encircled by city properties. It’ll happen in mass, eventually, but hopefully it will take another 60 years.

    Yes. Eugene is “progressive”. They pull this crap for the “good of the people because we know better”.

    Then too, need to point out the aggression exhibited by the RRs in the 1800s. Yes private enterprise, or it is presented that way. But private enterprise backed by the power of the government. Don’t want the RR to go across your land? Tough. Submit, stand aside we’ll get someone who will submit, or die – see points one and two. Eminent Domain, for the public good, is Evil.

    Note. How many rural locations are going Solar and/or Wind because of the cost of running power lines from the nearest grid access? How much faster might that have occurred, well, everywhere, without the grid access? How many have taken the initiative to have propane or natural gas tanks, instead of running gas lines? Latter not necessarily in rural areas.

    1. They pull this crap because they see dollar signs in the form of property taxes, which once a property is within the incorporated area, the city controls.

      What they don’t see is that every time, over the lifetime of the property, the cost to maintain the infrastructure will greatly exceed the taxes collected. But the tax revenue sure looks good on the books, until the day comes when that old sewer system fails and needs to be replaced.

      Gallatin County MT now requires developer bonds and self-built/maintained infrastructure, because Bozeman was tired of being stuck with the eventual bill, and someone in County Planning could do math beyond next week.

      1. dollar signs in the form of property taxes

        Yes. Aware. Our property taxes would (almost) triple. For which we’d actually benefit a city library card. I can go pay for one of those now, for $80 – $120 per year. I can guaranty the increased property taxes about 30x’s the higher number.

        As it is, we get the same services from the County. Just incorporated, means the city does it. Lane County is a PIA progressive, but Eugene is worse. As it is some things go through the City because the property is in the Urban Growth boundary.

      2. Asbury Park, NJ went into a property tax death spiral a couple of decades ago. They’d lose revenue and raise property taxes to make up the shortfall. Anyone who could, would move. So they’d have a revenue shortfall. Lather, rinse, repeat, with pauses for crazy schemes from developers.
        They got a boost after 9/11, when some New Yorkers decided to move out of the City. No idea how they’re doing now.

  10. We’re watching the failure of the progressive’s vision in real time in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado. The dangerous, crumbling rock of the canyon would suggest a different route, like the nearby Cottonwood Pass. But no! The elites spent millions of dollars to create the “award winning” Glenwood Canyon highway.

    It’s closed again right now, because of mud slides. The rocks fall onto the road with regularity, occasionally killing people and interrupting traffic. The elites built a dangerous, unreliable road through a steep and crumbling canyon.

    But the awards!

    1. Glenwood Canyon, Colorado

      Realigning, straightening, highway between Corvallis and the coast. Existing was very twisty, it is very narrow, it is prone to slides shutting down the route. It runs between steep slopes and a river. But, seems like those slide prone areas, that the design utilizes bridges to straighten (and widen, being no other option) “move” a lot. To the point where the bridges have to be rebuilt before they even got the new highway opened … Do not know how many construction companies they went through to get the problem solved. Google foo is failing to find the articles online that outlined the problems (published when a contractor backed out). The answer was supposedly to anchor bridges in bedrock … the problem was finding the bedrock to anchor in. Don’t know if realignment is is open even now.

      Then there is the problem of highway 101 along the coast. Regularly different coastal communities have to detour to I-5 and back to the coast to drive to the next community. Doubly inconvenient for communities south of the Drain to Reedsport highway, there are no other I-5 to coast highways, without going into CA. Becomes “can’t get there from here, reasonably”. Slides can happen between Reedsport and Brookings, but they are rarer. Mostly the problem is between Florence and Newport. Oregon Hwy 101, and the connectors to I-5 that exist, were WWII civil engineering for mainland defense. Now, they just have to keep them open.

    2. The Glenwood Canyon route is beautiful, but certainly expensive to maintain. Maybe they could have chosen a less troublesome route, but I’m not sure to what extent. The histories I’ve read of the railroads through the Colorado Rockies don’t suggest any of the routes are particularly easy to build or maintain.

      I sometimes think they should have stuck with the original plan of Denver as the western terminus of I-70. But western Coloradan and Salt Lake City interests pushed to have it extended to Salt Lake City. Of course then once the added funding was approved DoD played bait and switch and changed the western terminus from Salt Lake City to a junction with I-15 far south of SLC for another route to Los Angeles.

  11. Is using a trebuchet to toss burning Smartcars at the Arc du Triomphe a real thing? Sounds like fun. (unlike trying to DRIVE around the Arc during rush hour, 30 seconds of terror followed by a couple of hours being pissed at MIL.)

    1. My mom in the passenger seat, six other people in the van, me with a champagne split tucked between my legs, racing through the circle around the Arc with finesse and happiness!
      You just had to make people get out of your way, and know that every accident in the Arc circle is split 50-50 because no one can tell whose fault it was.

      1. I have one thing to say with respect to this (with apologies to Monty Python, and any actual french speakers:-) )
        Fetchez le 2CV!!!!

  12. At no time in the history of the world have the people forcing compliance on everyone else been the good guys.

    Top. Men. No question. But Good Guys. Never.

  13. “And before you tell me about sanitation and roads and…. yeah and? Do you know for sure what individuals would have achieved without these massive centrally administered “progressive” projects would be worse?”

    Actually I can tell you a bit about sanitation, etc., public utilities, as I spent most of my working years here in Alaska in the field, generating power or treating and transmitting water and wastewater.

    Roads; We’ve a mile of such from the house to borough maintained pavement. Been driving it for over fifty years. If the snow get too deep, someone along the road would plow it or if necessary, hire someone with a D9 to do so. Generally, then, knock on doors and ask neighbors to contribute. Usually answer was; “I can still drive it OK, but sure here’s some money.” Today we all still maintain the road, winter and summer, ourselves.

    I spent a number of years in coal fired power plants. Our electric is supplied by a co-op, Golden Valley Electric Association. A lot of government control there, sadly, but still user owed and mostly user funded. Also sadly, the larger it got, the more it acts like a government entity.

    Water/wastewater: Even though I I worked in the field, I’ve my own well and septic system as do the majority of folks I know and associate with. Such systems are quite adequate and safe as long is one’s neighbors aren’t too close.

    When I worked for the city, Fairbanks, the water/wastewater systems were municipally owned. Not as efficient as private industry but served the citizen’s need quite adequately, shucky darn, I’m pretty sure we removed that last of the wood stave pipe and replaced it with metal or plastic.

    Since then the city sold the system to a private company, government regulated, of course, but it’s now privately owned. Why yes, the operation is, in my opinion, quite a bit more efficient than it was when I was funded by and taking direction from, the city, parenthetical aside:(I did reduce the operation budget of one facility while I was there from 4 million a year to 1 million a year, -but I was known not to have a good government employee mindset.) and, yes it seems to serve the citizen’s needs quite satisfactorily.

    Lately, trying to catch up on the local news, I’ve been reading, on line, The Alaska Citizen, a local Fairbanks newspaper published in the early 1900s (I’ve still a ways to go, catching up on local news, today reading the 30 January 1911 edition, I admit I was surprised to learn that Mrs Carbonneau horse whipped A. F. Ruser , a Dome Bank teller. Dome was a short lived gold mining town a bit north of Fairbanks.) I’m impressed with how many railroads we had in the State back in the day, all privately built, owned and funded. In 1914 the feds funded the Alaska Railroad and deeded it to the state in 1983. Since the government took over the rail we’ve one line, overpriced passenger tickets, seasonal service to some areas and lots and lots of upgrade and expansion promises.

    Yep, overall I am for progress, or whatever you want to call it by individuals and an open free market.

    Whatever government does, no matter what they call it, I view with suspicion. Yep they build roads, some of them not badly. However there’s always a price; why yes we in Alaska, or Colorado or Florida are sovereign states, the feds can’t tell us to do this or that, but, but, but, we better let them or else they withhold the interstate road tax dollars we need!

      1. I always like to point out to people extolling “the government should…” that our government couldn’t even successfully run a BROTHEL. A BROTHEL. They couldn’t sell sex.

        1. Chuckle Chuckle

          IIRC The Feds appropriated the property for not paying taxes BUT did not attempt to run it as a Brothel.

          Sorry, nice story but didn’t happen. 😀

          1. Yeah, I know. BUT. You can’t tell me that if they HAD tried to run it as a brothel, they wouldn’t have run it right into the ground. I work for the gov–I *know* that’s how it would have happened. Oh, sure, there might have been someone at the lower GS pay grades who could have done an excellent job, but they would be ignored in favor of the person with either connections, or looking to get a foot in the door in DC, and they’d come up with “brilliant” ideas that might look great on paper and not work at all in reality 😀

        2. The Canadian government is losing millions selling POT! Even in Canadian dollars, that’s a lot.

    1. Yep, you can take care of your local roads quite handily. Not everyone does, but some do.

      Whose job is it to maintain and plow the Alaska Highway?

      If you want to know what roads were really like in the Olden Days, check out the “Automobile Blue Books” from 1920 and before on The description of the road between Great Falls and Havre MT is particularly instructive.

      Here’s a pic from 1933, back when highway maintenance was no one’s job. This road is what’s known today as U.S. Hwy 89.

      1. Telling us stories about how things don’t work when no one owns a piece of important property aren’t going to have the effect you seem to think they will.

      2. The Alcan? The part that’s in Alaska, Fairbanks to the border, is maintained and plowed by state crews.

        The Canadian section used to be maintained by the military, not sure how they divvy up the work now.

  14. I just want to shout and roar my approval, so I’ll do that when I go outside for my workout.

  15. Yes, progressivism has a really bad record. The original progressives gave us racially based immigration quotas, eugenic sterilizations, legal restrictions on drug use (with the consequent black markets and organized crime), and a direct attack on freedom of expression. Roosevelt, Wilson, and Holmes rank among the great villains of American history.

    Of course, conservatism can be really bad too. It’s less bad in the United States because what we try to “conserve” is often the radicalism of the eighteenth century.

    Some years ago, I had an online discussion with someone who held, as an obvious truth, that you had the rights that the government chose to grant you, and only those rights, and that to talk of any other sort of rights was nonsense. He did not seem to get in when I told him that if he believed that he was incapable of understanding the Constitution of the United States. That was the real revolution in American thought, to move our judges over to legal realism; once that was done the doors were wide open for things like Marxism.

  16. Some interesting examples–electricity was private, privately owned and operated, and expanding quite nicely on that basis when the government decided they needed to take it over. Gas before that, same thing. People get fed up with drinking sewer water, they do something about it. Seatbelts? Already in place and most people using them before the .gov decided to “mandate” them in all cars.

    We live in a country where that has (historically) been possible, while in many other areas of the world they don’t have the option. Most cultures in the world do not reward personal initiative. Far from it.

    For the most part people know what they want, and given the freedom to do it they will find solutions. I think that’s what scares the so-called “progressives” the most.

    1. As I was delaying opening my California electricity bill, I read slogan on the envelope – “electricity is the way of the future”.

      But everyone likes electricity and already has it – lights, Playstations, cooking except for maybe the stove, etc. If all-electric cars were practical and cheaper, there wouldn’t be any problem getting people to gradually switch over to them, either.

      I know what they mean is we should ban coal and gas, but it’s an absurd way of saying it.

  17. As I recall, Ike’s highway system was not a progressive “make people better” project. Rather he wanted clear roads and mile straights so we could fly bombers out of *everywhere* if it came to a nuclear war, and could shuffle military hardware from coast to coast regardless of what happened.

    I suspect the progressives claimed it as one of their “great triumphs” but I think it was more an old general wanting to make sure his logistics tail was set to extra strength.

    1. The roads *were* horrible, too.

      My grandmother told stories about the drive from Texas to the Oregon border after dropping her husband off for Army training… the one I remember best is how many of the ‘bridges’ were boards.

      You put down the boards, walked across, picked up the boards on the other side, walked them back, drove across, and pulled the boards back over.

      Not everyone bothered to walk across and bring the boards over.

      1. I can believe it.

        And as I think about it, given all the bridges to nowhere our Congress loves to build, I strongly doubt the system would have actually happened or been remotely useful if it had been done as anything other than a logistics master’s answer to the question “How do I defend two coasts and a huge interior with one army?”

        1. And the financial benefits are enough that all but the dumbest of states take decent care of them. (I know, that doesn’t make it any nicer in those states.) Even Washington keeps getting smacked into taking care of their non-city roads, because SEATTLE LIKES TO GO PLAY.

          I’m glad other folks have had good road organizations.
          All the ones I saw or was involved in, either funds evaporated, or it worked because of one or two people doing all the work. Usually my dad.

      2. The Pennsylvania Turnpike was pretty nice. Because it was a toll road, and so they made it pretty and easy to drive.

        Grandpa drove a Model T down it in grade school, sitting on books, because Great-Grandma didn’t drive and was extremely nearsighted, and she had to go help her sister in Pennsylvania. (And Great-Grandpa had to work.)

    2. This is correct. Between the World Wars, Ike had been part of a military convoy that traveled from one end of the country to the other. He had not been impressed with the state of the country’s highway network.

      Keep in mind that this is the same man who, when serving as president of a university, had told the people charting out the cement footpaths to wait until they saw the paths that the students themselves created.

  18. In their little shriveled power-hungry hearts they had seen the future. And it looked like Russia. Or Germany. (No seriously. That’s what they thought, before Germany imploded.)

    That has caused more than one mother of a head-tilt reading stuff from inter-war books, or listening to songs from the same.

      1. Many years ago I picked up a fascinating 1926 collection of interviews by an Edward Price Bell of the Chicago Daily News. They are interviews of world leaders with editorial commentary sprinkled in. In the Italy’s Rebirth chapter, Bell writes “They call him dictator. To the unpatriotic, to the anti-social and anti-civilized, to the lawless, to the bolshevists, he is dictator. To Italy—full of sterling human worth—to Italy, in my judgement, Mussolini is liberator.”

        1. And if we didn’t jump on the bandwagon of the great Leninist- Fascist experiment in Europe, leaving our antiquated Constitution behind, history would trample us.

  19. The large scale, centralized project is probably one of the most over-used tools possible and is far too often a way to pay off political supporters in one form or another (cough California High Speed Rail, which mysteriously had a lot of property and used a lot of contractors with serious Democratic Party connections cough), with any end-product being a nice bonus.

    This is not to say that there aren’t times and reasons why you need that kind of project. Just, more often that not you don’t and good leadership is knowing when you don’t need that kind of tool.

    1. That was the worst aspect of the Apollo Program — it demonstrated that huge government programs were The Right Way To Get Things Done! It succeeded, right? Beat The Russians To The Moon within Kennedy’s deadline! And then, after achieving their Grand Goal, they just gave it up, and left laws in place to prevent anybody else from taking up where they left off. “Stop wasting money in space when The Poor are right here on Earth!”

      Then there’s the fact that they spent billions of dollars on a giant publicity stunt, designed and built elaborate hardware that was useless for any other purpose than sending two men to wander around on the Moon for a few days.

      Nobody has been more than 400 miles above the Earth’s surface in almost 50 years. We should have Belters by now!
      People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

      1. One could argue Apollo only succeeded in beating the Soviets to the moon because the Soviet’s huge government program relied on the government entities to build their version, and Apollo relied on private industry.

        1. The Soviet program fell apart because the only really competent person in charge (Korloev) died on the operating table because of a surgeon’s incompetence. Then, people who had great political records but poor engineering skills took over and…

          …well, they did the same thing at a nuclear powerplant called Chernobyl.

          Including the massive explosive failure and an attempt to cover things up.

          1. Contracting out the detailed design and fabrication to private companies did turn things over to mostly competent people in the US.

      2. One of the things that I recall about what happened with Apollo was that it hit a perfect storm of three events-

        1-The Vietnam War and the War on Poverty.
        2-Richard Nixon and his hatred of anything that was done by Kennedy.
        3-Johnson Space Center (I think) was really pushing that the Space Shuttle was going to replace all of those expendable rockets and it would be cheaper (i.e. give all the right contractors the right money) to build the Space Shuttle versus expanding the Apollo program.

        One of my AH ideas is that a lovely accident gives the NSA access to Soviet diplomatic encryption. Enough access that Nixon and Kissinger were able to force an end to the Vietnam War that was more than enough to save South Vietnam. Now, they had all this money that they had to do something with…and, well there were quite a few states with NASA contractors, and until the Shuttle was ready to go…

        1. Oh, yeah, the War On Poverty. And the War On Drugs. And now, the War On Guns.

          Poverty and Drugs seem to be doing better than ever. The Wars, not so much. Guns are selling faster than they can be built, along with ammunition, despite every effort by our oh-so-helpful government to prevent it.

          Maybe the government should declare war on itself. That would be different.

          1. Well, based upon the outcomes of the War on Poverty and War on Drugs, a War on Government would result in as much or more government than ever.

  20. I think part of the problem is that people are not monitoring what is going on in their own communities. News is national, elections are national, everyone is connected to the entire world at all times. Daily life used to revolve around the doings of the neighborhood and town in which they lived. People knew what the politicians were up to and went to school board meetings and knew the town council.

    And the Federal government has too much say over every aspect of our lives. It really shouldn’t matter which band of thieves is in the Whitehouse. They are far enough from Random burg that it shouldn’t matter on a day to day basis.

    1. I feel this a lot. That a lot of us are trying to effect things nationally, but we won’t even go to a parents’ meeting locally, or even speak up at a family gathering to say ‘actually, I don’t believe that.’

      We have to start small. Small is where the gains accrue.

      1. And, of course, now that people HAVE started going to, say local school board meetings–specifically concerned parents–the lefties are trying to get them declared ‘threatening’ and ‘terrorists’ because of it. Not that they should stop going–in fact, their reaction ought to be a VERY clear signal that people waking up and getting involved on the local level is extremely dangerous to the lefty agenda. But it’s very telling that they are trying to sic the FBI and law enforcement on parents who attend the board meetings and have begun calling out the school boards–and in some cases, seeking to get them fired for their shenanigans (which they absolutely should be, and also run out of town on a rail, possibly after being tarred and feathered)

        1. Perhaps it is time the citizenry start an open source FBI monitoring program to identify their agents, so citizens know what the domestic enemy of the Constitution are up to, maybe with a facial recognition component. Sort of a automatic “spot the fed” for public meetings, available to the citizenry and local law enforcement.

      2. See, that’s the genius of the Rules for Radicals tactics.

        Truly evil, as it sacrifices a greater good for a lesser, but it is genius.

        There’s now been some 50 year where Proggy stuff is acceptable to say, but only That One Obnoxious Uncle ever says anything conservative.
        (For folks who don’t have a big family that gets together a lot– no, Obnoxious Uncle or That One Aunt weren’t created by the tactic, it just exploits how folks hated having them need to poop on everything by jumping straight to the “I have lost my temper with That Guy” stage for everything. You often don’t *want* That Guy on your side, when he does fall there, because he likes the being contrary more than anything.)

        Folks have been trained, if they are going to bother showing up at Family Events, then you don’t Make Trouble.

        ….yes, you can break it, but it’s best to bide your time, EXPECT to be scolded by the relatives who couldn’t be bothered to speak up for the last several decades, and there will at least a couple of dramatic melt-downs if you’re lucky. If not, prepare for a whisper campaign, so you gotta be more cunning than serpents and more innocent than a dove.

        ….K, as likely to be expected of plotting as a sledge hammer, and as oblivious to Subtle Social Cues as a geek also helps, especially if they’ve got a lot invested in that story about you. 😀

        1. It is something I’ve been thinking a lot as some of my friends drifted away, because some of them have said of me that ‘I changed’ and I’m thinking ‘no, I’ve always felt this way. I just didn’t tell you that I thought you were wrong. But you mistook my silence for agreement, when what it actually was, was affection, and tolerance.’

          My mistake, as has been the mistake of many of us, was believing that this toleration was mutual. But it wasn’t, which means the friendship was illusory.

          Such a hard lesson to learn. Much grief.

          1. On a tangent, I have started reading your coracle book. And… it’s shiny

            It feels like a tangle of wet jewelry fresh out of the ultrasonic cleaner, held up in the morning sun: it’s clean, and gleaming, with sparkles.

            …and pretty!

            This is so strange to read, it’s almost alien to my worldview; I can’t personally imagine unalloyed hope anymore, but it’s quite the delight to borrow your imagination for a few chapters at a time.

            Seriously, thank you.

            1. Oh good, that’s exactly what I hoped it would feel like. A window into the world we assumed we were living in when we were newer.

            1. I still get occasional emails from people who can’t seem to understand that no matter how much they try to convince me to give up my ‘new and delusional beliefs’ that it’s not going to work because they are neither new nor delusional, and if they’d actually listened to me instead of letting what I said fly through their ears, they would have realized it.

                1. It’s the ‘lack of listening’ part that always stings. Did they not believe me when I quietly said, ‘you know I’m Catholic?’ Or conservative? Or did they think ‘oh, she’s one of the good ones who doesn’t actually believe it, and just says it. Catholic/conservative lite.’ Because that was the only way they could square the circle of liking me?

                  Just… ugh.

                  1. Relative who I have known my entire life.

                    Actually observing me in detail is apparently not something within personal capability.

                    I have been a Republican my adult life.

                    I have outright told them that I have discarded supporting Democrats on the same grounds that I discard supporting members of the NSDAP. I have outright told them other things of that sort.

                    I may have actually told them in 2016, that my objection to Trump was the belief that he was a Democrat.

                    (In 2020, Trump passed my test of ‘would I vote for this man if he was a NSDAP member, running against another NSDAP member?’. The objective reality is that Trump’s character had proven reasonably safe, and I thought the risk that Biden would and could commit mass murder was too great.)

                    That someone lives in an internal reality, to the point of sincerely thinking that I would have voted for Joe Biden.

                    1. The thing about Bears is that they poop where ever THEY WANT TO. 😈

          2. But you mistook my silence for agreement, when what it actually was, was affection, and tolerance.’

            And when they started slinging ultimatums or making demands based on that bad assumption that you were ‘safe,’ you didn’t bow to them.

            Yeah, been the “betrayer” for that a lot, though not as much as my sister. Doesn’t help that abusers are really good at framing things as “you already agreed, because you’re a good person. Wouldn’t want to be a terrible two timing betrayer, would you?”


            1. A lot of their tactics are abusive, yes. It’s a little disarming to look at it and realize it.

      3. Yes. It’s another aspect of what Jordan Peterson crystallized in “Clean your Room.” That’s it’s easy to rail against “the world” and national-level things, because we know we are powerless to change them. It’s much harder, but infinitely more rewarding and effective to start with the things right in front of us, the ones that actually take work and investment and our time and effort.

        Attend the meetings. Vote on the local level. Talk to your neighbors. Stand up straight and speak the truth, when it would be easier to be silent or get along by mouthing lies. Hard work, but rewarding.

        1. My kid played me this song, the main lyrics of which are:

          I really wanna change the world, but can’t change my clothes
          Wanna find a girl, but can’t find my phone
          I just lie in bed ’til the afternoon
          Dreamin’ ’bout the things that I wanna do
          If I wanna change the world, I should change myself
          I should make my bed, I should dust the shelf
          Shouldn’t lie in bed ’til the afternoon
          Dreamin’ ’bout the things that I wanna do, mhm

    2. We don’t see the small stuff that doesn’t happen. A local whole-bean coffee sales place can’t get a permit to relocate because pre-made coffee shops have sorted something out with the local government. A historic building can’t be renovated because someone else wants to buy it and turn it into a parking lot, or knock it down and build THEIR building. A vacant field sits derelict because of a spat between the original owner and someone now on the Zoning board . . . Someone walks away from an apartment complex, leaving it to rot in place rather than keep it in use, because of flaming hoops required to bring it up to code, even when “code” has nothing to do with safety. A business ordered to ditch plans for native plant and flower xeriscaping “because it has to be grass and trees,” and grass means green turf grass, not knee-high native grasses. Businesses that don’t open because people look at the layers and layers of permits and say, “Forget it.” No one sees those.

      1. My point being what Susan and MCAHogarth are saying – we look at the national policies, but should also be attending local meetings and asking local politicians and officials, “What’s up with this? Why is this the way it is? What’s up with that house that’s been empty for so long?” The answer may be “probate problems,” or it may be coughing and spluttering and the need to shine a light on a department or office.

  21. You left one country off the list. The wave of the future countries at the time were the USSR, Germany, and Italy.

    Ironically, FDR disliked Germany for reasons that had nothing to do with the Nazis.

  22. “The road not taken” is an excuse the Left loves when their policies produce the exact opposite of what they claim for them (“Great Society”, “New Deal”, “Dealing with the root causes of crime (which clearly is not ‘criminals’) rather than punishing criminals”, etc.). The refrain is always “It could have been much worse without…”

    They never realize that works the other way too: It could have been much better without whatever they implemented. Or maybe they do realize it. They just hope we don’t,

    1. And that line makes for some effective gaslighting from them, too, especially when they get to demonizing the opposition and claiming it’ll be the apocalypse if they get power. What it’ll take to break that effect I have no idea…

      1. I’ll take another four years of Trump’s apocalypse over one more month of Biden’s utopia.

    2. My favorite in that sense is “It would work if everyone would get on board,” usually with pointed glances at the “obstructionists” who have a sense of reality and don’t want to encourage the easily foreseen disaster.

      1. More likely to break up and sink if everybody got on board. Because the design is woefully inadequate, the contractors were incompetent, the workers were illiterate and didn’t give a shit, and the inspectors were on the take.

  23. Last night Tucker Carlson (or Laura Ingraham, but I think it was Tucker) floated the idea that the Democrats are trying to destroy police departments in order to nationalize law enforcement. Defund the local police, and then send in Feds to ‘help’.

    Funny, when Trump offered Federal backup during last year’s ‘mostly peaceful’ riots he was Literally Hitler sending in the Jackbooted Fascist Stormtroopers. Now they want to turn the FBI, DEA and ATF into the KGB, Stasi and Gestapo, but it’s all good.
    When police shoot violent criminals to protect innocent people, they are jackbooted fascist stormtroopers.

    When police shoot innocent people to protect corrupt politicians, they are National Heroes.

    1. I think that was Tucker and the idea is to have a national police force to enforce Regime edicts and suppress patriotic America opposition. No more local sheriffs representing their constituency and opposing the Feds.

        1. California already has TWO Committees Of Public Safety, one in the Senate and one in the Assembly.

        2. We’ll just keep calling em the fibbies even while they’re kicking bodies into ditches

  24. Why doesn’t the Brady Institute have anything to say about John Hinckley being released from prison? They’ve spent 40 years raising hell over the inanimate object used to commit the crime, but have nothing to say about the criminal being set free?

    Hinckley could easily have used a different weapon, but there’s no way the gun could have committed the crime on its own. WHY do they still blame the gun?
    The Democrats trust violent criminals and terrorist nutjobs with guns more than they trust you.

    1. You just don’t understand. If the eevul gun hadn’t been available, Hinckley wouldn’t have committed the deed. Hinckley isn’t a criminal, he’s a victim. You right-wingers insist on ignoring the obvious chain of cause and effect.

  25. I’m writing my first story in an alternate universe where Texas never joined the United States. This was partially inspired by all the over-reach by the federal government in the last few years. Yes, i know that it has been going on far, far longer than that, but the last year or so have really accelerated my fantasies about getting away from the people who want to ‘help’ me no matter if I want it or not.

    Sarah, you and the other authors and commenters here have been a big help in pushing me forward on this project. Thank you for creating this place where we can see we’re not alone.

  26. Do you know for sure what individuals would have achieved without these massive centrally administered “progressive” projects would be worse?

    Okay, I’ll bite. You might need to define government, though, since London beat cholera with Individual + government.

    So there is *something* missing from Mrs. Hoyt’s equation. Since she knows we are social apes*, and do not build in isolation, and since when enough of us organise we get… a Government.

    I suggest we have not only a too much, but also a too disconnected and a too evil government.

    Remember Codex’s corollary to Burge’s Law: Once the skin suit is stinking and crawling with maggots they tell usit was always thus.

    (*No, I disagree, but it’s close enough not to futz over,)

  27. I always thought we (the little people) would be in space by now– mining, living, terraforming, etc. Government made space … international? (right????) with agreements that stopped anyone from going into space. Anything that government controls goes tits up eventually. And, ethics? We have to ethical and government doesn’t– think Tuskegee experiments. (sypillis). I saw this many times– people who work in government, if there long enough, go into this groupthink of we are better than you.

    Which is why I believe that when government gets too big to be a servant to the people, it needs to be cut down. In politics, the normies have been given the shiny “presidential election,” but they should be focused on their State and County governments (city governments). Change can happen there. But shiny– and let us take care of you.

  28. At least building and maintaining post roads is a defined power in the Constitution, unlike 80+% of the things the Federal Govenment actually does.

  29. In the news today, a New York man is facing up to 7 years in prison for alleged possession of ‘a forged COVID19 vaccination card’. Oh, and a woman was pushed in front of a train in the Times Square subway station by ‘an unknown assailant’. Police have no suspects. Four gang members have not been charged after a multi-way shootout that left a fifth gang member dead.

    Such are their priorities.

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