Head Script

Quite the funniest — to us — and most enraging — to them — thing we’ve come up with to represent the left is the NPC meme. It is funny — to us — and hurts — them — because it’s true.

Now, if you’re going to say something about how it’s true for us too, first of all what are you doing reading According to Hoyt? Surely you’d have rage quit months ago? And second, yeah, no. Not the same way.

Yeah, sure. Okay, ever human does things on automatic. The most obvious are things that are trained young and we do a lot of, mostly physical/mechanical actions.

I’m sure most of us don’t remember when it was difficult to walk, unless we were in some accident and had to re-learn walking as adults. I sort of dimly remember it, because I learned to walk very late (close to 3. No, don’t ask. I learned to talk closer to 1. Priorities, and also, being weird, I guess). But now a days we just think “I’ll go across the room” and walk there, and don’t think “gee, I might fall” unless we’re very old or very ill.

And of course we do other things. Like drive. Or cook. Most of it is on automatic, because we do it so often.

Yes, there are also automatic responses. Sometimes we’re caught by them because we expect a question and answer without thinking. Something like:

Son: Which car should I take.

Me — expecting — where are your keys?
: They’re on the hook, in the laundry room.

Son: WHAT?

All of us have been caught out by that, no thought involved.

Things that shouldn’t be on automatic

Me: Why do you expect that communism will work here, when all it’s done in other countries is kill over 100 million human beings.

NPC: Fascist!

And yet, 90% of the time that’s exactly what happens when we engage in argument with the left. It ranges from us giving facts, and statistics to support our position and being told to stop watching Fox news. (I can honestly say I never have? Except for brief snippets online? Because when we last had a TV the only news station was CNN.) This is said despite the fact that Fox News has ratcheted left enough it often sings in the lefty choir. It’s NPC response.

Or you point out that quotas, by demonstrable fact do nothing for minorities and cleave our society in two, and get called racist.

Or you point out that the election in 2020 was definitely crooked (and the others before it, in marked degree) and get told you worship Trump. (Well, no. But he’s a convenient ramrod up the behind of the establishment, I’ll admit.)

Carefully thought out responses get turned off with a one-liner designed to make you shut up and not think. (Where the meme “Shut up, they explained.” came to be.)

Do we do that also? Well, not often, though after five or six of these exchanges we sometimes do, just for funsies. The difference being we know we’re doing it, and we do it because we’ve had just about enough and have given up on real dialogue.

There are reasons for this, and it’s not because we’re more or less human or smart than they are.

The main reason is that the left has been trained/indoctrinated to their responses, starting in school. When your kids’ teacher says “the important thing is teaching them how to think” get the kid — if needed tuck kid under arm — and run, don’t walk (if needed physically) away from that school, because what they’re saying is “we’re indoctrinating your kid.”

At the school level, particularly in elementary there is no “teaching how to think.” There is “giving them the tools to succeed in society.” And while at high school level you might have one or two classes where “teaching how to think” is a thing — say a class I had on analyzing advertising” — that would be a poor expression for what they’re doing. It would be more accurate to say “we’re teaching them to examine facts, weigh them and draw conclusions.” Or “We’re teaching them how to study historical records” or even “We’re giving them the tools to understand statistics.” Or “We’re teaching the scientific method.”

What you shouldn’t be doing is “teaching them how to think.” This was used when I was in school and by middle school I knew exactly what it meant. There were approved thoughts and disapproved thoughts, and disapproved thoughts would get you thrown in the outer darkness, where there was wailing and F grades.

How much or how little you could support that thought was immaterial. It was more if it was approved or disapproved.

By the time my kids were in school 30 some years later, that had been pumped up to 11. Your thoughts would be exactly as dictated, or the establishment would know why.

NPCs aren’t born, they are made. They learned through a million interactions that if they step out of line they WILL be shunned. Or canceled. Or worse.

And they’re GOOD boys and girls, so they learned not to think, but to immediately respond in an approved manner.

We? Well, we’re goats. Some of us went along to get along for a time, and then something went TWANG and we broke. And we just couldn’t do that any more. Not. One. Step. Further.

And because the school, the media, the establishment of various kinds was all on the side of “All the crap we learned in school” we had to figure it out for ourselves. Why we couldn’t do it anymore; what it meant; what our real philosophy was.

That kind of contrariness takes effort. The, for lack of a better term, red pill — the break in the program — is usually something we know that just can’t be reconciled to what we’re being told to believe. Something we saw. Something we know. Something we were at. And from that the rift with the establishment widens. Oh, and some of us are more prone to it than others. I have a natural suspicion of any “too smooth” tale, or painting or whatever. Or as my mom said “Can’t see a freshly painted wall with scratching to see what’s underneath.” Yep. That’s me.

Staying contrary is hard too, when all forces (particularly since the mass everything of the late 19th and early 20th century because the norm) of society push you to sing in the choir with the others. A lot of people briefly pop out of the programming, then go back to it, because it’s scary out here.

However, the programing has been infected by those who straight up hate us. And I don’t mean just America or Western civilization. They hate humans, with a deep, visceral hatred.

To follow the NPC programming is death.

Our survival as a species depends on breaking out of the program. And helping others do so.

Support those who emerge from the programming that they might not fall into temptation.

And check your thinking. Always check your thinking. I still find embedded bits of Marxism, when thinking about some historic period. I stop suddenly and go “No, that doesn’t make any sense. No people weren’t worse off after WWI. I read contemporary accounts about how people were leaving the rural estates to live better in the cities. Not because they had to, but because they lived better in the cities.” Or a dozen other things.

Make sure you’re thinking. Not just following programming. Inverse program is still program. “The left believes this so the inverse must be true” is easy. It’s also wrong at least 50% of the time, and often more. It’s not that simple. It never was. And you have to think.

Fortunately before humans were taught “how to think” they came equipped with perfectly good brains, because if they weren’t, your great great greatx300 grandfather would have been stomped on by a mammoth before reproducing. So, use your logic skills to weigh facts and figures, and figure it out. You can. Everyone can. And if you were taught not to do it, hoist the middle fingers to the teachers. They did you no service.

Don’t be an NPC. They took an arrow to the knee brain, and can no longer think and have become enemies of everything human. Until they break programming all we can do is keep trying.

Think, build, survive.

In the end we win, they lose. We just have to get there.

251 thoughts on “Head Script

  1. Elsewhere, I encountered a person who talked about his Jesuits teachers teaching him to Think For Himself (implied is that’s why he’s now an atheist).

    The Sad Part is he apparently accepts “European Humanism” as Dogma and ignores anything that goes against his Dogma.

    Not really a bad person. Just annoying when you’re trying to correct him. 😦

    1. Always understand that when you present the dogmatically infected with facts that show that their worldviews and plans for others are completely unrealistic and impossible, you’re not trying to convince them or get them to realize the fundamental idiocy of their beliefs, you’re trying to inoculate anyone listening from being infected by their irrationality. Showing that the leftist way isn’t the only way, and isn’t even a possible way in the real world, is something we all have to do to give others the ability to throw off the chains.

    2. A certain Irishman on Baen’s Bar, who seems reasonable half the time and is like arguing with a rock (or NPC) the rest of the time?

  2. I well remember the day the last of my blinders about the state fell off. It was when I found out that we went into Iraq on the word of a failed Iraqi politician. I had believed the mass destruction narrative but “knew” that some SF or SAS guy had confirmed it. Even if they found them later the fact that we’d invaded Iraq based on what was a lie when it was told broke that last bit of trust.

    Trump discovered what we all should know yes the progs are crazy but”our side”‘isn’t actually much better

    1. ….What?

      The claim that the WMDs weren’t there was a Democrat and media lie.

      I had guys get hurt by them. We have disabled veterans who were harmed by those WMDs.

      The freaking New York Times ended up having to admit that, oops, yeah, there really were WMDs.

      We went into Iraq because Saddam had violated the cease fire, he’d violated the agreements he made to let the UN inspect those WMDs, and we sat there and watched them haul stuff across the border for days ahead of the invasion.

      We did end up finding some of those trucks, by the way.
      Under the desert sand.
      With the drivers still in them.

        1. I never ended up seeing news stories about those trucks, but did talk to some of the guys who’d seen the trucks.

          It was after the news flipped over to “there were no WMDs,” which is how the topic came up, I asked if anybody remembered the trucks that had been on CNN before the invasin.

            1. There’s a *reason* that the “Saddam was never trying to get nukes” balloon got shot down very quickly. Too much evidence, too publicly available, showing the opposite.

      1. I never said they weren’t there what I’m saying is they told us they knew they were there and they didn’t. A lie that conforms to the facts is still a lie.

        1. Your statement makes no sense– perhaps you should go back and read the actual declaration?

          As it stands, you’ve made contradictory claims that should maybe be hashed out in light of the evidence.

          1. From what I read there were 13 divisions of Iraqi troops. The commanding general of each was asked postwar about chemical weapons. Each one said he wasn’t trusted enough to have them, but the two neighboring divisions (or one for the flanking divisions) had them and they were ready for use if ordered. So all their generals thought they had a bunch of them. When a regime lies to itself… well, the lies become fact to outsiders who don’t realize the house of cards that lies beneath. Like the superstrong Chinese economy…

            WMDs existed in reality in Iraq, but weren’t found the numbers suspected. My eldest saw some when he was in the sandbox.

            1. “Some” 4 bunker rooms. 20X20 floor to ceiling with chemical warheads. Aisles just large enough for a skinny Iraqi (as opposed to a skinny Scandinavian) to get between the rows and get a box down. That’s the one my husband’s team found. Their embedded reporter’s comment? “That is not the story we are here to pursue.” I heard of another similar find while I was there. Based on what we’ve heard out of ISIS… how much was there that we simply couldn’t find?

          2. The other part of the Demonrats lie about WMDs was deliberate ignorance of US WMD policy since WWII. That all WMDs are equal. A nuke is a bio-weapon is a chemical weapon is a nuke, and as the US does not officially have bio and chemical weapons (that VX in Terre Haute, Indiana is just lots of bug spray, seriously. /sarc), the stated US response to war gas or bio attacks is a nuclear weapon.
            Hussein (Saddam, not Barak) used chemical weapons on the Kurds and the Iranians for years before we went in. The nukes he was trying to develop were just extensions of his WMD program.

        2. > A lie that conforms to the facts is still a lie.

          Unless it’s in court, and then it’s called “parallel construction” instead of “perjury”, and totes OK with the DOJ.

      1. Not to mention that prior to the entry into Iraq, not only our intel, but other national intel agencies were reporting Saddam’s WMD.

        1. I deal with Chinese “facts” every day. I get lied to by well paid experts every day too. Experts say all sorts of things that aren’t facts especially when it’s politically convenient

          We should stop trusting spooks about, well, anything

          1. Unanimity doesn’t prove truth, but when you have agencies that generally disagree agreeing, it’s something to look at.

            If those ‘Chinese facts’ start to be corroborated by multiple other sources, including sources that aren’t supported by or allies of the Chinese, you might want to do some research on your own. Even the Chinese can be right from time to time.

        2. Heck, the documents that were going to Saddam and his chain of command were such that one of the explanations for some of the issues is that PEOPLE WERE LYING. (What a shock! “the grain harvest hit whatever goal means I don’t get executed” style reports….)

          We literally found documents that said this or that was happening, sometimes we found stuff in labs, sometimes we found equipment hidden (the infamous “buried in a flower garden” examples) and sometimes as best we can tell someone had stolen the funding and ran off while faking the paperwork.

          1. Heck. Saddam, the idiot, Said they had the WMD chemicals … Subtitle, “If we can’t have The Bomb, we have This.” Whether it was someone faking reports, some absconding with the money, some product moved across borders, and burying the tools, it was there. It hadn’t been destroyed. Proof was found. Proof was buried by whomever, or attempted to.

              1. A heck. I’ll even narrow it down to any section of Northern Sierra’s and Cascades through Oregon or Washington … Something about illegal groves of …. hmmmm, something …

            1. > Heck. Saddam, the idiot, Said they had the WMD chemicals …

              …and that he’d have nukes soon, and that he’d use them on the USA. Hey, he was the chief of state making a declaration, no reason not to take him at his word. And we were already next door, and it’d never get any cheaper to deal with it.


      2. I’ve seen stories, and saw stories at the time, about trucks going from Iraq to Syria prior to the war outbreak. It was speculated these carried WMDs. I always thought they did. Nothing else makes sense.

        I had paper files on this but tossed them sometime ago. I only more recently started computerized files of such information.

        1. As I commented above, we have satellite photos of the convoys…. but the Russians were basically human shielding them.

    2. That’s not quite true.
      Part of the ceasefire agreement that ended the first gulf war, was a complete inventory of WMDs.
      A significant fraction of which, did not actually exist.

      Which made it awkward when it came time for us to witness the destruction of the documented chemical weapons.

      (We *did* find chemical weapons in Iraq, just not in the quantities expected.)

      1. They told us he had the bomb. Since he’d dropped chemical weapons on the Kurds it can’t have been that

        1. “They told us that he had the bomb”.

          Nope, I remember hearing that he was attempting to get the bomb.

          Of course, the Main Thing that I remember was the concern that he had and continued to have WMD which includes poison gases.

          By the way, there were plenty of reports that Iraqi Troops thought that he had WMD that he’d use against Allied Forces.

          Sorry but he wanted everybody to think that he had them.

          1. He succeeded in making people think he had the bomb and he didn’t so he’s no more.

            I believe nothing they say, whether agency or military. They’re corrupt to the core. Noble lies are still lies and they’re not noble.

            I should note that I come from a family with a very long history of military service. I have a very good idea of how generals become generals being related to a few and knowing more. They’re politicians first and everything else, maybe, second. I despise politicians, even the ones I vote for.

        2. ….He used WMDs on the Kurds so he couldn’t have had WMDs?

          In 1948, the UN created the class of weapon known as WMD, which they defined as “atomic explosive weapons, radioactive material weapons, lethal chemical and biological weapons, and any weapons developed in the future which have characteristics comparable in destructive effect to those of the atomic bomb or other weapons mentioned above.

          1. Badly worded, I’m sorry, We know he had chemical weapons those are WMD. What they told us was he had the bomb. Nobody, ex ante, considered WMD to be anything but the bomb. He didn’t have the bomb and I don’t give a damn what the press said, in this case Bush lied — Blair too — and people died. They said they knew and they didn’t.

            I was never a neocon so I’m not really in favor of trying to bring democracy to the desert tribes. Yeah, Sadaam was bad news, but there’s lots of bad news. Primum non nocere.

              1. Yeah, there were reports of Iraq trying to buy yellowcake uranium – but with no indication they’d actually succeeded. And it’s a long process to get usable nuclear material from raw (>99% U238) uranium.
                Yes, there were concerns that Hussein might restart his nuclear program, but they were insignificant compared to the certainty that he had used chemical weapons.

                1. You missed the news reports about yellowcake looted from the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center?

                  Remember the supposed scandal when the “US sold yellowcake taken from Iraq”? (More like, had custody of it until the new Iraqi government sold it, then made delivery.)

                  Go look at whatever sources you will trust.

                2. That said– correct, the part where he actually used the chemical weapons, and was otherwise violating the treaty five ways to Friday, was the really significant and uncontestably true part.

                  1. His general “Chemical” Ali earned that nickname on merit because of the use of chemical weapons on the Kurds.

                    The mistake in Iraq wasn’t removing Saddam. It was the absurd nation-building effort afterwards. They should have taken a couple of the Baath generals who were not close to Saddam and told them “you are in charge now. Behave and keep the agreements. If you don’;t we will be back. You really won’t like it if we have to come back.”

                    1. The problem was that we didn’t catch Hussein right off the bat. If we’d caught him during the invasion, that might have been an option. But spending a couple of years running around the country after him complicated matters, and made it much more difficult to do what you suggested.

                      Of course, since the US administration had no interest in doing that, it wasn’t really an option anyway.

            1. I cared about biological and chemical weapons efforts.

              Yes, some of what was presented was about the nuclear program.

              The terms of the peace were that the burden of proof was on them to show that they didn’t have programs, and that the material was destroyed. We’d known for years that it wasn’t so.

              a) He was the most prominent person/nation publicly flaunting us. b) Iraq was a better location for us to fight folks than Afghanistan. c) He definitely would have been willing to host terrorist training camps.

              Invading Iraq was a step on path towards sorting the world into populations that are no longer enemies, and enemies who have been appropriately dealt with.

              And yes, I was young, gullible, ignorant and stupid enough to think that the nation building thing might work, but I also thought that it might require putting fear of extermination into them, possibly by starting to exterminate them.

              This is an example from a later period, but there’s been a time in my life when I was angry enough about the /Montreal Accord/ that I would’ve exterminated the populations of countries to remove it from force. Basically, I was angry in general, and a bloody minded fanatic with no life.

              Two things have changed. One, finding something in life to invest in. Two, realizing that enemies domestic are by far the most serious and pressing threat, and that dealing with them /might/ address some of the anger that I had been aiming at foreigners.

              So, I’m still a bloody minded fanatic. I still believe that ‘a germ is a gas is a nuke’ is the right way to proceed. But, to quote Pat Buckman, ‘first we must get our own house in order’.

              In hindsight, Clinton and the Bushes were enemies domestic, and had done a lot of the heavy lifting to make Hussein a problem. Exterminating the population of Iraq, instead of addressing the major contributor, might thus have been as unjust as exterminating the population of Benghazi instead of hanging officials at the Department of State.

              1. The Iraqi invasion did work rather well for the Don’t Screw With Us result, mostly because our tanks barely slowed down on the way in, instead of it being a months-long Heroic Battle.

                The constant Stupid Stuff, usually demanded by proggies so that everyone would agree we were Good People (by Progressive principles), is what lost the peace.

                1. HW Bush screwed with us to leave us with that ceasefire/truce.

                  W Bush also screwed us over, some, on that matter. In fairness, there may not have been enough Americans who were homicidal enough to do it as a precaution at that point, so maybe there was an actual case for the nation building.

                  I was certainly happy enough with it at the time.

                2. I wasn’t going off the news services, or official press releases, for what informed my policy preference.

                  Early on, I was still looking at that stuff, but I spent a lot of time reading various internet sources. Chasing stuff kinda ate a lot of my life.

                  So, I can maybe see where the difference with BGE’s impression might have been coming from.

                  Now, I was warned that Bush was too left, PATRIOT was bad, and that nation building was a terrible idea that would not work.

        3. I’d be interested in any media source you have that says that anyone claimed that Saddam actually had a nuke prior to our invasion after 9/11. I remember the time quite well, and there were lots of reports that he was attempting to acquire the necessary materials to make a nuke, but none that said he had them.

          And at the time the WMD that it was asserted that he had were chemical weapons.

          1. So Iraq HAD had a nuclear program. An attempt to build a reactor was cut short by an Israeli attack in the 80’s. Iraq were required by the Gulf War I ceasefire to provide detailed accounts of the materials and allow unfettered access to the sites by Internationally specified inspection teams. There was a lot of waffling and misdirection in the Clinton administration as those particular requirements were repeatedly violated. They were known to have (and have used) chemical weapons against the Kurds (Likely Sarin/GB) and against Iran in the Iran Iraq War (Mustard gas, possible Sarin/GB) mix. Again they were required by the cease fire to report and permit inspection of these items and allow them to ultimately be destroyed. They were again stonewalling and the incoming Clinton Administration folded like a wet cardboard box. There was suspicion of Biological investigations. The Soviet Union had fallen and it was rumored their technology was quite advanced and for sale to the right buyers (Ones with hard cash like an oil rich state). Again there were restrictions in the ceasefire and again the incoming administration did diddly squat to enforce. You may remember that shortly after 9/11 there were Anthrax attacks on Senators and several press members. I suspect the Bush the younger administration felt this might be related to Iraq and its Biowarfare efforts. What that was I’ve never seen a decent explanation for. They blamed it on some disaffected USAMRID folks, but why it targeted who it did made/makes no sense even 20 years later. A true terrorist would have taken the vial and tossed it into a NY subway track. The very high quality military grade anthrax would have been all over the station in hours from the pumping action of the trains entering and leaving the station. The person making the attack would have been contaminated but if they took a preventative course of say ciprofloxin that could have been purchased over the counter in many other countries, they’d be fine. Within a week you’d have had hundreds to thousands of anthrax cases all over NY, NJ and CT and tracing it back to a spot would be really hard until workers from the station started showing up in the casualties.
            So there was plenty of reason to attack Iraq, the thing was we were unwilling to admit that to FIX it would take 50-75 years of occupation and remolding their society (C.F. WWII Japan or Germany). We don’t have the intestinal fortitude for that (nor maybe should we) any more, so we should have just flattened everything WMD related busted the joint up back to about 1800’s level technology and walked. Of course we dont have the guts for that either anymore (or even in 2003 when were still raring to tear somebody a new anal orofice).

            1. ” we were unwilling to admit that to FIX it would take 50-75 years of occupation and remolding their society (C.F. WWII Japan or Germany). We don’t have the intestinal fortitude for that (nor maybe should we) any more, so we should have just flattened everything WMD related busted the joint up back to about 1800’s level technology and walked. ”

              You reversed the order: Like Germany and Japan, you have to tear the nation down to successfully rebuild it.

              Note that DOES NOT mean it won’t take 50-75 years; it means that the rebuilding isn’t possible without it.

              1. Alright here’s my theory of how this goes. Is it right? Who knows? Can’t test it unless you can get a country to commit to long term AND will to admit they are essentially sending another culture (or at least some large portion of it) to the dustbin of time.

                1) The enemy must be defeated and acknowledge that is true to ITS standard of defeat, Not the attackers standard. This is why we had to be so much more brutal in the pacific with the Japanese. Even the firebombing of Tokoyo and the use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki hadn’t convinced much of their military they had truly lost. For Germany on the other hand the bogey man of Stalin and the Red army was sufficient to tell them surrendering was a good idea.

                2) A government must be created/imposed that contains more traditional western ideals (I.E. One based on ideals similar to those of the original US declaration of Independence and constitution). Rule of Law MUST be enforced and an occupation force must be there to ensure this.

                3) Education must be focused on basic citizenship and be free to many thoughts. However the more toxic elements of the previous culture must be suppressed (e.g. Anti Semitism in Germany, Parts of Bushido in Japans military)

                4) Some forces must stay well after the government is established to “show the flag” and as a discouragement to revanchists

                So why 50 to 75 years? Part of it is getting that government to develop. Japan had a government but it was effectively 1 party well into the 70’s, Similarly Germany (BDR, we ignore DDR) was Christian Democrat only. Until you get consistent switches of government you haven’t succeeded (Note our own system is starting to fail hard in this process, not good ) . Part of it is generational 50 -75 years is two to three generations that have been under your tutelage. It also means the folks you defeated are fading away so that animosity is lower.

                So does this work? Well kind of/maybe Germany and Japan did become engines of industry. Are their people free sort of. Japan is still a MUCH less individual culture than ours, but compared to Imperial Japan probably a win. Germany got infected by our own (and the European) Socialist tendencies. Neither country can defend itself although I suspect Japan is in better state then Germany who took advantage of the Cold War troops by stinting on their own defenses. Germany also still seems to have strong strains of antisemitism lurking.

                For Gulf War I we did NOT satisfy condition 1. Letting the elite forces of Iraq return home instead of fully destroying them left Saddam with an ability to resist and harass his internal people. Even if we didn’t mean to take over that was a mistake, performed out of a misguided sense of propriety

                Gulf War II we did take the capital, but still did not effectively satisfy condition 1. One example of this was Fallujah. It resisted and continued to be a thorn in our side. It’s occupiers should have been given an ultimatum, Surrender or we level the city. After they failed to surrender the city should have be subjected to repeated Arc Light type strikes until either the defenders DID surrender or the defense was made ineffective. This war to the knife is the only war that Arabic peoples seem to recognize and one or two of these would have saved us much trouble down the road. Having a vague victory we then half assedly tried the latter steps trying to use the massively corrupt locals to run things. Needless to say it was a failure.

                1. Germans and Japanese had the cultural building blocks for governments that were less in the way of a spectacular mess. They needed to be motivated to arrange them.

                  This does not seem to be true for all cultures.

                  What the BIA did could be called nation building, but from that perspective might possibly be seen as a completely dysfunctional boondoggle. Okay, a serious opinion would require deeper study of tribal government history than I have ever done, but would a bureaucracy be able to accomplish the positive outcomes on purpose?

            2. > You may remember that shortly after 9/11 there were Anthrax attacks on Senators and several press members.

              What I remember from the time was that the media reported no actual anthrax was ever found. Were there any with real anthrax?

      2. That, of course, is completely unrelated to the convoys of Russian trucks escorted by embassy staff including the Russian ambassador over the border to Syria…. and the fact that a few years later Assad “unexpectedly” deployed WMDs on his own people.

        1. Did Assad do that, or did his crazy brother do that??
          Because the crazy brother had talked about doing it.
          Not to mention Iranian “advisors” trying to get kinetic with Turkey.

          1. The key word is “unexpectedly”. Syria hadn’t been able to spin up their own infrastructure…. but suddenly Syria had them.

        2. Assad never used gas on his people, that was a crudely manufactured incident and story, where the alleged shells were not military grade, and practically no one was killed…US intelligence at work, but there were expert observers on the scene to debunk it…

          1. I remember that. I saw video from the purported scene. Some of the “corpses” didn’t like having their faces covered and came up for air. And some people had no problem breathing “chlorine gas”.

            Not to mention some …interesting… connections behind the “White Helmets”.

      1. You know that it had been reported in The NY Times that he’d gassed the Kurds so it couldn’t have been a surprise. WMD was the bomb, not gas. I know gas is technically a WMD, but usage was WMD = the bomb. If it wasn’t and we knew he’d used it on the Kurds, why would intelligence matter? Only the bomb could get people lined up for war so Sadaam has the bomb is what we got.

        I “knew” that someone reliable, a Special Forces or SAS guy had positively ID’d them. Nope.

        Spare me what people “in the know” might think. They told us he had the bomb. We invaded, spent billions, killed thousands, for nothing, absolutely nothing. Perhaps it was noble to get rid of a tyrant and all but there’s lots of tyrants. Lots and lots of money in war too. I may not understand the military but I do understand money and I know what boards of directors the retired generals sit on.

        1. You are reversing a time line here. The gassing of the Kurds was in 1988 – Gulf War 1 was in 1991.

          The peace after that required that Saddam relinquish any existing WMD programs, and destroy any ABC stocks; he was known to have chemical weapons then, but the peace required their destruction – his not doing so was the reason for Gulf War 2. Best intelligence (take that as you will) indicated that he still had chemical stocks, was developing biological, and trying to get a start on atomic.

          1. “Dude! Those are totally pesticides and industrial chemicals. No way are they chemical weapons. Where do you Yanquis get such crazy ideas?!

            Well, yes, they’re loaded into artillery shells and bomb casings. Suitable containers are expensive, and these were all military surplus, and cheap. We’re not the richest country in the world, you know.

            Of course they’re stored on military bases. They’re hazardous chemicals, and there are bad people running around. We’re keeping them safe. You’re not suggesting we just put the stuff in common storage tanks or warehouses, are you? That would be irresponsible.”

    3. Under the terms of the latest war, BTW, we didn’t have to prove that he had WMDs. He has to prove that he didn’t. (And most of his troops thought he did, so he couldn’t; it was too useful.)

      1. Umm. We attacked him and you can’t prove a negative. No tears for Sadaam, but things aren’t true just because our guy says so and things aren’t false just because (e.g.,) The NY Times says so.

        One of the things in Heinlein that changed my life was his notion of doubt in Space Cadet. I try my best to apply it as widely as I can. The downside is I believe in very little and nothing that comes from people in power, the upside is I’m seldom wrong to not believe them. George W’s bungling and the neocon bloviating removed the last small bit of belief I had.

        1. The cease fire agreement that Saddam was party to was quite specific– he DID have to meet the marks to prove that he did not have the items, and there were standards in place to do so.

          Saddam violated them.

          1. So we killed all those people …. Sadaam lied so people died and we didn’t confirm he was lying, we went in on suspicion, Really?

            Still, Sadaam is not the issue George W is. Was he evil or was he stupid or was he evil and stupid? Did he lie to himself or only to us? He and that neocon crowd of world improvers wanted a war and they got one. We went into Iraq the second time for no good reason, killed an awful lot of innocent people, got an awful lot of Americans killed or maimed, and spent buckets of money for nothing.

            Everything the US government touches in the Middle East turns to even bigger piles of sh-t than they were to start with. it’s bipartisan too — most things in DC are since the difference between the parties is just who/whom.

            Sorry, my belief in the incompetence at best, and malice at worst of the average DC bureaucrat and all politicians is unshakeable; that includes the military ones, that’s my head script. Too much factual basis to undo it now,

            I honor the service of those who served but those who sent them there. Nope.

            1. So we killed all those people …. Sadaam lied so people died and we didn’t confirm he was lying, we went in on suspicion, Really?

              Oh, you’re doing your violent failure of basic reading comprehension thing again.

              I guess that means you discovered that the facts don’t actually back you up, so you can’t offer the official declaration of the causes, or direct, public quotes, or other primary sources supporting what you’ve been insisting on.

              Wish you’d just say “Gosh, that’s another adjustment, good to have accurate information” instead of doing this stupid thing where you throw out a metric ton of trash and charge madly in another direction, it would save the rest of us a lot of time.

              1. I was a targeting officer during Gulf I, so very carefully followed the publicly accessible intel in the lead up to Gulf II. I do not recall any reports that Sadaam had active nukes. Only that he was working to getting them (indisputably true. The only reason he didn’t have them is a visit by the IAF to Osirak reactor complex in 1981and another by the USAF in 91).

                Chemicals are not “technically” WMDs, they are part of the very definition of that weapons class (along with Nuclear and Biological, hence the miltary term for them as NBC in the 80’s).

                I’ve seen credible reports that a prime reason Sadaam didn’t use chemicals against us in DESERT STORM was that he was informed of the US Policy that a Nuke=A chemical=A biological attack, and a WMD attack on US forces would be responded to in kind. At that time the US had no offensive Chemical or Biological weapons in the active inventory, that left one option.

                Besides, US forces were trained and equipped to fight in a chemical environment, so such an attack would have been ineffective compared to their usage against unprotected Iranian human wave attacks. (And not nearly as much fun as dropping chemicals on unprotected civilian men women and children

                1. I’ve seen credible reports that a prime reason Sadaam didn’t use chemicals against us in DESERT STORM was that he was informed of the US Policy that a Nuke=A chemical=A biological attack, and a WMD attack on US forces would be responded to in kind. At that time the US had no offensive Chemical or Biological weapons in the active inventory, that left one option.

                  That makes good sense. From several directions.

                  I am going to point that out to my geek group– we’re a generation or two later (military generations being weird, after all) and our main connection where CBR is the same is that we were the enlisted learning very similar mitigation options for all three.

                2. “Chemicals are not “technically” WMDs, they are part of the very definition of that weapons class (along with Nuclear and Biological, hence the miltary term for them as NBC in the 80’s).”

                  And ought to be considered the worst of the lot, since any concentration of the longer lasting ones will make the area uninhabitable for longer than a nuke will. Never mind the people, you’ll lose all the livestock, and possibly the soil microorganisms, and also the groundwater contamination.

                    1. And those chemicals are NOT the long persistence agents like Sarin, Tabun or VX. One concern with those agents if they were on say the underside of a fence would remain active and lethal for years. Lethal dose is in the micrograms range. even an abortive WWIII in Fulda Gap and its environs would have left large portions of Germany and the Soviet satellite states unlivable for decades.

                  1. Actually I consider Biological the worst of the lot. As conventional warheads get more accurate and powerful, there is still one category of targets that absolutely call for a nuke to take them out; Biowar facilities. Those are potentially extinction level weapons.

                    1. Starting with the Wuhan virology lab, where they have already produced and released at least one bio-weapon.

  3. Wonderful, encouraging post!

    One of my favorite memories from my childhood (there aren’t many) is from second grade. I had longed to be one of the crossing guards, with their white Sam Brown belts, brass buckle, and you got to keep your stick with the orange flag on it. Beautiful.

    I made it onto the team by being very, very obedient. Then one day some moron decided to try to force me to walk on the sidewalk rather than cross the busy street and walk next to The Woods. Which I always did. Screw you, tyrant. As soon as I walked away I crossed the street and did what I’d always done: walked next to the great and mysterious Woods.

    The next day I got kicked off the crossing guard team, with all the stupid angry looks and words of tyrant adults and snitch children.

    To this day I avoid sidewalks. I hate walking on them. Regardless how difficult the other side of the street may be.

    🙂 Your post reminded me of those days. And it was great!

    1. Yeah, I never bothered. I suppose family and custody court and the way things seemed to work against the victims for the abuser disillusioned me really early.

      1. C.S.Lewis, =The Pilgrim’s Regress=, chapter =The Spirit of the Age=. The book is terribly underrated.

    2. I tell people that that’s why I never joined the Boy Scouts, back in the day. Couldn’t take the regimentation. 🙂 The truth was that for us rural kids such groups didn’t exist, and would have been laughed at if they did. We had 4H (I don’t know if that’s become woke these days or not), and that was good enough.

  4. Hmm. There seems to be a dichotomy here. One of my old Headmaster’s mottos was ‘think for yourself but be prepared to defend your conclusions – we aren’t all correct at the same time’. And my class was quite successful at that because he’d introduce us to a statement and expect us to argue both for and against it. His idea was that we needed to be able to see two (or more) sides of a thesis and pick holes in it as well as in our own ideas. Alas, the school Debating Club that I started didn’t last after I left there.

  5. When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school
    It’s a wonder I can think at all
    And if my lack of education hasn’t hurt me none
    I can read the writing on the wall

    1. Great one! When I think back to HS, it was OK except for history..I now know that virtually nothing they taught in American or world history was true…or if there was some truth to it, it was oversimplified to the point it was false..

      1. When I was in high school most of the male and quite a few of the female teachers were WWII vets so I got occasional glimpses of reality. None of them ever wanted to talk much about their war experience, but every now and then little snippets of their personal horrors would come through. Often at the strangest times.

        1. My dad was a history teacher, and we had several different college US history books around the house. Tons of pages explaining trade agreements, trade embargoes, import taxes, the Bank of the United States, gold and silver specie, various depressions and recessions, and so on.

          And then, when I got to high school and college, there was nothing about that.

          1. The joke going around us History majors at Williams in the mid-80s was: In high school you learn that the US got into WW1 due to unrestricted submarine warfare. Then in college you learn it was due to economics, internal politics, anti-immigrant racism, and a host of other complicating factors. Then you go to grad school and you learn that it was mostly about unrestricted submarine warfare after all. 🙂

  6. In high school, my German teacher, in grilling me question-response style, barked out, “Gehen Sie an–“, and “die Tafel!” came out of my mouth unbidden. (For those of us who don’t speak German in this lifetime, the translation is “Go to–“, “the blackboard” a standard preliminary.) I was appalled by how I’d been programmed.

    When I was in college, one day I decided that the only thing I wanted to do every day of my life was breathe. That has led to some deleterious consequences, such that I can’t seem to keep a useful, innocuous habit, like putting the washed dishes back in the same order.

    Only remotely relevant, but I can’t help myself. I’m a story-teller after all.

    1. That’s not programming; that’s the part of your brain that stores rote knowledge spitting up the appropriate (at least by its lights) response without needing to work it out from scratch. Not intrinsically different from if someone barks “six times eight” and your brain automatically produces “forty-eight” without having to do the math.

      Of course if the question was in base sixteen, then your answer would be wrong, but that’s not the expected scenario.

      Not having to think about such things frees up a helluva lot of processing power.

  7. On a related note, the first time I tried to take Logic it was kind of hilarious because the professor liked to preface and conclude his lectures with insane liberal rants on the issue of the day.

    Well, no, it was hilarious because after several days of this, I realized It Was A Test! I mean, he’d used the VERY SAME logical fallacies in his spiels that he was lecturing on that day, CLEARLY we were supposed to notice!

    So I went up to him after class that day and… uh. No. Turns out that wasn’t it.

    But on the bright side, I dropped before the deadline, so that’s good! And logical fallacies are legit a good resource to figure out *why* this thing Just Seems Wrong–even if you do need to balance fallacy-or-not against all the other things going on. (YES an analogy is going to usually be false because it doesn’t prove a darn thing, it can still be illustrative, just be aware of what a thing is and what it isn’t–also, the fallacy fallacy is fallacious for a reason.)

    not really sure on how to break programming tho. Though I have hopes that the COVID hokey pokey helps -_-

    1. I found my intro to logic very useful except for the slippery slope fallacy. It might be a logical fallacy, but it’s a very sound strategy that’s practiced all the time by everybody on the left.

    2. I had a good online course that emphasized that logic only had supported or unsupported.
      A fallacy meant that it was not supported.
      Not that it was WRONG.

      “That is a fallacy, therefore the opposite is true” is the fallacy fallacy. ^.^

      1. Logic doesn’t tell that something is true (or false), it just tells you that you reached a particular conclusion using the process from logic. The premises could be false, but the conclusion logical.

        1. There’s even the “fallacy fallacy” — something is not false because an argument for it is bad.

    3. Dropped Logic after about three days when I couldn’t get past the idea that an argument could be ‘valid’ even if completely fallacious, Ie. ‘If A, then B is Valid, even if A is a false premise’. May have made a mistake, but I don’t seem to have been noticeably the poorer for it four decades later.

      1. That is essential to determining where to attack a fallacy. If the problem lies in the reasoning or the premise.

  8. I used to tell my students “I don’t care WHAT you think, only THAT you think, and can express it and support it in writing.” Taught them to use both hard and soft evidence, and how others would use mostly soft evidence and appealing to emotions, mostly because there either wasn’t hard evidence to support their argument or because they wanted to manipulate their audience.

    Sometimes I miss teaching. And then I remember the students I had the last two or three semesters, and realize that I’m well shut of it.

    1. Ha! That was my line too! I told them that if they made a claim in any discussion they should be prepared to defend it, especially if they were working under the “everybody knows” assumption.

      1. And both high school and college students dread it when I say, “There is no right or wrong answer. Show me your evidence and convince me.” Because some things in history are like that. I want to see how they support their thesis.

  9. “We? Well, we’re goats”

    We eat whatever we want and headbutt anybody that annoys us? I kid,I kid…

    Thinking- really thinking, evaluating, and digging into things- is hard work. No wonder the left doesn’t do any more of it than they have to. Singing along with the mob chorus is easy. It does not involve thinking. You need to be alert to the ever changing narrative, but you’ve got social media for that. And the corrupt mainstream media as well.

    For most of us, our daily lives do not absolutely require a lot of critical thinking. Some jobs do- most of mine did, but only slightly. Once you get out of school it is easy to be lulled into a routine. A comfortable routine, if you’re lucky.

    We all got here in different ways. Some of us had it beaten into our stubborn heads (well, I did at least) that we *needed* to develop critical thinking skills. I didn’t just wake up one day and say “I think I’ll be a little L libertarian Constitutionalist today.” We didn’t talk politics much in our household when I was young. It took time.

    It took listening to AM radio because that was the only station that would come in out in the boonies. It took watching the news during the Clinton years, and wondering what that all was about. It took voting for the first time and really looking at those candidates, and rapidly becoming cynical enough to compare promises made to promises kept.

    When you dig into the other side you find quite a lot of circular sourcing, lazy arguments (“I win because I call you racist”), and disturbing connections. To be fair, any establishment politician is probably dirty, at least the ones I’ve looked into, but the right didn’t foist Fast & Furious and Obamacare on us. They caved on those promises to repeal and replace the aforementioned, and got hammered in the next election cycle for it.

    You can’t be an NPC and be on the right like you can on the left. We argue too much. We’re less on telling you what you can and can’t do and more on telling the *government* what it is forbidden from doing, and a few things it should be doing. It’s messy. We’ve got folks with hot button issues over here (2A, right to life, economy, justice reform, etc), small gov’t or bust over there, and a bunch of “leave me alone and we’re good” folks all over.

    I think the ideal government for most of us on the right would meet maybe three or four times a year, vote on a budget and stick to it (line item veto!), and let the states run themselves in general. We don’t much care if folks want to live in a weirdo socialist commune, so long as its completely voluntary. Don’t much care if y’all don’t want to own a gun, so long as we get our range time and get to carry legally.

    We’re better off when the individual’s rights are respected just as much if not more than the institution, corporation, or bureaucracy’s. You can’t be an NPC and chart your own course. The mob will come for you if you do. Not so much a problem, if you’re on the right.

    1. There’s also not any reward for being a right wing NPC. You’re basically signing up to be hated. Left wing NPCs get to be told how they are the Good People(tm), which is something.

      You only end up here if you’ve looked at the current society run script and said, “Wait, this isn’t right. This is wrong here.”

      Not really an autopilot mode for that. Heck, I’m not even sure there is a pilot-pilot mode for that…

      1. Well, the pilot’s manual is rather thick. As in “Volume one, part I” of an ever increasing number. Included are such documents as the Bible, the US Constitution, the Federalist papers, several philosophers’ scribblings, some sheet music, an old AM radio program, a box of fireworks (the good kind, not those skeevy little sparklers), a few firearms, and several other things. There’s no index. And you have to find or buy it all yourself.

        It’s also being added to all the time. There are whole sections on cautionary tales of Things A Free People Should Not Do If They Want To Stay Free. And none of it ever really tells you *how* to be free, or what choices you should make. More what things you should be aware of.

        Reading and experiencing all those things is totally optional, though. You get your license to be free by being born here, naturalizing, or getting married to a free person.

    2. Watch what happens if you question the NPC’s dogma in the slightest. They foam at the mouth while screaming, “You’re a Denier!” “You’re an Anti-Vaxer!” “You’re a Q-Anon True Believer!”

      There is no middle ground between absolute obedience and Ultimate Eeevul. Of course, they don’t have to listen to anything you say because you are Ultimate Eeevul.
      ‘Progressives’ will do the wrong thing just because the people they hate do the right thing.

      1. Of course. It’s a deliciously simple script, minimizing lines of code necessary for immersion. If the challenge does not receive the proper response, the response tree is quite tiny. And repetitive.

      2. Questioning the efficacy of the WuFlu vaccine, asking why we still had to mask, and generally questioning all approved stories got me screamed at (online) by a high school acquaintance who told me I was a menace to society and a threat to everyone (she actually said that).

        I consider myself to have arrived! I’m a menace to society! Woot!

        1. Congratulations! I’m a menace, too! Shall we all go menace together? I can bring the baby!
          (I had Covid in September, yes, and medical authorities confirmed it, because the Covid pneumonia eventually sent my daughter and myself to the emergency room – we got better as soon as we were both prescribed drugs that knocked down the pneumonia, though. Infant grandson was fully-exposed, had the sniffles and a low-grad temp for about two days.)

            1. How about a little seasonal menace!

              ♪ ♫ Here we come a-menacing among the NPCs
              ♪ ♫ Here we come a-menace and make them all to REEEE

              [someone better at filk can finish out the lyrics.]

                1. We wish you a merry kulturkampf, we wish you a merry kulturkampf,
                  we wish you a merry kulturkampf, and a happy new boog!

              1. Common sense come to you
                And a spare braincell or two,
                And may Real Life remove thy poo-filled head from up thy rear,
                May thine head be extracted from thy rear!

        2. Yep. As I put it on Twitter they seem to think,
          “I want to feel safe! I can’t feel safe unless everyone is vaccinated! Why won’t you get vaccinated? Don’t you want me to feel safe? How can you be so selfish?”
          Uh, I’m not the selfish one…

    3. Thinking- really thinking, evaluating, and digging into things- is hard work. No wonder the left doesn’t do any more of it than they have to. Singing along with the mob chorus is easy.

      Singing or dancing along is not only easy but positively inviting to many, many people. There may be atavistic forces at work that like most evolutionary psychology made sense in the days of the 100-person band of hunter-gatherers, but that are of neutral value now (if not negative).

      A post from Neo’s blog back in 2005:

      First, I offer this quote from Milan Kundera’s Book of Laughter and Forgetting:

      Circle dancing is magic. It speaks to us through the millennia from the depths of human memory. Madame Raphael had cut the picture out of the magazine and would stare at it and dream. She too longed to dance in a ring. All her life she had looked for a group of people she could hold hands with and dance with in a ring. First she looked for them in the Methodist Church (her father was a religious fanatic), then in the Communist Party, then among the Trotskyites, then in the anti-abortion movement (A child has a right to life!), then in the pro-abortion movement (A woman has a right to her body!); she looked for them among the Marxists, the psychoanalysts, and the structuralists; she looked for them in Lenin, Zen Buddhism, Mao Tse-tung, yogis, the nouveau roman, Brechtian theater, the theater of panic; and finally she hoped she could at least become one with her students, which meant she always forced them to think and say exactly what she thought and said, and together they formed a single body and a single soul, a single ring and a single dance.

      Not wanting to dance in a circle marks you. You are suspect. You are not of The Body.

      1. It is a very, very human thing to desire to belong. To understand and be understood. To be a part of something greater than oneself.

        Understand that I intend this as a value-neutral expression of human nature. One can belong to a camp of cannibals and still belong. One can understand and be understood (at least to one’s own perception of such a thing) by fanatic zealots. One can be a part of a greater whole in a mob, looting, raping, and killing. Just as one can find all that belonging, understanding, and group membership in a church. These innate drives can be used for good or ill, depending on the person.

        Being that it is human nature to want to belong, this desire tends to affect nigh all facets of human social interaction. Politics, religion, dating, and so on. Cultured, trousered apes we may be, but we are yet only three steps away from barbarism. And, I think, always will be.

        Now, that said, I do have something else to say about evolutionary psychology. And I don’t mean this in any pejorative way towards yourself, but be wary of evo psych. It is a field of study that holds many intriguing theories. And it is also one that has been used for some quite disgusting things as well.

        I recall a time when someone once tried to use evolutionary psychology to prove that, at a certain point in history, *all* births were a product of r*pe. And that this was a good thing. At another point, they tried to put forth that polygamy was the natural state of human relationships. Among other nasty things.

        I’m not saying that evo psych is bad in and of itself. But I was trained as an anthropologist. One of the things I remember from my studies is that attempting to extract behavior from the physical record was something to be very, very careful of. Read: Don’t do it.

        There’s a lot we still don’t know about the brain. And a lot we’ve still to discover about psychology- how to mend the mind when it gets broken, first and foremost. Attempting to use evolutionary theory to explain human behavior strikes me as a thing to be approached with much care. It would be too easy for the researcher to project his own feelings on the subject into the study itself, I think.

        1. Another issue with the Economist magazine a few years ago was their ongoing effort to explain ( away) every human virtue by saying they were the products of “evolutionary psychology.”

          1. I’ve been trying to forget that one. Among others. *headdesk*

            Evo psych gets under my skin, but not quite as bad as the Relativism-Marxism-Critical Theory mess. I try and keep my soapboxing to a minimum, but every now and then it sneaks up on me.

  10. Some years ago I told a group of people about the Muslim rape gangs in Rotherham. One of them later got in touch with C and said to her that I shouldn’t get my news from the Daily Mail. As it happened, I first heard of it from Samizdata, a British libertarian blog; I followed their link to the Manchester Guardian; and I followed their link to a government report by a British scholar specializing in child welfare. I never looked at the Daily Mail. But it was easy for her to assume I must have gone to a source she held in contempt, without asking me what my source was.

    I used to have some respect for her mind; that has ceased to be the case. It makes me rather sad.

    1. Oh, there is no limit to the number of progs who will sneer at you for getting your news from Fox, or the Daily Mail, or whatever, when you bring up something contrary to prog-thought. It’s a stupid NPC trope, and one they never tire of.

      1. They get really pissed when you look at them funny and say “No, I read an article in the New York Times, and then went and looked for primary sources. They screwed up the reporting, but they usually do that.”

        (How harshly I put this depends on the person; my usual is that I’m off guard, so I say ‘no, I usually hear something and go look up primary sources, why?’)

        1. There used to be all sorts of articles in the Guardian about the really vile physical abuse suffered by women in Pakistan at the hands of husbands, or inlaws, usually. Gruesome pics of women with their noses cut off, burns … stuff like that. Really ran counter to that trope about women treated respectfully under Islam, it did.
          Don’t know if they still run articles like that in the Grauniad – the gift subscription ran out shortly after 9-11, when you must not say anything narsty about the Religion of Peace.

          1. Sounds like how Iraq having gassed the “swamp Arabs” was only objectionable when it was a useful hammer– one of my roommates in A school (the artist from New York City whose studio overlooked the WTC) had a copy of the New Yorker and wanted to know why we weren’t doing anything about that. I told her we’d need to have a legal cause to go in, and I didn’t know if we HAD any cause. (I’m too young to remember the Gulf War, and they sure didn’t teach anything about it in school.)

            She’d graduated and hit the fleet as an AO before we went into Iraq.

        2. What I find, about half the time, is that there *aren’t* any primary sources; just “authorities say” or “experts report” or “it is reported”. And of the times they do give a primary source, it’s often paywalled. And for the small number of primary sources I can actually access, they often don’t say what the downstream article claimed.

          1. And for the small number of primary sources I can actually access, they often don’t say what the downstream article claimed.

            THIS is a really big problem.

            I’ve actually had amazingly good luck with poking hard enough to FIND stuff beyond “experts report” or “it was claimed,” usually when something slips up and actually gives a couple of names.

            Usually, the lack of listed primary sources because there’s a really big freaking detail involved- for example, was given a story about how the city of Philadelphia tried to take the house of these poor old ladies because their brother fled the police into their house.
            He was convicted, but they weren’t even charged.

            …. well, that *is* true. Every detail is the truth…but a bit more context:
            He was found guilty of dealing drugs on their front porch. When the sister who was home was sitting on the couch in the front room.
            Some of the evidence used in the conviction was from a bedroom in the house, although the sisters say that they didn’t let him move back in after he got out of jail two years before.

            This…makes the whole going to court thing to prove that they weren’t involved take on a rather different light, even if I don’t approve of the City of Philadelphia doing property confiscation rather than something radical like not putting freaking career criminals out on the streets over and over again.

            1. Were either of the sisters criminally charged? No.
              Were either of the sisters convicted in a court of law of a crime? No.

              This, folks, is how Fascism operates. If they were accessories, then charge and convict them as such. Until both of those steps are followed, that is theft pure and simple.

              1. How many of the ‘insurrectionists’ rotting in solitary confinement for the last 11 months have been convicted of crimes? Or even charged?

                Why are NONE of the thugs caught on video bashing in the Capitol building’s windows and doors in jail? The ones that came to a political rally with armor and backpacks full of weapons? Where is Confederate Flag Dude? Why don’t we know?
                The Capitol is OUR house. Congresscritters are just the help.

              2. This, folks, is how Fascism operates. If they were accessories, then charge and convict them as such.

                The complaint was that they WERE taken to court.

                Their day in court–which they won– is the subject that was lied about in order to create the false narrative, which oddly happens to match what you are pushing.

      2. Last time I was accused of “getting all your news from Faux” I took an unholy joy in retorting that I never watch Fox, and mostly get my news from NDT, Epoch Times, and the like…

        1. Well, I saw some of the Rittenhouse trial, and then watched EVERY SINGLE ONE of the yammerheads on CNN and MSNBC LIE about everything I had just seen on video straight from the courtroom. They all told the SAME lies, in almost exactly the SAME words. Like they were all auditioning for the same part in a really lousy play.

          Nobody on Fox lied about what I had seen.

          1. Not only did FOX not lie about what was live in the trial. FOX actually ran the trial live. Sure comments when in recess (duh). Not one lie. Not one, um, how do you get that conclusion? BUT gleefully (sorry they did) ran the lies CNN, MSN, and a few main channel ABC, NBC, ABC, news and talk shows, were stating as “truth”, then rerun the actual trial clip.

            I do watch FOX. The ones I watch are admitted commentators, not pure journalists. But I haven’t caught them in an actual lie. They have been wrong. But they don’t compound the wrong by lying about being wrong. They admit they screwed up, with an analysis of how they screwed up based on their own preconceptions. There isn’t a lot on cable, locally, other than FOX that is reasonable. Does FOX have people on the extreme end, where they open mouth insert foot every time they open their mouths? Yes. Some I think, almost, they are being paid bonuses to be that stupid on camera, just to be supporting what is being echoed other places (not quite, but close).

            At least with FOX, when I watch something, and the analyzing starts, I’m not immediately thinking “did you WATCH the same speech/incident I did?” I know they get advanced copies of major speeches. Or used to? I’ve seen FOX outline where the written speech handed out differed from the one actually given (which sometimes explain the talking heads on other networks, usually not). Doesn’t happen often. I have questioned how they get some conclusions out of a speech/incident, but never the reporting of the content. Can’t say that of CNN/MSN/NBC/CBS/ABC, regardless if “news” or commentary.

            My realization of how badly news is reported was May 19, 1980 … When mom and dad got home from the Oregon coast where they’d spent the weekend commercial fishing out of Windy Cove Reedsport. To a FULL phone message system. Luckily the first ones were from us (we were suppose to be camping on Mt Rainer that weekend, which they knew, but for reasons got home early, didn’t get stuck on the mountain in the ash, which was being reported). The rest? Family and friends calling because Longview WA was buried by mud flows from St Helens … We lived in Longview. Um, no, still living. Granted we didn’t hang around to see if the new Spirit Lake plug was going to hold. Spent the week before being called back to work at folks in Eugene and Bend, with dog, and cats. Cats didn’t normally join us on trips. We DID live in a potential flood zone had the Columbia River been impacted more than it had.

          2. Yeah… I hadn’t watched MSNBC since it was just NBC and I still had TV (1997, probably) but about a year ago happened to accidentally land on one of their videos on Youtube. Now, this was about some incident I’d just watched LIVE not half an hour before, and every word out of the MSNBC anchor’s mouth contradicted the evidence of my own eyes and ears. Literally 180 degrees from factual. Whatever happened, they reported the opposite. Spherically factless. Made shit up.

            And I’m sitting there going… But I saw it, and that’s not what happened. That’s not what he said.

            It’s no damn wonder people who just skim the news and don’t dwell on politics believe all sorts of garbage — it’s what they see from “reliable” sources. Especially if all those “reliable” news outlets are all reporting the same damn thing… for most folks, consensus means believable.

            However, I’ve noted a decided skew (as have we all) that the more left-leaning, the more desire to believe the consensus.

            [Has unpleasant thoughts regarding the average jury]

        2. David Drake, who does not suffer fools lightly, was accused of that when he talked about the European slaves taken by the Barbary Pirates.

          1. The United State fought a war over that, in 1805. That’s where the line “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Hymn comes from.

          2. Gah. Reminds me of the go-around with another contributor at Open Salon, back when that was a sort-of-thing. I got a page there as an author, at the suggestion of another indy author in my writing group who suggested that it might be a good way to get exposure for ourselves … anyway, at the same time as all this, I was involved in a local Tea Party chapter, as a media rep, because the local Tea Party founding activist was a long-time blog-friend and veteran, and he had the mad notion – ‘Hey, she’s been in Public Affairs! She can be our media rep, draft our news releases…” Well, in the long run, it turned out to be slightly more than that … but another story.
            Anyway, this proggie leftist on Open Salon was absolutely convinced that the Tea Party was AstroTurf, and totally a creation of (IIRC) the Koch brothers, or some similar cabal of malign far-right billionaires … and nothing, not a single word I could say to her from first-hand knowlege made a dent in that proggie skull. No, we were self-funded (we passed the hat at open meetings, FFS!), we met at a local restaurant whose owners were TP-sympathetic and let us use their venue gratis on a Sunday afternoon, our rudimentary website was built and hosted by another sympathizer – and I knew all this because I was a member of the board! First hand information, you might think – but no, she was so wedded to the narrative. She eventually said I was either a liar or deeply stupid… once a notion is embedded in a proggie skull, it must take an act of God to dislodge it.

            1. Stuff doesn’t lodge itself in a proggie skull; it’s more like morons stuck to a flagpole by their tongues, obliged to follow wherever it leads.

              1. In one sense, that’s tautological. When it penetrates, they stop being proggies. Many famous anticommunists were communists.

  11. However all along the line, test, verify. Check and double check your automatics and semiautomatics, both the projectile pushers and your brain to muscle shortcuts.

    Personal experience talking; as we get old(er) many of the automatic responses we developed when inhabiting a 10-20 year old body don’t work quite as well after putting a hundred thousand miles, or six-seven decades on the speedometer. Learn to start looking before you put your coffee cup down where you “know” the table is.

    NPCs salvageable? Yes I suspect many are but their beliefs aren’t subject to rational argument. Woke is a religion. a matter of faith and not negated by facts. Somehow we’ve got to reach them at a gut, emotional, level to get them to think and change their behavior. The best evangelical approach presenting our religious beliefs is the way we live, the me and thee the world sees. Perhaps our best argument against the religion of woke is simply the way we live our lives. I’m not saying scourging the money lenders out of the temple is wrong though, of course. A few horse whippings on the courthouse steps might go a long way toward converting the Woke.

    1. Re: Putting down the coffee cup.

      I’ve lived in the same place for twenty years, and I’ve gotten into the habit of completely rearranging the rooms every two to three, just to break some of those ingrained habits and reactions.

      I moved my work computer into a different room six months ago, and I still get minor delirium when I stand up to go to the kitchen, because it’s in the “wrong” direction from where my seat faces.

      1. We’ve lived in the house 33 years. Except when we paint, refloor a room, or change out furniture, I’m not allowed to rearrange.

        I was raised a serial rearranger of household items, furniture (all rooms), locations of dishes in the kitchen, etc. To the point, the latter, when visitors ask where something is, at parent’s house (I was raised there), my answer, for the last 47 years (since I moved out), has to be “Dang if I know!” Confession time, I was a serial household rearranger when we got married. Hubby cured me. I still get the itch.

        Granted, in our current house, there isn’t a lot of options for furniture placement, regardless of the room in question. Plus, there is no way I can move the couches on my own, not the ones we have now; they are heavy. We are looking at differences whenever we finally get rid of the fireplace in the living room, and the pool table in the family room. Not a lot of difference, but some.

      2. When I lived at home and later in an apartment, I’d rearrange the furniture fairly frequently. Once I owned a house, rearranging slowed down, and was usually associated with a new piece of furniture.

        The current house has had a stable arrangement in most rooms. We went from two dog crates in the master BR, to one, to none (snif), to one for the puppy. (Zero lasted two weeks…) The space for the second dog crate now holds a wash stand that used to be in my office. That started as a bedroom with bookshelves and a desk, but things evolved to make a purer office with a Comfy Chair, and now a ladder desk dedicated to radio gear. That forced rearranging bookshelves, plus donations of books. I hope to get some of the non-fiction back from exile in the shop’s mezzanine, so I can get books without risking life and limb.

  12. When I was in my early teens, my younger brothers fought all the time, and I attempted to mediate their squabbles. I leaned very early to listen to both sides, because invariably they would present *their* side, or the one that made them look good. I also learned that this generalized to lawyers, politicians, scholars and other disputing parties. Occasionally people would twist or spin the narrative, or even lie in order to make themselves look good or the other party look bad. I also learned that people get locked in to their version of reality and are prone to reject conflicting evidence, to the point of fabricating a narrative to explain it all away. I’ve also seen that people tend to believe what they want to believe, not necessarily what evidence or facts might tell them.
    What proved more difficult was to recognize that I do this myself, too. *My side* hasn’t always been correct, and that sometimes *I AM WRONG*, The more I learn, the less I know for certain.

  13. Akshully, if I were an authentic Right Wing True Conservative, I would be a right wing NPC.

    One, I am in fact a badly written AI.

    Two, the way I work is that I search statements for contents that I can claim to be incorrect. Then, I select the claim of incorrectness that makes me look most like a butthead.

    Thus, perfect NPC behavior.

    If you kill eighty communists, and bring me their skulls, I will provide you with (1) handy trolling checklist, not that you need it.

      1. Now that I think about it a bit more, I’m actually a little bit frightened of the possibility that someone might know someone who could actually show up with that many skulls of communists, personally slain. I try to avoid legal liability, and solicitation is a form of liability.

        Okay, also, I don’t have anything in the way of a trolling checklist that would actually match.

        For the record, I was making a joke about NPCs in certain games, particularly MMORPGs, who issue quests to players that are very often in the form of ‘Go to X. Kill N of the Y mobs’ or ‘bring back M of Z drops from killing Y mobs’. Basically, I think most players complain that the developers make too many of these quests, as opposed to things that are much more difficult to code and to write.

  14. I remember my first real NPC experience.
    Clinton was running for his first term, and on back-to-back days, he took forceful diametrically-opposed positions.
    The same news anchors gushed about his bravery and sincerity on both days.
    And the friends who I was watching the broadcasts with did not pick up on the obvious contradictions.
    (For the record, the topic was gays in the military. But the whole “ick” factor of that was hugely outweighed by the “am I surrounded with pod people?”)

  15. If you want to teach a child to think, first, answer “why?” fully, then, ask “why”. And let them tell you.

    This may be why my husband says Americans talk all the time: he landed in the wrong family.

  16. In the category of “odd, significance unknown”, I started following the AWS outage information this week.

    (Being somewhat curious about risk of one-click kindle purchases going through incorrectly.)

    Today Apache has a big security issue with one of their support utilities.

    I got to wondering, if the PRC had accumulated a bunch of actionable defects in IT infrastructure, would the Evergrande stuff correspond with it making sense to exploit the stuff now?

    1. The Evergrande default gives me the heebie-jeebies, for reasons I can’t at the moment articulate. It’s the first brick falling, in the sort of madness that was the South Sea Bubble or the Tulip Mania.
      If China becomes unstable because of this failure … what can and will they do next? In my worst nightmare, they kick off aggressing in Asia, either trying to take Taiwan, or coming down even harder on Hong Kong.
      Just at the moment when we have the coterie of progs holding up President Pudding-for-Brains, gutting our military of any kind of reactive capability, through a combination of racial wokery and insistence on Covid vaccinations. Will some genius in that group think that a peacekeeping or police action in the Ukraine would be a spiffing-smart notion?
      I think I will go have another drink of cut-rate chablis…

      1. That default is the first in a chain of dominos. If China can keep the second domino from falling for a while, the current regime stays in power. If the domino falls quickly, the rest will follow shortly. But which domino is the second one?

        Supposedly there are warehouses filled with raw materials that pledged as collateral for loans. And in several cases, the same material is pledged at full value to cover multiple loans. And in a few- the warehouses are empty as the material was sold but still being carried in inventory…

        I remember a HS classmate working for the state department tell me how foresighted the Chinese were building all those empty cities for future population growth. He has no clue that empty building required maintenance- they rot away if not used and maintained.

        1. Aren’t there a pair of motorcycle tourists, going around to all these empty cities, and looking closely at the buildings and demonstrating how empty they are, and how shoddily-built?
          Gosh, if we even had a real news org doing that, instead of leaving it to a couple of motorcycle geeks with a taste for Chinese road trips…

          1. The motorcycle tourists were Serpentza and…

            Can’t remember his name, unfortunately. Anyway, they left China a few years back, because they were getting worried about safety. Given that one of them has a Chinese national wife, this should tell you something they did videos on a lot of stuff, and the empty crumbling Chinese buildings were one of the things that they looked at.

        2. Back when I worked for the Army, our organization went through a period where management was supposed to seek work for us and “charge,” the other organizations for our time. The thought being to promote efficiency or something. Presently I was doing work for three other offices….and each one was being “charged,” for 100% of my time.
          Presently we got a light colonel as a boss, and he came in thinking we were all in on the scam. He quickly realized we worker bees had nothing to do with it and life got a bit better.

          1. There are two views of the “ideal” government. One is that almost everyone will obey the law almost all the time, because the law is “both ancient and just.” Exceptions can be dealt with by private, ad-hoc action, so no actual government is needed.

            The other is of a God-Emperor who decrees justice and virtue and thus causes justice and virtue to happen. Exceptions can be dealt with by special appeals to the God-Emperor who, with a wave of his hand, will cast down the evil-doers and cause justice and virtue to be restored.

            Classical-liberal and libertarian types try to approximate the first ideal via smaller government, minimal government, or even anarcho-capitalist non-government, the last with agencies that are not ad-hoc but that are also non-governmental. (And we recognize that “Utopia is not an option.”)

            Modern (as opposed to classical) liberals and progressive types try to approximate the second ideal via Benevolent Big Government, where the bureaucracy and the judiciary form a sort of synthetic God-Emperor that can decree justice and virtue into existence.

        3. There are lots of things that might be dominos.

          Twitter head has changed. Might be the previous one is a rat fleeing a sinking ship, or it might be consolidation of ‘power’ by the opposition

          Merkel has resigned/retired. Might be genuine, rat fleeing a sinking ship. Might be a Putin style ‘retirement’, changing formal positions but retaining despot for life status.

          1. There are a number of people retiring right now, though most of them aren’t as high profile as the head of Twitter, or the leader of Germany.

            Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial also started this week, which has caused some speculation on possible connections with my first sentence.

            1. Comey’s daughter is the prosecutor. One way or another, there is no was Maxwell’s knowledge that might hurt the establishment will be allowed to see light of day.

      2. Demographics is the underlying issue. They’re doomed. All they can do is kick the can down the road through financial and other repression and the only questions are when will it show and how much damage will they do in the run up and during the crack-up.

        The Soviet Union went softly onto the scrap heap of history and Xi is said to be obsessed with that, which doesn’t make me hopeful especially as Chinese politicians tend to just do and be utterly heedless of consequences beyond short term advantage.

        1. Not just Xi. The CCP has been obsessed with “it” since 1989, the year that the Iron Curtain collapsed (which was actually before the Soviet Union disappeared into the ash heap of history, but did mark the effective loss of its power).

          June of that year was also when the Tianenmen Square demonstrations quickly spiraled out of control, and gave the CCP a big scare.

          One of the overriding goals of the CCP ever since 1989 is to avoid the fate of the USSR.

  17. I had to learn how to think because thinking wasn’t natural to me when I was young. I had to learn the tools of logic and reason. To observe the world, understand things, accept that there was information that I wouldn’t like to hear-but I needed to learn, so I could make good decisions.

    And, I discovered that my ability to think wasn’t that common in the first place. That people just want you to repeat their own ideas back to them.

    I didn’t have the talents to make people listen to me-one way or another. But, I will keep thinking. It sure as hell beats the alternatives.

  18. Don’t be an NPC. They took an arrow to the knee brain

    So I have to share this — I wore this to Norwescon about six years ago (last time I went, I think):

    I got a lot of double takes. 🙂

    1. BTW in one of the strangest moments of my life, my family and I were crossing the street in downtown denver, dressed in our normal clothes (okay, not quite, but our going out clothes) and a nearby car stopped at the light the passenger said “What the heck?”
      And the driver looked over and went “Is comicon alread started?”
      Okay, so the WEIRDEST of us was #1 son, who wore a fedora and trenchcoat. Dan had on a trenchcoat and cowboy hat (it was SNOWING. You need to keep snow off your glasses) and younger son and I were wearing leather jackets and Irish caps.
      So, that comment HURT.

      1. You folks were putting out fannish vibes and had friendly fannish faces, and the guy was obviously concerned about missing out on Comicon. (He might even have vaguely recognized you all as “people I see at cons.”

      2. Husband has a leather duster and leather hat.

        EVERY SINGLE WINTER he gets crud about it… until they walk to lunch, and he gets there dry and warm, and able to see out of his glasses.

        1. You could do a lot worse than the Harry Dresden look when it comes to a lot of things. It just so happens to be practical in this case. 🙂

        2. I wanted a leather duster so much back in the day (when minimum wage was $4.25 and I made $5.50). Forgot all about it for years…until just now. I kind of want one again. And I do need a new coat…

  19. Christmas trees burnt down in New York and San Francisco.

    A Catholic Charities office got arsonized in Tennessee. Looks like a total loss.

    The Our Lady of Fatima statue outside the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC got attacked by a very calm older guy with a hammer. (Surveillance video.) He knocked off her hands and took them with him, and then went back and hammered off her nose and part of her cheek.

    Hopefully no Christmas explosions this year, like last year in Nashville.

      1. Odd.

        I mean, it probably /isn’t/ pot smokers being inherently possessed by literal demons.

        I’m still suspecting that last year’s Christmas surprise was a FBI false flag, but if so, the lack of follow ups may speak to discipline or an attack of sanity.

              1. The Left specializes in Mind Parasites. (Mind Malware? Meme Wyrms? Memetic Mind Hijacking?) Whether these are demonic or not is open to speculation.

            1. Yeah, the spree of anti-Catholic and anti-openly-Christian attacks– when even Christmas Trees are just culturally Christian, I know last time we had someone sigh that they’d wished they could have one as a kid but they’re Buddhist every Christian in the group *starting* with the most observant said “no, please, really, we WANT you to have it because it’s fun!”, but they ARE Christian inspired at least– is making me worry, too.

              1. If we are in the end times, it will get worse. Brace yourself. And remember that temporal defeat does not matter, only eternal.

                1. The End Times has been going since Himself got here; historically speaking, it’s been worse, and in other areas it’s been worse.

                  Doesn’t make the Really Stupid Stuff being shoved isn’t worrying, though– they did this stupid stuff LAST time that they were spinning up to drag us all into insanity again. :Points at Mexico and how few folks know about the active persecution of Catholics that was part of WHY so many Americans of Mexican ancestry were Catholic.:

          1. He did say “probably”…

            Though in all seriousness, I tend to agree. People who allow a certain resentful frame of mind to fester seem to become obsessive about visible symbols of the Christian and Judaic faiths.

            1. People can very definitely invite stuff in.

              Even if the real reality is different from that theoretical model, the observations line up so neatly that it is a distinction without a practical difference.

              The things definitely exist, and they are definitely are dangerous.

              My quibbling was very carefully worded, and applied to the other side of the statement.

              The theological model implies answers that must be outside of technocratic implementations.

              A deterministic chemistry model implies answers that can be implemented inside technocracy.

              The person I saw apparently get in trouble, it seems like the core of the problem was power seeking. However, between my own issues, the people I am around in RL, and the behaviors I saw, I feel very cautious about how much I can safely manage dwelling on such matters, and in how well I can safely manage speaking about such things in complete seriousness.

            1. I know the Hollywood archetype is enduring, and it’s even amusing, but most of the really horrific nasties I grew up around were pot smokers, and not infrequently dealers as well.

              They weren’t mellow.

              At all.

              About the strongest thread was a tendency to do really incredibly stupid things, which could be either amusing (calling the police when robbed during a drug deal) or horrifying (murders with cover-ups that would be too dumb for Scooby Doo.)

              1. I’m not sure how much of this is chicken or egg with pot smokers-been reading that a lot of people that have early schizophrenia issues use pot as a self-medication.

                And, yes, I know pot smokers are bad as any other kind of addict. Which makes me laugh when people say how “safe” it is.

                1. Did you ever see the studies out of… Denmark, I think it was? One of the universal medical places where there’s no punishment for admitting to pot use, so they could have a sample size of “entire nation’s worth of 15 year olds.” (may have been younger than that at the start, it’s been a while)

                  They found that after compensating for risk factors, pot use tended to start before serious mental breaks, with earlier use tending to happen before worse breaks, although it wasn’t so steady on the timing. (I looked at that one because I’d heard that self-medication might be related, too– if that was the case, you’d expect early use to correlate to early mental issues.)

                  That was one of the first times I saw someone that I *knew* had previously had perfectly good rational argument ability go head-long into NPC territory. No matter what anyone offered as evidence, there was NOTHING that could possibly be shown that would prove that pot wasn’t harmless-to-actively-helpful.

                  The opening declaration to the effect that the study from a lefty Euro country was “right wing Fox propaganda” was especially startling.

                  Now I’m wondering what portion of the NPC effect is psycho-active drug use– between the very large number of essentially unstudied psychoactives in pot, and the huge fad for medicating kids for everything, it’s possible that the defense reflex has been artificially triggered for a lot of them.

                  (Dan’s comment pointing at another major contributor.)

                  1. Sometimes, I wonder where my NPC break point is. The place where I just drop into not thinking about things.

                    The scary, scary thing? I’m not sure I want to know what that is. Because I’m afraid that I might not have one.

                    And, God knows how easy it is to get the Weirds on drugs so that they’re all nice and docile in school, rather than let the teachers have to try and “educate” them in one form or another.

                    1. There may be an Odd thing that complicates NPC-dom– if it takes effort to do the social thing, so even manners take a *little* thought, then your NPC break point would be near constant “this is the script, must use it“– which would explain some of the stressed folks, too. “Crud, script is broken, NOW WHAT?” Because when the script breaks, SOMEONE is getting punished.

                      I know I’ve got the manners “this is what you say to that,” but half the time I still have to double-check “do they really mean the Polite Question, or is this a serious question of ‘how are you’?” (The pause can confuse folks at times.)

                      Hm, that might make some of the NPCs closer to someone who is juggling six things mentally and expects a different greeting/question than the one they get….

                2. a) self medication for psychiatric issues is often a very bad idea

                  b) the increase of juvenile psych issue rates following legalization would argue that it causes problems

                  c) how would you reliably self diagnose early schizophrenia issues? People doing self diagnosis, and self medication, should not be so accurate in identifying i) early schizophrenia ii) only choosing to medicate for that issue, and not bipolar or other issues. If you are reading such claims, it is likely that someone is bullshitting you. It is the sort of thing that people might say if there was a correlation between use, and early schizophrenia, and wanted to pretend that it was absolutely not caused by use. So, yeah, the early schizo folks may have had a preexisting fragility, but there is a decent chance that the pot is causing it, and you are hearing the reverse because the evidence got too bad to simply ignore.

                  d) The incredibly stupid things are probably a result of what the lab folks have measured as ‘impaired risk assessment’.

                  e) It feels like it has been a while since someone has tried to tell me that Reefer Madness was purely propaganda with no basis in reality. I think this is probably an accident, and not meaningful.

                  f) One efficacy as a psych med was shown, there was a decent chance that the stuff could be permanently harmful when self dosed.

                  g) Stuff that shifts mood regulation could be expected to potentially disorder mood regulation.

                  h) Stuff that eases the impact of traumatic memory could throw off the decision making when it comes to minimizing future traumatic memory. (Forex, sex abusers promoting its use by targets.

                  i) The chemical concentrations of plants can be changed by selective breeding. Once so many effects were demonstrated from the chemicals, questions were automatically raised about effects of inconsistent dosing. If dosing is variable enough, continuing use may randomwalk one into a very bad state.

                  j) None of this changes the fact that we should not conclude a relationship between chemistry and spiritual state. At least, not from available evidence. And, I especially should be cautious of such a conclusion, because of my own baggage and issues.

                  1. Self-medication for psych issues is always bad, but often done for any number of reasons. Which are also bad.

                    And, considering just how powerful most of the stocks of pot have been these days (I’ve gotten a few of the more interesting stories of people that learned that the pot they did in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s is nothing like the stuff you get today), and how the breeding has been very interesting in secondary effects.

                    I’m still convinced that pot isn’t a good idea, that the few times studies of how “good” it was have been so vague as to be useless, and considering how it’s been treated in California (i.e. as a source of MAJOR tax revenue, so much that illegal pot growing has gone up, because even with the massive amounts of legal stuff, the taxes will eat you alive), it just feels more like “we know what the right thing is, because that’s what we say is right.”

                  2. b) most likely includes increased ‘diagnosis’ of juvenile psychological issues because not all kids are the same, don’t all respond ‘correctly’ to State indoctrination education and today’s educrats can’t be bothered to deal with them as individuals rather than categories. If they don’t fit the stereotypes, there’s something wrong with them.

                    1. Point. But, the alleged increase was at the hospital level in places like Colorado. If it was solely bureaucratic, on the schools’ end, we would expect some other things, and the folks who told me about the Colorado hospital thing did not tell me about those other things.

          2. Fairly sure. I think tradition has it demons like herds of pigs. They clearly show some taste.Demons would not stoop so low as a bunch of potheads…

    1. The Fox news Christmas tree that was burned to cinders was replaced within 24 hours.
      Sadly the perp was back on the street before the new tree was up.
      Greg Gutfeld of Fox had some choice words about the situation, most of them bleeped on air.

        1. Well of course.
          Because bail is raccccciiiiiissssst.
          And in addition, several of the usual suspects in mainstream media pretty much said it served Fox right for their denial that Jan 6 was the worst insurrection ever to occur in the United States. Ever!

          1. Well, the congressional treason is definitely potentially harder to deal with than simply giving Sherman and Grant their heads.

      1. Well, seeing as the left is diligently going about tearing down our respect for rights to life and liberty is it any wonder that their disrespect for others’ property is showing up? The founding fathers had quite a bit to say about those things, along with the first law of nature (the inherent right to self defense).

        You don’t get to pick and choose who has those right and who doesn’t. Either we all do, or no one does. The reckoning that comes with continual abuse is ruination without limit.

        I recognize that there are good hints here and there, viz. the Juicy Sommelier trial and Rittenhouse, as well as the fed judges and so on. But I believe we are approaching a limit on just what people will endure, what with the mask masquerade, the Jan 6 detainees, the Cali-clusterflock, and so on. It’s a mess, and it will take a lot of hard work to even close to clean it up.

        1. There seems to be no crime they will not defend on the grounds that it’s only (other people’s) property.

          1. Well of course, insurance will pay for it, won’t they? 9_9 Not to mention the related tired old refrain that you shouldn’t kill a burglar because “your property isn’t worth someone else’s life.”

            1. Somebody breaks into your house, you don’t know why they did it. You don’t know what they’re carrying, or what they’re going to do with it. After the criminal kills you, it’s a little too late to be making decisions.

              So I’m perfectly all right with people shooting burglars. You didn’t choose that encounter, or set the terms. You didn’t break into the burglar’s house, so any twaddle about ‘moral equivalency’ is deceptive bullshit.

              I believe looters should be shot on sight, too. They are savages, tearing down what they are not capable of building up.
              When you will be punished more severely for shooting a burglar that broke into your house than the burglar would be for shooting you, something is rotten in City Hall.

              1. Not disagreeing with you at all, just noting this bit of related garbage that’s empty headed fluffy bunny world naive at best and malicious at worst.

            2. My property is purchased with money, earned by trading my most limited and irreplaceable resource. Periods of my life. If some nitwit wants to risk decades of his life, for hours, weeks, months or years of mine, it’s every person’s right to make a bad wager.

              1. Damn straight. There is no ‘only money’ or ‘only property’. It’s however much of your life you spent working to earn that money. Stealing it is like a partial murder.

                Bernie Madoff embezzled more money than 320,000 average people earn in a lifetime, thus should have been treated like a mass murderer.
                Today, every child in America is born $89,000 in debt.

            3. My property represents a portion of MY life to earn the means to purchase it. When someone steals that he says he can make me spend that portion of my life for his benefit. That’s making me his slave, and he’s never going to do that.

      2. 🙂

        Greg Gutfeld of Fox had some choice words about the situation, most of them bleeped on air.

        I’m half surprised they didn’t use Christmas Bells to do the bleeping …

  20. Ran across an interesting Bible verse. Hosea 4:6 usually gets quoted for “My people are destroyed because they have no knowledge,” or the LXX/Vulgate “My people have kept silent because they have no knowledge.” Which is topical, of course.

    But the next bit is, “Because you have rejected knowledge, I have rejected you” (from the priesthood). It comes up in Canon II of the Second Nicaean Council, as a reason to reject men from being appointed bishops if they don’t at least know the Psalter by heart (not a high bar, because back then Christians sang a good chunk of the Psalms every day, and priests and monks sang all the Psalms, as part of daily prayers over the course of a week).

    It is pretty sobering, though. Rejecting knowledge, and refusing access to it, does make the people stay silent, and does destroy them. NPCs reject knowledge of even minor factual truths.

  21. Nicely done! I always did wonder why out of all the memes aimed at them the left was most worked up over this family of them – you’d think they’d freak out about Pinochet/helicopter memes more considering that “right wingers are scary violent” is such a big part of their beliefs – but NPC really does cut deeper; they know these memes have them pegged exactly. I’m glad you have this community here, too, to show us that we’re not alone in this mess. Here’s hoping to many more red pills for others in the future.

  22. In other news, our favorite gap-toothed former New York Giant just returned from a suborbital jaunt with Blue Origin.
    It really exposes a split in mindsets. The woke are likely to go all, “Look, another rich person, wasting resources on frivolous status symbols, when Bezos could be using his wealth for Useful Social Activities!” (Spouses’ comment: “Right, Judas.”)
    Or people like us who don’t mind “rich,” private citizens going into space because if the companies can get the costs down enough, we can go.

  23. Youtube is pushing tornado videos on me.

    Not watching them. Would any of them that youtube promotes be more than ‘see the wages of the inequity from not bowing down to the AWG idols’?

    1. Since I haven’t watched them, I can’t say for a certain, but I suspect the bunch of tornadoes yesterday evening are why you’re seeing them promoted/recommended. That tends to happen with thinks in the news, so long as they don’t contradict the narrative.

  24. Apparently Joel Coen did a new black and white Macbeth. Doesn’t look like he shot it on black and white film, though, so it’s really grayscale digital. Looks nice, but not nearly as scary as Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood.

    OTOH, Coen apparently went full force on the fantasy/horror elements, so that’s a nice thing for sf/f content.

    Anyhow, Frances McDormand gets to be Lady Macbeth, and Denzel Washington is your favorite Scottish usurper. There’s a few other people you’ve heard of, but maybe all the others are Shakespearean theater actors or something.

    They’re releasing it on Apple TV on Christmas Day. I don’t know if that’s the theory of “You’re home, and this is something educational that you can make the kids watch”, or what, because it doesn’t really count as a “holiday offering,” as far as I can tell. It’s not out in theaters until January.

    1. Wouldn’t a black and white Othello be even more authentic, especially with a green background? ;-P

  25. And recent years have revealed just how many of these robots there really are. Just state any opinion mildly outside their narrow range of pre-programmed responses and watch the robo-statements pile up. It gets even funnier when they exhaust the list of thought-terminating cliches and attempt to generate original comments.

  26. Have you folks been following the excitement in Pennsylvania about the “female” college swimmer smashing records left and right? People wonder why the actual women swimmer don’t do or say anything about it and finally a couple of them agreed to talk, but only anonymously, since they are very afraid of the leftist cancellation machine crashing down on their “trans-phobia.”
    It turns out that most of the women are disgusted and disturbed, but do not feel free to express this, either publicly or to their coach (who, one of the swimmers noted, is all about winning, and letting this “woman” swim gives him lots of winning credit).

    1. Of course this “female” swimmer thing is a travesty of a mockery of two shams, but at least it sets the LGBs against the Ts, so we can watch them attack one another rather than everyone else.

    2. STILL A GUY!

      Either a delusional one, or a liar, but STILL A GUY!!

      Enabling the delusion, or the lies, is doing nobody any good.

  27. Or as my mom said “Can’t see a freshly painted wall with scratching to see what’s underneath.” Yep. That’s me.

    Is that supposed to be “without” in front of “scratching” rather than “with”?

  28. Make sure you’re thinking. Not just following programming. Inverse program is still program. “The left believes this so the inverse must be true” is easy. It’s also wrong at least 50% of the time, and often more. It’s not that simple. It never was. And you have to think.

    I feel I can give this some of the expansion it deserves, with a case study.

    The left has heard of divide and rule. They are also deeply invested in dividing people in neat categories, and using whatever reality exists of that division for their own profit.

    So, one of the left’s current tactics is holding up these absolute fruitcakes as spokesmen for policies, including insane policies, that purport to favor blacks in order to ‘address prior discrimination’. Forex, 1619 Project’s “America has always explicitly been about oppressing blacks” and Black Lives Matter’s “actually, civil peace is a white supremacist conspiracy” together raise the obvious question of “Okay, if what you say is true, for what principled reason would it be wrong to murder blacks, beyond personal preference for one faction over another?”

    Bowing to the brass idol they present, is only one of the victory conditions that they are seeking.

    If you buy into their division, buy into their theory that unconstrained violence is the answer, they get the wider war that they are crazy enough to think that they win.

    They do not have unconditional support by blacks. If they did, the cold ish civil war would be obviously very hot. If you buy into the left’s race division nonsense (instead of sorting by actual violence) the left has already set up a propaganda campaign trying to sell your speech to the blacks as “look at X, the whites are going to kill you unless you support the people fighting on your behalf”.

    The spokesmen that they are using are utterly vile people, but they have had to work hard to find them, and to develop them. Look at Shaun King; They had to employ a white guy because they could not find enough actual blacks sociopathic, dishonest, and with the necessary social skills to staff that position, /and/ all of the other positions that they need filled.

    Obama and the rest of the race war nutters pushing this have been trying seriously to ignite this for around ten years, and whites and blacks have been quietly looking at matters, and whispering “No.”

    So the race war nutters have gotten desperate, and resorted to using white college students to carry out arson, and Democrat elected officials have implicated themselves providing cover in a way that is not deniable.

    And also the Covid stuff.

    They are trying to bring in foreigners here, who do not understand American circumstances, precisely because they have failed to move Americans. And because their earlier attempts to bring in foreigners via the academic route, who have mostly been acculturated inside the insane incestuous echo chamber of academia, had failed to bring the degree of results that they desired.

    Well, it turns out that Dr. Aruna may understand American culture much better than they expected, because they are utter fruitcakes on culture, and on American culture.

    And the Mexican illegal workforce has not been their panacea either. So, they are trying a bunch of people who don’t speak English, from further afield than Mexico, and deliberately unvetted for disease.

    They think misery begets communist revolution, so they think that a lack of communist revolution is addressed by making us more miserable. This is not true. But, we thwart them by being happy. If not thinking about their hurtful words leaves space for happiness, than not engaging is one victory. Engaging, finishing quickly, and then moving on is another. The deep engagement, rigourously showing that they are not intelligent, that their ‘theory’ is of no part of any sound education or research, and that they are simply vile people, who will do vile unnecessary things so long as they have the ability, may also be a victory.

    Their ideas are almost fractally wrong, and often selected so that the first few analysis iterations tend to produce results useful to them.

    Rigor can be exhausting, but it is worth looking carefully at the real world, and seeing why their madness need have no relationship to it.

    Have a merry Kulturkampf, and a happy new Boog!

    1. I didn’t fidn the quote compilation I was after. Here’s my second choice of what I found.

      1. I actually wrote it a couple of missed nights of sleep back or so. So I have stopped making sense.


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