The Lost

Have I mentioned recently how much and with what kind of purple passion I hate the stupid aphorism that “Hard times make tough men; tough men make good times” etc, ad vomitous nauseum?

Oh, sure, it’s consoling, isn’t it? You look at the current generation and you go “oh, well, now they’ll have hard times and my grandkids will be tough men, with hair on your chest.”

Atchually, there’s a good chance your grandkids (or great grandkids depending on your age) and mine too will be none existent. And there’s a reason for that. And no, it’s not because they “had it too easy.”

Look, for the last 500 years or so, absent wars and other external f*ck ups mostly of a governmental choice, it’s been an ideal fail mode for parents to go “Those darn kids just had it too easy” no matter in which way young disappoint the old.

Heck, go far enough and Romans are going on about the decadence being caused by youth having it too easy, not like their noble ancestors subsisting in caves on acorns.

It was tommy rot then and it is tommy rot now. What caused the Roman decadence was not prosperity but a combination of loss of purpose and a bizarre addiction to slavery and welfare.

As the stupid mouse habitat experiment actually showed (and the debunkings seem to have disappeared from within “easy search” online) is that loss of social role causes all the problems we associate with oh, overpopulation, moral decadence, too much abundance, or whatever it is you feel like railing against today. (I feel like railing against stupid, facile sayings the right embraces because they give the moralists warm fuzzies.)

Let’s begin by saying I agree with Heinlein, that you can ruin your kids by making their life too easy. I tried really hard not to. I think I succeeded, in so far as necessity is the mother of invention, and the boys invented all sorts of things, because I wouldn’t buy them. (Mostly because I was subsisting from writing, and not that well off.) I might have fallen in the other failure mode of this, insofar as older son told me he has to talk himself out of stupid projects because “I can make expensive thing so much more cheaply. Only I don’t have the time.” Which, btw, gentle readers is my failure mode, since my parents raised me on spit and scrapings which is all they could afford.

But there are many, many failure modes of child raising. There are many many success modes, since the intersection of kid and parent is always unique.

Let’s also agree that “suffering” by itself does bog standard nothing. Unless you think that Japan came out of WWII saner, and more able to compete. (Hint, it didn’t.) Or that all the republics that suffered horrible deprivation under communists are now healthy and filled with self actualized citizens (hint, they aren’t. Poland is a little less f*cked up than the rest.)

So this whole bullshit of hard times? Yeah, hard times will create mostly wimps who lean on government for support. And if you think I’m wrong explain why FDR engineered the great depression, leading to the LARGEST expansion of government ever.

Which brings us to what our kids are suffering from, why they’re growing up really slowly (even mine track about 10 years younger than I was at their age) and why all of us know any numbers of failures to launch: I’ll give you another Heinlein example: if you take a puppy and beat him randomly, for no clear purpose.

Okay, you’re saying most people don’t beat their kids. No. I know. But you know what, there are worse things than physical beatings.

As someone who grew up with both, I’d rather have the quick swat on the behind (or even the extensive spanking) than the slow burn recrimination over days. Particularly if it was — as it so often was — for either an accident (Dropping and breaking something happened with amazing regularity, a combination of clumsiness and undiagnosed astigmatism) or for something I didn’t know was wrong/hadn’t understood was not supposed to be done, like you know, never having been given the rules of common social intercourse, and then being punished because I don’t know them.

Now let me shed some light on how the current generation was raised: Oh, not by their parents. In fact, a vast number of the current generation had only “Quality time” with their parents, which might amount to a few hours a week. And in those hours eating and homework had to be accomplished.

Look, I raised kids between 20 and 30 years ago. I’m sure it’s worse now.

Messages the school gave my kids:

-Humans are ruining the Earth and will destroy it if it goes on.

-You’re in 9th grade now, you should sign this pledge that you’ll never have kids, because we’re overpopulated.

-Because every industry is polluting, you should not expect to have as good a life as your parents or grandparents. Dream small.

-You’re the brightest, best, smartest, and we expect you to change the world just by existing.

-The best way of changing the world is realizing how privileged you are and working for the underprivileged.

-Everyone who has more than they strictly need, has stolen it.

-The other sex that you’re naturally attracted to hates you and wants to destroy you/exploit you.

-The US was only ever rich because it was stolen from Amerindians/result of slavery.

-We’re all going to die in 12, 10 whatever number of years.

-If you’re hit you shouldn’t fight back, because that’s worse.

Should I go on?

My kids were exposed to a steady diet of this effluvium. They were SLIGHTLY luckier than their classmates because I was at home screaming “That’s all bullsh*t.” But even half the other kids that had parents at home, the parents agreed with the school.

Put on top of that that these kids were expected to be responsible and capable BEYOND THEIR NERVOUS SYSTEM. Particularly boys. If you have a boy, and he starts failing in middle school? They expect the kid to be able to plan his life ahead for weeks, and remember to give in homework/do things without being reminded.

Boys are NOT mature enough to do that. Some girls are. Their nervous systems develop faster.

But here’s the thing, the schools do this under the impression that they are “being tough.”

In fact, it’s a lazy teacher thing. They don’t want to remember to remind the kids. So the kids have to be hyper-organized because their teachers aren’t.

And since what they’re being asked to do is in most cases quite literally impossible at that age, they have to ask parents for help. This bakes in the idea that they are uniquely flawed. Because the teachers are asking people to do this, other people do it, but the parents have to help them. So, they’re broken, right. (BTW this is not just with scheduling. We refused to do the homework for our kids, and were known to descend on teachers with developmental psychology texts. Doesn’t mean our kids didn’t internalize the message.)

Do this at the same time you cast doubt on and remove the traditional frameworks that give meaning to life: religion, patriotism, family. Make people feel guilty and stupid if they adhere to it.

What you have are puppies who have been beaten every five minutes for no sane reason, and told and shown over and over that they’re defective. Oh, and those who have any success are evil and exploiters, and probably robbed all they have.

Sure, they’re going to get right out there and go into the world with sword drawn to conquer. Oh, wait, conquering is wrong. And going to space is wrong. And doing anything new is probably a form of privilege.

The surprising thing is not that a vast majority of kids spend their lives finding new ways to declare victimhood. The surprising thing is that some of them are fairly normal and functional, even if even those are too depressed and scared to do much.

Only the psychopaths thrive. Oh, and the Amish, because they don’t attend public schools. And some of the homeschooled kids, of course, though the messages are pervasive in the culture, and reach even them.

So, making their life touch will do absolutely nothing, except cause kids to crawl into a hole and die.

Most of that generation is lost, and it was made so on purpose, by people who taught them poisonous, horrible ideas and made them feel stupid and inept. Because they could.

Standing in front of them screaming “What you need is some hard times” should get you shivved. It won’t because they already feel too guilty for breathing.

They might call you fascist or something, because that’s the only way they were taught to escape mroe pain and punishment: to join with the mob and pile on.

But that’s it.

What can be done? Well, we can get rid of brandon and create a vibrant economy that actually pulls them in and knocks the nonsense out of them by giving them opportunities for success. I have a private belief this is why Trump had to be got rid of. Because he was doing that.

We can give them a framework for success: Why do you think the left hates Peterson? He does that.

Tell them, show them, counter the gospel of despair they were brought up in. We know people abandon nihilist beliefs given a chance, but you have to give them a chance.

Because condemning them and calling them terrible failures isn’t working. And we can’t afford the now going on 2 generations that we’re losing to…. nothing.

Sure, they have material comfort we didn’t have, and more opportunities for distraction than we had (which is good and bad) but take those away without giving them some mental and emotional thing to lean on, and all you have is suicide.

Give them a lifeline. Give them something to believe in. Give them something to fight for.

Go snatch brands from the fire, before it’s too late.

263 thoughts on “The Lost


    No, pain is your body informing you that it has been damaged.


    No, that which does not kill you leaves you weakened and vulnerable.
    Or makes you weirder…..

    1. A man I used to know was an ardent athlete and played tennis weekly and rode horses probably 3 times a week for miles. When he was 81 he was down working on one of his farms (Ophthalmologist) and a chainsaw bucked, striking his leg. the wound was bad, but didn’t damage any tendons etc. and folks thought he would recover in a few months. He was dead in a few months because his system never recovered from the shock of the injury and even though the actual wound healed his entire immune system crashed from the blow. Pneumonia took him that summer.

      1. That which does not kill me leaves me with unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humour.


      Yes, let’s please eradicate this from the canon. Immediately. Because even though I understand what Nietzsche was getting at in an aspirational sort of way, it is self-evidently false.

      For that matter, let’s please kill off “everything happens for a reason” as well.

      1. At least as a general statement, yes.

        Basically, *all* of these are feral, mutated Good Advice.

        In the right situation– say, someone with low pain tolerance, or who thinks “pain” is “any stress at all”– it can be useful. Someone battling with major depression could be helped by ‘everything happens for a reason,’ I suppose.

        But not general application truth!

        1. Someone battling with major depression could be helped by ‘everything happens for a reason’.

          Yep, Bad Things happen to you because you deserve it. [Very Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

          Or Bad Things happen to you because the Universe Hates You. [Very Very Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

          1. :snorts: I am more familiar with the bumpersticker that ends “sometimes that reason is that you’re an idiot.”

            That said, even those will work for SOMEONE– if only in the sense that it makes them snarl and FIX IT.

            1. People can be strange. 😉

              Of course, while the “you deserved it” has never really been a problem for me, the “universe/other people hates you” has been a problem for me.

              Still, I am somewhat successful in fighting my Paranoia.

              Of course, I’m aware that some of my problems are “because I’m an idiot”. 😀

          2. “You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.”

            -Marcus Cole

            1. I’m rewatching B5 with my daughter right now, and every time I see Marcus or any other Ranger, “NO CAPES!” pops into my head.

        2. Lots of things that people think of as truths are really just good advice.

          “Sticks and Stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

          Not a very good statement of fact — bullying is definitely a thing, and so is psychological damage.

          But an excellent mantra.

        3. Basically, *all* of these are feral, mutated Good Advice.

          The place where the “weakness leaving the body” line can actually apply is in the context of weightlifting, or other exercise that strengthens the muscles. Because if you’re feeling muscle aches the next day, it means you’re getting stronger — hence the “no pain, no gain” saying, of which this is a variant. You have to make sure you know which kind of pain you’re feeling, though. General achiness all around in your muscles the day after hard exercise? That means you’re getting stronger, so keep doing that. Sharp, specific pain in one precise location? That means you pulled a muscle or damaged yourself, and you should NOT keep doing that.

          So basically, just what you said. In the right situation, it can be true, but you also have to know several things that the saying doesn’t tell you.

          1. The way my weight coach said it was “Discomfort is weakness leaving the body. Pain is the body crying for help. Learn the difference, and get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

            1. My husband insists the aches/soreness after exercise are something different from pain or hurting. I don’t agree, but I guess that guy would.

              I can see why it’s useful to be able to distinguish, but I still think it hurts.

        4. Problem is that a very simple response to that is that ‘well then, there is one solution that will prevent this from ever recurring since I don’t like this and want it to go away. I just need to not screw it up’. But I’ve also never found any response that actually works.

          1. For my kind of general doom and I am a failure type depression, what helped me was realizing that I had a problem misidentification– it wasn’t, “this causes depression,” it was more like “these things will attract the black dog.”

            Recognizing the depression as not exactly being ME was also useful.

            But mine is more of the “worthless, useless, can’t get anything right, why do I even TRY” type, not the “life is pointless and random” sort.

            1. Ya. I know where my issue comes and it’s part of why I tried to drive on the psych calls. I can’t talk myself out of a final solution so not going to for others.

      2. The thing is that while in the ultimate sense, everything happens for a reason, in our limitations, it’s rankest superstition to think you can always see it.

        1. Nod, especially the belief (common across cultures) that Bad Things are caused by Magic-Using Evil Beings that live among people. IE The Witches.

            1. Some of their complaints about that sound like “you don’t wear the talisman because you want people to get sick & die”. 😡

              1. Yep. Sorry, been hands on with hep, h1n1, hiv, tb, mrsa, and meningitis. N95 may help. Papr will. This thing? Nope

          1. With varying degrees of assent. Some cultures stage a lot of witchhunts. Some think you’re just stupid for neglecting your apotropaic talismens. And some didn’t think much about it.

      3. Sometimes hard experiences are God’s way of preparing you for a future mission. They do damage you in some ways, but they do give you insight and understanding, that can be of benefit to others. If you are going to serve God, you should quickly realize that it is not all about you.
        In my 70 years I had some tough times. I could not see the purpose at the time, but, looking back, the preparatory effect is quite obvious.

        1. I kind of agree with Fred D – sometimes the damage done by a hurtful experience is a way of getting insight into the general condition.
          I wouldn’t advise anyone to go out of their way to seek hurtful experience as a means of enlightenment, though.

    3. people who say the first to me…


      i want to take a bat and smash their shins over and over and ask at the top of my lungs


      1. Actually I contend that that quote has a typo in the translation of Nietzsche. It should read, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.”

    4. Hum, nope, I’d say pain is nature’s way of telling you that you hadn’t otta be doing something -or if you really havet’a do it, find another way of doing it.

  2. With “Hard Times” sometimes the Danger is the “Black Dog”.

    It’s bad enough when you know that it was your mistakes that caused the “Hard Times”.

    So yes, it’s Insane for a Society to “teach” children that they are “evil” just for existing.

    Oh, in case there are people here who don’t know what the “Black Dog” is, the Black Dog means “Being Very Depressed”.

    Plenty of us here (including me) know the Black Dog all too well.

    1. I used to tell people I was born with a black dog by my side. I quit, mostly because nobody understood the reference and I got tired of explaining it.

      1. I never heard that reference before I started following these blogs, and I still don’t understand it.

        (BTW, had to take my plan black dog to the vet, because he isn’t acting like himself. Vet should find nothing wrong. My puppy is 14 years old. I worry about him.)

        1. That’s because we admire Churchill, who at least popularized the phrase. Churchill has been somewhat unpersoned of late.

          1. I think it may be a more general English thing– it definitely fits the more English expression of depression. (Which overlaps with the non-maniac/homicidal Irish and Scottish versions.)

            1. Britain has a lot of spooky stories about black dogs. So it is also a ready metaphor.

    2. We’ve made acquaintance over the years.

      I’ll borrow Aesop’s (the blogger) maxim: “That which doesn’t kill me pisses me off.” (Sometimes true. Waggles hand.)

    3. Chalk me up as another one who’s well-acquainted with that furry menace, though the scratches and bites have been a lot more sporadic and have cut less deeply over the past few months.

  3. So my takeaway from this is, we should beat the teachers like puppies every five minutes for no sane reason? dang! works for me! when do we start? Can I get the newspaper concession?

      1. Also agree …
        (contemplates quirt, baseball bat, cricket bat …) But looking at some of the freaks that are teaching school in certain benighted areas lately, I fear that they would purely enjoy the beating.

  4. I graduated high school in 1979, so yeah. I got fed all of that. I didn’t really manage to get free of the whole sticky mess until I was in my twenties. Some of it vanished early, like population freak outs, and polluting the earth to death. Also, history. My dad was constantly correcting the history I got in school and that stuck. But the politicizing of race and gender stuck a little longer. Not sure why. Maybe because I grew up in California and lived there until I was 38, it just seemed normal.

    But I spent the majority of my faculty career yanking my students out of the morass of stupidity their high schools had sunk them into. Occasionally I had students thank me for stating opposing views out loud in class. They were conservative/libertarian and I was the first professor/teacher they’d ever had who said “No, that’s not really how it works.”

    I’m still trying to do that with my own writing. We’ll see but I know that I’m impacting family members at least. So I got that going for me…

    1. But the politicizing of race and gender stuck a little longer. Not sure why. Maybe because I grew up in California and lived there until I was 38, it just seemed normal.

      It’s in a LOT of media, since at least the 60s, probably earlier.

      I got a kick out of watching some black and white westerns with my dad and realizing that they had a lot of the PC-genuflection-stuff, like the poor abused Indians who are being used. Even then, though, it wasn’t quite so flat. Current generation has an advantage in that the stories are so freakin’ flat that unless you can keep the kids from seeing the older stuff, it just doesn’t fly.

      1. It was also a bit of a system shock to realize in most of them, the gov’t was the one riding in on the big white horse, but mostly to keep anyone else from actually building anything.

      2. And they’re so bloody dreary. I saw some announcement on the Bird Site about “yay, Disney’s rebooting the Rocketeer!” Halfway through the headline, my brain had already laid out the likeliest treatment: new Rocketeer is black, a Tuskeegee airman who’s avenging the sufferings of his people. “The New Rocketeer is black! He’s a Tuskeegee airman who’s avenging the sufferings of his people!”

          1. And the really sad thing is that Cliff Secord would have been totally okay with a black Rocketeer, most likely. There was prejudice in the aviation community, but not as much as one might think. And Bessie Coleman had been there from early on.

            So why would somebody want a reboot, when there could be a lore addition instead?

            1. So why would somebody want a reboot, when there could be a lore addition instead?

              Because they don’t *care* about the lore, they care about taking other people’s stuff away. The more someone cares, the better.

              1. And likely they’ll replace Jennifer Connelly with some dude who you’re not even certain is a dude. Disney is just out there to wreck stuff and make money and it seems they’re all done making money.

            2. Because, as is becoming increasingly clear every single day, the people in charge of media companies are a bunch of appalling perverts who have no thoughts other than the next child actor they’re going to molest.

              The latest from Project Veritas is a -beauty-. (Don’t watch the video. Read the text part, because you can’t un-see sh1t.) The perp is another media bigwig, as usual.

              This is what happens when you let perverts run an industry. They come for the easy access to victims, and stay for the money and power. And it shows in the product they produce.

    2. I graduated HS in ’70, and the fallout from Paul Ehrlich was a brief run of the “ZPG” (zero population growth) movement. It stayed below the radar (at least to an engineering student at U of Redacted), while the loudest protests were about the Vietnam war.

      I didn’t notice HP’s Personnel Department going woke until the early-mid ’80s. The name change to HR was the tell, I think.

            1. My understanding with the DDT was that a lot of farmers and those spraying it thought, if a little is good, a lot is really good…thus overspraying and harm to wildlife.

              1. It gets complicated– they were able to establish that there were higher amounts of residue higher up the food chain, of course, *but* the evidence for it causing harm was…creative. Since I don’t remember seeing how big the sample was for the higher amounts when you got up the food chain, I am now retroactively suspicious about that– I only found out about the “eggshell thickness” study being based on measuring them with a caliper, by hand, when I read Kicking the Sacred Cow. Wasn’t based on, say, eggs actually cracking more easily….
                (this is kind of like having someone measure kitchen sponges with a caliper, by hand, without looking at it– IE, it makes using Forest Service fire watch temp records to calculate down to a fraction of a degree look like GOOD science.)

                There was stuff like a big spill directly into a river, where the only observed effect was lack of mosquitoes and no reported fish problems; I don’t know if that was before or after hatching season, though. I would *expect* that removing a major food source entirely would hurt baby fish, even if the DDT didn’t…..

                  1. From the sample my mom saw happen, half the time they came out of uh… the rear end of the guy on watch, when he realized “oh, crud, it’s the day they come pick that stuff up” and filled out the stuff he’d passed on before. When they didn’t, it was still “at some point during the day, they looked at a 5 or 10 degree measured thermometer which was neither calibrated nor properly located.”

                    For comparison, you’re supposed to calibrate items to one decimal point over from the level of accuracy you’re using it for. One over to the right, not to the left…. So it would have to be accurate to one one-hundredth of a degree to use it to measure one tenth of a degree. (Which would still be near garbage because STANDING TOO CLOSE would raise the temp, much less improper location.)

                    My mom did supply deliveries for several summers, it Annoyed her to hear that’s where it came from.

                    1. Oh I’m very aware. Anything logged is always suspect and sig figs suck. But at the very least it’s the right tool. Egg thicknesses and I’d be concerned with even micrometers. Measure by volume easier and more precise (full egg, then broken egg, subtract delta and you got shell mass. Ratio to whole egg diameter for average

            2. What evidence have you seen? The only evidence I know of was a study on eggshell thickness that found no differences at all between the eggshells from the birds fed DDT and those in the control group. Tried again, no differences, tried again, oh look, major differences! Published that one. Without mentioning that in that iteration, there had been another difference in diet between the two groups: the group fed DDT had also received far less calcium in their diet than the control group. So the lack of eggshell thickness was definitely attributed to the DDT, and nothing else could possibly have caused it, right?

              Gonna stop now before I work myself into a rage.

              1. Yup Ms Carson didn’t seem to understand that correlation is not causation. I remember the Ospreys on the Connecticut shoreline as a kid, they got scarce when I was a teenager, they’re back now. Even more amazing are the Bald Eagles in Maine near the lakes. Never saw one as a kid they were extraordinarily rare. Now they’re a nuisance there’s so many of them and you cant touch them or their habitat.

                1. I don’t remember seeing Osprey or Eagles along the Willamette in Eugene as a kid. We have them now. Last few years they’ve been cruising over the neighborhoods. They can not be touched or harassed. Neither can the wild turkeys. Does it count as harassment or harm if you are rooting on the eagle to harvest a turkey?

                2. Kat the dog isn’t allowed to run free, but our two previous dogs had a mutual non-interference pact with the Balds and Goldens in the area. (Usually saw Goldens further from the river, but the Balds will hang out and occasionally nest in our trees.)

                  I “love” the illegality of posession of eagle feathers. When I find one on the ground, I’m supposed to ignore it, I suppose. TPTB caused a ruckus when they busted tribal members at a big function (IIRC, the yearly rodeo.)

                  And yeah, red-tail hawk feathers are also illegal to posess. They look cool though…

          1. *raises tentative paw* Rachel Carson wrote the book, yes, and advocated for what we call environmentalism, yes. By the end of her life, she also had a major falling out with the environmental movement because of the appeals to emotion and how the activists tossed real research and science and caution out the window. She was never opposed to all pesticides and herbicides, but to the gross over-use of some of them by a few people. (She also had a horrible family life, both as a child and as an adult. That seems to be less-than-rare among environmental people, but that’s an essay in itself.) So yes, she deserves some opprobrium, but not perhaps 100% of the blame for what twits did with her ideas. _The Sea Around Us_ is still one of the best pieces of nature writing in English, up there with _Sand County Almanac_ and other classics.

            No, I’m not really a fan, but after reading several biographies as well as her books, I have a little more sympathy for Rachel Carson the person. Not so much for Rachel Carson the environmental symbol.

          1. I muse sometimes that after another million children die in agony in Africa because they don’t have access to DDT, the demons tap Rachel on the shoulder and say: “Down a level you go. Pretty soon you’ll be bunking with Stalin and Mao. Won’t that be fun?”

      1. It wasn’t Ehrlich (though I used to think it was) but rather an issue of Newsweek from the ’60s which predicted that overpopulation would lead to this dire future: “By the year 6000, the solid mass of humanity would be expanding outward into space at the speed of light.”

        Pretty sure that wouldn’t work. What would they eat at that point? How would they reproduce? What would they breathe? And how the hell would they be accelerated up to the fastest speed possible in normal space-time? It sounds scary but there isn’t any chance it could happen.

    3. Mid 70s graduate from HS. Tested out of first year of college and finished in 3. Background was working family with engineering Dad. Hard work was expected. Thinking was especially expected. We were NEVER punished for (respectfully) questioning authority. I have been hiring and training ‘kids’ for 40 plus year.

      I think that our responsibility in all of this is regardless of the lost nature of the current and last generation, if there is to be a future WE have to train, teach, mentor, and grow people. It is a duty both to our community and to western civilization. It is not difficult. I spent 13 years as a boy scout and 15 as a leader of scouts. I also started a group of young men at night in my home where I taught survival skills, and day to day life skills. There was a spiritual component to this as well, as with no purpose there can be no meaning.

      Start simple, pick one or two young men or women and start a conversation. From my experience they are sooo thirsty for this. They may be partly “woke” but reality presented in a loving way seems to work. We lovers of freedom and rational thinking leave us with no choice in this No matter our ages or experience it needs to become a part of the building around and over and under and through if necessary We just need to build the young people.

      That is all.

      1. This. My experience is that the kids KNOW they have been ill-educated. They don’t know how to remedy it. And they are pretty decent people, if you cut them out of the pack and surround them with adults.

  5. You get it from the younger generations who want to strive, too. They can feel the shit coated in candy floss that they’re being fed and they want to do better, try harder. They look for role models around them and see a whole bunch of people who’ve created a world where they have to swim through marshmallow fluff to get to anything useful. And they resent them for it. And who can blame them?

    1. Yep. And while the response from some is to scream harder that they’re inclusive and cool, they’re losing their minds that they’re losing the attention by the thousands for people like Jordan Peterson and Jocko Willink who tell them that life is hard, suffering is real, and you need to do the right thing instead of the crowd-approval thing.

      Which just warms the cockles of my black little heart.

    2. I want to get into foster-parenting, if I can overcome certain personal failings. Odds are about 50/50. 🙂

      1. Don’t risk it. It is an invitation to the most intrusive and entitled Karen’s to come in and completely F up your life. Especially don’t do it if you have kids of your own at home.
        If you think Kafka had it bad, try being summoned into Juvenile Court to defend every facet of your life, and every decision you ever made, to the Red Queens’ standards of justice.
        Read about the perversity that is the St Louis Guardian Ad Litem program allegedly to “help” parents and children as they go through a divorce.
        No, I’m not a bit hostile to these creatures. Yes, there are some good ones, but they are outnumbered by the soul-suckered.
        John in Indy

  6. And some of the homeschooled kids, of course, though the messages are pervasive in the culture, and reach even them.

    But only if the parents of those kids went in a different direction than the schools. Some ditched all of the outward bullshit like grades, while retaining the core morgul-blade of Childhood Is Evil.

    1. *derp*, hit post too soon:

      Because after all, those parents didn’t come from a pure stock of unsullied humans never exposed to the poison. They were as much products of their time as the kids would be in a later time.

  7. Oddly appropriate reading this as I’m debating what I will do when my company decides to require the booster. I expect they will, given the industry and how closely it is tied to the system. No real good answers though. Just sifting out which is the least bad option.

    1. Just went to the grocery store on the second day of Gov. Nuisance’s mandate. About half patrons wearing masks. Nobody says anything to the rest of us.

      1. Yeah, different sort of thing here though. When the contracting house says “show me you have 100% compliance” sales honestly doesn’t care whether they dump the entire staff to get there or not.

        Delivery isn’t their problem.

        And it’s the industry, not just a company specific thing.

  8. I think one reason I lean on military history when I teach is because the guys like it. Some of the girls, too, but I want to encourage the guys that it’s cool to like “guy stuff.”

      1. Yes, and one of my nerdiest-looking students informed me that it is now #2 in frequency on his on-line playlist. I flushed a half dozen metal heads, or converted a few, with various Sabaton numbers. This semester I get to do “Steel Commanders” and a few others . . .

        1. Said “nerd” also fences (rapier) about three levels above his age-group, among other things. He’d make a great character model for “harmless looking guy who is secret hero . . .” protagonist.

  9. Boys and girls need time to experience life, play, and go their own way in general..Time to let their systems mature without excessive pressure….IMO, as a former teacher, parent of boys and extremely high academic achiever, there should be NO homework before 5th grade, and very little after that (except occasional special projects ) until they reach high school…We had that time back in the ’50s, and it shows..

    1. The current education/entertainment system is designed to discourage and eliminate children experiencing life, playing and particularly going their own way for a while; thus the war on “free range” children. The last thing the establishment wants is a generation that can think for itself. They want mindless drones who will gladly embrace “Ignorance is Strength” while screaming at all who do not conform Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1970s) style.

      It is why they so aggressively pursue indoctrination that at its core is ‘conformity is diversity”. They view children as future borg drones following the mandates of “the collective”.

        1. Middle school, 6 through 8, is when that started for our son (’90s). Got him a rolling backpack. Oh they had lockers. In their homeroom classroom. Not outside of it. Inside. The only time they had access was during their homeroom class!

          1. We had lockers, but every few months the school and police would cut all the locks off and rake everything out on the ground looking for drugs. Found my lunch stomped into the ground more than once. My parents had to pay to replace destroyed/missing textbooks twice, then gave me a briefcase to carry them around with.

            For some reason that briefcase caused endless amounts of trouble with the teachers, who seemed to be personally offended by it. I was supposed to carry everything around in my arms like everyone else, trailing bits of paper and writing implements. Book bags weren’t a thing then.

            I carried that briefcase all the way through school, and still have it.

            1. Yea, I didn’t get a book bag (unpadded daypack) until college. I carried notebook and text books to and from school, every day, 6 through 12, along with clarinet case, 6 – 9. Not because we didn’t have shared lockers, but because I was expected to bring home books to do homework. Middle school (6 – 9) took the bus. HS (10 – 12) either walked or rode a bike. I’m sure there were locker drug searches, but I do not remember school wide locker dump searches. This would have been fall 1968 – graduation spring 1974

              Already noted the locker situation for son. HS school had lockers, but they didn’t have enough lockers. Yet teachers didn’t want students having book bags in classes. Blink. The younger students, 9 – 10th, were given first priority. Then 11th, and finally the seniors. Never heard of broad locker searches. Kid never mentioned them, and school sure in the heck didn’t report them. Any junior or senor who could just used the trunk of their vehicle. Which is what our son did. Do not know how those who didn’t drive to school pulled it off. Plus the added fun that the HS parking permit was not a guaranty of parking on campus; parking spot hunting license at best. Oh, and non-notification of vehicle searches, on campus or not, without a warrant, or parental notification, lawsuit time; that never happened, with the car our son drove.

              There were three reasons our son had access to a car when he turned 16. 1) His dad had one at 16. I hadn’t, so it didn’t make sense to me. Dad was adamant. I lost (not that I was that vocal about it). But even then it wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t needed a smaller car for dad’s exile commute. Gas savings alone paid for both the car and his exile rent! Comes under we could afford one and had to afford one. 2) We had a 3rd vehicle. 3) Kid had earned the right. 4) Dad was home permanently from exile … Okay, that is 4. Technically #4 didn’t apply. We still had a parked third vehicle, but at least that didn’t leave me driving the truck. Kid’s first vehicle was only 16 months old. It had 48,500 miles on it. It was traded in, 15 years later, in 2020, with 120k miles on it.

      1. And why they subscribe to what I call the busywork theory of teaching. “Look at how much the children are doing! How could they possibly not be learning anything?” If you then do show that the children aren’t learning, their answer is to double down and make the children do even more busywork.

        1. This is an area where computers can be a *massive* help– a lot of the only-busy-work is easy to grade, while the “practice to get good at it” is HARD to grade.
          I do multiplication charts with the kids, and I can glaze over reading the 5th 12×12 chart of the day, and “see” the number that should be there rather than what is. A computer doesn’t do that.

    2. We had light homework in elementary school in the ’60s. I had mumps in 6th grade, and recall having to figure out long division (since I missed the in-class instruction).

      We were fairly free-range, even through high school. Friday and Saturday nights were free, and after school was fairly free, at least until we got part time jobs. Mom insisted I learn to type in Junior High, and that was the only summer class I had until graduate school. I can’t stand typewriters because of the clacking, but the touch-typing is invaluable.

      1. Also, ’60s. Semi-free ranging. We couldn’t go down to the grade school by ourselves. Half a mile away.

        Hubby is just enough older, that he was full free ranging. But he had 3 older siblings too. They with their friends were free ranging.

        Our son wasn’t free ranging. Did not go over to the school despite, the front at least, being visible from the house. The playground, not so visible. He did go to friends on his own, they came here, when someone was home. But rarely did they go over to the grade school playground outside of school hours or organized sports.

        The key between our son, and either of us, was WE & THEY. Also, was someone at home? While for me it was mom. For hubby, his mom went back to nursing when her older 3 were responsible enough to be home for each other, and the youngest. Son, only child (he wasn’t latch key for more than 1/2 an hour, it did affect spontaneity). Plus, while there were lots of kids attending the grade school, and us being close to the school, the immediate location didn’t have any children, other than him. When the neighborhood started transitioning over he was older. In fact neighborhood is still transitioning, after 22 years, as heirs are selling.

        1. This is honestly the biggest difference– there simply isn’t anyone around.

          It’s fine and good that the kids be independent– but if someone falls and is bleeding out, there has to be someone who can be reached and expected to help. I dang near took a bat to someone who was fussing that I was over-mothering my kids because I was aware of issues they were not, such as there are wolves in the area that HAVE been seen stalking human children, in daylight. So the kids weren’t allowed to be out anywhere that they couldn’t make it to Safe From Dog They Don’t Know before said animal could get them. They couldn’t play at the culvert. (Nearly sucked my dad down– water is powerful.)
          And so on.

          Free range takes thought, just like doing it with cattle involves making strong fences and doing other preparation. (And yeah, I’ve heard a lot of “free range” horror stories where it was used as an excuse to not parent! :grumble: You deciding your kid is ‘free range’ does not mean I have to let him beat up on my littles.)

          1. We saw a whole household fail of free range kids. Actually there were two large households, with lots of kids. The youngest of each were in son’s class, played on sports teams, etc. In both large families, the older children were suppose to be picking up the youngest, or at lest home, when the youngest walked/biked home after practice. The one family, the older children did step up. Never had to worry about someone being there for pickup regardless of time, especially when it was dark. The other one? Not so much. We’d get done, lock up. If someone showed up before got walked over to our house (one house down a side street, from across the street), fine. Otherwise someone took him home. Especially when it was dark out or super late. Guess which kid (by rumor, we *had reason to know) wasn’t doing as well? Applies to all the children in that family.

            Another two families of kids our son’s ages, parents our ages, or older, essentially raised two sets of “singles”. Quoted because one set is twins. The older sibling being 15 years older and not living at home by the time the 3 hit grade school. They too were in the same spot we were in, in their own neighborhoods. Sure there was one location the kids interacted, after school, even played regularly on the playground, called after school care. It was a daycare for what otherwise would be latch key kids.

            We didn’t have any free roaming 4 legged predators or misbehaving dogs. But the two legged variety were definitely around. Now it is a different story. Home cam recordings have caught not only wild turkeys, but cougar, bear, and eagle. While an eagle isn’t going to snatch a child their sizes. Having them snatch a cat with the kid as witness would be problematic.

            * Sigh, our source moved on to a new job, is no longer available to us.

            1. Some use “free range” as a nicer term for “abandonment”.

              Child rearing attracts more than its fair share of stealth-warpings of language. In all possible (and a few impossible) directions.

              See “creative” for “raging terror”. Or “well behaved” for “scared out of their mind”.

  10. “In fact, it’s a lazy teacher thing. They don’t want to remember to remind the kids. So the kids have to be hyper-organized because their teachers aren’t.” OMG! I have dealt with this. Oldest son and daughter had the same teacher for 7th/8th grade (small Montessori school). Since oldest boy was smart as a tack and had a long track record of barely scraping by since he would do the “dumb” assignments my wife and I had a sit down with the teacher in implored him to contact us if son started to fall behind/fail to turn in required assignments. My wife monitored as close as possible, then just three weeks before the end of the first semester we were informed he was failing due to not turning in his assignments. Much scrambling dragged boy to a passing grade. Another sit down with the teacher, agreed to biweekly progress reports for the second semester, rinse, wash repeat and he nearly failed again for failure to turn in required assignments. Started homeschooling oldest from then on. Daughter unit transfers to that school (a severe lack of choices in the area made that the best of possible options) and the exact same scenario played out for my daughter, who up to that point had been the model straight ‘A’ student. The teacher is a nice person, but I have to count backwards from a million by threes to keep from cursing when evaluating his teaching ablitliy.

    Needless to say our younger boys will not be enrolled in his class.

    1. Same here. Kid is holy-shit Smart, but also ADHD. All my pleas with her teachers to TELL ME when she started slipping…slipped.

      Now she’s homeschooling.

        1. Yeah. I…may well be myself, but I have reached a tentative truce with my brain, and my brain and I Do Not Talk about things that might upset the delicate balance. 🙂 As for Kid…I can get a casual, brilliant 30-minute analysis of a fictional character while we’re running errands, but if I ask her for a three-sentence summary of the lecture she just watched, you can HEAR the sand spontaneously manifest between her gears.

      1. Same thing with my daughter as a teenager: well behaved, quiet, obedient … and stuffing her homework assignments into her desk and forgetting about them entirely. OMG, the end of the term and just now her teachers are noticing that she’s failing???!!!
        This cr*p didn’t come to a screeching halt until I enrolled her in a very strict Catholic girls’ high school, with classes so small that the teachers noticed in a heartbeat that she was looking out the window and daydreaming, when she should have been paying attention.

          1. Yes. Homework s/b to prove they actually did the work, even if they cannot produce when tested. Should not be to flunk the student who learned the material and proved it by testing high, but didn’t turn in the busy work. But that is what some teachers do.

              1. If they don’t make the tests 1/3 of the grade– with 1/3 homework and 1/3 “participation”– you can’t make it so folks who flunk the test still pass…..

                  1. An acceptable cost, since they can always have those people barely pass with the Participation third.

                    For those watching: Sarah and I are *both* highly annoyed at school being perverted into the point, rather than being the means used to provide education.

                    1. I know that is what the schools are doing, and have been doing for the last 30 or 40 decades. We had to imprint that on our son. What I am saying is “It shouldn’t be this way!

                      I don’t remember that happening when I was in school, in ’60s – ’70s. Do remember that turning in homework and class participation could improve your grade, if you bombed the tests. But you couldn’t fail the class if your testing grades said you passed. Probably when it started. Didn’t work that way in college. I’d have flunked, or barely passed (100% of 66% is failing). Homework, no problem, including turning it in. Testing, no problem. Participation, huge problem, most classes. Latter never improved through, through two bachelors, one associates, and a lot of seminars. Exception anything that had a Lab or hands on “participation”.

                      And yes, We, and other parents (especially those of us “older” parents) tried to fight the system for our children. You already know how that worked out (or you all wouldn’t have to be frustrated too). Bottom line what we had to do is teach our child is “This is what ‘fair’ looks like.” This is what knowing the rules are and what following them are. There were rules in school where you can appear to be following them, and not be. But the homework, participation, test, portions weren’t.

                      I think I’ve mentioned the bully/bullied story and “I didn’t know they were fighting” discussion with the principal … He stepped between them, when he could have gone around, stopping the bully, otherwise no interaction. At least that is how we heard it from the parents of the one being bullied. Which is another topic. One we didn’t back down on but never had to implement. “If you ever have to fight back on either your behalf or someone else. We will back you to the hilt.” I grew up in the ’60s. Hubby grew up in the ’50s as the youngest of 4 … When self defense or defense of another was sanctioned.

                    2. Got a whole freakin’ CHORUS, here.

                      What gets me steamed is that you can walk folks thorugh how the goal has shifted from [stated goal] to [current goal] and then they still meltdown because you are opposing [original stated goal] that is actively HARMED by current tactics.

                    3. In the good classes when I was a kid, there wasn’t a participation number. There was turned-in work (both class and home) and there was the test. That’s how I passed Spanish, even though I just flat can’t DO language and did very poorly on the tests.
                      As long as I did the classwork first, nobody cared if I was reading in class. For the good classes.

                      had a few teachers who were, ah, “creative” with the classroom participation part….

                    4. As long as I did the classwork first, nobody cared if I was reading in class.

                      Blink. I wasn’t the only one? 🙂

                      English class the creative participation portion was turning in book reports on what I was reading in class …

                      Age 9 – “She can’t read”

                      Age 11 – “She reads in Class!”

                      The difference? None. I can’t read aloud. Still have difficulties. I’m 65.

                    5. Some teachers get mortally offended at the student not focusing on them.


                      Those pretty quickly figured out they were more scared of my mom, especially since she was a certified teacher with a nice list of qualifications….

                    6. They had two choices if they were not fully able to engage me, and sometimes even then. Either I read, or had the ability to, in class, or I zone out … Still have problems in meetings, unless I can do something else, I cannot “just focus”. Okay, not anymore. Retired. So that issue is done. Any meetings now are “luncheon” type. Which mean I’m doing something, even if it is just drinking a lot of Pepsi, Coffee, or the last one included wine tasting. I can make a little bit of wine last a long time.

                    7. “In the good classes when I was a kid, there wasn’t a participation number.”

                      See also college professors with an attendance policy. And the harder they enforced it the worse they were.

                    8. “30 or 40 decades” sounds sooooo good. But meant “years” not “decades” or “3 or 4 decades”. Take one’s pick.



                    9. Well done homework *can* be about identifying problems before it’s make or break… but that tends to be homework that’s a lot of work to actually CORRECT, and those teachers’ class participation is also a ton of work, but actually involves kids.

                      Getting the group to comply is one of the costs of any sort of group training– these twits keep making it a goal in and of itself. :annoyed:

                    10. One of my “pick the workbook” thing for math is to open it up and *look* at what they’ve got for practice.

                      Generally, the worthless stuff is really easy to grade; the Kumon Algebra stuff is a royal pain to grade…but you can nail down *exactly* where the kid is having issues, with enough questions to catch most mistakes at least twice but not so many the kid hits the wall.

                      For example, we never had Order Of Operations actually *taught*. I think we started using calculators about the time it’d get too important to bypass. When I’m grading that, I had to first identify the ones with incorrect answers, and then go step by step to figure out where the problem is. So far, it’s usually doing parentheses and then left to right, rather than parentheses, multiplication/division, then addition/subtraction; sometimes it’s basic derp like “converted mixed number to improper fraction…forgot the number that was already on top of the fraction” (IE, 2 1/5 becoming 10/5, not 11/5.)
                      And then *I show her how you can be pretty sure where the mistake is*.

                      This is, of course, not counting the things like 300 basic multiplication (## x #) in algebra. -.-

                      “Fill out the multiplication chart each morning before you start, and you can use that” is pretty rewarding, though….

                    11. yup, and i knew it was just for normal kids that needed the repetition to retain anything, and there was a little spot at around 12 when i was in history class and realized that no, the other kids really didn’t remember everything from last year.

                    12. Well, it’s because of those noncompliant little creeps that we don’t have a Perfect World! It’s all their fault! 😦

    2. Interestingly enough … At Shasta, middle school, they called the not-turning-in-assignments, the 6th grade problem … Except for Irving students. Irving teachers started teaching organization and homework responsibility in the 4th grade. Most students had it figured out before the end of 4th grade. Reinforced in 5th grade. Habit by 6th.

      What bit our son, when we got called in on an an incomplete assignment, his wail was “I turned it in! ON TIME!” True. It wasn’t accepted. Done. But his handwriting is sloppy at best. Homework required something better. He didn’t redo the work as required. Sat with teacher and him. Made him (with hints) make suggestions on how his presentation could “improve”. (i.e. type up written portion and glue/tape to part it was required to be on … Oh. Solution carried over to completing his Eagle Scout paperwork and notebook 3 years later. His handwriting never improved. Neither has dad’s.). Then he was given a timeline to complete the redo, which he beat. Which opened ANOTHER issue. I get a voice mail from the teacher. Kid has not followed through. Blink. Kid had completed everything (a week early), organized it, verified, and turned it in, or so he had said. So, I leave work. Pull him out of class. Ask. Yes. Turned in. CHECKED his bag (teacher says she does NOT have it). Yep, “missing”. He said he put it in Wednesday’s homework due basket, because that is when he turned it in. That was the problem. She was expecting partial completion on Friday. Nothing in Friday’s basket … She apologized to us and him, and him again in class. Her response to us “I’m shocked. Parents actually followed through!” Um, okay. You really do not know us.

      We never had a problem with assignments, ever again.

      With scouts it was never a problem getting son to do the work. Now writing it up or talking about it, OTOH … As mentioned above, he did earn Eagle. But like All (most?) other Eagle Scouts, the “Boot to Seat of Pants” award was earned by a few adult scouters working with him.

      1. My son’s troop just had the screamingest of Screaming Eagles. One day to turn in his binder upon completion of his leadership requirements. One. Day.

        There are ASD-type issues involved, but this kid had “boots” from multiple adults as well as double-checks from recent aged-out Eagles in the troop. It’s not that he couldn’t do the work; he just needed people riding herd on him to make sure he got all the specifics done when they were supposed to be.

        But he made Eagle! And all the adults in the troop took a big sigh of relief, and have gone back to “if you want Eagle, try for 16, since that gives you wiggle room.”

        1. Yes. Son earned Eagle at 15, 4 months before he turned 16. Get them to Eagle before the 3P’s hit. Paycheck, Petrol, and Perfume …

          Prior 3 Eagles out of the same troop went down to the wire, with their Eagle Book Applications. Two the week before they turned 18. The third the day before. Scoutmaster was sweating it. One of those three created the “Seat of the Pants” award. Luckily the Scoutmaster in question always sat down the Eagle, with at least one parent, to go over exactly what needed to be in the book, how to organized it, and why. He’d seen just one book come back with “errors” since he took over as Scoutmaster. Scoutmaster learned HIS lesson. Luckily that Eagle candidate wasn’t one of the above 3 and had time to make corrections. Eagle board of reviews can occur after the scout turns 18. But all the work has to be done, appropriately signed off, and turned into the council, before turning 18.

    3. Younger son would DO the assignments, then leave them in his backpack/in his room/wherever.
      …. I had EXACT same issue as a kid (still do) but my teachers REMINDED ME. Like adults should.

  11. Another bad saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result.”
    I knew it bothered me but not why until yesterday, when Twitter was actually useful and a guy posted that doing the same thing over and expecting different results is also the definition of PRACTICE.

    1. Wouldn’t practice being doing the same thing over and over again and trying for the SAME result?

      1. Look into statistical process control, and industrial experimentation.

        You have to find out what is causing your variations, before you can minimize them.

        Blindly changing stuff is a recipe for either wasting time, or accidentally making stuff worse.

      2. When you “practice” writing, you hope you are getting better with each copy. With poetry, you must include all words needed, and remove all words not needed, so your eraser is essential. The result should not be the same, since you will remove some of the words not needed. The trick is to know when to stop erasing.

    2. Why and how the repetition is happening is what defines it.

      Too many people have the idea that “practice” just means getting the repetition count higher. What true practice requires is a huge amount of mental work analyzing the intention, what is really happening, and the result, on top of a task the person already finds difficult.

      1. A coworker played trumpet. He told the story of practicing a part in the factory basement (devoted to infrastructure and storage), repeating the portion he was having trouble with. He got a yell: “Dammit, would you get it right!?” from a crewman working down there.

    3. I know it bugs me when folks chuck it at me because doing the same thing in a different situation is called science.

      And you don’t KNOW until you check if the things that changed about the situation are relevant or not until you do check.

    4. Wouldn’t practice not be doing exactly the same thing over and over but rather trying to improve the process each time.
      Doesn’t “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result.” imply that one is blindly doing the same thing over and over, not in an attempt to improve, but because they **believe** that if they do *whatever* over and over they will necessarily get a different result because *whatever* requires the result they want.

  12. “I’d rather have the quick swat on the behind (or even the extensive spanking) than the slow burn recrimination over days.”

    Me too! Me too!

  13. And from my wisdom file, “The paralyzing fear of a dark future is a despicable, cowardly reason to deny the next generation their shot at making it brighter.” Dr. Zero

  14. “Most of that generation is lost, and it was made so on purpose, by people who taught them poisonous, horrible ideas and made them feel stupid and inept. Because they could.” – This. So much.

    I was absolutely convinced I’d never see the turn of the century, for one. I was supposed to be dead. Pick a cause, any cause; pollution, AIDS, the global freeze, nuclear war. And one of my parents’ favorites, that I would deliberately be in the wrong place at the wrong time and tick someone off, and it would be all my fault, because “you just don’t know how to make friends.” But not to worry, I was the disposable one, they’d find someone else to do everything, so it wouldn’t matter.

    No, really. These were the kinds of things said with a smile. By most adults I came in contact with.

    Schools, family, academia, work; you don’t want to know how toxic anything to do with ecology is. Finding something to believe in when no one around you wants you to believe you’re anything but a useful tool for them is… extremely hard.

        1. Give me a location midway. I can probably have witnesses and paperwork that we were there, at a cafe, then at a crowded theater, and lots of people saw us . . . 😉

          Hypothetically speaking, of course. For novelist research purposes.

  15. It seems many, many kids are getting a psychiatric diagnosis now, with the accompanying medications and messages. The drugging is bad enough, but so are the weirdo explanations you hear the kids parroting like “my brain works differently”. A lot of these screwed up kids are from screwed up and/or abusive families, and that’s 100% why they are screwed up, not because of physical differences in their brain. Anyone would be screwed up coming from that mess.

    It’s a harmful lie to tell them they have physical problem because they will be denied the chance to adequately deal with things when they can finally escape that family environment.

    1. With the caveat that coming from a screwed-up enough environment absolutely does create physical differences in the brain. Thing is, those differences need not medication, but getting into a safe and stable environment with a lot of good nutrition so you can work on slowly rewiring the brain to as close to normal as possible.

    2. “It seems many, many kids are getting a psychiatric diagnosis now, with the accompanying medications and messages.”

      Why not? Lots of benefits to those and no obvious downside.

      1. All sorts of accommodations on school: untimed tests, lower test scores acceptable, more opportunities to retake. Wouldn’t want to be ableist!
      2. Same thing goes for discipline, both in school and out in the “community”. “X can’t help being sick!”
      3. Of course, there’s the out and out financial. My mother’s 4th graders were all getting SSDI aka “crazy money” and the parents knew just how they had to act in order to get it.

      The chumps were the ones who didn’t take advantage.

  16. Happens to the homeschooled too. One of my parents used to listen at the door/observe me unnoticed and then swoop in and punish me for violating standards of which I had not been informed. I thought I was over it; lately it’s occurred to me that I’m not. (I am *obsessively* fair and informative with Kid, and therefore probably too soft on her. Beats the rolled-up-newspaper-out-of-nowhere AFAIC.)

      1. Dunno, parent too loud. 🙂 This is the person who told me, at age 5, to go explore in a safe little cul-de-sac…then hid when I was out of sight, jumped out and spanked me when I came back and started looking for them. Apparently this was to teach me about staying put or something.

      1. My grandparents had a party line, which meant it wasn’t just your parents possibly listening in, but every Sister BerthaBetterThanYou on the circuit. Both my folks said it had a “chilling effect.”

  17. Personally, I’m happy to acknowledge that my ancestors stole this land from the people who were native at the time (if stealing is what it was). They did great things with it, and everyone alive today is better off as a result.

  18. I’m so totally focused on rebuilding the shambles of my life it gives me little else to do except appreciate others who want to build things, too.

    This may be outside what’s being talked about, but the one thing I heard way too often is that “getting old is haaarrrdddd.”

    Oh, really? Harder than what, exactly? Do you mean different? Oh. Just STFU, then, and let me get on with things. I have stuff to do.

    Sarah, your post does address the absolute foolishness going on with my ostensible employer, Kroger. Their HR girls are universally insane.

    1. I tried young and I have to admit it was a lot of fun, especially in retrospect. 😉

      I’m trying old now (older than +97% of you young, less than eighty, whippersnappers here, I bet -grin-) and I have to say, olds even more fun as one have more experiences behind to compare to, and greatly appreciate, today.

    2. Getting Old beats the Alternative. Personally I prefer to see the grass from on top of it, not under …

      1. Anne Rice died recently. I sympathize with all my gothy friends BUT I have been *itching* for a chance to tell them she’s now interrogating the dirt from the wrong perspective.

        Too soon, sigh…

  19. It turns out that there is a method to a lot of my madness, and a madness to my method. I frequently have the same thinking behavior produce both the results people call crazy, and the results people find refreshingly sane.

    I try to basically never give in on beleiving something when people are trying to coerce or nudge things. Originally, for the sake of not being drawn into unmarked white vans, metaphorically, by promises of candy and puppies inside.

    That it seemed to have been successful in that purpose after an event deeply reinforced my focus.

    When you regularly refuse to believe what you are told, regardless of wanting to, or of part of you feeling that it makes sense, it will some of the time be dysfunctional.

    At times you will find yourself rejecting the assertation that the answer to vagrancy is not a strategic bombing campaign.

    I’ve come to some of my more sensible positions by wading through a sea of crazy that I generated along the way.

    But, with the crap dumped on kids since my day, it has served me fairly well.

    “You are a bad person who likes bad things.”


    “You should do the things that I think are good.”

    “Go eff yourself.”

    Some of my “I identify as a monster” is precisely because I reject the social consensus on “not being a monster”. These fruitcakes don’t know good from evil, and their suggestions are best ignored and forgotten.

    Another part of “I identify as a monster” was, at a fairly young age, doing a mental estimate akin to plotting my personality traits on an n dimensional space, and looking at close by points. Some of what is close by is pretty bad; I try to do what I say. Fanatically honest implementation of an evil idea is evil.

    Because of the way I am driven to be, I have to be careful about what I take in.

    At the same time, I’ve both caused myself problems by being too indiscriminate, and am causing myself problems because discriminating between ideas leads to anger at some of what people are pushing. I’ve been finding the anger a serious challenge recently.

    That said, I’ve survived making a mess of my life before. If I do so again, I will survive again, and try to rebuild whatever comes next.

    1. “At times you will find yourself rejecting the assertation that the answer to vagrancy is not a strategic bombing campaign.”

      To be fair, it is -an- answer, and one that has been used fairly often in history. But, as history also shows, its not a very good answer.

      Another, better answer might be to find out what is causing the vagrants to be vagrant, and go settle whoever is creating that problem. Lately that seems to be the drug cartels of Mexico etc. selling a form of meth that causes extensive and irreversible brain damage. But who is keeping the problem stuck seems to be the federal government of the USA. That’s why it isn’t getting fixed, they want it this way.

      Maybe spare some thought on how to change their minds and make them desperate to fix it. Maybe don’t start with the strategic bombing campaign idea, and think about something easier/cheaper/faster than that. You can always bomb them later, right? >:D

      1. I wanted an example of possible weirdness on my end, and have decided that I’d overused my go to example. Some of the other ones are a bit too entangled with issues of modern politics.

        I’ve at least once joked along similar lines, so I decided it was good enough.

        Mainly trying to say, that being seriously wrong some times is not necessarily a bad thing. And feeling 90% sure that one should concede, and being unable to force oneself unless first calming down, because of the kind of stress, is not necessarily bad either. Sticking to your guns defending seriously wrong positions can be a good tradeoff, if you aren’t going along to get along with everyone.

        I concur that a lot of issues are US federal politics, and making US politics less horrible is the step to try before trying to do any of the seriously crazy things in the real world.

        I think my satisfaction with the wall of text, in hindsight, is about a six out of ten. Lot of my writing hasn’t satisfied recently. I’m not going to say I have a sinus infection, but there has been an interesting and perhaps familiar flavor to a lot of the recent madness. (Sinuses have most definitely been messed up, but so has digestion, and there’s been a lot of apparent stress.)

  20. I’m tired of this world that other people have created.

    I’m looking at the children that are coming up, and I feel a great wave of pity for them. It’s like that line from “Casino”-“We were handed the keys to the Earthly paradise and we f(YAY!)ked it up.”

    I’m just hoping it’s the fact that it’s all crap and not age that’s making me want to yell at people to get off my lawn and my planet. Because if it’s age, well…I’m screwed.

    1. “I’m just hoping it’s the fact that it’s all crap and not age that’s making me want to yell at people to get off my lawn and my planet.”

      I’ve been yelling at a-holes to get off my lawn since I was a teen. That’s what martial arts is. The will and the ability to get that yob the hell off your lawn. All that changed between then and now is more and dumber a-holes.

  21. Yeah, hard times will create mostly wimps who lean on government for support.

    But if they lean on the government, are they really experiencing hard times?

    What we are mostly seeing is a failure of consequences. When so many face no consequences no matter how badly they fuck up, when they are rewarded after fucking up again and again (Fauxi!) (Swalwell!), they have no motivation to stop fucking up.

    Just like the puppy that’s never been taught not to crap on the couch, they ruin everything around them.

    And when they are called upon to decorate lamp-posts (or pikes) they won’t even understand why.
    The one thing we need more of from the government is LESS!!

  22. Good to see you still taking that meme on, and in such powerful ways. All of that crap from public schools sounds familiar on top of all the monkey games being played in the schools themselves and me…not having the worst but still not having a great by any means home life away from it. And all the craziness of college, ugh… I’m still not sure how I stumbled in here with enough of a foundation to get everything done that I have since joining the community sometimes. And this does make some potential possibilities for how things might go for me from here not only sound less crazy, but actually sound like the sanest options of all… Here’s hoping those of us who survived this mess with some degree of functionality have what it takes to get things back on track.

  23. This calls to mind an angry rant I recently heard directed at the Baby Boomers. To paraphrase:

    “That’s why I’m never that hard on the Millenials and the Zoomers, because as bad as they are – and they have problems – I look on them with some pity and compassion, because you (Baby Boomers) killed God, so then they had to build a God to replace Him with.”

  24. I do agree, to a certain extent, with Sarah’s take on Hard times…, -but as with just about all homilies, there is more than a grain of truth therein, else it would be a passed down homily.

    As I’m purely descended from a race of bog stomping cattle thieves (One great grandma on my mother’s side had some German blood, but she pricked her finger with a needle and let it all out.), I’d rephrase it so; Hard time require hard men, soft times men need be even harder.

  25. I will say, I had it physically soft compared to my father and grandfather. And the mental side of things was not extraordinarily easy either for them.

    Part of things, my muscles got a bit screwed up when I was young. So couldn’t really do the stuff that they did, even if I had managed to force myself to make the attempt seriously.


    -Humans are ruining the Earth and will destroy it if it goes on.

    -You’re in 9th grade now, you should sign this pledge that you’ll never have kids, because we’re overpopulated.

    -Because every industry is polluting, you should not expect to have as good a life as your parents or grandparents. Dream small.
    9MM? .32ACP?

    -You’re the brightest, best, smartest, and we expect you to change the world just by existing.

    -The best way of changing the world is realizing how privileged you are and working for the underprivileged.

    -Everyone who has more than they strictly need, has stolen it.

    -The other sex that you’re naturally attracted to hates you and wants to destroy you/exploit you.

    -The US was only ever rich because it was stolen from Amerindians/result of slavery.

    -We’re all going to die in 12, 10 whatever number of years.

    -If you’re hit you shouldn’t fight back, because that’s worse.


    1. In defense of the Trail of Tears, and Andrew Jackson: We are in no way obligated to coexist peacefully with anyone who will not reciprocate. The leftist version of history, in which every single one of our neighbors behaved peacefully towards us as we waged unrelenting and unprovoked war against them, is false. One proof of this is in all the people that we did not wage war upon to the point of complete extinction.

      Which is not to say that we should, or even could, have exterminated all of our neighbors.

      Saying these falsehoods is one of the results of the left being unwillingly to coexist peacefully with us.

      Labeling their just treatment as euthanasia on the records is no worse than the violations they have carried out upon the practices of medicine, law, and history.

      1. One of our local universities has as its mascot the Aztecs, and the leftists want to abolish it because it doesn’t show respect to the Aztecs. THE *@#*! AZTECS! Please send those people back to the Aztecs.

        1. One of my all time favorite scenes from any book ever was in Stirling’s “Island in the Sea of Time” when a stereotypical Karen and all her followers go to try and save the proto-Aztecs and realize that the “noble savages” are going to kill and in some cases eat them all.

          1. The Olmecs, the “big stone head” people. What’s more, as they were sailing away it was pointed out to Karen and her coterie that they had probably just infected the locals with IIRC mumps, which would kill so many of them as to destroy their civilization. Great job, Karen!

          2. “Island in the Sea of Time”

            If I remember correctly, the proto-Aztecs ate all but 3. Not sure how the one brother survived, might have been other survivors that hadn’t been eaten, yet. Not that he “survived” long after rescue (suicide). The two women who survived to be rescued, survived because of the color of their eyes, and proto-Aztecs legends (Stirlings interpretation of them).

            But yes. Noble Savages they were not. Every time I read about current, whomever, touting that the Aztecs had a thriving noble culture that the Europeans destroyed, I want to shake the idiots until they get a clue. There is a reason why the surviving cultures of South and Central America want the Aztecs memory put in a very deep pit, burned, and buried.

            Concept comes up in another one of Stirlings books “Conquistador”. “Just because someone got the sharp end of the stick doesn’t mean they are nice people.” In this case the natives that were enticed to give up the Hawaiian Islands by being bought off with the needed supplies, boats, arms, food, to go and retrieve the lands they’d been ran off of … which they then proceeded to, not run off the invaders, hunt and eat them.

            1. The Karen’s had kidnapped one of the Islanders and she was one of the survivors.

              The head of the Karens (a woman) wasn’t killed by the Olmecs because of her eye color and the Islander woman wasn’t killed because she was pregnant.

              The Karen woman was accidently killed during the rescue and the Islander woman was rescued unharmed.

              The brother of the Karen woman had escaped being captured by the Olmecs and turned himself in the rescue party.

              He committed suicide after being informed that the Olmecs had been inflected with mumps.

              Note, the rescued Islander Woman deliberately told him that fact to encourage him to commit suicide. 😉

              1. And finished by thinking “Some people are too dangerous to be allowed to live around friends and family.”

                  1. Yes. Didn’t remember that the Karen had been killed during the rescue. Thought she died due to the (extensive) physical and psychological trauma experienced before they got back to the rescue ship. Had forgotten that Karen’s brother evaded capture to begin with. Hadn’t forgotten their hostage was pregnant, had forgotten that was why she was spared (thought she had the green “cat” eyes too). Also deliberately didn’t go into that detail. But yea. One tough New Englander Lady.

                    Book gets into how easy it was to accidentally wipe out indigenous populations. Not only the mumps asymptomatic carrier getting eaten, and the whole under cooked meat, but the first time they encounter warriors. They really only get close to the one warrior, who they had wounded. He didn’t die of his wound. He dies from a raging viral infection picked up by their astronomer who had the “sniffles”. Okay, tiny sea plane, and close quarters. But the other warriors she never got near, still the virus gets transmitted, and ends up wiping out most the village, with survivors fleeing to other villages, and spreading it further. Compounding the tragic of the young children and babies who survived the virus, but died from lack of basic care, next to their dead parents. They even make a point of staying away from the villages when they realize the warrior is dying. Little did they know the damage was done, even without full contact, from A Runny Nose.

                    1. Speaking of which, according to this Australian expat, a good deal of the authoritarian lockdown in the Northern Territory is ostensibly to protect the Aboriginal population (which was historically hit very hard by colds and flu at first contact, and then really badly by the Spanish Flu) from massive Covid deaths.

                      Personally, I think that by this point the Aborigines probably have had enough exposure to extracontinental disease that it wouldn’t do much more than to anyone else.

                      Watch the whole thing for answers to the question of “WTF Australia?” I found it quite enlightening.

            2. …the Aztecs were defeated by a few hundred …Spaniards… not the tens of thousands of other locals the Spaniards allied with whom the Aztec had enslaved, attacked, warned with, etc..


                1. I suspect it was also a matter of “it’s better to have an outsider lead” than “follow one of their hated neighbors”.

                  None of the other tribes loved the Aztecs but that didn’t mean they trusted any of their neighboring tribes.

          3. As L. Sprague DeCamp’s Paaluan chief told Zdim the demon: “Why do they kill people? To take their land, or because they worship different gods. How is that right? No, the only moral reason to kill a man is to eat him.” 😛

      2. Two reasons for the Trail of Tears I don’t see discussed much: one, the Cherokee were picking up techniques, ideas, and so forth from the settlers and using them well. They were also inter-marrying. The white spouses of exiled Cherokee often went with them, as did a fair number of ministers (the Cherokee were also converting).
        Second, there was a gold strike in Georgia, and the local tribes weren’t interested in letting the white folks dig up their land to get at the gold. There’s a reason there were prospectors ready and willing to head for California in ’49. (Dalonogha, Georgia has an excellent museum on the subject. If you’re lucky, the guide will open up the room where you can see the gold flecks in the bricks).
        It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to contemplate the 49ers reprovisioning in Oklahoma from Cherokee farmers and merchants. Something about hoping they paid through the nose.

        1. There were more than one band of indians in the area.

          There was allegedly raiding by some indian bands disposing of loot through indian villages.

          1. The problem that is ignored about relations between the US and the various Indian Tribes is that none of the tribes were united under a single government.

            There were various sub-groups within tribes like the Cherokee. While the US may have had treaties with some of the sub-groups of the Cherokee, those sub-groups couldn’t enforce their side of the treaty onto the other sub-groups of Cherokee.

            Mind you, they may have not seen Why they should.

            The sub-groups who didn’t sign any treaties could and did raid into US territory,

            While there may have cases where the US violated the treaties, there were plenty of times where the US rightly saw that the Indian Tribes violated the treaties BY NOT PREVENTING RAIDS INTO US TERRIORY.

            From the Point Of View of many tribes, a treaty between the US and certain tribal leaders didn’t mean that all of their Tribe was bound by the treaty.

            So when members of a tribe raided into the US, Americans saw the Indians as violating the treaty.

            Not to say that Americans had Clean Hands in these matters, the US Government had limited power to force groups of Americans to “abide” by the treaties especially if those groups had moved outside of US territory and then came into conflict with various tribes.

            1. There were various sub-groups within tribes like the Cherokee. While the US may have had treaties with some of the sub-groups of the Cherokee, those sub-groups couldn’t enforce their side of the treaty onto the other sub-groups of Cherokee.

              And it was allowed for people to switch around between them.

              Kind of as if someone was able to join a gang in his teens, then when he had enough he just went to a normal tribe and was supposed to be treated as a respectable citizen.

              (That’s before the issues of *trading* with the raiding-groups….)

              1. And new sub-groups were born all the time.

                If a man wanted to become a Chief of his own sub-group, then all he needed was to get enough people to join his sub-group.

                It didn’t matter (to the Cherokee) if the sub-group he was in originally had signed a treaty with the US that he didn’t want to abide by the treaty as long as he started a new sub-group.

                1. That information– and the fact that the history books had actively withheld it— was one of the things that made me realize how much I was being lied to. Seriously, how dang *weak* is an argument when you have to actively withhold information like that? What were the other attempts to stop it that were made before that point? Etc.
                  (Did explain why some folks registered themselves as being half black instead, though.)

            2. In Georgia, there is a state park called The Vann House, the property of Rich Joe Vann. He was one of the Cherokee that was trying to stay on the happy side of the US government by basically assimilating.

              His son and other descendants were very shocked to end up on the Trail of Tears, and their deep descendants have no love for Andrew Jackson. How do I know this? I’m friends with two of them—and the brother is toying with the idea of someday moving to Georgia. If he does, I really want him to become a docent at the Vann house, because he not only still has the name, he’s got the family physicality, and it would be hilarious for him to play Rich Joe Vann.

      3. First war in America against the Indigs was not King Philip’s War. It was a planned surprise attack against Jamestown by Opechancanaugh, the successor to Pochahantas’ father. He had been captured, enslaved [SOP for the time], and taken to Europe. He converted, returned home with a religious mission, and promptly led a war party that killed them all.

        The plan was given away by a friendly Indian, yet he destroyed a good deal of the colony and killed many, but failed in the ultimate objective (1622).

        He tried again when he was 90, but by then he had no chance. What is interesting, is that unlike King Philip’s [Metacom’s] War, the first attack had been provoked..

  27. As to “There is a reason for everything,” ask Job. God’s answer was basically, “What makes you think you’re capable of understanding, puny human.”

    I’ve always loved this song: Yes, I know, Jackson Browne, but sometimes if the artist is good enough, the truth leaks out despite what they want to say.

    Somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go,
    may lie a reason you were alive that you’ll never know.

    1. Browne alert!

      “God sends his spaceships to America, the beautiful
      They land at six o’clock and there we are, the dutiful
      Eating from TV trays, tuned into to Happy Days
      Waiting for World War III while Jesus slaves
      To the mating calls of lawyers in love.”

  28. “They expect the kid to be able to plan his life ahead for weeks, and remember to give in homework/do things without being reminded.”

    Oh, my god. Please, Sarah, stop pushing my red button like that.

    I will say that as a grown-ass man of 65, I see what they do in schools and I finally, FINALLY understand why I’m such a contrary, rebellious, irritable solo artist. I still won’t do things that have a deadline because of the abuse from gradeschool, highschool, university. It’ll be ready WHEN IT’S READY, and anybody who doesn’t like it can pretty much step off. Or join a team? No friggin’ way. Spare me the team thing.

    Something else that Educators don’t/won’t seem to understand, you can’t make people do it right by yelling at them. Negative reinforcement makes dogs nervous and mean. Can you imagine what it does to humans?

    Well, you don’t have to imagine. Just look at any adult and you’ll see all the twitches, tics, malformed emotions and bad habits we all use to try to smooth over the damage we suffered as kids. How many of us still have a bad week toward the end of August because summer vacation is over and we have to go back to school? I would think most people get at least a twinge, if they’re honest.

    And those people who seemingly sailed through school with popularity and top marks? The ones who got chosen for student council president or head boy, head girl? Got all the plum assignments and took home all the prizes? Here I find out later in life that they got hurt worse than I did.

    I dug my heels in and refused, but they actually -believed- the bullshit and conformed themselves closely to the requirements. They’re the ones who really did plan their lives around school and activities, who did everything they needed to remain one of the Cool Kids and get that 4.0 GPA. They turn out really weird.

    All this, plus now they won’t even keep the school a physically safe environment. Some special-needs kid got kicked half to death at the local high school here in rural Ontario a couple weeks ago. Girls get grabbed and groped in the hallways -daily-. Boys get in fights -daily-. It’s insane. It’s getting worse, even here in Hooterville where everybody votes Conservative and the strong family unit is still the norm, not the exception. The school boards seem to be making it worse deliberately these days. They’re no longer content merely lying back and allowing it to deteriorate on its own, they’re actively f*cking it up as hard as they can. That’s what CRT is.

    Plus the masks, don’t get me started on choking teenagers and children with a surgical mask for eight hours a day and no physical activity. University is worse, they require a double-jab of the mad science genetic modification experiment AND masks, or they kick you out. One school, Laurier, required all that for on-line classes and kicked a kid out of school for non-compliance. I think he’s suing them. I hope he is, anyway.

    “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Old Friedrich was a -crazy person-, remember? That which does not kill you makes it easier for the next thing to kill you. Maybe take it a little easy on the harsh training bullshit, eh?

    1. contrary, rebellious, irritable solo artist. I still won’t do things that have a deadline because of the abuse from gradeschool, highschool, university. It’ll be ready WHEN IT’S READY, and anybody who doesn’t like it can pretty much step off. Or join a team? No friggin’ way. Spare me the team thing.

      Not an artist. But it does explain why I never got onto companies to make the big bucks as a software developer. Somehow when the “This is a …” all the buzz words of “lots of unpaid OT, because salary, and codependent group work” came up, I found a way to become their “second choice”, or took myself out of the running (hey job interviews are NOT just for the company). Everywhere I landed, there were groups aiming for the same goal, but I was never part of a “team”, or at best a peripheral member. Won’t say I didn’t come up with situations where the “deadline” had (marketing) someone screaming deadline wasn’t being met. OTOH the group as a whole was stating back, with written backup “Wrong. That was YOUR deadline. Never engineering. Engineering is still on track.” Because totally did. But the other jobs, any deadline was self imposed. I got dang good at stating deadlines that were ones I could make, and they ALWAYS had, very long, wiggle room. Any deadlines outside of work, I got involved in, say Woodbadge “goals”. Well the goals we made up ourselves. Sure they had to be “challenging”, for the individual. But my goals were goals that I knew I could make well before the deadline. Does that make them challenging enough? Who knows. But then, by the time I did Woodbadge, I wasn’t some wet behind the ears young, < 40, adult either. I had nothing to prove to anyone else.

      FYI. There is also a reason I didn't take up crafting as a job. Make something and someone likes it. Great. I could give it away or sell it to them. Make another one. Make one on commission? Oh HELL no. Then it became A JOB, not fun. Also why, when I retired, the boss asked if I'd do contracting work. Sure. Hourly. Not project. "But you can make more by bidding the hours and getting it done in less than those hours." Nope, and No. Not entirely because I had 12 years of experience on how "projects", when we had them, were defined … with sketchy information. Not that there were hard deadlines. Just I knew there was no way to put a number of hours on anything. Needless to say. I haven't been called on. Not sorry.

    2. I got that kind of crap from my stepdad at home more than anything but I have issues with deadlines and such because of it too. Not surprised on the “perfect” kids having so many issues, too. The Dark Knight’s Joker really did have the best take on the “What doesn’t kill you” quote all things considered, huh?

  29. Without disagreeing with the general thrust, my take on the “hard times” is different. There is definitely a cycle of prosperity leading to higher risk. Prosperity also leads to naval gazing. I think people are programmed to have a minimum amount of negative feeling. So if life is too hard we MAKE it hard, or at least interpret it as such. So we get College students complaining about oppression and the male gaze. And I don’t think we can get rid of it without recalibration.

    And regarding the discussion around “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” Obviously this isn’t literally true. I think that’s more about resiliency. Jonathan Haidt has made good points about how hyper safetyish has led to some very poor outcomes.

    1. Prosperity leads to higher risk TAKING. And that lack of memory of hard times eventually leads to getting burned.

      1. Blink.
        So you think we take more risks than our ancestors did??????????
        Falls on floor laughing so hard she can’t breathe. Oh, wait. You’re serious.

    2. Can’t wrap the world in a protective safety coating.

      OTOH, social engineering is absolute crazy cakes.

      It doesn’t become any saner if the models you are trying to implement are vaguely conservative folk ‘wisdom’.

      We absolutely do not have a formula for reliably developing good character in a large group of people.

      Helping individuals, sure.

      Outcomes of large groups?

      Best rule of thumb is investing less in leftwing nutjobbery.

      Any model we have to implement is reduced order. We should only be messing around with metrics and goals that can be shown to be fairly directly related to what we want done. Even then, we should consider that we really ought to be ignoring larger groups, and concentrating on smaller groups or by preference individuals.

      Nobody has any idea how to do anything on purpose with age cohorts of the US population.

  30. All of my kids are in Scouting. How do you keep it from being froth and no substance? Well, you have to be involved… which is why I had so many camping trips this last fall. And you absolutely have to check out the troops first. (My eldest’s is sponsored by the American Legion, so you can already tell that’s a good starting point.)

    My eldest is —>this close<— to First Class, and he wants to get that so that he can go snow camping next month. (His troop has that as a basic "don't get frostbite" limiter.) I'm not interested in going, but I don’t have to. (See again five weekends of camping last fall, that was going to be seven in a row. I’m a bit done with that for now.)

    1. you have to be involved… which is why I had so many camping trips this last fall. And you absolutely have to check out the troops first.

      See again five weekends of camping last fall, that was going to be seven in a row. I’m a bit done with that for now

      Both of us, one weekend a month, for 8 months. Hubby snow camping, two months. Me two weeks, each summer, two months (one summer camp, the other extended backpacking trip, even the summer son and hubby went to Philmont). Rumor is the scoutmaster all but cried when we merged with the troop. Hubby and I had the outdoor experience, and skills. Just because the parent wants to help, generally there is something they can do, it doesn’t mean they should be camping, or backpacking, and some not at summer camp.

      Every month, every camping weekend the question we asked with car camping was “Seatbelts or Haul?” (Or Durango or Pickup). Many times it was “Both?” (To be fair it was because troop needed all the vehicles on trip to be 4×4. Not off road travel but very washboard USFS roads. Heck with Murnane, one of the Council properties, most cars could get in, maybe. But more than once it took at least high 4, to get out, easily.)

      On top of that, guess who was often coaching sports? Yes. Dad.

      If we didn’t step up. Who would?

      A life? It was a lot easier once kid earned Eagle. All the Eagles become Jr. Assistant Scoutmasters. It makes it a lot easier of the adult scouters.

      Hey. Other than freezing camp (tried it at age 12, no thank you), I tried to get out of tent camping. One council wide event some other adult scouters were commenting on how their spouses did not camp, period. Did that mean I could get out of it? Mom and Dad laughed at me.

        1. So did we. Worked for car camping, and generally summer camp (not always), provided someone else could pack it down for me, depending on distance. Know of one leader (not in our troop) who couldn’t go unless they had the tear drop trailer, which was light enough to maneuver to a site (if that type of off road was allowed). Backpacking … didn’t work. Z-rest pads for the win. Hubby and another leader carried two longs, each. I carried one long, because I’m short could be folded enough to double under shoulders, hips, still leave my feet protected from tent bottom and cold. Not perfect. But a lot better than other options. Now? Dang ground got hard. Even good cots often won’t work. We have the capacity to go car tent camping, still. Hubby thinks we might even do this again, or have the gear for backup, JIC. Um. Okay. He keeps talking himself out of it.

  31. “Hard times make tough men; tough men make good times.”

    What hard times actually do is kill off the weak and stupid. Then the survivors (if they’re lucky, and smart) fix things so the next generation doesn’t have it quite so hard.

    “The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts.

    I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.

    Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”

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