Slip Sliding Away

For my entire life, the right has made noises about being brave and stopping the slide to the left. Though I’ll note many of these, like the whole “standing astride history yelling stop” assumed that the future was leftist, no matter what we did.

The point is that to a certain extent that was correct. Oh, not correct in the sense that the future was communist. That was always crazy. I mean, the system was not one any grown up could imagine would work. But about the short term future. About the ever ratchetting left of our public institutions? They were absolutely right. We could sort of slow it but not stop it.

Until the institutions they’d taken over before my birth and heck before my parents’ birth beclowned themselves enough, the body politic was running under the impetus of three irresistible ideas:

1- That industrialization not only made possible but required the redesigning of humanity.

2- That centralized production/government/etc. was always more efficient.

3- That the experts were better at guessing/directing the future than the common individual.

Taken together all three of these were not just a guarantee of a “slide ever left” but were also a negation of the entire American system. And they were brought to America well before FDR and by both parties equally (Silent Cal was a “Progressive” after all) because in the flush of the great mass industrial push these ideas were conquering the world, and were perfectly reasonable and “sensible.”

Why? I don’t know. I mean some people intuited that the whole “we’ll remake humans” thing was crazy. But some people were in short supply.

What the crazy progressives took from the entire nazi fiasco was that remaking humanity to make it more Aryan was wrong. However, remaking humanity in every other possible way was great, and should definitely continue being done. Standardized everything! Propagandized everything! Let’s remake the world by hectoring people!

Did some of this work? I don’t know. Look, our history is a passel of ill-told lies, only holding together as long as they’re repeated everywhere at once and in the same exact way (which by itself would tell you is a lie.) The covid nonsense isn’t unusual for being so crazy. It’s unusual because thanks to new media a lot of people know how crazy it is.

Take racism for instance. Yes, there was a lot of racism in the past. There still is in most of the world. Was there a lot of it in America specifically, until government “made it bad.” I don’t know. I don’t know because I KNOW a lot of that racism was stoked and created by the “progressives” who had a broad stroke of eugenics.

Did it stop because the government made people stop it, or because they stopped enforcing it? I don’t know. It would take very careful study to determine.

However given centralized government at everything else they’ve allegedly tried to do, from ending poverty to educating our children, I’d say that racism to the extent it existed and still exists in America is the result of the governments alleged “anti-racist” actions. Because we have no idea what the federal government is good for. I mean it used to win wars, but even then, I think it was by sucking slightly less than other governments — slightly — and having better people actually doing the fighting. Recently, though, it has successfully prevented Americans from winning any wars, too. In fact, the only things the government seems to be good at is taking all our money — and eating it or something — and hurting Americans.

No? well, tell me how much better the schools are since we’ve had a department of education. Tell me how the EPA running around declaring everyone’s backyard a natural preserve and demanding absurd levels of “cleanliness” to the point it hurts the actual environment has made our environment better. Tell me how the Defense Department wins wars. And let’s talk about the Department of (In)justice persecuting the people who messed with our voting and sold us out to China’s petty tyrant. Oh, wait. They actually have run around arresting anyone who protested the outsourcing of our votes to communists and the installation of the ever serene Zhou Bi-den, Winnie the Xi’s vice roi on our shores.

The problem is that while those principles above remained unquestioned, there was no wrestling back control.

They retain SOME belief, but less every day.

The first smack between the eyes of the governmental Bull running out of control was from Ronald Reagan.

I know you young people don’t know this, but until Reagan, the US and Europe were unified in the idea that OF COURSE some important things, like energy, needed price controls! Oh, and salaries needed to be controlled too. Negative economic stuff should be worked on by “the best people”. Any downturn required MORE regulation!

Reagan dismantled all that, along with the USSR.

Of course, the left regrouped. They still controlled education, the news, entertainment, the intellectual life of the nation. They regrouped, and continued selling their poison.

They could because — ironically — people still believed in the efficiency of the central government.

It took complete *ss clowns in control to disabuse of that notion. W. was a beginning, with his “war on a tactic” and “Islam is a religion of peace.” But Obama? I think the big crack up started under Obama, both because the net and peer to peer communication were gaining steam as an every day thing, and because the image fostered of the little man who wasn’t there as some kind of intellectual giant (ROFL. The laziest, most conventional thinker of his generation, who never grew past his freshman year in college, because it was never required of him) was so at odds with the utterly unremarkable, intellectually incurious pop celebrity he actually was. Worse, the media tried to sell his fashion blind, frumpy hausfrau of a first lady as some kind of icon of style and beauty. And even people who were too dumb to see that Obama couldn’t be that smart (or they’d show us his tests) weren’t blind. The general reaction to all the magazines praising Michelle to the skies was a giant, audible eye roll.

Of course, the press thought it had won. Because the left lives in an increasingly narrower eco chamber, they thought that everyone believed their snow job (Oh, pardon me, choom job. No cocaine involved, at least not that anyone admitted to.)

And then they tried the reverse on Trump. So hard that they were taken completely by surprise on election night that a majority (I suspect a vast majority. I mean, look, there was fraud before this. A lot of it. And no one runs the potemkin campaign they ran for Zhou Bai-den without having enough FAKE votes in the can to win no matter what.) hunched their shoulders and voted for Trump.

Since then they’re running around like crazy people screaming they really won, and Zhoe is a really good president, and besides inflation is good for you, and–

And it keeps backfiring. Nothing big and spectacular yet, unless you count the fourth of July of 2020, in which we collectively hoisted a finger to the lockdown-crazed left who cancelled all celebrations, and lighted the skies with our bombs bursting in air. Or unless you count the viral popularity of Let’s Go Brandon! Or the quiet resistance to the mandates for vaccines. Or the headlong flight from blue states. Or–

It’s backfiring.

In response, the establishment gets louder and more shrill, trying to convince us that they really, really are doing well, and the future belongs to them.

They’re attempting to stand athwart history — real history — yelling stop!

But the more they yell the more obvious the lies become. It’s impossible to look at or listen to the collection of radical losers and delusional morons running this administration not to mention the vaunted deep state, and not go “LOLROFL, Get out of here!”

And the left has nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Now they’re stuck on this bizarre idea of “Create chaos = ?????=communist revolution.”

I suspect the brighter among them just might be starting to suspect that a) they’re in power. b) a revolution won’t be for them. c)their time has passed.

But of course, not many of them are bright. Even those with excellent natural faculties have been indoctrinated into idiocy.

Hold on to the sides of the boat. The water is about to become extremely rough. Tsunamis are always scary. They’re the result of an Earthquake, such as is taking place in our foundational assumptions. Or rather, back to our foundational assumptions, right here, in the good US of A.

Resist the temptation to head to the seashore as the sea retreats, to “see what is happening.” Yes, I know, but do resist it. Study, prepare. Be ready.

Above all, continue believing your lying eyes over their pretty lies.

The slide has changed directions. And it’s a good thing, as the other one was a slide to h*ll.

But it’s still better if you walk where you wish to go, instead of being shoved by the tides of history.

Take careful stock of the moment. Decide where you want us to end up.

We’re going to need every possible rational actor, if we are to avoid a massive butcher’s bill.

Historical corrections are never fun. Sometimes they are inevitable.

In the end we win, they lose. Be not afraid. Reality fights on our side, and she’s a stone cold b*tch.

298 thoughts on “Slip Sliding Away

  1. I share your hopes of avoiding a massive butcher’s bill, but my rational part believes it is too late, even if there is no boogaloo. Southern California will be a humanitarian disaster no matter what happens. 24 million people currently live in a desert along the Pacific Ocean. The ‘decarbonization’ plans already in place by the the state lead to having power and water for probably 15 million of them. What happens to the other 9 million? It won’t be pretty and it can’t be stopped. New York state’s similar plans will lead to people freezing in the dark upstate – how many I can’t judge based on the information. Similar situations exist in other blue areas. My sister lives in coastal Maine. Last year the state voted (60%) to halt the construction of HV power lines to available Quebec hydro power because of some imagined harm to the woods. I know my sister voted for it; I pray she doesn’t become a casualty. We are going to have to think hard about what the triage strategy is going to be for all this because as you stated reality is a stone cold b*tch.

        1. Although Young Frankenstein ain’t bad either. Lots of good comedy stuff out there, A Night At the Opera, Duck Soup, Court Jester, Holy Grail, Life of Brian.

            1. Granted, Dr. Strangelove is awesome, in large part because of Peter Sellers and his 3 roles. He was also supposed to be Major Kong (B-52 commander) but apparently in early shooting they were doing the (SPOILER ALERT, although it is a nearly 60 year old movie) bomb drop scene ad Sellers fell off the bomb a fair distance to the floor so they ended up replacing him with Slim Pickens who did an excellent job. Although Strangelove is VERY dark…

  2. “That the experts were better at guessing/directing the future than the common individual.”

    Not just the future. My favorite is the one most recently manifested as “Why do they vote against their best interests?” They know better what you should have, and this should be obvious to you.

    1. And they never seem to realize just how personally insulting the “vote against their best interests” trope is, or that we do realize how insulting it is, and take it personally.

      1. “What! How dare you uppity peasants question your betters!”
        “See? Why just this morning I had to do without cinnamon on my fresh baked toast.”

        1. There was a thing stunt a while back in which a number of Dem congress-critters decided to show the American public how hard it was to get by on minimum wages. So instead of their usual fare, they went and ate the same foods as the commoners. And then they took pictures of the receipts, and posted online so that everyone could see how expensive everything was.

          Except that instead of buying enough bread and condiments to last a week while brown-bagging, they paid the same amount of money for a sandwich purchased at a shop for a single day’s lunch. Or they bought Starbucks coffee. Or similar expenditures that could have easily been avoided.

            1. But Adam is a straight white male, thus privileged! No need to tale him seriously.

              And this appears to be a link to his book in PDF form. Though I intend to front him some ferns . . .

              1. Your link appears to have been swallowed somehow; at any rate, it didn’t come through.

          1. Oh, yes – I vividly remember that – and how much you can stretch your food dollar by being sensible; buying basic ingredients and staples and cooking from scratch.
            Sigh. Why is it called common sense, when it is so obviously uncommon among the ruling elite?

        2. Turning our eyes to the fake Oval Office

          Psaki: Sir there’s a Problem!
          Turnip in Chief: Huh, What
          Psaki: The peasants are Revolting!!!
          Peasant: You bet your bippy we are sweetheart
          Psaki And they’re distespecting my authority!
          Turnip in Chief: mumble mumble mumble Trunalimunumaprzure!!!!!
          Ron Klain: CUT!!!! What the hell was that? Who let the peasant in? And oh crap someone get his Eminence a clean pair of pants.

      2. Of course not. Because if we were smart enough to recognize it as an insult, we’d be smart enough to know what our own best interests are, and we don’t. QED.

    2. The book _What’s the Matter With Kansas_ was one long wail about how so many people vote against their class interests. I wasn’t impressed with the argument back then.

  3. Read an excellent article on Tablet about “the rise of the midwits.” A midwit, said the author, is someone of slightly above average intelligence- between, say 110-115. Bright enough to do just about any clerical/admistrative job, but not creative. And they will, inevitably, take over Human Resources wherever they work and make sure to filter out anyone who isn’t like them. Which means the organization will stagnate/go downhill since the midwit values stability and predictability over adaptability.
    Don’t know, but the level of flaming, “what the–” I keep seeing in the news lately suggests the guy might have a point.

    1. Sounds like that author is an elitist. There is a HUGE chunk of the bell curve that ranges over the 110-115 IQ range. (Basically, anyone with an IQ of 102.5 to 122.5 bounces through that smaller range on a frequent to daily basis.) This is half of your “average” Americans, and the brighter half at that. These are people that tinker in their basements and garages, putter in their gardens, play adult sports for fun. Not creative? That’s pure elitist BS.

      1. May well be. But it was an interesting article.
        His thought was they would oppose change and upheaval in their work systems, which is a bit different than within a hobby.
        Of course, personality type may be more important than intelligence as such. I’ve mentioned earlier that I was in a group of logistics people working for the Army who were given the Meyers-Briggs test. All but two of us came out with a single personality type. (And no, I was not one of the two). That cluster of jobs seems to select for methodical, patient, conservative, conscientious, and so forth. But even then, there was griping about not being allowed to make changes to the procedures to let us do our jobs better.

        1. For FOUR generations, the Marxists have been selecting for Marxists. That has more influence than anything else. You can see the slow take over of entire industries, and creativity and efficiency dropping.

          1. I wonder if that’s fundamentally driven by the envy mindset? Marxism is very much envy based, and the tendency of envy is to make one focus on tearing down anyone who out performs you, as the path of least resistance.

            And in any business which doesn’t require everyone to move in lock step (I gather that consists of rice farming and marching the phalanx, but that’s more or less it) the innovation and growth is going to be driven by the exceptional individuals in that organization.

            It’s not even a requirement that the other people be slackers, just that the business maximally leverages to true exceptional individuals it’s got. But if the business is envy driven, the workers will be compelled to gang up on and tear down those exceptional individuals to sate their envy, so the company can’t openly use them.

            1. I’ve heard a pithy saying that goes something like “Managers who got an A average seek out employees who got an A average. Managers who got a B average seek out employees who got a C average.” That would certainly be caused by the envy mindset, compounded (or caused) by insecurity. People secure in their intelligence don’t mind being surrounded by others who will, sometimes, be smarter than them. And most of them will welcome it, because finally they’ll have someone intelligent to talk to!

              1. And Presidents with a C- average seek out those with A D average. Thus Obumbles VP choice and our Turnip In Chief. It appears he went even further down the bell curve for his VP.

              2. That might be true. But I’ve also heard the following saying. “A average students, teach. B average students work for the C average students.” Comes from C average students couldn’t get hired, so the creative ones went and built their own company …

                1. Alternately, the qualities that make one a good student don’t necessarily overlap with the qualities that make one good at starting and running their own business.

                1. I find grades map most closely to the quality of “drive”.
                  There’s a fairly low bar just for a passing grade.
                  Then you have the students who are smart enough that they don’t have to listen in class, or they don’t have to read the assignments, but if they do one or the other, they can pull B’s and C’s without really trying.

                  1. There is also a large component of stubbornness/persistence. My daughters I would say of similar general Capability. However younger daughter always had better overall grades because she wouldn’t be beaten by anything. Also a fair bit of drive. There is a Star Trek Next Generation (season 1) where they’re playing some game in the holodeck and the come out and Worf is crestfallen because he was on the losing team. Someone (Yar? Riker?) tells him essentially “It doesn’t matter who wins”. Worf’s response is “If it doesn’t matter who wins then why do we keep score?”. I think there a lot of overachieving Klingons out there.

        2. ALL people, regardless of IQ level, resist change and upheaval in their work systems, unless it’s a change they personally desire, and even then, habituation will cause them to occasionally fall back on the old processes during stress periods.

          By the way, most of your good accountants are methodical, patient, conservative, conscientious; but I sincerely doubt anyone in their right mind would say that Larry Corriea wasn’t creative. (I also venture a guess that he clocks in considerably higher than 122 IQ.)

          1. Oh, my, yes. And I’m married to one who’s been a founding Baron in the SCA (grew the group from “about to be nuked for lack of activity,” to over 200 members) and later started his own business. And he’s a whiz at commedia delle arte, so the creative part is pretty well assured.
            I did think the “average IQ per profession,” chart the author displayed looked a little wonky.

        3. An amusing article, but silly. Some “80 I.Q.” types can invent, but don’t deal well with some things. The trick is to figure out what someone can (and will) do… and then get out the way. Some (NOT ALL!) “geniuses” need tending.. lest things go sideways.

      2. I think IQ is way overweighted since it privileges what the IQ testers value rather than ability per se. Still, I do think that midwits can be dangerous if they find themselves, as they so often do in positions beyond them. I’ve seen too many example of von Hammerstein-Equord’s remark about stupid but diligent officers causing mischief to believe otherwise,

        Wall Street and DC are full of them. People who are just a bit above average but through shear ambition end up in positions of power. Look at any government agency executive floor. they’re not stupid, but they’re not all that bright either.

        Dick Fuld at Lehman Bros. is a classic example. He had an above average IQ, but he was in a job that required a significantly higher IQ than he had. On the other hand, they called him “the Gorilla”. He ended up damn near destroying the world.

        1. As a former MENSA member, I can assure you that the main thing IQ measures is how well you do on IQ tests.

        2. Way. When a child is asked what a dog and a rabbit have in common, the correct answer is being mammals despite there being thousands of things, only some of which give you partial credit.

          1. I once took a proctored IQ test where one of the questions was “What do a fly and a tree have in common?” The man administering the test later told me he’d asked that question for about two decades, and I’d been the only one to answer it. Though it occurs to me there’s at least two answers, though they are related.

            1. A fly and a tree have a lot in common, starting with life. Both are made up of eukaryotic cells. 3 1/2 billion years of evolution went into those cells. Growth and reproduction. DNA, RNA and all the processes of cell metabolism and division. The list goes on.

      3. I’d say the author should have defined his terms better. There is certainly a mentality, which I call the bureaucrat mentality, which is pretty simple to define: people who do a mediocre job, doing just what the job calls for and nothing more, and not trying to go out of their way to excel. People with that mentality are usually not creative, even though they might be in the same IQ range as some very creative people. So defining the “midwits” by their IQ range alone was a bad definition on the author’s part. He (or she) should have instead called it “the rise of the bureaucrats”.

        1. Even bureaucrats can get frustrated. Mind you, DoD tends to attract a fair number of ex-military guys…particularly sergeants. They tend to take their duty to “get the troops what they need,” seriously and it rubs off.
          But one reason I retired early was I was getting less and less able to handle the frustration of tyring to get the work done despite the system.

          1. Note that I am not saying that everyone who works in a bureaucratic type of job has the bureaucrat mentality. But those with the mentality will certainly be attracted to those types of jobs, while those who don’t have that mentality will often retire early (as you did, and I know of someone else who took early retirement from the VA for the same reasons you gave). So over time, the bureaucrat-mentality types end up being the majority.

        2. There is also a cultural aspect. In many cultures sticking out is BAD. My understanding is that in many Asian cultures the proverb quoted is not “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” but “The nail that sticks up will be hammered down”. Its the difference between a culture that is individually oriented and one that is group oriented. The USA is an oddball in that all the flotsam and jetsam of Europe (and later other places) came here to be more individual and get out of that go along to get along mode. Australian was similar, which is why I was gobsmacked when they knuckled under to gun and later covid restrictions. It’s a sign that you can beat the individuality out of a people over time with the frog in boiling water method, and it’s troubling. The Brahmandarin/Tranzi types hate Independence and personal achievement. They want a strictly caste based world with them as the Alpha/Brahman/Noble class. They don’t always say as such, but deep in their hearts they read things like “Brave New World” and watch Metropolis and think “That’s what the world to be like when I grow up…” Fundamentally I think they KNOW they really aren’t that special or unique and so the quickly supress anyone who is. As another old saying goes “In the land of the Blind the one eyed man is King”
          . I suppose that is so but only until the bunch of jealous blind tranzi’s around him poke his eye out.

          1. Somewhere, I read a story where a sighted man found a hidden society where nobody had eyes.

            The people decided that the sighted man was insane and the cause of his insanity were those things he called eyes.

            They “cured” him by removing his eyes.

            1. Ah the Soviet Psychology technique, If you see something different from the Party you must be insane. Here let us help you you poor insane person.

                1. Leftroids are big on taking people’s rights away because they’re afraid of what somebody MIGHT do. Their (probably unfounded) fears are more important than your rights.

            2. John Barley, “The persistence of vision”

              Dystopian future where a drifter finds a secluded commune of blind folks (prenatal rubella victims?) who have made their own society to meet their needs.

      4. Eh. People like to use IQ as a proxy for intellectual things that are hard to quantify.

        Define the midwit as “someone bright enough to get through school with a minimum of effort, and no desire to learn more than they were taught”, and the argument holds up pretty well.
        You’ve met people like this. I’m sure of it.

        1. Vs 28-32 just for a taste (NET translation)

          And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.[bf] 29 They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.

          Cpme on Paul tell us how you really feel. don’t hold back 🙂 . There are times I want to go back to the 1st century and shake Paul and say “What the Heck are you trying to say?” because his verbiage is so convoluted to we descendants of the Enlightenment. Then there are times like this where his message is so clear that divine inspiration is the only explanation that even makes sense. Man has changed little if at all in nearly 2000 years, how this must annoy the Author. Of course he knew it would be so.

      1. Which is where the midwit phenomenon comes in. These are reasonably intelligent, maybe even high IQ people whose strongest skills lie in regurgitating “wisdom” that someone else served up on a platter. They’re smart enough to apply the really stupid stuff they learned, but not smart, creative, or independent enough to ask themselves if any of it actually works. Bottom line, they not only think they’re smarter than they are, but that they’re the ONLY smart people. There are some positions so stupid that you have to be smarter than the average to think your way into them. Smart people can be functionally very stupid. Midwit rhymes with dimwit for a good reason.

        1. actually the midwit used to be the aspirational culture of the US. You went to the symphony. You tried to read “good works” etc.
          Then that became “bourgeois” and derided. And that was when the great unlearning and Marxist deconstruction took over.

          1. Yes, I suppose so. The traditional aspirational strivers may not be so different in terms of pursuing “what everyone knows is good” without questioning why or whether it’s actually good. The difference is that the aspirational culture that Marxism destroyed and replaced actually was (is) mostly good, while Marxism is evil and destructive. Midwittery (at least how I’ve heard people use the term) is the negative, Marxist-poisoned version in which people who are smart enough to discuss all the trendy theories, instead of being culturally literate and personally productive, are functionally stupid because that’s what Marxism requires.

    2. IQ does not necessarily map to much in useful ways.

      Definitely, that explanation is a very simple model, and one should expect that it drastically reduces the order of human behavior to the point of being nonsense.

      Part of the mission of HR is to filter out workers with serious issues that will be a constant source of legal liabilities.

      My understanding of how to perform the duties of HR would be no better than, and probably a lot worse than, random. And I will say so, which is a huge legal liability wrt records for HR. I am exactly the sort of person who should not be in HR.

      Does this mean that I do not belong in any other employment?

      Whatever the correct answer there is, I do tend towards behavior that could make people uncomfortable.

      I may have been excessively filtered by HR.

      HR probably has excessively filtered for a narrow slice of personality and behavior in HR staff. That would /not/ mean that a given observation of this necessarily comes with a correct explanation of why.

  4. The Progs seem determined to break the nation and society we have to substitute their own hellscape, all while their useful idiots profess the belief that utopia is just around the corner, if they could just eliminate those damned right wing wreckers who stand in the way of progress. SPIT !
    So much of what they are trying is doomed to failure, because those people and countries not enthralled by their message keep acting in their own interests. I am surprised that the wheels have stayed on as long as they have, but I think that the Progs paymasters plan a violent summer. National food reserves are low, transportation and supply chain issues seem to be getting worse, with no rational plans for improvement, and inflation will crush those on fixed incomes and those with little income, especially in the larger cities.
    The WuFlu lockdowns are a viable substitute for pestilence, and it looks like we have war and famine on the horizon. Buy heritage seeds and plan your garden, however small it may be. Prepare as you can to not only survive, but lead in the eventual recovery.

    1. We bought our seeds from Burpee. One variety of tomato is a hybrid (selected to work well in cool/cold weather), but the rest are heritage. $SPOUSE noted that they carefully did not advertise the contents when they shipped the seeds.

      The ranchers in our valley have been short of water for several years (partly drought, partly lawfare from the tribes), so not much cattle are being grown here. OTOH, a couple of cattle on 80 acres will work… $SPOUSE wanted me to do a chicken coop; haven’t wanted to do so (getting tired of construction), but a store-bought one in an enclosed pen (with roof–lots of owls and raptors around) might be a good idea.

      Voting the bums out of the state capital isn’t likely–they’ve had vote-fraud by mail for too many years, and the idea of secession/switching boundaries to Idaho seems a pipe dream, but we can (and already do) make it difficult-to-impossible for the lefties to rule over us.

      1. Eastern Oregon high desert?

        You might want to get some of Joseph Lofthouse’s landrace seeds, developed mostly under benign neglect in the north Utah desert. Pretty similar soil and climate, methinks.

        Here in the wilds of Montana, I’ve found that any sort of tomato will wildly overproduce if it gets full sun and the ground is laced with old manure and peat moss (which also discourages potato scab); water somewhat optional once established. Last year I got somewhere around 200 pounds from eight plants. And the VT100 cherry tomatoes have become feral pests, they breed true and they come up everywhere. Feral tomatoes are very good at judging final frost, and never come up before that. — My experience has been that the “heritage” breeds don’t produce as well, are more susceptible to disease and cracking, are more likely to rot on the vine as they ripen, and are more likely to produce late rather than throughout the season. Sometimes there are good reasons why heritage types didn’t take over the commercial market.

        After trying out numerous types, now I only plant Early Girl (a good reliable producer with good flavor) and VT100 (well, I don’t really need to plant those anymore, more like wade through the feral jungle) and a pink heritage my sister likes, and don’t bother with any others.

        1. Flyover County (AKA Klamath) is “high country”. Arid, but not quite desert. Normal rainfall is around 10″ a year, but we’ve had a multi-year drought running. Because it’s seriously Zone 1, we don’t transplant zucchini seedlings outside until June 1st, and there’s 1 to three hard freezes in June. I use raised beds and a 60′ length of 20′ wide plastic when that happens. Around September 1st, the crop is pretty much done and it’s time to compost the remnants. I use a mix of 2 parts Supersoil, 1 part cattle manure, tilled into homegrown dirt/compost mix for those beds. We usually water once to twice a day, depending on how hot it gets in July.

          The tomatoes are in a greenhouse. I started with polyethylene sheeting for the shell, but didn’t use UV inhibited plastic. That died in September… Replaced the poly with polycarbonate corrugated plastic. The installation is leaky, but it works well enough. I used raised beds and pots for tomatoes, but the neighborhood trees found the beds, and they were full of roots by the time I pulled the beds last fall. The replacement will be muck buckets set with a drain hole, raised slightly above ground level. Will use a 1-1-1 mix of supersoil, manure, and homegrown. This works well in pots for the Siberians, Romas and Siletz. (The last is the only hybrid; developed by an OR ag researcher.)

          1. I’d say it’s a shameless plug, but I have nothing to do with this guy other than really liking his work: READ DAVID THE GOOD. That’s his actual author name on Amazon. He’s skewed more toward Southerly locations (got his start kludging permaculture solutions in Florida) but he’s got great info on all kinds of gardening tricks, plus “Pushing the Zone”, which is all his know-how on growing tender little Southern plants in less-tender zones.

            Plus, he’s funny. The “end of the world survival gardening” starts off with something to the effect of “OK, if you’re reading this in your neighbor’s burning basement while fending off zombies with the other hand, here’s what you need to know…”

          2. So, about the same as here. We get the random late and early freezes too. Have noticed the peat-fed tomatoes only freeze their leaves; the fruit finishes up, sometimes as much as a month after the rest of the plant is kaput. Have never had a volunteer tomato freeze off in spring. Zucchini is more fragile, tho by the time mine freezes I’m sick of it and have already resorted to a FREE box on the road. No greenhouse here.

            Burpee’s Triple Crown yellow hybrid corn (which nonetheless breeds true) is an excellent short-season producer (with a longer-than-average sweet-tender stage), somewhat frost-tolerant, that wastes no time growing tall. 6 feet at most and bears to the eating stage in as little as 60 days, and good fill without having to hand-pollinate. (Officially 75 days but have never had it take that long.) This year I’m going to stagger-plant it from first of May to mid-July, cuz otherwise I’m overwhelmed with corn all at once.

  5. In the end we CAN win. It’s not guaranteed. It requires us to resist, to fight back; either with words and ideas, or sometimes fists and bullets. And it may cost us everything; our health, our wealth, our families, or our very freedom. Most of us live comfortable lives that almost nobody in the past could possibly imagine. And it’s hard to give that up to shoulder the fight for liberty. Pick your battles. Do what you can, and a little bit more. Every bit helps.

  6. Unrelated note – ran across an author on Tumblr lamenting that Amazon was encouraging people to return ebooks and Audibles after they were done for a refund, and then sticking the author with the bill. Anyone know about this?

    1. They will ban a reader for returning too much, btw.
      I had to talk to customer service when I had to return two audible books in a short period. (No, seriously, I didn’t want those on my account. they were … nothing like the description.)

          1. Sarah, one thing I’ve seen up close and personal is that since Bezos left, AWS (basically their IT department / hosting service) has been providing worse and worse service.

            That said, it’s also “when the majority of the problems affect a particular political persuasion” type of thing. And right now, conservatives seem to be the persuasion.

            1. Yeah, I know that. We have actually skated on publishing because they’re no longer very interested in books.
              And in THAT you’re incredibly wrong. I still lurk unnoticed in a ton of newsletters and they have the same complaints and paranoia.
              As I said, it’s not incredibly safe, but right now we’re relatively okay because they’re not interested in indie publishing that much. They went all in for web services.

      1. In the time I had (note tense) an Audible account I returned ONE book. Now, some I got didn’t really ‘grab’ me, some were ponderous, and some just… were just I didn’t have time, yet. That ONE? Wokist crappola. Guess what they keep trying to push at me? Hint: Not the stuff they KNOW I actually read/listen to. Well, a little bit of that, but not much. After the revolution (when they pull their heads outta their rumps) THEN I might re-subscribe. Until then? Gee, I have this WALL of TBR paper books mostly bought at LibertyCons…

        1. Yeah, one of the secondary reasons for my cancelling my Audible subscription (note the real reason was that I just wasn’t listening to my backlog fast enough) was that they kept sending me suggestions that included “authors” such as Sean “Talcum X” King.

          1. Perhaps there ought have been a couple more, but I still had at least some interest. When it was them lying about it and it turned out being little more than a leftist whining rant, that was too much.

    2. I never return ebooks unless I’m reading them via KU. What really annoys me is that even then, they leave files on my Kindle that eventually gobble up all the storage space. And much more of a file beyond just a “You last read this book on such and such date. Do you wish to purchase, or re-read?”

        1. I’ve got like a zillion Audible books, and they keep trying to push the wokiest stuff on me, too.

          However, I notice that they’ve finally got some non-PD patristics books, and a lot of Roman history. And the Summa Theologica.

          Dude. It is no good trying to fall asleep listening to the Summa Theologica. First off, the English narrator makes it sound interesting, and second, you tend to start listening to the more unexpected bits of argument, or wondering where the citation is located in X book. Not as bad as listening to scary nonfiction stuff or thrillers, but not a gently interesting snooze-maker. either.

      1. and yet, when you go to reread, you need to redownload files to do so. Really annoying when you are not near the net, and the phone tethering doesn’t work because they ignore the issue. I planned for some reading while on my trip to Georgia, and a week or so later the books I wanted were again not on my kindle

        1. Lots and lots of people have complained about this. There are some settings that you used to be able to hit, to prevent auto-download and auto-delete on Kindle/Fire, but I don’t think the settings work anymore. And it’s very random and annoying.

          The most important thing is to prevent auto-download of videos, because that’s when your books and audio usually get shoved off.

          If you stop at McDonald’s, you used to be able to download Kindle really easily. But nowadays a lot of Mickey D’s are drive-thru only.

          1. I managed to stop it auto-downloading videos I will never watch, that was another annoyance I fought for a while before getting it to stick. the two I use most (one for music, the other reading are notifying me they memories that are too full, yet the music is all on the SD, and the 10″ is always giving me very few files for very little space that can be deleted, while it has an even larger SD card holding what few non-ebook files I have on it. I get the feeling they are trying to get me to buy a newer Fire.
            I’ve been tempted to buy some other tablet.

      2. The kindle does have an option for “Remove download”, which should take the file off of your device. On the Kindles I’ve had (a Fire and the Kindle app on my tablet) one can access that menu item by touching and holding the book icon until it gets selected, then looking at the drop-down menu (the three dots in the top right of the screen).

      1. All of my audible is via publishers. One of them is completely out of contract, and they’ve never reported royalties. I need a lawyer to figure out what’s happening with it. (Ill Met By Moonlight.)
        The others, the publisher refuses to send me the contracts so I can see what the heck is going on, and again no royalties. (These contracts on my properties were never shown to me. )
        So– lawyer will be involved in time.

  7. So I see WordPress ate my early AM comment. Take two.

    I’m afraid a massive butcher’s bill is unavoidable, even without a ‘boogaloo’. Southern California currently has about 24 million residents in that wonderful temperate desert. The state’s ‘green energy’ plans and water management are on a path to be able to provide power and water for only about 15 million of those people by 2025 or so. At this point that cannot be reversed by an unlikely sudden change in policy. All of the smart folks have already fled. What happens to the other 9 million?

    In the Northeast a similar trend is going to have people freezing in the dark in the same time frame unless we really get the ‘climate change’ the left claims to fear. NY state is on the same path with ‘green energy’ as CA. Maine recently voted 60% against a HV power line corridor to available hydro power in Quebec. Vermont has already vetoed power lines to Quebec. Question for the group mind here; how do we respond to this oncoming disaster?

    1. Don’t know. Have to complain at the state level, at least. NH treehuggers whined, bitched, and complained about running those lines from Quebec through our mountains, valleys, and forests to southern New England (We’d get to pull off what we needed on the way); so ended up with nothing. Yankee reactor is shut down. Seabrook won’t last forever. That leaves coal, oil, and gas for local power generation (and I think they decommission the last coal burner in Bow a couple years ago.)

      1. And I know that the infrastructure in Seabrook is crap as well. I’ve a friend that lives about two miles from the plant, and about a hundred yards from U.S. 1, and he lost power for three weeks last year. If he couldn’t get juice, how’s the rest of the state going to get it?

    2. California doesn’t freeze over. So short of a massive earthquake severing the highways, people can always leave if the water starts to run out.

          1. Plow up that sandy ground and it’s impassible with a wheeled vehicle.

            On Streetview you can still see the spot where I got stuck in the soft sand about two miles from my former desert house.

            1. That’s intentionally blocking them. Up until now, the discussion has focused on natural hazards.

    3. The power situation in Oregon isn’t fraught just yet, but the music from Jaws keeps playing. Years ago, some judge said the southern Oregon ranchers were no longer eligible to get Bonneville power for cheap. Then the 100 MWe worth of hydro dams on the Klamath River are slated to be removed (“to improve water quality for the tribes at the mouth of the river”), with solar energy “replacing” that power. How 36 MWe of gride-tie solar is supposed to replace 100 MWe of hydro is beyond the ability of this poor engineer to understand.

      Despicable Kate Brown is pushing us to go with wind and solar. Hydro is not kulturny, it seems.

      OTOH, I have an oversized offgrid solar system that handles our well. If things go sideways, I can divert some of that capacity to the house.

      1. Do tell more about your offgrid solar?

        I’ve wondered about doing that, both for If Things Fall Apart (also on a well, but it’s shallow enough to hand-pump if I had to) but more because rates keep going up and it would be nice to use for the more-optional stuff, so I don’t have to stint.

        1. OK, it’s really not cheap. Looking at the info, it was close to $20K in parts, with a quarter of that the installation of the ground-mount piers (8′ deep holes ain’t cheap).

          3600 watts worth of panels, US made, though I don’t know if the manufacturer is still around. This had to be a ground mount, since the array is a lot bigger than the pumphouse roof. ‘Sides, the ideal site was a bit over 100’ from the well.

          Panel 108V outputs (these are 36V grid-tie type panels, in series) combined at the mount with an emergency cutoff. Heavy wire to the pumphouse, where it goes to an Outback Power FP1 48V/3600W module. This combines the charger, inverter and the control logic, and is well worth the $5000+ it costs. Battery storage is 8 Trojan T-105 batteries. I did a smaller (1200W) system using Rolls-Surrette batteries at 2X the storage, but 3X the cost.

          All this feeds a 1/2HP, 110V pump. Yeah, it’s grossly oversized, but in a I, it would take a few minutes work to divert power to the house. The smaller system handles refrigeration during longish outages.

          It’s overdesigned, moderately low-tech, but given reasonable maintenance (check and refill the water in the batteries), dead on reliable. It looks like a small version of the grid tie arrays popular among the ranchers. This is purely coincidental and has nothing to do with explaining why our well works when the power is out…

          Except for the mount piers, I did the work. The mount design was mostly a canned one from the vendor (Iron Ridge), modified for a couple hundred dollars by local engineers to prevent wind problems. Seems our winds are higher than nominal and the soil isn’t very stiff. Outback Power and Midnite Solar have good online sources of info for their bits. There’s cheaper and/or better setups, but This Just Works. Been in operation (barring a couple of major winter storms) in continuous use since May 2019. The smaller system dates to fall, 2016.

        2. Not sure what happened to my reply. Moderation hell?

          Executive summary: 3600W of US panels, 4 strings of 3 in series, combined and fed to an Outback Power module. 48V charge controller, inverter and control logic combined. Emergency cutoff (at the combiner and disables the inverter) from Midnite Solar. Storage is 8 Trojan T-105 batteries. Rolls-Surrette is 2X the storage, but 3X the cost. I used them for a smaller system that I did in ’16. The big one was completed May ’19, and except for a couple of major winter storm periods, has been in continusous operation since.

          110V system, perfect for my 1/2HP pump. Extra capacity could be diverted to the house, and it happens to look like a grid-tie system, so the unwashed won’t think it’s active in an outage unless we tell. (It could be a grid tie with the some settings in the controller, but I didn’t want that. )

          Not cheap, not extremely high tech, but solid. I got the electronics from N. Arizona Wind and Sun, and the panels and mount extrusions from Platt Electric (wholesalers). Mount piers and rails 3″ pipe.

          1. it happens to look like a grid-tie system, so the unwashed won’t think it’s active in an outage unless we tell

            Are the batteries not a hint? My understanding is you can, with the right setup, have an on-grid system that allows you to cut off feeding back into the grid when it’s out but still pull from your batteries. (This is what I’d like to do.)

      2. You know… removing hydro dams tends to remove a lot of flood control. And then there tends to be Very Bad Things that happen to anybody at the mouth of the river.

        For example, that terrible but forgotten dam collapse in LA, which caused an entire Japanese-American fishing village to get swept away, along with thousands of people along the river’s banks.

        So if I were a member of a Native tribe, I’d be highly suspicious that the state’s activists wanted to kill me and mine. Oh so sad, what a bad flood, nobody’s left to use all this land….

        1. They were complaining about the warm water killing the salmon spawn. Waggles hands. “Be careful what you ask for; you might get it.”

          1. Haven’t heard a whisper about removing dams up either the McKenzie or Middle Fork of the Willamette. OTOH they are NOT hydro power dams, or that isn’t the reason they were put in. Plus migratory fish, not even native trout, are known there (well they are now because planted). Their one and only purpose is Flood Control. Eugene, a good portion of Springfield, are not possible without those dams. The non-controlled river flooding the Willamette Valley sees now? Mary’s River, Long Tom, etc., would be a lot worse without those dams. We might be far enough off the west bank of the river to avoid flooding, might.

            1. Those dams were built before we understood that the Cascadia Subduction Zone had magnitude 9 earthquakes. They haven’t been reinforced, because the only real infrastructure we spend money on are things we drive over. Contemplate what happens if the Big Slip happens in June, when snow runoff is heavy and the reservoirs are near full for summer recreation.

              1. Contemplate what happens if the Big Slip happens in June, when snow runoff is heavy and the reservoirs are near full for summer recreation.

                I have. No place safe. Scoured McKenzie Valley down hwy 126. Scoured down North and Middle Fork Willamette River Valleys (hwy 22, and 20). Water, IDK how many feet deep from the foot hills of the Cascades to the Coast Range between where the two ranges converge in the south to Portland in the north. Don’t know the volumes held back by the critical dams, nor the area in the valley. Do know that where we are, initially, looking at a lot, lot, of water. Not safe by any stretch of the imagination. Are we far enough to not be pulverized by the wall of water as it hits the end of the valleys? Probably. But we will have to meet the rising water.

    4. Aim a solemn “ave atque vale” and a heartfelt GTFO-while-you-can in the general direction of the state. 😦

      1. I’ve got kin in SO-Cal – sister and a brother, their kids and an invalid Mom. (One brother lives within ten miles of the site of the catastrophic dam failure – 1928, the St. Francis Dam, which I think was referenced upthread. Collapse killed almost 500 people, not thousands, though. But it was deadly enough, and killed the career of the pioneering engineer-manager who made So-Cal livable, water-wise.) Anyway, I’d adore them all to get out. Save themselves. Unfortunately, my sister believes everything she sees on public TV and on mainstream news, and the brother is married to a public school teacher-bureaucrat. My sisters’ two kids are college grads and are basically stalled … and still living at home. We worry about them.
        My brother-in-law had a chance to come to Houston for his job about five years ago, but that fell through.
        I do love them – but they cannot see the sense of getting out of LA that I do. My daughter wants to take Wee Jamie to see his great-grand, sometime – but not into the hellscape that she has seen, through coming into the place on the Amtrak train, over the last few years. No way in hell will she do that.

        1. One BIL has been living in Cali since he was a little. Retired teacher, and though his son is elsewhere (another continent elsewhere) has no inclination to get out. I think he knows the feces are going to hit the Fedders, but for some reason, he just doesn’t want to budge.

          We got out in ’03, to Flyover County in rural Oregon. Good people, not likely to tug a forelock at the likes of Despicable Kate Brown. That goes for the ordinary people, and the county leadership. We stand a chance, I think.

        2. I have business acquaintances / friends all across SoCal from my working years. 20 years ago I was spending one week in three there working with a large group of suppliers. All of them I’ve reached out to recently are the same as your relatives. They live in a bubble and can’t or won’t see out.

    5. Interestingly, Texas, yes Texas put out a report on their multi-day freeze where solar and wind completely failed the state and the natural gas turbines etc had lost too much capacity to take up the slack, suggest doubling down on that madness. It apparently states that the solution is MORE solar and wind.

      There is no good end to that for the fine folks in Texas.

      1. Texas is an interesting case. There aren’t that many true green believers, but there were an adequate number of schemers willing to take the subsidies for putting in ‘green power’ without any real planning for the grid implications. I’m surprised the good people of Texas haven’t horsewhipped the Public Utility Commission.

        1. That’s because Gov Abbott got all of the members to resign after last year, and then replaced them.

      2. If you have a cite, I’d be interested to see who released that and when. Was it the “new” PUC?

  8. If the Left foments a revolution, if that is their intention, then they will learn what Kerensky and the other social liberals who forced the Tsar to abdicate discovered: That there are hard men waiting in the wings, ready to take control of the chaos. Right now, we don’t know who these people are, but they are not the likes of Obama, Pelosi, Schumer, or–heehee–Hillary. They will be brigands with a warlord mentality. They will be Lenins and Stalins. And we will be lost.

    1. No, sir.
      You think that for the same reason the left assumes they will take over.
      Societies under pressure revert to their baseline. That’s not the US baseline.
      Also warlords and strong men were a thing of the “centralized is better” 20th century. That’s no longer the ethos and EVERYONE KNOWS IT.
      No, sir. You are wrong.

      1. Americans don’t do warlords and strong men. We don’t have the peasant mentality needed for it. Even the woefully undereducated young folks from public schools are far more savvy than that.

        The strong men will end up like Cuffy Meigs in Atlas Shrugged, a broken pile of bones and flesh. Oh, you are correct that they will try. Mexico is in free fall right now. But here? Not here.

        1. And we have too many weapons, too widely distributed. For a warlord to succeed, he needs his organization to have a local monopoly on violence. If the peasants he’s trying to oppress all have rifles and enough ammo*, he’s not going to rule for very long.

          * Those of you who are now grinning and saying “There’s no such thing as enough ammo” — yeah, yeah, you jokers. Have a cookie. But you know what I mean. 🙂

          1. I’m having a mental picture of a wanna-be “strongman” trying to cow a small town by marching their jackbooted brownshirt BLMAntifa mob down the street, coming upon a couple people in the middle of the road, with rifles.
            Telling them to move or they will be “re”moved.
            Townies tell the wanna-be and his mob, “turn around, leave, now, or else.”
            Wanna-be and lackeys laugh uproariously, ask them who’s going to make them.
            Which is when all the townies that were out of sight start popping up in windows and on roofs and from around corners and every one of them has a long rifle of some sort.

            The end result would either be plenty of fertilizer and hog feed or a former wanna-be tucking tail and running.

            As was commented, the US “default state” is not conducive to warlords and strongmen, at least not for long.

            1. Which was pretty much how it went when Antifa types tried to firebomb some flyover town. Except, sadly, the pigs went hungry.

              1. A group showed up here from out-of-town and marched on a Sunday (without bothering to get a permit). The cops arrived for traffic control and (probably) to ensure that all the very armed observers stayed separate from the marchers. The regional NAACP et al disavowed the march faster than you can say boo.

              2. After George Floyd proved that you can OD on opiates and destroy a cop’s life, the BLMifa creatures tried a peaceful protest in downtown Flyover Falls. The business owners got advance warning, brought their rifles and a whole lot of friends with rifles. Seems a sidewalk lined with AR-15 toting locals wasn’t what the BLM expected, so it was peaceful.

                OTOH, they tried to burn out $MAJOR_TRIBAL_TOWN in the September tantrum. They did a lot of damage. Don’t know if the perps were caught by non-LEOs. $TINY_TOWN was targetted, but the fire got caught right away. I’ve heard 3S described as the town motto. Pretty much true.

            2. There are places where a warlord MIGHT be able to run things for a bit. Eastern MA, RI, CT, NJ, NY near NYC where the populace is disarmed and VERY compliant (many people wear masks outdoors in sub freezing temperatures, something that makes no sense) And even in those states there are parts of it you couldn’t hold for long as quickly things slip out of control. Here’s hoping we don’t have to find out…

              1. Wearing a mask outdoors in subfreezing temperatures keeps your nose warmer than being bare-faced.

                I’d give them a pass on that one.

                1. Before all this, I was sometimes known to cover my lower face when walking in the very cold, though I might remove it for better airflow on strenuous stretches (i.e. hiking up a steep hill or a couple hundred steps). It’s the ones wearing the masks outside, far from any crowd, in warm weather, that have me shaking my head. Or alone in the car in any weather.

                2. Yeah, tbh I was trying to figure out how that part was weird. I could do without the glasses fogging but the conditions described are precisely when I want the lower half of my face covered!

                3. Today with it in the teens, maybe I’d give them a pass. Except we have scarves, mufflers and Balaclavas for that task. Dumb reusable paper masks provide no heat, maybe KN95’s mess up flow enough to help a little.

        2. I’d say some of the city leftists DO have that peasant mentality, easily cowed by whoever shakes a fist in their collective face. And that is part of their problem.

          But it doesn’t work so well out where America still remembers its roots.

        3. Mention “Strong Man” and the usual suspects will scream “Trump!” But I think he’s a Big Man, rather than a Strong Man. There is a difference.

          1. “He was a leader because he did not look back to see who was following him.”

            — Mr.Roberts (the novel)

      2. Depends on who your “warlords” and “strong men” are. You could consider the Generals of the Revolutionary War to be “warlords”. But I know of no one who has a problem with General Nathanael Greene , William Heath ,General Henry Knox , General Charles Lee (well, maybe him, he was a real trouble maker), Benjamin Lincoln, The Marquis de Lafayette, General Daniel Morgan, Joseph Reed, fooon von Steuben, Artemas Ward, George Washington, of course, and Anthony Wayne. Many of these men went on into political careers afterwards. Strong men indeed; but they “ruled” by reason and rule of law.

        There are some Americans that do do warlords and strong men. These are the people that constitute gangs and organized crime. They may personally have an ethic or code; but not one accepted by the general population.

    2. Oh they will try. But they will fail, and they will fail badly. Because their footsoldiers are a) lazy) and b) afraid.

      Other than the Blac Bloc (a goodly portion of whom are professional agitators who go from riot to riot), most of the Left’s “revolutionaries” are lazy bums who can’t be bothered to do much more than post angry screeds on social media. Look at their posts: they want to be poets, or design uniforms for the new regime, or be high level administrators in some department of the regime. Almost none want to be in the trenches doing the nitty-gritty work needed to advance the Revolution. That’s why they support the left: so they won’t have to do any nitty-gritty work that’s beneath them anymore.

      And coming back to the Blac Bloc, they are terrified of actual resistance to the point of being wholly incapable of dealing with it on any level. Riots were in full swing all across the country for months… then Kyle went two for three in Kenosha. Overnight, nearly all the riots ended. Because two of their comrades died and a third was crippled. That’s an infinitesimally small casualty rate, but it was enough to shatter the will of everyone who didn’t live in Portland (and a few other Left Coast holdouts). If they were to start taking REAL casualties – which they will once enough people have had enough and realize that the “authorities” won’t save them, their Revolution will crumble like a stale birthday cake.

      1. The Patriot Front turned up again, this time at the March for Life. They look faker every time I see them. Showed my beloved a video of them marching with their (matching) shields and he commented, “They’re not carrying them like a weapon.” They were just carrying hunks of metal by their sides, not shields in any position to actually be used if the March went sour.
        But since they get media attention, I guess their purpose might be to taint the other marchers.

        1. Progs have been trying to hijack the March for Life for years– that’s why they keep scheduling stuff on the March for Life weekend.

    3. The U.S.ofA. is ***THE*** Monkey-Wrench Society. Any Warlord is damned fool. It might be bloody, but They. Will. Lose. Hard. And it might NOT be bloody. Pissed off engineers & techies can stop a CITY dead if they really want to. They know which switches to open/close, which valves to open/close, and which parts CANNOT be replaced easily. Really, they ought to be ENCOURAGING the idea that AR-15’s will do the job, those are the LEAST of the real concerns. And Joe Schmoe, utterly unarmed, with not even as much as pea-shooter, can STOP rail service with stuff in his basement or garage if he should set his mind to it.

      1. There were at least two stories (that I remember off the top of my head) in Jim Curtis’ Cali anthology that involved pissed-off engineers. Both of them ended… badly… for Cali. As in “casualties in the four figures, minimum” bad.

        They better PRAY that engineers IRL don’t start getting creative.

        1. *Raises paw* If there’s really, really high river flow, and an engineering-type were to cause an upstream dam to have an affliction . . .

          1. Or if someone (not me) were to, say, disrupt ALL of the pipelines and aqueducts leading into a certain geographic area….

            1. Disrupting an open aqueduct requires nothing more sophisticated than a large pile of rip-rap and the mechanical muscle to deliver it into the channel. Basically dam it up and let it overflow into, say, the former Owens Lake. Should make the envirowhacks happy, considering the size of the existing scar.

        2. Engineers often have enough understanding of the real and the theoretical that many of them are quite pissed off.

          The also can find some ‘brittle’ areas to ‘exert force’.

          The problem of ‘engineers will save us’ is similar to the problem of the idea that ‘the lawyers will save us’. Professionals, and the sunk cost fallacy, mainly. Lawyers know that they are at risk of blacklisting if they say the wrong things about the current fuckery at too high a volume, and that switching to a different occupation is perhaps more costly than they can afford. Engineers? Likewise. And, as lawyers can have vocation, so to can engineers. If you truly love engineering, the prospect of no longer being trusted with engineering problems can be a concern. Fundamentally, engineers are being trusted to make technical decisions that are a good trade off where human life is concerned. Being fast of the mark to take a bunch of human lives, or even one, is a bit relevant to that.

          If things are that bad, engineers may face the choice being killing a part of themselves, and doing the wrong thing. Engineers have not been well served by professional engineering organizations, which could have warned the woke off, instead of actively collaborating with the woke to the detriment of the professions.

          1. +100 upvotes from the retired engineer. I’ve bemoaned the sad state of the IEEE elsewhere.

          2. IIRC, in at least one story the engineer had lost multiple family members and a) decided they had nothing left to lose, and b) could get away with it without being detected. It was an act of sabotage committed via cyberwarfare. The other one was a coordinated sabotage effort orchestrated by an intelligence agency that recruited individuals who had, again, lost multiple family members, wanted revenge, and had nothing to lose.

            I don’t think that “engineers will save us” any more than I believe Neo will defeat the machines and free us from the Matrix. But I shudder to think what angry, people with an intimate knowledge of How Things Work and a belief that they have nothing left to lose might be capable of.

            1. Heck,they’re already doing what they can to remove those that don’t think like them from their jobs and society, thereby creating those who have nothing to lose. It’s taking less and less to be canceled.

              Taking not only the ability to support yourself and your family, but your.. Calling? That’s a guarantee of things not turning out cleanly.

              1. I think one of the comments to a Correa rant was about those who wanted to be left alone finally giving that up and being irreversibly altered but do what is needed anyway. Similar to having nothing left to lose. I think that the main reason (speaking in part for myself) that things have not gone completely kinetic is the restraint shown by these folks.
                So many ways to bugger a city or town. As a high trust society built on individual liberty and responsibility we are very vulnerable to sabotage. Frankly most are ill prepared for that level of destruction and the indirect butchers bill would (will) be huge. In the multi millions. The left of course thinks they will be ruling over the ashes. Ha. Bless their hearts!

                1. Read ‘The Weapon’ by Michael Z. Williamson. 200 saboteurs are trained on Freeehold and space-dropped onto a post-Tranzi Earth. Not all of them make it to the surface alive, but the survivors utterly wreck the place within a month of getting the GO signal.

                  They are provided with some weapons, but mostly they use re-purposed commercial and industrial materials. A barrel of flammable solvent in the wrong place, for example.

                2. It’s hard to tell if they’re trying to engineer a reaction, or if they’re just so sure that they’re right and that the ‘little people’ will just go along.

                  1. I suspect the answer is yes. They think they can start something that the heroic FBI/DOJ can use to cow the renegades. Are they miscalculating? I think so.

                    Former EE…

        3. Yup. I’m a frickin software engineer. I’ll bet I could raise havoc with power grid or similar. From my misspent youth I shall we say know how to make things go bang and several other unpleasant things. Heaven help you if you piss off a chem eng, a mechanical engineer or a Civil Engineer (think dams), they can really ruin your whole day. And most basic plumber/electrician/carpenter/mason types have more general knowledge than many engineers let alone the Blank Studies types. I refer you to Lucifer’s Hammer for some of the issues that could be caused.

          1. “Well, darn, Xir, that sewage line backed up again? And you stopped using the super-thick paper? Huh, backed up into the bathtub as well? Oh yes, we’ll get out there as soon as we can.” *hangs up, turns to other plumbers* “Good job. Let’s get lunch. No point in rushing.”

      2. Yeah.

        Guns are by far the nicer option than conventional explosives.

        And conventional explosives can be pretty small potatoes where mass deaths are concerned.

    4. They may be brigands with a warlord mentality, but they will not be Lenins and Stalins, at least not here in Flyover Country. In the metros, perhaps, but they have an ingrained culture of submission and helplessness. We Deplorables…. do not. Here in Flyover Country we’re the culture of miners and ranchers and pioneers and doing for yourself and helping your neighbor. We don’t *need* a warlord, and we don’t tolerate brigands.

        1. I’d argue that their really trying to be is Louis XIV or Ming. What they’ll get is Ceausescu if they’re not very careful. Truthfully couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

    5. I have seen a leftist saying the death toll is not the fault of Communism because Stalin, Mao, the rest are all right wingers.

      Why we would support a movement that always brought murderous right wingers to power was not addressed.

      1. The worst of Communism’s butchers were… right wingers?

        Yep, there it is. Stupidest thing I’ve seen all day. [facepalm]

            1. Whatever it has to be for them to continue to believe in Communism. These are the “if only Stalin knew” while dying in the gulag types.

            2. 100% chance of jelly bean rain in the morning, clearing to plaid skies by noon, fading to stripes in the afternoon, possible polka-dotting in the evening. Not weather, but the lunar eclipse will be visible at 3 in the afternoon. Be safe and do NOT disturbing the flying turtles.

          1. Right. Antifa, PETA, Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, all far-right. And socialism is going to save us from the far right. (This was my nephew, BTW. His parents have a lot to answer for.)

            1. Y’know… since all of these “murderous right-wingers” came to power under Socialism/Communism, perhaps we should ban Communism so that no “murderous right-wingers” can come to power.

      2. Was in a post that our Hostess made a while back, talking about a comment that she’d seen on a friend’s social media page. IIRC, the “proof” offered that the above were all right-wingers is because real lefties don’t use military force. Or something inane like that.

          1. Eh, I’ve see that one floating around online in various forms for at least two decades. along with a bunch of similar absurdities.

  9. Came across a great article by Razib Khan on sub stack called Get Lucky. He’s a geneticist who was among the first people “cancelled”. The article is about why he loves, and I mean loves, America.

  10. The obsession with “racism”, an undefined term that was virtually unknown until the 20th century, now used to make a whipping boy of Western civilization, is massive evidence that Americans have lost the capacity to think…As numerous studies have shown, babies identify with those who look like them, it’s a survival trait..But as people grow up, they become more discriminating…i.e. the fact that whites and Asians are better at math, and west African blacks are better at sprinting, doesn’t make either of those facts “racist”, except in the mad world of academia…

      Dear Lord, am I speaking Mandarin again?
      Americans has nothing to do with this. This is a narrative of the medias and “elites” which Americans rejected in droves in the last election. And as it turns out, that might have been the high water mark for these “culture makers.”
      Stop with the echo chamber. They’re not Americans (in any sense, most of them.) Trust your lying eyes.

      1. You want racism, look east. There’s a minor kerfuffle at the moment because the Chinese watching the American Olympic athletes shouted the “n-word,” at the black ones.

        1. Yeah, I saw that. It was ridiculous and nasty, and also made the Chinese crowd look amazingly stupid and petty. I hope the usual suspects stop sucking up to the Chinese paymasters, and actually learn something from this.

          Enes Kanter is of course awesome.

          1. I want to know how much “stupid and petty” is standard operating procedure in their culture.

            It comes up a lot in the webnovels, and, yes, exaggeration for dramatic effect, but those also don’t involve any foreigners…

        2. I wonder if this was intentional. It is unlikely that any behavior by the Chinese spectators at the Olympics is spontaneous.

      2. I read The Hobbit in 1970 when I was 10. I remembered being absolutely baffled by the razing of the Shire. I had no idea why they wouldn’t just run Sharkey and his gang out of town.

        Of course I was young, but still, having been raised American, I didn’t realize what it meant that no one in the Shire was armed or had any idea how to fight.

        Red Dawn seems more like an American story of how things would go. Or Independence Day.

        1. But they were willing, with the right leadership. Once Merry, Pippin and Sam stepped in Sharkey’s gang got wiped in a hurry. And they had arms (as in, hunting bows), but as you said, had no idea how to use them effectively against men.

    2. As numerous studies have shown, babies identify with those who look like them

      No, babies identify faces similar to those they frequently see.

      They freak the heck out when they see faces that look like them, if they’re not use to there being other babies.

      They also freak out when they first meet someone who’s different in a way they aren’t familiar with– one of my husband’s co-workers was rather uncomfortable that our daughter went all wide-eyed freak out to see him (very dark, puffy hair), until I started laughing and told him about her reaction to meeting my uncles, who have beards and are bald-headed. *Absolute screaming meltdown*, and the one who does Santa pictures says it’s an extremely common response.
      “After all, my head is on upside down. Why wouldn’t she be scared?”

      1. Age 4 before “Santa was safe”.

        Age 19 months when the “Daddy broke his face” screeeeeee (Okay I ran away from that one and let dad handle that one. Once I knew that blood or broken bones weren’t involved, that toddler hadn’t fallen off sink counter. I had to get somewhere neither he or dad could hear me laughing. I mean the whole point was to have the toddler watch the process while dad removed his winter beard so dad wouldn’t freak toddler when he emerged from the bathroom without it. Yea, that worked. Over 30 years ago and it is still ROFLOL funny.)

        Age 26 months. Walk into MIL room, not the first time we’d visited her, not the first time in her Assisted Living room either. A loud screech. I turned around and walked out of the room with toddler. Naturally MIL thought we should force the toddler to interact with her on her terms. Nope. Not happening until he was ready. He was ready eventually, on that trip. Usual 15 minutes and she was done. This was a monthly trip that we’d done to see since he was 4 months old. Before that trips were weekly.

        1. They tend to just stare at handpuppets. Tracking them in crowds. Once allowed a mother to get coffee in the con suite by turning the fussing baby into a staring one.

        2. Naturally MIL thought we should force the toddler to interact with her on her terms. Nope. Not happening until he was ready.


          1. Newer concept then. We were required to accept hugs from relatives we didn’t know. Nothing bad. But beside the point. Our, my sisters, and my, children were not. We were raised ’60s and ’70s. My husband and his siblings were more ’40s to mid-60s. Our child was ’90s – early-’00s. Fair or not MIL only really saw him for maybe an hour or two. Once she was in the nursing home, 30 to 45 minutes. At which point she started ignoring toddler. Toddler and I would leave, letting dad and MIL talk. About 15 minutes later dad would be ready to leave too. Monthly 4 hour round trip drive for maximum 60 minute visit. Eek!!! BUT … my sister, BIL, with their toddler lived in same town. We’d spend the day with them. MIL passed away before toddler turned 3. He doesn’t remember her. (Sad.) But he remembers the trips to see his cousin. Ironically saw them more then (once a month, birthdays, and holidays, minimum), than after they moved south, a mile north of us, just before the two started kindergarten (different school districts)!

            1. It may be a cultural thing, too– mom’s mom, against all indications you might consider, was deathly set against MAKING kids show affection. You might get chided, but the second someone starts trying to threaten or actually lay a hand and drag a kid over– out comes the sledgehammer of NO.

      2. Oh, yeah, bloody nothing to do with race, but with the baby’s identified tribe of the “safe.”
        Take an African baby. Have him raised in deepest, whitest Scandinavia as it was 50 years ago, say.
        At six months of age, take him back to his birth family.
        He’ll be terrified.
        Babies have no race. They have “familiar” and “not familiar.”

        1. My nephew was cornfuzzled by my Uncle who he took to be his Papa, who he demanded carry him, until they walked around the corner and ran into his real Papa. Comedic double takes abounded, and two toddler exchanges later, he decided Papa and Not Papa were both making fun of him though he figured out which was which. By the end of the day, Not papa was just as fun to be around for him. Dad and Uncle Bud were not twins, but close enough. I individual shot of Dad, Unc Bud, and their Uncle Jim with a group shot of the three from the rear quarter standing side by side, made most people have to guess which was which,

      3. Added point: My son, for the first about 6 months of his life was dominantly around men with beards (my dad, my husband, several of the men at the church). So we move to the current residence after that. Most of the men at the new church were clean shaven. This was Not Right(tm) according to the small boy child. Who were these aliens? Took him a bit to adapt.

      4. So much this – Wee Jamie, the treasured grandson is accustomed to the faces of my daughter, myself, and our dear next-door neighbor, Miss Irene and her niece, Miss Eileen (who are also POC) but all of us obviously female as to feature. Male faces baffle him. Wee Jamie kind of freaked out his godfather, on visits to his godparents’ house – for staring at Godfather intently. He also stares at people in masks in the same way. Like *who the heck are you freaks?*

      1. Didn’t know that, but doesn’t surprise me.

        Of course, because he was a history professor, no university historian ever speak badly of him. i suspect it won’t be until most historians haven’t been pulled from the university pool that we’ll get a true accounting of him.

        1. His stature has started to erode somewhat within the last several years. I think there have been at least a couple of universities that have renamed buildings that had carried his name.

          1. Princeton for one. he was President there and the slave quarters were still occupied by the servants of the southern gentlemen who studied there. The slave quarters and the bigotry are still there just refocused.

            Right old bigot was Wilson; a bad historian and a worshiper of Bismarck as all those progressives were. Of course, the American progressives returned the favor when the Germans used their eugenics writings to justify killing the unfit.

            The one thing that has remained constant with the progs is the love of killing, by other people of course. Won’t do to get one’s hands dirty.

            1. I remember my parents taking me into Princeton as a kid and wandering the town and onto their campus, and sometimes wading in the giant fountain outside the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Princeton finally removed Wilson’s name from it in 2020 over his racism.

                1. You know, I don’t remember black squirrels at Princeton. I do remember squirrels in general being plentiful, running up the trees by Thomas Sweet Shop, scrambling about in Palmer Square, and just generally being all around the town and campus. Maybe I just wasn’t observant? Or is there a Great Squirrel Genocide to lay at Wilson’s feet?

                  1. Apparently, every year, some students get in trouble for painting orange stripes on the black squirrels during football season. 1) Princeton has a football team? 2) Can we arm the squirrels?

                    I looked at going to school there. They never told me what tuition was. Ditto UVA. No thank you.

            1. FDR only looks comparatively good because he was up against Literal Hitler. Had history gone differently he might have been the end of the Republic.

              1. FDR only looks comparatively good because the more obviously hideous things that he pushed get blamed on “America”, and not FDR. For instance, FDR (and then Governor Earl Warren) don’t get blamed for the Japanese Internment Camps. America does. But FDR doesn’t.

            2. Yep, in Grimnoir. I don’t think he’s done any complete works in Wilson’s era yet unless it’s a short story I don’t know or forgot about.

    1. Yes, and no. Grant pushed for black troops, but they fought in segregated units with white officers. To the best of my knowledge, that was a state that persisted until Truman ordered the desegregation of the military.

      The exception was the Navy, which used blacks exclusively in service roles, such as chefs. Incidentally, the third Ford-class carrier will be named after one such man. Doris “Dori” Miller was awarded by the Navy for his performance while manning an anti-aircraft gun at Pearl Harbor. This will be the second ship named after him, assuming the Dems aren’t brazen enough to change the name, which was assigned while Trump was in the White House.

      1. I’ll have to go poking around. My understanding was that the segregated units were during the civil war itself, but after the war, during his presidency was when he integrated things, only to have progs segregate things later.

      2. The navy was far more integrated earlier. The American navy followed Royal Navy precedence after the revolution and the RN would take anyone. While they could not become officers, black sailors could hold any of the other ratings. You can see it in Civil War photos.

        It was Wilson who confined them to mess duties.

        1. And discontinued allowing black enlistments and re-enlistments in the Navy effective, IIRC, with the end of the war.

      3. I did some research into that because it was a plot point in the book I’m working on now. The Navy had been somewhat restrictive before WW1, then allowed blacks into more roles during the war.

        When the war ended, ALL blacks were kicked out of the Navy. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that they were allowed in again, and then only as mess stewards as Junior says above.

  11. I feel stronger after reading this.
    I’m reminded of living through my first hurricane in the FL Keys. Once you got used to watching your entire neighborhood get uprooted, drowned by sea water, and blown away over your roof and out into the back country, and once you got used to the house lurching when the gusts came, you knew you just had to weather the storm and clean up afterward.
    There was one point where we had to go and lash the car front axles to the sea grape tree in the front yard–climbing down the front stairs was interesting–but it wasn’t fear anymore. It was just watching everything you’d worked for blow away.
    Once it was over? OK, time to clean up, and everyone helped, and you just did it.
    But you damn sure prepared ahead of time, otherwise you didn’t make it.

    1. Yep, I spent my 8th to 18 years growing up in Dade County. When we moved down there from Ohio, we had relatives that weathered the 30s and 40s in the Keys, their wisdom and advice lead us to build and buy accordingly.

  12. I keep waiting for more people to notice how evsry move the left makes to “help,” black people is a step back. “Here, you can have your own space at college, where you can be comfortable with your own people,” -uh, isn’t that segregation by race? And condescending-boy, the condescension is strong in some folks.

    1. But the purpose of their new segregation is to elevate minorities above whites. So it’s okay in their books. The only restrictions are placed on whites. There are minority-only areas. But there are no white-only areas.

  13. Typo in the following , Sarah…

    “Of course, the press thought it had won. Because the left lives in an increasingly narrower eco chamber…”

    I believe, though I could be wrong, that you intended, “echo,” there instead of, “eco”.

    1. I think a few words are missing here, too:

      However given centralized government at everything else they’ve allegedly tried to do

      Words like ‘abject failure’ and ‘insane tyranny’ spring to mind.

      And now for something completely different. Used to be, I could click on that little circled-W, WPDE would fill in my WordPress login and I could post. Now that doesn’t work. I have to type in my E-mail address EVERY F’N TIME and then it sends me to ANOTHER page to enter my E-mail address and password. EVERY TIME.


    2. Heh. Both words work for me. Echo chamber for only hearing themselves. Eco chamber for their dinky little narrow environments that they can never look past the walls of.

      1. The watermelons in the Oregon capital seem to be living in an eco chamber. Dad, can I close the lid?

        1. Please close it. I swear, your government exists only to make ours look organized, thoughtful, competent, and bipartisan.

          Do your R legislators need a recommendation on Idaho hotels yet this year?

  14. I think you have inspired a new motto: “Veritas pugnat nobis. Veritas matella est.” At least I think that is right. I haven’t used much Latin since the early ’70s.

    1. Google Translate turns that into:
      “Truth fights for us. Truth is a pot”
      And a secondary definition for matella is “chamber pot”.
      And Pravda translates as Truth – in which case that secondary definition makes sense…

      1. I thought parabarbarian’s intent was “Truth is a hammer”, in which case it should have been “malleus” or something along those lines.

    2. Still remember from the 60s; Kyrie, eléison.Christe, eléison.Kyrie, eléison.Christe, audi nos. etc.
      & back then translating Elvis Presley’s to Tu est nihil sed canis

      1. In truth, I only learned enough Latin to follow the Mass. Along with a few dirty words…

  15. Tell me how the EPA running around declaring everyone’s backyard a natural preserve and demanding absurd levels of “cleanliness” to the point it hurts the actual environment has made our environment better.

    The EPA is an example of a good idea (dealing with non-local pollution) that worked well for a while – in fact well enough that they accomplished their goal. When I was 10 and my family (on vacation) was driving toward Chicago from the west you could see the dark smog cloud surrounding it from 60 miles away. Driving east you didn’t notice it because New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc all had similar (if not as bad) air quality issues The next year the Cuyahoga River caught fire for the 12th (or was it 13th) time. The EPA began when I was 14 That miasma around Chicago is basically gone and perch now live in the Cuyahoga. It took about 25 years.
    But nothing is as permanent as a government program and after 50 years diminishing returns have become negative returns. We need Sunset provisions for regulations and the Executive agencies that enforce them, because no matter how good/important the problem at hand may be, creating a permanent bureaucracy as a way to fix it will eventually make things worse.

    1. Air Quality Management District here in California. The AQMD was useful back in the day. Los Angeles sits in a natural smog trap, and at one time you’d sometimes get days when you could start to feel the smog when you breathed. But that was decades ago. So now the AQMD finds its purpose in turning ever smaller molehills into mountains.

    2. Most states with water pollution problems were cleaning things up before the EPA sprang forth in 1970 (Thank you, Nixon. NOT.) Having a federal presence for interstate problems made some sense. The EPA? It has outlasted its purpose, yes.

  16. 1- That industrialization not only made possible but required the redesigning of humanity.

    2- That centralized production/government/etc. was always more efficient.

    3- That the experts were better at guessing/directing the future than the common individual.

    Usually, a bad idea gets going because it’s better than the bad idea it’s replacing, and/or it only gets really bad in purified/clarified/intensified form.
    ESPECIALLY when things don’t start with carefully laid out and defined documents.

    {pause for a moment to admire the good sense of our Founders to MAKE freaking well laid out starter documents}

    For #1– if it’s toned down to industrialization requires modifying culture, and many of those changes are good— then that’s just recognizing that the labor force for a factory is *different* than a farm. It might even be recognizing that a lot of the changes make for better results on a farm, at that– there’s a bigger level of needing to adjust for circumstances, but being able to arrive on time and systematically breaking jobs into units *does* make for better results.

    For #2- something like standardized items and goals make things go smoother. Especially compared to no-we’ll-change-it-just-to-be-an-ass behavior, that is a thing. And holy cow is it NICE to be able to get a spare part that fits!

    For #3 – how about “informed choices are better than stuff pulled out of one’s rump just to have something to say”?
    You *do* get better results from asking someone who’s studied a problem for advice, over asking someone you like and/or respect who doesn’t know the subject from a hole in the ground.

    1. Personally, for three, I’d put something more along the lines of, “Ivory-tower credentialed ‘experts’ we’re better at guessing/directing the future than the experts getting their hands dirty at ground zero.”

      1. This. There’s experts and experts. I don’t want a thermodynamics prof managing the boiler for a steam-heat system, especially an apartment-house sized system. I don’t want academic economists trying to micro-manage a national economy.

        1. Were the economists experts they’d know they couldn’t do it.

          Speaking of experts, the market declined quite satisfactorily this week. the experts are saying another 10% down and the experts will bail out all the experts through the Fed Put. It’s very likely they’ll try. if it works, massive inflation is likely. if it doesn’t work, then Katy, bar the door.

          Things are bad.

          1. Thought of you reading the WSJ today. Article on China, the author professes to believe the 8.1% growth rate for 2021 and the predicted slowdown to “only,” 5%. He suggested China watchers are seeing small hints of pushback against Xi as he preps to go for a third term. He seems to think Xi will succeed (gasp!), but G-d knows what will happen to the economy.

            1. Anyone who wants continued “access” to China needs to follow their rules, so I always discount what the writers in the mainstream press say. There’s always pushback in a totalitarian state but it’s opaque to anyone outside it. I won’t be given a Chinese visa nor would I feel comfortable going to see friends in HK now. They know who I am.

              The thing with China GDP is that each component always matches the plan but the whole process is incoherent. I wrote here earlier in the week about there being more deaths than births, no immigration but the population grew. Hence zombies. Given the shortfall is to the productive “belly” of the population curve, productivity has to increase exponentially to allow a constant growth rate.

              You find the same thing all over. There may be an 8% GDP growth — nominal — because of what we know about e.g., coal prices. The problem is that price indices are reported at 2%. It can’t be. There’s no way. With actual prices an 8.1 nominal would be a real contraction. 5% nominal a depression.

              Similarly, there’s acres of empty property but they’re still building. The construction cost counts in GDP, much like government spending does, but it adds no economic value.

              Pratchet has a great scene in Going Postal when they do the forensic audit. Piles of papers that you connect and shift until you have an answer. I’m not an auditor, but that’s essentially what you have to do It usually works out.

              Sorry, this is one of my special subjects.

              1. Don’t be sorry, I’m interested. And I’m old enough to remember past eras of “Kremlinology,” and “China-watching,” when they might as well have been reading tea-leaves. (Maybe they were).

        2. What is an expert /really/ an expert at?

          Thermodynamics professors get there by a) earning a degree in physics, mechanical engineering, chemistry, or chemical engineering b) getting a PhD c) convincing a department to hire them d) teaching thermodynamics courses. Some of them are good at teaching thermodynamics, some few are awesome, some are terrible, some are otherwise competent by just not good at teaching mediocre students. A steam-heat system is going to be a mechanical engineering problem, some of the mechanical engineering faculty will grok them, the other disciplines will be confused if you give them the problem.

          A mechanical engineering faculty teaching thermo is going to talk about sorting through simplifying assumptions made to ‘accepted theory’, and finding the right assumptions for a given problem. Accepted theory in mechanical engineering is almost always simpler than what a physicist does with thermodynamics. Engineering theory is curated, simple stuff with an okay track record for problem solving.

          A mechanical engineering student at the undergraduate level, a competent professor means that they’ve solved some problems that are simple by the standards of engineering theory, probably haven’t gotten too many of them wrong, and haven’t quit after being expected to learn from the textbook or the lectures. A graduate student only knows the theory properly (by engineering standards, not physics standards) with combination of focused coursework, and actual hands on practice in their research.

          Having the theory and the degree doesn’t mean you can apply it to real world engineering problems, it just means that you can learn application. Engineers learn via an OJT apprenticeship in specific problem areas. Whether you got As or Cs in thermodynamics, took graduate courses or stuck to undergraduate, you are only an expert in designing steam-heat systems, and boilers, for an apartment system after you have done minor design tasks in those under the supervision of an existing expert in those machines. Seriously, talk to your state board of licensure for professional engineering about what they would prefer, if you would rather not take my word for this. My only expertise on this topic is second hand, talking to engineers about what they are expert in, and why.

          Designing a machine, and operating a machine, are entirely different things. Talk to people who manufacture machines, or maintain machines, or operate machines, about machines made by designers who have /never/ done any of the other three tasks. If you have a newbie designer, or a rushed designer working at limited mental capacity, the result may be a terrible design. That design may require modification in the field to be possible to operate safely. You may also have a designer working by rote off similar designs that they did not fully understand when they learned design. Operators can use those designs, perhaps quite a bit more safely than if you asked the engineer to do it.

          Lots of operator tasks require attention to the here and now. Designers do not have to be aware of the here and now, as long as they can think the design through properly when they spend most of their time in la la land.

          A professor can teach people the theory used in designing a lawnmower, without a strong ability to use that theory on actual problems.

          Someone who knows the theory, and can use it on some problems, does not necessarily know how to design lawnmowers.

          A lawnmower designer does not necessarily have the ability to use a lawnmower.

          Lots of folks who use gas lawnmowers /can/ maintain and repair them.

          The folks who do their own small engine repair are likely not going to make the mistake of thinking Dr. Jim can run a chainsaw, simply because Jim studied mechanical engineering, when they can see that Jim is never aware of his surroundings, and has extra parts when he takes stuff apart and tries to put it back together.

          Credentialed idiots who are useless at everything seem to be the worst when it comes to understanding that credentials and the ability of true expertise are wildly different things.

          1. One of my jobs as a Army tech writer/editor was watching real soldiers try to perform the tasks in the operation and maintenance manuals exactly as written and make fixes as needed.

            1. I worked in Manufacturing Engineering. I wrote a lot of ECOs (Engineering Change Orders) and rework instructions for the assemblers. I would hand one of the gals the draft version and say, “Here. Rework a board. If you have any questions about the procedure, it means I have to revise the instructions.”

              When all the assemblers could perform the rework without needing to ask any questions, THEN it was done.

              1. That’s pretty much how I wrote my book “C++: A Dialog”. I found someone who didn’t know anything about programming and got her to tell me what she didn’t understand, then rewrote it until she did.

      2. No, there are *definitely* places where training so you know what is going on is superior to “I have been here forever.”

        The biggest benefits come from when the “I’ve been here forever” has the small text “and learned nothing,” and the trained person doesn’t stop learning. They actually KNOW stuff, rather than “I have degree, so I am right.”

        It’s like the progression of an activist group. You start out with something that makes improvements– and as it reaches the maximum desired improvements for each group of folks, it loses people. Because the job is done.
        Eventually, you end up with nothing but the skin-suits and the crazies, whose goals have very little resemblance to the original push.

        Look at feminism, for example– started as “women are morally equal to men, and should be legally equal” and now it’s at the “women should be men. Scuzzy men, at that.”

        1. Which is why I included the phrase “ivory tower”. That’s a very specific phrase that indicates the individual in question is self-isolated from the actual work that’s being done, and is only interested in said work as a mental exercise.

          1. Which is exactly the *opposite* of the entire purpose of the list.

            People do things for a reason, and it’s generally not that they were all stupid– so, what was the functioning form of the modern deformation?

        2. I ran into an example of a similar situation at my place of employment a couple weeks ago. I was assigned the job of weigher. I printed out some batch sheets and started getting the materials together that I would need. The gentleman who trained me had glanced at the list of what was coming up to be run, and said “Why are you getting that stuff? There are several batches coming up that don’t need it.” I had to grab one of my batch sheets, shove it under his nose, and point at the word Experimental, and the ingredient in question. He suggested that I use a highlighter on those batch sheets, just in case. He would have weighed up the wrong material, because in his experience, those orders did not use that stull.

  17. The issue is this-
    *We need some kind of centralization. Has to be if you want to do things beyond the town-and-village level, especially for items of infrastructure that don’t provide immediate, tangible benefits (i.e. you might not want to pay for that canal or bridge, but it sure is useful the few times of the year that you need to go to the bigger city).
    *But, centralization has it’s own issues. The Founding Fathers were classically educated, and they knew what happened when too much power went to Rome, and that Hilarity Ensued. They fought the Revolutionary War because they didn’t want to be run from London.
    *But, decentralization has it’s own issues as well. The Articles of Confederation and the government it generated were enough to even make some of the people that hated London want tighter controls.
    *And, there has to be some level of authority that can handle idiots and criminals (and idiot criminals) that think that crossing a state border and doing the same kind of stupid means that they can get away with it.

    That means, sadly, government. The trick is keeping government from getting too far out of control, and damned if it hasn’t gotten too big and too stupid these days. Watching the Los Angeles DA shucking and jiving to avoid prosecuting train thieves (and not listening when the railroad companies start making noises of “maybe we should find a port and a town that will prosecute these criminals”). Watching as idiots in Salem and Sacramento ruin great places in general. Oh, and we can’t even talk about the various federal law enforcement agencies that are active/stupid in ways that are disturbing.

    There’s going to be a snap-back. I still remain optimistic that it will be with only some blood, and not buckets of it.

Comments are closed.