Round The Bend

One of the advantages (eh) of growing up int he seventies in Europe, is that there are very few examples of bizarrely distorted thinking that doesn’t make me yawn and go “been there, done that. The stupid hasn’t changed.”

The fact that once or twice these last two years the idiots have managed to scare me tells you how bad it’s been. Now, mind you, the thought process was still not new, but the things they did with it were… well, if not new, more insane than I thought we could achieve after the peak of mass LSD usage.

One of the most bizarre pieces of pseudo “common knowledge” that my classmates, teachers and eventually professors kept repeating was “the extremes of political systems touch. Politics is a circle.”

Mostly they were using it for the cheap virtue signaling of “We’re moderate, and therefore we are correct.” It was what they used to justify their “mixed” economy, because you know, a bit of socialist sewage in the wine-barrel of freedom was absolutely necessary and made it mo’ better. Or something.

I never believed it, mostly because I have an inate ability to fixate on the things people don’t want me to see. And even America in the seventies, with the sh*tton of crazy and more than a drop or two of socialism, as “extreme” as my illustrious preceptors insisted it was, was nothing like the USSR. Their screaming about American oppression didn’t make it that, either.

So, you know, I almost failed economics by spending three pages explaining to the idiot teacher (he really was) in detail how an excess of individual liberty looks nothing like an excess of collective repression, with examples and quotes from Heinlein. The teacher didn’t refute a single one of my arguments, just gave me a C- and told me, sullenly, I was not nearly as smart as I thought he was. (And I barely scraped by because when he’d tried to fail me early on for pointing out that Marx was a mental midget who never understood distribution, Mom had come down with reference books to explain how I was right and if he didn’t change my grade to an A she’d explain it again. You’d have to known mom. So he calibrated this slap to just barely pass me, which I didn’t care about, since we had an exam that actually determined my change of going into college, and economics wasn’t on it.)

Anyway, they are completely and utterly wrong. The funny thing is, though, that I know what they’re seeing that caused them to say that. (Other than the innate need of Europeans whose goofy socialism was subsidized by American military spending to act like they were super important. They’re kind of like cats that way. “You clean my litterbox and feed me, so I must own you.” Only most of them are not as charming as cats. And keep pissing in our shoes, besides.) The even funnier thing is that they don’t see it.

So, I was thinking about how the left has gone from “free love” and “do your own thing” and “if it feels good, do it.” to “Reee, all copulation is violation; straight people should be forced to have sex with gay people; Muslim women are way freer, because by being forced to cover up they’re freed from the male gaze; we need the races segregated to prevent white supremacy oppression” etc etc etc.

You see, there is a …. ramp to permissiveness. Note I’m not saying liberty. Liberty is individually-regulated and comes with responsibility. For instance, if you’re allowed to drink as much as you want, but you’re punished for doing bad things while you’re drunk? That’s liberty. What it is not is permissiveness. Society at large isn’t saying “Oh, you poor widdle thing. You want to drink and drive/steal/act like an ass. We can’t stop you because that would be oppressive.”

The left routinely confuses “permissiveness” with “liberty” and “enabling” with “compassion.”

Most of us had absolutely no issues at any time with toleration of homosexuality, or even with some form of marriage (yes, yes, civil union. Look, where I come from “civil marriage” is the only legal marriage. The religious ceremony is extra and there’s no legality to it. To have it, you must first be legally married and show proof. (It’s also considered the real one by religious people. No argument there.) For the record, if I need to say it, I’m against forcing churches to perform any marriages against their doctrine and custom.) However, we draw the line at say suing bakers who won’t bake a cake for you.

We definitely draw the line at sex changes for toddlers, aka, let’s castrate/sterilize the baby. And we draw the line at “You’re homophobic/transphobic/oppressive for not wanting to have sex with person of x genitalia.” (Hey, it’s a game everyone can play. Some of my gay friends have been told their misogynistic for refusing to have sex with women. Because this is the stupidest time line.)

And let’s not start on people having their lives ruined because they used “the wrong pronoun.” To whom it may concern, no I won’t use your pronoun. You know why? Because when speaking about you, I’m not talking TO YOU. So to you I’ll say “Hey, you idiot with the pronoun listing, what’s wrong with your head that you think you can compel my speech.” When talking about you, otoh, I’ll say “That idiot who thinks he can compel my speech.” You might as well put your pronoun as “that idiot” and comply with truth in advertising laws.

No, stupid pronoun declarations and making people obey them is not “just good manners”. It’s actually the poorest of manners, making other people responsible for indulging you. It’s demanding NOT liberty but permissiveness.

In fact, all the idiocy we’re observing is permissiveness. It’s “Oh, poor things. Let’s not punish them.” and then suddenly it’s “Oh, poor things, have virtue because people like them were hurt in the past so we must all encourage them, indulge them and enable them.”

That way lies totalitarianism.

What? Stop looking at me that way. I said what I meant and I meant what I said.

You see, it’s impossible to indulge every micro-minority forever, and making everyone else responsible for making sure the individual is coddled and happy FOREVER! and in every little thing.

Sooner or later, it pushes to far, and suddenly the super-indulged “that idiots” find that society is perfect okay with them being repressed. In fact with them being more repressed than similar people in the past were repressed.

…. and that’s not good, and the society that results is also not good.

So before we go for a ride on the mobius strip, how about we try liberty instead of permissiveness.

I frankly couldn’t care less if you’re both a yellow, wingless dragon and an ornate building, provided you function in day to day society like a normal human being, you’re over 18, and you’re not making anyone else bow to you or tell you how ornate you are. If you choose to dress as a dragon in your own time and place, carry on. And if you spend hours online telling your friends about the crenelations on your soffit? I couldn’t care less. If we have something else in common, we might even be friends.

But whether your particular insanity is that you think society owes you a living so you can ‘work on your art’ or that we’re insufficiently respectful of your sexual attraction to snail-darters, or that we don’t respect your opinion that 2 + 2 should be 459, my answer is “Go be crazy on your own time and place.” You have a right to be as crazy as you want to. You have a right to say all the crazy stuff you want.

You do not have a right to make me pretend to agree with you.

I will not say what you want me to. I will not wear what you want me to. I will not pretend that whatever your latest insanity is is all true. And I will not shut up when you want me to.

I will be responsible for my own actions (which no, don’t include your unlawful reprisals. Those will be returned with interest) and I will not accept responsibility for your actions.

Individual liberty and self-ownership but not one inch of mollycoddling and kowtowing.

American. Do you even speak it? Because I do!

And you need to. Before we loop de loop into totalitarian oppression.

285 thoughts on “Round The Bend

  1. Gavin Newscum made a little speech about the train thieves and had to stop himself and apologize for calling them ‘gangs’

    like gangs are going to be insulted or something

          1. [hat type=”crazy”]

            What you got against dirt roads?


            Hmm. Okay, I’m fine with calling these perps “dirtpersons”.

            1. Nope; that assumes they’re actually sapient, something not in evidence. But “highwayspacewasters” seems too awkward. “Highwaytargets”?

      1. The James Gang, which IIRC robbed trains among other crimes, were white.

        And because of this idiocy, one of my best wholesalers of traditional East Asian goods may well not get my money this year. I am not going to buy several hundreds of dollars of porcelains, wall fans, etc only to have them end up smashed and lying between the tracks because they weren’t easily fenceable electronics.

        1. There’s a couple of neo-pagan biker gangs that are white supremacists, too. (Some of them use celtic crosses, so the Navy had them on the “not allowed” list, or I wouldn’t have heard of it)

        2. because of this idiocy, one of my best wholesalers of traditional East Asian goods may well not get my money this year

          They think just because they shipped it, and charged me, they get to KEEP my money. ROFLOL. There is a reason shipments are tracked. No delivery no money. Well I guess that is between them and my CC. Because I am disputing charge based on not delivered.

    1. Did you notice, the ‘environmentalist’ cleanup group were all using Eeevul plastic bags? And I never saw Herr Fuhrer Newsome actually pick anything up and put it in the bag. Just stood around posing with it.

      Tells me they were all poseurs.

      They blamed the railroad for not guarding the trains. The railroad, and the guards, know what the left-wing bureaucratic poltroons would do to them if they actually DID guard the trains, and take the actions that would be necessary to prevent gangs from looting them.
      It takes a LOT of education to make somebody that stupid.

      1. The railroad security guys are catching gangs and turning them in to the police, and the Soros DA refuses to prosecute. So Union Pacific is planning to reroute around LA, and anywhere else that refuses to prosecute.

        1. Ah, but just turning them over to L.A.’s neutered ‘law enforcement’ is not the necessary action. Beating the hoodlums until they stop looting trains is what’s called for.

          But of course that Soros sock-puppet would prosecute the railroad guards in a heartbeat.
          ‘Progressives’ will do the wrong thing just because the people they hate do the right thing.

          1. Having cars with M2 Ma Deuce at the corners is what’s actually called for, or perhaps having the doors at 20K volts potential with lots of amperage.

        2. Once upon a time the train would have had an armed guard with permission to shoot.

          Routing around sounds like a viable plan. Don’t spend ANY slow time where your cargo can get jumped.

          Speaking of rail anomalies. yesterday on the adjacent track I saw something I’d never seen before: Montana Rail Link boxcars in a BNSF train. Not only that, but covered in inner-city graffiti (that’s another new one). I take this to mean there’s an freightcar shortage and unusual leasing going on.

          1. BNSF just bought Montana Rail Link, too. Not sure if the acquisition has been finalized, yet, but that could be a(nother) reason the MRL cars were there.

              1. I’m still annoyed they corrupted the Warbonnet by making it pumpkin-orange and green, and then got rid of it altogether.

            1. Yes, but there’s ,pre incentive to get “foreign” freight cars off your rails as soon as possible due to per diem charges.

        1. Yep. Nephew lost his job as railroad security when the refund the police stupidity started courtesy of the George Floyd riots.

          I can’t imagine there consequences to those policies.

          1. THIS. When every security guard and employee is specifically told — and has been for 40 years — to “just let the crooks have it because we don’t want to get sued”, I’m truly curious why anyone expected anything else.

    2. Oh, I recognize this insanity!

      I think it first came up about the 90s, but it’s related to that thing where Dems say “poor people” and then act like that means “black” or at least “minority.”

      They basically shifted “gangs” to only apply to visible African ancestry group criminal enterprises– like some sort of black version of Italian Mafias or south-of-the-border Cartels.

      1. Wasn’t it our current WH occupant who said that “poor people are just as smart as white people”? So yeah, that’s the mindset, if “mind” is actually applicable.

    3. Its just another implicit acknowledgement that the Democrats think the criminals and street gangs are the good guys and the law abiding citizenry are the bad guys.

    4. Yeah, this has been around for a while now. Thug is also forbidden, once again because using it is supposedly racist against blacks.

        1. Often black race hustlers, who ignore the fact that “thug life” is a term that’s been popularized by blacks.

  2. I’m old enough to remember the Socialist oppresson (= Leftist for US readers) in the UK after they won the first election after WW2. They really believed that ‘fair shares for all’ as a motto justified keeping our country on various types of food rationing, not because there was much shortage but so that they could stop ‘the rich’ from getting it. They were thrown out at the next election, partly because they even rationed children’s sweets (there was no shortage of those either). Yes, we had to tighten our belts, and we understood the reasons for that. But it went against the grain to see our parliamentary Lords And Masters stuffing themselves at expensive restaurants (no rationing in those havens of the rich) while the rest of us had to be satisfied with what was included in our rations. I still refuse to eat some foods all these years later simply because they were disgustingly bad in those days. Try a nice bit of beef that’s 75% fat, for instance, and yes, I remember it only too well.

        1. And so careful an allegory that he altered one scene to avoid impugning Stalin’s physical courage.

      1. It was, however, probably where he got ‘the chocolate ration will be increased from 30 grams to 20.’ Everyone in Britain who read 1984 knew exactly whom that bit was aimed at.

    1. And today we’re getting photos of the “elites,” in restaurants, without masks, yukking it up, often with masked servers in the background. And people make excuses for them.

      1. And, they’re getting exposure in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy media (AKA Insty)

        Can I have the torch and pitchfork concession? I’ll leave the rope concession to that guy over there.

    2. I don’t remember post-war rationing in England – not being English, of course, and born ten years later, but food rationing was mentioned in just about every contemporary novel written in that time, and it sounded a perfect misery. Honestly, I wonder if that fifteen years of rationing wasn’t where the reputation for English food being perfectly awful came from.
      In the course of research for my last novel, I read all kinds of contemporary articles, insisting that everyone was all the healthier for being on strict rations, but looking at the rations themselves, and at contemporary ration-friendly recipes pushed by the authorities in Britain, and the mention in books set in that time, it certainly doesn’t look like it.
      My, I have become terribly cynical about such pronouncements by “government studies” lately.

      1. A lot of the “comfort” novels are pretty darned plain about how the rationing wasn’t great for kids, or adults either. Plus James Bond’s first novel with all the food porn descriptions of a really normal meal. (In France, where the rationing had been gone for years.)

      2. Also, a lot of mystery novels are very stern about black market eggs or cans of pre-war “hoarded” food, while the comfort novels are “Yup, we farmers never report quite all the food we’re producing, do you think we’re stupid?” And a lot of quiet barter was going on, apparently.

        1. What you needed was friends in Ireland. They would send butter through the post.

          The rule in GB was that anyone with more than 12 (I think) chickens had to turn over the entire output to the ministry. The key, then, was to never have more than 12 chickens.

          After the war, they kept rationing in place. The people were told that the farm output had “gone for export” to pay for the war. Didn’t of course. Went to pay compensation for the nationalized businesses, which was another bit of robbery since the compensation wasn’t; but socialism is just robbery.

              1. Sending packages from America to Ireland went on into the 80’s. You could tell who had family in NY by the clothes they were wearing. For that matter, I might, or might not depending on the statute of limitations, have brought Levi’s to the UK in the early 80’s. Exchanging gifts is always encouraged and what were then $10 US jeans could expect at least £100 as a return gift. I never tried it into the iron curtain but I’m told that was even more lucrative. High return, alas, is usually accompanied by high risk.

                1. Women’s pantyhose, to the Soviet Union, were very popular even in the early 80s. Small, easy to pack a lot of them, and since they do break easily if your stash was found it was just for you – if there was even one woman in the group they were of course in her packs – because you tended to get runs on them all the time… really need all those extra pairs.

                2. The first episode or two of the Romanian communist satire police procedural “Comrade Detective” (set in 80s Bucharest) involves a suspect who is (among other things) causing the local women to go into a frenzy by distributing large quantities of “Jore-dach-ee” (Jordache) blue jeans out of the back of a truck. Given that the series was made by Romanians, I suspect that the reaction by the women isn’t completely far-fetched.

        2. Is that the reason why Enid Blyton’s Famous FIve novels have so many descriptions of what they eat in them? I have this vague memory of several sentences describing what they have inside some picnic basket when they go somewhere, and that they seemed to spend a lot of time sitting and eating on their adventures.

          1. In one of C.S. Lewis’s essays he describes having a reader say to him that they had figured out where there are scenes of feasting in the Narnia books: because they were children’s books, and he couldn’t have sex scenes, so he used food instead. And Lewis commented that no, he wrote about food and feasting because HE enjoyed them.

              1. I write food because I’ve been interested in cooking since I was a sprout. It works its way into my stories, not just in details of meals, but in such things as a tropical fantasy culture notorious for putting citrus in everything, or an extraterrestrial who loves her peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, or the stereotypical fare from the alien analog of McDonalds.

                I do have to remember not to leave out the things that other people think of as food and that I think of as poisonous inedibles masquerading as food.

              2. Many years ago, I came home from a term at college, and went along with my sister when she visited two of her friends. They were both dieting at the time. And they were looking at a magazine that had recipes in it. It struck me that the way they were looking at it was exactly like the way men at college looked at Playboy . . .

        3. I remember the Agatha Christie novels where we would find out that someone had black market contacts, and younger me would assume they were into drugs or weapons of something, and then we would find out that those contacts were being used to get enough butter and eggs so that Grandma could have a cake on her birthday.

    3. To be fair, the immediate post war rationing was due to having to feed Western Germany as well as ourselves, as their economy had been smashed.

  3. I shall be memeing this line in the near future

    The left routinely confuses “permissiveness” with “liberty” and “enabling” with “compassion.”

    If I have a quibble it is that not ALL the left are this confused. The WOKE certainly are and many of the rest of the left get confused about tolerance vs supporting which is a related error. So the quibble isn’t a terribly major one

    1. The Left that are not confused by this are the worst of the lot. They know it, but they actively choose to be monsters either in the hope of getting to the top of the heap, or to maintain their position on it.

  4. Most already know this story, but it bears repeating:

    There is a story, a joke in some ways, an allegory in others, that dates way back. In it, a British Lord travels to the Frontier West, America in the 1800’s. His horse throws a shoe on the trail, so at the first little frontier town he comes to, he finds a blacksmith’s shop to have the shoe replaced. As he rides up, he sees a large, sweaty, filthy man hammering on a piece of red-hot iron. The Lord sits on his horse, waiting to be served, but the blacksmith doesn’t pay him any attention and continues to work his iron. Finally, the Lord, outraged to have been ignored this way by an obvious servant, dismounts, approaches the ‘smith, and taps the man on the shoulder with his riding crop.

    “You, man!” he barks, “Who is your Master! I wish to have a word with him!”

    The blacksmith turns, looks at the Englishman, spits a stream of tobacco juice on the point of the Lord’s boot and says, “That sumbitch ain’t been born.”

    That’s one idea Americans share.

    (Doug again.) As I see it, this means: Ask, and I’ll probably help you as I’m able; demand, and I definitely will not comply.

    1. You remember that intense focus I mentioned a day or so ago?
      Definitely applies to working iron. You have a window to work it in. You need to do it while still hot enough, and you don’t want to have to make too many reheating cycles or it screws up the carbon content.
      The Brit not-so-noble should have known that, and waited until the smith was finished.
      On the other hand, Mr. Smith could have just told him, “Touch me again, and I’ll send you to see my Master.”
      Don’t mess with a blacksmith.
      Really don’t mess with a blacksmith with a hammer in his hand.
      And really, Really, REALLY don’t mess with a blacksmith who’s a woman.

  5. Word to the Wise (Humans), it is OK to “identify” as a dragon but don’t walk into a meeting of Dragons and demand to be treated as a Dragon.

    The last fool who tried that got killed by a Dragon half his size. 😈

      1. No problem as long as you’re polite and don’t claim To Be A Dragon. 😉

  6. Wonderfully put, as always. You know, the only good thing about the current insanity is that, finally, we Conservatives get to be the Rebels!

  7. What bothers me is the “I feel like a woman today” types who have never menustrated or gone through the change from child to woman. So now womanhood is a feeling and “birthing people” is now the biology. WTF. Very insulting to half of the population. I wonder if the aim to this movement is to completely make women invisible or non-existent.

    1. Saw an excellent article written by a butch lesbian who explained, quite clearly, why she would never consider herself a man and why she’s opposed to the whole trans idea.

      1. A lot of lesbians feel very betrayed by the trans activists. Not only are they clear they are not men they are also very clear that they should not feel like they have to have sex with a “transwoman” or else be seen as transphobic or worse.

    2. Yeah. Given the major differences in puberty between males and females, (boy: gain hair and super powers, girls: get risks and unmentionables…) I can also understand how the transgender thing can be appealing to a lot of girls of that age.

      And it frustrates me that they’re being sold varnish as a cure-all, when what they really need is people talking them through how to deal with the changes they’re going to experience, preferably before their systems go in to mass-restructuring.

      1. Take a kid unsure of their sexuality, and then bombard them with messages that (a) that means you MUST be the other gender, (b) don’t believe anyone else who tries to tell you differently, and (c) don’t tell your parents about it because they won’t understand. Now do this 12 hours every day for 18 to 22 years. If you’re lucky, someone might slip up and let you know soon enough.

        1. And it’s “Inconceivable!” and completely unmentionable to be a male or a female who is off on one limb or the other of the bell curve. Like the girl who is a tomgirl. Or the corresponding boy who is something that there are no non-insulting terms to describe. Because being such a person violates the sacred commandments: The group identity is everything; the individual is nothing. And one size must be made to fit all, because that’s what is pleasing to the anointed bureaucrats of Government Almighty.

          1. I was a tomboy. My husband was a quiet, mathematically inclined boy who had no interest in sports (well, I don’t either, but for different reasons) and didn’t get in fights unless forced.
            I ASSURE YOU WE’RE the right sexes, and very hetero. We’re just weird.
            We’re also perfectly matched and very happy.
            I do politics. He largely doesn’t. (And heaven help you if you p*ss him off enough he NOTICES politics.) He knows everyone in the neighborhood and does networking. I am not social enough for that. He likes shopping and can’t understand my method of shopping, which is “run into store, grab first thing, run out in triumph, even if it’s (often) wrong size or color.” Because I hate shopping. He’s the supportive parent, I’m the hard-ass. We do okay, you know? And no, he’s not in any way effeminate. And the only way I can ever be called “masculine” is in having shoulders like a quarterback, a family trait. (Paid for it too, as the boys inherited them but LARGER.) In fact I tend to ping “Everyone’s mom” in strangers’ brains. Now tipping to “universal grandma.”
            Again, both of us know what they’d have done to us in school now…..

              1. The thing is, it didn’t use to be much of an issue to be a tomboy. The entire acceptable spectrum of femininity has been narrowed to the point of madness, unless you’re someone who gets homeschooled and isn’t allowed to view social media. And the same thing for boys.

                I spend a lot of time trying to treat both boys and girls with respect and politeness. I don’t think they get a lot of that.

                1. I’ve often put it as

                  The Victorians of popular imagination would have gone “seriously dude, those gender roles are way too restrictive” at these idiots.

        1. Ok, I’ve got my idiot hat on today: what are they? I’m assuming kids is one of them, but I’m missing the rest.

          Guys I know get the ‘lift and throw busses’ perk, along with the targeting computer. I know we also get ‘structural hierarchy’ by default, though women can cross-spec into that one as well.

          1. Knitting groups of bus-chuckers into a cohesive whole– often with the bus-chuckers not even noticing.

            A way to visualize it would be combat vs support personnel. Anybody who mistakes the flashy of combat for determining the most effective military is in for a very nasty shock.

            1. Interesting. In cannon, she’s, essentially a magic samurai, but (and I’m not the only one to see it) there’s a real dichotomy between the lone honor/obligation driven engine of destruction, and growing things and building networks of friends.

              Since one of her larger arcs involves getting a boyfriend Is already had ideas that there had to be some sort of conflict with an ‘idealized perfect samurai’ version of herself, and that she simply could never be strongest /faster/tougher than that idealized version, but this gives ideas of the shape of how the more balanced version solves it.

              1. Good choice, the “trying to be the absolute perfect Samurai” is a very realistic option for a visibly and obviously sub-optimal character in a role, and it’s one that’s universal to humans.

                If you want to show it being specifically a female conflict, have her thinking about if it will make people take her less seriously exactly because it’s feminine.
                A guy can get away with wearing, say, a Hawaiian shirt with big, pink flowers on it– a gal trying to be taken seriously in a presumed-male group, can’t.
                (A way to show a group is healthy even if it is mostly one sex is to have the members of the obvious sex show signals that they’re the opposite, ie, girl in pink and sparkles, and it doesn’t change the interaction style.)

              2. A lot of samurai stuff is not all about strength; it’s about picking the exact right moment, having speed, thinking fast, etc. And of course, even with the testosterone factor, a lot of those real life famous male samurai warriors were like four foot nine, five foot nothing, etc. (Depending on protein as a kid.)

                So yeah, the perfect samurai had a lot of different kinds of way to be.

                1. I was shocked by the exhibition of Samurai armor at the Met. It looks as though it belonged to little boys.

                  Speaking of technique. Years ago I taught my daughter how to get the bell to ring on those sledge hammer bell things they have at fairs. if you do it properly, you basically just have to drop the hammer. She, all tiny little girl that she was and is, used to wait for some macho guy to show off for his girlfriend, and fail. She’d pick up the hammer and ding!

                  1. I’m presuming you aim to hit as far to the outside edge of the target as possible to get maximum leverage / velocity? Basic physics. Wait, I take that back, now I’m thinking closer to the post with the bell to generate maximum velocity of the weight.

                    So spill, what’s the technique? I’m curious.

                    1. For the most common ones where you’re hitting a lever that strikes the weight it’s right on the outside edge. For the short ones you find at fun fairs you don’t do much more than drop the hammer. If you hit it close to the weight, you’re just bouncing it and won’t get the height. Most people try to hit it really hard and aim for the middle, which never works.

                      I tried to impress the wife with this years ago, but she’s an engineer and don’t impress worth a damn,

                  2. Sometimes armor exhibitions do have a lot of armor made for boys, because boys never get a chance to wear out ceremonial or decorative armor! But yeah, 19th century photography of famous historical samurai can be pretty darned shocking. (Also, some of those guys who were renowned for good looks were… um… not as pretty in real life. Charismatic, I guess.)

        2. Addendum: I’ve been working with a character who is stuck at the crossroads. Because of what she is, she has to behave in a very masculine way, and I’ve been trying to work through the internal conflict that results in.

          It occurs to me, while I’ve been able to touch on difficulties that would arise from someone who really is a girl being obligated to most not be that, I haven’t even considered the other side of that.

            1. The thing is, that while it’s natural for all humans to do a lot of things from both Column A and Column B, there are a lot of female things that are different.

              The urge to move in herds if going somewhere isolated. This hits some girls more strongly than others, for example the extroverts that don’t want to go out unless going with a female friend or a male boyfriend/husband/escorting male.

              The urge not to bend to a hierarchy, especially a female hierarchy, unless you can convince yourself that the people over you are cool and fun, or powerful, or sexy, or otherwise worth emulating and accepting protection from.

              The territorial urge to make places your own and keep other people out, unless they acknowledge your ownership of the territory. I think a lot of party and formal dinner rituals are a form of acknowledging the hostess’ power and supremacy in the area.

              A lot of focus on reproductive health, health of others around one, doing stuff about the ailments whether it helps or not, etc. Especially if people are in the territory and thus belong to you in some sense.

              Making external image and appearance primarily to impress others, especially other women, even and especially though one has no sexual interest in most of those others. This might be a form of assertion of control, almost the same as with one’s territory, but through winning or doing well in an unspoken competition.

              OTOH, actions combined with appearance often assert the power of attraction over men, or at least are designed to force notice being taken. Again, a high status woman often doesn’t plan to collect on this from any man in the place, if her own preferred man is elsewhere; but she is supposed to make points in the unspoken competition.

              There are a lot of connections to the various phases of motherhood, too.

              1. After being married, I feel the need to go in a group for protection. I didn’t have that need before marriage 🙂 so marriage triggered it.

          1. If you can think of specific details that seem liket hey’d make issues for you, this group is an AWESOME resource– most of the women here have been in the Guy group, even though we’d be very weak guys, or we’ve got relatives who went through it and had Issues.

            My mom had to be the best aspects of all of her brothers, to make up for being a gal– but once she proved herself, the guy who’d hired her brothers declared that at her worst, she was as good as them on a good day.

            1. I suppose my biggest problem is I do y’know what I don’t know.

              One thing I do wonder is, are there significant differences in the way men and women bond? I know guys bond mostly over doing shared things. Games, building things, that sort. I know a good chunk of women will do knitting circles, gardening clubs, and similar. Do those fill the same function, or in the same way?

              Going through the Miss Marple stories, I do notice most of them orbit around conversations after tea or dinner. Thinking about my mother’s old quilt group, I recall they talked a lot, but thinking about it, I don’t know how much they talked specifically about quilting during quilt group?

              1. Thinking about my mother’s old quilt group, I recall they talked a lot, but thinking about it, I don’t know how much they talked specifically about quilting during quilt group?

                Oh, good heavens, NO.

                :big grin:

                Doing Things is frequently a reason to spend time together– and anybody who tries to tell you that women aren’t competitive is, ah, dealing with an incomplete sample.

                You know how some gals are catty, and you can’t figure out why anybody puts up with it? It’s the same as how some guys are just obnoxious about their competitiveness– just different fields.

                Women just tend to be a little less overt/physically obvious, as a sort of general rule of thumb. In many circles, it’s rude for people to be able to notice that you’re competing.

                Actually, that works for female type power, too- my godmother basically DID all the stuff my godfather was a figurehead for, and when she passed away the guys he worked with attributed his (quickly recognized and adjusted for) inability to run everything to being devastated by losing her. He was, yeah, but my mom helped that godmother with her stuff when she started getting sick– he couldn’t run anything because he never HAD run all the stuff, he’d just presented the plans that she’d made, and defended them to the hilt. They were happy with it that way, either one of them alone couldn’t do it.

                1. Ok, so by the time they’re doing quilt group, they’re already a circle of friends. Which makes sense, given the limitations on the ability to control territory.

                  So how do women typically form these friend circles then?

                  1. No. If you are a knitter, and you find out there is a group nearby that meets at a time you can attend, you might just decide to go. Or someone you meet might see you in line at a church dinner and admire your hand knit scarf, ask if you did it yourself and invite you to their knit group. And if you enjoy yourself at whatever meetings you attend you may continue going. You may become friends with particular ladies in the group with whom you have a certain bond.
                    My friends are all from church groups, knit groups or other activities I attend.

                    But I cannot in any way say I am a typical female. I had few female friends in school.

                    I actually didn’t really have many friends that were female until I was a grown up married lady. Although that kind of started in high school when I was in Speech and Debate club and school plays. That was the first time I was with people who shared my interests and were not just kids who were my same age and in my class.

                    1. Thank you. I don’t necessarily need normal, just real. 🙂

                      It would be very easy to write characters who are either a dude in a skirt, or a 2D cutout. I’m looking to peel back the layers of what make people what they are and are not, and it seems to me, knowing what both typical and atypical men and women are can only help make characters who are more real, and actually mean something to the reader.

                      I lean towards the Aristotle view of art: it’s about experiencing things at a safe distance. Even if the story is about activates dueling on zero-g plasma dragons, it feels like the people need to be right.

                  2. :building on SusanM’s explanation:

                    Formation, if there is no existing social group or unity– which I’m guessing is more common for a story where you’re going “how do I make this thing start up?” — is normal friendship formation of one person goes “hey, you wanna go do X?” to another, and more are pulled in by shared association or family ties.

                    Women are probably more likely to do social type “come in and eat!” type recruitment, a very nice lady at our church does that just because she likes to socialize. Basically, she misses her grandkids, her husband is former military, my husband is former military, we can all keep company in an enjoyable manner.

                    There’s also the Good Deed type recruitment, IE, that person looks lonely, I have an excuse, time to go do benevolent bullying.
                    (Guy in my shop picked up my tray on the first day on the ship and hauled it over to where the Geek Group, because he knew I’d get along well and also that I would absolutely not do it on my own.)

                    A more feminine form of that would be the “you’re coming to X, of course, aren’t you?” type presumption-question.

                    Both sexes seem to have room for the “Hey, we need X, could you come help?” where the favor being asked is basically an excuse to socialize.

                    1. I think I see. The groups will form in similarish ways. Either they’ll seek out a group to socialize with via doing things, or someone will poke them into going out and doing things for social needs.

                      The main difference is likely that mostly guy groups will be more intensely focused on the thing at hand, while women’s groups will be more likely to be multi-tracking, i.e. doing one sort of thing while talking about the rest of life.

                      Is that a reasonable summary?

                    2. :nod:

                      Along with the tendency for the activities to be things that need a whole group mostly-focusing on, or that you can multi-task when doing. (This also allows gals to either show off, by working on something that nobody else can do– and there’s a LOT of ways to do that in sewing!– or to include someone who can’t sew a stitch but will be “working on” some other thing.)

                      Guy activities that don’t require everyone to be mostly focused tend to involve drinking and/or singing. 😀

                    3. Caveat:
                      A funny thing about women, is they’d rather be right than happy.
                      A lot of female friendship draws from this.
                      Obviously, there’s the “I told him so” validation aspect.
                      But there’s also a mitigation aspect. The impulse can become toxic and destructive to the woman and her loved ones, and female friends seem to do a lot to keep this tendency in check.

                    4. This is a thing to be greatly desired in the person picking the plant-stuff for everyone’s dinner.

                      The best way to knap a point matters, but isn’t as immediately fatal as “oops, those ARE poisonous berries.”

                    5. Judith Brown noted back in the 1970s that in pre industrial communities, everyone must contribute to the community’s survival. But since only women can give birth – and breast feed- they must contribute in ways that are compatible with child watching. She came up with four requirements: the work doesn’t require intense concentration and is relatively dull and repetitive, it is easily interruptible and easily resumed after the interruption, it’s fairly safe for children to be around, and it doesn’t require travel.
                      Textile work fits the requirements, and it’s also easier to do in a group. So women’s craft groups go back a long, long way. (And she did note the competitive aspect, too).
                      See Elizabeth Wayland Barber’s “Women’s Work, the First 20,000 Years,” for a very readable summary. (If you can find her, “Prehistoric Textiles,” it goes into a lot more detail).

              2. Ooh!

                Biggest difference between male and female bonding.

                If guys go so far as to be openly fighting about Who Is In Charge, many cultures have an option for losing but still being friends/equals.

                If gals go so far as to be openly fighting, there are relatively few options that are not total destruction.

                It is a much bigger deal for a female to be publicly defeated and go on to be treated as an equal.
                I would guess related to if girls are fighting, things are already ugly considerations.

                Most of the options I can think with girls of boil down to everybody agreeing to pretend like nothing happened.

                There are, of course, exceptions– because we’re humans. This group is likely to have a LOT more of the exceptions because we have so many Odds, and there’s … well, looking at my family alone, there’s at least three different “cultures” of dealing with it. And the 4th grandparent was a male only child…..

                1. The problem is that one of the rules is to pretend there are no rules, you’re just floating around naturally being your super-feminine yet dynamic self.

                  Emily Post and Miss Manners are great for saying the unsaid, plainly.

                  1. :nods:

                    Part of the thing with it being so rude to point out that someone is being rude– you’re actually pointing at all the working bits, which means it’s quite close to physical violence.

                    Someone that you can actually *talk to*, frankly, about this stuff– that’s a really high level of trust, or a special situation.

                    Another Girl Thing, honestly– shaking out what the protocols are, in a way that the strings don’t show.

                2. I saw the weird dynamic work out once. This twit kept trying to pick a fight with my sister, week after week. My sister finally backed off and decked her. She lands on her rump, starts crying, and after that told everyone that she and my sister were best friends. They were both adults at the time, mind you.

              3. Men insult one another, women don’t deal as well with that. I’ve “counseled” a number of women entering male dominated fields and told them that the men insulting you is a sign you’ve been accepted. Most of its just talking trash and you have to give as good as you get, though I think a woman’s optimal delivery method might be different. A women on e.g., a trading floor who can’t deal with cursing simply won’t last very long, but it might be best that she not curse as much. It takes judgement and give and take. At the end of the day if you’re not pulling your weight they’ll get rid of you since by far the largest bonus contributor is the group’s result.

              4. Sadly women groups can easily go vicious. There is a need to be a “queen bee” if you are in an all female group. I prefer mixed groups or male groups. I’ve worked with mainly male groups when I was working.

                1. Use to be, that was prevented by strong female leaders keeping the group healthy.

                  These days? If it’s healthy, it’s usually got at least one guy, and he’s not serving just one person. (I’ve seen Turned groups that had guys in them, but you could see that those guys definitely served That Gal. Similar but not the same as when there’s a toxic male leader.)

                  1. Plus there are so many weak women now that they have turned into mobs who take down strong women– and think they are doing themselves a service.

                    1. That “get others to bully for you” thing– they can do that in part because strong, healthy women leave rather than put up with it; but even a very strong woman can’t beat an entire mob.

                      I think that’s why they’re so fixated on breaking people, especially women. Broken people are easier to use, weaker.

      2. From outside– and from having so many pregnancies and relatively minor pregnancy brain, so I’ve had a CHANCE to see the difference in hormones– it looks like a big chunk of the difference between men and women is that when a guy hits puberty, it ramps up to OVER NINE THOUSAND!

        Women get a ramp up, yes, but it’s nowhere near as far– the difference is, there’s at least four different hormones for the basic monthly cycle. And functional operation is possible at a wide range of different statuses.

        We don’t have the first clue how to manage to fake the female hormone cycle (hormonal birth control is basically hitting it with various sized hammers, you can guess the rest of my rant from that description) but we do have samples of women who have had to take steroids for other health issues, and how frequently they’ll be utterly shocked by the sudden HUGE rev-up of stuff that guys describe as a matter of course in going through puberty, even at relatively low levels.

        Which actually plays rather well with the archetype of the sexes- guys are simple, but overpowering; women are subtle, and very complicated. Massively over-simplified? Well, of course! But it can be useful for understanding.

            1. Without exercising so much as to cause the stoppage of women’s cycles, most women who exercise a fair amount (especially walking, which exercises your back muscles too) do not have as much trouble with PMS, menstrual pain, etc. (Some women have more trouble if they drink a lot of caffeine, some women find caffeine helps it.)

              Women in their first years of menstruation often have uneven cycles, but after that they usually smoothe out to almost always the same (absent stress, illness, starvation, etc.). But it won’t be the same as other women, usually, unless a whole bunch of women live together. (And even then, smell synchronization doesn’t always work for everyone.)

              There are obviously things that can mess stuff up, like UTI’s, endometriosis, and other diseases. But a young athletic woman who’s not overworking, and doesn’t have an illness or gynecological condition, should not be too incommoded by her cycles. Swordwork is good exercise for the back and core, and so is archery.

              1. Weird diet stuff can cause a problem, too– my sister’s cycles got better when she went low carb, I just got sick. Post-pregnancy can trigger a chance in cycle-related pain, too.

                There’s apparently still some arguing on the synchronized thing because the original studies were done on college age women…and the colleges were handing out The Pill, with a lot of women starting theirs on roughly the same day.
                (For those not familiar– that would basically force the cycle into the same format for all those taking it.)

                My money would be on it existing, but not being anywhere near as common as reported, likely with the added complication that it’s more common if there’s only unrelated post-puberty males around. That’s known to be associated with early puberty, and it would explain why the syncing effect isn’t well-known from every household with at least two daughters.

                1. It would actually explain a lot if it were a sort of desperation move for primate groups (“lots of females, not lots of guys, sync up so everybody sits down on the same days!”).

                  I have heard contradictory anecdotal stories about convents. I don’t think it would show up in accounts or anything, because convents tended to buy or acquire supplies in lumps, whenever they could, or at regular intervals if that was how the suppliers/donors delivered.

                2. I’ve synchronized with friends I talked to on AIM every day. For sure picking up signals, because we matched exactly. I think it’s psychological and picks up psychological signals.

            2. It’s now been a bit over 6 years since I had menopause, and I have to say I like this. It’s much nicer to just be without the monthly fluctuations in mood and so on – of course also not having to worry about the actual surprising you when it started when you had not exactly expected it to yet is quite relaxing in its way.

              1. Finding out that I could actually *track* my temperature and have a good idea of when I’m more likely to tear up over, say, sappy commercials was an incredible thing– just a matter of using this silly bluetooth thermometer when I wake up each morning, and it tracks the “stuff” for me, and I could have a reasonably good idea when I’d be super emotional based on when it happened last time.
                (Another thing that isn’t standard across women!)

                1. I was trying that for a bit, but… all the instructions said you’d have too much noise in the readings if you didn’t do it at the same time every day and with at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep first.

                  1. :waggles hand: It’s *best* if you do it at the same time, and uninterrupted 6+ hours of sleep, but… I’m a mom. I frequently do not get that much sleep, and if I can sleep in I am unlikely to wake up for it. (although the bongomi one I got will beep at the time you set, so I’ve done measurements when I do not remember doing)

                    Still gave a good enough basis to recognize patterns, including that during the summer the week before my cycle I tend to not sleep more than 4, 5 hours a night. Just wake up and stare at the ceiling about 4 AM.

        1. We go though crazy cycles. My late hubby truly believed that so he gave me a lot of room during certain parts of my cycle. And we don’t know we are crazy lol

          1. I think that’s where the “women talk about feelings” thing gets its utility– if you can’t check yourself with a trusted source, it’s easy to spin off.
            …it’s also why gaslighting works better on women.

      1. Biological women are inconvenient.

        We keep not doing what the script in their head says we should, and the bullying techniques aren’t working so well anymore– in the 70s and 80s, you could usually silence folks enough that they didn’t know they weren’t alone.

        Now? There’s a LOT of hurt gals who believed the being-used-is-empowering nonsense, and they know they’re not alone.

        So… enable more abusive males, to get those women in line.

        As evidence to support the thug-attitude, look at what they say to the gals who are D when they don’t act all obedient to The Party. Same one, going all the way back to “a woman’s place in the movement is on her back” type nonsense.

        1. Oh yes. I was skimming some novel-jackets by a gal who started in Paranormal Romance. Oh dear gads, the stuff she’s doing now *shudder* “If I let him hurt me, it shows that we love each other.” Society mirroring that sort of thing is . . . I’ll just say Not Healthy At All.

        2. That tracks with what I’ve seen in certain series of Paranormal Romance novels. “He can be rough/abuse me and it’s wonderful because I’m saving his life by letting him use me!” Ugh, erk, blargh, burn it with FIRE, then nuke it from orbit.

  8. Ayn Rand wrote about this sort of thing in “Extremism, or the Art of Smearing,” where she called it an “anti-concept”:

    It consists of creating an artificial, unnecessary, and (rationally) unusable term, designed to replace and obliterate some legitimate concepts—a term which sounds like a concept, but stands for a “package-deal” of disparate, incongruous, contradictory elements taken out of any logical conceptual order or context, a “package-deal” whose (approximately) defining characteristic is always a non-essential.

  9. I mentioned this on my blog… But I read Joan Didion’s essay “Slouching towards Bethlehem” about the Summer of Love, Haight-Ashbury stuff. And even making allowances, it was a horror show so bad that sf/f comedy guy Chester Anderson became a crusading journalist/zineist, when he just went there to take drugs and chase guys.

    I found this Diggers oral history site claiming that Joan Didion was totally lying about the Diggers, and then recounting histories even worse than what ahe had said. So.

    And this is what they want for us, except worse.

    But the thing was, they kept wanting Didion to give her approval, to take all the same drugs, to sleep around the same ways, and to be taken advantage of in the precise ways desired. They did not want any pushback or alternate ideas. Freedom for me but not for thee. And it is totally okay for your ‘friends’ to make decisions for you without asking consent, as long as they have higher status or can get away with it.


      1. There was an English group in late medieval/early modern times called the Diggers or the Levellers, who had the catchy slogan “When Adam delved and Eve span/Who was then the gentleman?” They got farther than you’d think before the movement got suppressed, especially considering their idea was to take over the commons lands for their own totally free farms, starving everybody else’s livestock. Yay.

        There was a Sixties group called the Diggers who got money off the Quakers and other church groups, and supposedly were all about medical care and promoting nonviolence. It turned out that a lot of their leaders were trying to promote mass hippie violence and a race war, and one of their leaders actually was an evil mime who did “street theater,” where they beat black people up in a supposedly wacky and consciousness-raising way. Plus there was a lot of other unsavory stuff going on, along with trying to use Quaker money to buy guns and manufacture bombs. They have an online oral history transcript site, and seriously these people were not living anybody’s best life. Ugh.

        The Bordertown fantasy anthologies had a Digger group that was supposedly providing free medical care and a soup kitchen to all the homeless elf-loving magical flowerchildren, but…. yeah.

        1. I read a book about the 60s where the author had interviewed a Digger who thought there should be people who provided for others because it was just their bag.

    1. I’m reminded of the made-for-TV movie, “Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring” (1971).

      (bad VHS capture also floating around on the Toob of Ewe)

      That depiction intersecting with previously-noted anomalies was what gave teenage-me a jaundiced view of the hippie movement, which I retain to this day.

  10. Sarah, I had a similar experience to your paper with one of my answers on my medical soc prelim in grad school, where we were asked to discuss the relationship between SES and health status. I DID discuss the Marxist model, but also an alternate model (with empirical evidence) where the relationship was confounded by the fact that socialization and social capital produce both improved SES AND better health status through reduction of behavioral risk factors. The professor grading it passed me on the answer, but with the counterpart of a C grade and criticism for discussing the second model – which undermines the simplistic Marxist model she taught and much of the public health community buys into.

  11. “…almost failed economics by spending three pages explaining to the idiot teacher (he really was) in detail how an excess of individual liberty…”

    Partly due to academic hierarchy as well as stupidity. Especially in the soft, pseudo. sciences. A pedant rises to the top of his field, rests on his laurels allowing no dispute as such would lessen his glory. Often back in the day, one had to await the death of such greats before a sea change could occur.

    In the -50s at U of F, Gainesville, I had my geology grade drop from a high B to a low D for questioning diastrophism and querying the possibility of continental drift. Diastrophism, basically the idea that the same forces shaping the world today, wind, water, dust, erosion, etc., has shaped the world, geologists has based their whole reputations on such and the idea of continents drifting, floating around was just plain crazy! That whole generation of geologist pretty much had to die off before continental drift became the accepted theory.

    1. I did my high school senior research paper on continental drift in 1978. I got a C- for a “Very well written paper that you obviously worked hard on but this topic is ridiculous. I have never heard of such a thing.”

      If she would have read my very copious citations other than to check that they were correctly formatted, she would have known all about it. Not a single red mark in the entire paper, but a C- because had zero knowledge of the subject and she last attended science class about the time they discovered the earth was a sphere.

      No I’m not still bitter. Why do you ask?

      1. Could be worse. You could have done a paper on the Chicxulub asteroid impact.
        Some folks, you send ’em to college and all you get is an educated idiot.

      2. !978? Good heavens, I got to uni in 1981 as a geology major, and continental drift was what we were taught! That teacher hadn’t obviously read any new research for a few decades… talk about being behind times, that’s, JEEZ!

  12. Our friend, Ray Carter, told me when Cali passed Prop 8, then overturned it in court, that was the end of the gay/lesbian movement. They would be kicked to the curb to go on to the ‘next’ set of outliers, he was 50-50 on whether it would be trans, pedos, or NAMBLA. He was pissed that they didn’t let well enough alone with ‘civil marriage’, saying that should have good enough for everybody concerned.

    1. I miss Ray. He was eminently sane.
      And yes. Civil Marriage is ALL the state can bestow, anyway.
      Some churches like UU will marry gays. That’s fine. As long as they’re not FORCED to.

  13. I never got the individual pronoun thing – because the main point of pronouns is to refer to someone (or group thereof) without using (or even knowing) their name(s). I’m bad enough at remembering names already, I won’t clutter up that part of my brain space trying to remember some other random thing about you to use when I can’t remember your name already!.

      1. Or #DumbA$$ if need to be more polite. That is if I acknowledge you at all. After All I Do Not Remember Your Name so how can I know you?

        I’m horrible with names. You expect me to remember preferred pronoun too? Not Happening.

        I am someone who keeps a list of my coworkers, or other group member, names handy. Don’t need pictures with a name list handy I can remember which name goes with which face. But give me just the person without the names? I can, not always, but can draw a blank after YEARS, let alone months, weeks, or days. Eventually it fades away and I can rattle off the names. But it takes a long dang time! Neither my parents, nor my sisters, let alone my husband and son, have this problem.

        Not entirely alone. At least in the Dog Agility Classes I take. Everyone remembers the dogs’ names, but not people names. Then too we are introduced by our name as we come into the class and as someone new is added to the class, not often. Dogs names get used Every Class by their handler. There are exceptions, naturally. I’m not one of them.

      And mind you, people tend to refer to me as HE if they’re not looking directly at me. Which is baffling, particularly when I was young, pretty and wearing dresses.
      Was I horribly offended? Mostly baffled and amused.

    2. Small rant:

      “Singular ‘they’ goes back to Shakespeare, what are you complaining about, h8r?”

      Sigh. In Standard English, singular “they” is only used if the identity or gender of the person is nonspecific or unknown or to be concealed. Compare:

      • If someone walks down that sidewalk, they will fall in that hole.
      • If Bob walks down that sidewalk, he will fall in that hole.

      • Every student needs to turn in their paper tomorrow.
      • Bob needs to turn in his paper tomorrow, everyone else gets an extra day.

      • My source for this information is Bob. He told me the President is a moron.
      • My source for this information wishes to remain anonymous. They told me the President is a moron.

      Singular “they” is never used when speaking about a specific known person.

      So go ahead and change the grammar of the language if you can, but don’t gaslight me that it’s always been like that.

      1. In Standard English, singular “they” is only used if the identity or gender of the person is nonspecific or unknown or to be concealed.

        Have had to bite my tongue a *lot* to avoid being Cranky about people who go out of their way to throw a freaking fit about those long-existing examples.

          1. (For individuals, I have a strong desire to treat demanding to be called ‘they’ with the same treatment as the royal we. “You got a mouse in your pocket?”)

              1. Thus far, I’ve been saved by the individual folks doing the want-to-be-called-they thing being… well, pathetic. Pity-worthy. Like that thing about the lizard who desperately needed to care about his ancestors being great dinosaurs.

                No assurances if a bully-type starts in on me.

          2. Dang it, now I have a freakin’ SKIT running through my head.

            “Who broke in?”
            “No idea, but they-”
            “He or she!”
            “HE or SHE, there is no singular they!”
            “Fine, wahtever, he or she-”
            *third party walks in from off stage*
            “He! In English, HE is the inclusive singular!”
            “…. you know what, F this. Anyways, whoever broke in, THEY are COMPLETELY UNKNOWN IN SEX OR NUMBER, now pull your head out of your–” [long line of sailor type language here]

        1. Yes, exactly. This is not complicated until people with nothing better to do make it so.

        2. Can I get you to approve a comment with a different user name, which I posted a few minutes ago? I’d rather not use my actual name in the future. Thanks.

  14. Yeah, I agree with what others have said about pronouns. I’m not around when you’re talking about me…how can I be insulted by the pronoun you use? Unless of course some little weasel comes running along to be a tattle-tale about you. Which takes us back to school yard bullies and teacher’s pets in junior high.

    I do wish that people understood the difference between liberty and permissiveness. I know there is a tendency to go along with permissiveness in order to appear polite or whatever. But it’s a lot like the previous guidance on being a passenger on a hijacked plane: go along with the highjackers and you’ll get out alive. 9/11 changed that. So, what is it going to take to stop the polite ones from going along with the permissiveness rather than the liberty/personal responsibility side of things?

    1. Good analogy. They’ve hijacked our culture, and it’s reached the point where going along is the suicidal option. So, how do we make resistance the new default?

      As to pronouns, if I’m talking TO someone and they want to be addressed as something other than “you” — their pronoun should immediately become “you idiot”, because obviously they don’t grok ordinary English grammar.

      1. A young man from Texas is admitted to Harvard. And on his first day there, walking across campus, he stops an older young man and asks, “Scuse me, where’s the library at?”
        The older student replies, “At Harvard, we do not end sentences with prepositions.”
        And the Texan says, “Scuse me, where’s the library at, asshole?”

    2. Akshully, calling men “women” or “girls” is an age-old insult. Which makes it peculiar that the m2f trans outnumber the f2m trans by so much.

      Eric Raymond had a post some time back “Your identity is not your choice.

      You can’t base “identity” on a person’s private self-beliefs and expect sane behavior to emerge any more than you can invite everyone to speak private languages and expect communication to happen.

      And haring off on a tangent, the authorities/wannabe elites are still in deep mourning over the death of the old guidance on being a passenger on a hijacked plane. They would rather eat ground glass than admit that sometimes the right thing is for ordinary passengers to rise up and apply violence to the hijacker. Thus the strangeness of TSA procedures: Their primary purpose is to suppress the will and the ability of passengers to resist hijackers – to prevent another Flight 93 – because the authorities see a successful hijacking as the lesser crime and self-defense as the greater one.

      1. I think a lot of that is that Our Betters™ consider the public to be a racist lynch mob on a hair trigger, so if they say that Flight 93 behavior is okay, then passengers will go around beating up dusky-skinned people on every flight.

  15. The left routinely confuses “permissiveness” with “liberty” and “enabling” with “compassion.”

    And think they’re clever when they justify abusive behavior on their part as “consequences.”

    No, YOU being angry and lashing out is not a ‘consequence’ of an action. It is a choice on your part; your emotions are not a natural law.

    1. I figured someone would beat me to that observation even if I wasn’t in the middle of days late blog and comments catch-up. =P But yeah, this.

  16. OT…the IRS has a huge backlog of unprocessed tax returns from last year. They’re crying budget and staffing shortfalls. Meanwhile, they’re begging people to file early and electronically.

    1. Just today they sent me a notice that they got the 2020 tax payment but ‘have not received your tax return for the year shown above’.

      I’m going to tell them it was in the same envelope, WRAPPED AROUND the check. If they lost it, not my fault.
      There is nothing so simple the government can’t fuck it up.

      1. “Silly citizen. It’s always your fault.” Seriously, I hope you kept copies, because they’ll probably ask you to re-submit.

      2. When we were paying. Granted Feds we electronically file, so payment was just check attached to paper printed by program. But state filing the answer is “Check was stapled to Form”. Now that they can pull directly from account, they have to have had the filing to get the account information … Good luck justifying how they could pull the money without the filing. Yes. We’d definitely have copies. PDF versions that can be printed. But still.

        1. They finally allowed as how even electronic filers didn’t have to submit facial recognition stuff, probably because all the tax prep companies screamed. They submit everybody’s stuff electronically; and a lot of their clients don’t even have Internet, much less smartphones and webcams.

        2. I considered that one year. After a bit, I decided the $50 for tax filing software and the two hours to click through all the questions was a better deal than banging my head against the paper forms for 8.

          1. We’ve used a tax program for almost 3 decades. Even when we still snail mail filing. Printed version was easier than getting a non-white out hand filled in version. Feds we file electronically, because it is free with the program. Should be filing soon as all the needed forms are in, as we get money back (would rather pay than get refund, but can’t get percentages down low enough on the few that pay as we pull the money, and we do not want to do quarterly estimates). Would rather refile again if we oops because we left something out (2020). STATE gets snail mailed in, even with a big refund. Refuse to pay them to file electronically or do their work for them. Make filing free and we will electronically file. Do not tell me how “hard it is”. I know exactly how hard it isn’t.

        3. You can go directly to But they’ll charge $25, too.
          On the other hand, if you’re getting a refund it may be next year before you get the check. Not being sarcastic, they’re saying they have that sort of backlog. And yes, of course if you owe them they expect your check to be in that paper copy and they will promptly cash it.

    2. Hmmmm…. no, I don’t think so. I’m going to wait until the last minute and file on paper.

      I don’t see any reason to pay early, and am having a bit of trouble finding a reason to pay at all.

    3. Also, what happened to those extra 87,000 IRS agent they are going to hire?

      Maybe the IRS should investigate where the money for that went.

  17. One of the only ways ‘Socialism’ touches ‘Libertarianism’ in a circle is through Authoritarianism. Although I’m not sure if summarizing the above as Libertarianism is correct, there is probably a better word 🙂

    The path of corporate osmosis & monopoly control combined with corporate influence on government regulation can be as authoritarian as any state-run top-down control scheme. See work ‘vaccine mandates’ for corporate authoritarianism in action.

    1. You don’t have the SLIGHTEST idea what libertarianism is, right?
      A) Corporatism is fascism, not libertarianism.
      B) Monopolies are ALWAYS de facto government caused.

      1. Sarah, my experience with “Libertarians” puts me in mind of this RAH:
        “Most self-described “pacifists” are not pacific; they simply assume false colors. When the wind changes, they hoist the Jolly Roger.”

        Similarly, most “Libertarians” are just fine with government force, so long as it is employed against those people and things they find icky.

        1. Eh. Not any I’ve met. They’re utopianist and silly (capital L) but not at all authoritarian.
          In fact this is why Libertarians become libertarians. Or if you prefer OWLS

          1. Liberal-tarians are a thing– I’m now not sure how much of that is imported-from-Europe nonsense, and how much of it is “hey, this is different, I’ll use the word to mean whatever I want because I am New and Cool!”

          2. There’s also something in the water of the Libertarian Party (as differentiated from the broader pool of libertarians), at least locally, that seems to take otherwise sane people and make them nutty. Watched it happen to a few friends. Went from sane to absolutely nuts. One went ‘you must let them do whatever they want because you have no right to interfere with them, yes this means you must let them kill you.’ nuts. The other most egregious case went the opposite way: any interferences, ANY was valid cause for utter destruction of the interferer.

            No I have no idea why. Other than they were angry. And the angry won.

            1. The Libertarian Party. at least the national party, lost its way (and its mind) in ’06 in Portland. I was there; I watched it happen. It got taken over by a bunch of neo-cons who proceeded to gut the platform and nominate Bob Barr (Former drug czar Bob Barr? AYFKM?) for President.

              Folks can call themselves Libertarians without understanding the principles of libertarianism.

              1. *shrugs* If we were only talking about people who were in the Libertarian party when I met them, I’d chalk it up just to that… but several people I knew, otherwise sane people who YES would meet the normal non-crazy definitions of a libertarian, joined and a switch flipped in their brain and they went crazy. Before joining sane. After joining bug nuts. Within weeks. Two days in one case.

      2. B) Monopolies are ALWAYS de facto government caused.

        Quibble: sometimes monopolies (or near enough as to make no difference) do happen in a free market. The catch is that they are self-destroying in a matter of 10-20 years.

        1. Oh yes. Because the original monopolist will get lazy, and someone hungrier will say, “Hey, I bet we can improve $THING if we do this, and this, and make it less expensive, too!” And by-by monopoly . . . unless the government wades in.

          1. Or, ‘Hey, here’s this other thing that does thus and so and makes old thing obsolete.’

          2. Scratch a little deeper: ask why the original monopolist is the only one making $THING in the first place. Most often it is because of a patent, which is a monopoly legally conferred by a governent.
            A further distinguo: It’s seldom a matter of the original monopolist getting lazy; it is that other people have brains, too, and the Gods of Crazy Inventions have not given all their ideas to one man. That kind of monopoly doesn’t exist at all.

            1. “Most often it is because of a patent, which is a monopoly legally conferred by a government.”

              And if you want to really gut innovation, eliminate the patent. Half or more of the cost of a new product is the R&D required to come up with it, and remove the risk of “can this be done”.

              Note that this is particularly true in the age of 3D printing. I just had a dental implant made; in the 5 years since I last had one, the dentist didn’t even use impression material, just did a detailed scan of my mouth to feed into a 3D printer. Anything can theoretically be duplicated physically that way; intellectual property is all that’s really left.

              1. I don’t know, I’m getting a little P*ssy at stuff like not prescribing ivermectin and creating I-can’t-believe-it’s-not Ivermectin still under patent and costing the Earth.

                1. Well, Sarah, it’s really like everything else: can you live in society with people who are actively anti-social? I know my answer.

              2. I have it exactly backwards; the greatest single inhibitor of innovation we have is the patent system, and this has been true since the very beginnings of the industrial revolution.

                The pattern is: someone invents something, patents it, and then all development in that legal regime halts for 20 years. Then when the patent expires there is an mysterious explosion in adoption and innovation.

                1. It’s not patents, it’s the way they’re being abused. Patents are supposed to be for ‘this specific widget which does foo’ along with complete specifications on how to build the widget, and proof that it works. For a long time now, patents have been granted for ‘any widget which could do foo’ and no evidence is required that the ‘inventor’ has built the widget, or come up with a viable design, or even knows how such a widget might work.

                  These days, ‘inventors’ submit a problem and are granted a patent on every means of solving that problem, without ever having solved it themselves. That’s the worst failure.

                  Don’t even get me started on ‘software patents’.

                  Simon Illyan: “Do you know all those old folk tales where the Count tries to get rid of his only daughter’s unsuitable suitor by giving him three impossible tasks?”

                  Ekaterin: “Yes…”

                  Simon: “Don’t ever try that with Miles. Just……don’t.”

                  1. The development of steam engine technology halted for the duration of the initial patents.

                    Development of heavier than air flight looked like it might move from France to America, and then was stopped cold in this country by the Wright Brothers once they succeeded.

                    Even the 3D printers that snelson mentions were on the cusp where they could have started getting iterative hobbyist development in the 80s, and were stopped cold until the patents expired. Even today you can pretty much measure when a “new” advance will start appearing by what patent covers it.

                    If you go back any farther you are in the territory where a patent wasn’t the “promotion of the arts and sciences” we think of, but a particular privilege granted by the king.

                    If it’s just that the system is getting abused, point to the era when it wasn’t

                    The argument that “inventors need money” ignores the realities of technological development and first mover advantages.

                    1. Why are new drugs developed in the US? Because in any other country someone will make the generic without paying for R&D, testing, etc.

                    2. You could not have chosen a worse example for your point.

                      Lots of “new” drugs are an old drug the patent expired on with an extra molecule glued to it.

                      And a huge swath of treatments don’t get developed into something usable because they are too cheap to be worth climbing the Olympus Mons known as the FDA.

                    3. Says you. Many others have stuck their hands in the “no patents” (or no copyrights; same species) buzz saw and pulled back a nub; hopefully we aren’t that stupid.

                    4. The inventors never end up getting the money anyway. The rights to the patent are pretty much always stolen by the corporation that barely tolerates the inventor’s existence. My grandfather has a few patents on the wall at home, some of them very important to the companies he worked for while developing them, on his own time, in his basement. He was paid $1 for every one of them so that “consideration was rendered”.

                      The Chinese eat our lunch in part because they ignore our patent system. But seeing what it has done to us as a civilization, they may have the only sane attitude towards “intellectual property”.

    2. One way socialism touches libertarianism is by really STUPID definitions of both, coined by your insane high school teachers and some doods on the net. (Rolls eyes.)

          1. Guns are a good tell for the difference between actual libertarians and leftists wearing libertarian skin-suits. The skin-suit wearers will hem and haw if you ask them about gun rights. The live libertarians will have extreme pro-gun positions.

    1. Because he thinks that CORPORATISM is libertarianism. It’s a weird delusion and probably needs Thorazine. Or duct-tape on his fingers, before he types such stupid things.
      Seriously. I’d like authoritarianism to stop getting handsy…. 😀

  18. “Politics is a circle” is an attempt to handwave as superficial the obvious similarities between international socialism and national socialism, in support of the Big Lie (the biggest of the 20th century) that international and national socialism are completely totally absolutely 100% entirely the opposite of each other.

    1. National (German/Italian) and International (Russian) Socialism are not opposite; they’re the Bloods and the Crips dueling over turf.

    2. I’d say it’s an attempt to claim that communism, fascism and the “democratic” welfare states we have now are the only practical alternatives, so the idea that governments should have limited powers can’t even get a hearing. It’s the progressive version of the fascists’ claim that progressives were the same as communists, and the communists’ claim that progressives were the same as fascists – “We’re the Good version of socialism, the other two are the Bad version, take us!”

    3. I read somewhere that this “They’re the opposite of us” nutwaddery was promulgated by the German communists who were trying to usurp the German national socialists.

  19. “the extremes of political systems touch. Politics is a circle.”

    Mostly this is a way to avoid noticing that Stalin was wrong, Nazism was leftwing.

    1. Always remember, according to Stalin, Trotsky was a right-wing extremist. ‘Trotsky-Fascist’ was an approved term of abuse in the Communist Party.

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