Positioned for Success

All right. I’ve had just about enough of this nonsense.

Yes, the title is a dig at our alleged VP, one that Ace of Spades loves to make. It appears every time she fails — I knew someone who worked for her for a while. They don’t know if she’s stupid or lazy, but apparently her modus operandi is to sit in her office and browse for shoes, while people do her work for her — the journalists go on about how some male “failed to position her for success.”

If it were only her, though, I would grit my teeth and go on, which honestly is all I’m doing under this destructive mal-administration. (If they don’t get us nuked, it wasn’t for lack of trying.)

But I was reading Austen fanfic, and I realize this is a generational problem, starting with X probably and really horribly bad in my kids’ generation. Women really expect to be “positioned for success.” And if they fail it’s some man’s fault.

This Austen fanfic was exemplary of this, and I read it with awe and horror, in the same spirit one would watch a train wreck, disgusted and shocked but afraid to look away.

Look, the central conceit of Pride and Prejudice, if you haven’t read it, is that both the parents were objectionable, and the young ladies were cast upon the world with no a feather to fly with. This falls broadly under “author being an *sshole to characters, because it makes the story more interesting and their triumph greater.”

Mr. Bennet, the family father, is probably a raging introvert. He hides in his office and reads great works, emerges to make sarcastic comments, and finds “felicity in marriage” in an unusual way. This is because his wife is vulgar (she is a merchant’s daughter. In this case “Vulgar” is a term of art meaning “she never learned the complex interactions of the upper class”) and frankly dumb as a post. (Beyond being vulgar she doesn’t understand a lot of the interactions between people, pretty much anything people say that is even slightly involved or…. really anything. She is credited with the ability to set a good table (no mean feat at the time) but in no way intellectual.

Now this rings absolutely true. And milder than it might have been. I know many a brilliant man who, for reasons of being young, desperate and male, married a woman who creates beautiful music with the wind whistling in and out of her ears, when turned a certain way. The best ones are like Mr. Bennet. They develop their “felicity” by amusing themselves with the strange things their wives do. This is because, as I told my son long ago (about his classmates) if you laugh at people, you still love them a little. Particularly, if it’s a tender laugh as in “Oh, boy, she’s so silly” which unless Mrs. Bennet is being egregious is the type of laughter in P & P.

The middle type will leave the family.

The really bad ones turn abusive. Arguably that was my grandfather. (And grandmother wasn’t stupid. Just ignorant, and he was brilliant. She had practical knowledge, but the man read everything and was friend with authors.)

I was aware of the “It’s all Mr. Bennet’s fault and he’s the bad guy” faction mostly because (for weird but cogent reasons) older son took a Jane Austen course in college. The perspective, as someone who grew up with Jane Austen, puzzled the heck out of him. But I knew it was out there.

I mean, was he flawless? No. He should perhaps have done more to secure his daughter’s future, but at their income level people really didn’t have a season in London, so he wasn’t depriving them of that. (They might have taken the girls to Bath, maybe.) But mostly the reason they were having trouble marrying the girls off wasn’t even dowries. (And yeah, at 21 Jane, the pretty one, was practically on the shelf.) It was the Napoleonic wars, which were killing men in batch lots, and also taking away a lot of rural boys to go fight. which left rural hamlets curiously devoid of marriageable prospects. This is something neither of their parents could have foreseen when they were born. As the local gentry, Mr. Bennet probably figured out his daughters would marry the like from nearby hamlets, or perhaps wealthy farmers/merchants. (They were on the bottom of their class, so permeable.) Also, Mrs. Bennet’s marriage portion is intact, and not inconsiderable being five thousand pounds. The interest of that would keep widow and children in some comfort in a rural village, even if not in affluence.

It’s also obvious from the book that Mr. Bennet mostly gives way to his wife because “it’s not worth fighting.”

We don’t know if the estate is well administered, but since there’s no mention of debts or tenants leaving, we must assume it’s well enough administered. It’s just not that big or profitable, period.

Now, sure, part of fanfic is making assumptions, and sometimes the assumptions or outright changes to the characters are okay. This one annoyed the living daylights out of me, though, because one gets the impression that the author didn’t realize she was making changes. There was no “Because of her father, Mrs. Bennet actually had a lot of business acumen” or deep seeding you do for these things.

No, it was just “Mr. Bennet failed to support and help his wife, and that’s why she was this bad. Oh, yeah, he also mismanaged the estate, so we’ll have Lizzy manage it for him, and she’ll do brilliantly, even though in the book her main talents are snappy come backs and dancing, because she has a vagina and therefore is brilliant. Oh, and he’ll recognize he did wrong and spend the entire book apologizing to his wife and daughters, and being really impressed with his wife for taking him to task.” (Again, these young women idea of a strong woman seems to be being a b*tch on wheels.)

The entire book is a pile on on Mr. Bennet for failing to “support his wife” and “help her with what she needs to know.”

IOW, the author seems to think that Mr. Bennet should be doing both jobs — and we won’t even go into the fact here that yes, lady of the Manor was a job, as was Lord of the Manor (even though they weren’t titled) each with its specialized area of knowledge and management, and that Mr. Bennet probably had absolutely no clue what it took to do his wife’s job, since his mother would never have taught him that — and giving his wife all the credit.

Which seems to be like a subset of young women views as their due in life, because … because they were born with a vagina. Which means if they aren’t wildly successful, they’re being discriminated against and it’s some men’s fault.

I won’t go into the central contradiction at the heart of this, which I’d already noticed in the 80s, and which is apparently the central relationship-between-men-and-females neurosis of boomers, which is that women can do anything, but they’re being held down by men, and are fragile flowers who will met if looked at the wrong way.

But I kind of know at least some of the issues influencing this insane view that men should “position women for success” while giving them all undue praise and worship.

1- It starts with the women who were upheld while women were fighting for “equal rights” meaning for entry in the male world of male jobs (but only the indoor and clean ones, mind.) Keep in mind that in most western countries (well, not the one I came from) the barriers weren’t political or legal, but social. There was a strong “ladies don’t do that” that kept (mostly middle class. Lower class women always worked. They had to) women out of middle class jobs. Which means that women who bucked that were to begin with iconoclasts and odd. Those who succeeded weren’t merely crazy.
Women who first broke into … oh, professorships, or commercial writing, or even professional secretary, were exceptional. You see this a bit when you read thirties books, and you have the utterly devoted secretary who knows how to do everything in the office, and is unmarried because she devoted herself to her career.
They were exceptional, because it was very hard to break in. You had to be super-hungry, determined and focused to get a foot in the door.
So they were amazing and exceptional. From this a lot of people on the activist side took the idea EVERY woman was like that, and imagine the amazing things unleashed if they were “equal” to men, or even better took charge.
The just-so story that emerged in the heads of activists and theoretical thinkers was that if women were this wonderful, what force men MUST be exerting to keep them down in all sorts of ways.
(And since in most cases there was no legal barrier, this is why boomer females believe in a vast conspiracy by all males, ignoring that most males want their wives/sisters/daughters to succeed and also that they’re not a hive identity.)

2 – When women were pushed, harangued, shoved into professions many of them had no interest in, because culture had flipped and you couldn’t be “just a wife and mother” and if you tried you were called names and assumed to be dumb, most of them failed to amaze.
Which, of course they did. Look, most people are average. That’s why it’s called average, or normal. Heck, most men also have no interest in a career. If they’re wealthy and/or fortunate enough, most of them will happily putter through life doing this and that, and nothing of consequence. And 99% of men and women have jobs, not careers, much less vocations. Those of us who must do one thing, come hell or high water are very, very broken.
So, women failed to take over and remake the world into paradise. And the just so story went wild. There really must be a vast conspiracy of males and the patriarchy. And it’s so sneaky, you can’t see it, so micro aggressions, etc.

This is how we get to boomer females, ten years older than I who are sure their potential for a brilliant career in science was ruined by Mr. Jones in Third Grade who told them that girls just weren’t good at math. I mean, it’s possible Mr. Jones existed, though so many of them report this, I think they’re borrowing each other’s experience in the guise of false memory. There are asses everywhere. But if you had a real vocation and drive to science, you wouldn’t be deterred by that.

Me? I love science, but I transpose digits in math, so despite all encouragement, and because I didn’t figure out the digit thing was an actual brain glitch till my late thirties when I had to figure out ways for the kids to overcome it, my love affair with science remains mere flirting, including a lot of reading popularizations, and listening to scientist friends. And having known a lot of these women intimately, if Mr. Jones told them that girls couldn’t do math, he was lying to console them. He didn’t want to say “You, personally, my dear can’t do math. You can’t do much thinking either. You should stop trying to be an intellectual leading light and learn crochet or something. Also there are better channels for your fervor than grievance and feminism. Have you tried Christianity and becoming a missionaire?”

But their impression that “if women had free rein, they would all be amazeballs” sticks, and they won’t let go. So we’re now in the fourth generation of finding excuses.

And the women are actually factually handicapped by the fact that no authority figure dares judge them harshly, or judge them at all.

They can’t give the highest grades to boys, because someone will notice and accuse them of being misogynist. Look, NATURALLY in mixed classes, boys have the top three spots or so. And this is being told to you by a woman who always had the top spot, even if she had to half-kill-herself to do it.

This comes not because men are smarter — there might be more brilliant men than brilliant women but society rewards high-normal not brilliant — but because males in general are more competitive, so they care if they are the best. And also because statistically — which says nothing about the individual — men have more geniuses (and more morons) and women tend to cluster around the center of the bell curve (there are evolutionary reasons for this. I’m not going into them.)

But that’s not what we see in any classes today. Because no one would dare do that. In fact, they will distort the entire style of teaching and all the testing, and finally resort to outright lying to make women be in the top slots.

Look, older son is thirty. I have gone to a lot of graduations. I’ve read a lot of “Award winning” projects. ALL women. Sometimes a man snuck in, but 90% of them were women. And I have eyes/can listen to speeches/ can read the “winning” efforts.

When my kids were carrying high Bs and these girls had perfect As? They were doing at best C work. The boys were doing A work. (And no, not because I’m their mom. You should hear me critique their efforts when they’re subpar.)

Our acquaintance included boy and girl twins, both of average intelligence. The girl had straight As. The boy eventually dropped out of high school, because he felt there was no correlation between effort and grade. They are not anomalous. I keep hearing more and more stories like that.

These girls are being given praise and high grades for work that frankly should be taken to the woodshed and given a good drubbing.

Every time I taught or tutored, I found that by the end of high school girls were maybe three years behind the boys. They were also, by grade, at the top of their classes.

Not because girls are stupid, and in fact when I tutored and was ruthless with them, most came up to speed really fast. (So did the boys. I…. might be a bit scary.) (Why were the girls in tutoring? Well, some parents NOTICED they were little ignorant monkeys and wanted them to actually be prepared for college.)

It’s because girls aren’t being taught. They’re being praised, and glorified, and told they’re the best evah!

Here’s the dirty secret: no matter how much you mollycoddle someone, sooner or later they’ll come up against a test.

It might be in college, when it is required that you actually do that math you’ve been avoiding, because it’s boring, and some professor refuses to play along because vagina, and he has tenure, and you’re going to fail.

It might be as a young newlywed, when you can’t balance your checkbook.

It might be in a job, where they let you keep the title, but you realized you’ve been shunted aside and your subordinates are actually doing the job. (And you don’t want to spend your day shopping for shoes.)

Sooner or later you’ll get tested. You can’t mollycoddle someone into success.

No one can succeed for you, nor get you into a position where you’ll never make a mistake. For one, we are not born perfect, and we all make mistakes. Every day. It’s mistakes that really teach.

In that fanfic, if Mrs. Bennet had suddenly shunted her husband aside, because he had “failed to support me.” she would have rapidly squandered whatever money they’d set aside in fripperies and a new carriage, because THOSE not estate management, or preparing her daughters for society were obviously her areas or expertise. And throwing a 19 year old girl at regency estate management would mean ruin. Before or after her nervous breakdown.

If you have no other reason you’re supposed to be successful than “because I”m a woman” and if you think you should succeed without trying because you have a vagina, you are delusional.

Failing to do your job for you and give you praise is not failing you. Unless it’s you failing yourself.

Yeah, sure, some men — though mostly women — will stab you in the back and climb the ladder over your dead body. Humans, what are you going to do?

And some professions/jobs are closed shops and guilds, which mostly favor those who have family/parents already in them or in some contact with them. Like, it’s much easier to become a bestseller, if your parents worked for NYC publishing, or at least attended the parties. Oh, and if you have the right politics. (In publishing, liberal female is life on the easiest of settings.)

But that’s what life is like, and what a complex society is like. No one owes you anything. Not because you’re a woman, not because you can tan, not because you’re a cross eyed Pacific islander, with an interesting history.

People will try to give you breaks for all of those, even those in most cases those characteristics have nothing to do with professional competence. And people will try to push you into their idea of success.

But in the end, in the very end, short of cancelling you and making it impossible for you to be hired (and sometimes — feral grin — not even then) people will succeed at what they want to do, if they want it badly enough and are willing to work their tails off.

Yeah, they will sometimes have to work harder than other people, for various reasons. Well. That’s humans for you. You can’t really equalize access without ending up doing things like preparing women atrociously, because you’re afraid of discouraging them.

And also, most jobs that look glamorous and easy from the outside aren’t. Anything that pays really well, and a lot of things that don’t, are a lot of work for everyone. And a bunch of headaches, and often total lack of security.

Don’t go imagining that people of a difference sex, color or body type have it easier. Yeah, some do. Though in most closed-shops right now, the greatest advantage is leftist politics, and if you want it badly enough you’ll pretend that.

Or you’ll go away and do something else.

Despite a century of indoctrination, most humans don’t want “careers”. They want jobs that pay for the things they really want to do.

Trying to demand that men do everything while giving women all the credit is not only spitting on feminists like grandma, who fought to erase the legal distinctions, making women responsible for their own money and allowed to live alone even if widowed: it’s trying to take us back to when every woman was considered sort of an overgrown child.

Because you can’t keep telling people to believe you over their lying eyes without a reaction.

So grow up. Succeed or don’t. Work or don’t. Fight for what you want or don’t. Just stop blaming others for it.

274 thoughts on “Positioned for Success

  1. “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” has turned into “I Am Woman Hear Me Whine”. 😦

    1. Too right. And as someone who remembers the 1960s and 1970s, when careers that formerly had been “jobs that ladies just didn’t do” turned into ‘Hey, give it a go, girls!” – and certain of us did indeed give it a go and had lots of fun and didn’t whine … well, I am incredibly disappointed with the so-called feminists of the present day.

        1. seriously? they’re burning out by 30 because they never had to work before… and its not just the women.

          1. I think it’s a bit more nuanced – young women (and men) think they’ve working a lot, and are probably doing a shit ton of busywork, but are not actually doing anything of value. So they feel like they are overworked but have gained nothing through their work. I think that’s the worst feeling.

            I say this as someone is female who went an Ivy and worked on Wall St. I thought I was working really hard my entire life, until one day in my 30s, I realized I don’t know anything and spent most of my hardwork and energy on some useless crap and defending those useless crap.

            1. There is another point to this, that you guys who are my age or older might not get, but the younger set will: MOST of my kids schooling was busy work, and pointless deadlines, starting in Kindergarten.
              I fought back against it as much as possible, and refused to overschedule them for extra curriculars. BUT most kids were massively overscheduled iwth pointless crap.
              I think younger son burned out in his very early twenties, as is. Seriously. I’m trying to unchar him as we speak.
              I COMPLETELY understand children of parents who didn’t shield them completely imploding in their early thirties. PARTICULARLY girls who tend to be more compliant.

              1. This is absolutely true. I’m in my early 40s, but even in the late 90s when I graduated high school, most of my schoolwork was pointless administrative BS.

                This even hits in the military. I’ve had leaders ask why I don’t want to become a senior NCO (my last promotion was over a decade ago). My latest excuse is that I can’t dedicate myself fully to that position because I’m getting ready for retirement (two years ago they nailed my feet to the floor and forced me to go to the school so I actually qualify to promote now, darn the luck). In truth, it’s because I’ve done the job of a senior NCO on multiple occasions, and there’s too much politicking, too much administrative BS, and your days of doing your actual specialty are OVER. So I refuse to promote ever again. I’m just positioning myself for a fat paycheck in my post-military career.

                Administrivia is a cancer on our society.

                  1. remonds me of my high school math teacher that couldn’t explain what actual use quadratic equations are for… and we literally spent most of the year on them. (Algebra II, if you’re curious.)

              2. “you have to take this many extracurriculars or you won’t get into a good college’ was a thing even when i was in high school.

                  1. this is in a semi-rural VA high school in the late 80s, where something like 20% of the graduating class were FFA members.

                  2. Our son, same. He qualified for a fancy private flight school out of state. Would have graduated with a bachelors and his pilot’s license. Something he thought he wanted at that time. With a 50% scholarship, it was still triple the state school, not counting fees (there are always more), books, trips home, and room and board. Just tuition was over double State with the “extras”. He went up the road to the state school. His choice. We told him we’d figure it out, ultimately he stayed public in state (but not free room and board, while older students *commute from Eugene, really not the best option for younger undergrads).

                    One neighbor was getting an undergrad double degree from UofO and Corvallis. But he was comparing his 45 – 50 minute commute up Hwy 99, with parking hunting, 40 miles, to the commute in San Diego California. Then there are young couples where one is in school at UofO and the other in Corvallis. I’ve done it. But it sure takes away from the community of the college. Which, for me, was fine second time around. Would have been a bit lonely first round 18 – 22.

        2. Wanting to “quit by 30” might actually be the realization and assertion by GenZ girls that they actually want to get married and have kids without offending the feminist thought leaders. I’ve had multiple conversations with my daughters that despite what they’re told in school, female fertility has a much shorter shelf life (not to mention how much more energy parents have in their 20s to chase toddlers around rather than the 30s and 40s) than what the media, academia, and pop culture would have them believe.

          GenZ having as much access to social media as they do, they might just be the most cynical generation of Americans in the History of Ever. If that leads many of them to demand source citation and they start Paying Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain, that could be a very good thing.

        3. The Forbes article is 11 years old. The subjects who were 29 then are 40 now. The 30 year olds of today aiming for the corner office have been working on their resume since middle school. Many of them have also grown up in households as latchkey kids, or with nannies, because both parents were busy chasing their own careers.

          I agree with CombatMissionary about female fertility. I gather that dating apps make very clear that youth is a depreciating asset for women.

  2. I wonder if that’s part of Biden’s problem. Propped up through a whole useless life and never allowed to fail. Or, at least, never made to deal with the consequences of failure.

    Now the failures are too big to cover up and the FICUS has no clue how to cope. It would be funny if it wasn’t so disastrous for so many people.
    Candidate Joe Biden, August 2020: “We have assembled the most extensive, comprehensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

    Minutes later: “What do you mean, I wasn’t supposed to say that?”

      1. Drop your average schlub into a position of power and influence and how could he but help himself from taking full advantage. Of course he, his family, and a vast assortment of minions is corrupt.
        For reference see any honest analysis of similar families such as the Kennedys and Clintons.

    1. That appears to be the problem with Harris. One simple attack from Gabbard completely destroyed Harris in the Democratic debates, and the fact that someone could go after her in such an obvious fashion appears to have been something that never occurred to her.

      Biden’s issues are otherwise, I think. Or would be, if the advancing dementia weren’t so obvious. Now having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me if Biden’s increasingly blatant lies are due to something like what’s described. His plagiarism was the primary reason his 1988 presidential campaign collapsed, but it was also noted that he’d run an ad in that campaign lying about having good grades in college (he didn’t; they were so-so, iirc). He’s lied about his wife’s death. He’s lied about the circumstances of Beau’s death. It wouldn’t surprise me if lying, repeating those lies, and coming to believe those lies, is second-nature to him now. I suspect that even if he wasn’t getting dementia, he would still genuinely now believe that his wife was killed by a drunk driver. All because no one’s called him on this in the past.

      1. With Harris, the most important criteria for what the Democrat establishment wanted was psychopath.

        Bunch off too-clever-by-far nincompoops. They would not be finding themselves playing hands so weak now if they could think about the future in a way that was not false.

        1. I think they thought she was actually smart. She ran around with the Pacific Heights crowd in SF and managed to convince them she was one of them. They are not wise, but they’re not stupid. She convinced them she was one of them and managed never to stay in a job long enough to show her lack of ability.

          if it wasn’t so dangerous, I’d enjoy their discomfiture,

          1. She is apparently in possession of a highly honed feral cunning and a knack for BSing herself into positions well above her abilities. And now finds herself the heartbeat of one tired and obviously confused old man from the most powerful office in the world.

        2. Harris was selected As VP for some of the same reasons Obumbles chose Biden. The VP had to be someone who was not going to upstage our outshine the president. Finding someone like that with the mediocre Obama was hard, but finding someone like that for Biden was nearly impossible. Luckily the Democrat party has a large back bench on incompetent nobodies.

          1. I suspect she was chosen much for the same reason why Pelosi is Speaker of the House. i.e. she’s got ties to the big tech companies – and their massive donation coffers – in the Bay Area, where she’s from. The tech companies saw her as their creature, and pushed the Biden campaign to add her to the ticket.

            1. An additional feature, she’s a well funded idiot. Its possible, though I think bot upstaging the Big Guy is more important. Mrs Biden wouldn’t like that 🙂 .

    2. It’s not JUST a Biden problem. It’s a problem throughout a lot of politics and large company bureaucracy. Lots of people have been serial screwups but have been promoted and not faced any consequences for their failures. Most of the “West” has a massive Peter problem IMHO

        1. In a corporate world where HR had upper management by their throats upwards promotion into jobs carefully crafted to appear important while in actuality designed to highly restrict true power and influence has become the least painful option.

      1. I suspect it is a more fundamental problem than that. Once any system becomes sufficiently large, it becomes nearly impossible to understand. I suspect that most of our mega-corporations are all well past that size.

        As such, it becomes very difficult for any handful of individuals to understand what is really going on in the whole system, which means it is very difficult to understand what is causing things to go right vs what is causing things to go wrong. And given that they likely don’t know what the true levers of success are for the corporation as a whole, it is equally unlikely they know what individual behaviors are, or are not contributing to it. And if you don’t know what’s really driving anything, how can you know which employees are actually driving results?

        So it ends up that the company flows down requirements that no-one knows if they match to the real needs, if they even know how to measure the results, or requirements at all. And once the metrics don’t actually tie back to anything real, can’t be measured with any reliability, and most likely have nothing to do with whether or not the company is successful anyways, the people who get promoted are mostly likely to be the people who make their job getting promoted, rather than whatever it is the company actually does.

        The true horror of the pointy haired boss is not that he is an idiot. Rather it is that he is both highly competent and has focused all of his real competence at being rewarded by the incentive structure of the company he works for. The fact that that incentive structure is often completely at cross purposes with the real needs of the company and his employees has absolutely nothing to do with his capacity for extracting benefit from it.

        1. I’m reminded of this, which AIUI dates back to Bell Labs in the 1970s if not earlier

          In the beginning was the DEMO Project. And the Project was without form. And darkness was upon the staff members thereof. So they did draw lots and he that hath received the short straw did depart and he spake unto their Division Head, and saith, “It is a crock of shit, and it stinks.”

          And the Division Head spake unto his Department Head, and saith, “It is a crock of excrement and none may abide the odor thereof.” Now, the Department Head spake unto his Directorate Head, and saith, “It is a container of excrement, and is very strong, such that none may abide before it.” And it came to pass that the Directorate Head spake unto the Assistant Technical Director, and saith, “It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide by its strength.”

          And verily the assistant Technical Director spake thus unto the Technical Director, and saith, “It containeth that which aids growth and it is very strong.” And, Lo, the Technical Director spake then unto the Captain, and saith, “The powerful new Project will help promote the growth of the Laboratories.”

          And the Captain looked down upon the Project, and He saw that it was Good!

          This is absolutely the problem that Putin has faced wrt the Russian military. Every layer has slanted its reports to please the perceived biases of the next layer up and it has come and bitten Putin good and hard.

          But it certainly isn’t just a Putin/tyranny problem. The number of times that the CIA or other government intelligence agency has reported something similarly wrong to the executive is significant. And of course the original joke comes from a large corporation.

          One of the theories of the Internet/Social Media was that it should reduce these information failures by cutting out the middlemen. Unfortunately it has become clear that, even within organizations, there are truths that must remain unmentioned so the theory doesn’t work. At some point in the moderately near future I expect one or more of the current tech leaders (Google, FB, Amazon etc.) to have a major existence threateninh failure based on faulty information because the people who knew the truth were unwilling to stick their necks out as they knew said truth falsified some key corporate belief

          1. My last job the company was one OS update from not working. Where OS is double speak for an Microsoft Update or “OH S*”. Entire platform relied on ODBC to access SQL tables (used to be Btrieve too, but holdout converts to SQL were forced about 2006 or so). As far as I know this is still true. For the uninformed ODBC has not been officially supported since 2002(?). (I started there in 2004.) Our IT found fixes to ensure it would work the first couple of times the program was threatened with shutdown. Supposedly they are now working toward converting all the programs (hundreds) to newer, if not current Delphi, which the ODBC drivers will not work with. Also a few other old tools that won’t work either. This is not a big company. So, huge corporations aren’t always the problem.

            One person in charge of the library would not go to the boss and state that this had to be done. Getting done NOW because same boss does not own the business anymore. The *library person has been “retired” (at age 70). It is owned by a private consortium that picks up these software firms that can’t fail, but individuals can’t afford to buy them. Process started about 3 years ago. I know not done because of how long relatively “minor” mass changes took. 100’s of programs, and IDK how many library files.

            To be clear … Not me.

  3. Something that I see a lot of, in the “Mr. Bennet is a Meanie”* school of criticism, is a focus on the relative price of muslin and other fabrics (measured in shillings per yard, or something like that) to books (measured in pounds sterling per volume). In other words, the idea that his interests are more expensive than his family’s. There may be some mild element of criticism intended by Jane Austen here of his priorities (trying to build a massive library all by himself when Pemberley’s great library is the “work of many generations,” not of one man, however wealthy). But even so, I have the feeling that the ladies of the house “went through” a given purchase of fabric and bonnet accessories a lot faster than Mr. Bennet “went through” a given purchase of books. (look, even if he liked the novels of Mrs. Radcliffe or Mr. Richardson, much of his collection would have been historical or philosophical works of the day, not easy reading.)

    Another idea I’ve seen floated, I think in a comments section somewhere on youtube, is that he has no steward (have to reread the book to confirm this) and spends so much time on estate management, that the times we actually see him are the equivalent of the 1950s sitcom dad buried in his newspaper while everyone else is eating tv dinners and watching Gunsmoke. In other words, he’s kind of burned out from his day job and doesn’t want to deal with people or anything else.

    *This idea has thankfully not penetrated the adaptations very far. The 1980 tv version, made by people with some kind of first or second wave feminist street cred, presents him as gruff and grumpy rather than smoothly sarcastic, but he still snarks with panache, and is fundamentally an okay guy. Nearly every other adaptation follows Edmund Gwen and Benjamin Whitrow and goes for smoothly sarcastic. (We will not speak of the version where Oddball from Kelly’s Heroes was somehow magically teleported back in time to the Georgian era, mistaken for the heir to Longbourne, married the cute, fluttery hypochondriac daughter of a merchant, and had five lovely daughters, the two eldest of whom resembled Rosamund Pike and Keira Knightley.)

    1. Is there someplace I can sign up for the job of “the equivalent of the 1950s sitcom dad buried in his newspaper while everyone else is eating tv dinners and watching Gunsmoke. In other words, he’s kind of burned out from his day job and doesn’t want to deal with people or anything else.”?

      I’m a few years away from retirement from the military, and I used to think I was just a big grouch. Now I realize I’m just overworked from having attended (at last count) seven institutions of higher learning over the years and positioning myself to retire with the acquisition of several Bachelor degrees (including an IT degree and a language degree) in quick succession over the next two or three years while maintaining my fleet of cars and refurbishing my house. Not to mention having relationships with my wife and kids thrown in the mix there.

    2. I could see the ‘he’s completely burned out’ being a thing. One thing I’ve noticed is it seems like men and women work to different intensities and different cool down rates. Men seem to be burstier, while women seem to gravitate towards constant effort.

      Basically, guys, when they discover the elevator is out, and they need to move a 300lb thing up to the 4th floor, will both grab and end and lift, then sit for about and hour afterwards while their joints reassemble, but have a much harder time plugging through an eight hour code test.

      Whereas I’ve found the women engineers, on average, seem to have a much easier time handling those those long drill-a-hole-in-my-head-please system tests than the men do.

      It also bugs me that it feels like you can’t tell someone that that is a legitimate career track either. Software test and maintenance is not as glamorous as development, and you won’t get rich doing it, but it does pay well, always needs to be done, and is, frankly, more predictable work that a lot of top tier development is.

      Some people want to be out by five way more than they’d want to be the rock star, and saying you can’t tell someone the “out by five” exists because “that’s the mommy track” feels like you’re robbing them of their right to make that choice for themselves.

        1. Averages. Not outliers.

          Outliers are whatever the heck they are. That’s why we’re outliers.

          That said, the question would more likely be where do you fit on that scale vs your sons and father?

          For example our mother, even at post-menopausal women age, gained muscle mass and lost weight at a rate comparable to most men her age. But her three boys are pretty much off the charts in that respect.

          1. Physically I trend high strength on women (and used to be stronger than most men) because the men in my family are legendary monsters, who can do the work of ten men, easy.
            Ambition/drive/ability to work non-stop, I’m WAY more driven than ANY of them, but you have to account for their living in Portugal, and I think for my being a throwback to grandma’s dad. (Grandma had a bit of his battling qualities, too. Okay, a lot.)

            1. Yeah, that was my Mom’s side of the family too. Her dad was an amateur wrestler long enough she remembered it, and her uncles, one of them the Army couldn’t find shoes that fit him, and the other, they couldn’t find shirts.

              Outliers are fun…

            2. You want to see something wild, track down Mil-Std-1472 Design Criteria for Human Engineering and look for the table for static muscle strength. They have the 5th and 95th percentiles for male and female lifts for a whole bunch of different motions. For pretty much all motions, the 95th percentile female is only about as strong as a 5th percentile male.

              For 95th percentile male vs 5th percentile female, some of the lift differences are as high as six times, and most are over 4x difference.

              I knew there were differences, but I had not realized they were so great.

              1. The differences in strength between men and women are enormous, and so are the differences in speed and agility, which is why “trans athletes” should be banned from women’s sports: https://boysvswomen.com/#/

                1. Though I’m on the high end for women — or was before menopause — since apparently both Dan and I have the gene for long-muscle whatsits that high grade athletes have (but not the coordination, alas) I realized how puny I was when I was trying to turn over a cement bag 13 years ago, and my 14 year old stripling, on a rigorous diet of junk food and no exercise, casually reached over and flipped it. I couldn’t budge it.
                  That’s the difference between no testosterone and testosterone. There is no confusion.

      1. “It also bugs me that it feels like you can’t tell someone that that is a legitimate career track either. Software test and maintenance is not as glamorous as development, and you won’t get rich doing it, but it does pay well, always needs to be done, and is, frankly, more predictable work that a lot of top tier development is.”

        The general problem here is there really is not a distinct path for testers vs developers. I actually had the job of trying to create such a distinction, and the company just wasn’t ready for it even though my VP boss wanted it. There was already a mildly adversarial relationship between development and testing, and sharpening that division with formalities did not fly. The skillsets overlap a lot, but the attitudes are different.

        I liked testing. Either the product worked, and that was pleasing, or it failed spectacularly, and it was funny. I also used to get code error messages on the lines of ‘you should never see this’, and having dug out the code, I’d go sit on the developer’s desk and say ‘so, about this error message …’

        Oh, that VP, above? A very successful woman. My testing unit managers? I think it was 4 out of 5 who were very sharp, technically skilled women, and good managers in the sense that they kept me out of office politics and worried about performance, product success, resources we needed, and schedule-keeping. I’m pretty sure all of them positioned themselves to succeed.

      2. Selected for, thank our ancestors:
        Hunting is bursty. Male job.
        Caring for kids is all day every day. Female job.

        1. Wiring is clearly different in most people.

          Noises from children (below screams) generally did not ‘register’; I could sleep. My wife, however, noticed them all.

          So, most males might nap through childcare duty, where most women would not.

          (But those long silences while out of sight? THOSE are attention-getting!)

          1. My husband was the one who got up to do night feedings. I couldn’t wake. At best I would lurch around sleep-walking and being dangerous.
            So I expressed milk, and he bottle fed them at night.

          2. OTOH. Scout outings. From Scouts – “How do the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster know what we are up to before we do?” (Not quite but sure seemed like it.) Both men BTW (not always, one troop it was mom’s, IDKW, just was, but our son’s troop, the comment was about men). Finally stopped biting my tongue and told our son and his friends “You do realize that they were once 11 to 18 year old scouts themselves. Right?” There is a reason why neither were allowed to tell tales of when they were in scouts. The current youth didn’t need any ideas. They just didn’t. Just to compare, both are old enough to have played: lawn darts with Actual Darts; Lit off Fireworks, during outings, in the woods; Played with their knifes the way that gets Tot ‘N Chip and knife confiscated now (not just lose a corner, confiscated). It is more of a miracle either grew up to lead scout youth.

          3. The first time the boy slept through the night I woke up and nearly panicked because he was quiet.
            A few days later, after a couple of nights of unbroken sleep, I realized how exhausted I’d been.

      3. Discussions of the mommy tack have always pissed me off. They are the perfect example of feminism’s core bad assumption: men are a uniform group who get whatever the top man gets regardless of anything else.

        The daddy track is just as harsh as the mommy track and even less socially acceptable.

        1. Yes, but I can actually talk about that with the dads, and no-one cares.

          It’s way more acceptable for the guys to tell each other “Dude, it’s after 9. Go see your wife before you forget what she looks like…”

    3. We neither know that his library is NOT the work of generations, nor that he has no steward. He’s UNLIKELY to have a steward just because the estate is small, but even with a steward, the master did a ton of stuff.

      1. Good point on the library, hadn’t thought of that. For some reason, I always assumed Mr. Bennet’s parents and ancestors were not as bookish as he was. But his cousin Mr. Collins seems like the type who is well-read but gets nothing valuable from the experience (like Mary Bennet), which could imply a respect for books and book-learning going back to their shared grandparents.

    4. I actually like Oddball Mr. Bennet. He was the second best thing in that version.

      Dame Judy Dench as The Lady Catherine DeBurge remains unmatched.

  4. The women and unearned assumptions of superiority reminds me a smidgen of the way some men generally assume that they would win a fistfight. Little Joey has never been in a serious fight, only a few childish scuffles that at most ended in a shoves and slaps. Little Joey thinks he is tough and decides to show off one day.

    The conclusion to that story is usually Little Joey gets his ass handed to him. A lot of men go through some version of this in their lifetime. And it appears to me, the earlier they fail and get their butts kicked, the better.

    Someone who knows how to come back from failure properly has learned a valuable life lesson. More than one, now I think on it.

    One, you get a clearer understanding of your limitations. You can’t surpass these until you’ve failed at least once.

    Two, you realize that you can come back from failure. This is a point that appears to be missed by a lot of people. And is a sticking point in several cultures I could think of off the bat. Failure is not a permanent state. Failure is the rest state of mankind. It takes effort to surpass.

    Depriving women of the valuable lessons that failure can teach is an immoral act. The false impression of competence that it allows causes ever greater consequences down the line the longer it is allowed to continue.

    I continue to believe that this sort of malicious tactic is blatantly entropic. The longer these sorts of things go on, the worse the crash that follows. The left used to claim to champion the cause of women. If such a state of affairs continued to grow, would there not come a point when no one would trust a woman with any real power, causing the very sexism that they once claimed to be against?

    1. Knowing you can come back from failure is probably the most valuable thing I learned, and wish I’d learned earlier. It took like three to sink in, too.

    2. Last fall I went through Wood Badge, which is the BSA adult leadership training. And one of the things they talked about is the need to let the scouts do their thing and not micromanage them—or as I like to put it, let them fail when the cost of failure is low.

      The adult leadership is supposed to be the safety, not the folk in charge of everything. Mind you, there are some places where safety is paramount. I’m a counselor for the Hiking Merit Badge, and that’s one of the few badges where failure can be deadly. (As illustrated by that sad case of the family dying last summer in the Sierras—the father was an “experienced hiker” who had hiked that trail before, but he made one literally fatal error and at least three compounding errors. He didn’t have the training to realize the gap in his calculations, which was that he was an experienced hiker in his homeland, Britain, not the climate of August in California.)

  5. If Gollum was a girl: -Girllum?
    Gollum promises to go away and be good, but that Damned Sauron, he’s keeping barefoot in Hell’s kitchen!

  6. All those older women, who whine, want is the glamour not the actual work. It’s easy to daydream about success. Much harder to actually succeed, and for those driven, even that success isn’t fulfilling in the ways we dreamed it.

      1. Not to mention, but the shear amount of rejection one gets! If just one authority figure saying saying “oh you can’t do that” deters a person, they won’t be able to handle the avalanche of deterrence encountered when trying to go up the career mountain!

          1. Oh yes. Before I went into science, I used to do commercial art. There’s also the wonderful gut punch of having someone throw the completed piece on your desk and saying “This is CRAP! Redo it pronto! And make it GOOD this time!” When I tried to break into publishing, most professionals were too nice to say something like that. Most. Not all. 😉

              1. Most submissions, just got boiler plate rejections, which is why I was gob-smacked when I got the Silver Honorable Mention for WoTF.

                But oh, I always get “interesting” critiques from groups. The tales I could tell. So much so, I started biting my cheek before the comments began to stop myself from laughing. I make people mad. I think I subvert their expectations too much. It was something you said about having a contract with the reader, which gave me that epiphany.

    1. The cliche-because-its-true bit about how, “Most people ignore Opportunity because it dresses in overalls and looks like work” seems like it belongs here.

  7. “If it were only her, though, I would grit my teeth and go on, which honestly is all I’m doing under this destructive mal-administration. (If they don’t get us nuked, it wasn’t for lack of trying.)”

    I recall that you did a piece way back when (I think just after the Boston Marathon bombing) about how mideastern terrorists don’t understand the US well enough to use nukes properly even if they had them. Does the same hold true for Russians, do you think?

      1. If they go for the big cities, I’m safe. If they go for the traditional targets, I’m toast. Basically, if they haven’t updated their targeting much since 1980, there will be boom and I will be in it.

        Not planning on moving though. I have bookshelf plans to complete.

          1. If it’s showy, then I’m a lot more safe. So long as he doesn’t care about retaliation, there’s no reason to go targeting nuke plants, which is what would get me killed.

            I am very much in favor of letting most of Washington DC fall over and sink into the swamp (Arlington National Cemetery and the Wall must stay, though. And the Smithsonian, for sentimental reasons). Nuking the place is not an outcome I would welcome, though.

            Not even NYC or the west coast. As much as I disagree, a LOT, with the policies of lefties, I am not at the point where I want them to be killed. So long as they keep their totalitarian tendencies focused on themselves, fine. Have your socialist paradise. Admit only those who are able to assent to the deprivation of their own rights.

            Just so long as they stop forcing this shit on the innocent. Me and mine, any child, anyone who doesn’t go into it with eyes wide open. Even places like Chicago and San Francisco have innocents suffering there. That’s the result of the left getting what they want.

            I really, really don’t want things to get to the point where shooting the bastards is the only way out.

              1. I can’t see how a neutron bomb could do what they say it does — kill the people without affecting the city. Neutrons are nasty little buggers that make things radioactive even though they weren’t before being bombarded with neutrons.

                What you’d want is a bomb that generates high-intensity gamma radiation. That would kill everybody and everything but wouldn’t transmute stable atoms into radioactive isotopes.

                1. I as I understand it, the “neutron bomb” (aka Enhanced Radiation Weapon) idea was sold as a tank (crew) killer. It would not just have had a huge neutron pulse compared to ‘ordinary’ nuclear weapons, but would have significant blast effect. It was to be, roughly, a fission-fusion device (“H-bomb”) with a casing to allow/emit more neutrons. As opposed to a U-238 casing to use up neutrons in order to make a big big boom even bigger: fission-fusion-fission.

                  So, even transmutative irradiation aside, there would likely be “more than Nagasaki” levels of blast damage. Though adjusting burst altitude but allowing for atmospheric neutron travel might have mitigated that – but I do not know how far neutrons travel in air – and they’d have to also go through more solid things to have the… desired effect.

                2. IIRC it was planned to be a “battlefield nuke”.

                  It caused Less Physical Destruction than a standard nuke not “No Physical Destruction”.

                  Much of the stories about it were lies from the Anti-Nuke folks (who were paid by the Soviet Union).

          2. He… really doesn’t understand how you lot think, does he?

            I would be confident in doing Americans a small slight or injury, but once it crosses that invisible line, y’all get annoyed and want to make the annoyance go away. Permanently.

            1. As I’ve commented elsewhere before:

              If you merely piss us off, we’ll kill your soldiers and overthrow your government.

              If you manage to make us really angry, we will burn your cities to the ground.

            2. We just don’t care to be bothered again, that’s all. But we’ll help you rebuild the city that is now a smoking hole, if you ask nicely.

              1. That’s the flip side. An argument can be made no conquered population has been treated as well as Japan’s population post WW2.

                I wonder if a lot of lefties only see that and think we’re weak while forgetting what we did along the way (carping about Hiroshima and Nagasaki not withstanding…contrary to popular opinion neither was our deadliest raid on Japan, a country pretty much burnt down by then).

            3. I could be mistaken.

              Trudeau seems to be possibly similar in fundamentally misunderstanding Canadians, with rather less excuse.

              1. He’s lived as an elite, protected and coddled all his life. He has no clue.

              2. His government has survived thus far and I’ve seen no indications he’s facing a vote of confidence any time soon.

                    1. I did love the Romanians comparing him to Causescu. Too bad Christmas is so far away…

                1. There will be no confidence vote. The freaking Dips have promised him their total support.

            4. Same thing with the right side which is most of the US. Which the left misses.
              We’re busy, industrious people. I suspect we’re the ones who keep the country going and do anything that gets done. We’re married, largely, and love our families. Or we love our friends.
              So we put up with a lot, because who wants a blood bath and our kids in the middle?
              BUT they’re getting really close to that edge where we feel for our safety and of everything we love, we have to end them.
              And when we have to end them, we’ll do it. Thoroughly.
              They have no clue of this. They’ve never even been spanked, so they can’t imagine antyhign worse.
              I remember the first time I told a fourth grader to stop pushing my kindergartner, and the look on his face made it plain no one had ever, ever told him no, much less harshly.
              Now imagine I’d turned him about and smacked him on the bottom. To him, it would be the end of the world.
              That’s most dems. And they’re earning FAR more than a smack on the butt.

              1. I have a tendency to tell other people’s kids “No”, and to stop doing things. Wonder where I got that? Oh. Yes. I remember. Mom is that way. Still is, at 87. I don’t so much anymore, because not around kids a lot.

                Memorable. “Get off the chain link fence. Do not play on the chain link fence.” “My mom said I could!” “Get OFF.” Kid’s mom/dad “I said he/she could.” Me: “It’s your kids eyes or hands that will get punctured and sliced.” Parent: “That is a myth.” Me: “Really? Tell that to a child I know that has a thick scar due to slicing his hand*” And “Ever notice the coach is *blind in one eye? Chain link fence, age 4.” “But, your child …” Parent, 5 seconds later “Get off the Chain Link Fence!”

                Both True. Slice hand is BIL youngest nephew. Wasn’t there to tell the blind eye. Blind eye from a chain length fence … Hubby still deals with it. Occurred age 4, 1956. He is sensitive to light, because the iris does not contract. Has no vision. With advances today he has looked into having the iris fixed (they think it can be fixed). Have proven the back of the eye wasn’t damage. But the eye never developed for sight (proven). Low probability of gaining sight with the eye due to age, with higher probability of sympathetic reaction by the other eye (going totally blind), means not risking the procedure.

              2. I think it was someone else here who pointed out, for the middle class to hoist the flag, we first end our comfortable middle class lives. The rent-a-mobs go home to wherever they came from at the end of the day, but us, for us to even start burns the boats.

            5. Americans will cross a frozen river on Christmas night to murder you in your sleep on Christmas day if you make them angry enough. We’ve done it before.

            6. As ILOH likes to say, the right doesn’t have a dial that can be carefully calibrated up and down. It has a switch.

                1. Because once that switch flips, it won’t stop at Copybook Headings – it’ll send them right to City of Brass

        1. Yes. If there were a “traditional” nuclear exchange (in that, the various parties were behaving according to 1980s protocol), Flyover Falls would get nuked in a medium-early round. (Training base for [redacted].) If maintenance is spotty/materials are unavailable*, an attack would go for the biggest bang for the boom, and FF would be spared. I’m guessing that Washington DC, NYC and LA would be hit, and possibly some of the other big cities. I don’t know which military bases would be targets (Is the Blue Cube in Silicon Valley still active?), though there should be a few too enticing to resist.

          (*) I’m thinking of Clancy’s Sum of all Fears, where the bomb needed a fresh load of tritium to work better than a fizzle. I am blissfully unaware of the details of modern atomic/hydrogen bombs, and hope not to need such knowledge. Ever.

          1. The weird thing about LA is that it’s so sprawling and spread out that it could get targeted, and I’d likely be fine.

            Assuming the bad guys didn’t go for saturation, of course. And I doubt that they would if they just wanted a showy display.

            1. Why target the city itself? Aren’t you guys dependant on a small number of water sources?

                1. The kind of brain that goes for polonium poisoning rather than a gunshot. Gotcha

                2. Opening day at Yankee Stadium.

                  Showy. Hits an iconic American pastime making people suddenly afraid to go to any event anywhere.

                  Mall of America. Icon of American capitalism.

                  Disneyland. Go for the kiddies.

                  1. One off the things that makes me doubt the whole “War On Terror” as anything but gaslighting is that there were few or no successful attacks’ of exactly those types. Closest would have been Pulse Nightclub, and that was late.

                    1. There was an attempt or two at the Times Square ball drop.

                      Thing was, though, that 9/11 was a major effort for AQ, and took a lot of resources. Afterwards, they got hammered. So there were appeals for lone wolf types in the US. But the AQ organization wasn’t in a position to try something like that again in the US

                      Plus, there were a lot of infidels to kill in Afghanistan and Iraq, and doing that was a lot cheaper and easier

                    2. Indeed after 9/11 and the (likely unrelated, but who knew then) Anthrax attacks I expected multiple simple truck bomb or gunman attacks on Black Friday. Want to really screw up America, screw up its commerce. The thing I didn’t realize was that the various flavors of Islam have a variant of the Second coming with Issa (their name for Jesus) taking a part as if they cribbed it from Revelation (which I have always felt it might be of as much of Islam feels like a mix of a couple early heretical variants of Christianity with local mythology thrown in for good measure). In any case they were trying to fulfill their particular eschatology and get us to react in a fashion to reunite the caliphate and start the process. Slaughtering random kafir is always considered good form, but it is not the start to the coming of the 12th Imam or whatever the Sunni equivalent is.Their goals are NOT what we would expect of a western insurgent opponent, thus their methods are not what we would expect.

                    3. One of my cousin-in-laws (he’s gone now, sadly) was in the intelligence community. He said the US foiled at least 50 attacks in the months after 9/11.

                    4. Heck, one saw things. Armed men crawling through downtown CO springs at night, and then suddenly they’re surrounded by police.
                      Gangs, maybe? But– And there was no mention of it.

                    5. I’ve heard the same thing. Including fact that never, NEVER got reported in mainstream press, even when “waterboarding = torture” was the hot topic of debate: that waterboarding KSM (the guy who masterminded the 9/11 attacks, who wasn’t on the planes himself) produced actionable intelligence, leading to foiling a plot to attack LA that would (as I understand it) have gone undetected without the intel obtained from KSM.

                  2. That last one… There wouldn’t be enough of them left afterwards to be worth glassing.

                3. I’d rather think like an American and prep for war with China by ensuring the Three Gorges Dam is breached in the first 24 hours.

                  A catastrophe of the first order in terms of destruction and loss of life for at least a week? Sure. Enough to shut down the Chinese war machine? Doubtful. Enough to tie up the government for crucial early days of the conflict to create a large strategic opening to have a short way? Yes.

                  And maybe, just maybe, enough to bring disfavor on the current Emperor (after all, the Emperor first arose by controlling floods).

                  1. Some big cities in China are downstream from Three Gorges, including the now infamous Wuhan, and in particular Shanghai. Now Shanghai is as far from the dam as you can get, so the floodwaters might have largely lost their power by the time they worked their way down to the coast.

                    But then again, they might not.

                    And China is not just going to shrug off damage to Shanghai.

                    1. Since, if I’m reading this right, Herb was referring to the first 24 hours of an already-hot war, what China thinks would be sort of irrelevant. “Mr. President, we can’t bomb Dresden! The Reich might get angry!”

                    2. Sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear. By “shrugging off” I didn’t mean China’s response to the perpetrators of such an event. I was referring to the impact that major damage to Shanghai would have on China as a whole.

                    3. I would bet the Taiwan Government has just that operation in mind if the CCP does decide to invade.

              1. In a scenario like that, I’d be screwed, but that assumes a concerted effort (with resources to match) and really good intelligence at identifying and locating the weak links. Throwing a few nukes at big cities doesn’t require much planning, other than contingencies on “what if they get really pissed?”

                1. The dark irony of the showy nuke is that it might be far, far less damaging than the putative nuker would like. Gentlemen and women with certain specialized experience and skill sets could bring a city to its knees far, far more cheaply. Such extremely hypothetical individuals are also extremely motivated to not do so. To actively prevent said unreasonable disruption, chaos, death, and misery.

                  An extremely unlikely hypothetical.

                  DC, NYC, LA, and Vegas get nuked. Airburst, EMP, the whole deal. Lotsa death. Even more living casualties. “Don’t mess with us, we nuked the US!!”

                  What you actually get is a lot, and I mean a lot of pissed off, motivated individuals that want nothing more than to fck you up. There is precisely zero chance that the limp wristed pssy hat wearing arse pimples get away with their reflexive appeasement. War, bloody war, and damn the consequences.

                  I also believe that there is enough residual fear of what a p*ssed of America would do that we would make lots of friends in the course of taking the nuker down.

                  I’m not talking about a temporary Kratman style dictatorship. More of a somewhat Jacksonian shift where the adults in the room gently but firmly put away the idiots and Get Shit Done.

                  It is also possible that there are folks over there that understand this sentiment perfectly well. And are more than willing to posture and knock over a neighboring country while the US is temporarily weak (we are).

                  Things are slowly shifting in a more practical, pragmatic direction. It wouldn’t be just the dumb thing to nuke the US right now, when things are still in flux. It would be insane.

                  1. Yep. Unless you can saturate the US and take us completely off the board (which IMHO would be damn near impossible) you’re violating Machiavelli’s maxim “Never do an enemy a small injury.”.

              2. A large number of water sources, actually. Pretty much the entire state is.

                But we’re talking about a showy exchange. Water sources aren’t showy, unless there’s a dam involved. And there aren’t any of those near LA.

                Also, going after water sources might make a place less habitable. But aside from the excellent harbor, everything of strategic value in LA can be picked up and moved somewhere else in the country. Which is what would happen if the area’s water supply was reduced.

            2. The efficient way to destroy Los Angeles with bombs is to target the pumping stations on the aqueducts. Even if there’s enough stored water to arrange an evacuation, there would ba a massive refugee problem.

          2. Many years ago I volunteered to work the emergency center for an exercise (trying to broaden my experience). As I recall, we were nuked around the third day of the festivities, which I suspect was grossly optimistic. (If they follow traditional targeting there won’t be much left of central and north-central New Jersey).
            My main takeaway was I never wanted to work there for a real crisis.

  8. “…balance a checkbook’
    Like on their nose or something? Do people under 30 actually balance checkbooks? Do they even have checkbooks?
    Feel free to throw carps. We need more frivolity lately.

    1. This 65+ guy doesn’t have a check-book.

      I use an excel work-sheet to record checks, other payment, and deposits to my checking account.

      Why write in a physical check-book when the work-sheet does most of the work (addition & subtraction)?

      Note, I have had to double-check if I entered the correct amounts from time to time. 😉

      1. I set up a 12-tab workbook in LibreOffice to track one account for a full year. Every January I load the templates and start new files for my checking and savings accounts. I also made up a workbook to track the mortgages on my house and investment property.

          1. That’s what “on-line checking accounts” are good for.

            Generally speaking, I know what checks are outstanding and what checks have cleared.

            So I don’t have to set a time to “balance my checkbook” as I routinely view my checking account activity.

            Of course, there was the charge that I didn’t know about which goofed things up this month.

            Don’t blame them however and it’s cleared up now.

            1. We use ***Quicken to track everything. Don’t regularly update the current balance on mortgage or vehicle loans. But hubby uses Quicken to keep eyes on investment accounts. Hubby also uses a spreadsheet for detail that is missed in Quicken. I use it to download CC charges, and what is due when, what comes in when, a *WAG on what will be owed for Utilities, and a WAG (about 14th or so) what we’ll need extra to pay off the main used CC. Everything is **categorized, more or less.

              More of a high side Guess than a true WAG (wild ass guess).
              ** Fred Meyers and Costco are categorized as Groceries or Fuel. Groceries, not 100%. Often includes not people food, of either clothing or pet food/gear.
              *** Going to have to find something else. Used to update Quicken every 3 years. Now can’t get away from updating yearly. For what we do. Not worth it.

              1. As you’re a (retired) programmer, Gnucash might be to your taste as a Quicken replacement.

              2. I’m fond of KMyMoney. (No idea if it’s supported on MS boxen.) The fact that it happily imported Quicken data was rather nice. It has the capability to handle split categories, but I found that I seldom really paid attention to the splits. If it’s a purchase from Costco or Fred Meyer, I’ll look at what the bulk of the purchases were, and categorize the total as “groceries” or “household”.

                I was doing splits more when it was worth it to itemize deductions, but current circumstances (retirement, [cough], [mumble]) says it’s not going to be worth it. (Back when sales tax was deductible, hell yes, I split that out.)

                1. We haven’t itemized deductions in years. Even with a mortgage. We don’t have Sales Tax to worry about regardless. Do track net medical, along with mileage, but do that on a spreadsheet. Including Pepper’s costs as she is a Service Dog (not that it has helped). Medical doesn’t help with Federal, but does state. At least hubby’s does. We were kind of giddy that 2021 my medical would start to count too, which would include all of Pepper’s continued training and medical costs. Because I turned 65 in 2021. Nope. Had to be 66 before the end of the year … Big Let Down. Medical is way down since Oct 2021 when our new Med Advantage kicked in. My Rosea medication still has (huge) copay, but all other medications are $0 copay. Otherwise, we’re healthy and those copays are minimal. Exception is Dental because we won’t change dentist practice, and Pepper’s costs.

                  Thank you. Will check out the recommendations.

      2. Back in the prehistory of PCs (Win 3.1?), I used a spreadsheet for checking accounts. When Quicken came out, I eventually bought a copy and used that. On Linux, I use KMyMoney*, and checks get entered in the computer, reconciled once a month, and balanced to the penny. Same for the other bank accounts.

        $SPOUSE wrote the check number, amount and date on the invoices. Since I’m paying the bills when I get to town, I found her approach well worth stealing, and do so. If I forgot, I have both the register line item (which never gets summed up–strictly records the checks), and the carbonless copy.

        I like the money program for the search function. It can be useful to know just how much I’ve paid Foo, Bar and Company in 2019 for a Gizmoblaster.

        FWIW, we’re writing a handful of checks each month. Electric Power, the credit card (issued by Untrusty Bank Corp) and some bills that occur quarterly or less often. If we felt we could trust the electric company or the credit card issuer, I’d consider an autopay. Nope. There have been enough breaches that I feel it’s not good for us to use on-line banking. Doesn’t hurt that the main banking branch is seconds out of our way in town. Especially when the tellers know me by name.

        (*) I am running into some bugs/incompatibilities where some preferences aren’t saveable. These are probably atrifacts of upgrades in the OS as well as the KDE stuff. I can live with it.

          1. Slackware 15.0_x64. It looks like I have an issue with qt. The error message shows as follows:

            “qt.qpa.xcb: QXcbConnection: XCB error: 3 (BadWindow), sequence: 1904, resource id: 15513001, major code: 40 (TranslateCoords), minor code: 0”

            This is when I’m trying to change the keyboard shortcut for “Copy”. It has a secondary CTRL-Insert, but I want that for New-Entry. I can change it per session, but not save it. Haven’t mucked with it much. (Not sure I’ve tried saving the change as root. It’s been a long month.)

            FWIW, I run xfce, but use the KDE applications. Several iterations ago, my system barfed when I was running KDE with the Oxygen environment, and I’m used to old school Unixen, particularly HPUX in the ’90s.

            1. A friend did the optimization on the HPUX libraries back in the ’90s 🙂

              Slackware, eh? Masochism and control freakery, all in one handy package! Was a time when I’d have enjoyed that, but nowadays I want the desktop to work OOTB, cuz I don’t have the time or energy to chase down configurations and fixes. (I say, while I’m trying to figure out why one DOS setup has sound, and the other does not, even tho it was cloned from the first.)

              Oxygen is just a theme. I use it because it’s the only one that negates that hideous “flat” look everyone is so enamored of.

              I’m guessing your bug is actually xfce failing to provide something KDE expects (given keyboard shortcuts are more typically controlled by the DE, not by the app). xfce is neither optimized (the maintainer says two guys don’t have time for that) nor much unbuggened. I tried it but found it too limiting, and prone to lock up. Also, contrary to popular contention, it is not “lean”; at present it uses almost as much RAM as Plasma.

              I use the KDE apps on Windows too. I like the consistency and general competence. Fewer places where something comes to an unexplained ooops.

              And I wish WPDE would fix how this damn text box fails to float properly; I can’t see half of what I just typed.

              1. I like/liked xfce because it wasn’t far from the Unixen I used in the past, both HPUX and Sun’s Solaris. Problems with KDE might have dated back to the Y2K (or late ’90s) machines I ran Linux on before upgrading. Currently, the oldest machine is 2012 vintage. (The newest is around 2014. If I don’t need the latest and greatest, I’ll go cheap.)

                A search on the Qxcbconnection error says it’s a known (unfixed) bug in qt, “but it normally doesn’t cause any problems”. Further investigation shows that the error shows up whenever the shortcut window closes, regardless of any changes. So, my SWAG is that it’s not tied to the problem.

                Same behavior running as root as for my normal user mode. First guess is that it’s trying to write to a file that doesn’t have any write permissions set up, or there’s an intermediate screwup that’s giving the same effect.

                I wasn’t aware of the staffing issues with xfce, though it was clear that documenting the thing wasn’t a priority. Will try setting the windows manager to KDE. I have all the pieces on hand. We’ll see if KDE/Plasma will play nicely with the laptop I use in the kitchen. If it’s happy, I’ll propagate it through the other systems.

                1. Oh, it’s not xfce; same screwy behavior in KDE/Plasma. Trying a custom keyboard scheme gives me a template without any data in it, and leakage from the default setup. At least it tried to set up a custom keyboard file, just without any data. Pardon me while I hit my head on the desk.

        1. Started auto paying utilities (required by Comcast/Xfinity) when they started taking CC without fee charge. I have the CC to complain through. I have no problem *complaining when needed. They don’t get direct access to banking with check account. Only other auto pay are for one car loan, through the bank with checking account. The other car loan, house payment, and CC payments (only two used, one main one, and the other I get auto 5% discount on all purchases at B&N, including ebooks), are paid through checks, triggered at the bank online. We do have physical checks. It takes forever to run out of them.

          Just ask EWEB. Okay, it was mom’s account. But it was me typing everything up. She had not been auto paying. Just her account seemed screwy. They had to report a bug to their (now) outside software vendor. Didn’t help that she has a water leak in her yard watering system. Got the problem with her account with EWEB dealt with and got her “pay off balance”, the account switched to pay as owed VS balanced pay. It was the latter with the software bug. Going forward billing will be clear to her, or should be, cross fingers. She still has to get the leak fixed, but not until she has to turn on the water for the season; there is a plan for that.

          1. I pay most of the bills with ‘push’ transfers from my checking account. Payees get the money when the transfers go through. They NEVER have any access to my account. I don’t use auto pay, either.

            The rental property HOA charges an INconvenience fee on electronic payments, so they get mailed a dead-tree check. The government gets dead-tree checks, too.

            1. The government can access your bank account any time they wish regardless. Using dead-tree checks does not prevent this.

              I learned this when CA Tax Board decided that because I had a mortgage, I must have more income than I’d reported, and proceeded to lift $1700 out of my checking account with no prior notice. (The fact that I was paying the mortgage from savings, not income, was irrelevant; there was no appeal. Sucks to be me.)

        2. I pay my power/gas bill with paper checks.

          The power company has decided to impose a convenience fee on online payments, and I don’t feel like paying them extra just do I don’t have to write a check.

          1. I paid with checks issued and mailed by the bank (no fee to me, I like our credit union) until the latest billing “Enhancement” of EWEB, NW Gas, and local garbage. They were pushing auto payments before with no fee, against the bank (um, NO). But fee payments with the CC (NO, again). The change still encourages auto pay but no fee with CC. That I will do. Their change over was not painless. There were more than a few months where the bill showed up, snail mail, the day it was due. This was a huge deal on NextDoor, people were not happy. So signed up to get bill when they were supposedly generated. Then signed up for auto pay.

            The other glitch was the non-generation of any bill because of $0 owed or negative balance. But there were (had to be) water/power/sewer charges or credits (for power). Mom was running into this problem, making it impossible to track her True Balance on the Monthly Balance Plan. She was paying her monthly amount before the bill was generated. Mom just can’t get it through her head that you can setup the payment through the bank before it is billed, but set the actual pay out for later, like after it is billed. Sigh. Plus part of the bill layout plan changed how they showed the True Balance and how the break downs were displayed. It took me a bit to figure out how they’d changed it, and I did this stuff for a living!!!! Growl. Okay, missing a few months didn’t help me figure out what the hell they were doing, the numbers couldn’t add up. FYI. When I check online for my bill, just after the 10th, yes I am checking hers too.

          2. We do most bills on autopay through a credit card or two.

            Gotta watch that – turns out the gas company somehow UNauthorized autopay and we missed 3 months of payments, and didn’t find out until we got a shutoff notice! Thankfully, OR utilities run 1/3 to 1/2 of our former CA utilities. And, I wonder why they did not care until 3 months.

            And, our error: we did not closely track which bills used which card. So, when a card number got hacked and we got a replacement, we did not notify all the billers of the new number. Some vendors have a service where they get the new info automatically, but not all of them.

            1. I run into the new card on a lot of things. One of the reasons I have Quicken auto populate guesstimate payments for everything that is auto paid. That reminds me well in advance of the old card being out of date. I always get the critical ones changed, but miss some smaller not critical ones who are a lot more understanding. Granted when you get hacked and get a new card isn’t the same as card going out of date. But the card going out of date, you’d think there would be a protocol for running a report to check for this. Or even a way to ping the cards and report back any failures, after all both our utilities did that when first setup. Sigh. No I don’t want a job.

      1. That sounds like my wife after she stopped working outside the home saying that she felt she still needed to “bring income” which she did by maxing out all of her credit cards within about 6 months and I had the “privilege” of paying off over the next 9 years after I cut them all up…..

        Yeah, she literally had no idea that credit cards were debt, not income. At age 36, having owned her own home while single even. Though I attribute that more to a very nice man who acted as a protective father to her than to her own ability anymore.

        1. Late ex-SIL was like that, too, though she qualified as medically bonkers. (Bipolar, not sure what else.)

          1. I guess oldest niece was that way. None of the 3 other nieces from that sister and BIL are that way. Don’t think other sister’s 3 are that way either, although the youngest the jury is still out (college sophomore, mom & dad still have purse string control). Our son is tight with a dollar. Or is that just “not a spend thrift? His two CC’s have a $700/per limit. Only has one he uses, the other is through his checking account (not the debit, he has that too).

            Both of us have the same philosophy about money. The only fights we ever had was (before Quicken) balancing the paper check book. If I did it month to month, balanced immediately. If he did it month to month, balanced immediately. We even calculated the interest owed (when interest on checking accounts was >10%, and savings account even higher). If we switched off … Problems. Every. Single. Time. It didn’t compute. The other fight (can you have a fight if one person is stamping and mumbling?) His sister was having problems (hubby ran off left her with all debts). She’d been borrowing from their parents. Okay so far. Then she asked brother (hubby) for money for school cloths for the kids. He asked how much I’d just deposited. My. Net. Pay Check. For. The. Month. Money that we knew wouldn’t be paid back. Not in any shape or form. Why in the hell was I working? Okay. Not a fight. Just me doing a lot of mumbling. No discussion. Not that we wouldn’t have come to the same conclusion. But still …

    2. I stopped dealing with checks when I twice had issues and had to change accounts right after buying a passel of checks. Last checks I used were pages fed to a printer, and I never got Linus set up to print to them. So now it’s cash or card.

      1. Cash by me to the consternation of those at check register, and to the incomprehensibility of the automatic checkout at the grocery store.

        In many decades I’ve only dealt with 2 errors by banks. One was when my company paid the wrong amount into my direct deposit, realized their mistake, and then deposited the right amount and attempted to withdraw the amount from the wrong deposit. My beloved and long gone bank said, “That’s not the way this works,” and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my balance at the ATM. I had to give it back of course.

        The other is the reason I refuse to have anything to do with the AAA. May they rot in hell–their incorporated entity anyway.

        1. Only had one check problem. Before moving from Longview we sold the 30 CU FT upright, rather than move it. Buyers had an account at the same bank we did. Bank deposited to our account, but also debited our account. Got it fixed. Bank also had to deal with some overdrafts because had figured on that money being there. (Before online tracking and complaining.)

    3. One of my granddaughters (almost 18 & working) has a checking account. Recently she needed the routing # and account # to set something up. Wife told where to look one one of her checks to get them. She had no checks, didn’t know how to write one, wasn’t quite sure what a paper check was…
      I keep my checking account up to date in KMyMoney, haven’t bothered with a paper register for a couple decades now.

  9. Oh, I worked for what I wanted. Worked pretty hard for it, was damn good at it, and ended up giving up because of three things:

    1) wrong politics
    2) had kids
    3) had worsening autoimmune function that wouldn’t let me keep trying at a job I wasn’t sure I even wanted to do anymore because of a low tolerance for political bull…leavings.

    I’m much happier and saner as a full-time housewife and mother, and part-time writer (when I have enough left after caring for house and herding cats–er, kids and husband).

  10. You get the best treatment from the men when you work like a dog to be the best. I’ve always been well treated, as long as I was working hard at whatever we were doing.

      1. Also agree.

        I was lucky at the one location where I was actually working with other women, because they were like me/us. But mostly I was the only woman doing what I was doing, or the only woman working for the firm.

  11. I’ve dealt with many women in my career, only a couple were ever difficult, evil, or morally challenged. Maybe I’m spoiled by the way my company of the last 18 years works, but I’ve seen a number of very bright, capable women ascend the corporate ladder much farther than me, and deservedly so, despite taking time off to have children. We need family friendly white collar jobs. My personal hierarchy is God, Family, Work in that order, and I try to keep it that way. I do remember the bad old days for women in the workplace, but haven’t seen that for decades.

    What you describe Sarah is the unfortunately typical human reaction, “If A and nothing but A is not right, we must have Z and nothing but Z. The Big Guy shakes his head, and says, “I DID make them in my image, right Michael? Right? I even sent them a user’s manual, then I sent my son to read it to them and explain it as simply as possible, and yet….this?”

  12. Suppose I have experience with a) life kicking the sh!t out of me b) deep love for a particular ‘male dominated’ occupation, and hence c) have some understanding of what it takes to tough it out through difficulties in that occupation.

    Suppose I still think it is Really Cool, and hence want people that I can discuss how cool it is with.

    Obviously, there are people who might also think it is really cool, who have avoided it because of people saying that it was not a cool thing for them to be doing. No matter how rare a behavior is, if you have a large enough group, some occurrences will happen. So, I would kinda want to encourage that first group.

    One problem, is the people who on paper have the same goal, do not think occupation is cool, are instead are concerned about assumed status or group manipulation games, and have no idea about the reality of the occupation.

    “I want someone else to do X, because of my personal damage” and “Here’s the sunk costs in my pursuit, but if it stopped being cool for me, quitting would have been the correct choice” have a lot of difference.

    The degree of practice you get into when you are pleasing others by doing superficial prep, and when you are pleasing yourself with activity that chases the meat of the work, is different. If you are on the edge of the occupation, if your mixture of abilities and affinities mean that you could choose to practice it, or choose not to practice it, hanging around the superficial encouragers can lead to you growing away from the occupation.

    Self knowledge is a critical priority, and bureaucratic perspectives on fractions of groups are about the worst possible metric that you can bring to bear. Self knowledge can be a tool for navigating between your own personal flavor of crazy, and the work that you will enjoy without self-destructing.

    Look at the stories that Dorothy Grant tells about this or that time when she happens to find herself in the process of preparing a manual or handbook. Most people do not ‘accidentally’ discover themselves in the process of creating a non-fiction guide that they will complete, and that will have an audience. This happens to her because her mind is a very specific flavor of unusual.

    My own crazy has some similarity, but it is not necessarily close enough for the same results to occur.

  13. Have Biden-und-Harris done anything right since they occupied the White House?

    I’ve been trying, and I can’t think of a single thing. Everything they touch turns to crap. The only parts of this country still working are the parts they haven’t gotten around to F’ing up yet.

    And they’ve got 3 years to correct those oversights. If Biden lasts that long.

    If not, one way or another, I think we’ll be seeing ‘President Warrick’ from The Last Centurion in any of the probable replacements.
    Only idiots believe they know how other people should live their lives. The stupider they are, the more blindly they believe it.

    1. They have done exactly what they set out to do: damage the country as much as they could in the time they have available.

  14. There’s another pattern here and you’ve probably seen it: everything progressives present as “helping,” a group, doesn’t. You’re black? “Oh, poor thing, you’re poor because Whitey keeps you down. But I, as a white person, realize how badly my people have mistreated you so I will help you! Be authentic, follow non-white values. Don’t come to work on time, punctuality is white. Don’t dress neatly, dressing for success is white. Don’t speak clearly, speaking good Standard English is white.” And so on. Plus encouraging de facto segregation as, “safe spaces.”
    They are amazing bigots. And stereotype like crazy: Leon Panetta’s, “Biden is Irish, so he may have internalized (Ukrainian) national suffering too much, that’s why he misspoke,” is so,typical, and so wrong.

    1. My 2 cents on that idiocy – if he’s primarily Irish, not American, wtf is he doing in his current office?

      1. As BGE puts it, Portuguese and Irish are the same genetics, really, at least the ones from the area that was Galicia, like me.
        Yeah, we can get emotional, and we love poetry. But we’re not crazy.
        Biden? Someone exported the village idiots. His entire family are criminal fuck ups.

        1. Biden is an English name, so he’s a Sasenach. The Irish in him is at least four generations old. Blaming the Irish for Biden is a bit rich.

          The Irish were known for their misplaced honor and pride, being poor and all. Biden possesses no honor at all. He’s a shoneen, better, a Seosamhin — little Joe, Shosaveen would approximate the sound.

    2. Not only are they not helping, anything touched by the Blue Bandits usually gets destroyed. Black families? War on Drugs? War on Poverty? Women? Children? The “working class” (actually, the productive class)? Black and brown people in general even?

      Compare how things were before democrat assistance (I almost wrote that as “insistence”) began, and today. Forget about what they say. What actually occurs, what happens every single time they try is the destruction and diminishing of the very thing they claim to be in support of.

      Perhaps it is time for more people to look at the cost of this supposed “help.” We’ve a grossly malformed budget. It seems to me that a statistically significant portion of said spending could be profitably eliminated to the betterment of our Republic.

        1. I’m torn on that, slightly. While FDR was more damaging to the country, I think Wilson was actually more of a tyrant and a scoundrel (plus the origin of much that FDR did). So unless I misunderstand the malediction (which is entirely plausible), I’d reverse the order…

          1. Lincoln would have never had, or used, that level of power if the democrats hadn’t started precisely the armed insurrection that the presidency carries the right and responsibility to suppress.

            Once they escalated to that level of criminal violence, there was no good remedy.

            If the confederates had ‘won’ that conflict, they would have found themselves unable to bring about a return to lasting peace.

            It is to Lincoln’s credit that the results were not quite a bit worse.

            1. Exactly where in the Constitution does it give the President (or anyone else) the right to force the States (or any of them) to remain in a federation where they no longer want to be? Hint: it’s not there.

              The federal government was created by the States for their benefit in dealing with other countries. It was never intended to rule them, and they would have never ratified the Constitution if they had thought it was intended for that purpose

    3. Panetta’s a satanist, can we make fun of that?

      Biden being Irish is laughable, he’s not even a plastic Paddy. He not a good Catholic either unless killing babies is now licit. Even the wee popey hasn’t gone that far, yet.

      1. Meh, at least you and I are Catholics even if the Pope no longer is. 😀
        You know, yesterday our black neighbor asked Dan if it was difficult marrying outside the race, and if my parents were upset I married a white guy.
        I’ve never figured out how born-Americans tally race, but Dan assumed he’d seen me as Hispanic. (Most people do.) Turned out, he thought of me as black. (Well, there’s that in there, and — There’s more Irish — actual Irish — and English than that.) And Dan was like “Well, you see, her mom is of Irish descent, is whiter than me, has green eyes, and light brown hair, so her parents thought she was marrying a white guy like them. They had more trouble with my being Protestant until I converted.” (Fact, my mom’s insane brother disowned me. Yeah, the one who never set foot in church, ever.) I mean dad is dark, because Sephardic Jews look like moors. And younger son looks just like him, which I think combined with my nose spit out “African.”
        But I think ALL American people — except Dan — are psychotic on race and origin. What they consider themselves is bizarre.

        1. “Meh, at least you and I are Catholics even if the Pope no longer is. 😀”

          Wait… does this mean that bears no longer crap in the woods, either?

      2. The Biden surname is from Hampshire. His mother’s surname was Finnegan, and she had that Irish look; but the Bidens are much more WASPy. All the kids who are named after their mom’s families — that’s very WASP.

        Biden’s grandparents’ surnames were Biden, Robinette, Finnegan, and Roche. So he’s mostly English and French, not Irish. (To be fair, the Finnegans seem like they were pretty Irish, judging by the names.)

        1. I have Roche’s in the family stick. It’s a Norman name and most of my (few) family names are Norman. They live(d) in Cork. Finnegan is Irish, it means fair haired, or blonde. They came from Oriel in the Pale.

          1. One of the Roches married a Bridget Fox, which definitely sounds Irish.

            So maybe one-half Irish and the other half English. No shame in that, of course, and of course being Irish-American is more dramatic… but most Americans like to reel off all their ethnicities. (And yes, I really do need to buy that Irish/German t-shirt, in one of the varieties.)

      1. Men, too. Women go to hll, men go right after them. Yeah, we civilize each other and all that. And really, men *can’t pass along culture the way women can. I’ve worked with and trained young men for over a decade. Two, now that I think on it (getting older sucks).

        The age that culture has the most impact, who are the teachers? Who has more time with the kids? We love being dads. It’s awesome. But moms and early teachers (disproportionately women) have a huge impact.

        1. Yes. When a young man opens a door for me, or helps me without being asked (or ordered), I always smile broadly and thank him, especially if he is a very young man (waist high, say) and his parents are within ear-shot. I want to reward gentlemen for being gentlemen.

          1. That’s all it takes, really. We men are largely simple creatures. A smile and appropriate courtesy will make many a man’s day just to see it.

            1. Men evolved to want women kept safe and happy, and women evolved to exploit the ever-loving hell out of it. 😉

              1. Eh. There’s at least a little nuance to it.

                At least, that’s what my female acquaintances have hinted at. I think. Not so good with hints, me. ;p

  15. Regarding voice tones…a few years ago I encountered a long joke, where a husband heard his wife say she wanted to be six again. So on her birthday he took her to the fair and a ball game, rode the rides, stuffed her full of hamburger and cotton candy, and then asked her how she enjoyed being six again. And she replied, “You idiot, I meant a SIZE six!”
    I cried for hours over that. I saw a man going out of his way to give her her dream, and her rejecting it with scorn. Mentioned it to my beloved and he said, “Now, when I read it, I heard her say, ‘you idiot ‘ with love in her voice. So she was laughing with him.”
    I’m so glad I married him.

    1. A shared sense of humor is something often overlooked when folks are prospecting for a mate. I tend to think there would be more happy marriages if it were more prized from the get go.

      1. I can still make my wife laugh and I still take pleasure in doing so. That’s why we’re still married. 34 years on.

        1. That’s what a good husband does. Bringing joy and happiness to the women in our lives makes us damned proud. Safety and security are just what you do. Making the women in your life laugh is something you can do every day.

    2. Yep. If it had been me, I’d have said “Oh, that was fun. Now I want to be grown again.” EVEN if the misunderstanding was there. Because, well…. I love him.

    3. My husband and I still laugh about the time that I asked for “A little glass of lemonade,” and he went hunting through the cabinets until he found something barely bigger than a shot glass and filled it with lemonade for me, honestly believing that was what I wanted. Since then, I’ve been a bit more careful in my word choices.

      1. We overly literal people have it tough. People ask us to do things, questions, and the like. And then they look at us funny when we give them exactly what they asked for.

        overly dramatic sigh

        Learning sarcasm and puns is the only way out of being overly literal. This I firmly believe. solemn nod

  16. You had to be super-hungry, determined and focused to get a foot in the door.
    So they were amazing and exceptional. From this a lot of people on the activist side took the idea EVERY woman was like that, and imagine the amazing things unleashed if they were “equal” to men, or even better took charge.

    I understand the US Marines ran into this problem back when they were first getting the AV-8 Harriers. The first group trained were the exceptional pilots. The accident rate was negligible. So the Marines figured everyone could fly the thing, and then the fatality accidents started happening and they were scratching their heads as to why.

  17. The war taking off the young men in Austin is interesting. My da ended up as trustee for the trust my maternal grandfather set up to,”keep” his maiden sisters who never married because the men they would have married died in WW I. It was a real problem since the Anglo-Irish squirearchy was never very big and the death rate among them, astronomical.

    1. yeah. I think the peninsula took a lot of second and third sons, but also firsts.
      England has gone through a lot of these.
      My own generation in Portugal, at least the ah…. educated class women were headed for spinsterhood.
      In the village, class of 12 girls, four married abroad, four never married. And two married younger men.
      Why? Well…. you see, husbands used to be five to ten years older than wives.
      So, a lot of them died in the Africa wars, the men who would have been courting us.
      More than that, though, a lot of them LEFT. The educated boys who were patriotic left for Africa where there were opportunities, and a chance for growth (and a lot died or came back as paupers after the revolution.)
      The ones who didn’t want to go to war went to Brazil or Venezuela. “Made the jump.” Or even France or Spain.
      This left the uh…. we weren’t gentry. Well, we kind of were, but decayed. (Very.) But we were “the educated class” where they expected even girls would finish high school. What the rough working boys in the village called “the select girls.” Anyway, it left it much diminished, and other than marrying down (one of the girls did) or marrying much younger guys, the women were stuck.
      My best friend and I were prepared to be maiden ladies with intellectual professions. She and I, in fact, were negotiating for a two bedroom apartment downtown and had planned out the money, so we could move out and be adults, something that didn’t use to happen until you married.
      Then some French man proposed to her for the fifth time, and she was weak.
      And then I called Dan, and was married to him nine months later.
      But it’s not something we counted on. Because men were scarce and we were…. odd.

      1. My mother came to America fleeing what was essentially an arranged marriage. She met my da and that was that. Common as clay, my da, but he could buy and sell the lot of them.

        My mother’s crowd was cousins marrying cousins. WW I gutted that pool and even the men who came back didn’t always come all the way back. It wasn’t Irish Independence, since the Anglo-Irish carried on running the banks and the post-office as they always had down into the 80’s. WWII put the final stake in it. My mother had two brothers, one died at Casino, the other never came all the way back from Anzio.

        I think that’s what we Americans have trouble understanding, the traditional minor gentry class, and my family is about as minor as you can get and still be gentry, has always been quite small and paid a disproportionate blood tax. The aristos never paid their way, but got all the privileges.

        I said bad luck to all of that and married a fireman’s daughter. Best damned thing I ever did. Now, if I can only find a nice girl for number two son, everything will be good. The gel made a good marriage and number one son shouldn’t marry.

          1. I’d offer my kid, but she’s a *tad* young (though finally more or less potty trained!) ☺

            If my (limited) interactions with him online and your mentions of him are anything to go by, some girl will be lucky as hell.

            1. LOL. Someone who comments here has claimed him for her 8 year old.
              Well, he will probably marry late. He’s like his cousin who just married, at 40, so….. you know. But two is way too young. 😀
              He needs to get married and have a batch of kids. He loves kids and cats, and is deathly allergic to dogs, but will go out of his way to rescue one in peril. He’ll be okay.
              He…. uh…. might be writing. uh…. novels.
              His style is a dead ringer for mine. So that will be fun.

              1. Does he need a minder? Someone to remind him to eat regularly, drink water so the headaches don’t happen so often, shower, and sleep when you get tired?

                That said, there’s at least one out there for him. Trouble will be in the finding, but eh. That’s life, for an Odd. Man or woman. We have difficulties with these things.

              2. Heck, I’d offer my own daughter, but she is a bit too old for him, I think. Plus having been romantically burned once too often, which does leave emotional damage. (Sigh. There are a couple of her old Marine pals which I think she should have married early on, but my daughter … and stubborn. Know what I mean?)

                1. Stubborn tracks noticeably with Oddness. Like as not if we weren’t stubborn then it stands to reason we’d not be Odd. As Odd. Something like that. And of late… Well. After a certain age, if you don’t have scars that would be odd. I think.

                  There’s someone out there for her, too. Even emotional trauma can heal, given time. Or at least, you get used to the holes in the person you used to be.

                  1. Mom once said that I am her most stubborn child. And our entire family is known for being stubborn.

                2. My eldest is incredibly stubborn, more stubborn than I, but she’s got issues beyond that. I wish youngest daughter could find someone nice. She doesn’t really have any options for meeting people, however. And don’t say church.

      2. My mom’s immediate family was, “slipping into not so genteel poverty,” during the Depression. They regarded themselves as middle to upper-middle class; my great-grandmother was a schoolteacher when that was a high-status profession. Granddad, unfortunately, had to try and be a farmer and it was not his strength, putting it gently. Even though he had the reputation of being a good weather predictor. (And he could cure warts by the laying on of hands, said my aunt).

      3. “Then some French man proposed to her for the fifth time, and she was weak.
        And then I called Dan, and was married to him nine months later.
        But it’s not something we counted on.”

        Hope it worked out as well for her as it did for you.

        “Because men were scarce”

        I know polygamy is normally not a good idea, but I wonder if it might be temporarily worth it when there’s a shortage of males.

  18. I’ve now seen an ad on YouTube twice in which men are encouraged to share their salaries with women, because equity or equality or something. I think they mean men should tell women how much they make, and then women can demand the same amount because patriarchy? The reason the ad really stands out is that they pretend to put the guys into some truth or dare thing about whether he will tell his salary or not, then torture him with nasty spiders or being dunked in ice water, until he agrees it would be much easier just to say how much he earns. Moral of the story: women can’t negotiate for a good salary without help from men, but also hate those men. I guess because they have to work so hard to force the men to set them up for success.

      1. It’s the Narrative. I.e. has little to no connection to reality.

        You have to go through some pretty torturous logic contortions to get there. If you take the salaries of all men, or all men in generic “Y” field, and compare it to the same in women, voila! Sexism. Only they don’t do this for women dominate fields.

        Say male CEOs make more money. Okay, I’d buy that as plausible. The men in those positions are not normal guys. They compete with each other to make more than the other one, work objectively insane hours, and get paid large salaries for it.

        You won’t find many women to put up with the sort of demanding pace and schedule that such men will voluntarily subject themselves to. Similarly, you won’t find many women working in the physically demanding fields of construction, welding, and the like. Men who are in the skilled trades, the jobs that are dirty, difficult, and dangerous, they make darned good money.

        And a lot of men die doing those jobs. Or become permanently disabled early on. Or the work breaks them to the point that they can’t do it anymore by the time they are forty.

        You can compare the two sexes blindly (and stupidly) and say that those CEOs, construction workers, sailors, millwrights, and welders are making more than women are. And this is true in an extremely dumb and limited fashion.

        Now ask me where the women are that are lining up to take the jobs where you work out in the weather, no matter the weather, hip deep in mud or blistering heat, for higher pay. Or work three straight 22 hours a day, then take a call from a client not an hour into your sleep cycle that requires you to put in another four hours right effing now to fix something that client on the other side of the world wants right effing now.

        They’re not trying to help the poor discriminated women that are busting their butts to help provide for their families. They’re trying to get women in HR quota hire office jobs the same pay as the guys who are doing the work of three people to make up for the HR quota hires.

  19. With the men have more outliers than women, I wonder if that implies part of intelligence is tied to functions in the X chromosome?

    From what I can tell, in women, both X chromosomes express, but it tends to alternate from cell to cell which one is active.

    If the X has a function in intelligence, then them alternating expression could be a reason women cluster more to average?

    1. So far around 500 genes have been ID’d that affect intelligence. The unifying factor is that they also affect health, so In general, healthier = higher IQ (and better longevity), because body health affects brain function.

      1. But I’m wondering if they’ve traced any to the X chromosome specifically, because any time you roll two dice you’re going to get a more average weighted result than if you roll just one.

      2. That last is not true Reziac, and you know that as well as I do.
        No? Let me take you around a Mensa meeting.
        Bodies as weird as their minds, with the defects that come with it.
        That is simply bullshit.
        Also, while there are a ton of genes that contribute to IQ, they have honed in on fewer than that.
        Are they ever going to admit it/publish that? Are you crazy? Would you? Even if you didn’t get blacklisted, do you want to start an eugenics craze?
        But we know them for every other animal. It has nothing to do with “health” (which is really hard to do genetically, anyway, since it’s usually the way genes interplay) though it sometimes has something to do with seemingly irrelevant physical characteristics, like oh, the shape of your ears or something (this was PFA. But it’s at that level. No, it’s nto racial characteristics.)
        It’s just no one will ever publish that. And it’s clear whatever you got hold of is not just insane, but untrue. Sorry.

        1. Actually, there’s a huge body of research on it. Ain’t just one thing, no matter what egalitarianism you choose to believe. And Mensa are… from what I’ve seen, kinda the weirdos of the upper IQ range, no more representative than we here are.

          1. It’s not egalitarianism. I said nothing about egalitarianism. I said that IQ has a much smaller range of genes — not what I chose to believe, I’ve done deep dives on this — and they’re correlated to totally irrelevant things. And very few of them correlate to “health” — partly because there are NO genes that correlate to health, though some correlate to disease — Unless humans AREN’T like the rest of life on Earth.

  20. I have been working on formatting the high school graduate roster for our school district for every year since 1887 so that it can be posted on our website. One of the interesting things I noticed right away was that, even from the very beginning, the classes were fairly evenly balanced between men and women. With the the exception of a few years where there were no male graduates at all.

    Those coincided with the various major wars.

    Apparently, no one told women back in the day they couldn’t have an education even before compulsory education in the US. There was a large jump in the number of students when it became mandatory, but the class mix of women to men stayed the same. I know not many women went on to college. But most men didn’t either until fairly recent times. And I suspect we are going to see fewer folks going to advanced education going forward.

    And, I also realize that many of the classes that men and women typically attended were different, but the core classes were usually the same. Lots of home economics type stuff for the ladies and welding or machine shop for the boys as electives though. I am not aware that any guy who wanted to take cooking classes was not allowed and the girls could take machine shop as long as they kept their hair tied back for safety reasons.

    Now days our district doesn’t offer either home ec or machine shop. Because it was impossible to ensure equal representation of girls and boys in each short of making them mandatory. And they didn’t have room in the curriculum for that and college preparatory courses and they want everyone to go to college.

    Very stupid. But largely parent driven. Parents were all expecting their children to go too college and wanted that to be the focus.

    But signs of sanity are on the horizon. The district is working toward partnering with a local vo-tech school to bring instructors in to teach those classes. Parents are more inclined to say yes to them if a college credit is attached.

    1. I suspect part of the dropping of Home Ec and shop classes was the coolness factor of computers, especially in the ’80s and ’90s. I was college prep (was in “Superior track”, one below Honors in a 4 track system), and my advisor was appalled that I insisted on taking drafting, and Horrors! Metal Shop. Not sure if Dad had to weigh in; but said advisor finally figured out that It. Was, Going. To. Happen..

      I think I broke him, actually. Senior year, I bypassed AP Chemistry in favor of (Business Oriented) Data Processing. No objection, though he might have cried a little. I went on to an engineering program at U of Redacted and never looked back at business DP. FWIW, even though it was a more-or-less elite public high school, it had no access to a scientific computer in the late 1960s. At U of R, they started remote terminal connections in the early ’70s on campus, though not in the classes I took. Our department had its own scientific computers, courtesy a Navy program, but TPTB were pushing to get everybody on the IBM mainframe designated for basic science. Note this was long before the internet.

      1. Another part was liability, particularly in metal, auto, and wood shop. Never encountered any injuries, though there were lots of opportunities for mayhem in the machines. Safety precautions were enforced, but not to the exclusion of sanity.

        1. Requiring all teachers to have a BA or higher was a third knife in the back of Vo-Tech. When I was in junior high, we had just lost an incredibly good welding instructor. His students won awards and got great jobs even before graduating HS. But he just could NOT pass college exams, especially advanced math. So he was forced to retire, and died not long after “of a broken heart” one of the other metal shop teachers explained to the wood-working teacher.

          1. See, that’s just dumb. Local University should have just called the guy in, granted him equivalent credits for life experience, and put him on pass/fail for everything else. Heck, a guy like that should have been able to teach colleges a thing or two.

            Argh. So many dumb things causing so much heartbreak.

            OTOH, I have it on good authority that Himself is in the trades, and so I’m sure He had a workshop ready for him.

            1. I think I smell the input of the teacher’s union/Education Establishment mucking with things. Can’t have people actually doing teaching without 4 years of Proper Instruction, dontchaknow?

          2. Son had a type of “Shop Class”. Where they learned welding and electrical. Popular too. IDK if it has survived the pandemic or not. Both junior level and senor level ended up with Electric Go Carts to run in races from Jan through Memorial Day Weekend, all 3 days, last race at the Portland Raceway. Built from scratch. Raced. Taken apart after school started the next year. Repeat. The only school class based program. Other programs associated with schools, churches, or other entities, but they were clubs that maintained and raced the electric go carts they brought. Clubs brought maybe 2 or 3 carts. Willamette had 8 carts in January, and another 6 entered by juniors by the end of May, son’s senor year. Only two were not new that year (teacher’s and a private cart made by a HS graduate his senor year and bought by his parents, only way to keep it intact).

      2. The various high schools around my district have different specialty tracks. The one my eldest is going to attend has a culinary track. I’m definitely pressuring him into the basic course in a year or two. 🙂

  21. And if they fail it’s some man’s fault.

    Nothing says anything men can do women can do better than telling failing women that men didn’t help them enough.

    Then again, the greatest everest icon of feminism, Hillary Clinton, just used the traditional female strategy of marrying the right man.

    No wonder transwomen are edging out women…the champions of women believe men are superior by their deeds and demands. Maybe men can do anything better than women, including being women.

  22. In the end, modern western feminism is the worst “bottom rail on top now, massa” in history. It is a system of demanding all restrictions on women be lifted but all restrictions on men and privileges given to women be retained.

    Need proof, read the reoccurring “what happened to chivalry” articles (which is a subset of “men need to position women for success”).

    Feminisms biggest success has been a generation of men who want nothing to do with women beyond, at best, the basest versions of sex.

  23. How exactly are men supposed to ‘Position A Woman For Success’? What’s the procedure?

    (I’ve got a pretty good idea what Kamela Harris’s ‘Positions For Success’ were)

    The only way to position yourself for success is to develop the skills and abilities to do something of value, and then DO something of value.

    Although you can get the form without any substance by being a suckup to somebody in a position of power.
    The Capitol is OUR house. Congresscritters are just the help.

    1. A man positions a woman for success by doing all of the work, and letting the woman take credit for it.

      Except that apparently in Harris’s case, merely “standing in front of the microphone and taking softball questions from a lapdog press” is too difficult for her.

  24. On the subject of Mr. Bennet, I tend to return to the source material, which answers some of our questions:

    First, they were not in debt. It’s mentioned in one chapter that Mr. Bennet had a horror of being in debt, so while they lived right up to their means, they didn’t go beyond them.

    Second, Elizabeth though Mr. Bennet was flawed as a husband and father. And while admittedly Elizabeth isn’t a 100% reliable narrator, I think we’re supposed to believe her on this. The two big flaws she mentions are (a) ridiculing his wife in front of the children, and (b) not taking a more active role in shaping the behavior of his three younger daughters (or at least Catherine and Lydia; while everyone agreed that Mary was an embarrassment, no one ever suggested that maybe someone ought to offer her some tips on how to behave better).

    1. Yes. I get that. But she didn’t blame him for not “supporting and educating his wife.” Or for “not being a good estate manager” or any of that nonsense they bring up against him.

  25. “Here’s the dirty secret: no matter how much you mollycoddle someone, sooner or later they’ll come up against a test.”

    The home in our house was the girls with the best grades all “didn’t test well”. If you couldn’t brown nose into a grade, they were average students who thought they were way smarter than they were. As opposed to boys who couldn’t get an A but smoked the tests. This is what they are trying to get rid of SATs. Can’t have that show up!

  26. Everybody, man, woman, or mentally-ill person, who thinks the universe owes them something other than essentially a blood, toil, sweat, and tears (or however Chur hill put it) is a cretin.

    I have been blessed to fail and recover multiple tome over my nearly 64 years. As my Mom used to say, “God gives every bird its food; but he doesn’t theow it in their mouth.”

    Mind you, I think we need to trust Him to provide across all areas of life, like Psalms 16, 23, and 91 indicate. But Ephesians 2:8-10 essentially says He saves us to do work.

    Lazy asshats are a dime a dozen, using Zimbabwe dimes. We are to “work to show [ourselves] approved.” People who combine a false sense of self-esteem with laziness and unstructured time, especially when young, decay mentally. And are often consumned by various addictions and criminal pursuits.

    If you love someone, see that yhey have work to do.

  27. I am shocked to hear that girls are getting high grades just for showing up. I’ve always thought that girls were good little girls and did everything teacher said. While the boys were goofing off at the back.

    1. Thing is, the teaching credential in the US is selected for by rote thinkers who want job security, pleased instructors in their classwork, didn’t have the drive to find or create an unusual job, and apparently are mostly not intelligent enough to realize that the academic theory of Education is blazing hot garbage.

      So, when you have a woman who is that type of thinker, and was additionally bullied into picking ‘career’ over marriage and motherhood…

      The relatively decent ones have no idea what it takes to succeed with a real academic degree, or in mathematics, and think they are helping these poor girls by acting according to the dogma of the feminist cult, and inducting girls into the cult. The cult cares deeply about the symbols of specific female ‘success’ stories, and of aggregate numbers of ‘female successes’, and is basically indifferent to individual happiness, or to the human costs of trying to create the appearance of the symbols.

      Sometimes women sacrifice a lot of potential happiness, to support their spouse and their children. Feminism is the same thing, except with an idol instead of human beings.

      Feminism is thus utilitarian for queen bees to promote. Queen bee has an additional tool for mindfucking followers, by convincing the follower that their personal unhappiness is a legitimate price to pay, because somehow it results in the symbolic ‘success’ of the queen bee, and that success is what is really important. This is basically why married and unmarried women of unhealthy personal standards were throwing such hysterical fits when Hillary Clinton was too bloody incompetent to steal the election in 2016.

      The ‘rote learning’ Education major teachers who are not relatively decent? Some of them seem to have the same destructive jealousy that you see with the murderous intrigue in the harems of kings, emperors, etc. These ones realize that the woke LGBT shit that they are teaching to young children is not good for the children, and destroying the children, both boys and girls, is the point.

      One room schools instructed by young women in between graduation and marriage was by far the more functional bureaucratic format for education. Requiring a college degree for an occupation, pushing a bunch of people through a degree program, does not necessarily improve the quality of people in that occupation, or make them actual intellectuals.

        1. I’ve been stewing over some of these problems for years, and for whatever reason, this is one of the cases where my irritability actually aligns with basic human decency.

          Basically, the company that you keep matters; In part because what they have do, and do, guides your understanding of what is possible, and desirable.

          I had the experience of living through public school, and realizing later how poorly it had served me having teachers for company. I knew that my peers had a skewed/inexperienced perspective, but I had not realized that there was anything particularly unusual going on with the teachers.

          There seem to be at least four ways women in American society respond to feminism.

          Some of them lack drive, intelligence, ability, etc., but they still care about the feminist goals, so they will sacrifice and do ritual behavior for the goal of feminism, but when it comes to what they actually make of themselves, they go through the motions, and are satisfied with lower performance.

          There are women who understand that the career goal is not where they want to put their happiness and emotional investment, and you know, spouse, family, etc.

          There are women who experiment with sacrifice for personal improvement, but do so with a relatively sane work life balance, and are not putting a lot of sacrificing or caring into collective goals.

          Then there are insanely ambitious women, who will sacrifice anyone and everything for their personal goals.

          Since ending my involvement with public school, I’ve been blessed to interact with relatively few women obviously in the first and last groups. Mostly I’ve been around the middle two groups, or women who are members of both groups.

          These women have a relatively sane and often entirely unimpressed attitude towards these ‘collective’ goals. They know exactly what they have sacrificed for what goal, and are not excited about being asked to chip in for something that they don’t care about.

          The women with STEM degrees that I have known, who understand both the value and the limits of the training for the degree, who have the sorts of work life balance I consider sane, are not super enthusiastic for nonsensical bullshit that allegedly will get ‘more women in STEM’ but will instead screw over the path they traveled to success in STEM.

          1. It seems like every woman in my family has a strong amount of resolve.

            I generally admire resolve. My grandparents and parents, all had great resolve, and sometimes it was used for ill.

            I think zero of the women in my family used their resolve for cookie cutter super feminist goals. I think the closest to that, was a woman who was pretty selfish and self destructive, and her choice of methods were not strictly according to feminism.

            Their examples, as females, have shaped my life and pursuit of goals, as a male.

            I’ve possibly screwed up my own efforts, but the mechanisms for that are largely /not/ the mechanisms that efforts to address female, minority, disabled, etc., ‘inclusion’ are trying to fix.

            I actually count as having a disability, and I have very little patience for the formal disability inclusion efforts, I think some of them actually harm my interests. The disabled people I hang around with largely have little interest in or patience with disability inclusion. The women I hang around with, as above. The ethnic minorities? I’ve not seen that they hugely care. The gays? The only concern from LGBT I’ve seen about LGBT was by a male homosexual who was maybe white knighting a bit on behalf of trans. The more sympathetic explanation for his behavior was the number of trans he is/was friends with.

            These approaches that I’ve mentioned are all more persuasive than raging about the statistical modeling implicit in some of the thinking around inclusion. The potential issues with the statistical modeling really is one of my stronger motivations, but that only persuades people who are the same exact flavor of crazy. Everyone else doesn’t really follow the argument, and can’t understand why anyone would care.

  28. I just re-read this post, but substituted, “African Americans” for “women,” and it still works. Try it.

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