Politics, Culture and Auto-Immune

Painting by Bernhard Plockhorst. It hung in the bedroom I most used, in childhood, when I spent most of the time sick. It’s stayed with me, and it is in my mind now.

The auto-immune? Well, other than in a metaphorical sense, it’s mine. (In the metaphorical sense, it’s as damaging as the attack on our culture, already, by causing fear, despondency and above all despair.)

It was supposed to get better when we moved. To an extent it has, because I don’t have the awful respiratory symptoms I got in Colorado. My breathing is pretty much normal, save for a tickle at the back of my throat, which becomes a dry, shallow cough when I lay down, and that’s normal for everyone here in Spring, I think.

It’s not the awful migraines I got in Colorado when the trees were blooming, either. My thinking is fine.

But the eczema, the thing that most responds to stress (and carbs, but I’ve actually been good-ish. Oh, not perfect, but careful) is through the roof. It’s so bad, I capitulated and will be taking a prednisone taper. (You’ve been warned. I don’t become an *sshole on pred, I just become sarcastic. And apparently funny. Heaven help us.)

Why am I so stressed? Well, there’s personal reasons, including the fact some of you have decided the present book is cursed, and I’m tired of it not being done. Today or bust!

OTOH… I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. And the stress itself/the anxiety is scaring me.

The last time I was this unable to stay away from the news was right after 9/11. I was writing the third Shakespeare book, and I literally couldn’t concentrate if I didn’t check the news every 10 minutes. I finally turned Fox News on, really low, and worked in front of it. I figured if something went really, really bad I’d hear a whistle or air raid siren or something.

My problem right now is that there’s no news station I can tolerate on even as background. There just isn’t.

Oh, yeah, before that the only time I was this on edge, like I was waiting for the other shoe, was when nuclear tensions were very high.

And yes, I do realize what Putin has threatened, and yes, I think he’s as nuts as our afflictions, which is to say very nuts indeed.

But I really don’t expect that, and I certainly don’t expect that where I live.

So why am I this stressed — on the edge of the chair, adrenaline pumping, ready to fight or flee? — I don’t know.

It could be after a long life in an insane world my reason has finally capitulated. It’s certainly possible, if not logical.

Anyway, that’s the auto-immune.

Now as to the culture war–

Yesterday in some blog — could be here, in the comments. I’m looking so often, it all runs together, and it’s hard to figure out what I read where, let alone what it means — someone said something that started out absolutely right, and then went completely wrong.

They reminded us that politics is downstream from culture. And then, bizarrely, strangely, said we had to do all the work of recapturing the culture from zero, because the left captured all the institutions.

<Hits head on desk repeatedly, then kneels to find eyes that rolled under the desk. Right. Now that’s done.

I am used to people buying the assumptions of the left. This is because, well, we all went to the same schools, and we have largely for many years consumed the same entertainment and some of those assumptions come built in, right?

But it doesn’t mean that’s true.

The assumption of the left has always been that you can remake a culture from the top down.

They’re not exactly wrong. Not precisely. You can. There are mechanisms for that. The most common one is the dreaded “imperialism.” In other words, conquest, massacre, slavery.

When you kill all the men, rape and impregnate all the women, you don’t make the old culture disappear precisely — the mothers will teach the children some words, in that long space in childhood where everyone is surrounded by women. And they will teach them some stories. And the kids will learn something by example — but you create an hybrid, and the culture that you conquered is weaker.

To an extent they’ve been trying to emulate that. In the west without the wholesale massacre. They captured the institutions, and punished and rewarded aspects of the culture. When I say we’ve been occupied by the enemy for 100 years, I am not exactly kidding.

What they have forgotten — the left does this, over and over — is that just like no two individuals are the same, no two cultures are the same. And while remaking a culture by pillage and rape works, how it works is…. mixed.

There seem to be mechanisms in human cultures to reward what works, long term. I don’t know how else to put it, and unfortunately we don’t — in any sense — have a functional discipline of sociology. It’s all lies, assumptions and bullshit, which doesn’t allow us to understand cultural processes. At all.

But we do know things. For instance, most of the religion of the Aztecs is lost in fact, and has to be reconstituted, because the mothers and grandmothers did not pass it on to their children. (The bits that come through are horrifying, but the gangs are in fact doing what Wiccans do with witchcraft, and making it up with bits and pieces of the old. It did not survive.)

On the other hand, though Rome was very thoroughly conquered, in its provinces and dependencies by Swabian and Vandal and eventually Moor and German…. it remains. You can’t walk down the street in these places without realizing that Rome never fell, that in all essentials, good and bad and well, meh it remains. Despite the fact that genetically it’s been overwhelmed and replaced.

We can’t expect the left to realize that, but we should. In the same way we should realize that the “conquering culture” never was. It was an ersatz creation of intellectuals, an insane hodge podge, bloodless and goofy that would be laughable if it hadn’t put a hundred million (and many more uncounted) human beings in their graves.

Put it another way, the culture they brought in wasn’t a real culture. There were no grandmothers who told tales to the conquerors in their cribs, tales that will come through when they talk to their sons. There wasn’t a real language that came with it. There weren’t the assumptions in that language.

It was all a fevered dream from the mad mind of Marx, seasoned with blood lust and envy, and intellectuals’ sense that they should be in charge.

As such, what it had as weapons was the cool kids sarcasm, the empty ironic platitudes of the teenager, and a fever to take everything apart and deconstruct it, because if everything was destroyed paradise would emerge. (It is this idea, that communism and egalitarian paradise are natural to humans that did the most damage. The first to get in the time machine and strangle Rousseau in his crib will have done humanity a service.)

It’s been falling apart almost from the moment it was implemented over us. Look, the people never actually bought it. Not really. Not even the educated.

How many of us know hard-core lefties who, in their private life, behave more like conservatives than the conservatives? Not just save and teach morality to their kids, but also try not to pay the IRS etc?

How many?

Most of us, I’d wager.

The only way the over culture, the conquering culture, the top down culture could hold its sway was to keep every dissent tamped down. That requires it to control everything. Not just the publications, not just the schools, not just the news, but entertainment, and peer to peer and EVERYTHING.

They almost managed it. They were aided by the mass-communication culture of the 20th century. They were aided by WWI and WWII and the cultural/governmental overreach it facilitated. They were aided by mass transportation, and by conquering schools and newspapers.

But it’s been falling apart since the end of the 20th century. Somehow, the conquered west figured it out, and even before the internet, a lot of people were treating the news like the Pravda. (There is no truth in Pravda.) And analyzing them, or even inverting them in their minds.

If they hadn’t been, Reagan and Thatcher would never have been.

And then the internet accelerated things, and showed each of us we aren’t alone.

Sure, politics are downstream from culture. Culture is now overflowing and washing away politics. If that weren’t true, the frantic cheating late at night, in the 2020 elections would be unnecessary. And the conquering Junta would not have barricaded itself in the capital for months, shaking with fear of retribution. (Retribution always comes when you no longer expect it, of course, but you can’t expect these ignoramuses to know history.) And they wouldn’t have tried to create an ersatz insurrection to discredit insurrections. And they wouldn’t be doing increasingly panicky and crazy stuff that everyone can see, thereby destroying any illusions that they are the organic and popular face of culture.

They are now the teacher (Heaven forgive me for what we did to that teacher) frantically praying and screaming orders in front of the class full of 14 year old girls — which is the rest of the people. Really all the people in the west — who are dancing on desks and making fun of her. Any minute now, she’ll lock herself in the closet, screaming prayers, and will emerge from it only to be taken to a rest home, with tranquilizers and lots of rest. Lots of rest.

Except when you still have the mechanics of power at your disposal, when the crazy, overwhelmed teacher can push a nuclear button or heaven knows what, that “locking oneself in the closet” might take a more destructive form. Much more destructive.

And I guess I found out why I’m on edge, and checking the news every five minutes.

We’ve largely taken the culture. It wasn’t hard, once we had the ability to talk back. (Frankly, the culture was never really taken by them. All they could do was project illusion.) We’re now overflowing the politics, and even with fraud, they’re getting terrified.

But they still have the mechanisms of force.

They won’t win. Force alone can’t vanquish a culture. But dear Lord, the damage they can do. To us, to the world, to civilization.

O Trinity of love and pow’r,
Your children shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire, and foe,
Protect them where-so-e’er they go;
Thus, evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

William Whiting

199 thoughts on “Politics, Culture and Auto-Immune

  1. “It was supposed to get better when we moved.”
    My eczema has my entire body rashed out and sensitive/itchy.
    My stress level is through the roof.
    Every so often I look at the news and say out loud “They are breaking everything!”
    Starting a business because no one hires 62-year-old contract administrators, with all the stress that induces.

    This place helps me keep my head up and remember I’m not the only one whose body is rejecting current reality, and whose fight or flight response is haywire. I’m grateful for that.

    1. My niece is experiencing horrible breakouts of her eczema. Her’s is due to Lupis, but stress makes it worse.

      The only reason I haven’t had stress about work, when I quit at 59, was because I knew I was DONE. I wasn’t going to be looking.

      Now at 48 (’04). OMG. I got lucky. Required one heck of a pay slash. But it was better than $0, and watching JIC savings drain away. Next step was tapping savings set aside for college funds. Just could not cut back enough to under surviving net salary (with OT pay). Taught us to not live to higher net salary. Not that it helped as the new salary was smaller than the surviving salary. But at least the savings drain stopped, even if replenishing it, long term, wasn’t happening (well did, but ultimately it went to kid’s college, so that by the time we retired, all we had extra was the tax deferred). At least we never tapped the tax deferred, with it’s penalties. I know others weren’t so lucky.

      I know people who lost their jobs, in tech, in 2002, who have never gotten back into full time work, at anything, let alone tech. Most 40+.

      1. We know one of those. Smart, articulate…..and utterly stalled. Has a reason no suggestion will work.

      2. Actually, he dud work as a salesman for a while, but wasn’t terribly good at it.

        1. Exactly. These are the ones that have hired on as temp work, at anything, to try and get on anywhere, and don’t work out. They belong in tech. Tech isn’t something you can be out of for very long. Worse if your work hasn’t been in current tech. Plus Tech is a “young person’s game”. Unless you are one of the few, or very lucky, with a lot of contacts, or are good at getting that next contract gig.

          I got lucky. Okay. I worked at it. I still got lucky. I spent 17 months of not being the top candidate (second choice), “overqualified”, this isn’t an entry level job, … I didn’t find out until later that the small firm that hired me had ran through a number of overqualified candidates who then used a working job to leap somewhere better. Plus I was a risk to fit in (being the only female working for the firm, bosses wife doing payroll didn’t exactly count). Without my forestry experience I might not have gotten on. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t stop looking. But short of moving out of the area, to where my husband wouldn’t have a job, wasn’t going to find anything a whole lot better, and in someways, a whole lot worse working conditions, for not any better money. Raises came fast, but it did take me 12 years to meet and exceed my 2002 salary.

      3. I was laid off a bit before my 49th birthday. I’d been in tech for 27 years, with 22 at HP (later Agilent, but the same entity under the spinoff umbrella). One other guy was about my age, and we noticed that we were the first ones to be let go.

        This was just before the trickle of semiconductor companies leaving Silicon Valley turned into a flood. (September 2001. A disastrous month in many ways…) Subsequent waves found it even harder to get jobs, with many leaving the industry.

        My consulting gig started a few months later (third-party tester company, alas it died due to edifice comples–the new building broke the company.) and lasted until Sept 2002. At which point, we felt we had enough money (assuming we could get the house ready to sell) to leave California in favor of a less expensive place. That was true, and I’ve been retired since. Still working, but not for pay, and there are more and more jobs where it’s a good idea to hire somebody….

        Tech didn’t used to be strictly a young’un’s job, but that evolved. There were a few people working (R&D, mostly) at 70 at HP, but when they retired, new hires were young. Very young.

        1. Tech isn’t a young’uns job. The fact that certain large organizations seem to making it so is a disaster because they are throwing out institutional knowledge that will only be reacquired by experience and as we know most of the learning experiences are recoveries from disasters and/or bad ideas.

          If I had Elon Musk levels of wealth I’d allocate a billion or two to supporting the older techies who probably still have some good ideas but haven’t got jobs or funding

          1. THIS. At least, this fits my experience as well.
            The best tech people were the ones I could really talk to, that knew enough to ask me the proper questions, not just good coders.

          2. Tech is only a young person’s job because tech companies think that all-but-requiring 80-hour weeks is normal and acceptable. I got into tech at age 34, and lucked out with my first boss, who’s philosophy was that if his staff are sleeping under their desks, it’s time to hire more staff.

            At age 56 I’m the oldest one on my team and also the one driving for technical currency, innovation, and refactoring, as opposed to just grinding out new features by adding ever more bubblegum and baling wire to the existing codebase.

            1. age 56 I’m the oldest one on my team and also the one driving for technical currency, innovation, and refactoring, as opposed to just grinding out new features by adding ever more bubblegum and baling wire to the existing codebase.

              Not that I was ever in a position to effect change, but yes at my last job I would push for innovating, keeping more current VS crossing fingers and hoping the next OS release didn’t forever break the software. Wasn’t the oldest programmer (3rd oldest). But I was the one with the most experience (something I didn’t know until After I retired).

              I was the one who’d already seen what happens when forced to innovate on techs timeline, not your own. Two core situations got dumped on someone else (not my plan, but that is what happened). Ultimately one situation probably was abandoned by the company who bought the infrastructure. The other situation I know they innovated, but since I wasn’t taken along for the ride, I don’t know how they did or if they even started with the design we’d worked out. The third time? I told TPTB they couldn’t have what they wanted in the new release, in the time they wanted it, unless … and stuck to that. No one else to say otherwise.

              That is what experience gives you. Those of us who have seen projects abandoned. Projects break at the worst possible time. Those of us who lived Y2K. Why was Y2K a whimper not the catastrophe predicted? I won’t raise my hand, because timber growth projections probably weren’t earth shattering on the Y2K scale. But others who were recruited back from retirement, those who were put on critical software infrastructure are. But it was a lesson of “little things count”.

              Never got into gaming software development. I don’t play the games I wouldn’t know where the problems existed.

              1. FYI. It was the 4th time, at the final job, I was ineffective to effect change. I was the “new” programmer. My prior experience, was ignored. Didn’t stop me from saying anything. But I didn’t push it. Irritating. But the job in hand … And when systems went down. Probably financially hard on the company I worked at, but no one would die. No one would be out money. Inconvenient to the clients at worse, they’d have to go back to the older ways of doing things.

          3. I saw a lot of this myself in the game industry–more indirectly than at the companies I worked at. Unrelated games would have similar programming bugs until a solution propagated through the industry. Early 3rd person cameras are a great example–going out of bounds, getting stuck, clipping into the player’s head, getting gimbal locked, rotating away from the player, etc. Granted it’s a difficult problem, but the solutions were known before 3d games existed. A few of the mid-90s games got it mostly right, and a few popular modern games still don’t.

            This doesn’t happen as often anymore because the tools have improved and there’s so much copying of what is known to work…but that leads to other issues, other than the obvious ‘make games the way Unreal wants you to make games.’ Why use std:multimap when you can copy slow, memory-leaking code from stackoverflow? When the modelling tools are so good, no one needs to know how displacement maps work…until an artist accidentally changes a setting and for the rest of the project, he has to export his models via another computer. Or the systems designers don’t know any series between linear and exponential(!) so they spend weeks making a complex spreadsheet that accidentally rediscovers triangular and lazy caterer. In every case they knew there was an old (well, for the game industry) know-it-all in the room next door. But did they seek out cryptic old man advice? No…

        2. I definitely wasn’t the oldest at the new company, but I wasn’t the kid at 48, either. So far, since I’ve left, they have had difficulties keeping new programmers. I have not idea how much they are paying. Mostly the new programmers have been younger 20 something, just out of college. Except one. He was 50 and hired under job training program career change due to injury on original career and the state paid his salary for the 6 month trial period. He didn’t last 5 years. I do not know why. I told him, all he had to do was stick it out. The current boss was not going to fire him. OTOH by the time he left, or was let go, not the same boss.

          Sister and BIL both worked for HP until they had the golden parachute “layoffs”. Rules to qualify was to take your age + number of years with HP. If that was 65 or more, then you qualified to volunteer for the program. BIL qualified easily, sister barely. So they figured he’d get it, but she’d be at the bottom of the list … Except HP didn’t get the buy in they expected. Both got the golden parachute. Sister went to work for two different small techs out of Portland before fully retiring a few years ago (she’s 60 now). All while still getting paid out the severance to both of them, over most of those years. BIL tried to just retire, but failed. He ended up going back to HP as a contractor. Both, until this month, have been on HP family insurance cobra. BIL goes off it this month and onto medicare. They have a little over 4 years before she goes on medicare, and their youngest will be 27 by then.

          FWIW, their individual salaries were double our highest combined salaries when hubby was working (and getting paid) overtime (they shared info, we didn’t). Even after they moved from California to Vancouver WA. Which goes to show, while Eugene, and the UofO are touted as a mini-Silicone, the pay sure does not reflect that. Cost of living wasn’t near quite as bad either, or wasn’t; still was expensive for salaries. Closer than should be to Portland expenses at the time, but not Portland salaries, had reason to know. But really Eugene is one of the few places we both could have our respective careers. Until recently. With the drive for home offices, we could have been a lot more remote and I could have worked. But hubbies job requires PNW and Timber. He couldn’t work from home office. Requires being physically present at location assigned.

    2. yes.
      I mean, the rest is way better, but–
      and yeah, I also am starting a business. Well, two or three. One is “just” indie writing, but the rules are all different and ARGH.

      1. I just imagined you and I on a hilltop at midnight, yelling “AAARRRGGGGHHHH!” at the top of our lungs.
        My Wim Hof method work this week is on stress relief. Timely.

        1. During the years of living in Los Angeles, I used to go to Magic Mountain on a regular basis because once you got on the roller coaster, it was socially acceptable to yell “AAARRRGH!”

          1. 🙂 College football games were the same thing for me. Where else can you yell till you’re sick?

          2. Rollercoasters are awesome, although I like the more traditional coasters than some of the newer ones they have come up. Two of my favorites were Rolling Thunder at Great Adventure in NJ (this twin wooden coaster has since been torn down and replaced) and Rebel Yell at Kings Dominion in VA (which is/was also a twin wooden coaster).

            1. Those wooden things rattled and swayed all the way up. Then you hit the top and the noise stopped, just for a second. Like really good advertising, if that makes any sense. You get a chance to gasp for breath before the plunge starts.

              1. You could also take in the view as you slowly climbed to the top of the first big “hill” and on the ones with dual tracks, sometimes you could look over to the other track and see the other coaster car going up at the same time. Memories.

            2. I loved Rolling Thunder as a kid, along with the metal Runaway Mine Train. Along with the Wild Mouse at Seaside Heights, they were the three coasters I rode most in my youth. After I moved to Ohio as a young adult, I got to enjoy both The Beast and the Racer at King’s Island. The Beast is awesome and the ride is long as you’d expect from the world’s longest wooden coaster, but it usually has a long line. Rolling Thunder was gentler than either of the two big wooden coasters at King’s Island. I am slightly saddened to know it is now gone, leaving only the Runaway Mine Train among my childhood favorites.

        2. In college, at Ga Tech, during Finals week the tradition was to open your dorm window at midnight – because of course you are up studying – and scream out the window.
          I hear that the tradition has spread into Dead week too — the week before finals when no assignments are supposed to be due…

    3. Cortisol is the stress hormone. Cortisol can be directly messed with, but it’s not easy.

      1) Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C, but only after physical exercise. Not too much.

      2) Vitamin K.

      3) Curcumin from turmeric.

      4) Sleep.

      5) Deep breathing.

      6) Laughter.

      7) Relaxing music.

      8) Fun hobbies and activities.

      9) Affectionate interaction with loved ones.

      10) Affectionate interaction with pets.

      11) Prayer and meditation.

      1. Bless you.
        I’ve got many of those covered, but reading the list just reminds me that this time isn’t supposed to be easy, and that self-care is my gift to the world (and myself).

  2. My problem right now is that there’s no news station I can tolerate on even as background. There just isn’t.

    I generally can tolerate FOX News. If only because if they get it wrong, and they have, they will admit it. At least the ones I watch. Some I can’t stand and refuse to watch (we thus tape). I also get a kick out of their sequences of: Raspberry, “We were right”, “haha”, “You, and You, are wrong”, and “President Trump was right”, and repeat (okay, not being quite that crass, but since it isn’t polite to point out other news failures, they aren’t being shy about it either).

    Right now that is the Hunter Biden, and Clinton campaign people involvement in the fake Russia, Russia, story, but no “yet”, linked to either Clinton. While they’ve “toned down” the 2020 election fraud, Biden (idiot) quote of “2020 biggest organized Fraud elections into success … ” or words to that effect, is played, if not over-and-over-and-over again, it is played. Right now, rightly so the Ukraine war is playing in almost real time constantly. But at least, for talking points, if not “news”, they aren’t letting current domestic issues get buried by Ukraine. Which is what TPTB want. They want focus taken off them. They want focus taken off domestic so they can force things through. FOX isn’t letting that happen in the dark. Now are they missing or not reporting other items? IDK. How would I unless it is happening in my backyard, or it is reported somewhere else. CNN, etc., aren’t either.

    Another clue? FOX is being vilified by the usual suspects.

    OTOH I’ve seen references to the “Clinton News Network”, and other derogatory names used for CNN, including some I hadn’t read before, in not expected locations, and Not censored.

    Regarding conquered cultures. Have you ever heard the phrase “The rooster rules the hen house. But the Hen rules the Rooster, because she raised him.” Just like the Stallion isn’t the ruler of the horse herd, he is only a protector. The bull isn’t the leader of the elk herd, he is off with his buddies. It is the mom’s who lead at home and the herd. Mom’s select for keeping their offspring alive. That means destroying and eliminating any portion of either the conquered or conquering cultures that are detrimental to that. Not sure how that applied to Wiccans, or Druids, who were essentially wiped out, but guessing like the Aztecs, there were something about the two cultures that mimic the horrors of the Aztecs that we have a gleaming about (if only because they have been wiped out during the written age and there are still pictures, engraved in stone, of the atrocities, if not the actual ritual cultural process needed to allow the practice).

    Good essay.

    I hope you get your auto-immune eczema under control.

    1. Not sure how that applied to Wiccans, or Druids, who were essentially wiped out, but guessing like the Aztecs, there were something about the two cultures that mimic the horrors of the Aztecs that we have a gleaming about (if only because they have been wiped out during the written age and there are still pictures, engraved in stone, of the atrocities, if not the actual ritual cultural process needed to allow the practice).

      Oh, that can’t be! I read Mists of Avalon, and Marion Zimmer Bradley taught me that the Druid and associated Celtic cultures were just the best thing ever! \end{sarcasm}

      In all seriousness, it’s amazing just how many people will look at a lost culture and assume that it must have been their version of paradise, instead of wondering why no one wanted to remember these people even in stories.

        1. This. There was “Witchcraft” but …. it’s the thing of bad fairytales. Read The Affair of the Poisons for an inkling.
          Yes there were also healers, etc. but that’s different.

          1. Herbalists who became the naturopaths and curanderas and others of today. Some of it worked, people just didn’t know why, or how to titrate the dose.

            1. I remember reading that many of the problems with herbal medicines (today and earlier) was the difficulty of getting proper doses.

              This may be part of the evil reputation associated with “witches” but the main part was IMO the belief that if Something Bad happened, then Somebody Cause It.

              The Folklore Witch was the Somebody.

                1. No they were Herbalists until the patient died.

                  Then they were called Witches. [Sarcastic Grin]

                  1. Not really. Actually the “Witches were just a reviled scapegoat” is mostly bullshit. Sure, in places like Salem, but that was its own bit of insanity.
                    In most villages in Europe, throughout history, most people knew precisely who the witches were.
                    Actually you’d be more accused of being a witch for an “impossible” or many impossible cures, than for failing. Everyone sort of expected death….

                    1. I recently ran across a photo of a “witch’s house” in Ireland. There were also a bunch of remembered stories about this woman, and frankly they were not the same as the stories about “cunning men” or “cunning women.” Mostly, people were afraid not to bring this woman “gifts” and to take care of her needs, because otherwise she would get at you. In the end, everybody was also afraid to do anything substantial about helping with her house slowly falling down, or about helping her get electricity and running water. So after she died, there wasn’t much left of her (originally quite big) house.

                      It was interesting, because usually the only Irish witch stories you hear are about “she turned into a rabbit and spied on people or did mischief, and X shot the rabbit in the leg but it got away, and then the witch showed up in human form with her hand/leg hurt.”

              1. On herbal medicine, that’s absolutely true. For instance, foxglove contains digitalis, which is useful in treating certain kinds of heart conditions. But from one plant to another, the concentration can vary wildly, just as apples from one apple tree can be quite a bit larger or smaller than the ones from another apple tree, and contain a very different number of calories. But if you produce digitalis in a lab, you know exactly how many mg go into each pill. So the herbalist has to guess how many flowers to use, where as with the pill you can calibrate the dosage precisely.

            2. We had notebooks, going back couple centuries at least. (Don’t ask me where they ended up. I start growling.)
              A lot is HARD to titrate, because plants have different doses, etc.

              1. I have a book in my collection about witchcraft in the Midldle Ages. It was quite blunt about, “Yes, there were innocents caught up in witch hunts, but there were genuine witches -people who had sold their souls to Satan for power (or believed that), which provided justification for the hunts in the first place.”

                  1. Wow! I remember hearing something about that but the Wiki article is interesting.

                    When I get some more money available, I may purchase Anne Somerset’s book on this.

                1. See, I’ve always figured it was the other way around: the peasants who kept getting persecuted for stuff they didn’t do deciding that maybe if the bigshots were so afraid of it they might as well give it a try.

                  Also, “witch” hunts as opposed to heretic hunts seem to have been a thing of the Reformation, not the Middle Ages of roughly 900-1500.

                2. And then the witch hunters realized they could make it a business. The example I remember best was a description in one of the Germanies (Saxony?) that the chief witch-finder rode a better horse than the Elector… because the law allowed the property of “witches” to be seized upon “accusation”. So they found plenty of witches.

                  Replace “witch” with “drug dealer”, or “white supremacist” or “insurrectionist”, and you realize where we are today.

        2. Now if you talk to more knowledgeable wiccans they say they are trying to recreate traditional beliefs but they will cheerfully admit that large chunks of their belief system was made up in various places from the late 19th century to the 1960s.

          I don’t see that that necessarily diminishes their religion – lets face it the LDS religion was made up ~100 years earlier and, for that matter, the current Shinto in Japan was largely recreated after the Meiji restoration – but it is worth remembering

          1. Well, it is “interesting” to know when some idiot claims that my ancestors killed his/her ancestors for being Wicca. 😉

            Of course, as a Baptist, I know that Baptists were more on the “being burned” end than they were on the “burning others” end. Of course, the “people doing the burning” were fellow Christians.

            No, my problem with some Wiccas (besides boasts of being pre-Christian) is when they are “allied” with Lefties.

      1. It is human nature to put one’s vision in the past. Better there than the future.

    2. The full quote for context: “Republicans are doing everything they can to make it harder for people to vote — particularly people of color — to vote. So go to IWILLVOTE.com. Secondly, we’re in a situation where we have put together, and you guys did it for our administration — President Obama’s administration before this — we have put together I think the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics. What the president is trying to do is discourage people from voting by implying that their vote won’t be counted, it can’t be counted, we’re going to challenge it and all these things. If enough people vote, it’s going to overwhelm the system. You see what’s happening now, you guys know it as well as I do, you see the long, long lines and early voting. You see the millions of people who have already cast a ballot. And so, don’t be intimidated.”

      Now the Dems/Libs/Prog Socs/Communists keep trying to say that Mr. Biden MEANT to say fraud prevention organization. The thing is, they DIDN’T DO SQUAT to prevent any fraud. So his statement is obviously false on that interpretation. And he speaks of overwhelming the system. Honest voting isn’t going to overwhelm anything. So we can infer that he’s actually referencing their game plan. And because he was referencing that plan, he inadvertently called it for what it actually was, the biggest fraud in American history.

      1. Indeed, he probably did intend to say “voter fraud prevention” instead. What happened was, his unintended slip of the tongue revealed what they were actually doing. Freudian slip, only without the actual sex. Screwing the voting public over doesn’t count.

        And yeah, there were illegal votes that Trump was trying to prevent from being counted- note that: illegal votes. Those things that the rules say are out of bounds, like voting twice, illegal immigrant votes, out of state votes or just out of district, that sort of thing. And, of course the big one, the fraud-by-mail or just made up ballots churned out en masse. Those are illegal, too.

        So yeah. They think they can’t win legally. Thus the election shenanigans. You don’t cheat if you’re already winning.

      2. And once again, after all these years of complaining about it surely the Democrats should be able to produce some people of color with convincing stories of how they went to vote but got turned away at the polls, or intended to vote but there were just too many obstacles in the way.

        Still waiting…

        1. Credible accounts of such happening are fairly common. It’s just they all occurred in the period from just after the Civil War up until the 1930s when Federal oversight mostly put a stop to it. The Dems and the left (but I repeat myself) are incredibly fond of taking ancient history and pretending that those evils of the past still exist in the current day.

          1. And often evils their ancestors were doing. Which is why they came up with the “Southen Strategy,” so they could claim they were pure, all the bad guys went to the Republicans.
            As my mother used to say, Baloney on a haystack. (How she came up with that I will never know).

  3. Does it have to be news? Or can it be something that sounds vaguely newsie and doesn’t set your teeth on edge?

    I do airplane stuff, so could try Greg’s Airplanes and Autos, I Fly Central, Military Aviation History, or Isaac Arthur?

    Isaac Arthur’s SFIA stuff is fun to listen to, and probably has also sorts of funny/hilarious stuff to borrow.

    1. Whatifalthist is another one I listen to a lot. His thing is history, and how that applies to the crazy that’s going on these days. He’s another one of those, ‘bleep’ will rain from the sky, and things will get better, because that’s basically how history works.

      1. Whenever you feel down, channel Top Gear’s, “still, could be worse” then read about China, enough bad news there to keep you for days. One nugget is that they’ve locked down their farms in the north because of zero tolerance WuFlu and risk losing 20% of their already reduced grain crop.

        1. Saw a report that finance people in Shanghai are living in their offices because to go home is to be locked down and they’re trying to keep the financial sector together. And that their internal supply chain is screwed by ongoing lockdowns.

          1. With drones telling them to give up on freedom and not sing and if you test positive they move you to a concentration camp. Mao’s sparrows smile.

            I get the feeling that Shanghai is as much about internal politics among the oligarchs as it is about WuFlu. then again, it could just be stupidity as there is an infinite supply of that.

            1. What gets me is the same story reported 17,000 new cases today. Out of how many million people?

            2. The same article also reported 17,000 new cases in a day. Out of how many million people?

              1. They had been reporting 20, not 20,000, 20. They have no idea how many cases there are but they do seem to be utterly stuck on stupid. The party has declared zero tolerance for WuFlu so zero tolerance there will be. Who, after all, can undo it?

            3. Shanghai is in the south, where people speak Cantonese and not Mandarin. Shanghai people also have a reputation for thinking for themselves, for doing things differently than how Beijing does things, and also for being really good at business and at getting things done in varioius ways.

              Yes, Xi doesn’t really like Shanghai, so yes, the CCP is probably being nastier because of that.

              1. Rumor is that the army has taken over, I’m convinced it’s politics among the oligarchs now.

              2. The stories I am seeing about the lockdowns in Shanghai are horrifying … and of course, Xi (and other fans of total lock-down) can’t back off, because to do so would be to admit they were wrong … and authoritarians on shaky thrones can’t possibly admit they were wrong.

                1. The CCP has actually managed to outdo the DDR and USSR for sheer repressive craziness.

          2. That, and in some cases apparently office employees got forced to stay in the office by their employers.

            The whole city’s a mess right now.

            1. I have heard that some were caught there and can’t leave by law.

              Fog of emergency.

              1. From what I’ve heard, no one is allowed outside (except possibly people doing food deliveries – of which there aren’t enough people). Yes, this means that if you’re at the office, you can’t go home. A lot of people apparently agreed to stay at the office to keep things moving at whichever company they work for. But I’ve also heard that some companies basically told their employees that they must stay at the office during the current mess.

                1. The American expat who does the “History of China” podcast was first confined to the school he teaches at for a couple of days, then allowed to go home where he and his wife have now been stuck for weeks. He released a mini-episode talking about it, apologizing for not getting out a full episode in time because trying to arrange deliveries has been so time-consuming and stressful.

                  Personally, I think he should pack up his family and get the hell out of China as soon as it’s possible to do so.

        2. Damn, and I thought Trudeau was a moron. What the hell does the ccp think it’s doing?

      2. I need an edit button: Anton Petrov is space news. Would space news work? There’s a bunch of space news, what with the various launches and the James Webb Telescope coming online. I think they’re in calibrations right now.

        I don’t think we’ve got anything quite as crazy as that one satellite that lost its marbles and went pirouetting through everyone’s constellations right now, but there is a lot of stuff going on at the moment.

      3. Foxfier, isn’t there a Catholic talk radio station you listen to, and wouldn’t any real emergency break into their broadcast?

        99.9% sure you’ve mentioned a Catholic talk radio, but it might’ve been Suburbanbanshee.

        1. There’s usually a regional or even diocese level local option, but also Ave Maria Radio (out of Anne Arbor, has amazingly fair news coverage at the top of the hour), EWTN (in Irondale), a ton of stations that carry Catholic Answers (recorded mostly in the San Diego area) although they don’t all have news reports. There are news shows like The World Over and EWTN news, but more religious focused, obviously.

          More news-focused, I listen to WHO 1040 from Des Moines, which is where they brag that Reagan got started and invented talk radio. (….k, you ever hear the story how he was given the chance to report on I think the Olympics, and then it got delayed for THE ENTIRE SHIFT, and he was just sitting there TALKING the whole time? They’re being silly, but it’s not entirely wrong)
          Their weekend shows are terribly pop, and I can’t stand Jeff Angelo’s luke-warm “they’re both wrong” reflexes on his weekday show, but the rest is quite good. KFAB 1110 out of Omaha has a really good morning show when Angelo is on, the guy is a GOOF but good at finding random folks to talk to about current events.

          When they’re being obnoxious, looking at regional stuff for things tagged ‘news’ can be quite good.

          1. I agree with you about Jeff Angelo at WHO but he is worth listening to. I always listened to Van and Bonnie on the way to work and still miss them.

            1. Sometimes he is; when he gets his teeth and ego sunk into something, it’d be the opposite of stress relief! 😀

              Both Van and Bonnie retired, about a year and change apart, it was during the kung flu hustle so my sense of time is trash.
              …retired, which means that they’re only on every other week, I swear…. 😉 … but their replacement is quite good, and…I don’t remember their names… ;looks: Max and Amy. Very similar feel.

              :irrationally pleased that someone else enjoys that station:

      4. calmer Half’s listening to updates by Peter Zeihan. It’s news, but not as CNN knows it…

        1. Zeihan is giving me much food for thought. I’m not entirely convinced by everything he says but I appreciate Peter (and Nitay Arbel and a few others, not sure who was first) introducing me to him

      5. Weather Nation has soothing music and weather forecasts. It streams on Pluto TV, channel 217.

        Pluto TV is Viacom’s ad-running channel thing, which streams over cable on-demand, Roku, and the regular Internet.

        Pluto TV also streams a fair number of right-leaning news channels: Newsmax (236), Blaze Live (238), America’s Voice (240), OAN Plus (242), and The First (244).

        Beware of Pluto TV Headline News, because it consolidates several “mainstream” news channels. Some are okay, and then suddenly you get something else. (I really hate Cheddar News.) But it does update quite often, so there’s that.

        1. Oh, hey! Pluto TV not only has the Bob Ross Channel (518), but it also has the black and white Julia Child Channel (519)! Awesome!

          If you search for “pluto tv” and the name of the channel, you can get a direct search result for the web stream of the channel you want. This also counts for the Stargate channel.

  4. “But they still have the mechanisms of force.”

    May I prescribe a nice long conversation with Tom Kratman about military discipline and the limits thereof? They still have the mechanisms of force, and they’ll probably keep holding them until such time as they actually try to do something with them. Then they might get a nice lesson in why every long standing ruling class in history placed such huge emphasis on military training and raising their own kids to become officers.

    1. I’m afraid they will break things so badly we can’t put them back together.

      1. They are working hard on it…draining the petroleum reserve for short term political reasons? Cutting off our supply of fertilizer? Crippling the military with the clot-shot? Trying to create hyperinflation, it seems?

        1. It’s the illegal aliens flooding the border that keep me up at nights. How are we going to rid ourselves of potentially millions of illegals? They can’t stay here. They just can’t.

            1. I think we saw some of that during the Kenyan Marxist’s reign of terror. I trust you’re right. It helps to be reminded that they’d do just what I’d do, given the circumstance. (And assuming at some point I’d decided that my country didn’t need/want me anymore.)

          1. With the upcoming food shortages, it’s going to get tribal real quick. Illegals without a firm base, will become causalities. English fluency may become one of many shibboleths.

            The regime hasn’t handed out free firearms with the free border phones, but I’m sure some bright guy at a TLA has already thought about becoming a US warlord after his experiences arming Neo-Nazis in Ukraine…

            My hind brain is already having dreams where I have to decide which of my current neighbors is a threat. I’m starting to go armed in the neighborhood when going to the stores. Too many strangers and creeps.

              1. If we go to war with Russia, I’m going over to Home Depot and buying all the concrete retaining wall blocks that I can and building a fallout shelter in my basement. If and when the crisis passes, I’ll use them to replace my current crappy garden bed walls and take the rest out to Tierra de Balzacq.

                1. The dark, dirty secret about (originally Soviet) Russian nuclear missiles is that most of them will not work. This is why the Soviets backed down on both nuclear standoffs.

                  1. I have a vision of Putin ordering a launch, the missile rising majestically from the silo….tilting an incinerating a chunk of Russian real eatate.
                    Of course, we don’t know how well Chinese missiles work, and there’s always the, “Why build a missile, shipping containers are cheap,” method.

                    1. You can’t parade shipping containers through Red Square in the Victory Day parade.

                      Well, you could, but it wouldn’t get the reaction you want.

                    2. I still say we should put the Junta in shipping containers and send them to China*.
                      I believe people should get what they paid for.
                      Okay, so Brandon might need to be divided among three countries. But I say send different members of the crime family different places.
                      *It’s not like I’m saying it shouldn’t have air holes, or it should be filled with water.
                      Okay, I say that sometimes, but I don’t MEAN it.

                    3. I’m almost ashamed of how happy this idea made me feel inside.
                      Not really. Not ashamed at all. This would be fabulous. I’ll help.

            1. This makes Sarah’s contention and my belief that the illegals will head south/back home when things get bad even more robust.

                  1. Eh. It’s not even that. I think a lot of the blue legislatures are counting on this.
                    They really have no clue of what makes an effective fighting force. Being horrible racists they think “Can tan” means “fierce.”

                  1. Yeah, probably…. but the Left doesn’t believe it, and they’ll force us to waste ammo better suited for removing the archtects.

                1. Because that (hiring immigrants as cops) worked out so well in Minneapolis. Just ask Justine Damond.

      2. It was put together once, it can be put together again. Might take longer than our lifetimes.

        2000-ish years ago, there were eleven men and a handful of women on a Sunday morning who were all that was left of Christ’s followers. Can you count them now?

        What was once built can be rebuilt. Maybe not look exactly the same, the asthetics will change, but we can build again, and we, and our children, will build again.

        1. Goosebumps at your remark, Holly.

          “They have been saying, all your plans are empty.
          They have been saying, power rules the world.
          They have been saying, where is your God now?
          Roll away the Stone.”

            1. Looking at it from a Jewish viewpoint – from Hamen to Hitler, and before and since, they have tried to do away with us. They can’t stand the ideas built into our Law. Equal justice. Fair dealing. Moral and ethical behavior. Etcetera, etcetera. Can’t have an elite with all these pesky ideas around. Yet here we are, And those who would eliminate us end up as the dust of history. Baruch H’Shem (Blessed be the Name). BTW most thinking Jews are grateful for Christianity doing a yeoman job of spreading these ideas, and don’t mind sharing credit for the Judeo-Christian culture.

                    1. It’s the next language I’ll learn, if I take it up again. I made it to where I understood much of what I heard and was just starting to get some proficiency writing and reading.
                      Someday, maybe, it’ll get taken up again. Things are a bit different now.
                      I hope your son learns it, too. When we all get together, after the republic is restored a bit, we could talk about people and laugh and laugh.

        2. Thanks Holly. This was (oddly) moving to read. Especially the “oh, yeah, those 11 guys who were martyred all but one and….”
          Then I think of Edison who watched his first warehouse burn down in Chicago with the words “man, now THAT’S a fire!” or something to that effect.

    2. Ah, but they do have the Generals. Or at least they think they do (there are very likely to be many that are “woke” but not to the point of “kill all the unwoken.”)

      Any military creature, below Colonel rank, at least – they are just sub-intelligent drones, and will follow orders.

    3. That’s why some folks I listen to are unironically cheering the increasing degradation of the military.

      To paraphrase their argument: “To all you vets who served with honor, now lamenting what’s being done to ‘my military,’ I got news for you: it’s not YOUR military anymore, it’s BIDEN’S military, and I want it as weak and incompetent as possible, because should you ever see a tank rolling down the street or a hostile fighter in the sky, it won’t be Russion, Chinese or North Korean, so I want this country’s military to be as bad as Putin’s. Worse.

      “Because – and here’s another red/black pill to swallow: NOTHING the US military will do in the future (and arguably nothing the military has done since WWII), is for the benefit of the American People.”

      1. :rolls eyes:
        Guess they found out, again, that the military isn’t obedient little drones that will cheerfully march along to the orders they were given.

        I was getting the same nonsense when I joined, about a year before 9/11. Usually from guys who thought that having been in the Army for two years back during Vietnam made them military gods.

        I compare the military folks that I know to their delusions, and note how similar the claims are to the nonsense of the last several decades, and carry on.

      2. The mistake so many leftists make is that they think the officers are the military, and by suborning the officers, they can suborn the entire military. This would work in Iran, or Venezuela, where the officers have all the authority and responsibility. don’t have a NCO corps with lots of autonomy and institutional memory, authority, and responsibility.

        Applying this thinking to the US military, however, fundamentally fails to understand the decentralization of command, autonomy, institutional memory, authority, and responsibility of the NCO corps.

        It’s exactly the mistake of thinking that capturing trad publishing and hollywood means they have changed the culture by changing what they dictate the culture should be.

        Worse, really. Just because they got the generals to all be political creatures… generals have always been political creatures, especially when they didn’t have to perform past the meeting room. They fail to understand that senior NCOs consider it their bounden duty to train up young officers to be worthwhile, and their opinions are much more likely to stick than the latest ever-changing idiocy out of the perfumed princes of the five-sided puzzle palace.

        1. Apologies for sentence fragment. Typing blind – wordpress window only shows top half of current line I’m on, and organizing thoughts with this low a coffee level is… prone to errors.

          1. I’ve run into that weird half-line thing a few times. Usually there’s a tiny (easily missed) tab/arrow near a corner that lets me drag the edit box into being a useful size again.

        2. I don’t know if you noticed, but we saw a fair number of the really senior NCOs sending out their own twitter posts endorsing the woke / Covidiocy especially in the last two years. I fear that they’ve made progress in that area.

          1. I retired from the Marines in late 2008 to avoid Obama. I saw a shift beginning then, in the Marines. Things have…not improved.

            People who assume an overwhelming conservative culture in the military are fooling themselves. It might be a majority, but it is not overwhelming.

        3. I wonder, in places that do not have a significant NCO corps, what kind of oath, if any, do enlisted take. Our enlisted take an oath not all that different from the officers’ oath. It is primarily aimed at loyalty to the country and the legitimate source of government. I suspect, in most autocratic regimes, enlisted’s loyalty is directed to their superiors and the regime.

          1. “…to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC” (emphasis added; note applicability). The Constitution is the “legitimate source of government, and neither the government nor the country is mentioned per se. The oath is to the Constitution.

        4. Yup of all the military types I’ve met the ones to trust were the various Sergeants (Army Air Force Marines, never met any of the new Space Force guys) and Navy’s Petty Officers and CPO’s. Especially the Submarine force CPO’s lots of those had houses in my neck of the woods growing up (about 1/2 hour from Groton, much closer was too expensive). Those were VERY even tempered very serious no nonsense folks. Officer types I’ve met were a mixed bag, often well meaning sometimes oddly clueless, never met any above Colonel/Naval Captain (had an uncle that was Air Force Reserve Colonel, decent guy, was also in AAF in the pacific)

          1. Very mixed. They’re bad, compared to NCOs, and they’re a LOT more likely to work on “passing.”

            That said…..

            K, gossip chain from Pentagon– a :cough: mysterious malfunction replaced the normal news stations with Newsmax for like an hour.
            I haven’t heard of anybody who had a problem with it, only folks who didn’t want to have to explain it to any of the politicians.

    4. I miss Tom’s columns. Didn’t always a gree with him, but he’s always interesting.

  5. I hope you feel better soon. If the meds make you more sarcastic and more funny, well, that’s a bonus. Just get healed up. That’s what’s important right now.

    1. My difficulty with that is how precisely shall we be able to tell funny and sarcastic Sarah from regular Sarah?

  6. Hum, guess I’m more rational, saner, than I thought. I only check the news every hour or so and sometimes, rarely but sometimes, don’t do so for a whole day!

    When no other project’s available to distract me, I temper my addiction/affliction, spending time on my wood powered Jeep or Dodge Dakota plans, a wood gasifier, bumper mounted.

    OK, only a wee bit saner than I thought.

    1. Since Rush died, I almost gave up on AM talk radio. My tolerance for Hannity has dropped to Die In a Fire level, and while there’s a tolerable trio doing talk/news in Rush’s slot, small doses work well.

      In the morning, I’ll ready Insty (especially when BBESP does the Graveyard shift), a bit of Gab, and Anonymous Conservative. I’ll cast a jaundiced eye on Powerline, and at least look at the ledes on CTH and Zerohedge. My appetite for spoken news is pretty much gone.

      1. Really similar experience. I listen to Markley et al, but only because it’s news. Their fecklessness and shallow commentary don’t seem worth listening to with any degree of focus.
        Like Sarah, though, I’m drawn to the news. Hard.

      2. The local,station has gone i.Hart, and the successor show to,Rush is now full of commercials and i Heart crap reports. No, I don’t CARE what debuted on TV 28 years ago today.

      3. Now that Paul Mirengoff is gone, the ratio of readable-to-unreadable posts at Powerline has gone from 20% to 80%.

        1. REJOICE! I wondered how that was going to work out, and now that you mention it, I haven’t seen his name, and all the articles are interesting/worthy.

          1. After Steven Hayward got angry enough at him to break professionalism and post that one long rant, it’s quite clear that they had an internal meeting. They quite rightly didn’t disclose anything about it, but it’s obvious in retrospect what happened. Either Mirengoff was “fired”, or he quit before he could be “fired”. (If “fired” is the right word for a volunteer role that you’re not getting paid for).

            One of the clues was how Hayward, at the end of his rant, wrote something like “And Paul, don’t bother responding. You’ll just mess it up more.” Then a day or so later there was an update from Mirengoff saying “Well, I’m going to respond anyway”… and then a couple days later, that update wasn’t there anymore. That told me quite a lot about how their meeting must have gone. And since then, Mirengoff hasn’t posted a thing. (BTW, all quotes in this paragraph are my summaries, not direct quotes).

            1. The last I read about it was when Steven wrote at the end of his blog “don’t write back you suck.” So glad it’s worked out this way. It’s a great improvement.

      4. Back when I had a long commute in the early 2000s, I started off listening to Hannity, but quickly tired of his schtick. Mark Levin sounds like an angry Pekingese, there was another guy whose name I don’t remember who was just too bitter about everything, and I just never really cottoned to Rush. I liked his outlook, just not his manner, maybe. The one I liked best was Glenn Beck, but then I changed jobs and commuted by bus and switched to reading, and then when I switched back to driving I had discovered podcasts.

      5. Advertisements…3 minutes
        Annoying country-rock…30 seconds
        Sound clips of liberals talking…1 minute
        Welcome to the revolution…15 seconds
        Slightly less annoying country-rock…30 seconds
        Sound clips of liberals talking…1 minute
        O Fortuna…30 seconds
        Countdown to his latest book release…15 seconds

        Hannity talks about his personal life with an ass-kissing guest…3 minutes.

        Station ID…10 seconds
        Advertisements…3 minutes

        To be fair, I haven’t listened in many years, so maybe they cut down on the bumpers a bit.

          1. All right, it’s actually about 12 minutes of audio. Then they play God Save the King, and after that it’s stupid BBC News. Bleh.

            Even BBC Radio nan Gaidheal is playing the news in English, all about Ukraine. Bleh.

            Also, I notice there’s no BBC radio in Polish. TV, yes.

  7. I don’t think it is necessary for a culture to have a specific mechanism to right itself. More likely, bad cultures die out when exposed to better ones.

    I’ve seen it argued before that culture functions as a sort of more advanced superset of instincts. A sort of software layer to the meat firmware. In that context it is perfectly reasonable for people taught poor cultures to either abandon them of die out from the system.

    Would the culture that leads to a family a dozen bouncy daughters who all want their own family like that die out? Unlikely. Will the culture that teaches their sons and daughters to sterilize themselves and hate children continue in large number? Maybe if they can get ahold of the children of the other culture, but only if.

    And is not the first, happier, culture just as likely, if not more, to convert adherants of the latter culture into their fold instead? Being miserable sucks.

    I think that’s what we are seeing here. The miserable ones captured the institutions thinking it would make them whole, but all they’ve done is devoured the people who trusted those institutions. Now there are few left who do.

    Think the questions now are how many they will eat before they die, and how much of the good parts we can hold onto so they do not have to be rebuilt, or are ready to take the load when the old guard finally fails.

  8. About culture Emmanuel Todd (yeah, a French intellectual but some of what he writes is interesting) in Lineages of Modernity has a theory that family structure is an important part of culture and much political behavior is downsteream of that.


    Not a cheap book or an easy read.
    One reason inclined to take him somewhat seriously is that he actually feels the anglo-american nuclear family structure is more conducive to both innovation and democracy as it forces each individual to find their own way in life. From an French intellectual that seems like quite a concession.

    1. I’ve read elsewhere that a good deal of the north-south and east-west cultural divides in Europe can be attributed to differing family structures and inheritance practices.

  9. Check your pollen count. I know the thousands of fornicating trees in my area are definitely getting to me.

    1. Yeah I wish those stupid trees were more circumspect in their reproductive activities…

      1. I’m not allergic, I don’t have hay fever, not asthmatic, and I’m sneezing. OTOH 1/4″ of pollen piled and thus visible on the vehicles, and IDK how much piled on the ground to be stirred when walked on, what is in the air, … sneezing is the least. At least I don’t get stuffy. Only minor headaches. Does not trigger migraines. Dang Paper Birches, and OMG the evergreens.

        1. The pine pollen was so bad one year in Atlanta that it kicked off my dust allergies. It wasn’t the pine per se, but the enormous amount.

  10. Rejoice, Sarah! If we’re winning the culture war, the eagerness of the working-level troops to do Something Stupid will be rather poor. And we’re well equipped to dispute things if it really came to that.

    No. Finish the books. Make money. Dream of the charms of seeing Leftists frog-marched out of the Capitol. The GOP quislings, too.

    FWIW, Fox News is weak on news. Their model is to take three stories per day and beat them to death with relays of talking heads. Fox Business is often better in that regard. But in truth, there aren’t that many stories that are Immediate Action.

    1. That’s a really good point. The guy with the ignition key has to want to turn it, and it’s always easier to ask the guy up the chain of he really means it, than it is to be the one who sets off the unstoppable thing.

    2. Not ot mention listening to the lamentations of their women.
      None of these people seem to conisider the size of the backlash they’re setting up for themselves. And us, darn it.

  11. strangle Rousseau in his crib

    Nope. Bring a team and go to the birthday when he reaches adulthood.

    Then death, by boondie.

  12. You’ve hit a boundary, where your body simply cannot absorb any more. Have your doctors check your cortisone levels. My guess is they’re through the roof.

    We’ve been locked down, lied to, smothered in our metaphorical cribs, for YEARS. Everyone has a breaking point, where the stress has to come out or you’ll parboil in your own juices. Or explode and leave a mess for someone else to clean up.

    1. I am appalled by the degree of corruption, incompetence, and dishonesty manifest on the Left. I am repulsed by their ideology and political philosophy which they believe give them license to violate and savage infidels. The Left intends to impose its dystopia on us and there is nothing the dystopians will not do to further Leftist aims. The bridge too far is our children, we cannot allow them to take our children.

  13. This seems rather appropriate:

    “The fate of all mankind I see
    Is in the hands of fools”

  14. I had a weird thought. Does fake news count? After all, what we’re listening to 90% of the time is entirely fake, and the rest of the time it’s questionable. So how about the Babylon Bee? : ) At least they don’t pretend to be anything BUT fake news, although their accuracy level is higher than you might expect.

    1. The Bee prints prophecies and spoilers. it only seems like satire at the time. America’s newspaper of record.

    1. You know, I’m not torqued off at the Spanish language voice actors of Next Gen. I can actually watch a show and enjoy it. And actually, I think they did the early episodes better than the English language cast. Very sincere.

      1. When I went on a mission trip with our son to Costa Rica, we stayed in a local hotel. One night my roomate and I turned on the TV and found “The Scorpion King,” plying ton Spanish. We made up our own dialog and laughed ourselves silly.

        1. I used to love watching the kung-fu movies on Univision. Badly dubbed from Chinese or Korean into English, then badly dubbed from English into Spanish. They were sidesplitting.

          1. When I was in Montreal in 2002 for a goth convention, while getting ready for the big party night I turned on the TV in my hotel room to find “King of the Hill” dubbed in French.

            Which was surreal enough, except when I mentioned it to the Montrealers later they said, “What’s even better is that they dub Hank in a Gascon accent, so even in French he sounds like a hick!”

            1. I grew up with Portuguese SUBTITLES. As my English got better….
              Let’s put it this way, the translator thought Soap was SERIOUS.
              Anyway, so I’d sit there either laughing or crying or whatever, and the rest of the family/theater thought I had lost my mind.

  15. Just when you think you’ve seen the limits of leftist insanity…

    I mentioned Games Workshop last week, and their meta “The April Fools joke is that our joke announcement isn’t really a joke!” thing. The company’s most popular game, Warhammer 40,000, has an openly repressive Imperium of Man, generally regarded as fascist. One of its primary opponents are the servants of dark gods of chaos, who want nothing more than to devour the souls of every living thing.

    Today I learned that there’s a forum out there filled with leftist GW fans who in all seriousness see the forces of the dark gods of chaos as the good guys because they’re fighting against the fascist Imperium of Man.


    1. Sigh.
      I was told yesterday that the patriarchy and white supremacy are the reason women build soap making businesses. It’s all we have left.

      I was disgusted enough to reconsider the relationship–it’s a business mentorship, so the lefty insanity is annoying, but irrelevant. The rest of her wisdom is needed.

      But WTF? The patriarchy? White supremacy? Right.

  16. I am appalled by the degree of corruption, incompetence, and dishonesty manifest on the Left. I am repulsed by their ideology and political philosophy which they believe give them license to violate and savage infidels. The Left intends to impose its dystopia on us and there is nothing the dystopians will not do to further Leftist aims. The bridge too far is our children, we cannot allow them to take our children.

    1. True that.
      And they don’t realize we’re serious. As in cause harm serious.

    2. “The bridge too far is our children, we cannot allow them to take our children.”

      I think this essay by Doc Zero will appeal to you.
      He describes the taxonomy of conservatives as a prelude to ripping out their throats en masse for their failures.


      No matter how blatant the Left was about its agenda, noticing that agenda and questioning its motives was considered rude, improper, and out of the mainstream.

      You don’t want to fight an ugly culture war? Well, guess what? EVERYTHING is culture. Everything either feeds into culture, or is shaped by it. The Left gets that, and deployed legions of paid shock troops to capture institutions and corporations while you kept your hands clean.

      Too much of the conservative commentariat is exactly that: commentators. They were comfortable remarking on the passing scene, not changing it. “Activism” was a dirty word, something the OTHER guys did. Tossing harmless Nerf footballs of theory around op-ed pages was good enough.

      Now we’ve arrived at the final destination, the fatal terrain, the fabled Hill to Die On: political and sexual indoctrination of goddamn FIVE YEAR OLDS using public money and state institutions – and it’s STILL not time to take the gloves off, huh? Still time for tone policing?

  17. ” but also try not to pay the IRS etc?
    My Aunt and Uncle were that, and not just try not to pay the IRS much, but for years and years, but worked cash under the table, or when taxes were forced upon them, lied about expenses. But hey, neither did they plan for retirement, so they worked until health stopped them (or lack thereof, only death stopped my uncle from having to work and being bedridden stopped my aunt. See, if you never pay SocSec, you get really small payments that won’t cover anything. But it was all Republican’s fault because they fought Hillary Care and higher taxes (hey, if you don’t pay them anyhow . . .) But, the last year of their lives they were essentially wards of the state, and the sale of their house went to pay for the “Charity” health care they hated. Could have been worse, the state did force my Uncle to use the VA for his end of life stuff or they’d have owed more than their estate was worth.

    1. they’d have owed more than their estate was worth.

      At least in the US the debts do not fall on the next generation. If they did my grandparents would have bankrupted down through their great-great-grandchildren. Never say someone can’t owe more than what their estate is worth. The creditors who got $0.10/$1 owed would beg to differ. We, extended family, collectively, were surprised the creditors got that much.

      Note. In no shape or form were my grandparents rich. They just weren’t smart about money. They in their later years when they needed help, the county and the state wouldn’t let anyone step in. Which in retrospect was good, because then those that stepped in might have been on the hook. As it was … when a legal letter can be produced saying “butt out, or elderly abuse” …

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