It’s Mostly About the Money A Guest Post By Confutus

*Sorry guys. I’m still trying to finish the novel, and there’s other stuff happening that is making life confusing. Not bad but confusing. Thanks to everyone who is supporting this novel-finishing effort by sending me (GOOD) guest posts. You guys are the best- SAH*

It’s Mostly About the Money A Guest Post By Confutus

A couple of years ago on the Arizona Ballot, there was a voter initiative dealing with some school choice matter. As I looked through it, trying to evaluate the pro and con arguments, I noticed something interesting.  The con arguments, which were full of dire warnings about the fate of the public education system if this initiative passed, were chiefly authored by a teacher’s union here, a school board there, the employees of a school district somewhere else.  In Arizona, tax money for the schools is doled out mostly on the basis of enrollment; so much per student. Ohoh, I thought, if students leave the public schools for some kind of private education, it’s a direct hit to their income. So, without peering into my crystal ball to predict the future, I could at least predict who would oppose the measure and who would support it. 

Higher Education? Likewise. Professors and researchers must not only publish or perish, but they must bring in grant money or other funding to the department to finance their research.  Although the ideal of dispassionate, disinterested searchers for knowledge who freely exchange views is a wonderful myth, it is often exactly a myth. More often, it’s “he who pays the piper calls the tune” when tenure and reputation are on the line. In scientific disputes, if you can’t follow the science, follow the money. And no, it isn’t the oil companies that generate most of it.

It works the same way in religion. Whether it was Christians versus Jews in the 1st century, or Christians versus Roman Imperial worship, Catholics versus Orthodox, or Protestants versus Catholics in the Reformation, the most important arguments, wonderful and marvelous though they may have been, were not theological. The bloodiest battles were about money flow to and through temples and churches and who would control it. Even today, poaching of parishioners who pay the pastors is likely to result in sectarian animosity.

What about business?  But of course, and quite openly. Businesses work to maintain or grow market share and stifle the competition. Some economics consider this heathy provided there is opportunity for entry into the market, but the business that is losing customers to the competition may have a decidedly different point of view.  Our hostess pointed out that without intending to, the campaign to restore popular taste to Science Fiction became a threat to the incomes of those who were looking more for literary recognition.

News coverage? Same. Speaking of newspapers, although some organizations try to enforce a separation between the advertising division and the news division, if no one reads the paper, they usually don’t read the ads, either. The sensational gets the most eyes.  Well, there are the bargain shoppers who read only the ads and coupons, but the newspaper still gets paid. The funding model has shifted from column inches of print to internet clicks, but the fact that the news is revenue driven hasn’t changed.  TV and radio are variants of the same thing: No viewers or listeners, no ad sales, but it’s the ads, not the news, that pay the bills.

What about governments? If one considers voters as a form of currency, it works there too. Political parties and candidates succeed or fail according to how many votes they can attract.

More important than this, though, is publicity. I observed way back in high school student government elections that usually the person with the most name recognition won, regardless of qualifications. That meant that the person with the largest, most numerous, or eye-catching signs and slogans did the best.  Once I graduated from high school, the same pattern appeared. In serious adult elections, the wealth of a campaign is determined by the number of donors and patrons the candidate can gather. There’s a snowball effect: The more one has, the more one can get. Candidates form entire networks of supporters.  In turn, publicity, in the form of advertising, can usually be bought.  Sadly and cynically, it’s seldom the best qualified who win elections. It’s those with the broadest network of supporters and the deepest pockets. It doesn’t always happen that way: A hardworking candidate with a good public face, and lots of luck, can occasionally overturn an incumbent with deep pockets but a bad reputation. But that’s the way to bet. Longstanding political observers and consultants know all this, of course, and talk about it much more than they do public issues.   

The information on whether a person is a good representative is probably best determined by how they vote on matters of public record. This is public information. However, it will not be spoon-fed to anyone.  A candidate is most likely to boast about a few public highlights (and, of course, they will remain silent about any negatives in their own record, while their opponents trumpet them to the skies.) Good information is mostly dry and boring and it is necessary to dig for it. 

And this is before we even mention government agency turf wars and who gets how much of the budget and whether it is more or less than last year’s.

An author I used to follow once claimed that if you overwatered an education system with money, you grew, not teachers, but bureaucrats.  It is no accident that the growth of the Federal Bureaucracy can be traced in large measure to 1913 and the 16th Amendment which allowed the income tax.

It is considered crass to point out that those who dole out money from the public treasury are essentially buying votes, but in effect, that is exactly what they are doing. Republicans and Democrats both do this: They just have different favorite constituent groups.  It appears that the Democrats have slightly the more numerous constituents, who are notably concentrated in the larger cities where the largest media markets are. This is probably not coincidence.

One of the greatest sources of dismay among political conservatives is the consistent failure of the Republican party to make any significant check on the bureaucratic state. Reagan tried and couldn’t do it. Newt Gingrich, in Congress, probably came closest to success, and Clinton then claimed credit for balancing the budget.  Neither President Bush tried very hard. Donald Trump threatened the bureaucratic state but was too embattled and too often betrayed by his nominal subordinates and appointees to accomplish much. A balanced federal budget was not something he ever promised.  The Democrat party…pfft. Tax and spend is their lifeblood.

At this point, I’m not sure the system can be saved. The rot has gone too deep and too far. The political will for repairs has never been there, and too many people are captive to and dependent on the system.  I am absolutely not calling for revolution or joining HeadsOnPikes (other than metaphorically…I care nothing for federal careers). Rather, I expect the whole thing, from Social Security through the Federal Reserve all the way to the UN, NATO, and the EU to come crashing down of its own unsupported weight. The elderly and the poor, those without community or family, will be hardest hit.  The only thing to be done in that case is to rebuild on a solid foundation.  Nevertheless, while the system remains, I want to fight the good fight to delay or mitigate the collapse.

About the only thing in nature that can compare to a bureaucrat addicted to tax money is a drug addict, who will notoriously do anything…anything…for another fix. Once again, our hostess can bear personal witness at how utter vicious and ugly people can become when their income is threatened. Lies and character assassination and attempted character assassination are to be expected.  As a rule, the nastier, more acrimonious and less logical a fight is, the more likely it is that money is somewhere involved. 

There are few things that raise the passions more than fights about money, as many a marriage counselor could probably testify. It’s only natural that government employees fight to protect their regular paycheck, benefit packages, and retirement accounts. It’s considered somewhat gauche to talk about it openly and rude to ask about it. Usually, in a dispute, the non-monetary arguments will be advanced first.   And it isn’t all about money. Sometimes, there are genuinely more important things, and on occasion, people do act against their own financial interest.  But those are exceptions, not the rule.

The next time you hear someone Screaming Bloody Freaking Murder to High Heaven about Dire Consequences of this or that, especially if that someone is in government, I recommend wax in the ears, an infusion of steel in the spine, and a close look at cold, heartless money, because that’s usually what it’s really about.

141 thoughts on “It’s Mostly About the Money A Guest Post By Confutus

  1. I remember a credit counselor talking of how in the Dark Ages, the two families would negotiate the property, including what was settled on the bride, and the morning after the wedding night, the bridegroom would sign it over, thus giving it the name morning gift.

    How refreshing for a culture to admit that marriage was about property and sex.

    1. Even now, it’s rather more about that than it is about romance, contrary to whatever impression you may get from romance novels and chick-flicks. I am given to understand that the size of a guy’s wallet is more important to gals than the size of his masculine parts, however virile he may think himself. Jane Austen, for instance, was quite frank about how important money was to her heroines. In societies with arranged marriage, money and property are more important to the family than mutual attraction (Fiddler on the Roof, for reference), and the notion that love-addled twitter-pated youngsters should make such important decisions based on their own feelings instead of sober calculation was considered quite foolish. Our own popular culture tends to overreact and considers romantic love all important, right up until the warm glow starts to fade and the sheer hard work of living together at close quarters with someone who is different begins.

      1. the notion that love-addled twitter-pated youngsters should make such important decisions based on their own feelings instead of sober calculation was considered quite foolish.

        That was IMO the Major Theme of Romeo And Juliet and why it was a Tragedy.

        1. My main take-away from ‘Romeo And Juliet’ was “What a couple of irresponsible little twits!”

          They almost got the whole city into a gang war. They did get a number of people killed before meeting their own ends.
          “When have any of our plans ever actually worked out? We make plans, we show up, and all Hell breaks loose!”

          1. The city already was in a gang war. The only stupid part was not realizing that they had to escape– and that would have been hard in the day.

              1. There was no truce. The families were going at it full spate.

                Indeed, the only effect was of Romeo attempt to prevent violence between Tybalt and Mercutio, with well known results.

        2. Yes, the father’s approval was required up until modern times…and really, for good reason..Anyone who thinks teenagers, and even early twenties kids, are capable of rational decisions in living in a fantasy…

          1. Back in the day before a high school education and even college became prerequisite for employment, teenagers and early twenties ‘kids’ had enough exposure to cold hard reality instead of spoon-fed pablum that they were better prepared to make adult decisions. But even then, requiring father’s permission (and mother usually had a say in that as well) wasn’t the sign of the Evil Patriarchy it’s made out to be.

            1. You mean requiring a father’s permission kept young girls safe from being kidnapped and forcibly married? Say it ain’t so, Joe! It must be because the father owned his daughters, it simply MUST be.

              Sorry, the sarcasm fairy was running around rampant in here. I kicked the little bugger out.

          2. Oh look! Another historically illiterate fool champing at the bit to project something on the past.

            Someone in their early 20s had been an adult for several years. And had the responsibilities of an adult for as long. It takes an entire civilization bent on infantilization to make a 20 year old unfit to find a mate.

      2. It also works to boost the woman. “This super rich guy wants me! There must be something amazing about me! Also, I’d better make sure that no tarts come and steal him away!”

        That’s the main point in the story “Johnny Lingo”, in which a canny young Polynesian traveling trader looking for a wife decides he wants to marry a particular young woman renowned for being completely unattractive. Everyone expects him to offer a ridiculously low bride price, and get it due to her poor looks. But he stuns everyone by offering an insanely high price, and then leaves the next morning with his wife. When he returns to that island on his next trip through, everyone is stunned at how beautiful his wife has become. When she realized how much her husband valued her, she began to take proper care of herself and her looks.

        1. What? Are you telling me that you’re more impressed by the quality and fit of his clothes and and shoes and the kind of car he drives than the size of his pecs or how chiseled his abs are? I’m shocked. I tell you, shocked.

          1. Nowadays that’s turning into a sign of wealth because of time required. Back in the day it would also, but because of enough food .

              1. A girl sees a handsome man and without observing whether his nose or his whiskers are the tenth of an inch longer or shorter than in some other man, admires his appearance and says she will marry him. So I suppose with the peahen. Charles Darwin

                    1. cowman is what I’m calling him, but yes. If Orvan keeps being all dejected, he’s going to end having me write a series of contemporary romances called “In Love With The Minotaur” And NO ONE WANTS THAT. That’s not what a leather fetish MEANS.

                    2. Sarah, my wife would love to read that series as you would write it…. because the already published “In Love With The Minotaur” series just isn’t making it —- although calling it “Milking Farm” was a subtle hint of it’s selective appeal…..

                    3. Amazon search has got FUNKY.
                      No, seriously. I was once looking for NON FIC on the tudors and stumbled on a Henry VIII/ Catherine of Aragon lactation romance. I wish I were kidding. It’s been two years, and I’m still going “Ew.”
                      Hey, ask Emily if she wants to beta read. Tell her to email me.

                    4. If Orvan keeps being all dejected, he’s going to end having me write a series of contemporary romances called “In Love With The Minotaur” And NO ONE WANTS THAT.

                      Whaddayamean ‘acting’? ♉

                      From (the original) Animaniacs…

                      Ned Flat: WHY are you acting like this?!
                      Yakko: We’re not acting. We really are like this.
                      Wakko: Aren’t we lucky?

                      And the more you mention/threaten it, the more curious I get…

                      Alice: Curiouser and curiouser.

                    5. …having me write a series of contemporary romances called “In Love With The Minotaur” And NO ONE WANTS THAT.

                      Actually, I kinda DO want that. It would certainly raise the quality of the… alleged… (very sub[quiet, herb])genre… not that would take much since it’s largely either lactation weirdness or… how to put it quasi-politely?.. uh.. far too Stockholm Syndrome. I admit that’s from skimming descriptions rather than right (im)proper in-depth reading.

                    6. he’s going to end having me write a series of contemporary romances called “In Love With The Minotaur”

                      Better than a retelling the classical ‘romance’ of being in love with the original minotaur’s er, sire.

                      As an aside, even if Orvan is not a cowboy, he is a boy-cow, right?

                    1. “Orvan,” Rafiel said again.
                      The bull-man looked up, his eyes half lidded. “Well, yes. But I tell you, I don’t like this role they’ve cast me in. I can’t be a psychopomps. I’m not even psycho.”
                      “A what?” Rafiel said, but before the words had quite left his lips, a college class in mythology was coming to his mind, like the accid reflux from a bad plate of sovlaki. “What? A guide of the soul? Do you mean I’m dead?”
                      The bullman shook his head, sending crazy horned shadows playing off the walls. “No. Or then again yes.”
                      “Argh,” Rafiel said, feeling the irritation that this kind of answer always brought. Of course, normally this answer came when he was investigating someone’s dead. It was something like: Well, Mr. Higgins, did you put the knife in Mr. Brown’s back. And Higgins would answer: Well, officer, you see, no. But then again yes. “I don’t have time to be dead. Even if I come back right away. Three days without shifting? I don’t have time for that, not with Highlander playing itself out in Goldport, and crazy lions rampaging around? I don’t have time for this.”
                      Orvan tilted his head slightly sideways, and advanced his lower lip in a very human expression. “Well, now,” he said. “You see, I wasn’t talking about the temporary death. I was talking about something rather more… permanent.”
                      Rafiel felt his eyes widen, and could smell the salty moisture in the walls. What was the legend again. Sure, Orvan had said he didn’t do that. That he didn’t eat the youths and maidens sent to him as sacrifice in the labyrinth. He’d made some joke about not unless they asked nicely. But was it true?
                      People were sent to the labyrinth to be sacrificed.
                      Then again, wasn’t that in Minos, long long ago? Why would Rafiel be there.
                      “I don’t understand,” he said, and despised the fact that his voice shook. “Am I a sacrifice?’
                      The Minotaur closed his eyes hard, as if he had an unbearable headache. A very human hand came up and covered his eyes. “No,” he said. “Or then again yes.” And immediately on the tail of that, as though he could read Rafiel’s mind “Don’t hit me.”

                    2. I am. even if I don’t sleep tonight.
                      It will be on preorder tomorrow, but probably not out for a month. I need to talk to team Hoyt’s release manager.

                    3. a few times.
                      Rafiel looked at the Minotaur. “Okay, then,” he said. “I’m a dead-alive lion, who is competing for clan leader, which is like dying, but it will be worse if I don’t.”
                      Orvan gave him a grin with dazzlingly white human teeth. “Good. You got it. Now, for the real matter, the reason you were sent to the labyrinth and a memory of me—” Deep sigh. “Was sent to instruct you. You see, if you go up against Haviland right now, on your own, you will die. Nothing else will happen. You will just die. And we can’t have you die.”
                      “The…” Orvan waved his hand vaguely. “The totality of the clan leaders. It’s not actually all of them, because there’s always been rogues, through the millenia, but… a … you could say a quorum. We call ourselves “We Who Live””
                      “Good name for your rock band,” Rafiel said. He felt woozy and not at all happy about this. Was he dreaming?
                      This didn’t feel like a dream. He could smell the salt and moisture, ancient, penetrating the rocks. He – extending a hand – could feel the moss on the walls. This was like no dream he’d ever had. Worse, he felt bruised from his feal world fight.
                      Orvan looked at his gesture, touching the walls, and said, “Yeah, they haven’t done maintenance on this for centuries, I think. Oh, not the one in Minos, of course, but the real one.”
                      And that was something that Rafiel wasn’t going to touch with a six foot horn. “Well,” he said. “Then whatever am I supposed to do and how do we do it?”
                      Orvan gave him a dubious look. “You up to it, lion boy?” he asked. “You look green.”
                      Rafiel didn’t ask green in which sense. Frankly, it could be either. And no, he didn’t feel great, but what was he supposed to, sit here, in the dream labyrinth and try to will himself better? No.
                      “I’m as good as I’m going to be,” he said.
                      “If you say so,” Orvan said

                    4. Interesting the ‘human’ descriptors. To indicate this a dream(like) apparition?
                      Or that the legend is… inexact?
                      Or, of course, yes?

                      Whatever it is, I shall be pre-ordering the instant I learn it is possible to do so.

        2. Status/confidence. Which of course does make prudence necessary, for separating “respectable independent go-getter man” from “spendthrift narcissist.”

        3. I’m reminded of a particular Far Side cartoon, set on a beach. Two guys each have a slate, and the girls are all over the guy with a more complicated equation.

      3. We used to have a saying hereabouts: Love flies out the window when the bill collector knocks at the door.

      4. My grandmother (the working-class Liverpool lass) had a saying about improvident marriage – “Live on love and eat the babies!”
        Not that she was about cannibalism, mind. Just that being careless about economics when when it came to considering a bid for marriage did have some costs attached …

        1. “Cookin’ lasts. Kissin’ don’t.” I heard that from some older aunts growing up. (They were called aunt, but the family relationship was a bit less formal than “sister of grandmother or grandfather.”) They were quite blunt about evaluating relationships with more than just emotions and anatomy. Not that they didn’t love their husbands, but the marriages were not made on impulse.

      5. There are times when I wish it hadn’t become just the man’s property that was important.

        It would be a lot easier for a woman to answer the question “So what do you bring to the relation ship?” if “$50K in investments and a small country property” were a socially acceptable answer.

      6. Of course, in Austen’s book, the matter is complicated by the fact that it seems that you can’t ADMIT that you’re marrying for money. Lizzie looks down on Charlotte for marrying Mr. Collins for “a comfortable home,” and her aunt is horrified that Wickham would pay court to a girl that he’d never particularly noticed before just because that girl had inherited a small fortune (and while Lizzie philosophically shrugs and thinks, “the handsome young men must have something to live on as well as the plain ones,” her aunt is the one who’s right).

        I’ll admit that, while I liked Austen, the fact that it seemed you had to find someone whom you both would adore even if he was penniless and who also had a large fortune, else you were either a mercenary or a fool, struck me as a bit frustrating.

    2. Who pays who varies by the culture. Some cultures have a bride price, where the bridegroom pays the bride’s family. Others have a dowry, where the bride’s family pays the new couple.

      The former is paying for the acquisition of an asset formerly held by the bride’s family. The latter represents the bride’s family giving the new couple the cost of the bride’s upkeep. If the marriage falls apart for some reason, it is expected that the dowry will be paid back. Also, some cultures stipulate that the groom cannot be the sole direct owner of the dowry. The bride manages it exclusively. And if she dies before the groom, it’s held in trust as an inheritance for their children.

      1. The morning gift differs from both. It’s from the bridegroom to the bride. Sometimes she had actual control during the marriage, and always when a widow

      2. And yet India has a problem with men whose serial new wives keep mysteriously dying in “kitchen accidents” over and over with them ending up with all the dowries.

    1. I’m sure you could.
      You know what, I realized my autobiography, should I ever write one, is going to be all myffic:
      I was given three axes by the minotaur–
      I mean, a tale following that CAN’T be paltry.

    2. I confess that my motives for offering up this guest post weren’t entirely altruistic. I am pleased that it met our Hostess’ Standards.

        1. Sad part is, I asked my local Librarian for They Walked Like Men, and she informed me that nothing of Simak’s writing was available through Inter-Library Loan. We’ve managed to Fahrenheit 451 ourselves I fear.

                1. I’ve an advantage that I’m dating said librarian, so she’s taking my advice on new books to buy (for those authors with hardcovers, hint hunt) but I’m hesitant to suggest older books, as I don’t know what will circulate amongst the general population. Her budget is limited, since it’s a small town of approximately 7k people.

  2. Which all makes it clear the neverending ‘CLIMATE CRISIS!!!’ is mostly about money. Grifters swarming to the ‘CLIMATE CRISIS!!!’ like flies to a dead horse.

    Look at all the money that’s been milked out of the ‘COVID CRISIS!!!’ in 3 years. Yep, it’s been just about 3 years since a modified bat virus escaped from the Wuhan lab.
    The government can mandate stupidity, but they can’t make it not be stupid.

    1. Al Gore is not a scientist and “An Inconvenient Truth” is propaganda, not a scientific publication. Unfortunately, once the Major Media adopts something as “The Truth”, it will get echoed and re-echoed from so many different sources you will begin to question your own sanity if you disagree. And, if you want to get published, you must never utter the dread word “Solyndra”, lest you be called a “science denier”.

      1. Is YEARS late now (I think… Ox SLOW) but I can so see a ‘meme’ image…

        “An Inconvenient Dumb[DONKEY]”
        and below, an image of AlGore.

        My sincere apologies to EVERY LAST Equus africanus asinus / Equus asinus. Ain’t NONE of you THAT dumb! And ox ADMIRE your STUBBORN!

      2. One of my High School classmates was the producer of An Inconvenient Truth. At a subsequent reunion, I complimented him on his Oscar-winning sci-fi film. He was not amused.

        1. Science fiction should be at least marginally plausible. AIT is more of a fantasy. Or a farce.
          Science does not change from day to day depending on political expediency.

    2. Sometimes I’m tempted to ask my greenie brother what he would consider as evident against climate change but it would just start an argument so I don’t bother.

  3. Finding information takes work. For one party’s primary in March, MomRed spent three and a half hours digging around to find anything she could on the candidates for all the races (from US House and Governor to local judges and sheriff.) About a third had no, zero, information about them anywhere – on-line, through Ballotopedia, the League of Women Voters, nada. Just that they were running. As far as MomRed was concerned, that eliminated them from her consideration.

    1. Indeed it does take work. When I look over the pre-election information pamphlets that get sent out here to prospective voters, I’m surprised at the number of candidates who don’t even bother to respond to questions about their position on the issues of the day. What? Are you too busy? Are you afraid that if people know what you stand for, they won’t vote for you? Does your party affiliation cover everything important? Are you afraid that the ones asking the questions are prejudiced? I can think of plenty of reasons they might not respond, but few excuses.

      1. If they take a position, they can be attacked. If they don’t take a position, sometimes the voters will project opinions onto them. Obama was a master of this.

        1. Back when I still had cable TV or TV signal, I did try to watch/listen to one of Obama’s campaign speeches, mainly to say that I had. I found if infuriating. He mouthed a lot of pretty words, sure, but he never actually SAID anything!

          1. Yup. If he’d said anything, his opponents would have been able to attack his positions. But since he never actually said anything beyond mindless feel-good crap, he could sidestep whenever someone tried to go after him.

            Even worse, his natural supporters generally accepted that he was lying through his teeth whenever he claimed he didn’t support a particular leftist position. So if someone on the right accused him of supporting a particular leftist position, he could say that he’d never claimed to support such a position. That would appease those on the right and middle who were willing on guard against real leftist policies but willing to be lulled, while his leftist supporters who wanted such policies implemented would accept that he was merely saying what the rubes wanted to hear.

    2. Oregon has a so-so voter’s pamphlet. (Cali’s was more detailed, and most of the time, the people for/against propositions were fairly clear where their money was from.)

      The gotcha for us was that the mail drop we use is not recognized as A Proper Mail Box, so we never got the pamphlet in the mail. Finally, the gubbage and/or useful information is now available online.

      Still get some races where it’s Whodat vs Damfino. I’ve been known to undervote them. OTOH, the propositions would be suitable candidates for the Obsfucated Summary competition, with a few in the range of the polished turd. If TPTB really want a prop to go a certain way, the summary will give strong hints. If I’m not mistaken, where a prop is modifying existing law, the before/after text is strangely absent. [ORS AAAA-BB.n is modified to “and” with no lucid description of the context.] Findable, but time consuming to parse, assuming it’s parseable by the ordinary mortal. (Clear text for horrible propositions was a “highlight” of the Cali pamphlets when I lived there. Made it clear which to vote No on.)

      1. OTOH, the propositions would be suitable candidates for the Obsfucated Summary competition, with a few in the range of the polished turd.

        A mouthful for saying there are some propositions where voting “No” means “will be allowed”. And others where “Yes” means “won’t be allowed”. Enough to give voter a headache.

  4. “crass to point out that those who dole out money from the public treasury are essentially buying votes” — Exhibit A. Inflation Reduction Act.

    Crass? Since when does polite society refrain alerting in response to a contemptible or immoral act, taking from some group and giving to one’s constituents is bolshevism and primitive thuggery.

    Collapse of the leftist leviathan is a reoccurring phenomenon throughout history. Jacobins, Bolsheviks, CCP commissars, woke elites, are all cut from the same Karl Marx bolt of cloth. Envy and resentment hyper-ize their mental states.

    1. It’s rude and offensive to call someone a liar or a thief. In fact, the more of a liar and a thief one actually is, the ruder and more offensive. I mentioned the other day that in my opinion, sometimes we have not only a right but a duty to be offensive, but that came a couple of days late after discussion had mostly moved on.
      I once read that a certain Davy Crockett, when elected to Congress, claimed that it was immoral to give money from the public treasury to private individuals, even for the most charitable of reasons, as had been the established custom from the very first Congress. (Yes, I once looked up the first number of the Congressional Record….very tedious to wade through, and it hasn’t gotten any better.) That alone got him a hero mark in my book, regardless of anything else he may have done.

    1. The cynical version of the golden rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules” has all too much truth to it. Either money or power will generally give you the other.

      1. I don’t know who made the comment, but it remains as true today as ever: “Gold won’t always get you good soldiers, but good soldiers can always get you gold.”

        Money from power is, IMHO, more reliable than power from money; “Iron, cold iron shall be master of them all”.

        1. Yep. Money is a proxy for power, but it isn’t always enough. As any number of Jews chased out of places because powerful men owed them money can attest.

          1. Or the Templar’s. They had the money. In the end it availed them nothing. They were hunted down and killed. Those that managed to get away and survive, essentially went into hiding/exile. All because one indebted King who had power.

    1. 1 Tim 6:3-11 may be more directly to the point. But those who say such things are to be ignored when they cannot be censored. “Deplorables?” You ain’t heard nuthin yet.

  5. Very nice and logical. The only thing I don’t agree with is this: “I want to fight the good fight to delay or mitigate the collapse.” I don’t agree with that. I say, while we have at least half the population awake and angry, let it come down! Bring it on. Yeah, I’m old and probably won’t fare well. But for the sake of thoughtful and prayerful people, I say, let it come down.

    1. Being in the less prepared and more vulnerable segment of the population, as well as an old-fashioned believer in the rule of law and the Constitution, as well as the notion that even bad government is usually better than bloody civil strife, I’m in no great hurry. Awake and angry is better than asleep and complacent, which is what most of us have been for far too long.

    2. Left position is pretty much always ‘burn it down’. Their calculation is broken, and will always indicate that choice.

      In pursuit of this, they have caused extensively significant amounts of damage, damage we have yet to fully realize.

      Maybe we can exceed that amount of damage, maybe we cannot. Should we try?

      The alternatives to ‘always destroy’ are ‘sometimes destroy, and sometimes create’ and ‘always create’.

      My view, ‘always create’ is probably sufficient, if combined with judgement about which situations are worth building upon, and a willingness to walk away.

      If ‘Radicals for Extermination’, forex, is not able to find volunteers to officer its chapters, ‘always create’ does not require me to go try to shore up /that/ organization.

      Ultimately, just about anything we create materially can be destroyed, if others want to destroy it enough. Beyond that, there are edge cases I’m not sure about.

      We don’t have to keep pouring love into something that a bully then destroys to watch us cry.

      These people make plenty of misery for themselves, and will not need any help with that. Rather then waste effort on that, find someone innocent who is hurting, and see what you can do about that. Even if the innocent is yourself.

      1. Ultimately, entropy will have the last say. Always. But before it gets to that point, destroy what needs be, maintain what is good, and create more of the good. A wonderful thing about proper capitalism is that you prosper when what you create is of value to others such that they pay you for it.

        Destruction is often the simpler task. Not always, but quite often. For example, I would very much like to see the IRS utterly gone, never to be revived or replaced. This also involves a bit of creation for, once the IRS be done, spending must be curtailed and a modest sales tax of some sort be implemented. But, first and foremost, one must eliminate something so that another path can be taken.

    3. Time is on our side. Every year that disaster can be put off results in the enemy having less power and less of the population enthralled.

        1. When I heard that, my reaction was “Why, you arrogant twit. You ignorant, arrogant twit. Do you really think nothing ever got done without a federal grant”? It’s this kind of thing that has been pushing me into a cold rage. A slow-burning, long-lasting, intelligent, calculating rage.

  6. “It works the same way in religion.”

    The Bible mentions one incident where that is explicitly acknowledged. In Acts chapter 19, it tells the story of Paul arriving in Ephesus, where there was a famous temple of Artemis, and starting to spread the teachings of Christianity there. Then this happened:

    About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship. When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” So the city was filled with the confusion […]”

    1. Reading Acts, there seems to be a pattern:
      Paul arrives in town.
      Paul begins to preach.
      Paul leaves town, sometimes hurriedly.

      1. Riot frequently instigated by Jews. Also, notably when Paul visited the Temple in Jerusalem, where it was noised that he was preaching that the Law of Moses was done away, hence no animal sacrifices, and wouldn’t that be a threat to the sellers of sacrificial livestock? That was even more offensive than Jesus marching in with a whip calling the place a den of thieves.

        1. I think that specific case was moved less by money than by a more fundamental kind of offense. In the eyes of the Jews (specifically, the Jews who did not believe in Jesus, of course), Paul was a traitor. He used to be one of them, after all: he was persecuting the Christians left, right, and center — until he switched sides completely, which felt like a betrayal to his former allies. And most people end up hating traitors more than the enemy. When the enemy does something to hurt or oppose you, well, you kind of expect that from the enemy. But when it was a former friend… the anger is personal and visceral. So I think there, the opposition to Paul was rooted in an even more fundamental, personal reason than the financial one.

    2. I messed up the punctuation copy-and-pasting that. The closing quote should have gone after the word “worship”, not at the end. Up until the line “she whom all Asia and the world worship” is the words of Demetrius the silversmith, but the sentence starting “When they heard this” is the words of the narrator, Luke the physician. Just wanted to clear up that point in case anybody cared.

  7. Interesting argument, but no, it is not all about money. Money is a means to an end. Yes, money is extremely important, but a quest for more money cannot explain the Great Reset and the pursuit of policies by various elites to cut agricultural production and energy production. Similarly it cannot explain the Bolsheviks’ desire to crush existing society and remake it according to the Marxist-Leninist vision.

    Thomas Sowell calls it the vision of the annointed. Adam Smith wrote of the dangerous “man of system” who imagines humans as chess pieces to push around a board in implementing his vision. Ludwig von Mises warned of the social engineer, who sees human beings as mere building materials to be used or discarded as he sees fit in creating his imagined utopia.

    Read the works of the WEF, the UN, the IPCC, of Schwab and others. They are interested in much more than money.

  8. Whether it was Christians versus Jews in the 1st century, or Christians versus Roman Imperial worship, Catholics versus Orthodox, or Protestants versus Catholics in the Reformation, the most important arguments, wonderful and marvelous though they may have been, were not theological. The bloodiest battles were about money flow to and through temples and churches and who would control it.

    That is somewhat true of the second half, but not even close for the first half. The Great Schism was the most purely worldly, hanging together for centuries after the actual theological split only to divide because of politics, but power mattered more than money there. The rest… no, I daresay theology surpassed money in all three, and only the Reformation was a close contest.

  9. I have somewhat simplified the argument, present it more as a thesis than settled conclusion, and somewhat conflated economic and political motives. Christians versus Jews is complicated, to be sure, and differed somewhat in Jerusalem and the Diaspora. By the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Romans were definitely seeing Christianity as subversive. Especially where religion is supposed to deal with other-worldly concerns and religious disputes aren’t supposed to be about money, priest and theologians have motive to conceal an economic interest and present theological reasons as a pretext for dispute, so it’s hard to say which is more fundamental. Priestly hypocrisy was definitely a theme of the Reformation.

    1. Especially since the motives of a movement are the motives of all within it — and people’s motives can be mixed, down to being in denial about some.

    2. Should also point out that on the Roman end, the objection was less theological than it was nationalistic. Not that there wasn’t some commingling there, but I don’t get the impression the Imperial Cult rated deep religious devotion to be compared with, say, Mithras worship. As to where the money went – that it went to Rome was a pretty settled question. The main point Romans had against Christians was that Christians couldn’t be trusted to be loyal.

      1. It goes without saying that every Christian who refused to participate in the Imperial Cult was also failing to send money to Rome. But just because it goes without saying doesn’t mean that it wasn’t added reason for dislike or distrust.

  10. Higher Education? Likewise. Professors and researchers must not only publish or perish, but they must bring in grant money or other funding to the department to finance their research.

    As an addendum to this, I wanted to mention that for every grant that a professor gets, a certain percentage goes to the university to cover “overhead.” I don’t know exactly how much, but in some places, at least, I think it can be around 50%. It would probably be impolitic of me to suggest that the universities are the pimps of the researchers who are willing to prostitute themselves, but well, I’m not in that world anymore, and their politics aren’t my concern.

    If you want to know why universities value “great researchers” over “great teachers,” that’s why. Your “great teacher” would have to bring in a lot of students to come close to the money from even one grant.

    1. Sorry to have to tell you, Herr Doctor Professor, but by the time your research has been corrupted by Freudian pseudo-psychology and Marxist Sociology and their bastard offspring like it has in literature, or by Political Correctness as in most of the humanities, or so laden with jargon and in-group references that it takes another PhD in the same field to read it, and even they have a hard time telling the difference between replicable results and fraud, it ain’t all that great no more.

    2. In other words, “Politics perverts science. Scientists are rewarded not for reporting the facts, but for saying whatever those paying the bills want to hear.”

  11. Breaking news: Fauci to step down from government positions in December!

    I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career.

    … in prison.

    No, unfortunately, probably not. But one can dream.

    (Cue “Ding Dong The Wicked Witch Is Dead”)

    1. Don’t rejoice. He’s anticipating the GOP taking the House and/or Senate. If he leaves, he’s playing under “private citizen” rules vs bureaucrat. If they don’t he’ll withdraw the resignation.

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