Cultic Rituals

One of the best ways to understand the left is thinking of them as a cult. No, not a religion, or not precisely, but part of a religion. The cultic part.

Let me try to explain. Kind of, as far as I understand it. I come from a very ancient country, and was raised in a somewhat ancient religion with more shadings than normal for it of an even older religion.

Religions are composed of two parts:

Belief, which can be sincere or perfunctory, as in, you really believe these things are true, or you act as if they were true because you were taught them in childhood and see no reason to DISbelieve them. (Cue Jorge Luis Borges “I pray the rosary every night because my mother taught me to. I have no idea if I’m speaking into a disconnected telephone.”) In fact I was taught specifically that if you can feel nothing, the performance of the belief is enough.

Cultic actions. Cultic actions tend to outlast the belief by Praying the rosary might be cultic. Well, it is. It’s a ritual performed as part of the religion, but it’s one that can be performed in private, and only puts obligations on you. These might not survive the fall of a religious belief. But the public ones do. Which is why the Catholic church penetrating into Europe quietly co-opted a lot of the rituals and habits of the previous populations, anyway. And often stripped them of their more bloody elements.

So, for instance, in the North of Portugal, at summer solstice (Or there around, because it’s a fixed holiday) everyone celebrates St. John. How do they celebrate it? Well, they take to the street with bunches of nice smelling herbs (mostly basil) or not so nice smelling elephant garlic, and little (or very big) plastic hammers that go honk when they hit someone’s head. And everyone is supposed to dance all night and move slowly from the center of town to the beach, to see the sun rise. Oh, and everyone makes massive bonfires, and it used to be considered legal marriage to jump together over the bonfire. (When I tell you that Pratchett and I grew up with a lot of the same customs.) OBVIOUSLY there is a Celtic ritual back there that was Christianized. The ritual was going to be happening, so you might as well give it another meaning. (Along the way it accrued the old-Catholic significance of “Summer Christmas” which in the North of Portugal means that the kids get to build ELABORATE landscapes, with the nativity in the center. They cell cheap clay nativities for that. I used to go all in on this — it’s not historically accurate, btw, so you have a lot of freedom — and have artesian fountains and train tracks and…. Although it’s usually a thing boys do, but of course, I’m a geek and this was building TERRRAIN. I just hadn’t found my people, yet.)

I was thinking of this today because today is Labor Day. In Europe it happens on the first of May, and in the seventies it often got froggy. It was started AFAICT through the various machinations of the USSR to try to get a world labor uprising. The US spiked the usual “fun” they had in Europe by making it in September. (It might have been older than the USSR. I’m too lazy to go look it up. But it was definitely Marxist and aimed for “workers revolt.”)

In the seventies in Portugal, all that played on television was the endless parades of USSR troops passing in front of podiums with red drapery. Other than the popular game of “Who is missing this year, and is he in the cooler already?” we really didn’t have much to do with it. So it became, as it did here, a nice day off.

Now, it’s a fossilized thing for the left, because it reminds them of those days when they believed the workers would rise up. Now they still talk about the workers rising up, and come the revolution, but that’s cultic, buried, and there’s no longer belief behind it. In fact, they rather hate “those who work” the vast masses who started disappointing them by not being internationalists in WWI and continue to disappoint them by wanting a prosperous economy with lots of jobs and NOT TO EAT BUGS.

But the cult that now is part of the anti-work movement, still celebrates Labor Day and at least in Europe it’s still political and filled with hammer and sickle crap.

And it occurred to me a lot of their stuff is cultic. It makes absolutely no sense, but they have to do this in public, to continue to belong.

So, you know, “Abortion is healthcare” which wouldn’t fool a baby. (It just kills them.) Yesterday on facebook I had a special critter telling me that the right deserves everything they can throw at us, because we denied her “health care.” By which she means, she might be inconvenienced by having to go to the next state over to kill a third trimester pregnancy. (But you know, I’ve seen her picture and profile, and she’s either my age or looks it, so– The chances of her getting pregnant are minimal to say the least.) Also she assured us that Justice Thomas — looks at who he’s married to — is next going to “outlaw” gay marriage and mixed race marriage.

I don’t even have a glimmer of a clue where they got this mixed race stuff, except of course, they fought so hard to keep the races separated and missed, and THEREFORE it must be what we all secretly want? Ritual.

As for gay marriage, yeah, it’s a ridiculous decision, even if I think it’s the right RESULT for conservative reasons (Stop staring at me. No, it has NOTHING to do with trans. Most gays hate the trans thing, actually, (because per-se it denies same-sex attraction or accommodations for that) so I wonder where the heck you people got that. Also, I was around during the gay marriage debate. Y’all weren’t predicting trans. You were predicting multiple marriage. (Which exists, but it takes very special people and as one of my characters pointed out, might be its own problem) or bestiality. I think gay marriage once it became obvious something was needed is the best of it, provided (and so far they haven’t) they don’t force churches to perform them. Because “civil unions” as tried in France and the rest of Europe become the default mode for straights too almost immediately. Which means they lose the old and societal expectations of marriage FOR EVERYONE.) and it amounts to “the president changed his mind, so we’ll figure out a way to do it.” It needs to be there, but the legal reasoning might want to shift a bit. At any rate, I don’t see anyone chomping at the bit to strike that down. And to be fair, it has more need to be uniform across the country. You can’t stop being married because you moved for a better job. That’s what’s known as insane. Abortion can absolutely be by state. (Though seriously, this means my beloved Colorado is going to have two industries: pot and killing your newborn baby, since it’s now legal (or not investigated which comes to the same) for two weeks after birth.)

Anyway, that stuff is fossilized cultic stuff, like chanting certain phrases during a ritual. (Admittedly her idiot friend who came to defend her after I agreed — amiably — that her mother should have had an abortion, (since obviously there still was no evidence of brain activity. Stop staring at me. I was low on coffee) was funnier. She came in hot and heavy by saying I was supporting a despot (Have any of you caught me supporting Brandon? Maybe I was asleep at the time?) and then told me I wasn’t even American. When I accidentally blocked her when I blocked her friend (!) she managed to send off a message telling me I was a nut. And you know, she should know from nuts? Again, ritual. Absolutely no thought there.)

Cranberry pointed out in comments the problem is that what accretes to the cult keeps spreading, and came up with the way this works. Some of you have known I said “they drink their own ink.”

Okay, here’s what Cranberry said:

The truly dangerous thing is that they are compounding their delusions.

Russia hoax: I believe they set that up because they believed Republicans have a knee-jerk hatred and mistrust of Russians. (During the Cold War, it was people like Cambridge (MA) Democrats who were making junkets to the Soviet Union, returning to tell us the Soviets were harmless. ) But the thought that DJT was a Russian collaborator was bizarre, and not convincing. Thus, the years of “Russia Russia Russia” hype on tame news outlets served to drive Democratic paranoia through the roof, but did not sway normal Republican voters.

So they concluded it was a cult of personality. They entirely missed the grievances of their fellow citizens who identified with the deplorable label. DJT did not lead the dissatisfaction. He is a symptom, not the cause.

Again, I blame Hollywood. For decades now, they’ve cast Nazis as the villains, especially in action blockbusters. In the real world, anyone who’s willing to be a Nazi is and has been a pitiful loser. Calling anyone a Nazi is an insult, but being serious about the insult is a sign of delusion.

It’s as if I were to call someone a Roundhead or a Cavalier. It doesn’t make sense today, in this country. Would I be insulted if someone called me a Roundhead? No. But I would avoid talking with that person, as I’m old enough to know that some frames of reference are too skewed for communication. I think this silence is not only practiced by “our” side, but also by Democrats who do not share in the delusion.

So, all this talk of civil war… I don’t think so. We aren’t in the same frame of reference. If we were the monsters they claim we are, maybe…but we aren’t. (note the use of the subjunctive there. “condition contrary to fact.”) It seems to be wishful thinking on the side of those disconnected from reality.

I saw that too. They came up with “Russia” before the election, because they figured that would lose him conservative support. It didn’t, because we AREN’T a cult but a political movement.

First of all, the Russia stuff made no sense whatsoever, since Trump wasn’t favoring Russia. But second, the Russians aren’t the USSR and this isn’t the cold war, and we don’t act ritually to cast out the “Russia” influence.

I mean, for the idiots who can no longer interpret language, let me assure you we don’t want a president that is influenced by any foreign power. So it probably was a bad idea to fraud in one that is owned by so many foreign powers his only aim was to destroy the country, except the left loves that. Because the Marxist cult tells them (and schools teach. YOU REALLY SHOULD BE MONITORING WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE TAUGHT) that we’re only rich because we stole from others, So if we go down others go up. And because of this cultic belief, millions of the poor will die this winter and next worldwide, before the greatest consumer (and therefore buyer of goods) in the world rights its ship.

Anyway, that is their problem. We didn’t react to “Russia” in an unthinking manner by turning on Trump, because we’re not a cult. But their followers are a cult — or at least have fallen into cultic behavior — so it was impossible for them to process “this is a trap for the right.”

This is a problem, because as Cranberry said, it compounds. This is the reason they came up with “We must not only help the Ukraine, as we would any small attacked country, but we must all but take up arms against Russia.” This was a thing, because they thought the right, since they support Trump, must now support Russia, and therefore, we’d rise up for Russia, and they could put down internal dissent with the excuse of seditious pro-Russia elements.

The number of discussions I’ve had with some idiot lefty who goes “But aren’t you pro-Russia.” “Well, no. Putin is a KGB horror. Why would I be pro-Russia? Sure, Ukraine is corrupt, as are all Eastern countries, but which part of this is I must be pro-Russia.” (I do think the way we’ve gone about helping Ukraine is retarded and mostly a way to enrich let’s go Brandon and his allies, but then again so is everything they do.) THE LEFTISTS LITERALLY CAN’T PROCESS THIS. They’ll just stare at you, maw wide, unable to work through it.

Because they said we’re pro-Russian, and they engage in cultic, no-thought behavior, therefore we must too.

In the same way the people who thought that Obama was “sort of a god” (Meh. He was the Light Bringer… “Oh, Lucifer, son of the morning, how hast thou fallen?” Or if you prefer Marlowe “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”) think the reason we elected and largely (waggles hand. I think the nomination is his if he wants it. And I think he’s now wiser to what’s going on and will bring in the scythe. BUT it might be beyond any one man to clean up) support him is because it’s a cult of personality. So if they destroy him, we’ll fall back into line.

They don’t understand we “supported” Romney and McCain only as opposition to Obama, and we… won’t be fooled again. We elected Trump to wreck their game. And while he didn’t do as thorough a job as we wished, he did get them all to drop the mask, and what they are and what they do to us is becoming daily more obvious and waking up…. everyone.

In fact, the blue model of governance (Or if you prefer, the centralized model, or if you prefer the “fossilized mass industrial model.”) is falling world wide. For various reasons but among others because it needed — required — ever rising population (I think that’s why they’ve been so opposed to space exploration) and ever falling diversity of population. We were supposed to be standardized. (Yes, they encouraged every fringe “Oddity” in the west, as a means — they thought — of making us fall. But it spread to them because the Future comes from America.)

We didn’t go that way.

But more importantly, because the standardized, centralized model requires that communications be thoroughly centralized and controlled. And we didn’t go that way. (Though they KEEP TRYING.)

This is because the blue model never actually worked very well, even in its heyday. And the only way to project the illusion it does is to keep pushing lies in the media. Which are no longer being believed.

So, the model is failing worldwide, and rapidly. Frankly, if the US hadn’t supported it with food and money and everything for the last almost 100 years, it would never have taken hold except in small and backward places.

The problem is the cultists can’t process it. They have embedded all the lies in their ritual and are now coming up with cunning plays based ENTIRELY on those lies, which are assumed/revealed truth in their circles.

(I’d bet you the stupid speech was one of those.)

And when the plays fall they come up with ever more “cunning” plays that include the latest word from above.

It is, ultimately, a ghost dance. They’re performing the ritual harder and harder, in the hopes of a result that never happened, but will happen now for sure.

It would be funny if I were watching this, say, from a Mars colony.

As it is, they’re going to manage to take a lot of us down with them when they finally collapse.

And then we’re going to be left with a bunch of cult members who can’t think, and who must be brought to reality and civilization, one by one, via a Road to Damascus wakening.

Except…. We can’t control or command those.

Honestly, it would be easier to send them en masse to China, where the regime is as they believe we should be. But China is racist (also a’hole) and they eat everything, and in the famine ahead… well. They’re not the only ones where that might happen. But they’re the obvious one.

So what do we do with them? I suspect really there’s very few, there at the core of it. Maybe two or three million. Maybe we can buy land from Brazil and send them out to establish their own colony.

Brazil is so unorganized, they swallowed real live Nazis without a burp. Now only distinguishable by the fact that you find someone called Pifia Pafia Pefia Peixoto de Herman. And some might have slightly lighter hair. I don’t think they’d even notice our progressives, when they inevitably stray from the colony in search of food (because it turns out critical theory doesn’t feed anyone.)

I know, I know. But I really don’t know what else to do. Is there a way to sacralize their profane beliefs to the Constitution and the Republic?

I don’t know.

I know their collapse is going to bid fair to take us — and the world — down with them.

So, be not afraid, in the end we win they lose.

But keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark, and make preparations for a graduated series of worst case scenarios.

And keep your head up. We’ll get ‘er done, even if we’re facing NPCs chanting “Russia, Russia, Russia.”

You see, they ARE talking at the end of a disconnected phone.

546 thoughts on “Cultic Rituals

  1. We always lit bonfires on Saint Johns Eve. Just another Celtic memory.

    This is a good piece because we all need to remember that the left is what you get when the religion part of our brain has a hole in it

      1. I think they do have a religion. God is the most important thing there is–kind of by definition. If there’s no supernatural, the most important things you run into are other people, and the most important thing you can come up with is something that governs those people. It looks like government is god. But government is guided by political parties (official or unofficial), so your party is god, and MSNBC is its prophet.
        Maybe Gaiman missed a bet in American Gods.

      2. My impression is that people are making up cultic practices with intent. They make pretty good brainwashing and social cohesion training. What we have now is Dionysian practices in Apollonian dress.

  2. The Left said ” Russian collusion” because the Left routinely accuse their opposition of the crimes and evils they themselves commit.

    Example: fascist

      1. It’s sure a shock when my leftier friends find out that Teddy Kennedy actually went over to Russia and colluded with them to win the Presidency.

  3. I watch the movie “1984” last night. The book has a lot more info and if you haven’t read the book, certain details can get lost. However, movie was still horrifying. I have a real problem listening to Socialists (they are on youtube btw) because the concepts and ideas they talk about haven’t changed since it first started (possibly turn of the century). They still think they can do it right one more time. I can’t stomach much of what they say.

    1. I agree. I have a hard time not seeing evil with modern socialists. When the ideas first circulated many people got on board, but they has a realization when they encountered real socialism. For example George Orwell.

      Yet I can show video footage of devastation in Venezuela to modern socialists and they will not bat an eye lash.

  4. I was actually thinking the other day what we should do with what I call Nazi’s since they were brought here via Operation Paperclip. And now we are dealing with their children or their transhuman creations. I think we should make them stay where the masses live so we can spit on them and tell them they are deplorable when they have to shop at the grocery store because they can’t afford someone else to do it. Maybe I’ll use my Greta voice. Or maybe we should torture them like lab rats–we all get a turn at the dunk tank or pie in the face like at the school carnival.

    1. Most of the people brought here weren’t Nazis. They worked for them like a lot of people right now work for Brandon, even though they hate it.
      They are certainly not transhuman creations.
      I think you should take Thorazine. Intravenously.

        1. You didn’t? Then you should try thinking, instead of throwing out buzzwords.
          Also, what does the fact I write have to do with the price of potatoes?
          You have rats in your head.
          AGAIN, I advise thorazine. Intravenously.
          Or you know eat a burger already. The human brain needs protein and animal fat.

          1. It wasn’t coherent enough to be a screed. It made me head hurt, and that is something that takes a fair amount to do. Must mean me alcohol system is getting too thick, so.

              1. Oh. Thank goodness. I read it 3 times and still went? What the heck? Before scrolling down and reading following comments.

      1. Under Hitler educated Germans had three choices; cooperate with the government, get issued a K98 and get shipped to the Russian front, or in extreme cases get fitted with a piano wire necktie.
        Werner Von Braun and his team designed and built rockets, and used slave labor and conscripts to do so. And much in the fashion of Oskar Schindler he kept many of those workers out of the Nazi death camps.

        1. Hence why the poor lefty who thought she was coming by to enlighten us, or twist us or something is a poor rat. What she understands of the world and history could be written on the head of a minute pin.
          So, she is in point of fact an idiot who thinks she’s smart. She might also be in a cultic frenzy, hence my recommendation of thorazine, though I’m not a doctor and cannot prescribe.

            1. But they usually are able to communicate at least one coherent thought.
              Otherwise, the troll has no chance of getting fed.

      2. OK, I checked out Melissa C’s, page; “During Operation Leviathan, anti-whaler Sarah Sumner and her devoted deckhand, Gunner, ..spaceships … beaming-up whales. There’s a new predator in the Southern Ocean. It’s not just the Japanese whalers anymore.”

        Hum. I’ll politely stop with hum.

        1. Also she has synopsis that open up with “The Vegan captain”. I shouldn’t laugh since I know what veganism does to the human brain.
          But…. yeah, I’m laughing.

              1. Vega. Vegans would be from Vega. Venus would be inhabited by Venusians. 😀

                Although, given what we now know about conditions on Venus, they would be highly compressed crispy Venusians.

                1. Vegans are obviously agents of the Vegan Tyranny:

                  When the USS Enterprise was accidentally sent back in time to 1969, Montgomery Scott reminded James T. Kirk that the Vegan Tyranny wholly dominated space outside the local group of stars, and therefore it was unsafe for the Enterprise to go there. (TOS – Star Trek 2 novelization: Tomorrow is Yesterday)


        2. Also? Star Trek did it better is a really sad thing to have to say of that synopsis.
          I mean you can say of mine “Heinlein did it better” but that’s true for most of SF/F.

          1. We can’t be Heinlein, or Rob Howard, or Niven, Pournelle, or Butcher or Sanderson. But we can entertain the reader with skillful storytelling, in our own ways. There are probably a few bad subjects that won’t make a good story in the hands of a canny writer.

            But if there are, I’ve haven’t heard of them yet.

            It is possible to make a boring slog out of anything, though. Paper thin characters, muddy plot-work, trite or stilted dialogue, and action that speeds along with the verve and vigour of a sleepy gastropod can kill any interest the reader might have.

            It’s especially egregious when current issue politics are hammered into a storyline without respect for elements of good storytelling and common sense. Future generations are not going to look back on such books with wonder, save to wonder what sort of people would choose to write such tawdry tales, and further what sort of people would choose to read them.

            When the priority for personal politics is held over proper storytelling, the story itself withers. It is all too easy to spot when that sort of thing happens.

            1. Yes, all the anti Reagan and Thatcher screeching from the eighties has aged so poorly. People need to understand the difference between making a political point and making a philosophical point.

              1. Obama was very clear in signalling that he wanted to undo everything that Reagan and Thatcher did when he decried “the policies and ideologies of the last 30 years”. It wasn’t just GWB he wanted to undo, it was everything going back to when Carter started deregulation and building up the military about half-way through his term.

                When Obama said he wanted to “fundamentally transform America”, he meant it. It is his team that controls the HarrisBiden White House and is writing the speeches that declare all who oppose that fundamental transformation to be “enemies of the state”.

                1. It’s easy for anyone not part of the left wing progressive cult to see that Uncle Joe is nothing more than the figurehead for Mr. Obama’s third term in office. And much of the frustration being shown by them is due to them having to endure a four year wait simply because Hillary lost to Trump.

                  1. Joe Baloney is a dummy for the same ventriloquists that had their arms up 0bama’s backside. Just a much less articulate one.

                    That speech the FICUS made a month or so ago really, really needed a historically-aware heckler:
                    FICUS: “Do you want to be the side the side of Doctor King…or George Wallace?”

                    Heckler: “George Wallace was a Democrat!!”

                    FICUS: “Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis, or Bull Connor?”

                    Heckler: “Bull Connor was a Democrat!!”

                    FICUS: “Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln, or Jefferson Davis?”

                    Heckler: “Jefferson Davis was a Democrat!!”

                    1. I wonder if they realize that being called their enemy might result in being taken at their word and having the Conan solution for declared enemies applied…stealthily, of course, a la “Unintended Consequences”? 😉

            2. I agree that authors should be storytellers first and foremost. Actually my favorite storytelling author was Louis L’amour. His plots were straight forward. Good guy gets wronged by bad guys and saves the girl and gets the bad guys in the end. Simple plot lines but eloquent wordsmithing. I like his quote (paraphrasing) “some people say we only have one life to live, but those who read live many lives and travel through time to different places”. As authors, we need to set the storyline, locale, and time while entertaining our readers. We must reel in the readers into the worlds we create so that they feel our worlds are real and they are there. If we do this, we are successful as authors and have accomplished our mission even if we don’t have a bestseller.

          1. Not really. Just an idiot or inexperienced. A lot of people do that because they so badly want to be “real writers.” The problem is writer is one of those things you are by doing. Calling yourself a writer before you are is… pathetic. After you are, and have some following, everyone already knows.

            1. I’ve seen something similar in the service with people bragging on stuff they’d never done. It was stupid and sad.

              1. If people do it as just advertising, that’s usually okay. A tad annoying, but it serves as a quick introduction, and often serves to make the person not feel like he has to mention his book/s in every post.

                1. I think it was the rudeness rather than the “look at me I’m one of you!” that rubbed me wrong.

        3. ….so, active terrorist supporter, or just bought into the BS of the “we’re saving the whales” eco-terrorists?

          I know a few years ago they were screaming they’d been attacked by a Japanese whaler when they were on video ramming it.

      3. What’s worse is that most of them likely have died of old age by now.

        Does that “woman” want the US to murder their children and grandchildren for the “imagined” crimes of those German scientists?

        1. Probably. Leftists are big on Corruption of Blood. After all, it’s a key component of Social Justice.

          1. You were not supposed to notice that!

            Besides, as a “living breathing document” the Constitution thus changes with the mood of the time and the Will of the People!!, guaranteeing what it seems to forbid and forbidding what it seems to guarantee.

          1. We are all ‘trans-human’. Are we genetically the same as Neanderthals, or Cro-Magnons? Homo Habilis, or Homo Ergaster? Of course not. Does this make us not human? Should we all be tortured like lab rats? Well, you first, ‘Author Melissa Crismon’.
            You have real experts who know what they’re talking about, but you won’t listen to them because they don’t say what you want to hear.

          2. Yep, they’re going to achieve the Singularity and be like God, knowing good and evil.
            Sigh. Look at how well that worked with a certain fruit.

      4. I was confused by this comment for a moment, but then realized I’d confused thorazine with hydrazine. Nevermind.

    2. There are folks on the Left speculating on “what to do,” with us. I think we don’t need to go down that road.

      1. Isn’t it interesting how “what to do” with us never seems to include “leave them alone.” I’d be quite willing to accept a good old Amish-style shunning from the left, as I think most normal people would. Here in Tennessee we’re pretty much all “don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing.” But our forebearance of rude behavior isn’t everlasting, lefties…

        1. The realization that they will never leave us alone is one of the reasons I’m less of a libertarian than I used to be.

        2. They can’t leave us alone. If they do we’ll show how bankrupt and outright stupid their ideas and plans are.

          That’s why talk of national divorce is useless, even if they agreed to it they’d just start infiltrating New America the same way the Soviets inflintrated America. In a few generations we’d be right back where we are now, just with less territory and a precedent of giving the Left what they want so they’ll leave us alone. See also, gun control.

          No, if the Leftists want to go find another country better suited to their political philosophy, more power to them. I’ll even help pack. But America is for Americans and we can’t give up territory because it will never end.

          1. They’d be one of those psycho exes who hunt down their separated partner to kill them.

          2. Oh, I wasn’t considering a national divorce. I’d be more than happy to shun them if they’d shun us in turn. Problem is, they don’t believe in live and let live, they have a totally delusional triumphalist view of the world and a totalitarian insistence on forced proselytization. Couple that with an absolute inability to recognize, nay, to sense in any way, facts that invalidate everything they claim to believe and stand for, and it may be the best we can do for them (short of transportation in the to Australia sense) is to confine them to various reservations, which they seem to be fairly OK with. The only thing we need to do, perhaps, is to persuade them that we’re even worse than they believe and completely unreformable and not worth bothering with. But that will have to include getting their hands off our wallets and their edicts off of our backs. Therein lies the rub…

            1. That is the fundamental problem in this country…There is a fairly small minority of crazies who won’t leave people alone, and the government and corporations support them….

              1. It takes a very small percentage of people determined to cause a problem to totally wreck everyone else’s day. Any time you spend dealing with them is time you can’t spend taking care of your own life – so the problem spreads like wildfire.

              1. Nobody, actually.

                It showed up some 80 years after the fact, and didn’t fit any of the stories from the time. Although the guy telling the story did at least know the guy he said said it, not sure that helps any…..

          3. @ Jeff > “They can’t leave us alone.”

            Back in the Obama Era, I saw a bumper sticker saying “Focus on your own damn family” — along with the usual Democrat stickers.
            My thought was that I would be happy to do precisely that, if YOUR PEOPLE would just leave US alone.

          4. No slave state can long survive alongside a free state. Sooner or later, the slavemaster must strike out to destroy freedom, else the slaves know that their status is a proveable lie.

            No surrender of -any- part of free USA to the tyrants, petty or huge.

            -all- free.

      2. The question is if there’s an actual cult leader, or not.
        The message coordination implies that there is, but… The existence of this hypothetical Big Brother is far from proven.

        When a cultic leader feels the walls are closing in, they have a pronounced tendency to kill the followers in their thrall, rather than risk losing that power.

        An endstage cabal works slightly differently. The individual members each want to consolidate power to face the threat with a unified face, and focus on eliminating rivals within the movement.

        Either way, our involvement is largely limited to keeping pressure on, and sowing discord within the body.
        A ready example is the current push to sexually mutilate a generation of homosexuals. I’m opposed to quite a lot of what the homosexual community desires, but I have no problem agreeing with them that this is a very bad thing, and needs to be trumpeted from the rooftops.

        Best case scenario: we come out of this without blood on our hands, and clean consciences as well.
        Nominal case: we come out with clean consciences, but dirty hands, as we have to invoke self defense.
        Worst case: we get proactive, but they mostly spill each other’s blood.

        1. A cult doesn’t have to be the modern conception of a wacky religious movement with a charismatic leader. The Eleusinian Mysteries were a cult. Scholars of religion regularly refer to the medieval Cult of Mary. And so forth.

          1. Cultus in Latin means “worship” or more broadly “paying attention, tending.” Agriculture is tending the fields.

            It fit in nicely with the OT Bible’s idea that priests tend and guard the Temple, and Adam was supposed to tend and guard the land (as surrounding the “cosmic temple” where God dwells).

            The English definition of cult is more restricted, whereas any Latinate descriptions of cult tend to be broader.

            So honor to a saint done in public, officially, is “cultus” too, even though saints aren’t worshipped. (Being official and public and routine is almost what makes it “cultus.”)

    3. I was actually thinking the other day what we should do with what I call Nazi’s since they were brought here via Operation Paperclip. And now we are dealing with their children or their transhuman creations.

      Nazi is a political position, not an inherent thing– and if we had a transhuman created by the Nazis, he’d be no less innocent of his creator’s wrongs than the children of a Nazi would be. (that is to say, entirely– even going old testament style, that’s a big no-no, Jeromon 31 something or other)

      More importantly, if you listened to the folks who fought the Nazis– not all Germans were Nazis. They may have been forcibly registered, and they may have even been shooting at you, but once they got captured and didn’t have to fight anymore, they were just people.

      You can hear that from folks who were prison guards after WWII, or whose ancestors came over here as prisoners of war during WWII.

      1. There were Nazis who weren’t Nazis — they joined the party to facilitate working against them.

        One German working for such a man panicked when his boss joined and joined himself to protect his job. His boss tried to get him fired for it. Fortunately for him, his boss’s boss actually was a sincere Nazi and protected him. So joining the Party protected him from the danger to his job from — joining the Party.

    4. So let’s see. Adults during WW2, presumably upwards of 30 1in 1942 if they were useful enough to be scooped.

      … does quick math..

      Just how many 110+ year olds do you think there are?

        1. No, thousands of them also live in Detroit, and every single one voted at least once.
          Grandpa voted Republican until the day he died — but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

    5. Wow. I grew up surrounded by this kind thinking so this made a strange kind of sense but only if I recall some of the weird, fundamental assupmtions.

      The Left are akin to locusts (dare I call them “wokists”?). They descend on a bountiful place and lead unremarkable lives being mostly an annoyance only at election time. However, if they are allowed to pass a threshold (called the “gregarious phase” in locusts), they begin to multiply rapidly and will quickly strip paradise bare. All the while sending their intellectual offspring to new places to repeat the cycle of destruction.

        1. Without getting too deep into the madness, here are a few highlights.

          A conspiracy theory that Operation Paperclip did more than import German scientists. One example is a belief that Alan Dulles used imported Gestapo intelligence agents to create the foundation for the Central Intelligence Agency.
          That those who commit evil pass on genes that promote future sin.
          Moral taint and collective responsibility. That an individual can be held accountable for actions taken by his government or by his ancestors. (That one should sound familiar).

          Within the context of the above, the screed made a nutty kind of sense.

          1. Forget a relative handful of German scientists who really wanted nothing more than to build rocket ships to take mankind to the moon and beyond.
            Rather consider the legacy of the Southern Democrats who even today stealthily propagate their racist plantation mentality while ostensibly cloaking themselves in a mantle of benevolence and generosity serving as the carrot buying the votes of the ill informed masses.

  5. Labor Day started in the US, in Chicago, on May 1. But the northern part of the US can’t guarantee good weather on that date, so the celebration got shifted to early September. Plus it let later union leaders disavow connections to “those Communists over there.”

    What Thomas was talking about with “gay marriage” and reconsidering Obergefell vs. Hodges was the sketchy basis of the decision. If Roe is no longer hard precedent, then the justification for the Obergefell decision and others needs to be reconsidered. Will it happen? Probably not, and the inter-racial marriage case, Loving vs. Virginia, used different arguments. (Only Article IV of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment, rather than adding in Griswold v. CT and Roe v. Wade. NB: I am not a legal specialist, and my knowledge is very, very general here.)

    1. Obergfell was not quite the legal travesty that Roe was, but I still don’t like it. The government should not be having a say in who should and should not be married, absent they be consenting adults. Roberts wanted the States to decide what marriage is and is not (which I disagree with- they shouldn’t be deciding that at all, the individual consenting adults should). Alito thought it was a bad idea to tell the States what they should do, rather than what the Constitution requires them to do.

      Thomas said it best. He wrote that:

      “The majority distorts the principles expressed by the Framers of the Constitution by portraying human dignity as granted by the government rather than emanating from the individual. The Constitution is meant to provide freedom from government intervention rather than the right to receive a government entitlement.”

      This was one of the decisions where I prefer Thomas over Scalia’s dissents. It gets right to the point of the matter.

      1. Yes, but barring doing what Portugal does and totally separating civil and religious marriage (One of the almost none things I THINK Portugal was right about) I don’t think we can get there from here.

        1. Yeah, I know. Along with these little miracles, I want the IRS disbanded, the FBI defunded, a balanced budget amendment and the remaining bits of fedgov split up and shrunk.

          No, I don’t want a pony. Miracles, dag nabbit!

            1. One, two… many.

              Rather. Any one is too many. The ATF should be a convenience store on the way to the range, not a government bureau.

        2. Started in France I think. To the degree gay marriage is civil matter having to do with pensions wills insurance etc I haveno issue. At the end of the day civil marriage is about property. Deliver unto Caesar and all that. The rest. Fugedaboutit

          1. I believe that all marriages were religious until the late 18th or early 19th century…civil marriage was part of the secularization of the West…I see no justification for the Supreme Court dictating to the States how they treat the institution…

            1. Bigamy was pretty much always a civil crime, because it was unfair. Incest too, and some other classes of marital crime, like abandonment.

              There have been places where open adultery was a punishable crime, although usually that involved something like “adultery against the king is also treason” or “the prince disobeying the king. and creating a reason for war by mistreating his foreign wife, is also treason.” Or public disorder, with normal people or military officers.

      2. My thoughts at one time were that government should have no say in marriage. BUT- all governments since there was such a thing as government, or some semblance thereof, have had a say in marriage, what it is and isn’t, and the conduct expected of each marital partner. It’s not just something between two people that affects no one else.

        How do societies survive? By having children. How do children come about? Through a coupling of a man and a woman. Period. How do those children absorb the society? Mostly through their parents. A man and a woman. If the father isn’t present, the society ultimately fails to thrive. It may continue to exist for a while, but will not be competitive with other societies.

        Leftists throughout history have always proposed banning state or religious control of marriage. Or even marriage itself. They never have. Seems almost like it’s a needed concept with some regulation needed. The French Revolution simply transferred marriage from the clerics to clerks. The Bolsheviks kept it on. The Chicoms kept it.

        1. My answer to that is simple. How much do you trust the government?

          My answer: Very little. I trust them like a rebellious teenager or a particularly troublesome toddler. Apt to get up to all sorts of awfulness the very second I take my eyes off them.

          I do not trust the government to have a say in who can and cannot be married, because sure as Himself made little green apples, it will corrupt it. As they have. The ideal is for the government to merely enforce the contract where applicable and no more.

          That means spouses can get automatic access to their partner in terms of medical say, powers of attorney, inheritance, taxes, and so on. They get all the rights and responsibilities legally incumbent upon married persons.

          That means it shall not and should not be the government’s business to say what kinds of marriages are legal and what are not. Only the contract matters to the government, not who happens to be married.

          The regulation of marriage is like unto government itself: it should be small and as minimally intrusive upon the individuals involved as humanly possible while still managing to see that contracts are fulfilled by the parties involved.

          The way that societies survive bit is culture, and politics is downstream of culture. It should not attempt to dictate or control culture. That is what leftists do, incessantly.

          The conduct between partners is not the business of government so long as no laws are broken, i.e. violence, theft, etc.

          Men and women will continue get together and do as men and women do and have done for all of human history and have children. Make families. The current business of attempting to confuse the issue is a cultural one. Leftist culture hates happy families. They’re too morally strong, loyal to each other, and psychologically sound to make good minions.

          On this we may have to agree to disagree, because unless and until someone can provide me a good argument as to why we should give MORE power and control over individual lives to the government in this area I shall continue to believe as I have.

          I do get that changing things to a more small government, individual liberty model such as I’d prefer is not likely in the short term absent a miracle, as I said above. In nigh all things save a very specific few, more individual liberty and less government control is always a good thing.

          The culture war and the political contest are two different, but closely related things. Upon the subject of marriage though, I view it as largely in the area of culture and not politics absent those few areas mentioned before. Always, always seek to reduce the influence of government on individual lives, because if not kept firmly in check it will grow to encompass all matters outside an individual’s own thoughts, and only then because mind reading has thus far proven to be unreliable.

          1. About 90% of the U.S. federal government needs to be abolished. Then we can evaluate the benefits (if any) of the remaining 10%. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of that should be junked, too.

            What must be delegated to a central authority? National defense, interstate law enforcement, international treaties, the Supreme Court to uphold the Constitution and…what else?
            They got a building down in New York City called Whitehall Street where ya go and get injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and seeee-lected.

            1. Weights and measures, gauge of railways, the sorts of measures where conducting business between states is an issue,

              1. I don’t recall the government having anything to do with standardizing railroad gauge; the various railroads worked it out between themselves. The advantages are impossible to ignore. Most railroads that clung to nonstandard gauges either saw the light or shriveled up and went bankrupt. Only a few specialized oddball configurations survived, because they made sense for specific purposes or locations.

                The railroads established Standard Time Zones without any government ‘help’ too.

                The SAE established our standards of measurement before there was a government metrology department.

                Just because something needs to be standardized doesn’t mean it has to be placed under government control.
                The one thing we need more of from the government is LESS!!

              2. Honestly, I figure we need 6 major government functions:

                National Defense
                Policing / Law and Order (local level with backup and monitoring from one level up)
                Contract enforcement (“No Walmart, you can’t just arbitrarily change the terms of your agreement with Small Supplier. Same goes for you, Small Supplier…”)
                Public Health (plague stomping – though the last 2 years has put a dent in that belief)
                Major public infrastructure (freeways, etc)
                Standardization (I don’t care if red or green light means go, just make sure it all matches)

          2. “How much do you trust the government?”

            I trust them to find new and innovative ways to f- up everything they touch. It it can go wrong, government will find a way or make one.

            In Canada the federal government AND the provincial government of Ontario have both managed to LOSE money selling weed. Which is truly an achievement, given how easy weed is to grow. In Ontario you can just grow it in a field like hay. Plant the correct strain and you can harvest by the ton with a baler. Have yourself a nice side gig selling the stems for rope fiber. People literally grow the stuff in their back yards, it is no big deal.

            They won’t let you do it that way of course, commercial growing of weed is done in spacecraft-like hydroponic labs. Because although weed is “legal”, it isn’t really -legal- if you can grok the distinction in the bureaucratic mind. The weed dangerous, it must be controlled you see, lest it fall into the hands of the chillllldrun, the feeble minded, or [shudder] some individual who did not pay the tax. (But you can buy it from the weed shop on the corner which has no real security at all.)

            Result? Really. Expensive. Weed. Too expensive for your regular pot-head, who now grows his own in the back yard. Because he can.

            Unsurprisingly, the spaceship grade weed is not flying off the shelves of pot shops or the big super-duper government web site which managed to lose 60 MILLION dollars in it’s first 12 months of operation.

            Do we trust them with marriage, given that? Not if we can help it.

            1. One (of many) possible summaries of “History” is “N thousand years spent learning the degree to which government cannot be trusted”.

              We still haven’t learned the lesson.

              1. I think there’s a “we” that has learned, but between indoctrination and the low information voter (H/T Rush Limbaugh), there’s not enough “we” in the USA.

                In other cases, it’s “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

                  1. Indeed. There’s only so far you can go into insanity before you die. Lots of folks have gotten some rather rude awakenings of late, from actually learning what their kids are being taught in schools thanks to the lockdowns to the dramatic rise in the price of, well, everything from gas prices to groceries. And that’s not considering the manufactured supply crisis that didn’t have to happen and never should have.

                    The insanity comes in many forms. From corrupting women into thinking they are just as physically capable as men twice their size to shutting down all the nuclear reactors and shunning coal then wondering why they’re freezing in the dark. The insanity kills the unborn, allows criminals to run free, and causes suicides to spike.

                    On the latter, everything from corrupting children into making life altering decisions that permanently scar them physically, mentally, and emotionally and may make them unable to orgasm later in life to losing one’s entire fortune and business because of government fiat, those suicides were assisted by the insanity of the left.

                    When I say that there is only so insane you can go before you die, I mean that quite literally. If things go on as they are, we’ll simply outlast them by nature of having children that we don’t murder and teaching them well.

                    They chaos that they create as they die will still cause immense difficulty. Lost fortunes, lost lives, lost friends and estranged family members.

                    But the crazier they get, the more people wake up and realize that they can’t go on like this. They wake up one day and realize that they’ve been deceived. Used. Manipulated.

                    And those that endure that harsh realization will never vote for a Democrat again in their lives. Nor will the children who witness this growing up.

                    There are indeed more of us every day.

                    1. “corrupting children into making life altering decisions that permanently scar them physically, mentally, and emotionally and may make them unable to orgasm later in life”

                      Of all the things going on, this is the one that hits me hardest for some reason. That’s why one of the things I keep leaving my WIP and short story to write is about one of these kids grown up and making a life that still works after everything that was done to him. Necessarily a little crude because of the subject matter and totally unpublishable.

                    2. What Miss Sarah said. I never expected Cat and Crow to get any response, but a few people thought it was okay. That one was crude, too, and a little raw.

                    3. Haven’t found a place for it yet. Too short for some, doesn’t fit others. Maybe someday. I nearly didn’t post it, either.

                      That’s why I agree with Miss Sarah that you should put your story out there.

                  2. Agreed on the more “we” as the BS becomes more obvious. I hope it’s enough, soon. I’d love it if the solution doesn’t need #Teamheadsonpikes, but I suspect the “heads” will have more of an influence (or is that effluence?) on the path to a resolution.

                    I’m guessing that the prototype Low Information Voter is trying to maintain that ignorance quite stubbornly. “If I don’t know it’s happening, it can’t possibly be true.”

                    1. The Nice 80s Democrat Flavored Mom at church actually kept my husband and I like a half-hour late last Sunday, talking on religious education (basically, nobody else can be bothered to do it– even I am too busy with our horde) and she pointed out that a lot of the infighting nonsense is… well, nonsense.

                      It’s going to come to open persecution, and soon, and we have to get ready for that.

                      From a nice “Democrat” lady who I’m 90% sure hasn’t voted for a Dem since she couldn’t stand to favor Hillary, even if she feels guilty about it.
                      (Iowa is weird, we still have some freaking 50s style dems who vote by issues.)

            2. What the- YGBSM.

              read read read

              Nope. Not kidding. Seriously Ontario, why do they gotta keep trying to be Washington DC, but worse? The rest of Canada needs to hurry up and secede, leave Ontario to wither and become US states. We’ll even send all the Portlandia/Chicago/Austin/DC/whatever folks up there to their spiritual homeland so they can live in perfect peace*.

              I mean, they call it “weed” for a reason, fer duck’s sake.

              *Not really.

              1. I must amend my statement above, the government did not lose $60 million. They only lost $42 million, with a monopoly. But they did bottleneck sales so badly that the industry as a whole easily lost the other $18 million at least.


                “…a market that moves roughly eight and a half tons of weed a month, they are sitting on 158 tons of it that’s just baled up and another 34 tons that are bagged, tagged and ready to ship. Two years worth of inventory, basically.”

                That was 2019, pre-pandemic. Fast forward to now, and all the pot shops are finally discovering that you can’t run a retail business on an 8% margin. Why is their margin 8%? Because the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation sets the price, that’s why. They are the sole legal provider to the retail stores. Retailers cannot buy from producers, only from OCRC.

                So now they are dropping like flies. Amazing, right?

                1. Interestingly.

                  When we crossed north into Canada in 2012, border agent questions were all about guns. Did we have any? No. Did we own any? Yes. Where were they? At home in the safe bottom of a lake (dang boats). Why? Because it isn’t legal to take firearms into Canada? And repeat in different iterations.

                  Crossing into Canada in 2019, OTOH. One or two firearm questions. A gazillion on various names for weed (given we have Oregon Plates on the vehicle). Granted the enthusiastic “pay attention to me, stranger” barking from the backseat didn’t help.

                  Actually surprised, in 2019, given our route and destination (through Glacier NP to Banff/Jasper) we were not asked about Bear Spray canisters, which also is not legal to carry across the border, either direction. Note, we’ve never carried one. Probably should, especially since not only strongly recommended, but we hike with a canine companion.

                  1. In 1974 I was camping at Glacier NP (just before Memorial day, with the park semi-open). Two brothers were there, one a recently discharged veteran. I became aware of the situation when one returned from a day trip across the border. Seems the brother (IIRC, the vet) had some marijuana on his person, and got a free stay at the greybar hotel.

                    I had neither the means nor the inclination to help out.

          3. The regulation of marriage is like unto government itself: it should be small and as minimally intrusive upon the individuals involved as humanly possible while still managing to see that contracts are fulfilled by the parties involved.

            We had that.

            It didn’t regulate marriage at all. If you watched the weird Mormon spin-off groups, that was one of their “things”– the females were married in a religious context, not a legal one. (the child rape aspect is secondary to this– nobody is stopping you from marrying six women, if you can find a religion to do so, you just can’t register it)

            It regulated what unions could be registered in a civil setting to provide legal protection to possible future children and the parents of said children, with the minimalistic requirement of what is 100% know to be required for a couple to produce children: one male, one female.

            There are several folks on this board who either had, or were, “medically impossible.” That level of intrusion is needlessly nosey as well as being less than 100%.

            Way back in the 90s I suggested some kind of a “household formation” contract, to protect non-child-making life-partners. I was actually looking at some of the elderly brothers/cousins I knew who had Issues with some hospitals not KNOWING that they of course were immediate family, and a couple of ugly incidents where blood kin were …bad.
            Basically a form of power of attorney but downgraded for room-mates.

            1. Actually those are common law marriages or something in Utah, and so bigamy. It has been prosecuted

      3. The government’s place in marriage – if it can be said to have one – comes only when one is falling apart and children and property have to be divided up. At that point, you need documents to prove who owed what to whom and who failed to pony up.

        Other than that, they may have a place as a repository of records – i.e. “On this date, this couple was joined in matrimony at this church” – since there is no coordination between church parishes and denominations to make sure that bigamy isn’t happening without the knowledge and agreement of all involved parties.

        But that would be “notification” not “licensing”, and if people didn’t have to get licenses to be married… why, you might have an outbreak of poor genetic hygiene, and people who shouldn’t breed might…. breed! Legally!

        Also, your city would lose the revenues from the licensing, and we all know how governments hate hate hate to lose revenue. Even if they end up wasting the money they get on stupid projects.

    2. In Obergefell v Hodges SCOTUS missed an easy chance to actually enforce the Constitution by defaulting to legislating. Marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution so it is up to the States, not the Feds to regulate marriage if they so choose. But this:

      Article IV, Section 1:
      Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

      means that a same-sex marriage in a State that allows it must be considered a marriage in a State where that doesn’t allow them to be performed.
      Clean, simple, respectful of States and Individual rights

      1. That would end up with every state having to recognize gay marriage, since gay couples in Texas would simply go to California to get married. I would say that while states don’t have to recognize gay marriage for residents, they do have to recognize the marriage of non-residents.

        Though if it were really up to me I’d set up a three (really just two) tiered system. Marriage would be a purely religious thing with no legal standing at all, it would be between you, your partner, your priests, and your gods. Civil unions would be the legal mechanism for stabilizing relationships and preventing wealthy men throwing away their women when they turn 25. It would offer meaningful tax incentives and streamlined property transfers as well as default next-of-kin status. It would be harder to dissolve than current marriages, but still relatively easy, especially if both parties agreed. Finally there would be parental unions to couples that have or adopt kids, much better tax benefits and significantly harder to dissolve while the children are still minors (basically infidelity, abuse, or other criminal activity).

        1. That’s basically what I’ve pushed for for my entire adult life. Marriage as a religious institution, civil union as a governmental recognition of a social relationship. Not the same thing at all.

          1. Functionally it would be for most people. They’d refer to themselves as married even if they only did the civil union

        2. It also would be too close to the other elephant that the courts don’t want to touch. Why is my drivers license and marriage license from a different state with significantly different laws good but my chl not?

          1. Or carry permit; especially given that unlike the other things mentioned, the right to bear arms is expressly protected and guaranteed by the Constitution.

        3. You’ve always– on the gov’t side– been able to get married in a religious ceremony without any gov’t say-so.

          The push for “gay marriage” was to force people to pretend that two men are going to produce a child, and conduct themselves accordingly.

          1. And now we’ve got our SecTransportation (almost abbreviated it “Trans”, and then realized…) spending his “paternity leave” in the hospital with his male partner, as if either one of them had given birth to the kids that they’ve adopted.

        4. They do have to recognize it for residents, though. They might not have to recognize it if it happens in their own state, in contradiction of the state’s own laws. But long before same sex marriage was a thing, the USSC held that if two residents of a state go to Nevada and get married (taking advantage of the state’s lack of residency requirements), then the home state of the newly weds must recognize that marriage.

          1. The thing is that the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate how those interstate recognition of privileges work. States don’t recognize other states drivers licenses automatically, there’s a federal law spelling it out. Similarly, when gay marriage started becoming a thing Congress passed a law specifying that a state that doesn’t have gay marriage doesn’t have to recognize another states gay marriage.

            1. But that opens up an equal rights lawsuit. “equal treatment under the law” IS a right, and since states automatically recognize hetero marriage (and did historically, even when most states didn’t allow divorced people to remarry. Which is why they got divorced in Reno (and often remarried there). So, you see.

              1. But states are not required to recognize a Common Law marriage, from a state that does. Oregon doesn’t, or didn’t (might have changed).

                1. That’s kind of different. That’s recognizing a contract the participants never entered into. Which if you ask me is 99% insane.
                  Besides, while I agree with Fox that originally the point of marriage was to protect children, it patently isn’t the ONLY point. People get married who can no longer bear children, etc.
                  (Yes I know the Catholic reasoning for that. It’s Jesuitic. But at least there’s reasoning. There’s NONE on the state side.)
                  I even fully agree on a different version of marriage “marriage plus” for those who fully intend to have kids. Harder to get out of, etc.
                  BUT the other purpose of marriage “To prevent a woman from being taken advantage of and chucked over” also applies to gay couples.
                  I knew two guys who SPENT their lives in being “the good wife” supporting, helping, keeping house, doing everything to keep high powered partner reaching as high as he could on his high performing career path. And got thrown over at forty for a younger model, with NOTHING and no resume.
                  Were they stupid? From a perspective. But you can’t enter a relationship in full protective mode.
                  They too deserve the protection women get. (And yes, some will abuse it as some women do.)
                  To claim otherwise is the most arrant, actual, sexism.

                  1. That’s kind of different. That’s recognizing a contract the participants never entered into. Which if you ask me is 99% insane.

                    True. Especially with couples who never intended to have a common law marriage, which gets warmed about in states with common law marriage. Ironically common law marriage started, at least recognized in the states that do, because it could be years before the official registration of marriage could happen. It was easier to record homesteads. Then too. Historically an engagement was considered a contract and harder to break than marriages today.

                    two guys who SPENT their lives in being “the good wife” supporting, helping, keeping house, doing everything to keep high powered partner reaching as high as he could on his high performing career path. And got thrown over at forty for a younger model, with NOTHING and no resume.
                    Were they stupid? From a perspective. But you can’t enter a relationship in full protective mode.
                    They too deserve the protection women get. (And yes, some will abuse it as some women do.)
                    To claim otherwise is the most arrant, actual, sexism.


                    Happens to guys in traditional marriage where the wife was the driven one, too. There have been them that try to take advantage too. But they have a lot harder time of it because of presumptions. Also sexism.

          2. Then that addresses my response to Jeff (I’m catching up e-mail). Yes, they would have to recognize the out of state marriage, no residency change involved. Which puts the question of “Full Faith and Credit squarely back on the table, because that’s the basis for that requirement.

        5. “I would say that while states don’t have to recognize gay marriage for residents, they do have to recognize the marriage of non-residents.”

          The question then becomes what establishes “resident” vs “non-resident”. It’s pretty well established under, say, tax law, what constitutes a “change of residence”. Hint: a quick flight to Vegas won’t do it. And if Nevada changed it’s law to say that the quick flight would, then Texas would still be free to maintain its’ own residency requirements for say, instate vs out of state tuition, hunting licenses, etc.

          Yes, you would be married, but it wouldn’t be cost free to try and run that work around.

  6. Since the Prog-Left has been engaging in magical thinking for at least a generation, for that to be followed by cultic behaviors and chants makes sense. Too bad they have to try and drag us into their Millennium dance, rather than just chanting and running in circles until they collapse.

  7. WHY must we help Ukraine? Isn’t that the U.N.’s job, keeping countries from invading each other? What is the U.N. doing about the invasion? Surely they’re doing something. Otherwise, you’d almost think the U.N. is nothing but a bunch of fatuous windbags kowtowing to the world’s most repressive totalitarian regimes, and that can’t be right.

    Can it?
    Pacifism will, at best, get you a nice peaceful trip to the slave pens. At worst — tell me, have you ever heard of the Aztecs?

      1. Not trying to sell you on it, simply expressing my opinion; I think our interests could be best served partnering with Russia (No problem supping with a long spoon if necessary.), a circumpolar trade block, influencing the Orient and the Occident but each, US, Russia, dealing to serve their own nation’s needs best.

        OK, OK, I’m a dreamer. 😉

          1. But neither do many of our other allies. Notwithstanding China a number of our European “allies” close their markets in certain industries, commit anticompetitive acts, and see fit to oppose geopolitical movements in order to sell to countries like Iraq and Iran. There is a difference between treating Moscow as a friend of convenience, like most allies are, and being tied at the hip.

            1. Most countries are enemies.

              All the diplomats commit to the idea of AGW, and to the idea of opposing AGW.

              Fundamentally, opposing AGW is completely incompatible with peaceful coexistence.

              To have any serious expectation of peaceful coexistence, we would have to drop our own AGW push, and persuade other countries to also drop the AGW push.

        1. I need to finish and share that map I’m working on, that makes an expansive case for a US sphere of influence, and recognizes that Russia belongs in that sphere of influence. 😛

          No way in hell are we ever having any peaceful voluntary coexistence with populations in that part of the world, short of putting the population of Moscow into a reservation, and destroying their culture with reservation schools.

          It would be safer by far to simply exterminate every one of the cultures that speak Russian.

          The Russians cannot see a relationship with Americans that would allow them to deliver on a peace agreement with Americans, except in the circumstances where they are completely terrified of escalating the situation with Americans.

          To them we will always be this big scary country, and as soon as they start growing less frightened of us, they will start to wonder if maybe they can’t be strong and clever enough to solve the American problem /this time/.

          Supposing that we have any possibility of lasting peace with them is delusional on par with supposing, in February or May of 1945, that we could simply stop the war with Japan, leave them in control of Korea and China, and have a lasting peace without having beaten them seriously.

          Maybe there is a chance if Kiev rules all Rus again, but that would never work as long as Russian speakers believe that Americans are really responsible.

          Technically, there is a possibility of some surprising change that we cannot theoretically predict, that could shift things so that a stable peace could develop.

          But, for the foreseeable future, Moscow will be staffing its security and foreign policy establishments with people who cannot see any possibility of peace with Americans.

          Now, we Americans do in fact need to remove all of the crazy trans-nationalists and other people who believe in international peace from our own security and foreign policy establishments.

          1. I can actually see how some of the middle eastern cultures need to be destroyed or greatly changed, similar to what we did in Japan. But all Russian speaking peoples? Really?

            I don’t think we’re looking at people who follow a cultic nationalism like the Japanese did. Certainly the ruling elite is a problem, but the Russian people don’t worship them. And they don’t have a knee-jerk fear of us. I’m not sure where you’re getting this from.

            This is not a defense of Putin, or God forbid, the USSR. But that just means they have a history of being serfs and slaves even longer than the Europeans?

            1. I heard last week from a Russian farmer:

              “Our government is shit, but it’s our government and our problem. Your government is shit, but it’s your government and your problem. And we don’t trust your government any more than we trust ours.”

              Likewise, my Christian brother, likewise.

            2. They have a bunch of unproductive thinking strategies around their central leadership figures.

              ‘If the Czar only knew…’ being one of them.

              They cope with extremely horrible situations by telling themselves that the one strong man actually likes them, and has good will towards them, and it is simply everyone else who is preventing the strong man from making things wonderful.

              When the strong man is /the/ active force for force for destruction in Russian lives, they tell themselves that said strong man treated them better than the foreigners would have, who the strong man ‘protected’ them from.

              This isn’t simply a bunch of paranoia driven by their elites for political gain. Fairly ordinary inhabitants of Moscow can exhibit a simply bizarre defect when it comes to thinking about historical leaders who were simply evil, and could not have been turned to non-destructive ends.

              Their security service folks cultivate that tendency towards anti-foreign paranoia, and the security services watch the politicians and foreign policy bureaucrats for signs of harmful foreign influence. They are sure that the ruin of the USSR was a CIA plot, and that the CIA still has all the power when it comes to ensuring that Russian will remain poor and weak.

              At a minimum, all foreseeable Russian foreign policy establishment will be trying to use intrigue against us. Because when they mirror their thinking, the top priority of our bureaucracies can only be the ongoing ruin of Russia and Russians. Now, our bureaucracies do suck, but the Russian projection of why US bureaucracies suck is based on an incorrect model of basic American behavior.

              The key parallel that you are ignoring is the Great Plains Indians.

              Their thinking and customs basically prevented any possibility of peace with whites. Because the concepts of peace were subtly different, and had different deliverables.

              Whites had a concept of male non-combatants, and also had negotiating and delivering polities that included large family groups.

              Pretty much all of the plains indian groups had their negotiating/delivering groups much smaller than the kinship groups that would provide supplies on request. Their warrior training cycle would split off bands of young boys, and task them with hunting small animals. As they grew older, the boys of the bands would shift memberships, and move on to larger game and to war. Thing is, the adult bands were completely politically independent, so young man bands could be at war, while young boy bands, and older men bands were at peace. Read up on, for example, the dog warriors.

              That alone might not have been a serious problem, but they saw all men as valid targets for torture magic, and paid zero attention towards the white method of calculating peace or war.

              The answer was waging war against the societies of the great plains tribes, and in particular, taking young boys and preventing them from hunting small game in bands, adn thereby ‘destroying’ that generation of warriors. Many indian men today are not ceremonially adults, because they have been prevented from carrying out acts of war and murder against other tribes.

              There is a similar situation with Russians. History minded young men study the Russian take on how badly treated Russia has been, become ‘intellectuals’ who are angry at how the US prevented the USSR from saving the world, and go on to join state bureaucracies in an effort to ‘save’ the Russian sphere of influence from all the hostile foreign powers.

              If Moscow is not the wealthiest city in the world, if there are rich countries anywhere, then they are a danger to Russia, and Russia needs to collect a bunch of buffer territory for self defense, and for the ‘well being’ of those in the buffer territory.

              There is nothing that we could deliver to them that they could perceive as peace. They support a totalitarian leader, because it is the only thing strong enough to ‘protect Russia’, the totalitarianism causes poverty and military weakness, which has to really be a foreign plot, and so they need more totalitarianism directed against foreign threats.

              They have never made lasting friends in their efforts at empire. Maybe the Russian speakers outside of Moscow could be sane and happy in an empire not run from Moscow. But, the inhabitants of Moscow will never feel secure under the rule of any other city, and will always feel endangered so long as they ‘do not have enough of a security buffer’.

              1. Russia has cultural problems. So do we, but our problems are different. They are not the near monolithic culture that Imperial Japan was, or as bloody minded as the plains Indians- but there are indeed many who, as you’ve mentioned, are brought up in a culture that teaches them that they’ve been wronged, specifically and severally by the West and the United States in particular.

                The fact that the Soviet Union broke apart illustrates that not all then-Soviets were unified politically or culturally. But there are issues within nigh all of those cultures that would present us with no end of problems were we to endeavor to cooperate with them, as Sarah stated.

                Fixing the cultural issues of the various Russian peoples would take a mammoth amount of effort. And we’ve our own issues at home that must take precedence. But it is an interesting thought experiment.

                What would it take to convert the various cultures of Russia to one more amenable? Less corrupt? Individual Russians can be intelligent, courageous, adaptable, reliable, and good friends to have on your side. Culturally, they’re a mess. The reservation school is one hypothetical.

                It would not be a simple thing to make the change, but perhaps a focus on the more positive aspects while aggressively hunting out the corrupt elements. It would take generations of effort to achieve, most like, but the result would be more long lasting. In this day and age, the reservation school system would not be able to achieve the requisite isolation absent truly draconian measures.

                1. Yeah, I thought my initial post this thread, to jiminalaska, might have been a mite overboard when it comes to channeling my own insanities.

                  I’m not sure that there is any way to change Russian culture on purpose.

                  I think some unpredictable lucky break that just happens to work out is much more likely than anyone doing anything successfully on purpose.

                  I certainly do not trust the American government to do any task that would tend to promote peace.

                  But, there is zero reason to expect the Russians not to try sticking in the knife when they think that they can at any time over the next two or three decades.

                  Any not technically at war cooperation with us over that period, would have to be done with our own understanding that there is no way to predict when the Russians might decide that it is time to sting us.

              2. And you look at the history of western Russia from, oh, 1600 until 1945, and paranoia becomes more understandable. Poland-Lithuania, the Ottomans and Tatars, Sweden, France, Austria not helping against the English and French, the Ottomans, Germany and Austria, everyone (1918-1921), Germany again, then the threat of the US/NATO camping on the edge of the buffer zone. And several of those invasions were dang rough on the ordinary Russians in the way. So, as a historian, I can understand a large dollop of wariness baked into Russian culture. As someone who has to live with the effects of Russian foreign policy, well, I wish they’d stop trying to reestablish the empire while declaring that the other guy started it.

                1. The thing is, all peoples have culture and history.

                  They have an awareness of problems, and of remedies which they thought worked before, and which they believe to be reasonable enough to work in the future.

                  There is nothing that mathematically ensures that all of these bits and bobs are compatible, and that peace will be practical in the immediate future.

                  Sometimes when you look at a culture in isolation, you can infer that things will not be nice for its neighbors, and sometimes in isolation peace may seem possible.

                  It is everything in combination that makes lots of problems foreseeable.

                  Five or six societies may have behaviors that seem reasonable in context, and maybe not too murderously destructive, but in the right combination and level of mutual exposure, explode into super horrible.

                  And, we don’t know.

                  We may have the most information about our own culture, but even that is not perfect information.

                  These cultures have never before been so closely in each other’s pockets. What will happen?

                  I dunno.

                  I have made some calculations about what the best thing for me to be doing, and pushing for, should be. Basic result, I don’t need to carefully sticking only to sane options, I can trust (to some extent) that Americans will refuse to do something, so long as it is still an insane thing to do.

                2. Plus, Russia is a postage-stamp size 3rd world country stretched over a continent worth of territory. That is why they have the most advanced case of Little Dog Syndrome in history.

            3. Also, did you miss what Putin’s totalitarianism just reinforced when it comes to the next decades of expectation for Russian culture?

              They were operating on the theory that I outline above.

              It went seriously badly for them, but they can still blame it on an American plot.

              Despite that America being able to act required a) unusual Ukrainian competence b) major Russian screw ups.

              They waited for ‘American weakness’ because their paranoid model predicts that America is the major stone in their path. They went all in, because ‘the opportunity is too good for partial measures’. And screwed up, because neither Moscow nor DC is the center of the world, and they can’t think about the Ukrainians in any sort of sane or careful way.

              Yes, Ukrainians are Rus, and Ukrainian is close to Russian. But, they are less screwed up than the Russians, and it may be because their capitol was Kiev, and not Moscow.

              If someone takes away their empire, Moscow will have a lot less power to hurt random people. If someone takes away their empire, the people of Moscow will be seriously pissed off.

              I would ask how one makes it to adulthood without realizing that Russian culture is opposite American in some ways. Like, American confidence in being able to /avoid/ really bad situation. Except, I should not ask, because it was only when I was an adult that I realized that American culture is opposite Russian in some ways.

              1. Um, that might have happened because I went to school at the University of Leningrad in the winter of 1979/80, have a degree in Russian, studied under an anti-communist dissident who escaped from the USSR and have been a translator. I have some exposure. I have also read Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsin.

                Russia did actually exist both before the United States did and even, believe it or not, before the USSR did.

                I have no doubt that the USSR and then Putin have worked hard to make the Russian people our enemies. I also have no doubt that the Russian people have a tendency to surrender to a strong man. They also have centuries of Orthodox Christianity and no actual grievance with the United States itself before the USSR. Unless you count us propping up the USSR.

                It is also true that they have no history of ruling themselves as free people. Which is pretty common in the world, especially outside the Anglosphere.

              2. They waited for ‘American weakness’ because their paranoid model predicts that America is the major stone in their path. They went all in, because ‘the opportunity is too good for partial measures’. And screwed up, because neither Moscow nor DC is the center of the world, and they can’t think about the Ukrainians in any sort of sane or careful way.

                Also their demographics mean they had to go now while they still had any troops.

                1. :shudder:
                  They’re a little late for that, even– the “Russia is the future because they have women of reproductive age” requires ignoring how many are west of 40.

                  1. Russia hasn’t been having kids since the collapse of the USSR according to Official Numbers.

                    Which is to say; Russia hadn’t been having kids for a long time and the USSR number-raping department lost their paymasters.

              3. By the way, I do agree with you that Russian culture is very different from American culture in many ways. Of course. And I’m not suggesting that we partner with the current people in charge or trust them. Or even partner with or trust new people in charge automatically.

                I’m saying that you seem to conflate the whole Russian culture to what happened after the communists, and then Putin, were through with it. That seems to me like conflating all of German culture with what was left after the Nazi’s were done with it.

                The Japanese in WWII appear to have been ready to call for mass suicide rather than surrender. Some Middle Eastern countries have a culture of jihad and kill women in honor killings. I just don’t see that level of culturally enforced hatred and violence towards us in the Russian culture itself.

                1. I’m saying that you seem to conflate the whole Russian culture to what happened after the communists, and then Putin, were through with it.

                  The communists and post-communists were merely an enhanced version of the utterly effed up culture that Russia has had for centuries.

                2. Again, look at the Plains Indians, and back in time prior to our wars with them.

                  It does not really matter that at one point those peoples were sedentary farmers, and hadn’t invented the war band custom.

                  In this case, it does not matter if the peoples who now speak Russian were for their time, saner and more reasonable before the Mongols moved in.

                  The problem might only be Moscow, it might be all current Russian speakers ruled from Moscow. It probably is not ‘Russians’ living in the US, because the ones outside of prison have acculturated enough to American culture that they are American.

                  You seem to be fixed on this being a post soviet problem, it predates the soviets. The Russians then were screwed up in their thinking about their nearer neighbors, and the USA was too far away to be on their list of frequently ‘analyzed’ polities.

                  Some of the Czars were less batshit than many of the soviet leaders, but the Russians then were still disordered in their foreign policy thinking, and in how badly they mismanaged the Russian efforts at greater empire.

                  Communism was a religion wholly devoted to evil, and that is important to understanding the 20th century history. It was, on its own, sufficient to make the USSR an enemy when you were trained.

                  But, it is far from being the only terrible idea invented by someone, that is later difficult to simply uninvent.

                  Most countries have not learned the things that they should learn, if they want to live at peace with the American people. From Canada and Mexico on out, you have people with bizarrely insane, historically based, theories of peace and theories of war wrt to the US.

                  The foreign nations that have learned enough to really understand peace with Americans are pretty much only the Indian tribes. And they did not originally have that understanding.

                  The old world pretty much did not have us as neighbors until the 20th century at the earliest. Nobody in the old world has much begun to really learn enough about Americans to possibly sanely adjust their older expectations to something functional. Okay, there is maybe some arguments for Japan and for South Korea.

                  If Communism had never been invented, and the Czars had still ruled Russia, Russian mental tools for foreign policy would still have been wildly dysfunctional as soon as they had reason to deal with America as a neighbor.

                  Everyone has sucky mental tools for dealing with alien powers. Walter Russell Meade’s ‘four schools’ summary of American mental tools can easily be shown to be invalid, and to be much more optimistic about the possibility of peace than can be really justified.

            4. Russia currently has a super-crappy government. There have been plenty of times when they have only had a medium-crappy government. And Russians who go overseas do fine, generally.

              Trump was doing a decent job of training Putin to stay home and fix his own problems, but unfortunately the course only lasted four years.

          2. One problem with this “solution”, nobody has ever managed this type of thing. It’s been tried many times, and always fails. Even Canada tried it. Twice. Once with the Japanese and once with the Indians.

            Currently the Chicoms are trying it on the Uyghurs, with all the unrestrained brutality available to a totalitarian state that has already killed nearly 100 million of its own citizens in living memory, and they are failing.

            I know you’re just being Bob, but maybe go for a thought experiment with a better track record than genocide. Russians and Ukrainians are fighting now because of the last time some Russian fool tried genocide on them. They’ll keep fighting -forever-. Eastern Europe is filled with people who have hated each other’s guts since the Roman Empire, possibly before.

            1. Russian security services like the mind game of ‘maybe this is all your fault America, and you should stop doing bad things, and it will all be peaceful’.

              Rest of the world likes to lay guilt trips on America, and play off of sentiment.

              One answer is leave them no openings to emotional appeals.

              If they really think peace is possible, let them go first.

              Killing them all is a perfectly decent strategy, so long as it is them starting the fight.

              If we can’t pull off the win, it is still better than meekly going along with their scams.

              And, if I overestimate their determination, or underestimate their sanity, won’t be the end of the world.

              The thing that a lot of people reading my words seem to miss? We Americans /stopped/ killing off the great plains indians as soon as it was practically possible to peacefully coexist with them. We stopped killing off the Japanese, as soon as we persuaded them to accept a viable peace. Most of us are not my grade of Bob, so even if I had everything ready to go, we would quit as soon as sanely possible.

              Russia, now, seems to be weaker than we ever thought it could possibly be. If America had its act together, short term peace would be slightly possible.

              But the folks gullible enough to buy all of the information war, at face value, do deserve a bit of needling.

              The ones actually working for Russian security services also deserve to have “So, according to your philosophy, America should exterminate the Russians. Thanks for the advice, we will consider your opinion” thrown back in their face. Maybe they will learn to be less stupid in their statements, or at least take their crap where they will annoy someone else.

              I am definitely slightly too free with my temper. One, I am sick, and angry with myself for not being able to get everything done. Two, I am reminded about how angry I am with the possible bioweapon, and having been cheated out of my retaliatory nuclear war.

              Being reminded about all of the Americans who will cheat me on such basic matters of national security makes me feel very insecure when it comes to the possibility of simply putting together good missile defense, and ignoring all of Russia’s crap.

              Those Americans are item one on the list. Everyone else gets a place lower in priority than item one.

              If people who study the fancy nice bits of Russian culture want to lecture me on Russia predating the USSR, they can go read that one Finnish intel officer’s thoughts on Russia. It was new to me.

              My issues with Russia were a result of meeting and dealing with a Russian, on the internet, ten or fifteen years ago. I lost SAN. Current Bob is not great. But, Past Bob, before that SAN loss, was wildly optimistic about peace with the Russians.

              Not all cultures are the same, and this is important.

              I am also tired of being lectured about past ‘missed’ opportunities for peace that were not actually possible in the first place.

              We don’t know what the future holds, and that is a wonderful thing. We don’t know for sure that there will be war. We certainly don’t know for sure that peace is possible.

              But, most, if not all of the other countries are bad, and many of them know that they are bad. PRC and Russia are a special degree of suckage, but even Japan and the UK should have damn well known better.

              Folks who think we have good options for fighting them all are optimistic. We simply cannot be prepared to fight 150-200 wars at the same time, in a nice way that spares innocents. The vast majority of such wars, if realized, would have to be nuclear, and we can’t win a nuclear war and allow the enemy to use their innocent children as human shields. And, our resources would probably be exceeded by trying to fight even twenty nuclear wars at once. Okay, this is an extreme scenario, the limiting case that I designed my policy for, that will never show up.

              But, no government on earth larger than city scale is a friend to, or can be an ally of the American people. The state and federal governments in America are varying degree of enemies. Russia has no foreseeable path to beign able to have peace with America, but many other countries do. They simply need to execute some of their bureaucrats and government officials, and stop doing the bad things, and then we could potentially peacefully coexist indefinitely.

              1. I am also tired of being lectured about past ‘missed’ opportunities for peace that were not actually possible in the first place.

                There was a missed opportunity for peace when America failed to drop the third bomb on Moscow.

              2. I don’t have any guilt about our relationship with Russia, and I’d like to keep it that way.

                It’s actually tactically and strategically important for a nation or army to know that they are in the right. Colonel John Boyd talked a lot about this.

                So, if it makes you feel better… being the good guy is actually the way to win. You just have to be smart about it.

                1. Right now, the diplomatic meta ‘everywhere’ is addressing climate change.

                  Problem is, these dudes are all nincompoops, and so the AGW meta does not mean what they think it does.

                  They think that the AGW means that international cooperation can set up a stable agreement to restrict the wealth of every population, and to make every population poor and miserable.

                  What it actually amounts to is a mass murder pact. It is a monstrous ideology that justifies mass murder as the inevitable fall back position.

                  Some polities simply cannot deliver when it comes to inflicting poverty and misery on their populations.

                  Now, the mass murder is also impossible to pull off, but the ones that come closest to being able to do it would be Americans, by killing the Russians and Chinese first, and NATO last.

                  The correct strategic meta, and thing for us to do is actually to flat out refuse to play the AGW game. If people insist on the climate scientists being correct, it would be very important to be sure before starting on mass murder, so the meta on arguing AGW points to trying to get buy in on a) murder the climate scientists first b) see if their replacements give the same answer when they rework things from first principles.

                  But, it is fundamentally unrealistic to be talking about the possibility of peace before we get diplomats to abandon the AGW meta. Too many psychopaths running the numbers on getting rid of India and Africa being some that they can do with their own nations, and hence the way forward on AGW while they retain their empires.

                  Then, of all countries it is silly to talk about peace with, Russia and the PRC are top of the list for silly. PRC regime is failing now, and they will do anything they can to stay in power, and some of the times they will be persuaded that war is the answer. Russia for the foreseeable future is living in its own imaginary world, and nobody outside of Russia can deliver on anything that the Russians would reliably understand as being something that it should in return deliver peace for. There is no way for a leader in Russia to be able to internally defend holding such a position.

                  The Russians would have to realize that they are nuts, and discover a way back to reality in some sort of widespread way, before a Russian leader could trust in their ability to internally defend a peace policy. Right now, they have a totalitarian who pushes the ‘all America’ model, and which invaded Ukraine purely because of opportunities that they partly imagined in terms of ‘America controlling everything’.

                  They’ve tried out so many crap justifications for invading Ukraine, it is doubtful that there is one with any truth to it that isn’t ‘this is driven mostly by Russian insanity’.

                  So, basically, they will be attacking what they see as American, as long as they think that they have an opportunity.

                  The short coming is that Asian Mexico is weaksauce. We can afford a certain amount of letting them hurt other people, without it being particularly vital to our interests.

                  But, like an individual Great Plains Tribe, it is foreseeable that they will be trying to fight us, even if they have zero ability to finish the job.

                  The reservations wound up being successful in giving us an excuse not to exterminate many of the great plains tribes. Otherwise, the indians had pissed us off enough that it could be a hard sell.

                  The Southern Democrats had a lot of corruption with Jim Crow, that would have caused poverty. The Southern Democrat narrative was that this poverty was most strongly the consequence of Reconstruction. But, the South got drastically less poor after it stopped pushing so much of Jim Crow and other Democrat crap.

                  Totalitarians generally, create poverty and internal messaging about how it is all the fault of some other country that is not so totalitarian and so poor.

                  But, that messaging resonates so strongly with the Russians, seemingly, that it is likely that they will ‘always’ be hostile. Asian Mexico has a Mexico tier economic potential, but expects a much greater level of wealth.

                  Yes, like Mexico it would be wealthier if it somehow was less corrupt.

                  This is basically the same moral calculus as mentally ill out wandering the streets, with some of them being violent and prone to stabbing folks. If we are refusing to confine and to treat the crazies, it is impossible for one person to do that task, much less safely. Shooting a specific crazy, who you have a reasonable fear for your life from, is then a moral good. Yes, in theory, confinement and treatment would have been very nice, and could have prevented the necessity, etc. Everyone who then goes ‘Oh no, this shooting was not morally good’ is themselves complicit in the evil.

                  Wishcasting violent crazies (or self destructing crazies) into people who would have behaved peacefully if only their sane victims had not provoked them is a very common flavor of disordered thinking these days in America. It is reasonable for me to be fed up with the level of crazy inflicted on me in my personal life, and to refuse to let strangers justify inflicting more on me.

                  George Floyd was not murdered, and his death is not society’s fault.

                  Climate Change is self evident nonsense, and even if the meteorologist ensemble approach is reasonable, it was never properly calibrated for the level of human misery inflicted by resulting designs.

                  Careful study shows that any regional stability issues around Russia are at least partly Russia’s doing, and there is not now any practical way for us to offer the Russians peace, because they would never allow themselves to see it.

                  1. there is not now any practical way for us to offer the Russians peace, because they would never allow themselves to see it.

                    Specifically, they would interpret a peace offer as weakness and immediately seek to exploit it.

                    1. They’d be right, too. It is weakness. Lack of conviction writ large.

                      The problem the Russians have is that conviction is only growing in European populations and shrinking in their own population. They are running out of time.

                      Who knows what a cornered rat might do, right at the end?

                    2. If the cornered rat is a totalitarian paranoid with nuclear weapons (and quite possibly also both chemical and biological ones), even if the majority of them fail to work due to poor-to-nonexistent maintenance over several decades, I believe your question answers itself.

              3. “Killing them all is a perfectly decent strategy, so long as it is them starting the fight.”

                No. As I said, killing them all is impossible. No one has ever managed it, not even Stalin and Mao, the greatest butchers in human history. They always fail, and they always come to ruination after they try it.

                It can’t be done. Think up something better.

                1. Send them off in Ark B? Offer them involuntary slots on the Venusian Colonization Mission? Sell them all into slavery?

                    1. Everglades python hunters? Lord knows even with the bounty on them those things are out of control. Cane toad remediation agents?

          3. I’ve frequently characterized Russia as a psychotic bully nation.

            I should have said psychopathic bully nation.

            Individual Russians can be perfectly fine people, especially the more Westernized liberal ones who live in Moscow or St. Petersburg and immigrate to Europe or America. And Tolstoy and Shostakovich and blah blah blah.

            But the Russian Empire, by whatever name it currently goes by, operates solely on the principle of might makes right, never makes treaties it intends to abide by if inconvenient, lies with every breath, only ever deals in bad faith, always looks to humiliate others, believes that “peace” means “we have destroyed anyone who might threaten us”, and is generally paranoid and delusional about the state of the world. And it always has.

            People like to say that Islam has bloody borders. Russia at the very least gives them a run for their money.

            Seriously, F*** Russia. Biden is screwing up our aid to Ukraine by NOT giving them all the weapons they could possibly want, because oh dear missiles with a 200 mile range would be such an escalation over missiles with a 190 mile range, and Russia might escalate back. Booga booga. That’s like standing up to a bully beating up a smaller kid but announcing that you’re only going to kick him in the shins.

            I’m hoping that defeat in the Ukraine War generates enough backlash to not just throw Putin out of power in Moscow, but throw Moscow out of power in Russia. French author Francois Mauriac once said “I love Germany so much I’m glad there are two of them.” (During the Cold War, obviously.) I have such love for Russia I wish there were nine or ten of them.

            (Oh, and while we’re at it, F*** China too. “Strategic ambiguity” has outlived its usefulness, and we should just tell them straight up that if they attack Taiwan we’ll sink their entire fleet. What are they going to do, stop selling us trinkets and crappy steel?)

            1. Historically, most countries make temporary treaties and agreements, and then dance right over them whenever they feel like it. Treaties stick when countries respect each other’s power, and see each other as people best not messed with (sometimes for friendship reasons, sometimes for trade, sometimes for meanness of the opposition).

              Despise Russia’s history for the correct reasons, not “doing the same thing as the UK/France/everybody, except somewhere else.”

        2. “Partnering” implies that both sides have something to offer. Unless this is a euphemism for “turn into a vassal state”.

          Which to be fair would be the first chance Russia had in its entire history of mattering to anyone.

            1. If you dropped American culture on the Russian landmass something could be made of it.

              The existence proof is Alaska. And some of the northern wasteland states.

              The problem is that the Russian geography is an absolute bitch. Which is a double edged sword, because it means you need an excellent culture to be able to make use of it, and it set up the conditions to break Russian culture.

              Geography is another way in which “Russia is the opposite of America” is true. Every aspect of America that Americans have no conception of how good it is is inverted over there.

        3. Yes, you are a dreamer. Most of the ardent “NEVER TRUST RUSSIA” folk I served with were Russian. Russia has always viewed that Russia’s best interest was served by everyone else bowing down in service to Russia. There are no partners. There are properly subservient vassals and there are serfs… and there are the dead. There are no other options.

          And part of this is a response to their own people. They follow a singular leader. Still. The nobles have had trouble with unruly serfs for time out of mind, but once the Tsar moves… people cave or go to Siberia (some actually voluntarily.) Most of that set came HERE as soon as they possibly could. (The difference between the Vassals and the Serfs is the latter gets beaten more, but the former suffers more Death by Mysterious Causes.)

          The US will never be a good vassal and we make worse serfs. Unless Russia becomes something OTHER than the Russia it has been for 1000 years, (possible, Ukraine drifted off the base, how far is hard to tell, but they had the pressure of Russia proper on one side and the rest of Europe on the other to change.) to change Russia we will have to BREAK it at a very deep level. I don’t think anyone else CAN break Russia, and I don’t think anything short of breaking will force the alteration at a fundamental enough level. Note: I’m mostly hoping Russia won’t force us to break them. The wreckage that would leave (to them, to us, to the world) is not something I want to ever have to see.

            1. Putin does what supports Putin’s best interest, in spades, with several orders of magnitude more murder. Quit idealizing a despotic thug, just because he’s too far away to be murdering you directly.

              1. Hum I said I wished our leaders would support America. If you take that as a support of Putin OK.

                BTW: I have spent a bit of time in the Russian Far East visiting my next door neighbors, he had his chance to murder me, but didn’t.

                1. If I recall, and if I am wrong you have my profound apologies, you’ve wished, in the past, that our leaders cared for the US the way Putin cared for Russia. I had thought this was more of the same, the one invoking the other, given the context.

                  Individual Russians can be wonderful people. Russia as a political entity (and their interaction with their own government) is an entirely different kettle of fish. More like a kettle of angry badgers.

                  1. No, in my statement above I was speaking of us, not referencing Russia.

                    I may have said something that could be construed that way in past posts, if so I don’t remember the specifics.

                    I note I could well have as I do believe Putin thinks/acts for Russia second (Assuming he thinks/acts to support his own best interests first, I won’t argue with that.) whereas our beloved leaders are quick to think/act first to support their own aggrandizement and second and third to advance the New World Order, you will own nothing and be happy, to the detriment of we the citizens that elected them to serve, not rule.

                    I know I’ve said this before; I’m not selling this, I’m just stating my opinion. I appreciate if one disagrees, either I can reconsider my arguments reinforcing my contentions or learn something from them obligating me to change my opinion.

                    1. Fair enough, and apologies for extrapolating beyond what you intended.

                      For Putin vs. our elites, I don’t think the difference is nearly as strong as you do (and NOT in Putin’s favor.)

                      For Putin there is no Russia separate of Putin. Our elites have a separation of themself from the country. (They hate it.) Putin does not hate Russia only because Putin IS Russia in his own mind. He hates the uppity proles who periodically challenge him. Common folk for him get Gulag or, if they have a following, eliminated by “Chechnyan Separatists”.

                      Would our Elites love that power? Yes, but they are hindered by a few things, on of which is: There is only one Putin. There can only be one Tsar who makes people go away. And they ALL want to be Tsar, so they fight each other for that slot as much as they fight us.

                      He doesn’t want his people to ‘own nothing and be happy about it!’ because he doesn’t care if they’re happy or not. If it took him personally shooting every one of his own people to let him conquer the world he’d start lining them up where he could machine gun them down. He can grab more serfs from the countries he goes to.

                      Our elites scream and jump up and down because we’re not on their side and they need our validation that they’re RIGHT, damnit! Putin does not need anyone’s validation. He wants Ukraine. He threw resources at it to make it happen.

                      Now, his blind spots made it the abject clown show it is on his part. Because when you treat your people like disposable diapers they tend not to work particularly well for you. But, because people aren’t relevant to him, he can’t correct to pull more than a few trusted (sort of) folk around himself, and everyone else, all the way down, is telling the Boss what the Boss wants to hear so the Boss doesn’t shoot them. (The thug on top sets the tone for all the thugs down the line.)

                      At least here, our leaders are running around with flaming trousers on their heads, and our people can actually go about living. They’re trying our patience, but there’s been some flavor of KGB since AT LEAST 1563 (Ivan the Terrible, and his Operchina)

                      The Russians don’t think they have any say in the government. Putin does what Putin does, of course it’s best for Russia because what is Russia but him? We’re pissed off that the hired help is getting uppity.

                      Putin is not acting like he has any responsibility to his people. He doesn’t CARE or he wouldn’t be killing them in job lots over Ukraine. He’s following the footsteps of Stalin’s policies in WWII (and I’m betting we’ll find mass graves from Putin as well. Of his own people.)

                      Putin is Head Thug ruling over the rabble… Our erstwile Stooges In Offices (with apologies to Larry, Curly, and Moe) are playing King of the Hill swatting shadows while the rest of the country is wondering if it’s about time to throw them out on their asses or take them out behind the woodshed for a little bit of wall to wall counseling. Putin might eat a 9mm brain hemorrhage, but it won’t be at the hands of his people, and he will be replaced by another Tsar. Maybe better, maybe not.

                    2. and he will be replaced by another Tsar. Maybe better, maybe not.

                      Ethnic Kazan Tatar Kamil Galeev (kamilkazani on Twitter) pooh-poohs the Western notion that there are “liberal” alternatives to Putin like Alexander Navalny or sundry exiles. His thesis is that the Russian system requires a Tsar and that anybody who becomes Tsar will act in the exact same way. Thus he (and I, following) advocates for a breakup of Russia, because as long as there is a Muscovite Tsar ruling over All The Russias, nothing will ever change.

                    3. RUMINT says that when Putin ordered all the regions to raise territorial battalions, a lot of them formed but somehow never made it to the central base to be sent to Ukraine…

                    4. Interesting posting w’bard.

                      One thing that influenced my Russian opinion after visiting there; I realized the the Russians are generations closer to the feudal than anyone else in Europe, Czar Nicholas II was overthrown in 1917. The Czar, little father in St Petersburg or Moscow still rings right in their minds.

                      So yes, it’s unlikely Putin will be terminated by his people and yes, replacement by another czar would be the most likely outcome.

                      Speaking of killing in job lots in the Ukraine; I can’t, of course, speak for the Russians but I think they see if differently than you & me. Russia, for something like five hundred years didn’t go a generation without a foreign invader on their soil until WW II. I’ve been in Russian towns where, if in 1937 your looked at the guy on your right and at the guy on your left, one would be dead by 1945 and I seem to remember Russia lost a fifth of their population overall in the war. Hence they are rather sensitive about guarding the marches, such as the Ukraine. You and I might feel NATO would never slowly build a beachhead in places like the Ukraine and attack Russia, I suspect many Russians aren’t quite so sure of that.

                    5. for something like five hundred years didn’t go a generation without a foreign invader on their soil until WW II

                      Neither did the Poles, or the Hungarians, or the Germans, or the Belgians, or the French, or the Italians. None of whom are psychopathic threats to every single one of their neighbors. Cry me a f***ing river.

                    6. All of which, by the way, gave up sovereignty and were absorbed into the EU empire.

                      Sigh, I said I can’t/don’t/wouldn’t speak for Russia but I provided my opinion as to how and why they perceive the Ukraine conflict.

                      If you feel trying to understand why a group or a nation reacts, deserves a Cry me a f***ing river, what can I say…

                    7. They didn’t realize they were giving up sovereignty.

                      If they didn’t at the onset, events since, and Brexit process, have made that perfectly clear. If it hasn’t then their heads are so far buried up their asses while in the sand, all anyone could see is their ankles, maybe. This includes our wanna be czars and royals.

                      you have no idea how much discontent there is.

                      Not surprising. Though I do get a chuckle on how adventure fiction is taking the whole EU empire loophole and taking advantage of running away with it. Based on the fiction, perception is, getting into the EU is an inconvenience at best, but once in, running rampant back and forth between, and across, EU states countries is a walk (run?) in the park.

                    8. Given how much Poland (for good reasons) and Hungary (for bad ones) have been thumbing their noses at Brussels lately, I’d say it was more like the EU nations didn’t give up their sovereignty as much as rent it out.

                      The EU is a house of cards that stays up only by continued belief that it will do so. (Oh, that and German money.)

                    9. I know they don’t think like you and me. That’s been a good chunk of my point.

                      They don’t care if other people are building beach heads against those approaches. They’ve been conquering their neighbors, as a nation, FOR AT LEAST A THOUSAND YEARS. They ALSO have a long history of civil war.

                      Building up the Ukraine would be a threat? Meh. Ukraine’s existance as a free state was viewed as a threat! ANYONE’s existence on their borders or in their reach as a free state is a threat (here ‘free state’ is not ‘of the people by the people etc.’ but ‘not actively ruled by Russia however covertly’.)

                      And you’re ‘he’ll be killed by his own people’ shows YOU conflating things the Russians do not conflate. He will not be killed by ‘his people’. He will be killed by the group that currently serves as ‘nobles’ in Russia. It’s different. Our want to be nobles, can’t control the populace. Putin has far more actual control than they ever will because of that feudal mindset OF THE POPULACE. They’d no more have a stand off the way we did in Washington State a few years back than they’d sprout wings and fly. They MIGHT grumble about the Tsar, but vanishingly few would ever work against him.

                      YES they are closer to Feudal than most places, just the way Africa is still tribal with modern tech. That’s been a good part of my point. You’re treating it like we can made deals with a brutal medieval mindset on modern terms and come out ahead! ANY concession with the Russian nation will be viewed as weakness and an invitation to take more. They’ve done it again and again and again and again throughout their history. There are no partners. There are people they haven’t gotten around to conquering yet.

                      We are people they haven’t gotten around to conquering yet. A tougher nut to crack so they’re leaving us until they’ve got some of the ‘local’ issues dealt with, and using propaganda.

                      You know your individual group of Russians. But in Russia, they don’t matter. They have no say, and unless they make a big nuisance of themselves that Moscow notices (which leads to mass death, though usually off the cameras, appearances must be maintained after all).

                      You’re viewing them not being afraid until… no, Unless Russia rules the world, Russia will NEVER think it’s safe. The existance of anyone else is a threat in their brains.

                      Realize, I’m speaking about hte government of Russia. The Russian people are a mixed bag, but they’re a feudal mixed bag, and yes, they’re disgruntled, which is ANOTHER part of what this war is about.

                      Back to that ‘as long as anyone else is not under our heel we’re not safe’ or, as Catharine the Great is supposed to have said “The only way to defend Russia’s Border is expand them.”

                      There are also long standing elements of the rest of Europe viewing Russia as Barbarian and Russia trying to prove they’re a power to be reckoned with by going Barbarian and conquering the people who call them barbarians! (Their fascination with the arts has more to do with 7 month winters and trying to keep people from strangling each other when they’re snowed in.)

                      Please realize, Russia was my specialty in the military. I have known many, many, many Russians. Some who would never have left if they hadn’t essentially been forced. Others who got while the getting was good. One who took a suitcase of VERY interesting things to buy his way into the US when “Jew” out weight “Useful” in the Russian’s eyes.

                      Note for clarity: In this context I have typically differentiated between “Russia” and “The Russian People” because, while they’re not occupied the way we are, the former often has little to do with the latter beside dragging them along for the ride, and unlike us, they’re not dragging their heels particularly. Though enough to have Putin worried.

                      For WWII: Last count I heard was 50million dead. At least half were Stalin’s Purges, and the war dead numbers kept going down and the Purge number kept going up, as well as the total. Yes, they’re worried about their borders… but the PEOPLE worry about their rulers who slaughter them in job lots, though they don’t talk about it where foreigners can typically hear.

                      You can’t negotiate in good faith with a power that finds YOUR existence an existential threat to their existence.. Not your capability, your EXISTANCE. Good faith requires both parties to be using it, and they wouldn’t be.

                    10. I agree with many or most of your statements.

                      However you said:”And you’re ‘he’ll be killed by his own people’ shows YOU conflating things the Russians do not conflate. ” sigh, I didn’t say that. You said; ” Putin might eat a 9mm brain hemorrhage, but it won’t be at the hands of his people, and he will be replaced by another Tsar.”, and I agreed with you and said “So yes, it’s unlikely Putin will be terminated by his people and yes, replacement by another czar would be the most likely outcome.”

                      “You can’t negotiate in good faith with a power that finds YOUR existence an existential threat to their existence.. ”

                      Not germane to this discussion but sadly, that reflects our position trying to deal with our duly appointed president and our rulers, not representatives, in D.C.

                    11. Bard, would you write me a guest post? I’ve been trying to make this point. CULTURE MATTERS. But sometimes they need a different voice.
                      Yesterday I was explaining to younger son why I thought Portugal needed a monarchy. It boils down to “Only personal loyalty will get Portuguese to obey, and they’ll only obey a notional “head of family.” which a king is.” This is because of culture. And as bad as I think monarchies are, a constitutional monarchy might be the best Portugal can hope for.

                    12. “You’re viewing them not being afraid until… no, Unless Russia rules the world, Russia will NEVER think it’s safe. The existance of anyone else is a threat in their brains.”

                      Slight quibble. Russia will not think it is safe even then. Because there will still be rebels, wreckers, and back stabbing to deal with. Russia at that level is very nearly the antithesis of a trust culture.

                      Otherwise, very much agreed. I remember the Deir ez-Zor battle where 600-700some Russian “mercenaries” with attached Syrian army, other contractors decided to cross a river that they weren’t supposed to, and throw a piddly little handful of arty…

                      And got their butts handed to them by US forces that informed them that they would be taking “self-defense actions.”

                      Russia at the time only allowed as how around 8 Russian citizens “participated” in the battle. The reports of Russian military hospitals being overflowing, and then Russian families discovering that they could no longer get in contact with their sons illustrate a big difference between cultures.

                      That sort of shite would not fly in the US. Families would raise a stink, and rightfully so. Russians? That got quieted down real quick. They’re not like us. They don’t think like us. They have different beliefs and different ways of reacting to such things.

                      The above is just one of the more recent examples of Russia getting its citizens slaughtered in job lots, stupidly.

                      A country that treats its own soldiers so cavalierly is not one we want to ally ourselves with, not to mention all the other glaring reasons not to.

                    13. Fair point, and yeah. I left that out.

                      History of multi-front Civil wars I THINK all the way back to Kiev, but at least back to Aleksandr Nevsky (2 brothers and the Mongols he could make a deal with the Mongols. So he did.) And that was the 1200s. (Novgorod founded in 900 as ‘the New City’ They’ve been at this a LONG time.)

                      Stalin’s purges… Lenin’s purges… Ivan the Terrible’s purges…. Theme here?

                      And then there’s the actual backstabbing and how many a Tsar has died from ‘mysterious tragic causes’. Bucket of angry badgers. Do not shake. Be armed when it opens.

                    14. Near as I can recall, you’re correct. And yeah, the theme of bloody purges when the new boss “replaces” the old boss has a long history there. Word is Putin’s still at it. A half dozen oil and gas head honchos variously jumped from widows, got shot, stabbed, or “hung themselves” whilst clumsily forgetting to pen a suicide note.

                      If Europe could get off their collective collectivist asses and quit Russian natgas in favor of, say, nuclear plants and LNG from basically anywhere else, Russia would be hurting economically. Moreso than usual.

                      Maybe that would precipitate more actions like Ukraine, maybe not. Maybe it would precipitate more of that backstabbing, and Russia would get a new oligarch.

                      But at least Europe wouldn’t be beholden to Russia then.

                    15. the Deir ez-Zor battle

                      Something I saw on the Ukraine War Twitter feeds I’ve been following:

                      Q. Given the Russian military’s pathetic performance lately, how long would it take for the Finns to capture St. Petersburg?

                      A. Not very long. Their only problem would be that the Poles might get there first.

                    16. Indeed. One of the feeds I follow is “Visegrad24” (, a Central-Eastern Europe news aggregator. They are definitely all about defeating Russia in as humiliating (and bloody) way as possible.

                      I’m also reminded of the anecdote when Zbigniew Brzezinski became NSA and was initially briefed on the nuclear SIOP, which at the time was all about hitting silos and bases and facilities. Reportedly he asked, “Where’s the part where we kill Russians?”

                    17. I used to hang out on the forums of a company that made a WW2 miniatures game. Unsurprisingly, since it was WW2, people from all over North America and Europe posted on those forums. Foreigners always talk about how touchy about criticism Americans supposedly are. But Americans have nothing on Russians in that regard.

                    18. To be fair, Americans are touchy because they made a huge contribution to winning. The biggest Russian contribution was to allied casualty lists

              2. Seriously and perhaps fatally damaging a permanently hostile geopolitical adversary for what amounts to a rounding error on our economy IS in our interest.

      2. Hinder Russia. Yes.

        But why should we help nations like Germany who weaken/destroy their own military and purchase oil from Russia?

        Decisions, decisions. 😉

          1. How is it NATO’s concern when two non-NATO countries are at war? NATO is not the U.N. and has no directive to intervene in conflicts outside its membership.
            When Eric Swalwell farted on camera, it was the most intelligent thing heard from a Democrat all day.

            1. There are multiple NATO countries after Ukraine. Letting the Ukrainians do the fighting and dying with no cost beyond money and toys is a massive win when the alternative is doing the dying yourself.

              1. Plus the MIC will have to replace all the weapons used/destroyed or more likely stolen in Ukraine so it’s an epic payday for them and the black-market.

                Currently they are taking weapons systems from US troops and supposedly sending them to Ukraine. I don’t know whether to by pissed off that will reduce the overall readiness of the troops or elated that these systems won’t be used in mainland US against the citizens.

                1. For the weapons that have been transferred, no, there has not been much in the way of reduction of combat capability at all. There is a reduction in capability in some infantry units.

                  You many have noticed that the US doesn’t actually fight as an infantry only, or even primarily, force.

                  Plus there is the usually ignored fact that most of the weapons that were “depleted” were used to perform the exact function they were built and stockpiled to do: stop Russian tank columns from crossing Europe.

                2. US and Russia both have massive stores of old hardware, but different amounts of money and different philosophies.

                  We tend to be very active in modernizing certain types of equipment, and procuring stocks for serious use in wars. We’ve fought a lot of people, conventionally, and have bought stocks for more.

                  Officers retire to defense contractors, and frankly we afforded buying all that stuff.

                  But, officers and defense contractors now have a little bit of a problem. a) Biden abandoning so much equipment, some old, some modern, in Afghanistan b) the equipment of one of our major potential adversaries might still be a joke and a waste, even if we held off on some upgrade cycles.

                  Old retired American equipment is still a lot better than what the Russians can keep in the field.

                  If we give a bunch of our stuff to the Ukrainians, then our procurement officers have the chance to persuade congress to purchase a bunch of more expensive stuff.

                  Russian likes to fight weak opponents, and over sell its military strength.

                  We tend to throw a bunch of our best equipped forces at an enemy, and then try to figure out how to do better. We may in fact be overselling our military strength quite a bit, but we are a bit more interested in improving our gear, and figuring out how well it really works, than the Russians are.

                  Sadly, I would not be shocked if it turns out that we are a paper tiger. But, complacency is far more of a problem for us than what is happening with the equipment.

              2. What happens when two NATO countries get into an armed conflict with each other, such as Turkey and anyone else.

      3. One of the best things to come out of the Ukraine mess might well be Germany’s loss of prestige and power in the EU. We Americans tend to think In Terms of the French, but Germany is the rotting fish at the heart of the EU experiment. They, and only they, have benefited from it, and they have steadfastly refused to bear any burden. They, and a corrupt nomenklatura, broke Southern Europe through the euro and they continue with this ridiculous Green nonsense. Only the rich can afford such nonsense,

        I will not wish permanent harm on anyone, but I hope the bloody Germans freeze this year. Stupidity needs to be punished and they’ve been nothing but stupid, in the traditional German way, under Muti Merkel and all the rest. The world functions best when Germany is not United.

        The picture of a sitting Trump against Merkel, and the minor European leaders should be published far and wide. Only one of the many times trump was right and all the experts were wrong.

        1. I think Europe is going to get very ugly, because the German and EU leadership are doubling down on their policies, insisting on more centralization of power, surrender of liberty, and rule by decree of unelected bureaucrats. They view the energy shortage as an opportunity to consolidate power. I expect things like the farmer protests to expand greatly, especially as people lose work because their industries shut down for lack of power while at home they can’t afford to heat their homes or food for their families.

      4. Should Putin fall, a wise American statesman might well catch fish in troubled waters. Now, I don’t see any sign of wisdom among American politicians but maybe someone with an experience of deal making might make Russia an offer they can’t refuse without selling themselves to China. Could happen.

    1. The UN does have some people on the ground in Ukraine right now. They’re keeping an eye on a nuclear power plant (not Cherynoble; or maybe in addition to Cherynoble).

        1. The Zaporozhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is actually in Enerhodar, Zaporozhzhia Oblast, not in Zaporozhzhia city proper, about 35 miles away across the battle front. It’s 328 miles as the cruise missile flies from the ZNPP to Chernobyl.

          Ukraine is roughly the size of Texas, so think the distance between Austin and Lubbock.

    2. Because the principle that you can just invade your neighbors when they piss you off is what got us into WWI and, by extension, our current mess.

      It’s not so much that we need to support Ukraine, it’s that we need to ensure that Moscow loses. That’s why talking about Ukraine’s corruption is irrelevant.

      1. It’s all degrees of corruption. Is Ukraine corrupt? Well, yes. Is it more or less corrupt than Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Greece, Turkey . . . You get the idea. I try to keep that in mind when discussing the region.

      2. As opposed to invading small middle eastern countries on the other side of the world, and when the political winds get too bad abandoning the government you created. Putin has honestly more claim to casus belli in Ukraine than the US did in Iraq and honestly as much as in Afghanistan.

        1. Really? A gang of Ukrainian extremists flew jetliners into a pair of iconic buildings in Moscow, killing thousands of innocent people? I must have missed that on the news.

          We had cause to destroy Al-Queda in Afghanistan. We didn’t have cause to stay there for 20 years trying to impose political correctness on the Afghan people.
          If you owe the bank $500 and can’t pay, you have a problem. If you owe the bank $500 million and can’t pay, the bank has a problem.

          1. You mean the equivalent to a bunch of Saudi extremists flying jetliners into buildings, run by a capo located in Pakistan, mere yards from the government Intel agencies there? There is as much associative data between Ukraine and attacks within donbass against Russian sympathizers that the argument is makable and not much weaker than that to invade Afghanistan and replace the government.

            1. So, did the folks doing the “Ukrainian attacks” against “Russian Sympathizers” remember not to post their pictures on twitter this time?

        2. That is nonsense on stilts.

          If you’d like to attempt to justify it– using actual documents for the US side— you can, but for heaven’s sake pull your head out of your tailpipe.

        3. Bah. Fuck you, no. We had every right to go into Iraq. The fucker was one of the financiers of terrorism both against us and the Israelis.
          Pardon my language, but no. Just now. Afghanistan? Same.
          No. Just fucking no. Putin went into Ukraine to recreate the USSR of his dreams.
          It’s not comparable.
          We shouldn’t have stayed to nation build, but we had every reason to go in.
          We should have gone in, broken things and told them if they did it again, we’d hit them harder.

          1. Putin went into Ukraine to recreate the USSR of his dreams.

            Also because he needs to raid to feed his machine, and because everyone let him get away with annexing the last chunk he took– even though they literally tweeted out about shooting down the freaking Malaysian Airlines plane.

            Why the freak would he not expect Europe to hand the Ukraine over to him? Again?

            Exactly like Poland clearly expects them to hand them over? AGAIN?

              1. At this point I’m going “can we trade Germany for Ukraine?”

                They’re no less useless or offensive, and Ukraine actually tries to shape up without abusing us.

                  1. They still have a lot of mistakes to learn from. And a not inconsiderable corruption problem. But then, name three governments in the world today that don’t have corruption problems.

                    I would much prefer our allies be sane, steady, and responsible. We live in the real world though, and that often means strange bedfellows… But sometimes you just have to kick the b*stards out or they’ll set fire to the bed with you in it.

                    1. But then, name three governments in the world today that don’t have corruption problems.

                      They are all involving humans, after all.

                  2. I’m still pretty sure that Putin “knew” this would be easy because Ukraine has been kicking out organized crime, and he couldn’t find any of the big, effective guys…so they had to be small and weak.
                    Rather than, “the government was actually trying to do its job, and thus didn’t need strong organized crime.”

              2. At this point I’m thinking that Finland and Poland could probably defeat Russia by themselves. Germany and France might not be invited.

                1. The Reader thinks that Poland, the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden could in any conventional conflict. The Reader’s vote is that we give them a few nuclear weapons for deterrence (or look the other way while they build their own) and let them have their own defensive alliance. We can do what we are currently doing with Ukraine; provide weapons and intel. Let NATO vanish into history; it served its purpose.

            1. Poland is the only NATO member in europe exceeding 2% GDP on defense. Possibly way exceeding.

              Their forces are armed, trained, and supplied. The FRG firces are such a mess that Poland could roll through Berlin anytime they wanted. In a few more years, they will outmatch Russia except for nukes. And I am assuming they have or can quickly assemble a few clandestine ones.

              They haven’t forgotten 1939-1945. Nor will they forget 1945-1991.

              So business before pleasure?

                  1. Yep, the page I referenced made it clear that those numbers are for recent years; IIRC the first year graphed (2017?) was pretty close to what he wrote. And several more are saying they’ll be over 2% for 2023.

              1. I wonder how much of their planning is focused on invasion from the west (i.e. Germany and its EU sycophants) in addition to the usual expected concern over Russia. Germany after all is one of the big pushers for an “EU army”, in a way that definitely looks like a “getting the old band back together” kind of way.

          2. And yet we still pay off the PA to kill Israelis and pay off Iran as if they have not been at war with us since before I was born and have a desire to wipe Israel off the map. Sorry, but the cost in blood, treasure, and credibility were not worth the benefits, even if the Intel community was not lying thru its teeth back in the early oughts like it does regarding anything Maga today.

            If we had just gone into afpak like the hammer of Thor and left after decapitation, destruction of the ability to make war, and so forth I wouldn’t disagree, but there was no way the usg as constituted would do so and not wet their beak. We then not only failed to prosecute the target (obl), but we fought for the rainbow, not the constitution and strengthened the taliban.

            And I say this as someone that argued in favor of war and built the tools that prosecuted it.

            Mostly I just hate that the opportunity to work with Russia on matters of security (syria/isis) was squandered by the russiarussiarussia hoax. There was opportunity to make Russia a geopolitical adversary and possible ally against China, but we decided they needed to be made into Public enemy #1 and ignored the greater threat from China because dc politicians are owned by them. Ukraine is being paid back for being mute about burisma and so forth by the junta ruling the ussa as well as the opportunity to make putin into Goldstein jr. Our ruling class feels free to fight to the last Ukrainian while offering up the middle east to the ayatollah’s nuclear fire rather than allow Russia its own Monroe doctrine (the US has gone to war at least 3 times for the same reasons; Spanish, ww1 via Zimmerman, and Cuban missiles)

                  1. Perhaps, but I come from deep blue territory. I’ve sworn off half my family because they would prefer I take Aristotles route and a good majority of my former friends see me as a fascist. And this after a lot of the things they espoused over my life they turned on a dime to oppose because orange man proposed it. And I am now in what once was deep red territory, but is now purple because of the lies that pour from the media and our ruling class.

                    And as far as the occupation, they got the majority of electoral votes. Whether or not the underlying votes were valid is of no bearing as far as the constitutional ruler of Washington DC and its empire. The recipient of the majority of the electoral college is the president. The judicial and legislative branches have both given up their right to check the current balance of power as being held by the executive via standing and the laws passed respectively. Historically the rule of the few over the many has been typical and I cannot see how that is not the future given technology and the poison that has spread

                    1. So not only do you not have any idea of the ideological makeup of the country, but you also don’t understand anything about how America functions, and just to top it off you are stuck in a 1970s — or perhaps 1870s — view of how technology is changing things.

                      TL;DR: competing with AOC on connection to reality.

                    2. Perhaps, but I come from deep blue territory.

                      Can you maybe stop believing the abusive liars, then? Since you KNOW you’re neck deep in with them?

                    3. Or I experience a world that the Pollyanna folks don’t where people do complete 180s because of media, or new boyfriends or the such. I know more people that changed from Trump to Bernie than the opposite. Once upon a time my own mother talked about how Europe needed to pay its fair share, but as soon as the guns opened up on trump as he proposed the same, switched, to the point she was rooting for assassination because of what the media said to the point that I tried to throw myself out of moving car into traffic because she wouldnt shut up about how evil he was. I saw counties that hadn’t voted blue in decades choose a leftist over a republican because it believed the media (Midwest city okc 2018).

                    4. Or I experience a world that the Pollyanna folks don’t where people do complete 180s because of media, or new boyfriends or the such.

                      And yet, your 180 is uniformly to one direction.

                      Seriously, NOTHING IN THAT COMMENT is not “in a proggy soup.”

                      Yeah, I know they don’t have principles. Your point?!??!

                    5. That people are affected by the media to a few orders of magnitude more than people here talk about. I have very few experiences where people I know have grown more populist or libertarian. Almost everyone has become more statist and centralist. And that “proggy soup” includes red, blue, and now purple states.

                    6. In…. heavy……. prog…. place.

                      Meanwhile, even my parents in “literally the car will be vandalized for non-prog stickers” area are noting less prog friendly viewpoints.

                    7. Ok. Yes, my family is hard blue, well one is hard hammer and sickle red, other than 4 of about 2 dozen. But I haven’t lived there in a decade. Every state since was supposedly a red state when I moved and I’ve seen nothing but acceptance of the media narrative.

                      I was in mid Oklahoma where I had multiple people talking about how great Bernie was in comparison to the Republicans because health care. And in mid Arizona where because trump opposed Saint fauci and was unpresidential per media are going to pull lever for the space case, first time voting dem. If you live in rural America, where self reliance still rules maybe you have a different experience but in the metro areas that provide most of the tallied votes, there is still enough acceptance of the lies that I cannot see a win for the good guys.

                    8. What, because we’re not so evil that we make it impossible for those who disagree to say the stupid stuff?

                      If your standard is that anyone can say something at all, you’ve set yourself a standard for failure.

        4. OH bull shit, quit carrying water for the bastard. He’s been setting this up for over a decade. (See ’08 invasion of Georgia. That was a trial run.) Casus Belli? ONly that he manufactured from whole cloth.

      3. Define “piss you off”.

        Take some time to read some history of the area and the fact that Eastern Ukraine which is mostly Russian has been in a civil war since 2014. Even the US mass media was reporting semi-accurately about the situation until this year.

        Understand that the US has been encouraging this for two decades and the neocons have been jonesing for the money that a conflict would bring since the Berlin Wall fell. It’s the old game of Empire where the elite just get ricer and the unwashed masses die.

        1. You know, “this region has a lot of folks with Russian ancestry because the USSR killed off the folks who were here in the first place, and they still split off from the USSR” is really not a good argument.

          Neither is, “Russia says that the folks they recognize as having Russian ancestry say they really wanna go back to Russia.”

        2. It wasn’t a civil war, it was a Muscovite invasion. Putin wanted to topple the pro-west government and reinstall his puppet and hoped that grabbing Donbas and Crimea would accomplish the goal without raising too much ire from the West. He was half right, hence the full-scale invasion.

          1. Yup. Just like Nepal magically started having “Maoist rebels” when China started wanting to invade Nepal.

            Countries with deep longstanding problems have home-grown rebels. Countries wanted for annexation have paid rebels, or rebels shipped in. Eastern Ukraine and Crimea had the shipped-in kind, and Russia tried to ship in the same guys to take over the rest of Ukraine. They’re just salty because it hasn’t worked the same way, because the shipped-in rebels weren’t able to outgun the normal population in the same way.

          1. The neocons may get a “stopped clock” moment on occasion, but only to totally screw it up by not understanding “victory” or “victory conditions” as a desirable speedily-achieved endpoint.

        3. the fact that Eastern Ukraine which is mostly Russian has been in a civil war since 2014

          “How to tell someone has nothing of value to say in one easy step”

      4. And that’s the correct position.

        “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would be obliged to give the Devil a favorable mention in the Commons.” Winston Churchill

  8. I heard the U.S. labor day is in September because the labor unions were heavily Catholic and they didn’t want to be associated with Marxism.
    In modern Catholicism May 1st is the feast of St Joseph the Worker in order to subvert / culturally appropriate it from the commies.

    1. The feast of Saint Joseph the worker was added in 1955. Not he first time the church has co-opted a pagan feast day.

      Colonel Doyle of the Yorkshire regiment said it best when he had his drummers play the Ca Ira when fighting the revolutionaries: “let’s break the scoundrels to their own damned tune.”

      1. May 1 was historically (in the West) the feast of St. Philip and St. James the Just, apostles and martyrs. This is because a good chunk of their relics were transferred to a church in Rome (the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles) on May 1, back in the late 500’s. (There was already a Church of the Twelve Apostles in Constantinople, and I think that’s what gave everybody the idea.)

        The Roman pagan feasts involved with May 1 were the last day of the Games of Flora, the Bona Dea temple anniversary, and Rome’s civic rites for their Lares Praestites. By the late 500’s, these weren’t operating, so it was probably just a nice convenient date to transfer relics, on a good day for a procession.

        Felire Oengusso, in Ireland, was from something like the 9th century? Anyway, Oengus doesn’t even bother to mention Beltane… except that after mentioning May 1 as St. Nethchoem/Mochoem, and as it being St. Philip’s day, he says that was also the day when Jesus started His preaching. (St. James just gets a glossed note between the lines, poor guy.)

        I’m sure there’s some kind of calculation there, and I wonder if it’s from the Baptism of the Lord or what.

        The martyrology of Gorman has a blue ton of saints on May 1, starting with Philip and James, as well as the Prophet Jeremiah.

    2. and they didn’t want to be associated with Marxism.

      The Unions didn’t want to be associated with Marxism?

      So…… they were fucking retarded then.

      1. Unions, in the US, largely started as clubs with self-insurance schemes. Negotiation with companies and activism came a lot later.

        I could be wrong about this, but I know that’s how the granges started too. There are a lot of US political things that started as clubs to do something else.

  9. I wish the Supreme Court would reconcile it’s reasonings in Reynolds and Obergfell. I wrote a post about that the other day as well.

    1. I think it started with Griswold. All that needed to be said was “See Amendment IX,” and let the states deal with it. The Court’s liberals lacked the patience for that, and pretzel-logicked a federal judicial solution.

      1. Griswold is a hot mess, where the Supremes created a “right to privacy” out of bits and pieces. Either the states should have been left to decide, or the court should have used a lot better argument working from the 4th and 5th Amendments.

  10. Is there a way to sacralize their profane beliefs to the Constitution and the Republic?

    We have done it in the past, and in much the same way the Catholic Church did. Francis Bellamy’s Pledge of Allegiance was meant to promote socialism. We took it, added “under God”, changed the hand-outstretched salute to a hand-over-the-heart gesture; the regimented outward-extended palm that virtually requires a military synchrony became an inward-facing palm symbolic of the source of America’s power, the soul of each individual.

  11. Regarding Christianized rituals, this also goes on in the Pueblo tribes in New Mexico. In the spring and summer there are multiple festivals; officially they’re saints’ festivals but they’re also attached to a Pueblo deity. I was invited home for a festival lunch while working on the Laguna Pueblo and felt honored. (Though it’s also true that they have a tradition of hospitality). Jemez Pueblo has a dance: everyone is expected to take a turn dancing in the main square of the pueblo. The dance lasts eight hours. I only managed to watch about 10 minutes because I was so filled with sadness watching it I was afraid I’d completely break down.

    1. I don’t think anybody really understands what’s going on, with some brands of syncretism or rebranding.

      There is a lot of very fraught history there, in the Southwest, and the most fraught thing is that it wasn’t all about “the Spanish did bad things.” It’s also “our pagan people did bad things to our Christian convert people” and a few doses of “our Christian convert people did some very weird things that sometimes were wicked too.”

      So just when you think you know what’s going on, you find out some historical morsel and the whole picture changes.

      At a certain point, it’s probably best just to wait and see.

  12. Long ago, I realized that far too much of the Left was a cult.

    Perhaps I’d been primed to discover that because I’d been curious about how cults worked. I’d always been fearful of being drawn in to one-the first place where Jim Jones preached wasn’t that far away from where I lived. I’d heard the stories of some of the more…interesting groups you found around San Francisco and Berkeley. And, that scared me, that someone could have that much control over my life.

    The more I looked at the political and Progressive Left, the more I realized it was a cult. I wouldn’t even use the word “pagan” as “pagan cult,” because some of the pagans were interesting. The Greek and Roman deities might have been far too busy figuring out where to stick their sausage or get revenge on the people their spouse stuck a sausage into, but you could never say they were boring. The Norse had a fundamental belief that it would all end…and there would be something after the Flood, to start again. Even Buddhism, in all of its denial of this world and our existence in it, tries to make us think of tomorrow rather than today.

    The Progressive Left is a cult. And not an interesting cult. They were of the dark things that hid beneath the waves and in the deepness of the Earth, things that Lovecraft in his paranoia feared. Monsters hidden behind a “conventional” culture, feeding the beasts below in blood. Preferably those that they can steal or trick, but theirs in the end if they lack any other source. Justified by terrible tradition, “vindicated” by the fact that their dark rituals give them power…for a moment. For a time.

    Things that cannot see tomorrow. Only what can feed them today.

    And unable to understand, truly understand, those that are not of the blood.

    That we must purge them in blood and fire is…disturbing. But necessary.

    1. Many of the Left are convinced that if, only if, we completely destroy what is, then can something truly better grow in its place.

      The “how” is not discussed, especially with opponents and other ignorant under-people.

      1. They’re Millenialists, believers that once the old has been burned away and destroyed, the new will arise under their control.

        But, for the new to exist, the old must die and…every time somebody suggests that idea, it goes bad, very quickly.

        It’s like how the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions, instead it’s paved by the killing fields and the hidden graves planted with fresh trees, the crematoriums and the burning cans of Zyklon-B and with the concrete made in the bones and blood of the kulak and the Jew and the homosexual and the undesirable and the unmutual.

        No matter what end they want from the beginning, the middle is all the same.

        1. Works for mosquitos. “Heat & CO₂ are decreasing in the direction I’m flying, so I’ll change direction randomly.” That actually gets them to biteable sources of blood

          For Marxists, the very language is a reflection of current power structures. This frees them of the obligation to define the utopia they’re aiming for, since they can declare it’s impossible to do so. All they can say is, “not this, not this,” (and “that wasn’t real communism”) until they define their utopia by constructing it.

          1. They have to blow up the boat everybody’s sailing on so they can build a perfect boat from the wreckage. Never mind that they’ve never built a boat before, and don’t even know how to sail one.

            If they really want to impress me, they can take one of the many, many countries that have been destroyed by communism over the last 100 years and create their utopia there. It should be easy; half the work has already been done for them, right? The existing power structures are in ruins.
            Man does not live by bread alone, but he won’t live long without it.

            1. You sound like the sort of wrecker who insists on keeping the current boat, even with its blatantly unmutual distinction between “fore” and “aft”, recklessly opposing the constructive work of dismantling the oppressive keel infrastructure.

    2. I’d forgotten your screen name was “An Author In Charge.” That doesn’t seem weird to me at all.
      Somebody showing up on a blog with “Hey look at me Imma AUTHOR” seems weird at best.
      Anyhow, I didn’t want you to think I was throwing shade at your screen name (I made a comment to an “AUTHOR” that showed up that I thought using “author” in the screen name was sick. Totally not meaning you at all.)

      1. But it’s all right, because he’s not putting his real name out there, so he isn’t advertising. (And if AAIC isn’t a he, I apologise.)

      2. I’ve had to use that sort of thing as a screen name a couple of places with my imprint name so as to disambiguate from other Dan Lanes (it’s a common enough appellation). I don’t see anything wrong with using it that way, and sometimes idie authors need the advertising.

        Calling others Nazis and advocating for them to be treated awfully is not good advertising for an author that seeks to be successful.

        1. Be careful with that. My dad’s letterhead used to read “[firstname] [lastname], Geologist” and then he would get mail with the greeting “Dear Mr. Geologist”.

        1. Impossible. There is no such thing as overthinking on this blog!

          The aardvark offers some bonbons to sustain you in your thought.

      3. :giggles:

        So had I, but the context I thought it was clear you were saying “NAME, author!” rather than like “Authorial Intent,” that has author in it, ISSUES!”

        I honestly thought that the “added author to their name on social media, then acted insane” was a myth….until I ran into one.

        1. Could well be; an assertion of superiority. As I understand it, almost everyone in Germany, especially professionals, either appends their occupation to their name or precedes the name with the occupation.

          And I wonder if Jill Biden’s insistence on being called “Doctor” is related…? 😉

      1. One of the reasons why invoking the nameless things in my universe is a Very Bad Thing is that they are not welcome here. There is nothing that we can compare them to. Even the Fae will honor agreements to the letter. The Nameless Things, the Darkness don’t.

    3. The Norse had a fundamental belief that it would all end…and there would be something after the Flood, to start again.

      Plus the belief that even if fighting against the inevitable has no hope of victory, it still ought to be done. Which is why our civilization has a bit of a soft spot for them, and lists them in the honorable category despite the whole going-a-viking thing.

        1. Actually, they were very good raiders. 😉
          And very accomplished explorers, for trade as well as raid.

    4. Perhaps I’d been primed to discover that because I’d been curious about how cults worked. I’d always been fearful of being drawn in to one …

      One good defense against getting drawn into a cult is having some external, unchanging standard to compare the cult’s teachings against. Such as the official doctrines of the religion that the cult is an offshoot from — in the case of a cult that wears the external trappings of Christianity (such as Jim Jones’ cult), that would be the Bible. One of the things found in the Bible is an encouragement to always double-check what the preacher is preaching against what the Bible says: see what happened in Berea when Paul visited them. It says that the Bereans searched the Scriptures to see if Paul’s preaching was true, and it commends them for doing that. (See Acts 17 for the whole story).

      So if you’re worried about whether some belief you’re considering is cult-like, look at what is being taught, and see if it matches up to the official doctrine. Also, if the teacher is actively encouraging you to double-check what he’s teaching, then he’s probably not a cult leader. That’s another pretty obvious sign: when the teacher says, in essence, “Thou shalt have no other source for doctrine except me,” that’s almost certainly a cult, or going to turn into a cult soon. Run, don’t walk, away from such a teacher.

  13. A statesman thinks of the next generation.
    A politician thinks of the next election.
    A cultist doesn’t think, remember how many readily drank the coolaid.

  14. I’ll admit that I’m a bit wary of using the cult label but that’s my own personal axe to grind since I get sick of people calling my religion a cult.

    But the left is a death cult. I’ve largely stopped trying to even discuss things with them because they have no contact with reality. Which makes it frustrating when well-meaning relatives think I should be willing to discuss politics with my leftwing brothers.

    1. There are a lot of words that are essentially meaningless in modern discourse anymore, just a rhetorical flourish to show that you approve or disapprove of what you are talking about. Cult’s one of them, and it forces one to define one’s terms up front, as Sarah more or less does here.

  15. C and I began cohabiting in 1985, a few months after we first met. We got married in 2016.

    I didn’t see marriage as necessary before then, and I thought of it as an oppressive institution imposed by the state. What started me thinking otherwise was seeing the news of Gavin Newsom having marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples, and such couples lined up in huge numbers, eager to get married. You didn’t see long lines of West Berliners eger to move to East Berlin! I had to think about it for a while after that, but after I realized that I could better provide for C financially if we were married, the barriers were gone.

      1. However, for a long time that sounded to me like saying that there were sound financial reasons to own slaves. It was changing my mind about the validity of that analogy that made the difference.

        1. Oh, for the love of… Marriage was NEVER slavery. Not unless you go back WAY before Christian marriage.
          There are bad marriages, but that doesn’t invalidate the good.

            1. You don’t have to. I argued with my brother over this. He had me convinced when I was fourteen, but I realized he was crazy cakes by the time I was 20.
              This whole “marriage is slavery” instead of a “Contract entered into by two fully autonomous individuals to ease the task of getting through an hostile world” was started by academic commies, like my brother, so that everyone could ONLY count on and depend on the state. PFUI.
              No, not mad at you, but sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who realizes what all these pretty theories are FOR.

              1. Sometimes these pretty theories are just academics one-upping each other in a game of *quien es mas macho radicalo”, with the payoff being grants and lecture fees and books people buy but never read.

                That’s how we got from Betty Friedan to Judith Butler to that idiot advocating for pedophiles.

              2. I suspect the “marriage is slavery” idea (meme? position? idiocy?) started when marriages were arranged by fathers, mostly among the well-to-do in GB, with no legally required input from the daughter, and the resultant marriage gave almost all legal authority and responsibility, along with property, to the husband. No, an intelligent husband did not treat his wife as property, but the legal structure was at least partially there. And there’s a very good reason I emphasized “legal”, as distinct from “actual”; de jure vs. de facto.

                1. There was still legally required input from the daughter, and that authority and responsibility thing? Is wrong. It’s a feminist lie. Women who married without eloping always had some authority over part of the money/properties, etc. Those were the “Marriage settlements.”
                  Feminists, otoh, are crazy and make up stuff about the past, because no one can check them.

                  1. I bow to your superior knowledge; thanks. I only repeated what I’ve read from multiple sources, some dating back to the 19th century. But not actual research; mostly novels (apparently the early version of the Internet 😉 ).

                  1. To be fair, a Roman paterfamilias had life and death power over his family, IIRC. As to how often that was employed, I suspect almost never.

                    1. I know violations of it were enough to show that Daddy’s Little Girl is not just a cultural thing. (Which I freaking adore.)

                      ….doesn’t change that it happened enough to be a major theme.

                    2. A dying man could arrange marriages for all his daughters and his wife as a widow.

                      I note that in the chivalric romance El Cid, the hero tells his daughters that he arranged their marriages, and they are delighted to become mistresses of their own households, and then who the bridegroom are, and they are delighted at the fine matches.

                2. (explaining the point) Christians were literally horrible BECAUSE they said that both parties had to say yes for a marriage.

                  Not both families.

                  Both people.

                  I’m literally married for a male saint who said no. A lot.

  16. I feel the need to confess my cult-like behavior. I only vote for people who love American values. I will report myself to the nearest Commissar for re-education.

  17. That was an argument against civil unions I had never considered. That they might become the default for everyone. It seemed to me to be the perfect solution for the gay marriage question. So basically, gay marriage improves the stability of gay relationships by appropriating some of the expectations of marriage, while civil unions further destabilize all relationships by reducing the already low expectations of marriage?

    Once we went to no-fault divorce and deliberately child-free marriages, we were already past what counted as marriage for me. So I preferred civil unions for gay people, but since marriage already wasn’t really marriage anymore, I couldn’t really complain about extending it to gay people. If they want that kind of contractual arrangement, fine with me. Because that’s all it really is, turns out. And in fact, a kind of contract that’s easier to get out of than your mobile phone contract.

    It did seem to me that the way gay marriage happened in the US was a runaround the Constitution.

    1. That was my problem with the whole argument. “Sanctity of marriage?” WHAT sanctity of marriage?!

      If you have something that could be called that, wonderful. That is on you, your spouse, and whatever your hyper-local group is (friends / family / churches / whatever) to set expectations. But if you are going to talk about marriage as an abstract universal idea that has sanctity………….. oh dear. You are in for a rough time.

      1. :points at the whole forcing-churches-to-perform-them:

        That sanctity of marriage.

        Nothing was stopping them from getting married by a church that approved of them. The divorce among long time family friends that was triggered by Washington state recognizing gender neutral marriages was one of those– that was mid-late 90s? They weren’t even the oldest couple, either.

        Absolute inability to produce offspring which the law would have to defend kept them from needing to use the established civil agreement that biological pairs can enter to protect the interests of all parties involved.

        …however, not being able to enter it also meant that they couldn’t claim any set-asides that employers had made to encourage family formation, since married couples with children are much less likely to up and quit at random.
        (which was the public reason for several ‘marriages’ I am familiar with; just the gender neutral ones were celebrated, and the military ones were charged for fraud)

        1. The forcing churches (and bakers, and caterers, and venues, and…) to perform them is nothing more or less than spite and abuse of their political enemies under the fig-leaf of law. SOP for Lefties. Leave no stone standing and sow the land with salt.

          Which is why Lefties love them some gun control. For in case the Xtians decide they’re not having it.

          1. I always want to ask them, “Would you force a Jewish bakery to bake a Nazi cake for a Hitler’s Birthday party?”

            I suspect they would.
            Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

              1. Anyone know Trump’s birthday, and the location of the closest bakery run by wokies or libtards (BIRM) in the Phoenix area? (Yeah, I know; endangered species here, but…) Fun times! 🙂

            1. The question has come up (never answered, as far as I know) about what would happen if the gay/trans activists decided to force an Islamic business to do a service for them.

              (Some thoughts that a service would/might be supplied, but the results would be less than satisfactory to the activists, for the remainder of their shortened lives…)

              1. Everybody knows where the boundaries are. They just aren’t supposed to be named explicitly.

      2. Incidentally, the rant about the lack of sanctity of marriage justifying further abuse rather smacks of the notion that a rape victim is a whore and thus has no purity to protect– there is still no shortage of people who strongly object to single-party at-will divorce.

  18. We are going to see a lot of people die of cold, in Europe this winter – in their own homes. Older people, medically-compromised people. And next winter – of cold and starvation. The Green Gang have brought that upon the population. Hope that Greta Thunberg’s wild-eyed followers, enablers and contributors all feel pain on account of that, but I am not holding my breath.

    The trouble with the vile progs, is that they are fighting a fantasy version of conservatives, which has noting at all to do with how conservatives really are.
    A fantasy world – and they are swiping at shadows.

      1. Not entirely: Westboro Baptist does actually exist.

        What liberals do is “nutpicking” ( or what I like to call the “Law of Invidious Metonymy”:

        (1) Conservative causes shall be defined by the most wackadoodle looney-tunes crazy-ass nobody that can be found espousing something even vaguely related to the said cause.
        (2) Liberal causes shall never be defined by wackadoodle looney-tunes crazy-ass statements even by the leaders of the said cause.

        (See also motte and bailey defense.)

        1. And the Westboro Baptist founder, IIRC, donates heavily to … Democrats. In other words, they’re not truly conservative, they’re a liberal’s idea of what conservatives believe, i.e. a strawman. Yes, he did find a few people to follow him, but there’s always That One Guy in any group. (Or Those One Dozen People).

        2. Westboro Baptists are not by any definition conservative.
          They are, in fact a racket to sue people for money. They hate both parties, supposedly but the leader worked with Clinton.

          1. I stand corrected. But everyone not so enlightened believes them to be conservatives, so my nutpicking comments still stand.

              1. ” the problem is the media”
                Add “plus corporate sociopaths and political megalomaniacs” and you’ll have 99+% of the existing problems covered.

                  1. Basically full counter protest by a bunch of sleep deprived nerds with access to both cosplay AND hotel bibles and all the creativity of that breed. (One picture was actually a parade of folk in apostle cosplay carrying relevant rebuttal quotes.) They got nothing suable out of it and, to quote the Princess Bride, “humiliations galore!”

                    Unfortunately the Comicon vs. Westboro Baptist website that documented it has poofed.

          2. Sarah, if I remember right over 75% of them were related to the head by blood or marriage. Very selective appeal.

    1. Greta’s followers (and she) will still get their caviar and Waygu beef at the WEF Forum. They need to be made to feel the pain of what they are inflicting on the world.

    2. The power to their mansions won’t be shut off. Their furnace oil tanks will be full. Their servants will always bring back, not only food, but all their froo-froo ‘delicacies’. Their extravagant parties and vacations will go on as planned. No, no, it’s only us that have to suffer ‘for the good of the planet’.
      I used to live on a farm. I know what bullshit smells like.

          1. Yes. The sad part is how much suffering will occur in the meantime.
            But Mother Nature always bats last.

  19. Which is why the Catholic church penetrating into Europe quietly co-opted a lot of the rituals and habits of the previous populations, anyway. And often stripped them of their more bloody elements.

    Baptizing rituals.

    While the evidence for Jesus being born about Christmas time is actually pretty decent, celebrating the light of the world arriving works REALLY WELL for midwinter celebrations, which are important psychologically; likewise, spring-festivals hook up very, very well with rising from the dead, and Easter is REALLY well established time-wise.

    There’s also more complicated stuff that recognizes that some pagan rituals are celebrating legitimate good stuff, and shifting them slightly to be a more accurate version of that legitimate good. 😀

    1. Except… the Church’s calendar is pretty much tied to the Jewish festal calendar, in a lot of ways that aren’t obvious unless you take a class on it. (But which were apparently freaking obvious if you were running around in early Christianity.) How we celebrate it in Europe is tied to European weather, just like the various Eastern churches celebrate it in ways tied to their weather. But the basis is Jewish.

      Same thing with baptism. It is explicitly derived from Things Jewish People Did, rather than pagan lustral rituals. And again, this isn’t necessarily told to us, but it’s big in the Fathers.

      And honestly, a lot of this stuff tends to hit you in the head. Why is Irish saint doing this weird thing? Because Ezekiel did this weird thing. Oh.

      It’s actually kinda startling how surface-level the local adaptations are, and how much abstruse Bible stuff there is. Or it’s from the Egyptian desert fathers, or from the Greek theologians. It’s just so cross-discipline, in the modern world, that the obvious isn’t obvious to us.

      1. I know, and isn’t it so fun!?!?

        (OK, and frustrating when someone insists that the surface level similar is THE ONLY THING we’re allowed to look at, and half the time they get THAT wrong, too….)

      2. That works much better for Easter/Passover and Pentecost/Shavu‘os than for Christmas. (No, Chanukah doesn’t count, not without a lot of special pleading. It’s a very minor holiday, barely a century-and-a-half old when Jesus was born, with no Temple observance or deep symbolism.)

        And while baptism relates to Things Jews Did, what Yochanan/John was doing with his mikveh was sufficiently different from standard Jewish ritual immersion that there’s room for lots of research into just what he was teaching and where he got it from.

  20. Mixed-race marriages were legalized by the Supreme Court. Prior to Loving vs Virginia, there had actually been cases that were not appealed to the Court despite letting the marriage stand because the argument was that it couldn’t involve racial discrimination and violated the 14th because by definition it included both races and prohibited both of them. . . .

    1. I find it ironic that Heinlein had a minor plot point in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress turn on Manny’s being arrested for, among other things, miscegenation, still illegal in the United States of 2076—in a novel written just two years before Loving v. Virginia.

      1. Have you ever heard of a “Morganatic Marriage”?

        The idea of “groups that shouldn’t be intermixed” isn’t pure racial, even if that word was coined to describe it.

        I seem to remember taking it (as a teen, mind you) to be a rather clever jab at the artificial division drawn between the folks on the moon and the earth, with a large dollup of “wow, they’re REALLY reaching, aren’t they?”

  21. Also, I was around during the gay marriage debate. Y’all weren’t predicting trans.

    It wasn’t a popular argument, but some folks were pointing out that it was “gender neutral marriage”– that was the specific argument for how it would become polygamy.

    Incidentally, the “interracial marriage” thing is because the argument for gender neutral marriage required pretending that “race” was exactly as real as sex.

    1. And now race is real (which it isn’t, biologically) and gender (i.e., sex, however they plead otherwise) is not real (which it is). Perfection of delusion!

  22. “We didn’t react to “Russia” in an unthinking manner by turning on Trump, because we’re not a cult.”

    The right was like a herd of mixed breed cats, equally likely to fight each other as the left while vomiting from great heights.

    Trump was just a focal point of a mass “F-You” to the establishment and made them rip off all their camouflage in a temper tantrum that exposed their true nature.

    The Society of “Conspiracy Theories” is issuing a huge “I TOLD YOU SO”, but is concerned that THE AUTHOR has been taking DMT with Joe Rogan and reading too much Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

    Well at least the plot is more believable than Amazon’s “Rangz of Power”.

  23. From commentary from earlier today (paraphrased), one’s political philosophy stems from one’s understanding of the world around them’ which may help explain why the Left cult is skin deep. However, this will be a tough winter in Europe where the peasant class will be cold, hungry, and poor. Here in the USA, the Biden cabal will seek to make dependence (on government) a fact of life. People will die unnecessarily.

    This sick game of ‘poke-the-bear’ will extend to virtually every facet of our existences. What are they hoping to evoke/provoke? Like the agitators who exploited Jacobins (France/1789), Bolsheviks (Russia/1917), Red Guard (CCP/1966) the current-day Leftists agitate for political gain, country be damned, citizens be damned, culture and heritage be damned.

    It’s time to use Alinsky against Them! We need to Isolate Them. Freeze Them. And Polarize Them.

  24. I didn’t need Donald Trump or anyone else to figure out that the Resident is a lying liar who lies, and whose head is so empty you can hear the slogans rattling around. His latest rant, or what little I’ve heard of it, certainly didn’t persuade me of anything except perhaps that he is even more of a conniving scoundrel who says “Nice doggie” while looking for a rock to throw than I thought he was.

    And I don’t suppose that thinking Donald Trump is the closest man I have seen to matching Merle Haggard’s line in “Rainbow Stew”… ” when a President goes in the White House door, and does what he says he’ll do” in my lifetime, and that’s counting Ronald Reagan, while at the same thinking he should stay off Twitter and let his deeds speak for him makes me a cultist. Too much tweeting can make the the wisest of men sound sound like a brainless fool. “I’m not saying he’s a saint, cause he ain’t”, but he’s not the devil incarnate, either.

    And no, I don’t believe you should ever judge a man by what his enemies say about him. Especially if the class of enemies he makes is evidence of merit all by itself.

    1. the class of enemies he makes is evidence of merit all by itself.


      he should stay off Twitter and let his deeds speak for him makes me a cultist. Too much tweeting can make the the wisest of men sound sound like a brainless fool.

      Some have said President Trump used Twitter to say “Hey look over there.” While the usual suspects were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, he’d quietly advance his, or rather the peoples, agenda. While I agree the Tweets had that effect. He also took it way too far. As amusing as some of the results were. If President Trump had known where to stop … But he doesn’t. He definitely needed, and needs a Twitter minder.

      1. I always wonder about the ‘but he took it too far’, or ‘he needs a better filter on his twitter’

        According to who? The media that had regular heart attacks about every tweet? The ones who lied about him, kept lying about him, and still are lying about him? At least you would read a tweet and then you’d go see him get asked about it and he would be like ‘yeah, I meant what I said’ instead of using twitter as a platform to ‘clarify’ and ‘walk back’ insane words tumbling out of the POTUS’s mouth.

        1. According to who?

          According to me. Didn’t happen often. But it did happen. More than a few I’m pretty sure were “What can I get them to do now?” Popcorn worthy, but after a certain point on topics, for my threshold anyway, pressed on further than needed. He wasn’t served by getting the last word. (I know that isn’t how President Trump is. But …)

          The media that had regular heart attacks about every tweet? The ones who lied about him, kept lying about him, and still are lying about him?

          Oh. Hell No. Only reason I hear about them is when more conservative outlets play snips of their contradicting vitriol (cough, cough, The Five/Outnumbered).

          At least you would read a tweet and then you’d go see him get asked about it and he would be like ‘yeah, I meant what I said’


          1. I didn’t agree with everything he said or did. But he did right by my vote, and while I wish he could have gotten in with a more loyal cabinet (read: no more backstabbing spies in the ranks), he did a lot of good despite all they tried to do to him.

            He’ll likely get my vote again in ’24. With even more delight if DeSantis decides to run with him as VP. And next time, may the “You’re Fired!” ring out loud and clear, over and over, as all the quivering bureaucrats quake in fear for the second time.

            1. Oh. 100%. All of what you said. President Trump maybe a jerk (or whatever not-good-label someone chooses). But he’s OUR USA jerk. He got things done despite all the back stabbing.

            2. I think Trump’s first term, his chief handicap was simple: he believed that rule of law still existed in this country.

              That belief should be done.


              “First Amendment attorney Harmeet Dhillon confirmed that she was aware of at least some of these cases. Dhillon appeared with Tucker Carlson. She said that there had been a reporter reaching out asking if search warrants or subpoenas had been served on some 50 people. Dhillon confirmed to Tucker Carlson that search warrants or subpoenas had been served on three clients of hers — one of whom had their phone seized. The federal grand jury subpoenas were broad asking for any communications from October 2020, a month before the election to two months after the election. The subpoenas sought communications related to certification, fraud in the election, alternate electors, anything related to the rally before the Jan. 6 riot, and any communications related to the Save America PAC.

              Here’s part of what was in one of the subpoenas which has had the name redacted.”

              How many FBI agents “followed orders” for this witch hunt?

                1. Yep, he was hiring from the D.C. sewer, trying to get people to clean up the D.C. sewer.

                  We can but hope that he’s learned some hard lessons, and won’t be fooled again.

                  Two months from now, the election fraud will be even more blatant and inescapable than it was in 2020. More people will be called ‘insurrectionists’ and thrown in jail for using the processes provided in the Constitution to contest a questionable election.

                  The only ‘fascists’ I see are Democrats.
                  Candidate Joe Biden, August 2020: “We have assembled the most extensive, comprehensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

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

          1. …or a houseplant, take your pick. Personally I prefer your version; ficuses (the type with leaves) are both smarter and more honest than the *resident.

            1. FICUS can also be a potted plant.

              And, ‘resident’? More like ‘the squatters at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue’.
              Harris-und-Biden were never elected — they were installed, like a toilet and a bidet. Unlike them, a couple of plumbing fixtures would actually be useful.

          2. The easily determined fact that he’s also an actual “houseplant” is just another reason to use the term.

  25. “Also, I was around during the gay marriage debate. Y’all weren’t predicting trans. You were predicting multiple marriage.”

    No one was predicting trans. At the time, it appeared to be a small thing, limited to a handful of individuals. The idea that it would explode virtually overnight as a cause was inconceivable. Multiple marriage made sense because there was a show pushing it on TV about it at the time. And there were cultures that would be natural allies to any push toward it. We could actually see what might have been an effort to normalize it. But trans? You might have well have argued that cutting would be the next thing to be normalized.

    Obviously that turned out to be incorrect.

    However, while you mentioned multiple marriages and animal bothering, there was another item discussed at the time that you didn’t list. The possibility that the next great cause would be removal of the age of consent was something that was discussed (much more so than animal bothering, at least from what I saw). And we’re seeing what might be the first parts of it now. From one angle, we’re seeing a push to mainstream the term MAP, or Minor Attracted Person, instead of the familiar term of pedophile. From another angle, we’ve got the issue of books turning up in libraries (both school libraries, and children’s sections of public libraries) that show illustrated graphic depictions of various sex acts, with a minor being one of the participants.

    Hopefully this will get squashed quickly.

    1. Because we all know that the problem with the term ‘pedophile’ is the connotation, not the denotation. That’s why we’ve been developing a new insult meaning ‘lower than normal intelligence’ every twenty years or so for the past century.

      Surely it will work next time! It’s certainly not because people are actually deriding each other for failing to exhibit intelligence. Or, to bring it back on topic, because we actually find the practice of sex with children unconscionable.

      I’d also appreciate it if we didn’t lose the use of the word ‘map’ to the pedos.

    2. The organization that shall not be named submitted a lawsuit the week of that decision, demanding that their own preferences be recognized as a “lifestyle.” I think that’s pretty darn clear. And they haven’t backed off.

      Pedophilia is now mainstream, as is genital mutilation of children. Take that for what it’s worth.

        1. A pedo in the white house, parents taking their children to drag shows, teachers demanding their classes worship the trans lifestyle and legislation to remove parents from their minor children’s decisions in regards to “transitioning.”

          One of the goals of that organization is the change of age of consent to age 5. Can’t be any connection there. That would just be silly.

            1. Yeah, it’s not mainstream. The rather strong backlash against the illustrated books depicting kids involved in sex acts indicates that this is not mainstream. It is entirely being pushed by a small group of people.

              1. “…a small group of people.”
                So it’s not a target-rich environment; one has to actually aim? Damn…

          1. A holes trying to ahole…. this is new?

            K, being more charitable, I know some folks NEVER HEARD ABOUT THIS before.

            Heaven know how much my mom (I’m an early 80s kid) goes “wait, WHAT happened?”

            It’s not that stuff is new, it’s that we have heard of it, now.

            1. Hey, we have a pedo in the PM’s office up here, too (Justin Trudeau left his teaching job under an ironclad NDA, at the same time as one of his female students got a major settlement, also under NDA – you do the math)

  26. Chile voted down the communist “constitution”. I think there may be change coming sooner than I hoped.

    1. And it should help explain exactly why pretty much any business would rather get woke and go broke instead of resist and get looted.

      So what if the enemy only does it to some? “For the encouragement of the others” is a cliché because it works.

      1. Or you can look at places that aren’t left-wing controlled hell holes, notice the cops doing their jobs, and notice that there’s a very few businesses in say Des Moines which are boarded up, because when the guys put bricks through windows they got arrested.

  27. “So what do we do with them? I suspect really there’s very few, there at the core of it. Maybe two or three million.”

    Oh, you mean like that guy who asked ““How do you deprogram 75 million people who would literally die to stick it to the domestic enemies the teevee and youtube conspiracy vids told them to hate?” ” after the last election?

    That’s easy. End the income tax and the welfare state. Those three million Leftoid weenies will be so busy scuffling for a paying job they won’t have the spare time for cult pursuits and endless virtue signaling. Added bonus, all the illegals will be crossing the southern border back to Mexico. No welfare, no problem.

    But it will never happen without some kind of Great Reset, like when they come for your cattle and tell you to eat bugs instead, and huddle up for winter instead of burning natural gas. Save the delta smelt by starving a whole continent, bro. But instead of doing what they expect, people say no.

    That’s the actual reset. When the Normies stop playing. The rest is cleanup.

      1. Sarah, it isn’t even that I approve of it. It’s just that as awful as it will be, it is really the only solution that might actually be one.

        I’d love to believe there’s a better one. I just can’t.

        See also “Least Awful Option”.

    1. Nah. You need to get rid of .gov employment. Of the significant percentage of my family that is Brandon fans, most have a reliable paycheck as “educators”

      1. That’s what the tax cut does. It ends government employment. If there’s no gubmint money for “educators” they will have to move to the private sector where their depredations and idiotic ideas will be controlled by their customers.

        And of course, all those .gov employees will fight for their iron rice bowls. They’ll fight like hell, you’re screwing with their pensions. But they’ll -lose- if the productive class stops producing. As it will, when the imposition of governments become insane as they have the last two years.

        Today I saw that Ursula Von Der Leyen, the President of the EU is on TV saying EU will propose a “mandatory target for reducing electricity use at peak hours” in order to “flatten the curve.” From what I gather, she really said “flatten the curve.” Also Germany still plans to mothball their nuke plants, officially.

        Meanwhile, the companies in the EU that make non-ferrous metals and ALL the iron foundries are screaming that they are all going to shut down if something isn’t done. Like, this week.

        So pretty soon you’re not going to be getting brake rotors for your Volkswagen, or new bits for your busted refrigerator, or meat etc. but those government employees will still be getting paid. Which will piss everyone else off, and eventually something permanent will happen. Given Europe’s history, it will be a spectacle of human stupidity and evil.

        I’m hoping for better from North America.

        1. If Europe goes fire and blood due to their own stupidity again…. I’m going to get popcorn as I watch the children of my extended family’s murderers kill each other off.

  28. I have had occasion to watch a young teenaged male who’s spent entirely too much lockdown solitude on youtube and tumblr as he started a welding class full of ranch kids.

    The first day he was amazed that everyone was so friendly and welcoming. The second he bought himself a cowboy hat. A week later, he has opinions on country music.

    Which proves that many proggies aren’t actually buying into it – they’re doing the cult actions just as lackadaisically and flow-with-the-herd as they did when in church, or part of any social group. All you have to do is cut them off from the constant reinforcement of the prior group, put them with a new group, and watch them quickly social-chameleon to the new set of expectations.

    Which makes perfect sense – the one thing we know about popular cults is that they usually have a large following who just roll with it because it’s the happening thing that their peers are doing. These are the ones that flash off when the doomsday comes and the doom doesn’t, or they get busy with other social groups and other things occupy their time like school and work. Like sending an impressionable kid out to the country from the hood, or a judge giving the choice of joining the military or going to jail – a large number can be saved. Not all, by any stretch. No, the core who truly want to believe get crazier and more hardcore when the social followers flash off.

    But it’s not as large or as dire a group as it appears.

    1. @ Dorothy > “Like sending an impressionable kid out to the country from the hood,”

      I agree with your entire comment, but picked out this part to tell a story.
      Back in the 1990s, when we were raising our boys in Texas, someone suggested that most of the school discipline problems could be ameliorated by taking all the boys out of school about age 14 or so and sending them to ranches and farms to work (carefully selected and staffed), with schooling on the side. Bring them back into the system around age 16 or 17, and let them go on with whatever academic work they were interested in and capable of doing.
      He was shouted down by the usual suspects, but also by a lot of people who should have been on-board.
      I just wanted to know how soon we could sign up our kids — and they were NOT problem children at all.

      1. A lot of the fostering and apprentice systems in traditional Europe was getting the boys out of the house, and letting them use their energies in a mature way, where they wouldn’t constantly be bumping heads with Dad. Basically, a bachelor herd.

        Not the worst idea.

        I don’t know that girls act the same way. Boys tend to go off to boot camp and come back manlier, while girls are a lot harder to “transform.”

        1. Not really. Girls need an older female, not their mother (weirdly, but there are psychological reasons) to show them the ways of womanhood, including how to be attractive, how to behave, and how to DO things.
          It’s like a new girl appears, then.
          My host mother did this for me. I saw it in other girls from less fraught backgrounds too.
          We should have daughter-exchanges

          1. In my experience, women with conventionally feminine instincts can usually figure this stuff out granted a reasonable number of peers and role models who also have conventionally feminine instincts, assuming those instincts have not been suppressed by cultural hostility. They may have some particular lodestar, but in my experience it’s more likely to be an older sister or a classmate who is seen as more sophisticated, rather than an authority figure. They need the ambient noise of multiple females more or less doing the right thing, more than they need a single wise teacher, of whatever description. Some of them would probably get more out of belonging to a Regency LARP group than they would out of what the Girl Scouts/Girl Guides were in their heyday.

            Women like me, who lack some or all of the mental wiring for conventional femininity, are always going to have to figure this stuff out for themselves*-you can’t make rules to suit the edge-cases.

            Women with conventionally feminine instincts in an environment where those instincts are denigrated and suppressed, are going to have to figure out what they really want, rather than what they are told to want, and then figure out how to get it. I don’t have any good answers there, beyond making the resources available to them.

            *To the extent that they want to. The nonparental authority figures who tried to teach me manners and attractive presentation when I was a teenager/YA generally got blown off like a house made of straw.

            1. Addendum: the wise teacher/mentor is maybe necessary in certain situations to bring about the ambient noise of other females more or less doing the right thing, but it is not sufficient.

          2. My sister did this for my daughter, not that daughter is a girly girl or anything and my sister is an engineer like my wife. Complete lack of traditional feminine roles in my family.

        2. An adolescent female could do all a woman’s work. Males could not yet plow, not being strong enough.

  29. It’s almost not so much a cult, as a destruction of the part of the human soul that generates the desire for religion / higher power / meaning.

    I think the Biblical term is ‘searing of the conscience’.

    A cult usually follows something or someone. This.. the jokes about The Current Thing are accurate, because the thing these people care desperately about can be changed at the flip of a switch. It has all the signs of Satan’s greatest desire – to destroy that flame of creation, the flickers of our reflection of God’s glory, and replace it with pale, lifeless mannequins that cannot think for themselves and no longer even look for everlasting glory but simply stare into their phones seeking instruction on the next thing to show how good they are.

    Aching emptiness momentarily disrupted by making others feel pain or exerting control over others via group think and the almighty thumbs up. They live in a world entirely crafted in Digital to keep them locked into their worldview, even as the physical world around them starts to fall apart.

  30. Cultic ritual?

    Playing “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult at any party or other large fun gathering.

  31. The one issue I have with the cult label is not with the followers.

    It is completely appropriate for the run of the mill cult members.

    When you attempt to engage with any of them, they just repeat mantras they learned in the catechism school of Leftism and 95% of them are incapable of actual debate. They have a belief system that is self-reinforcing because it sustains their World-view, which is comforting for anyone, but there are also harsh penalties for straying, even a little bit, from the dogma, like excommunication.

    The issue I struggle with is those you suspect know this is all BS, but run with it for simply cynical or opportunist reasons. I am speaking of the leaders primarily.

    Do they actually buy into the nonsense we all encounter? Or do they know it is BS? Do they know they can sell it to the lemmings easily and by doing so empower themselves and thus why they do it? Or are they true believers as well?

    I will give an example. Back when Kyle Rittenhouse was a talking point on Twitter again for some reason a few months ago, I kept seeing the same widely debunked talking points vomited out, over and over, by the Left. I am talking stuff even the MSM granted were not true.

    Of course, as a cult member, one is by definition conditioned to literally ignore troublesome information, like a West World android seeing pictures of a modern city.

    But what fascinated me was the feeling at least some of these people KNEW they were putting out BS, but it was necessary and effective BS for the ‘movement’. They were like little Goebbels reinforcing the preferred narrative, lest it begin to weaken resolve amongst the masses.

    And with that comparison, are we really dealing with a cult? Or something worse? Are people like above simply cult leaders who are in on the con?

    Did Hitler or Stalin and their upper echelon minions REALLY believe half of what they spouted, or was a good portion of it simply good mind, population and narrative control? Was Nazism and Bolshevism really just super-charged cults?

    Did Jim Jones believe half of what he spouted, or was he simply an evil manipulative bastard who came up with a ‘winning’ message, winning defined as that which gave him terrible power over people?

    I wonder if by labeling it a cult, as bad as THAT can be, we are missing something even worse beneath it.

    But, this goes back to my idea that we are underestimating these people, and what they are capable of.

    For example, the Democrats and the Intelligence agencies tried to tie Trump to Russia AND impeach him over a weapons deal discussion with Ukraine in 2017-2019.

    NOW, we find ourselves in a conflict by proxy with Russia over Ukraine.

    Is that ALL happenstance? Sure as hell seems unlikely.

    It seems like there was a larger play in the works when the whole Russiagate hoax was begun, and that should be very troubling.

    1. winning defined as that which gave him terrible power over people?

      I wonder if by labeling it a cult, as bad as THAT can be, we are missing something even worse beneath it.

      Most cults (in the modern American sense) fairly quickly develop the rule of “oh, and by the way, the Leader gets to sleep with all the men’s wives and daughters”. So “terrible power” is kind of the point.

  32. Re: jumping over a bonfire, or driving cattle through an itty bitty bonfire, is an Indo-European thing that’s all over Europe. Usually it’s Spring Solstice in Persian areas, Beltane/May 1 in Celtic areas, and I forget when in India. It’s possible that it really does fumigate for bugs, but it actually seems to be about getting rid of bad luck and attracting good luck. Fire is good, brightness is good, that sort of thing.

    Jumping over a broom, a sword, a bonfire, sometimes a threshold — that’s another Indo-European marriage thing, and yes it’s more on the Celtic side. Carrying over the threshold might be part of this.

    1. TBF apparently the area I grew up in is the oldest (that we know of) continuously inhabited area in Europe. It was mostly Celtic until the Romans took over, but it’s also a bit of a melting pot.

    2. I thought carrying the bride over the threshold was to make sure she didn’t trip upon entering the house, because that presaged great misfortune or something. And was a Roman thing.

      I expect that tripping was more of a risk when thresh-holds were higher and could actually used for their named purpose.

      1. Except for a bride on her wedding day, tripping over your threshold was considered good luck in ancient Rome.

      2. I’m inclined to think it’s a holdover from the tradition sometimes seen in tribal cultures of kidnapping your bride. Nowadays due to western influences and a desire to avoid inter-tribal fighting it’s probably more “kidnapping” than the real thing in places where it still happens. But it was more common in the past. I don’t know whether there are recorded records of it happening in Europe. But there’s enough unrecorded history that it wouldn’t surprise me if it used to happen there.

        And carrying something over the threshold of your home (like a new wife) is the ultimate signifier that it’s yours.

        Mind you, I don’t have any evidence or scholarly research to back up my theory.

        1. The entire concept of “groomsmen” and “best man” is a testimony to leading an armed party of your most trusted retainers on a “bride raid”. 😎

          I suspect that is also why we have a matching number of “bridesmaids” etc. to groomsmen; it’s an incentive if they get brides too….. 😎

          Civilization is always a veneer over barbarism. It keeps our instincts within bounds.

  33. Re: actions having value in themselves — Well, if you Do the Thing, whether or not you feel like it, you’re fulfilling an obligation. And of course that’s not the best way to have a religion, but it beats never doing anything.

    Saying the Rosary without knowing if anyone is listening — well, that shows willingness, and is arguably exercising a lot of faith.

    Now, for the kind of person who hasn’t felt the presence of God despite praying one’s whole life, I would argue that it’s high time that one found a spiritual director (if one can be found). Because ONLY beating one’s head against a brick wall is not the most fruitful spiritual practice; and because one might be knowing God in other ways, without knowing it.

    But that’s a formidable pile of stubborn accumulated, and I doubt that it goes to waste.

    1. Grandma had a story about a… there is a word in Latin that is almost the same in Portuguese, but I can’t recall either. “Scum of the Earth” would be a good translation. Thief, murderer, rapist, kidnapper, etc. But ever night he prayed part of the rosary because his mom had told him to.
      He died, and was about to fall into hell, when a part of a rosary materialized, wrapped around him and pulled him into purgatory. Because he had JUST enough faith, even if in his mom’s teaching, to do that his whole life.
      Yes, a just-so story, but….

      1. But, if you believe, who is to say what it is that the Most High sees or doesn’t see in someone, what little banked fire of faith might still exist in a soul? “He never wastes a leaf or a tree. Do you think He would squander souls?” Kipling “The Sack of the Gods.”

        1. But He still sees fit to destroy forests worth of trees to give the next generation a chance. Not too far from flooding the world.

      2. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the word of God,” wrote Paul. As little as one scrap of a Bible verse might be enough for God to work salvation into the most resistant sinner. Or so wrote Augustine (in a rather loose paraphrase), who claimed God chased him down and left him no choice.

  34. This is because the blue model never actually worked very well, even in its heyday.

    Its failure was inevitable from the start, because it presupposed what Reagan warned us about: placing our faith in the BELIEF that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

    Given the limits of human perception, insight, and virtue that are well-documented by history, to embrace that belief – and in the process, effectively unplug most of humanity from problem resolution – is flat-out illogical.

    The blue model is fundamentally flawed, regardless of the good intentions of its devotees. Yet we were blinded by ¡¡¡SCIENCE!!! to subordinate ourselves to that little intellectual elite because of what some of them achieved through its application and were then considered to be Smarter Than The Rest Of Us;.

    Ask the Progressives you interact with, to explain the logic in this belief, and watch the brain-lock engage in real time.

    1. “So, you don’t trust people with guns.”

      “Of course not!”

      “Then why do you trust the government with guns? The government is just a bunch of people.”

      “Uhhhh…but, it’s The Government!”

      “Are the people in the government better than you? I know they’re not better than me.”

      — aaannnd that’s about when the brain-lock kicks in and they start mindlessly spouting anti-gun slogans.
      The Democrats trust violent criminals and terrorists with guns more than they trust you.

  35. Jim, I’m approving this but editing your commenter name, because intentionally or not, you come near “no off color user names” So. — SAH

    A small correction, not conflicting with your post, but an important one. The “Russia Russia!” crap was decided on because US institutions (CIA, FBI, State, Defense, etc) were, and are, immersed in “Russia Russia!” training and indoctrination. The senior leadership of all departments spent their entire lives opposing the Soviets, planning and plotting and defending against what was, in reality, Russia. And the opposition to “Russia” stuck.

    Last year, 2021, I had a long and difficult time convincing some long-serving senior officers to even look at China as an adversary. Every one of them a reader of Sun Tsu, yet they had never made the connection, the leap, of China not having our best interests at heart. Same China with an economy many times that of Russia, same China gobbling up surrounding area by bluff, force, or treaty. Amazing to me these gifted, battle tested leaders should be so blindered.

    So the decision to associate Trump to Russia was made by the deep state, knowing it would appeal, most of all, to the management and leadership of the deep state. That it could also have civilian effects was a bonus, but the intended audience was always the respected US institutions; Army, Navy AF, FBI, CIA, State, etc. By, for, and of the institutions. That aspect of it was effective; it worked as intended.

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