Double Edged Compassion

I’ve been reading about Jack the Ripper again. Yes, there was a reason for it, at least at the beginning, until I realized my research was a bit stupid, and what I knew was already enough, unless I can find an interesting way to incorporate all the theories into the story, and that’s unlikely. (Rhodes to Hell. Which will get written one of these weekends.)

Anyway, the current book had an interesting theory I’d not seen before, so I started reading it, because given how our secret services and how corrupt they are I could well believe the British secret service might well have been behind the Whitechapel murders.

Except… two thirds in, before he gets to why the secret service would even do this, he gives us a panorama of the world at the time, relying exclusively on socialist sources.

Look, I’m not going to say there weren’t terrible things happening in Victorian England. For one, yes, they were much poorer than us, which means their poor were far poorer than anyone today. But most of them were recognized as terrible and dealt with by non socialists. And the socialist press was usually at good twenty years behind. Amid the terrible things adduced to the “capitalism” of Great Britain was the story of a single mother abusing her little boy. The only way this makes sense as being the fault of the system is if one swallows the Marxist bullshit that capitalism is the cause of insanity, and that only socialism can bring about its banishment. Which is, of course, poppycock. Also the reason the Soviet Union treated opponents as being mentally ill.

I’ll grant you that the British empire was not merciful. Though I’ll note it left places in much better shape than the soviet empire did. I’ll also mention that colonialism is just what we call “Mankind’s drive to survive” often expressed at the tribal level. And that you can’t have one without the other, as we’re learning daily.

Anyway, this made me think of how socialism was brought in int he name of “compassion.” In the same way our socialists talk of the difference between rich and poor as calling for some kind of redistribution and vengeance, the author of this book practically foams at the mouth that there were rich people, while the inhabitants of the East End were so poor. And then foams at the mouth some more at the idea that the poverty of the East End was largely self inflicted.

And yet– And yet, even though I note he white washed the biographies of the murdered women a lot, even he records the fact that they were all — everyone of them — addicted to the bottle, and often also to sex with strangers (not just for money.) He foams at the mouth about their not having “the price of a bed” but in at least two cases records that they had it and drank it before night time. In fact, one of them is dying of alcoholism as she’s killed.

All of this is, somehow, the fault of the rich of people, as though — somehow — they were responsible for making sure their brothers and sisters didn’t drink. Or perhaps, had life so good and perfect they had no wish to drink.

I’m not going to say that alcoholism and drug addiction isn’t a disease. I suspect it is a form of mental illness, as are a lot of other things we do to our own detriment. Mental illness, to be fair, is very poorly understood. And I suspect a lot of what we call mental illness are simply impulses that helped our ancestors survive, but which are now out of favor.

Whichever way it is, I have sympathy with those addicted to substances, or for that matter to behaviors. I have a ridiculously addictive personality — I once got addicted to fanfiction to the point of barely functioning — and just about all I can do is avoid things I could be addicted to (there’s a reason my husband won’t let me have mahjong on any computer) and channel it to productive addictions (You could say this blog.) In fact, those who know I’ve barely been on facebook or other social media, know it’s a matter of avoiding addiction.

So, of course, I have sympathy. But sympathy is not the same as wanting to somehow banish the effects of addiction and self-destruction. On the contrary, when you enable addiction and self destruction, what you get is more addiction and self-destruction.

It’s now been a hundred years, more or less, since the socialists got their way, to some extent, in every country of the world.

A social net, administered by the government, and not at the mercy of random charities, and also not requiring any change of behavior from those it “helps” was build under most Western societies, where the free market is more and more restricted every passing year.

And yet, in the year of our Lord 2022, we have “homeless” lying in their own feces in the biggest and brightest cities in the western hemisphere.

They are the same type of people who ended up in the East End. (Not all. There were married East Enders on the way up, like most of the Jewish immigrants from Russia, malgre the socialist illusions of a lot of them.) Addicted, mentally ill, dangerous to themselves and others, and prey to every vice known to men.

As the lives of the prostitutes who were killed by Jack the Ripper exemplify, even then they were not starving. And a lot of them received charity from various sources, including those who got them jobs for a while. It’s just that any additional money went to drink as it now goes to meth or pot or other drugs.

And the more money they are given the more money goes to this, in the end creating a spiraling cycle of self-destruction.

We’ve tried it. We’ve tried taking from the rich to give to the poor, deserving and undeserving alike. We’ve tried propping up the self-esteem of poor strayed lambs so that they don’t feel the need for drink or drugs.

Except that it doesn’t work that way. None of it works that way.

Under the best possible circumstances, human life is tragic. Things happen to every one of us that tear the heart out of us, and the the will to live. Those are of different magnitudes, and the less suffering one has experienced the more one feels the slightest blow. Until one gets to “micro aggressions.” Note this is not a wish for more suffering, merely an acknowledgement that reducing suffering doesn’t mean less addiction or neurotic anguish.

Escaping emotional pain is very human. Some personalities are more susceptible to it than others, but all humans try to escape pain. Which leads us to addiction and alcoholism.

And then there is the fact that normal, not-broken humans aren’t diligent and persevering. Look in the stone age, if you killed more mammoths after you had more than enough to eat, you didn’t end up better off. You just destroyed the eco system in your area.

There is in normal human beings the tendency to do enough to be “comfortable” and not one gesture more. We who work, and like working, and like saving and differing pleasure are honestly more than a bit wrong in the head. It’s just that our brokenness fits with technology and has allowed us to give the world prosperity unknown.

Which doesn’t banish poverty, because most humans are not broken in that way. They will do enough to survive, and not a bit more.

In many ways, except for dying alcoholism and similar diseases, the East End poor were very sane. They were doing the minimal required to survive, even back then. And they did largely survive.

And our homeless (trust me, I used to hear them talk when I walked in downtown Colorado Springs) consider themselves the smart ones. No saying they aren’t either. They don’t do a lick of work, and live lives that would be considered lavish anywhere in the past. And by the way, also lavish in the Socialist Republic of the USSR. The rumored ad that said “Will trade state apartment in Moscow for sleeping bag in the streets of Los Angeles” is only a joke if you look at it another way. Look at it another way, and it makes perfect sense.

Socialists use compassion to get hold of all the levers of the economy. I’m not even going to say some of them aren’t really compassionate, though that becomes hard to believe the more each “experiment” in socialism produces nothing but suffering. However, the only way to avoid people killing themselves on the streets, in their own excrement, is to have a totalitarian state in which everyone is controlled and given so much they can do and earn.

And that, obviously, due to problems of information (and human motivation) always ends in “They pretend to pay, we pretend to work.”

Someone with a state apartment in the old USSR might be (marginally. Trust me, I’ve heard stories) more comfortable than the homeless in LA. But he was also completely unable to change his situation or do anything to improve it.

Someone on a sleeping bag in the LA streets, if not addicted to anything, and if capable of working, would be out of there relatively quickly, and in a trajectory that might have limits in wealth and satisfaction, but probably not relevant ones. And what’s more, their work would ultimately create wealth for everyone else.

It is rumored that Asian illegal immigrants, as well as a certain number of African and Hispanic ones don’t linger long in the homeless camps, even if they head there first. They come possessed of behaviors, and a brokenness that makes them work and try to improve themselves.

The later-day-Socialists we live with have recognized this. They now preach that “privilege” includes any type of education and a willingness to work or interest in creating anything at all.

Which means only that they are now trying to eliminate that, in pursuit of their world where the state controls us each and every one and where even the least susceptible of us feel a need to escape by drugs and self-destruction. Because they’ve become insane enough that to them this is “compassion.” Or at least no one can feel guilty for having more.

One would think at some point they would re-examine their premises and wonder if all accumulation of wealth is theft, and if in fact wealth can be created as well as destroyed.

Of course they don’t, because they aren’t aware of the philosophy behind their feelings. They simply feel that no one should be allowed to have more than anyone else.

Which is all very well, except that if they take down the US, they take down the source of wealth that has been keeping the more socialism-infected countries from starving. Already this winter, we’re going to see the fruits of socialism worldwide. And it will get harder for the next two or three years at least.

The funny part is that the socialists can’t understand why people are revolting against their “compassionate” rule. Which figures, because they also can’t understand why some homeless guy isn’t entitled to take, say, everything I own.

Well, I came to this country with a suitcase weighing 20kg (It was the maximum.) What I have I’ve made, saved and built (And I’m by no means a paragon. Yes, I could have a lot more.) And what is mine I keep, partly out of compassion, because giving money to the self-destructive only makes them destroy more. And entices a lot more people to the same vices.

The false compassion of the socialists is based on erroneous premises, and is about to bring down the very engine of prosperity that lifted humanity out of dire need.

What can’t go on won’t go on, and the burned hand teaches.

There are a lot of burned hands in the world right now. And they’ll bring down socialism worldwide, from the “compassionate” states of Europe, to the repressive ones of Cuba and China.

It is more than time. 100 years is a long time for humanity to spend destroying everything in the name of compassion.

333 thoughts on “Double Edged Compassion

  1. A guy once told me that if it weren’t for women driving them, men would never get off the couch (smile). There’s a lever for you.

        1. Indeed. I have a client, who is just thrilled to bits at the age of 81 at having her hands on the kid’s book that she wrote for her grandchildren – about their playtime on a normal happy day in their home… she went and got an illustrator for it, and … the book is just darling, and she is so happy about it.
          She is already planning her next book.
          We both agree – stop moving, doing, creating … that’s death.
          My late business partner, who brought me into the Teeny Publishing Bidness and taught me everything that I know (and LOVED my first five or six books because she said they were so polished, right out of the gate) worked until she was six months from dying of lung cancer. Another of our regular clients was the most accomplished author I knew personally – he even had a local library branch named after him – he was working and creating until the moment that he had an incapacitating and ultimately stroke. Died in harness, as it were, between one publication and the next.

          1. My grandfather dropped dead making a cast in his fishing boat. Rough on Grandmom, but hard to think of a better way to go.

        2. Absolutely..People need a purpose in life–I know I do, and my wife as well…..When I could have retired, I started teaching chess to younger kids, and that gave me purpose..

    1. I haven’t had a girlfriend in a long time…most of the time, it’s fear and terror of not wanting to be things (diabetic, homeless, unemployed, etc, etc, etc) that gets me off that couch and doing things.

      The few times I’ve been with women that…make me want to be something greater…it’s been a bizarre feeling because I don’t usually feel that way. It’s weird. It’s scary. And, I want it like an addict that can’t get ahold of his drug again.

    2. I… resemble that remark, as does my son.

      Not that either one of us were or are couch tubers, but girlfriend/fiance/wife are the ones that motivated us to do that more than “comfortable.”

      (I was somewhat fortunate to be a coding addict. That got me a lot of very good jobs. Although, somewhat like working in a chocolate factory, that addiction was pretty much killed off after several decades.)

  2. I suspect a certain number of the modern leftists also think that for them to get ahead, someone else must be destroyed. In that context it makes sense to push certain segments of the population into self destructive behaviors. If the homeless in LA aren’t getting any part of the pie, there must be more left for them.

      1. Well, there is also the magical thinking.

        The way humans are wired, there are assumptions about various spiritual qualities that can be moved around or traded.

        You have to actively believe that it is impossible to draw magical power from a sacrifice, or to cannibalize your neighbor’s magic, to avoid suspecting that these things might be true, and to avoid the risk that the conviction will stick in your head, then drive you.

        Socialism is an animism of intellectual theory. There are basically spirits, that can be propitiated, empowered, controlled, etc.

        It is certainly not impossible for the inner life of a socialist to be driven by the idea that one last gamble, one last magical ritual, will finally be the one that is enough and changes things. And, that as that falls out from between their fingers, to double down again, more, with a bigger sacrifice.

        Note, not speaking of all socialists. Some, specific individuals.

        Demon ridden savages might not be too inaccurate. (Note, the savagery is a separate but parallel thing, that also describes many leftists.)

    1. I think it’s simply they want, demand, psychotically need to be on top. If they can’t be on top of the heap of the people, they’re quite willing to burn each and all below, burn everything down. It fine as long as they’ on top, even if it’s atop the heap of ashes.

    2. There’s also the aspect that if you actually fix people’s problems, you need to do something else.

    3. I think many of them, however much money they may make from their no-work government or corporate jobs, are eaten up inside by the fact that they don’t actually produce anything worthwhile…Marx had that right, when he said capitalists didn’t have the sense of achievement that a craftsman or manual worker got from his job…

      1. Capitalists do, when they’re investing in things that grow and make new things. It’s a bit like watching your kids go out and succeed.

        But that’s a bit different from collecting a check just for existing.

      2. The Reader believes that capitalists do but corporatists don’t. If every employee of a corporation was an owner the behavior of a corporation would look much different than it does today. The Reader wonders whether the existing corporate structure, which is a creature of the 20th century (curse you Peter Drucker) should be replaced with an ownership model. All employees should be shareholders (part of compensation) and no institutional ownership of shares. All shares not held by employees have to be held by individuals. The advent of fractional share trading (a 21st century thing) would allow even the smallest of individual investors to build a diversified portfolio without the need for mutual funds or ETFs, which have become the bane of corporate governance.

        1. There are some companies out there like that. The grocery store chain Winco, for example.

          This also keeps their prices a bit lower, since they don’t have to make extra for shareholders. And those pennies per item add up.

          1. WinCo is one. BiMart is another. Locally Jerry’s (mostly an option for Home Depot, etc.) is a third. When original founders retired they essentially sold the company to the employees (after the employees voted). Not sure how new employees fold in. But they do.

            As far as WinCo is concerned. Yes, house brands are way less expensive, to cheaper. National brands not so much (compared to Fred Meyers). They do not take credit. Used to be check or cash only. Now they take debit, WICKS, and EBT (? I think that is what is called), cards. Now that there is a new WinCo across from Costco, next to Petsmart, I could shop it more. I don’t.

      3. There is indeed a sense of accomplishment that you get from making a physical thing, which you do not get from doing other sorts of jobs. But that does not mean that all those corporate desk jobs are useless: You need people to do all the other jobs that make the machinist’s job possible–sales, market research, product planning, scheduling of all stages of production, and so on. But you can’t walk by a building and say to your children, “I installed the plumbing” or hold up a switch and say “I made this”.

        1. I doubt that my observation has anything to do with what Karl Marx was saying, since he seemed to fantasize that in his impossible socialist utopia everyone would have “meaningful” jobs and vast amounts of leisure time.

        2. I don’t know, I totally have told my kids I’ve installed network equipment at X building… they at least nod and say “cool Dad”.

    4. To leftists, everything is a zero-sum game. Leftists are idiots, if that wasn’t clear from the first sentence.

      1. That’s right, America gained more wealth than the whole rest of the world had ever seen before by taking it from poor people.

        100,000 years ago our ancestors had sticks and rocks. Today we have steel mills, computer controlled machine tools and 747’s. Who did we take them from?
        Only idiots believe they know how other people should live their lives. The stupider they are, the more blindly they believe it.

        1. If you ask that they look at you in complete incomprehension. Logical thought is not their strong suit. Cargo Cultists are geniuses in comparison.

          1. All one can do is back away very slowly, until far enough away to turn around and stride away quickly. Like bears, cougars, don’t run. You might trigger an attack. Reasoning with them is like trying to reason with a two year old. You have a better chance of winning an argument with the two year old.

            1. Old saying: “Politics is the art of saying ‘Nice doggy’ while searching for a rock”. I’d submit that in the case of leftists only the rock is required. 🙂

              1. The Reader notes that a big part of our problems today is that the rest of us have been repeating the ‘Nice doggy’ mantra when we should have reached for the rock 30 years ago.

                1. This.

                  We have abolished the Corrective Feedback Loop and replaced it with Polite Influence.

                  It should be obvious by now that it doesn’t work but for reasons I’m unable to decode (probably my severe addiction to achieving and improving) we haven’t.

                  I suspect the result is a lot of “water building behind the dam” and if the dam ever breaks (and I think the cracks in it are widening) It Will Be Epic.

  3. Note a lot of folks are having meltdowns on the new PM of Italy. CBS news actually drew the “Mussolini,” comparison when from the sound of things, ah, no. She talked about family, God, being indivuduals not just “consumers,” and so on. The closest she got to leftist was to talk about “speculators.” So we’ll see. She already looks tired, poor thing.

    1. I caught the short Yahoo News snippet about it, and they called the new government the most right wing in Italy since WWII. That may be true, but it ludicrously seems to imply that Mussolini was somehow right wing. They might have said under the current constitution (If the Italians have one of those. I’m obviously no expert.) Liberal fantasies are so laughable but also so pernicious.

      1. That which opposes Communism is Fascism.

        That is how they see it, and why they so often call others Fascist.

        Trotsky was Fascist.

        1. Fascism is left-wing. “Nazi” is an abbreviation for “National Socialist”. Of course left-wingers don’t want to discuss this.

          1. National Socialist Workers Party of Germany. You should use the whole name.

            To those that claim the Nazis weren’t socialists — why would they call themselves socialists if they weren’t? What purpose would that serve? What advantage would it have given them?
            Why do so many idiots believe that our problems can be solved by the same shitheads that caused them?

      2. They’re so far left they see Mussolini as right-wing. So of course they’re going to see a normal person as extreme right.

        Which isn’t going to do them much favors when people realize that right-wing ideology…works.

    2. So the ‘liberals’ in the EU have had heart failure over the new Italian government. From what little I can see the situation in Italy is what is referred to as a wake-up-call.

      There is a shift in the wind and a feeling in the air that (to me anyway) says that it is NOT going to be smooth sailing ahead but when we come out of the developing storm there will be sunny skies and a chance to repair, rebuild and regroup. The foolish who are now in charge will soon be done away with.

        1. Yup. That’s why I’m so cheerful. We’re just about through the mud and the blood…and see green fields beyond.

    3. I listened to a speech (snippet, about 3 minutes long, on IG) where she hammered the concepts of God, Country, Family! Against the evil people who want you to just be a number. Just be a consumer, so that you can be controlled.

      sceana abú.

    4. As I understand it Europe basically thinks that, since the nazi’s were officially nationalist, that in order to not be nazi, you must be anti-nationalist..

      I think it’s a form of cultural ptsd.

      Hopefully she works out well for Italy. I won’t say she couldn’t do worse, because dear Murphy loves loves proving that one wrong.

      1. Oh, Europe definitely has PTSD. I’ve said before that Europe since 1918 has been like a man who accidentally killed his brother in an argument and has been slowly drinking himself to death ever since.

  4. What a fascinating thought. Too much effort, too much mammoth killing, and you end up starving because of too few mammoths. But people are also curious monkeys, always tinkering and trying out new things. The balance is to preserve and improve at the same time. America managed this for centuries. You could drive from bustling, tidy downtown Denver and walk along pristine cascades in Rocky Mountain National Park in about an hour.

    But now the bustling, tidy downtown Denver is strewn with needles and feces. And there are formerly pristine stretches of Wyoming prairie despoiled by bird chopping windmills. I hate communists. I don’t say that word much, because it is a powerful word. But for this, yes.

        1. Be my guest. It’s really amazing just how much of a leap the change in thinking is from an animal you have to hunt down for food to an animal you raise for food, and from food to a source of labor and transportation. Something significant changed in North America to cause the extinction of most of those large Pleistocene animals. While I doubt it was solely due to overhunting, I’m sure those Amerinds make a significant contribution to their demise. The question is, would domestication have reversed those extinction outcomes?

          And how big of a herd of mammoths would I need to keep a breeding kennel of dire wolves fed?

          1. Given some of their tactics against bison it wouldn’t surprise me. Pocahontas was a movie, not a documentary.

            1. We stopped at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump in Alberta on our way to Alaska. Yes, running an entire herd of Buffalo over a cliff seems kind of excessive…
              (The clerk told us she’d get people asking, “When will the Buffalo be jumping?”)

              1. Or Dead Horse State Park, Utah. Called so, because the natives (before horses went extinct) used to drive them over the point. After reintroduction, the point was used as a corral (no fence needed except the narrow neck). Horses won’t go over without being driven over.

                Horses haven’t been leaping over these days, but for decades it was a popular hang glider launch site. Last time we were there, hints that glider launching is now a past activity.

          2. Note: all of this is off the top of my head and I’m a geologist NOT a paleontologist

            Some probably was due to overhunting, but there was also a climatic component. Paleosols indicate there was a resurgence in the glaciation around 13000 years ago (It had been receding from the nominal maximum 20,000 years ago). Cause? Unkown, though there’s lots of theories. My Sed-strat professor was convinced an ice damn had broken and dumped, essentially Lake Superior’s worth of ice water into the gulf stream and borked climate for a few thousand years… except we don’t see the other signs of that we would see in other parts of the world (spent about a decade looking for where he got the notion and finally asked around with a few other folk, and yeah…no real evidence.) But the result was colder, and this was a major key, dryer for a good long time. With the glaciers not melting there was less run off and less plants around the edges for mega herbavors, which then meant less of those for carnivors/omnivors to eat. Humans of that era largely followed the herds. The herds starved, so did they. The herds were in poor shape and hungry humans hunted them any way. Bye-bye megafauna.

            Side note: Those were not likely the only causes of the extinction of the megafauna, but they seemed to have been contributing factors.

            That’s a good question. I would have to run the math. Probably use the African Elephant as a proportional baseline and go from there. Probably would use food requirements for either the Great Pyr or the St. Bernard (with cross references to a few wolf species to make sure I’m not proportionally off.) Seems like one mamoth would go a long way though.

            1. Warmer winters and drier summers led to a shift within a century (!) from taiga to the grasslands of the Great Plains and the Nebraska Sandhills. That’s a heckuv a shift to adapt to for large herbivores that are on fairly restricted diets. Bison adapted a lot better, which is why we ended up with millions and millions of bison (weedy species FTW!) and no giant sloths or wooly mammoths. Or horses (apparently they tasted quite good.)

              1. The Niagra Falls/St. Lawrence water way geology was what he was basing his notion on. But seemed to be extrapolating far beyond the data available.

                1. Yeah. Maybe he heard about Lake Missoula breaking (which carved the Columbia River Gorge in a very short period of time—think of a firehose on a sand table.) But that was at the end of the later glaciation, so he may have gotten confused about the timing.

            2. Ugh. I remember seeing somewhere a thing speculating on that dam break theory. Something like the lake that the Salt Lake came from breaking and dumping into the Pacific?

              Would it actually need to screw up global climate though? As I recall, wasn’t gigantism mostly to help prevent heat loss, so a local rise in temperature would seem likely to make the giants non-viable: they’d be to big to shed heat effectively, and end up non-competitive, and just get out competed by smaller herbivors that didn’t need to spend so much of their energy budget growing big and shedding heat.

              1. The Great Salt lake is the remnant of Lake Bonneville. While there might have been ice dams breaking there at various times, they would most likely have vented away from major warm water currents.

                The notion I was mentioning didn’t involve Lake Bonneville. It involved a hypothetical lake on top of the ice flow at approximately the location of the present day great lakes. The initial hypthoesis was rather innocuous: Lake, and as the ice receeded an ice dam broke and dumped a lot of water in a large flood and carved the St. Lawrence river in Canada (heading to the Atlantic, not Pacific). This guy took it a step further and stated that dumping that much cold water into the gulf current on its way to England would manifestly have a bad impact on climate, therefore that was the cause of the younger Dryas. (note: while it got colder, it also got dryer. Secondary note, TxRed knows more about the climatic side of things than I do. 13,000 years ago is a little young for my filed experience. I’m more used to looking at Late Devonian and early Mississippian samples.)

                Shedding heat wouldn’t have been the issue, Finding food would have been the issue with less moisture and therefore fewer plants.

            3. There’s also a theory about a large meteor hit that dropped the climate back to near-ice age conditions (the Younger Dryas). Certainly there was a climate event, most serious in North America.

              What scant evidence we have of the early population seems to indicate that it was rather small to be the cause of the multi-species extinctions.

              I haven’t kept up with the subject, there was one theory that the early human population went extinct as well, and the Americas were recolonized later. But due to the resistance to DNA tests of both living and long dead humans, I suspect the mater is still unresolved.

              1. I’ve seen it argued quite a few different ways on how extinct the human populations went and why. With all kinds of weirdnesses and tying into various funky other ruins and fuzzily dated artifacts. Even the population numbers seem to be extremely unresolved. At least partly due to the fact the glaciers crunched up a whole bunch of any evidence there would have been.

            4. except we don’t see the other signs of that we would see in other parts of the world

              It’s the Intertubes, so take it for what it’s worth: A video about now-submerged Doggerland between Britain and Europe (proleptic). I see a longer one from the Imperial College London, but “it’s academia, so take it for what it’s worth” is barely better than the Internet, these days.

            1. lol. I miss Robert Adams and his work. I suspect that Horseclans, and Milo Morai, were significant basic influences in the concept of the Highlander movies and shows.

          3. One data point. Every place outside of Africa where humans show up large animals die soon. It happened in Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, North and South America. What happens in Europe and Asia isn’t exactly clear, since it happened so long ago, with a much slower process of migration, and two other human “species”, around.

            Horses come from America, and are domesticated in Asia. They seem to have been lunch in America. What is weird is how when they were reintroduced, they did so well. So there are some unknowns in play.

            Was there some cosmic crash? We keep learning about impacts that never leave a crater, so our estimates of how often stuff hits needs revision. We now see the explosion of the Tonga volcano, that a thousand years from now will have no trace.

            I note we hit the rubble pile. How many other asteroids are just rubble piles? Crashing into them just adds to their mass? 14,000 miles per hour. Too bad no one was around to take a picture. All we can do is just check the orbit.

            Slow compared to most earth aimed comets. Swift Tuttle would hit at 61 km /sec according to a web site that discussed what would happen in 4479 if it hit.
            Only a one chance in a million, but if it does hit, goodby civilization. 1.71166e∗10(25)joules.

            1. Horses come from America, and are domesticated in Asia. They seem to have been lunch in America. What is weird is how when they were reintroduced, they did so well. So there are some unknowns in play.

              The original N. American horses were supposedly small. It’s not like the horses that flourished in the old world continents did thrive and were domesticated in a variety of sizes. So size not the problem. OTOH some tribal oral histories state they’ve always had the horse. That the horses “lost” by the Spaniards then interbreed with the native horses.

              1. Horses were extinct on this continent until Europeans brought them here in the 16th century. Horses are an invasive species. 😛 Along with cows, pigs and chickens.

                1. Horses were extinct on this continent

                  Yes. That is the current history. However, there is a drive to change that. That the wild horse herds ARE from Native Populations, or interbred with them, making them “native”; just like bison, eagles, etc. Thus rounding the herds up is wrong. (OTOH killing bison that wander outside YNP/Tetons is wrong too. That happens.) There are tribes (Navaho/Apache to name a couple) that are getting on that bandwagon stating that they had horses before the horses of the Spanish conquistadors lost some. It is given that the horse culture had spread throughout the SW and the plains well before the Europeans came through from the Atlantic and east side of the gulf (New Orleans). Hasn’t quite gotten to the point where anyone denying the tribes claims are whatever-horrible-label is chosen. Since I like horses (might maybe never have outgrown the little crazy horse girl stage) … works for me.

                  1. That is BS. Tribes first encountering horses have stories, and the stories usually say that they thought they were giant dogs.

                    Now, they always had dogs. Not giant horse dogs.

                    1. Yes they are trying to reinvent history to save the wild horse herds through the tribes, regardless of where the wild horse herds reside.

                  2. Easy to debunk such nonsense with genetics. If there was an isolated native horse population, they would definitely be different genetically from the horses brought from the old world. And even with interbreeding, there’d be at least as many traces (probably way more) than there are neanderthal in modern humans.

                    1. Yes. I think one of the specific Mustangs, with a dark strip down the spine from neck to top of tail, characteristic carried forward from “native” populations. But like you said, not to be. OTOH, they have been repopulated since the 1400’s or before. Native enough. 🙂 🙂 🙂

                      There are areas where advocates are trying to prove that where the wild herds are the wild fires are not as damaging as where the wild herds are not, given the same land profiles. Either way, it comes down to, trying to protect the wild horse herds from systematic removal and destruction.

                      If the latter does not work, they will try something else.

                    2. Native American activists reject genetics. If they didn’t, they’d have to admit they originated in Siberia umpty-thousands of years ago, and their official line is that They Have Always Been Here.

                    3. Yep. This is what they are working for. Just as the native tribes have always been here. So have the wild horse herds. Geological, genetic, or any kind of history, be damned.

                  3. Show me the progression of fossil bones to support the theory that they did not go extinct in NA, and I will consider their claims.

                    I do wonder if it is possible that a more modern Equus species, such as Przewalski’s horse, (subspecies Equus caballus przewalskii or E. ferus przewalskii ) might have crossed the land bridge over the Bering Strait along with the homo sapiens and then spread enough to survive the next few thousand years here? Just speculation as I haven’t researched that. 😉

              2. The reason why they had chariots for millennia and finally cavalry, which quickly drove it out, was that they had finally bred horses big enough to carry a rider

              1. It wasn’t. The website I referenced, had a chart with different hits. Swift Tuttle is way bigger than K-T. It also is faster than the average bear (comet). It only takes 15 minutes to speed by earth, but if it is the wrong 15 minutes…

                We don’t have to worry now, but when the small star Gliese 710) visits in around a million years, and gets to as close as 75 light days, the Oort Cloud will send a bunch of comets our way. So we have about 2 million years to prepare. Then comes the comet storm. It will be amazing to watch. Thousands of fresh giant dirty snowballs sailing sunward. A very dangerous time to be a species limited to one planet.

                An interesting time to place a story, as the intentionally damaged civilization tries to recover enough to defend itself from incoming comets bigger than Swift Tuttle. They gave up the solar system for peace on earth. Now they must relearn how to take risks in order to live.

            2. Actually, the Italian cubesat LICIACube was trailing about 50 Km behind DART and should be returning images of the impact & aftermath, albeit slowly.

          4. You can’t domesticate elephants, you can only capture them and break them to the harness. And that only works for maybe two species historically (the North African elephant is extinct). You can’t domesticate bison or somebody would have done so post-1800. What’s left are various deer species, and other than reindeer/caribou I don’t think anyone has ever been able to domesticate any of those.

            One of the things Jared Diamond was right about in Guns, Germs, & Steel is that the Americas are just screwed when it comes to domesticatable species, and the only one semi-suitable as a beast of burden is the llama, and you can’t plow with a llama, you can only pack.

                1. Agreed. My comment was only about your initial statement, that “You can’t domesticate elephants”, with no qualifier.

              1. When the British sent the Indian army on an expedition to Africa, people came to stare at the elephants.

                However, the Indian elephant is not domesticated. That requires selective breeding, not just taming, and their lifecycle is too long.

            1. Actually, the Russians succeeded with moose domestication attempts. IIRC part of the problem was the food sources for moose being more difficult to raise and provide than food for horses. So in that case, it was a matter of which was more cost effective.

            2. Every attempt to domesticate Bison bison or bison-cattle crosses (cattelo) has led to frustration and occasional human fatalities. There’s something in there that ain’t gonna domesticate. Even raising them as bottle calves, gelding the males, selective breeding . . . It hasn’t worked.

              1. Yup some animals just don’t seem to domesticate. I remember Zebras and African Elephants (current ones, I think Hannibals were different than current african elephants) are two I’ve herd mentioned. Sounds like American Bison fall into that group. Of course fatalities are not unheard of even from domesticated cows (something like 10-50 give or take each year) Mostly from beef cattle though even milch cows have apparently been known to go rogue. Be embarrassing to have that on your tombstone: “Here lies Joe killed by a milking cow”, That’s one severe case of lactose intolerance.

            3. “What’s left are various deer species, and other than reindeer/caribou I don’t think anyone has ever been able to domesticate any of those.”

              I’m not sure anyone has tried. After all, why try domesticating some random wild animal when you already have domestic horses?

              1. Mostly not tried because you DON’T have a large pack/riding animal. South America Did Llamas/Alpaccas. No riding but they pack animal OK (as long as you’re okay with being kicked and spit at), not sure if anyone tried to cart train them (and here I want proto aztecs sweeping out of the south with their alpacca chariots…). North America had nothing suitable until horses got reintroduced, lots of dog sledges and sleds. I wonder if anyone every tried to domesticate moose? If they did they likely earned a Darwin award. Given how plentiful resources were especially at the shore in the Northeast (lobsters, various shellfish and on and on) until population pressure got WAY higher domestication of animals was not going to be worth the effort.

          1. Based on what the cats let me do to them when I was a kid… and what my folks’ cat let my kids do to him. Under the right circumstances, yes.

              1. Yup, though the ones I grew up with only had to put up with me making my dolls ride them (They were about the same age I was.) my daughter tried to ride the folk’s cat. (Who we were assured was Absolutely Not A Maine Coone, he just looked like one and was the size of one.) Then she settled for dolls, too, but he’d trot them around the house for her.

              2. Certainly we’ve had some VERY tolerant cats. Spike our orange tom LOVED elder daughter. She actually started to tow him across a vinyl floor as a toddler. His only action was to look at wife and I to say “Could someone please deal with this?” Mack a large (22lb+) black and white would not only consent to be pushed around in a doll carriage, but would happily volunteer and purred like a diesel engine as he was paraded around.

                If you got a large enough domesticated cat MAYBE. but even Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats and Siberians top out at ~30 lbs (and those tend to be overfed/chonky specimens). A small toddler weighs about the same. And thats 5-10K years of hanging out with people. You need something in the Cheetah/Mountain lion class at a minimum for 25-30 lbs of human. Smilodon and its relatives certainly meet that requirement, and maybe if we’d domesticated them at the same time as dogs maybe you could ride them.

                That said It is a thought probably every kid with a cat has thought of what it might be like to ride one. I had some fantasy fiction I wrote (long gone) that had humans riding large felines (like clydesdale size, lord only knows what I thought you’d feed a predator of that size) but I did have a telepathic link (think Webers tree cats or Mccaffreys dragons) between rider and mount. I figured an armored war cat would make (literal) mincemeat of warhorses.

            1. “Human is not RIDING Cat. Cat is bringing human along to properly skin the kill so Cat can get to the good parts.

              You don’t expect the cat to carry the human around in her MOUTH do you? Like a kitten? Who knows where that human has been? Or the last time it’s had a good tongue bath?

                1. Won’t those monster teeth get in the way? But it is quite a mental picture: No Kitty put Ogg down, bad kitty.

                2. “Why yes Amanda, I came by battle cat.”
                  Amanda looked at Jose’ and dryly remarked, ” I can see that from all the drool on your clothing. Try not to get any on the furniture.”

          1. Well, we’re never going to actually “clone” a mammoth. The DNA is too degraded to reliably reconstruct. What we’re going to do is a whole lot of gene splicing of fragments into elephant DNA and attempt to create a mammoth-like hybrid. What I’d like to know is how much the egg cell structure and content influence the DNA expression of an assembled nucleus like that? There must be some literature on it from sheep and cattle cloning.

            1. Well, I think that the sabertooth should be cloned.

              I can just imagine them feasting on kook-ball environmentalists. 😈

              1. They could also feast on anybody who thought them “cute & tame”.

                [Think of it as evolution in action.[

                1. The Reader sincerely hopes that the suburban Karens that voted to reintroduce wolves to the Colorado front range find the pack in their back yard eyeing pets and kids.

                    1. My husband used to suggest reintroducing wolves and pumas into New Jersey to control the deer population, saying losing the occasional pet or child would be a small price to pay. He had to stop because too many New Jerseyans agreed with him.

                    2. The Reader has some of those around him – they think the neighborhood bear and coyotes are a charming addition to the neighborhood. No one has lost a dog or kid – yet.

                    3. Well when you keep mobile tbones around that is true. But once those are harder, beggers aren’t choosers

                    4. NJ controls its deer population using cars. Bullets simply won’t do. Bears won’t eat deer anyway, they’re far to smart for that, they’ll just dumpster dive.

                      The first killing of a human by a black bear in NJ in over one hundred years happened a couple of years ago up in Sussex County. They’re usually not a problem, though we do have routine sightings of them here now, all of 30 miles from midtown Manhattan.

                    5. What? Someone get in the way of a black bear from running away? Or between mom and her cubs? Picked up her cub? Smear food all over themselves?

                      Okay, only semi-serious. I give black bears plenty of room. Preferably with me in a locked vehicle, or house.

                    6. I got muddled there, sorry. We do have coyotes. 😀.

                      I’m just so tired, It’s been a wild day, after a wild week and I’m afraid we’re in for a wild couple of months. Some of what I’ve been seeing is positively apocalyptic.

                      Watch the US Dollar, it will tell you everything. DXY is the symbol. What’s driving it up is a shortage of collateral. Much like 2007, No one knows who’s swimming naked and only on the run US Treasury bills are being accepted.

                      Things are bad.

                      I wish it would just break so we could get on with it. Austria is looking shaky if you want to replay the Creditanstaldt from 1931. Japan, UK, Italy, and China, always China, which has no safety valve at all and so will fail completely and suddenly when it does.

                    7. Isn’t there a Russian painting showing a mother preparing to toss one of her children off the back of a horse drawn sled to appease a pack of wolves so the rest of the family can escape?

                    8. The usual response is that those are European wolves, which have a different response than North American wolves.

                    9. Or that such stories are unfounded by “Facts”.

                      IE Such pictures “related” fears about wolves not “facts” about wolves.

                  1. Hmm. I don’t mind the wolves being reintroduced; especially if they decide humans are easier and more tasty than livestock.

                    People need challenges they can overcome; and better maneaters than their fellow men. Granted, it would mean that we’ll lose people on a regular basis. But then, that’s evolution in action, isn’t it? 😀

                    1. Barrington News
                      The remains of Michael Houst, age 79, were found in his front yard yesterday, surrounded by the bodies of 7 or 8 wolves. Wolf count was indeterminate due to the number of parts they had been chopped into. Mr. Houst was still clutching the katana he had apparently killed the canines with. Trooper Smith remarked that, “It was funny, but when we turned his body over, Mike had the strangest, shit-eating grin on his face.”

                    2. I have the perfect place to reintroduce Grizzly Bears. Marin County. The sanctimonious “green” county north of San Fran. They will make Martha’s Vineyard look accommodating, as they come up with excuses about why they shouldn’t have to live by their own rules.

                  1. OK folks let’s not get carried away with our pro feline agenda. You’ll want to be introducing the polydactyl gene so they’ll have thumbs. Next thing you know you’ll want to be uplifting the polydactyl SabreCoons and teach them to stand on their hind legs. Then where will we be? I’ll tell you where. We’ll have Kzinti with nice tales that’s where we’ll be…

                1. I’m not one of her greatest fans, but I’d really like to read that story. 😆

            1. Is there a breed of wolf that feeds only on politicians? Can biologists create such a breed ? I’ll contribute (some) money.

          1. And an elf and a dwarf in competition to see “how many they can make die”? I think it’s been done… 🙂

  5. Good one! Two years back I signed up to assist at our city’s homeless shelters. They rotated from one church to another (small city, about a dozen churches.) Each shelter was staffed by two volunteers, male and female. I volunteered for the midnight to four am shift, the one that was the hardest to fill. We have bitter winters and when the temps dipped, or were forecast to dip, down to the low 40s, we knew there would be a lot of ‘homeless’ coming in. Long story short, my time as a volunteer really soured me on the whole ‘help the homeless’ program. I found many of them to be ‘entitled,’ expecting deference and respect that didn’t deserve. Three quarters of them were addicts, either of drugs or booze. Many were criminal. One young man threatened to shoot me because I and the woman on my shift ‘talked too much.’ Well, we did talk, but softly. This guy sidled up to me when I went in the restroom, taking the stall next to me and told me that he had a gun and I better ‘shut up.’ I didn’t engage him and when my replacement came, told him about the incident. My replacement had an encounter with him and ended up calling the sheriff who arrested the young man.

    What I saw was that we volunteers and the churches, were not helping anybody. We were simply the ‘band aid’ on the cancer. The problems of ‘homelessness’ were never discussed or dealt with. What I saw was that the people who seemed to get the most out of the program were the volunteers. It gave them something to be proud of. Some of them, to feel good about themselves, that they were making a difference. Not me. It bothered me that it was ‘feel good-ism’ and was not really doing any life-changing good. So that one winter was enough.

    I believe that if every homeless person were given their own home (house, apartment), it would not change them. All it would do is ruin the lives of the normal people in the area. What is needed is to bring back the institutions of the 50s, orphanages, well staffed and run, mental hospitals, well staffed and run, minimum security prisons for the low-level criminals and shiftless loafers who refuse to push the wagon of society, but never fail to show up for the free meals.

    I plan on volunteering for something, maybe in the schools or perhaps helping elderly, but for me, homelessness is a plague because it is not seriously being remedied. So-called ‘homelessness’ is being sanctioned, even promoted, by, I believe, devilish socialist and America-haters as part of their plan to destroy America.

    1. We have the “warming” centers too. We also have “approved” homeless camps which until recently, most were empty and unused (except the ones closer to “services”). Two things happened recently to change that: 1) forced closure of bigger ad hoc camps (parks, anything potentially visible to the visitors and athletes to the world track meet); then a more recent incident where a vehicle was used, not accidentally, to drive down a sidewalk frequented by homeless (one killed on impact, another sent to the hospital (later died, I think), others with not-transported to medical). The latter pushed the homeless to areas not accessible to vehicular traffic, which includes the conestoga homeless camps.

      1. I think there should be ‘military camps,’ as after the Great San Francisco Earthquake.’ Tent cities, run by the military. Lights out at 11. People violating the curfew, send them to the ‘hardass camp’ in the forest or the desert. Whatever. Then have periodic ‘evaluations’ and some can perhaps go back to the regular camps. My choice of something like this, is that ‘camps’ should be regimented and somewhat unpleasant. They’re not vacation resorts or youth hostels. And there should be classes and work required. But allowing people to screw in their sleeping bags and shoot up and crap all over the place… this is not a camp but chaos.

          1. yeah, my thinking is that there are a lot of closed military bases with barracks mess halls, etc. Move them there and they and give them the “those that work(keeping the place clean), eat And those that cause trouble get special treatment…Did I mention staffing the places with retired military?

        1. Response comment went into moderation for approval.

          These are either available in villages (one picture link) or sponsored sites like churches. Former usually has a lot, latter a few (2 or 3). Generally a porta potty, then someway access to showers.

          The frustration of those not needing these, is those that need them, weren’t using them. For a number of reasons: 1) perception “not safe” (people have been “disappeared”. How would anyone know?) 2) Covid cleared them out. As if camping “wherever” is cleaner than possibility of Covid spread, or from crime. One of the benefit of these camps, while there are rules, they aren’t as tight as the traditional shelters. For one, they can have their pets with them.

          The church sponsored ones have always been in use, and full. The other sites haven’t. But after the incident recently (a car drove down a sidewalk down hwy 99 from Territorial to 4 Corners, Roosevelt, or almost that far) killing 1 outright and (?) another from injuries later, and injuring others. Allegedly on purpose (police have not said). One site, I know has been empty since setup, for at least 3 years (99 and Prairie Road), is now in use.

    2. I saw an interview recently with one of San Francisco’s homeless. He said he was being paid to be a homeless drug addict. He got around $1000 a month from the city for food and shelter, plus he could steal up to $900 or so at a time.

    3. Might look into adult literacy. Requires patience and planning though. You can teach an old dog new tricks, but it’s often a lot harder, even when they want to learn.

    4. I lived in a homeless shelter for a couple of years. I didn’t want to be there and didn’t stay long, but I did see a lot of the problems. I wasn’t drug or drink addicted, but I was unemployable due to a combination of factors. I was fortunate that there was a free community health care clinic, where I got a diagnosis for my heart condition, and a psychologist who spotted my Asperger’s syndrome. It took a while and a couple of tries to qualify for disability, but I followed the rules and the program and I got myself out of there as soon as I could.
      It takes both skill and resources to help the homeless, and that’s assuming that they want help and don’t find living on the street easier. Our society thinks that throwing money at the homeless will be a cure; but it’s not that simple. That’s to often a comparatively cheap substitute for genuine compassion. To give the poor handouts with no strings or conditions attached, or especially in these days, to refuse to enforce public health and sanitation laws on them is a false compassion. It tends rather to make them dependent and creates a sense of entitlement and false privilege.

      1. False compassion, or maybe outright malice.

        Leftists can make me look pretty sane, and they can have weird ideas about what kinds of malice towards others are actually productive to them.

        There are a lot of human problems where blind throwing of money ‘at’ the problem does nothing but waste the money.

        Bureaucracies are by necessity pretty blind towards unexpected individual factors in their spending.

      2. I know it sounds insane, but maybe the problem needs to be TAXED.
        “If you want more of something, subsidize it: You’ll get more.
        If you want less of something, tax it: You’ll get less.”

    5. One of the more common fallacies out there is the reification fallacy, where you treat an abstract concept as an actual concrete thing (reification basically translates from Latin as “thing-making”). Some examples you see often are “The Man”, systemic racism, poll questions about how the President is handling the economy, and the homeless.

      There’s no such thing as the homeless. There are a lot of people who are homeless, but each of them is homeless for a different set of reasons. You can’t apply a solution for the guy who lost his job in the Bidenconomy to the woman who hears voices or the multiple drug addict. And of course there are the people who choose to live nomadic lifestyles.

  6. The two things that I can never forgive the Brits for would be the way they drove Alan Turing to suicide and how they prevent with force parents from leaving the country to seek medical treatments for their dying children.
    A third topic which I am conflicted about is their draconian gun control. An abomination to all libertarians and free thinkers, but serves as the perfect example to point to as how it simply does not work. Restrictions even tighter than our worst states yet violent crime rates several times greater than here in the US.

    1. Sweden is having both bombings and increased gun crime, almost completely linked to the immigrant community (what a surprise!). The anti-immigration, “far-right,” party won the second largest number of seats in the most recent election.

    2. Don’t be conflicted. UK firearms laws are a complete crock. Their Olympic pistol shooters have to train in France…and INTERPOL regards all UK crime statistics as fraudulent because the Home Office cooks the books.

      1. Murder in Britain is not murder unless somebody is convicted of murder for the crime. Unsolved killings are not murders. Somebody found stabbed in the street with his wallet, watch and shoes missing was not ‘murdered’ unless they catch and convict the perpetrator.

        Does wonders for their crime statistics!
        How To Destroy A Dragon Scale
        (from Mercedes Lackey’s 500 Kingdoms books)

        Soak the scale in strong vinegar for two or three days
        Dry it out completely — takes three or four more days
        Pound the scale to tiny bits with a large hammer

        This procedure is much more difficult if the scale is still on the dragon.

  7. “I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

  8. As always, they use the wrong word. What they do is not compassion, but forced dependence, and it’s deliberate. Compassion is, by definition, a recognition of the needs and suffering of others. It is NOT the need to create suffering for your own benefit. That is referred to as Munchausen by proxy. We need a similar term with a political angle.

    Deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it. synonym: pity.”

    1. There’s a Buddhist concept called Idiot Compassion where you don’t take actions that relieve the suffering of others, you take actions that make it look like you want to relieve the suffering of others.

      As I like to put it:

      Teaching a man to fish = compassion.
      Giving a man a fish = idiot compassion.

  9. We aren’t wild animals whose population grows and wanes as our prey species grows and wanes. Not anymore. We’ve diversified. We cooperate, in that we are more like wolves than say bears, or even coyote pairs. But unlike wild animals, we have learned how to save for that bad harvest, or hunting. Used to be literately, creating more harvest than we need for ourselves, or sell, for this year, be it agricultural or hunting. Now in the form of extra dollars that we don’t need now. This allows us to winter bad times, and later, when we no longer can, or want to work.

    We, hubby and I, are not exceptional, in that we each retired when we were 59 VS waiting until 65, or later. We worked toward the goal of retiring when we had enough to live, not work for our remaining 30+ years (almost as long as we each worked for pay, not quite, but based on family history, I could match my working years), and leave something for our heir(s) (especially since there is only one, but that wasn’t the original plan).

    There are those who don’t/won’t even though they could. Some ex-co-workers come to mind, they worked until they were 70; in one case, forced to retire. Another is still working even though he could retire, financially wise (his wife retired as soon as she qualified for the family trust). Neighbors are another example, last I heard they are “retiring” at 75 (sadly he isn’t looking good); they have more than assured their retirement years and legacy for both their children and grandchildren. They can’t think of what they “would do” if not working (um, anything they want to? It is a tad more complicated but this is the basis.)

    Personally, I have no plans to just hand everything over to the tribal leaders, and let them determine whether I deserve to survive or it is time to kick me to the curb leave me on the side of the river while the rest of the tribe crosses the river, leave me out on the ice flow, or throw me in the attic never to be seen again. I do not care how “traditional” these are. I may not stomp and shout, or even write scathing truths, but I will continue to march on, and like Sarah, I still have matching middle fingers.

    1. The Reader pulled the plug at 65. He had intended to work longer (didn’t need to but he had been having fun for the last few years at the Great Big Defense Contractor) but in January of that year VP of sector engineering (and the Reader’s boss) dumped an impossible assignment on him. The Reader took the easy way out and told boss 3 months later that he was retiring. The Reader suspects multiple VPs in the sector breathed a sigh of relief; the Reader was something of a disruptive influence to management idiots at all levels

      1. He had intended to work longer (didn’t need to but he had been having fun for the last few years at the Great Big Defense Contractor)

        Understand. I too had trouble pulling the plug from programming (not a big software company, in fact, for reasons, it is currently really close to being an orphaned software despite what the private corp who bought the business, might believe). Hubby retired 5 years before me (6 weeks before age 60). I could have pulled the plug then at 56 (I turned 56, 10 weeks before). But … programming, come on (talk about addictive). It was always “Hubby will retire before I do. But don’t know when I will …” (A little bit of perceived financial fear too. Triggered by our own financial history. Plus my grandparents history. We are a lot better off than my grandparents ever were. Not to mention a lot more practical.)

        I technically pulled the plug before 59 but not officially (strong drive to get a major project well on the way and documented, no way in heck to get it completed, but little drive for the other stuff, let alone the phones). Reason? Wasn’t allowed to work from home when there was a dangerous person in the office (mentioned before here). I did wait to officially to give notice until after year-end bonus, and gave ~7 weeks (which was only 3 weeks with vacation/holiday time). I thought I’d go nuts based on earlier forced leaves of absence (also called shut downs for a variety of reasons). Not so much. Hubby golfs, I don’t. Was doing agility and other training with the dog, but not now. Read a lot. Just puttering, doing what I want, for a challenge change.

      2. Sounds like you experienced one of the ways to force retirement, found in chapter 10 of Parkinson’s Law, (pension point). Parkinson’s Law is a must read, funny and insightful..

        1. There were actually a couple. One the Reader was called to assist in cleaning up, not by the Great Big Defense Contractor, but by a classified DOD customer.

          The actual circumstances were a little more Byzantine. The VP in question wanted the Reader to clean up a mess the VP had made – after the VP had announced with great fanfare an entirely new organization to manage the mess that the Reader was not a part of and that was run by a junior VP with whom the Reader (to put it mildly) did not get along with. Something about having thrown said junior VP out of a meeting several years earlier when he was a mere Director.

    2. Believe it or not, a lot of DoD civil servants stay on the job for 30 or 40 years, taking very little leave. Then they dry up and die within a fairly short time of retirement because they never developed any hobbies or interests outside work.

      1. I believe it…because I’m living it. Pulled the plug at the 40 year mark (was offered a bonus to do so instead of going the full 42-year distance). Bored out of my mind. Yes, I have a competitive shooting schedule to keep (and train for), but you’re talking to a workaholic.

        Anyone need a large UAV flight test specialist?

        1. Sounds like you might be a prime candidate for a hobby that helped another retiree I knew quite a while back – RC Aircraft.

          Guy I knew had retired before I met him. His wife mentioned to me once that after he’d left the office, he’d come home and basically been wasting away. And then he discovered RC airplanes, and dove right in. From what both of them said, it saved his life.

          1. Hubby and golf. It isn’t like he hadn’t golfed before he retired. But he also never “chased a little white ball around on fields of grass with a stick” either (his words), until after he was 30. (Serious set of circumstances got him started.) He got more serious when our son started playing around with clubs. Now he is about to get his 3rd or 4th (I forget) set of new clubs. His first set was his sister’s ex’s cheap clubs that the guy left behind when he left her and the girls. We “sold” them for her (paid way too much, but she needed the money). Guys at work were at him to go golfing with him. He got started. He joined a golf club (public coarse) under the family so kid could golf whenever. Now just single plan. He joined the men’s club. Started going on the annual winter trip, but not the exotic ones (must fly to), as of 2015 (took me because he’d heard a “lot of drinking” and he wanted an “out”. Didn’t need one, he can say “no” just fine.) Then there are the weekend trips around Oregon, August through September (Mapleton/coast, Running Y, La Pine …). Some of the amateur tournaments.

            Kid could be good if he wanted to work at it. Not what he wants to do.

              1. The one hubby goes to is in the country, too. It is on the side of a hill. He puts in 8 miles on a 18-hole run. If the coarse did fling ball, I might look at it. Be good exercise. When I retired (might have already said this before in other postings) I took lessons … Trust me. Regular golf is sooooooooo Not for me. I can hit the ball. The ball even goes straight. Ball doesn’t fly very far, at all. Son and I went to hit balls on the range. His were going all the way to the back net. Mine um don’t. Very much short of that. I did play the local flat 9 hole coarse. I stopped after 4 holes. Not happening.

                1. I got into golf a bit when I was stationed in Okinawa, and I played a bit whenever I visited my Dad. We were not the golf cart types. Both of us walked the entire course whenever we played. Usually had to let 2 or 3 other groups play through. I understand the golf carts; they’re the way the course gets through as many people as they can through the day. But personally, I turn my nose up at the drivers. On the other hand, their purpose for golfing isn’t mine.

                  1. Hubby is getting to the point where he has to occasionally use a cart. It has been over 10 years since his first hip replacement. His knees are complaining. Plus the people he plays with regularly, are older than he is, and they’ve all gotten to the must use cart stages. He is still resisting.

                    Hiking Walking 8 miles just around the neighborhood, or finding an 8 mile trail in area, isn’t happening. But on a golf coarse (Fling Golf, not regular golf) … That I’d walk. Right now Fling Golf is the old snowboarding on ski slopes.

              2. They just bulldozed a public golf course in San Diego to put up condos and strip malls. Only problem is it’s located surrounding the “San Diego River”. Rarely a river these days thanks to dams and rare rains, but it floods every couple of years and overflows into some low-lying hotels that are a little closer to the mouth than the former golf course. The point of having the golf course there was to contain the excess water when in flood by allowing it to spread out harmlessly over the greens and fairways.

                Between that thing and banning natural gas hookups, so we can go all electric (without any stinky, dangerous power plants of course), what can I say? California politicians be crazy! It’s definitely Heinlein’s “Friday” round here.

                1. Well carp! Riverwalk Golf Course was one of the Reader’s favorite in the San Diego area. The Reader played it many times at the end of a week of business in the area. The Reader could never manage to play Torrey Pines – the last time he looked a room at the Lodge was north of $700 a night and staying there was the only way for a non local to get a tee time.

                    1. This being California, the payoffs to get that development approved had to be epic. The Reader guesses that every ‘Green’ non profit within 100 miles probably got a cut.

                1. The Reader is curious – what is par for the shooters? And is under par a good or bad thing?

          2. The heavy iron is a different story. HIGHLY autonomous. The hard part is figuring out how to trick a guidance & control computer designed to do normal maneuvering into executing flight test procedures. Plus risk management, test planning, test team training….

            Hell, finding, training, and retaining Test Directors is a major effort in itself (I’ve written a paper on the subject). Plus first flight (another professional paper…I’ve written enough to fill a book). 🙂

            1. A consumer drone and a Raspberry Pi can do some incredible stuff these days.

              The important thing is that there are hobbies related to what you used to do. And it sounds like you enjoyed the work enough that you might also enjoy a hobby that’s connected to that work in the right ways.

            2. There are some efforts going on in very long term autonomy in the more private sector.

              And, from more or less the outside, it seems like everyone and their dog is chasing some of the current hype when it comes to larger transport UAVs.

              Okay, I’m extremely skeptical of the electrification push, and figure it may kill a fair number of the bigger projects, eventually.

              There are a lot of options, if you do not plan to slot back into a position exactly like your old one, and if you might consider places with a very different focus.

              Good options? I can’t promise that. Options you would be interested in? I could not say. (Definitely, the ‘full’ set of options includes a number that should be avoided.)

              I do know a slight amount about the feeling of almost dying from boredom, and from lack of purpose.

              There is almost certainly more possibility than your past experience has lead you to expect.

            3. ‘Heavy iron’? The Reader has seen a Triton up close – it may be heavy but iron it isn’t!

        2. Possibly, but a) not sure of the status on that project b) I am not entirely happy with that organization.

          1. Not necessarily. Hauling heavier aircraft crew members consumes more fuel and reduces payload capacity. Large jockeys or short basketball players are equally ridiculous. As one coach put it: “We can teach you to dribble. We can teach you to throw, catch, and shoot baskets. The one thing we can’t teach you is how to be 6-foot-8.”

            1. Several years ago in government class, discussing civil rights. Me: “Is it discrimination if I can’t get hired by an NBA team as a player?”

              Voice from the Back of the Class: “Not if they want to win, Miss Red.”

              Much laughter ensued.

            2. Calvin Murphy was 5’ 9”. He played for the San Diego/Houston Rockets from 1970 to 1983. He was also a world-class baton twirler. Just saying, height isn’t everything in basketball, or it didn’t use to be. 😉

          2. Have a carp if that was deliberate. 😀

            Large UAVs are very different from small UAVs.

            Historically, stuff like quad rotors were largely EE projects, and large helicopters, (manned or unmanned), were (I understand) pretty much Aerospace Engineering projects.

            The experience that Mike has mentioned here is specifically large fixed wing aircraft. (He mentioned the model of one project at one point, long ago.)

            At that size, a fixed wing UAV is a lot closer to a fixed wing manned aircraft of a similar configuration in the regulatory requirements and the minimum project resources, then it is to a much smaller fixed wing UAV. IIRC, and I’m outdated on the FAA rules, there was an under 55 lb UAV category that basically allows homemade aircraft without any special testing. And, even that category’s requirements could be avoided if you are a hobbyist flying the thing for recreation, in many areas.

            Once things are big enough, you need to test a prototype to make sure bits don’t fall off, etc., before you are encouraged to make and sell a bunch to people who will fly them all over the place.

            For fixed wing manned aircraft, there are something like three bureaucracies that you can try to get the thing approved of by in the US. FAA, Navy, and Air Force. Navy and Air Force each have their own flight test pilot schools, and test communities around those schools. IIRC, Mike is Navy, and wrote at least one textbook for that school, so would have enough contacts and connections with that community.

            It seems like there is currently a funding fad for ‘air mobility’, which in some cases means a UAV that can carry a person some of the time. There are companies being founded for some of these projects, and there are projects at universities, etc. But, there are also projects investigating larger UAVs for transporting cargo. There are other niche types of large fixed wing UAV project being attempted by various people.

            The folks working on the Navy UAV development programs are probably mostly defense contractors, chasing a certain number of projects in the Navy’s budgets, with predictable requirements for manpower and expertise. The large number of projects I was talking about? Many not defense contractors, and a lot will be going with whatever testing the FAA requires. Now, a lot of these groups will not have the overhead that defense contractors do for organizational stuff that makes the DoD happy. And, are basically being done ‘on spec’, and have risks of failure that would not be present in the ‘usual’ way of doing things.

      1. See if you have any shot at starting a business. And check volunteer organizations. Some do a lot of good work. (For Mike M.)

  10. Years ago, Dad explained to me (from his experience as a street cop) what he saw from a lot of the homeless. Note, this isn’t a single item, but a series of overlapping Venn Diagram circles-
    *Quite a few are addicts of one kind or another. Usually booze or drugs, rarely both.
    *Quite a few are mentally ill, ranging from “functional with meds, but they have to be on their meds all the time” to “have to be warehoused because they need to be managed.”
    *Quite a few are “bad luck” cases-people that fall in the first two categories, and don’t know how to get out.
    *And quite a few are petty criminals and/or living the life they want-they know where to get food, they know where to get shelter when it gets cold, they know where to get free medical care, and otherwise they don’t have to do a damned thing.

    I’ve got sympathy for the mentally ill and the addicts, who tend to be a big overlapping group (often self-medicating because booze and illegal drugs are better than their psych meds). I’ve got sympathy for the bad luck cases. I don’t have sympathy for the “lifestyle” homeless.

    I especially don’t have sympathy for the “activist” class that thinks that being homeless-in one form or another-is a good thing. It isn’t. Yes, sticking people in mental care facilities and such is not fun. But it beats the hell out of finding bodies on the street, or dealing with human debris.

    1. I suppose you’ve heard the joke about the two social workers who came across a man who had been beaten near to death and was lying in the street bleeding. One of them told the other, “The man who did this needs our help!”
      Except that there are too many so-called liberals who apparently really do think like this.

    2. “I don’t have sympathy for the “lifestyle” homeless.”

      I’d have more sympathy if they were doing their thing out in the wilderness and called themselves mountain men.

            1. “What is the difference between a Hobo and a Bum?”
              “A Bum is a spindle thrift and begs. A Hobo lives free, unencumbered, but works to eat.” (Words to that effect.) – Robert Heinlein “Sixth Column”

  11. Your fanfiction addiction got me thinking about the fine line twix addiction and passion and the value of singleness of purpose toward learning and the dangers of obsessiveness riding astride such.

    Don’t know about Europe but back in the day in just about every school yard in the U.S. there was a season, a season where, I only exaggerate slightly, every boy in school, from John White Elementary in Youngstown, Ohio, to Ponce De Leon Junior High in Coral Gables, Florida played marbles. Another season when yo yo walking the dog, around the world, rock the baby, etc. controlled the minds and hearts, sandlot baseball, scratch football each had their season. Not organized, not marked on any calendar, not mandated, just everyone knew when. That singleness of purpose, that focus for a period, I think was quite important for skill development and learning.

    My point is there were seasons. A season for small muscle development and vector, action/reaction control and understanding, a season for ballistics, learning to understand trajectories innately so your glove is where the ball drops from the sky instead of your chin.

    Every kid knew when marble season ended, when the sandlot baseball game was over no one had to explain it to him.

    Singleness of purpose a necessary and useful tool, but with blinders on so you see nothing else, fail to drop it at the end of the season or the hour, be it a baseball, a highball or a beer or whatever, that’s addiction.

    1. I.. did not experience that Day… or somehow took no notice of it. I suspect the former more than the latter, despite the latter being oh so possible. Why? Because even as slow as ox might well be… there is a … cultural “background radiation” that REFUSES to be fully ignored.

  12. Speaking of addictive personality, I read Adult Children of Alcoholics as a young adult and was shocked to the core to find reading on the list of addictive behaviors.

    I haven’t really gotten over the shock of realizing I was a high functioning addict.

    1. The Reader believes addictive behavior is far more widespread than most people realize. There are days that he can believe that everyone is addicted to something.

      1. I do not have solitaire or any other card-type game on any of my computers. Because I know what will happen if I start playing. Hours later, I will emerge. I limit social media for the same reason.

      2. I look at 5,000 books within 10 feet. Possible addiction?

        What owns you? That is the question. I give you Jay Leno and cars. Dangerous addictions: sex, drugs, booze, gambling, sloth. Then there are the good addictions: religion, work, home, (I give you Sarah Winchester, and any number of folk addicted to “home improvement.”), sports, to name just a few.

        1. The Reader agrees that all addictions are not dangerous. He also believes some are good for civilization. Besides reading, the Reader is addicted to deep dives into subjects that strike his fancy – the current one being software defined radio. I’m currently reading this blog and listening / watching the GNU radio conference (free for virtual attendance).

          Streaming on YouTube

          1. I find things go in phases… some do repeat… and some do not. And… well, I still kinda hope the right ‘collision’ where two disparate things somehow surface in the same mind and… Real Progress Is Made. Not gonna bet on it, of course. Besides.. ox slow.

          1. The 5 k is just within 10 feet, the total is around 12 k, with some in storage after we had to turn my library into a bedroom for my dying son. I have collected books for decades, with thousands of SF paperbacks, and a mostly complete run of Astonishing/Analog for 50 years from the 40’s to the 90’s.

            We come from families who read. My wife likes library books, they have to return home. So we have had thousands of books visit us, then return home to the library. They have their own special bookshelf, to keep them from getting lost in the “organized” chaos. One good thing about the SF bay area is a thing called “Links +” Many California libraries are linked, and you can request books be sent to a local library, so it expands the possible guests.

            Just requested an interesting book, it is the autobiography of Bob Avakian, leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Very useful in the understand your enemy perspective. It shows CRT is nothing new. In 1965, the words “white chauvinism” were used by communists. The book was written in 2005, so it is not current. It is not propaganda, but an effort to explain his journey, as the books subtitle says “from Ike to Mao and beyond”.

            He also grew up in Berkeley, so our paths crossed in strange ways, but we ended in very different destinations. His father was a lawyer/Alameda County Judge, so he lived in the hills with rich kids, and thought the schools were segregated. I lived in the flats, went to integrated schools, and thought the schools were integrated. He never knew God. He hated the military. I was in the military. I know God. So we came from the same place, but had very different experiences, and ended in very different places.

        1. @ Sarah > “…or I start feeling odd.”
          Um, perhaps “feeling odder” ?
          To paraphrase the Cheshire Cat: “I’m odd, you’re odd; we’re all odd here!”

      1. Same. Honest. After all I do not have 5K in piles for my TBR pile. So 100% not an addict. I can quit anytime I want!!!!

        (I don’t even have that many books between Nook and Kendal, Apps, <2k. Way less than that in either “TBR” libraries.)

        1. If you read a book a day, after 20 years it comes to 7,305 books. So the TBR pile over time needs to be much bigger than 5K. You always want to have more books than you can read, or else you might run out. You never want to run out of either books or toilet paper. Paper is an essential. With paper you can look at a book and see inside. With a computer, I look at the computer and see plastic.

          1. Too be fair. Do not normally read 1 book a day. Can, just choose to spread out the joy. Okay, sometimes I fail. Well if you insist, I fail a lot. Also, I re-read.

          2. @ Presbypoet > “If you read a book a day, after 20 years —”

            When I turned 60, and figured I had a possible 20 years left (fingers crossed), I decided to aim for 50 a year (time off for holidays). I used to be able to do 3-5 a week, now I am only hoping for at least 1 a week, except for heavy non-fiction which takes longer (at a chapter a night these days). So, I compensate by reading extra fiction!

            Ten years in, I’ve checked off 501 (I keep track with my LibraryThing account).

            I was talking with a friend’s husband one time, and he was very proud that he had just finished his third book that year.
            In the fall.
            It’s possible to have a happy, full, and productive life without reading dozens of books a year, but it’s hard for me to fathom it.

              1. The size of the book matters. One of Weber’s 700 page door stops, will take longer than Clement’s Mission of Gravity at 174, or Parkinson’s Law at 112. I figure an average book is 300 pages. So a Weber counts for 2 at least. Also non-fiction usually takes longer, so your mileage may vary.

          3. This is one of the quotes I keep on my FB profile:

            “She herself was a victim of that lust for books which rages in the breast like a demon, and which cannot be stilled save by the frequent and plentiful acquisition of books. This passion is more common, and more powerful, than most people suppose. Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books as wildly and unconscionably as the dope-taker in pursuit of his drug. They may not want the books to read immediately, or at all; they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command. They want books as a Turk is thought to want concubines — not to be hastily deflowered, but to be kept at their master’s call, and enjoyed more often in thought than reality.”

            — Robertson Davies, “Tempest-Tost”

  13. The nexus between legal marijuana and psychoses is real. In our contemporary context pot, then drug addiction at its end state results in homelessness and ultimately early death.

    Granted, it’s not hip to disparage the cannabis culture but it is the road to hell. I would support a resumption/enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws. Like the tobacco habit 40 years ago we should make ‘weed’ a socially unacceptable habit.

    1. In this day and age, the Reader would suggest that, as soon as marijuana becomes legal at the Federal level, it can be attacked via class action suits the way tobacco has been. The Reader would also ban public usage due to second hand smoke – marijuana smoke makes him very sick.

          1. I had a neighbor who was generally a decent fellow, but he “smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish.” That is, I’d fire up the snowblower, blow out my driveway, his, and the gal’s across the street and maybe even ‘edge’ the street to the main drag… and then shovel a bit (steps, see…) and he’d invite me in for drink or three. Now, I work nights, so the screwdrivers were NOT a big deal for me in the morning (AFTER putting the blower away, of course)… but those were his breakfast. And… when I got out of his place I HAD to shower, and shower, and do laundry. The smoke was.. pervasive.

  14. I have an inkling that all addictions are life-hacks in the sense that they trick our most basic instincts into getting us to do self-destructive things. Gambling is like that. Lotteries take advantage of our built-in risk-reward calculation. That is, if the reward is huge, and the risk is small, our instinct tells us it’s a risk worth taking. Craps relies on our inability to understand that rolling 2 six-sided dice does not mean that numbers 2-12 each have an even chance of coming up. For some (like me) gambling appeals to our ego. Since I’m smarter than others, I should be able to figure out a system. I have to explore this idea much further to either prove or disprove it to myself. Maybe on my soon-to-come website. I’m still fighting with WordPress to get something reasonable to show up.

    1. B.F. Skinner did some experiments with pigeons and push-buttons and rewards and TIMING. If the button was pushed (pecked) and a food pellet appeared, well naturally the button got pushed. If it was one-push–one-pellet and then just stopped, the pushes went on for a bit, then stopped. A sort of “It’s broken/empty” signal appeared. BUT… if the pellets were more or less RANDOM with the pushes and then stopped… there was beak-damaging persistence, “maybe just ONE MORE TRY…”

      And that’s how lotto is rigged, pigeon.

  15. I’m tempted to attend this, just to see how bat-guano it is. But, I don’t think I could keep my mouth shut through it all and still have a job. My eyes would definitely have rolled under the furniture.

    Module 1: Cultural and Cultural Diversity is a self awareness learning experience that explores the fact that everyone has cultural values. The learning outcomes of Module 1 will lead participants to:
    • Identify their own culture
    • Be able to articulate how their culture differs from others
    • Understand the trouble with stereotypes
    • Learn about how to overcome unconscious bias.
    Module 2: Redefining Diversity is an interactive session that focuses on three primary learning outcomes:
    • Increasing awareness of one’s unconscious biases
    • Looking at diversity through a new lens
    • Exploring one’s own identity through self-reflection.
    Module 3: Microaggressions is focused on the following learning outcomes:
    • Understanding microaggressions and their impact
    • Relating personal experiences about microaggressions
    • Recognizing and addressing microaggressions.
    Module 4: Confronting Bias addresses the ways in which people can positively confront bias when they see it, including:
    • Bystander effect
    • How to be an Upstander
    • Examples and scenarios for being an Upstander.

    1. • Identify their own culture: SF/Gamer-geek and general nerd
      • Be able to articulate how their culture differs from others: Mine requires books and shiny math rocks
      • Understand the trouble with stereotypes: You miss neat stuff
      • Learn about how to overcome unconscious bias: I will eventually play a paladin…

      Module 2: Redefining Diversity is an interactive session that focuses on three primary learning outcomes:
      • Increasing awareness of one’s unconscious biases: I can’t stand the paladin ruleset in 5e
      • Looking at diversity through a new lens: Hey, those drow have a beholder working with them! We can’t just fireball them!
      • Exploring one’s own identity through self-reflection: Where did that mirror of cloning go?

      Module 3: Microaggressions is focused on the following learning outcomes:
      • Understanding microaggressions and their impact: If I roll damage poorly, the impact will be minimal, but it might just be enough
      • Relating personal experiences about microaggressions: I rolled a crit, then snake eyes for damage
      • Recognizing and addressing microaggressions: I need a better stat to overcome my lousy rolls. Either that or new dice.

      Module 4: Confronting Bias addresses the ways in which people can positively confront bias when they see it, including:
      • Bystander effect: NPCs can stay the hell out of my way when I unload fireballs
      • How to be an Upstander: Throwing a cure light wounds on a downed guy will let him stand up
      • Examples and scenarios for being an Upstander: So this one time, in the underdark…

  16. Did you know that the socialists are on youtube? Apparently they all print their books on Haymarket Books. Normally I stay away from socialists, but it has been pointed out to me that the socialists and their ideas are still seeping into our way of life. For instance, recently the socialists have decided that every child should be born in surrogacy and put in children’s homes or given to approved parents.

    If I think back, this was the sort of thing that happened when the socialists took over a country–

    But the language now is that motherhood is slavery and that women should break the chains that tie them to their children.

    I keep telling myself that the socialists have a goal– to gain power, destroy the institutions, get rid of capitalism, so that they can usher in their Marxist utopia.

    Don’t believe them when they say that they haven’t done it right yet… Plus the people trying to gain the power and work for this utopia are mainly academics. History tells us that they will be purged first if the utopia happens.

    Here we go again.

      1. kamas716 – We are sorry but Mister Huxley’s social credit scoring was deemed unacceptable and thus he is now incommunicado.
        we thank you for your understanding and continued obedience.

  17. The shift from charity to government was devastating.

    There is a limit to charity (“We’re unwilling to squander money on the undeserving poor like you because you refuse to change your life and we have deserving poor to help who are doing their best to get better”).

    There’s no limit to entitlements – free food, shelter, medical care, even a free Obama phone with data plan, all with no strings attached.

    It’s not going to change until ordinary people harden their hearts enough to say “Enough” and start stepping over the bodies lying dead in the streets.

    1. “It’s not going to change until ordinary people harden their hearts enough to say “Enough” and start stepping over the bodies lying dead in the streets.”

      Well, not exactly. Because the other thing about changing from charity to government is that you’ll have to make the choice between giving via taxes or out-shooting one of those 87000 IRS agents recruited for willingness to use deadly force.

        1. Blowing up Nordstream is going to make that even more interesting. We’re being blamed of course. War makes strange bedfellows and out of office Polish politicians married to rich americans United with Putin is so 2022

          1. Blowing up Nordstream eliminates the possibility of the Germans folding like cheap wet cardboard and stabbing Ukraine in the back to get their gas turned back on (the Reader thought this scenario likely). Lots of likely culprits here; everyone involved except the Russians and the Germans.

            Next on the list of non attributable actions; an LNG tanker headed to Poland from the US disappears in a flash of light and a really big bang. The Kremlin reminds everyone how much more hazardous LNG is than the pipeline.

          2. I feel like we’re back in the late 1970s with everyone blaming everything on the CIA*. Which goes well with stagflation and bad fashions.

            *(I’m sure someone, somewhere, is blaming Mossad. As usual.)

                1. in re CIA “And often think they’re supernaturally competent.”
                  At one time, they were better, at least at some things.

                  It is hard to imagine President Biden having the stuffing to take such a step. But it is not without a precedent mostly forgotten today.

                  Back in the early 1980s, the Reagan Administration was intent on blocking the first Soviet Trans-Siberian gas pipeline to western Europe that became the beginning of Nord Stream system of today. Unable to persuade the Europeans to block the pipeline, the CIA fed the Soviets bad software (since the KGB was stealing American technology secrets left and right) that caused the pipeline to explode in spectacular fashion in 1982, setting back the project by months if not years.

                  So it’s not like we haven’t done something like this before.

                  I would argue that the situations are very different, and the cause of the recent explosion much more brute-force than stealth-sabotage.
                  And the CIA is very much different today.

    2. Step one is to reverse every legal action against religions and other charitable organizations picking and choosing who they want to help. Discrimination of that sort is a protected right under the 1st Amendment when it comes to freedom of association.

  18. BTW Karlyn Borysenko does a socialist saturday where she shows the youtube videos from the socialists and translates the language. BTW when they say liberation and abolition — they mean getting rid of capitalism and governing with Marxism. It feels like a religious cult. These are not the progessives who are socialist-lites. These are the true believers.

    1. It’s all the Flintstone’s fault! 😉

      I, personally, think coming down from the trees was a bad idea based on available evidence.

  19. The best analysis on Jack the Ripper I’ve seen was from some FBI Behavioral people, who said 1) anyone who pulls out out organs and arranges them carefully around a body is full on psychotic, would have spent large amounts of time in a mental hospital, and would not be capable of holding a responsible job or position in society, 2) police and witnesses were on site within minutes of most of the murders, so the murderer had to be someone who could just fade into the neighborhood, so had to belong there, so couldn’t be anyone who would stick out – a member of the royal family or other society would have been spotted they moment they set foot into Whitechapel, and 3) in a time when every cook could dissect a full chicken, the ability to cleanly remove organs was pretty well universal and didn’t require any medical experience. Scotland Yard at the time had identified a suspect who fits this description, who went back into a mental hospital and died right as the murders ceased, and who they considered to be the culprit.

  20. Every time I hear a socialist in power speak, I think of Mengele.

    And every time I hear some starry-eyed youngling socialist speak, I think of Miranda.

    May they all repent and be saved, because if they don’t, they won’t like eternity in Hell. None of them–none of any of us–is innocent. But without a Savior we are already condemned. And if we reject Christ, “Ain’t no cavalry comin’…”

  21. The homeless in the US (and the rest of the “West”) are fortunate that the countries where they live are so rich that their lifestyle can be supported by the productive parts of thsoe countries.

    If the Let’s Go Brandon administration continues to reduce actual wealth then those entitled addicts are going to be the first victims because they are going to suddenly discover that there is no more free lunch and they almost certainly cannot reform (back) into productive members of society that can hold down a job.

    1. becoming productive member of society and holding down a job won’t be a problem, because if the puppet-masters of the demented commie-crat pedo have their way there won’t be any damn jobs.

  22. What I half-fear is that the restoration of public order will require very, very harsh action. Legalizing the use of deadly force to protect property. And a policy of “We’ll help you up once. The next time, we’ll help you out of the country.”

    1. Deadly force should always be on the table when defending property. I or someone else spent hours of my life earning the money to buy my property. Shall I allow myself to be enslaved, my work benefiting someone else who takes it by force or stealth and without my consent.

      Screw that.

      1. “I or someone else spent hours of my life earning the money to buy my property.”

        Something about theft being murder by inches…

    2. I’ve noticed several business remove their “no carry” signs. Nothing said, just the signs went away. Make of it what you will.

  23. PSA: Apparently there is something that very nearsighted people get, which is called “myopic degeneration.” It’s similar in some ways to macular degeneration, but it’s not the same.

    Apparently I’ve got it, My retina doctor/surgeon seems positive about it, but frankly the online medical material seems less positive than the stuff designed for patients to read… so yeah, not super happy about that.

    But anyway, I know a lot of you are in the Coke bottle bottom glasses club, so I though you might want a hazard alert.

    1. Things are developing with the eyes very fast these days. You never know. Keep on top of it.

      Mom has worn glasses since before she really remembers. (I never knew they were this bad) First thing she did was put on her glasses, from what she has told me (now), she was legally blind without them. She’s not only had cataract surgery with replacement lens(?), but a couple of other eye surgeries that, while still not 20/20, she now can legally drive without glasses. Surgeries that were all but brand new (past testing phases) in the last 5 – 10 years, now. She still needs progressive or reading glasses, for other reasons, she doesn’t feel comfortable driving without glasses. OTOH she has a lot more range of option with lens now, let alone frames. Glasses are a lot lighter now. She does not have to wear them around the house. She can see when she gets up in the morning, let alone in the middle of the night. She was over 80 when this all happened.

      1. Even now, eventually, I’ll have more options with the glaucoma that my grandfather never had. I too am developing cataracts, just not to needing surgery. But when I do they can use specialty lens to prevent the pressure of glaucoma. Now the treatment is to keep from damaging the nerve and loss of eyesight field of vision. One eye drop, each eye, for now. I’ll have no problem adding another eye drop in the morning if need to. I’ll be 66 next month.

    2. MomRed developed myopic degeneration, and had the surgery. It went well, and she had the cataracts removed about two years later. Now she still wears glasses, but they are not as thick as her originals were.

      It has to do with the shape of the eye in people with very, very bad nearsightedness. I’m not as nearsighted as Mom, but I got astigmatism as well as myopia. Which some say explains my off-kilter view of the world . . .

        1. I have astigmatism, too … Then I don’t. Then I have in one eye, not the other. Then the astigmatism switches eyes. Then I don’t have it. Then I do.

  24. I will not even attempt to feebly comment, ad seriatim, upon the incredible series of thoughts and insights you have provided, but will simply say that you once more offer us the most profound, deeply searching narrative that we could hope for! Thank you! And again I will ask/beg/wheedle/ cajole, and outright offer bribe money to you to collect some/many/most/all of these incredible pieces into a published format, preferable paper….before my time runs out and I shuffle off this mortal coil. And I am in my 70s, so…

      1. Gracious lady, I figuratively strew cyber rose petals in your path! I make here a sort of image of a heart to show my appreciation, though it also resembles “less than sideways buttocks. ❤

  25. The later-day-Socialists we live with have recognized this. They now preach that “privilege” includes any type of education and a willingness to work or interest in creating anything at all.

    And this is another example of the left’s practice of twisting the meanings of words to suit their malign purposes: The root meaning of privilege is “private law”–special entitlements that allowed the aristocracy to commit crimes which would get ordinary people hanged. (Anybody thinking about the Clintons and Bidens and Obamas?) It certainly does not mean “advantages of character and knowledge gained partly thanks to having conscientious and educated parents and growing up in a civilized neighborhood”. But the left wants good innocent people to feel guilty for not being failures. (But perhaps another Minneapolis commie can stop by to “explain” to us why we are all wrong.)

    1. Funny how “privilege” seems to always look like “doing actual WORK” innit?

      I have marveled at how some folks seem to stroll by in a sort of slow “Joe Cool Walk” and get by.. but I once heard from a buddy of a such fellow what he was projecting calm, but experiencing panic. “He.. doesn’t have the.. coping mechanisms.. I have.’ (Since the buddy was recently married… well now…)

  26. Re: Jack the Ripper — Yes, several of the victims had not just earned and then drunk away their doss money, but IIRC, one had earned it twice at least, and was confident that she could make more money before she got tired enough to need a doss.

    All that said, I highly recommend not ever looking up any of the actual crime scene photos. Hoboy, just trust me on this.

  27. Curses, Word Press! Why did you decide to change the emails to break the threading? Not that the email threading was ever perfect, but at least sometimes it worked!

    The emails used to be named “[New Comment] Post Title”. Now they’re named “[Blog Title] Poster commented on Post Titel”, which means that only the comments by the same poster are threaded.


  28. Gracious lady, I figuratively strew cyber rose petals in your path! I make here a sort of image of a heart to show my appreciation, though it also resembles “less than sideways buttocks. ❤

  29. Asking for a friend. How did you know you were addicted to fanfiction and how did you recover from being addicted to fanfiction?

Comments are closed.