Kindle A Light For The Lost

While he works, in the office next to mine, my husband listens to podcasts. This is slightly surreal because it reminds me of Portuguese men doing their work to the continuous murmur of soccer reporting coming from a portable radio near them.

Yesterday he came to me, alarmed. He was listening to Mike Rowe, who had a guest on, who did the numbers beyond the official unemployment rate, the numbers as they used to be done, without the begs and the buts.

Apparently the real unemployment rate, in terms of people simply not working (And not looking for work) among young men — young, able bodied men, 18 to 55 — is eighty percent. [CORRECTION: Cranberry makes a good point that it’s 80% of men not working. I.e. that for every man looking for work, another 4 aren’t. However, it might be worse than they think, because the original rang right to me, and I have acquaintance in the younger age groups. Though honestly, I admit I was including “not working at anything beyond the minimum to barely survive with help” to this count, subconsciously. As well as in “interminable academic training that never ends or provides a job”]

I will bet you the number of women not pre and not menopausal not having children is the same. Yesterday too I saw two recent videocasts of people with their heads on fire about the population crash. Oh, my dear and fluffy Lord. They’re many many moons after the fair. And all of them believe too that the population is as large as the lying statistics say. I would think the population crash is well underway.

Yes, what allows them to do so is — relative — abundance and technological advances. Without enough money/food that these young men (apparently as many as 50% of them receive some form of disability) can live without working, waste away their lives on puerile entertainment, is that we as a society are incredibly wealthy.

The reason these young women can go without children is that same wealth, plus safe and effective contraception and abortion.

But that’s not new, either of those conditions. They both were present in the early twentieth century. Stop looking at me like that. I should know. I grew up in late-19th, early 20th century conditions.

Yes, even in a country with “illegal” abortion, everyone knew who performed them. And they were safe enough that women could have multiple of them and survive. Everyone knew that too. (They were really safe, because if a women died and it could be traced to the provider, the full force of law would fall on them.)

And in a very poor country — again, I remind you that stealing clothes from the line was a thing, because people couldn’t afford underwear. The big thefts were clothes and chickens — there was still enough that a lot of middle class families had the man who never married, never moved out, and just puttered around the house being some form of disabled.

Now, it wasn’t eighty percent. But I’m not sure it couldn’t have been. It would have made the entire society a little poorer, but as poor as we were we were already at the point of abundance I doubt it would be impossible. Since the eighteenth century or so, humans have been living in amazing (historically speaking) abundance.

So, why is it so bad now? Why not before.

Because metaphorically speaking, the world is cracked like an egg. Pieces that should go together have been violently separated, and no, I’m not talking in dirty metaphors, but I could be.

Men and women need each other. And people need something to live for.

Without women, with women gone crazy, with the link between effort and reward broken, unable to trust the women they do find, men have no reason to do anything.

Without family and men and a reliable structure to their lives, being told they’re exploited and downtrodden and that success is what men used to have and do, women have no reason to invest the considerable time and effort — not to mention blood, sweat and tears — into producing the new generation.

It goes deeper than that. Every day in every way our mass-industrial culture tells young men they are not only not needed but terrible. They are historical oppressors. They are also dumb and any woman is smarter, stronger, more agile than any man.

This absurd message comes through every possible means, from commercials to action movies to school lessons. If you have a little boy in school right now, he’s being blamed for everything that’s wrong in the world. And he’s internalizing it.

If you have a girl in school right now, she’s being told success is to be a company executive. Strength consists in insulting men and hitting them.

The shock is not that young men are giving up on life, or that young women are pursuing their happiness everywhere but in marriage and motherhood.

The big surprise is that some couples are still finding each other. That some babies are still born. That some young men are still working, some of them doing immense amounts of skilled work, thanklessly, in a world gone mad. That some women are marrying and having children, and not intending to destroy their partners in the courts.

Yes, I see you. Well done. You’re towering giants of purpose and motivation and doing the right thing, and I see you, and G-d bless you for it.

But the people who’ve climbed the pyramid of success, many of them by horribly crooked means — no, I’m still not convinced it’s even possible to vote our way out of this. The fraud is larger than you imagine and baked in already in most places — are insane. They got to the top by believing all sorts of things that just ain’t so, like humans are a plague on the Earth; men are evil; women are perfect; babies are unneeded.

And what they are and what they’re doing is impoverishing society at a fast clip. I think in my lifetime — and I have somewhere, G-d willing — between ten and thirty years left, that’s it, we’re going to be poorer than we were in Portugal when I was little. I fully expect hunger in the rest of the world this winter, famine in the third world. Here we’ll be uncomfortable and pinched, and I’m already seeing people worried about Christmas. But it’s coming for us. Certainly if we can’t beat the tsunami of fraud. As I told one of you recently, the longer the crazy goes on the more things are broken, perhaps irretrievably.

We can’t do anything about that. But we can do something about the people. The men who don’t know how to man. The women who don’t know how to human. The people who are living now as though if they don’t do anything the present will be forever the same.

They look at the trouble — working is trouble, and toil and stress and so is motherhood — and they don’t see the reward.

What they see is an unending train of effort and abuse and nothing to show for it.

Society used to reward men who worked and were good fathers with respect. The same for women who had children and were good mothers. We don’t do that anymore. We treat them like chumps.

And let’s be honest, both paths are a trail of toils and tears. I’m not denying that, to any of you reading this. Yes, if you embark on a job, and decide to do the best you can, you will work a lot and sometimes feel the reward too little. You will wear yourself in it, like a horse in harness, and the reward for work is more work.

If you have children, you will have to deny yourself many times, you will have to protect and teach, and guide them in a world gone mad. And they grow up to be themselves, not what you dream for them. And you’ll always love them, no matter what. A part of your heart will live in them no matter who they are and what they do. And there too, the reward for effort and tears is more effort and tears.

But then there’s that other thing. The thing that is almost impossible to explain because you won’t understand until you’ve been through it. I know that sounds stupid, and I was highly suspicious myself when I heard it, when I was young.

You transform. You grow. You change. The reward for work is more work, and it is a real reward, because as each level of work comes, you’re more ready to face it, and you start meeting it halfway, joyously. You can because you have done. You do because you can. And you grow. You become someone who has this, who can do this, who can face the storm with a calm mind and a song in your heart.

I won’t claim I’m the most neurotic person ever born. There are probably more neurotic ones. Maybe.

But as much of a worry wart as I’m now, I’m nothing to the shivering quivering mess of fears I was when I embarked on this journey. Heck, it was nothing to the timid, conflict avoidant mess I was even ten years ago. Or five.

You grow into the work by doing the work. When I had children I was terrified. I had no idea how I would change and come to face the task with joy, enjoy it even (in the middle of tearing my hair out, and running to catch up) and emerge on the other side as… no, not someone else, but a better me, a stronger me. A me with a purpose.

In the same way when I came out of the political closet and undertook to tell the truth the best I’m able, I didn’t understand how it would change me. But it did. I went from someone who ran posts by her friends — what in retrospect are very innocuous, almost appeasing posts — to have the courage to put them up, to someone who knows it needs to be said, doesn’t ask permission, and shrugs off attacks.

It would never have happened without doing the work, first, when I was unprepared and saw no reward.

Society used to enshrine the right actions in praise and myth. We used to have rites of passage. Not because people changed in the rite, but because the right made the change visible.

We have none of that. We — as a society — revile and jeer those who try.

But humans aren’t built to stand still. We’re not made for comfort and enjoyment. Not uniform comfort and enjoyment.

Man — by which in less stupid times we understood women too without needing to be told — is made to strive.

Without trying things we’re not (quite) ready to do, without making ourselves uncomfortable doing what seems impossible from where we are, we don’t stand still, we decay.

In the times that are coming the men who are captains of their sofa, pilots of their playstation will have nothing with which to meet the challenge. Not even the ability to become reivers, because they’ve never put in even enough work for effective violence and they certainly aren’t in the shape for it (Fifty percent on disability.)

And the women who have chosen careers — or the perception of careers — over children, will see those careers fail, and be tossed into the world with no idea what to do. Most women by training and inclination are communicators, facilitators, human resources people. Even when they’re in other positions. In a world of concrete needs, those abilities are less than useful. Most of them come from the broken families my generation created.They’ll have no tribe, no people, no children, no future.

Humans are creatures of story. Our lifetime is very short compared to what our mind can encompass. Even in the good times, humans need to know how their short life fits in the greater story. “My work will take humans to the stars.” “My children will live on other worlds.” “This church/enterprise/city/state will live after me.”

Those cords have been cut by people who, let’s face it, hate all of humanity. The generations after mine (and mine already to a great extent) are cast adrift in a sea of loneliness, with nothing but their own brains to justify their existence.

No wonder they quit. It’s amazing more don’t commit suicide.

And for those who will say “How come you say that men should have jobs and women should have children? Isn’t that awfully sexist?”

This is the measure of our brokenness and the irreparable harm done to the structure of humanity. Yes, it’s sexist. But nature is sexist. Yes, I realize the work of men is lesser. They don’t get to make and shape the next generation. But that’s because it’s how nature made them. (And no, men can’t get pregnant. Not biological men. And there’s no science that can give you this.) But they can have children, biological and not. They can work, and support and protect and teach their children. In fact, women can’t do it without them, and I don’t mean (just) in the biological sense.

Shakespeare was right, and bawdy. Women grow by men. But men grow by women too. And both grow by creating the future, be it the structures that support children, or the children themselves.

Because you can’t choose to stop. Stopping is to die, to lose strengths, to lose ability and to lose your mind, in the end.

…. so, years ago, when I was working my way through coming out of the political closet, I had a series of dreams where it felt like I was being given orders. I hate woo woo stuff, so it only reaches me when I’m asleep or terribly sick. (Maybe there is a reason in the grand scheme of things for the auto-immune, eh?)

One dream I remember is when I was standing at the edge of a great conflagration, and over and over again, the words were given to me “Snatch brands from the fire.” Then I realized that the things burning were children. Well, teens, and I started pulling them out with my bare hands.

It seemed silly. It is silly. And yet, it makes perfect sense.

Our children are being lost. And by children, I mean extending to the thirties.

Look, the kids, despite everything that’s been done to them, try to figure out their way. I’ve met a lot these last ten years. Young men and women trying to figure out how to get married, how to start a family, how to find someone, how to find work they can do that they can do well, that can grow them.

I’ve also seen our generation kick them in the face, and call them slackers and shiftless, and slobs and selfish.

Yeah, some of them are that. But mostly they’re lost. They haven’t been shown anything worth living for, and they don’t have tried strength to do anything. They don’t even know how to start. And they don’t believe in the rewards, because, let’s face it, the last two generations, mine and the one before, never fully embraced the work and the rewards, never fully admitted there was a good to not being young and crazy anymore.

It’s time — barely time. The hour is late and the storm is howling down towards us — to reach out a hand to the kids. All the kids. Dear Lord, anyone forty and younger who is lost. If you see a glimmer of an attempt at something, extend a hand. Give them tasks they can do. Give them other tasks. Build pathways to sanity and productivity they can see. Give them a hand up and a story, not a kick in the face and insults.

Write and tell stories for them, stories in which they see themselves as part of humanity’s story. Reach out. Reach out with money if that’s what it takes and you can do it. Reach out with story if that’s your — mine — specialty.

Kindle a light in the stormy seas, so they know where to land.


We need a thousand Mike Rowes and we need them right now. And we need the female equivalent too, saying “Go ahead, have that baby.” Saying “I’ll watch your baby and be honorary grandmother to him while you work, because you can’t make it without two jobs.” Saying “Don’t abort that baby. I have a good twenty years left in me. I’ve done that before.”

Because humans are not a liability, they’re an asset. They’re the ultimate asset. Without them, nothing works. There is nothing.

The world is cracked in pieces, and the storm is howling through the cracks. The young are out there, drowning in a sea of lies and confusion that breed apathy and death.

Kindle a light for them. Extend a hand to pull them from the raging waters.

Be not afraid. The task is immense and terrifying, but you grow in the doing it.

Go and do.

323 thoughts on “Kindle A Light For The Lost

  1. This.

    And, the employment is a tough row to hoe, failing and failing to get the jobs and settle into a career.

    But, try to do good where ever you are, what ever you are doing.

    Someone else may face the troubles that you have struggled with, and find something in your example to draw strength from. You /cannot/ know what you have done for other people. There is a for ill to this along side the for good, so try to do good. Try to pay attention to where you are maybe doing good, and to whether good can possibly result from your choices.

  2. I wonder if people would be smart to take it a step further? Assume society won’t be able to provide the safety net we presently rely on, perhaps get ready to provide your own?

    Strive to build up a year’s supply of food, a year’s worth of living expenses in cash in a fireproof box, a means to defend it from those who would take it from you, and the medical and martial training to protect yourself and your loved ones.

    Even if things don’t go bad this year, can’t hurt to be prepared for hurricane, blizzard, job loss, accident, injury . . . .

      1. A coin toss.

        Silver and gold are much harder to spend if the money remains usable and available.

        Cash is hard to spend if currency has collapsed.

        A balance of both gives flexibility in response. Skew the ratio based on your reasoned likelihood of either case.

        Note that “one, then other” is the third option…

        1. Unfortunately lead may be the strongest and hardest currency if what we expect happens

        2. Quite agree, the third option.

          However I’m getting far less comfortable storing money in the bank and am converting such as I can into material goods that can used or exchanged.

      2. if your cash isn’t worth anything, your metal coins are worth whatever the local strongman says.

            1. I don’t think bartering with “lead” will work as well as many think. Different sizes and types for different machines that use the lead. Maybe some common standard sizes will be more barterable though. In my book, poison tipped tungsten wire becomes a valuable projectile in a dart gun

              1. considering the commonality of common cartridges, i think it would, esp for 7.62/5.56/9mm/.22

            1. Well, if you can “trade” them for what you require (at your preferred exchange rate), I’d say the answer is “yes”. 🙂

            2. Yep such is useful ‘currency’ right now, right here. For example it wasn’t long ago that, in a grocery store parking lot, I exchanged cash for 209 shot shell primers that the guy had purchased when they were freely available.

              Problem though, such are far too valuable, most that hae such won’t exchange such.

  3. There is an insanity raging on the Left; a full-press denial of what makes our species able to survive. Celebrate the death of the fetus in the womb (and they do), and convince men and women that they’re not. It has occurred to me (just now, in fact) that perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised that polygamy wasn’t the next “thing” that was pushed for. After all, polygamy still allows for the continuance of the species.

    Fortunately, much of the “reliably left” coalition isn’t onboard with it. I suspect that if an honest critique were performed (and fat chance of that), one would discover that much of the reason for the current splintering of the Democrat’s coalition is that they’ve made every attempt to block cultural assimilation by the various racial minorities, thus preserving those cultures within the US. But the only culture in our country that provides an opening for these suicidal ideas to take firm root and corrupt is the culture that the immigrants are being discouraged from assimilating into.

    1. Of course they didn’t go for polygamy. Not only does it have icky religious associations, it’s an institution that might actually work. I mean, people could form families and raise lots of children, and who wants that?

      1. In effect, we have “serial polygamy” instead of “parallel”. There is no stigma or penalty ( beyond paperwork and legal expenses) for having multiple spouses.

          1. Yes. The only situation in which it’s good is if there’s a mass die-off of males (and only males). And then it must be abandoned before the next generation comes of age.

  4. I have 9 grandkids so far. The 3 oldest grandsons have graduated high school. Two are still living at home and don’t plan on college but don’t know what they “want to do”. The other one just quit his job at a warehouse and is moving back home.
    It seems very bizarre to us because their dads have been gainfully employed since they had paper routes starting at age 10. The parents seem to think that the kids will “figure it out” and they need to support them in their indolence until they do.
    None of their friends are working either although some are going to college. So I’m thinking that maybe the 80% figure is on the mark.
    On the flip side, the oldest granddaughter will graduate this spring. She has her college and career picked out, and has been encouraged to work hard to get scholarships. Her brother is the one who quit his job and is moving back home.
    There definitely seems to be more encouragement for girls out there than boys.
    How devastating it is for these young men to be encouraged to think that it doesn’t matter if they support themselves or do anything at all. Or that you shouldn’t have to do anything you “don’t want to do”. Even if it is a low level job to get your foot in the door.

    1. Girls are encouraged by the schools. THere’s a path way for them. It’s not the right pathway. They’ll find themselves menopausal and realize they wanted kids.
      Note, I’m not saying women shouldn’t work. Would come prettily from me. BUT women should be mothers. It’s how we grow.

      1. “Women grow by men, men grow by women” and kids grow by adults, and adults grow by kids….Subtract anything from that equation, and we are incomplete…

      2. Women are encouraged by the corporations as well. I can’t count the number of “Women and Allies” and “Women in Technology” programs we have at work. Except for a token acknowledgment of veterans due to government contracts, there is no celebration or special program for anybody with an XY chromosome.

        Thankfully we work 100% from home, so I don’t have to deal with any overt office drama.

    2. What exactly should they do? Take a spot in college from a girl when they won’t get hired after anyway, because they aren’t girls? And if they do get hired by some miracle, and a girl complains a boy stood too close to her, it’s his fault and he’s in trouble, and no, he can’t know which girl so he can’t even avoid her.

      I’m going to assume for a moment your grandsons show more european ancestry than my sons do. So jobs are reserved for minorities, you know that, right? Everyone knows that, these days. White boys don’t need jobs. Boys don’t need jobs, but maybe minority boys can have them. Girls need jobs. Girl power!

      Or maybe your grandsons show enough minority ancestry to get hired. Great. They get to be the token minority, who can’t possibly do the work, but gets a job because minorities get jobs.

      Where’s the win in this? Where do they actually get to succeed on their own efforts?

      One of my (black, naturalized citizen) husband’s former coworkers said to him once “We thought you were just an AA hire, but you can actually do the job!” Thank God for tactless small-town Idahoans: that coworker explained the subtle and not so subtle unfriendliness of an overworked IT department to a new hire.

      My sons were/are home schooled. I don’t think you understand the depths of the anti-male and anti-minority propeganda that kids are subjected to. Mine caught it. Mine are hesitant to go to college because “everyone knows that degrees don’t mean you’re qualified if you look minority.”

      Young men aren’t supposed to take spots from girls. White/asian young men aren’t supposed to take spots from minorities. Our entire culture teaches this. There’s no point to getting a foot in the door, and they aren’t supposed to: that’s taking a spot from someone who’s historically disadvantaged! It’s wrong and bad to do so.

      Want to help? Ask your grandsons to come help you garden, fix the house, etc. Take them shooting, take them hunting. Gen Z knows collapse is coming: look at the video games they play. Listen to them talk about the games, how inevitable defeat is and yet the player fights on anyway (if I hear one more word about Destiny someone’s going to get a raw potato shoved in his mouth, and I won’t wash it first!). Ask them what the real world equivelant of fighting on against inevitable fate is. (One of my sons has intentions of being the future warlord in our area . . . well, I’d rather him than someone else! But think about what a young man planning to rule in the post-apocalypse is expecting in the future . . . his motivation for work right now is to lay in the supplies he’ll need.)

      1. Our grandkids live in other states, we have told the boys that they could come here and we’d find them work. But why would they leave home? They have it easy and can do what they want. As long as their folks are willing to put up with it they have no incentive to change. And I do believe that if they had girlfriends at least they’d have some impetus to get off their duffs.

        We homeschooled our kids but then they did go to college. It seems like it brainwashed everything they ever learned right out of them and their kids are the losers for it.

        But it wasn’t until the last few years that it has been apparent just how sick our society has become and just how effective the college brainwashing has become.

        1. Our son is working. I wish, now that he is working a job, that is not swing shift (different company, took less of a deduction moving companies than he would have staying at old company and going to days, plus he was recruited), that he’d be more social, and meet someone.

          Our son is living at home. Rents are insane, worse if you have pets. (Not have cats? Are you insane?). House purchasing costs are insane. He has talked of purchasing a small home as prices drop. Right now, since he’d have to have roommates anyway, at least he knows his current roommates will pay their portion, and pay on time 😉

          1. … So they think that girlfriends should be breadwinners and wives shouldn’t, or they think girlfriends should be breadwinners and shouldn’t be wives?

            I’m sure that what you said was perfectly clear, but my brain isn’t parsing things today.

              1. “He sleeps on my couch, he eats my food, he doesn’t work… I don’t have a boyfriend, I have a cat!” is how I heard one of those situations described.

                That, luckily, was a woman who had supportive parents who’d been trying to gently get her to look at ousting the guy….

          2. Niece ran into two that were that way.

            One physically abusive, probably because he wanted her so beat down that by the time their daughter was old enough she would not see what was happening. Why he is sitting in prison now (abuse of two of his older daughters who got old enough to “tell”). Great niece was only 5 months when this all went down, which was a little over 2 months after sister, BIL, the other daughters, got niece and great-niece out (with accompanying protection orders against him for niece, great-niece, youngest niece (still under 18), sister, and BIL).

            Second one niece did marry. Funny how he expected her to be the bread winner. When he did work, his money was his, and so was hers. Marriage lasted <2 years.

            Niece is now married to a good kid (who am I kidding, they are all over 30). She is not working for pay outside the home now since this summer. They have had a baby, now 3 years old, and niece’s older daughter (now 10). This is the niece with Lupis.

            1. I promised my neice she could invoke “I have an avenger” if someone went beyond limits. Best I can do. Apparently that has been enough. (Grin)

              She is brilliant, and has no tolerance for bullies. Sister was middle-left, but let me private school neice to 6th grade. Best I could do.

              Not too bad a result. Now if I can get her employed in a trade instead of college….

              Yes. I fight dirty. Taught her that concept at 5, too.

              1. What was a challenge for niece was meeting her biological parents, and half siblings. One of the siblings was 5 when she was given (at birth) for adoption. Bit of a resentment that she was not kept when the older sibling was. Despite the older half sibling stating “You were the lucky one.” (I understand it was a hard row until bio-mom finally married, then then again hard, after serial divorces.) Not that half sibling statement counted. Wasn’t anything adoptive parents (sister & BIL) and siblings she was raised with, or any of us extended family, could do except be there for her, and baby, when she finally came to her senses. It was also telling who came through between times when things got extreme and it wasn’t bio-mom and family.

                She knew all along she was adopted. I still think they should have held back the letter (never got it, got lost in the move …) from bio-mom to be delivered when she was 18. (It was horribly incoherent).

            2. “…his money was his, and so was hers.”

              This, and several previous similar posts on this subject, insist on bringing the word “pimp” to mind… 😦

        2. The other part is, if they graduated high school since 2020, that whole cohort is in a mess. The men who graduated in 2019 seem to be mostly fairing ok-ish, the 2000, 2021, and 2022 men graduated into an environment where they were not permitted to do anything.

          Want to date? Oh no, that’s not safe. Close every venue.
          Want a job? Oh no, not safe. Close every place that hires teens.
          Want to go to college? Enjoy your video class and fail.

          Now it’s take a series of shots with a higher risk of lifelong complications for your age and sex than the risks from the virus they were supposed to protect you from or you can’t do anything.

          It’s a rough time to be a young man. Ask them about their interests. If they’re gamers, ask them if they’re getting paid for it, and then ask how the hourly on that works out. Ask them if they’re in crypto or meme stocks. A lot of the boys are doing things that look like playing or nothing to us, but that look like income to them. Or they’re making memes–that is, they’re making propeganda.

      2. What should they do? Do what outsiders have always done – go into the hard fields.

        Math, hard sciences, engineering, and the military have always been fields for the upwardly mobile. As are the more difficult trades. They are a way for a smart, hard-working man of good character to claw his way up from poverty into the respectable middle class, even the upper middle class.

        Skin color, gender, and family connections don’t count for much if you can’t do the work. And the more dangerous and difficult the work, the better. Aviation is brutally hard on those who fail the grade.

        1. “Math, hard sciences, engineering, and the military have always been fields for the upwardly mobile.”

          Not for the last 5 years or so. Have you looked at the military in the last year?

      3. “Ask them what the real world equivelant of fighting on against inevitable fate is.”

        Funny you should say that. It’s what I prepared for, for at least half of my life. Nuclear/Biological Armageddon didn’t happen when predicted. However, it’s apparently still on table. So pull out your prepper preparations; if you haven’t done so already.

    3. And even if you do get a low-level job to get your foot in the door? If you actually do the job odds are pretty good that management will simply leave you in that job simply to have someone who actually works for an extra dose of feeling like the whole thing is an exercise in futility.

      1. IMO, the jobs that used to “bootstrap” teenagers are often filled with hard-working adults from other countries (HWAFOC). They show up. Don’t text their pals all day. They behave as if there were another HWAFOC ready to take their job if they falter. Regrettably, they are often taken advantage of.

        1. Looking at the employment situation in Iowa, the theoretical “on their phones all day” isn’t the problem– the number of federal regulations when it comes to employing teenagers is.

          You can tell, because all of a sudden when illegals are not an option, and the labor demands are up– there’s all these kids suddenly actually being hired to work.

          And they’re good workers, they just were never allowed to be given a chance, because you can’t schedule them at random– you have to follow a lot more rules.

        2. jobs that used to “bootstrap” teenagers are often filled with hard-working adults from other countries (HWAFOC).

          Or older “retired”. Those that did not learn that SS wasn’t ever going to be enough, let alone keep to their prior live style. Some it is because they have nothing else to do. They rarely make enough to have an effect on their SS payments (if they are over 70, won’t matter). But it is enough to make a difference.

          They show up. Don’t text their pals all day. They behave as if there were another HWAFOC ready to take their job if they falter. Regrettably, they are, also, often taken advantage of.


    4. I told both of my boys that once they graduated from college, if they wanted to live “at home” then they’d be paying for room and board. No more freebies.

      They both have their own apartments in other towns.

      1. We initially started that way, charging son room and board. But stopped. He pays for his own vehicle and insurance. Is expected to help, asked or not. But he gets everything eventually anyway. In another year, we’ll be funneling as much tax free (to him) annually as we can, if we can still afford to, anyway. We’ve gotten into the “Quantity has a quality all of it’s own. Where quantity is building up faster than we can spend it.” While we aren’t in Federal death taxes range (unless they drop that a lot), combined we are into doing what we can do to wrench it out of the state’s death taxes hands.

        As he works in the same town. Getting an apartment is technically possible (because he spends nothing, just not a spend thrift), on paper, rents are more than the hard line minimum percentage of monthly income (not counting utilities). Rents are ridiculous.

  5. I wonder if Wells understood that his socialist leanings WERE the seed of Eloi and Morlocks, wasters and workers, nomenklatura and labor, or Tolkien’s “sharers” and “gatherers”.

    1. It’s difficult to know Wells’s biography and read The Time Machine, and not see that the Time Traveler is Wells. He describes very clearly in The Time Machine how socialism led to the Eloi and Morlocks. As near as I can tell he was describing “other people’s” socialism, much like Orwell did, and, like Orwell, was less trying to warn us away from socialism than to warn us away from other people’s socialism.

      You can’t just trust any self-appointed elite to lead you into the grand future. It has to be my self-appointed elite.

      1. In essence both Wells and Orwell lied to themselves that their socialism was different than the socialism that they considered bad socialism. They simply were not willing to acknowledge that all socialism suffers from the same fundamental flaws, because they are part and parcel of the very nature of socialism.

          1. Yep. And FWIW I’ve become convinced that what we see today is not a version of 1984 (after all, BB and his people were evil, but they were also more than semi-competent); it’s much closer to the socialism and socialists in Atlas Shrugged: looters and moochers, with almost zero competence to be seen.

    2. At least, that’s what his socialist beliefs told him was the “end result” of “capitalism”.

  6. That reminds me, does anyone have any good resources for how people break out of indoctrination?

    Seems like it would be a helpful thing to feed into our stories.

    I know I’ve got one character who doubts because the stones cry out, but that’s just the seed, not how they break free of it and establish a new self.

    1. I tried to do that in my book “The Master Code”. It’s woven subtly into the narrative. I even have a “Sermon” at the end refuting FDR’s “Four Freedoms” Speech… Also, I think humor can go a long way too. Make someone laugh at the idiocy of their own actions and beliefs can really unwake them.

      1. The last two of Fascist Dictator Roosevelt’s ‘Four Freedoms’ are on the Bill Of No Rights.

        ‘Freedom From Want’ — everybody wants more than they have. A lot want more than is reasonable, or even possible. How many people want to be ‘the richest in the world’? Only one of them can be.

        How are everybody’s ‘wants’ to be supplied? ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’? Who decides what your ‘ability’ is, and what your ‘needs’ are? They will be your masters.

        ‘Freedom From Fear’ — what are they afraid of, and how are they to be ‘Freed’ from their fears? What about irrational fears? Whose responsibility will it be to ‘free’ them from their fears?

        There are no ‘Freedoms’ that other people have to supply at gunpoint.
        How can imperfect people create a Perfect World? How could imperfect people live in a Perfect World?

        1. Sounds like you read my book already! lol if not, search title at Amazon and the author last name “Hunter”. If you see a cover with a funny yellow fish, it’s mine. Lol Enjoy!

          1. It sounded interesting when I first saw a reference to it, so I bought a copy. Unfortunately it’s only up to about #15 in my “to read” stack, so it’ll be a while.

            1. Well I hope you enjoy it. The current edition is really about typo fee after my thirteen year old daughter proofed it for thievery rates per chapter. At least it got her off her Apple device a while. If you bought back around June when I listed it here on the Promos it still has a few typos. Apologies. Writing It sure was a mind trip for me. And add a few trips to the locale. About all photos and maps I book are my work too

    2. I don’t actually know. But I’m a storyteller when it comes to Role-Playing Games (D&D, right now), and one of the characters I’m playing has this kind of backstory.

      He managed to escape a cult which had held him all his life as a result of interacting with two people. One gave him a name (and thus, an identity beyond just being the mouthpiece of the cult’s demonic overlord). The other one told stories, and whether or not those stories were true, he decided he liked them better than his reality. (Hello, Puddleglum.)

      I have no idea how realistic that is, but it felt right to me.

      1. It does feel right, but find myself wondering why people find it so hard. Is it fear of the unknown? Loss of what connections they do have? Difficulty accepting their previous world view had been wrong?

        I wonder, what pushes people to stay? Why do so many double down instead of turning away?

        1. A lot of it is the fear of being unable to support yourself in a world that is presented as a place (true or not) where no one will help you.

          Made worse by the fact that if you’ve been in a cult (or family wrecked by personality disorders) you are desperate, and people who are users smell that desperation and abuse you further. And the rest of society often won’t stop them, because “you should have known better”. When in fact you couldn’t know better, you had no information to make a good judgment with.

          Have enough rounds of that happen to you over the years, you lose hope.

          Stats I ran across say it takes the average person at least 8 attempts to get out of an abusive relationship. If you survive to make that many….

          1. So a lot of it is simply lack of proper support?

            Basically no-one steering them in the right directions, combined with a “what do I do now?” sort of thing?

            1. Lack of support combined with active malice by anyone else who senses a person they can exploit. Meaning the person trying to break out of the cult, who knows they need help – can’t trust any that’s offered to them.

              1. Ok. I’ll have to think about how to use that.

                He’s a constructed agent, so I don’t think that character would get suckered as much, but he has done horrible things and even without that, his entire category will end up getting proscribed by the victors, so I can see him going into a state of thinking everyone and everything is evil and there is nothing good or worth trying to be good for.

                I wonder if that is that character’s real core challenge?

                1. It’s a solid and realistic challenge. It’s hard to believe there’s good in the world. Without a lot of diving into fictional stories of heroes and people being good to each other, I wouldn’t believe as much as I do. Andre Norton, Conan Doyle, and RE Howard saved my life, or at least my sanity.

            2. Oh, there’s probably plenty of people trying to steer them in the right direction. Problem is, a lot of the time they’re not ready to see it.

              1. Ah. The marketing vs content issue.

                Many people are offering them paths and selling them as good ones. Some of them are, some of them aren’t and typically the ones that focus on developing good paths aren’t the ones focusing on marketing their paths. So they get taking by the ones who are focused more on selling than delivering.

              2. MOst of those people are trying to stir them in directions no longer viable. If you don’t have kids in the 16 to 30 range, specifically BOYS, you have no clue what’s no longer viable.

      2. Did you see my reply to your comment on Sunday’s post, about the Baen Free Library and the Baen CDs?

        Might not be doing you any favors, though — 400+ books could make for a pretty deep rabbit-hole. 😀

        1. Sorry about not responding. Yes, I saw, but due to college & part-time job, haven’t yet pushed myself to read anything.

          Looking forward to that in the future, though, so thank you!

          1. Just wanted to be sure you saw it. The words ‘The Fifth Imperium’ are a link to the Baen CD web page. I hope you get as much fun out of reading those books as I have.

          2. Baen has Tom Kratman’s ” A Desert Called Peace”. I highly recommend it and the sequel “Carnifex”. The whole series is good.

  7. Sarah, God bless you for speaking out so boldly. I hope that you’re able to snatch many brands from the burning. I can’t say what I want to about that here, but I keep praying, “God, we need YOU.”

  8. Given how employers are STILL treating workers, I can believe the 80% unemployment figure.

    A great many employers continue to view workers as disposable, interchangeable widgets, and they demand top-tier experience and performance while paying bottom-of-the-barrel salaries and benefits. What’s probably worse, many employers absolutely refuse to invest any time or effort in training new employees: they expect workers to already have the necessary training and experience, even for entry-level jobs, and provide minimal training – if any – for internal systems and policies. As a result, employees are thrown to the wolves and expected to figure things out as they go. And God help them if they make a mistake: they should have already known how to use their employer’s proprietary, completely non-intuitive system.

    I see this especially since I currently work in staffing: we’ve lost several contracts this year despite having kick-@ss offerings (which all of those clients readily admitted) because a) our costs were significantly higher than our competitors and b) our methodology is to source and place the best candidates for each given role at each given Client rather than having bodies on standby waiting to be placed at the drop of the hat regardless of how well they’d actually fit in the role.

    Advancement and promotion are no longer tied to merit: you either have to know which asses to kiss or else be a Protected Demographic. In fact, being competent and a hard worker can actually work against you since you’re “too valuable” in your current role for your manager/department/division/whatever to be able to lose you. I was actually told that, straight-up, in my first job: I was one of the best workers in the department and therefore any requests for a transfer or promotion would be denied since losing me would be detrimental to the department.

    As far as the generations after yours being “cast adrift in a sea of loneliness”… sister, you don’t know how right you are. I’ll comment about that after work. Maybe. Possibly after having a drink or two or three.

    1. One thing I forgot to add re: employers not training their employees and expecting them to have all the relevant experience, training, certs, etc. at time of application: as a result, employees feel trapped at their current job and/or in their current career path because they know that it’s damn near impossible to change. Nobody’s going to give you a job if you don’t have experience, but you can’t get experience sine nobody is going to give you a job. It’s the ultimate Catch-22.

      1. Ah yes, the “cost savings” when you cut training. A major factor pushing me into retirement when I got out of the workforce was the fools in charge cut, diminished and devalued employee training. I was working with prison staff and tossing somebody off the street into a prison environment with little training on what to expect is a disaster waiting to happen. The last years I worked I saw the central academy done away with and decentralized ‘training’ to replace it – that was also the year I saw two staff loose their lives at work. The folks in charge just doubled down and decided to also push a lot of diversity, and feel good crap without a consideration for safety or security.

        I could go on and on but won’t – the entire public/private workplace has abandoned the worker as an asset and use/view employees as line items and not worth investing in. The public and private work places used to be environments where skill, merit and ability were valued and supported. Many years back I remember a “job description” having a segment of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities that were measurable, concrete, realistic and useful. Boy… not anymore as today it is how to get by the cheapest and what the monthly balance sheet shows. This has been a reflection on American society where the attitude has become how much can I get for how little effort.

        The Family Unit has been vilified and attacked but is still standing – that core concept that many, many of those searching young people are looking for is that traditional family concept. I hope and pray those looking and hoping find their mate, have kids and become what the best can be. This will be the foundation to build on and to replace the failures of the current insanity. Do what you can to support those young folks starting out and the future will be ensured. To quote our host: “KINDLE A LIGHT FOR THE LOST”

        1. Tossing prison employees into a work environment with zero training. Wow, no way that could possibly go catastrophically bad. /sarc

        2. My husband saw several decades ago that the “information economy” was a poor disguise for treating “knowledge workers” as interchangeable widgets. Or as he would say, “Knowledge workers are just doing stoop labor with keyboards instead of hoes.”

        3. But, but… maybe they were taught before being shanked what pronouns the “residents” preferred! It works so well for he Armed Forces, after all.

          1. Ah yes… the move when I left (convicts were already called Offenders) was to change all the references of our guests to “incarcerated individual” and the other reference (all very official) was “justice system involved individual” thus they had the stigma of being in prison magically waved away. The truly funny thing is that the inmates still referred to each other as ‘cons’ or ‘convicts’ and really didn’t care about the magic feel-good word changes. Yeah, get hit with pepper spray or a bean-bag round and you are real worried about pronouns and such. Assaults were up, disturbances of all kinds were up and contraband was unreal but everybody got treated with “respect” and “value” as officially defined.

            The whole treatment programing and sex offender program was another insane process which pushed out a lot of reality based staff. I remember an ‘old timer’ (like I ain’t one) saying that it’s great that the inmates are treated so nice and staff is shit on. One warden actually had as a personal policy that all offender actions that resulted in a use-of-force were the fault of staff. Enough of my rant – I got out and have not looked back. In the last several years I’ve had no contact with anyone or anything from that time of my life. Sad, but the best for my mental health and well being.

            1. The whole point was to destroy respect for the State, and the corrections officers.

              Goal: Revolution.

        4. That’s what comes of letting HR ID10Ts run the process. The people who KNOW what skills they need never get any input into the hiring.

        1. A great many of “staffing” problems can be traced back to when “Personel department” became the “human resources” department. People were no longer employees,, they were resources.

    2. It has ALWAYS been true that the best way to get a raise in the IT industry is to change jobs, let them realize how much you did, and then get hired back again after working for someone else for a while.

      1. When I retired, they hired 6 people to replace me. Company was understaffed before, but did not need 6 people. Now they are officially down 3 more long time employees (they did turn 70), and all 6 new hires, who could not cut it.

        In this job there is no “moving up” (small software firm, even under current structure). I do not know what the pay structure is these days. But starting salary was horrible no matter the experience (it was better than nothing, then later on any other move was lateral at best).

        1. Yeah, when I quit my Benefits Administration job in 2010, I trained 5 people to do parts of my job. Ten years of experience. Trying to give newbies enough of a brain dump that they can keep from drowning.

          1. The first new hire was hired two weeks before I left. For reasons I was on half time. So that helped. (NOT!) I was expected to “teach” him as much as I could. Me? In contrast to what I was given when I started? As in nothing, sick or swim. Luckily not my first rodeo so I swam fine. But an rank novice? (Or novices, which all were.) 100% sink failure rate.

            1. And if they hired someone totally unqualified for the job (but probably with a College Degree!), and they were unable to even begin to learn the job in the couple of weeks they allowed (with multi-day breaks for company propaganda having nothing to do with the job), it was obviously YOUR FAULT.

              1. was obviously YOUR FAULT

                Wasn’t said where my moles would repeat it (they 100% would have). But, yes my response was along the lines “You expected me to take at a minimum of 6 months to get up to speed! I wasn’t fresh out of school without actual real life working programming experience. The new guy was fresh out of programming school. I don’t care how much work experience he has solving problems. This is not going to happen.” (Age 50. Second career under work comp. Prior working vehicle shop mechanic.) I did walk him through the documentation I had written, multiple times. Every time he asked for help. Absolutely refused to do the changes for him, no matter how much easier and faster for me to do so. Added to the documentation when it was clear I was making presumptions (missing “obvious” steps). Added why’s, wherefore, etc. By the time I was called back on a problem (for consulting fee), with the “new stuff” I had been the only one working on, the document was in good enough shape, that walking different employee, a long term employee, through it, was enough to make the change (took an hour, I got paid for 4 hours, their terms). Another issue was brought up while I was there. The answer was “Get the current data, and explicit parameters to recreate the problem. That is the only way I could solve this issue with this client.” Not something happening that day (most clients getting the current data was quick, not this one). I guess it was solved. I wasn’t called back.

                Was my methodology what someone else would have used? Yes, they were suppose to. It was a layout that was suppose to be followed as major changes were made to programs to facilitate removing dependency on no longer supported database access to new supported versions, and facilitate the ultimate upgrade from 1999 development tool to newer (this was 2015 – 2016). (Was it the correct way ultimately? IDK. Wasn’t around for that. Did I come up with that requirement? No. No input at all. Was it a format most of the other long term employees could follow? Um, no, which was part of the problem.)

      2. Our CIO, in a “town hall” this week, actually clumsily implied that because some of our people are leaving for greener pastures (i.e., your exact premise, and the fact that they steadfastly refuse to increase raises as inflation goes nuts) it reflects wonderfully on our company because “clearly our competitors see how good our talent is and want to poach it.” Uh, what?

    3. ” In fact, being competent and a hard worker can actually work against you since you’re “too valuable” in your current role”

      Or, your supervisor/manager approves a nice raise for you because of your job performance, and then a bean counter at corporate HQ decides your department needs to cut costs by laying off the highest paid employees.

      1. After the euphemism of “right-sizing” someone named that move “bright-sizing” – as in get rid of the bright folks who know how to do things and why they are done the way they are.

    4. Pretty sure the only reason I got hired at all was I had previous experience – over a decade ago, but I had it. (I may have left out exactly how many years ago.)

      And… yeah. You’re supposed to be always “on”, even when it’s been an hour straight without even a chance to grab a drink of water. (And when you’ve engaged with even the minimum needed conversation with that many people for an hour straight, you need that drink.) Weather suddenly shifted in your area? Well, corporate didn’t authorize temp shifts in the store, so freeze or bake until someone local sneaks in a fan/heater. You’re allergic to pollen? Too bad, go work that shift where you’re not supposed to be or say bye to the paycheck.

      And yes, it’s lonely. Especially when you hit things like “we’re having an appreciation day for your department!” And it’s all food. That I can’t eat. Forget appreciation, give me money….

      1. I know for a fact the only reason that I got hired in my current career path is because I lucked across a Master’s Program that enabled me to put together a decent-sized portfolio of professional-quality documents. Without that portfolio, I never would have landed the internship that led into my first full-time job in the field.

        And I hear you on appreciation days. My last job had tons of them. They were fun… until the same owner who was constantly throwing them for us turned around and chewed us out for a) not being productive enough on those Mandatory Fun Days (or else chewed us out for not participating because we were too busy) and b) for our operating expenses being so high. The one nice “appreciation” benefit was the office’s built-in tiki bar, especially because we had a coworker who could mix a mean margarita. Lord knows there were days we needed a stiff drink.

        1. I hear that. I made sure I went and picked up the “appreciation package” even though I didn’t want it… I think I can give away most of the stuff as Halloween treats, so that’s something.

          1. Same here. The company owner LOVED Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, so at least 75% of Appreciation Days (and an embarrassingly similar number of onsite client meetings) were catered by Moe’s Southwest Grill. And everyone was expected to help themselves rather generously. I have pretty serious acid reflux. Usually I’d just get a handful of (awesome, to be fair) corn chips or else put together a taco with as little seasoning as I could manage. And then sneak an antacid out of the first-aid station near my desk afterwards.

        2. Heh. Reminds me of a division holiday celebration where I had to finish up a project and everyone left before me, so I could catch a ride with anyone. Turns out there wasn’t any parking within a mile of the venue they booked, so I said, “Screw it” and went home. I had people bitching and complaining to me about it for the next two friggin weeks.

      2. Don’t forget “appreciation” shown with activities and decorations straight from various points of K-12 and tchotchkes from the company swag cabinet too.

    5. ABSOLUTELY this. Our employment system is all demand, no help. Which is why we need a million Mike Rowes, everywhere.
      Husband got slapped last year for helping the new hires find their feet. Now he does it on his own time, which is why he’s working all the hours G-d gives.
      I’ll join you in a drink. I like Devil’s cut.

        1. Wal-Mart and Sams Club training videos are kinda a joke, for cringiness, but they are good training. And they do accessibility thingies like transcripts/captions, and Spanish.

          1. Heh. I worked at Wal-Mart many moons ago and I remember some of that cringiness.

            But what REALLY struck me was how paranoid they were about not letting anyone make copies or walk away with one of the tapes. I quipped that Wal-Mart training videos were worth a fortune on the black market but I’m not sure they appreciated the joke.

      1. And it’s the main reason why I can’t shake my worries that “corporations are evil and the natural endpoint of capitalism, socialism is the only way to keep them from exploiting you” is going to make a convincing narrative for the public when people finally get angry enough at being treated like this by employers and losing out on things like housing from the companies buying up properties to run as rentals and their health from things like the COVID shots.

          1. We here know that of course but we also know how many establishment conservatives and dogmatic libertarians will defend any bit of corporate bad behavior with “It’s a private business, they can do what they want, don’t like it, quit/make your own” not realizing or caring just how much all of this is due to government meddling. I’m not sure who’s winning that particular narrative war right now, though I hope DeSantis slapping Disney knocked some sense into some of them.

        1. OMG. Rentals. Talk to the people around National Parks who depend on rentals for housing. But all the rentals, condos, and apartments, have been turned into VRBO and AirB&B. What few rentals are available, those who work these parks are forced into multiple, way more than reasonable, roommate situations, and employers are forced into providing (for a fee) bunkhouses. Or commuting long distances (and since some the national parks in question, have activity around them in the winter, that is commuting over steep icy/snowy passes, that often close at a moment notice). Owning a home is way out of the question. The only way to remotely think about volunteering at national parks (western ones) are to have your own RV. To make matters worse, the outlying communities are now experiencing the same problem (if employees can commute regularly, so will short term guests, if our rates are more reasonable than closer in). Note the employees that work these areas, do not have the financial ability to handle rising fuel costs. We think our fuel costs are bad (California exempted), I guaranty the national park area fuel prices are worse. One year, ONE, Fall 2020, were we shocked that fuel costs were less than at home, in Yellowstone/Tetons greater area … First time we’ve ever seen that since we started going in 1980, back to normal by Spring 2021. (Might be showing privilege in that I know this. OTOH we do not go on cruises, European, Hawaii, Caribbean, or Mexico, etc., trips).

          1. I was thinking about a different problem, namely the companies buying up new construction in various cities to turn them into rental properties, shoving a lot of young people and families who qualified out of being homeowners and forcing them into renting. There were even gaslighting articles about “America should become a nation of renters” when all of this was going on earlier. Of course all of this is catching up to these companies now (I think it was you who reported on this if you’re reading, BGE?) but a lot of people got hurt by this and they’d be prime candidates to rile up with anti-corporate sentiment and, from there, to anti-free market/pro-socialism without good counterefforts.

            1. In our area it is the buying of single home properties and replacing them with multi versions. Be it expensive rentals or expensive condos without amenities other than outside maintenance (maybe). These are areas that before multi meant duplex, at most. Now 4-plex or more depending on the lot sizes.

          2. I believe it. Papa Raptor and I visited the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia about a month ago, and we stayed at a really cute AirB&B cabin in Durbin, WV. The day before our train ride, we ducked into the Durbin Tourism Office and got to chatting with the lady behind the counter. She remarked that most of the vacant houses in town were being bought up and renovated, which sounded good seeing as how sorry a state Durbin is in (most of buildings on main street were vacant and in various states of disrepair/collapse; it’s really sad to see a formerly-prosperous region on the verge of dying out) but they were all being bought up by out-of-towners and used as AirB&Bs or VRBOs, which means that the locals are being priced out of the area thanks to the double-whammy of rising real-estate prices and rising property taxes.

            1. Talk to the locals around Jackson WY (Tetons), West Yellowstone and Gardiner, Cooke City, or Silver City MT (Yellowstone), Estes Park CO (Rocky Mtn), even Randle, Morton, or Packwood WA (Rainer).

              There is a reason when hubby was transferred to Randle WA that he ultimately ended up living in a little run down RV park in our, then 10 year old, 27 foot Terry trailer (along with 5 others, with their RV’s, transferred in from other areas). Had water, power, and septic. TV and Cable, the 6 of them worked something out to get the services and ran to all 6 RV’s. Standard rentals were non-existent. Transfer per diem was only for 2 weeks and did not cover hotel, let alone extras like food. I went up and looked for *housing. What limited options there were? The owned RV’s were a whole lot nicer and in better shape, bigger, and a lot less expensive, options.

              /* Only spouse who had the time back then. Even tho we hadn’t planned on me doing so. But plans change when hubby locks himself out of his vehicle. So since I had to go up to bail out his keys, I took the time to search for rental options. When I reported back, one of the ramp managers mentioned the RV park. The following Monday, hubby took the trailer up.

          1. We know that of course but there’s still an unfortunate number of people who believe anything from government is free of greedy profit motive and thus more pure than the private sector or that they may not like government but see them as the only thing capable of reining in abusive behavior stemming from private sector greed. How widespread this narrative is anymore I don’t know, but it’s not easy to talk people down from it.

            1. George Orwell wrote many an essay on the horrors of British government and yet thought that declaring that the state was socialist would work magic.

    6. ” they expect workers to already have the necessary training and experience, even for entry-level jobs, and provide minimal training – if any – for internal systems and policies.”

      Yeah… employer is like that at the top levels. The top level contributes to the lack of training and the loss of institutional knowledge by refusing to let people bring in a replacement for a position before the previous occupant leaves.
      We have just now recovered from the loss of nearly all our most experienced fiscal people four years ago, thanks to early retirements to get the employer on a firmer financial footing.

      I’m really glad to work in a department that at least tries to do internal training.

      One of the things that I do to combat the lack of training is to make my own manual for how to do my job. … which I need to update, since they changed all the systems since I wrote it.

      1. Documentation… that works, until the higher ups hire people who don’t have a grasp of the basic functions in your workplace to even understand what the documented procedures mean.

        Then the docs become cookbooks, where the under-trained just blindly throw steps at the wall and hope for the best. Or worse, skip steps because they are hard or don’t remember where they were in the checklist.

        My team lead, years back, told our new global resource team member to ‘watch the system’ while it performed a backup. He dutifully watched the system crash. “You told me to watch the system”

        1. Or if the documentation isn’t updated as the processes change, to the point that the documentation is outdated to well past the point of being useless. Looking at you, Last Job.

          Or the processes were either drawn up by someone who’s never actually worked in the field, or else created for a much smaller working environment and manager refuses to scale or allow adjustments/exceptions to take in a larger environment/department. The Supermarket I used to work at was (in)famous for that: most of the policies and procedures were drawn up back when it was a local chain of corner markets, not a regional chain of enormous supermarkets. Sorry, Manager, but asking us to close down the largest deli counter in the entire company in the same amount of time – and with the same number of people – as the tiniest corner market is asking us to violate the laws of physics and probably distrupt the space/time continuum in the process. Not that Manager ever cared, mind. That was what The Manual said, and The Manual could not possibly be wrong.

          1. “Or if the documentation isn’t updated as the processes change, to the point that the documentation is outdated to well past the point of being useless.”

            Hah, yes. That’s where the last set of documentation I wrote for this job is.

            On the plus side, If there is documentation, it at least gives you a place to start on what’s critical, what’s important, and what is nice to have.

        2. “Then the docs become cookbooks, where the under-trained just blindly throw steps at the wall and hope for the best.”

          See, I include the whys in the instructions for that very reason.

          But if your employment pool is such that your best candidates aren’t capable of retaining the instructions, your enterprise is basically doomed anyway.

          1. include the whys in the instructions for that very reason.

            Doesn’t all documentation? /sarcasm off.

            When I announced to the clients that always called me or requested me I was retiring, the response was 100% “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! You are suppose to wait until I’m gone! You always detail why, they don’t.”

    7. Only thing you can do is quit and try to rehire to the desired position. That does run the risk of losing the job and not being able to get the new one.

  9. In their Perfect World, there will be no need for work. Nor for police, or prosecutors, or prisons, or guns to defend ourselves. Nobody will disagree about anything, or say anything that might ‘offend’ anybody else.

    So, if they just eliminate all those icky aspects of our world, it will become their Perfect World! If you can’t see that, you’re just stupid and in need of remedial Education.
    ‘Progressives’ suppress free speech because they don’t have the means to suppress free thought.


        1. ….I may or may not have rewritten “Ballad of the Green Berets” and “Blood on the Risers (Gory, Gory, What a Hell of a Way to Die) to that effect…

        2. Imagine there’s no commies
          It’s easy if you try
          Just ground below them
          As they fall from the sky
          Imagine all the people
          Able to live free, I

          Imagine no Green Nutbars
          It isn’t hard to do
          Nothing to kill our eagles
          And no weird religion too
          Imagine all the people
          Living with heat and light

          You may say I’m a dreamer
          But I’m not the only one
          I hope someday you’ll join us
          And the world will be as one

          Imagine no taxation
          I wonder if you can
          No need for graft or lobbying
          A no power to the Man
          Imagine all the people
          Keeping what hey make

          You may say I’m a dreamer
          But I’m not the only one
          I hope someday you’ll join us
          And the world will live as one

      1. “In their perfect world, everyone is dead.”

        Pretty much what I was thinking; their Perfect World is already here, we call it Forest Lawn (cue the John Denver song… 🙂 )

        1. “I knew there’d be trouble,
          When the folks picked Forest Lawn.
          Grandma always called that place
          “A ripoff, better gone. ”
          So when the place exploded,
          I knew it was no fluke:
          The heat set off her pacemaker,
          And it went up like a nuke. ”

            1. Y’all hadda bring up St John Denver ♪ Now life on La–Grange is kind-a laid back. Zer-o G’s bad when yer mus-cles get slack. Most bones get soft for yer den-si-ty checks, ‘cept an-y one needs for that zero-G sex.”

              Sincerely, I AM trying to feel shame, or at least embarrassment.

  10. Wow! I really identified/tracked with this thought piece. For my part, lately, I have increasingly prized ‘truth-beauty-goodness’ and ‘faith-family-flag’ values. I agree that there are too many lost and unfocused souls who simply seem to exist without pleasure or purpose, they have become collateral fallout from the chaos. The current contemporary (leftist) culture promotes amorality and anti-humanism, a hedonism which is not life sustaining.

    1. Yeah Monty Python were prophets (unintentionally) in Life Of Brian

      and yeah the level of biological engineering to fix that is a a par with a matter transporter or FTL drive. I think perhaps the FTL drive is easier…

    2. As my father would say, “Live is unfair. Bend over. Three lashes with the belt for whining about it.”

    3. “Unfair”

      “You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  11. “Shakespeare was right, and bawdy. Women grow by men. But men grow by women too. And both grow by creating the future, be it the structures that support children, or the children themselves.”

    I would add that men (and women, too, I believe) grow best by challenge. Men, at least, I believe I can speak for. At least in this small part.

    There is something deep within us that craves that challenge. There’s nothing else quite like meeting with a task that is difficult or dangerous and conquering it. Challenge is how we grow. It makes us better people, more able to face the nest task that life throws our way.

    We don’t grow by easy successes. Simple tasks, like maintaining a proper grooming schedule, eating breakfast, or keeping the laundry done, those might be difficult to others. Newly independent young men? There exist those who were never taught these things for whatever reason. They meet a challenge there, and they weren’t prepared for it.

    The task itself is not important. Changing the oil is not a difficult task for me. I’ve done it hundreds of times on dozens of vehicles. Cooking a tasty meal is also rather simple. Picking which stocks will do well in the near future, or setting a broken bone? Those would be challenging, for me at least.

    You have to meet the challenges that life gives you, and at least try. You will fail. That is absolutely guaranteed. Failure is not just common, failure is mandatory. Failure teaches lessons that success never can. Surmounting failure and trying again until you reach the bar, pass the test, or fix the problem is a good thing.

    Teaching and raising children is challenging.

    So is conducting yourself such that your life is well ordered and rational (or at least tending in that direction). You can be a good example to others, even if you feel you are constantly running from crisis to crisis and failing constantly, if you keep trying to succeed.

    The challenges of life are already there. Always will be, waiting for a man or woman with the strength of will and character to meet them. We grow by facing such things. We grow by failure, time and again.

    And we also grow by our eventual success, should we persevere. The only end to possible future growth in this life is death. You can always try again.

    I would say that we always should. If not at one particular task, at another.

    It would be a fine thing indeed to chisel into the soul of our culture. Face challenge. Fail. Eventually succeed. Solve problems. There’s nothing quite like the rush of realizing success. But you only truly get that if you put in the work to get there.

      1. “This is why “Clean your room” is so important.”


        I’ll skip the gory details, but one of the best things that ever happened to me occured when I was 8 years old. I had discovered a new activity which I very much enjoyed and was good at and wanted to pursue it further. When I went to my father and asked for assistance – not direct support, just assistance – with pursuing it he said “that sounds like your problem to solve.”

        So I did, and carried it a step farther: “Is this a potential problem I can prevent? What do I need to learn or do to accomplish that? Or, is this an opportunity disguised as a problem?”

        “Making your bed daily” seems like extremely small beans but it’s a foundational issue because it establishes the ownership of responsibility. I own my life and it’s my responsibility to do the absolute best with it I can, and by extension, the responsibility to bring others along, be they friends, employees, or offspring, to learn how success is achieved and futures built, sometimes futures in which you will not share.

        I cannot make them achieve it but I can show them how it can be done.

        We are in the process of losing all of that, and have lost too much of it already; we own the responsibility of preventing that loss.

        1. I recall Admiral McRaven’s (a high-ranking swabbie) first rule: Make your own bed. His idea was that one thus started off the day having already accomplished something. IIRC he added that if the day went to Swalwell you’d have a made bed to collapse into.

    1. This. I sang Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis recently (as in last 6 months). It is phenomenally difficult for all involved. You can hurt your voice badly if you don’t do it right. But I grew an enormous amount as a singer and musician. I still don’t know if I enjoyed it*, but the challenge forced me to improve in a hundred ways.

      *One problem was the medication I had to take around the time of the concert dulled my emotions, so the work felt more like a technical exercise than art. However, the audience came away from the concert thrilled and moved beyond anything I’ve seen before, so something clicked.

  12. Around here, I see a lot of people doing this and that to bring in money. There are three or four junk dealers I see driving around with their pickups full of used appliances, furniture and the like, We’ve got landscaping businesses and home repair businesses of various degrees, from guys who pick up a little work here and there by word of mouth to ones with actual signs on their vehicles advertising their business.

    What I wonder is how many of these people are working under the table. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of them are officially on disability, etc. Even those who aren’t may well not be filing taxes on it. Which means it’s not showing up on labor statistics either.

    Also, it seems a lot of them work in a rather desultory fashion, enough to get by but not enough to make a full-time job of it. They’ll pick up work when they need the money, but they don’t want a string of regular customers that would become an Obligation.

    1. When we lived in town 10 years ago as opposed to out here in the semi-sticks now, it was lawn mowers. We couldn’t go three days in the summer without somebody rolling up on our house and asking if we wanted our little postage stamp of a front lawn mowed. We had one guy who constantly went up and down the street towing his little push mower behind his bicycle knocking on doors of houses with their grass long. That old guy was on the grind. And yes, we used his services, and yes, he did a good job, and yes, we paid him more than he asked. Somebody who’s going to ride a bicycle miles a day just to push a lawn mower in North Carolina summer heat deserves a just reward.

  13. Stray thought, maybe someone can use it… possibly spawned by our hostess using the phrase in previous posts.

    I’ve got an idea for a group of monster-hunters. At one point they rescue a complete stranger, putting a lot of effort into it (it’s not just rescue, it’s getting him back from monster-transformation afterward), and when he asks why, the leader says, “We are all brands snatched burning from the fire.”

    As in, practically all of the monster-hunters have had their own brush with Horrible Things, and they can’t pick up a normal life again. (You can’t exactly un-vampire yourself. It’s deal or die.)

    So this is how they deal. They save people, they fix things, they try to live a little closer to human.

    Offering this as one approach people might use to get the theme into more stories!

    1. This is what I have for the Magical Foreign Legion. You find out they’re all past monsters who did terrible damage. “Except the main character, right?” Well, the main character thinks so until…>
      And yes, another thing to write.

      1. G Write more things! Write all the things!

        …Though health comes first. I crashed hard last night after about 2 weeks straight of… stuff. But I think I’ve got stuff sorted to get the next big bill paid on time, so.

    2. Are you in my head? Just wrote a short short story with a monster side character who pretty much lives as close to human as he can. He does not like Commies much.

      1. I am building the world. 🙂 I think it’s coming together, and I’m developing a plan for, “okay, if I get X book first to write the first story, then a second story will branch out to Y area for which I can get the next neat reference book as I can afford it….”

        One development? “Goshawk” comes from “goose hawk”, as in hawk you used to hunt geese for the pot. Well I think we’re going to have “ghost hawks”….

        1. Or you have a character glares at a lemur who calls a melanistic northern harrier “a Goth hawk.” (By the way, Cornell Ornithology’s magazine has a huge article this month about goshawks and why they seem to come and go in terms of numbers. Really interesting and pretty even-handed.)

    3. I have a couple of stories that fit this theme right now. Right now one very old vampire is the loudest. And thank you, I don’t usually LIKE ‘the monster as the hero’ stories… you just helped me figure out why and why I like the ones I do (and why the ones that keep cropping up in my brain work the way they do.) Thank you.

      1. It’s the monsterous, not the monster, that bugs you?

        :bad Russian accent: Joos because you are bad-guy, does not mean you are a BAD guy!!

      2. I did something similar in Dhampyre the Hunter. Vampires are monsters. There are no “good” vampires. They’re ultimate “Cluster B” types. Humans are nothing but food (“Happy meals, with legs.”) Other vampires are mostly rivals. Pure self-centeredness. But some few, including the main character’s boss, after a good many years of undeath, have learned that behaving better–having willing “blood donors” that they leave alive is better than a trail of bodies. And “culling” those vampires who draw too much attention by leaving said trails of bodies is simply good for their own survival. Better for people to think they’re a myth so society doesn’t start hunting them down en-masse.

        And so my main character is employed by a vampire as a vampire hunter.

  14. Frankly I expected mass starvation, etc., after the two years of Bad China Cold lockdowns. I hadn’t considered that if the machine is massive enough, it takes a significant amount of time to grind to a halt even if you throw sand in the gear train. In a way the wuflu was a good thing, we’ve seen the world break slowly and have had time to anticipate and, hopefully, prepare for a (Note indefinite article.) bleak future.

    Nope, I don’t suspect we can vote our way out of it and I hope our esteemed and beloved leaders don’t try to nuclear war assure their control (Though past history suggests they well might, nothing like a war against them to calm unrest at home and unite the masses behind the glorious cause.).

    No matter, we can hope for the best, prepare for the worst, nurture ours, make it through the day and along the way try to enlighten and educate those nearby, -even those with pink hair, tats, nose rings, and degrees in communication and diversity.

    1. Re. my ‘I hope our esteemed and beloved leaders don’t try to nuclear war assure their control’ above; of course I’m not the only one hearing, seeing, thinking, fearing such.

      I just followed Sarah’s instapundit link to Chicago Boyz Sgt. Mom noting; “Why, one might even hazard a supposition that the Biden administration really and truly wants a nuclear war, as an excuse to crush any of this insurrection talk.”

  15. Yes, what allows them to do so is — relative — abundance and technological advances.

    And they’re costing the rest of us. Not in the money paid or given to them whether by government or others–that’s just a symptom–but in the goods and services not produced. It’s an opportunity cost thing. The goods and services they could be producing either directly or through investment are goods and services our society doesn’t have, wealth not produced. And thus we have fewer goods and services among more people, and thus are poorer as a society.

    1. As far as services go…. there are times I honestly don’t blame employers from replacing servers with technology. Back when I worked in Hell on Earth, AKA the Airport Rent-A-Wreck Counter, the rumbling was that that Corporate was going to replace us counter jockeys with AI touchscreens, which caused no small amount of wailing and rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth amongst my coworkers.

      But all I could think was “Well, duh. AI Touchscreens don’t give the customers attitude for half of their shift and spend the other half — unless it was payday, in which case they’d spend their entire shift — in the back room screaming at the managers about how the company was screwing them over for not giving them top-level bonus payouts, nevermind the fact that they haven’t actually, you know, made any actual effort whatsoever to try to earn said top-level bonus payout. Oh, and AI touchscreens can’t knowingly and willingly commit fraud either.”

  16. Kinda ruthless viewpoint:

    Lefties breed less.

    If there is anything at all genetic that makes folks susceptible to Proggieness, we should be done with their ilk in a few more generations.

    If not, sane folks can still outnumber them. Go make one more for Liberty.

      1. Yeah its like they’re some kind of inverse cuckoo. The people that are having kids tend to be devout followers of one of the Abrahamic faiths (and adjacent offshoots like the Latter Day Saints). They are doing their best to keep their offspring in the safe zone. Not to say they don’t peel a few off from time to time. It’s like buffalo protecting calves. From time to time they lose one to the wolves, but most of the time all the wolves get is sore and busted ribs.

    1. That’s why they took over the edutainment systems. They don’t need to breed their own. They parasitically take over ours when we aren’t paying close attention.

  17. One of the things that made me write Flameweaver was annoyance with the general social attitude that having children somehow made a woman less – less intelligent, less capable, less worthy. I tried to put forth the view that on the contrary, it makes you more – maybe in ways that aren’t immediately obvious to idiots.

    I don’t think I did a particularly good job. Maybe it’s time to tackle that theme again.

    1. Ah, I remember reading Flameweaver but don’t have a copy anymore.

      Perhaps, you should release it in Kindle format. 😉

      1. I wish I could, but Baen won’t release the rights to any of my books that they published.

    2. > “the general social attitude that having children somehow made a woman less – less intelligent, less capable, less worthy.”

      Ask them if they’ve ever seen Idiocracy and if it affected their opinions any.

      There’s a reason I praised Fox for breeding her own personal army.

  18. “If you have children, you will have to deny yourself many times, you will have to protect and teach, and guide them in a world gone mad. And they grow up to be themselves, not what you dream for them. And you’ll always love them, no matter what. A part of your heart will live in them no matter who they are and what they do.”

    If you’re blessed, they’ll love and appreciate you for it from the get go. If you’re lucky, they’ll mature and eventually realize what you did for them. And for some of us, they’ll resent or hate you for it no matter what.

  19. I’ve had this conversation with women I know before and they don’t get it, but the meaning of marriage has changed by an unbelievable amount for men in this country.

    Once upon a time, a man would grow up and get a job, a wife and a house. Not long after (barring mishaps) children would follow. A career, whether it was forty years at the plant (and I am from Detroit) or something better would provide you with enough to care for all of the above. That’s how a life was built. It’s not that way anymore.

    In a world where divorce is as common as it is now, marriage is, in many cases a way for aan to destroy his life because it leads to divorce. When a man gets divorced, his now-ex-wife takes his kids, his house, his car, half his wages until the kids are adults, half if his retirement and any other investments…

    I could go on.

    And if you’re going to lose everything anyway, what’s the point of building it in the first place? Seriously. It makes no sense for a man to spend years of his life working for people and things that are going to be denied to him if and when his wife decides she wants out.

    It gets worse. The initial increase in divorce rates began in the late Seventies. What that translates into is forty-five ish years of boys, many of which are now men, who have been raised to define the term “husband” as “the spouse who loses everything in the divorce.” And as much as I hate to say it, eighty plus percent of the time when someone files for divorce it’s the woman.

    Which brings up another interesting point, because why would a man commit to a marriage when the woman standing next to him at the altar isn’t committed to it? Commitment is a two way street and if the woman already has one foot out of the door, it makes no sense for the man to walk into it.

    Obligation is also a two-way street. Every feminist who yells, “A woman doesn’t owe a man everything” is also telling man that they don’t owe women anything. The left freaks out because men won’t get married because of the women who want husbands and can’t find them. They never stop to ask why.

    I also fail to see how women how are abandoning their traditional gender roles think they can keep men trapped in theirs. Seriously, why would a man provide for a woman who won’t do anything for him? As a man who has has his wife refuse to listen to him after he had a tough day at work because, “I’m not your comforter.” I mean that literally.

    And yes, there are some who will accuse me of treating women as threats because of this posts, but since when was someone who could take your kids and half of everything you own not a threat? If we don’t fix these attitudes in this country we won’t have any people to populate it. And that’s sad

    I hato to say it.

    1. ^^^ This right here. That’s a pretty good chunk of what I was planning on coming back and saying, but you put it much more coherently than I probably would’ve.

      1. Also a sly little trick is ocnflating “divorces” with “people who divore.” Some people marry and divorce multiple times. Thus even if the “50% of marriages end in divorce” were accurate, every Liz Tailor iwth eight marriages, and eight divorces, need eight other couples that did not divorce at all for it to be true.

        That kind of conflation of different things is a very common trick used by people with an agenda to sell said agenda.

        1. H.G. Tudor over on YouTube opined the other day that most divorces happen because of a narcissist in the marriage, or someone with narcissistic tendencies. Not always, but a lot of the time. Because they wouldn’t really care.

          I thought that would be hard to prove, but it would account for some of the serial divorces. (The other chunk would be victim people who are bad pickers, rich crazy people, etc.)

          1. Anecdata here, yep. After my parents’ divorce my father remarried almost immediately to a woman who’d married and divorced AT LEAST five guys previous to him.

            (One of which said woman had had deliver the child of the next guy, conceived when she was still married to the doctor in question. Yeah, that “gack! Ugh!” reaction you’re having is legit.)

            I was actually relieved, because I figured a narc and a psychopath married to each other would create their own black hole of drama and he’d leave the rest of us alone. And indeed, that’s pretty much proved to be the case. Ill wind that blows no one good…..

      2. True. The fact remains that it’s still common enough to make marriage an extreme risk for a man.

        1. The average child support that is actually paid, per child, is about $430 dollars a month. (Does not include those parents who do not pay anything, even if under court order to do so.)

          The average monthly cost for child care for a school-age child is over $480 a month.

          1. About 15% of those paying child support are mothers, and and it’s not uncommon for the mother to be paid nothing, even if the child lives with her at all points.

            My sister died with her ex owing her several thousand dollars in basic medical care and tax credits that he falsely claimed. That court order didn’t do much.

            They divorced in part because the father was quite sure that he couldn’t have possibly fathered a disabled child. (Born with club feet.) Ended up getting smart enough to leave when he bounced her off of a few walls while he was sober.

            Oregon still gave them joint custody, and she got to deal with idiots informing her that showed she had to be a really terrible mother, because EVERYONE KNOWS that women always get custody, and child support.

          2. Ah, but average doesn’t tell the truth. The decent people, men and women, are getting crucified out there.
            I knew at the same time, a man who was being fleeced of the last cent he needed to survive by a wife who didn’t need it for the kids, whom she’d dumped on the grandparents AND a woman who was starving on the installment plan, barely surviving with her son, while her husband who was wealthy wouldn’t give her any support. And she wouldn’t make too much fuss, because she was afraid of losing her son, because he had the resources.
            Our courts are a horror, family courts most of all.

            1. Tell me about it. Niece chose to settle (essentially with her ex-inlaws) rather than go to court over visitation rights to her ex-husband because of Oregon, specifically Lane County Eugene courts, are too dang unpredictable. He never was going to pay child support, nor was he going to get custody, he threw away his options, in notarized signature, against legal advice, to adopt (he pissed off his parents to no end). Niece was terrified of ridged visitation requirements. Inlaws did investigate their own rights under the “grandparents rights law”, but their lawyer told them that was not happening. Niece realized that it was the ex-inlaws wanting visitation, she relented. Now 6 years in, the ex-inlaws have their own biological grandchild, and great-niece, at 10, does not want to go where her 3 year old half sister doesn’t have to go (ah the preteen years); plus Covid (niece, who has Lupus, and the great-nieces, are not vaccinated). (I get both sides of the story, second hand, from both sides. Nieces ex-inlaws are my BIL’s wife’s cousin. So I get their side through her and her mother, and nieces side from my sister. Pretty easy to dig out the core truths. Plus SIL’s FB feed and friends are wide open … I don’t dig, but I could.)

            2. Our courts are a horror, family courts most of all.


              But when arguing on statistics, I try to use statistics.

              I considered pointing out that out of some dozen guys who had child support payments coming out of their paychecks at the ranch I grew up on, none of them were paying enough to fund the kids’ school lunches. And the most common reason that they’d been served divorce papers was the conception of one of the other kids they were now paying child support on, sometimes while their wife was pregnant.

              … that is a selection from a pretty low-quality population, though. We had a lot of really good guys come through, but they tended to stay long enough to get trained and get a good reference, and then moved to something that paid better, and weren’t divorced. The ordered-to-pay guys tended to cycle through pretty fast as well, but not for positive reasons.

  20. “Society used to reward men who worked and were good fathers with respect. The same for women who had children and were good mothers. We don’t do that anymore. We treat them like chumps.”

    I 100% agree that the “intelligentsia” (if I can debase that term to refer to such assholes) and their toady media do this. Yes, absolutely. This is the main thrust of the Left in politics today. Blue states and blue cities, yes.

    But “we” as a society? No, I don’t think so. We haven’t changed.

    Those Ivory Tower types jumped the shark in the 1960s. They do not represent us at all, and haven’t even pretended to since the 1980s. Since the middle 2000s they’ve shifted to this all-hands media assault you’re talking about, and declared -us- to be The Enemy Of All That Is Good.

    So yes, on the downside, if you pay any attention to the media, or the teacher at school, or the Twittler-ati, you’re lower than dirt.

    But on the upside, those people are beclowning themselves beyond anything seen since Caligula’s Rome. For instance: the tranny shop teacher with the gigantic fake tits and see-through tops is STILL TEACHING at that Oakville Trafalgar high school, despite daily demonstrations by kids and parents out front of the school.

    Official response? A strongly worded letter.

    “Education Minister Stephen Lecce wrote a letter to the Ontario College of Teachers, the organization that licenses, governs and regulates the province’s teaching profession in the public interest. They have the power to revoke teaching certificates and change rules of conduct for teachers.”

    “In this province, in our schools, we celebrate our differences and we also believe that there must be the highest standards of professionalism when in front of our kids,” Lecce told reporters Friday, according to the Toronto Sun.”

    “And on that basis, I’ve asked the Ontario College of Teachers to review and to consider strengthening those provisions with respect to professional conduct, which we think would be in the interest of all kids in Ontario.”

    Wow. So stern, right? And so effective that BigTitMan is teaching shop today, October 20th 2022, as I type this at 2:30pm.

    Now, we can all see this. The behavior of the teacher, the school, the school board, the teacher’s union and the provincial ministry of education is an international story. It’s in the US papers, the UK papers, probably papers in China and India. Everybody knows that a pervert is openly pursuing his own personal kink at Oakville Trafalgar High in front of 14 year olds, and the government response has been “Let your freak-flag fly.”

    Is this a measure of Canadian society? Did we all decide that would be just fine? Or is it more that the government of Canada has decided that we, the people of Canada, are the enemy? As a person living here in Ontario, I can tell you that the majority of people I speak to think this is -not- just fine.

    So, 80% of young men have decided they don’t want to run after the brass ring and try to get that Big Job to score that Big Money? No kidding. They all went on pogey instead? No kidding. They can’t be bothered dating girls because the girls all treat them like dirt? NO KIDDING.

    That’s what I did in the 1970s. I graduated university in 1979, during the undeclared Jimmy Carter Depression. (The friggin’ peanut farmer has a lot to answer for, you ask me.) I had been promised a job if I studied hard. Remember that? A BA was a golden ticket.

    Oops. There were no jobs for me. I had a BA and I literally couldn’t get a job stacking books in a bookstore. No girlfriend either, chicks wanted a guy with a job and a car. So I started painting houses on my own, not a member of the Official Job Market. Worked out okay, eventually. But I was broke as shit until I was ~30. Thank you, Ronald Regan, for saving Canada.

    Fast forward to now, same thing again. Is this our -society- that’s doing this? No, not any more than it was in the 1970s. Society is just fine, works like it always has.

    So look after your kids, teach them right, and write stories where Socialists and their toadies are the bad guys. Because “write what you know,” right? If there’s one thing we know, that would be it.

      1. Yes they are. 100%. That’s why my young relatives don’t go to school. Even the youngest of them is seeing through the screen of bullsh1t all on their own.

        You will be pleased to know that youngest young relative has decided that Jean Jacques Rousseau was a poseur, and mostly in the philosophy game for the free drinks. Like Marx, but dumber.

        Independent study can be a wonder, can it not? ~:D

  21. You transform. You grow. You change.

    I figured out, years ago, that this is why so many gay men are ridiculously immature. Now it’s spreading.

    1. Second, we DO need to help others.

      “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven“ – Matthew 5:16

      All along America’s east and west seaboards, the gulf shore, and along the Great Lakes region, light houses stood on the shore of major harbors. Along with lighthouses, there were also lower lights to guide ships into the harbor.

      When there were large rocks near the shore, the lower lights helped the pilots to steer clear of them at night. Lower lights were placed along the shore at even intervals. If a ship was coming into the harbor at night, the pilot would see the evenly spaced lower lights. If there was a gap in the reflection of the lights that meant that there was a large rock between the ship and the entrance to the harbor. The pilots would avoid sailing into these “dark areas,” knowing that the rocks blocked the lights from showing across the waves.

  22. As I noted a while back here, the left has the same attitude towards humanity that Agent Smith in The Matrix had; they view humanity as a virus to be eradicated.

    1. I sometimes have that rant going through my head whenever I do help desk work. coughs nervously…

    1. I swear the Democrats are deliberately running the most repulsive candidates they can find just to prove to us that our votes don’t matter. They’ve gotten enough election fraud insinuated into the system to install Zombie Charles Manson.

      Just like they installed the FICUS and the Wicked Witch Of The West Coast.
      When Eric Swalwell farted on camera, it was the most intelligent thing heard from a Democrat all day.

    2. I put a reply here. I could post it again, but WPDE would probably block it again over something in the text.

      You can never tell what WPDE will object to.

      1. I’ve gotten that “can’t be posted” crap from WP a couple of times; each time I reposted the exact same words and it went through OK. Glitches and/or incompetence, not malice. At least in my case.

        1. I don’t get “can’t be posted”, everything goes like it should, it just never shows up.

          If you post a comment, and don’t see it, then post another comment and see that one, but the first one is still MIA, it means WPDE has grokked something it didn’t like in your post and blocked it. Sarah has to go find it and set it free.

          1. OK. I haven’t had that one show up. I have had posts held up for hours, but they always show up (usually after I reposted, dammit; I’ve learned to not repost for at least a day).

            1. Back in 2020 after the election, I tried to post a comment about The Vote Stealing Machines Which Shall Not Be Named, waited what seemed a reasonable time and didn’t see it. So I tried again.

              And again.


              Finally I posted a comment complaining about the situation, Sarah found the problem and unchained my comments from WPDE Purgatory.

              All 7 of them, nearly identical. Leetle embarrassing.

              So now, when a comment goes AWOL, I wait until I’m pretty sure it’s stuck, then post a heads-up for Our Hostess to venture into the Labyrinth and pry it loose with her Digital Crowbar. 😀
              “Oh, no. You can’t-a fool me. There ain’t-a no Sanity Clause!”

  23. “Even in the good times, humans need to know how their short life fits in the greater story. “My work will take humans to the stars.” ”

    This. The German enthusiasts who were working on rockets in the 1930s spent their lives developing the technology…the only one who would live to see men walk on the Moon was von Braun himself.

    I’ve had the same thing happen myself. I spent five brutally hard years in the late 1990s working on the DARPA RQ-4 Global Hawk program. Two trips a month to the West Coast to support test flights, with a flight shift being 2200-1300. Yes, 14 to 15 hours, over the night. Two missions per trip. Twelve days on travel, three days off. But on 12 Sep 2001, the test team got The Phone Call…emergency deployment of test assets to support the war. And they made their names to SHINE.

  24. An eighty percent unemployment rate among men 18-55? No offense intended, Sarah, but I just don’t believe that. I believe the unemployment rates are heavily fudged, but not by that much. If that many people of working age weren’t working, there wouldn’t be enough employed people to keep the country running.

    I can believe there are that many men not collecting a regular wage/salary-type paycheck from a regular employer, but I think most of those are small-business owners and/or independent contractors – everything from truckers to software engineers.

    1. That’s my take too, just from looking around my neighborhood. Lots of little businesses, probably invisible to the government bean-counters.

      I’ve been trying to mentor a couple of young men in entrepreneurship when they mow my yard. Encouraging them to spend some of their earnings on upgrading their equipment, upping their game. I don’t know how much is taking, but at least I’m trying to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.

    2. I’ve read the 80% unemployed/50% disability stat, but for Puerto Rico, not the whole country.

        1. I regret to say, Sarah, but I have to think that the 80% figure no matter how you cut it or frame it is just not anything supportable by, at the very least, looking around on the street corners. It makes no real sense at all if you just stop and look around. We are NOT seeing vast drifts of youths (up to 55 or whatever) hanging about on street corners or twiddling their thumbs on the corners. In fact, if you look at the article @ Nick Eberstadt says there are about 7 million men unemployed. I haven’t listened to the podcast there yet but it is called It’s Worse Than You Think, (#274). It’s late here in the west so listening to it will have to wait until the morrow. In the meantime, your husband may have misheard. Even weighted heavily 18-32 it just doesn’t add up.


            1. I listened to the Rowe podcast interview this AM and maybe I missed it but I don’t think I heard the 80% young folks up to 55 remark. Does your husband have a time or something so I can check again. And I have to say that my observation that they are not around on streetcorners is kind of a metaphor for them being around anywhere including in basements where they cannot be seen. All I’m saying is “Do you really think there is an 80%
              unemployment rate among men in that age group?”

              I’m okay with his premise that the measuring units for unemployment are Depression era based, but I don’t think you can come up with measure in the 21st Century that put 80% (or any percentage anywhere near it) as the hard-core “unemployed” even if you counted every basement video game player ten times.

              1. Look, it’s entirely possible my husband misunderstood, (he does listen while he does other stuff, so, possible. But considering how shocked he was, I’d doubt it.) I know it sounds insane, but… How many boys 18 to 30 do you know?
                Because a few years ago, of my entire acquaintance, most were AT BEST sporadically employed. Enough to tip total male employment? I DON’T know. But it truly is that bad in that age. Perhaps worse.

            2. Remember that 55 and under would be those born since 1967– and it’s not like there weren’t known grifters before.

              Most people didn’t see those grifters out and about, either– or if they did, they had no idea that was what they WERE seeing. There was a couple that I grew up knowing who had their stuff scheduled to the day on when they had to work in order to maximize their benefits, and they didn’t do a single hour more. Which we found out when they had been working for our ranch, and one of them hit that mark in the middle of the job.

              These guys don’t hang out on street corners, they only leave the house if they’re doing something they want to do.

            1. Yes, I understand that I just don’t think the percentage is true. I don’t think it is even close to true. I think it may have been something mis-stated or mis-heard but I am more than willing to be corrected on this.

              Back in the dawn ages of Pajamas when I was the executive editor with Roger the first week I was doing the job and directing the postings and making the postings myself I was hoodwinked by a report of a biker couple getting their 4 month old infant tattooed. I wrote an outraged post and slapped it up on Pajamas along with a “photo” of said infant.

              Needless to say I found out (24 hours later!!) that I’d been conned and trolled. I had to write a shamefaced retraction. But I did write it.

              1. LOL. Again, it is possible the percentage was misheard.
                BUT I want to emphasize it sounded about right from my son’s extended group.
                At best they were “studying something” free form and stretching into forever. At worst…. well, sometimes they worked gig work, but nothing amounting to much.
                Note that this is not “I’m going on what I was told.” Consider I’m not exactly stupid, and this sounded correct to me, with sons in the later twenties and early thirties (And not including my sons, though one of them turned my hair white. Well, both did in different ways.)
                Even if the percentage is wrong, I’m not just going from “Outrage report.” IT FELT RIGHT, if it’s weighed mostly to young males. (And at this point a lot of 40 plus are on disability or whatever.)

                1. I have to say that while it sounds high, it doesn’t sound completely unreasonable. And it would depend entirely on the parameters used; for instance, does “employed” mean only “has a half-to-full-time job working for someone else, with a paycheck and withholding”? If so, or anything close, I can easily see how that 80% came about; almost no college students would qualify, just for a start, nor would anyone self-employed or working “off the books” or less than half-time. Lots of all three out there.

  25. Cup the spark in your hand
    Release it to the night.
    When the darkness demands,
    Turn it to the light.

    Wend a path made of stone,
    Through a forest made of fog
    Carry all that you own,
    And dance the river bog.

    Alone it all begins,
    But never stays that way.
    Together life must end
    And hope comes home to stay.

    Take the tool in your hand,
    No work save comes from you
    Turn your face to the land,
    There is much still left to do.

    No rest yet comes with dawning,
    No prizes come by day,
    Yet home and house aborning
    Will not quickly fade away.

    Hope leads with gentle brilliance,
    Through shadows of the tombs,
    Yet in the heart’s resilience,
    The future comes in bloom.

    1. Bravo! Like Sarah’s dream – pluck the children from the fire. Do what you can to keep the light alive instead of worrying about everything. I know a lot of young people who are either in the light or moving towards it. I married a young couple a few years ago and they now have a young son. The husband told me that after the birth of their son he had to become a man. No more childish (and selfish) behaviors as his wife and son were depending on him. I don’t think he is alone, there are millions of young men (and women) just yearning for a way to a better life. “Hope leads with gentle brilliance” so I hope you all become that beacon!

      Is this your poem?

    2. I just want to say, this is incredible work. I honestly wasn’t sure whether you’d copied this from a poetry collection or not, this is professional-quality poetry. Well done.

  26. I haven’t written my life off yet. I like it too much. However frustrating it might be.

    But, you realize, that I can see the signs of why people would write theirs off.

    Why date? No women in this area are going to look at me-too poor, too Weird, too white, too fat, too old, too small, too much of everything that they claim they don’t want…except that every single atom in their body is screaming that they need it. And can’t admit it because their “allies” would tear them apart.

    Why get a better job? Most “better” jobs in my field in my area would require me to commute into the urban core of big cities five days a week. I didn’t like the four-hour commute before. I especially don’t like it now. And even those jobs would put me in the place of “last hired, first fired” because I’m a white heterosexual male without the interesting psychological disorders. Who mostly wants to do his job and not join one of the innumerable cults that spring up around my profession.

    (Parents want me to apply for a job with the State of California-I’d have at best ten to fifteen years, I’d make less than my current job, I’d probably have to commute to an urban core somewhere, and most likely I’d have to move to somewhere more expensive to promote. And a state pension assumes that the state doesn’t default. No thank you.)

    I’m getting into shape and avoiding most of my usual food-based coping mechanisms. Because I don’t want to have to do finger pricks and insulin and everything else. And that’s about it.

    But…all I can do is all I can do. Which means more writing. More work. More keeping my little patch of the world clean and sober.

    1. And can’t admit it because their “allies” would tear them apart.

      Which is part of why I’m so suspicious of the folks supposedly opposed to those allies, who make dang sure that any of those women who start to step out of line– or worse, were never IN the line with the “allies” in the first place– are attacked by anyone outside of the “allies.”

      It’s the same nonsense as the folks who complain “guys never try to improve themselves” and then complain when…guys try to improve themselves.

      1. I hear you. The guys – hopefully somebody’s troll personas – who go around online basically saying, “When I was married I earned the money, so the rest of the family should have done what I wanted, and that selfish ungrateful nag and her brats didn’t,” are making as bad a case against themselves as they are against the ex-wife and the kids. Marriage may be a contract, but if either spouse (or both of them) see it as primarily transactional, if the wage-earner thinks he or she is buying a companion or the homemaker thinks she or he is self-prostituting in exchange for a comfortable lifestyle, it’s not going to work in our culture, and I’m not sure how well it works even in cultures where it’s a somewhat normal approach.

        Ultimately a lot of bad will between spouses seems to come down to a lack of communication about what the other is doing, which leads to a belief that the other party is either stepping out or somehow not pulling their weight (compounded by the stupid fetishization of white collar work by the media, and its equally stupid degradation of homemaking as boring and trivial), which leads to resentment, etc. Work from home should have been an opportunity for middle class people to clear the air, get a better feel for what was going on with each other, and ride herd more effectively on any kids they had. Only time will tell how many of them have taken it.

        On the other hand, there’s always going to be days where the dishwasher, the dog and the kids all threw up at the same time, and the homemaker can’t resist the urge to be an angry jerk when the wage-earner gets home. There’s always going to be days when the project and the boss and the printer all blew up at the office, and the wage-earner becomes the one who can’t resist being an angry jerk in the home setting. If two otherwise normal people just don’t have those days over the course of a long marriage, they’re probably candidates for sainthood.

        1. If two otherwise normal people just don’t have those days over the course of a long marriage, they’re probably candidates for sainthood.

          K, you know why we know that Saint Joseph is a saint?
          He lived in the same house as TWO perfect people, and didn’t kill either one….

          Part of the ‘problem’ is formulating marriage as two individuals against each other, rather than a team against the world.

          1. “A team against the world” is the only way. It’s worked for us for 57 years as of the 30th of this month; hopefully it’ll work for a few more. 🙂

              1. Thanks to both! 🙂

                We’ve had bad patches, but working through them is what I always believed adults do, even when I was a 19-year-old Lance Corporal with a new bride.

                1. We haven’t had any bad patches. We’ve had a few challenges, but that is what partnerships are for.

                  We will pass our 44th anniversary mid December, this year. My sisters just passed their 39th, and 34th, anniversaries, as of mid October, and early September, this year.

        2. If two otherwise normal people just don’t have those days over the course of a long marriage, they’re probably candidates for sainthood.

          As long as the home and office shenanigans disasters do not happen on the same day (or for us, all 3, two work environments, and home, disasters) … Oh. Right. Those were Pizza days … Just saying. Sainthood? I doubt it. But we are closing in on our 44th Anniversary.

  27. If you see a glimmer of an attempt at something, extend a hand.

    Good advice in general.

    “They’re trying, I’m going to try to help.”

  28. Reblogged this on Head Noises and commented:

    If you see a glimmer of an attempt at something, extend a hand. Give them tasks they can do. Give them other tasks. Build pathways to sanity and productivity they can see. Give them a hand up and a story, not a kick in the face and insults.

    Write and tell stories for them, stories in which they see themselves as part of humanity’s story. Reach out. Reach out with money if that’s what it takes and you can do it. Reach out with story if that’s your — mine — specialty.

    Kindle a light in the stormy seas, so they know where to land.


  29. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

    When was that? 1940 something. And he based it off a boy’s textbook.

  30. So a positive omen is that I read on PJMedia that the polling for the midterms, broken down by generation, shows that GenX is significantly more R-leaning than the others. Age 45-59, we’ve looked with gimlet eyes at official BS all our lives, we’re experienced enough to reject the leftist utopias of our youth, we’re in our peak earning years with the most to lose — I’m pleasantly surprised and heartened.

    (Hi! I didn’t disappear, I got assigned a project right up my alley at work and time to work on it and then I went on vacation to renovate my kitchen, so for about a month I’ve been working long hours, either at the desk or with a hammer, and then going right to bed, and my entertainment has been watching Youtube howto videos.)

    1. I think Gen X has always been a bit different. It’s part of the reason why it got the “X” to begin with – the so-called experts weren’t really sure what to make of them. Unlike the Boomers, they didn’t have causes they protested for. Things like the nuclear freeze movement were ignored by that generation. Even allowing that the nut jobs in the news only make up a small part of a given generation, Gen X simply hasn’t even a blip on the radar. Instead it was aging rockers singing “We Are the World”.

      1. I’ve seen several demographic and political studies that leave Gen X out completely. That’s fine. We X’ers can blindside the b*stages while they are focused on the Oughts.

        1. They are now putting our year in the gen-x. I want to say “at last.”
          We don’t fit perfectly, but humans… HOWEVER we fit much better than with the boomers.

          1. Strauss & Howe, going by generational experiences and attitudes instead of pure demographic trend lines, counted Boomers as 1940-60 and Xers (“13ers” in their parlance) as 1961-80. Friends of mine born in ’61 are definitely X; Barack Obama born in 1960 is not.

            1. Yeah, but BO is an echo boomer by experience. His mom was early boomer.
              I’m 62 and when they include me with the boomers I go “yeah, summer of love, I was learning to write. Wrote my first “novel”. It was 10 pages, which is not bad for a six year old.”

              1. And much of his formative time was spent in a foreign country.

                In any case, the lines are always going to be fuzzy. Someone born in 1960 is going to have a lot more in common with someone born in 1961 than with someone born in 1945. But at the same time, it’s handy to have generational clusters that can be referred to as a sort of short-hand. And you’ve got to put the dividing line somewhere.

                Though fifteen years after the end of World War 2 seems like an awfully long “baby boom”.

    2. Re: “GenX is significantly more R-leaning than the others.”

      By the definition given in this discussion, I’m GenX. I was raised Democrat … well, to be more exact I was raised Classical Liberal. That’s part of what makes me such an Odd – politically, I’m an indescribable hodge-podge of left, right, liberal, conservative, realist, idealist, originalist, and the gods only know what else mixed in. I’ve never yet found a political faction I could feel comfortable in – it’s absolutely inevitable that sooner or later somebody says something with which I disagree drastically, but it’s obvious that saying what I’m thinking in response would Not End Well. I’ve voted R in recent years only because I can’t bring myself to vote for any D candidate, when I know that voting D = voting for an especially tyrannical form of socialism.

      1. ” politically, I’m an indescribable hodge-podge of left, right, liberal, conservative, realist, idealist, originalist, and the gods only know what else mixed in.”
        …. sometimes I disagree with myself.
        JUST remember while there might be no one you want to vote for, there’s a socialist you must vote against. Show no mercy.

        1. THAT is a sentiment I can agree with! I classify socialists the way treecats classify their enemies: there are those that have been properly dealt with, and those that are still alive.

  31. Is this a good place for me to mention that I’m looking for an alpha reader or few? Hermit that I am, I don’t have many people that share my particular interests.
    I have about three projects going. One of them is a straight up nonfiction world history. I’ve been putting up early drafts of summaries on my blog. This doesn’t have near the depth I would like, but rather than a Seekrit Projict, which doesn’t have the depth or the quality to be really submitted to a publisher and may not ever, I will at least have something out there. When I’m asked “What have you done with your life”, I want to be able to point to something and say “This. In part.” Most of what I have is a sketchy outline: I’m working on turning it into a better story.
    The second is the historical fantasy I have posted a few snippets from here. I am putting this one to sleep for now. I want to begin at the beginning, and this is requiring that I go back to Paleolithic hunter-gatherer cultures in Eastern Africa. As far removed as I am in time, space, and culture, I can’t do justice to a story with this setting yet.
    The third is a revival of a NaNoWriMo project I started a few years ago. (Not doing NaNoWriMo this year… after several failed tries, I have problems keeping the pace when my other projects demand my attention.) This is an SF alternate history of space travel as it should have been. It wants to start as a coming-of-age story in which a couple of boys become fascinated with the American manned space program during the project Mercury years, watch it fail its early promise, and determine to do it right. This is the one I want a reader or two for. (Follow my website link if you’re interested.)

    1. Ah kin read a l’il. Mebbe 96 ours fer 50,000 words. G’wan n send quiermens tuh this here address. Thankee. Ted

  32. I’ve listened to the Mike Rowe podcast with Nicholas Eberstadt.

    The episode is titled, “It’s worse than you think.”

    Nicholas Eberstadt says, of unemployed men, for every unemployed man looking for work, there are 4 unemployed men not looking for work. They are disengaged from the labor force. They don’t show up in the figures, because the government’s method of counting set up in the 1940s, the concept of the long-term willingly unemployed does not compute. (This comes around the 8 minute mark.)

    So, 80% of unemployed men are not looking for work, and don’t show up in the figures. From listening to the podcast, the figure cited is about 7 million men.

    1. So 80% of unemployed men, not all men. Okay. That MIGHT actually have been what husband said. Eh.
      BUT consider it sounded right to me, and you get the scope of the issue out there, as perceived.

    2. “So, 80% of unemployed men are not looking for work, and don’t show up in the figures. ”

      Ahh, okay, THAT figure I believe. The “dropped out of the labor force” unemployed, who don’t have jobs and aren’t looking for jobs because they don’t believe there are any jobs out there that they can do.

      1. Or they’re getting enough from the government that they just don’t feel like working.

        The primary purpose of government is NOT to take money from people who earn it and give it to parasites that do not.

      2. Now, consider for a moment that 80% of men unemployed seemed to make sense to me, from the men oh 18 to 35 I know…..
        Think about what I’m seeing, even if it’s anedacta and the people I know tend to be tragically gifted. Think of the waste.

  33. Phew, finally getting around to commenting on the whole thing… Well-put, and very relatable. I’m still not sure how I made it to this point sometimes, or where I’m going from here even if I pull off the move. I’m still very skeptical of this whole parenting thing, too (assuming any woman will actually put up with me of course), since dealing with just the fuzzies (like R, who’s taking up most of my chair right now) on top of my job is enough to leave me drained. Here’s hoping not only that Murphy looks elsewhere during this last phase of it, but that Project Escape actually finishes strongly! Even if I am getting a bit old for all this talk of starting over…

  34. No freaking way ! If 4 out of 5 men from 18 to 55 do not have jobs, we are sunk !

    My 39 year old son maintains that it is a disaster out there for young men. And they have not much to work for as the young ladies do not want to get married unless the man is a millionaire.

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