Consent and Perception

I’ve reached the stage of life where memory of certain past events is fluid and uncertain. By past events I mean things that happened before I got married.

This is startling, because until very recently I could name all 34 or so of my form classmates in eighth grade, and it came as a great shock to realize I no longer could even remember most of their faces. Of the dross of the past I remember maybe 10, who distinguished themselves in some way, good or bad. Virginia — a very unusual name in Portugal — who was a red head, with waist-long hair, and so shy she never talked in class, and mostly laughed at our most outrageous antics. The two Jewish kids and the Protestant kid, because the four of us were excused from Religious Education and had the equivalent of home room together. I have a vague idea we once tried to write a book together, but I don’t remember. (Uh? Well, I was excused because I got in huge arguments, until dad signed the papers to excuse me. I’m sure that shocks you about young Sarah.)

But while I remember standing, holding up half of a banner in front of machine-gun pointing soldiers, because it was a stark way of realizing my own mortality and then realizing on the heels of that there are things worth dying for, I am no longer sure of the details. For instance, while I remember taking the train in, I have no idea how we got home. But I was startled when mom told me — when I mentioned it in a phone call the other day — that staid middle aged men fought for the honor to drive us home. I…. what? You’d think I’d remember, right? And you’d think mom who is as paranoid as I am would not accept rides from strangers.

But further back, early teen years? It’s all a haze. There are people I remember unpleasantly and I think I know why, but I’m also aware some incidents have bled together, and that some things I remember other people doing, I might very well have done, and vice versa. Why? Well, because our memory is organic.

People who have done research have found every time you retell a memory you layer something on it. In many ways all our lives are the Iliad. Each teller who tells it adds something, even if all the tellers are you.

The bizarre thing, though, is going through our family pictures from our thirties, and having pictures of people we cannot identify now. At some point, we knew these people enough to have them at our house, and to have taken a picture, but we could not, now, under torture, tell you their names.

I will admit that most of those are probably people we saw once or twice. Friends of friends who came to our massive fourth of July parties (often getting close to 100 attendees) or people we liked but only saw a few times. Or simply people we don’t remember looking like that. This is entirely possible, because when looking through the pictures, I was startled at how young our friends and we looked. I never remember us looking like that in our thirties.

So, what does this tend to other than “I’m old. I don’t remember things.” (I will point out I remember most important things, and that my memory of day to day is great. It’s more things that happened twenty years ago, that — while mostly remembered — have lost their details. The only real “I’m old” things is the fact I will now call my husband’s name, and every cat name, including dead cats, before I call the son I’m trying to talk to.)

It means that… oh, brother, our collective memory is worse than that. And a lot of it was shaped by well…. the fairly uniform narrative that has been the mass news-entertainment complex for the last going on 100 years, which was largely informed by the fact that story creators like just so stories and had become convinced that Marx’s self-contained, illogical pocket universe was the truth.

And some of the stuff we believe in the back of our minds was shaped by things that happened before we were born, or things people were told before we were born. Or one-line in our history books in high school. Or–

Today someone used “the evil party and the stupid party” and it was one of those that kicked me.

If you guys are going to go with that, you’ll have to explain to me how the evil party isn’t stupid. And if you’re going to say “they always win”, no, they don’t. On guns we’ve been pushing them back step by step for several decades. Homeschooling, they committed a major own-goal with the lockdowns, and I suspect the extent to which people are either homeschooling or homeschooling after school is much larger than what we’ve heard. What they’re doing to the economy is not really intentional. Sure, they think America needs to be humbled, etc. But they also have no idea how shithole the shithole countries are, and at some level they’re convinced if they say block all our routes to fossil fuels, we’ll automagically develop that sustainable energy they dream about.

In fact, guys, the level of their stupidity is that they’re trying to follow a plan dreamed up by Occasional Cortex, who thinks we should ask “Native Americans for ideas on how to live in harmony with the environment.” That’s a three year old raised on Disney level of understanding history. AND MOST OF THEM BELIEVE THIS TOO.

So am I saying they’re both the stupid party? Largely.

Look, there are several things at work here. The people in power now were raised shortly after FDR turned the country into a centralized, top-down polity. More, this was praised in every classroom. And the rest of the world was also falling into this. It was “rule by experts” and “scientific rule” and “Don’t you little people worry none, the world-brains have got this.” To the extent there were victories scored (Against other countries that embraced this model even harder.) it reinforced their perception this was the way we should be.

As people age — and have you looked at the left side of the isle recently? Not that the right is much better. I count as a youngster compared to both sets — it’s harder and harder to change the world model in their heads. It might be easier for me, because at heart, and carefully controlled I’m a revolutionary, always waiting to storm the castle, just because castles p*ss me off. Yes, my spirit animal is Samuel Vimes. And yes, the only reason I don’t do terrible stuff is that I watch myself all the time. But this means out of an excess of paranoia, I scrutinize every model I’m given, and never swallow any of them fully. My main thought is always “Yes, but then again, no.” Or the other way around, of course. The only models I more or less believe are those I arrive at with mule-like stubbornness, and can go “No, because this this this this.” (Hence my belief that fraud is massive and also that we’re now in the funny position — population wise — of expecting imaginary women to give birth. It doesn’t work, trust me, I have several of them in my head, and when they give birth the kids remain in my head, and don’t become real. Sad really.)

Anyway, politicians in general are sociable people of the consensus. That’s how they get elected.

So the model of the world in their heads — left and right — is largely upgefucked. It would be even if they weren’t: Screwed around with by the media and their changing narrative

AND

Screwed around with by the fact that they are in DC and therefore live in a bubble, where no one tells them the truth.

This is worsened by the fact the left has been stomping on dissenting voices for… well, my whole life. Though they used to cancel us quietly, and are only now becoming in your face. And by the fact that social media has deliberately skewed things so the country appears to be mostly far left.

Look, politicians know that they rule by the consent of the governed. This was true as far as the Middle Ages (and probably before, but if I go investigate, I’ll never pop up again.) when divine right of kings or not, there were guilds, councils, etc. for every polity, faction and profession. And oooh, boy, would they get antsy if ignored.

It takes late stage stupidity for them to try to do what our “ruling class” (pfui) thinks they’re doing: completely rigging the system so the same people win forever, no matter how pissed the people are at them. (Again, if you think fraud doesn’t matter, you haven’t taken in the full panorama of opportunities for fraud, from same day registration, to vote by mail, to rigged machines. Or you perhaps think it’s a mystery these always favor democrats. Or maybe you think democrats are angels. And if you think both sides do it, you’ve fallen into the trap of “the USA AND THE USSR ARE THE SAME LEVEL OF EVIL” (Which at one time caused me to go over a table at one of our best friends, and would probably have strangled him, if my husband hadn’t caught me in time.) Sure, “truth is in the middle.” and you know what else “The Brooklyn Bridge is a great buy, and I can sell it to you today.”)

Why is that stupid? Because it always ends in tears. Always. Throughout history, even in the middle ages, when a king dissolved the people’s “advisory” groups and tried to rule on his own, out of his “superior” wisdom, it meant they were in for a hard as h*ll landing.

It might be blood and revolution. Or it might be a lot of little outbreaks, and bleeding out, and eventually chasing the king with troops, until he was dead or fled, and then you got yourself a king with a little bit more of a clue.

Now some of these took a few centuries. And some…. didn’t. And history like communications goes faster now.

So, why are they doing it?

Well, part of it because the national and world memory is shot. Like an aged person, what they remember is not necessarily what happened. In fact, it’s often the opposite. And the picture they have of the country in their minds is already so corrupted by fraud, both of reporting and of voting, that they genuinely believe the future belongs to the left.

Both sides believe this. Partly because the left has stomped on anyone who stepped out of line forever.

Worse, they both believe the blue model is only failing because it’s not authoritarian enough. Look at China. They’ve been told China is doing great — AND THEY BELIEVE IT — and they’re a lot more authoritarian.

This while the authoritarian, top-down, center-out model is failing on every front and all over the world.

People, I’m getting old and some incidents from my younger years are fuzzy. For instance, I have no idea who actually locked the new biology teacher in the closet, much less who had the idea and instigated it. It was probably not me, but would I put my hands in the fire about it? Oh, heck, no. I mean, me at 14 was sufficiently different from me now that I don’t know how the young twerp thought enough to figure out what she was likely to have done.

BUT our country is worse than that. Because it’s as though people had been telling it bullshit stories, and intentionally corrupting our national/historical/world memory and understanding.

It won’t work, because what they’re trying to overlay has no contact with reality. But it makes it very hard to understand, sometimes, that the model they’re pushing on us of what just happened, and why is not only wrong, but upside down, sideways wrong. And wearing a clown nose.

Our saving grace is that reality keeps rearing its hard head. “No, you can’t live on unicorn farts.” “Yep, if you suppress oil production, fuel costs will go through the roof.” “No, you can’t lock down the entire country and still somehow be prosperous.” etc etc etc.

And therefore, those of us who have been fed on pap keep seeing the truth behind the lies.

Can we change things enough to avoid the hard landing that shutting down dissenting voices always brings?

I don’t know. Shake the magic eight ball again.

Situation cloudy and with a chance of waking up screaming in the middle of the night.

The only thing I know is that they can’t win. Stupid and evil combined is not survivable.

It remains to find out if we can find our way through the labyrinth enough that we also don’t lose.

That I can’t tell you. But I’ll keep on trying to find threads of reason, of fact, of history and following those.

Lo, there might be some light ahead. If we’re all very lucky, it’s not an oncoming train..

162 thoughts on “Consent and Perception

  1. I have access to five generations (editions) of government textbooks, two different publishers. The shifts from the early 1990s version to the most recent (summer 2022) version are boggling, and these are all left-of-center in their point of view, and are rather mild compared to some I’ve glanced through. Now, granted, this is a sort of “official story of how it came to be” and they are not supposed to be history texts, but the shift in interesting to see in real time.

    1. It occurred to me several years ago (too late to do anything about it, of course) is that’s why you keep the old encyclopedias: so that you can demonstrate how information, it’s presentation, and what people think is important has changed over the years.

      1. Wish I still had my World Book Encyclopedia set from 1958 (my parents got conned into buying it when my brother was little). And all the various “Year Books” up to about 1974.

        1. Mom & Dad have a Children’s set from the 60’s. I think they got so many years of update books for buying the set, but never went beyond those free years. I do not know if mom still has them or not.

        2. The 1955 Britannica yearbook is on the shelf behind me. I have most of the World Almanacs from 1930 to present. All time capsules. Just looked at our old children’s books. A reader from 1884.
          A physics text from 1910. “You and Atomic Energy and its wonderful uses” from 1949. We have an interesting home library here in Mordor West.

      2. I recall that the edition of Encyclopedia Americana in my middle school library had a fairly exact description of the process of making Nitroglycerine, including why you used compressed air nrather than mechanical means to stir the concoction. More recent editions – not there.

    2. I hold onto my 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica & Merriam-Webster for exactly this reason.
      Well, and about 17 boxes of old books…..

  2. After long enough, what you have are memories of memories of memories. No wonder they’re not the same.

    And like George Carlin said: “Half of everybody are below average. Think about that for a minute. You know how stupid the average person is, right? Now remember that half of them are even stupider than that.”

    If you think the people in the government are above average, you’ve been smoking the wrong stuff.
    ———————————
    The government can mandate stupidity, but they can’t make it not be stupid.

    1. The older I get, the less sure I am that the average person is stupid. Honestly, I have vast respect for the average person’s nous.

      I have very little respect for the average “elite” person’s nous.

      So possibly, no alleged nous is good nous.

  3. There’s a lot in this one, but not sure how much I have to comment on beyond “Amen”.

    On names and faces:
    I’m…. probably at least 15 years younger than you Sarah, but I’ve long consigned the majority of my childhood classmates to the vaguaries of “who cares?”. Then again that was my opinion of most of them at the time, too. I remember a handful or two across all the primary and secondary years, and probably as many again teachers (many of them, I couldn’t tell you their names, mind you)

    On memory layers: I believe it. Just have to watch how things warp when my parents retell it X years later (on stuff I was there for, as in, in the room!).

    As they say, there is nothing new under the sun.

    Evil vs Stupid party:Long-form might be “The Even More Evil Than They Are Stupid party” vs “The Even More Stupid Than They Are Evil party”?

    “Theoretical supreme ruler but not if they want to get anything done” has probably been a thing since at least the Hanseatic League, if not since Ur itself.

    On politicians: Every time I hear that awful refrain about “but that’s not how things are done”/”go along to get along”, I quietly rage, variously, “if that’s not how they do it in Washington, Washington is the ones in the wrong, and you shouldn’t bend to it”, and “the letter of the Constitution trumps every interpretation of it. People in office should read it once a day, or at least once a week”

    “But both sides…!”, c’mon folks, look up this thing called “the grey fallacy”. If I say it’s a dog, and the person next to me says it’s a cat, not only is it a case where we can’t both be right, there’s also no ‘meet in the middle’!

    I pray that it’s a soft landing, and that we end up with something close to the existing Constitution, but with more clarity and perhaps, somehow (I can’t figure out how), teeth.

  4. A pretty fair summary of the situation…This baby is going as a result of massive, cumulative birth defects that allowed the concentration of power in the hands of psychos…and it really needs to go down…But IF we can preserve the elements of family and community that made America work for 300 years, we can turn it into a good thing…

  5. No one who advocates for a return to Native American style living has ever been camping. Seriously, they haven’t. Now I love camping and hiking, but I’m not stupid enough to believe it is sustainable as a lifestyle. Stunted children like AOC have never stepped off the pavement in their lives.

    I honestly long to do a Tom Clancy “Rainbow Six” on these folks, and drop them off naked in the Amazon jungle.

    1. Well, they might have done “camping” like my mother and stepfather did: Apache tent trailer (folds out to include two double beds). Coleman catalytic heater for the tent. Coolers with fresh food. Coleman stove. Coleman lanters. Basically, all the comforts of home hauled behind your car while “roughing it.”

      1. Hell, if they ever went ‘camping’ it was in a Winnebago with utility hookups at the ‘campground’. Their idea of ‘roughing it’ would be running the generator.
        ———————————
        “Merry Christmas! Shitter’s full.”

        1. I agree with Junior. No way have they even been in an RV. Well maybe somewhere the RV rental is pre setup for them. With food. Wrangling and RV from anywhere to campground setup, connecting, is work when done correctly (unless you don’t care about leveling, taking out pieces of the RV on trees, etc.). Not as much work as setting up a tent, which is less work than setting up a traditional tent housing from the people who roamed the plains between the Mississippi and the Rockies.

      2. Or roughing it in the cabin out in the mountains that has electricity, phone lines, high-speed internet, and – of course – hot running water and flush toilets.

        1. Hmm sounds like my best friends family lake cottage circa 1976. No phone nearest was either a pay phone about 5 mi away or a little old lady that was a friend of the family a mere 3 miles away. Running water but cold only DON’T drink it or use it without boiling for cooking. There was a 5 Gallon cooler filled from a local hand pump (near that pay phone). Showers were darn cold but everybody swam in the lake so less critical, especially for males with buzz cuts. Electric was recent, heat and cooking was wood stove and or charcoal grill. By ’84 when my wife and I got to use it for a week for our honeymoon the phone was in and there was a water heater (propane driven) and a gas stove. Lovely place,
          but yeah I wouldn’t want to live there especially year round 75-100″ snow/season average, and bloody cold in the winter . You COULD use it they did for X country skiing, but then you used the outhouse and there was NO running water it had been drained back in September.

          1. “Running water but cold only DON’T drink it or use it without boiling for cooking.”

            Heh. Reminds me of the family lake cabin when I was young, and Grandma would bring up repurposed bleach jugs full of water for drinking and brushing teeth, because the cabin’s water was drawn directly from the lake.

            They eventually got a well installed.

            1. Bing Bing Bing. Feather Blade wins a No Prize. The water was drawn from the lake. Oddly the lake is the water supply for a local town 8-10 miles away, but it is (thoroughly) treated before consumption by the locals.

              1. Siltcoos Lake south of Florence has residences and a BSA camp that draws water directly from the lake. It is filtered. But it also gets an algae bloom that is deadly and neither filtering nor treatment work. Not every year. When it happens it is a huge deal.

                1. Wait—Camp Baker has to shut down every so often due to algae blooms?

                  This is actually relevant information. My kids’ troops aren’t going there next summer, but it’s been on the table for both of them… and knowing that a backup plan is required just in case is a good thing to have in the back of the brain.

                  1. Re: Baker. Don’t think it has ever happened when summer camp is in session. But they have had to stop reservation usage when the bloom happened. It does not happen regularly. But it can.

                    https://www.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2007/09/algae_bloom_in_coastal_lake_is.html

                    Being in Eugene, the troop we were involved in, used Baker regularly. Not only summer camp, but weekend camping during the winter as well. It is a great location for first campout for scouts just crossed over, or invite cubs and parents.

                    Note, we haven’t been involved with the troop now for 12 – 15 years when we phased out as our scout graduated from HS and left for college.

    2. Seriously – and never read first-hand 18th and 19th century accounts of how an Indian encampment looked, after a couple of weeks or months? There were a reason that many of the hunter-gathering tribes moved on … after the grass, water and wood were exhausted … and think of the garbage disposal and sanitation …

      1. No, but I read Drake and Stirling’s description of the Skinners and their camps in the Raj Whitehall books; does that count?

        Ewwwwwww.

      1. Ditto. We’ve given up the RV, to do the *hotel stays instead. But we haven’t given away tents, sleeping bags, or backpacks. The plural on tents is not a mistype.

        Oh. I think I’ll add to my original comment. Not only has AOC and cohorts not been camping, be it tent, RV, or cabin. It wouldn’t surprise me it they think the Hilton is “slumming”. Just saying.

        (*) I’ve mentioned before that, for us, the costs even out, especially with fuel as high as it has been.

        1. Be fair to AOC. She used to be a bartender. I suspect that she is well aware that the Hilton is not “slumming’. Whether she would walk in the door of one now is another question.

    3. I remember the writer with two characters, one wounded, in a snowstorm but a shelter, and the wounded one was on the ground, and the other character was careful about blankets ON TOP.

    4. My son’s troop has started backpacking. I’ve been (legitimately) busy the two times they’ve gone, but I’m afraid I’ll end up going on some trip or another, simply because they’re trying to get my daughter’s troop backpacking as well, and I’m a female leader.

      I do have a super-nice fitted backpack, though. Not an Osprey, because those straps attacked me at an angle, but a Deuter. I have a loooong back.

      Anyway. I’d love to talk with some of these people while on a training hike. “And here’s your water. Yes, you need that much. Why? Because it’s six miles to the next water location, and we’ll have to filter that after we’ve crossed the mud to it. On that note, don’t forget your extra shoes and socks.”

      1. I went backpacking with the troop a lot (especially ’02 – ’05 when hubby was assigned to Randle for work. Plus summers he couldn’t get off work *reliably.) My backpack is 43 years old (purchased at Portland REI in ’79. Hubby’s backpack is probably 55+ years old. Been using it since he was 14 or so.) The only trips I did not go on were the winter snow trips.

        Note. Troop not only went over packing requirements, not only what, but why, with the scouts and parents. There were pack inspections for campouts, especially for backpacking outings without fail. Then the packs were locked at in the garage of the scoutmaster. All the scout needed to bring then were themselves, what they were wearing to start, and dinner/lunch for the first day (eaten at jump off point, garbage policed). What troop should have done, was do the same for some of the adult volunteers going on the hike (I swear!). Note, my pack weight loaded (without food or water) ran 20 – 22#s. Fully loaded was around 32 – 35# at the start, for a week, including full tent.

        McKenzie Passes, Willamette Pass, and the coast range, is all but in our backyards. North Umpqua isn’t that far either.

        (*) They could say “no” at the last minute. Could not even take leave w/o pay. He forced the issue for the trip to Philmont. But otherwise, we needed him to have a job.

        1. That’s where the training hikes come in handy. As for tents, what they do is they use the troop tents, but split them in between two people. One gets the poles and one gets the tent, and they’re pretty balanced.

          There was a grandma who went on the last backpacking trip, well experienced, and she had the best setup of everyone.

          1. Share troop tents. That is what the most the scouts do. Older scouts, Eagle junior assistant scoutmasters, have the option to use personal tents. Adults, spouses or same gender, can share personal tents. Hubby and I do, when we both went. But most don’t.

            I actually looked into getting a new pack. But other than going with (super expensive) the newer “light fast packing” type backpack, the interior packs are heavier than my exterior frame 43 year old backpack. All I really needed was to add an oversized rain cover and replace the shoulder/hip belts (I might be a tad lot heavier). Sleeping bags are also 43 years old (I should get the “women”, and correct (short) length, version, but haven’t). Hubby’s feathered filled pack (rarely used, just too hot) is closer to 55 years old. Not all our gear is 43+ years old (no way can I wear clothing from that time period). A lot of the older “heavier” (cook/*tent) gear has been donated (most to the troop) for Titanium versions (pay for ounces less). Which is why my week pack, minus food, and water, is ~20#s, and after weight barely over 30#s (most of that is water, 2 – 3 liters). Naturally all of son’s gear is newer (earned, either own money or rewards).

            (*) Tents wear out. Especially youth used ones. Our old one was in good shape. But a tent with two doors? No more climbing over hubby to get up in the middle of the night? Heck yes. Plus we went from two person tent to three person tent. Hubby still had to sleep crosswise but at least that leaves me with one full person length in the tent. Yes the “bigger” tent was lighter than the old one … by ounces, still lighter.

  6. BUT our country is worse than that. Because it’s as though people had been telling it bullshit stories, and intentionally corrupting our national/historical/world memory and understanding.

    This is, perhaps, my biggest concern about the future. As you have sorted out, and I confimr from the class I took in Cultural Anthropology (specifically the section on “revitalization movements”) a society under stress tends to return to its founding myths and ideals.

    The left has been assiduously working to change those myths and ideals in highly corrosive ways. I can see that ending very badly indeed, either from a “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” in repudiating their version, or, perhaps worse, in accepting said “revised” stories.

    In any case, we’re in for a bumpy ride, whichever direction in which this handbasket is going.

    1. Thing is, the left looks to the official truth to warp, and to media.

      Oral history, oral culture, they have less influence over.

      We don’t really know what that is for everyone, nor what they will draw from it.

    2. I look at Extinction Rebellion et al as a modern Ghost Dance/Münster Anabaptists/Xhosa Cattle killing. The pattern repeats over and over and over when there is a lot of cultural stress.

  7. It turns out I have talents that will be quite handy in this mess: “No” is my default, and I have an oversized ability for pushback. Especially when something I love is being destroyed, like the Republic.

    I had to really work and pray this weekend to not give up and walk away from everything. What a mess, and we’re waiting for a rich freak (Musk) to release information on the corruption so we can despair when the uniparty does nothing but hide the details or talk us to death.

    And yet! And yet, we stand. Together. Looking around at stuff that makes no sense, then shaking hands and running for the sounds of battle.

    More American than ever is what we shall become. I read that somewhere. 🙂

    1. “More American than ever is what we shall become.” Keep following that star. It will guide us.

      1. “Keep following that star. It will guide us.”

        IMO, Sarah’s inspired story from Saturday was not a coincidence, nor an accident.
        BTW – today’s post is also inspired and inspirational, and very perceptive – as usual.

  8. My spirit animals are Granny Weatherwax and St. Theresa of Avila.

    As a rule, people don’t mess with me.
    On the off chance they do, I am fully prepared to spend eternity praying for what’s left of their souls.

    But I am willing to make an exception for the current Powers that Be. God can sort ’em out without my offering an opinion on their worthiness.

  9. Today someone used “the evil party and the stupid party” and it was one of those that kicked me.

    If you guys are going to go with that, you’ll have to explain to me how the evil party isn’t stupid.

    Simple, just because they are evil and stupid doesn’t mean evil isn’t their defining characteristic.

    As for the other, either stupid or backstabbing is their defining characteristic.

    1. Or, to cite the first Jack Reacher novel, how do you tell the two blonde waitresses apart when they are close enough in looks to be sisters?

      One has glasses.

      Evil is just the glasses. It’s how you tell them apart.

  10. The boot stamping on the human face forever is made by the same folks who made the Russian tires.

    Was reading that it looks like the JCPA is going to pass. Some folks are saying it lets the left solidify their power, but I suspect all it is really doing is preserving the illusion of control a little bit longer, and making the final fall that much uglier.

    I don’t what comes next. Both sides seem to have come to view the other as not human and immutable, but I don’t see how we can soft land this with out converting people from the other side. The NPC meme was popularized on the right by someone who believes free will is a myth.

    1. No more a myth than Christianity.

      “The problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” — Ambrose Bierce

      So with free will.

        1. I know I’ve seen that quote in “The Devil’s Dictionary”….. but you’re right.

          1. Bierce’s definition for “Christian” was, “One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.”

            Some of his definitions are well off the mark, but that’s a nasty one.

  11. I agree that the policies of the Evil Party would be stupid if they were intended to create a healthy and wealthy populace. They are not. They are intended to make the ruling class more and more powerful.

    The reason that Red China is such an inspiration to them is that RC has literally created mass famines and has remained in power. A case could be made that they have achieved world hegemony, not by military might, but by buying the political elite of the USA.

    1. How much control the Chinese government has over our own is a bit of a question mark. Every time something happens that seems to suggest our officials are Chinese pawns, they turn around and do something like go after TikTok. It’s something of a confused muddle, from what I can see.

      1. Well, the NeverTrumpers support war against everyone, from African bandits to Iran and Syria, to a nuclear-armed Russia. Everyone EXCEPT China, our most powerful enemy and the originator of a biological attack on our nation. You think they’re not on the take?

        1. Heck, pick the Wall Street Journal any week for the last 30 years and there was an article saying “Outsourcing to China good; tariffs on China Bad.”

          1. The Reader sighs. He has been reading the WSJ since before that became a weekly occurrence. They now also pump ‘green’ energy weekly.

        2. Again, the government keeps flip-flopping on China. And I’m not talking about from 2017 to 2020. I’m talking about the group that’s currently running the government. For instance, just last month the FCC banned sales by Huawei and other Chinese tech firms.

          China has influence within our government. But that influence isn’t total.

    2. Then they are doubly stupid. A ruling class can only get so much above the base population before it hits its limit.

      Consider Gorbachev (IIRC) at K-mart. Working class Americans had access to goods that even the Politburo did not, mostly because the base population of Russia was poor.

  12. As for China…

    It’s hard to say what level the protests are at, given China’s censorship. The sale of A4 paper has been blocked in many cities, though not all. You must take your phone pretty much everywhere with you when you leave your apartment (in many apartment buildings, your phone apparently functions as the equivalent of an electronic key to let you in and out; and if you’ve got a red COVID code, you’re not getting out), and your phone tracks everywhere you go. If you’re at a known unregistered protest (even if you just happen to be passing by), your COVID code might turn yellow or even red. If you’re sitting in a subway, the cops might board, demand the phones of everyone present, and inspect them for illegal VPNs or selfies taken at protests. In at least one instance, when a woman complained on the neighborhood social media page about a COVID-related barrier in a particularly inconvenient location in the neighborhood (i.e. typical low-level griping), cops visited her apartment and beat up her husband in front of their kids (she was away at the time). It got caught on the apartment’s internal security camera, which is how we know about it.

    The problem for change in China is that it doesn’t look like the cops are at the “too scared to get involved” stage. And that stage is pretty much a requirement for these protests to be successful. Since someone’s going to suggest it, ambushing cops making a house call is not the solution at this time. That would merely invite a fierce and violent reprisal from the authorities, and might well shock the local protestors to the point where they draw back a bit.

    The CCP is clearly attempting to lock things down to limit the ability of protestors to go out and protest. And it’s also aggressively going after at least some of those involved (note that I doubt anyone knows what percentage of the population is involved in these protests). Meanwhile, the CCP is circulating rumors that it’s easing off on the Zero COVID policies, while simultaneously building massive numbers of new quarantine barracks (basically, single-man pods roughly the size of a jail cell). A part of me suspects that these are intended to eventually serve a dual purpose as reeducation camps after the expected defeat of COVID.

    The success of the protests at this time depends on the ability of the protestors to weather the current response until the government is forced to shift it. My suspicion is that these protests are ultimately doomed to fail in their goals, though I’ll be quite happy if I’m pleasantly surprised.

    1. The success of the protests at this time depends on the ability of the protestors to weather the current response until the government is forced to shift it. My suspicion is that these protests are ultimately doomed to fail in their goals, though I’ll be quite happy if I’m pleasantly surprised.

      There is a key point that your analysis is missing: if your choices are “quietly starve” or “take a chance with the police” the decisions become very different.

      1. The WEF-tards are trying their best to put everyone in that position.

        I’m not sure they will like what happens next…

        1. The WEF-tards may have figured out that in a sufficiently urbanized and technic society, they can do too much damage to recover from. Which is why I keep thinking that the NC power strike was a gentle reminder of how fast they can reduce US to 18th century tech while keeping 21st for themselves.

          1. The WEF-tards and their fellow travelers are largely concentrated in large cities. Attacks on the infrastructure supporting the cities will bite them hard. Imagine NYC, DC, LA, SF without power for a week or more.

            1. That’s why I put the death toll of this crap going hot at a couple dozen million, MINIMUM.

              A few dozen guys moving rapidly from one substation to the next shooting out transformers could cripple a city. Do that to somewhere like LA in the summer, and there flat out won’t be enough water for much of the population.

              Maybe federal intervention could help, but not if the same thing happened in a half dozen cities simultaneously. We’re talking about what, a few dozen guys with vehicles and rifles?

              1. Bite your tongue. I don’t talk about such scenarios (and yes, I do think them out), because someone might DO them and I don’t want to give them ideas.

                (I’m of the “want to know the worst” reassurance type. Let me figure out the worst-case scenarios and I feel better overall, like I can plan for them.)

      2. The Chinese citizens haven’t reached the “quietly starve” stage yet. There have been instances of people starving to death in their apartments during the lockdown, or otherwise dying due to being trapped inside. But those seem to be isolated (if horrific) occurrences so far.

        That might change given the complete logistical incompetence that the government is showing. But unless the current spate of protests runs for at least several months (unlikely, imo, though possible), mass starvation will only be a topic for a distinctly future round.

        1. China is rapidly approaching a famine, and many of the CCP’s actions over the last couple years has been increasingly desperate measures to secure food supplies.

          It will take very few dominoes falling over to get there.

          1. Again, that’s almost certainly going to be a new round of protests, and not the current round.

      3. And “take a chance with the police” does not have to be at your abode. Consider Matt Bracken’s “What I Saw at the Coup” – there is always an outermost ring of flunkies who can be attacked successfully in a location not tied to you.

  13. “The only real “I’m old” things is the fact I will now call my husband’s name, and every cat name, including dead cats, before I call the son I’m trying to talk to.”

    Thank you for bringing a smile to my face while dusting off a favorite memory. I always judged how mad at me Dad was by him calling me by my sister’s, brother’s and every dog we ever owned name. If he hit all those and ended with “BOY!!!” I knew I was in for it.

    1. Littlest sister swore her name was four long, by the time mom went through my name, middle sister’s, her first and middle names, usually followed by “whatever your name is”. Naturally the other two of us also had 4 names, not starting with our actual names, but ending with our first and middle. Yep, 3 girls. No boys. Closest brothers we have are dad’s youngest two siblings, uncles, just a few years older than I am.

  14. One thing about BOTH parties is just how little they know about the American people.

    Example: I see some more or less conservative, but leaning elitist, sites saying that “nothing is worse than being thought racist.” Uh, no. Compared to being thought a child molester or a rapist, that isn’t even in the running. Most working class people I meet put simple racism, i.e., not slavery or segregation, just openly looking down on other races, to be either (a) like adultery, that is, legitimately harmful, but not something you would usually end friendships over; or (b) like picking your nose in public, i.e., gross and inconsiderate but essentially harmless.

    Another example is the concept of “moving to the political center.” This could be theoretically helpful, IF these people had a clue about the average voter. In practice, it often ends up pissing people off twice as much. Case in point: John Weaver, who we now know to be a pedophile, was big on pushing his friend John McCain to support gun control. If he had pushed him to oppose right to work legislation it might have actually caught on, because such legislation is not popular with working class voters, whether or not it’s beneficial. But no, he wanted to move to the center by going after rights that are a big deal to most Americans. To date I have never seen anyone say, “The Republicans sold my Second Amendment rights down the river, but dammit, I’m still voting for them because I love bankruptcy reform so much.”

    1. I’m kinda beyond giving a rat’s ass if people think I’m racist. Because I know I’m not. But at the same time, there’s nothing racist about publishing verifiable crime statistics that point at who commit the majority of crimes, or what races are usually the perps/victims in murders, or even simply noting that the majority of media owners are Jewish. That’s a fact. It’s when you start extrapolating those facts in certain ways (hi, Kanye) that you become racist. But it’s not racist to bring up facts.

          1. This! This exactly!

            In fact, if I do remember J Random Person, odds are it’s because I specifically hate your guts. And want nothing more than to avoid you and live in peace the rest of my life.

            This is, fortunately, a small subset of people; some relatives. Mostly, though, my mother’s coworkers – who all claimed to be great friends with her, but cut all contact once they knew she was terminal. (The less said about what happened posthumous, the better.) And now years later, every time they run into me they ask, “aren’t you so-and-so’s child? We were such good friends….!”

            I generally answer with, “You must have mistaken me for someone else.”

            Yeah. I have neither time nor patience for group-hatred. It’s ridiculous.

          2. Facial recognition is NOT my strong suit. I suspect it comes from my good eye being about 20/50 as a child. I tend to hone in on voices. Talk to me and your name will likely come to me (Note: doesn’t work for males I did not know well after they passed through puberty, sound is wrong 🙂 ). Present your face and my brain waffles.

          3. Exactly. I have to see someone regularly to remember them by appearance. I have to have a list of names to remember names. I am horrible at it.

            I know I am not the only one. When Pepper & I were taking Agility classes, I knew the instructors name. Everyone else? I knew by their dogs name. They were the same with me. Primarily because people to people names were brought up when a new student started in the class during introductions around. Then not again until someone else new joined (which meant someone else dropped out). Which wasn’t very often. But every single class, multiple times a class, their dogs names were called out as each took their turn running the exercises presented for that class.

            The Pack Walk we were involved in (pre pandemic) it was the same. Knew most the dogs names whether they were there every Saturday or not. Their owners names? Except for the person who put them on? Not a clue. Only with the pack walk, there were 3 other Pepper’s. But my Pepper was one of the few small dogs, so she became “lil Pepper”.

            1. My family keeps an obscure breed of livestock guardian dogs (Hungarian Kuvasz; think “dainty Great Pyrenees with curls”), and we used to get together with other Kuvasz owners for picnics a couple times a year. Once we had Yoshi, New Yoshi, and BIG YOSHI. Kuvasz typically have streamlined faces, but Big Yoshi had JOWLS and looked like an albino St. Bernard. If he’d spoken, he would’ve been voiced by James Earl Jones.

                    1. I’m not that industrious either, though if we’d had a couple more years with Bear the Enormous, I might’ve reconsidered. Bags and bags of undercoat, every May like clockwork.

          4. That’s why I’ve already decided that if we ever meet, I will be wearing a large-print Posner is a Moron tshirt.

    2. If you’re worried about being called “racist” (a term whose meaning changes daily), you’ve already surrendered to the enemy….

  15. It takes a long time for academic knowledge to trickle down to popular belief. I don’t think it was by-design, but I was raised on The Enlightenment and discoverable, objective truth. In that milieu, a technocracy seems do-able. I still fight with myself over it.

    Since then, “it’s all relative” has pushed it’s way into the world. Somehow, that did not render the idea of centralized control obsolete. If my lived experience trumps your knowledge, what is a bureaucrat to do? I believe this is a cognitive dissonance thing with the two ideas in conflict and applying to different domains.

    The part of the academy that has not fallen off the deconstructionist cliff has since moved on to resilient distributed systems, which have not gotten into the Zeitgeist, yet.

    I find it very interesting that our republican government is exactly that sort of system.

  16. So Mitch McConnell has apparently caved to Nancy Peelousy and is going to let the outgoing Democrats attach the “Journalism Competition and Protection Act”–hint, it only protects journalists and blocks competition–to not just any bill, but the National Defense Authorization Act. Think about that. They are not only attaching something completely unrelated to the NDAA, but they’re going to be able to say “Don’t you want defense spending? Protect lying liberal journalists or no defense!” As I posted over on Breitbart about this article, “This is how revolutions start. And revolutions almost always turn violent. And when they turn violent, NOBODY can control where they go or what happens next.”

    Anyway, on the vagaries of memory…I got a package from my brother and sister-in-law today. In it was my high school class ring from 1982. I still don’t know the entire story of where and how they found it, but there it was. And the funny thing was, I could’ve SWORN that it had a garnet-colored stone because my high school’s colors were garnet and gray. Nope. It’s a nice blue amethyst, which is my birthstone. Go figure.

    1. Apparently Facebook is going nuclear over it. They’re saying if it passed they may withdraw all news content.

      Also, foreign powers can get into the cartel so long as they partner with a US firm.

        1. Oh I believe it. But it would be somewhat hilarious if the actual effect is to replace what most average people see from the major news conglomerate to non-cartel freelancers.

          1. I don’t think they can shut us or PJM or….I’m fairly sure it goes against the 1st amendment.
            Also, remember, if this blog goes dark… it’s time to do what you can.

            1. I’m thinking it would more likely be the opposite effect. We aren’t in the cartel, so if Facebook chucks official news in order to avoid being compelled to negotiate with the cartel, I’d expect these sorts of smaller blogs to end up being more peoples’ sources of news, specifically because we don’t have the ability to force FB and other carriers into those sort of arbitration agreements.

              If Pravda steals the wheels off of its own delivery trucks, will that make the mimeograph express less popular?

                1. Well, what Facebook is objecting to is the bill essentially funds the news agencies by making the carriers pay for the privilege of carrying them.

                  To which the carriers are responding something to the effect of, we don’t work for free, and we certainly don’t get enough out of you all to pay for being able to point people to your articles…

            2. The Reader thinks it’s time to stock cheap laser printer / cartridges along with the brass kind. That and fax machines.

  17. I do not have a great memory; I usually need to write things down. One of religious beliefs is that my immortal spirit is recording everything even if the flesh can’t access the memories.

  18. It was instructive last year, when my youngest was taught about the Vietnam War. It was all bassakwards and upside down. The teacher was very enthusiastic about it, and spent 3x as much time on it as he spent on WWII, but seemed to never have had contact with anybody who lived through the period. It was like he had some very badly biased textbooks, and then viewed them through the lens of the Forrest Gump movie being an accurate depiction. A lot of the stuff he taught was contradictory.

    And the scary thing, was that the kids never pushed back. They just passively accepted everything at face value.

    1. The kids don’t know there’s anything to push back on. They’ve been the primary audience for/victims of propaganda and idealistic stupidity since forever.

      It took a long time for me to figure out why the Vietnam War went the way it did, and that’s even with the (somewhat) better education back in the ’80s and my dad having been in it.

      But with the caveat that Dad wasn’t any kind of a source because to this day, except for recounting the ridiculous fact that the closest he came to dying in the war was the time he almost choked to death on one of those gigantic malaria pills and had to be medevac-ed, he has never said a word about any of it. He hated literally every single solitary second of that experience, and would forget every bit of it if he could, but I didn’t even really know that for sure until he told my mom she could put some of his journal entries in our family history binders.

  19. Just think of Democrats as the Idiocracy verse version of Daleks-they are utterly obsessed with there being only Daleks, but they are beyond stupid and their efforts to make everything Dalek reflects that.

  20. My brother in law is a full blown socialist idealist — among other things, he thinks a UBI (universal Basic Income) would help solve poverty and give everybody equal opportunity to succeed. Of course, he votes leftist — not just Democratic, but leftist, whenever possible. He’s part of the reason that Seattle sucks so badly.

    1. Have you asked what happens when everybody is sitting on their dead asses collecting Universal Basic Income and there is nothing for them to buy because nobody is working to make anything?

      The People’s Republic Of Haven called it the Basic Living Stipend…

      They punish you for working, reward sloth and irresponsibility, and then they are Shocked, Shocked! at what they get.

  21. ‘Lo, there might be some light ahead. If we’re all very lucky, it’s not an oncoming train..’

    It’s a Gundam!

    Yeah, tired silly ATM.

    Liked the post.

  22. When I first heard about the evil party and the stupid party it was stated as the Republicans were evil and the Democrats were stupid . . .

    1. The idea of them swapping places ONLY makes sense in the Evil-Stupid sense. But too many times they are the EvilStupid and the StupidEvil parties – and then it hardly matters which is which.

  23. It won’t work, because what they’re trying to overlay has no contact with reality. But it makes it very hard to understand, sometimes, that the model they’re pushing on us of what just happened, and why is not only wrong, but upside down, sideways wrong. And wearing a clown nose.

    My go-to hyperbolic metaphor for “missing the point” is to say the point is [given city, or maybe in immediate vicinity of audience] and he’s hitting someplace across the country, or on the other side of the world. Or on Mars.

    I think the farthest afield I’ve scored them was targeting Perth (in Western Australia), and hitting puce. Not a puce crayon or paint in that color: the color itself. As in, the point of impact isn’t even in the same frame of reference as where it should be.

    As you might guess, at least one use of that was arguing facts with a leftist.

  24. “At some point, we knew these people enough to have them at our house, and to have taken a picture, but we could not, now, under torture, tell you their names.”

    And that’s why you should keep a diary, or even Farley file your photos

  25. I think the most disconcerting thing about memories is that research has found that dreams can be absorbed as “memories”. That is, we can have firm “memories” of things that never happened. That is creepier than forgetting long past details. Although I still strive mightily to refresh old memories of names, places, and faces. Not sure why, but I always feel accomplished when I remember an old address, or someone’s name from long ago.

    1. I had something like that. I had a “memory” of running through a field or such in what seems slow-mo or low-gee. After a while, I figured it was a dream. Then I REdiscovered to intro to H.R. Pufnstuf and… oh, Jimmy did exactly that. Not sure if TV or movie or both, and don’t feel up to looking just now. But it was “WOW” moment of “So THAT’S where that came from! At l(e)ast I know!”

  26. You’re 100% spot-on when you talked about homeschooling.
    Since the beginning of the pandemic, homeschooling has EXPLODED in popularity.
    Many, many families chose to homeschool after the experience they had with remote learning for their children during 2020.
    The only official figures I have on the increase in families homeschooling comes from North Carolina. Their Department of Education says there are 3x as many homeschool families as in 2019.
    UNOFFICIALLY, the numbers I’ve seen are much, much higher.
    In the two states that I follow closely (Indiana and West Virginia), the low-end estimates I’ve seen are 8X as many as before 2020.
    The DOE doesn’t want to acknowledge it, because every family that homeschools is lost revenue to them.
    Also, when you see statistics about the number of women who didn’t rejoin the workforce after COVID, be aware that a lot of them may have chosen that path so they could homeschool their kids.

      1. Their concept of women “relinquishing gains made since WW II” is a lot of women’s concept of “choosing the best type of life for me and my family.” The Left seems to have a lot of problems with women actually making up their own mind on what’s best for them and the people that they love.

        1. The Left has problems with anybody making up their own minds.
          ———————————
          ‘Progressives’ suppress free speech because they don’t have the means to suppress free thought.

          Yet.

        2. Where I work, the number one and number four people in the division’s org chart, both women, quit within a couple weeks of each other. It’s been not the happiest of times in the office, because both were/are highly competent and well-liked and they left a big hole, but I’m happy for them and their kids.

          Both have young kids at home and husbands who are well able to support the family, and seem to have realized that they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trade an executive job that tends to eat your life for one that tends to fill it.

          More of this can only be a good thing.

          1. Homeschooled kids are usually happy kids. And they don’t have that hunted look of someone worried what other people think. And they usually are quite good at making presentations, and talking to adults. And they get plenty of playtime too.

            Not everybody — it’s not a panacea — but in general.

    1. I know from my job—school photography—that there are a LOT of charter schools out there. And around here, many charter schools are actually charter homeschools, where the charter gives you a curriculum (that you pick*), has some attendance tracking software (a state requirement), and a few teachers on staff to check work and help students.

      And some of them are even run by school districts. (Which, yes, does kind of undermine the point, but they’re still remote students getting primary education from their families.)

      *I had a friend who, for instance, decided to do a Classics module with her kids, that involved Latin classes. So the charter bundled up the Classics curriculum for each kid and that’s what she taught.

      1. Oregon has at least two, recognized by state and districts, home school charter options. Bonus, the charters get the tax money the local district would have gotten, or most of it anyway. Districts get a portion for “administration”. Supplies, books, laptops, lab supplies (if indicated) are supplied by the program. (Or so I was told. Have niece & nephew that were in the programs, instead of using the school district options, over the last two years, even after school came back in session. They are both back in regular schools again now.)

  27. Btw, the Eylea medicine worked really well on my myopic degeneration, and the doctor said I didn’t need even a third injection, as originally scheduled. I’m supposed to do the Amsler grid and keep an eye on it.

    Yay!

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