The Douche Bag Society

Inevitably, whenever I write about the new economy or new technology, I get responses like this one from reader Fred Z, taking me to task for challenging his assumptions about the morality of the new economy. Fred likes the fact he can grind his local vendors into poverty, by ordering his stuff from a stranger in America on-line. No one wants to be thought of as a bad guy, so he has bought into the neo-libertarian moralizing about so-called free trade and globalism. He’s not screwing his neighbor. He’s efficient!

Fred does not think of himself as a bad person for buying on-line, rather than buying locally. No one does. Every day we are told by our betters, through the mass media, that the only thing that matters is that you get what you want, when you want it, at the price you want it. The defining feature of the modern economy is that anything resembling value-added is stripped away, in order to turn it into a commodity. Once everything is just a commodity, then the only decision is price and when you can have it.

This is a big part of the libertarian fantasy. Everyone is a deracinated economic unit. The only engagement between humans is transactional. Fred Z feels no obligation to buy from a local vendor or even buy from a countryman. He’s just getting what he wants, when he wants it at the price he wants. His only concern is himself. If the people he ends up buying from are homicidal lunatics, that’s not his concern. If his decision to buy from strangers means his neighbors fall into poverty, then maybe his neighbors should just die.

The marketplace has always been a ruthless and unsentimental part of the human condition. The ancient Persians looked at the Greek agora as a festival of liars, robbing from brothers and neighbors. From the Persian perspective, haggling over price and quality was just one person trying to swindle the other, by telling lies to the other. The seller lied about the product and what he would take for it. The buyer lied about his opinion of it and how much he was willing to trade for it. They were right, the market is built on lies.

It is also why human societies have always put limits on what can happen in the marketplace. Life is all about the trade-offs. The socialists think they get better trade-offs with a highly regulated state economy where the excesses of the marketplace are constrained. Free market types think the trade-offs are better with much less control over market activity. They are both right to a point. That point is determined by how the people of a society want to live. What they want of themselves determines what they permit.

In the 1980’s, it was often remarked by Progressives that the Scandinavian countries made socialism work. They had high tax rates and very low amounts of inequality. The liberals were careful not to talk about it too much for fear people would notice that these countries were all white. The culture of the white people that made up these countries had a long tradition of egalitarianism and sharing so socialism worked for them. The trade-offs they preferred reflected what they loved and what they hated about the human condition.

That’s the debate we will have to have about neo-liberalism. Fred Z loves that he can get cheap stuff on-line, but he is not thinking about the trade-offs. The rich people who rule over us do think about the trade-offs, which is why they ruthlessly support a system that socializes costs and privatizes profits. The trouble for guys like Fred Z and everyone reading this is that we’re on the other side of the equation from those rich guys. We’re the ones on whom those socialized costs fall. We are getting the bill for all this.

Think about it this way. Law enforcement requires society to employ bad people to deal with the criminal element. It’s why even today, most cops are horrible people and prison guards are sociopaths. Policing deviant humans is an unpleasant task that is best done by unpleasant and cruel people, who take some pleasure in the task. Few of us could work in a prison and most of us would never want to do the things cops do every day. It also means law enforcement people get to do things the rest of us are prohibited from doing.

Even libertarians understand the necessity of having cops and jails, but they will argue that we have gone too far in an effort to make society safe. The cops have too much power and the state abuses the rights of too many people. The trade-offs are not acceptable, so libertarians argue for things like drug legalization. The costs of the police state far outweigh the costs of additional addicts. Whether or not you accept that, you have to accept the premise, that there are trade-offs and they should be debated.

The douche bag is someone that is self-absorbed and has a high time preference. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. At some level, he knows this is at odds with the rest of humanity so he takes some pleasure in annoying others. This feedback tells him he is serving himself and thus living up to his douche bag code. It’s why the douche bag laughs and mocks normal people when they point out that he is being a douche. It’s validation that he is being all the douche he can be. He’s the giant douche.

That’s what is at the heart of the global marketplace. Fred Z can be a colossal douche nozzle to his friends and neighbors, but call it mere consumerism. His friends and neighbors will eventually return the favor. The marketplace, instead of being confined to one area of our life is coming to define our lives and our common humanity. We live in an era when the stepinfetchits of the billionaire class can gleefully talk about killing poor people or deporting them. We are on the way to being a douche bag culture.

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107 Comments on "The Douche Bag Society"

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tamaleman
Guest

And thus began World War Z.

Abelard Lindsey
Guest
This posting is irrelevant because the so-called new economy as represented by Amazon and Google is not economically sustainable. As our host posted in the P.T. Barnum and other prior posts, these internet companies continue to exist exclusively due to the Federal Reserves cheap money policies, which results in lots of investment capital being funneled into these companies despite their lack of profitability, as well as the huge amount of NSA cash going into the social media companies (speculated but most certainly true). One of the blog commentators was spot on when he said that this government policy is destroying… Read more »
volcker
Guest

As much as I hate to quote that miserable fag Keynes, this applies : “The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

Abelard Lindsey
Guest

There is considerable truth in this.

Mr Darcy
Guest

Right. Also, hacking and inter-government cyberwar are both becoming more and more sophisticated and successful. That, too, is “unsustainable.” ONe of these days, shopping online simply will not be possible, at least for a few weeks. Ditto banking and paying bills, etc. People should make preparations for the day when ATMs suddenly stop functioning, along with the rest of the internet.

Sam J.
Guest
You’re exactly right. Amazon has LOST money for over a decade. They are the in with the right (((group))) and can use fianicialization to undercut the competition. They should be shut down for restraint of trade. The other big internet giants have done the same, Uber also. As soon as they drive out most of the competition they will raise prices to the max they can get away with. This is exactly the way the Jews took over the newspaper business. They opened a paper in competition with the local paper then cut prices so that the local paper couldn’t… Read more »
Dorf
Guest
I do one off fabrication and repair of things no one else will. I start my quest for materials and parts locally. Half of the time +/- I can find what I need locally usually at a cost of several hours per item. Otherwise i go online and find it in a few minutes and go on to something else. A good example was a Hobart mixer. The early ones used a universal motor which used brushed. I started at a local motor shop with no luck. The Factory branch here did NOT catalog the old beast. That took about… Read more »
karl hungus
Guest

keep trying like you are. seems like you have discovered a business opportunity there…

Abelard Lindsey
Guest

It seems to me that there are technologies that would benefit local production. 3-D printing is one. A table-top apparatus that could fabrication any kind of medical therapy (small molecule, gene therapy., etc.) would be another. These kind of technologies would definitely drive decentralization.

Yet, the advocates of localism do not seem interested in these technologies. This is why I think much of localism is nothing more than emotionalism rather than a substantive world-view.

LetsPlay
Member
I’ve been piecing together the scenario where everything is increasingly being driven to the “disposable” world. Even though everyone, especially liberals, want to recycle and care about product reuse, one’s ability to fix and maintain their current products/appliances becomes problematic because in many cases you are hard pressed to find parts. As costs are being driven out of bricknmortar businesses to try to compete, they do carry less inventory and replacement parts and service … forget about it! If it isn’t something that can be fixed by your Apple Genius via software, it is toss an replace new. Not necessarily… Read more »
Ryan T
Guest

In many product categories, it’s no longer a choice between buying local / online because you literally cannot get it anywhere but online. The big box stores have created this problem. The high rents of power center real estate dictate that only a top 30 of products are carried, at minimum stock levels mind you because the sigma ninjas of lean insist it’s better, and anything slightly off the beaten path is an online only purchase.

I first noticed this in big box bookstores.

ArtHouseForOurHouse
Guest

Bingo…

volcker
Guest

What the hell is stepinfetchits?

L.Beau Macaroni
Guest

Way Ah is gonna ansah yo’ question straight away boss! Yes suh, you ain’ gonna wait ver’ long on me at’all… Boss Volcker, Ah is gonna start on it right away! Don’t you worry none….

Aggie
Guest

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepin_Fetchit

Early vaudeville and movie star in the vein of a sly trickster masquerading as a stereotypical dim-witted subservient black manservant. The “Laziest Man in the World”

L.Beau Macaroni
Guest
“Bret Stephens is an American journalist. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. He works for The Wall Street Journal, and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post. His parents were/are both Jewish. Bret’s father was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, to American parents; his family owns a company there. Bret’s mother was born in Italy; her family was originally from Russia and Lithuania, and then moved to Berlin, Germany, before leaving because of the Nazi regime. Bret spent part of his childhood in Mexico City, as well. Bret’s paternal grandfather was Earle Louis Stephens (born… Read more »
krbu
Guest
Localism? This takes roots and few of us are rooted anymore. I’m in my 50s. I moved seventeen times before I was eighteen years old. After grad school, the first time, I lived in seven different states. After the second round of grad school, I’ve lived in three states. I have homes in two other countries — by marriage. My kids happen to be here, with me, but I don’t expect this to last long. Localism? My ties to anything on this earth are tenuous and as much as I have tried to root myself, it’s always failed. They know… Read more »
Zeroh Tollrants
Guest
But what are you, WHO are you? What the hell is an “American?” Someone whose ancestors built this country, or someone who sashayed in from Eritrea, last month? Because both of these things cannot both be true. Having a signed document from some bureaucrat that states you can legally stand in this gigantic airport waiting area we call a country, doesn’t make you an American. Who are your people? What is your heritage? Your culture? To whom is your loyalty? What legacy will you leave for your children & grandchildren, to ground them? This reads more like you are describing… Read more »
krbu
Guest
Zeroh, I don’t blame you for your hostility, but you’re aiming at the wrong target. FYI — paternal family came to the US in the 1650s, maternal family before the revolution. I’m utterly American of British ancestry. What concerns me — and it was written as a criticism, not adulation of my own life — is the lack of rootedness among old stock Americans. My story isn’t unique, dear, as I’ve met many people who feel as American and as unrooted. It’s a paradox, really, between identifying so strongly with my mother country yet not having any place or community… Read more »
Billy
Guest
Play nice and local in Greece & Venezuela, and tell us how it works out. Pay the 70%+ taxation levels of some Western (communist) countries, obey the gazillion of norms and regulations, and tell us how it works out. The question is not that easy to answer. How much is too much ? And should Fred Z buy from “His friends and neighbors” if those neighbors are actually asking for more taxation and regulation, until bankruptcy ? At some point something must break. And it should not be us, but the communists. ie consume local if your community deserves it.… Read more »
A.B Prosper
Guest
If you want a complex society with technology and safety you have to pay the costs. As tech and society grows more complex, costs get larger. Once it gets too large, it falls apart Its called theory of Catabolic collapse PDF http://ecoshock.org/transcripts/greer_on_collapse .pdf Problem is that douche bags are a cost too, the more you cheap out and chisel and prefer atomization to society, the faster it all falls apart Its the Red Queens Race and the Computer is the Red Queen herself And note there is a way out of the trap, build in controls in how tech is… Read more »
A.B Prosper
Guest
Billy, you want to live among people, you had better make sure that the people around you want you there or that Uncle Sugar is willing to make them accept you at gunpoint otherwise those people might just decide to drive you out If Uncle Sugar weren’t around all those rooftop Koreans back in the L.A. Riots would have been done for because the people whose community they lived in felt screwed by them. Its not remotely important who was actually right either, when it comes to fairness the other guy gets a vote too and numbers count. As such… Read more »
Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

The excess of Amazon can’t sustain itself and will, in time, collapse from it’s own weight. Bezos took a concept and ran with it. It will be interesting to see where the pendulum swings from here.

Abelard Lindsey
Guest
Correct. I think had we not had the FED induced bubble economy since the late 90’s, that behemoths such as Amazon and Google would not exist. Rather, IT start-ups, which there would be a lot more of, would have developed on-line shopping capability and would have existing retail outfits as their customers. The on-line shopping revolution would still have occurred. But it would be a lot more decentralized and many of the existing retail companies would have adapted to the internet revolution just fine. There would probably be new retail start-ups as well. But none of them would be the… Read more »
Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

The little fish will eat the big fish in a paradigm reversal. Macro morphs into micro in the never-ending tango of economic tantra.

tamaleman
Guest

Are you aware that his servers serve, like, the Internet?

Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

Spooky. Imma be mo chill.

LetsPlay
Member

More like he hi-jacks more bandwidth to process his millions of orders for stuffs. I like what TBP, The Burning Platform says as a portal to Amazon he gets a percentage of sales through his site: “IF YOU ARE GOING TO BUY SHIT YOU DON’T NEED WITH MONEY YOU DON’T HAVE FROM AMAZON, STICK IT TO THEM BY MAKING THE PURCHASE THROUGH THE TBP LINK AND REDUCING THEIR PROFITS BY 6%.”

At least do that and stick it to Bezos in the behind.

Eclectic Esoteric
Guest

Was on TBP yesterday and saw Z’s douchebag danse solitaire and many comments.

L.Beau Macaroni
Guest

I nearly forgot to mention that during his tenure at The Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens was a prominent, if junior, member of the “neocon” gang of commentators, always ready to beat the war drum for an endless chain U.S. military interventions in the Middle East.

Source: http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/20/being-a-neocon-means-never-having-to-say-youre-sorry/
(Or just read his WSJ pieces!)

Sam J.
Guest

Bret Stephens…to hell with the locals…unless we need them to fight wars for Israel in the Middle East.

karl hungus
Guest

producing things locally makes a country more resilient and robust.

food is the #1 thing that should be grow locally as much as possible. furniture is another category of products that can be produced through light manufacturing.

the point isn’t to have the cheapest furniture, it’s to have the strongest society with the healthiest happiest people. make people more involved with running their part of the country.

bring back the concept of ubiquitous quality/excellence to America.

originalguest
Guest

Speaking of ancient Persia:

“Herodotus, the Greek historian who was a contemporary of the great King Darius of ancient Iran, wrote in his remarkable history that the Persians esteemed the truth above all things. He went on to say, speaking with great respect, that the Persians hold it unlawful to speak of anything which is unlawful to do, and according to their thinking, the most disgraceful thing in the world is to tell a lie.”

No wonder jews hate them so much, hell Cherry trees are even banned in Israel, so one doesn’t brush against honesty by mistake!

karl hungus
Guest

you don’t know any iranians, do you.

LetsPlay
Member

I do. I do not think they understand “truth.” At least the ones I met.

karl hungus
Guest

exactly, they are *all* lying thieves…and crazy.

Member

I would really like to hear from Fred V now. Not in response to the content of the blog but in how it feels to be singled out for an entire blog post as an exemplar of a douchebag

Roulf
Guest
I live in a traditionally poor, democrat state and took some time to visit my local flee market yesterday. At 9AM the air was already hot and the humidity made sure the dust that rose with the growing foot traffic would cling to your throat. 14 year old girls with fancy haircuts and name brand jeans bartered HARD to get cheap trinkets and spinners from ragged, white-haired ladies in dirty stalls. Rusted relics, cheap imports, old white men and despair were everywhere. In some ways I believe this hunger games ‘esque setting will represent the future of our economy, given… Read more »
Calsdad
Guest
You point out an essential piece of this discussion. YOU decided to pay the $125.00 for the sheath that man will make for you. How many other people walking thru that flea market do you think would decide to do that – vs.: Just buying something online – from Walmart – which was made in China. It takes two to tango – and any functioning market needs buyers and sellers who negotiate price. Casting the blame on manufacturers and vendors who build and sell cheap crap – looking in the wrong place. It’s a piece of the puzzle that a… Read more »
Roulf
Guest

On the contrary, you missed the entire point of Zman’s post and dip right into pearl-clutching. It has nothing to do with manufacturers, vendors or the free market. It’s about your frame of reference. Your state of mind.

It saddens me that you (and many others here) cannot see it. You have allowed yourself to be quantified – another product of the modern economy.

Bill Robbins
Guest
Did the Z-Man forget to drink his morning coffee? He seems awfully grumpy. I had my coffee and now I am going to have some brewed hot chocolate, made from ground cacoa beans that I bought on Amazon, having first found said beans on-sale in a local grocery store, and then having discovered that I can buy the beans on-line without having to drive to the store (a place that is dirty and slow), which consumes fuel, burns rubber, increases my risk exposure for an auto accident, and exposes me to the more-than-zero threat of getting shot, stabbed, or run-over.… Read more »
Rod1963
Guest
Struck a nerve eh? Zman is spot on. The people who use Amazon and Ebay’s China merchants are screwing their own town and country to save a few bucks. Amazon is the equivalent of Wal-Mart – a destroyer of brick and mortar stores across the U.S. The same applies to folks who buy Apple goods that are made in a toxic sweatshop where there are NO labor, environment regs at all. Parts of China has been turned into toxic cesspits so a bunch of Americans and Eurotrash can have cheap electronic products. All we did is off-shore slavery to make… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member

Correctamundo Rod! Companies like Apple make a killing (literally) on “expensive” products on the sales end and cheap labor and manufacturing on the production side. Profits. But the market loves it and so goes the PE ratio and stock price.

LetsPlay
Member

You’re afraid to go out? You Sir are a surrender Monkey of the First Degree!
Pussy.

One Rogue
Guest

If you were serious enough to truly practice what you preach, you would sell your house, car, and computer, move out to Pennsylvania, and convert to Amish-ianity.

Curious
Guest
I take your point but I’m not sure it’s completely thought out. What, exactly, should I be buying locally? Most of the things I buy at, say, Amazon are available locally only at big chain stores. Those stores are not run by my neighbors and they’re a lot more inconvenient to deal with. Even semi-big ticket items like appliances are available only from the chain stores. What Mom & Pop stores there are, are mostly things like coffee shops, restaurants, and personal service businesses (barbers and the like). I live in a fairly large city but there are no independent… Read more »
TomA
Guest

I genuinely love these trips down memory lane. I haven’t heard anyone called a douche bag in several decades; but when it fits, it fits. BTW, I think the habit of buying things on the internet is more about being lazy than thrifty. If you get your ass up off the couch and walk to the store, the health benefits will more than outweigh the few pennies you might save.

james wilson
Guest

I would point out that even the socialist success of a white country, say, Sweden, was never going to happen without the evolution of free wheeling markets in Britain and America. There would have been no evolved industrial and financial models to emulate in the first place and no markets to ship product. Socialism is a parasite and the parasite dies with the host. In the case of Sweden the parasite has gone to the brain and it will die from the brain down. Swedish zombies are already as numerous as college campus zombies.

Member
I’m responding only to this article without reading the links & it seems a cranky rant. Fred’s primary offense seems to be he’s dislikable. What else has he done but what most do & have done forever – operate in their own interest. “Fred feels no obligation…” Few do & not new. Sears’ first marketing breakthrough was sending Catalogs to most Americans. One could order the stuff from local stores, but Mail Order & home delivery was better = lost local sales. Sears’ next breakthrough was big box stores anchoring shopping malls = lost local business & jobs. Other big… Read more »
karl hungus
Guest

why are you lecturing people on things they know better than you?

Member
Which people know better? Z? You think Z knows more than M Friedman & Econ Profs at Universities all over the world? I’m not being snide & bare no ill-will. To insure I missed nothing, I read the links & followed the Z/Fred thread. Poor “douche-bag” Fred does not seem quite so terrible after all. Many would not like (me too) Fred’s quoting another: “It is immoral to let a sucker keep his money.” That out of so many words. Fred agrees with Z that Amazon et al should not be subsidized. Fred suggested hanging politicians that provide it (presumably… Read more »
Member

Friedman is a moron.

Member

Friedman along with all the others as well, I’m sure, including Econ 101 at Harvard & most other top econ schools including London School of Economics, Chicago, etc.

It appears you’ve been schooled by Z’s book on trade & how to win arguments & convince others.

Matt
Guest
Nothing pisses me off more than paying for stadiums so rich guys get them for free at a deep discount. The Metrodome was a fantastic multi-purpose stadium. Twins, Vikings, Monster trucks, Concerts, you name it. Cost to the public affordable. $55 Million. ($160+M in today’s $). Cost of the replacement stadiums. US Bank Stadium for ONLY THE VIKINGS. $ 1.2 BILLION. The State only paid 1/2. A better deal for the public than the Twin’s stadium. Target field for ONLY THE TWINS. $ 1/2 BILLION. Cost to the public. 1/3 Billion. Or a f’ing subsidy of 2/3. Win Win Win… Read more »
Allan
Guest

The Sarcasm Party hears and understands your complaint. The Party’s solution, however, is a little more radical than you may be ready to accept:

http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=10561#comment-35831

Paolo Pagliaro
Guest

I wonder how do you feel driving a car, consequently grinding a whole range of workers into poverty: coachmen, steam railroader, cart builders, horse trainers, et cetera.

The Other Fred
Guest
We purchased all of our kitchen appliances from a local Ma and Pa retailer. A year later we needed a new water filter for our refrigerator, and I paid $60 at said local Ma and Pa. A few months later, we needed some help with our dishwasher and Ma and Pa referred me to the 1-800 number of gigantic dishwasher manufacturer, which referred me to a central repair number, which referred me to a Ma and Pa repairman 60 miles distance. With mandatory “consultation” fees and time for travel, I was looking at $175 just to have someone assess the… Read more »
CaptDMO
Guest

(ie)Tires.
I COULD (and have) bought tires on line. the price was sweet.
Oops, THEN there was shipping, mounting, balancing, and disposal of the old ones.
My local tire guy has the same tires, thy end up costing less when I turn the key and drive away.
Go figure!

Matt
Guest

The 4th Industrial Generation is here. What does that mean for joe worker?

https://www.axios.com/how-will-automation-robots-affect-workers-wages-2443392920.html

Optingout
Guest
I’ve been driven to buying more online because of the increasingly “diverse” makeup of local shoppers. After always having to use inter-library loan to get the non-liberal books I was interested in reading, and finding the local libraries filled with Asians playing computer games and Negro children loudly demonstrating their “love” of books, I find ordering books for my kindle a relief, even as I hate giving Bezos any money. The only “local” shops are Indian and Chinese owned and run. The big box stores are no more community oriented than Amazon. Whites continually retreat from public spaces in this… Read more »
Aggie
Guest
As far as I can tell, what Amazon has accomplished is to make all of the resources of the industrial supplier accessible to the consumer directly, and to deliver the products to their door as a matter of additional convenience. If you live in an urban area that is, say, larger than ~200,000 population, you will have industrial suppliers that cater to the building/repair/maintenance blue collar class in the area. They will be getting their supply from regional distributors. Increasingly these supply houses sell to private customers too, if they know what they are there for and can speak in… Read more »
Member

Agree.
I could drive 30 minutes to my local John Deere dealer and spend $45 on a mower spindle or order one online for $30. The online one has a zerk nipple so I can grease it every year. Unlike the JD one.

Member

My hobby of late is to purchase 1970-1980 stereo receivers from Goodwill and rehab them. I find ebay valuable because I can find power transistors for these devices from China. The transistors were never manufactured here but the value I’ll add is. So there’s that.

LetsPlay
Member

I always take the opportunity to clue in my local business about how they are competitive, or not. Sounds like you could email them or call them and let them know how they are losing business and what they could do to fix it, if they consider it a problem.

Ron
Guest
I get the vibe, but our material world has changed do much. Used to be you when you bought an electrical product, if it broke, you took it back and they fixed it. Now it’s all about disposable obsolescence built into products. You buy it cheap, most of which is made by slave or sweatshop labor overseas. It breaks, they give you another one which is cheaper that repairing the old one. It didn’t help when the flood gates were open for trade with China. They rip off our patients and copyrights, and turn around and sell us knock-offs. If… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest
The reason for a ‘throw away culture’ in electronics, at least, has little to do with China, per se. As capabilities and features were added over time, in order to keep the overall size of the end-level devices reasonable, the parts density had to constantly be increased. Soon it got to the point where it was impossible to melt out and replace individual components. And the computerized testing devices needed to even locate the faulty part were cost prohibitive other than at the end of an assembly line. So, as far back as 35 years ago, component level electronic repair… Read more »
LetsPlay
Member
There is still such a thing as planned obsolescence. My gripe is when you buy an appliance, be it a tall lamp, a desk lamp, a oscillating fan, it will be designed to perform it’s basic function and will be affordable. However, invariably, a key component, or part, say a hinge will be made of P L A S T I C while many other parts are made of metal. And yet this one part, plastic, is the one that acts a the hinge or performs some other critical yet unnoticed function (kinda like your little toe), and when it… Read more »
Allan
Guest
I think that the “douche bag” culture is already here and has been for many, many generations. (And the localism reaction, too, has been developing for a few decades.) It appears that this culture’s most important features were firmly in place once aggressive secularism became wedded to the incorporation and central banking craze which began to infect the world centuries ago. Developments in the past 100 yrs have been mostly elaborations upon the basic themes and amount to progress toward the logical outcome, which is suspiciously like communism in terms of concentration of wealth and political power. It so happens… Read more »
Allan
Guest

Correction: …if the douche bag culture is not yet…

squeakywheel
Guest

Man, do I wish the D-bag word would just DIE already.

Dutch
Guest
Spent this weekend up at my daughter’s graduation at UC Davis. Hit the local farmer’s market, more veggies and fewer potions and bottles, as it is a farming area. Watching these small farmers work so hard (both growing and selling) for just a few dollars in return. If they don’t have a good selling day, it’s going to be hard to even cover the gas bill for driving in and back home again. The small shopkeepers in town, also working very hard, mostly seem to be working to pay the monthly to the landlord, if you get into frank conversations… Read more »
Cjx
Guest
Buying local is asking an awful lot of rural America. Even in the old days, “Main Street” was kind of a myth, and now its unrecoverable. There are simply not enough people even in the county seat to support stores that carry anything other than daily needs and perishables: food, gas, cigarettes etc. In rural America if I want a gas weed eater I have plenty of local options. If I want a golf club I have only whatever garbage Wal-Mart is selling. And 50 years ago I would have had a local merchant ordering the club for me from… Read more »
Hammond Aikes
Guest

” Law enforcement requires society to employ bad people to deal with the criminal element. It’s why even today, most cops are horrible people…”

“Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?”, he said, incredulously.

Ace
Guest

You have the strangest view of cops Mr. Man. I’ve dealt with a good number as a public defender and as a traffic offender and they are quite unlike your characterization. Prison guards the same, at least in county jail. Nice people doing a tough job.

Where do you get this garbage?

sirlancelot
Guest
.” ” Law enforcement requires society to employ bad people to deal with the criminal element ” ” Yikes ! Harsh stuff Z-man . Actually most LE start out as your All-American kid . 30+ years dealing with societies evil anyone will make anyone jaded. At one time the job attracted more than it’s fair share of bullies, but that’s all changed. However with growing tensions , a bad econemy, exploding mohameds, etc folks might wish those old cops were still around. Anyways it is sad to see our local economy being decimated by the “douchebag” mentality. Lappens was a… Read more »
DMW
Guest

Today it might be the consumer who is the douche but what about the wealthy small business owner? There are plenty of examples in every community of restaurant owners, bar owners, plumbers, painters, electricians, used car dealers, jewelers, or morticians that make much more than the average resident of the community. Do they get a free pass for their higher-than-local-average incomes yet the residents are labeled douches if they try to find better values elsewhere?

Member
I recently moved house and do not yet have the required infrastructure of services in place. We had a plumber replace a sink faucet- something I’d have done in an hour a few years ago before my knees were replaced. He didn’t submit a bill at the time and insisted on mailing one. When we got it he was basically charging about $140 per hour. If you go online you can find a video of how to change the in-cabin air filter in less than 4 minutes, your locally owned Midas will charge $30 for the labor: Midas is an… Read more »
ArtHouseForOurHouse
Guest

My local best buy had three digital tv antennas. Amazon has about 40 plus reviews from some reasonably smart people not on commission.

Only a douche would order pizza delivered when he could save the tip money by driving to Dominos in rush hour traffic.

Maybe Amazon should allow us to add a delivery tip.

Load me up with vinegar and water, boys. I’m ready to be what God made me.

John the River
Member
Well… I needed a new pair of coveralls, planning to remove a tree covered in poison ivy and I’m super sensitive. Went to WalMart, the girl in the Men Department (English wasn’t her first language) nodded when I asked where to find the work coveralls and I followed her to where she showed me; Bathrobes. I indicated that wasn’t what I wanted and tried to explain again. She nodded and beckoned me to follow her again; she showed me to the rugs. Went to Home Depot, dude there knew what a coverall was; $80 a pair. Finally ordered a ‘Dickies’… Read more »
notsothoreau
Guest
Have any of you lived in an area where the local merchant was the only place for miles around (back in the pre-internet days)? I have. I have gone into a local place to purchase items I needed for my job, items that other workers passing by also needed. And I’ve had the merchant refuse to order them. And there was the small grocery store in the middle of nowhere, literally a 40 mile trip to the nearest place. He sold 6 packs of pop for $5, beer for $8, back in the 80s. He had a sign inside that… Read more »
Member

I just got charged $9 and change for a pint of cream and a bag of noodles, from my “local” store.

Member
The vast majority of people don’t actually live anywhere near something resembling a “local” shopping center or downtown. Malls supplanted locally owned and operated retail decades ago. Much of what was left, WalMart crushed into a fine powder. Restaurants are somewhat of an exception, but that often depends on where you live as well. If you live someplace new, you’re going to find chain restaurants, which means “buying local” at an eatery probably will involve some driving. In fact, I can’t actually “buy local” whatever the hell “local” means these days, seeing as how I can get in my car… Read more »
Christopher S. Johns
Guest
Stephens metamorphosis from neocon douche nozzle in the WSJ to the latest housebroken conservative mega-douche nozzle in the NYT seems all together fitting – it’s the role he was born to play. Stephens thinks he’s pretty darn clever with his Jewish anti-White snark, which he auditioned against Trump and Trump voters during the campaign (and which probably explains how he landed his gig at the Slimes) but doesn’t always quite grasp where his rapier wit is leading him, such as the opening of his latest, which Z has linked above: “In the matter of immigration, mark this conservative columnist down… Read more »
Member

I don’t read your posts much anymore because you and I have different opinions and you tend to denigrate rather than disagree.

But I dropped by today and read this rant about poor little me.

I don’t really care because I’m entirely anonymous.

But I did think that simple conservative courtesy would have required you to send me a copy of this vicious little attack before publishing and offer me a chance to respond.

Perhaps my ideas of courtesy differ from yours.

Asshole.

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