The Active Citizens

Recently, I have been getting hammered with spam calls on my mobile phone. These are robo calls for various scams. One that comes daily is for some green energy scheme that promises to save me 50% off my electric bill. Another is a call from “your credit card company” that starts with “Don’t hang up.” I always hang up. The frequency of calls has reached the point where I no longer bothering answering my cell. I’ve turned the volume down to zero and check the log once in a while to see if anyone I know called.

This is a recent issue. I’ve had the same number for a long time that I registered with the do not call registry. I have no idea if that works, but the lack of spam calls had me thinking it must have worked until recent. Out of curiosity I went to the site for the FTC to see if maybe that service had been discontinued. It turns out that it still exists, but the web site is down, supposedly because of the government shutdown. That’s not a joke. Here’s the link and they posted the notice in Spanish, for the convenience of Mexican users.

Now, it would surprise no one to learn that a government website is really just a facade and that web requests are being handled by a person, who types the response to each query. You can just imagine an army of Winston Smith’s typing web responses and noting unapproved activity. That’s certainly not the case here. The bureaucrats in the FTC thought this was a bold statement. In reality it is just the petty nonsense that goes on with the administrative state. They put that up to spite the public.

This small little incident I’m describing is a microcosm of what’s wrong in the country. The FTC website should not exist. There’s no need for a do-not-call registry. The government could simply make the telephone companies responsible for the abuse that goes on with telemarketers. The phone companies would then demand the government pass laws that discourage these scams. The phone system operators would then aggressively police their networks and turn the scammers over to the state.

That does not happen, of course. The idea of the government doing things to make daily life easier on the citizens is so alien to us now, that the very suggestion of it is met with howls of protest. That is, after all, what happened when Tucker Carlson suggested the people in charge start worrying about the happiness of the public. The shrieking and gasping at such blasphemy around the Imperial Capital was deafening. No one in the ruling class, or their attendants, thinks the government owes us anything.

The paleocon formulation for this is anarcho-tyranny. This is when the state is no longer able to do the basics of government, like going after phone scammers. That’s the anarchy part. On the other hand, the state is more than happy to hassle citizens over petty rules and regulations. That’s the tyranny. It’s true in a lot of ways and certainly applies to local government. That’s not all of it though. There’s a growing hostility to the idea of people expecting their government to be responsive to the public.

That’s the core of the immigration debate, when you examine it. One side still thinks it is the duty of government to protect the borders and enforce the immigration laws. More important, they expect the government to put the general welfare of the American people ahead of the interests of foreigners. Sure, some immigration is fine, as long as they assimilate and become an asset. In other words, immigration is just another public policy and the right policy is the one that serves the interests of the citizens.

The other side thinks the only reason anyone wants to limit immigration is to protect losers who can’t compete with the newcomers. After all, only losers want the government to protect them from competition. David French calls it victim-politics. In other words, if you think the people in charge are not doing their duty to look out for the interests of their fellow citizens, you’re a crybaby and loser. It’s amazing, but a guy who has spent his life on the government teat thinks his class owes you nothing.

In other words, we have gone past the old anarcho-tyranny formulation into a new phase where the ruling class can’t be bothered to do anything. In fact, they are offended by the very suggestion that they have a duty to the rest of us. Carlson is going through an advertiser boycott because he had the temerity to suggest that maybe the people in charge are not doing their duty. All the beautiful people are rushing to social media to defend billion dollar global corporations against a guy who says stuff on TV.

Of course, the pettiness of the administrative state and the hostility to the idea of responsive government have the same root cause. The ruling class no longer see the rest of us as being citizens in the way they are citizens. We know have active citizens and passive citizens. The former is for members of the managerial class and the latter is for the rest of us. Active citizens get to talk about what kind of country they want and how the government will achieve it. Passive citizens just sit quietly in the cheap seats.

That’s why they are so offended by Trump and the surge in populism. They see it as a something like a slave revolt. It’s not the material inconvenience. It is the moral effrontery of the hoi polloi daring to question them. That’s the reason the FTC site is down. The people who did that think they are doing us a favor. They are offended and probably bewildered as to why this is happening. They are so divorced from the rest of us, we may as well be space aliens or wild creatures living in the forest.

This is why reform is hopeless. It’s not that “the deep state” is secretly gaming the system to their advantage. There’s nothing secret here. The sorts of reform needed would have no material impact on our rulers. The reason reform is hopeless is they now define themselves in opposition to the rest of us. They no longer see themselves as our fellow citizens. Rather, they see us as a threat to their status as active citizens. Anything that blurs the lines between us and them, must be opposed, on principle.

123 thoughts on “The Active Citizens

  1. Excellent article, as usual. Depressing but deadly accurate,again as usual. I alternate between hope, in that we are at least seeing the problems for what they are, and despair because, to quote the song, “The Man’s too big, the Man’s too strong.” Still, a growing resistance has to be a positive thing. Well done Z!

  2. We have the government we elected. True, you may not have voted for Lincoln, or TR, or FDR, or LBJ, or RMN, or JC, or WJC, or either King George, or BHSO, but your fellow Americans (and some illegals) sure did. These are the villains who represent what our elected representatives and these villains built (with help from the Philosopher Kings and Queens of SCOTUS). How did they do it? The American people elected them to office and allowed them to do it. WE HAVE THE GOVT WE MADE, and that govt gave us the managerial state from which we suffer.

    You’ll never restore the US to what it was in, say 1796. All you can do if you want something like that back is take down the twisted, perverted Leviathan that is and REPLACE it with a limited govt under the control of a much stronger Constitution and much weaker central government (hmmmm. . . . something like the Articles?).

  3. NIST website is playing the same game. Do they really think basic scientific info can only be had from they, The Keepers of Knowledge? I guess they forgot there are things called books and some of us know how to use them.
    ‘Non-essential’ should be sent home permanently w/o pay.
    As for the phone business – I have fun with the spamers when I have time to play and waste THEIR time. My fav is when I told the spamer I didn’t speak Spanish but German only. Until said spammer started bitching in English. I then told her something to the effect of ‘Ha! I knew you could speak English’ and promptly hung up.
    On the plus side most cells have a block feature so you can block spammers. Which leads to this question: how long before we reach critical mass on blocked email addys and/or cell numbers before the entire systems seizes and stops working?

  4. My proposal to end spam calls is requiring every caller to pay a nominal fee to every person they are calling – $.25 or $.50, something like that.

    It would be easy to keep track of with modern billing, would matter much at all to regular phone users. But would bankrupt boiler room operations.

  5. What I notice is the lack of forgiveness. Revenge, eternal revenge, is the liberal starting point.

    Revenge for things they make up.
    For cartoon characters like the Noble Savage. For imagined sleights. For potential sins. For past mistakes, like getting it wrong with Bush’s Iraq.

    No forgiveness. Not for the past litany- slavery, Jim Crow, the Indians, the Crusades, the Fauxlocaust.
    Not for current white privilege or phobia. Not for future fascism.

    Even after we’re dead it will be our fault. They’ll look out on the dangerous ruins, on their diverse sharia, and cry, “it was those damn Trumpist bastards!”

    • Guilt and shaming. Very Middle Eastern. Feel no guilt, show no shame. Throw it back at them, MAGA and all. No flinching, no Danegeld, no crossing the street to avoid them. That’s what it takes.

      Walk out of the meeting if they won’t negotiate. Atta boy.

  6. One of the anarcho-tyranny items is the hand held speeding cameras where the cops just stand on an overpass clicking away. It’s not making anyone safer. The Toledo cops laughed about how they caught a guy doing 130 mph on the camera. They didn’t pull him over. He merrily went on his way. So, instead of a cop being visible and pulling over real speeders or catching criminals due to the speeding stop, you get a letter in the mail from the local revenue generator.

  7. CA is the perfect example of this. Deteriorating declining services, yet, it’s illegal to make foie gras, among a thousand other laws.

    At least when we go bankrupt not even the stupid laws will be enforceable.

  8. I’m not sure of the effectiveness of the strategy, but I figure that hang-ups and no answers are factored into their cost-benefit analysis and don’t really cost them much at all, because they require no human intervention. So, anytime I have the time, I at least let the call get to a human operator, because that ties up a resource. If I am particularly bored, I go along with whatever offer they’re making, giving them fake info, for as long as I can or have interest. The more you tie up actual human resources, the more expensive you make their scam for them.

    • Credit card companies stopped spamming my phone by doing what you recommended. I continued by enquiring how quickly I could transfer the balance from my 3 maxed out credit cards… They actually hanged up on me….small things…

  9. Just hitting the number “2” on your keypad will automatically put you on most caller’s do not call list.

  10. Including the media as the elites, this morning’s NPR’s coverage of Trump’s immigration speech last night had only two angles – From immigrants sitting in Mexico waiting to cross and from Mexican’s waiting in California to become citizens. Not a single US citizen was interviewed, nor did they seem at all interested in that perspective. Reform truly is hopeless.

  11. I was getting lots of span calls on my cell phone long before this government shutdown started. Clearly the “do not call” registry has not been working for quite some time. Like yourselves, I no longer answer my phone when it rings unless I recognize the source number. If not, and they do not leave a message, I assume it is a spammer.

  12. Stef sez: “If people are good, we don’t need a government. If people are bad, we can’t have a government.” Even the tiniest minority. Just like Ayn Rand asked “… what percentage of poison do we need in our food?”

    Tucker Carlson being boycotted by the same kakistocrats that bought the big.guv? Gosh, who would have figured.

    Stef sez, paraphrased: “Government is the tragedy of the commons, writ large.” Those in charge are renters, not owners. What if it was their property?

    Brett Stevens over at Amerika thinks we need a REAL aristocratic class and a KING! I enjoy his arguments, and his analysis of the daily drivel like this:

  13. I haven’t received any spam calls on my cell since the shutdown. But last year it seemed like two days couldn’t go by without two calls from some cloned number with my prefix. Caller ID is the savior. Never answer. F**k em!
    If I did, my first question would be: “You expect me to buy something from someone who LIES about their fooking phone number?”

  14. Before Trump came down that escalator to announce his run for the presidency hardly anyone in our movement thought we’d be able to turn things around through our civic institutions.

    The optimism of his election and the rekindled sense that maybe we could turn things around has pretty much evaporated at this point. We may get a victory here and there but we aren’t going to turn things around by being active citizens in the political process.

    Maybe it’s just the way I’m reading things and hearing things, but the dissident right seems to be almost back to where it was before Trump came down that escalator.

    If so, then replacing America requires a very different strategy than does reforming America. I’m not saying we should give up, but at this point it’s probably not very wise to be putting all of our irons in the fire…

    • The Declaration of Independence states that when the government gets to the point where it is working against us, then it is our right, even our duty to alter or abolish said government. It is that ‘alter or abolish’ phrase that is interesting. Attempting to vote the right people in or out, or trying to get our elected representatives to actually, you know, REPRESENT us is the ‘alter’ part of the equation. But when government steadfastly and successfully resists all attempts at being altered by those being governed, then we have probably arrived at the ‘abolish’ part. The only way that abolishing a government can be effected is violently, as in violent revolution.

      With Trump’s election I too hoped that we the people had one more shot at altering our government. But now a stalemate has settled in, and Trump for whatever reasons is not willing to go scorched earth on the DOJ, FBI, DNC and the GOPe for their attempted coup d’etat. So what next? What, if anything at all, can we dirt people do at this stage that might still have any real prospects of altering our government back into something that represents our interests? I wish I knew.

      An actual bloody revolution would be an order of magnitude more difficult and less likely to succeed than what our founders had to contend with. Every communication we have and every movement we make is electronically vacuumed up in real time. Our every association is logged, data-mined, and analysed. License plate readers and our own cell phones record our movements, and the movements of anyone we associate with. There is a digital army of Winston Smiths identifying not just firebrands and ringleaders, but anyone sympathetic to the ideas espoused by them.

      I remember the color revolutions that took place in the eastern European iron curtain countries in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. These were largely peaceful revolutions, with hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets. The marches were not daily, but were at least weekly, sometimes twice or thrice weekly, for weeks and weeks, and even months. They were ultimately successful in countries like Romania and Yugoslavia. I have asked myself why nothing like that is happening here in America.

      And even if it could or did happen here, the deck is still very much stacked against us. I remember the Tea Party march on Washington back during the first part of the Obama regime. There were literally almost a million people there. Photographs showed a vast sea of humanity on the Washington mall as large as if not larger than any gathering that had ever been held there. And what was the outcome? Nothing. Why? Because the government, aided and abetted by their American Pravda mainstream media, simply ignored it. There was almost no media coverage. What miniscule coverage there was characterized it as a gathering of just a few thousand. So they simply disappeared the largest actual, physical protest gathering in US history. They made it so that It Never Happened. And they succeeded.

      How does a revolution counter such almost total control over what the average citizen is able to see? Again, I wish I knew. Even if we had weekly marches of a hundred thousand people in major cities ongoing for weeks or months, the permanent government along with its MSM propaganda arm has the ability to greatly minimize the appearance of such marches, or through disinformation characterize them as violent and evil. Remember in 2016 how they painted the Trump rallies as violent, while never mentioning the gangs of leftist thugs stalking those rallies and doing violence to the peaceful attendees? Such is the power of our government and its MSM preatorian guard to control the narrative. They absolutely intend to resist any and all attempts on our part to peacefully and lawfully alter them.

      I wish I knew where we go from here. As Claire Wolfe said, we are at that uncomfortable stage where it is too late to change anything and too soon to shoot the bastards.

      • I agree things seem to be not in our favor, but…think of where we were 5 or 10 years ago.

        I think we’ll plod along slowly getting to some event which will be the lynch pin. At that point things will begin to move quickly. Hopefully in our favor.

      • I suppose the revolution is not going to look like a revolution. It will probably turn out to be a matter of terrorist cells popping up and striking wherever they can. Car bombs, package bombs, poisoned letters — just one of those can shut down the Imperial Capital for days; what would happen if they were happening every week? I think this will not be a matter of hundreds of thousands marching on the Mall; it’s going to be like the decades-long IRA campaign.

  15. Goldman Sachs used to privately label the investing public “muppets” inside their hallowed halls of Wall Street. The government functionaries have the same attitude.

  16. The post-modernist view of the world has come to roost. The very foundation of what government, community, and family has meant to western civilization is being, or has been ripped apart. It’s no wonder our society is medicated to the gills and dying of drug over-doses. We are experiencing a colossal existential challenge in what it means to be human, not to mention white. No wonder the government is a mess when you have absolutely nuked any responsible standards.

  17. This is your libertarian, “free market” conservative government at work. The government takes your money and then gets resentful when you expect it to do something for you. You should just be glad that they pay blacks not to riot, defend Israel, and push GloboHomo on us and the rest of the world. That’s our properly limited government. What are you? A communist?

  18. This happened to me last year. I never gave my number to anyone except close confidantes, friends, and family. No one calls anymore anyway. They text or go through an app. The do not call list isn’t enforced. Never answer a call or text from a number that isn’t a contact on your phone. After 9 months of not answering and blocking calls, they finally stopped. Posters above are correct. Computers are auto generating the calls seeking to fish for answerers. Don’t answer!

  19. I am old enough to remember when President Clinton’s Anti-Spam legislation was signed into law. The effects of that much ballyhooed “achievement,” and his intervention in the Netscape-Microsoft Affair – the now infamous David Boies (also of Bush-v-Gore fame) representing The People, of course – are just now coming back to bite us.

    Spam never went away, it just morphed into fake news and pop-ups. The Browser Wars of the 90’s were lost to Google, with, 2019, no appreciable competition insight. And, a politicized government agency, the FTC, was tasked with controlling this sewerage in perpetuity.

    And the Chinese just lean back and laugh!

  20. There is one venue where a tyrannist government will miraculously become motivated and competent, and that is in defense of it’s own existence. When the time comes to round up the dissenters and put them into a gulag, they will be very highly organized, capable, and ruthlessly efficient. Even before that, they will implement a divide and conquer strategy using false flag events to instigate blue-on-green decimation (patriot vs. LEO), and thereby whittle down the opposition. This will be preceded by selective arrests of the presumed ringleaders. You can’t beat them by playing their game. A new paradigm is necessary.

    • I don’t think so.

      Instead, they don’t give a shit about our grumbling because they know that it won’t go anywhere and ultimately doesn’t matter.

      Besides, actual oppression is just to dirty and dreary for the cloud people.

  21. The calls I’m getting are in Korean? Chinese? Japanese?—some Far Eastern language. I also get the usual “credit card enhancement” calls–odd, because I don’t have a credit card.

    They spoof my area code. At one time they were using phone numbers assigned to a Dane County municipality.

  22. “The idea of the government doing things to make daily life easier on the citizens is so alien to us now, that the very suggestion of it is met with howls of protest.”

    Howls from “active citizens”, laughter from everyone else.

  23. It’s not just our overlords who no longer look out for American citizens’ interests, but the citizens themselves who will increasingly withdraw from civic engagement as America becomes more multicultural and is thought of as not a homeland, but more of an international shopping mall. Just a place to work and shop among strangers from all over the world.

  24. Speaking of Tucker Carlson, everyone should buy and read his book, Ship of Fools. Along with being an acute socio-political diagnostician he’s pushing the radical concept that being part of any elite entails *obligations*, not just privileges. The horror_!

    I must be really, really slow, but after reading it, the lightbulb *finally* went off about what was driving most of the campus unrest and radical feminism that I saw all around me in the late ’60s. **It was the incoming elite rebelling against assuming their obligations.**

    Along with most of my Boomer contemporaries I lacked an elite background and upbringing. So we were completely baffled as to why some of the most privileged people on the face of the planet throughout the course of human history (white female elite college students, in particular) could be so pissed off against the system that spawned them.

    As an elite female your obligations were to live your mother’s life: Marry, maintain a nice home, produce heirs and spares for the next generation of the elite, help your husband’s career through the social networking of the day, run the local charitable organizations, etc., etc. No way_! They didn’t want to help *a* man. they wanted to be *the* man.

    As an elite male, sure you had the inside track into being *the* man, but first you were obligated to serve your family, city, country. etc. Nobody in your parent’s circles got very far in politics if they hadn’t been in WWII and maintained (at least the appearance of) a stable family, for example. But the ‘best and brightest’ had really served up a dog’s breakfast in SE Asia, all the while pulling strings to exempt their own particular male progeny from danger. It felt like a suckers deal to serve and yet contemptible to skate. And license was far more fun than (semi) sober monogamy. Sex, drugs an rock and roll baby_!

    What better way to eliminate the cognitive dissonance while maintaining the fun and privileges that were likely to (and did) come your way in the future than adopting the pose of radicalism_? Solved another one_! Shows why we should be in charge_!

    But there were downstream consequences, as Tucker points out.

    • Al, whadda ya mean the elites are not honoring their obligations? They are making sure we don’t consume fossil fuels or drink thorugh plastic straws. They are saving the world, what greater obligation do they have than that? 🙂

      • Yeah, the elites are saving the world with plastic straw bans while letting millions of hut-dwelling third-worlders invade the West and become polluting, carbon footprint-leaving consumers.

    • Anyone have success getting others to read the book who haven’t yet swallowed the pill?

      If so, how did you do it?

      • Otis;
        Donno. Just read it. But I’ll say already that the book can be useful to even those ‘pilled’ ’cause it helps to know how and why the pill is the color it is.

        IOW, it’s really not just waste of time to ‘preach to the choir’ because repetition and variation help cement understanding and firm up conviction.

  25. Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign slogan “I’m with HER,” says a lot about what the establishment Washington leaders think of us. To Hillary, it would probably be repulsive, and even deplorable to think of “her being with US.”

  26. I had the same thing start in December, I was getting 4 or 5 calls a day to sign up for health insurance. They were spoofing local phone numbers which is illegal. They left a voicemail every time they called. Even legitimate businesses are doing this, Sirius XM called me from a spoof number last week, I chewed the caller out and asked to be placed on their do not call list. They said they would do that, we will see if the calls stop.

    Here is an article from last summer about the FCC shutting down one scammer. Gizmodo estimates there were 3.4 billion robocalls during April 2018.

  27. “Rather, they see us as a threat to their status as active citizens.”

    And that is the mask that has been removed. I was speaking with a couple of blue collar workers yesterday. They are in complete agreement that the nation has fallen under the power of an unelected elite that no longer possess any moral authority. I was somewhat surprised that this realization had already seeped so deeply into the consciousness of the common man. That was encouraging. And somewhat disquieting. Things will not go back to what they were. An adversarial relationship between citizenry and bureaucracy portends tyranny.

    • I doubt any society exists without an insular elite whose morality is alien to the masses. What is unqiue in the case of your country, or western countries generally, is that you have a very difficult time identifying your elite. It may well be that the US has no effective elite and the current scenario is just the petty bougousie stealing everything that isn’t tied down.

      • Insular insofar as they relied upon a layer between themselves and the rabble. That layer was not impenetrable. Information could pass through, so the feedback was there. It was not so long ago that the bourgeois lived within eyesight of the lower classes. Their children would serve together in the army and maybe even attend the same public schools. Today, the typical member of the managerial class grew up in a swank suburb, went to private schools and then private colleges.

        Oddly, this is why the alt-right exists. Most of them grew up in comfy suburbs and then experienced vibrancy.

        • I certainly would not disagree that your managerial class was at one point much better acquainted with the working class. As I said; however, I presume an elite above your managerial class is responsible for taming said bougie class. The bougousie has been in closer proximity to the proles but they certainly never liked them. It was the role of the elite to ensure class comity sufficient to prevent the sorts of things happening in the modern west: importing an alien helot army to destroy your class enemies.

      • Issac, our elite used to give lip service to the middle class, and not steal them blind. Sort of a mutual survive-and-thrive strategy. That is all over now, and the shakedown continues. If the old rules were still in play, Hillary would be a two-bit attorney in Little Rock, and Trump would be playing golf somewhere.

  28. The less government and laws involving my phone the better. Id rather not have a politician/beauracrat deciding who can call me.

    I, and you, can fix this problem without involving anyone else. I’m an android nazi but Apple has similar.

    Settings->Sounds and Vibration->Do not disturb (on)->Allow Exceptions->Custom->Calls from Contacts Only

    Problem fixed and no politician thinking I should be grateful for them fixing anything.

      • Haha, point wasn’t missed. I only chimed in to offer assistance.

        Your blog is part of my daily read. The fact that you hate libertarians makes it better. The December one about Ron Paul and libertarianism only working for white America was gold.

        I’d say libertarianism, like socialism, only works in books and classrooms.

        • It works, it’s the only thing that works- but only in white societies that enforce Constitutional principles. Give up one, you give up the other.

  29. The fact that websites are not working “because of the government shutdown” – is just comical.

    It’s like they’re openly admitting that they’re completely incompetent.

    The REAL problem is that a good part of the public is too stoopid to pick up on this fact.

    • Hey – they can’t pay the consultant and contractors to maintain the website while dozens of federal employees “supervise” and schedule their diversity training.

    • This reminds me of the WWII memorial being “shut down” during the Obama regime. I visited the cesspool on the Potomac once and it’s just an open air monument that requires nothing more than regular police presence to make sure weev doesn’t spray a swastika on it. 0bama shut it down purely out of spite. It took more effort to close it than to just leave it as is.

      • I visited the Imperial Capitol last October. My fiance and I went to the WWII memorial at night and were disappointed to see that several spotlights were out.

        A few on the state fixtures and about half in one of the fountains—where the ones that did work varied a lot in color temperature (likely due to varying age).

        I thought it was shameful. My old lady was pissed. I talked her out of going to tell the rangers in the nearby post. It didn’t seem likely to me that they’d head straight for the supply closet to rectify the issues.

  30. I think the author hits upon an important leg of government strategy here. After working government and related beaurocratic jobs for many years, I have noticed they attempt to mire the productive employees in pointless paperwork and beauticratic red tape. When inevitably you are delinquent in some of this, they put you “on point,” and censure you harshly. The purpose of course is that you cannot challenge their authority or administrative position based on incompetence because they are already complaining about you! “You haven’t done this paperwork mister! Don’t try to turn this around on me!”

    • Back in the 1990s, a friend of mine got his accountant wife a job in the payroll department of Essex County, NJ. On the first day, she finished her work by lunch, asked for more and was told, “What are you trying to do, make us look bad?” She said that it was like kindergarten there.

      • Ha! Same thing happened to me. Moved up to Water Distribution Operator in 2001. Was given a list of 150 tanks and 175 pumping plants, rate control valves, etc, a Thomas Bros. map book for the East Bay and Diablo Valley, a paper check-off list and told to start my rounds, with almost no training. So did what I could….and within a week, two of the operators took me aside and quietly said, “What are you trying to do, make us look bad? Calm it down.” The ax man from Treatment was eventually brought in, and as nasty as he was, he revised the system and put the department aright doing real work.

      • Had a consulting job with a municipality to roll out Windows 95 back in the mid 90’s. The city IT department had been merged and reconfigured multiple times to the point that each employee was a member of 1 of 3 different unions. Being naive, I asked that everyone get there 15 minutes early on the day of the roll out so we would be ready to go. You would have thought I asked for them to turn over their first born for a sacrifice. Amazingly they did show up and I made things better by bringing donuts.

  31. All my approximately 6 daily robocalls are for knee braces and extending my car warranty. I’m just completely baffled about how they make money off this

    • It costs them virtually nothing to make the call, and you only need to goon a couple of people to make it worthwhile. There’s not just direct scamming, if you get enough personal information you can farm that for a good long while as well for numerous purposes.

      That being said it’s really only a device to prey on the legitimately mentally vulnerable.

      • This is an important clue towards understanding the power of techie censorship. The cost of Third World “digital coolies” is cheap, all that is required is knowledge of English to zap the things the AI doesn’t get. And what do you know, there’s a big poor country called India and another called South Africa that happen to be English-speaking.

      • This is the weird part though. Sometimes I like to mess with these people so I have answered the phone upon occasion and gone through all the steps to get a person and I’ve never gotten a person. It just becomes dead air

        • I’ve gotten a person. Once I got all the way to them requesting payment information to extend the warranty on some car I’ve never owned! Kept them on the phone a good ten minutes, two or three different individuals.

          You have to give realistic sounding answers. One time I claimed that I owned a two-year-old high-end sports car that retails for something like half a million. I think it was a Ferrari or something — picked it off DuckDuckGo. Got an immediate *click*.

          Sometimes I’m just straight-up abusive (You have to be careful what you say, I don’t put it above these people to turn the tables on you and get you on record if you say anything that could be a threat or otherwise illegal). That usually gets a fast click, but I actually had some guy — a Black guy, I could tell — who wanted to argue with me about me calling his company a scam!

        • Here in my So-Cal area code, all the people with money are Chinese. The calls are to tell them the Chinese government is after them for sneaking money out of China, and to ask for money to call them off. Since most of them are likely guilty of actually sneaking money out of China, and the Chinese government scares the bejeezus out of them, the hit rate for the scammers is probably a lot bigger than zero.

  32. Maybe I should just update my Google listing so they will leave me alone.
    I never answer a phone with an out of area code.

    It used to feel somewhat like our elites viewed life from their private boxes just like at the ball games. We were relegated to the bleachers. Now, we are peering through the wall occasionally being moved along by the cops.

  33. A slave revolt is a pretty good analogy and brings to mind the scene in History of the World Pt. 1 (It is said that the people are revolting! You said it, they stink on ice. ). The simultaneous uttering of empty platitudes about the working class from the aristocracy juxtaposed with the utter revulsion they feel for us is the defining feature of the ruling class. What is more, many of them don’t even seem to realize it. The Bronx Bimbo Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was holding forth on twitter the other day declaring Republicans the party of big business and Democrats the party of the working man (er, person). She seems oblivious to the fact that big business is in bed with the Democrats and working class people voted for Trump. On the other hand she seems pretty oblivious in general.

    • As an aside, your anecdote reminded me of an experience I had the other day. I was online later in the evening to apply for a tax ID number for a business and was told that the website was closed, and that it was only open during certain hours. The process is completely automated, I had the new tax ID in seconds when I applied during the hours it was open. Why would a website that is completely automated be closed for much of the week, unless there is a team of disgruntled Federal bureaucrats watching the website perform automated tasks.

      • The retard level of American society has reached such an epic fever pitch that people actually think that this shit is justified – and acceptable.

        The purpose of a website – is so that there is CONSTANT access, and your requests don’t have to be handled manually.

        Do not know for sure – but I suspect that many of these websites simply act as another “window” into the manual paperwork that is processed by all the useless government employees behind the scenes. So when the employees aren’t present – they “shut down” the website so that when they get back to their desks they don’t have to do more than their union prescribed work load.

        I worked in tech in internet startups for a number of years back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Bear in mind that the technology is MUCH better these days. So when I see these kinds of things I think to myself : “these people are just downright stupid – or they’re making things hard on purpose – but let’s start with stupid”

        Remember back to when the health care connector websites were being created for Obamacare – and it was costing 100’s of millions of dollars?

        What a farce. There’s startup web companies that create things far more complicated than that crap on venture capital seed money only reaching in the (low) tens of millions.

        The way the government implements web technology is proof positive that they are completely and utterly incompetent – and corrupt.

    • Arthur, AOC may or may not be oblivious, but we now live in a culture where the grossest mischaracterizations and lies are put out there, and are repeated and cited despite their obvious and cited falsity. It is the new way of things, where people are willingly duped into buying into a fantasy world of pain and suffering, all from the comfort of their easy chair. The media’s job is to provide grist for that mill.

      • The population is more seriously split than ever. Acquaintences lap that sh*t up, and I don’t even listen – or read, having pre-judged it as a lie – her lips are moving.

    • Occasional Cortex has lefty tweeters on staff, “talking their book”, of imperial lies. She couldn’t write that stuff.

  34. Debate, petitioning the government for grievances, “participatory democracy,” and voting are dead and gone.

    What comes next is pledging one’s life, fortune, and sacred honor in the defense of liberty. Or tyranny. The ball, as they say, is in our end of the court.

    • You believe that we should be fighting for liberty? Liberty has only ever existed in white countries. What does that suggest we should really be fighting for? To focus on liberty is to overlook the prerequisites for liberty.

      • DeKlerk conned his people into expecting “power sharing”, and told them they should be glad that large swathes of property were not nationalized in 1994. 25 years later those “individual rights” amount to nothing in the face of demographic warfare.

    • Display Yellow.
      Start getting the message out, …
      SOLIDARITY with the dissenting anti Globalists in the EU, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Brazil. I’ve got a yellow t-shirt over my passenger seat. I tried to buy a yellow vest off a barely able to stand eighty something Wallmart greeter. Poor lady, I assumed she could use $20 but she had integrity.

  35. At the end of the don’t hang up calls, there is an opportunity to opt out and then they do not call you anymore. That worked for me.

    • Huh. I might try that. “Don’t hang up” gets me to hang-up every time.

      * I actually received a “do not hang up call” while typing this. I pressed “9” to no longer receive information on a medical brace they think I need for some reason.

      • You should call the Medicare or your insurance fraud line about this. There have been a number of people who have had these “medical supply” companies who are fraudulently billing Medicare for these devices in the name of people who have never received them, nor need them, nor even asked for them!

    • I’ve never found that to be effective. I’ve selected the opt out for the “Your car’s warranty is about to expire” calls before, and they keep calling.

    • The opt-out never works. Just to test, I opted out of the same call every day for a week. Now I go through to get a person and then either let it sit quietly or blast music.

      • Never answer. They list by whether the number responds, i.e. if you answer the phone.

        Even after a serious company data breach, I still only get the two odd calls per day. My uncle at the phone company told me to simply ignore them. Had about 6 per day before that, from giving a solar saleswoman my info at Home Depot.

        Some hostile has doxxed Zman on a private journo-list.

  36. What if Trump leaves the government down for a full year? What will that do to the progressive narrative?

    • SNAP funds run out in February. Presumably some of the shortfall would be made up at the state level, and we might find out that a noticeable portion of recipients are overweight. Blacks are going to immediately accuse Trump of a “genocidal plot”, while accusing white rural Trump supporters of “voting against their own interests”.

      Congress could selectively revive certain programs, and substantial lobbying will ensue to make that happen. The true beneficiary of SNAP is Big Ag and JPMorgan who holds the contract to run EBT.

      • Weird thing this evening. I needed to get something for dinner, arrived at my nearby Publix (grocery store) just before 6 PM, and lo and behold, waiting in line in front of the deli counter where the scrumptious, freshly-made fried chicken that Publix prepares, were nearly 10 very large A-A adults, both male and female. I had never seen this before as I usually do my shopping in mid-day. I guess the SNAP card works for fried chicken, too, as well as other government assistance programs. There will be hell to pay if the cards get cut off IMO. The store’s chain-link gates will come crashing down if this happens. Lovely image I’m conjuring up.

  37. To focus on the nonessential part of the column, see for your phone SPAM problem. It works great on our landline. Since we are not of the generation who live by our cell phones, we give out our cell numbers rarely and have very little SPAM there. It’s free for landlines but there’s a fee for cells.

    • The weird thing is, I rarely give out my cell. I don’t even give it to credit card companies. I give them a fake number. The people who have my number are about a dozen friends, my doctor and some clients. All of whom know it is the last resort. E-mail and text are preferred. Call only in an emergency.

      • You know, I’m not guarded about my number, and I hardly get any spam. Could this be some sort of Antifa harassment strategy against you?

      • They just auto-generate the numbers and start calling to see if anybody answers. My cell phone number distribution is similar to yours – and I’ve watched how the calls come in.

        There has been no connection between places I know I have given out the number to – and spam calls that I have received.

        Keeping the number private is no defense against robo-callers if they’re generating numbers and then calling. You need a more in depth defense.

        • Yeah, the auto-dialer has been around for decades. Pols started using them in the early 1990’s. Today, the software is more sophisticated so the bad numbers are flagged. The robo-dialers then sell their lists to others. There’s a better than even chance the cell carriers are selling your data to these people too. AT&T sells you location data in real time.

          • Back in the 80’s & 90’s when the bots still operated on reptilian IQ levels, a cool trick was to record the “doo doo doo” tone that preceded :
            “The number you have reached is no longer in service” recording….
            When you started your answering machine (remember them?) recording with that, it was a like a post hypnotic disconect command to the bots….also eliminating your number from the database.
            it might still work…..🤔

          • I’ve got a landline (cable co.) They gave me a management system where I could block calls. Every robo-call I got, I would block. About twenty or thirty and things were nice and quiet for awhile. But they’s simply switch what number called me after awhile. It became an endless game of block and switch. I’ve given up.

          • I was told by an A T T agent they use VOIP and technology to generate the numbers that show up in your screen. You cannot call them back but you may be calling a legit number

          • They have an essentially infinite supply of numbers. They don’t even have to own them. I’ve seen them spoofing valid numbers many times. Blocking doesn’t do any good at all.

      • I noticed decades ago that govt stopped trying to make life a little better in small but important ways. remember when ATMs came on the scene and we were told how much money it saved banks not having to pay for tellers? Then they started charging for the use of their modem to withdraw money for you from a different bank, Soon, it was $2.50 a transaction. Consumers screamed but the banks told us that ATMs were expensive to operate and stuff with cash.

        Govt promised to fix this but never did, of course.

        Potholes in your town? The homeless need that money. Traffic jams and rush hour? More freeways or lanes hurt the environment. Ride a bike.

        In Cal one agency spent over $100,000,000 to upgrade their computer software. Never worked. They could have gone to Amazon and said, who does your amazing software, and we’ll hire them, but then there wasn’t enough graft in that.

        Need good roads? Let’s build a fast (slow) train to nowhere for 50 billion (and more).

        Govt is so dysfunctional in everything (including the military now) it isn’t funny. That’s partly why America is over and will have to either break up, or become overtly imperial in every sense.

        • I assume it is happening. Again, AT&T is selling real-time geolocation data to bounty hunters and presumably anyone else willing to buy it.

    • I have a Calls Blacklist app on my Android phone – which I just add numbers to as they come in. When I first got the thing a couple of years ago (after being on a dumb phone for years) – I was getting a lot of calls coming thru – despite being on the Do Not Call list.

      I got sick and tired of answering all those calls like ZMan is describing – and for some reason my Android doesn’t have a built in blacklist – so I had to install the app.

      After a few months of mercilessly adding any number that didn’t check out – or did something that pissed me off….. I found the number of “spam” calls went down to almost nothing.

      The thing is this: all of this robo-spamming crap is automated. The just generated numbers to call – and robo call until they get a response. If they don’t get thru – then the automation eventually starts reducing the times it tries to call you. So blacklist their asses and the call volume should drop.

      • That may be why the spoofers keep rolling over to different numbers every call. I never answer unfamiliar numbers. Craigslist replies to my (few) ads are all text, so I’m safe there.

      • Just block (or sent automatically to voice mail) all calls that don’t match anyone in your contacts list.

  38. Excellent!

    And I have adopted your practice of calling DC “the Imperial City”. That is exactly how they see it. And they view the rest of the country, outside of a few other big cities, as back-water provinces of the empire. Places that can keep their opinions to themselves and the tax-dollars flowing into the Imperial coffers.

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