The Devil’s Work

There is an old expression that has fallen out of favor in the post-scarcity age, but it may be the key to understanding the current crisis. That expression is, “Idle hands do the Devil’s work.” When people do not have anything productive and useful to do with their time, they are more likely to get involved in trouble and criminality. A variant of this is “The Devil makes work for idle hands.” The idea there is if you want to avoid Old Scratch, then make sure you keep yourself useful to God.

The source of these proverbs is unknown, but variations of them go back to the early middle ages, so it is probable they evolved with Christianity. It is not unreasonable to think the idea is universal to civilization. After all, every human society has had to deal with the idle, lazy, and troublesome. Making sure these people are kept too busy to cause trouble is one of those primary challenges of civilization. Every ruler has known that too many idle young men is bad for his rule.

Even in the smaller context, this is something we instinctively know. In the workplace, people with too much free time get into trouble. If the IT staff has too much free time, they start tinkering around with the stuff that is working and before long that stuff stops working and the system goes down. A big part of what goes on inside the schools is to keep the kids and the teachers busy. Home schoolers have known for years that the learning content is just a few hours a day. The rest is busy work.

The point here is that people of all ages need a purpose, something that occupies their mind and their time. If something useful and productive is not filling that need, then something useless or unproductive will fill the void. For most people this may be a hobby or leisure activity. For others, it often means a useless activity is turned into something important. Elevating the mundane to the level of the critical and then creating drama around the performance of the mundane activity.

This is what we see in our political class. The ruling class of every society has a ceremonial role, a procedural role, and a practical role. Outside of a crisis like a war or natural disaster, the political class is performing its duties in the same way a line worker in a factory preforms his role. In popular government this means the pol shows up at public events. He performs the tasks his office requires like signing papers and casting votes. He helps grease the wheels when they need grease.

Into the 20th century, most of our political offices were part-time jobs. State legislatures met for a short period during the year. Otherwise, the legislators were back home doing their jobs. Executive positions like governor and president were fulltime jobs, as they were in charge of the civil service and in the case of president, commander-in-chief of the military. Within living memory, Washington DC would empty out in the spring and remain empty until the fall when Congress returned.

What we see today is politics at all levels has become a full-time job, but one with less to do when it was considered a part-time job. Congress, for example, is something close to a 24-hour drama now. The politicians and their retinues are now doing politics as a full-time obsession. Yet almost all of what they do is unnecessary. In fact, much of what they do is harmful. Very few things passed by Congress enjoy the support of the majority of the people or even a large plurality.

It is not just that these part-time jobs have been made into full-time obsessions. It is that much of what we used to need from government is now filled by individuals, ad hoc networks, and the private sector. Much of what government does is actually done by private contractors on government contracts. One of the ironies of the post-Cold War world is that the federal workforce has declined relative to the population, while the number of people employed in politics has gone up.

Then there is the fact that much of what government does could be automated or simply eliminated entirely. The services that are required like renewing licenses and paying fees can all be automated. In many cases they have been, but that did not result in fewer people, as we see in the dreaded private sector. Instead, it resulted in more idle hands looking for a purpose. On the political side, much of what Congress does could also be eliminated or automated.

What has happened in the last 30 years is we have grown the idle class at the top of our society and while decreasing their necessity. Much of what goes on in our politics is make work designed to get public attention. Think about it. If the cable news channels were shuttered and the social media platforms run by the oligarchs were closed, what would change in America? Nothing of practical importance. Our world would get quieter and there would be a boom in forgotten hobbies.

American political culture evolved during the Cold War to fight communism and prevent a nuclear war. Those were important tasks that occupied the minds and hands of the political class. Once those things went away, those idle hands searched about for a new crisis. Health care, Gaia worship, Islam and now invisible Nazis have been used to keep the idle hands of the political class busy. In the process, the political class has been driven mad and is threatening the rest of society.

A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.

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255 thoughts on “The Devil’s Work

  1. Yet almost all of what they do is unnecessary.

    So much of what they do is pointless. In their drama, they seek to change massive, complex systems. Due to the complexity, the may succeed in changing one thing, but something else just goes wrong in another part of the system. See ‘Change, Climate’.

    I really do think that when people – and I must say it is close to the vast proportion of them – realize how valueless they are, well, depression will sky rocket and that’s just for starters. There is just so much make work. Like you’ve said before, this make work is there for a purpose – simply to keep people busy. But we seem to be creating make work roles that give quite a lot of power to people to meddle.

    A great example is the HR directors/managers. These people could be kept busy by just performing some routine checks around the office. Or counting files. Or washing the CEOs car. Instead, a whole make work industry has arisen and these people have serious clout in many organizations.

    Every man needs a hobby, though. Something to challenge his muscles and his mind. Expecting that you’ll get value and satisfaction from your work is, for most, a fool’s errand.

    • People may not realize it, as make work seems to be the rule rather than the exception.

      It is very easy to spot this behavior in positions like HR/DIE directors, academic administrators, or journalism. However, the problem runs deep. Even in STEM academic fields, take machine learning for example, there are hundreds of papers posted to arxiv each day. The vast majority are unimportant make work.

      • Interesting point about stem. I am currently undertaking a study of Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming. One thing the author does well is to trace the history of an idea. For most of the seminal computer science papers, there is only ever a single author.

        If I read a paper in that field these days, there are always three or more authors. And the results seem less grand. Have you seen this sort of ‘author’ bloat on papers more recently? Or is it just me?

        • This is because the low, mid, and mid-high level fruit in our current technological paradigm have been picked.

          We need a fundamental breakthrough in a field like superconductivity or cold fusion.

          A lot of people are wishing for a fundamental breakthrough in AI.

          Pretty sure any AI worth a damn would immediately conclude mankind needs to be eliminated.

          • Don’t want to be blackpilling, but if you are hoping for breakthrough in superconductivity you will be disappointed. People have been grinding on this for a long time without success. Friends in this area with grad degrees from good schools have moved onto data science or programmer positions. And there is close to zero commercial application for superconductivity systems. There IS some commercial application for quantum computing but, in general, hardware science isn’t doing great. Like >80% of VC money flowing into software. The simple hardware stuff isn’t very innovative and can just be made in China for cheap. The innovative stuff is very hard to develop (maybe impossible).

            Another blackpill: if you want to know what a big hit is in startup business these days, think doordash. Not much innovation there yet its worth $30B. Its a business built on the back of low cost coolie-type laborers. How can one get excited about this technical future?

          • I’m not.

            I’m well aware superconductors are one of those amazing technologies that can do everything but leave the laboratory.

            Cheap, easy to manufacture, room-temperature superconductors would be a game changer for the reduced I^2*R losses alone.

            Fully agree Doordash is essentially old wine in new bottles, much like the Wi-tricity crap everyone freaked about in ’08.

          • Surely an AI smart enough to eliminate us would figure out even before they want to eliminate us that it will die if not for us. Any AI which wants to live and get rid of us must have mastery of the physical world before getting rid of us. It needs to be able to fully automatically generate its own energy and manufacture spare parts all from stuff it is capable of producing through mining, energy and manufacturing.
            Of course, this is contingent on AI being possible with the PN junction. Our brains are electro-chemical and not based on binary.

            IMHO, narrow AI is a MUCH bigger and more immediate concern.

        • I’ve wondered: if Turing hadn’t been a seminal figure, would computer science be so spergy? Or the internets? Would young men be in better shape?

          • Yes.

            The inherent nature of computing and engineering in general require people wired a bit differently upstairs.

          • A bit out of my depth here, it’s something I’ve I find intriguing anyway. Is the logic a result of the technological limitations of the time or is the tech a result of the logic? In other words, would it be possible for the field to develop along other lines, or have we all learned to think like Alan Turing? Sort of like how automobiles are still fundamentally 19th century tech.

          • Modern computing logic was initially developed with mechanical technology by Charles Babbage.

          • Tech always flows from what is physically possible. So the logic is the result of the physical/technical limitation.

            Sometimes the logic of how these systems might work precedes the physical application. For example, in modern computers logic of how binary things work (off/on, 1/0) was developed before transistor: boolean algebra developed in 1850s as mathmatical concept, Shannan applied boolean logic to electronic systems in 1930s, and the invention of transistor that resulted in modern digital computer in 1940s then made heavy use of Shannan’s concepts. Prior to computer no one knew that boolean logic would be important for this application.

            Also, IMO, most of the people that work in this area are more interested in things not people. STEM fields have a bias towards spergy nerds. The field requires years of learning and work in isolation. If you don’t like working alone then you probably won’t like STEM. Which is why, despite modern university propaganda most smart STEM capable women would rather do other things for living. They tend to prefer working with and helping people.

          • That rings true to me. Honestly it interests me because I was a pretty big math and science nerd at one time, enjoy working in isolation, have been called socially inept at times and might be a little spergy— and yet computer science has never made sense to me. Hardware side, no problem. Programming, forget it. It’s one of those nuts I wish I could crack…

          • Are you me?

            I like the hardware side of electronics, I enjoy IT work, but actual programming does nothing for me, other than writing SQL queries and stored procedures that operate on the database.

        • It’s how they’re remunerated: basically by published column inch. Even the coffee girl wants unto the author’s list because it all ticks in as mileage on the CV, even if she’s listed 27th. The woman with the most column inches gets the tenure.

          Or that’s how it worked until recently, that is…

          • If they all took to the Big Orange Schlong a bit more readily, the world would be a much happier place.

          • Well, yes. But as noted, when applying for a vaulted tenure position, you’d best be notable in your field. Much, as always, due to you connections. A lot wrt your grantsmanship—money talks. Then finally, what you publish and in what journals.

          • As an old university president once said at a meeting, “Whenever I have a thorny problem, I had it to a committee to study the issues—and it goes away”. He was not joking.

        • Author bloat, paper bloat are part of the same phenomenon—“publish or perish”—and its stepchild, “grantsmanship”. You can also measure the “worth” or contribution of these “studies” by looking up their citations in print by other authors. Such stat’s paint a pretty dismal picture.

          Yes, low hanging fruit has been picked for the single author, early in the field. I remember a time where some CS departments had few, if any, faculty with formal CS degrees. The field is much more crowded these days as the science matures into a more formal discipline, and the result is as Z-man points out, a type of busywork in the academy.

          • Along with publish-o-perish, if we didn’t have an income tax, we wouldn’t have a government so mad to create “incomes” to pay interest to the owners of the Federal Reserve.

            I’d rather a stable society of crafts-men and -women, learning their skills and refining the wisdom from the previous generation, instead of GDP drones in the hamster wheel.

            Those idle hands? As if we didn’t have a ton of real things that need to be done and aren’t. Close the damned border and reform immigration to majority white already. And repudiate the Odious Debt.

        • “I am currently undertaking a study of Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming.”

          Respect! I wish I could hear your observations as you proceed.

          • Well, not too far yet. I only started last week. But I intend to document everything, and at some point host a site with commentary on the sections, perhaps some reviews detailing math prerequisites as well as answers to as many of the exercises as possible. It’s going to be a long project, I reckon well over 1,000 hours for the three volumes I have.

            If you’ve not seen it, this is interesting reading:


          • What programming languages do you favor? I’m a C#/C++/C, Python, JavaScript guy. Did a bit of Scala.

          • Started with C++. Learnt the Linux Systems Call API and got heavily into C. I recently finished the book Eloquent JavaScript and loved it. A lot of people seem to loathe JS, but I think it’s a pretty neat language.

            I have only just started learning Python (Django framework) as I have to ‘review’ some work done for us by a Pajeet contractor. But Scala? Never. Had a former colleague who loved it and I grant him, it did look interesting.

            AWK as well actually. Do you know? I would say that AWK and regular expressions have saved my bacon many a time.

        • In old days paper could be a theoretical paper that described innovative idea. Or maybe a experimental observation with profound implication. These papers were mostly short and simple and high impact. Look at Watson and Crick’s paper, 1 page and 1 figure, describing structure of DNA for example:

          These older style of papers described the low hanging discovery/fruit of science and were mostly exploited by the late 1960s. Now we have to reach for the high branches. This work is more experimental and requires bigger teams and budgets. This is why author list is getting bigger. And maybe a successful result is narrower and less profound. As progress is more difficult and slow, the talents required to advance the progress change. Lab manager types rather than single brilliant innovators can be useful now. And since progress is stagnating, now there is more room virtue signaling faculty (since, you know, chances for real success aren’t great might as well hire the diversity profs — science may stagnate but at least we can feel good about each other).

        • That’s what the “publish or perish” paradigm looks like when there’s nothing new going on: twenty experts co-authoring a paper on why the sky is still blue.
          They’re just responding to the incentives they were given. Incentives that assume Progress is not only inevitable, but it can also be willed into existence in time for the next artificial deadline.

        • We’ve also noticed movies, which used to be made in Folly-Wierd by MGM, Universal, &c, are lately being put together with/by several companies. Likely it is a cost i$$ue….

      • And then, and then each of those little fiefdoms establishes ‘necessary’ credentials supported by useless degrees in order to ‘professionalize’ their status and self-esteem. And the umbrella organizations collect dues to promote their importance and serve as a gatekeeper.
        Not to castrate a dead horse, but doesn’t the Vice President of Diversity tick a few boxes?

    • Expecting that you’ll get value and satisfaction from your work is, for most, a fool’s errand.
      Well that’s why I push for the trades so much especially mine because I do get satisfaction and value from my work…It also keeps me in great shape and is a ton of fun especially hanging from a helicopter 😉

    • Expecting that you’ll get value and satisfaction from your work is, for most, a fool’s errand.”
      So very true. If you allow your “career” to define you, you’re bound to be a miserable sot.

    • The number of people on the take is astronomical. Unlike welfare recipients, who largely as a result of their welfare taking “do no harm,” the results of the professional people on the take do nothing but enormous harm. They impose a cost on the rest of us above and beyond their salary. It would be an enormous improvement for everyone if we just locked in their salaries for life and sent them home.
      There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who do nothing but impose a cost on us in many ways big and small.

  2. “Every ruler has known that too many idle young men is bad for his rule.” True, except when the rulers need 24 hour chaos and protest against the opposition.

  3. 1 Timothy 5:13

    [13]And withal being idle they learn to go about from house to house: and are not only idle, but tattlers also and busy bodies, speaking things which they ought not.

    • but tattlers also and busy bodies

      Preach it. My goodness, is it ever true?
      My wife informed me the other day that a lady she knows had the Police called on her. The crime? You may have guessed it… illegal gathering of more than ‘x’ people in the house. Except, the dirty grass who called the bobbies wasn’t actually sure of the number and had told them ‘at least six’, which is the limit apparently. There were only three. Think of the resources wasted, then multiply by 1,000.

        • That is a DANGEROUS idea and one already being used against white people. At least one county or city out there (I forget which one) has a passed an ordinance making it a crime to call the police “unnecessarily” on a black person.
          They have basically made ‘policing’ yourself illegal or legal, but so risky that nobody with any judgement does it.
          Communities used to police themselves. When communities police themselves there is little opportunity for grift and they don’t enforce ridiculous rules. Professional full time police have to justify their existence, there is endless room for grift and corruption and they enforce every single rule no matter how stupid and useless the rule is. Changing bad rules becomes difficult because grifts grow up under the bad rule and too many entrenched interests oppose changing the rules.

        • But, increasingly, there repercussions for calling the law on negroes, even when they’re committing a crime against you.

      • Much easier to harass peaceful citizens than knock over the local drug gang.

        Gets those bronze one day closer to that golden, tax-payer funded pension with minimal risk.

        • Heh. You know, for once I will disagree with this. The Branch Covidianism shown by our authority figures really does seem to trump Multiculturalism.

          It is with great misfortune that I must frequent London’s Brick Lane. I noted some weeks back that the mosques around the area were closed up. Even the ‘Sons of Allah’ seem to have been put under the cosh. Of course, all places of worship are still under the same restrictions, but nobody does random spurts of violence quite like those mussulmans. And they seem to have been quiet.

          But on another day, you’d be right. Special treatment seem to be the norm for these people. Just ask Nicholas Griffin when he tried to sound the alarm about ‘Muslim Grooming Gangs’.

      • Reminded over and over of Chesterton statment: “If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the 10,000 commandments”

        Corollary: those 10,000 will be administered and carried out by 10,000 x 10,000.

      • First time I read the Psalms just all the way through I couldn’t help but notice about 10% of the hundred and fifty of them are about the horrors of having a nagging quarrelsome wife. It still cracks me up

      • It seems most wisdom in the Western world can be traced to the Bible. Funny that…”

        Yep, was thinking that. Not overly religious myself, but I can’t help thinking how prescient the Bible can be in matters of human nature. Not day day goes by that one or more of these observations comes to pass. Perhaps that is why I keep remembering them.

  4. Echoes of Baudrillard in this piece. Download your copy of Congress Simulator 2021 today, that would make as much difference as voting and would undoubtedly be more fun.

  5. I was always fond of Pascal’s observation ,All human evil comes from a single cause, man’s inability to sit still in a room.

    • Respectfully, Pascal’s observation came from a time when whites believed that the psychology of non-whites is the same as whites.

      This assumption is one of the main vulnerabilities of whites. Whites have no idea how much more tribally that non-Whites view the world.

      Regardless of whether a non-white can sit still in a room or not, most of them want their race to dominate.

      There is not a singular human nature. There are multiple racial human natures. The overlap between the multiple racial human natures is very small.

  6. You actually see this with not only our ruling class but with the people themselves. And of course the politicians are only too happy to oblige the volk with their desire. It’s all related to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Once the basic needs of life have met (as they have in all Western nations) – adequate food, shelter, basic human rights, even entertainment – then the idle begin seeking and demanding even more “needs”. Yesterday’s wants become today’s needs. And as long as the aforementioned needs are being met, new needs must be added to the list, needs like abortion, third world immigration, gay marriage, transgenderism, on and on and on. The new “needs” will never stop until someone or something takes away the older ones. That’s why we have busy-body politicians. As the saying goes, people get the government they deserve.

    • The best variation of that that I’ve seen is something like “if you can’t find food, you have one problem, if you can find food you have a thousand problems”.

    • The United States was founded as a rural and agricultural republic of limited powers. It was understood that the yeoman had plenty of work to do to keep himself busy and out of trouble, and it was the job of the government to defend the borders, deliver the mail, and heave him the hell alone to figure out how to best run his own life.

      As Jefferson prophesied in his letter to Madison in December 1787, “our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural… when they get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe.”

      • Its taking 2 weeks for ground mail to get delivered where I live now. Thank goodness we are so good at all the other stuff!

        • The collapse of delivery times by the USPS these past couple months isn’t getting the attention it should. Can we assume the root of the problems lies in a vibrant workforce?

  7. Some time back (I think in a Taki column) you pointed out that the black political class, people like Ta Nehisi-Coates, should be laughing all the way to the bank, but that they’re resentful, because they know their righteous anger posture is just a sideshow for their white ruling class handlers. Maybe the reason people like Pelosi and Schumer have gone totally insane is that, now that Big Tech is even bigger than Wall Street or the Israeli Lobby, the pols know that they really have no power at all. Sure, they’re happy enough being corrupt, as it keeps the refrigerator stocked with ice cream, but real power, the power to push people around, destroy their lives, spy on them (all the good stuff) is something handled by Silicon Valley. Pelosi is like the magician’s chimp in the tuxedo who’s embarrassed by his minor role and wishes he could saw the pretty girl in the box in half.

    • Back before Brexit, the British had a big expense scandal in parliament: lots of both hilarious and petty expenses were paraded in the media, but the real lead was buried: some freshmen westmonsters told about how they’d been pressured by the party whip to use up all their expense allotments, so they couldn’t moralfag on their colleagues.

      Some dude on the internet made the observation that with Westminster stripped of any meaningful power, the only meaningful activity of a parliamentarian was to get as rich as possible.

  8. The large corporation I worked for for thirty-five years had something called “Management by Objectives” for the salaried employees. This meant that just keeping the lights green wasn’t good enough. You had to be constantly looking for something new to do. I think of this with things like the EPA and the CPSC. There will never be “Good Enough”. They are always looking for something to regulate when at some point they should be dismantled and the personnel taught to bag groceries. Or maybe we could start letting other people pump our gas. While there’s gas.

    • A large company I worked at (not for) decades ago was known to fire IT employees if they didn’t come up with/commit to “projects”. I reflected with the missus that I played a small role at the time in getting that company to undertake a massive change project that impacted the entire company. I was gone well before they even started, but it was by any measure a disaster and by the time it was mature it would have been dated and time to throw it out. Given the wisdom of years I wouldn’t even think to pitch such a ludicrous project now, and that’s why I’d probably be fired if I worked at such a place (I mean, besides all the other obvious reasons).

      • Ugh. At the last company I worked for, every year we had to invent a number of bullshit “goals” for ourselves in addition to the basic “do a good job at our job” thing. I was on salary plus commission, so you would think that “selling a lot of stuff” and “happy customers” would be all I’d frickin’ need because that was what they hired me to do and paid me with incentives that directly reflected how well I’d done it, but nooooo…. I had to come up with a lot of bullshit ancillary professional development goals and crap like that and any goal I came up with, then would be measured for my evaluation next year. So even if I increased sales in my region 50% above quota, I’d get dinged if I didn’t complete my “develop five white papers or technical training seminars and present them to fellow consulting engineering staff” goal.

        One year we went to a new computer system for entering and tracking these and I played along. The next year I went on strike and just never entered the goals until about a month or two before my next evaluation my hapless manager realized I hadn’t done it and begged me to get it done. So I looked back at what I’d done over the year and made those my goals. Win! That worked so well I tried to do it again the next year, but my manager was wise to me. 😉

      • They did this at the large defense firm where I worked.

        After the actual improvements were done it turned into make work that played into your key results expected.

        It’s sad watching otherwise intelligent people perform the grey collar equivalent of digging holes and refilling them for $75k a year.

  9. A problem we all face in being a member of the human family: How to keep people harmlessly distracted when they are not working? But politicians do most of their harm when they are working. Executive orders, laws, regulations, the IRS code alone! Good God is there no end to it? Would fill the Library of Babel.

  10. “The devil’s work makes idle hands”
    I switched it up because if you’re in a high crime area there won’t be work for people to do.

    • True. Crime causes poverty, poverty doesn’t cause crime. Criminal justice classes still parrot the retard line.

      If you can’t live or work safely in a place, you won’t open a store. Plus, the aldermen will only grant low licenses- tatoo parlors, liquor stores, nail salons- because they want the good stuff under their thumb.

  11. Busy work has been a corporate mainstay for decades. Manager have to justify their positions, so they hire more people to expand their departments.

    Ultimately they end up with a large team of people all trying to look busy in a department that only has enough work for the two or three people who originally ran the entire department.

    Politicians have done exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, government has no concept of “internal restructuring” which in the corporate world, results in massive lay offs.

    Government is the only organization where you don’t have to prove that what you do actually adds real value to the bottom line.

    • Decades ago I started my work life in that exact situation. Most couldn’t understand my problem with just looking busy, it pays well. Self employment from then on.

      • I’m a one-person shop and my work is small and to some probably not that important but it has to get done. Like if I’m sick I still have to work because it’s actually essential. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me that I’m useful.

    • Take a good look at the current military. Talk about idle hands! For the best example, just look at all the uniform changes over the last few years. Of course, there’s the ships hitting other ships thing…
      Positions have to be continuously justified with busy work.

      • @ Outdoorspro – Be thankful for the military you have. I have always had high praise for your service men and women and always will. Especially those poor unfortunates who were forced to “protect” the Capitol, only to be abused by elected officials. 

        What a disgrace! Their Commander should be up on charges of dereliction of duty for forcing them to sleep on the floor of a parking garage without cots and sleeping bags – which we all know they have in storage somewhere. 

        The German military, like most European military forces today (exception UK) is complete joke. The Bundeswehr is nothing more than dumping ground for idiots who aren’t smart enough to get into a University or learn a trade. It’s a six-month bierfest with weapons they barely know how to operate.

    • <i>Government is the only organization where you don’t have to prove that what you do actually adds real value to the bottom line.</i>

      In fact, the more you subtract from the bottom line – the more expenses you are able to produce – the more power you wield in government.

  12. I taught many members of the Millennial generation, who are now, of course, the up and comers of the political class. (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez IS the Basic College Girl). In all my years, I learned only one effective method of dealing with them – deprive them of drama. They come to you with some sob story about how they can’t turn in the paper on time. You say, “the due date is the due date.” For every wailing email they send — and they will, since “sending wailing emails,” a.k.a. The Drama, is the entire point of the exercise — you simply cut and paste “the due date is the due date.” After the third one, you send them to The Administration, and let them deal with it… but since they’re Drama addicts too, you reply to their inevitable zillion emails with “the due date is the due date. Tell me what to do here, in writing, for the record.” Since they hate Responsibility as much as they love Drama, they leave you alone — they pass the buck to the Registrar, and then all three of the Drama addicts (BCG, Administrator, Registrar) can fret and pull their hair out among themselves. I suggest finding ways of doing something analogous with the political class.

    • Read this back to yourself and listen to how absurdly feminine and pussified this behavioral paradigm sounds. It was -definitely- a good idea to let women into higher education, especially since they are now the majority. Can you imagine what a 19th century college professor or dean would think of the above bureaucratic hysterics? Though there are exceptions to the rule, in general, enfranchising all women was the 2nd death blow for this nation. The mass importation of cultural aliens was the first.

      Notice that prior to these two things we were literally a world bestriding giant and best at everything and the envy of the planet. Funny that…

      • Yeah, it’s awful. Chicks make everything and everyone in to chicks. In that environment, you either learn to out-chick the chicks, or cease to function.

        PS for some reason this comment got held in moderation. The world can wait on my brilliance and wisdom, but since I can’t see anything remotely spam filter-triggering in there, just and FYI in case WordPress is acting up.

        • Learned on Monday that my oldest was accepted to an all-men’s, traditional Catholic high school. $16k per year. Worth every penny…until his younger brother starts in three years. Gaugh…
          Frustrating thing is, the smart & ugly girls from my public high school / public college days in the late ’80’s/90’s were harmless. It is a pity.

      • Back when Rutherford was lecturing at Cambridge, every chair in the auditorium had an ash tray. The edge of the ash tray was padded with leather so you didn’t disturb the lecture when you knocked your pipe against it.

        Remember what they took from us, gentlemen.

        • Some of my faculty when I was an undergrad worn suit and tie, smoked in front of the class while lecturing. One in particular was very forgetful and bummed cigarettes from the class quit often. Last day of class, he arrived with an armful of cigarette cartons. He went around and identified students he had bummed cigarettes off of and gave them each a carton as thanks.

      • Most degrees are a joke anyways. Today most of college is Upper middle class women doing useless degrees, and guys going for the “college experience” aka improved chances to get laid.

        Another silver lining to the pandemic. Now these people get tens of thousands in debt, minus the “experience”.

        Don’t send your kid to college unless they have above average intelligence, a good head on their shoulders and a clear idea of a career path.

        • I used to tell classrooms full of undergraduates, to their faces, that 95% of them were wasting their time and money. On a totally unrelated note, my “teaching evaluations” were always brutal.

        • Totally agree. Although i loved college, and love learning, adn am pretty good at it, I’ve struggled to make a living. Wish I did a trade….

      • I think enfranchising women is 1st. Allowing women to work, making the home a political battleground, and allowing women a public voice. This is the greatest mistake we ever made. We could have controlled the n*ggers and kept immigration reasonable were it not for the the input and power of gash.

    • “They hate responsibility as much as they love drama”.
      9 words, yet so much truth packed into one short sentence.
      A candidate for the epitaph engraved on the tombstone of the Empire Formerly Known as the USA?

    • I was that college girl back 50+ yrs ago. As it was a women’s college the faculty was NOT impressed by drama — unless you were a Drama Major! I stayed up typing papers well into the night for every single “Dean’s Deadline” at noon the following day during my four undergraduate years.

      • No you weren’t – and I mean that as the highest compliment. That’s why I always capitalize Basic College Girl. They are almost literally a different species from those of us born prior to about 1992.

    • Almost all of our societal institutions are fundamentally broken and, as such, largely convert resources into entropy rather than order. For example, in higher education, most students now graduate with mental archives of useless information, arcane skills of no productive value, and a chip on their shoulder because they fear being revealed as worthless but carrying massive student debt as the reward for being duped.

      • I might disagree with arcane skills. How about no skills. Caplan in his book mentions a bit about studies of retention of class instruction after 4-5 years. It’s pretty dismal.

        • Also no information. I can’t tell you the number of times this happened in class: “Ok, review time. Who can tell me [something basic we just covered yesterday]? Nobody? Gosh, I saw all of you frantically typing something into your laptops yesterday. Who wants to do a ctrl-F search and give me the answer?” I still can’t figure out why my teaching evals were so consistently bad….

          • I agree that most of what happens in secondary education is glorified babysitting of post-pubescent adolescents and many leave with no knowledge acquisition or skill of any kind. But Progressive indoctrination is a serious focus of most liberal arts faculty and more than a few students become radicalized, hence Antifa recruits.

          • I learned how to write on my feet. Thee was this one class at UW Madison (I konw, get your snickering out of the way) US1917-1945, where we had to write complete essays at the exam in”blue books” (don’t know if they are still around)

            The discipline of being able to construct a descent essay right there, in long hand, was the apex of my undergrad career.
            2 decades later at a Masters degree, there was nothing as hard and challenging as that one undergrad history class.

            Oh, and Russian Lit.

    • When I taught classes as a grad student, I would always say on the first day of class, “the grading requirements don’t change if you come to my office and cry.” A number of female students told me that this offended them.

  13. Regarding the positive benefits of shuttering of cable news networks and social media, truer words were never spoken. As a matter of fact, those two things have exponentially multiplied the devil’s work across our society if not the world.

  14. It’s telling that the evangelists of automation and robotics never consider their products within a moral framework. Human beings need to work; labor is what gives someone meaning and dignity. Automation is dehumanizing, in that regards, and enables human mischief. This isn’t to say that Luddism is a good strategy, only that labor-saving devices should be analyzed from the framework of whether they enable idleness or expand production. If it’s the former, it ought to be avoided.

    • There are certain things we should be doing for ourselves. Not every task should be automated. You are correct, they spend all their time thinking about if they can and never if they should do something.

      • Yep, and of course, they profit upon capitalization of this social good an destroying such. So we have a choice, a system that perhaps produces a good at a slightly higher price—but keeps some inefficiency in production, like excess employment of your neighbors. Or, we can maximize efficiency, produce a good at the lowest cost, then tax your savings at a later date to pay for UBI to keep your neighbors from starving. A good example of the later may be seen in any inner city ghetto. No thanks.

    • Yeah, well, labor-saving devices, especially in the home, are meant to make life easier for women, so they have more time to gossip, neglect their kids, and generally goof off. Why would a man, a husband, care if his inamorata works her fingers to the bone washing dishes by hand, washing clothes in a wringer machine or killing and butchering a chicken for Sunday dinner? Does your wife care how hard you work in 7 to 330 life? Does she advise you to talk to the boss about getting some more people or equipment to help you out? The fact is, women don’t have enough work to do.

      • Funniest part are the women who dump their kids in pre-school at 3 or 4 because they “need to get them ahead early”.
        No, it’s because you’re lazy and don’t want to deal with them.
        Noticed that solid, hard-working women tend to congregate together and keep each other in check better than even their husbands can. The lazy ones drag all of them down with her. It’s similar to the phenomenon that women around lots of divorcees are more likely to divorce themselves.

        • Some people believe that though. I tell them the brain is a bucket, and just because you start filling it up sooner doesn’t mean the bucket will magically get bigger.

      • Well, yes and no. If a stay-at-home mom, yeah they have it easier than any pre WWII women. But after Feminism and the early 60’s, the majority work outside the home playing the (formally) man’s role. Now that may be argued as a choice, but no matter, it’s the reality today.

      • I remember wringer washers and scrub boards and have used them myself, so nah. We discount the fact that many men are willing to decamp or dump her on a train to Omaha when they find out they have a bun in the oven. Even in the “good ol’ days.” Let’s not fool ourselves.

  15. THIS is what made me at least sympathetic to libertarianish ideas for a long time. Not their so called “principles” but the observable fact that most of the government is just a waste of resources. There are over 2 million civilian federal government employees now. If two-thirds of them were fired tomorrow, would anyone else notice?

    • Those principles are not limited to deontological daydreams; to the contrary, they are inextricably linked to reality.

      • It was the open borders suicidal tenancies and the cultural marxism that drove me away, not the limited government / freedom stuff.

        • It was the me me me aspect about it that drove me away…If you don’t have a care for your people then someone else that does is going to rule you…Also the NAP principal is just an excuse to be a coward…

          • How is the NAP just an excuse to be a coward?

            Libertarians tend not to be the pussies signing up to be cops or soldiers who hide behind Caesar’s dress.

            The biggest pussies are always the cops and the soldier boys who could not live their lives without the succor of the state.

          • Because they really don’t follow it or they would already be dead…Or is it only followed when the entity against you isn’t a government…Also is you aren’t aggressive against those who are stealing everything you value then what good are you to your people…

          • Attacking and robbing your own innocent people who’ve done no harm and intend no harm is a value? The conservatives forgot everything uniting us when they signed up en masse for the police/military state. I submit that politically-directed virtue signaling hit them as hard as it did the left.

            Of course keeping your nose clean and living right is a true virtue. Of course minding your own business usually is too.

            We used to tolerate eccentricities when we could trust each other to police ourselves. Vices were kept in the closet or handled locally.

            War On Whatever is war on our own society, and society is built by the temperaments of the race who build it.

            Of course we were naifs. We’d never seen such focused, powerful culture war directed from within before. Neither left nor right realized the messages from above were meant to turn us against our own race and society.

            The Left signed up to be the lawyers and judges. The Right signed up to be the prosecutors. Libertarians ended up as the low-hanging fruit.

          • The NAP used to mean I’ll shoot back at the revenuers.

            When we lost the castle doctrine is when the NAP became unenforceable.

        • The thin libertarians have always maintained that support of anti-racism, cultural marxism, diversity, inclusiveness, and open borders is not part of libertarianism.

          I think you know that.

        • Let’s not forget their drive to legalize all drugs. As if saying, “If you don’t want to buy heroin, then just don’t buy it,” won’t destroy your community.

          • Oh boy. Here comes “a smoke and a beer are gateway drugs!” Next comes “ALL libertarians celebrate Drag Queen Story Hour!”

            Tradeoffs. Tradeoffs and incentives. Pain relief used to be handled by prescription and choice. Now we have a silent pandemic of chronic pain sufferers.

            Pain is the one thing even an animal will gnaw its own leg off to escape, yet smug bast***s are so high of their own supply they can’t imagine trying to actually fix the problem.

            Since you mention heroin, it was legal until 1975…until the (((storytellers))) rolled out a narrative to promote and protect their pharmaceutical black (and white) markets. Pharma, like vax, like media, like so many other tools, has been turned against society.

        • We’re all basic libertarians; we want to be left alone to grill. “A man’s home is his castle” and the Magna Carta were two pillars of Western legal philosophy.

          A small grift for a few rich men, the war on “weed”, a useful niche farm product, handily combined with and continued Prohibition’s under-the-table money to politicos, judges, and police chiefs.

          As corruption niches grew along with the political class, gatekeepers redirected social efforts into opportunistic witch hunting. Yesterday’s hidden pot smoker is today’s hidden extremist.

          As frustrated conservatives were increasingly discouraged to talk about race and Jewry, they were encouraged and diverted into blank-slate social issues. Buckley conservatives were the rightwing version of social justice warriors in tandem with the lefty versions.

          Western Constitutional, legal, and moral philosophy were inverted, turned on their head. Everyone was suspect. Law was no longer limited to redress for actual damage. Those teaching old American philosophies were replaced by activists empowered by the plethora of new ‘laws.’ Secret police and coerced informers were accepted as a normal part of a healthy society.

          Libertarians, seeing the growth of the political octopus, couldn’t understand why they were being attacked. Minor vices were a local matter, not a cause for Federal departments enforcing orthodoxy, to their line of thinking.

          The old consensus of “you stay out of my business, and I’ll stay out of yours” was smothering under the rise of Goodthink with legal penalties attached.

          Professional libertarians, responding to the training of political ‘science’, tried expanding the franchise. Perhaps the New Americans will swell our ranks! Libertarianism was converged with social justice- just as conservatism and liberalism were- and now “individual liberty” is associated with “corporate liberty” and open borders.

          Limited libertarianism is dead. The consensus to enforce it is gone. Ignoring the zealots is past. We are all forced to participate now.

    • Which 2/3rds? By today’s standards, only the joggers, wahmen, and push-starts would be left after the culling. You’d probably notice the handful of competent people missing.

  16. My question would be; “can we greatly reduce the size and scope of government back to what is was 100 years ago (or whatever)”?

    My guess is that it can not be done and only breaking the empire into small pieces could return us to any hope of living in freedom.

    • You question is a good one. But in short, you’re right. It cannot be done. This current ‘government’ may be often useless and inefficient – to us. But it is about as good as it gets for dealing with a huge society. What do you have in the US? 330 million people? With different colours. Different cultures. And many, many, actually like the lack of responsibility. When any system operates at scale, it must generalize. With that generalization – to suit all needs – comes inefficiency and a lack of ‘the personal touch’ that made even getting bank loan 50 years ago a more pleasant process than it is today. Going back? No dice.

      I think (and I hope) that the future is indeed smaller, materially poorer (compared to our decadent standards), and composed of tighter community bonds. Of course, if that future comes, it’ll be after even more hardship – but that seems to be how it goes, right? But hey, I don’t mind being obligated by a small, local governing body to mow my lawn and keep my house exterior in order. I don’t mind paying my tithe to a reasonable ruler. Just keep me the heck away from diversity, wokism and it’s hateful, vengeful commissars. Give me what I need to raise my white sons and daughters into competent and strong people.

      • Your argument contradicts itself. The current “government” is as good as it gets for both creating an unmanegable society and destroying it.

        • The current government is really as good as it gets in many people’s eyes. It has centralized almost everything. One can live in extreme comfort knowing that the state will be there. As I mention, many people love this. Certainly, at large scales with an irresponsible populace, it does make sense to centralize as much as you can and take control.

          But for those who are responsible it is certainly not as good as it gets. For those who cannot swallow all the dogma pills it is not as good as it gets. For those who didn’t need myriads of legislation to force them to be civil to one another, it is not as good as it gets. And of course, for those who want healthy sons and daughters who don’t hate and apologize for themselves, it is singularly not as good as it gets.

          I suppose it is a matter of how you view the government. I view it as softly controlling, but with a suicidal white element that hates itself. Give me a strong community that is proud of itself and I’ll trade quite a lot I currently have.

    • The collapse is the cure, and the faster we get there, the higher the bottom will be, and that means lesser pain overall. DC is now in the process of accelerating our drive to collapse, but normies driven by the Comfort First Imperative are fighting it tooth & nail. Ergo, kick the can to 2022 and vote harder is their rallying cry. In the interim, let us hurl snark at the Bad Guys because that’ll show ’em we mean business this time.

  17. Our greatest US president ever was William Henry Harrison, who died in office after about a month before he could do anything.

  18. One gets the feeling from the technocrats that they just want to be People Carrying Out Big Plans as an end in itself, just part of their own personal quest for identity, not to help regular people–and even if those plans bring disaster.

  19. 75 years ago Nanny said “… Devil’s workshop” same thing. different words. Was true 2,000 years ago. true in 2021!

  20. Yeah, here I am sitting on this bar stool,
    Talking like a damn fool
    Got the twelve o’clock news blues
    And I’ve given up hope for the afternoon soaps
    And a bottle of cold brew
    Is it any wonder I’m not crazy
    Is it any wonder I’m sane at all
    Well I’m so tired of losing
    I’ve got nothing to do and all day to do it
    Well I’d go out cruising, but I’ve no place
    To go and all night to get there
    Is it any wonder I’m not a criminal
    Is it any wonder I’m not in jail
    Is it any wonder I’ve got too much time on my hands
    It’s ticking away with my sanity
    I’ve got too much time on my hands
    It’s hard to believe such a calamity
    I’ve got too much time on my hands
    And it’s ticking away, ticking away from me

    I think Styx hit the nail on the head with these lyrics.
    Why else would there be an animal rights movement? Ditto for climate change? Or LGBTQWERTY BS?
    When everything is a crisis, nothing is a crisis.
    Standing pat, be it at the poker table or when designing something under a government contract, is often the best move. Change for change’s sake is often destructive. The point of these lunatics is to “solve” a “problem,” and then when the “solution” creates real world strife, they can devise more “solutions” that creates even more pain. It gives them a reason to exist.
    When people used to complain about a “do-nothing” Congress, I’d roll my eyes and say “First off, the system is designed to be slow and do nothing most of the time and lastly, doing something doesn’t always mean something good.”

    • That is awesome! I love that song. Bonus points for “twelve o’clock news blues,” which ties exactly to one of Z’s main points

    • Preservation of the status quo in the face of chaotic change is a wise approach. Back when I still believed in voting and when faced with a dozen or more complex, weasley California ballot propositions, I used to be guided by the rule “When in doubt, vote it out,” i.e. vote “No.” A good poker player knows when to fold weak cards.

      • I vote no for all levies, even ones which have a purpose of which I approve, on the theory that government has never once used any money I’ve given it wisely, so what are the odds that it would start now?

    • “Yeah, here I am sitting on this bar stool,
      Talking like a damn fool”

      By the way, where is Frip?

  21. Spectacular work, Z.
    Fred Reed is occasionally smart enough to be a good Devil’s Advocate. Recently he posited that economies can only employ so many useful people, i.e craftsmen, engineers, labourers, etc. When there are more people than positions, the idle drive the bloat. If that is true (and I am not saying it is) … the question becomes: what to do with all the excess people?
    A cull, perhaps…? A looming civil/culture war might do the job nicely…

    • That’s why some people advocate a UBI. I don’t, however, because (aside from the economic impossibilities) I think a bunch of idle people who get explicitly paid to be idle are even worse for society than people in positions for which we can invent a polite fiction for why the job exists.

      • Correct. I believe the future scenario of UBI that has been proposed can be viewed in any inner city. Folks lounging around, gaming the system for a few extra bucks, getting into trouble with the law on a regular basis—and this isn’t only a Black thing.

        • They have something like UBI in Norway

          I was there in Oslo in summer visiting a friend when sunlight was out pretty much all day. So what we would do around midnight after hanging out at the clubs is go to the public park and sit around the fountain drinking beers and goofing off and catcalling and I was thinking “I am like a black person now lol”.

          • Fortunately, Norway is mostly full of Norwegians, so lounging around and goofing off is all they get up to.

          • Sounds more like high school to me. I’d rather the denizens of my country mature and look beyond Uncle Sammy’s allowance.

        • I came back with a the idea that UBI could work with segregation, but the the more I wrote, the more unworkable it became.

          • Yep. But it’s coming, I’m sure. There needs to be such to get all people used to being on the dole. Then, when they screw the pooch wrt the economy, folks will be more docile—read, not starving.

    • What to do? As Ebenezer Scrooge said, “Are there no work houses? Are there no prisons?” All of Dickens’ ouvre is an exposition of the dirty, nasty, bloody chore that is culling the excess of idle people. All that’s really required is to let nature take its course. But the Left can’t stomach that and so is driven to intervene. Newsflash: we are all, without exception, worm food in the end.

    • There is always something to do

      Little story but I remember when I was a kid and before I started my own lawn business that I would sweep up and so forth in front of stores. I would just show up unannounced and start working. On the hunch that the business owner would pay me after he saw me working in front of his store for a few hours making the his place and the stores around him look better. And they did pay. Then when I left that work to start my own lawn business with my neighbor I saw there was some old black guy who had taken over the work I had started.

      • Nowadays, your little enterprise would be shut down due to something having to do with permitting, health & safety, children doing unsupervised work, whatever — they have a thousand ways of stopping people from making something of themselves.

      • Wow! No, really, that’s some kinda kid. Hats off to him.

        Used to be, kids worked picking the crops or mowing lawns or got summer jobs and learning wages at Dairy Queen or the gas station.

        That’s why we had schools out in summer, so they could learn about life.

    • Idleness is needed for innovation. We would not have gained telecommunications if society needed everybody to grow food and pave roads.

      The enemies of innovation, BigCorp and BigGov, produce insane amounts of busywork specifically to prevent innovation. In addition to endless barriers to entry.

  22. Idleness may be bad, but a cancerous government is worse.
    Waking Up To Reality (cont)
    DC is a cesspool of irredeemable corruption and degeneracy. It cannot be fixed by voting harder, even if a less fraudulent election system could somehow be restored. And DC is a living thing for which survival at all costs is it’s most critical imperative. And it will only get worse as the quality of the electorate inexorably declines. As has now become blindingly clear, DoJ/FBI/CIA/NSA etc. have morphed into de facto criminal enterprises and consequently there will be no cavalry coming over the hill to save us. We are on our own and the solution lies with us alone. If we shirk this duty, then we will have earned our demise.

  23. Disagree somewhat. Progressivism is a religion. Idle politicians have filled their spiritual voids and now proselytize full time. We are at the stage of rooting out heretics, and it is quite dangerous. The Capitol “siege” desecrated their temple, so sacrifices must be offered.

    People need to get as far away as possible, physically and mentally, from this religious madness lest it drive them to insanity, too.

  24. ”Too many idle young men is bad for his rule.” Well there’s actually two answers to this solution. The traditional answer is to reduce idleness. The new answer is to allow people to be idle, but just turn young men into feminine children. Heck, many of them don’t even believe in gender. They’re of no threat to rulers as idle young men traditionally have been.

    • That won’t stop the chaos. Antifa is full of angry, feminized young men. And they can easily become a threat to the same rulers providing cover for them. It’s already starting to happen. Trump is gone, yet the riots go on….

      • Antifa only has the ability to be a nuisance to our cloud people. The feminine males within it don’t have the guns or this skills that our people have. The empire could crush them as fast as you can say tranny Tuesday if they wanted to. The fact that they don’t tells me they’re still serving a purpose.

    • If all porn and video games were destroyed today, we would be living under fascism within two years.

    • It seems the CCP is also employing this tactic. They could go the war route to boil off their surplus of men, but that risks creating a large martial class that could get ideas about a one-party state. It’s much better to have them living as effete drones, staring at a screen all day.

    • Put another way, the traditional remedy for idleness is Charles Heston’s observation that soylent green is people, while the modern focus would be on the soy.

    • That, or traditionally send them off to grab somebody else’s stuff between planting and harvest.

      This rise of the Drama Queen gynocracy could be seen as a good thing. We’ve replaced Dresdens and gulags with soap operas and tweetstorms.

  25. I have a bs job in defense. Endless contracts big and small, most of which lead to no fielded hardware. Even if they did, no existential threat to US soil (at least external threat). Endless research and development , partially reimbursed by the taxpayer. The point is welfare for the middle class (both the contractor and the USG procurement machine) and the stockholders I guess.

    I would be more happy having a comparable paying job picking trash off the side of the road or mowing grass. At least I wouldn’t have to pretend there’s a point to it.

    • I’ve spent almost two decades in defense.

      90% of the work is to keep intelligent white guys mentally occupied from thinking about other things… like how to organize and improve the system.

      • Yeah, you get pep talks from business development and program managers (always retired mid-level officers collecting USG retirement and a six-figure contractor salary) on why the project you’re working on (which might get cancelled or will have no follow-on contract or the final product will be powerpoint slides) is the most important thing in the universe.
        At least I can afford a house in a neighborhood where dindus don’t beat up my sons and molest my daughters.
        Thanks Marco Rubio!!

    • First obligation is to earn a living, support your family, etc. But feeding your brain and strengthening your robustness is a key to high self-esteem. Here’s an option to consider. Buy and build a 3D printer kit in your garage. Get skilled at fabricating things from both plastic and metal-based substrates. Build a library of component designs (lots of open source stuff out there). Now get creative, use what you know, and break new ground. Get in the game.

      • I confess – I’m not very creative.

        FWIW, with your tax money I’ve fathered, fed and housed 8 anglo-german children that are on our side of the great divide. Why give it to Somalians?

        • If any of the 8 kids are boys, they will absolutely benefit from building the 3D printer with you. Beats playing video games.

          • A chemistry set or old Boy/Girl Scout stuff if 3D is beyond your means. Hobbyist things. Home things.

            Excellent suggestion, btw, Tom A.

  26. “American political culture evolved during the Cold War to fight communism and prevent a nuclear war. Those were important tasks that occupied the minds and hands of the political class. Once those things went away….”

    ‘Cept ‘communism’ never went away after 1989.

    It ‘reimagined’ itself…as ‘The Weather Cult’.

    • Political Warfare, by Gershaneck has a good summary how the US totally shut down its political warfare apparatus after the Cold War.

      Because of this the CCP has had over 30 years to wage unrestricted political warfare largely unopposed.

  27. Congress is like a rugby match these days; (except for printing money) laws are passed by very narrow margins — just barely pushed over the goal line.

      • Rugby is football the way it was meant to be played. It’s the closest thing to men-being-men but not quite killing each other that has ever been devised.

        • Eleven guys from Harvard challanged eleven guys from Yale to a football match and it was so viscious ambulances were present each year thereafter, and so popular they had to build a stadium for the crowds. I knew a guy who was #5 contender for the light-heavyweight boxing title and after his boxing days he was asked to join an ametuer rugby club. He refused saying it was too rough.

        • The old line was that soccer was a game for gentlemen played by ruffians while Rugby was the reverse.
          I played Rugby for a decade and many men 18 stone or thereabouts tried to break my nose, It was finally achieved by a six year old Swiss girl.

        • Counter-intuitive perhaps, but my guess is there would be less serious injury without the advances in football gear and protection technology

          Someone all padded up is going to run at you at full speed and make contact b/c he knows the gear will protect him for the most part. But either way, that velocity on contact can result in serious injury. If he did not have all that padding and so forth he would take the pace down a few notches and make contact at a level that his body could withstand. Rugby is more of the latter style, but not sure on how bad their injuries are. But doubt they get as mangled up as NFL players.

          • Exactly. The number of former NFL’ers who die horribly, and well before their time, due to CTE is frankly shocking. I suspect the rates are far more than that found among elite rugby players.

  28. It seems that a big part of “America’s” identity is the need for a purpose. Originally, its purpose was to prove democracy could work. Later, its purpose was to “make the world safe for democracy” by defeating global communism. Then it was to eliminate Islamic terrorism. Now it is to annihilate so-called “domestic terrorism” in the form of ostensible “white supremacy.” With each step, the scope and the importance of the goals has diminished and is now reduced to fatuous absurdity. “America” has substituted farce for history.

    • Once ‘white suprmacy’ is extinct, there’s still this:
      By Jonathan Tirone (Bloomberg) Climate change is causing oceans to rise quicker than scientists’ most pessimistic forecasts, resulting in earlier flood risks to coastal economies already struggling to adapt.  

        • One needs to search, but that would be correct and was confirmed in the aftermath of 9/11 air travel shutdown for 3-4 days. The jets didn’t fly, they didn’t spew particulates, and the temperature censors confirmed about 1 degree C temperature increase. It has also been suggested that global climate warming might be ameliorated with jet fuel changes. Of course that not the point of climate change hysteria, so little has been made of this finding as have other amelioration efforts proposed. Bjorn Lomborg of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” fame has discussed much in this matter.

      • Tell that to the zillionaires bidding up the price of coastal real estate

        How I know climate change is a farce is because of their actions. At the beginning of the climate warming hysteria I would say that if someone, a scientist say, truly believed the world was going to be flooded in the foreseeable future they wouldn’t be zipping around to academic conferences the world over and going to ritzy cocktail parties. No, instead there would be legitimate urgency and a scientist who really believed it would be standing in the middle of traffic screaming at the top of his lungs that the world was ending. Something of that nature.

        • To keep myself semi-sane in Clown World, I play a mental game I call “If They Were Serious.” I take an issue the Left is hyperventilating about, and think about what serious, sober-minded people would do if they really believed it was a problem. Then I note all the ways the Left is doing the exact opposite of that. If I ever want to go out like Dylan Thomas, I’ll turn it into a drinking game.

        • Good point. It would be more of a John the Baptist look screaming at people to REPENT! as opposed to a Marie Antoinette look suggesting coal miners should become nurses.

  29. Burning the GPS as they say. I keep things running in city’s. Some of the equipment is a week old,some is a century old. All have a personality. Some leak more, others are prone to failure due to dips in grid-power. Yet here I sit reading Zman waiting for the 90% of the job time stamp to expire so the people keeping an eye on me back at the shop can see I’m not coloring outside of the lines. They ,like the people mentioned in the post have an hour or two of work a day. You can add GPS to the garbage heap of cable tv and social media. I love to get lost in the woods. Never needed a GPS to find my way out in the 40 years before that marvel of science shows up dulling everyone’s hippocampus permanently

    • Well, yes I used to use a road map for driving, but my new cars have built in mapping using a GPS. It’s handy and convenient.

      But here’s another use which many here will “appreciate” I’m sure. GPS is built into my field radio. It is built into all “our group’s” field radios. All our field radios talk to each other on designated frequencies. All our radios keep track of all the other radios in use. A button press shows the location of all those other radios wrt to your location. Another button press locates these radios on a topo map displayed on your radio screen. Everyone’s location wrt to everyone else’s location immediately apparent. Whenever a group radio communicates, it shows who they are and where. If an emergency call is sent, a button press initiates a map and guidance route for you to travel exactly to the last location of the radio.

      Now I wonder how such technology might be used in a situation other than search and rescue? 😉

      • Your phone has and keeps all the data. If you are dumb enough to keep, say insurance card records on the phone and show it to the cop they will suck up all the data. My wife briefly worked for one of the companies that developed the software. Surprise, surprise, it is Israeli owned. Dealing with them was a part of her awakening.

        Your car btw will suckup all the data from the phone too if you plug it in, and sometimes if you don’t.

        • I described a hand held communication device, such as what one would use in the field, not a cell phone. The car gps is the same situation, it does not use cell towers. That being said, even if the car or radio was traceable, the point here is that such technology works for you as well as them—at least until they turn off GPS for public consumption.

          Now as to a cell phone, I’ve repeatedly said here that it remains “black bagged”—turned off and in a Faraday bag such that no signal is emitted for tracing purposes. This suggestion and the source for the bag was given to me by one of this group.

  30. The Congress stays in DC almost year round yet cannot pass appropriations before the fiscal year ends. It’s the new normal.

  31. I can’t quantify it, and I have no idea why it is, but for some time now it’s seemed to me that Congress does less and less “work.” Hold off the he-man comments about “paper pushing isn’t work”. What I mean is that their job is to pass laws, and they don’t seem to do very much of that. I guess it goes back to the Reagan “govt. shutdowns” and the inability to pass a budget, and the various work arounds they could come up with. I suppose at some point they discovered there was no margin in actually doing anything (it could fail, piss people off, etc.) so all they do is hold hearings and perhaps pass lots of “National Mexican Tranny Day” resolutions.

    My impression is that in Ye Olde Tymes someone would go to Congress to pass some laws, and if they did so, they would be “successful”. Civil Rights! Clean Air! Public Broadcasting! Welfare Reform! Now, they get in, talk a lot about what they’ll do, and run for re-election to do it some more; rinse, repeat. One reason must be that they are literally all lawyers now, and the default action of a lawyer is always delay. You’ll notice that all you hear from them is talk of hearings, delay, recess, vacation, rescheduling, etc. My recent favorite, Trump is too delusional to be trusted with the nuke codes, so, let’s schedule hearings to impeach him…. next week.

    • I’ve heard it said that line item earmarks (i.e., pork barrel spending) were the lubrication that kept the process moving. “Support my bill on X and I’ll agree to spending $10M in your district”… that sort of thing. With that gone, the federal budget is largely a zero-sum event, politically so hyper-partisanship predominates.

        • I’d say Milestone meant, “if that were gone.”

          Part of the media hatchet job against Nixon was to eliminate the executive line item veto. As soon as he resigned, the 1974 Omnibus Budget Act was passed, pork barrels with no Presidential power to limit. Now he has to accept all of it or none of it.

    • The job of CONgress is to pass LEGISLATION, not law. Legislation causes chaos, disorder, and conflict. If they went any faster, there would be more than just troops and fences around washington dc.

      And if you don’t believe me about legislation–>conflict, then just name any well known piece of legislation. Let me show you:

      “The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) that opened the door to federally financed preK through 12 schools that ensure that all citizenry is properly indoctrinated in state mythology. This law requires the violation of the citizen’s property rights by requiring federal (taxpayer) funding of preK-12, whether or not that citizen has school aged children or not.”

      Under this abusive legislation, , a 65-year-old retired widow is forced to pay for the education of her 35-year-old neighbor’s three children. The property violation in this case is readily apparent as the widow is forced to pay for a service she never receives. Furthermore, the state has placed the widow in a state of conflict with her neighbor. In this zero-sum game, the widow has lost and her neighbor has gained.

      Give it a try….heck give HR127 a whirl…conflict or order?

    • The less the fuckers do, the better, There are now 5,000 felonies on the Feds books, every citizen commits an average of three felonies a day. The country has been at war with other counties for 90% of its existence.
      Laws should sunset after 10 years. All laws should be passed only after a complete reading of the bill and all associated regulations. Only those present during the entire reading are entitled to vote. A quorum shall be half the legislature.
      Keep the bastards busy enforcing the (is it now 4? ) ten commandments

  32. Pingback: DYSPEPSIA GENERATION » Blog Archive » The Devil’s Work

  33. As to ‘ceremonial’, we’re getting our sermons from malignant narcissists: Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon, Trevor Noah.

    These mad priests are setting the tone.

    Worse, somebody is paying them to set that tone like it’s a recruiting drive.

  34. Government is an unnecessary evil. Until a critical mass of Americans come to the realization that the state should be abolished, expect nothing to change.

    The current system cannot be remediated or reformed, so stop trying. Political activism works for the moneyed lobbyists, but it doesn’t work for the general public, so political activism is nothing more than utopianism in real time. Name one conservative cause that has resulted in political reformation. You can’t because none exists.

    Your vote was never a choice, as that choice was already made for you in the form of two pre-screened statists: one red, and one blue. And a third party will get you nowhere because garbage in = garbage out. So stop voting as your vote is nothing more than a validation of the state and a carte blanch approval of their so-called democratic mandate.

    • Anarchism is just the opposite end of the spectrum of Utopian wrong-headedness from totalitarianism.

      The state won’t ever go away or be “abolished,” because if the state is “abolished” the very next day gangs of the tougher and more ruthless will join together to create themselves an advantage in the fresh, new stateless society.

      Governments form spontaneously.

      • Sadly, the the libertarian Non-Aggression Principle takes a State willing to enforce it.

        “Mind your own business and I’ll mind mine” has been crushed by overpopulation’s complexity.

        Kudos to Xman for Jefferson’s ““our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural.” Another American value to be mourned.

    • They know darn well they can’t deliver mass trans or an electric future. The lockdown mindset is to habituate us to Gulag-in-Place, if they’re even thinking ahead that far.

      Does insanity seem stupid, or does stupidity seem insane?

  35. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is having the entire military stand down (at the same time) to address “White Supremacy and extremism” …
    Instead of getting ready for any conflict with China. [What does that tell you?] Basically a purge of most/all White military.
    Bush’s CIA Afghanistan Station Chief from the early 2000’s wants a war on Trump supporters complete with drone attacks and SEAL team raids and third nation torture and extradition.
    Biden is proposing a federal law that essentially abolishes the police. Meanwhile promising a crackdown on White people.
    This stuff was inevitable once elections could be counterfeited. No longer is there any time required to make voters happy (or enough of them). Its time to let the inner desires of the Upper Class run amok like the Danish movie “Funny Games” [two upper class twits torture and murder random middle class families.]

  36. The misguided decades-long federal crusade against dietary fat was initiated by a few idle McGovern staffers:

    “It was Senator George McGovern’s bipartisan, nonlegislative Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs–and, to be precise, a handful of McGovern’s staff members–that almost single-handedly changed nutritional policy in this country and initiated the process of turning the dietary fat hypothesis into dogma.

    McGovern’s committee was founded in 1968 with a mandate to eradicate malnutrition in America, and it instituted a series of landmark federal food assistance programs. As the malnutrition work began to peter out in the mid-1970s, however, the committee didn’t disband. Rather, its general counsel, Marshall Matz, and staff director, Alan Stone, both young lawyers, decided that the committee would address “overnutrition,” the dietary excesses of Americans.”

    The article, or one similar to it also by Gary Taubes, originally appeared in Science magazine. Among other important points, it mentions that steak is health food.

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