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Wednesday links

Don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten … well, all the things you might be thinking I’ve forgotten. I will write a post to kick off a women-and-carry-guns discussion (per yesterday’s comment thread). I will get the second draft of the snitch book done and off to you volunteer reviewers (next week with some luck). And I will get that long-promised raffle rifle decorated — although at this point I admit that promise still falls in the category of vaporware. And perhaps even verges on “political promise” territory.

I can’t believe how busy this year has been. But it looks as if I’m coming into a small break soon. (Don’t say that, Claire. You know what happens when you say things like that!)

Meanwhile, some links for ya:

  • Ridiculous. (H/T JW)
  • Ridiculouser. Not to mention insulting, stupid, cowardly, and discriminatory against a disabled three-year-old.
  • James Howard Kunstler wrote the other day about the lack of “male energies” in our culture. While I disagree with his examples, sometimes I wonder the same thing. I grew up in a time where “energies” were unbalanced to the male side. That wasn’t great. But we’ve clearly swung too far in the opposite direction. No culture with balls would do the above.
  • Another reason to have a dog: in case a cougar decides to come into your house to eat you.
  • Now here’s a problem you might not have considered. Too few Americans turn to the fedgov for assistance. Yeah. Really. They said that. They did.


  1. Ken K
    Ken K August 29, 2012 6:35 pm

    Odd choice Claire. To me Kuntsler is a blind pig who once in a while finds an acorn. Beyond his skill at invective and hyperbole he otherwise strikes me as a typical east coast reared douche bag.

  2. Claire
    Claire August 29, 2012 6:51 pm

    Um … yeah. But he writes interestingly.

  3. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 29, 2012 7:12 pm

    Re: Kunstler- Just because a stopped (analog) clock is right twice a day, that doesn’t mean you rush to it to see what time it is- but it also doesn’t mean you deny the time just because the stopped clock also agrees.

    I have noticed (and wondered why) America is very feminized and very few men exist. But maybe the problem isn’t “feminization” as much as a simple lack of masculinity. Cops and/or military who beat up (or shoot) people who can’t be a credible threat are not being masculine. Hopefully they are not being feminine, either, but they definitely lack “male energies”. I know a guy whose wife went to visit relatives for a couple of weeks- and he called 20 (or more) times a day. Whining about one thing after another. A very needy person. Neediness is not a masculine trait.

  4. Hanza
    Hanza August 29, 2012 9:37 pm

    When I was stationed on Guam, the maintenance department didn’t have their own phone, so when people called for anyone over there it came to my desk in another area.

    There was a young, newly married guy in the maintenance department whos wife started calling 5 or 6 times a shift.

    I told the guy that if it is an emergency tell her to call, but her calling just because she was lonely had to stop. Fortunately it did.

  5. Pat
    Pat August 29, 2012 11:42 pm

    I don’t think “masculine” or “feminine” has anything to do with it – it’s more like who has the will to be real, to be independent, in the face of “civilized” society.

    (“Masculine” and “feminine” – what is male and what is female – are contrived words describing how we should act – and act toward each other. and

    Men and women, on the other hand, are what we are, and as humans, we should be more attuned to the humaneness of our species rather than the sexual or political appropriateness of our actions.

    A “gentle giant” is more to be cherished than macho-man; likewise a jill-of-all-trades more than a simpering, helpless babe. When they reach the equalizing point, we can start working together as we did millions of years ago.

  6. EN
    EN August 29, 2012 11:54 pm

    Ahhh, a subject that’s peaked my curiosity since working in a large company and watching a huge expansion in female dominated HR that was simultaneously running and ruining the company (they did succeed). Did Kunstler just admit that the dishonesty that permeates our society is mostly a female trait? Not sure to be honest. I am sure that the prettiest boy in the race is now president. I’m not thinking that has much to do with men. Johnson couldn’t run for county supervisor in today’s American. It’s my feeling that men are neither welcome nor interested in what passes for present US (Europe also but who cares) culture and have simply had the good grace to move on. Not so oddly enough we’re looking at a society failing (near death from my perspective) and men are moving into areas that don’t get much coverage by the MSM. The average man where I live works, but not for the government, or it’s social welfare state. At my local coffee shop the numbers of women with college degrees (up to and including MAs) making my Mochas is stunning. I often wonder how Dad feels about paying $100,000 plus so his daughter, who’s all at once precious and equal (to what? who knows), is making espresso? Neither one of my sons bothered with college (or high school for that matter) and make a staggering amount of money. One makes in the low six figures and the other is close to that. Along with most of their friends, I couldn’t drag them into this discussion with a winch. I’ve probably said all this before, so bare with me, but my oldest son told me a few years ago that, “The games rigged and I’m not playing. You should be proud of me. I’m a lot more Libertarian than you are.”

  7. RickB
    RickB August 30, 2012 4:30 am

    Writing should communicate with clarity. Kuntsler doesn’t. My opinion, YMMV.
    Regarding his subject:
    The manly virtues are indispensible to the proper functioning of a worthwhile society. Men are fairly simple creatures, however, and the specifically male virtues aren’t great in number.
    I will leave their enumeration to someone more thoughtful than I.
    Expecting the government to take care of things for you is directly opposed to such virtues. Kunstler convicts himself with his own pen.

  8. JG
    JG August 30, 2012 4:53 am

    I could not finish the Kunstler article. It was like reading the onion, but without the humor. I got to the portion about LBJ and had to stop. There is nothing manly about sacrificing the future for instant gratification.

  9. Joel
    Joel August 30, 2012 6:11 am

    In regard to “Nature Dave” Gorczynski: Which party was being most ridiculous? Seems like there’s a lot of ridiculous to go around in that story.

  10. just waiting
    just waiting August 30, 2012 6:29 am

    Joel, while Easton PA may not be the hotbed of protest that UC Berkley or Zuccotti Park have been, I give the young brother full props for getting out there and making his voice heard. Its tough to draw support in Easton, that he’s only a protest of 1 shouldn’t diminish his contribution.

  11. ILTim
    ILTim August 30, 2012 6:31 am

    EN, I’m interested in the alternative path to success that your sons have taken. I’ve never been interested in college – the aversion is part of my soul from a very young age – and that has always been a very contrary view. I’m making a good go of it though, and my brother has just graduated high school and is going a similar route. Had I pursued a degree, I think my chances of success would be slimmer than they are now. Nobody in my parents generation or older seems to be able to wrap their heads around that idea.

  12. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal August 30, 2012 6:53 am

    My parents bring up the fact that I didn’t finish college every time my sister, who did, gets a higher-paying State job. They don’t understand that it isn’t my lack of a degree that keeps me impoverished- it’s my aversion to taking a State job and my opposition to doing things I don’t want to do just for more money. It would be nice to someday soon have financial rewards come flooding in so that the sideways glances would stop (on that issue, anyway). I’m not holding my breath. I’m just not that motivated by money.

  13. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 30, 2012 8:36 am

    The mountain lion story is a nice reminder that unless armed people are not really apex predators. It is a great thing the lady had a dog that new where the kibble came from. A house cat would of just looked on thinking “ow, that’s going to leave a mark.”

  14. just waiting
    just waiting August 30, 2012 10:08 am

    People are going to family rather than gov for help. Its going to be the cause of the next great dilemma we face.

    We all know the story, people lose their jobs, lose their homes, and take their families back to their folks house. What no one’s talking about yet is what happens then.

    Grandma and grandpa live on Soc Sec and maybe a pension. We used to call it “fixed income”. They are able to get by on what comes in, without having to tap into their savings, if they’re lucky enough to have any, which is slated to be their kids’ inheritance.
    All of a sudden their son comes home with his wife and 3 kids. They have nothing left and little hope of improving their circumstances. Now there’s 7 mouths to feed, 7 bodies to clothe, 2 more cars needing gas, insurance and repairs, etc. Those SS and pension checks don’t come close to making the monthly bills anymore. So grammy and gramps have to hit their savings, maybe sell some stock if they own any. Then their daughter and her family come home. Savings are gone in no time, any stock portfolio has been liquidated so there’s no more dividends or pension, and the family struggles on grammy and gramps ss checks.
    What happens when gram and gramps die and there’s no more money and no more soc sec checks come in? Any inheritance has been spent on the day to day expenses of the family. Once again, there’s nothing left. The next great dilemma.
    My grandma had her daughter, granddaughter, and 3 great grandkids all living under her roof and since no one worked, they were on her nickel. No one applied for any aid, Gramma has enough. Well, her estate dwindled from 7 to very low 6 figures in just a few years (school age kids have lots of expensive needs). In a couple of years, maybe less, the last of the estate will be gone. Not sure what they expect will happen then.

  15. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty August 30, 2012 10:24 am

    My mother said that “school” is where you learn the vocabulary and the diagrams. Life is where you learn the rest of it.

    College in and of itself is neither good or bad, of course. It depends on why you go and what you do with what you gain from it. Far too many go for the wrong reasons and have little or no idea what to do with it.

    The “degree,” like the self defense tool on your belt, is maybe 10% of the requirement (important as it often is). Without the proper skills, motivation and attitude, it’s just another piece of paper – or chunk of iron.

    Men and women (and all the new flavors…) are first and foremost human beings. If we can keep that in sight, and respect each other as human beings, all of the differences and wide variations become wonderful, interesting, and contribute to the wholeness of life. Without mutual respect and non-aggression, those differences become fearful things so many think they must somehow control in others in order to live their own lives. The “energy” is still present, just usually misspent.

    Mr. Kuntsler doesn’t make that point, by any means – just seems to stir the old male/female controversy a bit – confusing politics with anything that might be of significance in the process.

  16. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 30, 2012 10:27 am

    Had my daughter move back in with me and my wife when things went badly for her. Brought her daughter and husband. It was not the end of our world. They worked what jobs they could find and contributed as they could. The experience didn’t destroy us just another bump in the road. They now live on their own again and are moving forward. I’d much rather the kids turned to family (tribe to use another term) than government. I don’t plan on leaving stashes of money to the kids/government so it didn’t ruin us financiallly. During this time period we also fed a slightly addled neighbor and a homeless friend.

  17. EN
    EN August 30, 2012 11:57 am

    ILTim, I am in your parents generation and admittedly had a difficult time rapping my tiny mind around the concept of no college. But my sons turned out to be correct as many of my friends with college educated kids have bitterly observed. One son works as a saleman for various types of “garden supplies”. He’s been a salesman of cars, furniture, mattresses, etc. for years, but really considers himself a musician, something he’s pursued at different times with very low economic success… not that he seemed to care. He fell into the gardening industry because he observed that gardening is now the number one hobby in America. It was a very wise choice, and not one I would have thought of as smart. About five or six years ago i got a clue that he may no what he’s about when he was running a store in the wealthy area of Aptos, CA. I was telling him he needed to go to college if he wanted to improve himself. He informed me of two facts. One being his take home pay, and 2 being the fact that twelve of his fifteen salespersons were college graduates and none of the college grads were in the top three for store sales. My youngest son works in the oil patch in Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas. It’s open to anyone who wants to work hard and without a lot of supervision. Very few bosses involved in that work, but you better produce.

    Kent set off another disgusting little observation about the espresso makers in my first post is they were all looking for government jobs. At the end of the day it’s not college that’s a problem per say, it’s the culture.

  18. just waiting
    just waiting August 30, 2012 11:57 am

    After working at a bunch of blue collar jobs, I literally woke up one day with a sore back and decided I wanted a college degree. I was 32. Classes started the next week, and two and a half yrs later (I went on the super-accelerated program), they handed me a piece of paper that said BA on top.

    While I will say that I did not get much in the way of education out of it, like you said, learning happens in life, that piece of paper has opened doors. I call it the “Tin Man Effect”, like the Wizard said “you’re plenty smart but the one thing you don’t have is a degree.” Whereas before I was dismissed by bosses and decision makers as just a long haired, bearded, tatooed, pierced adult male motorcycle enthusiast (biker), all of a sudden with a degree I’m long haired, bearded, tatooed, pierced, suit and tie executive making reports to CEOs, presidents and exec committees. (btw, what a hoot!)
    I have the same smarts and opinions I had before I went to college, its a damn shame I had to spend $50k on the piece of paper that somehow mystically made those opinions valid.

  19. ILTim
    ILTim August 30, 2012 12:33 pm

    “At the end of the day it’s not college that’s a problem per say, it’s the culture.”

    I agree, and the wide expanse of job descriptions that list degrees as prerequisite always struck me as odd. That, along with the twisted incentive student loan system, has strongly altered not only the demand for higher education, but the whole incentive system that drives it. This is not good for results.

    The system has nearly inverted itself, where a larger portion of rather useless and unmotivated people just sort of tumble into a 4-year program or are recruited to meet racism quotas, while the go-getters simply head out and act productive. I strongly prefer the kinds of employment that don’t put any emphasis on degrees, the anti-state anti-union jobs seem more fulfilling if simply because more things are judged on merit than procedure.

  20. Matt, another
    Matt, another August 30, 2012 1:15 pm

    Everything I need to know, I learned in kindygarden… Except shooting guns.

  21. EN
    EN August 30, 2012 2:22 pm

    Another important aspect of this is laid down in Waiting’s post. If you want to go to a particular place you have to head in that direction. Learning how to open doors often requires a key. For many of today’s college grads they have no idea where they are really going just a vague sense that they now deserve a job and wealth, and their bitterly disappointed parents bought in… I mean LITERALLY bought in. One thing my espresso girls all have in common is interesting degrees that allow them to do important sounding work. Since they have no philosophical underpinnings they are perfect tools of the state, but very much worthless to anyone trying to make money. As someone recently remarked on another blog, the entire statist/progressive (millimeters deep) soul is about important sounding vocabulary, and do they ever lay it on thick in college. It’s obviously not about coherency or consistency. Calling the “Personal Dept”, Human Relations is a great example. Of course it beats calling it “The Department with no actual experience in the work performed who does the bidding of government mandated hiring quotas and insures politically correct speech from all employees”, is a little unwieldy, but you get the idea. If one doesn’t know where he’s going the vocabulary will give you a sense of worth… but not a job.

  22. EN
    EN August 30, 2012 2:48 pm

    To make my last post a little less OT, I failed to mention that men, young men in particular, are not very tolerant of BS vocabulary. Mass communication of the kind that’s pervasive on TV has painted a picture that may not be true, seeing as how a large section of the population has withdrawn from the culture. TV execs have created this dual edged sword. Woman are more influenced by their advertising so they’ve catered to women, which includes the painting a picture of men as ignorant slobs who all have this wonderfully steady, bright, and above all, disdainfully tolerant of their spouses who spend their days keeping us slob men from catching our penis’s in our zippers. Anyone think I’m going to watch that feces and not LMAO??? By that product? Watch that show? Sure I will. They are losing male viewers under 40 (the biggest spenders on consumer products) in droves but TV is still the main conveyer of culture, true or otherwise. We are living in exciting times. 😉

  23. EN
    EN August 30, 2012 2:53 pm

    Thanks Waiting. Good stuff in a scary kind of way. I wonder what those degrees cost parents?

  24. Pat
    Pat August 31, 2012 6:43 am

    EN (et al) – There’s an idea running around that each generation should get further, and do better, than the previous generation. Be thankful that your sons have applied that idea to their “smarts”, rather than mere educational or materialistic endeavors. Happiness is a diminishing attribute these days.

    My son quit high school (issues with the school system), got his GED, worked two local jobs in electronics, then got a job in a nearby city in software support, traveling all over the country. From that he was offered a job, working on the east coast, for a company based on the west coast, and now has become Product Development Manager, via telecommunication.

    I say this not to brag (though I am proud of him), but in support of all non-college successes. I am (without statistics to back it up) quite sure that colleges have lost their “mission” and their respect in the overall drive to be 1) politically correct, and 2) competitive for R & D funds (not to mention sports) – rather than making education their priority.

    I too was raised in the “old school” that an education was the only way to succeed. But “succeed” at what? And at what price? While more BS’s (literally, yet pun intended) are being turned out, intelligence is turning downward. But what purpose is an education if it doesn’t teach a person how to live – realistically and honestly – in this world?

    I’ve become an ardent fan of vocational training.

  25. EN
    EN August 31, 2012 10:00 am

    Great story Pat, it fits right in with the path my sons took. I’ll never forget my oldest son working three jobs at the age of 16, all of them service industry jobs that I assured him would take him no where. But he learned people skills and managed to make some money from tips that encouraged him to further develop this cause and affect money making skills… not to mention he was gaining control over his own life in a way that his college bound contemporaries still haven’t mastered. My sons have no student loans to pay off. It just occurred to me that men like your son are out there making there own path, in essence, the kind of men we all say we admire but as parents we got locked into believing in BS’s. Pun also intended.

  26. jerry jones
    jerry jones August 31, 2012 5:28 pm

    Hey Claire,
    Are you still doing a rifle raffle?

  27. Claire
    Claire August 31, 2012 7:20 pm

    Groan. You would have to ask.


    But when?

    Don’t ask me that …

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