Reality is viciously sexist

Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female insists an article at tor.com. It’s complete bullshit.

What you find when you read the linked article is an obvious, though as it turns out a superficial problem. The linked research doesn’t say what the article claims. What it establishes is that a hair less than half of Viking migrants were female, which is no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention. The leap from that to “half the warriors were female” is unjustified and quite large.

There’s a deeper problem the article is trying to ignore or gaslight out of existence: reality is, at least where pre-gunpowder weapons are involved, viciously sexist.

It happens that I know a whole lot from direct experience about fighting and training with contact weapons – knives, swords, and polearms in particular. I do this for fun, and I do it in training environments that include women among the fighters.

I also know a good deal about Viking archeology – and my wife, an expert on Viking and late Iron Age costume who corresponds on equal terms with specialist historians, may know more than I do. (Persons new to the blog might wish to read my review of William Short’s Viking Weapons and Combat.) We’ve both read saga literature. We both have more than a passing acquaintance with the archeological and other evidence from other cultures historically reported to field women in combat, such as the Scythians, and have discussed it in depth.

And I’m calling bullshit. Males have, on average, about a 150% advantage in upper-body strength over females. It takes an exceptionally strong woman to match the ability of even the average man to move a contact weapon with power and speed and precise control. At equivalent levels of training, with the weight of real weapons rather than boffers, that strength advantage will almost always tell.

Supporting this, there is only very scant archeological evidence for female warriors (burials with weapons). There is almost no such evidence from Viking cultures, and what little we have is disputed; the Scythians and earlier Germanics from the Migration period have substantially more burials that might have been warrior women. Tellingly, they are almost always archers.

I’m excluding personal daggers for self-defense here and speaking of the battlefield contact weapons that go with the shieldmaidens of myth and legend. I also acknowledge that a very few exceptionally able women can fight on equal terms with men. My circle of friends contains several such exceptional women; alas, this tells us nothing about woman as a class but much about how I select my friends.

But it is a very few. And if a pre-industrial culture has chosen to train more than a tiny fraction of its women as shieldmaidens, it would have lost out to a culture that protected and used their reproductive capacity to birth more male warriors. Brynhilde may be a sexy idea, but she’s a bioenergetic gamble that is near certain to be a net waste.

Firearms changes all this, of course – some of the physiological differences that make them inferior with contact weapons are actual advantages at shooting (again I speak from experience, as I teach women to shoot). So much so that anyone who wants to suppress personal firearams is objectively anti-female and automatically oppressive of women.

566 thoughts on “Reality is viciously sexist

  1. I’m guessing that you mean to say that males have a 50% advantage, i.e. are on average 1.5 times as strong, as opposed to 150%, or three times.

  2. Interfering with the current progressive narrative again, eh? OK, I’ll listen.

  3. I can’t imagine you and the Mrs haven’t seen this long since, but I found this YouTube video about Viking swords (and the modern recreation of one via historically accurate methods) most interesting:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKvRHaJ2w6w&list=TLxjxt0skCRkj-UXbjoLK2eaOkEhlCoUqJ

    The video is 50+ minutes long and worth watching more than once for the wealth of detail even for someone having no great interest in Viking history especially. Just how accurate is this video from (both of) your perspective?

  4. Supporting this, there is only very scant archeological evidence for female warriors (burials with weapons).

    Most of your article is obviously true. Especially the part where the tor.com writer is conflating “Viking settler” with “Viking warrior”. But this passage is circular. You’re rejecting the claim that many of the warriors were women, because there are few if any women buried with weapons. But what the linked article says is that this is because most archaeologists automatically classify any body buried with weapons as male!

    The researchers from WA claim that when you bother to actually look at the bones and sex them, you find significant numbers of female skeletons buried with weapons, which by your own admission means they were warriors. They do not claim that half the burials with weapons are women. What they do say is that the previous idea that the Viking settlements in the Danelaw were overwhelmingly male was based on the fact that there are far more burials with weapons than with female jewelry. And they say that when you actually look at the bones, you find enough women buried with weapons to erase that disparity.

    What I would point to as a possible flaw is the very small sample size. They only examined 14 burials, and found 6 or 7 women, including some who were buried with female jewelry, but also including at least 3 buried with weapons. That’s well and good, but the chance of a fluke seems quite high. This may be an indication of something, but it’s nothing remotely like proof.

  5. >And if a pre-industrial culture has chosen to train more than a tiny fraction of its women as shieldmaidens, it would have lost out to a culture that protected and used their reproductive capacity to birth more male warriors.

    In the long run, with a constant rate of birth and attrition, yes. But reality tends to be a bit more chaotic than that. There is utility in suddenly doubling the rate of warriors in short periods of extreme need, such as sieges or raids. Thus the smart strategy would be to treat women like a National Guard, short, basic training, with frequent but brief repetitions, not investing too much time, but still being able to assist in defense somewhat. The idea would be the same as other kinds of non-professional warriors who fight only in times of extreme need, such as peasants / serfs. The logic is similar: a population that would not make any men produce food would lose as raiding is not a stable form form of food supply, yet, a peasant man can be taught to do simple poking with a spear without losing too much time. It’s a similar trade off with peasant men: you want more warriors, or you want a more secure food supply for the warriors? Same with women. Using a spear does not require that much strength either, and lower-class pre-industrial women tended to be strong enough, doing manual housework all day.

    There is an entirely different reason it was generally not done so with women. Basically, if women are armed and fighting, it makes them valid targets. Any sense of chivalry suddenly goes out of the window. And from a reproductionary viewpoint women are more important than men, populations can afford to lose them less.

    Not arming women is a way of ensuring that women may be kidnapped, enslaved or raped, but usually not killed. And it is probably not even a conscious, rational strategy, it is probably evolved: any defeated population that had a gene for not arming women (crude way of putting it, I know, don’t take it literally) would be likelier to have the women survive as forced concubines of the victors – and give this gene to their kids as well.

    BTW you know more about HEMA than I do, but even a longsword is just 1.5kg. Why does upper body strenght matter much? It is not boxing. I haven’t tried it, perhaps such an experiment should be tried: I would offer a bet than even a 12 years old child could run a spear through a side of beef or pork, which would be a good enough approximation of the human body. It just does not look that hard. Courage is probably a more limiting factor than strength.

  6. Also relevant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_sworn_virgins

    The interesting aspect is that the price for adopting a masculine role and being allowed to fight in blood feuds role was strict virginity. I suspect it supports my idea. If there was a general taboo on killing women in motherly roles, then those women who fought and therefore could be killed must have not became mothers in order not to erode that taboo, I think that must have been the reason.

  7. Woman with sword still beats man or woman without sword, though, yes?
    And woman with sword and basic martial training takes longer to die when attacked by man with sword. And she might win. And two women with swords ganging up on one man…

    Even if the local women are just militia, the very fact that a raider can’t stroll through a settlement killing women and children without facing resistance, but instead has to fight for every kill, has to be of net benefit to that settlement. Often they wouldn’t even get raided in the first place because it’s a harder proposition.

  8. BTW you know more about HEMA than I do, but even a longsword is just 1.5kg. Why does upper body strenght matter much? It is not boxing.

    As someone who’s primarily done unarmed but has a smattering of melee-weapons experience, I’ll say that adding the weight makes upper-body strength more of a factor. At least with basic strikes, the main virtue is how much momentum you can bring to bear when you hit, and increased speed compounds the blow by transferring the impulse over a shorter time period, resulting in greater force.

    Once you start adding mass to the blows, you have to put more muscular effort into bringing it up to speed in the short space/time between initiation and impact. I’ve trained with some small-to-medium women who could land pretty vicious punches by precise placement and speed, but put something heavy in their hands, and they’re worse off than if they’d just stayed unarmed.

  9. Woman with sword still beats man or woman without sword, though, yes?

    Depends, and unless she’s had the significant training necessary to be proficient in the sword, it’s probably useless against a man who knows how to fight. All he has to do is to get in close enough to disarm her. Thus the advantage already noted of ranged weapons.

    Even if the local women are just militia, the very fact that a raider can’t stroll through a settlement killing women and children without facing resistance, but instead has to fight for every kill, has to be of net benefit to that settlement. Often they wouldn’t even get raided in the first place because it’s a harder proposition.

    Undoubtedly it’s better to have some defensive capability than none, but that’s a far cry from saying that the “militia” were warriors, and the Vikings’ best defense was probably the same as their best offense: Their skill and technological prowess at sailing meant that they could strike far and wide, including across open seas or up shallow rivers, well away from their homes, and their enemies couldn’t follow.

  10. Thus the smart strategy would be to treat women like a National Guard, short, basic training, with frequent but brief repetitions, not investing too much time, but still being able to assist in defense somewhat. The idea would be the same as other kinds of non-professional warriors who fight only in times of extreme need, such as peasants / serfs.

    To add to this, if all/most of your men are away raiding, your female National Guard can at least begin the basic training of the youngsters.

    BTW you know more about HEMA than I do, but even a longsword is just 1.5kg. Why does upper body strenght matter much? It is not boxing. I haven’t tried it, perhaps such an experiment should be tried: I would offer a bet than even a 12 years old child could run a spear through a side of beef or pork, which would be a good enough approximation of the human body. It just does not look that hard.

    I wouldn’t call this definitive but i’ll give you what my experience comes down to.

    The hollywoodized image of what you use the brute strength for is generally contradicted by the manuals. It’s a naive way of looking at it (“hey if you’re strong you can blow past that ward!”) that anyone with some actual training will use against you (manipulating the bind is literally in every longsword manual). What strength is useful for comes down to two things for me… speed and control.

    Fast attacks are pretty self evidently better and when you’re maneuvering a longsword around you don’t precisely need bear arms, but it helps. At the same time, a sword point flying spent off to the side is a wasted opportunity. What you really need is the strength to strike fast but still be able to end your strike near the centre line. 1.5kg isn’t exactly heaven and earth but you wrench that through 270 degrees and it’s got a whole heap of momentum going on.

    In terms of what the manuals actually say, Fiore talks about the elephant as one of his animal virtues, but basically implies its value is mostly in the wrestling which is core to Fiore’s sword art(The translated quote is “I am the elephant and I carry a castle as cargo,
    And I do not kneel nor lose my footing” ). Recently a friend of mine found a late 19thC british sabre training manual that talks about strength being a much smaller factor next to velocity for the purposes of actually causing damage.

  11. One of the things I’ve noticed over the years of martial arts training (and even more reading about the subject) is that most of the time you work on defeating the opponents attack, not making an attack yourself. That is the principle difference between simply hitting someone and fighting them. The discussion so far seems to point this out.

    In the present example of women and swords (and, I suggest, non-projectile weapons generally), the distinction between being physically able to use a sword (even using it well), and fighting with one, is the determining factor governing the frequency of women participating in historical combat settings (in esr’s term, shieldmaiden). Training to fight with a sword takes literally years of dedicated work; training to make effective spontaneous use of a sword in extremis takes the occasional hour or two every few months (and a vigorous lifestyle or regular strength training).

    As esr noted in the title, a pre-industrial society’s division of labor has the men doing the dedicated training to successfully perform with the tools of conflict and conquest, and the women making regular use of all the tools available on an ad hoc basis. Which would, logically enough, extend to the odd sword, axe, knife, shield, mace, or what-have-you that might be lying to hand come the need.

    If a really accomplished farmer’s daughter happens to make good enough use of a sword to qualify for the title of shieldmaiden on the day then, “well done her” say I. But she just doesn’t have the time to devote to training for the job and help keep food on the family table too. I suspect the few examples that might have actually existed were themselves daughters of rich men willing to indulge them with expensive training and custom equipment.

  12. @ JonCB

    Let’s you and I call a quick “time out” about an hour-and-a-half into the melee and have a brief conversation about your theory regarding the relative utility of “brute strength”, shall we?

    On second thought, let’s don’t; I’m 60 now and well past any hope of lasting more than maybe 5 minutes (at best) these days.

    The point being, strength is the source from which speed is generated in any contest involving endurance (like fighting – with or sans sword). Compare any two fighters between the opening round and the final round of the bout; the relatively stronger of the two is that bit faster at the end.

  13. The point being, strength is the source from which speed is generated in any contest involving endurance (like fighting – with or sans sword). Compare any two fighters between the opening round and the final round of the bout; the relatively stronger of the two is that bit faster at the end.

    I agree. I wouldn’t really expect a for-realsies fight between a this kind of “militia” and a raiding force to last much beyond the “opening round” one way or the other but the point still stands.

  14. across open seas or up shallow rivers, well away from their homes, and their enemies couldn’t follow.

    I’m assuming that the theoretical aggressor in this scenario is other raiders not retaliation from their targets. So neither open seas, shallow rivers nor distance are a defense here. All the amazing viking raid loot in the world still ends with an evolutionary loss if you come back to a torched village with no survivors.

  15. “God made us all. Sam Colt made us all equal.”

    As for how you select friends, that selection seems to be based on either being dangerous to piss off or else of hackerly intelligence and sensibilities. Wonder how much overlap there is between the two? I’m no use in a hand-to-hand melee, but why get hand to hand when you can reach out and kill someone before they have a chance to get personal?

  16. Firearms changes all this, of course – some of the physiological differences that make them inferior with contact weapons are actual advantages at shooting (again I speak from experience, as I teach women to shoot).

    Literature has no shortage of women driving men into combat, even leading them if necessary.

    (Young) Women can be extremely fanatic and brutal. There is a famous German instruction to anti-terrorism forces:
    Shoot the women first
    http://www.ghi-dc.org/files/publications/bulletin/bu043/59.pdf

    Reportedly, a lot of the “jihadists” traveling to ISIS from Europe are women. Many single.

  17. > Just how accurate is this video from (both of) your perspective?

    Extremely. I’m quite impressed. Didn’t catch ‘em in a single error or unsupported speculation.

    The theory that the crucible steel used was imported over the Volga trade route from Central Asia is new to me but quite plausible. Curiously, I didn’t know the name “Ulfberht” – I thought of these weapons as Rhineland swords after where they were made in the territory of the old Frankish kingdom of Austrasia.

    Which, by the way, is exactly where my paternal-line ancestors were from. Some of them might well have been swordsmiths.

  18. @Will

    >The point being, strength is the source from which speed is generated in any contest involving endurance

    That begs the definition of strength, as there are apparently multiple ones. Today, the popular definition is roughly like “bench press 1 rep max” and a few decades ago it was “100 push-ups”. The later actually tested muscle endurance, not strength. Yet, in the scenario you mention, it is literally about muscle endurance, not strength, at least definitely not strength in the one rep max sense.

    It is a bit confusing, because before the recent body building trend, people do tended to confuse strength and muscle endurance a lot, and say strength when they mean muscle endurance, because more often than not muscle endurance was more useful than strength. Even in my childhood, a tough guy would often be defined as someone who would not get tired fast when digging trenches, unloading wagons, and doing similar kinds of physical labor. Which is all about muscle endurance. OK my background is about 50 years backwards in such trends than say the US, so I figure this kind of trench-digging attitude to defining strength is only familiar to your grandfather. For example when I started going to the gym around 1990 and it was a very new thing here, most guys were contemptuous, and said stuff like “body builders just have show muscles, they could not last three hours in laying bricks” etc. so clearly they cared about muscle endurace more, and tended to call that “real” strength.

  19. >Reportedly, a lot of the “jihadists” traveling to ISIS from Europe are women. Many single.

    It is highly unlikely they will be hand-to-hand or contact-weapon fighters though.

    Women can be highly dangerous – “fanatic and brutal” – yes. If you get past the men and threaten their children they will fight with an utter lack of restraint or fear of injury that is chilling. This is not a response that can usually be evoked in battlefield conditions.

  20. >Wonder how much overlap there is between the two?

    Not a huge amount, but more than you might guess offhand. My sword-geek friends mostly aren’t hackers, but the ones who aren’t know enough to respect hacker culture.

  21. >It is a bit confusing, because before the recent body building trend, people do tended to confuse strength and muscle endurance a lot, and say strength when they mean muscle endurance, because more often than not muscle endurance was more useful than strength. Even in my childhood, a tough guy would often be defined as someone who would not get tired fast when digging trenches, unloading wagons, and doing similar kinds of physical labor. Which is all about muscle endurance. OK my background is about 50 years backwards in such trends than say the US, so I figure this kind of trench-digging attitude to defining strength is only familiar to your grandfather. For example when I started going to the gym around 1990 and it was a very new thing here, most guys were contemptuous, and said stuff like “body builders just have show muscles, they could not last three hours in laying bricks” etc. so clearly they cared about muscle endurace more, and tended to call that “real” strength.

    I think it’s even more complicated than that, because the ‘endurance vs. percentage of your strength used’ curve is non-linear.

    Ex, if you’re doing a task that requires 100% of your strength you might last ‘n’ minutes. If you’re using 80% of your strength you could last ‘2n’ minutes. 50% of your strength ‘6n’ minutes. 10% of your strength and you could keep it up until you got bored. Of course I’m making those numbers up just from my own general experience with physical labor, but being stronger *will* mean that any given task uses a lower percentage of your available strength and that therefore you can keep doing that task much longer.

  22. A problem with research (but particularly with research papers in the social sciences) is that journalists do not know enough science to read and interpret even the short header summaries. Some words do not mean what they think they mean, and summaries of statistical analysis are lost on naïve readers.

    Two examples: Some years ago, Dan Rather reported a research finding that millions of American children were going to school hungry and were “in danger of starving.” The paper his researcher cited simply reported a survey of children in middle school that suggested many wished they had eaten more for breakfast.

    More recently: When I was a consultant to the Department of Transportation, there was a proposal for a major education program designed to reduce consumption of alcohol by long-haul truck drivers. This was prompted by a study that showed trucks being involved in a greater than expected number of fatal crashes involving drinking. What nobody asked was who was doing the drinking. A second look revealed that the truckers were almost invariably sober, but fatal truck involved crashes almost always involve a truck and a passenger car. In virtually every case, it was the passenger car driver who was sloshed.

    Bottom line: to understand a research finding, you have to understand research, including: What is the question being asked? Is it the right question? What does the answer mean? Is the question valid and the answer valid? Without this, reports of scientific studies are too often misused.

  23. @esr
    “It is highly unlikely they will be hand-to-hand or contact-weapon fighters though.”

    There are women suicide bombers.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_attack#Female_suicide_bombers

    @esr
    ” If you get past the men and threaten their children they will fight with an utter lack of restraint or fear of injury that is chilling. This is not a response that can usually be evoked in battlefield conditions.”

    The history of European terrorist organizations (e.g., RAF) tells a different story. Women without children can be extremely fanatic and brutal for “random” causes. See also the woman from the German Neo Nazi NSU trio:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/nsu-neo-nazi-terror-trial-enters-summer-recess-a-915356.html

    I agree that it is uncommon to use women on battlefields for many reasons. Historically a woman with child would be a very bad soldier. And women tended to get many children from an early age.

  24. Given your last paragraph, Eric, this seems as good a time as I’ll get to ask you and the rest of this crowd about the mechanics of young children wielding fully automatic weapons. Or more precisely: people at the margin of upper body strength operating same. What’s an advisable limit here? I know plenty of 9-year-olds that can work a shotgun, but I can’t think of any working an Uzi, for example, either standing or prone.

    (Yes, this is related to that accident in Arizona a few days ago.)

  25. There was also the question of mortality. A man who survived adolescence would likely live past 40. A woman would have a non-trivial chance of dying every time she gave birth. Investing time and surplus food in training a woman to fight, only to have her die in childbed, would be a tremendous waste. More useful to put her to “women’s work” while you train her brother.

    Technology and the germ theory of disease changed all that, but there’s a weird and slightly Orwellian drive to make the past conform to how we prefer to live today.

  26. >Given your last paragraph, Eric, this seems as good a time as I’ll get to ask you and the rest of this crowd about the mechanics of young children wielding fully automatic weapons. Or more precisely: people at the margin of upper body strength operating same. What’s an advisable limit here? I know plenty of 9-year-olds that can work a shotgun, but I can’t think of any working an Uzi, for example, either standing or prone.

    It’s more a qualified user issue. Whatever people’s physical ability, if they have the training, discipline and skill to control the weapon within the limits of their physical abilities, no problems.

    People need training and familiarity before they can drive, so it’s only to be expected they would need training and familiarity before attempting something like a select-fire firearm on full auto.

    Lots of people have written on how to build up a new user while training, ‘one in the mag, two in the mag, three in the mag single shot, then one in the mag, two in the mag, three in the mag full auto’, etc etc

    Recoil and muzzle rise happen, to different degrees on different weapons. Different people have different ability to manage the recoil and muzzle rise on long, continuous strings of fire (as in, mag dumps). But that’s not the only way to shoot full auto, in fact we make fun of usually-Islamic ‘fighters’ who do that habitually. Bursts work, too. (There have been weapons commonly issued that were select fire, that *nobody* could control during long strings of continuous fire.)

    So even if a person was physically unable to control a weapon while doing a mag dump, if they had the training and discipline to fire bursts that they *could* control, it’s golden.

    >(Yes, this is related to that accident in Arizona a few days ago.)

    Of course.

  27. Wanted to add, even without being capable of full auto, it is MANDATORY that a user be able to effectively control a firearm within the limits of their physical capabilities. And that requires a qualified user, with training and some self-discipline.

    People have killed themselves with semi-autos before, in the same way that the AZ instructor was killed only a little extra step that they need to pull the trigger more than once (usually out of panic) is required.

    As in, fire weapon it recoils and the muzzle rises. User can’t control it, and panics. Clenches the gun to try to control it, and thereby squeezes the trigger again. Recoil and muzzle rise, some more. Repeat clenching and inadvertent trigger squeeze. Repeat until gun is pointing up and back at firer’s head when it fires. Game over.

  28. >There are women suicide bombers.

    Well, duh. Explosives. Like firearms, they largely eliminate the requirements for burst and endurance strength characteristic of pre-gunpowder weapons.

    >The history of European terrorist organizations (e.g., RAF) tells a different story. Women without children can be extremely fanatic and brutal for “random” causes. See also the woman from the German Neo Nazi NSU trio:

    All this tells us is that psychopathy swamps some gender differences. You can’t take the behavior of women (or men) in an organization like RAF as predictive of what you should expect in the general population.

  29. I think that important issue in deciding “to train or not” is how fight and training injuries might affect the fertility of person.

  30. @esr
    I grant that the RAF members were not mentally sound. But I seriously doubt that they were psychopaths.

  31. >some of the physiological differences that make them inferior with contact weapons are actual advantages at shooting

    Regardless of the kind of gun? I mean: taking into account women’s disadvantage at strength, does their advantage with guns start to dwindle as their training incorporates heavier guns?
    I may be conflating strength with muscle endurance, as Shenpen said. But I’m curious.

  32. Shit. Where I wrote “taking into account”, I should have simply wrote “given”. That’s odd: I’ve heard of mistaking map for territory, but it seems I made the reverse mistake!

  33. The sagas seem to show a world where men and women had clearly different roles and duties. I remember some dialog (I forgot from where) as, “I am a woman and may not fight.”

    OTOH, I haven’t figured out the full meaning of the scene in the Greenland Saga where the prophetess runs a sword over her naked breasts and scares off the North Americans. Where did she get the weapon? Was she carrying it into battle? Was it meant to shame her menfolk into making a stand? (It all seems to be symbolic, as I’m sure that had she actually killed or wounded someone in the battle, the saga would have recorded that.)

  34. > some of the physiological differences that make them inferior with contact weapons are actual advantages at shooting (again I speak from experience, as I teach women to shoot)

    Has there been a formal study along these lines? My experience matches this – I’ve found that most women are naturally better shots then men and learn the skills faster (although it also seems that women have worse hunting instincts), but I don’t have anything resembling a significant sample size.

  35. My experience matches this – I’ve found that most women are naturally better shots then men and learn the skills faster.

    Massad Ayoob once observed the “faster learning” thing — he thought it was because women didn’t feel a need to pretend they already knew about guns or shooting, so they could absorb the training faster.

  36. he thought it was because women didn’t feel a need to pretend they already knew about guns or shooting, so they could absorb the training faster.

    I LOLed. Could well be true.

  37. In the matter of women being better learners at certain skills, I believe that women make better use of ‘the error signal’. Men try something, and if the result isn’t so good, try something else. Women will pay more attention to what the gun is actually doing, and take that into account when correcting their technique.

    This is certainly true in riding. Women generally make much better riders than men – they pay much more attention to the horse as they ride.

  38. “What it establishes is that a hair less than half of Viking migrants were female, which is no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention.”

    And that’s not news; we already knew that from the genetic evidence. Bryan Sykes discusses it in detail in his book _Saxons, Vikings, and Celts_.

    Long story short: he says that in most cases an invading population consists primarily of men, but the women who bear their children are local and thus the mitochondrial line of descent goes through the original inhabitants. But genetic testing on modern-day descendants of the Danes who came to the British Isles show that the mitochondrial, matrilineal lines go back to Scandinavia.

    As Sykes puts it, “They brought their women with them.”

  39. There’s been at least one “lab experiment” on this.

    Dr. Richard Raskind, a middle-aged opthalmologist, changed genders and became Renée Richards. Raskind had been a good amateur tennis player (won the U.S. Navy championship). Richards became the 20th ranked player among women professionals. Richards even reached the finals of the U.S. Open doubles competition.

    Richards was over 40 at the time, and according to Richards’ own memoir, had lost substantial upper body strength due to female hormone treatments.

  40. Every gender thread, there’s more-or-less the same Winter post bringing up some exception or another to prop up his fantastical delusions.

    Literature has no shortage of women driving men into combat, even leading them if necessary.

    Only if you take “no shortage” to mean “a few exceptions”. I would like to see you post ONE thing that’s more than fantasies of relevance from the losers of history. Next you’ll be telling me about the great contributions of Africans to technology and science.

  41. Given this is Tor.com, this is just more of the new breed of feminists grasping at straws and bicycle-pumping women, as if a few obscure graves are going to overturn all of human history. Kameron Hurley won 2 Hugos doing this exact thing and even linked to the same Viking article.

    This is my favorite example of the bicycle pump:

    “Saladin Ahmed ?@saladinahmed 20h The Woman In The Green Mantle, erased by Crusader historians, immortalized by her impressed Muslim enemies. pic.twitter.com/2Mmey7lR0j 17 Aug 13″ 

    “Kate Elliott ?@KateElliottSFF 16h @saladinahmed didn’t you get the memo? Women never did anything back then !!!” 

    “Chia Evers ?@ChiaLynn 16h @KateElliottSFF @saladinahmed They certainly never stepped outside the bounds of culturally-proscribed femininity. That’s unpossible.” 

    “Kate Elliott ?@KateElliottSFF 16h @ChiaLynn @saladinahmed And our projections of what was proscribed/allowed back then must be accurate! ”

    It’s wishful thinking carried to an absurd level of childish glee. White patriarchal European supremacists sought to hide the women (one) in their midst while the noble Arab PoC honored her in history. This is also the kind of race and sex-baiting work that got Nebula nominated this year. It’s more clownish than anything else. Go occupy a military recruiting station and go kill ISIS. Then I’ll be impressed.

  42. Discussing women as members of a home guard, or militia equivalent is a whole different kettle of fish than as ‘warriors’. As Eric points out, there are outliers, but the muscles don’t lie, and muscles are important in a muscle powered conflict.

    Of course, all bets are off when Sam Colt steps in. My wife may not be *quite* as good a shot as I am with a pistol, but that’s because I have a lot more practice, and she picked it up really quickly.

    Hand/eye coordination counts, with firearms. Strength (and endurance) less so.

  43. Roger Phillips > Next you’ll be telling me about the great contributions of Africans to technology and science.

    Peanuts and brain surgery. I can give you the names. That is a highly abridged list, but I think that’s already more than you can handle.

    As for “no shortage”, when it comes to this sort of thing, you really only need “a few examples”. Most times, women in the Bible are in their specialties (i.e. Joseph can’t be the mother of Jesus and Mordecai can’t marry Xerxes), where a woman fills an exceptional man’s role in the Bible, it’s because all the men in sight are either enemies or chicken shit (i.e. see Judges 4:8 and the verses around it.) Likewise there is “no shortage” of bullets randomly hitting each other over battlefields because it is so incredibly unlikely that you’d never expect to see even one, let alone “a few examples” (i.e. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIek9VkrHnA)

  44. @ Shenpen

    That begs the definition of strength …?

    And your reply takes this to a level I was trying to allude to without getting all elbow deep into.

    With the understanding that I'm basically an old(er) gym rat who reads a lot, my definition of "strength" can be summed up as being a synthesis measure of gross weight/mass moved over a defined period of time, within a measured period of time. IOW how much you can move (or kinetic impulse you can deliver if you prefer), in a given period of time, as rapidly as you are able.

    Max gross lift is a valid metric, but limited in what it tells you outside of the lift technique context. Muscle endurance is also a valid metric, but focuses more on the athletes ability to manage energy expenditure in a stipulated application. I don't think there can be a straightforward, simple definition of strength to tell the truth; we don't apply our strength in simple, straightforward circumstances for the most part.

  45. @Terry

    Peanuts and brain surgery. I can give you the names. That is a highly abridged list, but I think that’s already more than you can handle.

    Jesus Christ you are a moron.

    Likewise there is “no shortage” of bullets randomly hitting each other over battlefields because it is so incredibly unlikely that you’d never expect to see even one, let alone “a few examples”

    See above.

  46. >Jesus Christ you are a moron.

    Stop this. Terry’s response was weak, but that doesn’t excuse replying to it with content-free insults. Insults, if they nust be present, must be accompanied with counterargument. House rule, violated on pain of my displeasure. Persistent content-free insults are grounds for banning.

    Yes, I know you’re abrasive, misanthropic, and deficient in both social skills and empathy. I also know you can do better than this.

  47. Roger Phillips > Jesus Christ you are a moron.

    I’m not Jesus Christ. I’m also pretty sure He wasn’t a moron.

    To get back on topic, He was neither a woman, nor Aftrican, but he was from a similarly persecuted ethnic group that has likely fallen far short of their potential contribution to the legacy of humankind because of such racial persecution. …an ethnic group that has proven consistently effective at both military intelligence and warfare throughout their entire recorded history, both biblical and modern. Their women have gotten more than their fair share of work men are usually better at, not just because of the Judges 4:8 problem, but because the Gestapo could spot an undercover Jewish man quite easily because of circumcision, a problem the women were inherently immune to. The TSA and PRNYPD aren’t quite as bad as the Gestapo once was, but it seems they can hardly wait to get there, so this may again become a factor.

    Unfortunately, women’s liberation has probably hurt women more than it has helped them. Certainly, it has helped them get jobs that were normally for men, and in those jobs their more domestically-oriented strengths are sometimes assets. However, a career woman often can’t be a family woman at the same time, and by the time she gets around to having children, it is too late. Full term pregnancy protects against breast cancer, so there is some additional suffering on that front. These effects of women’s lib is probably a major, if not _the_ major, factor in the steady reversal of population growth trends in the modern industrial world. Not all of the dual-income and bachelorette empty-nesters are happy about it either.

  48. >> but I found this YouTube video about Viking
    swords

    The blacksmithing is quite real as well.
    They spoke of crucible steel, I know it as a
    specific kind called wootz.

    It is a simple, very high carbon steel — ~1.5%
    carbon.
    Ordinary mild steel is about .25% carbon. Ordinary
    high carbon steel runs from .6% to .95%. It will
    be worked at a high yellow heat — 17-1900 degrees F or
    so.

    Wootz will mush and sort of splatter at those kinds of
    temperatures, as in the video you work it at a
    much lower temperature, a dull to medium red,
    perhaps 1200 degrees. Incidentally a temperature
    that would not work with lower carbon steels —
    the steel would crack and tear if forged at that
    low a temperature.

    Polished and etched wootz will have the patterns
    they showed in the video. Wootz is a very
    flexible steel, the stories of a sword that could
    be bent tip to hilt, then released and spring
    straight would almost certainly have been wootz.

    I don’t know of any modern use of wootz. Chrome
    moly alloy steels are much easier to work and
    would make a sword probably superior to wootz. It
    might be difficult to get the extreme flexibility
    that is attributed to wootz, but the alloy sword
    would probably be stronger and harder to break.

    I doubt that the flex was considered an inherently
    good thing, just that it’s presence would indicate
    a sword that would be very hard to break in
    combat.

    A steel called graphitic steel is readily
    available and is used to make forming dies
    where there needs to be a sliding motion of the
    material as it is formed. Probably mostly for
    forming steel where pressure welding would be a
    problem. It too must be forged at a much lower
    temperature than alloy or lower carbon steels.

    A very interesting video. If I had been that
    blacksmith I would probably (and quite likely he
    did) practice with the commercial very high carbon
    steels to till I could do things well — then take
    the ingot made with medieval methods and start
    hammering out a sword.

    Jim

  49. Sorry to maybe ask an off-topic question, Mr. Raymond, but have you heard anything about what is going on in the video game communities that the Social Justice folks are trying to invade? If not, I recommend you check into it. There’s been tons of censorship at the big gaming sites (who, incredibly, have been running article after article insulting their readers )…ah, enough. Anyway I think you might find it interesting being that while you don’t identify as a gamer, I’m sure you have some interest in the feminist attack on all sorts of tech (heck, ‘guy’) culture in general.

  50. @Greg

    >10% of your strength and you could keep it up until you got bored.

    The trick is in the measurement. I was 10 years old when I told my dad my dumbbells are too light and its time to build some new ones. I told him I could keep it up until I get bored. He gave me a challenge to do overhead presses without weights, just bare hands. My shoulders gave out at around 100-120 reps and I was quite surprised, I expected to be able to go on forever. What I did not take into consideration that my arms have a weight on their own, and probably they are far more than 10% of the dumbbells that I used back then. Probably more like 25-40%. Like most people who just do weights and no real sports, I half-assumed by body and its parts to be for practical purposes “weightless”. No real athlete would think like that :-)

    So yes, you are right, but the body weight makes it weird. If you are 85 kg, minus calves 80, you would need a 800 kg weighted squat one rep max to make that body weight squat 10%. And the world record is like 575, so it never happens.

    I assume this is something real athletes instinctively know, but for a gym-only guy like me these calculations are quite a bit surprising.

  51. >he thought it was because women didn’t feel a need to pretend they already knew about guns or shooting, so they could absorb the training faster.

    This is just one golden truth about life in general. This is one of the major issues anyone who ever tries to teach anyone anything has to count with. Another, worse scenario when the trainee pretends to know _better_ – I had lot of “fun” times training accountants to use accounting software who generally thought the software is wrong and they could design it better. The absorption was not particularly fast to say the least.

  52. >Sorry to maybe ask an off-topic question, Mr. Raymond, but have you heard anything about what is going on in the video game communities that the Social Justice folks are trying to invade?

    I am. I have not yet formed a firm opinion about the merits of that argument. If and when I do I might write about it.

  53. Mr. Raymond, thank you for answering my question.
    I won’t say any more about this but to say that if you do decide to cover it, well, basically Kotaku, Gamusatra, those sites – basically aren’t covering it but are running article after article attacking their base. I’ll drop a few sources to look into: A Youtuber named Mundane Matt, Christina Hoff Summers twitter feed, and google searches for #gamergate and Zoey Quinn. Places like A Voice for Men have covered it, and even newspapers like the Guardian and Breitburt. It’s ironic that other press organizations are picking at this when the gaming journalists won’t. And of course, before I forget to mention some smaller gaming websites have covered it. But from the big ones either articles all parroting the same talking -points or silence. And Reddit has been censored.

    Anyway, this will be my last post on this unless you choose to throw your hat into the ring, but I wanted to give you a bit of a scoop so it will be easier to do research should you choose to. One side (or no side) is all you’ll get from the big gaming sites. I have hope for your information gathering facilities because you know lots of programmers or at least you used to, though I’m not sure you ever had any contact with the game scene given the importance of lots of the stuff you have done in the technology field.

  54. “Woman with sword still beats man or woman without sword, though, yes?”

    No. IIRC, for Musashi’s most famous duel, he whittled a wooden sword of sorts from an oar as he was being ferried to the duel. Swords are still just long strong wedges, and not necessarily all that advantageous compared to a club.

    Secondly, though, what difference if it were true if there was no reasonable prospect of said woman running into a disarmed man?

    Thirdly, raiders don’t usually stroll through a settlement killing the women. Remember your priorities of work: “First rape, then kill, then pillage, and _then_ burn.” Except you don’t kill the females, if you have a choice, you take them as slaves; to use, to sell, or to use and then sell. And rarely if ever have the wolves cared how many be the sheep.

  55. “So much so that anyone who wants to suppress personal firearams is objectively anti-female and automatically oppressive of women.”

    Indeed. Looking past leftist lunacies, there may actually be something we might call, “rape culture.” If so, it is whatever facilitates rape. Among those things are disarming women or, perhaps worse, telling them that in a fair and decent world they would not need to be armed, but then neglecting to tell them we do not live in that world, but in this one.

  56. Jim Hurlburt: I know of one use. This past weekend there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about high-end cooking products, and apparently one of the most expensive brands of chef’s knife is one hand-crafted from what is obviously Damascus steel (=wootz). According to the article, the guy who makes the very top-end ones used to do them only on commission, but there were too many orders so now he just makes knives and _auctions them off_ as he finishes them.

  57. In evolutionary time, that which works best endures. If employing women as warriors had provided comparative advantage, then they would have evolved a muscular body type suitable for hand-to-hand combat. As it is, they have small torsos with large breasts, which implies that their greater utility lies in nurturing offspring. Present day female morphology is record of a few million years of selection that cannot be undone by a few ambiguous burial sites.

  58. Eric:

    First, the Tor article has been updated (in text, not headline) to reflect a 10% figure for women in combat. (Based on what I’ve seen, the TV series “Vikings” seems to be following a similar 10% rule for offensive operations.) Second, I think there’s a difference between “optimal” and “effective.” It would be optimal to have all strong young men in your line of battle. This doesn’t mean weaker and/or older men or women wouldn’t be effective.

    Third, as Stalin said, quantity is a quality all it’s own. You need enough bodies to fill a line, and at least some raids will consist of making an armed demonstration outside the target followed by some kind of negotiated payoff. (Danegeld was a real thing.)

    it would have lost out to a culture that protected and used their reproductive capacity to birth more male warriors. The current theory is that overpopulation was driving the entire Viking culture of raiding and emigration. If overpopulation is a problem, one of the ways to fix that is for women to have fewer children. In short, shieldmaidens may have been a feature, not a bug.

  59. @cambus
    I knew that high end knife makers use it. Mostly these days for cute, again the best alloy steels make better knives and are easy to get and (compared to the labor that goes into hand making a knife) cheap.

    I know of no commercial production use — the guy you spoke of is still doing one off hand work, and while his knives are no doubt very very good, as a practical matter there are mass produced ones that are far more than adequate for preparing food. I currently use a ceramic knife — which is a marvelous thing for the task.

    Quite admittedly I would like to have one of his knives — just not very many hundreds of dollars of want. And I’m certainly not criticizing him for finding a way to make good money at his art.

    Jim

  60. as a trucker i’ve had female co-drivers. they were great at the driving itself – shifting gears, backing up, etc. but when it came to following directions, road maps and how the national (numerical) road system works, they were totally lost. one woman driver cost me half a day’s work by going in the wrong direction after i had given direction on where to go while i caught some sleep. imagine my surprise, when i woke, when i saw that we were on the wrong road over 200 miles from where we should be.? our brains are def wired differently.

  61. Tor.com! Now With 40% More White Male Privilege and Square-Jawed White Men Fixes All!!!!!! JOIN US ON ‘N0-SUPREMACY’ FRIDAYS!!!!

    And remember: don’t underreport the rape of 1,400 children – cuz “rape culture!” could me on the march in a neighborhood near you!

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  62. I have read that the art of forging Damascos steel has been lost, most likely after the trade of wootz declined. What is called ‘Damascus’ is just fancy stripy steel.

  63. Leif Erickson’s sister took the sword from a dead viking (he had been killed by a stone to the head if I recall) and slapped her breast with the blade in defiance of the skraelings. I am sure that after seeing several men killed with the same type of weapon and now seeing that this pregnant big boobed woman was smacking herself with it convinced them she was fierce and not likely to be hurt.

    The reason it made it into the sagas is because it was rare. Look at the standards that are used to evaluate whether or not a woman can be a police officer (commonly called the ‘Cooper Test’). These tests are designed for women to pass them at a rate no less than 4/5ths that of men. The test is adjusted for age. At no time do the women ever meet the standards for men in running much less pushups. I think there is a tiny overlap in crunches between the twenty year old woman and the fifty year old man but it’s been years since I looked at it. When the first fire breaks out on a US Navy ship with too many women we’ll see how they do as firefighters. I think the good Col. Kratman has already mentioned the likely outcome.

    Women are not built for combat. That’s not a mistake of nature or a function of our nurture, it ensures that women will live to do the most important and difficult thing they can, bear and raise children.

  64. @Terry
    > Unfortunately, women’s liberation has probably hurt women more than it has helped them.

    So you think that women are worse off than when they:

    1. Were considered little more than the property of their husbands and fathers
    2. Were legally subject to physical violence from their husbands or fathers
    3. Could not own property
    4. Did not have the same legal rights as men, such as the ability to sue in court
    5. Could not vote
    6. Had reduced rights to sue for divorce
    7. Were largely unable to function in society without a husband or father
    8. Had no right to control their sexuality in face of the demands of their husband
    9. Were socially oppressed to the point where they were sluts if they had more than one sex partner, whereas men in the same situation were studs.
    10. Were legally barred from certain professions
    11. Were denied access to education
    etc. etc.

    Not all of these applied in all countries or at all times, but that is what women’s liberation has fixed for women. Some things that women’s “liberation” has done, especially some recent, more extreme developments, has been detrimental to either women or men or both. But the idea that on the whole women’s liberation has been a bad thing is just silly.

  65. >But the idea that on the whole women’s liberation has been a bad thing is just silly.

    Some rather surprised social scientists have reported that measures of female happiness have declined, both absolutely and relatively to men, since “liberation”. So the counter-case isn’t entirely crazy, on that level.

    Myself, I prefer a world with un-oppressed women in it. But I have doubts that the ideology of sexual equality is biologically sustainable. I have written about this before.

  66. I don’t think women’s lib has hurt women at all. I know damn well I’d trade some theory about a slippery slope for society that may never come true for the right to be treated as an equal before the law in my actual and real life in the here and now.

    I think what we’re talking about here is confused because of semantics. Third Wave Intersectionalists call themselves “feminists” but they are not. They are a racist sexist supremacist cult. They have nothing to do with feminism, or liberalism for that matter.

    Yes, they are damaging women because in true Orwellian style, intersectionalists are co-opting terms to camouflage their weird narcissism, as witness the sub-cult of semantics at the Ministry of Tor, where the word “fought” or “racism” could mean almost anything, depending on skin and sex. Imagine America as baseball but with the strike zone changing every minute based on the race and sex of pitcher and batter and imagine America destroyed.

    The recent SF anthology webzine issue called “Women Destroy Science Fiction” with a heavy-handed moronic irony is a case in point.

    A true title would’ve been “Third Wave QUILTBAG Intersectionalists Destroy Science-Fiction,” and they’d have been right. There is no irony to THAT title, only bald-faced truth. Just look at the table of contents. The idea that’s just “the gals” is ludicrous. If that really was just “the gals” – half of all humans – I’d strip away a woman’s right to vote in about 2 seconds, cuz destroying the country.

    The winners of the Nebulas and Hugos this year was a celebration of intersectionalism – not SF, not a literary movement, not art, not feminism, not liberalism, not women, not the genre. It was a celebration of identity. Given the obvious reality of what happens to any cultural expression where identity or social position trump talent, yes, “women” have destroyed SF, and mainstreaming such insanity into America will wreck the joint.

    This is a cult who in actual and real fact do NOT prosecute real rape based on skin and prosecute NO rape based on skin. In typical PC madness, access to due process has institutionally and legally come to depend on your skin and sex, as witness the new law in California for colleges and the rapes in the U.K. So-called “feminists” led the charge on Ferguson and Gaza and sit on their Twitter hands about ISIS. Trust me, there’ll be no #NotAllMuslims coming from this insane cult of endemic liars.

  67. > And if a pre-industrial culture has chosen to train more than a tiny fraction of its women as shieldmaidens, it would have lost out to a culture that protected and used their reproductive capacity to birth more male warriors.

    What if it had other advantages that outweighed this cost? Something has to actually win against it for it to “lose out” – for example, to get rid of the mammalian (I thought it was all vertebrates, actually) eye, all mammals would have to go extinct.

  68. >What if it had other advantages that outweighed this cost?

    If there were any substantial net advantage here, the historical evidence for women warriors wouldn’t be as thin and fragmentary as it is.

  69. @esr
    > Some rather surprised social scientists have reported that measures of female happiness have declined, both absolutely and relatively to men, since “liberation”

    I’d like to read those reports. “Reports” from social scientists are always dubious, especially about metrics like “happiness” that are both extremely hard to measure, and extremely easy to tweak to get the result you want.

    I’m also curious why “liberation” is in quotes. Do you think that lifting some of the legal impediments I listed is somehow non liberating, irrespective of the consequences to happiness?

  70. @Roger Phillips
    “Only if you take “no shortage” to mean “a few exceptions”.”

    I think both Elizabeth I and Catherina the Great were driving considerable numbers of men into the battlefield. So were quite a number of Wags of Chinese emperors.

    In European history we know examples of women fighting off armies. Our local hero is Kenau from Haarlem. We also know of Jeanne d’Arc. I am too lazy to sift through the whole of European history for more less known examples.

    @Roger Phillips
    “I would like to see you post ONE thing that’s more than fantasies of relevance from the losers of history.”

    Women the losers of history? That is a strange worldview.

    @Roger Phillips
    “Next you’ll be telling me about the great contributions of Africans to technology and science.”

    Do you mean “Africans” as in people from the continent or “Africans” as in black people from south of the Sahara?

    North African people have contributed a lot to Western development.

  71. >I’m also curious why “liberation” is in quotes.

    Because some (not all) of the claims and causes travelling under that banner have not been liberating at all, to women or anyone else. It’s no longer a term I feel I can use completely without irony. You have Third Wave difference feminism and Fail Burton’s intersectionalists to thank for this.

  72. @esr
    I would like to see that social science report. I think the conclusion you draw here is bogus.

    If there is one thing that has come out of hapiness research, it is that more control over your life leads to more hapiness. That holds for men and women and every culture.

  73. If someone could please let Keynesians know, we might get somewhere.

  74. @esr
    > Because some (not all) of the claims and causes travelling under that banner have not been liberating at all,

    Ah, OK, well FWIW, I agree with that assessment.

  75. >>I have read that the art of forging Damascos steel has been lost.

    Clearly false. Case in point, the blacksmith in the video. Also, while I have never worked at it, my one attempt with O6 graphitic steel was a failure, I expect that given real incentive to put in the effort, that I would be able to make a functional knife in 40-200 hours of work. The second one would be better and much faster, the twentieth would probably be a pretty nice weapon/tool.

    Jim

  76. @esr
    “Because some (not all) of the claims and causes travelling under that banner have not been liberating at all, to women or anyone else.”

    What is wrong with:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liberation

    lib·er·a·tion
    noun \?li-b?-?r?-sh?n\

    : the act or process of freeing someone or something from another’s control : the act of liberating someone or something

    : the removal of traditional social or sexual rules, attitudes, etc.

  77. The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness

    By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women’s declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging — one with higher subjective well-being for men.

  78. They are my intersectionalists only by default. I have no idea why people in the SFF community who oppose what’s happening continue to ignore the evidence right in front of their eyes. These morons clearly look up to Donna Haraway and her Cyborg Manisfesto, Joanna Russ and her “How to Suppress Women’s Writing,” any sacred word Octavia Butler ever wrote and Peggy McIntosh’s “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” and actually use the word “intersectionalism” themselves.

    None of that defaults to any “liberalism” I ever heard of, or feminism, unless dreaming of a world without men and a queer future and putting the genocidal colonial privilege mark of Cain on straight white men is liberalism and feminism nowadays. It may be, but changing the name of a horse to a donkey doesn’t create a donkey, nor will it run fast.

    Is the neo-Nazi view of white supremacy and Jews as the world’s great evil liberalism then? Forget identity, race and gender, donkeys and horses; in principle Intersectionalism and neo-Nazism are one and the same.

    Orwell once wrote a little book about not being able to make such comparisons. But there’s no rat-cages on our heads and no excuse for being conned by morons.

  79. Well I don’t know that ‘more control leads to more happiness’ or perhaps I should phrase it this way not all happiness is equal. Give a woman the right to divorce her husband, take his money, have random sex with random strangers, use drugs and alcohol while pregnant, hell abort her children.

    She sure has lots more control over her life and she’s likely to be an unhappy, shrew, with messed up kids. Or let’s say she is happy. I doubt her happiness or her children’s (those that are living) happiness translates to well-being and a happy life for all.

    My great grandmother was happy her entire life, my grandmother was mostly happy, my mother almost never and she was a dedicated feminist with extensive post grad education and all the correct political attitudes.

    When I compare the spirits and happiness of my great grandmother and her sisters (who were adults before suffrage) with those of my generation or younger generations I do not see any comparison. They were happier before Susan B. Anthony and ‘liberation’. Their lives were better, they had happier kids, and they lived better more fulfilling lives despite not having liberation. Now your mileage may vary but society was much happier before women were given agency in every facet of their lives.

    Sorry for kind of being off topic here.

  80. @TWS
    “Give a woman the right to divorce her husband, take his money, have random sex with random strangers, use drugs and alcohol while pregnant, hell abort her children.
    She sure has lots more control over her life and she’s likely to be an unhappy, shrew, with messed up kids.”

    Both men and women have these rights nowadays. They hardly use them. Such are the wonders of control over your life: You can do as you wish. Say, by not doing all these things you mention. By not having control over your life, you have to endure that others enforce all kind of nasty things onto you.

    @TWS
    “When I compare the spirits and happiness of my great grandmother and her sisters (who were adults before suffrage) with those of my generation or younger generations I do not see any comparison.”

    Sorry, but the plural of anecdotes in not data. Statistics tell us a different story. There are nice tables and explanations in the report below.
    http://www.earth.columbia.edu/sitefiles/file/Sachs%20Writing/2012/World%20Happiness%20Report.pdf

  81. Winter you apparently missed the part where I mentioned that happiness does not equal well being or good choices. I’m sure my children would be happier with more ‘control’ over their lives. They’d go to sleep when they wanted, eat what they wanted etc. But happiness nor satisfaction does not equal good choices or good outcomes.

    If you really think the world is a better place than it was when most people did not have to lock their doors or cars, worry about their kids playing outside, or finding condoms and needles in the schoolyard, good for you. At least somebody is happy with the world the feminist/progressive mindset has created.

  82. @TWS
    Research shows that more people are happier in modern, liberal, feminist countries (Scandinavia, Netherlands, etc.) than anywhere else in the world.

    Happiness is most certainly correlated to well being.

  83. You mean the “modern, liberal, feminist countries” that have extremely low birthrates and so are set to die off in the next century or so, unless they go back to the pre-feminist practice of having babies?

  84. Just a couple off odd factoids to throw into the pot:

    Women fighters include the “Dahomey Amazons”. (19th century). They used muskets, so swords were not a factor.

    There was a Scientific American article about Damascus steel swords published a few years ago. It mentioned that the steel came in the form of round cakes from India. The source dried up some time in the 1800s.

  85. > You mean the “modern, liberal, feminist countries” that have extremely low birthrates and so are set to die off in the next century or so [...] ?

    Is a fertility rate of 1.7 to 1.9 children per woman “extremely low” ?

    Do you have reasons to believe that lower rates in, say, Bosnia, Romania or Vatican City are caused by significantly higher influence of feminism in those countries ?

  86. @esr

    But I have doubts that the ideology of sexual equality is biologically sustainable.

    The ideology of “sexuality equality” is feelgood bullshit. What next? Children and adults are equals? Dumb and smart people are equals? Strong and weak people are equals? I don’t take you for a nihilist..

    @Winter

    In European history we know examples of women fighting off armies. Our local hero is Kenau from Haarlem. We also know of Jeanne d’Arc. I am too lazy to sift through the whole of European history for more less known examples.

    Did you make any attempt at all to understand the text you quoted? IMAGINE if it were up to people like you to interpret historical evidence. Discovery of the hot dog contest leads to belief that obscene displays of competitive eating were a common 21st century habit. “No shortage of examples!” your braindead 25th century spawn will say. Pop-science article reads: “hot dogs responsible for 21st century obesity epidemic?”

    Women the losers of history? That is a strange worldview.

    No, what’s strange is that your idea of “reading” is to skim for a few juicy keywords and guess what was meant. So the fact that “women” and “losers of history” appear somewhere in the same vicinity is in your illiterate mind grounds for sticking them together into one sentence and treating that sentence as though it had come directly from my mouth.

    Do you mean “Africans” as in people from the continent or “Africans” as in black people from south of the Sahara?

    North African people have contributed a lot to Western development.

    It seems my influence is finally starting to rub off on you. So far as I can remember this is the first honest attempt you’ve made to understand something I wrote. But you still fall short by trying to “catch me out”. Which is why you present two possible interpretations then talk about the unfavorable one. If you think about what I said, and think about all the possible interpretations you will find your query becomes redundant. You will not advance at all until you learn that the purpose of reading is to understand what the writer meant. To see what was in his brain at the time he was writing. That is why I call you a quibbler.

  87. Is a fertility rate of 1.7 to 1.9 children per woman “extremely low”?

    Yes, when the replacement rate is 2.1, and with social security/pension plans which are unsustainable with a shrinking population.

    Low birth rates can have different causes. I was just commenting on the “modern, liberal, feminist” countries.

  88. To go off topic in a slightly more on-topic direction, I quote Kipling – from “THE YOUNG BRITISH SOLDIER”. (If I have quoted this before, I apologize.) Women can be (or at least have been) scary on the battlefield after the battle was over…

    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
        An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

  89. In my parent’s generation, the family archetype predominantly consisted of fathers working and mothers staying home to care for the kids. Typically, male/female roles were very differentiated, with little overlap.

    Then things changed as a result of the modern women’s liberation movement, and more women (including mothers) started working and pursuing careers. In addition, out of necessity, many husbands started helping out with home and child rearing tasks.

    One consequence of this change was that men and women acquired differing perspectives whenever they compared themselves with their own fathers/mothers. Men frequently acquired high self esteem because they saw themselves are doing much more than their fathers ever did, e.g. supporting the family financially while also contributing significant additional roles at home.

    For women, the opposite was occurring whenever they compared themselves against their stay-at-home mothers. They typically viewed themselves as doing less than their mothers and often felt a sense of guilt when work conflicted with family obligations. This effect may explain why some modern women fell less happy in their personal life, even though they may be more empowered.

  90. “In European history we know examples of women fighting off armies. Our local hero is Kenau from Haarlem. We also know of Jeanne d’Arc. I am too lazy to sift through the whole of European history for more less known examples.”

    That individual women are famous for such feats, while men are less so, speaks more to the scarcity of them than it does to their presence. It’s the same reason that crashes of small aircraft are newsworthy, while crashes of automobiles are not: far more of the latter happen.

  91. Shenpen

    BTW you know more about HEMA than I do, but even a longsword is just 1.5kg. Why does upper body strenght matter much? It is not boxing. I haven’t tried it, perhaps such an experiment should be tried: I would offer a bet than even a 12 years old child could run a spear through a side of beef or pork, which would be a good enough approximation of the human body. It just does not look that hard. Courage is probably a more limiting factor than strength.

    http://www.havokjournal.com/fitness/2014/3/25/military-and-special-operations-fitness

    Strength matters in ALMOST EVERYTHING.

    Being in good condition will make everything easier.

    Simon Smith :

    Woman with sword still beats man or woman without sword, though, yes?

    A very well trained woman who is defending home, hearth and family? Probably. Assuming the male is *unarmed*, not just not as armed. And there are techniques for unarmed against a sword, which is almost the definition of “a bad day”.

    Anything less than that and an aggressive trained male will probably overcome her.

    JonCB:

    To add to this, if all/most of your men are away raiding, your female National Guard can at least begin the basic training of the youngsters.

    You’re joking right?

    The hollywoodized image of what you use the brute strength for is generally contradicted by the manuals. It’s a naive way of looking at it (“hey if you’re strong you can blow past that ward!”) that anyone with some actual training will use against you (manipulating the bind is literally in every longsword manual). What strength is useful for comes down to two things for me… speed and control.

    And endurance, and in soaking up the little injuries and insults that go alone with fighting with hand weapons.

    When someone comes with an overhand blow putting most of what hey have behind it, and you block, I’m not saying in necessarily hurts, but there’s some sting there. And you get bruised here and there. The stronger you are the more of this you can handle.

    And ultimately if I’m significantly stronger I can find ways to use that (like locking your weapon up and just busting you in the face with my fist).

    Will Brown on 2014-09-03 at 06:24:50 said:

    One of the things I’ve noticed over the years of martial arts training (and even more reading about the subject) is that most of the time you work on defeating the opponents attack, not making an attack yourself. That is the principle difference between simply hitting someone and fighting them.

    That’s because generations of martial arts in America have been sold to American Soccer Moms as “self defense and discipline”. Not “How to launch an attack that will break bones, rend flesh and spill blood”.

    Jay Maynard

    I’m no use in a hand-to-hand melee, but why get hand to hand when you can reach out and kill someone before they have a chance to get personal?

    Because unless you go hunting bad guys you’re most likely to meet them at close ranges, and they’re likely to be the one launching the attack.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4EqqSH871A

    Which one do you think you’ll be? The guy in the blue shirt, or the guy in black that got the barrel shoved in his face?

    The other reason is that the world isn’t binary. I shoot when I can, and I carry ALMOST everywhere.

    But the world isn’t binary. There’s a lot of times when physical force might be needed, but escalating immediately to lethal force might be unacceptable (the example I usually use is “Aunt Sally” has too much sherry at a family function and gets a little too physical. Yeah you’d LIKE to shoot her. Heck 90% of the people there would, but there’s not articulable threat to life or of serious physical injury, and not being in texas “She needed killing” isn’t useful. So you’d like to be able to take care of that sort of problem).

    Shenpen:

    That begs the definition of strength, as there are apparently multiple ones. Today, the popular definition is roughly like “bench press 1 rep max” and a few decades ago it was “100 push-ups”. The later actually tested muscle endurance, not strength. Yet, in the scenario you mention, it is literally about muscle endurance, not strength, at least definitely not strength in the one rep max sense.

    Most people who can do a significant “one rep max” can do pretty well in a 60 second or 2 minute pushup test.

    When looking at work done by hand there’s always 3 aspects–one is the actual muscular effort, the other is training of the neuromuscular system (aka “neuromuscular adaption”), and the other is flat out skill.

    In the martial art I study–based on Japanese battlefield techniques–there is a concept called “living off the mist”–that on a battlefield you need to preserve strength. It’s the same when shoveling coal or digging a ditch. Yes, they are physically demanding, but there are ways of moving the body–even when bucking bales or stacking wood–that take less energy. Part of this does come from the neuromuscular adaption. Others are just how you move. “Taijutsu” as we call it.

  92. http://www.havokjournal.com/fitness/2014/3/25/military-and-special-operations-fitnes

    That’s an excellent article. I’ve never been SOF, but it’s congruent with what I’ve learned from a quarter of a century of martial-arts training. Anyone who didn’t read it the first time the link was posted should now. Among other things, it indirectly explains why all but a tiny percentage of females are hopelessly outclassed on the battlefield.

    Sigh. It confirms what I suspected from other sources. I have the upper-body and core strength required to hack it in that environment. And the warrior spirit, too, I believe. What I do not have is the minimum agility/mobility required – I just can’t run well enough. And never will, dammit.

    Oh well. I come a lot closer to making the physical quals than most guys pushing 56 could even dream of. That’s something, I guess.

  93. >That’s something, I guess.

    It is. And don’t forget about your intellectual and professional accomplishments. Your writings have influenced me, and I’m certainly not the only one who can claim that.

  94. Sigh. It confirms what I suspected from other sources. I have the upper-body and core strength required to hack it in that environment. And the warrior spirit, too, I believe. What I do not have is the minimum agility/mobility required – I just can’t run well enough. And never will, dammit.

    There’s a LOT more than just the upper body strength and such.

    When I was in boot camp I came >< that close to maxing the Marine Corps PFT. I ran a 19:30 3 mile instead of 18 minute. I think I might have come close one other time, but was too busy retching (and I was a smoker at the time).

    There has never been a day in my life I could meet the standards of the SEALs or Delta. Maybe MAYBE I could have made it in a Ranger battalion physically, but mentally I never had the focus or the self discipline.

    Neal Stephenson put it:
    “Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.”

    This is actually not true. Most men maintain this delusion WELL into their 40s.

    I've met these guys. I've shot with this guys.

    Hell, one of the groomsmen at my wedding quit his job and went back in the army (several years after 9/11) and at 39 went through SFQC. It was literally the case that there were people there young enough to be his son…If he'd started having sex when he first went to college… (my groomsman wound up General Counsel and Commercial Director for Freescale in EMEA for a while. Damn that was a high powered party).

    I could run with them, but not for far.

  95. >Why does upper body strenght matter much?

    There have been several good responses to this question, but looking back at them I see one aspect that I think has not been emphasized: More strength gives you both better endurance and better force control.

    If, in order to fight or train, you have to use 100% of your strength or close to it, you’re going to have control issues. You’ll have difficulty controlling and stopping the motions you start. You’ll overcommit to attacks because you lack the physical option to not overcommit. You’ll suck at precise targeting.

    One of the biggest advantage my strength gives me in martial arts training is that I don’t really have to exert myself at all to strike at drill speed, and even dialing it up to combat intensity isn’t very taxing until I overheat. One thing the margin is good for is endurance. Tonight, for example, I was doing a knife-striking drill alternating forehand and backhand strikes against a rattan target. I can do that with speed and power for much longer, using the 30% of my strength it takes, than most people who are exerting 70-80%. When they’re hitting anaerobic failure, I’m recruiting another subset of muscle fibers.

    Think that’d win a fight or three? You betcha.

    Now, control. The other thing I can do with the 70% of my strength that I’m not normally using is meter the force I exert very precisely by using the “spare” fibers as antagonists. When I spar with people who are advanced enough to understand the question, I ask “do you want cloth contact, skin contact, or light muscle contact?” Then I deliver it.

    This is, by the way, far more difficult to do with weapons. My force control with a sword is good, but nowhere near as fine-grained as it is empty-hand.

    Finally, there is a lot to be said for strength – or at least muscle density – as armor against hits. My last school was run by a 6’4″ karate master made of rawhide and whalebone who’d been a successful full-contact fighter. He was a good instructor who dutifully sparred with his students to train them. With me he enjoyed it – because he could dial up to something not exactly like full combat power but much closer to it than he normally got to exert, without sending me screaming for mama. For exactly the same reason I enjoyed the hell out of sparring with him – I just couldn’t use that much power on another student.

    We’d go out there and, by the school’s normal standards, whack the stuffing out of each other – and be smiling the whole time. I mean, I saw people look at us and wince. But it was OK; we both had right attitude and, at least at empty hand, decently toned bulk muscle makes fair armor.

    Good times…

  96. Is it necessarily an either or proposition on liberation (the real kind, not the insanity)?

    To give an extreme example from our favorite rooster; Since blacks are inferior as a group one can either claim that they are equal and then genocide any non-black who does better, or that every individual black is about to destroy civilization and must be actively held down.

    Or to come back to the current topic: Why does the influence of affirmative action style policies causing the male-female dynamic to be thoroughly screwed up necessarily mean that the proper solution is for women to not have agency?

    In other news, the way to solve a food shortage due to price controls is to nationalize the agricultural industry.

  97. >This is actually not true. Most men maintain this delusion WELL into their 40s.

    I was a late bloomer. I was only beginning to discover my inner badass at 30, and I wasn’t then nearly as strong as I would later become – the bulk muscle popped out around 32 or 33.

    The upside, I suppose, is that I’m a capable – even intimidating – hand-to-hand fighter now at an age when most men are hitting the physical skids. Gonna suck when my connective tissues lose their elasticity, though. If I’m lucky I’ll get another decade…

  98. >And don’t forget about your intellectual and professional accomplishments.

    I don’t. But I internalized the Heinleinian ideal of becoming the the omnicompetent man early, so even knowing I’m really good at some things doesn’t prevent some disappointment when I find there are other skills I respect that I’ll never be A-list at.

  99. >Yes, when the replacement rate is 2.1, and with social security/pension plans which are unsustainable with a shrinking population.

    ah, pension plans. I thought you said “dying off in the next century”.
    Even at below replacement rate fertility a population may (and usually does) continue to increase for quite a while, or become constant, eg when the effects of sub replacement rate fertility is compensated by increased life expectancy a,o.
    That doesn’t fix the greying population problem, but it does mean we shouldn’t expect to get rid of the Dutch by next century.

  100. Myself, I prefer a world with un-oppressed women in it. But I have doubts that the ideology of sexual equality is biologically sustainable. I have written about this before.

    You’ve absorbed the standard equivocation here, Eric. A lack of oppression means that women have free choice about what role to take on, and a sizeable proportion of women’s choice is something similar to a traditionally-roled relationship with a man. I’ve been informed that men who identify as dominants on sites such as Fetlife tend to get swamped with responses from women (in contrast to even the dynamics at traditional matchmaking sites), and Madison Young is a vocal proponent of the claim that freedom to choose includes a voluntary submissive role.

    In contrast, I see widespread and blatant hypocrisy in the communities that self-apply labels such as “feminism” and “women’s liberation”, who say that they want freedom for women but then condemn those Auntie Toms who choose to be full-time mothers and homemakers instead of dropping their kids off to be raised by strangers at 6 weeks old.

    There’s no contradiction at all between fighting against actual genuine oppression and simultaneously saying that many women would prefer a more traditional arrangement and that that choice is okay.

  101. @PapayaSF
    > The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness

    I read this paper, it was interesting, and it leads me to three comments:
    1. The methodology seems sound although sample sizes were not apparent to me.
    2. The conclusions did not obviously follow from the data from what I could see (there were a couple of early outlier peaks in female happiness, and after that it all looked like statistical noise)
    3. The data started in 1970, which is pretty significant because it was around then the women’s “liberation” moved from being dominated by th removal of real legal and social impediments of the kind I listed to more affirmative action type things, which I do not favor.

    So I although it is interesting, I don’t find this paper particularly supportive of the original claim that liberation has hurt women more than helped.

  102. “Give me a 180-200lb guy that can squat, deadlift, press, clean, and snatch close to the “accepted” standards for athletic performance. Add in cardio to his regimen – sprints, preferably. Every once in a while, with safety in mind, force him to work longer than 40 minutes.”

    It seems I missed my calling. I weigh 185, my max bench is 330, and I’m a former NCAA D1 sprinter. I still play veteran’s soccer at a fairly high level; in the off-season I train to be able to complete our 40-minute halves.

    On the other hand, I’d really rather not have people shooting at me.

    “Why does upper body strenght matter much?”

    It’s connected to speed and reaction time. Stan Lee’s Superhumans or whatever it is called tested a freakishly strong guy who could rip phone books in half. It turned out that his muscles were unusually fast. I noticed that I lost my ability to bench twice my weight around the same time I lost my sub-11 speed in my mid-30s. I could bench more at 170 pounds than I can at 185 and it’s not because I put on a lot of fat. I lift more on most exercises, but the explosive bench press is gone.

  103. Presence of women among Viking settlers hardly startling, however: “IF you think you’re going to sneak off and see that trollop in Whitby, Bjorn Bjornsson, no better than she should be and no knickers either even if they haven’t been invented yet you’ve got another think coming. When do we sail?”

    UK Author Liz Williams on FB

  104. Question for you Eric, with respect to your female friends. I think one advantage that women tend to have is that they are better multi-taskers, and I think for good evolutionary reasons.

    My experience is that although not as strong as most of the guys I do relatively better with regards to multiple attackers because I seem to be able to hold their positions and anticipate their moves better than guys.

    That might just be a peculiarity of me, but I’m interested to know if you have seen anything similar.

    I don’t do swords and stuff much, I am talking hand to hand combat here.

    FWIW, I often wonder about this with respect to football. A quarterback is much less about body strength and much more about a broad situational awareness, something I would have thought women would have an advantage over. However, women, insofar as they play football, are almost always kickers. So I don’t know what that says really. I suppose QBs are a target and so women are less robust to take the hits.

  105. As I’ve mentioned before, Orwell warned us of the sheen of semantics. As an example, (#notallmen) I think many would look at the last 100 or even 50 years of “feminism” in America and find it supportable in the beginning and insupportable now. What’s changed? I haven’t. Has the word changed? It’s been hijacked, and with intent. The irony there is intersectionalist “feminists” reject the previous first and second waves yet keep the name. In fact these PC gals have thrown in the kitchen sink and kept the word.

    Feminista tyrant and new Deanette of SF John Scalzi linked us to a PDF as he asked us to “bone up” on “intersectionalism.” As “vectors of oppression,” it lists “age, attractiveness, body type, caste, citizenship, education, ethnicity, height and weight assessments, immigration status, income, marital status, mental health status, nationality, occupation, physical ability, religion, sex, sexual orientation.”

    That reminds me of the Orwellian Monty Python sketch about “the first man to cross the Atlantic on a tricycle. His tricycle, specially adapted for the crossing, was ninety feet long, with a protective steel hull, three funnels, seventeen first-class cabins and a radar scanner.”

    So now “feminists” sexually, racially and institutionally harass straight white men and it’s just a coincidence their behavior mimics neo-Nazis to a tee. Even funnier, if you disagree with the attacks and say something, you are a misogynist, pro-oppression and harassing women online, cuz these mentally deranged women are the Pope for all women on Earth. Even funnier, anyone who disagrees also defaults to “right wing” and “conservative.” Just ask neo-SF wizard John Scalzi about the “frothosphere” we apparently belong to by fiat.

  106. After a few million years of evolution, men and women have characteristically different body types. This outcome is neither bigotry nor intelligent design; just plain old selection-driven advantage. The fact that the sexes have different morphology implies that the species benefits from these differences, which include superior upper body strength in men. This trend is likely to continue because both men and women tend to make mating decisions based, in part, upon appearance selection. Women are choosing to mate with big, strong men. Men are not choosing to mate with big, strong (male-looking) women.

  107. Ms. Boxer:

    Question for you Eric, with respect to your female friends. I think one advantage that women tend to have is that they are better multi-taskers, and I think for good evolutionary reasons.

    Almost no one can multitask effectively (I think it’s something like 1-2 percent can actually do it). Women who think they’re good at multitasking *tend* to wind up in positions where the work they do allows fast “task switching”–the “stack” involved in a particular task is relatively short, so they can push and pop fairly quickly (this is why some of my posts get disjointed. I get popped in the middle of writing one and don’t get quite back on track).

    BTW, this is true of guys as well. Systems Administrators like to talk about “multitasking”, but really they (we) are just failing to commit totally to any one task.

  108. Ms Boxer:

    A quarterback is much less about body strength and much more about a broad situational awareness, something I would have thought women would have an advantage over. However, women, insofar as they play football, are almost always kickers. So I don’t know what that says really. I suppose QBs are a target and so women are less robust to take the hits.

    Insofar as I understand American Football the QB is a legitimate target, but a kicker is not. There is a specific penalty for “roughing the kicker”, mostly because if you nail someone who’s got their ankle extended over their head you’re very likely to break something.

  109. >That might just be a peculiarity of me, but I’m interested to know if you have seen anything similar.

    I have. I do think women average better at multitasking than men do. Also, better average reaction time.

    Also, better G tolerance. Decades ago, some military planners looked at these facts and thought “Hmmm…we ought to be able to train women into combat pilots that would beat men, on average”. It didn’t work out. Aggression and 3D visualization turn out to be more important.

  110. Fail Burton: So then, “vectors of oppression” more or less translates as “anything that humans use to make judgments about other people”?

    OK, to be fair, it doesn’t list “behavior” and “intelligence.” But what does that matter? If I criticize Obama or Mike Brown for their actions, I can still be called “racist.” If I criticize Nancy Pelosi as unintelligent, I can still be called “sexist.” So, in effect, anything can count as “oppression,” which means nothing does.

  111. >So, in effect, anything can count as “oppression,” which means nothing does.

    Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, updated:

    ‘When I use a word,’ Social Justice Warrior said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make “oppression” mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said SJW, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

  112. @Fail Burton
    > So now “feminists” sexually, racially and institutionally harass straight white men and it’s just a coincidence their behavior mimics neo-Nazis to a tee.

    But you were surely agree that there are a small number of men who actually do treat women as stupid, incapable of rational thought, and nothing more than sex objects? I am sure that there are a small number of men who would deny women the vote, or think that it is OK for a husband to force her to have sex with him, or think that beating her is perfectly acceptable.

    So feminists have radical assholes and the men’s movement has radical assholes. I don’t judge all men’s movement people as if they were misogynist pigs who want to chain me to the kitchen sink and keep me quiet, barefoot and pregnant, notwithstanding the fact that some small number of them are. Why should the men’s movement judge reasonable women (and men) who want to advocate for equal rights for women, or encourage change in social structures and attitudes that are detrimental to women?

    We are all adults here, can’t we have a civilized conversation where two people from two ends of the spectrum eschew the extremist assholes from their group and have an honest conversation about the legitimate concerns that both ends have?

    I have several friends who are practicing Muslims. I have no fear that they are going to cut off my head, despite the horrible monsters that roam free in Northern Iraq, and despite the recent situation in Rotherham, in England I have no fear that they will kidnap me and traffic me as a sex slave.

    Yet it seems that whenever this subject comes up here the feminists always are portrayed as being characterized by their most extreme wing…

    I don’t know why I am even engaging in this, because this conversation always ends up badly and unpleasantly for me. I’d rather talk about programming, politics or feline behavior. So perhaps I should stick to that.

  113. Jessica, that’s all valid to a point, but the symmetry isn’t perfect. It’s been true for at least a generation now that left extremists have far more power and influence than right extremists. Government, the education system, and the mainstream media have far more of the former than the latter. You’d have a hard time finding anyone in those areas who could be connected to Nazis or the KKK or who want to disenfranchise women, but there are plenty on the other side with strong connections to Communism, minority-centric racial hate groups, or outright misandry.

  114. @Jessica Boxer –

    Yet it seems that whenever this subject comes up here the feminists always are portrayed as being characterized by their most extreme wing…

    Very possibly because the “most extreme wing” is dominating the public discourse, either not realizing that their extreme positions are not representative of reality, or worse, knowing that they speak nonsense, and wishing to foist that worldview on all the rest of us.

    It seems to me that it is very similar to the ‘poisoning of the debate’ that has occurred in the 2nd Amendment arena – the demonstrable fact that the anti-gun people are lying hasn’t stopped them from continuing to try to whip up the middle ground with their rhetoric.

  115. > FWIW, I often wonder about this with respect to football. A quarterback is much less about body strength and much more about a broad situational awareness, something I would have thought women would have an advantage over. However, women, insofar as they play football, are almost always kickers. So I don’t know what that says really. I suppose QBs are a target and so women are less robust to take the hits.

    Throwing a football 50 yards with speed and accuracy is very much about upper body strength.
    That doesn’t diminish the need for broad situational awareness or a host of other required attributes for the job. There are very few Tom Bradys in the world.

  116. @ Jessica

    Yet it seems that whenever this subject comes up here the feminists always are portrayed as being characterized by their most extreme wing…

    I think that the reason may be that, in the civilized world, for the most part, “good feminism” – re: voting, violence, etc. – is a done deal. There are men who think that they can punch their wives, but this is now considered to be a crime. The best of feminism is history.

    Today, Women that are actively into feminism are more likely to be the “Third Wave” types – nuts.

  117. Jessica, to add on to what Brian just said, some 90%+ of Americans support economic, intellectual and political equality for women. Fewer than 20% will self-identify as feminists. Essentially, the good feminists have decided that the remaining issues don’t warrant a massive time and energy consuming movement. What remains, in the diminished cohort claiming the term, are the nut jobs. I’ve seen the term “evaporative cooling” used to describe the way cults become *more* radical after a huge, embarrassing failed prediction, because the more moderate and sane members get fed up and leave, increasing the relative crazy in the group that persists. Feminism has experienced a very similar phenomena as it has achieved it’s goals. Almost all women will fight for the right to vote, or to divorce and abusive husband. Comparatively few will fight for the “right” to be considered utterly incapable of moral agency after half a beer.

  118. More like “evaporative condensation,” because they don’t get cooler, they get more dense. ;-)

    A related process happens when reform movements succeed. They rarely just declare victory and disband. Instead, members who wish to be “at the forefront” just move the goalposts. Hence the feminist movement has gone from legitimate protests (women simply not allowed to have some jobs, etc.) to things like assuming that anything that’s less than 50% female is proof positive of discrimination.

  119. @John D. Bell
    > Very possibly because the “most extreme wing” is dominating the public discourse, either not realizing that their extreme positions are not representative of reality, or worse,

    Which public discourse? The mainstream media? I don’t think they even matter anymore (partly because people are tired of all that nonsense). The government? You really think that is the worst thing about the government? It is a flyswat. I agree with you about schools, and I have expressed my concerns about how schools deal with all kids of all genders.

    But if you guys think the feminist game is over, that we won and it is time to move on, I respectfully disagree. I am not appealing to the legislature (unless it is to get rid of some of the silly “pro-women” rules that are actually anti-women.) No I am talking about some deep running threads in the memetics of our culture that are quite appalling. If you doubt me read this article, and I can assure you it corresponds very closely with my experience.

    http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/women-arent-welcome-internet-72170/

    I’m not by any means advocating legislative action to fix this horrible problem, but part of the problem is the whole counter-meme that women are whiny-man-hating-bitches-who-are-stealing-our-kids-and-out-money-and-don’t-put-out-except-when-they-want-something-from-you offers some sort of tentative justification for this sort of behavior. Do the divorce laws need fixed? Yes. I embrace the men’s movement if you hack off the crazy loons. But just because men get a raw deal in some areas doesn’t mean that women don’t have legitimate complaints about certain prevailing attitudes in society some of which are extraordinarily sexually diamorphic and destructive.

  120. Let’s talk about reality here Jessica: there is no “mens’ movement in SFF – none. What there is in larger America is small and unimportant. Were they to morph into a thing like intersectionalism I’d have no use for them either.

    Small numbers either way is not the issue but how successful such movements are in mainstreaming what is nothing more than hate speech. Even were such a movement to arise among men it would have no traction in America. They have no suffrage, Jim Crow or anti-homosexuality laws from the past to point to.

    You talk about two ends as if there is an other side to intersectionalism and there’s just not. In the SFF community there are no straight white males recommending literature because the writers are straight, white or male. The other way ’round is an avalanche. Straight white men are painted as bigots by default because of “privilege.” Thus they can’t help but mimic racist and sexist scenarios simply by existing. It’s a very clever demonization tactic.

    Go read SFF author Kate Elliott’s Twitter feed a day past about Martin Petto’s recent article in the LA Review of Books for a taste of how one must not even dare unfavorably compare a women SF author to a man.

    The reason “feminists” are being characterized by their most extreme wing is because their dogma is the go-to orthodoxy today not only in SFF, but the Dem Party. They have actually got the Calif. legislature to act on their insane “rape culture” at universities and trigger warnings are being institutionlized into our classrooms. So men don’t need due process; they’re men – every one a potential rapist. Intersectionalists have no use for law, which is based on principle, the complete opposite of their identity-worship.

    There are still traditional feminists but as a movement they have being marginalized as out of touch. Intersectionalists hate Eve Ensler of all people. Read what Lauren Chief Elk says about her. Chief Elk is fanatically anti-white and anti-male.

    Adele Wilde-Blavatsky is a staunch feminist, advocating the abolishment of the terms “Mr.” and “Mrs.” throughout Europe. Even she’s not radical enough. Read this exchange:

    “Mikki Kendall ?@Karnythia 11 Jan Y’all I understand the urge to argue with bigoted white feminists. I do. But…can we leave me out of that fight today? Kthxbye.”

    “Adele Wilde-Blavatsk ?@lionfaceddakini 12 Jan Looks like the intersectional Left are becoming more misogynistic and racist in their Twitter insults than sexist men, so sad @jacobinism”

    “Pippi Långstrumpf ?@pippi_esfumarse 11 Jan This bitch @lionfaceddakini has to be one of the dumbest white women I’ve ever wasted the time to read her tweets. Retweeted by Adele Wilde-Blavatsk”

    As Blavatsky herself puts it, “Intersectionality has been hijacked.”

    We need not talk about Muslims. That is not an ethnic group and it is not the same thing as being profiled for your skin, sex and sexual expression. Islam is an actual ideology. One can agree and disagree about it. One cannot agree Jews, Arabs, men, gays or women carry a stigma.

    Here’s the important point: intersectionalists stipulate that being straight, white and male in and of itself constitutes a white male supremacist ideology. Intersectionalists will not read Golden Age SF simply because of who wrote the books, not what’s in them. Intersectionalists are almost insanely racist and sexist, and the core in SFF pushing all this is supremacist down to their bones.

  121. >Jessica, to add on to what Brian just said, some 90%+ of Americans support economic, intellectual and political equality for women.

    That may well be so (and I have no reason to doubt it) but I think the point is that you can hardly mention anything related to the economic, intellectual and political sotuation of women on this blog without triggering a flood of replies about the extremes of feminism, and only that.

    Somewhat like you can hardly mention welfare or social security on this blog without a consequent litany about the evils of Stalin, and nothing else. Or expres doubt about unlimited gun ownership without being called a supporter of government organized genocide.

  122. Hmm. Unpacking that article – part of me wishes Hess had put the studies up front rather than the examples; the examples were anecdotal and had the extra problem of being directed at journalists who routinely got wide dissemination of what they write, and hence who were not ordinary Internet users, regardless of what Hess believes – there’s a potentially worthwhile experiment mentioned, in that it might be reproducible.

    Anyone care to create and use an account with a female username, and see what happens in various chatrooms?

    The closest I got to this was when I used to play World of Warcraft for several years. (From vanilla through the end of the second expansion.) I played equal amounts of male and female avatars, and the worst I got was being called “babe” for helping someone with quests while playing my female priest. Meanwhile, I got hassled a lot more on my male avatars. None of it was sexual, but it was violent.

    In either case, it was extraordinarily rare. I’m led to wonder what chatrooms those U of MD researchers were in, and what they said, that they managed to get *100* bad messages a day. Something doesn’t quite add up there. But again, if it’s really that bad, it ought to be reproducible.

  123. “…I am talking about some deep running threads in the memetics of our culture…”

    Now you’re doing it yourself Jessica. You are conflating unquantifiable anecdotes and cultural threads with institutions, laws and ideology, as if they are a thing you can measure and in which you have enrolled me as a member.

    I can do that with blacks if I want, or any group. It’s called racial profiling and bigotry.

    You are again acting as if two things are equal just because. The existence of an ideology doesn’t magically create an opposition ideology in exacting measure.

    As for the internet, the idea men aren’t harassed is ludicrous. As always, intersectionalists resort to the magic trick of simply ignoring it or calling it “criticism.”

    SFF author and SFWA member Beth Bernobich recently Tweeted “I want LC (Larry Correia) and his fucking minions to die in a fire,” and I’ve seen scores more vulgar and vicious insults of whites and men just from within the SFF community, and I have the quotes to back that up. An SFF blogger called Requires Only That You Hate made death threats against male SFF authors. It was dismissed as “performance rage.” The moronic Hugo and Nebula nominated author who used that term scrubbed it from her website when I publicized it. Now ROTYH has been nominated for awards at WorldCon 2 years in a row.

    In other words, it’s a double standard wide enough to hold the grand canyon, and your link impresses me not at all.

    There is no institutionalized and ideological “counter-meme that women are whiny-man-hating-bitches-who-are-stealing-our-kids-and-out-money-and-don’t-put-out-except-when-they-want-something-from-you.” It’s anecdotes you’ve read and puffed up into an actual cogent theory like Marxism or intersectionalism when it’s not.

  124. Sorry @Fail, but I don’t know what SFF means, so can’t really comment on it. I tried an acronym finder online, but I am assuming it doesn’t mean “Scottish Fishermen’s Foundation.” Oh, and I don’t know what “intersectionalism” means either.

    And if you can dismiss the information on that link, which is very representative of the experience of a lot of female online participants — particularly in male dominated forums — then I’m afraid I don’t have any other information to share with you.

  125. “A related process happens when reform movements succeed. They rarely just declare victory and disband.”

    This is the March of Dimes problem. By the time victory is achieved, a lot of the leaders are dependent on the issue for their livelihoods, and can’t see themselves doing anything else. Without The Issue, they realize they’d have to go back to burger-flipping.

  126. Jessica, I just read the cyberbullying article about women being harassed with threatening messages via new internet-based technologies. I have no doubt that this new form of bullying is a serious concern for the recipients, but I don’t see how this can be construed as a feminist cause issue. There is no practicable way to rid society of cowardly nutjobs (of either sex), and consequently pitching a bitch in broad terms unfairly paints all men as co-conspirators. That’s not a road to a solution; it’s senseless warfare. If the modern feminist movement wants to be taken seriously, then it needs to choose it’s battles carefully and come to the party with a strategy that is more than “maybe if I bitch loud enough, somebody will so something.”

  127. Yeah… You are always going to have guys with grudges against women and the Internet makes it so easy… I don’t see this going away and I don’t really see it as a Womans Liberation issue.

  128. @Brian and @Tom
    Sorry you guys are missing the point. I’d characterize it as something considerably stronger than “bullying” however, the point is that there is a structure in the memetics of society that allows this sort of thing, or accepts it. It is absolutely a legitimate women’s rights issue to attempt to change that sort of way of thinking in society.

    The men’s movement objects to the way men are portrayed as hen pecked pathetic idiots on TV, the Raymond Barone syndrome. I completely agree with the men’s movement on this matter. I find it a gross stereotype of the least appealing type of men. I don’t think there should be a law to fix it, but I think there should be a movement to change the way people think about this stuff, and to object to it loudly.

    The women’s movement (and the men’s movement) isn’t just about changing the law, it is also about changing the memetics of society.

  129. Ms Boxer:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/04/men-are-harassed-more-than-women-online.html

    I’m generally not one to side with the more agressive side of the “Men’s Rights” movement, but frankly women *do* wind up whinging more than men.

    The male workplace has, at least since the 1950s (tales from my father) been the sort of place where rough language, scatological humor and sexual innuendo were common. It used to be that men of breeding didn’t act that way around women, but that was because they had places–the club or the pub–where they *could* act like that, and men of coarser upbringing, well, that’s just the way it was.

    Nowdays those men of coarser upbringing aren’t just the laborers and the rougher atisans, they’re in every layer and niche of the workplace from the docks to the board room. Have been since the 60s.

    I can tell you straight up that 95% of the women out there have NO desire to be treated equally on the job, especially once they know what “equally” is. Men will *routinely* make comments about other men’s sexual proclivities and abilities (we have one guy at work right now who is very open about being treated for enlarged prostate. Jokes about finger waves, performance issues etc. are common.)

    It has been this way in 90% of the jobs I’ve had. In fact the ONLY place I’ve worked where there was none of this behavior was a rather well known non-profit in Sillycon Valley where everyone had their own office and barely spoke to each other.

    Yes, women do get harassed online. So do men. I know this because back in the day /I/ abused the hell out of people who came in to “my” spaces and were impolite, stupid or otherwise transgressed local norms. On that one particular space I was in the /faq/ about it.

    It is one thing to insist that there be (to the extent that biology permits) equality between men, and that there be parity in compensation for work done. It is another thing entirely to demand that men change their behavior because your sensibilities are being bruised.

    I was raised different than most men. I don’t particularly feel the need to express my masculinity through dick and fart jokes and etc. I can even generally avoid getting into politics at work these days as long as everyone else does. But if you’re going to go there, I will too.

    Of course then *I* am the one who’s creating the hostile work environment?

  130. “…unfairly paints all men as co-conspirators.”

    Right. That is what classic bigotry does. All blacks have some complicity in crime, all Arabs have some complicity in terrorism, all Jews have some complicity in financing.

    “Privilege” is purpose-built to have the same effect, so is “rape culture.” Radical intersectionalism needs to stop acting as if it is an arm of law enforcement but whose “evidence” are anecdotes, myths, rumors, innuendoes, lying, racial and sexual profiling and demonization tactics. What kind of “law” only targets straight white men?

    Using terms like “memetics” is no different from using “privilege.” In fact it is a term that represents something that cannot be measured or used to predict something but which is being used as if it is a rule. I can use “memetics” to assert anything if I target only one group.

  131. This may be of interest:

    http://sciencenordic.com/what-vikings-really-looked

    QUOTE:

    The skeletons reveal another difference between us and the Vikings: men’s and women’s faces were more similar in appearance in the Viking Age than they are today.

    “It’s actually more difficult to determine the gender of a skeleton from the Viking era,” says Harvig. “The men’s skulls were a little more feminine and the women’s skulls a little more masculine than what we’re seeing today. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all skeletons from the Viking period, but generally it’s quite difficult to determine the gender of a Viking Age skeleton.”

    She explains that Viking women often had pronounced jawbones and eyebrows, whereas in the men, these features were more feminine than what archaeologists are accustomed to when trying to determine the gender of ancient skeletons.

  132. And getting back to the immediate topic at hand, it is about something we already knew: a clique within Tor.com acts as a propaganda arm for intersectionalism. There is no other reason to have this article, nor the recent one taking down Guardians of the Galaxy, nor Liz Bourke’s relentless women-centric reviews that puff up SFF novels by women far beyond their actual status as art, nor the recent anti-white, anti-male podcast where Kate Elliott and N.K. Jemisin assert epic fantasy is white “comfort food fiction” enjoyed by white men because it “embraces white male power fantasies.”

    And again take note of the twinned acts intersectionalism always does, as in the case of the article about Viking burials: it puffs up women at the expense of men, in this instance, making a case for women warriors while remarking men somehow didn’t quite want to admit there were women warriors. Supremacy and bigotry always go hand in hand. Intersectionalists couldn’t be happy only sweeping the Nebulas this years, they had to twist the knife by having a Hugo-winning and Nebula-nominated author Tweet “At @SFWA’s #NebulaAwards, only one award went to a white male and that wasn’t one of the ones voted on by the membership.” and a panelist at that SFWA awards weekend Tweet “Not a single white man won an award tonight. OPPRESSION.” Kameron Hurley won two Hugos for an article that militarily/historically falsely puffs up women with an equally false assertion that men have erased that historic record.

    Try an imagine a movement within SFF that has all-men Kickstarter anthologies, relentlessly promotes work by heterosexuals, and assembles lists of authors and editors who are white. Imagine them Tweeting “Yaay! Eurofuturism” and having 2 day symposiums on ethnic European SFF. Imagine this movement creating demonization theories about why women are this and that, why non-whites are this and that, and why each is appropriating a male and white-owned cutural creation. That’s in fact what intersectionalism does daily within SFF and that dogma has default support throughout all of SFF’s core institutions.

  133. “The men’s skulls were a little more feminine and the women’s skulls a little more masculine than what we’re seeing today.”

    What? You mean Viking men were not all craggy-faced hypermasculine stud-gods? Inconceivable!

    Next you’ll be telling me they didn’t wear horned helmets. The very idea…

  134. @ Jessica – “the point is that there is a structure in the memetics of society that allows this sort of thing”

    To my knowledge, there are no prominent male voices in society advocating for cyberbullying. Most men I know would kick the shit out of one of though degenerate assholes if the opportunity to do so arose. If your complaint is that not enough public opinion leaders are actively condemning this scourge, then I share your lament. We are living through a death valley of strong leadership in almost all venues of current life.

    However, this is not a strong case for feminists to take on. Back in the 1990s, Bill Clinton was hailed as a feminist icon and he happened to be an actual serial rapist. My guess is that most cyberbullys are true cowards rather than a tangible personal threat. But even if I’m wrong about that, a women’s best defense is still likely to be a sidearm and the skill to use it.

  135. Of course, the flip-side of redifining cultural norms results in many women who would rather stay at home and raise kids, but are pressured into a stressful job just to fulfill the need to feel ‘sucsessful’ and ‘empowered’.(And for every woman who decides that they want to raise kids rather than continue with work, another disparity is blamed on the ‘glass cieling’.

    Viz. Whether feminism is crazy nowadays, I predict it will be soon. Today, only 20% of women identify as feminists, and with hope, sane women will cease to feel the need to identify as feminists any more than they feel the need to identify as supporting the emancipation of the serfs. Until then, I will still have some uneasy interactions with not-crazy friends who identify as feminists.

  136. @William O. B’Livion
    > The male workplace has, at least since the 1950s (tales from my father) been the sort of place where rough language, scatological humor and sexual innuendo were common.

    Good, but it isn’t the male workplace anymore. People, regardless of their gender, have a perfect right to be treated respectfully in their workplace. Sorry if that cramps your style, but it is nothing to do with gender, it is a basic expectation that everyone has. Lots of men don’t like that kind of thing, and lots of women have mouths like a sailor.

    However, that is an entirely different thing. I am talking about guys who go online and say “I know your address, I am going to come when you least expect it, torture you, rape you them kill you.” Is that a hold over from the “male workplace of the 1950s?” Should we girls just suck it up and laugh it off as some male sophomoric prank?

  137. I forgot to mention that the Mikki Kendall in those Wilde-Blavatsky Tweets has been a ReaderCon SFF convention panelist and is well-known in SFF circles among the intersectionalist crowd. Think about her remark (and there are tons more) about being a panelist. She of course went nuts over Ferguson and even announced she was going. I don’t know if she did.

    Then think about the non-stop profilings of white folks by SFF author N.K. Jemisin, the fact Vox Day got booted from the SFWA over remarks about Jemisin and then think about the phrase “compared to what?” If law operated like that in America tall people wouldn’t get prosecuted for burglaries – only short. The word “racism” in the SFF community literally has no neutral meaning.

    Simple comparisons are not available to identity freaks; they have no principles.

  138. @TomA:

    Bill Clinton was hailed as a feminist icon and he happened to be an actual serial rapist.

    Under the laws of this country, that might actually be an actionable statement.

    To my knowledge, there are no prominent male voices in society advocating for cyberbullying.

    OK, I don’t know what you mean by “prominent.” I don’t keep up at all with SFF, and had no idea what was apparently going on there, or even who any of these people who are being quoted here are.

    But I have heard of Rush Limbaugh, and although I imagine that most people’s definitions of cyberbullying have some of the amorphous “I know it when I see it” quality to it, if there were an objective cyberbullying standard that included all of these women, I would imagine that I could easily find examples of Rush being Rush that would fall under such a standard, as well as him egging on his audience to participate. I think there are also probably a few Fox News commentators who could similarly be caught by such a standard.

    Of course, I’m sure that in person, Rush is kind and considerate, and overall much better to women than Clinton ever was…

  139. @ Patrick Maupin – “Under the laws of this country, that might actually be an actionable statement.”

    Patrick, I can’t tell if you’re pretending to be an attorney or insinuating a cyber threat. Please use more clarity in the future.

    In addition, you may want to go back and re-read Jessica’s original post in which she linked to a feminist article on cyberbullying and nutjobs that were making direct threats of murder and rape to specific individuals. That is the context.

    I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, as apparently you do, but my guess is that he does not use his radio program to directly threaten murder and rape of specific individuals. That degree of cyberbullying is both serious and harmful, but it is still not in the same league as actual violence and rape.

    Juanita Broderick went on national television and described in excruciating detail her rape by then Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton went on TV and said “I did not have sexual relations with that women, Ms. Lewinsky”, which was later shown to be a lie. Believe whomever you wish, but numerous women are on record recounting how they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton.

    Hardcore feminist are incapable of understanding how much damage they did to their cause when they chose Bill Clinton as a mascot. That was the point I was trying to make.

  140. @TomA:

    Patrick, I can’t tell if you’re pretending to be an attorney or insinuating a cyber threat. Please use more clarity in the future.

    “insinuating a cyber attack” “Please use more clarity in the future”. Yeah, interesting.

    I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, as apparently you do,

    I see that I was so perfectly clear in that section that you know everything about my radio listening habits. Whatever.

  141. No, it’s pretty clear from that comment that Patrick does not listen to Rush, and instead has formed his opinion by reading selective and distorted accounts by political opponents.

  142. >I see that I was so perfectly clear in that section that you know everything about my radio listening habits. Whatever.

    So you aren’t familiar with any of the feminist SFF crowd and what they’ve done that people are complaining about, but you feel well-enough informed to argue with people who are.

    Then you trot out a moral equivalence prop but you choose one that you have no actual direct knowledge of, then actually get snippy with people who assume you’d at least use something you knew something about.

    My Rush-listening experience is pretty limited, mainly when my father-in-law is around but I have at least spent some time listening to his show. Rush does mock what he sees as foolishness, but he is surprisingly intelligent almost witty, gracious and funny. There are reasons he has an audience.

    I guess the general theme of this comment is, ‘please inform yourself’.

  143. Rush Limbaugh once tried to throw me off the fantail of an aircraft carrier. I sued him and was awarded Mars.

  144. >Rush Limbaugh once tried to throw me off the fantail of an aircraft carrier. I sued him and was awarded Mars.

    If this is parody, I’m not getting it. If it’s not, what drugs are you on?

  145. @ Jessica – “Should we girls just suck it up and laugh it off as some male sophomoric prank?”

    Perhaps, buy a sidearm or marry a Viking. Bitching in a public forum isn’t going to improve your personal safety. And to play the memetic infection game at the national level requires a lot of resources and knowhow.

  146. People just make up stuff about people they have decided in advance they don’t like. That poses the question of why they don’t like them in the first place. I may have mentioned recently an intersectionalist Tweeted she’d need trigger warnings to read Golden Age SF she admittedly had never read. People who don’t like people like Limbaugh of Larry Correia or literature written during a certain era can rarely tell you exactly why in a factual manner. However they never stop asserting that disdain, no matter what facts they’re presented with.

    Within intersectionalism in SFF, the idea old school SFF was created by a colonialist and racist impulse in simply taken for granted. Quotes by Correia are never produced nor is the great trend of racist and colonialist SFF stories it would take to make them the bedrock of a genre. The truth is we’re just talking about prejudiced attitudes and outright bigotry and lying.

    They’re still talking about the “massacre” of 250 people at Lydda in Palestine in 1948 while ISIS may have done that many this week alone. 3 women in Pakistan are victims of honor-killings every day and 1,400 kids raped in the U.K. but that goes into a special intersectionalist file along with black slavery and Arab colonialism. Intersectionalists Tweet every video of anything done to a black person in America but if you present the far greater number of videos of blacks beating the crap out of whites for no reason you’re a racist.

    Nothing a bigot says ever makes any sense. All skeins of so-called “logic” lead back to whatever justifies the disdain and defamation of the bigot’s intended target. Since that disdain precedes facts, it is no wonder intersectionalists seem as if they are living in an alternate reality. And it is a particularly mad reality. Who writes millions of words each year to buttress what is after all a very simple thing: supremacy and hatred. What supremacists and racists don’t know they’re supremacists and racists? Even Nazis knew they just didn’t like Jews. The answer is they wrote a lot to convince the mainstream and that’s what intersectionalists do. These people just don’t like us – period. They don’t like anything about us.

    Who dislikes Baen Books based on myth? I understand prejudice is part of the human condition but it is particularly galling when it comes from people who stake a very loud claim that they have examined their bias and racism and you need to do the same.

    If one can write without a hint of reality in sight that old SFF authors used to substitute aliens for black folks, why not just claim an SFF novel once tried to kill me or that blue is red? The joke is that one Hugo winner has written living in America is like being punched in the face and a double Hugo winner announces she keeps a file for the FBI in case of her untimely demise, presumably by being dragged to death behind a pick-up truck.

    I showed you how intersectionalists took a possible single female archer and not only made an army out of her, but asserted it was all a cover up. Our FBI-ready Hugo winner won her Hugos for asserting the exact same thing and the tone of the article in question about Vikings unsurprisingly does the same thing as well.

    The racist web site MedievalPoC asserts there is an ongoing cover up to hide PoC medieval Europe, while they themselves conspicuously hide any PoC colonialists of that same Europe. Every time a movie about Egypt comes out the same assertion of a conspiracy to hide black Egypt from the world by white supremacists comes out.

    The entire cabal is out of touch with reality. If they can alter reality at will then I can enjoy my homestead on Mars.

  147. @ESR

    If this is parody, I’m not getting it. If it’s not, what drugs are you on?

    Parody.

    According to The Narrative, Rush Limbaugh is one of the most despicable, hateful, and baby eating blowhards to have ever walked the planet. Even worse than that, he is male.

    @Fail Burton

    Ah, so you are the one who keeps blocking my view of Neptune.

    Please move Mars out of the way before I have to take steps.

  148. @Jessica

    However, that is an entirely different thing. I am talking about guys who go online and say “I know your address, I am going to come when you least expect it, torture you, rape you them kill you.” Is that a hold over from the “male workplace of the 1950s?” Should we girls just suck it up and laugh it off as some male sophomoric prank?

    What is the alternative?

  149. @Brian

    Planetary orbits can intersect.

    I think we are officially off topic now…

  150. @TomA on 2014-09-06 at 17:16:53 said:
    > Perhaps, buy a sidearm

    I already have one, and I am a damn good and merciless shot.

    > or marry a Viking.

    Seriously Tom? You always struck me as a sensible, reasonable person. Don’t you think that suggestion is a little offensive?

    Regardless, sidearms are the last line of defense. The first line of defense is a social attitude that discourages the dangerous behavior.

    > Bitching in a public forum isn’t going to improve your personal safety.

    Bitching? Really? That is how you would characterize my argument the the ubiquity of specific personal threats of extreme violence that are common against women, with a dramatically higher frequency than against men, is bitching rather than communicating a deeply flawed thread in society? It isn’t about my personal safety, it is about communicating to a group of smart people a perspective that they might not be aware of given that they don’t experience it as frequently as me.

    > And to play the memetic infection game at the national level requires a lot of resources and knowhow.

    I don’t agree, in fact I think it is a thread that I see in a lot of responses here, this idea that a top down approach to changing these kind of things is the only way to do it. I think that is wrong, It is such a statist way of thinking. I think especially in today’s connected world it is perfectly possible to create a meme bottom up. Three obvious examples are pouring water on your head, or the tea party — an organization largely ruined when it became controlled top down rather than bottom up, and the “Occupy” movement, which was bottom up but was much more quickly co-oped by the top downers, which, given their agenda, is hardly surprising.

    And I might add, on the specific subject matter, the suffragettes were a mostly bottom up movement. In fact there is an argument that the only way real change takes place is when a small group of committed individuals are willing to do what it takes to make it happen. I don’t think that is entirely true, but there is certainly a lot of truth in it.

  151. >In fact there is an argument that the only way real change takes place is when a small group of committed individuals are willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

    Ah, yes. It was Margaret Mead who said that, I think.

    Anyway, if you’re planning a campaign against the disturbing Internet tendency you’ve described, I’d like to help–however small my contribution could be.

  152. @ Jessica

    Yes, it is bitching because the nutjobs aren’t going to disappear as a result of your grassroots meme campaign. You’re harping on a problem with no realistic prospect of solution.

    And the nutjobs are unlikely to be intimidated by your “social attitude that discourages dangerous behavior.” That’s why they’re nutjobs in the first place. Keep the sidearm handy and don’t waste your time being macho in public to ward off potential danger. Most men are normal and we like women who are both feminine and a good shot.

    Last, I wasn’t being condescending with Viking reference. You clearly have warrior spirit and will make someone a damn fine wife. Aim high and find your equal in life. You deserve nothing less.

  153. I read the Huff-Po article (but not the paper it was based on) a few days ago and I sure thought they said that a significant number of burials that used to be identified “male” were actually women once they went by the bones instead of what was in the grave. I had accepted that, but I hadn’t accepted the interpretation that this meant that those women were warriors. Or if they did train seriously to fight it was as defensive forces and not expeditionary forces.

    I did want, very much, to thank you for this:

    Firearms changes all this, of course – some of the physiological differences that make them inferior with contact weapons are actual advantages at shooting (again I speak from experience, as I teach women to shoot). So much so that anyone who wants to suppress personal firearams is objectively anti-female and automatically oppressive of women.

  154. William O. B’Livion on 2014-09-05 at 14:36:55 said:
    Insofar as I understand American Football the QB is a legitimate target, but a kicker is not. There is a specific penalty for “roughing the kicker”, mostly because if you nail someone who’s got their ankle extended over their head you’re very likely to break something.

    The QB is a legitimate target while he is holding the football. Once he has thrown the ball, there is a penalty for “roughing the passer”, It only applies if the defender starts the tackle after the ball is away; one will often see a QB knocked down by a charging defender a fraction of a second after releasing the ball.

    As to kickers (and punters): they are indeed extremely vulnerable in action, so there is a serious penalty for intentional contact (“roughing the kicker”); there is also a lesser penalty for accidental contact (“running into the kicker”). Placekickers never hold the ball, so they are never legitimate targets. Punters hold the ball, and sometimes run or pass instead of kicking (the “fake punt” play). A punter holding the ball before kicking or instead of kicking would be a legitimate target.

  155. “The closest I got to this was when I used to play World of Warcraft for several years. (From vanilla through the end of the second expansion.) I played equal amounts of male and female avatars, and the worst I got was being called “babe” for helping someone with quests while playing my female priest.”

    I’ve played MMOs since Ever Quest was released, and have played at least a half dozen different ones… as a woman playing exclusively female characters who I designed to be sexy because if you’re going to be a fantasy character why would you want to look dumpy? I can think of *once* when someone I was chatting with wanted to talk dirty. I responded with some sort of, “Um, I think I’m gonna go over there… good hunting to you, good bye.” The most common thing is that no one actually believes that you’re a girl, which might be a tiny bit irritating if a person actually cared. But the thing is… I don’t flirt. If I decide that my toon has a “boyfriend” for the purpose of role-play it’s one of the NPCs… or my husband if he’s playing. And if you don’t flirt, you don’t accidentally signal that you’re open to sexy-chat.

    Which is an extremely long-winded way of saying… yeah, me neither.

  156. “However, that is an entirely different thing. I am talking about guys who go online and say “I know your address, I am going to come when you least expect it, torture you, rape you them kill you.” Is that a hold over from the “male workplace of the 1950s?” Should we girls just suck it up and laugh it off as some male sophomoric prank?”

    A young girl was telling me and a couple of others the other day about this guy who’d been stalking her on social media/texting, etc. for four years. Never violent stuff, just that he clearly had a fantasy life where they were a couple and he’d refer to stuff they supposedly did together. Probably harmless, just not right in the head.

    I told her if she ever ever EVER saw him physically stalking her that she was to come to me and I’d teach her to shoot so she could defend herself. This was seconded by one of the other people there, a guy, who was just as alarmed as I was. She just thought it was funny and was “laughing it off”.

    In any case… the answer is NOT to laugh it off. A threat needs to be reported to police. And steps need to be taken to deal with the possibility the person making the threat wasn’t just blowing hot air.

  157. Winter on 2014-09-04 at 14:01:49 said:
    I think both Elizabeth I and Catherina the Great were driving considerable numbers of men into the battlefield.

    They were political leaders, not military commanders. If political leadership of a country at war is considered evidence of personal military prowess, then the elitest of elite warriors would be elderly wheelchair-bound paralytics. Because it was just such an individual who was commander-in-chief of the most powerful military force in history, victorious in the largest war in history.

    In European history we know examples of women fighting off armies. Our local hero is Kenau from Haarlem. We also know of Jeanne d’Arc.

    Jeanne d’Arc didn’t fight off any armies. She inspired an army consisting entirely of men and commanded by men by leading them, carrying a banner. AFAIK, she never swung a sword or shot an arrow. Kenau of Haarlem is famous in legend, but all that is actually known about her is that she helped carry earth to rebuild damaged ramparts. The Spanish did not even arrest her after the city fell.

    Otherwise… Of the tens of thousands of Swiss mercenaries who served across Europe, how many were women? Zero. Of the thousands of generals in the Napoleonic Wars, how many were women? Zero. Of the hundreds of thousands of Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire, how many were women? Zero. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    Let’s look at an earlier era. There were some famous “warrior queens” in the ancient world: Cleopatra, Boudicca, Zenobia, and… well, that’s about it. Those three are the only women comparable to… the hundreds of Roman Emperors and Consuls, hundreds of chieftains of barbarian tribes, and hundreds of Greek and Persian kings recorded as commanding and usually leading armies.

    Of the hundreds of thousands of Roman legionaries and Greek hoplitoi, how many were women? Zero.

    What about non-western societies? There is no evidence of any female warriors among the Mongols, the Gurkhas, the Maori, the Zulus, or the Apaches.

    Exceptio probat regulam means “the exception tests the rule”; is the rule still true in spite of a single exception (or a few)? The rule that warriors are men, not women is clearly such a rule.

  158. “Bitching? Really? That is how you would characterize my argument the the ubiquity of specific personal threats of extreme violence that are common against women, with a dramatically higher frequency than against men, is bitching rather than communicating a deeply flawed thread in society? It isn’t about my personal safety, it is about communicating to a group of smart people a perspective that they might not be aware of given that they don’t experience it as frequently as me.”

    Those threats will not end until women stop being soft targets. Take responsibility for your own safety. Nobody else will do so, nor should they.

  159. Jay Maynard on 2014-09-07 at 02:45:28 said: Those threats will not end until women stop being soft targets. Take responsibility for your own safety. Nobody else will do so, nor should they.

    Women are, as a class, smaller and weaker than men. Their “soft target” status is intrinsic to their physical qualities. That’s unarguable. Men, who are larger and stronger in general, and constitute nearly all the very strong, have an obligation to defend the weak: women, children, the elderly, sick That’s what we’re here for.

    See the behavior of a herd menaced by predators. Females and young move to the center; the old bulls form a defensive perimeter.

    Also, is it really plausible that every 100-lb woman should or even could maintain the level of fitness, martial skills, and armament required to guarantee her security against 250-lb attackers?

  160. >Women are, as a class, smaller and weaker than men. Their “soft target” status is intrinsic to their physical qualities. That’s unarguable. Men, who are larger and stronger in general, and constitute nearly all the very strong, have an obligation to defend the weak: women, children, the elderly, sick That’s what we’re here for.

    Whenever possible, yes.

    >See the behavior of a herd menaced by predators. Females and young move to the center; the old bulls form a defensive perimeter.

    People aren’t herd animals and don’t live in herds. At least not anywhere I want to be, As such, individuals are often called on to be, individually, not helpless.

    >Also, is it really plausible that every 100-lb woman should or even could maintain the level of fitness, martial skills, and armament required to guarantee her security against 250-lb attackers?

    It is an ideal to be hoped for, but unrealistic to expect it to actually happen. Fortunately it is only necessary for some percentage of women to be armed and capable, and *known* to be armed and capable, to introduce doubt in the minds of predators and establish deterrence. (The truly crazy don’t really respond to incentives, positive and negative, like everyone else and when they get to the point of initiating violence must be physically stopped.)

  161. I would like to add, that fortunately most of those who make threats as if they are truly crazy, are *not* actually truly crazy they are just speaking that way because they have previously been immune to any consequences for such actions. One example being sheltered, often of a protected class, bubble-dwelling blowhards (tie in to the SFF SJW crazies).

    They are the *perfect* audience to be corrected by the negative incentive that, if you try to turn your threats into acts the person you are attacking may just shoot you dead.

  162. “BTW you know more about HEMA than I do, but even a longsword is just 1.5kg. Why does upper body strenght matter much? It is not boxing. I haven’t tried it, perhaps such an experiment should be tried: I would offer a bet than even a 12 years old child could run a spear through a side of beef or pork,” which would be a good enough approximation of the human body. It just does not look that hard. Courage is probably a more limiting factor than strength.”

    The problem is contact combat is not equivalent to sticking a pig with a sword. The attacker has to get past the defensive components, ie shields, breast plate, etc. to make a blow that is definitive. Take a sword and go take some whacks on a tree. You will find out very quickly that it takes considerable force to chip off even a considerable chunk. And poking at it yields little at all. It all boils down to —

    F = M * A

    Swords are built as light as possible for control and repeatability of stroke. Imagine two warriors. One with an axe one with a sword. If the axe has any heft at all which it should for its intended function, it forces the warrior to follow thru with the stroke for best effect then deaccelerate that mass for the next stroke. The sword carrier on the other hand will attempt to accelrate a lighter mass to the opponent. The strike if made will daccelerate the sword for the attacker not requiring follow thru and can immediately attempt another stroke. Rinse and repeat.

  163. >Take a sword and go take some whacks on a tree. You will find out very quickly that it takes considerable force to chip off even a considerable chunk.

    Even cutting a large piece of fresh meat with a chopping or slicing strike from distance is rather more difficult than you’d expect, if your experience is limited to kitchen knives and chopping boards.

  164. Tacitus’s describes in his book Germania how the women of the Germanic tribe would kill their own fleeing warriors and their attackers once the battle was lost.

    Then there is also the Japanese Naginata (long stick with blade), which was mainly used by women, as a last resort defence.

    How effective does a ‘warrior’ have to be? The skill level required for a raiding party is different to that of what’s required in the defensive. I doubt that the Vikings would have taken along old men, women and small men or young boys. But if you were to try and attack a Viking settlement, or the baggage train of their raiding party/army everyone would have taken up arms, effective or not.

    Finally, weapons in the grave can also just have ceremonial purposes — a wife or daughter buried with her lost husband’s, fathers’ or brothers weapon is also a likely scenario.

  165. “Women are, as a class, smaller and weaker than men. Their “soft target” status is intrinsic to their physical qualities. That’s unarguable. Men, who are larger and stronger in general, and constitute nearly all the very strong, have an obligation to defend the weak: women, children, the elderly, sick That’s what we’re here for.”

    Just as the cops can’t be around all the time, neither can we men as a class. A woman can’t depend on anyone but herself.

    You know what? That’s just what the feminists say. They say that women should be empowered to look after themselves and their own interests. I couldn’t agree more.

    Women don’t need white knights. They need the ability and the freedom to take care of themselves.

    Why is it, then, that feminists want to destroy the one thing that does more to empower women than anything else: personal carry of firearms?

  166. ESR> Firearms changes [sic]all this, of course – some of the physiological differences that make them inferior with contact weapons are actual advantages at shooting (again I speak from experience, as I teach women to shoot).

    No, Firearms do not change all this. The fundamental reason why women are not trained to go off to war is based on their reproductive value in an environment of high infant/child mortality. The fundamental question is how many girls a woman births who survive long enough to become mothers themselves. The loss of a fertile woman (or of a girl who is not yet fertile) represents the loss to the society of countless future fertile women, which are the only source that can produce the men in those future generations. Modern nutrition, sanitation, and medicine are what made it demographically acceptable for women to be in actual combat roles, as well as doing other dangerous jobs that could prune their branches from our collective family tree. (To the extent that attitudes about this are programmed into our DNA, we have to deliberately patch in memes to override the firmware, or we are reflexively repulsed by the very notion of women going off to war.)

    Men are individually expendable; those who survive the wars can keep multiple wives in the baby-production business. This practice leads to the strongest warriors getting more chances to reproduce, improving the stock for the wars those future generations fight.

    Now, if women are trained to fight defending the village against invaders after their husbands have already fallen in battle, that is an entirely different matter. But there is a certain evolutionary advantage to genes that program women not to resist against those invaders, but instead to accept them as their new mates, rather than dying along with the men of their tribe. But in stating this obvious and historically well-established fact, I am guilty of the thoughtcrime of “perpetuating rape culture”. (There can be no argument that the practice of killing the enemy tribe’s men and taking their women is literally “rape culture” under modern understanding of the term.)

    The irony of that is that the very Leftists who say that rather than arming themselves to resist rapists, women should instead wear “rape whistles” or urinate on their predators, are implicitly accepting the very strategy outlined above.

  167. >No, Firearms do not change all this. The fundamental reason why women are not trained to go off to war is based on their reproductive value in an environment of high infant/child mortality.

    As I mentioned in the OP, in fact. What changes is that firearms neutralize the male strength advantage. Women warrior are still not a great idea en masse, but at least with gunpowder weapons they can defend themselves effectively. You know this; don’t be unnecessarily contentious.

  168. Perhaps this will settle the strength and combat question, although I notice that not everyone seems to be convinced that physical combat requires strength, endurance, mobility and speed. But I’m going to try.

    For the record, I served in the US Army for 11 years, including in combat. I was a tank crewman. I would never suggest that I was on par with the special operator types referenced in the Havok article, but I wholeheartedly agree with everything in that article. This part I put in just to establish my personal bonafides to talk on this subject. My experience is real, not theoretical.

    Someone said:

    “BTW you know more about HEMA than I do, but even a longsword is just 1.5kg. Why does upper body strenght matter much? It is not boxing. I haven’t tried it, perhaps such an experiment should be tried: I would offer a bet than even a 12 years old child could run a spear through a side of beef or pork,” which would be a good enough approximation of the human body. It just does not look that hard. Courage is probably a more limiting factor than strength.”

    This really made me chuckle, to be honest. I would suggest that the commenter go get an axe, which weighs perhaps 2 kg, and find a small tree, say a diameter of 25 cm, and chop the tree down. Report back on how long it took, how winded you were, and how cleanly the tree was cut.

    Here is the reality of combat. You have had very little sleep for many days on end. You have marched/driven/ridden for many, many miles. You are carrying 30-50% of your body weight in terms of gear and weapons. You probably haven’t eaten enough calories to sustain your level of exertion and so your body is burning fat stores to provide enough energy. If you are a modern warrior on a tank, you must load shells that weigh 25 kg into the gun in less than 6 seconds every time the gun is fired, as an example of the level of exertion.

    The old school warrior, with a sword, armor of some sort, maybe a shield, has to swing that sword at the level of effort of tree chopping for the length of a battle. Battles last a long time, as such things go. An hour, or more. He has to run, jump, physically check his enemy’s bodies, carry all that gear. And all while fear and anger are dumping massive amounts of adrenaline in his body.

    There is a reason why soldiers train to be as strong and as fast as possible. Because anything less than as strong and as fast as possible means death. Even today, with firearms rather than swords. Fighting with swords was a million times harder. Want some idea of how tough it is? Watch Lone Survivor. True story and the physical trauma is real.

    The idea that a woman could engage in the sort of combat that Vikings engaged in during the 8th century is pretty ludicrous, really. PS My wife is of Viking stock, actually. She is tall, big, strong … for a woman. She’s 5’6″ and I’m 5’8″. She weighs 155 lbs and I weigh 180 lbs. And she always hands me the axe when we need to cut a tree down on our property. This is reality.

    Go find a spear. Then go to your local butcher shop and get a dead pig that is ready for a luau. Now hang the pig by its feet from a tree branch and start trying to kill the pig with your spear. Notice how hard it is. Now imagine the pig is a 6′ tall, 190 lb man in armor with his own spear. Now tell me again about how it doesn’t take much strength.

    The problem, I fear, with understanding this, is that the average joe today does not do physically demanding work. And thus has no real understanding of what it means to work all day. Someone who has “worked all day” has a serious appreciation for what an hour of physical combat will mean.

  169. “I thought the deal was you are to mention intersectionalism in every comment.”

    I assume you’re joking, but maybe not. I definitely get the sense people think this is a pet peeve or even obsession of mine but it’s actually one most of us here share: a disgust for political correctness. The dividing line is one of research and knowledge, not my inaccuracy or exaggeration. It is the same divide which exists for people with a casual knowledge of Islam and tend to lump it all together, rather than talking about Qutbists, Wahhabis, Sufism, Salafis, Ibadis and arguments about the first two Caliphs compared to the first four.

    One can call all Egyptians throughout history by the name “Egyptians” and ask who the guy is who keeps mentioning “Mamluks” but the Mamluks existed, whether one likes it or knows it or not, and they were not “Egyptians” any more than Cleopatra was or Mohammed Ali, whose 150 year dynasty ended with Nasser. Ali was an ethnic Albanian Ottoman born in Macedonia. The bottom line is names are important; that is why Orwell created “Newspeak.”

    PC is a term that doesn’t truly serve. “Intersectional” is far more accurate but also covers much of the same ground. The difference is one of labels to a certain extent, but it’s a mistake to blend “intersectionalism into “PC” and more so “Left” in the same way it would be to blend the KKK into “conservatism” or Ali into “Egyptian.” The huge difference is the KKK doesn’t possess the anti-oppression camouflage that enables intersectionalism to mainstream hate-speech. The fact so many people on my side think my use of the term is weird is a testament to that camouflage. The KKK can’t hide, intersectionalism can, for the simple reason they don’t look like the KKK, have the same targets. But in fact intersectionalism does use the same rhetoric in principle as white supremacy. Unless one thinks the Dem Party is an analog to a KKK which demonizes heterosexual ethnic European men, it’s time to start using correct names; this is a specific ideology.

    No chides anyone for saying “PC” or “Left” in every comment simply because they are familiar. The problem is they don’t adequately cover the topic.

    The irony is this post about the Vikings is addressing core intersectionalism 101. More irony regarding your comment is, whether they know it or not, every single pro and anti-PC blog post in SFF today is about intersectionalism, not liberalism, not Leftism, not socialism, not Marxism. Both the Hugo and Nebula winners this year was the result of core intersectionalism in its most fundamental application and desires, not the Dem Party.

    The bottom line is I learned the term from the people we’re up against, and they make no bones about what they are in that regard. People can keep calling them “Egyptians” but they may be “Mamluks” or “Albanians.” In fact in that analogy of labels, they are.

  170. One last point on the difference between my wife and I. It’s not just weight that matters. It’s lean body mass compared to total weight. Lean body mass is everything other fat. Muscle, organs, bone, cartilage. A woman who is in good shape will be somewhere around 20-25% body fat, in general. In other words, my wife (who is in fine shape!) has 125 lbs of lean body mass. An average conditioned male will have about 20% body fat. I am in average shape and thus carry about 145 lbs of lean body mass. So, my wife, who works out (heavy weights plus walking for cardio) has 20 lbs less muscle, bone, etc than I do even though I exercise, etc much less than she does (moderate weights, plus walking).

    At my peak, when I was 25 and had been training for 7 years in the military, I weighed 170 lbs and my body fat was in the 12-15 percent range. That would be pretty comparable, physically, to warriors in the 8th century. I had 150 lbs of lean body mass, and my LBM to total mass ratio was nearly .9 ….. this is almost impossible for a woman to achieve. And this is the sort of physical conditioning combat requires if you want to live.

  171. The question seems to be why women do not get involved in armed fights as much as men?

    I think we can get a long way by assuming that the cost/benefit ratios are different.

    The obvious suggestions from the world’s literature and history are:

    1) For a man, loot and status means more women, with a low end expectation of no status or money, no women. Normally, every woman could get a man to take (some) care for her.

    2) Hormones (testosterone) make men more competitive and willing to take gambles. They also predispose men to do anything to get a woman. Much less so for women it seems.

    3) Historically, the men of the losing side were killed or labored to death (and lost access to women). Women were kept alive.

    4) Babies have to be fed. A mother going into war means risking the lives of her children much more than a father.

    Women seem to have less to win by taking up arms than (young) men. So why should they?

  172. Winter said:

    “The question seems to be why women do not get involved in armed fights as much as men?”

    Why do you ignore the obvious? Women are not physically capable of winning armed fights, as a general rule (yes, I know there are exceptions) and women are necessary to the survival of the race. Thus, any tribe that had women warriors was contra-survival because all the women would end up dead.

    Your 4 points are downstream from this, a result of this reality.

  173. To summarize . . .

    Evolution has not equipped women to be actual warriors, except as needed in defense.

    Women have essential utility as baby makers, and hence are more valuable then men.

    If you want to be a winning side warrior, men must maximize their strength & conditioning.

    And I would add, as a personal note, that women can be warriors in spirit and thereby contribute as a force-multiplier to male warrior commitment and ferocity. Long live Sparta!

  174. @PapayaSF:

    No, it’s pretty clear from that comment that Patrick does not listen to Rush

    Do you understand the difference between “does not listen to” and “has not heard?” Can you imagine one without the other?

    , and instead has formed his opinion by reading selective and distorted accounts by political opponents

    That’s funny. I’ll tell you what — I’d love to sit down with Fred Reed and buy him a beer, but if Rush showed up, I’d probably tell him to get lost.

    @Greg:

    So you aren’t familiar with any of the feminist SFF crowd and what they’ve done that people are complaining about, but you feel well-enough informed to argue with people who are.

    So you aren’t intelligent enough to read and understand that I was responding to a single point, but feel smart enough to set up a strawman.

    Then you trot out a moral equivalence prop but you choose one that you have no actual direct knowledge of,

    Again with the reading comprehension and the strawman.

    he is surprisingly intelligent almost witty, gracious and funny.

    He may be all those things at various times, but he’s also a professional asshole. Maybe it’s all an act, and he’s a teddy bear in real life, but maybe it’s just not possible to be that much of an asshole professionally unless you really are one.

    @Jay Maynard:

    Why is it, then, that feminists want to destroy the one thing that does more to empower women than anything else: personal carry of firearms?

    If you’re scared of firearms, then you’re simply not going to carry one, and since you’re not armed, maybe you’re going to do your best to make sure nobody else is armed either.

  175. @ Fail Burton

    “I thought the deal was you are to mention intersectionalism in every comment.”

    I assume you’re joking, but maybe not.

    I was joking.

    Now, from my history, I am close to the last person that should be instructing people on what belongs in this blog, but you do seem to work “intersectionalism” into a lot of comments.

    From your comments and a quick look into the matter, “intersectionalism”
    seems to mean that the only thing better than being oppressed is being oppressed for more than one reason – unless you are a guy.

    I found this concept to be interesting (although not surprising).

    I don’t see how intersectionalism relates to this post about women Vikings. We are talking about women, but generally in a rational way (ie. not as oppressed victims) and I don’t see multiple lines of oppression involved here.

  176. >He may be all those things at various times, but he’s also a professional asshole. Maybe it’s all an act, and he’s a teddy bear in real life, but maybe it’s just not possible to be that much of an asshole professionally unless you really are one.

    …says the person who has never listened to him.

    You have a gaping credibility gap on this one, sorry.

  177. Eric Cowperthwaite on 2014-09-07 at 12:50:40 said:Go find a spear. Then go to your local butcher shop and get a dead pig that is ready for a luau. Now hang the pig by its feet from a tree branch and start trying to kill the pig with your spear.

    Shades of the Adventure of Black Peter! “Have you tried to drive a harpoon through a body? No? Tut, tut, my dear sir, you must really pay attention to these details. My friend Watson could tell you that I spent a whole morning in that exercise. It is no easy matter, and requires a strong and practised arm. But this blow was delivered with such violence that the head of the weapon sank deep into the wall. Do you imagine that this anaemic youth was capable of so frightful an assault?”

    ESR:What changes is that firearms neutralize the male strength advantage.

    They reduce it substantially, especially as regards personal security, but they don’t neutralize it. Women, in general, are most effective with smaller, lighter, and less powerful handguns, for instance. Manufacturers have responded with models such as the Charter Arms “Pink Lady” series.

    When it comes to military arms, size and strength still matter even more. Few men and essentially no women can manhandle heavy weapons such as machine gunes and mortars.

    Also, in current-era combat, soldiers carry a lot of gear. Between helmet, body armor, comms, sensors, water, food, ammo, and miscellaneous gear, U.S. troops carry 50 to 100 pounds of “battle rattle”. (A while back I saw an essay by an officer arguing that current Army physical standards overweight endurance and neglect strength – soldiers mostly ride in vehicles rather than march, but in action they have to move all that weight around.)

    And there are many non-fighting tasks such as digging trenches or filling and stacking sandbags which require strength, and the more the better.

    I saw another recent essay, by a female combat engineer officer who served in Afghanistan. She succeeded and survived, but trying to keep up with the physical burden borne by her troops left her permanently damaged (back, hips, knees). There was a similar case in the Panama operation (female commander of an MP platoon which got into combat).

    Technology has created some combat roles that women can do as well as men – UAV operator, radar operator, maybe sniper. And for most combat roles, the gender difference in capacity is much less than in the pre-gunpowder era. But overall, it’s still dominant.

  178. You’re wrong Brian. If you wish a short education all in one post, The Other McCain has been writing often and well about this for some time.

    http://theothermccain.com/2014/09/06/rachel-maddow-feminist-lesbian-heteronormative-patriarchy/

    If you knew who Kameron Hurley is, why she won 2 Hugos, who Liz Bourke is, what she does at Tor.com, and what a small but persistent slice of Tor.com promotes, and 1,000 other facts, you’d realize the Viking piece is classic radical feminist propaganda, and by no means at Tor by accident. I am not shoe-horning in anything anywhere, but speaking directly to the post at hand based on facts and observation of those facts, not wishful thinking.

  179. @Greg:

    … says the person who has never listened to him.

    Your reading comprehension is even worse than I thought. PapayaSF at least had the excuse that I hadn’t yet pointed out that there might be a difference between “does not listen to” and “has not heard”. At this point, about the only way that you can make such an excuse is if you admit that you read so slowly that you only bothered to read the part of my comment that had your name attached to it.

    You have a gaping credibility gap on this one, sorry.

    Hmm. Let me try to use really small words here.

    Both my father and my maternal grandfather on my mother’s side listened to Rush assiduously all the time in the late 80s and early 90s. We live in Texas and they were both squarely within Rush’s target demographic audience.

    So I heard a fair amount of Rush, without actively listening to Rush. But then one day, maybe 15 years ago or so, Rush came on the radio when I was riding in the car with my Dad, and my Dad changed the channel. I said “I thought you liked listening to Rush” and he replied “I like a lot of what he says, but sometimes I don’t particularly care for how he says it.”

    To be fair, that was a long time ago, so maybe Rush isn’t like that any more. I don’t know for sure, because, as I said, I don’t listen to him. On the other hand, I have no real reason to disbelieve doubt the veracity accuracy truth of the transcript text that wikipedia teh interwebs has of the Sandra Fluke incident, so I doubt that either my dad or I would change our opinions based on further listening.

  180. @Rich Rostrom:

    Technology has created some combat roles that women can do as well as men – UAV operator, radar operator, maybe sniper. And for most combat roles, the gender difference in capacity is much less than in the pre-gunpowder era. But overall, it’s still dominant.

    In a post above, esr mentioned that women were actually better suited physically in some ways to be combat fighters than men (they can sustain higher G-forces, for example), but that they weren’t suited as well mentally.

    If that’s true, then for a recon UAV, those differences probably don’t matter, but for a combat UAV, they might.

    Interestingly, I read (don’t remember where) that shooting people from UAVs is actually more stressful than doing it from a manned aircraft. Apparently it’s easier to emotionally justify shooting to kill when you are yourself being shot at.

    I have no idea how well suited men vs women are to this task, but it is the sort of task that lends itself to the most realistic possible simulations, so it’s certainly an ideal candidate task for completely removing up-front sex discrimination and seeing how people do as individuals.

  181. Actually, considering the way everyone here seems to have observed feminist harpies ‘go for the jugular’ in their rhetoric, I can’t see how anyone can doubt that women would make fine combat killers, given suitable weapons.

    Lady MacBeth, anyone?

  182. > Yes, it is bitching because the nutjobs aren’t going to disappear as a result of your grassroots meme campaign. You’re harping on a problem with no realistic prospect of solution.

    The best example of a memetic change that I can think of is the change in attitude about drinking and driving. This was extremely prevalent in the 70s and 80s and it was very common for people to brag about how drunk they were when they drove home around the water cooler.

    The people who brought this change about were not bitching, in the hope that drunk drivers would hear them and go away. They exposed the practice for what it was and appealed to the intelligence and reason of the majority of the population as well as law enforcement and the law makers.
    They made drinking driving “not cool” anymore and that had a powerful effect on the amount of it that occurs. The guy who still drinks too much and drives doesn’t brag about it because he doesn’t want to look like a tool.

    A truly demented person will still make rape threats no matter the consequences, but if more people condemned the trolls and sophomoric clowns who also do this, and if the sites and hosting companies who allow this to continue to occur in their spaces as free speech were to start loosing subscribers and add revenue, we would quickly see these incidences narrowed down to the actual rapists. It would be a lot easier for law enforcement to learn how to start to deal with this.

    Even if you don’t fully agree and don’t want to take place in helping out, do you really want to put yourself in the camp with people dismissing this attempt as “bitching”?

  183. @ Fail Burton

    You’re wrong Brian.

    I assume that you are referring to my description:

    intersectionalism seems to mean that the only thing better than being oppressed is being oppressed for more than one reason – unless you are a guy

    I was being somewhat facetious (as usual). Historically, intersectionalism included Female/Black and possibly Female/Disabled in addition to Female/Lesbian. I’m not sure – “Disabled” might only count for black and/or lesbian women. I don’t know because I certainly don’t care enough to get any deeper into the history.

    You seem to have made the points that:

    – intersectionalism is now all about being Female/Lesbian

    – intersectionalists and third-wave feminists may call themselves “feminists”, but “they are not. They are a racist sexist supremacist cult.”

    – They are doing bad things in the SFF community.

    In relation to the last point, I am sure you have the sympathy of most of us here, but it seems to be totally off-topic.

    This entire subject seems to be off-topic, particularly the lesbian aspect. Andrew W, in the comment to ESR’s linked article, suggests that it is “modern sexism” to conclude that a body was male because it was buried with battle weapons. I think that calling this “sexism” is silly, but hey, I don’t have a PhD.

    So, other than this (maybe silly) point, what does intersectionalism have to do with this post?

  184. @Patrick:

    Having actually listened to Rush, and having seen the Fluke transcript… I do wonder where you find the ‘full of threats and hate’ part. Seriously.

    And you are continuing to string together data points that you are a very obnoxious sonofabitch, for no visible reason. What exactly the fuck is wrong with you?

  185. @Jessica

    Bitching? Really? That is how you would characterize my argument the the ubiquity of specific personal threats of extreme violence that are common against women, with a dramatically higher frequency than against men, is bitching rather than communicating a deeply flawed thread in society?

    Shrill tumblrettes and twitterbirds are not a representative sample, nor are hashtags etc.

  186. Even if you don’t fully agree and don’t want to take place in helping out, do you really want to put yourself in the camp with people dismissing this attempt as “bitching”?

    It’s called “bitching” because it’s all coming from people living in a fantasy pieced together from postings on twitter and tumblr (much of the counter-frothing comes about in the same way). Reality (that thing outside your front door) is something very different. This is all due to selection effects.

  187. >And you are continuing to string together data points that you are a very obnoxious sonofabitch, for no visible reason.

    This, um, isn’t actually like Patrick, in my experience. I wonder if he’s OK.

  188. “Professional asshole” is a good description of most comedians at one time or another. They insult people for money.

    Yours,
    Tom

  189. @Greg:

    Having actually listened to Rush, and having seen the Fluke transcript… I do wonder where you find the ‘full of threats and hate’ part. Seriously.

    I didn’t write about threats, and AFAICT the definition of cyberbullying does not require threats. But how is it not hateful to call somebody (a real person who is still only in college) a slut and a prostitute? Especially when it’s done in a calculated fashion to throw red meat, by someone with an extremely big soapbox?

    Even if you can rationalize that it’s not hateful, how can it possibly be helpful? If you want to convince people that there’s no “rape culture” that engages in “slut shaming”, wouldn’t censuring people who use the word “slut” to describe people with different political views be a good start?

    And you are continuing to string together data points that you are a very obnoxious sonofabitch

    Yes, I certainly can be.

    , for no visible reason.

    I’ve been told to “inform myself” because I’m apparently not allowed to have the opinion that there are prominent male voices who engage in bullying, because I have no “actual knowledge” according to someone who knows nothing about me, but who nonetheless is more than willing to make all sorts of assumptions (including the major projection that I have never heard Rush).

    Then when I call him out on the fact he didn’t read to or respond to what I actually wrote, he says I have a gaping credibility gap, while still not managing to fully respond to what I wrote.

    What exactly the fuck is wrong with you?

    Nothing that will be cured by preachy passive-aggressive comments from the peanut gallery.

  190. ESR:
    > What changes is that firearms neutralize the male strength advantage.

    I think you might be failing to realize just how much a difference there is between a fight and combat.

    No, let me rephrase that. There is a difference between a woman attempted to repulse a point attack and combat, and I don’t think you’ve quite groked it yet.

    A point attack is, depending on what’s happening, decided relatively quickly–The attack is going to succeed or fail within the first minute, but might take much more time to end. In these sorts of events a firearm is The Great Leveler. A single shot to the face will dissuade all but the luckiest of the most determined attackers and even multiple body shots will ensure that the fight ends fairly rapidly.

    A single .38 revolver deployed well–a function of skill and reflexes–will stop 2-3 attackers dead, yes pun intended.

    Combat is a different thing. It takes place over a longer stretch of time, it involves more players, it is rarely resolved quickly.

    A pistol is (in most hands) a defensive tool. Rarely do you shoot into your second magazine.

    A rifle is an offensive tool and rarely do soldiers leave base with less than 180 rounds for a 5.56 rifle. That alone ups the physical requirements. Ceramic plates for body armor are 4 to 8 pounds EACH, and this does not include the plate carriers or the kevlar panels that cover other bits. The helmet is uncomfortable and heavy. IIRC there were 4 plates on the “interceptor” kit I had to wear in Baghdad (no, I was not a soldier or a “shooter” there, but regs were outside the wire, wear the gear. Even when flying at 10000 feet).

    Unmounted fighting with a rifle is BRUTALLY hard work.

  191. Patrick Maupin wrote upthread:

    [...] if there were an objective cyberbullying standard that included all of these women, I would imagine that I could easily find examples of Rush being Rush that would fall under such a standard, as well as him egging on his audience to participate.

    (Emphasis added.) And then he wonders why people object? One could classify Rush’s original Fluke comments as over the line, and he did apologize for them. Calling it “bullying” seems like a stretch, and while I’m no Rush expert, “egging on his audience to participate” doesn’t sound like him at all. AFAIK he avoids anything along the lines of “call your congresscritter” or whatever. So I think it’s appropriate to ask Patrick for actual evidence of what he “imagines” he can “easily find.”

  192. Jessica Boxer on 2014-09-06 at 10:28:12 said:
    > @William O. B’Livion
    >> The male workplace has, at least since the 1950s (tales from my father) been the sort of
    >> place where rough language, scatological humor and sexual innuendo were common.

    > Good, but it isn’t the male workplace anymore. People, regardless of their gender, have a
    > perfect right to be treated respectfully in their workplace. Sorry if that cramps your style, but it is

    So two sides to this:

    1) Women demanded access to these workplaces, then got pissy when they were treated marginally *better* than men treat each other.

    2) This *is* how men treat other men with respect. You are demanded special privileges.

    3) You missed out where I said I was raised…differently than that. I *don’t* like it, but as long as it’s the culture in that environment you’ve got to adjust. I can’t come into a place and insist that everyone else conform to my expectations.

    >However, that is an entirely different thing. I am talking about guys who go online and say
    > “I know your address, I am going to come when you least expect it, torture you, rape you
    > them kill you.” Is that a hold over from the “male workplace of the 1950s?” Should we
    > girls just suck it up and laugh it off as some male sophomoric prank?

    That’s not just women getting that. Hell, *I* had people threaten to kick my ass. I posted my address and phone number and told them to call in advance to make sure I was home. Admittedly this was 1996/7, I would not do the same today, mostly because of SWATTING. I seriously don’t want the SWAT team kicking in my door.

    There is quite a bit of evidence, including anecdotal evidence in my wanderings that yes, women catch shit, and they catch ugly shit. But in many areas they are *less* likely to catch shit than the men, and are treated as gentlemen have always treated women–most treat them with respect and deference and a small number of assholes will sneak around and, well, be assholes.

  193. Eric Cowperthwaite on 2014-09-07 at 12:50:40 said:

    exertion and so your body is burning fat stores to provide enough energy. If you are a modern warrior on a tank, you must load shells that weigh 25 kg into the gun in less than 6 seconds every time the gun is fired, as an example of the level of exertion.

    This is what he’s talking about:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HyrAqNv1odM#t=152

    25 kilos is roughly 55 pounds.

    There is no f*king way I’d do that job. Tanks are group coffins.

  194. @Eric Cowperthwaite
    “Thus, any tribe that had women warriors was contra-survival because all the women would end up dead. ”

    Evolution works in wondrous ways. That also holds for cultural evolution.

    Telling us a just so story about how in (really) ancient times people died doing certain things does not tell us how nature and nurture proceed to prevent people from doing similar things now.

    You tell us that it decreased female fitness to enter combat. I listed a number of “economical” and biological factors that leads modern (Iron age ;-) ) women to shun combat.

    @Eric Cowperthwaite
    “Your 4 points are downstream from this, a result of this reality.”

    The difference between ultimate and proximate causes. What counts now is how men and women differ so that they differ in their eagerness for entering combat. During most of human history, combat is an euphemism for raiding neighboring tribes.

    My 4 points are some of the influences that work in a modern person’s life. Your point worked by killing people thousands of years ago in circumstances that are not effective anymore.

  195. @esr:

    This, um, isn’t actually like Patrick, in my experience. I wonder if he’s OK.

    I think I’m OK, but maybe not. Who ever really knows? Life has been stressful and busy lately.

    @Tom DeGisi:

    “Professional asshole” is a good description of most comedians at one time or another. They insult people for money.

    Absolutely! But is Rush “just” a comedian?

    @PapayaSF:

    One could classify Rush’s original Fluke comments as over the line, and he did apologize for them. Calling it “bullying” seems like a stretch

    If the timeline and transcripts at the wikipedia page are at all accurate, then he dumped fuel on the fire for 3 days and didn’t actually half-heartedly apologize until he started losing advertisers. I’d call that classic bullying (which only stops when the bully starts feeling pain). But I haven’t seen any bullying definitions with bright lines, so opinions could certainly vary.

    , and while I’m no Rush expert, “egging on his audience to participate” doesn’t sound like him at all. AFAIK he avoids anything along the lines of “call your congresscritter” or whatever. So I think it’s appropriate to ask Patrick for actual evidence of what he “imagines” he can “easily find.”

    The Sandra Fluke transcript was similar to (if a bit more extreme than) the sorts of things I remember hearing from Rush when riding with my dad 20+ years ago. I thought I also remembered some exhortations to do this or that, but maybe that’s a faulty memory, or maybe he doesn’t do that any more.

  196. Since the beginning of the 16th century, European combined arms tactics have employed areas women should have been able to have roles in, namely musketeers, archers, crossbowmen and perhaps cannoneers. Those ranks of specialists supported pikemen, cavalry, swordsmen where superior strength was more of an issue.

    Women combat deaths went from statistical zero in WW II and Vietnam to 2.3% in Afghanistan and Iraq. Presumably that will rise in the future. The question becomes if that can rise to 50% and if it doesn’t, how much can be attributed to a thing innate to womens’ natures, e.g., pregnancy and psychology, and how much to cultural custom and practice, as in something like the so-called “patriarchy.” In a volunteer and professional army, birthrates affecting the nation would be a non-issue. Only in total war, a thing like WW II, would that become an issue. I seem to remember reading that at the end of WW II we had 15 million in the armed services in a country of 140 million. Manpower issues would’ve been worse for the European combatants. Germany, instead of putting its women to work, had only a fraction of the number of women working in factories devoted to the war effort that Great Britain did, and for no real reason.

  197. @Patrick Maupin
    “If the timeline and transcripts at the wikipedia page are at all accurate, then he dumped fuel on the fire for 3 days and didn’t actually half-heartedly apologize until he started losing advertisers. ”

    I just read the transcripts. I am at a loss here.

    Quote from the transcripts:

    What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.

    Is Mr Limbaugh seriously unaware that 30 year old students tend to have stable heterosexual relations? And that even monogamous couples need contraceptives?

    Or is he convinced these are the believes of his audience?

  198. @ bsouther – “Even if you don’t fully agree and don’t want to take place in helping out, do you really want to put yourself in the camp with people dismissing this attempt as “bitching”?

    Where does it end? How many causes. How many crusades?

    How many of these cyberbully nutjobs are out there? Dozens, hundreds, perhaps a few thousand. If you’re going to hold a bitchfest, why aim low?

    Obesity is huge epidemic effecting tens of millions and foreshadowing a healthcare cost crisis when the diabetes, heart disease, and joint replacement surgeries start flooding hospitals soon. Michelle Obama wants to put diet Nazis in public schools. Would you like to volunteer?

    A majority of Americans are now hooked on government handouts. Entitlement junkies are people too, and they need help. How about a 12 Step Program for the lazy.

    What about rap music? Likely more actual violence against women has incited by this scourge than the impact of a few cyberbullys. Next time you see a brother on the street listening to his tunes, tell what a jerk he his.

    We have become so damn affluent, privileged, and whiny in this country that we now view every hardship in life as a crisis. Hardship is what makes us stronger, and eliminating every manifestation of it makes us weaker.

  199. >Where does it end? How many causes. How many crusades?

    Tom,
    I get you. This is a tirade that I’ve made myself, a lot.
    But, don’t you think that what JB is talking about is different; using the internet to make specific threats to a particular person, often over multiple media? How far should a person be allowed to go in making another person’s life miserable before before the community starts to step on him/her?

    Could you picture Eric (as far from a squishy lefty type as they get) allowing someone to use this blog to make these types to threats to any of the women who post here?

  200. Winter, what Rush was objecting to was the idea that because Sandra Fluke was having sex, that meant that someone else should be forced to pay for her birth control.

  201. @Winter:

    Is Mr Limbaugh seriously unaware that 30 year old students tend to have stable heterosexual relations?

    It wouldn’t surprise me if he knew that. He’s not stupid or uninformed.

    Or is he convinced these are the believes of his audience?

    Bearing in mind that my actual listening experiences are around 20 years old:

    Limbaugh never simply says what he thinks his audience wants to hear. He’s always trying to move the needle. I have no real problem with that (especially as there are plenty of people tugging the needle the other way on most issues), but to me, his methods, even when he’s not being cruel, leave a lot to be desired. His arguments are often specious.

    It may be the format he works in makes it impossible to both get rich and be logically coherent, so he’s settled for getting rich and moving the needle. I honestly don’t know.

    @PapayaSF:

    Winter, what Rush was objecting to was the idea that because Sandra Fluke was having sex, that meant that someone else should be forced to pay for her birth control.

    And it was obviously impossible for him to do that without using using those inflammatory words.

  202. @bpsouther:

    But, don’t you think that what JB is talking about is different; using the internet to make specific threats to a particular person, often over multiple media? How far should a person be allowed to go in making another person’s life miserable before before the community starts to step on him/her?

    There’s another good reason to support a reasonable memetic campaign on this, and libertarians, in particular, should be at the forefront. What we seriously need to avoid is laws attempting to define and criminalize bullying, because laws are always blunt instruments that are severely misused by prosecutors, whenever available.

    As you point out, the drinking and driving campaign was so spectacularly successful that legal changes accompanied the social changes. To me, this is a warning that you should think very carefully about the sort of memetic campaign you support. You would definitely want the “I support your right to say that” meme right in front of “but it’s uncool”, “but not on my blog”, “but I’m not going to listen to it” or whatever.

  203. Much of what Rush does amounts to live improv comedy about politics. Do that for 15 hours a week for years, and some jokes will cause offense. I have no doubt that even if they didn’t agree with him politically, Lenny Bruce and George Carlin would have defended Rush on that one.

  204. @ jsouther

    Like you and most of the A&D family, I am actually quite fond of Jessica, even though I have never met her. She is exceptionally intelligent, courageous, and does not back down. If we could clone her, we might stand a fighting chance of reversing the decline this country has been in for the past half century.

    My guess is that she is sensitive about cyberbullying because it has effected her directly, and possibly traumatically. If so, a big part of me would like to track down the SOB and provide a memetic education he would not likely forget. However, that is a fantasy and Jessica lives in the real world, so I would sleep better at night knowing she kept a 9mm close at hand.

    As to the root issue, I agree with Jay Maynard. We need tougher women, not a TSA of the internet. Evolution will take us there eventually, if we don’t fuck it up. I’m all for speaking out against cyberbullying (of either sex), I just don’t think it’s a major feminist cause, and you’re not likely to recruit real men to help by making it about feminism.

  205. Mr. Maupin:
    > Absolutely! But is Rush “just” a comedian?

    “just” isn’t relevant.

    Limbaugh is an entertainer, part of his schtick is comedy and parody.

    I believe one of his taglines is “We’re Illustrating Absurdity by Being Absurd.”

    I don’t think this is quite accurate, but he seems to think so.

    @Winter:

    What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.

    Is Mr Limbaugh seriously unaware that 30 year old students tend to have stable heterosexual relations? And that even monogamous couples need contraceptives?

    First off Limbaugh used the wrong word. The correct word would have been “whore”.

    To understand why you would need some additional information not generally provided by the press.

    Ms. Fluke had made it clear at one point that she deliberate chose to attend Georgetown University *because* it was a jesuit college who’s insurance program did not cover birth control in order to advance her career as a “progressive” activist. She was a *part time* student for 9 years when the controversy broke.

    So yeah, calling her a slut was wrong. Calling her a whore was de’classe’, but in frankly given the hate and venom embedded in the left-wing agitaprop these days, phuq them.

  206. Fluke also made the absurd claim that birth control costs $3,000 a year, and did so while having a millionaire boyfriend. So her whole “unaffordable” argument was b.s. from the start. (And note how progressives, who have spent much of the last three decades promoting condom use, suddenly forget about them when they demand someone else pay for their birth control.)

  207. > If there were any substantial net advantage here,

    I’m not talking about there being a net advantage from this factor, I’m talking about the possibility of a culture that happens to have female warriors having other unrelated advantages. The field isn’t so large that every possibility is going to have competition that differs by only one individual factor.

  208. “First off Limbaugh used the wrong word.”

    I don’t agree with him at all, but you’ve forgotten the specifics of Limbaugh’s argument. He asserted that the only reason for wanting birth control is if you are having enough sex that it’s economically cheaper than condoms.

  209. As to the root issue, I agree with Jay Maynard. We need tougher women, not a TSA of the internet.

    Is that even what’s being requested here? It sounds like another TSA is the last thing she wants. She mostly just wants people to clean their own act up, to the extent it’s dirty. (And she wants a little cred for the feminist movement, to the extent it helped that along.) And she’s all for tougher women, too – your disagreement sounds rather mild here.

  210. @PapayaSF:

    I have no doubt that even if they didn’t agree with him politically, Lenny Bruce and George Carlin would have defended Rush on that one.

    Well, obviously they’re not around to ask. Interestingly, if you google for Rush Limbaugh and George Carlin, you can hear a George Carlin monologue that many seem to think is about Limbaugh. Carlin’s not around to ask about that either, and it’s probably impossible to know because he didn’t actually name any names.

    @William O. B’Livion:

    > “just” isn’t relevant.

    Perhaps not.

    > Limbaugh is an entertainer, part of his schtick is comedy and parody.

    But, for example, George Carlin didn’t see anything as sacred and Rush (a) is unabashedly partisan and (b) claims he’s a comedian when it’s useful, and claims he’s a commentator when that’s useful.

    > I believe one of his taglines is “We’re Illustrating Absurdity by Being Absurd.”

    He certainly does some of that, but there are plenty of conservative absurdities he chooses not to illustrate.

    > I don’t think this is quite accurate, but he seems to think so.

    I don’t know that you can tell what he believes based on his professed beliefs. As pointed out, he is a professional entertainer, and he has apparently described himself first and foremost as a businessman. I don’t think you would find Lenny Bruce or George Carlin doing that. Thinking about it, that self-description may actually be part of the catalyst for the Carlin monologue about businessmen and their cigars.

    Ms. Fluke had made it clear at one point that she deliberate chose to attend Georgetown University *because* it was a jesuit college

    I’d like to see a cite on that. What I read is that she did enough due diligence to figure out the various insurance options, but at the end decided that she wasn’t going to forego the education at georgetown simply because the insurance wasn’t up to par.

    That may, of course, be a later sanitized version, and even so, if that’s what happened, “you knew what you were getting into” may be a valid argument, but it’s still not the same argument as “you deliberately chose a particular college because you wanted to make a scene.”

  211. Rush (a) is unabashedly partisan

    I would say ideological, not partisan. He criticizes Republicans and has been known to praise Democrats.

    Re Fluke, I found this:

    Fluke came to Georgetown University interested in contraceptive coverage: She researched the Jesuit college’s health plans for students before enrolling, and found that birth control was not included.

  212. If Carlin didn’t see anything as sacred, he still conspicuously chose not to satirize anything held sacred by the hippie crowd, beyond the point of that being mere coincidence. (I’ve listened to a lot of Carlin, but not everything, for sure, so if you know of a bit where he rags on hippies in his later years, I’d be mildly surprised.)

    If this holds, then Limbaugh is the analog of this, for conservatives. And rather tangential to social conservatives at that; his rants don’t dwell on the Bible much, and he doesn’t seem much for buttoned-up, puritanical asceticism. Ann Althouse referred to him as a “shameless sybarite” for this reason.

  213. I would say ideological, not partisan.

    I would concur with this. There’s an interview he did for the Today Show where he vigorously criticized then Republican Party chairman Michael Steele for being “off message”.

  214. @PapayaSF:

    Fluke also made the absurd claim that birth control costs $3,000 a year

    There are a few different issues here. The first is that hormones are tricky things and some women suffer side effects with some birth control pills and not others, and of course, the more recent formulations designed to be less problematic are going to cost more. A second thing is, of course, the ever-present drug salesmen in the physician’s offices. The third thing has to do with the way health “insurance” is run in this country. It is inimical to the free market, does not give consumers any reason to shop around on price, and often raises prices for the uninsured, because the insurers only pay 80% of “usual and customary.” How exactly does that work?

    The other problem with the third thing is that it caused so much problems that we now have even less free market. You want a free market in health, you could do worse than mandating that people can use whatever insurance their employer supplies, or not, with after-tax money.

    Having said all that, for people who need fancy birth control, $3000 may not be that far out of line. Here’s a generic drug:

    http://www.goodrx.com/loseasonique

    I wonder what it cost when it wasn’t generic?

  215. @ Paul Brinkley – “It sounds like another TSA is the last thing she wants.”

    Agreed, but as was pointed out in other posts using MADD as an example; even a worthwhile grassroots movement can lead to new legislation. Who’s to say that a radical feminist organization won’t co-opt her noble grassroots movement and turn it into a political and legal inquisition. Not such a stretch based upon recent history (see rape culture legislation in California).

  216. @PapayaSF:

    > found that birth control was not included.

    Yeah, that’s what I read. But I read the next sentence too:

    “I decided I was absolutely not willing to compromise the quality of my education in exchange for my health care,” says Fluke

    I think it’s admirable, when comparing colleges, to look at all the things that are important to you. It’s also admirable to try to make things more fair, which, in her mind, she was attempting. You can certainly disagree about what’s fair, but most of the valid arguments against mandated contraceptive coverage are also valid against any employer based insurance coverage. Get employers out of the insurance business and you won’t have to worry about the details.

    Now if somebody points out something that truly shows she was being more calculating, then I’d like to see it, but absent more information about her mindset pre-law-school, Occam’s Razor says she probably really did want to go to a school with contraceptive coverage, and that was a negative for Georgetown in her calculus.

  217. Pointing to one kind of birth control pill that seems to cost $100-$200 for a three month supply is not a good way of “proving” that birth control can cost $3,000/year. But even if you can find an outlier at the fabled $3,000 price, the fact remains that most birth control pills cost a fraction of that, other forms of birth control cost even less, and any Planned Parenthood clinic will help out anyone who asks. The basic point is that Fluke lied because she’s an activist with money pretending to be a poor oppressed college student. Rush called her on that, with edgy humor that some found offensive. Overall, I think he was closer to the truth than she was.

  218. “I decided I was absolutely not willing to compromise the quality of my education in exchange for my health care,”

    She’s from Pennsylvania, and went to college at Cornell. A quick look at law school rankings shows that U. of Penn. and Cornell both rank higher than Georgetown. If she wanted to be in Virginia, U. of Virginia also ranks higher than Georgetown.

    Face it: she chose Georgetown in order to be an activist there. You may consider that an interest in “fairness,” but I don’t think hassling a Catholic school to pay for birth control counts, any more than would demanding a Jewish caterer serve ham sandwiches on a Saturday.

  219. @PapayaSF:

    > I would say ideological, not partisan.

    I would somewhat accept that characterization, except:

    @Paul Brinkley:

    I would concur with this. There’s an interview he did for the Today Show where he vigorously criticized then Republican Party chairman Michael Steele for being “off message”.

    To me, that sounds partisan, as in “I’m part of the team and I have a say in the messaging.”

    If Carlin didn’t see anything as sacred, he still conspicuously chose not to satirize anything held sacred by the hippie crowd, beyond the point of that being mere coincidence.

    I’d like to know what exactly you have in mind. I’m sure he would have criticized it if he had thought of it.

    @esr:

    > That is so not true.

    Yeah, and don’t forget:

    http://vhemt.org/carlinsaveplanet.htm

  220. @PapayaSF:

    > Pointing to one kind of birth control pill that seems to cost $100-$200 for a three month supply…

    Hmmm, my experiences with buying birth control for my family sometimes had a co-pay that approached $1000/year, so $3000 didn’t seem implausable to me.

    Since my experiences were month to month, I didn’t notice the 91 day supply thing. You may be right. I have no idea about current birth control prices or if they changed. Maybe a few patents have expired since then, or maybe she managed to find the most expensive contraceptive at the most expensive pharmacy in the most expensive neighborhood around georgetown.

    Interestingly, I’ve read recently that a lot of Republicans are suggesting that birth control should be OTC. That’s an excellent solution to the problem — since insurance companies don’t cover OTC, Hobby Lobby has nothing to complain about, and OTC status generally makes drugs cheaper because the free market comes into play. Expect the drug company lobbyists to fight this tooth and nail.

    A quick look at law school rankings shows that U. of Penn. and Cornell both rank higher than Georgetown. If she wanted to be in Virginia, U. of Virginia also ranks higher than Georgetown.

    Without knowing which, if any, of those she got accepted into, and how much, if any, aid she was offered, and the conditions, if any, of that aid, or her preferred geographic location (maybe nearby her boyfriend?), that information by itself is completely useless.

    Face it: she chose Georgetown in order to be an activist there.

    In your opinion. Without knowing more, I’d give that low odds.

  221. That is so not true. Who can forget…

    First, that’s really old Carlin, before I think he got his comic politics more congealed. Secondly… that’s just it. I claim the hippie crowd holds none of what he’s satirizing sacred. “Marijuana makes you forgetful” is cheerfully acceptable. “Marijuana is a complete waste of your time” would be more sacred, and he doesn’t go there. Al Sleet is loopy, but loved.

    (Matter of fact, I’d say every entertainer holds something sacred. When they say something and the audience claps and cheers because they’re Speaking Truth, you’ll know you’ve found it.)

  222. I’d like to know what exactly you have in mind. I’m sure he would have criticized it if he had thought of it.

    My previous comment will probably give you more triangulation, but I’ll try to be even clearer: I’m distinguishing between earnest environmentalists (like the VHEMT guy) and hippies who take a laid-back view on everything.

    I really believe Carlin’s core groove was that narrow, and that definite. What I’d consider more of a counterexample to my claim, is a bit where Carlin were to suggest that buttoning down and getting serious beats taking it easy and riding along on planet earth.

  223. Oh, forgot to mention: the reason I find Limbaugh’s criticism of Steele ideological rather than partisan is precisely because Limbaugh perceived a conservative ideology to stick to, even if the Republican Party or its leadership left it, as Limbaugh felt Steele was doing. Partisan would be if he closed ranks with their leadership.

  224. @Paul:

    Sorry, was confused about what was in the queue. You’ve seen what I was referring to.

  225. I don’t see Limbaugh as being anything like an ideologue. He’s a paid one-sided polemicist and not nearly as neutral as Christopher Hitchens, who would’ve argued with jaybirds in a pinch.

  226. Women as warriors doesn’t make sense. They make decent guerillas, sappers, etc, but the bottom line is that the actual heat of battle comprises a small percentage of the time an Army spends “in combat.” A soldier on the battlefield carrying a 7 lb rifle needs to carry ammo, which is itself heavy, food, water (also heavy), over great distances, spend weeks at a time in unsanitary conditions without so much as an underwear change, and a plethora of other tasks that women are simply less suited for than men. When I spent 2 weeks pounding the bush, I and my comrades came out with jock itch and all other forms of minor irritations related to not showering. Women in such conditions would be in danger of serious health problems.

    You heard about women in combat in Iraq 2003, but not so much by 2006. It’s because the Army figured out FAST that it was a disaster.

  227. @TomA
    > As to the root issue, I agree with Jay Maynard. We need tougher women, not a TSA of the internet.

    First, sorry, I faded out;I had a work crisis… but seriously, how can anyone who has ever read anything I have written here think I want a TSA of the internet? I barely ever get on airplanes anymore because I hate the TSA so much.

    Look, consider something that is far less bad than the stuff I am talking about, namely the Westboro Baptist “chuch”. What a bunch of nasty scum those guys are. I would NEVER advocate laws to ban their speech, though I think laws to enforce trespass and nuisance should be vigorously enforced, and I think an occasional fist down a few throats may well qualify under EED affirmative defense.

    However, I would never suggest that the mother of the dead Marine they are calling a “fag lover” should just toughen up and deal with it, or the poor people grieving whatever celebrity died and had his funeral picketed should stop being a bunch of cry babies, or quit their bitching and whining.

    However, I also don’t think they should be unopposed. Opposed by ostricizing them, opposed by shouting down their nonsense, opposed by jumping all over anyone who starts with the sentence “well I don’t agree with their methods but they do have a point…” Opposed by mocking their pathetic-ness, or revealing how much a bunch of nobodies they are. And, in this particular case, opposed by simply ignoring them, which is about the worst thing you could do to them. It always makes me laugh to read the furrowed brow press reporting on them, as they suck at the very teat they criticize.

    But again, what they do is tame compared to what many women who participate in online forums have to suffer, and, as I said, I think it is just a manifestation of a deep thread in society that needs rooted out. Hell, it even has happened here in this bastion of clear thinking, not too often thankfully, but those who have been around for a while will remember the whole “fluffy girl in a man’s world” comment. Hardly, a death threat, but a small dose of sexism right here on A&D.

  228. @Paul Brinkley:

    I claim the hippie crowd holds none of what he’s satirizing sacred. “Marijuana makes you forgetful” is cheerfully acceptable. “Marijuana is a complete waste of your time” would be more sacred, and he doesn’t go there. Al Sleet is loopy, but loved.

    So his target audience cheerfully lets him caricature them.

    What I’d consider more of a counterexample to my claim, is a bit where Carlin were to suggest that buttoning down and getting serious beats taking it easy and riding along on planet earth.

    I guess I’m still not seeing your distinction — I don’t see how that wouldn’t just be another caricature in the same vein. After all, if you can afford tickets to see Carlin, you’ve probably got a job, right?

  229. If you can afford to tickets to see Carlin now, you probably have supernatural powers.

    Or someone just found a gig that puts scalping to shame. But moving on.

    It’s possible that you’re looking to hard or closely for the distinction. I can’t tell from here. I don’t think my claim is that bold, although I also think it’s better than the null hypothesis. I’ll try to put it yet another way: there exists (multiple) X such that X != “nothing is sacred” (no Russell paradoxes here, please) and Carlin held X to be sacred and the hippie crowd takes X seriously, too. Oh, and X is not a universally shared belief (as in not even 97% or what have you).

    Now, I’ll grant that hippies stand out as one of those crowds that can take a joke at itself, and that this is to their credit, but they still have values beyond this, including stuff like “none of us truly owns anything” and “Bush stole the 2000 election” and “children should ask more questions”. Carlin didn’t ridicule this class of things. At least, I don’t remember him poking at any of them.

    This all feels a bit offtopic from a thread that was itself offtopic, so I’ll try to bring it back: Carlin had his own form of partisanship. I don’t see anything wrong with that (rather, the error I see would be in claiming that he did not). In fact, practically every entertainer I can think of has partisan beliefs, and incidentally, if I’ve heard of them, then they’re likely to have enough affluence to be able to afford their partisanship affecting their professional choices. Again, nothing wrong with that. It’s just that on that front, I don’t see Rush Limbaugh standing out particularly (modulo his specific entertainment form necessarily revolving around it).

  230. Jessica, when a person asserts a thing they couldn’t possibly know the truth of, it shows more about what that person wants to believe than the truth.

    Here’s the bottom line to all of this: are these anonymous threats by 5 people, 80, a thousand? We don’t know. If you don’t know you can’t measure a thing and if you can’t measure a thing you can’t compare it to something else. How many men are abused online? Given the absurdly great numbers involved on the internet, it may be impossible to know.

    It may not be obvious to you but it is obvious to me from your comments that when you think of the abuse of human beings it’s women first, men second. Imagine if law worked like that and then imagine why I reject your feminist slant on the world and conflating common insults with sexism. Has it occurred to you your very comment is sexist?

  231. “Fluffy girl in a man’s world” – I still chuckle at that. What was that, a year ago now? (Of course, I feel I can laugh at it, because I felt you gave as good as you got…)

  232. First, sorry, I faded out;I had a work crisis… but seriously, how can anyone who has ever read anything I have written here think I want a TSA of the internet? I barely ever get on airplanes anymore because I hate the TSA so much.

    \begin{Sarcasm}
    Because whenever some calls for changes that have to externally enforced, especially when it’s a woman, they mean they want an overbearing government agency to be created to enforce it.
    \end{Sarcasm}

  233. @Paul Brinkley:

    If you can afford to tickets to see Carlin now, you probably have supernatural powers.

    True dat. Somehow when I condensed my response, it wound up in present tense…

    In fact, practically every entertainer I can think of has partisan beliefs, and incidentally, if I’ve heard of them, then they’re likely to have enough affluence to be able to afford their partisanship affecting their professional choices.

    True dat, too, but Carlin’s focus was entertainment, and Rush’s… isn’t.

    In fact, practically every entertainer I can think of has partisan beliefs, and incidentally, if I’ve heard of them, then they’re likely to have enough affluence to be able to afford their partisanship affecting their professional choices. Again, nothing wrong with that. It’s just that on that front, I don’t see Rush Limbaugh standing out particularly (modulo his specific entertainment form necessarily revolving around it).

    Rush does particularly stand out. To the extent his audience primarily listens to him for the humor factor, 42% more of Rachel Maddow’s audience does the same thing, which is actually too much for me to think about without getting a headache right now. In any case, it’s pretty clear from this chart that a typical Stewart or Colbert fan thinks he’s getting comedy, and a typical Limbaugh fan thinks he’s getting news and opinions:

    http://www.people-press.org/2010/09/12/section-4-who-is-listening-watching-reading-and-why/

    If this chart is accurate, then it says to me that the argument put forth by several here — that Rush is only or mostly an entertainer, who can be expected to screw it up occasionally because he’s joking 15 hours a week, and who should get the same leeway as any comedian on jokes because everybody knows he’s always joking — is actually not incompatible with the argument that most of his audience are idiots.

  234. @Fail Burton
    > How many men are abused online? Given the absurdly great numbers involved on the internet,

    I suggest your read the article I mentioned. It quantifies this.

    > It may not be obvious to you but it is obvious to me from your comments that when you think of the abuse of human beings it’s women first, men second.

    Isn’t that the whole point of this thread? Men are warriors because they are disposable, and the uterus carriers need to be protected against all assaults? Boobies and babies rule the world. Chicks before dicks!!

  235. I think I noted how that article quantified male abuse vs. female abuse in an earlier comment. To recap: something about that study doesn’t add up for me. First, it didn’t comport anywhere near my own experience playing a female avatar (actually several) online. (Anecdotal; however, still, nowhere near.) Second, exactly how does one go about getting 100 abusive messages per day? I haven’t trolled in years, but I’m extremely certain I’d have to be the second coming of Hitler to get that much.

  236. Rush does particularly stand out. To the extent his audience primarily listens to him for the humor factor, 42% more of Rachel Maddow’s audience does the same thing, which is actually too much for me to think about without getting a headache right now.

    I’m having trouble resolving your referents here in a way that strengthens your point, your own headache notwithstanding. (I’ve never listened to or watched Maddow, but I get links to her stuff from others, giving me the impression she’s less of a commentator than Rush.)

    As for that chart: it’s kinda interesting how much work went into it, but I note that it’s essentially a poll. Incidentally, if I guess correct and you infer 42% more of Maddow’s audience watches her for entertainment than of Limbaugh’s from that 7-vs.-10 figure in the entertainment column, I’ll note that the “mix” column has Maddow at 15 and Limbaugh at 28. What if most of Limbaugh’s 28 are mostly there for entertainment, along with news, and same for Maddow?

    Which raises another question: this is what people say they go to each source for, but not how much from each source they actually absorb as news or fact. This is critical, and also virtually impossible to tell for sure. Maybe people leave CNN on in the background “for news” and pay more attention to the Daily Show. Or Rush. I can’t tell. I’m not even sure how Pew verifies that the polled actually regularly watch each source. It says it’s based on that, but not how they found that out. And in the end, it’s only a few hundred at most per source, which honestly strains my credulity that this is a representative sample of millions. (I may be overly jaded on that last part; my statistics textbook is still on my reading list.)

  237. @Paul Brinkley:

    Incidentally, if I guess correct and you infer 42% more of Maddow’s audience watches her for entertainment than of Limbaugh’s from that 7-vs.-10 figure in the entertainment column, I’ll note that the “mix” column has Maddow at 15 and Limbaugh at 28. What if most of Limbaugh’s 28 are mostly there for entertainment, along with news, and same for Maddow?

    Even if you allocate all of Rush’s 28% mix to entertainment, that still only adds up to 33% of the total, so a typical Rush listener still isn’t there primarily for the entertainment.

    Which raises another question: this is what people say they go to each source for, but not how much from each source they actually absorb as news or fact.

    Sure, but tangential to the point I was making.

    This is critical, and also virtually impossible to tell for sure.

    It may be critical to determining how much information is being received by the audience, but is completely immaterial to how the audience perceives the show.

    Maddow and Limbaugh and all the Fox commentator audiences think they are getting news and opinion; Colbert and Stewart audiences think they are getting entertainment (and opinion to a lesser extent).

    The claim here is that Limbaugh is an entertainer, just like Carlin. But if this poll is accurate, then Limbaugh’s audience does not perceive him as an entertainer, but (I claim, based on the Colbert and Stewart numbers) if Carlin were alive and performing a similar gig, he would be perceived as an entertainer.

    There may be other possible reasons for this discrepancy I’m missing, but the first two possibilities that come to mind are that (a) Limbaugh is not primarily an entertainer, or (b) he is primarily an entertainer, but over two-thirds of his audience is somehow incognizant of this fact.

  238. And note that my claim about how Carlin would be perceived today is completely separate from and not an antecedent to my claim that Limbaugh’s numbers, if accurate, show that if he is primarily an entertainer (as several here have implied), then most of his audience is too dumb to realize it.

  239. I, at least, have not meant to imply that Rush is “primarily an entertainer.” I would say he’s a commenter who uses a lot of humor in order to be more entertaining. It’s silly to try to unscramble that omelette, and I don’t think his audience is “too dumb to realize” what category he fits into.

  240. @PapayaSF:

    I, at least, have not meant to imply that Rush is “primarily an entertainer.”

    Yet you seemed to characterize his entire show as “improv”:

    Much of what Rush does amounts to live improv comedy about politics. Do that for 15 hours a week for years, and some jokes will cause offense.

    This is the “same as Colbert” theory.

    It’s silly to try to unscramble that omelette, and I don’t think his audience is “too dumb to realize” what category he fits into.

    I don’t actually think that of his audience, but because of that I do think it’s unfair to give him the same pass on bad jokes I would give Colbert or Stewart or Carlin. Additionally, the Carlin sketch that may or may not be about Rush didn’t name names, so there’s a false equivalence there about that particular joke.

    I can’t know whether Carlin would defend him or not (and am not presumptuous enough to say), but I can say that I, personally, don’t put him in the same category as a pure entertainer — and apparently, neither does most of his audience.

  241. Yet you seemed to characterize his entire show as “improv”:

    No, that’s why I wrote “Much of….” Perhaps I was misleading when I wrote “15 hours a week.” I didn’t mean that he does live improv comedy 15 hours a week, I meant that live improv comedy accounted for much of those 15 hours.

    Personally, I give passes on bad jokes pretty freely, whether it’s to 100% pro comedians, or Joe Schmoe trying to be funny, or anybody in between. And if someone tells lots of topical jokes on touchy subjects, they are bound to have some clunkers. Eh, so what? I’m not one of those neo-bluenoses who go around looking for offensive things to get upset about. I think the Rush/Fluke kerfuffle was largely manufactured by his enemies.

  242. @PapayaSF:

    Personally, I give passes on bad jokes pretty freely,

    Yeah, but what about the doubling-down for the next two days?

    I think the Rush/Fluke kerfuffle was largely manufactured by his enemies.

    Sure, if by “manufactured” you mean “handed to”…

  243. @Jessica Boxer:

    Isn’t that the whole point of this thread? Men are warriors because they are disposable, and the uterus carriers need to be protected against all assaults? Boobies and babies rule the world. Chicks before dicks!!

    On the one hand, this was one of my thoughts, and you express it well.

    On the other hand, if you view it purely from a biological/historical imperative perspective, then yes, it’s in most mens’ interest that (faithful) women be physically protected (and that rapists and adulterers be killed, of course), but perhaps mental protection is a whole ‘nother thing.

    Obviously, nobody cares about harrassment that is bad enough to make guys commit suicide, because guys are disposable. (Unless, of course, they are gay guys, because queer!)

    On the surface, it would seem that harrassment bad enough to make girls commit suicide would detract from the breeding pool and be a bad thing, but maybe most women really are strong enough to cope (after all, historically, most bullying has been junior high school girls doing it to each other), so maybe the bullying helpfully weeds out the borderline psychos who would have drowned their kids in the bathtub and then committed suicide (after some poor guy already devoted ten years of his life and resources to them). In which case, of course, the earlier suicides are a good thing.

    If that’s how it is, then no, there would not be a biological imperative to treat women any better than men in this aspect, and bullying in general strengthens the herd.

    But maybe (to your point, I think) the bullying we are seeing now is so much worse than what we had before that women who wouldn’t have drowned their kids are now committing suicide. (Of course, I am discussing the most extreme cases here, and the reality is that if this is the case, it would almost certainly mean that a lot of other women are leading lives that are significantly worse than they would have been absent the new, improved bullying.)

    (As an aside, to put a slightly different spin on one of the points TomA made, if we really are seeing worse bullying now than we had before, maybe it’s kind of like how we see more allergies when our immune systems have fewer external threats.)

    Anyway, if this is the case, then yes, it might play into the extreme feminist and extreme religious right rhetoric that women are extra special and have to be coddled. Unfortunately for the extreme feminists, this is one of the few areas where the logic of the extreme religious right may actually be better than that of its opponents.

    Unless…

    Unless we can somehow build a consensus that the sort of bullying you are talking about has crossed a line that no human should have to endure, and divorce it from gender.

    I’m sure that we can agree there are examples floating around on the internet (real or exaggerated) of behavior that nobody should have to put up with.

    But (to sort of segue back to cops and Ferguson) when discussing such behavior, it is not necessarily helpful to point out that it mostly happens to women, because if we stamp out such behavior it will be helpful to guys, too.

    Anyway, I was sort of surprised at the intensity of the argument you got involved in, so I re-read your posts, and I have a couple of belated comments:

    I don’t think there should be a law to fix it, but I think there should be a movement to change the way people think about this stuff, and to object to it loudly.

    When I read the article you pointed to, at the top of my browser window (e.g. embedded in the HTML) it says “The next civil rights issue: Why women aren’t welcome on the internet.”

    Of course, the article leaves that first part off. Maybe it used to have it — couldn’t say. The effect on my browser window is subtle enough to qualify as subliminal, but we all know that “civil rights issues” require legislation, so when you point out an article like that as being gospel, that is certainly going to color how people view your opinion — probably whether they realize it or not.

    I am talking about guys who go online and say “I know your address, I am going to come when you least expect it, torture you, rape you them kill you.” Is that a hold over from the “male workplace of the 1950s?”

    That’s an actionable threat of violence, already covered by laws in most jurisdictions I know of. If the authorities aren’t taking that sort of thing seriously, that’s a huge problem, but we don’t need additional norms to codify things that we all agree are bad enough that we already have laws against them.

    Anyway, thanks for sticking around — I gain a fair amount of insight from a lot of your comments.

  244. That’s an actionable threat of violence, already covered by laws in most jurisdictions I know of. If the authorities aren’t taking that sort of thing seriously, that’s a huge problem…

    Forgot to mention that, from what I’ve seen, the more usual problem is that authorities actually take this sort of thing far too seriously.

  245. @ Jessica – “Men are warriors because they are disposable”

    I prefer the term “expendable.” If we make it back alive, there’s nothing quite like victory sex.

    “and the uterus carriers need to be protected against all assaults”

    An implicit duty that all men relish.

    “Chicks before dicks!!”

    OK, we had that one coming after gloating about our evolution-derived massive torsos and biceps.

  246. @TomA:

    > I prefer the term “expendable” (to “disposable”)

    Depending on which dictionary you look at, you might change your mind (or not)…

  247. @Peter Donis:

    Thanks for the link. I love that website but don’t think to go there often.

  248. Jessica, I think the point that is being missed is that an ideology structured around the superior morality of women such as Laurie Penny and Anita Sarkeesian represent is of course going to have pushback mostly from men. Prominent activists have large platforms that reach a lot of people, so I’m not surprised men outnumber women in these instances.

    A more apt comparison would be to compare prominent women personalities and critics to their male counterparts, not prominent women to an audience. And who do we think a large audience of men targeted by a womens’ movement are going to target in return – Arabs?

    Go to any place like The Guardian or ESPN and the number of commenters is going to outnumber the single author of the post by many times. If that author is coming from a space where they conspicuously self-identify as gay or women, and target Arabs, the pushback will be mostly Arabs and against what is then perceived as womanhood or gays, because feminists and gay activists always maintain they represent all women and gays. They are certainly not doing all women and gays any favors.

    The truth is that failure exists on a human level. If you maintain that is false and that Arabs or gays are prone to failure, the angry reaction will naturally come mainly from Arabs and gays, therefore proving the insane theory in the first place in a merry-go-’round of logic I cannot penetrate.

  249. >Eating some crow.

    I’m skeptical. This has all the earmarks of propaganda intended to overawe the Mongol Empire’s subject peoples. “Look! Even our women are tougher than you will ever be!” There may have been a historical Khutulun who defeated some men at wrestling, but the huge round numbers say folktale to me.

  250. @Fail Burton
    > an ideology structured around the superior morality of women such as Laurie Penny and Anita Sarkeesian represent is of course going to have pushback mostly from men.

    I sure hope I misunderstand what you are saying Fail, because it seems to me that what you are saying is “because these women are bitches they deserve this treatment”, though you did decorate it in much nicer words.

    FWIW, I don’t know anything about either of the two women to whom you are referring.

    The subjects that provoke these attacks is not generally speaking “women’s issues” whatever that means, in a sense that is the point. It is the dismissal and threat against these women because they are women that makes it especially pernicious. And it is responses like yours, which are dismissive of these concerns (irrespective of what other injustices there might be in the world) that is frankly part of the problem.

    If I remember rightly the “fluffy girl” dismissal was over a discussion on firearms, though Google couldn’t help me find the original thread.

    And FWIW, I can’t comment on the prevalence of these things in online games like WoW since I am not a gamer and don’t really know too many gamers. The gestalt might be different there.

  251. @esr
    “There may have been a historical Khutulun who defeated some men at wrestling, but the huge round numbers say folktale to me.”

    Also, in modern competitive sports a lot of effort goes into screening female contestants for being not 100% female. The customary dichotomy male/female is a big simplification.

    In other words, not everyone with female genitalia has the body of a woman and vice versa. And there are various intermediate forms.

  252. In other words, not everyone with female genitalia has the body of a woman and vice versa. And there are various intermediate forms.

    Hence the call for nonbinary gender in SF, which was dismissed as so much intersectionalist claptrap by the SF old-guard establishment.

  253. It is the dismissal and threat against these women because they are women that makes it especially pernicious

    But it’s hard to tell if it’s that. I suspect a man who said and did the same things (roughly “You’re all violent sexist homophobes who need to change and the games you like should be more PC”) would get dismissed and threatened, too. And just as some claim every attack on Obama is “racism,” some like to pretend that every attack on (or defensive action regarding) a female social justice warrior is “sexism.” I have no doubt that sexist things have been said about them, but I think this distinction should be made.

  254. Jeff Read: It’s “intersectionalist claptrap” because nobody is stopping anyone from writing “non binary gender” fiction, but many resent being told what they must write.

  255. >Hence the call for nonbinary gender in SF, which was dismissed as so much intersectionalist claptrap by the SF old-guard establishment.

    Quite as it should have been, because the call wasn’t an appeal for rational objectivity about intersexes. Rather, it was a demand that authors treat centrally important facts about non-intersexed humans as though they are mutable social constructions when they are not.

  256. “because these women are bitches they deserve this treatment”

    You’re doing it again. That is a fake argument that uses any pushback against defamation as “misogyny.” Are white supremacists “bitches?” Is that the issue? Really? Do you have race and sex-neutral definitions of “supremacy?” How about “group defamation?”

    Penny is out of this world defamatory against men and whites. Her writings are ludicrously moronic. The idea Sarkeesian is some no-dog-in-the-hunt social scientist who by an amazing coincidence only sees flaws in men is laughable. The idea there is a cogent ideology of women-hating men infesting America that is an analogue to the KKK or insane intersectionalism is laughable. On the other hand, the tenets of radical feminism with its crazy “trigger warnings,” “rape culture,” “privilege” and postcolonial groups that are mysteriously never post-Muslim Spain have penetrated America’s core institutions. The argument then goes “Well, then there magically exists the opposite.” No. That only works in human nature, not an actual formulated ideology. It’s like saying if I write a book another magically pops up in America somewhere that is an opposite, or that Nazism automatically created an anti-white supremacy movement. There is no mens’ version of radical feminism in America.

    “FWIW, I don’t know anything about either of the two women to whom you are referring.”

    Are you pranking me? Why even respond? How do you know they are being dismissed because they are women? Do I dismiss the KKK because they are men? We have dictionaries that tell us when people are being racist, sexist or gender expression-phobes. We have radar guns that tell us when people are speeding. It is not necessary to find out if the driver is gay, non-white or a woman before we consult the radar gun and then decide if the person over the speed limit was speeding or a bitch.

    I don’t live in a world where I can’t critique a person because women couldn’t vote a century ago or because slavery once existed or anti-homosexuality laws. I look at what people actually do. Sarkeesian and Penny are not social journalists but androphobes who are either too stupid to know that or figure lighting up men is easier than working a fork lift.

  257. The call for non-binary SFF was another shill of bigotry and supremacy posing as diversity. When actual comments were still being left at Tor.com the author, Alex MacFarlane, got on Twitter and wrote “cis peeeeooooople.” She has plenty of troublesome quotes like that, including how great a world without men would be. What would she and all the PC call someone who Tweeted “homo peeeeooooople” in exasperation at the innate short-sightedness of gay people? In fact anyone publicly doing that at Tor.com or Google or Publisher’s Weekly would be summarily fired.

    I’m constantly amazed by how outright sexual bigots and racists in SFF skate clean away merely by constantly saying the words “anti-racist” or “social justice.” It’s like gays, non-whites and women are held to some otherworldly status like magic leprechauns or something.

    Jaymee Goh, co-founder of WisCon’s demented racially segregated “safer-space” routinely makes the most insanely racist comments and calls what she does “anti-oppression work” and “great justice.”

    Yet Goh has also referred to whites as “sour dough-faced,” their “white tears,” written “lately every week is white stupidity week” and “The truth about which white people are innocent of racist acts? Yeah, I’ll admit to not caring about that.” It’s no coincidence she has “third world intersectional feminist writing sff” at the head of her Twitter feed.

    It’s like some insane upside-down world where any “marginalized” group has a special dispensation from the Pope to act as racist as they want and people avert their eyes, like the criminal no one saw in that old Damon Knight SF story, “The Country of the Kind.” The fact this is happening in SF makes that all the more ironic. We don’t take the trouble to respect principled morality tales that define all of us as flawed but instead give awards to idiocy like Rachel Swirsky’s defamation “great justice” literature.

  258. Jaymee Goh, co-founder of WisCon’s demented racially segregated “safer-space” routinely makes the most insanely racist comments and calls what she does “anti-oppression work” and “great justice.”

    Did her anti-oppression work involve moving any ZIGs?

  259. I’m skeptical. This has all the earmarks of propaganda intended to overawe the Mongol Empire’s subject peoples. “Look! Even our women are tougher than you will ever be!” There may have been a historical Khutulun who defeated some men at wrestling, but the huge round numbers say folktale to me.

    My readings suggest that the Mongols did field significant numbers of fierce female warriors. But that doesn’t invalidate your core premise: Mongol warfare strongly favored the bow. In sword- or pike-based warfare, short work would have been made of those women.

  260. @Fail Burton
    > You’re doing it again. That is a fake argument that uses any pushback against defamation as “misogyny.”

    Death threats are not “push back”. Either you are changing the subject and attacking a straw man or you are a very troubling individual.

  261. The funny thing about Goh is she’s not an American citizen, never shuts up about whites and how America is a white supremacy but won’t go live in her country, Malaysia. It’s typical of the PC that they complain about the West they won’t leave and won’t live in the places they find most noble. What kind of people won’t live among the people they defend the most and won’t leave those they hate? A deluded liar. That’s what radical feminism is – one giant shill, barkers at an old carnival side-show who have your snake oil tonic that cures all.

  262. I’ve asked you before: what death threats? By who, how many? Are you in law enforcement where you can see across a national culture you are admittedly unfamiliar with and launch an investigation?

    First of all, the idea anyone in America is somehow not against death threats, which you just suggested, is idiotic. Now THAT’S a straw man. Feminists do the same thing with rape, as if men are indifferent to it. Why not just bravely declare you are against murder?

    Second of all, there are death threats and death threats. By now everyone knows the anonymity of the internet allow for the most vulgar and silly remarks. In short, if you want to make a case for this occurring in feminist Ladyland, start listing the dead. I imagine the fakes outnumber the real ones, such as the ex-U of Nebraska lesbian who carved a cross on her chest and called the police to report an assault. She was prosecuted. Or the U of Wyoming “feminist” who faked a rape threat complete with later candle-light vigils. She was also prosecuted.

    So who’s making these threats?

    Publicity sells. Both Sarkeesian and Penny routinely announce they are scared to be in their residences or even leaving them. Why is that? I am not some chump who simply believes anything anyone says. If you have a case to make, make it, but this idea I’m just going to always believe a culture that demonstrably has a thing for men is silly.

  263. @Jessica Sorry, but you’re a straight up fool. The “death threats” these people receive are part of their business model. “Fail Burton” has nailed you to the post by getting you to admit that you don’t know anything about these people – just that you heard seventh-hand that they are receiving “death threats”. This is the classic ploy (and Fail Burton alluded to this) of parlaying drummed-up sympathy into new avenues. Not that you’ve understood anything the guy wrote (or will understand what I’m writing now).

  264. @Jeff Read on 2014-09-10 at 12:12:39 said:
    In other words, not everyone with female genitalia has the body of a woman and vice versa. And there are various intermediate forms.

    Hence the call for nonbinary gender in SF, which was dismissed as so much intersectionalist claptrap by the SF old-guard establishment.

    Non-binary cases are either invisible or rare. For example, If a genetic man, for whatever reason, develops hormonally as a woman, she might have been “barren” until the last few decades. (By the way, I’m not making the case that this is the situation for the Mongol woman or any of the viking warrior women, or really anyone in specific.)

    But that doesn’t matter much. The call mentioned is about trying to equate the few people with biological conditions with the much larger cohort that makes a choice. It has been going on for so long now that I may just get flamed to hell for saying it.

    The appropriate place for non-binary gender in fiction is when it matters to the story. If you shoehorn it in because “inclusive”, you’ll get groans from most people, but kudos from your choir, at least for a few moments before they switch to patting themselves on the back for having praised you, often without buying or even reading your book.

    Notice that there is no call to pointlessly include other rarities in fiction. Should fiction include more hunchbacks, harelips and conjoined twins?

  265. Roger Phillips
    @Jessica Sorry, but you’re a straight up fool.

    Ah Roger, I see you have decided to return to your rude, curmudgeonly ways.

    I think if you both actually took the time to read what I wrote rather than what you think I wrote, actually treated me as an individual rather than a representative of the feminazis, you might find me a little less foolish than you think.

    However, I appreciate you both reminding me why I avoid discussing these issues here. The anger and vitriol does not make for an enjoyable discussion, and unfortunately brings out the worst in me too.

  266. In other words, not everyone with female genitalia has the body of a woman and vice versa. And there are various intermediate forms.

    Hence the call for nonbinary gender in SF, which was dismissed as so much intersectionalist claptrap by the SF old-guard establishment.”

    Jeff, your conclusion does not follow from your premise. If the story calls for such, then it should be included. If the gender of the character is not important to the story, I can see throwing it in to help round out the character – in the same proportions that it occurs in the overall population. For example, I had no problems with the gay man in Old Man’s War, because it rounded out the story a bit.

    But gratuitously making lots of characters have characteristics that aren’t common in the overall population? You’d better be able to justify that within the context of your story, not just “because these people are underrepresented and I’m going to fix it”.

  267. @ Jay Manard – “not just “because these people are underrepresented and I’m going to fix it”.

    That’s an interesting insight. Have we degenerated to the point where we now have advocacy fiction as mainstream practice? Instead of enjoying a novel for the story and writing skill, do we now have to actively filter for political correctness and covert agenda? This could be a new branch of memetic subversion and possibly has been ported over from the use of public school textbooks for PC indoctrination.

  268. @Jessica

    I think if you both actually took the time to read what I wrote rather than what you think I wrote, actually treated me as an individual rather than a representative of the feminazis, you might find me a little less foolish than you think.

    What is this bullshit? This is _exactly what you are doing_. I know exactly what you mean, have not misinterpreted you once. If you’re going to accuse me of misinterpretation, point out the sentence I misinterpreted and the sentence where I misinterpret it. This is not some optional thing you can either deign to do or not. If you make shit like this up you look like a fool, and I will call you a fool. I am well aware you’re not “feminazi”. Even this paragraph accusing me of misinterpreting is a misinterpretation – the whole point of my post that you’re a “useful idiot” for the feminists, not that you are a “feminazi”. That you think this has anything to do with what I said shows you are a surface reader like Winter who skims for what you want and leaves the rest.

    However, I appreciate you both reminding me why I avoid discussing these issues here. The anger and vitriol does not make for an enjoyable discussion, and unfortunately brings out the worst in me too.

    On my part it has nothing to do with the issues and everything to do with the fact that you’re unable to exercise reading comprehension, and then turn around accuse ME of misrepresenting. And you call ME rude. Believe it or not, this is not me “angry”. This is me coldly spelling out your errors.

  269. @Jessica Boxer on 2014-09-10 at 14:23:15 said:

    @Fail Burton
    > You’re doing it again. That is a fake argument that uses any pushback against defamation as “misogyny.”

    Death threats are not “push back”. Either you are changing the subject and attacking a straw man or you are a very troubling individual.

    This is the internet. Death threats practically have their own DSCP. It’s almost a *sport* some places.

    Larry Correia probably gets a couple an *hour*.

    Yes, there are misogynists out there, but there are lots more who are just pathetic, powerless little f*ks who harass *anyone* who doesn’t fit their worldview.

  270. @Roger Phillips
    “On my part it has nothing to do with the issues and everything to do with the fact that you’re unable to exercise reading comprehension, and then turn around accuse ME of misrepresenting.”

    Funny, I got the same response from you, almost the exact same words.

    It seems you are encountering many people that are unable to understand your crystal clear prose.

  271. @Roger Phillips
    > What is this bullshit? This is _exactly what you are doing_. I know exactly what you mean,

    No actually you don’t. For example, you said I was “nailed” because I had no idea who the two random people that that other guy brought up were. But I never brought these people up, I never discussed their work, and I know nothing about them, I have no idea if I agree with them or disagree with them. So how exactly does that mean I am “nailed”? You misinterpreted the thread entirely.

    > Believe it or not, this is not me “angry”. This is me coldly spelling out your errors.

    Yes that is apparently your shtick. I wonder about it. Your thing here is that you love to sit in the background and snipe and pick at other people’s shortcomings, and rarely have much to contribute yourself. It must be a pretty depressing way to live, always in the negative, never in the positive.

    If I remember rightly you are from Australia. My impression of Australia is “Home and Away”, “Neighbours”, Kylie Minogue, golden beaches, sun and barbecue. Not some grumpy academic stewing in his black hearted schadenfreude. You are TOTALLY ruining Australia for me.

  272. Winter
    > Funny, I got the same response from you, almost the exact same words.

    Now Winter, here is a guy who I disagree with a lot, but he makes me think. He has lots of interesting things to say, and I have learned a whole bunch from him.

    Winter is Dutch. The Netherlands has no beaches, no sun, it is cold, and it rains all the time. But Winter totally makes me want to go there again. The people seem really cool.

    BTW, I learned something yesterday about the Dutch. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, the Dutch are the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, after only the USA. Pretty amazing for such a teeny weeny country.

  273. @Fail Burton: “Jessica, I think the point that is being missed is that an ideology structured around the superior morality of women such as Laurie Penny and Anita Sarkeesian represent is of course going to have pushback mostly from men.”

    I think this is where the conversation took a turn. Previously, Jessica Boxer was talking about death threats as a general thing, and then you brought up “ideology” and those specific names (because you think they’re the only women who have ever received death threats, I suppose?) and you and others on your side (“just that you heard seventh-hand that they are receiving “death threats”.”) proceeded to assert that she was talking about them.

    —-

    @esr, I would like to say, that if you are considering changing software, please consider one that has a “reply” button that provides a nicely formatted quote with a back-link to the previous comment. That’s a nice middle ground between threaded discussion and the kind of unstructured flat discussion you have now. Backtracing who was replying to what and who said what when was painful.

  274. @Random832
    > @esr, I would like to say, that if you are considering changing software, please consider one that has a “reply” button

    He actually had something like that a while ago, and he smartly pulled it, because it kind of sucked. I guess it is easier just to read the tail, especially for observers of a thread. One thing I think would be good though is to do with the moderation queue. It tends to trap legitimate things, however the problem is that if Eric, who is generally pretty dilligent about these things, doesn’t get to it for a few hours, the volume here is that the approved response gets stuck way back in the discussion thread, and tends to get lost. If there was some way that when it was approved that it changed the comment’s date/time to the date/time of approval rather than the date time of submission, that would not happen.

    Just a thought…

  275. “He actually had something like that a while ago, and he smartly pulled it, because it kind of sucked. I guess it is easier just to read the tail, especially for observers of a thread.”

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “easier to just read the tail”, unless what you are talking about is threaded display [which is specifically not what I was proposing]. The only difference would be that each post that is made in reply to something, instead of merely containing an @name and maybe manually pasted quote, would have a link to the previous post. The order things are displayed in would remain chronological. This is how numerous online forums do things.

  276. I second Random832’s suggestion.

    By the way, I never understood what’s so great about beaches. Frankly, I’d be okay with a country with “no beaches, no sun”, where it were cold and rained all the time.
    And even if I liked beaches, what could a given beach – in this case, a Dutch one – offer me that was absent from the others? They’re all alike, aren’t they? Besides, I’m pretty sure the Netherlands have much to offer outside of their beach(es); in particular, I find Amsterdam’s canals very appealing.

  277. Mr. Random832, I don’t think you understand the radical feminist ideology and theory in play here.

    There are no bad individual men in feminist theory. That why they keep pounding home this thing about the death threats as a “systemic” male problem rather than holding the individuals who do it responsible as an anomaly. The simple reason for that is they are not considered an anomaly but typical men.

    That’s why Tor.com ran this article. 5 women buried with swords turn into WARRIOR WOMEN. A single crusader archer I mentioned is PROOF of a medieval cover up of WARRIOR WOMEN. And by the way, uncovered by noble Muslims because all Muslims are noble and all Christian Europeans suspect. Why? In feminist theory white men are racists, by default. Have you have once heard of the “straight black man” or the “straight Arab man?” In intersectionalism, they literally don’t exist and the reason is the term is considered a pejorative. Christianity is the only religion attacked in feminist theory.

    The way law works, if a man hits a women he is prosecuted. In feminist theory, men hit women. That’s why they’re going after the Ravens Rice right now. Rice isn’t just one man, he is all men. These deaths threats are not made by wacky individuals – it is “misogyny” embedded in OUR culture. Get that? Social Justice Warriors like Penny and Sarkeesian have no interest in talking to actual real men with names who do a thing. All men are guilty of either creating and promoting misogyny, or not speaking up against it. It is the black hole of a circular kafkatrap like “white privilege” that is purposefully set up so there’s no escape.

    Feminists have no interest in a court room, only legislatures. That should tell you everything you need to know. They have no use for individual prosecutions of rape. That’s why colleges across the country are robbing individual male students of due process at the behest of a feminist drive; men are half-guilty just by existing – guilty until proven innocent because of “rape culture.”

    So yes, she absolutely was talking about death threats as a general thing – a general thing that is somehow smeared onto me and not her. But that is not the way law works, and I have no interest in listening to subtle smears that enroll me in a crime I have nothing to do with.

  278. @Fail Burton
    > There are no bad individual men in feminist theory.

    and…

    > Feminists have no interest in a court room, only legislatures.

    I figured we were done here, but this is too much for me to just pass by. I wonder if you can see the obvious problem here? In the first you criticize “feminists” for seeing men not as individuals but as a whole morally equivalent class. And yet you yourself do exactly the thing in your claim about feminists in your second statement. So which is it?

    Perhaps it is particularly noticeable in this thread since I am apparently the representative “feminist” and yet I have stated three or four times explicitly that I am not seeking government action, which seems rather in contrast to your second statement above.

  279. Apparently you can’t see the difference between Nazis and Jews. One is an ideology, one is something you are born as.

    It is the same difference as the KKK and black folks.

    One is not born a radical feminist; it is an ideology. There is no such thing as racially or sexually defaming an ideology. There is no reason for me to view people who join a club with a specific ideology as simply individuals. Feminists are not just “the gals.” Men on the other hand do not comprise a club. Saying they do and stipulating it is a conspiracy to discomfit women is defamation. Feminist ideology pretends it’s just “women” and just being a guy is an ideology. It is a mad hatter upside-down ideology.

    As for your personal rhetoric, it has been feminist cant as far as subtly attaching me to this gamer culture threat brigade while subtly detaching yourself. In truth your complicity is the same as mine: none.

  280. @Fail Burton
    > Apparently you can’t see the difference between Nazis and Jews.

    Normally, I’d just invoke Godwin’s law here, and ignore you, but ridiculous baggage laden metaphor notwithstanding, there is enough there to merit an answer.

    Feminism is not a tight ideology like Nazism, it is a broad collection of ideas centered around the general principle that women should be treated equally in all aspects of society. What that means and how that is interpreted varies a lot, and so feminists are no more a unified moral mass than men are, in fact many men are also feminists.

    One does not “join” feminism. I don’t have a membership card. I am a libertarian too, but I didn’t join any libertarian group, I just advocate libertarian views as I advocate the equal treatment of women in all aspects of society. “Equal” is a word that also has a lot of baggage and nuance attached to it, and I don’t intend to pick apart the minutia of it here.

    FWIW, I also advocate the equal treatment of men in all aspects of society, and find some of the sexist attitudes of the courts in divorce proceedings particularly repugnant, and as I have said several times in this forum, I think the rape of men is a huge moral outrage that may be worse than the levels of rape of women, and is largely ignored since it mostly takes place to people we consider “bad”.

    So I’m afraid your dissonance stands unanswered, and it should really have been apparent to you since I was a clearly obvious counterexample to the very specific accusation you made.

    Fair warning, if you continue with the Nazi metaphor then I play the Godwin’s law card. I find being compared to a Nazi rather unpleasant.

  281. @ Fail Burton

    As best I can tell, you’re relatively new here, and seem to be enjoying your jousting match with Jessica. She’s no pushover, which I suspect is a big part of the thrill for you. However, you should know that Jessica is not a doctrinaire Feminazi, nor part of a secret cabal out to castrate all men as part of some ideological imperative. You’re going to have to look elsewhere for that kind of combatant.

    As you can tell from my posts here and on other threads, I am no fan of the modern Feminist Movement; however my main criticism is that a war between the sexes is absurd, unnecessary, anti-evolutionary, and downright stupid. No matter how hardcore the radical feminists may become, the right woman is still preferable to the left hand.

  282. Gonna have to concur with Jessica’s assertion that feminism is too broad to generalize, past being any claim that favors women at least on the surface. Given that, I think anyone wanting to say something about feminism, pro or con, would necessarily have to preface with the specific variety they’re referring to.

    Corollary: I’m not very keen on judging a group by its worst. The gun rights crowd, for example, gets plenty of shrapnel from some sort of nebulous “gun nut” attribution that apparently only applies to a precious few individuals and moreover shifts depending on the speaker. I find that kind of projection tiresome, and I think this crowd is smart enough to be more scrupulous about it.

    (I’m probably coming off as sniffier than usual about this. For the second time in about three months I’ve met someone ranting about not being able to discuss gun control with “rational” people only to dig deeper and find them holding a belief irrationally. Yeah, yeah, I probably need to get out more. Not your problem, and this is a topic drift as it is.)

  283. No actually you don’t. For example, you said I was “nailed” because I had no idea who the two random people that that other guy brought up were. But I never brought these people up, I never discussed their work, and I know nothing about them, I have no idea if I agree with them or disagree with them. So how exactly does that mean I am “nailed”? You misinterpreted the thread entirely.

    What’s happening here is you are so far out of your depth, and know so little, that you don’t even know what is relevant and what’s not. So much so that you boldly venture to rebut me on the basis that you don’t know any of the salient facts. I take your silence on your total misunderstanding of my post as an admission that you got it wrong. What a desperate little attempt to “even the score” with me. lol.

    Yes that is apparently your shtick. I wonder about it. Your thing here is that you love to sit in the background and snipe and pick at other people’s shortcomings, and rarely have much to contribute yourself. It must be a pretty depressing way to live, always in the negative, never in the positive.

    Let me explain to you the real reason my thoughts always appear “negative” to you. First, it is because you are such a small intellect that it’s like a microbe living on the surface of a sculpture in the making; all you perceive is random destruction of your surroundings. Second, that insofar as I am actually sometimes “negative” it is because I am so overwhelmingly “positive”.

  284. @Winter

    It seems you are encountering many people that are unable to understand your crystal clear prose.

    I also find children don’t understand everything I say. But as with you, it is not mutual.

  285. Godwin’s Law is an empty meme I pay no attention to.

    I was not talking about Nazism but an intellectual and philosophical space that in principle supersedes such considerations, which is why I used it.

    I am not talking about feminism A to Z, but specifically about Third Wave Intersectionalism, which is a racist cult. One certainly does join that ideology if you subscribe to it.

    There is no dissonance on my part and I never compared Jessica to a Nazi. I used it to show being German isn’t being a de facto Nazi. Being a Nazi is. Similarly, being a male white supremacist isn’t simply being white and a man, which is the contention “white male privilege” makes.

    As for TomA’s remark about a “thrill,” I have no idea what that even means. I have never said Jessica is a Feminazi. I questioned her specific rhetoric.

    As for Paul’s remark, I agree feminism is too broad to generalize. That’s why I don’t do it. However in not doing it, I get lit up for talking about “intersectionalism,” which is at the root of all this, not a woman’s right to vote. They are racists – period.

    For anyone who wants a short sharp education, I will once again refer you to The Other McCain. Or check out Feminist Wire. I have read it extensively; they are insane. They are not feminists though they use the name. They are a largely gay, non-white and women’s supremacist racist cult. They are intersectionalists. You may not know the rules, but the rules know you. That’s why any too-white too-male list of classic SF gets lit up by these morons, which just occurred on Twitter over a list at a site called PopSugar.

  286. At this point, I’m not sure that Fail isn’t at least partially trolling, but one of the most substantive issues is that “feminism” is always conveniently undefined and a juicy target for equivocation. Jessica’s a “feminist” in the sense of, e.g., demanding equality before the law, but not to the extent of imputing collective guilt, and is generally coherent and consistent in her positions, which makes her a lamentable anomaly.

  287. I am not trying to spar with anyone. I am presenting information that is true and real and relevant to this post. I will say this again: you may not know the rules but the rules know you. These are not First Wave 1900-60 feminists. These are not 1960-90 Second Wave feminists. Third Wave Intersectionalists specifically reject those waves as too white and too heterosexual. Let me give you a quote about what forms of oppression concerns these people:

    “…age, attractiveness, body type, caste, citizenship, education, ethnicity, height and weight assessments, immigration status, income, marital status, mental health status, nationality, occupation, physical ability, religion, sex, sexual orientation,”

    Do you know where I got that quote from? It’s from a PDF the ex-president of the Science Fiction Writers of America John Scalzi linked to on his blog as he asked us to “please bone up on the concept of intersectionality.”

    I might ask a few people here to do the same and stop acting like I’m pulling this stuff out of thin air. Every Hugo and Nebula winner this year is either an intersectionalist or supports it. That is not an opinion but a cold hard fact I can easily support by way of quotes. I consider denying that while not presenting a counter-argument saying I’m wrong to be “sparring.” And please tell me in what world I am trolling in any way at all.

  288. @Fail Burton
    “Third Wave Intersectionalists specifically reject those waves as too white and too heterosexual.”

    Could you give us some statistics on the importance of the subsection of Third Wave Feminists you object to? I have never met a “feminist” that embraced these visions. Are they a US specific breed? Do they matter at all?

    For all I know they could be as influential (and obnoxious) as UFO spotters and Chemtrail believers.

  289. @Fail Burton
    I fail to see how this is relevant to this discussion. So, I assume it is some kind of joke implying that I am unable to grasp the meaning of your writings.

    It is entirely possible that other people understand how the women you are demonizing are a danger to civilization as we know it. But from the comments I have read here, these people seem to keep that understanding to themselves.

    And I am still in the dark about the real threat posed by these demonic witches that you claim are undermining the good old USA, or civilization as we know it.

  290. You don’t see how mainstreaming and institutionalizing hate-speech is a threat?

  291. @ Fail Burton

    If I understand you correctly, within the world of SFF authorship, there is a group of women who espouse extreme anti white-male rhetoric and have seized control the SF awards apparatus; which I assume is personal attack on you. Consequently, you are playing the role of the canary-in-the-coalmine in order to warn the rest of us here at A&D about this emerging scourge, and perhaps recruit some new blood into the resistance.

    Jessica wants me to join her grassroots movement to go after the nutjob cyberbullies (a cause I suspect is personal for her) and you apparently want me to join your lynch mob to go after the SFF crazies that are ruining your playground. I think the two of you have more in common than you realize.

    Not to rain on either yours nor Jessica’s parade, but as a country, we are in far deeper shit in other macro venues than the impact of two fringe nutjob groups.

  292. No Tom, you don’t understand me correctly. That’s because you don’t understand who created the Ferguson uproar, why the DOJ is now involved and who keeps any anti-illegal immigration in the status of racist. SFF is only a symbolic microcosm. In and of itself it is of no account. Go read The Other McCain stuff. If you want to respond to my words, please read all of them, not just the parts that somehow keep you off The Feminist Wire and The Other McCain. Otherwise, do as you want. I’m not recruiting anyone. If you don’t care if your son loses the right to due process in college cuz some radical nutjob who he rejected knows she can destroy his life with a simple accusation, then what do I care?

  293. @ Fail Burton

    OK, we agree that there are serious macro problems in the country. You seem to be implying that it is a “radical women’s cabal” that is at the root of it. If so, I disagree. There is plenty of blame to go around, as we did not dig this hole this deep just be allowing a few crazy women to run amok. As I have argued elsewhere, as a country we have been too affluent for too long, and we no longer have strong hardship drivers to push our evolutionary advancement. It’s not just that our women are more combative and disruptive nowadays, but that our men are also becoming overweight limp-dick metrosexuals. You need to back up a few steps and see the whole battlefield.

  294. @Fail Burton
    > Godwin’s Law is an empty meme I pay no attention to.

    Actually, it isn’t, it is quite a useful rule, that is based on a powerful insight.

    Any metaphor carries a whole bunch of baggage with it beyond the intended point of comparison. It is a rhetorical technique people use all the time to try to imply that the similarity on the point of comparison implies similarity on other points. Hence people skeptical of the CAGW theory aren’t CAGW skeptics, but climate change deniers, to deliberately put them in with holocaust deniers, or people who advocate the RKBA aren’t second amendment advocates but militia gun nuts, to tie them in with the likes of Tim McVeigh.

    Instead of “you can’t see the difference between Nazis and Jews.” you could have said “you can’t see the difference between “Irish dancers and Irish people” or “habitat for humanity volunteers and Cubans” or even “herpetologists and rattlesnakes”. But you instead chose a point of comparison that portrayed one side with the some of worst people in the world (Nazis and the KKK) against people who are the most oppressed (Wartime Jews and Jim Crow era blacks.)

    I don’t know if you did this deliberately as a rhetorical device, carelessly, or if it came from a sub conscious belief about the two sides, either way, it doesn’t reflect well on your argument.

    Godwin’s law exists to have a Schelling point of when this has been taken to the most extreme, and is a pretty useful tool for weeding out mendacity in arguments.

  295. @Roger Phillips
    > Let me explain to you the real reason my thoughts always appear “negative” to you.

    Perhaps my tiny mind didn’t explain it very well, but my assessment is that you are like that with everyone here. Honestly, I am a little pissed about that, because I’d rather it was just me, that way I’d feel special.

    > First, it is because you are such a small intellect that it’s like a microbe living on the surface of a sculpture

    So if it is everyone here, everyone’s brain is the size of a gnat, what my silly brain wonders is why you hang out here and spend so much time? I mean if we are all a bunch of drooling idiots why bother? Surely there are some intellectual giants out there that can offer you true stimulation for your capacious brain? Is it the same fascination as that little kid who pulls the legs off spiders or cremates them with a magnifying glass? The schadenfreude of the intellectual god tormenting his peon like inferiors? That isn’t a very intellectually healthy pursuit don’t you think? Wouldn’t being a benevolent god be a happier way to go?

  296. I’m not talking about Irish dancers but a philosophical and intellectual shared space. Before Nazis or the KKK can start oppressing people they must have an ideology. In larger principle that ideology is simple hate. In it’s specifics it has its own targets. In both cases it requires more than simply looking like someone who sends off people to camps, hangs them, or makes death threats.

    I have no problem comparing intersectionalists to neo-Nazis cuz that is the ideology they most resemble. Unless you think the KKK only started to be a problem when they started hanging people it’s important to realize hate-speech must first be mainstreamed before it can get enough people to act in concert. Radical feminists are sick and crazy people. Demonizing them is no more demonizing women than demonizing the KKK is demonizing men.

    I did not use metaphor but stipulated that intersectionalism is supremacist and racist. In its bare bones it has been around 50 years, but it is only in the last 5 or 6 it is really starting to gain acceptance in our institutions as a morality one defaults too. Everything is whites and men nowadays – they are the new Jews within this ideology of hate.

    Godwin’s Law is an empty meme used to shut down legitimate comparisons. When those comparisons are not legitimate, I hardly need a law to tell me Bush isn’t Hitler or climate change deniers don’t reside with mad hatters who think millions of people committed mass suicide or never existed. There is an opposite problem Americans have with this idea and that is a thing like Nazism will only ever have a specific form and face. That is why I constantly mention Orwell’s 1984. He not only warned us of crazy dictatorships but that they would always insinuate themselves with a different face. We already have a situation in America where it is now broadly assumed non-whites can never be racist, women are such darlings they should be character witnesses just for being witnesses, and that gays never hate straights. What’s stupider than that, or more supremacist? And the result? By an amazing coincidence we have a free-fire zone where women, non-whites and gays say the most amazingly bigoted things without consequence that would get a white straight man fired in a heartbeat, and does.

    The Huffington Post has “black voices” and that’s just fine. I’m happy there is no such thing as “white voices” but if anyone even tried it, they be fitted with a hood. Mainstreaming racial and sexual double standards is dangerous. Eventually they find their way into law, and that is exactly what is happening in America today.

  297. @Jessica

    So if it is everyone here, everyone’s brain is the size of a gnat, what my silly brain wonders is why you hang out here and spend so much time? I mean if we are all a bunch of drooling idiots why bother? Surely there are some intellectual giants out there that can offer you true stimulation for your capacious brain? Is it the same fascination as that little kid who pulls the legs off spiders or cremates them with a magnifying glass? The schadenfreude of the intellectual god tormenting his peon like inferiors? That isn’t a very intellectually healthy pursuit don’t you think? Wouldn’t being a benevolent god be a happier way to go?

    Do I spend a lot of time here? I did once, certainly. Now I drop by a few times a month, if that. And the premise of the question is bogus; the greatest brain would have a hunger for small intellects too, because it is able to tease useful information from everything. And I am benevolent.

  298. Fail Burton
    > I’m not talking about Irish dancers but a philosophical and intellectual shared space.

    OK, I am very sorry @Fail, I plainly misunderstood you. I assumed you were doing the usual hyperbolic comparison to the Nazis, but apparently you were not. You were making a literal comparison.

    Is it your view that the Feminists (whom you equate with the Nazis) are planning on rounding up all the men (Whom you equate with the Jews) to send them to death camps in a kind of feminist final solution? I sure hope we freeze enough of your sperm before we do that.

    Is it your view that the Feminists (whom you equate with the KKK) are planning of lynching any men (whom you equate with Jim Crow era blacks) who get out of line? Are we going to cut off their balls (literally not figuratively) if they look disrespectfully at one of us? Are we going to have them eat at separate counters or sit in the back of the bus? Hah! We already demand we have separate restrooms!! It has started already! Call Dr. King, perhaps he can help you poor oppressed men.

    Perhaps you don’t think that the Feminists are planning on those specific actions, but by the comparison, and your dismissal of my “your overplaying your hand” argument you are claiming that they are leading toward something at a similar level of outrage. If you think the situation of the white American male resembles or will resemble any time soon, in any serious way whole populations being marched to the death camps then I really don’t know what else to say. The problem with reductio ad absurdum is that there is always someone who will actually accept the absurdest premise.

  299. Jessica, while I think your examples of lynching and castration aren’t on the table at this point, false imprisonment–possibly including complete financial ruin and unjust incarceration for decades–is a serious issue because of rules of evidence in place right now that make it impossible for men accused of rape to mount a thorough defense. The Obama administration has effectively ordered universities to implement guilt-by-accusation policies for sexual misconduct, defined so broadly as to include kissing without getting explicit, spoken, and “enthusiastic” consent first. These kangaroo courts have already started expelling men in hearings where they are explicitly forbidden to introduce evidence or cross-examine witnesses.

  300. I just figured out that evil Amazons conquering Earth and enslaving all the white males is an SF trope. Now I understand how all this fits together. I think I’ll wait for the movie.

  301. @Christopher Smith
    > These kangaroo courts…

    I’m with you on that Christopher. There is a lot wrong with the rape laws that needs fixed, and the college thing is an outrage. Why in rape cases is the putative victim’s identify protected but not the accused? After all, the accused is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

    So given that we agree on that, will you join me also against the equally dreadful situation suffered by many men who while incarcerated are subject to constant ongoing rape with apparently no real recourse? 25% of men by some accounts. In fact, in many respects the public does not only refuse to demand this be fixed, they even think it is a good thing under the title of “prison justice”.

  302. @Fail Burton
    “You don’t see how mainstreaming and institutionalizing hate-speech is a threat?”

    And you do not seem to realize that blaming the downfall of civilization on demonic women has a very long history. At times, such women were burned at the stake.

    Whatever is wrong with the world today cannot be attributed to women who made a pact with the devil, or with the Third Feminist Wave.

  303. @Jessica
    “So given that we agree on that, will you join me also against the equally dreadful situation suffered by many men who while incarcerated are subject to constant ongoing rape with apparently no real recourse? 25% of men by some accounts. In fact, in many respects the public does not only refuse to demand this be fixed, they even think it is a good thing under the title of “prison justice”.”

    I must admit that this widespread acceptance of prison rapes gives me a sick suspicion about how many people in the USA might feel about rape outside of prisons. Too often I encounter responses along the lines of “boys will be boys”.

    @Christoper Smith
    “These kangaroo courts have already started expelling men in hearings where they are explicitly forbidden to introduce evidence or cross-examine witnesses.”

    From across the pond, the USA legal system looks completely dysfunctional. That is not limited to rape laws, but is found across the board. So people should stop blaming women for their pet legal peeves and start focusing on the criminal system itself.

  304. Jessica, if you want to know the goals of these people, you need only read them. bell hooks favorite phrase is the “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.” She has no interest in being equal within that but in tearing it down. It’s no coincidence these folks are fighting for illegal immigration to accomplish that and openly brag about the white minority by 2050.

    I am not claiming these radical feminists have any violent plans for men or whites. This is a case where the meek shall inherit. They work through institutions and legislation. If you think the Jim Crow analogy is inapt, remember what is happening in SFF as an example. Remember, one cannot have a thing like a new Jim Crow in America without it looking like a completely different thing and working in completely different ways (remember Orwell).

    Is there an intellectual and de facto analogy to Jim Crow in America? Absolutely it is beginning. There is a racially segregated “safer-space” at the WisCon SF convention for non-whites only – an unofficial non-white dinner too. There was a non-white gathering at the recent DetCon. There are black SF symposiums and black SF associations and there are countless manifestations of this across America. The Congressional Black Caucus, the Asian-Pacific Congressional Caucus, the Assoc. of Black Mayors, Police Chiefs – the list goes on and on. Meanwhile, there is zilch on the other side – the so-called white supremacist side. Remember, a simple racial majority isn’t the same thing as a racial ideology. An ideology is an ideology, not a skewed demographic.

    I don’t believe there is any analogy to what Nazis did specifically. Remember, I am talking about an intellectual space, one of identity supremacy and defamation. What comes out of that will be determined by the people who reside in it. I see no violence from this crowd and I don’t maintain there will be any. What need is there for that when they have the DOJ to sue police forces across America for improperly asking illegals for identification or having colleges rob men of due process due to the sexual smear of “rape culture,” in which all men are enrolled the same way all are enrolled in “white privilege.” And look who these folks go after. If the idea of “diversity” is a good one, surely it is good for all, but they never target skewed non-white, non-male demographics.

    The reason the SFF scene is so interesting it because it is a microcosm of what they would do in larger America. In SFF, they do in fact discriminate against whites and men, they do advocate literature by skin and sex, they do kick white men out of organizations for the exact same racially charged rhetoric they give black women awards for.

    Remember what SFWA member and multiple award-winner Mary Robinette Kowal Tweeted after the Nebulas this year: “At @SFWA’s #NebulaAwards, only one award went to a white male and that wasn’t one of the ones voted on by the membership.#diversityinSFF”

    Why would she do that? Because SFF has been a anti-women KKK? For a mere skewed demographic for decades? Why react like that is a sexist racist ideology? And why not then go after middle-weight boxing and the NBA. Aren’t those then racial conspiracies rather than coincidental demographics?

    As for Mr. Winter, he is reduced to straw men like “demonic women” and “the world today” because he will not do the simple research I have pointed him to. I have never maintain either. Women does not equal ideology and these are not witches any more than the KKK are warlocks. These people exist, you need only read their words, not mine. I am not asking anyone to believe anything I say, but to do your homework and come to your own conclusions. But don’t go to Wiki, look up “intersectionalism” and then expect to debate me. When you know who Mikki Kendall, Suey Park, Adele Wilde-Blavatsky, Lauren Chief Elk and the 80 radfem academics who signed a petition for the Feminist Wire denouncing one of their own as a “racist” (for which she was expelled from the Wire) for the simple act of saying a “hoodie” is NOT the same as having to wear a veil in Islamic societies, you’ll understand how frothing mad, racist and intolerant these people are. Read this:

    http://theothermccain.com/2014/09/01/kate-milletts-tedious-madness/

    and Google “The Hounding of Adele Wilde-Blavatsky.”

  305. @Fail Burton:

    > if you want to know the goals of these people, you need only read them.

    My vague understanding from what has been written here is that the institutions of sci-fi have been co-opted by angry women who hate me just because of my genes. Yet, my vague understanding is also that the science fiction that is selling well does not come from that quarter.

    Kinda sucks for those who formed the club and then later got kicked out of the clubhouse, but not really relevant to my daily life, and apparently not even really all that relevant to the bread and butter of those who write good sci-fi.

    As for Mr. Winter, he is reduced to straw men like “demonic women” and “the world today” because he will not do the simple research I have pointed him to. I have never maintain either. Women does not equal ideology and these are not witches any more than the KKK are warlocks.

    Do you really think that Winter thinks there are witches, or thinks that you think there are witches?

    I’m sure I could pick any possible goal, and then find somebody who espouses it, and then read them. Not interested, and Winter probably isn’t either. As Winter says, “So people should stop blaming women for their pet legal peeves and start focusing on the criminal system itself.”

    It’s hard to characterize your opponents as frothing at the mouth without frothing at the mouth. It’s really hard to do that when people haven’t even heard of your opponents. I think I understand the frustration — you apparently think “here is a source of a meme which is going to destroy us all” and yet we’re not comprehending because we haven’t even heard of that source and don’t understand the hold the meme apparently has on us.

    But the source of the meme isn’t really important, and if you have to focus on the source, or even worse, explain who the source is and why you are sure we are being corrupted by them even though we’ve never heard of them, to get your point across, you’ve already lost.

  306. @Jessica:

    To one of Fail’s points, I think, we should try to be cognizant of the biases of the people we get our information from. The article you linked to earlier was by Amanda Hess and she’s…

    Well, let’s just say that if you want to see a good analysis of some of what she says, you could do worse than to google for things that have been written about her at the simple justice blog.

    She was a very vocal proponent of the Orwellian-named “yes means yes” law in California, and the simple justice blog does a good job of analyzing that law, too.

  307. @ Fail Burton

    It’s becoming obvious that you have a deep, personal wound arising from this battle of the sexes within the SF community. And it may well be a foreshadowing of a memetic plague that will soon sweep through our society, so your warning is not trivial. May I suggest another tactic however.

    In real combat, there are principles that history has validated. One of these states that, when ambushed, immediately attack directly into the threat.

    As a writer, prepare yourself a vaunting libertarian speech a la Ayn Rand, and then stiffen your back and march yourself into one of those anti white male SF convention gatherings and give them all you’ve got. Win or lose, I guarantee you will emerge tougher, stronger, and better equipped to face future hardships.

  308. Just one point, to Winter’s comment about the American criminal justice system as applied to the current college persecution of males:

    It’s not criminal at all. It’s not at any point connected to the criminal justice system. In fact, it’s not connected to the legal system at all. The federal government is mandating that colleges run internal kangaroo courts where the woman’s word is taken as ironclad gospel and the man has not even the most minimal due process rights. A woman can accuse a man of rape and have his life destroyed solely on her own word.

    So no, whatever you think of the American legal system, this is worse. And it’s entirely a creature of feminists.

    If I had a son, I would strongly advise him not to have sex at all while in college without a signed, notarized consent form spelling out exactly what acts were being consented to, step by step.

  309. Patrick Maupin
    > She was a very vocal proponent of the Orwellian-named “yes means yes” law in California

    I often wonder if the people who advocate some of these laws and rules have ever actually had a sexual encounter, since their viewpoint seems so far removed from reality.

    However, much though the law might be stupid and dangerous, I don’t know if “Orwellian” is an appropriate adjective. 1984 was about the massive use of propaganda and a panopticon state to manipulate and control people. This law is about changing the definition of consent in a para-legal setting. Men can certainly abide by this stupid rule if they want, and it won’t be good, but it will presumably change the behavior of horny women eventually. And I suppose they can leave the college girls to their own devices and find willing ladies off campus too.

    Just as a comment though about all the outrage over these campus codes, let’s be clear they are almost entirely about welfare. All these rules are put in place as a response to a requirement from some government agency demanding that change under threat of withdrawing welfare money. What we need are colleges that get their funds from private individuals paying for their kids to have an education or grants to produce specific research. This would fix both this problem and a plethora of other nonsenses that happen in our ivory towers.

    With this change we no doubt would have a diversity of colleges and parents could send their boys to places where such terrible injustices were less likely to happen.

  310. So given that we agree on that, will you join me also against the equally dreadful situation suffered by many men who while incarcerated are subject to constant ongoing rape with apparently no real recourse? 25% of men by some accounts.

    That figure is nonsense. To see that, check the Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of Sexual Violence in Adult Correctional Facilities, 2009–11 –
    Statistical Tables
    , NCJ 244227. (Links to PDF’s seem to rathole my comments, and the BJS site is not very user-friendly but if you google “NCJ 244227″ it shows up on the first page.) The tables start on page 7 – though important definitions are right before. They were looking at state and federal prisons with about 1.4 million prisoners…who in 2011 reported 2,002 “nonconsensual sexual acts” by other prisoners of which prison officials “substantiated” 133 (not all nonconsensual sexual acts are rapes, by the definition they use). They looked at local jails with about 350,000 inmates…who reported 615 “nonconsensual sexual acts” of which prison officials “substantiated” 54.

    (This is separate from complaints against prison officials….which are in the same tables…but they report “sexual misconduct” instead of “nonconsensual sex acts”…the numbers are similar.)

    You can also try the BJS’s anonymous surveys of prisoners…NCJ 241399….which of course has no screening for “substantiation” by prison officials…but even there only about 1% of prisoners claimed “they were forced or pressured to have nonconsensual sex with another inmate, including manual stimulation and oral, anal, or vaginal penetration” (with, again, a similar number making accusations of “abusive sexual contact” against prison staff…I once asked a coworker who’d been a prison guard about that; he tells me this comes largely from frisks, since the prisoners will squawk if they think you’re searching their groins too closely). As that report says: “Since participation in the survey is anonymous and reports are confidential, the survey does not permit any follow-up investigation or substantiation of reported incidents through review.”

    The smaller numbers make sense to me because I’ve court-martial clients in local jails and military prisons…and the military clemency system is quite robust (I had one guy get 10 days off his 90-day sentence because he’d been denied phone calls with his wife)…it would be hugely in their interests to report it if they were being raped; not a one ever did; and I think it’s because it wasn’t happening, not because it’s happening all over the place and no one reports it.

    Long ago I asked where you were getting the numbers you quote, and you pointed me to a website that pointed back to the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports…but I couldn’t reconcile the one with the other. I think you’ve been tricked.

    One is too many, and it oughtn’t to be laughed off the way it sometimes is, but “25% raped” is the wrong order of magnitude, and there’s no basis in the figures for the “ongoing…daily basis” language you quote.

  311. @Jessica:

    However, much though the law might be stupid and dangerous, I don’t know if “Orwellian” is an appropriate adjective.

    Apologies — I wasn’t clear. I was applying “Orwellian”, not to the law, which is bad enough, but to the joyous characterization of it as “yes means yes.”

    The law itself states that consent must be ongoing and may be withdrawn at any time. This, actually, I have no problem with. There are certain times where it would be kind of mean to withdraw consent, but if agency means anything, then of course, consent can be withdrawn.

    I suppose “yes means yes until I change my mind and tell you no (but of course you already knew that no means no, right?)” isn’t as catchy, but still, I think Orwell would be proud.

  312. “As for your personal rhetoric, it has been feminist cant as far as subtly attaching me to this gamer culture threat brigade”

    Once again, who the hell brought up gamer culture? You are imagining a connection to the Sarkeesian thing where she made none.

  313. @Jessica: I’m completely agreed on the appalling atrocity that is the prison system.

    @Winter: This isn’t about the US legal system per se, which has plenty of serious issues, but only to about the same level of outrage as perpetrated by various EU courts (superinjunctions, the “right to be forgotten”, and the continual circus that is Italy). These are university tribunals.

  314. As a writer, prepare yourself a vaunting libertarian speech a la Ayn Rand, and then stiffen your back and march yourself into one of those anti white male SF convention gatherings and give them all you’ve got. Win or lose, I guarantee you will emerge tougher, stronger, and better equipped to face future hardships.

    If you can deliver a speech in the style of Rand without experiencing either a giggle fit or pangs of horror at what you’re doing, you must be extremely strong already. Either that or extremely cold-hearted.

  315. @ Jeff Read – “If you can deliver a speech in the style of Rand without experiencing either a giggle fit or pangs of horror ”

    I don’t find either humor or horror in the passionate defense of individualism. I even support your right to be an eager ant in the collective, if you so choose.

  316. Learn to read Random. She dropped a link about women being harassed and threatened on the net. Sarkeesian’s the big story now, so’s gamergate. I know that’s a stunning leap but try it on for size.

  317. > I don’t find either humor or horror in the passionate defense of individualism. I even support your right to be an eager ant in the collective, if you so choose.

    You’re defending the substance of her speeches.
    I think jeff was speaking to the “style”.
    How many pages of the John Galt speech did you actually read before self-abridging?

  318. The style and the substance. Rand’s writing is tedious, but perhaps it is deliberately so, as the thesis is fundamentally psychopathic.

    Look, in the USA we’ve already experimented with really free markets and laissez-faire capitalism. It was called the Gilded Age. A time when the poor struggled to make ends meet and children were forced to work 14-hour days to help their families survive. Leading to the eventual formation of labor unions to combat exploitation of labor. Meanwhile, Cornelius Vanderbilt set a large tray of sand on his enormous banquet table and passed out tiny spades to his dinner guests. The guests — wealthy high-society types themselves — used the spades to dig out precious jewels from the sand, which they got to keep as mementos.

    Such was the vast disparity between the opulence of the rich and the struggles of the poor. What Rand advocated amounted to a return to that. Sure she, as do modern libertarians, dressed it up with nice language about individual initiative and freedom. But at its root it is a carefully crafted, corporate-sponsored meme complex intended to convince you that what’s good for Corporate America will be good for you. And now thanks to influential Rand fans like Alan Greenspan and the Koch brothers, we may yet see a return to those days.

  319. It was called the Gilded Age. A time when the poor struggled to make ends meet and children were forced to work 14-hour days to help their families survive.

    Implying, as usual, that Cornelius Vanderbilt stole an idyllic existence from these poor who before only worked 8×5 on their farms.

    No question that the Gilded Age had its share of injustices, particularly in the failure to fix responsibility for worker injuries, but the bald fact that families poured into the cities to take up these jobs, dangerous and demanding and low-paying as they were, demonstrates that people in a lot better place to judge the trade-offs than you thought they were an improvement over what they had.

    And we’re still seeing repeats of this mass migration in industrializing economies around the world. “Sweatshops” may not be great workplaces by Western standards, but they’re apparently preferable to rice paddies, and a funny thing happens in these economies: Once the industry scales up, incomes start rising rapidly, and there’s a tipping point where more qualitative issues such as worker safety and a pleasant environment (in all its senses) come to the fore in a way they can’t when subsistence farmers see no other option than leveling rain forests.

  320. “But at its root it is a carefully crafted, corporate-sponsored meme complex intended to convince you that what’s good for Corporate America will be good for you.”

    Opposed by a carefully crafted, leftist-sponsored, Soviet-originated meme complex that actively denies corporations as the engines of the economy.

  321. @ Jeff Read – “Rand’s writing is tedious, but perhaps it is deliberately so, as the thesis is fundamentally psychopathic.”

    Ayn Rand fled Soviet Russia as a young girl, found freedom and liberty in the United States, and wrote novels that to date have sold more than 40 million copies. Her contemporary, Josef Stalin, ruled the Union of Soviet Socialist States, and was the most prolific murderer of the 20th Century. Yeah, I guess you’re right, Rand was the psychopath and your hero was the sane one.

  322. @TomA:

    I don’t get it. Are you arguing that Stalin wasn’t successful, or that Rand wasn’t psychopathic enough to make a good CEO?

  323. @Jeff Read:
    in the USA we’ve already experimented with really free markets and laissez-faire capitalism. It was called the Gilded Age.

    The robber barons, like Vanderbilt, were not capitalists who thrived at others’ expense in a free market with no government intervention. They were capitalists who failed to compete in a free market, and so switched to plan B: buy government intervention to protect their companies from competition. They then thrived at others’ expense in the non-free market that ensued.

  324. @Peter Donis
    “They were capitalists who failed to compete in a free market, and so switched to plan B: buy government intervention to protect their companies from competition. They then thrived at others’ expense in the non-free market that ensued.”

    This is a very naive vision of capitalist markets. The whole “Free Market equilibrium” is based on the assumption of no barriers of entry for new competitors and no positive feedback loops (the Matthew effect).

    Neither of these are found in industrial economies. For instance, starting a new steel plant or oil business is hard and an existing brand will attract more customers and investors than a new brand. Also, a monopolist can effectively tax the nation.

    Historically, those robber barons became successful and very rich first. As a consequence, they became extremely powerful and were able to use their power to drive out competitors from the market. One part of their power was the ability to co-opt the institutions of the state.

    This was no difference from how Microsoft and Intel were able to drive out (almost) all competition in computers.

  325. From “free markets and laissez-faire capitalism [...] a time when the poor struggled to make ends meet and children were forced to work 14-hour days” to “Josef Stalin [..] the most prolific murderer of the 20th Century [...] and your hero” — in not more than 3 posts …

  326. @kn
    ” …to Josef Stalin [..] the most prolific murderer of the 20th Century”

    Is their a Stalin analogue to Godwin’s law?

  327. >It’s hard to characterize your opponents as frothing at the mouth without frothing at the mouth. It’s really hard to do that when people haven’t even heard of your opponents. I think I understand the frustration — you apparently think “here is a source of a meme which is going to destroy us all” and yet we’re not comprehending because we haven’t even heard of that source and don’t understand the hold the meme apparently has on us.

    This whole thread seems to be deserving of a ‘tl;dr’. (Not talking about you specifically here.)

    The SFF SJW thing is important infofar as the remaining institutions of conventional old-style publishing still have meaning. Because what this is, is a continuation of the Long March through the Institutions. These SJW types, these radical feminists (yes Jessica, they call themselves feminists, just like you call yourself a feminist, even though what they want is *not* what you want, and they do it on purpose as camoflage and to *use* people like you) and their allies and enablers have taken control of several of the remaining institutions of traditional SFF publishing. Like the SF writers’ trade organization, and one of the larger SFF publishers.

    This is the usual tactic of controlling the culture by controlling the gatekeepers of the culture’s means of communication. I wonder if Tor (yes, the publisher) will survive?

  328. >No actually you don’t. For example, you said I was “nailed” because I had no idea who the two random people that that other guy brought up were. But I never brought these people up, I never discussed their work, and I know nothing about them, I have no idea if I agree with them or disagree with them. So how exactly does that mean I am “nailed”? You misinterpreted the thread entirely.

    May I step in?

    Most people in this thread, myself included, would be inclined to step in to defend Jessica from anyone attacking her. She is intelligent, honest and well meaning among other things.

    But there is one persistent blind spot I have noticed her display on several different occasions, and it may be creeping up here. That is, she seems to have no concept of unknown unknowns, and makes insufficient allowance for the fact that she might be wrong, not because of bad reasoning, but just because she just doesn’t know enough about the subject at hand, and doesn’t know that she doesn’t know.

    Good general rule is, subjects you don’t know about are just as complex as subjects you do know about (and everyone here knows about some subjects that are real doozies).

  329. @ Winter – “Is their a Stalin analogue to Godwin’s law?

    I could have cited Mao, he came in a close second. All the great mass murderers of the 20th Century are within your pantheon of collectivist political archetypes. The first rule of socialism is, “first kill all the productive individualists.” There is no equivalent homicidal imperative in capitalism.

  330. @Fail Burton

    But the link she posted doesn’t contain any suggestion that it’s about Sarkeesian.

  331. >That is, [Jessica] seems to have no concept of unknown unknowns, and makes insufficient allowance for the fact that she might be wrong, not because of bad reasoning, but just because she just doesn’t know enough about the subject at hand, and doesn’t know that she doesn’t know.

    A common failing in people who are used to being the smartest one in the room.

  332. I just read through this entire thread
    (and recorded lots of fascinating insights and thoughts into my amnesia files)

    But I did not see anyone who mentioned that the 5 women warriors might have been buried that way not because of how they *lived*, but because of how they *died* …

    i.e. those-who-did-not-live-as-warriors may have died in a heroic defense situation where they took up arms to defend their homes (and children), and presumably their side won because they were buried with honors.

    Clearly, they did not die-as-warriors *offensively* because that would mean dying elsewhere and being buried way-over-there
    (exception: wounded and brought back and dying of infection after weeks)

    This is specifically answerable … lived-as-a-warrior-skeletons show seriously odd bone density variations-from-normal of the striking arm (or archer-arms) vs gardener bones …

    if you see warrior-arm-bones, then they lived as warriors,

    if you don’t, BUT you see female-who-died-of-unhealed-sword-strikes, then she took up arms in -desperate-defense and was buried with military-honors

  333. Is their a Stalin analogue to Godwin’s law?

    Not that I know of.

    Godwin’s law describes a pattern that’s a bit different. For example, in a thread about Microsoft’s predatory business practices, eventually some gormless individual is bound to compare Microsoft to Nazi Germany. That’s Godwin’s law.

    What we’re seeing here is the tendency for libertarians or conservatives to blither, “b-but Stalin!” whenever confronted with a view of economics that’s anywhere to the left of, say, Hayek. A form of the slippery slope argument taken to comical extremes. Not quite the same thing as the Nazi comparisons, but structurally similar. Never mind the fact that in developed countries with stricter economic controls than the USA, not only are there no meatgrinders, gas chambers, or gulags for “productive individualists”, but people tend to enjoy more social freedom than in the USA. Never mind that they enjoy access to better schools, health care, municipal infrastructure, and lower crime rates. Never mind that their police aren’t militarized jackboots who single out people of certain skin colors for special oppression. The spectre of Stalin and the gulag archipelago still taints their entire state apparatus.

    Maybe there should be a Godwin analogue for this kind of argument. I suspect that there isn’t because there are actually quite few free-market libertarians in modern discussion fora; most people online with any intellectual chops acknowledge the need for social welfare programs and market regulation.

  334. @Greg
    >That is, she seems to have no concept of unknown unknowns

    Thanks for stepping in, but I’m afraid that to me it is unknown what unknown unknowns that you know (or perhaps don’t know) that I am supposed to unknowingly know but apparently are unknown to me.

  335. @TomA > I could have cited Mao,

    Stalin or Mao, that was hardly the point.
    Jeff Read touched one of the sacred cows by noticing there were downsides to free market and/or laissez faire capitalism, and it earned him an immediate reply of ad hominem and, predictably, argumentum ad Hitlerum. Whether you cast Stalin of Mao in the role of Hitler is of no importance, you illustrated the mechanism beautifully, and I agree with Winter that this should invoke Godwin’s law.

    @Greg
    If you’re looking for blind spots, you might also want to look at what Jessica says, and what the people who reply seem to assume she meant, or assume about her hidden agenda, and attacjk her for their assumptions rather than her words. Look at Random32’s recent posts, they illustrate this.

  336. @Greg:

    This is the usual tactic of controlling the culture by controlling the gatekeepers of the culture’s means of communication. I wonder if Tor (yes, the publisher) will survive?

    That’s a reasonable tl;dr and a reasonable question, but the next question is: does it really matter (other than for Tor investors and employees)?

    There is a lot of gnashing of teeth about what google means by “don’t be evil” and whether or not they are serious about it. My personal take is that they understand perfectly that their actions are destroying, or at least blunting the power of, the traditional gatekeepers, and that they are making a serious promise that they will do their best to screen content for relevance and do their best not to screen content for ideology.

    I think they are actually doing a pretty good job of this, and that sucks if your business is running a link farm, or if you let your business be so co-opted by ideologues that you stop producing content that people find relevant.

  337. @ kn – “Stalin or Mao, that was hardly the point.”

    Agreed, but I’m not the one who wondered down the path of absurdity and distraction.

    My relevant post was a constructive suggestion for Fail Burton that happened to include an Ayn Rand reference which was appropriate to the context (spirited defense of the individual versus the collective tyranny of the SFF Amazons). Jeff Read took this on the tangent of calling her a psychopath and raving about her politics and economic philosophy. I merely pointed out that Stalin was her contemporary antecedent and would likely have murdered her had she remained in the Soviet Union. Hopefully you and I can agree that murder is a real psychopathic behavior here. Why is it you collectivists are so defensive about your ideological track record? And no, I’m not claiming that Sweden and the Netherlands are bad places, just that when collectivism goes bad, history demonstrates that there are a non-trivial number of dead bodies.

  338. Samac, they found some 9,000 year old body they called “Kennewick Man” and they were able to figure out everything little thing he did even though the bones were scattered by erosion. They figured out he threw things with one arm a lot, how he worked lifting things towards him, what he ate.

    I wonder if this Viking thing is too new or they just can’t throw those kinds of resources at it like they did Kennewick.

  339. @TomA
    “And no, I’m not claiming that Sweden and the Netherlands are bad places, just that when collectivism goes bad, history demonstrates that there are a non-trivial number of dead bodies.”

    Sorry, but both Sweden and the Netherlands are old countries with a “collectivist” culture (400+ years for the Netherlands). During that time, neither of them has engaged in mass murdering their own population.

    On the other hand, anti-communist general Suharto murdered more than one million “communist” Indonesians in a well organized campaign. Mr Suharto was brought into power and supported by the USA.

  340. @esr
    “A common failing in people who are used to being the smartest one in the room.”

    I assume that the ambiguity of whom you refer to with “people” is intentionally.

  341. >That’s a reasonable tl;dr and a reasonable question, but the next question is: does it really matter (other than for Tor investors and employees)?

    I really really hope it doesn’t, because I am very uncomfortable with the idea of people like the SJWs we’ve talked about in this thread being able to control what people are able to read, by controlling what is published.

    For much the same reason, I’m not keen on traditional media in general.

  342. >Thanks for stepping in, but I’m afraid that to me it is unknown what unknown unknowns that you know (or perhaps don’t know) that I am supposed to unknowingly know but apparently are unknown to me.

    Was that as hard to type as it was to read?

    What I’m talking about comes across as trusting uninformed intuition over facts, reality and experience reflected in historical record. Seeming to display the belief that ‘if I’m not aware of it, it’s not relevant or important’, or worse assuming ‘if I’m not aware of it it doesn’t exist’. Comes up every once in a while, and it does happen to everyone from time to time.

    There’s more than one type of feminist, more than one meaning of the word feminism- and that’s deliberate. Some of those meanings of feminism, and the people who embody them, are not benign. In fact they try to hide themselves behind the more benign meaning of the word, making deliberate use of linguistic confusion, as protection and to draw support from the unwary.

    Please excuse me if I’m wrong, I kind of skimmed some of this discussion, but it seems you’ve let yourself fall victim to that dishonesty and become one of the unwary I just mentioned. Possibly because you’re too nice, too honest, and you project that honesty onto people who really don’t deserve it. (Not knowing details about the nastier SJW ‘feminists’, and assuming if you don’t know it then it doesn’t matter.)

  343. @ Winter

    Aren’t you conveniently neglecting to mention the bloody history of the Dutch colonization of South Africa? Or of the other Dutch colonies in the East Indies. Or of the period in your history when the Netherlands was ruled by aristocracy.

  344. @TomA
    The Dutch did their share of attrocities. But the victims were not Dutch, but conquered people on the other side of the globe..

    Your point was a government massacring their own people.

  345. Greg I suspect Tor is more than a little miffed Twilight, Potter, Hunger Games and now Divergence were poached right out of their back yard by non-genre competitors. Where’s Tor’s so-called expert editors in their field?

    The agents and editors which groomed those into best-sellers and films weren’t wasting their time on Twitter harassing straight white men about “privilege” while grooming no-talents like John Scalzi for nothing. At some point one of these morons will figure out that having authors who light up their audience as bigots will garner more awards than cold hard cash.

    Although this may startle some people, SF fans don’t read SF to hear daily radical feminism or inquisitions into their personal beliefs, status as males or skin. Imagine a football team doing that to their fans and then imagine a stadium emptying.

    And Greg, your comment about words is directly to the point. Take the Nebulas and Hugos. 40 years ago those were watchwords for excellence in SF anthologies. Now those same words are watchwords for hate-speech, radical feminism and serial defamation. In short, all the literary air has been sucked right out of those words, just like the word “feminism” has been hijacked.

    As an SF fan, I was introduced to The Hugo Winners and SFWA administered SF Hall of Fame anthologies and I loved them. Now I despise those organizations as mainstreamers of hate speech and shitty SFF. I certainly haven’t changed, but the number of racist award-nominated SFF authors on Twitter each and every day complaining about misogyny this and privilege that has, and it is stunning, and disgusting.

  346. @TomA
    >Hopefully you and I can agree that murder is a real psychopathic behavior here.

    I don’t know much about psychopathology, but indeed, i do not condone miurder, and have pretty strong objections to all forms of killing people.

    >Why is it you collectivists are so defensive about your ideological track record?

    Hm. This sounds a bit like a “Have you stopped beating your wife?” sort of question. I ‘m not ideologically affiliated with Stalin (or Mao, or …). I would not want to live in the sort of society that was the USSR – under Stalin or any other dictator.
    On the other hand, I don’t have any problem with a wealthy society providing a basic income for its unemployed, affordable schools, affordable healthcare, or similar collective facilities.

    Does that make me a “collectivist” ? I don’t know – I’m not quite sure what that word means to you, but apparently you already had me labelled as such.
    Does it make me a communist, extreme leftist or Stalin worshipper ? Not in my book. But I’m not sure your book makes that sort of distinction.

  347. Fail: I’ll dispute your contention that Scalzi is talentless. I’ve read and enjoyed his work, at lease when he’s not been using it as a vehicle for his hard-left ideology. And no, he doesn’t do that with everything.

    kn: The problems with your leftist socialtopia is that there’s not enough wealth to make it happen without dragging the wealthy down to the level of everyone else. What are you going to do when you run out of other people’s money to spend?

  348. @Jay Maynard
    “kn: The problems with your leftist socialtopia is that there’s not enough wealth to make it happen without dragging the wealthy down to the level of everyone else.”

    So what is an (un)acceptable difference in wealth?
    An RP10% (richest 10% divided by poorest 10%) of 16 (USA) or 6 (Sweden)?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

    And how are the Swedes “poor”?

    @Jay Maynard
    “What are you going to do when you run out of other people’s money to spend?”

    And when did that ever happen? When did the Swedes, Norse, or Dutch ran out of “other peoples money”? This quote comes from Thatcher who quipped it as a matter of dogma. The UK before or after her never even tried in earnest to reduce income inequality.

  349. >And how are the Swedes “poor”?

    In terms of purchasing-power parity, the Swedes discovered a few years back they were about on a level with Alabama – the poorest, most rural state in the U.S. Remarkably, they actually did something effective about it – went a long way towards scrapping Swedish-model socialism. Some improvement has followed. They may have made it up to the level of a mid-tier U.S. state by now. Or maybe not; government share of GDP has not shrunk to American levels yet.

  350. Winter: “So what is an (un)acceptable difference in wealth?”

    I reject your premise. The only way incomes become more equal is to level everyone down. It’s nothing but the naked politics of jealousy.

  351. >Mean or median PPP?

    I read an English translation of the original “Sweden is Alabama” study too many years ago to remember. Google is not giving useful hits.

    In any case, Sweden’s Gini coefficient is low, so the difference between mean and median is unlikely to be large.

  352. @ Winter – “The Dutch did their share of attrocities. But the victims were not Dutch”

    Are you implying that state-sponsored genocide is acceptable if not practiced against your own population? Or that there is moral superiority in committing genocide against “inferior” peoples versus homeland’s superior race?

    I would argue that this is the mindset that typically leads to tyranny.

  353. @Winter
    Income inequality isn’t, even for those who talk about it, the real problem – if everyone had enough, then some people having more isn’t objectively bad. People talk about income inequality, but the concrete injustices they point to tend to be about poor people, not rich people.

  354. Well, talentless is a “compared to what?” kind of thing. As much as Scalzi laughs at Dan Brown and his Da Vinci Code as a hack, Scalzi is the same animal. His SF is as interesting and shallow as a bad version of Johnny Quest.

    In one of the opening scenes to a Human Division story he has aliens startling humans because of their alien custom of spitting gobs of water to close a deal, in this case into the faces of human diplomats. OH MAN LOOK AT THAT, THAT’S REALLY ALIEN! That’s the kind of thing I expect to see on The Cartoon Channel. That might’ve been clever in the 1890s, during the Cis-Het Victorian Patriarchy. The truth is Scalzi has never written anything even as modern or searching as E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” published in 1909. “The Maker of Moons,” an 1896 no-account short story by Robert W. Chambers has more intrinsic weirdness and interesting dialogue than the redneck conformity of Scalzi. It is at least blessedly devoid of fart jokes, as is the entirety of Golden Age SF for some reason no one understands.

    Throw in the fact he’s decided to be an anti-racist proxy voice for the racist bigotry of an insulated cult of gay black radicalized feminist dogma and you’re not exactly walking down Perception Alley.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Scalzi set aside his insults of Brown and do a startlingly original collaboration together about Capt. Zemo and his Space Templers Twenty Thousand Parsecs Under the Galactic Lens.

  355. @TomA:

    Are you implying that state-sponsored genocide is acceptable if not practiced against your own population?

    Are you implying that statists are the only ones who engage in aggressions that kill “others”?

  356. Income inequality isn’t, even for those who talk about it, the real problem – if everyone had enough, then some people having more isn’t objectively bad.

    Objectively, no, but humans’ firmware tweaks to relative indifference, and we’ve spent sixty years actively suppressing the tools (e.g., clear reasoning) necessary to get past evolutionarily adaptive but outdated thought patterns.

  357. @TomA
    “Or that there is moral superiority in committing genocide against “inferior” peoples versus homeland’s superior race?”

    As Patrick already wrote, killing others for fun an profit is older than humanity itself. The discussion here was about collectivist governments being extra prone to mass murder their subjects. Your examples did not apply as they did not involve Dutch subjects, but conquered foreigners.

  358. Random832,

    Ensuring everyone has enough is going to be tricky with free-market solutions in the world we’re entering, one in which human labor becomes increasingly fungible with machine labor. There is an easy and obvious solution — guaranteed basic income — but if that were ever seriously proposed, up would come the cries of “collectivist!” and “redistributionist!” from the dogmatic conservative/libertarian reactionaries. Clearer-headed libertarians have a more nuanced view.

    But there’s more. It’s well known in counterinsurgency circles that civil unrest arises not from conditions of absolute poverty, but from conditions of relative poverty. Furthermore, the research of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett strongly indicates that societies with more equal incomes are happier and healthier overall. So income inequality is either a real problem, or it’s a reliable indicator for a deeper problem which is strongly linked to other forms of civil strife and poor health outcomes. My suspicion is the latter; societies which venerate property rights and individualism above all, like the USA, tend to foster less cooperation, more rivalry, and more dissonance between social strata than do societies which revere social harmony and civic duty. But I can’t back that up.

  359. @Jeff Read
    “My suspicion is the latter; societies which venerate property rights and individualism above all, like the USA, tend to foster less cooperation, more rivalry, and more dissonance between social strata than do societies which revere social harmony and civic duty.”

    I think the power inequalities that are at the root of income inequality also affect “hapiness” and “social harmony”.

  360. @Jay Maynard
    > The problems with your leftist socialtopia is that there’s not enough wealth to make it happen without dragging the wealthy down to the level of everyone else. What are you going to do when you run out of other people’s money to spend?

    and don’t understand why you call it utopia. I’ts happening in real life every day. Do you expect the creation of wealth to come to a stop just because a part of it is redistributed in the form public works like road building, running a policy force and an army, or the funding of schools and hospitals ?

  361. ^ that first sentence should read “I dont understand …”

    don’t know what happened there

  362. @Jeff Read
    > guaranteed basic income

    I think that is a super idea. How about you set up charity and convince rich people to contribute to it out of their moral and ethical sense of duty? After all, rich people are pretty generous. But that isn’t what you want, right? You want to force people, all people who are above some arbitrary line, to contribute to your scheme. You want people who bust their butts 80 hours a week, and live frugally and carefully to subsidize people who sit on their butts watching Oprah and complaining about how the rich are screwing them?

    Of course not all poor people are lazy or non industrious, and not all wealthy are hard working and contributory, but when charity becomes an entitlement gratitude turns into resentment, when charity becomes an entitlement the pleasure of helping others turns into bitterness at bureaucratic goons, when charity becomes entitlement there is a word for the working poor — suckers.

    > But there’s more. It’s well known in counterinsurgency circles that civil unrest arises not from conditions of absolute poverty, but from conditions of relative poverty.

    So you believe the successful and hard working should genuflect to the blackmailing threats of the lazy and non contributors? Again, by no means are all the poor or low income lazy or non contributory, but the ones who are worthy of consideration are too busy working and trying to improve their situation to be professional protesters or perpetually offended.

    > My suspicion is the latter; societies which venerate property rights and individualism above all, like the USA, tend to foster less cooperation, more rivalry, and more dissonance between social strata than do societies which revere social harmony and civic duty.

    But your suspicion doesn’t bear out reality where the USA, that country bristling with capitalist pigs and oppressed poor, is regularly rated as the most charitable and generous nation, and group of people on earth.

  363. @Jessica Boxer
    There have been experiments with basic income. They tend to succeed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income#Worldwide

    In the Netherlands, we have a wellfare system that will grant a basic income provided you are trying to get a job. But there is no time limit. That is why this subject is off the political agenda.

  364. In the Netherlands, we have a wellfare system that will grant a basic income provided you are trying to get a job. But there is no time limit.

    Which sounds a lot like what the US calls “unemployment benefits”. I find it interesting that Paul Krugman, back when he was writing on actual economic research, argued against long terms for unemployment. (In particular, one of the problems I observe is that when an economy is overinflated, wages will have to come down at some point to a realistic level, but most people have a vehement loathing to take a significant pay cut, especially when “I can’t find a job that pays ‘what I’m worth'” is good enough to keep the unemployment.)

  365. “…a basic income…”

    “I think it’s a wonderful idea. Tell you what. I’ll go convince the poor…you go convince the rich.”

    – Herschel Ostropolier

  366. @ Winter

    Forgive me for being blunt, but you and Jeff Read appear to have an extraordinarily casual attitude about mass murder (e.g. ho-hum, it’s been around since dirt and everyone does it, even non-collectivists).

    Sorry, but in my mind, that attitude is a psychopathology and is also the reason that plebeian collectivists such as yourself are so prone to forming tyrannies. Libertarians inherently recoil against all forms of murder and neither excuse it nor justify it based upon some convenient political mantra. To date, history has not produced a single libertarian mass murderer.

  367. Whoa, whoa, whoa. You and I may believe both of them are overly-casual about government measures that ultimately lead to such atrocities, but they (well, Winter at least) isn’t being casual about mass murder; he’s just saying the example put forth doesn’t uphold the claim that such measures lead to the murder of that nation’s own people. Which was in fact what the claim was. Let’s not score own-goals by criticizing him for something he didn’t say.

  368. The law itself states that consent must be ongoing and may be withdrawn at any time. This, actually, I have no problem with. There are certain times where it would be kind of mean to withdraw consent, but if agency means anything, then of course, consent can be withdrawn.

    One of the problems that college males (and some non-college males) are facing is that women are attempting (and in some cases succeeding) in withdrawing consent hours to years *after* the act has completed.

  369. I don’t understand

    You could have just stopped there (I applied your patch).

    why you call it utopia. I’ts happening in real life every day. Do you expect the creation of wealth to come to a stop just because a part of it is redistributed in the form public works like road building, running a policy force and an army, or the funding of schools and hospitals ?

    This will probably be about as fruitful as talking to Read, but:

    The creation of wealth *does* stop, or will slow down to the point where it is essentially invisible once the government can redistribute wealth at whim.

    There was little to no wealth creation in the USSR during the cold war. Most of their innovation was stolen from the west, and in some ways was active wealth destruction because useful materials were wasted and/or frittered away.

    There is NO wealth creation happening in Zimbabwe, quite the opposite.

    Australia’s doing ok, mostly because they can let the chinese mine their ores for them and get paid for it, but how much better could they be doing if *they* mined their ores and had native industries producing he goods?

    Also the general objection isn’t the building of roads or the support of some level of military–those are things that nations do (military) or that we all use daily.

    The problems that people like me have is that we’re subsidizing sloth and corruption.

  370. Winter on 2014-09-18 at 17:22:36 said:

    There have been experiments with basic income. They tend to succeed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income#Worldwide

    In the Netherlands, we have a wellfare system that will grant a basic income provided you are trying to get a job. But there is no time limit. That is why this subject is off the political agenda.

    Those sorts of things do tend to work when you have a culture as homogenous as the Netherlands were until recently–people tend to look at members of their own tribe as “unlucky” or “having a hard time” rather than “lazy worthless parasites”.

    These things also seem to work better when the dominant culture express values of hard work and not being a parasite. This means that people generally are incentivized to actually *find* work.

    As a culture diversifies, especially if one side or the other is seen as getting a larger share than it puts in, well, you’ll see it back on the agenda.

    Also, according to this:

    http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/global/articles/pages/netherlands-law-contract-employment.aspx

    You’re wrong.

    Decreased Unemployment Benefits

    The maximum duration of unemployment benefits from social security will gradually decrease from 38 months to 24 months between Jan. 1, 2016, and 2019.

    Additionally, as of July 1, 2015, a person receiving unemployment benefits for a period of six months or more will be obliged to accept any available job as suitable employment. Under current rules, the duration is one year.

    So not only is it not “unlimited”, it’s not even off the agenda–it’s being reformed.

  371. @ Paul Brinkley

    I don’t think you have been following this thread accurately. I have never claimed that all mass murderers are collectivists, nor that all collectivists are mass murderers. Only that most of the major mass murderers of the 20th Century have been tyrants leading socialist (e.g. collectivist) governments. And these tyrants murdered lots of people, both internally and externally, so the citizenship criteria is meaningless.

    In addition, I have never claimed that the Netherlands government has been a mass murderer of its own people, only that it has a bloody track record in its colonization history. Winter seems to take great pride in the fact that his government has not yet started mass murdering its own people, which is indeed fortunate, but absurd to cite as a virtue.

  372. @Christopher Smith:

    most people have a vehement loathing to take a significant pay cut, especially when “I can’t find a job that pays ‘what I’m worth’” is good enough to keep the unemployment.

    Yeah, the art of setting the right level of unemployment seems to be difficult to manage, but…

    In my experience, the people in the trenches do know the score, and apparently try to implement systems to compensate.

    In 1993, the small company I was working for laid off everybody except one tech-support guy and the accountant (around 15 people). It was not a good time to be looking for work (I actually wound up moving from Texas to Canada for a year), so after about a week, I went down to the unemployment office, which was an enlightening experience.

    I don’t know how it is now in Texas, but at the time, the unemployment benefits maxed out at $245 per week. We all went to an indoctrination room, got a lecture, watched a video, etc., and then queued up for individual sessions with counselors.

    From where I was sitting, I could easily overhear the counselor haranguing the person in front of me for around 20 minutes, about how she was required to check the postings at the unemployment office, get on the phone, go to interviews, and submit paperwork proving that she had applied to at least three companies each and every week.

    So when it’s my turn, I’m about ready to tell the counselor that seems like a heckuva lotta work for such an insignificant amount of scratch, so they can just keep their money, but being polite, I let him go first. He looks at his computer screen (which shows him my income for the last who-knows-how-many-years, because the state collects unemployment insurance from employers), then turns to me and says “Sorry, I don’t think we’re going to be able to help you find a job at all. Your checks should start coming in two weeks. Please let us know when you find a job. NEXT!!!”

  373. Winter:

    There have been experiments with basic income. They tend to succeed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income#Worldwide

    That link only shows a few actual implementations, and has NO comments on their effectiveness, other than in one country where folks in a single DESPERATELY poor village were given about 12 dollars a month per person for a year, then 10 dollars a month for a while later.

    That it “decreased childhood malnutrition and increased school attendance” was seen as a sign of success, and in a grand case of begging the question came to the conclusion that since other people were migrating to the village that this should be implemented nation wide.

    What’s your bet on their belief going in?

    I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that in countries where the mean annual income is well below the poverty level that providing some sort of support to get people to or above the poverty level will make certain metrics better, and that in the long run this might lift these nations out of perpetual poverty.

    That is not the case (by definition) anywhere in the developed world.

    In contrast we have this: http://www.city-journal.org/printable.php?id=6114 where a bunch of progressives PAID poor people to do what the middle class does (or used to do) reflexively. Stay in school, go to the doctor etc. And even then they often failed.

    Which really does make sense.

    In the US it isn’t hard for *anyone*, black, white, latino, whatever to climb out of poverty. Yeah, there’s racism, sexism and some bias against the transgendered (whatever that means this week), but those are things generally take a bit off the top, not keep you at the bottom. All it takes to live a comfortable life in the US is hard work and a bit of thrift. You live somewhere where it’s cheap to get to work–in Chicago or NYC this means you wrap your life around the mass transit systems (did that for 7 years in Chicago), and you don’t waste money on Air Jordans or go out to eat.

    My wife and I have “Liberal Arts” degrees. Mine’s even worse–Fine Art. During the first 2 years post college we were barely scraping by–I was hard-headed about the work I’d take, and she was working a job that started at 4 and hour. Of course, within 12 months she’d been promoted to over 7 an hour, and my hard headedness wound up with me taking a part time job at a major publisher, which lead to a full time job, which lead to a rather lucrative profession as a Linux SA. Yeah, like Randy Waterhouse I got out of college with a degree, a girlfriend and more than a working knowledge of Unix. Fortunately my wife wasn’t a left wing feminist. Unfortunately this meant I didn’t go to the Phillipines and meet a hot half Philippino treasure hunter. Oh, and I should mention 30k in student loan debt that got paid off more-or-less on time.

    But I digress.

    Let’s quote from that City Journal article:

    Of course, it’s ludicrous to suppose that what keeps America’s inner-city residents poor across generations is a struggle for subsistence in an economy of limited opportunities. The main drivers of poverty in America are family breakdown (in 2004, single-parent households nationally were six times as likely to be poor as married families) and nonwork (only 5 percent of all families with one full-time worker were poor in New York City from 2005 to 2007, compared with 47 percent of families with no workers). The antisocial behaviors that contribute to multigenerational poverty also have nothing to do with suffocating economic pressures: very few inner-city students cut classes or drop out of school to help their parents work; they do so because their peer culture is toxic and because their parents exercise little control over their lives.

    In the US a *single person* can survive, if the are careful and thrifty, on our current minimum wage (roughly $15080USD. PPP is about 1.1, so this is if I did the conversions right about 12841.20 EURO). This isn’t a lot of money, but the numbers say it can be done. And frankly if you *can* do the things you need to survive you have the sorts of skills that mean you won’t be working a minimum wage job very long.

    The truth is that in the US very, very few people work at the minimum wage, and many who do are “tipped” employees, which means they probably don’t report all of their tips as income.

    So no, I don’t think there are any cases of an industrial society that “successfully” implemented a GAS.

  374. Maupin:

    From where I was sitting, I could easily overhear the counselor haranguing the person in front of me for around 20 minutes, about how she was required to check the postings at the unemployment office, get on the phone, go to interviews, and submit paperwork proving that she had applied to at least three companies each and every week.

    So when it’s my turn, I’m about ready to tell the counselor that seems like a heckuva lotta work for such an insignificant amount of scratch, so they can just keep their money, but being polite, I let him go first. He looks at his computer screen (which shows him my income for the last who-knows-how-many-years, because the state collects unemployment insurance from employers), then turns to me and says “Sorry, I don’t think we’re going to be able to help you find a job at all. Your checks should start coming in two weeks. Please let us know when you find a job. NEXT!!!”

    This is EXACTLY the difference between the poor and the not-poor in America.

    In America the “poor” tend to treat unemployment insurance as a paid holiday. The non-poor treat it as a bridge (I should note that I’ve applied for UI 3 times, and been on it once, intermittently, for about 3 months total) to keep from getting further in debt.

    I’ve been unemployed about 9 of the last 21 months, partially because of moving continents. Now I’m working a distinctly “not poor” job. I make enough by myself to let my wife stay home and raise our daughter rather than farm that out to the teachers unions and the state.

    Because I didn’t *expect* anyone to “give” me a job. I expected to earn it, and wanted to maximize my utility.

  375. @William O’Blivion
    “So not only is it not “unlimited”, it’s not even off the agenda–it’s being reformed.”

    You are referring to the wrong benefit. These are above minimum unemployment benefits (~70% of last income, but that could have been changed again, WW in Dutch) which are indeed time limited.

    After you lose these, you will be eligible for “Bijstand” (Law of work and assistance). In this, a family would get somewhat less than the minimum wage as long as they make an effort to get a job or are in some way incapacitated. After retirement you simply get this amount without conditions.

    This is not a basic income as you do not get it if you have equity, savings, or any kind of other income.

    For those who can read Dutch (and therefor would already know about this):
    https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_werk_en_bijstand

  376. @TomA
    “Only that most of the major mass murderers of the 20th Century have been tyrants leading socialist (e.g. collectivist) governments. And these tyrants murdered lots of people, both internally and externally, so the citizenship criteria is meaningless.”

    There were a few linked together around WWII. One of which is only considered a socialist by USA libertarians. Those who suffered from it considered it extreme right wing.

    @TomA
    “In addition, I have never claimed that the Netherlands government has been a mass murderer of its own people, only that it has a bloody track record in its colonization history.”

    I interpreted your comment that you predicted mass murder in Sweden and the Netherlands. Mostly because your remarks had been made before in the context of such accusations. So I was wrong, sorry.

    @TomA
    “Winter seems to take great pride in the fact that his government has not yet started mass murdering its own people, which is indeed fortunate, but absurd to cite as a virtue.”

    No, I commented that the link “strong state” and “mass murdering subjects” that is generally made here is simply false. As data points I gave two examples of “old” countries that never engaged in mass murdering their own subjects.

    I consider the behavior in our colonies (including Suriname) abject and would love to have those responsible dragged in court for war crimes, if that would be possible. But we cannot redress the atrocities of history as those responsible are dead.

    Why you think I am in some way proud of those atrocities is a mystery to me.

  377. @William O’Blivion
    “That link only shows a few actual implementations, and has NO comments on their effectiveness, other than in one country where folks in a single DESPERATELY poor village were given about 12 dollars a month per person for a year, then 10 dollars a month for a while later. ”

    You did not follow the leads:
    USA
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/1970s-manitoba-poverty-experiment-called-a-success-1.868562

    Canada
    http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/4100

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/what-happens-when-the-poor-receive-a-stipend/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    @William O’Blivion
    “In contrast we have this: http://www.city-journal.org/printable.php?id=6114 where a bunch of progressives PAID poor people to do what the middle class does (or used to do) reflexively. Stay in school, go to the doctor etc. And even then they often failed.

    Which really does make sense. ”

    No, you are repeating dogma. Empirically, it tends to work almost everywhere.

    But maybe “mainstream Americans” simply are unable to make such a thing work?

    The USA also seems to be unable to get universal health-care coverage working. Every other OECD country got it working decades ago (and way cheaper).

  378. “The USA also seems to be unable to get universal health-care coverage working. Every other OECD country got it working decades ago (and way cheaper).”

    FSVO “working”. The US has the finest health care system in the world…or at least did until Barack Obama got his socialist fingers into it.

    Or are you ignoring all of the news about third world hospital conditions in the UK’s NHS?

  379. >Or are you ignoring all of the news about third world hospital conditions in the UK’s NHS?

    Or, for that matter, the bureaucratic patient-murdering machine at the Veteran’s Administration.

  380. @Jay Maynard
    “FSVO “working”. The US has the finest health care system in the world…or at least did until Barack Obama got his socialist fingers into it.”

    Except that 10% of the population was without any health insurance and many of the rest have caps. Didn’t we discuss a case higher up where a woman could not get reimbursement for needed hormonal treatment?

    The whole basic concept of Breaking Bad is inconceivable in other OECD countries. I know too many people who were in need of very expensive (cancer) treatments. None of them were denied very long term treatments, and none of them received bills or were threatened by caps.

    @Jay Maynard
    “Or are you ignoring all of the news about third world hospital conditions in the UK’s NHS?”

    You are dreaming:
    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror

    The UK is beaten only by the USA in low quality (=healthy lives). My country is “average” (=in need of improvement).

    US health care is 11th in this survey. And even in the one area it boast itself, in quality of care, it is 11th because so many people are denied the care they need. The US is also the most expensive by far.

    See also:
    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/Publications/Issue%20Brief/2011/Jul/1532_Squires_US_hlt_sys_comparison_12_nations_intl_brief_v2.pdf

  381. About the healthcare system, one thing that often isn’t considered is that all these public healthcare systems in foreign lands ride the coat tails of the American medical system. The large majority of investment and new discovery in medical technology happens here, and is mostly paid for here.

    A perfect illustration would be with respect to drug pricing. You can often buy the same drug in Canada cheaper than you can here in the USA. Why? Why would the big drug companies be less money grubbing overseas than here at home?

    The economics of this are not complicated. Let’s use a simple worked example: wonder drug Raymonix, which cures people of their irrational thinking. Total investment in developing the drug is $200M, FDA certification costs are another $200M, marginal cost to produce one pill $0.10.

    We expect 100M doses per year in the USA, and if we are looking for an ROI of 3 years and a profit of 10%, then we charge about $1.60 for each pill (someone check my math.) However, on the margin, each pill produces a profit of $1.50. Consequently, if Canada passes a law that say Raymonix should be sold for less than 50 cents, selling it in Canada is still viable, since the marginal profit is still 40 cents per pill.

    Consequently, Canadians get Raymonix for a third of the cost because they are being subsidized by the American healthcare market. Then they carp on about how much better the Canadian healthcare system is than the American, while Americans subsidize their crowing.

    If the American market did not subsidize Raymonix in this way, or passed a law saying Raymonix should cost 50 cents, then the drug would never have been developed in the first place and we’d all be worse off, or if post facto, the drug company would either go out of business and stop making it, or they would never develop another drug again.

    Of course these consequences of price controls are pretty invisible, it is hard to see something not being done, but that is why politicians love that part of economics — visible benefit to them, invisible costs.

    Which is to say all those publicly funded healthcare systems are not just funded by the local government, but by a massive tax on the American healthcare system. Which makes it doubly unpleasant for us, since not only are we funding your medical care, but you are mocking us for how stupid and backward we are.

  382. There is a continuum between the manically productive at one end of the spectrum and the utterly parasitic at the other end of the spectrum. Most people are somewhere in between during most of their adult lives. To the extent that a country or society has members with a centroid of distribution nearer the productive side of the spectrum, they tend to be wealthier and more advanced.

    High taxation and income redistribution pushes the centroid toward the parasitic tail because it rewards parasitic conduct. This is anti-evolutionary because the parasites have no incentive to become productive. What happens when the gravy train runs out of track?

  383. @Jessica Boxer
    Still, the USA is unable to deliver health care to all. And you cannot blame that failure to Canada or Europe.

    The USA and the drug companies are free to charge and distribute money and drugs the way they want to. Also, the drug companies spend more on marketing than on development.

    Note that quite a number of drug companies are non USA. Swtserland is big in this respect.

  384. @TomA
    “High taxation and income redistribution pushes the centroid toward the parasitic tail because it rewards parasitic conduct.”

    This sounds like received libertarian dogma. Please supply empirical data that a basic income has this effect? All field experiments resulted in the exact opposite.

  385. > The large majority of investment and new discovery in medical technology happens here, and is mostly paid for here.

    true for some values of ‘mostly’
    there’s a list of the top 12 pharmaceutical companies at wikipedia. The combined R&D budget (reported, 2012) of the US companies in that list is 44% of the total.
    Switzerland : 31%.

  386. @Winter
    > The USA and the drug companies are free to charge and distribute money and drugs the way they want to.

    That isn’t actually true. In many countries they are subject to price controls, and in all countries they are subject to regulatory controls. However, that isn’t especially important.

    > Also, the drug companies spend more on marketing than on development.

    This is an old saw. What difference does that make? Advertising makes drugs cheaper for consumers by increasing the market and consequently distributing the costs. Whether that takes the form of lower drug costs or more money to develop new drugs, or rewarding investors making it easier to raise capital for new drugs is irrelevant, either way it is a good thing.

    > Note that quite a number of drug companies are non USA. Switzerland is big in this respect.

    Right, but that isn’t important in the economic calculation. The calculation doesn’t matter as to where the drugs are made, only as to where the market price is relatively free or relatively controlled. The gigantic American drug economy subsidizes those Swiss made drugs too.

    Just as a data point, I did a quick eyeball, so my count might be off a little, but in the 70 years since the end of the second world war, US scientists have won the Nobel Prize in medicine 85 times, and many of the others did their research in American institutions. Some were shared for sure, but I think “mostly” would be a fair assessment of the American contribution to medicine.

    I think the phrase you are searching for is “thank you very much America.”

  387. @William O. B’Livion
    >The creation of wealth *does* stop, [...] once the government can redistribute wealth at whim.

    Because of taxes, right ?
    But then, building roads and maintaining an army are also funded with taxes. The creation of wealth could also stop if the governements spends its revenue and then wants more tax.
    What they spend it on isn’t the issue, welfare or social security isn’t really the problem, it’s more a problem balancing revenue against expenses, and setting priorities.
    That’s why that Tatcher quote is wrong. (But it sounds catchy, I’ll give you that).

    >The problems that people like me have is that we’re subsidizing sloth and corruption.
    I graduated during the crisis in the 1980s and didn’t get a job untill the 90s. Eventually, after a number of odd jobs, a started taking classes in IT, which I could afford to because of the unemployment benefit i received and the school being heavily subsidized by the government.
    I then quite easily got me a job as a system administrator, and I’ve been doing that ever since, with pleasure. Yay.
    How’s this a story about sloth and corruption ?

  388. No, I commented that the link “strong state” and “mass murdering subjects” that is generally made here is simply false. As data points I gave two examples of “old” countries that never engaged in mass murdering their own subjects.

    Only if you redefine “subjects” to mean “resident citizens”.

  389. @ Winter – “Please supply empirical data that a basic income has this effect?”

    The history of the Soviet Union is a relevant case study. Feel free to choose any time period from the early 1920s through it’s demise in 1991.

  390. @TomA
    “The history of the Soviet Union is a relevant case study.”

    This remark suggests that your understanding of how work and income were distribited in the Soviet Union must be next to zero.

    Or you do not understand the concept of a basic income.

    (Or both)

  391. @Christopher Smith
    “Only if you redefine “subjects” to mean “resident citizens”.”

    Maybe subjects is not the right word. “resident citizenss” is ambiguous too, resident where?

    The locals (natives) of the colonies had no representation in the ruling class nor among the officers of the armed forces. Moreover, those who ruled these colonies were born and raised in the Netherlands and worked only on a temporal basis in these colonies.

    In no way were the natives considered citizens of the Netherlands and they also had none of the legal rights of citizens.

  392. @Winter:

    You are the one making the extraordinary claim, namely that “basic income” has the magical ability to invert the well known and well documented properties of all other forced wealth redistribution schemes. The evidence you’ve presented so far is laughable, and doesn’t come close to supporting your conclusion.

    @Jessica, Winter, etc:

    Statistics about medical systems tend to favor the US when they are about medical care, and disfavor the US when they are about things other than medical care. Creating metrics that the US does poorly on is so easy that any fool can do it, and many do. The most meaningful metric is simply “Where do the rich and powerful go when they are afraid?” and everyone knows the answer to that question.

    The drug pipeline is so complex and poorly understood by laymen that it is nearly pointless to discuss it in public. For a peek, I suggest http://pipeline.corante.com/

  393. @kjj
    “You are the one making the extraordinary claim, namely that “basic income” has the magical ability to invert the well known and well documented properties of all other forced wealth redistribution schemes.”

    My claim is no more than that basic income can reduce poverty under the definitions as given in the links. Also, basic income improves living conditions and prospects of the beneficiaries.

    The empirical evidence supports this claim, see the studies mentioned. And I have yet to see the documents you claim prove otherwise. Feel free to supply links to these sources that so well document the opposite of what I see around me (see the account of kn above).

  394. @Jessica
    You can do the math.

    The USA spends around $8600 per capita on health care. That is around $2.5 trillion. Drugs make up only a small fraction of this amount. Also, drug companies are very profitable businesses, so they could do with less subsidies from US patients. Stil, with all this money, the USA is unable to supply everyone the care they need. Other countries spend way less per capita and are able to reach everyone.

    The result is that the USA trails the developed world in population health statistics.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_States

    I have seen no financial or demographic reasons why the US cannot organise comprehensive health coverage, only political and ideological reasons.

  395. @ Winter – “This remark suggests that your understanding of how work and income were distribited in the Soviet Union must be next to zero. Or you do not understand the concept of a basic income.”

    These tutorials are getting a little tedious for me, but I will try again.

    In an earlier post, I asserted that high taxation and income redistribution created the anti-evolutionary effect of encouraging parasitic behavior in a society. You disagreed and started yammering about a “basic income” and invoking this mantra as if it somehow proved that collectivism was the perfect form of political economy.

    This is the key problem with all incipient collectivist tyrants. They all think that their particular unique form of coercion is the one that will finally work and produce the promised Utopia.

    The specific details of the Winter “basic income” model are not determinative here. It is the underlying principle (and human nature driver) that matters. A principle that is well reflected in the Soviet failed experiment.

    Let me try to explain this principle in direct terms. Collectivist government confiscates wealth from the productive element of society and then uses this booty to purchase the votes of the parasitic element of society. The standard of living of the parasites goes up (positive reinforcement) and they respond by voting more diligently for the collectivist government. As the cycle continues, eventually the productive individuals start to rebel and government must resort to tyranny in order to keep them in line. At the extremis of this cycle, you get labor camps, gulags, and gas chambers.

  396. @TomA
    You do not pay attention. First, taxes are as old as history itself. Human societies have survived them for thousands of years. Redistribution is even older than history, as it is found in every hunter gatherer society.

    Basic income is supplemental. The crucial part is that the beneficients can increase their income with work. There are many such safety net systems in the world.

    The reason your reference to the Soviet or Maoist system is irrelevant is that in these systems people were assigned a job. They were not allowed to move to a better job if they wanted. The only ways to increase your income were to suck up in party hiearchy or the black market. Both routes attracted a lot of ambitious hard working people. This is fundamentally different from everything that happens in Western economies.

    But I suppose the dogmatic, fact free, responses I get from you are a sign you will not bother to look at how people actually behave in the real world. Or even to try to understand why well off Europeans vote to keep and even extend welfare programs from which they themselves do not get “handouts”.

  397. @Winter
    > The USA spends around $8600 per capita on health care. That is around $2.5 trillion. Drugs make up only a small fraction of this amount.

    Right but the same economic calculus applying to drugs applies to all aspects of medical care, to a greater or lesser extent. So perhaps our healthcare costs are high, but that is because we are subsidizing the Dutch healthcare system, and the Canadian healthcare system, and the NHS in Britain and so forth.

    When some Dutch mother doesn’t have to spend the last years of her life unable to remember her children’s names, or some Canadian child doesn’t die from leukemia, it is almost certainly because of all the high cost of American healthcare paying for the research, and the American scientists, Universities and drug companies investing in the drug research. Of course other countries contribute, but the USA is far and away the dominant source.

    Thank god that drug companies are so profitable; profitable enough to fund the high risk of drug research and consequently make us all happier and healthier.

    > Stil, with all this money, the USA is unable to supply everyone the care they need. Other countries spend way less per capita and are able to reach everyone.

    This isn’t really true at all. Medical care is available even to the very poorest in various government provided forms. Is it as good as the top quality care the people paying for their own care get? Of course not, but I believe earlier I discussed the problems of entitlements verses charity. There are plenty of flaws in the American medical system, nearly all of them to do with government interference, but let’s not change the subject from cost. and how America subsidizes all those putatively fabulous exemplary public funded medical systems around the world.

    So it might be true that “Other countries spend way less per capita and are able to reach everyone.” but that is only because Americans are paying part of your bill.

    > The result is that the USA trails the developed world in population health statistics.

    America often doesn’t top the statistics on population health, but it is always at the very top on healthcare. The two things are not the same at all. Much of the problems with American health comes from the fact that our poor are so rich (in terms of buying power) that they consume way to much and do to little, and have access to many things that poverty prevents in many other countries. But heath is a different question than healthcare.

    > I have seen no financial or demographic reasons why the US cannot organise comprehensive health coverage, only political and ideological reasons.

    Because if America did what the Dutch do, then everyone in the world would be sicker and die earlier, and medical research would slow down a very large amount for the reasons already stated earlier. Again the phrase you should be thinking of is “Thank you America”.

    Having said that there is lots and lots wrong with the American medical system, but lack of central control is not one of them.

  398. Dogmatic and fact free? You ignore the repeated experience with socialist wealth distribution schemes over the past century. You’re not doing any different from those that say that we have no real experience with socialism or Communism because the true version has never been practiced.

    The reality is that the true version, according to their definition, is impossible, because it depends on those holding the reins of power to be saints – and there is a distinct lack of saintliness in people who take absolute power in that regard.

    The real world has places like North Korea and Venezuela and China in it…which European leftists either ignore entirely or handwave away.

  399. In no way were the natives considered citizens of the Netherlands and they also had none of the legal rights of citizens.

    You mean like Jews in Germany in 1940?

  400. > You mean like Jews in Germany in 1940?

    More like blacks in the US in the 18th and 19th century.

  401. > The real world has places like North Korea and Venezuela and China in it…which European leftists either ignore entirely or handwave away.

    So, how near to or how far on the slippery slope towards becoming the next North Korea or, why not, the new USSR, do you think welfare states such as Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, …. actually are ?

  402. America often doesn’t top the statistics on population health, but it is always at the very top on healthcare. The two things are not the same at all. Much of the problems with American health comes from the fact that our poor are so rich (in terms of buying power) that they consume way to much and do to little, and have access to many things that poverty prevents in many other countries. But heath is a different question than healthcare.

    The difference is universal health care, or lack thereof, period. Historically, when it came to population health outcomes, Canadians were virtually indistinguishable from Americans… until the 1970s when Canada started offering universal health care. Then the Canadian health outcomes looked better and better, surpassing the USA’s.

    There’s no denying that if you happen to be rich and powerful, America provides fantastic health care — perhaps even the best in the world. But a society that treats its rich well and fucks over its poor is hardly desirable. And it’s hardly the mark of a democratic developed nation. More the mark of a South American dictatorship.

  403. @ Winter – “taxes are as old as history itself. Human societies have survived them for thousands of years.”

    So this is your Utopian vision, a world burdened by taxes and redistribution but still just barely surviving. Or is it maximizing the parasitic consumption to just below the point where the host dies? Or is it enslaving foreigners in the colonies in order to fund the handouts being provided to the citizen parasites? Or is it spending nothing on your own national defense (and instead relying on the US defense umbrella) in order to play Santa Claus with extra welfare goodies and then brag about how magnanimous you are?

  404. @Jeff Read
    > The difference is universal health care, or lack thereof, period…. Then the Canadian health outcomes looked better and better, surpassing the USA’s.

    Even were one to accept your claim, and even if you ignore the many other things that the government did to the poor in America at this time, and even if you ignore the systematic political attempts to destroy a true free market in healthcare in the US going back 100 years, the conclusion to your statement is obvious — our American poor can’t afford to pay the premium that all the foreign healthcare systems are imposing on the American one.

  405. >until the 1970s when Canada started offering universal health care. Then the Canadian health outcomes looked better and better, surpassing the USA’s.

    Suuuuure. That’s why Americans with serious health problems and the practical choice to do so go north to Canadian hospitals to get treatment.

    Oh, wait. No. In the real world, it’s the other way around.

    Which reveals all these claims about the superiority of Canadian health care outcomes to be exactly like every other claim about the shiny wonderful outcomes of collectivism. That is, lies.

  406. @Patrick Maupin
    > Interestingly, one study purports to show that in 2007, the number of people leaving the US for medical care was around 10X the number of people entering the US for medical care.

    There are two different things going on here. Medical tourism for regular medical care to foreign countries because of lower prices, and medical tourism for treatments that are not available in your home country (or are behind some massive waiting line due to national health system rationing.)

    The latter is really the point I think Eric was making. No Americans are going to Canada they can’t find someone at home willing and qualified to do their brain surgery.

    The former is simply a consequence of what I was talking about earlier. People import drugs from Canada because they can buy it without (much of) the premium Americans have to pay to subsidize the whole world’s medical care. It is a little leak in the abstraction. Going overseas for a hip replacement or a glaucoma treatment is just the same thing (though there is also a little more to it than that.)

  407. @esr&jessica etc.
    So it must be easy to show me statistics that prove all citizens in the USA get the health care they need, even for chronic conditions (which make up the bulk of the costs). That is, Breaking Bad is completely wrong: A teacher in the USA will never have to turn to crime to pay for cancer medication.

    @Jessica
    Do you really believe the USA denies its own population universal coverage to subsidize Canadians and Europeans?

  408. @Jessica
    Drug make up less than $300M (out of ~$2.5 trilliin) of the total. The bulk of health care costs are paying people (nurses, doctors, etc.) and infrastructure (hospitals, labs).

    https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/highlights.pdf

    In addition, the research of the NIH is not part of health care costs. So, there is no way that caps on drug prices in Canada are the reason the USA cannot deliver universal coverage.

    Also, medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the USA

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100840148

    What happens to care for a chronic condition after you went bankrupt?

  409. Americans leave the US for relatively simple procedures because our government has completely and utterly destroyed the pricing mechanisms for just about everything medical. You fly into Mexico and your procedure can be done at market prices (cheap). Also, without onerous layers of bureaucracy and administration, typically just cash.

    Again, no one with any serious problem is flying out of the US for help. Note that the wikipedia article linked above makes this point clear.

    Even cosmetic surgery costs are deranged here, despite typically being cash jobs. Every medical interaction is a spin on the billion dollar jury award lottery wheel, and the malpractice insurance costs (included in your bill) reflect that.

  410. @kjj
    “You fly into Mexico and your procedure can be done at market prices (cheap).”

    Mexico has universal health care coverage.
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mexico-universal-health-care-insurance-lancet-decade-374135

    @kjj
    “Again, no one with any serious problem is flying out of the US for help.”

    Not to Canada? Why not? Are Canadian hospitals worse than those in the USA?

    It seems you focus on acute medical help. People tend to die from chronic conditions. You cannot treat chronic conditions by flying to another country.
    http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/

  411. @TomA
    I notice that you do not come up with any data to support your claims. I still am waiting for statistics or studies that show basic income does work like your dogma requires. I am not holding my breath.

    @TomA
    “So this is your Utopian vision, a world burdened by taxes and redistribution but still just barely surviving.”

    Your vision of a tax-free society is utopian. Taxes are the hard reality of human history. And FYI, the Western world outside the USA is way above “barely surviving”. So much for your economic insights.

    @TomA
    “Or is it maximizing the parasitic consumption to just below the point where the host dies?”

    I know of no country that is anywhere near this point. Please come up with an example supported with evidence.

    @TomA
    “Or is it enslaving foreigners in the colonies in order to fund the handouts being provided to the citizen parasites?”

    That was a thing of the past, as far as Europe is concerned. The welfare state was been build after the colonies were lost.

    @TomA
    “Or is it spending nothing on your own national defense (and instead relying on the US defense umbrella) in order to play Santa Claus with extra welfare goodies and then brag about how magnanimous you are?”

    We do spend less on defense than the USA. Actually, every country in the world spends less on defense than the USA. The USA do not look kindly upon countries that try to match their defense spending. The US do a lot to prevent anyone in the world building up a capacity to keep off the US armed forces. So it seems a little pointless to try to do so.

    The NATO deal was that Europe would not build up a military capacity to defend itself in return for protection by the USA.

  412. Winter, not all citizens of the USA get the health care they need. You see, health care costs money. It’s a resource. Consumption of a resource has a cost. We do not steal from every citizen in the form of increased taxes to pay that cost. …well, we did not, at least, until Barack Obama came along.

    What’s the difference between this and giving every citizen housing and food and the other resources needed to stay alive? None. So why not go whole hog, comrade, and institute Communism? From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, don’t you know.

    The end of that road is the gulag, and the mass grave.

    Oh, and unlike your European utopias, the NIH is not the sole funder of medical research in the US. As for the health care market in Mexico being cheaper than the US, that they have socialized medicine has exactly zero to do with it.

  413. @Jay Maynard
    “We do not steal from every citizen in the form of increased taxes to pay that cost. …well, we did not, at least, until Barack Obama came along.”

    Then do not whine and twist words and simply admit that you do not want universal coverage. That you see people having no access to health care as a feature of a free market.

    @Jay Maynard
    “What’s the difference between this and giving every citizen housing and food and the other resources needed to stay alive?”

    A basic income? Most European countries have such kinds of safety nets. Social housing developments are indeed common. But you have to start somewhere.

    @Jay Maynard
    Their seems to be a very long road between universal health care and the gulags. We have yet to see any kind of a ghost of a gulag in the UK. Meanwhile, more people die early due to lack of medical care in the USA than are murdered in UK gulags.

  414. What’s the difference between this and giving every citizen housing and food and the other resources needed to stay alive? None.

    Hence — basic income.

    The fact is that when you consider the transaction costs of determining who is eligible for government assistance and who is a “parasite”, as in the current U.S. welfare system, it is cheaper to simply hand out enough money to survive on to everyone. This is why even libertarians favor a basic income system (replacing current welfare systems).

    Conservatives and libertarians would assert that it would be even cheaper to eliminate government entitlement programs altogether. But I’m not so sure that’s the case. With machines replacing human jobs at grand scale — even thinky jobs that we thought only humans could do — there are going to be an awful lot of “parasites” in society when hardworking folks find themselves laid off. So the cost of providing everyone a basic income may yet be less than the costs incurred by the civil unrest brought about by millions of the recently jobless.

  415. “Then do not whine and twist words and simply admit that you do not want universal coverage.”

    When did I ever give you the idea that I considered universal, government-run health care to be in the least bit desirable? How could I have possibly led you that far astray?

    I am not whining or twisting words. I will come right out and say what I have said all along: Government-run, universal health care is antithetical to the idea of a free market, and just one step down the road to the gulag. Not only do I not want it, I think it’s is profoundly evil.

  416. “So the cost of providing everyone a basic income may yet be less than the costs incurred by the civil unrest brought about by millions of the recently jobless.”

    Fomented, no doubt, by SEIU and Al Sharpton and the rest of the hard-left Communist front crowd.

    Here’s a hint: It is fundamentally wrong to take from those who produce and give to those who do not. Regardless of the putative cost savings. Morality is not for sale.

  417. @Jay Maynard
    “Government-run, universal health care is antithetical to the idea of a free market, and just one step down the road to the gulag. Not only do I not want it, I think it’s is profoundly evil.”

    So, you want to let people die due to lack of care now to prevent them from being killed in a possible gulag later?

    I have problems seeing the logic of your reasoning.

  418. I want the world’s economies to work well enough that anyone who wants to work can do so, and can earn their own living instead of depending on the largesse of a benevolent government. The less of a drag that government imposes on the economy by taking its cut straight off the top, the better the economy performs, the more people can be put to work, and the greater will be the sum of human happiness and dignity.

    Those that choose not to work must accept the consequences of that choice.

    Yes, there are those who genuinely cannot support themselves. That’s what charity is for.

  419. @Jay Maynard
    “I want the world’s economies to work well enough that anyone who wants to work can do so, and can earn their own living instead of depending on the largesse of a benevolent government.”

    That is a nice Utopia to live for. Meanwhile, quite a lot of people are going to die needlessly while the world waits for it arrival in the (very) distant future.

  420. >So, you want to let people die due to lack of care now to prevent them from being killed in a possible gulag later?

    Supposing this is what Jay wanted, it would be a pretty good trade. The lethality of governments is very high.

    But Jay doesn’t want poor people to die. What he wants is for the government to be barred from coercing others to feed and house them, which is not the same thing. He believes (and I agree) that people who care strongly about the condition of the poor by pooling their own money to solve the problem.

  421. > But Jay doesn’t want poor people to die. What he wants is for the government to be barred from coercing others to feed and house them, which is not the same thing. He believes (and I agree) that people who care strongly about the condition of the poor by pooling their own money to solve the problem.

    And yet you who so freely talk about the “track record” of “collectivists” don’t seem bothered by the fact that this has never actually worked. Oh, sure, private charities help some of the poor people, some of the time. But if that’s the only play in your book… well, at least the “collectivists” occasionally try a new variation on the welfare state.

  422. @esr
    “What he wants is for the government to be barred from coercing others to feed and house them, which is not the same thing. He believes (and I agree) that people who care strongly about the condition of the poor by pooling their own money to solve the problem.”

    As Random832 already remarked, this has never worked. You are putting a lot of lives on the line to prevent a very hypothetical threat. Because these high lethality states were found in a few (3-4) cases around some pretty awful (regular and civil) wars. They had never been seen before, and there is little indication that these will ever repeat.

    On the other hand, the UK has had an NHS since 1948 and has since then not seen any gulags or mass murders by their government. The UK have had taxes since before the Romans took over. You must remind me again about the masses of gulags these taxing governments have installed.

    This whole gulag mass murdering thing is just a bogeyman to scare people into accepting a miserable life and death in the name of “Free Market” economics.

    The whole developed world has universal health care coverage for decades without the North Korean gulags and work camps. Just the USA are to scared and dogmatic (or incompetent?) to organize that.

  423. “He believes (and I agree) that people who care strongly about the condition of the poor [should act] by pooling their own money to solve the problem.”

    (I think that’s what Eric meant.)

    It’s the same thing as leftist billionaires who want to raise everyone’s taxes…but won’t put their money where their mouths are. Drives me nuts.

    I’ll believe Warren Buffett is serious about reducing the deficit when he writes a 10-figure check to the US Treasury.

  424. @Jay Maynard
    “He believes (and I agree) that people who care strongly about the condition of the poor [should act] by pooling their own money to solve the problem.”

    Sounds a lot like the old patronage system in classical Roman times. Did not give much stability nor were people free.

  425. @ Winter

    The “poor” in our country are literally dying of obesity-related diseases, not starving. The list of government handouts here (vote-bribes) is staggeringly long; and does includes extensive indigent medical care, even including such things as birth control, prenatal care, and in-hospital birthing. That is why pregnant women are flocking here from other countries.

    You are arguing that we need a new class of vote-bribe called “basic income” so that we can further the addiction of our parasites and make them even more dependent, obese, and useless. Do you have any idea how insane that sounds?

  426. @ kn – “you keep repeating that, as if you believe it’s proof that “your poor’ are actually well-paid and well-fed.”

    They are compared to most other countries on the planet. That’s why many millions of them have been entering the US illegally from across the border with Mexico over the past few decades.

  427. Then do not whine and twist words and simply admit that you do not want universal coverage.

    Your side is the one that’s constantly using misleading language. “Universal coverage” smuggles two false premises in one term: That “coverage”, rather than provision of service, is the desired end result; and that government-run systems actually provide everyone the service that they want or need.

    That the ObamaCare reforms started off by clamping down on some of the most effective means the US had for actually reducing the cost of health care, such as the ability to buy over-the-counter medications with HSA funds, demonstrates blatantly that nobody on the left honestly cares about the actual medical services involved. The only metric they throw around is “coverage”, even when the premium price of that coverage is drastically higher than the premiums plus out-of-pocket cap for a plan that actually provides insurance.

    Furthermore, every government-run medical system faceplants on the iron fact that demand for $FOO is asymptotically infinite, and that spending more money on more bureaucracy has a surprising tendency to reduce the money spent on actual care. Britain’s NHS, the banner child of smug, routinely turns what should be outpatient surgeries into amputations because of unconscionable delays in treatment, and even Labor is saying that it’s going to need carefully-undefined “reform”. The VA, held up as the ideal model for medicine in the United States, is imploding even worse.

  428. > They are compared to most other countries on the planet.

    Ah. I thought you brought up the obesity to suggest that the “poor” are in fact quite whealthy and can afford to buy unlimited amounts of food etc. My bad.
    I now understand you actually meant that they don’t have a problem because there exist other people who are worse off, and that they are not starving but suffering from a fom of malnutrition.

  429. @Christopher Smith:

    > such as the ability to buy over-the-counter medications with HSA funds

    I’m trying not to participate too much in this debate, because it’s mostly the same old he-said, she-said, with people who will never be able to see eye-to-eye on anything, but I have a hard time seeing how a tax-advantaged account actually helps poor people, who don’t pay taxes anyway, but nonetheless cannot afford healthcare.

    If, as Jay opines, health care is just like everything else, there shouldn’t be a special tax-advantaged category for it. I would start by getting rid of employer-sponsored insurance, which would make more people work much more closely with their insurance companies and pay attention to the actual flow of money. Instead, we have atrocities like this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/us/drive-by-doctoring-surprise-medical-bills.html

    The insurance companies want the cost of medical care to go up, because they want to make sure that average citizens are cowed into getting jobs that supply rich health insurance. They have policies like paying 80% of “usual and customary fees” which means that if you are one of the few who doesn’t have insurance, your bill will be jacked up just so the provider can show the insurance company an inflated price for non-insured people.

    The doctors want the cost of medical care to go up too, so much as they hate each other sometimes, the doctors (led by their AMA union) and the insurance companies actually work together quite effectively behind the scenes to seek rents.

    @Jay Maynard:

    First of all, I don’t believe that all medical costs are the same as other things. My dad died a few months ago. The total for an ambulance ride and four hours of torture eventually ending in death was north of $100,000. I don’t want to live in a society where I might die because the “wrong” ambulance company was called, but I also don’t want to live in a society where people can be bankrupted simply because any ambulance company was called.

    I don’t presume to know what the right answer is, but the situation was and still is untenable, and as the article above shows, it extends even into non-emergency care.

    > I’ll believe Warren Buffett is serious about reducing the deficit when he writes a 10-figure check to the US Treasury.

    Meh. People argue for what they believe is right, and then do what the law lets them.

    It’s amusing to me when liberals get their knickers in a twist about Ayn Rand accepting social security, and it’s amusing when I see this kind of bullshit from conservatives, too.

    But you’re better than this. Put on your thinking cap for a minute and think about the size of the federal debt and then tell me exactly how this argument you just made differs significantly from that of the collectivist argument that the Waltons and Bill Gates should just share most of their money with the rest of the country. It’s a useless drop in the bucket, and you know, and I know, and Warren Buffett knows that one of the best things he can do to help reduce the size of the deficit is to help make the economy go ’round.

  430. @ kn

    Now you’re just being smarmy. I’m saying that the poor have it hard enough without being seduced into a debilitating dependence that saps them of their self-worth, initiative, and pride of accomplishment. Politicians buy votes at the price of personal integrity. That’s a high price!

  431. Patrick, my argument differs from the collectivist argument because I’m using Buffett’s collectivism against him. I’ve got no problem with letting him keep his money if he’ll let me keep mine. Sadly, the reality is that he wants to keep his and take mine.

    That check might well represent only .1% of the deficit, true. But it’s symbolic, just as Buffett’s calls for taxing him more are symbolic.Live by the sword, die by the sword, and all that.

  432. Patrick, while I completely agree that the Right Answer is to scrap the special tax treatment of medical expenses (not healthcare, as most preventative measures don’t count), as that is precisely what got us here, but I think you dismiss what HSAs could have been too lightly.

    For starters, they’re reasonably accessible to anyone who was going to be paying their own way anyway. Sure, Medicaid recipients aren’t saving for a rainy day, but plenty of lower-middle class people could benefit significantly from having much lower premiums, saving the difference until they have a rainy-day pile, and then keeping the rest.

    Additionally, the entire point behind the HDHP/HSA plan was to decrease both the price and cost of care by making it more responsive to the market and reducing the paperwork required for routine and minor care, since that would be paid out-of-pocket like any other transaction. Even the very poor would benefit from cost savings from burning the paperwork.

  433. @Jay Maynard:

    > because I’m using Buffett’s collectivism against him.

    But, unless you’re preaching to the choir, that works just about as well as getting on Ayn Rand’s case for taking social security. E.g. not at all.

    @Christopher Smith:

    Sure, Medicaid recipients aren’t saving for a rainy day, but plenty of lower-middle class people could benefit significantly from having much lower premiums, saving the difference until they have a rainy-day pile, and then keeping the rest.

    That still really only works if they don’t have a major catastrophe in the first year or two, and sometimes rainy days involve healthcare and sometimes they don’t.

    When you’re young and broke, you drive an old beater because it’s all you can afford. Then maybe you move up to buying new cars, because now you have a fixed cost you can afford. When you get a bit wealthier, maybe you take a flyer on a used car (maybe a classic) with unknown maintenance, because you can take the hit if it breaks. And of course, when you get rich, you buy that new Ferrarri you’ve always wanted. As far as insurance goes, your beater doesn’t get collision, maybe your new cars do for a few years, and then when you get more money, you drop collision or raise the deductible. Same thing with your house insurance — as you accumulate wealth, you probably save by increasing the deductible, and accelerate your accumulation.

    That could easily work the same way with health insurance, except when the employers get involved, the choices are usually quite limited. The thing is, if everybody bought insurance on the open market at competitive prices, low-deductible plans for young people would probably still be cheaper than high-deductible plans for old farts.

    The argument for HSAs is basically that people can’t be trusted to do the right thing with their money, so we’re going to incentivize them to do what we think is the right thing. Unfortunately, it’s even worse than that, because most people with not money are smart enough to know that the rainy day might come tomorrow, so it doesn’t make sense for them to lower their premiums a bit and take a chance on racking up a huge medical bill.

  434. @Christopher Smith:

    Additionally, the entire point behind the HDHP/HSA plan was to decrease both the price and cost of care by making it more responsive to the market and reducing the paperwork required for routine and minor care, since that would be paid out-of-pocket like any other transaction. Even the very poor would benefit from cost savings from burning the paperwork.

    Forgot to address this. I agree completely that there is no reason to involve insurance companies in routine care that is going to happen anyway. But absent employer participation in the process and government mandates, plans with this feature would be popular anyway.

    What we have now is a series of bastardized compromises where the insurance companies, drug companies, and doctors have spent way too much on politicians of all stripes.

    From where I sit, it seems entirely possible that either a pure libertarian arrangement or a fully socialized arrangement for medicine could be better than the current insurance-ocracy — with the caveat that I have a hard time seeing how you avoid some socialization for true emergency care.

  435. When you’re young and broke…

    Thing is, that my own experience fit the narrative but led to precisely the opposite conclusion. As soon as I was on my own and off my parents’ insurance (*cough* which didn’t last until I was physically old enough to have been a grandfather), I purchased a HDHP that I have until Obamacare kills it at the end of this year and triples my premiums while slightly trimming my benefits. It’s permitted me to know that if I have a major medical event, I’m covered, while my HSA means that the minor expenses I have get essentially the same tax advantages that I’d get if they were rolled into a much higher premium.

    My HSA balance that first year certainly wouldn’t have covered my whole deductible if I’d been hit then, but the odds of that are fairly low, and the cost of premiums+deductible for an HDHP was still lower than the premiums on a “traditional” plan would have been. In extremis, even were family unable to help, I’ve seen a number of times where my local community has (voluntarily) covered the expenses of families who have experienced catastrophic casualties.

  436. @Christopher Smith
    ” “Universal coverage” smuggles two false premises in one term: That “coverage”, rather than provision of service, is the desired end result; and that government-run systems actually provide everyone the service that they want or need.”

    > That “coverage”, rather than provision of service, is the desired end result

    That is US English use. Outside the USA the discussion is about what is covered. The discussion about who should be covered was answered after WWII with everyone.

    > government-run systems actually provide everyone the service that they want or need

    Ask around under people from Canada, or the UK, or Germany, or France, or Sweden, or …. Everywhere in the developed world health care systems are “run” by government and everywhere they deliver, with variable quality. But as my links above illustrates, everywhere they deliver better service for less money to the less well off than in the USA.

  437. @TomA
    “I’m saying that the poor have it hard enough without being seduced into a debilitating dependence that saps them of their self-worth, initiative, and pride of accomplishment.”

    If I remember well, one of the results of receiving a basic income in the two North American experiments was that the beneficiaries regained a better feeling of self-worth because they were able to properly care for their children. The result was less alcoholism etc.

  438. everywhere they deliver better service for less money to the less well off than in the USA

    With the exception of individuals “covered” by the VA, I’ve never heard a report of months-long waiting list for urgent or even important care in the US. In fact, I know some lower-middle-class individuals who have had helpful but non-crucial and very costly surgeries, all paid for by Medicare. In the UK, as I’ve noted, the NHS is collapsing even by the admission of Labor politicians, and Sweden, the poster child for the welfare state, started reductions in benefits some time ago.

  439. Winter seems to believe that only two options exist. The fully socialist solution, and the fully engineered-to-fail-by-socialists solution.

    I strongly suggest that people stop debating him between those two extremes. A rollback of the last 80 years worth of meddling is the actual libertarian position. It is wildly successful, by the way. Google the “cash doctor” phenomenon which is coming back, grassroots, across the country.

  440. @Christopher Smith
    “I’ve never heard a report of months-long waiting list for urgent or even important care in the US.”

    Because they are not eligible for treatment in the USA? Micheal Moore had some nice examples in Sicko. I know this is “activism”, but I still have not seen anyone proving these examples were wrong.

    I gave a lot of links further up comparing international performance in health care. The USA simply ends up at the bottom in every list that includes poor people.

    I heard a surgeon telling that a certain cancer operation costs $250,000 in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY that costs 25,000 euro(?) in the best cancer center in the Netherlands (which is among the better ones of the world). I could understand that not everyone can put down $250,000 for an operation. And if they did the first time, there comes a second time.

    Recently, we had a documentary from LA where the filmmaker met a young woman who was recovering from a $400k debt she ended up with after having been run over by a car. She was helped, but how would she be treated the next time she needed care, non-acute care?

    And the NHS “collapsing” still delivers care to everyone, while whole TV series are based upon the premises that someone in the USA enters a life of crime to pay for his medication. The UK has a lot of room left for paying up for the NHS before they reach the spending level (in % GDP) of the USA.

  441. @TomA
    > Now you’re just being smarmy.

    Meh, merely poking to see what you were getting at.
    You went from ‘our “poor” are obese’ to ‘[better off than in] most other countries on the planet’ to ‘debilitating dependence that saps them of their self-worth, initiative, and pride of accomplishmen’ , so that seems to have worked – nevermind the smarm.

  442. @kjj
    “Winter seems to believe that only two options exist. The fully socialist solution, and the fully engineered-to-fail-by-socialists solution.”

    I think this is more your own projection. I do not even know what a “fully socialist solution” means, even less what you mean by “fully engineered-to-fail-by-socialists solution”. I am sure I do not qualify as I do not believe there is a one-size-fits-all solution at all. Nor a two- or three-size-fits-all solution.

    @kjj
    “A rollback of the last 80 years worth of meddling is the actual libertarian position. It is wildly successful, by the way. Google the “cash doctor” phenomenon which is coming back, grassroots, across the country.”

    I do not understand what you are saying here. But as far as “wildly successful” goes, I do know that any Libertarian “Tax-free Utopia” is still as far off as it ever was.

  443. @Winter
    > Drug make up less than $300M (out of ~$2.5 trilliin) of the total. The bulk of health care costs are paying people (nurses, doctors, etc.) and infrastructure (hospitals, labs).

    I think you meant $300bn not million. However, why do you think those hospitals and labs are so expensive? Because they are full of fancy high tech equipment subject to the same economics that we already discussed concerning drugs, as I mentioned above. Why are medical staff so expensive? That is mostly due to other dysfunctions in the US Medical system.

    In regards to the whole forceable payment thing, I find the perspective on this strange. If everyone thinks that society should help out the poor with a safety net then why can’t they simply use persuasion and charity to make that happen? Using the force of government is just lazy and has lots of dreadful consequences. Irrespective of some of the concerns above about the slippery slope to tyranny, it is just not a healthy relationship. Charity is a beautiful thing. To misquote the Merchant of Venince, it is thrice blessed. It benefits the recipient, it benefits the giver and it benefits society as a whole. Performing the same pseudo charity through the government is a curse to the giver, damaging to the receiver (aside from the medical benefits) and a poison to society. It is also about the most wasteful way that can be conceived to manage charity.

    So to the advocates of universal coverage I’d say don’t be lazy. Get off your butts and convince people to help rather than forcing people to “help”. The American people are the most generous, compassionate and charitable people on earth. It is an insult to their good natured charity to use the force of government to do what they would no doubt love to do were someone to just ask them politely.

    Another issue is the plain fact that the government’s interference in the medical market and the lack of real competition drives prices up to insanely high levels. Go into your doctors office and ask how much they charge for a physical for example, and they won’t even be able to tell you the price. There are certainly instances that medical prices are 100 times higher than they would be in any reasonable situation, and my general view,is that in a competitive free market setting medical care would be a tenth of what it is today. (based on the many examples I have given here in the past.) If care for an individual cost less than $50 per month, the problem would largely go away.

  444. @Jessica
    “Charity is a beautiful thing. ”

    We have had centuries of experience with charity. It made us flee it at the first opportunity. I do not want to go into it because this is another discussion. We do have taxes but no charity system in place, so there is little to chose from now. The short of it is that if you can set up an adequate and sufficient charity system, everybody will jump onto it.

    One aspect you should not forget to handle is to prevent charity to develop into a patronage system like they had in classical Rome, or in the North Italian city states in the Renaissance.

    @Jessica
    “Another issue is the plain fact that the government’s interference in the medical market and the lack of real competition drives prices up to insanely high levels.”

    I know the USA system is insane. But I have no knowledge of its workings so I will not comment on this. I do know that prices tend to be lower over here, although pricing itself seems to be utterly incomprehensible here too.

  445. Where do I find out about the patronage system in classical Rome? My Google-fu is not up to the task.

  446. @ kn

    I do not use the term “our” poor, that came out of your head. I have asserted that many of the poor in the US are presently dying of obesity-related diseases, not criticizing them for their appearance. It’s hard enough starting out life at the bottom of the economic ladder, but then made much worse when politicians behave like drug pushers and seek to enslave these people as lifetime entitlement junkies just to ensure their own incumbency. Dependency grows the hive, but at the price of individualism.

    I suppose that some people are perfectly happy to be a worker bee, and I do not stand in their way. However, the hive will not tolerate non-conformity and an independent bee is stung to death. That is an outcome that I do not favor for the US.

  447. @kn
    Thanks, clientelism is the correct term. I could not remember it (old age and all that).

  448. @TomA
    >I do not use the term “our” poor, that came out of your head
    True. I read “our” into it because you were talking about the poor in the USA, but you never actually said “our poor”.

  449. @Winter
    > We have had centuries of experience with charity. It made us flee it at the first opportunity.

    People are rich today. Comparing that with the past is bogus. Bill Gates is helping millions of poor people a zillion miles from Seattle. Me? I have far more confidence in the charitable intentions of the people than the goodness of petty bureaucrats.

    > everybody will jump onto it.

    Not if they think: 1) I am getting creamed on taxes and 2) all those taxes are being used to help others, so why should I? and 3) entitlement is entirely different than charity. I have no desire to be charitable to people who hold up signs complaining about how little I pay in taxes, when they themselves pay not a penny.

    > One aspect you should not forget to handle is to prevent charity to develop into a patronage system

    I don’t know what you mean specifically (and I saw the link but don’t have time to read it right now.) However, let me tell you a story: a friend of mine had a grandfather who grew up in the rural south during the great depression. He was a dentist, as well as a farmer (since everyone was a farmer at that time in that area.) He was surrounded by desperately poor people some of who needed his care. They would come up to his house and ask for his help and offer them a chicken or offer them to work his land for a few hours in exchange for his services.

    I think that is awesome. If that is what you mean by patronage, I think it is an extremely good thing. I think it is exactly how charity should go if possible. Perhaps these people couldn’t afford to pay his bills, but they offered the best they could. They did not sit around on their asses in their air conditioned houses, watching their big screen TVs demanding their entitlements, while spouting their nonsense about how evil the rich are.

    Many poor people are like the former, and they deserve our support and compassion. Entitlements turns the former into the latter. They are a poison to everyone involved.

    (BTW, this story is also a perfect illustration of the real cause of the great depression — the total failure of the government controlled money system and the Federal Reserve. If value was exchanged, and money wasn’t sufficient to mediate that exchange then money totally failed to do its job.)

  450. We have had centuries of experience with charity. It made us flee it at the first opportunity.

    If it is because the people offering charity were demanding something in return (for example, your religious conversion), then you should be running from state-run benefits even faster. Hint: everyone offering charity wants something, and some of them command a lot more physical force than others.

  451. > If it is because the people offering charity were demanding something in return (for example, your religious conversion),

    I don’t know if that was what Winter hinted at – I don’t know the details of Dutch history that well.

    However, in Belgium, “charity” has strong historical links to the catholic church and religiuous orders. It’s not so much that they demanded or explicitely expected instant conversion, it’s a lot more subtle than that. I can’t readily explain the mechanism, but it has, at least to me, the same effect as TomA descibed earlier as “debilitating dependence that saps them of their self-worth … t” .

    Besides that, this form of charity greatly contributed to the political power of the Catholic Party, who had an absolute majority for decades on end; having more neutral, governement organized welfare was instrumental in the secularization of Belgium. Being an atheist, i consider that a feature.

    So anyone trying to sell me a libertarian program is going to need something far better than “charity” as an alternative to “welfare”.

    > … then you should be running from state-run benefits even faster. Hint: everyone offering charity wants something, …

    It’s different when these benefits are inscribed in the law and presented as a right : this takes away a lot of the “I help you, you owe me” and the insecurity of dependening on the whim of strangers that are, imo, associated with mere “charity”.

  452. It’s different when these benefits are inscribed in the law and presented as a right : this takes away a lot of the “I help you, you owe me” and the insecurity of dependening on the whim of strangers that are, imo, associated with mere “charity”.

    I had to suppress the urge to laugh when I read this.

    Still trying. Ahem. Umm.

    Really. I’m not mocking you. I’m just… trying to wrap my head around your apparent belief that law is enforced by some agentive body that won’t someday decide it doesn’t have to enforce it anymore.

    …What, precisely, do you consider to be the mechanism that kicks in if that were to happen? I’m trying to work from the premise that you’re intelligent, and thus you’re quite aware that calling something “law” doesn’t give it power over whomever’s enforcing it – so unless my premise is mistaken, there’s something in your reasoning that I’m not quite seeing….

  453. Indeed, Winter and kn show a particularly Eurosocialist bias: that government largesse does not create any sort of quid-pro-quo relationship with those receiving it voting to see that it continues. “I help you, you owe me” is exactly what politicians expect from welfare programs: they help the takers, who owe them their votes.

    That description of clientelism in Wikipedia is exactly what exists between the poor in America and the Democrats. Word for word.

  454. @Paul Brinkley:

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Due process failures, aka “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” tend to be greatly reduced by exposure, and it’s highly likely that an altering of this particular sort of deal would generate a great deal of exposure.

    As far as the law itself changing, well that happens sometimes, but if you can’t rely on the law while it’s the law, then “rule of law” is meaningless in any case.

  455. Charity is a form of voluntary cooperation and works best in the first person. The giver (most frequently) makes no explicit claim on the recipient, but the recipient has an interest in the helping the giver to the extent he/she is able. This often fosters a mutually beneficial relationship that can be inverted as circumstances change and raises all boats.

    When you stick an impersonal politically-motivated third party bureaucrat in the middle, then its coerced prostitution.

  456. @Patrick Maupin
    > “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”

    So Winter asked to extend Godwin’s Law to include comparisons to Stalin. Don’t we all agree that it should include comparisons to Darth Vader too? LOL.

  457. Due process failures, aka “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” tend to be greatly reduced by exposure, and it’s highly likely that an altering of this particular sort of deal would generate a great deal of exposure.

    That assumes the deal alterer can’t influence the exposure industry…

    As far as the law itself changing, well that happens sometimes, but if you can’t rely on the law while it’s the law, then “rule of law” is meaningless in any case.

    True, and I believe a legal system stays stable when it can change only through long deliberation, and as long as it retains the public’s trust. But (1) it’s gotten to where we don’t rely on the law anyway, so much as a guild officially entrusted with interpreting it for us, which leads gradually to (2) multiple entities appealing to our emotion rather than reason in order to alter the law, since it has grown beyond our capability to interpret, and (3) erosion of said public trust.

    If said trust erodes far enough, very, very few things can get the train back on the tracks.

  458. Paul, you forgot the rise of the administrative state, with unelected bureaucrats making law form the executive branch – which is being persuasively argued is exactly the kind of executive imperialism the Constitution was designed to prevent.

  459. Winter on 2014-09-22 at 06:24:31 said:

    @kjj
    “Winter seems to believe that only two options exist. The fully socialist solution, and the fully engineered-to-fail-by-socialists solution.”

    I think this is more your own projection. I do not even know what a “fully socialist solution” means, even less what you mean by “fully engineered-to-fail-by-socialists solution”. I am sure I do not qualify as I do not believe there is a one-size-fits-all solution at all. Nor a two- or three-size-fits-all solution.

    @kjj
    “A rollback of the last 80 years worth of meddling is the actual libertarian position. It is wildly successful, by the way. Google the “cash doctor” phenomenon which is coming back, grassroots, across the country.”

    I do not understand what you are saying here. But as far as “wildly successful” goes, I do know that any Libertarian “Tax-free Utopia” is still as far off as it ever was.

    I think that I’m just going to call bullshit on you.

    The fully socialist solution is what you have been advocating for the last few days. You seem capable of stringing letters together to form words, and words into sentences. You even seem to follow themes and respond to specific items in the posts that you reply to. Putting those together, I don’t see how you can hope to fool anyone but yourself by claiming not to know what you’ve been talking about.

    engineered-to-fail-by-socialists leaves you a bit of wiggle room. It is an allegory for the current system for funding medical care in the US. It should be obvious to anyone that knows the history of twists and turns over the last 80 years that have left the US with the abomination it currently suffers under.

    I’ll grant that it may not be obvious to people unfamiliar with the system. But if you don’t know the system, then why the hell have you been droning on and on about it for the last few days?

    Since you have admitted that you don’t know anything about the working or history of the US system, can we agree that the only part of your string of posts that you are competent on can be summarized as “I like to feel superior by telling other people that they are bad for having their own ideas about how to run their country/lives.” ?

    P.S. What is the term for ignoring what a person writes (cash doctor) and substituting instead your own meaning (tax-free utopia)?

  460. @Jessica:

    > Don’t we all agree that it should include comparisons to Darth Vader too?

    Why not?

    But I’m not entirely sure it applies in this case — I thought Godwin’s law was about how somebody is like Hitler, and I was explaining that I didn’t think that someone acting like Lord Vader in this respect would actually get very far.

    @Paul Brinkley:

    That assumes the deal alterer can’t influence the exposure industry…

    Maybe I’m still not sure what you’re getting at. News gets more disintermediated daily.

    since it has grown beyond our capability to interpret

    Yeah, there is no question that too many piggies were at the ObamaCare trough. The “compromises” in the bill are mostly no more than naked rent-seeking, and making the law large and impenetrable makes it much easier to hide what’s really going on. Unfortunately, that sort of thing has been normal for a very long time.

    If said trust erodes far enough, very, very few things can get the train back on the tracks.

    No doubt. And the implementation of ObamaCare is another example of something that is putatively done for one special interest group, but mostly winds up benefitting a much smaller, wealthier, better connected special interest group, and costing the rest of us dearly.

    Which, IMO, is really the prime impetus for a Libertarian outlook. If government is smaller, then there is less rent-seeking and other graft, more respect for law, etc.. Yes, this can greatly reduce the tax burden and that’s a great thing, but when people start off with the express goal of reducing the tax burden, it can contribute to two problems — (a) some politicians notice that, at least for awhile, they can run deficits, and play-acting to “change” this, aka “starve the beast” hasn’t been shown to work; and (b) it creates a huge perception problem — helping to make it easy for politicians to play off on segment of the populace against another by portraying some as mean, petty, and selfish.

    @TomA:

    Charity is a form of voluntary cooperation and works best in the first person.

    According to the Jewish practice of Tzedakah as set forth by Maimonides, the best and highest charity may be first person, but involves indirect help towards getting someone on their own two feet, not direct aid. If you are giving direct aid, then that practice holds that it is most virtuous if neither the recipient nor the giver knows who the other is.

  461. @Jay Maynard
    “Winter and kn show a particularly Eurosocialist bias: that government largesse does not create any sort of quid-pro-quo relationship with those receiving it voting to see that it continues. “I help you, you owe me” is exactly what politicians expect from welfare programs: they help the takers, who owe them their votes.”

    You are turning this around. Historically, charity clientelism around here was exactly like kn explained for the Catholic church in Belgium. We had three parties (Catholic, Protestant, Socialists), but the rest was the same.

    Our laws were written precisely to ban these practices. When you claim our politicians do such quid pro quos, it only shows you have no idea how the practice has been formalized. What play a role here is that we do not have a two party system, but coalition governments. No party ever has the power to change the law on its own. So no party can tune the “handouts” to pay its voters.

    @Paul Brinkly
    “I’m just… trying to wrap my head around your apparent belief that law is enforced by some agentive body that won’t someday decide it doesn’t have to enforce it anymore.”

    Everybody is well aware that what is given today can be taken away tomorrow. So state pensions became the third rail of politics, touch it and you are dead (happened with the most powerful man in Dutch politics in the 1990’s). Health care and welfare are always in the picture and politicians are very careful what they say and do.

    By the way, the courts beating up the government is fairly common here. We do still have the rule of law.

  462. That description of clientelism in Wikipedia is exactly what exists between the poor in America and the Democrats. Word for word.

    Again, you are confusing failure modes of the pathological American system with traits of government in general. A common libertarian/conservative mistake.

  463. @ Winter – “So no party can tune the “handouts” to pay its voters.”

    Happens all the time. A political party wishes to grow it’s voter base and then starts advocating for greater bribes to target the welfare demographic. The would-be recipients of the additional welfare bribes recognize that said political party is their benefactor and starts voting to promote their increase in political power. Political party ascends to leadership (even in coalition politics) and appoints the key governmental players. Welfare bribes increase at the margin (even if not explicitly in new legislation). Human motivation driver reinforcement and quid pro quo.

    The “tuning” may not be obvious to you, but it is to the recipients. Here in the US, the newest “tuning” is known as an EBT card, which is an electronic monetary bribe. It replaced paper script that could only be used to buy food. Today, EBTs are being used to place gambling bets and purchase prostitution services. My guess is that this is happening in the Netherlands too, but just being hushed up.

  464. TomA,

    Concrete examples of this going on in modern OECD states outside the USA would be appreciated.

  465. @Jeff Read
    > Concrete examples of this going on in modern OECD states outside the USA would be appreciated.

    I presume you are familiar with the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy? A bigger vote buying boondoggle one could not imagine.

  466. @Jessica (& TomA)
    “I presume you are familiar with the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy? A bigger vote buying boondoggle one could not imagine.”

    Yes and no. The real importance of the agricultural policy is two-fold: A fear of food shortages and and fear of a depopulated land. But this is not “welfare” in the common sense. We are talking of people who work extremely hard for their government money (most of the time).

  467. @TomA
    “A political party wishes to grow it’s voter base and then starts advocating for greater bribes to target the welfare demographic. The would-be recipients of the additional welfare bribes recognize that said political party is their benefactor and starts voting to promote their increase in political power. Political party ascends to leadership (even in coalition politics) and appoints the key governmental players. Welfare bribes increase at the margin (even if not explicitly in new legislation). Human motivation driver reinforcement and quid pro quo.”

    Then show me where this happens in significant amounts in, say Germany or the UK, or even the Netherlands or Belgium (hint, look for Harz 4 in Germany). I must have missed it.

  468. @TomA
    That could be an example. However, the piece is long on rethorics and short of (real) statistics.

    A better example I remember might be Thatcher getting people to buy their own homes. She believed, it is said, that home owners vote conservative. It back fired big time when interests rose and the news was dominated by home evictions for years.

    You see, the benefits are a very blunt instrument. They are for everyone, whatever they vote. In my country, those who vote anti labour are very often the ones that benefit most from welfare.

    In reality, politicians can make more hay by manipulating taxes. That is less visible to “outsiders” and far more visible for those who get the payout. And you reach those who vote and make a difference.

  469. > The “tuning” may not be obvious to you, but it is to the recipients. Here in the US, the newest “tuning” is known as an EBT card, which is an electronic monetary bribe. It replaced paper script that could only be used to buy food. Today, EBTs are being used to place gambling bets and purchase prostitution services.

    A) Was it your belief that this did not happen with food stamps? It was easier with food stamps, since you could give someone the stamps and they could go buy food with it. Now you have to buy the food and sell it to someone to get cash, or give them your whole card, or be present to buy the food. EBT cards don’t make it impossible, but they do make it more difficult than what they replaced.

    B) Is it your belief that this happens often?

  470. @ Random 832 – “Is it your belief that this happens often?”

    The amount of abuse is actually irrelevant to the core function of the bribe, which is to reward quid pro quo voting behavior. Whether you vote for your benefactor politician because he/she provided food on the table or a bottle of liquor is beside the point, the human nature reinforcement is the same and dependency on government is the result.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337437/ebt-abuse-cash-drunkards-program-michelle-malkin

  471. > The amount of abuse is actually irrelevant to the core function of the bribe, which is to reward quid pro quo voting behavior.

    The abuse is the whole of your argument. Otherwise this “bribe” is in no way distinct from absolutely any policy that benefits any voter in any way.

  472. @ Random832 – “The abuse is the whole of your argument. Otherwise this “bribe” is in no way distinct from absolutely any policy that benefits any voter in any way.”

    Not at all. If you are a net taxpayer (i.e. highly productive), chances are that you will not allow yourself to be bribed into growing government because that will result in higher taxes and a greater drain on your productivity. In other words, you would be voting against your interests.

    Conversely, if you are a net tax receiver (as are welfare recipients), then you are a prime candidate for the bribery and are in essence voting yourself a pay raise. And it’s not the bribery that’s the worst of it, but the debilitating lifelong dependency addiction and loss of self esteem that is most harmful to these people.

  473. When something is made to be abused, is abuse really abuse, or is it just use?

    The Last Psychiatrist has written extensively about this, most often directly referencing SSDI, which he sees from the inside. Other programs on the state and local levels operate in much the same way. The formal rules (used to sell the programs to congress and the public) are ignored and bypassed, but the informal rules ensure that the right people get hooked up more or less just by asking, while the wrong people find the process exhausting and nearly impossible.

    If you are from the right zip code, if you look a certain way, if you say the right magic words to the guy working in the SSDI rubber stamp mill to pay off his student loans when he does his 90 second “examination”, you are in. Wrong zip code? Wrong look? Don’t have access to your local ACORN-cloan’s coaching services? You are in a maze of twisty little forms, all alike…

    Now in one sense, this is abuse of the system. No one could sell to the American public the concept of paying people $700/month not to riot, so reality doesn’t match up with the laws as written. But the entire system is clearly set up intentionally to be used this way, written word be damned.

    In the end, the problem isn’t use or abuse. Whether intended or not, what is corrosive is the effect. If the effect is intended, or hiding behind the fig leaf of “abuse” is immaterial. Cleaning up “abuse” is just another way of reducing bribes.

    The bribee sure doesn’t care why the money he is entitled to is being reduced… The political parties know this very well. The Democrats are as devout in their opposition to cleaning up corruption as they are to any other reforms that end with smaller bribes.

  474. > Not at all. If you are a net taxpayer (i.e. highly productive), chances are that you will not allow yourself to be bribed into growing government because that will result in higher taxes and a greater drain on your productivity. In other words, you would be voting against your interests.

    We’re not talking about being bribed into growing government, we’re talking about being bribed into voting specific people into power. A tax cut will, and does, suffice for that.

  475. In fact this whole idea of voting based on your interests rather than based on principles is another word for the kind of bribery you’ve been talking about. Your “net taxpayers” vote for conservatives because they’re shrinking government as a “bribe” to them.

  476. @Random832
    > Your “net taxpayers” vote for conservatives because they’re shrinking government as a “bribe” to them

    There is of course a fundamental difference between not taking as much from, and giving more to, someone.

  477. > Your “net taxpayers” vote for conservatives because they’re shrinking government as a “bribe” to them

    There is of course a fundamental difference between not taking as much from, and giving more to, someone.

    And, more generally, an (alleged) attempt at broad-based spending control and targeted handouts or tax breaks.

  478. “There is of course a fundamental difference between not taking as much from, and giving more to, someone.”

    This difference is, as TomA said regarding another supposed difference, “actually irrelevant to the core function of the bribe, which is to reward quid pro quo voting behavior.”

  479. @ Random832

    You’re still missing the key point. Perhaps I can explain it better.

    Politicians that bribe welfare recipients are offering to move the parasites closer to the artery.

    Politicians that offer to shrink government are just pretending to follow through on that promise and the idiots that vote for them are not get a quid pro quo but rather a fleecing.

  480. Having read over the original post, I am in a thoughtful mood.

    I am in no position to speculate about historical European martial arts, but I do know that in the US, the various practical firearms-related martial arts competition groups–IPSC, and so on–typically have men and women competing separately for the prizes offered. Upper body strength still matters a great deal, even when you’re pressing a trigger and bringing the muzzle back down from recoil, in a discipline where the dividing line between winners and losers is measured in thousandths of a second.

    Likewise, the FBI is planning to switch service calibers yet again:

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/09/26/fbi-training-division-justifies-9mm-caliber-selection/

    The official announcement seems to me to consist, as MINITRU’s diktats normally do, largely of smoke and mirrors and stock phrases that could have been strung together by a PERL script (read the section with the heading “Tactical Realities” for some accidental admissions of damning truths, then guess who the “struggling shooters” are who lack the upper body strength to use .40 caliber firearms efficiently; the hint is “Affirmative Action”), returning, apparently, to the status quo as of 1985, before a firefight with a pair of professional bank robbers and serial killers in Miami that kicked off a 25+ year orgy of billion-dollar studies and swapping duty calibers every few years. J. Edgar Hoover continues spinning in his grave, and they’ve connected rotors to his head and feet to power the presses with which they print up these press releases.

  481. > Politicians that offer to shrink government are just pretending to follow through on that promise and the idiots that vote for them are not get a quid pro quo but rather a fleecing.

    And what about politicians that promise to give a tax break or tariff protection to corn farmers to the detriment of sugar importers, or to force people to buy corn ethanol along with gas? Aren’t they bribing the corn farmers?

    Any policy that has any positive economic effect on anybody could be considered a “bribe”.

  482. Coming late to the thread, there are a lot of preposterous claims being made, but this is among the worst:

    Also, medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the USA

    That is 100% prime grade bullshit. Elizabeth Warren made this claim years ago, and was justly ridiculed for it. Anyone who seriously believes this needs their head examined. But frauds like Warren don’t really believe it, they just pretend to in order to propagandise for their cause du jour.

    (IIRC Warren’s trick was to count any case that included a medical provider among the creditors as a “medical bankruptcy”. The blatant dishonesty should be obvious.)

  483. The incredibly naïve Winter again:
    So it must be easy to show me statistics that prove all citizens in the USA get the health care they need, even for chronic conditions (which make up the bulk of the costs). That is, Breaking Bad is completely wrong: A teacher in the USA will never have to turn to crime to pay for cancer medication.

    Yes, Breaking Bad is completely wrong. Or at least, it would be if the premise were, as you and McArdle think, that he turns to crime to pay for his treatment. It isn’t, though. He turns to crime, not to pay for his treatment, but to leave a nest egg for his family when he’s gone. (Still wrong, though, because his benefit package also includes basic and additional life insurance.)

  484. You do not pay attention. First, taxes are as old as history itself. Human societies have survived them for thousands of years.

    At what level? Do you realise just how low taxes were, even under regimes now regarded as tyrannical? In Russia ca 1800, the tax burden on a typical household was significanly less than 10% of its income. (Source is in Hebrew. Translation: “‘Subjection [to the nations]‘ does not refer to the fact that we have a king who taxes us, for even when the Temple stood we had a Jewish king, and the tax was higher [than it is now], as is well-known that each person had to give a tenth.”)

    Redistribution is even older than history, as it is found in every hunter gatherer society.

    I don’t know about that. But it was found on every highway and sea-lane. Robbery is not the oldest profession, because first someone had to make something worth stealing, but it’s got to be the second or third oldest. “Redistribution” is just a fancy name for it.

  485. The robber barons, like Vanderbilt, were not capitalists who thrived at others’ expense in a free market with no government intervention. They were capitalists who failed to compete in a free market, and so switched to plan B: buy government intervention to protect their companies from competition. They then thrived at others’ expense in the non-free market that ensued.

    Wrong. They were capitalists who created all the wealth they enjoyed. They did not buy government intervention, so much as paid protection money to prevent or minimize it. Vanderbilt was famous for having stood up to the extortionists who controlled the NY state legislature, and having bankrupted them. (The term “robber barons” was invented in 1934 by a Marxist propagandist.)

  486. Not to Canada? Why not? Are Canadian hospitals worse than those in the USA?

    Yes. Also, most of those going to Mexico for simple procedures are going to places near the border, so that if something goes wrong they can be quickly moved to a USAn hospital.

    Oh, Mexico’s “universal health care coverage” does not cover these places. They are cheap only by USAn standards.

  487. > But Jay doesn’t want poor people to die. What he wants is for the government to be barred from coercing others to feed and house them, which is not the same thing. He believes (and I agree) that people who care strongly about the condition of the poor by pooling their own money to solve the problem.

    And yet you who so freely talk about the “track record” of “collectivists” don’t seem bothered by the fact that this has never actually worked. Oh, sure, private charities help some of the poor people, some of the time.

    What are you talking about? When has it not worked? Whenever private charity has not been crowded out by government it has always done better than government could have done.

  488. Re: international comparisons of health, please remember that you must adjust for demographics. At the simplest level, all comparisons must be separated by race, age, and country of birth.

  489. Also, it is impossible to meaningfully compare infant mortality across countries unless you include stillbirths, miscarriages, and late-term abortions in with infant deaths. Otherwise you get artifacts of differing standards and definitions.

  490. I would start by getting rid of employer-sponsored insurance

    Agreed. This is something I’ve been advocating for at least the past 25 years, and it was one of the few things I really liked about McCain’s program in 2008. Make health insurance tax-deductible by individuals, and not deductible as a business expense by employers.

  491. Micheal Moore had some nice examples in Sicko.

    Bwahahaha. Michael Moore is a liar and a propagandist. Every single “fact” he gives in any of his films must be presumed false until proven otherwise. Relying on him for facts is a sure sign of delusion.

  492. Michael Moore reported with a straight face that Cuba had better health care than the USA. Everyone with a grasp on reality knows that Cuba achieved its “medical miracle” the same way Mussolini made the trains run on time, and the same way Hitler achieved his “economic miracle” — simply by saying they did so, and having gullible fools take them at their word. The German economy did not recover in the mid-’30s, Italian trains did not run on time, and Cuba’s medical system is a disaster, but if you control the reporting you can put down whatever you like.

  493. We have had centuries of experience with charity. It made us flee it at the first opportunity.

    More bullshit. You’re simply pulling stuff out of your rear end. Charity has always done well given the available resources. The 19th century, for instance, was a golden age of charitable giving; if the same level of giving were applied to a modern-sized economy, all genuine and solvable need would be solved. (Of course “need” expands to fit the resources available.)

  494. It’s different when these benefits are inscribed in the law and presented as a right

    But they are not a right. And pretending they are creates a sense of false entitlement. Anyone who lives at other people’s expense ought to feel damned grateful to them, but when the recipients are told that they are getting no more than they are entitled to, they believe it, and react accordingly. Instead of being grateful to their benefactors they despise them and demand more, and see no reason why they should do without the benefits even if they can.

  495. Today, EBTs are being used to place gambling bets and purchase prostitution services. My guess is that this is happening in the Netherlands too, but just being hushed up.

    It may not even be hushed up. Someone tried to make this official in Germany. The attempt failed, but you never know when a similar one might succeed, perhaps with less publicity.

  496. Whenever “net tax income” is applied to the states of the USA, I see it is the Democrat voting states that tend to be net paying states and the Republican voting states that are net receivers of tax money.

    That is a ridiculous metric, utterly invalid. It treats money the federal government spends in a state as some sort of gift to that state. So if the feds need parachutes and the best and cheapest supplier happens to be in North Dakota, then the parachute budget is counted as money being given to that state, and as something to be offset against the taxes paid by the residents of that state. As if the taxpayers are somehow getting their money back because the parachute factory is getting this huge contract. And of course this metric was designed to produce just the result it does: the federal government owns almost all the land in most western states, so of course it spends money to maintain that land, and somehow this equals the taxpayers of those states “receiving” money, as if it were welfare or something, as if it’s being spent for their benefit. The whole notion is absurd and dishonest.

  497. And what about politicians that promise to give a tax break or tariff protection to corn farmers to the detriment of sugar importers, or to force people to buy corn ethanol along with gas? Aren’t they bribing the corn farmers?

    Yes, of course they are. Who has ever thought otherwise?

  498. @Milhouse
    “The 19th century, for instance, was a golden age of charitable giving; if the same level of giving were applied to a modern-sized economy, all genuine and solvable need would be solved. (Of course “need” expands to fit the resources available.)”

    Read Dickens for a second opinion. And how do you know why the Dutch feel about church charity? This was not about the amount given, but about the conditions under which it was distributed.

    @Milhouse
    ” It treats money the federal government spends in a state as some sort of gift to that state.”

    No, if a state receives more federal money back than it pays in federal taxes, it benefits from taxes paid by other people in other states. And this is not about “federal land” but about armed forces bases and military employment, agricultural subsidies etc. There would also be an interesting treatise in answering the question why Democrat voting states tend to be richer than Republican voting states (on average).
    Earlier tries:
    https://5harad.com/mse331/papers/gelman_et_al_rich_poor.pdf
    http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2012/10/richest-states-will-vote-obama-and-poorest-states-will-vote-romney

    There is a point in all this that those who pay these “extra” taxes tend to vote Democrat state-wise, while those who receive the money tend to vote Republican state-wise. It tells us that those who advocate government support are willing to put their money where their mouth is (Democrat states), while those who receive the money profess they are unwilling to give to others what is given to them (Republican states).

    On average, that is.

  499. @Winter
    > Read Dickens for a second opinion.

    I think you are misreading Dickens. Many of the things you read in there are the consequence of government intervention, not private charity. For example, the workhouse was a consequence of various laws to manage the government support of the poor. As an example, after the Black Death wiped out half the population of England, wages began to rise rapidly, as would be appropriate. However, what amounted to price controls lead to what you would expect — poverty.

    Government charity is kind of like where I meet you in the street, stick and knife in your belly, and then as you are bleeding out, I offer to drive to the hospital, and somehow think that you should be grateful to me for the ride. And of course since am giving the doctors extra business it is only right that they give me a kick back on their fees, right?

    If you want to know about unadulterated charity during Dickens’ time, you should read about George Müller.

  500. Um, Winter, are you not aware that Dickens was writing fiction? That he made it all up? What’s more, he was a fiction writer with a political agenda, just like Upton Sinclair, or like the SJW that Fail Burton goes on and on about. His backgrounds were not “taken from reality”, they were made up for propaganda purposes, to convince people that life was a lot worse than they experienced it, so they would vote and agitate for change.

    ” It treats money the federal government spends in a state as some sort of gift to that state.”

    No, if a state receives more federal money back than it pays in federal taxes, it benefits from taxes paid by other people in other states.

    I just pointed out how dishonest this claim is, and you just repeat it. No, when the feds spend money in a state, that state is not “receiving federal money back”. The state didn’t pay the money, and it’s not receiving the money. The money is 1) going to the vendors of whatever it is that the government wants to buy, not to the state where the vendors happen to live, and 2) it’s not a gift to them, they are getting it in exchange for something the government values more than the money. If I buy things from Amazon, because they’re the cheapest supplier of those items, am I somehow giving a gift to the state of Oregon?! Or to the people of Oregon?! If I meet an Oregonian, should he feel grateful to me for sending so much of my money to a vendor that lives in his state?

    And this is not about “federal land” but about armed forces bases and military employment, agricultural subsidies etc.

    Armed forces bases are federal land. And military employees don’t come from where the bases are, they come from all over and are stationed where the bases are. Bases have to be somewhere, but money spent on them is spent for everyone, not for the residents of the state where they happen to be.

    But beyond that, yes, it is about federal land, not (just) military bases. You are simply lying when you deny this. The federal government owns about eighty-five percent of Nevada, more than two-thirds of Alaska, more than half of Utah, Oregon and Idaho, and 30-50% of every other Western state. And those are big states, so that’s a lot of land. You don’t think maintaining that land costs money?! But how is that money “given” to the state? It’s the exact opposite, the people of those states are being choked by the federal control of so much of their territory, which they are not allowed to use and is not available for sale (hence the “range wars”, and the high price of housing in Las Vegas). The money spent to maintain those lands is far from something those states should be grateful for, it’s something they properly resent.

    There is a point in all this that those who pay these “extra” taxes tend to vote Democrat state-wise, while those who receive the money tend to vote Republican state-wise.

    More stupidity. In the so-called “blue states”, it’s not the taxpayers who vote Democrat, it’s the parasites who live on taxpayers’ money. There are a lot of them. And in the so-called “red states”, the people who live off federal money also vote Democrat; there just aren’t that many of them.

    Agricultural subsidies are just another form of welfare, and the few (mostly rich) who receive them do tend to support Democrats, not because Republicans have not supported them, but because they know that the only opposition comes from Republicans. Republicans have over the years made a few attempts to limit or abolish them, and Democrats have successfully resisted. Never the other way around.

  501. @Jessica
    The black death was considerably earlier. Whatever charity was available in 19th century GB was ruefully inadequate. And state intervention was minimal by current standards. Actually, 19th century GB had a “small state” current day libertarians can only dream of.

    @Milhouse
    Dickens was writing fiction, indeed. But critics did not exactly were debunking his work on facts. It is as good a description of the times as can be found anywhere else.

    About the voters, your opinion is contradicted by the facts about voter behavior. Republican states get their porc belly from Democrat states. And “government jobs” are part of the bellies.

    But if you have real facts that contradict this, please post the links. Until now I only see ideology and wishful thinking.

  502. @Winter
    Yeah, I didn’t explain that well. The response to the black death was the beginnings of the poor houses in the UK, long before Dickens, but they built the foundation for the problems Dickens saw later. The core point here is that the poor houses were run by the government, and they were horrible. But any time the government runs something like that (such as welfare today, or the dreadful state of children’s homes also) it is always horrible. And if the government intervenes people believe the problem is taken care of and so don’t solve it. The government, so to speak, sucks up all the oxygen in the room. The situation is no different today, even if the generally high wealth of society means that the poor can parisitically live off the productive at a much higher level of wealth.

    BTW, when I use the term “parasitic” here I really mean it in a purely techincal fashion without a strongly pejorative color. Many of the poor are parasitic in an ugly way, but many are also the victims of dreadful circumstances, the sick and disabled being the most promient example. I think most decent people are totally down with them living parasitically off others, though they continue to object to the government mediated mechanism for making it work.

    I think this has been pointed out by the ever sneering, but frequently correct Millhouse.

    In fact it is this environment that make Muller particularly notable. As you probably know I dislike his religious beliefs, but there are few people for whom I have such unadulterated admiration as I have for him.

  503. @Milhouse
    “But beyond that, yes, it is about federal land, not (just) military bases.”

    No, it isn’t its:
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_reckoning/2012/10/25/blue_state_red_face_guess_who_benefits_more_from_your_taxes.html

    New Mexico Indian reservations, military bases, federal research labs, farm subsidies, retirement programs
    Mississippi Farm subsidies, military spending, nutrition and anti-poverty aid, retirement programs.
    Alaska Per capita No 1 recipient of federal benefits; infrastructure projects, DOT and pork projects.
    Louisiana Disaster relief, farm subsidies, anti-poverty and nutrition aid, military spending.
    W. Virginia Farm subsidies, anti-poverty and nutrition aid.
    N. Dakota Farm subsidies, energy subsidies, retirement and anti-poverty programs, Indian reservations.
    Alabama Retirement programs, anti-poverty and nutrition aid, federal space/military spending, farm subsidies.
    S. Dakota Retirement programs, nutrition aid, farm subsidies, military spending, Indian reservations.
    Virginia Civil service pensions, military spending, veterans benefits, retirement, anti-poverty aid.
    Kentucky Retirement programs, nutritional and anti-poverty aid, farm subsidies.

  504. @Jessica
    “The response to the black death was the beginnings of the poor houses in the UK, long before Dickens, but they built the foundation for the problems Dickens saw later.”

    There is half a millennium between the black death and Dickens. You are stretching things. And the poor houses were a solution to an existing problem. Maybe a very bad solution, but not the source of the problem.

    @Jessica
    “But any time the government runs something like that (such as welfare today, or the dreadful state of children’s homes also) it is always horrible.”

    Sorry, but it was much less dreadful here. Actually, our current system works surprisingly well. At least, we think so. People neither starve nor have to sleep in cars. And everyone can get medical care. And we are still pretty rich for non-US standards.

  505. Just to be clear, I agree with Jessica’s mindset in regard to the use of the term “parasite” in this context. I do not intend it in a pejorative or derogatory sense either. The individuals that fall victim to this behavior have been seduced by systematic bribery into a dependence addiction. It is functionally no different from a heroin addiction.

    Only a few percent of the US population has a serious illicit drug addiction; however, entitlement junkies are soon to be in the majority and that is a tragedy for all of us.

  506. Quick note to Eric. I’ve often wondered if adverse (anti-evolutionary) memetic infection is, in effect, a form of malware. And if so, is there a parallel where open source is likely to be the ultimate solution?

  507. @TomA
    “The individuals that fall victim to this behavior have been seduced by systematic bribery into a dependence addiction. It is functionally no different from a heroin addiction.”

    I am pretty sure you did not do a demographic study into welfare recipients. And you also did not supply real data.

    Over here, welfare recipients are:
    – Retired persons receiving a state pension.
    – People on the dole between jobs. Short time.
    – Disabled and otherwise people who cannot get a legal job if their life depended on it.
    – Divorced women with young children
    (getting someone to sit your child costs almost as much as you earn at minimum wage).

    And then we also have those who rather do not work and live on welfare. The former cannot be called parasites without malice. I suspect the latter are better off not polluting the workforce.

  508. @Winter
    You are conflating two very different groups.
    > – Retired persons receiving a state pension.
    > – People on the dole between jobs. Short time.

    Both these groups have generally speaking been forced to pay into a dreadful pseudo insurance scheme, and these payments are a simply a payback of those things. The only bad things here are the lack of choice, and the appalling returns.

    > – Disabled and otherwise people who cannot get a legal job if their life depended on it.

    Many of these people are indeed deserving of charity though frankly many disabled people can and do work, REALLY want to work, and make a valuable contribution to society. Disabled is a huge spectrum. From my personal experience of disabled people they are EXACTLY the opposite of welfare queens. They very much want to feel that value that we all often derive from a job well done.

    Just recently I was watching a TV show talking about this lady with Cerebral palsy that was extremely debilitating, she was wheel chair bound, and needed considerably nursing assistance. However, she sold investment advice over the phone and the net, and was financially quite successful. She totally rocks.

    All of us has some positive skills and abilities, all of us have weaknesses. It is all about competitive advantage. What can you be awesome at, and how can you trade that for a fair living.

    Sometimes the disabilities are so overwhelming that they can’t contribute enough value to support themselves. But most people, seeing them giving their best shot, would be more than happy to lend an hand. To say we need the government to help these people is really an insult to the innate decency of people. I’ve said it before, welfare is a poison because it robs everyone of the benefits of charity, giver, receiver and society as a whole. It is a hateful thing.

    > – Divorced women with young children

    This is a more complicated case. In many cases she deserves help but the father should be the first port of call. (A view that is apparently rather controversial in this particular blog.)

    > And then we also have those who rather do not work and live on welfare.

    Right these are the problem people, and there are whole communities of them in the USA. It is hard to get metrics because there are no bright lines, but there are many instances of families who haven’t had a job in three generations.

    >I suspect the latter are better off not polluting the workforce.

    I STRONGLY disagree with that. Much of the problem of the attitude that you fear comes directly out of the victim hood and dependency that have been crammed down their throats. Were these people to have to choose between REAL poverty and working hard they would for the most part work hard. Laziness, dependency and victim hood are all learned behaviors.

    The cruelest violence of the welfare state is done against the people it clams to help.

  509. Quick note to Eric. I’ve often wondered if adverse (anti-evolutionary) memetic infection is, in effect, a form of malware. And if so, is there a parallel where open source is likely to be the ultimate solution?

    I’ve already identified one such memetic infection — multilevel marketing schemes — and concluded that it behaves enough like malware (specifically a spam botnet that spreads via trojan) that it can be classified as such for all intents and purposes.

  510. Speaking of vicious reality…

    We’re seeing a repeat of the Viking burial “science” specifically as regards the Ebola outbreak. The dirty little secret — the secret the CDC doesn’t want you to know — is that Ebola is airborne transmissible via aerosolized droplets. The standard narrative is that it is only transmissible via “direct contact with bodily fluids” and its meteoric rise in Africa is due to the fact that the Africans are primitively unaware of the risks, have unclean burial practices, and such. How do we know that the Africans are unsophisticated and have dirty burial practices? Because Ebola is spreading so quickly among them! Round and round they go, chasing their own tail…

    Meanwhile, back in reality, “direct contact with bodily fluids” is readily achieved if aerosolized droplets of those fluids enter your nose, mouth, or other orifices. Ebola is already in the USA… watch what happens when winter hits and the cold and flu seasons make direct contact with bodily fluids that much easier. It’s going to make AIDS look like spit in a hurricane.

  511. @Winter (2014-10-02 at 13:43:37)

    Perhaps you’d be better off reading and comprehending the whole post, rather than extracting a single sentence and trying to get a gotcha. Most of the things listed fit exactly into Milhouse’s point.

  512. >It’s going to make AIDS look like spit in a hurricane.

    I have a friend in California who studies tropical diseases for a living. I don’t trust the government not to lie about the Ebola threat level, but I do trust her – and she says not to panic, there’s no evidence of aerosol transmission. Supporting this is that Nigeria seems to have successfully contained its outbreak.

  513. @Jessica
    “The only bad things here are the lack of choice, and the appalling returns.”

    The recipients beg to differ. The “interests” of the payments are not stellar. However, historically, the risk has been shown to be very low, justifying the low interest. This is in contrast to the obligatory work based pension plans (these complement the state pensions) who did have even lower returns. There is good reason to get rid of them and introduce real choice.

    @Jessica
    “From my personal experience of disabled people they are EXACTLY the opposite of welfare queens. They very much want to feel that value that we all often derive from a job well done.”

    My point indeed. But they will never be able to earn a living in a free labor market. Hence, they do welcome the “welfare”. Btw, current law here is often seen as being to optimistic about their earning capabilities, so quite a few end up in the “state support” part of welfare where they need to keep seeking employment they will never find.

    @Jessica
    “In many cases she deserves help but the father should be the first port of call.”

    Indeed, but as they say here, you cannot harvest feathers from a frog. Too many times, it is simply impossible to extract the money.

    @Jessica
    “It is hard to get metrics because there are no bright lines, but there are many instances of families who haven’t had a job in three generations.”

    Such families exist here too. We even made movies about them (search for Flodder on Wikipedia). From my personal experience, they are not very numerous. At least both we and the USA seem to be able to cope.

    @Jessica
    “> I suspect the latter are better off not polluting the workforce.
    I STRONGLY disagree with that. Much of the problem of the attitude that you fear comes directly out of the victim hood and dependency that have been crammed down their throats. ”

    I think each society has to come to grips to the fact that some people simply will not be productive members under any circumstances. You can throw them in jail or simple keep them safe and out of trouble. The latter seems to be less expensive. What I know about such people is that their alternative to welfare is not employment, but crime and begging.

    @Jessica
    “The cruelest violence of the welfare state is done against the people it clams to help.”

    What is generally ignored is that people starved to death and succumbed to exposure in 19th century Britain (and elsewhere). Welfare is one aspect of modern life that made an general increase in life expectancy possible.

    Some people see death as preferable to welfare. The recipients obviously have a different opinion.

  514. @Jef Read
    “How do we know that the Africans are unsophisticated and have dirty burial practices? ”

    I hate to say it, but sometimes you can act like a moron.

    People in West Africa live next to their dead for days and kiss them. Repeatedly. And it is good practice to call people “unsophisticated” who are convinced health workers have come to spread the disease and murder them.

    @esr
    “but I do trust her – and she says not to panic, there’s no evidence of aerosol transmission.”

    I can give the same reassurance. I have heard the same from specialists involved in our national program for infectious diseases. How did they know? These are people from labs that have got the CDC scrambling to keep up.

  515. @kjj
    ” Most of the things listed fit exactly into Milhouse’s point.”

    Then he should make it in a more comprehensible form. I see all kinds of hand waving about the federal state buying things and maintaining land. These flows of money are not accidents of commerce. They are the result of active lobbying.

    His central point is that welfare recipients vote for “handouts” and those that pay vote against it. And that the distinction is one between Democrats and Republicans. Even a glance at the data shows that is not true. Those who advocate “handouts” also tend to pay for it, and those who advocate against “handouts” tend to be at the receiving end (at the state level). These are averages etc, but Milhouse is simply wrong.

  516. > Because Ebola is spreading so quickly among them! Round and round they go, chasing their own tail…

    What a bizarre claim. As if there were no other way to gather information on a culture’s burial practice than to look for side effects like that.

  517. @ Winter

    Your passionate defense of the welfare state is as relentless as it is foolish, and consequently deserves yet another reply.

    1. I know nothing about state pensions in the Netherlands, but here in the US the collectivist pension program is called Social Security and it is not welfare per se. Nevertheless, with over $18 trillion in national debt and >$100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, this Ponzi scheme is certain to crash and burn as soon as our baby boom generation starts retiring in a few years. The notion that this “government” pension is secure and reliable would be hilarious if it wasn’t so criminal. Bernie Madoff was a piker compared to our Congress when it comes to fleecing the gullible.

    2. As regards the disabled, you need to catch up on how well our Veterans Administration is caring for retired military. It’s a competition to see which is worse; the graft, the corruption, the incompetence, or the patient neglect.

    3. I’m not sure what feathers and frogs has to do with deadbeat dads, but one of the reasons that there are so many deadbeat dads is because the government is both willing and anxious to immediately substitute into the role of provider. In reality, government is subsidizing parental abandonment rather than discouraging it.

    4. I’m not sure what you’re point is regarding the chronically lazy, but this is another instance in which subsidizing the behavior only reinforces it. We have a cottage industry here in the US in which our alcoholics panhandle on the street to earn liquor money. No taxes required.

    5. OK, so some indigent people actually starved during the 19th Century in Europe. That was then, this is the 21st Century. Only bulimics are starving in the US now. Far more of the poor are now dying of obesity-related diseases. Welfare is killing these people in slow motion both physically and psychologically.

    Presumably your compassion is well-intentioned, but the reality is that these government programs buy votes by ruining lives, not saving them.

  518. @TomA
    “Your passionate defense of the welfare state is as relentless as it is foolish, and consequently deserves yet another reply.”

    We can argue about who is the most passionate here.

    @TomA
    1&2
    Sorry, but US incompetence and political infighting are not valid arguments. We have had 1&2 for half a century nw without much problems

    3
    Someone has to feed the kids. Jailing fathers is not the best option. There is a lot wrong with mariage laws. But keeping children healthy is crucial.

    4
    Prevention of homelessness and begging is an important part of welfare. People with sibstance abuse and other psychiatric conditions are notoriously difficult to help.

    5
    People do not die in the street in the USA because of welfare. They do still die in the streets of India because of a lack of welfare.

    It might help if you inform yourself about the world. It gives you better argument, and an informed opinion.

  519. @ Winter

    If your welfare system is so great and good, why not open your borders and let all the world’s poor flood into the Netherlands. Problems solved. Collectivist Utopia achieved.

    Oh wait, that won’t work because your government would go bankrupt in a matter of days. Better to be smug, keep out the riffraff, and preach to everyone else.

    At some point you have to tackle the problem at its source and not keep looking for a bigger box of Bandaids.

  520. >If your welfare system is so great and good, why not open your borders and let all the world’s poor flood into the Netherlands.
    What, you still think the Dutch have a welfare system because they’re a bunch of bleeding hearts ?

    > Collectivist Utopia achieved.
    Last thing I heard, Collectivist Utopia was to be achieved through worldwide revolt of the working class, not by collecting the worlds poor in the Netherlands. But I may gave missed a memo.

  521. @TomA
    > why not open your borders and let all the world’s poor flood into the Netherlands.

    This argument has got a little to tediously repetitive for me, however, this comment made me smile a little. A little know fact is that the Netherlands, a teeny, tiny country, is the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world. I’m not entirely sure how that is possible. I mean how much land can you dig out of the sea and pump dry with windmills?

    So although I mostly disagree with Winter’s perspective, I think that if any nation could accept all the world’s poor then plucky little Holland might be the place for it.

    Perhaps Winter’s demand that we Americans be a little less parochial might reflect back on him. Perhaps he shouldn’t project the remarkable success and competence of the Dutch onto the rest of the world.

  522. @JEssica
    “Perhaps Winter’s demand that we Americans be a little less parochial might reflect back on him. Perhaps he shouldn’t project the remarkable success and competence of the Dutch onto the rest of the world.”

    I simply show that the truths expressed here base on a parochial US view (universal health care and welfare cannot ever work) do not hold for humanity in general. What will work here does not have to work everywhere. But it shows that it can work. You just have to want it and work for it.

  523. @Jessica
    “A little know fact is that the Netherlands, a teeny, tiny country, is the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world.”

    Export != Production. And we achieve that by importing a lot of animal food and fertilizer.

  524. @TomA
    “If your welfare system is so great and good, why not open your borders and let all the world’s poor flood into the Netherlands.”

    Why would that be a valid argument? This is a discussion whether the USA could supply their poor with a minimum income to survive and universal health care. Not whether the USA on their own could supply 7 billion people with a minimum income. Neither could this be demanded from the Netherlands.

    The Netherlands and a host of other nations can provide their poor with the minimum they need to live, an good education, and health care. You argue such things are impossible. But reality shows that this is all indeed quite well possible.

    But above we saw already that this opposition was not cause by “it cannot be done“, but by “we do not want it to be done“.
    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=6220&cpage=1#comment-1113393

  525. @ Winter

    We are at loggerheads and I’m getting tired of this, so this will be my last post on this thread.

    First, I have never stated nor implied that issuing welfare to people is “impossible.” Our disagree is over whether it’s a net benefit to either the recipient or society-at-large. My view is that welfare (as practiced by government bureaucracy) is both harmful and anti-evolutionary.

    In the very short term, politicians benefit by gaining votes and welfare recipients receive payments that temporarily enhance their standard of living. In the medium term, politicians learn that bribery is an efficient means of ensuring incumbency and welfare recipients begin acquiring their addiction to dependency. In the long term, politicians become exploitative and corrupt and the entitlement junkies become useless parasites (with devalued lives and souls).

    Contrary to your belief, we are not starving our children here in the US, nor locking up deadbeat dads in prison. That is your fantasy. We are, however, following Europe’s lead as an ever-growing welfare state, and when this insanity eventually bankrupts the US, it will be a bad thing for the whole planet.

  526. @TomA:

    > Contrary to your belief, we are not starving our children here in the US, nor locking up deadbeat dads in prison.

    It is easy to find examples of people who were locked up because they didn’t pay child support. IMO it is easy to find examples of starving people, too, but that’s not typically a general policy.

  527. @TomA
    “Contrary to your belief, we are not starving our children here in the US, nor locking up deadbeat dads in prison.”

    That is because the USA do have a welfare system.

    @TomA
    “My view is that welfare (as practiced by government bureaucracy) is both harmful and anti-evolutionary.”

    It might be harmful in the USA, I could not tell one way or another. It is not harmful everywhere. I see it is not harmful over here.

    Evolution works by killing lots of individuals and their offspring with uncertain gain. I do not think I like evolution to work on my neighbors and fellow countrymen. Actually, I would fight to stop blind evolution working on my fellows.