Yeet not, unless ye be yoten upon

This is an answer I posted to Stack Overflow: Linguistics that was so much fun to write that I feel like sharing it with my blog audience. The question is: What is the past tense of ‘yeet’?

I have a field sighting of the form “yoten” to report.

In January I was involved with the organizing for the big pro-Second-Amendment demonstration in Richmond, VA. One of the central concerns of the organizers, in view of the extreme hostility of the media against firearms rights, was to keep the demonstration strictly nonviolent.

Among the many memes and images posted on social media to express concurrence with this goal was a sort of cartoon of plucky musket-bearing rebels in Revolutionary War costume. The caption read:

“Yeet not unless ye be yoten upon!

You can’t tell gun-culture folks to be passively nonviolent; they’ll just laugh at you. You can preach an ethic of alert nonaggression, and that’s what this memester did. That fits their values, and works.

So we see “yeet” being used for the act of firing a weapon (no surprise; I already knew videogamers used it that way before this). We also have “yoten” as past tense in perfective aspect.

Subsequently someone else else posted a chart of the full conjugation of “yeet”. It did include “yote” as the simple past, and in general was a meticulous and knowing parody of the Germanic strong verb.

Watching culture being invented is a marvellous thing!

I concur with previous answers that the strong-verb system is not as yet entirely nonproductive in English. We should not expect new production of ablaut to obey historical rules for OE verb classes, but rather to template itself on surviving strong verbs.

I offer in this connection the following models: “speak/spoke/spoken”, “freeze/froze/frozen”, and “break/broke/broken”.

I further note that I have previously observed a tendency for such irregular inflections to flourish where humor is intended, and if the message of “Yeet not unless ye be yoten upon!” was serious the form of it was intentionally funny.

In another subculture that I am involved with, the name of a now obsolete minicomputer called a “VAX” was pluralized to “vaxen”, not “vaxes”, allegedly because the machine was as slow as an ox. This joke became productive: today, people in that culture may pluralize “box” (used in the sense of a computer, e.g a Unix box) as “boxen”.

The meme was successful. Enough armed gunfolks showed up to overmatch an infantry division, and the day was entirely peaceful.

163 thoughts on “Yeet not, unless ye be yoten upon

  1. I am old and out of touch with the times, so I had never heard this word “yeet” before and had to look it up.

    I presume you are using it in the sense of “thowing something with great force and velocity” and not of the dance movement which apparently was the successor of “twerk”. Or are those senses somehow connected?

    • >Or are those senses somehow connected?

      In somebody’s brain, probably. Nobody knows how it mutated from dancing to hurling. The “dance” sense is attested from 2014, the “hurl” sense from 2017.

  2. I tend to throw the word “meese” around alot, when referring to A. alcus .

    Digression: I find it amusing that, when Europeans arriving in America were confronted with two different species of cervid, one of which they already had a word for because it existed in Europe, they used the existing word (elk) for the species they had never seen, and borrowed the native word for the species they knew (or ought to have known) from Europe. So now we have “moose” and “elk”, respectively, for the species that should be called “elk” and “wapiti”, if not for hysterical raisins.

    More on topic, I’ve never used it, or thought of it till now, but “ping” should really follow the “sing” ablaut pattern: ping/pang/pung. “The router’s down. I pang Google a few times and nothing got through.” An ICMP echo request/reply packet, logically, would be a pong.

    • Some poly people I know use “spice” as the plural of “spouse”.

      I’m not sure if RAH invented that use, but that’s probably where the poly community picked it up from.

      • “Spice” is useful in non-polygamous contexts as well. E.g, “Spice are invited to the office Christmas party. Children are not.”

    • No, the first one’s correct. It roughly translates to “don’t shoot, except to shoot back at someone else’s shooting.” Yours says, “if you shoot, the other party will shoot back, so don’t shoot.” I guess that makes sense as a warning to the other side, though…

    • >Yeet not, lest ye be yoten upon.

      Nah, I’m good with the way it was done. Remember that the memester was trying for Colonial-era English; your version sounds 150 years older and redolent of the King James Bible.

      Besides, you’ve changed the sense. The way “lest” was used in Early Modern English, your version unpacks to “Fire not, unless you want to be fired on.” The intention was “Do not fire unless fired upon.”

      • Heh, I almost made the same mistake yesterday (“that should be lest!”) when I suddenly realized it was a recommendation to the good guy, not a warning to the bad guy. ;)

        If someone really felt “unless” to be insufficiently old or fancy (although merriam-webster claims it goes back to 1500s…) I might recommend:

        “Yeet not, save ye be yoten upon.”

        But then that might confuse folks unfamiliar with that use of “save”.

            • Correction:

              Ne getaþ, gif ge ne gegeoten uppon beon.

              It could perhaps even be rendered:

              Netaþ, gif ge ne gegeoten uppon beon.

              To take it a step further:

              Jeetaþ ne, jabai iswis ne gejeutan up on wesana.

              Anyone want to take a stab at PIE?

              • >Anyone want to take a stab at PIE?

                Well done unwinding the reflexes back to Proto-Germanic. Possibly from PIE *ghwen “to strike or kill”, though it must be admitted that other reflexes of that root have undergone more drastic sound changes.

              • Shouldn’t it be:

                (OE) jéotaþ ne, jif jé ne jejotene uppon béon
                (West) Jiutid ne, jabé jiz ne gijotané upp an biwiþ
                (Common) Jiutid ne, jabai júz ne jutanai upp ana biwíþ

                Note the first i-mutation of e in Proto-Germanic. I have marked the <g> in the OE that should be pronounced /j/ with a dot. The long vowels have been marked with an acute accent, because that’s easier to type for me than a macron’d vowel.

                I’ve assumed a class II strong paradigm here; this is the conjugation out of which freeze/froze/frozen (OE fréosan/fréas/fruron/(?e)froren, West *freusan/*fraus/*fruzun/*gifrozan, Common *freusanã/*fraus/*fruzun/*fruzanaz) developed out of. Class V strong is also plausible; speak/spoke/spoken (OE sprecan/spræc/spræcen/(?e)sprecen, West *sprekan/*sprak/*sprákun/*gisprekan, Common *sprekanã/*sprak/*sprékun/*sprekanaz) was class V strong.

                PIE (Pre-Germanic dialect) would probably go something like this:

                Yéwdete ne, yósmey yúu ne yúdonoes upnoy ana bhúHete

                Here, acutes mark the PIE pitch accent. Long vowels are doubled.

                (Great, now you made me spend an hour researching this post! I hope you’re happy… Eh, I guess that’s my fault for being such a language geek. :)

                ESR: WordPress clobbered the g-dot. I have replaced it with “j” to make this splendid reconstruction easier to read.

                • Your reconstruction is definitely better, though I think we both screwed up “to be”. I used the infinitive instead of the subjunctive (easy, given that infinitive and present subjunctive are identical in modern English, insofar as the present subjunctive is still extant at all). Furthermore, “beon” in OE was used for permanent truths, “wesan” otherwise, for which the present subjunctive was “sie” (the corresponding PGmc, for the 2nd person plural, seems to be “siþ”).

                  So:

                  (OE) géotaþ ne, gif gé ne gegotene uppon síe.
                  (West) Jiutid ne, jabé jiz ne gijotané upp an siþ.
                  (Common) Jiutid ne, jabai júz ne jutanai upp ana síþ.

                  I also really want to analogize “ne will” -> “nill” to “ne géotaþ” -> “néotaþ”

                  (Eric: the dotted g is just a reminder to modern speakers, in modern printings, to pronounce a given g as /j/, there’s no distinction in the original texts. Sometimes insular G, also clobbered by wordpress, is used for the same effect. As such, g-dot or insular g should be turned into g, not j).

    • I didn’t really get the intended meaning until I realized it was saying, “Yeet not, unless ye _have been_ yoten upon.”

      • >I didn’t really get the intended meaning until I realized it was saying, “Yeet not, unless ye _have been_ yoten upon.”

        Not quite. “Yeet not, unless ye be yoten upon” is a perfective-aspect construction, which can mean past-tense in English but usually points at a completed action from the point of view of a present-time observer. It could be equivalently expressed as “Yeet not, unless ye have been yote upon”, where the simple past “yote” is given perfective aspect by “have been”

        “Have been yoten upon” would be the past perfect – completed action from the view of a past observer, not a present one.

  3. “Enough armed gunfolks showed up to overmatch an infantry division”

    The Big Red One has like 18,000 dudes with actual assault rifles, armored transport, artillery, a command structure, communications, discipline, and doctrine. I am pretty sure that 22,000 plump weirdos with scary looking hunting rifles are gonna be “overmatching” them any time soon.

    If you simply mean “more people than in a division” well, sure. But to phrase it dramatically as “enough to overmatch” is cos-playing absurdity.

    • >If you simply mean “more people than in a division” well, sure. But to phrase it dramatically as “enough to overmatch” is cos-playing absurdity.

      You weren’t there. I was not exaggerating.

      • There were Roman vs Barbarian battles where the Romans were outnumbered 10:1 and were less well armed, and yet the Romans slaughtered them. This was due to organization, tactics, training, and discipline.

        A gun doesn’t make a soldier.

        • >A gun doesn’t make a soldier.

          Which is why it matters that so many people in the gun culture have military and tactical training, and those hard-core types were disproportionally likely to have come in for Lobby Day. You could tell that just by looking around; there were huge numbers of people in full battle rattle with long weapons who wore that gear like they knew what they were doing – because, in fact, they absolutely did.

          There are entire national armies of respectable small countries who could not muster the military manpower and armament of the Lobby Day demonstrators! I’ve visited several.

          It would be foolish to claim they were pound-for-pound equivalent to U.S. line troops – the command structure and heavy weapons needed for that parity weren’t there. OTOH, they would also have had a single line infantry division heavily outnumbered. The media tried to low-ball attendance at somewhere around 22K, but my own estimate based on the video crowd views was 120K and possibly higher. U.S. line infantry divisions average about 17K troops; that’s a manpower ratio of 7:1 or more.

          Quantity has a quality all its own. And this wouldn’t have been a Romans vs. Barbarians matchup, but a fight between different factions of “Romans” trained in the same doctrine and able to anticipate each others’ moves.

          We’re talking a combination of light equipment and greatly superior numbers against heavy equipment and a more professional command structure, and not all historical precedents for that situation have the battle going to the regulars by any means. I’m not a professional military officer, but I know that the War College teaches about the kind of situation the CO of an infantry division would have faced against the Lobby Day patriots: the 7:1-outnumbered side has little or no margin for error and can easily get swamped.

          The Redcoat generals who lost the (First) American Revolution could explain some of the other risks of such a situation to you in detail, if they were here to do it.

          • >If your statement is “I think that group of men standing around in Richmond on that day could have overmatched the Big Red 1 on that day” I think you’ve got to be claiming some sort of fairly serious numerical multiplier, or are simply blowing smoke.

            “Fairly serious numerical multiplier” is the exact case. Your comment crossed my detailed explanation to Walter Bright.

          • Gen. Washington know his band of untrained men was no match for the British regulars, and so spend the first part of the war avoiding battle. In Valley Forge, he hired a Prussian officer (don’t recall his name) who trained and drilled the men into a passable professional army that winter. (This is why US military traditions resemble German traditions more than British.)

            I’m sure that a lot of the demonstrators were fully trained military people. (The Barbarian armies surely had lots who were excellent at single combat.) But they still lack being formed into organized teams, and it’s going to take excellent teamwork to beat a professional army.

            The Roman legions had their phalanxes, shield walls, defense in depth, mutually supporting positions, etc. That doesn’t appear spontaneously.

              • Even the gun nuts don’t claim more than 70,000 souls, and looking at the photos most of them seem to be amiable gun rights advocates with a sidearm.

                I mean, sure, maybe you could make a division out of the crowd if you geared them up and trained them. Maybe you could invent some weird scenario where a lightly armed mob with zero communications and zero logistics could “win” against a properly equipped division.

                But why? Why would you even make such a silly “Batman could beat up Superman” argument? Why would you even suggest it, and having said it, why would you bother to defend it? I mean, obviously, because Eric, but still. It’s an absurd statement to make, and by my guess completely misses the point of the rally.

                • I didn’t even read the claim in that fashion — who’d win? Since Eric is not my son at age eight I interpreted him to mean that enough protesters brought enough weaponry that each member of a standard regular “division” could be, mathematically, matched to an irregular’s civilian weapon.

                  Now there are tales told of Swiss miltiamen bragging to regular Nazis, but we needn’t go there.

            • > Prussian officer (don’t recall his name) who trained and drilled the men into a passable professional army that winter.

              Baron von Steuben?

            • In Valley Forge, he hired a Prussian officer …. (This is why US military traditions resemble German traditions more than British.)

              Could this have something to do with something that puzzled me as a teenager…

              Back in the 1970s, in Calgary in Canada, I was in the Saint John’s Ambulance Cadets, and there were a number of guys that were also army cadets. They would use German words in certain kinds of casual “military etiquette” situations – saying “Danke” (“thank you”) when passed a drink, for example. I never asked any of them about it, but it struck me as odd at the time. Germans were definitely the bad guys in the World Wars… ‘Course, so was Italy.

              • Being that this was Canada, I’d be more inclined to think it had something to do with the Hannoverian origins of the British royalty.

          • The Lobby people probably would have been a match for U.S. troops after a couple weeks of drilling, (and if they had good radios.)

            • Months of drilling.

              Fully trained Navy SEALs will (usually) do a 6 *month* workup before deploying overseas, and some of these are guys with multiple combat tours under their belt.

              Jocko Willink was talking about when he was in Ramada with Task Unit Bruiser they would drill *getting out of the car* over and over and over until they could do it at full speed without fumbling.

              And remember that SEALs are *small unit* guys. Fire team and reinforced platoon sized elements.

              When you’re fighting at the division level you need to have your fire teams and platoons operating with very little oversight (e.g. tell them “take that hill” being the extent of the instruction), but you also need them to be able to “cover and move” by platoon and company. They need to be able to work with units to the left and right.

              This is (in part) why in places like Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan–even facing well trained, well equipped battle hardened troops, we are able to sustain kill ratios of 10+ to 1 and higher (in one such battle in 2008 IIRC a Marine platoon was contacted by a company sized element of Taliban (200+) and walked away with cuts and bruises while *most* of the Taliban were killed or injured. The designated marksman for the platoon dropped 20+ men with a standard “intermediate caliber” rifle.

              This is what whomever will be facing when CWII kicks off, IF the Army decides to get involved (there will be desertions, and those who refuse orders no matter which side the military joins, if they all join one side).

              We do NOT want CWII.

              • But but but Eric, as he typed the word “overmatch” drew upon his deep knowledge of military planning, as well as his instant access to certain details of US materiel deployments to run a couple of scenarios, and determined that in fact he was literally correct. By the time he reached the concluding ‘h’ the thing was certain.

                While Eric would certainly never style himself fully competent to plan and lead a major military operation, the 5 star generals he knows and hangs out with down at the dojo consider him a peer.

                • You realize that currently there are no living 5 star generals, right?

                  You really don’t know much about the military, do you?

                    • >You don’t know much about humor, do you?

                      Why would he need to? You’re not funny, you’re an asshole who uses “humorous” language as a thin veil over petty hostility. Don’t think it isn’t obvious.

        • The barbarians weren’t trained in Roman-style warfare. Based on esr’s descriptions, a *lot* of those folks were trained the same way as a current infantry division.

          If the Bonus Army had been armed, would the Regular Army have succeeded in removing them?

            • >Then it would come down to how they are led.

              Yes, that’s one important variable.

              Another is how much of the ID’s organic heavy weaponry is actually at the fight. In CONUS they’re highly unlikely to have main battle tanks; since neither Canada nor Mexico are plausible adversaries in the kind of war MBTs are designed to fight, U.S. Army MBTs are almost all deployed overseas except for a few training units. They won’t have attached artillery either. They might have a few JLTVs or M117s.

              So in a hypothetical fight at Richmond it would have pretty much been small arms vs. small arms. The only even remotely plausible way this could happen is if the ID were ordered to attack the demonstrators, which means the ID would not be getting the benefit of pre-positioned crew-served weapons. Instead, they’d be trying to break opponents that heavily outnumbered them in urban combat.

              One consequence of thus tactical situation is that absence of command cohesion among the defenders is less important than it would be if their objectives required a formed counterattack. But the demonstrators wouldn’t have needed to do that at all; their objective would have been to inflict unacceptable casualties on the enemy and keep control of the ground.

              And that is how clusterfucks like the 1993 defeat of Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu happen. American gunfolks in battle rattle would be a much tougher proposition than Somali militia even at an equal force ratio; besides the armor, we have better weapons and are much better marksmen. Even if we low-ball the attendance numbers to 70K and allow that many won’t be body armored, we’re looking at a manpower ratio of 4:1 favoring the demonstrators, in a situation where any manpower ratio of less than 3:1 in favor of the attacker is very bad news for the attacker.

              • Now you’re just thrashing around trying to pretend that what you said makes sense if you just throw enough more or less arbitrary context at it. “a division” is, certainly, ambiguous. One fellow seems to think it means “a division whose rifles are all locked up somewhere else” and you seem to think it means “a division with rifles, but lacking much of their heavy equipment” and so on.

                Normal people would assume you mean “a division with its usual complement of equipment and in a normal state of readiness” but sure, whatever. Let’s pretend they have radios, but they’re made of peanut butter.

                Or, why not just assume the entire division is deployed overseas? I could probably overmatch it myself with, armed only with a stick!

                I know you’ll never admit that it was, basically, a slightly silly throwaway statement that meant “there were a lot of people with guns there” but it’s not exactly a secret.

                • > Now you’re just thrashing around

                  What you call thrashing around looks to me like a general conversation, and you just seem to be spinning on the minutia of debating what the word “overmatch” means, aiming for a pygmy victory nobody cares about.

                  Instead of exploring the various ways that can be taken, the ways in which one or another sense is, can, or could be true, which is what is happening here, you instead scoff with an implicit assertion that your one opinion of it is all that matters.

                  Personally, I’d forgotten there was a source contention in the first place. The conversation that fell out of it has been more interesting than that.

                • >Normal people would assume you mean “a division with its usual complement of equipment and in a normal state of readiness” but sure, whatever.

                  It’s not my fault you don’t think like a military planner.

                  I do, from decades of experience wargaming and reading military history. I am pretty much incapable of tossing off a word like “overmatch” without running a couple of scenarios in my head about what a counterinsurgency at Richmond would actually look like, and I have instantly to hand facts like the rarity of MBTs in the Continental US. I thought through questions like “Would the ID have tactical air?” and concluded not, because the optics of siccing A-10s or helicopter gunships on a city full of American civilians would have been terrible.

                  (I did have to look up what kind of light armor they’d have available; line infantry doesn’t go anywhere without mechanized transport these days, but the U.S. military has been cycling through lots of different versions of the concept recently and I had to update my knowledge to what’s current.)

                  Yes, I could run that engagement from either side. I know what a War-College-trained military officer would do with the ID, and I know what the options available to the demonstrators would have been. It would have been a nasty bloody fight of the kind that mercilessly exposes and punishes weaknesses in leadership and training.

                  You think I’m thrashing because you’re ignorant of these things. That’s your problem, not mine.

                    • Look at it this way: Vietnam and Iraq demonstrate that insurgents that aren’t necessarily well trained or equipped can create serious problems for the best trained and best equipped military in the world. Those problems are magnified when many of the insurgents have served in that military, and there is great sympathy within that military for their cause, as there almost certainly would be.

                  • Eric, this is an interesting hypothetical. You make as good a case as can be made for the gunfolk, but coming from a military background and some familiarity with the gun culture, I think you’re wrong.

                    1.) Even if the ID didn’t bring along their artillery (possible) or IFVs (very debatable—just look at the National Guard in DC), every battalion has plenty of machine guns and mortars—even MMGs alone do a pretty good job of negating any disadvantage in numbers. And although the regulars might not have CAS, you can bet the sky will be filled with UAVs acting as aerial observers and SIGINT collectors. Pretty easy to map out insurgent positions. Against this, the insurgents would be even less well armed—unlike the Muj, they don’t have PKMs or RPGs to shut down urban mobility corridors.

                    2.) I think you give a bit too much credit to gunfolks’ tactical ability. For one, I wouldn’t judge tactical ability, or even weapons-handling ability, by anything you can see. Movies have gotten really good at depicting the military and military techniques, making it pretty easy to imitate. Anything beyond that is hard to show on screen, and unsurprisingly doesn’t come across.

                    Granted, this is something that varies wildly, but the average gun guy has poor tactical sense. Even the good ones don’t really extend beyond the team level. And if you just look at the significant minority of vets, the majority are guys who got out after one or two enlistments, not the field-grade officers who actually understand how a division fights (believe me when I tell you that the average service member has little idea what drives decision-making even two levels up).

                    To the extent that the insurgents and professionals share a common military, this gives the professionals the advantage. Centralized command and the ability to coordinate lets them use information much, much more effectively. A half-decent G-2 will be able to predict ratlines and hide sites a hell of a lot better in America than on the streets of Mosul, soldiers will be better intel-collectors, and squad leaders will have sharper instincts for ambush sites.

                    3.) Finally.….most gun-culture guys are in TERRIBLE shape. The average guy is—there’s no other way to put this—a fat-ass, and a significant minority of those are morbidly obese. How many can sprint a city block without wheezing, never mind hump half their bodyweight ten miles? As you rightly point out, a successful insurgent has to behave like a light infantryman, and a light infantryman has to MOVE. There are some good men out there trying to change this sorry state of affairs, but it will be at least decade or two before being in combat shape comes anywhere close to being the norm.

                    If we’re wargaming scenarios, I think the only one in which the insurgents defeat a division is if the soldiers are simply too demoralized to fight. Which, if it actually came to the military being deployed against Americans, I think would be the case. But it’s a semantic stretch too far to generically say that the gunfolk would overmatch an infantry division.

                • One fellow seems to think it means “a division whose rifles are all locked up somewhere else” and you seem to think it means “a division with rifles, but lacking much of their heavy equipment” and so on.

                  I have 10 years of military service active and reserves in 3 branches over 3 decades.

                  I have lived on 4 or 5 military bases for weeks or months.

                  I spent a year in Iraq towards the tail end of the fighting there.

                  I have friends and family who have been in fights with terrorists on 3 continents and several islands.

                  What is your experience with the military?

                  I realize this is hard for you to believe, but unless they have a *specific* need, US military units *in garrison* do not walk around with rifles and pistols. Not even the NCOs go armed (but they should–if they had Ft. Hood would have ended a lot quicker).

                  This is because there is generally no need for armed soldiers in garrison, and most officers are *extremely* afraid of accidents marring their records.

                  These armories also generally do not have large stocks of ammunition IN THE BUILDING. this because historically ammunition would sometimes go *bang* for no reason, and these practices didn’t really change as ammunition got better. Really there has been no reason to change–the armorers in the building (usually in there 24×7) are armed and the buildings are *SOLID*, so there’s little chance of them being overrun, and given Posse Comitatus there is little likelihood of them needing to hand out rifles and ammunition on less than a couple hours notice.

                  Even in Iraq in the 2000s soldiers *ON BASE* had 1 loaded magazine and were NOT allowed to have that magazine inserted in the weapon (even officers with pistols). There they did keep the rifles with them all day (there were exceptions, but few).

                  This is about readiness. It takes *will* to fight, and that will is built up over time with training and with developing an understanding of why you’re fighting. The US military actually *does* tell the troops in general why they are fighting–it is part of keeping up morale when you’re living in a shithole 10 thousand miles from home, crapping in a bucket and not showering for weeks at a time.

                  When you’re grabbed off whatever training/duty/liberty you’re on and issued body armor (which they also don’t keep lying around the barrack generally) and your rifle and told to go break up a demonstration of *American Citizens* that you generally agree with and are actually *peacefully* protesting a state’s BLATANT violation of the constitution you swore an oath to uphold?

                  It is one thing to stand with your brothers in arms and hold the line against Taliban or ISIS. It’s another to march into a crowd of people who are *on many levels* your own tribe.

                  Given the connectedness and awareness of troops in the US military at least SOME of them would refuse orders to march on US citizens who weren’t already engaged in violence. It is a violation of the US federal code and is *very* arguably an illegal order. If they do fire and that order is later held to be illegal the *individual soldier* can be tried and “following orders” is not a sufficient reason.

                  Also it is very, very likely that someone in that division will either *be* in the crowd at the protest (and be called back to arm up) or will know someone in the crowd. Word will get out before they ever leave base, so it is almost certain that the protestors will know that the *military* is on the way, and know if they’re armed.

                  That is why having the rifles locked up in the armory matters.

                  • Look, when Eric wrote “overmatch a division” he obviously was just throwing out some words. He’s offered us a rich and beautiful fantasy about how, no, he gamed it out, and he’s totally right because, etc etc.

                    You can imagine that he meant “a division wearing their underwear and armed only with their swinging cocks” if you like. Or a division hastily called up and equipped to this degree or that to quell an angry mob. You could imagine, as he claims to have, some sort of “likely scenario” and then whittle away the tanks and artillery based on that, and then pretend that NOW you’re right, which is roughly what Eric has done.

                    Or, as has been repeatedly noted by wiser heads than mine, you could recognize that there literally is no “likely” or “reasonable” scenario here. It’s a fantasy engagement. It’s Superman vs. Batman.

                    In that case, you can at any rate make a reasonable claim that “overmatch a division” most reasonably means “a division in a suitable state of readiness for combat.” We are, after all, operating here in a fantasy world. Nobody says “Batman could beat up Superman, because in my scenario Superman has flu.”

                    In reality, of course, Eric didn’t mean anything, but it’s pretty funny to watch rustle around pretending that a) he did and that b) somehow it makes sense.

                    What baffles me, William, is that you and I seem to agree on essentially 100% of the broad strokes, and yet you seem to want to snarl at me. Well, free country and all.

                    • Alternatively you could exhibit the approximate reading comprehension of a developmentally challenged ant.

                      Nothing that has been said — by several different people — has been even slightly complicated to understand. You have merely refused to engage the issue.

                    • Quite right, Ian, it’s all been easy to understand. It’s just all at cross purposes and, from time to time, laughable (yes yes, I know, all MY contributions are the laughable ones, yadda yadda, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck).

                      Again, I am pretty sure that in broad strokes you and I agree and yet, you seem also to be on the attack.

                      My conclusion is that I have been detected as a leftist, and therefore everything I say is shit, even when you say things yourself that align pretty well with it.

                      Which, ok, that’s a thing. This is the internet and all. It’s not, like, an *interesting* thing, but sure, it’s a thing.

                    • Or, as has been repeatedly noted by wiser heads than mine, you could recognize that there literally is no “likely” or “reasonable” scenario here. It’s a fantasy engagement. It’s Superman vs. Batman.

                      * It is reasonable enough that the various military organizations have actually wargamed it.

                      * To find the limits of reasonable you must also find the limits if *unreasonable*.

                      * It is not as unreasonable as you think. Remember Kent State? Remember Tiananmen Square? And dozens of other battles in history where politicians sent in the military to fix what they fucked up?

                      The only things that make this truly unreasonable are posse comitatus and how mediapathetic it would be.

                      Those might stop Trump, but they wouldn’t have stopped Hillary–not against us deplorables.

                      In that case, you can at any rate make a reasonable claim that “overmatch a division” most reasonably means “a division in a suitable state of readiness for combat.”

                      The devil is always in the details.

                      In ESRs basic scenario IF there were 30k protestors willing to slug it out with an American infantry division who DID NOT have Air Support and heavy artillery, even with Squad Automatic Weapons and M248s, both sides are going to have a *really really* bad day.

                      It gets a LOT worse if the person in charge won’t let the protestors break and run (and a lot of them will want to).

                      That’s really the key–how many protestors run away.

                      And no, I don’t agree with you on the broad strokes *for a single engagement as ESR laid out*. The city is just *way* to favorable to light weapons and people who really want to pick their shots. The US military doesn’t normally train this way, they use a LOT of suppressive fire, smoke etc. You do that in a city filled with US non-protestors and you’re going to wind up with a lot of dead people who weren’t involved.

                      Which is to say that this generally *ISN’T* a fight the US military trains a lot for.

                    • >* [A fight like ID vs. Richmond protesters] is reasonable enough that the various military organizations have actually wargamed it.

                      And you can take it to the bank that I’ve read about the resulting discussion and doctrinal changes.

                      Poor Andrew. Who thought he was reading arrogant posturing, because that’s what it would be if he were saying such things.

                    • >It gets a LOT worse if the person in charge won’t let the protestors break and run (and a lot of them will want to).

                      You raise an issue I hadn’t considered enough in my wargaming.

                      My assumption was that the politician who gave the order would prefer a show of force that broke the overt 2A movement with the minimum number of casualties. The orders would be basically (1) Force them to retreat and lose credibility, (2) Avoid collateral bystander casualties, (3) Shoot leaders opportunistically as you find them, (3) Emphasize force protection over inflicting casualties on the enemy.

                      What if the villain actually wanted a huge body count? As opposed to just sending a message that any future attempt to assemble this large a mob of potential insurrectionists will be met with lethal force, so don’t be part of such an assembly.

                      I think in that case you get release of tacair, and a lot of A-10 sorties.

                    • William, my contention was that “overmatch” was silly, and you assert that “both sides are going to have a *really really* bad day.”

                      If you prefer to construe these two positions as radical disagreement, more power to you.

                      They don’t look that far apart from where I sit in the cheap seats, though, hence my remarks re: broad agreement.

              • They won’t have attached artillery either. They might have a few JLTVs or M117s.

                So in a hypothetical fight at Richmond it would have pretty much been small arms vs. small arms.

                They’ll have access to machine guns ranging from the M249 through the M2, and Mk 19s.

                All of which can be vehicle mounted, and which if used properly will break the fuck out of a crowd like that.

                But here’s the thing–doing that would be the US Government declaring war on the citizens.

                Even showing up with those mounted and loaded would be an indicator of the intent of the commander.

                Of course, the folks at the protest would know they were coming, and some of them would be up on rooftops and tall buildings.

                It would be a bad day all around.

                • >Of course, the folks at the protest would know they were coming, and some of them would be up on rooftops and tall buildings.

                  Yeah, that matches the scenario I was running in my head. Richmond is urban and hilly, which is worst case from the ID’s point of view. Doctrine for the demonstrators is hell, no, you don’t fight on the Redcoats’ terms with formed units in the open, you go all sniper on them just like great-great-Granddad did. Nobody has to order this, it’s deep in their folklore. A lot of them are good enough shots to actually pull that off, up to military Designated Marksman standard, and they’re going to be aiming at officers and the guys with the M.2s and M249s by preference.

                  The ID commander has no good choices. Play tag with the snipers, yeah, sure – but there are a fuck-ton of them, way more than you have DMs. Opening fire on the crowds with crew-served weapons would be political suicide; the media may hate gun owners, but they hate the U.S. military no less and the massacre denunciations would start around the time the barrels cooled off.

                  Then there are all those concealed weapons under civilian clothes in the crowds. Pistols don’t normally have a lot of military significance, and your body armor will often stop those rounds. But “often” is not “always”; sight-lines are short here and there’s a lot of cover. Ten guys with pistols are a nuisance, but 10K with pistols are a serious problem in this combat environment even though most won’t be carrying reloads.

                  So many, many ways things can go to shit, and you have zero confidence that the politician who ordered this attack won’t throw you to the wolves if they do.

                  • but they hate the U.S. military no less and the massacre denunciations would start around the time the barrels cooled off.

                    In this case I don’t think so. Militaries always have a noose around their neck called the “budget”. Very easy to hurt them at will, and thus easy to put aside that hatred for a while so the other hated group can get crushed.

                    And there was simply too much glee on display at the idea of the alt-right nazi racist MAGAs getting killed.

                    Of course if that were to have happened a large number of people would add the media to their list of targets.

                  • (sorry I’m late in responding, but I’ve got a tonne of other stuff on my plate).

                    >The ID commander has no good choices.

                    Yeah, he does.

                    Refuse the orders on the grounds that they are illegal and a even if they weren’t they are a REALLY bad idea.

                    That will end his chances for advancement, but he’s right and *everyone* else will know it.

    • > The Big Red One has like 18,000 dudes with actual assault rifles

      No, they have select fire automatic weapons.

      “Assault Weapon” is legalistic nonsense that basically means “rifle that looks like the military would carry it”.

      The Big Red One has those rifles locked up in an armory *at least* a mile from the barracks, and most of the ammunition is stored in a bunker *somewhere else*.

      Most of the people in The Big Red One are not line infantry, they are clerks and mechanics etc.

      At least some of those “plump weirdos” used to be in the Infantry, and more were clerks and mechanics.

      Oh, the Big Red One also has “Rules of Engagement”.

      • Oh, I didn’t realize that Eric meant “to overmatch a division that was just out on holiday.” It wasn’t an option that had occurred to me.

        My bad.

      • No, they have select fire automatic weapons.

        In an intermediate caliber no less. Now where have I heard that cluster of traits before?

        “Assault Weapon” is legalistic nonsense that basically means “rifle that looks like the military would carry it”.

        Fortunately this has nothing to do with the discussion. He did not use the term “assault weapon”. He used the term “assault rifle”, which is the precisely accurate term to use here.

        ProTip: the other side flinging nonsense doesn’t mean you get a free nonsense-pass.

  4. The Old English strong verb system is alive and well and working daily, especially in the US.

    The proper past tense of “sneak” is “sneaked” but common American sage has strengthened it to “snuck”. “Hanged” has become “hung”. There are a bunch of others that I don’t have time right now to go look up in whichever John McWhorter book covered it.

    • Years ago, there was a website with a name something like “The society for strengthening English Verbs”, with a big table of proposed strong verb conjugations for existing English verbs. Anyone know what happened to it or where to find it?

  5. This blog has gone from interesting, to wtf? to dogshit, to dogshit-smoking-meth, so I think I’ll stop reading it now. So long and thanks for all the fish

  6. .
    .
    SINGULAR – – – PLURAL

    Yeet – – – Yuis

    Yayt – – – Yuis

    Yot – – – Yuis

    (Just priming the pump here.)

  7. I have noticed that the Michigan lockdown protest, where a large number of armed people showed up at the state capital, had no deaths, no injuries, no shots fired, no arson, no vandalism, and no looting, was described in the news as frightening; but the current disturbances are described as esssentially peaceful, with the arson and looting treated as unfortunate accidents or as the work of (seemingly mythical) right-wing conspirators. It’s an excellent demonstration of exactly how trustworthy and impartial the media are.

  8. Do you have a recommendation for learning linguistics? Now that I write code for a living and am up to having studied German, Spanish, Russian, and Korean, it’s probably about time I gain some serious acquaintance with it.

    • >Do you have a recommendation for learning linguistics?

      Not a very specific one. I’ve picked it up in lots of little pieces over the years. Recently I have discovered a couple of YouTube channels that are good for hearing language samples and dissecting simple sentences: LangFocus and NativLang. I think those would be good places to start.

    • Do you have a recommendation for learning linguistics?

      My own adult exposure to linguistics started with Johanna Nichols’ Linguistic Diversity in Space and Time, a marvelously interesting book, but one that sent me off to read lots of other linguistics books to learn more about the concepts she was using.

      If you don’t want to start at the deep end of the pool, a good popularization might do. Guy Deutscher’s The Unfolding of Language is first rate; John McWhorter’s The Power of Babel isn’t as deep but is worth a look. Then you can go on to actual technical books.

      Or you could try textbooks, but they are likely to expose you to Chomskyan theory, which means dealing with impenetrable jargon and symbolism that is likely to lead you into misunderstandings of actual languages. (I have read that the first generation of Chomskyans held that all languages had the same essential nature and therefore you could learn linguistics by studying a single language, such as English.) The post-World War II field had two dominant figures, Noam Chomsky, who was rather Platonistic, and Joseph Greenberg, who was more Aristotelian—that is, approaching linguistics as if it were Euclidean geometry and as if it were natural history, respectively. Greenberg had his own failings—he was insufficiently critical of deep linguistic reconstruction, the sort of thing that tries to give us vocabularies of “proto-World”—but I find his basic approach more productive. Take a look at Bernard Comrie’s Language Universals and Linguistic Typology for a presentation that doesn’t get excessively speculative.

      • The impression I got when I was doing linguistics 10 years ago was that the Chomskyan influence had waned considerably. The strong position you describe hasn’t been held for many years. Chomsky repudiated it in the mid 80s but failed to get the field interested in his replacement. I have seen more references to Chomskyan theory outside linguistics, in areas such as cognitive science, than within it.

  9. I had no idea @esr was on Stackexchange, this is fantastic.

    By the way, I’m a chemist and I started to follow your blog since that article on the waning of Python, when I got interested in programming and found it, due to learning a bit of Python 3 to make some small scripts to automate computational chemistry jobs.

    Some weeks ago a beta stackexchange for materials modelling was launched, and a question there about open source has troubled me, see “What significant matter modelling methods are implemented in commercial software, for which there is no freeware alternative?”:

    https://materials.stackexchange.com/questions/584/what-significant-matter-modelling-methods-are-implemented-in-commercial-software

    I think what motivates the question is the fact some expensive proprietary software packages dominate the field, even when several open source alternatives are available. I think the consensus point to no particular lack of features, except when some technique was just created, and proprietary package vendors may have the resources to implement it faster sometimes.

    The most voted answer so far is from a top researcher in the field, and a developer of one such proprietary package. She wrote on the subject before (see “What Is the Price of Open-Source Software?”, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b01258 ), but I think the answer given is mostly FUD, it even ends with this exhortation: ‘You may lose a lot of time and money by going after “free stuff”‘.

    My noob feeling is the problem has more to do with fragmentation in the open source ecosystem of modeling codes (capabilities spread in several codes with different syntaxes) increasing the learning overhead.

    Anyway, software development is well outside my expertise domain. But if a experienced open source thinker could weigh in on this question, that would be great. I think the underlying issue is, why open source fail to take over some fields, even after a long time (The development of some matter modeling codes still in use today started in early 70s)?. And more important, how can we change that?

    Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_quantum_chemistry_and_solid-state_physics_software

    • >But if a experienced open source thinker could weigh in on this question, that would be great. I think the underlying issue is, why open source fail to take over some fields, even after a long time (The development of some matter modeling codes still in use today started in early 70s)?. And more important, how can we change that?

      I’m afraid I don’t know enough about your application domain to give a specific answer.

      Since open-source modeling tools already exist, the answer to “how do we change this?” is obvious: Pitch in and improve them. recruit otherr to do likewise.

      • It may be that part of the problem is not in the quality of the tools, but in the *validation* of said tools. When creating a server farm, doing testing and validation of your tools is (relatively) straightforward. But validating models for real-world processes seems a bit stickier. We’ve recently seen issues with national-policy decisions made based on models that gave different results for the same inputs on different computers, for example.

        Big-name proprietary companies have a lot more resources to put into the resource sink of model validation against real-world results. Unless there’s a *certified* open database for model validation (“if your model gives these results for these inputs, it’s validated”), OSS devs seem to be operating at a disadvantage.

        And then there’s the question of who’s trusted to do the certification, and how accessible the testing criteria are, and what 3rd parties are trusted to stamp CERTIFIED on any given model (and how much their certification costs).

        Another issue: I know that in my field (industrial automation), perfectly valid OSS options are *actively avoided*, because everyone wants to be able to sue Someone Else if/when something goes wrong. If an integrator or OEM uses open-source on a safety-critical process, the buck stops with *them* — they can’t hide behind “we bought an RIA/ISO-certified safety wdiget from Vendor XYZ!”

    • The topic of ‘software academics use to model physical stuff’ may be a little related to ‘software used in engineering’.

      A good programmer does not automatically have the engineering design experience to know what is a good or bad feature. A good engineering designer does not automatically have the programming experience to know what is desirable or undesirable in the internals of the software that automates calculations. In theory, quite a few engineers are trained in numerical methods of solving the fundamental equations they use for modeling. In practice, a bachelor’s degree in engineering can only provide the start of learning within that engineering discipline. It definitely does not include the time and experience to also become excellent at developing engineering software. There are tons of engineering graduate students that have yet to become decent programmers.

      Matlab is a tool that has become a very standard programming environment for engineering students, including ones who have significant deficits as programmers. The open source version is GNU Octave.

      Engineering projects in the commercial world have a lot of expensive overhead. The economic purpose of an engineer is ‘y is spending tons of money doing x, there are some decisions needed for doing x that requires technical understanding, my skill lets me make those decisions for a cheaper result’. Engineering skill can be very hard to develop, and very specialized. You have a limited number of firms who can solve a particular sort of problem, and they can charge a lot to the people who are doing enough business to make it necessary to solve that problem. Firm Z may have its own in house software, because no one else uses those particular calculations, or it may pay a commercial developer to provide customized software. Quite a lot of commercial engineering software has nice ease of use features, or good tutorials, because the commercial users have paid a lot of money to get them. Engineering students tend to learn the commercial software with access through the university, because it is more skills learned for time spent.

      Then they no longer have access after they graduate, unless they get a job, because the software is expensive. But an unemployed BS in engineering is not spending the time to really learn engineering, and may not have projects on hand to apply the open source software to. There are many parts of engineering that are learned by osmosis from other engineers while working on projects together, and it takes an expensive project to support many engineers. And the expensive project can fund commercial software from the value of time savings.

      Matlab has a bunch of toolboxes that can be purchased from Mathworks to ease specialized tasks. GNU Octave does not have perfect substitutes for all of these.

      So, there are huge network effects for the established packages. There are definitely open source codes that are used by highly skilled engineers, who are perhaps specialized in obscure ways.

      Beyond that, some engineering software has features that can be very helpful when doing design or development of certain sorts of weapons systems. Some of that software is export controlled. Which often means that it is commercial, and not available as open source. Okay, the literature may describe the algorithms, and those papers may not be controlled. But there is a huge difference between getting the algorithm working reliably and having it packaged for ease of use.

      The current state of answers to these trade-offs may not be ideal. I’m not sure how well these trade-offs apply to the more academic/scientific side of modeling software. I have a strong suspicion that the state of software-as-engineering is not where we should want it to be for how we are using software now, and will be trying to use it in the future.

      (Artificial neural networks are a pretty popular research topic these days, including in engineering. I don’t understand neural networks. Now, I am not very smart, so it may simply be my degree of stupidity. But I’ve got to wonder if some of the researchers in applying ANN to engineering problems understand ANN well enough to be sure that they are solving the engineering problems in a conservative way.)

      I definitely do not have answers.

      • Also, companies make a lot of effort to lock vendors into their “software ecosystem”. Ask any non-hacker who have ever tried to give up Microsoft Office or Adobe stack of Graphical/DTP software in exchange for something different, not necessarily open source. I needed to exclude hackers from this list, as people who find fun in overcoming such problems are not the majority of people who stumble upon such problems. Most will simply want things to “just work” and get stuck with paying for proprietary software.

        From my experience – back in university days I used ArcGis to solve some exercise, and function I needed to use required data to be stored in Geodatabase format. Well, I got this done, but later I needed to try to get the same data into open source QGIS and, well, I got stuck… At this point QGIS did not handle Geodatabase by default and enabling this was beyond my IT skills at this point. Exporting data to shapefile in ArcGis was connected with some sort of data loosage (again, I do not remember what).
        Needless to say If I did it from the scratch in QGIS I would need to to use GDB, as for unknown reasons ESRI decided to require to use geodatabase for functions that work on shapefiles in QGIS with an ease.
        But, well, this and a few more things done in a way that tie you or your team to specific software and paying for all the licences becomes cheaper than extra crew members who would manage to get it work in open source software.

  10. No linguist here, but I see patterns. Seek, sought; bring, brought; work, wrought, think, thought…

    Shoot, shot, but exceptions usefully test the rule.

    ANYhow, Yeet, yought?

  11. In Magic: The Gathering the five 1993 Mox gem cards (Mox Sapphire, Mox Jet, Mox Pearl, Mox Ruby, and Mox Emerald) that are part of the “Power Nine” (Black Lotus, et al) are referred to collectively as the “Moxen”.

    • >Let’s see how funny it is after the “defund the police” people get us into an actual civil war.

      Not within their capability. Too few cities too widely scattered, surrounded.

      The worse they can do is complete the self-trashing of Democrat-run cities that are already self-trashed.

    • You do realize, I hope, that “defund the police” is a ridiculous piece of phrasing around a concept that means nothing of the sort, right?

      It means just means “have cops stick to cop shit and fund the department appropriately.”

      • That’s what it means NOW, after the polls have come back and shown that defunding the police is a epic loser even among Democrats. It’s a sign of the stupidity endemic on the Left that you don’t realize that we see right through things like this. What makes that argument even more pathetic is the fact that George Floyd’s death happened after “cops stick[ing] to cop shit.”

      • When a conservative says “defund”, he means “take money away from”. When a liberal says “defund”, he means limit growth to more than inflation but less than requested. See, for example, any news story about “defunding schools” or “defunding health care”.

      • You do realize, I hope, that “defund the police” is a ridiculous piece of phrasing around a concept that means nothing of the sort, right?

        You do know what a Motte and Bailey argument is, right?

        Which isn’t exactly true. There are one set of people screaming about defunding the police[1], and another set of Democrats polisplaining that while that’s EXACTLY what they are saying, they don’t really mean that.

        Frankly I think that the police should lock the police stations, and leave a note on the door saying “We’ll come back when you put rational adults in charge of the city”.

        The cities in this country that have the *worst* treatment of blacks and latinos are the ones where the Progressive/Democrat party has the deepest control.

        It’s been near a century since Chicago had a Republican mayor, or a significant Republican presence on the city council. Minneapolis had one for ONE day in the last 59 years. Boston hasn’t had a Republican mayor since *1930*. Philadephia since 1952.

        Hell, only in a place as left wing as New York could Rudy G. run as a Republican (Bloomberg doesn’t count as R, since it was clearly a ploy to ride Guliani’s coat tails) and the Republican Mayor *previous* to Guliani was (1) in the 1960s, and (2) did a Bloomberg and switched from R to D.

        You can tell the #BlackLivesMatter is astro-turf and fraud because they aren’t complaining about how Democrat Mayors *run* the police departments, how Democrat City Councils make the laws that police are instructed to enforce, and how (largely) Democrat lower court judges hammer them with fines.

        And, well, the most dangerous thing in a young black man’s life isn’t the police. It’s other young black men. If they cared about black lives they’d be trying break up the gangs, get kid to “act white” by staying in school, getting an education and generally prove the racists *wrong*.

        [1] Including in LA where the insane piece of shit responsible for proposing a 150 million dollar funding cut had a PRIVATE POLICE GUARD.

    • Hey, Donald Trump wants to defund a major global organization dedicated to health and fighting disease.

      We just want to defund the organizations committing and justifying human rights abuses.

      Bit of powerlevel showing here: I’m an ex-Catholic. And when the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal came to a head in the early 2000s, our priest preached — from the pulpit — that the thing to do, if necessary, was fork the Church. The reasoning was — the sexual abuse was as widespread as it was because the Church hierarchy was covering for the robed abusers; and sinful behavior is sinful, so any church that with its deeds condones such behavior by shielding its perpetrators from consequences has lost all authority to act on behalf of God.

      Radical? Yes. But when reforms don’t work, what else do you do?

      It’s become clear that policing in this country is an institution that’s virtually immune to reform. People at all levels of the hierarchy, from fellow officers to police chiefs to prosecutors and judges have shown themselves willing to cover for bad cops and shield them from consequences. When the rot has set in that deep, the only thing you can do is dismantle the whole institution and start from scratch. Obviously we are going to need some sort of law-enforcement body, and obviously one (or more) will arise in the absence of the current police force. But we must take absolute care that any such successor body has transparency, accountability, honor, and non-discrimination ingrained into it as irrevocable founding principles, and we must ensure that mechanisms are in place to actually hold them accountable. Civilian “gun folks” in the USA sometimes say that every round fired comes with like a $5000 legal bill. Why is this not even more the case for the government?

      What we cannot do is allow the system to continue as is.

      • >Hey, Donald Trump wants to defund a major global organization dedicated to health and fighting disease.

        Because WHO proved that what it was actually about was carrying water for the PRC.

        If you say “Oh, that was just the one Ethiopian Communist running the WHO”, then I say: “fix the U.N. agencies so they’re never run by PRC agents, then talk to us about funding.”

        • And we’re saying, “fix the police agencies, so that they’re never run by racists or other people willing to cover for their colleagues’ tytannical violence, then talk to us about funding”. Yet we’re the ones being criticized, mocked, and accused of bringing down the apocalypse.

          • Because the police are not run by “racists” for any reasonable definition of the term unless by “racists” you mean “people who believe that blacks are more prone to violence than whites”.

            The problem then is that blacks *are* in fact more prone to violence than whites, and this fact quickly becomes extremely obvious when running a police agency. Thus if that is what you mean by “racist”, what that works out to in practice is “fix the police agencies so that they’re run by people too stupid or ideologically dogmatic to notice what’s right in front of their faces”. And that is indeed likely to bring about the apocalypse, or at least a massive spike in crime.

          • > And we’re saying, “fix the police agencies, so that
            > they’re never run by racists or other people willing
            > to cover for their colleagues’ tytannical violence,
            > then talk to us about funding”.

            Police agencies are run by the local mayors and city councils.

            Minneapolis has been run by democrats and independents with the exception of ONE DAY since 1961.

            In Chicago the last Republican mayor left office in 1931.

            In Seattle it’s been since 1969 that a Republican has held that office.

            Lost Angeles had a Republican Mayor from 1993 to 2001. Note that this is *AFTER* the Rodney King riots and in the almost 19 years since then it’s been Democrats, and for 33 years BEFORE him it was Democrats.

            It’s hard to say about Ferguson MO, but the whole St. Louis area is *soaked* in Union/Democrat politics. The last Republican mayor of STL left office in 1949.

            In New York Giuliani–a RINO in a lot of ways, was in office during from 1993 to 2001, but other than that interregnum the last “real” Republican mayor left office in 1945. (Nanny Bloomers doesn’t count, and John Lindsay is questionable).

            So:
            * Police are answerable to local politicians
            * In the cities that perennially make the news it’s Progressives that predominate the mayors office over the last 50 years.
            * This is, of course, the fault of Conservatives and the racists on 4chan.
            So what we really need to do is PUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN CHARGE and make sure Democrats are elected to office.

            Are you *sure* that Black Lives Matter?

      • > the [State] hierarchy was covering for the [uniformed] abusers

        The irony here is awesome.

        Oh wait, sorry, I forgot we are still pretending Minnesota is a redneck southern state where the white supremacists are the ones in charge.

        Sorry, my bad, no irony here, never mind.

      • > Donald Trump wants to defund a major global organization
        > dedicated to health and fighting disease.

        You mean the one that is MASSIVELY complicit in the current pandemic?

        You mean the one that has a history of politicized reports going back to at least the late 1990s?

        > I’m an ex-Catholic.

        I was raised to be Catholic. Never took.

        And when the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal came to a head in the early 2000s, our priest preached — from the pulpit — that the thing to do, if necessary, was fork the Church. The reasoning was — the sexual abuse was as widespread as it was because the Church hierarchy was covering for the robed abusers;

        He was wrong. Partially. Most of the abuse that was brought to light in the late 1990s and early 2000s was abuse that had happened in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time the attitudes of *psychiatric and psychological professionals* was different. It was believed then that that sort of problem was a disease that could be cured, and that by getting someone out of the “occasion of sin” and getting them counseling it could “fix” the problem.

        That was part of it. The other part is that, well, https://nypost.com/2017/07/05/vatican-cops-bust-drug-fueled-gay-orgy-at-cardinals-apartment/ the church has *always* been like that at the upper levels.

        Hell, there’s a strong case to be made that the Clergy were one of the sources of the spread of Syphilis when it was brought to Europe.

  12. Since it’s not already commented on, yeet is typically transitive, so rather than *be yoten upon the idiom would probably be lest ye be yoten.

    • >Since it’s not already commented on, yeet is typically transitive

      This is not true in any speech sample I have available.

      • I suggest a search for “yeet him”. (My exposure to the term is generally Twitter-centric; it’s possible that there are multiple dialects at play.)

        • >I suggest a search for “yeet him”. (My exposure to the term is generally Twitter-centric; it’s possible that there are multiple dialects at play.)

          That, or it could just be that in English intransitive verbs are readily analogized to transitive versions and vice-versa. Or both things could be going on. In situations like this “both” is usually the way to bet.

        • I’m not part of any subculture where “yeet” is in common usage, but I’m not sure that transitive/intransitive is the right thing to be debating here. Pretty much any English verb I can think of that involves projectiles can be transitive, the difference is whether, when used transitively, the projectile or the target is the direct object (the other being denoted with a prepositional phrase). The direct object = projectile group can also be used intransitively, the direct object = target group must be transitive.

          For example:

          Fire, throw, and shoot are in the object=projectile set:

          “Throw the book at him!” (transitive)
          “He fired at the tank.” (intransitive)

          Pelt, on the other hand is in the object=target set:

          “We pelted him with snowballs.”

          But you can’t say:

          “*We pelted with snowballs.” (intransitive)

          Then there’s a target group verb or two with an implied projectile:

          “Acts 7:58
          Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.”

          And then there is the compound verb “open fire”, where the direct object (“fire”) is just the second part of the compound and both target and projectile are designated prepositionally:

          “At 15,000 yards, Lützow opened fire with SAP on Lion.”

          So I think the real question is “is yeet a target group or projectile group verb”.

          • >So I think the real question is “is yeet a target group or projectile group verb”.

            OK, under that taxonomy I think it’s definitely object=projectile. Especially since one of the early senses was “to discard something with great force”; clearly the object is the thing being discarded. The sense of firing a weapon (or discharging a spell) seems to have come later.

    • Yeet takes direct and indirect objects; to yeet means to throw, so you can be yeeted over a cliff or out of a nightclub. To be yoten upon means to have something thrown (or shot) at you.

      • The usage Christopher is seeing, however, seems to put yeet in the target group: you can be yeeted (generally), or yeeted with a snowball or a bullet. If you are the projectile, a target can be yeeted with you.

  13. Some of the lefties on here making snide remarks about American gun culture not being ready to take on infantry division even if they have comparable numbers aren’t entirely wrong.

    American gun culture truly does need to be less diabetic and more organized. There’s a reason the military pounds home physical fitness first and foremost with young soldiers. Through physical discipline, mental discipline is achieved and all that.

    I think that’s starting to happen though as people sense a decline.

    • >I think that’s starting to happen though as people sense a decline.

      Yes, it goes with other recent changes in the gun culture. 50 years ago it was all about hunting and not political at all. Since the Left decided it wanted to disarm Americans, starting in the late 1960s, the gun culture has become harder and more political – more interested in military weapons and doing military-like things with them.

      • And yet as evidence mounts that more and more cities seem to be suffering under out of control police forces, supported by an authoritarian government, one begins to wonder what, exactly, would it take for that stripe of 2nd amendment advocate to actually stand up against the government.

        We have cops slashing tires of parked cars, cops apparently beating people indiscriminately, we have troops without insignia deployed in the streets of the capital. We have hours and hours of footage of what certainly seems to be horrific police behavior. At what point do you stop trying to explain it away incident by incident, moment by moment, as “justified” and invoke those 2nd amendment rights to repair the situation by force of arms?

        I’m genuinely curious, what kind of thing, what sign, what indicators, are the militant 2nd amendment types looking from the government for before they act to curtail it, or even speak about so acting?

        Are they speaking and/or acting somewhere?

        Other than the occasional truck-full of Proud Boys looking for looters to shoot at, I’m seeing literally zero activity, but maybe I’m missing it.

        • >I’m genuinely curious, what kind of thing, what sign, what indicators, are the militant 2nd amendment types looking from the government for before they act to curtail it, or even speak about so acting?

          The clearest bright line would be attempts to confiscate civilian firearms. Other tripwires are sources of debate within the gun culture.

          • This suggests that the government can do pretty much whatever it likes to unarmed civilians as long as they leave the armed ones alone.

            Is that an unfair characterization, though?

            • >Is that an unfair characterization, though?

              It depends on who you ask.

              One pole of opinion holds that if you aren’t willing to arm up and take responsibility for your own defense, there’s no particular reason we should white-knight for you – in effect, you’ve made your own choice to be a self-infantilized victim, and you have the right to go to hell in your own way.

              The other pole of opinion holds that we should defend the liberty of our neighbors as a way of defending our own, or for religiously altruistic reasons. It’s easier to agree on this in hypothetical situations of general societal collapse than it is when society is perceived to be generally functional with localized problems, e.g in police-civilian relations.

              One reason it’s particularly difficult to get us to mobilize against “police brutality” is that it’s not a problem our police exhibit. Black and other minority people in the gun culture don’t feel like victims of white society and don’t report being treated that way; a high percentage of them are military veterans that a cop would never mistake for a mook or a gangbanger.

              To us, police brutality seems like part of a complex of problems that people bring on themselves by continuing to elect shitty people to run their shithole cities, and if they want it to stop they need to stop doing that.

              (Not all the opinions or value judgments expressed in the preceding are my own – I’m more urban and less culturally conservative than the median views I’m trying to express.)

              • I appreciate the reply.

                The reality is that there are, I dunno, 200M people in the USA who are “the unarmed.” Whatever the number, it’s large, and it includes neighbors, friends, family. The armed live inextricably intermingled with the unarmed.

                Anyone who intends to stand against notional totalitarian regimes who does not recognize that 200M (or whatever) people as a flank to be defended vigorously is not much of a strategic thinker.

                To be blunt, I do not think the 2nd amendment advocates constitute a credible bulwark against totalitarianism, and this is one more reason for me to think that. Which, frankly, begs the question “WTF is with all the guns, anyways? They’re just for fun after all, right?” Which, you know, bang, the bottle explodes. Pretty fun.

                I also think the USA is almost uniquely inoculated against truly totalitarian regimes, for complicated but very definite reasons, so I’m not particularly worried.

                I do wish LAPD would stop beating the shit out of people for no good reason, not least of which because it makes my local cops feel like the whole world hates them (because, honestly, the whole world kinda hates them).

                So, in the end, I would also have accepted “look, it looks like hell on TV but it’s not actually a totalitarian takeover, it’s just assholes being assholes in a few cities” as an answer.

                • 200M is probably a wild overestimate. CIA World Fact Book gives us 330M total. Subtract 60M 0-14 and get 270M. If you split that into 135M Republicans, and 135M Democrats, and presumed that the Republicans were entirely armed, and Democrats entirely unarmed, you would get almost 200M unarmed Democrats and children.

                  But extreme Gun Control hasn’t been politically viable enough to think that this split is entirely the case. Yes, there are independents, not all Republicans have guns, etc.

                  • Your calculation puzzles me because after saying 200M is perhaps an overestimate, you come up wtih 200M and then suggest that it might be too high? ;)

                    No offense intended, and I think my point “there’s a lot of them” stands?

                    • 135 Million unarmed Democrats is absurd. There are a significant number of armed Democrats, and a small number of armed children.

                      If the Democrats were entirely unarmed, under the theory that a republic is an army which shares governmental power within itself, there would be no reason at all to count Democrat votes.

                      Electoral politics is a substitute for civil wars. If the Democrats could be dealt with trivially, someone would have chosen to do so already. They are still Americans, of the culture enough that they are too dangerous to screw with lightly.

                • >The armed live inextricably intermingled with the unarmed.

                  Less to this than meet the eye. In speaking “armed” vs. “unarmed” I’m referring to culture and expectations as much as who is carrying weapons at any given time. “The unarmed” are those who have chosen not to take responsibility for being their own first responder.

                  >Anyone who intends to stand against notional totalitarian regimes who does not recognize that 200M (or whatever) people as a flank to be defended vigorously is not much of a strategic thinker.

                  Personally I’m inclined to agree with you in principle. But when gunfolks say “Why should I defend people who loudly despise me?” it’s not easy to give an answer that either they or I find emotionally compelling.

                  >To be blunt, I do not think the 2nd amendment advocates constitute a credible bulwark against totalitarianism

                  We know that is part of the role intended for us by the Founders, and we intend to meet it (and that is universal). Your opinion can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

                  >So, in the end, I would also have accepted “look, it looks like hell on TV but it’s not actually a totalitarian takeover, it’s just assholes being assholes in a few cities” as an answer.

                  Since it doesn’t look like a totalitarian takeover to me, it didn’t occur to me to give that answer.

                  • > But when gunfolks say “Why should I defend people who loudly despise me?” it’s not easy to give an answer that either they or I find emotionally compelling.

                    I do a lot of complaining here about not being “allowed” to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights here in Chicago. And on the one hand I don’t expect that situation to change any time soon, and on the other I can’t really accept that it’s entirely my fault (the relevant policies were firmly in place long before I showed up).

                    That being said, I agree 100% with esr here. Whether I ever obtain the means to change my situation or not, I certainly _don’t_ consider it anyone’s responsibility to come in from outside Chicago and “save” me.

            • Probably an incorrect characterization.

              Those kids at Waco were probably not armed, and look at all the gun owners who were degrees of radicalized by that.

              Grabbing the guns is an obvious first step in a democide or campaign of political terror. If guns are not available, a gang of bullies can simply wait for a time when someone is alone, and quietly grab them, and take them off to murder. Guns raise the risk enough that a group of men going around to kill people has to be armed, and trained, and leave behind more evidence and paper trail. Makes the groups capable of sustaining that more accountable, in theory. In practice, they are only accountable if other groups of armed men are available to put them down when they are active unjustly.

              It’s why everyone in the gun culture is at least a little aware of some of the discussion about police and military uses of force.

              The country has settled down in a lot of ways compared to some of the previous eras, and I’m pretty sure that is due to how the telephone and the highway changed the risk calculus of escalation.

              American blacks have heavily chosen to live in and voted to support extreme gun control jurisdictions. So they, NYC Jews, and some others are useful candidates for that hypothetical. But also fraught; Some theorists hold that the status quo is in fact armed groups quietly killing folks with the tacit support of a majority of white supremacist terrorist sympathetic whites.

              The fundamental problem is that an organization with groups experienced with carrying out secret murders combined with an organization with the ability to cover the killings with disinformation are going to want to continue doing that, and will sooner or later get around to targets you don’t want murdered. You can’t turn the organizations on and off like a switch, and trusting anyone with that sort of power is pretty stupidly dangerous. Even before you have experience with federal bureaucratic dynamics, or understanding of how bureaucracies behave at the necessary scale.

              I can’t speak for everyone. I would be very surprised if anti-Black death squads were not be a tripwire for most in the gun culture.

              • If I am reading Eric correctly, it appears that there is a pretty wide variety of opinion, but that the common element that most cliques can agree on it “confiscation of civiliian weapons”?

                That’s sort of the middle of the Venn Diagram.

                But without any sort of further consensus, there doesn’t seem to be much use. We don’t need another group of idiots who can’t agree on anything except something ridiculous, we already have the prog-left.

                • The other things are much riskier.

                  What if no-knock raids were a trip wire?

                  If rioters burning black neighborhoods were a trip wire, the boog would have started. With a reasonable expectation of fighting a lot of people beyond the rioters.

                  It’s a problem of threshold and scale.

                  The rioters are below the threshold. They are not killing enough people, and are not heavily armed enough, that you absolutely have to hit them hard now or the civil war is lost.

                  Law Enforcement killings are on a scale that is concerning, but not so many and so clearly murder that doing nothing is losing the civil war.

                  Violent deaths can not be avoided by any population. If you don’t ignore some of them as cause to start fighting, there will never be an end to fighting.

                  This may be another formulation where the ‘peace is a choice’ formulation is much more useful than the ‘war is a choice’ formulation.

                  There are often plausible innocent reasons for a killing carried out by a LEO. Not usually a violation of the internal truces, except in the eyes of lunatic murderous drugged up criminals. And where it is a violation, the courts are often an adequate countermeasure.

                  And we’ve become used to the Democrats being willing to go all the way to protect rioters. As long as they are determined in that, fighting 135M somewhat armed people is much to costly to do lightly. Leaving the rioters to burn means they kill a few people, but have very little chance to kill 135M Republicans.

                  Whereas we all known that the government would not grab the firearms unless they meant to use that absence. If the guns were being used to murder, they could prosecute the murders. Absence of guns not used for murder is mainly useful for carrying out mass murder. Which is something that has been advocated by people on the left, and has been carried out by communists in living memory. If they do carry out a gun confiscation, and we do not resist, our expected value for murder is in the tens of millions. Zero downside for fighting, even if tens of millions of Democrats will fight and die to back gun control.

              • >I can’t speak for everyone. I would be very surprised if anti-Black death squads were not be a tripwire for most in the gun culture.

                Racist death squads of any kind would be, I think.

        • >Are they speaking and/or acting somewhere?

          Pretty much every gun culture-y group I’ve ever been in has been skeptical of police/concerned about police brutality since at least Waco, if also annoyed at the racial spin progressives have put on the issue after they’ve recently rediscovered it.

          There are places where police violence might actually warrant an armed response, but the people in those places seem more concerned with attacking random businesses while continuing to support the police brutality party.

    • Fitness is much more necessary for assault, than defense. Be it professional military, asymmetric military or street mugging.

      In an assault, you either overwhelm the opponent or out last them. In both cases, fitness (in many senses of the word) matters. A good (prepared) defense reduces the chance of being overwhelmed, and increases the cost (metabolic and material) of outlasting the opponents.

      The one area of defense where fitness is most useful is disengagement, but applies to both sides: if the defender can force disengagement, the assaulted is also bearing that cost.

    • You’re assuming we’re going to be fighting a standup fight against the US military.

      No one in their right fucking mind does that.

      Look, since the Vietnam war the US military has been able to bring to bear a symphony of destruction that is INSANE.

      In Vietnam a group of 6 or 8 SF types went to Laos to find three DIVISIONS of “missing” NVA that had gone missing. 8 guys (3/4s Vietnamese). They found them. All 8 made it back to base because and the three divisions were severely attritted. 8 guys against 30 THOUSAND. Because of Air Power and a LOT of luck.

      In Afghanistan a *platoon* of US troops would get in a fight against company sized elements of *well trained* taliban (well at first they were well trained, attrition means that by the third or fourth battle the training has dropped off a bit) Read this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062066404/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=jocko0c-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0062066404&linkId=da3567eaa5f97928562ac3975b2188c3

      No, if it comes to guns we’re not fighting the soldiers unless we have to. Which we probably won’t, because a significant number of the junior enlisted and junior officer ranks are, if not on our side are SERIOUSLY not on their side.

  14. From my part of the world, I feel deeply disturbed at the Left of your country utilizing every opportunity to stir up riots and social disharmony. Going by their history I am not really surprised. Sadly even some of my relatives living in the US or have been living in the US are far too politically left (or have been so brainwashed) to even notice the irony of calling for total gun ban/disarming of civilians and at the same time condemning police brutality in the same breath.

    Yes, I am deeply disturbed by the police excesses and especially in this case, it is a gross atrocity as already noted.

    What is even more alarming is the justification/apologia that is being set up for the arson / ransacking of property and threat to fellow citizens by some of your main-stream media to the extent of even approving and tacitly encouraging such acts! While I understand the racist angle to this, nothing justifies such widespread damage and destruction to property of fellow citizens.

    I used to be ambivalent on the whole guns issue, but I feel that in America right now, all law abiding, decent citizens (regardless of race) are obligated to carry guns to preserve the social fabric and order.

  15. > While I understand the racist angle to this, nothing justifies such widespread damage and destruction to property of fellow citizens.

    What I find more alarming still is left apologists (especially here) continuing to treat the issue of police brutality in general as trivial compared to the “specific” issue of racially motivated police brutality.

    In the video Jeff Read linked to recently (http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=8685#comment-2425233) the police are gleefully and enthusiastically pounding the shit out of anyone, white or black, not able to outrun them. They beat an _Australian_ news crew, pounding on the camera of one so that it smashes into his face (so much for the left’s fanatical devotion to the first amendment).

    The “police” are brutal to _everyone_, white or black, whenever they think they can get away with it.

    Yes, it is a crime and tragedy that they think they can get away with it so much more often with black “perps” than with any other “perps”. But the important word in that sentence is “perps”, whether the left will ever admit it or not. Those DC cops weren’t “dispersing a crowd of peaceful protesters”, they were clearing a bunch “perps” off the street.

    When push comes to shove, we are _all_ just perps, and _they_ are the ones doing the pushing and shoving. The left wants to send Chauvin to two hours of “sensitivity training”, _that_ will send a strong message to all those white supremacists out there calling all the shots in American politics [rolling eyes here]. I want to see him burned, and police reduced to the authority of neighborhood watch volunteers or mall cops, so that if someone does happen to see one being specifically “racist” (as opposed to brutal in general) they can calmly kick him in the balls without fear of repercussion; and if he _is_ being brutal to anyone, the bystanders will be able to stop him without the court and government treating them as “cop killers”, a priori guilty without regard to the facts of the case.

    • What I find funny/ironical in all this is that the Leftists/Commies don’t really want to disband the police because historically Commies in power simply rely on the official police as the instrument of repression. Whereas when out of power naturally they want a weak police/no police which will look the other way when their street thugs are terrorizing the common community by setting fire to property/breaking windows etc.. It’s always the same.

    • The “police” are brutal to _everyone_, white or black, whenever they think they can get away with it.

      No, they aren’t. That’s almost to the level of blood libel.

      You don’t understand violence, especially of the sort when you are surround and *significantly* outnumbered by a VERY hostile crowd.

      Most people don’t join the force because they wanted to crack heads, they join the force for the steady job, or to keep their neighborhoods safe, or because their dad had been a cop. Very few people join because they get a gun and a badge. Or because they want to put bad people behind bars.

      The police are standing there because they are ordered to, and they are fighting because they *WANT TO LIVE*.

      If you can’t run (and they can’t) you do not do ANYTHING until you have to, then you act with overwhelming force *because anything else will get you killed*.

      I want to see him burned,

      So you don’t even want to give him his day in court, to let the evidence be presented and judged?

      You’re part of the problem.

      • I mostly agree with you. Police often get an unfair rap, and the sins of their (assumed minority of) corrupt, tyrannical brothers-in-blue get foisted onto them often without the first understanding of the task they perform. It’s a shit job, and dangerous (but not as dangerous as some), and they perhaps don’t get enough appreciation for it. Personally, I have not had an encounter with an officer that I felt went poorly, even when I was the reason the officer was summoned. All professional, good training, decent guys. A past good friend of mine works for a county sheriff’s office, started in corrections then moved to patrol and then officer training, because he’s too good to waste on the street. We had many long conversations and debates on the whole breadth of issues. I say this to attempt to illustrate that I’m not speaking out of ignorance. I understand the realities.

        That said, I think you’re also speaking in a way that sounds as equally naive as darrin, just from the other angle. Not all officers are angels, and the harsh requirements of the job are no excuse for the sheer, brute arrogance of the truly tyrannical cops who treat citizens like peasants. Please don’t pretend this type does not exist. They are also not limited to Dem/Prog locales; I’ve seen enough power-mad authoritarian prick cops upholding and protecting corrupt tyrant city government assholes by abusing citizens in small-town Texas to know it is a government power and humans thing, not specifically a political party thing.

        > … they join the force for the steady job,

        This is a shit reason to be a cop, though I know it is a common one.

        > or to keep their neighborhoods safe,

        I would buy this if it weren’t for other factors, which I’ll go into below.

        In a comment above, you say:
        > they aren’t complaining about how Democrat Mayors *run* the police departments, how Democrat City Councils make the laws that police are instructed to enforce, and how (largely) Democrat lower court judges hammer them with fines.

        See, by saying this, you’re trying to have your cake and eat it. Let’s assume that the BadCops in question are mis-attributed as Bad due to perceptions brought about by bad policy. (This is my general take, incidentally.)

        The problem here is: nobody is forcing the officers to do this. They are not slaves, or indentured, or in any way required to do the job. They choose it. Therefore, if there is a government policy they are enforcing, and the policy itself is bad, then they are necessarily complicit in that bad policy. The correct action, if they do not consent to the policy, is to resign, depriving the government actors the ability to execute their bullshit. But they don’t. They do their jobs without question, like soldiers in an occupying army. Paychecks, family heritage, good intentions: these are complete bullshit rationalizations for being Political Enforcers, not Peace Keepers. I’m certain that there are many good cops who chafe under this reality. But they still do it.

        Many, maybe most, do so in a respectful, professional manner. But not all of them, and the Thin Blue Line seems to always come into play to protect them. They behave like (and through qualified immunity, actively are) a special, protected class above us mere civilians, which is unacceptable.

        When I see conscientious resignations and active removal of officers who are simply not fit to interact with people, citizens, who don’t like being bossed around by a bully with a badge, I’ll start being a lot more sympathetic. I want to be. We need peace keepers. But I don’t trust them, because I don’t trust their masters, I don’t trust them not to misinterpret laws, be arbitrary in enforcement or simply arrest persons as a form of extra-judicial punishment (“You may beat the time, but you won’t beat the ride.”) and so abuse citizens without cause, and I just don’t trust that they have enough spine to make an actual moral stand when doing so is needed.

        Maybe that says more about me than them. Maybe I’m wrong, but I see what I see.

      • “The police are standing there because they are ordered to, and they are fighting because they *WANT TO LIVE*.”

        Sounds very convincing until you watch the videos. There was no reason at all for Floyd to be put in such a danger, and actually dying. And that officer does not have a lily white track record.
        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52969205

        And there have been police officers shooting unarmed men in the back, only to be investigated after footage of it appeared online:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Walter_Scott
        Notre, the officer was NOT convicted for murder.

        In general, if there is no video footage, there is no case. It is very, very rare that a police officer is actually convicted (of anything) in relation to a death:
        https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/01/george-floyd-death-police-violence-in-the-us-in-4-charts.html

      • >> The “police” are brutal to _everyone_, white or black, whenever they think they can get away with it.
        > No, they aren’t. That’s almost to the level of blood libel.

        There has been a lot of traffic on this subject in the Final Warning, Rules for Rioters, and recently this thread on the subject. I have been devoting less attention that I should to which arguments have been raised in which thread, and as a result I have done an increasingly poor job of providing context for some of the things I’ve said. I apologize for that.

        In the Final Warning thread, Jeff Read made a post (http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=8685#comment-2425233) linking to a video of DC police clearing a crowd just prior to an approaching curfew (due to the arson of a nearby church) and Trump visiting that same church. Jeff Read and others of a left-leaning persuasion had been at that point arguing the George Floyd incident was entirely a racial one, the fault solely of (racist) conservative politics (and of the racist police such politics engenders and supports). I responded that the video in his link clearly shows a large number of white (and other non-black) races being… let’s say roughly handled (including an Australian news crew). This was ignored by Jeff Read of course.

        I’m happy to restrict my statement explicitly to “when specific police who behave brutally are brutal, they are brutal to _everyone_ , white or black, whenever those specific police who engage in brutal behavior think they can get away with it,” — if anyone thinks that would actually help. As I said in another recent post, in the few chat rooms I occasionally hang out in I have seen a great deal of traffic not of the form “we have to kill the racists”, nor even “we have to kill all the white racists”, but simply “we gotta kill _all_ the white people this time.” So right now if I’m being honest, I feel like I’m on the receiving end of a lot more blood libel than I’m dishing out.

        > You don’t understand violence

        You’re absolutely right there, I have been very lucky so far. The way things are going here on the south side of Chicago (police have already retreated from the “autonomous zones” in Seattle for example) there’s a gradually increasing probability I may get such a lesson very soon. Since it’s almost certain to be fatal, though, the lesson is likely to be “inapplicable elsewhere in life” as Hobbes put it. Thus I’m not sure whether some antifa brick-thrower declaring me white and therefore Guilty of All Crimes, or one of Chicago’s Finest declaring me “suspicious” and “resisting arrest” will provide more insight into violence in the end.

        > If you can’t run (and they can’t)

        Again, it was unreasonable of me to assume anyone was following all these contexts; but in the context of the video Jeff Read linked, that’s not what was happening, it was the crowd that was running desperately to get out of reach of the shields and truncheons, and those who weren’t running fast enough sure got a lot more “overwhelming force” than they anticipated.

        To Jeff Read and his ilk who claim that racism is the entire scope of the problem, that everything will be fine if we can just get an Even Bigger Government to clamp down even harder on Wrongthink, I call bullshit, and claim the video shows them beating on white folks with just as much enthusiasm… again when they get the chance. To those who would say that they were “just doing their jobs”, I call bullshit as well; they may not be grinning as smugly as Chauvin is in his video (hard to tell under the face masks), but it looks pretty enthusiastic to me. To you in particular I would say, well, I have been lurking here for a really long time, more than a decade at least, and you are among the commenters here whose writings I respect a great and have for quite a while. While I do feel bad I’ve gotten on the wrong side of this debate from you, that’s probably more my problem than yours.

        > So you don’t even want to give him his day in court, to let the evidence be presented and judged?

        Ha ha, well, if I thought anything I “wanted” ever had any influence on the outside world, then I would indeed be pretty “naive”. But what I actually expect to happen now that the DA is blatantly overreaching — trying to go from a slam dunk (third degree murder — no intent, just the “depraved indifference” that is crystal clear in the videos) to essentially impossible (second degree felony murder — need to show an “intent” to commit the felony, i.e. the “assault” in the arrest itself, which requires showing Chauvin _didn’t_ have absolute belief in his authority to arrest the victim) — I expect Chauvin to walk, the DA to wring his hands and say, well, he did his best, but you know, trial by jury and all that, at which point the left will dance naked around even higher bonfires screaming “come see the racism inherent in the system!” (To be dangerously honest, _I_ would have trouble voting for a 2nd degree felony murder conviction, unless I was going for a jury nullification thing; the fact Chauvin was absolutely convinced of his right to make the arrest, and treat the arrestee as he saw fit, is exactly what I’m so furious and disgusted about.)

        > You’re part of the problem.

        It must be a pretty damned small part, because otherwise I could, you know, _stop doing whatever it was_ and then things like Chauvin wouldn’t go around kneeling on a dead man’s neck for three more minutes after his partner was unable to detect a pulse.

        But I guess it’s fair. Jeff Read and Winter are telling me that it’s my fault because I am such a Racist, and “ridiculing defunding”, and thus wholeheartedly supporting the Racist Police Institution (TM). On the other side now it’s my fault because I’m blood libeling the police and not supporting them enough in these Troubled Times (TM). Yay for symmetry I guess.

  16. The only caveat I would offer is not to believe too much of the left’s rhetoric. There is _no_ city currently experiencing the worst of the rioting where Democrats are “out of power”, and no Democrats actually want a “weak police” force. What they are saying is that this is entirely and only a racial issue (flames that are sadly very easy to fan given the actual racial injustices that _have_ taken place in our country historically). Their solution is to magically get rid of _all_ the racists, and then once that’s accomplished there obviously won’t be any racist police officers left either. Try to make the symmetric argument — break the back of police power and the absolute authority granted them by the courts and politicians above them, and then whatever racist police exist will also lose the power to commit public acts of brutality — and you are shouted down as yet another racist.

    The left has two primary struts to its platform. The first of course is a disarmed citizenry — an easy sell in urban areas: “only _criminals_ want guns, you don’t want to be a criminal do you?”. The second, an obvious consequence of the first, is a strong authoritarian police force — also an easy sell in the cities, “we want you to be _safe_ from all those nasty criminals while we are in the process of getting rid of all these nasty guns.” (That’s the public spin anyway; any connections with the Soviet or Nazi secret police mandated with _suppressing_ the populace rather than protecting it have to be silenced as alt-right paranoia.)

    The third leg of the tripod of course is the economic policies designed to further strengthen the central government and further weaken the populace — everything owned by the state from education to healthcare; a middle class crushed by a tax burden to pay for all the mandatory government social programs like welfare, in turn pushing the lower end out of the middle class as their net income after taxes continues to shrink; small business owners facing overwhelming tax and regulatory burdens that force them to seek government-sponsored loans to keep their business afloat. In the short term these are touted as “for the good of society”; in the long term, if they get the unarmed populace and absolute-authority “police” force they desire, they’ll be able to enforce any policies they please.

  17. What we really need are armed citizen militia *preventing* the escape of violent thugs from democrat shitholes. Wall them in. Let them burn. See what can be recovered from the ashes.
    Force them to lay in the bed they made.
    No sympathy.

    • “And all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘Save us!’ And I’ll look down and whisper ‘No.'”

    • GamerGate and Trump have shown the world the dangers of allowing people to think and communicate what they want. So now, the network interprets wrongthink as noise and filters it out.

      Setting up private infrastructure to get around censorship by mainstream fora in order to express anything proximate a hateful opinion mainly puts you at risk of being cut off by your upstream network providers. And if they won’t do it, your financial services providers just might.

      • > GamerGate and Trump have shown the world

        You mean, the political activist mean girl wank-fest masquerading as shit-tier “journalist” media has asserted dangers.

        Do you play games, Jeff? Well, you’re a gamer, and according to the games journalists, you are a misogynistic racist by definition. If you disagree with this with the appropriate level of vitriol, or disagree at all, this is used as evidence against you, at which point more articles will be written casting you as the new scapegoat. Welcome to GamerGate. Fool.

        • I’m *pretty* sure Jeff Read’s being sarcastic/engaging in dark humor.

          That I might become a target for the lunacy online, just for *attempting* to provide a way to route around deplatforming, is something I do worry about. But if we hackers/computer-savvy-folks don’t stand up for freedom of speech and thought now, *our* domain, computers and the internet, could be twisted into tools to enslave us instead of the free and beautiful forum for expression and sharing of knowledge that it could be. (Was, and if we do our job right, will be again.)

          This is something I feel strongly about. PCs or telescreens: The stakes are pretty clear, IMO.

          Anyway, I’ve been sharing this tutorial. Here, because it’s more likely people have the background to be able to use it, and because someone here might be aware of a serious bug in my configuration.

          • I’m *pretty* sure Jeff Read’s being sarcastic/engaging in dark humor.

            Yes and no.

            Trump’s success is tied to the rise of hate online. However, in the case of GamerGate specifically, it’s a bit more complicated. There were some high-profile folks using the GamerGate hashtag that were not promoting or linked to hate, evidence to suggest that GamerGate is backlash against an overweening press that overstepped its bounds in denouncing the original harassment, and plenty of evidence to suggest that “GamerGate’s” original target, Zoe Quinn, is a reprehensible human being and probably a sociopath; but that information is largely lost.

            The official narrative is that GamerGate is a campaign of harassment. (See its Wikipedia article for example.) It’s gotten to the point now that it doesn’t matter what the truth is. Everybody acts as if the official narrative were the truth. It’s like a foundational myth that’s become a pillar of our society. It’s not like 1984 where everybody knows the truth, or even that something’s off, but they’re too afraid to do anything about it. It’s more like Socrates. If you challenge the supremacy of the Olympian gods, sooner or later, society is going to make you drink the hemlock.

            The fact that casual racism and sexism were allowed to proliferate on online fora like 4chan, and that this has turned into a movement that was powerful enough to get someone like Trump into office, has shown major corporations the need for social responsibility. Have they gone too far the other way? In many cases, sure. But there’s no doubt that these are the new rules we must play by now,

            • And yet it just doesn’t register that Trump was elected because he saw the New Rules, and gave them a public middle finger.

              The New Rules are more onerous now; so there is more value in flouting them.

    • Thanks. I agree that the original vision of the internet has been largely lost. I can remember when half my friends were running their own mailserver. As the shutting down of dissenting voices ramps up we need to revive these skills.

    • I had heard that various large sites on the internet were getting censor-happy again, and deplatforming people.

      Not just large sites on the internet now, unless you consider The New York Times a large site. It appears they’re involved in Scott Alexander removing his entire blog, and a lot of readers are left in the lurch.

      (It might just be irresponsible implementation of standing policy. But then, it might also be willfully selective implementation. We don’t know for sure yet. Meanwhile, the site is largely gone.)

  18. If this is meant to evoke “smite/smote”, shouldn’t it be “yote”? The use of “yoten” sounds like when people say “thou haveth” or “thou havest” (when, if you’ve spent like 2 seconds with a KJV you know it’s “thou hast”) because they’re just piecing together old-sounding words without knowing how to conjugate “to have” with the old pronouns.

    • Smite has a past participle in -en, “smitten.”

      Originally, all strong verbs had past participles in -en (< OE -en < *-æn < West Germanic *-an(a) < Common Germanic *-anaz). English in the south had a tendency to lose terminal ‘n’–see “morrow” from ME morwe(n), OE morgen. So past participles in the south lost the -en. English in the north was influenced by Old Norse -inn to keep its -en. When the language was standardized, roughly around the time of the Black Death, a mix of northern and southern forms were chosen. So some past participles still have the -en, and others don’t.

      • Sure, I know “smitten” (that’s a really fascinating etymology lesson though, so thanks — I’d recommend the History of English podcast, but you probably already know a lot of what he’s talking about).

        But still, you wouldn’t say “smitten upon”. You’d say “smote upon”.

    • > If this is meant to evoke “smite/smote”, shouldn’t it be “yote”?

      The simple past would be yote.

      It’s actually following the pattern of freeze/froze/frozen. So yeet/yote/yoten.

      • I’ll concede that “yoten” is a valid participle by this pattern, but I don’t think it’s the correct one to use here. I stand by “yote upon” (see my comment above). You wouldn’t say “frozen upon” either.

  19. There are only two participles for any given verb in English: the present (freezing/yeeting/firing), and the past (frozen/yoten/fired).

    You can’t say “frozen upon” because you can’t say “freeze upon” or “froze upon” either.

    You can, however say “freeze up”:

    “It will freeze up.”

    “It froze up.”

    “It has frozen up.”

    For “yeet upon”, by analogy to “fire upon”:

    “Fire/yeet upon anybody that does not stop at this checkpoint.”

    “I fired/yote upon him.”

    “Stop or be fired/yoten upon.”

    Note that “fire” is a weak verb, so the simple past and past participle are the same.

    • “My new notebook’s been written upon!” might be another example. (Stilted perhaps, but I don’t believe ungrammatical.)

  20. Relatedly, the accepted plural of “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) is “terves”.

    Can’t wait for the calls for Terves Inc., a metallurgy company, to either change its name or shut down. Association is guilt, as the authors of RuboCop have lately found out.

  21. @ESR

    These irregular forms are actually how the PIE and then Proto-Germanic and then Old English used to work in a regular and predictable way. The past tense of “help” used to be “holp”, not “helped”.

    Anyway, I would like to ask a question about unarmed self-defense. I have watched some street fight videos, both Antifa-related (N against 1) and the usual 1:1 types and what I have found is that trading punches from afar went out of fashion. It seems these days attackers want to get their opponents on the ground either by throwing their weight on them or grabbing them and lifting them in the air and then throwing down. And on the ground, kicking the shit out of them. There was even one vid of an older guy doing what I would, boxing stance, keeping distance, and the other, younger man just sort of threw himself at him and got him on the ground. Then kicking the crap out of him.

    Because even when both are on the ground the one on top can stand up easier. Well, one way is to not let him. That is when grapping skills matter.

    This made the boxer/kick-boxer in me rather uncomfortable. How do you defend against that? As in, not letting it happen. And if it happened, then what, MMA ground-fighting does not apply as it implies both are on the ground. What do you when only you are on the ground, not the opponent? Do the Chun-Winged Ones teach anything about this?

    • >What do you when only you are on the ground, not the opponent? Do the Chun-Winged Ones teach anything about this?

      There’s an MMA technique for dealing with a standing kicker when you’re on the ground. You draw your legs up so your knees are over your chest and keep the soles of your feet towards your opponent, using your arms to spin yourself if he tries to get around to your side. Tough for him to injure you seriously in that position, and if he closes you can heel-kick him in the knee or crotch.

      Wing Chun doesn’t teach any defenses from ground, it’s a standing art. What they do teach is a technique for avoiding low takedowns that involves stepping offline and medulla-slapping the aggressor – because he has exposed the back of his head, something that doesn’t normally happen in a stand-up fight.

    • If you’re a standup fighter, it’s worth the small investment to learn the bare basics of grappling. Some things to look into:
      (1) The sprawl. Drop down and kick back your legs. Basic takedown defense.
      (2) Look up wrestling shoot and double leg takedown. Most basic way to dump someone on their butt.
      (3) As ESR mentioned, look up the BJJ guard position. If you end up on your back, this is what you want to use until you can get back up. Look up full guard.
      (4) In the final extremity, remember that there are things people can’t do in MMA because they’re too dangerous, but you can if your life is in danger. Stick your fingers in their eyes. In the clinch, bite their ear off. Groin shots.
      (5) And, of course, if you’re doing the above you’re already in a bad spot. Avoid trouble, deescalate, run away, CCW, etc.

      • The problem with 1 through 3 is that grappling/wrestling/jujitsu teaches *one on one* fighting with opponents who intend to let you back up–maybe after a little nap.

        You do these things around a crowd of people who are just looking to beat someone down or kick them around a bit and you could come out dead or mentally damaged (physical damage is a given).

        The first thing is *do not go places where you know there are political protests*. This is because if you PUT yourself there and then kill a few people it’s going to be mediapathetic.

        If you’re not carrying some sort of weapon you’ve fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the area you’re in. ANY time you leave your own neighborhood you should have *some* sort of tool for resisting this sort of violence.

        Go through the mental exercises of *keeping your voice under control* in stressful situations. I’m not good at this, but I’m trying. This lets you stay more calm.

        If you are knocked down you are in a lethal force situation, go to guns or knives as you can. If for some damn fool reason you can’t, then you need to get pull other people down on top of you. Don’t bother trying to curl up, trip them, grab ankles whatever THEN gouged eyes, spit in peoples faces, bite, etc.

        I had a delivery in Downtown Denver when the riots were happening. Things weren’t bad then/there, but I had two pistols in the truck, and a fixed blade knife at hand. It wasn’t going to go like Reginald Denny. Not at all.

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