Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Deep thoughts, omphaloskepsis, and other random musings.

Rule Five Immortality Friday

This is something of a recurring theme here, because it’s something I find interesting.  Today, from a Guardian article earlier in the week, is the question:  Do We Have to Age?  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

The hope isn’t that we get to live longer for the sake of it, it is that we live longer in good health. Some people call this longevity; (Author, biologist Michael) Steele refers to “increasing a person’s ‘healthspan’”. “There’s this misconception when you talk to people about treating ageing,” he says. “They imagine they’re going to live longer but in a state of terrible decrepitude, that you’re going to extend their 80s and 90s so they’re sat in a care home for 50 years. That doesn’t make sense from a logical perspective or a practical one.”

I say, “What would be the point?”

“Exactly!”

“It’s just more pain…”

“Nobody would want it,” he says. Then he raises an eyebrow. “It’s surprising that people would actually think scientists would want that.”

There’s an old fable in there somewhere about living forever as a decrepit, broken-down old man.  But yes, longevity would be great – if it could be a healthy, active longevity.  That’s the real goal that gerontology research should have.  And Steele seems to be pursuing just that:

Eventually, (Steele) says, “I think we are very likely to have a drug that treats ageing in the next 10 years.”

Steele believes we will be hopelessly unlucky if scientists don’t make a breakthrough within that time, given how many human trials are in progress or upcoming. And although these breakthroughs won’t result in treatments that extend our lives by 100 years, they will give us enough extra time to ensure we’re alive for subsequent breakthroughs, subsequent treatments, subsequent additions in lifespan and so on. Our lives will be extended not all in one go but incrementally – one year, another year, suddenly we’re 150. In Ageless, Steele talks of a generation of people that grows up expecting to die but, thanks to an accumulation of new treatments, each more effective than the last, just doesn’t. “One after another,” he writes, “lifesaving medical breakthroughs will push their funerals further and further into the future.”

What Steele is talking about isn’t immortality; people will continue to die. Science won’t help if, looking down at your phone, you walk out into the road and get hit by a car. Or if you fall off a ladder and break your neck. Or if you are unlucky enough to be hit by a missile in a war zone. Or if you contract a virulent infectious disease that has no vaccine. But it will result in lifespans that are significantly longer than what we currently consider normal.

And that’s the goal.

As I’ve said before, I could live a thousand healthy years and never run out of stuff I wanted to do.  Hell, a thousand years from now a liner to visit the colonies on Proxima Centauri might be an option; look back a thousand years, or even a hundred years, and ask yourself how many people could even imagine the technology we have at our disposal today.

But they would have to be healthy years.

Breakthroughs like this, assuming it happens, always come with a tradeoff, and in this case that’s population.  While the Earth’s population of humans is expected to level off in the next century and even begin a decline, assuming current trends continue, a drastic expansion of lifespan could quickly reverse that.  This little blue ball could start to get distinctly crowded, making that last great luxury – privacy – even more of a premium commodity.

I think Mrs. A and I will be all right in rural Alaska for quite a while even so, and were I offered the chance to live for even a hundred and fifty healthy years, you can be damned sure I’d jump at the chance.

I have no idea how she walks in those shoes.

 

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  And as we had placeholders last holiday week, be sure to check out last week’s entry over at Glibertarians.

So, hey, folks, it’s officially Twenty-Twenty-One, and has been for a few days.  Things have to be looking up, right?  Things couldn’t possibly be any worse than the dumpster fire that was 2020 – right?

Actually 2020 wasn’t bad for us here at the Casa de Animal.  We had a profitable year thanks to a long-term project that was amenable to remote work and was, in fact, planned to be mostly remote prior to the Kung Flu.  We have our retirement home in the Great Land, and in the next few months everything we’re taking north will be moved and the Colorado house sold, rendering us mortgage-free.  So honestly 2021 is looking pretty good for us, personally.

As for the nation?  Well, Dems would have us believe that Joe Biden, apparently soon-to-be President Biden unless the Trump people can pull some really amazing last-second shit, is just the guy to lead us out of the Kung Flu crisis.  Joe Biden couldn’t lead us to the fridge where his pudding cups are stored, much less lead the nation out of a crisis.  And while his campaign kept him mostly safe and secluded until they absolutely had to Adderal him up enough to withstand a debate or a softball interview, he won’t be able to manage a meeting with Putin or Xi without drooling.  Watch for a 25th Amendment solution to be offered within the first couple of years, with the resulting President Harris.  If the thought of that doesn’t horrify you, well, then I guess nothing will.

So, sure, 2021 may be pretty interesting.  Better than 2020?  Maybe.  But maybe not.  And that’s making the Great Land look pretty damn good.  Hang on, True Believers – I think we’re in for a pretty interesting time.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Housekeeping note:  I have noted, as you probably all have, some lag and long loading times for the site.  I’ve installed a caching plugin that seems to be helping some, but the real fix will be the upcoming migration of not just this but all our web sites to a new hosting service.  I don’t have a date for that to happen yet, but hopefully soon, and with luck the site will only be down for an hour or so.  Bear with us.

I’m tempted to launch into a soliloquy as to how weird 2020 has been, but, hell, who isn’t?  Best I can say is that this concomitantly messed-up year is almost over, and at least the one good thing is that we are in the final steps of buying our house in the Great Land, where I intend to spend the rest of my days.  That alone will make 2021 a better year.

Along the Glenallen Highway.

This is but a first step, of course.  Mrs. Animal and I loved Colorado, but the state is following in the footsteps of California nowadays, and besides, there are just too many people here.  That’s not the main reason we’re leaving, though.  We’ve been planning this for over twenty years, and now it’s time to make it happen.  At that time, I may slowly transition this page to a little bit less ‘this is what political/social/news items pissed me off today’ and a little more ‘this is what I’m up to in the Great Land right now.’  I have to work for a few more years to set up my retirement, but we’re in single digits now – it’s getting close.

The world is getting screwier by the minute, it seems, but at least we’ll have some privacy, be far away from the most overt nuttiness, and who knows, maybe start enjoying some of those golden years folks are always talking about.

Rule Five Options Friday

It’s increasingly looking like President Trump’s legal challenges are sputtering out, and that next month we’ll have an arguably senile old C-lister inaugurated as the (figurehead) President.  But that’s not what’s really significant about all this – the number one takeaway from this 2020 event is that we no longer have an honest and effective election system in this country.  The Presidential election process has descended into banana-republic territory, and at this point it’s hard to see what we can do to fix it – given that it would take action by the very people who allowed it to be broken and, indeed, who benefit from it being broken.

So what options remain for our tottering Republic?  As I see them, there are three:  Submission, secession or civil war.  Let’s look at them one by one.

Submission.

This is, sadly, the most likely option.  I’m not saying it’s the best option, mind you; just the most likely one.  A great deal of the electorate is not engaged much in the process, while a strong plurality was in favor of the “whatever it takes” approach to removing President Trump and doesn’t give much of a damn that it took electoral fraud to do it.

The implications of that are serious.  No matter the outcome of any election, anywhere in the country, both sides will presume that any outcome they don’t like was due to fraud, and in many cases they’ll be correct.  The Left in particular has now taken the mask off.  They have shown that they will do whatever it takes to gain power and retain power.  That’s not a recipe for maintaining the liberty of the people. 

But if the ordinary people of the nation accept this, then the United States as we know it will gradually devolve into an authoritarian state.  End result:  The U.S. ends not with a bang but a whimper.

Secession.

Let’s assume for a moment that we’re not talking about an 1861, South Carolina-style secession, but rather the “peaceful divorce” option already being floated in Texas and other places.  Take a look at the map of states that supported the Texas-initiated lawsuit that was just struck down a week ago today; most of the states are contiguous, excepting our own soon-to-be home state of Alaska.  A peaceful divorce of some sort would leave a nation on the northeast coast, one around the upper Midwest (call it Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan) and the West Coast. 

The free states would have good ports at Galveston, Corpus Christi, Mobile and Savannah on the golf and east coasts, and Anchorage on the Pacific.  (I may have missed a few, or maybe a few dozen ports there, but you get the point.)  The free states would also have most of the continent’s agricultural land, energy production and a lot of the manufacturing capacity.  The not-so-free states in the East would have… well… the legacy media, a fair amount of the old academia institutions, and the peripatetic victim classes.  The West Coast states would be set up a little better with some agricultural lands – assuming the new national governments allowed farming – and some industry, along with several good Pacific ports.

But how would the military be divided up?  Would there be any mutual defense pacts?  The new Blue nations would almost certainly devote little or nothing to defense; how long before China looks with envy at the undefended West Coast?  There are a million things that would have to be worked out.  Even so, I see this as probably the best way out of the current predicament, even as it is not a very likely one.  The down side is a global power vacuum, as the superpower that once stood astride North America like a Colossus would be gone for good.  End result:  Two, three or more nations where one once stood, the sum of those parts being rather less than the whole had once been.

Civil War.

This is by far the worst, and fortunately least likely, option.

Any such conflict would be, unlike the 1861-1865 war, a true civil war.  It would not be uniformed armies maneuvering in open country and fighting conventional battles; it would be much more like the various third world conflicts of the last century.  It would be a conflict involving atrocity piled upon atrocity; it would be fought on the streets of the cities, and spilled out into the countryside and the small towns.

This event would see the rise of local warlords; a partial or complete collapse of conventional authority would likely result.  Some percentage of the military would go to each side, likely – depending on actions of commanders – taking some military equipment and vehicles along with them.  The cities would be cut off, and as starvation set in, the urban cohorts would head into the country, assuming there was food there, but having no idea how to obtain or produce that food for themselves, and running into armed landowners when they try to appropriate that food.

And no matter which faction managed to wrest out some local victories, the United States, in this option, ends with a bang, not a whimper.

The Odds?

I’m engaging in pure guesswork here, but my estimate of the odds of each of the above scenarios, right now, are as follows:

  • Submission – 75%
  • Secession – 20%
  • Civil War – 5%

I’m probably pegging the odds of civil war a little too high.  My first gut reaction is to place that probability at 1% or less, but I’ve spent the last week watching reactions, and I have to say in my almost-sixty years I’ve never seen such a reaction to an election.  The primary reason I place the odds this high is that it’s arguably already started, with the Profa thugs of the Democratic Party’s brown-shirt enforcement wing already rioting in the streets. 

The main reason I don’t put the odds higher is that Profa has shown themselves to be rather egg-like; externally they have a hard shell, but when confronted and the shell cracked, they are pretty squishy and runny inside.  Things could well spiral out of control even so, and while I still think it’s unlikely to devolve to that point, I wouldn’t rule out some kind of preference cascade leading to the unthinkable becoming thinkable, and one thing that could lead to that is the ordinary citizenry realizing that their municipal governments aren’t going to do anything about the brown-shirts, and taking matters into their own hands.

So.  Thoughts?

Rule Five Old Rules/New Rules Friday

This came out over on Freethepeople.org a little over a week ago, but I took a little time to absorb it:  The Rules of Politics Don’t Matter Anymore.  Timely, indeed.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

When Virginia decided to secede from the Union, 50 counties in the western part of the state were generally in disagreement with that decision. They formed their own government and held votes to create their own state. They were admitted into the Union in June of 1863 by the vote of Congress. The challenging part of this is that the Constitution in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 states the following:

“New states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new state shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.”

Legally, if Virginia had seceded and was not a part of the Union, then the congressional vote to admit it was void because the government established in West Virginia was make-believe. Virginia was part of a different country and therefore the West Virginian contingent was as phony as wax fruit. The Confederacy hadn’t given West Virginia permission to secede from the Confederacy. If, as Lincoln claimed, the state of Virginia was in rebellion, then the state still bound by the Union had not given its permission as required by the Constitution. Either way, the state was formed illegally and should not have been admitted into the Union.

Now this is an interesting bit.  Author Aaron Everitt points out that, while the separation of West Virginia may well have been prohibited by the Constitution, it’s certainly not going backwards now.  But the larger point is the precedent that was set:

Here is the basic problem with those of us who still want to play by the rules of the Constitution… We still want to play by the rules. When courts say we can’t secede any longer, we accept our medicine and say it isn’t a workable idea because it would break the rules. Last I checked, the advancement of most social changes in the United States were not because we changed the Constitution (like the rules say we should). Instead, they have come by executive order, Congressional law, or judicial fiat. As rule followers, we scream and holler that the other ideologues are “not playing by the rules.” Still, the advancements keep coming and the government gets larger and more out of control. We get on our blogs and talk radio and yell about how the progressives are destroying our country! We insist they play by the rules of the Constitution, and we watch the world shift underneath our feet. We keep hoping they will play the game we want to play, by the rules we think we all should play by—instead they show up ready to do whatever it takes to win; the rules be damned.

So why haven’t the political right learned to do the same thing?  And if we do, how then are we any better than the left, who set this standard?  What price political victory?

If that is the game we are playing, why not take a page from West Virginia? What if, in this era of larger and more overwhelmingly authoritarian government, we decided to do what West Virginia did and just break apart regardless of the rules? What would stop Morgan county in Colorado from just becoming its own country or state? They can’t do it because the Constitution says so? Since when has that mattered to those on the other side of the ideological spectrum? Wouldn’t these places be wise to become defiant and say “We are leaving”? A better question still is, who will stop them? Will the federal government really send the troops in to preserve the Union? I have a hard time imagining tanks rolling through the middle of Eureka, California to make sure they stay beholden to Sacramento let alone Washington D.C. Most of the people in San Francisco would be glad to see those people leave. They generally frustrate their utopian ideals and stop them from creating their socialist paradise. I struggle to see the cafe and croissant crowd demanding that Morgan County in Colorado remain a part of the state. I see no moral imperative to holding this massive country together any longer. There isn’t a crusade that anyone can rally behind with enough energy to stop the departure of places that are insignificant to the elites.

This is a sentiment that you see kicked around a lot right now.  I think it’s largely an expression of frustration, especially after the shenanigans surrounding the recent elections, but there’s always the possibility it could become more than that; there’s a trip wire that could be crossed.  The article here concludes:

We used to have an “invisible fence” for our dog. For years the dog was trained through its own trial and error that it could go no farther than a certain point in our yard or it would get shocked. A few years into having the system, the wire was severed and the line stopped working. However our dog had become so accustom to being shocked in the past that it never crossed the line—even though the system was useless. I wonder if we, as Constitutionally-minded people, aren’t in the same predicament as my dog? So afraid to change because we want to obey. But if we take these thoughts from Jefferson to heart, perhaps it is our right, if not our duty to start the breakup.

Ay, there’s the rub.

Even now, after this sullied election, with the growing urban/rural divide, the United States is one nation.  But the bounds of this nation are like the invisible fence that Mr. Everitt used as  a metaphor, and there’s another phenomenon that may lead to us ignoring that fence, that being a preference cascade, one that leads us to break the bonds.

And once that’s done, there’s no going back.  The only question will be whether America remains, afterwards, in any recognizable form.

 

Rule Five New Amendment Friday

I’d like to propose a few constitutional amendments, to hopefully help to unscrew the jug-fuck the Imperial government has become.  I’ve done this before, but much like Barack Obama on same-sex marriage, my views have ‘evolved’ some.

Bear in mind that I have absolutely no illusion that these will ever come to fruition; this is purely a pie-in-the-sky wish-list of things I would implement were I Dictator For A Day.

So, without further ado, here they are.

Amendment 28 – Term and Service Limits
Text

The President is limited to one six-year term.  Senators are limited to one six-year term.  Representatives are limited to three two-year terms.  Following the allowed terms, all such persons are forever prohibited from holding elected, appointed or hired office at the Federal level, nor shall any such persons receive any benefits or pensions once leaving office, except in the event of a service-connected permanent injury or disability.

Purpose:

No more ‘political class,’ obviously.  No more lifetime pols suckling at the Imperial teat for life.  A true citizen legislature; you spend some time in office, then go back and live in the mess you made.

Amendment 29 – Qualification of Voters
Text

The franchise is limited to those citizens of the United States who have attained the age of eighteen on the day of the election, who possess a government-issued photo ID and present the ID at the polling station, and who have filed a tax return on the year previous to the election showing a net payment of taxes at the Federal level.  All votes shall be cast in person at a designated polling station.  Ballot harvesting and mail-in voting, excepting requested absentee ballots, are prohibited.

Purpose:

No skin in the game?  You don’t vote.  Add a healthy dose of election integrity to that; the 29th Amendment wouldn’t make cheating impossible, but it would make it a lot harder.

Amendment 30 – Constitutional Tribunal
Text

A fourth branch of government is established, the Constitutional Tribunal, consisting of three Tribunes from each State:  One elected by the eligible voters of the State, one appointed by the State legislature, and one selected at random from the rolls of eligible voters.  The purpose of the Tribunes are to determine the Constitutionality of all new laws and regulations, as defined in Amendment 31.

Purpose:

In our current system, career pols freely pass laws that cannot and should not pass Constitutional muster.  Unfortunately someone with “standing” has to challenge those laws to get them tossed out, and the people who passed those laws face no consequences.  So let’s have a new branch of government who does nothing else but determine Constitutionality of new laws and regulations, and let’s have the selection of the members be split among various groups with differing priorities.  Which leads us to…

Amendment 31 – Constitutional Challenge of Laws/Regulations
Text

All new laws and regulations from any source are considered to be potentially unconstitutional and shall not take effect until approved by a 2/3 vote of the Constitutional Tribunal.  In the event of a law or regulation being determined to be prohibited by the Constitution, any elected officials who sponsored or co-sponsored the legislation, or any appointed or hired officials who authored the regulation, shall be immediately removed from office and henceforth prohibited from any elected, appointed or hired office at the Federal level.

Purpose:

As noted above:  Consequences.  Pass a law or write a regulation that you haven’t absolutely determined is in concord with the Constitution?  No soup for you!  You are out on your ass, and proscribed from ever holding such a position of authority again.  I did not include, but am willing to consider, including any President who knowingly signs an unconstitutional bill into law.

So.  Thoughts?

Animal’s Daily Linguistics News

I found this interesting.  There’s a word used in the English language and in many other Indo-European languages that has not changed in definition for eight thousand years, and it gives some interesting insights as to the origins of all Indo-European languages and the people that speak them.  That word?  Lox.  Excerpt:

The word lox was one of the clues that eventually led linguists to discover who the Proto-Indo-Europeans were, and where they lived. The fact that those distantly related Indo-European languages had almost the same pronunciation of a single word meant that the word—and the concept behind it—had most likely existed in the Proto-Indo-European language. “If they had a word for it, they must have lived in a place where there was salmon,” explains Guy. “Salmon is a fish that lives in the ocean, reproduces in fresh water and swims up to rivers to lay eggs and mate. There are only a few places on the planet where that happens.”

In reconstructed Indo-European, there were words for bear, honey, oak tree, and snow, and, which is also important, no words for palm tree, elephant, lion, or zebra. Based on evidence like that, linguists reconstructed what their homeland was. The only possible geographic location turned out to be in a narrow band between Eastern Europe and the Black Sea where animals, trees, and insects matched the ancient Indo-European words.

In the 1950s, archaeological discoveries backed up this theory with remnants of an ancient culture that existed in that region from 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. Those people used to build kurgans, burial mountains, that archaeologists excavated to study cultural remains. In that process, scholars not only learned more about the Proto-Indo-Europeans but also why they were able to migrate across Europe and Asia.

Image from article.

In turned out that, in the past, the grassy plains of steppe that run from Western China to the Black Sea had large herds of wild horses. Early humans hunted them for food, but the Proto-Indo-Europeans were probably the first people who domesticated the ancestors of modern-day domestic horses. That brought them an enormous advantage, allowing them to move a lot faster than any other human group. Then, they adopted—or, less likely, invented—wheeled vehicles and attached these to horses. “That’s probably the moment when they suddenly managed to expand into the Middle East, into India, and across Europe,” says Guy. “Within the next thousands of years, they expanded like no other human group that we know about in history. Because [now] they had mobility, which nobody else had.”

It’s fun stuff.  There is still so much to learn about these Neolithic times, when a big part of what became modern human society developed.  Institutions like the nuclear family, the first villages, the first agriculture, all arose in the Neolithic, and these Proto-Indo-European people – probably not particularly connected to any one ethnic groups existing today, but rather connected linguistically – played a significant role in all that.

Incidentally, there are folks out there attempting to analyze and reconstruct that root language, Proto-Indo-European.  See an example here.  Cool stuff.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Boy howdy, when you’ve lived in a house for twenty-three years, you sure find you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff.

With a 3,500 mile move in the offing, and a big portion of that through Canada, we’re making a concerted effort to pare down our stuff to bare essentials.  The problem is, that list of essentials includes a rather extensive gun collection, all of my Dad’s paintings that I have here, and a library of between 1500 and 2000 books, that’s still a lot of stuff – and we aren’t even taking any furniture except one futon frame and a white oak rocking chair my Dad made for Mrs. Animal the year after we got married.  And by the way, does anyone out there have any idea how to get a rather large amount of ammo through Canada?

The guns will be the interesting bit.  There are a couple of moving companies that specialize in moving military and ex-military people and who have the necessary permits and so on to transport things that a general traveler can’t bring into Canada, like most handguns.

As loony as Colorado is getting, it will be a reflective moment when we leave this house for the last time.  Mrs. A and I have both lived here longer than anywhere else in our lives.  We raised four daughters in this house.  We’ve loved this house, as we’ve lived and loved in this house.  But a house like this one needs a family in it.  It’s come now to the time when our great big barn of a Colorado home moved on to have another family grow up within its walls.

Life is an unending series of big and little transitions.

With that said…

On To the Links!

Banana Republic I.

Banana Republic II.

Banana Republic III.

Banana Republic IV.

Banana Republic V.

Banana Republic VI.

Want evidence of voter fraud?  Here’s evidence of voter fraud.

Because, you know, fuck federalism.

Failing to see the down side here.

RIP Alex Trebek.

Finally, some good news!

Weirdest headline I’ve seen in a while, and also a great indy band name:  Ants Slurp Their Butt Acid.

This Week’s Idiots:

Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to prove he’s an idiot.

Jake Tapper is an idiot.

Chicago Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton is an idiot.

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is an idiot.

MSNBC’s Joy Reid outdoes herself in idiocy – again.

And So:

My Dad actually had a great singing voice, one in a long list of his native talents and most assuredly one he did not pass on to me.  From the time I was very young he was fond of singing this little ditty, which always made my Mom cringe a little when small children were around.  This is Oscar Brand’s Humoresque (Passengers Will Please Refrain.)  Enjoy.

Rule Five Barn Burner Friday

And now, the barn-burning, rabble-rouser I promised you.  So without further ado – here it is.  Enjoy.

Take a look at the signs waved by some of the protestors, rioters and arsonists plaguing our major cities today.  Take a look at some of their positions – anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-freedom.

Now take a look at the protestors themselves.  Ask yourself how many of them actually do any productive work.

These people toil not, neither do they spin.  They are, by and large, parasites on the productive members of society that they demonize at every turn.  But there’s something they are missing, a key point that we, the productive, understand, that they do not.  And I say this to those parasites:

You need us.  We don’t need you.

We – you and I – not they, are the people who make this economy run.  We grow the food these parasites eat.  We make the clothing they wear.  We make the cell phones and tablets they use to plan their riots.  We write the code for the social networking sites on which they plan their riots.  And I say this to those parasites:

You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who feed you. 

People like my father, who raised Black Angus cattle, corn, and soybeans for much of his life.  The people who sell the seed and take the steers off to the packing plant.  The people who make fertilizer, who build the farm machinery in factories like the huge John Deere plant in Waterloo, Iowa.  You look down on the truckers who haul supplies to the farms and ranches and food to the distributors and stores.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who transport you.

People like the thousands who work in the plants of Ford, GM, Chrysler, and the other various manufacturers all around the country.  The people who refine the gasoline and Diesel fuel that move the vehicles, the people who fix your car when it breaks down, the driver of the wrecker who comes out to help you because you lack the skills to do something as elementary as changing a tire – a skill I learned at about ten years of age.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who clothe you.

Thousands more grow cotton, raise sheep, to make the cloth.  Workers all over the world make your “stylish” tattered blue jeans, maybe even some of those really expensive ones with fake ground-in dirt on them to make it look as though you’ve actually done a day’s work at some point in your lives.  Thousands more package the clothing, deliver it to stores, where retail clerks deal endlessly with difficult customers at little pay to provide you with the clothes you wear while lecturing the rest of us.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who keep you warm.

I’m talking about the thousands that work on the Alaskan oil fields, in the shale formations in the Dakotas, and on drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.  The people who build the pipelines, who move heavy equipment from site to site, who work in the refineries and who move heating oil and natural gas from those refineries to its final point of use – not to mention the scientists and engineers who design and build the equipment and discover new sources of valuable fuels.  You not only look down on these people but demonize them for their contributions to some nebulously defined ‘climate change,’ even as the United States is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions not because of climate worries but because of cleaner fuels and vastly increased efficiencies, brought to you by those workers, scientists and engineers.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

You look down your noses at the people who make it possible for you to communicate.

From Silicon Valley to your local cell phone store, an entire industry is devoted to our modern, highly connected lifestyle.  People all around the world build the cellular phones you use and write the software that runs them.  Thousands more maintain the phone towers, the internet hubs, the connections, the wires, fiberoptic cables and wireless networks that transmit the data.  Their efforts make it possible to make your plans to riot and loot, to attack the very businesses, stores, and restaurants these productive people count on in their own productive lives. 

And the irony of you decrying capitalism while using this technology, unprecedented in human history, that could only be the product of a free market, capitalist system, is beyond description.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

Worst of all, you look down at the people who keep you safe; the people you decry as racists, as bullies, as fascists; the police officers and other first responders, who you deride at every turn but are quick to call when an emergency affects you yourselves.

And to that I say to you:  You need us.  We don’t need you.

I’m going to presume for a moment that you of the parasite-protestor class, those with the Gender Studies degrees and trust funds, are actually capable of active thought.  To you, I say this:  I want all of you parasites to think, long and hard, about the implications of that statement:

You need us.

We don’t need you.