Their relationships with government and banks put them at the front of the line for bailouts

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail spending in March collapsed by the largest number on record:

Travel spending — including on airlines, hotels, and cruises — is down more than 100 percent, if you include refunds. Department stores and clothing stores are facing an extinction-level event after having experienced years of decline. Pockets of resiliency and even strength include grocery stores and liquor stores, which in March had their best month of growth on record. Home-improvement spending is up as well.


Over the past 50 years, the number of American malls grew almost twice as fast as the U.S. population, to the point that in 2015, the U.S. had 10 times more shopping space per capita than Germany. Such abundance makes no sense in the age of Amazon. Overleveraged, overbuilt, and oversprawled, American retailers had a long way to fall as the country moved toward online shopping. In 2017, and again in 2019, physical-store closures reached an all-time high, led by the decay of suburban totems like Sports Authority and Payless.

The year 2020 may bring the death of the department store, marking the end of that 200-year-old retail innovation after decades of decline. Macy’s has furloughed more than 100,000 workers. Neiman Marcus has filed for Chapter 11. More legacy department stores and apparel retailers will almost certainly follow them to bankruptcy court or the corporate graveyard. As these anchor stores shutter, hundreds of malls that were already wobbling in 2019 will be knocked out in 2020.

The pandemic will also likely accelerate the big-business takeover of the economy. In the early innings of this crisis, the most resilient companies include blue-chip retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Dollar General, Costco, and Home Depot, all of whose stock prices are at or near record highs. Meanwhile, most small retailers — like hair salons, cafés, flower shops, and gyms — have less than one month’s cash on hand. One survey of several thousand small businesses, including hotels, theaters, and bars, found that just 30 percent of them expect to survive a lockdown that lasts four months.

Big companies have several advantages over smaller independents in a crisis. They have more cash reserves, better access to capital, and a general counsel’s office to furlough employees in an orderly fashion. Most important, their relationships with government and banks put them at the front of the line for bailouts.

The past two weeks have seen widespread reports of small businesses struggling to secure funds from the federal government. Larger companies do not seem to be experiencing the same delays. In one particularly controversial case, Ruth’s Chris Steak House — a public company with 159 locations and $87 million of cash on hand — announced that it had secured $20 million from a small-business rescue program that ran out of money before it could help countless independents. (Ruth’s Chris later pledged to return the money, and the federal government replenished the pot, though it will likely run out again quickly.)


  1. Dave says:

    In many parts of the world, tourists admire the towering ruins of ancient temples and palaces while illiterate peasants graze their goats on the surrounding scrub. I expect much the same fate for our temples of consumerism, if any part of them remains standing a hundred years from now.

    What happened? In short, complex state societies lost control of their women, who then stopped having babies, and simple, fecund, tribal peoples took over the land.

  2. Kirk says:

    Y’know, Dave… You have a charmingly naive and one-sided view of things, one that indicates an extremely low level of understanding when it comes to things involving the sexes. Your default answer is “they lost control of the women”, when the reality is, ain’t nobody ever had control of them. Ever.

    Society is complex, and the major gatekeeper/influencer on social matters is not the supposed gatekeeper/patriarchal figure of your weird little fantasies. Who spends the most time with the kids, during their literal formative years? Who decides who gets laid, whose kids survive to adulthood? It ain’t the males, that’s for sure.

    Primary enforcers on female conduct are other females, the older ones. Mothers and grandmothers rule the roost within the family, and what we’re observing here with most of these fertility issues is that like the males, they’ve allowed their roles to be taken over by outside agencies like the government. Which, granted, most of them have voted into power in our case, but they did so in a state of vacuous misunderstanding, much like the males have allowed them to run the really vital parts of their lives vis-a-vis colonizing the future with their genes.

    You keep positing this “control of the women” thing, as if there were some fantastic male committee that meets in a boardroom somewhere, and then goes out to manipulate controls in some Chernobyl-esque central control room, adjusting dials. The reality is that there ain’t no control, just people bouncing off of each other, and the patterns they dance are only vaguely discernible to a select few who bother to watch, wonder, and comment.

    That fact is probably terrifying to you, so you keep coming up with this fantasy view of the world. Grow the f**k up, and recognize that there isn’t some over-arcing organization to any of this crap–It is simply chaos acting out in predictable ways. The longer you persist in the fantasy of “control” as your paradigm for understanding things, the longer you’re going to remain in a state of ignorance. There is no conspiracy, no authority running things: It is pure Brownian motion expressed in a social network that didn’t get designed by anyone but God, if he even gave a damn about it.

    In short, as I tell any of the conspiracy theorists I run into that has half a brain and isn’t using it effectively, grow up. There was no entity, of any nature, that did this to you or society. It just happened, stemming out of a bunch of different influential facts and events. There is no appeal, nobody to “change things back”, just a reality that you seriously need to wake up to, rather than continue to blame Daddy for not doing what you want him to.

  3. Dave says:

    Robert Briffault agrees with you: In the natural state, sex is controlled by women, and their natural instinct is to goad men into killing each other off so they can all mate with the winner.

    Patriarchy is a conspiracy by men to enforce property rights over women so that men can work and fight as a group. This requires severe punishment of whores (women who play men off against each other) and white knights (men who let themselves be played).

    A married woman past fertile age with many children is fully invested in the patriarchy, and thus highly motivated to enforce obedience in her daughters and daughters-in-law.

    Patriarchy is rock-solid when implemented at the tribal level, because any tribe that allows its women even a little freedom quickly loses them all to stronger tribes. State patriarchy is not as stable because women will incessantly nag men to allow them into positions of state power.

    Smashing the patriarchal state, as feminists have done, does not lead to a matriarchal feminist utopia. Instead, it invites patriarchal tribes to snatch up all the fertile females and rape them into submission cf. Rotherham.

    Most feminists are fine with that because non-white men exude an aggressive masculinity that white boys lack, though their enthusiasm might wane a bit when the EBT cards stop working.

  4. Kirk says:

    This is a rant, but the person who it’s addressed to deserves it…

    Dave, to put it bluntly, you are too stupid to even engage with in this matter. You’re entirely oblivious to what goes on around you, and delusional in your ideation of what is happening and has happened in the past. Your observation skills are non-existent, and your fantasy-land viewpoint is laughably out of contact with any reality I’ve ever encountered even in our own society. It’s like you’re an alien plunked down in the middle of things, and taking everything at face value, going on what the subjects of your laughable “observation” say, rather than paying attention to what they actually do.

    Property rights? LOL… You’re too f**king stupid to be let out without a keeper, to be blunt. You’ve bought into all the whiny bullshit that the women have been putting out for centuries, and believe that this crap matters. “Oh, poor, poor pitiful me… My husband’s name is on the deed…”.

    Yeah, meanwhile that stupid bastard worked himself into an early grave keeping your stupid ass in wallpaper and chintz drapes. The bitches complain endlessly about all the things that they couldn’t do in life, but never paid a lick of attention to the things that the males were forced into doing to keep their fat asses happy and their legs open. That still goes on, and yet men have been defrauded out of their “privileges”, such as they were. Average male still doesn’t know for sure whether or not his kid is his, but, yeah, sure, we’ll go with this “patriarchy” bullshit your idiotic ilk came up with. Just like he gets stuck with raising the kids his bitch of a wife spawned with a lover…

    Frankly, Dave, you’re too stupid and unobservant to really be out in society. You have no idea how things really work, or what is really important, and you’ve managed to fall into the self-same delusional position of outward authority and inward powerlessness that men have fallen for all along. It’s like you want to perpetuate the fantasy that you had a place in society and ran things, when the reality is that you can’t even be sure who the father is for those kids you’re paying to raise.

    Power? LOL… Damn fools think they have it, and the fact is, they’re cooperative little sheepsies, lining up to be shorn by the women in their lives, who’ve been wielding the power of the pussy since time immemorial. You’re a slave to your own sex drive, and kowtow to whatever they want, telling yourself that you’re the powerful he-man, doling out the rewards to his flock. Reality? You quit providing the goodies, and she’ll first shut you down sexually, and then move on to someone who will shower her with what she wants.

    And, more significantly? All her little hen buddies will approve and affirm her for doing that, while she cuts you off from your kids, which the courts will not only enable, but damn near demand.

    The reason why you’re failing at fixing things? You aren’t addressing the right side of the equation, at all: It’s not that the patriarchy has failed you, but that the matriarchy quit enforcing the goddamn standards, and let everything go to hell in a hand-basket because they preferred to let their freak flags fly, and actively break the bonds that form civilization. It isn’t the male side, because we never had power in these matters in the first fucking place, something you’d have realized were you not both purblind and an idiot. This is all on the women, who’ve chosen this path.

    And, because you excuse them from agency and responsibility in these matters, you’re an active part of the problem yourself.

    Which is to be expected, because you’re essentially too stupid to grasp these facts, even though they’re easily observable around you. You just don’t pay attention, or realize that the choices made by your mother, sisters, lovers, and daughters are beyond your control. Hell, they’re more than likely beyond your criticism, unless you want to wake up in a coma after your close encounter with a blunt object in your sleep.

    In short, wake the fuck up and recognize reality for what it is: The problem isn’t a loss of patriarchal power, but the abandonment of a long-held agreement between men and women, primarily a failure of the matriarchy. They saw those fries on the plate, and reached for them, keeping everything they already had on their own plate into the bargain.

    Y’all keep hearing hooves, think horses, but the reality is that it’s a herd of donkeys. You focus on something that never, ever existed, and bewail the effect. Patriarchy, my ass… We’ve always been the sucker in the whole game, we men. That may change with reliable genetic testing and parthenogenic technologies, but the reality is that your supposed golden-age of “patriarchy” never existed. Hell, even in the days of yore when you could kidnap and rape to your heart’s content, the fact is that the only way your sons and daughters ever made it to adulthood was if the woman in question wanted them to. Otherwise, “failure to thrive” and accident were going to take them out before adolescence. You’ve only got to slack off a little bit, attention-wise, and little Ugg is going to wander off a cliff, or get taken by predators.

    I swear to God, some of you people… You’re still getting taken to the cleaners by the bitches. The “patriarchy” never existed–All that was there was the con, the long con game played by the much smarter women who were content to run things behind the scenery. Even in the most dire “patriarchy” I have personal experience and knowledge of, that of the Eastern European peasantry, the women had recourse to a hell of a lot more real power than any of you idiots credit them with.

    Sure, they weren’t being elected to mayor of the village, but when you can make the life of your husband miserable enough for him to drink himself into an early grave, and nobody in the village will raise a hand to stop you? That’s real power, one that counterbalances any of the supposed features of the patriarchy. Husband beats you to death in a fit of drunken rage, he’s getting hung. You drive him to an early grave from drinking to blot out your constant nagging and bitching? Perfectly acceptable. Not a thing will happen to you, and you’ll be able to move on to the next victim.

    Patriarchy. The word doesn’t mean what you think it does, and its use tells me you have no fucking idea at all about how real life works outside your white-bread suburban milieu, where you think you run your household. The term “patriarchy” is actually more accurately defined as a situation where the males think they run things, but really don’t. Mostly because they too easily give in to the women to get access to that all-powerful, all-devouring pussy and have kids.

    Y’all might achieve “patriarchy” one day, but you’ll give it away the day after in order to get laid…

  5. Isegoria says:

    Let’s try to keep things friendly, guys.

  6. Neovictorian says:

    Let’s try to keep things friendly, guys.

    Heh. :)

    Kirk–you first said above “Society is complex,” but your later rant doesn’t seem to acknowledge the full complexities of the relations of the sexes ca. 50,000 BC until now. Genetic analysis that all of us have a bunch invaders and rapists in our family tree needs to be accounted for in your world view. Somehow, the children of these unions survived and thrived enough to have children of their own, and so on.

  7. Kirk says:

    No, I’m afraid I can’t agree with you on that, Neo. Root of what I’m getting at is that there is no “patriarchy”, never has been, never will be. What there is would actually be, as you say, a complex interaction between the sexes that you can’t really term as being consistently or reliably in favor of either of them, unless you slice it such that you can ignore everything else. That’s what pisses me off–You blame the “patriarchy” for losing control, and you ignore the fact that if you propose a “patriarchy”, then you have to take into account and create an equivalent “matriarchy”, because by making it all the male side’s fault, you’ve written off half or more of the inputs into the problem.

    Main issue is that women aren’t procreating under modern conditions, and are conducting themselves in ways inimical to the continued functioning of our civilization as we know it. Question is, why?

    Dave wants to blame men, ‘cos he fantasizes that there was some lost golden age where the wimmenfolk did as they wuz’ told and brought him beers and sex. Such a place and time never existed, and just positing that idea prevents rational thought on the issue.

    The changes that have overtaken us are due to an unholy concatenation of effects stemming from a myriad of causes. One of which is the drastically lowered mortality rate for women, which highlighted the seriously circumscribed role that biology allowed due to the formerly inherent nature of things. Everything that followed from that, with the further influence of mechanization and technology? We’ve adapted poorly, mostly because nobody wants to acknowledge it or discuss it openly. We just keep on keeping on with the informal understandings of the social compact, ignoring that most of them are now obsolete and that we’ve failed to observe that fact or account for it.

    There was never any point in the past where men or women really dominated one another. There are way too many idiots who hypothesize that these matters were one-sided, simply because that’s what they see. Ever wonder why so many things are persistent in culture, against what might be common sense?

    You can rail all you like against the patriarchy when discussing things like Islamic honor killings, but the fact is, when you get down to it, it’s not just the men who are doing that stuff to their daughters. It’s also the women, who counter-intuitively support it and demand that their men “do something” about that slutty little whore they raise. Daddy would more than likely look the other way, but Mom? She wants the little whore dead. Ask yourself… Why is that?

    It’s because this whole thing is a hell of a lot more complicated than either “patriarchy” or “matriarchy”. You blame one or the other, you’re a damn fool. It’s happening because of the intersection of male and female interests and drives, and you can’t just say that one side of it is responsible or can fix it.

    In the Western situation, a lot of what’s happened has come about because there are no “senior females” to rein in the maladaptive behaviors of their younger generations–And, those women have been gone for a long damn time. They first abdicated responsibility for the younger generations during the early 20th Century when they recognized that conditions had changed, so they left it for the younger generations to figure out. Thing is, the younger generations didn’t take responsibility for the undiscussed role they had in propagating the species and socializing the males during child rearing. Where we’re at now is not due to the “patriarchy” failing, per se, but more due to the female side of the equation failing to adapt to changing conditions and ensure that the whole thing remained functional.

    What really triggers my rage is hearing idiots like Dave expound on their theories about the “lost Golden Age” when men like them ran things. Reality is generally that they’re the ones with daughters running around like cheap sluts, sisters who fuck married men, and mothers who had multiple lovers. Where’s the control? Where’s the patriarchy, there? You can’t even manage the women of your own household (who really shouldn’t need “managing” in the first damn place, were they actually virtuous women…), and you somehow leap from that to a situation where “if only…” you had the “patriarchal power” of the past, you could. Reality with that deal was that the fat old bastard at the head of the table had little or no idea what went on in his own house, let alone control over it.

    Yeah, I’ve spent time among fundamentalist sects of Christianity, and I remain in awe at the vast stupidity of most of the men in those sects. Also, the sheer hypocrisy–Ever wonder why the preacher’s daughter is usually the biggest slut in town, what with Daddy being the most manly head of the church? Yeah–It’s because he’s another ineffectual blowhard that’s entirely at the beck and call of the weak-minded women in his household.

    The whole idea of patriarchy is a fucking joke. Every man I’ve known who claims he’s in charge of his household? He’s either a liar, a spouse-abuser, or an idiot who has no idea what goes on under his nose. I’ve seen precisely zero exceptions to this. The women do what the women want to do, and unless they have the self-control and virtue to do the right thing, the whole household is a mess.

    The right way to manage the relations between the sexes is a partnership that works effectively and adapts to changing conditions. The rigidities of these -archy constructions are simply unworkable fantasies of little children who cannot muster the understanding to comprehend reality.

    And, to reiterate–The current problems we’re having with a lot of our society stems not from a breakdown of an -archy, but due to a breakdown of the partnership compact between men and women. Neither half can do everything, and there must be balance. Right now, we’re way out of “balance”, and quite clearly into “unhinged” territory.

  8. Dave says:

    Women have no agency. They are a liquid that takes the shape of whatever vessel it is poured into. Their inner monologues do not work out a reasonable course of action but instead rationalize whatever behavior their instincts have already dictated to them.

    Your disbelief in patriarchy is the same as all the Gen-Xers and Millennials who correctly observe that our government cannot build a simple website, and conclude that there’s no way it could have ever landed men on the Moon.

    Patriarchy was universal in the West until the early 1800s and it worked because the secrets of female nature revealed by Heartiste were common knowledge then. It’s a lot easier to control someone when you know her next move before she does.

  9. Bomag says:

    Kirk: too many inconsistencies in your rambles.

    You assert that there is matriarchy and a “partnership compact between men and women”, but no patriarchy. ???

    You assert things are largely random and Brownian motion-ish, but you also note the role of gov’t and matriarchs in shaping trends. We are all aware of chance and luck, but you far too much downplay the effect of policy.

  10. Isegoria says:

    Let’s try a lot harder to be friendly, Kirk.

  11. Bill says:

    Watching Kirk Dave, Dave Kirk [imagine tennis match]

    I always enjoy lively debate. Kirk, please take a look at this page:

    Use of this strategy vitiates your arguments.

  12. RLVC says:

    “Most important, their relationships with government and banks put them at the front of the line for bailouts.”

    Wow, mask off.

  13. Kirk says:

    Bomag, the argument I’m making is that the whole concept of either “patriarchy” or “matriarchy” is a line of fatuous BS that needs to be thrown away. Nobody set out to make up a system that was solely beneficial to men or women; the issues that everyone looks at to make those claims is simply the fact that life sucked for everyone in the old days. The women look at the roles they had, the functions they filled, and whine about how little impact they had on the public sphere. Meanwhile, the men had equivalently tiny impact on the private sphere, the one that determines whose genes go on into the future. Who cares if you’re Alexander, bestriding the world, if none of your genes manage to survive in direct descent?

    Women were always the gatekeepers for that, just as they were the gatekeepers for what cultural programming went into the minds of the babies and toddlers they raised.

    According to genetic research conducted in the last few decades, some 80% of women manage to reproduce themselves, passing their genes on into the future. This is an historical average. Do you know what it is for men? Depending on who does the work and what data they use, the rate of male reproduction historically is between 20 and 40 percent.

    Does that sound like a “patriarchy”, to you? One where the men dominate and stride the wide world, with the women obediently following them?

    The facts are fairly well established, if anyone is honest. Historically speaking, the vast majority of men got screwed just as hard or harder than the most “oppressed” women ever did. To ignore this fact, and posit some sort of “when we wuz’ kangs” line of bullshit is offensive and entirely delusional.

    And, the flip side to that is the typical female whinging about “Oh, we were slaves to society’s expectations…”. Sweetheart, it wasn’t like you were alone in that epic screwing-over–Your brothers, husbands, and lovers were equally constrained, but in different ways.

    It’s always forgotten, when they talk about “how it was”. Dave’s ilk looks at it as “We ran shit”, and forgets little details like the Birkenhead Drill, or how many single men drowned when the Titanic went down. The “ladies” forget the way they went around handing out their cute little “white feathers” to men they thought weren’t doing their duty by lining up to die in the charnel houses of WWI, forgetting utterly that they were never, ever going to have to go bleed out in the mud of a trench.

    The majority of the people who argue this crap just piss me off–There was no “patriarchy” in ye olden golden times, there was just a set of facts that drove society to be organized the way it was, vast and impersonal. The one side whines because they thought the grass was greener on the boy’s side of the fence, and thought that they’d cross over to enjoy it without paying the price in responsibility and accountability that they were never held to as women because most of them died young. And, the idiot males let that happen, so that women, for example, have the full franchise and yet are not subject to conscription under the draft here in the US.

    The whole thing has broken down due to the indulgency of elder males, and the feckless irresponsibility of women in general. It’s a two-way street, not the result of some vast ancient conspiracy against women, which is the female argument that Dave is taking up, whether or not he’s smart enough to recognize it. Even ceding the grasping bitches the existence of the whole “patriarchy” concept plays into their hands, and denigrates the reality of how things were. Men were never “on top”, and neither were women. It was a nasty game we had to play, and are actually still playing, to ensure the survival of the species. Nobody had fun at it, with certain rare exceptions.

    So, what I’m getting at is that even framing this crap as some sort of rigid system imposed by one sex on the other is fatuous bullshit. It’s just the way things worked, no more, no less. And, what’s even more enraging about it, when some fool talks about “patriarchy” is that the system was upheld by both sexes, male and female. The women had equal responsibility for its upkeep and propagation, not to mention input. Of course, now they deny that, but that’s typical for a lot of women.

    Just as it is typical for a lot of men to indulgently let them get away with the bullshit.

  14. RLVC says:

    Yes, Kirk, we know that we are descended from primitive humans, that the vast majority of our genetic line is of some hominid, then of some lower hominid, then of some mammal, then of some lower mammal, and so on down the line.

    That is how evolution works.

    But what is your point?

    Because I’m pretty sure that if you just come out and say “for most of the past five hundred thousand years, human women were permitted to choose their mates,” people are going to laugh at you.

    I certainly will.

  15. Longarch says:

    I am very grateful to Kirk for his many contributions, which diverge from Isegoria’s original posts and unfold new ideas for the edification of the audience. Kirk’s posts have educated me while they have entertained me. In fact, Kirk reminds me of Fred Reed, another crusty old writer who delights in educating the general public.

    Fred Reed started out with his own website, sold thousands of books full of his rants, and now writes for Unz. Kirk, you should follow Fred’s career trajectory. Start out with your own website, delight the readers with choice rants, then sell some books, and finally become a columnist for Unz. You may enjoy writing for your substantial audience here, but if you stretch your efforts just a little bit, you could be making lots of money by delighting a much larger audience.

  16. Dave says:

    The fact that 80% of women but only 40% of men pass on their genes has the curious effect of causing men to evolve faster, in whatever direction they must to get laid. Against all exhortations to be obedient tax donkeys who “respect women”, men who do not receive procreative reward for their solicitude will go extinct and be replaced by sexy petty criminals.

    It has never been otherwise in equatorial Africa, but wherever women are free to mate with whomever they please, men evolve into violent imbeciles obsessed with sex and bling.

  17. Bill says:

    RLVC, see this web page:

    Kirk, your last post was great, or at least it’s much clearer to me, thanks.

  18. Kirk says:

    Longarch, if I had my own website…?

    I’m pretty sure a bunch of people would find a way to finance a hit man, and have me assassinated for actually “speaking truth to power”. Fred Reed is a virtual remittance man in Mexico because he writes the inflammatory crap he does, and I frankly don’t like hot climates with insects, sooooo… Not happening.

    I figure that the number of people I piss off commenting will never get high enough that my profile would result in that death squad coming for me…

    I’m also not really this much of a curmudgeon, either–The internet brings out the worse in me, depending on the moment. When it was print only, I’d read some crap that pissed me off, seethe, and have to go to the trouble of actually typing up a letter to the editor, mailing it, and then wind up cooling off before I actually applied a stamp. With the immediacy of response here? LOL… Y’all get the vented rage right there at the beginning, and I’ve never, ever been able to suffer fools gladly. Things hit my hot points, and the venom is going to flow, sometimes before I can stop it. This thread might be an example…

    Note for future: Anyone mentioning “patriarchy” may or may not get it between the eyeballs with a poleaxe, like any other dumb animal needing slaughter. I have had to listen to hours upon hours of that crap from stupid womyn wokesters that I can’t stand hearing it mentioned without losing my couth, anymore.

    Also, to clarify–Not a misogynist, either. My railing is directed at specific sub-groupings of the gender, and not anyone with any damn sense (as I define it…). I actually like a lot of women, and enjoy their company, but the wokester class, male or female…? Life is too short for that bullshit. Now that I am no longer constrained by the UCMJ to force me to sit and listen to that crap, y’all can get screwed.

  19. Dave says:

    Power-sharing does not work; a ship can have only one captain. Aside from Weimar democracies, wherein the government prints trillions of dollars a year to maintain the illusion of equality, every society is either male-centric or female-centric. In the latter case, Kirk is hacked to death and eaten by hordes of feral Africans, and in the former, the patriarchs do not take kindly to Kirk telling everyone that their wives are fucking Africans behind their backs.

  20. Felix says:

    OK, I’m with Longarch in enjoying Kirk’s comments.

    So, with that in mind, behold, let the Internet gasp in wonder at this:

    a complete copy of all of Kirk’s Isegoria comments! Free of charge! Get a copy for your kids and grand kids. They’ll think of you forever.

    (PS. Kirk, this is meant in fun, but if it’s out of line, say so. I’ll take it down.)

    (PPS. What your kids and grand kids might think is another story.)

  21. Harry Jones says:

    A curmudgeon is someone who is wise and intelligent in socially unacceptable ways.

    I’ve got a blog but I’m not sure what to do with it yet.

  22. Longarch says:

    Kirk: “if I had my own website…? I’m pretty sure a bunch of people would find a way to finance a hit man, and have me assassinated for actually ‘speaking truth to power’.”

    Yeah, well, you are a big tough warfighter guy, so that is not an excuse. You should be rough and tough enough to fight off multiple waves of John-Wick-style gunmen, if anyone were ever to send them. But no, that would never happen because you don’t actually motivate people. No one cares enough about you to shoot you once, much less pay for hitmen.

    Felix: “OK, I’m with Longarch in enjoying Kirk’s comments.“

    Apparently my first comment was not entirely understood. I enjoy Kirk’s comments because I disagree with just about everything he writes, and the incongruity between obvious reality and Kirk’s ranting entertains me. I want him to start up his own website because I think that if he were to do so, he would rapidly realize that very few people would find his writings interesting, and he would get less money than Fred Reed – and fewer readers than Larry Kummer, who has been running the “Fabius Maximus” site into the ground for years. I was trying to be tactful, and yet to make it obvious that Kirk only gets people to read his ranting because he piggy-backs on the attention gathered by Isegoria, who actually does the useful work of finding interesting source material and writing down useful reflections.

    Kirk will never learn how much his ranting turns most people off if he rants on a forum because he gets encouraged every time someone posts a response telling him he is wrong. The only way for Kirk to learn how unpersuasive he is, IMHO, is for Kirk to try to sell a book of rants, and then to realize that very few people want to pay money for his rants.

    Now, in fact, *I* could be misguided about all this. It’s possible Kirk repels people like me but there is a considerable audience of people who actually like Kirk’s curmudgeony rants more than they like my writing. If such an audience were to pay for Kirk’s rants, Kirk would be doing a good deed by selling them the rants they want, and I would be forced to admit that Kirk is more persuasive — and wiser — than I am.

    Also, Felix, that is impressive. You must be one of those software wizards who can write a spiderbot to scrape the web — or else you have access to some pre-existing utility — either way, I’m honestly impressed. I am ashamed to say I have never coded such a webscraper.

    Now, you know, that would be a book I would pay money for! I would pay money for a book that would hold my hand and walk me through the steps of writing and testing a webscraper. But I will probably have to scrape by (pun intended) with free python tutorials at “towards data science .com.” You may have motivated me to get into gear and learn something. (See link at top of comment.)

    Harry Jones:

    I started reading your blog about Annihiliationism but I don’t know that I know enough to really engage with your ideas. I am sure someone who knows more about theology would engage with it, though.

  23. Harry Jones says:

    Haters gonna hate. But if nobody hates you, you’re not making a difference. I aspire to be hated by the right people and loved by the right people.

    But there are bastards out there who will ruin your life out of pure spite. For dealing with them, there are anonymous DNS registration and hosting. All these measures are like locks – you can’t keep out the determined ones, but you can discourage the more casual haters – of whom there are a great deal more.

    Me, I enjoy an odious opinion well expressed. It’s like a well ripened cheese, pungent and compelling.

  24. Felix says:

    @Longarch : Yep. Web scraper written in Python using regular expressions. I wanted it to work for all WordPress blogs, but, without needed tweaks, it works only for Isegoria.

    There are various Python libraries that make web-scraping pretty easy. I can’t recommend any, off hand, because I usually scrape the simple, geeky way. Saves having to pick a web scraper library du jour. Unfortunately, just fetching the URL’s content and running it through a regular expression doesn’t work for many sites. They can create what you see using inside your browser using Javascript. So, YMMV. A glance tells me that Medium postings can be scraped with regular expressions.

    On the subject of Toward Data Science, there’s this:

    which I found when I was thinking of doing much the same as that web app. The idea is to give Mr. Everyman a feel for what the hell is meant by “Covid 19 testing” despite what someone saying those words thinks they mean.

    And, finally, for your viewing pleasure:

    Ah, reading comments from only one person is a bit like hearing one side of a telephone call.

  25. Sam J. says:

    “patriarchy” or “matriarchy”

    A data point. Sparta let their Women do mostly as they pleased. Athens kept their Women indoors and strictly governed their relations. Spartan Men went through the most grueling trials and suppression of individualism of most known societies to stay on top. Spartan Women had one job to do, just one, have children. They didn’t do it. Sparta ran out of Men and they were defeated.

    Western Man has created marvels and raised a mighty civilization and now our Women refuse to have children and have become in very large numbers, repulsive.

  26. Sam J. says:

    It’s my understanding that the Romans followed a path exactly like we are doing. Women were given no fault divorce and child support payments just like today. Rapidly, as today, your average guy got a raw deal out of this and stopped getting married. It got so bad that the Roman State forced through a bachelors tax. This of course failed and whole sections of the Roman Empire went to waste. When the barbarians attacked none of the Men found anything there worth fighting for so the whole thing crumbled. I think this is the reason Rome fell. Nothing to do with lead pipes or other silliness. If the State gives Men nothing worth fighting for they will cease to do so.

  27. Huey Pierce Long, Jr. says:

    “It’s my understanding that the Romans followed a path exactly like we are doing.”

    The Romans had a CIA?

  28. Sam J. says:

    “The Romans had a CIA?..”

    Did I say that? Wasn’t what I said in the context of “patriarchy” or “matriarchy”? Did you not understand that? Let me make it easy for you. The comments I made above are in the context, meaning they relate to or are about, “patriarchy” or “matriarchy” and how some of these related items have effects on society as a whole.

    And by the way I’m sure the Romans had some sort of “CIA” but I bet they called it something different as they spoke Latin.

  29. Huey Pierce Long, Jr. says:

    Feminism was the first scientifically managed political movement. From the very beginning it was funded and promoted by the Rockefeller Foundation. Later it was brought under the aegis of the Central Intelligence Complex (CIC) as Gloria Steinem so famously revealed.

    You are living in an engineered reality. All aspects have been carefully crafted by others, including your belief that spontaneous, democratic phenomena are real.

    Look it up.

  30. Huey Pierce Long, Jr. says:

    “Such abundance makes no sense in the age of Amazon.”

    ”You will have austerity and you will like it,” he says.

    How about no. How about we tell all of these small-souled bean counters to FUCK OFF. How about we partake in such stupendous indulgent abundance as you wouldn’t believe.

    No more fake jobs. No more fake debt. No more corporate monopolies.

    No more imposed austerity and managed decline.

    Unlimited free energy for all! In Russia, you pay gas company; in America, gas company pay YOU.

    Extravagance and waste! Freedom and danger! Uncharted waters and promise of adventure!

    Free money. Free the money. Free it from the clammy claws of the bankers and the bureaucrats. Bring forth the Sword of Liberty. Let the rivers run green and the streets run ***.

    Fuck you, bean counters.

    Fuck You, Bean Counters.



  31. Alistair says:

    I know enough people in the “Central Intelligence Complex”.

    They aren’t exceptionally bright, educated, or well-motivated. The idea of those guys organising more than a moderate bureaucratic challenge strikes me as risible.

    Would be nice if they were, then paranoia conspiracy fruitiness would be more justified.

  32. Huey Pierce Long, Jr. says:

    The paper-pushers of HQ are the least important part of the Complex. They exist to serve as a human machinery to the institution and an inoffensive face to the world.

    The heart and lungs of the Complex is everything else: the “private” industry, its equity-endowed owner-courtiers, and the organization-spanning network of insiders that constitute its managerial class.

    And at the top, those who have no reports and no titles, and who set policy.

  33. Huey Pierce Long, Jr. says:

    “I enjoy Kirk’s comments because I disagree with just about everything he writes, and the incongruity between obvious reality and Kirk’s ranting entertains me. I want him to start up his own website because I think that if he were to do so, he would rapidly realize that very few people would find his writings interesting, and he would get less money than Fred Reed – and fewer readers than Larry Kummer, who has been running the “Fabius Maximus” site into the ground for years.”

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