Weekly Roundup: eBay Goes Ham Edition

“I absolutely think this is a commitment to a better, more just, and inclusive world of children’s literature,” Ann Neely, professor of children’s literature at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said. “We have so many outstanding books for children today; there is no need to continue to publish books that are now inappropriate. We must evaluate books for children by today’s values, not on our own nostalgia. Children need to see themselves, and others who may be different from them, in an accurate and positive way.”

I was 49 years and almost 6 months old when I realized that there are professors of children’s literature now. The University Of Arizona is offering internships in children’s and young adult literature. One wonders what a sample thesis might be. Something like “Your Butt Smells Like Poop: An Intersectional Perspective On Images Of Defecation In Shinta Cho’s ‘The Gas We Pass’ and Also Something About Harry Potter.” Surely Julliard is about to offer a doctorate in Kidz Bop, assuming this is not already the case.

Also, do we really have so many outstanding books for children today? It seems to me that we had much better books fifty or a hundred years ago. Maybe the problem is that those earlier efforts have outkicked the coverage of modern literacy, so to speak. This “Rover Boys” book strikes me in retrospect (I read several from the series when I was maybe ten years old) as being at about the college sophomore reading level nowadays. Right away this Rover Boys book hits you with a “laconic” and a “disdainfully” before following up with a “strenuous”… that’s just in the first chapter and a half.

Anyway, the distinguished professor of, uh, Hufflepuffs was quoted in an NBC piece titled “The reckoning with Dr. Seuss’ racist imagery has been years in the making.” The article was written by Char Adams, about which we are told “Char Adams is a reporter for NBC BLK who writes about race, gender and class. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Teen Vogue and elsewhere.” I was 49 years and almost 6 months old when I realized

* there was an NBC BLK, although I still don’t know what it is;
* we now consider Teen Vogue to be on part with TNR and the Times, although to be honest if you read me an article at random from Teen Vogue I probably wouldn’t be able to easily identify it as not being from the Times.

Alright, I just found out what NBC BLK is. It contains “Stories, issues and opinions from the African American perspective.” The vast majority of the headlines contain complaints about racism of one sort or another. I’m reminded of Cosmopolitan magazine, which always assumes that:

* all women all have precisely one hobby;
* and that hobby is casual sex.

Oh well. If it makes people happy. One of the headlines from NBC BLK is “How walking my dog made my neighbors and I more comfortable around each other”. You don’t need to have a doctorate in “Twilight:Breaking Dawn” to know why that headline hurts my brain.

Speaking of cranial trauma. Everyone appears to have an opinion regarding the decision by “Dr. Seuss Enterprises” to discontinue the sale of six Dr. Seuss books. Speaking personally, I couldn’t care less about it. Seuss is dead. He handed his legacy over to a group of people who are determined to piss on said legacy until the last dollar is extracted. This has happened to better writers than Seuss in the past. The books themselves have little merit in my opinion; there was never a time in my life, and hardly a time in my son’s life, when we needed to read fake-word claptrap in the pursuit of personal literacy. I can’t imagine even normies really enjoy any of the books for more than a few moments.

Is this “cancel culture” at work? Strictly speaking, not really. There’s no Pastor Niemoller equivalence here. The publishing house isn’t at fault, as the author’s own representatives are pulling the books. Victimless crime. Ah, but this story does have a villain, as of yesterday — and the consequences will reach well beyond any house-trashing, hat-wearing cats.

Hot on the heels of the discontinuation of the Seuss Six, eBay announced that it would not permit any of the previously published editions of these works to be listed on its site.

Alright, now we’re in the Corporate Cancer zone. To begin with, eBay is dammed near a common carrier when it comes to auctions. I don’t even know what the second-largest auction site is. (It appears to be eBid, which has 2.8 million items listed at the moment. eBay has slightly over 1.3 billion, making it roughly 450 times larger than the next best thing.) When eBay refuses to accept listings for an item, it has a drastic effect on the value of an item. I’d say it’s more serious than Amazon refusing to sell something, at least when we are discussing a pre-owned item.

As fate would have it, I was just contacted by eBay last week, informing me that I could no longer sell anything on the site without providing a bank account and a social security number. I’ve been an eBay seller for 22 years and have never lost an arbitration, so I presume that this is a universal rule now. Why should you give eBay the authority to sweep your bank account and report your SSN to the Feds, all so you can sell old comic books or auto brochures? That’s insane. It was bad enough when eBay bludgeoned us all into using Paypal whenever possible, but this is worse. Paypal doesn’t have my social security number.

eBay is famously timid when it comes to accepting items for sale; I think there was about a ten-minute period when you could buy and sell parts for firearms back in ’99, but since then the site has implemented a full-court press against any doubleplusbadthink. A few wags have pointed out that you could buy Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries on eBay, even after the Seuss ban; the company’s response has been to sanitize all listings of Turner and eliminate all listings for Hitler with a price under $250. (Remember, O’Brien could turn the telescreen off.) A quick search confirms that The Bell Curve is still available.

I’m not necessarily concerned that eBay wants to remove “racist” books from its listings. Face it: this is 2021, and metaphorical book burning is part and parcel of our American society. The same librarians who would have died for your right to read Tropic Of Cancer or Last Exit To Brooklyn are now fairly begging to have more books banned, removed, delisted — lest someone be offended. The notion that millions of parents were once offended that libraries served as delivery systems for pornography and perversion to our nation’s children? Well, those people were proles, and stupid besides, right? You cannot compare the people who wanted to ban Huck Finn fifty years ago with, uh, the people who want to ban it now.

No, what bothers me is this increasingly popular notion of, let’s steal a technical phrase, “selective availability”. I’m referring to the modern tech-company obsession with controlling access to intellectual property via subscriptions, rentals, or terms of service. It’s everywhere from the transponder on my World Challenge car, which must be periodically “renewed” for no God-dammed reason at all other than to make AMB more money, to the newest GoPro cameras, which are designed to work with a “GoPro subscription” that uploads all your images into GoPro’s unchallengeable custody helpful cloud storage.

Instead of buying a physical DVD or CD with music, we “buy” it from Amazon Digital or a similar provider. It’s not really ours. It can be deleted or removed on a whim. Read your Terms of Service. It can be taken away if if it is no longer appropriate for you to view. Who will determine that? It won’t be you.

The physical book has long been a heroic holdout against this moronic and tyrannical regime. Yes, plenty of people buy “e-books”, your humble author included, but for anything that really matters, I buy the book itself. Once the book is in your possession, it can only be removed by guile, compulsion, or naked force.

The Dr. Seuss Corporation has no real idea how to keep you from reading the copies of their samizdat that have already been vouchsafed to you. But they appear to have the power to prevent you from transferring your book to someone else, at least through the world’s favorite way to make that happen.

In other words, your subscription to a Dr. Seuss book can be partially revoked. You can own it, but you can’t sell it. Firearms hobbyists will note that this has often been the case with everything from “Tommy Guns” to 11-round magazines both in the past and today, depending on one’s residence and political acceptability. (African-American newspaperman Carl Rowan, for example, was once given an unregistered and 100% illegal pistol that he then used to shoot a white teenager in Washington, D.C. for the crime of using his swimming pool; he ended up facing no penalty despite potentially being in violation of several federal laws.)

The “conservatives” will assure us, of course, that eBay is perfectly within its rights here, as a private corporation. This is an idiotic position when applied to any enterprise larger than a pizza parlor, and tremendously more so when applied to something that is effectively a common carrier. Your humble author is old enough to remember when AT&T was broken up, not because it had ever attempted to exercise its monopoly power in the pursuit of a social or financial goal, but merely out of concern that such a thing was possible.

It should be noted that AT&T had less of a monopoly on national communications in 1970 than, say, Google does on search now, or eBay does on auctions, or Amazon does on, well, almost everything. What we need is some good solid, Teddy Roosevelt-style trust-busting. There is no, literally zero, reason that Amazon could not be broken up into smaller, competing entities. The same is true for Google, or eBay, or… Facebook.

You’ll wait in vain for any of that old-school leftist thinking to be applied nowadays. Today’s American left wing uses corporate power to extend its reach. Even the true-believer types, like AOC and Elizabeth Warren, are quick to retreat when their hand gets slapped by Corporate America. We now have business and government in harmony. Does that sound familiar? Here’s something I just read:

Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

Huh. Of course, if you ask the average protestor in the street, she will tell you that the fascists are the bad guys, and that they will be defeated by a coalition of the Biden Administration, Google, JP Morgan Chase, Facebook, and Microsoft. It’s all too much for me to understand. I need an NBC JACK, something that focuses entirely on mountain bikes and iambic pentameter to the exclusion of all else. In the meantime, I highly recommend that you get durable paper copies of anything that truly matters to you. And prepare for the day when all your subscriptions are revoked.

* * *

Forgot to add this week’s stories yesterday… for Hagerty I wrote about the ethics of selling a valuable project.

65 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: eBay Goes Ham Edition”

    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      For what it’s worth, I’ve recently purchased the following hard copies due to concerns about censorship and the culture war

      Unmasked by Andy Ngo (Antifa forced a Portland bookstore to take it off their shelves)
      When Harry Became Sally by Ryan Anderson (censored by Amazon and “not in stock” at Barnes & Noble)
      Steel Panther’s Poontang Boomerang delay pedal
      Blazing Saddles on BluRay
      Cyberfrong comics by Ethan Van Sciver

      In Orwell’s 1984, one of the means by which thought is controlled is the Memory Hole. He who controls the past controls the future. Eliminate inconvenient history, eliminate inconvenient thoughts.

      That’s why leftists get so upset when you point out that the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei was actually socialist.

      Reply
  1. AvatarEric H

    If ebay doesn’t want to list something I’ve got no problem with it.
    Did every other used item reseller drop it as well? It appears to be available used on Amazon.

    As for trustbusting, you may have written the article a bit too soon. The Biden administration just brought in Tim Wu as “Special assistant to the President for technology and competition policy” and he wants the tech giants busted.

    We’ll see what happens.

    Reply
    • Avatarhank chinaski

      Spoiler alert: short of the made for TV hearings, if the CEOs can even be bothered to show up, absolutely nothing.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        It is still instructive when those CEOs show up for the made for TV hearings. We get to see just how weirdly roided up Bezos has gotten, and watch Dorsey gradually transform before our eyes into the Q Shaman. Remember when they were the normal, respectable faces of the presidium.

        Reply
        • AvatarWill

          Pretty sure none of them were normal. Dorsey has always been an autistic weirdo. I say this as someone on the scale, but has worked hard to overcome said autism.

          Reply
  2. AvatarFred Lee

    Just last month my Automobile Magazine subscription was revoked. They replaced it with a subscription to, I kid you not, Woman’s Health.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      It was probably to give you a head start for your transition when the Biden administration makes transgenderism mandatory.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        Don’t worry Stingray. When transgender surgery is made mandatory, the line for it will be so long that we will all age out. The Dems will not be able to stop themselves from rewarding their essentials and those so deserving of reparations with front of line castration.

        Reply
  3. AvatarRyan

    Last year, I began to sell off a lot of stuff I’ve been sitting on. I have no idea how much, but my 90 day eBay selling total is just shy of $4000. Not bad for a bunch of C3 parts and Pokémon cards.

    I tried to sell some books on Amazon, but my seller account was “locked” due to not providing my SSN or a Tax ID. At the time, I kind of chalked it up to Bezos having an opportunity to both screw over small sellers and shake some antitrust pressure by reporting to the IRS..

    As you mentioned, eBay is doing the same thing. I didn’t provide my information to them either so that avenue is closed. The last item I sold before the cutoff? A pre-subscription AMB transponder.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      It might be helpful to remind the Left (including those running Ebay and Amazon) that many poor people do not have bank accounts (including a disproportionate number of people of color), and that illegals don’t have social security numbers and also often lack bank accounts. Thus any organization that forces customers or clients to register bank account numbers and social security numbers are racist, xenophobic, and don’t care about the poor, and therefore should be cancelled, boycotted, and protested until they eliminate such discriminating policies and humbly apologize.

      Reply
      • Avatarhank chinaski

        The old ‘DR3′. That’ll learn ’em.

        First they came for the Little Rascals, and I said nothing, because I was not of the Greatest Generation.
        Then they came for Fat Albert, and I said nothing, because I was not black.
        etc, etc.

        The porn you will always have with you.

        Christopher Tolkien has passed and now Amazon will be taking a turn rogering his dad’s legacy for a few bucks. At least Peter Jackson had the common decency to buy it dinner first.

        Reply
    • Avatareverybodyhatesscott

      It’s almost certainly so they can report it to the IRS. You can sign up for a tax id on the IRS website and it takes ten minutes and saves you the trouble of giving them your ssn.

      Reply
  4. AvatarJMcG

    I subscribed to the relaunched Cycle World when I heard you were going to write for them. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the incomparable Kevin Cameron was included in the deal.
    Well, Cycle World just announced that they are moving to an all-digital platform. No thanks.

    I have always loathed Dr. Seuss. Go, dog. Go! Was the most requested book by the McG children.

    Reply
  5. Avatardejal

    Funny thing about “Dr. Suess”. in his early days, before he became a “Doctor”, the guy drew some pretty racist drawings. Some could be attributed to tensions with Japan that carried over to other groups, some were he was just a man “Of his times”. THAT GUY and THOSE DRAWINGS are definitely cringey, wrong, awkward and embarrassing. But it’s old news. 10-20 year old, old news. I can be on the OG Mulberry St. in 20 minutes. It’s common knowledge here.

    That being said, the books are no such thing. The guy finished up life as a liberal’s liberal. This is why the Cultural Revolution Struggle Sessions for Whites and White crimes is idiotic. Any fool that repents for alleged crimes because of these Struggle Sessions will never be forgiven. See ‘The Bachelor’ Host Chris Harrison. Noted race healer, former NFLer and morning talking head Michael Strahan has determined that Harrison isn’t contrite enough.

    Reply
  6. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    Ebay can pound sand. “Need” my SSN and bank account? FU. Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the IRS pressing for it so they can tax all that “unreported” income from all the scofflaws. Nahhh, just a conspiracy theory.

    When one sales avenue close’s, another opens. Witness the sale of firearms parts. Buy an “80%” lower here, trigger group there, barrel over yonder, etc. Better in the long run as it’s harder to put all that info together, especially if your using money orders to buy, and having it shipped to a “drop box”. Allegedly.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      It isn’t just the IRS that is interested, it will be the Biden DOJ/FBI that will want to know who is buying and selling subversive materials likely to soon include copies of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, Bible, and anything written by Thomas Sowell, Charles Murray, Ann Coulter, or Douglas Murray.

      Reply
  7. AvatarTJ

    Worse… The bank chosen by my employer, who I have not other dealings with, demands a name and phone number for any cash deposit, and then demands a ssn and address for any deposits totalling $3k in a day. They claim there is a federal regulation to do so, but ive never seen it elsewhere.

    I told them to pound sand. It was worth the conversations with my boss, im not just going to give all that out willy-nilly. Remember the Wells Fargo hijinks? I do.

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      You work for the gov?
      The $10K applies to everyone and has been on the books for at least 20 years.
      10K then, 10k now. With inflation, every year the gov gets more and more info about our transactions. They rarely inflation adjust like COLAs.

      Question 16: When a Federal, state or local government official, as part of his or her official duties, engages in a transaction in currency over $10,000, or purchases a monetary instrument for more than $3,000 in currency, as a non-accountholder, what kind of identifying information must a financial institution obtain?

      Answer 16: Government officials sometimes need to conduct large currency transactions as part of their official duties. For example, a law enforcement official may wish to convert seized currency into monetary instruments for security reasons. Banks are not required to file a CTR when a Federal, state or local government official, as part of his or her official duties, engages in a transaction in currency over $10,000. In addition, banks do not need to file a Designation of Exempt Person form (FinCEN Form 110) for customers that are a department or agency of the United States, of any State, or of any political subdivision of any State. A bank should, however, take the steps to ensure that the customer is eligible for the exemption (that the customer is a government official conducting business on behalf of a government agency) and document the basis for that determination (e.g., reviewing the customer’s law enforcement credentials or government photo ID). Non-bank financial institutions, however, are required to file a CTR when a Federal, state or local government official, as part of his or her official duties, engages in a transaction in currency over $10,000.

      Regardless if a financial institution is required to file or voluntarily files a currency transaction report for this scenario, it generally is required only to obtain, verify, and record identifying information pertaining to the agency for which the individual is working. Thus, any employee identification number, address, or other identifying information obtained should correspond to the government agency involved, and not the government official conducting the transaction.

      Notwithstanding the above, a financial institution should still obtain and record the name of the government official conducting the transaction. Regarding the purchase of a monetary instrument for more than $3,000 in currency, a financial institution should record the name and date of birth of the government official, for the financial institution’s records. (12/2018)

      Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      As a former check cashing store employee I can give you some insight.

      $10,000 is the law. But the law is also that SUSPICIOUS transactions of $3,000 and above must be reported.

      Who determines what’s SUSPICIOUS? Why, a federal prosecutor, years after the fact. So a lot of institutions simply lower the ceiling to $3k to protect themselves and, to a lesser extent, their employees.

      Reply
      • AvatarTJ

        The best line the bank manager gave me was something to the effect of “surely you want to make it easier for the government to blah…blah…blah…”

        Told him I was gonna stop him right there….

        Its a simple cash deposit into a retail account. No one should need to track my personal information for that. Regardless of what the law says, its a law in need of repeal/reform.

        Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        If your transactions are under the $10,000 limit, a federal prosecutor may still go after you for “structuring” your deposits to evade reporting. We live in Alice’s world now.

        Reply
        • AvatarIce Age

          The idea that “structuring” your finances means you’re trying to “evade” the government is absurd and offensive. What you’re doing is complying with the law.

          It brings to mind the old idea of seeing in others what you are yourself. If you’re the sort who’s possessed of a criminal mind – like say, a legislator making a career in public office – you most likely think everybody else is some kind of devious lowlife out to cheat the system too.

          Reply
  8. AvatarNoID

    One comment/commendation and one question.

    “I need an NBC JACK, something that focuses entirely on mountain bikes and iambic pentameter to the exclusion of all else.” Immediately upon reading this I searched for the iambic Easter egg nearby and found it. Whether intentional or not, good job.

    As for the quote comparing socialism to fascism, where is that from? I can’t say I’ve struggled with understanding the distinction (in light of people who point out that the Nazi party had “socialist” in their party name and are answered by folks who say that they were as socialist as North Korea is democratic) because I haven’t put enough energy into the quest to call it struggle, but nevertheless the quote was helpful for me.

    Reply
  9. Avatarstingray65

    Dr Seuss had to go, but for those of you with children looking for suitable reading materials here are a some new additions to the children’s literature that will help your child get a head start on school curriculum:
    “Rules for Toddlers” by Saul Alinsky
    “Death Wish: 10 years until you die from global warming” by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg.
    “Das Kapital for pre-schoolers” by Karl Marx with forward by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
    “You mommy has a penis, and your daddy has a vagina” by Dr. Rachel Levine.
    “Little House in the Projects” by Reverend Al Sharpton and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
    “If you are white and identify as male, your mommy should have aborted you” by Robin Diangelo.
    “2+2 = white privilege that keeps the black man down” by the Association of California School Administrators and Bill Gates.
    “History of the United States from slavery to Orange Man Bad” by Nikole Hannah-Jones.

    Reply
    • AvatarWill

      “Death Wish: 10 years until you die from global warming” by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg.” Even in jest, I can’t think any two people less suited to discuss science than these 2 clowns. AOC is the perfect example of someone so stupid, they think they’re intelligent.

      Reply
  10. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    “Children need to see themselves, and others who may be different from them, in an accurate and positive way.”

    It would be interesting and informative if Professor Neely would tell us how she sees political conservatives and religious Christians and Jews, so we could evaluate if she sees then in an accurate and positive way. Do we really have to guess how she felt about the passing of Rush LImbaugh?

    Also, you can either have an accurate view of others or you can have a positive view, but rarely simultaneously.

    Reply
  11. AvatarPanzer

    I’m glad you cited that last section about Fascism.

    I am so fucking sick of liberals trying to pretend that Socialism and Fascism are different simply because Hitler co-operated with German corporations rather than destroying them as Lenin did.
    The point is that the same control is being exercised for the exact same reasons. And that’s why historically Fascist and Communist/Socialist are little different in reality.

    Reply
    • AvatarIce Age

      Fascism, socialism and communism are simply different DEGREES of the same idea. There’s no genuine ideological difference between any of them.

      They all work on the same premise and that’s incidentally the reason for the supposed hatred communists have for fascists.

      Think of it this way: Fascists allow the hated capitalist class enemy to retain ownership of their businesses while the fascist state exerts control over said businesses. This drives the communists nuts, as they think the fascists are collaborating with the class enemy by not immediately nationalizing those businesses and thus, are traitors to the revolution.

      Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      A huge difference is that fascist governments are nationalist while communist think of themselves as local chapters of an internationalist movement. An example from a postage stamp guy like me would be you will see a lot more pictures of Lenin or Marx on stamps from Vietnam than Hitler on stamps from Peron Argentina or Franco Spain.

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        I wouldn’t describe it as a huge difference, because the Commies are also very much into nationalism as in “fighting for mother Russia” mantra’s that Stalin and crew proclaimed to their armies fighting the Nazis, and the strong nationalist/ethnic theme used by the Chinese Communist party to “justify” absorbing fellow Chinese in Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc. Nationalist themes are also strong parts of the propaganda used by North Korean and North Vietnam leadership to maintain power and authority and unify the Korean and Vietnam peoples under glorious communism.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          In Moscow under the Communist Internationale, there was a university with the fun name of the Communist University of the Toilers of the East. Presidents/General Secretaries of Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Mongolia and Kenya toiled through and what they were learning was not putting their country first. It was shut by Stalin for being too Trotskyite.

          Reply
  12. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    It’s not just eBay. Reverb.com, now owned by Etsy, banned the sale of the parody hair band Steel Panther’s “Pussy Melter” distortion pedal. At first they said it had offensive imagery and later changed that to saying the pedal promotes violence against site users. What’s silly is that the band reissued the pedal (originals are being offered for $500 or more for what’s pretty much a generic pedal that retailed for $200) as the “Butthole Burner” and Reverb does allow listings for that. Maybe they didn’t want to appear “homophobic”.

    https://reverb.com/item/15613647-steel-panther-pussy-melter-pedal (suspended listing)

    https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/reverbcom_we_banned_pussy_melter_because_it_promotes_violence_towards_a_segment_of_our_users.html

    Reply
  13. Tom KlockauTom Klockau

    Bank account and SSN? As Dr. Evil would say, how about no?

    Good thing I rarely use ebay any more. I bought a lot of old car brochures, Corgi Toys and Matchboxes on there circa 1999-2004, but probably have bought less than five things off there the past five years.

    Reply
  14. AvatarManbridge

    eBay? Allow me to say, long hair don’t care… I sell all my unwanted Porsche shizzle on forums. No Paypal either. Send me the check and when it clears I send the widget.

    Regarding the 993: I’d say sell it. No love for it means your kid likely won’t either, tiring of its wallet eating labor. (I should know as I work on them for a living).

    By the way, what does the car need right now? Send me a PM and I’ll shoot you at least an oil filter gratis. It’s the least I could do for all your favorable musings over the years. No future wealth sharing required, express or implied…

    Reply
  15. AvatarNewbie Jeff

    “In the meantime, I highly recommend that you get durable paper copies of anything that truly matters to you. And prepare for the day when all your subscriptions are revoked”

    A few months ago, I purchased hard copies of “Animal Farm” and “1984”. Not because I have never read them – I’m intimately familiar with Orwell’s themes and often cite them when discussing the current state of American progressive totalitarianism. I bought them specifically for the reason in quotes above: the works matter to me, and I foresee the need for durable copies. Our American progressive totalitarian state will eventually get to the point that Orwell is a threat for precisely predicting their ascension.

    For years, I never left Wally-World without some 9 or 556, back when they sold it right there in the store, and built a “comfortable” supply. Now you can’t find it anywhere. I also stockpiled food and gear. During the run on the supermarkets in March of last year, I felt pretty prepared (other than the toilet paper thing… I guess you can’t predict everything). I hate being right about this stuff.

    Reply
    • AvatargbKing

      I also bought hard covers of those two plus Brave New World from Amazon and then had Amazon delete my account. After I posted pictures of them along with the KJV on Instagram Jack opined that their order of censorship would run 1984, AJ, BNW, and then the KJV. After watching our betters test the water with Dr. Seuss I’m finding his statement more believable.

      Reply
  16. AvatarSobro

    The societal pendulum swings, but swings much more slowly than the political. I think we are close to peak leftism in the US, and in fact I read an article on Gen Z conservatism. And buried deeper than a Gen Z’er will read is this:

    “While roughly half of the respondents to Business Insider’s survey did not label themselves as either liberal or conservative, the remaining Gen Z’ers we polled were almost evenly split between the right and the left.”

    That is 6- to 21-year olds being polled, and remember the old quote about youth, liberalism, hearts; older, conservatism, and brains. So as the Z’ers age up expect their conservative views to increase as thier brains mature.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/gen-z-changes-political-divides-2019-7

    The political pendulum is already swinging right as the minority voters have started leaving the Left’s Plantation in droves. This will continue despite the “leadership’s” mistaken belief that they are only beholden to an increasingly (but clost to peak, IMO) leftist Chamber of Commerce. See how the R’s did in the State votes last November.

    Personally, I’ll continue to read and view what I like, and if blockaded by corporate leftism will seek out other sources if it’s important enough to me. Information wants to be free after all. But at nearly 62-years old and a wife in her 66th year, I will leave the real fighting for society’s future to those with a stake. The culure wars don’t need another late Boomer keyboard warrior for the Right and I have no heirs to worry about.

    Reply
    • AvatarNewbie Jeff

      “The societal pendulum swings, but swings much more slowly than the political. I think we are close to peak leftism in the US…”

      I appreciate your engagement… but I have to say, I saw neither hope nor ebbing trends of leftism in the article you cited.

      First, the article concedes that most (59%) of Gen Z get their news from social media. Since social media companies actively manipulate their platforms with leftist bias, this means that conservatism already has an uphill battle in the younger generations.

      Next, the article says that Gen Z is apparently “united” on its desire to see the government fix problems like “climate change”, “gun control”, and “legalizing pot”. These issues are prime vehicles the Democratic Party uses to carry radical ideology into actual policy… e.g., Green New Deal. Your quote citing that half of Gen Z identifies as neither liberal nor conservative simply means that they’re the un-engaged, low-info voter bloc who will mostly just swim in our new progressive mainstream… Thus, I don’t think we’ve even remotely approached “peak leftism”.

      Sorry to be such a wet blanket… but I’ve long since determined that holding onto false hope is counterproductive, at best. I’ll latch on to a hopeful trend where it really exists… but for now, shit seems crazy because it really is crazy. The country seems like it’s unraveling because it really is unraveling. Woke progressivism seems like it’s totalitarianism because it really is totalitarianism. Jack could post here daily about the latest leftist insanity, because the American Left really is insane.

      Reply
      • AvatarSobro

        And yet despite all you cited, the article says half of those who identify politically, identify with the right. How’d that happen?

        Reply
        • AvatarNewbie Jeff

          “…the article says half of those who identify politically, identify with the right…”

          I don’t think I adequately explained my point. The article says about half of Gen Z identifies as neither liberal nor conservative, the other half is – as you say – split evenly between the left and right.

          Roughly overall, that would mean 25% of all Gen Z identify as conservative, 25% identify as progressive. My point is that the remaining half are likely less engaged and low-information. There’s probably a few that are engaged and genuinely disillusioned with the political process, but I’m willing to bet the vast majority of the “unaffiliated” will simply swim with the mainstream… that is, if Insta’ bans conservative content, the NBA says the police should be de-funded, and vapid pop stars tell them to vote for Democrats, then that remaining 50% of unaffiliated Gen Z will almost certainly swing that direction in significant proportions.

          The result is I don’t see much hope in 25% of Gen Z ushering in “back to normal” politics, much less a new era of conservativism. In 10-20 years, they’ll be even less culturally relevant than we are today. It will be too late by then anyway.

          Reply
      • AvatarIce Age

        The American Left is not insane. To call them insane would be to relieve them of moral and intellectual culpability for what they’re doing.

        The Left knows EXACTLY what it’s doing and it’s doing it on purpose. There’s no insanity involved – everything these people do is deliberate and calculated.

        It’s much more accurate to call them evil than to say they’re insane.

        Reply
        • AvatarNewbie Jeff

          “The Left knows EXACTLY what it’s doing and it’s doing it on purpose. There’s no insanity involved – everything these people do is deliberate and calculated”

          Completely agree.

          Reply
  17. AvatarIce Age

    If eBay, Facebook and Twitter can do anything they want because they’re private companies, then technically a Christian-owned company could fire all of its homosexual employees on the same grounds. An oil company could terminate any of its employees that have environmentalist sympathies. Ford could decide one day that it wants nothing to do with electric cars and jettison all the non-ICE-vehicle personnel.

    Reply
    • AvatarEric H

      No, the federal equal opportunity laws prohibit that.
      There are no federal laws requiring a private company to engage in business a deal between two third parties that I am aware of.

      Nice strawman though.

      Reply
  18. Avatarsiv

    Is this “cancel culture” at work? Strictly speaking, not really. There’s no Pastor Niemoller equivalence here. The publishing house isn’t at fault, as the author’s own representatives are pulling the books.

    Reading between the lines (or skimming over and missing where it was stated explicitly) I got the impression Seuss’ rightsholders paid for a panel of censors to review the books and struck a deal in which six slow-selling low demand titles would be “banned” as protection to continue to publish the best sellers ($33 million in revenue for 2020) w/o organized institutional opposition for some period of time. The less organized criticism had already determined the Cat in the Hat was clearly an amalgamation of Jim Crow, Sambo, Tambo, Bones and Mister Interlocuter.

    Reply
  19. AvatarMike

    Apropos of nothing, I was just reading Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Gold Bug” to my kids last night and ran across the word “vouchsafed”. I wondered to myself quietly how long it had been since I’d read or heard that word. Then I click on R.G. this morning and, there it is, again.

    Apropos of everything, read “The Gold Bug” sometime if you want some real racist imagery. I have to clean it up on the fly as I read it….so I guess I’m acting as “Big Tech” to my 6 year old and 4 year old. Really, I just don’t want them blurting out an inappropriate word at some point.

    Reply
  20. AvatarDaniel J

    As a libertarian, I disagree with the idea that Ebay is a “common carrier”. What has happened here is Ebay is a monopoly, and has been allowed to be a monopoly by government regulation. If the free market were truly allowed to exist, then there would be 10+ Ebays. There aren’t. Why not? Lobbyists who lobby to keep Ebay’s monopoly and government officials and representatives who fail to to challenge companies like Ebay on anti-trust issues. When Ebay first started, there weren’t any rules. Now the government has put so many regulations in place that only companies like Ebay can do business, and they know it.

    When Ebay starts dropping poles or digging up easements, then they become a common carrier.

    Let’s tear down all the government regulations, not add more.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      In principle I absolutely agree with you.

      In practice, I think Vox Day is right: the Left preyed on the best instincts of Libertarian and Libertarian-leaning people to get their own people, policies, and power in place, at which point they have demonstrated a taste for censorship and punishment that would dismay Savonarola.

      Therefore, since we know there is going to be regulation, let it be regulation that helps people.

      Reply
  21. AvatarDaniel J

    In regards to subscriptions and subscription services…..

    Consumers are partially, if not mostly to blame here. I write software and design hardware. My IP, or my company’s IP, has value.

    What, 200+ dollars is too expensive for Photoshop and Lightroom? You want your new Canon camera’s RAW files to be read, right? Too expensive? Fine, how’s 20.99 a month?

    Subscription services, from a financial point of view, works so much better than one time fees for software or upgrades to said software. Eventually, consumers started thinking it was too expensive. This is partially due to the average lay-person thinking any 20 dollar an hour can hack out good software. “Gee, I get this google app for $1 but you want 200 dollars for XYZ software suite”.

    Reply
  22. Avatargtem

    Wonderful Hagerty piece Jack, the section about your son changing your life in particular. You might laugh but back when I had my really clean ’96 4Runner Limited I intended to preserve it for my son’s first car, keeping it out of the salt, etc. It ended up feeling like an albatross around my neck. I ended up selling it last summer for $1500 more than what I paid for it 7 years and 50k miles ago. Bought a 10 year newer Suburban with twice as many miles (almost 300k vs 150 on the ‘yota), for less than half of what the Toyota sold for, and it’s been vastly more “usable.” It’s a rust free Colorado truck that I’ve taken care to oil undercoat and wash off regularly, but I use it daily year round, it came nicely pre-dinged/pre-scratched, and GMT800 Chevys don’t have near the appreciating value of those 3rd gen 4Runners. Much more comfortable for highway slogs, modern enough to have LATCH anchors for the daycare run, oodles more space and towing capability.

    I’m sure I’ll have something cool lined up for my son when the time comes, something we’ve wrenched on together presumably (he helped me take the plugs out of my old Yamaha XS500 last week, at 22 months old).

    Reply
  23. AvatarDavid Florida

    Ted Geisel will always have better defenders than my ambivalent self, this reply notwithstanding. It’s worth noting that apparently his caricatures of Germans were as exaggerated as those of Japanese, and that he was a patriot.

    The present kerfuffle has been brewing for some time. In 2013 I bought a used copy of “I Had Trouble in getting to Solla Sollew” following a previous outburst of academic puffery, and have since often shared its message of wisdom in confronting your troubles with my kids. He wasn’t a great poet, but these lines stay with one:

    “I’ve bought a big bat, you see.
    “From now on my troubles will have trouble with me!”

    Reply

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