What I Believe About The Current Situation

It occurs to me that when I say things like “How to survive the soft slide down” or “How to prepare for chaos” I’m confusing some people.  (Like those who advise me to emigrate!)

I suspect I’m also confusing some people who go “But, Sarah, you say that they only captured government, and we will eventually win, because what can’t go on won’t.”

So, I thought I’d set down, once and for all what I believe about the current situation, and what I think lies ahead.  Call it Sarah’s grand, unified version.

Be aware that this author does not possess a crystal ball or even a dinkum thinkum to calculate probabilities.  I don’t even expect to be EXACTLY right.  I expect things will happen in different time frames/at different rates/in different ways than I expect.  But I expect the result to be roughly what I’m predicting here.

I spent the seventies saying something like this about the fall of the USSR, based on roughly the same thing: culture, technology and the history of the people involved.  The fall surprised me because – I’m a pessimist, okay.  Or at least, I’m a novelist, and at the time I was I guess and embryonic novelist (writing 20k words by hand every month) so my mind instantly goes to “what would be most interesting here?”  which usually involves death and destruction – there were no last-spasm missile launches.

Anyway, this is how I see the situation in the US right now:

First, there is nothing wrong with our fundamentals, by which I mean the people and view of economics.  Yes, I know we have some fantastic number on welfare. (The big issue with Romney’s mentioning that, by the way, is that he didn’t distinguish chronic welfare takers with those who are trying like heck to get out of it.  Right now we have any number of those thanks to the craptacular economy.)

BUT – though you guys might not be aware of this, I am every time I go back to Europe – our hardware-in-the-head is the best in the world.  You run into this every time you discuss welfare or taxes or anything with anyone from abroad.  (Excepted here, to an extent are the other Anglosphere colonies.  To an extent.)

It is assumed abroad that you BELONG to the country (and whoever is presently ruling it.  – yes, I know we have our share of complete idiots, too.  But nowhere near universal.)  Therefore the country can give you everything and take everything and it’s morally just.  It’s a mind set leftover from kings, where you held whatever you owned by gracious permission of the king.

Look at it this way – in Greece, in Spain, in Portugal, the people scream and shout NOT to have their benefits cut.  (It’s also not as universal as the media there – and here – portrays it, but it’s close enough.)  Here, we scream and shout to have our taxes cut.  If you think that makes no difference, you never lived elsewhere as a native.

Second, Our elites hate us.  This has been a cultural current since the very early days of the US.  The idea that Europe is somehow superior and should be imitated tends to corrupt a certain number of our elites.

From their point of view, of course, they’re right.  Almost anywhere else in the world their position would give them far greater scope (notice the ever continuing lamentations “I’m not a dictator.”  “I’m not the premier of China.”) and they would have the “people” on their side.

But here, as much as they have indoctrinated the kids (I have news – indoctrination doesn’t STICK.  My generation in Portugal was pounded with Marxism.  We turned out the most conservative generation the country has ever had.  Of course conservative means something different.  Of course, some artifacts of Marxism do remain – like the idea that the state should regulate this or that, or the inability to understand that economics IS a natural science – but by and large, indoctrination (particularly what our kids are getting, which is not just a-factual but counter-factual) rarely survives contact with the real world.) if you assume they didn’t cheat massively (and if you are assuming that, may I interest you in the Brooklyn Bridge.  You can have it for cheap.) they’re barely holding on to just a little over half of the country.  AND any number of those are the very young/woefully un-informed, one at least a condition that is self-remedied.

Three, tech is going our way.  It just is.  Despite the fact that the moguls of tech want to be cool and hip and keep joining the side of the retrogressives, the tech we now have makes it d*mn hard to keep total control over vital things like news.  Yes, yes, we’re still losing the geriatric generation who thinks that nets are for fish, and the kiddies who think comedy shows are news.  But the kids will grow up, the new kiddies will not be used to TV and… well… the elderly shall pass.  HOWEVER two things: the ability to type documents helped bring down the Soviet Union AND we’re nowhere near where they’d like us to be.  This current administration, any other time in history (before) would have something like 70% approval and an overwhelming majority of the vote.  Or, to quote younger son “We’d already be in camps.”

They’re losing the news but more importantly they’re losing entertainment AND they’re starting to lose education.  The future is a never-end of pain for them, not for us.  Which is why people who call themselves “progressives” are madly trying to return to the 1930s because, to quote Athena in the beginning of Darkship Revenge (you will see it when I’m done.  Shut up and sit down.) “Life is full of these little ironies.”

Four, unfortunately governments have hold of certain functions (if you consult this moldy document called The Constitution, they are delineated there.  Not saying a free people can’t replace them, but it will take organization of a parallel governmental structure.  It will come to that, but not soon. Or not soon enough.):  Common defense is one of them.  Negotiating with foreign powers is another.  Regulating relations between the states is another.

They’re not doing any of these, because to our elites these aren’t nearly as much fun as telling you what to eat and drink or distributing free contraceptives, or determining what treatments grandma can and can’t have.

In some cases they’re not just not doing them – defending the borders – but are preventing others from doing them.  In other cases, they are doing things that are not that convinced it’s that – getting us involved in wars where we have nothing to gain, under the impression the only good war is one undertaken for altruistic motives.

This will have consequences.  Also under that regulating interstate commerce, they’ve decided it’s their right and duty to regulate how much State A gives to their indigent, who is indigent, etc.  I read this article about sequester was stopping free school lunches (which to begin with is bullshit.  A cut of 2% in the projected increase for the year does not stop school lunches.  The INCREASED spending is STILL going somewhere.  This is the equivalent of our city, when we don’t let them jack up the taxes, turning off the street lights, but still paying for “art” downtown.) and my first thought was “that’s a federal function HOW?”  Which explain why school lunches are a boondoogle of favored providers and of kids dumping the whole thing uneaten.

However, the Federales big noses and their sins of commission and omission WILL still bite us in the butt over time.  Trust me on this.  Until… the system changes.

Five – we are living through a time of massive tech change.  Catastrophic change, is the proper name.  This is LARGELY for the good – in the end we’ll all be better off, but the way there is iffy.  Like the industrial revolution it will displace massive groups of people and change how people view themselves. It will bring upheaval and confusion, which will add to the problems we have of a disconnect between governing elite (not just politically.  I see this everywhere, from churches to scientific disciplines to industry) and the people actually doing, creating and trying to fix things.  It might contribute to accelerate the transformation staring us in the face, but it WILL also make it more brutal and painful.  Count on it.

So, put it all together and this is my prediction: In the end we win.  I’m not sure what the end result will look like, but in the US at least I expect something like our founding documents, though the implementation might be modified in a different direction than the road we’ve been on for well over a hundred years.  In some ways our founding documents are more adapted to our society as it’s emerging than they were for the rural age they were written in.  Or maybe in a way they’re eternal verities.

(Adaptations will be needed for voting procedure/assembly times and such – because a lot of these had travel by oxcart (okay horse) built in.)

I expect our way might infect the world even more, as the rest of the world starts using the newer tech also.

I think in fifty years the world will be more prosperous, freer, and more respecting of individual human liberty and dignity than it’s ever been.

I also don’t expect to live to see that.  (Though I might.  I come from ancestresses who lived to their late eighties with village healers and occasional recourse to over the counter meds.)

I am fifty and I expect, if I’m lucky, to see the beginning of the rebuilding and the sketching of what comes after.  (I’d like to.  I wouldn’t write Science Fiction if I weren’t mad in love with the future.)

In the mean time…  Well, look at those things the elites still control and will control until a combination of tech advance and their craptacular ineptitude wrenches them from the little know-it-alls hands.

I expect we’ll lose a city, maybe more.  (I could be wrong, okay?  As I said, I expected actual nukes over the collapse of the USSR.  Wounded bear and all that.)  We MIGHT for all I know be the Almighty’s favored child and escape unscathed like a child who falls from a tenth floor window and walks away.

That and the multiple regulations (until they become unenforceable, which they’re close to being now, through sheer number and contradictory nature) will make economic life a misery, because you can’t regulate economics any more than you can regulate the weather – but you can collect all the water before it hits the fields and starve people (to stretch a metaphor.)  The one thing government regulation has proven really good at in the economic realm is creating famine.

I think we might very well lose California (and I don’t mean to nukes, though that might be part of it.  And I don’t mean to the sea.  I mean, just leaving to aggregate with Mexico, or going it solo or something.  In many ways it sounds already lost.)

I expect the next 5 to ten years to get increasingly rough, the amount of roughness depending on where you live.  I expect we’re going to get a crash course in reality, with emphasis on “crash.”

But I expect us to survive.  More.  I expect us to thrive and continue improving on tech.  Humans are curious monkeys.  Americans are to an extent self-selected as troublemakers and descendants of trouble makers.  Yes, we have some throw backs who want mommy.  Yes, we have a generation of wounded children, the result of crappy families.  BUT we’re still the world’s last, best hope.

And the merchants of despair and retrograde oppression lose.

As long as we keep our chins up and keep fighting, as long as we’re prepared, ready and willing to work for it – I think that’s how the story will go.

And though at times I feel tempted to say “poor world” – I think in the end we win.  We, freedom lovers, we Americans, we, the human race.

195 responses to “What I Believe About The Current Situation

  1. I do believe you are an optimist. I hope you are a good prognosticator. I tend towards pessimism.The nice thing about being a pessimist is that if things go as I fear I won’t be shocked. If things go as you predict I will be pleasantly surprised

  2. The people in the US need a crash course in peasant 101. Europeans never forgot how to hide grain from the king. Americans still have this horrible tenancy to try to comply with the rules because it wasn’t that long ago they weren’t onerous.
    What the politicians don’t realize is compliance has to be voluntary. If it isn’t, after about a 20% take you spend more to seize funds than the yield. Push it hard enough and the tax collectors disappear, tooth and nail.
    Technology can be used to control the masses. At least the stupid ones, but it is so cheap the people can use technology to track the ‘masters’ too. How much fun is it being an overlord if you can’t sneak out and enjoy your mistress without some pissed off peasant relaying the high definition, color blow by blow to your wife’s smart phone?
    Things could of course get nastier than that, but even my friends tend to clutch their chest and look horrified when I suggest HOW.
    I’m 65 so I probably won’t see it all work out. Lucky me.

    • Dorothy Grant

      Once two strangers climbed ol’ Rocky Top, looking for a moonshine still. Strangers ain’t come down from Rocky Top, reckon they never will…

      • :-) When I lived in eastern Tennessee I had noticed that there are certain blind spots regarding certain activities in the population. In The Blue Ridge Parkway By Foot – A Park Ranger’s Memoir Tim Pegram wrote of the caution that had to be exercised when dealing with similar. People in this country have long learned to be selective in their compliance with the law.

  3. Just a minor persnickety punctilious point of order: those who advise you to immigrate?

    You already done did that. What they want is for you to emigrate, and the appropriate response to such suggests is “pick a better country.”

    That diverts the discussion into a rational reconnaissance of reality, addressing and evaluating the comparative strengths and weaknesses of nations worldwide.

    It will also do a great deal to reveal the flaws in the thinking those advising you to “love* it or leave it!”

    *In regard to those advocating this binary logic of love I will note that I love my Spouse — heck, I even love me — but that does not mean I think Spouse (nor me) almost perfect and lacking for any areas of possible improvement.

    • I tried emigrate but word press told me I’d spelled it wrong. I might have had two mms… um…

      • Immigrate/emigrate, so long as you are no ingrate. It was a minor tweak between friends as i am confident your critics employed no such high-falutin’ a word.

        As for “What You Believe About The Current Situation” … watch what happens with Detroit. If that city can be salvaged (as opposed to bailed out) there is hope.

        Oh, hey – anybody here see yesterday’s Trifecta discussion of the new super-capacitor battery? http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=105&load=8101

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Ooh, I’ll have to watch that at work tomorrow. I can’t watch video at home right now, due to download limitations.

  4. Not long ago, German leader Angela Merkel said “Multiculturalism has failed”. I believe multiculturalism will fail here also.

    MY PREDICTION
    (SORRY SARAH, I’m a pessimist, and lived in a Brooklyn immigrant neighborhood for over 2 years: What did I notice? Everyone in my building and on the block was on welfare, but had money for satellite tv, cars, jewelry stores, and tent clothes to cover the women.). PREDICTION: I believe that by 2050, there will be 150,000,000 additional individuals in the USA conducting their family lives in a language other than English, the majority being latinos and latinas.

    The 2010 US census cited Hispanics as the demographic with the largest increase – exceeding 50 million – and exceeded the African American population by 15 million. . I believe non-English speakers will increase by 50 million in the next 30 years, due to amnesty, green cards, plus “family reunification” bringing more impoverished people into the country. . I expect that the obama administration is shifting the green card admissions (80,000 quota a month) to favor arabic and other muslim countries, so expect this demographic to also balloon, using arabic, urdu, etc. .

    WHY?
    It’s hard to not like Santa Claus. The USA will feed, house and provide free medical care to every child of an impoverished foreign woman; If the mother and father are legal, they get welfare too. These foreign women are in the unique position of flying into an American airport with a visa or green card, or smuggling themselves into the USA, THEN giving birth over and over to children they cannot afford to feed, house or pay for a doctor. THEIR FELLOW COUTRYMEN ALREADY IN THE USA explain how easy it is to get onto the welfare system, plus the IRS cash for every kid and EITC., Then the foreigners go marching the US birth certificates to the welfare office, demand a translator, and then ask: “Where’s my check!?! and they receive: , EBT cards for free food, free medical care card, apt subsidy, etc. etc. “.

    OVERSTAYED VISAS:
    It’s estimated 40% of the illegals overstayed short-term visas. The US has no systematic system to follow them. The president has a Kenyan aunt and uncle who came on a visas years ago and didn’t leave: , the aunt Zeituni Onyango was ordered deported – from the Wapo May 18 2010 : “CLEVELAND — A U.S. immigration court has granted asylum to President Obama’s African aunt, allowing her to stay in the country six years after she was ordered deported, her attorneys announced Monday” Kenya native Zeituni Onyango, 57, is the half-sister of Obama’s late father. The basis for her asylum request was never made public.”

    The president’s uncle got a DUI last winter. from the LA Times August 30, 2011 : “Onyango Obama, 67, of Framingham, Mass., was arrested Aug. 24 shortly after 7 p.m. after he allegedly rolled through a stop sign and then nearly collided with an unmarked vehicle being driven by a police officer”. –

    Ain’t the USA great? Foreigners can lie, cheat and steal their way onto a generous welfare system?

    • That generous welfare system won’t stay generous for long. It will eventually run out of money or will start punitively taxing the middle class, which amounts to the same thing. Some of those dependent on the system will try and use force to get what they deserve. They’ll get it, courtesy of the ~300,000,000 guns in this country. After a period of unrest that will fall somewhere between the Civil War and the race riots of the ’60’s a new reconstruction system will be implemented, city political machines will be broken up and policies to improve the accuracy of elections will be put in place. I think you’ll also see California broken up into three or more states. The unrest will also serve to staunch immigration, legal and otherwise, allowing us time to assimilate our current immigrant population.

      Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out why my crystal ball is saying “PC Load Letter.”

      • Lucky. My crystal ball started flashing the DOS prompt a few years ago and I still have not found the boot disk set. I think I loaned them to the alchemist in the apartment two up, around the corner.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I’m having severe resonance issues with my crystal ball array. I probably need to rebuild it from scratch, after I get a better idea how the nodes work.

          When I use digital data collection, it tells me that the problem is indeterminate.

          When I try analog, I have a different problem.

          One of the big face down cards is the pot smokers. If they are only as bad as speaker says, that is one thing. If the effects are as bad as my intuition suggests that they might be, there is reason to be concerned. Sometimes when I look at Obama I think ‘that might just be the pot debuff’. If the debuff gets that bad, and those under the debuff never notice the debuff….

          My numbers say that with analog data processing, the array may need two to three thousand miles clear of pot smokers to get useful results.

        • That’s ok, TX, I’ve got several extra sets, including the “Plus” set that also configures stopwatches to calculate the 57-second minute, and OUIJA boards to operate in reverse. Like me to mail you a set? They’re on 5 1/4″ floppies (I’m sure you want the version 2.8, don’t you?)… 8^).

          • I gave my parents an old computer I had when I moved out (it had been upgraded to a 286 :) ) and my mom still uses it, she was complaining the other day that she couldn’t find those 5 1/4 floppies for it anywhere.

        • Tech support sent me to this:

          Now I just need to figure out how to turn off a piece of glass.

      • Mine keeps coming up “Ask again later”, no matter how much I shake it.

    • The only reason that the Hispanic category can be called the fastest growing is that the definition keeps changing. Now proposed is the inclusion of those descended from Portugal and Portuguese speaking cultures. There are a number of posters here who are quite capable of explaining why the Portuguese would not appreciate being lumped into Spain… It is one of the most bizarre categories there is, likely embracing more cultures and divisions than that of European/white. The fastest growing demographic is probably the various Asian groups.

      • They have been doing that at school level for a while. Also, my kids (dad mostly English/French/German/Native American/Whatever fell into the pot) are considered Hispanic, because I’m Portuguese.

        CACS is right. Immigration is now going the OTHER way.

        As for food — gah. There are more pizza places near me than… what is American cuisine? Turkey? anyway, so clearly we’re invaded by Italians…

        Adopting other people’s cuisine is what we do…

      • The fastest growing demographic is probably the various Asian groups.

        Hehe, who would ALSO not care to be lumped together.

        On “Hispanics” growing quickly– there’s also the phenomina that Our Hostess has pointed out, where you get higher numbers when you pay for them. “Invisible populations” of illegals are generally counted, and assumed to have X kids a year, and those are all calculated in.

        • … assumed to have X kids a year, and those are all calculated in.

          “On accountta them peoples breed like animals, youse know?”

          • Can’t be racist if you mean well….

          • What! Are you implying that they don’t answer all the questions on the census form honestly?

            • sometimes they borrow or rent kids in order to go collect social security — in some areas.

              • Reminds me of some of the third world beggars I have seen and heard of – some people make a living by begging, others make a living by renting out their children as props to other beggars to increase the pathos. When I lived in São Paulo, a friend of mine in downtown claimed to have seen one child with three or four different “mothers” on the same street in the same week.

            • Doesn’t even require that– one of the things that made my ears smoke is that part of the census is to estimate undercounted populations, or some similar gobbely-gook meaning “make up a number and what their characteristics are for this area.”

              There was a SMALL chunk of outrage about that being stepped up last time, but the other outrages kinda overwhelmed it.

        • Hehe, who would ALSO not care to be lumped together.

          When The Daughter was still in the school system I learned that our county – one of the relocation areas for refugees – had some forty plus Laotian ‘dialects’ represented. They did not all understand each other or get along. We also have had trouble with gangs of people from different areas of the sub-continent of India who do not see eye to eye. The Cambodians were just happy to be anywhere but Cambodia.

          • When I went through South East Asia Studies with the military, they had a handout that was hilarious. It showed all 183 different tribal groups, and how they were clustered. Most of it was the usual “major group/sub-group/minor group/tribe” ladders one would expect, EXCEPT… every now and then, you’d see a dashed line from one sub-group or minor group to a minor group or tribe in a totally DIFFERENT major tribal grouping. IIRC, there were something like 18 of those links. It was interesting that you could usually pick out not only the major group, but frequently all the way down to tribe by how they set out their villages and where they grew things (can’t call it farming, because most of it was slash-and-burn type agriculture). It’s not as easy now that the communists have taken over…

      • Of course it helps skew the ratio even faster when you move people directly from one category to another, instead of just adding people to a category. Portuguese and people from Spain and Italy used to be considered European/white, moving them from that to Hispanic not only adds to the Hispanic category, but subtracts from the European/white category, rapidly skewing the ratios of Hispanics to whites.

  5. Chris Hibbert

    I think you’re right about things getting better and better, though in a spotty and surprising sequence. One point in your story that doesn’t ring true to me is the bit about losing California. I live and work in Silicon Valley, and I think it’s a crucial piece of how we’ll invent the future. If California goes the way the demos in power want it to go, it’s hard to see how Silicon Valley survives, and that would slow down the onrush of new technology. I hope somehow California muddles through.

    • A lot of it is moving away from Silicon Valley. A LOT. I think the rest of CA — if what I read is true — is in too much trouble. Of course, it might just split.

      • Silicon Prairie (Austin area), Silicon Peach (the new tech start-ups in Georgia), are possibilities.

        • Denver should be courting the heck out of tech start-ups, pushing the greeny/outdoorsy aspects of CO. Of which there are very, very many. Of course, that’d invite more Californians in, and (unsurprisingly) a lot of COans just can’t countenance such. I’m not sure I’d like to see how the demographics would swing, myself. /shrug

          • Yeah, the Boise area has somewhat successfully courted Silicon Valley start-ups, and it is a double-edged sword. The Seattle area has been successful at cuckolding a lot of those married to the Silicon Valley, and gotten just what can be expected.

            • Though King County’s been that blue for decades. Most of the rest of WA howls when major elections happen. The damn and the dry alike never enjoyed having Seattle running the state the way it did as long as I lived there.

              • Seattle wags WA just like LV and Washoe country wags NV. Most of the older residents are conservative. Unfortunately most of LV and Clark County is not.

                • Plus most of the waggers (liberals) are from California.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Cyn, you know what’s funny? I’ve heard native Californians complain that the kook-ball Liberals are not native Californians. They claim that *we* sent the kook-balls to California and now bad-mouth California because of the kook-balls *we* sent there. [Very Big Evil Grin]

                    • This. Politics didn’t get really stupid here until the massive immigration influx of the 70s and 80s. Sorry those morons are leaving now and messing up other states, but they aren’t all CA natives by any means.

                    • Well some are from Illinois, and NY actually– Our really really crazy liberals are actually from the East. ;-)

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Well Mike, I don’t blame the sane Californians for not liking grumbles about *all* Californians. However, they should do what the down-state Illinoisans do. We blame Chicago. You should just blame places like LA. [Wink]

                    • Well–SF started to get screwed up in the 60s. That was people coming for the “culture.”

                    • You know, I read that as “science fiction” and then I realized it applies either way.

                    • San Francisco ;-) We left there when I was five at the beginning of the “counter-culture.” My father loved that city, but realized he couldn’t raise children there. So we ended up in Salt Lake City– My father still cries about what happened to that city. We were just there (I had to see a doctor at the hospital there) and a lot of the housing is really run down. I don’t see the pride in the place that I saw as a child.

                    • Exhibit A for the prosecution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bch1_Ep5M1s

                      Ya’ll recruited them, y’all kin keep ‘em.

                    • They were saying that when I lived down in Cali… even though everybody in the sane areas of Cali knew that it was just the 60s counter-culture spreading from San Fran and such.

                      It’s amazing what you can do when you control the media and are perfectly willing to cheat in elections.

                    • Well yea– but CA is so messed up now that even their children who grow up there expect all the amenities that are not in other States. They have forced buses… BUSES… in NV. Before we just used our own cars. There aren’t many people who use the buses (hobos, and homeless, etc). The rest of us use cars and vehicles.

                    • Foxfier, everytime I see someone complaining about “Cali” my internal voice keeps saying. “and Medellin is better?”

                    • I think it’s the city effect. More than half of the population of the state is in the three major metro areas, and the rural areas are typically very red. If I recall correctly, LA was born from elaborate city planning

                    • I have long cultivated the theory that cities are inherently redder than non-urban societies. There seems an inverse relationship between the distances separating living quarters and the desire for government: the closer together people live, the more they want third party intermediaries.

                      When you live in an apartment building and see your neighbors in the elevator daily you are probably less inclined to confront them about their stereo or slovenly, vermin-attracting housekeeping. It is easier (and safer) to complain to police or the building super or the board of health.

                      If you live on a farm, surrounded by 800 acres, your neighbor can play their stereo (or express their sexual satisfaction) as loudly as they like with little likelihood of disturbing your sleep. Nor do the rats (or brothers-in-law) living in their barns pose any health risk to you. You are generally less reliant on your neighbors — they can’t likely hear you scream or blow your “rape whistle” — and thus more self-reliant … which, ironically, frees you to provide aid on those occasions it is needed* without concern of creating dependency or unbearable burden on your own household.

                      *Don’t make me have to ‘splain this to you, Loosy.

                    • LA has a very interesting past– and yes, I think it was made to be a city in the middle of the desert. They had to steel resources almost immediately.

                    • RES, I think you meant bluer, not redder. Although redder works also, in the pinko commie sense of the word.
                      That is something that has always annoyed me, the Democrats absorb the socialists and communists, and the Republicans are painted red.

              • Yeah, I got fed up with howling and immigrated 10 years ago, but still have lots of family there so I get to hear the howling regularly. King County and LA/SF are like the royal families in Europe, they intermarry and crosspollinate and like with any inbreeding program that isn’t judiciously culled, more and bigger problems pop up every generation.

          • Denver is scaring ALL industry away with the crazy government — mostly courtesy of the People’s Republic of Boulder.

          • Intel is just north of Albuquerque in Rio Rancho. I gather that they have to be very careful about recycling and reusing their water. I am not sure that Colorado water restrictions would work well for the industry.

        • Colorado Springs has courted a LOT of computer companies to it. We just can’t seem to keep them. Most either have been forced to retrench and shut their Springs facilities (Intel, HP, Sony), or technology has changed and it just wasn’t economically feasible to make the changes in the current facilities. We still have a few, but nothing like the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

      • They have tried to split at least twice in my memory (one for sure), but Southern California kept the Northern part in check. The Southern part was already considered extremely liberal even then (I am not sure if it was the 70s or 80s).

        • Actually the state I see most likely to split is Washington, though California is in the running. Eastern Washington threatened to split off a few years ago, and even brought a bill up for (possibly an iniative, I don’t remember) but King County decided that the rest of the state didn’t have to pay for their latest extravagance and did enough placating that everything settled back down to a simmer.

        • I have been told that elements in Southern Oregon and Northern California were, at one time, prepared to split off from their states because of the neglect they were getting from Salem and Sacramento. They planned to combine into a third state called Jefferson. Unfortunately, they had planned to make the declaration on Monday, December 8, 1941.

      • Oh, the out of state folks are truly swarming around here. One national cable business news channel was covering some sort of business-seduction-conference in Palo Alto last week, and it was hilarious. The AZ governor was interviewed saying things like “low taxes!,” “no dumbass green baloney!” and “we actually like businesses!”, while our Glorious Junior Leader Lt. Governor was cheerfully self contradicting, saying both “Nobody Can Leave! It’s Too Great Here! All the VCs Are Here! All Seventeen Of My Own Businesses Are Here! There’s No Place Like California! Look At My Great Hair!”, and simultaneously “Our Unemployment Rate Is Too High! We Need To Be More Business Friendly! We Must Change And Do Better! Look At My Great Hair!” (Yes, Gavin Newsom Does In Fact Capitalize All His Words When He Speaks.)

        The major exodus of individuals and their families to chase jobs has been going on since the Tech Crash in 2000. The big change now is that major companies are relocating entire business units, so jobs are moving away in massive blocks. There’s still a lot of educated talent here, and as a result tech companies tend to keep R&D here just to take advantage of that pool, but it’s not the only place to find that, and everything else can leave.

        Go read Victor Davis Hanson’s commentaries on California – The coastal metropolis of the SF Bay Area is pretty much the bright spot, while the Central Valley breadbasket is falling to the barbarians already. I’m not the only one here in Silicon Valley who is long term unemployed, and not everyone works for Google or Apple or Facebook.

        I think RAH was on the right track in Friday, with a Balkanized California the most likely long term outcome, but with the current solid-blue government continuing it’s spending combined with the massively humungous state debt, the crash will be pretty bad.

    • Silicon Valley can move to a functional state in a second. Really, it has been moving for decades. We have “Silicon Valleys” in many states right now.

  6. There is nothing unique about SV that can’t be moved to say, Texas.

    • Truth.
      And as it moves, the power of the bread basket will go up. Hopefully before the envirofascists steal all the land or water.

    • You need a similar concentration of major (i.e. Stanford, UC Berkeley) and mid-list (UCSF, Santa Clara University, UC Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, etc.) universities to feed companies recruitment needs, some concentration of venture capital, and a good technically adept existing worker base (we had Lawrence Livermore National Labs as well as Lockheed and a bunch of other mil contractors post-WWII build up the talent pool). Then you just need to provide quality of life (Sports, Symphonies, and so on plus beaches 1 hr. and skiing 3 hrs drive away) and cost of living equal or better (on net – note this includes climate) and you certainly have a chance.

      • Actually other than possibly the skiing, I think Texas can provide all of that.

        • And it’s not like it’s unheard of for a Texan to visit Colorado.

          • Yeah, but we try to keep a low profile. Some older Coloradians have never forgiven Texans for buying up mountain land and building ski resorts before the Coloradians could.

            I knew things had really changed when people were cursing the Californians more than the Texans (or Mormons). :)

            • Don’t worry, TXRed, you will always have the New Mexicans (and don’t forget the Alaskans) to hate you. :)

              Though, ironically, it’s kind of like Stalin’s dislike for the Trotski-ites, but on the other side of the political divide. “D*mn Texans don’t go far enough– exactly when will they get open carry, so they don’t all flock to do it HERE? Who needs a ten gallon hat when a baseball cap will do?? ;)”

              The trash talk between my dad (assimilated quickly into the stubborn independent NM mindset) and his best buddy, The Architypical Texan was legendary.

              • Texans doesn’t have open carry, WTF? Even Washington and California have open carry! It is the concealed carry that they regulate.
                How the heck do they claim to be a 2nd Amendment friendly state and not have open carry?

                Sorry, I’m just flabbergasted, I didn’t know any states except those that were very anti-gun and especially anti-handgun like Massachussetts forbid open carry.

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  That certainly is a weird one.

                  • Being of a curious bent, I looked it up, there are only 7 states that forbid open carry.
                    New York
                    Oklahoma
                    South Carolina
                    Arkansas
                    Texas
                    Illinois
                    Florida

                    Interestingly enough Massachussetts is not on that list, I assumed since you have to get a permit to even buy a handgun there, that open carry was prohibited. Interestingly enough, of that list only two are what are generally considered anti-2nd amendment states, the other five are generally conservative and considered gun-friendly. They are also in the same vicinity of the country, makes me wonder when their laws forbidding open carry were passed.

                    • And now there are six, Oklahoma legalized open carry in November.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      I know that my state, Ky, is open carry w/out permit; you only need a license to carry concealed. This includes pretty much any weapon that doesn’t fall under some federal control: I can’t carry a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches in my pocket, but I can in a belt sheath. On the other hand, I can strap a claymore (the sword, not the mine, ya nitpickers) across my back and carry THAT, if I want to, as well.

                    • I’d guess it’s a cultural holdover to keep young idiots from being… well, young idiots.

                    • Over the last few years a lot of states have passed concealed carry permit laws, and they tend to be very similar, some of the states with older laws have some different twists to them. Many people here in Idaho get Utah concealed carry permits (they used to get Washington’s but Washington quit giving out to nonresidents except renewals of previous permit holders, and Utah started giving classes in Northern Idaho. The free market at work ;) ) because many states will not honor Idaho’s CCW permit, because the minimum age is 18, not 21 like most states.

                • We in Texas of only had to have a CHL since 1995. And we can thank Goerge W. for pudhing it through. :-(

                  http://www.txchia.org/history.htm

                  • Don’t always blame the head of state. The President or Governor is not responsible for what the legislature chooses to pass and is not always able to prevent it.

                    Example: President Clinton said welfare reform was a no go. The House and Senate ignored him, and passed it anyway. When it started working guess who was suddenly on the band wagon?

                • California no longer has open carry.

                  • …the recent elimination of which is in itself interesting, as the availability of legal open carry in CA has been used at least one judge to rule that the “may (not) issue” CCW system here in CA is constitutionally okeydokey due the availability of open carry to fulfill that pesky second amendment right.

                    Not that open carry is illegal, the appeal should be interesting.

      • When you factor the ridiculous housing costs and obscene traffic conditions in CA beating the cost of living is easy-peasy. Plenty of places can match the technical schools without the Idiot Studies minors. Matching your fire and mud seasons will be a problem, however,

        • One thing people don’t realize is the sheer population density – using data from the 2010 census and drawing “Silicon Valley” as the census’ “San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metro Area” statistical grouping, SV at 1.8 million has more people living here than 13 US states. The population of the entire San Francisco Bay Area is greater than that of 24 states.

          Which does much to explain the traffic.

          With that kind of a talent pool to draw from, businesses of all sizes have an easier time recruiting here than they would elsewhere. Add in the technical visa holders and you get a strong attraction effect here.

          Now the CA state government is working very hard to try and stop all this unseemly economic activity, and they may well succeed, but quantity has a quality all it’s own, especially in the technical fields.

          • You have to figure in BS factor, too– both the census and voter registration has…um… “anomalies” like hundreds of people having residency in the same empty lot, or a police station.

      • UT, Texas Tech, A&M…

        • Rice, Temple, Baylor . . .

        • William O. B'Livion

          The difference is that all of those colleges (except UC Santa Cruz) are within bicycle distance of each other, and you can drive from LLL to UC Santa Cruz for lunch and be back in time for dinner.

          All the rest of the stuff FM listed are in commute distance of the center of Silicon Valley.

          • The colleges being out of bicycle distance of each other is what is known as *a good thing* it will help keep the greenies from immigrating.

  7. I like the optimism, Sarah, and it does help.

    I expect the slide to happen in Illinois first, so I’ll post reports :) I also expect any eventual recovery to happen here last because we have the most defiantly stupid political class in the country. Yes, I’d say we outscore even California on that point.

    Seriously, I’d move, but I have two family members reliant on both me and medicare. They both have doctors here, and they wouldn’t if we had to start over in another location. My kids will get out, though, and both of them are thinking about Texas.

    To the readers here from Texas–don’t panic, the kids are the kind of immigrants you want–sensible and hard-working :)

    • Most of Illinois is a quiet conservative rural community. Now if they could just cut that blood sucking leech off the north east corner and sever the tendrils from there that have taken over Springfield the rest of the state could pick themselves up and heal.

      • A large rock dropped from orbit into a certain lake named for a nearby state might go far toward rinsing that crud out of your hair. You would still have the stable in Springfield, but the Augean one would be clean.

        Just sayin’.

        • Oh, we’ve got other pockets of crud downstate, more than before thanks to the last Democratic-controlled redistricting. My district is now shaped like a pseudopod, with tentacles that stretch along the interstates.

          I keep hoping we get adopted by Indiana.

        • Not my hair any longer. Born 120 miles due west of Chitown nearly on the east bank of the Mississippi. Grew up watching all our road tax dollars go for yet another Chicago expressway while we drove on gravel. Left in ’84 and never regretted the move. Go back for visits to friends and family on occasion and each trip reminds me why I left and why I’m glad I left.

        • Rob Crawford

          Drop a rock in Lake Michigan? And piss off the Dune Rollers?

    • Kali– if you need a place that’s close enough to family to run to, but away from the collateral damage from the implosion of Chicago, there’s always Indiana. :) I just hope I’m far enough away to avoid the worst of the fallout– literal or figurative.

      • I’ve been casting my eyes at Terre Haute :) We’d have to drive 90 miles to get the family back to their respective doctors, but I’m coming to think it would be worth it.

  8. Sarah,

    Thanks for the optimist – I’ve been sort of low about our long-term prospects, and this cheered me up!

  9. Thank you I need to hear this.

    I’m still going to shoot for the moon & hope I get close.
    ;-)

  10. California is also going to have major energy problems soon. My brother is a public utilities

    • Whoops commissioner in CA and is pushing for solar and wind as some kind of magic solution. Science cannot penetrate this kind of pseudo-religious fervor.

    • Soon? For some definitions of “major.”
      Personally, I’d call rolling brownouts and a massively negative cash flow in the public utilities sector as indications they’re already there.

  11. Thanks for a little pick me up. At times like this, is does seem hard to be an optimist. We seem to be turning into a nation of overaged, spoiled children. But, I think(or at least hope) that there remains an underlying core of sensible people who may help us come through this in the end.

    My crystal ball is rather cloudy. We may be doomed. Or, we may be nearing the end of the line for the leftist. They will not go quietly though. And we should not be quiet either.

    As Glenn Reynolds likes to remind us “something that can’t go on forever won’t”. The path we are on can not be sustained. We are in for interesting times. I agree that things are going to get rough for a while.

    I do think there are some hopeful signs out there. As Sarah mentioned, the Aristos are beginning to lose their grip on certain areas, such as news media, entertainment, and education. It is up to us to starve those beasts, and come up with something better. More of us seem to be aware now that we must regain the culture. At least enough of the culture, so there is something to rebuild with. The hard part will be the next step of actually doing it. Work for the best. Prepare for the worst.

  12. Raymond Jelli

    Don’t see much besides some sort of secession or some state daring the Feds to tax more and collect it (the most likely scenario) and a propaganda war that doesn’t go anywhere for either side. There are advantages to both…..one side gets to recreate a decent economy not run on debt and the politicians from the other side get to act like leaders against an enemy and not have to address their own corruption. Blue state politicians act like they are saving the world from nobody in particular anyway.

  13. Hmm.. Well. I set my 8 ball on fire just to see what would happen and I traded my crystal ball for a package of beans. I have a pencil and paper that still adhere to the laws of mathematics however, and they tell me again and again that wealth is not money, neither paper nor gold. Simply, wealth is the transformation of matter through the application of directed energy over time to create life sustaining, useful, improving and desirable things. In that order.
    The application or administration of any set of rules by any individual, group or organization that does not recognize and adhere to these rules cannot prevail. Many can exist on the fringes of one that does, but only so many.

  14. Mike Mahoney

    Your optimism is refreshing. I wonder if history will be any guide as to what the power centers might do before we pry that last, clutching finger of theirs off of our throats. An interesting probability may be that when one state fails or a couple of Detroits, a rush to the federal trough begins with a corresponding backlash in the rest of the states. The tendency is a violent overreaction…-according to history.

  15. I’ve been reading you for a while now and keep up the good work, very good blog/community.

    All that said, one thing that people forget about nuclear attack is that first generation fission weapons (the kind that were used in WW II and that North Korea, Pakistan and presumably Iran would have) are relatively small with a blast radius of around 1 mile in the case of the ones used in WW II. To put things in perspective, one detonated in Denver at Mile High Stadium would have the state capitol damaged but probably repairable. (The bulk of the destruction in the pictures at Hiroshima came from the post attack fires in wooden construction buildings, modern concrete is a good deal more robust, BTW).

    In short nukes, especially a single terrorist strike in a city, would be very bad, and destructive, but survivable. (China or Russia launching at us would be a lot worse since they have 2nd generation weapons, but that’s probably not in the cards for the foreseeable future)

    • True, they also tend to be dirtier with worse fallout however, don’t they? (that’s an honest question, it has been too long since I studied nukes to remember). I do know that radiation from different types of nukes as well as where they are set off (airburst, underground, surface explosion, etc) have radically different radiuses and longevity. Which would affect the feasibility of rebuilding.

      • Our “surviving nukes” class in the Navy (nukes the boom, not nukes the uber-geek/nerd– and any Nukes reading this, please keep in mind that I was constantly having folks ask if I was one of y’all) they told us that dirty bombs/ground nukes are a grab bag.

        They CAN be worse, or they CAN be better, but they’re always harder to figure out– bombs make sense mathmatically.

        The biggest problem is going to be people freaking out. I’m sure folks here remember the mini-panic after the Japanese tsunami where they were worrying about a tiny spike in stuff with a halflife of two weeks, a year plus later, in SoCal and Seattle….

        • A couple of years after Chernobyl, summer job in Lapland and a co-worker from Alaska. Her parents had stuffed her luggage with food – all kinds of dry and canned stuff – and they kept sending care packages during the three months she stayed here. I ate most of it during the next fall and winter. :D

        • I have seen estimates that suggest that the panicked evacuation of civilians around Fukishima will have resulted in more deaths from stress than the estimated deaths from the radiation exposure would have over the same population.

      • Yes, the lower to the ground, the more fallout you get (which is basically ash/debris/soot irradiated by the fireball). In layman’s terms, if you have a mushroom cloud, there’s fallout involved. Any nuclear attack on a city would result in massive casualties, and would require extensive rebuilding (similar to post-Katrina New Orleans), but it would not be the Hollywood vision of ruins inhabited by cannibal mutant survivors.

        As a side note, fallout and radiation exposure in general is a bit of a sliding scale in terms of how much dosage you get over how long periods of time by how robust your biology is to handle it. It’s a lot like smoking for instance, where that increases the risk of certain cancers but some people can be pack a day smokers into old age while others get hit with health problems relatively young. Again, it’s not nearly as catastrophic as some people would like to project it as being.

  16. Pingback: Sarah Hoyt, Adding Perspective | Moocher Central

  17. I am less concerned about a small dirty jihadi bomb than a concerted EMP attack from an enemy state. Perhaps they would use Islamists as an expendable cutout for delivery. Just imagine several major cities, industrial and communication hubs frozen with every computer chip burnt out. China, N.Korea and Iran are all reported to be developing the hardware.

    • It wouldn’t actually be “all” the computer chips.

      Ignoring the industries that are hardening for exactly that reason, the estimate for fried computers on a ship with an air-burst was far below 100%, and they were giving us theoretically practical info.

      Again, folks going nuts would be the big problem.

      • I doubt folks going nuts would be much of a problem. not after the first few were shot* down like the mad dogs they are, at any rate.

        A dirty bomb attack would be an act of war and result in declaration of martial law. Depending on the Administration this would be followed either by rounding up and imprisoning all retired military personnel, all survivalists and regular church attendees OR by a massive call-up of retired military personnel to oversee the arming and mobilization of the populace.

        Similarly, the government would either issue blanket apologies to “the oppressed peoples of the world” for having behaved so terribly in the past, with promise to be more respectful of them going forward OR an announcement that we had ordered our scientists to disinter the body of George S. Patton, the cloning had commenced and we wouldn’t be wasting time on taking names once the butt-kicking began, so they might better ought open their files on terror support NOW if they didn’t wish to be known hereinafter as Collateral Damage or The Wasteland Formerly Known As ….

        *N.B., I am confident no actual shooting of panicking civilians would occur. All hysterical persons would be kindly and gently escorted to public health facilities where the necessary therapies could be administered.

        • Too much preparation needed. It’d take a day to even get a carrier on site to ground zero, and by that time the folks trying to escape will have caused massive damage.

          The administration can SAY anything they like, but without boots on the ground it won’t stick. (And good luck getting folks to round up either their neighbors– in the case of reservists– or the guys that seperated a few years back– in the case of active duty folks.
          Homeland Security also isn’t a magic wand for power-grabs, they’ve got a lot of separated military in there.

          Even the most dumb-&&& libs that I served with would shoot the guy telling them to round up that broad of a category of folks. It would have to be as specific as “recent Japanese immigrants who still have family in Japan” was.

          • Those fleeing Ground 0 won’t get far afoot. See above comment about internal combustion motors and “check engine” lights.

            Your optimism about what certain entities don’t have plans drawn up to accomplish and lack thugs to perform exceeds mine own. I am confident they would not hesitate to accept Humanitarian Aid workers from North Korea, China, Cuba and Iran and let’s leave the conversation there.

            • Those fleeing Ground 0 won’t get far afoot. See above comment about internal combustion motors and “check engine” lights.

              Problems:
              1) only really high end, new cars fail to run entirely with the electronics fried; older, cheaper cars don’t run WELL, but they’ll function. (Ask any mechanic for horror stories along the lines of “wait, you’re supposed to CHANGE the oil, not just keep adding it? I’ve owned the car for ten years and didn’t know that….”) Older cars might not even be effected. (I’d worry about air bags deploying, myself.) Honestly, the new and expensive-est cars might run, too, my info’s a bit out of date.
              2) Not all cars will be fried– distance, what’s between ground zero and the car, how they’re designed will all matter.
              A large part of why I think Seattle won’t be targeted for a harbor dirty bomb is because we’re so hilly– I’d expect something more like the bay between Coronado Island and downtown San Diego. I’m not familiar enough with the LA port facilities to form a mental picture. (Mexico being Right There would make it a bit easier, too.)
              3) There WILL be people moving into the hit area to pull folks out– if nothing else, relatives will highjack buses to go in, and folks who want to be heroes will be driving their multi-passenger vehicles in. 9/11, with a bigger footprint and faster.

              • Anything with a carburetor instead of EFI should be fine. Many of those with EFI may still run, I just don’t know enough about what the EMP would fry to answer. But even many people who have new cars that may not work have riding lawnmowers/ATV’s/motorcycles etc. with a simple carburetor system. Not to mention a lot of people in harbor areas own a boat,(not necessarily seaworthy, but there are always rivers flowing into harbors, and generally lakes around, so a lot of people have some sort of boat, even if only a rowboat with a trolling motor) getting it to water might be a problem, but if they can it is another avenue of escape.

                • I was under the impression that for electronics to be effected by an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) they had to be on and curent had to be running through them generating an elecrtic field, that the EMP then adds to over loading and frying the circuit.

                  Hardning elictronics is just a matter of grounding the board/circuit along with a cutout/braker that shuts everything down before it’s fried.

                  • If a pulse is big enough, it can induce a current. Think kinda like the interference you can get from a radio station if there’s nothing on your computer speakers, or the interference from electronics on a radio.

                    It’s hard to figure, because– well, two reasons:
                    1) look at radios (and cell phones!)– wooden walls can get in the way, let alone tin roofs, and don’t get me started on parking garages under skyscrapers for an air-burst.
                    2) when manufacturers tell you what their stuff will handle, they’re covering their tails. If they say “this will not be harmed by being taken into the heart of a power station,” there’s not a lot of fudge room left. I’d guess the tolerance rule of ten is applied at least once, and since their suppliers will also be applying it…. (Tolerance rule of ten: whatever you’re measuring, move it over one digit just to be sure. So if your ruler goes to tenths of a inch, never use it for anything smaller than an inch. This bit me hard with the “risk” of eating tuna fish while pregnant.)

                    • Ah, like when my speakers chirp when my phone adks for updates. Sitting on my desk.

                      Gotcha.
                      :-)

                    • Or like big CB linnears, they will transmit over nearby CB’s that are TURNED OFF! if they are powerful enough. As well as coming across nearby peoples TV’s or intercoms at drive-thru restuarants. (this last can be remarkably funny for a group of teenagers with a lack of blood in their alcoholstream)

    • Actually, EMP attacks involve getting a thermonuclear weapon into space and detonating it there. So realistically the Chinese have the technology (ICBMs, 2nd generation nukes, miniaturization to put the nuclear warhead on a rocket), North Korea and Iran..not so much.

      Also this is inherently risky since a suspected nuclear tipped rocket fired at the continental US is most definitely an act of war (and impossible to cutout, rockets do have launch points). Chances are, by the time that the EMP exploded a US counterstrike would be on the way toward the launching country.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        It wouldn’t be quite as effective, but it could be done from an airplane.

        • Or launched from in or near the city targeted if a suicide attack, accuracy wouldn’t be much of a factor, just getting enough altitude for the desired effect.

        • You get an EMP pulse in an atmospheric detonation, but it’s really localized compared to the heat and blast effects. The wide area EMP that surprised the boffins on the Starfish Prime shot in 1962 was due to it being an exoatmospheric detonation, about 250 miles up over the Pacific, about the same altitude as that at which the International Space Station now orbits. The wide area EMP effects were caused by a large enough burst (just under 1.5 megatons yield) at that altitude, which allowed the detonation wavefront to spread out before it thwacked into and interacted with the upper atmosphere, where it induced the pulse.

      • North Korea keeps testing longer range missles. China slips them a little tech assistance when they judge the moment right or just launch a Chicom rocket from NK territory with or without Li’l Kim’s blessing and badda boom. Would Obama launch against China on suspicion? Or erase Pyongyang and call it even? Or try to lay it off on the UN? And even if the Pres has the stones, has his performance so far convinced the Chinese leadership that he does not?

        How many smaller scale acts of war has the US tolerated the last 40 years? The insular Kims have suffered no consequences for three generations now. Not much of a stretch to think the Chinese could dupe the chubby kid into thinking he won’t get spanked.

        • How many smaller scale acts of war has the US tolerated the last 40 years?

          You mean, stuff like ignoring the Iranian involvement in direct attacks on our troops as well as instruction and materiel for IEDs during the last ten years?

          Hardly any. At least, according to official gummint statements.

          • Closer to home– the Mexican gov’t printing up instructions on how to enter the US, apply for welfare and send money home? Mexican military firing on US boarder agents, or cops inside of our borders?

          • Bengahzi, Bengahzi, Bengahzi.

            • Disgruntled film critics. Move along now.

              • I think I have Cyn’s stomach flu.

              • When I see a movie I don’t like at the theatre, I usually leave the theatre and go next door to the Safeway and beat the snot out of a cashier. Best way I know of to insure there are no sequels made.

                It has nothing to do with the fact that the cashier stole my girlfriend, and his parents are my former landlords who booted me out for not paying my rent. (I used to beat the snot out of my girlfriend for when I saw a movie I didn’t like, but then she ran off with the cashier, and took my TV with her, so now I have to go to the theatre)

    • I’d be more worried about the damage to power distribution infrastructure from a well carried out EMP attack than integrated circuit damage.

      • On that note: one place you would hit would be a major city, some place like Four Corners NM. At least the was what was assumed in the 80’s early 90’s when I grewup there.

        4 coal power plants in a 50 mile radius.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Depending on power of nuke, a well-placed (the right altitude – don’t remember how high) can cover hundreds of miles radius with EMP. Naturally, effects taper off as distance increases. I believe one of the scenarios takes out the entire eastern seaboard with one blast.

          • The Starfish Prime shot on July 9th 1962 caused EMP damage (300 streetlights knocked out, several interisland microwave links killed) in Hawaii, around 900 miles away from the spot right under the detonation.

            Note this was an unintentional effect – the physics are not really high level, so a device optimized for EMP effect detonated high enough could generate a damaging pulse over a wider area of the surface.

  18. Granted, some military and industrial facilities would be immune, but virtually all consumer level chips would be fried. No cars, cell phones, computers, internet, TV. Much of home HVAC controls. No transport from factory to wholesale to retail. So, yeah, folks would go nuts.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Most of the problems would be infrastructural, though. Power grids would be down, for a long time, since it would blow out transformers everywhere, and they would all have to be replaced. Cell towers would be down, but i think they could be repaired in densely populated areas pretty quickly, until they run out of replacement parts.

      I’m not convinced that cell phones would be fried. They have a pretty small footprint to develop eddy currents in response. Likewise, most home computers would not be fried internally, because of the metal shell acting as a moderately-effective faraday cage. However, their power supplies would probably be toast, so they would be sans computers until that was replaced.

      I would also think that a lot of older semi trucks would not be fried, especially since diesel engines require far less in the way of electrical systems, so deliveries of essentials would probably go on, though many even semi-necessities would not, because there wouldn’t be enough trucks for a few months.

      • Mostly agree, but I think your timeline is optimistic. Repairs would be drastically slowed for lack of trucks and materiel. Parts reserves are a small percentage of the wholesale replacement needed. How would there be enough semi-trucks in a few months? Refurbed thirty year old? I’m not up on cell phone tech, but wouldn’t the relay system be kaput? And I forgot trains. So much computer stuff I ca’t imagine.

        Sometimes I feel so lucky to born in 1948. Might have a seat upstairs to watch the interesting times ahead.

        • Actually trains might be a bright spot, many of the railroads that are still open have a ‘dinner steamtrain’ or some such that does a nice scenic tour, steaming down the tracks to the next town and back, while serving an overpriced dinner.

  19. RES, shooting down a few “mad dogs” will never stop hoards of people desperate to find food for their families. There are not enough public facilities, health or penal, to contain the general population. And much of the staff would be off looking after their own, like the police during Katrina.

    • Remember, they have automatic weapons. “To restore public order.”

      As for public facilities to “to contain the general population” … how much is involved in digging and refilling a large trench?

      You say I underestimate the resistance of the American People, I say you underestimate the ruthlessness of certain ambitious people. I all too well remember what Ayers, Dorn and their friends were advocating in the Sixties.

      • Agree about those ambitious people. Disagree that they can find enough troops to go along with them. I came back from Viet Nam in time to see the Weathermen do their thing. 99% of the anti-war crowd was not involved in their activities.

        • ACORN. SEIU. Occutards. MSM – most people won’t know what is happening until after it has happened to them.

          I, too, remember the Sixties protesters and agree that mostly they were there to get high and to get laid. Children’s crusaders putting on airs of moral and intellectual seriousness.

          • We are on the same page RES. I would pay big bucks to be on the front line facing an Occutard assault. Could there be an easier herd to cull? Disciplined guerrillas they ain’t.

            • I agree there is a vast gap between their aspirations and their abilities. That is what comes of playing soccer without keeping score.

        • I agree with uffdaphil, particularly because our military can still whoop anyone sent in for “social work.”

        • There all ready is one. Look to DHS & the militarizing of our police force.

          Esponage Act of 1917 as a base, plus the vague wording of the Patriot Act & the NDAA make a bad combination.

          Look to DHS training videos & manuals for the curent trends on how *they* classify domestic *terorists*.

          There are a lot of good people in these groups & a lot of them are tied to their jobs identity.

          They’ll feel that they are just putting down “Rebel Scum”.

  20. Dear Sarah,

    Politics follows Culture. They have taken over the culture (schools, journalists, hollywood) over the past 100 years in a slow Gramscian March.
    Now the politics reflects this.

    • They HAVE NOT. If they had we wouldn’t have the blogs we have, or the people who don’t vote for them. They mostly have the young and the uninformed. If you’re buying that they have the culture, you’re buying their line. All they have is the mass communication and the government and the liberal arts education (and not even all the graduates of those, I’m here to tell you.)

      Stop buying their line. All they can do is produce an ILLUSION of having the culture. It’s our job to puncture that illusion. Here’s your pin.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Noted especially when independent surveys put the number of true kool-aid drinkers at 28% or less.

        Most of the young, while they have accepted as gospel some of the misinformation, get enough information from various sources to see the contradictions, and while it sometimes takes quite a while, lots of them will eventually decide that it was all B.S.

        And as Sarah pointed out elsewhere, while there are a lot of older people who get all their information from the MSM (my father included, I’m sad to say), and don’t get to see much of the alternative media, they will pass.

        • There are also a fair number of those older people who may get all their info from the MSM, but don’t believe it. They don’t have the info to contradict it, just the inherent belief that that young whippersnapper in a fancy suit, who has never done a real days work in his life, doesn’t know what the heck he is talking about.

          Also this is where talk radio shines, it reaches a lot of those people who don’t even know how to turn on a computer, much less sift through the plethora of information and misinformation available on the internet.

          • Sigh. Most elderly people I know still trust “the news” and don’t notice how far left it’s slid.

            • At least close to a majority of the elderly people I know no longer even have TV, part of this is a fixed income and an unwillingness to pay for satellite or cable, but another part is the belief mentioned above. They have now went back to getting their news off the radio, sadly all to many times that is NPR or the Communist News Network, but an amazing number of them also listen to Hannity or Limbaugh, which at least gives them a differing viewpoint.

      • Despair is the greatest sin, it is the foe’s greatest weapon. To paraphrase Lola’s song: We’re irresistible you fool, you’re no exception to the rule, give in, give in.

  21. Pretty tough to poll, but I expect a high percentage of Dem voters are like my professional cousins. They are sophisticated in their fields, but not interested in politics beyond feeling a part of the “compassionate” side.

    Years ago I played Trivial Pursuit with about thirty government elementary school teachers. An older retired couple and I were the only ones with any decent comprehension of history. My opponents with several Masters degrees between them dithered a long time about whether the Korean Conflict occurred before or after the Civil War, WW1 or WW2. Consensus was before WW2. The oldsters and I were embarrassed at the level of ignorance displayed all night. The other tables were just as bad.

    • Ouch– ignorance–ouch… I can’t believe it when I hear the “man on the street” history interviews. One college student said that Lincoln was a Founding Father. head/desk

      • I almost can’t believe I am saying this, but that is more understandable than not knowing that the Korean War happened after WWII. I mean at least the college student wouldn’t know anybody that was alive when Lincoln was around, while one would assume his grandfathers probably SERVED in either WWII or Korea.

        I guess the Korean Conflict really is ‘the forgotten war.’ :(

        • My dad was on a ship during the Korean War (I hate using conflict because he never used it) so I am not likely to forget. And to be technically correct, it isn’t over either.

          • I had family their also, and after doing a job for an old guy who was one of the Chosin Few a few years ago, and having him explain that after being wounded his job as they retreated was to ‘provide mercy’ for those mortally wounded (prisoner and ally alike) that they couldn’t do anything for, I am unlikely to ever forget it either.

  22. Today’s theory between me and my cat. The collapse already happened and we’ve not been informed.

    • I believe that too. ;-)

    • Your not for wrong.

      Our goverment keeps changing the metrics on how we determine the health of the economy to keep us in the dark.

      There is a website Shadstats that uses the older methods. In a lot of ways we are worrse of than the Great Depresion with a greatly reduced manufacturing base to fall back on.

  23. I felt the foundation tremors on a Tuesday last November. The next day started stocking up on all things 5.56mm. I had not touched an AR rifle since 1969. Now have enough to equip a dozen family and friends. I had saved $25K for a hot retirement car, but when I woke up in the new world I found my prorities changed. All the cash is gone and Visa is earning interest off me for the first time. If/when the big one looks inevitable the house will be cashed in too. Probably on another Tuesday if I wake up to Bill Clinton as the first gentleman.

    • Which if the fraud machine is in place as I THINK it is, is inevitable.

    • First Gentleman? Bill Clinton is and could become a lot of things, but I don’t believe gentleman is on that list.

      • First Stud? First Dick? Public Embarrassment?

        • After getting “dad of the year,” is there any possible title more ludicrous?

          • I have no real idea what kind of parent he is, but have known a couple of guys that made despicable husbands, but were very caring fathers. It was ironic how protective they were of their daughters, with a bloodyminded insistence that no man was going to treat THEIR daughter wrong.

            • Nobody that serially assaults women and publicly drags the mother through mud like that creature did should be given any sort of award for being a father.

              I don’t care how protective they may be– they have reason to know folks are scum.

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  26. OK, does the fact that the Venezuela has declared that Hugo Chavez is dead factor in?

    Unlike the various Kims of North Koreans he did not have a mini-me all lined up and waiting in the wings.