The World Turned Upside Down

*First, before the post, I must tell you that I’m in this bundle.  This means if you’ve been meaning to read Darkship Thieves, but were afraid it stank on ice, this is your chance to get it (Prometheus Award Winner, 2011) and a bunch of other books by better known writers.  You can’t beat the price. https://storybundle.com/scifi.  So, buy, pass to your friends, whatever.*

There have been several times in my life (so far) when I was watching news coverage and someone said “the world will never be the same.” The first time was when I was eight, listening to coverage of Black September.  The last time was… this week over Brexit. In between lie Brexit, and a dozen other “shocks to the system.”

Every time this, for me, had the “taste” of hyperbole, in varying degrees.  I felt like “Oh, please, the sun will still come up tomorrow, parents will still love their children.”

The one I was most doubtful about was 9/11.  Never mind that I was in shock and in horror, and I thought “Surely they’re joking.  Terrorists have hit massive countries before without their collapsing.”  I confess, fifteen years later, I was wrong and they were right, but not the way they meant.  It wasn’t the hit that weakened us, and which makes that wound in NYC still fester.  It was our fifth column, unable to process or integrate that “littles brown peoplez” are fully conscious and self-agented and that they chose to attack us, and that we must PERFORCE defend and survive.  Instead, the left (mostly the left, we have some cartoon critters on the right — for the American definition of right — too.) has chosen to view 9/11 as “all our fault” and a vindication of their hatred for America and their reflexive oikophobia.  THAT is still tearing us apart, has resulted in a disastrous president whose greatest qualification was his cool ethnic name, and results in the two bellends at present standing a good chance at the presidency.

Does this mean everything has changed?  Well, yes and no.  QUITE beyond our chattering elites, America is still America.  The thing is the idiot reactions, the opposition to any form of self defense (even dogs have a right to self defense.  If a dog bites a human after near-death provocation few jurisdictions will put it to death) and their inchoate need to prove how smart they are by hating their homeland is bringing about an equal and equally reflexive reaction.  I think in the end America will still be America, but the backlash against the misguided visions of the progs won’t be any fun in the meanwhile.  And by not being any fun I mean, we’ll lose lives.  Perhaps some of people here.  Perhaps mine.  And in the end an America will survive that will be different from the vision of the annoying (intentional) which has been pushed on us through the unified mass media complex for well nigh 100 years.  Whether it will still be the land of the free and the home of the brave… that’s up to you and me, and our children and grandchildren.  The train is  not stopped, but it’s markedly slowed down, the track about to be torn up.  Our choice what to do next.

Which brings us to Brexit.  Francis Turner wrote an excellent and well reasoned post here Brexit: How, Why and What Next? – Francis Turner.  I’m not Francis, and I don’t have six hours to analyse all the implications of the Brexit nor the knowledge of Britain that comes with growing up there, as he has.

What I do have is this sort of weird sense of “what things mean in world context” and unfortunately I tend to be right.  I predicted before the d*mn primary started that what we were looking at is Trump vs. Bernie.  If I was wrong on the last, it wasn’t me.  It was the Democrat undemocratic system.  Otherwise, yep, our election cycle would be fractionally more insane.  (Though picking a felon — Hillary — only not indicted because not one of the little people over a guy who spent his honeymoon in the USSR might not be counted as an improvement.  Who knows?)

So I’ve been hearing a lot of bull excreta about Brexit, and first let me tell you what it’s not/doesn’t mean.

1- It doesn’t mean that US states will now start to separate.  (Sigh.)  This should be obvious to anyone, but apparently it isn’t.  The left has had a rock hard boner for the US falling apart into several states at least since this happened to the USSR.  And now and then, and always, it makes me want to hit my head against a wall, hard enough to make the wall fall down.

You see, one of these things is not like the other.  You’re not comparing apples to oranges, you’re comparing apples to peacocks.

Yeah, sure, our federal government as an intrusive entity is of relative recent coinage.  (RELATIVELY.  It started biting off more than it could chew about 100 years ago) it overlays a land that has been used to thinking of itself as the same country for about 300 years, give or take, depending on different states.  The people who moved to the new Western states were at least partially from the old states.  The culture is different between the states (something that no one who hasn’t lived here and MOVED between states can fully understand.  I felt ALMOST as lost during our visit to Ohio was during our visits to my parents.  Almost.  There are still certain underlying assumptions.)  And yet, there are assumptions, attitudes, and a general way of being in the world under it all, throughout the land.

Look, it’s not that a Texan and a New Yorker have that much in common besides (sort of) language.  It’s that they have more in common with which other than with anyone else in the world.  So we are a nation for the reason nations exist: we are the same over-arching culture, and as much as we want to pop our sibling states one, at times (I have news for idiots: the same tensions exist even in postage-stamp size countries like Portugal whose culture is more uniform but not UNIFORM.  Because uniform doesn’t happen in human populations except under pretty brutal totalitarian regimes.  (And soemtimes not then.))

Now, the USSR: an unsteady alliance between ethnicities and countries historically independent, and often hating each other, forged by elites after WWII mostly to protect THEIR interests.

The EU… see above, except not after WWII.  A mistake of those colossal proportions might have been conceived of after WWI, but it took them over 50 years to bring it about.  You can bend reality to the illusions of the elites, but not easily or readily and it takes a LONG time.

2- Britain has turned its back on free trade.

This is where my eyes roll back in my head so far I can examine my own brain.  ONLY idiots or exquisitely educated leftists (it takes a lot of education to believe that much stupid) can believe that Free trade equals Huge and overarching government with a myriad rules and regulations into things like the curvature of bananas.

The rest of us have news for you: Yes, I KNOW that your professors told you that free trade was a very dangerous thing that could only exist with regulations for EVERYTHING and thus you needed “an ever closer union” not to mention regulations on what type of clay ware was acceptable, and what wasn’t.  I knew you guys were learning exactly the wrong thing about free trade and prosperity when the newly elected leftists in CO not only set about regulating POTENTIAL space travel till it squealed, but then boasted that CO would have the first spaceport “Because we already have the most regulations in place for it.”  Yeah.  I’m sure Texas appreciates your efforts, guys.

Free trade is free trade: the right of contract, the right of buying and selling, the right of association WITH WHOMEVER YOU WANT TO.  Neither for nations nor for individuals does it require manacles on the hands that trade back and forth.  In fact, those AREN’T free trade at all.  They’re regulated trade.  Which is sort of an opposite, here, where the rest of us DON’T live in opposite land.

Britain has reclaimed its right to make its own treaties, alliances and trades, like real countries have done throughout history.  Oh, sure, I agree with Mackey that the EU are going to be vindictive little bitches and try to hurt Britain, but given the hold on reality of Brussels bureaucrats, they might actually achieve the opposite.  “Ah, we’ll totally de-regulate our trades with Britain.  We’ll see where that gets them.”  Yeah.

3- This means that Donald Trump will win.

Okay, my eyes are somewhere under my desk.  I really should keep them on a chain.

Yes, Trump’s plurality win in mostly the OPEN primaries (meaning the dems could vote for the Republican nominee they’d rather face — what idiot thought this up? –) did mean a great deal of nativist sentiment, and of working-class support, just like Brexit is said to have the same.  (Said to?  Well, don’t forget who is doing the support.)

However, like a paid off boxer, Trump seems to be doing his best to kiss the canvas already.  (Check the May report.  And no, all his “free press” doesn’t offset the lack of local GOTV organizations, which he started shutting down when he secured the nomination. TRUST me.  I’ve worked GOTV for years in various elections.  Many people have opinions, but without prodding just stay home.  And this year, when most of us say “there isn’t a difference, more so.) And there are… other things.  In the end, Trump is the elites and on their side.  If you look at his debts (he won’t release his financial reports for a reason, but there’s a lot you can find online) he’s a wholly financed subsidiary of international banks. Just like Hillary, though granted with less “selling our secrets to the Russians” at least that we know of.  (We used to hang traitors, before we decided to use the cruel and unusual punishment of stuffing them in mao-suits and parading them around the country.)

In fact I suspect the Trump candidacy time line went like this:

1-Hillary’s biggest contributor decided to run in the Republican party and at least make the potential nominee bleed, so Hillary would face a softened field.  His vicious attacks (some of them loony tunes.  See Gabriel Cruz and Kennedy) on his opponents were meant to give Hillary something to pick at in the main.

2- He found himself winning a plurality and thought he just might take it.

3- He realized that Brexit and … other things were in the works.  (More on that in a minute.) Being brighter than what passes for a brain in Hillary right now (she was never that smart, even in her prime.  Ambitious, scheming and ruthless, sure.  BUT not that smart.  Unlike Billy Jeff, she actually believed in international socialism, which takes a certain degree of moronic faith) he decided he didn’t want to be caught in the middle of that, or of the backlash when he won and governed, as he couldn’t help to govern, like the elites (given the banks who have loaned him more than he’s worth, and the contacts he has which are all left-international-socialist.)  Maybe he decided he REALLY is allergic to rope and lampposts.  Who knows?

4- Initiated Operation Kiss the Canvas, to cause even the limp spines of the GOP to replace him in the convention.

I’m going to add the gratuitous prediction this won’t succeed, and that he’ll be the main GOP nominee, and that he’ll be more mad at that than his never-failing supporters would be if he WERE replaced.  I’m also going to predict it’s up in the air whether he’ll win or not.  He would win with even minimal campaigning, but I’m not sure he’ll do it.  And if he wins, we’re in for crazy of epic proportions.

Because…

What Brexit means is the first LARGE SCALE breach in the wall that the (largely national socialist) elites have erected with mass media/mass entertainment/mass art over the last century or so.

What the inimitable Sabrina Chase calls “the media-entertainment industrial complex” worked very hard, mostly by commanding the heights of power and making everyone an outsider labeled “crazy” or “fascist” or worse, if they disagreed from the consensus being built.

This was not a conspiracy precisely.  It was making international socialism with all its empty promises and all its false glamour a positional good in education/arts/the media.  Once they had enough deans/editors/gallery owners/government curators in their pocket (this is btw standard operation when the USSR was softening you for take over.  Just FYI) they could sneer down anyone who disagreed with them, label them no-talents and bar them from publication/public notice.  All they had to do was make it impossible to succeed in many professions (the latest one they conquered was tech companies, mostly through HR) without spouting their doctrine.

This is an old tactic that has been used for centuries, including in Europe in the Middle ages.  No matter how many doubts you had of religion, you still had to express yourself in the language of the church if you wanted to succeed and have patronage.

It’s not conspiracy, except for a very small number, early on, and even that is not conspiracy, just absolute belief in the same (in international socialist case rather absurd) principles, steering you in the direction of keep anyone but your fellow travelers out.

This worked PARTICULARLY well through the 20th century because the communication medium of the times were uniquely centralized.  To put out news even at the local level, required a considerable investment.  To put out a book, ditto, and the distribution was a right bugger, as many self-published authors left with thousands of books in the garage, found out to their own chagrin.

So your chances were kiss the effigy of Marx, or be silenced.

That this has changed and continues to change I don’t need to explain.  Sure, the mass media still holds a large portion of the LIVs, but… but it’s not the same.  They could never run the campaign that demonized militias under Clinton now.  It took them longer to demonize the tea parties, and the job was always patchy.  The Tea Party suffered more from what it WAS — a leaderless organization.  Yes, that was also its strength — than from anything else.  Their news/books/art/narratives reach increasingly fewer people.

Which not only allows things like Brexit to happen (and I’d like to remind you that Europe is well behind us) but makes a lot more of them inevitable.

They think they learned to ride the tiger, with the masterfully orchestrated foisting of Trump as a revolt vote (yeah, yeah, they attacked him.  With things calculated to strengthen his position as the protest vote’s candidate.  Note that very few of his supporters ever heard that Vichy Mitchy bragged of being Trump’s golf and text partner.  AND virtually none have heard of his boasts re: universal health care.  Or his walking back the wall, and Arab immigration promises, or… Because THAT would actually have hurt his position as protest candidate.)  They haven’t learned to ride the tiger.  Trump has seen through it, hence his attempts at taking a dive (and dividing the party.)

You see, the tiger is getting stronger every day.  The main mass media has less power every day.

And because the vision of the elites doesn’t work, and could only be sold while they controlled EVERY means of communication, and — what’s more — both socialism and internationalism are opening more and more cracks as the same thing that allows us mass communication also makes international actually FREE trade between individuals inevitable, the revolt will only gain force.

It will be stupid in many ways, because masses are stupid.  But because the tech of the age isn’t “mass” but individual and one on one and because people in general as individuals don’t cut off their nose to spite their faces, it will settle out.

Oh, the time is past for mass immigration, that last gasp of internationalist nonsense.  And for “free trade” in which most favored third world nations get all the advantages.  And for “communications” in which they get to tell everyone to think like them, and punish those who dissent.

But we’re about to get real free trade and real communication, one on one, between individuals of differing nations.

This neither requires the erasure of national cultures and national identities, nor is that desirable.  Given actual free trade, the most functional cultures and identities will attract the best individuals from everywhere.

NONE OF THIS requires a one-world-state (which was always the dumbest idea imaginable) nor the intervention of the elites.  It is the last that is driving them crazy right now.

Because they’re NOT the elites.  They’re a portion of the population indoctrinated in a doctrine that has been superseded by technological advance.  Like the nobility of old, some of them will hold on, as relics, but their time of leading the world has passed.

This is not right nor left.  It is the people against a few (relatively.  In historical sense) individuals who think they are supposed to lead us to a “bright new future” no one but them wants.  It is a case of people who drink their own ink not seeing reality.

This too shall pass, and yes, the world that emerges will be very different from where we are.  How different and how free is up to us to ensure.

Go work.

 

 

 

 

 

344 responses to “The World Turned Upside Down

  1. Well said, and even the complicity in the media with the ‘agenda’ is now cracking… 🙂

  2. I, for one, will state that Darkship Thieves is not odoriferous, on ice or otherwise. I quite enjoyed it.

  3. Just like Hillary, though granted with less “selling our secrets to the Russians” at least that we know of.

    Okay, now this I must object t. This is totally unfair!

    You’ve NO CALL to accuse Hillary of Russophilia! I am sure she sells our secrets to the highest bidder, as well as selling secondary publication rights to other bidders (lower prices for those willing to wait.) All the evidence indicates she ran an open market on State Secrets, discriminating against no nation willing to buy.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      There are also grounds to suspect Trump.

      • But I maintain there are no grounds for suspecting Hillary — we know what she is, the only remaining question is her price.

          • Must beg to differ.
            Her price is obviously all the traffic will bear.
            The true question is what is her competency?
            Which based on her past performance is dismal at best.

            • Twangy southwestern voice in my head; “Y’know how some real talented gals could suck a golf ball through six feet of garden hose? That bitch couldn’t suck a pea through a laundry chute.”

            • I think Madonna answered the question:

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Trump likes Russian women too much to be a real anti-foreign xenophobe.

          The other questions about Hillary are whether American interests can buy some sanity from her, and whether she will keep things functioning enough for her payoffs to retain value.

          For a MIHOP/LIHOP with a lot of money in property, Trump’s decision to dip into national politics suggests that Trump’s answer to the latter question is ‘No.’

    • Randy Wilde

      You’ve NO CALL to accuse Hillary of Russophilia!

      Especially since one of her first actions as SecState was to give them an “Overcharge” button.

      • We thought that was a mistake. In retrospect, she might just have been warning Putin about the going rates at the Clinton Foundation.

    • Hillary appears if anything to be Sinophiliac, between her connections to Red China, and her horrible taste in clothing.

      • *blink*

        You know, that…thing… does look a lot more like a cartoon version of Mao’s outfits.

        • She’s stopped wearing tailored suits. Or skirts. Could just be that she’s sensitive to heat and is wearing looser stuff in summer, but I’m not so certain.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            The guy on redstate who listed half a dozen health problem candidates for her thought it was to cover up obesity or maybe medical devices.

            • “The Last Hurrah of the Golden Horde” by Norman Spinrad had the bodies of dead politicians operated by remote control, which didn’t work so well after pieces started falling off…

    • Not to mention it looks like she actually gave away most of her secrets to anyone with a minimal level of tech competence and an internet connection

    • Oh, come on, she’s a true egalitarian and leaves the secrets on an email server running an unpatched version of IIS 6.x (iirc) and so anyone that can employ a somewhat competent script kiddie can have them!

  4. Christopher M. Chupik

    The notion that the future will be an endless progression of nation-states unifying into one has just been struck a blow. It remains to be seen how serious a blow it is.

    • Pretty much, yeah.

    • A referendum isn’t much of a blow. They lost a battle in the propaganda war, there will be a new battle next week.

      Watching the Berlin Wall fall, that was really something. Now here we are, 20 years later. How different is it really? For us in the West, no different. Still on the same glide path.

      The Internet made a difference, and now all we hear about is how they’re going to choke the Internet and shut us up again. If we let them, we deserve it.

    • It’s serious because completely unexpected. Tomorrow The Vision of the Annoying.

    • I think that the long run will see larger and larger states until the world is unified. However, given the ideologies of most of the people of the Earth, that is not necessarily a good thing — and given the possibility of civil wars, not even necessarily something likely to promote peace.

      • I will bet you the other way around, if we’re both alive. ANYTHING you care to bet.
        Sorry, no. The tech is going the other way and tech tends to dictate politics.

        • The problem that I see is that nuclear missiles have global range, and the geometry of intercepts dictates that a country with strategic depth is much more able to defend against them than one which is a city-state. At a minimum, the small countries would need mutual defense pacts to prevent themselves from being destroyed or conquered one at a time.

          • I think you’re going to find “the things we can do with drones” trumping the relative power of nukes. Because nukes are forever and people are “shy” of deployment unless they’re barking mad, like the NKs and the muzzies. They’re particularly useless to convince smaller polities to join a large entity. Or in civil war.
            BUT drones and targeted assassinations are the thing of the future. The new way of war. And will favor small and nimble.
            (And I’m not “enthusiastic” for drones. I just see what they are.)

            • One thing that works against ICBMs with large payloads is that they are big, very visible, very hot targets that can’t defend themselves very well and by their very nature are very fragile. And weapons that can intercept ICBMs are getting cheaper all the time.

              • unspeakably well informed

                Maneuvering re-entry vehicles are soon to be deployed, for the exact reason that they make your point of historic interest only.

                Achieving a 4-D intercept vs a ballistic target leverages computation. Bits are light and cheap to duplicate.

                Throwing a smart rock at a maneuvering target won’t do – you need significant delta-v, and thus bigger, more expensive, and fewer kill vehicles.

                • I’d like to point out…
                  A few years ago there was an article about some DARPA project that used a couple of rack mount computers to visually track an in-flight bullet back to its target. The computing power to do that now resides in your average i7 Windows tablet.
                  The Block 1B Phalanx got a software patch that allowed it to intercept rockets, mortars and artillery. (That system is now called C-RAM by the Army)

              • Maneuvering reentry vehicles necessitate kill vehicles with lots of delta-v to achieve a 4-D intercept. Spendy, spendy, spendy.

                • At some point the interceptors will become cheaper than the capacity to throw complex enough maneuvering re-entry vehicles.

                  Eventually a power, probably one relying on IRBM not ICBM, will learn the same hard lesson the Israelis did in 1973: no technology reigns supreme forever.

                  • There’s no good reason to restrict nuclear-powered rail guns and laser cannons to our ships.

                    So we can be confident that restricted they will be.

                • Not as spendy as an ICBM and maneuvering RV’s that are accurate enough to hit something useful.

                • The Other Sean

                  I’ve watched Gundam Seed so I know that all we need to do to prevent nuclear attacks is construct neutron jammers. 😛

                  • Patrick Chester

                    Sounds like nuclear dampers from the Traveller RPG.

                    • The Other Sean

                      Pretty much. One difference is that in Gundam Seed the space-based faction used them rather offensively, as well, deploying large burrowing (so difficult to get to) neutron jammers to shutdown much of the nuclear-based power production of the Earth-based faction. ISTR the Traveller nuclear dampers have much more limited range.

            • Nuclear weapons are primarily useful against cities.

              Just one more good reason not to live in or near one.

              • And this goes directly to Sarah’s point – you needed big vulnerbale cities to do the whole industrial revolution thing, but the next wave of change is all about decentralization, so the thing to do to eliminate nukes is eliminate big cities.

                Getting rid of Large Target Areas also flies right up the nose of all the Urban Planners, still campaigning for the Ideal Light Rail Of The Future, to support Urban Centers and Finally Get Rid Of Automobiles. If the interwebs and distributed work forms mean everyone spreads out and lives where they need a car and/or a pickup powered by actual petroleum (the horror…, the horror…), so much for the densly packed easy to control urban cores, and so much for their Federal Grant monies. And if that means the Small But Fat Dear Leader can only actually threaten a small number of folks, well that’s a plus, right?

            • So we’re all going to die by wildfire. You’ve probably seen the stories, being a westerner, but for those who aren’t so fortunate, A LOT of our ability to get fires slowed and stopped is arial. Drone presence just brings that to a screeching halt. Yes, the fire pilots are crazy, but they aren’t suicidal: drones are really bad news for low-flying aircraft, and people are being obnoxiously stupid about flying drones in to take pictures.

              “Some say the world will end in fire . . .”

              • the only reason we don’t have nice footage of the wildfire that started last week is that the actual commercial drone permit doesn’t exist yet. (Monday, we needed a sport pilot liscence, Tuesday, a non-existent drone license.)

        • Yep. The car & the pill did more to drive the sexual revolution than any of the idiot Unwashables sit-ins.

      • Mark Steyn had an excellent comment on that point. Replying to some hippy-dippy comment about how “In space, you can’t see any borders,” he said, “This is true*. It’s also true that in space no one can hear you scream, which is what I’d be doing in a world without borders.” He went on to point out that “borders” are what you cross when the guys in charge of your side are making life intolerable for you, and that the reason the Left wants to get rid of them may be to make sure that there’s no place to run.

        * = Zsusza would like to comment that Mark is wrong here, and what the hippy said is not necessarily true. Many borders ARE visible from space. The border between North and South Korea, for example, is crystal clear.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          I think it was in _Lucifer’s Hammer_ (by Niven & Pournelle) that one astronaut commented about “not seeing borders from space”.

          The other astronaut replied “you shouldn’t make a big deal over that or the governments will start marking borders so they could be seen from space”. 😉

          • Well, based on the one man make structure routinely visible from space all you need is a huge, excuse me, YYYYYUUUUUGGGGGEEEEE wall 🙂

          • For some borders you can see them from space. Mexico/US for one. South Korea/North Korea at night definitely.

        • Other than natural borders like rivers, there’s Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China. While pieces of both have been carried away, the foundations are still visible from a height.

      • I’ve got to agree with Sarah. I think you will gradually see smaller and smaller polities as technology allows them to be viable independent units. And you may even see polities evolve that are to ever-greater extents independent of geography.

        • That last part is near-unimaginable. I KNOW because I’ve been trying to figure out how to write it.
          However, tons of things are unimaginable (as they are) until they’re here. We’re still not fully seeing this digital revolution.

          • I predict hybrid polities, where physical activities are regulated and organized on a local level, and online activities are done without regard to location.

          • Ironically, that’s the way the US was at one time. You had local autonomy up to a point, then state autonomy up to a point, then federal autonomy up to a point. It meant local governments could screw up, but it also meant everyone didn’t screw up and you could vote with your feet.

            • Yes, no. I mean a future of nations not based on geography. It will look I suppose a lot like churches or perhaps cults.

              • Free-range Oyster

                Cult in the original sense, or the popular usage?

              • In order to provide certain services, it will have to remain geographically based to some degree. Growing up in a rural area, the community was the basic emergency services simply because neighbors could respond faster than help from the towns. Something like that’s not going to change, and while such informal response had no government, the formal response from the towns and the county did and had some form of government to administer it. So those things that must be physically done through a joint effort pretty much dictates some level of geographic based government.

                The question then is what kind of government services wouldn’t have to be physically based. Those could be distributed and those would mean diverse interests wouldn’t have to be lumped together geographically.

              • Or Lloyds of London type of associations. Some Christians subscribed to a type of medical plan where all members pay the medical expenses of all others on a non-profit based plan. Traditionally, investors in Lloyds of London were taken aside and told they were now in it up to their cuff links, which meant paying off a major disaster could financially clean them out. Don’t know if the similar medical insurance scheme has some sort of mechanism to limit liability.

          • Estonia has a digital resident thingie. You jump through some hoops and you get a smart card that identifies you as a digital resident of Estonia. Using that, you can set up Estonian bank accounts and businesses. Been a while since it happened, so I don’t know how it’s been working out.

            http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/08/im-now-an-estonian-e-resident-but-i-still-dont-know-what-to-do-with-it/

            As for writing about that sort of thing, there’s Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong in Snow Crash.

          • The only way I can see it working is if “near by” was somehow warped– I’d use an Underhill type model, maybe with warp tunnels that cannot be blocked.

            To make it really not bound to location, rather than changing what “location” means, they’d have to be generated somehow by the two sides of a group.

        • It might depend on how we define polities — the American system (that might be more properly named Reaganism*) in which large polities exist to provide those benefits which are necessary to provide a realm in which smaller polities may independently thrive, or the Soviet (aka, Bureaucratic) system in which smaller polities exist for the express purpose of implementing the regulations and policies of the Uberstate (a system which, amusingly, does not tolerate businesses such as Uber.)

          *Secure borders, sound fisc, minimal regulatory micromanagement.

        • It doesn’t even have to be a “polity” in the conventional sense. All it has to be is groups of people networked tightly enough.

          TRX
          January 16, 2012
          121:
          > a new religion or ideological complex
          > with the growth dynamic of 6th/7th
          > century Islam or 20th century Leninism

          It’s long past the time I expected something like this to happen. The followers are out there, ready and waiting for something better to come along. Better, as in something that will give them what they want – direction, purpose, a meaning for their life, not necessarily Buddhism or a new type of Christian or Islamic fundamentalism.

          The similarities between the Catholic Church, Leninism (as applied, not necessarily Ulyanov’s version), and Scientology are hard to miss. Throw in some 1950s-1970s cultism, self-help, and popular psychology for seasoning.

          [much text deleted after the Voices pointed out the obvious]

          …uh, like the “service organization” idea I mentioned earlier. Imagine a group like, oh, the Church of the Latter-Day Saints and their interlocking support structure, except organized more like a self-help / self-confidence group, like the entry-level Scientologists. And whenever life hands you a lemon, or even a vague question, you just punch your phone and talk to the Help Desk, right now, for instant reinforcement of the group’s social, moral, and ethical standards.

          (yes, Charlie, the Voices did point out the Toymaker’s organization, as well as Stephenson’s Cosa Nostra Pizza Company)

          Add a retirement plan, healthcare benefits, legal aid, and some political lobbyists, and you’d get a hell of a lot of bang for your tithe bucks. Heck, throw in cheap movie rentals and a roadside assistance plan while you’re at it, or buy your services alacarte.

          [/snip]

      • The Other Sean

        The breakup of the USS, the split of Chechoslovakia, the Brexit and the active anti-EU movements in continental Europe, and the activity of so many active separatist movements (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_separatist_movements_in_Europe) where regions of existing nations seek separation or autonomy) suggests otherwise.

      • Personally, what I see coming is a shift in America from semi-socialist to flat out imperial. Populist to begin with. Some Islamic idiot pulls of a really gruesome attack and we lose out collective temper. By the time we cool down, we’ve runroughshod over the Middle East, bits of sub-Saharan Africa, some of the more problematic countries in Southeast Asia, and rudely told the World Court, and probably the French, where to head in. Then we try to RUN that mess.

        *shudder*

        May it never come to pass. The up side, though, would be seeing all the usual suspects bounced into jail, and their demands to see their ACLU lawyers answered “Where’s the problem with that? He’s in the next cell.”

        • Oh, Rome again. PFUI. No, Rome is a model for Russia, not the US.

          • As the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church has been saying for centuries to justify his elevation to the Pentarcy since the Popes have left 🙂

        • The American idea of such things is to solve the problem so it will not recur. So I can see the ‘American Nuclear Berserker’ happening – but not the “try to run it.” More the, “Nothing there to run.” Or perhaps, “Sure, whatever. Now whoever is left, play nice or we’ll show you what happens when we get really angry.”

        • This may be why so many lefties have traditionally attempted to teach Americans to blame themselves when something horrible such as 911 happens to them. And they aren’t completely mistaken: without Christianity as a check , there isn’t a good reason why Americans would act charitably to those who have done them wrong ala post World War 2 Germany and Japan.

          Your horror show must seem very plausible to them. It is after all, what progs would do themselves given the chance.

  5. “3- This means that Donald Trump will win.”

    Donald Trump won the election last Sunday in Orlando. I agree with you that President Trump is probably a bad thing, but it is definitely a thing.

    I take as evidence the sudden interest in the formerly moribund Pink Pistols. Last Monday the LGBT community woke up and found themselves under the DemocRat bus. With you and me. They don’t like it down here. Since then there have been highly un-publicised movements in The Community which should worry the Dems.

    Brexit is more like a signpost than a world changing event, if you ask me. Western civilization has been living with the 5th Column since 1918, nothing really changed except now they stopped lying about it quite so much.

    As a Canadian I can only say, good luck. Our idiots elected the Spawn of Trudeau, and he is busily unwinding everything the Conservatives accomplished since about 2002. If fairness that won’t take long because they didn’t do much, and that’s probably one of the reasons they’re out and the Shiny Pony is in.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      That may only change the minds of actual gays by the time of the election, and ‘gay’ political influence would be trivial if the faction was only composed of gays. The rest of the faction may be as much about faddish narratives.

      Changing one’s politics and the impact of one’s activism may take longer than six months. A skilled political operator may have more ideas of how to hit the ground running, but then they may also be deeply enough invested that they excuse or endorse the Obama/Clinton response. Also, there may necessarily be differences in messaging between the political flavors.

      • Most of the LBGTW “community” is a political action group with a lot of straight “allies” and a few show gays. I refuse to use the word to define myself–“gay” might once have meant “homosexual” but it’s come to mean “liberal”. Most homosexuals that I know want nothing to do with the whole Rainbow Pride Roadshow. Milo Y is hardly the outlier liberals would like to pretend he is–he’s just got more balls than most conservative homosexuals.

        • After the political messaging in the NYC pride parade as well as the concerted hate that poured out after Orlando (and other experiences) I’ve basically attached leftism and antitheism to all homosexuals. Being told my sympathy was unwanted I’ve no reason to give it anymore

          • And that’s what pisses me off. Those people do not speak for all homosexuals. However, breaking ranks with the official line will get you shunned by your entire social network, and most people aren’t willing to risk that.

            • No offense intended but with groups I know stuff like that is tame for being tolerant. Gotten more threats from tolerant leftists and gay lifestyles than I have from belligerent drunks and insane people during work

              • Exactly. Now imagine that those threats and insults are coming from your social network–friends, lovers, people who you think of as your adopted family.

                It’s hard for people outside of the lifestyle community to understand just how devastating it can be to go against the party line. Once you come out it’s very easy to get pulled into the subculture for all of your social support network. You go to gay clubs, you hang out with gay friends, you have a limited and very incestous pool of potential partners.

                When you speak out–even in a very small deviation from orthodoxy–you risk being attacked by everyone you know. It’s a very cultic kind of social control. And it is very painful to realize that people that you would have trusted with your life are now telling you that you are their enemy and they hate you.

                • Growing up that was completely my experience. Your peers are fully on board the Bernie bus and excoriate anyone different. Full of memes and disdain for the rural and ‘rednecks’. Then I move to ATL and school was pretty even handed. Stuff said in our orientation would have gotten me expelled in the Northeast. And then once moved out to Midwest found even better home. But have a large group of friends and family heavily involved in lifestyle and the vast majority simply look down on their inferiors and treat everything as a war against enemies.

                  Honestly viewing this as well as other history is part of why I have a massive mistrust of others.

                • So I guess my defense has simply become to give up on other people, friendships, and more to life than work. I wouldn’t wish that on others though

                  • That’s pretty much where I am today, too. But that kind of rigid control is self-defeating in the long run. When you keep throwing people out of the tent, eventually you have more people on the outside than on the inside.

                    • Ya. It’s tough because you hitch yourself to a train and make it apparent that you are partisan and the like and you do end up as more of a target in a just world. But today with the media whitewashing and rule of man I am not certain

                • This sounds really familiar.

                  While I don’t think it is quite as bad, because it involves a much larger population so there’s a much higher chance of running into people who refuse to toe the line, it sounds exactly like what I’ve observed in social groups that are my age or younger for my whole life. Usually enforced by a teacher.

                  There’s a bloody reason that I like being around the adults more; they might think I’m a dumb kid, but they won’t try to destroy me as a heretic.

            • Yeah — that’s kinda like a writer telling your publisher “I want to write exciting adventures, not preachy politically correct parables.”

              This is a problem faced by all who resist social pressure and think for themselves.


              My buddies tell me that I should’ve waited
              They say I’m missing a whole world of fun
              But I still love them and I sing with pride
              I like the Christian life

              I won’t lose a friend by heeding God’s call
              For what is a friend who’d want you to fall
              Others find pleasure in things I despise
              I like the Christian life

              My buddies shun me since I turned to Jesus
              They say I’m missing a whole world of fun
              I live without them and walk in the light
              I like the Christian life

              I won’t lose a friend by heeding God’s call
              For what is a friend who’d want you to fall
              Others find pleasure in things I despise

              I like the Christian life
              I like the Christian life

              • Gram Parson’s version. “BRRREEEEPPP” like a submarine klaxon. “That was Terry Melcher’s favorite toy” (Byrds’ previous producer.) Love that.

        • You might have luck saying you are SSA– Same Sex Attracted– I’ve noticed a lot of use of “homosexual” to mean exactly what you object to in “gay.”

          Kind of like how “support women” means “abortion, birth control and random sex.” /*petewie*

          • I self-identify as “nihloamorous”.

            • *gets the giggles* You rock!

              • I came up with “nihloamory” a few years back when it seemed that everyone I knew was adopting “polyamory”. In some cases it meant an actual stable relationship with multiple partners (I do know a few who have been together for ten years or more) but more often it meant “I want to sleep around and I want to guilt my SO into accepting it.”

                I had recently been dumped, and so I started telling people that I wasn’t “single”, I was “exploring nihloamory”.

        • Or even lefty-ish ones. If my next-door-neighbour says she’ll vote Trump, we’ll know he’s got that demographic (I’ll ask her when I give her her 4th of July pressie)

    • Most of the LGBT have no idea what Trump said. Nor do most people, even me. And frankly, Trump still has many, many chances to throw it away.

      • There are whole swaths of people who get their news from the New York Times and its wannabes who have no idea of what Trump has actually said or not said on anything …. but they are absolutely certain that it fully reflects the fact that he is a racist, sexist, homophobe.

        • Yep – that is how the Big Lie operates. Say it loudly, say it frequently, and in every possible venue there is … and it will become accepted, and swallowed without a gulp.

          Yes, I saw this in operation when it came to mainstream news coverage of the Tea Party.

          And yes – I am still coldly, quietly furious with the mainstream tools who took the lead in putting that lie about. Looking at you, Anderson Cooper. Looking at you, NPR… and others.

          • As Glenn Reynolds has said, if we want the MSM to perform their function as the Fourth Estate (rather than Fifth Columnists) we must elect old white male Republicans.

            That is the only way to align the historical duty and their preference for acting as Democrat operatives with bylines.

          • On a recent trip to the metropolitan Northeast I was informed by a family member that the Tea Party was entirely made up of angry old southern white men, they knew this to be true because that was what all the pictures in the papers they read showed.

            • Racists AND gun nuts. Remember this bit of professional evidence tampering reporting:

              Man carries assault rifle to Obama protest — and it’s legal
              STORY HIGHLIGHTS
              Video shows man with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder at Phoenix protest
              Arizona law has nothing in the books regulating assault rifles
              Secret Service: Man considered no threat to president, who was nearby
              Man carrying rifle: “I think that people need to get out and do it more”
              updated 1:15 a.m. EDT, Tue August 18, 2009

              PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) — A man toting an assault rifle was among a dozen protesters carrying weapons while demonstrating outside President Obama’s speech to veterans on Monday, but no laws were broken. It was the second instance in recent days in which weapons have been seen near presidential events.

              • The BEST part of that story was the pic and video were cropped down so you could not see his skin color, then was used as an example of angry white racists bringing out weapons to protest Obama.

    • wanderingmuses

      “Brexit is more like a signpost than a world changing event, if you ask me.”

      Exactly the way I see it, too.

    • Last Monday the LGBT community woke up and found themselves under the DemocRat bus. With you and me. They don’t like it down here. Since then there have been highly un-publicised movements in The Community which should worry the Dems.

      I noticed something like this on FIMFiction. I posted about the way in which the Muslims are a direct threat to the LGBT community, in response to someone (whom I think was gay) pointing out the same thing.

      I got threatened with the Banhammer for Hate Speech.

      In other words, I’m not allowed to speak out for the victims against their persecuters, if the persecuters be Muslim.

  6. BTW, for those who like their Brexit with an extra dollop of Schadenfreude Sauce:

    OMG! Soros bet wrong on pound despite warnings of disaster

    George Soros must not be a fan of re-runs.

    The billionaire investor, who earned global fame and fortune in 1992 when he shorted the British pound, broke the Bank of England and pocketed a $1 million-plus profit, did not short the pound going into the Brexit vote last week.

    Despite his dire warnings of calamity.

    The British pound fell nearly 9 percent against the US dollar on June 24 after Great Britons voted to leave the European Union — casting dark clouds of uncertainty over the UK currency.

    The pound was down another 3 percent in Monday afternoon trading in London before the government stepped in to reassure the country that contingency plans were in place.

    For Soros, not only was he not short the pound, a spokesman said Monday that the 85-year old bearish investor was long the pound.

    But fear not for Soros.

    His bearish outlook allowed him to profit from other bets, the spokesman said — like in gold.

    “George Soros did not speculate against sterling while he was arguing for Britain to remain in the European Union,” a spokesman for Soros said on Monday. “In fact, he was long the British Pound leading up to the vote.”

    “However, because of his generally bearish outlook on world markets, Mr. Soros did profit from other investments,” the spokesman said.

    • What schadenfreude? If I understand what “[being] long the pound” means, Soros was betting that the pound will increase in value in the long run. I believe he’s entirely correct about that. So if your schadenfreude comes from seeing Soros take a monetary hit, I think you’re going to be disappointed.

      • What is a ‘Long (or Long Position)’
        A long (or long position) is the buying of a security such as a stock, commodity or currency with the expectation the asset will rise in value. In the context of options, it is the buying of an options contract. A long position is the opposite of a short (or short position).
        http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/long.asp

        It depends, of course, on whether he bought Pounds or options — and how long the options are valid. From the tone of the reporting I would guess he’s holding short-term options to buy Pounds at a market price above the current level, and that those options are likely to expire before the Pound rises enough for them to be exercised.

  7. Mac' / riteturn

    Re: electing a felon. By the time they can get on a national ballot all politicians are felons and the worse have blood on their hands. Today when almost anyone is a felon that isn’t saying much, but they tend to be the truly odious sort of felon of the historically recognized sort for real crimes of serious moral shortcomings, not repackaging fish in unapproved containers or selling unpasteurized milk.
    The Brexit vote was not binding. I am still not convinced they will not delay and try to obstruct actually doing it – perhaps piecemeal. I expect the British elites with European help to punish the public for daring to do this. They will do absurd things in supposed compliance – and then like an abusive spouse say – “See what YOU made me do!”.
    In the end the economy was near the tipping point anyway. This gives them something upon which to blame it instead of the last 30 years of Keynesian stupidity.

    • If they don’t honor the referendum, the civil war will ignite Europe.

      • The real question is how much of a fig-leaf will remain. It is entirely possible they will honor the referendum in the way many attend church: going through the motions, genuflecting and standing when called to, but with no fundamental change at all.

        • They can get away with slow rolling this a bit, and fudging a bit. But there have to be some clear areas where the UK is now different or the next prime minister will be Nigel Farage. I figure they’ve got 2-3 years but if they don’t have something done (or visibly almost done) by the end of 2018 that is going to make some clear differences there’s going to be trouble.

          I think its going to very strongly depend on who is the next PM (presumably Boris) and who he appoints to key ministries. If he’s got any sense (and I think he does) he’ll play a bit of good cop bad cop with the civil service and point out that the alternative to doing something for him is being strung up from a lamppost when Farage is elected

          For the rest of Europe the key has to be France. If Le Pen loses fair and square then things will probably calm down. If she loses on a technicality things will explode. If she wins then the whining about Brexit from the eliets is going to sounds like a gentle lullaby compared to the whinging they’ll do then.

          • It is worth considering the wisdom of Harold MacMillan:
            “All politicians know – and often quote – the response from Harold Macmillan when asked what a prime minister most feared: ‘Events, dear boy, events’.”

            The Brexit vote was an event — it will be followed by others.

      • Also, given the correlation of forces, I don’t see the Europeans winning this one. Britain is a nuclear Power with a sizable air force and navy, on an island accessible only by air or sea (the Chunnel would be a deathtrap for any invading force). I would be very amused to hear the French reaction when the Germans explain that France must sacrifice herself to save the European Union 😀

        • The Belgian army will be marching on London, complete with their toy guns, as soon as they manage all manage to get on their pool noodles for the float across the channel…

          • Actually the FN FNC is a nice rifle.

            I think you mean the EU army, not the Belgian one.

            • I don’t actually remember which army it was, but there was some European army that was issuing its soldiers toy guns. Not speaking metaphorically here, not guns too weak to do much good, but actual toys made out of molded plastic, on the grounds that real guns were too expensive and too heavy and the plastic ones looked just as good in the military parades. I thought it was Belgium that was doing that, but it’s a half-remembered article from a while ago, and I could easily be wrong.

              • Randy Wilde

                One of the smaller countries, maybe?

                I remember having to do a report on NATO/ Warsaw Pact in high school (early 1980s)… one of the little tidbits I threw in was that Luxembourg’s contribution to the military forces was the band.

              • Portugal, WWI sent an unarmed and barefoot battallion. Portugal was bankrupt.
                When they saw the Germans coming, most of them grabbed the messengers bikes and ran. Some made it back to Portugal. Under the circumstances? sane.

                • Soviet infantry attack 1942: “The first man gets the rifle. The second and third man get clips for the rifle. When some man falls, a man with clips picks up the rifle. The first man gets the rifle. The second and…”

              • Belgium does have a gun manufacturer that makes what are supposed to be excellent weapons. But it wouldn’t surprise me if the civilian government has skimped on keeping the army supplied.

                Was it the Belgian army that has to deal with things like soldiers on overtime?

            • The Belgian Army is a weak shadow of what it once was during the cold War.

      • Blond_Engineer

        Haven’t you heard? They’re already trying to change the rules after the fact. ‘There wasn’t enough voter turnout to count’. ‘There wasn’t enough of a majority to count’. They want to do it again, but with the provisos that at least 75% voter turnout is needed for it to count, and a majority of at least 60%.

        • Of course they are. They’re libs. (Shrug.) My point still stands. “Do you want a civil war? That’s how you get a civil war.”

          • I suspect they think they can win a civil war and thus find it preferable to accepting political loss.

            When Dunigan and Nofi did their study of warfare, How to Stop a War (their answer was “don’t start one”) they determined the most common cause was one side was convinced they could win.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              I’d change that to “at least one side thought they could win the war” because there have been cases were the war would not have happened if the “threatened side” were sure they’d lose and asked for term.

              IE Both sides were willing to fight and both sides thought they’d win.

            • They think the military will win the war for them. Admittedly more an issue on the idiots on this side of the Atlantic since Eu war would not be a true civil war but rather one of conquest but how much of European armies would want to actually go that far out. Especially if domestic unrest increases.

              • They think the military will fight on the side of giving up national sovereignity?

                • I was speaking of if the EU countries tried to fight England to take back. Or if the English government and populace went at odds.

                  The Bureaucrats think the armies will win their wars for them as if they are automatons only following the rules of their betters in Brussels or Parliament. Try to send the army against the populace and hopefully it won’t be at full force (Sadly some will)

            • The people that voted Brexit are the working class. The ones whose idea of a good time on a saturday night is to have a fight. The people who have made up the football supporters that have been the shame of the rest of England for decades.

              The remainers are generally SJW crybabies who need a safe space if you mention the word gun.

              Which side do you think is going to win that fight?

        • Well of course! You have to continue to vote and vote and vote until you have an acceptable (to the establishment) outcome, after which you can stop voting.

        • I heard immediately afterward that this was a hoax. So if it wasn’t, they backed off very fast.

          • It was started by 4chan and is IIRC about a third brits but it would give politicos a fig leaf.

          • Was it a hoax, or a *hoax*? The first would be “let’s put this out there, because it would be funny if rubes actually believed this!”…the second would be “Hey, I have a great idea! Whoa, calm down, put down your guns, it was a *hoax*! It was just a joke! Ha ha! No, seriously. Put down your guns. Thank you! [exits, runs and hides]”.

      • This is why I’ve been closely watching the progressives who don’t quite get the meaning of democracy. Fortunately, David Cameron put a stake in that today by saying that the vote didn’t go the way he would like, but that they would honor it.

    • Hillary is, almost certainly, a multiple murderer. That’s worse than most politicians.

      • I haven’t personally looked closely into the “suicide” of Keith Foster, so I’m not going to try to debunk or prop up any conspiracy theories, and accept the claim that Foster really committed suicide. I’m particularly partial to accepting the claim that Foster really committed suicide, considering that I recently heard a story that Hillary really ripped into him, in front of all his colleagues, claiming that he would never be a good lawyer. A very devastating attack. Foster was found dead a couple of days later.

        Sure, Hillary might not have pulled the trigger. She might not have sent any goons to do her dirty work, either. But if this story is true (I haven’t had the chance to confirm it, but it does sound like something within the character of Hillary)…I think if Hillary would have actually murdered him, directly or indirectly, it would have been considerably *nicer* than what had really happened.

  8. “A shiny future nobody but they want”. They (the 0.1%-ers) are the Inner Party. Their foot soldiers (the “community organizers”, artiste wannabes, public school teachers, college bureaucrats, “helping” professions…) are the Outer Party. The foot soldiers are expendable when they have outlived their usefulness to the Inner Party. Then they will be Proles like the rest of us.

  9. I had to explain to one of my younger British friends who was freaking out that what the markets do 24 hours after a vote like that isn’t what’s going to happen long term. Once all the emotion settles down, the markets will, too.

  10. “The World Turned Upside Down” — that explains why so many of those who imagined themselves sitting on top of the world are erpping their breakfasts.

    Never fear, as Kipling has pointed out, those dogs will lap it back up.

    • And, of course, it is a classical reference to the song played by the surrendering British Army at Yorktown, when the unthinkable happened there.

      A nice tune to provide a soundtrack for events that EuroAristos think is unthinkable, then.

  11. The question though is whether the need for shaping public opinion is even necessary anymore. Voters can cast whatever meaningless votes they want (Brexit is completely meaningless unless politicians have modicum of honor) but the courts and bureaucracy have control.

    • This is Britain, not Mexico. You’re not taking culture into account. (A common American failing.)

      • This morning seems to show that you might need to revise that to “This is Britain, not the US.”

      • Problem is that it’s common in the US in a patchwork culture, but with a law heritage of Britain, that the populace votes a referendum in and then a judiciary or bureaucracy simple ignores that and does what they want. Justice Thomas’s dissent from this morning is a good example of how rulers simply ignore the populace. Just think about how many MPs want to actually admit they voted for exit and don’t simply want to wait for another squirrel

      • You mean like Labor already openly declaring, despite many, many Labor electorates being strongly pro-exit, their intent to fight against implementation?

        • Yep, like that. IF they actually DO it they’re dumber than rocks.

          • These are the people who elected Jeremy Corbyn as their leader. “Dumber than rocks” would seem to have at least some evidence going for it.

          • If they were not committed to putting ideology ahead of reality would they be Labour politicians?

          • Multiple cabinet resignations to force new leadership yesterday and the head of the Scottish National Paraliment declaring to use its powers to block Brexit.

            Dumb or not, they are beyond signalling and starting to take action indicating they’re going to try and stop the Article 50 request.

            • Well, then, the peaceful collapse of the EU will not happen and we’ll hae blood on the streets of Europe. Again.

              • I think they realize if they let the UK off the reservation it is all lost and this is what they consider worth fighting for.

                It is interesting to note that:

                1. The EU has made it very clear an independent Scotland would not get auto EU entry but have to meet current requirements, which it can’t do without England’s wallet. This is how to get their interior forces in place.

                2. The EU is showing us what they will fight, English yeomen, in addition to what they won’t, Middle Eastern infiltrators.

                • I think it’s actually the Bank of England that the Germans don’t want to let go.

                  And for darn certain they don’t want to end up with Scotland instead.

                  • I’m thinking there are many who are glad Thatcher blocked transition from the Pound to the Euro — it makes disentanglement much easier.

                    Doubtless there are many cursing Thatcher for the exact same reason.

              • an occasion i wanted to be wrong.

              • Feather Blade

                As long as the US stays out of it this time….

                • Are you kidding? The current fool would love to get even with Britain for his father’s country and the harpy we’re about to elect would do it just to prove her penis is bigger than Bill’s.

            • It can be informative to consider a contra-factual. Let us suppose that the British & Welsh vote for exiting the EU had been narrowly split, say on the order of 50.5% : 49.5% and thus the Scots and the Irish were the ones binding the UK to the EU.

              How would the disenchanted Brits be talking about Scotland and Ireland <I<the d’ya think?

              Or perhaps we let London be the tipping point — think that would make the bureaucrats, bankers and nobs any more liked in the land of Hope & Glory? Or would they be denounced as Tranzis and used to stoke rage in the next national election?

              • Well, would there have been a vote of ‘No Confidence in Cameron with him refusing to resign after as there is for Jeremy Corbyn. Would Cameron be vowing to force exit anyway?

                I’m not talking about trash talking and petitioning for a do-over. Those are the norm of modern western politics. I’m talking about specific actions by MPs (both UK and Scottish) to attempt to prevent any PM from carrying out the result of the vote and not as a delay while there is a do over but out and out “vote all you want as many times as you want we’re not going to allow it” actions.

                That is a whole other kettle of carp.

  12. I still want to write a blurb that ends with, “The terrible secret that would change their lives… but only for about a week, then they went back to normal!”

    I’m out of panic. I grew up on Silent Spring and The Population Bomb. I remember Y2K and how the press got hold of the story about the time that IT professionals were wrapping up fixing the glitches. These days when I hear “The sky is falling!” I don’t even look out my window.

  13. Related and, as nearly any comment by Mr. Hannan, worthy of attentiion:

    The EU should calmly offer the UK a privileged partnership
    BY DANIEL HANNAN
    Sure enough, world leaders have rushed to accommodate themselves to the new dispensation. The last thing they want, what with the euro crisis still smouldering, is a protracted row with the UK. It is in everyone’s interest to reach a deal as amicably as possible.

    [SNIP]

    Britons are not unique in their dislike of Brussels. The EU’s in-house polling agency, Eurobarometer, records comparable levels of distrust in Spain, Germany, France and Sweden – and much higher levels in Greece.

    Unlike the populist politicians in some continental countries, British Eurosceptics tend to be internationalist and free-trading. No politician here is remotely comparable to, say, Marine Le Pen, currently leading the polls in France, whose dislike of Brussels blends with her dislike of America, capitalism and liberalism.

    The leaders of our Leave campaign are, from the EU’s perspective, as benign as a Eurosceptic can be. Michael Gove is steeped in European culture. His talented wife is, more or less, Italian. Gove has always supported deeper trade and co-operation with Europe; he just wants the right to hire and fire our own law-makers.

    Boris Johnson is an old boy of the European School in Brussels where Eurocrats educate their Eurobrats. He speaks French and Italian, sings in German and, like Gove, wants Britain to remain engaged with every continent including Europe. Both men argued for Brexit on grounds that diversity and democracy were European values.

    Behind Herr Schulz’s worry about a “chain reaction” is a well-founded concern. The next Eurosceptic insurgency is unlikely to be as mild as Britain’s.

    RTWT

  14. I find that I have to agree with your take on Trump.

    The irony of him winning the election without really wanting to or even trying that hard would be immense. For some damn reason, I am morally certain Hillary won’t be our next president, and if she does get in, she’s not going to last very long before her health catches up with her. I hear she’s stroked out, I’m not going to be at all surprised. Just like that rather odd “weight-lifting accident” that just happened to that nice former UN official who was about to testify about the Clinton Foundation.

    They can’t keep on keeping all these balls in the air. She and Bill are getting old, which implies a certain slowing down of the mind, and development of an arrogant “They’ll never catch me…” attitude that’s almost certain to lead to an inevitable and ugly denouement.

    Discussed this with a die-hard Democrat, the other day. We both agreed that it would be better for her to meet her destiny outside the Oval Office. He’s thinking hard about not voting for her, now.

    This is the only election in my lifetime where I could actually see “None of the Above” winning…

    • Hillary’s health (and lack there of) has been a family topic of discussion since her “fainting spell and fall” in 2012. Cardiac problems? Quite probably. Neurological problems? That she has to wear those prismatic glasses every so often sure makes it look probable. IIRC she’s also a former smoker (tobacco) but I could be mis-remembering.

    • Randy Wilde

      I am morally certain Hillary won’t be our next president, and if she does get in, she’s not going to last very long before her health catches up with her.

      I think Fauxcahontas is on her short list for VP now?

      I’m really not looking forward to sitting out a Presidential election, no matter how meaningless my vote is. Maybe I’ll vote based on the VP candidate in the hopes that whoever wins resigns or is impeached.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Perhaps you can stomach Jill Stein or Gary Johnson?

        • The selection of Johnson again put the final nail in my doubts that the LP is the Libertine Party instead of the Libertarian Party.

          Sexual license trumps the First Amendment in his world view. Givens hours of national TV by CSPAN one year the national covention decided to focus on pot legalization.

          • Heard from a radio preacher’s sermon yesterday: “People are confusing licentiousness with liberty.”

            • I like how Sheen put it:
              If an artist, in a fever of broadmindedness and a desire to be free, chooses to paint a giraffe with a short neck, he will soon discover that he will not be free to paint a giraffe at all. If in a feverish love for the new art of self-expression which obeys no law, he decides to paint a zebra without stripes, and a leopard without spots, and a triangle with four sides, he will soon discover that he is not free at all to paint even zebras, leopards, or triangles. It is only by obedience to law and authority and the inherent nature of things that we ever become free. Now man has a rational nature which means that the law of his being is practical reason of conscience. Only inasmuch as man obeys the dictates of his conscience is he free to be a man. He may choose to disobey his conscience, and he is free to become an animal, but he is not free to be a man.
              http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2556172/posts

              There’s video of the rest of the talk on YouTube; it’s called something like “Sheen on Freedom,” if it starts with him telling a story about a man walking up to a taxi and asking “are you free?” and when the taxi says ‘yes,’ he runs off yelling “hurray for freedom!”, it’s the right episode.

          • Yep. Despite my vow to never again pull a Maury and give my countrymen a Clinton, I keep looking at what the RNC wants to shove down my throat (Dole, Bush, McCain, Romney) and I doddle wistfully over to the Libertarian Party’s recent offering and wonder…. Do they ventilators from the RNC?

      • Fauxcahontas as Veep would allow the Republican governor to pick her replacement, at least until a special election could produce a permanent seat holder. With the Senate in play this election it is unlikely the Dems will take that chance.

        Besides, the first question that is asked about a Veep choice is whether he/she would be ready to take over in the event of the President being incapacitated and unable to fulfill the duties of the office. In Warren’s case the only way you get to “yes” requires even more squinting and tilting your head just so than the MSM is generally capable of doing.

        If the Veep pick is a sitting senator it will be from a state with a Democrat governor. Kaine is highly likely by virtue of not only having such a governor in McAuliffe (assuming he avoids indictment) but also having executive experience.

        • Randy Wilde

          Fauxcahontas as Veep would allow the Republican governor to pick her replacement

          Doesn’t Massachusetts have a history of changing the law so only Democrats can appoint Senators?

          I seem to recall the state legislature changing the law so a Republican couldn’t appoint a Senator if Kerry became president, and then changing it back so a Democrat could appoint a replacement for Kennedy.

          • Randy Wilde

            Sigh… replying to close the italics.

          • The Dems in Massachusetts changed the rules so that Romney wouldn’t be able to select Kerry’s replacement (which turned out to be a moot point, since Kerry didn’t leave the Senate). But they didn’t change it back until after Scott Brown won Kennedy’s old seat while on the Republican ticket.

        • Re: the “prepared for the presidency” question:

          Does Fauxahontas really require so much more squinting and tilting of the head than Obama did?

      • Or gets ‘retired’. One reason (I suspect) Hillary was never considered as veep for Obummer – he didn’t want to set a new ‘shortest presidential incumbency’ record. Also why I suspect Gingrich et al. will *not* be on Trump’s short list of veep candidates. My suggestion to Mr. Trump, to ensure his long-term survival in office – Jesse Ventura. Has actual experience governing (God help us) in Minnesota, would bolster the campaign’s anti-establishment cred, and would be even less palatable to our would-be masters than Trump himself.

        • Having lived in MN during Ventura’s time as Gov. I am not so sure he’d be that much of a deterrent. Oh, to the people who want be “masters”? That’s different. Yeah, deterrent.

          • It certainly added force to the term ‘political circus’ – “What’s Jesse going to do *this* week?”

        • Nyahhhh — what he wants is somebody willing to do the heavy lifting of the presidency, is anti-establishment and will reassure the right-wing base while being so anathematic that both the Left and the GOPe will throw themselves on grenades to prevent him ascending to the White House.

          Ladles and Jekylfinns, I give you Ted Cruz.

          And his senate replacement would be nominated by a Republican (of even greater importance — conservative) governor.

          • If he were thinking about Cruz, then he’d start walking back some of the crap he said about Cruz during the campaign. But even after Ted Cruz bowed out of the race, and Trump was given the opportunity to take it back, Trump refused.

            Besides, Trump said he wants someone who he can use to push his agenda through the House and Senate. Cruz has ticked off too many sitting legislators to be able to do that.

            • I’d take it a step further: it’s likely that Cruz himself wouldn’t want to push a Trump agenda…

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Nothing says diversity like two white, blonde women.

        • America, your new leaders stand ready!


          Nothing puts meaning in your lives like a couple old hippies.

          • N.B. — Management not responsible for retinal damage of those so careless as to view this site without benefit of smoked glass filters.

            • How long does one have to smoke glass to tenderize it? I’ve had mine in the smoker for hours, and it’s still as tough as it was when I put it in there.

              😈

              • You have to marinate it properly — can’t help you on the secret sauce because you obviously are not cleared for that knowledge.

                A pity, as it can be an excellent source of fiber.

      • I’ve heard the opposite regarding Warren – i.e. that Hillary has already ruled out Warren as VP.

        • Hillary needs Warren for energy and to help bring the Bernicrats back within the fold. Warren needs Hillary for linking into the Dem donor base and for establishing herself as The One should Trump somehow win in 2016.

  15. It wasn’t the hit that weakened us, and which makes that wound in NYC still fester. It was our fifth column, unable to process or integrate that “littles brown peoplez” are fully conscious and self-agented and that they chose to attack us, and that we must PERFORCE defend and survive. Instead, the left (mostly the left, we have some cartoon critters on the right — for the American definition of right — too.) has chosen to view 9/11 as “all our fault” and a vindication of their hatred for America and their reflexive oikophobia. THAT is still tearing us apart, has resulted in a disastrous president whose greatest qualification was his cool ethnic name, and results in the two bellends at present standing a good chance at the presidency.

    The damage was done when we decided that 9-11 meant we had to be extra sensitive toward Muslims, instead — as would have been the case in almost any other period of history — that the Muslims needed to start sucking up to us fast to be allowed to continue to live. By doing what we did, we signalled them “We are ripe for conquest. Just hit us again and again and you’ll win.”

    And we aren’t, and they won’t, but by so signalling we are going to make the war last longer and in the end be much more bloody — with the lion’s share of the dying being done in the last stages, when the Muslims hit one or two of our cities with pokey little tens-kiloton range A-bombs, and we respond by annihilating the Muslim world with megaton-range city-busting H-bombs. That’s the course we’re on now, and will stay on until someone changes it.

    • The middle-eastern whackjobs and wannabees have pissed a lot of people off, but the only “terror” has been promulgated by our real enemies, who mostly live in the District of Columbia.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      A major mass murder by a Muslim is now the “fault” of the Christian Right and the GOP.

      Anybody who believes that is too stupid to live and thus should be shot.

      • Anybody who believes that probably will be shot.

        If they’re fortunate.

      • I have reached the end point of trying to stand up for gay people I know in US right of center circles.

        They want to see me as evil and the enemy they will learn I’m not good enough of a Christian to turn my cheek and continue to defend them to the people they have declared evil and the enemy.

        • Odd. I am disinclined to defend people as classes but quite happy to defend their right to be treated (praised or condemned) as individuals regardless of what class they fall into … with the single exception of Proglodytes who by their philosophy demand they be treated collectively.

          • The tough problem tends to be when individuals define themselves as the group. Or when the groups are so monolithic that they define themselves into stereotypes.

            • Because if you’re not toeing the group line, you’re a heretic, and worse than the outsiders.

              That’s one of the problems that has beset the Libertarian movement. The party line changes, but mostly in the direction of doctrinal absolutism.

              • Ya. I agree 80% with L party but the glee some have over sticking it to squares with stuff like forced servitude, the drugs uber alles mindset and the myopia on immigration keep me from voting that way

        • In the middle of all the furor about blood donation, I actually saw someone post that if you got HIV from a homosexual’s blood donation, it wasn’t a big deal,we had drugs. . .

        • Nah. Stand up for your actual friends (gay or otherwise) in whatever circles you frequent.

          Don’t bother with defending victim-classes of people. Anyone inclined to hate everyone who fits an arbitrary set of parameters isn’t going to be persuaded by a reasonable argument on the internet.

          On the other hand, points of information, neutrally offered, might help fence-sitters listening in.

      • And yet, 20 years ago, the media would have “sold” it.

        • The Other Sean

          The Internet and ubiquitous camera phones have started to make a real difference.

        • Ayup — just as they sold the tale of David Koresh.

          Refresh my memory … who was in the White House at that time?

          Did the MSM ever figure out what was going on with the WH Travel Office around then?

    • After Benghazi, I was like, wait a minute, killing an ambassador is an act of war. You don’t apologize. You saber rattle, and make them apologize. Doing otherwise makes our ambassadors targets.

      • Yep.
        President Clinton II — we didn’t need all those diplomats anyway.

      • The problem with Benghazi was this: Precisely who were we going to rattle our sabers at? It’s not like this happened in an intact nation-state, where we had the ability to hold the responsible government officials responsible, because there were none.

        And, there were none because we broke our word to leave Khadafy alone, in return for him giving up his WMD programs. See how that works out in the future, when we have to deal with other nutjobs like him. We broke our word, and thus, we screwed ourselves. Seoul is likely to be the beneficiary of Obama and Hillary’s idiotic and entirely non-existent post-war plans for Libya, ‘cos only a damn fool would take the word of a United States politician when it comes to disarming oneself of their WMD. That stupidity alone destroyed fifty years of disarmament and non-proliferation work, for which fact both Hillary and Barry ought to be in the docks for. Along with the unelected and entirely depraved Jarrett.

        • We did not break our word. Hillary and Barry broke George W Bush’s word, and he was a notable dolt whose policies could (and should) be reversed without halting to consider the potential consequences.

          “We Came, We Saw, He Died.”

          With such a simple straight-forward plan what could have gone wrong?

          • Semantics and sophistry, when deployed by the Democrats, do not make for a real difference in perception among overseas nations. They want to believe that everyone sees the nuanced difference between those evil Republicans and the enlightened Democrats, but the fact is… They don’t. Everything these jackasses do rebounds onto the rest of us like so much monkey poo thrown into the wind. And, mark my words: Like Rome, we will all pay for it together, in the end.

            • Hah! You said that the smartest, most enlightened people this planet has evah known! are wrong about something?

              What a hater! Just because you know logic and have lived your life in the real world you think you’re so smart? Racist, Somethingphobe yokel!

  16. Regarding the bundle: “A portion of the money goes to charity—the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education—and, other than a small admin percentage, the rest of the earnings is directly divided among the titles.”

    That’s a truckload of books for sixteen bucks.

  17. The reason that the “Brexit = Trump” meme seems to have caught on is three-fold:

    1) Brexit was a vote against the status quo. Trump’s followers see him as being against the status quo. Thus, the fact that people voted against the status quo in Britain means they will do so again in the US.

    2) Brexit was seen as a vote against high levels of immigration. Trump said at some point in the campaign that he was against high levels of immigration. Thus, the fact that people voted against the organization they see as enabling immigration in Britain means U.S. voters will vote for the man they think will build a wall at the Mexican border.

    3) Probably most importantly, the polling issue. Those convinced that Trump is THE MAN have to contend with the polls that say he’s losing in states that have gone Republican every election since the 19th century. The fact that the polls were wrong in the Brexit referendum has given them hope that maybe the polls are wrong here too, that there’s a “Shy Trumpster” phenomena equivalent to the “Shy Brexiter” phenomena, and Trump really is going to sweep up votes throughout the country.

    Obviously, I think all of these arguments are seriously flawed, but I’m pretty sure that’s what the thought process is.

    • Dunno if it is or will be the case, but “Lie to pollsters, and take your pen into the voting booth.” might be a thing. With time shall we know.

    • One item that’s been noted is that Trump is doing poorly in LDS circles. Given that Latter-Day Saints are one of the most solidly reliable Republican blocs, this is noteworthy. Utah may only have six electoral votes, but the last Dem that the state voted for was Johnson.

      Of course, the fact that Trump attacked Romney over religion during the primary might have something to do with that. Attacking Mormons over religion tends to cause other Mormons to start circling the wagons.

      • Personally, as a Latter-day Saint myself, I would be deeply annoyed, but would roll my eyes, if all Trump did was attack my religion…if Trump were at least a half-way decent conservative. But as far as I can see, he’s Hillary with funny hair, which deeply disturbs me. Certainly, though, the attacks on our faith isn’t helping his cause!

        I was wondering if it were possible that Utah could make the difference between Hillary getting the White House, and her being kept out…after a few minutes of playing with an interactive electoral college map, I was able to find a scenario or two where Utah is the tie-breaker. I don’t remember those scenarios, and I wasn’t doing war-game analysis, so I don’t have any idea what chances there are that will produce those scenarios…all I know is that it’s possible. And with Trump running, it’s even a possibility.

        (I haven’t yet considered how the electoral college might be affected if Utah went for Gary Johnson instead of the other two clowns, but I suspect that, at worst, the electoral college will be tied, and the election would go to Congress…)

  18. I’d feel better about all this if I were observing from the free planet of Venus.

    • I don’t know that Venus is far enough away. I’d rather be observing from Alpha Centauri, to be honest. Hell, to be really comfortable, maybe the Lesser Magellanic Cloud?

      I’d also like a few thousand years of time in between myself and the current idiocies. Reading about this era from a distant remove in time would be nice, as I have a suspicion that the eventual “best-known” history of this era is going to have a similar historic reputation to Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall”.

      • Are you kidding? This current crop of leaders makes gibbons look good.

      • Patrick Chester

        The Terran Overlord Government would still find us at the Lesser Magellanic Cloud.

        • So now this is running in my head…

          Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime,
          Where we’re working in a mine for our robot overlords.
          Did I say overlords? I meant protectors.
          Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          That’s why you collapse the wormholes behind you. It’s the only way to be sure.

          • Patrick Chester

            Unfortunately, the Renegade Legion universe didn’t use wormholes for FTL travel. Some sort of tachyon drive, IIRC.

  19. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    “Go Work.” I’m trying. Nobody wants to pay me.

    • indeed. Then contrive to create some form of work, even if unpaid at first. I agree with Doctor Pournelle on that. If you must teach unpaid, do so. If you must write unpaid (btw, why has your blog not a tip jar? Or did I miss it?) to educate others, do so. Work. The rest will follow.

      • I don’t know how to set one up. And quite frankly, the day to day traffic doesn’t seem to make it worthwhile. If I were pulling a thousand a day, but right now it’s between 300 and 500 a day so far. It’s a global audience though.
        I need to figure out how to boost traffic, but I already am on al the social media I can think of and it doesn’t seem to generate traffic. I don’t really want to just clickbait people, but I want to get seen too. I’m working on it.

    • Free-range Oyster

      Do us both a favor, would you please, and send me an email with your CV. I’m not so much interested in your work history as in what you can do. Mostly remote, though if I know anyone in your meatspace area I’d be happy to pass the word. I’ve always taken pride in knowing someone for whatever needs done, but I’ve let that network languish the last few years. If I can direct work to a tribesman, as it were, so much the better.

  20. I look forward to Empire 2.0 or a Commonwealth federation. The divisible crown means 16 realms share one grandmother as their Head of State. Deeper ties among the realms sound wonderful.

    >

  21. clark e myers

    This discussion hasn’t gone that way but I suggest giving more weight to the urban/rural (for very loose definitions of rural) divide.

    These days the big cities have far more in common with each other than they have with their own hinterlands. It’s not Texans and New Yorkers who have things in common: it’s Houston with NYC and the Hill Country (which extends into the Flint Hills of Kansas) with Upstate New York.

    Speaking of Upstate New York or more literally visualizing it smiley this shows up in ways that I find vaguely surprising. In Switzerland for example the lead (but not the only) case is when the community of Emmen (near Lucerne) refused citizenship to some foreign residents. The people, Turks and people from the former Yugoslavia, were promptly offered citizenship by Geneva. In Switzerland this would actually work in a sort of way. Citizens of Geneva would be de jure citizens of Switzerland and entitled to live, as a foreigner and so registered with local authorities most anyplace in Switzerland – though they be not local citizens.

    I suggest this question of weighting urban and rural influenced Larry Correia when he wrote:

    I was talking …about this yesterday, mostly being my usual optimistic self, and telling him don’t worry, the election wasn’t going to be Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders, …….
    My prediction is that the republican nominee will be Ted Cruz. The democrat nominee will be Hillary Clinton.

    Ted Cruz was the overwhelming choice in Republican Idaho but not nationally. Bernie Sanders was the overwhelming choice of Democrats in Republican Idaho for the Democratic candidate. Easy to discard Sanders support in a Republican state and arguably easy to overweight Cruz as the overwhelming choice. As the polls show the mob is fickle.

    The “main mass media” may be losing power every day. Riding public transportation and sitting in the back of the bus/light rail – where it’s safe, don’t do this like it’s home – in Chicago or Atlanta suggests to me that mass media is more effective than ever some places.

    • Sanders might have won if it weren’t for the superdelegates thing. I haven’t bothered to look at how the raw voting totals work out, but that definitely hurt his chances.

      As for Trump…

      It’s been noted that Trump is disliked in LDS circles. Since Correia frequents those circles (by virtue of the fact that he’s LDS, and I’m guessing lives in a heavily LDS community), that would obviously skew his perceptions of who people were going to vote for.

      On another note, I had a sneaking suspicion that Trump might just pull it off last summer when Peggy Noonan wrote her second op-ed piece about Trump in the Wall Street Journal, and noted how popular he was among the members of the Spanish speaking community in the areas around where she lives.

    • It’s not urban-not urban. If you actually lived in a large city any amount of time, you’d know it’s “neighborhoods.” Urban votes are just easier to steal by fraud.

      • clark e myers

        I’ll stand by my remark – granting that granularity is infinite: cue the joke about a suicidal co-religionist with die heretic scum for the punchline for those with only a vague memory who might be troubled by trying to remember
        .

        I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said “Stop! Don’t do it!”
        “Why shouldn’t I?” he said.
        I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”
        “Like what?”
        “Well … are you religious or atheist?”
        “Religious.”
        “Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?”
        “Christian.”
        “Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
        “Protestant.”
        “Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
        “Baptist.”
        “Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”
        “Baptist Church of God.”
        “Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”
        “Reformed Baptist Church of God.”
        “Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”
        “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”
        To which I said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.

        Personally I’ve lived on the economy from Lausanne to Miami to Boston to Chicago to Denver to Seattle among other places – notice for nit pickers La Sallaz which isn’t big, Coral Gables which isn’t too large and Coconut Grove which is very much a neighborhood, Back of the Yards where Saul Alinsky actually did some good and Hyde Park which is a crazy (making) place to live. Renton rather than Seattle and I worked both sides of the dividing line in Plant 2 and Littleton and Conifer in Colorado not strictly speaking Denver at all though I worked in Denver proper for a while. Oh and I forgot Atlanta which was actually Decatur, DeKalb County.

        I agree that neighborhood – defined for Chicago say as almost everything you need so you don’t actually have to get out for much and many don’t – is an interesting question. I knew a native in Back of the Yards who had seen much of the world (we’d been through some of the same places) but had never (seldom couldn’t cite an instance when I pursued it with him) been to the Northside. Easy enough to distinguish White Sox and Cubs fans. Tell me the parish and I’ll predict the team but back off a little on the granularity and it’s all baseball.

        Notice that although I never actually worked for Boeing I hung around there a lot and I first raised the question of cities and their hinterlands in a group of Boeing customer service engineers (one of the media web types serving the group had been married to Roberta Pournelle’s nephew). One of the dual citizenship engineers carried a Republic of Ireland passport for travel convenience but his first loyalty had come to be to the U.S. of A. because the Palouse was more like the rural countryside of his youth than anyplace in Ireland today. We agreed Toulouse was a city more like Renton say than either one was like the Haute Savoie. Somebody up with the cows on summer pasture has more in common with a Basque shepherd in Idaho than either does with a Breakfast at Tiffany’s type.

        I argue that an understanding of Brexit involves understanding affinities shared among some of the successful cities in the UK , Brussels and Strasbourg. Edinburgh or City of London voted 25% to leave, Cardiff voted 40% to leave. And in the end the vote was exit.

        The ultimate point is that there exist city and country divides in the UK voting. When or if the divides become fracture lines is very much unknown. Some understanding of the divides as they exist in the U.S. of A. might be found by looking at the divides as they exist in U.K.

        And I stand by my remark that cities in the United States of America have more in common with Brussels and Strasbourg than with smaller communities in the United States of America. Bearing in mind that big city is a shadowy term – Chicago’s population is all of Washington State while Seattle’s population is all of Idaho while greater Mexico City at 21,000.000+ dwarfs anyplace north of the border.

        • When it comes to fraud, I think it’s more a a machine vs non-machine issue. While I can’t discount fraud in Utah, for example, it seems more of a problem in Albany, NY than Salt Lake City, UT.

          But I agree with the urban/rural divide. Even in Utah, where even the cities tend to be rural-ish, Salt Lake City is well known to be liberal moon-bat territory. For that matter, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester were known exceptions to the rule that you can count on Upstate New York to be conservative (and in Albany, it’s because it was the co-capitol with New York City that probably made it more city-like, than anything else — not that New York City is any sort of official capitol — but every governor that swears to spend most of their time in Albany ends up spending at least half of their time in NYC anyway…).

  22. I’m not sure what this means, but….

    The Berlin Wall fell at the end of ’89. The USSR dissolved in ’91. The EU formed in modern form in ’93.

    I don’t know enough to say which of the first two was nastier, but I do know they’re both much nastier than the EU, not that it’s much of a complement.

    It *looks* like folks might actually be trying nicer and nicer forms of really big top-down power junk, and it keeps failing.

    • The EU had been in the works for a while by the early ’90s, ostensibly as a way to demonstrate European independence from and competition with the US. Given that many of the European nations had trouble meeting their minimal defense commitments under NATO even during the height of the Cold War, this independence and competition wasn’t really feasible until the bear next door suddenly vanished. But make no mistake – the intent had been around for a while.

      • I figure the “it doesn’t happen instantly” thing locks in good with the “it didn’t collapse instantly” side. (Although wasn’t The Wall a big surprise?)

        • The collapse of the Iron Curtain is an interesting thing. It happened over the course of a single year. I’ve got a game – 1989, by GMT Games – that covers it, and there’s little bits of background blurbs discussing what each of the cards in the game refers to. It’s very strange – a series of small events, none of which individually would have meant much, but that collectively amounted to the complete collapse of the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

          Perhaps the strangest of all was the fall of Ceasescu in Romania. For most of the year, it looked as if he was going to successfully ride out the events that were happening in the rest of Eastern Europe. But on December 17, a protest was brutally crushed. On the 21st, Ceasescu gave a speech to try and deal with the fallout… and no one cheered. And on the 25th, he was executed.

          Of course, 1989 was also the same year as Tianenmen Square. And that turned out quite a bit differently.

          And the Wall was indeed a big surprise. A flustered official accidentally told reporters that civilians could freely travel to West Germany, border guards decided not to try and stop the civilians, and that was pretty much it.

          • Of course, 1989 was also the same year as Tianenmen Square. And that turned out quite a bit differently.

            Tianenmen Square was a closer run thing for the Chinese Communist Party than people realize – there were PLA units that were ordered to Beijing to break up the protests that basically didn’t answer the phone, or had “trouble” making the road march, or had other reasons they couldn’t get there to shoot and run over those kids.

            The generals and their staffs in charge of those PLA units didn’t survive long after the protest were finally so brutally suppressed, so in the end if they had “followed orders” and marched to the square, but when they got there announced that they were supporting the protesters, they actually would have had a better chance than they did with their passive-aggressive historical decisions.

  23. The entrenched powers that be ought consider that, as the song says, the world might not be coming to an end; it could be …


    The World Is Comin’ To A Start

    (N.B.: those lacking patience for the set-up should jump to the 3’30” mark.)

  24. *snort* The thing that has me laughing the most is the idea that England’s economy will suffer because of Brexit. It was already suffering because of the arbitrary rules and various green initiatives imposed by Brussels (And for the record, having to run appliances for longer because they are fixed to an arbitrary ‘power save’ mode doesn’t actually ‘save’ anything in the long run. Not in bills owed or in efficiency.) It is not hard for companies and countries to simply dust off pre-EU agreements with the Commonwealth and renegotiate or renew contracts with Britain working with the Commonwealth. Also, there’s no longer the pots of money draining out of the British coffers to the EU’s ‘immigrant problem.’

    Hell, the EU would have hit Australia with fines or forced them to dump ‘less than perfect’ looking fruits and vegetables. Instead, there’s been a push here to get those vegetables and fruit sold cheaper just because they don’t ‘look as pretty.’

    Also, looking forward to seeing what they’ll do with the criminals that the EU was refusing to extradite that are filling up British prisons.

    That’s all I really have to say on the matter. Yay Brexit!

    • Instead, there’s been a push here to get those vegetables and fruit sold cheaper just because they don’t ‘look as pretty.’

      And thus the “baby carrot” was born–take an ugly carrot and cut it down to a shiny, smooth, well-formed carrot shape that it is entirely carrot and still (in a way) fake.

    • Hell, the EU was standing by to impose sanctions on Austria for electing the wrong candidate which they had already done once:

      A Hofer victory could, in turn, trigger new parliamentary elections. Recent polls suggest the FPÖ would lead the field with more than 30 percent of the vote, more than 10 percentage points ahead of the governing parties. That could vault Strache into the chancellorship, with polls also suggesting many Austrians would like to see him run the country.

      Europe responded to Austria’s last embrace of the FPÖ with disdain. Under then party leader Jörg Haider, the FPÖ joined a conservative-led government in 2000, prompting the rest of the EU to impose diplomatic sanctions on Vienna. Nearly 30 percent of Austrians had voted for the far-right party, a result many Europeans believed reflected the country’s failure to stamp out the vestiges of Nazi ideology after the war.

      So, forget toasters and kettles, the EU has already proven that if the voters of member states elect the wrong government the EU will punish them.

      Imagine Obama putting sanctions on red states (some would argue he has but this was out in the open and the threat of repeat was wielded in the recent Austrian runoff).

    • Also, there’s no longer the pots of money draining out of the British coffers to the EU’s ‘immigrant problem.’

      I found this indicating the annual net contribution by the UK to the EU (i.e. what the UK pays annually to the EU minus annual spending by the EU in the UK) is net £8.5 billion.

      Why, the UK could amost build the California High Speed Rail if they were allowed to decide how to spend that money themselves!

  25. “Vichy Mitchy bragged of being Trump’s golf and text partner.”

    Minor nit: That was John Boehner, not Mitch McConnell.

  26. BobtheRegisterredFool

    http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2016/06/28/donald-trump-campaign-committing-campaign-finance-felonies/

    Trump is apparently trying to fundraise off Brexit from Scottish MPs. Streiff doesn’t feel like doing the obvious ancestry baiting.

    • The linked article supports Sarah’s “kiss the canvas” theory – the “Goat Rope” (to quote the article) campaign that Trump is running is not at the level of the campaign of a candidate who expects to effectively compete.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        The ‘gay’ and ‘cokehead’ Trump models probably never would have occurred to me if his campaign hadn’t sent someone out to deny them.

        If he is actually trying to win, I must wonder if he can pass medical exams well enough to actually serve as president.

        I’m not any sort of bigshot expert. All I have is time, raw analytical ability, and a strange set of foundational political assumptions.

        It seems so obvious to me that he is either a) not putting in his honest best effort b) not closely in touch with the reality of winning the general election or c) hiding medical limitations on his ability to hold events, attend meetings, and make informed decisions. I want to assume that I am crazy if it is not obvious to everyone.

  27. This seems relevant:

    Brexit and the Counter-Cosmopolitans
    By Yuval Levin — June 28, 2016

    For Americans contemplating our peculiar political moment, the lessons of last week’s British vote to exit the EU may have less to do with the outcome than with the nature of the referendum and of the responses to it.

    [SNIP]

    Throughout the West, the institutions that hold communities (and therefore ultimately nations) together have been fracturing for decades at the same time, and for some of the same reasons, that an assertive and powerful cosmopolitan elite has taken shape. The combination is creating an intense desire for a reassertion of control and authority from the bottom up, and therefore also some intense pressures for a revival of national control, strength, and significance in the face of globalizing pressures. This resurgent national yearning is in one way or another growing in most Western societies. Many things could be said about it, good and bad, but one is surely that it strongly suggests that globalism is not the future and nationalism is not the past.

    Dismissing the growing desire for and force of nationalism as pure bigotry or revanchism or xenophobia is neither rational nor fair—indeed, such careless dismissal often itself sounds little different from blind bigotry. That a fervent national spirit can (like other fervent political passions) invite and incite resentment, exclusion, and hate is beyond question. But it need not be the equivalent of any of these, and it is up to political leaders and political cultures to draw crucial distinctions.

    • I just read an update on Erdogan’s new groveling to Russia that noted the Brexit vote effectively pulled the teeth from Erdogan’s threat to manipulate the flow of Daesh refugees from Syrian and Iraq to Europe, which he was using to gain concessions from Brussels. Basically in light of the results of the vote and recognizing he does not have the leverage he thought he had, he’s now mending his fences in the other direction.

      And of course Putin is laughing.

  28. In the 9th paragraph of your post, you suggested that the “left” was obsessed with the possibility of a U.S. breakup. Did you mean “right”?

    • It’s been the left for a long time in my experience – I had a lefty high school social science teacher back in the 1970s (rotary phones! teletype machines! get off my lawn!) who was all hot for first a breakup of Canada and then the US into smaller, easier to control “countries” just to make things “fair”.

      I suspect the real reason for that teacher at that point in history was something along the lines of “only the USSR deserves to be big”.

      • The pattern I’ve seen is that the right tends to think it would be a decent solution to pursue for enumerated, practical reasons.

        The left tends to think it’s going to happen.

        • If anything, the right is looking at certain geologic features and trying to sort out where to drill and put the explosives in order to hurry up the good work of Sweet Saint San Andreas. (H/T SmallDeadAnimals)

    • I don’t think that map after 2004 of The United States of Canada (with all the blue states having joined Canada) vs. Jesusland or Dumbassistan (depending on the version) was exactly done by some right winger.

    • No, actually. Some of the right have caught this, heaven knows why, but it was pioneered by the left when the USSR broke up, and they still LOVE the idea.

      • Perhaps it’s from the attempt in-state to keep the cities from strangling the country-side?

        California has been talking about that since my dad was a kid; that’s what made me twig on to the way that the right might suggest it for practical reasons, usually on a local level, but the left seems to think it’s going to happen.

        I have seen some converts who kept the “it’s all going to fall apart” belief, too.

        • Not in-state. Of states falling off from the US.

          • I understood that, I’m just trying to figure out what the source for the “country goes boom” thing might be.

            Oh,maybe one of those electoral maps that breaks it down to state by state? If someone’s not much thinking, that DOES make it look like states are clearly divided.

  29. Tangentish but maybe not.

    One of the things I keep reading is the EU prevents war by having free trade and Brexit ends that therefore war.

    Then I came across an article about Tolkien and the Somme, a battle that began 100 years ago Friday.

    The author covers some ground I’m familiar with but hadn’t thought about in the context of Brexit:

    Confidence in human progress led some to believe that, with the help of modern technologies, wars could be fought with minimal cost in life and treasure. Others argued that rational Europeans would soon dispense with war altogether. In The Great Illusion, British writer Norman Angell claimed that the Industrial Revolution​—​by creating economic growth and interdependence​—​had changed the dynamic among nation-states. The great industrial nations of Britain, France, Germany, and the United States were “losing the psychological impulse to war,” he wrote, just as they abandoned the impulse to kill their neighbors over religion. “The least informed of us realizes that the whole trend of history is against the tendency for men to attack the ideals and the beliefs of other men.”

    First published in 1909, The Great Illusion became a runaway bestseller. The book seemed to speak to a deep and widely shared aspiration: the “perpetual peace” imagined by philosophers such as Immanuel Kant. Novelist H. G. Wells recalled the mood: “I think that in the decades before 1914 not only I but most of my generation​—​in the British Empire, America, France and indeed throughout most of the civilized world​—​thought that war was dying out. So it seemed to us.”

    I heard about this in the context of another book, The War of Gold and Steel (I think that is the title, it weighed heavily in the 70s Encyclopedia Americana article on the war).

    While not free trade we had treaties like the Brand Pact between the wars to prevent war.

    This faith in treaties to end war is showing up, I believe, in the reluctance to see certain Islamic factions at war with modernity and explains the hate for Brexit which will “ensure war”.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I see it as yet another extension of the technocratic dream of reforming society. Treaties, bureaucracies, and not calling a thing by its proper name having ever so potent magical powers.

    • Let’s be real here. There is one institution that can prevent a European war, and has, for the better part of six decades (barring the Balkan unpleasantness in the 1990s).
      That institution is NATO.

      • I thought you were going to say “the US army”

        • In the end they are the same thing (especially if you expand to “US Armed Forces”).

          • John Bolton has addressed that very point recently in the NY Post:

            How America should answer the Brexit vote
            [SNIP]
            Most importantly, America must now address the larger “European project,” the effort to create a European superstate. We should understand that the EU’s founding intellectuals always had in mind an expressly political objective, rather than merely economic ones. Although we have been deluged by economic arguments before and after last week’s vote, these have always been secondary to the goal of “ever closer union.” This is what British voters emphatically rejected.

            “Ever closer union” rests on a fundamentally flawed premise, and its logic leads inexorably to reduced US influence in Europe and globally. Its creators and adherents believed the very concept of the nation-state led to the 20th century’s two great wars; their principal goal was nothing less than eliminating nation-states on the continent.

            They utterly misunderstood the reality that not all European states had caused military conflicts (and the Cold War), but a select few. Totalitarian ideologies were the problem, not the nation-state generally. Accordingly, creating a European superstate is irrelevant to preventing future conflicts.

            EU theology manifests itself most clearly in the often-made, utterly fanciful, claim that the union is responsible for the absence of war in Europe since 1945. Instead, what’s responsible is NATO, led from the outset by America. Using our military predominance in Western Europe during the Cold War, and continent-wide since 1989, we have fully integrated the military-industrial complexes of NATO members into NATO structures.

            For 70 years, not a military sparrow has fallen in free Europe that we didn’t know about. No European state could revert to authoritarian militarism in such circumstances. And so powerful was our presence and our nuclear umbrella that the Soviet Union was kept at bay.

            Here is where “ever closer union” constitutes a direct threat to US interests.