When The Machine Breaks

This doesn’t refer to my battle with flu from hell, (I’m okay, sort of, except still running a low grade fever — to be fair I get that from auto-immune attacks too.  Don’t ask — and very, very tired) and ow it interrupted my writing and projected writing.  This has something to do with it in that when I get sick and can’t get well in a timely manner, I always feel like a) I’m doing something wrong b)get angry at myself for not getting well already.  This fits larger patterns where things don’t behave as “expected.”

I made a comment at one point that what is causing the left’s extreme panic-tantrum is the fact the machine broke.  Brad Torgersen used this for a facebook post, and crazy comments ensued.  At any rate I don’t remember exactly what I said anymore, but it went something like this: the left fed the right coins into the machine — the fundraising for Hillary was astonishing — and pulled all the right levers, from a press more than fully in the tank (to the point of getting the debate questions ahead of time to the Hillary campaign and also of BURYING her many scandals, including Benghazi, the financial shenanigans of the Clinton foundation, and the crazy server-in-the-bathroom stupidity), to celebrity endorsements, to more or less helping the Republicans select the candidate the democrats thought least likely to win against Hillary. Fraud to the extent it exists (It did in massive galloping amounts in the precinct I watched in 12.

The polls, cooked or not, were no more cooked than in 2012, and they showed a blow out.  EVERYTHING WAS GOING SO WELL.

And then the machine broke.  Instead of the planned, prepared, pushed Hillary presidency it delivered Trump.

Right now, from pussy hats to riots, the left is reacting like teenagers who did everything right and for whom the vending machine failed to deliver what they purchased.  So they’re screaming, and trying to push the machine and slamming it against the wall, trying to get it to dispense the treat they bought.

Their reaction is understandable — no, really — but it’s also become so unhinged I’m afraid they’ll bring the machine down on top of themselves.

And yet, yes, it’s understandable.  You see, humans are creature of habit and creatures of narrative.  The Left has known — and admitted — for very long that the media slant gave them an extra ten percent of electoral advantage.  They know that doing what they did always worked in the past.  FURTHER the narrative, because progressivism is a splinter church of communism which is a full on religious belief with tales of a primitive communitarian Eden, and its counterpart tales of a perfect communist future where the state isn’t even needed to assure form each according to his ability and to each according to his need, believes in an arrow of history and believes the future always moves in their direction.  It falls from their lips and pens in the unconsidered way of a subconscious belief: “the right side of history”  “The side of the future” etc.

After 2012, having achieved the election of arguably the most leftist President ever (well, in living memory.  There is a reason he kept identifying with FDR) they thought the future was now theirs, and within striking distance.  When they keep saying Hillary is the most qualified candidate EVER, they are right.  They don’t care about her little snaffus like Benghazi because that doesn’t matter to them.  What mattered was her impeccable authoritarian and progressive credentials.  They thought she was a slam dunk and would solidify the results of the long march into the (in their opinion) utopian socialist regime of their dreams, making a defanged US into a sort of Europe-light, which in turn would not “take” so much of the world’s wealth (remember these people have no more idea of wealth creation than they do of flying unassisted) and make the whole world richer, and because war comes from economic deprivation (go with it.  Yeah, I know, but it’s what they believe) there would be world piece and mercy abounding.

This they thought was Hillary’s mandate and what was within striking distance.  And instead they get a president who puts the brakes on the taking of unvetted refugees (note the left didn’t mind Obama’s 6 month moratorium or call it a “Muslim ban” — it wasn’t anymore than Trump’s is — because they knew Obama was on their side, so he must be right.)  They get a president who has a mandate to dismantle the crazy golem of Obamacare. They get a president who is moving to reduce regulations on US industry and commerce, thereby unleashing us to become richer (you must remember they think this happens by stealing and oppressing from other countries.)

It’s no wonder they’re losing their minds, though it’s still insane that they are talking about Trump taking women’s rights (I’d like one of them to tell me which rights he’s taken!) and it’s bizarre to call someone who is reducing regulation “fascist.”  (They must believe fascism happens UNLESS a boot steps on the human face forever.  I have no idea what to do with such complete misunderstanding of human nature and human history.  None.)

The thing is what is happening to the left is coming for all of us.  I’ve had it hit me before, about five years ago, in my profession.  Our political disruption, and the fact that “doing the right things” no longer works is a reflection of catastrophic technological change, i.e. change that moves so fast it destroys entire industries and ways of life. Even when that change is for the better — and it largely has been — it leaves people feeling lost and confused.

Humans don’t adapt well to rapid change, and humans have trouble coming up with relatives to replace the ones they grew up with.

So the insanity you see in politics, in writing, in entertainment (music!) and in journalism, and which is starting to hit education (and would already have save for the MILLIONS governments have pumped into it the last decade, which weirdly have delayed the impact of new tech BUT also made it more inevitable education as we know it will fall, just as the push model for publishing made it more lucrative for a bout a decade, but also helped distance publishing decisions from what people actually bought and therefore opened the door to the impact of indie.) and I suspect a lot of other fields, some of which don’t even know it.

Yes I know we wanted flying cars and colonies on the moon.  We don’t have that — yet.  Who knows? — but we got instant communication and trade of knowledge and knowledge-work around the world and relatively cheap transportation. We also got the ability for any individual anywhere, with relatively small investment, to reach any number of individuals all over the world. It’s far more subtle, but perhaps more revolutionary than flying cars or colonies on the moon.  It’s changing the way society functioned since the late nineteenth century and gluing it back again in ways that were unimaginable even fifty years ago.

When YOUR machine breaks, when the way things always worked stops working, bafflement, panic and anger are normal.  Be prepared, so instead of reacting in a destructive manner, you react rationally, thinking through what happened, and how you can take advantage of the change that is inevitably coming for you.

Let that be your narrative.  Ride the wave of change to better shores.  Be not afraid.

 

290 responses to “When The Machine Breaks

  1. Christopher M. Chupik

    We’re dealing with people who are more interested in being on the right side of history than with doing the right thing.

    • Patrick Chester

      Then history runs them over and they have no idea what just happened.

      • Hmmmm. Only if they don’t run over the historians first. They are showing a far more appalling tendency to violent rioting than conservatives.

        • William O. B'Livion

          When was the last time Conservatives rioted?

          • Dec 16th 1773 perhaps? Though I’m not sure that really qualifies as a riot. There was destruction of property, yes, but it was mostly tea.

            • Battle of Athens.

              • Eh, the riots happened during the fight at the jail according to my relatives. Wasn’t the GI’s fault… well, not completely, say. There was provocation. Heck, the lefties would probably support it (a black man did die first off, being shot in the back by a deputy after said deputy refused him his right to vote).

                It was a mess and a half is what it was. What can I say? Politics in Tennessee (they elected Al bloody Gore, thanks to the Nashville/Memphis vote). The Appalachian states have a bad habit of electing crooked politicians. My theory is that the prevailing feeling is politics is dirty, and anyone who wants to put their hand in must be dirty too, so only dirty politicians get elected. Or something very like.

                Fortunately, that is slowly turning a bit. TN went for Trump heavier than I expected. Now if they can just get a leash on those gas taxes and so on…

                • Referring more toward the actual actions of the GI. During the 70s and such you had weathermen et al. Lots of little things but just as many failures. On the right (or at least noncommunist) you have Anders Brevik and McVeigh. Small sample but big event. The right may have more patience but I wouldn’t want to be the one to provoke em.

                  • Okay, I can see that. It doesn’t quite fit the modern riot narrative that the left seems to follow. And so far, when the conservatives get pushed to that point, they’re pretty darned effective. No, I wouldn’t want to be the target of such ire either. T’ain’t healthy, that.

                  • Brevik not American so an entirely different Right/Left paradigm is involved. Toss as irrelevant data point. McVeigh … there was considerable “evidence” he was set up and used as a stalking horse, played by Islamic terrorists. There is no evidence he could be reasonably classified as conservative.

                    It might be better to look at bombings of abortion clinics for instances of conservative=promulgated violence, but these (such as Eric Rudolph) seem to be lone wolves (not that Leftist media organs will acknowledge that) rather than organized efforts.

                    Look at how hard the MSM tried to scare us about the “militia movements” during the Nineties — there were a lot of sparks struck but very few conflagrations.

                    • The whole left/right thing runs into the “Christian terrorist” problem– there are a lot of religions which have no issue with the tactic of terrorism. Christianity, OTOH, does— and additionally teaches that there can be absolute nobility in refusing to be cowed by it, and paying the ultimate price, if it is for a good reason. But those who want to “prove” what they already “know” that all religions are the same have to find (…make…) examples of Christian terrorists.

                      Riots and terrorism are, by definition, going to have indiscriminate damage to people and property. These are antithetical to conservatism. Very carefully chosen damage isn’t, but the “do it to Send A Message to other target” is.

          • I think our version looks more like that scene in Indiana Jones where the guy shows off his awesome sword moves… and Indy shoots him.

            • William O. B'Livion

              Neither this, nor the battle of Athens was a “riot”.

              Violence, yes. Riot? No.

              • Er… Point of fact there was a riot (sort of) in Athens, but the battle was not the riot, and the riot not the battle. Folks torched deputies’ cars (the ones trying to keep the fix in for Cantell and his boys). Some out-of-towner deputies’ vehicles also got a bit scorched. All this went on during the night of the fight at the jail, and only that night.

                There were no rapes that I ever heard of though, and storefronts and shops were left strictly alone. The only ones like to get beat on was the ones perpetrating/aiding and abetting the fraud. Oh, after there was fights, too, be the new sheriff’s deputies put paid to those, too (if you believe Bill White, whom my uncles say might have exaggerated a time or two).

          • Maybe some of the demonstrations in support of segregation, depending on where you put Southern Democrats on the political spectrum.

    • These poor creatures do not realize that “politically correct ” means “incorrect”.

  2. The problem with cargo cults is that eventually the people flying the planes figure out there’s a problem, take steps to address it (such as developing better communication methods than a simple array of lights) and the planes stop landing.

    Performing the ritual more carefully does not bring back the cargo. Performing the ritual more enthusiastically does not bring back the cargo. Performing the ritual more fanatically does not bring back the cargo. Performing the ritual more hysterically does not bring back the cargo.

    Because your methodology is fundamentally contrary to underlying natural rules, the ritual will no longer produce results — you have to find a different route to the goal. But for the people most successful at the old ritual are very resistant to starting over and giving up the high status their ritual performance had produced.

    • Also remember, paradigm shifts don’t usually occur to individuals, but to groups when the elderly believers in the original paradigm die off and the younger members take control. If the analogy applies, it’s important that we get the message of how the world actually works out to young folks, as the committed leftists are probably now unable to incorporate the shift of worldviews that would be required for them to function in reality into their psyches.

      • Can’t get the message out if the receivers aren’t receiving.
        * The number you are calling has elected to block all calls from you.*

    • There’s an old Taoist proverb about a man who had rabbit stew for supper one evening after a rabbit ran up and dashed it’s brains out on a stump he happened to be standing beside, and then starved to death standing next to the stump waiting for another rabbit to come along.

    • The other thing you find with cargo cults is that full, wholehearted participation is demanded of everyone in the village. When the cargo doesn’t come, it’s probably because of some wrecker ruined things for everyone.

    • What Res said. Doing the ritual always worked before … so it must work now!

  3. I’m ok with change. What frightens me is the accompanying violence.

  4. I realized the other day that one of my brief pre-Army jobs had, mostly likely, been replaced by technology. I had a brief job where I called up a vet’s clients and reminded them that their pets needed to update their shots. Now you can give the vet your email address and be sent a reminder, which is done by a third-party. (Mind you the same practice still sends out post cards, at least up until we gave them our email addresses.)

    • Our vet office sends the cards.

      Actually, they were really good – they sent us a condolence card when our Little Miss (a 19 year old English Shorthair named Smokey) had to be put to sleep in December.

  5. So, someone moved the Progs cheese and now they’re starving? (I really hated that book and thought it was dumb that my boss bought a copy for all of us but it did have a point about change being inevitable.)

  6. “They must believe fascism happens UNLESS a boot steps on the human face forever. I have no idea what to do with such complete misunderstanding of human nature and human history. None.”

    This is -exactly- what they believe. Tax the ill-gotten gains of the evil rich, who have more than they need! Give that money to the deserving poor, the victims of the evil rich and their gluttony! Stamp on their faces until they stand in line properly!!!

    I believe that mostly they just hate everyone and seek to cause misery, because the above model is not even wrong, it is aardvark.

    What to do? Point a spotlight at them, mock their stupidity, never give them a break. Defy them, demoralize them and defeat them every time they lift their heads. Sad Puppies, writ large.

    • Exactly. If they appear to be amenable to education, try to teach them how the world really works; but if not, treat them as the recalcitrant children they are, and make sure no normal people observing them are taken in by their inanities.

      • Imagine the violent reaction if an Article V convention Amendment was passed that the progs don’t like. Of course they would be laughing at the people playing at democracy until the results slapped them upside the head. Either that or there would be riots outside the convention to make certain that only progressive amendments would be passed.

        The more that I think about it the more I can see violent confrontations happening during an Article V convention.

        • You will know things are really bad when a “leader” arises to “guide” the “righteous anger” of these currently pretty much formless rampaging mobs.

          When there’s a dude or dudette making wholesale changes to the constitution at such a convention, whether the rules under which the convention was called allow for those changes or not, and the hall where this is happening is surrounded by a violent mob of these “protesters” violently preventing anyone not agreeing with the dude or dudette from getting in – that’s the time to start worrying.

          Hopefully the nearest friendly US Army armored division will just by chance happen to arrive to help with trash cleanup and such. A crafty dude or dudette will have planned for such a contingency.

      • they aren’t recalcitrant children. They’re criminals! At least the violent ones are. The others are useful (to commies) idiots.

    • “Tax the ill-gotten gains of the evil rich, who have more than they need!”

      Generally speaking, 99% of us will never have to worry about being considered the “evil rich”, or even the merely rich for that matter. For us, a free market and a minimal pay-as-we-go system of taxation would work fine.

      The problem is, economic systems break down when too much wealth is accumulated by too few. Anyone who’s read history concerning monopolies, trusts, and trust busting can understand that concept. Anyone who’s ever played Monopoly can also understand that concept. Sure, you own everything if you win the game. But nobody has anything of value to buy or rent from you then.

      The hard parts are figuring out how much is too much, and how do you correct that imbalance? And trusting the governmental elites only ensures they’re they ones skimming wealth off every transfer.

      • Monopolies are transient creatures UNLESS enforced by government. True since Rome.
        And as for too much money concentrated — Pfawgh. Unlike Bernie Sanders I don’t imagine the rich are swimming around in a pool of money like Uncle Scrooge. Rich spend and invest, and you need not worry, again absent government collusion, that money usually doesn’t last three generations.
        These phantoms you conjure and that statists conjure to justify their existence ONLY happen through distorting regulation.

        • Classic example of the government’s roll in maintaining monopolies is both Standard Oil and AT&T were broken up AFTER competitors (the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast oil companies such as Texaco and Gulf and the third party long distance companies like MCI and Sprint respectively) had shown up and started to eat their lunch.

          In fact, AT&T sought to escape prior consent decreases on anti-trust cases by being broken up as the gov’t supported monopoly couldn’t compete in new markets or with new competitors.

        • When the government tries to take money from the evil rich, the rich spend more time and effort hiding what they have over trying to make more. And this hurts everyone (see postwar England for a great example).

          • Rich? HA! I’m just back from California, dealing with my parents’ estate. Every. Single. Person. I dealt with wanted to be paid in cash, or came prepared to pay in cash. I was boggled. We’re talking repairing the fence, selling books and furniture. Not a rich person in sight.

            Sarah’s said that when you can’t live inside the laws, you live outside them. And I can say that the Black Market is in full swing in the most liberal state in the union.

            • I can say that the Black Market is in full swing in the most liberal regulated state in the union.

              You had a minor writing glitch there but it’s fixed now.

              Of course there’s a Black Market. The State requires Black Markets, if only as an excuse to prosecute the indiscreet.

              • Of course there’s a Black Market. The State requires Black Markets, if only as an excuse to prosecute the indiscreet.
                It’s also a great incentive to get people donating to the party re-election fund.

            • Well, it’s not the Black Market. It’s the Grey Market–everything’s legal, but there’s no record of the transaction, and as long as you don’t put the money in the bank the government never knows you had it.

        • You mean the rich wouldn’t be swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck?

        • Patrick Chester

          Unlike Bernie Sanders I don’t imagine the rich are swimming around in a pool of money like Uncle Scrooge.

          I hope not. The papercuts would be horrifyingly painful.

          • Not mention the concussion, when you dive onto a mound of gold coins from the diving board.

            • Patrick Chester

              Gold is one of the heavier elements. Maybe not like Uranium or Plutonium, but #79 is up there.

              • It’s my understanding that relativistic effects puts the outermost electron close to the speed of light, so the electron is heavier, and thus closer to the nucleus than normal — and so (if I remember correctly) it’s even heavier than lead.

      • In addition to what Sarah said, even the lowest income tax bracket in the US qualifies as in the top few percent of income when you figure in the rest of the world. Are you willing to give up most of your income so that you’re “equal” with some random schmuck in Bumfuck, Africa or Fuckoffistan, Asia for the sake of supposedly* unconcentrated wealth? Many of those who buy into the whole “evil rich” meme are also fervent believers that nations in general are evil and that wealth distribution should be global.**

        * “Supposedly” because all too often those who guzzle the Statist Flavor-Aid (not Kool-Aid, dammit! 😛 ) and happen to be in charge of the organizations tend to do quite well in concentrating wealth in their own pockets while picking those of others in the name of “fairness”.
        ** Or rather distribution of the wealth of others, not themselves. After all, per their logic the Enlightened Ones(tm) should be given a reward for guiding the drooling masses towards a utopic future.

        • Also NEVER underestimate a socialist’s ability to label you “rich”. We’ve found tax increases affected us when we were young and BARELY making it.

          • I still want my Bush tax cut back. It definitely hurt a lot when it went away and damaged my income.

          • I was badly shocked at a tax bill I had when I was living in Oregon and broke. It was for a single month of income in the state, and was $50—which doesn’t sound like much until you realize that we figured out after the fact that we had been eligible for food stamps, and were literally counting pennies at the store.

        • Then there is Obama’s half-brother living in a cardboard box in Kenya. It isn’t just someone ‘random’; playing one less round of golf per month would greatly improve his brother’s life. Again, it isn’t *their* money they are wanting to share, it is *your* money.

          • I sometimes wonder how much he’s been shaken down, if the neighbors know his brother Has Money….

            Came to mind because the parents of one of my Libertarian Totalitarian cousins (AKA, college liberaltarian, etc) are big believers in a really good group that collects money to sponsor a kid– and while yes, the kid gets X or Y Big Cool Thing, the entire village gets a huge benefit.
            I think one of the levels is something like “buy a goat for a girl,” so the girl’s family gets a goat so they can get milk and sell it and etc. But the whole village gets… I think it was something like a bunch of chickens, or hay, or some other community improvement/envy prevention bribe, which lasts only as long as the girl’s goat stays with her family.
            They’ve also got flatly community based ones, like sending half a cow to a village. No, they don’t deliver a side of beef, but they do deliver a whole herd, bought on a bit-by-bit basis.

            I haven’t looked at their accounting (both money and “the cow is actually used for the village” type) stuff, so I am not trying to remember the name very hard. 😀

            That said, I would totally go for some sort of US military “come in, get trained, get a rifle” fund raiser for women…..

            • I do not pretend to know the market economics of Third World villages, but most of what I <I<have seen suggests that you cannot “buy a goat for a girl.” A goat is probably going to cost at least two girls.

            • Look up Appleseed Project online. The women’s classes are called Ladyseeds.

      • If the few are creating lots of good-paying jobs for poor people with their wealth, what’s the problem?

        “And trusting the governmental elites only ensures they’re they ones skimming wealth off every transfer.” I’ll agree with that part of your post.

        • The problem is that envy is a very efficient crowbar for prying loose political power, and there are people out there who can’t resist the temptation to grasp it with both hands. The target is immaterial, but if they are the “few” more’s the better for whipping up the disgruntled.

      • You are making the mistake of thinking that money can be concentrated.

        Money is not is a finite resource. It can actually be created, which is easier to do than destroying it. Because once new monetary worth has entered the system then it becomes available to others.

      • The problem is that Monopoly was originally created as a strawman argument against monopolies, and has little to do with real economics. Monopoly ends when one player remains. In the real world, in that sort of situation the monopoly would fold because no one can afford to buy their services.

        Note that in Monopoly, you begin with an initial amount of money, and get $200 for passing Go. That supposedly represents a “salary.” Where does the money come from? Why, from the bank, of course. And what happens if the bank runs out? Why, the bank is authorized to make more. In a more realistic game economy, income would be generated on a varying, regular, basis based on goods and services purchased by the other players. There’s nods to this with utilities, railroads, and some Chance and Community Chest cards, but it no way reflects the real world, just as jail time is arbitrary in the game. In a more realistic model, each player would receive income for work/business they do/own, and pay for utilities and transportation and such on every turn. Each player should be able to set prices as they see fit, not by color group. I’m sure everyone can think of modifications to make it more realistic, including the option of hiring yourself out to work for another player in return for steady income, but less than you could achieve with your own business.

        And . . . I think too much about this stuff. A nephew and I once came up with DnD Monopoly, with kingdoms and hostile takeovers that were real hostile takeovers. Never did complete it, though.

        • Monopoly is, at its highest level of play at least, a good game, but it prepares you for real-world economics approximately as well as playing Chess prepares you for real-world battlefield tactics or Clue teaches you how to be a homicide detective.

        • When I was in Junior High, my Geography teacher had us play monopoly by normal rules, then by “socialist” rules, and finally by “communist” rules. I wasn’t aware of the original rules, but it got duller every time.

          The “communist” session was cut short on account of a school assembly, but our teacher explained that had we stuck it out, all of us would have gone bankrupt. He then went on to say that the two biggest problems in communist countries is alcoholism and suicide.

          • That’s odd — reports say the two biggest problems in junior high school are alcoholism* and suicide.

            *well, drug abuse, which falls into the same general category

      • William O. B'Livion

        > The problem is, economic systems break down when too much wealth is accumulated by too few.

        Utter nonsense.

        It’s not the delta between the poor and the ultra rich, it’s whether the poor can obtain what they consider to be the essentials.

        Today the rich and poor are closer then ever in what they *have*. In 2009 the most powerful man in the WORLD had a Blackberry. My daughter–in junior college in one of the poorest states in the country, working part time jobs, had an iPhone. Now, admittedly Obama had a Lincoln Limo to drive around in, and my daughter had a 10 year old Honda her grandma bought her, but still.

        Statistically speaking no one in America starves to death[1]. In fact calories are so cheap that even our “homeless” are often obese. Poor people have cable TV and and broadband/high speed internet access in their homes. They have multiple pairs of shoes and some “poor” families have multiple cars.

        But if you REALLY, REALLY want to get all petulant about wealth accumulation the answer is pretty easy–just limit family trusts to X times the average income of the US–including real property–per member of the trust, and everything else has to follow normal inheritance laws. That lets people pass their wealth on to their children, but it puts it in the hands of the kids (when the parents die) who must then make wise decisions on how to manage it. Most won’t. Freedom (mostly) preserved, and most of them will be back to middle class in 2 generations.

        For the record, I oppose that because I don’t think that delta is the problem. I think the problem is that the USG (and other governments) make it more difficult than it should be to grow a business beyond a certain point.

      • The problem is, economic systems break down when too much wealth is accumulated by too few.

        The metaphor is flawed– “wealth” isn’t a single variable. It’s a way to describe “ability to improve your situation.”

        It tends to be used to mean something more like “property that is currently demonized.”

        One of the things that some of those civilization building games got right– oil was either worthless or a liability, until we figured out how to use it. And now the world runs on oil…..

        • The later Civilization computer games don’t even show you where many of the resources are until you can use them. That means you can’t preposition your cities to take advantage of resources that you’re not going to have the technology to use for over a couple hundred turns.

          And as a result, you can hit the modern era only to discover that you don’t have any oil in the territory you control…

        • Wealth, if you pardon the expression, is like manure. It doesn’t do a bit of food until you start spreading it around.

    • “More than anything else, the Universal Card system would protect us from authoritarianism . . . People like Big Brother can only succeed where they find society fragmented, unorganized and leaderless. But if the Universal Card is adopted, Big Brother and his henchmen could never get into positions of power. We would be there already.”

      Satire, but catches it nicely.

  7. “Making a defanged US into a sort of Europe-light, which in turn would not “take” so much of the world’s wealth (remember these people have no more idea of wealth creation than they do of flying unassisted)”

    Reminds me a quote from one of those smart guys, I can’t remember if it was Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams: “Asking why the U.S. controls most of the world’s wealth is like asking why bees control most of the world’s honey.”

    • scott2harrison

      And the UN wants to be the beekeeper.

      • Makes same sense as putting a bear in charge of the bee hive. Two shakes of the bear’s tail and the hive is destroyed and the bear sits with honey all over it’s snout.
        Which would seem a fair analogy of what occurs when a UN “peacekeeping” team rolls into an area. No five star hotel, Michelin restaurant, or underage virgins are safe.

        • There does not exist a humanitarian crisis that the UN cannot make orders of magnitude worse. I don’t find many reasons to feel sorry for the Palestinian “refugees”, but the fact that they have a UN agency devoted just to them is on that list.

          • I remember Get US out of the UN bumper stickers back in the early 60s. I thought they were silly. My father said it made sense but would never happen. I’d like to see them again.

  8. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Your “When the Machine Breaks” reminds me of “The Machine Stops” (1909 short story).

    The Progressives wanted a world where “The Great Machine” gives them everything they want/need but can’t imagine “The Great Machine” failing/stopping. 😦

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Machine_Stops

  9. I am not sure I can take advantage of anything right now. I’m sorry. Too many things breaking all at once in my world since October (actually since 2014). I still haven’t got a breather and now my body is deciding to break down.

    • I hear you on that one…. Extra vitamin C never hurts?
      I also keep emergency SF by the bed for waking up in the middle of the night. Better to switch the light on, read a bit, and then try to crash again than to get no sleep at all.

  10. I suppose we could start referring to that whole Sad Puppies business as our version of the Spanish Civil War, in other words a precursor to the current uproar in the nation. Bunch of progressive elites get caught out and shown to be fools. Difference being, the Hugo awards were small enough for them to trash, while our country is bigger than that.
    As for the arrow of time, I’m guessing that in certain circles that recent dissolution of the U.S.S.R. is considered a minor bobble or a slight course correction, eh?

  11. Well, this isn’t how I was going to approach this but I’ll go with it. I was going to take the line of cultists going into a frenzy as their cult dissolves around them with their leader being shown as a false messianic figure. Too many people thought the prior President brought a total new eschatological settlement to our world and are now finding that he was merely a flawed human male.

    This will continue to be exciting, I fear.

  12. Whenever I see “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”, I can’t help but think about the irony that this is best accomplished by the free market — individuals thinking about their own needs and abilities, and other people’s needs and abilities, and acting accordingly — and the sadness of the Frankfurt School, who, upon seeing this, decide that in order to achieve “communism” in the United States, they had to destroy everything that made America successful.

    Indeed, it’s interesting to observe that (1) any oppression that Marxists observe in “capitalist” society is usually the result of government meddling in the free market (whether it be from crony capitalism or from some form of well-meaning social engineering), and (2) that “appointing” bureaucrats (who suspiciously almost always get power by their own machinations, rather than by being chosen by the very people they claim to be representing) to determine the needs and wants of the people, rather than leaving it up to the people to work it out for themselves, *always* produces far more oppression than anything even a crony capitalist might do.

    • True Marxists are ALWAYS elitists who believe in their heart of hearts that they know better than you do what you must give them and also what your suitable needs are. They always preach about that glorious time when they no longer need to “manage” society to ensure fairness, but somehow they never ever seem to get there. And somehow they also always seem to come round to the conclusion that since they care so very much and work so hard for the collective, that they deserve just a few modest perks beyond what the lumpen proletariat are allowed.

      • It’s important to realize that Marxism is essentially medieval feudalism with the gloss of Christianity removed.

        • Not true in the slightest.

          • Well, perhaps not wherever you are. But here in the real world, it’s definitely so.

            • Marxism opposes private property; feudalism did not.
              Marxism opposes monarchy; feudalism virtually required it. (There were, to be sure, a couple of oddball cases like the Republic of Novgorod, in which the city itself functioned as suzerain.)
              Marxism opposes religion, root and branch; feudalism is philosophically and practically dependent upon the tenets of Christianity as practised at the time.
              In Marxism, there is no law, only Plan, and the power to carry out the plan; in feudalism, there is an endless proliferation of both statute and customary (in England, ‘common’) laws, and rights once granted by fee or charter cannot be arbitrarily revoked.
              In Marxism, there is no personal loyalty, only loyalty to the Party. Feudalism is a system based entirely upon personal loyalty and the sanctity of personal oaths.
              In Marxism, everything is political. In Feudalism, politics is a narrow field pertaining only to the relationships between liege and tenant and the relations between states.
              Marxism seeks to create a Utopian society. Feudalism was an evolved response to the actual conditions at the time, with the limited purpose of defending society against massive invasion after the Roman army proved incapable of doing so.
              Marxism maintains that there is no objective truth; that the ‘ideological superstructures’ of any society are entirely determined by its economic basis. Feudalism maintains that truth is objective, eternal, and resides with God.
              Marxism considers human nature infinitely malleable, and seeks to create a new and improved Socialist Man. Feudalism recognizes that human nature is what it is, and seeks to work with the material available.
              Marxism considers that the primary division of the human race is between one economic class and another, and says that these classes must always be irreconcilably at war (until the proletariat wipe all the others out, producing the Classless Society). Feudalism is fundamentally based upon contracts between one class and another, and recognizes no irreconcilable conflict of interests between those classes.
              Marxism produces totalitarian government, in which the dictator may with impunity order the arbitrary execution or starvation of millions of his own people. Feudalism recognizes that a lord who does not perform his duties to his subjects is no lord, and may be justly deposed.

              Apart from these trifling differences, why of course Marxism and feudalism are exactly the same. Which is to say, they only differ in everything.

              • If “feudalism is philosophically and practically dependent upon the tenets of Christianity as practised at the time,” then how was it that feudalism also managed to take root in places like Japan? Not snarking, genuinely curious since you seem to know something about the subject. Would you say that what we call “feudalism” in Japan is actually something different, or was the practice of Shintoism/Buddhism in that era of Japan similar enough to Medieval Christianity to make it work?

                • It seems to me that Feudalism is broadly* what nearly all forms of government devolve into being. A few people/families rise to positions of power and entrench themselves, doing their damnedest to raise the drawbridges and ensure their idiot descendants cannot blow this cushy gig.

                  Thus saying any system of government is “essentially the same as Feudalism” is akin to saying Water is Wet, Fire Burns, Bears defecate in the woods and the Pope is** Catholic.

                  *Broadly, in the sense expressed in William F. Buckley Jr.’s dictum:
                  [T]o say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around.

                  **By definition if not philosophy.

                • Did it? What are the points of commonality that let it be called feudalism? Or are they just talking loosely?

              • You’ve just described Marxism as a religion, whether you realize it or not. They can profess to be against all religion, but that doesn’t make it so. As to opposing private property, go ahead and claim that the property used by the various elites in any Marxist society are for the use of all the people–see what response you get. All you’re doing is claiming their hypocritical dogma is true.

                • The property used by members of the elite in a Marxist regime can be confiscated at will by the regime – usually along with the lives and careers (and often the families) of the members themselves. It has no security, no protection at law, and cannot be sold, leased, alienated, or otherwise disposed of at the will of any private person. It is not private property, any more than the White House is the private property of the President of the United States.

                  • So what you’re claiming is that property under marxism belongs to the religion and will be taken from the adherents if they are heretical in any way. You’ve just made my point stronger, even though you don’t understand that.

                    • No, I haven’t. Under feudalism, all property did not belong to the Church.

                      I say again: Learn something about feudalism before you talk about it. You pick nits about two (2) of my assertions about Marxism, and ignore all the rest. Yet ANY ONE of my points is sufficient to refute your claim that Marxism and feudalism are essentially identical.

                    • Under feudalism, did anyone other than the mobility own property? Or did all property belong to the lord of the area? Feudalism and marxism aren’t identical in the niggling details, but in the general operation of the society they’re pretty damned close. Pretending otherwise is just an exercise in academic blindness.

                    • K, you’ve gone from it being dechristianized feudalism to the “general operation” being what’s the same, and are still going for insults rather than non-assertion based support for your beliefs…and all AFTER Sarah said to cool it?

                    • Insults? No insults at all there. You’re seeing what doesn’t exist.

                    • *hands him the Projection trophy* Blindess and ignorance, indeed.

                    • Whatever.

                    • Under feudalism, did anyone other than the mobility own property? Or did all property belong to the lord of the area?

                      Most property owners were not noble. The gentry were an important class of society; so were the freeholding small peasants, who in England were called yeomen. Much land was held in allod, or absolute ownership, subject only to the payment of taxes or dues to the sovereign (as in all forms of government).

                      Feudalism and marxism aren’t identical in the niggling details, but in the general operation of the society they’re pretty damned close.

                      In fact, every claim you have made about feudal society is simply false. I suggest you read some history on the period; it sounds like everything you think you know is based on Whig and French Revolutionary propaganda, written to defame the historical period before theirs.

                      Pretending otherwise is just an exercise in academic blindness.

                      If by ‘pretending’ you mean ‘understanding the facts’, and if by ‘academic blindness’ you mean ‘actually knowing something about feudal society and history’, then you’re reasonably close.

                  • If I understood my history correctly, those same rules applied in Czarist Russia: all property belonged to the Czar and was “lent” to individuals, such loans being revocable at whim. In fact, the only practical distinction between the Czar and the Soviet was the means of determining the ruler.

                    • By the same token, Communism as it works in China bears remarkable resemblance to how their system of warlordism worked prior to the 20th Century.

                      Culture is inexorable.

                    • That’s true, but largely irrelevant: Tsarist Russia was not feudal.

                    • By the same token, Communism as it works in China bears remarkable resemblance to how their system of warlordism worked prior to the 20th Century.

                      Warlordism was a feature that emerged during the early 20th century in China, after the abdication of the Manchu dynasty. It was never a system and was not a continuous feature of Chinese society. And it was the antithesis of Communism in one very important way: there was no central authority in the country. Each warlord paid lip service to the idea of national unity, but only because he fancied himself as the founder of a new dynasty and wanted to rule all of China one day.

            • P.S. If you want to sneer at me about ‘the real world’ and claim that I am ignorant of it, do so to my face, and not hiding behind a keyboard with a transparently phony name.

              Demonstrating that you even know what feudalism is would also be a plus.

              • An excellent precis of feudalism, sir! I was too lazy this afternoon to start one, and that was just as well; you analyzed and wrote far better than I could have done. As always, it is a pleasure to contact your mind at work.

                As to the question of aliases and handles, I am afraid that praise from a false name could be as obnoxious as blame. But I will plead that I myself come from a country where Poor Richard wrote an almanac, Publius advocated a new Constitution, and Mark Twain was one of our greatest writers. There is something pleasing to the American mind about inhabiting a different identity in public.

                So although I do not agree with “drloss” in this argument, I beg you will not feel insulted by the pseudonymity of those of us who delight in handles. It is all in jest; no harm in the world.

                • *big grin* I think as long as we’re not breaking the irony meter with ad hominem, we’ll be OK.

                  I know that I get more pissed at folks who sneer at “geeks” in World of Warcraft’s trade chat than I do when it’s done in real life, even though both are annoying. Hypocrisy sucks.

                • Perhaps I need a pseudonym, but I am not totally convinced. The ethical code of Christianity and the divine right of kings are certainly not part of Communism, but the economic (in a misunderstood way) code of Marxism and the infailabity of the ‘Supreme Soviet’ come close in a twisted way.
                  Just as the lord has obligations to the peseant, the Leader has obligation to the worker; both IN THEROY. In reality, human nature being what it is, both end up with overlords and an underclass. Stir in a little war and suffering and presto. YMMV (and I assume for Tom, it does).

                  • Can we dispense with arguments over namenclature? Pseudonyms are a common online and do not generally represent an attempt to hide on’e identity. It is simple fact that any “name” used online — or in “real life” — is necessarily “real,” Nobody here has any assurance that “Donald Campbell” or “Tom Simon” are truly who they identify as, nor does anybody much care.

                    So long as a commenter remains generally consistent in their presentation whatever identifier they’ve provided should be sufficient. As the examples of Brendan Eich and SF Republicans suggest, there can be ample good reason to use a pseudonym and nobody ought be attacked for such reticence. Certainly, bristling about somebody “hiding” behind an online identity seems inappropriately sensitive.

                    Just to be clear about my own stance, if ever you meet me at a con you will find my nametag reads “RES” because that is the name I employ online, where I will have met any fellow attendees — as Sarah and several other Huns can attest.

                    • According to Heinlein, as long as your intent is not to comitt fraud, you can state your name, RES is pronounced William. I have been known as DonC on some sites. I learned in the Compuserve chat era that it is easier to notice your own name than a handle (INTrePid). Now, I admit that in my younger more foolish days, when I visited porn/sex sites, I indeed used a pseudonym not related to my name in any manner; but they supported the concept of public and private chats.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      In my case, I am making a token effort to hide my identity. I started using the internet seeing it as an essential security counter measure against predators. If I shared my personal political opinions openly in public as freely as I do here, I might be forced to form and share an opinion on several questions that I now see fit to leave unanswered. Like ‘Is it possible for someone to vote for Obama and still be fit for a position of public trust?’

                    • Moving down because I love this topic….

                    • Sigh. I posted early on under my nom-du-blog of Sgt. Mom, because I was just retired from the military — but my daughter was still in the Marines, and my parents and brothers were listed in public directories. I did not want anything I posted to backfire on them in an ugly way. Having seen how the SJWs have gone all punitive in the last few months and weeks confirms my wisdom in keeping a nom-du-blog, under which I have been consistent under it for more than a decade.

                    • Certainly, bristling about somebody “hiding” behind an online identity seems inappropriately sensitive.

                      Context.

                      I know I’m a heck of a lot more sensitive about the vicious attacks from rioters packing “Love Trumps Hate” signs than I would be from someone holding an “F* Trump” sign.

                    • There is only one of me and we are all of us.

                    • I must spell out my middle name to get anything like a unique response from google. Many have the same middle initial.

                    • My real name sounds like a bad Harry Potter x Lord of the Rings fanfic character. I like my name anyway though.

                • I don’t object to people being pseudonymous in good fun, or for reasons of national security, or to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. It merely irks me when they use that privilege merely as cover from which to fire snotty remarks.

                • By the way, I must thank you for your words of praise. I can claim no particular credit on this score. It was not quite for nothing that I took half a degree in ancient and mediaeval history (before being whacked in the hindbrain by a pickup truck, with great vigour but fortunately indirectly); and some of the remaining defects in my education were remedied when I read Lewis’s The Discarded Image.

                  If I had a good Victorian shilling for every time someone utters nonsense about feudalism, I could corner the old-coin market.

              • Silly man. My “transparently phony name” is in fact my initials and my actual last name. Try another insult; that one didn’t take.

            • You’ll need to do some major work to support that one, and you go for a silly cheap-shot?

              Argh….

              The abuses are fairly similar, but the abuses of most any system are similar. Has to do with the abusers being human.

        • Pretty much. Instead of the three pillars of king/peasantry/church that feudalism rested on those who would be kings are standing in the pulpit wearing a peasant costume.

        • OT: Thanks for the mention of retsina a while back. Enjoying some now. To my astonishment $HOUSEMATE proclaimed “It tastes like white wine” rather than claim it some new version of “yuck.” I do notice a piney finish.

      • Well, note how they always refer to “the people” or “the workers” or “the masses” in third person. In their world view they’re never anywhere but on the planning committee. Always the commissar, never the kulaks.

        • My dad taught me when I was about twelve that anyone campaigning “for the good of the people” was a no-good crook.

          • After listening to a podcast on the French Revolution, I now cringe whenever I hear someone who justifies something as “the will of the people”. It seemed that pretty much *every* horror of the French Revolution was “The Will of the People”.

            There’s no way we can understand enough about the “will of the people”, even with surveys and elections, because mashing together the wills of millions of individuals ignores the differences each individual has — and chances are, the will of *most* people oppose the average of those wills!

            • The will of the people is simply the will of the mob. Mobs are driven by demagogues.

              • ‘The Will of the People’ is not even that. It is a phrase used by would-be tyrants to put a seemly face on their own will. Lenin never commanded so noble a thing as a mob; could not comprehend human nature well enough to ingratiate himself with one.

                • The Will of the People is less easily known than The Will of G-d — He dictated His instructions. Those advocating His Will typically haven’t read those instructions; they’ve merely skimmed through looking for phrases that confirm their wills.

                • The “Will of the People”… well, as the people are ignorant and subject to internalized oppression and all sorts of false consciousness, they really can’t be trusted to know what is best for them. Why, they may do all sorts of dumb stuff, like live in suburbs, or buy large automobiles!
                  Thus, the “Will of the People” is best known by the Properly Educated using the best computer models, and can tell the foolish flyover people what is best. Thus, the economy is perfectly fine. Obamacare is doing perfectly fine, and the US Education system is perfectly fine. What are you going to believe, what the best educated people using the best computer models, or your lying eyes?

                  • Modeling is a horrible trap for science and engineering. There is an old truism, “The map is not the territory.” I believe this is even more true with computer models. I truly believe that model based science is mostly computer aided mental masturbation.

                    Would you believe a master of the game Leisure Suit Larry when he tells you that he totally understands women?

                    • Oh yes. Modeling can only have use if there are validated data sets from reality that can be used to build the model. And that model must conform to those data sets plus subsets that were not used to train the model. Only then will the model Be an appropriate model of the past. And if inputs are understood, of future. Today we just make a model, leave out hundreds of variables and never check it in many fields.

                    • Modeling is a horrible trap for science and engineering.
                      It’s even a worse trap for politicians. Happily, the Clinton machine fell into that very trap, and the Left is still drinking Nate Silver’s ink.

                    • I think that the Climate Change swindle gives modeling a bad name; largely because it is a p*ss-poor model with absurd simplifications. It ignores land and sea, it ignores the sun, it ignores water vapor, a more significant greenhouse gas. Oh, and it ignores temperature data sets that don’t give the answers they want.
                      I have worked with reliability models for 30-40 years. Monte Carlo bootstraping simulations and SIMAN/ARENA in grad-school training since 2008. I mainly utilize historical data for future results, run simulations of known past situations to verify they accurately predict known results, and validate models with known measurable systems to then apply to systems without measurable results. Be careful, know your results may be biased, know your results have random results even if the ‘model’ is very accurate. And most important; the science is never settled.

                    • Models can be extremely useful in areas with extensive, valid background data where the model results can be validated. Using huge models to project decades into the future and then use the results to lobby for extensive modification of how civilization operates is the epitome of hubris.

                    • Climate “science” Modeling is an awesome example of why you need to use the models as a tool, not as the whole thing–if you test it and find it works, then it’s worth trusting. If you find yourself refusing to past-test it (start it at 1800, feed the data you’ve got into it, see if it ever gets near what actually happened and try to figure out WHY) then you’ve got a problem.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      I’ve got to go with it is a valid tool if not misused, and incredibly easy to misuse.

                      The laws of thermodynamics and the beam deflection equations are mathematical models.

                      I don’t have the sense to make any point, so I will just repeat my usual ‘all models are wrong, but some are useful’.

                    • My impression has been that the editors of the Washington Free Beacon would not endorse your sentiment.


                      As they seem to be of the view that nothing about Kate Upton is wrong.

                    • Mr. Campbell, I wonder if I could quote your comment – the one ending ‘the science is never settled’. May I have your leave?

                    • Would you believe a master of the game Leisure Suit Larry when he tells you that he totally understands women?

                      Ooooh, I really like that take-down of “modeling.” Must remember it.

                    • Tom, certainly. Please quote it, steal it, expand on it. I find the claim of absolute certainty to be proof that science was not involved.

          • Always look for what is being stolen when “it’s for the the Children” is invoked.

    • The problem of Free Enterprise is apparent once you realize that many people take more than they need. Nobody (except a Hollywood Megastar) needs a house that big, much less two of them, one in Los Angeles, one in Milan, with condos in Manhattan, London, Paris, Nice, Milan …

      Nor does anybody need a high-powered rifle complete with 1000X scope and belt-fed loader to hunt deer.

      If only people would abandon greed and accept only what they need we wouldn’t need a governing state.

      • Of course the elites like Algore need the big houses, private jets, big cars, and frequent world travel because reasons and stuff. The media is okay with it, so it must be good.

      • When they start walking their talk, then I might consider starting to think about perhaps taking their arguments with some degree of seriousness. But if all they can be is a bad example, why should they deny others the freedom to do and be the same?

  13. “I know we wanted flying cars and colonies on the moon.”

    My attitude about the flying cars has always been that if I get mine, that a-hole who cut me off also gets his, and I don’t think he can be trusted with 3-dimensions. And then this morning, I was the a-hole (there was a car in my blindspot I didn’t see, and I nearly hit him when I changed lanes), so I probably can’t be trusted with a flying car either. All in all, maybe it’s just better that we don’t get them.

    As for colonies on the moon…I never really wanted those, or even Martian colonies. What I wanted was the Federation, a place where the Starship Enterprise could whisk me out of the solar system so I could see the wonders of alien worlds, then get back to Earth in time for my mother’s birthday.

    • We already have flying cars, or at least the technology to produce them in quantity. What we do not have is air traffic control sufficient to handle the three dimensional traffic jams they would produce. But with the advent of driverless cars, can driverless flying cars be all that far behind?
      As for moon bases, we reside at the bottom of a very deep gravity well. To properly explore the solar system we need a better launch platform. At 1/6 G a permanent moon base would give us that.

      • Given my long experience (albeit as a bystander, mostly) with software screwups, the idea of ‘driverless’ cars scares the living shit out of me.

        • And as a software tester who knows more than is comfortable about how NON-flying NON-driverless cars can be hacked, you should be terrified. (Pro-tip: Do not buy anything with wireless built in. Just DON’T. The technology is cool, I grant, but automobile companies know less than nothing about threat profiles for software. And they have been warned, repeatedly.)

          • I totally agree. Wireless would be fine if it wasn’t integrated with the computers and bus that control the vehicle. As part of an isolated infotainment system, wireless is fine by me – but not integrated with the vehicle’s control system. Wireless updates for the vehicle computers scare the crud out of me, especially given how cruddy many of the car manufacturers have proven at getting tech right lately.

          • Yup. As an IT security worker, I’ll never own a vehicle that can be accessed wirelessly. Heck, I’m considering getting an antique that doesn’t have an ECU! (Well, not yet. But maybe…)

          • Didn’t someone get arrested (in the last few years) for doing a sort of unauthorized security test on an airliner? As I recall the gentleman hacked into the cockpit through the entertainment system. (Why the two would be connected, I have no idea unless it would be to override the entertainment system from the cockpit.)

            • There are a couple of reasons there’s a connection. One I think is as a way to shut down the entertainment system from the cockpit, the other is to supply data regarding the flight. Many of those entertainment systems have a screen you can access that displays current position, speed, altitude, etc.

          • Yes. I’d love to find a way to clip some of the wires in the “access ALL the things!!” system in the pick-up. And muffle the GPS: no, I don’t want Toyota or anyone else knowing where I am at all times so they can “rescue you if you have a break down.”.

            • Yeah, what if the police could give you uncontestable speeding tickets based on surveillance of your GPS. I guess I’ll keep driving grandma’s old ’64 Chevelle.

              • A few years back Illinois was using a ticket system that monitored how fast your cellphone moved between cells.

                • This should worry the heck out of anyone who has played Pokemon Go– I’ve gotten “you are moving too fast” warnings while sitting at the park.

                  • Earth’s rotation? 1,000 miles per hour (more or less…)
                    Orbital speed? 490,000 miles per hour?
                    Hey, lady, you’re speeding, but so is the neighborhood!

                  • And Ingress has a similar thing… but I have heard of person doing stuff while flying a private plane, so… how effective is that, again? Even if in a well-done tight circle.

              • Since I was doing 48 in a 45 and was passed by two SUVs that darn near made sonic booms, I’m not too concerned on that count. But if I want to go out to the back of beyond to get away from people for a while, I don’t care to have a helpful voice from [company or agency] chirping from my speakers “This vehicle is far from a main road. Are you in distress?”

              • One of the only ways people could be converted to EZ-PASS was the assurance they couldn’t be ticketed if they traveled too quickly between exits. Having said that, I might add that if the the GPS show you’ve been speeding, but you weren’t involved in an accident, you were obviously driving safely, and aren’t the laws meant to keep us safe?

                Wonder if the computed speeds traveled on EZ-PASS turnpikes and thruways are available anywhere? Probably not a number the powers that be want publicized.

                • Back in the day, the state of Oklahoma would issue you a ticket on the Turnpike if you were speeding based upon the time you got on the tollway and the time you got off.

            • I got a new CPAP machine last year. After being assured by the supplier that they were the only ones who could access it (it has a cellular modem built in) I found out it automatically uploaded data to its manufacturer’s server, :”so I could access it via their web site.” And then I found out the chipset they use includes GPS.

              It turned out that once you pry the fascia off and open it up, there’s a connector you can pull off to disable the “phone home” hardware. Which is good, because they don’t need to know when and where I decide to sleep.

            • You act like you’re going to be given the choice. The company I work for just completed a little project for a Dallas area auto dealership holding company (50 plus dealerships, all major brands) that involves them putting in a dongle in front of the ECU diagnostic port with it’s own cellular phone number so it can phone home to the Borg cube with essentially everything the black box records about where and how you’ve driven the car. The ostensible reason is so they can send you maintenance reminders, recall notices, tune your engine for how you drive, etc.

              They figure this will pay off with enough mined data so they can afford to install it and pay the cell bill.

          • Maybe someday we’ll have a near all terrain vehicle that runs on readily grown cellulose and emits biodegradable or even useful exhaust. Hang on… don’t well call those “horses”?

            • Except that we’ve decided the exhaust products from those represent the greatest threat to the planet ever, and that all must be eliminated immediately.

        • It was when I was working for a telecommunications company as a software engineer that I came to several conclusions.

          1. There exists at least one all-powerful God.

          2. It is by His/Her/Their intervention that anything we do technologically actually works.

          3. This being (or beings) *really* hates engineers, judging by the Cthulu-maddening types of sacrifices required to make technology work.

          I have been listening to talks by a software engineer and pioneer Alan Kay, who discovered a language called Smalltalk, and is convinced that everything technological can be made much simpler. It’s really depressing to listen to his presentations, because he’s right. What’s worse, is that we’ve had all the tools and knowledge we’ve needed since about the 1950s or 1960s to simplify things, but (for various economic, political, and social reasons) most of this is ignored.

          The only thing I find more depressing is listening to a talk about security, and knowing that *no one* is going to do software security right.

          I think these two things are major factors to my simultaneously contradictoraly wanting to never see a computer again, and wanting to rebuild computer systems from the transistor on up….

          • Software engineering is not a dark age. There are sound technical reasons why you have to sacrifice a black goat every new moon.

            Also remember not to use chicken blood and duct tape; it’s duck blood and chicken tape.

            • Dark ART. sigh

              • Some software engineering is still in the dark ages. Management likes to burn the heretics who warn against going with Big Vendor, or warn about the gaps in functionality and costs fill for the Buy side in the eternal Build vs. Buy debate.

            • Perhaps not a Dark Art, but a good many programmers prefer relative darkness in which to work. I know I had people asking me how I could tolerate a black background on everything and light grey text. They looked at me funny when I asked why they spent so much time staring into a lit up bulb.

              • Good explanation. I’m a “lit up bulb” person, myself, but I understand better now why some are not.

        • Consider the airplane on autopilot that proceeded to do a barrel roll to wheels up position when it crossed the equator. Someone screwed up their symbols in the computer code.

          And I could go on about computer bugs. Yes driverless cars are generally terrifying if you know enough about coding and computer bugs.

      • We already have flying cars, or at least the technology to produce them in quantity.
        Are we talking about proper “Back To the Future” type flying cars, or neither fish nor fowl fixed wing aircraft that can technically drive on the road? Most of those tend to be poor aircraft that are too lightly constructed to be good cars… or require you to leave the flying bits behind somewhere. And you still need to get a proper pilot’s license to fly.

    • Just get a Google Autonomous Flying Car.
      Have entire car become a blinking fluorescent orange whenever you go on manual driving/piloting.

    • I’ll take a flying car when it comes with a rail gun and a the right of free fire. Cut me off will you?

    • Yeah, I’m resigned to dying a groundhog and never having a flying car. Right now I’d settle for affordable driverless cars before I’m too old to drive myself.

  14. Hopefully, we are on the Field of Cormallen… “As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless…”

    Though there was still the Shire to scour clean afterward. That’s what we’re training for here.

  15. “it’s bizarre to call someone who is reducing regulation “fascist.” (They must believe fascism happens UNLESS a boot steps on the human face forever. I have no idea what to do with such complete misunderstanding of human nature and human history. None.)”

    One of the biggest lies of the 20th century was labeling fascism as ‘conservative’ and then conflating it with conservatives in the US. If you research the political planks of the Nazi party, you’ll find that most would fit in nicely with today’s socialist political platforms. In essence Nazism and Communism were ‘siblings’ that despised each other but briefly held a common front against western Democracies until the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union (the Nazis always perceived the Communists as their deadliest rival).

    So two questions; how did the left convince most people that Nazism is ‘conservative’ and why did they do so? Well you have to remember just how effed up the world was during the Great Depression. Western democracies failed to end the depression and it became fashionable to believe the democratic governments were increasingly incapable of governing. More and more people started believing that you needed a ‘strong man’ or dictator to get things done.

    At that time Communism was making great strides (though mostly propaganda) and had attracted much of the western ‘intellectual’ support. However, Communism’s rabid hatred of upper classes scared the wee out of the rich. Then the Nazis with Hitler at the helm arrived and were even more ‘successful’ than the Communists. With the Nazis if you kept your mouth shut, did what you were told and weren’t Jewish or some other official ‘undesirable’; you were pretty safe (unlike Stalin’s Soviet). So if you were rich and amoral back in the early/mid 30s living in a dysfunctional democratic country in fear that the Communists were going to take over and strip you of your wealth and life, who would you throw your support to?

    Western intellectuals really, really hated the Nazis for their treachery against their beloved Communism and didn’t want any association with Nazism even though it was a statist form of government that had many similarities with Communism. They realized that since some of the rich and even middle class in this country had briefly supported the Nazis in the early/mid thirties that it would be a wonderful opportunity to make Nazism a creature of the capitalist rich. And so they went to work with great success.

    Ask yourself this, which political group is more likely to create a fascist government? One that promotes ever increasing government control of all aspects of our lives or one that wants to greatly decrease government intrusions and actually rule according to our constitution?

    • It’s also worth noting that pretty much all modern non-communist governments (our own a bit less so than most in Europe, but still) are essentially fascist in their operation. Not quite totalitarian or completely authoritarian, but fascist nonetheless and tending toward those “-arian” heresies.

      • Very true. Also, crony capitalism is by far the preferred form of capitalism across the world. Real free market capitalism is reviled because it isn’t ‘fair’ but the real reason is that it doesn’t provide the graft that crony capitalism does. And by happenstance, crony capitalism is the hallmark of fascist governments.

    • Red or black fascism, as Heinlein called it. All the same.

    • The other peculiarity of Weimar Germany is that there was no right wing as we think of it in the English-speaking countries.

      The principal force on the Right in Germany consisted of monarchists who wanted the Kaiser back. As this was a pipe dream, they squabbled among themselves about which of his sons, nephews, or assorted other royal hoboes they wanted to put on the vanished throne. But the Kaiser’s régime had been thoroughly authoritarian in a watered-down, proto-Fascist way – militarized and regimented to a degree unthinkable in any other Western country. Since the time of Luther and the Peasants’ War, the German people had been self-selected to like being ordered around; those who didn’t fit either emigrated or were killed. That is to say, the monarchists were decidedly Left in our terms.

      The only party we would consider as being to the right of the monarchists was the Zentrum, the Catholic party, which was (as we should now put it) socially conservative, deeply suspicious of Big Business, but staunchly opposed to any kind of Socialism. But because they were willing to make pragmatic deals with the Social Democrats when the monarchists would not (and also because of their party name), they were viewed as a centrist party. In what seemed to be the great debate of the time – Socialist dictatorship or the return of the absolute monarchy? – they remained neutral, since they could stomach neither alternative.

      On the Left, in increasing order of revolutionary fervour, you had the Social Democrats, the Nazis, and the Communists. The SDP hated the Nazis, not for their economic policies, but for their support of old-fashioned Prussian militarism. The Communists hated the Nazis and the SDP about equally, because the notion of a Left party not controlled by Moscow was anathema to them. The Nazis, of course, hated everybody, but Hitler was willing to look respectable and even to lick boots when necessary.

      After the arrival of the Depression, the Germans convinced themselves (as a lot of other people did at the time) that some form of Socialist dictatorship was the inevitable wave of the future. Few Germans wished to be ruled by Moscow, and fewer still wished to become the victims of a bloodbath in which ‘capitalists’, ‘bourgeois’, and ‘parasites’ would be indiscriminately wiped out.

      German industry, though reluctantly and far from unanimously, advanced campaign funds to the Nazis because they were politically stupid, and could only see that Hitler did not intend to shoot them or nationalize their property. (Instead he nationalized the industrialists themselves, treating them merely as highly paid servants of the State.) This gave the Communists and SDP a way to smear the Nazis by accusing them of being closet capitalists. The truth was that they were the only party of the Left that offered the capitalists any chance of survival.

      —But the Soviet propaganda machine (and propaganda was the only industry in which the U.S.S.R. ever led the world) seized upon this rhetorical line, and portrayed the Nazis as wicked reactionary capitalists in top hats, and therefore (since they were obviously extremists) on the extreme Right. This lie has bamboozled political scientists and pundits ever since.

      • Nice explanation. Thanks.

      • Some very interesting information, thx.

        “This lie has bamboozled political scientists and pundits ever since.”

        I take a dimmer view than that. That lie was deliberately seized on by leftists (in the media and in academia) in this country to tie fascism to American conservatives whom are very unlike conservatives in Europe. Most European conservatives are just as statist as their leftist brethren…. they just have policy disagreements.

        • Patrick Chester

          Exactly, they helped spread the lie. It gave them an excuse to claim that the “right wing” here in the States was “exactly the same” as the icky Nazis.

        • Euro Leftist- someone who wants to share all the government free stuff with the other nations.
          Euro Rightist- someone who wants to keep all the government free stuff for his nation only.

      • , or assorted other royal hoboes

        (because I can’t put in the last 10 seconds)

    • A possible other reason for them to be pissed:
      At least according to contemporary English murder mysteries, the Nazis were stealing the Workers. The guys who were supposed to be THEIR footsoldiers were (before Nazi meant, well, “personification of evil”) being stolen by the Nazis.

      It was color commentary in… argh… I think it was “Gaudy Night”?

  16. I think there is something gong on here that many are missing. Yes, the Hobby Protest Left (you know; the ones that put the same degree of effort into the Protest of the Month that a dedicated Civil War reenatcter puts into this summer’s Battle of Gettysburg) are going full bore nuts. They’ve been kinda subdued for the last eight years, amd now it’s ok again. And the Democrat establishment is howling.

    But I see that both party rank-and-files tried to nominate somebody who branded themselves as ‘outsider’. Sure, it’s questionable that either Trump or Sanders actually IS outside their Party establishment in any earthshaking sense, but that’s how they both branded themselves.

    And the Democrat establishment was sooooo enamored of Hillary’s thieving, stupid, unlovely arsemthat they used insider tricks to scuttle, Sanders. And then they LOST.

    Can Trump maintain his ‘Outsider’ cred? We’ll see. If the Republican establishment has any brains (a dubious proposition) they will help him do so, especially if he doesn’t really deserve it. But the Democrat establishment was put on notice that elite-beloved insiders weren’t going to cut it.

    Now, we’ll see if they can drag their expensively coiffed heads out of their collective ass in time for 2020.

    • Trump is an outsider from the Republican Party establishment all right. One of my objections to him was he switched party registrations multiple times as an adult. Back and forth. By itself, that makes him suspect. I still can’t figure out if he has an ideology at work, though I can figure out his positions. So far, I’v been pleased by the people he’s been hiring, ummm, appointing to office. If I didn’t like them, I’m not certain I could say I was disappointed, because I didn’t know what to expect to begin with.

      • I always though Trump was a ‘soft’ leftist. Other than being hugely pro-capitalism I never thought he had any real strong political leanings. Given were he did the bulk of his business, I figured he was a political chameleon…. saying whatever it took to do business.

        To me, much of what he’s doing now is to get back at all the leftists who mocked him mercilessly when he stated his desire to run for president. He’s going to ram down as many conservative policies as he can down their collective throats as a big ‘Eff, you’. 😛

        • Trump as a business man is/was Pro-Trump. Kelo he saw as a way for him to get more to make more. His latest ‘gaff’ about Asset Forfeiture, is another form of the same thing. It is a large part of why I did not want him as a candidate. Also why, even though he has surpassed my expectations, he needs to be watched like a hawk.

          • Trump needs,to be watched like a hawk, and if the Democrats haven’t bored everybody crying Trumpwolf they can do that. Shrillary needed to be doused with water, or have her mouth sewn shut full of,garlic.

          • “Even though he has surpassed my expectations, he needs to be watched like a hawk.”

            Same here, although “surpassed my expectations” wasn’t exactly a high bar to clear. It was like Fred and George Weasley arguing that they deserved at least an “E” on all of their OWLs because they exceeded expectations just by showing up for the test…

        • Oh, and I think you are right in his “Eff You” and it is aimed at 0bama for insulting him at the Press Dinner in 2011(?). To really insult ‘The Won” he is doing all the “Right” things (gasp, he even has kept many campaign promises!)
          His slap of the Clintons was his run for office, as he supported her in 2008, and she left him out to dry around the same time as the Dinner insult. So I am starting to think he told them he was going to run to help her win, and then ran to win once he got close.

          • I am starting to think he told them he was going to run to help her win, and then ran to win once he got close.

            That is always a risk with shills — they may decide they want to keep what’s on the table in front of them.


            Fans of the Marx Brothers will likely recall a scene from their first movie,
            The Cocoanuts, in which Groucho has hired Chico to “bid up” properties Groucho’s trying to auction off.

            • I read somewhere that the day after the dinner, Trump set in motion the plans for his run. He stayed his normal left supporting self, but decided then he was going to undo everything 0bama did just to spite him, and after a few dealings with Hillary, that he’d get her too because she treated him like anyone else she decided she really no longer needed.
              Don’t know if any of that is true, but what little I knew of him from years ago, it is possible. If he stays on the right side of things, and can be curtailed when he strays leftwards, I don’t care if he is only being this way out of spite, as long as he stays this way.

              • I don’t know Trump’s motivations, or when he decided that he was going to run in 2016. The things that can be pinned down are –

                1.) He threatened to run in 2012, and got Obama to release a birth certificate. But he then stated that Romney would be fine as president.
                2.) Apparently after Romney’s loss, he immediately started to brainstorm on a slogan, and pretty quickly came up with “Make America Great Again”.
                3.) Just before he announced his presidential run, he called the Clintons. It’s not known what he said to them.

                He also briefly attempted to get the Reform Party nomination in 2000. It’s probably for the best (for him) that he gave up pretty quickly on that.

                • my thinking that he sorta offered to help Hillary is that nothing about that call ever came out, i.e. it would show both in bad light, so neither one has seen need to tell what the other said or claimed.

              • That may be, but he was already flirting with conservatives before that. He addressed CPAC in February of 2011, Nerd Prom wasn’t until April.

            • I saw the OSF production of The Cocoanuts (a “restored” version, since the scripts to the original stage play were fragmentary and the music was not attached to the songs. They had a special thanks to a particular drawer in the Library of Congress for containing Irving Berlin’s sheet music—without lyrics, but enough to be able to do a reasonably certain match.)

              The audience was allowed to bid as well. When someone shouted out “A million dollars!” the Groucho and Harpo Marx characters started climbing into the audience. Along the way, they stole somebody’s purse…

              • [T]he scripts to the original stage play were fragmentary …

                George S. Kaufman, the Pulitzer-winning playwright responsible for the Marx Brothers’ shows The Cocoanuts (1925) and Animal Crackers (1928) and the 1935 film A Night at the Opera is the subject of various versions of stories explaining the fragmentary nature of that original script:

                For the Marx Brothers, Kaufman wrote the stage revues “The Cocoanuts” (1925), which featured lyrics by Irving Berlin, and “Animal Crackers” (1928), which he wrote in collaboration with Morrie Ryskind. Kaufman hated it when the Marx Brothers improvised and, once during an “Animal Crackers” rehearsal, he walked up on-stage and told them, “Excuse me for interrupting, but I thought for a minute I actually heard a line I wrote”.
                IMDb[DOT]com/name/nm0442151/bio

                once, in the back of the theater during a Marx musical, Kaufman interrupted a conversation with a companion, saying, “Excuse me, I thought I heard one of my original lines.”
                http://www.georgeskaufman.com/13-biography/9-the-marx-brothers.html

                • The OSF production was listed as twenty minutes longer than its scripted time, specifically so that the actors had time to improvise. The performance we saw had a stage trap (for props) that wouldn’t open, so a stagehand had to come on with “a genuine 1920’s plastic tub.” The Groucho Marx actor spent most of the rest of the act tugging at the trap at every opportunity, in a manner that was over-the-top without being obnoxious, and he capped it off at the very end of the play by quipping that he knew what had happened—he’d told the stage manager to “shut her trap!”

                  As for the script, part of the issue was that the movie version was severely cut down from the original stage play, and the stage scripts discarded. Another change was that the romantic lead had originally been played by a cipher, but there was no reason to do that when the Marx brothers had someone with a nearly duplicated role.

                  You might guess that I really liked the show. I had thought it was going to be merely enjoyable, and was pleasantly surprised to find it a masterpiece of comedic timing.

                  • It sounds (and, from the available excerpt, looks) delightful. Channeling established characters rather than merely imitating* them is a true challenge and I am glad to know it was successfully met.

                    *see:
                    Why ‘SNL’ cast members can’t do impressions anymore
                    [SNIP]
                    During his many years on the show, Darrell Hammond didn’t really look like anybody, but he could easily transform into Al Gore, John McCain, Dick Cheney or Bill Clinton. That was also true of Dana Carvey and his excellent George H.W. Bush impersonation. The same skills it takes to inhabit a real-life person are required to play any character, really.

                    You gotta find out what makes him tick, not just what his tics are.

        • Let us make the assumption that Trump’s real objective is to get even richer and further boost his reputation and it’s pure selfishness. Makes sense, even to those who loathe him. Now, how to go about that?

          Set up an environment where such a thing is not merely possible, but near-certain. Create opportunity. Experience in business – including failures, yes – suggests that the best way to create such an environment is to remove impediments. These impediment are… restrictions, regulations, bureaucracy, and so on. So he has an incentive to do “the right thing” even if his motives are less than ideal.

          Greed exists. The best we can do is harness it well and make it serve us. Trying to eliminate it will fail – yet again.

      • Given the behavior of BOTH political parties through the last few decades, I can see anyone having trouble choosing between the two.

        However, my observation has less to do with Trmp’s principles (if any) tha his branding. Amd he has always been good at branding.

        • True, neither party has covered themselves with glory but I find a ‘pox on both houses’ a bit disingenuous. Equating the Democrats with the Republicans is a bit like equating a serial killer with a mugger because both use violence.

          • Let’s assume that Trump has few to no libertarian principles. He’s a rich man, likely to go with whichever Party is offering a candidate he thinks he can work with or around. I think that the comments that he ran against Shrillary because she dissed him may have some merit.

            I expect him to try to promote a ‘healthy bidness climate’ (to quote Milly Ivins before she left Texas and stopped being funny…or relevant). I don’t expect him to be particularly good at anything else, though he may do us good on the foreign policy front simply by rocking the usual panjandrums back on their heels.

            What happens next will depend on whether he screws up in ways that annoy the people who voted for him because he wasn’t one of the usual faces. It also depends on whether the Left realizes that they have to find candidates that can brand as,’outsiders’. They don’t have to BE outsiders, just look like they are. The Left is good at looking like something it isn’t. Or it was. Right now it’s busy looking like what it IS; deranged. That won’t win elections.

            • Re: What to expect – for me, this was always a lesser of two weevils election, and I think we actually got that. Voting by apreference is a perfectly valid choice selection criteria, and in this case that system worked and the greater weevil lost. I take what I can get.

              And the bughouse nuts loony bin blackdhirts-in-the-streets leftish behavior since the election and especially since the inauguration has only made things clearer. I note with interest that there have been zero “Who would win an election held today?” polls publicized in any media. I wonder why.

              And re: Alignments of Opportunity: Trump also is reputed to have a long memory and no problems carrying a grudge. After what the D side and the hard left (but I repeat myself) have flung and continue to throw at him and his, I have significant doubts he would ever entertain serious thoughts of aligning himself with them again – I would instead expect quite cold dishes served to them throughout his administration.

              • After what the D side and the hard left (but I repeat myself) have flung and continue to throw at him and his, I have significant doubts he would ever entertain serious thoughts of aligning himself with them again

                Case in point:
                Pelosi on Trump: ‘There Is Nothing the Democrats Can Work with Him on’
                Says first weeks “completely exposed the hollowness of the president’s promises to the American people.”

                Translation: none of that infrastructure rebuilding money is going to Democrats’ pet groups, and forget Davis-Bacon treats for the unions (unless they negotiate terms favorable to the dispensing hand — Trump’s — such as cutting back curtailing contributions to his opponents.)

  17. I am totally stealing that vending machine metaphor.

  18. William O. B'Livion

    > I’m afraid they’ll bring the machine down on top of themselves.

    Don’t care if it falls on them. I care if it falls on me and mine.

    I personally don’t have any objection to shooting people in the streets other than I don’t want to live in the sort of place that routinely has pitched battles in the streets. It’s hard to live a financially stable middle class existence and save for retirement when you keep having to replace your vehicle because you rammed through a road block or a mess of rioters.

  19. “Ride the wave of change to better shores.” Can I steal this (with attribution) for a sig? Great line for Human Wave!

  20. We also got the ability for any individual anywhere, with relatively small investment, to reach any number of individuals all over the world.
    I read somewhere, the most feared and hated man by the Venezuelan Gov’t is a worker in a Home Depot in Atlanta. He is in exile, and sets the US Dollars to bolívar prices for the black market via a website. His numbers are more accurate, and show how much the Gov’t there is lying.

  21. THE MACHINE STOPS
    by E.M. Forster (1909)

    (A story of freedom)

    http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

  22. Brought down from above:
    https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/02/08/when-the-machine-breaks/#comment-427338

    In my case, I am making a token effort to hide my identity. I started using the internet seeing it as an essential security counter measure against predators. If I shared my personal political opinions openly in public as freely as I do here, I might be forced to form and share an opinion on several questions that I now see fit to leave unanswered.

    I’ve been Foxfier (with a few other names*, mostly because of limitations on my memory or the software involved, or because the Russian dude who also uses the name got there first) since about, oh, a week after my mom was trying to figure out a great uncle’s address, and after I got his birth name out of her I had his name, birthday, phone number and (I think this is what freaked her out) a map of his home address on the screen in about two minutes.
    Mom was happy, but informed me that I would not be using my name. Not an order I had issues with, even if I hadn’t been barely a teen at the time. From my self-googles, there’s a large number of little old ladies who are happy about my choice. Maybe my doppleganger in the Navy, too, but I never did find any evidence of her online, either. (We were in Pensacola at the same time and met due to constantly getting each other’s mail.)

    The funny thing is, it’s a lot easier to find me by my nom’d’cyber than it would be by my birth name, and I’m cool with that.

    *Sailorette, Headnoises, and combinations/permutations of the three

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I’d note that I still censor myself here. From the age of about ten I’ve tried to follow a rule of only making statements that I could afford to have anyone know about if they came out.

      If I were to always express myself person to person with the material I share here, I fear I would come across as the real life strawman I met who was castigating me for not voting for Hillary Clinton.

      As it is, I try to be reserved. It is possible that I am so reserved that people, because of my age, mistake me for a potential SJW. Preventing that impression may not be worth the cost of advertising myself widely as having the enmity towards the Democratic Party that I do. There are many positions that require a person that does not discriminate against Democrats merely for being Democrats, and I’d like to think that I could meet that qualification.

      • “From the age of about ten I’ve tried to follow a rule of only making statements that I could afford to have anyone know about if they came out.”

        Smart…. very, very smart (pretty much the same credo I follow). I can’t believe the bs powerful (supposedly smart) people put in their emails with the assumption that it’ll never, ever be revealed. The farther up the food chain you are the more likely your ‘private’ emails will be perused by others looking for dirt.

        A question I had with the DNC email hack last election cycle was whether the Republicans got hacked also but their emails were too frikken boring to bother releasing.

        • Possibly. You see the Republicans live with an hostile media, while the Democrats have assumed they’re safe.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Emails are insecure. Competent people do not use them for communications they are not prepared to have everyone aware of.

          One theory is that Putin revealed the emails as a form of personal revenge for Clinton meddling in a domestic Russian election. Media seems to have routinely used email to coordinate stories. This would leave traces. If the Russians had some sort of collection mechanism that does not require them to break into servers storing emails, they might have known where to look. Actually breaking into those servers provides an obvious explanation for how they knew that doesn’t reveal how they first collected it.

          (A Russian intelligence front had hired Podesta’s business to lobby for it. I dunno if that is relevant.)

          Whoever it was could not have been certain that Trump would win. This means they did not fear retaliation from Clinton. Assuming that they anticipated her winning may provide an interesting explanation. She would have come into office with the email scandal following her. Foreign intelligence hacking her campaign emails undermines the claim that her SecState emails did not compromise American security. Releasing it through wikileaks could be for a number of reasons.

    • I haven’t bothered much with trying to hide my identity anywhere, because I have found that my writing style is pretty much recognizable anywhere, so it wouldn’t take much for anyone to tell who was behind the name.