The Crystal Ball of Hong Kong – by Bill Reader


The Crystal Ball of Hong Kong by Bill Reader


While I don’t think that we should invade Hong Kong—not being a fan of land-wars in Asia, especially ones involving nuclear powers—I can certainly understand wanting to. Hong Kongers initially rose up in response to an “extradition” bill which would have given China legal cover for the political oppression it has always badly wanted to enforce on the city.

And they have had plenty of reasons to stay exercised, given that China has essentially instituted martial law, overseen by one of their handpicked anointed, no less, in violation of the—let’s call it what it is—doomed-from-day-one “One-Country-Two-Systems” agreement. Predictable as a sunset though this was, their position is quintessentially Western—that the will of the people ought to be able to restrain the excesses of government, and laws apply even to the most powerful.

China, meanwhile, takes the traditional communist view that “the people” are to be listened to in direct proportion to their usefulness to Marxist utopia-building, and pair it with the wholly compatible egomaniacal tyrant view that laws exist mainly to let powerful people herd the proles more effectively.

Review the situation dispassionately and each of China’s responses—some would say blunders— in handling it belies their imprisonment within this mindset, to such a degree that they can’t even practice deceit effectively. I’m otherwise at a loss to explain their silly play at “suspending”—but not removing—the “extradition” bill, unless alternatively, they assumed the collective IQ in the entire city of Hong Kong was about that of a block of lukewarm cheddar.
And, one is minded to ask, my, isn’t all of this very— familiar?

The Democrat leadership in the US is currently waxing totalitarian.

Almost worse than their proposals is their attitude, however. First they demand trillions of dollars of spending, the dissolution of various constitutional rights they find inconvenient to their goals, and the fundamental restructuring of society such that government touches and controls everything and everyone. That’s a polite summary, mind you.

They will then call you vicious names, and use mob tactics to attack you if you oppose them—be it doxxing, be it physical attacks like those just recently witnessed by antifa on people leaving a Trump rally, etc.

Democrats in government think nothing of orchestrating coup attempt after coup attempt, always with a familiar cast of characters— government drones whose names never came within 50 miles of a ballot, usually with hyper-partisan Democratic credentials, collaborating with hundreds of Millennial journalists whose entire life can be summarized as an upbringing steeping in propaganda, followed by a job writing propaganda.

And in case being bullied on the internet and the street, and usurped in the halls of government were for some reason not enough, tech companies take it upon themselves to try to socially engineer and censor conservatives independently. All this, and then their thought-leaders have the unmitigated gall to try to demoralize us with an “exhaustion” narrative. (Why, yes, as a matter of fact, it is wearying to the bone to have many of America’s major institutions reveal themselves as dens of partisanship run by people whose moral compasses point due South at all times. I can’t think of a worse reason to capitulate, but it’s noted.)

If you think that it’s mere hypocrisy driving all this— the fact that Biden’s (or for that matter Hillary’s) corruption gets a pass; that most members of Antifa get to commit felony assault without repercussions; that government drones commit unpardonable crimes and their maximum punishment is retirement to a life of being a paid guest or even a host at a Democrat-lead network; and that any norm can broken, any law, written or socially understood, can be violated, and provided it’s a Democrat doing it, the collective media and justice response will be a shrug— if you have been taking this as a mere partisan double-standard, allow me to humbly disagree.

What China reminds us is that totalitarians, full-fledged and embryonic, use one elegantly consistent standard—whatever advances their cause, that thing is legal and just. All other things are bad. It is only a “double standard” from the perspective of people who view laws as mattering, or institutions and norms as anything other than a tool of whatever group they individually favor, which may change moment-to-moment. I put it to you that everything about the modern Democrats indicates they are on the same single-standard as a China. Arguably, a double standard would be an improvement.

In the circumstances, Hong Kong is hard for a Western freedom-lover to view dispassionately.

China is standing as living proof that totalitarian super-states are not just things that Democrats eulogize in chorus on their debate stages, but real and monstrous creatures dominating more people than we can possibly imagine.

Hong Kong is standing as living proof that free people can, despite overwhelming odds, despite the certainty of consequences and the paucity of hope, stand against these monsters. Moreover they represent the idea that moments come where taking such a stand is necessary. Eric “nuke ’em” Swalwell and Robert Francis “Buybacks” O’Rourke, and the rest of their compatriots would strongly prefer you not associate their policies with any of the places they’ve actually been implemented, prefer you believe the march of “progressive” policies unto the death of the host (as has been seen in all of those places) is inevitable, and prefer you agree that there is never any line that can be crossed that necessitates rolling back said policies by methods not explicitly sanctioned by the people making those policies.

We look to Hong Kong because we fear we could become Hong Kong—formerly and nominally free people bearing the full brunt of attack from slaves and pawns of an out-of-control totalitarian empire, whose benefits are always just around the corner but whose abuses, infringements of real human rights, expansive corruption and dead-eyed-inhumanity are always right here and now. We look to Hong Kong as an example of when and why free people can and must say “enough”, regardless of consequences and regardless of outcome.

Yes, regardless of outcome. Because freedom is either a philosophy you are willing to fight for when all other meaningful options except fighting are gone, or it is a very temporary gift given to you by people who better understood it. It encapsulates the idea that simply being someone else’s slave is not a sufficiently worthwhile existence to merit enduring it simply because it is easier. For if that were not the case, why bother?

I say this each and every post, and I say it in earnest—we aren’t there yet. It’s not a fig-leaf. The rough music hasn’t started. Everything I’ve read suggests, you’ll know it if it does. But I really hope it doesn’t. However, don’t confuse our long continuity of inherited freedoms with the idea that it can’t. Increasingly, the DNC’s leadership wakes up every morning looking to take our unique and working system, and supplant it with a much more common and dysfunctional one. Watch the Democratic debates and take them at their word. If you think that China can’t happen here, think again.

But if it does, I pray that Hong Kong can happen here, too.

306 thoughts on “The Crystal Ball of Hong Kong – by Bill Reader

  1. I’m rather interested in seeing the current liberal reaction to Hong Kong. Given the nigh-ubiquitous subservience of mainstream media to the Chinese market, they’ve been unsurprisingly silent on the whole deal, even with increasingly high-profile incidents like with Activision Blizzard and now the NBA. Moreover, they’ve always been quick to label any major protest movement as either saintly freedom fighters or racist reactionaries, and now they’re outright avoiding having to state any opinion altogether. Funny how that works.

    That said, even if all this is somehow resolved peacefully, my jaded imagination can’t help but picture the next generation of delusional pinkos saying this wasn’t “true socialism”, and it’s the evil West who magically provoked the whole thing.

    1. We have provoked the whole thing. To misquote MLK, justice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere. Just by being there as a visible example, we disprove that strict hierarchy is necessary.

        1. To build a city at the bottom of the sea! Insanity. But where else could we be free from the clutching hand of the Parasites? Where else could we build an economy that they would not try to control, a society that they would not try to destroy? It was not impossible to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea. It was impossible to build it anywhere else.

          1. I’ve never been interested in playing the game, but the site of whales swimming through the art deco towers of the underwater city has always been one of my favorite visuals.

            1. It truly is one of the most beautiful fictional cities ever designed.

              The mere depiction is a condemnation of our real life cities for not so much as attempting to live up to it.

                1. A video rather than an image. But the intro sequence really is the best, ehm, intro.

                  PS: while this is the remaster the original isn’t noticeably worse.

                  PPS: anyone looking into the series be careful: you can easily stumble onto world-flip class spoilers.

                  1. That video is kind of disappointing, as the player isn’t making much effort to show things off. I can’t believe he didn’t even LOOK UP to watch the splicer cutting through the bathysphere. Plus, no subtitles.

                    Would you kindly link to a better video next time?

                    1. It is surprisingly hard to find good pictures of the city itself, hence the previous cop out.

                      But since I now feel compelled to fix the problem I guess it is time to load it up and take some screenshots….

                    2. >> “But since I now feel compelled to fix the problem”

                      Heh. I know it’s probably almost as overused as “the cake is a lie” by now, but that was a cool meme.

                    3. We’ll probably never have children, but for the longest time we joked about when we taught our kids to “say the magic word” (which normally means please, of course), they’d respond with “Would you kindly?”

                2. After DGM’s post I went and grabbed some screenshots. An in the process realized why it is hard to find a single or few images that capture Rapture.

                  You rarely see much of the city at a time, and that often through distorted windows. But depending on how long it takes the player to go through the parts of the series that are set in Rapture they will see those glimpses thousands of times over the course of 20-40 hours. Immersion learning works :D.

                  The above is a mix, first half post-Civil War, second half before (in fact mere hours before) the Rapture Civil War begins.

                  1. We’ll probably never have children, but for the longest time we joked about when we taught our kids to “say the magic word” (which normally means please, of course), they’d respond with “Would you kindly?”

                    Heh. There are indeed quite a few such… creative teaching? trolls? Is there a word for such things?

                    I’m not even engaged yet and I know what my first daughter’s name will be. Why yes I am a rabid fan, why’d you ask?

              1. I always forget that the series is considered horror. “Horror” to me means unreasoning, unstoppable, inescapable scenarios where the protagonist is fundamentally helpless.

                I hate Horror.

                While Bioshock uses many horror elements (well arranged I might add!), and there are terrible reveals (what story doesn’t have that?) the player is never helpless. In fact all of act 3 is leaving a trail of righteous fury as you make a bee-line for $SPOILER_DUDE.

                  1. I don’t mind some of it. I find I’m actually more scared of Japanese horror games, but damn the game sucks you in…

                    (Fatal Frame. Your only weapon is a camera. you’re a schoolgirl trying to find your elder brother in a haunted estate. WE STOPPED PLAYING THE GAME AFTER SUNSET AFTER WE DID IT ONCE AND THEN COULDN’T SLEEP.)

                1. >> “the player is never helpless.”

                  Well, you ARE kind of helpless when you meet the guy with the golf club. Though that twist is set up so well you can respect it.

                  Actually, I think the part where I felt the most unreasonably helpless is during the Little Sister escort mission, where you’re forced to wait ages for her while she constantly nags at YOU for not going fast enough. I swear, the only reason I didn’t kill a dozen of those insufferable little bitches myself is because I’d have to start over every time. And just having to sit through it ONCE was bad enough.

              2. I played through the entire series, One, Two, Infinite, and the two short sequels to Infinite. Horror is right… and the overall theme is very nihilistic. I did NOT like the final ending to the Bioshock story, The narrative had literally an infinite number of ways for the protagonist to triumph.. and instead it ended with the ‘surprise twist’ that was both gratuitously violent, unpleasant and unnecessary!

                1. puts on his Boots Of Careful Stepping

                  I don’t find the themes to be nihilistic at all. Quite the reverse in fact: even in the darkest moments the series never forgets the need to have a light at the end of the tunnel. Something worth fighting for. Something worth preserving in all the pain and death and chaos. Even if that is only a candle seen through a peephole (which will simply shine all the brighter for the darkness).

                  Hmmm, in writing that I just realized that I may be playing a different game from others. I’ve never harvested a Little Sister, so I only get the good endings (have watched the bad ones on youtube). That means…

                  1: Fairy Tale ending, rather scrawny though.

                  2: Bittersweet, mostly sweet, almost syrupy ending.

                  Minerva’s Den: Bittersweet, good closure to that segment of the overall story. (epilogues are always downers because they are more final ends than normal endings).

                  Infinite: Bittersweet, somewhat more bitter. At least until the post-credits scene which takes a lot of the bitterness out.

                  Burial at Sea ep1: Oh god…… (but that is there to set up the events of the next part)

                  Burial at Sea ep2: “You either flip the table, or crawl under it sobbing”. I was the later.

                  FWIW I understand and sometimes even agree with the loooong list of problems that people list off about Infinite and its DLCs. But almost all of the ones I agree with are either small enough I’m willing to ignore them, or have different ways of handling the problem that end up making sense after all.

                  I walked into Burial at Sea expecting that I might have to kick it out of my headcanon as I had heard non-specific whispers. And the first time through I missed enough of what was going on that I hated it, though that changed the second time.

                  (For reference I just finished I think my 14th time through the series about a week ago. Three years to the day from when I finished my first run.)

                  But above where I said that I was on the “crawl under the table sobbing” side of the standard responses to Burial at Sea I wasn’t kidding. For whatever dumb reason that I will probably never completely understand, BaS2 poked exactly the right buttons in exactly the right way to change the direction my life was taking for the better. There is a reason I already know what my first daughter’s name will be.

                  And now you see why I put on the Boots of Careful Stepping: because I really do get it on some of the complaints. But I personally cannot agree with the conclusions.

                  1. My taste in video games (when I am not playing poker) is the Grand Theft Auto series-just absolutely lots of fun.

        1. Just another reason why we Deplorables need to beg for forgiveness for existing in their universe.

          Oh who am I kidding? “Forgiveness” is a foreign concept to them, and one they don’t want to import strangely enough… LOAD UP THE MEME CANONS BOYS!

          1. I’m tired of begging for forgiveness, or apologizing, for being successful.
            I’m fed up with begging for forgiveness, or apologizing, for being born a white male.
            I’m mad as hell at accusations of unearned privilege because my parents cared enough to read to me, encouraged reading on my own, made sure I was exposed to religious morality and had it reinforced at home.
            And I will never accept the tyrannies that the Beto’s and Hillary’s of the world want to inflict on me.

            This passage by Thomas Jefferson in regards to the Shay Rebellion is interesting from so many view points.

            “The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. yet where does this anarchy exist? where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? and can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. they were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. god forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. the people cannot be all, & always, well informed. the past which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive; if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. we have had 13. states independant 11. years. there has been one rebellion. that comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. what country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. what signify a few lives lost in a century or two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure.”

            Based on that passage alone, I can draw several conclusions.

            First, not just the British, but the rest of the world apparently thought we were a bunch of anarchist nuts back in the late 1700s/early 1800s.

            Secondly, Jefferson did not think it unusual, or unhealthy, for an armed rebellion to occur in any country every 20 years or so, and that and average of 150 years for such an occurrence would be unheard of elsewhere and elsewhen. Considering how un-rebellious the conservative right has been for the past 70 years, and how heated we’re getting now, the lack of rebellion sooner seems to agree with his proposal that it is unhealthy for the nation to be so apathetic and lethargic.

            Third, these kinds of rebellions are necessary to the preservation of liberty by slapping down the petty and great tyrants that gravitate to government positions. Ruby Ridge and Waco should have had the FBI and the DOJ running for cover, rather than trying to stamp them out with jackboots. And I know I’m going to get pushback for this, but the Oklahoma Federal Building bombing by McVeigh is exactly the kind of rebellion that Jefferson talks about. Calling it an act of terrorism because of the presence of a child care center in the building ignores the fact that the child care center becomes a legitimate, legal, military target itself when a military target is placed within it’s environs; the same way that setting up an anti-aircraft battery on top of a hospital means the hospital can legally then be bombed.

            Fourth, and perhaps as important as the other three, the citizens of the nation have to be fed truth, as much as possible. When the government and the media conspire to feed them a false narrative, or biased propaganda, people with no longer trust those sources of information and will act on what they do know, regardless of whether it is incomplete, or just plain wrong. And they have the right to do so.

            “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants” isn’t so much as a demand, or a requirement, as it is an observation, and quite possibly, a lament that it must be so.

            1. First, not just the British, but the rest of the world apparently thought we were a bunch of anarchist nuts back in the late 1700s/early 1800s.

              Like that, the impression or for that matter the reality (depending on the kind of anarchist nut), is a bad thing.

              I’d say the Huns as a whole are a bunch of nuts with a strong anarchist streak (mostly of various libertarian brands) and I’d happy throw in the lot to found a new country.

            2. “…bunch of Anarchist nutcases….”

              Yes, indeed. The idea that the government was a service provider that could be told “Take a hike, we’ll do it locally.” was absolutely extraordinary. Oh, various governments, notably the British, had paid lip service to the idea that the commons had rights the State was bound to respect….but they didn’t actually MEAN it!

              And since then, the idea has gotten plenty of lip service and damn littLE actual implementation. There is always some cultural Elite absolutely SURE that their Vision was more important.

              And the results have a nasty tendency to fill mass graves.

              1. I’m planning to start reading T.H. Breen’s new book about the local self-organization and planning during the Revolution that laid the foundations for the later national government. His first book, _Marketplace of Revolution_ was so good that I have high hopes for this one.

            3. Thus the Bundy Ranch debacle. And IIRC one of the reasons that the Waco assault took place when it did was that the goo-varmint got wind of some incoming Patriots.

        2. All we Americans must come to accept the uncomfortable truth that we really are the Great Satan, both for Islam and for socialism. Both religions, and yes socialism is most definitely a religion, depend on the subjugation of the individual in the name of their defined greater good.
          Our very existence, and our success as depicted in our TV, movies, and literature that serves to rub the superiority of our system of government in the faces of our enemies makes us impossible to ignore. After all, how can they declare their own society perfect when a better one sits openly for all to see, and for those with enough resources actually come and visit.
          No wonder that we are so hated by the leaders of so many other regimes. We serve as the perfect example of their own failures.

          1. Uncle Lar you say “we really are the Great Satan” to Islam/Liberals.
            If so then I would rather live in our domain than serve in their heaven to paraphrase a rather poor example of behavior.

            1. It makes sense if you see Satan as not the ultimate evil but the ultimate tempter. We show them what could be, hinting that maybe following their creeds isn’t actually the best way to live, and perhaps convince some of them to ditch the whole Way of the 7th Century Warlord/Way of the 19th Century Parasitic Intellectual.

              1. And the amazing part of it all is our metaphorical position: blindfolded, both arms and a leg tied behind us, malnourished, and with most of our teeth knocked out.

                Yet the best they can do is “Americans are forced to eat dog food!”.

                And their subjects are left in wonder that we have pets, and food set aside for pets.

                1. And pet doctors, pet hospitals, pet Emergency Rooms, and pet boarding motels. And Wal-Mart-Supercenter-sized stores for pet treats and toys.

                  1. Pet spas, pet day care, pet water centers, pet parks, pet … sure I’m missing more … Oh, yea. Eating our pets is a huge no, no. We can even afford to acknowledge horses as pets. Not to mention, our HOMELESS have pets …

                    Then there are some exotic pets. India, Indonesia, China – “People keep TIGERS as pets?” … well, yes. Africa – “You keep Lions, Leopards, or Cheetahs, as pets?” … well, yes. You don’t destroy said pets? They go into Big Cat Sanctuaries, that people volunteer to support? Uh, yes. Your point?

                    1. and the lord looked down on the earth, and saw a man petting his per lion, and playing with the cubs

                      and lo, he did facepalm, and said,

                      “WTF, it wasn’t designed this way…”

                2. A woman escaped North Korea into China and crept into a shed, where there was a bowl of dog food: rice, with bits of meat. better than the last meal she had had.

                  1. “And he would have liked to have filled his belly with the husks that the swine ate, but nobody offered him any.”

                    (Which actually is a nice sidelight on the prodigal son — he was a partier and a womanizer, but not a thief, even when starving!)

              2. That is exactly the argument I’ve used in several papers regarding Islamic terrorism, in fact. When you realize that “they hate our freedoms” isn’t nearly as dimwitted and simplistic as some would have you believe, it helps you understand their actions better.

                1. “Some people say they hate us of old, our women unveiled, our slaves and our gold.”
                  (Ignore the slaves part. Cohen was making an allusion to what the left believes — he actually came out as “no longer leftist” and well more conservative than I am before he died.) Um… pretty much on target otherwise. They hate us because we ignore their strictures and are prosperous.

                  1. Actually, it’s so much simpler than that.

                    The Left hate us because we won’t do as we are told by our betters. Unlike some previous Elites, the Left have no faded glory to fall back on. No ornate castles, no Palladian mansions, no great landscapings. Their ‘art’ is, for the most part, deliberately ugly…intended to repel the Masses and thus prove the superior sensibilities of the Artist and his Patrons. All they have is their conviction that they were placed upon Earth by Divine Providence to tell the rest of us slobs what to do. And if WE refuse to do what THEY tell us, then they are in danger of being exposed for what they are.

                    A bunch of arrogant, tasteless, murderous, work-shy bums.

                    How can they NOT hate us?

            2. Oddly, our liberal betters believe the original quote, accepting the turning of our nation into a hell if that is what they must do to rule.

          2. Unfortunately socialists don’t believe in God or the Devil, and the Muslims seem to have a very tough time recognizing the difference between Satan and St. Michael. And not just with us, but between their own sects.

            1. I”ve heard it said that Islam is a political system masquerading as a religion while socialism is a religion masquerading as a political system.
              Given that Islam’s stated goal is to overtake and subjucate the entire world and the religious fervor that left wing groups such as the greens and AGW proponents exhibit, I do tend to agree with that observation.

              1. That makes the alliance between the two make sense: each provides both what the other isn’t and what the other claims not to be.

                    1. There are 3 sets of books.
                      1. The Public set
                      2. The set for my partners
                      3. The set even God doesn’t know about.

                      This isn’t a Jew joke it, is a Capitalist Joke.

          3. And yet, their criticism of American ideals remains valid: for all our material success we do not assure human happiness and rewards are distributed unequally.

            It is as if human nature is incapable of establishing Nirvana here on Earth.

              1. The nirvana bought with sex or drugs might last for minutes to hours, but rock and roll can last a lifetime.

            1. “And yet, their criticism of American ideals remains valid: for all our material success we do not assure human happiness and rewards are distributed unequally.”

              My problem with their stance is “define assured distributed equal human happiness and rewards”. Given I guaranty my definition is not the same as my sisters or even yours. OTOH with our system, I can define mine, my sisters can each define theirs, and you can define yours; or rather where every individual defines their own happiness and rewards, and works to achieve them. Individuals are not given a blanket dream with a road map to achieve.

              1. The founders display their great wisdom in that they called for the pursuit of happiness as the goal rather than any vain attempt to define what happiness itself might be.

    2. Somewhere in the back of my mind resides an old quote comparing certain persons to craven curs, snapping at the hand that pets t but fawning on the hand that beats it.

      China has acted to remind its corporate pets which hand it represents …

      China Cancels Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Release after Appeal from Bruce Lee’s Daughter

      Chinese film regulators have put the October 25 release of Quentin Tarantino’s newest film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood on indefinite hold after Bruce Lee’s daughter objected to the portrayal of her father in the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

      Shannon Lee, who lives in Los Angeles, appealed to China’s National Film Administration to rework the portrayal of Bruce Lee before the release. Friends and family had criticized the portrayal as disrespectful, while Tarantino defended his characterization of the martial arts star, saying he was “kind of an arrogant guy.”

      China film regulators did not comment on the delayed release.


      Anybody who thinks China gives a rat’s patoot about Bruce Lee’s daughter, please contact me as I have some terrific investment opportunities in Nevada oceanfront property to tell you about.

      1. Anybody who thinks China gives a rat’s patoot about Bruce Lee’s daughter, please contact me as I have some terrific investment opportunities in Nevada oceanfront property to tell you about.

        Jokes on you; when the Big One removes California from the equation it really will be oceanfront.

          1. Yep – any really really big one will just move all the existing coastline south of SF northward towards Alaska.

            One of my WTF moments in the Star Trek franchise was on Voyager when they talked about recreational diving on the sunken city of Los Angeles. Yeah, not gonna happen.

            1. Move Baja California far enough northwest, and maybe Arizona will get oceanfront property.

            2. I’m looking forward to the twin cities of Los-San in about 11 million years. And yeah, I know there’s quite a bit of land to the east of Los Angeles before you get to the San Andreas; but I figure a bunch of that will be subducted by then.

        1. I bought Denver property on elevated area, ready to become beachfront 😉
          Alas, Paul Ehrlich was wrong about CA sinking, as about everything else he ever said.

          1. Well, California *is* sinking, but it’s due to socialism (and Ehrlich-style environmental lunacy) not geology. One can still tour the ruins without scuba gear . . . although a good pair of wellies might be called for given the shite littering the streets.

          2. A few portions are sinking due to ground water pumping induced subsidence. Alviso (now part of San Jose) and areas in the central valleys got hit over the years.

            Not enough to move the shorelines, though.

  2. Anything the government does for you, it can do to you. Everything the government gives you, it can take from you.

    1. I believe the great quote was “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

      And they do. Every single time.

        1. Not my favorite President, but the media howled for his blood as soon as they took down Nixon, and he managed to serve out his term without them being able to stick anything to him. Given the circumstances, that’s quite an accomplishment.

          Of course, with nothing real to report, they made stuff up, like the continual “Ford got another paper cut today!” headlines…

    2. I have my own take:

      “Socialism: The idea that letting the government have all the power, would inherently oblige it to serve those who have none.”

      Or more colloquially, the delusion that if the government had absolute control over healthcare, education, and the economy, it would totally enact the vision of the unemployable liberal arts dropouts who advocate for it.

      Because really, that’s what it is – an idea created by a guy with no business or government experience (and subsequently no accomplishment), who thought society should work as if in a world dreamed up by a preschooler, all nice and ordered. And it is this dream, this supreme form of political neoteny whereby liberals cling to their sugarcoated childhood idea of the world, that ultimately drives them… and in the process, has probably ruined more childhoods than most infant diseases.

      1. Marx and Lenin were a couple of privileged elite spoiled rich kids that never worked a day in their lives. Everything they wanted was handed to them because they were clever enough to pick the right parents.

        They did not understand labor, because they never did any. They did not understand money, because they never earned any. They did not understand value, because they never created any.

        So, it’s no wonder that their economic theories were created from pure bullshit, and have failed dismally every time they’ve been applied.
        Governments can only print money; they can’t make it worth anything. They CAN make it worth nothing.

          1. One was a spoiled trust fund kid, the other lived from sponging off him and doing the occasional paid bit of reportage.
            Interesting side note – Karl Marx’s brother-in-law lived in the Texas hill country for a time. Didn’t make much of an impression on the place. Seemed to be one of those ineffectual limp-wristed intellectual types.

            1. An often-amusing WWII factoid is that one of Adolf Hitler’s nephews served in the US Navy during WWII. William Patrick Hitler was apparently a nasty little git who thought he could blackmail his uncle into a high-pay, low-work job by threatening to tell “incriminating” stories to the press. Not being too smart, he failed to consider all German press were under Party control by then… William Randolph Hearst paid his way out of Germany before he disappeared, as several of AH’s other troublesome relatives had, and milked him for a number of “expose” articles that were promptly forgotten.

              One of his sons carried on the family traditions by becoming a Special Agent for the US Internal Revenue Service…

  3. Not the exact quote, but those that are willing to trade freedom for security deserve neither – and will most likely receive neither.

    1. Benjamin Franklin:

      Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

      The problem is, our freedom is being taken from us in exchange for an illusion of security. The leftists are unable to deliver any actual security, other than surrounding themselves with armed guards as security against us.
      If money can’t buy happiness, why are the ‘progressives’ so determined to take mine?

      1. You can’t buy happiness, but “Progressives” think you can -rent- it. To them the Ultimate Good is a government check, plus cocaine and attractive hookers to spend it on.

        See Hunter Biden for elucidation. He’s the Platonic Ideal of a Progressive scion.

        1. And they do, Sarah, they do!

          Anybody wanting more than the state finds convenient to give will soon thereafter cease to struggle.

      2. The leftists are unable to deliver any actual security …

        Not so! They deliver security under the same terms as the Mafia provides insurance.

        1. Actually, i would put the Mafia ahead of the leftists. The Mafia insists you buy thier “insurance”. But having paid, not only will they not wreck your place, they will make sure nobody else does either. If you think about it, the main difference between the Mafia and the police is how they get their “jurisdiction” – and the Mafia in some areas is more effective.

          1. But having paid, not only will they not wreck your place, they will make sure nobody else does either.

            This was a HUGE step in figuring out why the Mafia existed, once I finally learned it.

            They kept bargains. Better than the existing structures.

            Yeah, they unjustly forced duties on folks– but they also generally upheld their own duties to those people.

            While the competition forced duties on folks, didn’t uphold their obligations, and had their agents randomly create new duties on the targets. (While the Mafia generally maimed such freelancers as bad for business.)

              1. I’m not sure if it’s known or just theory, but that’s how I heard it.

                Basically “hey, look, you can trust them more than those guys.”

                1. Which arguably means the Mafia is just early stage feudalism in some ways.

                  It’s just usually not filling the large scale vacuums that let such early feudalism fully flower into governments, especially in places like the US.

                  1. Pretty sure it would be “copying feudalism examples.”

                    Look, feudalism isn’t inherently bad. It’s just worse than a republic, but it’s better than what came before. (No idea what the right word for that stuff is– strong man thugism?)

                    It’s not an inherent evil, is what shocked me– it’s just not that good.

                    1. All I know is that the safest places in urban areas in the NYC metro are the ones where the wiseguys live and where they do business.

                    2. It’s not an inherent evil,

                      I should hope not, as that is the basic structure of the Catholic Church.

                      Looks back over History … I think I could make a strong argument (especially after a few beers) that Feudalism is better than Democracy based on long term stability. Considering British & German development in the 19th Century it might even be possible to include economic dynamism in there.

                    3. There are people who claim that past some low multiple of the Dunbar Number, government becomes inherently unstable.

                      In (at least some) feudal systems, the multiple levels from villages to precincts to shires to feoffs etc. to the royal court seldom exceeded that number.

                      The “local government” types also mention that the usual size of Greek city-states (many far outside modern “Greece”) was also quite small.

                      I’m not entirely persuaded of the cause and effect, but it’s interesting to consider.

                      On the flip side, I’ll again mention the Demarchy in Joan D. Vinge’s “Outcasts of the Heaven Belt.” Written in 1978, it describes an asteroid-belt-based civilization that is fully networked, and every citizen can vote on every issue, “government” being rather fluid. The Demarchy’s workings are just bits of backstory, but it’s will worth picking up a copy of the novel to see how she describes it.

                    4. Noooo, Catholic hierarchical structure is supposed to be familial, not feudal. The pope (papa) is dad to the bishops, the bishops are dad and teacher to everyone in their sees (sedes, a philosopher’s teaching chair) with priests as their teacher- and sacramental-heirs, the priests are dad and teacher to everyone in their parish, and parents of families are the first teacher of everyone in their families. And then there’s religious orders, all big on brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers.

                      The other big difference is that feudal relationships have a lot of explicit legal mutuality of responsibility and ability to withdraw, whereas familial relationships only have strong implications that obligations run both ways. Families have more freedom to act, but also more freedom to mess with people if a “father” or “mother” goes bad.

                    5. Well, feudalism is arguably more than the high feudalism of Medieval Europe. Yes, the European Medieval version was a highly developed one, but a lot of older systems seem to fit the definition too.

                      I guess palace economies of the bronze age are a contemporary, but different version.

              2. Possibly. I was recently reminded that the largest lynching in American history were the murders of 11 Italian Americans in New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 14, 1891.

                It was condoned by the NY Times and Teddy Roosevelt:

                American newspaper accounts at the time were largely sympathetic to the lynchers, and anti-Italian in tone. The victims were presumed to have been involved with the Mafia and therefore deserving of their fate. A New York Times headline announced, “Chief Hennessy Avenged…Italian Murderers Shot Down”. A Times editorial the next day vilified Sicilians in general. … Roosevelt … wrote to his sister Anna Roosevelt Cowles on March 21, 1891: “Monday we dined at the Camerons; various dago diplomats were present, all much wrought up by the lynching of the Italians in New Orleans. Personally I think it rather a good thing, and said so.”

                Seems the sort of thing which might make them distrust the protective arms of the police.

          2. I take it you’ve not read Cyril Kornbluth’s 1953 novel The Syndic?

            Not many SF novels become the basis for an essay at The Mises Institute.

            … So what exactly do we find if we open a copy of The Syndic and begin reading? In effect, we find a dramatization of the following quotation from Murray Rothbard. “If you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts,” he wrote in For a New Liberty, “simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.”

            More specifically, when you open the first pages of The Syndic, you find yourself in the company of a character named Charles Orsino, who lives in New York and works as a bagman for The Syndic. He walks around the 2.5 square miles of the 101st New York Police Precinct (it’s in Queens if that matters) collecting protection money from small businesses. Near the very beginning of the story, he drops in at Mother Maginnis’s Ould Sod Pub, only to be told by Mother Maginnis herself that “it’s the business, Mr. Orsino. It’s the business. You’ll pardon me if I say that I can’t see how to spare twenty-five dollars from the till, not if my life depended on it. I can go to fifteen, but so help me — ”

            That’s when Orsino cuts her off. “You realize, Mrs. Maginnis,” he tells her, “that you’re letting the Syndic down. What would the people in Syndic Territory do for protection if everybody took your attitude?” But he lets her slide with a fifteen-dollar payment this week. Orsino likes it best if things remain pleasant and cordial between him and the people he thinks of as his “customers.” He reflects, after leaving Mother Maginnis’s bar, that “it was pleasant to be able to do things for nice people; it was pleasant to stroll along the sunny street acknowledging tipped hats and friendly words.”

            1. I probably have, and likely the book is in storage. Hopefully, by December the stuff in storage will have been moved into the house.

            2. I never could decide if I loved that book or hated it. It has some really interesting ideas, but it’s basically three different stories and some vignettes with a thin thread connecting them.

              High up in the Syndic Building, F. W. Taylor–Uncle Frank to Charles–was giving a terrific tongue-lashing to a big, stooped old man. Thornberry, president of the Chase National Bank, had pulled a butch and F. W. Taylor was blazing mad about it.

              He snarled: “One more like this, Thornberry, and you are out on your padded can. When a respectable member of the Syndic chooses to come to you for a line of credit, you will in the future give it without any tom-fool quibbling about security. You bankers seem to think this is the middle ages and that your bits of paper still have their old black magic.

              “Disabuse yourself of the notion. Nobody except you believes in it. The Inexorable Laws of Economics are as dead as Dagon and Ishtar, and for the same reason. No more worshippers. You bankers can’t shove anybody around any more. You’re just a convenience, like the non-playing banker in a card game.

              “What’s real now is the Syndic. What’s real about the Syndic is its own morale and the public’s faith in it. Is that *clear?*”

      3. If money can’t buy happiness, why are the ‘progressives’ so determined to take mine?

        There’s a good argument that says money CAN in fact buy happiness, it’s just that most people are lousy shoppers.

        1. There’s also an argument that money can buy happiness..,you just have to spend it on behalf of those who don’t have any. (Essential note: this is YOUR money if you have it, not OPM extracted by tax collectors…)

  4. Enlightening. I’d been muttering about double standards, but you’re right: there is a single standard in play here, and it is horrific. I suppose they’d rather cop to hypocrisy and double standards than say what they really mean right out in front of God and everybody.

    1. They like to say “If the left didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all” but truly, they have one standard “What we do is right, no matter what”

    2. >> “I suppose they’d rather cop to hypocrisy and double standards than say what they really mean right out in front of God and everybody.”

      They have to. If they were honest about thinking they were entitled to do anything they wanted to us they’d be killed before they were allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

      In fact, they might be killed anyway whether they got close to power or not. It’s not safe to have neighbors who think they’re entitled to kill you on a whim and pay no price for it, any more than it’s safe to let rabid dogs run loose. Being stupid or arrogant enough to admit to such an attitude seems worthy of a Darwin Award to me.

  5. The double standard or the false equivalency is all about different people doing whatever it is.

    If Bob lies about his income to get benefits and then Sue lies about her income to get benefits, these aren’t equivalent because Bob is not Sue. Duh!

    If Betty demands that someone not give a speech at a college and then Tom demands that someone not give a speech at a college, it’s not equivalent because Betty objected to Chelsea Clinton and Tom objected to Donald Trump Jr.

    It’s not a double standard to demand that employers have no right to fire a transperson who changes their clothes in their cubicle (my husband had a coworker who did this some 20 years ago in CA) and yet insist that people who express unpopular opinions when they’re not even at work should be fired. There’s no double standard there because the transperson is “good” and the other employee is “bad”.

    1. Okay, what did being trans have to do with changing clothes in their cubicle?

      Then again, if all I’m doing is swapping t-shirts I’ve been done to do a baffle check, ducking low, and doing quick change instead of going to the head to do it.

      1. Honestly I have no idea. I think that the fellow was trans for half the day or maybe after work or something. And of course the issue isn’t being trans, it’s changing your clothing in your cubicle… since they didn’t have customers or clients walking around the office everyone just felt uncomfortable and looked the other way but talk about weird, right? But mostly I wanted to use an example that was real and not one just made-up.

        But double standards and all… I can easily see someone defending that while claiming that a “cishet” guy who routinely changed from office clothes to, oh, clothes for his biking commute where female office mates could see him was harassment.

        1. If he was only transitioning in social life then he shouldn’t be changing at work anywhere.

          Look, I know part-time girls. I know none who would think that was a good idea.

          1. Someone who wants to pass is going to try to pass.

            Someone who wants to freak the mundanes is going to try to freak the mundanes.

            Just ’cause the same label is attached does not make the internals the same.

            1. The thing about playing ‘shock the squares’ is that it does not bring tolerance and acceptance. Ever. Oh, they may come on their own, or from another cause, but playing shock the squares and expecting acceptance is like pissing into the wind and expecting to stay dry.

              I saw this for years in Fandom. Fen would wander around the public spaces of the hotel, and go to nearby restaurants, in full Garb and then complain about being treated like loons. And it quickly came to me that the Shriners did much the same, but put down huge damage deposits they seldom collected and funded children’s hospitals. And put up with the ridicule as well.

              When the Gay Pride thing began to go viral, I noticed the same kind of behavior. And I thought; ‘You can dress in your bondage gear and a dog collar and leash, OR you can reasonably complain about being treated like a pariah. Not both.

              But the older I get, the more I see that for people playing ‘shock the squares’, complaining about lack of acceptance is the point. Which frees me from any obligation to accept, frankly.

              If you belong to a minority, and you genuinely want to be accepted, then keep high profile members of your groups from acting like adolescent nitwits. Or go ahead and play ‘shock the squares’….but don’t expect any sympathy from me.

              1. Yeah, “I wanna offend you. But you gotta like it.”


                I do geeky stuff, obviously. It’s to say “hey, look, this is my thing… you into that? I’m not gonna push it, but…if you’re into that…..”

                Re inventing freaking manners.

              2. First, “shocking the Squares” and being accepted by them is kind of a “have my cake and eat it thing.”

                Second, if you’re playing “shock the squares” aren’t you essentially making the same kind of generalized assumptions about “squares” that you condemn them for making about you?

                Third … I once spent an evening at a B&N watching some pierced and tatted kids playing “shock the squares” with a ladies knitting group, utterly dumb to the fact those ladies had come of age in the Sixties, attending Peace Rallies organized by Quaker ladies and Black Panthers, dropping acid and witnessing such things as the origins of Earth Day. Not likely anything those kids did or said was going to shock those knitters. They’d been there, they’d done that and they’d survived it all.

                1. yeah a bunch of the people in the goth community i intermittently play in seem to think that freakin the ‘danes is a thing to people who lived in L.A. and likely very casually did coke in the 80s…

              3. Oh for the OLD Days when Cons were FUN, when Hotels were very HAPPY to have Cons because we were ever so much BETTER than other Conventions. When even wearing weapons upset NOBODY. Nobody CARED. Just good fun. NO SJWs, tolerance, real tolerance not the Progressive kind.

                Sometimes the OLD Days were NOT as we remember them, BUT the OLD CONs ARE as good as we remember.

  6. IMHO, and I am in no way an expert, Hong Kong today is the result of the Chinese Communist Party panicking.

    Previously, recall that President Xi was made President-For-Life Xi. That’s what you do when things are starting to get away on you, and you need to nail things and people down. The panic began some time ago, I’m going to take a wild guess and say 2008/2009 when the USA crashed and US consumers stopped buying. That was the banana peel they stepped on, and they’ve been falling ever since. IMHO, as I’m guessing.

    The last couple of years Mr. Trump has been kicking them in the knee of the one leg they’re standing on trying to get their balance. That can’t have helped.

    This, coupled with the fact that their leadership are fundamentally evil assholes, steeped in cruelty, perversion and corruption, leads to them making an example of Hong Kong.

    The problem they’re having is that it is not the example they had planned. They thought they could take the dissidents out and make them into plasticized display trophies one at a time.


    1. Which is hilarious in a bitter way — 2008 — because Obama thought by taking down OUR economy it would improve the rest of the world.
      All about that finite pay and Marxist illusions!

    2. China’s economy is built on the best practices as developed by such hallmarks of US industry as Enron, WorldCom and Synova.

      If Trump gets seriously pissed about them he just might send in auditors to look at the pension funds investing in China’s economy instead of just threatening to de-list Chinese securities from American markets.

      If that happens expect a number of CALPERS managers to suddenly find it necessary to spend more time with their families, often vacationing in climates more favorable to their health (specifically, climates lacking extradition to the US.)

      1. The fun thing was after hundreds of millions of dollars simply vanished into “Solyndra” and they declared bankruptcy, the Fed just went “welp, no reason to audit big Obama pals, I guess it’s done for.” And we-the-country and all the private creditors got stiffed.

    3. Also, Xi’s father was a party big-wig and governor down in that area, just north of the free city of Hong Kong. Xi takes it personally that the Hong Kong people won’t accept his reign, er, ahem, wise leadership of the People.

  7. The Democrat leadership in the US is currently waxing totalitarian.

    Waxing, indeed — like the waxing moon, they merely expose more clearly what is there all along.

        1. Stompyfeet stompeeeeefeeet. You can’t use the carp against me.
          (Evil grin.) I HAVE a garum filled supersoaker.
          How many showers do you think you’ll need now?

            1. You want rotted fish paste sauce? Shall I get you some nuk mam as a garnish? Admittedly you are a cat but even the house felines run when I get out the nuk mam for some Thai/ Vietnamese style dishes.

              1. We had to get rid of a bottle of nuc mam because Gigancat licked the top, then figured out how to remove the flip cap and tump the contents onto the floor. (Tuna breath is nothing, nothing! compared to nuc-mam breath.

                1. Yeah one of our Kitties loves tuna, and anything made with nuk mam is VERY interesting to him. Other one hates tuna and runs when I open the bottle.

  8. Someone recently pointed out the genetic fallacy and I wish I’d seen that years and years ago because it’s exactly “it’s different when we do it.” If good people come up with an idea, then it’s good. If bad people come up with the same idea, then it’s bad. If bad people like an idea then it’s bad. If good people like the same idea then it’s good.

    The Hong Kong protesters use some symbols, songs, and themes that American conservatives like, and that means that we’re seeing some people argue that Hong Kong should not be supported.

    The word “liberal” itself has meaning and instead of looking at flagrant authoritarian and totalitarian behavior and suppression of dissidents and outrageous Big Brother monitoring and crippling social scorekeeping, it’s just looking at the word “liberal” and saying that anything that a liberal does, even if it’s try to get people fired from jobs, forced out of the economic sphere and participation, or praising and supporting anti-fa… well, it’s right there in the name, isn’t it, and it’s *impossible* for this liberal person to do things or believe anything that isn’t liberal, just as it’s impossible for an anti-fascist to be a jack booted thug.

    1. If you want to see some really odious examples of that, the flopping camel has been beavering away trying to use Hong Kong as an example of why conservatives (and Sad Puppies in particular) are bad. Probably because Sarah came out hard in support of Hong Kong, as any reasonable human would.

      I don’t recommend it though. The flopster is a disgrace to humanity, you wouldn’t want to get any on ya.

        1. Oh yeah. We’re bad because Hong Kong. Oh, and everything is political. Therefore every story and every book MUST be political, because Hong Kong. And if you say that you don’t want to read a bunch of bullshit Lefty virtue signalling politics in your SF, then you’re literally Hitler. Because Hong Kong.

          Really, the slime simply gushes from this guy. He’s like a slime firehose.

            1. Chinese imperialism in Hong Kong is different because Shut Up!

              More seriously, for cultural reasons ethnic Chinese and any territory whose previous inhabitants have been displaced or colonized by Chinese are the natural property of whichever power can credibly claim to be the ruler of China. Having a problem with that is of course racist.

              The current regime’s claim to the right to administer the range and the human cattle is partly based on the allegation that only ethnically Han can have this right. So, it sells complaints about British carving off bits of territory from the QIng. However, the Qing were not originally Han. The Qing were themselves foreign, and were only weak enough for the British empire to do that because of Han rebellions.

              So the obvious solution to ensuring a dynasty and preventing warring states, since the current regime is clearly too incompetent to hold, is for America to take over China.

              Note to any Chinaman reading this: I do not desire this outcome. I do not think it is politically possible in America, because of how few people have any desire to do it. Sure, there are corrupt asshole politicians who would love the graft, and opportunity to be free from accountability. They would need armed forces to make that happen, and the people whose skills and enthusiasm would be necessary are mostly what Walter Russel Meade calls Jacksonians. Jacksonians embody the American preference for being left alone to mind one’s personal business, and if someone else is too much of a pest to permit that, to kill them. It isn’t profitable to take one’s attention from one’s business while the outside pests are only minor pests, so there is a time between “why won’t they leave me alone” and “time to kill them until I will definitely be left alone in the future”.

              America’s options can be simplified down to a) tolerate whatever happens in China no matter how much it bothers Americans b) try to occupy China c) try to exterminate the Chinese ruled by the PRC, or formerly ruled by the PRC. (Chinese ruled by other governments have shown the ability to behave well enough that the annoyance might be tolerated forever. )

              I could not tell you what the split would be if toleration were no longer an option, but as long as the annoyance is tolerable, the support for tolerate and the support for kill are both going to be much bigger than the support for occupy.

              And even though the PRC is too incompetent to hold on to power in China, the level of incompetence in America’s government does not make American rule desirable either. If America ruled China, one Obama grade idiot could cause millions of deaths. Americans prefer the freedom to elect incompetents and madman as Presidents, and that would be far too dangerous if America was ruling hundreds of millions of foreign subjects.

              The PRC’s government is weak, likely to fail, and there is a lot America can do to make that more likely. The activities of the PRC’s intelligence apparatus are not as ignored as you may be assuming. America can do things to hurt China that are not attempting to kill all Chinese and are not attempting to occupy any part of China.

              1. The left are highly consistent! Everything is a means to their ends, and nothing matters but that it enhances their self-esteem.

                This also explains their obsessions over abstracts, concepts lacking objective meaning but sufficiently malleable to mean whatever they find useful to their self-enhancement.

                1. By way of clarification: the consistency of the Left is on constant display in their war against Trump and all he represents.

                  Their current fealty to the Constitution was nowhere present when it constrained Obama’s grasp, and it will evaporate like summer dew as soon as they retake the reins of power.

                  Their solicitude toward the Kurdish cause in Northern Syria was non-existent until Trump’s refusal to sacrifice American lives in their defense became a wrecking bar with which to pry away Trump supporters. They were against arming those Kurds in the first place, and have denied them self-governance as long as the mind recalls.

                  Trump didn’t sell out the Kurds by pulling out of Syria
                  By Kenneth R. Timmerman
                  The national media blasted President Trump’s withdrawal of 50 US military advisors from the Syrian border with Turkey as a “sellout,” a “betrayal” and a “huge strategic blunder.”

                  Let’s be clear: None of them truly care about the Kurds. Otherwise, they would have been sending correspondents and camera crews to Rojava, as the Kurds call northern Syria, on a regular basis.

                  Let’s also be clear about the goals of Turkish president Tayyip Recep Erdogan. While he attempted to stylize his military invasion of Rojava as a counterterrorism operation, few international observers bought into it. Why? Because there have been no terror attacks against Turkey from Syrian territory since the Syrian Kurds established their self-governing entity in 2012. None.


                  Erdogan’s real goal with this invasion was to smash Kurdish self-government, and those 50 US advisors were the last thing in his way.

                  But let’s be clear about US goals, too. Our advisors were not in northern Syria to defend a Kurdish government but to fight ISIS. The fight to smash the ISIS caliphate is over, and we won.

                  No US administration has ever bought into Kurdish national aspirations. Even the pro-Kurdish ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was a long-time investor in Kurdish oil, warned Iraqi Kurds to cancel a planned referendum on independence in September 2017.


                  Did the president’s critics really believe he should have considered those 50 US soldiers as a “tripwire” that would trigger a massive US military invasion of Syria to fight against Turkey — our NATO ally?

                  The president has taken concrete, immediate steps to shame and to punish Erdogan for his outrageous violation of the North Atlantic charter, which calls on member states to “settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means … and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.”

                  The president on Monday unleashed new sanctions against Turkish officials and government entities, imposed stiff tariffs on Turkish steel exports to the United States and called off talks on a $100 billion trade deal.

                  On Tuesday, the Department of Justice unveiled a criminal complaint against Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank for allowing Iran to buy billions worth of gold using frozen oil money, violating economic sanctions. The complaint makes clear that senior government officials — possibly including Erdogan himself — took enormous bribes in exchange for allowing the scheme to continue.

                  Those sanctions — and the threat of more sanctions — paid off and forced Erdogan to back down.

                  The Kurds are paying a heavy price in this battle — not because of a US betrayal — but because they remain stateless and thus powerless. By targeting Erdogan financially, legally and undermining his legitimacy, President Trump has done more to help the Kurds than his critics with their crocodile tears. And for now, he is winning.

        1. Well, either he is too lazy to apply himself to his real job, or his work is too fundamentally flawed for him to continue applying himself to it without it becoming obvious to others that it is bankrupt. What’s a man to do in that position except squander his time in some absurdly low ROI effort to help his spouse’s career?

              1. You would think he’d be better at logic, if that were true.

                After all, as somebody mentioned the other day regarding Rule by AI, logic doesn’t care. It always comes out the same. camel-brain only follows the logic if its going where he wants, otherwise it is under the bus along with basic human decency.

                I was thinking theology myself. He’s the type to be counting the angels dancing on the head of a pin.

                    1. That argument style, and his otherwise inexplicable confidence in it, would be explained by a such a focused background.

                      Pure math is sort of card castles, some of them built in the clouds. Being able to lightly tap a card is a serious matter.

                      Simplified mathematical models of physical problems can sometimes have enough information for the math to valid with a small enough error that one can safely ignore that it exists.

                      Human systems? If you somehow force a majority of the decision making to be made on measurable factors, you will find that you have changed the system dynamics in some way that you could never have predicted. Arguing human systems is, or can be, like swinging golf clubs in a hole filled with different sized ball bearings.

                      Tools for one task may not be automatically suited for another. From that view, it is kinda sad. Imagine a weak and specialized mind struggling futilely because it assumes it is good everywhere, so the audience that is not persuaded are simply stupid, and more effort will eventually prevail.

                1. My calculus prof was useless. None of the others were worth dog snot either; all they knew was what was in the teacher’s manual. They could have hired bums off the street to do just as good a job.

                  1. I had good math profs, but they were all in applied specialties, not pure, and I never got as far as Calculus or other advanced fields.

                    1. The sad thing is that Calculus was once considered pretty basic (I didn’t get it either, btw). My maternal Grandfather graduated from a public high school fluent in French, Latin, and mathematics through elementary calculus. This was, needless to say, before the Academic capture of the teaching ‘profession’, and long before teachers’’ unions.

                    2. Heck even 46 years ago Latin wasn’t even a glimmer in school district’s eye. Spanish, French, and for some German, but very difficult to keep on your schedule if you also were taking math & science.

                      Math wasn’t required unless you failed the district math test taken mid junior year; which for those of us taking math, was a *joke. You couldn’t get calculus, essentially first term college level in HS, unless you were fast tracked in Math at age 12. Which I wasn’t (sisters were).

                    3. The problem I had – and considering the failure and drop-out rate in the class I had, I wasn’t the only one – was that the book was mostly random pieces of stuff and pages of problems to solve. There wasn’t enough information to tell you how to solve the problems at the end of the chapter, so it was just page-filler. Apparently the instructor was supposed to write the actual methods on the blackboard or mumble them for you to write down.

                      So they went from “1+1=2” to “(d / d t) (a t^2 + b t)” with no steps in between. Leibnitz and Newton figured it out from first principles, so can you!

                      It’s probably not that hard if someone tells you what to do; there were some elementary schools teaching calculus a century ago. But as I had it, it was mostly a way to separate the ordinary schmucks from the ones who could afford after-hours tutoring.

                  2. Math professors are not created equally. Forty some years between when I then my son attended the same university for math. We both had problems (calculus level). Yet we both were decent at math in HS. Kid had advantage of having dad as tutor (hey dad was originally training to be a HS math teacher, wasn’t the math that changed his career path …)

                    I also have the perspective of retaking same math at a different university, 10+ years later; difference in instructors/professors was night & day. Wasn’t entirely the difference of being 17 VS 27.

                    I’m one of those people who can do math, I understand it if I’m working with it, but if I’m not working with the high level regularly, I don’t retain more than the basics of the discipline. Beyond basic algebra, or geometry, I have to relearn it, every time.

                  1. I always like to say -all- of them can dance on the same pin. Either there aren’t any, so I’m right. Or there are, and they don’t have to obey the laws of physics, so I’m still right. ~:D

                  2. Well, the nature of angels is the real question, isn’t it? Do spirits have any essential material to them? If not, then infinite. If they do, however, then there is a finite number whose size does not matter nearly as much as its existence.

                    1. That’s what one of my college profs said … can’t remember if it was a history or general philosophy class. But if an angel is merely an idea or a spirit, having no actual physical mass – then infinite numbers can dance on the head of a pin. I think his bottom line was the question of whether ideas have physical mass … or something like that. It’s been four decades – but it wasn’t a pointless matter of debate for the medievals.

    2. Probably my turning point on homeschooling:
      When I took a logic class.

      Dear Lord, it would’ve helped in math class.

      It would’ve let me DESTROY folks– but maybe they wouldn’t have been making such stupid arguments.

      I’m terrible at identifying fallacies, but I did learn to sense the “shape” of them.

    3. Hong Kong protesters HAVE to be BAD because they are protesting against Communists. Thus anything they use is reactionary and conservative against ALL that is GOOD.
      How would it be POSSIBLE for Progressives to support the protesters, it would be like they were supporting Trump.

  9. Leftists Believe in Big Government. They Believe that The Great And Almighty Government can cure all ills, solve all problems, fulfill everybody’s needs and make them all equal. Any failure of their Big Government to Create A Perfect World just means that it has not been granted enough power, so it must have more, and more. Big Government always needs more power.

    Leftists Believe that their Big Government will be wholly composed of noble, incorruptible geniuses, competent in every field of human endeavor, all working diligently and selflessly from a Perfect Plan to Create that Perfect World. Their dream is Right and Good and they are smarter than everybody else, with fancy degrees in Gender Studies or Racial Heritage to prove it! Those who oppose them are Evil and Sexist and Racist because…well, they just are! So there! It couldn’t possibly be because somebody knows something they don’t. They know everything!

    Well, maybe not everything, but the things they don’t (or won’t) know are insignificant and must be ignored. Believe what you are told, and help crush those evil dissenters who make you Feel Bad.

    Unfortunately, governments in the real world are heavily infested with greedy, corrupt, short-sighted, narrow-minded sociopaths, narcissists, megalomaniacs and control freaks. They are the ones most driven to seek power at any cost, to aggrandize themselves once they have it, and to never, ever let go. Giving unfettered power to the likes of them is a short, ugly, one-way road to Hell On Earth.

    The Founders of the United States had just experienced the excesses of an abusive government, so they set out to establish theirs based upon an entirely new concept — instead of a government intended to create paradise under ideal conditions when controlled by the best of men, they constructed one deliberately constrained so as to limit the evil it could do when run by the worst.

    The leftists chafe under those constraints, and have been progressively breaking them down for the last hundred years. Their greatest triumphs were the income tax, which gives vast sums of money directly to the federal government, and Social Security which has made 70 million old people dependent on it. Or, as I put it, ‘Social Security: Robbing the future to enslave the past’.

    All that money concentrated in one place has led to unconscionable levels of corruption, fraud, waste, and government intrusion into our lives. It gives the federal government a means of control over the state governments completely outside of the law and the Constitution.

    If our Founders could see what has been done to their legacy, they would weep.
    You can’t have the government take away the freedom of only the people you don’t like.

    1. Leftists believe in Original Sin, just not the St. Augustin – St. Jerome – Luther – John Calvin version. Humanity’s Fall was the disappearance of the eco-harmonious matriarchy of noble brown savages. All have sinned and fallen short of Gaia, and so anyone who has ever benefited from the West is guilty through inheritance.

      You can replace the above with any sort of sexual orientation, skin tone, cultural background, economic position, what have you to suit the philosophy of the Leftist in question.

      1. I found it instructive to discover that Margaret Mead in later life disavowed the idea that Samoans had a truly Matriarchal society, saying that her famous work on Samoa was the result of youthful enthusiasm, and that while there were Matriarchal social conventions among the Samoans, there were Patriarchal ones, also. And that she was sick of being quoted out of context by extreme Feminists.

          1. I believe I first read about it in The National Review, which means it could have been pretty much any time in the 1970’s on. My (unreliable) memory is that I ran into it just about the time TALES FROM THE MARGARET MEADE TAPROOM came out, for what it’s worth.

          2. I don’t recall all the details, but between anthro courses and some informational text at the Margaret Mead Galleries at the AMNH I think I’ve got the high points. Some of Mead’s supporters/followers were far more fanatical about Mead’s early work being correct than Mead herself was. Sometime in the 60’s/70’s an anthropology grad student went to Samoa to do some follow-up research, and heard some of the older women talking about amusing themselves making up stories to tell Mead, way back when. Mead was moderately accepting of the information, and basically said “I was young and naive and took too much at face value” but the fanatics were rather hostile to the grad student and his findings.

            1. There’s a book entitled _The Hoaxing of Margaret Mead_ that pretty much sums it up. It’s what OtherSean said, but with more details.

            2. I read an author criticizing her for taking homosexuality too lightly in that book and putting in a footnote that OF COURSE she was not joining in the attack on the work.

            3. Now, I have heard about Mead being feed tall tales and reporting them back. That she, herself, had owned that was possible is new.

              1. I get the sense that SHE was a scholar. Which means that she cared a great deal more about being honest about her scholarship, and this maintaining her reputation among scholars, than she cared about propping up trendy intellectual causes.

                1. Sad to recognize that none of those terms have meaning in contemporary academia, where all attention is focused on just such “trendy intellectual causes’ and rigorous scholarship is denounced as tools of privilege and patriarchy.

                  The best lack all conviction, indeed.

                  1. Oh, Academia has always been subject to trendy nitwittery, all the way back to the Middle Ages at least. And while the latest Trend rages, actual scholars continue to find places to do their work. English

        1. Mead backpedaled on some of her early work ain later years, but by then most of it was so solidly embedded in the textbooks that her retractions were mostly ignored.

          1. And more importantly it fit the beloved Noble Savage theories. Napolean Chagnon, not so much and so he became unpopular.

    2. Weep be damned! If the founders could see what the Leftist ninnies are doing to their country, they would be taking up arms…and they would be delighted beyond measure by modern guns.

          1. Manufacture of the AK-47 was within the capability of the Confederacy, even without the Union industrial base. Mikhail Timofeyovich *designed* it to be made with no critical machine work, which is a lot harder to do than it might seem. The original plan was for all the pieces to be made in a type of “cottage industry” system, though the traditional arms factories wound up making them in the end.

            What the South couldn’t do (and nobody else in the 1860s, either) was to duplicate the powder and primers. There was some basic chemistry that still hadn’t been discovered yet, and even with that, it took decades to work out the manufacturing processes by trial and error. But they could reload empty brass with black powder and conventional mercuric primers, though the mercury in the primers would make reloading the brass a one-shot deal. (mercury makes brass brittle)

            A few years one of the guys on loaded up several hundred rounds of black powder reloads and ran it through one of his AKs. Despite predictions that the gas system would stop up from powder residue, crud would build up in the rifling, etc., the rifle was filthy but still functional when he ran out of ammo.

            Something like a Sten or Owen SMG would be even simpler, and could run ammunition they were already set up to make. They would be plenty accurate over the distances Civil War battles were fought at. Or dispense with rifling – rifling takes a lot of time, and is always a production bottleneck – and just build them as smoothbore bullet hoses. By the wagon-load…

            Note for writers: A full Civil War era company was 100 men. Each one, armed with a muzzle-loading rifle, was supposed to be able to get off at least one shot per minute. Some could do it faster.

            The cyclic rate of a Sten is about 500 rounds per minute, giving a single soldier the firepower of FIVE HUNDRED 1860s riflemen. At least in between magazine changes… and it helps if all your targets are bunched conveniently together, but TANSTAAFL.

            The step from a caplock rifle to an SMG was a *lot* bigger than the step from a bow-and-arrow to a caplock… and the SMG was much cheaper and didn’t require as much training to operate. Reloading a muzzle-loader not only takes time, it’s harder than it looks, even when people aren’t shooting at you, and it’s not windy or raining, and you’re not having to do it by feel in the dark…

            1. Well, as Andries Rhoodie explained to some Confederate soldiers:

              You have to be more than stupid to screw up an AK-47. You have to be a complete idiot, and even then you have to work at it.

              Most Civil War re-enactors can load and shoot two to three times a minute using paper cartridges and patched balls. I think the British standard was two rounds per minute, back in the 1770’s.
              There is no such thing as too much ammo — only too much to carry.

              1. There are only two situations where you can have too much ammo: When you are swimming, and when you are on fire.

            2. The expected rate of fire of a civil war soldier using an Enfield or Springfield musket was 2-3 rounds per minute. One of the reasons the Civil War was so deadly is that they for the most part used Napoleonic tactics that had come about during the era of smoothbores, which have a much shorter range for accuracny than rifled muskets.

              FYI, a full volley of muskets, even using reduced powder amounts, is LOUD (years ago, before my ability to get around went downhill due to MS, I used to do civil war reenactment and was involved in civil war site preservation.

            3. The North had the Henry and the Spencer, if the Union army generals weren’t as dumb as ROCKs they would have been USED and not just bought by some troops.
              BTW: Both were loaded from pre-loaded tubes in seconds. I have read of tube carriers for the Spencer with 10+ tubes. The Henry’s round sucked and something better should have been used but it shot and took men down.

        1. Hamilton is in vogue right now; I imagine his observations on current politics would be … piquant.

          1. And verbose, prolix, and erudite to the point of excess by modern standards. (Sorry. I’m up to Federalist 78 and am getting Hamiltoned out.)

            1. LOL. I can sympathize. I have a paperback of The Federalist Papers that I picked up used. I made it through – once. Locke and Rousseau (spit) were much more concise.

      1. Whenever leftists start whining about how the 2nd only covers muskets not “assault weapons” I often think about how fast the founding fathers would understand the theory and operations of modern firearms than say a television camera.

        1. Well shucks — if it is only rifled barrels they object to, let’s make a deal: they and their friends can form up at their end of the battlefield with semiautomatic rifles (they can even have thirty-round magazines) and we and our friends will form up at the other side of the field with muskets, say … oh, M2 Brownings. Those aren’t rifled barrels, are they?

          As the Brown Bess (in use by the British Army from 1722 – 1838) used a .75 caliber round it, downsizing to the Ma Deuce’s .50 caliber round would seem to advantage the rifle users.

          1. Of course the M2 heavy machine gun has a rifled barrel. Nearly every modern gun is rifled, from .22 plinkers up to the 16-inch main guns on a battleship. Rifles were common in the Revolutionary War, at least on our side. They would be no mystery to our Founders.

            If you want a smoothbore, how about a 12-guage shotgun loaded with slug shells?

            Of course, the M1 tank’s main gun is a smoothbore, and they make canister rounds for it…
            Firepower is not a thousand bullets that miss — it’s one bullet that hits.

              1. Oh, now ya just hadta bring that up…

                “I’m told it’s for shooting ducks. A great many ducks, it would seem.”

                “You missed! With — the CANNON!

                I’d forgot about the Punt Gun. (from Tremors: The Legend Begins, in case you wondered)

              2. Search, “12 gauge from Hell.”

                Some crazies at, egged on by ringleader Ed Hubel, came up with a new .72 caliber cartridge made by blowing a .50 BMG out straight. Then they got the ATF to sign off a decision that, as long as a firearm built to take the 12gaFH could still chamber a standard shotgun shell, it’s still legally a shotgun, not a “destructive device”, even if it has a rifled barrel and shoots .72 caliber metallic ammunition…

                  1. The prevailing thought on the gun forums is that it’s Photoshop.

                    On the other hand, the Pfeifer .600 Nitro Express revolvers are real…

                    What you have to remember is, off-the-shelf ammunition is designed for rifles; the powder burns too slowly for more than a fraction of the cartridge’s rated performance to happen. A friend has a single-shot pistol in .460 Weatherby Magnum, which I’ve shot a lot. Recoil is no worse than a .454 Casull, as most of the powder is expended making beachball-sized fireballs and enough noise to make seismographers panic.

                    The gun world is full of people with machine tools and a “hold my beer and watch this!” way of looking at problems…

                    1. So you are saying that the mechanical work isn’t enough. You would either need to redesign the powder chemistry or redesign the cartridge to permit a mechanical design with truly “could you ever find a shooter and target with a practical need for this” extreme ‘effectiveness’.

                      And touchier powder risks cooking the other rounds off if you have more than one in the revolver at a time, defeating the purpose of a revolver.

                      On the other hand, you could justify a sci fi gun with an ominious hum using some sort of doodad inside the cartridge that charges electrically to different levels depending on how much of the powder the user wants to burn inside the gun.

                    2. You can find commercial powders fast enough to burn more/most inside the barrel – if you reload your own ammunition. That’s why I said “off-the-shelf.” You could take, say, one of those .45-70 revolvers and load up some ammo that would fracture your wrist.

        2. Funny though how they drop that line of argument when one tells them, in that case, shouldn’t they only be allowed to use primitive printing presses and pens and quills, and no radio tv or internet whatsover to be able to exercise their free speech rights.

  10. Speaking of corrupt totalitarian dictators with paranoia …

    Bullet. Dodged.

    Hillary Clinton says Tulsi Gabbard is a ‘Russian asset’ groomed to ensure Trump reelection
    Hillary Clinton said that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is being groomed by Moscow to run as a third-party spoiler candidate in 2020 to help President Trump win reelection.

    The former secretary of state pushed the theory on the Campaign HQ podcast hosted by David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s campaign manager in 2008.

    Plouffe and Clinton discussed hurdles the Democratic nominee would face and compared the 2020 race to Clinton’s loss to Trump in 2016. Plouffe asked Clinton about the part third-party candidates, such as Jill Stein of the Green Party, played in 2016, allowing Trump to secure key states.

    “They are also going to do third party again,” Clinton said. “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said, referring to Gabbard, without mentioning the Hawaii representative by name.

    “She is a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. That’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she is also a Russian asset.

    “They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, and so I do not know who it’s going to be, but I can guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most need it.”

    In Tuesday’s Democratic debate, Gabbard accused the New York Times of calling her a “Russian asset.”

    The newspaper published an Oct. 12 news article about Gabbard stating, “She is injecting a bit of chaos into her own party’s primary race, threatening to boycott that debate to protest what she sees as a ‘rigging’ of the 2020 election. That’s left some Democrats wondering what, exactly, she is up to in the race, while others worry about supportive signs from online bot activity and the Russian news media.”

    Gabbard said on the debate stage, “The New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war [in Syria]. Just two days ago, the New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist, and all these different smears.”

        1. No. They liked the USSR that lived in their heads, and that caused them to behave as if they liked the real USSR (which they carefully knew next to nothing about).

        2. We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia. Eurasia is Oceania’s ally and always has been…

    1. It’s pretty clear, much as re the 2000 election as viewed after 9/11, that the electoral bullet dodging was much more consequential than previously thought.

      1. Now there’s an ugly counterfactual, Al Gore as president on 9/11.
        I suspect 9/11 still happens albeit not necessarily on that day, possibly sooner. Does President Gore just wimp out and fold? Does he panic and escalate way up (which is what Al Qaeda wanted to start the end times). Or does he do something weird and dumbass. I exclude the possibility that he would do anything that required guts or a spine as his response to President Clinton proved he was a disemboweled Nudibranch and in thrall to Clinton Inc.

        1. I would bet on a few cruise missiles lobbed into Afghanistan, Presidential speeches about how we made them mad by being big meanies, and then Apology Tour 2002 instead of in 2009.

          1. My guess is he would swear to get those behind this, set up a committee to study the problem, shuffle chairs in the intelligence community and, eventually, restrict Americans’ freedom of movement.

            Sorta like he did after TWA Flight #800, only this time with greater pomposity.

          2. Followed by another attack as they sense weakness.

            The response to that would be… not pretty. As in Buckman levels of not pretty.

        2. Not likely. 9/11 was the date of the Battle of Vienna, when the Muslims stopped managing to conquer.

    2. Also note that according to the rule, anyone publicly calling others a Russian asset is likely actually a Russian asset themselves, theough in The Dowager Empress’ case, I would have presupposed “Chinese Asset”, but hey, maybe she’s a double-asset.

    3. Note that Hillary is positioning herself to swoop in and sweep away the chaos (all those little people vying for a mic at the debates) by becoming the Democratic candidate in 2020.

      1. “Swoop”. Heh. More like a stumbling lurch to a faceplant.

        The only way she’ll “swoop” is if her Secret Service detail each grabs a limb and starts running.

        “I’m swoooopiiiing!!!!!!!”

          1. If the Winkies had to put up with Hilary Clinton they’d soon be longing for the the good old days with the Wicked Witch of the West…

      2. Unless I’ve gone entirely insane, she’s viewing the female candidates as the threats, and is no longer doing a good job of pretending she isn’t stabbing them in the back.

          1. Actually Hillary’s 2016 team has been helping Warren and Hillary reportedly is giving advice directly to Warren. I suspect that Hillary has a deal with Warren that if Warren gets elected then Warren will put Hillary on the Supreme Court.

            1. Also, I think that if the Democrats decide that none of their current crop of candidates can win, they will try to draft Michelle Obama, not Hillary (and the more Michelle Obama says “she’s flattered but not interested,” the more I think that the Obamas are trying to position Michelle exactly to be a last minute nominee.

              1. Yes, perhaps — but Hillary already beat Trump once*, so she knows she can do it twice.

                *10/08/2019 PBS NewsHour appearance: “There does need to be a rematch. I mean, obviously, I can beat him again.”

            2. Even if I were really fond of Hillary and supported her views, how stupid would you have to be to put her on the Supreme Court?

              I mean, obviously whoever appointed her, and the VP, and the Speaker of the House, and every other Supreme Court justice, would have mysterious accidents, thus making her Chief Justice and then President.

              So anybody who was currently President would devoutly wish to avoid putting Hillary that far up in the line of succession.

              1. She might not be competent enough to get all that done. I mean, she couldn’t even manage Obama, Biden, the Speaker, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

                The reason not to appoint her is that she is old, will die within the next ten or twenty years, and her legal reasoning is at this point weak enough that decisions she writes would have obvious easily exploited points of attack.

    4. “And Huma! It took her TEN MINUTES to bring me another box of Chardonnay this morning!! She’s an Russian Asset too!!!”

    5. Basically, then, everybody that’s a threat to Queen Hillary is a Russian asset. Which is a Bad Thing because The Pantsuited One is a Chinese asset. Remember when hubby Bill had to forfeit millions of dollars in ‘campaign contributions’ from the communist Chinese?
      Why do so many idiots believe that the way to solve our problems is to keep voting for the same shitheads that caused them?

      1. Mostly because they don’t get that the people they’re voting for are the ones causing the problem.
        It’s why Congress has such an abysmally low approval rating but the incumbents keep getting re-elected. “My Congressman is fine. It’s all the other ones that are bad.”

        1. It’s not like the citizens have any choice in who to vote for. The Party caucuses do that for them, leaving them two, maybe three, bozos to vote for. (or against)

          And, particularly for the GOP, if the party doesn’t see a win in the offing, they put forth the absolute minimum effort for their candidates.

          That’s how Ocrazio-Cortex got in, after the GOP basically pwned their own candidate…

          “With friends like these, who needs enemas?”

          1. AOC getting in has zero to do with the GOP in that district. As San Fran Nan said, you could put the D logo on a drinking glass and run it in that district and it would win.

  11. “Why, yes, as a matter of fact, it is wearying to the bone to have many of America’s major institutions reveal themselves as dens of partisanship run by people whose moral compasses point due South at all times.“

    Take heart. There are those of us who, through peculiarity of mind or upbringing, have known this about American Institutions all along. This is utterly normal. The idea that the State is not above the Law is a very unusual one. Yet, ultimately, it is a Truth, because sooner or later a State that holds itself above the law will find itself facing (to cadge another phrase from Kipling) its angry and defrauded young.

    Aside; we owed the Jewish people an enormous debt for the very idea of supreme Law. They were the first Peoples to stand up to their God and demand that He make good on his promises. As bad as the Left is fond of accusing the Judeo-Christian God of being, all the Pagan Gods and Goddesses were notably WORSE.

    Seriously: never mind Buddha, if you meet Woton on the road, kill him if you can, burn the body to ash, bury it in many distant places, and sew those places with salt.

    We lived in an era where the knives they had out for us were better hidden, but they were always there. We survived that era. We will survive this new on, because they are not GAINING in power, but losing it.

  12. As an aside, apropos of only “China” in the topic, here’s a quick aircraft ID test: Ignoring the markings, identify this helicopter:

    Nope, not a Black Hawk – it’s a Chinese Harbin Z-20.

    Gee, I wonder if State Security’s overseas operations department had anything to do with this design.

    1. Holy Carp that looks like twin of a Blackhawk. Last time two aircraft looked that similar was the TU-4 and the B-29 and that was because the Russians reverse engineered the TU-4 from some captured B-29s.
      They do say Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery. If so Sikorsky should be VERY flattered.

  13. I’ve been thinking that the events in Hong Kong bear a remarkable resemblance to those of the American Revolution.

    When Obama won re-election over Mitt Romney in 2012 and three years ago, when it looked like Hillary Clinton was cruising to election, I was politically depressed. Then when Trump managed to pull out a victory, I began to hope that it wasn’t too late to keep America from destruction.
    The leftist punditry immediately came completely unglued and has stayed that way. Their chosen champions all have the stink of “Laws are for keeping the bitter clinging deplorable peons in their place”, and they are increasingly brazen about it. To adapt Lincoln’s phrase, they want government of the people, by the wealthy elite, for criminals and thieves. I will never vote them into power. If they try to take it anyway and attack our essential freedoms, I will resist them, even to arms if it comes down to it.

    1. The leftist punditry immediately came completely unglued …

      In fairness, they were not all that tightly glued in the first place, using that cheap stuff that breaks down under the slightest pressure. Their glue was better suited to Post-It Notes than to the stresses of a dynamic system.

      1. to be fair, when your choice of glue is constrained on the one side by a requirement that it be vegan, and on the other to being completely petrochemical-free and organically free trade sourced, your are left with weak glues indeed.

        It’s a wonder they ever were glued in the first place.

        1. Those requirements are for us peons. The leaders of the environmentalist movement suppose they have the privilege of jetting around the world lecturing on how we’re supposed to go back to a paleolithic lifestyle while they enjoy all the benefits of the 21st century. My opinion of that is unprintable,,or it was when I grew up.

    2. The American colonies were months away, were a net drain on British resources, and Britain was already fighting *both* of the other major naval powers.

      Hong Kong is a stone’s throw from the Chinese mainland, and a major financial hub for the entire Far East; if push comes to shove, it’s probably more important to the Chinese economy than Peking, whatever they’re calling it this year.

      1. Yeah, the big issue is the PLA can walk to HK, unless someone blows the bridges, and then it’s a short boat ride. Not especially defensible – the Commies only left the British garrison alone because the US was standing over their shoulder.

        1. Street fighting in HONG KONG!!!!
          Any military that would WANT to do that is OUT OF THEIR MINDS!!!
          If Hong Kong lose 100 people for every PLA killed, Hong Kong WINS, and they are unlikely to loose 10 to 1.

          1. If it gets to that point, the PLA isn’t going to be pussyfooting around, because the CCCP is going to be more terrified about what’ll happen if they lose to an armed insurrection than what’ll happen if they destroy Hong Kong. Artillery demolishing the skyscrapers, napalm, flamethrowers–the works.

            Think Warsaw Ghetto writ large.

            1. And that’s not a win. Yeah, let’s depopulate the area that houses the most productive part of the economy — and also provide a brand new example of “well, we’re late” that overthrew a Chinese tyranny once already.

              “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton…..”

        2. President Trump should broker a deal for HK to purchase nukes from NK to counter the PLA threat.

    3. They had been put on notice, in 2000, that their vote fraud machines weren’t up to compensating for an arrogant mediocrity with negative charisma. They didn’t pay attention. Obumbles was a,TERRIFIC candidate, with gobs of charisma. As an executive of the State he was distinctly third rate, but as a candidate he was terrific.

      Which brings us to Granny Maojackets von Pantsuit. Shrillary is almost the platonic ideal of a mediocre kleptocrat. She has the charisma of a roadkill, she’s ostentatiously stupid, and she has no stamina. And the Progressive establishment pretty much hand picked her, and the American voter kicked them right in the fork. I think at least half the upper level derangement we’re seeing is the realization that, no, she DIDN’T win the popular vote. She didn’t even come close enough to allow their vote fraud to make the electoral college vote look close.

      2020 is looking like it gonna be a fire in a circus bug-top.

      1. The interesting thing about HRC is that while she indeed does have the personal charisma of an onion gone bad at the bottom of the bag, the idea of a Hillary presidency seems to captivate all the usual suspects.

        Thus the inability to accept her defeat, as that would require them to remove the “magic eyeglasses of true believers” and see her for what she truly is.

        1. I couldn’t figure it either. Even if you were a hardcore Democrat, she was dirty, and she and her husband had screwed over every person or organization they’d ever dealt with, and most people in her home state firmly believe she’s at least involved in more murders than Jeff Dahmer. Oh, and Benghazi, and Uranium One, and all the other things. Yet people went around proclaiming “Hilary!!!” like they’d just found Jesus and were still in the obnoxious phase.

          Who knows, maybe “Videodrome” wasn’t just a movie…

      2. The problem was they BELIEVED their own Polls. They didn’t do the Vote Fraud for Hillary just the down races, so they lost.
        In 2020 the Vote Fraud is going to be so over the top that there will be NO Question about it. They will pull out ALL the stops, they will not be able to help themselves.
        The best Trump supporters could do would be setup and take videos of everyone entering and leaving a polling place. The compare the count to what is reported and when the numbers are twice+ the number of people take it to court.

  14. Democrats in government think nothing of orchestrating coup attempt after coup attempt, always with a familiar cast of characters— government drones whose names never came within 50 miles of a ballot, usually with hyper-partisan Democratic credentials, collaborating with hundreds of Millennial journalists whose entire life can be summarized as an upbringing steeping in propaganda, followed by a job writing propaganda.

    Objection, the journalists are USUALLY boomers, the only Millennial journalists I can think of are the ones who made a name as bloggers, first, and then got hired in for young people cred.

    Example, the muck-raking idiot who tried to destroy the guy donating his beer money to sick kids.

    1. Well, there are top-tier J-school boomers still working in network and the very few major (national distribution) newspaper operations, but the rest of that generation have become far too expensive to keep on local teevee “news” or the remaining local or regional papers.

      Local TV news is very much a youngsters game anyway, with most markets adopting the LA-driven evening-dress-standups they do these days, and the papers are so far on their last legs they can only really afford new grads.

      All of that means much of the front line “journalists” are really very young, and the editors are the survivors of the layoffs, which as a rule generally target the older staff.

        1. Small market TV news is running 90% really young, and 10% not quite retired. The good young ones stay a few years then find jobs at bigger markets, while the good-not-quite-retired will stick around. There’s one guy who’s been handling the flyover portion of the Medford, OR* market, and has been doing a good job for 15+ years.

          Local radio (when not dominated by national feeds) runs the same way; young talent on the way up (or out, if lacking in talent) and older people looking for a less-stressful job.

          (*) K-Falls is a *tiny* market, and the only local station is an affiliate of the Medford NBC station.

          1. Our TV people locally are all “homesteaders” for the most part. The youngest week-day person is probably in her late 30s. And has been here for over half a decade.

      1. This also ties into a quote I’ve seen a few times on Instapundit that today’s crop of field journalists “know literally nothing”.

          1. Gonna quibble with Rhodes on that just a little — they know a great deal, but most of what they know is wrong. They are well-schooled in the dynamics of power and privilege as expressed in the patterns of patriarchy, they know the history of oppression in America, and they know the corrosive effects of power as exercised by white cismale supremacists.

            Rhodes fully understood their susceptibility to being treated like mushrooms, that i will acknowledge.

            1. A guy I went to high school with went to J-school, came back and worked at a local paper for a couple of years, and then went to DC as a political correspondent for decades, before moving off to NPR and other places.

              He had no more idea what he was reporting on than a parrot, but that didn’t stop the “national news service” he worked for from presenting him as an expert…

              1. He had no more idea what he was reporting on than a parrot

                On behalf of parrots everywhere, I protest!
                I know a dead parrot when I see it and I’m looking at one right now.

              2. Tom Wolfe said that television newscaster are the modern equivalent of the Linotype machine…which is unfair to Linotype machines!

                I observe that even fairly intelligent and knowledgeable journalists have vast holes in their knowledge bases. Among those who write about energy, few seem to understand the difference between a kilowatt and a kilowatt-hour….which is sort of important if you’re talking about energy storage. And some comments by Tucker Carlson the other night suggest strongly that he doesn’t know what a machine tool is.

                1. comments by Tucker Carlson the other night suggest strongly that he doesn’t know what a machine tool is.

                  That’s an absurd lie! Of course TC knows what a machine tool is! That’s a poll-watcher, right? Or possibly an urban city-councilmember.

              1. Zinn was correct; Americans were spontaneously generated as totally depraved natural mass murderers. It is impossible for white Americans to be anything other than callous cruel genocidal tyrants, and they should never aspire to anything better.


          2. IIRC, one other item that Rhodes mentioned was that the journalists he dealt with only knew about the political scene. None of the journalists had any depths of knowledge beyond what was happening in DC because the only work they’d ever done was as political reporters. They’d never worked any other beats.

    1. In the USA he’s a celebrity, and a “minority”, and therefore doubly protected and not only immune from any criticism, even the thought of criticizing him would call for immediate public abasement.

      In China they won’t put up with that kind of behavior, not from their own people, and particularly not from some uppity gwailo. Performing in China is a privilege granted by the State; he can bounce his ball somewhere else now.

      I imagine when you’ve had your butt kissed for most of your life, it’s a shocker…

  15. I can think of some nice dreams. My favorite one is a blend of 70 year old and new technology: a GoFundMe page to fund GM (or whoever else would like to) to crank out another million Liberator pistols, and deliver them to Hong Kong. Drones might work, or balloons.
    We’ve seen the photos of Hong Kong demonstrators bemoaning the lack of 2nd Amendment, it would be great to help them fix that.

      1. Of course. But a Liberator is a proven design, good enough for the purpose, and can be built in large quantities very quickly and cheaply. The WW2 run, as I recall, was one million units, 2 weeks, one million dollars.

        1. and fewer than 25,000 were ever authorized for distribution in Europe, and no word if they ever were.

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