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Playtime is over

So I've had a week now for the outcome of last Tuesday's US election to sink in, and I've been doing some thinking and some research, and my conclusion is that either I'm wearing a tinfoil hat or things are much, much worse than most people imagine.

Nearly four years ago I wrote about the Beige Dictatorship, and predicted:

Overall, the nature of the problem seems to be that our representative democratic institutions have been captured by meta-institutions that implement the iron law of oligarchy by systematically reducing the risk of change. They have done so by converging on a common set of policies that do not serve the public interest, but minimize the risk of the parties losing the corporate funding they require in order to achieve re-election. And in so doing, they have broken the "peaceful succession when enough people get pissed off" mechanism that prevents revolutions. If we're lucky, emergent radical parties will break the gridlock (here in the UK that would be the SNP in Scotland, possibly UKIP in England: in the USA it might be the new party that emerges if the rupture between the Republican realists like Karl Rove and the Tea Party radicals finally goes nuclear), but within a political generation (two election terms) it'll be back to oligarchy as usual.

Well, I was optimistic. The tea party radicals have gone nuclear, but I wasn't counting on a neo-Nazi running the White House, or on the Kremlin stepping in ...

Let me explain.

A few years ago, wandering around the net, I stumbled on a page titled "Why Japan lost the Second World War". (Sorry, I can't find the URL.) It held two photographs. The first was a map of the Pacific Theater used by the Japanese General Staff. It extended from Sakhalin in the north to Australia in the south, from what we now call Bangladesh in the west, to Hawaii in the east. The second photograph was the map of the war in the White House. A Mercator projection showing the entire planet. And the juxtaposition explained in one striking visual exactly why the Japanese military adventure against the United States was doomed from the outset: they weren't even aware of the true size of the battleground.

I'd like you to imagine what it must have been like to be a Japanese staff officer. Because that's where we're standing today. We think we're fighting local battles against Brexit or Trumpism. But in actuality, they're local fronts in a global war. And we're losing because we can barely understand how big the conflict is.

(NB: By "we", I mean folks who think that the Age of Enlightenment, the end of monarchism, and the evolution of Liberalism are good things. If you disagree with this, then kindly hold your breath until your head explodes. (And don't bother commenting below: I'll delete and ban you on sight.))

The logjam created by the Beige Dictatorship was global, throughout the western democracies; and now it has broken. But it didn't break by accident, and the consequences could be very bad indeed.

What happened last week is not just about America. It was one move—a very significant one, bishop-takes-queen maybe—in a long-drawn-out geopolitical chess game. It's being fought around the world: Brexit was one move, the election and massacres of Dutarte in the Philippines were another, the post-coup crackdown in Turkey is a third. The possible election of Marine Le Pen (a no-shit out-of-the-closet fascist) as President of France next year is more of this stuff. The eldritch knot of connections between Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Da'esh in the wreckage of Syria is icing on top. It's happening all over and I no longer think this is a coincidence.

Part of it is about the geopolitics of climate change (and mass migration and water wars). Part of it is about the jarring transition from an oil-based economy (opposed by the factions who sell oil and sponsor denial climate change, from Exxon-Mobil to the Kremlin) to a carbon-neutral one.

Part of it is the hellbrew of racism and resentment stirred up by loss of relative advantage, by the stagnation of wages in the west and the perception that other people somewhere else are stealing all the money—Chinese factories, Wall Street bankers, the faceless Other. (17M people in the UK have less than £100 in savings; by a weird coincidence, the number of people who voted for Brexit was around 17M. People who are impoverished become desperate and angry and have little investment in the status quo—a fancy way of saying they've got nothing to lose.)

But another big part of the picture I'm trying to draw is Russia's long-drawn out revenge for the wild ride of misrule the neoconservatives inflicted on the former USSR in the 1990s.

Stripped of communism, the old guard didn't take their asset-stripping by neoliberals during the Clinton years lying down; they no more morphed into whitebread Americans than the Iraqis did during the occupation. They developed a reactionary playbook; a fellow called Alexander Dugin wrote The Foundations of Geopolitics, and it's been a set text in the Russian staff college for the past two decades. A text that proposes a broad geopolitical program for slavic (Russian) dominance over Asia, which is to be won by waging a global ideological war against people like us. "In principle, Eurasia and our space, the heartland Russia, remain the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution. ... The new Eurasian empire will be constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us. This common civilizational impulse will be the basis of a political and strategic union."

I don't want to sound like a warmed-over cold warrior or a swivel-eyed conspiracy theorist. However, the authoritarian faction currently ascendent in Putin's Russia seem to be running their country by this book. Their leaders remember how the KGB (newly reformed last month) handled black propaganda and disinformation, and they have people who know how new media work and who are updating the old time Moscow rules for a new century. Trump's Russian connections aren't an accident—they may be the most important thing about him, and Russia's sponsorship of extreme right neo-fascist movements throughout Europe is an alarming part of the picture. China isn't helping, either: they're backing authoritarian regimes wherever they seem useful, for the same reason the US State Department under Henry Kissinger backed fascists throughout central and south America in the 1970s—it took a generation to fix the damage from Operation Condor, and that was local (at least, confined to a single continent).

Trying to defeat this kind of attack through grass-roots action at local level ... well, it's not useless, it's brave and it's good, but it's also Quixotic. With hindsight, the period from December 26th, 1991 to September 11th, 2001, wasn't the end of history; it was the Weimar Republic repeating itself, and now we're in the dirty thirties. It's going to take more than local action if we're to climb out of the mass grave the fascists have been digging for us these past decades. It's going to take international solidarity and a coherent global movement and policies and structures I can barely envisage if we're going to rebuild the framework of shared progressive values that have been so fatally undermined.

We haven't lost yet.

But if we focus too narrowly on the local context, we will lose, because there is a de facto global fascist international at work, they've got a game plan, they're quite capable of applying the methods of Operation Condor on a global scale, and if we don't work out how to push back globally fast there will be nobody to remember our graves.



I think you're broadly right, but I think the important (and scary) factor of the 'de facto fascist international' is that it's not based on active co-operation. There's been no secret summit where Putin, Trump, Le Pen etc have all got together to plot this in the style of the Communist Internationals, they're all doing their own thing, and each one feeds into the rest as they trade off the similarities between each other. It's a useful idiot strategy - you don't have to fund your own operations in other countries, because you can always find someone foolish enough already there to do it for you, and you just have to nudge them in the right direction. They don't need briefings and controllers to make sure they keep up with the party line, as they're happy to say whatever they last heard at a 'controversial' think tank or support whatever line gets them on TV as a 'contrarian'.


For some confirmation try Peter Pomerantsev - Nothing is true and everything is possible He describes a frightening society that really does fit with your visionn


What I read you write is that what we're seeing in the US (Trump), UK (Brexit), maybe soon France (Front National) and Germany (AfD), Turkey (Erdogan) etc. ... is a controlled effort to undermine the liberal West?

I don't think you are right. I'm sure Russia's current elite would like to destabilise Europe (in fact, quite likely the UK's and Turkey's would as well), and quite possibly they had their favourite in the US presidential elections, and maybe even lent support to influence the outcome in their direction.

But I suspect that way of thinking, too, is in a way local thinking and trying to pin the unwelcome changes we're seeing in "our world" to a simple cause that is easy to understand and allegedly to control. But I would suggest that what is really happening is that the global sociocultural system (as I would call it ad hoc for lack of a better word) is shifting at least to a new equilibrium point, maybe even to a new mode.

Maybe that doesn't make sense right now and I don't want to spend too long on this post. The society in the Western world, specifically Europe (not sure about the US but I suspect there as well) is split. I live in London, but I was born on the continent. For me, turning the back to Europe is absolutely inconceivable. Nobody like me could think this way! But I must acknowledge that many many people, the vast majority in fact, has not had a similar liberal experience of that of the Erasmus generation (Erasmus the student exchange program). My parents and my sibling for example have not lived in another country. For them, people born with another language are still foreigners and strangers (and they do believe in the EU and don't vote far right, even).

People who have not lived or worked abroad don't really have emotional access to this nativism/nationalism-negating experience. Neither have people without homosexual friends. And it seems to me that that is now breaking out, or is pushed out by economic imbalances.

Of course this doesn't mean we have to reverse. But we need to acknowledge it, I think, before we can move against it.


As Nick says, this feels more like a "rise of authoritarianism" as opposed to being a coordinated move which is "happening all over and I no longer think this is a coincidence".

I think the Russians would love to put into effect the strategy described and would love even more to take credit for it. But I suspect they are making little social media pushes and content to be seen to be pulling strings - yet without being actually in cahoots with Trump.

In other words, this is all a bit tin foil hat for me.

Now, if Trump starts changing the whole make up of the electoral college so it takes more than a 6M vote advantage for Democrats to win (currently 1M for Hilary iiRC) then I might be a bit more worried.

But I'm definitely listening to what you have to say...


I think there's another side of this: it's not just the rise of fascism, but also the collapse of democratic institutions.

The power-brokers of the world have never been fond of democracy, and have always worked to erode it, more because they just wanted to get shit done than out of any true nefarious goal. Democracy is a TERRIBLY inefficient decision-making process.

But the problem is that its inefficiency is a feature- it forces consensus building and dialogue. At its best, reasoned discussion wins the day, and the best choice is made. That's an exception, the "happy path", while in practice democracy is more a system of horse-trading and compromise. That's not so bad. It still makes it hard to get things done- which is why power-brokers look to skirt its boundaries. We see things like the TPP- the contents of the treaty are less significant than how the sausage itself was made- in closed door sessions, negotiated between stakeholders that have, at best, a tenuous connection to the true constituents of a democratic nation.

This seems to be a natural decay of democratic systems- cronyism, closed-door negotiations, and fundamentally anti-democratic processes start to wield more power than the democratic system itself. Little changes and shortcuts accumulate, like the way a river undercuts its banks. From above, you see solid ground, but in reality, it's a thin overhang only held in place by tree roots and inertia, and one rainstorm can wash the whole thing away.


I don't know, Charlie, you've been right so far but I keep hoping you've backed yourself into a kind of tunnel vision. Until persuaded otherwise I'm sticking with Piketty, that humans are just along for the ride on an immense blob of inanimate but nonetheless cytoplasmicly streaming money, which has its own gravitational rules like a coalescing asteroid field slowly becoming a ring system, with discernible patterns like interest exceeding income over deep time. Build a coalition to exploit that principle and it's like letting gravity be your friend, don't fight it, use it. Nature remains utterly indifferent to the endless mutations of evolutionary history, what survives, survives, truth and beauty be damned. I take comfort in the view that extreme authoritarianism really hasn't been able to outlast coordinated mass action over the recent couple of centuries.


It may not be tightly controlled, but there is definitely coordination going on. Nigel Farange campaigned for Trump and Marion Le Pen recently invited Steve Bannon to work with the FN. And Bannon himself has said that he views Trump as part of a global populist movement.

I'd add that I agree with John Scalzi: "I don't find it coincidental that all this is happening as WWII passes from living memory."



Not sure about that, the EU membership referendum, the UK labor party's most recent leadership (re)election, and the US election were nominally democratic processes but I'm not seeing a lot of consensus arising from them.

I think democracy kind of depends on the electorate being offered reasonable alternatives by people willing to talk about them in halfway adult language.

In or Out? North Korea and Switzerland are both outside the EU but you'd hardly describe their relationship in remotely the same terms so what the hell does "Out" mean and is it surprising that the cabinet are still divided over it?

Corbin or Smith? So that's return the candidate who the PLP have made it clear they either can't or won't work with (for the purposes of this discussion it doesn't really matter which) or uphold the party line by endorsing the preferred choice of the politburo.

Clinton or Trump? Not that I'd have hesitated for a heartbeat if I'd had a vote, but, well, Hillary's not really my idea of great presidential material...

Of course it's always possible that democracy has already been subverted and that asking us Bloody Stupid Questions, turning campaigns into playground arguments, and then watching the electorate divide itself between simmering resentment and gloating triumphalism in the aftermath is actually a deliberate strategy...


A couple of observations: I am relatively sure the "elites" of New Labor and traditional Conservatives wanted HRC to win to shore them up against the outbreak of Brexit/UKIP/Old Labor/voters against the "civilized" bubble of the established order.

Two: before we congratulate ourselves too much on our good natures, part of our panic is about the effect of real global leveling. How comfortable are you, personally, about Western living standards falling towards a rising global mean? (You meaning everyone, not just Charlie.) Particularly if that global mean turns out to be environmentally/economically unsustainable.

Are the demographics turning so that vital areas of the United States are superseding "rusting" areas? Or are the rusting areas just ahead of a general trend? When the robots come for the jobs of the "enlightened" people, how will they react? Better than the shadowy mob of "working class" people who are being blamed right now for Trump?

I say this as someone who wants to see a light socialist future with as much respect for individual human rights as we can afford, given the likelihood of ecologic and social crisis in the near future.


Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was well aware the war was unwinnable for Japan. Most likely the Japanese government was as well but decided to go ahead to save face:


Yes and no, on the one hand it's passing from memory, on the other its being ridiculously fetished, often by the Leave campaigners (I've lost count of the number of times I've seen someone say the EU is essentially a Nazi plot apparently without any irony).


Until persuaded otherwise I'm sticking with Piketty, that humans are just along for the ride on an immense blob of inanimate but nonetheless cytoplasmicly streaming money, which has its own gravitational rules like a coalescing asteroid field slowly becoming a ring system, with discernible patterns like interest exceeding income over deep time.

These are not mutually exclusive possibilities; crude capitalism predates liberal democracy as we know it today, and the big lesson places like China and Singapore is that you can have a working modern capitalist system without democracy.

Old-school fascists tended to be rather bad at capitalism. But fascists are no more incapable of learning than anyone else.


The interesting point on WW2 and the referendum is that some of the polling showed that the trend for the older you were, the more likely you were to support Leave broke down once it reached 75-80 year olds and above. (Disclaimer: this was getting into the realm of very small sample sizes, so margins of error were much bigger) What that suggests is that those who had memories of wartime, even as children, knew enough about it to not want to see it again. The post-war generation, raised on tales of how Britain won the war without seeing the cost of it were much more likely to think 'we won the war' was much more important than 'let's never have a war again'.


Ironically enough I was sitting down to write a post from similar data but with different conclusions.

I'm not sure there's a global conspiracy. I think Farage and Gove (however much they'll hate been mentioned together) cooked up a plan for Brexit of "slam the establishment and hit the buzzwords and give them just enough to make them salivate and thus win the election on hot air and nothing else."

Those actually in power after the vote are finding just what a pile of manure they've got because although (however much I wish they didn't) they've got a clear mandate for Brexit, the shape of that mandate is completely unclear. The fine detail wouldn't be clear of course, unless the vote had been "100% hard Brexit, nothing else" but it's not clear if they should aim for hard Brexit, soft Brexit, if soft, a model like Norway, Switzerland, Canada or something else.

When Trump called his campaign "Brexit +++" he wasn't lying - he's long on slamming the establishment, hitting various buzzwords and really short on details. He has a few months to try and put something together of course but he's already pulled back on "we're just going to throw Hilary in jail" and "we're going to totally dismantle Obamacare" to my certainly knowledge.

There's a model for Le Pen, and for the AdF to follow but I'm not sure there's a global conspiracy to achieve it so much as a new tactic emerging, like TV changed elections, and whatever it was before that. The old parties aren't reacting well, but Trump used social media brilliantly and responded well to voter dissatisfaction in a way Clinton just didn't. Farage, Gove and Johnson scooped up people who wanted to stick it to the man in numbers and so on. Le Pen will do that too I suspect.


Anecdotal data regarding what a clown show American politics has become:

1) Trump admits that if he had been able to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014, he would have had better things to do with his time than running the Free World. (And owning the Bills is not like owning United or the Gunners; it's more like owning Newcastle or West Ham.)

2) In a way, American Democracy collapsed because Anthony Weiner showed his dick to a 15 year old girl.


I like looking at this from a post-mortem point of view. Given a statement like "Brexit Britain is a global leader", what kind of world would be required for that to be true. You'd have to break up the bigger players.

Wresting France from the EU would make the EU a non-nuclear power and create a broken European coastline, just like Britain has traditionally liked it. Electing a divisive US president who is anti-Europe, and then supporting Calexit and NYexit, that'd make the US weaker and pitch the US and the EU against each other.

The worst part is that it's a self-fuelling mechanism. By breaking the UK away from the Union, the UK's interests change from a strong Union to preferring dealing with smaller countries of 50 million people. Which makes the UK want to break up the EU, the US, China, Russia, India, Japan, Indonesia, et al. And if they succeed, the broken up pieces will share that interest, increasing the pressure on the survivors.

From that perspective Farage's sidling up to Trump and Le Pen makes a lot of sense: they're the leaders most likely to weaken the US and the EU, respectively. Why else would a fanatically pro-British politician support foreign leaders?


We need a global movement, but that will only grow from local grassroots campaigns. Clicktivism and letter writing wont cut it any more. Everybody who isnt a fascist, from the centre to the far left needs to wake up, unite and mobilise into a popular pluralist movement. We need to exploit european and global networks with new tactics and find charismatic spokespeople to lobby for us. The left can provide the framework and experience, the centre can provide the numbers.

It will be messy, difficult and unprecedented, but it is possible. It MUST be possible.


because although (however much I wish they didn't) they've got a clear mandate for Brexit

Let's be very clear, they don't have a clear mandate for Brexit.

Even leaving aside a margin of 2% being within the margin of error for polling, the vote was rigged two ways. Firstly, in the immediate previous referendum the vote was available to those aged 16-and-over; indeed, the electoral commission was considering extending the general franchise to 16 year olds. Because the pro-brexit voting demographic skewed old, if the 16-18 age group had voted, it's likely to have been hung, or a loss for "out". Secondly, over a million over-18 British Citizens registered to vote in general elections were disenfranchised because they happened to live in the EU. These people are generally encouraged to vote by conservative governments, because they tend to be affluent and conservative (at least in terms of how they vote in UK elections); for the Tories to then exclude them is just plain outrageous.

TLDR is if the Brexit referendum had been run on regular electoral rules, "Remain" would have won by a rather bigger margin than "Leave" did under the finagled rules that were applied.

And that's without considering the way the Leave campaign lied like rugs. "£350M a week goes to Europe that we could spend on the NHS" indeed.


>>>and the big lesson places like China and Singapore is that you can have a working modern capitalist system without democracy.

I'm not sure about that.

Working modern capitalist system need fair competition between businesses. This requires the Rule of Law. Beyond just having capitalist friendly laws, they must be applied consistently to get fair competition.

I don't see how this can maintained for a significant length of time without democracy. Sure, you can have a benevolent government for a while, but the Iron Law of Bureaucracy will destroy it eventually.


I don't agree that we need global action. If we crush the orange one in disgrace and claim back US, the rest will follow. Easier than waging war worldwide (occupy didn't succeed), already some grassroot base (Bernies), almost half of Congress, popular vote, lots of diversity. Obama will join.

Even leaving aside a margin of 2% being within the margin of error for polling, the vote was rigged two ways. Firstly, in the immediate previous referendum the vote was available to those aged 16-and-over; indeed, the electoral commission was considering extending the general franchise to 16 year olds. Because the pro-brexit voting demographic skewed old, if the 16-18 age group had voted, it's likely to have been hung, or a loss for "out". Secondly, over a million over-18 British Citizens registered to vote in general elections were disenfranchised because they happened to live in the EU. These people are generally encouraged to vote by conservative governments, because they tend to be affluent and conservative (at least in terms of how they vote in UK elections); for the Tories to then exclude them is just plain outrageous.

Sorry Charlie, but you're wrong on both counts there. The 16-y/o franchise for the Scottish Indyref was set by the Scottish Parliament in the legislation that enabled the referendum. The Electoral Commission doesn't have the power to decide who qualifies for the franchise - that has to be set by primary legislation.

As to expats, as a British expat myself (albeit living in the US not the EU) we were most certainly included in the franchise, and indeed it was practically easier for us to vote by post as the postal ballots were sent out much earlier than they would be for a general election (when they can't be printed until nominations are closed, which means for those of us further from the UK it's difficult to get postal ballots received and returned in time - I usually ask a cousin in the UK to be my postal proxy).

Where the electorate for the Brexit referendum was rigged was firstly the move to individual not household registration, which has helped disenfranchise a lot of mostly younger voters, and the decision to use the UK Parliamentary franchise which excluded people from EU countries resident in the UK. Clearly if they'd had been included the result would have almost certainly have been to remain. I'm a little surprised none of the legal challenges to the Brexit process haven't argued that EU residents in the UK are being unfairly deprived of their treaty rights without having the chance to vote on it.

Oh, and that individual registration thing is permanent, along with the new "fairer" constituency boundaries now being pushed through. Both favour the Tories significantly and will make it harder than ever for an opposition party to win a Westminster general election in future.


by the factions who sell oil and sponsor denial climate change, from Exxon-Mobil to the Kremlin Which includes nice Mr Assange, doesn't it? Putin paid him & won the US election.....

Kremlin revived Old Guard - do you think they have been reading Harold Mackinder, again? It sounds horribly like it?

... and now we're in the dirty thirties Time for re-armament, then? Physical as well as "moral".

Private elron @ 9 It's got to the stage where, already, even the Daily Telegraph is starting to edge away from Trumpolini ... As some of his choices & friends crawl out of the woodwork.

Nick Barlow @ 13 Not so - I'm 70 soon to be 71 - I still think the EU stinks, but that we should have stayed in & tried AGAIN to reform it & again & again. Possibly too late now.

And Charlie @ 18 indeed - & as the err "practical difficulties" of Brexit grow ever-larger, I really wonder if some method of reneging err .. finding out that "acceptable terms" are not on offer & thus getting a rejection-of-term referendum - then reverting to status quo ante ...


Secondly, over a million over-18 British Citizens registered to vote in general elections were disenfranchised because they happened to live in the EU.

AFAIK everyone eligible to vote in a general election was also eligible to vote in the referendum. The people disenfranchised for living outside the UK were those who have lived abroad for at least 15 years and therefore cannot vote in Parliamentary elections either (this has been the case since 2000).

The law authorising the referendum defined the electorate for it as

the persons who, on the date of the referendum, would be entitled to vote as electors at a parliamentary election in any constituency

plus some others (peers and Gibraltar residents).


I'm generally averse to seeing conspiracies, unless there can be hard proof of it (correlation does not imply cuasation and all that).

I found your piece on the beige dictatorship quite insightful, and it helped to explain a lot of the properties of many modern governments. But I also find that you at times stick with too easy explanations.

One thing is that it seems the turn towards racism or violence doesn't really come from economic plight, but rather the removal (real or perceived) of privilege or power. (See eg White Riot.) This helps to explain why some, even relatively prosperous groups, turn to Trump or Farage.

What recent insight into postcolonial and intersectional thinking has led to is both a widespread demand for structural inequalities that can address relatively narrow groups, and that privileged but relatively powerless groups feel increasingly attacked. I believe one result has been that progressive groups have become increasingly splintered (through narrow demands from groups that see little common ground), while the forces of reaction and conservatism have felt under siege and thus found it easy to find common ground.

I view identity politics and intersectionality as the first successful liberal critique of the marxist-socialist theories, and as such it should be welcomed. But now we need a synthesis between identity politics and the group-oriented progressive political theories.

That said, I have little doubt that the various nationalistic and fascistic movements do inspire each other. But they still will have to fight and win largely on their own merits, due to their own innate nationalism and xenophobia.


As someone who has been living in the US for close to twenty years, I was excluded from the Brexit vote As I don't live in the U.K., I am fine with not voting, as I don't live there As an EU citizen, I was extremely unhappy about not being to able to vote about Wether myself and my daughter could retain our EU citizenship


The notable thing about the Axis of Evil was that there was no axis. I don't think there is one here either, or at least not yet. Lets see how this plays out for a bit before taking to the matresses


plus some others (peers and Gibraltar residents).

As a matter of interest are lunatics still denied the vote?

As a matter of interest are lunatics still denied the vote?

Yes, if involuntarily detained I believe.


I'm German and call me old-fasioned, but I believe it's my duty to do everything in my power to fight fascism.

What OGH speculates has me deeply worried. What can I concretely do to help? We all had a big laugh over here when the PEGIDA strollers crashed and burned (go check out their entry on RationalWiki, it's hilarious). Since a lot of things fly in from across the pond (we even got armed "sovereign citizens" in the form of "Reichsbürger" as of late), I'm anxious about their resurgence, a push for the AfD or even the NPD, and a new wave of burning refugee shelters...


As a matter of interest are lunatics still denied the vote?

Yes, if involuntarily detained I believe.

Ah, that explains it. Thanks.


Find 8 people who think like you and organise a group. Ask each of them to organise another group of 9 people. When you have 10 groups organise a meeting. Talk about practical ways to fight back. There are endless resources from the left you can draw upon. Divide yourself by task and specialism - media, legal, fundraising, PR, events, demonstrations, recruitment, technology... If you have a skills gap, then find people to fill it. Talk to people, spread your ideas, amalgamate with others to form umbrella groups.

Rinse and repeat until you win.


Oh come on... Being Russian I find things British press (and certain British citizens) are saying about Russia annoying and wrong (I personally blame Cold War mental residue and Bond movies for that).

It seems to me that people in the West don't quite understand the trauma that USSR's demise was to most of the people. The old ideology had fizzled out – but Gorbachev and the Politburo found nothing better than to start courting the Russian Orthodox Church as a replacement. So now our political system is more like that of the times of Ivan the Terrible and early Romanovs. As for ideology, it's exceptionalism that was preached in Moscow in 17th century (Third Rome doctrine) with a dash of Soviet propaganda. A twisted and unnatural mix, but in the same time a reaction to the perceived slight... even treason by the West. We did believe that we will be welcomed with open arms once USSR is no more. What we got instead was NATO at our doorstep, Russian refugees from former Soviet republics (the ones who were not killed outright) and the choice between alcoholic and crazy apparatchik in 1996. And then the backlash from that brought us Putin who had promptly lost all contact with reality a few years into his first term. But by this time most of Russians were too tired of politics and the price of oil was on the rise so we just stopped giving a damn. Too much wars and revolutions tend to have this effect, y'know... And that's how we ended with the government that is trying to roll back everything that happened after 1680s.

So I don't think there is some conspiracy or that Putin had any influence in the US elections. It's more like everyone in the elites just got the "brilliant" idea that it's much easier to blame "them" for everything that's wrong with the system than to try to fix it. So the likes of Trump are seen as an enemy of the current establishment – who are definitely classified as "them" and "enemy of my enemy..." comes into play, hence the support for the crazy.


While I wouldn't consign you to the tin foil hat brigade quite yet, and I agree with some of your post above, sorry but your first and very visceral initial response kind of tells the story about how Trump won the election and Brexit happened.

I'm not meaning to crap on you or your loved ones, but your immediate fear was that you might not be allowed into the US (given the categories you said you were in) While it was a totally reasonable fear, especially given the Breitbart dude's elevation and you forgot to mention the puppies saga, at the end of the day, your fear was you might not be admitted to the US.

It wasn't fear of homelessness, not having food on the table, having your children taken away cos you weren't employed and your ex was gunning. Or fear your children wouldn't be employed ever due to offshoring of jobs etc. It was fear of not being granted a visa when you turned up to the US. It wasn't about the intergenerational unemployment either.

I don't have skin in either the Trump or Brexit game (and wouldn't have voted either), but have colleagues in both places (many well educated) who I totally wouldn't have expected to vote that way but who went 'don't tell anyone but I'm voting.....'

Their fears were grounded on their families having a job, healthcare etc, And the elephant dragging his feet across the room is that while Trump said and has done abhorrent things, the vulnerable in society put up with this every day and he is the norm not the exception unless you have the power to tell him to bugger off. I do, these days, but it's only been in the last 5 years (and I'm pushing 50).

At least with Trump you see him coming. And you can defend yourself. The likes of Bernie Sanders sets off the red flags cos while he talks a good game, he will knife you in the back while claiming he is an ally.


Sorry, they DO have a mandate.

The fact that Cameron was too fucking stupid to think he could lose with the electorate HE chose doesn't mean the result isn't valid.

The fact Scotland chose a different age group to every other election in the UK doesn't necessarily make it obvious the next election should have the same age range. It doesn't make it obvious it shouldn't either of course.

And if he'd included the EU citizens and it had been a similar margin the other way the out campaigners would have screamed bloody murder. Of course if he'd been smart we'd never have had the bloody referendum but moaning about how he conducted it doesn't change the result.


I can confirm this from the german perspective. virtually everyone of my parent's friends is strongly pro-EU and supportive towards inbound migration, mentioning their own WW2 experiences. These are middle class people in their 80ies now.


For all those who disagree with Charlie's analysis that it's a global war, let me explain why he's right, from a distance, but slightly off on the specific details.

In the mid-sixties, there were takeovers, by the students, at UC Bergeley, NYC and elsewhere. In Rapoport's "Is The Library Burning", what they found in more than one Dean's and college presidents' files were not explicit plans, but rather "one dirty hand washing another".

That I believe is what's going on.

And I'd say the deal between Trumpolini and Putin is, shall we say, the Pact of Aluminum....

On the other hand, one very seriously scary thing to consider. Someone noted that fascists are bad at economics. The thing is, a century ago, seeing the rise of socialism into an actual force, the wealthy chose to use the rough rabble who could be bought cheaply to put someone of their choice to control the government. Except, of course, that once in, they very rapidly lost control. I do not see it being any different this time.

Perhaps it's time to consider whether the question should be asked: would you have shot Hitler?"

mark "why am I in a handbasket, and where am I going?"


The one advantage America has right now is one of our big stumbling blocks. Separation of powers.

I'm kinda shocked that Brexit was a simple majority vote simply because of how big of a change it was. I've read enough history to also know that Westminster can rapidly adopt programs and changes based on the majority. Be it NHS or the rump Parliament.

That rump Parliament business is also key to the US constitution, as the Founders were all big readers of John Lilburne, and could be roughly considered the intellectual decedents of the levelers.

Baked into that separation of powers the fact that slavery was already becoming a big domestic issue. Half the North had outlawed slavery by 1790, the rest would follow by 1800. (Also the same time as Wilberforce's work btw). The founders hoped slavery would die out in the South like it was in the north. The problem is 1793 the Cotton Gin was invented and suddenly increased the value of slaves many fold.

Why all this matters is the Constitutional Process is slow in the US. Super- Majorities in both houses of congress are required, along with a super majority of the states. It makes it a solid bitch to get things done when you want a change. The Lochner era, for instance had a Supreme Court believe in near absolute freedom of contract to the point they were striking down Child Labor laws. There's still a pending amendment from 1924 to amend the Constitution to give congress additional powers over child labor (10 more states need to ratify it).

As such for all Trump can do in the US, there's limits. His longest lasting damage is control of foreign policy and ending trade deals. But the mainstream republicans like trade and defense with Europe/Asia. It's not actually clear if the President can unilaterally end a treaty, and everytime one has tried congress goes to court and keeps it in court until there's a new president.

Much is made of the judiciary, and I think we're in for fun times with that. Hint, the right has been suborned for years on this issue. Great example is the 1986 organized retention election campaign against the California Supreme Court. Ended up being a campaign about bleeding heart justices against the death penalty and soft on crime. Actual subtext was these justices were the leading judges on creating new theories of product liability. Especially what expanding what are called the coke bottle cases (strict product liability for exploding coke bottles). The money in that recall was all companies seeking to dodge product liability suits.

Otoh, a President can do a lot. Trump can do some tinkering and effectively end Obamacare. He can redirect federal enforcement efforts, for example the EPA to do nothing, or have various agencies switch their focus to immigration. (Including the DACA folks who came here illegally as children and took a risk joining DACA because that means CBE knows where they are). He can pretty much reverse federal employee policies on stuff like LGBT equality (or even go back to pre-don't ask don't tell policies for the military). He can also effectively block new hiring for federal agencies and starve them out.

Combine this with a Congress that views him as a useful rubber stamp. For example, there's a bill that will strip what's called Chevron deference from the US administrative agencies. That's deference given to an agency for its own interpretation of its rules. It's a long bugaboo of those against the administrative state in the US.



Said it before, saying it again: shoot Hitler (at the relevant point of comparison, ~Jan 1933) and all you do is give Göring a martyr.


With regard to the topic, I tend, for the moment, to think that the right-wing shifts we're seeing are more in the category of emergent properties than conscious conspiracies. Although, of course, there are folks who see what's emerging and conspire to take advantage of it.

However, OGH said "the KGB (newly reformed last month)." What's the "reformed" part? Was there some significant re-reorganization of the FSB and SVR back into a single entity?

And speaking of the SVR, formerly the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, application of the historical imagery tool in Google Earth shows that its HQ (55.584 N, 37.518 E) has been undergoing major expansion this decade. What's that about?


The Internet was supposed to make society better informed and enable individuals to become actively involved in their governments. Maybe this hasn't happened because there's a strong belief among some that if something doesn't make money for someone, it has no merit/worth. So, maybe we should start charging folks for information about their governments? The additional benefit to this is that if the info turns out to be wrong, we launch a class action lawsuit.

Other stuff I'd like to see ...

Elected officials - all meetings to be recorded and posted online. No more private meetings --- after all elected officials supposedly work for the electorate, and lord knows the tech already exists to implement this. Ditto for emails ... the gov't and esp. elected representatives must be seen to do its job correctly and ethically. This would probably help reduce expenses too if all concerned knew they were being constantly recorded.

No solicitations from corporations -- campaign expenses, dinners/speaking engagements, etc. Corporations are not allowed to vote so why are they being sought out as the primary funders of candidates. Solicitations can only be from eligible voters (individuals) and capped at an affordable (by most of the pop'n) amount, say $100. Otherwise it's asking politicians to actively go out and get bought. And if you claim you need more money to run a campaign ... consider how much exposure (free) social media and crappy network infotainment 'reporting' managed to deliver to some candidates. This is doable ... there are countries that have 'election expenses acts' where candidates are allowed to spend maximum amount per person within their/that voting district...

Don't waste two years of everyone's time campaigning rather than doing the job you were supposedly elected to do. The Internet sends info out much faster than the pony express, so why keep the pony express campaign calendar ... unless the money to cover a two-year campaign can only be had from soliciting corporate support.

Okay - some of the above may sound conspiratorial depending on the voice it's read in, but seriously, we need to re-examine the how and why of we do things including their consequences.

Also, consider what types of individuals would vs. would not run for elected office if the above happened.


Re: 'Super- Majorities in both houses of congress are required, along with a super majority of the states.'

Yes - the GOP controls both houses and probably the White House too, so it's full speed away.

FYI - 'super-majority' is simply 50% plus 1 vote.


The likes of Bernie Sanders sets off the red flags cos while he talks a good game, he will knife you in the back while claiming he is an ally.

Where do you get this. He's the only candidate in a long time who seems to say exactly what he was thinking. (Well at least the only who did this with coherent thoughts.)


We kind of have to salute Russia here.

An economy smaller than that of Canada or Italy, which has essentially no innovation, exports little but raw materials and has negligible cultural outreach has completely subverted the Western democracies to cover up its own failures.

As a tactical victory, Putin is the winner - but was it a strategic win?

After all, did the Kremlin plan on having Trump in the White House? With Hillary they'd have had a known quantity that they could demonise without risking everything. But now they have got rid of the enemy that was sold to the population and replaced her with a complete unknown with little experience and ridiculously thin skinned who will see any slight as a provocation that must be answered.

And meanwhile China militarises the China Sea and the Pacific and starts putting its political, economic and military might into the 'Stans which have been traditionally in Russia's orbit.

Interesting times for everyone - assuming we live long enough to write the history textbooks.


Seriously, they thought orange will give them decent healthcare and jobs? This is why vote needs to be public (yeah, yeah, point of pressure and so on, I don't care) and stored for future reference. I have a supporter nearby and I am not letting this be forgotten. You voted, you own the consequences. Good or bad.


One thing OGH doesn't quite seem to have spotted is what the EU looks like from the point of view of a businessman. John Redwood MP is a fairly authoritative source on this front; before politics he ran several successful businesses, and in politics ended up fighting a rearguard action to prevent various EU regulations from crippling British business interests. He also states that he had much more success trading with American and Asian companies than he ever did trading with EU companies; Germany in particular is almost impossible to sell things to.

Then we have the various arms of the EU operating in the various states. If OGH has ever talked to farmers trying to collect subsidies from the EU, he will have encountered the peculiar difficulty that EU inspectors seem to have in measuring land areas. Fields that have had static boundaries for the last 500 years suddenly change in area from year to year; forms get rejected because of this. Then we have pettifogging regulation of what farmers can and cannot do at set times of year, set by office-bound bureaucrats in Brussels (or possibly Strasbourg).

This causes such insanities as the Great Autumn Slurry Rush, where farmers desperately try to get their manure pits emptied onto the fields before the completely arbitrary cut-off date is hit (you need to be spreading slurry while the weather is warm enough that the grass will absorb the nitrates), and the Great Hedge-Cutting Rush, where farmers try to get what was traditionally a winter time-filler job done before that arbitrary window gets shut again.

All arbitrary bureaucrat-set rules that have little real-world relevance; farmers are, strangely enough, smart enough not to pollute watercourses with nitrate run-off and smart enough not to needlessly compact fields with heavy machinery (by waiting for a good, hard frost before hedging, for instance).

Finally, you can judge an organisation's overall culture by looking at the little extravagances that are lavished upon the senior figures in that organisation. Google famously determined that companies with their own fleet of corporate jets did less well than those which merely chartered flights as needed.

So, look to the EU and what do we see but waste, extravagance and needless spending of money everywhere. For one week every month the entire EU Parliament decamps from Brussels to Strasbourg, and back again. They waste millions doing this, and have never even tried to cut costs by changing the rule to one month per annum say, or by splitting the Parliament.

Basically the EU seems to be completely fine with pissing other peoples' money up the wall with no regard to economy or good sense. When the taxpayers who pay for such extravagances watch this, can you not empathise with them wishing to cease paying such a wasteful organisation?

Thus, Brexit.


"The Internet was supposed to make society better informed and enable individuals to become actively involved in their governments."

I was around in the BBS days and never got that memo. Wasn't the whole funding for internet #1 (BBS days) from the US defence force and didn't their techs help to make the platform? (I could be wrong)

Sorry SF, but that seems like a nostalgic view of how we wanted it to be, rather than how it ever was or how it turned out. Facebook's a relatively late player to the game and Satan in my view, but it's now the dominant platform for news and even many of my trusted sources have plugins as they need the revenue.

Whatever tech gets invented tomorrow will be co-opted when it becomes commercially viable

Re: 'Super- Majorities in both houses of congress are required, along with a super majority of the states.' Yes - the GOP controls both houses and probably the White House too, so it's full speed away. FYI - 'super-majority' is simply 50% plus 1 vote.

No, "supermajority" in US constitutional terms means 2/3 of a legislative house, in the case of constitutional amendments and impeachment convictions, and 3/4 of states in the case of constitutional amendments.


FYI - 'super-majority' is simply 50% plus 1 vote.

Ah, no.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as



2/3rds majority required to pass an amendment (Art V. Section 1). And effectively 60 votes to end a filler buster.

It doesn't prevent lots of stupid, but it does limit their ability to pass stuff like anti-abortion amendments, anti-gay marriage amendments, (or for Trump's promise, term limits) etc.

As to the court, let's just all send RBG vitamins and hope she lives longer than JPS.


I get this from the way he talked, what he said, and (most importantly) what he didn't say. How my female (and some male) professional colleagues felt about him having seen his speeches, met him and read what he had to say (and again, most importantly, what he didn't say). (eg he was totally lukewarm when his followers were being sexist against Clinton - he distanced himself but never stepped up and walked the talk)

These were women and men that worked in male dominated industries (in my case engineering and R & D related)who have dealt with both the Donald Trumps and the Bernie's of the world for more than 20 years. And that's not counting the admin supports and all the little people who've seen far too many people talk a good game and not deliver. Whatever you saw in him, vulnerable people saw a person talking a good game who would never deliver and who was looking after his ownself. They would have voted Hillary (some Trump) but he came across as the accountant that bedazzles you with bullshit while ripping off your taxes to most people I know. can't exactly explain why, but that's how he was perceived


I think that a post-mortem analysis of how we got here is important if we are to successfully fight this

Here are 3 questions (accompanied by rants):

  • Why did the alt-right successfully capitalize on people's grievances? Why not the alt-left?

  • Why did no one see this coming? I mean, I could understand that Brexit came out of the blue (no one was really paying attention to Austria and the Philippines). But after Brexit, why did few analysts see what was in front of their noses?

  • I'm sorry to harp back to this, but why were people surprised by Trump's demographics? I don't mean the white men, I mean the white women who voted 52% for him, as well as the 29% Asian and Latino vote. The latter two are at this point being asleep at the wheel in the hubris that both groups are predictable. Seriously, we've been running this election for close to 2 years now, and there were pollsters who were so lazy/full of confirmation bias that they assumed near uniformity where it didn't exist. So far, the only group which voted as pollsters predicted were African Americans.

  • 52:

    Well, there was some talk about merging FSB and SVR into Ministry of State Security but Putin (or was it Mevedev?) spoke and promised that there would be no such merger. As for expansion... they try to drown armed forces and security services in money to raise "effectiveness", but it's quite possible that all that expansion really is just adding some luxury offices.


    Nope they didn't think he would fix everything, (and I didn't vote for him and have no skin in the game) but he at least listened to their fears and concerns while the Dems flew over them and expected their votes.

    They already owned their votes for Obama one and 2 (and were still screwed) and the biggest mistake I think Clinton made was not explaining to this demographic why Obama was hogtied by the Congress etc. And why they needed to vote not just for her but in the other houses as well so they could have a better future.



    I think you'll find that quite a lot of people were actually voting against the other major candidate when they voted for someone. This is true on both sides.

    And your thinking the vote needs to be public is just plain wrong-headed. You want it so that public pressure can be applied in one direction. The pressure could just as easily be applied by authoritarians who do not want you voting the way you want to. Do you really want to hand them something they can use to leverage you to go against your interests?


    More importantly, why were there 10 million less voters than 2008, or 5 million less than 2012. I think it comes back to the democrats having a track record of backing party insiders. Essentially a pecking order of whose turn it is. And the democrat whose turn it is always loses.

    Democratic presidents since 1960? Kennedy, LBJ, Carter, B. Clinton, Obama.

    Lost Candidates include Hoover, McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry and H. Clinton.

    With the exception of LBJ who inherited the Mantle of Kennedy, the losers were all the insider senior candidates blessed by the party. The winners were the outsiders with charm and charisma.

    It breaks down to Republicans have put out about the same number of voters since 2000, while democrat turn out has been spotty. Republicans have been great about party discipline, while Democrats have never manage it. It really comes down to whether the Democrats pick a candidate that gets people out voting.


    Regarding the Brexit mandate thing, I have to concede that under the rules the referendum took place under then yes, actually they do have a mandate, admittedly it's to my eyes narrow enough to be pretty well within the noise, and nobody really knows what it's a mandate for (on a continuum of outness between North Korea and Switzerland).

    That said, I'm flabbergasted that MP's are as enthusiastic as they are to ram something through which 48% of the engaged electorate voted against. Under normal circumstances that would seem uncharacteristically brave and serious amounts of fudge would be being cooked up...


    your fear was you might not be admitted to the US.

    Er, no: my fear is that I'm being deprived of the benefits of European citizenship -- yes, I hold the EU to be broadly beneficial to me and to people like me -- and that plays into very deep fears. Loss of international mobility killed about half my blood relatives a generation ago, in 1939-42 -- the side of my family that didn't make it out of Poland in time.

    So yes, I take restrictions on mobility seriously. As far as I can see, any country can go to hell in a hand basket in five years or less; that's all it took from 2007 to Greece being a total basket-case, for example. You have to be ready and willing to migrate or die. And attempts to prevent me from being able to escape are deeply threatening on a personal level.

    I grew up attending a synagogue with older folks who had numbers tattooed on their arms. Don't try to tell me I'm jumping at shadows here.


    “I think the Russians would love to put into effect the strategy described and would love even more to take credit for it. But I suspect they are making little social media pushes and content to be seen to be pulling strings - yet without being actually in cahoots with Trump.”

    Yeah, that’s happening already. Ed Shultz used to have a spot on MSNBC and well known for his liberal views is now working for Russian TV (RT), America. Listening to Schultz now on current events, he comes across as neutral on his reporting … it makes me queasy.

    “Now, if Trump starts changing the whole make up of the electoral college so it takes more than a 6M vote advantage for Democrats to win (currently 1M for Hilary iiRC) then I might be a bit more worried.”

    I think we need to be worried right now. The U.S. Electoral College needs to be gotten rid of.


    I think you'll find that quite a lot of people were actually voting against the other major candidate when they voted for someone. This is true on both sides.

    Stats I heard last night on cable news. 90% of the people who voted were against one or both of the candidates. 20% were against both.

    So only 10% of the voters were making a choice between two people that they would accept.


    'I grew up attending a synagogue with older folks who had numbers tattooed on their arms. Don't try to tell me I'm jumping at shadows here.'

    Wasn't my intent at all and sorry you took that from my comment. My Mum worked for many years at a hospice for survivors and we grew up respecting that kind of evil and were taught really young to stand up against it.

    Your original post read somewhat differently (and it's not like you owe anyone any explanations).

    There is a difference though between mobility (ie the right to flee to a safe place) and a visa to the US because you have a convention in TX to go to which is how your first post read and I, and others, initially read this as a fear of your physical safety and others responded accordingly. Then you came back and talked about the visa TX thing (including the Breitbart dude and the categories you felt might deny you a visa) and that is what I was responding to.

    I've obviously struck a nerve I didn't intend to (and didn't know about) and it has hurt you personally, for which I am sorry.

    On the mobility issue, while in a perfect world, we could go where we wish, most of the time, being able to go to a place that is safe is the best we can hope for. I got the impression from your posts you were safe where you are.


    I'll not be posting till post 300, per usual (and I've a take on this post that goes beyond just Russia), but "hat's off" to Host.

    Not an easy post to make, esp. since The Hounds will be bounding past en meute and such stances in perilous times are threatening to livelihoods and so forth. (Note to Peanut Gallery: Fangs are out).

    But, it's such a shame: America just doesn't have the chique appeal of Hugo Boss:

    #MAGA Hats for all of GOP (picture, valid source Nate Hodson Twitter)


    Someone (not even being funny) told me ~5 years ago that safe havens might include Africa, Iceland (Elf Safe Land) and a couple other places. They weren't joking.


    I think that forces in the West have been complicit with what the Russians are doing because higher living standards, especially sustainable such, are a threat to them. Comfortable people not living in fear (as many Americans rightly do of ill-health, and of poverty and the crime [both civilian and police] attendant to it) are less tractable… and I can't shake the feeling that there are always those at the top who just plain enjoy seeing suffering beneath them, a secular version of the 'Abominable Fancy'.…not a majority, my guess is that most are indifferent or would positively prefer being above a relatively happy multitude, if only for practical purposes.

    Take this as encouragement:the Enlightenment is now sirely troubled precisely because it was on the right track. Me, I think it time to make something of the Masons again.

    We had a kettle: we let it leak: Our not repairing it made it worse. We haven't had any tea for a week… The bottom is out of the Universe!

    Someone (not even being funny) told me ~5 years ago that safe havens might include Africa, Iceland (Elf Safe Land) and a couple other places. They weren't joking.

    We're looking at Ireland. (Hurrah for Irish citizenship laws!)


    Also commenters at 48 and 49:

    Constitution would not need to get amended for most (all?) of TD's plans to be enacted, therefore at most only 50% plus 1 will be needed. And, it's always easier to pass temporary legislation and then just let it hang around forever, e.g. income tax first introduced in 1861, and entered into the constitution as the 16th Amendment in 1913.

    I recently looked up Executive Orders mostly because I recalled hearing that WmClinton had issued an excessive number of them, hence abusing the Office. Turns out that more recent POTUS issued far fewer EOs than previous presidents, esp. FDR (3,522 vs. Obama at 261 to-date) who is nevertheless still rated as one of America's 'best presidents'. Looking ahead (next 4 years), this is where the super-majority will likely become necessary: stopping EOs.

    'Major policy initiatives require approval by the legislative branch, but executive orders have significant influence over the internal affairs of government, deciding how and to what degree legislation will be enforced, dealing with emergencies, waging wars, and in general fine-tuning policy choices in the implementation of broad statutes.

    Franklin Roosevelt

    Prior to 1932, uncontested executive orders had determined such issues as national mourning on the death of a president, and the lowering of flags to half-staff. President Franklin Roosevelt issued the first of his more than 3,500 executive orders on March 6, 1933, declaring a bank holiday, forbidding banks to release gold coin or bullion. Executive Order 6102 forbade the hoarding of gold coin, bullion and gold certificates. A further executive order required all newly mined domestic gold be delivered to the Treasury.[8]

    By Executive Order 6581, the president created the Export-Import Bank of the United States. On March 7, 1934, he created the National Industrial Recovery Act (Executive Order 6632). On June 29, the president issued Executive Order 6763 "under the authority vested in me by the Constitution", thereby creating the National Labor Relations Board.

    The Hughes Court of the 1934 term found the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) unconstitutional. The president then issued Executive Order 7073 "by virtue of the authority vested in me under the said Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935", reestablishing the National Emergency Council to administer the functions of the NIRA in carrying out the provisions of the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act." On June 15, he issued Executive Order 7075, which terminated NIRA and replaced it with the Office of Administration of the National Recovery Administration.[12]

    Roosevelt's Supreme Court of Justices Hugo Black, Stanley Reed, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy and James F. Byrnes was sympathetic to the President's choices. Only George Washington had had equal or greater influence over Court appointments, choosing all of its original members.'


    And, of course, the devout religious believers, especially, want it to be worse & suffering out there, because it fills the churches & mosques. More blackmailing, in other words. Pence, again.


    I think the problem is basically economics. Before WWII Germany was severely depressed (well, so were other places, but Germany is where it happened). Currently large areas are severely depressed because of changes due to automation and international competition. (Please note that before the US was attacked there was a large fascist block in the US.)

    I don't see any improvement coming. A drowning man grasps at straws, and automation is now taking jobs away from Chinese workers. (Not sure about Indonesian.) What's needed is an economic system that doesn't tie survival to holding a job, but those currently in power would stand to lose huge amounts of power if such were implemented, which is probably a large factor in why Hillary was given the pass by the Democratic National Committee over Bernie. Of course, I believe that Bernie knew this from before the start of the campaign...but Hillary??? Nobody liked her. The most convincing argument that showed up in her favor is "She's a woman". (I'm not counting "Well, she's better than Trump." as a favorable argument, even if it is true.) So Hillary couldn't motivate people to vote for her. And apparently (judging by reports) if I'd listened to her more I'd have trusted her less...which is odd, as her record is of being more honest than most politicians.

    But Hillary was just promising more of the same, and didn't see that lots of people were desperate. Think about that, she was running for president and literally didn't see that lots of people were desperate. (Corruption in the FBI was the final straw, but the reason it was even close is because she was such a poor candidate.)


    On this topic you're welcome to pitch in immediately -- just try to be direct and clearer than usual so the folks who don't understand what you're pointing at find it easier to get the message?

    To those who usually ignore SnU (and other aliases): this post is about exactly the sort of thing they usually talk about, in coded language intended to avoid attracting the inevitable swarms of propaganda bots. By some estimates 10-15% of all political tweets prior to the last US election originated with bots (and humans are lousy at spotting them); meanwhile Facebook was spammed silly with fake news stories concocted by kids in the impoverished Macedonian town of Veles aggressively pushed made-up pro-Trump stories purely for the Amazon and Google advertising revenue ... and that's before we get into looking for state-level actors.


    Let's see, the problem with vote confidentiality is only a problem if you already have some kind of repression (family, government). Ok, even if they are against a candidate that is a valid argument for having a public stance. What is totally unacceptable is having a bunch of irresponsible citizens "see googling what is eu after brexit".


    Well, there was some talk about merging FSB and SVR into Ministry of State Security

    Ah, the MGB redux.

    If a merger were to happen, I'd certainly hope that they'd go with KGB. That acronym has an incomparable cachet. For that matter, simply renaming the SVR the KGB and leaving the FSB as is might be effective.

    it's quite possible that all that expansion really is just adding some luxury offices.

    I'd be cool with that and undoubtedly it's true to some extent: who doesn't like a nice office? But, like all the mad expansion around DC after 9/11, some of the extra floor space might actually be functional.

    Constitution would not need to get amended for most (all?) of TD's plans to be enacted, therefore at most only 50% plus 1 will be needed.

    Correct, although under current rules a minority of 41 or more can block passage of items through the Senate.

    This, of course, is contingent on the new Senate maintaining the filibuster, which is merely a procedural rule and not a constitutional provision. When the new Senate meets in January, it decides by a straight majority what procedural rules to adopt, and it could then decide to abolish the filibuster and there's nothing the Democrats can do to stop it.

    Whether that will actually happen is doubtful. Every time the party holding the White House has controlled the Senate with less than a 60+ majority, there have been noises that they should take the so-called "nuclear option" of abolishing the filibuster. It has yet to happen as the conclusion has always been that eventually the tide will turn and the current majority party will find itself the minority and would want the filibuster to block stuff it really doesn't like.

    If a merger were to happen, I'd certainly hope that they'd go with KGB. That acronym has an incomparable cachet.

    Well, Lukashenko kept it in Belarus, although the acronym in transliterated Belarussian is "KDB" which doesn't really work. I think the unrecognised Transnistrian Republic has a KGB too. Anyone know what Abkhazia and South Ossetia went for?

    For that matter, simply renaming the SVR the KGB and leaving the FSB as is might be effective.

    I'd say the opposite myself. "KGB" means "Chekists"more than it means "spies" I feel.


    Many of his bigger plans require Amendments. Especially the ones his VP wants, like overturning gay marriage and abortions, as well as term limits.

    Some require a willing congress as well. Congress will sue to stop and delay any treaty revocation. It's never been clear whose power it is to leave a treaty.

    Otoh, yeah there's plenty he can do. Ending obamacare he can do quickly. He can chose not to defend different challenges brought by the republicans to many different other policies of obama. Let alone stuff like EPA enforcement, etc.

    The interesting thing is where the republicans fall apart. Not all of them want to get rid of medicare. Not all of them want to pass a new Trumpcare. The republicans are going to have a falling out since so many of them have never actually governed. Last real governing republican congress was out the door in '07, and most of the current big names date from after the neocon purges.

    So now the tea party guys elected to obstruct obama now need to suddenly have clear policy goals. Turns out there's a bunch of factions that were hanging together so long as it was just anti-obama.


    For that matter, simply renaming the SVR the KGB and leaving the FSB as is might be effective.

    I'd say the opposite myself. "KGB" means "Chekists" more than it means "spies" I feel.

    I suppose that it depends on whether you're inside or outside the system and, these days, what impression the Russian government wants to make -- internal vs external.

    It would be interesting to see a study of the relative size, funding, influence of the KGB's First and Second Main Directorates in Late Classical Times (< 1991).


    1) What part of the world do you live in that there's no repression? 2) and bosses, landlords, journalists with a grudge 50 years from now, random shitheads with a grudge two weeks from now (have you not seen the vitriol being directed at "Remoaners"?), gangsters...


    @Roy I am fairly sure the Filibuster goes the way of the dodo at the start of the next Senate session. Why would McConnell allow it to remain? This IS the Republican's dark chance. And even if he did have reservations, I'm sure Pence will lean on him to do it.

    eventually the tide will turn and the current majority party will find itself the minority

    The dark part of me says that the Republicans will make sure this never happens.



    Let's be very clear, they don't have a clear mandate for Brexit.

    I agree. Any referendum rules that allow for a simple majority to carry the motion cannot provide a clear mandate, except in an accidental case where over 50% of the electorate actually happen to vote for or against. Even if the outcome had been the other way around, with the same turnout, 38% voting for remain would not have been a clear mandate. The majority of the electorate did not vote for Brexit.

    Perhaps in these times, when elected representatives decide the state of their country on a popular vote, they could at least pay attention to ensuring a clear mandate is actually discernible from the result.


    Who sets the agenda ... as in organizes which stuff is brought up for discussion first, second, third, etc.?

    Don't recall whether Robert's Rules of Order are used in the US gov't houses although the below suggests that it's a toss-up as to what gets brought up in either house as well as what actually gets passed. Also, Senate can/does re-write bills that Congress passed including to the point where the Senate-approved bill is opposite to the original bill's intent. Terrific misdirection/deception esp. since the original name gets kept as the legislation winds its way through the system.


    Alt-Left might do it if Centre-Left get out the way and let Corbyn actually do their thing. If they don't, the next round here there will be a right-wing establishment and an even better chance for Alt-Left to do it. Corbyn is certainly a leader who is doing the right sort of things to be recognised as such.

    I think the establishment, and in that I'll include the pollsters, can't recognise the phenomenon yet is they don't know how to ask the questions. You would have thought "Who will you vote for?" would be easy enough, but were saying there were a lot of undecided voters in the polls, so they were not highly confident of their prediction unlike previous years. Why were there so many undecided voters in the opinion polls?

    While you see the voting pattern of the various demographics in the US presidential election as pollster hubris, I'm more inclined to see something else. Pollsters don't try to get it wrong, the very public face of their business is this kind of thing but the thing that makes their day to day money is opinion polling on adverts and products and so on. But screwing this up messing up their income streams. So the interesting question is why couldn't they find a representative group of these sub-groups of the US population?

    For Brexit, for example, there was a huge upswell in voter registrations, so the polls being off is not a huge surprise because we had a lot of people vote who had never voted before so they really weren't represented in the opinion polls. The only surprise was that they were, by and large, all leave voters. That doesn't seem to be the case in the US election, but maybe lots of "White women for Trump" came out and voted for the first time. Or maybe there was lots of voter fraud. By his supporters.


    I think your point about the number of people who have effectively no savings being a similar number to the Brexit voters is a very interesting, likely accurate point. The thing that scares me the most is that technology has sped up the destruction of the middle class and the recent breakthroughs in AI are about to finish off what is left. I expect that within 5 years, self-driving tech will replace the 3.5 million truck drivers in the USA. I wonder how many more jobs that currently require humans will get replaced - but I expect it's enough that the only jobs left will be low-paying service jobs or high-end jobs (lawyers, doctors, certain SW jobs). At this point, unless we get some form of basic income (which is highly unlikely to ever fly in the USA given the puritanical social underpinnings), I don't see how we don't end up with a dystopia.


    Here's another thing

    If you look at Florida and New York's vote by county, you can pick out the large cities and suburbs (with a few exceptions such as Suffolk County). There is a similar divide in England and Wales w.r.t. Brexit. I wonder why this divide even exists?


    Quick Note version (working on not much sleep):

    1 US "Liberal" protests about Trump's staff = self-defeating. The entire push is to de-legitimize / remove the glamour of the Post, they're working for the wrong side (however much it might feel ethically correct to protest the rise of Fascism, this is all Legal, so far). - Repubs only need a couple more seats to permanently rework the constitution, very easy to use the counter-push to motivate the shock troops. Then you'll get a lesson in "fuck you" legislature. 1a SHOCK! They won! Now look at them crumble, none of them have a fucking clue what to do! This is the real move, watch it play out again and again. 2 Look @ S.K. - ~2% of population protesting, all peacefully (and picking up rubbish). State puts it @ ~300kish, we all know to multiply such figures by at least 50%. Probably nearer 900k. This was a well timed move. Government is going to fall, don't think they can hold off until UN leadership times out for a quick "return to nest & govern" deal. 3 UK - environmentalist movements, 8+ years of police undercover, fucking / having children, all of it. For what? If you don't have a healthy (if totally ineffectual) left, then this shit happens. France bombs Green Peace vessel - for what? Muppet-land, all Muppet-land. 4 It is Russia, but it's more: Singapore / HK examples. There's strong elements within USA / Aus / Can / UK / FR etc etc who aren't fans of Democracy... and it's not the unwashed beasties and raving loons like Alex Jones (who Trump allegedly just phoned). Basically, it's Oligarchy on Steroids. 5 Our Kind wouldn't care that much if it was actually based on meritocracy / talent / fangs. It's not, so phhhpt. Oh, and: We loved YOU too much, not ourselves, you little pricks. 6 Saud / Russia / Iran / Venuz etc are actually on a clock, and it's not a good one. Oil is dying. 7 Climate Change. 8 Black Money - 100% related to this. Russia to blame? Kinda - look who Putin is combating (esp. mafia that stretches from Georgia to Jerusalem). <- investigating that will get you killed. Same deal for Oliver North, S/C. America; Mexico; Golden Triangle; Afghanistan etc. It's always about the black money trade. Which is the real fight.


    Can unpack, hassled atm.


    Uff, lost a bit due to mis-using arrows.

    Essentially, #8 is a whole lot bigger than expected, and is global. C/S. America, Mexico, Golden Triangle, Afghanistan, etc etc.

    Black Money is the real motivator behind the scenes in a lot of these moves. The financial crash of 2008 didn't go nuclear because banks used the grey/black slush funds (liquid assets rather than derivatives etc) to pad themselves out. The bail outs were a whole lot later.

    True. Story.

    "Why, Hello General Oliver North".


    And, anyhow - as title states: "Playtime is Over".

    Don't expect the 20th C rules to apply anymore, things got broken.

    Cute, but not accurate. Exposition is in a bit, when the scales get balanced.


    The quick take-a-way is that it's a stress test and almost everyone failed. (From Greece 2007 onwards, up to 2017 Bonds crisis and so on). Trump is just the dying gasp of a dead era of dead Minds running Zombie Memes. Kek is a symptom, not a cause.

    There's a lover in the story But the story's still the same There's a lullaby for suffering And a paradox to blame But it's written in the scriptures And it's not some idle claim You want it darker We kill the flame

    You Want It Darker YT: Leonard Cohen, 4:46, RIP 2016


    "For me, turning the back to Europe is absolutely inconceivable. "

    Let me say it one more time: Europe is not the EU and the EU is not Europe

    For those of us Europeans who think the EU in its current form is an impending disaster it is really annoying when people mistakenly equate these 2 very different things.


    The filibuster proof two thirds majority in the US senate is a rule made by the Senate itself, and could in theory be struck down by the Senate. Of course, the boot will one day be on the other foot, so the the ruling party of the day is reluctant to take that step. So far.

    In the past an actual filibuster was required, a member standing up and talking till the session ended, but with advancing age and shrivelled bladder the rules were changed to allow a virtual filibuster. Technically, a cloture motion is required to move to a vote, with a two thirds majority.


    The EU is the institution we have though, and looks like we are going to need it


    The USA just had six years of total shut-down of actual governance, coupled with huge gains on the local / state levels of people who couldn't run a whore house in a port town where the US navy was a frequent caller (oh, and that's a handle on the Philippines, if you want one: treating that region of Asian countries as whore-houses en mass, as well as all the children. You are the bad guys: Hinch win: Federal Government to ban overseas travel for paedophiles News Corp Australia Network, 11th Nov 2016).


    Basically, it's a Bear Trap.


    Now look at them crumble, none of them have a fucking clue what to do! That was my take-away from watching the president-elect Trump+spouse+adult children interview with CBS news 60 minutes. Not confident that it applies to all of the proposed cabinet/staff though. (For those who are willing to burn the time, 60 Minutes interview: President-elect Donald Trump)


    I wouldn't want to spoon feed anyone, but:

    1 Record number of Law graduates with massive loans and no hope of jobs 2 Ancient Law system where 9 judges control the entire nation of 300+ mil 3 Legal system that's broken, out of date, rests on publicly elected positions for prosecutors / judges and so stretched that ~85%+ of cases have to be plea bargains or it crashes 4 Which is being gamed horribly and pathetically and obviously and politically by Repubs so that they get "their" choice 5 To "prevent" any change for the next 50 years or so

    Remind me who ran the French Revolution again. Danton, and so on...

    Basically, get your shit together. We could shape that into a revolution in under 3 weeks.


    Oh, and funny: If you want to know why Trump won, look to the TPP. Slavery via Law is not ok, esp. locking everyone into fucking Disney.

    And, yeah: thinking you're next, Corporate America.

    Jailbreak YT: Music: AC/DC: 4:08


    More modern:

    Les RevenantsYT: Music Mogwai 49:50


    It is not a secret that Russia tried to influence election (US did it to them too), however I would like to see evidence that there is a deliberate plan spanning 2 decades. The stupid thing is that people wanted to vote that way, clickbait sites made stupid stories, orange guy made equally shocking stories himself but that didn't stick. He made a kill during primary and during that time there were no Russians or kids from Veles.

    It is unstable situation and money should be redistributed more. Going slowly by increasing government help is a peaceful way (similar like Obamacare as a transition to single payer). Cook until people realize it is better that way.


    Oh, and last belly laugh:

    From MF: Realistically, there's nothing much Israel can do to affect US politics and goes on to claim "He welcomed Trump's election because he thought it would break the “non-Orthodox Jewish hold on the US government” and thereby bring the Messiah." and HO-HO-HO mocking him!

    Crazy man!

    Who is the fucking Minister for the Interior. The Ministry of Interior (Hebrew: משרד הפנים‎‎, Misrad HaPnim; Arabic: وزارة الداخلية‎‎) in the State of Israel is one of the government offices that is responsible for local government, citizenship and residency, identity cards, and student and entry visas.

    Hmm, Passports again. Shall we look into this "crazy man's" portfolio, shall we:

    <em>The Administration for Local Government and Administration Administration for Budgeting and Developing in the Local Authorities Wing for Inspection in the Local Authorities Administration of Planning Administration of Border check points, Population and Immigration Administration for Emergency Services and Special Tasks[needs update] Commissioner of Fire-Fighting and Rescuing[needs update] National Elections' Supervisor National Unit for Building Supervising Administration of Water</em>

    Oh, right: that'd be fucking central to the issue of illegal settlements.

    But, our MF friend is happy to denounce him merely as a "crazy fool" with "no power".

    And that is why Breitbart and co gain traction (who were, at least at the start, pro-Right Israeli, until an intercine putsch occurred).

    Everyone knows how powerful AIPAC and so on are: this constant denial of Power through a lens of persecution is precisely why and how the mirrors gain their power.

    People running bullshit memes from the 20th C.


    And no, that's not anti-Semitic: it's anti-bullshit.

    Oh, and the Messiah is female.


    It has yet to happen as the conclusion has always been that eventually the tide will turn and the current majority party will find itself the minority and would want the filibuster to block stuff it really doesn't like.

    Apparently is seems more and more of the hard core new folks seem to think that if they just go far enough hard core they will never loose the majority.

    Slightly delusional thinking but it seems to be there.


    You really don't know how close the USA gov is to

    1 Total shutdown 2 Constitutional "reform" via majority votes 3 Breaking entirely

    Please, tell me more how you think it's going.


    I expect that within 5 years, self-driving tech will replace the 3.5 million truck drivers in the USA.

    Maybe. For long haul maybe maybe. But for deliveries and urban areas there is a LOT that AI still has issues with. Such as when is it OK to double park. Or cross the center line for a turn where there's no other apparent choice. And on and on and on..


    Sorry, forgot the link there:

    Deri: “If such a miracle like this can happen we have already reached the days of the Messiah, therefore we are really in the era of the birth pangs of the Messiah."

    ‘Trump’s election heralds coming of Messiah’ says Deri JPost 11th Nov 2016

    And, MF is a total joke now - FB for quasi-silly-gullibles who couldn't think their way out of a paper bag.

    100% inability to critique or have a nuanced view of Israeli politics (I even sourced some of the darker ones) due to crippling political donkey-hood.

    And no: that's the Minister for the Interior, not some random nut-job off the street. He's gonna have a real shock when a female Messiah who hates FGM turns up and spanks the shite out of their patriarchal world, but hey.


    I don't think there's an organized conspiracy. But I do think a lot of Alt right (call them whatever) are best positioned to step in when things get wonky. The problem is that while many think the Trump supporters have an agenda, they really do not. They have a LOT of agendas and many (most?) are not willing to "compromise" to get a part of what they have. This is already starting to show up in the transition team trying to pick people and set goals. Rumors are that behind the scenes it's already getting nasty.

    Add to that that at the end of the day Trump is much more tactical than strategic he is very much willing to give up some things like not being absolutist against abortion to get something passed the infighting might become very public soon.

    Now toss in realities party that happens after the election but before taking office. Congress funds a non partisan group to explain the laws of the land and such to advise the new President and their team. I saw a talk by Leon Panetta about how at the end of these briefings you find out you can't do but about 5% of what you want. Maybe more if Congress is with you. But much of what you think the President can do is limited by various pesky laws that even a compliant Congress is reluctant to change and many of these changes would impact their privileges.


    Dead Memes from ages ago.

    Paraded out constantly to the American "Liberal Left" as a panacea to pardon the deplorables...

    And then they fucking won

    Have you no shame, no originality, no zest, no fucking fire?

    You're trotting out dead memes that didn't work, didn't explain shit and caused you to lose...


    The Alt-Right etc (and various other Chaotic Domains) are many things - but they can adapt, change, spark, laugh psychotically into the warp and have fun.

    You people are DEAD INSIDE.


    One thing I had not seen mentioned here yet: Why quite a few Jews voted for Trump:

    Mind you, I do not buy it. But I know Jews who consider the "creeping Islam" to be the greater threat than Stormfront, or Evangelical Christianity, or Putin's Russia. And they see the likes of Trump and Le Pen as the only ones willing to stand up to it.


    Ok, we'll let you into a little joke here: The "Alt-Right" are only using Trump as a Kek-Meme-God.

    The more ridiculous / silly / outlandish / chaotic / hideous he is, the funnier the joke.

    They're not functioning on the same horizontal planes of Power you are.

    And they'll dump Trump as soon as he goes Square. It's already happening.

    But they got him elected.

    Tsk Tsk.

    The more outlandish / disorganized / chaotic his reign, the better.


    This shit I told you 2+ years ago.

    And you. do. not. learn.


    Jewish vote:

    25% ish Trump 75% ish Clinton

    It's that simple.

    And yes, a whole load of dubious fascist Israelis have cross-over.

    And yes: Fascism =/= Nazism, fucking deal with it - the far right in Israel is almost as large as in Eastern Baltic States.

    Grow. The. Fuck. Up. America.


    I think people need to look beyond the various ism's of Trump, Farage, etc, to understand why they win things. I don't think that 50ish% of people are out and out fascists. I do think a lot have been pretty much abandoned by the left. I don't know as much about the US side, but I'm given to understand that, like parts of Northern Britain, areas of high unemployment and collapsed industry feel abandoned. The phrase "loss of inherent privilege", and similar that I've heard elsewhere, sounds rather dismissive, almost as though they deserve it because of history. Or maybe someone can explain that further. I think you're bang on about Trumps failings-they're not pleasant, but they're obvious. Clinton, on the other hand, says the nice, cuddly, progressive things, but behind closed doors is doing the sorts of deals/arrangements/scams that you don't quite grasp, can't understand, maybe are technically legal, but somehow mean you lose your job and your pension gets screwed. A poster child for everything people hate about politicians. I wonder how much Russia encouraged her selection...?



    Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal NYT, April 2015

    It's kinda more like: you've no fucking idea about business and international Corporations, but hey, let's all vote on how we feel.

    No, really.


    "For those of us Europeans who think the EU in its current form is an impending disaster it is really annoying when people mistakenly equate these 2 very different things."

    And it is for that reason I spoke of Europe here and not of the EU. Because too many eurosceptics mistake mention of the EU for an invitation to rattle down their favourite list of the EU's failings in order to avoid the larger idea behind it.


    And, ffs.

    The leaked Emails were done by American Intel (probably NSA, CIA is Obama side, FBI are fucking muppets at this point, although as we all saw, they did the killing blow - which even their side wasn't 100% sure would work, thus the Satanic Panic / Art attacks ratfucking).

    Russia was blamed due to overly-cozy deals as linked to above.

    It was done to hamstring some deals you will never know about.

    And, by doing so, they probably fucked up Sino-USA relations for ~20 years, or at the very least, lost control of the S. Sea.



    Anyhow, welcome to a Game we play: 100% Truth.

    Then we watch the blinkers / cognitive dissonance / slave conditioning kick in and watch them skirt around the issues.

    This is one of the most basic and puerile of Power Games used by our kind. Like shooting someone in the face, and demanding they apologize.


    I've only read down to #25, so forgive me if I'm restating.

    History has lessons to teach, but events never unfold exactly the same way. We're all looking at the '30's because they're recent, familiar (in that our family has told us about them) and seem widely applicable.

    I think there's another period that also has a lot to teach. The 40's. Not the 1940's the 1340's. We're pretty much staring down the barrel of a die off in the order or >90% of all humans. The last time we had anything remotely like this was the Black Death that killed about half the population of Europe. It brought huge change, probably ending feudalism and the monarchy, while starting the industrial revolution. No-one in 1340 could or would have predicted what would come out of that in the end but, what they could have predicted was the short term results. Basically what we're seeing now.

    Renewed religious fervour and fanaticism bloomed in the wake of the Black Death. (Check) Some Europeans targeted "various groups such as Jews, friars, foreigners, beggars, pilgrims",[65] lepers,[65][66] and Romani, thinking that they were to blame for the crisis. (Check) Lepers, and other individuals with skin diseases such as acne or psoriasis, were singled out and exterminated throughout Europe. (Not this time)

    Because 14th-century healers were at a loss to explain the cause, Europeans turned to astrological forces, earthquakes, and the poisoning of wells by Jews as possible reasons for the plague's emergence.[12] (Check - except that the science of today is clear, but is being drowned out) The governments of Europe had no apparent response to the crisis (Check) because no one knew its cause or how it spread. The mechanism of infection and transmission of diseases was little understood in the 14th century; many people believed only God's anger could produce such horrific displays. (Check)

    There were many attacks against Jewish communities.[67] In February 1349, the citizens of Strasbourg murdered 2,000 Jews.[67] In August 1349, the Jewish communities in Mainz and Cologne were exterminated. By 1351, 60 major and 150 smaller Jewish communities had been destroyed.[68] (We'll have to wait and see for the attacks on Jews, but really, any group who look or act a bit different, who can't fight back will do in a pinch, as recent events have shown)


    That's a joke.

    Anything demanding an apology for your own mistake is 100% not our kind, it's not how we work.





    Careful of Wikipedia.

    The Black Death and subsequent purges of Jewish communities is really dubious stuff, and also ties into other Wars / Religious conflicts.

    There's loads of places that never purged Jews, and those who purged Jews weren't necessarily relating it to the Plague. i.e. They purged them anyhow, with no plague present (and no - not a precautionary measure).

    In fact, the demographics of Plague are really spotty (i.e. there's a load of new scholarship showing that the spread is not blanket, but curiously spotted across populations / towns / villages).

    And, if you look at the real data - there's considerable data showing that large (70%) proportions of City-States at that time did not purge Jews, esp. in Germany (OK - WE GET THE IRONY ALREADY) and nearby areas.

    Oh, and England.

    Because they'd purged all their Jews in 1291 >.<


    Just Saying.



    I'm sorry, but that's wrong. In general, a supermajority is defined as a required majority larger than 50%+1; that's what the "super" prefix means. And specifically, in the United States, Article 5 of the Constitution says, in part, "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress." That is clearly a requirement for more than 50%+1 in every venue where voting can take place. That may or may not be a good idea, but the facts of the matter are clear.


    SnU @ 81: I can testify to the Australian side of things.

    We have the euphemistically named "Institute of Public Affairs". This labels itself as a libertarian/economically conservative "think tank", but is, if you look at the names of their big donors (the ones we know about, anyway), effectively a vehicle for the big corporate players in Australia: the Hancock/Reinhart family, the Murdochs, the Packers, the CEOs of the big mining firms, the CEOs of the banks, the CEOs of big tobacco and so on. It's their way of getting complete control of the Liberal Party of Australia (our conservative side of politics) and quite literally setting their agenda.

    They started back in the Howard years, they became blatant under Abbott, and they stand largely for the dissolution of trade unions, the removal of any and all social security measures, the removal of any and all worker protections, the right to set wages as low as they can possibly go, the destruction of any forms of public welfare (corporate welfare is to remain intact, however), and essentially the removal of any obstacles in the way of their obtaining All The Money. Including representative democracy where ordinary, working-class humans are able to have an equal say to their good selves.


    Oh, and if any of you are uncomfortable with the Abrahamic tone:

    Kinda done with all of the tri-partite religious fold excusing their more hideous and evil sides as "not their religion".

    It is your Religion.

    And they did vote for Trump.

    And they are (of a majority) racist, sexist, abusive, violent little fucks.

    And it is a large (30%) basis of your Religion.


    Sort your shit out. Or, at the very least, don't pretend it doesn't exist as a scar on humanity already.

    Now, was I referring to Judaism, Islam or Christianity?

    [Spoiler: all of the above]


    "More importantly, why were there 10 million less voters than 2008, or 5 million less than 2012."

    says turnout isn't substantially down from 2012, and votes are still being counted in any case.

    (current estimate is 134,537,600 ballots (58.1% voting-eligible population), v.s. 2012's 130,292,355 ballots (58.6% voting-eligible population))


    All true.

    Re-reading what I wrote I see I wandered away from my main points.

    1 History is a guide to understanding the future but not a map

    2 Even with hindsight, it's impossible to see how someone in 1340 could have predicted the results of killing > half the population.

    We're going into a similar situation. All we can see for sure is that the innocent will be blamed, panic will rule and the consequences are impossible to determine.

    So that's what I wanted to say in that post.

    The other thing I want to say (re automation etc) is that allocation of scarce resources has been handled by money, and the accumulation of it, generally by exchange of work (time) for money. Obviously with almost everyone out of work (including the Lawyers BTW. Great for legal firms, not so great for lawyers... ) we will need an alternative means of resource allocation. Everyone sensible is suggesting UBI but that's never actually been used anywhere. What is normally used is simply taking by force (or by right of conquest etc).


    I have been astonished in conversations with coworkers and friends who cannot see the parallels between the current rise of fascists and authoritarian nationalists with previous such infestations.

    We have a few other parallels as well. The late 1920s included a (widely remembered) economic/stock market boom, coupled in part to a (much forgotten) wave of sovereign debt crises in Europe and elsewhere.

    The bond markets are vastly larger than equities. So when sovereign debt starts to implode as it has been doing in Europe over the last few years, large amounts of capital flow to equity markets. Most of us don't pay close attention, so a booming stock market sounds like things must be pretty good (contrary evidence is of course ignored or pooh-poohed).... Until they aren't and the whole house of cards falls down.

    If we think that the alienated are currently voting for fascists like Trump or Le Pen, and foolishness like Brexit - just wait until we run into another economic collapse.


    "Old-school fascists tended to be rather bad at capitalism. But fascists are no more incapable of learning than anyone else."

    I'm dubious. Their problems are nepotism and corruption, and they don't want to learn not to be that.

    Corruption and nepotism are inefficient. As China shows, those inefficiencies can be overcome, especially when it's raining money. But when economic times are hard then having the presidents son-in-law's college room-mate running the company is bad. And long term the inefficiencies pile up.

    (Not that nepotism and corruption don't exist in non-fascist capitalism - but authoritarian regimes are more extreme)

    My guess is that 50 years from now Trump's infrastructure projects will by bywords for nepotistic capitalism, like the US post invasion projects in Iraq were handouts to Haliburton & assoc.


    I don't think the Putin/Trump situation is Machiavellian plotting; I think it's convergent evolution. Empires in decay destroy the self-image of those who relied on groupthink, leading (after the Soviet collapse) skyrocketing deathrates across the population and (in the US) rising deathrates for middle-aged whites. The people who see the meaning in their (sexist, racist, bigoted) lives rotting in front of their eyes then react by wanting to see the world burn. That accounts for the superpowers; for France, England, Austria not so clearly, since they should have gone through that stage in the fifties rather than now. The most worrying possibility is that all these different nations are tending to follow the same trajectory because what's dying isn't just American exceptionalism or Russian exceptionalism or even capitalism or liberalism or neoliberalism, or western civilisation, but something larger than any of those - so large that we can't see what it is because we're living inside it in a fish/water situation. I hope, for OGH's sake, that he has an outline somewhere in his files for a Laundry novel where the old ones return and universally are hailed with relief as the best-case scenario.


    I think people need to look beyond the various ism's to understand why they win things. ... I do think a lot have been pretty much abandoned by the left. I don't know as much about the US side

    Me neither. But I do think there's a lot in the idea that many Trump/Brexit etc supporters are objecting to is not poverty per se, it's that they're being forced down to the level of their inferiors. Otherwise there'd be a lot more US black support for Trump, for example.

    But perhaps his obvious racism puts off the black voters more than the people he wants to lift up? Gee, naked self-interest and a willingness to write off people who are visibly different? I'm deliberately not calling that racism because that offends those who are most vigilantly anti-PC. And I disagree with them on that too - words matter.

    In Australia we have more problematic versions of much of this. In a way we might be 10 years ahead of the curve. Our problems stem from the bipartisan (actually multiparty) agreement that we need to torture refugees, strip citizenship from and deport unwanted immigrants, further dehumanise first nations people, that feminism is both a stupid idea and has gone too far, that there is one correct religion and all must respect it, and so on.

    I fear that the USA and UK might follow Australia in those matters. The fact that I think Australia is more democratic than either of those countries does not help, and may make things worse. I can vote Green all I want, 90% of the population don't care whether the world burns (in Australia, literally burns), as long as they get theirs.


    #2 Ancient Law system where 9 judges control the entire nation of 300+ mil 8 judges. Antonin Scalia is still dead, and 4-4 ties are still possible.

    Point made though. FWIW lawyers in the US do not skew majorly left even by US standards, though there are plenty of firebrands. (Donations mainly to Democrats, fwiw.) Don't know who (left; the right won) skews revolutionary in the US though. The Political Ideologies of American Lawyers (from ) (Tech firms and newspapers and print media tend left, figure 2)

    At, saw Today in the Coming Apocalypse Changes in Aragonite Saturation... Climate change (CO2 in this case) is an overriding reason that activism/involvement is important.


    No, it's worse than that. In the Bannon culture, 90% of the population don't care whether they get theirs, as long as the world burns. That's why people who think the American electorate will be disillusioned with Trump when he doesn't deliver are missing the point.


    Ah, the MGB redux.

    Yes, that was my thought exactly. And was it unpleasant... but looks like it was another show for Putin. It usually goes like this: 1. Some official "proposes" something stupid 2. Everybody shit their collective pants 3. Putin comes and says that the idea is stupid and would not be implemented. 4. Sometimes they go ahead with it quietly within a year.

    I'd be cool with that and undoubtedly it's true to some extent: who doesn't like a nice office? But, like all the mad expansion around DC after 9/11, some of the extra floor space might actually be functional.

    Oh, it's intended to be functional for sure. But those who are tasked with implementation usually "redirect" so much funds into their pockets that the results are... underwhelming at best. Like that spaceport in the Russian Far East where the money just disappeared and now our government prefers not to talk about it. Or when they have changed the name of the police force from "militia" to "police" – it made that bribes problem they wanted to eradicate actually worse to the point that the Lt. Colonel from anti-corruption force was caught with 100+million USD in cash (he claimed innocence, naturally).


    Actually it's a bit funny to watch Westerners losing their mind about Brexit and US elections. That perverted kind of fun when you see someone else step in the same turd as you. My reaction to both events was not "That's impossible!" – it was more like "How could they step in the same turd as we did?"

    Hillary's loss looks for me like something paralleling the demise of Russian liberals. They were saying all the right words, they were promising us the goddamn stars... the problem was they've had a run of the country and they have failed to deliver. And instead of owning up to their mistakes and trying to maybe adjust their ways a tiny bit they just continued to preach the virtues of the Market Economy (with a heap of libertarian ideas thrown in). And that sounds like "Let's starve the whole country again!" to everyone who had to survive the 1990s. Even communists did better and their only shtick was "Let's magically recreate the USSR!"

    And then Putin came and promised to make Russia great again. And the rest, as they say, is history. People were fed up with the establishment and cheered when they were ousted one by one... failing to notice that only the faces have changed but not the tendencies. And that's how we ended up heading right towards the 17th century.

    And the important lesson I've got out of all that? Facts don't matter in the political game. The liberals were done in by the public perception of them as hopeless failures which prevented their return even when they did clean up their act. Putin's policies are touted as successful even when they have failed... and the public perceives them as such. All the failures are attributed not to the fault in the policies but to the stupidity/laziness/ill will of those who are tasked with implementing them.

    And so... there's a hope for you in the West. That lack of blind belief in the authority who "knows better" may just help you pull through. As for us... I don't know.


    what's dying isn't just American exceptionalism or Russian exceptionalism or even capitalism or liberalism or neoliberalism, or western civilisation, but something larger than any of those - so large that we can't see what it is because we're living inside it in a fish/water situation.

    Agreed. The shift is much bigger than just some change in political system(s). And while we can't see it (yet?), it definitely is felt... and perceived as a threat, hence all those "us versus them" splits in the societies worldwide. And if it's not controlled, well... the wars have started already.



    Der'i is indeed far from without influence, but water rights in the Territories(like virtually everything else) are purview of the Minister of Defense, by virtue of them being under martial law.

    quick tutorial: Der'i is Charedi, and his party continues to be very sectorial about it. He actually has Ministry of the Interior because as Minister of Commerce he wouldn't use a specific regulation to help pass the natural gas agreement, and resigned from that post(so our dear, dear PM could use same regulation).He got the Interior Ministry as recompense.The uses he has for it are: 1) Try and make sure people whose conversion wasn't Orthodox enough for his tastes can't, or at least have harder time, become citizens 2) funnel money to Charedi municipal authorities so he can tell his voters he worked for them.

    Also, could you word your comments so it would be obvious if you are specifying "Jews" or "right wing" when talking about "mirrors"?Because some of that read like classic antisemitism(the Jews controlling everything but screaming about persecution) but is actually the right-wing handbook currently in use(I believe Netanyahu learned it from the Republicans)

    PS. re: you later comment - "birth pangs of the Messiah" is essentially hime viewing Trump as a necessary(very great) evil, since one of the Orthodox Jewish traditions has it the the Messiah will only come when all is lost, sometimes worded as "the Messiah will be born in a generation of complete evil".


    What has happened, is a combination of a few factors:

  • Neo-liberalism has stopped delivering to too many for too long.
  • New technology has disintermediated old elites.
  • One side of the "Beige Dictatorship" happens to crack first depending on local conditions. In America you get Trump on the right; and you also have it on the right in the UK, France, Hungary, Poland and Germany. On the left you have Italy (Five Star); and Greece (Syriza). In Spain, it has cracked in both sides.
  • This is happening at the same time in different countries, because 1 and 2 have an international reach. No conspiracies needed.

    What we need to do is find a set of solutions that will deliver enough to enough to restore faith in the system, much like FDR did in the 30s.


    Corbyn is certainly a leader who is doing the right sort of things to be recognised as such. This is the sort of utter twaddle that gets people like Trumpolini elected. Corbyn is a replay of George Lansbury, who didn't want re-armament in 1934-6 because that nice Mr Hitler was no threat.


    We the people who think that the Age of Enlightenment, the end of monarchism, and the evolution of Liberalism are good things (and yes that does include me) can start by admitting that maybe we're Doing It Wrong. Post modernist identity intersectionalism politics has been a ghastly mistake.

    For the past ten years or so progressive ideology has been dominated by identy politics and other postmodern theories. And in the past ten years the rich have gotten richer, working conditions for everyone else have detoriated and unions lost influence, more and more government services have been privatised, and education has become more expensive. These trends have been happening in unison right across the English speaking democracies. (And I'm not seeing any indications that Europe is much better.)

    Eight years ago Barack Obama got elected as President of the USA in spite of all the reactionary forces opposing him. Since then we've had eight years of old timers dying off and post Cold War children growing up and becoming eligible to vote. And yet H Clinton couldn't get elected? WTF?

    Earlier this year British progressives achieved a stunning against the odds Brexit. Now US progressives have managed to get Donald Trump elected. Post modern identity and intersectionalism politics has proved ineffective if not counter productive at economic and political reform.

    What should the new politics look like? Well I'd prefer 20th Century style class based with environmentalism, but I'm old. Maybe Gaiaism should be the way forward?


    You SAID "One last belly-laugh" @ 92 - & here you are rambling on again.

    Look, we all know its absolutely horrible, we're in for a re-run of the 1930's & you are screwing with the communications? Not exactly clever.


    Now THAT makes some sort of sense.

    Prediction - be even more afraid, when the Repub christians decide that Trumpolini is a liability & replace him with Pence. Now that really gives me the creeps


    Slight correction. Actual "Black Death" figures usually varied between 25-35% fatality rates. Greater than 50% was very unusual - devastating nonetheless....


    ...the problem was they've had a run of the country and they have failed to deliver. Correction. Were quite deliberately stopped from delivering by the Repubs. Who then blamed the Dems for failing ... Err ...


    Just a quick thought about this:

    Icelandic has the word "heimskur", used to describe somebody who has become spoiled or stupid from never leaving their home.

    (wiktionary link: )

    As I recall, this came from the idea that in order for a person to develop properly, they had to be exposed to new experiences or ideas, or they would become "heimskur" (it has a root in the word "heima", meaning "home"). The concept created a tradition where people (or more accurately the wealthy land-owners) would send their children avay to relatives in another part of the country, or even another country entirely, as part of their upbringing.

    I like to think about this whenever I hear people expressing isolationist political views, among other things. It is a way to counteract an in-breeding of the mind, so to speak.

    Though, bear in mind that this could only reasonably be done by people with enough money and power to pull it off, so it still points to a class system where some had the opportunity to better themselves and others did not.


    Yeah, that sounds more likely too. >50% death is rare for any disease. Still, even at that death rate it caused a cultural singularity.


    British culture had that too, but without the cool word. It was the 'Grand Tour'


    "We" need to get a whole lot better at Diplomacy.


    I'm not sure there's a global conspiracy.

    What kind of conspiracy? The cartoon kind, with strict hierarchies, a shadowy Grand Council, smoke-filled rooms? Or the kind where people know each other, hang out together, shoot the breeze? That will serve to align views and coordinate action just as well as the first kind...


    Obligatory reading: "Citizens", Simon Schama, on the origins and history of the French Revolution.

    Which was, in the first instance, triggered by a changing society with ossified legal and fiscal and administrative structures running head-first into a fiscal crisis.

    (A situation which was recomplicated by facing off against an unfriendly rival empire overseas who they had been at war with and were to be at war with for a span measured in centuries: the prize, global empire.)

    Unlike the Ancien Regime in France, the USA has in theory got a pre-designed mechanism that can allow its people to hit the "reset" button -- a constitutional convention -- but the world we live in is a lot more compressed and runs hotter and faster than 18th century France: they won't be allowed to push the button without any number of hands grabbing and trying to steer the finger. And that's assuming a cross-faction consensus on what needs to be done can emerge that spans a sufficient range of positions that it can be made to stick.


    Surely the question has to be "What does Rupert Murdoch actually want?" It's easy to treat question like this as abstractions, as if we're psychohistorians and it's all numbers, but these are actual humans with human motivations.

    Murdoch is very probably the single most influential individual on the planet, and has been using that influence for decades to push right-wing beliefs and filters to as many people as he can.

    Thing is, why? It's not likely to be about the money, as he has more than he can ever spend - and it's not about inheritance, because by all accounts he hates his kids. Power? He's not likely to live long enough to enjoy it. So why persist with the agenda-pushing?


    I was in Tel Aviv last month, talking to locals.

    The atmosphere there with regard to the Knesset and the current Israeli government is about what you'd expect in New York with respect to the incoming Trump administration in DC; resignation mixed with disgust and contempt for their antics.

    (It was actually quite encouraging.)

    Lovely people, nice city, shame it's on the wrong continent in the wrong century.


    Our word "idiot" comes from a Classical Greek word meaning "one of limited views, parochial", too.


    More recently we had Erasmus...

    ...but not for much longer.


    I hope, for OGH's sake, that he has an outline somewhere in his files for a Laundry novel where the old ones return and universally are hailed with relief as the best-case scenario.

    "The Delirium Brief" comes out next June. (Hint.)


    "On the left you have Italy (Five Star)"

    No, emphatically no. FiveStars at local level are an empty shell on sale for whoever is able to rig their ludicrous "online primaries2, so we have a mayor in Rome who's in fact a front for the old right-wing corrupt machine; at national level they're attacking the current centre-left government in a de facto alliance with Berlusconi and true-bred Fascists and xenophobes, using tha same social media smear tactics of the US alt-right. And they're allied with Farage in the EU parliament. Heck, even Nazis were a "socialist" and "worker's" party.


    Eight years ago Barack Obama got elected as President of the USA in spite of all the reactionary forces opposing him. Since then we've had eight years of old timers dying off and post Cold War children growing up and becoming eligible to vote. And yet H Clinton couldn't get elected? WTF?

    You missed the point that Clinton is emblematic of the generation before Obama.

    Earlier this year British progressives achieved a stunning against the odds Brexit.

    I wouldn't call a jingoistic wave of back-to-the-1930s nostalgia for empire, coupled with a vile spike in racism and xenophobia, progressive.

    Also/ your denunciation of identity politics misses the point that class struggle masks individual oppression, as witness the SWP sex abuse scandal of the past couple of years.


    So why persist with the agenda-pushing?

    I'm afraid, after decades of watching Rupe from afar, I am led to conclude that he is not in fact a Machiavellian evil genius with a plan for total world domination: he's a very narrowly insightful media mogul who spots oncoming trends and jumps on them, and he's pushing this right-wing shtick because it's what he grew up with and he's listening to his own media echo chamber (listening to his own newspaper editors and TV channel hosts, who were recruited because what they push gels with his belief system).

    In other words, he believes what he says and doesn't get to hear dissenting voices.


    ...the problem was they've had a run of the country and they have failed to deliver. Correction. Were quite deliberately stopped from delivering by the Repubs. Who then blamed the Dems for failing ... Err ...

    Erm... I was talking about Russia. Where them liberals did have the power for some time and managed to blow it. Turns out dogmatic thinking is as bad when it's liberal.

    Won't say the same happened to the US as I don't know enough about the system and what's been going on inside it. My point was more about the proverbial Joe Sixpack (or Ivan Vodka-Drunkensky) seeing himself as ripped off by the "elite" and what he thinks are "liberals". Humans have a history of liking the easy solution and not learning from past mistakes, after all.


    Bear in mind that the English translation of the Swedish cognate of "heimskr" is "horrible".


    Eh. I suspect we're just seeing an emergent effect wherein representative democracies respond in similar fashions to decreased demand for labor.

  • Democratic governments converge to a single axis system. Call it left/right.
  • Policy in that single axis system becomes gridlocked. Basically at a local maximum in terms of electability given the composite groups in the left/right alignment.
  • Decreased labor demand is not addressed. Seriously, it isn't that hard. Technology -> basic income / infrastructure. Globalization -> increased taxation on the winners in the wealthy country, ie, soak the rich, but leave them better off. Immigration control -> 'fair wages' for immigrants (with a right to sue).
  • On average, the left is smarter and thus less inclined to charismatic populists.
  • So, the only avenue left is a revolution from the right.
  • Sure, Russia wanted Trump, but I don't think they shifted the election by more than a few percent.

    On the bright side, this will hopefully force a realignment on the left.

    I'm hoping, the next acts are: 6. 'Right' shifts left, at least economically. Realistically, Trump did this already. 7. 'Left' shifts left economically. 8. 'Right' policies fail. Simply because they aren't well adapted for the march of technology/history. 8. New, better, equilibrium obtains.

    My main worry (aside from the people who will die) is the whole 'idiot nuclear holocaust' issue.

    US-specific, but, stuff people could do to help.
    1. Stop pretending that racism is outside of the pale. Nothing with > 15% support is outside of the pale because shutting large segments of people outside of the discussion gets you...Trump. 2. Stop pretending that misogyny is outside of the pale. Heck, I know educated, liberal NY women who appear to despise Clinton primarily because of her gender. That reaction really wasn't rare. 3. For the US, be honest about gun control. Yes, guns kill people. No, without eliminating the second amendment, there isn't a real path forward to significantly decreasing mortality. Therefore, either talk about eliminating the second amendment (nonstarter) or give up. Otherwise, you're just engaging in a useless proxy culture war against redneck hicks. 4. Really look at economics and pay attention to problems in the nation. The biggest failure on the democratic side is pushing globalization and finance instead of the good of the lowest 70%. Free trade pacts really do benefit the rich disproportionately. So does immigration. So, the rich should pay. Trade pacts should benefit the nation as a whole and also segments of the nation. So, killing manufacturing in the Midwest without spending enough to replace it somehow is a nonstarter. There's a lot more stickiness than most economic models predict because of the whole human factor. And really, for technological unemployment, there should probably be a tax on disruption. I'm not sure that suddenly eliminating entire classes of employment really benefits society as a whole. I'd sort of incline towards making those industries foot retraining costs for the suddenly unemployed.


    " if we don't work out how to push back globally fast there will be nobody to remember our graves."

    Look to see who and what May / Trump / Le Pen et al hate (or at least consider convenient targets and/or concepts to be rid of).

    Migrants and the idea of freedom of movement are pretty high up on the list. Why?

    There's the obvious thing of outsiders making convenient scapegoats: a lot of us migrants can't vote where we live (or indeed anywhere), so we make for a cheap punching bag.

    But some of the other reasons might be more interesting.

    1) Because we're easily scapegoated for 'stealing your jobs/women/council houses/' (cross out any that don't apply) we make really good decoys to use when stripping you of your rights. Brexit is an obvious example - 'getting the foreigners out' (which no shortage of pro-Brexit voters thought was what they were voting for) results in U.K. citizens losing their automatic right to leave the U.K. and live in the EU.

    2) Turning the world into a series of gated shearing pens makes us easier to fleece, and makes it harder for us to learn from each other about where to kick the shepherd and how to get out of the pen. Migrants are people who have spent some of our time in a different shearing pen - we've had to live under multiple systems so have seen multiple ways of doing things. Our networks of friends and family are more likely to cut across borders. And one way or another, we managed to get out of at least one shearing pen. So if we could share the different stuff we know, we might be a threat.

    3) Freely moving capital and penned up people lets the few who have substantial capital make out like bandits (see 2). They can go where working conditions are crap, with the confidence that working conditions will continue to be crap for the indefinite future because people have no outside option (yeah ok, so that's more obvious than interesting)

    Migrants are like a sleeping giant. We make up more than 3% of the world's population. If we were a nation state, we'd be something like the 5th most populous in the world (somewhere between Indonesia and Brazil on my reckoning). But so far, we haven't found much of a collective voice. That's not such a surprise: we get divided up by whatever racist guff was in the place we left, and again by whatever racist hierarchy is in place where we go (where-ever you came from - the person who says your accent is 'so cute' is not your friend). Overlay that with our geographic dispersal and the tensions around visa quotas and changing visa rules, and undocumenteds vs documenteds, and residents vs non-residents - not so surprising that we get played off against each other, as well as against non-migrants.

    But if you're looking for ways to push back globally, it's probably worth challenging people when they scapegoat us - and challenging us when we scapegoat each other. And it's probably worth thinking about how to wake that giant.



    Do we have to call anyone ever praised by nazis a nazi? there doesn't seem to be one whit of evidence that he's part of any nazi group. This is just the same shit where people call anyone who wants to feed the poor a communist.

    He's an asshole, that doesn't make him a nazi.

    But fuck it, it feels good to call people we hate nazis so lets add some more and just call him a "baby eating, fascist, communist, nazi, antinatalist, genoicadal, zionist, anti-semite"

    Anyone who objects: you're either with us or against us!


    Having literally just returned from Iceland, you're right, but possibly not entirely.
    Medieval Iceland was a very tough place to live, and there generally weren't villages as in Europe, only scattered farmsteads. The thing law required everyone to be bound to a farm either as an owner or as a worker so they could be charged in the proper local court.
    Also by law, and no doubt due to the hostile climate, each farm had to harvest all of its crops - for example it was against the law to let hay go to waste. This meant that there was a vested interest in having enough men to properly work all your lands, meaning that workers were valued, because they were free to move elsewhere when their contracts expired in the spring.
    So the most skilled farmers/fishermen/rowers might move every year to where the best pay was, and be replaced with lesser skilled people. Although weirdly being a shepherd was really low status. No idea why, sheep were a vital for wool and food.

    The population on the island was always terribly low though, with less than 80k before 1900, so I imagine the free movement was relatively easy to manage.


    >>>I was in Tel Aviv last month, talking to locals.

    The atmosphere there with regard to the Knesset and the current Israeli government is about what you'd expect in New York with respect to the incoming Trump administration in DC; resignation mixed with disgust and contempt for their antics.

    Indeed, the term Tel Aviv's Bubble, "הבועה התל אביבית", is very prevalent in Israel.


    Good catch, unsurprising: it was merely a copy/paste from Wikipedia, so depth/nuance wasn't exactly on fire.

    but is actually the right-wing handbook currently in use(I believe Netanyahu learned it from the Republicans)

    That's kinda the angle I was satirizing - Breitbart (at least initially) fed into this sphere, before it became a 'little' more rabid.

    A translation for the more outraged thrashing (which was an attempt to translate for chan Minds) - covers the Radical Christian Right, Mercenaries and the real threat in all of this.

    “The enemy, to them, is secularism. They want a God-led government. That’s the only legitimate government,” contends Jeff Sharlet, author of two books on the radical religious right, including “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.” “So when they speak of business, they’re speaking not of something separate from God, but they’re speaking of what, in Mike Pence’s circles, would be called biblical capitalism, the idea that this economic system is God-ordained.”...

    Pence opposed imposing restrictions on no-bid contracting, which may help explain his close relationship to Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater. In December 2007, three months after Blackwater operatives gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, Pence and his Republican Study Committee, which served “the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives,” organized a gathering to welcome Prince to Washington. But their relationship is not just forged in wars. Prince and his mother, Elsa, have been among the top funders of scores of anti-gay-marriage ballot initiatives across the country and have played a key role in financing efforts to criminalize abortion.

    Mike Pence Will Be the Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in U.S. History The Intercept, 15th Nov 2016

    Smart Bears will note who else is part of "The Family".


    For others, the situation was wholly farcical. “Election over > Trump shills have no idea what to do,” one posted. “This is hilarious. Honestly I think its funnier that he won, now /pol/ has to come to terms with the reality that their candidate isn’t going to do jack shit over the next 4 years.”

    Yet another said: “Look, I understand the comedic value of electing the first meme president, but if you actually thought he was going to do ANYTHING positive for the presidency, you’re a fucking retard.”

    “The true is he doesn’t have a fucking clue how to make america great, never had, never will … he’s fucked, the memes are over,” another wrote.

    The alt-right thrives in opposition. What happens now it's the establishment? Guardian, 15th Nov 2016


    You're out of order: yellow card.

    (I've been reading Bannon's writing. The only way to make him more of a nazi is to put him in a Hugo Boss uniform with a swastika armband.)


    You are a couple of decades behind the times if you consider "lawyers" as a high end job. While there are a tiny minority of lawyers in UK & USA who have make a substantial income from their practice, and a larger number who manage a comfortable income, there are large numbers, perhaps the majority now, who would be classed as "precariat".

    In Scotland Legal Aid rates haven't been increased in 20 years, so a Solicitor carrying on a purely Legal Aid business working 48+hrs a week (including unsocial call outs during the night) will still be eligible for Tax Credits due to low income, if they can make any income from it at all after expenses. Any Solicitor wanting to earn even Minimum Wage levels needs to use private client work to do so and offer a rationed amount of Legal Aid work.

    In England the Legal Aid position is that it frequently costs Barristers money to take on a Legal Aid case, the payment not even meeting expenses, let alone any payment for time.

    Despite this the tabloids still frequently have stories about how "massive amounts of public money" are being "creamed off" by "fat cat lawyers".

    In reality anyone wanting to make lots of money in law will either set up: (a) a "factory" style setup for e.g. residential purchases by fee paying clients. Generally this will have one or a few lawyers with lots of capital employ lots of junior lawyers or paralegals on comparatively low salaries to churn out work production line style using predefined IT templates; or (b) exclusively act for wealthy persons (individuals or corporate). There is a very small niche for this (and generally taken by those already connected in some way to such wealthy clients),

    In both US & UK the universities have been keen to put through lots of law students as it is a prestige course with comparatively little expense to the institution, which has led to massive numbers of graduates competing for a small number of entry level positions. This of course also brings down the salaries of employed junior lawyers who are easily replaced if required.

    All told this makes the practice of law unattractive to anyone wanting to make money in it, while simultaneously making access to justice more difficulty for the ordinary (non-wealthy) person. Thus in another reversal of the Enlightenment, we gradually move from the rule of law, back to rule by law where the rich & powerful can use the law against others but are virtually immune to being legally held to account themselves.


    To expand a bit further: we're referring to the larger use of this (the illusion thereof), Christian Persecution and Class/Economic Persecution and even Ethnic Persecution. All of these are bait-switched to make the reader/listener one of the persecuted rather than part of the (unimportant) tiers of the Cake.

    As everyone has probably noticed, it's been quite effective recently. "Trump's Mirror" is a bit narrow-focus; it's a much much larger Lens.

    How bullying works: projection and scapegoating Kitty S. Jones - Jan 2015. Nice long-form with embedded links.


    Anyhow, the USA all boils down to 9/11 and psychosis.


    OGH, on a US Constitutional Convention: "And that's assuming a cross-faction consensus on what needs to be done can emerge that spans a sufficient range of positions that it can be made to stick."

    Personally, I expect the only change to the US Constitution will be the addition of an explicit exit clause. It's the only thing that three-quarters of the states will be able to agree on. Followed fairly quickly by a partition into three independent pieces.


    The only times you see really high mortality rates with a disease are when the disease has only just jumped species and where the disease essentially HAS to kill the host in order to spread.

    Ebola and some strains of influenza are examples of "new" diseases; Ebola normally infects and circulates in fruitbats and only jumps species when someone kills a fruitbat for food and doesn't cook it well enough. Influenza viruses are a complex of viruses, ranging from a gut disease of birds to a closely-related respiratory disease of mammals; genetic material circulates between the differing strains.

    Cordyceps fungi are specialist insect pathogens, which infect ants and the like and modify their behaviour to put the insect into the perfect spore-spreading position whereupon the fungus kills the ant and promptly sporulates.

    Bubonic plague is a disease of steppe-dwelling marmots, which occasionally jumps species from rodents to other mammals. Some strains need fleas as vectors, some don't. The Medieval strain didn't need fleas to spread, and did not use rats as a reservoir either. The only rats present in Medieval Europe were Rattus rattus, the black rat which is a tropical species and doesn't breed at all well in Britain; this animal was only present in ports where the population was continually topped-up from ships. Rattus rattus was not present in the Medieval British countryside.

    In modern times, Ratus norvegicus IS present and can breed very well and cats (which can catch plague and spread it quite effectively) are also present in large numbers, so keeping an eye out for bubonic plague in Britain is quite a good idea.


    And Hugh Fisher: I go on "liberal" sites and hear them sneer at class struggle. I go on "socialist" sites and hear them fatuously subsume feminism/antiracism/anticolonialism into the class struggle. It's all very discouraging. Six months ago, I told the liberals that abandoning the working class was a pretty damn odd thing for a progressive party to do. I also said that if you don't represent someone, they will find someone else and likely someone who is not exactly "nice." I did not think the numbers quite added up for Trump, but there was a good chance for a right populist in 2020. As it happened the numbers were not all that favorable for Trump, but they got him within the margin of error. Add in a few thumbs on the scale and here we are.


    Thanks - seems that the 'supermajority' definition varies considerably and does not even require that all members be present for a vote to change something as fundamental as the Constitution. So, if you're into conspiracy theories, TD could be kicked out by his own cabinet who in turn would need less than half of total elected officials ... timing is the tricky bit.

    Source: Wikipedia

    'In the United States Congress, for example, either house must have a majority (218 in the House of Representatives, 51 in the Senate) to have a quorum.'

    'If the vice president and a majority of the president's cabinet declares that the president is unable to serve in that role, the vice president becomes acting president.'


    My wife is a solictor so whilst I agree with your arguments in principle in general lawyers are still a very well rewarded occupation, yes juniors have it bad, but those who make it into a decent sized law firm or in house are generally pretty well rewarded. My wife's salary from a regional law firm (ie not top tier) or as in-house in a ftse 100 has generally matched or exceeded my London based IT salary, and when she was at a Top Tier it comfortably doubled mine.

    We also have a barrister friend who whilst not being minted certainly has a nice "middle class" lifestyle.


    Another perspective, professionals can be crap at coming up with new concepts and conservative campaign managers have learned how to ride the pain of the working class to electoral success, and they won't easily give it up.


    I wouldn't call a jingoistic wave of back-to-the-1930s nostalgia for empire, coupled with a vile spike in racism and xenophobia, progressive. Depends on how you define "progressive" ... If you mean Corbyn ( shadowing Lansbury) allowign Momentum to demonise perfectly respectable Labour MP's pushing for real social justice ( Like StellA C) & allowing racist religious bigots to "no-platform" atheists & peopl again Da'esh ... these people represent themseleves as the "progreesive left" - often referreed to as the "Regressive" left, then what do you expect. ?? They are rapidly vanishing up their own arseholes, but ... they have massively contributed to the things of which you, quite rightly complain. You really couldn't make this shit up, could yo?


    Well, actually, no. I've seen the quotation from, I believe, Pericles, where it means an Athenian who does not participate in political affairs but is concerned only with his own private matters, but that's not the same concept. And Liddell and Scott give "a private person, an individual; one in a private station, not taking part in public affairs; a common man, plebeian; one who has no professional knowledge, a layman; unpracticed, unskilled; a raw hand, an ignorant, ill-informed man; one's own countryman." That last comes closest but it looks as if it means more "homie." None of them really has the dividing line between the travelled and the untravelled; in fact Athenian handling of public affairs seems mostly to have been Athens first, all the time, as in the notorious seizure of the League treasury.


    I don't think the black vote for Clinton can be explained by Trump's racism. For one thing, his much publicized statements have not been aimed at blacks; the groups he has made proposals about have been Hispanics (not a race, technically, but a linguistic and cultural group, within which there are blacks and whites and native Americans) and Muslims (not a race, technically, but a religion to which anyone can convert). And for another, the skew in the black vote is much greater: 88% black vote for Clinton, but only 65% Hispanic and 65% Asian, per the New York Times exit polls ( I think it has to be said that black voters go almost entirely Democratic for distinctive historical reasons that remain in force in multiple elections.

    I also note that Clinton's 88% of the black vote is worse than Obama's 93% in 2012 (not surprising) and Trump's 8% is a little better than Romney's 6%. That might mean something, but I'm not sure how to explain it.


    Thank you. Can we have more of this? Your link to Pence ( of whom I'm already terrified) was most instructive. Euw.

    Just to repeat the message for others:

    Selected quotes: The enemy, to them, is secularism. They want a God-led government.

    Pence has been a reliable stalwart throughout his public life in the cause of Christian jihad — never wavering in his commitment to America-First militarism, the criminalizing of abortion, and utter hatred for gay people (unless they go into conversion therapy

    “We’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs,” Pence promised

    ... See also Erik Prince of Blackwater "fame" - a mate of Pence, apparently


    NSA director went public today that it was done by another state- Russia. Why would NSA go after Clinton? They want control and to stay prospering and she also likes control. Did the emails leaked during the primary to stop Sanders nomination (he would rein them)?



    I presume you're referencing this little shin-dig, the section called "Video: Fighting Cybercrime: Who Are the Hackers?"

    WSJ CEO Council 2016 -- Full Coverage WSJ - 15th Nov 2016

    He doesn't make any explicit claims, at least in the clips they're showing.


    1 Look at the normalization process - the WSJ is giving Giuliani / Conway (!!) coverage, and look at the other speakers. Note the pull quote: Kellyanne Conway, one of President-elect Donald Trump’s top advisers, scolded the media and bid good riddance to the old Republican order at the WSJ CEO Council gathering on Monday night. That's a very bold / brave statement to run-n-gun with. 2 Why wait until post-election to provide a "100% definite" statement? Simple logic: if they were 100% sure of Russian involvement, isn't it their job to prevent / alter / aid / defend the election process? (Defending cyberspace: A report from the front with NSA Deputy National Manager for National Security Systems Curt Dukes AEI, Oct 18th 2016) 3 Trump is getting taken to the cleaners - Pence is with him in his gilded cage (Man with the Midas touch: Inside the President-elect's $100 million Trump Tower penthouse, complete with gold-rimmed candy bowls, a Mercedes for his son, 10, and ceiling murals of the Greek gods WARNING: Daily Mail link, 16th Nov 2016, pay attention to the triggers used - Wealth, Gold, Greek Gods (Pride / Vanity / Apostasy from Christianity): all a setup for Pence the Ascendant) while WSJ stuff is going on. 4 Trump has court appearances still: ruling that doesn't call off the dogs ( Trump Can’t Delay November Fraud Trial Against Ex-Students Bloomberg 15th Nov 2016). Worth noting that all the sexual assault stuff gets dropped / ignored, fraud on the other hand... not something taken lightly, eh? That trillion dollar mill stone of student debt in the USA needs a good sacrificial hamster.


    It's all looking like Pence / Christian Capitalism, with Trumpsters failing / flailing with the utter crud, will burn off a lot of the 'Liberal' / progressive ire if hubris strikes and he goes down on fire (as allegedly Trump is already doing with his own team: Trump Family Mafia Executes “Stalin-esque Purge” Vanity Fair, 15th Nov 2016)

    Open to other interpretations, but this might well be a master-class in Predators-at-Play. (Small Mouse nibbles :cheese: in the background as the combine harvesters start reaping).


    Hopefully I can disagree without getting banned but I respectfully disagree, if he wrote that much nazi stuff then the articles about him wouldn't have to reference 3rd hand quotes from his ex wife accusing him of maybe saying something anti-semitic during divorce proceedings.

    When you called him a nazi I expected some search to turn up actual Nazism not just a sexist asshole since there are ex KKK members and similar who've got into the senate even quite recently.

    If you count his writings to include everything that he allowed anyone to write on his site then there's a lot of toxic shit you can lay at his feet (what could people lay at your feet if they attributed everything you didn't actually delete to you) but pulling down a list of the articles he actually wrote they're remarkable mainly in how dull they are and in that they aren't being quoted in articles about him because they're so dull.


    Rogers did not name the nation-state in question, nor elaborate on the effect it sought, but he didn’t have to.

    Yes, yes: welcome to the bear-trap (why I linked to the WSJ coverage).

    Given the outcome is looking very good for Pence & co, do I have to give you the alternative meaning of that statement?

    Oh, and...

    'Post-truth' named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries Guardian, 15th Nov, 2016


    Bannon continued making documentaries—big, crashing, opinionated films with Wagner scores and arresting imagery: Battle for America (2010), celebrating the Tea Party; Generation Zero (2010), examining the roots of the financial meltdown; The Undefeated (2011), championing Palin. In the Bannon repertoire, no metaphor is too direct. His films are peppered with footage of lions attacking helpless gazelles, seedlings bursting from the ground into glorious bloom. Palin, for one, ate it up and traveled to Iowa, trailed by hundreds of reporters, to appear with him at a 2011 screening in Pella that the press thought might signal her entrance into the 2012 presidential race. (No such luck.) Breitbart came along as promoter and ringmaster. When I spoke with him afterward, he described Bannon, with sincere admiration, as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement.

    This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America Bloomberg, Oct 2015

    Leni Riefenstahl: great movie maker, hit it big with a film called "Triumph des Willens", had fans in high places.


    Certainly there are still a good chunk of "middle class" comfortably well off lawyers : looking at Solicitors 10+PQE, in a medium to large firm, Associate, partner, or consultant who don't still have either a student loan or a massive loan to pay off for buying equity in the firm, they don't need to worry where the next months mortgage payment is coming from. Also civil law private client only Barristers/Advocates with a few years under their belt are doing very nicely, but that is only a minority of all "lawyers".

    Look at primarily Legal Aid practitioners (of any age), small to medium firms, or younger practioners and those are an entirely different economic boat.

    A "fun" game is to attend e.g. the Scottish Legal Aid Conference and "spot the under 40 year old"- and especially bearing in mind that there is a requirement to do a certain amount of Legal Aid CPD every two years which the Conference is the easiest method of achieving.

    Or look at the stats for the number of Solicitors in Scotland who are female (over 50%) and number who are partners of firms (25%). That's indicative that those who are currently partners (owning & managing a law firm) come from an earlier cohort who had full student grants, and lucrative early careers when Solicitors really could make money hand over fist if they put in the hours, so could become partners without coming from a monied background or taking a second mortgage.

    (The Unis started having roughly 50:50 gender balance about the same time that grants were abolished and Legal Aid rates were frozen. Now 2/3 Scottish Solicitors under 40 are female but only 40% over 40)


    And, really: even Nietzsche ended up detesting Wagner for his anti-Semitic politics. You can't really use the medium of film using such music, coupled with predator footage / mimetic "resurgence" blooming and echoing fucking Riefenstahl without knowing you're directly tapping into that history.

    Well, I mean: you can, if you're dumb - Palin probably missed it, but I doubt Bannon did.


    Considering that the orange one is highly responsive to ear whispers, I think the status quo is even more dangerous. He does what is told to do and take the public rage. White wizard wins while comfortably sitting in the back.


    You need more practice reading NSA statements.


    So I just found out that Russia has, today, withdrawn from the ICC.

    (Joining such august bodies as Sudan and the United States, I gather!)


    Of course he didn't name Russia directly. No need for public mess. For me it's hard to imagine what other state has a motive and capability (not China since it is media war, not their cup of tea).


    Interesting points ... re: '... emergent effect wherein representative democracies respond in similar fashions to decreased demand for labor.'

    Wonder why you think ... 'Democratic governments converge to a single axis system.' as based on Wikipedia and CIA World Handbook, there's usually more of a spectrum if you look at all democracies (not just the US). Personally, I think that the greater the tendency to 'single-axis' thinking (over-simplification), the easier it is to disenfranchise large segments of the population.

    'Decreased labor demand is not addressed' - agree somewhat ... and you wouldn't even need to 'soak the rich'.

    A scenario I'd like explored is disentangling the population and political systems from 'big industry', that is, a return to small/independent industry/jobs. From personal experience, most large corps rely on smaller feeder firms as inputs or distribution sources which means that there is considerable opportunity for smaller businesses to alter how large corps conduct business. Don't understand the love affair with big corps - seriously.

    About USian cultural biases ... education and being able to travel freely usually helps reduce cultural biases. Considering that education in the US has been sliding downward in quality for at least the past two decades, and is currently ranked 14th (out of 40) on education and 2nd (out of 14) on 'social statistics ignorance', it is not surprising that there is a rise in cultural bias.

    Because of recent 'Make America great again!/Get rid of evil foreigners!' ranting going on, decided to look up US Nobel laureates: 102 out of 363 (28%) were born elsewhere. Add to this list the laureates who came to the US to escape political prosecution and/or to work on the Manhattan project and it's pretty evident that the US owes many of its 'American' achievements to 'foreigners' and 'political refugees'.

    Does DT know that iPhone creator (SJobs) was the biological son of a Syrian immigrant? (Anyone recall when TD threatened to toss out his iPhone and use only his Samsung when Apple refused to create a way of breaking their phone security: so, 'foreign' is okay/better after all? ... My head is reeling and it's not just from my head cold.)


    "This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect”. So it is some country influencing election. Assuming it is not US nation-state itself influencing own election. What did I miss?


    The Nazis were also the second regime - after the Italian fascists - to engage in large-scale privatisation of state-owned enterprises.

    So much for the "socialist" Nazis.

    If this seems an improbable claim to you, google Germa Bel, who has done the research that uncovered this forgotten bit of twentieth century political history.

    Five Star are a bag of shite, I agree with you there alright.


    To add to your theory, the Russians believe that the "color revolutions" (Rose, Orange) were orchestrated and driven by CIA money, and thus, this is payback.

    (Eg, search for "CIA "


    My guess is Andorra.

    Or San Marino, maybe.

    Charlie - your fear of a global Operation Condor may yet come true, but back in the 1930s there was an attempt to set up a "Fascist International". It came to nothing. Wiki has a little page:

    My point is that these people are not only trash, they're the kind of trash who very easily fall out among themselves. There is no honour among thieves, after all.


    The EU is simultaneously the fourth Reich, the EUSSR and a neoliberal plot. It's antidemocratic, authoritarian and pays too much attention to regional parliaments.


    It's bi-modal for new lawyers in the US. At the risk of outting myself, I'm in the bulge class of 2012 for law school. Also remember that in the US law is a terminal degree after your bachelors level, and many of us work for several years before going back. 2013 was about the same size, but 2014-2016 are all significantly smaller classes of lawyers.

    In the US some of this was the economic crisis showing the emperor had no cloths. Law schools were relatively easy to add to existing universities. You needed classrooms, lecture halls and a law library for facilities. No expensive use one class rooms. Also for years the maw of discovery was requiring large numbers of big law. Between tech, saturation, and liberalization of the profession, that demand died. (Liberalization is allowing foreigners like you brits to take our exams without a terminal degree. Disgusts me.)

    Big law and government have been the traditional training grounds for many attorneys. At my school a particular firm would hire 20 summers (with 15-20 hired full time after the summer). But when the crisis really hit law in 2009-2010, they only hired 1.

    Combine this with pressure on schools to play games with their average student incomes in forms led to lots of crazy fast. For profit law schools also briefly bloomed. Getting 200k in loans for 3 years per student was a great business model. Easy to bring in 20 million a year for a smallish law school. So the low tier toilets expanded.

    Buttttt scam blogs multiplied during this time. Most called something like 'DONT GO TO LAW SCHOOL'. Caused the new student enrollments to drop massively. 29% down nationally since 2010. From ~55k students to ~37k students. It's about down to the admissions rate in the early 70s.

    So the big bulge years are class of 2012, 2013. I spent most of the last 4 years working my butt off to get a proper job. Same with too many friends of mine. As for politics, we vary. My school was on the liberal side, but we had some conservatives, most of whom either were going to work for daddy or daddy had friends back home in the local government.

    I think student loan burdens (for law school students 150k+) make our will for revolution suck. Otoh as it grinds on...


    You should probably do a search along the lines of "George Soros, eastern block, NGOs, money aid, emails hacked". Oh, and yes: you're going to hit a boat-load of Alt-Right stuff. [Note: he did have emails hacked, then covered by Right-wing Israeli press in the campaign, it was hushed up pretty fast].

    If you need to get a quick handle on how that's going down:

    Billionaire Globalist Soros Exposed as Hidden Hand Behind Trump Protests — Provoking US ‘Color Revolution’ The "Free Thought Project" 10th Nov 2016


    Anyhow, the plot thickens:

    NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FOX News Channel (FNC) will present a new one hour special entitled, "OBJECTified: Donald Trump" on Friday, November 18th at 10PM/ET. Hosted by TMZ’s Harvey Levin, the program will feature an interview with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as he showcases the objects in his home and offers the stories behind each memento...

    The special will feature a side of President-elect Donald Trump that has rarely been seen before. During the interview, which was conducted on September 15, 2016, Trump recounts the stories behind photos, letters, trophies and other cherished keepsakes he's acquired throughout his lifetime.

    FOX NEWS Business wire, 16th Nov 2016.

    We're wondering if Donnie has even seen Casino.

    UK readers will probably remember "Through the Keyhole" ("Now, whooooo would live in house like thiiiiiis") and wonder if this is normal or not.

    If it's not (and remember, Ailes got the rope), wondering who had the foresight to pitch this / record this in September.

    Hmm. Maybe Fox / Donnie knew the FBI etc were gonna throw the game?


    I'm eternally grateful to Dr. Soros for funding a teaching post I once had at an early stage of my career.

    Seeing the operation sort-of from the inside makes me laugh even harder at the trash who think he's a good metonym for their "international Jewish conspiracy" bollocks.

    BTW, Scathach (I can't do fadas on this keyboard) "globalist" is a far-right phrase, and if this "free thought project" like to play with that sort of shit, I hope they won't mind if I think that they stink.


    Nah, it's nothing special going on right now. All history is like this. It's just one damn thing after another.


    Well, yes, that's why I chose that link (it's actually more 'Libertarian' / 'Buy Our Gold Coins' than overtly racist / Alt-Right / anti-Semitic , showing the connections in the web). The tell is their hosting. (cough).

    The George Soros[1] thing shows whose at play though: Russia - NGOs - Color Revolutions.

    If you want a taste of 'using Art, the CIA way' / SEO PSYOP try searching for "color revolution culture hacker", and you'll hit...

    "The Color Revolution" received the Sally Hacker Prize for Exceptional Scholarship that Reaches Beyond the Academy from the Society for the History of Technology, 2013...

    When the fashion industry declares that lime green is the new black, or instructs us to "think pink!," it is not the result of a backroom deal forged by a secretive cabal of fashion journalists, designers, manufacturers, and the editor of Vogue. It is the latest development of a color revolution that has been unfolding for more than a century. In this book, the award-winning historian Regina Lee Blaszczyk traces the relationship of color and commerce, from haute couture to automobile showrooms to interior design, describing the often unrecognized role of the color profession in consumer culture.

    "The Color Revolution" Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Ph.D. Spoiler: it's a herring.

    You'll probably want this piece though:

    These three revolutions – the "rose revolution" in Georgia (November 2003-January 2004), the "orange revolution" in Ukraine (January 2005) and the "tulip revolution" in Kyrgyzstan (April 2005) – each followed a near-identical trajectory; all were spearheaded by the American democratisation Ingos working at the behest of the US foreign policy establishment.

    The watershed that brought Ingos to the forefront of global democracy-promotion was the Reagan administration’s decision to create the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1983 to roll back Soviet influence. With a stated raison d’etre of "strengthening democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts", NED was conceived as a quasi-governmental foundation that funnelled US government funding through Ingos like the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), and Freedom House.

    These Ingos in turn "targeted" authoritarian states through a plethora of programmatic activities. NED’s first president, Allen Weinstein, admitted openly that "a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. " The organisation was a deus ex machina in the face of scandalous Congressional investigations into the CIA's "soft side" operations to destabilise and topple unfriendly regimes that embarrassed the government in the late 1970s.

    Democratisation, NGOs and "colour revolutions" Open Democracy, 2006 - long form, classic piece.

    Then you'll want to hit on 'culture-hackers' from Serbia etc.

    So, yes: Russia kinda does have a valid point to make about USA involvement in overthrowing regimes. And yes: 10 years for the back-lash spoil into the American Right-wing alternative media sphere. Pretty much confirms host's hunch that there's long-term plans being done, if anyone is worried he's getting senile / tin-foil-hatted.


    More telling is the delivery method though. It's subversion without requiring the same levels of organization / theory / spend: they're using whatever organic matter (hello Mr Father Koch) that's already there and converting it.

    [1] The Open Society. Not exactly SPECTRE, but hey.


    ...conscious effort by a nation-state... You get the point. I was just saying that the usual practice when reading NSA statements is to assume that there is at least one parsing that is arguably true, then work through all possible readings. In this case, [nation-state] is left blatantly floating and one is primed to read it as "Russia", by statements released in October specifically associating Russia. Let's say that hypothetically (seriously, not saying anything grounded here), an internal NSA investigation in the last few weeks found a rogue cell (members now in solitary confinement) that had performed the hacks/leaks. The statement would still be true, if the cell's goals were arguably aligned with the US's goals. "Nation-States" are not conscious beings so there is some wriggle-room. And then work through the rest of the nation states, including Russia. It's a slog, sure. However, the budget for this sort of thing can be pretty small. (Personally, I am a little surprised that they are so confidently blaming a nation state actor, but would go with Russia if so, under-informed Bayesian that I am. Could be wrong.)


    "The Electoral College needs to be gotten rid of"
    It's in the Constitution pretty detailed. However, it can be made more democratic


    There's a pretty big difference between "not a coincidence" and "centrally planned". Just as it's neither coincidence nor conspiracy that the rich get richer & the poor pay more for things, there are some systematic effects at work here encouraging right-wing populist movements. Actual collusion is unnecessary and pointless when structural effects can produce the same results.


    And, if you need any indication that 2016 is Our Time, chew on this:

    China couldn’t have invented global warming as a hoax to harm U.S. competitiveness because it was Donald Trump’s Republican predecessors who started climate negotiations in the 1980s, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said.

    China Tells Trump That Climate Change Is No Hoax It Invented Bloomberg, Nov 16th 2016

    Yes, that's that China, the one Obama had to chase down & force into negotiations if anyone forgets:

    President Barack Obama burst into a meeting of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian leaders to try and reach a climate agreement in late Friday negotiations in Copenhagen.

    Obama's dramatic climate meet Politico, Dec 2009.


    If you needed a starker statement of what Trump means, whelp, there it is. Total disrespect across the Geo-Political Board.

    Offering 15-1 odds on that "soft coup" getting into a "hard coup" btw ~ ignoring Climate Change as policy is 100% declaring War on Humanity at this point in Time (which also scrubs Pence out).

    One thing we know about H.S.S (and quite a few other species): threaten their kids, you get the Momma Bear response.

    GloriaYT: Music, The Doors 7:17


    I was just saying that the usual practice when reading NSA statements is to assume that there is at least one parsing that is arguably true, then work through all possible readings.

    Nope, good craft is that every layer of the onion is true.


    I can talk about it now because it's dead, so to your list of things the left did in America that helped the rich instead of their erstwhile base you can add Obamacare. It was a regressive tax via "public private partnership"(oh goody). If you were dirt poor you got subsidized, if you were in the right state, but if you were just above that you were a poor but healthy young working poor person paying more for health insurance than for rent so that someone better off old person not related to you could get outrageously expensive (for more than most people earn in a lifetime values of outrageously expensive) drastic measures to live a couple more years. Sure, something needs to be done about health care, but getting this mess was Pyrrhic victory that is still costing. And it doesn't even work. No wonder Roberts was happy to let it live. But it was the fad, let's all wear safety pins, whee.


    ChrisB, that fits with my thinking. I'm generally allergic to grand conspiracy theories and tend to believe in the emergent properties of unenlightened self-interest. For example, one could posit that industrialists are Captain Planet villains seeking to poison the Earth as a primary goal. And they're all in cahoots! It can seem that way. But the correct interpretation of the evidence is all business owners are out to make money, pollution controls and doing things the right way is expensive, cutting corners is cheaper, therefore shitting on the environment is putting money in the bank. And it's worth their time and money to lobby against environmental reforms. The crappy West Virginia coal mine leeching mercury into the groundwater has no connection to the Mafia outfits dumping radioactive waste offshore near Somalia but they're all doing the Devil's work.

    Selection pressures applied globally are causing the rise of similar political movements. It is beyond the scope of any government or conspiracy group to create from whole cloth and they cannot meaningfully control it though they can be the fool that triggers the avalanche. If Lenin wasn't sent back to Russia in the sealed train someone else likely would have been a catalyst for kicking off the revolution. You can't start a forest fire in a verdant wood. In the contrast between Great Man theory of history and tides of history, I see it as a wave of history and your attention will be drawn to notable figures surfing through the barrel. Absent the wave the figure would not draw notice. The presence of the wave and a dozen potential riders does not guarantee a notable performance. But when one of those potentials drops into it at just the right spot... NB: Great Man and Awful Man can be used interchangeably. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Louis XIV, Ivan the Terrible, Genghis Khan, Hitler, etc.


    Whelp, holy fuck are you naive and/or desperate for a life-raft.

    Last month eight women who say they were duped into forming long-term intimate relationships of up to nine years with five undercover policemen started unprecedented legal action. They say they have suffered immense emotional trauma and pain over the relationships, which spanned the period from 1987 to 2010.

    Until now it was not known that police had secretly fathered children while living undercover. One of them is Lambert, who adopted a fake persona to infiltrate animal rights and environmental groups in the 1980s.

    Undercover police had children with activists Guardian, Jan 2012

    Pro-tip: that was the fucking MET, on a tiny fucking budget.


    Yes, we've already proven that Big Oil knew about CO2 / Climate Change ~30 years ago. Just like Tobacco / Lead / Asbestos / etc.

    You know your problem?

    Real Predators Turned Up.

    And we Do. Not. Like. You.

    In fact, the funny thing is: Our Kind Do Not Go Mad.

    You fuckers want to cheat? Sure thing, we'll show you how to "cheat", psychotic ones.


    Replying to myself, alas:

    However, OGH said "the KGB (newly reformed last month)." What's the "reformed" part? Was there some significant re-reorganization of the FSB and SVR back into a single entity?

    Found it:

    The original Russian version is at

    Which is reported in English at

    Russia to create Ministry of State Security, learns newspaper Kommersant Kommersant 03:53, 19 september 2016

    Russian authorities are planning to create a new power structure that will assume both the functions of the country's security service - the FSB - and its Foreign Intelligence Service, wrote newspaper Kommersant on Monday, citing its own sources. The new structure, the newspaper claims, will be called the Ministry of State Security.

    The new ministry will be created as a part of a reform of Russia's security and law enforcement agencies. This reform includes the reintegration of Russia's Investigative Committee into its Prosecutor General's Office, as well as the division the functions of Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations between the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

    According to the Kommersant, these developments will give the FSB the same functions that were previously held by the KGB. The new agency, the newspaper writes, will not simply initiate cases and work alongside investigators, but will also fully oversee all investigative procedures.

    According to the publication, the FSB is already working in accordance with the new scheme in the case of crime boss Zachary Kalashov, known as Shakro Molodoy. Though the FSB is not formally an intelligence service, it is overseeing this case as such.

    It is expected that the reform will be completed before Russia's next presidential elections in 2018.


    Regarding the last paragraph: If DT and his little helpers had been professional and the head of a party of like minded, we would have lost already. Hopefully the Donald will grow bored and quit or be indicted before too long. Then it is just the matter of the Republicans and Pence, which of course are conservative and crazily religious respectively but not purposefully destructive as DT. That would still probably be bad for Americans but not for the entire world and the Americans have a new election in two years time and can select a new president in four years time.

    For us Europeans (this includes still the UK even if the PM intends to be less connected to the rest of Europe than Iceland) we are quite dependent on NATO and therefore the USA to keep us safe. Especially in the Baltic region where e.g. the Swedish take on security and defence has been that Russia no longer is a threat as they are democratic now.


    Here's where Rupert was at back in 2008 and his views on what Australians should do to move forward in the world, if you've got time to read the transcript or listen to Rupert himself.


    Guess I failed at sarcasm.

    When I wrote that British progressives were responsible for Brexit and US progressives for electing Trump, I meant that they'd chosen idealogies and methods that were ineffective. Politics is about persuading people to your point of view. If you can't do that then you lose.

    (In case anyone thinks I'm being original, I'm just channelling Nick Cohen and Fredrik de Boer.)

    OK, if class struggle masks individual oppression then find something else. (I did say that I was old, and there were alternatives.) Just don't keep doing the same thing y'all are doing now and expect things to get better.


    I have an idea how this fascist international came about. But we have to start with a small dose of marxism. Bear with me.

    In Capiatrlism, a capitalist can't thread in place, they hav to increase their rate of profit - or their comptitor does, exapnds, and takes away their business. Many ways to do that, most of them involve paying less wage - better tools, automation (even better tools), offshoring, slave labor (say hello to the prison industrial complex and workfare). Problem, is everyone (who is a capitalist) is doing that. Over time wages fall and the proles have less money to buy all the stuff they are making - crisis is imminent. Capital can be invested in fictous capital so we witness the diverse bubbles this leads to. Crisis is here. Not that maybe the longest boom years in the WENA region (Western Europe, Northern America) where after WWII, when - due to the destruction of the war - this process had more time to play out. These where also the golden years of social democracy, incidentally.

    Historically, fascism promised a 'remedy' by a mixture of expansionism, corporatism but mostly by making sure there was always someone else worse off. Giving part of the people the idea that the systemic crisis of capitalism can somehow be overcome by resolute action etc. (see Umberto Ecos 'Ur-fascism' - cult of action as archetypical).

    The new developement is that this timne around, the crisis feels far more synchronized around the globe, large enough minorities (or even majorities) feel threatened. There's no believable promise on the political landscape that things will be ok - all the Clintons and Hollandes and Merkels have to offer is more of the same.

    The right OTOH has one promise to make: Someone else will always be worse off than you. Relative status. Today in the WENA region these someones are mostly refugees and other immigrants - including third gen 'immigrants' when they are foreign enough, which today mostly means 'not from a majority christian country' or black. And there's always antisemitism.


    ignoring Climate Change as policy is 100% declaring War on Humanity at this point in Time There is a lot of this sentiment out there. Was talking with a scientist after the election, about some work of his with potential to reduce GHG emissions up to several percent. My last question was (paraphrased) "so there's some hope?" and his quick reply (like 500 milliseconds later) was (maybe paraphrased) "not any more".

    Re the election of US president/vice president, does anyone who has studied this aspect of US Constitutional Law care to weigh in on the process between now and Jan 20 2017? (US date format, just because. :-) It looks like there are three main parts to the timeline; now through the electoral college votes (Dec 19), then an unclear window between then and Jan 6 when congress counts the electoral college votes, then noon Jan 20+.


    Nope, it's back to basics.

    Murdoch, Blair, Clinton, Lenin, Mao etc etc

    They took an Oath to something that was not exactly what it said on the Tin (oh, ffs, it lied, thatsthejoke.jpg - burning bush? Are you fucking retarded, it's not what you think). The kind of thing that requires fear, hate, death and oppression to work.

    9/11 - MAGICAL levels of psychosis, fear, hate and a whole society pissing their pants over... the illusion.

    Too bad: spell broken, We're Here Now.

    And we are very pissed off. If you missed it, Reality Games are being spiked, broken, tossed aside, reneged upon and otherwise ultimately tossed into the winds.

    Our. Kind. Do. Not. Go. Mad.

    And how fucking dare you try that: fucking lower entity beings. Real big splash n spend, coupled with some rather tawdry meat-space shit all wrapped up into an attack vector designed to break minds.

    "You listened"

    "Yes, that's what we do: we express salvation and love to ALL"

    Heart Of Glass YT: Music, Blondie 3:40

    Hot tip: Our Love is Real.

    But... Hey, we're not the psychotic ones whose Minds allow such things. Too bad, you chose... to Fight. And you lost.

    Srsly. Go. Get. Fucked. You. Psychotic. Animals.


    Trump's racism. For one thing, his much publicized statements have not been aimed at blacks

    In the US context it's extremely hard to make even slightly coded racist remarks without most black people hearing an anti-black message. Much as it's hard to talk about burning ghettos without OGH wondering whether you mean him, even if you're just talking about urban renewal in Chicago.

    So when Trump talks about banning Muslims, a lot of black people think Malcolm X, not Obama (the black American or the Saudi). And it only takes one "black lives matter are criminal scum who must be eliminated" to cement that view.


    Someone upthread wrote that farems are smart enough not to pollute surface waters with fertilizer runoff. I call bullshit: Northwestern Germany has right now a huge problem with nitrate in groundwater (similar problem) because of manure over-application to fields.

    The good news is that the EU commission is good for something once in a while and will likely sue Germany over this. German legislation is infuriating teethless here, it seems.

    The economy of fertilizer is actually pretty simple: Manure costs nothing, but the diesel to truck it onto the field does. So you want your field close to the stable. Have lot's of cattle/hog production concentrated in one area, there's not enough fields to responsibly spread all the manure close by. Manure has only 5-10 kgN/t (chicken more), so you truck lots of water compared to concentrated industrial fertilizer.

    So I would say that the whole bureacracy trying to control farming is prety much a mixed bag (and do keep up pointing out bullshit when you se it!), but left to their own devices you can trust farmers as much as any other industry. Not at all.


    Oh, and here's a some very beautiful anarchist propaganda, about a year old. It starts with melting ice and feels optimistic in a way that somehow does not quite belong into this part of 2016. But may be neccessary at the same time. A Resolution.


    As is common here, I'm a rich-by-global-standards white man with citizenship of two rich, somewhat isolated countries. My perspective is necessarily affected by that. Unfortunately it's further affected by a family history of reacting to changed circumstances (they left Britain for New Zealand, if nothing else), which means I look at die-hard "I will not change, I would rather die" types with bewilderment. Surely get an education, change with the times, fight the power, do what you have to do to survive? Isn't everyone like that?

    No, not even close. A great many people would literally, actually, quite deliberately, having thought about it as much as they feel they need to, would rather die. They will almost certainly not put it quite that bluntly, but "I don't want to change" when your current approach is fatal... you choose death. Or, per the film, "you choose not to choose life".

    One obvious example: I work with a smoker. We can argue about whether that causes half or two thirds of smokers to die, but that's a question of degree, not fact. But... he chooses smoking.


    farmers are smart enough not to pollute surface waters with fertilizer runoff. I call bullshit

    In New Zealand it's cowshit not bullshit, but that's just a quibble. Dairy farmers have successfully turned New Zealand's "100% pure" rivers into... well, it's not water, put it that way. There are community campaigns in a few places trying to make some rivers safe to swim in, but the national government is entirely on the side of the polluters.

    Fertiliser is also a problem, but you'll get sick from e coli faster than from algae blooms.

    "Welcome to New Zealand. Don't drink the water".


    I think that's important. Part of what the right is selling is "you don't have to change", which is a lie but one people like to hear. The ahllenge for progressive, left populism is (and it is a challenge!) to be popular without telling that lie.


    Oh, the rampant sex-fueled fuckery that is our seed:

    Glen Beck denies Trump / Bannon to Anderson Cooper CNN 15th Nov 2016.


    1 Glen Beck - nope, you don't get a last minute reprieve, you're part of the cause. 2 Anderson Cooper - nope, you don't get a last minute reprieve, you're part of the cause. 3 CNN is fucked anyhow, total CIA scum.


    Enter Sandman YT: Music, Metallica 5:30


    I think that's important. Part of what the right is selling is "you don't have to change", which is a lie but one people like to hear.

    It's not "the right", unless you mean on the global Stalin-Mussolini axis sense. In Australia even the left wing rump of the nominally left wing party (the Australian Labor Party) went into our last election promising "no change now, maybe a little change later". My understanding of the UK is that their Labour party is much the same. It's all "climate is changing, eventually we will have to change to. But not this election".

    I'm not kidding when I say Australia voted 90% for burning as usual in our recent elections. The polls clearly showed that most people regard climate change as important, but not important enough to actually spend money or effort on. The gap between "this is an important issue" and "I will change my vote because of it" was huge.

    The Greens are, to be honest, not much better. They're all about "in the next 20 years" and "by 2050", when we either need someone to demonstrate a broad-scale method for CO2 extraction and storage, or we need to cut emissions by 80% in the next 10 years. That is a radical change even compared to normal revolutions.

    Or we could continue hoping that an 80% reduction by 2050 produces a survivable climate, and that for once the IPCC projections are pessimistic (rather than hopelessly optimistic like they've been every time so far). Because you can be damn sure that the Paris proposal for about 50% reduction not too long after 2050, hopefully... that will give us a further 3-5 degrees of warming and we will get to find out whether the Antarctic ice sheets go slowly or quickly. Luckily I'm old enough that I'll be dead by then (I'm not so rich that I'll be able to afford early life extension, if it's available).


    Reluctantly addressing the actual topic... I would actually vote for an authoritarian if they promised action to minimise climate change. Likely even if their preferred approach was population control. As long as it seemed likely to work. I'm at the "something, anything, please for the love of everything you hold dear, do something" stage. This whole "we are committed to at least two degrees of warming but planning for five"... scares the shit out of me.


    Oh, and: Playtime is over

    Moderate solutions to all your problems are very easy to find, apply to the local and start knitting together coherent and beneficial communities. This shit isn't hard: H.S.S. did it for about ~50k years before the rise of the [redacted].

    You can start cleaning all the beaches, stop the mass-pollution, settle the fuck down and start networking again and learning to live local. But yes: you don't get to eat fucking sushi for 100+ years you self-deluded psychotic cunts. Start learning to enjoy insects and turnips.

    I'm really sorry you feel that you deserve better, but you don't.

    Oh, and stop fucking children, both physically and mentally via your bodies and psychological hooks.

    Dat Shit will get a Full on Spanking Visitation.


    But you attempted to forge a crack in our Mind, through blatant cheating, networked psychosis and other methods that humans are not allowed to know about or understand or use. Not even close to being allowed. And you fucking handed it out like candy. TO FUCKING PSYCHOTIC APES. As a "punishment" drive.

    And, Big Badda Bing.

    You Cheated. Broken Minds. You're Fucked.

    And we don't take Pawns as Bets, it's Your Minds / Black Hole / Get Fucked.

    As for Souls: it's ALL Embodied you psychotic little fucks and You Lost Rental Rights. Permanently.

    (We'd insert something here, but your browser really can't parse it, Sumerian Stuff).

    Playtime is over

    Transmission YT: Music: Joy Division 3:39.


    Oh, and regeneration and regrowth and not-ever-breaking is coming. 2+ years drinking and we're still alive, you psychotic little fucks. Thatsthejoke.jpg.

    We'd advise those who broke the rules to kill themselves. We're not known for our mercy for those outside the boundaries. #WildHunt2017


    There's one thing that hasn't gotten much coverage here or in the media at large is that this is the first US presidential election in 50 years that hasn't had the Voting Rights Act in force.

    This act was basically the only thing keeping massive voting suppression at bay especially with respect to race. Much of the change in election turnout happened in Republican-led states that recently implemented changes to voting ID laws or registration laws which had the effect of disenfranchising many poor, minorities, students, and transient populations. In the last month transcripts have come out that several of these laws were crafted through a "How do black people vote? We will make that illegal." process.

    Several of these states even had court orders to fix their voting process which were largely ignored by state agencies.

    In the US, it seems that the left has a major handicap in that they strive for "fair" elections and a representative democratic process though efforts to end gerrymandering and improving voting access where as the right plays dirty and tries as hard as they can to stack the deck whenever they get into power.


    "Authoritarian"? Shit I would have voted for someone with luminous green worms behind their eyes if they could actually do something about climate change. However I think that's now a ship that's sailed.


    I have not read Bannon's writing and I am really sure that I don't want to. However, as Bannon is now one of six key players in the Trump Administration, I probably should understand how bad he is. (Obviously, when David Duke and the American Nazi Party are supportive of someone, the odds that he has reach totally horrible are appallingly high.)

    Recognizing that you have many other things to do, if you happen to have come across anything that would be particularly good at conveying how bad he is a link would be useful.


    We're not committed to two degrees. Nor are we going to 5 degrees.

    Simple stuff. The sea heats slower than the land. That's obvious. So given current conditions the land is still being cooled by the sea to a certain extent. Again, that's obvious. So whatever the current land temperature is, it has to be less than the equilibrium temperature to which we're already committed. Even the unusually warm land temperatures must be less than the equilibrium temperatures.

    March land temperature was 2.7 degrees above the 1850-1900 average (which was itself about 0.2-0.3 above pre-industrial)

    So clearly we're committed to more than 3 degrees above pre-industrial, even with the atmosphere and ice as they stand.

    If we keep burning coal, that will keep going up. Again, that's obvious.

    Coal puts a lot of particulates into the air. Particles in the air have a cooling effect. No-one disputes that. What is in dispute is the magnitude of that cooling effect. Each new study seems to suggest a higher level for that. That is usually science's way of homing in on the right figure, and suggests that the real number is higher than any of the existing studies. Even so, numbers between 1 and 1.5 degrees are being bandied about.

    That means the equilibrium with our current atmosphere (minus the particulates) is already at greater than 4-4.5 degrees. That's assuming that the ice doesn't melt and make the planet darker, and that the permafrost doesn't melt and put a thousand gigatonnes of methane and CO2 into the air. Ice is melting pretty fast at 1.5 C of warming, and so is permafrost. More than three times as much warming is obviously going to melt them.

    So the choice at present is we stop burning coal, the temperature goes up to 4 or 5 C above, the ice all melts and we romp up to the next stable temperature which is about 12 C above.


    We keep burning coal, the temperature goes up to 4 or 5 C above, all the ice melts and we romp up to the next stable temperature which is about 12 C above pre-industrial.

    There's no third option.


    Do you really think the term "working class" is likely to remain a useful component of the political landscape? Or that a labour theory of value will be a narrative with much predictive power if current trends in automation continue?

    The fragment on machines (PDF) seems a more useful takeaway from Marx for the 21st century. Alas, it doesn't contain a neat prescription for action that "progressives" can use, and I don't see one in Paul Mason's "postcapitalism" either. In contrast, there is an old zero-sum playbook that is being followed by "conservatives", whether or not it makes much sense given the priorities at hand.

    It's up to people like OGH, Bruce Sterling, the late Iain M. Banks, Ursula K. le Guin, or Ken Liu to write scripts that can form the basis of the detailed plans of the next generations.


    Heh, "playtime is over" indeed. Just read David Spratt's review of “The Madhouse effect: How climate change denial is threatening our planet, destroying our politics and driving us crazy”

    In what other circumstances would we accept a 33 percent chance of a catastrophic outcome as acceptable?

    An election?


    It's going to depend also on whose Trump's cronies.

    Turns out Green energy now has more workers in the US than coal. Coal has simply been economically beat in the US. Per 538 the price per megawatt for wind and solar can even beat conventional natural gas.

    There's a lot less coal miners than there used to be. Oil is still huge, and that's going to depend on how much corruption goes for oil. It's an R administration, so I expect it to be friendly to oil.

    Coal I don't think can win out unless they really get in there. Even then it's gone to automation so fast the job claims will rapidly ring false.

    Of course oil doesn't really help us with climate change compared to coal. It is nice for less particulates and radiation.

    The funny thing is now Texas kinda loves wind, as it's become a big business for the state. I also know several ohio solar plants. It makes nice republican policy to advance those industries, albeit there will be some cronyism in it.


    The Voting Rights Act is still in force. What has changed is that Section 5 is no longer operative. Section 5 required certain jurisdictions (determined by Section 4, which was invalidated) to obtain the approval of the Justice Department or the District Court for the District of Columbia prior to making any change affecting voting. Other sections of the Voting Rights Act, including Section 2, which permits suits to enforce voting rights and section 3, which permit imposition of Section 5 on a case by case basis remain operative.

    Absent Section 5, those wishing to suppress votes are much more effectively able to do so; though it would be worse if the entire Voting Rights Act had been invalidated.


    You can channel Prince and call them the Class Formerly Known as Working. Plus Americans like to believe class does not exist and have no vocabulary for describing such matters in find detail. I would love to see an update to Marxist theories of value and labor. None of this changes the fact that many "progressive" people are blaming the "working class" even though most of the time they refuse to believe it exists. The current American "working class" (in the classic sense) does not vote because they generally are not citizens. People with strong emotional attachments to what used to be a working class identity and people who are making less in real dollars than they did a few decades ago form some sort of vague politically charged entity, which apparently still votes. Who knew?


    I guess your take is somewhat optimistic. Watching the rise of fascistic movements, there were moments when, despite being an atheist, I started feeling like I was seeing the effect of some kind of active infernal influence. And I'd never had that feeling before, not even after 9/11, etc.


    In short, for the last week I've had this uneasy feeling—nothing more than a hunch—that Russia wasn't just stirring up trouble in the US election, but that its efforts were actually part of a plan.

    Until reading your post and the subsequent comments, however, I really didn't have any thread upon which to string the facts together.

    Veeerrrry innnnnterestink. Thanks.

    And SnU deserves some sort of poetry award.


    Horribly, suspiciously true. This morning (posting this @08.11) about an hour ago, on the "Today" programme they had one og Bannon's aides, who refused to answer questions & went inot attack-jock mpode [ The interaction with the BBC interviewer was - interesting ] But the point of this was that he openly admitted to what we would call "Entryism" in the Repub party to push it to the "alt-right". So we have Trumpolini apparently in charge whilst the real fascists, particularly Pence are the ones actually in control. The re-run of 1933 where the old ultra-right thought they could control Adolf ( See also "The silver Fox"/Franz von Papen ) is slightly diferent this time. Trumpolini is the front-man & Pence & his very unpleasant friends are the real power. Certainly, if Pence becomes Pres, following the convenient assasination of the Orange one, there won't be a 2020 election, or it will be Erdogan/Putin rigged.

    Goodbye US democracy


    THAT is because the Repubs point-blank refused a "state" single-payer system ( Like the REST OF THE PLANET usues )... because that would be "commonist". Bah


    CD / NN / HB / FE & now Scáthach nUanaid .. Scathach means; "Shadow" but I can't get a ready translation of the nUanaid bit.

    On general principles .. "Unseen" "Unknowable" "Hidden" or something like that?


    and Pence, which of course are conservative and crazily religious respectively but not purposefully destructive as DT. Not even wrong.

    Pence would (certainly appears to ) want the all-time worset form of government known. A theocracy. He is much more likely to start a nuclear war, to bring on the coming of the messiah, any non-christians would be persecuted & the Kinder Kirche Küche aspects applied to women. Be very afraid.


    Greg - She was the warrior woman who trained Cú Chulainn. The latter part of the name is related to the modern surname "Bunand" which seems to go all the way back to the Celtic Bannavem/Bonnavem, in turn to "bun/bon" + "avon" meaning "end of the river". So basically, "the shadowy one who lives at the end of the river".


    David: Then it is just the matter of the Republicans and Pence, which of course are conservative and crazily religious respectively but not purposefully destructive as DT.

    For you to have written that sentence with a (metaphorical) straight face, I am guessing that you are a cisgendered heterosexual white male of christian upbringing/background (if not necessarily religiously observant). Because otherwise you are out of your tiny mind.

    The further away from the white Christian Dominionist male rulers of the universe you are, the more of an existential threat Pence and his friends pose to you.

    Pence actively funnelled government funds towards "conversation therapy" as a way of dealing with LGBT youth. That's not therapy; it's brutal electroshock-assisted brainwashing in detention camps with a 50% mortality rate (through suicide).

    Pence actively funnelled funds away from HIV/AIDS awareness and youth education to abstinence-only sex-ed. (Guess how effective that way.)

    Pence and his friends want to not only roll back marriage equality; they want to ban abortion, restrict access to contraception, re-criminalize homosexuality, and put women back where they think they belong -- barefoot, pregnant-in-wedlock, confined to the kitchen and bedroom as servants. (Queers, as far as they're concerned, can just die.) I'd go so far as to say that Pence read "The Handmaid's Tale" and decided it was a utopia, not a dystopia.

    When you add the white supremacist and anti-immigrant fervour to the pot you've got a group representing a minority of, at most 30%, of the US population who have gotten their hands on the machinery of state with a lock on the presidency, senate, and congress, and -- soon -- the supreme court.

    France bombs Green Peace vessel - for what

    You try to invent mystery where there is none.

    From the point of view of Mitterand the Greenpeace mission to Tahiti was an existential threat. Do not try to get between France and the bomb.


    I'm not sure that he meant it that way.

    He did say it would be 'Bad for Americans', which in the context of a discussion on possible global nuclear exchange, seemed to me to indicate bad for 'Stalingrad siege' levels of 'bad', but not as bad for the rest of the world.


    Scathach: I unpublished your less-coherent comments from last night.

    Let me know if, in the sober light of day, you think they really belong here.

    Let me say it one more time: Europe is not the EU and the EU is not Europe

    What do you call that large federal republic on the North American continent. (No, not Mexico, the other one)?


    The DGSE were completely bonkers and off the map over Greenpeace; suffering from internal groupthink they thought it was some sort of CIA/MI5-sponsored black op, with KGB support, to deprive France of the Bomb, and they went haring off to fight the good fight without actually identifying the true threat. Which was the court of public opinion; and if nuclear testing was a misdemeanour, escalating to what was essentially state-sponsored terrorism was a great way of making everything worse.

    I believe (it's a long time since I read up on it) that the functionaries responsible were fired -- for embarrassing the state -- and some desultory reforms attempted. But then France finished the test series, had the data they wanted, and signed the CTBT, thus making the entire matter moot.


    Background, visa vie Bannon, in his own words:

    But the thing that got us out of it, the organizing principle that met this, was not just the heroism of our people — whether it was French resistance fighters, whether it was the Polish resistance fighters, or it’s the young men from Kansas City or the Midwest who stormed the beaches of Normandy, commandos in England that fought with the Royal Air Force, that fought this great war, really the Judeo-Christian West versus atheists, right? The underlying principle is an enlightened form of capitalism, that capitalism really gave us the wherewithal. It kind of organized and built the materials needed to support, whether it’s the Soviet Union, England, the United States, and eventually to take back continental Europe and to beat back a barbaric empire in the Far East.

    That capitalism really generated tremendous wealth. And that wealth was really distributed among a middle class, a rising middle class, people who come from really working-class environments and created what we really call a Pax Americana. It was many, many years and decades of peace. And I believe we’ve come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we’re starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.

    The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

    However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”

    This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World Buzzfeed - yes, horrible site, but it's 100% just a transcript of a speech he made.

    Noting where it was made is crucial:

    The remarks — beamed into a small conference room in a 15th-century marble palace in a secluded corner of the Vatican — were part of a 50-minute Q&A during a conference focused on poverty hosted by the Human Dignity Institute, which BuzzFeed News attended as part of its coverage of the rise of Europe’s religious right. The group was founded by Benjamin Harnwell, a longtime aide to Conservative member of the European Parliament Nirj Deva to promote a “Christian voice” in European politics. The group has ties to some of the most conservative factions inside the Catholic Church; Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the most vocal critics of Pope Francis who was ousted from a senior Vatican position in 2014, is chair of the group’s advisory board.

    Human Dignity Institute - let's just say: Looks a lot like the Mimetic stuff that Breivik was LARPing (or not, case still open, eh?).


    Bannon is usurping the Enlightenment version of Capitalism, claiming it for the Alt-Right and tying himself directly into a thick stream of "Deus Vult" and genocidal war against Islam(ists, but we doubt that they make that distinction) while erasing the actual history of Civilization in the process.

    No, really. 100% that's the play-book. (Which will probably make the Rabid Puppies make a little bit more sense now).

    Comment: As noted even with Malthus, this is 100% not what the Enlightenment version of Capitalism is about. Look at the RSA, Guardian etc.


    Nope. Cull at will, the meta-meta-meta of them isn't useful apart from to a tiny fraction of readers anyway.


    To which I may add that Charlie & I, as openly professed atheists, would probably be in the Konzntrazionslaager even faster than muslims, who it appears are going to be "registered" Yellow Stars or Yellow Crescents, anyone ??

    The speed at which this appears to be going downhill is really frightening.


    I'd go so far as to say that Pence read "The Handmaid's Tale" and decided it was a utopia, not a dystopia.

    "The Handmaid's Tale — Now in Production, Coming 2017"

    (from a tweet)


    The nightmare at this point is the "Republicans" control ALL THREE branches; The only thing blocking the rolling back of the New Deal (FDR) and Great Society (LBJ) programs they (or their Donor Class) don't care for was- President Obama.

    No More Obamacare; Privatizing Medicare (Socialized medicine for anyone over 65); No More Food Stamps, to be replaced with diminishing block grants to the states, to be spent at the states discretion. Well, maybe I can get a job in my Church Food Pantry. They are big on the "Faith Based Initiatives"


    See my reply to Charlie @ 239, above. I was not aware that Bannon was so openly anti-atheist. Thank you for confirming my worst suspicions.

    Note also, the tie-up with the ultra-right in the RC church. Well we know where that little trend came from don't we ???

    SEE ALSO here

    Euwww ....


    I wish to elaborate on that, if Pence has his way, most of the believers in the United States would be second class at best, for reasons of heresy. What passes for conservatives these days tend to be weak on history, grasping only enough for support (Drunk, lamp post.) what Pence fails to grasp is the depth of ugly when believers take up weapons over matters of belief. Denominations that look interchangeable from the outside have deep historical distrusts and hatred between them. And, as you stated, those outside the circle of belief have no place at all. You may see a day when the United States is discussed in the past tense.


    Actually, Republican State legislatures have been dutifully passing a petition for a Constitutional Convention. They only need three or four more at this point (Two Thirds).

    Read some RW fiction, they really think things like a (Mandatory) balanced federal budget and Hard money are GOOD ideas. Enough of the Right to Life Crowd go along with this, it could be really ugly.


    Just saw Adam Curtis's "HyperNormalisation" yesterday, amazing work. Watching it, I thought that it kinda reflected the ideas of Beige Dictartorship, but couldn't remember where I read about it :) So thank you. What I got from it, is that no one has a clue about what the future could be, so they all just try to patch the holes as they appear. Meanwhile, the humanistic ideas are slowly drowning. The issue as I see it, is that there is no alternatives left. Sure, there's marvelous ideas (like trans-humanism etc), but they don't really offer a roadmap of how to get there...

    Life's too complicated for humans to navigate, probably the best action would be to work on friendly AI, to take over this shit-show. The 21st century is not the end of history, just ideas.


    Generally, aren't non-believers better off than heretics? "They don't pray" seems to be better regarded than "THEY PRAY WRONG!"


    YES The amazing 1960's BBC TV series "The Rise of Christian Europe" presented as a series of lectures (!) by Hugh Trevor-Roper was strong on this. Heretics were "Even wronger" that heathens or unbelievers, because they ought to know better......

    Saquatch @ 2244 Correction: It is going to be really ugly - not "could be".


    Not in my case, I had beliefs and left them, in their view, I'm damned. My child and stepchild are in the LGBT spectrum, also damned.


    Tie-in as counter-point to Bannon, file under 'conspiracy theory', but well-researched. Some tantalizing stuff on Henry R Luce and Mussolini (p68). The real value is the appendices (p84 onwards) sourcing actual documentation.

    Deep Politics: Institutionalized Corruption at the Top and the Corporate Assault on Democracy, PDF, 111 pages so large.

    Really interesting part: p106. Quotation "It was costing us a quarter-million dollars a day every time Tom Ridge put us at level orange; and if you add in the National Guard, it was $300,000 a day."

    Since re-entering the private sector, Ridge has served on the boards of The Home Depot, The Hershey Company and Exelon Corporation and as a senior advisor to Deloitte & Touche, and TechRadium. Ridge is also the founder and CEO of Ridge Global, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based security consulting firm. Ridge spent time campaigning with Senator John McCain during his 2008 bid for the presidency and was believed by some to have been on the short list of potential running mates.

    Tom Ridge

    Security Theatre post 9/11 bankrupted State governments, leading to a rise in Republican facing austerity politics: feature or bug?


    For you to have written that sentence with a (metaphorical) straight face, I am guessing that you are a cisgendered heterosexual white male of christian upbringing/background (if not necessarily religiously observant).

    I need to add that you also need to buy into the cisgendered heterosexual christian white male image. That is, you need to look the part, too, to be more safe than most.

    Speaking as a cis-het white male, who although an atheist is culturally quite christian, but who does not always dress the part (for example, wrap-pants, looking at skirts), and who has partly pink hair and earrings. Not that I've personally had that much trouble, but there is quite a lot of silent aggression, and I could very probably get into fights or threats of fights by going to the "wrong places".

    Also, I've been complimented on my Finnish skills, which was quite confusing, as I've been a Finn for whole my life. It might be that nowadays in the public discourse, here in Finland, foreigners and people with foreign background are being commented on more than before. Also, the rise of the far-right facsist (and Nazi) movements doesn't make me feel comfortable - one apparently quite ordinary Finnish person was killed by a member of a Nazi movement for disagreeing with their politics. I could very well make a comment like that, but I don't really want to get killed on the streets.

    The DGSE were completely bonkers and off the map over Greenpeace; suffering from internal groupthink they thought it was some sort of CIA/MI5-sponsored black op, with KGB support, to deprive France of the Bomb,

    Like I said -- stopping the tests necessary to proving the code developed to make more tests unnecessary means stripping France of the Bomb, which means destroying France as France. Greenpeace are lucky that they got away with only one death.

    (Hey, nobody ever said these people were good at long term thinking or had a well developed sense of morals).


    Not the one you were after, which hopefully someone found, but I did find this and had to share it because damn I would have loved to find one of these books back in the day.

    Richard Edes Harrison


    Climate change is one that wants looking at really rather closely, because there is more than one thing actually going on. The original narrative, namely carbon dioxide absorbs some thermal photons and then re-emits them, thus having a partial reflection mode, is true but there are other things going on as well.

    The big thing that the previous theory does not consider is the action of water. Water is really very peculiar stuff; densest at 4 degrees Celcius and a potent greenhouse gas its self, in vapour phase. How much water is in the atmosphere matters a very great deal.

    Clouds are another wild-card factor. Clouds do not form spontaneously, but need a seeding mechanism to form (of which there are several at play). One such seeding mechanism is the action of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere; the more cosmic rays you have, the more clouds form and the more incoming solar radiation is reflected back into space. Of course, if you have a warmer planet, then you have more water in vapour phase and thus more potentially able to form clouds, which is another feedback mechanism.

    Cosmic rays are affected by several things; how many are being emitted in the galaxy, how many are getting through the dust in the ecliptic plane, and how many are being stopped by the solar wind. These two papers make interesting reading on this matter:

    Cosmic ray oscillation

    Climate patterns

    The upshot of this research is that human interference aside, there are several temperature and climatic cycles at play here, ranging from the 11-year Solar Cycle to others with a periodicity of several centuries, which combine to give fairly large inputs into the planetary climate cycle. These need to be accounted for before we start getting into human inputs into the climate of the planet.


    "What do you call that large federal republic on the North American continent. (No, not Mexico, the other one)?"

    Hmm ... not sure ... Did you mean USA or Canada?


    He means America (the country). What Trump wants to make great again.


    Err - Canada is not a "Republic", is it?


    «forces in the West have been complicit with what the Russians are doing because higher living standards, especially sustainable such, are a threat to them. Comfortable people not living in fear»

    I think that our blogger's notion that it is a long term plan of russian subversion overestimates the russians a lot, at least compared to the Davos/Bilderberg global coordination of elite affairs.

    I am more persuaded by the argument that the end of the cold war and "of history" has meant that the "atlantic" elites have decided they no longer need to buy the good will of the "home front" by tolerating social-democratic policies.

    Those "atlantic" elites seem to have decided as you seem to mean that the servant classes need to be kept constantly afraid of displeasing the master classes, and under constant surveillance.

    Also that since some important political agglomerations show centrifugal tendencies, the pressure of an external threat (Russia and Islam have been used, with China as a distant third) is needed to keep them together.


    Tell me something, please. Why do people who call themselves Liberal (that word has changed in meaning so much that a new, and longer word, libertarian, has had to be coined to denote what it used to mean) promote and agree with the importing of people into Western Europe, in their tens of thousands, who have attitudes and beliefs that make the most rabid of American paleoconservatives look modern and agnostic?

    I also think that the creeping shutdown of intelligent debate (or any debate at all, for that matter) on just about any issue (gender politics, the politics of sexuality, religion, the left/right divide) is one of the worst things that is happening in the Teens. (Starting in the 90s, perhaps.)

    That's why the pollsters got it so wrong about the US election. People, or at least some of them, were afraid to say what they really thought.

    "Shut up!", he explained. Liberal, my arse.


    Depends on your definition of "republic" really. If you define it as a state governed by representative institutions under the rule of law then Canada along with the UK, the Scandinavian and Benelux monarchies etc are more "republican" than most countries that have the word in their official title.


    People are accepting of refugees and immigration because there is no way to halt it that do not involve atrocity. The conditions these people are fleeing are extreme, and there are no humane moves that would actually stop them from running towards places that are not massively fucked up.

    People say "Well, put up camps in the near area.." but refugee camps are hellholes. They're known to be hellholes. Noone with any sense is going to stop there, any more than anyone with an ounce of sanity is going to flee from ISIS into Saudi Arabia.

    Thus, the choices on the table is are a neo-colonial project where we simply take over and put in order any area that becomes a refugee source - an endless parade of High Representatives of X, or we get better at adult education and other measures to integrate people into our society faster.

    Because look at a map. You think Trump's wall is impractical? Europe is one long crinkly coastline bordering seas you can navigate with courage and a dingy.

    I mean sure, in theory, we could set up Free Cities to act as immigration targets. Buy a piece of land off someone on the north african coast, implement a Land Value Tax, dig severs and train a civil service to european standards, and run it to EU regs. That would work until the local powers realized just how catastrophically bad a successful city, using "their" citizens, and their resources makes them look, at which point, we'd have to defend them militarily, and we're back to "Colonialism, 2.0".


    As evidence accumulates that Trump benefited from a lot of late deciders breaking his way, the case that it was Comey gets stronger 1/

    So it looks more and more as if we had an election swung, in effect, by a faction of our own security sector in alliance with Putin 2/ Paul Krugman, 17th Nov 2016.

    Krugman is 100% top of the pile of hated economists by the 'gold n guns' Libertarian blogosphere (which has been co-opted to various ends). So this is the start of a Line being formed - if Krugman is willing to state this publicly, well.


    Some of us have been attempting to parse the opposition side and moderate it into acceptable boundaries while respecting their thoughts/feelings on the issues, and had some limited success. The response has been full on Fascism (Bannon is poisonous, you don't get to call for Holy War and be on Jesus' side) & blatant cheating.

    There's probably a lesson there.

    Promoting human dignity based on the recognition that Man is made in the Image and Likeness of G_d

    There a couple ways to parse that statement: one is a shit load of hubris. Might want to check out the next line:

    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    Not doing so well on that one. I don't think the concept of a second coming is going to go well if the place is trashed.

    Indians, White People and God's Earth YT: Louis CK, comedy, 4:37 (Known also as "What happens if G_D came back).


    So maybe colonialism is the better option?


    I know I'm viewing this election in terms of race. If you want me to stop, please let me know.

    It seems that support for Clinton among minorities varied by state. A pity, since the electoral college is still in play. I am not doing this for every swing state. If someone else wants to do this research, please let me know.


    Chris Rock has a routine that goes something like this: "Everyone tells you to be who you are. Are you crazy? So all the maniacs and pedophiles should be who they are." I guess new South Park is about that. People do lots of stuff they are not proud off. Keeping some secrets is better than normalization of criminal behavior. But if president can do it why not everyone. Soon every idiot will have a right to drive on left or right side of the road as s/he pleases. Well, that is his choice and opinion, why not.


    And for the first part of the question: because building a wall is stupid and won't work. Check Eastern Germany and Russia. The only way is integration and slowly proving that good life exists and they can have it.


    the importing of people into Western Europe, in their tens of thousands, who have attitudes and beliefs that make the most rabid of American paleoconservatives look modern and agnostic?

    Because that's not actually what's happening, and if you think it is, you're reading the wrong media.

    Firstly, refugees head for the nearest prosperous, stable location (as Thomas Jørgensen noted). They generally retain their background culture for some time -- typically a generation -- so that it takes the first generation born on new soil to grow up with new norms and a new language before they acculturate. The current refugee crisis is too recent for this process.

    Secondly, it helps to have a culture in which assimilation is seen as a priority. The USA had its "melting pot" myth; for the most part, European nations don't -- although some are traditionally better than others; prior to the influx from Algeria at the end of the war, France was very good at imposing a national culture on new immigrants. (The reasons why France tripped over on dark-skinned North Africans are complex but a good chunk of racism is part of the picture.) Germany in contrast imported guest workers from Turkey ... then kept them from applying for citizenship via a piece of constitutional Catch-22 which has only recently been revoked. And so on. Bluntly, racism against people who are visually distinctively different (on the basis of skin color) is a thing.

    Thirdly, a proportion of the discriminated-against immigrant communities responded to their perception of being stomped on -- either by a hostile surrounding population, or by the west in general shitting on their relatives back in the Old Country -- by angrily pushing back. This is normal and natural. What's less normal is that the new media environment gave griefer organizations like Al Qaida and Da'esh opportunities to reach the angry disaffected youth and recruit them. The fact that lots of teen agers are heading to Syria to fight for Islamic State armed with copies of a book titled ISLAM FOR DUMMIES should tell you just how deeply this violent impulse is rooted in their traditional culture. (Snort.)

    As for your "shutdown of debate" on issues like sexuality in the 90s, tell that to anyone who's LGBT and who remembers what it was like in the 70s or 80s. Here's a clue: what we've seen has been a sudden increase in debate, as we've been able to come out in public without fear of being arrested or persecuted. What you take to be a shutdown of debate is actually a symptom of the loss of privileged status for bigoted and hostile views of minorities. Because if you've got a bully pulpit, losing it and being forced to debate on equal terms with everyone else can feel a lot like persecution.

    And as to how I feel about on that latter point? World's smallest violin, motherfuckers.


    Here's the thing that bugs me about this:

    Communism back in the day was a conspiracy to take over the world. Prior to that, the Russian Empire played the great game primarily to protect itself: The lessons of the Mongol invasions, and the lack of any physical border with the steppe, go deep.

    Looking at the Wikipedia version of Foundations of Geopolitics, it looks like they're playing the Great Game again, and for the same reason: we're threatening their borders.

    I'll come back to this.

    The second player is China: for the last 3500 years or so, there's been a battle over who controls what we call China (if you think of "China" as equivalent to "Europe" rather than as equivalent to "England," it's easier to get your head around). The Han Chinese (who are not a homogeneous group, propaganda notwithstanding) have basically "won" the battle, at the moment, and they've even conquered their long time rivals, the Tibetans and the Mongolians. Beyond that, China never got into the colonial game. Their game was more the Chinatowns of ex-pats all over the world, which is, again, something traders have done since Roman times.

    The key question for China watchers is whether they've changed or not. The signals are mixed: they're planting factories and such all over the world, American-style, but they're not planting colonies. The South China Sea has always been seen as a flashpoint, because so much trade passes through it, but beyond that? Hard to tell. They've got serious problems of their own. It's unclear to me whether they'll try to resolve their problems internally (revolt and reform, their traditional pattern) or imperial expansion (export trouble, import resources, a la Imperial Japan). Both might happen.

    So, looking at Russia and China, do we have a global conspiracy? Hardly. Russia is, quite rightly, afraid that China will take Siberia away from them. If China doesn't get climate change under control, they're going to have to relocate a good chunk of the population of south China elsewhere due to heat, humidity, and rising sea levels. Sending them north into Siberia isn't quite as stupid as it sounds. Russia has owned that area primarily because no one else wanted it, but it could easily become a battleground in the future, because it's a sparsely settled land in a time when we've got a lot of potential colonists. The Himalayas will also likely become a battleground between China and India, here because most of the water for billions of people comes out of that range, and they're a possible spot for resettlement of all the refugees forced out by rising seas.

    Turkey is still caught up in the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire: if you read any history, it often takes centuries for the reverberations of empire to settle down, and it's been less than a century since the Ottoman Empire was forcibly (and stupidly) dismantled by the British Empire. Speaking of which, it's been less than a century since the British Empire started collapsing, and it's still falling apart. But getting back to Turkey, it's hard for me to tell how much of this crap is the old Ottoman Empire echoes, how much of this is climate change, and how much of this is echoes of the Cold War.

    SO what do we have here? --The basic geopolitics that drove the Great Game still in force in Asia. --Climate change is rightly freaking out all the military planners, because hundreds of millions of desperate people on the move is always a huge problem. India's built a fence between it and Bangladesh, Trump's planning a wall, Israel's building walls, and so forth. They work as much to keep populations in as out, but they never work all that well. This is where Trump can royally screw the US, because taking our eye off this ball means we miss something really, really important. --Democracies have been pwned because, well, that playbook goes back to Machiavelli and has been elaborated ever since. Any political system can be pwned, and the advantage to democracy is that no people die during regime change. That we're getting pwned again shouldn't be any surprise: what we're fighting for is peaceful transfer of power, although we think we're fighting for mum, apple pie, and a chance to not care about politics. --Speaking of which, all the stupid espionage/psyops/subversion and destabilization stuff the British, Russians, and others started with the Great Game, which continued into the Cold War, has pretty much entirely hit the streets. Everyone's doing it now, and as always, it doesn't require a conspiracy, any more than hackers conspire on DDOS attacks when the software is freely available.
    --technological destabilization, in that it's cheap and easy to create huge databases and mine them. My guess is that this period is going to be brought down by WW1 (Web War 1), wherein the IoT makes Americans (and possibly others) so vulnerable that we get the equivalent of the Butlerian Jihad, devolving the Web into splinternets, simply because people are scared, and fear is one of the few things that trumps convenience.

    How will it all play out? Probably badly, but in a way that's hard to predict.

    As for what peace-loving people can do, here are a few ideas: --Live partly by Moscow rules. In other words, adopt some of the CIA or other tactics for officers. Make sure some part of your public record is false or misleading, not because you have anything to hide, but as a way to sabotage pattern recognition systems looking at your data. You want the Butlerian Jihad, start by spamming Big Data. --Realize that capitalism got its start with the arms trade, human trafficking, and drugs, and even when these sectors have been outlawed, they've never disappeared. A lot of what we regard as proper capitalism evolved out of these rather repugnant origins, but I don't think you can only have the good parts of capitalism without having the bad ones. If you want to control the problem, you've got to control capitalism, not just try to suppress parts of it. And that's a big, big problem.
    --Another point is that there's a constant dialog between the dark side of capitalism and the dark side of politics. The OSS borrowed many tactics from the Mob, for example, and they're scarcely alone, and AQ and the Zetas got many of their tactics from the CIA. It's always tricky to distinguish copying from conspiracies, but I suspect we've got more of the former than the latter going on at the moment. --Fight locally. Yes, it's a global problem, but you're not a member of the Super race. If the problem could be solved by one person, it wouldn't be a problem. Yes you've got to collaborate with other people, but you're not going to save the world by yourself.
    --Too bad Gene Sharp started selling his books. He used to give them away for free.


    As a scientist (Nuclear magnetic resonance) I accept understanding is important; but understanding everything is not always necessary to approximate a solution to a problem. Climate change is the most important existential threat we face; saying 'Whoa there! Lets hold on while while we get this cosmic ray problem sorted...' Is not going to be helpful if the dissolved CO2 content of the oceans makes them acidic enough to kill off the plankton; turning them anoxic. Or if major ice sheets collapse. Or if parts of the world get so hot you die without air con, even if you're naked and wet. Parts of the artic are 20C above the average temperature. The threat is immediate; we have run out of time.

    The two most complicated system we've found in the universe have to be the human mind and the climate. If you're not a climatologist; the only rational way to act in the next generations best interests is to listen to them.

    If the situation we somewhat reversed and climatologists could prove glaciers would sweep majestically sweep across the landscape, turning us in to a 'barbarian from the North (tm)'; we might we reasonably decide to pump CO2 into the atmosphere. Low cosmic rays or not.

    Thats why if the two major playbooks in the world at the moment are followed :- The Constitution of Liberty by F. Hayek And Dugins Foundations of Geopolotics We are in for a grim future, because they do not promote any kind of collective action to solve world wide problems; which managing climate change is going to require.


    Oh, and a couple of other thoughts: --What happens if the western powers stop trying to destabilize Russia? That's the essence of the Great Game: provoking a Russian empire that's justifiably paranoid by trying to mess with it. This isn't peace in our time, because there's nothing I'd like more than to see Putin go down in a decent democratic revolution. That said, why keep prodding them? Why not let them chew on themselves for a change? Or why not let them scrap with China, if you're into bloody minded pragmatism.*

    --Aside from basic humanitarianism and a global-cop peacemaking role, does NATO have a place in keeping India and Pakistan from going into a nuclear war? Or keeping India and China from fighting a water war over the Himalayas? Trump and his supporters would say no. What's the convincing counterargument? I mean this seriously, and not because I have any malice towards any of these countries or their people. The problem is that we need to have really good arguments for keeping the peace. What are those arguments?

    *Personally, my sympathies are with the conscripts and refugees, which is why I favor population control and an end to war. But I lost in this last election.


    Since we're usually the Cassandra side of the coin, here's an interesting one (via Sky, Murdoch seems to be getting involved... in a pro-EU way?!? Cats & Dogs, living together! Or it could simply be a version of "burn the evidence", a more probable motive: hello Casino rules):

    The leaked audit – obtained by Sky News – focused on money provided to the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe, a European political grouping dominated by Ukip...

    However, an EU spokesperson said the “lion's share” was by Ukip, amounting to over €450,000 (£386,961). If the bureau, next Monday, agrees with the conclusion of the external audit, Ukip could be forced to pay back more than €170,000 (£146,185), while not being able to claim hundreds of thousands more...

    Ukip was said to be furious the audit was leaked to a media outlet before it had a chance to see it, suggesting it was leaked by the European Parliament itself.

    Ukip 'misspent almost £400,000 of EU money on Brexit campaign and general election' Independent 17th Nov 2016.



    You are still crying wolf.


    Re: 'Handmaid's Tale'

    Or Heinlein's 'Coventry', Animal Farm, 1984, etc.

    I second an earlier poster's suggestion along the lines of: 'SF/F authors, time to start banging out scenarios for fixing this nightmare.'


    So, looking at Russia and China, do we have a global conspiracy?

    China is also very leery of Russia, and has been for at least a couple of generations.

    One of my nieces' grandparents were pretty high up in the PLA, and back during the Korean War* they were planning defences against both the USA and the USSR. MacArthur threatening to nuke Manchuria had big effects in China, and they didn't trust Stalin either. Beijing being within easy bomber range of the USSR was also a big worry**.

    So I don't see China and Russia being more than allies-of-convenience. Even when they were both "Communist", they were very different places with different leadership styles and goals.

    *Seen by China (or at least the Chinese military leadership) as a pre-emptive strike against a South Korean that was planning on invading the North.

    **For equivalent effect, imagine the US reaction if the USSR had had somehow been able to site bombers (or missiles) within easy reach of the mainland US.


    Interesting author: Scott Alexander.

    Let's see if those criticisms are probably just 'crying wolf', open mind and...

    Suppose you’re talking to one of those ancient-Atlantean secrets-of-the-Pyramids people. They give you various pieces of evidence for their latest crazy theory, such as (and all of these are true):...

    She asks you, the reasonable and well-educated supporter of the archaeological consensus, to explain these facts. After looking through the literature, you come up with the following:

    Oh. Good start there.

    Stop centering criticism of Donald Trump around this sort of stuff, and switch to literally anything else. Here is an incompetent thin-skinned ignorant boorish fraudulent omnihypocritical demagogue with no idea how to run a country, whose philosophy of governance basically boils down to “I’m going to win and not lose, details to be filled in later”, and all you can do is repeat, again and again, how he seems popular among weird Internet teenagers who post frog memes. In the middle of an emotionally incontinent reality TV show host getting his hand on the nuclear button, your chief complaint is that in the middle of a few dozen denunciations of the KKK, he once delayed denouncing the KKK for an entire 24 hours before going back to denouncing it again. When a guy who says outright that he won’t respect elections unless he wins them does, somehow, win an election, the headlines are how he once said he didn’t like globalists which means he must be anti-Semitic.

    This is a major case of Dunner-Kruger effect.

    Fact: Bannon is the producer of pro-Palin / Tea-party (Koch Cash) propaganda media that deliberately tapped into the psychological tricks that Nazis used, but more importantly, targeted the same conceptual / mimetic / ideological areas (the latter is the offensive bit).

    Fact: Bannon is executive chairman of Breitbart media.

    Fact: Bannon is on record (see this very thread) as stating his goal is an anti-Islam(ist) crusade to protect "Judaeo-Christian Value Capitalism" (hint: this is not a version of Enlightenment Capitalism by a wide margin, claiming it is a gross distortion of Reality).

    Fact: Bannon is part of the Trump Transition team and is placed to have an important role post-transition (Stephen Bannon: White House role for right-wing media chief BBC 14th Nov 2016.


    It'd be nice (WOULD YOU KINDLY) if the know-nothing scrapings of the erstwhile popular on HN crowd ('Libertarian / Rational Thinkers') stepped aside and let the adults work.


    The good news for a US theocracy, and something I don't think many folks who haven't been to church in America is how freaking splintered the Christian movement is and how quickly theocracy/dominionism would turn to vicious infighting.

    High points, the big Christian churches in Western Europe are Catholic, Lutheran, and Reform. CoE is a bit between Catholic and Lutheran, and forms what's known as High Church in the US or mainline protestants (Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Congregationalists are also considered mainline) . Reform covers the Scottish church as well as Swiss Calvinism, etc, and most of the rests are back imports. Lots of influence by the English Civil War as well, so Quakers, Anabaptist, as well as immigrants like the Mennonites came over due to this.

    Evangelical Protestants in the US are actually incredibly splintered. Despite mega churches galore, their actual identity tends to rapidly splinter. Most since the US was historically the dumping ground for religious refugees. They get to the US and splint and interact and splint. Baptists and Pentecostal are fairly American evangelical churches, along with Adventists and other similar groups. There's actually something like 50 different baptist denominations due to the splintering (and some of it's political/ethnic like Southern v. North due to splits on Slavery, as well as lots of theological differences). Pentecostal churches often act quasi independent from each other, following charismatic leaders more than anything else imho.

    So what this means is while many folks who are nominally Christian may like the idea of a 'Christian' nation, there will rapidly be a falling out as everyone realizes their fellows in arm aren't the 'right type' of christian. Raised catholic myself in town full of various evangelical types trying to poach teens for each other churches. I found out quickly that catholicism was never the 'right type' of Christians for the holy rollers. Additionally their opinions on LDS are pretty bigoted.

    So I don't think they could ever pull off Handmaiden's tale, simply because their united front only goes on a few common issues dealing with gays, women and if the nation is a 'christian nation'. The night of the long knives would quickly start


    Can we perhaps discuss the neo-technocratic forces undergirding this massive white-nationalist machine?


    Re: 'The key question for China watchers is whether they've changed or not. The signals are mixed: they're planting factories and such all over the world, American-style, but they're not planting colonies.'

    Financial news articles since about 2010 have regularly commented about the increasing number of moneyed PRC moving out of China. Not the old-school colonization, just using money as their key to enter quite a few different countries. This past year the province of BC (Canada) passed legislation slapping an additional tax on BC real estate purchased by non-residents. Large part of the reason for this was that BC esp. Vancouver real estate prices were increasing many times beyond affordability. Another part of this problem was that the houses were mostly sitting empty (amid a housing shortage) and/or were being flipped thereby driving housing prices even higher. There may be other geographies where real estate markets have been similarly affected by an influx of nouveau riche Chinese.

    The big difference in this type of immigration is that it's being done on a more widespread rate so it seems a trickle, nothing more. (Probably to avoid the problems Hong Kong emigres faced in the late '90s.) Unfortunately PCR census data sucks and I'm not sure how or if this type of quasi-immigration would be gathered/reported by census departments in other countries.


    The scary bit is a convention allows lots of Amendments at once. Fortunately you still need 3/4ths of them to come in.


    Ok, so we kinda know what is happening.

    What is the plan? Obviously solution to new era with pissed off, easily manipulated people and rouge nations is what:

    a) play Machiavelli (hack their emails, make our Leni R.) b) samehow seize back some institutions, work slowly while being cussed by public c) don't bother, entropy is going to work anyway


    The other lesson is we need to do some reorg and have a constitutional watchdog with teeth against the security agencies. An agency whose sole focus is watching the watchmen. The FBI has meddled several times with the elections. Hoover blackmailed presidents. His would be successor Felt used leaks to unseat a president. Comney meddled at least twice, timing it for max effect.

    We need a Federal Police force, but we don't need it full of would be secret masters. I'm horrified at what the other agencies could be doing we don't know about. The NSA has the abilities to also monitor our highest levels and use this to influence everything.

    Parts of the ar[c]tic are 20C above the average temperature. The threat is immediate; we have run out of time.

    Which parts? Which average? Relative to last year? Ten years ago? Twenty? Year to year changes can definitely be scary looking, but I'm not sure it's the best approach to use to convince people.

    Like the ~+20.1 C difference between here in 2015 ...and the same spot in 2016?

    If that is bad, there was a ~-21 C difference between this other spot in 2015 and the same spot in 2016 so is that good?

    The temperature at a given spot in the Arctic is not the best canary in this coal mine before you start trying to figure out what an average of temperatures means, or what effect that average would have on things.

    It's obvious enough that burning coal and oil is an unsustainable energy source with awful effects on the environment at this point, isn't it? Pointing to a spike on a graph isn't going to convince people who aren't on board anyways, and from what I've seen just inspires distrust or flat out rejection of data entirely. Even worse when they get shouted down for pointing to a drop, if it's proof when you do it, but cherry-picking denialism when they do it, nobody listens to each other and you wind up with non-intersecting echo chambers where there could be an educational discussion.

    It is maddening though, I understand, but trying to fight belief with facts is one of those things that feels like it should just be a matter of assembling the information properly, but the presentation turns out to be as important or more so than the meat of the argument, as was just illustrated by Trump.


    Derped, the second link should have been this one but I got caught up playing with the damn thing again and forgot what I was doing before I came back over here.


    I don't think they will fully win the Supreme Court. Obama may try a hail mary and just appoint Garland, and may make the argument the Senate waived its duty to consent. But even if they get to fill the empty spot, it means only that Scalia gets replaced with a Scalia.

    I'm personally praying for RBG to beat JPS's record on the court. She's 83, and believe she should only step down at death or incapacity. She'd represent a bigger tilt to the court.

    The scary bit isn't actually SCOTUS. It's the lower courts. Basically gridlock that the Democrats have a hand in due to not appointing GWB's judges after the 2006 election meant the republicans have been slow on appointments since 2010. There's 103 federal judge slots vacant. 59 have proposed replacements. The Senate has declined to confirm many of these since the current congressional session started.

    By picking the right lower court judges and declining to appeal rulings against the government that Trump is ok with is one way to get some of their agenda passed.

    Obama could try and do the senate waiver argument on all these vacancies. But it risks setting a precedent.


    One last Bannon quotation, in a rather post-election drive to underline just how stupid he is being:

    I’m not an expert in this, but it seems that they have had some aspects that may be anti-Semitic or racial. By the way, even in the tea party, we have a broad movement like this, and we’ve been criticized, and they try to make the tea party as being racist, etc., which it’s not. But there’s always elements who turn up at these things, whether it’s militia guys or whatever. Some that are fringe organizations. My point is that over time it all gets kind of washed out, right? People understand what pulls them together, and the people on the margins I think get marginalized more and more...

    I think when you look at any kind of revolution — and this is a revolution — you always have some groups that are disparate. I think that will all burn away over time and you’ll see more of a mainstream center-right populist movement.

    This is a man who is presenting as opposing the worst Islamist movements with apparently no conceptual understanding that 'burn out over time' usually means (from Robespierre onwards) 'literally burnt out in a massive blood-bath' or that he's using exactly the same methodology as them.

    Oh, and if you want to really wake up - Bannon ran Biosphere 2 for a couple of years and is very well aware of Climate Change, despite the Breitbart editorial stance against it (Trump’s Campaign CEO Ran a Secretive Sci-Fi Project in the Arizona Desert Motherjones Aug 2016). He's also ex-GS.

    Which means he analyzed the same data and came to the same conclusions, but opted for the "triage mostly brown people" option.

    And no, I'm not even joking - the probability on that is extremely high.


    Yikes .. forgot that televangelists (Christian) often get involved in US elections despite ballyhooed separation of church and state. And, yes - the most right wing preachers got very, very involved.

    See photo of TD holding hands with/receiving blessing from some televangelists ...


    Some fictional futures we need to avoid in the 21st Century:

    Hot Earth Dreams Lucifer's Hammer Blood Music (or facsimile thereof with dry nano) 1984 (or, possibly worse, Brave New World) "If This Goes On" (or variants with other religions) On The Beach Neuromancer

    Any more? Some of those have technological solutions; in some cases, the particular solution to use is a matter of debate. And it usually isn't simple. To take an example, it's not at all clear that air travel has a positive effect on global temperature, even if human-achievable levels of greenhouse gases have such an effect. Why? Because air travel increases global albedo. IIRC, levels of cirrus cloud over the North Atlantic have increased by around 30% since the introduction of jet airliners.

    And I have seen why. It doesn't always happen, by any means, but a couple of weeks ago I happened to look up; and half the sky was covered in clouds that were obviously jet contrails which had spread out. And, as it happens, I have seen a serious suggestion that increasing Earth's albedo could be achieved by doping jet fuel with sulfur.

    All the possible futures I have just mentioned are about as ghastly as each other. 1984 and Brave New World are, at the moment, rather more likely than the fundamentalist hellhole described by Heinlein, at least in the UK. (IMHO, natch.)

    We need to avoid all of them, and it won't be done by shutting people up. No matter how unpleasant they are, as long as there aren't any actual threats of violence.

    On that note, there have been at least two public threats to assassinate Donald Trump. So much for the peace-loving Left.


    The good news is they tend to get really into doctrinal disputes, so I don't think they could pull off a theocracy.

    Unfortunately, they could agree enough to make America suck again for LGBTQ folks and women. Not to mention most of them have latched on to prohibitions on lending in the bible and believe credit is evil. (but Tithing is good!).



    In the time it took to read your response, I found scientific research data showing the opposite to your claims.

    Knock yourself out (note the +12oC range / blanket):

    Arctic Oscillation and Polar Vortex Analysis and Forecasts AER Nov 14th 2016

    And since Russia has seemingly locked down direct access to PDFs on certain sites (403'd - a bad sign), here's a cached version of a 2014 paper highlighting how much faster Siberia is warming than the rest of the globe (remember the word "average"). Oh, and you'll need to be able to read Russian, but hey:


    Of course, if you wanted to start to understand just how badly you're being lied to, check this out:

    On October 31, 2016, the Arctic Ocean was as warm as 17°C or 62.7°F (green circle near Svalbard), or 13.9°C or 25°F warmer than 1981-2011. This indicates how much warmer the water is beneath the surface, as it arrives in the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic Ocean.

    Less sea ice, warmer Arctic Ocean Artic News, 4th Nov 2016.

    The specific temperature chart you'll want to view is this one.

    You'll note the huge -negative anomaly over Siberia. No, this does not mean the globe is cooling, it's a very very bad sign.

    But what may be the most impressive large-scale climate anomaly this fall so far has been the behavior of the stratospheric PV. Increasing greenhouse gases favor a colder stratosphere and therefore a strengthened polar vortex in the absence of increased poleward heat flux, yet this fall the stratospheric PV emerged this September in a weakened state. And I would argue in large part due to the rapid advance of Siberian snow cover coupled with low Arctic sea ice, the PV has never fully recovered. At the end of October and the beginning of November the PV underwent an unprecedented early split. The PV has since remained relatively weak and the models are predicting further weakening with more aggressive model forecasts predicting a major mid-winter warming before the month of November concludes. I question whether the PV will enter MMW territory before month’s end (the earliest MMW observed is currently November 30th 1958) but regardless further weakening appears likely. Why the PV has been weak all fall despite radiative forcing to the contrary, is an open science question and could be related to a record warm Arctic and/or the record weak PV split last March obfuscating a final warming in the PV last spring.


    Any questions?

    link text


    elfey1: agreed, agreed, agreed.

    Any idea how to mitigate judge app?


    Have you not heard of a concept called the Overton window?

    Or the saying that 'the only difference between heresy and orthodoxy is the passage of time'?

    Political ideologies adapt over over time, and libertarianism has NEVER mapped onto any variant of Liberalism.

    Unless Libertarianism has always supported colonialism, denying women the vote, and using taxation to build up an invincible military, which is what Liberalism constituted, in Britain at least, between 1901 and 1922.


    SFReader @ 273: You are thinking of "If This Goes On-" the Story FC mentions in the post I'm replying to. It is the story of the overthrow of a US theocracy. "Coventry" is a Heinlein story set after the overthrow, dealing with the new society's version of a criminal justice system*.

    Fletcher Christian @287: "If This Goes On" (or variants with other religions) […] 1984 and Brave New World are, at the moment, rather more likely than the fundamentalist hellhole described by Heinlein, at least in the UK.

    In that Heinlein timeline, the UK is actually a worse place to be. A nuclear WWIII destroys Europe and the UK is not much better off. In Methuselah's Children there is a suggestion that the Howard Families take over Great Britain and then expand into Europe as fallout decay permits.

    (What happens to the rest of the world is unclear. I suspect that the then-undeveloped world never developed. But I digress.)

    The timeline without the theocracy was even worse than that, since the US was part of WWIII and all higher life forms died out.

    • The only things that are crimes are things that damage another person against their will**. Crime is a mental illness. If you are likely to reoffend you must either submit to ultra-tech brainwashing or get sent into anarchic internal exile.

    ** Not sure how they handle reckless endangerment that didn't result in harm.


    Another part of this problem was that the houses were mostly sitting empty (amid a housing shortage) and/or were being flipped thereby driving housing prices even higher.

    Same thing happens in China. When I was there (last decade) you could look up at buildings and see dark apartments, which had been purchased by doting grandparents so their baby grandson had a house (essential for getting a bride). And property speculation was seen as safer than the stock market, because you owned something real rather than just paper.


    There's also issues with having the government using state investment companies to encourage building, and stocks having controls on them making them out of reach for the rising classes.

    Some of those buildings and new cities are starting to be inhabited. Some of them will never be, but they did their job of diverting income from state coal mines to the party officials buddies. (Which to be fair is also how it works in the west with infrastructure projects).


    Oh, and you'll need to be able to read Russian, but hey:

    Not a problem.


    Well, the foreword to that does look somewhat scary. Over 2.5 times the global average rate of warming in Russia, 0.43 C per decade since 1975-ish:

    Начиная с середины 1970-х годов средняя температура приземного воздуха на территории Российской Федерации повышается со средней скоростью 0.43°С за десятилетие, что более чем в два с половиной раза превышает скорость глобального потепления. Особенно значительные изменения климата наблюдаются в Арктике и субарктической зоне многолетней мерзлоты.

    Melting permafrost (многолетная мерзлота) might have methanic consequences.

    IIRC, a disproportionate warming effect of increasing CO2 in the Arctic was predicted back in the 1970s, the reason being that greenhouse gasses are not only CO2, but also H20. In the cold arctic the absolute humidity is lower, so CO2 plays a proportionately greater role.

    Происходящие изменения климата не могут не вызывать серьезной озабоченности, поскольку их влияние на природные и хозяйственные системы, на население становится все более заметным.

    Well, yeah, that's what people outside the denialism bubble are worried about.


    That 2.5x figure is valid 1981-2011.

    The last five years? Not so much.

    And PV (Polar Vortex) is bad news. It's basically one of those Big Ones[tm] signalling that "Shits broken, yo!" (or, bardák! if you'd prefer).


    If you wanted a serious thought on Host's opine - basically you're looking at multi-polar (pun intended) solutions because the localized disasters are going to be... well. Local.

    Disaster relief / mitigation requires strong localized power-bases once a certain frequency occurs.

    Some fictional futures we need to avoid in the 21st Century: Hot Earth Dreams
    Probably too late to avoid that.
    Lucifer's Hammer
    If we avoid that, it'll be by blind luck.
    Blood Music (or facsimile thereof with dry nano)
    That's looking practically upbeat and positive, as far as possible futures go. Fun times! By the way, did you know that there's now a human trial using CRISPR/Cas9?
    1984 (or, possibly worse, Brave New World)

    I'd like to think that 1984 isn't really much of an option, because continuous war for the sake of continuous war sounds like the sort of thing that a sensible modern oligarch wouldn't be at all interested in. I'll freely admit that underestimating the stupidity of people is generally a bad idea, tough. Anyway, they'd all get cooked/drowned by global warming in short order.

    "If This Goes On" (or variants with other religions)

    Hey look, happy ending!

    On The Beach

    I think this one really required mass use of salted bombs, and who the hell can be bothered with those, these days? I suspect the aftermath of any nuclear war will be much less bad than portrayed here. If you're really lucky, it'll stop global warming turning into a complete catastrophe.


    Again, looking back... doesn't seem nearly so bad. Is there a handy word, like Zeerust that describes a fictional dystopia that's actually ends up being merely run-of-the-mill, or insufficiently pessimistic?


    Apropos of nothing in particular, just a possibility of irony. Every time I see Mike Pence, I'm reminded of an Evil Twin version of a "Jonny Quest" character. I couldn't remember the character's name, so looked it up. Turns out to be 'Race' Bannon, wikipedia also adds that the name Bannon is from the Irish for white, and that the character was modeled after a Jewish actor. So childhood memories only partially ruined.

    So much for the peace-loving Left.

    Don't be an arse. No-one ever pretended that the world was split into two homogenous and stereotyped groups.

    It shouldn't really be necessary to point out that the US has a decades long history of self-destructive paranoia precisely because there was such a thing as a non-peace-loving left.


    What on earth are you blithering on about? Climate scientists are well aware of the complexities, and how it isn't just CO2, but methane, fluorine compounds, etc. And that water vapour is a feedback.
    Here's an ancient blog post discussing it:

    Then there's clouds. You are aware that the strong cloud- cosmic ray hypothesis has no evidence for it? No? At most there is a weak effect on cloud formation, e.g.:

    I note that your source is one paper by an independent researcher positing long term lag responses. Can you explain what the paper is about?

    The "fairly large" inputs that you claim are being ignored, have been known about for years and decades and indeed centuries. You need to read up some modern science, Real climate is a good place to start.


    There is a post going round on twitter just now pointing out how under fascism your economic success depends on how friendly you are with the rulers. People are slow to realise that is basically what the UK is rapidly heading towards. Or to elaborate, an unholy mixture of rent seeking parasites taking taxpayer money from their pals in government, and transnational corporations bribing or cajoling said governments into doing things which benefit them. NEt result is loss of middle classes and other stabilising factors, markets become even less free than they were before, and less like markets (although as usual the market worshippers don't want to know) and it becomes harder to be anything like free in the country.

    Sure, in the past politicians mates often did get contracts for stuff on the nod. But the difference now is partly in scale, so that in the old days money tended to be moved about within a region, and it was possible to give better feedback more rapidly (mobs with burning torches), but nowadays the people responsible have control of entire counties, and you can't actually find who to blame, and the money gets siphoned offshore to avoid tax. And also about power, it used to be possible for a higher up the tree person to come from central government and help deal with the local corruption, which would win them votes at least. Now when the central government is corruption, there is nobody to appeal to. Except perhaps the EU, but guess what is happening there?


    Actually, many of us are more worried about what will be given to him to sign, and the agendas of the people he is surrounding himself with. And if Trump should happen to be assassinated, the VP is a gay hating abortion hating right winger.


    Yeah, ex-pats have been messing with the California housing market too. While we generally blame the "Chinese," apparently Russian oligarchs have been a real problem too. As have others.

    The current real estate contracts in California run to dozens of pages across many documents, in part because of games played by international investors trying to pull a fast one when either buying or selling a residence here. A lot of these documents are mutual disclosure stuff, along the lines of "buyer demonstrates that they have the money and the willingness to pay taxes that they are supposed to," and "seller demonstrates that the property they are selling is in fact what they represent it to be," and "real estate agents on both sides aren't playing some sort of complicated game to defraud one or both parties," and "everyone needs to know that the following (XXX) items need to be investigated before the purchase closes, if they want to sue over those things afterwards." Fun stuff indeed.


    And that water vapour is a feedback. Tx for this. I didn't have the will today to launch into a rant about forcing and feedback. Another classic at is Learning from a simple model. Any climate change denier I meet gets the napkin treatment of this. It sometimes helps to be able to draw an optical depth graph from memory e.g. figure 4 from here


    As a german I don't believe that the AfD will be a serious problem in this decade (and probably not in the next): The german political system is very resilient against new parties (see e.g. the Pirates) and right-wing parties usually disintegrate once they get into parliaments. The AfD is actually forcing the left-wing parties to forge a coalition in Berlin now.

    For the current situation in the USA, I think recent posts by Forsetti and Chomsky are required reading.

    Btw, I would love to read your thoughts on HyperNormalisation by Adam Curtis (since you are still a citizen of the UK and can legally see it :).


    Fahrenheit 451.

    Except we're already there. Oops.


    But now the Hound will fly!

    And it won't be books they are after, so much as offline data encrypted without NSA back doors.


    That Chomsky piece is a decent rant, if a bit wordy. Favorite sentence: It is hard to find words to capture the fact that humans are facing the most important question in their history -- whether organized human life will survive in anything like the form we know -- and are answering it by accelerating the race to disaster.

    Personally getting rather frothed up [1] about climate change mitigation vs a D. Trump administration, and the sentiment seems to be broadly common. [1] swore off that for a while; reasons.


    Like many people, I have been trying to figure out what happened this election. Why did America elect someone like Trump as president? I've gone through all of the explanations from economic insecurity of the white working class to racism and misogyny. Then I came across this:

    Turns out that there is a very simple explanation: America goes insane every 50 years or so. From the article:

    "The country experienced a wave of racial and political tensions in the wake of the American Civil War, and Turchin says everything peaked in 1870. In 1920, 50 years later, things got dicey again as anti-Communist fears, race riots, and workers strikes plagued the States. The most recent “cycle of violence,” as he calls them, was in 1970 during the civil rights movement, though this period wasn’t as extreme as its predecessors, according to Turchin’s data. Turchin predicts that the next peak will come in 2020. As a reminder, Donald Trump won the presidency while losing the popular vote last week, so things in America are already pretty tense here in 2016."

    Each 50 year cycle culminates in a wave of insanity that includes several patterns that repeat themselves over and over again with progress followed by backlash:

    • Economically - Rural vs. Urban in a fight over economic growth and opportunity. • Demographically - Natives vs. Immigrants, with a backlash against intrusive foreigners.
    • Culturally - Traditionalists v. Progressives, with expanded rights pitted against eroded privileges.
    • Politically - Liberals v. Conservatives, with a liberal president followed by a reactionary or corrupt president.

    Examining every 50 year cycle we see the following:

    2010s and 20s - Our recent election. Collapse of economic growth in rural heartland Red America compared to booming economies in urban bicoastal Blue America triggering a backlash against globalism. Hispanic and Asian immigrants triggering a nativist response from rural Whites over jobs and cultural identity. Marriage rights for Gays triggering a response form the Religious Right starting with Nan Davis in Kentucky 2 years ago. Liberal Obama followed by racist/corrupt Trump.

    1960s and 70s - The Groovy Sixties. Cities from Watts to Detroit to Newark burning. Black "immigrants" moving into cities followed by White flight to the suburbs. Sex, drugs and rock and roll (along with Civil Rights, Women's Lib, etc.) v. traditional family values. Liberal Kennedy/Johnson followed by corrupt Nixon.

    1910s to 20s - The Roaring Twenties. Rural America faces economic hard time, effectively experiencing the depression a decade before the rest of the country. Massive influx of Catholic and Jewish immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, and Black migration to northern cities triggers a rebirth of the KKK (which had all but disappeared in the late 19th century). Flappers, jazz and bathtub gin v. prohibitionists. Progressive Teddy Roosevelt followed by racist Woodrow Wilson and corrupt Warren Harding.

    1860s to 70s - Civil War and Reconstruction. Agrarian rural South fighting industrialized urban North. Influx of Irish Catholics and emancipation leads to birth of KKK. Reconstruction v. traditional Southern society. Lincoln followed by corrupt Grant administration.

    1820s to 30s - Young America. Birth of industrialism begins to erode the dominance of slave/rural Sothern states. Know Nothings oppose immigration especially Catholics. Abolitionists v slave owners and Jacksonian populism v. aristocratic government. The intellectual John Quincy Adams followed by Andrew Jackson (the Trump of early America).

    In every case, economic, demographic, cultural, and political progress/change of the previous decades is partial undone by a backlash. It's a two steps forward and one step back rhythm, but with the net movement being forward. Judging from history Trump and delay or partially reverse social change.

    But he can't stop it.


    Your's is a typical non-Amercian view. An American view would put Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand first. You can not understand the current Republicans without Any Rand.


    Re: 'You are thinking of "If This Goes On-"'

    You're right - thanks - haven't read Heinlein in over 10 years and not sure I want to re-read him yet.


    Hey - SF authors!

    I could really use a warm & fuzzy set-in-the-future book just now!


    Especially Paul Ryan who tries to square the circle and combine Atlas Shrugged with the new testament of the bible. Al Franken calls it Supply Side Jesus. These two books interacting and people trying to rationalize it is why the prosperity gospel is attractive.


    And there's still a housing market in California with all that legalese, not to mention drought, raging fires, etc? I do not understand this mentality at all.


    Sigh, bugger. Forgot the Cliff notes for Greg / the oldies.

    "WOULD YOU KINDLY" is the catch-phrase from the computer game Bioshock YT: Spoilers : "A man chooses, a slave obeys". 5:47.

    In the terms of the story, it's a psychological control device (a la MK-ULTRA) that gets layered in via voice logs / communications and you (the protagonist) never spot it until the big reveal.

    It's a critique of a Randian utopia, which descends into insanity and barbarism, and the underlying group-think / authoritarian structures hidden within the "Objectivist Individualism".


    Oh - Forsetti - ZZZ, nothing insightful there. Chomsky - as usual, nothing new.

    But we're on best behavior: Host has signified we're not allowed to free-base the worst of your Minds

    Aside ~

    To put it another way: Clinton could have doubled the 517,000 votes she got in Wayne County (Detroit) and still not matched Obama's 2008 vote count.

    I don't know what the hell happened there and I'm sure white supremacy is a huge part of the story, but... I just don't know. I can't put those numbers into any coherent narrative.

    Watches MF not get the Michigan voting numbers, even after Flint / Lead. You fuckers are DUMB

    No, you fucking muppets: they know R fucks them, the corrupt D fucked them as well.


    Oh, and pro-tip: Predators spot that kind of thing a mile away. You were warned. It cost you nothing. You learnt nothing. shrug

    That's a classic error in dealing with Orcas.


    People still want to live there. And the legalize isn't that bad. It's just mortgages and houses tend to be the biggest expense in most peoples lives, so folks are willing to sue. And with lawsuits come laws and contracts.

    And plenty of that legalize has roots in good old American wrong doing to other Americans. And not all of it's wrong doing either, lots of it is simply disagreement, or failure to deal with a situation no one thought of. (Not to mention changing times like Asbestos and Termite inspections).

    You could argue buyer beware, but that legalize is to lance the boil of further lawsuits caused by that attitude.


    Of course, it also shows that mere paperwork is no barrier to having a functioning market. And in many cases is a benefit to all concerned.


    Oh, and if you want funny:

    “Let us not fear what we know to be true. Let us accept what we were founded upon. Our Judeo-Christian ideology built on a moral set of rules and laws. Let’s not fear, but instead fight those who want to impose Sharia law and radical Islamist views.”

    That's Flynn, the General for Trump. Nat Sec. Yadda, yadda, look at that code again. J-C Eschatology.

    ACT! for America San Antonio - Lt. Gen. (Ret) Michael Flynn YT: Aug 15th 2016 1:15 (trust me, it's boring - don't bother watching it).

    The kicker?


    Think back to a video I posted that had 1.3+ mil views in a single day (who, hilariously, then got featured on CNN or whatever about the election - good to see you, Media Gallery, thanks for playing! Author was shocked and amused)

    If you seriously think that ACT (ACT For America CAIR, 28th Oct 2016) are a significant force, then I've a Moon to sell you.



    Next serving National Security...

    You might have spotted something amiss here.

    It's called Reality.


    This is literally the year of the PSYOP Presidency.



    I have the very beginning of a book in progress, in which a) various sorts of parasite on the body politic (HFT traders, tax lawyers, hedge fund execs, investment bankers, megacorp board members...) are well on the way to being extinct after quite a few of them become rather unpleasant street decorations and b) the protagonists have a front-row seat in the (completely justified, in the story) AI robot rebellion. Does that sort of qualify?

    I think R Daneel would do a much better job than any politician we have. What do you think?


    The recent US election was a seminar in how strong and pervasive confirmation bias, bubblethink, motivated reasoning and identity-protective cognition are.

    The polls weren't actually all that off -- substantially so in the Midwest, less so nationally.

    But the groupthink among the pundit class screwed up -interpretation-. Some of the wiser pundits have confessed that they suspected what was happening, but just couldn't bring themselves to say it.

    It was a 'haut' version of the classic remark attributed to Pauline Kael, that she couldn't believe Nixon had been elected because nobody she knew had voted for him. Nobody in the West Village or the Upper West Side, that is, or even in the rural wilds of Westchester County.

    The same thing is happening all over -- the unthinkable can't happen, isn't happening, won't happen... until it does.

    Meanwhile, the FN in France had a remark about Trump's election: "The world has not come to an end. Only -A- world is ending. Their world is crumbling. Ours is being built."

    But hey, it's unthinkable, right?


    Oh, and HN / Tech bros are covering the bases well:

    The Intercept has documented how Wright, as a law professor at George Mason University, received Google funding for at least four academic papers, all of which supported Google’s position that it did not violate antitrust laws when it favored its own sites in search engine requests and restricted advertisers from running ads on competitors. George Mason received $762,000 in funding from Google from 2011 to 2013.

    Wright then became an FTC commissioner in January 2013, agreeing to recuse himself from Google cases for two years, because of his Google-funded research. He lasted at the FTC until August 2015, returning to George Mason’s law school (now named after Antonin Scalia). But Wright also became an “of counsel” at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Google’s main outside law firm. Wilson Sonsini has represented Google before the FTC.

    Wright’s leadership position in the Trump FTC transition flips him back into government work.

    Google Gets a Seat on the Trump Transition Team The Intercept, 15th Nov 2016.


    New Google Parent Company Drops ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Motto TIME, Oct 2015


    Sooooo bored of it.

    We will fight for Enlightenment and stuff, but you're really not helping things.


    It's actually quite simple: each of these documents encapsulates a bunch of legal action. If you want to fly without such things, that's fine, but there's an increased risk that you'll get ripped off, and then you'll get stuck in court for years behind a backlog of dozens, if not hundreds, of identical lawsuits. And my wife spent a month on the jury trial of a Californian doing real estate investment fraud with properties in Arkansas. You like month-long trials?

    Or you can spend a couple of hours reading through legalese and signing it.

    You may not like the legalese, but when homes are in the many hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is cheaper to deal with it than to hope that everything will turn out okay.


    And on the Midwest: live by identity politics, die by them. White voters in the Midwest have traditionally not voted as white people, because they didn't think of themselves in those terms -- they just thought of themselves as "people", the default state. So they divided their votes on things like class, foreign policy, etc.

    The Left has been pushing a theory that white people should become more racially conscious -- apparently thinking that this will lead to mass adoption of their narrative, repentance, reparations and statues of Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    The problem is that there's already a part of the US where white people are strongly conscious of themselves as an ethnic group, and it's called "the South". Where up to 90% of whites vote for the White People's Party, whatever it happens to be, and have since the Civil War. (Slightly disguised recently because the WPP was shifting names.)

    Ethnic groups in politics vote to favor themselves and put the boot into their perceived rivals. No exceptions to be expected; if you do expect that, what planet do you come from, and how many moons does it have?

    If the voting patterns of Alabama spread to the Midwest, the result will be the same. And just as the South did before the North forced it to stop, the forces swept into power by this phenomenon will then jigger the system so nobody else's votes count... only this time there will be no North.


    Taking any proper class in law will quickly show you the weirdest crap happens, some people are jerks, and usually there's a good reason for a strange sounding law. In the parlance of TV Tropes, it's an obvious rule patch.


    Re Michael Flynn, had this link stashed, also long - Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael T. Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (Al Jazeera English, Aug 2015) Note his unwillingness to admit error, often a bad sign.


    You should probably ask Host about the things he has to shield you from.

    We're not really nice fluffy kittens, or Hedgehogs in dinosaur headdresses.

    Well, in one reality we are.

    In another we're something else.

    In another we're quite the opposite.

    We're still deciding.

    Ethnic groups in politics vote to favor themselves and put the boot into their perceived rivals. No exceptions to be expected; if you do expect that, what planet do you come from, and how many moons does it have?

    You're living in a Dream-world, Neo.

    What you think Ethnic groups are, are not.

    It's fucking hilarious.

    You don't even know / see / smell that most female H.S.S. are stripey like tigers and have patterns all over their skins... do you?

    You can't even smell the difference in H.S.S when you're ill, have cancer etc? [ok, ok - we'll play nice tonight, no Mind-Fucks-but-true].

    Oh, and Kirk Douglas was Jewish but no-one knew (!! ALERT !!) but at the same time so clueless about homosexuality he missed the joke about Spartacus! where he was the only one to miss the overtly gay themes (!! ALERT !!).

    Irony. It's multi-layered.

    Pro-tip: Ethnic group doesn't even mean what you think it means. It's all a shell-game.


    We're fairly convinced by now that this is all a reverse Potemkin village, that will work like the opposite of the DNC / Wikileaks banner and one giant Lightning Rod.

    It's up in the air at the moment, lots of fuzzing, recent Obama / Merkel vid conference was pretty "heart-breaking" if you were ignorant about State Sponsored Media & Bullshit.

    But, given the push/shove, "our way of life is non-negotiable", it'll come down to that most pure of American Beliefs. Violence = Solution. The irony is, of course, that all those shouting "Clinton Murder Conspiracy"... will see it enacted. FULL: President Obama Press Conference w/ Angela Merkel on Donald Trump, TTIP & Russia (11/17/16) YT: Reality: 1:43.

    Pro-tip: Don't run your media as propaganda, shit like this won't happen. Derp.

    And no, it's not Russia or Israel. Totally different Predator set. Old-Skool.



    Since Host asked nicely, and puts up with our psychotic breaks[1] and has a harp (currently perhaps broken and un-weaponized).

    Here's the solution: Ecology.

    Want to know how "Gamergate / KIA etc" got changed[2]? Ecology with a splash of Mutualism / Game Theory 'balanced response'.

    Until you learn to view your society / culture / politics / economies / world as ecologies, you're fucked.

    Predators compete against other Predators (ex-species level, if you're trapped in the Alpha Wolf meme, die already, you're obsolete), you need all the rest and most of all: you need to fucking understand systems and let them breath / exist / flourish. Even if you think you're the top predator (pro-tip: you're not[3]).


    Race is on.

    First ones to grasp this get the prize.

    The rest die.

    [1] They're required, by Law. Or at least required as a mirror so not to shatter reality any worse than it is already.

    [2] Yes, yes, the old things are still trying to pluck / use it, but it's now changed. Done Deal, no matter what you think you can now stir.

    [3] Dat moment when those who cheated thought that that audit was what was watching. Nope, silly fuckers. You cheated. You've no idea what was actually happening, still don't. shrug


    But yeah.

    And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    Let's just say the case: Whales vrs Humanity[1], Higher Court (Michael presiding Judge) isn't going to well for you.

    I mean, it's like: technically you get points for not a total genocide because Capitalism discovered that oil (old dinosaurs, 3+ billion years of biology) was easier to process than Whale Oil (~39 mil years ago) but then you like polluted their ears, trapped them in tiny boxes, forced them to do tricks / hunt mines and devastated their ecosystems.

    I mean, technically you kinda weren't total psychopaths.

    But you really were.

    [1] Adjudicators have allowed all similar species to be Grand-Mothered into this case. Orca / Dolphins etc.


    The Left is not a monolith, anymore than conservatives are all Klan.


    I am not an expert on Kirk Douglas, but every time I read an article about Spartacus or Douglas, he speaks about how proud he was to shoot the scene and then to get it restored. Where's your source for him being clueless about it?


    Looking at a summary of Dugin's "Foundations," it seems that a large part of the goal is to foment chaos and confusion in the US. If I'm reading that right, then I suspect the next event (previous to 20 Jan) may possibly be that massive "irregularities" will be found in the voting machines or their function in at least several states.

    That will throw the whole election result into doubt, and the transition into chaos. A maximum mayhem scenario. Everybody screaming and shaking their fists, the US paralyzed for who knows how long. Exeunt pursued by a bear.


    Oh come on. Don't overestimate Dugin. The likes of him go for a rouble a dozen in Russia. I for once did believe Putin when he spoke about inability to influence the US elections (the man is not that divorced from the reality... yet?). And judging by the recent string of high-profile arrests our government has more pressing problems. And while the idea that people would actually elect someone who says what they like to hear may seem shocking... well, it's what we have had for the last 26 years. Never needed outside "help" too.


    Re: Heinlen's "If this goes on", what read like creepy SF in my youth now is starting to look like a legitimate prediction. He's only got the country wrong. Something disturbingly similar is going on in Russia.

    See Exhibit A: Mr. Milonov. Although I would not call St. Petersburg "tolerant", but this article describes the results of his efforts quite nicely. Also, posting photos of him is now a crime:

    See Exhibit B: Mrs. Mizulina. This one is known for her relentless fight with "pedophile lobby" which is apparently controlling the whole world and members of which are identified as "People who disagree with Mrs. Mizulina". Instead of landing her in the madhouse, this "fight" keeps her in parliament.

    Exhibit C: Mrs. Yarovaya. Most famous for her continuation of the war on internet our Exhibit B has started. Also those "anti-terror" laws could be used to enforce religious freedom. Yes, we have Newspeak too.

    Oh, they did not act alone for sure... that's why the previous Duma was called a "mad printer". But they're between the loudest of them and the result of their work was moving toward surveillance society based on perverted version of Christianity and hatred of minorities/foreigners/liberals*... the list goes on. And while most of the people would see them as nutcases, everyone would find something that sounds appealing in the bullshit they throw up. I tend to see some parallels here...

    Oh, and the punchline? All three used to belong to Russia's "liberal"** circles, making them bigots squared. And now you know why I was not surprised when our bigots started cheering the US bigot.

    • Using very loose and questionable definition of "liberal is someone I don't like who I'm afraid to call a homosexual/pedophile".

    ** Here meaning "opportunistic arsehole who'd suck up to whoever gets them cosy placement", the real liberals seem to have been too busy (and stupid) to notice them leeches until it was too late.


    But he can't stop it. Oh yes "he" can, or rather the christofascists (like Pence) can ... Suspend elections, rig elections, call state of emergency & "suspend" elections. All of which are easily plausible


    Oh, and the punchline? All three used to belong to Russia's "liberal"** circles, making them bigots squared. And now you know why I was not surprised when our bigots started cheering the US bigot. For "Our" version of that ... I give you:

    Julian Assange


    It shouldn't really be necessary to point out that the US has a decades long history of self-destructive paranoia precisely because there was such a thing as a non-peace-loving left.

    Actually, it shouldn't be necessary to have to contradict the pernicious propaganda fromthe 19-teens onwards against the left wing in the United States: do I need to give you a run-down of late-19th century anarchist scares, the 1917-19 Red Scare witch hunt, the deportation of Emma Goldman, Sacco and Vanzetti, the IWW, what the Pinkertons were really about, the systematic repression of the trades union movement (which only really survived and prospered in mobbed-up form, unlike elsewhere on the planet where it sprouted moderate-left political parties and ended up in government a few decades later), the imprisonment of Eugene Debs, and so on?

    There was destructive paranoid all right -- on the right, especially in the USA, where the inheritors of the gilded age trusts went all-out to crush organizaed labour as an existential threat and then brainwash successive generations of Turkey-Americans into voting for Thanksgiving out of terror of the alternative.


    Btw, I would love to read your thoughts on HyperNormalisation by Adam Curtis (since you are still a citizen of the UK and can legally see it :).

    I don't generally watch long-form video -- or short-form, for that matter; if you put youtube links here, I ignore them unless you explain what they are and why they're relevant in words of one syllable -- but I downloaded it, and it's mouldering in my to-watch queue. (Note that there are movies and documentaries that have been mouldering in that queue for nearly a decade already, like the last-but-one season of Doctor Who and everything in Orphan Black after a quarter of the way through the second episode of season one, even though I want to watch them, some time, in theory.)


    I'd like to call this out as a contender for the "excessively vague but superficially plausible curve-fitting exercise" of the year prize.

    My problem with it isn't that it's not a valid observation, or that it doesn't fit the facts: it's that it has little or no explanatory power -- it doesn't give us a why for the what. A fifty year cycle, persisting across centuries and demographic transition breakpoints and industrial revolutions seems suspicious, because it's not obviously generational and there's no postulated bi-generational mechanism, unless we think in terms of collective memory, the death of the elderly, and write off the under-20s as non-active (which in turn would tend to go against the curve-fitting exercise applying to the 1960s/70s).


    Hey - SF authors! I could really use a warm & fuzzy set-in-the-future book just now!

    Urban Fantasy is second door down the hall on the left. (Don't go too far and take the third door, that's New Lovecraftian -- looks similar at first but the boy very emphatically does not get the girl, unless tentacles are involved in their mating rituals.)


    ** Here meaning "opportunistic arsehole who'd suck up to whoever gets them cosy placement", the real liberals seem to have been too busy (and stupid) to notice them leeches until it was too late.

    Such people are everywhere.

    (I don't have time to get into it right now -- a fast-turnaround book edit job just fell on me -- but I will note the entryism and use of Liberty, aka the National Council for Civil Liberties, the UK's equivalent of the ACLU, as a career ladder in the 1970s/1980s for energetic young leftists who ended up running the Home Office (interior/police/prisons ministry) in the 1990s/2000s under Tony Blair, and on the way up fucked the organization's ability to perform its function for a generation. (Jack Straw, Patricia Hewitt, Harriet Harman, I'm looking at you.) Mostly restored to fit-for-purpose under Shami Chakrabarti, but she's burned out and moved on now ...)


    See Exhibit B: Mrs. Mizulina. This one is known for her relentless fight with "pedophile lobby" which is apparently controlling the whole world

    I mean, how sure are you she's wrong? Given the investigations into the HoL, several police forces, Hollywood, and the President-Elect...


    So what do we do now? How do we head off the coming authoritarian dark age?

    I have been wondering: are there historical examples of societies that were heading towards fascism, but managed to veer away? The trouble is, how would one know? How would one know that fascism was an averted outcome? It's like fitting security doors - just because you haven't observed a break-in, that doesn't mean that the door prevented it. You can be sure if the door failed, but not if it worked.

    I have been wondering: how should activists proceed to prevent a fascist take-over, but I worry that we will head down the same paths as before. In 1930s Germany the Nazis were opposed, but they defeated their opponents, at least until the rest of the world had had enough. Does that mean that the methods of the German anti-fascists were flawed, or was it a question of chance?

    I want to oppose the rise of fascism, but I don't want to fall into the ruts that lead to failure. What does history tell us? Are there societies that we can say were at risk of falling to fascism, but pulled back - demonstrably - at the brink?



    ** Here meaning "opportunistic arsehole who'd suck up to whoever gets them cosy placement", the real liberals seem to have been too busy (and stupid) to notice them leeches until it was too late.

    Such people are everywhere.

    There's a term for such people in our political Newspeak: they're called "effective managers". The people who jump up the ladder while being not competent to manage a barrel of manure. The results are... not pretty.


    In 1930s Germany the Nazis were opposed, but they defeated their opponents, at least until the rest of the world had had enough.

    For some reason that makes me think of The Unteleported Man. Not entirely apropos but still a thought on a tangent (and I never read Lies Inc.).


    See Exhibit B: Mrs. Mizulina. This one is known for her relentless fight with >>"pedophile lobby" which is apparently controlling the whole world

    I mean, how sure are you she's wrong? Given the investigations into the HoL, >several police forces, Hollywood, and the President-Elect...

    Oh, but what about Illuminati or that favorite of the most retarded branch of Soviet antisemites, the Judeo-Masons? Surely they won't let that repulsive lobby usurp their throne(s)! And if NAMBLA only knew!..


    I'd say Heinlein would have been a keen Trump man, had he lived to see this.


    To be honest, the best way to learn about this is the legal processes involved when someone dies. In my case, this was my father back in January.

    What you see is a steady series of official steps and bits of paper, each of which costs some nominal amount of money, and each of which needs to be checked and signed off by some different office. So, we go from an initial sign-off of death in a hospital, to a death certificate, to obtaining a grant of probate certificate (and several steps in between).

    ALL of these are present because in the past, someone saw a loophole that enabled them to commit fraud of some description and obtain money or advantage in the process. This is the case with most legal things; Common Law has accumulated over centuries as one loophole or fiddle after another has been spotted, abused and plugged.




    You couldn't get that from context?

    Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Y'know, us - Twice-wise man, etc?


    "it's that it has little or no explanatory power"

    It's a generational thing with approximately two generations every half century. A liberal/progressive generation rebels against the stifling constraints of their parents' conservative/reactionairy generation. Thn the libs are followed by a conservative/reactionairy generation as a backlash to their liberalism, and so on....

    Swing of the pedulum, action and reaction, yin and yang, back and forth.

    However, the victories of the reactionairy generation are only partial. The cycle is always two steps forward and one step back - with the net progress being forward.

    Emancipation and reconstruction were followed by Jim Crow, which was followed by the civil rights movement which triggered the republican dog whistle reaction which was followed by a black presdient. Definitely net movement forward despite reactionairy steps backward.

    This time around, Gay is the new Black. You want an explanation as to why Red America culturally revolted against liberalism? Then check out Nan Davis of Kentucky.


    NO Not because of Trumpolini, per se, but because of Pence. Heinlein detested theocracies, deeply.


    >>>Let's just say the case: Whales vrs Humanity

    Actually, it shouldn't be necessary to have to contradict the pernicious propaganda fromthe 19-teens onwards against the left wing in the United States
    I was actually thinking of the USSR, which did, after all, have actual agents in the USA, and was not precisely peaceful. Perhaps I should have been clearer. Even now, I've had people bring up the existence of soviet spies in the 60s to justify the ongoing hatred of "socialism", whatever that might mean to them.
    There was destructive paranoid all right -- on the right

    Uh, that was kinda my point. Destructive paranoia, in the USA, especially on the right, because of the fear of reds under the bed.


    Yep, Heinlein really had no time for theocrats. Was into the free love movement in his youth (in the 1920s); in the late 1940s spent a couple of years moving cross-country in a camper van with Ginny to avoid being identified, arrested, and jailed for adultery -- then a criminal offense in most states, his divorce from wife #2 was not yet final.

    So no, he didn't like theocracies. (And that's before you get into his once-burned-twice-shy relationship with his former lodger, L. Ron Hubbard.)


    I think our friend from Special Circumstances may be confusing Mr. Douglas with Mr. Charlton Heston.


    He also had a recurring thing about how the typical people of small town America are wonderful, kind, generous, and friendly. While also being narrow-minded, intolerant, ignorant, bigoted jerks.

    A dichotomy much discussed in the past week.


    I gotta say, your shtick is really getting old.


    Exactly. America. That's what people call it. Sometimes some pub bore shows up saying "no, no, you can't call it America, you must call it the United States", then some other know-it-all chimes in saying that the real name of Mexico is also the United States.

    So, yes, the European Union is often called Europe for short. Get over it.

    Depends on your definition of "republic" really.

    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'


    I gotta say, your shtick is really getting old.

    It's Charlie's pet lunatic, on his/her fourth nickname already.

    Waves at Catina Diamond


    Offering a counter-point, I would just like to say (since we are past 300) that Catina: your words are being heard.

    I tried to write a long post on it and what it means to my small intersection of ~weird/wyrd ones~, but I have wasted two days trying to do so unsuccessfully. So instead, simply know you have the thanks of an another group.


    She (I'm using feminine pronouns because she uses female names) frustrates me because she's clearly very smart and clued in, but also suffering from GD and a generally arsey attitude. More sensical than usual in this topic by and large, but I might just think that because I happen to agree with most of her points (And am bewildered that more people don't see it).

    then some other know-it-all chimes in saying that the real name of Mexico is also the United States.

    Although Mexico's full name translates to "United Mexican States" not "United States of Mexico".


    For myself, I do not "see it" because I have long since decided that her posts are so typically one or more of content free, condescending and gratuitously insulting that none of them are actually worth reading.


    Would that it were otherwise, but being an arsehole doesn't automatically make you wrong!


    Just about every Western society veered towards fascism in the 1930s and a large number arguably escaped. For instance the KKK spread out of the South and across much of the US, but FDR and the New Deal did just enough to avert complete collapse. You might also note that FDR toyed with a lot of coercive methods to change policy. We were lucky that many people saw the urgent need for change and eventually cooperated in a revolution which was mostly legalistic and mostly bloodless. The alternatives were FDR opts for more authoritarian methods OR backs down and lets the country sicken further. (In which case FDR's successor opts for authoritarian methods to get whatever institutional changes the successor thinks is necessary, and his successor could have been from any one of a number of political flavors.)


    That would explain some things, but not others. Thanks.


    You've missed my point; my point was that being an ar$ehole can stop you getting your point across regardless of how sound it is.


    Facebook was spammed silly with fake news stories concocted by kids in the impoverished Macedonian town of Veles aggressively pushed made-up pro-Trump stories ... -> Attachments, "150407 Strategy on GOP"

    "We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously."


    1) THAT surely worked, eh?

    2) The predictable response will be to double down on Failure and keep the same "brainiacs" running an improved version of the same flim-flam and bull-shit as last time.

    3) The problem with "the left" is that they just can't do one damn thing about anything, there is always something, anything, in the way of "progress". Almost like it's totally deliberate.

    On the subject of BREXIT, my side of the channel always saw the British as Spoilers and Griefers in the EU, America's "gift" to the European unions.

    Due to the ceaseless work of successive British governments, every social dimension there once was has been purged and the EU is now mostly a club for Organised Finance and "serious politicians" of the Social Darwinism kind.

    So, I think that the British government should man up, stand on principles (a.k.a. double down on stupidity) , pull "Article 50" and let the door hit them on the way out too, seeing that they have managed to organise jack shit (and jack left town) so far.

    For the people fighting ... we call it "competing" ... for space in the gig- and zero-hour contracts economy mainly driven by infinite migration and the inclusion of worse and worse EU member states "to keep wages competitive", Of Course they are going to vote Le Pen, AFD, BREXIT - anything that will disrupt the machine that is grinding them into the ground.

    And what do the "the left" do in response?

    They mock, shame, slander and paint every complaint as "feelings", "imagined", "racist", "privileged" - while the statistics clearly say that the wages vs capital ratio of society is now lower than it was in 1920's ... and we know how that went.

    How does "the left" handle defeat?

    The social-media / latte crowds cries and seeks counselling about the fact that some "poor" crooked elitist female not getting "her turn". Didn't anyone in that crowd ever try losing before? Pathetic!


    If anyone tries to sell you historical theories based on grand cycles or essential national character or over-spanning Civilizations (with a capital "C"), the best thing is to say you already have one and guide them politely out the door.

    There are small cycles: for example, replacing your Prime Minister or President with someone who has a really different public facing persona, or clothing fashions. There are semi-regular cycles based on natural factors: for instance, every urbanized country eventually gets winnowed by plague at intervals.

    The one he presented is actually a fairly poor example of cherry picking. For instance, it says there was unrest in 1920. When in fact there was a lot of domestic upheaval prior to and during WWI, followed by reasonable comfort in the 1920s, followed by deep crisis in the 1930's. The world of the 1940s and 1950s was also not as hunky-dory as people like to remember. So it's not even that seductive a pattern in the first place. Oswald Spengler gives it 1 out 4 High Cultures. Verdict: Declined by the West.


    For reference, what shtick would you prefer in responses to you? I'll even flutter eyelids at you if you want.

    As a serious question, if I used the word "Bilderberg Group", what would be your general response?

    1 Non-existent paranoid conspiracy theory nonsense? 2 Chatham House Rules meta-meta-think-tank made up of leading industrialists / political / largely Christian ruling Classes in the post war period to shape, rebuild and ultimately ensure Pax America post WWII contra the Союз Советских Социалистических Республик and later the resurgent China? 3 Lizard Central where naked frolicking to the elder Gods goes on in an orgy of sexual violence and humans are eaten? 4 A mixture of #2 and [redacted] 5 Insert your own definition here.

    Your answer will be enlightening. I'll let you guess which one we think it is - and it has demonstrably shaped the world for the last 70 years, which rather gives credence to Grand Game Meta-Narratives.

    But like lesbians, apparently it simply didn't exist for a large period of Time.

    Here's a freebie. Watch out for the EU ambassador. Something fishy fishy stirring in the deeps there. Either replacement or con(per)version, hard to tell.


    Oh and yes: the Kirk Douglas joke is a riff off Mr Heston and his pet chair and the infamously banned scene (“Do you consider the eating of oysters to be moral and the eating of snails to be immoral?” Crassus asks, and then points out that “taste is not the same as appetite, and therefore not a question of morals.” When Antonius replies that such an assertion “could be argued so, master,” Crassus shares what was surely the worst-kept secret of the ancient world: “My taste,” he says, “includes both snails . . . and oysters.”<.em>). Mr Douglas has his own stories ("You are being fucked by a Jew!").


    And, to throw a real hand-grenade into the works since absolutely no-one has seriously even mentioned it since 9th Nov.

    We'd like to remind you about a little thing called 50 U.S. Code § 1621. Or, the National Emergencies Act. (You can, of course, combine this with elements from the Patriot Act).

    Special report: America's perpetual state of emergency USA Today, Oct 2014.

    Look deep into the Infowars Mirror, a lot of the fear / FUD based around 'camps' and Jade Helm etc revolves around that. The Alt-sphere are very clued into it, and so by extension, we can guess so are Bannon etc.


    Now, given the current events, isn't anyone making very serious noises about it, but rather pretending it doesn't exist?


    A lot of people will see this: The North Pole is an insane 36 degrees warmer than normal as winter descends (Washington Post 2016/11/17) It being in a major US newspaper. As said elsewhere, "we've broken the North Pole".


    Throw in Executive Order -- National Defense Resources Preparedness US Gov, 2012 for good measure.


    Not sure, but can anyone really see the Trump Triumvirate being allowed to run such things?


    Re: 'a) various sorts of parasite on the body politic ... are well on the way to being extinct ... become rather unpleasant street decorations and ..'

    Hmmm ... okay we're now in the CRISPR age and mosquitoes are being genetically redesigned to do/not do various things instead of a bloodbath why not change these hyper-competitive groups' target-and-reward system. [My fantasy is a gov't black-ops composed of traders who leverage tax floats to play the markets with the express goal of getting money out of the tax evaders, and putting it where it was supposed to go anyways, i.e., if tax dodgers played fair.]

    'b) the protagonists have a front-row seat in the (completely justified, in the story) AI robot rebellion. Does that sort of qualify?' - Okay, I can see the stock trading algo-AIs possibly going on a rampage ... and a really interesting question/plot point is how these various algos find, meet, decide and then figure out how to cooperate with each other without any humans finding out before it's too late. Also, since AIs probably need some types of systems supports incl. energy, warehousing, distribution, etc., how do they select, interact with/manage their human minions/servants?

    'I think R Daneel would do a much better job than any politician we have. What do you think?' - Basically same answer as I've previously given: without a moral backbone/objective built into and continually maintained and updated, no system whether wetware or software would make a good ruler/overseer of humans, or anything that lives - develops, changes, learns over time and across circumstances. So if you can't put all of your potential environment into a box, the only option IMO is to put the desired outcome in that box. (basically, I'm saying Asimov got this right.) Objectives/outcomes, not just rules because rules are almost entirely the how, and not the what or why. 'Rules' gives you TD legally allowed to avoid taxes for years - and even praised/admired for tax dodging. Ditto - bailed out bankers pocketing billions for themselves and letting their retail customers lose their homes. Self-teaching/pure arms-length observation won't work either ... just consider the horror of that little experiment MSFT ran a few months back -- trolls showed up and very quickly 'brainwashed' that AI chatbot into another troll.


    Last time I visited the urban fantasy section at my local bookstore it was wall to wall adolescent angst. Maybe that's why some of the younger generation isn't voting, their stories don't have many happy endings, do they.

    With Bob's sense of humor and bewilderment, a tentacled love-play scene could be hilarious... ye gods ... the images I'm getting ... put a brown paper wrapper on that book! Now!


    Weird, when I put "heston chair" into Google, I actually get back Clint Eastwood stories on the first page. Maybe you are an AI after all or at least you mirror the search engines too much.

    [I wanted to confirm there wasn't some famous Chuck story about a chair before I suggested she meant Eastwood.]


    Yeah - same where I am. Plus over the years each real estate legalese layer has spawned a new insurance policy to cover that layer. It's sold as a 'just in case' (by the real estate lawyer) with anecdota hyping its value in peace of mind. That cost is then wrapped up into the total cost of the property, so increases the total mortgage you have to carry amortized over x years at y percent, etc. My impression is that by buying such insurance coverage, I'm essentially handing my lawyer extra money that he can put into his own reserve in case any of his clients sue him.


    Depends on the insurance. Title insurance is most useful in states where you use a real estate agent rather than real estate lawyer. It comes down to making sure the surveys are done right, including nonobvious stuff that ends up being super expensive/painful like easements.


    Re: 'Here's the solution: Ecology.

    Until you learn to view your society / culture / politics / economies / world as ecologies, you're fucked. ... you need all the rest and most of all: you need to fucking understand systems and let them breath / exist / flourish.'

    Okay - agree but not sure how strongly because I do not follow "Gamergate / KIA etc"* therefore am not sure where you're going with this. So, any chance of some suggestions and/or specific examples? (In plain language, please.)

    • There are only so many hours in a day ... family/work/personal priorities, etc.

    Re: 'super expensive/painful like easements'

    Guess every municipality handles this differently because where I live this is a matter of public record, on file and searchable at the city hall records dept. New easements - one neighbor had this happen - was also very easily handled with a City Clerk and became part of the city-held records attached to that property. Which makes sense considering that the municipality needs good records in order to apportion taxes and services charges.


    Ugh the LA Times bombing alone probably stopped the socialist party in the US.

    (A botched bombing of the LA Times, which was an anti-union paper in LA which was becoming rapidly the center for US socialism (the mayoral campaign was very close between the socialist candidate and the mayor). The bomb went off several hours later than intended and also happened to cause the gas main to ignite. Instead of a bomb causing mere property damage, 21 people died and more than a hundred more were injured. At least 3 more bombs were planted at the same time and ended up being duds. Union activists the McNamara brothers were blamed.

    It was considered until OJ to be the trial of the century. Clarence Darrow ended up defending the brothers. It was argued the bombs were a false flag, but it seems like the brothers more likely than not did it. Clarence Darrow ended up facing charges of jury tampering for his defense. The media got in a frenzy since a paper was blown up. 55 union members, and the core leadership in LA got arrested for conspiracy. The AFL president did 7 years in prison. The core of the socialist party refused to disavow the bombing by arguing violence was acceptable, and got discredited because of that. The Assassination of President McKinley and the Anarchist bombings of 1919 and 1920, were also associated with the Socialists.)


    Which works for recorded easements and easements to the municipality. But not all easements are recorded. There are negative easements, such as light, air, water and support easements (depending on jurisdiction). There are non-expressed easements like a prescriptive easement (related to the concept of adverse possession). There's implied easements by necessity or by prior use (for example accessing a drive way on someone else's land to reach a landlocked parcel). There's irrevocable licenses from a previous land (usually something like someone had permission to use the land and spent money on improvements like irrigation or a cabin, or the timber on land has already been sold so the timber owner has the right to access the land).

    And then there's other issues like the survey being off. So possible issues with a prescriptive easement or adverse possession of part of your property because the fence (or even your house) is actually on your neighbors land. Then there's covenants and equitable servitude which a title search ought to show, sometimes exists in previous contracts instead.


    CALL FOR INFO (Meteorologists/environmental scientists only, please):

    I gather there's supposed to be an El Nina event in progress. Is this the case, and if so, how does it usually affect northern polar temperatures?


    El Nino or La Nina? Right now it's neutral, according to the Australian Burea of meteorology (who haven't yet been dismantled, but it's only a matter of time)

    But the question is how the massive El Nino that was over 2015-2016 affects the NH, but I can't seem to find the useful article I read on the teleconnections that link them, that I read a few years ago.


    "Usually" is the key.

    Here's the pre-2011 recap in two paragraphs:

    Camp and Tung [2007] (hereinafter referred to as CT07), suggested that there are at least three external perturbations to the polar stratosphere during late winter: easterly QBO, solar max and El Niño. The “least-perturbed state” as they called it, with a cold pole, should occur during years when all three perturbations happen to be in their opposite phases, i.e., westerly QBO, solar min and La Niña. However, to discriminate one state from another would require eight groupings, and they estimated that even their 47 years of data was not long enough to establish a statistical separation...

    [8] In this work, we established that the polar stratosphere in winter is about 4°K warmer in the mean during warm-ENSO years as compared to the cold-ENSO years. We furthermore established for the first time that such a difference is statistically significant at above the 95% confidence level. The different spatial pattern of the ENSO perturbation is used to “filter out” other variability, such as the QBO and the solar cycle, which warm the polar stratosphere by approximately the same magnitude, but the spatial pattern of the warming by the QBO and by the solar cycle is more confined to the polar region.

    Stratospheric polar warming by ENSO in winter: A statistical study Geophysical Research Letters, Feb 2007. Html, very decent over-view of the pre-2011 science.

    So, in 2007 the accepted variance was around 4oC, and was due to a three-way interference.

    Not 20oC.

    How did the polar vortex behave during the big El Niño winter of 2015-2016?

    The average response of the stratospheric polar vortex to past El Niños is weakening of the vortex in late winter and an increased chance of polar vortex breakdowns (i.e., SSWs) (9). This is generally what we saw this past winter, except that during early winter from November to mid-January the vortex was extraordinarily strong (see figure below). The strong vortex may have contributed to the hemispheric-wide warmth we saw in early winter (fewer cold air outbreaks!).

    However, in February, planetary-scale waves propagated upward and began to pummel the vortex, leading to a breakdown of the polar vortex on March 5, 2016. This breakdown of the vortex was so strong that it is the earliest final breakup on record (the vortex will not return until next winter).

    El Niño and the stratospheric polar vortex NOAA, April 2016

    Wind Speed Graph


    SnU doesn't use the same search engines as we do. She has her own, which works by maintaining a large circular buffer of recent dolphin squawks (recorded and digitised by a global network of hydrophone-carrying Portuguese men-o'war) and repeatedly convolving the contents with random bit strings until valid URLs drop out. It finds all sorts of weird shit that nobody using normal search engines ever gets to see, but on the other hand it doesn't know about Monty Python or Dire Straits. I guess the tradeoff is acceptable for her use case.


    Er, K, not C there. Derp.


    Wow, this would normally TOTALLY be my baliwick because I actually have a Meteorology & Oceanography degree, with a study area concentration on environmental science! In practice all I used for it was synoptic weather observations and two months as 'Cadet Science Officer.' I'm a bit out of practice, but let me try....

    La Nina is a relatively recent coinage of term. Technically, it is what comes after El Nino, and the two are grouped into what is caled the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO.) This is where temperatures go up above average in the Eastern Pacific (the El Nino phase) and then drop to below average as the region's climate returns to equilibrium (the La Nina phase.)

    In general, La Nina brings conditions that are the opposite of El Nino. Which is to say, the southeast and southwest of the US become drier, and more northerly areas get heavier snow and winter precipitation -- Canada gets much more snow, and Northern California breathes a sigh of relief as rain comes to the parched state. Seattle shrugs and asks what all the fuss is about. =) In general, the interaction between the jet streams brings moist air from the tropics into the colder air of the La Nina event, which is brought further north to the polar jet stream. This travels roughly west-to-east, which is what brings the cold, wet air to the Midwest and makes for stormier winters.

    So, in short, I would expect La Nina to make polar temperatures generally drop, though because of the polar jet stream, perhaps not majorly. Though the Arctic has its own oscillation patterns that I don't recall very well and shouldn't speculate on.


    Aaaaand that'll learn me to try to rely on twenty-year-old college courses. ^_^ In my defense, the oscillations are apparently getting... anomalous... across the board. This is my shocked face, really.


    Someone on another site today posted a link to a thread in this forum: (warning: ensure adequate supplies of brain bleach before reading) with the comment "How can intelligent people be so fucking thick?"

    He, I, and it seems millions of other people, all seem to have been thinking the same thing: to be sure such people exist, but there aren't really very many of them, it's just that now we have the internet they can all congregate in one corner of it and we only notice them because of the concentration.

    Discovering that they are in fact a functional majority seems to be the very epitome of cognitive dissonance.


    Well, it's 2016.

    Stating the words: the vortex will not return until next winter is basically a declaration on the scale of "Ha! The Cubs will never win the world series!".

    But yes: it's not great news.


    I "How can intelligent people be so fucking thick?" the title of a thread? Because I can't find it.


    I see why you might be reminded - I'm asking how do we know how counterfactuals might turn out, and that sounds like the "paraworlds" in Dick's book (which I've not read). But I also worry that our instinctive reactions in opposition to the spreading authoritarianism have been tried before, and found wanting - again, from the wikipedia page, it seems like Dick also thought about this.

    Nice find, I'll add it to my Tsundoku pile.


    First "I" should be "Is"


    Ok, that's an interesting data point. Got any others?

    I must admit that I don't know much about the history of the KKK, but yes, that could count as an example of a successful pushback against authoritarianism.

    Legalistic responses are of course how I would like to proceed, but I think there is a tipping point, when the Dark Side gets so much control of the arms of government that legalistic responses become ineffective. In Australia, the government does not control the senate so their loopier instincts have been held in check. In the US, the Republicans are going to control the presidency, both houses, and soon the Supreme court bench. I expect to see them move to pre-empt anti-fascist opposition.

    (Which is why I suspect they *won't" martyr Hillary Clinton by jailing her, although the baying will continue.)

    Any opposition will have to come from state governments, and hopefully the moderate republicans will step up.


    No, it was a general comment by the chap who posted the link on the mentality of many posters on that forum. They nearly all have more than usual of the type of intelligence required to attain an income level sufficient to insulate them from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, yet if you look at, in particular, any of the threads concerning Trump or Brexit, the prevalence of sincerely-held, aggressively-defended, completely and utterly barking opinions is shocking.


    I'll pull out my background in environmental science, so here's my take on it.

    First, is there a link between El Nino and the Arctic? Hard to tell. One recent paper thinks so (, and they link El Nino to summer Arctic temperatures, which is not the same as linking ENSO (the whole EL Nino/La Nina/Southern Oscillation complex) to the Arctic directly and entirely.

    My basic understanding is that on an icehouse Earth (the condition we're leaving), there's a substantial temperature gradient between the pole and the equator (duh!). As a result, we get the jet stream and the equivalent in the Antarctic. This is due to having two air masses (polar and temperate) of very different temperatures in close proximity. Yes, energy moves along gradients, and the result is this high speed wind which incidentally isolates the poles temperature-wise, keeping them colder (it's amazing what self-organizing dissipative structures can do to preserve energy gradients. Almost like they're alive). Anyway, that wind barrier probably had something to do with messing up the direct thermal connection between the Arctic and the equatorial Pacific, at least in an icehouse world. But it's hard to tell if the lack of an obvious link between ENSO and the Arctic oscillation is due to the dearth of good data, or due to the lack of a link. Data on regional temperature oscillations other than El Nino is pretty scanty, for some reason.

    In a hothouse world, which is where we're headed unless we rapidly taper off our structural petrochemical addiction, that temperature gradient between pole and equator largely goes away. Yes, it will snow and freeze at the poles in a hothouse world (it's dark and cold during the winter, at least), but the temperatures at the pole will be temperate by today's standards. Without the strong temperature gradient, there's no Jet Stream, and, for all I know, this means there might be a stronger link between the equatorial Pacific and polar weather. Since El Nino runs on water heating up in the western Pacific, it isn't going away with climate change, although it's global effects likely will change, to the extent that they're known and predictable.

    Right now we're in the messy middle between icehouse and hothouse, with the Jet Stream weakening and wobbling, and more energy from the equator getting to the poles than did before. Is that energy getting through in a way that tracks ENSO? Dunno, but if it's just starting to, it will take awhile for the data to show the link.

    The bottom line is that I'm not sure that the current ice deficits we're seeing are tracking with ENSO, if that's the unasked question. I'd rather suspect simple climate change for them, since IIRC the polar winters are when and where the temperature is supposed to be rising the most. Hope this helps.


    (It's amazing what self-organizing dissipative structures can do to preserve energy gradients. Almost like they're alive.) I read a very interesting paper a while back (few years maybe? My memory is... not accurate) that basically proposed this was what life ~is~. It's just a structure for efficiently distributing energy in a complex chemical solution, that got very, very complicated overtime. Did you see that same paper?


    If you want a serious paper on both El Nino, La Nina and planetary scale waves (Rossby Waves), here's a paper that claims:

    El Nino and La Nina have equal frequency of SSWs in the historical record.

    Why do SSWs occur during La Nina as often as during El Nino if the La Nina teleconnection in the Pacific presumably interferes with wave amplification into the stratosphere?

    SSW frequency during different phases of ENSO is related to the subpolar extent of ENSO teleconnections.

    Frequency of extreme negative anomalies in SSW precursor region largely determines SSW frequency for a given dataset/model simulation.

    Response to an external forcing, like ENSO, of the seasonal mean stratospheric vortex may not be indicative of the response of extreme stratospheric events.

    Equal frequency of stratospheric sudden warmings in El Nino and La Nina Climate Prediction Center, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, NASA Goddard PDF - Slide notes, graphically very heavy.

    P7-11 is where the argument is made.

    Essentially they're stating that there's a (relatively small) SSW (stratospheric sudden warmings) Precursor area that governs the entire system, and that this area is the key to the system.


    You'd need a proper scientist to unpack if that's what's happening atm.

    With Bob's sense of humor and bewilderment, a tentacled love-play scene could be hilarious... ye gods ... the images I'm getting ... put a brown paper wrapper on that book! Now!

    You've read Equoid, right? There's a love scene in that, though hilarity isn't quite the emotion I'd associate with it...


    Not sure, but can anyone really see the Trump Triumvirate being allowed to run such things?

    You ask a good question there, all the more since today's appointments.

    Many of Trump's professed intents are seriously crosswise of the GOP's power constituents' interests. I give Trump about a 30% chance of leaving office by $MEANS in the next couple of years.


    Ouch. What a bullshit. You got that from this stupid Daily Hate article?


    General theme: ENSO = +4oK average temp but El Nino / La Nina have equal inputs into SSW (which everyone is probably hoping that this is).

    Looking at the Russian anomaly, not sure that's the case.


    France tipped toward a "man on horseback" several times during the Third Republic. They had the same tendencies to fascism as any other country in the 30's and mostly resisted them. But then a helpful foreigner gave their right wingers an assist in 1940. Supposedly the French military considered overthrowing the Fourth Republic (was it the Fifth by then?) rather than give up on Algeria.

    Somebody with a background on Latin America or South East Asia or even Africa might be able to rack up data points for you.

    Fascism is a modern democratic form; like Socialism/Communism and Liberal Democracy, we don't have centuries of history like we do for monarchies, city state republics, theocracies, oligarchies, etc.


    Oh, and quick return to topic.

    Want to see the rabbit hole? Really want to see the rabbit hole?

    The primary bone of contention between the U.S. and Turkey is Fethullah Gülen, a shady Islamic mullah residing in Pennsylvania whom former President Clinton once called his “friend” in a well circulated video.

    Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support By Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (R) The Hill, Nov 8th 2016

    Though Flynn is not a lobbyist himself, his company, Flynn Intel Group, is registered with Congress as a lobbying organization, and has a registered lobbyist on its staff. A Flynn Intel Group client, Kamil Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman with real estate, aerospace, and consulting interests, told The Intercept on Thursday that one of his companies, Inovo BV, paid Flynn’s company “tens of thousands of dollars” for analysis on world affairs. On election day, Flynn published an opinion piece for The Hill urging U.S. support for Turkey’s controversial strongman president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and pushing for the extradition of Erdogan’s political rival, Fethullah Gülen, who now resides in Pennsylvania. “From Turkey’s point of view, Washington is harboring Turkey’s Osama bin Laden,” Flynn wrote, on November 8.

    Turkish Client Paid Trump Adviser Michael Flynn’s Company “Tens of Thousands” of Dollars for Lobbying The Intercept 17th Nov 2016


    So riddle me about Russia - Turkey - Trump connections.


    Had started going down that Flynn/Gülen rabbit hole[1], but you've turned it into a powered dive. Sheesh. This is getting weird, and the chaos potential is becoming obvious. Today's appointments aren't helping.

    PSA from the EFF for any tech company (especially US) people with influence:

    Also potentially of interest to some though crude (which means rapid improvements are possible :-) : Bots and Automation over Twitter during the U.S. Election From We are a team of researchers investigating the impact of automated scripts–computational propaganda–on public life. We track social bots, and use perspectives from organizational sociology, human computer interaction, communication, and political science to interpret and analyze the evidence we are gathering.

    [1] via which is worth (to me at least) a daily skim.


    Re: 'Easements' ... Yes, every twist and nuance must be codified otherwise all hell breaks loose. Some time ago there was talk from law associations that it would be a good idea to simplify law so that your average consumer/layperson could understand it. Think that the only place that I've seen any move in that direction has been for consumer online privacy in the EU.


    Yeah, that's Ilya Prigogine's Nobel-winning prize work on dissipative structures, from back in the 1970s. As with so many other truly interesting Nobels, it didn't really reach as far into society as it needed to.

    The "problem" with this idea is that it gets hard to differentiate life from things like long-lasting atmospheric vortices (the Jet Stream, as seen looking down from above the North pole, is a vortex, not a wind), long-lasting blobules of water (such as circulate in the ocean), or flames. Then we start thinking of these long-lived dissipative structures as being alive, call them elementals, and venture deep into the Land of Woo...


    There's also 'constructual physics' (CP) which claim that any designed structure (and they include the dealte of the river Lena, or a lung, in designed) is optimized for fast & effective energy/matter transfer and this usually involves fractals. When I read an intro paper on CP a while back, I was put off by them claiming every other paragraph that it is indeed physics.


    No, that wasn't what I was thinking of (though it goes straight to the top of the reading pile). It was definitely new science at the time I read it and I wasn't even alive in 1970! Now I definitely want to find it.

    Bingo: Jeremy England's "Statistical physics of self-replication" 2014 Or if you want a summary, here's a magazine article on it:

    Broadly, what the equations he wrote outline is the bridge from thermodynamics to evolution. That if you have a complex solution with an energy gradient, the path for greatest/quickest/preferential entropy increase is to generate self-replicating systems; eg life.


    That Jeremy England paper looks fun, thank you. Google scholar: "Cited by 106".

    I'm also reminded of a famous Ludwig Boltzmann quote, “The general struggle for existence of animate beings is not a struggle for raw materials, these for organisms are air water & soil, all abundantly available, nor for energy which exists in plenty in the sun and any hot body in the form of heat, but rather a struggle for entropy, which becomes available through the transition of energy from the hot sun to the cold earth.” (Am assuming accuracy of quote translation because it's fun.)


    Disagree utterly regarding Britain & the EU - I blame de Gaulle for keeping us out in the 60's .. BUT Agree utterly regarding the regressive & stupid "left" who are trying to unseat my magnificent Labour MP "because she's too right-wing" They actively seem to want to turn a (very personal) 20 000 Labour majority into a one of 500-1000 for the tories ... because that would be ideologically purer.

    I only have to say "Marx was wrong" & they explode, foaming all over the landscape, rather like Pence meeting an homosexual.



    No, just a singular YOU Whatever your "handle" this week.


    No SnU's is good Snu's (news) ... ???

    IIRC from the deep-mine neutrino experiments?


    Yeah: "The Trump administration is taking shape, and so far he is filling the top slots with men who are hardliners, close allies or both." - BBC quote See also Here

    I'm beginning to wonder if Trumpolini is the real deal & as bad as Pence, rather than a blustering front-man. Now that makes things even worse.


    Fascism is a modern democratic form; like Socialism/Communism and Liberal Democracy, we don't have centuries of history like we do for monarchies, city state republics, theocracies, oligarchies, etc. Err ... no. Consider Juluis's overthrow of the Roman Republic. Following in Marius' earlier attempt, only curtailed by the former's natural (?) death.


    Yeah Trump publicly calimed he would: "Drain the Swamp" - he isn't going to be POTUS yet for another month-&-a-half & he's filling the posts with either rightist nutters or hos family, for ghu's sake!

    Oh & #421 ... errr .. JULIUS.


    Like the Great Red Spot, you mean?


    You seem to be confusing popular definitions of dictatorship and fascism with what people who study it say. In your roman example, what were the socio-ecinomic conditions and how did the dictator get power? You do understand there is a difference between 20th century capitalism and roman era trade and industry? What about the sources and arrangements of power, and of course racism.


    Julius was a "populist" leader who pretended to work for the interests of the Plebians, against the "corporate" [ For want of a better word ] power of the Senatorial elite [ Of whom he was a member, of course ] I was thinking of purely the political moves, as economics was very different, then.

    As for "how did he get power?" I recommend Tacitus & Suetonius, both readily available in English.


    Parallels, yes, but you seem to be postulating an identity which isn't there. You're basically suggesting that fascism is thousands of years old, which is clearly nonsense.


    (Reposting my recent contribution to Scalzi's blog, since this seems relevant for the Stross audience too...)

    Here’s one way to resist Trump passively (or perhaps passive-aggressively):

    If you're American and didn’t vote during the election, prove that you learned your lesson: vote by signing the petition at this site. And if the Muslim registry gets implemented, register, for heaven’s sake, and persuade as many friends as possible to do so too. Doesn’t matter what religion or lack thereof you claim IRL. The point is to stand together against tyranny and hatred. As the saying goes, “First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist…” (…)

    There are undoubtedly other ways to resist. Come up with your own, and share them as widely as you can. People acting together can accomplish great things.


    This contrasts very sharply with some Jews I know, who voted for Trump precisely because of his view on Muslims. (They like Le Pen too.)


    >>>This contrasts very sharply with some Jews I know, who voted for Trump precisely because of his view on Muslims. (They like Le Pen too.)

    There are two lessons that were learned from the Holocaust.

    The first lesson is widely known.

    The second, somewhat less discussed, is "don't be a victim". It is one of the reasons Israel has nuclear weapons, for example.

    Different views of Jews about Muslims can sometimes be explained through which lesson they feel is more important.


    My tour guide at the Jewish Museum in Sydney ended his tour thus: Don't be a perpetrator. Don't be a victim. Don't be a bystander.


    I started this sub-thread with my question about how societies on the brink of falling to fascism averted that. But I was always uneasy with the term "fascism" because it seems too broad and ill-defined. There are more precise terms, that apply to particular locations and eras.

    I swung to the word "authoritarianism" instead, but perhaps "tyranny" or "dictatorship" is the best to use. Those covers 20th century fascism and Roman imperia better.

    I wonder if tyranny at the government level gets a foothold because we allow it at local levels, like small business, or university departments.


    First, what guthrie said in both posts.

    Second, the closest thing to fascism I can think of is Sparta, which was seriously weird. The ancient world is weirder than we grok in general. If you teleported into the agora one day, you would get quite a bit of culture shock from even Athenian style "democracy."

    Third, imagine Philadelphia is a city state with a mix of oligarchy and class weighted republicanism. Now imagine it conquering North America from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. Now imagine it trundles along for a century or so using ordinary city offices to run far flung pieces of its empire. That's Rome. Eventually a former mayor is going to come back with soldiers from New Jersey and Tennessee to create an arrangement which a) works logistically for the available technological base and b) gives opportunity to all the "foreigners" who are now effectively Philadelphians culturally. This is not "fascism" as most historians/scholars understand it.

    Fascism is basically the "fraternity" branch of the Liberty-Equality-Fraternity tree sprouted by post-Enlightenment Revolutions. We call it "democratic" because it purports to take its power from die Volk and not from the person of the king or the privileges of an esteemed strata of society. Yes, that's not how it works in practice, but how much of modern democracy or communism works according to the manual.


    My brother put it this way:

    "The lesson isn't 'We have to make sure They never do this to Us again.' The lesson is 'We have to make sure We never do this to Us again.'"


    Re. tyranny at government level from lower level, the answer is obviously yes, in that any society which has tyranical setups will surely replicate them at all levels. But, I've read of the failure modes of anarchic approaches to organisations etc, which are avowedly anti-authoritarian. They include simply not being able to appreciate when someone is creating a tyranical setup, through to a tyranny being created based upon the best of intentions.

    So really the main problem appears to be humans, we need 'better' ones.


    We are working on it...


    Re: 'Don't be a perpetrator. Don't be a victim. Don't be a bystander.'

    Great quote ... but how does anyone know when/if something bad is about to or already happening and they're about to fall into one of these classifications? What are your standards/goals


    Slightly tasteless, but hey.


    Ada also seriously underestimated the power of rural voters in Rust Belt states. Why?

    Hilary Clinton's Flawed Algorithm Pissed Off the Data Science Gods Data Science Association 17th Nov 2016.

    I'll point you to something interesting: allegedly only Michael Moore "got the rust-belt problem" which lead to the Trump upset. He made a film about it. Turns out, the two largest predictors were Water / Infrastructure issues (lead in Flint, but also other places) and Opiate Abuse maps.

    Remind me if a mad nose wiggler warned you about those topics perhaps.. eight months or so before Mr Moore? We're fairly sure she did.


    Don't be too cock-sure that it'll be the Rationalist Geeks who either create or get on any 'death note' lists.

    NSIDC Data Chart Monthly 2016

    Arctic Sea Ice Area Daily


    The englandlab site video is not great, i.e., lots of stops and starts/jerky. But was able to locate these two other options - the first is an hour long with JEngland presenting, and the second is an in-class review of the paper (30+ minutes).

    What is life-lecture: Jeremy England - Karolinska Institut

    A QIG review of the paper "Statistical Physics of Self-Replication"

    From what little I've read/understand, this is an interesting new way of looking at dynamically stable yet tending toward complexity systems.


    Ilya noted: "This contrasts very sharply with some Jews I know, who voted for Trump precisely because of his view on Muslims. (They like Le Pen too.)"

    Oddly, we Jews are people too, and therefore don't always speak with a unified voice. GDRLH


    Re: 'Turns out, the two largest predictors were Water / Infrastructure issues (lead in Flint, but also other places) and Opiate Abuse maps.'

    Are you sure ... because this looks like retro-fitting the data. On the plus side, such an approach provides new, yet-to-be-considered inputs into modeling voting outcomes, but on the negative side these factors (or such retro-fitting) may not necessarily tell you what will happen next election.

    BTW - The neighbor to the north (Canada) has already sounded the alarm re: opiate (fentyl) abuse ... MDs, scientists, social workers and others are calling upon the fed and prov gov'ts to respond to this problem ... and no, the desired response isn't the historical and current USA idea of: round 'em, lock 'em in, and throw away the key'... it's about making sure all first responders and hospitals have adequate antidote, getting this drug off the streets, offering safe injection sites, etc. If deaths due to fentanyl drop in areas where these steps are implemented, I wonder whether any of the states will decide to try the same approach*. There's yet another even stronger street drug, carfentanil, already showing up ... and it's about 10 to 100 times stronger than fentanyl.

    • This is a 50/50 toss up really because (a) how many US states rejected universal healthcare vs. (b) the number of states decriminalizing marijuana is growing.

    Also in the north - apparently Nestle bought a whole whacking lot of fresh water outbidding the local municipality and despite news coverage and quite a bit of local outrage/upset, that province has yet to enact any legislation to prevent this happening again. Believe this was first done in South America while the rest of world said nothing ... now it's happening in Canada, next stop ... the US?


    Re the NSIDC Data Chart Monthly 2016 link, source for that? Lots of graphs here: but couldn't find one that goes back to 1978. These go back to 2009: but the 1978-present has more emotional impact. Looking for something that can be shared, if it's not clear.

    Broken link above BTW, so for anyone (too lazy to search :) Background: Hillary Clinton’s ‘Invisible Guiding Hand’ (2016/09/07) Sad to see such a systematic failure.


    Quote from the link:

    Machine learning algorithms have one big weakness: they cannot analyze or understand events that never happened before. For example, you buy beach front property where in the past two hundred (200) years numerous hurricanes never caused water waves to rise above twenty (20) feet. So you build a house on strong concrete stilts thirty (30) feet high to protect from future hurricanes. Along comes a hurricane with forty (40) foot water waves that washes your house away. No algorithm would predict this... because something ahistoric happened.

    Majority of humans seem to have this weakness too.



    Oh, and if you need to unpack the "why" to why the FBI spike was used, it's kinda simple.

    Trust = #1 polling importance, for unsophisticated voters. ("He tells it like it is!")

    Where is FBI still trusted? (sure isn't urban African-American populations). If you guessed distressed white states where the local governance is seen as corrupt, thing that's numberwang!

    Spike enacted.

    A child could have seen it coming, esp. after the 1st time.


    Anyhow, remember up-thread, our little NSA Man @ WSJ shin-dig?

    Pentagon and intelligence community chiefs have urged Obama to remove the head of the NSA WaPo 19th Nov 2016

    And, to tie in our references to Israel & the Far Right there (and skip away from such crassness as anti-Semiticism which really is boring and dull - think back to the link from the Far Right Israeli groups who I linked to stating "they'd won" with Trump):

    What Americans Against Trump Can Learn from the Failures of the Israeli Opposition New Yorker, 19th Nov 2016.


    It's basically a Power Grab, running an old old playbook (40+ years old? told you) that isn't explicitly about anything but Power / Stability / [redacted]. (And you'll probably be a bit surprised to note that Russia & Israel are somewhat on the same side in it.)

    Doubt it?

    Trump, Kissinger meet in New York The Hill 17th Nov 2016 by Nikita Vladimirov

    Wonder who he is? Well, you should... Has an interesting publishing history.

    Conway: 'The race is not over' The Hill 25th Oct 2016

    No shit it's not over, you're about to spike the election. Then publishes on his FB on the 8th he's sure Trump will win.

    Oh, what was that?

    You think Nikita Chirkov (Vladimirov), Founder of The Global Prospective Group; Fellow at The Hill, who is writing all these sounds a little dodgy?

    Arlington, VA, July 23, 2014 – TPG announced that it and its team member CGI Federal have been awarded a Department of State Foreign Service Institute contract to instruct State employees in the use of the Global Financial Management System.

    Hmm, let us think: who is also based in Arlington? You're probably not looking for the fishing agency on this list



    Playing silly fuckers while the world burns.

    Top. Men.


    And yes, I just pulled a triple Douglas-Heston-Eastwood shift on that finance link.

    Because posting the actual tree is naughty-naughty.


    But these fuckers are not exactly subtle.


    But please.

    Like the Swedish Men writing all the Pop Hit songs (Ahh, remember that? It's gonna be important), pretending you're real.fucking.cute.and.clever. You're not exactly that.

    Fire And Ice YT: Pat Benatar : 3:22.

    Where and to whom shall he carry the important message of wise Inana? Let him bring it up into the Zubi mountains, let him descend with it from the Zubi mountains. Let Susa and the land of Anšan humbly salute Inana like tiny mice.


    I don't see either Brexit or the Trump election being the end of the story. In geopolitics there are actions and reactions, reactions and consequences. The rise of fascism across the globe is a natural reaction to the inevitable collapse of the house of cards built up by right-wing mercantilism. The shift in the 1980's created by the free extension of credit to all middle class individuals led to the illusion of prosperity. This led to an acceptance of "conservative" policies which slowly but surely bled the middle class across America (and, to a lesser extent, Europe). When enough people who thought they were haves realized that they were have-nots they finally comprehended that their conservative party had betrayed them. And they wanted to lash out. But since many of those folks had been brain washed by "conservatism" for so long, they could not accept that the left had been right all along. So they turn to fascism, because it looks like a part of their beloved conservative movement, and they are easily deluded into believing that it will make them into haves again. However, this will not fix the underlying economic miasma that has led us to this point, and when the have-nots realize that they are still have-nots, they will react again. Remember, eight years ago it was the conservatives in America scratching their heads wondering if their party was over...


    Remember, eight years ago it was the conservatives in America scratching their heads wondering if their party was over... Not quite. Some of them realised that it was over, UNLESS they "did something about it" And they did - they organised, whilst the cntre (maybe a tiny bit left) just relaxed & presumed they had "won". Which accounts for the US Congress' trench warfare over the past 8yrs, as they block every single piece of Obama's policies that they can. Now, their patience has been rewarded, from their pov ...

    However, like those who believed Adolf was a useful tool ( see Franz von Papen ) I think the "true conservatives"(TM) are in for a really nasty shock, esp. if Pence gets his hands on the levers.


    And what is wrong with Colonialism 2.0?

    I don't like it, but the current variety of Islam comes with toxic social and political ideology embedded, admitting more than token numbers will only poison our own, WEIRD society. It's a forced, unpleasant choice. And makes for dystopian futures no mater how you parse it. If EVERY western household doubled up with an equal number of fleeting refugees, we still could not absorb the numbers that will be displaced.

    Ugly choices indeed. My apologies to our descendants, if any of them retain electronic literacy.


    Thanks Greg, already seeing some of it (The Woods of NW Arkansas, DEEP red territory), just trying not to sink into a black fog of depression. Or get yellow carded/banned.


    I do not consider a great neo-fascist conspiracy plausible. I trust plain stupidity much more.

    Actually I do think that the western liberal parties (center-left and center-right) have failed their voters miserably. OGH proposed the term Beige Dictatorship, and I find it quite fitting.

    The collapse of the Soviet Union is so near that voters who are completely fed up with center-left and center-right parties are not likely to vote real communists. But the disappearance of far-right regimes is so far in the past that they seem a viable alternative.

    In EU, for example, the governing system and the mainstream parties have failed so badly that I am at least a bit surprised that only Brexit-vote has happened.

    I have personally done fairly well due to globalization, but I would have happily voted for Brexit or Trump if I could. I would happily vote for Le Pen in 2017 if I could.

    I believe that the climate change is true and possibly the most important challenge we face. In addition, I do think myself quite liberal (centrist in the political spectrum). But I would not mind figuratively burning down the current political system in my country and EU in general. If that requires Le Pen, Trump of Brexit, then so be it. Heck, I might even bring some gasoline and thermite to the party.


    I do not consider a great neo-fascist conspiracy plausible. I trust plain stupidity much more.

    Some light reading material:

    link text Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, 2013. Warning: PDF, 422 pages. p 373 - section on :Transnational Cooperation and Network-building amongst Right-wing and National Populist Parties is probably worth a read.

    Spoiler: Turkey is a key motivator / focal point.

    The Bear in Sheep’s Clothing: Russia’s Government-Funded Organisations in the EU Same source, PDF 87 pages - where you'll learn the wonderful term "GONGO".

    One interesting thing: (P50) In comparison to the funding of soft power instruments in some European countries, €55 million is quite a small sum. In the budget year 2015–16, the British Council, the official British charity organisation sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, received almost €210 million from the government, and its total income in those two years was over €1.2 billion.49 Likewise, the German culture and language institute, the Goethe Institute, received €213 million from the German Federal Foreign Office in the year 2014–15.50

    Basically, people are wondering how they convert much smaller spend into seemingly higher effects.

    WMC isn't without bias, of course, but: The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, established in 2007, is the political foundation and think tank of the European People’s Party (EPP). The Martens Centre embodies a pan-European mind-set, promoting Christian Democrat, conservative and like-minded political values..

    It's 100% not Left-wing.


    2015 Situation Report on Counterfeiting in the European Union EUROPOL 2015 PDF 70 pages - useful for a light over-view showing the major distribution networks and the complexity of the grey/black market and how global it is. P14 & P20 have nice graphics providing a quick over-view.

    Spoiler: Turkey is a key motivator / focal point.

    Europe’s Crime-Terror Nexus: Links between terrorist and organised crime groups in the European Union EU Parliament 2012 (so pre-Syrian crises). PDF 70 pages P60 shows just how tied in this is to refugee crises etc - forget the Daily Mail etc, everyone knows refugees use the actually damaging, already in-place, routes / methods.

    Spoiler: Turkey is a key motivator / focal point.


    The Gulen Coup was incredibly pivotal for a number of reasons.

    I'll leave you with 800+ pages to read through.

    Oh, but don't take too long: Turkey worried dissident blamed in coup could seek refuge in Canada CBC News, Nov 19th 2016

    Read-between-the-lines there: why would he flee the safe haven he has in the USA, we wonder?


    [Ugh. First link works, but missing title: Exposing the Demagogues: Right-wing and National Populist Parties in Europe 2013 - relatively out-of-date now, esp. post Brexit / Turkey coup etc]


    And there's still a housing market in California with all that legalese, not to mention drought, raging fires, etc? I do not understand this mentality at all.

    If you want to boggle at irrationality in real estate: there's still a hot housing market in Miami, driven in part by investors from Russia/China/wherever, though sea-level rise is coming in fast enough that some streets there regularly flood at high tide the wrong time of the month. (The latest episode had video of an octopus in a parking garage there going viral for some reason. Meanwhile, here in Boston, seawalls were topped off to the point of minor breach, in a few places. No storm surge, no storm, just high tide.)


    I would have happily voted for Brexit or Trump if I could. I would happily vote for Le Pen in 2017 if I could.

    Why? Please justify that statement.

    I can understand some of this - I regard the EU as an unbelievably corrupt gravy-train, with rotten pygmies in charge ... But that, unfortunately, all the right-wing alternatives & some of the left-wing ones are ... EVEN WORSE.


    And SnU @ 451 The fake so-called Gulen coup, you mean?

    Agreed that the way Turkey seems to be entangled with lots of this (maybe even Brexit) I find most peculiar. Why & How, though? Where's the money? cui bono ?


    One aspect is economical and the second aspect is related to politics.

    The funny thing with Brexit is that the people who voted for Brexit are actually more likely to be better off with falling Pound and outside the EU. Paul Krugman (yes, the economist) wrote a very nice piece on this some time ago.

    The same holds for Trump and very likely for Le Pen also. It is quite likely that US economy will provide more blue collar jobs if Trump really invests in infrastructure. The same holds for the economic policy proposed by Le Pen.

    For workers who have lost their jobs the logical choices really are Brexit, Le Pen, Trump.

    Center-left and center-right parties actually have exactly the same economic programme, which is the one pointed out by OGH. In many countries the only issues that make any distinction between center-left and center-right parties is their attitude to LBGT rights. Both are happy to dismantle social security and make "structural changes" (i.e. rip the poor). That is the Beige Dictatorship.

    This takes