joat

joat

  • Commented on I can't keep up
    A lot of spook agencies read bad spy fiction the way the Mafia watches the "Godfather" and "Goodfellahs" and similar stuff -- for ideas and inspiration and lifestyle hints. Hence the sort of baroque crazy that uses VX to kill...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    I'd put the odds of the EU still being there in two years in anything like the present form no be no more than 50%, which renders a lot of the Brexit stuff moot. The European political class are blundering...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    It's fairly easy to control refugee movements; it just depends on what you're willing to do. Bangladesh keeps Rohinga from Burma out for the most part, for example....
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    Hitler's obsession with laughter? Dude, newsflash: nobody likes being mocked. Mockery is never intended to make those who are the objects of it laugh; it's intended to make them -bleed-. The intent is to hurt and harm; it's a psychological...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    No, the "special action groups" were cheaper and faster at killing large numbers of people. Shooting was more efficient than gas. The camps were used instead because of the political fallout from "massacre in place", and because the wastage among...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    Oh, and a friend of my family was abducted by Idi Amin's men and taken out into the bundu to be killed. He jimmied the lock on the trunk of the car into which they'd stuffed him, rolled out into...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    Not necessarily. I stepped over the dead and dying bodies of famine victims on my way to school on occasion in my childhood. I saw people beaten to death (I'm pretty sure) by the police; or at least severely injured....
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    To be fair, no mid-1840's European government could have done much about the Irish famine; they didn't have the information-gathering capacity, the administrative structure, or the resources. An independent Irish government -- which would have been dominated by landowners in...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    This would be Jean-Claude "keep voting until you deliver the result I want, then stop" Junker, arch soft-fascist reducer of democracy to a meaningless ritual, agent of the Beige Dictatorship, and symbolic embodiment of what so many people dislike about...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    I suspect that "this can't be happening" syndrome is still operating on the other side of the pond. Anyone who's been following events in France lately and still believes in the "Republican Front will hold" is probably basing their overall...
  • Commented on Empire Games in the UK!
    It's a good piece of work -- heartily recommended....
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    Let's take some chamomile and breathe deeply. It's not going to rain green frogs. Yeah, Trump won; Le Pen may win; institutions may change -- the EU and the UN may be gone in another year or two. So what?...
  • Commented on Eleven Tweets
    In point of fact, nothing is to be done because the system is path dependent. What you see is what we're going to get, only more so....
  • Commented on Busy busy busy
    Good covers, but I like the one with the unicorns best....
  • Commented on Playtime is over
    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",...
  • Commented on Playtime is over
    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...
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    It's also usually a fairly safe bet that someone who spends a lot of time telling people I UNDERSTAND BUT YOU ARE BLIND, BLIND! is a dingbat. Complexity and secrecy are the refuges of people who have a quarrel with...
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    Immortals would probably suffer less from future shock because a society where the majority were very old would be intensely conservative and resistant to change. A lot of change happens simply because the older generation retire/die. If that didn't happen,...
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    What looks like a "tacit conspiracy" from the outside is usually actually just "elite consensus" from inside. Most people never seriously question the prevailing opinions of their social reference group....
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    My family were nomads, my father was a professional military officer who'd rather have been a writer, and I've never felt that I didn't grow up or that my life didn't conform to a 50's norm -- and I was...
  • Commented on Why Should You Care About Virtual Reality? Because It's A Source Of Hope.
    It won't promote empathy because people will select and stay in their bubble just as they do with social media now. In fact, it'll have the opposite effect. The military have found that VR training can fool the subconscious. It...
  • Commented on "Tomorrow belongs to me"
    Looking at the results geographically, you could sum them up as being the most English parts of England voting "Leave", and the cosmopolis and its satellites voting "remain". Three of my four grandparents were English; they all came from areas...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    Migration is not some sort of natural force like rain or drought. It's the result of policy decisions. If a sovereign state decides to stop it and is willing to use all measures, it stops. And furthermore, comparing what Group...
  • Commented on Check Check Sound Check
    Hi, Alyx! (Waves paws in the air.)...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    UKIP is essentially the same sort of party as the FN in France, and several others, and it's a result of the same phenomenon; the refusal of the political class to listen to or bid for the votes of a...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    Galloway is most emphatically an anti-semite. Not all "anti-Zionists" are anti-semitic, though most are(*) but all anti-semites are anti-Zionist, and he is. As Charlie says, it's the invariable dog-whistle, tho' the straightforward "Death to the Jews" article have been crawling...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    For over 150 years now, English voters have seen Liberal and then Labor governments which the majority of the English electorate didn't want put in by the "Celtic Fringe". It was part of the price of Empire. Empire's gone now...
  • Commented on An exercise in futility
    I find the whole concept deeply stupid, but it's stupidity with a pedigree -- Dr. Bowlder et. al. As long as they do this -after- buying the book, and do not try to -sell or distribute- the modified text, then...
  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    So capitalism is justified by bringing the golden age to a small group of privileged western academics? I don't think so. -- doubt you've ever been hungry for long. Capitalism has brought affluence to billions. Socialist countries have famines; capitalist...
  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    "Sputter. I don't even know where to begin." -- but hey, you'll give it a try, I bet. "a) Rapidly growing economic output is not sustainable and therefore NOT GOOD." -- an unsupported assertion (nobody can predict the future, as...
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