Tuesday, January 30, 2018
1. The War on Terror is no longer a thing. Since terrorism is now a much worse problem around the world than it was when the War on Terror was first announced after 9/11, it certainly hasn’t been won. Another problem is the prodigious amount of treasure, life and limb that has been squandered on this worse-than-futile pursuit. But Americans are now going to do what they always do after a military misadventure: declare victory, go home, and cower behind two oceans hoping that their misadventure doesn’t follow them home. America’s new message to all the numerous victims of terrorism is “Suck it up.”
2. America’s new enemy is Chinarussia—a very large Eurasian country. The US depends on Chinarussia for a great many things and can’t possibly afford to go to war with it, but what’s a poor bankrupt country to do when nothing works? Previously, the US was able to successfully play China and Russia against each other (after Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon were given an opening by the very foolish Nikita Khrushchev, who alienated Mao Zedong with his attack on Joseph Stalin’s legacy). But now “Divide and conquer” is no longer a thing either; the new thing is “unite your enemies while making them laugh.” Uniting China and Russia took quite a bit of American effort and is more or less a fait accompli. Making them laugh was even harder, but I feel that Mattis did a good job.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Not only is Trump a Manchurian candidate put in place by Putin and/or elected by a bunch of retrogrades and undesirables. Not only did he make horribly populist campaign promises—like bringing back offshored American jobs; like keeping out illegal immigrants who also steal American jobs; like bringing US troops back home from the many hellholes that the US military has been busily creating around the world; like renegotiating trade deals to favor Americans rather than foreigners; like restoring good relations with Russia; like “making America great again” (however unlikely that may sound). Worst of all, he has failed to deliver on any of these promises! Instead, the little that’s happened under his watch so far that can be said to be positive is a further progression of financial bubbles, with stocks and bonds both looking like hundred-foot palm trees growing in buckets (what will happen to them when a gust of wind comes along?). This makes Trump no different from any of his predecessors (which one of them actually fulfilled his campaign promises?). But somehow a US president lying like he’s running for office, then ignoring his promises once elected, just like any other US president, is no longer good enough for some people.
But it gets even worse than that…
Thursday, January 18, 2018
But there is much more irony in it than that.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
|Russian icebreaker/LNG tanker|
Christophe de Margerie
The Russians do believe in global warming. It has opened up Arctic sea lanes to year-round navigation, supported by Russia’s new icebreaker fleet. They provide shortcuts to world’s sea freight while getting around strategic chokepoints such as the Straits of Malacca, the Suez Canal and the Straits of Gibraltar. The Russians have also taken advantage of the warming Arctic to open the region to oil and gas exploration and production. Late last year the ambitious new Yamal liquefied natural gas project opened to great fanfare. An entire new city was built above the Arctic circle. Putin himself flew in and gave the order to start pumping. A new fleet of ice-capable LNG tankers is being readied to take the gas to customers anywhere in the world.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
However, as technological civilization nears its end of life due to depletion of nonrenewable natural resources and increasingly devastating environmental disruptions, the realities of the typical collapse cascade of financial-commercial-political-social-cultural collapse are exceedingly likely to be such that sexual differences will once again become obvious and very important while gender studies and feminist theory gently fade into oblivion. In attempting to gauge which social and cultural adaptations are likely to be the most conducive to surviving collapse, a back-to-basics approach seems justified. In the old days, women have had to rely on men for a great many things, and a spinster’s or a widow’s lot was most often unenviable. Most modern women would find the prospect of having to return to such times nothing short of appalling. But their recent political victories of gender equality are safeguarded by a political realm that is subject to collapse, and their economic independence is made possible by an economic realm which is likewise subject to collapse. What will they have to fall back on?
If we admit that, in almost any conceivable collapse scenario, women would once again have to rely on men, a question arises: Which men? The modern economically independent, liberated woman has a greatly reduced need of a male consort: a timely donation of sperm is all that is actually required; companionship, romance, and help with raising children are desirable but optional. And with a greatly reduced need comes a greatly reduced sense of responsibility: the modern man’s response is to focus on his own needs rather than those of women, choosing to remain egotistical and childlike. What sorts of transformative events would have to take place in order for men to once again accept the traditional full burden of male responsibility? Is such a transformation even possible? And, if not, are we willing to concede the point that in a collapse scenario modern societies will go extinct while traditional societies (which modern societies consider backward) will muddle through?
Tuesday, January 09, 2018
That’s right, Unspell is back! Right around the time of the last presidential election in the US, the web site broke. I didn’t think that too many people cared, but I was wrong, and enough of them have nagged me to make me want to fix it, which I just did. The person who was responsible for the breakage was, of course, none other than President Donald J. Trump of the yooge button. It’s a juicy bit of gossip...