French people

It seems they are not all alike.

“Zombie Catholics share certain symptoms: Not only do they hail from regions where resistance was greatest to the French Revolution, but they also have taken advantage of the benefits that flowed from that seismic event. Highly educated and meritocratic, they also privilege a traditional ordering of professional and domestic duties between husbands and wives; strong attachment to social, community, and family activities; and a general wariness over the role of the state in private and community affairs, including “free schools” (Catholic private schools). — France’s Zombie Catholics Have Risen – and They’re Voting

Fake news

The reason why Allied deception operations were so effective against Hitler was because Goebbels had reduced German reporting to a lie machine, thereby destroying its credibility. Allied news, even Allied deception was more believable by comparison. — Fake News, by Richard Fernandez

UPDATE 29 November 2016: Another reason might have involved the water-cooled vacuum tubes.

The alt right

Here’s Doc Rampage on how alt-right-wingers are different from conservatives.

In game theory there’s the idea of a “dominant strategy” – everyone who doesn’t adopt it looses to it, until at last the only players left are those who use that strategy. The dominating strategy becomes universal. The strategies of the far left have worked so well that they’ve been adopted by some political opponents of the left. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, they say.

Only two years until the midterms

Republicans win

So, Donald Trump won. Maybe more significantly, the Republicans won big at all levels; they have the House and Senate as well as the Presidency, and very many state and local offices. One might note they don’t have a filibuster-proof two thirds of the Senate, but they do have Harry Reid’s “nuclear option.”

This will be the time to see what the Republican platform really is – not what they tell the “base” in campaign season, but what they actually do when they can do about anything they want. So we’ll see. It’s safest to regard the next four years as a breathing space – a delay in the slide left and down.

Losers riot

The debate moderator asked the wrong man if he would accept the results of the election. Now that Trump has won, dissent is again the highest form of patriotism. Maybe so, but if a man won’t speak English, burns the American flag, and insists that Trump is not his president, it sounds like he’s stumbled into the wrong nation by mistake. We should reach out to him, and help him get back home.

Reporters sad

The network news and the major papers simply are not reliable sources of information. Readers of Dilbert ended up with a better sense of the political situation. I thought it would be close, but that vote fraud would give Clinton enough of an advantage. “Trump Did Better With Blacks, Hispanics Than Romney” – says NBC News, so it may or may not be so, but nicely illustrates the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

Bundy and followers not guilty

The people charged with occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon have been acquitted.

This is astonishing. I’d never have predicted it, and have no idea what to make of it. It didn’t seem to be in dispute that they took over federal property. But as ever, the jury knows more about it than I do.

“Tumult erupted in the courtroom Thursday after the verdicts were read when an attorney for group leader Ammon Bundy demanded his client be immediately released and repeatedly yelled at the judge. U.S. marshals tackled attorney Marcus Mumford to the ground, used a stun gun on him several times and arrested him.”


Land reform

Given the disparity between America’s demographic makeup and that of the owners of productive agricultural land, how long will it be before we start talking seriously about land reform in the U.S.?

I predict that within twenty years we’ll see land reform in the U.S. as a serious policy proposal with a significant chance of happening, possibly as part of a larger program of redistribution.

Now that would be a really bad thing, and it sounds crazy today; but by the time it becomes plausible there will be a new normality within which it will be discussed. A whole lot of other bad things will have happened to make it plausible. The thing to look at is not where we are now, but where all the changes are pointing.

A path to American citizenship for all mankind

Here’s the process:

Go to the nearest US consulate and get the forms; fill them out, pay the fee, wait for approval, then make your way to the US.

Or, simply make your way to the US.

Can’t afford the fare, or don’t know the way? We’ll come and get you.

Don’t want to come? You can still collect benefits and vote absentee. We’ll send a ballot.

Or vote online using our secure voteserver – anonymized for your protection.

Let us know which path you want to follow. If we don’t hear from you by November, we’ll register a vote on your behalf.