A Budget without Russians: The Empire’s Nightmare

Methinks the insane hysteria over Russia needs to stop. It probably will not. For reasons of domestic and imperial politics the American public is again being manipulated into a war frenzy by Washington and New York. It is stupid, without justification, and dangerous.

The silliness over Russia is, obviously, part of the Establishment’s drive to get rid of Trump. Yes, the man is erratic, contradictory, shoots before he aims, backs off much of what he has promised, and may be unqualified as President–but that is not why Washington and New York want to get rid of him. It is about money and power, as is everything in the United States. Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Neocons, and the Empire run America. Trump has threatened their rice bowls.

Consider:

He has threatened to cut the F-35, a huge blow to Lockheed-Martin and hundreds of subcontractors; to pull US troops out of South Korea, a blow to the Empire; to end the wars, a blow both to the Empire and the military industry getting rich from them; to pull troops out of Okinawa, crippling the Empire in the Pacific; to start a trade war with China with a forty-five percent tariff of Chinese goods, threatening American corporations with factories there; and to chase out illegal immigrants, an important source of cheap labor to businesses.  He has called NATO “obsolete,” when leaving it would be the death knell of the Empire; and threatened to establish good relations with Russia, when the lack of a European enemy would leave NATO even more obviously unnecessary.

Thus New York and its branch operation in Washington resuscitate Russia as a bugbear to terrify the rubes,meaning most of the public. Money. Power. Empire.

What sense does this make–apart from money and power? Russia is an economically challenged nation of 145 million, less than half of Europe’s population and much less than half of America’s. Its economy is a small fraction of the combined economies of Europe and America. It is not on a war footing. It is not moving forces into position for an invasion. It is not mobilizing. To satellite photography, to NSA these things would be as obvious as leprosy on a prom queen. The Establishment would be screaming to high heaven if there were the slightest trace of preparation for war. The whole business is manufactured.

I frequently see the assertion that Russia “hacked” voting machines to give the election to President Trump. The majority who are excited about this, I suspect the very great majority, have not the foggiest idea what they are talking about. Hacking to most people means something they saw in a movie, with some bright kid going clickety-click-click on a laptop and penetrating NORAD.  It is a vague menace lacking specific content. To them I would say:

If you cannot program in assembly language, you do not know how computers work. If you do not know TCP/IP from DHCP, you do not know how the internet works. If you cannot tell a dictionary attack from stack overflow, you don’t have a housefly’s idea how hacking works. If you have not investigated the various kinds of voting machines to see what would be involved in changing their vote totals, you probably ought to take up stamp collecting. 

This is all orchestrated. So is the constant Putin bashing. His sin of course is that he doesn’t knuckle under to Washington. It is also the sin of Iran, China, Cuba, and North Korea.

The con is often silly. From time to time we see screaming headlines headlines, RUSSIAN BOMBER FLIES OFF AMERICAN COAST!  Or somebody’s coast. Recently it was A SPY SHIP!  The “bomber” is usually a Tu-95 Bear (NATO designation), an ancient four-engine prop job, though a beautiful aircraft, converted for reconnaissance. The idea that Moscow would send one lumbering plane to bomb America is too stupid–well, no, nothing is too stupid.

Tu-95. First flew in 1952. Yes, it can carry nuclear weapons. So can a Volkswagen Jetta.

Then there is the assertion that Russia hacked the DNC and gave its emails to Wikileaks. This is possible, but how would we know? (And would not revealing misbehavior be a  service to the voting public?) Note that many people had an incentive to do it, from disgruntled Democratic insiders to anyone who stood to lose by Hillary’s election or gain by Trump´s, to the Trump campaign itself, to the many talented freelancers who just enjoy raising hell. Maybe .1 percent of the population, certainly not including me, have the expertise and access even to guess intelligently.

If you believe same intel agencies that lied us into Vietnam and Iraq, and that  apparently are very much involved in anti-Trumpian machinations, you are the Establishment’s ideal citizen. For political reasons, specifically hostility to Trump, they will say anything that suits their purposes. and only inadvertently  include the truth. If this seems an extreme claim, reflect: 

In 1964 the CIA was running various kinds of attacks against North Vietnam, without admitting it. Two intelligence vessels, the Maddox and the Turner Joy, claimed that they had been fired upon by the North. They had not, and if they had been it would not have been unreasonable since the United States was inserting teams of saboteurs into the north. The result, and intention, was to chivy America into wars which devastated three countries and lead to millions of deaths. It worked.

After Nine Eleven, the government, using the intel outfits, deliberately led most of the public to believe that Iraq was developing the dread WMD, and thus get the United States to attack for the benefit of the oil industry, Israel, and the imperial lobby. It was nonsense and Washington had to know  it. At the time Iraq was probably the most watched real estate on the planet. The result was destruction of an innocent country and the bloody mess that is now the Middle East. Which, note, had nothing to do with the interests of the United States or the well-being of its people.

All of America’s wars are for the benefit of others than Americans. Do you think you would be made better off by a war with Russia? China? Does the unending butchery in Afghanistan  improve your life? Would you feel more secure if NATO–Washington’s puppet troupe–had bases in Montenegro? Wherever the hell that is?

The same game is now being played with Russia. Almost daily we read that Washington is sending troops to Poland, Bulgaria, Norway to confront the Russians, who are doing nothing that needs confronting.

“US to Send 1,000 Troops to Poland to ‘Deter Russia”’

Deter it from what?

This morning: “Germany Will Send Tank to Russian Border.”

A recent move was to  send naval forces to the Black Sea, which is not America’s concern. What, precisely, are those ships supposed to do? Steam fiercely in circles, bowwow-grrr-woof? Do they have a purpose other than domestic American consumption? Are they to attack something, defend something in danger of attack, forbid the Russians to do–what?

Russia is not going to invade Europe, and Washington knows it perfectly well, so why put tiny combat forces on its frontiers? If there is going to be a deliberate war, Washington is going to have to start it. Attacking Russia with minor forces, or at all, is probably an idea nuttier than even Washington can invent. One hopes that Europe would not allow Americans to do what they usually does, get others to fight its wars in other people’s countries.

The danger with letting  pasty neocons in New York play with military forces is that brinksmanship, fun for fern-bar Napoleons, can have not-fun consequences. If Washington puts naval forces in Russian waters in the Black Sea, the Russians will feel compelled to shadow the ships, to keep fighters flying overhead. A mistake occurs–mistakes do occur–and one side downs a plane belonging to the other. The wounded side feels obliged to respond. We have a shooting war. In closed waters bordering Russia, the US Navy would not win. Washington would then feel that it had to defend its ego by expanding the war.  Wounded ego is important to the vast combative vanities who so often rise to power.

And there is no way to rein in these lunatics. They send the military where they like, attack whoever they choose, and we read about it after it has been done. One could almost wish we had constitutional government.

But I dream.


Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters “pdq” somewhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion. Apologies for inability to reply due to volume.

Internal Secession and the Road to Ruin: Two Countries

Trump did not cause the deep division in the country. It caused him. There are two very different Americas. I suspect  that the half of the country that voted for Trump, that voted with wild enthusiasm, that roared at huge rallies, was not so  much voting for Trump as against the other America. It was just that they had never had a chance before. The two countries have little in common and do not belong on the same geography.

Whether Trump proves to be the catastrophic buffoon he apparently aspires to be, the current protests illuminate a stark difference between his supporters and Hillary’s. The chasm is far deeper than  just politics, embracing  culture, taste, manners and morals. The groups are distinct and incompatible .  

The difference begins with manners. Throughout the campaign Trump’s partisans forgathered in huge rallies, applauded, calmly went home, and later voted.  At the same time we saw on Clinton’s behalf mobs of ill-bred, worse mannered, loutish, perennial adolescents blocking  highways, shutting down rallies, engaging in vandalism and physically attacking supporters of Trump. Cars were destroyed, fires set, ATMs smashed. Black Lives Matter, always ghetto predators, were worst, but low-grade college students and their equally dismal professors joined in. They were obscene, infantile. 

And naive: They apparently believe that they harm Trump though of course their behavior drives people in the other direction. I am no fan of Donald , but I look the foregoing and think Anything else.

The desire to shock of the eternally pubescent. Smirk, smirk, look at me, smirk, smirk.

We saw Ashley Judd, apparently an actress, addressing the “Women’s March.”

“I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, misogyny, ignorance, white privilege. I’m not as nasty as using little girls like Pokemon before their bodies have even developed. I am not as nasty as your own daughter being your favorite sex symbol, like your wet dreams infused with your own genes.”

The astonishing thing is not that some foul-mouthed twit came up with such cloacal gush, but that the “Women’s March” sponsored her, did not eject or even censure her.

Can you imagine any of Trump’s middle-American supporters accusing Obama of lusting for incest with his daughters?  The two camps are different peoples. Half of the country seems culturally dominated from the ghetto. The other half embodies standards of behavior that have usually been thought congruent with civil society. While Trump himself is crass, making menstrual jibes on the air at Megyn Kelly for example, his supporters are not.

Any number of arguments can be adduced against Trump but so much of the outpouring of hostility, even from the intelligent, lacks thought. Thisaphobe, thataphobe, Nazi, misogynist. Putin’s Bitch.  Most seem not to know what the words mean, or care.

Wild thought: We may be seeing Darwinian regression. The intellectual nanoparticles waving placards, the sobbing talking headesses  may represent the return of the procaryote IQ. They give us a living paleontological record of what life looked like before it evolved. Think “Cambrian Implosion.” I imagine Rachel Maddow with twelve body segments and compound eyes.

Different peoples. I would like to see a comparative poll: How many women who voted for Trump would allow themselves to be associated with Ms. Judd’s remarks? None, I suspect. How many women voting for Trump would parade around in “pussy hats”? How many fathers voting for Trump would allow their daughters, have raised their daughters, to behave as the “Women’s Marchers”? Their children to copy Black Lives Matter? 

Different civilizations. Virtually no overlap.

The media are decidedly of the Clinton America. In Washington at least some journalists donned pussy hats and jointed the demonstrators. Trashy behavior has seeped into many in the professional classes. Trump  recently sued a journalist and the London Daily Mail for describing Melania as “a high-end escort”–i.e., a take-out call girl, a prostitute. Can you imagine a conservative paper–say, the Washington Times, The American Conservative, National Review–describing Michelle Obama as a whore? Or Trump’s fans wearing scrotal hats? 

There is a brattyness in the apparent belief of the Clinton Americans that they are entitled to the electoral result of their choice. When they don’t get it,they act like spoiled two-year-olds. Poor widdle fings! It is embarrassing. If Hillary had won, would disappointed Trumpists be squalling and posing in genital headgear or looting and burning?  Whatever the merits of the politics of either side, the two have little in common culturally. 

The divide is far deeper and more general than the heat of the election. The sprawling class from which the protesters come, not just in Washington or just recently, opposes the bedrock of our approximation of democracy. It is not an economic divide. On American campuses almost everywhere “students,” most of whom do not have the intelligence for college, use the tactics of Brown Shirts to shut down speeches by anyone who does not agree with them.  They have no conception of reasoned debate, toleration of disagreement, or respect for law. Rather than promote  assimilation to the American norm, or what was the American norm, the only hope to keep the country from devolving into warring tribes, they promote identity politics. They do not, for example, disavow the depredations of Black Lives Matter. Any behavior is acceptable, even admirable, if engaged in by their side.

Decorum and its lack are recurrent themes. I have no hard evidence, but suspect that the Other America believes that men should behave as gentlemen and women, ladies; that sex should be a private matter and in particular that children should not be too early exposed to it. Clinton’s America leans more to the view that sexual language is authentic and natural. Hemorrhagic tuberculosis is natural, but perhaps not to be encouraged. And so from a mainstream performer, Beyonce, the lyrics

“Can you lick my Skittles, it’s the sweetest in the middle/ Pink is the flavor, solve the riddle”

Painfully cute. Can you imagine Billie Holiday singing this? Ella Fitzgerald? From rappers there is far more explicit, scatological, and sadomasochistic “music.” Whether you think this is people’s art, the authentic expression of an oppressed race, or something that should be scrawled on the wall of a public toilet, tracks with who you voted for. Again, two countries.

Berkeley Protests of Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos Caused $100,000 in Damage”

“Protests that erupted at UC Berkeley ahead of a planned Wednesday appearance by right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos caused $100,000 worth of damage to the campus, the school said Thursday.”

These vandals are the storm troopers of the Clinton America. I cannot imagine the Other America behaving thusly because of the scheduling of any speaker whatever.

For whatever reason, those who regard themselves as liberals are far more given to demonstrating and rioting than conservatives, and far more vulgar. I say “regard themselves as liberals.” Their behavior is opposite to classical liberalism. Vulgarity is not liberalism. Neither is arson. Neither is suppression of free speech. All of these are now the norm on campuses, in the media, among both students and professors. And among the protesters.

Another country.

Protests as such  give little to deplore. Demonstrations are both legal and constitutionally protected if well behaved, and the women in Washington were. It is the values they represent that marks them as another country. The self-satisfaction  appalls, the belief that they represent the universe. Coming together in vast shared tantrums, endlessly reaffirming each other on Facebook, may give them an exaggerated impression of their numbers. Thus the frequent use of the phrase “we the people.” Actually they are “we, quite a large number of the people.” As I write Trump’s approval stands at 52%. My guess is that the man’s unending truculence will lower his numbers, but it hasn’t yet. And a complete failure of his presidency will not change the fact that half of the country is thoroughly sick of the other half.

Where does this lead?

Invading Mexico: More Brilliance from Washington

Time: “You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Peña Nieto, according to the excerpt given to AP. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

With Trump it is difficult to tell bluster and carney-barker showmanship from serious consideration or actual intention.  While clearly a threat, the remark  may have been intended only to intimidate, and the ascription of cowardice to the Mexican army only ill-bred. Trump’s military record leaves no doubt as to his own courage. Given his administration’s threats of military action–war–against China and Iran, the possibility that he will send troops southward may be worth pondering. Whether the President has the faintest idea of what would be involved in very much worth pondering.

If troops are sent, what will they face in Mexico? What would they do? How many would they be?

To begin with, the narcos look exactly like everybody else in Mexico. They do not carry ID cards saying “Narcotraficante.” They can easily blend into the general population. If GIs try to operate here, the inability to distinguish narcos from everybody else  will quickly lead to intense frustration. Frustrated troops become angry. They begin to hate the locals as in all such wars they hated the dinks, gooks, slopes, zipperheads, sand niggers, and rag-heads. Mexicans will begin to seem treacherous to them, as always happens when US troops go to countries they do not understand. All Mexicans will come under suspicion.

Soldiers, being young, usually not too bright, poorly educated, with no experience of other cultures, will start knocking people around. It always happens. Always. It is exactly what happened in Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia. There will be beatings, people slapped about, mistaken raids with the man of the house handcuffed, thrown to the floor, and humiliated in front of his wife. This is what happens when when you chase willothewisp narcos or terrs or mujaheddin or VC or commies on the basis of shaky information from unreliable sources with agendas of their own.

American forces will be called “advisers” or maybe “trainers” by the Pentagon, but Mexicans will see them as invaders. Since the Mexican constitution forbids the deployment of foreign forces in the country, they will indeed be invaders, although the Mexican government will be pressured into “inviting” them.. No country well tolerates arrogant, blundering, heavy-handed alien myrmidons with the power to push them around. GIs will not be regarded as friends or saviors.

Drug territory, Sierra Madre. Dense cover, fog, enormous rocks, steep escarpments. Phredfoto. 

Much of the narco culture springs from the Sierra Madre Occidental, very rough mountainous land traversed by trails and dirt roads that the narcos know well and GIs  never will. People here are tough, leading lives harder than any in modern America. For many of them the drug trade is a miraculous thing allowing them more than a very hard-scrabble existence. American troops bumbling about here would accomplish nothing. The Pentagon, again, would rely on drone operators with no way of knowing who they were killing.

Many of the narcos are in cities, such as Culiacán, capital of Sinaloa, home of the Sinaloa cartel. What do foreign troops do in a large busy city?

To make things worse, much worse, the narcos are neither helpless nor poorly armed. They have AKs, RPGs. They have years of experience in combat, with each other or the Mexican army. They are skilled at ambushes. When you look exactly like the rest of the population, and the American soldiers look like space aliens, they are easy to ambush. The American reaction to a few dead GIs will be hysterical. The narcos will use ambushes in populated areas to make troops fire wildly, killing children, grandmothers, young women. This will turn the country further against the invaders. Not nice, but effective.

The US will rely on its new toys, drones, and on helicopters to try to compensate for the fact that Mexico is a huge country with lots of very nasty terrain. Drone operators don’t know who they are shooting at. This means that, as always happens, always, they will kill a lot of innocent people. The American media will suppress the these killings, as they do in America’s other invasions, but the Mexicans will know. The military doesn’t care as long as killings do not result in bad publicity. The Trump administration will refer to these slaughters as “isolated incidents.” An isolated incident is business as usual that has been detected.

It takes very little killing of innocents to generate hatred. The public will regard the invaders as worse than the narcos and withhold cooperation,  which will make the invaders yet more angry. Further, cooperating with the US will be dangerous. The narcos respond very badly to such things. The Mexican army will be compelled by the US to assist the invaders but will be unenthusiastic. Soon the Americans will be complaining that they are getting little help in what the GIs will be told is a campaign to help Mexico., 

This too is routine and inevitable. In all of its invasions, in Southeast Asia, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, the Pentagon makes a show of training local forces to “defend their countries,” to stand up and fight whatever it is that the United-States doesn’t like. This means encouraging, or forcing, citizens of a country to kill other citizens of the same country. Only the Pentagon could be surprised when this works poorly. Picture China’s invading the US and forcing Virginians to fight Texans. And so in country after country the Americans complain about the indigenous army, of its poor fighting quality, low morale, desertion, payrolls padded with ghost soldiers, theft of weapons, and troops going over to the enemy.

Northern Mexico. You actually find towns and homes in and around this sort of landscape. Phredfoto.

Mexico is very large, about 2000 miles across the northern border and about 1200 driving miles from Laredo to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Much of it is godawful for infantry operations. Necessarily the troops will be able to operate only in small parts of the country. The narcos will easily go around them. Since a small number of troops will accomplish nothing, there will be calls for more troops. 

In short, a few GIs will be pointless. Large numbers will be pointless while killing large numbers of people and reducing yet another country to chaos. Maybe it isnl’t a really bright idea.


Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters “pdq” in the subject line to avoid autodelation. Replies usually not possible due to volume, not bad manners..

 

 

 

Many Storms Gathering: Reflections on Trump

I bow (in case you were wondering) to no one in my loathing for the Clintons, the Establishment, the Beltway Insulates, political correctness, BLM, radical feminists, the controlled media, Obama, Wall Street, neocons, Social-Justice Look-at-Mes, and the New York Oligarchs. After the election, I figured, having no choice anyway, to see what Trump actually did. I have seen. America elected a dangerous curiosity.

Listen to Trump’s Secretary of State Tillerson, his representative, addressing Congress and ordering China around like a misbehaving twelve-year-old: “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

This amounts to “Do what I say, or else.” It is an ultimatum, a thing to be used gingerly among big powers.  The only “else” is war. Yes, he was speaking unofficially, but his interventions are clear. 

Ultimata are dangerous. They are insulting. They leave no room for preservation of dignity by compromise, by finding a way to give in without seeming to. They are a way to look for a fight. A Secretary of State who casually issues ultimata to huge and nuclear powers is a symptom of an executive branch  utterly out of control.

Tillerson’s combativeness is not a fluke. Vice President Bannon in The Independent “We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren’t we?” Mr Bannon said on his radio show in March 2016. “There’s no doubt about that.”

It also shows the danger of a President with no restrictions on his power to make war. In this respect, current Presidents are as autonomous as Roman emperors, having established that they can wage war at will.  Whether the country wants to go to war makes no difference.

FoxNews The US is  officially putting Iran “on notice” after its missile test.

The same truculence. The same sense of entitlement. Another war coming up. We would find out about it the day after it began.

A point apparently lost on the President is that we do not live in 1955. Then, it was a bully’s world. The carriers could easily have prevented sampans from going to islands and China had no hope of attacking the US navy or engaging in nuclear war. Today it can do both. While the US would “win” a conventional war, assuming that it remained conventional, the consequences would be unpredictable and the economic effects catastrophic.

Trump is extremely combative, erratic, apparently a bully, and responds to resistance by doubling down. To many of us, including me, this was  immensely satisfying when he told the press to bugger off, defied the Clinton-Wall Street-Beltway elites, and talked of putting the interests of America before those of big business.  The campaign was fine entertainment. Because so many were sick of the elites, he is President. Fun as a candidate, but in a President?

The same psychology of the gas-station lout appears in his approach to Mexico, where I live. In particular his insistence that Mexico pay for his wall is insulting, and deliberately so. He very evidently does not like Mexico.

Why?

He got screwed in a business deal in Mexico and has been hostile to the country ever since. Time published a list of Trump’s tweets on Mexico, a remarkable number of which expressed personal anger. For example, here he  conflates foreign policy and his personal affairs:

@realDonaldTrump I have a lawsuit in Mexico’s corrupt court system that I won but so far can’t collect. Don’t do business with Mexico!

Or:

@realDonaldTrump “The Mexican legal system is corrupt, as is much of Mexico. Pay me the money that is owed me now – and stop sending criminals over our border.”

Note the order of the demands.

This sounds like the pique–I won’t say “hissyfit”–of a man who does not respond well to not getting his way. And his relentless hostility to Mexico looks a lot like a quest for revenge.

The desire to humiliate and punish Mexico plays well with Americans angry at immigration and themselves hostile to Latinos. Personal vendettas do not seem a desirable basis for foreign policy.

 More of his hostility  seems to spring from  failed developments in Mexico, the Trump Ocean Resort Baja California, in which purchasers of expensive apartments lost large down payments when the developments were not built.

LA Times:

“All told, two years of aggressive marketing yielded $32.5 million in buyer deposits, every bit of it spent by the time Trump and his partners abandoned the project in early 2009 as the global economy was reeling. Most of the buyers sued them for fraud.”

Whether the reason for the failure was incompetence or a deliberate scam depends on who you talk to.

There was also Punta Arrecifes Resort that he wanted to build in Cozumel. It was to be a very high-dollar, exclusive place with airport, golf couture, and the like and, among other things, would have devastated an ecologically protected zone. Protests erupted, the mayor wanted an excessive bribe, and he didn’t get his way.

El Proceso:

“Para “acelerar” los trámites, el alcalde panista les pidió un “moche” de 20 millones de dólares. Directo, sin rodeos, el alcalde panista les indicó que ese era el precio para lograr el cambio de uso de suelo, pese a las protestas de los grupos ambientalistas.”

“To speed up” the paperwork, the Panista mayor tasked them for a bribe of $20 million. Directly, without beating around the bush, the mayor indicated that this was the price for changing the use of the land despite the protests of environmentalists.” My translation.

The bribe was more than Trump was willing to play. He took his football and went home. He is not above fraud or corruption, but didn’t like the price.

Wall Street Journal: “Trump settles fraud case against Trump University for $25M”

His blaming these failures on Mexican corruption doesn’t hold water. The corruption exists, yet countless American firms successfully do business in Mexico.

Petulant, self-interested, and childish. Much of what he says is adolescent. Over and over he speaks of Mexico sending criminals to America. How precisely does Mexico send criminals? By “Mexico” he presumably means the Mexican government, as who else might he mean? Does Presidente Peña Nieto go to a penitentiary and say, “You, Pepe, and Kike and, yeah, you, Luis, take these bus tickets, you criminal bastardos, and go to the United States and wreak havoc”? Is there a cabinet-level body to send criminals? El Departamento de Empaquetamiento de Cabrones? Perhaps “Mexico” puts stamps on criminals and drops them off at the post office.

The repeated assertion that Mexico is cheating the US, exploiting it, being unfair, (Oh! Poor widdle Colossus of the North) is either garishly ignorant, personally vindictive or, more likely, both. Mexico is governmentally weak, corrupt, and utterly under the thumb of the United States. Is NAFTA a Mexican plot against the US? Actually it forced Mexican farmers into competition with hopelessly superior American agriculture and drove them into the cities, where there are no jobs. Along the border American maquiladoras pay poor Mexicans miserably low wages. Mexico crawls with DEA agents forced on it from the north and loses countless lives fighting Americal’ls drug war. On and on.

We seem to have as President an unpredictable warlike draft dodger with a history of fraud suits who cannot distinguish between his personal grudges and foreign policy. Is this going to work?


Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters “pdq” somewhere in the subject line to avoid autodeletion.

New |York Times Replaced by Black Box. World Relieved

Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.”

I think things have looked bleak for the  angels at least since Milton published Paradise Lost,  but things are now beginning to look bleak for grumpy columnists, and that is serious. Angels can look out for themselves.

The threat to all that is good and right in the world  (consisting in large part of grumpy columnists) is that a computer wrote the foregoing tale of baseballian angst and triumph. Specifically, a program called Quill from NarrativeScience wrote it. Worse, it wrote it in about three seconds, and worse yet, it is bruited in journalistic circles that many major outlets are using Quill and various of its brethren to spit out a lot of their copy. 

I find myself worrying that if they come up with a subroutine for bile, abomination, and sedition, I may be out of a job. Which I don’t have one of anyway. The logical  problems of losing a job one doesn’t have are daunting.

If one may trust the The New York Times,  usually doubtful but in this case probably not, the following poured forth from the depths of an electronic soul.

“When I in dreams behold thy fairest shade

Whose shade in dreams doth wake the sleeping morn

The daytime shadow of my love betray’d

Lends hideous night to dreaming’s faded form.”

Just what this concoction means is not altogether clear, a quality it shares with much poetry. I suspect that giving the software too much credit may be a mistake, since we con’t know how much the pump was primed with emotive words. 

Likewise this:

“Kitty couldn’t fall asleep for a long time. Her nerves were strained as two tight strings, and even a glass of hot wine, that Vronsky made her drink, did not help her. Lying in bed she kept going over and over that monstrous scene at the meadow.”

“As two tight strings” is sufficiently infelicitous as to suggest that a professor had written it, but otherwise it works. With tweaking it is not hard to imagine the thing writing Harlequin Romances in about five minutes each.

sex-robot

I found the above photo by searching on “Sex Robots.” Think how much journalism could save by replacing Megyn Kelly with this siliconical–very conical–young lady.  She would have to do nothing but look pretty and talk. Silicon ages well, and never causes labor problems, though it may need patching. And there wold be an “off” switch.

It is hard to distinguish stories written by some  clanking awful robot, or anyway code probably with lots of ugly curly brackets, from the outpourings of real reporters. Since a great many news stories consist of electronically available information plugged into fairly standard templates, then, really, truly and seriously, jobs are going to go away–progressively as the software matures.

Narrative Science’s co-founder estimates that 90 percent of news could be algorithmically generated by the mid-2020s, much of it without human intervention. Many things are easy for machines already: obits, financial stories, routine crime reports. Goodbye, cub reporters. Few will notice, because reporters won’t be fired, just never hired. We will have more young living in their parents’ basements.

Regular readers, if I have one, know that I keep saying that pretty soon automation is going to take all our jobs and have everybody living in homeless shelters and under park benches. This suggests a boom market in park benches, briefly employing thousands.  There are various ways of looking at this. On one hand, I have never liked jobs. On the other, robots only need to take some fraction of jobs across society and in the ensuing riots we will all kill each other. I don’t think we can stand too much leisure. Especially without money for buying beer and drugs.

White-collar jobs are very much in danger. Think of all the people sitting in cubicle farms, like letters in a crossword puzzle. Many, I suspect most, do things automatable, and do it far more slowly than a computer might. How long does it take an intelligent program to flash through court records to find those relevant to a particular case? There are programs in the works to intelligently handle customer-service calls, potentially unemplloying all those people in Mumbai who make life into a guessing game. Maybe a good thing. Siri at least speaks English.

Clerical jobs in particular are in imminent danger. Natalia, my  stepdaughter, went to her bank months ago and found a row of machines taking deposits, goodbye several clerks–white-collar clerks. The internet makes the problem worse. Until several years ago Violeta was teaching Spanish by Skype video to students all around the world for way below the rates of Berlitz. An American friend here has a steel-detailing business for construction firms, using Mexican and Philippine detailers by internet. The jukebox in a local bar gets music over the internet automatically, goodbye to the technician who used to replace CDs and fix the moving parts, which it barely any longer has. These are little things, but there are lots of them.

Lots of scary computer-driven stuff is close, some of it real close. It’s not just self-driving vehicles, goodbye cabbies, long-haul truckers, and delivery guys. Translation of languages by computer is getting spooky good, certainly for known-context conversation. My telephone will translate English into Latin, for God’s sake.  In Asia, as in America, only a  small percentage of people are really intelligent, but there are a whole lot of Asians. Their lack of English is the barrier keeping them from competing for America’s white-collar jobs by internet.

Economists are puzzled by this because they have no grasp of economics. They think the solution is to retrain displaced workers to do higher-tech things. This happy talk ignores that many of the replaced blue-collars are not smart enough to become IT managers and neurosurgeons, even if we had enough brain cancer, and that the jobs for which they would be retrained are rapidly being replaced themselves. Your can’t retrain fifty replaced clerks as programmers because the company already has programmers, and  anyway only needs five.

Meanwhile our patriotic businessmen want to bring in millions of prefabricated unemployables to help us be out of work. See? Robots and humans working together. Cooperation is a key to success in almost every thing. Question: How much unemployment is needed for things to get ugly?  When does it boil over?


Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com Put the letters “pdq” somewhere in the subject line to avoid autodeletion. Due to volume I can’t answer everyone but I try to read everything.

Sidestepping the Military Leviathan: Make Money, Not War

Mock-up of planned Russian-Chinese airliner to compete with Boeing and Airbus. To enter service by 2025. Ambitious? Oh yes. Remember when we laughed at Toyota, Airbus, and Trump?

Is Washington really going to start a trade war with China, or is it just huffing and puffing for position? I don’t know. Mr. Trump has inexplicably failed to brief me. A point worth bearing in mind:

The United States cannot compete commercially with a developed Asia, or China.

America has nowhere to go. It is a fully developed economy that cannot grow rapidly if it grows at all. America is also a country of only medium size with a white and Asian population of a bit more than two hundred million who do all the brain work. It has a decaying system of education, declining living standards, and an economy crippled by huge military expenditures.

By contrast China has a billion Han Chinese, intelligent government, a great deal of room to grow and high rates of doing so. The combined land mass, population, and economic potential of Asia are staggering. In differing degrees, Asian nations are growing.

Further, Eurasia is one continent, and China has land connections to all of it–“interior lines of communication,” as soldiers say. America does not. Beijing’s stated intention is to use this to unite Eurasia into one enormous commercial unit—which will not include guess who. Beijing can do this. It has the cash. China is the world’s leader in high-speed rail. As a competent dictatorship, it can decide to do things and then do them, while America often seems unable to do either.

First Direct Fright Train from China to UK Arrives in London.” Chinese rolling stock like the above is becoming common in Europe.  

Some time has passed since Beijing made its first rail shipment from Wuli on the Pacific coast through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belorusa, Poland, to Germany and then left to Madrid. It was clunky and a bit of a stunt. Now there are scheduled trains connecting many Chinese cities to the rest of Asia, including Europe. This will not rival sea transport in volume, but will give a lot of places in Asia access to each other. Influence will follow. Watch.

This is bad news for Washington. Greater trade between Europe and the eastern part of the continent means less influence for Washington. It means potentially very much less influence. European nations have much to gain by trading with the incomprehensibly large markets, current and arriving, between Poland the the Pacific. They have nothing to gain by remaining as sepoy states under American control. Their businessmen know it.

China, already the world leader in supercomputers both in number and performance, hopes to have an exascale machine by 2018, way ahead of the US. These are not people to underestimate.

This dismal reality looks to be behind the orchestrated billingsgate against Russia, the war drums being pounded about the South China Sea, and the obvious desire for war with Iran. These three counties are key to an economic union that, if not stopped, will dwarf the United States. While some hope that China will collapse because of internal problems, this is a thin reed upon which to bet the Empire. Washington knows it.

The Empire can not afford to lose control of Europe’s governments, which will happen if heavy trade is allowed to develop with the Three Bugbears. Thus Washington’s hostility to all three—a hostility whose chief effect, note, has been to drive them together against America. Not good. The first rule of empires is Don’t let your enemies unite.

Here we come to a crucial difference between American and Chinese foreign policy. Washington’s approach to maintaining the Empire has consisted of military attack, threats of military attack, military occupation, and the imposition of sanctions. These are visibly declining in effectiveness. The US currently has sanctions against North Korea, Cuba, Iran, and Russia—none of which has produced the desired capitulation. Unless Washington comes up with something quick, presumably a shooting war or a trade war, its aircraft carriers will steam in circles, slowly rusting, while Asia grows. 

Glimmerings of rebellion appear in many places. In the Philippines, Duterte is snuggling up to China. While Washington may kill him or twist his arm, twenty years ago this would not have been necessary. Malaya recently bought Chinese naval vessels. Thailand has begun buying Chinese arms. Countries are slowly abandoning the dollar. German businessmen want to trade with Russia.

Trump now proposes sanctions on China, having said the he would impose a tariff of forty-five percent on goods from there. Perhaps he was lying, bluffing,  or posing in the standard manner of politicians. Maybe he wasn’t. I am not so foolish as to think I can predict the course of a trade war, but neither am I so foolish as to believe that Trump can.

He seems to have the instincts of a bully, which works, or may work, with weak states like Mexico. China isn’t one. He has said that China needs the US more than the US needs China, and so China will surrender. This was also said of Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Russia. The US remains superior to China in all sorts of things, but a lot fewer than before. A trade war won might prove less desirable than a trade war not started. We remember Pyrrhus for a reason.

China begins operating world’s largest radio telescope.” A friend, more patriotic than observant, recently spoke of China as “900,000,000 illiterate peasants.” I suggested stronger coffee. 

If only for reasons of vanity, Trump couldn’t let China get away with calling his bluff. Millions have died over wounded vanity. What could he do? Go for an all-out trade war? Again, risky. Proud countries dig their heels in. China is not without options. By simply turning to Airbus as exclusive provider to its large and growing market, it would wreak havoc on Boeing and its work force and perhaps marginalize the company. Add that Israel may not allow Boeing to sell to Iran, which would be a further blow. 

It is interesting to consider recent PISA scores, which measure the academic performance of school kids.  Math scores in order by country: Singapore, Hongkong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, China. The US was well below average for the countries tested, though its scores are lowered by minorities. Headline: “NY Professor Says Algebra Is Too Hard, Schools Should Drop It.” On fairness, America leads in safe spaces, trigger warnings, puzzled diversity, and whimpering Snowflakes. Watch out, Beijing.

A trade war might come down to whose population can better tolerate want. The deplorables who shop at Walmart are already stretched pretty tight and would not react well to being further impoverished for what they would see as profits for the Establishment. 

If I may briefly reveal my commie tendencies, maybe America ought to worry about its universities, roads, laboratories, and medical care instead of wasting its money on corruption, bombers, lunges for empire, and dreams that 1955 is just around the corner.

China has launched the world’s first quantum-crypto satellite, presumably intended to get NSA off it back, as transmissions are not usefully intercept able. I’m not sure all of us quite know what we are dealing with. The days when Asia made little paper umbrellas for expensive drinks seem to have ended.


Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid voracious auto-delete routine. Due to volume, response, alas, not guaranteed.

IQ: A Skeptic’s View

Intelligence is worth talking about because both the reality of intelligence and perceptions regarding intelligence set limits on the possible and influence policy. For example, if the population of India on average really is below borderline retardation, the country can never amount to anything. If Latino immigrants really are as stupid as white nationalists hope, then they will always inhabit an underclass and, through intermarriage, enstupidate the American population. IQists–those who believe that IQ  is a reliable measure of intelligence–insist that intelligence is largely genetic, which it obviously is, and that IQ tests reliably measure it. The latter is doubtful.

A bit of history: For years I was on Steve Sailer’s Human-Biodiversity List, now defunct. It focused on IQ and on natural selection with the fervor of snake-handlers in the backwoods of North Carolina. Contradictions in their views were stark in regard to intelligence, which was assumed identical to IQ.  In communities of like-thinking enthusiasts, contradictions go unnoticed.

For example, American blacks, the Irish, and Mexicans had IQs accepted by the list as being 85, 86, and 87 respectively—almost identical. It seemed odd to me that identical IQs had produced (a) the on-going academic disaster of American blacks (b) an upper Third World country running the usual infrastructure of telecommunications, medicine, airlines, and so on, and (c) a First World European country. This, though  IQist doctrine argued vociferously that IQ correlates closely with achievement. Well, it didn’t.

I was struck by the perfect acceptance of these numbers even though they made no sense. IQists simply do not question IQ. I pointed out the obvious conclusion, that if Mexicans could run the infrastructure of modern nations, decent if not spectacular universities, and so on, then so, on the basis of IQ, could blacks—none of which they in fact do, or have done.

When I pointed this out, there came the IQist shuck-and-jive: Well, black IQ you see was actually a bit lower, 83 or maybe even 81, and maybe the Mexicans were as much as 89 or even 90, etc. That is, IQ varies with the argument being made. (For the record, Mexicans have been promoted from 87 to 90, IQ being remarkably fluid.)

Colombia-city

Photo: Cartagena, Colombia.  Do you really believe that this city was designed and built by people with a mean IQ of 84? That is six points below Mexicans, and below American blacks? As a matter of  logic, it follows that if people of IQ 84 can design, build, and operate a city with all the credentials of modernity, so can a population of IQ 85. It’s either both can, or neither can, or something is wrong with the purported IQs. For what it’s worth, my wife and I recently spent a month traveling widely in the country. No sign of stupidity. 

Meanwhile, it turns out that, heh, the Irish IQ has risen 13 points to 100, exactly what one would expect of a white European nation.  (It is sometimes put at 93, arrived at by averaging the 86 and the 100, horrible methodology since if two tests differed so much, then one or both must be nonsense.) For that matter,  one reads that Argentine scores rose 22 points between 1964 and 1998. Meanwhile Jewish scores and academic achievement in America, astonishingly high a couple of generations back, have fallen precipitately. Since genetics cannot explain rapid changes in IQ, we conclude that a thirteen-point (or 22 point) change can be entirely due to non-genetic effects—diet, culture, ineffective tests, what have you.

This is furiously denied in IQist circles. The reason, in my judgement, is that thirteen points is exactly the purported gap between Mexicans and US whites insisted upon by IQists. These, often rabidly anti-immigration, do not want to admit any possibility that the immigrants might not be suitably stupid. Why they want immigrants to their country to be moronic is not clear.

Maya city

Photo: Uxmal, Yucatan, built by baffled Maya Indians with a mean IQ of 83. This is two points below borderline retarded. They also also invented writing, done perhaps three times on the planet, and had a fully functional, positional, base-20 number system complete with zero. The borderline retarded characteristically invent number systems. It’s how you know they are retarded.

The IQ edifice is often chaotic and contradictory. For example,  Science: “A new study the journal Intelligence from researchers in Europe claims that the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 13 points over the past century.” The suggested explanation is that smart women have fewer children, de-braining the gene pool.

So IQ is down by about a standard deviation. On the other hand, it is up a standard deviation. There is the Flynn effect in which IQ scores have risen three points per decade for a long time. (Because IQ is normalized to 100, the rise isn’t obvious.) This means that in the fifty years since I graduated from high school in 1964, IQ has risen fifteen points, a standard deviation and exactly the amount said to separate blacks and whites. This is a huge difference. If IQ measured intelligence, we would be in the midst of an intellectual explosion. We are not. If the Flynn effect applies to blacks, they should now be as smart as whites were in 1964. You know, when the Saturn V was being designed.

The question of variation in intelligence over historical time, usually attributed to some evolutionary process, is murky. Everything is posited, little demonstrated. However, I suggest that anyone reading the Greeks of 2500 years ago–Plato, Xenophon come to mind–or the Romans–Juvenal, Ovid, Ulpian and Papinian–will recognize minds as good as any deployed today.

MexFacts2

Mexico, God knows when but maybe in 1900. It is the Mexico of IQist fantasy.

DavyCrockett

Fifteen-year-olds, a few years ago, probably genetically indistinguishable from the foregoing. First-generation middle-class. One a Mensa shoe-in if she applied. None of them white, not from rich families. Do you really, really think that perfect health, eleven years of schooling, and exposure to the internet do not give them an advantage in IQ over illiterate unhealthy peasants?

Then in the IQ brew there is the occasional intrusion of common sense. (Not much of it, I grant.) A country whose purported IQ seems to me to fail the test of common sense is India, mean IQ 81. Here we have a billion people averaging well below borderline-retarded. Say again? Anyone even vaguely familiar with the intellectual, artistic, and musical history of India is going to think, “What are you guys smoking?”

There immediately springs to everyone’s mind that Indian kids dominate the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The IQist response is that only the smartest Indian kids come to the US. Perhaps, but the smartest American kids are already here, aren’t they? And since the kids got their visas based on the brains of their parents, shouldn’t they be regressing to the (dismal) mean?

IQNew--Spelling

Photo: 2015 co-champions.

I would have to believe real hard to believe that the large number of incandescently smart Indians who litter Silicon Valley, who in my tech-reporting days I found all over engineering departments and Bell Labs and the like, spring from sub-retarded stock. Yes, I know the IQist explanation, that they are genetically-selected Brahmans, said to have a mean IQ of 96, the rest of the country being wretchedly stupid. Well, maybe. Like so much in IQist thought, it relies on genes posited but not identified, acted upon by selective pressures assumed but not quantifiable, to produce assumed effects that cannot be correlated with the pressures. If that isn’t rock-solid, I can’t imagine what could be.
Having spent twelve years in Mexico, I can see no difference in intelligence between Mexicans and Americans. Nor when I lived in Taiwan, Vietnam, or Thailand. This raises the question: How great would the difference have to be to be noticeable? Clearly, greater than thirteen points (OK, now reduced, sometimes, to ten points), since that is the Mexi-American gap measured by IQists. The response will be that I am reasonably intelligent and so spend my time with the reasonably intelligent, but that is equally true in the US, and of course I am in frequent contact with ordinary citizens.

As a sort of by-guess-and-by-God way of getting around this, I have compared Americans and Mexicans in trades I know well in the US–medicine, journalism, etc–and still can see no difference.

A final question, and I will go for breakfast. What mean IQ is thought necessary to run the infrastructure of modernity? I don’t know, but I would like to. A modern country requires a lot of intelligence—different degrees of it, but nonetheless a lot. Stupid bank clerks can’t handle currency transactions internationally (SWIFT codes, intermediary banks, exchange rates, and complex regulations). The stupid cannot repair ATMs or avionics or run computerized auto-repair or internet services. At what mean IQ, going down the scale, does a country simply become incapable of producing enough smart people to keep functioning? In a country with a mean IQ of 84, fewer than one in six have an IQ of 100 or better. Is that enough? You tell me.

Eggs over, bacon on the side…

 

Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put the letters pdq somewhere in the subject line to avoid autodeletion.


 

Trump to Build Death Camps for Trans-gendered People of Color: Will Deport All Women

I love it. Of all the things about Trump that our silly-ass Aunt Polly media might have considered–policy toward China, relations with Iran, reform of taxes–they seemed most agitated about…his sex life. Yes. Sure, he is  a misogynist, homophobe, Islamophobe, fascist, Nazi, anti-Semite, and probably kicks his dog. Maybe a cannibal. But the truly horrid discovery was…that he thinks dirty thoughts about girls (as we all do–unless we are girls, and think dirty thoughts about boys) Shocking. Shocking. Clearly he hates women.

The famous dirty-talk tape is my favorite example of high-school outrage coupled with horrified old-maid moralism. It reveals what any sensible person would have assumed– egotism (a rare thing among the rich and famous), and a sexual interest in women.  How is this misogyny? If there is one thing normal women don’t like, it is men without sexual interest in themselves. And who can blame  them? Who wants an asexual boyfriend?

What seems most to have set people off is the “grab em by the pussy” remark. Crude language, of the sort normally used by men and women among themselves, where it is appropriate. It is where Trump used it. For the record, the idea that women are not human, don’t talk dirty, do not have rude sexual thoughts like everybody else, do not  have the same kinky fantasies that men  have, is twaddle. We are a sexual species. We think about those things. Deal with it.

Actually, most women seem to have dealt with it quite well. Some fifty-three percent of white women and forty-three percent of black women voted for him. Apparently they did not react with the required prissy horror. 

Trump said something like, “When you are a star, you can do anything with women.” A statement of fact. Men are drawn to youth and beauty, women to money and power. A masculine man, which Trump is, known to be a billionaire and interested in sex, will attract many women in favor of providing it. For that matter, a gorgeous young honey might say, “When you are a gorgeous young honey, you can do anything with men.” That too might, or might not, be arrogant. It would certainly be a statement of fact.

One thing that infuriates older women is that men prefer younger ones. Sorry. I can’t fix that.

In the music business the attracted honeys are called “groupies.” How many young women, of their own volition, would have tumbled instantly into the rack with Ringo Starr? Are such groupies not “objectifying” their targeted rock star–that is, regarding him as (Eeeeeeeeeeek!) a “sex object”?  You bet. Or are we to think that groupies took a virginal interest in sounding the depths of Ringo’s soul in search of a lasting meaningful relationship? Do you suppose that Ringo objected to objectification?

Why might this make culpable either the groupies or Ringo? Or Trump? Why is it anybody else’s business?

Feminists complain–I could stop the sentence there- that men regard women as sex objects. I see. And what, prithee, are we supposed to regard as sex objects? Doorknobs? Porpoises? Doughnuts? Vacuum cleaner attachments? We are men, for God’s sake. Cocker spaniels just don’t do it for us.

The truth is that women want to be regarded as sex objects. Not only as sex objects usually, but certainly as sex objects. Maybe some man, somewhere, lost a girlfriend by regarding her as a sex object. A far surer way to lose her is not to so regard her. Why do you think women buy push-up bras, boob jobs, makeup, slinky dresses? Why do grocery-rack tabloids always carry three miracle diets guaranteed to have the guys drooling?

Perhaps it is to repel men, and women just haven’t figured things out yet.

Why do men go to gyms, and sweat and grunt and smell bad? Is it only to piss off feminists by being macho–that is, masculine? This would be sufficient justification, but in fact they want to look good for women. Have you seen those nature shows on TV with male swamp birds puffing up their feathers, flapping their wings, and jerking their heads wildly about while making horrible noises? It’s so the girl swamp birds will love them. Thank God that girl swamp birds, and women, don’t have the sense God gave a crab apple, or men would have to date possums.

Gold’s Gym is just a charm school for male swamp birds. Any fool knows that.

The Trumpian question becomes, how many of the women grabbed by Trump, if in fact any were, objected to it? If the grabbed women were raising hell, which apparently they are not, things would be different. Grabbing the unwilling is major social faux pas. If women were appearing who were forcibly raped by Trump, as so many women were by Clinton and Cosby, it would be a very different thing, and Trump would belong in jail. Are such abused women coming forth? Are Clinton and Cosby in  jail?

A little realism, please. The age-old rule is that women trade sex for whatever they want, and men trade whatever they have for sex. It is how things are. If a pretty young woman likes the thought of going to a high-rollers’ night spot on the arm of a rich and famous man, and if the man likes the idea of having her do so–so what? Is it your business? Mine?

Finally, though feminists everywhere will  hate it, there are a great many women who actually like sexually assertive actual men, instead of the docile manageables favored by Salon. The saying that “good girls like bad boys” is not without steam. Who do you think is going to get laid most–Marlon Brando or or some squeally darling of a gender-fluid girly-boy who can be lead around on a leash by a disagreeable Swarthmore co-ed?

One reason why Trump is so hated–and why he is President–is that he is an actual men–you know, like Killer Kowalski, Clint Eastwood, Marlboro Man, or Humphrey Bogart. This simply is not done among the house-broken nominal men of the media and the “elite,” and they don’t know how to handle it. Presidents? There was Bush II, asexual, a man without vibes. Obama, a pretty race hustler. Willy Bill Clinton, a slick Bubba with the I-feel-your-pain mixture of Oprah and Karo syrup that got him a lot of nookie–nothing wrong with that–but not masculine. All of the candidates except Trump were poll-sniffing remotely programmed ciphers.

Except Trump. He told all the pretty boys and mannish girls of the media, “Bite me.”  This didn’t play well with plasticized viragos like Megyn Kelly–who, if she weren’t conventionally beautiful, would not have a job. Ever notice how many female anchors are at least pretty, and how few male reporters are handsome? There are plenty of first-rate female reporters, but they don’t get in front of cameras. This is reserved for bubble-headed babble blondes. Sex sells.

OK, OK, I’m stirring up trouble for the fun of it. I am a bad person. Thank God.


Fred can be reached at jetpossumreaders@yahoo.com. Put the letters “pdq” without the quotes in the subject line to avoid being heartlessly autodeleted.

The Sisterhood and a Profound Weariness: Unbiased Analysis

Having for decades been exposed to the hostility of radical feminists, to the enormous harm they have done the schools and universities and the military, to relations between men and women, to their ashen tediousness and endless fury, their  victimhood,  I finally began to yell, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” At least, not quietly. Some thoughts, expressed with the gentility characteristic of this worthy column:

To begin with, there is  problem of forged credentials. Radical feminists do not represent women. They represent radical feminists. Other women typically say that they are feminists, meaning in favor or equality of pay and opportunity, but explicitly reject the ideological baggage of the radicals.

Nor do feminists bear demographic resemblance to other women. For example, it is a good bet that no feminist voted for Trump, but CNN’s exit polls have 42% of women, and 53% of white women, voting for him. Further, few feminists seem to be married with children, and comparatively few are heterosexual. None of these conditions is morally wrong, but suggest not much commonality with most of humanity.

The ideological baggage is great. Radical feminism is  not just about women, or perhaps even mostly about women, but rather a package of far-left causes, usually including open borders, Islamophilia, affirmative action, gun control, socialism, unisex bathrooms, environmentalism, compulsory diversity, opposition to abortion,  opposition to free speech (“hate speech”), hostility for white men, support for bigger government, intense focus on nonstandard sexuality, and using the schools as indoctrination centers.

Some of these things may be reasonable or even desirable, but how such a porridge can be called feminism is hard to imagine. It certainly is not the feminism of the suffragettes, of people who campaigned for various forms of equality. It has given way to neurotic anger looking for targets. It combines the vitriol associated with antisemitism with the intolerance of Scientology.

Sometimes feminism borders on psychosis, though on which side of the border is not always clear. “Psychosis” means “detachment from reality.” For example, years ago one radical feminist told me, “three-quarters of men want to hurt women.” She meant it, cold sober and not in the heat of argument. Another told me, “Sixty percent of men are misogynists.” This is loopy, around the bend, Haldol time. Among themselves men say with wry resignation that women are mildly crazy and have PMS, and women complain  about the position of the toilet seat and why don’t men ever pick up after themselves. All true, but doesn’t approach hatred.

Note that feminists tend strongly to be of the middle or upper middle class and well educated, much like members of the Red Army Faction and other virulently bored revolutionaries.

Typical exudate, from something,called Femsplain.“Dear dumb, entitled, insecure, angry men of the world: I am tired of you.”  Ain’t no misandry here, and no sexism. Not a trace. thank god. 

Invariably they describe as “women’s issues” things that are not. Abortion is a prime example. Check photos of any rally against abortion and you will see that a high proportion of the participants are women. An issue is not a women’s issue merely because some women favor it. Some women will favor socialism or compulsory military service, or longer hours for the library, but these are not women’s issues. They affect all.

Much of radical feminism evinces a profound dishonesty–though sometimes it may be simple confusion. Feminists paint opposition to abortion as hostility to women. Of course nobody opposes abortion for this reason. They oppose it because they think it morally wrong. Sane people may disagree on the notion, it isn’t misogyny.
People-Belly

Pregnancy simulator, forced on the military by feminists supposedly so that soldiers will understand the difficulties of pregnancy. (The military exists to understand the difficulties of pregnancy.) Can anyone believe that the purpose was other than to humiliate the hated macho male?

The dishonesty appears again in their attitude toward rape. Rape is packaged as a women’s issue, the implication being that men are unconcerned about sexual attacks on their mothers, wives, daughters, friends, and for that matter women in general. Oh sure. The fact is that a man’s usual response to hearing of rapes involves either rude surgery or a rope–but what do radical feminists know about men?

Lena Dunham Posts Video Celebrating the ‘Extinction of White Men’ on Twitter”

Ain’t no misandry here neither. Imagine the hooha if a man celebrated, or hoped for, the extinction of white women. (Let’s see, I have a wife, an ex, two daughters, a granddaughter, and a stepdaughter, all of whom I care greatly for, not to mention a conviction that without women, white or otherwise, the world would be unutterably boring. So I want extinguish women, right?)

When there is conflict between concern for women and allegiance to leftist causes, the causes win. Feminists disapprove of rape, real or imagined, only when committed by groups they don’t like, such as white men. It has been infinitely documented that black and Muslim men are far more given to rape than white men, but they are “people of color,” and part of the coalition against white men, so they get a pass.

Honor Killing: Two Men In Pakistan Rip Sister’s Eyes Out, Cut Her Feet Off

If Donald Trump did this, he would get unfavorable press. Not Pakistani men, though. Have you seen radical feminists screaming to keep these animals out of the US, in which they would be utterly justified? Nope. Muslims are People of Color. Even when they are not.

It is telling that feminists do not criticize women who lie about being raped. Such prevarication puts innocent men in danger of having their lives ruined, being expelled from work or school, and jailed.  Why no outrage from feminists? Would it not be moral to prosecute real rapists, and also prosecute the liars?

Apparently not. Why?

Well, Tawana was a black. The Duke-Lacrosse liar was black. Lena Dunham was a Democrat and feminist. All were women. Identity trumps gender. This behavior supports the view that radical feminism is just misandry wrapped in shiny cloth. I.e., a hate group like any other.

From the Rolling Stone piece, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely about an alleged rape of one Jackie Coakeley by fraternity members at the University of Virginia :

Seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement. She remembers how the spectators swigged beers, and how they called each other nicknames like Armpit and Blanket. She remembers the men’s heft and their sour reek of alcohol mixed with the pungency of marijuana. Most of all, Jackie remembers the pain and the pounding that went on and on.

Almost  predictably, she turned out to be lying. A jury found the author and Rolling Stone guilty of defamation and awarded damages of $3 million. Why did this happen? Because of rape hysteria created entirely by feminists, a population accustomed to routine attacks on men, a female writer, a co-ed trained by the zeitgeist to think rape fantasies carried no consequences,  and a lefty (usually good) magazine eager to make a splash.

When a black rapper called on other blacks to gang-rape Sarah Palin, feminists  did not rise in rage that I saw. Why? Because they don’t like Palin, and because blacks are People of Color. This is racism.  Bill Clinton, a serial forcible rapist, gets a pass, as does Bill Cosby, while Donald Trump, accused of groping, is a monster. Identity politics. Misandry. Sexism.

One sees the same thing in their criticism of “Islamophobia.” Islam probably the most misogynist philosophy on earth. Islamic societies genitally mutilate young girls, kill them if they are caught kissing a boyfriend, forbid them schooling, and have far and away the worst track record for sexual assault. Not a peep from feminists.

Identity, identity, identity.

For the record, female genital mutilation consists in a group of women holding a young girl down, forcibly spreading her legs, and cutting out her clitoris with a razor blade and no anesthetic. Speaking as a man, I believe that everyone involved in this, specifically including the father who allowed it, should be killed in some exceedingly unpleasant manner. Feminists are OK with it. Mustn’t criticize People of Color. If strong of stomach, click here.

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Do you notice a correlation between genital sadism and Groups Whom We Must Not Criticize?

Invariably feminists portray themselves as victims, when the American variety are the most privileged of their sex in the world. This desperate victimhood is the bedrock of radical feminism, without which it would have nothing to complain of. When your sense of self depends on being oppressed, you cannot afford to run out of oppression. Yet for all their obsession with imaginary misogyny, they practice a robust misandry. (A cynic might ask, can anyone be more sexist than a feminist, or more racist than a black? But I am not a cynic.)

The enmity to men, sometimes disguised, never called sexism, sometimes open, runs through the culture today. This is hardly a secret. There is for example the endless portrayal on television of men as milquetoasts and buffoons in need of instruction by women, the now normal beating up by women of  a hundred pounds of men of one-eighty.  Misandry.

Men seldom challenge feminists on this free flowing snot and bile because normal men like normal women. Again, they are our wives, daughters, dentists, and neighbors. It is easy to hit back at the bad temper and ill breeding (“Name one thing, with a moving part, that was invented by a radical feminist.”) but hard to do so without offending normal women, whom we do not want to offend. Further, men have a sufficient track record of achievement in the arts and sciences as not to feel greatly threatened by the calling of names. So we roll our eyes and think, “Yeah, yeah, Rachel. Yeah, Yeah. Oh god, I need a drink.”

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The above, currently lurching around the internet to much complacent clucking, encapsulates the curiously delusional thinking of the tribe. It is insulting to men, and intended to be.  Misandry. Men are dangerously violent, killers even; you have to watch them every moment.  Simultaneously men are strutting foolish little things, their delicate vanity always vulnerable to a witty sally from Sally. All of this  is of course pure misandry–that is, sexism. 

Are they wacky enough to believe this? If so, they are, again,  psychotic. If not, dishonest. Normal women are not afraid of being killed by men. (“Ah, but Fred, you can see it in their eyes as they creep through the streets, staying behind cover, glancing furtively about, frightened, ever expecting the knife….”) If anybody is more blisterishly sensitive even to disagreement, much less to ridicule, than a radical feminist, I haven’t encountered him. Or her. Or it.

Yes, the cheerleader can devastate the class dweeb by saying that she wouldn’t date him on a bet, or the quarterback crush the not-so-pretty girl by saying that she looks like a box car with warts. But few normal people, either cheerleaders or quarterbacks, are so cruel. And men in general do not speak of women with the venom of feminists speaking of men. Most of us date women, even marry them, regard them as the most attractive part of the social landscape.

Though, of course, at any moment we may kill them.

 

Fred can be reached at jetpossum-readers@yahoo.com. Put “pdq” in the subject line, without the quotes, to avoid autodeletion.

Notes from a Lost America: Chuckie Manson, Thor, and the Ark. Average Day in California

This is a reprint of a column from long, long ago. I do it not from laziness, though I am fond of laziness, but because it may provide a window into a happier America that we will not see again. These days, we need any cheer we can get.

In the year of the Great Radioactive Goat-Curd Craze and Flood-that-Wasn’t, Matamoscas was just another sleepy California town in the high desert near Barstow. The only geographical feature of note anywhere near was a low mesa called Las Pulgas, about three miles out of town where the Ark was.

About a year before, a peyote-enhanced guru named Mahmud al Gravid, who looked like Charles Manson but probably wasn’t, had descended on the town with his followers. Gravid had the deeply spiritual look that comes of minor brain damage and exposure to Los Angeles. His followers were scrofulous late-adolescents with love beads. Being teenagers, they thought the world had been invented yesterday and they were the only ones who knew anything about it, especially as regarded matters spiritual. They said they were in Matamoscas to find themselves. It was a good place to look, because that was where they were.

Anyway, Gravid had received from on high a notification that a Great Flood would soon wash away the world, beginning for reasons not immediately obvious with Matamoscas. Gravid and his lemmings were to prepare by building an Ark on Las Pulgas, made of cubits. They weren’t sure what cubits were, but figured they would find them in the desert. It didn’t hold together Biblically. They didn’t know it, so it didn’t matter.

Anyway, they built an Ark that would have foundered in a heavy dew and awaited the flood.

For California the idea wasn’t peculiar enough to stand out from the background, so the locals mostly drove around in pickups and drank beer in the town’s only bar and ignored the seers out on the mountain. Given the way the Coast was pulling down the aquifers, they weren’t really worried about a flood. They would have started one if they had known how.

Then Otto Swedenborg, a huge square-shouldered Scowegian meatball out of Minnesota, had roared in on a Harley hog with a little trailer in tow. He looked like Thor and had eyes the color of swimming pools. The trailer contained pickle jars of Radioactive Goat-Curd, he said, which would cure anything, and make one’s aura resonate with the inner force of being. He had discovered it while raising goats in land containing uranium ore. Ten bucks.

The locals needed radioactive goat curd like they needed a third elbow, so they sent him to the mountain. They figured nuts rolled uphill, and there was no other hill around.

Gravid apparently saw Swedenborg as a threat to his position as alpha-guru. In the ensuing tension one of the followers said the hell with it and went back to L.A., where her father was big with CBS. A camera truck duly showed up at Las Pulgas. The whole kit and caboodle were on national television that night, auras resonating. Swedenborg got thirty seconds to expound the virtues of his goatish pudding.

The results were astonishing and unexpected. Goat curd took hold of the Californian imagination. First a trickle and then a flood of seekers of enlightenment began to show up in Matamoscas. They were a cross-section of the state: vegetarians, Hare Krishnas, sun-worshipers, fruit-juice drinkers, Ethical Culturists, and a residue of the Orgone Box movement. There were coked-up aspiring movie stars who had believed the desert was a large beach, and Valley Girls who thought the whole idea was groovy to the max. Matamoscas was overrun.

Having manufactured the event, television also covered it. A reporter asked a slack-jawed blonde beachboy, who seemed to have the IQ of a shinplaster, how he felt about the new spiritual order.

“Well, I, like, you know, I think it’s really true.”

“What’s true?”

“I’m not sure.”

Swedenborg did land-office business in radioactive goat-curd. In fact, he ran out the first day, and resorted to selling jars of mayonnaise from the local grocery, after taking the labels off. The price went up like taxes in a Democratic administration. When asked how to use the curd to greatest inner advantage, he said to let it age for a week, and then rub it liberally over the entire body. The customer presumably ended up looking like a frankfurter in search of a roll.

There was talk of building a theme park in Matamoscas based on goat curd, as well as a hotel with a golf course, and a factory to turn out soy-based curd-substitute. Several hotel chains expressed interest. Investors were sought to buy a reactor. Swedenborg was offered a high position that didn’t require that he be able to do anything. Matamoscas was On Its Way.

Then ABC, concerned about its slide in the ratings, reported that in the cliffs along Route 101-A, out of San Francisco, a rock formation had been found that was an unmistakable likeness of Che Guevara. It glowed in the dark and wept tears of proletarian solidarity, said a professor of psychiatry from Berkeley. He had discovered the likeness while processing his issues among the rocks with the help of some really dynamite mescaline. You could just feel the essence of Che trying to communicate some message of importance to all mankind.

Next morning, Matamoscas was empty. The spiritual freight train had moved on. Swedenborg left with his remaining jars of mayonnaise. Gravid and his followers vanished. The locals went back to driving around in pickups and drinking beer at the bar. The Ark is still there.

None of this happened. But it’s all true.