Doomed

Taiwan on its own.

According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently announced, “Just like the overwhelming majority of other countries, Russia views Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. This is the premise we proceed from and will continue to proceed from in our policy.” At the time of this statement, Russian forces were conducting joint naval exercises with Chinese forces in the Pacific—culminating in a 10-ship joint formation sailing through Japan’s Tsugaru Strait on October 18.

This, following a series of unprecedented Chinese military aircraft incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, has rattled Taiwan and America’s other allies in the region, namely Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia. During the first week of October, over 150 aircraft, including advanced SU-30 fighters and H-6 heavy bombers, flew into Taiwanese airspace. An unprecedented 56 tactical aircraft penetrated Taiwan’s airspace in a single 24-hour period on October 4, the highest single day total to date.

China has already taken control of multiple islands claimed by these allies in an effort to access vast oil and natural gas resources, as well as project its military power in the contested territorial waters of the South China Sea. China’s ongoing trade dispute with Australia has also ratcheted up tensions in the region.

The U.S. foreign policy establishment has rushed to assure Taiwan and its other allies that the United States intends to honor its regional security agreements. Of late, Joe Biden has publicly pledged to defend the Japanese Senkaku islands, which China claims as its territory.

BWAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The notion of the ever-more-enfeebled FUSA actually leaping into the fray to make war against the ChiComs in defense of our RoC allies is ludicrous, and has been for a while now. Realistically, it’s inconceivable that any president since Reagan at least would have dared to honor the explicit US treaty commitment to act militarily in defense of Taiwan against ChiCom aggression—today, the idea is even more bizarre. For numerous reasons, it’s gone from inconceivable to…well, ludicrous.

Thanks to past U.S. economic and domestic policies, we allowed our manufacturing base to be exported to China. While offshoring American jobs to cheaper labor in China was good for U.S. multinational corporations, it resulted in China effectively capturing the bulk of American industrial capacity for consumer goods. This gives China immense leverage within the U.S. economy.

Look now at the supply disruptions spreading across the United States, which result in no small part from our inability to offload Chinese consumer goods at West Coast ports. Consider how U.S. sanctions against China might create an even greater disruption in the supply of goods that the U.S. no longer has the ability to produce. This dynamic gives China considerable sway with a U.S. political donor class that derives its wealth from Chinese industrial capacity. It makes the idea that the Biden Administration would have the will to impose crippling U.S. sanctions as a check against a Chinese invasion of Taiwan unrealistic.

In contrast to China’s relative position of strength, the world has watched as America lost two wars in our failed Global War on Terror. Our withdrawal from Afghanistan was exceptionally humiliating, not just to America, but also to our allies. It was so bad, the UK parliament held Biden in contempt for his mishandling of the withdrawal. Americans swallowed hard when it was revealed that the U.S. general in charge of the evacuation asked the British SAS commander to stop conducting rescue missions to retrieve UK citizens because it was embarrassing the airport-bound U.S. military. We went on to leave thousands of U.S. citizens behind in Afghanistan with only a shrug of Joe Biden’s shoulders.

Today, the United States is a deeply divided nation on the brink of open internal conflict. The Biden Administration is gleefully running down a list of ill-conceived policies that historically have resulted in civil unrest and rebellion. Oblivious to its own incompetence or the concerns of working-class America, it has labeled half the population domestic extremists, including parents angry that their children are being indoctrinated into woke-Marxist ideology. Just this past week, Biden’s national approval rating hit 38 percent and is dropping rapidly. It’s no secret that he appears to be suffering from cognitive decline and who, exactly, is running the country has yet to be revealed. America is at its weakest point in at least a century, and China, as well as the rest of the world, notices. 

Numerous reasons, as I said, but the boldface bit is the one that dwarves all the others. As the American populace has grown ever more complacent, indecisive, and vacuous, their will to victory—their willingness to even countenance making war at all, for any reason—has proportionately withered as well, in mirror-like reflection. It’s unlikely in the extreme that present-day American lotus eaters in any great numbers would support military action to defend this country.

Taiwan? Shhyeeeaaah, pull the other one, whydon’tcha. It has a bell on it.

Which may actually turn out to be a good thing in the long run. Fact is, Real Americans have much bigger and more pressing issues confronting us right here at home—issues that will have to be dealt with, issues that simply cannot be back-burnered, ignored, or blithely waved away. Hate it for Taiwan and all, but the rip in our national fabric is so profound that it’s no easy thing to define the FUSA as a nation at all anymore, except in the loosest terms. In a great many minds, the Great Schism has already taken place. And in a non-trivial percentage of those, there is little or no desire to knit the country back together again.

With regard to a China-Taiwan conflict, the danger to America does not necessarily come from what happens to Taiwan. The danger comes from how radically the geopolitical status quo in the Pacific might change should China retake Taiwan by force in the face of U.S. opposition—or lack of opposition.

If the United States opposes China and fails to stop its move against Taiwan, then we will have shown ourselves incapable of fulfilling our security agreements in the Pacific.

Which is, y’know, true.

If the United States demurs and abandons Taiwan to the Chinese, then we will have shown that our security agreements are not worth the paper on which they are printed.

Which is also, y’know, true.

Either way, this likely results in the restructuring of alliances in the Pacific away from an impotent or feckless United States to accommodate the new global hegemon—China. The second and third order effects of our losses in the Pacific would reverberate across Europe, particularly in areas threatened by an expansionist Russia…which has opportunistically positioned itself for just such a situation. 

This, too, could be looked at as a good thing from some perspectives, or maybe a not-entirely-disastrous one. The cold reality is that Amerika v2.0 is a paper tiger, a hollowed-out shell whose only resemblance now to the once-mighty military, economic, and geopolitical juggernaut I call America That Was (swiped from the finest TV show ever conceived, natch) is entirely superficial. As Morton points out, every imaginable Taiwan scenario ends badly for this third-rate power, worse for Free Taiwan.

The post-WW2 treaties promising pipsqueak nations a US defensive shield against Commie aggression now only serve to highlight the unpleasant fact that our antecedents wrote a lot of checks that the current generation hasn’t the means to make good on. The sooner our feckless, braggadocious ProPols admit this forthrightly, sit down, and stop running their fat yaps as if it was still 1947 the better I’ll like it. Because the sad delusion of an American colossus permanently astride the globe, omnipotent and unchallengeable, is getting to be pretty embarrassing at this point.

7

Supply chain SNAFU

An industry insider outlines the multifarious problem.

Yesterday I rented a boat and took the leader of one of Flexport’s partners in Long Beach on a 3 hour of the port complex. Here’s a thread about what I learned.

First off, the boat captain said we were the first company to ever rent his boat to tour the port to see how everything was working up close. His usual business is doing memorial services at sea. He said we were a lot more fun than his regular customers.

The ports of LA/Long Beach are at a standstill. In a full 3 hour loop through the port complex, passing every single terminal, we saw less than a dozen containers get unloaded.

There are hundreds of cranes. I counted only ~7 that were even operating and those that were seemed to be going pretty slow.

It seems that everyone now agrees that the bottleneck is yard space at the container terminals. The terminals are simply overflowing with containers, which means they no longer have space to take in new containers either from ships or land. It’s a true traffic jam.

Right now if you have a chassis with no empty container on it, you can go pick up containers at any port terminal. However, if you have an empty container on that chassis, they’re not allowing you to return it except on highly restricted basis.

If you can’t get the empty off the chassis, you don’t have a chassis to go pick up the next container. And if nobody goes to pick up the next container, the port remains jammed.

WIth the yards so full, carriers / terminals are being highly restrictive in where and when they will accept empties.

Also containers are not fungible between carriers, so the truckers have to drop their empty off at the right terminal. This is causing empty containers to pile up. This one trucking partner alone has 450 containers sitting on chassis right now (as of 10/21) at his yards.

This is a trucking company with 6 yards that represents 153 owner operator drivers, so he has almost 3 containers sitting on chassis at his yard for every driver on the team.

He can’t take the containers off the chassis because he’s not allowed by the city of Long Beach zoning code to store empty containers more than 2 high in his truck yard. If he violates this code they’ll shut down his yard altogether.

With the chassis all tied up storing empties that can’t be returned to the port, there are no chassis available to pick up containers at the port.

And with all the containers piling up in the terminal yard, the longshoremen can’t unload the ships. And so the queue grows longer, with now over 70 ships containing 500,000 containers are waiting off shore. This line is going to get longer not shorter.

This is a negative feedback loop that is rapidly cycling out of control that if it continues unabated will destroy the global economy.

Alright how do we fix this, you ask? Simple. And we can do it fast now,

When you’re designing an operation you must choose your bottleneck. If the bottleneck appears somewhere that you didn’t choose it, you aren’t running an operation. It’s running you.

You should always choose the most capital intensive part of the line to be your bottleneck. In a port that’s the ship to shore cranes. The cranes should never be unable to run because they’re waiting for another part of the operation to catch up.

The bottleneck right now is not the cranes. It’s yard space at the container terminals. And it’s empty chassis to come clear those containers out.

In operations when a bottleneck appears somewhere that you didn’t design for it to appear, you must OVERWHELM THE BOTTLENECK!

Miscellaneous side angles I haven’t seen or heard mention of anywhere other than in casual conversations with my brother and several of his coworkers at Horizon Freight:

  • Chassis are extremely scarce currently; my brother has been working only two-three days/week over the last two weeks because there are just too few chassis in Charleston available for use—no chassis, no haulee containers
  • Amazon has taken to reserving way more container space than they need, then offering to resell it to shippers at eight to ten times the usual rate, which adds up to a lot of empty space in a lot of containers
  • Horizon has two dispatchers responsible for assigning chassis and containers to specific drivers who are charged with hauling them out of the Charelston and Savannah ports. These dispatchers are absolutely worn to a frazzle, working frantically to get these containers out of the ports and on the road to their destinations, for a damned good reason: there’s a firm deadline by which each container MUST be removed from the port, usually only two-three days after arrival. After the deadline, the dispatcher her own self gets whacked with a several-thousand dollar fine…compounded EACH AND EVERY DAY said container doesn’t move, applicable to EACH INDIVIDUAL CONTAINER

I repeat: in shutting down entire national economies on a pretext that grows more threadbare each and every day, politicians and bureauweasels have meddled in affairs much too big for them. Contrary to their personal God Complex delusions, the extremely complicated, intricately interdependent, and fragile systems they wilfully fucked up are FAR beyond their meager ability to restart or repair. The unbridled arrogance and conceit of ProPols have created a catastrophe that the entire world can only watch unfold with horror and dread. There is no power on Earth capable of stopping what’s coming now.

Here’s a simple plan that @POTUS and @GavinNewsom partnered with the private sector, labor, truckers, and everyone else in the chain must implement TODAY to overwhelm the bottleneck and create yard space at the ports so we can operate again.

Not one proposal of which plan is ever going to happen.

This is not a comprehensive list. Please add to it. We don’t need to do the best ideas. We need to do ALL the ideas.

We must OVERWHELM THE BOTTLENECK and get these ports working again. I can’t stress enough how bad it is for the world economy if the ports don’t work. Every company selling physical goods bought or sold internationally will fail.

The circulatory system our globalized economy depends has collapsed. And thanks to the negative feedback loops involved, it’s getting worse not better every day that goes by.

I’d be happy to lead this effort for the federal or state government if asked. Leadership is the missing ingredient at this point.

Nope, nope, nope. One of BRM Peter’s commenters says it concisely and correctly.

government diddling caused this crap storm.

More government diddling will not fix it.

Nailed it. The one positive contribution federal and/or state governments might make here is also the one they’re wholly incapable of making: get the hell out of the way and allow the innumerable moving parts of the system of supply and logistics freely begin the slow and painful process of healing itself. Sadly, tragically for all of us, the self-styled Superior Beings who made this mess will never go along with it; such a thing is constitutionally beyond them, and goes against their nature. Their vanity, their bloated sense of their own importance, their every belief stands in direct opposition to the very concept. Indeed, they would resist any attempt at relaxing their grip on our throats to their dying breath. Which, y’know, can be easily arranged for them, and in fact ought to be.

Elsewhere, Karl digs down to unearth one of the deepest roots of our sorry situation.

I get it that everyone would like to just wave a magic wand and make the problem go away. There are people out there who claim they can — and have. They’re wrong. I may not be the CEO of Flexport but you shall see that going from a 2-stack to either 4 or 6 (depending on approvals) in the trucking company yards will solve nothing; the problem simply does not lie there.

The problem is that all the constraints have produced a labor shortage end to end in various places, including in warehouses, transportation hubs, drivers and similar. As a result the freight is not being unloaded and the empties not being returned on schedule.

When the ship gets here and unloads its several thousand containers those containers must ultimately return to the source to be loaded again. If the cycle is interrupted and there are none to load for the return trip then the source will run out. Unloading more containers into a chain of events that is constrained all the way through does not accelerate the rate of return for the journey back to the source!

You have to return the cycle from unload time to the return of the empty to the port to its expected rate and time in-transit or you do nothing. That means getting rid of the reasons that problem exists – which all revolve around labor and working conditions.

Some of those have been building for quite some time but a hell of a lot of them are external and imposed by governments related to lockdowns, mandates of various sorts and similar. The former ones building for quite some time will take some time to resolve but the others can be removed on an instant basis by the very government entities who placed them.

Phew—transcribing all of Karl’s characteristic bolds, underlines, and italics is hard work. But the man ain’t wrong about the scarcity of willing grunt-workers. Why, one might almost start to wonder whether—after going on two years of lockdowns, business closures, and being paid handsomely to lounge about at home in one’s jammies—this all might possibly be more than happenstance, coincidence, or sheer bad luck. Yeah, I know, I know, excessive paranoia, a ridiculous conspiracy theory, sorry I brought it up.

All the same, though, we might want to ask ourselves: cui bono? Who benefits, that is, from tighter control over individual freedom and mobility; reinforcement of fear, uncertainty, and doubt; making 24-7 surveillance and tracking of the Serf Class much easier; increasing Serf Class dependence and helplessness, among other things? We wonders, yes we wonders.

4

In the wrong hands Part the Third

I’m thinking this will probably be my final post on this topic, since my expectations going forward are as follows:

  1. The armorer chick, being patently unfit for her job, is gonna take the hardest fall, which I consider only meet and just since the lion’s share of the responsibility for this needless tragedy is squarely on her;
  2. Hollywood’s gun-safety record IS incontrovertibly quite good, especially seeing as how such a large proportion of its feature-film output over the last, ohh, seventy or so years has consisted of bang-bang shoot-em-ups of one genre or another; the jaw-slackening hypocrisy of so very many rabid hoplophobes getting filthy rich off of the very guns they abhor, then spending scads of their time, energy, and moolah lecturing people who’ve known more about firearms since they were 12 than any dozen Tinseltown asswarts put together ever will does rankle my baggy old ass some—but in the end, eh, whatcha gonna do; and
  3. The worst ass-rankler of all, at least for me: Baldwin will donate a big chunk of his accumulated wealth from a lengthy career being filmed waving various and sundry E-Ville Guns™ around threateningly to Handgun Control Inc or the Brady Org or some other such outfit, after which TPTB will consider his debt to society paid in full

Being as confident of these developments as I currently am, there just ain’t a whole hell of a lot more that’s worth saying. The final word I’ll leave to Divemedic, with whom I am in total agreement.

I want to make something clear with regards to my disagreement with Aesop’s opinion on the Rusty Baldwin shooting. The disagreement that I have with him is about his opinion on this topic. Yes, he and I have disagreed in the past. We have also agreed on topics in the past. That is the nature of human interaction.

I still believe that he and I agree on more topics than not. Don’t take our little discussion as anything other than a disagreement between colleagues.

I don’t have a problem with him or his blog. It’s the nature of human interaction- we don’t always agree. We also have a tendency to circle the wagons when we want to defend our own opinions, which MUST be the correct opinion, or we wouldn’t have it, would we?

Well said, sir, and seconded from here. Transmission ends.

Yes, Virginia, there IS a truck-driver shortage

And it was intrusive government that created it.

After a long cross-country flight, I made it out of LAX and into an Uber. I wasn’t in the mood to talk, but the driver was. And hearing that I was a journalist, he wanted to tell me a story. I’ve heard a lot of stories over the years, but this may have been the most important one I let go.

He hadn’t always been driving an Uber at 11:30 at night. Not all that long ago he used to have his own business with 7 trucks before he was bankrupted by California’s insane regulations.

I listened, but didn’t pay enough attention. The impact of California’s Democrat legislative supermajority on truckers was just another data point alongside what was happening to freelancers of all kinds and a lot of small businesses. Stories like this were everywhere and there was little interest in them even in conservative circles outside the tarnished golden state.

I’m sure California’s meddlesome over-regulation isn’t helping matters any, but the truth is that the bigger, broader hand of FederalGovCo has done more damage by far. The driver shortage has been an issue since back when I was still trucking, and that was over fifteen years ago. I still talk now and then with a good few who are still out there on the job, including my own brother, and so am still more or less up on doin’s. And what’s crystal clear is that, due to numerous factors that all boil down to inept, staggeringly clueless government micromanagement, vanishingly few young guys have any interest at all in getting into the industry. Meanwhile, the increasingly-fed-up old hands are getting out just as quick as they possibly can.

Y’know, pretty much as has happened in every other corner of the economy that has felt the five-thumbed hand of government tightening around its throat for any significant length of time.

The massive supply chain mess that’s leaving stores empty and orders unfulfilled doesn’t have a single point of failure, but dozens of them. China’s energy shortages, the overhyped predictive powers of Big Data, the fragility of the global economy, fuel costs, and welfare state worker shortages are all players. But California’s truck bans are a key link in the great failure chain.

While I was riding home that night, California trucking companies were going bankrupt at a rapid rate. Few outside the industry were paying attention or understood what that might mean.

2019 was described as a “bloodbath” for the trucking industry with 640 trucking companies across the country filing for bankruptcy in just the first half of the year. Thousands of truck drivers were left unemployed. Many went into the expanding last mile delivery business, some as contractors for Amazon. But California truckers and businesses had their own special woes.

Two years ago, Governor Newsom signed the Democrat supermajority’s Assembly Bill 5 into law. While AB5 was billed as a crackdown on Uber and Lyft, forcing the companies to treat freelance contractors as employees, the gig economy companies pushed Proposition 22 so that they were the only ones exempt from the law. (A Democrat judge has since illegally blocked the approved ballot measure while falsely claiming that it was unconstitutional.)

AB5 however was less about Uber than it was about outlawing freelance employees in order to force them into unions. The union power grab inconvenienced Uber and Lyft, but crushed freelance workers in a variety of fields including journalism. One of the fields was trucking.

Over the summer, the California Trucking Association actually went to the Supreme Court to fight AB5 and allow owners and operators to use independent contractors. The CTA listed 70,000 owner operators. In the years since AB5, Ubers have become scarcer and more expensive, which is what the law was actually designed to do, but the consequences to the trucking industry have been far worse albeit invisible to most people until now. While truckers are still protected from AB5, many in the industry are not willing to bet their future on SCOTUS.

AB5 was not only the assault on the trucking industry by California Democrats who were aggressively trying to unionize the industry and to impose environmental regulations on it.

It was not, nor was said assault limited to California or ever more onerous “Save Gaia!” measures. The willful destruction of the trucking industry is multifarious and complex, from the implementation of nearly incomprehensible tangle of hours-worked limitations to electronic-log requirements to the absurd Regen mandate, which is my personal fave. Regen is so pluperfect an encapsulation of FederalGovCo stupidity as to beggar belief. To wit:

There’s no such thing as a good time for downtime, especially when it’s unexpected. And one issue many fleet drivers don’t plan for is forced regens.

If you haven’t experienced this issue yet, consider yourself lucky. A forced regen occurs when soot builds up inside the diesel particulate filter (DPF) to the point that the vehicle is no longer operable. When this happens, a driver has to pull over and initiate a self-cleaning process that can take up to 40 minutes — valuable time that could have been spent on the road.

If that sounds confusing, it really isn’t. The DPF traps the soot; the DPF gets full; driver must pull over IMMEDIATELY for a “forced regen” when the warning light comes on, lest severe damage be done to the engine of a truck he just paid 150k or a good bit more to purchase.

Now, here’s where a sensible person’s head will start to spin like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist. Know what a “forced regen” is? Why, nothing other than the process of ALL THE PARTICULATES AND SOOT THE FILTER REMOVED FROM THE ATMOSPHERE BEING BLOWN BACK OUT INTO THE ATMOSPHERE AGAIN. Only instead of it being done gradually, over a wide area, the gunk is expelled all at once, in a single spot. Whenever you’ve seen a big rig sitting on the side of the highway, a thick column of smoke belching skyward from the stacks, what you’re witnessing is the hand of FederalGovCo in action, just another Superstate Success Story™.

Ahh, but let’s not be offering any congratulations or humble thanks to our Lords and Masters on another Job Well Done quite yet, folks. Because as always, there’s more.

Last year, the California Air Resources Board issued a press release boasting that it had taken a “bold step to reduce truck pollution”. The bold step required switching to electric trucks.

“We are showing the world that we can move goods, grow our economy and finally dump dirty diesel,” Jared Blumenfeld, California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection, sneered.

Oh, is THAT what you think you’re “showing the world”? Because what the world is actually seeing looks not at ALL like what you just said. But hey, you do you, Poindexter. Live your truth, by all means. The snickering you’re hearing only means that we’re mighty impressed by your achievements, that’s all. Awestruck, even. Carry on.

While the ultimate truck ban was scheduled for 2045, an initial phase-in of 5% to 9% begins in 2024. Last year, California’s DMV began refusing to register thousands of trucks with an estimated 100,000 trucks under threat. With “green” trucks costing $70,000 more, this was a non-starter for already troubled independent owner-operators and even larger companies.

That was part of the plan.

Well, of course it was. These oozing chancres are always and forever working a Plan, a trait not limited to just the Califrutopia-localized sub-genus of the Rodentia Bureaucraticus species either. Bad as the worthless parasites have made our national situation already, the one certainty is that things are going to get much, much worse. That’s what they are, it’s what they do.

4

Putting it straight

Not sure where I ran across this one—it’s been just sitting quietly on my desktop for days now, waiting for me to make some P-shop adjustments and then put it to good use here—and I can’t say I know who this Langan fellow might be, either. But I dunno, the part I highlighted in blue just tickled me no end.

Don’t hold back, Chris, tell us how you really feel.

4

The Thrubbles, American-style

Alarming parallels.

The Irish Troubles is one of six models I’ve identified that could have (loosely) an American equivalent.

Of course, I’m not talking about Catholics versus Protestants, but a sectarian conflict featuring sporadic armed political violence where the government’s primary mission is peacekeeping followed by counterterrorism.

The Irish Troubles resulted in over 50,000 casualties and 3,500 deaths over a 30-year span (1969-1998). Armed violence was widespread across Northern Ireland, but this map illustrating the deaths of civilians and British Security Forces gives us a good glimpse of where casualty-producing attacks occurred.

One of my key assumptions for this model remains that armed political volence would be geographically limited. I wouldn’t expect much from, say, central Nebraska or northern Alabama, for instance, just like many areas of Northern Ireland had very few instances of armed violence over a 30-year span. I expect most places to remain… well, pretty quiet as far as fighting is concerned. (Criminality is another matter!)

A few things… First, civilian deaths are roughly equal to deaths of all belligerents. High civilian casualties are the norm for domestic conflicts, going all the way back to at least the 1500s. As French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne (1532-1592) observed, “In truth a forraine warre is nothing so dangerous a disease as a civill.”

Second, while the 1970s were by far the most violent, war-related deaths continued to stack up over the following decades. The total death toll of 3,483 works out to an average of 116 deaths per year, or roughly one death every three days. For 30 years. Low intensity conflicts, especially insurgencies and guerrilla wars, are often protracted. Nothing happening in the United States today signals that our own domestic conflict would be short lived.

Third, I’m still compiling the numbers of fighters as a percentage of the overall populace. The end result will show that a small percentage was actively engaged in the fighting at any given time. As we see in most low intensity conflicts, a small percentage actually takes part in the fighting, followed by maybe 5-15% of the total population involved in active support at some level, and everyone else is just trying to live their lives. I suspect that the American Troubles would be similar.

The real problem for most Americans will be the economic, financial, and monetary destruction that results from armed conflict. While you’d think that high unemployment would enable the mobilization of millions of military-aged males, the disruption to transportation, shipping, and production likely means that many Americans will be focused on week to week survival, as opposed to actively fighting.

The greater the operational tempo and mass of fighters, the greater logistics you need. This likely means that the number of fighters remains relatively small compared to the efforts required to support them. Again, less than 5%, maybe even less than 1%, is likely to be engaged at any time. (That’s still a lot of people.)

On that note, the United States population today is some 200 times larger than Northern Ireland was from 1969-1998. So could we see 200 times the death toll? Certainly.

Although I still maintain that there is simply no possible way to accurately predict where this is headed or how it’s all going to end up, Culper’s comparison with The Thrubbles (hey, I’m Irish all to hell and gone on my mom’s side, so I can say it that way if I want to, dammit) seems entirely apt to me, and just as likely to yield some useful indications as any. At the end of the day, though, the one and only sure thing is that it’s going to positively SUCK.

(Via WRSA)

4

“The training and readiness of the ship’s crew were deficient”

Gee, ya THINK?!?

A cascade of failures – from a junior enlisted sailor not recognizing a fire at the end of their duty watch to fundamental problems with how the U.S. Navy trains sailors to fight fires in shipyards – are responsible for the five-day blaze that cost the service an amphibious warship, according to an investigation into the July 2020 USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) fire reviewed by USNI News.

The investigation into the fire aboard Bonhomme Richard, overseen by former U.S. 3rd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Scott Conn, found that the two-year-long $249 million maintenance period rendered the ship’s crew unprepared to fight the fire the service says was set by a crew member.

“Although the fire was started by an act of arson, the ship was lost due to an inability to extinguish the fire,” Conn wrote in his investigation, which was completed in April and reviewed by USNI News this week.

“In the 19 months executing the ship’s maintenance availability, repeated failures allowed for the accumulation of significant risk and an inadequately prepared crew, which led to an ineffective fire response.”

Full props to ADM Conn for his desert-dry understatement. Fret not though, Squids, there’s a newly-minted admiral in town who’s SURE to unfuck the USN in a mere trice.

Assistant Secretary of Health Richard Levine, a man who identifies as a woman and goes by the name of Rachel, has been sworn in as the first “transgender” four-star admiral in America, as reported by the New York Post.

On Tuesday, the 63-year-old Levine was named as an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which is not one of the armed forces of the United States military. Following the swearing-in ceremony, Levine tweeted that he was “deeply honored and grateful to join the ranks of men and women across this great nation who have committed to defend the United States against small and large threats, known and unknown.”

Prior to his role at HHS, Levine had served as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, where he oversaw a disastrous order to force COVID-positive patients into nursing homes, exposing thousands of vulnerable senior citizens to the virus. Levine himself came under fire when it was discovered that, upon the implementation of the order, he made sure to have his own mother moved out of such a nursing home and into a private facility. During his tenure, Levine also violated lockdown orders by secretly negotiating for a major exclusive car show to take place in Pennsylvania back in August, despite orders at the time banning such large gatherings.

Levine suffers from transgenderism, a mental disorder which leads people to believe that they are the opposite gender from the one they were born.

It remained unclear at presstime exactly how Mrxskkjnnxxx Levine plans to “defend the United States,” as per her HISTORIC!!! COURAGEOUS!!! statement, from her palatial office heading up a bureaucracy with no affiliation whatsoever with the US military. But I’m sure he/she/whatever will do a fine job of it nonetheless. In other news:

Meanwhile, China is expanding its nuclear missile silo field and just launched a new hypersonic nuclear-capable missile that circled the entire globe at low-orbit.

China’s new space nukes could evade the US’s missile defense systems.

While China is flexing its nuclear muscle, the “woke” Biden Admin is focused on white rage, maternity paratrooper suits, French manicures and promoting transgenders.

Levine, who previously served as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, has a horrible track record.

The Coronavirus ravaged nursing homes across the US because of deadly Democrat policies of forcing people infected with COVID-19 back into the long-term care facilities.

Dr. Levine however made sure his 95-year-old mother was removed from the death box and transported safely to a hotel.

Okay, my apologies to ADM Conn for being overly sanguine just now. Actually, this looks like a most apposite time to begin fretting, sir, and to continue fretting away to your heart’s content. Wringing of the hands and gnashing of the teeth remain completely optional at this time, but are nevertheless heartily recommended. Carry on.

2

Publick Notice

To anyone who e-mailed me over the last several days at the mike@cf addy and didn’t receive a response yet (SteveF, I’n looking at you there, kid), there’s a reason for it—a reason NOT revolving around my usual lassitude, I mean. Some bizarre e-mail problems began cropping up late last week which rendered two different apps (Thunderbird and Apple Mail, to it) utterly incapable of pulling messages down off Ye Olde CF Mail Server for me to read. I think—THINK—I’ve finally managed to get things sorted out now. Feel free to re-send anything critical; I should be able to retrieve e-mail okay now, and will get back to you forthwith. Or so I hope.

Big, meddlesome government: is there ANYTHING it can’t fuck up?

The root of all evils.

On the surface, the supply chain crisis that’s left ships off both U.S. coasts facing a month of waiting before they’re unloaded is caused by bottlenecks following a post-COVID retail flush, rising shipping costs, and a lack of truckers available to unload containers waiting offshore (Redstate covered that angle here). That’s what labor unions told the Daily Mail, anyway, no doubt with the intent to remind everyone of their importance.

But scratch the surface, and supply chain problems are revealed to be much more complicated, driven by bureaucratic intrusion, and effectively look like a mini-war between shippers and carriers, one that the Biden administration and the Democrat-led House of Representatives aren’t interested in working on until at least November, making the problems we’re seeing today extend into the Christmas season.

Oh, those problems are going to be extending a whole lot longer than that, I’m afraid. As I said from the very start of the Covid clusterfuck: you can’t just shut an entire national economy down, as if the action was no more complex or potentially destructive than flipping a light switch off—for fifteen days to flatten the curve a year and a half to consolidate a tyranny and train a Sheeple—then nonchalantly flip the switch back to the “On” position, emboldened by a level of confidence only the truly witless ever get to experience, that things will just pick up and carry on as before with no lasting disruption and/or damage. Their monstrously inflated egos and delusions of omnipotence notwithstanding, the idiot ProPols badly overestimated their own smarts, competence, and capabilities—exactly as they always have—and now every damned man Jack of us is going to have to pay a severe price for allowing them to do it—exactly as we always have.

Part of the problem lies with the Biden administration’s “Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains,” issued on Feb. 24, 2021, which set up a “‘sectoral supply chain assessment‘ of six industrial sectors, including transportation. It requires the secretary of transportation, consulting with the heads of the department’s modal agencies, to submit a report to the president within one year of the executive order that assesses ‘the role of transportation systems in supporting existing supply chains and risks associated with those transportation systems.’”

See what I mean? My God, the EGOS on these little tin gods, daring to imagine that diddling around in affairs that are much too big for pygmies like themselves could ever lead to anything other than disaster, widespread human misery, and societal chaos. Any genuinely intelligent, sane person would have known better. Clearly, the professional politicians…don’t. Does that suggest anything about the advisability of restricting government at all levels to no more than the merest minimum of authority and power? Why, it seems so NO DUH! obvious, so self-evident and beyond argument, that I’m shocked that nobody ever thought of such a thing before now, nor attempted to codify, explicitly and in writing, how a government strictly and sturdily fenced by such restrictions might possibly be established. A real head-scratcher, that one is. Oh well, maybe someday.

While over 150 companies and trade associations have written a letter to encourage Congress to work on the bill, there’s some concern within the industry that the legislation would only create tension between shippers and regulators and carriers.

OH yeah, by all means let’s get Congress involved too! Having them waddle their fat asses on up and thrust their snouts into the slop trough will SURELY straighten this whole mess out with a quickness. Won’t it?

In short, government involving itself and imposing new regulations while also refusing to update existing regulations have played a familiar role in the slow down of a market that is trying to bounce back after COVID stopped the machine.

Update existing regulations, my baggy white ass. The one and only treatment for what ails us that stands a ghost of a chance of curing the affliction is to take a broadaxe and start chopping as many as can be reached into little, tiny pieces.

Apropos of not a whole lot, the Red State companion-piece mentioned in the first excerpted ‘graph is worth a read in its own right.

Cargo ships anchored off California and New York, and in rail yards and on trucking routes, shipping consumer goods are incredibly backlogged due to a lack of manpower and pandemic restrictions to unload the goods. And now, there are warnings that the supply chain may be on the brink of collapse.

Shipping ports which normally only had one or two ships in dock waiting to be unloaded prior to the pandemic now have dozens lined up, waiting to be unloaded for up to four weeks, slowing the whole chain. In Los Angeles and Long Beach, as many as 73 vessels were waiting to be unloaded last month. The bottlenecks at the ports are also impacting railways and trucking. In Chicago — that has one of the largest rail yards — it was at one point backed up for 25 miles.

This is a disaster about to blow up.

If you were trying to do-in the country, I’m not sure what you would do that the Biden team hasn’t been doing.

Hey, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

It makes for some pretty grim reading, all the moreso since there really is no way the Great Chaos Engine our damned fool politicians cranked up and set in motion can be stopped at this late stage. All any of us can do now is brace for the impact of the imminent crash. Hopefully, the survivors can come up with some way to repay them for all the wonderful things they’ve done for us.

4

Stalin’s war, Stalin’s win

Reviewing a book that offers a different perspective on WW2.

The goals of the Western Allies in World War II were to defeat Hitler and prevent a hostile power from entrenching itself in Europe and Asia, threatening the freedom and survival of the West. From a narrow perspective, the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945 fulfilled this objective: it was a victory for the United States, the United Kingdom, and their allies, and we celebrate V-E Day every May 8 and V-J Day on September 2. But for a large number of nations that fought against Berlin and Tokyo, at enormous sacrifice, 1945 is a dark year that ended one tyranny only to be replaced by another one, the Communist one, which was (and continues to be) no less vicious and in fact was much more lasting and pervasive. Stalin replaced Hitler. Or, to put it in the context of World War II, Stalin was the clear winner of that conflict. It was his war, and he got the most out of it.

This is the argument of a new book, Stalin’s War, by a prolific and excellent historian, Sean McMeekin of Bard College. The author is already well known, having written highly readable and incisive books exploring the role of Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Germany in the origins of World War I. In his new work, he focuses on Stalin, his objectives, his tactics, his actions, and, above all, his ability to obtain from his Western counterparts everything (and more!) that he wanted. The book presents the story of Stalin’s success that brought an enormous human cost to his own people and to those who came under Communist domination, as well as an enduring geopolitical cost. Through this war, Stalin succeeded in anchoring Soviet power and influence over Eurasia, benefiting from the frailty of European powers. Germany was obviously reduced to rubble by 1945, but even the victorious powers, from France and the UK to the other smaller states across the continent, were mere shadows of their former selves. Stalin gained strategic real estate and the tools, looted from Europe or given to him by the United States, to turn Russia into an industrial superpower. The conditions for the Cold War were in place, and in the immediate aftermath of the war, the possibility that Stalin could become the master of Eurasia was not out of the question. And, for the U.S., victory in 1945 meant not a satisfying and prolonged age of peace, but the beginning of a new and massive investment in preserving its security and the stability threatened by the Soviet Union.

The story presented in such a way is not new, and its broad contours are accepted by most, except those who still see Communist ideology and the USSR as a benign progressive force or those who blame American post-war support of Western Europe for the Cold War. But McMeekin digs deeper and his goal is to change two pervasive myths. One presents Stalin as a paranoid dictator bumbling across the European chessboard, getting caught unprepared for Hitler’s aggressive intents, and then rising to the historic occasion and motivating his people to fight the “Great Patriotic War” to liberate Russia and the adjoining lands from the Nazis. In brief, a dictator to be sure, but a naive one with a great patriotic heart backed by a Russian nation willing to accept great sacrifices.

The other myth is of a strategically wise leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, skillfully making their moves across the world’s map, negotiating with a vast array of strategic partners (including Stalin) and organizing bold military actions that ultimately lead to the 1945 triumph. Neither myth, however, is entirely correct, as McMeekin brilliantly argues backed by abundant facts supplied through impeccable research.

After a look into Stalin’s acquisitive designs on Western Europe, all undone by Hitler’s doomed invasion of the USSR in 1941, we direct our attention still further Westward.

McMeekin then focuses on how the Western allies, Churchill but especially FDR, abetted Stalin’s ambitions. This part of the book is fascinating and depressing at the same time. In a nutshell, Stalin obtained from FDR more than he expected: territory, influence, and materiel. And he did not give anything in exchange for it because FDR and his advisors never asked him for it. For instance, FDR supported the Lend-Lease program, putting his friend Harry Hopkins in charge. Under this program of military aid, the United States supplied a massive amount of weapons, trucks, airplanes, tanks, foodstuff to the Soviet Union in the months of its greatest need, as German troops were driving deep into Russia while the vaunted Soviet armies were melting away. Without such aid, the USSR would have likely been unable to stop the German onslaught and certainly would have been incapable of mustering the resources necessary to push westward. Hence, in this moment there was a good strategic rationale for the American support of Stalin’s defensive efforts against Nazi Germany.

But the problem was that FDR—and Hopkins—went much further than simply buttressing a collapsing Soviet power. The most stunning mistake—a policy willfully pursued by FDR—was that Stalin was never asked for anything in exchange for this material aid. The United States had the upper hand because the Soviets were desperate for any help and would have paid a price for these goods. As McMeekin comments, FDR “could have asked any price: payment in cash, by loan, or in kind; political concessions inside Russia; or promises from Stalin of better behavior abroad, such as abandoning his spying operations in Washington or offering token support for the US-British war against Japan. Instead, the Americans simply gave and demanded nothing in return aside from a vague, nonbinding promise of loan repayment beginning five years after the war was over, at no interest.”

Such a naivete could have been the result of FDR’s belief in his personal capacity to persuade people. But, at best, FDR profoundly misunderstood Stalin, despite the evidence of Soviet actions and even of Stalin’s own words and behavior toward the US President. FDR thought that he could build goodwill with Stalin. As he put it, “I think that if I give him everything I can and ask for nothing in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.” This is the point where naivete became stupidity.

With certain classifications of Western liberal, the distinction between naivete and stupidity is so thin it’s not worth the bother of making. They’re conjoined twins, constantly shifting and bleeding over one into the other, staggering clumsily about like a dancer uncertain of his stage cues. Sooner or later, though, the Libtard can be relied upon to close this pointless ballet with both feet planted squarely on Stupid. In reality, though, is that he started there, and never ventured any meaningful distance from it. Read the rest for further details of Stalin’s willful humiliation of the hapless, grossly-overmatched clown Roosevelt, and what Uncle Joe’s deftly stolen victory ended up costing the entire world, in blood and treasure.

2

“Thank God For Rednecks—Who else could keep us from turning into Australia?”

I’m completely down with the sentiment, as you might expect. As nice a try as it is, though, the guy still misses the mark in places.

Last summer, when all this Covid stuff really kicked off, I got a call from a friend in rural Virginia. He told me a bunch of rednecks were going to grocery stores and gas stations, tearing down signs asking patrons to wear facemasks.

My friend was annoyed, and so was I. Hey, it’s private property! If Sal only wants to sell pizza to folks dressed like Little Bo Peep, and you don’t want to dress up as Little Bo Peep, go to a different pizzeria. Better yet, cook for yourself. It’s not that hard.

Now, I thank God every day for those rednecks.

A few weeks ago, a friend in Australia called and told me about the country’s new Covid app. Residents of South Australia are required to prove they’re in quarantine by using face recognition and geolocation on this app. If they fail to check in, the app will notify a bureaucrat with the state’s Health Department. That bureaucrat will then call the police. The police, in turn, will go to the citizen’s home and make sure he’s not taking an unauthorized walk so his dog can take a clandestine whizz.

“We don’t tell them how often or when, on a random basis they have to reply within 15 minutes,” said premier Steven Marshall. Fair warning, I guess.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Victoria, the government has implemented mandatory contact tracing. The state is forcing stores to force customers to “check in” before they shop. According to Victoria’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, “everyone recognizes that we have to do absolutely everything in our power to be able to chase down every single person who may be exposed because it is that one person who is not found who may be the one who spreads it.”

And you know what? Professor Sutton is right. Since the vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective, the only way we can be absolutely sure we eradicate the virus is by identifying every single carrier before they infect anyone else. If that’s Australia’s objective, they’re going to need a lot more than a smartphone app. I’m sure they’ll exhaust every resource.

That, and then some. It’s the tried and true Leftist bait-and-switch, that’s all. We’ll always and forever need their “assistance,” because their work (IMPORTANT work!) is not yet finished, and never will be. No shitlib proposal, program, or crusade comes with an expiration date; even measures explicitly sold as “temporary” responses to one “emergency” or another nearly always end up becoming permanent fixtures of “American” life—as predictable as the sunrise, as reliable as the tide. Even in the rare instances when the “temporary” program is allowed (or forced, due to public outrage) to expire, it’s a dead cert that the Left will summon it from its crypt again and again, in the nature of all vampires, to prowl for new victims and feed on them. Please see “Income tax, origins of” for further information.

I’m sure the Australians will let them, too; you can tell they’re descended from prisoners and prison-guards. Another Aussie friend once described his country as an ongoing experiment with Bentham’s Panopticon. Folks there are so worn down by constant government interference they can’t even imagine what true privacy feels like. It’s like boiling frogs—and when your country starts out as a penal colony, you’re pretty well used to the heat.

On the other hand, you can tell Americans are descended from free settlers and freed slaves.

Izzatso? How, exactly? To my eyes, most Americans look way more like un-freed slaves nowadays, and appear to be perfectly happy about it, too.

Our policy is, and always has been, “Leave me the hell alone.” It’s looking pretty good right about now, too, considering the alternative.

Boy, talk about damning with faint praise.

Look: we can get into those niceties about private property laws, and I’ll probably agree with you. I’m not saying they’re perfect. But I sleep better at night knowing the preppers, truthers, and talk-radio enthusiasts are out there, just waiting for an excuse to make life miserable for the government.

They’ve been handed all the excuse anyone could ever need and plenty more besides over the past year and a half, and that leaves out the last six or more decades altogether. They’d best get going on making life miserable for the government, before it’s too late to do any good.

Seriously, imagine if Ron DeSantis did an about-face and required everyone who shops at Publix to sign up for contact tracing. There would be riots. No, actually, there wouldn’t—because the good folks who work for Publix would refuse to comply.

One would like to think so, yes. But if the glares of outrage and terror I’ve gotten at Publix are any indication, they’re way more likely to riot over the sight of my raspy old self without a face-diaper on than anything else. If they don’t just fall over in a dead faint, that is.

And if the CDC tried to bring out a Covid app like South Australia’s, they would be mooned by thousands upon thousands of Americans every 15 minutes.

Okay, one would REALLY like to think so, yes.

When it comes to our civil liberties, the first line of defense is an old Marine with a Coors Light in one hand and a Remington 870 in the other. He’s got his mask pulled down over his chin and a Winston Red dangling from his lips.

If he’s got a mask on in the first place, however he might be wearing the damned thing, that Marine of yours most likely isn’t going to live up your overly-hopeful expectations, and shouldn’t be relied upon to defend anything of importance. Then again, sounds to me like you don’t have a whole lot of Marines in your circle of acquaintance, nor rednecks either.

He has eight Trump stickers on the back of his truck and one that says “Booty Hunter” just to mix things up. He’s got the Confederate flag tattooed on his left arm and—of course—he’s wearing a MAGA hat.

This specter haunts Washington: the specter of Middle America. Call him Old Red.

In a better world, it would. I see no evidence that it does in this one.

Old Red looms over every meeting of the CDC, the FBI, the DHS, and the ATF. They never speak of him, but they all see him. And the apparatchiks know the moment they overstep their authority they’re going to have to deal with hundreds of thousands of pissed-off rustics. Really, there’s no telling how many Beltway power-grabs were abandoned for fear of the Great White Rube.

Name three. Hell, name ONE. Because from where I’m sitting, I can’t recall a single Beltway power-grab that hasn’t been put through with vigor and enthusiasm, to a Jubilee of praise from our lords and masters in celebration of how wonderful it all is, how we lowly serfs ought to be humbly grateful for the way said power-grab is going to improve our sorry, lamentable lots for us.

As bad as things are getting here in the States, we can’t fathom how much worse things would be without these down-home heroes.

We’ll soon be finding out, you can count on that.

Sure, they might carry their paranoid anti-government theories a little too far.

At this late date, that’s impossible.

But their paranoia is far from unfounded, and even if they sometimes over-react, they keep America from falling into the opposite extreme: creeping tyranny, Aussie style.

A matter of degree, not of kind.

You can’t boil a frog if he flips out every time you reach for the knob.

Which is precisely why I STRONGLY advise said frog to get to flipping out, and fast. Because so far, he’s been perfectly content to just relax in that nice, warm water, drifting on off into a peaceful slumber.

Like them, I’d prefer the burdens of liberty to a warm, sterile despotism. And that seems like an old-fashioned, all-American instinct to me. I can’t see Davey Crockett “sheltering in place” because the Department of Public Health asked him to. I can’t see Teddy Roosevelt triple-masking. I can’t see Johnny Cash stanning Dr. Fauci.

I can’t see it myself. But those guys are all dead. And the other thing I can’t see is anybody willing to step up and fill their shoes.

So, my apologies to those anti-maskers in Virginia. I rushed to judge you last summer, and that was wrong.  May you continue to resist any whiff of conformism with righteous fury. May you give no quarter to the elite “consensus” of elite “institutions.” And may you never stop being pissed off. It just might save this republic.

The Republic is well beyond resuscitation, having been murdered long ago. There’s no way of knowing what will succeed it, but if we don’t START being pissed off most ricky-tick, you can bet it won’t be pretty.

9

It’s turtles lies, all the way down

Denninger blows the whole sordid mess all to hell and gone.

What was not proved was that Trump won. But what was proved was that there is no honest assertion that can be made that either of the two Presidential candidates in serious contention won. The margin of victory is within the margin of dispute and it has been proved that electronic records critical to validate what occurred throughout the election process were deliberately destroyed by persons(s) who had physical access to the systems in question, with at least one such person being allegedly identified by security camera footage.

There may well be more here — but what’s been discovered thus far and proved (and for which the evidence is now in the public domain) shows that:

  1. The election in Maricopa County for federal offices, including President, was not conducted in accordance with Federal Law.
  2. The results, based solely on the count of duplicated ballot envelopes (people who voted more than once), which exceeds the margin of victory for the Presidential Office, are not able to be confirmed since once duplicate ballots are removed from the envelopes it is impossible to identify them. Maricopa county claimed no such duplicates exist. We now know more than 17,000 in fact do exist and the envelopes still exist. What we cannot prove one way or another is whether the ballots inside those envelopes were counted and, if only one was counted, which one was counted. We thus have no way to know who won.
  3. The persons running the election have made materially false statements on an intentional basis about the equipment never being connected to the Internet.
  4. The persons running the election both deliberately destroyed data related to the election in direct violation of Federal Law and, as a separate and distinct offense, attempted to cover up that destruction and identification of the person who did so. This act, standing alone, demonstrates intent to tamper with the election results.
  5. The vast majority of said deliberately destroyed data was not recoverable and likely is not recoverable.

By forensic evidence, not presented and unrebutted, the outcome of the election in Arizona was falsely certified.

What’s the remedy for this?

That’s a separate debate — but that this one county alone did in fact corrupt their election, did so intentionally, and did so in such a fashion that at this time it not possible to know what the result actually was is not subject to reasonable dispute.

It never really was, in any realistic or honest sense. As I said the other day, though, it STILL doesn’t matter. What DESPERATELY needs to be owned up to at this point is that there is no longer ANY possibility of “reasonable dispute,” because our adversary is not amenable to reason, and is supremely uninterested in “dispute” by means of honest, respectful debate. Don’t get me wrong here; “dispute” there will be, for sure and certain, but it ain’t gonna be what anybody would ever call polite. What it’s gonna be is bloody, brutal, and unrestrained. Hey, that’s obviously the way they want it, so that’s the way it has to be. Just this once, I am all in favor of giving them what they want—in fucking spades, all they want and then some, until they choke on it.

Happily, a stolen election isn’t the only sordid mess Karl tosses a fragger into the middle of.

Once Upon A Time…*
in a not-so-tiny nation called Spain, a nursing home had a nasty virus get into it.

It was March of 2020. The nasty virus was called Covid-19. And this nursing home, like so many others all over the world, was full of elderly, morbid people. The mean age of residents was 85 and 48% were over 80 years old. It was a killing field, like so many others…..

Within three months 100% of the residents had caught the virus. Not presumed to have — proved to have.

How do we know this? Because almost every one of them seroconverted. All but three out of 84 of them, to be precise.

Think about that last sentence for a second.

Almost every one of them seroconverted.

How’s that possible? Many of them died, right? You can’t seroconvert if you’re dead.

No. Not only did nearly none die none went to the hospital either because they rapidly figured out how to stop the virus from killing people–and did exactly that.

You would have thought this would have been all over the news.

Nah, not at all. Their primary interest is in making sure news like this is covered up, not in reporting it frankly and objectively so Duh Peepul can know the truth. That’s what makes them “journalists,” see.

Read all of these two posts, natch, and kudos to Karl for his usual fine work on ’em.

1
1

Other foot suddenly shod

So lemme see now, would this be the part where it’s GOING around, or COMING around? Asking for a friend, that’s all.

Queensland Australia Police Have Two Weeks to Get Vaccinated or Get Out

That’s it, then. Up with those sleeves, Obersturmführer, and not a whisper of complaint from you either, hein? SCHNELL, SCHNELL!!! Sauce for the goose, and all that jazz.

Chickens coming home to roost? The state of Queensland, Australia, (QLD) is located in the northeastern portion of the nation above the state of New South Wales. The biggest metropolitan areas are Brisbane to the south and Cairns to the north. Like many states, and in alignment with the national plan, Queensland is mandating a vaccination upon citizens if they want to escape the rules and regulations of lockdowns and COVID compliance dictates.

Despite some initial signs of moderation, recently Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has fallen into line with the national government plan and has announced she is fully prepared to be just as big a totalitarian dictator as her neighboring Premiers to the west and south. As a consequence, Premier Palaszczuk has decreed that all Queensland police units must be vaccinated within two weeks or they will lose their jobs.

My attitude henceforth is going to be: A) Any cop, military, medical personnel, or other such-like, here or elsewhere, who refuses the jab at cost of his/her livelihood is all right with me; we’re on the same team, and he/she will have my full-throated support in whatever way I can find to render it; B) Any cops, military, &c who elect to conduct themselves as if surrendering one’s personal sovereignty to tyrannical Authority in order to gain permission to rejoin civil society was somehow a Good and Just Thing are my enemies, no more nor less, and will be considered such until either they or I am dead. Period fucking DOT.

9

Angelo Codevilla is dead

A great thinker, a gifted writer, a grievous loss.

RIP: Angelo Codevilla, R.I.P.

Codevilla, the historian of spycraft and powerful analyst of American political and social trends, has died. It is difficult for many commentators to see beyond the current news cycle. But Codevilla, because he could see America as it is presently, could also see into the future. Here in National Review in 2009, he predicted a populist-type figure, one that could unite the “Country Party,” could eventually come to lead the Republicans.

Far be it from me to suggest that Sarah Palin should be or is likely to be our next president. She has not shown the excellence of cognition or of judgment that would recommend her ahead of other possible candidates, nor does her path to the presidency look easy.

But as the nation celebrates the anniversary of the revolution of 1776, every presidential hopeful should realize that in the next election Sarah Palin — or someone like her — could be the vehicle for another revolution. The distinctions between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, are being overshadowed by that between what we might call the “Court party” — made up of the well-connected, the people who feel represented by mainstream politicians who argue over how many trillions should be spent on reforming American society, who see themselves as potters of the great American clay — and the “Country party” — the many more who are tired of being treated as clay.

Read the whole thing.

The excerpt and included link (not transcribed here, natch) is from/to NRO, so use your own discretion concerning Ed’s closing advice.

I must say, I’m taken a bit aback at how little reportage I’m seeing out there on what I consider to be a quite momentous event. I dunno, maybe it’s just me and my sadly lacking search-engine manipulation skills. The only further information I’ve run across so far is this:

He was walking when he was struck by a drunk driver. He died of his injuries at the hospital.

Codevilla had just recovered from covid. And then a drunk driver killed him.

That’s from Ace, and is pretty thin on the details. Perhaps we’ll see more of the story soon.

In any event, Codevilla was certainly one of the bona fide giants, no two ways about it. Everyone here will surely know of his best-known flash of inspiration and insight: the seminal 2010 American Spectator article wherein he postulated the division of the FUSA into the Ruling Class and the Country Class. It’s long and in-depth, but this ‘graph provides a pretty fair summation:

The ruling class’s appetite for deference, power, and perks grows. The country class disrespects its rulers, wants to curtail their power and reduce their perks. The ruling class wears on its sleeve the view that the rest of Americans are racist, greedy, and above all stupid. The country class is ever more convinced that our rulers are corrupt, malevolent, and inept. The rulers want the ruled to shut up and obey. The ruled want self-governance. The clash between the two is about which side’s vision of itself and of the other is right and which is wrong. Because each side — especially the ruling class — embodies its views on the issues, concessions by one side to another on any issue tend to discredit that side’s view of itself. One side or the other will prevail. The clash is as sure and momentous as its outcome is unpredictable.

No better proof of the 20-20 acuity of Codevilla’s political vision is likely to be found than that one paragraph, moreso when you consider how it’s even more relevant and apt today than it was back then. Bill expresses the severity of our loss best:

This is an absolute tragedy. Give the garbage refugees from various progressive and liberal fascist dumpster fires masquerading as high intellects, we can ill afford to lose the man who was, in my opinion, the leading American public intellectual.

His work has guided my thinking since his pieces on the awful way GWB was (not) waging war in the Middle East (No Victory, No Peace was the most important one, as I recall), on through his dissection of the American Ruling Class, to his current work on the emerging Patriotic American (Trump) movement.

He has been a shining light in the gathering darkness.

I shall miss him. And so will America.

We most certainly will. The old saw asserting that “No man is indispensable” may be true enough, in the strictly literal sense. But if Angelo Codevilla wasn’t indispensible, he came closer to it than just about anybody else I can think of.

Rest ye well, sir.

6

“The most terrifying map in the world”

That’s what Chris MacIntosh over at the International Man blog calls it, and I won’t even try to argue.

That’s quite a dramatic reversal, wouldn’t ya say? Gee, looks like maybe shutting down an entire national economy indefinitely under a false pretext might not have been such a bright idea after all. The same might be said of offering tax breaks to effectively incentivize US corporations to export all American manufacturing capacity to a hostile foreign dictatorship, too. Well, unless your real aim all along wasn’t maintaining US prosperity, security, and international influence like you claimed during election-year stump speeches, that is.

But hey, that’s all just crazy talk. Please ignore my momentary lapse into batshit-nuts conspiracy theorizing, ‘kay?

BRM Peter nutshells it for us.

If ever there was proof of the old saying that “what goes around, comes around”, it’s there. China is basically out to dominate – and, if possible, humiliate – any nation that won’t dance to its tune. That includes the United States.  The map above shows that, on balance, China is doing just that. Its commercial and industrial influence now exceeds that of the USA on the world scene.

The worst thing of all, from an American perspective, is that our business leaders – our oligarchs, for want of a better word – deliberately worked towards this. They’re the ones who moved manufacturing offshore, seeking greater profits by making goods in markets with lower wage and transport costs. They built the factories that China is using today to extend its influence, basically handing to the Chinese the commercial hegemony they now exploit. America is now left holding the short stick, because we no longer have the industrial and commercial might that was the foundation for our influence abroad. We handed that to China on a plate, and the Chinese have taken full advantage. Don’t blame them for that, either – we would have done exactly the same thing if our positions were reversed.

So, when you look at the problems we’re currently encountering with a very screwed-up supply chain, consider them in the light of that map. That’s why we’re experiencing them – because three-quarters of our supply chain is out of our control, and very much in China’s control. To paraphrase President Obama, “we built that”. It’s our fault, on a national scale, for allowing our barons of commerce and industry to sell our economic prosperity out from under us for a mess of pottage. However, you’ll never get our politicians to admit that, or accept any responsibility for it. Being the finest politicians money can buy, many of them were long since bought by Chinese “contributions”. There’s plenty of evidence of that; I’ll leave you to look it up for yourselves.

There oughta be some way to see that the ProPols and their hand-in-glove corporate partners in crime pay a price for what they’ve done to us, if only we could think of what it might be.

3

Ocker uprising

Not a moment too soon.

Massive Development in Victoria, Australia – Major Trade Union CFMEU Goes To War Against Union Leadership and Politicians Over Mandated Vaccinations – Premier Daniel Andrews Shuts Down Industry
The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has declared war against their own leadership, John Setka (left, circled), for not fighting against the mandatory COVID vaccine.  As he was attempting to hunker down in his office headquarters, union boss John Setka physically came under attack from his own union membership over his political relationship with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

This is the U.S. equivalent of AFL-CIO members launching a violent uprising against former union President Richard Trumka; and then Trumka running to Joe Biden for help and protection from his own membership.

The CFMEU members are the heavy-hitting blue-collar construction and dirty fingernail workers, and the leadership of the CFMEU are the thug-like mobsters who run the union.

Just like the AFL-CIO or UAW in America, the union leadership in Australia is politically corrupt and disconnected from the members they serve. Earlier today (AU-time), the union members organized to confront the union leadership.

When CFMEU union boss John Setka tried to weasel his way out of the confrontation things turned violent. The members have had enough of the lockdowns, ridiculous COVID regulations and now the forced vaccinations. Setka shouted, “What do you want me to do, shut it down?” The members erupted in cheers. Yes, that is exactly what they want.

The trade union members recognize their leadership is politically corrupt and supporting the totalitarian rules of the government. After things turned violent, Setka was forced to retreat to his office and position his foot-soldiers at the doors to protect him. The members launched a full frontal assault on the building, smashing windows, throwing bottles and forcing Setka’s thugs to run back inside.

Trapped and under assault from his own members, John Setka called for police and riot squads to rescue him from his own members. The riot police showed up in their ninja turtles uniforms and started firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the angry union members in the crowd. The workers fought back as hundreds of police units arrived to secure the building and attempt to form a defensive ring around the CFMEU building. Suffice to say, John Setka and Premier Daniel Andrews clutched their pearls and called the angry union workers a violent mob.

In an attempt to save face and give the appearance of having control over the situation; in a transparently political move; Premier Daniel Andrews then announced a retaliatory shutdown of the Victorian construction industry for two weeks. Essentially Daniels is trying to lockdown the CFMEU members, before the CFMEU members could strike.

Daniels and Setka know the members have the power in this scenario – so, they are trying to avoid the political optic of having the construction industry workers strike and lock down the economy, by being proactive and shutting down the industry. It is a face saving maneuver meant to give the illusion of power. However, shutting down the industry is what the union members wanted Union President Setka to do.

Is that all, you ask? No, it most certainly is NOT all.

Lawrence Person tells it true:

It’s not enough to break through police lines. Mobs need to track the politicians that imposed these lockdowns to their homes, bust down their doors, drag them forcibly into the street, and then tar and feather them.

For starters.

Yes, indeedy. R For Resistance elaborates.

“But what can we do“? You can go out in the streets to show the monsters behind this global coup that you will not take anymore of their shit. You can fight for your rights, Human dignity for the future of your kids. This is how it’s done.

Melbourne, Australia, 18.09.2021, the People crushed the fascist regime thugs line.

And don’t think one second that these pigs didn’t deserve it!

That last line refers to a specific incident in Victoria which is one of the most abhorrent, bestial, and reprehensible acts of fascist thuggery I can remember seeing: an elderly woman lying on her back on the street, totally helpless, evincing not the most infinitesimal trace of credible threat towards…the two evil, subhuman pigs who are firing multiple streams of pepper spray directly into her face.

Deserve it? Yes. Yes, they most certainly do. In fact, getting a taste of some for-real Street Justice, being knocked ass over teacups and stomped flat as the angry mob of citizenry ignores every command issued by those goons to cease and desist, is the very LEAST they deserve.

The pic below that one features a close-up of this poor woman, who looks like somebody’s harmless old Gramma. Which I’m sure she is. The caption:

2 pathetic assholes gasing a defenceless lady on the floor that could be their mother. Why are animals like these allowed to disgrace their country?

So now that you’ve seen all that, the murderously-furious screed I’m about to uncork won’t seem over the top. Frankly, though, I don’t much care if it does.

Animals certainly fits, although it wasn’t merely “their country” they disgraced, but humanity itself. That these two rançid curs could find it within themselves to even think of dowsing with Hellfire-juice an innocuous old woman who would surely have conjured, in the minds of better men, memories of home-baked cookies and joyous childhood Christmases at the home and hearth of their own dear Grandmas is all the confirmation needed of the dominance of pure evil in the mental makeup of these two excrescences. Anyone possessed of the slightest trace of compassion and conscience would have checked fire and passed on by rather than damn themselves to Hell’s hottest corner the way they did.

But no. Incomprehensible as it must be to every decent, non-evil human being, the humane thing is of course NOT what they chose to do. Maybe this grotesque contravention of everything the words “police officer” used to mean to the general public had its roots in the increasing estrangement of LEOs from said public. Perhaps they hold a sick, perverse misperception of what police work ought and ought not to entail. Whatever the case may be, this is a mindset that of right ought to render every cop who indulges it totally unfit to work in the field. Worse yet, whatever convoluted mind-path these sadistic thugs had to walk in order to get themselves to a place where such an attack seemed kosher and in order to them is a much darker omen—because any man capable of following such a path isn’t just unfit to be a cop. The decent, the honorable, and the civilized tolerates his presence among them at their own peril.

Update! A timely reminder.

Herschel steps up to put the cherry on top.

Interestingly, this tweet by someone named Evelyn Rae on the incident evoked the following reaction: “A very dark day in Australian history. I can’t believe it has got to this point.”

Funny, that. It’s just the opposite of my reaction. I think it’s one of the prouder moments in Australian history, especially after gun confiscations.

The only thing that would have made it prouder would have been for them to have shot the cops.

Does that surprise you? Remember. The pols are tyrants, and the cops are their willing enforcers. They have kidnapped people and sent them to concentration camps, and kidnapped children without permission or knowledge of their parents and taken them off for forcible vaccinations.

Tyrants and their enforcers.

Just so. The way I see it, Evelyn has it exactly backwards: the “very dark day” was the day Aussies—and Americans—sat back in passive denial and allowed the tyrants to take their liberty without a murmur of protest, in the name of false security. The day they rose up to reclaim their stolen freedom, their God-given rights, and their dignity from the oppressor was actually the day when the darkness began to lift.

4
1

Wargaming

Of all the speculative discussions I’ve seen on the ways CW 2.0 might play out should the temp knob ever actually be dialed up from the current Med-Hi setting on up to full-on Rolling Boil, these feel to me like the most realistic, plausible, and probable of them so far. Scenario One:

You’re a battalion commander in 2ID. For nine months you’ve been tasked with keeping I85 open between Portland and Boise. It’s a ridiculous area for one battalion, but every maneuver unit in the military is tasked.

There is no rotation out on the horizon. Your companies are strung out in platoon COPs across 500 miles of mostly remote highway.

Most of your HHC is in ad hoc platoons covering sectors as well.

The supply line is absolutely vital to keep the rest of your brigade sustained as it tries to secure Idaho.

Just as important is keeping it open westbound, to supply Portland, Seattle, and the areas in between. The insurgency played hell with the supply chain.  FEMA is rationing food and necessities in urban areas, and every load is needed.

Early on you mostly dealt with occasional harrassment and clearing logs from the roadway. Turns out one guy with a chainsaw can snarl traffic through Umatilla National Forest for hours. Tracking them on logging roads and ATV trails is a nightmare.

You quickly learned that if you sent out road crews without escort, they would take harassing fire immediately. After one crew had their equipment torched and was forced to walk back in underwear, they refuse to work without a security element.

The problem is that when security is with the road crews, the insurgents just flex a few miles away and either create another roadblock, or sometimes hijack and burn a few loads stuck in the traffic. They especially seem to love hitting your fuelers. You’ve tried sending up UAVs to catch them at it, but they seem to have uncanny awareness of when you’re setting a trap and rarely bite. Those few you do roll up are sent north to the massive camp near Moses Lake. What you really need are SOF assets hunting the enemy while your forces hold key terrain.

Unfortunately, those assets are stretched thin and hard to come by.

It doesn’t help that the army lost 35% of long tabs in the Vax Purge of ’21. It also doesn’t help that half of 1st group is considered “politically unreliable” and is kept on Rear D at JBLM. Rumor is at least a dozen of those guys have up and vanished with their families, but solid info is kept close. You just know getting SOF assets in your AO is dicey. 

SOF aren’t the only ones with personnel issues. You left 28 natives of Oregon and Idaho on rear D, to avoid any conflicts. Just last month CID rolled up an E4 who was passing convoy manifests and schedules to an old battle buddy in Lakewood, who was passing it to the insurgents.

Now your entire rear D is in segregated barracks and closely watched, and you’ve had to confiscate phones across the battalion. Your soldiers get one monitored call per week to their families. You’ve already signed 7 NJPs for guys who got caught with burners. The best intel you get, at least at first, was from social media companies providing data based on algorithms that identified insurgent activity.

The first round of mass arrests got hundreds. That dried up quickly, as they stopped using the platforms. It also scooped up hundreds of people based on social media history who are being held without charges, and are a constant PR nightmare. You have family members at your CP every day demanding due process, though you have nothing to do with detainee ops.

The biggest headache in your life, though, is the “volunteers”. When the proud boys tried to make a stand in Vancouver, and were immediately crushed, hundreds of “antifascists” showed up to “help”. You’ve been ordered to treat them as partner forces, but they’re worse than ANA. Half of them wheeze when they climb out of their subarus, and the other half can’t hold high ready for more than 10 seconds. They don’t follow orders, and after a few complaints about looting and some proud boy families going missing, the gloves came off locally. They still won’t engage your forces directly, but any “volunteers” who leave the wire on their own are likely to be found nailed to a tree. Of course local property crime and rape seems to correlate directly to their presence. They don’t want to fight, but they’ll harass civvies.

You get your morning brief and find that some of Idaho NGs missing Stingers surfaced last night and you’re down a chinook. You thank your lucky stars that Americans with ARs can’t fight the military.

Scenario Two:

Ok. Let’s do a thought exercise.

Those 12 Cletuses are the dumbest and most expendable guys the rebels have. They’re the dudes who don’t listen, just want to spray paint punisher skulls on everything and drive around larping.

Jennifer Sutton
@JenSutt6971

Replying to
@ArmyStrang
and
@nailbomb3
Heaven forbid this civil war fantasy scenario plays out. Hypothetically speaking, and purely as a thought exercise. How do 12 Cletetus and company defend against a Predator drone? His talking points are asinine and pure political spin.

When your drone smokes them, they aren’t doing anything important to the rebellion because no one trusts them with important shit. They’re just driving around being dipshits.

But now, they’re useful. The pictures of their charred corpses and crying families are suddenly all over.

They’re a reminder of what people like Jennifer are willing to do to people who won’t submit to them. Hundreds of thousands are radicalized. Some of the dumber ones learn a harsh lesson about listening to those who’ve done work, and become more circumspect.

Meanwhile smart people are busy identifying the unit the drone was with. Who the operators and commanders are. Who had to give approval. What political flunkies were involved. Who all of their families are and where they live. Who maintains and fuels the drones.

One day a pilot from that unit gets capped in the head at a gas station. No witnesses. The unit is locked down and not allowed off post.

A couple families get the corpse pictures slipped under their door.

Now the unit has to pull the families on post, too.

They have to devote resources to keeping them secure. They’re cooped up in shitty army quarters for who knows how long, miserable and bitching, while the government tries to “investigate”.

But feds going out to investigate wind up dead.

And soldiers find nothing.

Meanwhile the main rail line that brings in fuel mysteriously blows up, and the gov is forced to truck fuel the long and expensive way.

Plus they have to guard it, because it might not make it. They have to use soldiers, because civilian truckers won’t touch the job.

That’s because they were quietly warned that any trucker delivering to that base would be found hanging from a light pole with a punisher skull carved into his chest.

That skull becomes a shorthand to identify collaborators.

People like Jennifer find it painted on their doors.

The cops are overwhelmed, and most sympathize with the rebels anyway. They won’t miss Jennifer calling every other week because her neighbors fence doesn’t have HOA approval. So they don’t care.

Soldiers suck at investigating, so they can’t do shit either.

The mil has bigger problems anyway. Anything exposed and unguarded is probably not coming back.

Whenever they come out in force, there’s nothing to be found but law abiding citizens who will tell them they hate the rebels. Morale sucks and tempers are short.

Command is terrified that someone is gonna lose it and shoot a kid taunting his patrol, or something. They know what happens to units that get linked to atrocities.

So Jennifer is on her fucking own.

No cops, no soldiers, no feds. They don’t care and have bigger priorities.

She’s not important enough to protect, and her circle of people cant muster up more than a decorative katana and a bunch of soy.

Every time she finds the punisher scrawled on her car or fence she wonders if it’s just asshole kids or if she’s about to be an object lesson.

People start to shun her, too, because no one wants to risk being associated too closely with a collaborator.

She’s on her own, no one but her cats for company, and even when things calm down everyone she knows will remember that she sided with authoritarianism.

Fin. 

The Punisher skull idea is a nice touch. Any dot-mil officer, Deep State bureauslime, or “elected” official mired in hubris and habit deeply enough to think that this conflict will be fought in strict conformance with the large-unit doctrines they’ve trained for and are most familiar with—all of which confidently predict that the Resistance irregulars will be crushed, with minimal effort or inconvenience—is in for a BIIIIIG surprise, and really ought to block out more time in his busy schedule for some careful reflection.

Several more of these sobering, thought-provoking tales can be found here. Spicy Time is NOT going to be either pretty or pleasant, for anybody, and that’s a hard fact.

8

Signs, portents

Well, this certainly doesn’t sound very good.

Back in 2007, there were hints that a financial disaster were coming, it’s just that many of them were simply missed, even though they were obvious in hindsight. As a firefighter, I saw them: Multiple families living in brand new, expensive homes without a stick of furniture. They could barely make the payment on their adjustable rate balloon mortgage, so they certainly couldn’t afford furniture. All it took was an increase in gas prices to set off the entire mortgage collapse.

There are again signs of an impending financial disaster, and they are everywhere. For example:

My in-laws were in Maine for the summer. They returned last week. Just before they returned, my wife went over to their house to prepare it for their arrival. While she was there, she smelled something odd, like rotting garbage. The smell was coming from the refrigerator. Even though the display on the door said it was cold, it was not. All of the food had rotted.

After a rather nasty cleaning session, the in-laws returned home. They went shopping for a new refrigerator, and there were not many to be had. It turns out that there is no supply coming from overseas, where most of them are made. The ones that ARE getting through are not enough to meet demand. There are lengthy backorders.

Yet another sign that the economy is grinding to a halt is coming from the auto industry. GM and Ford have suspended the production of pickup trucks because of the shortage in computer chips. This is a disaster for Ford Motor Company. All Ford makes is trucks, SUVs, and the Mustang. Ford reports that its sales are down 32 percent.

Total Ford Motor Company sales during July 2021 decreased 32 percent from last July, selling only 120,053 units. Sales of cars were hit hardest, with a 78% reduction to 4,365 units. Trucks were down 38 percent to 72,574 units, and SUV sales dropped 35 percent to 43,114 units.

That news was bad enough, but was ever worse for August, as Ford sales dropped 33 percent in August from the same month last year.

If this is a disaster for Ford, it is also a disaster for the US economy. Ford is the 21st largest company in the USA, and GM is the 22nd.

We are seeing shortages in all sorts of things: supplies are hard to find. Chicken, lumber, microchips, gas, steel, metals, chlorine, and ketchup packets are all in short supply. We shut down the world’s economy, and it is not wanting to restart. We can’t even get people to return to work.

“Experts” can argue about it for months, but no matter the cause, the result is the same. This slowdown of the economy is going to continue for months, perhaps several years. How many businesses will fail as a result is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure, though. The economy is going to get much, much worse. Inflation is going to increase markedly as the law of supply and demand begins to take hold. Once Suzy Soccermom figures out that there is a problem, expect panic buying and even more shortages as she begins to panic shop for things.

Another thing I spent most of last year shrieking about was the mind-bending catastrophe that must follow from the hamhanded attempt to assert control over a national economy far beyond the comprehension of ProPol hacks, whose negligible intelligence and ability are routinely dwarfed by their stupendous arrogance. Again and again, I insisted that the onset of this ruinous interference would likely be delayed at first, allowing time for the damage to slowly spread throughout the most effective prosperity-generation system ever known to man and, eventually, break the machine down completely. Even when Trump seemed to miraculously revivify the economy last fall, I felt the reprieve could only be temporary, kind of like the way terminal patients can rally unexpectedly and against all odds—inexplicably acting, looking, even feeling much better for about three days or so, before their condition drastically worsens and the patient finally succumbs. More from Brandon Smith:

We are at an impasse. With incessant fear mongering over the latest covid variants and the government obsession with 100% vaccination, the pro- and anti-vaccine groups are squaring off .  It is a conflict between those who see their submission to the vaccination as a badge of personal responsibility and civic-mindedness versus those who see it as merely an excuse for authoritarianism. Unless pro-vax people choose to stand down and walk away from the fight, our economic future will grow increasingly unstable.

This is the foreboding backdrop of our economic tale, and it is important to keep in mind that the technocratic exploitation of the covid non-crisis as a push for supremacy is going to color EVERYTHING that happens in our financial system from now on. You cannot talk about our economic condition without including the effects of the pandemic theater.

I believe that the next year in particular is going to be adrenalized and chaotic beyond what we have already seen in 2020-2021. Like I said, there are two sides of America that are now completely opposed in almost every way. Something is going to snap, and I suspect this will happen in 12 months or less.
The U.S. economy is itself an underlying disaster in the making and in many ways the Covid issue is a convenient distraction away from a much larger threat.

The pandemic response has conjured an even greater crisis because the shutdowns of vast parts of the service sector led to trillions more in stimulus just to keep an array of businesses from closing permanently, let alone the trillions of dollars that are STILL being printed to boost unemployment checks.

All of this monetary trickery is going to end, and when it does, there will be a fiscal reckoning beyond anything the world has seen in centuries.

Here are some of the most immediate dangers as I see them in the next 12 months, and what they mean for our future…

Itemized analysis follows, all of it astute enough and also totally depressing, but the closer is what hammers in the proverbial Final Nail.

Vaccine Passports Will Be The Death Rattle Of Small Businesses
Small businesses make up around 50% of the U.S. retail market and are a big part of jobs numbers. I find it less than coincidental that nearly every single action on the part of the government in terms of the Covid response has led to a retail apocalypse that has eclipsed the small business sector while keeping the corporate retail sector alive. The last nail in the coffin for smaller service providers will be vaccine passports, if they are allowed to take root.

Biden’s latest and predictable announcement of a vaccine passport executive order apparently applies only to companies with 100 employees or more, but this represents a large number of small to moderate businesses, and if Biden gets his way ALL businesses will be included eventually.  I will be writing extensively on this in my next article.

Many retailers are already sounding the alarm over the fear of possible vaccine passports for customers because they know that they will lose at least half of their customer base in response. The enforcement of such rules would require extra costs that will grind down their profit margins. And let’s not forget that if a customer sneaks through security measures, that business might be held liable and fined into oblivion. It’s a lose/lose for business owners which means, again, that many thousands more businesses will close down.

America’s economy will be annihilated.

We all know that the government under Biden is not going to give up on vaccinations or the mandates. They will continue to press until they get what they want (or until the public stops them). Don’t get too comfortable in the relative calm that we have enjoyed until recently as far as Covid restrictions are concerned.

And, well, here we all are it comes.

A couple nights ago I said: You do not, MUST NOT EVER willingly lay Principle on the altar of Safety, no matter what cause, what purported emergency, is put forth as justification. Addendum: You do not, MUST NOT EVER allow people who have never run a private-sector business, met a payroll, or done an honest day’s work at a productive, useful job in their entire lives get their ignorant, incompetent mitts on the national ecosystem.

Of course, asking a ProPol to kindly refrain from meddling in affairs which are much too big for him is about as useful as asking a horse to fly; the question presupposes certain requisite traits which are nowhere in evidence among the species. In the case of despecta politicus, the absent trait is humility.

6

At Apocalype’s edge

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer.

Something’s about to happen. I can feel it, I can smell it in the air. I woke up early this fine Sunday morning, put the coffee mocha on the stovetop, sat down to peruse the tidings of the world, and took stock. That was when I had the feeling. It feels like a point has been reached; a line in the sand, as it were. That a very large segment of the population, a segment that is far larger than what the elite’s minions claim it to be, has collectively decided that enough is enough. That this collective suicide has reached its end point. That the lunacy has to stop and that it stops with each one of us.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

But the form that the stopping will take is what has my spiritual senses tingling. People in general have obediently gone along with their governments out of trust and good faith. At least, that is what happened at the beginning. Just two weeks to stop the curve, remember that? That trust has not just been eroded – it has been collectively obliterated, firebombed to ashes amidst the wasteland to which society has reduced itself.

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

People no longer want to participate in the lies, any of them.

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

When you think about it, our nations have been in a collective stupor for a very long time indeed. Lulled to a state of mind numbed passivity, participating in daily life in order to get yet another bauble. Mice on the spinning wheels that go nowhere in a material sense and certainly have no future in a spiritual sense.

We needed to be woken up. And the feeling that I have is that a lot more of us are now awake than ever before. Those of us who were so fortunate to stumble upon the red pill communities over the last several years are now not so alone as we once were.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

It’s not that our governments have been bullying and persecuting us for the last 18 months. No, rather they have been doing so for a hundred years. And every year they have been turning the screw a little tighter, cutting one more slice off the ever shortening salami, inching up the heat on the pot of water. Something had to give.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of 
Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight:

We might be at this point because our governments have planned a new world order, a 2030 upheaval of the entire world. Or we might be here because those participating in the tightening of the screw simply couldn’t help themselves; they had nowhere else to go but push it those last few ratchets. Inch by inch, grind it out. That’s all they know, that’s what they signed up for; without that continual “improvement” then they would have no reason for existing.

somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

And now people know. A lot more people than even two years ago. They have been rudely jolted out of their slumber. And they are terribly resolved to not taking one more step back. Our governments pushed all in on the vaccinations and a large segment of the population has called their bluff. They won’t take the jab. They won’t go to camps for national unity. There is no unity with despots, and our governments are despot central. A chaotic collective of feeble little men and puny women with no courage, with no honor, with no loyalty except to their next promotion, with no prudence, with no honesty, with no patriotism and most of all with no belief in God.

The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

Theirs is a world of idolatry to their gods of science and bureaucracy. They worship at the feet of men and as such have nothing in common with their fellow man. Their souls are small. They strive not for excellence but merely for power for its own sake. And they most of all desire power over us, over we who did not completely fall for the lies; who when we realised the true nature of things then we pulled back and simply said, no, I will not do that.

I will not do that. That is the line in the sand. And once you come to that point, then you are really free. Because it doesn’t matter. None of it matters. They wanted to do as thou wilt, well now they have it. So go ahead. Do as you want. But I will not do that and I want nothing to do with those who would make me comply with tyranny. You can brush it up in any obscene makeup as you like, but the lipstick is still on a pig and I will have no part in it.

Like I said, something is going to happen. Something’s gotta’ give. It’s time.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

6

How did we get here?

Kill. Them. ALL.

Good morning, Gentle Readers. A number of you have written to ask why I haven’t posted anything about the twentieth anniversary of the greatest atrocity ever visited upon this nation. The short answer is that the date has left me both heartsick and furious: too heartsick to say anything encouraging, and too furious to say anything meaningful about “where we go from here.” As for the long answer…well, suffice it to say that neither of us has the time or patience for that. So I’ll spare you.

War is not justice. War is not the imposition of a judicial procedure upon an accused wrongdoer. War does not send forth detectives to investigate nor policemen to arrest nor judges and juries to try. War is prosecuted with armies. Its aim is to break the will of the enemy: at first, by closing with and destroying its active forces; thereafter, by doing whatever is necessary to eliminate the will of the enemy nation to resist our will.

We were at war after 9/11…but we did not go to war. Our “leaders” refused to allow that we were at war. They prattled instead about “justice” and “democracy.” In particular, they told us that Islam is “a religion of peace.”

Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is an ideology of world conquest. It aims at the subjugation of all of Mankind. Stripped of its theological trimmings, it is indistinguishable from Nazism…but wait: didn’t Adolf Hitler want to be seen as a god?

Islam has always been the open enemy of the West, the United States in particular. It will be our enemy for as long as it persists.

We cannot impose “justice” on Islam. We cannot “democratize” or “modernize” it. We certainly can’t improve its attitude toward us through immigration or trade. We can only fight it with wholesale slaughter and destruction, just as we did with Nazism and Japanese imperialism.

Only two commentators took that view, unabashedly and unapologetically, after September 11, 2001. One was Ann Coulter:

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.

The other was this clown. If you don’t recall what he said on that occasion, here’s the meat of it:

I saw and spoke to many people that day. Gripped with shock from the events, many had nothing to offer but tears. Those who could articulate their feelings were nearly unanimous about them:

“Kill them all.”

It was a sentiment I shared with a degree of passion and a wholeness of heart that I’d once reserved for the people and things I loved.

He meant every word of it. He still means it all today. But do have a nice day.

That “other clown” Francis references, with his characteristic sly, self-deprecating humor, is of course himself. I uncharacteristically transcribed the link therein, just as encouragement to go read that long-ago post of his as well.

Earlier in the above-excerpted piece Francis mentions GVDL’s latest 9/11 memoir, a deeply personal account of the day’s events as viewed from across the East River, in Brooklyn Heights. It’s quite good, as you might expect; for a long time now the consensus has been that, among all of us OG types for whom the Black Tuesday atrocities were the primary impetus that drove us into the arms of the blogosphere, nobody has done better work with the annual 9/11 memorial posts than Gerard has.

Now the one Fran mentions is good, certainly, but I found it a bit too dry and uninflected to suit my taste. It’s a prime example of real, honest-to-God journalism, of a breed that is all but extinct. Just the same, though, it lacks the passion, the emotional force, that I believe the topic absolutely demands. Meaning no insult or derogation whatsoever by saying so, in my opinion this is the one you most need to read. Of all the commendable 9/11 articles, from that day to this, by Gerard or anybody else, this has to be the most compelling, most riveting, most stirring of them all.

This is monstrous.

Deaths in the thousands in New York.

My body is trembling with sorrow and rage. I saw the first tower fall. Everyone in it would have been killed. This, all this, must be stopped. Those who have done this must be wiped out to the last.

War with whom?

Any and all terrorist organizations, foreign or domestic, must now be brought to a swift and complete halt no matter where they are located.

I watched this happen. The enormity of it cannot be communicated. Vile and bestial.

We need to destroy any and all capacity of anyone living anywhere to do anything like this ever again. There were thousands in those buildings. Thousands.
There is no justice swift enough or sure enough.

All that we have must be brought forward and used without restraint. This is an act of war beyond Pearl Harbor.

Military jets overhead again.

More ash on the street. I am cooled down. Way down.

This is pure evil.

What do I feel? I don’ t know what I feel — except that I want vengeance. I want everything this country possesses put onto the people who did this, and the people who supported this act, and the people who believe this is the way in which political ends are achieved.

I want there to be war until these people are eradicated whoever they are, and where ever they are. I want it made clear that anything even approaching this evil act will be met with utter destruction — people, families, villages, cities, nations. This is an act of war and war must be the response.

We will be having a long series of mass funerals for many weeks. I only hope that this country finds the stomach and the resolve to carry retribution forward until it is complete.

That is what I feel, now, today. And I‘m not alone. I’m not alone at all.

There’s much, much more, all of it brilliantly well-written and insightful.

And all of it sickening, in light of our abject, unforgivable, and total failure to rise to the challenge and do all that was required of us so as to avenge our dead, smite our enemies, and, in so doing, redeem ourselves.

Against all odds, though, it’s not too late for us. There remains a way forward, even now and despite everything, which will be the subject of Part 2.

1

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa

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