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Degringolade
A suburb of Portlandia
Still Standing
Interests: Voluntary Simplicity and watching the historical changes we seem to be sprinting towards.
Recent Activity
I guess I am a little on the fence on this. I don't see an apocalypse anytime soon, but I think that there is enough to the concept of "Climate Change" and "Peak Oil" that the long term implications cannot simply be dismissed. I do see change coming, I just can't for the life of me figure out what will be the actual trigger and what will simply be trotted out as an excuse to make the changes. For that matter, I can't even say that the data presented by the folks in the white lab coats is valid or invalid. At this point here it is just data and the hypotheses and theories being worked out to explain the data are not really all that satisfying. Mostly I am in the "denialist" camp by default. I don't think that the apocalypse is coming soon, so that puts me in the opposition camp in the eyes of the true believers. In the immortal words of Zhou Enlai; "It's too early to say".
Colonel: Perhaps folks should take the time to read our old friend Alan. http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/sixties/HTML_docs/Texts/Narrative/Farrell_Schreckfigur.html
Toggle Commented Oct 11, 2019 on BOHICA Update - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Now that is a good idea. Colonies on the moon would be tough, but do-able. This might be a ticket.
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2019 on How about a Moon Elevator? at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Colonel and TTG: A report from Portlandia (since I live here, I feel that perhaps I can add some local color). I feel that the Portland City Council does use Antifa as a counterweight to the folks coming over from Clark County. Having lived in the 'Couv (Vancouver Washington, just across the Might Columbia) and now in Portland during my dotage, I can tell you that what is happening here is a classic Red/Blue sissy boy slap fest. Antifa is a refuge for the angry liberal who wants to use violence but abhors the use of such against themselves. Sean and Carl (Folks I know who enjoy such things) seem to feel that parading around with baseball bats and rebar is a great way to score political points and impress women. One has to remember that Portland is first and foremost a city of arrivistes. The Proud boys and their ilk (Know several of them personally, they played football with my youngest, overall they are good kids) come over from that hive of scum and villainy known as Clark County specifically to fuck with the Antifa types and mock the poseurs that line the microbreweries and Tapa bars that one finds in Portland. Antifa is the fighting wing of the genteel poseurs here in Portlandia. Proud Boys and their ilk are merely rough boys who have figured out there is another gang out there who like to fight and come on over to offer their services as an opponent. As for the "Journalist" that got a couple of cuts and bruises in the most recent dust-up, well, who the fuck cares? Other than other "journalists" who feel that their "profession" should be free of all risk and that their words aren't the incitement to riot that both sides welcome. Nope, I kind of look at these activities as spectator sports. I liken their activities to the parking lot fights after football games that I used to enjoy watching and commenting on (football players considered watching the parking lot fights a reward for playing, kind of a post-game entertainment). Nope, I kinda see the whole thing as kinda harmless. Yeah, somebody is going to get the shit kicked out of them is a mutually agreed upon fight, but hell, I am missing a couple of teeth myself from a set to in Fayetteville (my CO was not amused), so who am I to judge.
Colonel: I stand corrected: "Ceterum censeo Damascus delendam esse"
"Ceterum censeo Carthaginem delendam esse"
Colonel: I could not for the life of me figure out the "Melian States" reference. At first, I thought that you were speaking of the obviously long-suffering mother of his youngest child, but that didn't make any sense. So, research it was. Then following that, I realized that, while I had started to read it back in the dorms in Utah, I had never finished Thucydides. Now I have to read the Peloponnesian War this weekend to maintain intellectual self-respect. I am never going to get the garden put in this way.
Well then: That made me smile. I am a half/half INTJ/ENTJ. Never have figured out if I was introverted or not.
Huckleberry: I have to agree with you about the conservative movement possibly morphing into a nationalist Republican Party. I can't say such a thing will offend me. Look, at the end of the day, we have to rebuild the working class. We aren't going to do this by passing off cheap consumer goods, made in third world countries as the core of our economy. Tariffs are a tool to fix a prior mistake or to allow an internal industry a competitive edge. We made a mistake thinking that "globalization" would fix things. We offshored our industry to allow lazy managers and greedy stockholders the ability to line their pockets at all costs. Yes, the move was political. I think that maybe some of the unannointed in Washington are beginning to notice that the 20% of the population that we call the "professional" class isn't enough to win elections. I read this over at that rabidly anti-capitalist site Zerohedge (that's a joke son) “Trade wars are good, easy to win,” tweeted Trump, knowing the statement would trigger every nerd with a college degree. Some worried about their jobs. But not terribly. Because their unemployment rate is just 2%, their labor force participation is 74%. They’re as well off as they’ve ever been. Particularly when set against those who never went to college, 5% of whom are unemployed, and 50% don’t even participate in the labor force. They’ve given up. These trade policies are for these forgotten people. To hell with the consequences. That’s the point.
Thanks Fred: Can't say as I disagree even a smidgen. as an aside, might be considered off-topic by some, but I think that it is an amazingly good article to read in parallel with what Fred just wrote: https://steemit.com/conspiracy/@caitlinjohnstone/it-is-always-always-always-okay-to-question-official-narratives
Maybe this is over analysis, but I think that the ceremony itself says a lot about the differing approaches to conflict/war/politics. The Russians handed the guy a f&^%ing sword. I have a feeling that similar ceremonies for folks we work with aren't recorded and involve the transfer of funds to a Swiss bank account. Might have something to do with the cost-benefit ratio for our respective intercessions.
Hmmmm: Thanks Lemur, Wunduk, Henshaw, Babak, and Colonel. (ref: Comments 9, 13, 20, 23, 29, 31, and 32) This little string is an excellent primer on the core problem in the current iteration of the "Great Game". I actually spent the time to string them together in a single document to begin working through the implications I think that I will spend some time mulling this over and spend a pleasant afternoon re-reading "The Clash of Civilizations?".
Colonel: I find that this little gem, taken together with your post, gives an excellent point-counter-point to the ongoing shitshow. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/turkey-tells-usa-leave-manbij-immediately/
Kooshy: I always remember bringing my cards in a shoe box. I was afraid of folding, spindling, or mutilating with the rubber band and didn't wan't to annoy the computer gods. I think my program was in the 100-150 card range (I wasn't very big on "elegance" in my programming).
English Outsider: Us low-life enlisted men take a different view of it. Ἀσπίδι μὲν Σαΐων τις ἀγάλλεται, ἥν παρὰ θάμνῳ ἔντος ἀμώμητον κάλλιπον οὐκ ἐθέλων· αὐτὸν δ' ἔκ μ' ἐσάωσα· τί μοι μέλει ἀσπὶς ἐκείνη; Ἐρρέτω· ἐξαῦτις κτήσομαι οὐ κακίω Archilochus Since this was written 2600 years ago, I think that I can say there is a bit of tradition to this sort of thing. Look, Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon have been completely outplayed for the past year or two. Sometimes you just have to get out of the way and take the shame. For non-greek (sorry, being trained by the Jesuits scarred me One of the Saians now delights in the shield I discarded Unwillingly near a bush, for it was perfectly good, But at least I got myself safely out. Why should I care for that shield? Let it go. Some other time I'll find another no worse.
I found this article to be quite interesting. Got the link from my Brother-in-law who got it from someone else. 19 days of training for $174.00 seems like a pretty sweet sign up bonus to me. Uniforms look pretty snazzy. http://www.aymennjawad.org/2018/01/dispatch-the-syrian-democratic-forces-border
I'm game, let's go. Colonel, here's a short story from one of my favorite SF writers. I think you might like it. http://lib.ru/STERLINGB/r_star.txt
Babak: You seem offended by my choice of words. I chose them for the effect. The immigration policy of the US is at best poorly thought out. My choice of words is an attempt to ask, in a forceful way, what the hell does the US think that it is doing? How does the Colonel's phrase of concerning the looting of talent differ in any sense with what I said? Do you think that once a person comes to the US that they only marry into their "own kind" and the potential for talent is closely held in tight racial enclaves? The US at it's best is a melting pot. Hybrid vigor is a real phenomenon. Looting the world for talent does exactly this. As for the 4-5 wives crack, I come from Utah, I got no issue here.
Toggle Commented Jan 14, 2018 on A coupla things ... at Sic Semper Tyrannis
As I drink my tea, I am also rummaging around in my brainpan for something to write about. Might take a bit, because the first cup of tea is not completely consumed and I am reading while I am typing. Ahh, I found it, People-From-Shithole-Countries. Now, lets not imagine for a minute that I look down on the folks who want to immigrate to the US from the aforementioned shithole countries. I can categorically state that when my forebears came over from Italy in the 1890's, England in the 1680's, and Germany in the 1840's, you may rest assured that they were from shithole countries. My travel experience has led me to quite a few shitholes. I love and respect my friends that I have met in each and every one of these places, but let's not imagine that these countries are differing flavors of tropical paradise that only produce virtuous folks fresh out of their successful audition for "Noble Savage". Nope, that dog won't hunt. There are any number of countries that are completely fucked up and anyone with a lick of sense (a fair percentage of any population) will move heaven and earth to escape. No, in the spate of the vapors currently being experienced in the land-o-the-free, there is much emphasis and hand wringing about the ninth and tenth words in the phrase used by Dickweed. In the world occupied by the folks currently having the vapors, we are not providing positive words and attitudes toward other peoples and are thusly bad people who should no longer be invited to book clubs and cocktail parties. Fair enough. But truth, lets look at the whole statement. Trying to actually find an unvarnished and unspun version of the actual quote has failed, so I will present this as the best approximation: “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?” Now, let's imagine for the sake of argument, that Dickweed was an adult. and he asked instead: “Why do we want all these people coming here?” Now you have a question with some meat to it. Look, we are full up. We can't seem to keep the folk here in America happy and employed and enjoying the possibility of some kind of future. Recent college graduates struggle in barista jobs and there is little or nothing in the trades. Manufacturing jobs are vanishing. The medical schools, dental schools, and business schools already closely resemble the makeup of the UN General Assembly. To quote the Colonel: "An RAF Wing Commander once said to me at a public lunch in a "shithole" that we Americans loot the world in search of talent and lure it to our shores." If we are looking to recruit quality stock to improve the overall population, then by all means, lets have a go at it. But I think that ought to be made plain to all. But I think that the primary responsibility of the immigration policy should be outlined in detail and be reconciled with the needs of citizens and permanent residents already here. Allowing immigration because you feel sorry for people and it assuages your conscience isn't a good enough reason for me. If you are filching the best talent from shitholes, aren't you subtracting the best chance of that country fixing itself? If you take the less qualified from a shithole, aren't you compounding our own problems. Immigration policy serves the same purpose as a vacancy/no-vacancy sign on a hotel. I do believe that we are full.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2018 on A coupla things ... at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Colonel: Glad to see that you are being given your due Off Topic I am very curious about the massed drone attack. These things look pretty primitive but the flight profile shows that they have to have some pretty damn sophisticated control software/hardware. I think that you could write something with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi platform, but that would take some pretty damn sophisticated people.
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2018 on A back handed compliment at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Colonel: Is there really still a faction of the Borg (foreign policy establishment) who want to continue to back the unicorns against Russian efforts toward reconciliation in Syria and against our SDF/YPG allies? Really? Yes! really! It really doesn't make a lick of sense to me either.
Doing my before work reading and ran across this. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/protests-erupt-iran-180101142214891.html Seems pretty well thought out. If this is a revolt of the masses, then we could be looking at a "let them eat cake" moment. Urban elites bitching and trying to make debating points are easy to put down. Widespread pissed off proletariat-types are what drives a revolution. What will the Supremes do?
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2018 on Iran Open Thread at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Happy New Year One and All: Great combo for me last night. Good friends, Prosecco, well aged moonshine, figs with Gorgonzola wrapped with prosciutto and homemade Italian sausages. Everyone enjoy the current pleasantness, it's going to be a hell of a year.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2018 on New Year's Eve at Sic Semper Tyrannis
2018: Shit, I'll be 65. I ran my mouth, now I gotta deliver my share of the goods. Prediction One: Trump will be in office and unindicted at the end of calendar year 2018 Look, governing is one thing, political theater is another. Both parties are bankrupt of ideas and solutions are nowhere to be found within their current structure. But the parties themselves have an instinct for survival. Both can distance themselves from the clown show. With the clown prince in place and drawing attention, they don't have to fix anything and they are hoping to a triumphant return to the election politics of "I am better than Trump and Whoever" Prediction Two: Saudi "Issues" I think the real problem is Saudi is "Supply Side" problems. The internal problems are not the disease, but a symptom. Look, Gwahar has been swinging down for years. I think that the way that the market is structured has allowed them to mask this piece of data for a couple of years now, but I think that those days are coming to an end. If this field is in serious decline, then there are big, big, big economic problems. I think that what the crown prince is doing is thinning the herd pre-emptively. Prediction Three: The Beginning of the Slow Strangulation of the Petrodollar Look, if you want me to go full Jeremiah on this, you are coming to the wrong year. Chances are, I will initially call this "wrong" when I review in 2019, but I'll bet that this will be the year you will look back on in ten years and point at as being the "start" of the crapification of the petrodollar. Prediction Four: Midterms Who.fucking.knows. Prediction Five: Russia, China, Iran pull a miltary "come together" moment, maybe even a formal treaty. Truth is, I don't see anything intelligent coming out of D.C. of late. That goes for both sides of the Washington "Aisle". So I see us continuing to bluster and threaten, and forcing these three "very unlikely" bedmates together because they are certain that both sides of the aforementioned "aisle" have gone insane. Thoughtful and intelligent correspondents of the Colonel's site will spend a great deal of time questioning my sanity along with my fitness to walk alone without an attendant, but that is my call. Prediction Six: Another kick of the can. This is the hard one. Right now it is a 50%/50% deal. Either way. We either go big and go home in Korea. My bet is that we cut another deal. Prediction Seven: Stock Market down for the year.
Toggle Commented Dec 30, 2017 on Whither 2018? at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Ishmael Zechariah: Thank you so much for the links. The "Tolerance" PDF is quite enlightening. Bit of a slog, but he writes reasonably well for a philosopher. I am having a bit of trouble connecting the dots between the words written by Marcuse and some of the comments here. I will continue reading and thinking about it, but it appears that he isn't the pseudo-fascist that he is characterized in some of these comments. To Harper and the Colonel: This is one of the best examples of why I keep coming back to the discussion.