Wednesday, August 31, 2016



The 2016 UEFA European Championship: I was struck with the team from Iceland.  This team made it to the quarterfinals, finally losing to host nation France.  Iceland has a population of some 330,000 people.  It was reported that up to ten percent of the island’s population were attending the team’s matches in France.  When the team returned to Iceland from their eventual defeat to France, they were greeted by what seemed to be the entire population of the island.

A real feel-good story.  Which caused me to reflect: why feel good about this display of national pride?

I suspect every person in Iceland has not more than one or two people in between them and a player on the team.  A community, happily cheering for people with whom there is a personal connection; like cheering for your child, your cousin, or your friend from gymnasium.

In other words, a nation in the healthiest sense of the word.  Unfortunately, there are not too many countries that offer such a possibility: decentralization to the point where nation, country, and state correspond much closer to natural relationships.


Today’s example is to be found in American football: American football – like most American sports – cannot be separated from the military.  Every game includes some honor or another to or regarding the military: from a presentation to a “wounded warrior,” to a flyover, to the home team wearing camouflage-style jerseys.  People cheer louder for the military and for flag worship than they do for a touchdown.

An American football player decides not to stand for the national anthem.  He has apparently done this before, but it is only now news.  The reaction was (only verbally, so far) violent: how dare he disrespect the troops!  Except he didn’t.  His protest was against the treatment of minorities in America; he could not stand for the anthem or flag of such a country.  But to the masses, “nation” (as represented by the anthem) equals military and state.  This player disrespected the troops, no matter what he says.

The semi-thoughtful commentators (as opposed to the totally ignorant) were able to process this distinction: “thank God he didn’t disrespect the troops.”  Translations: it is OK to protest over an SJW cause, “just don’t protest about the troops”; “they fight and die for us to have the freedom to protest.”  This passed for thoughtful commentary.

The even more thoughtful offered: if we cannot remain seated for the anthem, what does that say about America.  Totalitarian governments demand such things, not us!

Let’s see if they say such things when someone refuses to stand for the troops.  Because protesting regarding the police treatment of dark-skinned people in the US is acceptable; protesting regarding the US military treatment of dark-skinned people in other countries…well…we know the answer.

As one talking mouthpiece said: “I don’t know a single person who doesn’t support the troops.”  To which I say, move to Iraq, Syria, Libya, or Afghanistan.  See how you feel about it then.

Or, stop by here, here, and here once a day: it will be physically much safer, but intellectually and emotionally crushing.


Iceland.  Given the size and relative cohesiveness of the population, one place where I envision the possibility of country, nationalism, and state reasonably co-existing: a possibility for healthy, all-encompassing patriotism.

In a place like the United States?  Patriotism equals a sickly self-identification with international murderers and criminals; it also means crucifixion for those who don’t go along.  Pathological.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Perpetual Motion Machine

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Syrian rebels, backed by Turkey and the United States, pushed deeper toward U.S.-backed Kurdish positions in northern Syria on Monday, as Turkey’s foreign minister warned the Kurds to “immediately” pull back east of the Euphrates River or face more assaults.

Syrian rebels – backed by the United States – are pushing into positions in Turkey that are backed by Kurds – also backed by the United States!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I guess this is one way to ensure that the war party maintains a mission.

Gene Wilder

Died yesterday, at 83 years of age.  I only offer some of his best lines from a couple of my favorite movies.

Talk about a movie they would never make today.  Gene Wilder played Jim, the “Waco Kid.”  Sheriff Bart, referenced below, was played by Cleavon Little.

Jim, to Bart (the new black Sheriff in a very white western town): What did you expect? "Welcome, sonny?" "Make yourself at home?" "Marry my daughter?" You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons.

Jim: It got so that every pissant prairie punk who thought he could shoot a gun would ride into town to try out the Waco Kid. I must've killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille. Got pretty gritty. Started hearing the word "draw" in my sleep. Then one day, I was walking down the street when I heard someone shout, "Reach for it, mister!" I turned around to see who it was, and there I was, standing face-to-face...with a 6 year-old kid. I just put my guns down and walked away. Little bastard shot me in the ass!

Bart: Are we awake?
Jim: We're not sure. Are we... black?
Bart: Yes we are.
Jim: Then we're awake. But we're very puzzled.

Bart: Okay, Jim, since you are my guest and I am your host, what are your pleasures? What do you like to do?
Jim: Oh, I don't know. Play chess...screw.
Bart: Well let's play chess.

Gene Wilder plays Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the famous one.

Igor: Dr. Frankenstein...
Dr. Frankenstein: "Fronkensteen."
Igor: You're putting me on.
Dr. Frankenstein: No, it's pronounced "Fronkensteen."
Igor: Do you also say "Froaderick"?
Dr. Frankenstein: No... "Frederick."
Igor: Well, why isn't it "Froaderick Fronkensteen"?
Dr. Frankenstein: It isn't; it's "Frederick Fronkensteen."
Igor: I see.
Dr. Frankenstein: You must be Igor.
Igor: No, it's pronounced "eye-gor."
Dr. Frankenstein: But they told me it was "ee-gor."
Igor: Well, they were wrong then, weren't they?

Dr. Frankenstein: For the experiment to be a success, all of the body parts must be enlarged.
Inga: His veins, his feet, his hands, his organs vould all have to be increased in size.
Dr. Frankenstein: Precisely.
Inga: [her eyes get wide] He vould have an enormous schwanzschtücker.
Dr. Frankenstein: [ponders this a moment] That goes without saying.
Inga: Voof.
Igor: He's going to be very popular.

Dr. Frankenstein: Love is the only thing that can save this poor creature, and I am going to convince him that he is loved even at the cost of my own life. No matter what you hear in there, no matter how cruelly I beg you, no matter how terribly I may scream, do not open this door or you will undo everything I have worked for. Do you understand? Do not open this door!
Inga: Yes, Doctor.
Igor: [sarcastically] Nice workin' with ya.

[Dr. Frankenstein enters the Monster's cell, accidentally bumping into a table. The Monster awakens, roaring with rage. Panicking, Dr. Frankenstein turns back to the door.]

Dr. Frankenstein: Let me out. Let me out of here. Get me the hell out of here. [Turns to the Monster, then back to the door] What's the matter with you people? I WAS JOKING! Don't you know a joke when you hear one? [Sarcastically] HA HA HA! [Begins pounding on the door; outside, Frau Blūcher stops Inga and Igor from trying to open the cell.] Jesus Christ, let me out of here! Open this goddamn door or I'll kick your rotten heads in! MOMMY!!!
Frau Blucher: [blocking the door as Inga and Igor again try to open the cell] Nein!

[The Monster roars, shrugging off its chains. Dr. Frankenstein turns back to the Monster, deciding a different approach...]

Dr. Frankenstein: Hello, handsome! [The Monster looks momentarily wrong-footed] You're a good looking fellow, do you know that? People laugh at you, people hate you, but why do they hate you? Because... they are JEALOUS! Look at that boyish face. Look at that sweet smile. Do you wanna talk about physical strength? Do you want to talk about sheer muscle? Do you want to talk about the Olympian ideal? You are a GOD! And listen to me, you are not evil. You... are... GOOD! [The Monster starts to cry, and Dr. Frankenstein hugs him] This is a nice boy. This is a good boy. This is a mother's angel. And I want the world to know once and for all, and without any shame, that we love him! I'm going to teach you. I'm going to show you how to walk, how to speak, how to move, how to think. Together, you and I are going to make the greatest single contribution to science since the creation of fire!
Inga: [from outside] Dr. Fronkensteen! Are you all right?
Dr. Frankenstein: MY NAME IS FRANKENSTEIN!!!

Thank you, Gene.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Fat Lady Sings

There are those in positions of power and authority – call them the elite – who desire that the United States government changes course;  no more global hegemon, as this path has led to the reality of global nuclear-superpower confrontation.  I have written words to this effect more times than I can count over the last several years.

Of course, just because this subset of the elite desire this does not mean they can make it so.  The elite don’t speak with one voice; there are likely also those in “the elite” that desire to continue in the current direction.

Even if the elite spoke with one voice, the elite don’t “control” the government and politicians in a direct manner; they have “programmed” politicians and other tools to act in certain manners, and once the virus has been let loose…well, the elite cannot change the direction of a 1300 foot-long cargo ship on a dime.

The building of an Anglo empire has roots that go back hundreds of years.  The shifting of the tool as focal point, from Great Britain to the United States, began over 100 years ago and culminated at the end of World War II.  Churchill’s biggest success might very well be as the one British politician holding positions of power throughout this transition from the turn of the last century to the end of that war – and in being instrumental in ensuring the transition.  In other words, Churchill’s most important achievement was in destroying the British Empire in exchange for securing the continuation of the Anglo Empire.

The elite work through others – hundreds of thousands of others – trained in proper universities, trained in proper methods of diplomacy, manipulation, and control.  They work through others who are trained to react to incentives – money and power.

These hundreds of thousands of people are programmed to act in a certain way.  Hillary Clinton is a perfect – and relevant for this time – example.  She cannot be and cannot act in any way other than how she has been programmed.  The person who gloated at the sodomizing of Kaddafi is what we know her to be.

And this is why I have argued that there are those within this thing we call “the elite” that are supporting Trump for president.  Hillary will bomb, because that’s what she knows; Trump will negotiate, because that’s what he knows.

While not the first elite mouthpiece to say or write such a thing (I recall Kissinger and many others), thanks to a commentary written by Mike Whitney we have a summary from an article written by one of the most formidable voices to add his to the chorus of “the US must change course”:

The main architect of Washington’s plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China. While Zbigniew Brzezinski’s article in The American Interest titled “Toward a Global Realignment” has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extend US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia.

Whitney’s piece is worth reading, line for line.

In 1997, Brzezinski wrote the book that outlined the blueprint for US global hegemony, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.  To make a long story short, it was nothing more than a continuation of the geo-political realities identified by Sir Halford Mackinder in 1904 – control the Eurasian landmass and you control the world.  Because of Brzezinski’s association with this disastrous strategy, the fact that he now writes the opposite is rather notable. 

This strikes me as more notable than even Kissinger writing such things; Kissinger, despite his horrendous crimes, was an architect of rapprochement with China and worked to build relations with the Soviet Union.  In other words, Kissinger is walking a line similar to that which he has walked over the decades.  Brzezinski, on the other hand, has done what in some ways is to be considered an about face.

Brzezinski’s article is entitled “Toward a Global Realignment.”   While Whitney doesn’t cite this portion of the article from Brzezinski, I find it rather telling:

A comprehensive U.S. pullout from the Muslim world favored by domestic isolationists, could give rise to new wars (for example, Israel vs. Iran, Saudi Arabia vs. Iran, a major Egyptian intervention in Libya) and would generate an even deeper crisis of confidence in America’s globally stabilizing role.

Clearly, Brzezinski is not embracing an isolationist position.  He is advocating for the only position that might allow the US government to remain a relevant player on the world stage.

Brzezinski sees both the growing weakness of the United States government and the increasing strength of Russia and China.  Barely hidden under the surface, Brzezinski’s message to the United States government is: start forming partnerships or become irrelevant…or worse.  Again, from his article:

The alternative to a constructive vision, and especially the quest for a one-sided militarily and ideologically imposed outcome, can only result in prolonged and self-destructive futility. For America, that could entail enduring conflict, fatigue, and conceivably even a demoralizing withdrawal to its pre-20th century isolationism.

This is Brzezinski’s fear.

Consider: the US was offered this possibility of global domination only with the fall of the Soviet Union – a short 25 years ago.  A short 25 years ago, the US stood as the sole global power.

Fifteen years ago, the US government was handed (or created or allowed) the best gift it could ask for if one wanted excuses to surround Russia and China with war and turmoil.  That “gift,” it turns out, also sowed the seeds of ultimate destruction – the likely outcome that Brzezinski now warns against.

Twenty-five years and all of that political capital spent and wasted.  What a drastic fall in such a short time. 

Returning to Whitney:

…Clinton is still fully committed to expanding US hegemony across Asia. She doesn't understand the risks this poses for the country or the world. She's going to persist with the interventions until the US war-making juggernaut is stopped dead-in-its-tracks which, judging by her hyperbolic rhetoric, will probably happen some time in her first term.

Brzezinski presents a rational but self-serving plan to climb-down, minimize future conflicts, avoid a nuclear conflagration and preserve the global order. (aka -- The "dollar system") But will bloodthirsty Hillary follow his advice?

Not a chance.

For some reason, Whitney never mentions Trump as the alternative – as one who comes closer to Brzezinski’s new position. 

Yet, Trump is that alternative.  And this is why Trump has survived his many blunders to win the Republican nomination.  And this is why I place better-than-even odds that he will win in November.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Vote Trump?

I wish Bionic Mosquito would do a post about the pragmatist vs. purist debate currently being waged among libertarians. "To vote Trump or not to vote," if you will.

Your wish is my command, but I suspect my response won’t be tremendously satisfying.

I'm a parent. I haven't got the luxury of principles.
-        Benjamin Martin

Principles or pragmatism?  A choice that libertarians face numerous times every single day in life.  I am certain that every libertarian chooses pragmatism – not every time they face a choice, but enough times to matter.  We each individually choose when and for what reason we are willing to compromise.  We each decide every day what lines we are willing to cross.

Those who consider themselves the most principled are never shy about abusing those whom they self-righteously judge to be less so – all the while ignoring the planks in their own eyes.


Define a violation of the non-aggression principle.  Murder and robbery are easy.  We disagree on many other issues – are they violations or not? 

Define self-defense.  Define aggression.  Define punishment.  All subjective terms.  (This is where that pesky thing known as “culture” comes in – a real difficult subject for some self-labeled purists to grasp).  Given this…what is principled?  One libertarian’s “principled” might be another libertarian’s “pragmatic,” and neither be “wrong.”

Is voting a violation of the NAP?  The voter has shot no one, robbed no one.  He has voted.  Yet, he votes for someone who will shoot someone and rob someone….  So I understand fully why a principled libertarian would not vote.  But this doesn’t automatically lead to the conclusion that voting is a violation of the NAP.

There are those who found no problem with supporting or even voting for Ron Paul four or eight (or twenty-six) years ago, but find trouble doing the same with Trump.  The difference between voting for Ron Paul and voting for Donald Trump is…what exactly?  The levels of violation of the NAP between these two once in office is one of degree, not type (as are the definitions of aggression, etc.); further, the power for any president to change much of anything is limited.  Keep these thoughts in mind when you reply to my query.

Because with these thoughts in mind, all you will be left with is…


There is pragmatism in the idea about not voting at all because one vote doesn’t matter.  There is pragmatism in the idea of sending a message – the fewer the votes, the less legitimate the government.  While I agree with these, I do not intend to cover these aspects.  I only cover the choice: Trump or Hillary or don’t vote at all?