Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cheating and change... and clues about the Iran and NK wars.

==  Cheaters: Have we had enough? ==

I've inveighed elsewhere against the wide variety of ways that the Confederate lords and their devoted foot-soldiery slam their thumbs on the scales, shafting electoral fairness in order to defy the popular will. (The GOP won three of the last five presidential contests, but the popular vote just once.) 

Of course the biggest tension right now revolves around the vote of a single American, as the Supreme Court takes on not one, not two, but four different lawsuits about gerrymandering.

Those who have been here a long time know that I've been shouting about gerrymandering since way back in the last century. In fact, my "Minimal Overlap" solution was reviewed by a top U.S. federal judge and a major plaintiff in one of the cases. I hope it helps, a little.  Though how could it have come to this...? 

...That we must pray for the health of Justice Anthony Kennedy, because the destiny of our republic and the entire enlightenment experiment (and thus, possibly, the fate of the galaxy) revolves around one man? 

This should be a no-brainer. Justices Roberts and Alito, were they patriots and jurists -- not political hacks -- would demolish this systematic rape of democracy, with a blowtorch. Rest assured, they will be remembered. Only please, someone out there up Justice Kennedy's Secret Service protection! And test his food. 

== Investing in change ==

Paraphrasing (only slightly) Andrew Carnegie: “There are three things you can do with vast wealth: Spend it yourself on interesting or worthwhile things; leave it to the government; leave it to your children. Of these, number three is by far the worst.” 

Does this surprise you? Almost no one comments on the differing attitudes toward oligarchy and inherited aristocracy that tend to be expressed by those who made their fortunes by creating and selling real goods and services, vs. those who acquired immense wealth via Wall Street machinations, or lobbying, or through vices like gambling or organized crime, or cornering markets, or middle-man (‘golgafrincham’) parasitism, or subsidized resource extraction, or gilded cradle inheritance.

Today, most of the billionaires who got rich by working with engineers to invent or produce better goods and services are either Democrats or libertarians and most are sharply critical of the Republican policies like the 100% never-ever-worked “Supply Side” (voodoo) “economics.” 

Or the War on Science. Innovator billionaires show that competitive capitalism can be vital and generative! They already invest in R&D and jobs and production. They also denounce these tax cuts for a passive-income aristocracy that never, ever do any of those things.

== More cheats ==

Heck, while we're at it; here's one more cheat: The “Cross-Check” system to identify duplicate registrations has dumped thousands who simply had the same name and were verifiably different people.  Now we find that Cross-Check is easily hacked… and was probably designed from the beginning with that aim.

In fact, I've long said that I would have nothing against gradually rising voter ID requirements, even though almost no election day false voter fraud has been reported in 30 years. Many of you have heard me say this, but until someone out there in politics/punditry also points it out, I am behooved.

There is only one test to see if Voter ID is a "reform" or if it is blatantly partisan voter suppression:

"Has the state accompanied the new voter ID restrictions with substantial funding to help under-documented but legal US citizens to get the ID they need and to get registered?"

It is called compliance assistance, and corporations get it any time government imposes a new regulation. So, why cannot poor people get help with compliance for voter ID laws?  

If a state has sincerely done that, then I will admit that the demand for more voter ID might be honest and due to the rationalized declared reasons. (And you should admit it, too!)

Alas, not one red state that has passed restrictive voting laws has allocated a penny to help poor citizens of the state, or the elderly or the young, or divorced women, to comply with onerous new restrictions on their franchise. Not even fig-leaf funding. In fact, most of these gerrymandered GOP-cheat states have concertedly closed DMV offices in counties where many democrats live. Seriously? Can anything be more blatant?

In other words, they are exposed as lying-hypocritical, outright-cheating election thieves. And the same goes for anyone who defends this foul crime against democracy.

(Ah, Justices Roberts and Alito, is there any point at which you'll finally get fed up and realize that aiding cheaters will kill the Republic, as well as the Rule of Law?)

== The Coming War

You have to grab bits of insight where you can find them. Many can tell that some kind of war is coming. Out of all post-Eisenhower Republican presidents, only Gerald Ford didn't rush to throw our forces into major combat, on flimsy pretexts (some of them purely-concocted.) And Ford oversaw the final end-calamity in Vietnam. 

Is there a scintilla of chance that Donald Trump won't go there, ordering a distraction from his domestic troubles, overruling our faithful, devoted and wary military officer corps?

Reiterating: a U.S. - Iran "war" has always been openly yearned for by every anti-democratic faction on the planet, including the GOP, their overseas petro-boyar and oil-sheik and coal-baron masters, and even the Tehran mullahs, themselves.

Yet, most attention seems to warn against a tussle with North Korea. Read this. But in fact, I deem such a scenario unlikely!

1) Kim has what he wanted, a nuclear deterrent that is far, far cheaper than his immense and bankrupting standing conventional army.  Now he can offer arms reductions -- which he needs far more than anybody else! -- as a bargaining chip to get bribes from the South.

2) Anyone who thinks he got both H Bombs and ICBMs without direct and knowing aid from certain neighbors is a bona fide fool. Neighbors that have owned and operated NK since 1950, using that potemkin regime as a tool for Plausible-Deniability War against the West. 

There are a few simple statements we could make, that would cauterize such scenarios and threats, overnight. Alas, it won't happen.

== And... ==

This article misses the point. It used to be inconceivable that the Fox lie machine could be undermined by boycotting American patriots, angry at the Murdoch's hate-campaign against all US fact professions. But that's changed. There is blood in the water and we all can do our bit to deal with this pack of outright traitors, helping sell us out to foreign dictators. See: Fox News sponsors.

There's little you can do so easily that will be more effective.

Listen to this: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries dismantles Jeff Sessions in epic 5-minute cross-examination.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Science Fictional concepts and the Real World

In this rapidly changing world, the phrase “science fiction” is used a lot… often pejoratively, as in: “What we’ve just accomplished is science fact, not science fiction!” (Fools. We point the way!) But just as often, "SF" is used with an ever-rising aura of respect.

Here’s a series of places where this synergy between stories and reality is being explored:

1) The new Journal of Science & Popular Culture, issue #1, features an essay of mine that could interest a few of you. But the journal’s title - by itself - says a lot. Talk to your university librarian!

2) I’ve announced this before, but it bears repeating. UCSD's Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, where the sciences and arts come together to explore humanity's most unique gift (, has a new project.... The TASAT site - for “There’s A Story About That” - offers a way to connect serious contemporary dilemmas with science fictional tales from across the last 75 years, that just might be pertinent to some contemporary problem

There are plausible ways that this project might someday save us all!  See my explanation of the endeavor. And yes, I plan to announce it when I speak at several Washington, D.C. agencies, in June.

3) Scifi Policy, based in the Washington, DC, area, is a small, volunteer team, that “thinks big things can come from the intersection of policy and visions of what tomorrow may bring, aiming to create a field of ‘Science Fiction Policy Studies.’” See especially their explanation

4) Then there are ventures in using science fiction gedankenexperiment/scenarios for ‘commercial purposes’:

- Ari Popper explains his company “SciFutures” that offers to build AF scenario for corporations.

- The Scout Project is run by my friends the Andersons who put out the Strategic News Service newsletter and FiRe Conferences. Their site is lively, provocative and fun.  

- Kaspersky Labs in Moscow is trying to do something similar. They contacted me recently. And there are similar efforts in Beijing, where – in part thanks to Liu Cixin winning the Hugo Award – science fiction is in a period of ascendance. (That is, till some of the mighty again notice its inherent impudence.)

Speaking of China. Former President Barack Obama met with current Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 28 at the Global Education Summit in Beijing but he also took some time out of his visit to ask award-winning science fiction author Liu Cixin for his next book!  Obama has long been a reader of sci-fi/fantasy and has publicly spoken of the vision and impact Liu’s Three-Body Problem trilogy.

Also at the Tor site, this fan’s loving remembrance of Startide Rising.

Oh. As a judge in the Raw Science Film Festival I watched dozens of indie works, short and long, fiction and nonfiction, all of them meant to shine light on some area of science. One of our favorites was “Einstein-Rosen” by Olga Osorio, about a pair of little Italian boys – brothers – who discuss Einstein-Rosen wormholes… with an amazing and hilarious outcome.  There is a Facebook page  and here is the trailer. Update: the film has just been posted on Vimeo.

== The best explanation for the Fermi paradox ==

I’ve been part of the SETI community for 35 years and for a dozen of those, part of an array of SETI mavens who have resigned from commissions in protest over METI (“Messaging” to Extraterrestrial Intelligences.)  See my extensive discourse on this debate.  Both topics got close attention in Liu Cixin’s mighty Three Body Trilogy,  the first volume of which won the Hugo for Best Novel, a couple of years ago. Now see a cogent article about how “Da Liu” has been consulting with the Chinese government about plans to use their new Super-Arecibo radio dish to participate in the search… and possibly in the “messaging.”  Though of course, he recommends against that!

Quoted from someone else, in that article: Maybe China would go public with the signal but withhold its star of origin, lest a fringe group send Earth’s first response. Maybe China would make the signal a state secret.” But later waxing eloquent, the author says: “We may be humbled to one day find ourselves joined, across the distance of stars, to a more ancient web of minds, fellow travelers in the long journey of time. We may receive from them an education in the real history of civilizations, young, old, and extinct.”

What such empathic moderns never step back to realize is that they, themselves, are a new and special phenomenon. The very same outwardness, “otherness” -- willingness to self-criticize and seek a humbling Bigger Perspective -- is in itself evidence of a culture getting ready for grand things. And this flowering might be cut short if we suddenly had to give aliens credit for “saving us” with ancient wisdom! Indeed, I can think of no greater or wiser explanation for the Fermi Paradox, than this: they may be silent in order to let us earn the highest honor of all – saving ourselves.

== On a lighter note ==

This article asked 8 sci-fi writers what Star Trek show they would write if given the chance. Refreshingly, they asked some with-it newer stars of the field! (Bypassing us old farts.)  Still may I toot a bit about this? I have a Star Trek Graphic novel “Forgiveness” that is an official part of the Paramount sanctioned canon. It tells the story of the invention of the Transporter, way back in the year 2035… and how the inventor wound up arriving… well… I’ll let you find out.  Brilliant art by Scott Hampton, who also painted the gorgeous images in “The Life Eaters”!

Now a cute irony.  I had this idea originally at age 13 while watching the original series in its first run!  I sent a letter describing it, to Gene Roddenberry… and felt crushed when I got a form letter refusing (for good reasons) to look at unsolicited ideas. Well, well. Decades later I got the last laugh. Get my graphic novel Forgiveness and see how clever that pre-teen was!

== More science fiction news! ==

NPR Science Friday’s Christian Skotte asked several of us to name science fiction novels that do great world-building. Kim Stanley Robinson, Andy Weir, Jeff Vandermeer and Daniel Wilson chose some already famous classics, such as Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness and Mieville's Perdido Street Station. Turning forward, I cited Semiosis by newcomer Sue Burke.

My colleague Ramez Naam cogently and entertainingly provides perspectives on potential for human augmentation via neural connectivity… the topic of his famed NEXUS Trilogy. A fine podcast interview. Very interesting.

OMNI Magazine back in digital version -- visit their site online for more information.

For those of you who do online art, images, or backgrounds for presentations, the craft of designing textures can be very important. There is a real-time, interactive, browser-based texture generator. 

A lovely, little rumination on the beauty of space. One reason to go.  

== And … ==

Huh: “Did you know that in 1953, before his first recordings, Johnny Cash wrote a science fiction short story called "The Holografik Danser"? According to Steve Turner's biography, "The Man Called CASH," he wrote a number of short stories during this period, many under the pen name "Johnny Dollar." As Turner explains, "The Holografik Danser" "portrayed a twenty-first-century America that had been conquered by Russia — major cities had been razed by nuclear attack, and entertainment was paid for in kiosks and then piped into homes via phone lines. Partly inspired by the news of the explosion in television broadcasting, he envisaged a time when live holographic entertainment would be beamed into living rooms for twelve dollars a show. He further imagined the possibility of a man projecting himself into the hologram." -- writes Will Stephenson in the Arkansas Times. You can find it in Songs Without Rhyme: Prose by Celebrated Songwriters, by Rosanne Cash.

The 13 Unluckiest Characters in Science Fiction & Fantasy. Heroes—no matter the trials they face on their journeys—seem inherently lucky. No matter how long it takes, in the end, they usually win. But where’s the fun in making iteasy on them? Which brings up one of my top 20 explanations for the Fermi Paradox… that they are addicted to us as a Reality Show.  And since we were getting smart real fast, they had to mess with us and slow us down… by helping to saddled us with a reality TV clown… hey, can you come up with a better explanation for the state we’re in?

I did an extensive interview for the Facebook Science Fiction Book Club. Check out the fun group.

A fascinating article explores the roots of the Uncanny Valley, and why children under 9 years old appear not to get creeped out by quasi-humanoid robots… but older people do.

Daniel Jeffries offers an insightful view into crypto-currencies, Bitcoin and the art of predicting an uncertain future. He’s also a science fiction author. Lively stuff.

Melissa A. Schilling’s new book QUIRKY tells the stories of men and women who have transformed the world through innovation. “The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World,” it revolves around the three main themes of creativity and originality, effort and persistence, and situational advantage. Edison, Musk, Einstein, Curie and many others are compared. An interesting and well-crafted journey through the lives of those "quirky" women and men who dance along the edge for us, so we all benefit from human inventiveness.

Overview: Stories in the Stratosphere is a collection of fiction, illustrations, and speculative timelines exploring the near future of near space. It is available here to download, entirely free and available in EPUB and MOBI formats, and through the Apple iBooks store. I collaborated in one of the stories, above a heroine who has to leap from balloon to balloon at 100,000 feet near the boundary of space!

Science fiction literary legend John Crowley, author of books such as Little, Big -- has a new web site

HYBRID (not Hybrin)  is a riveting nine-part audio drama about a world-changing virus that threatens to kill billions and the heroic, damaged woman – herself a victim of the virus – who takes it upon herself to stop it. 

Oceans everywhere!
    Ice roof sheltered, life…
       …may fill the cosmos.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Times of change: male behavior, boomer crankiness

I’ve long held that Rebecca Solnit is one of the best essayists in the modern era. I’ve reviewed some of her books and deem A Paradise Built in Hell, to be of immense importance, touting it in almost every futurological speech especially to our “protector caste.” In her new missive, Solnit waxes both eloquent and actinically angry over the seemingly endless litany of crimes committed by patriarchy and – let’s face it – the male of the species. In “Let this flood of women’s stories never cease: on fighting foundational misogyny one story at a time.”

I am not at all inclined to ask her to stop! Indeed, I generally respond to most political jeremiads by asking for perspective on 6000 years of history. And across that time, countless women have suffered at the hands of males, in nearly all contexts and places and cultures.

So what is the solution? Those of you who've read The PostmanGlory SeasonEarth, and at least a dozen of my short stories know how many variations I’ve explored, dealing with the same core issue. What’s to be done about the one-quarter of human males who are clearly unsuitable for civilized company and should not be allowed anywhere near women and children? And another quarter who… well… badly need remedial help for better impulse control!

No, I'm not claiming to have explored these matters with the kind of chilling terror of Alice Sheldon’s “James Tiptree Jr.” stories, or Joanna Russ, or Margaret Atwood, or all the other women authors who convey the victim’s perspective so well. On the other hand, there truly is a side to all of this that gets missed, asking: why did this revolution never happen before? Sure, there were candles in the darkness! (The Postman is dedicated to Lysistrata!) Still, a powerful, civilization-changing movement awaited this very era we are living in.

Without taking anything away from the leaders and the brave millions of women who are vigorously demanding their human and adult rights, it is also clear that feminism benefited from millions of dads and brothers and husbands and sons who were – despite some doofus lapses – generally pretty decent fellows. Who encouraged their daughters and drove them to karate lessons and never lifted a finger to their wives, and groveled appropriately after raising their voices, or letting some Cro-Magnon reflex briefly take charge. Men who are cringing at these recent stories, as many of us did, upon reading The Screwfly Solution.Men who would – if summoned by a wise and truly sagacious Council of Women, show up and lay our swords at their feet.

There is an aspect to this that even a genius like Rebecca Solnit – in her well-deserved wrath – seldom sees. I discuss it in The Postman. That we would go a long way toward a solution if the problem were parsed as choosing between good and bad men! This is not something that even has to be argued. Once you ponder it, you know it, in your brain and heart and gut.

Nor is this a surprise, biologically! Female mate choice propels the exaggerated traits of males in most species. And so, imagine if our daughters simply declared: “The exaggerated male traits that will be rewarded, from now on, will be copious kindness, capacious calm, reasonableness, respectful love and self-control. Predators will have no place in the coming gene pool.” 

Yes, this is more radical, by far, than any of today's near-term (and necessary) palliations. I do not offer it instead of our drive for legal and reputational responsibility, outing abusers and driving them out of positions of power! That near-term uprising is way overdue. Nothing should take away from the anger and righteousness of this too-long delayed revelatory revolution!  Bring it on! 

But we science fiction authors are always looking a bit farther ahead. I am only offering the ultimate weapon in this fight for justice and decency. The cure - over the long run - must come from a form of Darwinian selection.

==  Boomers trash the place on their way out ==

The baby-boom generation, which has voted reliably Republican in recent years, has been the largest generation of eligible voters since 1978. But in 2018, for the first time, slightly more Millennials than baby boomers will be eligible to vote, according to forecasts from the Center for American Progress’s States of Change project. Higher turnout rates among baby boomers will preserve their advantage among actual voters for a while. But sometime around 2024, Millennials will likely surpass them. The post-Millennials, Americans born after 2000 who’ll enter the electorate starting in 2020, will widen the advantage.” - from The Atlantic by Ronald Brownstein.

Oh, and we’re cranky! White male boomers feel creaky. We thought youth was our thing! Damn kids! 

No wonder we went for the insanely rapacious, short-sighted and feudal Tax Bill, which benefits 99.99% of us not at all.  No wonder we inflicted in the nation Donald Trump. And Fox News, where catheter and mobility scooters pay the advert bills.

Oh, but didn't we have great music? The kids avow that openly. Moreover, while I am eager for the much nicer and more sensible next generations to take over our social and political lives, I will point out one thing: that we made them. 

For all our faults, we boomers appear to have been terrific parents.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Our - controversial - future in space

This one will be a mix, mostly about space. Some riffs about a U.S. "return to the moon," plus news about SETI... some interesting snippets! And a wee observation on politics.

Okay for starters, I suppose this counts as “space news.” President Trump announced his intention to send NASA back to the moon!

NASA funding, Forbes
Alas, as Ethan Siegel shows in Forbes, it simply isn’t going to happen: As a percentage of the federal budget, investment in NASA is at a 58 year low, and Trump shows no sign of changing this.  

Oh, there is one way an American will step on the moon in say a decade or so, without much increase in NASA budgets, and I’ll tell you how, below.

Of course, this return-to-the-moon fetish - a GOP obsession - is a debacle that will only do us harm. With this decision to squander NASA resources on the same dumb goal sought by every wannabe Apollo-imitator -- China, Russia, Europeans, Indians and various billionaires -- Trump sabotages our chance to do what none of those others - only we - can do. 

Only the U.S. has the capability to go where the real riches are. Asteroids & Phobos… which also happen to be the route to Mars. That path is not helped an iota by landings on the Moon. Only the utterly delusional think that our path to becoming a spacefaring species passes through that dusty, sterile gravity well.

Sure, a lunar orbital station is valuable for many reasons! Scientific, developing deep space capabilities, and defense, among others. Such an orbital station would be ideal to bring back robotically retrieved asteroidal materials for study and processing, to see if estimates are true... that there are hundreds of trillions worth of resources to be easily accessed out there.

Also, such a lunar orbital station could sell services to all those wannabe groups desperate to plant dusty footprints on the (for now) useless moon! How's that for savvy? Us making a buck or two out of others' obsessive rush to imitate our past glories, repeating Apollo? The Russians can't complain, having charged us vampire rates to launch our astronauts to the space station.

But another U.S. Apollo landing?  Yawn! Go ahead. Name any benefits for the U.S. joining the symbolism craze! Say what? Helium Three? Yippee, let's base space policy on cheap sci fi flicks! But zero facts. (Care to show us this magical substance in samples of lunar regolith, in “ore” concentrations? Show us how to collect it or refine it? Um, care to point out a real life customer who will buy it?)

What? You want to do this out of pride? All that repeating Apollo does is make us part of the pack! 

And now it is prediction time: dig what will happen. As costs mount, Trump will declare a diplomatic breakthrough! Turning the US moon landing effort into a wonderful "international cooperation" like the ISS! A new detente! And suckers will fall for it, kvelling as we subsidize Russian and Chinese footprints and they get access to every scrap of U.S. space technology. A lose-lose-lose for good old USA.

The fact that our political civil war has become dominant even in choosing space destinations is a pathetic sign of our times. Alas.

Just like the coming Iran War, the winners in all of this are the same… those who rake in billions by controlling down-Earth resources in energy and minerals want to divert us from new, sustainable technologies and access to the true riches out there. And as an added bonus, disappointment in the utter uselessness of this boondoggle is sure to associate NASA with both money-wasting and Trumpism, undermining overall support among the US citizenry. Spaceba tovarisch!

== The gold in them thar rocks... ==

The Planetary Resources site can show you a lot of cool stuff about the advantages of asteroids. Many are easier (robotically) to reach than the moon's surface. And the "fractionation of ores" can be a million or a billion times better than we see on the moon.

See also their planned spacecraft, which was to be a partner in NASA's own effort re asteroids, a business-public partnership that Republicans claim they want to see. 

I reiterate. There are zero aspects to this ‘back to the Moon” announcement that serve long term U.S. interests. Indeed, every outcome will favor foreign rivals and legacy mining interests down here, who want us never to access the real riches in space.  

Yes, doggie. Gooood doggie.

== Star Wars defense ==

I was critical of 1980s "star wars" space weapon fantasies – if supportive of the technological research. But this "historical" article is lefty-biased, tendentious and throws out babies with bathwater. 

There was plenty to diss about the Pournelle-led “Citizens’ Advisory Council on Space.” It was too rightwing to see clearly, and would have demolished the one thing (reciprocal deterrence) that kept us alive through the Cold War. We now know most of the required tech was not achievable then or now… though some core goals were! (In a weird way that I won’t talk about.) Fortunately, Isaac Asimov had the whole thing sussed. It was in fact an economic and psychological weapon to shatter the Soviets’ budget and morale. And you can’t argue with such success. (Though one can argue with how Bush Sr. completely blew the ensuing peace, consigning us back into another, even more vicious “cool war.”)

Alas, this essayist also attempts to discredit the “sci fi” notions of space resources and industry, needlessly welding that admirable and achievable ambition to the far-right. And thus the article proves that the left also contains its own shortsighted jerks.

In contrast, some Strategic Clarity: Exponential industrialization of space is more important than combat lasers and hypersonic fighters. This author takes the same position as the Air University Space Horizons faculty, that investing in "take-off" industries in space could secure strategic and economic leadership and safety for generations to come.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

War on Facts and Reason... and vs Iran...

The predicted run-up to a U.S. Iran War is experiencing a hiccup, as massive street demonstrations in two dozen cities raise a slim possibility that theocracy might give way to a modern, moderate and reasonable-modern state. Slim, because the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is large, rich, and highly motivated to keep their gravy train in motion. So what would be the best approach for a sensible, grownup and pragmatically enlightened U.S. policy?

Tweet-storms.  From a 'genius,' no less.

"In an interview, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic who now lives in exile outside Paris… warns that U.S. President Donald Trump’s statements in support of the revolt will be counterproductive. 'If the fear of outside intervention by the Trump administration and those allied with him who advocate the disintegration of Iran — namely Saudi Arabia and Israel — becomes strong enough, it will prevent a majority from sympathizing and joining the protests. In this sense, Trump’s tweets only serve to deflate the movement.” ...

Donald Trump and his cabal are very aware of this. Their worst nightmare is that a moderate revolution in Iran would erase all justification for a US-Iran War -- their goal for years, but now propelled by the urgency of getting a distraction from Mueller and all that. Compare U.N. Ambassador Nikki Hayley's recent harangue listing provocations by Iran -- none of which bear up under scrutiny -- and compare it to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s 2003 speech explaining the Bush administration’s rationale for going to war with Iraq - a pretext that all now know (and even Donald Trump admits) to have been based on lies and fabrications.

This article does a good job, but goes nowhere near far enough, tying together the cords that tauten tighter, every day, dragging us toward pre-planned disaster. Read it… then see far more detail here… and later here… where I describe how many factions would benefit, including the Iranian mullahs. And of course, the real master of the White House.

Even if you credit nothing else I say about this, remember that every Republican president after Eisenhower has rushed gleefully into war. 
Reagan, Bush Sr., Bush Junior, and now the Trumpists... and you don't see a pattern of concocted war? Every single one. (Except Ford, who oversaw our final defeat in Vietnam.) 

Madness. And you are complicit, if you don't at least read up on this looming debacle, and speak up.

== Okay so you got your Big Tax Cut Grab; what now? ==

Brad deLong asks the same question posed in a few chapters of my novel, Existence - whether those in the oligarchy, who are pushing so hard for a return to feudalism, are being smart... or very shortsighted. 

In Existence, I portray savvy trillionaires holding conferences to appraise how a new aristocracy might rule not-stupidly (for the first time, ever.) Here, deLong makes crystal clear the alternative:

"In the America the politicians you support are building, it may well become the case that one day your grandchildren are in the center of a web of political influence, and the next day they will find themselves not: Some of them will be involuntary guests at the Wichita Ritz-Carlton" - (referring to the hotel in Riyadh where some of the world's richest princes are now held, by a state they thought they had controlled) - "The rest will try to make a run for it in the Learjet, or in the rubber boat.

"So is it really wisdom on your part to want to win this round?

"To be blunt: a social democratic middle-class society is much better society in which to have a large stock of entrepreneurial, inherited, or rent-derived wealth than is a communist society. But it is also a much friendlier society to the wealthy than is a fascist society. And social democracy and fascism—hard or, if you are lucky, soft—are the only options the future will allow: tertium non datur."

Interrupting, let's be clear: the leaders of the anti-west alliance know this. They are not rebuilding idealistic-if-bloody communism, but a fascism in which oligarchs may amass billions and live lavishly, but the state can expropriate and cut throats at any moment. (The Nazis did it to the Prussian junkers caste and to the industrialists, whenever they liked. It now happens annually in Russia.) Those who believe that strong socialism or traditional aristocratic feudalism are possible alternatives are dreaming. It's either true-liberal middle class Transparent Democracy or fascism, as deLong continues explaining to today's shortsighted American plutocrats:

"The political descendants of the politicians today you support who lead chants of “lock her up“ will be the greatest threat to the liberty, the wealth, and perhaps even the lives of those of your grandchildren and great grandchildren who are plutocrats. Look ahead into the future a little bit. Do not focus on the pile of moolah under your nose."

Looking beyond their nose is what I portray some "trillies" doing, in Existence. (Have a look at the amazing video preview-trailer, with incredible art by Patrick Farley!)

Alas, it seems increasingly clear that the intelligent aristocratism I depicted there is simply not an option. Nowadays, those zillionaires who are smart - whose wealth derived from creating new goods and services - are also Democrats (with a few libertarians). In contrast, the oligarchs backing today's putsch are mostly squatting atop piles that derived from rentier-inactivity (hence favored treatment for passive income in the tax bill), or golgafrincham finance parasitism, or inheritance or crony market manipulation. They have feral cleverness, but no sapient sense of history. Trying to show them the big picture, deLong is wasting his breath.

Do read deLong's whole short essay. Alas, these foxes now run the hen house. The confederacy has conquered Washington. And their stupidity can be lethal all around.

== The War on Facts and Reason: the Entire Right… and chunks of the Far-Left, too! ==

The Right Side’s war on science gets utterly open and explicit, with Donald Trump openly declaring the Bannonite meme of a "deep state," declaring war not just on science and scientists, but all the civil servants, law professionals, intel agencies and military officers who avow that they believe in facts.

 You've seen reports on the Trump Administration muzzling researchers, cancelling peer reviewed reports they dislike, Accusing (without any evidence) scientists of engaging in vast, conspiratorial hoaxes... and now this Orwellian policing of speech. But buried in this article is the real howler!

Instead of the forbidden words, "analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of 'science-based' or ­'evidence-based,' the suggested phrase is, 'CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes..."

Truly, the horror is now clear. Always obsessed with symbolism and incantations, the confederates are now reaching out to the other group who seeks to police science on the basis of "community standards" -- the far, postmodernist left.

Make no mistake. This notion of "community standards of truth" is a roar against objective reality itself. And while it pervades the length and breadth and all heights of the confederate madness that has hijacked American Conservatism, there is a far-fringe on the "left" that is gleeful, eager for the radicalization, the resurrection of symbol-based catechisms that George Orwell described in Homage to Catalonia.

The oligarchs who are funding all of this think they will win the Prize - a return to obligate inherited feudal lordship, as I depict in EXISTENCE. But they are stirring something monstrous at the other end of the spectrum. And if they succeed at rousing a True Left from its slumber, then they will inherit the wind.

As for the left:  
Repeatedly some of you demand that I “name one example of the left being crazy or anti science or anti-western”… and each time I stare, boggled that the Union side in this civil war must be hobbled by such ignorant people. Jiminy, ask anyone from Poland, Hungary and so on, how bad the left has been – or read Orwell!

Hey, you’re all about diversity, right? Not the dogmatic uniformity we see among confederates? Then why can’t you admit your side has a wide spectrum? And some parts of that spectrum are just plain nuts?

This is one of the most cogent brief articles I’ve read in some time, dissecting the logical lunacy of far-leftist postmodernism and how it collaborates – in a sly alliance – with the much larger insanity on today’s entire-right. No, it doesn’t go into an analysis of Derridan Semiotics or Sokal Hoaxes and all that. Just the core conceit that everything is subjective – there’s no objective reality - and science is an evil white-male-elitist plot!

Read this! As we’ve seen with Trump and his Geppetto, you don’t need an explicit plan and a handshake, for different enemies of the West to collaborate toward our demise. Yes, 99% of our attention needs to go to stopping the reinstatement of feudalism… which would end us all.

In contrast, the postmodernist, far-left loons are – for now – a minor, 1% irritation, who damage our fight primarily by giving Sean Hannity anecdotes to shriek-at. BFD. We can shrug them off.  For now.

But never lose your ability to swivel your head, alert for danger in all directions. Don’t just stare at the velociraptor in front of you! Trump’s extravagant theater has many purposes and one of them is to resurrect the crazy left. Young people have sent Google searches on “Karl Marx” skyrocketing, recently -- a zombie we thought safely buried. Steve Bannon giggles happily, rubbing his hands as it shambles from the grave.

Another way to look at it:

Sure, today’s mad ENTIRE right CONSISTS of troglodyte-screeching dogmatists who wage war on science and hate the American tradition of steady, pragmatic reform, and who would impose their prescribed morality on you.  

But the FAR left CONTAINS troglodyte-screeching dogmatists who wage war on science and hate the American tradition of steady, pragmatic reform, and who would impose their prescribed morality on you.

FAR is not the same as ENTIRE. And CONTAINS is nowhere near as bad as CONSISTS. So?

Take note of a tactical advantage: when you avow that your side does have a far-loony fringe that hates science, and say “we’re aware of our side’s few loonies… why can’t you conservatives do the same?”… that increases your credibility!