Democratic party blues: people are taking the red pill

The distribution of electoral strength in the United States is such that urban areas vote strongly Democratic, and most rural and suburban areas vote Republican. The article hyperlinked here shows the extent to which the Democrats are in deep trouble, and getting more so. The fact that they led in popular vote this time around must be a consolation.

Credit: Ryne Rohla/Decision Desk HQ/Independent Journal Review

 

US Presidential Election by Precinct, 2016

 

 

 

 

US Presidential Election by Precinct, 2012

 

 

US Presidential Election by Precinct, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

From the same article:

 

Here is an amazing statistic. Of the 10 blue states that Hillary Clinton won by the largest percentage margins — California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut — every single one of them lost domestic migration (excluding immigration) over the last 10 years (2004-14). Nearly 2.75 million more Americans left California and New York than entered these states.

Also, the Democratic Party has lost seats from coast to coast on every level. According to Fox News, the last eight years have proved disastrous for the Democratic Party, handing them over 1,000 losses nationally:

The Democratic Party suffered huge losses at every level during Obama’s West Wing tenure. The grand total: a net loss of 1,042 state and federal Democratic posts, including congressional and state legislative seats, governorships and the presidency.

I will leave it to others to explain why these figures mean very little, why the Democratic party’s strength is great, why these losses at the state level can be safely ignored. If I were they, I would be concerned with the long term trends.

Trump, Syria and Korea

  1. Bomb a Syrian airfield on principle to express displeasure at the use of nerve agents in warfare.
  2. Make sure you are seen eating dinner with the Chinese Premier at the time, and not breaking a sweat.
  3. Obtain approval of most people left, right and centre for doing so, across several continents.
  4. Impress your allies and enemies that you will take military action for moral causes.
  5. Explain to your Chinese guest, its head of state, that unless the Chinese solve the Korean problem of the Kim regime, you (Trump) will.
  6. Move naval assets to Korean waters.
  7. Watch with satisfaction as 150,000 Chinese troops move towards the North Korean border.
  8. Make Kim Jong Eun nervous for his regime and his life.

Is there something about this you do not understand?

Trump was not trying to depose Assad. He is enforcing a norm of warfare: blast and fire, okay; starvation of citizens maybe, nerve agents no.

But he also adds much-needed credibility to the use of force by the United States in other circumstances.

I am sure there is some expression in some language or other about being seen to eat a dog in front of the other dogs, just to remind them who is atop the food chain.

In the meantime, Bill Maher, the politico comedian, is worried by the positive press obtained by Trump.

“The number of members of the press who have lauded the actions last night as ‘presidential’ is concerning,” he wrote. “War must never be considered a public relations operation. It is not a way for an Administration to gain a narrative. It is a step into a dangerous unknown and its full impact is impossible to predict, especially in the immediate wake of the first strike.”

 I have bad news for you Bill. Public relations is the basis of popular support for wars. In a democracy, wars must be supported by large segments of the population. Support comes from people believing in the rightness of the cause.  Consider the fate of  Lyndon Johnson as support for the war in Vietnam declined.
More importantly, Trump’s action kills two birds with one stone. Review points 1 through 8 above.

 

 

Doomsday and archiving human knowledge

Doomsday vault:

In the side of a mountain atop the frigid wastelands of the Norway’s Svalbard archipelago sits the Arctic ‘doomsday vault’ – an ominous facility that’s locked away close to a million seed samples from almost every country on Earth.

Designed to keep the seeds safe from nuclear war or some other global catastrophe, the Svalbard Global Seed Bank just got a new neighbour, with a second doomsday vault opening up nearby. But instead of storing seeds, this vast library has been built to ensure the survival of the world’s most important books, documents, and data….

Oddly enough, instead of taking advantage of the most advanced data security systems available, researchers at Piql have opted for a more analogue approach – they store everything on photosensitive film, which they say is a far safer option than anything digitised.

“It’s digital data preserved, written onto photosensitive film,” Piql founder Rune Bjerkestrand told Live Science. 

“So we write data as basically big QR codes on films.”

The idea is that while digital data is stored on our computers as codes of 1s and 0s, analogue data is physically etched into reels of film, and can be ‘read’ like the bumps on a vinyl record.

As Bjerkestrand observes, it’s like having your data “carved in stone.”

Hopefully this technology will keep the material more accessible than the multimedia version of the English Domesday Book which had its problems with technology, even though the original from 11th century is still readable. The BBC Domesday Project was the multimedia edition of Domesday which was compiled between 1984 and 1986 and published in 1986 but within 15-years it was showing its age.

In 2002, there were great fears that the discs would become unreadable as computers capable of reading the format had become rare and drives capable of accessing the discs even rarer. Aside from the difficulty of emulating the original code, a major issue was that the still images had been stored on the laserdisc as single-frame analogue video, which were overlaid by the computer system’s graphical interface. The project had begun years before JPEG image compression and before truecolour computer video cards had become widely available….

The deputy editor of the Domesday Project, Mike Tibbets, has criticized the UK’s National Data Archive to which the archive material was originally entrusted, arguing that the creators knew that the technology would be short-lived but that the archivists had failed to preserve the material effectively.

Streetlight effect and US political leaks

Given the extent of information that is being leaked these days by public employees in the US, one can safely state that a good chunk of NYT and WaPo writes itself but it is strange how nobody is caught for these flagrant violations; unless of course you are not aligned with the Democrats. Behold the Streetlight effect in the following case.

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker resigned on Tuesday as he disclosed his role in the leak of confidential information about the policy options that the Fed was considering in 2012.

Lacker said during a phone conversation with an analyst from Medley Global Advisors in October 2012 that she brought up an “important non-public detail” about Fed policy makers’ discussions before a meeting, according to a statement emailed by law firm McGuireWoods in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday. Due to the confidential and sensitive nature of the information, Lacker said he should have declined to comment or immediately ended the call….

The Medley report led to an internal Fed investigation, and Lacker said he failed to provide a full account about his conversation with the analyst in a questionnaire and interview with the Fed’s general counsel in December 2012.The Justice Department and FBI joined the inquiry in 2015 amid pressure from Congress for details about the leak. Lacker said that during that year, he disclosed the breach to law enforcement officials in an interview during their investigation. “In the subsequent 2015 interview with law enforcement officials, I did disclose that the analyst was in possession of confidential information during my October 2, 2012 conversation with her,” Lacker said.

Notice how the Fed, Justice Department, FBI and Congress descended on this leak?

US media (once again) caught doing Obama’s bidding

The latest on Russia -Trump “scandal” is the news that Susan Rice, a National Security Advisor in the Obama administration who is more famous as the Benghazi-fabulist, was central to unmasking the identities of individuals in the Trump transition team. Some background on how this story unfolded from The American Spectator.

How did we find out about Susan Rice’s role in Obamagate? Not from the mainstream media at first, but from a pro-Trump blogger named Mike Cernovich, who says he found out about the Rice story from a disgruntled staffer at a publication unwilling to publish it. In other words, he pulled a Matt Drudge. On Sunday night, Cernovich wrote that he had “been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.”….

Eli Lake, the columnist for Bloomberg who reported on the Rice revelation (Cernovich says that Bloomberg also sat on the story until he broke it),…..

CBC and the Trump travel ban

Anybody recall this headline from CBC about an aggrieved party affected by the Trump travel ban?

Trump travel ban has Iranian scientists looking for new places to do research

Today WaPo shared some facts.

The biggest beneficiary of the system, by far, is India, which produces a steady pipeline of workers trained in math, engineering and science. Seventy one percent of H-1B visa recipients came from India in 2015, according to a 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. China comes in second, accounting for nearly 10 percent of H-1B visa recipients.

Notice that these stats are from 2015, i.e. before Darth Trump manifested himself, and that Iranians are not even in the top-10.

The Accidental Superpower

I urge you to read Peter Zeihan’s “The Accidental Superpower: The next generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder”.

I will start with Zeihan’s method and professional bias, and then move to his observations.

Zeihan is an American geographer, who used to be a chief researcher at Stratfor, the geo-political analysis firm. The geographer’s deformation professionelle is that material factors of mountain range, rivers, plains, and harbours explain nearly everything about a how a society develops in the long term, and demography explains nearly everything else. Thus you can read books by Zeihan or  George Friedman ( The Next Decade, the Next 100 Years) and never read about culture or religion.

This leaves me somewhat at a loss to sympathize with  their world view. After all, speaking as a culturalist and a sky-hooker, this approach devalues what I think are the primary drivers of society. On the other hand, the emphasis on material factors which shape a culture, and the opportunities a culture is able to find for itself as a result,  is bracing.

Zeihan’s argument proceeds as follows.

  • America has been endowed with enormous natural advantages in terms of climate, available harbours, enormous riverine transport abilities, several thousand miles of isolation from potential enemies, huge areas contiguous to rivers that allow  easy agriculture, and as much energy as it needs.
  • The Bretton Woods agreements at the end of World War 2 said, in essence, that the US Navy would protect all maritime transport, thus obviating the need for nations to build navies to protect shipping, and opened the United States as a market to the signatories to the Agreements. At the end of WW2, the US was by far the most significant market. Thus countries were allowed to export their way out of the calamitous ruin of war. These agreements have been maintained by the US and its navy. Since 1945, says Zeihan, much of the world has been spared the need to fear their neighbours.
  • The stability of these arrangements has been threatened by the baby-bust that started around 1965. Industrialized countries are experiencing aging as never before. What hit Japan a decade ago will hit us all soon enough, with the significant exception of the United States. Consumer market expansion in Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Belgium, Canada, Italy, Russia, Spain, Korea, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Norway, Denmark, Portugal and Finland will have ceased.
  • According to Zeihan, if these societies are no longer consuming en masse, “then much of what limited economic rationale exists for Bretton Woods disappears from the American point of view”.
  • Capital, which is now abundant and therefore cheap, will become much more scarce and expensive.
  • At the same time the United States is approaching energy self-sufficiency through the exploitation of shale oil technologies. This development will further insulate the United States from the world and increase its lack of interest in managing the world’s conflicts. Zeihan foresees that sooner or later, gradually or suddenly, the United States will shift into an isolationist political period. The relatively stable world created by the Bretton Woods framework will disappear and history will resume in its violent and chaotic ways.
  • China will fall apart. Conflicts will resume within Europe. The European Union will dissolve. Russia in in ireversible economic decline. Naval competition will resume. Wars, famines, pestilence, state failure: he predicts it all for the period 2015-2030. At the end of which, the United States will emerge more pre-eminent than ever.

You do not have to believe a word of it to benefit from Zeihan’s bracing and fact-based analysis.

I think Zeihan underestimates the interest that Americans have in a stable world order. I think he underestimates the connectedness of the US to the rest of the world, by any and all means: disease, drugs, the damage of wars, trade, ideologies, immigration, and sympathy for the afflicted.

Nevertheless, Zeihan’s emphasis on demographics and energy is productive. Demographics affords a powerful insight into the  near future. Enormous changes are being inflicted upon the world by changed reproductive patterns, by the decisions taken by billions of women not to have as many children. There is no population boom; that stopped around 1965, before most of the readers of this column were born, I venture to say. World population decline is the largest fact affecting the world in the 21st century. “Gaia’s Revenge” ought to be its title – but that would be my book, not Zeihan’s.

 

 

CNN’s Resident Cannibal Disses Trump

A while back, in the desperate battle for ratings, Reza Aslan, while reporting on some obscure Indian sect, partook in the delights of cannibalism by eating human brains. Perhaps you’re behind the times with the latest culinary trends in the progressive set, no doubt it’s part of the vibrant multicultural diversity most of us rubes are so insensitive to. So, from the “…you want fries with that” department…(here)

Perhaps he’s contracted some brain-rotting disease like kuru as his recent reporting is completely deranged. Regarding US air strikes in Mosul in Iraq, a tweet from this creature reads, ”…Trump promised to carpet bomb cities and murder families. That’s what he’s doing”. Two sentences, all lies.

The fact is, though it probably escapes the room-temperature IQs at CNN, innocent civilians get killed in battles; especially when the opposition is a primitive savage Islamic horde that uses women and children as human shields, uses hospitals and schools as bases for terrorist activity, enslaves and rapes Christian and Yazidi girls, stones women to death, etc. etc.

That said, the order delegating battlefield commanders to call air strikes in Mosul came from…you guessed it, Obama in December of last year. Not that you could glean that information from CNN, they don’t even have any reporters on the ground; they’re busy making up their fake news in their offices.

The Clinton News Network has graduated to the Cannibal News Network. Nice going, airheads.

Rebel Yell

It’s Come to This…3

Through all the fog of media Trump loathing and fake news, a blast of realism from none other than…wait for it…Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame. It’s amazing how a few years under the belt and a bit of raw experience sharpens the mind.

Speaking in an interview on ITV’s Good Morning, Britain (h/t Breitbart here), he opined that President Trump was a kind of punk rock politician, a political Sex Pistol, and was being smeared by the left-wing media. Right on, there. He also would like to shake “fantastic” Nigel Farage’s hand for taking on the elites and giving Britain Brexit (“The working class have spoken”).

But wait, there’s more. After dubbing the Royal Family a “fascist regime” back in the 1970s, he’s mellowed somewhat admitting that he is really quite fond of Her Majesty and he “loved the pagentry” of William and Kate’s wedding. Added to that he thought the lefties who celebrated the death of Margaret Thatcher were “loathsome”.

For someone who burst upon the rock music scene with “Never Mind the Bollocks” in the 70s, that’s quite a change. What a pleasant sight it is to see working class boy made good trashing the smug, privileged liberal elites who feed us their daily drivel in the New York Fake Times, the Clinton News Network, and the National Toast.

Keep stickin’ it to ‘em, Johnny…

Rebel Yell

It has come to this – 2

 

I am struck by how normal this is becoming.

I am appalled by the attitudes of tolerance that have given rise to this.

I am amazed – bewildered – by the fact that our governing elites seem unable to allow us to say what is plainly obvious, that there is a relationship between what Mohammed preached and what some followers of Mohammed do in the name of his religion.

Islamic terrorism is not some kind of statistical accident, but a consequence of the religion’s doctrines, like Lenin out of Karl Marx.

It is not a ‘phobia’ to fear Islamic immigration and influence, it is a rational conclusion.

Why is this even disputed?