Hurricane Donald Due Over Washington Noon Tomorrow

Hurricane Donald makes landfall in Washington tomorrow. He’s taken about 18 months to come up from off the west coast of Africa as a little spinning disc of cloud. The Met Office forecasters kept on saying that he would never come to anything much, and he’d blow himself out somewhere over the Atlantic ocean. There were 17 or 18 other storms that started up around that time. Almost all of them were regarded as having a better chance of really going places than Donald. Hurricane Hillary, for example. And Hurricane Jeb. Donald was regarded as a bit of a joke.

But the eye of the storm is set to arrive over Washington at 12 noon local time, and the whole world is wondering what will happen next. My guess is that Donald is going to tear things up, and strew them everywhere. The US government – and the USA – is going to be shaken up in ways it probably can’t even begin to imagine.

Seventeen US intelligence agencies – SEVENTEEN – have said that Russia interfered in the US election to help get Trump elected, but none of them have a produced a shred of evidence, so far as I know. What I’m wondering, and I suspect Donald is also wondering, is: Does the USA really need 17 intelligence agencies? Wouldn’t one be enough? Those 17 agencies are little empires, most likely vying with all the others, hiding stuff from each other. But…

“Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday evening on MSNBC

And what about the EPA, which is chock full of global warmists and antismoking zealots? Donald has already said that global warming is a Chinese hoax. Is he going to clean out this Augean stable as well? And when he sweeps out all the alarmists, is he going to sweep out the antismokers too?

And the MSM? I read something yesterday to the effect that Trump was planning on expanding the closed shop of the White House press corps to include lots more people, including friends on the internet like Infowars, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and more. It was to be expanded from 50 people to something like 400 people. If so, the current Mainstream Media will become Sidestream Media, no longer with special privileged access to the presidency. They won’t like that. But we may be about to see the eclipse of the MSM.

What about Draining The Swamp? And Building The Wall? So far as I know, Donald is still planning on doing those too. And he’s going to tear up NAFTA.

Draining the swamp might be the hardest thing to do, given the checks and balances built into the US constitution. What if Senate and Congress mount a concerted resistance to him? That looks all too likely.

And then there’s the rest of the world.

I’m expecting Trump to meet Putin very soon, as a matter of urgency. I’m expecting him to call off the NATO build-up on Russia’s borders. And I’m expecting that they’ll announce joint Russian-American operations against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

The UK’s Theresa May is scheduled to meet him early in February, as best I understand. I suspect that he’ll offer every assistance and encouragement for her to make Brexit a reality. The UK government has really just been treading water for the past 6 months since the Brexit vote – of which Trump thoroughly approved. Just a couple of days ago she declared she was in favour of a ‘hard’ Brexit, cutting nearly all the ties with Europe. And I imagine she did that with Trump’s encouragement and approval.

And so what about the EU, which Trump sees as the embodiment of socialism? With relations with Russia warming rapidly, and the UK moving sharply away from Europe, the EU might find itself getting sharply squeezed. Furthermore Trump has said he expects other European member states to break away, and he’ll probably be encouraging them to do so. And he’ll be demanding that the EU pays its fair share towards a NATO that he no longer sees as needed anyway – and which won’t be if the Russian thaw becomes complete (as it should have done 25 or more years ago).

And China? Is he going to slap tariffs on Chinese imports? Is he going to start a trade war with China? If Russia is pleased at the election of Donald Trump, China is not.

There are going to be howls of protest, whatever he does. And the howls of protest will be amplified by the fact that most of the MSM in the world are opposed to him. The howls will start tomorrow, and they’ll just get louder and louder. It’ll become a non-stop scream.

I just wonder whether Trump has bitten off more than he can chew. And whether he’ll create too many enemies. He’s already got a lot, even before taking office. I suspect he’s soon going to make a lot more.

He’s a man of extraordinary energy, but I wonder if the effort of doing everything he wants to do is going to exhaust him. Hillary Clinton’s health came under close scrutiny before the election. But what about Trump’s health? He’s a large, florid man. And he’s 70 years old. And he doesn’t exercise much. I don’t think he’s playing much golf these days (although I read a report that he played a few holes with Tiger Woods recently). I won’t be too surprised if he has a heart attack or something, six months into his presidency.

What else? Trump is someone who has spent his life building things. Hotels, apartment blocks, casinos, golf courses. What’s notable about all those things is that they’re all about good living and pleasure. And he surrounds himself with all the accoutrements of wealth and good living – even though he doesn’t smoke or drink. For him, that’s what life is really all about. And when he’s doing trade deals, I suspect that he wants the same for everyone else as well. I don’t think anyone who enjoys playing golf can be a killjoy. Not a complete one, anyway. And I don’t think someone who’s become a great chum of smoking, drinking Nigel Farage can be either.

But really, what do I know? As I’ve said before, US presidents are like Roman empires. And I have no idea what goes on in the inner circles of imperial courts.

The shouting and wailing and screaming has been going on for 18 months already. The noise levels are going to notch up another 50 decibels tomorrow. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride, with lurid headlines every day. Maybe lurid headlines two or three times a day.

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Never-ending War

These days I see myself as being a footsoldier in a war. I used not to think I was a soldier, because I didn’t think I was in a war. But eventually, after a while, I slowly learned that there was a war in progress, and that I was a soldier in that war.

The war I found out that I was fighting in has been going on for 400 years at least, and maybe 500 years, or even more. It’s a never-ending war.

As far as I know, the war started when newly-discovered tobacco began to be exported from America to Europe, along with all sorts of other newly-discovered commodities in the New World of the Americas. And the war was between those who liked to smoke tobacco, and those who hated it: the war was between smokers and antismokers. Sir Walter Raleigh was one of the earliest smokers, and King James I one of the earliest antismokers. The antismokers make periodic attempts to stamp out smoking, but the smokers usually recover any ground they might lose.

I was born in a time, just after WW2, when more or less everyone smoked. It was normal. People smoked at home, and they smoked in pubs and cafes and restaurants and theatres and cinemas. My father smoked. My mother occasionally smoked. My grandfather smoked. About the only place people didn’t smoke was in church. And children weren’t allowed to smoke.

That’s to say that I grew up in a time when smoking was universal, and when smokers seemed to have won the war. For smokers had been among the accidental victors of WW1 and WW2. Churchill and Roosevelt and Stalin were all smokers, and Hitler was an antismoker. Smoking prevalence rises in wartime because wars are highly stressful, and smoking relieves stress. So smoking prevalence soared during WW1, and again during WW2. And after the war, prevalence began to fall, if only because the post-war era was less stressful than the war years: people didn’t need to smoke.

But if victorious smokers thought that they had won the war against antismokers, it proved a hollow victory. For the few remaining antismokers rallied and launched a new attack on smoking. And this time, instead of launching a new moral and religious war on smoking, they launched a medical and scientific war on it. Their message was simple: Smoking kills. However much smokers might enjoy smoking, their habit was killing them. The antismokers produced numerous studies filled with numbers – statistics – proving it. And the smokers had no defence against this mechanised army of numbers that the antismokers threw at them. And one by one, they slowly laid down their cigarettes, and surrendered.

So if in 1945 it looked like the smokers had won the war against the antismokers, 70 years later it looks like the antismokers have won the war against smokers. If in 1945 85% of adult British males were smokers, by 2015 only about 15% of them were. The numbers had been reversed. And sweeping smoking bans had been introduced all around the world. And now I’m fighting on the side of the smokers, in my small way.

So will the year 2025 or something see the final victory of the antismokers in their 500 year long war on smoking? Almost certainly not. Certainly the world’s smokers have been left reeling by the reverses they have suffered. But no more so than the antismokers were left reeling, 70+ years ago, by the wartime supremacy of smoking.

In the first place, there are still considerable numbers of smokers, and where they persist, they are usually confirmed, determined smokers. And a grassroot smokers’ resistance movement has emerged in almost exactly the same way that an antismokers’ resistance movement emerged during the war years. If smokers were oppressing antismokers (with their smoke) back then, it is now antismokers who oppress smokers (with laws and restrictions and taxes), and oppression always breeds resistance. This grassroot resistance movement is as powerless and invisible as the antismoking resistance movement once was. But that will change. It is already changing.

In the second place, the spell of the antismokers’ numbers – their statistical arguments – is beginning to lose its strength. And this is happening because the same statistical arguments are now being used to combat alcohol, obesity, sugar, and any number of other things. It’s not just that smoking kills, but that alcohol kills, and sugar kills, and obesity kills. The antismokers’ coin is becoming debased. It has less and less value. Fewer and fewer people believe the innumerable latest health scares.

In the third place, the antismokers are set to lose the moral war on smoking. For regardless of all medical and statistical arguments against smoking, the war on smoking has always been primarily a moral war. Smoking, for the antismokers, has always been a naughty, impure, dirty, and unnatural pastime, and they have always held the moral high ground against the smokers. The war on smoking has been the war of cleanliness against uncleanliness, the clean against the unclean. But when it emerges – as it will emerge – just how much damage their war on smoking has done, and to so many people, sometimes to the point of their death, the antismokers will find that they have lost their moral high ground. They’ll lose it much like Nazism lost the moral high ground once Nazi death camps and concentration camps were discovered, or Soviet Communism lost the moral high ground after the Soviet gulag archipelago came to light.

In the fourth place, the invention of completely new ways of smoking – e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn cigarettes, etc – has meant that the antismokers are facing a whole new series of enemies. Tobacco has always proved remarkably adept in re-inventing the way it is consumed. Pipes, cigars, cigarettes, snuff, chew, water-pipes, and others, are just a few of the many ways that tobacco is enjoyed. And now a whole new army of smoking technologies has begun to make an appearance, in exactly the same way (and for exactly the same reasons) that new weapons appear in every war.

Fifthly, the war on smoking, and the resistance to it, has spilled out into the wider world. For example, I personally voted for Brexit largely in response to the EU smoking ban. And I suspect that a great many US smokers voted against Hillary Clinton in the recent election because they knew she was a virulent antismoker. And since the war on smoking is a global war, the rising tide of anti-globalism is almost certainly being lifted in some part by globally oppressed smokers.

In short, the 500 year long war is set to continue. And the current antismoking high tide is set to ebb away. If nothing else, new wars will serve to enlist new recruits into the ranks of smokers. In 50 years time, just as much tobacco will be consumed as it is today, but it will be consumed in new ways. The same will be true of alcohol, sugar, and everything else.

But it’s a never-ending war. And it’s one of a whole set of similar never-ending wars. They are simply wars in which there have been temporary lulls, or truces, or short-lived victories. For example, after 100 years of inactivity, the 1,300 year long war between Christianity and Islam has begun to re-erupt. Islam has been re-inventing itself as assiduously as smoking has been re-inventing itself. And Christianity (which has also always been re-inventing itself) will re-invent itself as well.

The Cold War is another war that looked like it was over, but which has now been re-started. Look everywhere around the world, and there are simmering wars all over it, waiting to be brought back to boiling point.

And if wars can be fought over things as trivial as tobacco, they can be fought over anything at all. There is at present, one might say, only a temporary lull in the war between tea-drinkers and coffee-drinkers. Or between celery-eaters and celerophobes. But wherever there is the slightest difference between people, on any matter whatsoever, however unimportant, therein lies the seed of some future 1000 year long war.

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The Emergent Individual

I’ve got three books on the go at the moment. I dip in and out of them. The first is Illiberal Reformers, the second Liberal Fascism, and the third is Officious (H/T Dick Puddlecote). Actually it’s four, with the Underdog Anthology. The first three are all, more or less, about the same thing: top down social control. From Illiberal Reformers p 24:

The progressives developed elaborate, often anthropomorphic, depictions of society as an organism… Henry Carter Adams said the social organism had a “conscious purpose.” Political journalist Herbert Croly conceived of the American nation as “an enlarged individual.” Ross described society as “a living thing, actuated, like all the higher creatures, by the instinct of self-preservation.” The state, Richard T. Ely declared, was “a moral person.”

The social organism, like any organism, subsumes its constituent parts, and progressives routinely disdained individual liberties as archaic impediments to needed social and economic reforms. The freshly founded The New Republic portrayed Constitutional protection of individual liberties as quaint and retrograde. What inalienable right has the individual, its editors asked, “against the community that made him and supports him?” The answer was “none.”

Smoking bans are probably as good examples as any of “needed social and economic reforms,” with the quaint “individual liberties” of smokers to be ignored and overridden. But I can’t say that I ever think of society as “a living thing”, “a moral person”, with “its own conscious purpose.” I think of society as composed of numerous individual people, held together by invisible bonds of friendship, family, work. My idea of society is very like the solar system in my orbital simulation model, which is made up of individual planets held together by invisible gravitational bonds. Society is simply the sum of the individuals within it. It is only alive to the extent its constituent individual members are alive. And only moral to the extent that those constituent individuals are moral persons. The idea of “society” as a living entity, with its own purposes, always strikes me as a fiction. It would be like saying that “the solar system” was something quite separate from the individual planets within it. But “the solar system” is really just the sum of all the bodies orbiting within it.

Nevertheless socialists always seem to lend priority to society, and see the individual as first and foremost a member of the society which “made him and supports him.” Why do they think like that?

Idle Theory might be able to help. I was toying this morning, not for the first time, with the idea that individuals with their own personal identities and beliefs were almost entirely the product of idle societies, and that such individuals were largely absent from busy, hard-working societies. In the busiest societies, nobody has any time to think. They’re all kept on the go all the time. When they’ve finished chopping wood, they have to build fires, cook food, smelt iron, hammer nails, draw water. It never stops. And to the extent that anyone in a busy society has any beliefs about anything, they’ll most likely be the same as everybody else’s. How else can it be otherwise? Because it’s only in their idle time that anyone can form their own opinion or belief about anything. And when someone forms their own opinion about something it will always be their own separate, individual opinion.

Idle societies, in which people can just sit and think for at least part of their days, are the only societies in which people can form their own separate, individual opinions – and emerge as unique individuals. So in busy societies you must expect to find an almost perfect uniformity of opinion, or maybe no opinion at all. But in idle societies there will always be a plurality of different opinions. And it’s this plurality of different opinions that makes for unique individual identities. I think one way. You think another. And she thinks something else altogether.

Busy societies are also very often crowded societies. Men work together in gangs. They crowd on commuter trains. They work in factories or offices. They may even live 10 or 20 to a single room. They’re always interrupting each other, bumping into each other, treading on each other’s toes. That also acts to stop anyone managing to think anything for themselves. Rich people, almost invariably, build themselves mansions or palaces in which nobody else lives, and in whose libraries or studies they can sit in quiet thought. Contemplative monks and hermits live in separate cells, under vows of silence, far from the madding crowd.

The action of society upon individuals is to grind them down into uniformity, like pebbles on a beach, their rough edges smoothed away, until all are almost perfectly alike. A pebble beach is made up of individual stones that all grind away at each other with each rising and falling tide, day after day, year after year, century after century. The same happens in busy societies, as people collide and bump and jostle.

In Idle Theory, social history is conceived as being, very broadly, with many ups and downs, a motion from busy to idle.  In the past men had to work very hard to survive, and in the future they probably won’t. And as a result of this process, uniformity of opinion is vanishing, and pluralistic individuality is multiplying. One may see this in the multiplying proliferation of different religions over recent centuries. 600 years ago, Europe shared a single Christian faith. But then Protestantism emerged. And then Calvinism and Methodism and all the rest. They usually got started by lone thinkers – Luther, Calvin, etc – who formed their own separate, heretical, individual opinions. Much the same is true in politics – Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, were all individual people with their own unique and different ideas.

Socialism, seen from this perspective, is an attempt to reconstruct a lost, past uniformity of opinion and belief of a kind that we last enjoyed (if ‘enjoyed’ is the right word) 600 years ago. The socialist utopia of rigid, well-ordered uniformity – singing workers all marching in step – lies not in the future, but in the past. In fact, it lies in the very remote past. Socialists are always trying to put the lid back on the bubbling cauldron of human society, and turn down the heat. Instead of being forward-looking ‘progressives’ they claim to be, they are actually all reactionaries hankering after an ordered, regimented, busy society in which everybody unquestioningly does what they are told to do. Progress is everything they hate, because with that progress comes increasing idleness, increasing diversity, and increasing unmanageability. ‘Progressive’ Greens would dismantle the industrial civilisation constructed over the past few centuries, and return us to a simple agrarian existence, tending goats and sheep. Anything else is too terrifying for them to imagine.

And Donald Trump is a great example of an unique individual. There’s nobody else quite like him. He’s got his own opinions about everything. He’s a billionaire, but his father was a millionaire, and it was probably in his father’s house that Donald started forming his own opinions about everything. He probably didn’t share his bedroom with 4 other kids. He probably didn’t have to wash dishes. And the house probably had its own small library in which he could sit and read and daydream. Donald Trump is an unique, headstrong individual who has never had his rough edges ground down. He’s probably never done what he’s been told in his entire life. And that’s the sort of thing that terrifies socialists who seek uniformity and conformity. He’s that worst of things: ‘a loose cannon’.  He’s unpredictable and unmanageable.

And in 3 days time he’s becoming President of the United States!

LONDON — The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed.

Just days before he is sworn into office, President-elect Donald J. Trump has again focused his penchant for unpredictable disruption on the rest of the world. His remarks in a string of discursive and sometimes contradictory interviews have escalated tensions with China while also infuriating allies and institutions critical to America’s traditional leadership of the West.

No one knows where exactly he is headed — except that the one country he is not criticizing is Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin. For now. And that he is an enthusiastic cheerleader of Brexit and an unaffiliated Britain.

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Liberal Fascism

I never used to be political. For much of my life, politics didn’t affect me. It was something I took note of, but it was something which seldom had much of an impact on me.

I’m someone who has wanted to understand the world rather than change it. How could anyone change the world if they didn’t understand it? How can you fix something if you don’t know how it works? The world is full of people trying to change a world that they don’t understand. And of course they will always fail.

I’m someone who wanted to understand the incomprehensible, mysterious world in which I found myself. And I can fairly safely say that I don’t understand anything much. Why do people form societies? Why do they make and trade things? What is money? How does anyone ever manage to make a profit making and selling things? What’s good and evil? What’s right and wrong? What’s truth and falsehood? What is law? What is justice? Those were the kind of questions I was asking.

Idle Theory was my eventual explanation, slowly pieced together over 40 years, for at least some of it. It provided a framework into which I could fit explanations. All living things were trying to cease being so busy. And living things are endlessly busy. They’re all working to stay alive. And us humans are no different. We make things – tools – to make life easier for ourselves. That’s why we wear clothes and live in houses: life would be harder without these things. And we divide up the work of making clothes and building houses and growing food among ourselves. And we trade clothes and houses and food, and needles and cotton and bricks and potatoes. What’s good and what’s right is what’s easy for everyone. Law is concerned with equity in our everyday lives and in the transactions between us. Economic growth is growth in easiness or idleness. Life is much easier now than it was only a few centuries ago. Back then they had slavery and starvation.

Mine was an abstract, almost academic, interest in the world around me. I had, after all, spent many years in university, and many years in university libraries.

All that came to an end on 1 July 2007, when I was expelled from society, and exiled to the outdoors. I was driven out of the library. Political events had at last had an impact on me. And I became politically active in ways I never had been before. I had found that I was not just an observer of the world, but fully immersed in it. I was, as it were, a geologist who got buried in a landslide. Or a biologist who got attacked by a shark. The world I was studying jumped up and bit me. And ever since that day I’ve been a soldier fighting in a war.

And all the questions I was asking gained a new urgency. They became real rather than abstract. I wasn’t just thinking about them: I was living them.

At Walt’s suggestion, I’ve been reading Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. Smoking bans are a good example of liberal fascism. They are the work of people who don’t understand the world, but who nevertheless want to change it. Karl Marx once wrote: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways: the point, however, is to change it.” Did Marx understand the world in which he lived? Not really. Or no better than anyone else. But nonetheless the busybody wanted to change it.

Did Napoleon understand the world he set out to change? No. Did Mussolini? No. Did Hitler? No. Reading their potted histories in Liberal Fascism I’ve been struck by the poverty of their ideas. Yes, they’d all read lots of books. And perhaps after they’d read lots of books, they thought they understood the world. But whether or not they understood the world at all, they all wanted to change it. They were men of action rather than thought. They wanted to Do Something. It didn’t really matter that they didn’t know what they were doing, because Something Had To Be Done. And that is the nature of all busybodies: they all want to do something, but they don’t know what needs to be done. And so what they do always turns into a disaster, every single time.

I don’t know that this was what Goldberg was trying to tell me. I suspect not.  But it’s the lesson I have been taking from the book: these idiots didn’t have a clue what they were doing. Moreover, some of the idiots were knowingly irrational:

Sorel’s greatest contribution to the left – and Mussolini in particular – lay elsewhere in his concept of “myths,” which he defined as “artificial combinations invented to give the appearance of reality to hopes that inspire men in their present activity.” For Sorel, the Second Coming of Christ was a quintessential myth because its underlying message – Jesus is coming, look busy – was crucial for organizing men in desirable ways.

There it is again: Powerful myths can rouse men to action, get them to Do Something.

Even more impressive was Sorel’s application of the idea of myth to Marxism itself. Again, Sorel held that Marxist prophecy didn’t need to be true. People just needed to think it was true. Even at the turn of the last century it was becoming obvious that Marxism as social science didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Taken literally, Marx’s Das Kapital, according to Sorel, had little merit. But, Sorel asked, what if Marx’s nonsensicalness was actually intended? If you looked at this apocalyptic text . . . as a product of the spirit, as an image created for the purpose of molding consciousness, it . . . is a good illustration of the principle on which Marx believed he should base the rules of the socialist action of the proletariat. In other words, Marx should be read as a prophet, not as a policy wonk. That way the masses would absorb Marxism unquestioningly as a religious dogma. (p. 37)

It doesn’t have to be true: people just need to think it’s true. The only value in ideas lies in their ability to rouse people to action, get them to Do Something.

We’re still living in the age of Georges Sorel, unfortunately, even though he’s been dead for a century. The potent myths of our time are being used in precisely the ways he suggested. Smoking Causes Lung Cancer. Carbon Dioxide Causes Global Warming. It doesn’t matter whether they are true or not: all that matters is that people believe they are true. If they believe they are true, then they’ll stop smoking, and they’ll close down Western industrial civilisation (which, after all, is a form of smoking that generates more smoke than all the smokers in history). And the underlying rationale: Fear Of Smoke.

These are the fascists I’m up against: busybodies who use myths and scare stories to goad people into quite unnecessary action. But I don’t want to rouse men to action. I don’t want to get them to Do Something. I want them to be idle and free. Particularly if Doing Something always brings disaster – what else did busybodying Napoleon and Lenin and Mussolini and Hitler bring? That’s why the busybodies in Tobacco Control must be rendered inactive, and Tobacco Control must be shut down. These people must be stopped. It is fully in accord with Idle Theory to bring things to a stop.

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Klaus, Kissinger, and Kim Kardashian

Vaclav Klaus on Brexit:

I greeted the outcome of the last year´s British referendum with great joy because I do believe that its outcome has opened a new chapter in the European history. I am convinced that Europe needed it very much…

I disagree with the intentionally misleading interpretation of the Brexit referendum which suggests that the main topic of the referendum was the issue of immigration. No, the dominant reason for the majority of Brits voting Leave was their conviction that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK. Their approach was based on their long-term experience that the nation is (and should be) the primary political entity, the only possible embodiment and guarantor of democracy.

That’s right. I voted for Britain to be a self-governing country where we could elect our own government. Britons never voted to become part of what has become a European empire.

The vote was about freedom (against political correctness), about democracy (against post-democracy), about sovereignty (against multinationalism and global governance), about economic prosperity (against long-term stagnation and relative decline), about traditional cultural and civilizational values and life-styles (against its denial).

That’s right. And particularly the civilisational life-style values that go with sitting in a pub, drinking a beer, and smoking a cigarette.

The outcome of the British referendum was important for all of us in Europe – not just for the Brits. It represented a radical rejection of the faulty project of undemocratic, centralistic, dirigistic, unnecessarily unified, harmonized and standardized European Union. It had and has an important external effect. It confirmed the feelings of millions of ordinary people all over Europe who are similarly critical of the contemporary version of the EU institutional arrangements, of the EU policies and of the doctrine – I call it europeism – behind them.

“Undemocratic, centralistic, dirigistic, unnecessarily unified, harmonized and standardized” is exactly what the EU is. As Klaus sees it, his native Czech Republic escaped from the clutches of the Soviet Union only to fall into the hands of of the equally undemocratic and centralised European Union.

Paul Craig Roberts wonders what Kissinger is up to:

Reagan never spoke of winning the cold war. He spoke of ending it. Other officials in his government have said the same thing, and Pat Buchanan can verify it.

Reagan wanted to end the Cold War, not win it. He spoke of those “godawful” nuclear weapons. He thought the Soviet economy was in too much difficulty to compete in an arms race. He thought that if he could first cure the stagflation that afflicted the US economy, he could force the Soviets to the negotiating table by going through the motion of launching an arms race. “Star wars” was mainly hype. (Whether or nor the Soviets believed the arms race threat, the American leftwing clearly did and has never got over it.)

Reagan had no intention of dominating the Soviet Union or collapsing it. Unlike Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, he was not controlled by neoconservatives. Reagan fired and prosecuted the neoconservatives in his administration when they operated behind his back and broke the law.

The Soviet Union did not collapse because of Reagan’s determination to end the Cold War. The Soviet collapse was the work of hardline communists, who believed that Gorbachev was loosening the Communist Party’s hold so quickly that Gorbachev was a threat to the existence of the Soviet Union and placed him under house arrest. It was the hardline communist coup against Gorbachev that led to the rise of Yeltsin. No one expected the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The neo-conservatives thought that they had won the Cold War.

The English language Russian news agency, Sputnik, reports that former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is advising US president-elect Donald Trump how to “bring the United States and Russia closer together to offset China’s military buildup.”

It sounds like Kissinger and Trump think in similar ways, and not like the neo-conservatives.

In other news, Fragrance Is The New Second-Hand Smoke, and there are now Advertising billboards that ‘cough’ every time they sense cigarette smoke, and binge-watching TV can kill you. And Kim Kardashian has her own perfume brand, naturally.

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Crazy World


The political and business elite, who attend the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, are beginning to admit their push for globalisation and open borders contributed to the worldwide populist backlash and the rejection of the mass integration project.

Harvard professor and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund Kenneth Rogoff told Bloomberg that following WEF 2016 he “started to grow concerned” then-candidate Donald J. Trump would become the next president of the U.S. because his fellow frequent attendees of the gathering in the Swiss town of Davos were certain that Mr. Trump would not win.

“A joke I’ve told 1,000 people in the months since leaving Davos is that the conventional wisdom of Davos is always wrong,” said the former IMF chief who is scheduled to attend Davos again this year along with some 3,000 other members of the political, business, media, and academic elite.

No surprise there then. These people haven’t a clue.

I suppose “the mass integration project” was their bright idea of bringing millions of Muslims into Europe. They treat people like cattle, who can be trucked from one pen to another, and then they’re shocked and surprised when the people reject both them and their mad schemes in favour of “populists” who are, well, you’d never guess it,… popular.

And on “the mass integration project“:

Everyone in Italy and the rest of Europe will “soon be Muslim” because of the country’s “stupidity”, a prominent Italian archbishop has said.

Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompeii, said that Islam will soon become Europe’s main religion thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans.

Quite so. Unless, of course, the migrants are returned to their countries of origin. Which is what I expect to eventually happen, most likely after a bloody civil war when the populists take over.

Unless, of course, the populists are not allowed to take power.

Is there a coup underway, while America is in the transition period, and before Trump swears in as the 45th president of the United States?

How real is the clash between the rogue Manhattan billionaire and the intelligence gang behind the throne? Who will win the struggle for power over foreign policy? These are serious times and require serious considerations.

The U.S. sent an entire armored brigade to the Russian border, and Vladimir Putin is preparing as if for war. Missile defense systems are raised; tall claims and serious charges have been leveled; diplomatic relations have chilled to a permafrost. Several Russian diplomats have turned up dead recently, including one murdered in front of cameras during a dramatic assassination in Turkey. Russia has bucked U.S. order in the Middle East, and carved out a potential peace deal in Syria without their consultation.

Things are reaching a flashpoint, and the system is concerned about controlling President-elect Trump given his rumored friendliness with Putin and plans to drop sanctions.

What if Obama starts a war with Russia, declares a state of emergency, and says that Trump can’t be allowed to become president, because he was a Manchurian candidate in thrall of the Kremlin, with whom we’re now at war?

This is what Infowars and Michael Savage are wondering. I don’t believe it myself. I think Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th POTUS next Friday. But what do I know? Crazier things could happen in this crazy world.

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Reproducing Global Warming

A month or so back, in Strange Journey I described an experiment that I’d conducted with my orbital simulation model, where I’d dropped a ball bearing on the surface of the rotating Earth, and watched it roll (or rather, bounce) westwards from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere and back again, over and over again, solely under the influence of the gravitational attraction of the Earth, Moon, and Sun.

This gave me an idea for a novel global atmospheric circulation model. What if I dropped hundreds of balls or bubbles of air on the surface of the Earth, and let them roll over its surface, and bounce off each other when they collided? How would they behave? Would the air bubbles form circulation patterns like those in the Earth’s atmosphere? Might I be able to reproduce global warming?

So for the past month, on and off, I’ve been writing the code to get it all working.  I’ve treated the collisions between the air bubbles like the collisions between beachballs, which become compressed when they collide, and push each other apart elastically. At some point I intend to add friction forces between the bubbles and the surface of the Earth, and also features like mountain ranges for the bubbles to (try to) roll over. I’m also planning to have the Sun heat up the bubbles and make them swell and move faster, and then allow them to cool at night.

inefficient-climate-model-tessellationThis isn’t how atmospheric and climate scientists construct their Global Circulation simulation models. What they do is to divide the surface of the Earth into layers of fixed cells, and calculate the flow of air and heat and so on from one cell to the next. That’s to say, they don’t have bubbles of air bouncing all over the surface of the Earth. But I can’t, at the moment, see what’s wrong with modelling the atmosphere using bubbles. Because, as best I understand it, the atmosphere actually does consist of masses of air moving around on the surface of the Earth, under the influence of gravity and sunlight and  friction. And these air masses do collide with each other, and block each other from moving.

In my prototype there are only 162 bubbles, with each bubble 100 km in diameter, but I’m hoping – if my poor old computer can manage – to increase the number of bubbles to something around 1000. If I had a supercomputer, I’d create many thousands of smaller bubbles, bouncing not only on the surface of the Earth, but also on top of each other. High pressure zones would have lots of bubbles packed closely together, and piled on top of each other, and low pressure zones would have fewer bubbles in them. With luck, I’d find that the bubbles moved in circles around these high and low pressure zones, like winds do. Who knows, I might even be able to replicate a few jet streams.

I started my model with the 162 bubbles dispersed evenly over the Earth, with each bubble having the same speed as the patch of earth beneath it. As expected, they all began to roll westward, and converge on the equator, where a large high pressure area developed, and the bubbles started bouncing off each other.

After that, the bubbles moved off in different directions, and dispersed over the surface of the Earth, and continued to collide with each other. The 2:45 minute long video below shows (a bit too briefly) the initial westward motion of the bubbles, as seen from geostationary MeteoSat 7 above the Indian ocean. Bubbles nearer MeteoSat 7 appear larger than those on the far side of the Earth. After they’ve been colliding with each other for a while, the bubbles are then shown moving in various different directions, but still occasionally colliding with each other (0:10 to 2:05).

And finally (2:06 to 2:40) some of them are shown flying the surface of the Earth, and disappearing into outer space.

The atmosphere boils off.

And that’s global warming!!!!

I’ve managed to get global warming on my very first attempt! Without adding any CO2. And after only 10 days in real time.

collisionThe reason this happens in this model is because it’s using an 8 second time step, and calculates the positions of the air bubbles every 8 seconds. This means that, when they collide, the bubbles will overlap each other quite a lot (below right), instead of just touching at their surfaces, like beachballs (above right). And since they’re closer together, the model assumes that the compression forces pushing them apart are stronger, and gives them both a higher acceleration apart, and a higher speed.

If I’d used a shorter time step of 1/10th or 1/100th of a second, they wouldn’t overlap so much, and wouldn’t accelerate so much. But even if I’d used a time step of a microsecond, the bubbles would still accelerate very, very slowly. And after a few years, the atmosphere would boil off. The bubbles will never get slower; they’ll only ever get faster.

And I bet that something like this is happening  in the climate scientists’ Global Circulation Models. All simulation models are approximations. They all have small errors. My orbital simulation model has a small error: the planets are never exactly where they are supposed to be. If the error is 100 km after one year, the cumulative error after 10 years will be 1000 km, and after a century 10,000 km, and so on. Eventually the planets will be nowhere near where they should be. And the same applies to heat flow and air mass flow simulation models. They’ll all have slowly growing cumulative errors.

So I strongly suspect that global warming is an artefact of the simulation models. And if they started off predicting global cooling back in the 1970s, I suspect it was because the early GCMs tended to under-estimate heat flows in the atmosphere, and they saw cooling. Then, when they’d improved their models a bit, they saw warming, so now they’re predicting that. But I now think that whatever improvements they make in the future, they’ll always see either warming or cooling.

I’m very pleased that I’ve managed to produce my own GCM, which generates global warming at least a hundred times faster than the climate scientists’ GCMs. But at least I know why my model is generating global warming. It seems they still don’t know why theirs do.

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