Motorbikes and War Machines

Yesterday was a big day for me. I finally managed to bolt an atmosphere on top of my computer heat flow model of the Earth, gently tighten the nuts, and watch a pretty good steady state simulation of terrestrial heat flow emerge, with 52 milliWatts/m² bubbling out of the Earth’s surface. That’s a slightly low figure: I was aiming at about 67 mW/m², which is the terrestrial average. I’ll have to warm up the Earth a notch or two to get it right.

It all reminded me of my biker days, when I take the head off my my 250cc Starfire four-stroke motorbike engine, and then put it back on. It was much easier taking it off than putting it on. You had to tighten the nuts slowly and gently, one after the other, onto the new head gasket. I never ever got it quite right. And I always ended up with bruised and bloody knuckles, from when the spanner slipped.

It also reminded me of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and its loving descriptions of engine disassembly and reassembly, and Phaedrus arguing with his philosophy professor.

The analogy with building an engine is exact. That’s what I’m doing. I’m building an engine. And I’ve got the engine to the point where it’s all been bolted back together, and the nuts tightened, and it’s sitting on the kitchen table, slowly leaking oil onto the varnished wood. And the table I’m working at actually was a kitchen table, many years ago.

The assembled engine is a steady state engine. It’s not a working engine with the pistons moving up and down, and the valves opening and closing, vibrating and shaking and making a big racket. Engines are constructed, disassembled and reassembled in the steady rather than working state. The big test comes later, when you finger the carburettor, open the choke, and jump on the kickstarter to crank the engine over. It usually takes a few tries to get the engine running.

When I get my heat flow model engine working, I’m hoping to see a steady cycle of events unfold. Firstly the Earth will cool down, and then when it’s cold enough, ice will start to build up on its surface, and rapidly get thicker. And then the surface of the Earth beneath the ice will heat up, and start melting the ice. A peak rock temperature of about 500K seems to do this pretty effectively. The ice usually melts pretty rapidly at that sort of temperature. And when it’s all gone, and the hot surface rocks meet the atmosphere, they start cooling down again.  And they carry on gradually cooling until they’re cold enough for the ice to start to build up again.

And that’s the full cycle, of cooling followed by warming, over and over again. My motorbike engine ran at maybe a couple of hundred rpm. But this engine runs at about one single revolution per 100,000 years. It’s an engine which runs so very, very slowly that nobody knows it’s working at all. They think it’s already in a steady state.

And just like a motorbike engine, this engine needs to be given a big kick to start it running. And I’ll have to relax a few constraints in order to get it running (e.g. open the choke, twist the throttle). I’ll need a hot Earth, and a cool Sun, most likely.

And just like my motorbike had dials on its handlebars showing engine revs, engine temperature, and forward speed in mph, I’ve been building a console that shows me what I want to know about my new engine. Below is what that console currently shows:

On the left is a section through the surface of the Earth, with a temperature profile that runs from 0K to 6000K. The blue is the atmosphere. The dark brown is granite. The red is molten granite.

On the lower right is a graph that spools slowly from right to left, a bit like a storage oscilloscope, showing the surface rock temperature T1 (green), the surface temperature Ts, the surface heat flow rate, hFl (red), and ice depth (blue). A single cycle has just taken place, with ice depth jumping to probably 2 km, and the surface rock temperature mounting, and with it the surface heat flow rate, until after about 200,000 years the ice all finally melts, and the heat flow rate spikes, and surface rock temperatures drop back.

Top numerics show year number and temperatures of selected layers.

When it’s working, I’m hoping to have a video showing the full cycle happening over and over again.

Anyway, that was yesterday. And so I haven’t been paying much attention to the start of WW3. In fact, I don’t think WW3 has started. I think that we just got treated to a firework display last Friday. A show of force. I hope nobody got hurt.

And I guess that if you’ve got a big war machine, you can’t have it sitting idly on the kitchen table, slowly leaking oil. You need to start it running from time to time, and get it on the road, and do a couple of laps around the block, show people what you can do.

Donald Trump knows that. And his generals know that. And so does Vladimir Putin. And so do Putin’s generals. They’re just complaining about the racket the big engine made when it started up, and did a couple of laps around Damascus.

Trump doesn’t want a war. Neither do his generals. Neither does Putin. Or Xi. Or Kim. Or any of them. But they all need to fire up their war machines from time to time, and take them round the block. Yes, they make a big racket. And the neighbours complain. And birds get startled. So what.

The other thing I didn’t pay much attention to was that antismoking physician who wandered in here yesterday, like some lost goat.

I feel sorry for them when they do that, and find themselves facing dozens of snarling wild animals, like Christians in the Colosseum. They’re used to outnumbering smokers. They’re used to lecturing them. It must be a bit of a rude shock to find themselves outnumbered for once. And find themselves being lectured.

One day they’re all going to find themselves outnumbered. One day they’re all going to find themselves being lectured. One day they’re all going to find themselves exiled to the outdoors, just like they exiled us.

Who’s the philosophy professor I’m arguing with? I guess that’ll be alarmist climate scientists like Michael Mann and the motley crew in UEA. But I’ll also be arguing with climate sceptics as well. I think I’ve got a powerful brand new argument. One they don’t seem to have come across before.

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Antismoking Is AntiAmerican

One of the oddities about the global war on smoking is that it only really got under way in the early years of the 20th century, four centuries after the introduction of tobacco to the Old World after its discovery in the New World.

Why did it take so long? Why did a plant that had been in cultivation and use for four centuries (and far, far longer in the Americas before that) suddenly become demonised?

There had always been virulent antismokers – like James I of England – but such people were always in a minority. So why did they start growing into a majority during the 20th century?

Most people would probably say that the rise of antismoking during the 20th century was the result of advances in medicine, and in particular advances in epidemiology. It had been shown in Germany in the 1930s that smoking was the cause of the growing epidemic of lung cancer, and the German studies were reproduced in Britain and the USA in the 1950s. By about 1960, more or less everybody knew that smoking caused lung cancer, in much the same way that everyone now knows that carbon dioxide causes global warming. And since about 1990, everybody has also learned the smoking causes more or less every other malady known to man. Antismoking hysteria started in the early 20th century, and kept mounting higher an higher as the century progressed.

I’d like to suggest an alternative non-medical explanation for this strange phenomenon. If nothing else, the epidemiological arguments used to demonise tobacco entail mathematical (statistical) sleight of hand: there have never been good scientific reasons for believing that tobacco causes lung cancer (or any other disease).

What else happened during the 20th century that might have led to the war on tobacco?

My suggestion is that the 20th century saw the rise of America from being a political backwater in 1900 to become the pre-eminent world power by 2000, and that antismoking is primarily a reaction to this event, largely in the formerly pre-eminent world powers in Europe: Antismoking is antiAmerican. It’s roots lie not so much in medicine as in politics, and in the demise of Europe as the dominant power in the world. A comparable event might be the rise of Rome during the second and third centuries BC to become the pre-eminent power in Europe and the Mediterranean, crushing all the rest. And America has achieved far more, far faster than Rome ever did. Inside the space of a century, it has established an empire that controls pretty much the whole world. It’s an empire far larger than the British empire ever was. And so America is hated in the same way that the British were hated, and the Romans too. Most of it is envy. And this envy and hatred of America extended to everything American. And what was more quintessentially American than tobacco?

For America was built on tobacco. America first made its fortune selling tobacco to the world. And the cigarette is also an uniquely American product. Put a cigarette in your mouth, and light it with a Zippo lighter, and you’re more or less telling the world that you’re an American. Just like you’re telling the world you’re an American if you drive a Cadillac or ride a Harley-Davidson, or play a Fender electric guitar, or drink Budweiser or eat Big Macs.

Tobacco is to America is what coal is to Newcastle. And tobacco is far more authentically and originally American than anything made by Ford or Chrysler or General Motors.

And I’d like to suggest that Hitler’s antismoking grew out of Hitler’s antiAmericanism. And Hitler had lots of reasons to be antiAmerican. But for the Americans, Germany would have won WW1. It was the arrival of general Pershing and the US army in Europe in 1917 that swung the war decisively against Germany. But for that, Hitler would have marched proudly down the Champs Elysees as a victor in Paris in 1919. Instead, the defeated and angry and embittered Hitler stopped smoking in 1919. And he stopped smoking in 1919 in protest against America (and the humiliating Versailles treaty): he no longer wanted to be seen to buy and consume such an emblematically American product as tobacco.

Hitler’s antisemitism probably arose from the same source. It wasn’t just that the Rothschilds were Jewish bankers that he hated them, but far more because they were American bankers who had funded the American and British war machines.

Hitler is of importance in the war on smoking because it was German research, some of it personally funded by Hitler, which first established the link between smoking and cancer. For it had always been the whole purpose of that research to find something wrong with tobacco.

Antismoking makes sense as antiAmericanism not only as an explanation for Hitler, but also for the mounting post-WW2 war on tobacco. For as American power grew throughout the second half of the 20th century, the war on tobacco intensified. And with the demise of the Soviet Union circa 1990, and the end of the Cold War, and the emergence of the USA as the sole global hyperpower, the war on tobacco reached its current, hysterical, shrieking climax.

To wish to rid the world of tobacco is to wish to rid the world of America. Tobacco is a proxy for America. And it also remains one of America’s principal exports.

The oddest thing is that a great many Americans now hate tobacco, and so by extension also hate America. Hillary Clinton, who almost won the US presidential election in 2016, is both antismoking and antiAmerican. The current bitter political division in America is between antismoking antiAmericans and pro-smoking pro-Americans (not that many Americans dare speak in favour of tobacco).

It’s not just antismoking that is antiAmerican. There is currently a cultural war being waged against everything else that is typically or classically American: there’s a war being waged on Christianity, on heterosexuality, on the family, on the nation state, on the flag, on patriotism, on the English language, on ‘junk’ fast food (hamburgers and hot dogs), on soda (Coca Cola and Pepsi). It’s a non-stop smear of everything American, and very often it is conducted by Americans. For antiAmericans like Hillary Clinton, most Americans are the “deplorables” – because she deplores America and everything it stands for.

It was a great shame that a couple of days ago Alex Jones and Steve Pieczenik of Infowars joined in the tobacco-bashing. These people count themselves as American patriots (and I think they are), but if they really love America they’d better start loving tobacco as well. Because as long as they join in trampling on tobacco, they may as well join in trampling on the Stars and Stripes.

And maybe it takes non-Americans to tell Americans a few of the home truths about themselves that they can’t see. It was, after all, an Englishman – Tom Paine – who wrote one of the defining texts of the American revolution: Common Sense. And it was a Frenchman – Alexis de Toqueville – who provided some of the most penetrating insights into American culture.

When people abandon and betray their cultural origins and history, it can’t be long before they will lose everything they ever had. And tobacco is an integral part of American history. And American patriots should be proud of that history, and every part of that history – even slavery and civil war (Rome had both of those as well). There’s nothing to be ashamed of. The only shame lies in shame itself.

And I think that true Americans – Americans who love America – are going to realise pretty soon that if they’re going to stand up for America, they’re going to have to include standing up for tobacco as well. And standing up for everything else that made America great, and which can make it great again. Alex Jones is going to have to start smoking again: it’s the most patriotic thing an American can do.

And when Americans finally realise that antismoking is antiAmerican, that’ll be the end of antismoking, and the end of Tobacco Control, not just in America, but everywhere else as well.

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Totally Out Of Control

I was reading yesterday that:

Release of 1000 gigatonnes of carbon would prevent an ice age for 130,000 years. If anthropogenic carbon release were 5000 gigatonnes or more, glaciation will be avoided for at least half a million years. As things stand now, the combination of relatively weak orbital forcing and the long atmospheric lifetime of carbon dioxide is likely to generate a longer interglacial period than has been seen in the last 2.6 million years.

So we can rest assured, there is no ice age around the corner.

And a few minutes later I read here that:

That insulating blanket has a bigger climatic influence than the slight flux in incoming solar energy from changes in Earth’s orientation relative to the Sun, said Dr. James A. Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

”We have taken over control of the mechanisms that determine the climate change,” he said.

We’re now living in the Anthropocene era, according to these people. And we can remake the world as we like.

But I’m not so sure. And for the past 3 months I’ve been thinking about a climatic cycle that the experts in the field of climate science seem not to have noticed.

It’s a very simple cycle: The hot Earth slowly cools over many millions of years. And for those many millions of years the water in its atmosphere falls on its surface as rain, and flows in rivers to the sea. But one day, as the Earth cools, the water stops flowing away in rivers, and the rain freezes on its surface. And as the rain continues to fall, and turn to ice, the ice grows deeper and deeper on the surface of the Earth. And what had been a warm, wet world turns into a cold, dry world. And it stays cold. But the mantle of ice lying on the Earth acts as a blanket to warm it. And so the rocks beneath the ice warm up. And they get hotter and hotter. And they start to melt the ice, which flows away in boiling rivers beneath it. And soon, almost overnight, all the ice has melted. And the cold, dry world turns back into a warm wet world. And the hot surface rocks start cooling back down. And they gradually cool until, once again, the rain falling on the surface of the Earth turns to ice again, and the cycle re-starts.

The two states – warm and wet, and cold and dry – are very stable. They both seem permanent. But neither of them are. And when the warm, wet world flips to become a cold, dry world, the change comes suddenly. And the same when the cold, dry world flips back to being a warm, wet world: it happens almost overnight. And both flips are accompanied by mass extinctions, as plants and animals are unable to adapt quickly enough to the changing environment.

And the same sort of cycle operates in human affairs. Everything remains stable for a long time, until it suddenly flips. And when it flips, lots of people die.

The Russian revolution of 1917 was one of those sudden flips. One day (and there was probably just one day, 23 March 1917? ) tsar Nicholas II became a prisoner in his own palace. A new regime took over, and consolidated its power. And it remained in power until suddenly, almost overnight, it was in its turn swept away. On the 19th (or maybe the 18th) of August, 1991, Michael Gorbachev was placed under house arrest. There were 27,176 days – 74 years, 4 months, and 26 days – between the two events. No doubt historians will haggle over the exact dates, maybe even the exact months and years.

Much the same happened in the palace of Versailles on 5 October 1789 when an angry mob of Parisian women marched into it, and tried to kill Marie Antoinette, wife of king Louis XVI.

Or 14 October 1066, when William, Duke  of Normandy, defeated king Harold of England at the battle of Hastings.

Long periods of stasis are interrupted by sudden revolutions in which the world is turned upside down.  But they are sooner or later followed counter-revolutions which invert the established order once again. In stable periods, stasis endures for millennia or centuries. In unstable periods, stasis endures for years or months.

And smoking bans are no different. They also appear on single days. For example 1 July 2007 in the UK. They inaugurate a new era. But no sooner has the new era dawned, than people start to work to subvert it. And eventually they succeed. One can safely say that one day the UK smoking ban will be repealed or overturned. Nothing is permanent. Everything is always in motion, even if the motion is glacially slow.

Same with the EU. Rather like the Soviet Union (of which it is an accurate reflection), it looks set to last not much longer than the political state on which it was modelled. The Treaty of Rome was signed on 5 March 1957. And so 74 years, 4 months, and 26 days later, on 31 July 2031, we may expect whoever is then President of the European Union to be locked in his office, much like tsar Nicholas II and king Louis XVI before him (or her). For a while it confidently expanded. But then it began to contract. The ice grew, and then it started melting. And 31 July 2031 looks to be a very plausible date for this particular political experiment to come to an end. And all political settlements are experiments: the USA is a political experiment, and so also is the UK, and any other country or state you care to mention.

I sincerely hope that James Hansen is right that us humans are now “in control” of the Earth’s climate. If so, climate scientists will be doing rather better than our political theorists have ever managed in keeping control of human societies for any length of time.

I also hope that our current interglacial lasts 130,000 years (or more). But at the moment I doubt it will last another 2,000 years, if that, given my new understanding.

And I don’t think we’re really “in control” of anything. The dream of Control (including Tobacco Control, climate control, and political control) is really just that: a dream. We live in a little solar system, with planets orbiting a central star, and it’s totally out of control. There’s no Captain Kirk at the helm of USS Earth, because there is no helm, and there is no Kirk. And everything that happens on our planet is completely and totally out of control as well. The best we can hope to do is to be able to foresee what’s going to happen outside or our control, days or weeks before it happens, because we won’t be able to stop it happening

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Trump’s Tweets

I got a bit worried over the past couple of days that some awful war was going to start. I wasn’t the only one who was getting worried. And in these days of fake news, how is one to know whether a war has started or not?

My solution: Read Donald Trump’s tweets.

Somebody Dirk wrote in the comments a few days ago that Trump can’t read. This is obviously untrue. What may be true, however, is that Trump doesn’t read much. I doubt that, come the end of the day, he climbs into bed with a mug of cocoa and carries on reading his John le Carré novel. Why should he, when he’s living in a John le Carré novel? Just this last Monday, neocon superhawk John Bolton became his latest National Security Advisor. Who writes this stuff? How much more fictional can you get?

Trump may not read much. But he writes lots. He writes every day. He posts up tweets on Twitter all the time.

Trump does what I do: he writes about what’s on his mind. He writes about what he’s thinking. He gets angry. He gets sad. I do too. And you can know what I’ve been thinking about and getting angry about because I’ll write about it.

But I’m a man of no importance. And Donald Trump is the President of the United States: the most powerful man in the world. And the most powerful man in the world posts tweets every day about what he’s thinking. Isn’t that remarkable! Isn’t that absolutely astonishing!

So yesterday I started reading Trump’s tweets. I wanted to know what Trump was thinking about. And yesterday he wasn’t thinking about Syria and Russia and WW3  (like I was). And so I figured that if he wasn’t thinking about it much, I shouldn’t either.

Donald Trump’s Twitter account is like a thermometer. It provides a daily reading – in fact several readings a day – of his temperature. If I was a world leader, I’d assign somebody to read every single one of Trump’s tweets, and analyse them closely.

Here are some of Trump’s Wednesday tweets:

Let’s analyse them. What’s he saying?

The first one says that any attack on Syria could be soon or not soon at all. And “not soon at all” might even be “never”. But the second two are about Russia. And he’s expressing regret that relations with Russia are so bad. He thinks there’s no reason for them to be that way. He wants nations to work together, not against each other. And then he goes on to pin the blame on the Mueller Russia Investigation. Is he wrong about that? It’s Mueller and the Democrats and the US MSM who’ve been screaming Russia! Russia! Russia! the whole damn time. Does that sound like someone who wants to go to war with anyone? No, it doesn’t.

Never mind QAnon whose cryptic posts get analysed by Jerome Corsi every day. Read Trump. Analyse Trump. There should be, by now, a whole academic discipline devoted to Trump tweets, complete with long dissertations about his choice of words.

I read somewhere recently that some of the generals surrounding Trump were trying to cut off his Twitter account. I can see why. How can you have the most powerful man in the world spilling the beans every day on what he’s thinking about? That’s an enormous hole in US national security, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why John Bolton has been brought in.

But I think Trump likes to tell people what he’s thinking. With a single tweet he can tell millions of people. No need for the MSM. He can go direct. And that’s what Trump’s base always likes about him: he says what he thinks. And he also writes what he thinks. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if a few other world leaders did the same? Then we’d have a little thermometer on Putin and Xi and Kim.

But not everyone writes about what they’re thinking. I’m one of the few people who do that. I’ve been doing it all my life. I find that putting things into words, with a pen, onto paper, somehow or other makes the thoughts more concrete. And it connects thoughts together. I write a journal every day, and I can read back through it and find what I’ve been thinking about, and what I thought about it. I can see where I changed my mind about something, or had a new idea – although this is increasingly difficult as my handwriting gets worse and worse (and my eyesight as well). And I do go back. Sometimes I want to know what I was thinking, because I can’t remember.

And I think that Trump’s tweets serve the same purpose as my journal. But they’re shorter and terser than my rambling journal. And more easily readable. And I can well imagine that they’ll all be published one day, with accompanying analyses and commentaries.

I think Trump’s tweets are a beacon of candour – of transparency – in a world where people are increasingly being disallowed from thinking anything and saying anything and writing anything that isn’t Politically Correct. Trump is a transparent man. He wears his heart on his sleeve. We see him warts and all. Everybody else is in disguise.

And I think Trump’s tweets are a sort of public service. They provide an important window onto someone working in public life. And perhaps his example is getting more people to do the same thing. Although I can imagine that a lot of people would find it very hard to write even a single tweet. Me, for example. I’m never that terse. I don’t do terse.

I’m the kind of guy who can write entire blog posts about tweets. i.e. I can write a helluva lot about a helluva little.

But I think you knew that already.

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Ideological Struggle

Phew! WW3 doesn’t seem to have started this morning.

I spent much of yesterday thinking about the American Empire as a continuation and extension of the British Empire. Instead of the Royal Navy patrolling the oceans, to keep the world’s trades routes open, the US Navy did so instead. Instead of the command centre being in Whitehall, it moved to Washington. The empire fell under new management, with the USA as its major shareholder. Or, if the British Empire had been a business run by an English patriarch, it was his American son who inherited the job of chief executive officer when the father became old and enfeebled, as fathers always eventually do. Britain  was as broken and battered and bankrupt as any other European state after two world wars. It had really only survived the war with American assistance, firstly with convoys of ships coming from America bringing vital supplies, and later with American armies and air forces.

The winners of WW2 were America and the Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union, rather like Britain, had only just survived the war, also with considerable assistance from America. And it had taken a terrible battering. Much of western Russia lay devastated, much like much of Europe.

But America was not devastated by WW2. No German or Japanese armies fought their way across it. Nor did German or Japanese planes ever bomb New York or San Francisco. America became the arsenal for much of the world, once it had ramped up the production of ships and planes and tanks and trucks to levels beyond anything its enemies could match.

What had they all been fighting about? Well, the Germans wanted their own empire to match that of the British empire. And so did the Japanese. And the Germans managed to overrun the whole of Europe, and a large part of Russia. And the Japanese managed to overrun much of the southeast Asia, and a large part of China. And so by the end of the war, it was the Americans who controlled Japan and much of southeast Asia, and western Europe as well. And the US Navy controlled both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. America was the big winner in WW2.

But there was also an ideological battle as well. The USA stood for individual enterprise and industry and freedom, while the Soviet Union stood for Scientific Socialism. The Soviet system was one of a centrally-planned economy, with state-owned industries following 5 Year Plans. The American economy was not centrally planned, and was much more haphazard. If the Soviet system was intended to benefit everybody in society, the American system benefited the most enterprising and inventive and hardworking. The proprietors of US corporations could – and did – become fabulously wealthy. Hence the Fords and Rockefellers and Gettys and all the rest. Soviet Socialism was intended to benefit the whole of society. In the USA there were winners and losers.

This ideological battle was really over how economies should be organised. Should they be centrally planned, or should they be allowed to evolve and grow and decay? Or, if an economy is seen as a garden, should it be allowed to grow unchecked like a jungle, or should it be carefully laid out with flowerbeds and paths and lawns, with carefully manicured flowers and bushes and trees? The US model was the Amazon mato grosso, in which the plants found their own natural equilibrium, and the Soviet model was Kew Gardens, in which everything was carefully managed.

This is an ideological struggle which knows no borders. It’s been going on for centuries – even millennia – everywhere in the world. For there are always people who want a level uniform equality across society, and those who want the excellent to excel above all the rest.

And in Britain, at the end of WW2, the returning soldiers voted for  uniform, centrally-planned economy: the Labour party’s Welfare State. Many industries were taken into state ownership. While a great many industries remained in public ownership, the rest were to be carefully centrally planned, much like in the Soviet Union.

But somehow or other, despite the best of intentions, this sort of central planning never seems to quite work. It never really worked in the Soviet Union, and it didn’t really work in Britain either. State-run industries always seem to be inefficient, unproductive, and wasteful. And after a few decades of bumbling inefficiency, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives sold off most of the state-controlled industries back into private ownership.

And in many ways, the European Union is another centrally-planned Soviet Union. It’s not that European  industry is state-owned, but it is effectively state-controlled by a forest of restrictive rules and regulations.

And smoking bans are wonderful examples of centralised top down state control. The state decides what’s good for everyone, and introduces laws banning smoking, more or less everywhere. The job of individual smokers is to stop smoking, in accordance with the decree of the state. We are not to live as individuals, making up our own minds how we will live: we are all to be obedient members of society, and we should conform to the social will, as enacted in Brussels by the experts. The EU parliament voted in 2009 for a European smoking ban, with show trials for recaltricant smokers. In the more haphazard USA, only a few states and cities have done the same.

The Soviet Union may have disintegrated 30 or more years ago, but it seems to have reproduced itself in the European Union. And having reproduced itself and expanded, this new European Union is now experiencing the same sort of mounting centrifugal forces that tore the Soviet Union apart.  More and more people want to escape from it.

One might almost say that if the centrally-planned Soviet Union confronted an anarchic, free-wheeling America at the end of WW2, the two have now more or less swapped places – or swapped ideologies – with the USA now well on its way to becoming a socialist state, particularly in California. And Europe is already a socialist state.

And Donald Trump is an American magnate who is setting out on the herculean task of restoring the USA to being an anarchic, free-wheeling, enterprising place rather than a planned and regulated and controlled society. For in the US Deep State, that I was writing about yesterday,  he’s up against something that is essentially concerned with planning and controlling society. For the military are always planning and controlling and regimenting.

This struggle between spontaneity and planning, between the individual and society, seems to swing first one way, and then the other. At one time anarchic individualism reigns, before being subdued by planned social collectivism, which then gives way once again to anarchic individualism. It seems to be a never-ending tug of war, going one way and then the other.

And the two sides in this struggle always seem to demonise each other. It always seems to be a struggle between black and white. Donald Trump is regularly described as being more or less a new Hitler (another thoroughly demonised figure). I’ve been listening to Jerome Corsi ‘decoding’ QAnon in recent months, and he talks regularly about ‘white hats’ versus ‘black hats’. The white hats are the good guys, and the black hats are the bad guys, and there seems to be no place in between for ‘grey hats’ or ‘beige hats’. And so in his demonology, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are the principal satanic figures, wearing the blackest of black hats, while Roseanne Barr may or may not be a black hat. And what is going on in the US intelligence agencies is like Mad Magazine’s Spy vs Spy, with the white hats in US military intelligence fighting the black hats in the CIA. The entiire US political system seems to be in a state of civil war. And in fact many commentators are saying that a real civil war is imminent.

Similar tensions seem to grip a great many nations these days. There has arisen in the UK, over the last couple of years, a deep division between the Brexiters and the Remainers.  And in Spain there’s a deep division between Catalan separatists and Spanish loyalists. And in Italy there’s division between the industrial Northern League and the rural south.  And these are all tensions within nations, rather than between nations. So much so that if a global war erupts, it looks likely to be a global civil war, with Americans fighting Americans, Englishmen fighting Englishmen, Spaniards fighting Spaniards, Italians fighting Italians. And we already see precisely this sort of civil war in Iraq and Libya and now Syria. Perhaps that’s how world wars start?

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The Deep State

A few days ago Donald Trump said he was pulling US forces out of Syria. Next day, pretty much, Syria’s Assad gassed a few dozen or few hundred people in Damascus, and a huge international outcry began, demanding that Assad be punished (and US forces remain in Syria). Tucker Carlson provided a penetrating analysis:

My take on it? Assad didn’t gas anyone. To go and kill hundreds of people in Damascus within hours of Trump’s announcement would have been an unbelievably stupid thing for Assad to do. So he didn’t do it. Somebody else did it (and poisoned Skripal as well), and did it in order to pin the blame on Assad and Putin, and keep US forces in Syria. What we’re seeing is an attempt by the US Deep State to bounce Trump into a war he doesn’t want to fight. It’s part of a power struggle that’s been going on in the USA since the populist Trump won a shock victory in the 2016 presidential election over the Deep State’s Hillary Clinton.

What is the Deep State? Every country has its deep state. America has a deep state, and so does Britain, and so does France, and Germany, and Russia, and China. There’s probably a deep state in the Seychelles. Most people in these countries worry about bread and butter issues like, well,… the price of bread and butter. But some people worry about the place of America or Britain or France or the Seychelles in the world. They don’t care about bread and butter: they care about keeping trade routes open, and projecting the power necessary to do this, and holding onto key strategic places.

And the interests of the deep state in any country can be quite different than those of the people of that country. They’re not actually opposed. But they’re different.

For example, why does Britain hold onto Gibraltar? It’s of no interest to anyone in Britain. It’s not a popular holiday destination. But Gibraltar is a vital British strategic possession. It provides Britain with a port at the mouth of the Mediterranean sea to protect the British trade that passes through the Mediterranean and Suez and on down through the Red Sea to India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. For the British Empire was (and in many ways still is) a trading empire. And it was vital to keep this trade route open, usually with manufactured British goods flowing east along it, and raw materials flowing west. For it was upon trade and industry that Britain’s wealth was built.

I mentioned the 1956 Suez crisis a few days ago. Suez was also a vital strategic British asset, because British trade passed along the bottleneck of the Suez canal. So it was only natural when Egypt’s Nasser threatened to take control of it that a joint French and British (and Israeli) armed force was sent there to try to secure it. For the British (and French and Israeli) deep states desperately needed it. But US president Eisenhower vetoed the operation. He had different ideas what needed to be done. And the USA had become far more powerful and influential than both Britain and France.

And that marked the end of the British Empire. Britain could no longer control its sea lanes. And it no longer needed a powerful navy, or a powerful army. The British Empire was instead subsumed into what was now in effect the American Empire. And thereafter it was was the US Navy that controlled the high seas, and it was the US Army that was deployed everywhere in the world to fight wars to keep the trade routes open – like in Korea, and Vietnam.

In this respect, the US deep state took over pretty much everything the British deep state used to do. But the American Empire was much larger than the old British Empire. For it included not just the entirety of the the old British Empire, but also both North and South America, and Western Europe, and Japan and South Korea. About the only things it didn’t control were the Soviet Union and Red China.

The American Empire was a trading empire just like the British Empire. If there was any difference between them, it was that the American Empire didn’t install governors in its satellite states. It allowed them to run their own affairs. Instead the US Navy controlled the seas that connected the satellites. The US Navy controlled both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Indian ocean and the Mediterranean sea (and both the Panama and Suez canals). If any client state got too far out of line, its trade links to the rest of the world could easily be cut, and it would be bankrupted.  Americans might elect their own representatives and senators and presidents, but the US deep state ran the world.

And this is where political fissures began opening up in the USA. There emerged a growing political divide between the US deep state in Washington and the American people, Because they had different interests, different concerns, and a completely different view of the world. Americans were primarily concerned with America, because that was where they lived. But the deep state always had a global outlook: it was concerned with the whole world.

And after 1945, Americans found themselves doing the kind of thing that the British used to find themselves doing. They found themselves being put in uniform and sent to fight in one god-forsaken country after another that most of them had never heard of. And that was what the antiwar protests of the 1960s were all about: Americans were getting fed up with being sent to fight and die for causes they couldn’t understand. (And at the same time, British boys stopped being sent to fight and die in those places. In another era, John Lennon and Paul McCartney would have been sent to fight in India or Burma. Instead, they could make music, and they did. The end of the British Empire marked the demise of (most of) the British deep state, and the liberation of ordinary Britons).

With the shock election of Donald Trump, the American people got a president who was going to serve their interests, and not those of the globally-powerful US deep state. And the struggle between Trump and the deep state has been bitter and acrimonious ever since he was elected. And it’s still far from clear who is going to win, as we have been witnessing over the past few days. If Trump wins, US forces will be pulled out of Syria. If the deep state wins, US forces will be thrown into Syria. We’ll find out pretty soon who wins.

One mistake by the US deep state was to start treating Americans in exactly the same way as it treated Venezuelans or Brazilians or Vietnamese: as people to be duped or tricked or bullied into doing what the deep state wanted. The EU deep state has been making the same mistake with the peoples of Europe. And people in all these countries are becoming aware that they’re being  lied to and propagandised and bullied by people with interests and aims quite different than theirs. Whereas once the interests of the deep state and the peoples they supposedly represented were pretty much the same, over the past 70 or more years they have steadily diverged from each other, to the point where the principal interest of the deep state is in itself.

The deep state was never accountable to anyone, in the way that the US congress and senate were accountable to the US people. Nor was there anything transparent about what it did: everything was secret. And it was probably exactly the same in Britain at the height of the British Empire: the real controllers of the British Empire, the people who made all the real decisions, were not elected MPs in parliament. They were shadowy figures. Most people had no idea who they were. And it was probably exactly the same at the height of the Roman Empire: the people who ran it were not the senators that the Roman people elected, and maybe not even the Roman emperors either.

The deep state is really concerned with the exercise of raw military power. That’s what armies and navies do. And that means that the deep state isn’t very good at diplomacy or with persuasion. If there’s a problem somewhere, they just send in the US marines. It might not be the best solution to the problem, but it’s the only one they know. But again, this is another reason why the deep state is increasingly distrusted: they do the same ham-fisted thing every time. The only way they know how to get things done is with lies and bullying and outright force.

All the politics of the western world is now becoming a confrontation between the localist peoples of Europe and America, and their globalist deep state political elites. They should be in accord with each other, but they’re not. And the deep state has been losing control. It can no longer get its voice heard. It can no longer control public opinion like it used to do.

And that’s why the deep state wants a war that will put US and British and French boys back in uniform, and stop them questioning their elders and betters in Washington and Brussels. It doesn’t matter who they fight. All that matters is that they be got fighting with somebody or other so that the deep state can restore and consolidate its dwindling power. The deep state needs enemies. For if there were no enemies, there’d be no need for all these fleets and armies, and no need of the deep state either. If Vladimir Putin won’t step up to play the role of mortal enemy, then Kim Jong Un will have to do instead, or Bashar al-Assad.

Will US and British and French boys be glad to hear the call to arms from their deep state political elites when it finally comes? I rather doubt it. This isn’t 1914. Nor even 1939.

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Why Believe Anyone?

Nik Nak (roobeedoo’s delightful name for Nisakiman) got out of hospital yesterday. I spoke to him at his daughter’s home. The way he described it, it was like he’d been released from prison. It had been driving him mad, being inside that faceless institution. So much so that he felt he had to recuperate simply from being there, never mind any malady he might have.

I hate hospitals. I’ve only ever spent a single night inside one, and I didn’t much like that. It’s not just their poisonous smoking bans that are now leaking out not just into the grounds of the hospitals, but into the streets beyond. I hate the architecture as well, with all the bland beige walls and floors, that are increasingly devoid of any humanity at all.

The way I see them, they’re like gigantic sharks. Once you’re inside them, you’re lucky if you ever get out. I can well imagine that lots of people go into them with something as minor as a cut finger, and end up with MRSA, or Ebola, or ‘flu, and come out in a box. In fact, I can imagine people going to visit relatives in them, bringing flowers and chocolates (I somehow suspect that flowers and chocolates are as banned as cigarettes inside hospitals these days), and ending up in the same ward, with one of their legs amputated or something.

I hate doctors too. I haven’t visited one for over 10 years. For all I know, if they ever ran any tests on me, they’d diagnose me as having COPD, rabies, and terminal chronic malaria. I’m sure they’d find something. Because they’re always looking for something. And they’ve got names for everything. Malaria. Bronchitis. PTSD. Pneumonia. Names that are almost diseases in themselves.

I think the main thing that gets me about doctors (that I’ve written about before) is that, in the past you went to see them because you thought you were ill, and now you’re supposed to go and see them because they think you might be ill. They run all these tests on people’s blood sugar and blood pressure and stuff, and then tell them that they’ve got a bad case of umphalumphitis. They’ve become the people who decide who’s ill and who isn’t. The patient no longer has a say. And increasingly they seem to be deciding that everybody’s unwell. Just being ‘overweight’ or ‘underweight’ is now just about as bad as having typhoid or cholera. And they see smoking and drinking as ‘epidemics’, of course. The more senior the doctor, as far as I can see, the more barking mad they’re likely to be.

My view is that I will decide whether I’m ill or not, because it’s my life and I’m the one living and experiencing it,, not them. And I have detailed inside knowledge of me of a kind that they’ll never have, even with all their thermometers and pressure gauges and needles. For them, I’m a foreign country that they can’t enter. They can only stand on the border, and look in using telescopes. Or hope for reliable reports emanating from the interior.

If I’d been Nik Nak, and been told I had diseases X, Y2, and Z3b, I’d probably not have believed them. Why should I believe them? Why should I believe anyone? We’re living in a world of fake news these days. And the medical profession is one of the biggest purveyors of it. We’re living in a world on the brink of being one in which nobody believes any authorities or experts or scientists about anything any more.

And increasingly I don’t trust anyone. I don’t trust the BBC. I don’t trust the government. I don’t trust Theresa May. I don’t trust Boris Johnson. Soon I think I may stop trusting Donald Trump, like Ann Coulter seems to have done, months after writing a book called In Trump We Trust.

Oh, and I don’t trust the Pope. Or Jean-Claude Juncker. Or Robert De Niro. Or Hillary Clinton (I never did trust her anyway). Or Woody Allen. Or Miles Mathis. Or Paul Krugman. Or Paul Volcker. Or Alan Greenspan. Or Ben Bernanke. Or Janet Yellen. Or Bitcoin. Or Google. Or Facebook. Or Amazon. Or the Democratic Party. Or the Republican Party. Or the Conservative Party. Or the Labour Party. Or the Liberal Democratic Party. Or the Royal Society of Physicians. Or the British Medical Association. Or the WHO. Or Greenpeace. Or Friends of the Earth. Or Oxfam. Or the United Nations. Or Brian May. Or Peter Gabriel. Or NASA. Or MI5. Or GCHQ. Or the CIA,. Or the NSA. Or the FBI. Or the DEA. Or any 3-letter ‘intelligence’ agency, for that matter. Or Microsoft. Or Oracle. Or IBM. Or Big Pharma. Or the Rockefeller Foundation. Or the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Or Freud. Or Karl Marx. Or Darwin.

I could fill the page with people and organisations I don’t trust. And I’d be hard pressed to fill a line or two with people or organisations I still do trust. Do I trust Alex Jones? Not really. Jerome Corsi? Not really. Michael Savage? Nope. Nigel Farage? Barely.

I thinking we’re heading into a world in which all authority has gone, and in which people only trust themselves and their own eyes.

I got listening last night to somebody I’d never heard of before called David Berlinski, talking about Darwinism:

He’s a mathematician and philosopher. And he was sceptical about Darwinism. And also about Richard Dawkins (who should have been on my list above) and Daniel Dennett (who should also have been on the list). I suppose I found it refreshing because I don’t like Darwin and Dawkins  and Dennett much either, but for different reasons than Berlinski. I believe in evolution – just not Darwin’s idea of evolution. And maybe I’ll stop believing in evolution one day.

Anyway, I think Nik Nak is to be highly commended for simply having  managed to get out of that damn hospital alive. I’m hoping to visit him next week in the company of Twentyrothmans, who’ll be bringing some potent single malt whisky. I’m thinking of bringing a few cigars. In my experience, a judicious combination of alcohol and tobacco can cure more or less anything.

And after that, I hope he’ll be on his way back to Greece, and sunshine, and ouzo, and carpentry, and those wonderful Greek doctors who just give you a couple of vitamin pills and cheerily tell you to get on with your life.

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