Friday, August 24, 2018

Clouds of Conflict: Republican pacifism? Liberal war-mongering?

Our topic this time is war. Who seems hell-bent to start one… while accusing their opponents of the same thing. 

Rightists are accusing liberals of ‘seeking war with Russia’… while liberals helplessly watch the right foment war with Iran.

== The war they want ==

As I’ve been warning for a year, a US-Iran war has long been a centerpiece of Putin-Murdoch-Trump plans. Moreover, GOP presidents almost always go to war mid-way through their first terms, especially when – as we now see – they are desperate for a distraction.

Is a US-Iran war ‘winnable’? Look at a map! After all the silly-useless-made-for-TV tomahawk pips are done, there is only one end-game to such a conflict. It ends with Vladimir Putin extending the Russian umbrella to deter Yankee aggression, making Iran a protectorate, giving the Kremlin what's been a core Russian dream for 300 years. Geopolitically, no other outcome is even remotely possible. Look... at... a... map.

Who wins? Maximally Putin, but also every tyrannical power, from Trump and Murdoch to the Iranian mullahs (who get the perfect excuse for their mis-governance and a rationale to crush their democratic modernist youth). But above all Vlad, who gets an Iranian satrapy and high oil prices. Who loses? Look in a mirror. 

How might it start, in the wake of Donald Trump’s direct attack in the Iranian economy? Already, Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats are stepping up harassment attacks on a U.S. fleet that -- since we achieved energy independence under Obama -- no longer has any sane reason to be in the Straits of Hormuz, except to draw an attack. 

All it will take is a spark. So be familiar with these terms. Look them up. Know them. Teach them to your neighbors.
"Reichstag Fire."
"Gleiwitz Incident."
"Tonkin Gulf Incident."
"Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction."
“Remember the Maine!”
“And the Lusitania!”
“But believe Hitlers, because they can be trusted! As in the Munich (Helsinki) ‘deals.’” 

(Or when "dealmaker" Two Scoops gave Kim Jong Un everything on his wish list, and in return got empty promises that soon vanished in smoke. The U.S. and its staunchest ally are harmed, as in every trumpian deal.)

Oh, then there’s a phrase "the lying press" ~ or ‘lugenpresse’ as Goebbels put it. (Showing where Rupert Murdoch gets his ideas.)

Tell your neighbors to be ready for the coming trumped-up provocation event.
Ask them – in advance -- if that would suffice to be their "red line."

== A pot, accusing a new kettle ==
Oh, but accusations of war fever fly both ways! The latest riff from the murdochian right is that any hostility toward the Russian mafia-oligarchy boils down to liberal ’war-mongering’. 

Even participating in NATO and ANZUS and other mutual defense treaties - that deterred aggression and kept the world’s greatest peace for 70 years - is now tantamount to fomenting World War Three.

“Better Russian than Democrat” said the T-shirt at a recent Donald Trump rally. This enlightening article compares Moscow's current cozy support of the US radical right to their 1930s subversion via the American far-left. There are no essential differences. Indeed, some of the very same men are using some of the very same methods against us, as they did back when they wore hammer-and-sickle pins and sang the Internationale. This time, though "it’s not a proletarian revolution. Instead, it’s a kleptocratic coup d’état: The modern Kremlin project seeks to undermine Western democracies, break up the E.U. and NATO, and put corrupt relationships rather than the rule of law at the center of international commerce."

Again, there is one demographic that will make all the difference in coming months — ten million or so decent-conservative neighbors who are not racist jerks, or science haters, yet who remain loyal to the GOP/confederacy out of habit, or by mainlining doses of uncut Hannity.

Losing just ten million from his fragile coalition is Rupert Murdoch’s (and Putin’s) worst nightmare. So peeling away just a couple is your mission. Yes, yours. Moreover, you’ll never know which insanity might be the last straw, letting you pry one or two of these “ostrich republicans” out of the madness. This “liberal war-mongering” thing is just loony enough that it might turn the trick.
Only here’s an irony! As we’re about to see, “liberal war-mongering” is not a new riff. Nor is it 100% without historical justification.

== Democrats were soft on communism? ==

For starters, Republicans can claim zero credit for “containing communism” during the Cold War. Sure, they hated the left, diving into wild, divisive and hallucinatory crazes like McCarthyism. But starting with Taft, Dewey, Dirksen and onward, the actual GOP objective was isolationism. Some even said: “Let Stalin have Europe, and good riddance.”

When it came to acting assertively to counter Soviet aggression, that was almost entirely Democrats, beginning with George Marshall, Dean Acheson, Harry Truman and so on. In fact, vigor for containment of Leninism was especially propelled by the US labor movement and the AFL CIO. As I show in my article: The Miracle of 1947.

Yes, Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan went along, though the latter two were zealous in seeking to make deals favorable to despotic leaders. And yes, the dems eventually went way too far in their eagerness to “contain,” falling for what we now know to be a well-planned trap in the quagmire of Vietnam. I’m not saying every Democratic reflex was executed wisely!

But what’s clear is that the GOP’s tendency toward isolationism and contempt for allies is nothing new. And they get no credibility or credit for the generally better world that emerged across the American Pax.

== Who benefits from war? ==

Look at the postings out there! Propelled by Kremlin-basement trolls and spinoffs from Fox News, the latest sally is for confederates to accuse America’s “deep state” - the FBI, civil service, intelligence agencies and U.S. military Officer Corps - of fomenting strife with Russia in order to make profits selling weapons!

Seriously. The very same guys yammering for war against Iran, and who quagmired us into Iraq and Afghanistan, are now the peaceniks denouncing any hostility to Russian aggression as motivated by War Profiteers!  (And many lefties are falling for it.)

Except… well, there’s a rub.

During the first World War, yes, there was some political manipulation of warring powers by spectacularly evil munitions makers, since that's what had to be replaced on the battlefield as massive numbers of shells were expended. But today's munitions are far more efficient. Contracts to replace a couple of hundred tomahawks ain't squat, nor worth risking damage to the home nation's policy and health. Nor worth the risk of getting caught.

Look at who actually benefited from the last three trumped-up GOP wars, in Iraq then Afghanistan, then Iraq again. It was not military contractors like Northrup, who do best with peacetime projects aimed at high-tech preparedness. (Note: levels of measurable military readiness are always better during democratic administrations. That’s always. And yes, I mean always.)

The only beneficiaries from those recent GOP wars were (1) the Saudis, of course, and (2) Bush-Cheney family companies that got sweetheart, no bid, logistics contracts to build giant U.S. bases filled with mess halls and video arcades, air conditioning and runways. Halliburton, Bechtel etc. made off with tens of billions in corrupt, “emergency” overcharges. (Along with the $12 Billion in raw cash bills that Cheney flew into Baghdad, never to be seen again.) And note this: our military folks hated all of it! But they saluted and obeyed.

There was a corrupt “deep state,” all right, but it was the GOP.  It was the Bush-Cheney clan. It was Fox.


Lloyd Flack said...

Typo, it's ANZUS, not ANZAC.

locumranch said...

It is a travesty that this thread about the undesirability of war fails to define what 'war' is, either by expression or by consequence.

AKA 'conflict', War is what our host most commonly refers to as the 'fair-level-open-equal' competitive playing field that cares only about effectiveness & outcome, but not a whit about morality, race, creed, ethnicity, intent, religion or political affiliation.

It is expressed as an attachment to hardened infrastructure, efficiency, all-inclusive policies, coordinated industry, centralised government & military intelligence.

It's consequences include near universal employment, uniformity of purpose, the enforcement of said 'uniformity of purpose' (aka 'the suppression of dissent'), economic stimulus & Pax Americana.

All Establishmentarians (Conservatives & Progressives) are war-mongers without exception.

And, thus, we are all subjected to a never-ending War on Drugs, Tobacco, the GOP, Terrorism, Male Toxicity, Poverty, Misogyny, Climate Change, Inequality, the Red Menace, Disease and what-have-you because of its expressions & consequences...

Until we go AWOL by turning on, tuning in & dropping out.

I, for one, am done. I'll be off-grid in 18 months. Give me a call some time if & when you're willing to declare a general armistice. Or, if you're ready to declare an all-out 'War on Space' which is perhaps the last & only war I'd consider getting behind.


Larry Hart said...

Bill Maher last night commenting on the Trump crowd's latest "I'd Rather Be Russian Than A Democrat" t-shirts:

I guess it's like, "Better red than well read."

Winter7 said...

If there were another Vietnam in Iran; that it happened that the Iranians were a hard nut to crack, and the war is extended and considering that it is a war of distraction; if Donald Trump tries to recruit the young people obligatorily to send them to war, could the young people refuse to go, under the excuses that everything is a trick of distraction? Because I guess that reason to refuse to be recruited is more acceptable than the old pretexts of the pacifists.
Moving to another subject:
It seems that Yemen has been crushed by the Saudis. A silent annexation that increases the Saudi power in the area. More ports. More military bases south of the peninsula.

Winter7 said...

A practical comment:
A couple of months ago, we bought some refrigerated pizzas in "COSTCO". When there were only two pieces left, I noticed that there were clusters of fly eggs everywhere on the pizzas.
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !. Huaggggg.!
I know that the pizzas already brought the eggs because in my house we did not leave the food uncovered. We put it in tied bags. In addition, I eliminate the flies that I detect inside my house quickly using a very effective trick.
So I do not recommend buying pizzas at COSTCO. Sometimes we assume that the prestige of a business is an insurance of quality and cleanliness. But I already verified that it is not like that.

David Brin said...

Winter7 Eeeeep!


Aw man. Just when locumranch seemed to be back on vitamins, he’s dropping out. I may be the only one here who’ll miss him… but I kinda will. May you find peace, son.

(BTW the war on drugs is being ended only in Blue states. The War on Tobacco lacked any downside and the right was wrong, wrong, wrong in all factual ways. Ditto the “war” on climate change (I’ve never heard that metaphor used). The war on misogyny was needed, but alas the “good side” has some… storm troopers... who do more harm than good. Perhaps leading to traumatized foes like L...

(But whatever, Go ahead and rail at metaphors. I’m talking about preventing the real thing. And rightists who slathered to support Bush vs Saddam… then yowled hate at that absurd lie-and-theft festival… but then leap to scream war fever when Trump calls… they will thus prove to lack even minimal sapience.)

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Aw man. Just when locumranch seemed to be back on vitamins, he’s dropping out. I may be the only one here who’ll miss him… but I kinda will.

He threatens to leave fairly often, but never keeps his promise.

If anything, I'm compassionate to a fault, but in his case (and I can't claim to have coined this phrase, but I'll gladly steal it) I'm out of fucks to give.

David Brin said...

Okay, are any of you guys habitual redditors? I found this travesty over there, but I do not want to sign in.

I did scrawl a rough response. Any of you who want can sign in and offer it on Reddit. But I cannot let myself get sucked in.

WODI = "What if Obama had Done It? So now DT tries to order a halt to those investigating him? (As Nixon did.) Can you imagine the shrieks if Clinton/Obama had tried that?

This clever confederate on reddit tries to make a case that the 25 year failure of Fox-Republicans and their Russian allies to nail the Clintons for any actual, tangible, indictable crimes is due to Deep State bias. He offers an alluring incantation by showing that the list of those who investigated the Clintons also includes some FBI/Justice/prosecutor/investigators who are now successfully pulling down one Trumpian after another, in bushels. He thus attributes to failure to find Clintonian dirt to those listed investigators -- like Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, etc., being 'biased.' The alternative explanation -- that one party was innocent and the other guilty -- is not even raised as a possibility.

(Note that almost every single 'biased' investigator he cites was a Republican appointee, as were nearly all the judges they pled before or who signed warrants.)

I admit, it's a terrific incantation-spell -- for today's average confederate, after all of the professions have been driven away , along with anyone schooled in logic. Alas, there is another explanation for this redditor's bias list... that this propagandist-kremlin-flunky conveniently left out the vastly greater numbers of Clinton-hounders who were and remain frenetic Republicans.

Dig this well. Half a billion dollars of mostly our money was spent — across 25 years — investigating the Clintons and Obamas, the most thoroughly probed humans in the history of our species. Every document scrutinized, nothing withheld, every file dissected, every micro assistant grilled.

Half of all subpoenas issued by the last five lazy-ass GOP Congresses were part of that futile, desperate search. Half! In one repetitious, pompously posing hearing after another. But Clinton/Obama never demanded the investigations stop, the way today's scaredy-cat toddler does, daily.

The Kochs and Mercers etc. offered "whistleblower rewards" in the TENS of millions for any Clinton-connected person to reveal a smoking gun and rat out alleged "secret Clinton deals and travesties." Not $130,000 but tens of millions! And oh, they did get lots of nibbles from folks in the Clinton orbit, eagerly offering "dirt," but there was never a single thing of use. Fox offered lucrative commentator posts and other incentives... and only got hot air. Never the sort of indictable evidence that the Mueller probe is getting DAILY on trumpists and other goppers, ranging from child molesters to money launderers to Kremlin stooges.

David Brin said...

Part II

But there's more. George Bush diverted federal investigators from anti-terror duties, before 9/11 to sift every federal filing cabinet for some smoking gun. Before... 9/11. Think about that. It should have been a huge scandal. But that extensive sifting across every filing cabinet and email found... nothing useful at all.

After all that, what did we wind up with? A husband fibbed about some third base adult-consensual infidelity... and the wife was caught using exactly the same sort of somewhat improper email system as Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, John McCain, Mike Pence, George Bush and Jared Kushner. That's... it.

Compare that to Mueller already filing more than a hundred charges against almost three score individuals with confessions and convictions already piling up. Daily we see behaviors that demand we ask: "WODI?" Secret meetings with hostile dictators, ongoing acts-of-war against our elections and infrastructure. We're finding the top GOP tiers are filled with boy-buggerers, pedophiles, playmate-bribers, casino-mafiosi, kremlin-stooges and monopolists.

We see a confederate right that's been fox-riled into howling - without a mote of evidence - for the heads of the "deep state" -- our 250,000 loyal professionals in the FBI, Intelligence Agencies and US military officer corps.

We see the risen Confederacy waging open war against every single fact-centered profession - name one exception.

And every single national strength that won us the Cold War is being systematically demolished, as if by an enemy occupier.

No member of the Greatest Generation that defeated Hitler, contained communism, built the great American Middle Class, joined strong unions, broke up monopolies, built strong alliances and adored FDR - not even the few republicans of that era - would shirk their duty to slap every nowadays republican hard, across the face, and call them traitors.

David Brin said...

Part III

But worst of all... what a whiner! The freaking president of the United States, who controls the government(!) with a friendly Congress and Court running interference, moans and shrieks and sobs daily because "the government" is after him in order to ... in order to... in order to show the people what's been hidden from them. That's it. The complaint of Two Scoops and the entire Fox Cabal. "Stop revealing stuff to the people!!!"

What can we make of the fact that GOP run Congresses for the last 15 years issued HALF of all their subpoenas searching for anything indictable on the Clintons, questioning everyone from hairdressers to doormen, and all they got is webs of Foxzoid conspiracy yarn and not one indictable, of any kind? Can it mean the most-probed humans in the history of our species might actually be... clean?

Oh no! Never that! Even though the Bill Clinton Administration was the first 8 year regime in human - not just American - history not to have a single major official even indicted for malfeasance of office. (The second -- in human history -- was the Obama Administration.)

Okay, okay. You have a theory to explain this failure. It's not 'investigator bias.’ But maybe the Clintons and Obamas etc are geniuses! Utterly movie-perfect evil masterminds, too smart to get caught! Well, then? If so, they are vastly, vastly competent, while republicans can't light a match from a lit candle and are left with several parsecs of futile conspiracy yarn. Why would you ever trust a burnt match to a party so incompetent?

Those are your two choices. Fools. Either the Clintons/democrats are innocent, or else so competent that maybe you chose the wrong side? (Especially since every metric of US national health did better under Clinton/Obama than under the Bushes.)

I pick innocent, because boy were they drooling incompetent in the 2016 election, to leave us in this mess, and allowing the risen-treasonous Confederacy and their Kremlin allies to take Washington.

WODI. Release the tax returns.

William H Calvin said...

Let me try out another way to think about why foreign leaders (not just Putin) might want to dumb down US leadership, as opposed to “get their man” in the White House, etc.
In international trade, especially for food, leaders might wish to ensure that they were the most-favored nation if the target nation suddenly reduced food exports−as Russia itself had to do in 2010 when that mega heat wave that killed 56,000 Russians also reduced the grain crop by one-third. Russia immediately banned food exports.
Recall the consequences? The bread riots killing 12,000 in Mediterranean countries that depended on imported food. That’s what synchronized the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. Now if you were the leader of any such country, you would like to ensure most-favored-nation status with supplier countries.
Guess what countries are major exporters of grains? U.S., Canada, and Australia.
The leaders of countries that might need to import will want sure-fire influence with exporter countries. Those without ethics may decide to interfere in elections, not to avoid war or take over territory, but to make sure of leadership they can lean on, whether with illogic or blackmail. Hillary was not such a candidate.
That second mega heat wave in 2010 (the first killed 70,000 people in West and Central Europe in 2003) and its aftermath surely got a lot of sometimes-dependent countries thinking about extreme weather and how to avoid being overthrown during bread riots. Perhaps Putin was one of them. But I think it a more general problem, one of the many side effects of extreme weather (more at

locumranch said...

What David forgets in the above incantation is that his 'Greatest Generation' is so named for those 'great citizens' who grew up during the equally 'great' depression & fought World War 2.

It was WAR that made them GREAT, just as it is WAR that makes all forms of progress possible, which is really all the justification that GREAT progressives & indignation addicts everywhere need to justify Civil War Part 2.

Forget the fact that (1) War is bloodshed, suffering & dying, (2) All bloodshed, suffering & dying is horrific, and (3) Baby Boomers like David have never known either 'war' or actual discomfort.

Knowing that the majority of human scientific advances spring from bloodshed, suffering & dying is enough to make these progressive posers don their Union Kepis and ASSUME that War is Great.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. And, then, there are those poor progressive saps whose lack of critical thinking skills only serve to confer greatness upon others.

Thanks to venerable progressives everywhere, MAGA is rapidly becoming a reality:

Let the Hate flow though you.


David Brin said...

Jesus. Vitamins or not, what an armchair warrior romantic of stunning immorality.

Four years out of fifty when they radically changed America, that's the fraction the GGs spent at war.

Defeating the gilded oligarchy and surviving Depression and choosing liberalism over communism.
Crushing Hitler
Containing Communism.
Building infrastructure and the most educated, pragmatically effective populace the world ever saw.
Spreading opportunity and ending waste of talent.
More entrepreneurship than all of human history combined.
More science than all of human history combined.
More more wealth-generation than all of human history combined.
More incredibly varied art than all of human history combined.
Taking humanity to the moon.
Beginning the long road of truly modern justice...
Evading feudalism one more time.

Out of all these accomplishments, one... just one... was about war. All the rest was about crafting the longest and best and most wonderful general peace the world ever saw.

Oh, but you Bannonites want it all to go to flames! In an era of nukes, viruses and all that. What imbeciles. We survivors will hunt you down for inciting it. Or better yet, we will thwart your vile plans and build a real civilization.

I've changed my mind. Off with you. You are a waste of my time.

Zepp Jamieson said...

We don't want war with Russia. No sane person does. We can't invade them, and they can't invade us, and any other type of war ups the odds of a general nuclear conflagration.
Putin is interfering with western nations on a grand scale, destabilising and undermining. And yes, I'm well aware America has done the same many times in many places since the end of the Civil War. That doesn't make Putin right.
But if we want to avoid war, we have to push back, and make him be at least more circumspect. America may not have a credible moral justification for this, but it has a solid strategic justification. If Putin gets his way enough, war is inevitable. If we can contain him now, we can avoid that war.

David Brin said...

Again, the entity we are at war with is not "Russia." It is a klepto-mafia-oligarch gang that now controls all Russian state assets including nukes.

Their aim is not Russian hegemony. That boat has sailed. Demographic collapse and Putin's secret fire sale of Siberia mean they know there's zero chance we'll all be speaking Russian when it all pans out. But if Putin and the Saudis and Murdochs and Mercers and others can crush open, accountable, democratic rule or impartial law, then a true, worldwide council of mafia clans can rule. And the top Corleones will be those who have nukes.

Yes, Putin's Corleonskis will start out speaking Russian and operating out of the Kremlin. But their sons will be princes of the planet and spend very little time there.

I might be wrong! It could be worse. Read DAY OF THE OPRICHNIK.

George Carty said...

"Better Russian than Democrat" reminds me more of the "Better Hitler than Blum" of 1930s French right-wingers.

It seems that like the Vichyites, today's Trump supporters hate their liberal countrymen so much that they are willing to sell out their country to an enemy dictator in order to crush them.

Oh, and isn't the way in which Trump supporters deny that Trump is corrupt rooted mostly in the fact that they are using a totally different definition of "corruption"?

"Corruption, to the fascist politician, is really about the corruption of purity rather than of the law. Officially, the fascist politician’s denunciations of corruption sound like a denunciation of political corruption. But such talk is intended to evoke corruption in the sense of the usurpation of the traditional order." -- Jason Stanley , How Fascism Works

Marshall Boice said...

Powerful essay about information wars by stonekettle's Jim Wright. Please read. I'm sure the Dr is already at work writing a response or incorporating it into his net post.

Zepp Jamieson said...

"Better Russian than Democrat"

You have to admit, those T-shirts save a lot of time when you are facing someone and you are trying to decide if they are a prime-A jackass or not.

reason said...

David having thought about a bit, I think is not so much expertise that is the target, it is something more meta, it is objectivity.

Jon S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon S. said...

"David having thought about a bit, I think is not so much expertise that is the target, it is something more meta, it is objectivity."

It's become a very popular quote on Twitter over the past couple of weeks:

The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

locumranch said...

Devoid of irony, the progressive becomes the conservative after certifying 70 years worth of sociopolitical change as improvement while resisting additional sociopolitical change as undesirable.

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it.

And now, you sad little progs who thought that progress must surely end with you, it's our turn to light it and it's your turn to fight it in a futile attempt to conserve your beleaguered status quo.

Fight on, you Nouveau Conservatives, you, because the Steamroller of Progress waits for no man, woman or child. Squish!!


David Brin said...

Off the vitamins... and zzzzzzzzzz...

Winter7 said...

¿Am I allowed to do an exercise in literary imagination on the subject of Donald's betrayal?
There are several ways to try to solve the disaster caused by Donald Trump and other conspirators. Of course, always try to find a peaceful solution. All peaceful options. But citizens of the United States and other countries are not usually the ones who make the decisions. I think there is a possibility that you have not considered. (Or already talk about it?) (I need double dose of vitamins and antioxidants)
I think there is a possibility that some honest generals will realize the colossal magnitude of the damage caused by Donald Trump's betrayal. Then, those generals will meet in secret and will agree on the measures that need to be carried out. (temporary, perhaps only for one year). Two months later, the following happens:

A) The white house and several bases are taken by assault. After a battle of almost an entire day, the white house falls into the hands of the army.

B) Donald Trump is captured elsewhere in Washington, when he was trying to escape through the exit of a tunnel. Officials who had been appointed by Donald Trump are dismissed.

C) Steve Bannon and a lot of Republican leaders are arrested. Many followers of Bannon die when resisting the arrest. Bannon commits suicide in prison.

D) Fox News is closed, and the executives and owners of the company are arrested.

E) New generation missiles fall on Moscow and other Russian sites in never before seen quantities. In a single day, more explosive force falls on Moscow than all the force used in all the wars of humanity.

F) Nuclear missiles strike in relentless sequence all the silos and Russian airbases. Special commandos have taken control of the mobile missiles and quickly receive the help of special forces paratroopers. China; Iran and North Korea threaten the United States, but do not launch attacks after mobilizing their fleets.

G) Armed units of NATO enter Russian territory. They do not go to Moscow. There is nothing there anymore. Without the support of the Russian air force, what remains of the Russian army falls in two months.

H) After the Russian surrender, NATO is busy taking Russian civilians to safe areas.

I) There is an altercation between the American and Chinese fleet, when Chinese troops attempt to land in Russian territory. The tension between the United States and China increases. An American destroyer is hit by hypersonic anti-ship weapons. The Chinese destroyer is hit by a new type of weapon. The Chinese ship does not sink, but almost all the crew have died aboard.

J) China finally withdraws from Russian territory.

K) In the United States, rebels who call themselves "confederate" declare several independent states and the Confederates take to the streets armed, waving confederate flags and swastikas. Thousands of people belonging to different minorities are lynched by the crowd. Army troops stormed the government houses of rebel states. After a month of fighting, the Confederates fall, overwhelmed by precision bombing. The leaders who motivated the lynching of civilians are arrested and sentenced by military courts.

L) The military junta, orders modifications to the constitution, to cut all the amendments that allowed electoral fraud in the past. The vote counting machines are renewed and put under the control of the army. A new amendment has been issued. "Whoever has the most votes wins." A majority in the congress is no longer required. Other changes are made to ensure that candidates are never again followers of someone malignant.

M) New elections are held. Democrats win by overwhelming majority.

N) The world enters an era of peace. The army abandons power and puts itself back under the control of the congress.

Of course. I do not want this to happen. But it is one of the possible scenarios, given the current circumstances. And of course. Many other things could happen instead of this.

Winter7 said...

The same previous text but in Spanish:

¿Se me permite hacer un ejercicio de imaginación literario en el tema de la traición de Donald?
Existen varias maneras de intentar solucionar el desastre causado por Donald Trump y otros conspiradores. Desde luego, siempre hay que intentar la solución pacífica. Todas las opciones pacíficas. Pero los ciudadanos norteamericanos y de otros países, generalmente no somos los que tomamos las decisiones. Pienso que existe una posibilidad que no han considerado. (O ya les hable de eso? ) (necesito doble dosis de vitaminas y antioxidantes)
Creo que existe la posibilidad de que algunos generales honestos se den cuenta de la magnitud colosal del daño causado por la traición de Donald Trump. Entonces, esos generales se reunirán en secreto y acordarán las medidas que es necesario llevar a cabo. (temporales; quizás solo por un año). Dos meses después, ocurre lo siguiente:
A) La casa blanca y varias bases son tomadas por asalto. Tras una batalla de casi todo un día, la casa blanca cae en manos del ejército.
B) Donald Trump es capturado en otro lugar de Washington, cuando intentaba escapar por la salida de un túnel. Funcionarios que habían sido designados por Donald Trump son destituidos.
C) Steve Bannon y una gran cantidad de líderes republicanos son arrestados. Muchos seguidores de Bannon mueren al resistirse al arresto. Bannon se suicida en prisión.
D) Fox News es clausurado, y los ejecutivos y dueños de la empresa son arrestados.
E) Misiles de nueva generación, caen sobre Moscú y otros sitios de Rusia en cantidades nunca antes vistas. En un solo día, caen sobre Moscú más fuerza explosiva que toda la utilizada en todas las guerras de la humanidad.
F) Misiles nucleares golpean en secuencia implacable todos los silos y bases aéreas rusas. Comandos especiales han tomado el control de los misiles móviles y rápidamente reciben el auxilio de paracaidistas de las fuerzas especiales. China; Irán y corea del norte amenazan a los Estados Unidos, pero no lanzan ataques tras movilizar sus flotas.
G) Unidades blindadas de la OTAN entran en territorio ruso. No van hacia Moscú. Ya no hay nada ahí. Sin el apoyo de la fuerza aérea rusa, lo que queda del ejército ruso cae en dos meses.
H) Tras la rendición rusa, la OTAN se ocupa de llevar a los civiles rusos a áreas seguras.
I) Hay un altercado entre la flota norteamericana y china, cuando tropas chinas intentan desembarcar en territorio ruso. La tensión entre Estados Unidos y china aumenta. Un destructor norteamericano es alcanzado por armas anti-buque hipersónicas. El destructor chino es alcanzado por un nuevo tipo de arma. El barco chino no se hunde, pero han muerto casi todos los tripulantes abordo.
J) China finalmente se retira de territorio ruso.
K) En los estados unidos, rebeldes que se llaman a sí mismos “confederados” declaran varios estados independientes y los confederados salen a las calles armados, ondeando banderas confederadas y esvásticas. Miles de personas pertenecientes a diversas minorías son linchados por la multitud. Tropas del ejército toman por asalto las casas de gobierno de los estados rebeldes. Tras un mes de combates, los confederados caen, abrumados por los bombardeos de precisión. Los líderes que motivaron los linchamientos de civiles son arrestados y condenados por tribunales militares.
L) La junta militar, ordena modificaciones a la constitución, para cortar todas las enmiendas que permitieron fraudes electorales en el pasado. Las máquinas de conteo de votos son renovadas y puestas bajo el control del ejército. Una nueva enmienda ha sido emitida. “Quien tenga la mayoría de votos es el que gana”. Ya no se requiere mayoría en el congreso. Otros cambios son hechos para asegurar que nunca más los candidatos sean secuaces de alguien maligno.
M) Las nuevas elecciones se llevan a cabo. Los demócratas ganan por mayoría abrumadora.
N) El mundo entra a una era de paz.

David Brin said...

Winter7, while your scenario might make for a lurid, pulse-pounding novel, like GHOST FLEET, it is far beyond any remote possibility. You can’t be blamed for not knowing any US military officers. But when it comes to the ones I’ve met, obedience to civilian authority is almost a religion to them. When they retire, they sometimes express political opinions. But you can see them wince over a broken habit, even then.

One could imagine your scenario happening only if the civil war has already gone hot, as in TEARS OF ABRAHAM.

Larry Hart said...


Your scenario is much like the plot of the book and movie Seven Days In May except that the reader would be rooting for the other side to win.

Winter7 said...

I certainly do not know the officers of the US Army.
I know that the American army can not be compared to the old Roman army, but if we only refer to the issue of obedience, then we can make some comparisons.
As I remember reading. The Roman army was extremely loyal, but when Emperor Caligula humiliated the centurions' honor by giving them humiliating nocturnal passwords; by killing one of the sons of a senior centurion and treating them as women, the centurions decided to kill him, overwhelmed by the emperor's depravity:

“On 24 January then, just past midday, Gaius, seated in the Theatre, could not make up his mind whether to adjourn for lunch; he still felt a little queasy after too heavy a banquet on the previous night. However, his friends persuaded him to come out with them, along a covered walk; and there he found some boys of noble family who had been summoned from Asia, rehearsing the Trojan war-dance. He stopped to watch and encourage them, and would have taken them back to the Theatre and held the performance at once, had their principal not complained of a cold. Two different versions of what followed are current. Some say that Chaerea came up behind Gaius as he stood talking to the boys and, with a cry of 'Take this!' gave him a deep sword-wound in the neck, whereupon Cornelius Sabinus, the other colonel, stabbed him in the breast. The other version makes Sabinus tell certain centurions implicated in the plot to clear away the crowd and then ask Gaius for the day's watchword. He is said to have replied: 'Jupiter', whereupon Chaerea, from his rear, yelled: 'So be it!' - and split his jawbone as he turned his head. Gaius lay writhing on the ground. 'I am still alive!' he shouted; but word went round: 'Strike again!' and he succumbed to1 thirty further wounds, including sword-thrusts through the genitals. His bearers rushed to help him, using their litter-poles; and soon his German bodyguard appeared, killing several of the assassins and a few innocent senators into the bargain”
Suetonius Life of Gaius (Caligula)

So that. I wonder what happens in the minds of army officers who have to continually endure the insanity of Emperor Donald Trump. Where is the breaking point of these officers? Are there special things that those officers have had to keep quiet about? How far has the patriotic honor been led into unbearable tension? The tension of having to decide between being a patriot or the concealer of a demented emperor.

David Brin said...

And hence I thanks God for the US Secret Service. The real nightmare is Donald Trump as a martyr.

Zepp Jamieson said...

The military is always presumed to be loyal until it isn't. A powerful military is a dangerous tool, one that can turn on the hand of the person wielding it.
I find the possibility of a military coup against Trump to be remote, but not outside the realm of possibility.
We know that Dominionists, who by definition are not loyal to the civilian authority of the United States, dominate in the Air Force. How many of them are in the other branches?

Treebeard said...

The problem with liberalism is that it's at war with history and human nature, so it's always going to be fighting on some front or another. To actually have a peaceful world (culturally and psychologically, not just militarily) you're gonna need a different worldview than Enlightenment Cult liberalism; something capable of accepting life and the world as it is, rather than as a war to be fought or a problem to be solved. Maybe something truly radical and contrarian, like Taoism:

"Do you want to improve the world?
I don't think it can be done.

The world is sacred.
It can't be improved.
If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it."

“The world belongs to those who let go.”

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Brin said...

Bah, no matter how many times we prove them wrong, the followers of Hobbes and Rousseau cannot grasp the balanced approach of Locke. The reason is obvious. To understand and use Locke or Adam Smith or the Enlightenment or even America, you must be able to grok the meaning of a Positive Sum Game. The dreamy Rousseauians can't wrap their heads around it. But like Thoreau or many libertarians, they are essentially harmless.

Treebeard is a Hobbesean. We're all shitty would be cheaters and the thing that worked so well for 200 years - flat-fair-open accountability systems CAN'T possibly work! It can't. "My dad wouldn't accept accountability! It flowed one way, from his belt to my heinie and from my fist to the kids I bullied."

So frantic does the positive sum notion make them, as they blink incomprehendingly, that they would toss out all the myriad benefits just to have a king and priests in charge again. Even knowing they'd rule stupidly, as they did every time across 6000 years. Because that's what horrid humans deserve. Speak for yourself. We're not responsible for your mental limitations, sir. We can see positive sum and how it gave us more than all other cultures combined, by orders of magnitude.

We're not responsible for your mental limitations, sir.

David Brin said...

Zeep it's true the USAF is infested... as the Navy seems the most free of such madness.
Sure, it is one reason I fear Pence. He'll soothe some officers back from their tense balancing act. And their sighs of relief will be our danger.

locumranch said...

Fukiyama's 'End of History' fallacy runs deep on this site.

Their insistence that "History ENDS with us" echoes the chants of the Luddites.

I'm sure the Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Portugeuse, Brits & circa-1980 cast of 'Fame' felt the same way when their empires were ascendant.

I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly -- High

I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry -- Fame

I'm gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a
-- Sigh


Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Winter7 said...

Treebeard, you say:
“The world is sacred.
It can't be improved.
If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it."
“The world belongs to those who let go.”
I think you are showing the greatest interest of the feudal ones: Prevent someone from opposing the plundering of our world.
Oh yes. Undoubtedly, those of the extreme right would be very happy if we ignore them and do nothing to stop the looting; theft, abuses and slavery. (if slavery exists and is most common in Latin America and Africa and the Arab countries and in Asia) (almost the entire world).
How can you discourage us? The actions of men with honor arise because those actions are the only option and not because we act under the drunkenness of anger or fear. (What will the translator do with that long sentence?)

Winter7 said...

You forget the plundering of Rome by the almost slaves Visigoths in 410.
You forget the fall of the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople.
You forget the fall of the Macedonian empire.
You forget the fall of the Carthaginian empire.
Forgot the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba in Spain.
There was not a single occasion in history, when the rulers of an empire knew that their reign was about to end. If they had known, they would have escaped or taken urgent action. They never did it; because the rulers, full of self-centeredness and depravity, never had the wisdom to glimpse the future. The depraved followers of fascist leaders also lack the ability to see the proximity of the disaster.

David Brin said...

All feudal-corrupt despotisms of the sort we rebelled against, traitors.

None ever had a 250 year run of ever-increasing prosperity, knowledge and freed, escaping any sign of malthusian collapse and correcting most ecological errors.

None gave the world a 70 year peace in which 90% of families never knew or even glimpse war. All these lists only reinforce how different we are, and how much hinges on us preventing a return to grunting beastliness and priests and kings.

Guys! Didn't he say he was going away for a while?

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Guys! Didn't he say he was going away for a while?

Are you also surprised that the sun rose this morning and that water is wet?

Remember the Geico commercial. "If you're locumranch, you lie. It's what you do."

Dr Brin in the main post:

Oh, then there’s a phrase "the lying press" ~ or ‘lugenpresse’ as Goebbels put it. (Showing where Rupert Murdoch gets his ideas.)

It does suggest a good anti-meme, though.


I had thought I invented that one, but it's out there on Twitter already.

Winter7 said...

Of course, in the United States, the only thing that must fall is the feudal leaders. The American nation and its democracy must be protected with determination and courage by those who know that true democracy is the only way to happiness.
We must find the most effective methods to return to the American people, the true values that can impel the nation towards a future where prosperity and happiness are inalienable rights, defended with fidelity by all institutions.
If to reach that future we must fight against all Holnists in the world, then so be it.

By the way. I clarify to Locumranch that I am not a follower of the Luddites. I love technology, especially if it is very advanced.

Winter7 said...

¿Did you realize that Donald Trump's depravations are expanding and affecting behavior in the animal kingdom?


Tony Fisk said...

@winter7, for some perspective, "unnatural" sexual behaviour was not invented by the resident, and has been documented in every phylum in the animal Kingdom.

Larry Hart said...

Off of this topic, but topical for Dr Brin...

I assume you've heard of this, but is it worth commenting on?


"The first Gateway is about the moon, but I think the second Gateway, being a deep-space transport, again using commercial and international partners, enables us to get to Mars," Bridenstine said. "What we don't want to do is go to the surface of the moon, prove that we can do it again, and then be done.

"We want to go to stay. And the Gateway, in my view — I've been convinced — enables us to take advantage of commercial and international partners in a more robust way so we are there to stay, it enables us to get to more parts of the moon than ever before, and it enables us to get to Mars," he said. "There is no other architecture that I have been presented with, given the current budgets that we have, that enable all of that."

Zepp Jamieson said...

@ Livens 100

I think "Two Scoops" refers to Trump's rather prominant Moobs.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Dr. Brine wrote, " the Navy seems the most free of such madness."

My knowledge of Navy items is a few decades out of date, but I find it difficult to imagine Dominionists establishing themselves in that culture.

The Air Force does have a counter-Dominionist movement growing. And in civilian life, I read today of a fairly large group devoted to making safe and effective at-home abortions available to all who want them. Americans may not rebel against corporate corruption, but they will rebel against theocratic control.

Larry Hart said...

@livens100 and @Zepp,

Naw, it's more specific than that. I'm not familiar with the direct reference, but others here have discussed Benedict Donald's apparent practice of serving only one scoop of ice cream to White House guests, while taking two for himself.

David Smelser said...

Here is a CNN article explaining that everyone gets 1 scoop, except Trump who gets two.

Cormac Williams said...


Larry Hart said...

Heh. (emphasis mine)


Mr. McCain’s admirers made clear their wishes that Mr. Ducey tap somebody as independent and willing to criticize the president as the departed senator, whose last high-profile moment in public life was to excoriate Mr. Trump’s July meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president.”

“I like senators whose minds weren’t captured,” said Senator Jeff Flake, the state’s other senator, repurposing Mr. Trump’s caustic attack on Mr. McCain’s Vietnam service and appealing to his party to “get away from this personality cult.”


Alfred Differ said...

@locumranch | You are kinda ignoring the obvious when it comes to ‘history ending’. The demise of the Dutch and British empires was different than what happened to the Romans, Greeks, Spanish, and so on.

As measured in modern US dollars, the average real income for people through most of history is about $3/day/person. Much of what people needed they made themselves like food if they were farmers. The rest they traded to acquire. At this level, one has just enough to get buy and live slightly above the bare minimum. It’s a peasant’s life, though. It didn’t take much to push them into famine or refugee status.

At the core of historical empires, the average real income for ‘citizens’ able to benefit from the empire was around $6/day/person. The lords and priests made far more, but the average person at the core of the empire benefited by being at the hub of a trading system. This income doesn’t sound like much to people alive today, but it is a HUGE improvement. It is a 2X improvement and enough to avoid being pushed into famine much of the time. It is possible to save something at that income level. It is possible to feed a few extra mouths too. Civilization/Empire is generally good for the growing population… if you live at the core of the empire.

The Dutch and British empires were different. That 2X improvement became 3X for the Dutch and applied broadly. One did not have to live near the core of the trading empire to see the benefit. At that level, the Dutch were able to withstand a world power (Habsburg Spain) and still grow. They even toppled an English royal family from power and set up a ‘friendly’ replacement. When the English went Dutch, they returned the favor and eventually displaced them. The English did what the Dutch did, but a little better and real incomes went even broader.

It’s a huge, huge deal when millions of people live at 2-3x above the old average. Savings get stashed away. Babies get fed. Famines just stop. Education gets purchased. What they did is a huge @#%#ing deal that did not vanish when their empires fell or dissolved.

Today, the real income improvement has broadened so far it is world-wide. The average person alive today is around 16x above $3/day/person. In the US it is between 48x and 100x or 300x depending upon how one accounts for product quality improvements. The lords at the top are making astronomical amounts as usual, but the rate of growth of our real income is faster than women can produce babies. They are producing them at a much lower rate than what they CAN do, so wealth is piling up among all of us.

In this sense, history has ended. This has not been seen before.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin and Zepp,

What gives you the impression that the Air Force which is the most technically advanced service is dominated by religious Neanderthals. On top of that you compare them to the Navy which is traditionally the most hidebound of the military when it comes to new systems, methods and thinking. Can you cite some studies from reputable sources or is it "I met once a guy in the Air Force that believed in God and I drew a conclusion". The Air Force is the service that believes in Space as the future and is the most far-seeing of them all. In this case I would say prove it or retract it.

David Brin said...

Dang. Glimmers of hope. This Trump appointment, though initially unqualified, has proved intelligent, curious and a good listener/questioner. It is way too soon to be optimistic, but NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is starting to sound kind of like a sapient person.

"The first Gateway is about the moon, but I think the second Gateway, being a deep-space transport, again using commercial and international partners, enables us to get to Mars," Bridenstine said. "What we don't want to do is go to the surface of the moon, prove that we can do it again, and then be done.

"We want to go to stay. And the Gateway, in my view — I've been convinced — enables us to take advantage of commercial and international partners in a more robust way so we are there to stay, it enables us to get to more parts of the moon than ever before, and it enables us to get to Mars," he said. "There is no other architecture that I have been presented with, given the current budgets that we have, that enable all of that."

Okay, I've been clear that I think GOP moon-mania has no basis in fact or science or profit or reason. I prefer the wealth of trillions to be had from asteroids. But the Gateway is the overlap between all the goals. Since others - China, Russia, India, Europe, billionaires - are desperate for their symbolic rite of passage - (“Look at us, we’re grownups now with moon footprints too!”) - then let them rush to that dusty-useless plain, while we sell them tourist services via the Gateway. “(Welcome to our old Moon. Now you kids be safe down there.”)

But the Gateway will study the Moon so well, we'll find out if I'm wrong. Meanwhile, the Gateway can be a lab to study asteroid riches and to learn methods we’ll need, to get to Mars. A win-win.

Let our “commercial and international partners” do all the stuff they can do, and let’s do things that only America can do. Footprint fetishism is for adolescents.

David Brin said...

Mr. Fenton, Colorado Springs has become the absolute Mecca of right wing fundamentalism in America and there are massive efforts there to "get to know" almost every cadet. I am big on wagers, when the matter - if settled - will make a difference. In this case, I recall reading plenty of articles about the fundie insertion into USAF, especially through congressional appointments.

The NAVY rides tight herd on such appointments and regularly refuses many that are not qualified.

And no, a service that runs a dozen aircraft carriers, any one of which might explode at any moment if careless 19 year olds aren't watched with doting care from mature CPOs... the service that gave us Admirals Rickover and Muller and that saved all our lives by providing the real deterrent during the Cold War... give us more such "hidebound."

Zepp Jamieson said...

Douglas Fenton wrote, "What gives you the impression that the Air Force which is the most technically advanced service is dominated by religious Neanderthals?"
They aren't stupid, or illiterate. They are, however, Dominionists, and believe that Jesus has primacy over the Constitution, which was written to establish God's Kingdom on Earth.
They might be crazy, but they are technologically advances and adept at manipulation and politicking.

Lloyd Flack said...

Douglas Fenton, there is such a thing as an anti-science technophile. These are people fascinated by technology that give lip-service to valuing science but turn against science when it shows that some of their enthusiasms are not good ideas. I see surprisingly many space travel enthusiasts who are also climate change denialists. Being a religious zealot is not incompatible with enthusiasm for technology. Now I don't know why your Air Force has became a victim of this infestation but this is far from the first time that I have heard of it.

Darrell E said...

The USAF, very arguably the most infested though the other branches of the service have infestations as well, became a victim of fundie infestation because quite a few years ago a group of fundie leaders got together and decided with malice aforethought that getting people beholden to their religious ideals into the office corps of the US military would be of great aid in advancing their causes. They have had some success in executing their plans. The US Army has the next largest infestation after the USAF. The fundies were most successful with the USAF Academy. This was all covered pretty thoroughly by investigative journalists some years ago and many incidents of fundie officers making asses of themselves made the news. Google is your friend. It took two searches and less than 5 minutes to come up with enough reading on the topic to keep me busy for a week.

jim said...

Wow, that is pretty dehumanizing. I don’t know why you are so bigoted against evangelical Christians.

I mean you certainly can disagree with them and oppose their priorities without referring to them as sub-human vermin.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Jim wrote: "I don’t know why you are so bigoted against evangelical Christians." I can't speak to what opinions Darrell E might have on evangelical Christians, but we're talking about Dominionists, which is another breed of cat. They flat-out deny the primacy of the People, and state that their god is the true ruler of America. That makes them, by definition, disloyal, and their presence in the ranks of the military can therefore be characterised as an infestation.

jim said...

It is not at all unusual for religious people to put what they understand as God's rules above the rules people make. Martin Luther King Jr. thought that and got man's rules to change to be closer to what he thought was God's rules.

These Dominionists are people not vermin.
They are American citizens not pests
They volunteered to serve their country and risk their lives doing it and do not deserve to be treated like an infestation that needs to be exterminated.

Now I don't agree with their understanding of the divine nor their political goals but they do have every right to believe what they do and to work (peacefully) towards the goals they find important.

Zepp Jamieson said...

If people who are disloyal to their country are in the armed forces, that's an infestation. They are NOT serving their country--quite the opposite. They wish to make the country the property of whatever twisted notion of a god they wish to inflict upon the rest of us.
Certainly they have the right to believe what they want. But when they seek to impose those beliefs on the rest of us, we have the right to stop them.

Larry Hart said...


These Dominionists are people not vermin.
They are American citizens not pests

The musical "Hamilton" has a refrain that explains why liberals might refer to right-wing fanatics in such a manner.

And you know what?
I learned that from you.

jim said...

Yes you certainly do have the right to oppose them.

But I really do believe that you will be far more successful in opposing them if you treat them as people you disagree with rather than an infestation (that needs to be exterminated).

Larry Hart said...


I don't think anyone used the word "exterminated" except for you. How about "needs to have the harm they can do contained"?

Darrell E said...


You are welcome to your opinions about religion and religious believers, as we all should be. No, I don't consider any humans, no matter their religious beliefs, to be inhuman. I do recognize though that humans can be really shitty. I don't have any obligation to be kind or understanding to other humans who have amply demonstrated that they aren't going to let people like me reason or understand them out of being really shitty.

If you are reasonably informed about the situation with Dominionists and their confreres attempting to sufficiently infiltrate the military in order to help realize their goals of achieving things like a US theocracy and whatever actions they believe will bring on the End Times (hint, involves war and killing lots of people), then yeah, infestion is quite reasonably descriptive. And you have woefully mischaracterized the people I'm talking about. Now, you might argue about how successful they've been, but about their intentions? There is very little doubt and it's on the record. And they have achieved a certain measure of success. Sure, they're human. So what? They are also dangerous crack-pots. I wouldn't want to live in a society that didn't allow them the freedom to be crack-pots but that doesn't mean I have to be "nice" to them.

jim said...

Do you think that you might be learning the wrong lesson?
Dehumanizing your opponents is a preliminary step to justifying brutal inhumane treatment of them. Is that what you and Zepp and Darrell really want? (I don't think so, but could be wrong)

For me, recognizing the humanity of the people I disagree with makes it a lot easier to live with them.

Larry Hart said...


Do you think that you might be learning the wrong lesson?

That we've been losing so much I'm tired of losing?

Yeah, maybe.

For me, recognizing the humanity of the people I disagree with makes it a lot easier to live with them.

Sounds like you'd make a good liberal.

There's a difference between theory and practice, though. Recognizing the humanity of Nazis who want me tortured to death doesn't make them easier to live with.

There's also the inconvenient fact that dehumanizing opponents and calling for their extermination has been a successful Republican path to control of all three branches of government and most states.

jim said...

If you just called them dangerous crackpots that need to be opposed I would not have said anything (because I agree). I really was the use of the word "infestation " that I have a lot of trouble with.

Larry Hart said...


Dehumanizing your opponents is a preliminary step to justifying brutal inhumane treatment of them.

Or maybe of recognizing that they intend brutal inhumane treatment of me.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Quoting Jim: "you treat them as people you disagree with rather than an infestation (that needs to be exterminated). "

You can stop smearing me now. I have not and will not call for the extermination of anyone, and to pretend that I did is vicious and dishonest.

Zepp Jamieson said...

"For me, recognizing the humanity of the people I disagree with makes it a lot easier to live with them."

Is that why you are attributing to us the characteristics of the Nazis, or the Pol Pot regime?

matthew said...

Remember that Jim is not arguing here in good faith. He is sealioning.

I suspect that he is here specifically to troll and waste our time, like both loco and our nazi ent. We have had many such over the years, (car sitter, the zorgon dude that got banned). Jim is another one of those.

Zepp Jamieson said...

By the way: "Infested: To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious"

While often used to describe vermin, it basically means any kind of hostile or pernicious infiltration.

jim said...

Yes Zepp often used to describe vermin, which is why I objected to its use.

Zepp Jamieson said...

OK, you're a troll and a liar. Begone.

David Brin said...

Jim, so long as I see Jimmy Carter and others like him, out there, I'll know there's a difference between those who follow a bearded-beaded hippy-socialist who said to help all the poor vs maniacs who rave that they're gonna get all the property and wealth and goodies of all the pointy-headed science types who actually generated and produced it all.

"Red-Letter Christians" (look them up) like Carter, who evangelize the words of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount, are diametric opposites to Dominionist jerks, obsessed with the psychotic-gruesome Book of Revelation that was imposed on the New Testament canon by a pagan emperor over the objections of the highest churchmen of the time.

A grotesque tantrum that - even if it were, once a heavenly snit - has long been rendered obsolete by the lesson of Jonah: God... changes... his... mind.

A book that revels in absolutely the opposite of those red-lettered words, filled with hand-rubbing glee over the slaughter of innocent millions and relishing the end to all human hope, ambition, curiosity, accomplishment and freedom. An end to the birth of any more children! Oh, yes. And an end to the United States of America. That is what these supposed citizen-neighbors are praying for, daily. And it passes all limits of what I have to shrug off and ignore.

Toleration of their right to make a fist stops when its trajectory intersects with my nose. And they have a knife in that fist. And they proclaim - openly - where it's aimed.

Jon S. said...

Yeah, jim's never argued honestly. That's why he joined loco and the ent under my shroud a little while back.

At the time, I wondered if jim was a sockpuppet account, loco's idea of what "libruls" were supposed to be like. Turned out I didn't care, so...

jim said...

I'm not saying do not oppose the Dominionist and their objectives.
I am saying please do not dehumanize them.

The Dominionist program is not something that is popular with majority of the American people. Calm, public and honest discussions about them and their goals is an effective opposition strategy. There really isn't a need to dehumanize them.

David Brin said...

Absolute trash, "jim." That is the line used in 1861, when the Union, after 8 years of brutal aggression and abuse by the South and its puppets in Washington, finally realized America must fight for its life.

"Keep negotiating!" apologists cried, ignoring the fact that the confederate-traitors made ZERO offers to negotiate and spurned Lincoln's offers, too. Just as these bircher-Mercer-feudalist haters have spurned every offer we made to negotiate, in the past, crushing the residually adult sane part of the republican coalition, until hate toward John McCain now tsunamis across the confederate infosphere.

There's no point to this. Your line is one meant to demoralize those who have, after turning the cheek a million times, finally realized they are being warred upon in a struggle for our very existence.

You say "I'm not saying do not oppose the Dominionist and their objectives." What a stunning load! There is no "philosophy" in the world that more openly calls for my gruesome death and of my children and the nation and planet and civilization that I love. That objective is open, loudly proclaimed and vigorously pursued, and if they get power, they will implement it. Even the Marxists wanted my grandchildren to live. These "neighbors" don't.

Oh, I don't dehumanize them. Their drooling aim to take all my stuff and then kill me is very, very human. as is your spectacularly blatant effort to sap our strength by appealing to the "better angels" that we possess and have displayed, but that those jerks lack entirely.

Those better angels will leap back to the fore, with "charity for all and malice toward none" under one condition. When we wrest that knife out of the hand plunging it toward our faces. When American has victory against insanely murder-seeking traitors.

I now assume you are a Kremlin troll. But if you aren't - if you are sincere - then oh God. What a Lindbergh.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

Cadets at the Air Force Academy are hit on by Russian agents, Chinese agents, Evangelists, women, men and whatever not to mention commercial “opportunities”. The other academies suffer the same onslaught because they are in a unique position. They are well aware of it and are not fools and just because some evangelist knocks on their door they will somehow be converted.

I believe the articles you refer to pertain to the 2005 era where the story first broke and there were instances of abuse of religious freedom. Soon afterward the Air Force modified the rules to eliminate as much as possible these abuses. The man who sued the Air Force then is Mr. Mickey Weinstein who does a fine job with his legal foundation reporting abuses; The web page is here:

He is the source of the information of your newspaper articles. Since 2005 his foundation has investigated 4,200 complains and many were valid and many were not. He works closely with all the armed forces to correct these problems and although not universally liked, he is respected. If you have time, take a look at the abuses to judge for yourself. 4,200 complaints spread over several years is not very many compared to the 325,000 members of the Air Force. From what I see the vast majority don’t really see this as a major problem however it’s good for politicians and pundits when they need some publicity.

You believe that the Navy runs a tight ship compared to the Air Force but I disagree. The recent fatal ship collision inquiries concluded that the deck officers did not know how to do their jobs. It seems to be a widespread problem. It’s called incompetence in the most basic ship driving skill. The Air Force when it confides an airplane to someone it makes sure the pilot knows how to fly it. Just as worrisome is the “Fat Leonard” Scandal in which many top Navy officers received booze, prostitutes and parties in Far Eastern ports in exchange for giving Leonard’s company exclusive contracts and that went on for years before found out. The collusions stem from a training problem. The “Fat Leonard” scandal is a morality problem. The Navy is a great service but it is going through some problems now. It had become complacent.

For the Cold War and today I would like to point out that the Navy controls only 1/3 of the atomic warheads. The Air Force controlled and still controls the other two-thirds. When it comes to air power it’s the Air Force that has done the heavy lifting in every conflict for the last 50 years. If the Space Force gets off the ground, most of its assets and personnel will come from the Air Force and not the Navy.

Last of all you and I know that reactors on carriers do not explode. They just melt down.


Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Those better angels will leap back to the fore, with "charity for all and malice toward none" under one condition. When we wrest that knife out of the hand plunging it toward our faces. When American has victory against insanely murder-seeking traitors.

"The West Wing" had an episode where Leo and Toby discussed what the end game in the Middle East might look like, if it perhaps wouldn't end until the American Flag flies over Mecca. As Toby put it, "They'll like us when we win."

That sentiment applies here too.

David Brin said...

Deuxglass “They are well aware of it and are not fools and just because some evangelist knocks on their door they will somehow be converted. “

You… actually… said that? Seriously. That any agency watching for entrapment by Russian hookers would treat the local Baptist pastor the same way?

What bothers me here is that you offer us sentences that are in themselves true, and cannot be bothered - amid your blithe certainty - to check if the sentence even makes sense in its own context. Example: The AirForce has 2/3 of the bombs, and that scares me. It’s the Navy’s 1/3 that were safe from a first strike, that saved all our lives by maintaining a safe deterrent. My assertion was correct and your rebuttal, while true in isolation, was totally irrelevant.

Each day, the Navy has possibly a million close brushes with catastrophe. You know darned well that Naval operations - each day - are vastly more numerous and hazardous than those run by the USAF. Your lack of sense of scale is disturbing.

Sure, Fat Leonard and tailhook etc show that there remain cultural problems within a tense, high-risk, sometimes overly macho service… but one that is promoting women at a rapid clip.

“Last of all you and I know that reactors on carriers do not explode. They just melt down.” Cripes! You ignore all the bombs and fuel, man! Fuel hoses running everywhere! And a melted reactor is no mere trifle.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Paranthetically, Trump was caught on tape telling a meeting of pastors to tell their congregations to vote GOP "or lose everything".

Lloyd Flack said...

Jim, describing their presence as an infestation was hyperbole. Yes hyperbole can become a way to introduce dehumanization if one equivocates and treats a description as literal except when challenged an calls it hyperbole then. There are audiences that it is unwise to use hyperbole with. This is not one. Everyone here except you obviously saw it for what it was. And I think your misinterpretation was strained.

Alfred Differ said...

@Zepp | He even said the stock market would essentially melt down if he was impeached. 8)

He's pulling out all the stops on classic fear tactics and continuing to promote his cult status. This is getting rather predictable.

Alfred Differ said...

@Jim | It is a memetic infestation. In isolation, the people hosting the memes aren't too bad or dangerous. In a group setting, that is no longer true and stronger measures are required than negotiation.

The hosts ARE still human, of course, but more pleasant methods of persuasion are often blocked by the memes.

locumranch said...

Poor Jim's mistake is twofold: First, he argues in good faith; and second, he underestimates the Orwellian nature of the verbal playing field.

He fails to realise that the name of the game here is the 'No True American' fallacy, as exemplified by Darrell, Matthew & Larry_H's historically inaccurate argument that the christian, evangelical & white majority are somehow 'No True Americans'.

This is why definitions are so important.

While claiming to absolutely LOVE majority-rule democracy, most progressives are (in fact) minority-educated pseudo-intellectual elitists who are quick to condemn actual democracy as 'populism'.

They claim to support the US Military Officer Corps while actively condemning the US Military Officer Corps as incubators for white, christian, evangelical & dominionist boogeymen.

They pervert the democratic process by 'Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media' as detailed by Chomsky & Herman.

And, they are quick to label everyone & anyone who challenges the counterfactual 'word wooze' of progressive orthodoxy as either an 'infestation' of treasonous vermin or 'No True American'.


David Brin said...

No, fellah, it's the whining! Ach, weren't you taking a holiday? Go. Get some fresh air.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Alfred: "He even said the stock market would essentially melt down if he was impeached."

Yesterday he said there would be violence if the GOP lost the House in November. And he ranted at PM Abe of Japan on the phone that he "remembered Pearl Harbor", a statement that would be idiotic even if he hadn't been born in 1946

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

He's pulling out all the stops on classic fear tactics and continuing to promote his cult status. This is getting rather predictable.

I hope it always ends well.

Larry Hart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

And he ranted at PM Abe of Japan on the phone that he "remembered Pearl Harbor", a statement that would be idiotic even if he hadn't been born in 1946

It's not idiotic on account of "remembering" other than from firsthand observation. I mean, I remember Pearl Harbor, and I wasn't born until the 60s.

However, it is idiotic to bring up to the Japanese prime minister as if the issue is still unresolved between our countries. But what do you expect from someone who invokes security concerns as a reason to sanction trade with Canada on account of the War of 1812.

Larry Hart said...

For those like myself who weren't already familiar with the "sealioning" concept:

All that's missing is a picture of locumranch.

Larry Hart said...

from the link above:


Being sealioned is a lose/lose situation, unfortunately. Much like Global Thermonuclear War, the only winning move is not to play. In this case, block or dismiss sealioners and go about your normal business, letting them vent their frustrations out where you can't see them. It's much healthier for your psyche.

It's unfortunate that we must be suspicious of purportedly honest and neutral questions. Asking questions and being open is key to establishing dialogue and understanding one another. When you are the target of a sealion brigade, though, the purpose is to get you to waste your time responding to every little complaint, and falsely-amiable questions are the easiest way to get you to waste it.

So don't. Spend it doing more constructive activities, like making a game, talking to others genuinely interested in dialogue, or any form of self-care. You owe nothing - especially not answers - to a mob whose intent is to harass you.

locumranch said...

You owe nothing - especially not answers - to a mob whose intent is to harass you.

Aside for being an amazingly apt descriptor of the Mueller Investigation, more & more of your so-called 'deplorables' arrive at this near identical conclusion with every passing day.

"Why should we change, progress and improve ourselves to placate those who despise & belittle us?," we ask ourselves, and so we do not.

It's called reciprocity, Bucko, and the sad & predictable consequences of this mindset are playing out at a theatre near you.


Larry Hart said...

harass = "assert the truth of true things which you don't like"

Got it.

Alfred Differ said...

@Zepp | Yah. I'm hoping a few people out there can forgive us our insanity in a few years.

Not that they can hear my advice, but I think our allies should disengage from our President for a while. Work with people far under him as makes sense, but treat him like the lame duck he is going to be.

jim said...

Thanks Douglass
For pointing out that the "Dominionist" threat is more than 13 years old. And that it has been effectively countered by some publicity and using the tools for internal accountability in the Air Force. They really don't seem to be a credible threat to your children, American democracy or the planet.

Maybe if those evil Christians get the ability to shape shift the Dominion will get to strangle the Federation before it gets started.

Alfred Differ said...

@Larry | I hope it always ends well.

The easiest prediction to make is "Short term pain | Long term gain".
It's like needing some serious work done on your teeth.


Zepp Jamieson said...

Larry Hart re the "sealioning" concept:

Hadn't heard the term before, but I'm familiar with the concept. Actually fell for it here this week; once you realize it, blow off the other person immediately.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Alfred: I think Trudeau is just going to ignore Trump for the time being, especially since he was frozen out of the NAFTA discussions with Mexican President Nieto. In part it's because Nieto is a lame duck, and his successor, Obrador, while maintaining a positive attitude toward the talks, is likely to stick over energy issues. And of course, Trump might demand Mexico pay for that wall at any moment.

Zepp Jamieson said...

"a mob whose intent is to harass you."

Oh, gosh, those darn mobs. They're forever gathering evidence, weighing it, and determining if it violates the law.

What's next? Appeals?

David Brin said...

Ah, 'jim'. Because there are 13 year old articles about Dominionists, by now they are obsolete, vanished, nothing to look at here. Even though the movement has spread in power and ferocity and open demands for the end of the world and apocalypse. Including Bannon-Breitbart openly calling for a "4th Turning" crisis that will plunge the world into war, killing billions.

Again, 'jim' tries to make this about Christians so I'll be the bigot, ignoring my praise for red-letter christians like Carter and ignoring UTTERLY every single word I said about the particular cult that prays daily for the Book of Revelation to come true, as soon as possible, and for 99% of their neighbors to suffer horrible, gruesome deaths followed by perpetual damnation and torment.

What that makes "jim' is demonstrably dishonest.

Larry Hart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

Oh, gosh, those darn mobs. They're forever gathering evidence, weighing it, and determining if it violates the law.

Yeah, I'd be curious to see locumranch express such indignation on behalf of criminals and undocumented aliens who owe nothing to those who harass them by convicting them in a court of law.

That is, if I had any fucks left to give.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Ach, weren't you taking a holiday? Go. Get some fresh air.

There's a poem my dad was fond of which is appropriate. I always thought it was an Ogden Nash poem, although the internet says differently:

Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
Oh, how I wish he'd go away!

David Brin said...

He's the one unable to negotiate. Unable to offer up even his own ideas for a better world or pragmatic proposals to get there. Proved repeatedly- the very concept of positive sum confuses and enrages.

The crux. We didn't ask for this to be civil war. RASRs like John McCain tried to hold onto normal, negotiated American politics, as the US right swung into full, confederate battle mode. After ten thousand turnings of the cheek, we are awakening to this clear fact. If they win, we die.
If we win, it'll be 'malice toward none' and 'NOW will you negotiate?"

ALl this whining about progressives wanting to crush and destroy and kill and oppress confeds... that is morons looking in a mirror and yelping: "They might do to me what I am eager to do to them!"

We... are... not... you. Deep down, you know it. That's why you feel perfectly safe, while screeching ingrate nonsense at a civilization that's been kind to you.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

Yes I seriously said that that cadets are targeted by foreign agents. Yes I seriously said that they are also targeted by uber-evangelists. Yes I said that the cadets are well aware that they are targeted. Yes I said that a visit by an uber-evangelist will probably not change a cadet’s religious orientation. Yes I said that one should not take cadets to be naive fools. What part or parts that you contest and why?

The fact that the Air Force controls 2/3 of the nuclear warhead scares you. Are you aware that during the Cold War part of the warheads were in silos of which a certain percentage were calculated to be able to survive a first strike and therefore be able to launch missiles in their turn? Are you also aware that another part of the warheads were constantly in the air on bombers and ready to strike in their turn? You assume that Navy ballistic missile subs were invulnerable when in reality they were not. Soviet hunter-killer subs targeted our boomers and our hunter-killer subs targeted theirs. Neither we nor they assumed that the submarine part of deterrence was safe. Why then do you state with certainty that it was only the Navy that that kept the peace when generals, admirals and the politicians during the Cold War never believed a minute that that was true? The Triad was set up and maintained for a reason.

You said “Each day, the Navy has possibly a million close brushes with catastrophe. You know darned well that Naval operations - each day - are vastly more numerous and hazardous than those run by the USAF. Your lack of sense of scale is disturbing.”

Thousands of close brushes with catastrophes applies equally to the air Force. Let’s do some comparisons. The navy has 800 plus 200 for the Marines aircraft capable of actually fighting something. The Air Force has over 2000. The Navy is not capable of deep penetration because they have no aircraft that can do it. The Air Force has about 175 of which 20 are fully stealthy. The Navy has ten carriers however it has only a handful of prop tankers use exclusively by the Marines. The carrier planes, only using Navy resources, are limited to attacking targets out to only 350 nm or so from their carriers. To go further they have to use Air Force tankers of which there are over 400. Virtually all Navy sorties have to use Air Force tankers since carriers now have to remain well offshore. Airlift capabilities are also very much skewed in the Air Force’s favor. You seem to believe that the Air Force is some kind of junior service. It has as many people as the Navy and has a similar budget as well. Were you not aware of the actual size and capabilities of the Air Force? All the service have roughly the same number of women in officer positions. The Air Force has the highest percentage of women in combat positions and in officer positions (19%) but let’s not quibble over that.

I am surprised you put Fat Leonard with Tailhook and fob it off as too much macho, really nothing to worry about. Tailhook was a party of pilots that got out of control. Fat Leonard was a widespread and multiyear corruption cabal that implicated 60 admirals and other high officers and sent many of them to federal jail. You equating the two really scares me! Apparently when it comes to the Navy, you excuse extensive corruption and gross incompetence while castigating the Air Force for being too much under religious influence without presenting the least evidence except for, by your own omission, having read some articles.

matthew said...

Evangelical Christians have shown repeatedly that they are trying to seize the levers of power in the US in order to change our nation of tolerance to a nation of conformed religion. Evangelical Christians have shown repeatedly that they are willing to overlook gross moral failings in both the lay and pastoral leaders as long as those leaders could deliver temporal power to the movement.

As someone that briefly pursued an appointment to a Service Academy in the 80s, I can attest that I was repeatedly targeted for conversion by evangelicals once my pursuit became public knowledge. And even in the mid-80s, the Air Force Academy had a reputation of being a place friendly to evangelical Christians and hostile to those not willing to, at least, fake conversion. I was warned by current cadets and officers not to try for the Air Force Academy as I have never been a ripe target for born-again status.

Dominionism is a real threat. They are the American Taliban and we need to take them seriously as the death-cult they truly are. As someone who lived a good portion of my teen years in a southern NM town that was a solid 75% evangelicals I have a good idea of how they operate, how they govern, and what bleeding hypocrites they are.

If the seeds of my liberalism were sown living as a young child in a hippie commune, my adolescence was defined by my crash into American religious extremism. Those that tried the hardest to convert me then are the same people crowing now about shooting libs and purging the nation of "undesirables."

Winter7 said...

Wow Then, the Republicans control the air force ... That's very bad news. If the Russians invade, and it turns out that the US troops on the ground do not obtain air cover because of "technical failures," then the plate is served and warm for the Russian army. What a sorry situation. It would be good to know which are the niches of the air force in which the Republicans are most entrenched. If it is ever possible for Democrats to return to power, then Democrats should do something to solve the problem.

And talking about problems. Was my last comments very caustic? The next day, the security alerts of my antivirus and my operating system shone like lights on a Christmas tree.
Someone managed to disable the password system of my antivirus.
I really wish that the companies that offer operating and antivirus systems had the honesty of refusing to give access to the back doors of the software to banana and corrupt governments in Latin America. That only exacerbates the situation of those who oppose corruption around the world. However, I do not think the situation changes.
It seems that I could get rid of the hackers for the moment. But it seems that I will have to spend the rest of the afternoon adjusting other security measures on my computer. :(

David Brin said...

“Are you also aware that another part of the warheads were constantly in the air on bombers and ready to strike in their turn?”

Kindly document when this stopped. It might surprise you.

I do not mean to cast the USAF as vllains or lesser heroes. But OMG what a strawman argument. “The air force has twice as many planes and they go farther, so they must endure more hazard!” Jiminy. Most of the hazard is hauling fuel and bombs all over the globe and rushing to change them in perfect choreography on platforms that roll and rock, all done by supervised 19 year olds.

“You seem to believe that the Air Force is some kind of junior service.”

Yes! That IS how it seems to you. When in fact I want the USAF to continue to perform all the deeply needed space functions that it does. YOU are the one who migrated this whole thing into a zero-sum rage between services, while glossing over how Baptist and other churches in Colorado Springs lean hard on cadets, and Red congressmen are allowed far looser appointment privileges to the Academy than the Navy allows.

You make some interesting points that instructed me. But they had nothing to do with the topics at hand and they imply a deep animus on my part that you entirely imagined.

David Brin said...

Winter7 Even if DT appointed stooges to every 4 star position, your scenario would never happen. The USAF men and women would do their duty and answer every call for help. But DT could refuse to give consent for engagement with say an oncoming fleet or squadron. I am sure loyal officers have been quietly war-gaming the consequences.

David Brin said...

BTW the USAF Academy has had me in to speak, twice! Annapolis keeps putting it off. So I have no vested interest in being bigoted toward the guys in blue.

Winter7 said...

I just investigated for myself the information about the Tailhook scandal. (Of which Mr. Douglas Fenton spoke). It is something impressive. More than 100 United States Navy and U.S. Were Marine Corps aviation officers sexually assaulted Alleged to Have 83 women and 7 men ...... I must say I can not believe that happened. I'm very disappointed. Professionalism?...
I have always thought that war is not a women's issue. It is not because of being macho. Quite simply, biologically and mentally, man and woman are very different. And while women could be extremely useful as war Drones operators (in office) and analysis of information in the department of military intelligence. Simply, the barracks and the events of the air force; The US navy and navy are not an appropriate place for women.
I'm not saying that women are to blame. Definitely women must be respected and protected. (And penalties should be more severe than for civilians, for it is disgraceful that the scandal give light sentences were many culprits)
But the continuing incidents (remember the naked woman tied to a sink in a boat in recent years) only reiterate the truth that work in the military are not appropriate for women.
What if. It is true that women do a formidable job in the military. They are brave, they are honest and they are more responsible than men.

Moving on to another issue. It seems that there is a way to discover in a few minutes if an incriminating video is false during the next elections:

Alfred Differ said...

@winter7 | But the continuing incidents (snip) only reiterate the truth that work in the military are not appropriate for women.

Nah. It points out that the military is not an appropriate place for certain men.

The best that can be said about it is that the Navy has learned a thing or two about itself. I can tell you from direct experience working for people who lived through that upheaval that they are paying attention now and have little tolerance for that crap. Do it and it is more than just a career ender. Get close enough to remind people of it and heads roll.

Tony Fisk said...

re: Dominionism. Richard Dawkins wasn't surprised to hear that closed thinking is practised by certain theologians, but recently was surprised that they are brazen enough to lay it out in school textbooks.

Unknown said...

"There's also the inconvenient fact that dehumanizing opponents and calling for their extermination has been a successful Republican path to control of all three branches of government and most states."

some days ago, on the facebook page of an acquaintance of mine from the Stirling list, I found out that Michale Z. Williamson, a sci-fi writer whose free novels I've read on Baen Free Library ("Freehold"... a libertarian utopia) wrote to the said acquaintance that "librul shitstains" who opposed Trump should be "exterminated"... if dr. Brin meets him at some convention, he should express him my displeasure. Using as teaching aid a baseball bat or a large spanner :-) ...
And the exterminationist rhetoric of the alt-Right has already pointed out on Neiwert blog. Horcynus.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

Keeping a large percentage of airplanes in the air at all times was discontinued in the late 50’s and early 60’s simply because it very hard on men and machines but it was replaced by the SAC Alert Force which is still used today. For your information the SAC Alert Force entails keeping certain airplanes gassed up and loaded with nuclear bombs and with the aircrews already suited up nearby. An ICBM takes about 30 minutes to reach a base in the US from Russia so the objective is to get as many airplanes into the air before the base gets wiped out. Even as late as 1988 the Air Force conducted drills where they would put 50 B-52s in the air within 30 minutes. The SAC Alert Force is still in place with bombers and crews ready to fly immediately. Dr. Brin, submarines are great second-strike insurance but they have a major drawback. It is all or nothing. There is no flexibility. The bombers on the other hand are used to send a powerful message. “I have 200 bombers with nuclear bombs in the air ready to attack you unless you remove your missiles from Cuba” is an example. You can back up your words with actions that the other side can see. It shows that you mean business. Sending messages that way happened several times during the Cold War. That kept the peace also.

You said:
“Each day, the Navy has possibly a million close brushes with catastrophe. You know darned well that Naval operations - each day - are vastly more numerous and hazardous than those run by the USAF. Your lack of sense of scale is disturbing.”

I put out those numbers to show you the scale of the Air Force. I would like to add that it is the Air Force that launches about all military satellites and manages their communications. They also fund and work extensively with SpaceX. The numbers refute your argument that “Naval operations - each day - are vastly more numerous and hazardous than those run by the USAF.” Of course it could be that I just want to show that “My service is bigger than your service!” In that case I would be suffering from Naval Envy Syndrome.

A few threads ago you published a list of things you believe and I agree will all of them. I have much admiration for you and your accomplishments but sometimes I see things differently. I feel the Air Force has a good handle on the infiltration of Dominionism and have it under control although it is a continual fight. Other people of which you are one are justifiably worried that the Dominionists will take over. I think that is unlikely even under this administration but it is a good moot point.

I knew that you have spoken at the Air Force Academy. In my experience the USAF people love science fiction. I am surprised that you haven’t been invited to Annapolis. Maybe they prefer sea stories.


Jon S. said...

Terminology can be important. The Strategic Air Command (SAC) of the US Air Force was subsumed into a new unified command, US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). I imagine they still maintain ready bombers; however, the end of the Cold War also brought an end to the predefined Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) that I worked on back at HQ SAC in the '80s. Back then, the only serious strategic threats came from the USSR and China; today, there are several nations with the lift capability to strike US territory. (So far, DPRK isn't one of them - their launch vehicles are incapable of carrying their warheads very far, and in any case tend to suffer from catastrophic integrity failures shortly after launch. They can start a conventional war easily enough, or even strike our ally Japan, but Hawaii is fairly safe from missiles, and CONUS is completely out of their range. As long as nobody talks to them about shipping containers, we're okay.)

Larry, I always liked the version of that poem from an old MAD Magazine article:

One day I met upon the stair
A little man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today;
I think he's with the CIA.

Jon S. said...

Argh, backache today clouding my expressive abilities. Let me expand on what I was saying above:

Assuming the USAF still maintains ready bombers, they have to practice not just taking off rapidly, but also flying to a number of potential counterstrike locations, because there's more than just one potential source of such attacks these days. That's one reason why the B-2 Spirit is becoming so popular, at least with the brass; its range without refueling is superior to either the B-52 or B-1. On the other hand, that's also why (it sounds to me like) the modern plan leans more heavily on ALCMs and SLCMs than ICBMs - they're a lot easier to retarget, sometimes on the fly.

Alfred Differ said...

@Deuxglass | My father had a 27 year USAF career (made it to E8), so I grew up on air bases except for one stint at Keflavik. He wound up his time in North Dakota at Grand Forks, so I remember those always-running B-52’s. They were on the ground, but fully fueled, equipped, and ready to go. This was the late 70’s, so each cold winter morning was filled with the sounds of B-52’s doing what had to be done to keep them ready to go in a few minutes. (Those planes were already older than the crews flying them.)

Years later when I asked him for advice on the clearance process I faced getting a job as a USN contractor, he offered the usual jokes associated with inter-service rivalry. It was good fun, but he understood the different missions of the different services and knew there wasn’t much to compare that wasn’t impacted by those differences. My brother’s kids split the difference. One is enlisted with USAF. The other is USN Reserves.

There isn’t much to compare, though, when it comes to scope of operations. The Navy is huge and expected to own the seas in the sense of security. It is expected to secure trade. It is the one service that we use to discourage other nations from going to war with each other. THAT’s how big naval operations are. Other nations need our permission (or benign neglect) if their war plans involve sea operations. The US combined fleet is larger than all other national navies combined. The civilian support staff is humongous. What the USAF does is critical, but only the ‘space wing’ comes close to dominating the behaviors of other nations like naval operations do.

Personally, I’m not inclined to engage in inter-service rivalry and jokes. I never served like my father did and that is largely because my father preferred it that way. Each service branch has a role and mission and I respect each. What does catch my attention and give me concern, though, is the religious shenanigans going on in Colorado Springs. We expect (and get!) those who serve to remain apolitical. Some of us have equally large expectations regarding faith positions.

Our host points to issues within USAF and holds up USN by comparison. I can see issues with each, so if I were to hold up an exemplar it would likely be USMC first and USN second. I won’t knock any of them in general, but I DO demand professionalism and integrity from all. That includes activities related to faith.

Larry Hart said...

Douglass Fenton:

I knew that you have spoken at the Air Force Academy. In my experience the USAF people love science fiction. I am surprised that you haven’t been invited to Annapolis. Maybe they prefer sea stories.

There's always Startide Rising.


Deuxglass said...

Alfred Differ,

I grew up near Wright-Patterson and I remember the B-52s always ready. I must say I loved and still love seeing those huge ugly but beautiful airplanes and what they represent. My family since WW I through WW II and beyond have been pilots for some strange reason so I of course the USAF is my preferred. The US military services work extremely well together and although there is rivality , it is good-natured. The services are complementary but there is significant overlap. The US military is a well-oiled machine but even the best machine runs into problems and short-coming and you do have to come down hard on problems that affect the war-making ability but tolerate those activities that do not and there lies the rub. That is how to know the difference between them. Vigilance within is as necessary as vigilance without.

Air Force bases are often placed in God-forsaken places. Naval bases are always placed in nice areas like San Diego, Virginia Beach, Pensacola and ect. Great if you have a shore billet but it really sucks if you are deployed months on end in a ship or submarine. They have my sympathy.

Deuxglass said...

Larry Hart,

Dr. Brin should write more science-fiction sea stories in order to get invited to Annapolis.

Larry Hart said...

@Douglass Fenton,

I dunno. I'd imagine Gene Roddenberry was a welcome guest. TOS Star Trek was really a naval series in space.

Deuxglass said...

Larry Hart,

Yes Star Trek as pre-WW II navy, Battleship Galatica was the aircraft carrier navy, The Expanse reverted to Pre-WW II navy. The Air Force actually does expect to use parts of the Naval Model for the Space Force. Not immediately of course but looking out 20-30 years or so. It just makes sense in some ways.

David Brin said...

Deuxglass: “For your information the SAC Alert Force entails keeping certain airplanes gassed up and loaded with nuclear bombs and with the aircrews already suited up nearby.”

I knew that… except the “For your information” part was laughable. YOU were the one maintaining that Dr. Strangelove patrols were ongoing into the 80s, while I asked you to check your facts.

“submarines are great second-strike insurance but they have a major drawback. It is all or nothing. There is no flexibility. The bombers on the other hand are used to send a powerful message.”

So? Again you veer totally off-topic. I never said the USAF wasn’t useful! I said the Navy deterrent kept us alive. Which it did by eliminating all temptations to take us out with a first strike. You keep howling defenses against attacks that I never, ever made.

“I feel the Air Force has a good handle on the infiltration of Dominionism and have it under control although it is a continual fight.”

That is on-topic, and I pray that you are right.

Jon S I do not fear NK missiles. I fear that US harbors are already mined with nukes that can be set off with a signal.

Hope your back is better, soon.

DF: One of many Marshall reforms was to start the services doing joint exercises. It took 50 years, but now officers know that they will NOT get a star if they haven’t served on a “J” team at some point. The J used to be a career-killer. Now it’s a necessity.

Deuxglass said...


Excuse me for the "for your information" part then. If you like I will attempt to address the issue which is what is the proper place of religion in the military. It's a large subject but it's late here and I have stuff to do before I go to bed. However I will leave you with a bit of information that you may or may not know. Around 60% of military chaplains are Baptists!

David Brin said...




Larry Hart said...

"A superstitious, cowardly lot"...

Meanwhile, in a development that is surely not a coincidence, evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr., announced that Sessions has lost evangelicals' support. "He really is not on the president's team, never was," said Falwell. Thus we have evangelical Christians turning on, and denouncing, an actual evangelical Christian in favor of a man who does not appear to embrace a single tenet of Christianity. Never doubt that the leaders of evangelical Christianity are basically Republican political lobbyists who cloak themselves in a thin veneer of religiosity. Similarly, don't doubt that the GOP is now 100% the party of Trump.

Larry Hart said...




Jon S. said...

Oh, I missed the line about subs being "second-strike".

Speaking as a former SIOP Programmer/Analyst, I can state with confidence that Ohio-class subs were considered first-strike deterrents. The fun part of writing their software was that once an Ohio got into its patrol corridor, nobody not on the boat had any idea exactly where it was. (Kind of like the NEACP - we knew where it was while it was on approach to the field, and where it was while it was taking off, but once in the air, it was the pilot's job to watch for other aircraft, because we didn't know where it was in flight.) So the deterrent aspect of a boomer (an ICBM sub) was that our foes knew when one was on patrol, but not its location in that corridor. All the targeting software had to be usable from anywhere in the corridor.