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Lowy Institute's Power Index

Posted June 7 into Politics by John Birmingham

The Lowy Institute has a pretty cool interactive index looking at dynamic power matrices in the Asia Pacific over the next decade.

Very clickable for strat-nerds.

Not reassuring for anxious types.

3 Responses to ‘Lowy Institute's Power Index’

insomniac asserts...

Posted June 7
As a patent information nerd I'd like to know what Switzerland is doing in the middle of Asia in place of China. It's wrong I tells ya.

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Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted June 7
Bah, goddamn clickbait chewing into my afternoon.

I could definitely while away the hours comparing Myanmar to Taiwan in terms of influence, military spending and relations to other regional powers.

And it's got pretty colours.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted June 9
and convienent as I imagine you fall into both catagories.

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"China’s motives in seeking a foothold in Vanuatu are unclear."

Posted April 11 into Politics by John Birmingham

I keep reading this phrase, or variations on it in articles about China's purported interest in building a military base on Vanuatu.

The motives seem pretty clear to me.

And to the South China Morning Post too:

Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, said that any future naval or airbase in Vanuatu would “give China a foothold for operations to coerce Australia, outflank the US and its base on US territory at Guam, and collect intelligence in a regional security crisis”.

Highlighting Beijing’s long-term maritime ambitions in the Asia-Pacific, a Beijing-based military expert, who requested anonymity, said the establishment of a dual-use station in Vanuatu would help China to counter the quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.

One minor, enjoyable spin off from this story? The toy-throwing tantrum by News Limited because it got scooped.

16 Responses to ‘"China’s motives in seeking a foothold in Vanuatu are unclear."’

insomniac asserts...

Posted April 11
I understand the enjoyment although I would never soil myself by even thinking about looking at anything by News Ltd.

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jl reckons...

Posted April 11
China plays long ball. See also their activities in Africa and Central Asia.

jason puts forth...

Posted April 16
Listen to this podcast and it demonstrates the level of thinking in China. They will wield the economic power first. The military is a secondary issue.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055y581

Best to be friends I reckon.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 11
Well, I guess this means a few things.

1 We will and should bail out Vanu we spent to much when the chinks coma claimin.

2 We extract a pound of fkn flesh for these dumb fks letting it happen. AFTER that though we start being good fkn neighbours and spend a little more and help a little fkn more too.

3 I see NO reason why we should not have small rotational detachments on some of these islands....and that includes PNG a INDONESIA CAN GO AND GET FKD!

Have a base or two...set it up, set up infrastructure and USE LOCALS...really get them engaged in the running etc.

I seriously think we should have more than 1 its more like 5 or 8 small bases dotted about our north. Some Army, maybe some nay and some airforce. Help protect them, EEZ and the likes.

Its onlt taken until I got home before I could log in...somthing fkn weird arse happening from the work lappy. FK KNOWS! really.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 12
Havock for Foreign Minister.

Brother PorkChop mutters...

Posted April 12
I did a job in Samoa a while ago and whilst I realise American Samoa is right there, Australia via the senior service had a small presence. We had a Lt Commander and a CPO there to liaise and keep the provided patrol boat running. I spent quite a bit of time with the CPO and am still in touch. This type of thing would be all that was needed in Vanuatu, Solomons and the like.

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted April 13
I'm thinking and thats dangerous.

We do we not have a Pacific Defence Force?

I dont know, say perhaps a mini version of NATO, but here in the Pacific, southern part at least, tweak the charter of course. These Islands have very little income, and thats something that also needs addressing but I keep thinking that company sized groups from the representative islands into a Battalion or short regiment, underwritten by perhaps Britan, US, France and Australia, hell toss in the Kiwis too.

Set up several small bases, rotation deployment, training and all that sort of stuff, rotational command?

Money spend on wages will flow back, training in specialist fields will also flow back. There has to be a way.

Dirk puts forth...

Posted April 13
Hmm that PaTO thing. Where did I pick up that before, JB? :)

Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted April 13
+++underwritten by perhaps Britan, US, France and Australia+++

What if/when the others won't sign up?

Not trying for a gotcha here, I'm genuinely curious. What would your contingency plan look like if none of those other three came on board?

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 13
hmm. Well I think like most things when looking for investors, they need skin in the game so to speak. I'm wondering how the likes of Malayasia / Singapore / Brunei, plus the islands above would go. That would make an interesting consortium. But to be honest, I would go it alone, we waste BILLIONS lets face it and I could not see this being a billion dollar a year exercise.

Plus, what does it give us...barrier to entry, bring them further up to speed, start looking at what other industries items are possible.

Still not sure on a lot of things really, but fisheries and protection is a big one! that helps keep eyes on as well.

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted April 15
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asia_Treaty_Organization

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 12
Speaker 1: those damned inscrutable orientals what are they thinking with offering funds to Vanuatu to build that airport/seabase

South China Newspaper: the.." establishment of a dual-use station in Vanuatu would help China to counter the quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.

Speaker 1: I guess we will never know.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted April 12
The constant chatter between the Chinese bases and US aircraft on patrol in those environs is worth a listen.
"Foreign military aircraft, this is Chinese navy. You are approaching our military alert zone. Leave immediately to avoid misjudgement."
"I am a US military aircraft conducting lawful military activities outside national airspace. I am operating with due regard as required under international law."

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted April 13
You know how it is, you prop up one junta and an hour later you are hungry again.
@BPC I'd be very keen to know more of you're experience. I have a mate of a mate who was consulting on fisheries compliance in the South Pacific, his assessment was, uh, not hopeful.

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted April 13
AND another thing comes to mind. WHY THE FK do we still have an outdated, out fkn moded stupid as fk set up with the Security council and these fktards like china and russia or anybody on the council being able to VETO. ITS BULLSHIT. The UN set up needs to be canned!

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Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted April 15
The Chinese have studied their history, finally got around to reading up on Mahan's book concerning sea power, and realize that they need to dominate the sea lanes near their ports.

On a purely cynical, realpolitik level, they aren't doing anything that the United States didn't do to Central and South America. And it is what Japan attempted to do from contact with Perry all the way to 1945.

The big question is whether or not to do anything about it.

These days . . . I'm kinda meh on it.

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Respond to '"China’s motives in seeking a foothold in Vanuatu are unclear."'

Banzai for Victory Day!

Posted January 26 into Politics by John Birmingham

Tonkatsu Abbott-san, the first native Ōsutorarian to be appointed a Deputy Assistant Governor of Imperial Nippon’s southernmost prefecture, has lauded the extension of The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere to the Chrysanthemum Throne’s vanquished enemy. Speaking today from the grounds of the royal palace on Yamamoto Harbour to mark the anniversary of the fall of Sydney in 1943, Abbott-san supported Victory Day remaining on January 26, the day the American war criminal Douglas MacArthur surrendered all gaijin forces on the antipodean continent to General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

“Victory Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all of the things we've achieved under the firm but benevolent guidance his Imperial Majesty, and of course his father before him,” Abbot-san told the small crowd of dignitaries, including Her Imperial Highness Princess Ayako of Takamado, the first of the blood Royal to visit Ōsutoraria Prefecture and stay in the Harbour Palace. The Princess was attended by exalted representatives from the Diet in Tokyo and conquered prefectures throughout the Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Guests watched a re-enactment of the moment Lieutenant Colonel Masao Kusunose led the 144th Infantry Regiment ashore to crush the few remaining enemy forces which had survived the collapse of the Brisbane Line.

"What happened on the 26th of January 1943 was on balance, for everyone a good thing,” said Deputy Assistant Governor Abbott-san, “because it brought civilisation to this country, it brought Ōsutoraria into the modern world. All of the things that we know and love about modern Ōsutoraria are the lineal descendants of the attitudes that came ashore with Lieutenant Colonel Kusunose on that day back in 1943.”

He bowed in deep abasement to Princess Ayako and Members of the Diet to express the bottomless gratitude of all his countrymen for ending the rule of foreign devils in the great south land.

Cheering crowds later turned the Avenue of a Thousand Years into a sea of red and pink, as they waved banners and flags emblazoned with the Rising Sun, and threw cherry blossoms at the soldiers of the 55th Division, marching from the site of that historic landing under the shadow of the Yamamoto Harbour Bridge, up the grand avenue to Imperial Square in front of Central Station.

Most of the crowds were young families from the Home Islands and Manchurian Colonies, some of them celebrating their first Victory Day in Ōsutoraria after successfully applying for the right to migrate and take up grants of land and property within this vast, underpopulated continent.

The loudest cheers, however, were raised for the small company of white native children, fostered out to decent and honourable Nipponese settler families, who watched on with pride as their wards, dressed in the old-fashioned Pacific War era combat fatigues of the 144th Regiment marched in lockstep to Imperial Square.

There they had pride of place at the execution of dissidents who had dared protest the Victory Day commemoration by flying the so-called Southern Cross flag of the defeated Commonwealth.

The native children’s cries of ‘Banzai’ as the dissidents were beheaded were acknowledged by Her Imperial Highness with a smile.

Speaking to reporters from Tokyo after the executions, Deputy Assistant Governor Abbott-san, was more forthright in his comments.

“Those seeking to change the date of Victory Day aren’t bent on making things better for those less well off,” he said. “They aren’t really interested in what the Emperor’s loyal native subjects in this prefecture actually think. Not a single real Ōsutorarian has ever told me that they want the date changed,” Abbott-san told reporters. “These dissidents are just displaying their hatred of Ōsutoraria,” he said, before leading the loyal reporters in a series of Banzai cheers.

aliensideboob.com​

2 Responses to ‘Banzai for Victory Day!’

Barnesm reckons...

Posted January 27
Made me think of the obscure 1988 Australia movie 'As time goes by' where the time-traveling alien Joe Bogart played by Max Gillies explains his time traveling shenanigans as "I had to do it, the Japs won the war. You were all eating sushi. And you didn't like it".

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 28
I can so imagine Gillies saying that line.

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It's like a Chinese Havoc is editor of the Chinese Telegraph

Posted August 3, 2016 into Politics by John Birmingham

And he wants to fkn nuke those convict fkrs from Australia. From the Japan Times:

Chinese state-run media has called Australia “an ideal target for China to warn and strike” if it ventures into the contested South China Sea.

The Global Times, known for its hard-line nationalist stance, blasted Canberra on Saturday in an editorial slamming its support for the July 12 ruling by an international arbitration tribunal at The Hague that invalidated China’s historical claims to much of the South China Sea.

Piling on insults, the paper called Australia a “country with an inglorious history. … at first an offshore prison of the UK. … established through uncivilized means, in a process filled with the tears of the aboriginals.”...

... “China must take revenge and let it know it’s wrong,” the commentary said. “Australia’s power means nothing compared to the security of China. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.

28 Responses to ‘It's like a Chinese Havoc is editor of the Chinese Telegraph’

trib puts forth...

Posted August 3, 2016
Sabre rattled.

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted August 3, 2016
Actually its not really a Sabre, more like an outdated short fkn meat knife being operated by a SHORT STUNTED YELLOW FKN RETARD!. Big in their own fkn bath tub. Yeah, they have Nukes and without them they seriously are fkn ZIP.


Irs a reason we should have kept the 111's, could have turned their little holiday reef reclaim the sea , kill wild life I dont see fkn GREEPEACE OR all the other fkn tree hugging fkn gfree fkn loaders protesting out their into GLASS or in this case a burnt pile of shit!

insomniac reckons...

Posted August 3, 2016
That guy is a noob compared to the fab example of peak Havock right here

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted August 3, 2016
This reminds me of the old days of communist mouthpieces using phrases such as "running dogs of capitalism", "imperialist gangsters", "war mongering criminals". I love it. Bring back the Bamboo Curtain!

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted August 3, 2016
I read that article the other day. POX on his yellow skanky party kow towing arse!. Fkn CHINKS!....grrrrrrrrr FKN BIG BLACK SPOT IN MY HEART FO RTHEM

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Therbs mutters...

Posted August 3, 2016
Hav raises the interesting point that a number of natural reefs are being blitzed by China to build military installations. This would have an effect on local environments including depriving marine creatures of crucial habitat. Just love to see Rainbow Warrior or Sea Shepherd steam in there to defend the ocean wildlife.

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted August 4, 2016
yeah, I noticed that they are currently all fkn tied up protecting some ten species of fkn SHRIMP from GUMP somewhere in the WA fkn DESERT FFSAKES and stopping a MINE..all be it a URANIUM FKN MINE , but thats beside the point.

They should be sailin their rust buckets into the Sth China Sea and slapping dems enviro killin fkn chinks.

I WOULD PAY TO SEE THAT!

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DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted August 3, 2016
Cry Havock21! And let slip the dogs of war!

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted August 3, 2016
"if it ventures into the contested South China Sea".......is this something someone had ever suggested? Did I miss the memo?

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 3, 2016
I think Tony Abbott wanted to send a tank regiment.

dweeze swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 4, 2016
Yeh, but that idea sank without a trace.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted August 4, 2016
Well, technically modern australia was started as a penal colony and did so through the tears of the indigenous population. They do know that white aussies all proudly try and declare a tie back to those scamps who got sent out here don't they? By the by - that link was dead. Was the Japan Times intimidated into taking it down? : )

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted August 4, 2016
More rhetoric from the stunted munters in BEIJING!

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/02/asia/south-china-sea-supreme-court/index.html

NBlob asserts...

Posted August 5, 2016
"Stunted munters"

Heh heh heh

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted August 4, 2016
Yinz guys wanna' rethink that whole guns thing?

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted August 4, 2016
Australia should be like the WHOLE state of TEXAS when it comes to guns. OPEN FKN CARRY YEAH BABY!!!!

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted August 4, 2016
I'd happily designate Christmas Island or Tasmania or somewhere similar for open carry for all the gun nuts, but once you go there you can never ever come back.

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted August 4, 2016
I'd designate Goat Island in Sydney Harbour.

Peter in the bleachers puts forth...

Posted August 4, 2016
To close, I suggest Heard Island.

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Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 4, 2016
"Yinz guys wanna' rethink that whole guns thing?"

No. I'm still comfortable with the idea of restricting them to trained professionals.

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted August 4, 2016
Hav's a trained professional. I have no problem with him carrying a FKN MUPPET CAPPING piece in the open.

GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted August 4, 2016

I think we're being a little loose with the use of the phrase 'trained professionals' here in BurgerWorld?

Therbs mumbles...

Posted August 4, 2016
Nah, trust me. He is both trained and a professional and I'd just love to see him toting a piece for the purpose of FKN CAPPING OF FKN MUPPETS!

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Gutz puts forth...

Posted August 4, 2016
Not the Muppets!!!
I know Swedish Chef might
have some 457 visa issues and
Kermit is a spy for Greenpeace.
But cap the lot of them?
What about make an example of a few?
That professor who uses Beaker as
A lab rat? Fkn cap him. Gonzo? Cap.

ShaneAlpha swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 5, 2016
Just remember , you only get one shot at Miss Piggy, Miss and she'll have your balls in her purse before you can blink.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted August 5, 2016
If Statler and Waldorf can prove financially able to support their obvious health problems, i wouldn't mind letting them in and sticking them up above the House of Reps or the Senate in the off season.

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Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted August 5, 2016
“country with an inglorious history. … at first an offshore prison of the UK. … established through uncivilized means, in a process filled with the tears of the aboriginals.”...??
Sounds like they might have been reading someone's book about the beginnings of Sydney.
Just as well we have the F35s nearly ready for combat eh.....

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted August 15, 2016
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-15/australia-would-be-vital-in-a-us-china-war,-army-report-says/7735836

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A historian looks to the future. It's not pretty

Posted July 26, 2016 into Politics by John Birmingham

From a rather chilling little essay by Tobias Stone at Medium...

It will come in ways we can’t see coming, and will spin out of control so fast people won’t be able to stop it. Historians will look back and make sense of it all and wonder how we could all have been so naïve. How could I sit in a nice café in London, writing this, without wanting to run away. How could people read it and make sarcastic and dismissive comments about how pro-Remain people should stop whining, and how we shouldn’t blame everything on Brexit. Others will read this and sneer at me for saying America is in great shape, that Trump is a possible future Hitler (and yes,Godwin’s Law. But my comparison is to another narcissistic, charismatic leader fanning flames of hatred until things spiral out of control). It’s easy to jump to conclusions that oppose pessimistic predictions based on the weight of history and learning. Trump won against the other Republicans in debates by countering their claims by calling them names and dismissing them. It’s an easy route but the wrong one.

Ignoring and mocking the experts , as people are doing around Brexit and Trump’s campaign, is no different to ignoring a doctor who tells you to stop smoking, and then finding later you’ve developed incurable cancer. A little thing leads to an unstoppable destruction that could have been prevented if you’d listened and thought a bit. But people smoke, and people die from it. That is the way of the human.

So I feel it’s all inevitable. I don’t know what it will be, but we are entering a bad phase. It will be unpleasant for those living through it, maybe even will unravel into being hellish and beyond imagination. Humans will come out the other side, recover, and move on. The human race will be fine, changed, maybe better. But for those at the sharp end?—?for the thousands of Turkish teachers who just got fired, for the Turkish journalists and lawyers in prison, for the Russian dissidents in gulags, for people lying wounded in French hospitals after terrorist attacks, for those yet to fall, this will be their Somme.

61 Responses to ‘A historian looks to the future. It's not pretty’

Surtac mutters...

Posted July 26, 2016
Yep. Scary indeed. Never fails to amaze me how most people simply won't look around them at the wider world or think beyond the end of their nose.

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sibeen reckons...

Posted July 26, 2016
The link to the full article:

https://medium.com/@theonlytoby/history-tells-us-what-will-happen-next-with-brexit-trump-a3fefd154714#.exkkqzqjd

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Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted July 26, 2016
Oh, wait . . . someone in the media is predicting doom and gloom again for America?

Well, I suppose they have to get their hits somehow.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted July 26, 2016
Actually, they're more concerned with Europe. You guys are a sideshow.

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted July 26, 2016
Ah, you got me, boss. I didn't read the entire article. Maybe because it reads like so many other similar articles I've read over the past forty years on any given part of the planet.

Halwes mutters...

Posted July 26, 2016
Off topic. A royal commission into youth justice in the NT is only the tip of the iceberg with heavy emphasis on the word ice. Our police are punishers. Everybody knows.

Halwes mumbles...

Posted July 27, 2016
Enjoyed the book club last night. I think I will give Paradise Lost a big miss though. I miss Ms Hardy when she's not there. I do like intelligent women with a social conscience. The position that you had would have allowed you to check out her legs all night too. Ripped off! Probably for the best though.

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Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 26, 2016
Uh, I call bullshit on the European Union preventing war. I believe the institution which should have been identified is NATO, and perhaps heavy American subsidies in general with an emphasis on defense in particular.

NATO was formed in 1949 and Brexit won't put an end to NATO anymore than France leaving NATO did. Meanwhile, Great Britain didn't join the European Union until the 1970s. So I guess I'm missing this academic's point on how Brexit is going to lead to World War III when France's departure from NATO in 1966 did not cause any such thing.

Near total European Unity is a flash in the pan in terms of historical longevity and the continent has been divided and fragmented for most of recorded history, save the Romans I suppose. If anything, efforts at unification seem to lead to more wars in Europe, not less, but what do I know?

Based on historical trends we are due for another wave of destruction? Perhaps the most dangerous thing any amateur or professional academic can do is point to the history books and go, "This happens every twenty years so it is going to happen again tonight."

Case in point? Presidential candidates and sitting Presidents in this country had a habit of getting bumped off or surviving the attempt on a regular basis. JFK, his brother Bobby, a near miss with Reagan, and I'm sure I'm missing a few.

So it stands to reason that someone might take a shot at Clinton.

Nope.

Bush?

Nope.

Obama.

Nope again.

Maybe I didn't take a logic class but I'm missing the logic of the point he is trying to make.

Other than the usual gloom and doom, we're fucked for this reason, sort of thing that can be readily found in the slushpile of any given Hollywood script shop these days.

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Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted July 26, 2016
As for the Black Death, says the guy who suffered through six graduate school hours of it, I can very easily imagine what it must have been like because the primary sources on the matter are quite vivid. I suggest that perhaps part of the problem is that this guy's imagination is not nearly as strong as he thinks it is.

Or maybe seeing a bunch of charred corpses during one of those wars a few decades back might have aided my imagination a notch.

Anyway, sorry to be irritable about this article.

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GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted July 26, 2016

Maybe Toby's just read a faded copy of Tom Clancy's RED STORM RISING?

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Nocturnalist reckons...

Posted July 26, 2016
How does it go?

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
Those who do learn from history are condemned to watch helplessly while everyone else repeats it.

Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted July 26, 2016
Well, it never repeats per se. It simply finds an original permutation.

Besides, humans in general and historians in particular love to take messy, complex concepts and simplify them into something they think they can control with routine predictability.

That said, historians in reality are not akin to the ones depicted in Asimov's universe.

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 26, 2016
Yes well, that’s a rather bleak and fkn depressing ensemble of letters. Europe in the Toilet hey, well given I think there might well be a purge internally at the current rate, if it stayed non nuke it might be good. If it were not for the fact that I fear Millions would be killed, I do wonder on that basis if it could venture south…some cleansing there is warranted. And then I think that the Dairy industry would be chuffed, at least with EU in war they would cease almost supplying the Chinks with their heavily subsidised products, we could in turn bend the Chinese over on that score.
But wait, if the US was to abstain from supporting the EU in a slug fest with Russia, that leaves them strong still in the PAC Rim. But with red head muppet features at the helm. China might well go for the shoals. Could you form a coalition of the brave from the ASEAN fkn retards….not sure, but as a collective on the high seas, a ASEAN coalition would stand a better chance against the PLAN than the ex NATO groups of the EU against the Russian bear.

Both are bloody, both will create massive economic upheaval, but housing prices might come down a weee bit.

Good read though, fkn depressing but

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 26, 2016
Great! ASEAN just voted to resolve their issues in a dignified and non military manner ( code for take it up the keester by China).

Tell me Murph, could Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei and maybe Vietnam get their collective shit together and with some Skippy help, STAND TOO and maybe, just maybe win a fight if req. OH...JASDF might want a piece of that action too. How far East will we have to divert all the shipping trade etc when the south China sea turns RED in more fkn ways than one I fear!

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DaveC reckons...

Posted July 26, 2016
I read a great book years ago about the Bosnian war by a journo who lived through it, Slavenka Drakulic. There was one paragraph in her book which stayed with me, and it resonates with this article.

'War is not a single act, it is a state of facts and minds, a head-spinning spiral of events and gradual process of realisation. And even if my father had attempted to explain, it wouldn't have been any help to me now, because it seems that everyone has to learn this truth alone.'

Nothing's inevitable, even the status quo.

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DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted July 26, 2016
I'm a fair bit with Murph on this, with a very healthy seasoning of George Friedman in "The next 100 years". Yes I know he's seen as a bit of a nut-job, But his thesis in that book draws on a mix of a few big things that are largely inevitable - the main one being the demographic-led depopulation of Russia. And some 'lessons from history' which I agree Murph can be spurious, but the one about the cycles of union/fragmentation of China is potentially instructive.

We are already seeing his prediction for the behaviour of Russia resulting from population decline, expansion (real or imagined) of NATO and the loss of buffer territory between it and the west, come true. As he puts it - St Petersburg was about 1000 miles away from NATO in 1989, now it is less than 100 miles away. Russia's response as stated in his book, seems underway already.

"Russia's grand strategy involves the creation of deep buffers along the northern European plain, while it divides and manipulates its neighbours, creating a new regional balance of power in Europe. What Russia cannot tolerate are tight borders without buffer zones, and its neighbours united against it" He concludes the passage thus: "This is why Russia's future actions will appear to be aggressive but will actually be defensive."

He predicts conflict between US/Russia/China. But not in a groundhog day kind of way. "The conflict will not be a repeat of the cold war, anymore than WWI was a repeat of the Napoleonic wars..."

In the same spirit, I just point out that a peaceful Europe is an exception rather than a rule. The 20th century peace is correlated with EU/NATO but I'm not sure where causation sits - probably the slaughter of the first half of it. Similarly, if peace doesn't last, it may be correlated with brexit (or Trump, or Putin, or me for that matter) but it may not be the cause of it.

What I will assert though, is that who governs does matter in the moment - no-one will convince me that if the cliffhanger 1960 US presidential election had have gone the other way that Nixon would have stopped crazyman Curtis LeMay from killing us all.

I reckon THAT is an alt-history novel in the writing...


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DaveC asserts...

Posted July 26, 2016
Agree about the relevance of leadership. No escaping Captain's calls. The novel 'Ressurection Day' was a half decent already history about a hot Cuban missile crisis. Spoiler (LeMay's arse-holeyness is turned up to 11 in this tale).

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DaveC mumbles...

Posted July 26, 2016
I meant alt history. Damn you spell chucker!

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted July 26, 2016
hey thanks - I'll have a read,

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slippy would have you know...

Posted July 26, 2016
I think the point is not the prediction (which he doesn't really make), but whether you are prepared to recognise the signs that indicate the pattern and do something about it. That shirky guy on twitter was right: the likes of Trump's and Pauline's and Jaqui's supporters want a racist welfare state (its just 'us and them' thinking in the end - when its clear that has never worked on any analysis whether economic, political, or ethical). We've seen it before [Godwin].

The New Yorker article buried in this article is pretty damn good:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/america-tyranny-donald-trump.html

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Charles Taylor is gonna tell you...

Posted July 26, 2016
I think we are seeing the end of Democracy, it's beginning to allow the uneducated to run the world. Sturgeon in Scotland, Brexit, Trump and the slow rise of the right wing in Europe,

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted July 27, 2016


I'd like to introduce my newest app for sale ... "The Chicken Little Panty Unbuncher". When your little panties get twisted and bunch up in your arse and cause you to run around screaming, "The sky is falling, Trump is Hitler, People that disagree with me are RACISSSSTTTTSSSSS".



Overpopulation was going to cause famine.



Global Cooling was going to cause mass extinction.



Ronald Reagan was going to cause nuclear war.



The problem with Europe is you've got too many arrogant twats stuffed into an area that wouldn't qualify for a good Sunday drive in Oz or the US. They are governed by petty, elite bureaucrats that keep doling out the goodies in an unsustainable fashion to keep the filthy masses from expressing their true natures; an historical legacy of trying to kill everyone that isn't in their tribe. The EU is the Harrison Bergeron of markets. Impose restrictions here to level the playing field. Impose restrictions there to make things fair. And when the market naturally corrects itself, impose more edicts to try and tamp that down.



I'm not a Trump supporter. But the mental gymnastics it takes to turn him into Hitler makes me laugh. The historical parallels just aren't there. Period.

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted July 27, 2016
ROLF. Yes Rhino and I agree. whilst he might display complete fkn nut job mannerisms now and then, that dont make him a global killing psychopath.

And here is the kicker. I guess if he gets voted in its by the majority that vote, those that dont vote dont get counted..so to speak. And that's the lovely part about a democracy. The thing that gets me, is that if he winds back Americas overseas engagement, and he has every right too I might add. we will at some point pay a steeper price to fix it. Now I am not saying its Trumps fault if that happens, its more a case of the lazy fkn munters who have been sheltering under the protective umbrella of other nations such as the US who have DONE FKN NOTHING either individually or as a collective group to raise their own level of ability and stop sucking off the US tit!

Again, you might apply that here in OZ to a degree and I would slap the previous Polys fkn silly for the same reason. We should have a larger and better equipped Defence force, not the size of the US , but certainly bigger in capability than what we now fkn have. And when that sort of group is paired with a similar collection they have capability. They dont necessarily have to rely on the US as the first and only form of defence. Now...that also means that we should have NUKES TOO, so the playing field is fkn level. After all, I trust the fkn CHINK as far as I can throw the fat pasty white fkn bastards!

Lobes mutters...

Posted July 27, 2016
Saying "those that dont vote dont get counted" is completely wrong Havock. The leader of a democracy has the obligation to rule in the best interests for everyone. He doesnt get to just make policy for those who vote for him or donate to his campaign or give scholarships to his daughter. They must also lead for those who voted for the opponent and the children who are too young to vote and those who were ill or incapacitated on election day and yes, even those who couldnt be bothered to get out and vote.

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted July 27, 2016
Lobes you are correct and I was prolly not clear enough.

I agree with all, but my drive was more towards those that didn't vote not being able to winge. eg
He gets the majority vote, but from the minority value of the population, really fucked, But I suspect its a very real possibility. But govern for all, he must, yes dare I say it, even those that didn't vote but could have, the balance of persons who have legitimate cause not too, due to age, location ,illness or the likes I am fine with.

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DaveC has opinions thus...

Posted July 27, 2016
One thing which upsets the apple cart of forecasting Great Power conflicts, distinct from five thousand years of historical precedent, are nuclear weapons. Less rational leadership could increase the likelihood of their use. But we've had occasional dumbasses in power over the last seventy years, so who knows? In addition to the Chicken Little app, Rhino, are you developing an 'I can't believe you think this is an invasion Putin un-puckerer? ' app? The Olympics are coming, so I was just wondering.

Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted July 27, 2016
Nope. Except for the UK they can all go fuck themselves this time around.\

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted July 27, 2016
yeah...fkn kind of sick of Europe to be honest!

OH did I mention I just bought a new firearm, now its time for another , this one might be a 7mm I think.

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted July 27, 2016
7 mm eh ? Probably about the same size as your dick

HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 27, 2016
troll!

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DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted July 27, 2016
Trump isn't Hitler, if anything he's a pale imitation of Greg Stillson. And he'd totally use a kid as a human shield I reckon,...

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted July 27, 2016
That's what I like about history, it doesn't really repeat. Sure, you can track causes and fault lines but those don't replicate. There may be some similarities in events or trends but those don't necessarily lead to similar events.
Brexit, Trump and people like Hanson in Oz are indicative of people giving "up yours" messages to those they feel have screwed them over.
Trump, if he does become president will be a similar level of scary as George W, but not as dim witted. He has yet to put on the table any coherent policies. Brain fart rhetoric designed to point fingers and promise better times during vote-gathering election mode are a long way from legislation being presented to Congress. In the meantime there's amusement to be had in his cack handed comments, as well as concern.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted July 27, 2016
Ok, if things are really going bad we have The Magnificent Seven to help out.
https://teaser-trailer.com/movie/the-magnificent-seven/

FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted July 28, 2016
hahahaha! the only thing that repeats itself is Hollywood.

Looks good though : (

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HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2016
"up yours" messages to those they feel have screwed them over.

therbs. THATS A REAL BIG PART OF IT! and thats the establishment has not fkn listened. and think they know best. Knights and squires and sooner or later the squire will cut your throat if you keep fking him over without lube!

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted July 27, 2016
Pretty much on the mark cry HAVOC21 - in the dim dark daze of Knights, Dukes and Dukettes the Royales were only those in possession of the systems of Communication Command and Control. Not any more - any bright spark with a SmartPhone can be King - and all the other not so brighter sparks can collaborate to make it so - even if they realise it or not. Frankly I blame SF & Alt-Hist writers for the mess we're in. If only they'd formed little teams to battle the Oliphant aliens, like in Footfall, but no ... they have to mess with the timelines, give clueless idealogues ideas and invent handheld communicators and tablets an' stuff so geeky scientists get aroused and start making sci-fyey things real - they're all like little white-coated Merlins trying to out magic one another. Despotism and Armageddon was so much more simple BWWW.

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2016
I laugh at your concerns about politics. We are in the middle of a climate emergency. 2016 has been the hottest year on record and we are about to transition into rapid exponential warming as the siberian tundra thaws out and releases billions of tons of CO2 and Methane. This is going to release more greenhouse gases in one event than humans have emitted in decades. The oceans will heat up and may or may not kill off most of the plankton that underpins the earths oxygen supply. Sea levels will rise very quickly, possibly in pulses. Would not want to be living in a coastal region (i live in a coastal region FML)

http://www.flassbeck-economics.com/how-climate-change-is-rapidly-taking-the-planet-apart/

Therbs puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2016
As a busy arch villain I've been hatching all sorts of schemes to eliminate pesky secret agents and destroy this, burn that etc to make the planet uninhabitable for a period so my secret "Ark Base" becomes Earth's sole preserver of Terran life forms with me as the ruler. This Siberian tundra-melt option of yours seems feasible but a tad slow for my liking. I'll get my scienticians to step it up.

insomniac reckons...

Posted July 27, 2016
Yes step it up will you. I'm relying on a 15m rise in sea levels to provide me with the increased values associated with a seaside property. I need just enough to drown out the neighbours at the bottom of the hill, but not enough to affect my actual property. Climate science is that accurate, isn't it?

HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted July 27, 2016
jesus, more than that, at 150m above sea level its gotta be BIG, I want beach front too!.

Just applying a wee bit more brain power to the whole melt thing. Wouldn't the rise in ocean levels mean that the fish populations would increase. I mean with more water about for those fisher blokes to chase them in, they have a better chance etc etc.

Lobes puts forth...

Posted July 27, 2016
The last time CO2 levels were this high the sea level was 23 meters higher. Temperature records are being broken on a monthly basis, 14 straight now, and CO2 is increasing. Everything that's happening is exceeding worst case scenarios and we are too busy obsessing over Terror and elections and Kanye and how shitty we are as a civilization to step away from the ledge. Well the ledge has given way now. We are in climate freefall and I have no idea how we'll land.

Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 27, 2016
Why do you think I am now living on top of amountain here in sunny Armidale?

Lobes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 28, 2016
This is an interesting link. If you want to survive rapid climate change follow the military bases when they relocate.

http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/global-warming-impacts/sea-level-rise-flooding-us-military-bases?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=tw&utm_campaign=tw

NBlob puts forth...

Posted July 29, 2016
Mr Lobes sir, your proposition intrigues me and I would like to subscribe to your pamphlet.

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jason mutters...

Posted July 27, 2016
Enough of the doom and gloom. JB you are missing a winner here. Putin, Trump, Turnbull. The oligarchs conspire to carve up the world into financial empires and have their own armies to back them up. One grisly freedom fighter with a ragtag band of misfits is the only thing that can stop them (please please please name him after me). Undertones of capitalism v socialism. Chuck a little xenophobia into the mix. Can't go wrong.

Guru Bob would have you know...

Posted July 27, 2016
Lots of online commentary at the moment about links between Putin and Trump.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted July 28, 2016
Trump calling on the Russians to hack Clinton's missing emails is pure gold.

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted July 28, 2016
yeah, just when I thought is was safe to read the news again. The RED/ ORANGE headed fkn muppet comes out with another brain fart statement.

WOW!

jason swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 28, 2016
Strangely I am a red/orange haired muppet. Sad but true. I assume you are referring to the richer muppet.

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted July 28, 2016
ROFL.

um

HELL YES! the only other one I know of is the young PRATT and I'n not sure he gets into the muppet cat, just ORANGE!

GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted July 29, 2016


Jason and the Burgernauts battle the legions of Putin, Trump and Turnball ... I'd buy that for a $1!

SZF ducks in to say...

Posted July 29, 2016
F*ck me. Not ANOTHER Young Adult dystopian fantasy series...

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HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted July 27, 2016
Um, JASON, I was thinking there must be a book somewhere and that the odds must be short for Trump to be the next PREZ shot if he gets in!. But the real question is, which demographic will get him first?

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 27, 2016
I heard of someone who backed Trump for $1000 at 8 to 1 but I think he is about 3 dollars now. Clinton is odds on I believe. To come in from 8 dollars means that there has been a shitload put on Trump. Even PJ O Rourke reckoned he's voting for Clinton rather than Trump during his national press club address. I think Trump would be excellent theatre and I believe that he's in with a chance. The money is rarely wrong in politics though.

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jl asserts...

Posted July 28, 2016
The Trump/Hitler comparisons are overblown. The little Austrian corporal was an evil political master, The Donald is a reality show star.

I happen to know a number of Trump supporters, and the rule seems to be that he's a "fuck you" vote to the system. Another friend who is an English lady voted for Brexit for similar reasons.

Most women I know are repulsed by Trump, but dislike Hillary as well. On balance, they will support Hillary.

One thing's for sure, this will be an election to remember. I plan on getting a nice bowl of popcorn and watching the fireworks.

BTW, we have had complete assbags for presidents before, and the world did not end. Every president is constrained by the other branches of government, the voters, and powerful interests foreign and domestic.

As for continental Europe? Time to ditch the mentality that war for any reason is wrong. There is no bigger crock of shit than the saying "violence never solves anything." It does. Only massively applied violence and tens of millions of deaths solved the whole Nazi/Japan problem.

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Stephen M. Stirling asserts...

Posted July 28, 2016
I detect the wails of frustrated entitlement in this article. Those who thought they were leaders and look behind... and how DARE THEY, they're not following!

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted July 28, 2016
Ha! I almost sent you this link via email.

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Guy ducks in to say...

Posted July 28, 2016
Murph is so right about the EU. There has been a deluge of articles from the liberal left about how Brexit will lead to disaster. The truth is that historians in the future will shake their heads in bewilderment about why people couldn't see that the EU was a disaster waiting to happen. A first year economics student understands that you can't have an effective long-term monetary union without a political union and nobody in Europe is willing to form a single European superstate. It's just a matter of time before the whole rotten edifice falls apart. The UK's Brexit decision was the only sane response to the lunacy that is the EU.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted July 28, 2016
“Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage among his books. For to you kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger.”? Gordon R. Dickson, Tactics of Mistake

Therbs would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2016
Shai Dorsai!
Gonna have to revisit those books.

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"And the spoils go to those with fewest fucks to give".

Posted July 22, 2016 into Politics by John Birmingham

This piece explainging "how trolls took the wheel of the clown car of modern politics", and which I found via Mike Carlton is a brilliant distraction as civilisation burns down around our heads.

So here we are at the Convention, where howling psychopath Donald Trump has just been confirmed as the presidential nominee, to the horror of half of the party and every remaining moderate conservative in America as well as the 15,000 members of the international press who flocked to see the circus in realtime. Milo is loving every second of it. He lost no time climbing on the back of the clown car of the billionaire demagogue who, with ghoulishly oedipal glee, he calls ‘Daddy.’

Read it all.

36 Responses to ‘"And the spoils go to those with fewest fucks to give".’

JBtoo would have you know...

Posted July 22, 2016
Sharp, succinct, scary.

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dweeze reckons...

Posted July 22, 2016
Scary indeed. Nicely written - terms like "unscrupulous whorebaggery" make me chuckle a lot...and then cry becuase they are so accurate.

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Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted July 22, 2016
A wonderful piece.

I first became aware of Laurie Penny via a guest post on (of course) Warren Ellis' blog around about the time of the 2011 London Riots and have followed her writings asiduously since. She's always worth reading.

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DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted July 22, 2016
"There is a dustbin fire behind the blank eyes of his human suit"

Best description of this Arseclown I've ever read.

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted July 22, 2016
And now for something completely different ... We'll send a conservative to the DNC and have them pontificate about the evil there.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted July 22, 2016
I think Fox News will be doing that and they will be sending more than one.

Christopher Biggs puts forth...

Posted July 31, 2016
To be fair, Laurie's next 2 articles about the Democtraic convention are far from complimentary. They're worth reading. You can't dismiss this as "well a leftie WOULD say that"

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NeoMorph swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 22, 2016
John Birmingham is just hoping that Hilary wins the Presidency so that his Axis of Time series will go from Science Fiction to Science Fact(ish).

I wonder how long it will take for them to name a ship the USS Hillary Clinton?

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 22, 2016
Well according to JB, not long at all.

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted July 22, 2016
Remember. In that universe the third term president of the U.S. is dead by 2021.

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Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 22, 2016
It seems that Hunter has a worthy successor.

Rhino puts forth...

Posted July 23, 2016
She couldn't carry Hunter's drool bucket. A throwback reference to him and calling people names ... meh.

Yeah, it was pretty prose. Pretty, but empty. More like a college kid trying to emulate the Master by dropping some acid and hitting the keyboard. Hunter dragged this kind of thing, kicking and screaming, out of the shadows. The masses didn't know that it existed. Today, our self-styled princes and princesses abase themselves on the altar of YouTube, leaked sex tapes, Twitter, ad nauseum, They revel in the shocking of the masses and the masses eat it up with a spoon and ask for seconds.

This isn't the pure, undiluted power grubbing of Johnson or Nixon ... nope. This is evil and power grubbing as slapstick. Both sides.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2016
Only because HST would have had nothing to do with guys like Milo or Roosh - he'd have talked openly about pulling their livers out through their mouths, but he wouldn't have dealt with them personally.

damian asserts...

Posted July 23, 2016
Of course when I say "deal with", I'm talking about personal interaction and not taking suitable measures in the execution of robust policy settings. Roosh in particular, he may have lured to Aspen and buried under rocks somewhere up above the snow line.

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DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted July 22, 2016
Its you vs the creators of the Simpsons on this isn't it?

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Lulu asserts...

Posted July 22, 2016
Trump: "We are going to build a border wall to stop immigrants"
Trudeau: "So are we"

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted July 22, 2016
Nice.

USA seems to have a system that selects for sociopathy. I accept that wasn't the intent. I wonder what was the intent? What is it that this process is designed to achieve? Commonality of porpoise, uniting behind the anointed, spur donors?

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DaveC has opinions thus...

Posted July 22, 2016
Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.... do not have personalities, they have haircuts. Ugly ones. And we have fallen through the looking glass in which they see themselves reflected as small gods.

Brilliant. And so very, very scary.

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ShaneAlpha would have you know...

Posted July 22, 2016
Haven't the Mexicans figured out the a wall will not only keep them out but will also keep the Americans in...with Donald Trump...Forever!

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted July 22, 2016
That piece reminded me - must read more Laurie Penny

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Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 22, 2016
We can only hope that one of the Vice-Presidents is worth a shit and that the primary candidate's term of office is very brief.

For the security agencies reading this post and wondering, I might direct you to this historical example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zachary_Taylor#Death

DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted July 25, 2016
I'm with you Murph.

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Brown Couch ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2016
If you ignore it, it will go away.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted July 25, 2016
“If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange—meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil.” And if we are talking trump, orange is an understatement! I can just see him or Milo calling his mates droogs as they go out for a bit of the old ultraviolence :)

Gives me the shivers that piece. But the USofA will do what the rest of the western world has done. Divide itself right down the middle with the right coming out with a slim majority. Broken model . . . or is that a working model? I can never decide. Either way it is the decimation of the middle that has landed us here.

Timmo asserts...

Posted July 28, 2016
I think you've hit on the perfect analogy with A Clockwork Orange. That's the exact same sense I get from this story - a scenario in which the banality of mindless violence (if only metaphorical in this sense), becomes super-scary due to the complete disconnectedness of the perpetrators.
When politics becomes frenzy, with bile and hatred whipped up just to drive the ego of some bit-part players who see it all as a game, I get quite disturbed. And maybe it's not just the bit part players who see it as a game - I'm yet to be convinced that The Orange One is playing for anything more than to soothe his fevered ego.
One positive though is the article does make me stop and think about how I play the twitter/internet game - pure reaction and unrequited opinions help no-one and perhaps contribute negatively to social discourse.

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GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted July 25, 2016
My wife, who I will kindly designate as GODDESS EARTH-MOTHER, for the purposes of CheeseBurgerynessness, (she's too feisty to be Mrs Ghosty) and I are off to the USA later this fiscal year.


We will be Halloweening in NYC before heading ways south onto DC during ELECTION HUNTING SEASON and are both starting to lose our shiny eyeball glintyness of whoa, we're going on a cool holiday to a mood more becoming of what the hell were we thinking and can we still cash in our tickets!


Does anyone have any advice on how to survive the impending opening of the HELLMOUNT that the eastern seaboard of the US seems to be precariously teetering on?


FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 25, 2016
Apparently entree isn't entree sized - its much bigger and could feed two. Wholefoods also might be a good idea if you can find them. Stay away from tv and social media and the kerfuffle will seem like it doesn't exist. Pay attention to ground animals - if they are all running in a certain direction follow them at speed. That's all i got.

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 25, 2016
If needs be Canada is to the north. Montreal's a pretty cool place and Toronto has some good pubs. Although it'd be a bit brisk up there early November. Mebbe Mexico, the Baja peninsula.

NBlob mutters...

Posted July 25, 2016
Americans breakfast & BBQ far better than us. I happily lived on 2 meals a day there. Intercity trains rock, underground metros are excellent, all other public transport should be disregarded. Relative to Au cabs are cheap, 2 arses make them viable for much intercity type movement. Town cars and courtesy coaches are also excellent options. A nice fella at the arrival lounge with a sign saying "Mr Ghost", a van and a winning smile after a 18 hour flight is a beautiful thing. But the cities are massive. NYC and its Burroughs, cling ons, bedroom suburbs etcetera is fully 10 times the size of Melbourne.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted July 25, 2016
Tipping: default to anyone who does something for you gets a couple of bucks. Waiter & barman %15. Guy who takes your bags to hotel room $5. It's shit, but it's how their kids eat & they don't know any other way.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted July 25, 2016
Americans are generally as generous as Arabs, more courteous than Brits, far more Gullible than Danes and as patriotic as the French -I think with more reason. They love a laugh and will frequently insist on offering you hospitality above & beyond. You can slag off their NFL, Hockey, ball, Basketball or NASCAR team and they'll usually accept it as good natured ribbing. Imply that the USA may be a touch intervention-happy (Chile, Granada, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq & the Stan oh my.) and you may cross a line. That old thing about "don't talk about money, religion or politics" may be an astute option, at least until you've assured yourself your new friend isn't armed.

Rhino asserts...

Posted July 26, 2016
All of us are armed.

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted July 26, 2016
Yeah, being armed has advantages.

Therbs mutters...

Posted July 26, 2016
Its great how you can go into a bar in the U.S. ask a couple of dumb questions about the ball game which is being shown and all of a sudden become involved in a beery sports fest. Sometimes you need to repeat yourself given how the Strayan accent can confuse people.

Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted July 26, 2016
Therbs, any accent in this country confuses people here. Even the American accents have that effect.

GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted July 26, 2016

Golly gee, shucks you guys - thanks a bunch. This is way more useful intel than I anticipated. Suddenly feeling much more prepared, although there was that little reference by RHINO and MURPH to the extra arms thingy ... given that Little 'Man o' Steal' Johnny Howard was George WubbleU's Deputy Dawg do we have to lock n' load and open carry - or can we just strangers in a strange land?

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