The Alarming Signposts that this Could Be a Crazy Year

This is interesting, and amongst all the theories floating around describing events, it makes as much sense as anything else. Does that make it true? Nope, neither does it make it false. Like global warming, global cooling, climate change, it’s a theory, although this one doesn’t have several trillion dollars of rent seeking money attached. It’s a hypothesis, neither proved nor disproved. We shall see.

I was fifteen, it was 1968, and seeking refuge from adolescence and the turmoil of the times, I often curled up with science fiction. When your world spins apart, you can find some respite in alternate worlds. And so I did – until one story wrenched me back to the chaotic present.

It was “The Year of the Jackpot,” in which Robert A. Heinlein stunningly foresaw it all.

The story had been published in 1952, but it conjured up the annus mirabilis/horribilis that I could see flashing before me every day: nudity in public, nudity in the churches, transvestites, draft-dodgers, cigar-smoking feminists, bishops promoting sex education, ludicrous lawsuits, a “startling rise in dissident evangelical cults,” and the Alabama state legislature proposing to abolish physics (not the teaching of physics, no, they wanted to repeal the laws of nuclear physics). Heinlein even predicted that weird antiwar protesters would be arrested in Chicago and disrupt their subsequent trial. In the story, a bespectacled statistician (they always wear glasses) discovers that all varieties of human behavior move in waves, and now (as he plots on graphs) all the waves are cresting at once. “It’s as clear as a bank statement,” he warns. “This year the human race is letting down its hair, flipping its lip with a finger, and saying, ‘Wubba, wubba, wubba.”‘

Source: History News Network | The Alarming Signposts that this Could Be a Crazy Year

Or as some of us might have said back in 1968, ‘Beaucoup dinky dau, redux’. I bet some of my readers recognize that!

P.J O’Rourke has a new book out, it’s called Thrown Under the Omnibus, and it’s an anthology of his earlier works, a greatest hits album, as it were. So if you have his books, it may be a bit repetitive, but it’s a great introduction to the author who has been compared to S.J. Perlman on acid as well as H.L. Mencken, that’s some heady company. Here’s a few quotes:

On the fall of the Berlin Wall:

They may have had the soldiers and the warheads and the fine-sounding ideology that suckered the college students and nitwit Third Worlders, but we had all the fun . . . in the end we beat them with Levi’s 501 jeans. Seventy years of communist indoctrination and propaganda was drowned out by a three-ounce Sony Walkman. A huge totalitarian system with all its tanks and guns, gulag camps, and secret police has been brought to its knees because nobody wants to wear Bulgarian shoes.

On the differences between the parties:

Democrats are in favor of higher taxes to pay for greater spending, while Republicans are in favor of greater spending, for which the taxpayers will pay.

Why conservatives being called Nazis never bothered him:

I don’t let it bother me for one simple reason. No one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal.

Not to mention this:

It is true that Republicans are squares, but it’s the squares who know how to fly the bombers, launch the missiles, and fire the M-16s. Democrats would still be fumbling with the federally mandated trigger locks.

I’ve been reading, and laughing with, O’Rourke since he was a liberal, and I just bought this book, I like greatest hits albums, often they are the concentrated essence of what we loved.

Manifest Destiny in the New Wild West :: SteynOnline

At the new afternoon show at the High Chapparal theme park in Vegby Bolsgård, four Syrian orphans (left) wait in line as the Swedish Deputy Minister of Refugee Resettlement (right) moseys toward them with their first welfare check

Time for some common sense, from Mark Steyn:

I was in Malmö, Sweden, a month ago, and struck by tensions in the social fabric caused by the remorseless tide of “refugees” from “Syria”. Yesterday Rossleigh from the “Australian Independent Media Network” suggested that it was all confusion on my part and the bearded Muslims were, in fact, “hipsters”. Whether or not they’re hipsters, they’re now going to be the world’s least lonesome cowpokes.

The High Chaparral, presumably named after the Sixties telly show, is a Wild West theme park in southern Sweden (see right). And, because everywhere else in the country is filled up with as many Muslims as the fire code allows, the chaps at the Chaparral are now opening their swinging saloon doors to the new settlers and their covered wagons – whoops, covered wives. My old chums at the Telegraph report:

Few fleeing the civil war in Syria would have imagined they would end up spending the winter in a Wild West theme park complete with potted cacti, mock 19th century furniture, and cowboy murals.

But Sweden’s Migration Agency is now so desperate for rooms in which to house this autumn’s unexpected surge in refugees that it has signed a deal with High Chaparral, an amusement park in rural southern Sweden, to house 400 people.

Emil Erlandsson, the park’s manager and co-owner, said that the park had initially refused to lease out its accomodation for fear of damaging its brand.

“They have asked us five times and I have constantly turned them down,” he said. “But when we saw on the TV that refugees are now supposed to live in tents in Malmo, we took a decision that we should help.”

At the High Chaparral the only people living in tents are the Canadian Indians Mr Erlandsson uses as extras. Instead, the “refugees” will have a grand old time:

Source: Manifest Destiny in the New Wild West :: SteynOnline

Look it’s becoming abundantly clear that these aren’t political refugees, from Syria, or anyplace else, they are at best, economic refugees, and given that they have no marketable skills, at all, they are simply welfare shopping. The obvious thing is that Sweden and Germany, especially, besides destroying their own native culture are killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. Sultan Knish has more here.

There are likely a lot of reasons, not excluding the guilt many German feel/felt for Nazi-ism, and the bleeding that Europe took of its best men in the wars of the twentieth century, and seventy-five years of outsourcing their defense to the United States-kvetching all the while.

But the past is in some sense, prologue, and what we are watching now, is the dissolution of Europe, into if not the caliphate, into at least a Muslim majority continent. I rather doubt it is fixable, for a very simple reason:

Nothing cannot stand against anything.

If Europe does not grow a pair, and soon, it is irretrievably lost. Better visit soon before the cathedrals are all mosques.


Tuesday Miscellany; Mostly Free Market Edition

XISHUANGBANNA, CHINA - MARCH 04:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meets a rescued elephant called 'Ran Ran' at the Xishuangbanna Elephant Sanctuary on March 4, 2015 in Xishuangbanna, China. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is on a four day visit to China. He is the most senior royal to visit China since the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in 1986. His visit follows on from a successful four day visit to Japan  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

XISHUANGBANNA, CHINA – MARCH 04: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meets a rescued elephant called ‘Ran Ran’ at the Xishuangbanna Elephant Sanctuary on March 4, 2015 in Xishuangbanna, China. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is on a four day visit to China. He is the most senior royal to visit China since the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in 1986. His visit follows on from a successful four day visit to Japan (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Some odds and ends that have been accumulating.

This is an unusual piece of common sense, especially coming out of Britain, and he’s right.

How good a deal for Britain is it that the president of China got a state visit and a nuclear power station and Prince William got the chance to go on Chinese television and complain about the ivory trade? The Prince was listened to politely, of course, but the Chinese will not give up their enthusiasm for the stuff. The elephant in the room, to misapply that expression, is that only a legal trade in ivory will save the species. Just as cows exist in any numbers only because we eat their flesh and drink their milk, so elephants have a future only if it is profitable to breed them.

Source: Charles Moore’s Notes: If we want to save the elephant, we must legalise the ivory trade » The Spectator

Turkeys voting for Christmas

Almost daily we are told of the intention of Labour and Lib Dem peers to reject legislation proposed by the House of Commons. They must, I suppose, have a death wish.

Before the House of Lords was “reformed”, by the removal of most of the hereditary peers so as to ensure it was full of appointed members, there was a permanent Tory majority in the House. But that Tory majority always understood that it had to bow to the elected chamber. The most appalling Bills produced by Labour governments were voted through every time, even though most of their lordships hated what the Commons had come up with. Convention required that the elected chamber should have its way.

Source: House of Lords Digs its own Grave

Free trade breaks up Monopolies, sometimes even government enforced ones:

Evgeny “Gene” Freidman is no fan of Uber. The increasing popularity of this vehicle-for-hire (or ridesharing) company has lost him millions of dollars. He has even asked New York City taxpayers for a bailout. As difficult as bailing out the big banks was to swallow, bailing out a taxi mogul—who at one point owned more than 1,000 New York City taxi medallions—is an even harder sell. A bailout would be especially outrageous considering that Freidman and his financial backers are actively working to make consumers pay more for fewer options.

Freidman reluctantly took over his father’s modest yellow taxi business as a young man. He brought his experience in Russian finance to the industry, and started to accumulate increasing numbers of taxi medallions using highly leveraged financing. Freidman expanded a company with just a few taxis into a conglomeration of three- to five-car mini-fleets.

As Freidman’s taxi empire grew, he expanded into other cities, including New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He gained control of hundreds more medallions that are also now in financial trouble. His willingness to bid on practically any medallion that came up for sale helped drive a rapid increase in medallion prices across the country.

Source: New York’s Taxi King Is Going Down

I also note that I saw this story (almost verbatim) last week about the London black cabs as well, and the French cabbies are rioting about it. But there we can also agree with the Duke of Wellington:

We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France.

EU Moves Step Closer to Open Tyranny

For the first time since the creation of Europe’s monetary union, a member state has taken the explicit step of forbidding eurosceptic parties from taking office on the grounds of national interest.

Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.

He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.

Source: EU Moves Step Closer to Open Tyranny

All Cultures are Mine

This was before the popular emergence of the idea of cultural appropriation. Nobody told me that books, music, and clothing created by people who didn’t look like me didn’t belong to me, that I was somehow borrowing them. Today, people do tell me this. They tell me that I must tread lightly when engaging in cultural forms not invented by my white ancestors.

I have listened to their arguments, read their theories, and arrived at a conclusion. They are wrong. All cultures are mine.

Source: All Cultures Are Mine

A reminder: there are only two countries in the world that do not have a national costume. England, who we all dress like for important occasions, and the United States, who everybody dresses like the rest of the time. That’s all you need to know about who has the superior culture, it’s another case of a free market.

Still more Free Market Doing its Job

As is well-known by now, one of the side effects of Daraprim, a medication needed by many AIDS and cancer patients, is uncontrollable rage — not because of any chemical properties of the drug itself, but because Martin Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price by more than 5,000 percent immediately after purchasing the rights to the medication. Until Shkreli’s greed caused the price to very quickly inflate, the lifesaving pill, which has been on the market longer than Shkreli has been alive, sold for just $13.50 per pill.

Shkreli provided numerous excuses for the price increase, the unfairness of which made headlines for weeks after the rather transparent attempt to effectively hold patients at gunpoint and rob them blind. While “Pharma Bro” ultimately promised to lower prices to an undefined amount at an unspecified point in time — something that has still not happened — another company has taken it upon themselves to completely embarrass the former hedge funder, who described the price increase as necessary.

San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc announced on Thursday that it will be providing an alternative to Daraprim that costs a fraction of the pill’s pre-Shkreli price. The drug will be sold at as low as $99 for a 100-pill supply. Yes, that’s just about a dollar per pill.

Source: Capitalism As It Was Meant To Be

American Recessional

First a powerful Bill Whittle Afterburner

This is the problem that has reduced us from “The Shining City on a Hill”, to just another Zimbabwe. We’ve always had corruption, it’s inherent in an organization of human beings, but we have never so completely and brazenly ignored it.

Then there is this article. Do I necessarily believe it? No? But the very fact that I think it possible, and I do, tells you that the swamp is very high, and the alligators are quite hungry.

America and the coming break point

A revolutionary political earthquake lies up ahead. The popularity of Trump foretells this. We’re feeling the tremors right now. But the feeling of revulsion for the Washington establishment is not yet clear enough and widespread enough in the minds of the people to manifest in a revolutionary “break point.” But I believe such a lack of widespread clarity is the lull before the storm. And the storm is coming in the form of a pervasive economic crash that will shake up Americans in a way they have never before experienced.

It is then that the needed clarity will be achieved. It is in times of great crisis that people are susceptible to a more truthful view of things, and will be more willing to take revolutionary action. If freedom is to be restored in America, it will be at this time when the establishment way of doing things for the past century – political centralization and Keynesian monetary theory – comes under suspicion as highly flawed ideology and political tyranny. It is here when all is chaos and despair that the coming break point will be reached and a chance to restore freedom will be available to us.

When the crisis really hits, when the dollar is dropping like a rock in a dry well, when tanks are in the streets to restore order in scores of new Fergusons and Baltimores pockmarking the country, when unemployment hits 25% and no one believes the BLS lies of 5% anymore, when the Feds are snooping in the skies above with thousands of drones over our own country, when a smarmy President spews out still another unctuous speech from the White House about how “government is here to help you,” then the breaking point will be reached in the minds of the American people.

Source: America and the coming break point « Sago

What happens next? I don’t know, but I would suggest that electing still another clown as president is likely not to be the answer. And the day is coming that the questions will have to be answered. And the penalty points are piling up.


God of our fathers, known of old,
   Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
   Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
   The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
   An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
   On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
   Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
   Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
   Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
   In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
   And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word—
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!


Rudyard Kipling 1897


Exporting Oil, Again

Oil-derrickYesterday, I mentioned here that a bill again allowing oil exports had passed the House. Here from Marita Noon is a bit more about it, and some inside baseball about the sausage factory as well. I’m an unabashed ideologue, but I do recognize that if you are a member of Congress, you probably should pay attention to your constituents, even if they are foolish Greens or RINO squishes. That too is part of the job, and it’s actually a good thing, as anybody who remember 2009 can attest.


The house passed H.R. 702, the bill to lift the decades old oil export ban—with 26 Democrats joining the majority of Republicans and voting for it.

Republicans could have passed the bill without the Democrats—but there are strategic reasons why it was important to include Democrats. And, getting them on board didn’t happen naturally—especially since two days before the vote the White House issued a veto threat in the form of a “Statement of Administrative Policy.” It says: “Legislation to remove crude export restrictions is not needed at this time.… If the President were presented with H.R. 702, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

Twenty-six Democrats went against the wishes of the president and voted with the Republicans—but the number should have been much higher. Getting the companion bill through the Senate will be a heavy lift as the Republicans hold a slim majority. Because of the threat, a veto-proof majority will be needed in the Senate. The Washington Postreported: “the measure still faces a Senate that doesn’t appear eager to take up the issue.” A strong number of Democrats supporting the bill in the House gets the attention of the Democrats in the Senate.

The current news about the potential replacement for House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has brought a split in the Republican Party to the forefront. But there is an equal, perhaps even greater, divide within the Democratic Party. And the two sides do hold very different views—on display in the fight for votes in support of H.R. 702.

Democrats decried the bill saying it would put billions of dollars in the pockets of “Big Oil.” In contrast, understanding that successful businesses mean a strong economy and employment, the Republicans addressed the jobs that have been lost in the oil field—representing hundreds of thousands and real people who are struggling—and touted how H.R. 702 will help.

Source: Beyond the bickering, bill lifting oil-export ban wins bipartisan support « Sago

It’s a confusing, depressing, abstruse, and cumbersome way to run the country. It’s also nearly exactly what the Founder’s intended. Their point was to make it difficult to establish a tyranny, from any direction. It doesn’t help that this shouldn’t have anything at all to do with government, on either the oil or the maritime policy. But the thing is, that horse got out of the barn back when Lincoln hadn’t been thought of, that’s the weakness in a lot of libertarian thinking, they’re correct very often indeed; but they tend to posit a blank sheet of paper, and in many ways, getting that blank sheet, entails a price none of us want to pay.

Elliot reminds us always:

Sin is Behovely, but
All shall be well, and
All manner of thing shall be well.
If I think, again, of this place,
And of people, not wholly commendable,
Of no immediate kin or kindness,
But of some peculiar genius,
All touched by a common genius,
United in the strife which divided them;
If I think of a king at nightfall,
Of three men, and more, on the scaffold
And a few who died forgotten
In other places, here and abroad,
And of one who died blind and quiet
Why should we celebrate
These dead men more than the dying?
It is not to ring the bell backward
Nor is it an incantation
To summon the spectre of a Rose.
We cannot revive old factions
We cannot restore old policies
Or follow an antique drum.
These men, and those who opposed them
And those whom they opposed
Accept the constitution of silence
And are folded in a single party.
Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
We have taken from the defeated
What they had to leave us—a symbol:
A symbol perfected in death.
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching.


Russia and Iran Moving to Corner the Mideast Oil Supply?

In the Middle East, it is time to follow the money. To me,  Steve Chambers makes all the sense in the world here. Russia is at best, a regional power, as we’ve discussed many times here. Jessica, with her usual common sense, reminded us in  The Rules of the Great Game, that those rules have not been suspended.

In addition, as Jess mentioned, Europe is critically dependent on Russian oil. They literally can’t afford to offend Putin overmuch. In large measure, North America can fix that, but we’re not working on that either. Sadly, Europe will in large measure pay the price for our shortsightedness, unless we suddenly decide to export oil again. (that bill has passed the House, likely will pass the Senate, and as usual for something in the interest of Western Civilization, Obama says he’ll veto it). Here’s some of the article:

It looks like Vladimir Putin and the ayatollahs are preparing to corner the world’s oil supply – literally.

Last May I wrote on this site that Iran was in the process of surrounding the Saudi/Wahhabi oil reserves, along with those of the other Sunni Gulf petro-states.  I added that, “Iran’s strategy to strangle Saudi/Wahhabi oil production also dovetails with Putin’s interests.  As the ruler of the second largest exporter of oil, he would be delighted to see the Kingdom’s production eliminated or severely curtailed and global prices soar to unseen levels.  No wonder he is so overtly supporting Iran.”

We’ve now seen Putin take a major, menacing step in support of the Iranians by introducing combat forces into Syria.  Many analysts argue that he’s doing this both to protect his own naval base at Tartus and as some sort of favor to the Iranians.  Are those really sufficient inducement for him to spend scarce resources and risk Russian lives, or does he have bigger ambitions in mind?  Given the parlous state of Russia’s economy, thanks in very large part to the recent halving of oil prices, he must relish the opportunity now presented to him, in an axis with Iran, to drive those prices back to prior levels.

The Iranians, for their part, must welcome this opportunity as well, for two huge reasons: first, when sanctions are finally lifted, thanks to their friend in the White House, Iran’s oil production will only aggravate the current global excess oil supply, reducing their cash flow (although they will still repatriate the $150 billion released by the nuclear deal).  They and the Russians must both be desperate to find a way to prevent further oil price declines.  And second, Iran’s mortal sectarian enemies and rivals for leadership of all of Islam are the Saudi/Wahhabi clan, so the prospect of simultaneously hurting them while strengthening themselves must seem tremendously tantalizing.

Source: Articles: Russia and Iran Moving to Corner the Mideast Oil Supply

OK, obviously disrupting the Arab oil supplies will trow a large spanner in the works of the world’s economy, as it drives oil prices to record highs, China, the US, and Europe all have fragile, and perhaps brittle economies, and yes the ‘refugees’ (even if they are legitimate) already are threatening Europe.

But as so often, North America has the solution, here’s a bit more from the article:

So, Putin and the ayatollahs have powerful motives to corner the world’s oil market and therefore the US and the rest of the world are facing an enormous risk.  The horrible pity of this is that the US could easily demonstrate the futility of the Russian-Iranian axis trying to take the world hostage with Mideast oil, simply by opening up our surface deposits of oil shales in the Rockies.  As I showed in this analysis last March, these resources could make Mideast oil irrelevant.

The US’ surface oil shales are completely different from the deep shales that are accessed through directional drilling and fracking and that grab all the headlines; the deep shales are a mere side show in terms of reserves.  The surface shales hold up to 3 trillion barrels of oil versus about 50 billion barrels of tight oil accessed by fracking.  The total global proven reserves of oil are 1.6 trillion barrels, and the Canadian tar sands have 1.6 to 2.5 trillion barrels (although they’re officially listed at 175 billion barrels, which are incorporated in the global total).  So, the US and Canada together essentially can triple the global supply of oil, and at prices in the $60-75/barrel range.  Meanwhile, Mideast reserves are about 800 billion barrels – half of Canada’s oil sands, perhaps less than a third of the US surface shales.  The world no longer needs the Muslim oil.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Rockies surface shales sit on Federal land, and while George W. Bush opened up those lands for development, Obama rescinded that policy.  These reserves now sit almost entirely idle.

As with any petroleum deposit, these surface shale reserves can’t be turned on with the wave of a wand.  But they can be opened for development with just a pen, and not even a phone.  For the protection of this country, and the good of the world, our current president should immediately open these reserves for development, with great fanfare.  If he will not use our military to protect our interests, he should at least use our economic weapons.

And so, once more, if the author is correct, as I think he may be, Russia is badly overextended, North America, the United States and Canada, hold the fate of the West, in our hands. But will we do what is necessary, as we always have, or will we play a violin concerto while Western Civilization burns.

We’ll see, but given the timing, I’m not very optimistic.

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