American Gulag and Stasi, Inc

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the protest at the Capitol, in Washington, DC. A good many of those who attended felt they had a perfect right to walk into the Capitol Building, which is after all, the structure that we pay for and support our so-called political representatives with our votes. So why didn’t we have the right to walk into it, especially when allowed by the Capitol Police gatekeepers? There certainly were enough loud progressive protesters at the Kavanaugh hearings, setting the example for conservatives to follow an established principle. Or so they thought … mistakenly, as it has turned out. A number of questions about that event still remain. 

(Historically, well-wishers thronged the White House, upon the election of Andrew Jackson, and pretty much destroyed carpets and upholsteries, with the passage of their dirty boots and subsequent rowdy and presumably drunken celebration of a man of the people, a genuine frontiersman, to the highest office in the land. Again – the halls of government are rightfully, our halls – not the exclusive property of temporary lords and ladies. Or so we had assumed. But Jackson was a Democrat, of course, so all was forgiven.)

Those questions remain mostly unanswered, mostly by the heroic efforts of our national establishment news media orgs.

Recalling the great Tea Party gathering on the Mall in D.C., a gathering that I and certain others of our coterie couldn’t afford to attend, although we watched news coverage of that gathering, at a hamburger place at the edge of McAllister Park. (A hamburger joint now out of business, although I am absolutely certain that our gathering in that year had nothing to do with that.) That assurance certainly can’t be made in this lamentable year. Now, who among you would want to go to a mass protest meeting in Washington DC? Knowing that one might be arrested, charged, held without bail in a comfortless metal cell, with no real legal representation, watching from a distance your family and personal enterprise, not to mention your character, be destroyed? Knowing that agent provocateurs from various parties interested in free-hand mayhem took the lead in storming the place, or in making their agencies look good by dropping handcuffs on the readily-gulled? Who among you would even post selfie photos and an account of such a protest on social media – knowing that friends, ex-friends and ex-spouses, fellow church-members, family – will eagerly inform on you to the FBI and other law enforcement bodies? Welcome, the new American Stasi; around every corner, a spy and informant. Goodbye, social trust. Nice to have known you. From now on, the lesson being learned is to be discrete, and trust very few. That is – if you are of a conservative bent, or even hold an opinion a single jot off that is ruled acceptable by the cultural elite. And keep an eye on the weathervane, because what is acceptable may change in the blink of an eye.

Who would go to Washington DC now, knowing that officers of the capitol police may shoot, beat, and trample ordinary citizens, without penalty? Knowing that the national establishment news media will cheerfully join in, after turning an accepting eye on other and ever-more fiery protests across a dozen other cities; protests which have damaged local federal and civic property? Knowing that BLM/Antifa violent protesters have been released almost at once, after arrest, only to go and offend again, while those charged with walking into the Capitol, or even being in the vicinity, or helping to organize the protest a year ago are still locked up – who would risk any kind of protest, save the anonymous and local? Yes, the incestuous national ruling class has already cut off protest by conservative citizens in our capital city, for us sensible and/or impecunious, anyway.

The political ruling class may have won this round, and much joy may it give them, for general unhappiness with their incompetence, malice, and maladministration will go underground. Protest against their rule will become sullen, bitter and prolonged, taking the form of vicious jokes – like the series of ‘I did that!’ stickers appearing on gas pumps and grocery store shelves. There will be samizdat circulated, caustic jokes passed among friends, untraceable sabotage of all kinds of activities, malicious non-compliance, months and maybe years of growing resentment of an increasingly arrogant and incompetent ruling class.

And one day, it will all explode. Like the Ceaușescu clan and their lackeys in Romania – they won’t even see it coming. Only, because we are Americans, it probably won’t take decades. Comment as you wish … looking over your shoulder, of course. Comment as you wish, and dare.

43 thoughts on “American Gulag and Stasi, Inc”

  1. Knowing the atmosphere in DC that day, I would have stayed miles away (I was anyway). I agree the election was likely stolen, partly with Zuckerberg’s money. Part of that blame may rest with Trump’s failure to anticipate what happened and prepare for it. Maybe, given his isolation in deepest DC, no one would help like they did for Bush in 2000. It was too late after the ballots were stuffed and the workers turned off the lights. Most of the counties where this occurred had large populations of blacks, which helped divert criticism as racism and which supplied plenty of poor Democrats eager to make some “walking around money.” By Jan 6, it was far too late to do anything about it and the people who seemed to try to help were clownish. Trump has always been an outsider, even before 2016. That was his attraction even before 2016. I did not expect him to do as good a job as he did. I was pleasantly surprised.

  2. Yes, January 6 was obviously a setup. But Fear Not, the system is weak and pathetic, and can’t survive being mocked. Keep pushing back, we are going to win.

  3. It is interesting that the only real casualty that day (heart attacks among overweight Capitol hunks excepted) was an unarmed white woman. Her government-employee killer was not prosecuted. More recently, there was that white woman police officer who accidentally (and foolishly) pulled out her gun instead of her taser and let fly, resulting in an unnecessary death — very long jail sentence.

    It is almost like the Democrats hate white women, and take their undying loyalty for granted.

    Current events in Kazakhstan show the long-term risks for an inbred dominant incompetent ruling class of taking any of their peons for granted.

  4. “It is interesting that the only real casualty that day (heart attacks among overweight Capitol hunks excepted) was an unarmed white woman”
    Actually it looks like at least one of the other deaths was a woman (Rosanne Boyland) who was beaten to death by the capitol police, partially captured on video, and called a drug overdose by the coroner. The claims of heart attacks and drug overdoses for the other deaths have always been absurd.
    Like I said, keep pushing, and we win, they lose.

  5. The number of people – apparently – in prison for a time already far beyond appropriate for anything they did (and why wouldn’t they think that a protest about an election would cover some activity since the rather thin fig leaf of protests begun by BLM on often spurious grounds seemed to be allowed).

    But then of course I can remember earlier assaults of this kind and we do feel something when we as a nation are dissed – whether it is by the Boston bomber’s finger or the strange and somewhat sympathetic crazy man in his horned outfit. Of course, those of us who already thought Congress was pretty much ruled by barbarians weren’t as impressed by these acts – didn’t see the novelty in barbarians in those seats when we had seen Swalwell in his idiocy and Hank Johnson in his dimness and Schiff in his smarmy dishonesty. Oh, well.
    Jackson was a bit much – but he was an American hero as well. And admirable as the Adams are in so many ways, Jackson deserved to be where he was far more than the brilliant Adams – who, of course, stood up against slavery through the day he died as had his parents. There are different kinds of virtues and our country has needed that diversity. That Trump represented it now and he was greeted as he was with a rebellious swamp and a stupidly disdainful press says much about how far we’ve come from actually and honestly appreciating what works, what makes America and its citizens better off in so many ways, and now have those who would destroy anything that differs from their own changing, dishonest, stupid, lousy policies.

  6. Things work, until they don’t.

    I suppose this is a clumsy cliche, but I think the conservatives who went to DC a year ago figured they’d get the same treatment as the endless swarms of leftists who could casually trespass into the Capitol, harassing the hapless GOPes and even setting off bombs. Since conservatives would never do that sort of thing, they figured they were safe to protest, because they were Americans and had rights.

    Oops.

    Lesson learned, in some sense.

    I will stand by and repeat my assertion that this will end in some sort of civil war, which I have made here and remember even if no one else does. I see no way that the left will allow that their political opponents have any rights that they should feel bound to respect, unless they are taught that by force, as they were taught circa 1861-1865.

    The Slavocracy of the Antebellum South obviously isn’t quite the same as the legions of parasites today bleating for a “universal basic income” or demanding that the public forgive their student loans. But they have the same sort of mindset- and unless and until they are confronted and defeated, their demands will escalate until they effectively demand the de facto enslavement of everyone they deem unworthy.

    No thanks.

  7. The unrest of January 6 2021 would never have happened, had our leaders adhered to Constitutional requirements and processes – both before the election to avoid the compromises, and once the compromises became evident.

    This is the elephant in the room, that shall not be named – much less discussed – according to Big Tech, the media Goebbli, and the Powers that Be. But the Tarkin Effect (the more they squeeze, the more slips through their fingers) applies to their efforts here.

    And the currently-in-progress repudiation of the lockdown panic-demic paradigm – by the reality of the mask/vax-dodging common cold Ver. 2.0 known as Omicron – will likely deny the compromisers the cover to play fast-and-loose with the process as they did in 2020, in 2022 and 2024.

    And there is another aspect in play.

    Now that they have occupied DC (in a manner reminiscent of how Paris was occupied in 1940 in arrogant hubris, albeit less lethally) they have managed to push the lines of conflict down into state and local levels … where more and more of our neighbors can no longer ignore the reality of what the occupiers advocate and are rejecting it where they’re at … and where free men and women still have elected officials who are willing to ignore and even push back on the DC overreach in favor of federalism.

    Which makes it easier for all of us us to ignore and/or push back on the occupiers as irrelevant, instead of being compelled to submit in every area. We saw it in Loudon County, VA, and Southlake TX … and in the governors’ offices of FL, TX, SD, and other states.

    We shall fight them in the schools …
    We shall fight them on the playing fields …
    We shall fight them in our offices,
    and in our factories …
    We shall fight them on the highways,
    and on their receiving docks …
    We shall fight them in our city halls,
    and state capitals …

    … WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER!

    This could be our finest hour … if we are resolved to reject dependence upon the social technocracy that has come to dominate the free world, and return to reliance upon those closest to the problems: ourselves and our neighbors (and Naybors), to find the answers we need and use them wisely.

  8. The GOPe was happy to see Trump lose, and will be happy to see him get the nomination and lose again. But the problem isn’t that they are anti-Trump, it’s that they’re spineless trash who aren’t anti- anything at all. If he wins, they’ll go along with that as well. They’re in it for themselves, and have rigged the system so it benefits them immensely.
    Trump wasn’t out to destroy the club, he’s spent his whole life as the kid from Queens who wanted to be in the Manhattan club, but they never let him actually join. Someone much more radical is coming (actually many someones, from all sides of the spectrum), because the system is decaying before our eyes, everyone knows it, no one in the club knows what to do, but their weakness is attracting wolves and vultures and assorted other beasts.

  9. January 6, 2020 was pure theater. It’s more than obvious from the various compilations that the FBI had agents provocateurs out in the city encouraging entry into the capitol complex, and that there were “security” personnel who actually let those provoked people into the buildings.

    As I was saying at the time, the whole thing was a setup. My suspicion is that the traitors within the Trump administration had a great deal to do with what happened and how it happened. The whole thing was theater aimed at legitimizing the election irregularities, and represents what I suspect is the last major gasp of the fraudulency we’ve lived under lo these many years.

    Going forward, you’re going to see a lot more attention paid to the details of elections and a lot more involvement by the locals. When even my Democrat die-hard friends are saying that the election was fraudulent, they have a problem. Where this ends, I don’t know, but the legitimacy of this government is evaporating before our eyes, and where it goes after that…? No. Idea. At. All.

  10. they are part of the combine, the machine, take lindsay graham, who is bought and paid for minion of qatar’s pay master of course you know the turtle who is trying to bluff on the legitimate franchise, I compared mostly to animal houses delta house jamboree, if the ring leaders like ray epps and the scaffold man, are not arrested, where therein lies the rub

  11. Right now the 8 Robed Ninnies (plus Thomas) are hearing the oral arguments on the jab mandate.

    I will state right now, here in public, that I will not submit to an injection of an experimental DNA-altering substance already known to cause massive numbers of adverse effects, including death. It is also clearly ineffective at preventing the spread of the disease it purports to “vaccinate” again, since the doubly-jabbed and boosted are the single biggest reservoir of the new variant. This is simply one of many lines across which I will not be pushed. It is a philosophical and constitutional issue regardless of my own physical (auto-immune) problems.

    How will I resist? By whatever peaceful means necessary. If the government makes the decision to implement the use of force, I will defend my life. I sincerely hope that it doesn’t come to that, but the way the collectivist, statist authoritarians are pushing, I’m afraid that it might.

    “Your status in hell is determined by the size of the bodyguard you take with you.”

  12. a relative of mine, I didn’t know till years later, was roberto san roman, he was the unit commander at the bay of pigs, a ft benning trained army major, he was betrayed by mueller’s inlaws, tracy barnes and charles cabell, the deep state duo, imprisoned in the tropical gulag,
    my family’s tiny plot of land, was seized and damned up for good measure, flooding it,

  13. January 6th ushered in a new era, and I think it’s important for everyone on the right to realize where we fit in. We are living under occupation. Act accordingly. This isn’t 2010 where you can put on your tricorn hat and show up at a protest to shout “Let’s Go Brandon!” You do that today and you can expect to be surveilled by the FBI and possibly end up on the no fly list and have your bank and credit accounts closed. Go viral on twitter for doing it, and you can find yourself fired. After all, what company wants to explain why they are employing an “extremist?” We need to learn to live under an occupation. It won’t be easy, but we don’t have much choice.

  14. Let’s assume you’re arrested for some Federal crime. You’re entitled to the presumption of innocence; remember that as your friends, family and associates read the accounts in the media. You’re entitled to bail; assuming all your assets haven’t been seized or frozen. This is when you’ll find out who your real friends are. It’s not just the money, how many times of seeing a black SUV in the rear view mirror will it take for someone to regret being associated with an “alleged” felon? You’re entitled to a legal defense; see above reference to seized and frozen, the best you can afford.

    Absent that, a well regarded defense attorney will require a 6 figure retainer. They don’t do installment plans and what they can garnish out of your wages for cleaning toilets in Federal stir won’t go far towards next month’s yacht payment. He or she will probably be a former prosecutor. Oddly, the Federal defender 98% loss rate doesn’t seem conducive of large retainers in the outside world. There may be a few in private practice but I don’t recall hearing of any.

    Suppose you want to question evidence or investigate witnesses. That’s on you as well and not part of the retainer. Of course, however much trouble the government has building aircraft carriers, they seem to have the process of manufacturing witnesses and evidence down pat, so you might want to save your money towards those little extras like soap and toothpaste.

    Some of you might want to copy this into notepad and print it out to attach to your next prospective juror questionnaire. I’m pretty sure you’ll go home on time.

  15. When you get down to it, however…?

    There aren’t enough of “them” to keep the lid on “the rest of us”, if we wake up and realize what the actual ratios of Fed-to-Citizen are.

    This is one reason for the increasing desperation on their part. They can feel the control slipping, and they don’t know what to do about it.

    The regime in Washington DC is getting really, really close to their Ceaucescu Moment, and the results of that are not going to be at all pretty, for them. The rubes are starting to realize that they’ve been conned, and I see more and more sign that the “common folk” are getting really, really fed up with it all.

    Mark my words–I would lay you long, long odds that one thing that the Chinese oligarchs are likely considering to destabilize the US is release incontrovertible evidence of how many of our “leadership class” they’ve bought and sold. That’s something they used to do with the steppe tribes that they “managed” on their northern frontiers, whenever they needed to disrupt things among the tribes.

  16. “one thing that the Chinese oligarchs are likely considering to destabilize the US is release incontrovertible evidence of how many of our “leadership class” they’ve bought and sold.”

    Would that really be a surprise to anyone? China made some donations to the Clinton Foundation; Clinton approved Loral selling rocket guidance technology to China; now China has a rover on Mars and another one on the far side of the Moon; and yet Democrats are still eyeing Madame Clinton as a replacement for Resident Joe. Or look at Thoroughly Modern Milley, who traitorously communicated with the Chinese military and then screwed up monumentally in Afghanistan — yet Milley is still around, with no significant grumbling from the American people.

    It is going to take more than chapter & verse on the Political Class being on China’s payroll. Look at what is currently happening (and largely being ignored in the West) in Kazakhstan. People there put up with a lot of frustrations … until the price of gas doubled. That is when the burning of government buildings started.

    My bet on what happens in the US — China will someday tell Walmart that henceforth it will have to pay in Yuan for its imports; dollar exchange rate will collapse; prices of all imports will shoot up; US cities will go Portland. And of course the US Political Class will be unable to deal with the situation.

    When does China pull the plug? At a time of China’s choosing. But sooner or later, that plug will get pulled.

    What does China want from the US? Nothing! China even has Disneyland in Shanghai already. Well, maybe they would like SpacEx, but all it will take is a couple more frustrating EPA delays and Musk will probably move SpacEx lock, stock, & barrel to China; he already has a big Tesla manufacturing operation there. There was a time during its rapid development phase when China needed the US market, but those days are rapidly coming to an end.

    All China really wants is for the US to go away, get out of their backyard, stop interfering. And when the dollar collapses, the US will no longer be able to afford the world’s biggest military and will cease to be relevant to the rest of the planet. Taiwan, Japan, Korea and everyone else will realize that there is no longer a US backstop, and consequently will come to arrangements with China. The Middle Kingdom will be back in its rightful place.

    As to what happens to the then-impoverished American people — that is not China’s concern. They will shed no tears over the matter.

  17. Loss of the US market would cripple China. China having its seaports shut down with mines would ruin them, because that’s where the food imports are coming in, and China cannot feed itself.

    I’m honestly not so worried about China taking over the world. Xi is fully engaged in killing his Golden Goose, in order to remain in power. The great slide down into the next trough of Chinese failure has already begun, and it’s only a matter of time before the usual takes place. What Xi is doing right now to his tech industry and everything else even remotely entrepreneurial will be seen in years to come as a modern-day Zheng-Ho Decision, wherein China turns away from a potential expansive future only to wallow in control-freakery.

    Biggest worry y’all need to have is that China’s collapse will likely take a lot of the rest of the world with it. The whole Japan, Inc. fiasco ought to inform at least some people’s thinking, but we’ve always got to have the Yellow Peril at hand as a threat. Said Yellow Peril is more a threat to itself than it is to anything else, and we’ll see that played out, Yet again.

  18. “I’m honestly not so worried about China taking over the world.”

    Me neither. It really does not look like China wants to take over the world; offer them Hawaii & California and they would probably say No Thanks. But after the Chinese “Century of Humiliation” at the hands of the English & Japanese, they want to make sure no-one will ever again be able to do that to them. If the US simply goes away, my guess is that China will be satisfied. Why would they want the burden of taking over the US?

    “Loss of the US market would cripple China.”

    That is debatable. According to the World Bank, only about 20% of China’s exports are to the US. Loss of that would certainly hurt China, but hardly cripple it. On the other hand, loss of imports from China — steel, electronics, tools, nails, etc — would be a heavy blow to the US. Eventually, we could rebuild the US industrial base and make those real goods for ourselves once again — but that would be about a 25 year process.

    China certainly has its problems, just as the US does. In the US, we are going to have to deal with the unsustainable FedGov budget deficit and the unsustainable Trade Deficit — the two elephants in the room which the Political Class is studiously ignoring. The worst thing would be if Resident Biden* did something absolutely asinine like mining China’s harbors — that would trigger nuclear war, probably involving China’s associate Russia as well. At least that would take care of the unrepayable US National Debt!

  19. }}} When does China pull the plug? At a time of China’s choosing. But sooner or later, that plug will get pulled.

    Until china is prepared to go to war, they cannot afford to do this. They have too much of our money sitting in their coffers. To write it off as the paper it nominally is would do them no financial good.

  20. ObloodyHell makes a good point, and one that has been true for a long time despite the periodic panic about foreigners destroying the dollar. The paradox is that destroying the value of the US$ destroys the value of the dollars you hold, and lots of Chinese hold lots of dollars–probably more than we or they suspect.

    It might be an act of civil war, for them.

  21. }}} According to the World Bank, only about 20% of China’s exports are to the US. Loss of that would certainly hurt China, but hardly cripple it. On the other hand, loss of imports from China — steel, electronics, tools, nails, etc — would be a heavy blow to the US.

    The **collapse** of the USA would affect the world in a huge way. We are still more than 1/5th of the world’s economy, GDP-wise. The collapse of the US market would do the same, because it would not just affect the USA, but affect the entire world.

    }}} Eventually, we could rebuild the US industrial base and make those real goods for ourselves once again — but that would be about a 25 year process.

    It would be a 3-4 year process, FFS. 5-7 at the outside. You vastly overestimate the time it takes to establish a manufacturing base when your own people are a major portion of the process of creating new manufacturing bases around the world. “Loss of steel”? This is what Strategic Reserves are all about. The biggest issue we’d have would be lithium offhand. We could do just fine without the needed Rare Earth metals, given that we have been using them for two decades now to make solar panels and windmill windings. Tear all those down and mine them for the materials… LOLZ.

    Again — we make far more money off the IP of making things than anyone makes off of actually making them. FAR MORE. Financially, our Manufacturing economy alone would be the #4 OVERALL economy in the world, after the USA (overall), China, and Japan. Germany WAS tied for 4th, but they’ve shot themselves in the head with their idiotic Green bullshit.

    It is a POST-INDUSTRIAL economy. There is so little wealth involved in making any “goods” that it’s like making food, which has had its prices propped up for about 20 YEARS now by the idiotic “Ethanol acts”.

    Sooner, rather than later, it’ll be worth it for us to build robotic factories, rather than transport shit halfway around the world. Covid and the various supply & shipping issues which have occurred in the last year may — probably will — spur that movement forwards. But there will be <5% of the US populace involved in that industrial production, and industrial wages will never ever be even close to what they were.

    And this assumes that large scale will happen for anything but raw components — it might be short-circuited by low-level CAD/CAM operations moving a hell of a lot of the formerly large scale activities into boutique forms of operation. 3d printing, along with laser etching & cutting, and micro-routers have moved a long ways in the last 10 years, and are very likely going to move even further along. You can get quite a bit of precision from machines which are very affordable, and a lot of which come from what are pretty close to basic stuffs, now. The only downside to "building your own replicator tools" has to do with the one-off knockoff software aspect of things. The next guy to Get Very Rich is probable the one who figures out how to make, package, and sell something that fits into your garage, costs less than 5k in parts, and can make pretty much anything if you feet the right basic starting parts into it.

    No, that's probable a slow-conversion, but, as with smart phones, it can take as little as 15y to totally revolutionize The Way Things Are Done.

    Yes, 15y.

    Today, 1/9/22, the iP is exactly 15y old.

    Stop crying for your grandfather's solutions to modern problems. It's like complaining that farmers don't use horse-drawn mouldboard plows any longer is why small farmers aren't successful any more. (Well, actually, it *IS* but not in the sense suggested there… :-/ )

    SMH.

  22. P.S., I just watched a construction crew build the entirety of the structure of a house, including framing and basic exterior sheathing, Truss installation, and basic roof sheathing, in two DAYS (yes, there is plenty more to be done — but the basics of the house are there. You *could* live in it right now, and add one more day of work for certain basics, and you could move furniture in and live there warm and dry**, though it would take a week before all the appliances, plumbing, etc., could be fully set up — if they set out to do that kind of thing quickly).

    The reason it takes 3y to build a factory these days has far more to do with regulations and general stupidity, not because it actually takes that long to do something like that of necessity.

    ===
    ** P.S., btw, it *is* florida, so, yeah, not that cold. it gets down to the 30s at worst for the most part. You **might** see the high 20s for a day or two as the night-time low. The historic low for this area is 8 degrees. I think I can recall seeing the teens at some point in the last 45 years.

  23. “China will someday tell Walmart that henceforth it will have to pay in Yuan for its imports…”

    Why on earth would they do that any time soon? If Walmart doesn’t have the yuan to buy China’s exports — and they don’t — it would throw 100 million Chinese out of work with no savings, no retirement accounts, and no welfare state to fall back on. *They* would be looking at Kazakhstan-style riots, not us.

    “…all it will take is a couple more frustrating EPA delays and Musk will probably move SpacEx lock, stock, & barrel to China.”

    Of course, because if there’s one thing Elon Musk dreams of, it’s spending the rest of his life in federal prison.

    “On the other hand, loss of imports from China — steel, electronics, tools, nails, etc — would be a heavy blow to the US. Eventually, we could rebuild the US industrial base and make those real goods for ourselves once again — but that would be about a 25 year process.”

    We can build a new factory making jet fighters in three years, but it would take 25 years to build a factory to make nails? Really?

    You need to find a new gig. Your one-trick pony is getting kind of monotonous. There are definite industrial base issues facing the country right now, and several people on this blog understand them and discuss them almost daily. Your constant fatalism doesn’t stem from such understanding. It’s just the same incorrect point over and over.

  24. OBH: “Again — we make far more money off the IP of making things than anyone makes off of actually making them. FAR MORE.”

    So you keep telling us. It would be good to see the figures. The big number we can all see is the unsustainable US Trade Deficit, which suggests that the value of the imported Real Goods far exceeds the value of the exported IP.

    The basis for guessing that rebuilding the lost US manufacturing base would take about 25 years is the real world history of Germany & Japan post-WWII. And remember that a very generous US was helping Germany & Japan rebuild their shattered industrial capacities. Who will be helping the US rebuild?

    Undoubtedly there are components of the industrial base which could be rebuilt much faster — but not under the current political & regulatory regime.

    Dan Wang has a relevant analogy. Your grandmother gives you her secret recipe for your favorite dish — her IP. Before you can do anything with her recipe, first you need a kitchen;
    and what if you need to import the pots & pans and the stove top? Once you have the recipe and the kitchen, you try to make Grandma’s dish … but it won’t taste right, at least not until you have tried making it many times. Wang’s point is that manufacturing involves process knowledge as well as equipment and IP. When the Best & Brightest offshored US industry and skilled workers had to learn to code or become baristas, a lot of process knowledge was lost. Rebuilding that is essential, and will take time.

    The US and China both have strengths and weaknesses. At the moment, China’s strength and US’s weakness lies in the ability to manufacture Real Goods. Don’t underestimate the importance of that. It is about time we tried to correct that weakness. And the biggest obstacle is the masses of regulatory red tape we have wrapped around ourselves.

  25. Even in Florida, you might want little things like windows and doors or a roof that kept out the rain. I understand it does rain in Florida. Might want something besides studs around the toilet too.

    Heinlein said at least 60-70 years ago that if cars were built like houses, they’d take 6 months to build and cost $100,000, he was an optimist. About 45 years ago, I was briefly involved in planning a system of building houses by pre-fabricating walls and modules like bathrooms and kitchens in a factory complete with plumbing and electrical to be erected and plugged together on site. Nothing came of it and I have watched since where numerous similar schemes have failed. Maybe someone can make it work.

    The reason it takes years to build a factory is because it needs to be planed and the equipment procured, (It won’t be sitting on a shelf someplace.) the site prepared, (The old fashioned way with bulldozers and dump trucks.). Things like water, waste water, power, fuel, roadways take time also. And then it has to be built. Tesla is building two or three factories in Texas right now, regulatory issues didn’t seem to be a problem but it still takes time. A lot depends on just what kind of factory you’re talking about. A steel mill takes a lot more than a watch factory. Texas isn’t California and I don’t think Tesla is building in Bexar or Travis counties that have delusions of Californication.

  26. After 9/11, Al Qaeda stopped at four planes because that was as many as they could manage. I’m sure that if they could have managed it, there wouldn’t have been a building taller than four stories left in the country, it’s not like the FBI was going to notice a few thousand student pilots with no desire in learning how to land. At the same time, the only reason that their aren’t 2,000 suicide bombers ready to go isn’t anything the Biden maladministration has done, it’s that the Taliban are having a hard time finding enough to eat for themselves. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the supply chain crisis is hitting the suicide vest business as well.

  27. “I don’t think Tesla is building in Bexar or Travis counties that have delusions of Californication”

    MCS, down here we refer to it as “The People’s Republic Of Travis County” for a reason.
    In the 30’s there was an attempt to move the seat of state government out of Austin, and was met with an actual armed insurection, complete with shootouts in the streets.

  28. Perhaps this is a reasonable place to put this link:
    https://www.rt.com/usa/546557-epstein-suicide-prison-files-investigation/

    Immediately after Biden* projects weakness & confusion on Ukraine, Russia Today (which is presumably as much a toady of the Kremlin as the NYT is of the DC Swamp) publishes an article casting doubt on whether Epstein actually committed suicide while in Government custody and on suicide watch following an earlier suicide attempt (or perhaps attempted murder).

    Conclusion: “Another obvious interpretation, apparently unconsidered by America’s purported paper of record, is that his denial of suicidal intentions and hopefulness about the future could well have been sincere – and his death may thus be attributable to external actors and factors unknown.”

    Is this a warning shot from Putin to Biden’s handlers? We all suspect there is a huge amount of dirt that could come out from various quarters on Biden*’s handlers and the DC Swamp Creatures. And many of us would not be surprised if things which have been hidden from the American people are well-known and thoroughly documented in key circles in Russia, China, Iran and possibly other countries.

  29. From a Russian standpoint, why would you risk embarrassing the guy who is actively helping you? Put that stuff out there, scandal ensues, Biden gets thrown out of office and replaced by whoever wins the ensuing donnybrook. Then what?

    Any blackmail will be stuff you can pretty much guarantee won’t get out, because once it is out, it’s counterproductive. Which makes its use as blackmail kinda pointless and useless; what’s Biden’s best course? “Sure, put that out there… I’ll be out of office, and you’ll have Trump or an analog back running things again within an election cycle…”.

    What you’ve got there isn’t a political tool, really–It’s more of a political doomsday device, something only useful if you’ve determined that the end of the world has come round, and you want to take your enemies with you. I’m not seeing it ever being used in a way that might come out.

    They’re dancing a delicate dance, here–On the one hand, Biden is doing everything the Russians want him to, but on the other, they don’t dare do anything to risk his tenure. If something like this is going to come out, it’ll come out of either the Ukrainians or someone else who’s got no interest whatsoever in maintaining the current Russian-benefiting status-quo.

  30. “Any blackmail will be stuff you can pretty much guarantee won’t get out, because once it is out, it’s counterproductive. “

    Good point. However, it may help to gently remind the mark from time to time that you have those incriminating photos — to help keep the bum on the desired path.

  31. I have to be honest, and state that I’ve got no earthly idea what the hell is going on, any more–It’s past rational understanding.

    Putin is doing his level best to alienate every potential ally Russia might have, when China comes calling for their lost provinces. Which makes no damn sense, whatsoever–The Chinese are going to be even worse and far more rapacious than anyone in the West would be, and they’re going to tear off huge chunks of Russian territories and egos when they finally decide to. And, Putin is doing his level best to ensure that when that happens, Russia will stand alone, and indeed, people will be saying that it couldn’t happen to nicer people.

    I think that Putin is going to be remembered as an utter dolt by future generations, one who squandered what limited chance Russia had to pull itself out of the post-Soviet debacle. It’s going to get really bad once the body bags start flying home from Belarus and Ukraine, and God help him if he goes after the Baltics. The Russian Army isn’t up to the task of rebuilding the Soviet empire, and they’re going to be in for one hell of a shock when they try it. Expect the disaster of the recent campaign in Armenia to be repeated, multiple times, nickle-and-diming what forces he can generate. It won’t be pretty.

  32. true, after the abbatoir of chechnya and dagestan, the Russians resorted to contraktiki (often ex cons) and pmcs like wagner group, who have been outclassed by us forces in syria, but even turkish drones in places like libya,

    Russia may face a revisiting of their loss against the Imperial Japanese Navy in places like Port Arthur a century or so ago,

  33. I don’t see any evidence that Putin thinks about anything besides Putin or considers much beyond day after tomorrow in terms of consequences. This puts him on par with most other Russian patriots through history. He has concluded that Russia won’t encounter the cliff just ahead until he’s gone, either geographically or cosmically. If he intends to survive, just where he might find a secure haven is an interesting speculation.

  34. I have no idea what you people are smoking. Europe is now completely dependent on Russia for their energy needs, and it’s only going to grow more so as they shut down nuclear.
    Macron is pushing for European engagement with Russia, pushing aside the US and NATO.
    It seems pretty simple for Russia to be able to give itself a solid land connection to Crimea while showing NATO is a completely spent force and the US has zero interest in trying to revive it, and that Western Europe is primarily interested in being able to keep the lights and that’s it.
    In the long run Russia is still finished, their demographic outlook is catastrophic, but that’s true of all of Europe as well.
    He’s no genius, but he’s up against a decaying West, it’s not like he has any interest or need in sending columns of tanks to Berlin or Paris…

  35. Nothing lasts forever — not even NATO. If Biden* were smart, he would recognize that his chaotic abandonment of Afghanistan completely destroyed US credibility in much of the world. Even traditional US allies in the Middle East are turning away from the US. Sensible action at this point would be to recognize that the damage has been done, quit NATO, bring the troops home and put them of the US border. But Biden is not smart.

    We don’t have to like Putin to recognize that he is smart. Given prior French & German invasions of Russia, it seems fairly reasonable for Putin to prefer that there be no offensive weapons stationed in countries on Russia’s western border. The wise course of action would be for the Europeans to agree to that (once the US is out of NATO).

    If things do go pear-shaped because of Biden*’s stupidity, a very good guess is that dominoes would be falling simultaneously for the US with respect to China, Iran, and who knows what else. Dangerous times! And the majority of US citizens have no confidence in our side — Biden*, Blinken, Millie.

  36. The problem here is that Biden has little to no real influence over what the people of Ukraine and the other Eastern European nations do. Their leadership doesn’t, either–And, anyone who thinks that the Ukraine is just going to roll over for the Russians should radically rethink that. I’ve been watching the posts coming out of Ukraine on things like Imgur, and what I’ve been seeing is an increasing radicalization of the Ukrainians posting there. The idiot Russians are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy with all their propaganda about “Nazi” Ukrainian parties and all the rest. You think you’ve plumbed the depths of things, as an outsider? You haven’t. The Ukrainian/Russian antipathy and hatred is exponentially worse than the stuff I was seeing coming out of the former Yugoslavia between the Serbs and other ethnic groups. The Serbs only half-heartedly did what the Russians did to the Ukraine during the Holodomor to their ethnic rivals. Most of the vibe I got from the Croatians I knew back in the day was more along the lines of “Just leave us alone…”. The stuff I see coming out of Ukraine, today? It’s more “Kill all Russians…”.

    Putin may get troops into Ukraine, and he may even manage to take the place over. What I suspect it will become after that? A bleeding ulcer that’s going to make “Bloody Kansas” look like a paradise, by comparison. I don’t think the majority of the actual Ukrainian people are up for going back under the Russian yoke, whatever the hell their corrupt oligarchy wants or negotiates with Putin. Same-same across the rest of Eastern Europe. The Russians earned every bit of what they’re going to get, should they try putting troops into Ukraine or Poland. Or, for that matter, the Baltics.

    I don’t think Putin is capable of understanding that, just like most Russians, who only really see themselves as benefactors to all these piddly little countries on their peripheries. The reality? They’re hated imperialists whose conduct and depradations are remembered with a fervent determination that “never again” will be the order of the day.

  37. The Ukraine that Russia may take, like the region they’ve informally taken years ago, is Russian. There’s not going to be any guerrilla resistance there–they’re Russian!

    I still think the danger time is late February, after the Olympics end. Worked for them last time…

  38. well they wouldn’t need a large force if it was just Russian Ukrainians, that’s probably true about the time tables, at the time Russia was needed to negotiate the Iran Deal, that’s why there was a caravan of Dems sampling Kislyak’s noodle recipe, Putin probably compares this to the time of troubles between Ivan the Great and Iran the Terrible, anyone with a rudimentary understanding of Russian history, (no one in the Administration) would know this,

  39. I wonder if even the most “Russian” parts of Ukraine have more than a bare majority of ethnic Russians. It doesn’t take a very large fraction of the population to support a raging insurgency as we should know. They got away with bombing Grozny into the ground, it would be hard to do the same in Ukraine without killing a lot of Russians. Their shadow war in the Don Basin hasn’t gone well.

  40. The placement of the Russia-Ukraine border is no concern of the United States.

    If Russia wants to relocate that border to a location more pleasing, God bless ’em.

    If Germany or France objects, what exactly are they going to do about it besides beg Putin to stop?

    There’s been a lot of discussion here about how idiotic it was for the US to outsource and offshore our ability to make things, but Europe has done something just as dumb- they’ve offshored their defense to a large far away country that doesn’t care about them any more.

    David P. Goldman wrote years ago that the Iraq War had broken the GOP consensus if favor of intervention. The truth of that was demonstrated when Obama’s insane desire to invade Syria was blocked when the GOP-led congress refused to endorse a use-of-force authorization. Supposedly calls against intervention to GOP reps were 1000-1 against.

    As for the demonrats, I think that the end result of the above mentioned press for intervention in Syria shows that they have no appetite for foreign adventures if they can’t finger-point and blame someone else when the inevitable body bags start coming back.

    Hence, I submit that there will be no US-Russia war over Ukraine, no matter how much the idiot neocons scheme to get one. Putin will roll into Ukraine and take what he wants, whenever he chooses. The American public won’t care. The Zeropean Union will shut up and take it, while blaming the US for its trouble.

    Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe may well be a different story, but in any case I wish all the future combatants well.

  41. the thing about the syrian intervention is it was in favor of the islamists, there have been two pin prick strikes against syrian bases, in idlib province, and western damascus, there may have been others, now the qataris and the turks have been against assad on balance, some factions of the saudis have as well,

    Grozny was the base the Russians set up in their first major campaign in the Caucasus in the early 19th century, yes the Europeans really don’t care enough to really commit against Russia, that is the point of their maginot force,

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