December 30, 2016
It’s fun to hear Trump talk about how Rosebud somehow works, the metaphor works, “I don’t know why it works, but it works. After all, Steven Spielberg paid a lot of money for it, so it must work. Paid a lot of money, maybe seven figures, six figures.”For psychiatrists and neurologists, at least, a tiny skerrick of silver lining to the election of the Orange Id (although it is apparently risky to point out such silver linings, however obvious, as Amanda Palmer has just discovered, because Twitter is a 21st Century Moloch of faux outrage and its hunger cannot be sated) will be the opportunity to watch how someone this profound a narcissist behaves inside the narcissism generating pressure cooker of national leadership, particularly within the utterly deranged bubble of reality-denial that is the Oval Office. Arguably, they've never not had such an opportunity, but this time I think such study will be made much easier by the flamboyantly clueless flagrancy that's about to be brought to the role.
December 26, 2016
...Santa's best defense is that the North Pole is—spoiler—really cold. The US Navy doesn't have any icebreakers, and the Coast Guard only has two, both of which are research vessels. (An amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act would have commissioned four new icebreakers, but that's still pending congressional approval.) And unlike the Russians and the Finns, the United States doesn't have any ground units specifically trained to handle polar climates.- "What Would Happen If We Really Went to War Against Christmas?" by Tim Murphy
... Even if an expeditionary force succeeds in taking the workshop, the elves' sheer numbers make the possibility of a post-invasion insurgency likely.
In the twenty fifth year of this endless war, on the banks of Lake Saimaa, I finally killed my first Santa Claus. It was pure luck... honestly. Murphy's law dictated that my comrades in arms, who were all better trained than me, arrived late, were held up, or stuck in the viscous mire of some tar pit, were assailed by the cold as the heating systems of their suits started to fail. Better still, some were kicked to death by a swarm of reindeer that swooped down from the sky, like silent Furies. The few that survived had an immediate encounter with a group of elves, or were seduced by the terrible and almost irresistible offer of presents packed with our heart's desires. I don't know what happened to them. No corpses were left to tell the tale.- "Silent Night" by João Barreiros
December 25, 2016
What about Donald Trump? What is going to happen?The stating of obvious truisms in the second response above from Assange's interview in La Repubblica is what the Guardian's headliners describe as "guarded praise for Trump" because apparently their grasp of the English language compares unfavourably to that of Italians.
"If the question is how I personally feel about the situation, I am mixed: Hillary Clinton and the network around her imprisoned one of our alleged sources for 35 years, Chelsea Manning, tortured her according to the United Nations, in order to implicate me personally. According to our publications Hillary Clinton was the chief proponent and the architect of the war against Libya. It is clear that she pursued this war as a staging effort for her Presidential bid. It wasn't even a war for an ideological purpose. This war ended up producing the refugee crisis in Europe, changing the political colour of Europe, killing more than 40,000 people within a year in Libya, while the arms from Libya went to Mali and other places, boosting or causing civil wars, including the Syrian catastrophe. If someone and their network behave like that, then there are consequences. Internal and external opponents are generated. Now there is a separate question on what Donald Trump means".
What do you think he means?
"Hillary Clinton's election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States. Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities. They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better".
December 19, 2016
Ah, December 2016, when we watched the section of the American centre-right that likes to imagine they are left-wing go collectively insane.
From here it deteriorates badly. Garland goes on to give his own personal account of the past few decades of U.S. and world history, in which absolutely everything is the product of a long, slow Russian master plan to bring America to its knees by encouraging the population not to trust the noble, hardworking CIA.