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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Thoughts: The 21st Century, Not Going Too Well

I know, I know. It is still too early. We have only lived through the first 15 or so years of the new century. We must withhold judgement. I mean, of course, the first fifteen or so years of the 20th century weren't all that good either, and look how well that century eventually turned out . . . well, depending on whom you were and where you lived, of course. Ok. Maybe it's a roller-coaster with lots of ups-and-downs, and the big ups will yet come. I, however, never liked roller-coasters, and, in fact, dreaded and still dread those evil noisy, swaying beasts, with their half-asleep and uncaring operators, gleeful wide-eyed yahoo riders, frayed safety belts, sticky seats, and pungent odor of spilled food, cola, and vomit. Then, on top of it all, throw in that up and down, spinning around, all geared to come to a frenzied end at the starting point, and, well, I find it a pointless and stomach churning experience. Seems, in fact, kind of a good metaphor for the century. All that aside, I don't know how much more of this 21st century I will see, so I will rant about the portion I have. Let the kids worry about the rest of it; they have stronger stomachs than I.

At home. Not good. Not good, at all. The leftist rot that we saw begin in earnest in the 1960s has successfully corroded most basic institutions and even the language of debate. The universities, the mass media, Hollywood, government bureaucracies, and political discussion are dominated by "progressive" thought and "progressive" definitions. It has become increasingly difficult for contrary views to cut through the toxic fog of progressivism. The main assault of the progressives is now openly, without any intent of deception, on individual freedom. We see, of course, the continuing attack on the second amendment, but it goes beyond that. The first amendment has come under increasing and withering fire as institutions, public and private, adopt "speech codes" and declare certain expressed thoughts and implied behaviors off-bounds. One can get fired from a university, for example, by defending traditional marriage. We have moved beyond, of course, the original demand that we accept gay marriage, to the demand that we endorse it and denigrate traditional marriage.

Behavior once deemed as a sign of mental disturbance, e.g., gender confusion, is now foisted upon us as normal and worth celebrating; in the name of this new "normal," our daughters must now share bathrooms with men and those "transitioning" or "confused" about their gender--I am certain this will go well. The press, furthermore, must not report race or ethnicity in their descriptions of suspected criminals lest we allow our inner racist to emerge; after every attack from Muslim killers, we are warned not to engage in a backlash against Islam; all sorts of shows and statements can be made ridiculing Christianity and Judaism, but let not a single acrid word on Islam slip from your lips if you want to keep your job or not put yourself at physical risk; leftist thugs openly try to disrupt political meetings of those with whom they do not agree; demanding that our immigration laws be respected, gets one labelled a xenophobe and a racist; requiring voters to identify themselves comprises racist voter "suppression"; agencies of the state openly suppress political dissent and "offensive" speech and positions; men are considered the enemy; women, once proudly roaring out their equality, now demand special protections from men; relations between black and white have become the most tense and nauseating in my lifetime. The list goes on and on. Readers can add to it until it becomes much too long and depressing even to contemplate.

Our economy, once the envy of the world, staggers under a backbreaking and bewildering load of taxes, regulations, "social justice" demands, and out-of-control government spending. People seek and gain political power uttering the most obtuse nonsense about economics. We have a candidate for president, Bernie Sanders, who seems to think that he can repeal the laws of economics and give free stuff to everybody with no dire consequences. He draws millions of supporters. Another candidate, Hillary Clinton, perhaps one of if not the most crooked person to run for the office, has engaged in actions which have put the national security at risk, cost the lives of American diplomats, and has a long record of grotesque corruption which has made her vastly wealthy. She will likely become the Democratic Party nominee and, if polls are believed, very possibly the next president.

On the Republican side, we have a party tearing itself apart in a primary campaign full of rancor and the lowest of low insults and smears. It is a shameful exhibition. One major candidate, Trump, is so excruciatingly sensitive and thin-skinned, that he spends hours tweeting insults at opponents real and imagined for slights real and imagined, and can't bother to learn his brief. Another, Cruz, apparently has engaged in some low blow tactics aimed at Trump's wife, and has made clear he will not support Trump in the general election, preferring, apparently, a continuation of the disastrous regime we now have in the White House. The country be damned!

Even worse, we now have in office a president who has done everything within his power to degrade the ability of the United States to defend itself and its allies, and to undermine the very idea of what it means to be a citizen and a member of Western civilization, the greatest civilization of them all. The worst president in American history builds a legacy of American defeat and humiliation. As a result, naturally, overseas, the picture is grim, grim indeed. I have written before of the arc of insanity that runs from Nigeria, up though North Africa, into the Middle East and on into Southwest and South Asia. Islam, seeing the confusion and decay in the West, is on the march, renewing with vigor its 1400-year war on the West, using the tools of the West, e.g., the internet, our abandoning of friends and allies, our weak immigration laws, our refusal to label the threat as coming from Islam, and our drive--almost complete in Europe--to disarm our own citizens. We have an American president determined to facilitate Iran's path to a nuclear weapon, selling out Israel, refusing to challenge China's big power ambitions, no clear policy re Russia, gutting our military, ignoring the growing nuclear threat from the collapsing regime in Pyongyang, refusing to adopt a strategy to defeat the main Islamic death groups, and comically eager to placate an irrelevant and decrepit tyranny in the Caribbean.

Europe falls apart as the absence of American leadership takes a toll. The carefully constructed post-WWII world order collapses, and Europeans find themselves relying not on the traditional good sense and muscle of the Anglo-Americans, but on Merkel and other PC nonentities. The absurd EU, once the champion of regulating the curvature of bananas, finds itself unable to deal with the real world. Continental Europe, full of pretension and a sneering superior attitude towards America, now finds itself awash in Muslim "refugees," with its once vaunted cities pockmarked by violent "no-go" zones, separate train cars for women, and collecting the dead in the streets caused by progressive delusions about Islam. The Old World is a Dead World.

Why go on? We are only entering year sixteen. I am sure it will all get better. Won't it? I will let my kids find out.

48 comments:

  1. I often wondered what it was like for people in the years before the First and then the Second World Wars; watching as geo-political events spun out of control and as the politicians / political elite, through incompetence or inability, failed to confront or deal the issues that ultimately lead to world conflagration. Now I think I know.

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    1. Beautifully said. I wish I had said it as well.

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    2. Especially World War I. ""The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time" British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey remarked to a friend on the eve of Britain's entry into the First World War. First published in Grey's memoirs in 1925, the statement earned wide attention as a correct perception of the First World War and its geopolitical and cultural consequences."

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  2. Judge Learned Hand once wrote that if liberty dies in the hearts of a people, the best Constitutions, institutions, or what have you will not suffice to either protect or restore it. I am afraid that such is happening with the rise of our smiley-face liberal judicial fascism.

    Worse yet, I do not think that it will be any match for an Islam that smells blood in the water.

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  3. Another commentary that should be required reading in every American high school, as a warning. Can today's high schoolers be warned of anything other than the battery getting low on their iPad, though? Cry, the beloved country. . .

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  4. There is one piece of good news ... Kim Jong-un now weighs over 300 lbs ...

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    Replies
    1. Those NORKS and their throw-weight . . .

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    2. Hmmmm. Maybe the plan is to shoot the Ultimate Leader at some landmark building in South Korea, Japan, or the USA and thus knock it down.

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  5. For what it may be worth. This ain't our first rodeo. The domestic scene is ghastly, but think of Wilson in 1918, preparing for an endless tyranny of "administrators". The international scene is terrible, but consider December 8, 1942, suddenly facing a war with both imperial Japan and National Socialist Germany. The military are in bad shape, but at least we're not training with wooden rifles and trucks with "tank" painted on the side. Our political class is composed largely of idiots, but look back to 1860 and the catastrophe those idiots managed to create.

    I share all your sentiments and alarm but if some countries need to get right on the edge of the cliff before they sober up ours seems to need to drive right over the edge and crash onto the rocks below first. But after that we do seem to come right for awhile.

    When I was serving in the SWADF in what is now Namibia, a Diplomat from the ROC (Taiwan) came through and spoke to us. He said, and I paraphrase, "When the communists drove us off the mainland everyone told us, 'We're sorry, but it's all over.' but we fought on. When France recognized Red China everyone told us, 'We're sorry, but it's all over.' but we fought on. And when even the USA turned their back on us and recognized the communists everyone told us again 'We're sorry, but it's all over.' but we fought on. Gentlemen, we are still here, better and stronger than ever. Gentlemen, it is NEVER over, as long as you fight on. It will only be over if you give up. Gentlemen, never give up." I have often taken comfort in that mans words.

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    1. W. Fleetwood: I have relatives in Taiwan, and taught there several times over the years, although my short diplomatic career never sent me there. My late father-in-law, who grew up under Japanese rule, and his brothers were made to learn Mandarin by their parents after school; and he once told me the family was happy with retrocession to China after 1945. The town where my wife grew up has always been solidly pan-Blue in its politics. But right after the Tiananmen incident, someone close to us told us, "We're all Taiwan Independence elements now." The last time I taught there, in the 2000's, a student told me that many of her contemporaries are ready to fight in the streets should the Communists make a military move.

      Things are pretty bleak, but I also remember the 1970's. We had a triumphant Left everywhere--and then the economy tanked under Big Government policies, the Iranian Revolution caught our policy community with its pants down, and the Soviet Union started pushing towards the Persian Gulf while also engaged in a scramble for Africa. Then we had Reagan.

      I suspect that we're soon going to see children adopted by or trafficked via surrogate motherhood to "wonderful, loving" homosexual couples coming out of the woodwork with woeful tales of growing up bu%%ered combined with the once-socialist young finding they no longer can simply buy and sell along with Islamic ugliness which not even the most willfully obtuse will be able to ignore, and there will be a new right. With our loud Left media, people won't notice until too many unintended consequences of Leftist initiatives have piled up.

      And now that I'm no longer an officer of the US State Department, I say that Taiwan, whether it calls itself Taiwan, the Rump of Sun Yat-sen's Republic of China, Dong Ning, Great Liu Qiu, or even Bob, deserves international recognition.

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    2. I've always wondered when China is going to take back the mainland. :)
      Seems like a joke, but I only think that's due to the unlikeliness of such to happen directly through the force of arms.

      My suspicion is that China's lack of transparency in the economic/financial world makes for a huge, unrecognized liability that can be exploited by an enemy with sound finances (like perhaps, ROC).

      Maybe these Panama Papers could be the beginning of such moves. Here's hoping for an unlikely prospect!

      - reader #1482

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    3. 1482...here here! May the Clinton Foundation Slush Fund Influence Selling Babe Silencing etc scheme be mixed up in this too.

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    4. ..."a Diplomat from the ROC (Taiwan) came through and spoke to us. . . Gentlemen, it is NEVER over, as long as you fight on." W. Fleetwood

      Also, received via Panda Express, in a fortune cookie today: “We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are.”

      Although not exactly sure who composed and routed the 2nd message to me, I believe an almond eyed muse may have been responsible ;) It was signed Pengyou!

      Both comms brought to mind Vinegar Joe Stillwell's tours and travails in the China (CBI) Theater. Do hope the Donald has the wit and wisdom to Recall to Duty the Generals and Admirals whom the ‘Muslim in Chief’ retired or fired! Suspect we, including our progeny, will require all the experienced help we can get. “Let’s Roll”

      On Watch~~~

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  6. Take your consolations where you may. Seeing the Old Left being routinely browbeaten by a New Left should at least elicit the odd chuckle.

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  7. I always take courage from the old prayer:

    If there must be troubles, let them happen now, so my children may live in peace.

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    Replies
    1. Amen Brother!
      OW~~~

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    2. IOW, get it over with, for my granddaughter's sake. Or I Keel U!!! Achmed the dead terrorist "May" be a role model. Or may not.

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  8. With 15.25% of the vote counted, Ace of Spades HQ Decision Desk calls this century for Cthulu.

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  9. In the 1920s and 30s protodemocracies in Germany and Italy were undermined by Soviet sponsored unrest (add Spain as well)

    This above all gave the Nazis and fascists room to grow. The coopting and subvention of the left by the KGB was unabated until the 1990s. The CND in the UK was a prime example. Only the strength of Reagan and Thatcher stopped them. Today the left is still sponsored from afar by types like Soros and within by dissimulation. We cannot let people like Trump help destruction along on response to the left

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    1. Reading a good book on the subject: "Disinformation" by General Pacepa late of the Romanian Intelligence Service. As an insider in a Communist satellite country, he defected and dished out some good stories of the organized lying that the Commies have done over the years.

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  10. Nice post.

    One point of disagreement: Trump, not Cruz, has engaged in low blow tactics about the other's wife. Cruz has simply defended his wife from Trump's childish behavior. It is true that a Cruz Super PAC (which by law is independent of Cruz) sent around a scandalous picture of Trump's wife; but that was already a public photo (for which she volunteered) and Trump hasn't done anything but praise his wife's "professional" endeavors in this regard, not repudiate them. So he hardly has grounds to complain.

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    1. Thanks Tully, for posting the above truth. Even all of the networks are repeating the lie, that Ted Cruz put that picture out.

      The thing that gets me, is who posed for the picture, who took it, and who published it in Vanity Fair?? (and who got paid for it?) Instead of going after Ted Cruz with a lie, put the blame where it belongs....on Melania!! And whatever happened to Donalds claim that Ted Cruz bought the rights to that picture?? I haven't been hearing that lie, for a while, so Trump must have got proven wrong...again.

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  11. What is most distressing of all is, the reactions of the American electorate. Uninformed: many of our "countrymen" seemingly incapable of anything but visceral selfish reaction to the depredations of the political elite.

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  12. What is most distressing of all is, the reactions of the American electorate. Uninformed: many of our "countrymen" seemingly incapable of anything but visceral selfish reaction to the depredations of the political elite.

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  13. I'm not the first to point out that our big problem is a generational one.
    Many here who agree with DiploMad have to use bifocals to read the blog as we try to preserve what few hairs we retain.
    But the younger generation is mostly interested in their Facebook page, their latest tattoo, and the bliss of gay marriage.

    Things are not looking good for the future of civilized mankind.

    Graham

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    1. "...big problem is a generational one. . .the younger generation is mostly interested in their Facebook page, their latest tattoo, and the bliss of gay marriage. . . not looking good for the future of civilized mankind. Graham"

      Speaking as one who has more hair than DT, and as a father of a teenaged bright scholar, I believe the USA is well endowed to deal effectively with whatever her enemies attempt to dish-out! What we haven't had recently tho, is enough committed Leaders to plan, engage, and defeat the progressive political cancer, and its opportunistic foreign and domestic terrorists! Am tickled to see that the GOP establishment is getting a long overdue head to toe makeover!! "Let's Roll"

      On Watch~~~

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    2. There's more of us interested in the issues than you might think. It has always been the nature of the old to complain about the young--and not without reason, either.
      But many of us still remember the old lessons.

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    3. "Am tickled to see that the GOP establishment is getting a long overdue head to toe makeover!!" Don't bet on it if the primary season ends up in a brokered convention. If a convention fight erupts, GOPe will win as usual.

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    4. Imho whitewall, that 'contested convention' tactic may well be the last nail in the establishment coffin! The cat's outta the bag...the electorate has endured way too many losers, put up by the GOPe clique... Voters are now deathly sick of the Republican prescription to 'hold your nose and vote' for Rove's pick!

      Dr. Carson too, I think, is accurately reading the pulse of the 'peoples will' in reaction to the RNC/DNC poison. . . "Let's Roll"

      On Watch~~~
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy5KpfHDbq8

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    5. Whitehall (8:25), GOPe is already showing that it is too clever by half. In a republic it is meet and proper in normal times that intermediaries moderate the destructive effect of the popular will.

      However, legitimacy is fast bleeding out of the whole enterprise, especially as it has become crystal clear that the elites care nothing about the interests of the productive, law-abiding majority. Nothing.

      If the connivers, vote counters, horse traders, apparatchiki, staffers, interns, lawyers, and fix it boys think that some sleight of hand will carry the day for them they are deluding themselves. I for one will vote for the Eat More Vegetables Party and not shed a tear if Daughter of Paul Ryan makes it on the Dem ticket. (There are even reasons to pray for a Dem victory so that the coming economic crash takes place on the Democrats' watch.)

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    6. Col.B.Bunny...(There are even reasons to pray for a Dem victory so that the coming economic crash takes place on the Democrats' watch.) Problem with that is we will get "Democrat solutions". We will have fought the Cold War for nothing.

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    7. That's very true but the straw that broke the camel's back for me was The Great Boehner/McConnell Paralysis after the last election. The voters' desire for "Republican solutions" led nowhere but to the sad spectacle of Paul Ryan, Mr. Budget Maven, capitulating on every last point demanded by the Dems. We already have foreign adventurism, massive overspending, open borders, surrender on trade, hightest-in-the-world corporate taxes, and unconstitutional federal agencies, even when we had Bush '43 at the controls. The now ancient total and permanent cave on the Supreme Court betrayal on the Commerce Clause and the recent one on the Taxing and Spending Clause are meekly accepted after a week or two of damp hankies here and there in the commentariat and think tankateriat.

      In short, there is nothing but The Party that runs things which I think the enthusiasm for Trump shows. If we are in fact a post-Constitutional America we really are in uncharted territory and I'd prefer that at the very least, perhaps, we could see statism and a massive, interventionist federal government buckle under decades of progressive fiddling while there's a Dem in the saddle. Having a Republican in charge will just confuse the electorate just as Clinton '42 likes to take credit for an economy that was forced on him by Gingrich & co.

      Here and in Europe we have a nice bright patina of representative government that we delude ourselves is the foundation of our politics. However, it's clear that critical decisions have been made everywhere that were not consented to by Western people.

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    8. We have passed "peak democracy". Government now protects itself from the people. It will take force on our part with as much disruption and impossible to govern attitude as we can muster. We should become "hard to govern". We should "No Longer Consent". It will have to get ugly. Turn as much of government against other parts of government as possible. Throw wrenches into the machinery of government. There are good people there, elected and unelected. They will show in time if called upon by us.

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    9. Quite so. Westerners have only begun to confront the reality of the system in which they have lived. Force will come into play inevitably. I've argued elsewhere that the military will one day be called out to deal with civil disorder but "forget" to return to the barracks. Given the glacial pace of the awakening of Europeans and their inveterate unwillingness to use available electoral opportunities, I don't see how anything but a period of military "advisement" will suffice to rectify matters.

      In the meantime, there is a wealth of opportunities to experiment with the withdrawal of consent. A woman may willingly care for a house and family but woe betide the man who finds that she's no longer as cooperative and innovative as before.

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  15. I've been reading you with interest since my husband introduced me to you. And will continue to do so. However, I take exception with your characterization that Cruz went after Trump's wife. A super pac did that. And then Trump trashed Heidi Cruz continuously. Cruz has maintained integrity throughout this campaign in spite of the media's penchant for saying otherwise.
    Thanks for your perspective on the rest of today's depressing events.

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  16. Lewis,

    I think you might find this interesting. It's on the A-10. The comments are the best. You probably already know the content on the article.

    http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2016/04/sounds-like-some-air-force-generals.html
    leaperman

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    1. Touché leaperman!

      En l’esprit de Voltaire:
      “‎Life is a shipwreck,
      but we must not forget
      to sing in the lifeboats.”

      "Let's Roll"

      On Watch~~~

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  17. This trajectory is painfully easy to predict. As far as the Islamist dogs go, they will continue to be the murdering pedophile scum they have always been. But there will come a point, a Rubicon they will cross. And while they are busy screaming all their walllu snackbar spittle-flecked psychosis, there will begin a RECKONING, And once it starts? Turning it off may not be easy. Or even possible. And NO ONE will save them

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    1. I'm concerned that the technological edge could turn around and whack us. We've had no large scale conflict with a major power in *many* years. At this point, *nobody* knows where the largest power lays. Is our hardware still the most advanced in aggregate? Or could China churn out enough cheap-o drones to swat down the US navy?
      Who's got the best drones available? If drone-vs-drone combat is decided by predictive analysis of enemy-drone behavior, who's got the best algorithms supported by the best number crunching hardware?
      It's not even clear to me that the US still has the upper hand in the world, militarily speaking.

      - reader #1482

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    2. "Is our hardware still the most advanced in aggregate?"

      Apologies #1482, I got delayed. And I been severely tested by all the pollens floating around in the atmosphere.

      http://breakingdefense.com/2014/07/boy-do-i-want-to-get-away-from-being-the-trillion-dollar-airplane-bogdan/

      http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2016/03/27/minnesota-two-years-in-the-yards-virginia-class-attack-sub/81600432/

      Hope those two links are enough to ease your worries that some power may be able to, as you so delicately put it, "whack us."

      ***

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  18. Normally, I wouldn't repeat something someone else has brought up, but the "low blow" comment is misinformation or disinformation. That's not how it played out.

    We are at a point where I think Steins Law begins to rear its head. This can't continue and we can all feel it. I'm also a big fan of "The Fourth Turning". Massive generational change is approaching... And everything will be different afterwards, because what can't continue will stop.

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    1. The way it will stop isn't necessarily internal and irenic. It may have to do with hostile foreign powers. Weapons may be discharged. Exsanguination may occur.

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  20. Don't see much to disagree with, but the Swiss do have tasty chocolate. Just sayin'...

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