Sunday, August 28, 2016

Perspicacity Regained: Democracy in America, Tocqueville

One of the most famous and most-cited instances of Tocqueville's farsightedness was which of the world's peoples would come ultimately to dominate the world, and to clash in the contest for dominion. Here is the passage:

There are, at the present time, two great nations in the world which seem to tend towards the same end, although they started from different points: I allude to the Russians and the Americans.
All other nations seem to have nearly reached their natural limits, and only to be charged with the maintenance of their power; but these are still in the act of growth; all the others are stopped, or continue to advance with extreme difficulty; these are proceeding with ease and with celerity along a path to which the human eye can assign no term. The American struggles against the natural obstacles which oppose him; the adversaries of the Russian are men; the former [i.e. the American] combats wilderness and savage life; the latter, [i.e. the Russian, confronts] civilization with all its weapons and its arts: the conquests of [the American] are therefore gained by the ploughshare; those of [the Russian] by the sword. (504)

Democracy in America, Tocqueville

Tocqueville's perspicacity was incomplete on the Alleghenies and departed him completely on the South. In a footnote to the chapter "WHAT ARE THE CHANCES IN FAVOR OF THE DURATION OF THE AMERICAN UNION, AND WHAT DANGERS THREATEN IT" (sic) the translator writes,

This chapter is one of the most curious and interesting portions of the must be confessed that the sagacity of the author is sometimes at fault in these speculations, and did not save him from considerable errors. (442)

The translator then lists several. The undersigned skips around in his reading and came upon the following departures from perspicacity before he read the translator's note, is almost impossible to discover any sort of material interest which might at present tempt a portion of the Union to separate from the other States (452)

The South and the West, on their side, are still more directly interested  [than the North] in the preservation of the Union, and the prosperity of the North. (454)

...slavery has not created interests in the South contrary to  those of the North...


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Family Name Changed From Drumpf to Trump

Adolf Hitler was the third son...of a minor Austrian customs official...who for the first thirty-nine years of his life bore his mother's name, Schicklgruber.
Had the eighty-four-year-old wandering miller not made his unexpected reappearance to recognize the paternity of his thirty-nine-year-old son nearly thirty years after the death of the mother, Adolf Hitler would have been born Adolf Schicklgruber.There may not be much or anything in a name, but I have heard Germans speculate whether Hitler could have become the master of Germany had he been known to the world as Schicklgruber. It has a slightly comic sound as it rolls off the tongue of a South German. Can one imagine the frenzied German masses acclaiming a Schicklgruber with their thunderous "Heils"? "Heil Schicklgruber!" Not only was "Heil Hitler!" used as a Wagnerian, pagans like chant by the multitude in the mystic pageantry of the massive Nazi rallies, but it became the obligatory form of greeting between Germans during the Third Reich, even on the telephone, where it replaced the conventional "Hello." "Heil Schicklgruber!"? It is a little difficult to imagine.
-The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer 6,8.

Donald J. Drumpf ‏@RealDonalDrumpf
Call me if your toilet is broken
Donald J. Drumpf

Donald J. Drumpf ‏@RealDonalDrumpf
I'm starting to think 25% of my supporters are criminals who couldn't pass a background check

Hillary Clinton*

I would like to talk about Hillary Clinton.

I wish there were nothing to say about Hillary Clinton except to wonder what color drapes she plans on installing in the White House, but there is.

There is some fatality that occurs inside Hillary Clinton's brain to good ideas; her brain receives sensory input accurately but it gets all jumbled around and fucked up in there so when it comes out it's shit. Her brain doesn't work too good. I don't think she is highly intelligent. She seems to me a plodder, like half of us, who has achieved by hard work with no significant assistance from her brain.

What brought about these ruminations was an interview I read Friday night of David Axelrod, Obama's political strategist in 2012 and 2008 and, which I did not know, who was Hillary Clinton's strategist in her U.S. Senate race against Rick Lazio in 2000.

Axelrod mentioned a couple things in that interview that reinforced concerns: One, that Hillary hasn't handled the email server issue too good. She gave an interview to Chris Wallace in which she said FBI director James Comey had concluded that she told the "truth," when Comey concluded no such thing. Axelrod said something, the meaning of which was, "HOW CAN YOU NOT BE PREPARED TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION COMPETENTLY AFTER ALL THIS TIME!"

Is she prepared for an email "October surprise?" How can she not be after all this time?

Two, Clinton has left Donald Trump off the hook in the last few weeks, and the gap between her and Trump noticeably and consistently has closed a little. What Axelrod said on that was that it is a truism in politics that when your opponent is crashing the train you get out of the way. But Clinton didn't do that, to her enormous credit; she cut up some of the track ahead of Trump's train. When Trump started going off the rails during and after the conventions the Clinton campaign attacked him from multiple angles. It may have doomed Trump. Or not! Because then she let up. She stopped cutting the rails and gave the Trump campaign time to begin repairing the track.

Why? I don't know. I am on record advocating ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK! I think, obviously I do not know, that Clinton was following her campaign's plan, set weeks or months ago, to go after Trump full throttle immediately after the conventions and then to take her foot off until Labor Day or some other pre-designated day. Nothing wrong with that plan! But it seemed to me even at the time, and to more advanced minds than mine, like David Axelrod's, that sensory input was received, Trump was running off the rails, but not processed, and she stuck to her plan regardless of the sensory input. My view, and that of Axelrod and surely others, is that Clinton did not adapt, that if she had kept ripping Trump and ripping up track, he would be a train-wreck beyond righting now. She could have put Trump away, is my thought, and she didn't. It seems to me this is another example of good stuff going into Clinton's brain and bad ideas coming out.

Three: Man, she took a long time to put away Bernie Sanders, didn't she? Mrs. Clinton, is there anything else we can do for you? We give you a socialist and a national socialist to run against.

*UPDATE. Trump has just stepped on his short stumpy dick again, he tweeted that "Dwayne" Wade's cousin got killed today so "Just what I have been saying." [??] "African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP! End quote. See, Hillary, even Trump is trying to get you elected. Doing everything he can.

This is the most important presidential election in American history. The country's democracy, its constitutional form of government, American sovereignty itself, all are threatened as at no time past. Hillary Clinton must win this election.

The whole private email server: when that first broke I thought immediately, and wrote, "That is so Hillary." She gave a lot of thought to that! Who would think that that would be a good idea? It's like she has no sense, or doesn't have the instinct, to recognize, "DANGER! ABORT! ABORT!"

"Fight, Talk, Build." These are just the thoughts I have had of other things that seem to me to be "so Hillary." So, you're Secretary of State and you're thinking a lot about what to do in Afghanistan and for some reason the thought comes to your head, "We need a slogan." Now we all get stupid ideas come into our head but most of us most of the time have a mechanism in our heads to seek out and destroy stupid ideas, just kill them dead, before they come out of our mouths. Hillary, she doesn't have that kill mechanism. What you need in that event is someone who will come over the table and begin strangling you. She evidently doesn't have that either. So we got "Fight, Talk, Build" until the president killed it.

The reset button. Again, some thought went into this, it's not that Clinton doesn't think.

Oh, aren't I clever. See, he likes it!

Oh, that's not the Russian word for "reset?" That's the Russian word for "overcharged?"

Okay! Someone on her staff didn't know Russian too good--the idea of a "reset" with Russia. Lavrov got along fine with Condoleezza Rice! Putin got along fine with George W. Bush! WHAT NEEDED TO BE RESET! “It was the invention of Hillary Clinton and Obama administration:” Sergey Lavrov.

I actually think Trump, uncharacteristically, seized upon the wrong epitaph for Clinton. There is nothing "crooked" about Hillary, that is input that goes in and doesn't register, but "Incompetent Clinton" does.

I actually think the Republicans missed their strongest attack on Benghazi, it is not that Clinton ignored safety concerns or didn't have enough security in place. It was that Benghazi was the result of PROTESTS THROUGHOUT THE ISLAMIC WORLD and Clinton and Obama LIED AND DENIED and blamed Ambassador Stevens' murder on "INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS!" Their ENTIRE WORLDVIEW OF ISLAM JUST WENT UP IN SMOKE in that compound and they blamed the whole thing on a film. They panicked. They, especially the State Department, saw, knew, that their whole approach to the Islamic world had just gone up in smoke and they feverishly put out the story that "Innocence of Muslims" was to blame. Had Susan Rice go on every fucking Sunday talk show and blame everything on "Innocence of Muslims." Cost Rice any chance of succeeding Clinton as Secretary of State. Clinton's brain doesn't work too good when you give it time to think and when you don't.

Why did she take so long to respond to the murders of the Baton Rouge police officers? Because she wanted to be seen as "thoughtful," "prepared;" not shoot from the lip. "I think nine hours sounds about right."

She got schooled by Putin over Syria. They met face-to-face and he out-maneuvered her and maneuvered Russia into Syria. That was not the desired outcome of that diplomatic mission. She prepared! Just didn't come out too good.

"I think so." Senator Clinton, was Barack Obama born in the United States. She tries to be clever, ends up too clever by half when she isn't half clever.

Just saw that in my phone's photo album. From June 15. Hadn't tought of the French burkini ban today until I saw that photo. Very upset about that. Very upset with the French. May God keep the Muslim people.

Geography in America, Tocqueville

What I once described, from this topographic map, as an artist's last, angry brushstroke Tocqueville describes:

When we cast our eyes upon the map of the United States [with 24 states] we perceive the chain of the Alleghany Mountains, running from the northeast to the southwest...and we are led to imagine that the design of Providence was to raise between the valley of the Mississippi and the coast of the Atlantic Ocean one of those natural barriers which...form the necessary limits of different States. But the average height of the Alleghanies does not exceed 2,500 feet; their greatest elevation is not above 4,000 feet; their rounded summits, and the spacious valleys which they conceal within their passes are of easy access from several sides...No natural barrier exists in the regions which are now inhabited by the Anglo-Americans; the Alleghanies are so far from serving as a boundary...that they do not even serve as a frontier to the States. New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia comprise them within their borders, and they extend as much to the west as the east of the line. 

Everything is true except "easy access from several sides." The Alleghenies were a bitch to get over. 

Pennsylvanians tried going through them; they tried going down south and coming up around them that way; they tried canals;

they tried portages (Dickens described traversing the Alleghenies past Johnstown via portages); they corkscrewed the mountains with rail when steam locomotives made it practicable. Rail worked.

All of these efforts were hugely expensive and took decades. From Wikipedia:

The near west, in the fifty years before 1830 was but recently settled and steadily growing...The canal era began in Pennsylvania in 1797...Spurred by construction of the Erie Canal (construction between 1817 and 1825)...Pennsylvanians built hundreds of miles of canals during the early decades of the 19th century...By 1834, the Main Line of Public Works, a system of interlocking canals, railways, and inclined planes, was hauling passengers and freight up to 391 miles (629 km) between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Though not all in concurrent operation, the total length of the canals built in Pennsylvania eventually reached 1,243 miles (2,000 km).

The Allegheny Mountains did not mark the limit of the states of Pennsylvania and New York, Tocqueville is correct again but they did of Virginia. During the Civil War western Virginia broke off and the new state of West Virginia, loyal to the Union, was created and recognized. Mountains, even ancient ones with rounded summits, do that: they create a different people, a different culture. The undersigned does not know how it is in New York state but in Pennsylvania the Allegheny Mountains created a different, not separate, culturally, economically, climatically, even dialectically, distinct region denominated: Western Pennsylvania. Politically, according to James Carville, "Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between." Carville is partly, only partly, correct in that, which I include here only because it cracks me up.

Geography is not destiny, biology is not destiny, etc. But geography affects man's ability to work nature, and to control man, more so than does biology and thus effects a people's destiny more.

Alexis de Nostredame

Since the first settlement of the British colonies, the number of inhabitants has about doubled every twenty-two years. I perceive no causes which are likely to check this progressive increase of the Anglo-American population for the next hundred years; and before that space of time has elapsed, I believe...the United States will be covered by more than 100,000,000 of inhabitants and divided into forty states.-DiA 460-1.

One hundred years after publication, in 1935, the U.S. population stood at 127,000,000. "Before that," in 1915, it had hit 100,000,000. The fortieth state came much quicker than Tocqueville predicted, South Dakota in 1889.
Why do they play soccer matches so early? City's last week started at 7:30! What time do the players have to get up, like 3?
I like Pepperidge Farm stuff. Anything they make, I like.

What else? I like City and Pitty, and my kiddies and my friendsies. Like blogger, reading. Work! I like work; like being a defense attorney.

Alright, that's good. I like a bunch of stuff. Everything else blows. France blows. Big-time blows. France is the king and queen of blows. 
I like Saturdays.

Friday, August 26, 2016

France, What the FUCK Is the Matter with You

Whoa-wa, whu-wa. Allahu Akbar.

So, the genius of France, not to say its BIGOTRY, banned the "burkini" from 24 beaches. 
Oh. She looks so sweet.

Here, the gendarmes make a Muslim woman remove her top. 
Poor thing. That is so humiliating, FUCK! I've got a fucking lump in my throat. France, you are just a disgrace, a fucking disgrace! (Mother, I apologize for my language.)

The officers surrounded the woman, who was wearing a tunic, leggings and a head scarf, fined her and ordered her to leave the beach. The woman was at the beach with her children, and said she was a third-generation French citizen from Toulouse.

A crowd gathered. “I heard things I had never heard to my face,” said the woman, who gave her name only as Siam to the French magazine L’Obs. “Like, ‘Go back to where you came from,’ ‘Madame, the law is the law, we are fed up with this fuss,’ and ‘We are Catholic here.’ ”

When female relatives with her asked the police why they were not hunting down people with crosses, if outward shows of religious faith were the target of the new law, a policeman responded: “We are not going to hunt for crosses. Get going, madame. You are being told to leave the beach.”

A French court, the Council of State, which is the oddest name for a court I've ever heard, overturned the ban in one town, Villeneuve-Loubet. 

Lionnel Luca responding to the ruling, said: "We need to decide if we want a smiley, friendly version of sharia law on our beaches or if we want the rules of the [French] Republic to be implemented."

FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU, "My-Name-is-Luca"!

Prime Minister Manuel Valls described the burkini as "a political sign of religious proselytising." The French Republic was "not at war with Islam", he argued, but "protecting [Muslims] against discrimination". 


(France: "My-Name-is-Luca," pretty fast thinking on my part, non? Do you get it? How about the image on the header? No? FUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.)
Chinese: the image with the last post, did you get it?

Oh bless you, dear readers. Today:


That was an important post in an important series. If I do say so myself. Somebody's doing some research is my guess. Too early for a term paper...I don't know, somebody, and an American, unusually high percentage of Americanoids here all week, somebody, is writing something is my guess.

Olympics Recap

The United States won the most medals and the most gold, including Ryan Lochte's gold medal in the Police Report Freestyle competition. Hope Solo won the Games' Miss Congeniality Award.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

"...with Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus and imminent signing Claudio Bravo still to come into the picture...-Manchester Evening News.

WHO? Never heard of them. Bad Bad Leroy Sane, Ilkay Ilkay Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Baby Jesus, never heard of any of them. Had never heard of Nolito until his excellent performance in blackjack at 365bet. Now he's my homie.


YES! How'd I guess? Presidential candidate, too! 

Yes, that too. I amaze myself. Robert von Clownhat Morrow was chair clownhat of the Party of Doom in Travis County, Texas. Until today when the state party cashiered him for filing as a write-in candidate for prez.

Did I ever tell you that I have this theory about guys who do that?
Manchester City have drawn Barcelona in Group "C" of the Champions League, something of a reunion for Pep Guardiola. And the cross fertilization continued today with the announcement that Claudio Bravo completed his transfer to City. City's front office hierarchy is ex-Barca.

Italian Earthquake Dead Now at 252

Oh boy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Italian Earthquake: 159 Dead

The earthquake struck at, from memory, about 2:30 a.m. local time. I saw the first news reports just before going to bed, thought about noting it, but there were no first reports of casualties and, well, if it doesn't bleed it doesn't lede.  It was a 6.2 quake according to the United States Geological Service but other reporting agencies had vastly different numbers, which makes a difference: every point up on the Richter scale is ten times more powerful than the lower number. "Moderately severe?" I think that was ine unhelpful translation of the numbers into language. And then, I am embarrassed to say, this is the first time I checked the news all day. So in embarrassment, and guilt, I note it several lira short and a day late. 159 dead is nothing to ignore yet I did. May God keep our friends the Italians, heal the injured, and give God's grace to endure to the families of the deceased. God bless Italy. 

Against an indigo night sky, a shining beacon on a hill.

Golden in the late sun of a summer day.

Above All

In a city of hills it rises above all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Are the Olympics...

Can Leicester Do It Again

-NYT, Aug.22

Thank you for the question. The answer is NO and:

Mooney: City Have "Swagger" Back Under Pep

Few football teams go to Stoke City's Bet365 Stadium and survive for 90 minutes without finding themselves under pressure.

Ha-Ha, toldja. Can lose your shirt at Bet365, you can.

It is a tough place to play and City rolled. Not many clubs roll into Bet365 and roll the "Gamblers" 4-1. So it was an impressive win.

Not willing to go along that City have their swagger back after two league matches though. The ilk of Mooney gave the title to City last season after they beat Chelsea early. 

It does seem that City were missing swagger the last few years though. In their title-winning 2011-12 season City shocked and awed opponents with the ilk of Aguero, Balotelli, Tevez until Munich, and  with Toure gamboling through midfield. You could see fear in the faces and in the body language of opposing players. 8-2, 6-1, 5-3, in any match it seemed one goal and le deluge. Balotelli and Tevez are long gone, Yaya has been sashaying more than gamboling and only Aguero remains.

It's been a long while since City felt like they had their opponents intimidated at kickoff. 

Yes, it has.

That seems to have returned, big-time.

I hope. We'll see.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Search keywords today:

-body painted gold
I know what that is.

.at? Austria? Ataturk? Attica?

A Child Murdering Children

Twenty-two of the fifty-four dead in the Turkish suicide bombing--At a wedding--were under fourteen years of age.

I cannot remember as excruciating an attack.

Democracy in America, Tocqueville, in Unwitting Support of Public Occurrences, Harris on the Indians

From the moment when a European settlement is formed in the neighborhood of the territory occupied by the Indians, the beasts of chase take the alarm. Thousands of savages, wandering in the forests and destitute of any fixed dwelling, did not disturb them; but as soon as the continuous sounds of European labor are heard in their neighborhood, they begin to flee away, and retire to the West...

No "fixed dwelling": very fluid.

...this effect of the approach of the whites is often felt at two hundred leagues' distance...(392)

200 leagues on land is 600 miles. So if the average territory allegedly "possessed" by an Indian tribe at the time was 533.33 square miles "the continuous sounds of European labor," hammering, sawing, singing "Dancing Queen," were "heard," and both men and beasts were driven away. Which I totally get.

...when [the whites] have advanced about fifteen or twenty leagues...they begin to build habitations for civilized beings in the midst of the wilderness. This is done without difficulty, as the territory of a hunting nation is ill-defined...
A few European families, settled in different situations at a considerable distance from each other, soon drive away the wild animals...(393)
Of all nations, those submit to civilization with the most difficulty which habitually live by the chase...the dwelling of the hunter varies with that of the animals he pursues.

Several attempts have been made to diffuse knowledge amongst the Indians, without controlling their wandering propensities...Civilization began in the cabin, but it soon retired to expire in the woods. The great error of these legislators of the Indians was their not understanding that, in order to succeed in civilizing a people, it is first necessary to fix it; which cannot be done without inducing it to cultivate the soil; the Indians ought in the first place to have been accustomed to agriculture.. But...[the Indians are] destitute of this indispensable preliminary to civilization...Men who have once abandoned themselves to the restless and adventurous life of the hunter, feel an insurmountable disgust for the constant and regular labor which tillage requires...

Je Suis Indian.

Independently of this general difficulty, there is another, which applies peculiarly to the Indians; they consider labor not merely as an evil, but as a disgrace; so that their pride prevents them from becoming civilized, as much as their indolence(397-8)


The undersigned read one time that there is an inverse correlation between democracy and reliance upon oil exports for revenue. The above passages by Tocqueville reminded me of that for if you rely exclusively upon nature for your sustenance and subsistence why would you learn anything else? The forests of America were as inexhaustible for one and one-half million hunters as the Saudi oil fields were when they were discovered. Population increase increases demand and effects a double whammy upon those who "possess" the natural resources by exhausting them. Those dependent upon natural resources then have nothing to fall back upon. They just fall back.

Civilization requires direction; direction requires control; control requires centralized authority. You
have to "fix" the population, it has to settle down for there to be any direction and control by centralized authority. Civilization is highly correlated with cultivation. Cultivators are fixed to the land. If the center can make of its people wet-rice cultivators it has struck civilizational gold: Wet-rice cultivators are fixed; they are fixed to flatlands (hills and mountains contraindicated for control) and they must be fixed to flatland close to market to avoid spoilage. Voila! The padi-state, China: everybody compressed in or near big cities. See The Art of Not Being Governed, James C. Scott (2009)

The only itinerant people to have coexisted with civilizations are the Gypsies, and they just barely. The Gypsies had the wiles to adapt, they came up with the "Great Trick" and live simultaneously within and apart from civilization. (See, e.g. The Gypsies, Angus Fraser (1995)

The American Indians had none of this, none of the Gypsy craftiness, no experience in cultivating,  and would have none of it, didn't want it, the cultivating life was a "disgrace," filled them with "disgust." To the Europeans, the Indians were "savages;" to the Indian the Europeans were
disgusting, "disgraceful." These two peoples are incompatible. A hunter people are incompatible with any other type. Too much land is required for their exclusive usage.

Something had to give when the civilized European cultivators came to "share" the Indian hunters land. Each had a "right" to settle the land according to their customs but both could not. Noone can share land with an exclusively hunter people. And so something had to give and that was the Indian and his land.