Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On July 30th 1999, the Blair Witch Project Changed Media

Are you rural or urban? That question determines how you felt about the game changing phenomenon known as The Blair Witch Project. City kids did not understand the horror that lurks in the woods day or night. It is the unknown, which describes the storm that hit so well. The film was unknown in all regards, actors, director, idea, marketing and success. Fifteen years ago today, it was released to become one of the, if not the, most profitable films ever. It also changed mass media more than media critics give it credit.

The 1999 shoe string budget film used the Internet and a savvy "is it real" marketing campaign. Viral marketing, "Frankenstein" styled frame story using primary documents; in this case, found video cameras, and using video or low quality film within the Hollywood production all start here (sorry Sex Lies and Videotape, your try did not stick). My mom thought it was real right up to opening weekend. This was early in the reality media explosion, and pushed the boundaries for how reality could be used and done right. People crave the intangible idea of authenticity because everything in American society is so phony. Blair Witch was real or at least well done manufactured reality. Just two months later, people bought whole the use of digital home video "footage" in American Beauty without complaining. There is no Paranormal Activity without this, no Snow on Da Bluff, no Cloverfield, no backstory false document movie websites without the Blair Witch. Alright, it would happen but later.

Was it scary? I lived in the woods, it scared me and my friends on opening night. Were production qualities poor and the camera too shaky? Yes and at times it was nauseatingly jiggly. Was an evil force in those woods messing with humans for decades and got to them? Does the legend drive susceptible people crazy? Were the locals toying with the students in a ritualistic killing? Did Josh just go insane and kill his friends? I lean towards an evil force infecting local(s) to protect the legend and kill the students. The cairns were made by someone, hurting the Josh goes nuts theory. The trio was being watched as they snatched Josh first. With all the focus on the method of storytelling, it is forgotten that it was a great mystery story.

This was a perfect storm for mass success. Right time and right idea. Students with good enough home equipment investigate a local legend and in their efforts become a bit of an urban legend. The "found" camera film is cliche fifteen years later, but was exciting then. Viral marketing and blurring the edges of reality in Hollywood are features in most marketed productions now. Hollywood destroyed the possibility of reality horror in the woods with a terrible sequel of Blair Witch. Hollywood horror has gone down a gross out porn, remakes and zombies path, but the woods will always be waiting.

Countless children's tales have the protagonist go into the woods because the woods is dark and full of danger both known and unknown. To borrow from Rumsfeld, the unknown unknowns are far worse in the woods. We can build civilization but nature will always be waiting. Multiple times in the movie, the female lead jokes that they can't get lost in the woods in America. That is the statement of a cosmopolitan. It is also why the urban viewers did not grok The Blair Witch Project. Every rural teen who thinks they're big enough for that first trek alone will tell you that the first snap of a twig, the first "up close" surprise animal sighting and the first gust of wind all remind you that you are alone, small and the woods is large, dark and deep.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Planes of World War One

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of going to the Wright Air Force Museum. It is a pretty awesome place that is a free museum staffed by volunteers. It has replicas of planes and aircraft from basically the inception of aviation to today, including some spacecraft and missiles. I will admit that you see a drone, and you think, "Yeah, they need drones because they know they cannot trust their population for providing control". With the centennial of the Great War, I took my time with the planes of World War One.

Honestly, many of these planes looked like someone put bicycle wheels, a boat propeller and a car engine together and slapped some wings on them. The men who flew these planes had serious courage as some planes had higher fatality counts for testing than in actual combat. Open cockpits, wings that did not look like they could withstand a six shooter and speeds comparable to a NASCAR are what you get with these planes. The first picture is a Fokker. The rest I did not take notes, and these pictures are off my tablet. I am saving one for next week. It is a bit special, and has a special inventor. Enjoy. I'm on vacation next week, so no posts until August.

Model that the Red Baron flew

This one looked the sturdiest of the era.

Seriously, this looks like a speedboat with wings.

Very Snoopy.

bicycle tires. If it is an effect of the replicas, I feel dumb.

Another Snoopy worthy aircraft.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Grantland SWPL Signals

Grantland sucks because you know it has the potential to be awesome but it is a circle jerk of progressive, SWPL status signaling. "Long form sports journalism skewed towards a younger crowd." That could be awesome. "Sports stories written for poseurs, SWPLs and people who hate sports." Not awesome. I like to criticize them and snipe at them on Twitter. It becomes comical how they respond, and the quick reaction to nut-job if you point out something obvious like "Hey, no one cares about the black secretary on Mad Men except you. Stop it SWPL." It might be a weekly contest as to who can out-SWPL who. They kicked it up a notch with "Best Sports Movie Villain of All Time".

Quickly in paragraph three, you get a snarky comment citing Hollywood's racism "tries to save the youths of black America by giving them pizza and letting them listen to rap while they play baseball because I guess black people aren’t any good at baseball unless they can listen to rap while they play it". It was probably to have rap music in the movie and on the soundtrack to appeal to black viewers since it was about a whitish guy helping black kids overcome inner-city struggles through sports (SWPL heaven). They have to signal they are on the right side of history. You already know where this is ending don't you.

Best line goes to Ivan Drago for "if he dies, he dies" or "I must break you". Amazing villain lines from an evil Commie boxer. We're doing OK. Best villain monologue somehow shoehorns a Lebowski mention. This is SWPL terrible. Best villain who could turn good is a discussion of Drago (again, how memorable!) and the guy from Mighty Ducks 2. Worst villain to possibly turn it around, I quote, "Racism in Remember the Titans. There’s no hope". They don't really mention another. Signal with claxon alarms. Was not the entire movie about overcoming racism through football? You mean there is no villain in any sports movie that they could discuss as horribly unredeemable? The bad guy in Karate Kid 3, Shelly Marcone in The Last Boy Scout, or any asshole in any sports film? Heinous Acts involves a Kickboxer film. Worst ideological beliefs mention the Nazis in Victory (easy) and.... the neo-nazis in Higher Learning. Wait, sports films. That was not a sports film. It was a college film or John Singleton masturbation sequence. Really SWPLs at Grantland? They finish things with best feud and best/worst looking villain where we get some homoeroticism thrown in and anti-Asian passage. Maybe Nic Cage is onto something.

Like all modern clickbait internet media, they get to "the list". It's Grantland. It's SWPL Sports. It's a "best" list. Of course number one is a non-sports character played by Tupac Shakur. Grantland is doing a good job of trying to push the idea that Tupac was a good actor. He plays a drug dealer. These closet cases call him "devastatingly handsome". Greatest villain no way associated with playing a sport in a sports movie would be "Milo" in The Last Boy Scout. This is about SWPL cred, which is the only kind of cred that matters. It's about selecting a non-athlete black character as the best villain in a movie genre about athletic competition. It's about signaling how goddamn progressive you are in every, single thing you do.

For the record...

5. The Warden from the original "The Longest Yard" - He nails the corrupt, Southern prison warden obsessed enough with football to threaten jail time to win big. Doesn't nail the accent, but you hate him.
4. Apollo Creed - Nice film version of Ali. Charismatic and condescending enough to get you behind the palooka underdog Rocky. His turn as a good guy makes his death in Rocky 4 so startling, well, to little kids who saw it in the theater.
3. Johnny Lawrence - I should have typed Cobra Kai, the dojo he trained in, which was run by an ex-Vietnam Vet from the special forces. Their slogan "no mercy" was once used by a Little League All Star team I played against. His minions were hysterical. Lawrence was the perfect '80s teen villain and even cheats at the end, making you hate him more.
2. Clubber Lang - He was Mike Tyson before there was a Mike Tyson. His lines, "Prediction? Pain", or "I'm gonna crucify him... real bad", and "hey woman hey woman...". He is an asshole to everyone. He kills Mickey. He trains in an old, dank looking gym. He was so memorable that they put Mr. T into the A-Team. He also was believable as a boxer.
1. Ivan Drago -  Sports movies are usually team sports movies so it is hard to have a villain as we want to build drama between two people: one good and one bad. Even in team movies, focus can slide to the coaches to mentally and emotionally duel. Ivan Drago in 1985 was a perfect phony villain from the USSR. He kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition. He has great lines. He is portrayed as a machine. A product of the science behind the Iron Curtain that we knew had been juicing athletes. It was the Cold War.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Remember Philip Chism?

Who is Philip Chism? Sounds like a gay porn performer name. Opposed to the continuous pushing of St. Trayvon, black teenager Chism has been hushed up. Chism is the teen who raped and murdered, sorry accused of, his teacher in Massachusetts. The police and media sat on the rape detail, only to release that well after the original shocking reports. Chism is back at it, attacking a woman in his institution.

With the original murder, which the police have video of him disposing the body in a trash can, the media wrote glowing reports of how he was a normal, happy mixed race kid. He came from a decent home. All pictures of him showed aa young boy smiling. It must have been something just weird that made him snap. Feel bad for the little boy. He played soccer!!! The Massachusetts media was probably afraid that residents they mocked for rioting over busing decades ago might be right about something. What am I thinking, those busing protestors were on the wrong aide of history. I'm sure the progressives of Massachusetts would all gladly send their kids to Boston city schools if only they spent more money on them and had good test scores.

Chism should never see the light of day, and in a sane world, would have been executed for his original crimes. Sure he was underage, but he was old enough to want to rape, murder and then manhandle and dispose an adult body by himself. He was old enough to know right from wrong. We will never know what happened in that classroom that made him rape and murder his teacher, but we should never consider him a victim of society. Seeing someone like Chism in the news is a form of counterprogramming of the steady Hollywood beat that all half black girls grow into Halle Berry ("Half black is God's Photoshop " - Happy Endings) and boys become men like our smart, docile president.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Guardian Thinks Thomas the Train is Hitler Training

How can one parody progressives? They are upset over microaggressions, make up privileges yet want to start World War Three over gays? Wait, is it to boost GDP Professor Krugman? They are now calling Thomas the Tank Engine subversive.

Tracy Van Slyke (man or woman, could be either with the faggy way Brits are with naming boys) takes the quitting of the lead voice actor as an opportunity to slam Thomas for sexism, classism, colonialism, racism and the banquet of progressive shibboleths. All those complaints are retarded yet easily anticipated if one reduces progs to cartoon characters themselves. This is a kids' show, but if you're reading into it this much how about you get some facts straight.

If you're paying attention, you'd not call Sir Toppam Hatt a "Monopoly Dictator" who orders them around regardless of the trains' plans. He OWNS THE RAILWAY. It is his business. He is the CEO. The trains are capital equipment that he owns and can use as he sees fit. They still have human conductors. The man has made a lot of capital investments on that island: search + rescue center, reopening the tunnel to Misty Island, the Steamworks refurbishing but nooooo Tracy sees a dictator. It's called being a long term thinking businessman. Not all of us can write idiotic articles for money from the Guardian. Didnt you pay attention that super parent? Too busy looking for gender stereotypes.

As far as colonialism elements, Sodor is a timeless place because the books were written decades ago and cover the period when steam locomotives were being replaced by diesels. Do you know history? Early 20th Century was when you Brits ran the world instead of being America's province for bad and/or gay guys in action films. Did you notice the plethora of black and Asian faces making up the citizens of Sodor? Nah, forget that anachronism. Diversity = good for fools like Tracy.

This type of writing is terrible. Not just for content but that someone writes it and is not embarrassed by it. Tracy should feel ashamed. Your brain was wasted on looking for the evil, subversive messages in a children's cartoon and THAT IS YOUR JOB. This blog is my fun release. The evil messages are teamwork, following orders, being productive and dependable, being normal and being a good friend. Let's scrap that for toddlers and just teach them to be unreliable selfish genderless fuckwits who don't listen to anyone. They'll be just the perfect type to take care of Tracy in a nursing home.

India the Weak BRIC Link, Worried for Modi

The BRICs have their development bank, and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov says it can grow into a political alliance to reform the international monetary system. I do agree with that. If they expect it to grow beyond that into a new political order, there might be problems simply due to leading members. I have no doubt Russia and China could link and act as anchors regionally to pull in clients. I do doubt the others, including India. Modi has his hands full creating a bureaucracy that matches what he wants to do. I wish him luck but warn him that Nixon ran into civil service problems. India is the most cabal or prog infected of the BRIC leadership.

Worrying signs for anyone who wants to see Modi succeed have to be the fact that while Modi and his party campaigned on massaging the gold import duty, it is untouched in the new budget. Another worrying sign has to be the gold announcement. See, India is going to exchange "old, impure gold" for newer, better gold.
When the standardization operation was over, the new gold acquired will be delivered to its overseas custodian, the Bank of England. The entire exercise will take place through book entry and without any cash exchanging hands, sources said.

This would mean the Indians are going to entrust their gold to the same cronies that the Germans have been trying to get their gold from. The Austrians are nervous enough about their gold in England that they are going to audit their holdings. The Austrians want to verify that is exists, while the Indians are going to send their gold over there without worries. That gold is going to disappear.

Did Modi have any control over that? Probably not. That's the problem. India is the world's biggest democracy. No one ever says most efficient, best run or least corrupt. India has a civil service known for mountains of old files and magnificent golf handicaps. India is not China and it is not Russia, and therein lies the systemic problem. Modi has to worry about elections and parliamentary methods. He has to deal with a free press and NGOs. If the state or political machinery were more like Russia or China, I'd have more faith that Modi will reform, renew and move things rightward. The British communist Harold Laski did not spend years influencing the men who would build the Indian system to see it not be a tremendous and enduring piece of socialist machinery. Good luck Modi.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The BRICs Bank + Dollar Decline

Brick by brick the Russia-China axis is building their non-dollar financial system. The announcement of a neutral rating agency was one such brick. Two much larger bricks are the recent moves to set into motion the BRICS Development Bank starting with the $100 billion dollar reserve arrangement. These are direct competitors to the dollar system's infrastructure and are signs of the Russian-Chinese wooing of the rest of the world away from the USG leviathan.

The BDB will act similar to the World Bank, offering financing for development deals around the globe. The bank could end up as jackal infested as the World Bank, but at present, only has to act incorruptible early on to wound the USG. Deals for infrastructure, energy, minerals and actual production not aligned with Wall Street or DC is non-casino capitalism. No political strings attached if Xi's prior speeches about respecting the different government systems of different nations is correct. As proof, Xi and China are not forcing democracy and the progressive buffet on Africa. This BDB starts small but is expected to grow to $350 billion in a few years. Those dollar hoards will go to work in something other than ZIRP T-bills.

The contingent reserve arrangement is more like the IMF and seems to involve currency swaps. Those are important as the FED's currency swaps in 2008 are what kept Europe from imploding. Currently, Argentina is in a fight with vulture funds over debt. How appealing does this BRIC system appear right now? I left off the 'S' for South Africa because South Africa is in such poor shape that the Russians are helping with electrical projects and the Chinese are coming with money because of all of the wonderful natural resources they still need. Loans and development aid with no questions asked about domestic policies, just keep the natural resources flowing. Potential client states will still have a patron, but the patron will not be those damn yanquis!

In a well timed move with these financial infrastructure pieces, Putin and Xi are both traveling around Latin America. Putin wrote off billions in Cuban debt, and talked to Uruguay's president about construction of a deep water port. Xi visited Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, which covers the big players and oil producers for South America. This is in the Monroe Doctrine backyard of the US, not the Middle East or Southeast Asia. It is also a receptive audience. Playing off of Uncle Sam has always benefited South American politicians in their home countries. Peron did this a bit too forcefully for Argentina decades ago. That was when the US ruled the global system at the peak of Empire. There are new rules to the game now.

Sticking it to the USG with a financial switch would be an approved jab in the eye. With the Middle East and Ukraine in flames due to US and its aligned clients meddling, leaving the USG orbit has to appear the safer choice. Be warned Latin leaders, the Ukrainians thought they could sign one economic deal and not feel the wrath. Before switching your financial patron, be sure to kick out all NGOs, US state department employees and anyone who cashes checks from George Soros.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Frozen Isn't Pro-gay, It's Pro-love

Finally got conned into watching Frozen. It had been such a delay from release to seeing it that the societal jibber jabber massaged my expectations. I expected it to be super gay. I expected it to be super girl power. Frozen was popcorn fluff, but enjoyable. My son liked it in the theater with his grandparents, but that might have had more to do with the theater experience, candy and popcorn. He was not as into it at home. It is just a slightly more musical Disney cartoon movie that focuses on the triumph of familial love, choosing love over logical lists for relationships and loving yourself. All you need is love. Love is the answer. What the world needs now is love. It's a cartoon, let's relax people.

If the gays saw into this as a coming out tale or the big song "Let It Go" being about coming out, holy shit have the gays taken over from the blacks the title for most narcissistic group in America. It is a song for kids and tweens about growing up and being your own person. All people go through this, not just gays wrestling with their sexuality and coming out. Gays relax. Christians relax, too. You fall right into the media's trap. One idiot pastor states it is a secret gay film, and that allows the media to discuss it as that and mention that Christians are crazy. Christians, my advice to you is the next time you suspect this, wait for the gays to move first. Then perform verbal jiu jitsu on them. "What? You think this is about being gay? It's a kids' movie. It's about two sisters. It's about growing up. Not everything is about you, grow up a bit. What kind of creep thinks a kids movie is secretly about lesbianism?" That really is the sad thing about 21st century America. We have a movie that turns a fairy tale into a movie about the strength of sisterly love, and the sides of the cultural war have to draw battle lines. If a teen got in any trouble, my money is on their sibling and parents desperately going to find them. Not a prince on horseback or loner, "walk the earth" kung fu master. I also saw Elsa work her walk as she embraced her Snow Queen abilities; no lesbian walks that hip-swingingly sexy.

Another blogger,
Jim, provided an interesting take on it, but really my sympathies align with comments made by "Handle". Hey Jim, the reindeer did not talk. Jim strikes the alpha-beta split straight out of the manosphere book. In reality, the movie sends the message "pick love". Wait for the intangible, and do not let other people make decisions for you. There is a bit of class battles here as the handsome prince with the well proportioned nose, strength and smarts is to be shunned, while the rough around the edges but fixer upper lone wolf of the tundra is to be chosen because he is a romantic match. The little male personality contrast reminded me more of the love triangle of Kirstie Alley with Sam Malone and Robin the rich Brit. Robin was a handsome alpha in the hard qualities with actual wealth, social status and traditional sense of manners, intelligence and properness. Sammy was a soft, charismatic handsome alpha; a smooth talking, suave ladies man. This is a modern day kids film so of course the rich guy is the evil one. The rich guy in Frozen has his minions to help brutally solve a problem while the lone wolf ice seller has an animal he treats like a human friend and has to think on his feet to solve crises. Rich people are evil!

I'm pro-Frozen and if for only one reason: it portrays familial bonds in a positive light. Look at Hollywood mock the nuclear family, forever pushing blended families and mish-mash families as more real. The concept of your friends being your family is something that really gained steam with the show Friends. They all came from dysfunctional families and found comfort and surrogate family members in that friend circle. Frozen focuses on the two sisters. It also ends an act reviews do not fully discuss. Anna does not just turn to ice to block an attack on her sister. To save a sister that has ruined the kingdom in eternal winter and exhibited irrational behavior unleashing evil winter powers randomly, Anna kills herself, smartly using her confused slightly mean sister by turning into ice. Anna acts in a way that your life is so precious to me that I will give up mine for you. That is the love that you wish for everyone who has a family. It is sacrifice. In a narcissistic society like ours, that is a message I can applaud.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NBA Take Note You Can't Run A Sport Like Hollywood

The music industry has been slowly dying. It is not just sales, but actual effects and stature. Fragmentation killed it. Sports on the other hand, besides football, are suffering as well. Baseball attendance is even down, and ratings are down. The NBA crows about a recent upswing yet is still not near the '90s peak. The story is the same for the NHL. Atomization, diversity and commercialization have hurt sports, but another problem was the attempt to market sports as entertainment in the manner of Hollywood.

Hollywood's system was built by Lew Wasserman. Connected to mobsters, he could get union help when needed, but he saw the importance of controlling the "talent". The talent drove box office receipts, which pre-VHS era was the means of making money. Wasserman's system lasted decades, but the idea still lives on that the star puts butts in the seats. Sports sadly copied this, but did not have the vision or experience of Hollywood. The star system can pull in marginal fans for ratings, but team loyalty is still the real driver. No sport has suffered from this more than the NBA. The NBA was the late comer to the sports media push with Finals games still on tape delay even in 1980 compared to mega World Series network ratings and the Super Bowl. The fatal flaw the NBA made was making the league all about Jordan in the '90s.

Jordan never losing a Finals hurt because he never had a rival or someone the league could market as an equal. Without that rival, the marketing was all about Jordan doing the amazing to win, again. The problem came when the music stopped. The search for the "next Jordan" became so pathetic that children could see the blatant pushing. The NBA has not reached Jordan ratings since his departure despite having the ESPN hype machine as its marketing arm for a decade and big market teams in Finals. The fact that the NBA has more publicity amd talk around where Lebron amd Carmelo will go in free agency than the actual playoffs (which had some great games) is a symptom of the league being a soap opera more than a sport.

Sports cannot be run like the movies and television. Different audiences, and sports fans will not tune in for a third rate product unlike "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" or the Bruckheimer-Bay movies. Whether the collegiate alma mater feeling, the family connections of who taught you how to play the game or simply hometown loyalty, sports are more tribal. Yes, fans cheer for the clothing as Jerry Seinfeld put it, but that laundry comes with history. Pittsburgh Steelers fans will always talk defense. Yankees fans believe in mystique and aura. The Packers are just a small town multimillion dollar business. That's what sports are built on. Building a sport on a handful semi-literate criminals is no way of running a sport, let alone a business.

*** If you dislike the sports posts, my apologies, but my Monday-Tuesday posts usually are linked by subject. Go back and see the pattern.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Soccer Will Grow Its Niche in America

Soccer is a niche sport in America. Always will be. That is okay because outside football, all sports are niche sports. College will always draw some fans from supporting the professionals because "it's not about the money" cliches. The size of the niche is what matters. Soccer can progress to a spot higher than even hockey and basketball. Baseball has a middle to upper white-asian and all hispanics niche. Basketball is a blacks and very few whites niche. Hockey is for whites on northern states. Tennis and golf are for upper middle and higher class Americans. Soccer can ride a nice wave to a larger niche.

If trends continue changes in American demographics will help soccer. A larger hispanic population will create new soccer viewers. Unlike the Democrats, soccer's hope is not all on hispanic wombs. Soccer can benefit from the current media scare about football related head injuries. Middle class white moms can guide their tots towards soccer and not football. Like all competitive endeavours, pro sports are a giant funnel with filters. More bodies helps regardless. The other benefit is a weird one. Soccer is a low equipment cost but large space needed sport. The suburbs and rural areas that are mostly white and hispanic and may soonbe filled with poor people will be fertile ground for soccer.

The massive draw for strategizing parents is that soccer stars do not look roided up nor are 300 pounds nor all over six feet tall. The premium for height in the NBA eliminates millions. Kid is not going to be 300 pounds? Forget being a lineman in football. A shorter guy like Lionel Messi or Wayne Rooney can be a megastar. Allen Iverson was short for the NBA, and he was still 6'0". These soccer players are gifted natural athletes but look human and are immensely skilled. It is appealing to parents and to fans. How many fans talk quietly about how X player wouldn't be on the court if he was not 7 feet tall or ran a 4.4 40? Plenty. Does that happen in soccer?

The fan piece gets a bump from normal looking players. The other big fan piece that never was a factor in decades of old is each match is ninety minutes without commercials. Modern sports have so many commercials that it is annoying and breaks up the game (baseball excluded because inning breaks). Soccer is commercial-less, which is appealing. There are no viagra advertisements to roll your eyes at nor truck ads to break up the game itself.

Trends have to hold, but the trends look good for soccer. Soccer is a darling of the SWPL set, so any growth will be trumpeted. The NHL sells more tickets to games than the NBA, but ESPN/ABC paid big money for NBA playoff broadcasting rights so you will never hear about it. Soccer may have a slow path to a perch in the basketball-hockey realm, but it's destiny is there. With the World Cup, soccer has an Olympics style plug every four years. Given a global promotional vehicle like that, the mandarins of marketing and American soccer can carve out a space in the American entertainment sphere for the game that thinks it should be called football.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Soothing Serax

What a wonderful advertisement. The image is fantastic. Geared to the therapist, look at that poor woman. Don't you want to help her??? She looks sad. Her hand is at her mouth possibly nibbling on nails. She has a lot of housework. The demands of motherhood are too much. She is a prisoner of her situation. Just look at those bars. You can't set her free, but you can get her high.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Turtledove is an Idiot, a Failed American Revolution

The Atlantic had a little blurb this last weekend about a historical what if. The what if involved the American Revolution, and they brought in Harry Turtledove to talk about what if the American Revolution had failed. It was a nice way for him to pimp his book, The Two Georges (and another crappy book), and speak in happy tones about the positives. His book, co-authored by Richard Dreyfuss, is quirky with an alternate timeline director of the North American Union of Martin Luther King. I will stop as it is popcorn film quality in paperback form. For a media entity so in touch with diversity, it is interesting that The Atlantic did not ponder the diversity of the colonies around 1776. What could have happened had the revolution failed and simply been a rebellion?

Let us leave out foreign consequences (French Revolution, Australia/New Zealand development, etc.) with one exception. The Louisiana Purchase would still have happened because while not as horribly in debt, the Bourbons would still have needed to raise cash to pay off their considerable debts to stave off the Revolution. Do readers honestly think the British would have treated every colony the same? Are modern people that ignorant of American history? I shouldn't ask that. Yes they are. We are 10 years from American children thinking Louie Armstrong was the first man on the moon, inspiring him to write "What a Wonderful World".

First and foremost, leading lights of the rebellion would have been hung from trees as a warning. Enough would have been killed to cower the others in fear. A redistribution of the land of leading rebels would have created a nice, new client class of leaders for the monarchy to use for local support in the colonial administration. It was a favorite of monarchs in feudal times: kill off or ruin 'other' elites and replace them with your hand picked elites. Tories and loyalists of all stripes would have enacted revenge on those patriots suddenly in the lurch who had been suppressing and harassing them in the run up and during the revolution. The merchant class that leaned loyalist would have stuck around, possibly leading to actual class split along the British system of high-middle-low.

To wonder if the US would have been like Canada is an insult to the colonies. They were not one unit. That would not be settled until the Civil War. The British handled different parts of the Empire in different ways, and the Atlantic coast would have been a hodgepodge of administration. The southern colonies had far more loyalists, the Cavalier effect, and would have been treated better than the north. The mid-Atlantic would have seen an elite house cleaning. New England probably would have been handled like another hot spot in the Empire: Ireland. Massachusetts would have been on lock down. If anything, Massachusetts would have served as a warning to the other colonies.

Development would be slightly different because without Alexander Hamilton there to reorganize finances and suppport stealing manufacturing technology, the US may have remained a commodities powerhouse for decades (think pre-1912 Argentina). Manifest Destiny still happens, Indians still die, the Brits do not stop immigration, and slavery ends with a massive buyout. Abolition itself may have progressed slower since the war and later competition with southern commodity input pricing helped push British policymakers down the abolition path.

Would refional identities harden if provinces developed out of the colonies? Most likely. Those identities are alive today. It would have also benefited the crown. No American colossus would rise. Eventually provinces would declare independence, but their money would display British monarchs. Without a doubt, the Crown would play regions off one another to ensure another rebellion never happened.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

American Pie, 15 Years Ago Today

On July 9th, 1999, a teen movie came out that changed teen movies, American Pie. It was R rated, and I recall my friends and I expecting it to be R for language and what not. No, it was for nudity. It brought back the sex comedy with a side of raunch and breasts to theaters. There was a definite gap for nudity in films between the 1980s, that seemed to flash breasts non-stop, and then post-American Pie. It was incredibly successful, earning over $235 million on a $11 million budget. Compare this seniors in high school flick with Can't Hardly Wait. Pie had no names while Can't Hardly Wait had Jennifer Love Hewitt as the one name, but one grossed ten times as much as the other, and one is remembered. It is the one with all the sex jokes. By its success, Pie changed movies and broader culture for teenagers.

The least attractive one to the far left had the best career
How far back does 1999 and Pie feel? Not too far? Compare it to say Porky's from 1982, comparable gap 15 vs. 17 years, but that gap feels like light years. American Pie is surprisingly quaint as it is a retread of old themes with a bunch of high school seniors wanting to lose their virginity. Now it feels very quaint because if a senior is still a virgin I expect them to talk to me about Jesus. Was American Pie the first time you heard the word MILF? Women aspire to it today, and there is a huge genre of MILF porn out there. The teenage girls seem prudes in the film with what one would expect today. Shannon Elizabeth, playing a foreign exchange student, is exotic enough to shave downstairs. That is default today. I hear radio ads for waxing places where the average age of their customers' is 43. Hell, Jim has nudie magazines in his bedroom. He is not using his personal computer for porn. "Dad, what world is this? Tell me about the past?" This is 1999... it is just fifteen years ago. Thinking of this last paragraph, the time elapsed feels long now doesn't it?

Pie's sequel discussed things that might have been on the edge a little over a decade ago, anal sex, lesbianism, threesomes, but all are just Wednesday night on Tinder. Progress! I bring up the sequel, because it is a rare good sequel. These films are what they are, but the writing for the second one captured the home from freshman year in college incredibly well. The films spawned plenty of cut and paste imitators, including a parody or two of teen movies. The messages in them are all lame, pre-approved system programming so it is rebelling in a safe form. As a play on their title, there is something gone or nostalgic about the America represented. The movies were made probably in the last moment you could make a teen movie with all white kids. Jim being Jewish is the one exotic (irony being in Hollywood, the actor playing Jim is not Jewish). An American Pie today would be rainbow colored with a rainbow sexuality representative as well. At least we will have the Pie.

Female actresses are like NFL cornerbacks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Antony Sutton's Books on the Funding of Communism

The communists are never aligned with capitalists. They hate capitalism, and capitalists hate them. The Soviets industrialized on their own with amazing five year plans that failed, yet still did enough to stave off Hitler when needed. FDR was a traitor to his class. These are clichés we can hear on the news, in classrooms and even amongst cocktail chatter of the educated. They are also all wrong. These lies are pushed probably because the media functions in the United States are aligned with the interests of the progressive-communist crew. We would all write wonderful resumes for ourselves if we controlled the access to source material and deemed what is an appropriate source or not. There is one writer who researched and wrote about many of these lies decades ago: Antony Sutton. I recommend you read just a few specific books of his.

Before I link to them, a comment on book availability. I have noticed on that books that tell a cathedral unapproved message or the other side (even if affirmed as accurate and are good sellers) seem to be out of print, expensive or under legal battles. In yesterday's post, I mentioned Deb Davis' book on the Washington Post being suppressed. It was a sign she was telling the truth, and a truth the progressives did not like. Solzhenitsyn's last book has never been translated to English. Weird. Sutton's books are not in print and expensive. Anne Williamson's epic on 1990s Russian looting remains unpublished. Holocaust survivor Paul Rassinier's books are expensive and hard to find even on Amazon. Rassinier is called the father of Holocaust denial, yet the man is a minimizer not a denier, but that does not stop the mandarins. Solzhenitsyn knew why, and was marginalized for it. It can be meaningless politically yet still be suppressed like Tim Donaghy's NBA book that David Stern had squashed despite a signed deal.

Sutton wrote a trilogy on the Soviet economy, and discovered that American industry built it. Do not buy the books, just read the three parts here. It is like the American establishment wanted to treat the Soviets like a sociopolitical experiment. Hmmm. Sutton followed this trilogy up with another trio of books that are pretty interesting. The best of these three is the book on Wall Street's funding of the Bolsheviks. It was not just the Jews, even if Jacob Schiff did send millions, but good old JP Morgan and the Rockefellers. Sutton is good but not as strong with his book on Wall Street funding Hitler's rise. His conclusions in chapter twelve are hard to refute, and seem even stronger now. The book on Wall Street and FDR reveal that odd cast of players that supported the Bolsheviks and FDR's rise. It is almost as if this 20th century communist thing had an New York origin. Sutton's book on FDR feels like it could be written today with him following campaign donations and mentioning how the big power players crafted the policy years in advance like we see today. I highly recommend the Wall Street trio, and only use the Soviet economy ones for reference. There had to be some positive to focusing on international trade and finance as an economics major.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Hidden History: Mockingbird, Murrow and McCarthy

This spring marked an anniversary celebrated by the media. It was not noted by most of America, because this was a triumph of the media. On March 9th, 1954, Edward Murrow's See It Now broadcast portrayed Sen. McCarthy as a nose picking buffoon and helped turn the nation against him. It ended with this nice call for political freedom and for Americans to reject fear-mongering. How could Americans resist a call to free speech in 1954? The moment is celebrated as a dignified journalist taking on the aggressive, uncouth Red-baiting Republican. A recent Hollywood film was made about the Murrow-McCarthy duel and won multiple Oscars. Missing from it and from most reporting on Murrow's attack on McCarthy was the little fact that the CIA was using Murrow and journalists through Operation Mockingbird to stop McCarthy.

Operation Mockingbird was not a specific operation against Sen. McCarthy. It was a much bigger and longer lasting mechanism set in place by the CIA right after World War Two. Per one of the men who ran it, Cord Meyer, it was never named it was so secret. Its funding was from the Marshall Plan initially. The Church Committee on the CIA in the mid-1970s gave it scant attention thanks to CIA Director George H.W. Bush asking them to go light on that aspect. After leaving the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein published an epic report in The Rolling Stone on the CIA and the media. He did not name it. It was not until Deborah Davis* in 1979 published Katherine the Great: Katherine Graham and Her Washington Post Empire that the project was named. How hot was Davis' book? Graham, Ben Bradlee and countless reviews slagged her book for typographical errors and forced the publisher to pull the book after it had been printed and pulped the already printed pages. Davis took the publisher to court and won a lawsuit. Her book saw publication years later.

The man behind Mockingbird was Frank Wisner. Wisner was an educated young man recruited into the OSS during the war. He discovered Stalin's plans to take over most of Eastern Europe after the war, and was saddened to see the US not move to prevent it. He was not in on the Hopkins-White "same team" secret handshake. Wisner was placed in charge of the Office of Policy Coordination, which later merged with the CIA. His goal was to fight Soviet communism using media assets at home and abroad to push American opinion along the CIA line as well as disrupt Soviet work in foreign nations. Wisner's chief private side contact was Phil Graham, publisher of the Washington Post. Odd coincidence is that both men (Wisner and Graham) killed themselves with shotguns. It did not matter the paper or publication, Wisner had access with Henry Luce of the Time-Life empire, the Sulzbergers and other high level editors and publishers cooperating. Per Davis, "each journalist was a separate 'operation', requiring a code name, a field supervisors and a field office". The joke was that a journalist was cheaper than a good call girl. There is no specific information on how much money was spent on this program. The CIA was never held accountable for that with their black box budgeting.

Wisner's main private side man was Graham, connecting media assets to Wisner's system. Wisner's foreign man was Cord Meyer. Cord Meyer, and his wife Mary Pinchot Meyer, had spent the '40s linked with one world government and other left wing organizations. Mary Meyer's father was a big wig in the Progressive movement who started a socialist magazine, and her mother was a writer for the Stalin friendly The New Republic. Cord handled the foreign end of Mockingbird, eventually divorced Mary, and Mary eventually found herself in a passionate affair with JFK. JFK would be dead in '63, and Mary would be shot dead on a walk in '64. Meyer was just pink enough for system approval, and was committed to pushing the American democratic message on potential allies and clients around the globe in the Anglo-Soviet battle.

Even if directed at a foreign audience or concerned with American foreign policy, it is easy to see how this could shape domestic politics. Not just control the cathedral and progressive allies but the useful, false opposition. William F. Buckley was a CIA man before he started the National Review in 1955. This was a publication that constantly lost money. Buckley worked for the Agency as a young man. The Review was most likely a Mockingbird front (this is not anything new), which would help explain the purging of anyone right of the neocon movement to keep that false conservative opposition the only game in town. The progressives were oh so worried about that radical right in 1961 despite vanquishing McCarthy and defeating Nixon in '60. Buckley's Review could help push the replacement of isolationist Republicans and the old guard with men forced to commit to fighting communism in every third world country and be approved by the Georgetown crowd.

An added twist, which makes things so difficult to explain to people how America has been run by communists since FDR, is the informal networks along with formal infrastructure of shred ideology. This crowd was a Georgetown crowd, and the Grahams hosted many salons that were social meetings that mixes the business of the world in as well. These salons had CIA men, Drew Pearson, Joseph Alsop, Clark Clifford, high level civil officials, Ben Bradlee, reporters, and even congressmen like Harry Byrd and Lyndon Johnson (the congressional overseers of the new CIA) in attendance. Bradlee himself was a young man who worked for the US Information and Educational Exchange that was the parent organization over the Voice of America and United States Information Agency (USIA). He was used to drum up support for the prosecution ans execution of the Rosenbergs. Bradlee was a firm fighter for the right side in the Anglo-Soviet split, and would be a useful asset for decades despite denying it to Davis when she first wrote her book. Bradlee's decades long connection and usefulness to the CIA is something I'll type up around the 8th of August. Young reporter Bradlee and others mixed at the Graham residence with extremely powerful figures. Talk could involve anything, but probably focused on how they could convince the peasants to support their plans.

The informal becomes a separate channel for power because of the shared ideology. Lyndon Johnson's participation in the Graham salons created his Vice Presidency. LBJ was going to run for President in 1960 but did not contest the primaries. He stayed out of the race until Congress was in recess, and then attacked Kennedy relentlessly starting in early July. He was the Graham crowd's pick. When it appeared Kennedy had it locked up, the VP nod was the only avenue to help LBJ out. The Kennedys, Bobby and Jack, were deliberating between Sen. Scoop Jackson and Sen. Symington. There was supposedly even a "deal" made between the Kennedy crowd and Symington, yet LBJ became the man. How? Graham. In Ted White's "Making of the President 1960", White writes, "Kennedy, seemingly idly, remarked to Washington publisher Philip Graham that if he thought Johnson would accept the Vice Presidency he might offer it". Graham brokered that deal, and the rest is history.

Back to fall of 1953, Murrow, McCarthy and Mockingbird. Sixty years later, we know McCarthy was right about nearly everything. Sadly, he was up against a system he did not understand. Neither did J. Edgar Hoover, who researched the CIA figures and could not understand how these CIA weirdos were one world government crazies or left wing pinkos if not outright reds. Hoover did not understand that with America winning World War Two, destroying rivals and watching the British recede, America would need an organization like the CIA to help manage foreign affairs. They had to have something like the FBI but for the global empire. He also did not understand just how communist those men at FDR's elbows were. Hoover's right leaning FBI and old law firm atmosphere of the Justice Department could not grasp the left leaning, CIA full of Ivy Leaguers. One can only imagine Hoover's reaction if he knew the Yale boys in the CIA loved modern art.

Hoover fed McCarthy information on the CIA boys, which put the CIA under threat in fall of 1953. Sen. McCarthy's favorability was still in a positive situation, and the CIA was not a sacred cow to the American public then, nor now. McCarthy went after the CIA, and Cord Meyer in particular due to his past. The FBI was willing to play tough with Meyer and the CIA. The CIA realized that they did have pinkish hues to worry about, and they would protect their own. Applying Mockingbird in an "explosive offense is the best defense" method, Wisner used domestic reporters as a weapon against McCarthy. The CIA used multiple reporters to smear McCarthy, taking a steady line of attack on McCarthy. This was capped off with Murrow's special See It Now broadcast in March of '54 that went after McCarthy. This was in concert with other reporters spread throughout the American media network. In early April, McCarthy appeared on See It Now to push back, but the damage was done. Helping him was for the first time live hearings between Sen. McCarthy and the Army. Amazing coincidence that the live television coverage began after Murrow's broadcast. America was primed to think of McCarthy as a fool, and then they saw him live on television for the first time.

This is never in the movies. Because the movies are run by the children of the communists from Murrow and McCarthy's time, Murrow is always a courageous, righteous voice. He is taking the chance and risking his career to fight powerful, mean Senator McCarthy. Untold to the 21st century viewing public, Murrow was a CIA asset. The CIA was nervous and wanted to use all weapons to stop Tail Gunner Joe. Murrow eventually ended up as director of the USIA; Davis considered him the inside man who replaced Graham for the CIA's "mighty Wurlitzer". Murrow's last effort was to sell the American people in the early years of the Kennedy administration on the war in Vietnam. Courageous hero. McCarthy ended up dead before the end of the '50s, and is forever a black mark in American history per America's educators and media mandarins. They are now tacking on his persecution of gays to remind everyone he is evil since now we know he was right about the communists. Pay no attention to two of the Cambridge Five being homosexuals. Like most modern progressive crusades, the roles are, in reality, reversed. McCarthy was the underdog who fought nearly alone to take on a corrupt system run by communists and sympathizers at the helm of every institution. Murrow the brave underdog was Murrow the weapon, fully backed and supported by America's CIA. Six decades later, the lie is continued for the next generation to learn.

* Davis is interesting. She was interested in the nexus of mediapolitics and how that power worked. After this book, she was going to work on a biography of Henry Luce. Luce was like the original neocon. Child of missionaries, raised in China, Yale, Skull and Bones, built media empire, coined term American Century, and a big international interventionist. He was outraged when we "lost" China. Davis must still be working on this book after twenty plus years because there is nothing from her since the second running of the Graham book. She is like a ghost.

Friday, July 04, 2014

American Flag Women

The mythical past

The mythical golden era (Mid-20th Century)

The mythical diabetic future


Thursday, July 03, 2014

"Her": Incredibly Depressing Because It is Reality

Calling the film "Her" a comedy-drama is extremely well fitting. It has intentional laughs, unintentional laughs and times where you have to laugh because something feels real and is depressing so you laugh to break that sadness. Maybe that was just me. Throughout this film, my wife said, "Jesus Christ this is so depressing". Despite this, it is an enjoyable film.

It is a wonderful little speculative fiction movie set in the near future. Most reviews commented on the examination of what makes a relationship, blah blah blah. I have grown to find that even the movie reviewers at big publications are so hamstrung by the progressive PC thought requirements that they very obviously downplay sociopathic, evil women or violent lesbian sex parties that get relabeled. Spoiler alert: falling in love with an artificial intelligence operating system could easily happen since people fall in love with fake identity, email only scam artists through 419 scams or meet their wives through Instagram. Humans are that broken and longing for companionship.

That is what reviewers missed. Everyone in this film is so damn broken that they cannot keep a relationship. The basics our grandparents took for granted are lost on these people.

- Amy Adams character is married for eight years (no kids, come on it's a movie). They divorce in a snap. You see it coming as her interactions with Joaquin Phoenix are more intimate and warm. She does not want to work on the marriage, just eff it, get funs while you can gets some.

- Phoenix jumps into a chat room at night for futuristic phone sex stuff, and it is a nice mock up of the demented female sex drive of today. This was hysterical (Kristen Wiig provides the voice). This was a parody yet felt like a friend's story from a Tinder hook up.

- Olivia Wilde plays a, wait for it, former computer science major >stop laughing< who graduated from Harvard >stop laughing< magna cum laude. Still single. Has a great date with Phoenix, but asks him to not be just another guy who fucks and runs (the carousel). Phoenix is like, "whoa it's a first date". She then leaves and calls him "creepy". He was not creepy. He just kind of semi-rejected her, but she goes to creepy as the smear. It's like real life. I laughed when she said it. My wife did not. She does not know the overuse of creepy. Spike Jonze does.

- The AI, Samantha, asks Phoenix why he didn't date his friend (Amy Adams). He says they tried but it was weird. Incredible MISSED OPPORTUNITY here. An AI would not understand that, and should and would have probed more. Samantha should have asked him to explain that. That would have been a perfect way to either force him into an admission or explain the weirdness of modern day opposite gender friendships. Many people have a friend like that. It was "weird" is always the excuse how the relationship did not work.

- Even better for joking on a modern day thing is when Phoenix reveals to Amy he's seeing his operating system. The conversation is like a conversation when someone says they are dating their first different race, religion, gender, vegan, etc. with a friend who is interested and approves. There is always someone who will approve of the new deviancy. There was a nice juxtaposition of Amy Adams' acceptance with the following scene where his ex-wife (Rooney Mara) hits him with reality. He is in "love with his laptop", pointing out the other side with all the negatives to that revelation.

- The best portrayal of the broken society is when the AI Samantha arranges for a real live woman to interact with Phoenix to create a more real or deeper experience. While the newspaper reviews say he stops because he is overwhelmed; he stops because he is creeped out. When the woman leaves in tears, feeling she messed up, she says she will always love what they had. The broken society creates a situation where people fall in love with an operating system. Just a few months into that AI system being on the market, there are people willing to participate with these OS-human relationships to feel the rush of being in a loving relationship. This third wheel woman gets drawn in by an AI. The entire situation is absurd but very funny. How atomized are people? You know this will happen.

If you have not seen "Her" check it out. Look for the bits of today that are there. There are more. In the future, it looks like Los Angeles fixed it's inequality, obesity and NAM problems. That must have been an off camera process after the present but before the film's setting. Some men's fashion things were 1890s, which is a good chuckle. The film is two hours, drags at times but is worth the watch.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Brazil Avoids Bad Press

Brazil is skating free this World Cup. Russia hosted the Winter Olympics, and we heard many times about the uber oppressive, gay hating nation of slavs headed up by a cold hearted son of a bitch. Every moment NBC could, it shoehorned something about gay bashing. There was even talk of the immense cost of building the Sochi area up and oligarchs. Somehow South Africa missed this same treatment. Hmmm, must be something on the surface, skin deep if you will. Brazil has had a bit of press on the wealth and income inequality issue.

Brazil has a Gini Coefficient of nearly 55. This is much higher than America and Russia, yet I have not heard about oligarchs. Brazil is one of the BRICS that have been rising in the globalization era. If wealth and income are that much more concentrated, who are these elites sucking in the dollars? Brazil has 79 billionaires. For such a diverse country, most of those guys look like they would fit in at a GOP convention. Weird that we're not getting that pushed more. The income inequality message is a powerful one now, and with favelas to display in sweeping camera pans, this would be a winner. Must be something skin deep.

It is interesting the media has not made a bigger deal about Brazil's murder and violence problem. With progressive hand wringing over shootings in America, one would think the media might mention the astronomical murder rate in Brazil. Brazil is pushing for a bigger seat at the global table, including plans to build an aircraft carrier. In South America, they are trying to position themselves as the alternative to the US hegemon. An investigative reporter could dig into these global aspirations as the nation cannot contain its violence problem. The nation's most successful film franchise is focused on corruption, the elites, drug lords and violent gangs. How are they going to step up the regional hegemon if they cannot clean up favelas? Must be something skin deep.

There is one thing in every press blurb on this World Cup; the word diverse. Brazil is oh so diverse. Brazil has tons of diversity. Oh gosh it is so diverse! Diversity creates "problems" the media can report (like Sailer mentioning how the never-ending tide of Hispanic immigrants become media talking points for US problems). Whites can only go to the games while the blacks stay outside! Grrr! Look at the media twist a fact and say over half the nation identified as "black or of mixed race". The one drop rule lives on in the media and claiming affirmative action perks. This reminds me of black American women ranting at the Brazilians online who run Brazilian model blogs saying how many blacks there are there, when in reality, they are less than 10% of Brazil. The Brazilians usually smack them back in good fashion. Ronaldo is not black, so ABC, are you calling him black? Would you do it to his face? I doubt it. Thanks to diversity we solved the mystery as to why Brazil's been shielded this World Cup.

In summary, we have a nation that is 48% white, 42% beige, 8% black, 1% Indio and 1% Asian. It has massive income inequality that is the worst in the G-20. It has a murder rate that is five times the US murder rate. The slums are world renowned for their lawlessness and poverty, but they are aligned with some elites in a democracy headed up by a female who was once an urban Marxist guerilla. They also have socialized medicine. If we think of progressive talking points, this is their dream for America's future. Enjoy the United States of Brazil.

Even the Japanese in Brazil have asses (Carol Nakamura)

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Remaking the Middle East, "Do Something!"

Iraq is in flames. Not just terrorism, but conventional battles are taking place. ISIS is on a rampage. Their haul is amazing, their flamboyant taunting of the US is Bond villainesque, they are declaring a caliphate, and they are incredibly well funded. Who could have seen this coming? Allow me to pose and gloat over this, as I considered it a possibility last summer. I even nailed the group, including Kurd movements to take spots and consolidate their hold possibly leading to independence. End of gloating. This will push oil and gas prices right in the middle of summer driving season, and possibly boost oil prices for years. What to do, what to do? The War Party (stop using neocons as it is bipartisan) want to do something.

In reality, the US should do nothing. Even better, listen to Netanyahu and move to weaken both sides. Who legitimately knows what is going on with the policy makers in the USG leviathan. If it truly is to remake the Middle East, and we are well on our way to tearing up Sykes-Picot, let the two sides duke it out for as long as possible without our direct involvement. If the goal is to reach out to Iran (weird how those nuke talks go nowhere), then shouldn't delivering the F-16s the Iraqis ordered be rushed? Wait, they bought some combat support jets from the Russians. If the goal is to help our Saudi, Jordanian and Israeli allies by keeping a peaceful Middle East, then shouldn't a few bombing runs be enough to wipe out the 1000 troops ISIS has? It should. It's open air desert, and they are riding vehicles we left behind that should be easy to spot.

This is the problem though, because the US spent money and sent arms to arm Syrian jihadis. The USG could not come through with air support and cruise missiles to knock out Assad's advantage, and jihadis had nowhere to go but back to normal tribal areas since borders were drawn by long dead European diplomats. Whether direct or indirect help, ISIS is a problem of the USG's creation. Red Empire or Blue Empire because it does matter? Red aligned Israel/KSA do not mind a rampaging force pinning down and killing Iranian forces and draining Iranian oil revenues. How much does the US want to put its relationship with the Qataris and Saudis at risk? As far as USG foreign policy, Israel and the KSA seem to be taking the role of two in the hand while Iran is the one in the bush. Even the Blue Empire needs those petrodollars to placate domestic constituencies. This is the problem with slicing sovereignty down to millionth parts. Seriously, American foreign policy is a nonsensical nightmare, but back to ISIS.

ISIS occupies a securely Sunni area of the Middle East. It is even more securely Sunni after the mid-'00s ethnic cleansing that went on in formerly heterogeneous regions. They seem dead set on staking out a zone, and they also have a pitch appealing to the Sunnis frozen out of Maliki's government that, ahem, flexed its muscle for his tribe. They have a little bit of help from the remnants of the old Saddam regime. ISIS does not need to take anymore territory. They just need to inflict wounds on the regime, and play for time so "peace" can be brokered. Carving up Iraq into zones has long been an idea (even our Vice President suggested it), and ISIS, or an ISIS puppet, can have the dominant part in a Sunni zone, moderating to become statesmen recognized by Harvard. Harvard's been friends with worse.

The USG should do nothing. Let them fight for years. If some younger politician wanted to be contrarian, they could think longer term, look at the situation and keep this quote in mind from Jim Rickards earlier in June.
Bankers’ parasitic behavior, the result of a cultural phase transition, is entirely characteristic of a society nearing collapse. Wealth is no longer created; it is taken from others. Parasitic behavior is not confined to bankers; it also infects high government officials, corporate executives and the elite societal stratum.
ISIS is a murderous group of terrorists that use power point. They are also setting up a potential redrawing of the Middle East map by force of will. There is an easy way to position this as an absolute failure by your political opponent in name (President Obama) and of the American foreign policy infrastructure. It can be framed as a slap in the face to US veterans (wave small flag while saying this). It can also be the start of restructuring and dismantling of nation states. Maybe good fences make good neighbors. Maybe forced multiculturalism is not always the answer. Maybe political arrangements for peaceful separation are the best alternative to armed conflict when a polarized population can no longer hear each other. Let us support a peaceful, negotiated partition of these mixed groups to spare any further bloodshed. If you have to do something, do that.