Weathering Reinforced Orbital Glaciation Theory

January 15, 2019

I suggested that one could absorb CO2 by deliberately watering vast hot expanses of basalt and, or calcium or magnesium bearing tropical wastelands.
Friend Ian Miller pointed out in a comment that crushing rocks to achieve this required energy. I replied that, actually, I have seen immense expanses of desert in North America, South America, Mexico, Iran, Africa with such rock in a pulverulent form: no need to crush them, they are already completely crushed.

Then I remembered the Sahara, with thousands of kilometers of such pitiless desert. The highest mountain in the Sahara, as in Iran, is a volcano… But then I also remembered seeing prehistoric paintings there, of bucolic hunting scenes complete with hippopotamuses and trees… Imagine: that’s now an absolute desert: seeing one tree is seeing a miracle (one such tree is called “l’arbre du Tibesti”; it’s many thousands years old…).. Ah, but then, when the Sahara was wet, the watering, and the weathering, were achieved! CO2 was withdrawn from the atmosphere!

The white substance is natron, well-known to the Egyptians, in a giant caldera, the Trou au Natron, at the foot of an enormous shield volcano in Chad… In the middle of the Sahara. And not the largest volcano there. The cliffs are 1,000 meters tall. Yes, this all absorbs CO2 when wet…

So I suggest this: glaciations, in the last 2.75 million years were accentuated, reinforced by CO2 absorption from chemically interacting with rocks in the desert. Indeed, during glaciations, the giant circulation cells which create the arid subtropics are less aggressive and move south: the deserts become wet and green.

Now make no mistake: I am NOT saying that the orbital glaciation theory is false. I am just correcting it. I am adding a factor. The orbital theory of glaciation says that glaciations occur when it is too cold in July-August to melt snows in the Northern Hemisphere… where the continents mostly are (the southern equivalent is mostly ice-free: it’s an ocean, the “Roaring Forties”). The theory was first suggested by French mathematicians Joseph Alphonse Adhémar (1797–1862) who computed that ice ages were controlled by astronomical forces in his 1842 book Revolutions of the Sea. The idea is now associated with Milankovitch’s name. The theory’s recent Computer simulations show that this is (roughly) correct… Although various sticky mysteries remain.

I am just suggesting that the glaciating effect found by pure orbital and Earth rotation dynamics is amplified by the mechanism of CO2 diminution from rock chemistry I just described, in this essay and the preceding one.
Indeed orbital effects come short of explaining what is observed. Simulations and paleoclimate analysis show that the variation in Earth’s climate is much more extreme than the variation in the intensity of solar radiation calculated as the Earth’s orbit evolves. Methane release and the like doesn’t cut it yet. If orbital forcing causes climate change, and it does, science needs to explain why the observed glaciation effect is amplified compared to the theoretical, purely astronomical effect.

I just did.

Patrice Ayme

How To Remove CO2 From the Atmosphere: Water Volcanic, Calcium & Magnesium Desertic Tropical Ranges. Contemplate Indonesia!

January 13, 2019

DID INDONESIA CAUSE THE LAST THREE MILLION YEARS OF GLACIATION? SOLVING THE CO2 CATASTROPHE BY ACTIVE, FEASIBLE REMOVAL:

In the last 500 million years, three-quarters of the time or so, the planet enjoyed a hot, Jurassic style climate. It was not the case during the evolution of the genus Homo, one characteristic of which is the ability to endure cold and even subpolar climate. Enormous glaciations then rolled in, one after the other. What happened? Well, the mystery has now been unveiled.

This is not just a curiosity. Indeed, said discovery provides us with a solution to the CO2 catastrophe: just water dry tropical volcanic ranges and similar areas with plenty of calcium and magnesium, and the CO2 will be removed, stabilizing the atmosphere. Watering those particular mineral areas provides with a believable mechanism to decrease CO2 when enormous amounts of cheap clean energy is available… in a generation or two. (This is the first plausible mechanism ever suggested to do so!)

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Sacred mountain of Zoroastrianism, the major historical religion of civilization, Mount Damavand is the highest point in Iran higher than the Alps or even the Caucasus. It is an active volcano in full sight of gigantic Teheran. The gas and fumaroles on top was a problem when I circled the crater. This is the northern side, facing the Caspian sea, a lush area. Other sides are extremely dry, and I propose to water them. That of course would require gigantic, power-hungry engineering beyond the capability of present civilization.

Global climate change around 3–4 Million years ago influenced the evolution of hominids, via the aridification of Africa, and what happened next, the Pleistocene glaciation about 2.75 Myr ago… thereafter the Earth’s climate suffered rolling glaciations… while human species evolved ever faster.

Most explanations of these climatic events used to involve changes in circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean due to the closing of the Isthmus of Panama. The idea is that a strong current of warm water was going north from the Pacific, joining, and augmenting the Gulf Stream, thus preventing any ice to form in the Arctic. With no ice in the Arctic, the albedo of Earth was significantly lower, thus all these infrared, instead of being sent back to space by reflecting snows, were trapped in the Arctic. A warm Arctic brought temperatures up, overall.

However, the closure of the Indonesian seaway 3–4 Myr ago could also be responsible for these climate changes: it acts similarly to the contemporaneous Panama closing (but as we will see, Indonesia does more than Panama). Closing the Indonesian seaway brought the aridification of Eastern Africa. The simplest theory and results from ocean circulation modelling show that the displacement of mighty New Guinea, about 5 Myr ago, at 100 kilometers per million years, going north, and west, closed the seaway. (But not just that, as we will see.)

That would have switched the source of flow through Indonesia—from warm South Pacific to relatively cold North Pacific waters (all waters below 100 meters are now blocked by narrow, shallow straights inside the Indonesian archipelago). This blockage would have decreased sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean, leading to reduced rainfall over Eastern Africa. Changes in the equatorial Western Pacific, by making heat stagnate there, probably reduced atmospheric heat transport from the tropics to higher latitudes, stimulating global cooling around the poles, and the eventual growth of ice sheets., which, in turn, cooled the planet further!

All of a sudden, shallow waters all over! The right side, the gigantic island of New Guinea, moved north, but also west, at 100 kilometers per million years, strangling the Indonesian seaway, starting 5 millions years ago (coincident with the same in Mesoamerica) This blocked the Earth’s warmest waters to enter the Indian ocean.

But there is another way in which Indonesia enters the climatic picture: CO2 removal by chemical reaction with basaltic rocks. This happened because the tectonic collisions caused the rise of high mountains, hence intense weathering.

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Basalt Make CO2 Into Rock:

Basalt generally has a composition of 45–55 % SiO2, 2–6 wt% total alkalis, 0.5–2.0% TiO2, 5–14 wt% FeO and 14% or more Al2O3. Contents of CaO are commonly near 10%, those of MgO commonly in the range 5 to 12%.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock which is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

Immediate conclusion: if one adds CO2 to basalt, one should be able to make limestone. Indeed:

When CO2 is in presence of water, it reacts and makes carbonic acid. Putting lots of CO2 into water makes a Seltzer water which is acidic enough to destroy basalt. The low pH water (3.2) worked to dissolve the calcium and magnesium ions in the basalts, which then reacted with the carbon dioxide to make calcium and magnesium carbonates (which are whitish). Cores drilled into experimental sites in basalt showed rock with the tell-tale white carbonates occupying the pore spaces. Roughly it seems that 100 kilograms of basalt turned 50 kilograms of CO2 into rock. So far so good… One could locate power plants on top of basalt flows? Probably not: the process costs of the order of $17 a ton… That would augment the cost of burning oil by 20% (back of envelope computation in my head)… One has to understand the cheapest energy is already photovoltaic energy… In 2018…

Researchers tagged the CO2 they injected in basalt, 600 meters down, with carbon-14, a radioactive form of carbon. None of the injected CO2 was leaking back to the surface or finding its way out through a distant watercourse, as no radioactivity came out: the capture of CO2 by basalt is highly efficient.

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Indonesia is sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere:

Many mountains in Indonesia and New Guinea consist of ancient volcanic rocks from belching volcanoes caused by subduction of various tectonic plates. When ocean floors were caught in a colossal tectonic collision between a chain of island volcanoes and a continent, those volcanic  rocks were thrust high. Lashed by warm tropical, acidic, corrosive, penetrating rains, these basaltic rocks react with CO2 sequestering the product inside the basalt. That is why, with only 2% of the world’s land area, Indonesia accounts for 10% of its long-term CO2 absorption. Its mountains could explain why massive ice sheets have persisted, waxing and waning, for several million years: evidence shows that the normal state of the planet in the last half a billion years, is a hothouse, with crocodiles all the way to the north of Greenland…

Researchers claim to have found that such tropical mountain-building collisions in wet areas coincide with nearly all of the half-dozen or so significant glacial periods in the past 500 million years. “These types of environments, through time, are what sets the global climate,” said Francis Macdonald, a geologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C. (December 2018). If Earth’s CO2 has a machine producing it, the rise of mountains like Indonesia’s could be it.

Long-term changes in the planet’s temperature are governed by shifts in CO2 atmospheric density. Plate tectonics refurbishes continually the planet’s surface. For decades, scientists have debated what turned the CO2 on, to the dramatic extent it did. Volcanoes were long prime suspects. Volcanoes erupt where plates dive beneath one another. By spewing carbon from Earth’s interior, they could turn up the thermostat. That was the idea. But it’s a bit stupid: CO2 was in atmosphere, gets captured by rocks, sediments, gets buried, and then belched out: it sounds like a rather quick (on a geological scale) zero sum game: what comes in comes right out…

Rock weathering of massive mountain ranges, seems a smarter approach: it depends on mountain building driven by plate tectonics. Indeed, sometimes there are giant mountain ranges, as big, or bigger than the present Himalayas. Sometimes, most often, not: as observed, the planet is a hot-house ¾ of the time, just as there are no massive wet tropical ranges, most of the time.

The Hercynian range, which spans the Appalachians, Scotland, and countless ranges in Europe, is still here for all to see (started 480 millions ago, it became Himalayan like when Africa collided with North America as part of the construction of Pangea).

When tropical mountains contain seafloor rocks rich in calcium and magnesium, they react with CO2 dissolved in rainwater to form limestone, which is eventually buried on the ocean floor. Both processes matter in removing CO2 from the atmosphere, This also explains why there were gigantic amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere in the Carboniferous era, and they mysteriously vanished: they are in all these rocks, such as all these limestone ranges….

Having the right rocks to drive the CO2-chewing reaction is not sufficient. Climate matters, as I said. For example, the Siberian Traps, a region that saw devastating volcanic eruptions 252 million years ago, are rich in such rocks but absorb little CO2: it’s too damn cold, the chemistry doesn’t happen much because of the cold (details aren’t clear yet).

More clearly, in Arabia, one finds plenty of heat and volcanic rocks, but the solvent, water, is absent: CO2 rains down as carbonic acid after reacting with water… But only then. So… If could make it rain in Arabia, we could eliminate massive amounts of CO2. @,lacks another ingredient. “It’s hotter than Hades but it doesn’t rain.” Indonesia’s location in the rainy tropics is just right. “That is probably what’s keeping us centered in an ice age,” Kent adds.

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The Preceding Suggests THE Viable, Sustainable and Definitive Remedy to the CO2 catastrophe:

Lots of cockmaniacal plans have been proposed to mitigate the CO2 catastrophe (Harvard, the Pluto university, is going to try to throw a veil on the atmosphere… although that won’t solve the CO2 problem, but trust the nasty to come up with nastier…)

Some of mitigation of CO2 will happen naturally: as, and if, the Siberian Traps become tropical, and if it rains there much, CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere. More generally, as the entire planet warms, it moistens up, and all volcanic zones of the planet become CO2 absorbing: this is a natural way to prevent CO2 from raising so much the planet boils.

Practically, if one finally masters thermonuclear power, and, or, photovoltaic energy becomes super cheap, one could make it rain artificially (or massively water) dry tropical volcanic rock areas (such as Arabia, Iran). Thus one would remove enormous quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. That will have to be done by 2100, just to stabilize the climate in the standard hothouse, the Jurassic mode ( what Trump calls a “super climate”), with sea level ten meters higher and crocodiles in Newfoundland…

Over the past few years, academic Macdonald and his collaborators have searched for other times when tectonics and climate could have conspired to open an Indonesia-size CO2 sink. They found that glacial conditions 90 million and 50 million years ago lined up neatly with the collisions of a chain of island volcanoes in the now-vanished equatorial Neo-Tethys Ocean with the African and Asian continents. A similar collision some 460 million years ago started to form the Appalachians, but it was thought to have taken place in the subtropics, where a drier climate (from trade winds) does not favor weathering. By reanalyzing ancient magnetic fields in rocks formed in the collision, Macdonald’s team found the mountains actually rose deep in the tropics. And their uplift matched a 2-million-year-long glaciation. “They’re developing a pretty compelling story that this was a climate driver in Earth’s past,” says Lee Kump, a paleoclimatologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

Those cases are not exceptions. Indeed, the team compiled a database of every tectonic “suture”—the linear features left by tectonic collisions—known to contain ophiolites, characteristic pieces of sea floor, and pillow lavas and the like, volcanic sea floor, over the past half-billion years. Based on magnetism in each suture’s rocks and a model of continental drift, they mapped their ancient latitudes to see which formed in the warm and rainy tropics, and when. “We were surprised that this is not as complicated as we thought,” Macdonald said.

The team compared the results to records of past glaciations and found a strong correlation. They also looked for declines in volcanism, which might have cooled the climate (from lessening of CO2 emissions). But their influence was much weaker, Macdonald said.

A recent study challenges the mountain CO2 weathering-thermostat notion with evidence for the importance of volcanoes (as I said, it has to be rather a zero sum, when considering volcanoes from subduction, because what goes in comes pretty fast out!) The study used ages from thousands of zircons, durable crystals that can indicate volcanic activity, to show that upticks in volcanic emissions were the dominant force driving the planet’s warm periods. But there are two types of volcanisms: what I call “core volcanism” (“Traps”, Large Igneous Provinces, LIPs) brings in massive amounts of fresh CO2 from way down inside the mantle… It’s likely both streams of ideas have at least one hand on the truth.

The beauty of absorption by volcanic rocks of CO2 is that it explains not just why glaciations start, but also why they stop.

A hothouse Earth appears to be the planet’s default state, prevailing for three-fourths of the past 500 million years. We will have it again by 2100: the dice are thrown, it’s in the air.

An Indonesia-style collision may push the global climate into a glacial period, but only for a while. Mountains erode and continents drift. And the planet warms again.

Science doesn’t just bring understanding, it brings also the means to act on the universe. Now we have the trick to reduce CO2… (And I am, by the way, the first to propose it: massive watering of the desiccated zones!) To give us the means, we have to keep on deploying photovoltaic energy and thermonuclear reactors (I say “deploying”, because there is plenty of evidence that a massive thermonuclear reactor could work: the bigger, the more efficient, it’s a matter of mass against surface).

The alternative to the solution to the CO2 catastrophe by weathering and geological chemistry is a CO2 driven holocaust. Developing science and technology is not just profitable, pleasant, and human. It is also the moral thing to do. And the only moral solution to CO2 there is.

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: By public request, a partial list of references supporting the research above:

References: Closing of the Indonesian seaway as a precursor to east African aridification around 3–4 million years ago
Mark A. Cane & Peter Molnar
Nature volume 411, pages 157–162 (10 May 2001)

Swanson-Hysell, N.L. and Macdonald, F.A., 2017. Tropical weathering of the Taconic orogeny as a driver for Ordovician cooling, Geology, G38985. 1.

(That was 440 million years ago, and the continents looked nothing like now; only Siberia is recognizable… It was a free floating continent…)

Tropical uplift may set Earth’s thermostat
Paul Voosen
Science 04 Jan 2019:

For scary, or when Antarctica partially melted under similar conditions to what we are going to get within a decade:

Antarctic ice melt 125,000 years ago offers warning
Paul Voosen
Science 21 Dec 2018:

 

EMOTION PLANS LOGIC. Want No More Fakery? Tell the Truth! Hurt the Feelings of Fakers!

January 11, 2019

Emotional logic builds geometrical logic. This is a neurological fact. And yes, there are alternative facts, all over, because there are incomplete logics, logic with incomplete universes, all over. Any logic depends upon a universe of facts. Not all universes of facts are complete, far from it. It happens even in physics. Somehow, much vaunted modern physics is missing 95% of the mass-energy: it has no idea whatsoever what Dark Energy and Dark Matter could be made of: a case where major facts are still missing.

Philosophy , once it knows enough science, realizes that, although we don’t know all the details yet, clearly the topology of various substances bathing the brain, with their many dimensions, are what direct neuronal geometry… This, in particular explains why one cannot fight emotions with facts readily. That is like changing grass in the steppe with scissors.

If a child makes a mistake, one doesn’t respect the alternative computation. Instead, one says, pedagogically, that the computation is not correct. Children listen, because they respect teachers and parents (or used to…) So the emotional logic of respect, makes school possible.

 

Paradoxically, the problem then, maybe that one uses too much rationality to try to bend rationality, confronted to adults who have the wrong emotional logic.

 

Faced by a lethal religious fanatic, or a climate change denier (for example), the best method may not be to present them with facts and logics they can’t understand, or are unwilling to consider. Instead, one should probably appeal to their emotional logic.

 

How? One way is to call a cat a cat. Confronted to idiocy, it may be more pedagogical to say it as it is: idiotic. Instead, “Multiculturalism” (and Latour was part of it) insisted that complete idiocy and primitivism, were valuable alternate realities. Now Latour says there is just one reality. Right. However the philosophy known as “French Theory” said the opposite for 60 years….

 

Want no more fakery? Tell the truth! Hurt the feelings of fakers!

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: The preceding, that emotional machinery is the architect of the geometric logic, explains the observation of John Stuart Mill that ideas don’t work to change systems of mind readily (Discoverer of the Quantum Max Planck said the same a bit later, pointing out that physics progresses one funeral at a time, or something to this effect). Anyway here is Mill: in the Subjection of Women (1869; following an essay by a female feminist in 1851)

“The very words necessary to express the task I have undertaken, show how arduous it is. But it would be a mistake to suppose that the difficulty of the case must lie in the insufficiency or obscurity of the grounds of reason on which my conviction rests. The difficulty is that which exists in all cases in which there is a mass of feeling to be contended against. So long as an opinion is strongly rooted in the feelings, it gains rather than loses in stability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it. For if it were accepted as a result of argument, the refutation of the argument might shake the solidity of the conviction; but when it rests solely on feeling, the worse it fares in argumentative contest, the more persuaded its adherents are that their feeling must have some deeper ground, which the arguments do not reach; and while the feeling remains, it is always throwing up fresh intrenchments of argument to repair any breach made in the old. And there are so many causes tending to make the feelings connected with this subject the most intense and most deeply-rooted of all those which gather round and protect old institutions and customs, that we need not wonder to find them as yet less undermined and loosened than any of the rest by the progress of the great modern spiritual and social transition; nor suppose that the barbarisms to which men cling longest must be less barbarisms than those which they earlier shake off.”

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Note 2: This was a comment sent to, and published by, the New York Times regarding “Why Fighting Fake News With the Facts Might Not Be Enough” by Jennifer Szalai. I give an extensive quote below, not because she is such a genius… but because the context she provides unwittingly is telling… Latour, by the way, is from a top plutocratic wine family, wealthy for generations… So his (not really “his”, just the latest parroting) declaration that massive uncontrolled immigration to the Europe is justified, just as a tsunami is justified, because waves come and go, and come back again… is a red herring… Something to look at… while doesn’t look at how Latour and his class became wealthy, the old fashion way, inheriting it…
Jan. 9, 2019

“Alternative facts”: The term manages to be tedious, ridiculous and perilous at once — a real sign of the times. For anyone who doesn’t remember, Kellyanne Conway introduced it in early 2017… serenely chiding an exasperated Chuck Todd for being “overly dramatic” as he repeatedly tried to get her to concede that lying to the American public was bad.

Her phrasing may have been new, but Conway was taking part in what has apparently become a conservative tradition — performing a skepticism so extreme that it makes the ancient Greek skeptics look like babes in the woods. Recall a high-ranking aide in the Bush administration needling a journalist for belonging to “the reality-based community.” A respect for facts, the aide suggested, was ultimately for suckers: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

You might think this kind of postmodernism would appeal to the French anthropologist and philosopher Bruno Latour, who has spent a career studying how knowledge is socially constructed. You would be wrong. Such pretensions to reality-creating grandeur, Latour suggests, amount to little more than a vulgar, self-defeating cynicism.

In “Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime,” Latour argues that climate change is forcing all of us to confront truths that seem hard to reconcile but turn out to be two sides of the same thing: 1) reality exists, whether we like it or not; and 2) our attempts to apprehend it are contingent on our social context. Along with Cailin O’Connor and James Owen Weatherall’s “The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread,” Latour’s new book offers a way to think through the seemingly insurmountable impasse carved out by political polarization and fake news.

Latour calls for an entirely new way of understanding the world. He says he wrote “Down to Earth” with a “deliberate bluntness.” He vests a surprising hope in Europe, whose colonial past — or “crimes,” as he puts it — he depicts as inextricable from the migrations it tries to keep out. “Europe has invaded all peoples; all peoples are coming to Europe in their turn,” he writes. “Give and take. There is no way out of this.”

Latour also describes migration as the human embodiment of our “new climatic regime.” Under the old way of thinking, exploited peoples and places were ignored, silenced and stripped of agency; now migrants and the earth itself are both setting out “to recover what belongs to them.”

No doubt some readers will find this to be too much, too philosophical and too French. But maybe it takes a brilliantly mind-bending book like Latour’s to show that so much reality can’t be denied.

Truth Makes No Sense. Sense We Make. As Love We Do!

January 8, 2019

The truth doesn’t make sense. Truth doesn’t have to make sense. Because WE, humans, not truth, make all the sense there is, and all the senses, there are in the world. Giving senses to truth is what WE do.

Truth doesn’t have to make sense, but we need to make sense… to survive. Truth is eternal, its survival not a problem, and truth doesn’t need to remember stuff. Truth just is, it is what is. Another word for truth is reality. We don’t know all there is, neither does truth, because truth doesn’t know anything. Truth is what is. Truth is not what proffers meaning. That we do.

Then the question naturally arises: what is meaning? What does meaning mean? (One is condemned to read until the end of this essay to find out!)

We, on the other hand, need to well-order reality (in the mathematical sense) to create causality chains, little stories in our minds we can act upon, reflecting what is… Pieces of truth, enough of them, we need, in order to survive.

Making Sense is our Prerogative. And only ours.

A simple truth about humanity is that it needs faith… to think. That explains much, excuses a lot, while complicating everything. Yet it doesn’t mean anything goes.

Exposed to this truth, many a scientist or rationalist, of the shallow persuasion, will scoff. They are wrong. They use faith everyday, and especially them.

Thus the great mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck once discovered that the (French) military secretly financed his own Institut des hautes études scientifiques (IHÉS) . Grothendieck was fiercely, and loudly, anti-militaristic. Grothendieck had founded IHÉS (with Dieudonne, another French mathematician). Being militarily funded violated what Grothendieck called “one of his axioms”. So Grothendieck resigned and gave up math, at the grand old age of 42.

Grothendieck’s “axioms” were his faith: he had faith in his axioms. All and any axiomatic system is a system of faith. Axioms can be ridiculous, like the Axiom of Parallels (known to be false in spherical geometry, which Pytheas of Marseilles had used, contemporaneously with Euclid…)  

Truth makes no sense, but we have to make sense, and not just on the blackboard! Grothendieck, 1960s… IHES…

Grothendieck was very clever with his mathematics, much of it related to Category Theory applied to Algebraic Geometry. He didn’t realize that it was the military which had saved him from extermination in 1944, by killing the Nazis. In his memoirs, hiding in the French woods, as an ex-German Jew, and child, he didn’t realize that his life was at the most extreme risk…. He said this himself in his memoirs. But shouldn’t have he realized, when reflecting on his lack of reflection then, that the military, in particular the French military and the FFI (Forces Francaises de l’Interieur) saved his life?

Shouldn’t Grothendieck have been grateful? Just 30 years earlier, the French military had been defeated by the Nazis and forced, by traitors to accept a ceasefire, leading to the Holocaust of the Jews (if the French military had kept on fighting, from the Mediterranean, the Wehrmacht would have been unable to attack the Soviet Union, and thus to massacre all the millions of Eastern European Jews it did massacre, with the help of the SS and other PhD endowed nuts…)

Here we confront a problem with scientists: they love to pose against the grain, spurning truth. It’s not just the likes of John Lennon who do. Lennon’s loud screaming for peace, was coincident with similar poses from the likes of Bertrand Russell, and company. Some will point out it was the time of the Vietnam War. Right. However, whatever it was, the Vietnam War was no holocaust, nor genocide. Right, it was no good. But still, no genocide. Meanwhile genocides were conducted in Canada and Australia, very discreetly, against the Aborigines. They could be conducted, those genocides, because they were, and are, discrete.

All those protesters protesting against something else, not so clearly significant, as if it were the end of the world, contributed, by raising loud red herrings, to make those genocides safe (for the whites to conduct) and effective (by separating children and parents, ravaged, acculturated adults were sure to come about, and further disappear the aboriginal population in crucial parts of the Anglosphere, through all sorts of depressions, abuse and drug addictions….

Truth is what made us. Made us as a society, a civilization, a species, an ethics, a psychobiology, a force that goes, a will, a hope, an arrow of time… Denying truth is denying our creator.

Patrice Ayme

 

Ignore Moods, Ignore Minds.

January 4, 2019

ONE CAN IGNORE MOODS, BUT THEY RULE MINDS.

It seems to me that some of Wittgenstein’s views on religion boil down to him trying to say: There is an emotional logic which accompanies “religion”, but it doesn’t reduce to geometric logic(Compare with Pascal, three centuries earlier: “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison n’a point”… Heart has its reasons, that reason does not have.)

One has to talk precisely, and with discernment: religious beliefs come in two different types: secular and superstitious.

Football is a religion for its fanatics, so is patriotism (doing like one’s fathers), so is the Republic (consider Republican Rome and the heroes who gave their lives for it)… Then there are beliefs like monarchism, or Confucianism, nearly a superstition. Then there are outright superstitions. Superstitions believe extraordinary things, which, as their label denotes, stand above (reality), like blind love for the god who wants to kill children, or the prophet who flew on a winged horse to Jerusalem, or the hummingbird god, etc.

So one should distinguish between superstition based religions and religions based on tying up together again (re-ligare)… without any superstitious element… call the latter secular religions.  

There is a huge difference, an unfathomable abyss, between superstitious religions and secular religions. The latter has a reference: the genus Homo. The former, superstition, refer to the inhuman: god. Superstition based religion asks to believe, all the same, in something unbelievable: it asks to commit to a faith in… irrationality. Once one has left irrationality at the door, one has committed the greatest fraud and sacrifice against human nature. Then everything else is permitted, such as killing the innocents. It’s no accident: that was the aim. Consider the Tangut empire, a Buddhist empire (destroyed by Genghis Khan). There the slightest fault was punished by death.

This is the main interest of superstitious religions for potentates: teaching the subjects to leave reason at the door, robbing them of their free will. In the Tangut empire, the top dogs had the right to have sex with all and any brides (Genghis Khan didn’t like that).

Wittgenstein seems to have suggested that logical expression in different groups can be connected to different emotions. For example “God is Great” means “the universe is great” for the followers of the Abrahamist cults. Indeed.

But Abrahamist emotions at their peak were much stronger and nefarious: when in full control, the Abrahamist cults killed dozens of millions or more, burned libraries, 99.9% of books, eradicated most science, terrorized populations and thinkers for many centuries, throwing civilization off its tracks.

For example in the Thirteenth Century 4 to 5 millions Cathars  got exterminated by the Papacy, in several countries, down to the last person. And all their books. The reason to mention the Cathars is that they were hyper pacifist, to the point of vegetarianism (some of them ate fish, though…) Cathars rejected all wealth and materialism. There were Cathars all the way to Constantinople, where the faith got established long before it was in France. There were female Cathar bishops (“parfaites”). Many were tortured, burned alive by the sexist Catholic male chauvinist pigs. (Cathars were “Christians”… but not Catholic, thus exterminable according to Roman emperor Theodosius’ decrees of 380 CE…)

Cathar Parfaite (a Cathar bishop) flogged prior to being burned alive. Thirteenth Century Catholic amusement. Catholics, who detested women from the start, hated the gender equality of the Cathars. The Cathar ,

The holocaust of the gentle Cathars by Catholicism illustrates perfectly the insane cruelty and power obsession of the Catholic sect.

So the Abrahamists  don’t just mean “the universe is great”, when they say “god is great“. They mean: “I have decided that my god is so great He gave me a reason to kill you, if you don’t submit to me”. One can see this logical emotion at work in Arabia and the Middle East, to this day. One saw this logical emotion at work in the Americas.

One of the conquistadores ordered the massacre of the nation west of the Aztecs, which was at always been at peace with Spain. He thoroughly explained his cynical usage of religion. He said, his true aim was not at all to impose “Christ”, but not to leave a free, strong, fully armed, technologically advanced, smart Native American state in Mexico. Religion was just a pretext, he shrugged, when he wrote his justifications in his old age.

Believing in nonsensical stuff fabricates neurohormones and a way to use the brain in common: it fabricates inhuman robots all programmed the same, subscribing to the defense of the organization (the “faith”).

Jesus rose from the grave” is not just fake news, it is a way to have similarly twisted brains in common. It is goose stepping in a common robotization of the mind, the most basic way to build a human community. It can be efficient. Hence the Catholic Church is the world’s oldest institution.

What Wittgenstein may have tried to say, is that there is emotional logic, and humanity crucially depends on it. Logic is not just all about the games languages play.

The evidence is strong: axons are the wormholes of the brain, carrying information far away and speedily. They incarnate geometrical logic. However they are built from neurohormonal topology… the emotional logic! The emotions, the moods!

One can ignore moods, but they rule minds.

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: the preceding was a comment on a murky essay in Aeon: “Wittgenstein and religion In the case atheists vs religious belief, Ludwig Wittgenstein is called to the stand. Whose side does his testimony serve?” The title says it all: Wittgenstein was full of mumbo-jumbo. However, his family was one of the top plutocratic families in Austria-Hungary, so he was like god to English plutocrats, Bertrand Russell and his ilk. And, generally, in the plutophile Anglosphere, Wittgenstein and his rocky wit still has divine status….

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Note 2: The essay made a big deal of an old Christian quandary: trying to deny the existence of god by pointing at evil is only a problem if one believes that “god” is a good god. But assuredly, the god of the old testament is worse than the worst human tyrants, so it’s both devil and the good lord. Building on this, Islam postulates that Satan and Jinns exist… apparently independently of Allah. In the Qur’an, Allah is asked why, and He replies: mind your own business, understanding this is beyond you, humans.

MAAT, TRUTH, Our Definition, By Egypt For Millennia Incarnated

January 2, 2019

Civilization Is Mostly Egypto-Greco-Romano-Frankish… Today, let’s concentrate on our Egyptian ancestors:

Our world civilization is not “Judeo-Christian” (Christianism was a creation and subset of degenerating Rome)… We profited from a tremendous inheritance elaborated by Ancient Egypt, in roughly all realms of knowledge and wisdom. Egypt crucially contributed to morality, law, basic fables, mathematics, astronomy and the invention of the alphabet, in a society (mostly) without slaves, which feels surprising modern. Egyptian engineers, not content with aligning the pyramids perfectly, even realized the first usage of steam power (to open temple doors…)

Why was Ancient Egypt so intelligent? Because Egypt was anti-sexist: women had equal rights, even 5,000 years ago. Many women ended up ruling Egypt (including the revolutionary Nefertiti). Having women equal more than doubles the mental power of a civilization and balances it neurohormonally (so it’s not just crazy one way; there is evidence women were in power in Egypt especially when the going was the toughest; the same can be observed in the history of France).

Anti-sexism doesn’t just double the mental power, by having twice more brains, it does much more than that: intelligent, responsible, empowered women bring up more clever, inquisitive, balanced and moral children. Whereas a sexist society is not just run by half wits, the latter spend much time, effort and mental energy keeping the women in all sorts of unnatural bondage

Maat, wearing, as the Pharaohs most often did, the Feather of Truth. She used it to weigh hearts. Maat found virtuous hearts to be lighter than the feather, and send to heavens. To the Egyptian mind, Maat bound all things together in an indestructible unity: the cosmos, the natural world, the state, and the individuals were all seen as parts of the universal order generated by Maat.

The influence of Egypt on, and intellectual exchanges with, Mesopotamia, including Sumerian cities, and the Indus civilization, and the symbiosis of Egypt with the equally non-sexist thalassocratic Cretan civilization made Egypt the core of the advancement of civilization, for millennia.   

Under successive invasions from especially the savage Achaemenid Persians (525 BCE), Egypt lost its female leadership (cruelly exterminated by the sexist Persians). When Egypt was freed by Athenians and then Greco-Macedonians a non-sexist society was not re-established, because the Greeks were too much lost in war to see the interest of being ruled by women. Instead, the Greeks progressively robbed Egyptian women of their rights. In the end, Cleopatra VII made a tremendous effort to save Egypt. She was the last of many female pharaohs… And she could have succeeded, had she been even smarter than she already was. Christian and, three centuries later, Muslim fanatics, erased all traces of ancient Egypt, replacing truth by the jealous, cruel, chaotic Bible god.

To the contrary, the fundamental divinity of Egypt was the goddess of truth. Maat denotes the Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat is also the goddess who personified these concepts. The sun-god Ra came from the primaeval mound of creation only after he set his daughter Maat (truth) in place of Isfet (chaos). Pharaohs inherited the duty to ensure Maat (truth, rationality) remained in place and they with Ra are said to “live on Maat” (live on truth). Akhenaten and Nefertiti were accused to carry the concept too far.

Ma’at is good and its worth is lasting.

It has not been disturbed since the day of its creator,

whereas he who transgresses its ordinances is punished.

It lies as a path in front even of him who knows nothing.

Wrongdoing has never yet brought its venture to port.

It is true that evil may gain wealth but the strength of truth is that it lasts;

[from the Maxims of Ptahhotep, 45 centuries ago!]

(Much later, as sexism gained, Maat was paired with the masculine Thoth…)

We must now honor our cultural ancestors, the Egyptians. Not just because they deserve it, not just because they created us the way we think, but because we need to understand where we come from, how natural it was, and which mistakes we made more recently.  

Honoring and understanding Ancient Egypt is a question of revering what defines humanity, our search for truth. Maat.

Patrice Ayme

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Note: this was an expanded version of a comment of mine on The Radical Philosophy of Egypt: Forget God and Family, Write!

APA December 17, 2018 by Dag Herbjørnsrud

New research indicates that Plato and Aristotle were right: Philosophy and the term “love of wisdom” hail from Egypt.

A remarkable example of classical Egyptian philosophy is found in a 3,200-year-old text named “The Immortality of Writers.” This skeptical, rationalistic, and revolutionary manuscript was discovered during excavations in the 1920s, in the ancient scribal village of Deir El-Medina, across the Nile from Luxor, some 400 miles up the river from Cairo. Fittingly, this intellectual village was originally known as Set Maat: “Place of Truth.”

The paper containing the twenty horizontal lines of “The Immortality of Writers” is divided into sections by rubrication, etc.

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Here is Irsesh, the merrekh, the Egyptian philosopher:

Man perishes; his corpse turns to dust; all his relatives return to the earth. But writings make him remembered in the mouth of the reader. A book is more effective than a well-built house or a tomb-chapel, better than an established villa or a stela in the temple!

Their gates and mansions have been destroyed, their mortuary priests are gone, their tombstones are covered with dirt, their tombs are forgotten. But their names are proclaimed on account of their books which they composed while they were alive. The memory of their authors is good: it is for eternity and for ever.

Follow your heart as long as you live! … Heap up your joys, Let your heart not sink! Follow your heart and your happiness. Do your things on earth as your heart commands!

Be a writer, take it to heart, so that your name will fare likewise. A book is more effective than a carved tombstone or a permanent sepulchre. They serve as chapels and mausolea in the mind of him who proclaims their names.

Is there one here like Hordedef? Is there another like Imhotep? None of our kin is like Neferti or Khety, their leader. May I remind you about Ptahemdjehuty and Khakheperraseneb! Is there another like Ptahhotep, or the equal of Kairsu?

As one-who-loves-knowledge mer-rekh, a philo-sopher, Irsesh concludes his immortal text, thus:

Those wise writers who foretold what was to come: what they said came into being; it is found as a maxim, written in their books. Others’ offspring will be their heirs, as if they were their own children. They hid their powers from the world, but it is read in their teachings. They are gone, their names forgotten; but writings cause them to be remembered.

And I will say more: even after the writings are gone, the ideas stay, and, should those vanish in turn, moods will perdure. Our Egyptian moods perdure. 

LIMIT WEALTH ABSOLUTELY II: Because Great Wealth Steers Elite Leadership. Referendums To Fix It All.

December 28, 2018

Extreme WEALTH SELF LEVERAGES THROUGH PURCHASED INFLUENCE. HOW TO FIX IT: Referendum Initiative Citizen, RIC.

This is a deepening, and development, focusing more on the spiritual aspect of oligarchy, of my essay:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/limit-wealth-absolutely/

Want progress? Want democracy? Let We The PEOPLE VOTE in a referendum TO LIMIT WEALTH ABSOLUTELY! Once the issues are clearly explain and debated, it would pass.Who would object to limit wealth under, say, 100 million dollars?… Except if the work is of public utility (so the likes of Space X, Blue Origin could keep on going on private capital). Another referendum would pass universal healthcare in the USA (no need for debate there, the polls are overwhelmingly in favor)…

The ancient argument against great wealth, familiar to all organized savages, for most of the Neolithic, is that wealth exponentiates: the more of it there is, the easier it is to get more. Even the savage Plains Indians taxed extreme wealth nearly 100%, redistributing thoroughly the thousands of horses a great chief could own.

Another, newer, argument, developed here, is that in modern, massive civilization, wealth controls opinion, hence minds. Wealth can easily purchase the leaders of a Representative Oligarchy system, also known, by a common abuse of language, as “Representative Democracy”.

Corruption is intrinsic to this so-called “Representative Democracy” when wealth is not limited absolutely. Even if one put serious term limits and drastic limits on how much the private sector can influence the public sector. Indeed private actors of immense wealth have many powerful ways to influence (as I will show):

10,000 decide of everything, worldwide: that’s .00001% of the world population… Billionaires are a fifth of that in numbers… So roughly there is more than one very wealthy person for each top leader or influencer, worldwide. This is the crux of the disease attacking us and the biosphere: the leadership feels, think and acts to please wealth. Moreover, as the wealthiest are intrinsically evil (consult Christ!), bad decisions are deliberately taken to further the rule of this oligarchy, because wars, conflicts and disasters distract We The People…

Rome is our great lab study and warning sign:

The Roman Republic is our great predecessor. It made the law foremost, as Qin did in China roughly at the same time (making the law foremost is such a powerful principle that Qin (prolonged by their immediate successor, the Han) and Rome built giant empires which last to this day (France, thus Western Europe and the Anglo-Saxon colonies are successor regimes of Rome: we use Roman law… refurbished by Constantinople and the Franks, foedi of Rome, and sole inheritors of Roman Imperium).

The Roman Republic collapse was long drawn out: republican elements were taken out, one after the other, for 550 years (150 BCE until 400 CE, when the Franks were given Roman military imperium over the Germanias and Gallia). Sometimes, things went the other way, as under Trajan, with mass scholarships paid by taxes on the rich, or when emperor Caracalla gave universal citizenship. But overall, the Republican institutions decayed under the fascist empire…

So why did the Republic collapse (dragging the Roman state with it)?

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Sylla, Cicero, Caesar and Augustus accompanied a (plutocratic) revolution they didn’t start and couldn’t control:

The Roman Republic lasted 5 centuries, in full. Then it ran into trouble, as civil wars happened all over. Caesar’s grand nephew, Octavian, aka “Caesar” (he took the name of his uncle and adoptive father, as per tradition), captured the Republic.

When Octavianus/Caesar/Augustus took control, peace got established, by force, and that enforced peace made this Augustus popular enough to stay in power.

“Caesar” made himself “Princeps” (first, principal)… First man in the Senate, somehow, controlling everything, but without the title of king. When he died, nobody knew what to do, and the generalissimo, Tiberius, stayed in seclusion, until the Senate, duly selected by Octavian/Augustus, a set of plutocrats, begged Tiberius to come out, and take some of Augustus’ responsibilities.

Indeed, by Augustus’ death, Rome’s billionaires occupied the entire political landscape… but for the army, which had been the force, and most of the will, behind Octavian/Caesar’s revolution (regressive revolution, revolution nevertheless!)

Augustus, an extremely gifted teenager who led a revolution, got unhinged early on. Plutocracy would drive anybody crazy, that’s its main purpose, in the grand scheme of evolution!

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Roman Republic Lasted Five Centuries In Full, Because of Absolute Limit on Wealth, Vanished When they Did:

In the next four centuries after Augustus found himself “Princeps”, power would balance between billionaires, the plutocrats and the army, until the latter increasingly defanged the Senate (where billionaires ruled), and the plutocrats embraced Christianism, thanks to Constantine’s crazed family, etc.

How did the Roman Republic collapse then? From the switch to a professional army which reverted to old methods of pillage and the like (as Alexander’s men used to). That switch itself was caused by the impoverishment of Rome’s citizen-soldiers, obvious by 150 BCE (and which the Gracchi deplored in eloquent terms, claiming Roman citizen-soldiers had it “worse than wild beasts”, although they were called the “masters of the world”).

That destitution of citizen-soldiers, in turn was caused directly by the rise of the hyper wealthy. The latifundia (giant agri businesses manned by slaves, owned by hyper wealthy Senatorial class) undercut the work product of Roman traditional peasants…. That happened because globalization made it possible immense fortunes which, coming back to Italy bought out indebted citizen-peasants whose work products were undercut by slave work (on the giant latifundia).  

The Gracchi brothers tried to impose the wealth limit laws (existing, but not enforced). They were too late. A generation or two too late (but then of course the Roman army was busy destroying Carthage allies, including Macedonia). They were in turn undercut by the rise of global plutocracy eschewing local taxes and laws. As the hyper wealthy by then could afford private armies of goons, the Gracchi and more than 5,000 of their supporters were assassinated.

So the citizen-soldiers army disappeared… All the more as the invasion of the Teutoni, Cimbri and their allies, saw the near annihilation of the entire Roman army, before the peasantish Marius, helped by the Senatorial Sylla reestablished the situation spectacularly by annihilating the invading German armies.

In any case, out of that mess came professional Roman armies, and they had to be paid… by their commanders in chief, the imperators. When imperators, such as Pompey the Great and Caesar, collided, civil war resulted.

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We Are Engaged In A Similar Decay, With The Similar Causes to Those Which Demolished the Roman Democratic Republic

The whole process of decay of the Roman Republic arose from the economic, and then social destitution of Roman citizen peasant soldiers… the same citizen peasant soldiers who had made Greek city-states so powerful and progressive (with the exception of Sparta, where citizens were just soldiers enslaving the Helots who were the peasants (and occasional soldiers, when Sparta needed massive armies).

Now, of course, we are decaying just the same, and the leading republics, France and the USA switched to professional armies. As happened in Rome, professional armies can make coups and even, revolutions (Octavian had to do what his centurions wanted him to do; one of them went to the Senate, and brandished his sword, adding that, if the Senate didn’t agree to the propositions the army made, that sword would force them to…)

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Same process of wealth concentration in the oligarchy, while the public perishes, as under the decaying Roman Republic: public property collapses, while private holdings (the 1%!) blooms.

Representative Oligarchy, Our Present System, Attracts deliberately idiotic greedsters:

I watched ex-Président of the French Conseil Constitutionel Jean-Louis Debré. That institution, the Conseil Constitutionel, makes sure French laws are in agreement with the Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1789 (not the one of 1793; the UN follows 1789, not 1793; 1793 recognizes the right and duty of peoples to enter insurrection when Rights of Man are gravely oppressed: it was too progressive for the founders of the UN…) The US doesn’t have really a Constitutional Court, although the Supreme Court, SCOTUS, sometimes plays that role, somebody has to…   

Jean-Louis Debré is the son Michel Debré, long a Prime Minister, and brother of Bernard Debré, MD and MP. Also the great grand-son of a Great Rabbin of France. Same family as the famous Fields Medal mathematician , Laurent Schwartz. In other words, a family as connected as one gets, to the point of having a Wikipedia entry with around 50 names! In any case, the ci-devant Debré was on all French TV networks, day after day, to explain, with the bluntest bad faith, that Direct Democracy was the rule of the mob (he used the Greek word invented by the Greek hostage Polybius when he wanted to ingratiate himself with Roman plutocracy, circa 140 BCE… Small world, no? Debré hit just at the same period when civilization took a bad turn, and, as an oligarch, 22 centuries later, stand with the bad guys… Never mind that led straight to Nazism and he is a descendant of Jews…).

So there are those who belong to the oligarchy, and those who accede to it. Several contributors to my site have suggested the obvious: that Obama’s parents were CIA connected (that would explain why he could go through school doing dope and learning very little: the future was his, as a perfect pupett), Now finally, some on the vague left have the courage to say it as it is: the Guardian ran an excellent article saying what I long said: last thing we need is more Obamaism

…Obamaism leads us to believe that we do not need to choose, and that we can actually have it all – as long as we always make sure to line up behind policies that appease the super-wealthy.

It is, in other words, the ideology undergirding the argument recently put forward by former vice-president, Joe Biden, who insisted: “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble … the folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”

Biden gets it all wrong, and that’s deliberate: 500 billionaires are precisely why we are in trouble. Actually, it’s not 500, but more than 2.200. Some of these billionaires are just creations of the powers that be, for example Abrahamovitch, a Russian sidekick of Putin, now equipped with Israeli citizenship, tight with Beatles legend Sir Paul Mccartney. I mention this, to show even artistic leadership is tight with the plutocracy, not really distinguishable from it. So here now is the beef of this essay:

BILLIONAIRES CAN BUY OUR LEADERS, SPIRITUAL  OR POLITICAL; Here Is The Math:

In the Representative Oligarchy we have now, the wealthiest can steer the few thousands politicians, CEOs, media pundits, influence peddlers, pseudo-intellectuals, university professors, etc. who drive the world.

Their total worth in 2018 is actually 10 trillion. Let’s divide by the number of individuals, like Debré, Biden, who they need to impose plutocracy aka “Representative Democracy” as the world’s best institution: 10,000 billions/10,000 = 10^13/10^4 = 10^8 = one billion.

OK, let’s be more realistic, suppose the 2,200 billionaires spent just 1% of their worth influencing the oligarchic influencers. That gives us a very sustainable, but gigantic 10 million dollars each! In other words, the world’s 2,200 billionaires can flood those 10,000 drivers of the world’s public opinion, with ten million dollars each, while spending a tiny portion of their wealth… And a spending that doesn’t function as a tax, which would go to the state, whereas here it goes to the hearts and minds of the oligarchy itself. The 1% spent influencing the influencers functions as a force multiplier! They recover much more, as when Steve Jobs persuaded Irish politicians to tax Apple just 1% on worldwide revenue, and then probably even more to persuade EU politicians to do nothing effective about this violation of EU law (minimum tax required: 12.5%).

The Guardian nails it, repeating what I said, and saw, from inside, a decade ago already : “It is easy to understand the political utility of this third-way legend: it lets Democrats continue raising gobs of cash from satisfied corporate donors and moguls, and it at least provides voters with more palatable rhetoric than what the Republican party offers. And yet the record of third-way policies over the past few years have made painfully clear that Obamaism’s refusal to choose a side can be a nihilistic choice unto itself.”

The Guardian is too generous. What we are facing here is institutionalized corruption. Past British PM (Major, Blair) made a fortune with jobs provided to them by the billionaire class and their agents. Let alone Al Gore, who made a cool billion and got a Nobel (for talking a storm about the environment while doing nothing about it when he could…)

In France the situation is hilarious: the top intelligentsia, politicos and plutocrats talk, dine and bed each other, sometimes in fancy palaces of distant monarchies. They have ruined the country, but never mind: they thrive, they rule the spiritual waves rolling over the countries. We have seen this before, say in the Ancient Regime (entangled with the Founding Fathers of the USA, nota bene…), or even earlier when Louis XIV was busy devastating France with his ethnocide against the Protestants he was so proud of (and the ensuing world wars…) Some Gilets Jaunes, Yellow Jackets, have concluded that it would best to burn the whole thing down, that entire conspiracy. I concur (are they going to try to get me convicted to inciting to burn down a conspiracy? Right now in France, as in Putinistan, inciting to rebellion sends one to jail. Well, corrupt judges will have to admit that there is one conspiracy, first. According to the 1793 Declaration Des Droits de l’Homme, it is our DUTY to rebel, then…)

So let’s recapitulate. Spending 1% of their wealth each year actually acts as a force multiplier: billionaires make more by spending 1% of their wealth a year, than by not spending it. As observed. A billionaire goes see a president in his presidential palace (happened countless times in the White House and the Palais de l’Elysée), The billionaire makes the president a very remunerative job waits for him when coming out (OK, doesn’t work with billionaire Trump, so Trump is very bad)… if the president consents NOT to tax the company of the billionaire, or his “foundation”, or if the president consents to let his company violate antitrust laws, or environmental laws, or even national security laws (as when French or US drugs have to be all purchased in China; or when “markets” are obtained from technology transfers to… fascist dictatorships, as happened plenty from the USA to Nazi Germany and the USSR).

Or then one takes all top state bankers and economists in Europe, two hundred individuals at most, and one persuades them that, to make real money they have to keep the Euro the way it is, as a  machine to further the wealth of billionaires. And so on…

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How To Stop This? TAX WEALTH ABSOLUTELY! REFERENDUM INITIATIVE CITIZEN!

Indeed suppose wealth was limited at, say 100 millions: then the total wealth of the wealthiest 2,200 would be only 200 billions, and the amount to spend on influencers and “leaders”, only 200,000 a year… Tempting, however, not irresistible.

The RIC: Referendum Initiative Citizenry is another way around, as the wealthiest can’t buy every single one of us.

So let’s re-establish real, direct, Democracy, after a savage 23 centuries interruption, and do both!

In 1911, a referendum in California decided that women should vote: RICs are progressive, because they are anti-oligarchic and oligarchy is always regressive. That was one the first polity to give women such rights, after Pitcairn island in 1838 (!), and Australia (1894-1902). France had to wait until after the Nazis to see this happen. So referenda have the potential to change not just politics, society, but even the neurohormonal balance of the planet.

As it, those 10,000 (mostly) men who rule the planet are not just any men. They are among the greediest, most delusional, most arrogant, shallowest, most self-absorbed guys around: they are selected that way, and they favor their kind… Just as banks lend to the wealthiest, to make them, and themselves, even wealthier.

Examples? Watch Nancy Pelosi, the incoming speaker of the House.  Her and her husband’s fortune maybe as much as $100 million. Not bad for someone who has only worked in politics, starting in 1987. Of course that fortune doesn’t include her five children (long ago, Pelosi was reported to be worth $250 million). The Senior Senator of California does even better: she and her husband are billionaires, a fortune gained in China by the husband, while the wife steered US policy there… These two examples are found within a radius of ten kilometers (and I don’t dislike Nancy, I prefer her, by a very long shot, to her predecessor Republican Ryan)…

It’s like that all over the planet: watch Macron, who went from highest level public finance inspection, to Rothschild Bank, to the finance ministry, to the presidency, all in 15 years, earning a fortune, living in a million dollar apartment, and, guess what, all this fortune earned by devious means, disappeared. And of course everybody knows Trump’s fortune was at the public teat the whole way…

And this is not just France and the USA. In Britain, the third of the large historical so-called democracies, the situation has become grotesque, and hurtful. As The Economist pointed out December 28, 2018, in its lead editorial “The elite that failed” (published after the first version of the present essay): “There are two popular explanations for this mayhem…a catalyst for a long-simmering civil war between successful Britain (which is metropolitan and liberal) and left-behind Britain (which is provincial and conservative). Both explanations have merit. But there is also a third: that the country’s model of leadership is disintegrating. Britain is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise. This chumocracy has finally met its Waterloo.

Big words, and similar concepts to those I have brandished for more than a decade. If so-called Representative Democracy in Britain, France and the US has turned to “chumocracy”, in other words, oligarchy, for all to see, time for a rethink.

Verily, electoral policy doesn’t select the best, most moral and disinterested, but the exact opposite. Removing, or, at least, controlling them with referenda of We The People will make greed, delusion, arrogance, superficiality, self-absorption less influential in steering our common destiny.

Let’s do it! Limit Wealth Absolutely and modify the constitutions to enable RICs!

As explained a bit in Note 2 below, imposing an absolute wealth limit, and the Will of All through referenda, will have metaphysical consequences: it will steer humanity away from Will to Power of destruction, to Will to Power of loving creation…. 

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: Most of these iconoclastic views of mine are more than a decade old. Some can be found in the European Tribune:

https://www.eurotrib.com/user/uid:4331/diary

I published there until the editor at the time informed me that some prominent European bankers, men of wealth and taste, insisted that I be banned. So he told me, he was sorry, he had to ban me, because contemporary bankers insisted that my views on 1930s bankers collaborating with the Nazis were outrageous and unsupported by evidence (one of these bankers claimed to me that he did an Internet search, and all the articles he could find on the entire Internet  on the subject were… mine!) In the same few months I was banned from the Daily Kos (a popular leftist site created by the… CIA…) and relegated at the bottom of search engines. Dirty tricks work: a decade later. my obvious views, which should be taught all over the world, are not just considered outlandish, but are fully ignored, as everything was done, not to divulge them to the well-meaning, but ignorant masses…

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Note 2: So I hold that the switch to plutocracy unchained caused by the non-observance of wealth limiting laws, brought the fall of the Roman Republic. The same holds for other Republics, like Firenze, which fell to bankers (the Medici).

The conventional view is much more celebrity bound and shrunk in context: Julius Caesar’s political maneuvers (rather than his generalship), say the common historians, dep in their academic cheese, which had long-lasting effects on Rome and Europe. Caesar’s critical role in going against the Roman Senate by crossing the Rubicon led to the eclipse of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Roman Empire, the common view holds: Caesar was a bad boy, that’s all.

That (Pluto compatible) view neglects all which happened before, like Lucius Cornelius Sulla’s brutal and weird dictatorship, or Cicero’s dubious, foolhardy and ultimately self-destructive breach of law and process during the “Catiline conspiracy”…

Or, as I said, the view that it is this, or that individual’s fault neglects many major social, fiscal, political factors, such as the rise of an army, a professional army, which depended upon their leaders, the imperators (not the state!) to thrive (when Caesar and Pompey met, once, at the head of their legions, they saluted each other ironically as “Ave, imperator!“… both had the title and function… Clearly who was at fault was not Caesar (born in 100 BCE) but the plutocrats who opposed and killed the Gracchi and their supporters, two generations before Caesar’s birth. Even Marius’ professionalization of the army was a consequence of the unbounded rise of Roman plutocracy. By the way, when the Roman state collapsed in the West (400 CE to around 493 CE, when the Ostrogoths took Ravenna), the plutocracy, which had contributed to that fall in many ways, including rising private armies, stealing all the riches, refusing to pay taxes, and promoting supine, turn-the-other cheek Catholicism, joined the invading barbarian bands with gusto: it is often as if the barbarians gave the Roman plutocracy the tool and excuse they needed to enter the feudal regime…

All this to say this: the devolution of Roman plutocracy over 550 years, until final collapse, show that there are no limits to how low a plutocracy will sink, to promote the brutal, cruel and demented view of humanity which defines it with glee… And why this? Because, Ecce Homo, the Dark Side gives us the neurological passion dozens of millions of years of evolution have honed to the fine art of Homo.

Trump 24/7: On Trump Obsession As A Scapegoat To Elude What Really Hurts

December 27, 2018

Trump 24/7: On Trump Obsessed Deranged Souls:

Many of the so-called ‘liberals’, self-described ‘democrats’ and arrogant ‘social justice warriors’ are so Trump obsessed, they confuse thinking and trumping. They have Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), one could call them TODS: Trump Obsessed Deranged Souls. Those toads, drunk on their own fumes, as some toads tend to, ponder Trump, talk Trump, think Trump, feel Trump, visualize Trump, Russianize Trump, villainize Trump, measure all values according to Trump, despise Trump, chuckle Trump, humiliate Trump, envision various tortures for Trump, etc.

Those Trump obsessed, deranged souls don’t realize that they have been moved (by Trump!) exactly where he wants them to be: Trump 24/7. They are walking Trump towers. They are Trump’s little apprentices. They are Trump Demented Slaves. All the time they spent this way, deep in their obsession, is as much time they don’t spend thinking progressively. Those toads are just in the mental swamp where real conservatives and plutocrats want them to be.

Speaking and doing Stupidities 24/7 makes one stupid: stupid is, who stupid does.

I have been saying this for years, making myself unpopular with those unworthy to be popular with. Here is another formulation of my position by a friend:

John Michael Gartland Philadelphia, PA, United States · December 26, 2018:

So many people claim to despise President Trump and yet have opened up their brain, their very soul and allowed this mesmerizer to occupy their every waking and sleeping moment, their every thought, every cell down to the mitochondria, everything they think and say is infused with eau-de-Trump, they are total slaves and are driven by his masterful power and influence. Funny that they don’t notice how much they have sacrificed to this force, how much negativity they have generated in the universe, how much hate they have created all in the name of “resistance”. How easy it is to blame one man for our inability to Love one another. How divided we have all become. For what?

Trump Derangement Syndrome is like Marxism of old: an impotent rallying cry from fake-leftists. Marxism advocated dictatorship: one or a few, or a class of men, DICTATING to everybody else. Thus Marxism was fundamentally inhuman. Right, in difficult circumstances, dictatorship ‘of the proletariat’ turned out best, because dictatorship and fascism are best when waging war (this is why Rome created the position of… dictator). So Stalin (fighting the Nazis) and Mao (fighting the Kuomintang and Imperial Japan) found it most useful. Basically Stalin’s Marxism out-Nazied the Nazis themselves as dismayed Nazis found out, for themselves. Great. But not a way to bring real progress to civilization, because dictatorship is not how human intelligence flourishes best.

TDS is like Marxism of old: it prevents real progress on tangible issues, because it’s all about righteous rage, irrational passion, thus there is no time to think about reality and worthies issues.

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Worthy Issues: First of all, Referendums, RICs!

Issues such as Medicare For All, RIC Referendum Initiative Citizen (Direct, Real Democracy), Financial Transaction Tax, Tax and Legislative Evasion through Globalization, CO2 Catastrophe, Nuclear Weapons, the Nature of Money Creation (Banks Lending to the Wealthiest), Representative Oligarchy (also known as “Representative Democracy”) etc.

RIC is of course the master issue: if US citizens were asked to pass Medicare For All, in a referendum, they would. 70% of US citizens support Medicare For All:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/most-americans-now-support-medicare-for-all-and-free-college-tuition.html

In France, RICs, referendums, is becoming the number one demand of the Yellow Jackets… The one and only demand which will change civilization, allowing it to access a higher stage, encountered only in Athens at the time of her splendor. (See note)

So let’s concentrate on that!

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Trump 24/7? Trump Obsessed Deranged Slaves? Enough with these childish games!

And why these childish games? Because it’s all fake opposition: the more strident against a particular individual (here Trump), the less revolution, the needed revolution, in society at large.

Marx was strident against the multitude, over which his dictatorship was to be exerted… But making the multitude into a scapegoat, just like making Trump into a scapegoat, was not really the direction toward which revolutionary activity should be directed best. Bismarck and Lasalle understood this, and made a deeper revolution than Marx and Engels: Bismarck, guided by Lasalle’s spirit implemented in 1883 a prototype Medicare For All, first in the world.  

And why does this Derangement Syndrome, this lurid hatred against particular individuals? Why this scapegoating? Because human beings, like chimps, are programmed to go hate, and kill, the isolated individual (one doesn’t want to kill a mob, that’s too dangerous, thus ineffective).

Want to help civilization survive? Think of what will help, then foster those new ideas, and the regressive ideas of Trump will be gone two years from now.

Patrice Ayme

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Note for those who know some contemporary scapegoat philosophy: René Girard, a famous sort of French, at Stanford University, came out with a whole theory of scapegoating, which, although not ridiculous, reflects only a particular of my much more general and cogent theory elaborated above. Girard says scapegoating is a way to reduce violence, by directing the anger of all against each other, by focusing against one…

Instead I pointed out there is an instinct to attack the isolated individual, evolved from basic war science, as all those who study wild chimps will testify.

Does that mean Girard’s idea has no merit here? No. Indeed what happens is this: the left, the progressives, the liberals, whatever they want to call themselves, make a mass angry against the right, the so-called conservatives, the Deep State. The latter mass is also angry… Both find in Trump an excellent scapegoat: after all, as far as plutocrats go, he is rather isolated… So hating Trump is a way to direct violence against one individual… When, in truth, the violence should be directed against the system, that Representative Oiligarchy and Oligarchy, a parody of real democracy, which is not funny anymore. We need to focus away from the goat, and attack the real enemy…

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Note on Athenian, Real, Direct Democracy: Athenian democracy was hurt by Socrates and his student goons. Before that, in a few decades, it did what was necessary: cripple giant Persian Achaemenid plutocracy, free Egypt, free Greek Ionian cities, leaving everlasting works of the mind…. Unfortunately Persian gold bought Sparta a fleet, among other things. So Athens, thanks to a weird, dramatic error similar to the French defeat in the second week of May 1940, nearly lost its life. Later Athens recovered, and nearly defeated Macedonia. That second phase of real, direct democracy was viewed as more lackluster. Of course: Athens had lost half of her population, and most particularly full citizens. The full citizen population didn’t recover until Athens lost two sea battles to the arch-villain Macedonian ultra senior generalissimo Antipater, who then imposed plutocracy on Athens (only the wealthiest could vote; top philosophers and contradictors got killed… even then Athens stayed under close watch; and when the Romans, by then plutocratic, came to stay, it was not much better… as the Romans did to Corinth what Alexander did to Thebes… with the same idea of showing to Athens what nasty bastards they were; the last independent Greek city, Marseilles, fell a century later… to Caesar, and not easily…)

But the basic fact remains: Athens became incredibly great because of Direct, Real, RIC democracy. Same for the Roman Republic, the real Roman Republic, with its anti-wealth laws, which, although not as democratic as Athens, was more democratic than what happened nearly ever since…

 

Islamophiliac Lethal Irony

December 26, 2018

CUTTING THROUGH THE MUSLIM FUNDAMENTALIST NECK:

Two Scandinavian women went camping at the foot of the Atlas’ mountain highest peak, a tourist hotspot. Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, were found with ‘evidence of violence on their necks’ near the village of Imlil in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains. Three Islamists found and agressed them, stripping and stabbing them. Later, in spite of shrieks to high heavens, one of them had her head cut off while that was immortalized by a video. Men in the gruesome clip can be heard shouting ‘it’s Allah’s will’.

The footage of that beheading was available on the Internet (I saw it). However the (intellectually) fascist French government had the footage removed all over the Internet, worldwide, on the ground it was “ISIS propaganda”. The idiots in the French oligarchic republic don’t have enough wisdom and culture to realize that, had footage of what the Nazis were doing to the Jews, come out for all to see, the Holocaust of the Jews would have stopped (because average Germans would not have supported their Nazi government anymore).

Naive Norwegian Maren, Inch Allah, soon to be culturally guided into two disconnected pieces… Islamists cut through necks so slowly, with their little knives, one surely need hefty “cultural guidance” to appreciate that fact better. Fortunately, her university’s Islamophiles had provided her with that necesary “cultural guidance”…

Or maybe the dictating French oligarchs are anxious not to give too bad a name to ISIS? Sure looks like it! So they would be propping Islamist terrorism, while claiming they fight it? Strange? Not at all! This is Machiavellianism 101! So those dictating oligarchs don’t want to show how terrible the Islamists are? Why would they do such a thing, those sneaky bastards? Think. French weapons are used, massively in Yemen to kill the population, and the people manning the weapons, goons of MBS, can be viewed as… Islamists. As I have long said, Islamism is big business, in the West, for the really big people….  

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/great-bitter-lake/

In any case, the Scandinavian women had fully incorporated the beauty of Islam misogyny… to the point they got disconnected from reality, altered topologically. One of them, Maren Ueland, three years ago, on January 10, 2015, posted a pro-Islamist video, shot in France, where French police is represented catching a well dressed French thief, whereas the bearded apparent Islamist saves the day

Such a video shames people who oppose the Muslim Fundamentalist influx into Europe:

Here is the video:

 

Jespersen and Ueland no doubt also learned that Islam is a religion of peace, and that only racist, bigoted “Islamophobes” think otherwise. So why should they have had any reason to be concerned about hiking in a Muslim country such as Morocco?

I am not anti-Islam anymore than I am anti-Christian. When Islamism and Christianism are restricted to the human, positive, loving common core elements, I tolerate them. But only then. Actually, I am rather FOR them, but only in their secularized version, superstition removed, or then with superstition just tongue in cheek (a bit like with “Santa”…).

The two idiotic, foolhardy ladies were students of “outdoor activities and cultural guidance” at the University of Southeastern Norway.

They could realize, in their final instants, that the cultural guidance they were given shortened significantly their lifespan and bodies. One could call it deeply erroneous. As deep as the cuts through their shrieking necks.

Once again, the problem is not “Islam”… because there are more than 100 variants of Islam. The problem is the sort of Islam Obama and his ilk embrace, petro-Islam, Islam Fundamentalism, Wahhabist style, as found in Saudi Arabia.  The sort of Islam Umar and Abu Bakr, the founding caliphs of Islam, used to conquer the world, in a couple of years… That sort of Islam, 5 centuries before Wahhab, was punished by the death penalty in… Egypt (Saladin was smart). Not anymore, though….

Patrice Ayme

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Obvious note: I didn’t post a link to the beheading video. If I had, that would have given to the French Macron monarchy an excuse to call me a terrorist, and even an Islamist (I have been the object of even weirder aggressions before…) And more of their little electronic goons, the so-called social networks, would have put me on their censorship lists (I am on several of them already).

“Free Market”Can’t Sustain Global US Military Rule: Trouble Incoming May Trump Trump

December 22, 2018

The “Free Market” is another expression for Global Plutocracy Unchained. It mauls all states, replacing the rule of law by the most basic, most cruel instincts… Even the mightiest genitor of “Free Market”, the USA, is not immune. In other words, a mess, a mess we have seen before, when Rome collapsed… from the same exact syndrome.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, whose experience and stability were a balance to the unpredictable president, resigned in protest of Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Syria and his rejection of international alliances.

On Thursday, in a rebuke of the president, 4 star general Mattis decided that Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw roughly 2,000 American troops from Syria was insufferable.

US withdrawal makes the other imperial Republican democratic power, the French Republic, the sole crucial provider of life for the Kurds who have been fighting and crushing the Islamist State (of which they hold thousands of dangerous prisoners, many crazed out European converts to Lethal Islam).

Now, of course, France has been under terminal economic, financial and social stress from vicious EU policy targeting the Republic, to profit so-called “free market”, actually dirty, obscure, global plutocracy. And Franco-British strength has been broken, mostly thanks to the obscure and obscured machinations of their own child, the USA!

Resources of empire. Part of the British Grand Fleet, before the war, in 1914. It comprised around 18 modern battleships, 29 older battleships, 150 cruisers, etc. By 1914, six brand new Elizabeth class battleships were under final construction, and were engaged in battle by 1916. As the British empire collapsed, these resources stopped being available. Something for the USA to meditate: if the US empire collapses, thanks to Trump, US resources will shrink… That would trump Trump.

The British Navy lost 35,000 sailors in battle during WWI. The USA, more than a century ago, enticed and supported the fascist foolhardy imperialist Kaiser Wilhelm, for the first three years of WWI.

https://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/U.S._Protests_Against_Maritime_Warfare

“… Britain tread lightly in this grey area of legality because… from the beginning of the war that the U.S. would be the principal supplier of financial capital and munitions to the Entente during the war.10 Therefore instituting a full blockade of Germany imports when war broke out could have been the death knell not for Germany, but for Britain and its allies.

Britain and France established total blockade of Germany (UK) and Austria-Hungary (France), after 4 months of war, once German mass atrocities against civilians in France and Belgium became widely reported…

Trade from US cotton, camphor, pyrites and saltpetre producing states to Germany through the Netherlands, enabled the fascists German invaders to keep on making cotton based explosives (although much less than they needed, less than Great Britain which was itself less than France… By 1917, France was producing around 200,000 artillery shells per DAY, whereas total German annual  production was only a tenth of that…)

Britain and France, with a little tiny help from Italy won the First World War, starving invasive Germany into submission, thanks to their world empires… Then the USA came to the rescue of the Franco-British victory, controlling the latter in such a manner as to weaken morbidly France and Britain (vast subject).

When Europe dominated militarily: Naval forces, 1914. Notice the democracies, France & Britain together had 5 times more submarines than fascist Germany…. and nearly three times as many modern battleships soon available… Fascist Germany really went into that war without thinking, as fascist regime are prone to do…

More of the same US strategy, helping fascism through rogue US plutocrats, made the Nazi catastrophe possible (in particular by smuggling US weapons to the Nazis, before 1933…). The Nazi madness terminally exhausted Europe, enabling US plutocracy to install the so-called “American Century”, worldwide. Trump’s intuition is that this free market empire has turned out to be economically unsustainable, as the USA can’t afford the giant military establishment necessary to keep it going…. Allies don’t pay enough tribute. Devolution is needed.

Unfortunately Europeans have lost their empires thoroughly, and can’t step up, where the USA is stepping down; even China seems better able to invest in Africa than Europeans themselves… US thought empires could be replaced by “free market”. “Free market” is neither free, nor a market… And the USA, handicapped by the enormous military spending can’t afford it either (in spite of the free ride the GAFAM got so far…)

Rising powers are all over. Pakistan’s nukes, not just North Korea’s, have to be kept in mind. The world is out of control. We know what that means: it’s at the mercy of a fascist, invasive team of crazed generals, as happened in Germany in 1914.  

If such a war came. The obvious winning strategy for the USA and its closest allies would be a repeat of what the USA did in 1914-17 and 1933-1942: wait for the participants to exhaust themselves… So, paradoxically, “America First” may result in Britain, France, Western Europe getting closer to the USA in all ways…  

The past has to be harnessed to lead into the future optimally.

On the most macro-analysis, Europe let herself be manipulated into suicidal wars. Or, more exactly, Germany let itself be manipulated into Europe killing wars by US manipulators (Wilson, FDR, and a cornucopia of US plutocrats and bankers). Is Trump another of these “America-First” manipulators?

Well, at least, Trump admits it. That makes him more authentic: his reasons can be explored, debated, counter-acted.

On the face of it, Syria is a European problem: it was the wealthiest province of Rome, when it fell to crazed, mass murderous Islamists… in the Seventh Century (Islamists, after winning a crucial battle by great luck, killed all the males capable to bearing arms in Syria, just to prevent a Roman counter-attack). Arguably Russia is a European state, partly heir of Constantinople. So it would make sense that a combination of Western Europe and Russia would solve the Syrian problem, and similar problems caused by 13 centuries of fascist theology.

However, to do this, one would need Western Europe to have a military power similar to Russia’s. That can be done: French GDP, by itself, is higher than Russia’s. However, what’s lacking in Europe, at large, is the will… and more: a mind? It’s no surprise: Germany’s will was broken in the 1914-1945 war it made against France, Britain and Russia, and lost so badly, that even the sewer thinking that had become German philosophy went down the drain. And in Europe, only those three actors (supported by Belgium, Serbia, Croatia, etc.) had the clarity of mind to fight fascism.

So now Trump is saying sayonara… Just as the US refused to help democracy at crucial junctures in 1914, and 1939 (and even doing the exact opposite). The French have long proposed a European defense force, on and off. Short of that, at least other European states should let France access the means of the necessary power projection.

And if that means a 20% French deficit, let the Germans and the like, consent to policies which will make that sustainable (for example a devaluation of the Euro which would extinguish the debt by as much, etc.)  

One may think US policy unwise. But Europeans better beware: Rome came into Greece, and left, twice. The third time, it stayed. Now, of course, Rome had not been created, but inspired by Greece, whereas the USA was, indeed, created by Europe… In more way than one… France in particular is not just the parent of the USA, but also that of Britain… One more reason for the USA to give France the means to fight… By influencing other European states…  

Patrice Ayme

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Extracts from General Mattis’ Resignation Letter:

Dear Mr. President:

I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense…

I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.

One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions — to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time… I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians…

Jim N. Mattis