The Tea Party’s Answer For Newt’s Suckage At Sci Fi: Dan Simmons’ “Flashback”

Dan Simmons latest, “Flashback”, reviewed in mid Summer by the WaPo was declared a Tea Party manifesto. The plot occurs in a fallen U.S. some 30 years in the future, with Mexico occupying the Southwest, Japan in Hawaii directly and ruling the West and Midwest indirectly via zaibatsu viceroys. Israel is nuked out existence, and the Global Caliphate expands in Europe, Canada and even the remaining 44 1/2 U.S. states by Sharia Law.

The future U.S. is a broke, neo-totalitarian State, with cities and roads lawless. It rents out its poorly trained and equipped army as fodder to Japan and India to fight their wars. People deal with the catastrophes by abusing a drug called ‘Flashback’ that allows one to memory dive and relieve a past moment as new again.

All of the decline, this ‘appeasement’ occurred because of a man elected president in November 2008. His policies like ObamaCare, his speech in Cairo, it all started with one community organizer.

The lone, shining hold out of integrity and self-esteem? Why, the Republic of Texas, naturally.

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В чем дело?*

Here’s a question for you, Dear Reader, about the road ahead. Over the years together we’ve explored and explained much of the American experience under Christian Socialist Authoritarianism 2001-2008. Sadly, we also assessed Obama correctly in 2007 and warned of recent events. So, what now?

Our lengthy joint conversation remains (begun before YouTube, when Arianna was still swanning for fleeting TV camera glimpses behind Arnold in California). Sure, some (many?) of the posts were hit or miss. But together we did lay down more than a few good ones. Those remain just as relevant today.

We watch with dismay ‘informed’ Democratic thinkers post-election smugly intoning that smart Democrats need to accommodate the Movement even more. Obama’s 2 year ineffective political disengagement will suddenly morph into Clinton’s adroit, intensely engaged political counterpunching? Boehner will be as psychologically fragile as Newt? Or is it some fundamental Democratic compulsion to commit ‘suicide by Movement’?

One is reminded of the apocryphal person determined to drown. One can offer help while remaining careful not to get ensnared and pulled down, too.

Because one thing is for sure: Democrats won’t learn a thing. Again.

__________

* ‘What’s the deal?’

Aftermath – Barack Hussein Kerensky

The rotting amalgamation of disparate interest groups called the Democratic Party can’t preserve the tattered remnants of a liberal democratic republic. Our hopes and dreams were held hostage by craven cringers, flinchers and the inept. So many today rationalize their political malpractice as ‘it [the Democratic collapse] was just on the economy.’ And still act bewildered.

The Boy King’s shoe gazing today? Repulsive in its habitual accommodationist weakness. If they weren’t dragging us all down into the abyss with them, one would say they deserved their fate.

Overheard: Undecided Voters From An Undisclosed Location In Nevada

Grey Alien Type A #1: She’s [Angle] got a point. He’s pathetic. Has to man up and grow a pair . . . You look kind of Asian to me, too.

Grey Alien Type A #2: Don’t harsh your unmotivation on me. Any Democratic Senate Majority Leader jabbers meaningless insider geek stuff. It’s smart Democratic GOTV strategy to praise Anton Scalia as a masterful mind and admire Gee Dub. Dude, you just don’t understand how Washington works.

Alien # 1: Oh, really, Know It All? Gotta give her props about market forces, too. We’ve been stuck down here since 1947. We give them an iPad 60 years ago. This raving lunatic in California NOW claims all the credit. What did we get? A Will Smith movie.

Imagine our own company. Without Death Panels, red tape, high marginal tax rates and regulations. We’d be getting some every night. We’d pull so much hotter than all those Web 2.0 dweebs combined. [starts humming ‘I Like It’ (mumbling) ‘Shout it out, scream it loud Let me hear you go’].

Alien # 2: [Heavy sigh] OK, Aqua Buddha, if you want to go there. Who’s the jackass acting all 5 feet tall, strutting around promising Truman we came in peace? Hmmm? Gave them the 411 on our Master Plan?

Don’t tell me Democrats never did anything for you. JFK got her to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you, too. Like you could ever touch that back on Zeta Reticula. And who tried to shoot you in the face? Cheney thought you were a quail? And hit that bozo by mistake? As if.

Here, just try another of the red ones [drops bottle]. Ooops. And maybe some nitrous with a tequila bomb. It’ll help. Joe Klein said he heard once Garcia was into it. Worked for me. You won’t feel a thing when you vote Democratic.

Alien # 1: [Wistfully] Yeah . . . that ‘Happy Birthday’ thing was the kick. Frank even signed the Meta-Fusion-Transmuter Panel . . . But Bobby would have disemboweled Reid just on principle, yanno?

Besides, the rent really is 2 damn high . . .

Pardon The Light Posting – Democrats Bring Sexy Back, Joementum 2010 Style . . .

Desperation does odd things to people. Usual Suspect blog and cable dopplegangers now clutch at new generic Gallup poll numbers with only a 3% gap between Republicans and Democrats. Just as we remember the bugged eyed, ambitious but very minor McCain bundlers feverishly asserting in mid October. Eerie.

To maintain this folie a deux that Steiner The Boy King Van Hollen will burst through and avert doom with a last minute relief offensive, Democrats must ignore inconvenient reality. You, Dear Reader, know well the difference between ‘likely’ voters and a generic choice. (No worries, we won’t foist upon the world yet another over-used ‘Downfall’ parody video. It was an amusing pop-culture riff maybe the first 5 times (especially the X-box Live cancellation) years ago. The 200th version? When old, clueless guys like Howard Fineman email their friends about ‘discovering’ a ‘new’ hilarious video, well, you know).

Wiser operational and pundit heads are focusing on banked votes in addition to ‘likely’ – i.e., some states permit early voting – anyway. Republican operatives we spoke with after 2008 saw the huge flaw in Roves’ vaunted GOTV focus on last minute surges. Too many votes and way too much intensity potentially left on the table should passions peak too soon. Their obsessive example? The practical operational implications if they could have ‘banked’ votes after Palin’s Convention speech.

As for November, the fate of this feeble crew no longer interests us. They were are useless in the majority. Irrelevant as a minority. Their irreversible decay and degeneration are so profound they mirror their Movement adversaries. Both are apart from a commitment to purposeful, pluralistic political participation. Only one of them doesn’t know it.


Rightist Collective Narcissism And Why Obama’s Own Fantasy Of Rational Dialogue Is Doomed

(N.B.: this originally was posted in the comments section but upon reflection think it deserves its own post. No worries, no effort to impersonate Krauthammer or a certain Senate Majority Leader with the deliberately stylized prose. Just some observations).

Narcissism is an occupational hazard for political leaders. You have to have an outsized ambition and an outsized ego to run for office.

Stanley Renshon

The Right’s compulsive need to maintain its Narrative within which all adherents can act out their own form of idealized Self is essentially collective narcissism. That’s offered as a lay person’s experience working, talking, and socializing with them over decades. From the Newts of the world to the most vicious ‘unknowns’ (except today the latter likely have so many Facebook ‘friends’ they have their own ‘fan’ page).

Narcissistic need to support a fantasized, grandiose self-image within a larger heroic Narrative explains alot. Not just the daily evidence of disconnect between actual behavior and the projected idealized (often censoring) personality. The post 2008 purge and radicalization are inevitable consequence. A complimentary analytical framework from a conventional political/historical perspective of Movements here and on the Continent.

Narrative radicalization and escalating vehemence through cant and acting out must — by internal logic — treble when fantasy can not surmount the limits imposed by Objective Reality (say Nov. 2008). Obama’s victory is a crisis threatening the ability to segregate their disassociated fantasized self-image with their often fragmented and undeveloped self. Why anyone remotely close to the Movement who said after defeat “now is the time for introspection” was doomed to be mau maued and kicked off the island. And Lord help you if there was a photo with you hugging Obama . . .

On one extreme one gets birthers. Another? Secession. And so on. They’re really the same. Their commonality is an irrational imperative to retreat to a safe Narrative that protects their idealized, fantasy Self. From that Barlett-esque non-emprical world adherents safely can continue to use the objective external world as a mere prop in their own internal movie.

This is in marked contrast with more normative modes of collecting and processing input, cognition and productions of ‘knowledge’ below:

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On Andy Grove, Mercantilist Schwerpunkts And Free Trade Kool Aid

If one is serious about re-industrializing the United States to create high wage manufacturing jobs, one probably should shun hapless pundits and other ideological purveyors. To be fair the braying comes from all sides: ‘Free Markets’ cant or the tiresome “What Would Hamilton Do Today”? As par for the course, the most visible ‘experts’ provided to us on the cable news wall often can’t read a spreadsheet, think EBITDA is a new social networking site, haven’t actually worked for an industrial company or consistently met a payroll.

Economic development requires a more serious mind. But then, one could say the same about war. And look at that.

Even more than killing dark people, a sustained development concept in Bubble-addicted America is particularly challenging. Americans expect to earn inflated income by performing essentially meaningless and frivolous output. Haven’t we essentially outsourced the wars, too?

Andy Grove laments the decline of the hi-tech industry’s domestic manufacturing. He’s right that it is essentially now a (temporary) branding and marketing channel for Asian manufacturers. “Made in China, Designed By Apple In California”. Our friend comment shared this link from Grove on point: Sadly, one has to ask: where precisely have you been for the last 30 years, Andy? (Let’s overlook the Intel billions invested in India, Malaysia and China along the way.)

Can Americans Even Have An Intelligent Policy On Re-Industrialization?

Americans we will assert seem generally uninterested in development matters, especially historical economic development. So it’s important to put forth first principles to frame a conversation. Say a president visits a failed state like Michigan. He declares ‘new manufacturing jobs in America’ [cue ritual applause] will come. But before that can happen, we should be clear on what’s the goal of American economic activity? To promote *consumer* welfare measured in the here and now? Or to develop a social and economic infrastructure that maximizes *societal* welfare in the medium to long term? An infrastructure to enable other economic and social expenditures (military, standard of living, life expectancy, etc.)?

The first is America 1960-2010; ‘consumer welfare’ is the metric. The second? Delayed consumption, lower standards of living and capital accumulation for the future. How one answers these questions determines divergent paths.

The Four Models

For statesmen or serious students of Great Power history (this excludes by definition march of trumpets Boys Life ‘history’ ala Victor Davis Hanson et. al.), there are 4 essential, successful modern development models: (a) the British until 1870s (the end of the mercantalist First Empire and commingling with ‘Wealth of Nations’ and ‘White Man’s Burden’ era); (b) the Germans from 1870-1914; (c) the American from 1880s-1960s; (d) the Soviets 1917-1970s; (e) Japan from 1945-1991; (f) the Four Tigers (copying Japan); and (g) China (1980s-today). The latter three are essentially variations on the Japanese dual economy mercantalist approach. (The BRICs are more notional, still in China’s shadow).

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The Declaration Of Independence Written With Today’s Mentality

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to execute this END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT WITH {subjects, citizens *customers*} for the decent respect of Delaware Chancery Court precedent:

We hold these truths to be self evident and IMPORTANT. PLEASE READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE CONTINUING WITH THIS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (“The DECLARATION”). The Continental Congress’ End-User License Agreement (“EULA”) is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity) and the Continental Congress.

Use of the Continental Congress’ DECLARATION incorporates by reference any associated product(s) including written components, media, pamphlets and pictographic or printed materials, or other information encoded in binary form for copying, storage and distribution by any other means, physical or otherwise from or to Chinese devices. By reading, copying, or otherwise using the DECLARATION, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA.

This EULA represents the entire agreement concerning the ‘revolution’ product and related marketing materials between you and the Continental Congress (also referred to as “Licensor”). The EULA supersedes any prior proposal, representation, or understanding between the parties. If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, do not read, copy or talk about the DECLARATION.

The DECLARATION is protected by all applicable copyright and intellectual property laws and international copyright and intellectual property treaties. The DECLARATION is licensed, not sold.

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