Notes On The Collapse

War As A Spectator Sport

“Look at a map! Russia definitely invaded!”
“But Ukraine has Nazis!”

– from a Twitter conversation

The first lesson a sane human might draw from witnessing the above exchange might be: Don’t go on Twitter. That’s a perfectly reasonable solution, and further observation will confirm that, yes, Twitter is full of terrible people taking out their bad days on one another. So far so good.

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I’m Glad You’re Offended

EDITORIAL

It is not the purpose of The Not Fake News to insult or belittle. We are not here to denigrate anyone. At most, we describe people in as accurate a manner as is practicable.

Recently, Patton Oswalt appears to have pissed of Breitbart with part of his comic bit, which they interpret as him calling anti-vax Trump supporters as “…backward, racist, sexist, homophobic dips**ts”. His response is that he literally said the exact opposite, and the truth of the matter is, I neither know nor care. I enjoy Patton’s work, but sometimes he’s a jerk just to be a jerk.

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Russian Mobilization: What The Analysts Are Missing

“Vladimir Putin can call up all the troops he wants, but Russia has no way of getting those new troops the training and weapons they need to fight in Ukraine any time soon.”

So says Brad Lendon, CNN’s chief military affairs analyst. He’s not alone in his opinion. Other well-known commentators and military logistics experts have said much the same, pointing to the massive equipment losses suffered by Russian forces and chronic shortages of ammunition and supplies.

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If EVs Were Economical…

Before we start on the topic at hand, let me tell you a little bit about Rep. Lance Gooden (R, Texas), who represents part of Dallas and a lot of suburbs to the east of that fine city. He’s a local boy, and best I can tell his people have been in Texas at least since it was part of Mexico.

He’s called his voting record “the most conservative in Congress”, and his district, the Texas 5th, is so strongly Republican that Democrats often don’t bother to run; his toughest opposition may well be the local Libertarians. His church is so conservative that they don’t believe in musical accompaniment. He’s worked tirelessly in support of local businesses and against government waste, voted to repeal the Iraq War Authorization, and was one of over a hundred Congressmen who signed onto an amicus brief in Texas v. Pennsylvania, an attempt to overturn the latter state’s 2020 election results that was dismissed by the Supreme Court.

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Para Bellum

Igitur quī dēsīderat pācem, præparet bellum.

Vegetius, Epitoma De Re Militari, Book III preface

It’s always a surprise how little we truly know about what we think we know, which only makes sense: You don’t get very far if you begin on the presumption that you’re wrong. Proceeding on invalid, partial, incorrect, or incomplete information is a survival trait. There is no practicable method for knowing everything you’ll need to know before you begin, so instead humanity has learned to persevere against the impossible, adapting on the fly. It is at once a marvelous talent and terrifyingly dangerous flaw.

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Cancelling Mastriano

Among the many extreme Republican candidates backed by Democrat dollars, Doug Mastriano stands out head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd. The campaign manager of his future opponent for the governorship of Pennsylvania, state Attorney general Josh Shapiro, spent hundreds of thousands of donated dollars on attack ads targeting Mastriano’s opponents — more than twice the total expenditures of Mastriano’s own campaign — in order to select what Democratic strategists believe will be an easily defeated opponent.

It’s a dangerous game, the same one that got Trump elected in 2016: The profiles of extremists are elevated by mass infusions of Democrat money, and mainstream news media supports the effort — understandably, but foolishly — by then exposing the extremist views of those who were set up for failure.

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Student Loan Debt Forgiveness

It’s reasonable for a lot of people to be upset about Uncle Joe’s effort. It’s actually rather difficult to envision an action to forgive student loan debt that would cause less anger in a broad sense. Since anything so minor relative to the size of the problem can only be an empty gesture, and since it’s a $300 billion expense paid from an underwater tax budget directly to banks, it’s guaranteed to cause anger.

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Ranked-Choice Voting: How and Why?

Image: “Never Trump! I’d Rather Die!”

A few states have recently opted to change their elections process to Ranked-Choice voting, a method which, its proponents say, is designed to give third-party candidates a better chance of winning, or, failing that, at least an honest share of the vote.

Opponents have raised objections ranging from the process becoming too complicated to the contention that it’s no longer “one person, one vote”.

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Ignorance And Apathy Revisited

EDITORIAL

The F.B.I. just raided Mar-A-Lago, opened former president Donald Trump’s personal safe, apparently looking for documents relating to… oh, I don’t know; probably something or other, maybe classified maybe not. I’d tell you more except, just between you and me, I really don’t care.

Seriously: I don’t know about you, but I reached my limit of daily Donald Trump in late 2020, and my level of apathy toward him has just kept growing since then. At this point, arrest the man or don’t, and the amount of time I’ll spend paying attention to the proceedings will be zero either way. Why? Because I very much don’t care.

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America: Republic or Democracy?

It has become fashionable among Republicans to refer to their opposition as “the Democrat Party”. This is intended as a reference to both their internal candidate selection process, which even a political neutral must acknowledge more closely resembles monarchy in its use of coronations, and as a derogatory method of condemning their broader policies, the which is rather less just.

Democrats, being by nature an inclusive, forgiving, and understanding people, have responded in large part by terming anyone who disagrees with them Fascists, Nazis, and downright evil.

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