Russia, the US, and the future.

View 820 Thursday, April-17-14

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983



Hi Jerry,

So with yet another artificial nation about to implode due to ethnic boundaries, maybe it’s time for another Yalta conference – but this time divide up the world based on ethnic boundaries rather than geographic ones. It’d solve a bunch of problems.



Why is it our job? We did that after WW I and the result wasn’t very pretty. Maybe Empire works for some places. Maybe it’s just not our business. Maybe even the Business of America is business, and getting rich

Jerry Pournelle

Chaos Manor

Good point – it boils down to what are our strategic interests. Do we have any in Ukraine? South Korea? Israel? Taiwan?

I’d rather Obama just say that we don’t, than to pretend we do, and rattle an empty scabbard.


Peggy Noonan has much to say about the future of US Russian relations. Noonan: The Bear That Talks Like a Man Her point is that we had odd relations with Russia in the time of Charles Francis Adams, in the times of John Hay and Teddy Roosevelt, and here we are again. In between was the Cold War.

But Europe has changed a lot: much of it our doing. Germany remains a great power, and the French still fear them: they want a US Army over there to sit on Fritz, as one French diplomat put to me a few years ago. Meanwhile we built a network of alliances against Russia once we were finally committed to the Cold War, then foolishly tried to extend it when the USSR collapsed. I am more and more convinced that what we should have done was get out of NATO when the USSR collapsed. HATO’s work was done; the Communist world threat was ended; and we could safely allow Europe to solve its own problems while we turned back to making money and living our quiet lives of freedom, building our City on the Hill for the world to admire, and avoid entangling alliances and interference in the territorial disputes of Europe – our historic foreign policy that served the Republic well for centuries.

Of course we didn’t always stay out of Europe’s problems. The results weren’t so successful as they might have been. But once Communism rose it wasn’t the old balance of power game anymore.

Herman Kahn once said that the most important fact of the Twentieth Century was that the United States and Great Britain spoke the same language, and that involved us in European affairs and dictated the side we would take. That proved startlingly true, beginning in 1914 and continuing to the end of the Century. Kahn also said that the most important fact of the Twenty-first Century might well prove to be that the United States and Russia were predominately White nations. That statement is often ignored now because it is not politically correct to say things like that. How dare he? But it remains true that Russia is a European nation, and the Russians are, after all, Vikings and Goths who came east and interacted with the Tatars for about a millennium; but they remained European. The first Rome was Rome. The second Rome was Constantinople. The third Rome shall be Moscow, and a fourth Rome there shall not be…

Nations have few permanent friends, but they do have permanent interests. One permanent interest of America is to maintain liberty and freedom. Russian Communism was a threat to that interest. It no longer is. Communism was a threat to Christianity. It no longer is. We do not have to look far to see threats to Christianity and Freedom in this world, but we do not see them in Russia now. We do see them in the Middle East, where the plain language of the Koran states that there can never be peace between Islam and unbelievers, only truces; and the plain duty of an Islamic leader, whether President of Muslim People’s State, or a Caliph of the Faithful, is to impose Islam everywhere. The Koran is as chiliastic as Das Kapital or the Manifesto ever were. Islam or the sword is the command of Allah. Of course for the People of the Book – Christians and Jews – there is the choice of dhimmitude: to live under Muslim rule and pay the tax for not being enlightened enough to accept Islam.

But surely no one takes that seriously now?

We thought that no one took Communism and its threat of world dominion seriously for a very long time. It took a while to take National Socialism’s brand of German Nationalism seriously with its need for Lebensraum, although there was no real attempt to keep that goal secret; and the plain language of the Koran imposing that duty on Moslem Leaders was pointed out in no uncertain terms on Suleiman the Magnificent, who took it seriously enough to besiege Vienna in 1529 – and came very close to taking that city. They tried again in 1689, and once again there was a huge battle that included the largest cavalry charge (led by the Polish heavy cavalry) in the history of the world, although historians generally believe that the Turks had fewer chances of success than had Suleiman in the previous century. Even so it was close enough.

The Middle East takes the Koran seriously. And it clearly states that there can be no peace between Muslim leaders and the west. Only truces.

Russia watches as former states of the USSR revert to full Muslim rule; and the West builds alliances against Russia. Putin may be forced to look to the East for allies. But first he needs to consolidate all the Russians he can find into unity with Russia or at the least into alliances. That means most of the Ukraine and what used to be known as Byelorussia and is now called the nation of Belarus. Russia has always been pan-Slavic; it will continue to be.

And it is late. More another time.


Lack of gefilte fish

Dr Pournelle

By invitation, I have joined friends at Seder over the years. Never did they serve gefilte fish. I gather it can be served, but the lack of it will not spoil the Seder.

I think the report is little more than an exaggeration to add to the AGW hysteria.

(I googled ‘gefilte fish seder’ and found the addition of gefilte fish to the Seder came late, circa 200 CE.)

Live long and prosper

h lynn keith

As the evidence piles up that weather and climate are far more complicated than are dreamed of by our highly expensive models, Believers become more and more frantic. They fiddle with events, find strange fudge factors, ( ) and make other moves to defend their grants and jobs. I don’t claim to have a better model than theirs, or that I know of a better model: what I claim is that the models we have are not good enough to bet billions of dollars on. Until they can account for Greenland having dairy farms in Viking times as recorded in their records and legends and the vary name for Nova Scotia – Vinland – and the Roman Warm times and other such historical phenomena, all of which tend to get ignored in the Great Climate Models, we have no obligation to spend money guarding against what they predict. Their predictions of doom by heat now are worth no more than the frantic predictions of a possible new Ice Age that prevailed in the last century. Me, I’d far rather have to move north to escape warming than have my house covered with a kilometer of ice. And the worst of that one is that from all indications Britain went from deciduous trees to meters of ice in under a century the last time the Ice advanced.


From Yesterday’s view: “Or more likely, Microsoft is becoming subject to the Iron Law as each department and fief seizes what it can”

In companies the Iron law does not work so well when they are not propped up by government mandate.

People stop buying the product and without compulsory tax revenue the Iron turns to water.

Apple is just waiting in the wings for MS to make a mistake and then pounce…


The Iron Law applies to bureaucracies, including peace time armies. One definition of a bureaucracy is that there is no easily obtained objective measure of performance. Private firms have a measure of performance: they either make a profit or they don’t, they grow or they shrink, they gain or they lose market share. If they don’t make money then there are stockholders to hold management’s feet to the fire.

But not always: if government imposes enough regulation on the industry, then new ventures cannot come into that business because it takes a large chunk of capital just to hire the compliance personnel to allow you to exist. The result is the creation of oligarchies and they do become bureaucracies because much of their market share is protected.

The computer business was cut throat competitive as it began and thrived because Washington didn’t have a bureaucracy to impose regulation – needed or needless or even viciously selective – on the industry. That’s being corrected and government more and more gets to pick the winners.

That can happen to companies too. When it bureaucratizes itself eventually it pays, but sometimes it takes a good while before anyone notices what is happening.




Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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