Category Archives: Uncategorized

Can the Impending Collapse of Russiagate Halt the Slide Toward a Nuclear 1914?

by JAMES GEORGE JATRAS | 02.02.2018

In the period preceding the World War I how many Europeans suspected that their lives would soon be forever changed – and, for millions of them, ended? Who in the years, say, 1910 to 1913, could have imagined that the decades of peace, progress, and civilization in which they had grown up, and which seemingly would continue indefinitely, instead would soon descend into a horror of industrial-scale slaughter, revolution, and brutal ideologies?

The answer is, probably very few, just as few people today care much about the details of international and security affairs. Normal folk have better things to do with their lives.

To be sure, in that bygone era of smug jingosim, there was always the entertainment aspect that “our” side had forced “theirs” to back down in some exotic locale, as in the Fashoda incident (1898) or the Moroccan crises (1906, 1911). Even the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 seemed less a harbinger of the cataclysm to come than local dustups on the edge of the continent where the general peace had not been disturbed even by the much more disruptive Crimean or Franco-Prussian wars.

Besides, no doubt level-headed statesmen were in charge in the various capitals, ensuring that things wouldn’t get out of hand.

Until they did…

Read the rest

The War to End All Wars to End War is featured prominently in my novel Crumbs. Please check it out.

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How the #XFL Can Save Football

The NFL is dying. No, its demise is not eminent. Baseball, for instance, has been dying for 50 years. It’s way past its peak but it has managed to linger on. Football is going the same way: a slow erosion into irrelevance. I am concerned about that because I think it is the ultimate team sport in that it requires self-less, often unnoticed contributions, from unheralded teammates in order for the team to achieve its goal. I also believe it is one of the last remaining outlets for competitive, physical, alpha males. I am convinced that the reasons for the relentless, asymmetrical attacks on football’s safety originate partly in a broad cultural assault being waged on traditional masculinity in general…but that’s a topic for another discussion. It’s a violent sport. Nobody is forced to play it. It’s not for everyone.

No, this is a post about how the XFL might end-run the NFL’s grip on America.

Modern professional football is almost unwatchable. Every team essentially alternates between the same sequence of predictable, boring plays: short timing route pass, quick hitting inside run, short timing route pass, off tackle run, occasionally a long pass to keep the defense honest, and always, always a running back screen on third and long. Every team runs the exact sames plays and formations. Don’t quibble with me about West Coast this and Erhardt-Perkins that. It’s all the same B.S.: 2 wide, 1 slot, 1 back, 1 TE. Every team has the same identity…they are utterly indistinguishable with their utterly interchangeable, utterly unimaginative, utterly risk-averse coaches.

To make things worse, the sport is now dominated, in much the same fashion as the NBA, by a handful of super stars who are afforded the benefit of the doubt on all officiating calls by complicit refs. Like the NBA, if your team lacks one of these stars, your team has 0.00 chance of winning a championship. The star’s team will be bailed out by a suspiciously-timed illegal contact, holding or no-call. It’s almost as absurd as pro wrestling.

To make things even worse-er, the sport has been co-opted by our lamentable political zeitgeist and military industrial complex. The hyper-zealous flag-worship, the obnoxious jet flyovers, and the otherwise McDonaldsified patriotism has become a distraction and even an annoyance. I can’t tell if I’m watching a sporting contest or being recruited for military service or being jingo-ed up for war against the Nazis. Whatever it is, it’s way, way over the top.

If you want to make the pro game compelling again it must be changed on multiple fronts. Here are my proposals…are you listening #VinceMcMahon?

  1. Roll back the rules that enable offensive dullness. Rules like special pocket-passing QB protections and restrictions on coverage defenders have actually forced the game into its current, one-dimensional, predictable design. Take the security blanket away from the offensive coordinators. Force them to find ways to innovate and attack defensive weaknesses rather than just finding a guy who can throw a ten yard out on time. This would force coordinators to consider more misdirection, option, and exotic formations. It would foment an era of creativity. This would eventually challenge defensive coordinators who presently only have to diagram to stop about 5 plays.
  2. Widen the hash marks…dramatically. The wide-side of the field aspect of non-NFL football is a strategic advantage to offenses. It has to be honored by the defense. Without it, the NFL fans rarely witness the excitement of the outside run game. The defense can only be stretched laterally by the eye-roll-inducing bubble screens and hitch passes.
  3. Relax the jersey-number-pass-eligibility restriction. A player can legally receive a pass in the NFL so long as he starts the play in the backfield or as the end man on the line…AND has a number not between 50 and 79 (unless he “reports” to an official as an eligible end). This rule is for the benefit of dumb refs who can’t keep track of who the eligible players are on passing plays. I say dump the numbering rule. Make the refs spend more time tracking eligible players and less time calling holding penalties or illegal contact. It would dramatically open up the possibilities for new strategic innovations. Anyone hear of “A-11“? It would also de-specialize players. General athleticism would become more desired. Hyper-specialization is dehumanizing the sport and risking the health of its freak players.
  4. Radically change instant replay. Instant replay is anti flow. It’s a distraction. It represents an appeal to a pencil-necked, authoritarian bureaucrat, in a secret chamber, to lord over OUR populist, gladitorial game. Frankly, instant replay is totally un-American in spirit. It’s emblematic of the sovietization of the NFL. Here’s what I would replace it with: You can challenge any call. If the call on the field is over-ruled by a panel of three jurists agreed to by both coaches, the ref is given a red card. Three red cards in a season and the ref is terminated…or fed to the lions. If the call is not over-ruled by the jury, then the team who challenged the play is charged with a fifteen yard delay of game penalty to be applied whenever the opposing team would like to apply it. I doubt anything but the most egregious of blown calls would be challenged. But when it happens, the drama will be palpable!
  5. Limit the pre-game. Stretch. Walk-throughs. Anthem. Coin toss. No 400 foot long flags. No ear-piercing bomber flyovers. No smarmy politicians. Make the game front and center. There is a time and place for reflection on sacrifice and duty…it’s not during a game watched for amusement and escape. The NFL’s manipulation of militarism is obnoxious, demeaning and crass.
  6. If you are CONVICTED of a felony, you are fired, forever. End of story.
  7. Dial down all the annoying ancillary stuff. It’s just a distraction. Laser beams, fireworks, dance troops, scoreboard animations, smoke, 1980s heavy metal music between plays… get rid of it. Make the game the spectacle. Halftime is for getting a beer and taking a leak.
  8. Shorten the play clock. Force coaches to become economical in their play calling. The game is way, way too coach-centric. I don’t care that some washed-up player turned power drunk coordinator can sniff a laminated sheet that has scripted every player’s movement against twenty possible defensive alignments for 120 offensive plays. These control freaks think the game is all about them. I don’t want to see these sideline clowns overthink everything. If it’s third and a foot, run QB wedge. These idiots must think there are style points being awarded or something. I find myself loathing the very sight of them. Marginalize them! I’d make huddling difficult. Delay of game would always be a 15 yard penalty. Put the play calling back on the QB and back on the field. Make the game dynamic and real-time rather than the incremental chess match between middle-aged, managerial nerds that it has become.
  9. Limit coaching staffs to 6-8 coaches and a trainer. Limit rosters to 40 players. The over-specialization is stifling the spontaneity of the sport. It’s become like watching task-masters preside over children working in an Indonesian sweat shop. Let the players control the action, not the washed up, self-important egomaniacs on the sideline.
  10. Deepen the end zone to make passing easier inside the ten yard line.
  11. Narrow the goal posts to make place kicks much more difficult AND add another set of wider goal posts for drop kicks. If you’ve ever seen a drop kick, it is an exciting, fluid play that should be resurrected!
  12. And finally, go back to soft helmets. The sport changed with the advancement of hard shell helmets. The hard shell helmet became a tool to use for hitting. It changed tactics and the way offenses and defenses were designed. It also created a false sense of security for players. The prospect of imminent, immediate skull fracture is a much better deterrent to stupidly using one’s head as a battering ram than gradual, incremental brain damage by thousands of tiny traumas accumulated over years. I’m sure that safe technology is presently available.

So there you have it. What do you think?

Jordan B. Peterson Routs BBC4 Maoist

#FakeNews was in full hyperbolic mode when it interviewed Jordan B. Peterson on BBC4 on 1/16/18.

Here is the exchange that captures the essence of why anyone who “uses” dinosaur news is a hopeless useful idiot:

Smug Interviewer: “Tell us about the lobster.”

Peterson: “Well that’s quite a segue. Well, the first chapter I have in my book is called “Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back.” And it’s an injunction to be combative. Not least to further your career, let’s say, but also to adopt a stance of ready engagement with the world and to reflect that in your posture. And the reason that I wrote about lobsters is because there’s this idea that hierarchical structures are a sociological construct of the western patriarchy and that is so untrue that it’s almost unbelievable. And I use the lobster as an example because the lobster–we divulged from lobsters in evolutionary history about 350 million years ago–common ancestor. And lobsters exist in hierarchies and they have a nervous system atuned to the hierarchy. And that nervous system runs on serotonin like our nervous system. And the nervous system of the lobster and of human beings is so similar that anti-depressants work on lobsters. And it’s part of my attempt to demonstrate that the idea of hierarchy has absolutely nothing to do with socio-cultural construction, which it doesn’t.

Smug interviewer: “Let me get this straight, you’re saying we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters.”

[queue the rim-shot]

Are you kidding me? Is this what passes for “journalism” these days. Unbelievable.

I find myself totally mesmerized by #JordanBPeterson.  Although I still despair, he gives me hope.

Here’s the full interview:

 

#FAKENEWS

Anyone who suggests that the press is anything more than a propaganda wing shilling for the military/banking/pharmaceutical industrial complex, and cheer leading for the ever-expanding police/surveillance/warfare/federalized state is a hopeless useful idiot.

It’s ALL FAKE. All of it. CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, NPR, the local morons… It’s all propaganda tailored to get you hooked and supporting their sponsors.
When you watch a “news” report, it almost always follows the same pattern:
1. “Look, look at this problem over here!”
2. “What are the authorities doing about it?”
Your emotional response of fear or anger is initially triggered, then you are comforted with the possibility of a solution which immediately restores your blissful state. Stimulus…response. Stimulus…response. “News” has nothing to do with communicating objective, useful, actionable information. It is little more than a cheap drug.

Blade Runner 2049

#Blade Runner 2049

I LOVED IT- the hypnotic visuals, the grim, dreamlike tone, the eerie score, the brilliant acting, the compelling screenplay, the patient pace.

It is so refreshing to not be bombarded with a skull-rattling explosion or a preposterous action scene every seven seconds. The movie was allowed to breathe and steep and penetrate rather than be jack-hammered into your eyes and ears like so many pile of shit modern movies. Blade Runner is the antithesis of a Disney or Peter Jackson circus.

I cannot wait to see what director Villeneuve will do with Dune… can’t wait.

 

Review of Raven Rock

Review of ‘Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself– While the Rest of Us Die’ by Jim:

Raven Rock is one of the Cold War “hardened” facilities built to ensure a continuity of government in the face of a nuclear war and gives the book its title.

The strategy the gov’t has employed for defending the “nation” or government against destruction since the advent of nuclear weapons can perhaps be best described as: vacillating, confused, and inconsistent. All of that stems from a constantly changing emphasis on what constitutes the “nation”. Is that the government, physically? the constitutional FORM of govt? the military and its ability to “respond” to attack, or is it the populace? Efforts to address a nuclear threat from foreign enemies have to be catered to this definition of “nation” and what is to be preserved.

The military stepped up handily to develop the means to wage war, and early efforts by the government amounted to providing the means to direct the war and preserve the “services” of govt by building shelters for govt officials, and the communications and command centers needed to wage a war. Little to no thought was initially given to what would occur AFTER the bombs had fallen. As COG advanced this changed with departments such as the IRS working on methods to collect taxes post holocaust and the Federal Reserve stockpiling physical money in vaults to ensure that the economy could be propped up enough to ensure rebuilding of infrastructure could occur. Civilian civic and business leaders were brought into the effort to ensure that industry had a place in COG (I wonder how multi-national corporations view the obligations to this effort now…)

Largely, it was determined that at least a fair percentage of the population of the country would survive the initial war, and since protecting large numbers of people would be too large of an undertaking, efforts would be most efficiently used ensuring the survival of gov’t personnel and structure. Civil Defense fell by the wayside as the speed of a nuclear war would outpace the ability to evacuate cities or shield people in place; nukes can be delivered, now, within fractions of an hour, by running, as the saying goes, you would only die tired.

The book describes the process through which the gov’t worked to arrive at this conclusion. It describes the building of military forces, and shelters for Congress, the Presidency and many of the departments of government; each having its own shelters and fall back locations.

Chapters address each successive Presidential administration’s efforts at understanding how and what to preserve and describes how much importance each placed on continuing or contributing to the COG efforts. (it may come as a surprise that President Carter revived the efforts greatly and provided much needed focus and improvement). The ebb and flow of the energies devoted were influenced by co-incidental and related and unrelated world/national/political events each administration had to deal with which in some cases provided impetus to continue and sometime distractions from COG efforts. The rapidly changing weapons technology also influenced preparations; what would have worked at the onset of the Cold War was rendered moot by improvements in weapons and communications.

A lot of effort was put in to describing the facilities the government erected for each of the many departments; places like Raven Rock, Mount Weather, Cheyenne Mountain and more. It also describes how these places fell into disuse through the ennui and complacency born of occupying these doomsday fortresses perpetually staffed but never used, The author also tells how events such as 9/11 kick started these programs that were well on the way to being moth-balled and abandoned. One can imagine what Kim Jung Un and all of the talk about the resurgent Evil Russian Empire is doing to COG efforts and strategies.

While it is very informative, the book is not a page-turner and may not appeal to some.

Bits of COG 1

“COG” (Continuity Of Government), is my next writing project. Partly inspired by ‘Dr. Strangelove’ and the song ‘The Fletcher Memorial Home’ by Pink Floyd, it’s set in a super bunker where the world leaders and connected elites have gone to ride out a looming nuclear war.

Here’s a snippet from the draft:

Major George Russell Kilgore had been a professional soldier for half a century. He was just shy of seventy years old. Every morning, at four a.m., he would get out of his bunk, relieve himself, drink sixteen ounces of chocolate whey powder spiked with two raw eggs and two shots of Smirnoff, and then go for a seven mile run… shirtless.  

A graduate of West Point, Kilgore had the distinction of being the only member of the U.S. armed forces to have been in combat in twelve conflicts, those being: Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Iraq War I, Somalia, Iraq War II, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Niger, and Operation Restore Hegemon in Puerto Rico. He was wounded six times and had a metal plate installed in his head to replace a chunk of his skull blasted away in a firing range accident. He was also kidnapped while in Pakistan, but managed to steal one of his captor’s cell phones and dial in a cruise missile strike onto his very location. He was the only survivor of the blast. At fifty years old, he snuck into the West Point locker room, put on a football uniform, and inserted himself onto the kickoff team in a game against the hated rivals from Navy. He recorded two unassisted tackles before the staff figured out who he was and took him out. Everyone, including his wife and grandchildren, called him “Sir” or “Major” except for the president who called him “Krusty”.

He was also currently known as “The Halfback”, not because of his football exploits, but rather because he carried the nuclear football—the leather satchel containing protocols instructing the president on how to launch nuclear weapons.