Codevilla Proposes a Plan for Avoiding a Civil War – Federalism

Anthony Codevilla lays out how he sees restoring a way of life would have to take place in the United States.  And he clearly says that neither side is going to convince the other side to go along with it.  But he thinks the only way to avoid actual warfare is for the two sides to separate along regional or even local areas and ignore each other.  In this way the larger country can still cooperate on things like roads and armed forces without having to completely split the country in two.

It’s very long but worth reading if you enjoy an historian’s recapping of the historical precedence for re-establishing a conquered nation.  He goes into the way he thinks a national leader has to act to have this movement succeed.  And he does say that a strong leader will be necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZMan Claims Collapse of Social Trust Will Mean Societal Collapse Soon

ZMan walks us through the institutions that have burned through their social trust and then finishes by saying that the American Empire will soon have its collapse like the Soviet Union.

I think he makes a lot of good points.  But it’s not clear to me that any systemic collapse is likely to happen anytime soon.  And the reason for that is a collapse doesn’t occur until some external event intrudes.  So, when will that happen?  Well, it could happen tomorrow or it could be a decade.  Now, I don’t think it will be a decade, in fact I could see something happening within three or four years but I wouldn’t even think of saying it’s going to happen on such and such a day.  I think a good trick would be to try to guess what the external triggering event is likely to be.  An easy guess is a financial collapse.  The result of some kind of stagflation or very high unemployment might be enough to destabilize the political situation.  But if we are talking about a societal collapse like the Soviet collapse it would be important to know what the US military would do in the case of essentially an insurrection.  And that will completely depend on who is in the military at the time.

It’s fun to imagine a scenario that will end the Left’s hold on power.  But trying to predict its occurrence against a calendar is maybe too difficult to try at this time.

 

 

Putting Things in Perspective – Part 2 – Civil War Analogy

After discussing the Revolutionary War last time, the next major historical comparison I’d like to look at is the one comparing our situation to the mid-nineteenth century American Civil War.  In this comparison the Left is equated with the historical “North” and the Right with the “South.”

We’ll start with things that do align in this comparison.  The cultural and intellectual elites of the Abolitionist Movement do line up well with the modern Left.  In fact, there is probably a decent number among today’s Woke Left that are direct descendants from the Abolitionists themselves.  And certain historians believe that the culture of New England and its exports to areas like the Great Lakes area and the Pacific Coast states have preserved the viewpoint and authority of the nineteenth century elites from that region of the country.  From that point of view there is a certain direct analogy between the Northern Abolitionist Leadership and the Modern Left.

But let’s look at some of the other factors.  First of all, let’s look at the driving force of the cause.  The Abolitionists wanted to end slavery.  It’s hard to over stress just how popular this cause was.  It was evident to even many Southerners that slavery was an evil that could not be justified by its benefits to the economy.  For a country whose whole existence is expressed in the single word freedom, slavery is anathema.  Therefore, the moral underpinnings of the Civil War were very powerful.  Certainly, the Southern States were able to muster a justification for the practice of slavery but at no time did this justification convince anyone outside of the South and not even everyone inside.  So, the abolition of slavery was a cause that resonated broadly around the United States outside of the Deep South.

But look at the current agenda of the Woke Left.  It is a rag tag grab bag of radical ideas and identity politics grievances that isn’t even rationally self-consistent.  Feminism and even lesbian feminism are at odds with transgender “rights.”  And the BLM agenda of eliminating the police won’t stand scrutiny by other communities like Asians and Hispanics now that they see that it equates to wholesale criminal anarchy.  It is far from certain that even in the “Blue States” that the whole agenda of the radical Left is entirely acceptable.  This is a major difference between the Civil War situation.  The Left’s agenda today is far less popular than the abolition of slavery was back then.

The next consideration is the location of each “side.”  The Confederacy was never able to convince even some of the slave states to join in its revolt.  The border states Kentucky, Missouri and Maryland never seceded.  And even an area of Virginia refused to join and “seceded” from Virginia to become West Virginia and remain with the Union.  Inside the free states there weren’t any large areas that would have joined the South or opposed the abolition of slavery for the most part.

But look at today.  Instead, the Red and Blue States are only an indicator of the majority status of each side in a state.  But geographically we can see that this is really a city versus countryside polarization.  The cities in the Red States are full of Leftists for the most part and even deep Blue States like California and New York have rural areas that are completely red.  This definitely helps our side.  These concentrated populations of Leftists work well when you want to cheat during an election but it doesn’t help much when you are trying to control a population that is diffused over thousands of square miles in some cases.  Controlling the back country especially when it is adjacent to a Red State may turn out to be an impossible job.

And finally in the 1860’s the slave states were so afraid of a Republican holding the White House that they seceded before Lincoln could even assemble his government.  We’ve seen two truly woke administration already.  Obama and now Biden.  And Biden is using all the force of the federal government to destroy our way of life.  But what it seems to show is that determined state leaders can use the state laws to combat these Woke orders and possibly nullify their effects without having to leave the Union.  This is still a preliminary evaluation but I think it is worth seeing if the lessons learned from Sanctuary Cities can be applied to other issues like Second Amendment Rights and First Amendment Freedoms.

So, from the point of view comparison, it seems to me that our side is significantly better off in the present situation than the South was during the Civil War.  And that is definitely a thing to be happy about.

Putting Things in Perspective – Part 1 – Revolutionary War Analogy

When people on our side talk about what’s going on today, they sometimes make analogies to historical situations.  The circumstances in 5th Century BC Athens, Late Republican Rome, the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War and even Stalinist Russia are all used as analogies for our present-day situation.  But in order to be helpful it’s just as important to understand clearly how our situation differs from these analogies.  Otherwise, decisions will be made based on faulty thinking.

I don’t intend to make an exhaustive comparison between our situation and all these others but I would like to make a few points that I think are useful.

The first comparison I’d like to make is to the American Revolution.  The point of comparison is that in each case there is a side that is chafing under misrule and denial of freedoms.  And especially since these freedoms were specifically enshrined in the Bill of Rights, we look at our situation and feel that maybe the same remedy applies to us.  But let’s look at how our situation differs.

When the Americans kicked the British out of Boston, they were able to make it stick.  England was thousands of miles away across an ocean.  Boston was a port town that possessed a shipbuilding industry and a well-established economy that drew on a well settled countryside that had been growing and expanding for over a hundred and fifty years.  And the outcome of the French and Indian War meant that the American Colonials understood the power of their own military forces versus what troops the British were willing to commit.  And their participation in these earlier wars had made the settlers less dependent on the British for military aid.  Finally, New England was far from an inviting place for the British to fight a war.  The cold snowy winters and forested landscape would provide enormous logistical problems to an occupying army.  That explains why Boston was free of British encroachment throughout the war.  The British probably assumed that they would be able to hold onto at least some areas of the colonies after a protracted war but the Americans also knew that once some areas, like New England, were free of the British, over time the cost of holding onto the others would become increasingly expensive.  So, for the colonists it was a war of wills with time on their side.

Now look at our situation.  Our enemies have reinforced possession of both coasts of the United States including the national capitol and all the major ports except on the Gulf of Mexico.  They have at least as many citizens on their side as we do and they also own the banking system and many of the largest manufacturing corporations.  They also control the communication companies and currently command the military apparatus and all the intelligence services.  They are not going away.  To imagine that we can free ourselves from their grasp quickly and easily is delusional.  They will use all available means to maintain control over the institutions that define life in the United States.  The Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare systems are as fundamental to normal life in the Red States as they are to the Blue.  The banking system is so important to the commercial life of the country that it is hard to see how we would ever disentangle ourselves from it.  But if we were to try to separate from the Blue States, that’s exactly what we would have to do.

So, in the sense that our enemy is not half a world away and not limited as to how much military might it can dedicate to a war, we are much worse off than the colonists.  But in terms of what kind of war we can fight we have much more flexibility and therein lies our best hope.  We do not have to put troops in the field.  We are looking to win hearts and minds and demoralize our enemies.  In that sense what we are attempting is a lot more like what Gandhi and the Indians did to force the British to abandon their Indian Empire.  We are working to destroy the legitimacy of the Progressives’ right to abrogate the constitutional freedoms we have been deprived of.

The specifics of this kind of strategy are figuring out what tactics add cost and misery to the lives of your opponents.  And these tactics will have to change whenever and wherever conditions change.  This type of war is completely familiar to the Left.  This is the Alinsky playbook.  They have used it to dismantle every organization and power structure in this country and make them their own.  We will have to do the same thing in reverse.

In a way our ability to use the Alinsky rules will actually be easier than what the Left originally did in the sixties.  If we can coordinate with Red State governments and protect the protestors from the federal agencies then it should be possible to neutralize federal control over large swaths of the country and return normalcy to those areas.  For instance, suppose Dementia Joe gets the Supreme Court to legitimize gun grabbing.  A countermeasure might be for the governor of a Red State to deputize the whole population as peace officers and allow them ownership of assault rifles as a perk of that office.  Another example, if banks start de-platforming the deplorables the states could punish those banks until they stop.  And if that fails the state can form a bank that can take the place of these enemy institutions.

So, whereas the analogy of our situation to the Revolutionary War is not particularly helpful the common underlying problem in both cases does still have real world solutions.  Just different ones.

Putting Things in Perspective – Part 2 – Civil War Analogy

33.33% of 2021 is Gone Down the Chute and What Do We Have to Show for It?

Time certainly flies when you’re being tortured by an evil cabal of troglodytic Morlocks.  But here we are at the one third mark of 2021.  And if you’re in the noticing and opining business, which I am, then it’s time to see if there’s anything worth noticing and if there is, then it’s time to opine about it.

The first thing I notice is that nobody on the Right believes a thing being said by D.C. or the Media or the rest of the cabal.  Now, I’m not counting quislings like Liz Cheney or Mitt Romney as “on the right.”  And there is a pretty general feeling that Cheney and Romney are going to get theirs as soon as the voters get a shot at them.  In fact it’s so bad that even the spineless jellyfish in the Republican Congressional Caucus are rethinking their vote a few months ago to retain Cheney as a “Republican Leader” (boy, there’s an oxymoron).  Word is Liz will be booted out of the leadership at the end of the month and some other spineless jellyfish with slightly less stupidity will be enthroned.  Romney was booed long and loudly at a Utah Republican meeting.  He missed being censured by the Utah Republican party by a pretty close margin.  But I want to believe that when he’s up for re-election someone a lot better than that empty suit will have the initiative to challenge him in a primary.  That would be worth the price of admission.

So getting back to the point.  Nobody with even a flicker of intelligence is talking about bipartisanship or compromise or even avoiding the worst excesses of the Democrat control of all the levers of government.  If somehow the Democrats fail to do all the horrible things they say they want to do, then fine.  But if and or when they make DC the 51st state or pack the Supreme Court or make 40,000,000 illegal aliens, citizens I’m not going to be surprised.  I’m not going to despair.  For a lot of people those things happening are a given.

What we’re looking at is what are people from our side doing.  What is Ron DeSantis doing and what might he do when Dementia Joe sets his stormtroopers on the citizens of Florida?  Several states are passing legislation to protect their people from attacks on the 2nd Amendment and all the transgender madness.  Several states are already starting to prosecute Social Media for discriminating against the Right.  Even small things like the Basecamp furor and the retreat by Coke and Delta in the face of boycott threats are the beginnings of action from our side.

So far nothing tremendous has happened.  But I detect momentum is lacking on the Left.  As Portland and Minneapolis burn no one on the Right cares except to laugh at the pain of the idiots living there.  If 2021 has another summer of riots it will do more for our side than theirs.  Dementia Joe owns it and he is welcome to it.  Our side is consolidating control over the Red States and looking for ways to separate our lives from the madness that the Left “says” they want for themselves.  Our answer should be, “Be our guest, wallow in your depravity, just stay on your side of the line.”  As the Red States continue to open up their economies after learning their lessons from the COVID fraud hopefully the Blue States will continue the mask pantomime and aggravate their citizens even more.

One third through this year I’d say some progress has been made toward coming to grips with the cold civil war we have going on.  Some progress doesn’t mean enough progress though.  I am far from satisfied with where we are.  But I will say there is definitely a sense that the wake up has happened to a large extent.  What remains to be seen is if leaders will emerge who have the brains and guts to seize the moment and free us from the oligarchs.  Let’s see what it’s like after August (66.66%).

Uncontrolled Overheating

It’s hard to make exact calibrations when measuring something as subjective as hatred.  Even in the Democrat controlled media it is pretty universally admitted that Nancy Pelosi is despised by an enormous swath of the population.  A slightly smaller number hate Chuck Schumer.  This lesser hatred is attributable to Schumer’s current status as only the minority leader of the Senate.  Without a doubt as he wields his new power as majority leader, and uses it to pack the Supreme Court and deprive us of our constitutional rights, the level of hatred he inspires will grow.

Dementia Joe will very soon become the most hated man in America.  This will be by dint of his titular leadership of the people who are making it their goal to destroy the freedoms that we have enjoyed in this country for hundreds of years.  As an aside he will also be mocked mercilessly because of just how pathetic his mental condition has become.  But except as a source of comedy that is neither here nor there.  It’s not as if his intelligence will be used for anything.  He’s a pathetic figurehead who will be swept aside at the convenient point when they want to make Willie Brown’s Ho the ugly embodiment of affirmative action in action.  At that point she will become the most hated human in the country, male, female or other.

Moving away from the government, the faces of the Tech Elite, the heads of Amazon, Google, Twitter, Apple and the lesser giants are also becoming very high on the list of most hated individuals in America.  Having used their power to disconnect President Trump and many of his associates and friends from the digital realm, they followed up by shutting down the commercial platforms of anyone with an opinion that does not completely agree with their civic religion.  And this is just the first wave of cancellings.  They will use their ever-tightening algorithms to ferret out anyone who disagrees with them and force all their subordinate business partners to join with them to excise these bad thinkers from the digital world.  And after that they intend to use their allies in the banking and corporate worlds to eliminate the ability of these people to live in the physical world too.

And moving down into the local scene there are all those Governors of the Blue States and the Mayors of the larger cities who have tortured their citizens during this long year of COVID prison and the pogroms that the BLM and Antifa thugs have launched against normal people everywhere.  Guys like Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio are detested by their citizens.  And even outside of their constituencies they are recognized as awful men.

And in contrast President Trump, despite being in charge during all the misery of the election fraud and despite the outrageous bad press he gets from all quarters of the Media, continues to become more popular.

So, what’s my point?  Only this.  You can’t keep torturing people forever without all that hatred translating into something tangible.  Normally it is dissipated when people are allowed to disparage their tormentors on line or by ejecting them from office through voting.  Both of these options have now been eliminated by our tormentors.  I contend that a different and more visceral response will be forthcoming.

Interestingly, the fake version of this was play-acted at the Capitol last week.  Probably with the tacit cooperation of the authorities, some Antifa goons led some Trump supporters to the slaughter inside the seat of US government.  And now the Democrats want to use this as the basis for draconian restrictions on political dissent.  They hope to make even protesting impossible for the disgruntled citizens of this country.  How could that go wrong?

In chemical process engineering, pressure relief is a critical component in the design of a stable and safe process.  Relief valves are used to prevent overpressure if a reaction gets out of control.  What happens when you eliminate the relief valves from a pressure vessel that’s being subjected to uncontrolled overheating?  Well, the pressure keeps building until it exceeds the strength of that vessel.  At that point what you have is a shrapnel bomb.  And if the contents are flammable you have a massive explosion.  Depending on the size and strength of the vessel, the nature of the contents under pressure and the nature of the things in the neighborhood around the explosion, you have either a local disaster or an enormous cataclysm.  Over-pressuring of vessels at petrochemical plants have sometimes levelled areas equivalent to a good-sized city.

In our analogy the pressure vessel is the United States, a global super-power armed with thermonuclear weapons and with hundreds of millions of firearms in the hands of a formerly free people.  The overheating is the abuse the Left is imposing on the Right.  The overpressure is the reaction of people on the Right to being disenfranchised and silenced.  What is certain is that there is a point at which the pressure will cause the structure to give way and unleash the explosion.  The United States is a remarkably strong and stable system.  It will take an awful lot of pressure to make it fail.  But the flip side of that is once it fails at such a high pressure the energy released is enormous.

If the day comes that Americans think they are better off taking down the government than taking the abuse they currently suffer there will be a lot of very sorry former public servants running for their lives.

And yet the Left isn’t worried about the consequences of what they are doing at all.  We really must seem like hopeless losers to them.  The only thing I can think of is that we are still early on in the process of what will play out.  I guess some fairly large number of people have to feel like they have nothing to lose.  Once that number gets large enough the odds of one of them deciding to do something big become a certainty.  The only question is what the scope of that something will be.  A tiny version of that something is what that guy in Nashville did.  Dying of cancer, he decided to destroy some telecommunication infrastructure because he thought the microwave radiation harms people.  He made a big point of warning folks close by that a bomb was going to go off.  That will not be the case when someone who is really angry at the system decides to do something big.  It will be very ugly.

I’m surprised that the Left’s leaders aren’t worried.  Maybe they’re not a smart as we’ve been told they are.  It would truly worry me to be the face of something as widely hated as the Left.  The only thing I can think of is that they are depending on the decency of their enemies to obey the rule of law.  What they are forgetting is that they’ve turned this into a banana republic.  And the first rule of a banana republic is that there are no rules.  They should really reconsider what they’re doing.  It’s just common sense.

Now We’ll Have to Do It the Hard Way

I was listening to the ZMan’s Friday podcast this morning and something he said resonated with something I’ve been thinking about for the last few days.  To paraphrase, he said, the Democrats own all of this, they don’t have anyone to put the blame on anymore.

And that’s sort of the only good that comes out of this whole election fraud.  There’s no nonsense about coming together.  We’ve just been mugged.  We’ve been knocked to the ground and robbed.  Only a moron would want to shake hands and cooperate with his attacker.

The press always talks about a honeymoon for a new president.  Although they make exceptions for Republicans.  They attacked W from the beginning and of course they attacked President Trump unendingly from the moment he was elected.  The press will make believe as hard as they can that everybody is in love with Dementia Joe and Willie Brown’s Ho but once again even their side doesn’t believe we’re that stupid.  I expect Parler and Gab will become major conduits for obscene mockery of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential pretenders.  And that will be a good thing.

Of course, the Senate and House Republicans will fawn over the pretenders for months to try and curry favor and in response they will be beaten like red-headed step-children by the Democrats and the Media.  And honestly, nobody will care at all.  I’ll be surprised if there are any Republicans left in the House in two years or in the Senate in six, even the few who actually care about their constituency’s opinions.  Those few will probably switch over to a new party by then.  It would be great to see McConnell and Romney sitting all by themselves in some corner of the Capital building talking about the good old days when people still cared who they were. And paid them graft to vote against their constituency.

Without a doubt Dementia Joe and his stooges in the Congress and Administration are going to torture us for as long as they can.  They’ll strip us of our rights and shut down all of the jobs we have and import our replacements by the tens of millions.  But this time we won’t be talking about building a coalition to win back the White House and the Congress, except for the stupid and the dishonest.  No one will be wondering why things are going so badly.  Only idiots will be wondering why the stock market keeps going up but employment and wages keep going down.  As the opioid crisis becomes a national welfare program where the poor are given their pills in the expectation that they’ll just fade away to death sooner rather than later and the transgender crusade is institutionalized into an avenue to funnel the gullible into hormone therapy to preclude them ever having children, the people who want to survive will be looking for a movement and a party and a leadership to take their side against the madness.  We’ll be looking to free ourselves from our captors.

The Trump presidency was the last chance for the establishment to listen to the voice of the people.  We did everything by the book.  Millions voted for the first time in decades and told the Elites they want to have their country back.  And the Elites called on the city bosses to manufacture the millions of fraudulent ballots needed to silence those millions.

The anger that this created is still growing.  Once the COVID lockdowns are extended indefinitely in 2021 there will be a source of irritation that will feed the anger and frustration that people feel.  Add onto this the BLM protests that will begin again in the spring and summer and you have the makings of an actual insurrection.  Really the only question is where will it spring up first.  I don’t think there is any way to predict where it begins.  The FBI will be looking to stamp out any sparks wherever they can but that’s sort of like the situation that you get with wildfires.  Unless you remove the fuel, every spark is a potential conflagration.  I guess they could begin to fill up gulags with dissenters.  That will be easy to see too.  But I think that will be an accelerant too.

My question is whether it will have to be a grassroots movement or whether a leader in one of the red states will decide to step in and say no to the federal government and act as a nucleus for a new nation.  Once someone takes a stand it will spread and be replicated and it will become unstoppable.

Maybe This is the Beginning of Something Big

What happens next is worth watching.  Will it sputter out or are there really enough people who have had enough that something big is in the wings?  We’ll see soon enough.  Suffice it to say that people are pretty fed up.  It’s funny to hear some of the “pundits” on the right condemning this as if horrible violence is being committed.  Compared to what was going on during the “summer of Floyd” this is nothing.  This is just a bunch of people who are pissed off and want their government to listen to them.  I hope it grows.  I want the federal government and the Congress to know that they’ve alienated more than half the country.  And I wouldn’t be surprised to see civil disobedience and worse to start going on across the country.  And when they swear in Dementia Joe on the 21st I wouldn’t be surprised by anything that happens.

Sure, people may just knuckle under.  The Left now controls every lever of power.  They can take everything from you without you being able to say anything but there will be some small number of people who either haven’t got anything left to lose or who have enough courage to risk everything to make a statement.  Maybe this is just a small hiccough caused by the extinction of hope for the election fraud to be acknowledged and adjudicated.  Maybe this was the whimper that follows the reading of the death sentence for American democracy.  Call it the dead cat bounce of our fighting spirit as a free people.  All those things are one way it could go.

Or maybe just maybe it’s the first round of Americans telling their overlords that they have had enough.  It caught my attention.

Update – Now they have their first martyr, and it’s a young woman.

What do you think?

What Does the Protest at the Capital Represent?

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What Will the World Look Like on January 22nd 2021?

According to current US federal law the man who will be President of the United States for the next four years will be sworn in on January 20th 2021.  Who that man will be is the subject of the most heated debate this country has seen in the last two hundred years of presidential elections.  So far, the electoral college has declared Joe Biden to be the winner of the presidential election.  It only remains for the Congress to certify this declaration on January 6th.  Whether there is a way to convince Congress to intervene against the Electoral College vote is what is currently holding the entire country mesmerized.

President Trump has stated on numerous occasions that he has sufficient proof of electoral fraud to permit the election results to be put aside.  Whether that proof is overwhelming enough to convince most of the American people is the first question.  The second question is, even if this proof is convincing, will Congress act on this proof and overturn the Electoral College result?  As with everyone else I am waiting impatiently for the event.  January 6th is ten days away.  When and how will this proof be presented?  Will it be broadcast to the whole nation or will it be transmitted to the Supreme Court?  Will it be incontestable or just testimony that cannot be verified independently?

The whole situation is so unprecedented that until recently I would have declared the very idea of Congress taking such unprecedented action as inconceivable.  But I would also have thought that the fraudulent voting activities that openly went on in the swing states inconceivable too.  And the idea that a corrupt dementia patient will be installed in the White House by means of an openly stolen election is so outrageous I would be willing to accept just about any series of events that would prevent that disaster from taking place.

At the same time I think the Left would resist any attempt to prevent Biden from reaching the White House by any means necessary, up to and including armed insurrection.  This makes it even more mind boggling to imagine what kind of proof would be so unassailable that spineless politicians would risk their precious necks to do the right thing.

For all of these reasons and because of how many legal challenges have already been shot down by the courts it seems like it would take a certified miracle to fix this heinous crime that is wending its way inexorably toward fruition.  But I want to believe that it will happen.  Because otherwise it will be an enormous step in the total unwinding of the normal reality I used to believe we inhabited.

If the United States has descended all the way down to banana republic status then everything else that is dependent on the United States being a great and stable nation is also without foundation.  Think of the things that rest on the certainty that the United States is the unshakable moorings of our civilization.  The mutual defense organizations like NATO are founded on the stability and strength of the United States and its military and economic might.  The US dollar is the reserve currency of the whole world.  It is based on the integrity that the US government has in the eyes of the American nation.  If all of these things are just fairy tales that the American elites tell the peasants and now those peasants have stopped believing them what might not happen?

What if a disgruntled American general decides to hijack a bunch of ICBM silos and declare himself the Emperor of Middle America?  How soon before the Russians and the Chinese start to think that lobbing a rogue missile into Manhattan would be an excellent way to get a nuclear civil war going?

We live in very troubled times.  And it’s pretty clear that most of our leaders are useless.  When you look back in history, times like these seem to breed revolution and then tyrants of one stripe or another.  It’s genuinely depressing to think about but it has to be faced.  We will need an extraordinary amount of luck to navigate the next few years without crashing on the reefs that these troubled seas contain.  But I suppose it won’t be boring.