Saturday, June 18, 2016

Trump to join Hadrian, Aurelian, Theodosius II

I remember more than a decade ago regularly encountering arguments that building a wall along the US-Mexico border would be a prohibitively expensive undertaking. It was a risible argument then and it's a risible argument now.

Trump says he can do it for under $12 billion. Skeptics say it'll cost upwards of $25 billion. Financially ruinous!

For some perspective, that's one day of current federal spending on the low end and three days on the high end. Three days! Factoring in maintenance costs for the next couple of decades could bring the total price tag to five days worth of government spending--almost a whole week's worth of government profligacy to construct a 50-foot high concrete barrier along the entire border and maintain it for twenty years! (It won't actually have to run along the full 1,951 miles of land border, of course, since there are natural barriers that preclude human crossing without the need for any additional artifice).

Trump has begun alluding to this in his speeches:

WEIRDOs tend to operate in a moral universe where anything that cannot be justified by an appeal to Kantian principles is to be dismissed. When a fecund, expansive West was conquering the world that approach was viable, laudable even. With Europeans on their way to having comprised one-quarter of the world's population in 1950 to less than one-tenth of it by 2050 while non-European and thus non-WEIRDO populations immigrate into European countries in massive numbers, the approach has rapidly become suicidal.

Trump offers a new paradigm (at least for those of European descent--it's standard operating procedure for non-Europeans all over the world): Principles are out, interests are in. He doesn't articulate it so explicitly, but this approach is detectable in virtually everything he says. For example:

Here's another example from the same speech, this time referencing article 9 of the Japanese constitution:

One of the most significant realignments taking place in this presidential election is the partisan reversal in which of the two major party nominees support military interventionism, nation-building, and cultural imperialism and which party nominee opposes it.

Hillary has backed every major military intervention the US has embarked on over the last two decades--Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria. For guys like John Kasich, that wasn't meddlesome enough--he thinks the US should treat a Russian attack on Finland as an attack on America itself. It's why the neocons have so much animus for Trump and why many of them are backing Hillary. Conversely, it's why libertarians like Walter Block are supporting Trump.

Here's Trump horrifying warmongers everywhere by nonchalantly noting that Russia isn't an enemy:

Finally, some fine shitlordery on display. Another reminder that physiognomy is real (the stencil-necked, low-T twerp holding the microphone is the video host, not an actual Trump supporter):


sykes.1 said...

Hillary's election would lead to war with both Russia and China, a war that almost certainly would be nuclear from the git-go.

Mil-Tech Bard said...

The Open Borders crowd are going ape-S*** trying to undermine the effectivness of the wall while avoiding the implications of moving all cross-border vehicle traffic through controlled points of entry.

The biggest point of the Great wall and Hadrian's wall was that the barbarians could not get back with a lot of mobile loot like live stock, wagons and heavy containers of grain.

Large movements of drugs are vehcle born, not by walkers.

Large movements of people are by vehicle.

Controlling all vehicular traffic across the border shoots a lot of smuggling in the head. Making smuggling slower, more costly, and easier to detect & track and stop.

#MAGA said...

"Look at all these people. Not one of them is a good human being. They're all dirtbags."

I have been to two Trump rallies so far. The assessment is true based on my experience.

Dan said...

Trump survives assassination attempt, 4pm eastern, 6/20:

Dan said...

Actually that happened on Father's Day.

tanabear said...

From Joe goes to a Donald Trump Rally:

Compare the Hispanic chick who supports Trump at(0:46, 6:54, 12:10) to the average Hillary supporter. No comparison.

Audacious Epigone said...


That's why the neocons and their think tanks are, to varying degrees of formality, getting on board the Hillary Hearse.

Mil-Tech Bard,

Right. Walls don't create absolute barriers, they merely allow for movement to be controlled. This is so blindingly obvious it feels silly even pointing out, but it's necessary because many straw men that are built on it need to be knocked down.


That's been my experience as well.


It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. Trump's smart enough to maintain his own private security force. He has Secret Service, too, but he'd be insane to put his own well-being into their hands exclusively. The Praetorian killed many of those they were putatively there to protect.


The granny in the wheelchair isn't that far from the modal Hillary supporter. The attention-whoring gender equality chicks aren't really Hillary supporters. They may vote for her incidentally but they're not the core or the enthusiasm--to the extent that there is any--of her support.

Anonymous said...

Off topic,

There is a need to promote political diversity among media ranks.  We needn't provide the minutiae, but they should definitely know we are serious about placing them within our sight picture:

1. Enact and enforce anti-trust legislation to break up the national and transnational media cartels and media monopolies.

2. Outlaw and require sale of all existing foreign equity or debt stakes in any FCC broadcast license holder.

3. Prohibit any US citizen from holding any financial stake, whether by equity, debt, permanent license of copyright or trademark, in more than one FCC licensee.

4. Convert all FCC licensees and all Cable Television and Satellite Television franchisees into common carriers required to sell all their broadcast time to non-related parties by public auction.

Something similar should be done to academia's brick n mortar -style institutions.

Audacious Epigone said...


In one of the debates, Trump was asked to describe his biggest weakness. He answered that he was loyal to a fault until he was given a reason not to be, but that once he was crossed he never forgot that betrayal of trust. A Trump administration will be, at least philosophically, amenable to all of this I'd guess.