The Quadrennial American Sun Red-Flag Sale Begins Now

It’s not news to anyone that the American political system is unstable. One of the symptoms of this is that whenever it reaches a critical point (eg, every Presidential election), there’s a whiff of danger in the air. No one is quite certain if the guy who promised to disarm the kulaks by nuking Montana…

American Shitshow: Pity the poor rando

In previous articles I have described various factions likely to have more or less prominence in an environment of increased civil conflict in the US.  In this one, I will discuss something more familiar in fiction, but less important in reality – the “rando”.  Individuals and small groups acting as part of a domestic insurgency…

The YangGang and You

Wake up, wake up, it’s the first of the month and your YangBucks just flashed into your EBT. A thousand bucks. Two grand for a household with two adults, and so on. We all know it’s not going to work like that, if Chairman Yang was capable of being elected in a Democratic primary despite…

Weaponizing generated content

A couple of weeks ago, to much fanfare, the researchers at OpenAI published a “language model”, GPT-2.  “Published” is actually too strong a word – they published the fact that they had created an AI “too dangerous to release!”, along with a description of the algorithm and data (rather than runnable code), and a fully…

Eulogy for the bumpstock

Who remembers Vegas?  You know, the deadliest attack on American soil since 9/11, where that guy Stephen Paddock, of no particular background, with no particular history or photos, for no particular reason, shot 420 people and then managed to off himself?  Additionally, for no particular reason, having in the room no less than twenty four…

Alexa, Play “Every Breath You Take”

It’s Black Friday.  You are looking for gifts for your boomer parents.  All they really want to be able to do is hear the Stones at will.  So maybe get an Echo, or one of those Google Home things.  Phil and Sharon love theirs, you just say “Alexa, order the Eagles remaster” and it shows…

The Last Election

We have another election season behind us.  Well, not quite – it seems that somehow, Schrodinger’s ballots have yet to fully collapse into the ordained Democratic victory in Georgia and Florida, so we must consult the priests on the correct way to count them. Why do we bother with this charade every two years, when…

American Shitshow: Charlemagne and Chapo

Modern governments have an odd disconnect between the use of force and the collection of funds.  Pre Industrial Revolution, the relationship was fairly obvious – money comes from land, and land goes to its conqueror and his henchmen.  The ruling class was obviously extractive, and their status as rulers was obviously inextricably linked with their…

American Shitshow: Paramilitary Ascendancy

In the previous article, I discussed why the US military is likely to be irrelevant in any civil conflict, aside from perhaps the kind of pro forma checkpoint and cordoning missions that can use large numbers of not necessarily highly motivated troops. However, the United States has a truly vast number of paramilitaries (120K plus…

American Shitshow: The Military Doesn’t Matter

In this ongoing series (“American Shitshow”), various authors discuss prospects, aspects, and outcomes of civil conflict in the United States. Today, I am going to write about how you would expect the US military to be used in a domestic conflict – for the purposes of discussion, some kind of quasi insurgency or soft secession,…