Tab Dump Before Pizza

Interesting tabs I have open but don't have time to write much about ... and pizza is calling.

This is long, so I'll put most of this below the fold. Here's a preview:

Michael Wolff's "The Trump Establishment's Cultural Significance, Explained"

Kurt Schlichter's "Sorry but Our Fight against Liberal Fascism Has Only Just Begun"

Robert McReynolds, "Empire, American Style,"

Plus, Princess Leia, vintage air travel maps, and a huge trove of declassified CIA maps.


Michael Wolff's "The Trump Establishment's Cultural Significance, Explained"

This is the best thing I've read from Newsweek in ... Oh, I stopped reading them a decade ago, probably, so it's the only thing I think I've read there for a long, long time. But it goes into details on the cultural divide in a very perceptive way:

For “CNN sucks”-screaming Trump supporters, CNN sucks for, in fact, the same reason that it sucks to everybody else—it’s phony and slavish—but Trumpsters were suddenly saying it, screaming it. (Liberals took this as an attack on free speech; on Trump's side, the view was that the media stifles real speech.)

This attack on careful, orderly, prescribed culture is what happens when the culture stops talking about real things—at least what a significant part of the country regards as real and important. Or, it is—and certainly is inevitably thought to be by those cultural standard bearers under attack—a sinister onslaught against enlightenment itself.

That line about the culture not talking about real things anymore struck me as quite true. I increasingly feel like a huge portion of the culture is living in a fantasy world. This difference in perceived realities is Wolff's theme, and he covers it from a number of angles.

Kurt Schlichter's "Sorry but Our Fight against Liberal Fascism Has Only Just Begun" is a good corrective for any of us feeling excessive optimism after Trump's victory and / or Hillary's defeat.

I wish I could tell you that, having dodged the naggy bullet that was Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit, we can now spend the next four years being left alone. But that’s not in the cards. Liberals won’t – because they can’t – pause to reflect on how they should stop being such insufferable jerks and live with us normals in peace and mutual respect. Instead, they are doubling down on their gambit for unrestrained power over every aspect of our lives, fueled by a hatred for Donald Trump that is, in reality, a hatred for us.

Remember, they really do hate us. Just ask them.

Just watch what they do. ...
With the rise of Trump, I've noticed the US is getting hit from the right with increasing frequency. Here is Robert McReynolds, "Empire, American Style," which echoes some left-wing criticisms of the US:

Americans have a hard time coming to grips with the notion that the United States is an empire. After all, the American people have always fancied themselves to be the vanguard of liberty and self determination and the ally of those who seek those things for themselves. It is a lofty notion indeed. However, beyond the platitudinous language of spreading “freedom and democracy throughout the world,” the true nature of what it means to be an empire is all to clear. This inherent nature of empire has been the cause of stripping freedoms away from citizens of those empires time and time again, and the United States is no less susceptible to such dangers. In fact, the United States has succumbed to those dangers during its transformation from decentralized republic into a centralized imperial bureaucratic state.


Professor of History at Rutgers University Jackson Lears put it bluntly in his book Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877 – 1920. “Those who advocated imperial policies denied any connection with European precedents, claiming instead that they were exporting American democracy and morality.” And that would be the essence of the American Empire up to the present day.

Prof. Lears defined exactly what is meant by American Empire. The basic principle as he sees it is that the guise of spreading American ideas to the impoverished parts of the globe was nothing more than a means of opening up new markets to capital penetration.

Huh. Lears's basic principle is close to Lenin's theory of imperialism, which was that capitalist nations would develop excess capital and would then be forced to conquer other nations so that this excess capital would have a place to go.

It's a thought-provoking article which says some things I agree with and others that seem straight out of Soviet propaganda, and, at the end, he blames the US for World War II, which seems kinda crazy.

So, now left and right can join together to hate America first. Unity at last.

Want to fight about Star Wars some more? Here's Why Princess Leia is the Archetypal Strong Woman Female Leads Can't Replicate.

National Geographic's Greg Miller has an interesting article on vintage air travel maps.

And speaking of maps, the CIA has declassified 75 years of maps.

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