Which State Will Start A Second American Civil War?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The thing that so many people miss is the MAGA New Right is ascendant and they have no reason to start a civil war because they’re going to get everything they want via politics. It’s the center-Left, or Blue States, that are going to start a civil war if it comes to that.

And the state that would be most likely to leave the Union and start any process that might cause a Second American Civil War is California. It’s got a huge economy and the biggest population in the Union and if there was so egregious overreach on the part of the MAGA New Right in 2024 – 2025, then California may bounce.

Now, I have to note that it’s just as possible that instead of a mass exit of Blue States out of the Union…there may be a mass exit of center-Left individuals who vote with their feet when the time comes. Whenever I bring this up to my Traditionalist relatives, they get upset at what they feel is the suggestion that Red States aren’t as economically productive as Blue States.

They refuse to see Red States in any negative light to the point that they are, for the moment at least, glad to see a multitude of highly skilled center-Left people leave the country, even if it’s to the severe detriment of the nation. We’re so absolutely divided that everything is seen as a zero sum game by the MAGA New Right.

They’re always right. They never do anything wrong. And if you point to cold, hard facts that do, in fact, put them in a negative light they just get angry and tell you the facts you pointed out are “bogus.”

So, as I keep saying, we’re careening towards civil war or autocracy. And I still don’t know which option America is going to choose. It really could go either way. And, as I keep saying, the choice is likely to finally be made for tactical political reasons at some point between Election Day 2024 and Certification Day 2025.

But I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But all I know is the United States is running on political fumes. Something’s gotta give and if there’s a civil war, it’s probably going to start when California gets fed up with the power-hungry nature of the MAGA New Right and attempts to leave the Union.

Glenn Youngkin & Virginia’s Dark Political Future


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Jesus, is Virginia fucked. The problem with Virginia is it’s microcosm of America as a whole. The rural, Red parts of the state long for autocracy, while the urban Blue parts continue to believe in the democratic process. The dark part of all of this is the United States is now an anocracy and in 2024 – 2025 we’re going to face the existential choice of autocracy or civil war.

Given that by definition to be a Republican is to be a fascist, when the time comes and Virginia has to pick a side — say, in the case of California leaving the Union — the state is probably going to implode. There could be a coup of some sort and Gov. Youngkin will be forced to decamp to a more conservative part of the state. The historian in me says of course he will flee to Danville, since it’s the Last Capitol of The Confederacy.

But it was inevitable that a fascist GQP Republican would win in Virginia. That’s the weakness of a democracy that’s transitioned into an anocracy. You have elections, so the “bad guys” are going to win eventually. And all they have to do is win ONE election and they just never leave power.

So that’s where we’re at with Gov. Youngkin. He’s going to tear Virginia apart as the years progress. And, ultimately, either he becomes a GQP goon in autocratic America, or the wholes state collapses in on itself with no obvious end game.

I honestly don’t know which direction the state will go.

I’m At A Lost As To What’s Going On Between Russia & Ukraine


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I simply have no idea what to think right now about the prospect of war or peace between Ukraine and Russia. On one hand, the Biden Administration is acting like a major land war could happen at any moment in Europe, while the Ukrainians are puzzled as to why this is being suggested.

A number of things seem to be happening at the same time. Yes, the Russians are amassing a large number of troops near Ukraine. But what they aren’t doing is just as telling — they’re not sending in the necessary support infrastructure needed to do the the thing we’re all worried they will do: invade. What’s more there is definitely a momentum for a war between Ukraine and Russia to start sooner rather than later.

So, I don’t know.

I guess you might square the circle by saying that, yes, a war is going to happen soon, but just not as soon as the Biden Administration seems to believe. So, at some point in the next few weeks the war will start, just not as late as February 20th.

Or, put another way, something has to change. Something that makes it clear that what is going to happen one way or another. There is plenty — plenty — of time for things to calm down and go back to “normal.” It’s just that there is a real risk that it’s too late for Putin to back down without looking weak. Of course, there is the possibility that it will be the Ukrainians who back down at the last moment and all of Putin’s flexing will look really smart.

But everything is up in the air. I have no idea what is going to happen. We’re all just going to have to wait and see. It really could go either way at this point.

Let Slip The Dogs Of War: Are We Going To Make It To February 20th?



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The growing conventional wisdom is Russia is going to wait until February 20th to start any war between itself and Ukraine. The reasoning is, Putin doesn’t want to overshadow the Winter Olympics and he waited until they were over the last time fucked with Ukraine in a big way in 2014.

Given that I’m always wrong, I suppose that’s a valid belief. But I have to note that things are moving really, really fast. There exists a momentum for a major war to start at any moment between the two nations. I struggle to see how we’re going to make it to the end of this week, much less the end of the month. For us to sit around for about a month until near the end of February seems a rather big stretch.

We seem to be careening towards war. Russia has established the construct of the conflict in such a way that for it to back down now — or just wait too long to start — will make it look like a fool on the global stage. There’s only been one time in my life when there was this much momentum for war and one side folded — NATO’s problems with Serbia about 20 years ago. All systems were go for a major war between the two sides and the Serbians choked.

So, that kind of thing is pretty rare. It could definitely still happen — and I don’t want a war — but on a macro level I think all systems are go for the war to begin within days, not weeks or a month.

But, again, I’m always, always wrong. Especially predicting what the Russians will do with Ukraine. So, we’ll see.

And You Though Our Bugout From Afghanistan Was Bad: What If American Civilians Come Home From Ukraine In Bodybags?



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I still am not convinced that there is going to be a war between Russia and Ukraine anytime soon. However, the Biden Administration HAS not only told Americans to bug out ASAP, but also given notice of possible impending military action on the part of the Russians.

I’m under the impression that we are supposed to have about 48 hours notice before Russian invasion, so maybe we’ve gotten that notice, and maybe we haven’t. Things are still very much up in the air. Biden does have a tendency to error on the side of being safe, so maybe he’s just freaking out in hopes of preventing a huge disaster.

Because that’s my current fear –a Russo-Ukrainian Winter War breaks out and it’s a far bigger disaster for the United States than our evacuation from Afghanistan was because I’ve been an expat and I know how ornery American expats can be. I suspect that Ukraine is crawling with American civilians and the nightmare scenario is the war starts and we begin to see a lot of images of American civilians coming home in bodybags.

It would all be very, very messy. I don’t think we really can comprehend what a fucking clusterfuck for everyone involved a general war between Ukraine and Russia would be. And the loss of American civilian lives as the war progressed would really amp things for for the American domestic public. That’s something they can easily understand — American living in Ukraine got trapped and died in large numbers.

Or, a little less dreadful, if the war starts and Americans are forced to become refugees in a mad dash to escape, that’s not exactly a great look for Biden, either.

But, hopefully, this is still just smoke and mirrors and nothing is going to happen.

A Great Reset


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It’s my personal conviction that if Russia attacks Ukraine in a big, historic manner this winter that it will mark the end of the post-World War 2 liberal order. The one that millions died for between the years 1937 and 1945. I say this because it would be the first time since 1945 when there was a war this big in somewhere as important as Europe.

There have been a number of invasions — most of them by the Soviets — during the Cold War — but they would be relatively limited compared to the damage that a war between Russia and Ukraine would cause. There would be refugees in the 100,000s and causalities in the 10,000s. It’s possible that Russia might set off a series of events within Ukraine that go far beyond anything they believe possible.

It’s within the realm of possibility that Ukraine might simply collapse into mass chaos. Far Right nationalists could spring up, powered by pure, white hot irredentism. What’s more, the United States is so mind-bogglingly divided at the moment that no matter what happened between Russia and Ukraine, once the war started China could very well be emboldened enough to attack Taiwan in the next few years (months?)

The most disturbing element of all of this is how, because of long term macro trends, the United States ship of state is sinking and sinking fast. Something big is going to happen to the United States between now and, say, January 2025 and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Everything is in place and nothing is going to fix the systemic issues that will cause the United States to either slide into autocracy or have a massive, tragic civil war.

A Russo-Ukrainian War would just be the beginning of an epic, historic era of instability not seen since the inter-war period of 1918 – 1939. With the United States careening towards a dark, unstable future and the Russians having eaten a huge chunk of Ukraine, it could be open season across the globe in ways we’ve not seen in generations.

Take, for instance, the DPRK. The last few days have seen some ominous statements come out of Pyongyang. What happens if, in the middle of a Russo-Ukrainian War, the DPRK begins to saber rattle by shooting off ICBMs and testing H-bombs? That would only add to the global sense of chaos and instability.

And, remember, if two major regional wars were happening at the same time — Russia / Ukraine and China / Taiwan — it would be very hard for the American press to resist the temptation to brand it all World War 3. What’s more, as I mentioned, the United States is careening towards either autocracy or civil war no later than January 2025.

So. Enjoy these twilight days of stability. Things could get pretty lit pretty quick. Maybe within a few days.

Putin’s Miscalculation?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m no expert on this issue and you should probably ignore me with extreme prejudice, but here’s my hot take on what Putin’s war aims in Ukraine might be. First, we still don’t know that there’s going to be a war. All the signs point to a war — a major one — but it’s still possible that in the end all these troop movements are just one big flex.

Things have gotten so bad, of course, that if Putin did pull back he would look weak and intimidated by the West. But Putin works in mysterious ways, so that’s an option that’s still open.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say Putin pulls the trigger instead of pulling back and we find ourselves with the biggest land war in Europe since 1945. Then what? Well, it seems as though Putin believes he can get what he wants through a combination of war and politics. He swoops in from the north, takes Kiev in conjunction with a massive offensives coming out of Crimea and Donbass and that will be that. At the end of the process, either he simply annexes eastern Ukraine or he’s able to force some sort of political re-organization of Ukraine so it’s under his jackboot from here on out.

I’ve learned two things I did not know recently. One is, the issue of mud in eastern Ukraine isn’t as big a deal as I thought was — there are plenty of roads for the Russians to ride their tanks on. And, second, eastern Ukraine geographically isn’t exactly the greatest place to stage a long-term insurrection.

So, apparently, if Putin can simply overwhelm the Ukrainians with enough arms, one can see why he might think he could get away with a major invasion of eastern Ukraine. And, yet, I don’t know about that. It seems to me the Ukrainians have enough sense of national identity now that Putin is making a major miscalculation.

The western, more European-oriented portion of Ukraine simply will not allow Russia to do what it wants to do. At least not without a fight. Every scenario you can think up about a major invasion of Ukraine by Russia ends with the same endgame — a resource draining war with the rump Ukrainian state that ultimately is the downfall not just of Putin, but the modern Russian state. The Russian economy is just too small — about the size of Italy’s — and the Ukrainians too determined for there to be any other outcome.

I’m not saying everything would happen in a straight line. There would be ups and downs and zigs and zags to this endgame, but on a long-term, macro level, that’s where all roads lead to.

But, like I said, I’m not an expert. In fact, I pretty much always get things wrong. So, buyer beware.

I’m Very Pleased With The Progress of The 5 Novels I’m Developing & Writing


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As I’ve said before, every so often, I have something of a reset with the development of these novels I’m working on. Something clicks in my mind and I see how to make them much, much better. And the latest example of this is I have come to see a way to show something about a very important character in the series.

The overall theme of these five novels is the value of one person’s life and how one person can influence the lives of others — even in death. This theme developed as I struggled to write what are now the last two novels in this project. It occurred to me that I had a huge backstory in my mind and that I could write at least two 100,000 word novels about what lead up to the strange little town I came up with. Ultimately, those two novels became three and here we are — I have five novels to develop and write.

But the clock is ticking. I need to stop fucking around and get these novels knocked out so I can start to query them. I like how overwhelming all of this is. That was the point of this all when I started this project as an homage to Stieg Larsson. It was originally meant to be an allegory about the Trump Era…then Trump was too stupid and too lazy to steal the 2020 election and then I saw Mare of Easttown and everything change.

So, now, I have five novels to work on. I’m giving myself no more than about two more years. That will mark the 20th anniversary of my first journey to South Korea in 2024. Of course, by that point the Fourth Turning may be in full swing and I’ll have far bigger problems to have to think about — like, say, a Second American Civil War happening in conjunction with World War 3.

My Hot Take On The #Russian – #Ukraine Crisis For January 22, 2022


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m definitely not an expert, but here’s my novice hot take on what’s going on at the moment between Russia and Ukraine. If all of this is just a big flex on the part of Putin in hopes of getting “respect” from the West, then he sure is expending a huge amount of money to do so. Or, put another way, there comes a point when you just can’t have a massive portion of your military forward deployed, then pull back, without looking like a fool. The world community thinks you’re going to do something, so you might feel obliged to live up to their expectations.

It doesn’t make any sense to me that Putin would go through all this trouble just to turn around and say, “psych!” He’s up to something, something big. And the questions now are when and how big? Given what I understand about the issue of mud around Ukraine impleading any Russian advance, it seems as though sometime in February would be ideal.

At the moment, the sweet spot for any invasion is probably after the Winter Olympics, which end on February 20th. And, yet, I dunno. It seems as thought that might not be a consideration for Putin at this point. My current personal guess is any war between Russia and Ukraine might starts around February 15 or so.

I say that because a huge number of Russian forces are flooding into Belarus at the moment for “joint training exercises” that are supposed to take place between now and around the middle of February.

And, yet, there’s a big thing to consider — to date, I’ve been wrong all the time about what’s going on with Russia and Ukraine, so why would this be any different. So, it’s very possible that this really is just a big, foolish flex on Putin’s part and the spring mud will come and…nothing will have happened.

But I am keeping an eye on all of this. At the moment, the momentum is towards a major war between Russia and Ukraine. If that happens, it could collapse the entirety of the post-WW2 global liberal order to the point that we’ll see instability the likes of which we’ve not seen since the inter-war period of 1918 – 1939.

And to this how the United States is careening towards a “Fourth Turning” around 2025 and we could very well have something akin to a “Great Reset” with a Second American Civil War happening in conjunction with WW3.

Did A Leftist Manic Pixie Dream Girl At Vice Break Tim Pool’s Heart?



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I honestly don’t give a shit about weird MAGA New Right “thought leader” Tim Pool. Whatever, live the fuck on and prosper. But I remember when Tim Pool worked at Vice and was just another one of their asshole Leftist that the old Gawker would make fun of for how needlessly over-the-top they were.

But, at some point, all that changed. Pool became an enfant terrible of the MAGA New Right for some reason. It’s not so much that he “switch sides” that interests me — I mean, people change — but for it happen out of the blue makes me wonder if maybe something personal was involved.

Tim Pool

And I know enough about the human psyche to know it’s very easy to imagine a scenario where some cute Leftist girl — a manic pixie dream girl, if you will — broke that poor boy’s heart and he vowed to get back at her by turning into a rabid New Right person. At least, that makes sense to me.

But I will note that Pool’s conversion proves that the MAGA New Right grift has an exceeding low bar of entry. I mean, it’s so fucking low that if I sold my soul to Trumplandia I could probably be having dinner with Trump himself within six months.

The books I’ve been reading about the macro issues involved in America’s transition to anocracy really are very illuminating about all of this bullshit. A lot of white men feel very insecure about the social changes taking place in America right now and there is a huge demand for articulate people to express that rage.

One last thing. It is within the realm of possibility that I’m related — through marriage — to Pool. He’s apparently from the Hampton Roads area and I have a cousin there married to a Pool. I have nothing personal against the guy. It would be interesting to have dinner with him and ask, “What was her name?”