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AvatarComments by George Turner in reply to DavidTC*

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

By "fully autonomous" I think they basically mean "small tribal reservation", at least until recently.

They have the population of a small town scattered about in an area the size of the eastern US.

The US Marshall Islands and American Samoa both have about the same population as Greenland.

They're not going to have their own university system and medical schools, if you catch my drift.

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Greenland doesn't have enough people to be a state, yet.

Greenland's largest political party supports independence from Denmark, whereas their other political parties also support independence from Denmark. The problem is that Denmark subsidizes Greenland, and they're going to need a new sugar daddy.

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Heck, we could give each of them $100,000 and it would still be a bargain. I'd go as high as $1M each, which would still work out cheaper than NASA's SLS/Artemis program.

If they want $10 million each we'd want to schedule the payments over a ten or twenty year span.

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We'll make an offer, and Greenlanders will vote to join the US. If Denmark won't sell Greenland, we'll just buy Denmark.

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It wasn't a random twitch, it was strategic and economic genius, and might have come first from the Pentagon.

I've also looked over Greenland's mining laws (a few years ago there was a reality show about American prospectors in Greenland). Danish/Greenland mining laws are so absurdly onerous that I wouldn't try to mine anything there even if all I had to do was scoop up gold and diamonds with a front-end loader.

Iceland used to have the same problem when it was under Danish control. It was economically backwards and run as a protected colony, cut off from free trade with the rest of the world.

Under US mining and drilling laws, Greenland's GDP should skyrocket.

On “Thursday Throughput for 8/22/19

During the previous outbreak, I seriously considered become a test subject for an Ebola vaccine, but I didn't feel like driving all the way across town many times to be monitored.

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

Are Democrats going to be the anti-Greenland party and insist that Greenlanders should remain under Danish imperialism? Iceland has been there and done that.

But what we're really trying to do is make sure China and Russia don't get a toe-hold in the North Atlantic where they throw around money and influence for mining rights, drilling rights, and basing rights. No doubt they'd start moving in long-range radars and anti-air and anti-ship missile systems and present a direct threat to the North Atlantic pipeline between the US and Europe.

Trump's Greenland idea comes about a week after China claimed they had territorial rights in the Arctic. Their access certainly wouldn't be via the Bering Strait, so they're probably looking at taking part of Greenland.

On “Wednesday Writs for 8/21

There's an interesting new gun ruling discussed at Reason

A Michigan appeals court ruled that brandishing a gun during an altercation is non-lethal force, and that civilians have the same right as police to draw their weapons to prevent an escalation of violence.

On “The Answer, My Friend, is Blowin’ in the Wind? Perhaps.

You can lie to Congress for twelve straight hour and not get slapped with perjury, so I doubt checking a box is going to put anyone in jail, especially since no jury is every going to return a conviction unless the guy had also committed some other heinous crime.

To legally purchase a firearm from a dealer in the US, you have to check some boxes about drug use. To my knowledge, there has never been anyone convicted of lying about pot on their 4473, question 11e.

On “No, Google Did Not Steal The Election

The money the Kremlin spends in Moscow stays hidden, but we get to see what foreign entities spend on lobbying, which can indicate quite a lot about priorities.

If you need to do a bunch of illegal stuff to advance cause X, and you can also do a bunch of legal stuff to advance cause X, rational actors will spend a lot on the legal means of advancing cause X because it's a priority and legal means are easy to use.

So if you see a country that has easy legal options of advancing a particular set of interests, yet doesn't do so, then it's not putting a high value on advancing those interests and is not likely to spending much on illegal means of advancing those interests, either.

You can go to OpenSecrets and track spending by country. Russia spends less on US lobbying than Ireland does.

And we have Mueller's indictment of the Russians. They spent millions per year and employed eighty people to troll US social media.

Their operations budget for September 2016 was only $1.25 million. As American campaign spending goes for that month, that's virtually nothing.

On “2019 Time Capsule

I'm sure 23andMe can quickly determine her ancestry. I await her test results.

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That's hilarious!

Snopes: We can't take her father's word for who his own family was, even though he's an esteemed professor who wrote a book about it.

No wonder they keep fact checking the Babylon Bee.

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Harris's Jamaican family owned over a hundred slaves, even two that they named "Sambo", so in a way she's definitely an ADOS.

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

He's just pointing out that it makes no sense for them to keep voting for a party that wants to see Israel pushed into the sea.

On “Greta Thurnberg’s Semi-slow Boat Upon the Stormy Seas

Well by that standard, all scheduled flights are carbon neutral. :)

On “No, Google Did Not Steal The Election

But were they spending more on Washington lobbying activities than the Marshall Islands, the Bahamas, or Aruba? The answer to that is clearly "no".

Many islands stand to make a fortune by getting the US to elect someone like Trump. All those ultra-rich outraged celebrities have to move somewhere, and it sure isn't going to be Manitoba.

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That got more retweets than Greenland has people. :)

It'll be even more fun when he tweets that if Denmark won't sell Greenland, we should just go ahead and buy Denmark.

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If Internet stuff can't mess with the election, how were the Russians managing to use Internet stuff to mess with the election?

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Heck, the Russians entirely deleted Wisconsin from Hillary's campaign maps. I wouldn't discount them at all.

On “The Answer, My Friend, is Blowin’ in the Wind? Perhaps.

Drilling a rifle barrel in high grade steel just isn't that difficult. 1800's technology worked just fine. Gun drills (the bits) run anywhere from $20 to $120 from machine tool retailers.

There's not much of a market for low production-rate equipment because it's cheaper just to buy a barrel from a custom shop that can profitably crank them out in volume.

On “2019 Time Capsule

If Biden wins the nomination then I think we can rule out Harris as a VP pick. He likely, and probably rightly, suspects that after he won, as soon as nobody was looking, she would shove him down a flight of stairs. At best she would just use him as a stepping stone to further her own ambitions. Biden knows what it is to be a trusted VP, and I don't think anyone would ever accuse Harris of loyalty.

In that vein, I'd rule out self-aggrandizing or vanity candidates like "Pocahontas", "Spartacus", Buttigieg, Bernie, Yang, Williamson, and Beto. Some of the more mainstream governors, or Tulsi Gabbard, might be good possibilities.

But it's not unlikely that he won't even pick one of the other primary candidates for the VP slot. He might not even pick a sitting Senator or governor. In fact, the most logical choice to bring energy to his campaign and compensate for what he lacks is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Or he might surprise everyone.

Adviser: "Joe, it's time to pick a VP."
Biden: "I know. I know."
Adviser: "Leaning towards anyone yet?"
Biden: "I think I'm going to pick Hillary."
Adviser: "But Joe! That's suicide!"

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I think Trump is a shoe-in for renomination, and he'll stick with Pence as VP.

What do I win?

On “The Hedgehog Who Won

The race is shaping up to be "Keep America Great!" vs "Death to the America! Death to Israel!"

I'm reminded of a recent NY Post article on luxury beliefs.

We feel pressure to display our status in new ways. This is why fashionable clothing always changes. But as trendy clothes and other products become more accessible and affordable, there is increasingly less status attached to luxury goods.

The upper classes have found a clever solution to this problem: luxury beliefs. These are ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class.

The article of course discusses "white privilege", and how denouncing white privilege is a white elite status signal.

Trump isn't running the conventional GOP vs Democrat playbook, he's running a normals vs dysfunctional elites campaign.

On “The Answer, My Friend, is Blowin’ in the Wind? Perhaps.

Well, no I understand why there's no underage drinking in the US. It's illegal and there isn't an underground alcohol market. :)

On “Churches In the Hands of an Angry God

Pastors don't charge money for marriage counselling, so I'm not sure how you would claim zero as a charitable deduction. If they did charge for it, they'd be running an unlicensed side business.

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