California Secession: A Thought Experiment – Pt 2: Life in West California

Cross-posted at Wow! Magazine

By Scott Kirwin

In Part 1 of this two part series we imagined the borders of a new nation called West California created from the blue counties that went for Hillary Clinton in the November 2016 election. In this essay we’ll consider some of the challenges the new country will face, and how it will fare on its own in the international arena.

Foreign Policy

As mentioned in Part 1, the new nation of West California would likely not have a military. The Yes California website states, “The U.S. Government spends more on its military than the next several countries combined. Not only is California forced to subsidize this massive military budget with our taxes, but Californians are sent off to fight in wars that often do more to perpetuate terrorism than to abate it. The only reason terrorists might want to attack us is because we are part of the United States and are guilty by association. Not being a part of that country will make California a less likely target of retaliation by its enemies.” California dreaming huh?

The US would make it clear that any interference in West Californian affairs would be treated as interference in its own in a 21st century version of the Monroe Doctrine. But it is unclear how long this would last and whether the liberal residents of West California would put up with it and with the military bases on their soil (nor how many Texan or North Carolinan parents would be willing to see their child put in harm’s way for the defense of the anti-military liberal enclave).  In any case I would expect West California to lack a national military as Costa Rica does now and for the US military to move its bases out of the country eventually. US military bases are more portable than people think. Just ask the Philippines about how quickly we closed Clark and Subic Bay after they k

West California would face significant opposition to joining international treaties and bodies and would have to create bilateral trade agreements with nations while it applied for membership in NAFTA and other organizations, assuming NAFTA survives the Trump administration. Seeing successful secession in the United States would encourage secessionist movements in Canada, Mexico, and Spain among others, so countries would not necessarily welcome the new nation to their organizations and clubs. Still, the economic might of the nation would make it a player, especially in the Pacific Rim region. There is absolutely no way the US would give up or share its UN Security Council seat with West California.

Domestic Politics

The federal system of the United States was set up on the assumption that the states it governed were sovereign, and the system actually prepares West California well for independence. Elections would follow independence, and the most likely form of government for the new nation would be a parliamentary system with an elected president similar to France. The president could be considered as an elevation of the governor’s role, while the prime minister would be an elevation of the current house speaker’s role. This would require power shifting from the current senate to the lower house as expected with the change to the parliamentary system.

Being a single party state doesn’t mean an end to politics for the nascent country. In place of Democrats I expect two political parties to arise post-independence: liberals and socialists. Both will agree on the goals but disagree on the methods at first. Eventually the two will become less alike although by no means as different as the current GOP and Democrats.

Education from pre-school through college would be free, paid for by higher taxes. Healthcare would be provided based on the current ACA but eventually would switch to the Canadian model. Abortion on demand and contraceptives would be free making Sandra Fluke happy.

All hunting and fishing would be banned. Strict gun control would be enforced following the Australian model whereby citizens are requested to voluntarily give up their guns during a grace period. After that possession of all firearms including hand guns, rifles and shotguns and all ammunition would be illegal.

I do not know whether the West Californian government would create a written constitution or not. I could see it going either way, but would expect the following “rights” to exist with the following caveats.

  1. Freedom of Speech – As with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, freedom of speech will not be absolute. It would not cover hate speech which would be defined as “speech inciting hatred against any identifiable group or which makes the targeted group feel uncomfortable. “

  2. Freedom of Religion – Citizens are free to practice any religion as long as it does not disrespect or denigrate other groups of people.

  3. Freedom of Identity – Citizens are free to identify in any way they wish as long as it does not conflict with the rights of others. This would cover all issues related to gender and sexual identity.

  4. Freedom from Want – The State will provide all the basic needs for all its citizens including food, shelter, education, and health care. This could be in the form of a monthly allowance for all citizens regardless of income.

I would expect the codification of other rights as well, including the addition of sections covering animal and environmental rights. These would restrict farming, mining and exacerbate the state’s current power supply woes as power companies were forced to abandon fossil fuels and switch to renewables. Greenhouse gas emission-free nuclear energy will be treated the same as coal.

Drug policy would be lax especially since California legalized recreational marijuana use in the November election. Harder drugs would still be illegal, but the switch would be from incarceration to harm reduction policies as followed by Sweden and Switzerland.


In order to avoid hyperinflation and maintain stability during independence, West California would likely continue to use the US dollar as its official currency. The state does have gold held in Fort Knox, and would likely maintain ownership of that commodity in the event of secession (if it wasn’t used to pay for federal land or other transfers to the US federal government as a condition of its independence), but I don’t expect calls for the nation to revert to the Gold Standard. The few calling for that likely left the state prior to independence.

The exodus of unionists out of the new country would likely leave it with more income inequality than it has today based on the fact that Democrats tend to be wealthier than Republicans. California already ranks worst in terms of wealth inequality, with the billionaires of Silicon Valley living less than 100 miles away from the produce pickers of the Central Valley, and the flight of middle class police, teachers and nurses would only worsen the situation. California is today a one party state, and freed from the restraint of the federal government of the Union it West California would likely pursue wealth redistribution along socialist lines. Such wealth redistribution would have two effects: 1. It would encourage benefits seekers, a problem that California has today, and 2. Contrary to what Liberal billionaires profess, they will either move their money out of the country or move their homes to avoid paying more taxes. Put the two together and you have increased demands on the State and fewer resources to meet those demands.

The economic situation would be worsened by the removal of border controls between the new nation and Mexico. This may seem a bit of Right wing wishful thinking on my part, but the border issue has been so fetishized by the Left that I cannot help but believe that given the chance a sovereign West California would remove all border controls with its southern neighbor. This would have consequences with the remaining Unionist state of California and the US federal government forced to defend a much longer border with New California than it does today California’s current border. Within a few years of independence I foresee a downward spiral as the state raises taxes to provide benefits to an increasing number of citizens thereby driving out the minority of citizens capable of paying those taxes.

But immediately after independence West California’s economy shouldn’t change much. There are numerous statistics used comparing California to other countries, and depending on the statistic California’s $2.31 trillion economy ranks anywhere from 7th to 14th in the world. One thing is clear: the US, with a $15.11 trillion dollar economy will still be the world’s single largest economy after it loses California. California, on the other hand, will find itself among the ranks of Brazil and Italy. As the largest state economy in the US it has the loudest voice when it comes to economics. It issues its own emissions standards and car makers comply. When policies are crafted in Washington DC, its congressmen and senators are usually in the fray. But independence will mute those voices on the international stage to the same status of Brazil, Italy and India. Sure these nations are important in many respects but there are 6 to 13 states ahead of them in importance.

Life in West California

As a former Californian myself and an occasional visitor, there is without a doubt much to love about the state. It has some of the most beautiful places in the country. Joshua Tree. Big Sur. Yosemite. The beaches along the coast are world class, and its pleasant climate is always appreciated by those from “back east.” But today California is a very expensive place to live, making it a playground for the rich who can afford to subsidize the poor. Essentials such as housing, electricity, and gasoline are some of the highest in the nation, chasing away the middle class. The policies that make California expensive such as its restrictions on the housing supply, the state mandate of renewable energy sources, and high state gasoline taxes would likely worsen after independence.

Current liberal thinking on immigration that borders don’t matter skirts the realm of the magical. Nearly all large cities within the state are sanctuary cities which protect illegal immigrants at all cost. Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California school system has stated the system will not assist the federal government in immigration actions against students. Presumably this would include crimes committed by them against other students. In such cases defendants can post bail and disappear back into the illegal supporting community or if charged with capital offenses return to their home countries. Where the border will matter will be with the Unionist California. West California authorities will be busy interdicting firearms from the US as well as the smuggling of high taxed commodities such as gasoline and cigarettes. At border crossings with Mexico I would expect only a token presence along the lines of what tourists used to find in pre-911 border crossings with Canada.

For the first few years post independence I would expect little change with pre-independence California. But as the liberal policies took hold and the population reacted to them, things would change. The flight of the middle class would accelerate. Illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America would swamp the state just as illegal immigration from Africa and the Middle East have swamped Germany, a country with a similar attitude towards borders and immigration. The disarmament of the populace would lead to worsening crime, exacerbated by the innate distrust of the liberal voter for the police. The wealthy would continue on as before, hiring private security to protect them behind the walls of their fortress-like communities. The poor would live on state handouts while suffering the human misery of lives lacking meaningful work dependent on the state, living in crime infested neighborhoods and experiencing shortages of electricity and gasoline.

A wealthy nation with spectacular scenery and blessed with natural resources brought to ruin by the policies of its Leftist government. West California would become Venezuela.


The likelihood of California seceding remains remote bordering on the impossible. But thought experiments like this can provide glimpses at the Truth. California is already experiencing the dangers of being a single-party state, and its only hope is for the state’s Republicans to regroup and help pull the state back to its senses. Without their input, and without the brake red states such as my own of North Carolina put on California through the federal government, the state is destined for disaster.

California Secession: A Thought Experiment – Pt 1: Redrawing Boundaries

Cross posted at Wow! Magazine
By Scott Kirwin

Since the Nov 8 election, disgruntled California Democrats have been kicking around the idea of California seceding from the United States. For a variety of reasons this is not happening, most especially because of the moldering bones in Civil War cemeteries throughout the Eastern USA. But let’s imagine if it was possible. For argument sake we must ignore the mechanism for how secession occurs – mainly because there isn’t one regardless of what Rep. Zoe Lofgren believes.

The Easy Part: Redrawing Boundaries

When California secedes the goal of secessionists will be to create a nation in which majority rules. But this may not be so appealing to minorities. Take for example a map portraying Republican/Democrat voting in the November 2016 election breakdown county-by-county. We’ll assume that these counties reflect the strong, consistent political beliefs of the population with red counties voting GOP and blue counties voting for the Democrats in all recent elections although this may not be true since some counties marked in blue like Orange and Riverside went for Romney in 2012.


California Presidential Vote 2016 – by County. Source:

How likely would the less populous, conservative-voting California remain in the more densely populated, liberal California? If California is going to secede what would stop these counties from seceding from California and remaining in the Union? And what would happen to Nevada county, the blue tongue surrounded by red counties in the north? Hillary won that county by 2,000 votes out of 30,000 cast. Would the liberals be willing to forgo secession and hang with the surrounding red counties, or would they prefer to secede along with their liberal cousins on the coast?  A similar situation existed in areas in Bosnia and Croatia, and the Serbs and Croats took matters into their own hands and murdered and terrorized their non-Serb, non-Croat neighbors until they left. Sparsely populated Mono and Alpine counties would face similar questions on the border with Nevada, assuming Nevada itself doesn’t secede.

While there are federal laws against state secession, I am not aware of any prohibiting the secession of counties from their states.  The easiest way to gain secession might be for California to remain part of the United States while the secessionist counties left. This way the Union would be preserved at least at the state level, the secessionists get their new country – we’ll call it West California – and everyone theoretically is happy. That’s what this is all about, after all, making people happy who are so convinced they are right that they are willing to consider starting their own country.

Based purely on the 2016 vote here’s what California and West California would look like. Note that I split Fresno county east of Fresno due to the close vote there. California secessionists may not appreciate the importance of borders today, but you can rest assured their non-secessionists neighbors will.


But we’re not done yet. The US federal government also owns a lot of land including several military bases as shown in the red shaded areas of the map below.


Source: USGS Atlas, Federal Public Land Surface and Subsurface

Either West California would have to buy that land from the federal government or take it by force, which won’t be easy considering the new West California will likely not have its own military. At the very least the new country would likely cede the eastern halves of San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties containing the most US federal land while granting the US military long-term leases for their current bases in counties such as San Diego and Orange. The resulting country would likely end up looking something like this:


The new nation  would have roughly 60,000 of the 163,696 square miles of the current state, but it would be much more populous, containing 33.7 million of the current state’s 37.2 million residents (2010 population estimates). The map below shows the population distribution of the current state.

Source Wikimedia


So the boundaries have been redrawn. But there’s still a problem: nearly 35% of voters voted for the losing candidate in his or her county in Nov 2016. Most of these are Trump supporters living in the new West California.  That’s a lot of disgruntled people. Will they remain where they are?

When independence looms it’s quite likely that there will be a migration of people to live with people who share their views. This is already happening according to a recent TED Talk by Jonathan Haidt, so we should expect some voluntary mass movement of people out of West California most likely to Arizona, Washington, Oregon following current state emigration patterns. The liberal influx from the remaining rump-state of California would be relatively minor by comparison.  This will depress the population further and more so than the election numbers would suggest. According to voting tallies in the New York Times, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3.4 million votes. If we spread the population between the 11.2 million votes cast, we could surmise that each vote reflects the will of roughly 3.3 people (pop: 37.2m/11.2m votes). Trump received nearly 4 million votes, so we could guess that in the population of 2010 California there would be 13.2m Trump voters or sympathizers. Not all Trump voters or sympathizers will leave their jobs, families and homes, but a significant portion would when threatened by 2nd class status in a new nation. Even some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters might reconsider giving up their US citizenship to live in the new nation and join the exodus. Some voluntary migration will occur, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assess West California’s population to 25 million post- independence.

But it will grow and do so quickly, and not in the way liberals will appreciate. See why in Pt 2.

Hillary’s First Appearance

Here’s a photo of Hillary taken at the first appearance after announcing she would steal the election contest the election results. Reporters were surprised by her gaunt appearance as well as the insistence by her handlers to remove all crosses from the event venue.


Are the Democrats About to Steal the 2016 Election?

See why I believe so at Wow! Magazine. Here’s a snippet:

Ask yourself this: Which is more likely? Russia hacking the election or Democrats hacking the recount? Is it difficult to imagine a live hack that targets all precincts, or the tens of thousands of voting machines in thousands of precincts in swing states, shaving just enough votes for Trump to win, doing so in real-time, and without triggering suspicion? Or is it more difficult to imagine a post-election hack of a few hundred machines or dozen vote tabulators in just three key states two and a half weeks after the election? Timestamps can be faked as can paper ballots. It is simply much easier to hack a close election after its over rather than while it is occurring.

The media will disparage such thinking as right-wing paranoia, that they are “just trying to make sure every vote counts.” But recounts only happen when candidates are separated by a few hundred votes. Trump won by 70,000 in Pennsylvania. Why not recount votes in other states if the point is to make sure “every vote counts,” perhaps states where Hillary won by 50,000?

The point of the recount is to overturn the election.

Fidel Castro is Dead

Fidel Castro is dead. All I can add is the word “finally.”

Babalu writing at Babalublog says it much better. As he says in this piece, “Fidel Castro’s dark presence has haunted my entire life.” He continues:


I’m also glad his demise as common as it was, having become feeble and decrepit, immobile, near the end, more than likely with a stomach tube feeding him and an artificial anus pumping his waste into a plastic bag. No heroics. No myth-making. No going out in a blaze of glory, like he so desperately dreamed of during the crisis days in October of 1962 when he urged Nikita Kruschev to press the nuclear button. Like so many other old men, he died in his bed, soiling himself, probably terrified about what was to come next. At the end of the game, as the old Spanish proverb goes, the king and the pawn go in the same box.



Quran Quran

A Classic from The People’s Cube. Happy Monday Infidel!


The Sky Is Blue, Earth is Round, and Journalists are Democrats

No surprises here but proof is always reassuring.

This fall WikiLeaks confirmed everything conservatives have been saying about the media for more than 20 years. CNN, you have been busted. You allowed Democratic Party operative Donna Brazile to get hold of town-hall questions in advance and help Hillary Clinton prep with them.

Note that this is not a Donna Brazile scandal. Brazile did what every party hack is paid to do: She tried to help her side win. This is all on you, CNN. You should have fired yourselves, not Brazile.

Ms Naive Pop Singer: No One Gives a Damn What You Think

Originally appeared at Wow! Magazine.

Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Juaregui has penned a letter to Donald Trump supporters, published on Billboard’s Op Ed page, in which she calls Trump supporters defending their actions by claiming “voting for Trump does not mean that you are racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, a**holes… (Y)our words are worthless, because your actions have led to the single-handed destruction of all the progress we’ve made socially as a nation.” The 20 year old pop singer then comes out as bisexual, after being photographed kissing a girl last week.

So as someone who voted for Trump in the last election, here is my response.

Dear Lauren:

Who are you and what is Fifth Harmony? Seriously until I read The Daily Mail I had never heard of you. This is not surprising since I have opinions older than you. I suppose I could look you and your band up but it doesn’t matter. In my time I’ve seen so many people like you prance across Fame’s stage only to disappear, often suddenly in a mental breakdown or at a young age in a drug overdose. Honestly I stopped paying attention after Britney Spears melted into Christine Aguilera then washed up on a distant shore to become tabloid fodder.

Billboard hasn’t been driven out of business yet? And it has an op-ed page? What on earth for? And people still read it? What, like a dozen A&R people?

Who the f**k do you think you are telling us “travel and read a history book?” I’ve lived in Africa and Japan and traveled through Europe, and I’m currently reading history books written two thousand years ago by authors whom you’ve likely never heard of. I’m even learning Latin so that I can read their words in their native tongue. Do you understand how arrogant and just plain ignorant you sound when you, a wealthy 20 year old, think you know how the world works for everyone and what is best for people who aren’t like you?

You are worried that the Trump is somehow going to “destroy the progress we’ve made socially as a nation.” What progress is that? LGBTQ rights? Were you aware that Trump said that he didn’t care which bathroom Kaitlyn Jenner used in any of his establishments? Perhaps you hadn’t learned the 3 branches of the federal government while you were becoming the one chosen from hundreds of thousands of aspiring musicians who sing better than you and write better songs then you but just aren’t as lucky as you happen to be? If you had you would know that in 2015 the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal throughout the land, that Presidents can’t make laws, and laws enacted by Congress which the Supreme Court views as unconstitutional won’t survive long as law. Even if Trump wanted to ban homosexuality – which as  New York businessman he has ZERO interest in doing – he can’t because that’s not how our government works. Who is the ignorant one?

Is it his stance on immigration that bothers you? How many illegal immigrants are you supporting? I assume with the amount of money you make you could support hundreds, so exactly how many illegals are you employing, feeding, housing, providing medical for? I’m getting tired of being told to lose my guns by people who have their own private security detail, to avoid flying because of the CO2 it burns by people who fly their private jets to attend UN conferences, and to pay more in taxes by people who employ armies of accountants to squirrel away their earnings in tax shelters. I support animal rescue not just with donations but with a house full of rescued dogs and cats. Someone your age should have learned long ago that actions speak louder than words, or is that offensive to you Snowflake?

You see I live in a very poor county that has a large illegal population. Our cops are overwhelmed by the crime they have brought, much of it immigrant-on-immigrant. Our county’s social and medical services are stretched to the breaking point by the number of non-taxpaying illegals here. Yes, the dirty little secret is that illegals don’t pay taxes because their income is not reported to the tax authorities, so they consume government resources paid for by citizens without contributing themselves.

Now taxes are probably something you never think of because you can afford a manager who employs a staff of accountants to take care of all that for you, but trust me, everyone is not like you. The average income in my county is $25,000, and taxes will take about 10% that. $2,500 is probably what you spend on a pair of jeans, but it’s a lot of money for people where I live.

And as a singer you don’t have to worry about illegals taking your job the way many of my neighbors do. I’ve employed numerous carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and tradesmen, all looking over their shoulders worried about companies that employ illegal immigrants doing their jobs. When they compete against these companies it’s difficult for them to bid low enough to get the job, so several contractors I know have either retired early or gone on disability.

Does Trump’s “America first” position scare you? I used to live in Japan. Guess which nation they worry about first? Think they worry about the war in Syria or famine in sub-Saharan Africa? Nope. They think about Japan first. In fact I would bet that if you traveled the way you are telling Trump voters to do you would find that every nation’s people want to put their country first. Australians. Chinese. Russians. Brazilians. Nationalism is the norm, so stop being so naïve. It’s only the wealthy who think borders do not matter, and they don’t – for them. But everyone else can’t afford to leave their country just because their preferred candidate lost an election. For one thing it costs a lot of money to move to another country. For another most countries will not allow you to reside in their country unless you have a lot of money. Even the EU which many of your fellow entertainers look towards as some kind of ideological promised land will not let Americans stay indefinitely in their borders.

Most 20 year olds do not get the attention you do, and that’s a good thing. As a former 20 year old myself I remember thinking I knew everything there was to know about the world, it’s people, religion, and Life in general. Within ten years Experience had taught me how little I knew of anything, and it’s only now 30 years later that I’ve realized that while I do know a thing or two, there is still much in the world I do not know. At my age I wouldn’t even think of telling complete strangers how to think or what to do with their lives. But let me leave you with a bit of advice.

I do not know what is best for you so don’t presume you know what is best for me.

It may take you awhile to grok that, if you ever do, but in the mean time I really don’t care what you think.

Sincerely yours,

A Trump Voter

Journalists Becoming Propagandists

Will Rahn at writes about the “unbearable smugness of the press,” and the disgust shown towards poor and middle class Americans who ended up supporting Trump.

“It’s a profound failure of empathy in the service of endless posturing. There’s been some sympathy from the press, sure: the dispatches from “heroin country” that read like reports from colonial administrators checking in on the natives. But much of that starts from the assumption that Trump voters are backward, and that it’s our duty to catalogue and ultimately reverse that backwardness. What can we do to get these people to stop worshiping their false god and accept our gospel?

We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.”

He notes that journalists make little effort to understand those living in fly-over country, even mocking them. “(We) treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline. Sometimes quite literally so, such as when reporters tweet out a photo of racist-looking Trump supporters and jokingly suggest that they must be upset about free trade or low wages.”

Yeah, laugh at those 2,100 men and women who lost their jobs this year when Carrier moved their jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Maybe that’s one reason why the state went to Trump by 20 points and left journalists in tears early Wednesday morning.

Before the election I wrote, “We “deplorables” who couldn’t re-fi our mortgages, or lost our homes after the 2008 crash are furious that we find ourselves at the cusp of being led by the very elite that caused the crash in the first place. Many of us came from the Democratic Party, whose leadership seemed more interested in providing voting registration to illegals, then turned around and called us “racist” for being upset by the crime they brought to our communities.”

Journalists aren’t journalists anymore. They do not write what they observe they write what they want to see. In effect the entire profession has merged with fiction writing, they just don’t realize it yet. What happens when they do realize it?

They become propagandists.


Ted Nugent For Interior Secretary

In case Sarah Palin is made Secretary of State due to her being able to see Russia from her backyard.


The Importance of Futile Gestures

We got out of bed at 5:30am yesterday to get ready and hit the polls before work. The parking lot of the Ruritan lodge was packed with a line of voters in front of the two young women struggling with the voter registration software on two Lenovo laptops. One issue was the number of people who hadn’t voted in recent elections. Evidently the software marked these people as dormant voters, and it took a few minutes for the election officials to reactivate their listing so that they could vote.  By the time we made it through the queue the officials had solved the issue so the Wife, a dormant voter herself, could vote.

We knew voting was likely a futile effort on our part. Both of our “guts” told us the same thing the polls did: that our candidate would lose. Neither one of us liked Trump very much. He offended the Wife with his comments about women and I saw him as a egotistical billionaire who only became a Republican because the slot on the Democratic ticket was filled. But we voted for him because we live in an area decimated by globalization and illegal immigration, but mostly because we disliked Hillary Clinton.

Both of us voted for Bill Clinton in the 1990s but Hillary wasn’t Bill. She took the job as a senator of New York as if it were a ceremonial post (how long was she a New Yorker?) and then encouraged the expansion of offshoring and outsourcing in the State, sending jobs to India and China instead of creating them in the state she represented. It was one thing to lie as a first lady, but over time the fibs piled up until it became clear the woman was incapable of telling the truth. Her stint as Secretary of State was the pinnacle of her deceit. Telling the mother of a soldier who died in Benghazi that her son died because of an internet video all the while knowing it was a well-plotted terror attack was the tipping point for me. The mishandling of classified data would have sent me to jail but not Hillary. From then on it was clear to me the woman needed to be kept away from the Oval Office by all means.

There was nothing I could do to stop her except by casting my vote. I did so knowing that it was a futile gesture but it was the only one within my power so I did it. The entire US media supported her as did most of my own party’s elite, but I voted against her anyway. My gut told me she would win but my conscience demanded that I do everything in my power to stop her, even something as insignificant as casting a vote. Futile gestures serve a purpose when they are demanded by Conscience. So I cast my vote, gut and the American mainstream media be damned.

And woke up today to something completely unexpected and wonderful.

The Indictables


Things You Don’t Have To Deal With In The Suburbs #242

Modern country life… at 1:13 AM.


Surprise! iPhone 7 Cannot Do What a 20 Year Old Cell Phone Can Do

This story originally appeared in Wow! Magazine.

As a techie I should have known better than purchase the iPhone 7 on the Verizon Wireless network the day it was released. But I’d run my old Android unit  into the ground with 3 years of heavy use, and the fact that iPhones hold their value better than other phones plus Verizon’s offer to pay $400 for an old iPhone 5 I had hanging around convinced me to make the switch as soon as Apple released their latest sexy beast into the wild.

The phone is sleek and sexy, but after a month of usage in the US and Europe I’d noticed something odd: It avoided connecting to the cell network, and when it did it always took the lowest possible connection. Living in a rural area I’ve learned where the service drop offs were, but leaving the house the iPhone 7 would glide along in my car showing “No Service” or “1x” where past phones pulled in 3g or even 4g/LTE signals. I’d turn off cellular service by switching to Airplane Mode than switch back and bam! I’d have a blazing fast LTE connection – until I was out of range of that tower. Then when my signal was switched towers the service would drop completely or revert to the crawling “1x”. In essence the brand new digital iPhone 7 was failing to do something 20 year old analog cell phones could do: maintain a stable connection between cell towers. It’s fine if you reset your connection and don’t move – like pretending your cell phone is a landline – but if you are traveling any distance be prepared for dropped calls and data connections.

This morning I checked the Internet and discovered I wasn’t the only one suffering from this problem. MacRumors reports, “Affected customers are seeing their LTE connectivity cut out at regular intervals, leaving them stuck with 3G/1X speeds or no signal at all. This can cause calls to disconnect when VoLTE (voice over LTE – the Apple equivalent of VOIP) is in use in addition to interrupting data usage… There appears to be no clear fix for the issue, and customers have been complaining of being routed between Apple and Verizon with neither company offering a solution.”

I called Verizon Wireless and spoke to a tech today. He said that Verizon was aware of the problem and working with Apple to resolve it, but since I was 3 weeks outside of my 2 weeks contract “cooling off period” I was stuck with the phone for the next 2 years.

So those of you considering switching to Apple’s shiny new toy might want to wait to see how this issue shakes out. There are worse options out there. On a recent flight I took the stewardess told all Samsung Galaxy and Note owners to turn off their phones for the duration of the flight due to their propensity to burst into flame.

The Razor Turns 15 Years Old Today

Happy Birthday.

Some fun facts:

  1. Number of posts? 2,685

  2. Number of Instalanches: 2

  3. Busiest day? January 14,2014 with 1,238 views. Not an Instalanch BTW.

  4. What was all the fuss about? A Haunted Place.

  5. Most commented post? Gerbils at 1 Month.

  6. Number of comments about gerbils? 784

  7. What was the biggest challenge about talking about gerbils? Consoling owners whose gerbils died.

  8. Systems used to support TheRazor? HTML webpages created from scratch in Dreamweaver 3. Nuke PHP. WordPress.

  9. 3 Favorite posts? Visiting the Funeral Home. Rorschach Test for the Left. In the Belly of the Swan.

  10. Best prediction: Feb 6, 2008:
    But Hillary doesn’t see things that way. I think she sees the White House as hers by right. She did all the right things: becoming senator from New York. Putting up with Al Gore’s wooden campaigning. She kept her promise to New Yorkers by staying out of the race in ‘04 all the while knowing that she could have easily picked off Kerry and possibly even Bush. Afterwards she built up a warchest, shaking hands with all the right people – or so she thought. Regardless, she’s the epitome of the strong post-Women’s Rights era woman. The job is hers by right – and her sisters at NOW agree. But it’s not. People have come to realize that a world without Clintons can be almost as refreshing as a world without Bushes. And Hillary doesn’t belong in this world.

  11. Worst prediction: March 19, 2003:
    Things to look forward to: – A Free Iraq – The phrase “our allies the Iraqis” or “our friends in Baghdad” (useful to fill the gap once taken by the French)

  12. Whose voice do I miss most in the political Blogosphere? Steven Den Beste’s.

  13. Features I wish were more popular: Hell’s Newsstand and Photoshop Phun.

  14. Inspiration to start blogging? 9-11 and Harlan Ellison’s work, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.

  15. First short story I ever wrote? About Jimmy Carter living inside a peanut written at age 9.