Sometimes I don’t know why I bother! – Charles Stross:
Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln (Wikipedia biography here) … was (variously) a Jewish, Presbyterian, Buddhist, spy, British MP, Nazi, propagandist, and would-be Balkan oil cartel mogul. Oh, I forgot to mention: claimed reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and Japanese-backed candidate for the Emperor of China. (Not bad for a poor shtetl boy who started out as a Hungarian orthodox Jewish yeshiva student.) Nothing about this man makes any sense whatsoever unless he’s a character from a movie script written by Thomas Pynchon for Woody Allen.
The European Union isn’t about economics. It’s about preventing war in Europe. And it works, says Charlie Stross.
And in the case of the EU … the EU isn’t really about mediating European arrest warrants or reciprocal rights of residence or setting standards for power consumption by vacuum cleaners. The EU is the current incarnation of an institution established in 1947 to ensure that never again would the nations of western Europe go to war with one another. And it has been staggeringly successful: no army has crossed the Rhine river in more than 70 years, and this is the longest period of peace on the Rhine since before the rise of the Roman Empire. This is the dog that doesn’t bark, and therefore doesn’t make the news. Some of you might point to NATO as being the instrument of peace, but I disagree: the existence of armies means that war is still possible, but it’s the EU that has largely removed the motives for war.
I submit that breaking the institution that has given Europe the longest period of peace in recorded history would be a mistake….
The Soviet Union built gorgeous, sleek hydroplanes for water travel, most of which are now rusting or (in one case) suffering an ignominious afterlife as a bar.
Charles Stross fans will enjoy the photo of an “Ekranoplan,” featured in his weird and wonderful story, “Missile Gap.”