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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Midas Or Caligula

Known Unknowns,

Our current entertainment features a story of a very rich , forgetful man with a popular TV show, running for president on other people's money, to improve his brand after losing, but failing to lose, and being thrust into a dangerous world where it is safer to eat Big Macs in bed than the meals served to the President, as none of his advisers agree with each other.
We can't really know what the chief executive of the global empire is. It is not one man. Kennedy was the last one to try that. Eleni in Athens says that the rest of the world is relieved that President Donald seems to be a fairly regular and well meaning guy, not a serpent like the Clintons, Bushes and Obama. We can, perhaps agree that American foreign (aka "war") policy under the current administration is fragmented, and appears disconcerting to "allies" and "adversaries" alike. The Empire with Obama at the rudder was sreering paths through dangerous shoals, trying to avoid running aground, while using the naval artillery against any target in range. That was somewhat predictable. Nobody knows what the shifts at the rudder are now, who is taking them, or what course will be taken. Straight over that sandbar into an iceperg is suddenly plausible. Is this by design? Who is on the design committee? 
My own take is that we, you and I can't know, and that other world powers are acting like they can't know either, so they are working around the American ship-of-state, in any way they can. This was already happening. Now it is universal. Israel is trying to run the Battleship-America onto a sandbar in the Persian gulf, where it will become fixed-artillery against Iran.
Included as background music is King Midas in Reverse, by the Hollies

Michael Wolf's book is a hit-piece. How much is flavored and shaded to depict mental incompetence? Regime-change in 2018?
"The author of a book that is highly critical of Donald Trump’s first year as U.S. president said his revelations were likely to bring an end to Trump’s time in the White House."

Here is a lot of the hit piece. It is entertaining, garishly illustrated, and with artistry in the cynicism. This is a full frontal assault in the media by one power elite group against another power elite group. It appears to be about the drafted-by-history accidental winner, Donald Trump. Consider it current historical fiction; obviously a great read...

Jim Kunstler points out the uncertainty of success of the media coup-d'etat.
Michael Wolff’s juicy book, “Fire and Fury,” would be a career-ender for any self-respecting politician, but the narcissism of Trump is altogether a different mental state. Speaking of which, it sounds like some of the amateur psychologists in congress are taking a deep Talmudic dive into the 25th amendment, to see if they can pound the square peg of Trump’s head through that particular round hole in the constitution.

Trump asked "Why can't Medicare just cover everybody?" (Not inherently stupid or evil, but with short attention span, and susceptible to good sales pitches.)

Michael Chossudovsky teases out the Mideast relationships in transition, with the US being an unreliable, but armed-to-the-teeth partner. The alliances the US has nurtured for decades are unstable without steady US/NATO care and feeding. Turkey is no longer in a stable orbit". There is a lot more here. (Chossudovsky reads like Google-translate, but it's worth the bit of bother, especially after the first 1/3.)

The US bitch-slaps Pakistan and cuts out funding. Pakistani Foreign Minister responds:
The Pentagon “carried out 57,800 attacks on Afghanistan from our bases. Your forces were supplied arms and explosives through our soil. Thousands of our civilians and soldiers became victims of the war initiated by you.”
“China lives next to us and we have a common wall. Russia can also be our good friend.”

Suddenly, out of NOWHERE:
Beijing plans to build its second offshore naval base near a strategically important Pakistani port following the opening of its first facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa last year.

Lies We Tell Ourselves: 
Seven of my soldiers are dead. Two committed suicide. Bombs got the others in Iraq and Afghanistan. One young man lost three limbs. Another is paralyzed. I entered West Point a couple of months before 9/11. Eight of my classmates died “over there.”

The Constitution turns out to be amended differently than we have thought for the past couple of hundred years. Some papers got misfiled in Connecticut after the original 12-point Bill of Rights (not 10) was ratified in 1790, making it national law. It seems that there must, Constitutionally, be one representative in the House, for every 50,000 Americans. (Uh, what's 323,100,000 divided by 50?)
It is commonly thought that Connecticut did not ratify the Bill of Rights Amendments until 1939, a pro forma ratification. But in fact, misfiled documents newly discovered in Connecticut’s archives show that Connecticut ratified the first 12 – significantly, not 10 – Amendments to the Constitution, commonly called “the Bill Of Rights,” in 1790.
“After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every forty thousand persons [sets a minimum of 100 Representatives thereafter, and creates a ‘floor’ of 40,000 persons per District], until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons [sets a minimum of 200 Representatives thereafter, and creates a “ceiling” of 50,000 persons per District].”

Two Hung Juries; now a mistrial. Will the BLM try one-more-time to convict Cliven Bundy and family? They really were brutally breaking the law to make an example of him.

The incoming Chairman of the Federal Reserve sorta' drops the fact that the Fed is "short volatility" (Oh GAWD! He Said It!)

There is no night. Maybe we will have it back some day. What would have to happen for that?
The data also cast doubt on the idea that the LED lighting revolution will lead to energy cost savings. Between 2012 and 2016 the median nation pumped out 15 percent more long-wavelength light as its GDP increased by 13 percent. And overall, countries’ total light production correlated with their GDP. In other words, Kyba says, “we buy as much light as we are willing to spend money on.”

Mushroom in Dark

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