Thursday, August 31, 2017

No Deal Yet

Bluffing Awkwardly,

An Aegis Missile Destroyer (the kind that keeps being destroyed by freighters and oil tankers in the dark, and which a Russian fighter electronically jammed in the Black Sea in April 2014) just shot down an America ballistic missile launched from Hawaii, proving that the US can defend Guam; maybe Japan, from some North Korean missiles sometimes, a slam-dunk.

After the missile shoot down, President Trump says that "talking is not the answer" to deal with North Korea. We already know that attacking North Korea is the worst answer, so the correct answer seems to be shooting our missiles at their missiles over the Sea of Japan, and seeing how many we can shoot down. That seems "juuust-right", doesn't it. What could go wrong?

Secretary of Defense Mattis says "we are never out of diplomatic options on North Korea". Mattis is playing the good-cop.

A lot of powers had banked heavily on Syria falling to the Libya treatment, but that's over: “The Saudis don’t care about Syria anymore,” said a senior western diplomat. “It’s all Qatar for them. Syria is lost.”

The US ALREADY had 2600 more troops in Afghanistan last week when Trump said they would start adding more troops and attacking more stuff. More-more to come...

The founding task of the UNIFIL was to supervise the retreat of Israel's invasion troop from south Lebanon. Attempts to change it into Israel's police instrument on the ground, searching private homes of Lebanese citizens, are plainly ridiculous. The presence of UN troops is still to Israel's benefit as it limits the open military activities of Hizbullah in the area... UNIFIL did not get ANY additional authorities or powers. The New York Times headline is a cover up of Haley's failure. It is 100% false... Haley lost her bid. Her bashing of the commanding general of UNIFIL only created bad blood. Her amateurish threat to block the renewal of the resolution went nowhere... General Beary said his troops had not come across any major weapons cache in the UNIFIL-controlled area. He said if there was hard evidence of a cache of weapons, his force would assist the Lebanese armed forces (LAF) in removing them.

Why Every European Country Has a Trump or a Sanders Candidate (You know, the screws have been too tight on everybody, everywhere for too long, and the system is breaking down.)

Consumer price deflation has been progressing in the US and Europe this year "without a recession". Gosh, that's weird, and never happened before.

Why Wages Have Lost Ground in the 21st Century. Charles Hugh Smith points out that the money got sidelined to a lot of things that are not productive in the economy, like bloated and ineffective medical cartels. The whole sick consumer economy can't support it's mass and inertia with poor wages and credit cards maxed out. Not any more...

Surprise! An economy needs plumbers, welders, mechanics, electricians, carpenters, machinists, and equipment operators. (In Austin, we have plenty of these tradesmen, and almost all of them speak Spanish. It wasn't like this until the late 1990s.) No, the kids with the smart phones glued to their faces are not preparing for their futures.

A history of why the US is the only wealthy country without universal health care. (Big money got on the other side early, and is being fed very well.)

"Be evil" : All Hail King Google!

This guy says President Trump forgot to be nice when he visited Texas yesterday. I don't know. I never watch that stuff. I biked to work and the traffic jam didn't affect me.

What does home ownership look like in an age of climate change? When is it OK to rebuild, and when is it time to retreat? (Big questions for all of us.)

Hurricane Harvey damage will cost $160 billion, the most ever. Houston is a huge transit and processing center for imports, exports and oil. 

It's not over. Harvey heads for the Mississippi.

That flooded chemical plant blew up, like they said it would. They couldn't stop what was happening.

Shut down the nuke. 
The South Texas Nuclear Project has been full of construction errors, engineering failures and huge cost overruns from it's inception in the 1970s, when I was going to UT with Karen... 
With the nearby Colorado River already cresting at extremely high levels and flowing at 70 times the normal rate, Karen Hadden, director of SEED Coalition, warned that the continue rainfall might create flooding that could reach the reactors. "There is plenty of reserve capacity on our electric grid," she said, "so we don't have to run the reactors in order to keep the lights on. With anticipated flooding of the Colorado River, the nuclear reactors should be shut down now to ensure safety."

New Texas insurance law goes into effect tomorrow. Take whatever they give you, and just wait patiently. It only gets worse if you fight or cry.

Pretend you are good for awhile, just pretend, just for awhile... :-)

Changing Reality

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