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Total number of comments: 594 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:47)


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  • Palestinian Parliamentarians say Israeli Legislation aims to annex West Bank
    • From a short term, practical point of view, there is little to prevent Israel from "formally" claiming all the land west of the Jordan River.

      Trump will prevent any action by the UNSC, the Arab leadership is impotent and European leadership has lots of other stuff to deal with. So, yes, now is a good time to make it "official" that Israel "owns" all the land west of the Jordan River.

      BUT . . .

      Israel' s actions will have very, very bad consequences for Israel in the long term.

      The basic question is what happens to the millions of non-Jews living west of the Jordan River? No matter what Israel does, there will be MAJOR NEGATIVE consequences to Israel.

      - Israel could follow the lead of many other countries, including the USA, and make every human living west of the Jordan a full citizen of Israel, but doing so would rapidly mean Israel would not be a Jewish religious state. Economically this is probably the "best" thing to do, but it would destroy the "Jewish Homeland" myth and would be a big ego blow to Jewish Nationalist.

      - Israel could make the non-Jews "resident non-citizens" and discriminate against them, but that will lead to continuous massive internal bloodshed, which will eventually lead to international condemnation as well as massive economic problems (companies can not thrive in a "combat environment"). When humans do not feel hopeful about the future, they tend to go into "burn the place down" mode. Note that while the USA can veto actions of the UNSC, the UNGA can invoke UNGA 377 and over-rule the UNSC. If UNGA 377 is invoked, the USA and Israel would only get one vote each with no veto and we can all guess how lopsided that vote against Israel would be leading to massive economic damage to Israel (basically UN sanctioned BDS).

      - Israel could "encourage" the non-Jews to "self deport" but there is the "slight" problem that there is no place on earth for the "excess" people to go. The USA, Europe and the rest of the Mid East will NOT allow massive "transfers" of millions of humans and in the case of Europe and ME, will fight Israel initially politically, then economically then, if necessary, they will eventually be forced to deal with Israel militarily. Again UNGA 377 could be invoked.

      Basically, by settling all of the land west of the Jordan River without thinking through the consequences, Israelis have created a massive, deadly time-bomb that they have no way to defuse. Sure, the next few years may be livable for the Jewish people in Israel, but after that, it is most likely that life in Israel will become extremely intolerable for most people (Jews and non-Jews alike).

      I find it ironic that one of the key social documents on earth, the Torah (old testament Bible), continuously cautions against Pride and Hubris, yet it appears that no one in Israel has ever understood their own documents and have just ignored the warnings in a fit of ego. It appears that Israeli will just have to re-learn the principals of the Torah the hard way.

  • Trump feuds with Merkel, EU, BMW, NATO, China, CIA but not with Putin
    • Dolan, Trump is a liar and you will NOT see a huge increase in manufacturing jobs in the USA because we now have the technology to eliminate almost all manufacturing jobs and the costs of using that technology DECREASES each and every day.

      If the USA does restrict imports, all it will do is cause shortages of goods in the USA and drastically increase the cost of goods because it would take hundreds of billions (if not trillions) to build new factories in the USA, most of which would be almost fully robotic, meaning, at most, a huge factory would employ a few hundred people instead of thousands.

      Most of the USA factories that were shut down were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s and were extremely inefficient and costly.

      Note that the factories in Europe (especially Germany) and Asia were all built AFTER 1950 and are much better than USA factories because USA companies refused to spend the hundreds of billions to build new factories.

      If you believe that trumper will bring back jobs, I have a deteriorated 1876 factory to sell you.

  • Instead of Stereotyping Trump Voters, Progressives need to Get them Back
    • Trump voters are making purely emotional decisions based on a totally delusional world view.

      Even thought thinking, rational people KNOW that the trump voter's decisions will make their lives even more terrible than they already are, the emotional pain the trump voters would have to go through to change their world view is too large for them to even attempt it.

      Numerous psychological studies have show that delusional people will FIGHT with all their might to hang on to their delusions because once their delusions are stripped away, the people have nothing but FEAR.

  • Israeli Parliament self-boycotts by seeking to Ban BDS Supporters from Israel
    • Does anyone in Israel understand that most of Israel's actions these days are counterproductive and just make Israel's future even more questionable?

      Israelis might want to think about . . .

      "Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate." - Thomas Jones (1892 - 1969)

      Israel's actions are making it very hard to be Israel's friend and increasing Israel's enemies.

      Just where do Israelis think this is going to end up?

      Israel has very limited resources. It has no major natural resources or agriculture that can not easily be sourced elsewhere. It has only about 6 million Jewish humans and it is very likely no more than 4 million may be willing to die for Israel and the rest will flee a major war. A major part of the Israeli economy is brain based and most of those brains will leave Israel when the major shooting starts.

      What am I missing? why do Israelis think they can continue to antagonize the Arabs and not eventually suffer major negative consequences?

      Sure, the present day leadership in the Arab countries would prefer to avoid war with Israel, but eventually Israel is going to antagonize so many Arabs and others, the Arab leaders will be forced into war, which Israel can NOT win and could very possibly lose.

      Banning BDS supporters will NOT fix any of the problems Israel faces and in fact will only make the problems worse.

  • If Trump moves US Embassy to Jerusalem, all Hell will Break Loose
    • @super390 - Based on my long contact with the Chinese culture, I agree that China much prefers to subvert their enemies, BUT . . .

      Do not make the assumption that Chine will avoid all open conflict because as Sun Tzu noted, when conflict can't be avoided, then strike hard and fast and brutally.

      If the USA and/or Israel throws nukes, it is NOT a valid assumption that China will sit out the exchange. China is "down wind" of the ME and its food sources will be contaminated by any probable Israelis strikes, so it may retaliate..

      China is a "rational actor," but it has a vast cultural difference from the "west" and a 5000 year history.

      As I noted - anyone throwing nukes will make **ALL** of our lives terrible.

    • If the USA and/or Israel start a nuclear war, Russia and China will finish the USA and/or Israel and end the war.

      Remember that Israel is a very small country and if it throws nukes, it will cease to exist.

      While the USA is physically larger, the "republican" parts of the USA can not survive without the rest of the USA which will be gone.

      There are probably enough "sane" people in the USA such that the USA will not use nukes, but the same can NOT be said about Israel.

      Some "fun" nuclear war thoughts . . .

      - The latest climate studies show that as few as five nuclear air bursts over major cities could fill the skies with enough radioactive particles to cause "nuclear winter" where the northern hemisphere (and possibly the whole earth) would enter new "ice age," where humans have the "interesting" choice of how they die . . .

      - Radioactive poisoning

      - Starving - "Nuclear winter" would stop food production and most transportation would cease.

      - Freezing - Ice ages tend to do that.

      There is a very good reason that there is a nuclear test ban treaty that most nations agree to and even the few nations that still test nukes do it deep underground - nukes in the atmosphere are very deadly for humans.

    • The USA and Israel should also be concerned about . . .

      UN General Assembly Resolution 377

      Where the UNGA essentially over-rules the UNSC and the USA has no ability to veto. If 377 is invoked, there is zero chance that the USA and Israel would get very many votes, meaning a binding resolution would easily pass making life for Israel even more tenuous. The USA could rant and rage all it wanted, but the damage would be done.

      The ironic thing about 377 is that it was the USA that designed it and got it passed because the Soviet Union was vetoing stuff in the UNSC that the USA (and the world) wanted passed.

      Israel should also be concerned that trump and the conservative congress critters could get angry enough at the UN to pull the USA out of the UN and maybe even force the UN to move to another city (to "punish" democratic NYC and the UN - Note that just about every city on earth would welcome the UN and the money it would bring). If the USA pulls out of the UN, then Israel would have no protection in the UNSC.

      Every time I think about the situation in the ME, I wonder if Israel is purposely doing everything possible to make their future very bad or if they are so delusional they can not see what the most likely result of their actions will be. Humans have been very consistent over the last 10,000+ years and everything Israel has done appears to be designed to lead to a bad ending for Israel.

  • As Trump guns for Iran Deal, can its Reformists survive death of Hashemi-Rafsanjani?
    • I suspect (hope?) that the pragmatic leaders in Iran will prevail for a few simple reasons:

      - The USA is going to be in huge internal turmoil over the next few years with many people trying to either retain power or trying to grasp power from the old white men. Given the flow of power, the old white men will lose power eventually, but the internal "wars" will eat up all the USA energy.

      - The global economy, lead by China, is taking control away from the USA. For example, the USA/UK SWIFT network is losing power to other regional and soon to be global transaction networks where the dollar is NOT the primary currency (this should worry Americans a lot more than whatever trumper tweets).

      - The USA is impotent to impose any new non-USA sanctions on Iran, so trading will just keep increasing. Trump can threaten all he wants and most counties will simply give trump the universal gesture of contempt. BTW - the USA sanctions are worthless and only punish USA firms while firms in other countries thrive.

      - The new Silk Road has a branch to Iran so Iran and China can easily and quickly trade goods.

      - The Chinese middle class is growing (unlike the USA) and is now larger than the ENTIRE population of the USA (so much for the USA being a "big" market).

      - Saudi Arabia is bleeding huge amounts of cash and depleting their oil fields far too fast as a result. Therefore, KSA will be facing major internal problems in the next few years. Yes the KSA dictators are angry about Iran, but their realistic options are close to zero.

      - With Trump "leading" the USA, Israel is going to vastly over-play their hand and get themselves into lots of trouble, much of it internal as it tries to deal with millions of very angry, non-citizen, non-Jewish humans living west of the Jordan River which is their defacto eastern border. Israel will get more and more violent towards non-Jews, leading to trade embargoes, leading to massive economic problems, leading to more and more violence (people with no hope only want to ensure when they die, they take as many of their oppressor with them as possible). Israel has painted itself into a deadly corner.

      The bottom line, from a realistic point of view, is Iran can do very well in the coming years by just being the "adults" in the room - Honor the agreements and trade with Europe and Asia, while ignoring the USA. They should just ignore everything trump says and most of what he does.

      Now, if trump decides to attack Iran, Iran should beat the stuffing out of the USA (which they can do) and then take the situation to the UN where the USA will be forced to veto a resolution condemning the USA. That is, if trump has not pulled out of the UN because of a temper tantrum.

  • Meryl Streep calls out Trump: Having Bully-in-Chief Coarsens whole Culture
    • In the USA, every election is a BINARY election. That is, You ONLY get to choose between TWO candidates. BASIC MATH says voting for any other than the offered binary is simply a vote for the "winner," regardless how much you dislike the "winner."

      Ranting about Clinton being a less than ideal candidate is just plain delusional.

      If you did not vote for Clinton, you chose trump by default, it is as simple as that no matter how you try to justify your action or inaction.

      Would I like to have better candidates - you betcha. BUT that is NOT how the USA political system works (which is actually slightly better than the other systems that are used around the world). There is no one with the ability to change the USA political system in any meaningful way, so we have to play by the current rules.

      Given the current racist, low intelligence, religious, media driven culture the USA has, it is unlikely we will ever get better candidates. Due to many drivers (technology, racism, capitalism, greed egos, etc.) America is going through a MASSIVE social upheaval with massive power shifts where there are going to be lots of losers and some "winners." The losers will not give up power willingly and will literally fight to the death no matter how ridiculous their fight.

      If you want better candidate, you are going to have to change the minds of millions of people who have no desire to expend the amount of energy it would take to become informed, thinking voters. The low energy way of voting is to just leap on whatever band wagon FEELS good in the moment.

      In reality, Clinton was a "better" choice than trump and the other people running were a waste of time and energy.

    • Do you realize that trump is a liar?

      Those jobs are never coming back and in fact many more jobs are going to disappear under trump because robots are cheaper than humans.

    • Read her BIO - she worked very hard a to get where she is and ANY of the dummies that voted for trump could do the same thing, but most have chosen to remain uneducated and racist. The reason why trump supporters are where they in life is because of extremely poor lifer choices on their part and a complete failure to understand how the world works.

      Note that every month millions of good USA jobs go unfilled because most Americans in the rust belt and coal country are unwilling to do the hard work to be able to do the unfilled jobs and are unwilling to move to where the jobs are.

      All they do is whine instead of taking "personal responsibility" to make themselves employable.

      If I can get an engineering degree and then go on to help design some of the high-tech stuff you use every day, then pretty much anyone can. No one handed me my degree, my wife and I worked hard to pay for it (and her degree after mine). Note that my son that is now a federal judge and my son that is getting his masters degree in the healthcare both entirely paid for their education.

      Instead of voting for trump, get off their rears and prepare themselves for another job because no matter what trump "promises" those old jobs are NEVER, repeat NEVER, coming back and the rust belt and coal country will continue to have no jobs and depopulate.

      Heck, Google and several other groups provide FREE comprehensive, high quality programming classes via the web - the exact reverse of trump university where people paid for useless training.

  • Muslim Shockwaves as New Congress' Bill seeks all Jerusalem for Israeli Colonization
    • If the bill passes and if the USA does move the embassy, it will put the Saudis and the other Sunni gulf states in a real bind politically with their extremely regressive religious leadership. While Jordan is nominally the "guardian" of Al-Aqsa Mosque, any changes to the status will blowback on KSA, forcing the KSA political leadership to address the issue just to minimize power shifting to Iran. Of course Iran will be able to talk about their attempts to restrain Israel while KSA has "worked" with Israel.

      Basically, the trump administration is going to drastically restructure the power in the Middle East with Iran probably gaining power, KSA losing power and Israel being in even more danger.

      As the real situation stands right now, Israel fully controls all the land west of the Jordan River and fully controls the Al-Aqsa Mosque area. Under trump, the USA and Israel will just look the other way when the extreme Israeli Rabbis "invade" and possibly damage the Mosque. This will make Israel extremely unstable and Israel will quickly discover that all those settlements are not only no protection from the Arabs, but also very handy targets for attack.

      If Israel oppresses the non-Jewish humans living west of the Jordan River too much or closes the Mosque, KSA might be forced to use the many modern , "quick launch" highly accurate Chinese MRBM they have pointed at Israel. Sure Israel could retaliate, but that will just get 100,000 missiles raining down on Israel of which the "magic" "Rust Dome" systems MIGHT be able to stop about 1000. The rest of the Arab missiles will turn every square meter of Israel into rubble. I suspect as that is happening, over half the Israeli will flee to the west and the rest will fight to the death, possibly including nuking everything within reach of their long rang ICBMS (yes, they can reach the USA, all of Europe, western Russia and parts of Asia)

      And if "hot war" breaks out in the ME, what will the USA do? If it backs Israel it will be Israel and the USA against the world, but if the USA remains neutral, Israel will be toast.

      Over the next ten years this is going to get real, real messy and Americans are going to deeply regret ever protecting Israel.

  • Iran reaps the benefits, as US and Saudi Flounder in ME
    • If the Saudis and Iran would cooperate and form an alliance, they would be very, very powerful together.

      But to do that, the Saudis would have to drastically suppress their extremely regressive religious leaders (it is a dictatorship so it could easily be done).

      As for Iran, it is already very friendly with most of the nations on earth other than the USA, KSA and Israel.

      Now that the global sanctions have been lifted, Iran is doing OK and there is ZERO chance any non-USA sanctions will be applied any time soon. The USA, by backing Israel, fighting losing wars around the globe and sponsoring terror in many other places, has given power to China and the rest of the globe.

      With the backing of China, Russia and Europe, Iran will continue to gain power and KSA will need to be more friendly to share in that power.

    • It should be noted that Obama had no choice about what to do in Syria because, due to racism and the danger a very war averse public would throw the congress critters out on their ear, the USA congress would not authorize force (as is required by the Constitution), fund a USA invasion force, nor reinstate the draft that would be needed for that invasion force to remove Assad.

      All Obama could do is use paid mercenaries using the very small amount of funding congress would allow and most of the mercenaries were pretty miserable fighters and had agendas that were anti-American.

      Basically, Obama did the best he could with the resources he had - no USA public support, no USA congress critter support, KSA counter-agenda, Turkey counter-agenda, etc.

      In an ideal world, the USA would have been neutral and just let things play out. Sure all sides would have yelled at the USA, but that is what is happening anyway.

  • America's Major Challenges in Middle East Policy, 2017
    • (1) Bruised USA egos.

      Over the last 100 years, Iran has twice thrown out the imperial powers (UK then USA). The first time it didn't stick because of the USA , but the second time it has so far. USA losers don't like to be publicly shown as losers.

      (2) Israel and Saudi Arabia.

      The Israelis and Saudis are able to "tolerate" each other (for now), but their egos get bruised when Iran legitimately acquires power through intelligence and creativity not external war. The USA has CHOSEN to be a puppet to Israel and KSA for totally irrational reasons. I suspect this is a legacy of the UK world empire thinking.

      (3) Irrational, prejudiced USA thinking

      In a world where the USA did what was best for the USA in the long term after a lot of rational thinking, Iran would be a USA ally and Israel and KSA would be ignored. Given USA myopia, do not expect any rational thinking from the USA any time soon.

  • 5 Surprising Signs of Positive Change in 2016
    • Actually the gun situation is better than most think.

      While there is indeed almost half a TRILLION guns in the USA, most of the ownership is by a DECREASING portion of the population. That is "gun owners" (gun nuts) tend to have lots of guns, but MOST people have zero guns.

      In reality, the gun nuts are wasting their money because they can only shot a maximum of two guns at any particular moment, so any additional ones are useless.

      As for the gun nuts defending themselves from the "government," if they actually tried, they would die very quickly since the "government" has lots more deadly weapons than the gun nuts, including drone with hellfire missiles. As for defending the USA from "invaders," if the situation has gotten that far, the invaders are going to win, no matter what the gun nuts do.

      Basically, the USA has a small minority of delusional, paranoid, people with inferiority complexes that use guns to compensate for their inadequacies.

      If Americans really wanted to get rid of guns, they could easily make the lives of congress critters miserable because the gun nuts actually have few voters.

  • The Chinese Solar Juggernaut that Trump Can't Stop
    • China and Europe are WAAAAY ahead of the USA when it comes to non-carbon energy.

      In fact, they are so far ahead that it is probably impossible for the USA to catch up unless the USA government injects massive amounts of cash into non-carbon energy and puts lots of disincentives onto carbon based energy. This is not going to happen because the USA self-centered culture of "i got mine, screw you" will ensure that carbon energy stays in place until non-carbon energy is co cheap people implement it on an individual basis.

      The way to succeed in technology is to make lots of quick, incremental product changes. That is give consumers a product and then quickly improve it a little every product cycle. The "best" way to get optimal products is to have a large customer base, which China has internally.

      In fact, China is mainly trying to move off carbon energy onto non-carbon so they have an unlimited, low cost sources of energy for China and selling their products to other countries is just a by-product.

      The USA is so screwed because of our negative culture.

  • After Israel Land-Theft Vote, will Trump & GOP Congress try to defund the UN?
    • More USA foot shooting.

      The more the USA separates itself from the rest of the world, the less power the USA will have.

      If the USA wants to heavily influence the globe, the USA will have to fully fund and participate in the UN. If the USA defunds the UN or decreases participation, then some other country will become the defacto world leader (probably China).

      If the USA wants to influence the globe, it will have to do the heavy lifting of fair and balanced diplomacy because other countries will react very negatively to any attempts by the USA to lead by bullying or threats.

      Trump is going to discover real quickly that the techniques he used to run his business do not work between nations. Attempting to bully other nations will get trump ignored at best and could lead to very costly retaliation against USA businesses and individuals.

      While USA companies make some very nice products at decent prices, the USA companies do NOT have any monopoly and competitive products can be obtained from multiple sources around the globe. I can (and do) source technology from all over the globe based on quality, price and delivery times. And just like me, every other person on earth has that ability, especially now that most suppliers have web sites and will take orders from most of the globe.

      Other than persuasion, the USA has no other tools to get the world to do what the USA wants.

      Sure the USA could threaten force, but other than a few very weak nations, any USA force would be met with equal force because the USA no longer has a lead in weapons technology. Any use of force by the USA would just cause massive USA deaths and loss of wealth.

      As for economic threats, the USA no longer has any leverage there either. China and the rest of the world are rapidly building a parallel financial system to the USA controlled financial system. Soon the world will be able to totally ignore economic threats from the USA. This new system will totally negate USA attempts to punish countries economically and is one reason why Obama hurried to get the Iran agreement. Once the system is fully functional, every nation but the USA will be able to freely trade with Iran or any other country the USA dislikes at any particular moment.

      While the USA can easily withdraw from the UN and the UN can even be forced by the USA to move its operations to another city (most cities in Europe, and Asia would be thrilled to host the UN), all the USA will achieve is willingly giving up the power it still currently has.

  • Now is the time for Obama to Recognize Palestine
    • A far better long term solution is for the USA to admit defeat with respect to two-state and tell the world that Israel has successfully controlled all the land west of the Jordan river and the "new" borders of Israel are the existing borders on the north with Lebanon and Syria, the Jordan river border with Jordan and the southern border with Egypt. That is force Israel to agree with their new "official" borders.

      Then the USA should tell the world it now has to ensure that Israel treats ALL of its citizens, including all its new Arab citizens in the west bank, with fairness.

      In other word, force Israel into a one-state situation where Israel would have responsibility for everyone.

      Initially the settlers will cheer their "win," then discover that they have actually lost because Israel can not economically sustain apartheid.

  • How a Green Energy Revolution in Small-Town America will make Trump Irrelevant
    • Trump's promise of "jobs" for the rust belt and coal country are 100% pure BS.

      Based on his "TV actor performance" so far, he has no idea that there is no businesses that will locate in those areas. Modern businesses do NOT need warm human bodies to be successful. All they need are:

      - cheap energy

      - cheap land

      - cheap robots (they are getting cheaper and more functional by the hour)

      - decent roads

      - decent web site

      - a product that someone will pay for

      On 29 December, trump was bragging about 5000 jobs which is minuscule in the grand scheme of things because the USA needs several hundred thousand jobs EACH MONTH to keep everyone employed.

      Note that virtually all those "returning jobs" will be in big cities, NOT the rust belt or coal country because those areas do NOT have the people with the talents the "returning" jobs require and the areas are very poor places to live. Companies want the biggest pool of qualified humans they can finds and the rust belt and coal country do NOT have the type of talent companies want and the type of talent they want will not live in the rust belt or coal country.

      I have been a manager in six start-ups and know the problems of hiring quality people even in he SF bay area where live is very nice.

      Companies no longer want "warm bodies" but people with large amounts of skills/talent. This is why millions of jobs have been unfilled for many months in many parts of the USA, even the rust belt and coal country. The USA has millions of no-talent people in the wrong parts of the USA, but millions of open jobs.

      If I wanted a job (I don't, because I am too lazy), I could get dozens within a few weeks because I have a broad range of skills that I have worked hard to develop. I just do not understand the people that are not willing to develop new skills and move to where the jobs are.

    • It is all well and good that local entities are building renewable energy systems, BUT it is important to note that these energy sources employ very few humans after the construction phase.

      That is, renewable energy systems can not replace the many other types of jobs that have been lost over the last 20 years due to technology and some job transfer to other areas of the USA and/or the world.

      Basically, the rural areas of the USA will continue to depopulate as jobs disappear.

  • Sanders: Trump's Dangerous Nukes Talk Must be Challenged
    • Per the most recent climate studies, it would only take five or so nuclear air-burst over medium sized cities to induce "nuclear winter" where humans will have the "interesting choice" of whether to die from . . .

      - radiation poisoning

      - starvation

      - freezing

      The trumpet has no understanding just how deadly for all mankind a nuclear war is and that the world already has more than enough nukes to destroy the earth for every living thing except maybe cockroaches.

  • Why the UN Resolution on Israeli Squatting didn't Go Far Enough
    • As I have noted in several other posts, Israel has essentially "won," in that they fully control all the land west of the Jordan River and there will never be a state of Palestine because there is simply no usable land to build the state on.

      BUT . . .

      - Israel also controls several million non-Jews that are NOT going anywhere because they have no place to go to.

      - NO other country in the middle east will take any more Palestinian refugees because to do so, would destabilize the receiving country. Jordan is just barely staying afloat and Al-Sisi is afraid adding Palestinians to Egypt would get him killed.

      - Europe will break all economic ties with Israel rather than take any Palestinian refugees. Without trade with Europe, the Israeli economy would collapse. And NO, Asia has no need for anything Israel has to sell since Asia pretty much can make anything they want.

      - The USA will NOT take any Palestinians. The USA will not take a few thousand Syrians, so taking millions of poor Palestinian is totally out of the question.

      So Israel is stuck with millions of very angry, hopeless humans who will make the lives of Israelis dangerous each and every day, no matter how brutal Israel becomes. Keep in mind the Nazi were extremely brutal, but no matter how many people they killed, the resistance fighters still killed German soldiers and blew up lots of German stuff.

      The Israel;is have painted themselves into a corner where there is ONLY (repeat ONLY) one long term solution - the land west of the Jordan River becomes a multi-ethnic secular (not Jewish or Muslim) state where Jews are a large MINORITY.

      No matter how many non-Jews the Israelis kill, the situation will only get worse for them. Eventually Israel is going to suffer from a "brain drain" because people with high skill levels can easily move to other parts of the globe and rent out their brains.

      The Israelis did NOT think through the long term implications when they started the "settler project." They appear to have thought it would go just like the USA Manifest Destiny" with out looking at how that actually turned out (for example, the displaced people are full USA citizens and can live and work anywhere in the USA).

      In a fairly short time, Israelis are going to discover just how badly they have screwed themselves.

  • With Fall of Aleppo, will a Russo-Iranian Middle East challenge Trump?
    • Non nuclear "bunker busters" have to rely on kinetic energy and very large explosive packages to make any meaningful dent in hundreds of feet of earth. The bombs have to have VERY LARGE mass (weight for non-scientific folk) and thousands of pounds of shaped High Explosives. This means only a very large, high-lift aircraft like a USA B-52 can carry a "bunker buster."

      Israel does NOT have any large aircraft other than some aging re-fuelers and some medium cargo aircraft. None of the fighter aircraft can carry a "bunker buster."

      Note that ALL of the Israeli aircraft have very little hope of surviving long enough to get to Iran since Iran has Russian S-300 and their own clones of the Russian S-400 (even more deadly). In addition, Iran has two other layers of anti-aircraft defenses. Attacking Iran by air is a very dangerous "adventure" that the IDF and USAF leadership fear.

      The article is just more technology BS from the popular press where writers do NOT have even a high school understanding of physics and vastly over-hype the stuff they write. As a technologist that has helped invent some of the stuff they write about, I am well aware just how BAD most writers are when it comes to technology.

      Sure, Israel can attack Iran, BUT they will lose a lot of aircraft and pilots in the process.

      Israel (like the USA) has wasted lots of money on high-tech toys, whereas Iran has carefully studied both countries and developed defensive technology that will make all those high-tech war toys fail. Given how cheap very advanced technology is today, it does not cost very much to make weapons that will defeat the USA/Israel.

      BTW - Although the Saudis might want to help Israel, they are well aware just how vulnerable they are to counter attacks from Iran. Iran has the capability to easily destroy ALL of Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, stopping most oil exports from KSA. Oil infrastructure is ALL hand built by experts that are in very short supply and there is no infrastructure just sitting around as back-up. If Israel attacks and Iran retaliates against KSA, KSA will be out of business for at least 6 months if not many years.

    • Israel has not developed any non-nuclear "bunker busting" bombs because it does not have the lift capability to deliver them to Iran.

      In fact, Israel has no capacity to attack Iran using conventional weapons in any significant way and if it tried, it could lose as much as half its air force. Iran has a very deadly multi-layer air defense system that can even take out USA B-52 and B-2 and USA cruise missiles, so knocking Israelis aircraft from the sky would be easy.

      Why do you think Israel has never tried to attack Iran? The reason is the IDF leadership sat Bibi down and whacked him up side the head with actual FACTS and told him to shut his mouth. This is why Bibi wants the USA to attack Iran, so it is the USA losing lots of aircraft and military.

      BTW - ALL the USA/Iran war simulations done by the USA so far, show the USA losing badly. A USA war with Iran would bankrupt the USA and get tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of Americans killed.

      Although the USA politicians are full of delusional hubris, the USA military leadership appears to understand just how dangerous to the USA picking a fight with Iran could be.

  • Why Trump's nominee for envoy to Israel is Setting off Alarm Bells
    • "Be real careful what you wish for."

      Israel has "won," in that there will never be a Palestinian state, but what exactly have they "won?"

      Israel now effectively has all the land west of the Jordan River, BUT that land has millions of non-Jews that Israel can not export or kill - NOW WHAT?

      Initially under trump, Israel will have carte blanc to do whatever they want, but over time, Israeli actions are going to cause problems for every Muslim leader around the world, especially in the middle east and that trouble is going to blow-back on the USA.

      Trump supporters are clearly "America first," which means eventually Israel is going to be thrown overboard when Americans feel that Israel is making their lives worse. Note that it appears that many trump folks base their decisions on "feelings" NOT FACTS, so once the feelings turn against Israel , Israel is going overboard because above all, trump NEEDS the adoration of millions.

      Right now trump is listening to the people with agendas, but over time, as his popularity decreases, possibly by large amounts, trump will shift position and follow the lead of his supporters because if he loses them, congress might turn in 2018 and he would be in worse shape than Obama has been over the last eight years. Trump does NOT want to lose in 2020, so he will follow his supporters not the people he has hired.

      Trump will make a LOT of very basic mistakes and will get whacked a bunch of times, looking so much like a loser that not even ferocious spinning on twitter can make him look good, but trump has shown willingness to pretend bad decisions were not his and to throw some people overboard to make himself look good. Israel can NOT count on trump being on their side if he starts "losing" because of Israel.

      Israel is on the top of the heap at the moment, but that could quickly change and leave them all alone on the earth. Israel's future is NOT set from here on and it could find itself in deep trouble real quick.

  • Trump won b/c we Let ourselves be Divided & Conquered: Standing Rock was the Opposite
    • While Clinton ran a terrible campaign, the assumption that Sanders would have beaten Trump is not on very solid ground, especially since trump would have gone "full bulldog" on sanders just like he did on Clinton.

      I think no matter who the democrats put forth, they would have lost the "rust belt" because the people living there are extremely depressed because their world view has been shattered and rather than deal with REALITY, they want "magic miracles" which are NOT going to happen, which they will discover over the next four years.

      I do not know of any democrat that would be willing to LIE to the" rusties" like trump did.

      The "rusties" are not interested in real world solutions like working hard to get new skills and moving to where the jobs are, accepting the shifting of power and the decreasing relevance of religion. Instead, they want their old lives back where they had privileges just because they were white Christians.

      It is a classic "power shift" situation where the losers fight and lose badly rather than adapt.

      To see how this might end nationally, look at how the republicans are completely impotent in California. The republicans have lots of land area, but few humans and eventually the majority humans are going to rebel against minority rule and whack the republicans hard. The rural people are making their future ugly by not accommodating the shift in power today, but then again, no humans have ever given up power without getting it beat out of them.

      Instead of beating the Bernie drum, look at the EMOTIONAL situation of the states that went for trump - they are really messed up.

  • Trump's Jerusalem embassy Move an Invitation to Terrorism: 9/11 Provoked in part by Israeli Occupation
    • The two-state "solution" is physically IMPOSSIBLE now and the Israelis have no idea what to do next.

      Their wish is that all the non-Jews (Muslims, Christians, etc.) just "magically" disappear, but that is NOT going to happen because the non-Jews are NOT physically going anywhere because they have no place to go.

      What country on earth would be willing to take millions of poor people? Certainly NOT the USA which doesn't want fully vetted Syrians, let alone Palestinians. Heck, Americans don't even like their fellow citizens that appear to be non-white or non-Christian Certainly not Europe that is straining to deal with the Syrians. Certainly not any of the Arab countries that are already dealing with massive decolonization problems.

      So, you have high-lighted the BIG problem Israel has - the non-Jews are staying, so what does Israel do with them to "keep the lid on?"

      If Israel tries to suppress the non-Jews, they will indeed explode and destroy Israel.

      If Israel tries to integrate the non-Jews, Israel will rapidly become a non-Jewish state where Jewish people are slightly less than a majority.

      The bottom line is Israelis did NOT do any long term thinking when they started the settler project. They thought they could just do like the Americans did - shove the original inhabitants aside and take the land. It was obvious from the start that the old USA "manifest destiny" model would not work, but Israelis had no other plan, so they just kept on, and now are stuck at a dead end with no viable plan.

    • Basic math, basic economics and the historical constant shifting of power around the globe says that Israel will lose over time and the USA will lose because it picked the "wrong side."

      While the middle east Muslims are still going through the decolonization process and fighting each other for power, eventually the power structures will be worked out and the Muslim against Muslim conflict will stop. Then the Muslims will focus their anger on Israel and Israel can not win that war over the long term.

      The cost of that war for the USA will be huge and Americans will quickly tire of the war and throw Israel overboard.

      If Israel continues on the path of ethnically cleansing Jerusalem of Muslims and if the temple mount is violated, then Israel will not only be dealing with the Arab and Persian Muslims, but the other billion or so Muslims around the globe.

      The numbers just do not look good for Israel and even threatening the globe with nuclear weapons will backfire on Israel.

      Israel is marching down the path to their own destruction because of total hubris.

  • Sorry, Trump, you can't bring back Coal when Solar costs half as Much
    • The old model guys are losing in Africa and in China because the the distributed energy and communications technologies cost a LOT LESS than the older models and are much quicker to implement.

      One of my friends was instrumental in getting cell service throughout large parts of Nigeria using "cell in a box" technology because the costs were lower and the implementation was faster than trying to build a traditional wired phone and data network. "Cell in a box" consists of a complete cell site in a 40' shipping container. Just throw up an ugly tower with cell antennas and digital microwave, a diesel generator and a big fuel tank and the cell site is working. It can take less than two days to have a working cell site anywhere it is needed. My friend's company handles financial transactions via the data channel on the cell system and apps on smart phones.

      It is similar for per-packaged solar harvest and storage units.

      Basically many countries and cultures are leap-frogging the older technologies and going directly to distributed communications and energy and there is a LOT of creative energy being applied to make that happen.

    • The USA electrical grid is not designed for remote power sources.

      How do you get power from remote wind turbines to the big cities economically?

      California found that it had to build a whole new grid structure to get the solar farm power from the deserts to "nearby" LA.

      BUT that power can not get to SF because the grid backbone through the central valley does not have the capacity and no commercial company is willing to make the investment. Since California is a "liberal" state it may eventually upgrade the central valley backbone . . .

      or the state may just decide to favor individual home and business power generation instead of large plants.

      In any case, coal workers would have to move to where the jobs are, leaving coal country forever, further depopulating that part of the USA. Right now the older coal workers are extremely resistant to moving, and deeply resent that their kids are leaving for jobs.

    • As I noted above, it is now possible to completely disconnect from the grid without spending a fortune.

      As more people disconnect, the costs for those still connected to the grid will definitely go up, causing more people to disconnect, and ht cycle will continue until the grid is nearly empty.

    • If you can build things, you can already build a very nice solar and wind energy harvesting system along with a reliable storage system to make you completely independent of the local utility.

      All the information about . .

      - how to buy and install solar panel arrays

      - how to buy and install wind generators

      - how to build and install a "Li-ion power wall"

      Are all well documented on the web.

    • TWO Curves . . .

      - Technology capability, especially solid state type of technology, has a very steep (almost exponential) INCREASING capability curve. We humans have now done this enough, that the development cycles now rapidly optimize the capability of the technology. For example . . . (1) at one time the NSA/CIA custom made every image sensor used in their spy equipment, now they buy off-the-shelf because the high-end digital camera market is so competitive and has had so many product iterations, the companies have now optimized the image sensors to be better than anything the NSA/CIA can custom build. (2) At one time, it took a super computer weeks to decode DNA, I have a friend that is working on an extremely complex chip set that will decode DNA in a matter of minutes. They have already done several iterations and each iteration gets faster and better. When the chips are done they will sell for thousands, not millions.

      - Technology cost has a somewhat less steep DECREASING cost. That is, as the capability increases, the cost decreases. This is why 8GB of memory now costs less than 8KB in less than 20 years.

      The energy harvesting technology will just continue to decrease in cost over the next ten years until it becomes almost free.

      The technology that is slower is the energy storage technology, but I suspect that because the market is growing so fast and is so competitive, multiple low cost ways to store energy will be developed.

      Coal is a "buggy whip" industry. It will never go away entirely, but the uses for coal will decrease until it is a "boutique" business with very few companies or employees.

      In the real world, the smart people see the handwriting on the wall and develop new skills and move to where the skills are needed, unemotionally abandoning their past. The rest of the people ignore the signs and cling to their delusions until the inevitable future hits them in the face with a baseball bat and they collapse in emotional despair.

      Coal has no future right now and soon oil and gas will have no future except for petrochemicals.

      Between technology eliminating most human labor (jobs) and making energy almost free, human social structures are going to be severely stressed over the next few years.

    • Good idea but . . .

      - many coal miners do not have sufficient basic education to even begin the process of learning to install solar which needs good mechanical and electrical training.

      - Most of the solar jobs are NOT in coal country but in large population centers and many coal miners seem reluctant to leave their "traditional" homes (although many coal miners are descendants of people that migrated to coal country).

      - Large solar plants are less efficient than small house/business solar plants.

      - The USA power grid is not designed to carry electricity from dispersed solar generation sites to cities. This has been the problem in California where the grid had to be extended into the deserts to allow the use of large solar plants. Putting solar arrays on top of remote mountain tops would be even more inefficient because a vast grid would need to be built.

      The bottom line is the coal miners are screwed unless they can convince their republican states to massively retrain them and help them move to where the jobs are - how soon do you think that will happen?


  • Trump Taps Man More Far-Right Than Netanyahu to Be Israel Envoy
    • Sorry you got stuck paying for that junk.

      Although trump is WRONG about just about everything, he is quite correct about the F-35. In the long term, the F-35 is going to seen as a massive, extremely expensive failure.

    • I have asked this before, but no one has answered . . .

      What is Israels long term goal and why do they think they will succeed?

      Israelis might want to think about their 2000+ year history where they had a long memory and eventually forcibly took over Palestine. What is to prevent the Arabs to do the reverse and drive the Israelis back out? The Israelis might also note that all the previous European invaders were eventually driven out.

      I agree that in the short term, Israelis have "won." but what exactly have they "won" and how long before they lose everything?

      So what happens when Israelis fully ethnically cleanse all the land west of the Jordan River of all non-Jews. Will that really be the end or the beginning of the defeat and humiliation for the Israelis?

      Based on how power constantly flows around the globe and how few resources Israel has, especially in a worlds where there is an excess amount of labor, I do not see a very good future for Israel.

  • Trump's plan to drown World in Oil is a Planetary Nightmare
    • The "natural" trade blocks are fairly obvious.

      This is based on transportation costs and existing relationships. Just looking at the globe, the "natural" trade blocks are":

      - Europe but not including Russia. Russia does not fit very well with either the European nor Asian block.

      - Asia lead by China and including Australia which has finally figured out it is an Asian country not a European one. India, may chose to have its own smaller block because of the Himalaya barrier

      - Americas lead by the USA with Canada reluctantly being dragged along.

      - Africa which is still dealing with decolonization, therefore a "lessor" block.

      - Middle east minus Israel, because Israel pretends that it is a "European " country - The Europeans may not agree with Israel who could get left out of all the blocks.

      - As I noted above, India may choose to be a smaller block, but then they would have to figure out how to reconcile with Pakistan.

      Note that because of technology displacing human labor, these blocks have very few major resources that the others might trade for.

      If the world does degrade into trading blocks, the standard of living for most people will decline. Yes, the USA would have to restart manufacturing, BUT that will be mostly robots, not humans. If a business is going to have to start from nothing, why not just build the "best" robotic factory instead of re-using old inefficient infrastructure.

    • There are a few "minor" economic problems with trying to flood the world with carbon based energy . . .

      - Humans have already used up all the carbon energy that is economical to extract, which means going forward, every unit of carbon energy we use, will cost more than the previous unit.

      - BUT . . . when a there is an over-abundance of a product, the price has to decline and in the case of carbon energy, the price rapidly drops below the extraction cost even when most of the extraction is done with robots (so much for more jobs). This means that carbon energy companies go bankrupt.

      - Then there are those two annoying technology curves (rapidly increasing capability simultaneous with rapidly decreasing cost). Meaning that as carbon energy has increasing costs, solar energy is rapidly decreasing in cost. In the not too distant future, carbon energy will not be competitive no matter how much there is.

      - Right now, coal is NOT competitive with natural gas or solar which is why some many users are switching. This is why there is zero chance of more jobs in coal, the product is not competitive and what coal that can be sold can easily be obtained using robots or mountain top strip-mining.

      Basically technology is changing the world so fast that many old industries are losing their markets and dying with carbon energy being one of them.

      I could be snarky and point out that trump has surrounded himslef with so many people that want war, he might solve the whole global warming situation by nuking a bunch of places and creating a nuclear winter (with terrible smog).

  • 2/3s of Palestinians think 2-state solution doomed & 52% say Trump Should stay out of Mideast
    • Which brings up an interesting problem . . .

      One of these days, Abbas is going to die (we all do), then what?

      I do not see anyone that could win an "election" in Palestine that would be even marginally acceptable to the USA/Israel and if USA/Israel just anointed a new "leader" the person will have zero ability to actually lead and defacto Palestinian leaders will emerge that are even worse for USA/Israel than an elected leader.

      The USA/Israel really have painted themselves into a terrible corner with only bad future choices.

  • No, America, it wasn't Russia: You did it to Yourself
    • American politicians are loath to bring up "industrial policy" because: socialism, the magical "bad word" that close to zero Americans can actually understand.

    • So they failed math and now have trump's even worse fakery.

      It was obvious from day one that the math said that every vote that was not for Clinton was a vote for trump.

      Those were the ONLY (yes ONLY) two choices, so

      - a vote for Clinton was a vote for Clinton

      - a vote for trump was a vote for trump

      - a vote for any other person, living or dead or fictional, was a vote for trump.

      - a non-vote was a vote for trump.

      Why is it so hard for people to understand the simple electoral math?

      Wishing for a "better" candidate was as ridiculous as cutting your own throat.

    • You say . .

      "this country appears to be headed to civil war."

      Actually we have had a defacto "civil war" for decades. It has just become much more visible lately.

      The simple reality is white "Christians" have been losing power for decades (very rightly in my opinion and I am a privileged white).

      This just follows a 5000 year flow of power through human groups. That is, humans make a group and take power away from other humans, then another group forms and takes power away from the first group. and so on and so on for all time. The powerful group at any one point in time ALWAYS loses that power, usually forcibly. There are very few times in history when a human group with power willingly and peacefully gave up power.

      In the end, the USA white "Christians" can NOT win this civil war, but that doesn't mean they will not make things very bad for everyone for a while.

      This election is the "last gasp" of the white "Christians" who will inevitably vastly over-reach and alienate most of the population, since the white "Christians" are actually a MINORITY in the USA.

      Hopefully it will not get too bloody.

  • How China will run rings around Trump on Green Energy, and Win Big
    • Keep in mind that Chinese intellectual property is increasing at a very fast pace due to the Chinese government paying very generously for new research whereas the USA government and USA companies are starving research for funding (eating the seed corn - penny wise and dollar foolish).

      In the long term, USA companies will have to "steal" a lot more Chinese intellectual property than Chinese companies have ever stolen from the USA. BTW - most of the western IP that Chinese companies use was GIVEN to the Chinese by "western" companies, NOT stolen.

    • Since I have done a lot of business in China, I have seen first hand how skewed the USA media is when it comes to China.

      This is probably more out of ignorance by USA media than something nefarious. Americans are somewhat blinded by their own superiority complex and lack of curiosity about the rest of the world.

      This lack of curiosity means that Americans have not kept up with the very fast 50 year transformation of China from an agrarian society into a world-class technology powerhouse where hundreds of thousands of engineers graduate every year from very rigorous universities. That is, the degrees actually have substance behind them. I have co-developed product with these graduates and they are darn intelligent, but you would never know that from the USA media.

      Also Americans have zero understanding of the 5000 year Chinese culture. Once a person understands that China has had a very vibrant "merchant" class (entrepreneurial middle class) for most of that 5000 years, the current transformation becomes more obvious.

      Sure the Chinese government is more dictatorial, but it also tends to do things that benefit the most people.

      In other words, USA media is stuffed full of long obsolete stereotypes and a complete lack of balance and a total lack of desire to correct the many media faults because doing so would upset far to many Americans who would have to completely re-do their own world views.

      Americans hate to think they are mere humans and that other people on earth are their equals so they hang onto their delusions as hard as possible. We can't entirely fault USA media for wanting to avoid angering their consumers (and losing revenue).

      So not "fake news," just pure ignorance and fear.

    • Cars are not generally a great thing to export because they weigh a lot and take up lots of volume, although they can generally tolerate a long shipping time.

      The latest quote I have to ship a 40' container from China to the USA west coast is about US$1800 which implies that a car would cost about US$900 just in shipping.

      This is why non-USA car brands often end up building their cars in wage suppression USA states, using as many robots and as few humans as possible.

      That being said, China will undoubtedly use their laws to skew car production toward EV over gas powered cars in the coming years. Chinese companies do not have heavily entrenched processes like USA and European car brands and have a huge talent pool of engineers, so they will probably produce some excellent EV cars in the near future.

      Given how large the Chinese middle class is (almost as big as the ENTIRE USA population), I would not be surprised to see Chinese car brands ignore the USA market and concentrate just on Asia where lots of customers are.

      Again the USA will lose out.

  • White Terrorism in the White House? Did Trump's Bannon, Breitbart inspire Pizzeria Shooter?
    • A large number of the "flyover" folks are scared out of their minds because society is changing faster than they can deal with.

      When faced with the choice to either, very painfully give up their delusions and completely re-do their world view, or to simply ignore the reality that is extremely frightening, they choose to ignore reality.

      But to do that, they have to construct a complex delusion that accounts for reality.

      Unfortunately for these extremely delusional people, the delusions keep getting harder to construct because reality becomes more intrusive.

      Eventually reality will overwhelm the delusions leading to a full emotional breakdown.

      It is sad when people can't handle reality, but society has few mechanism to deal with mass delusion.

      I don't know the answer, but I do know that as the "flyover" areas depopulate, part of the problem will literally die off.

  • John Kerry slams Israeli settlement expansion and proposed 'formalization' bill
    • Long term, this will come back to bite Israel real, real hard,


      I see no evidence that there is anyone in Israel with enough brains to understand this.

      Yes, Israel will end up with all the land west of the Jordan River for a few years, BUT they will also have created a very deadly, long term enemy base that "will never forget."

      Israel has very limited resources and can not sustain a long term war even with USA help (not guaranteed over the long term).

      Yes, Israel has lots of "intellectual resources" but as the folks in Silicon Valley quickly figured out, those brains walk out the door every night and when (not if) Israel becomes too unsafe to live, most of those "intellectual resources" will simply leave, destroying the Israeli economy.

      Short term, Israel will "win" something, but over the long term , they are sealing their doom.

  • Denialist GOP House "Science Committee" Retweets Fake News Breitbart
    • This is just a continuation of thousands of years of primitive human behavior.

      As Arthur C Clark notes:

      "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

      In other words, all the scientific advances we have today don't impress the natives, but scares the sh*t out of them because to accept the results of the technology REQUIRES them to drastically re-think their world view and realize much of they they believe is false.

      Most people have a tenuous grasp on the world as it is, and being forced to actually think about reality hurts far more than just denying reality.

      Basically, most humans do not think but only react emotionally. I see this all the time with clients when discussing computer operating systems. Since I have deep understanding of the three major operating systems, I know that all three are 99% technically identical and that any decision about an operating system is purely an emotional one. People will defend their choice of an operating system with virulent emotions.

      There have been many human behavior studies that have shown that when people are confronted with actual facts that invalidate their emotionally held world view they completely ignore the facts and "double down" on their invalid beliefs. Facts will not change these people's views, but I have not seen any methods to directly change the emotions of a group of people (Psychiatry/Psychology does have techniques to help individuals in therapy change their world view after confronting their inappropriate thinking, but even these are not always successful).

      Science is complex and not understandable in detail by most humans so most people react with deep emotional distrust. That is, The "magic" scares the primitives and no one knows how to calmly reason with them.

  • Israeli Occupation economically suffocates Palestinian East Jerusalem
    • What is Israel's "end game?"

      Do they really think if they mistreat the non-Jews living west of the Jordan River bad enough, the non-Jews will simply disappear without any long term consequences for Israel?

      Israelis should remember their own history - they wandered the earth for over 2000 years before they forcibly took over Palestine. Do they really think that the non- Jews they are trying to drive out will simply "forget?"

      Israel has limited resources and it will have less in the future, so their eventual defeat is very likely. Then what? thousands of more years wandering the wilderness?

      I realize that the Jewish want to have a unique identity and a place to call their own, BUT the way they are trying to do that will destroy them in the end.

      From what I can see, there are almost zero "sane heads" in Israel and they appear to be rushing down the path to slow genocide with no thought to the eventual "blowback."

      This will not turn out the way Israelis think it will and I suspect that future generations Of Israelis will deeply regret what Israel does today.

      In the grand scheme of world power, Israel is almost powerless and without its patroon, USA, it would have collapsed years ago. Based on what trump has done so far, the USA will not be able to protect Israel for much longer because the USA is going to be in deep economic and military trouble. So what happens when (not if) the USA throws Israel overboard? the world could very quickly become a very ugly place for Israelis.

      But what do I now? I am just some dumb guy in the USA that has studied global power flow and human behavior over the last several thousand years. What I do know is that humans show surprisingly consistent stupid and bad behavior and power NEVER stays in one place very long - it is impossible to hold on to power - it always gets ripped from your hands.

      It will be interesting from a long term human history perspective to watch this tragedy play out.

  • Now that SecDef thinks Israeli Occupation is Apartheid, will the Lobby Blackballing Fail?
    • There is ZERO possibility of a two-state solution any more.

      For there to be a two-state solution, there would need to be enough contiguous, fertile, usable land available for the state of Palestine to survive, let alone thrive. As of today, it is physically IMPOSSIBLE to do that unless Israel is willing to FORCIBLY move almost a million Jewish people, which will NOT happen. Israel has almost a million Jewish people settled throughout the entire area that would be needed for Palestine.

      Israel has painted itself into an apartheid corner with their foolish settlement project.

      It appears that the Israelis thought they could pull the same ethnic cleansing stunt the European invaders did in North America, but they were 400 years too late. The locals learned a lot from the American experiment. The Israelis also "forgot " what happened to the many previous European invasions of the middle east (or they arrogantly thought they would succeed where millions of others failed).

      So now Israel has an untenable situation that they can get out of, without MAJOR pain for them.

      Long term there are ONLY two possible scenarios:

      - Apartheid with "moderate" levels of killing on both sides almost continuously. This is extremely unstable so it will eventually end with Israel being defeated.

      - BI-national state with everyone equal. That is a Muslim state with a very large Jewish population (less than 50% though).

      The Israeli have screwed themselves and will have a bad future no matter what they do.

      I have a question for all those still talking about a two-state solution - can't you do the math? Can't you read a map? When has a group of humans ever given up power without a fight?

    • Iran does NOT have "imperialistic ambitions."

      What Iran has, is a healthy distrust of the USA and Israel which are both EXTREMELY BELLIGERENT toward Iran. Iran has been carefully designing deadly anti-invasion defenses for over 30 years because USA and Israeli belligerence.

      Israel does not like Iran because Iran is sufficiently powerful enough, even without any nuclear weapons, to tell Israel to "go suck on a lemon." Why do you think Israel has not attacked Iran?

      It is because the IDF whacked the politicians up side the head and told them Israel would get its head handed to it in humiliating defeat. Why do you think the USA has not attacked Iran?

      It is because the USA intelligence community KNOWS how powerful Iran is and the USA military has not been able to come up with a war scenario where the USA does not get humiliated and defeated. All of the war simulations so far have the USA being terribly defeated.

      There are a bunch of very bruised egos in Israel and USA BUT Iran has NO "imperialistic ambitions."

      What Iran has is successful defiance of the USA and Israel which makes other Muslim nations jealous and fearful of their own populations (think the Saudis).

      In the real world, the USA, Israel and the Saudis are the "bad guys" not Iran.

  • Too bad, Trump: As EVs take off, Dirty Petroleum in Death Spiral
    • Renewable energy will follow the same exponential technology curve we have seen repeatedly for many other product categories.

      I don't know when renewable energy will "hockey stick" (follow a nice adoption curve until one day adoption just shoots up), but it will not be very far into the future.

      The only drag on the adoption is energy storage, so that the daily energy that rains down on the world can be used during times when the energy is not available or for transportation. Battery technology is running up against basic chemistry and nuclear physics brick walls, BUT there may be ways to re-think the situation to minimize the "brick walls." For example, we could harvest solar photonic energy via massive solar arrays and then get hydrogen from sea water. Someday, we may even be able to figure out how to harvest excess CO2 from the atmosphere and make artificial liquid "gasoline" for transportation.

      The earth and sun produce far more "free" energy than humans can ever use, so the technical problem today is how to harvest and store that energy and humans are well on the way to doing just that.

      BTW - primary energy sources (from a human perspective) are:

      - Direct solar photonic energy (derived from the fusion process).

      - Solar derived energy - that is, wind and hydro.

      - Gravitational energy of tides - that is, harvesting energy from the movement of large bodies.

      - Earth's internal heat

  • Trump's Pentagon Hunger Games: The Generals "haven't done the job."
    • Yes, the USA is in a defacto civil war, but in the long term, the south will be defeated once again (along with the rest of the "flyover areas").

      Trump and his small band of merry idiots are the last gasp of the white, rural people. They will lose in the end as the situation in California demonstrates.

      At one time, California was a rural economy and conservatives ruled. Then several public initiatives somewhat leveled the election field and the prosperous population centers started taking over. Now the rural areas are essential powerless. They are angry about it, but they were unwilling to compromise over decades, so they are now just ignored.

      All the republicans actually control these days is vast areas of nearly vacant real estate (Montana, etc). Republicans do not control the major prosperous population centers. This disparity is going to explode one of these days and the population centers are going to "win" and just like with California, because the republicans were so unwilling to compromise, they will be swept aside.

      A MAJOR problem in the USA is lack of long term thinking and the republicans are exceedingly poor at thinking beyond their noses. In the end demographics and wealth will win and republicans have chosen the wrong side in the long term war.

      Trump and the republicans are CURRENTLY in control, but they will vastly over-reach and doom themselves to eventual failure.

      The results will be very ugly, but as evolution shows, eventually the organism recovers.

    • The USA can NOT "win" quite simply because that would mean spending all the USA treasure and getting millions of USA citizens under 40 killed.

      To "win" a war requires that the "winner" totally subjugate the "loser" and impose major social structure changes (similar to what the USA did in Japan after WW2). Imposing major social changes requires a massive ground force and trillions of dollars. Very little of that treasure would be available from the "losers" as their country would be a pile of rubble, so that treasure would need to come from the USA taxpayers and because the USA middle class is shrinking, the bulk of the taxes would have to be paid by the wealthy and businesses, just like during WW2.

      There is a very good reason congress has avoided declaring war since WW2 - the costs (treasure, lives and POLITICAL) are just too high. This is why there is no draft and Rummy tried to do the Afghan and Iraq wars on the cheap and off the books - there is no political will to actually do what is needed to win.

      If trumpet tries to "win", he is going to run into the same brick wall as Obama - Americans are unwilling to commit to war because the costs at home are too high and all the generals KNOW THIS.

  • Will Trump cancel Iran deal or practice the Art of the Deal?
    • Actually, USA weapons are no better and in the case of the F-35, much, much worse than the weapons available form many other non-USA sources.

    • The Chinese "middle class" is estimated to be half to three-quarters the size of the ENTIRE USA POPULATION! Also the Chinese "middle class" is growing at an extremely fast rate while the USA is doing everything it can to SHRINK the USA "middle class" as fast as possible.

      That is, if the USA fell off the edge of the earth, China would survive economically. The USA market is just a secondary market to Chinese companies these days. Asia is about 60% of the entire potential consumer market and the USA is less than 5%.

      While the Chinese government is well aware of the dangers of automation and how it will effect society, and is planning on ways to deal with it, the USA completely fails to understand this MAJOR problem.

      Basically China has 5000 years of experience with governance whereas the USA has been screwing things up for less than 300 years.

      The USA can not win this battle.

  • Trump, Putin, and the new Middle East
    • The USA can not "contain" Iran because no one will go along with that plan except Israel and Saudi Arabia.

      Everyone else on earth will gleefully trade with Iran and use the new Chinese sponsored financial trading system to do it with no possible interference from teh USA.

      The old USA anti-Iran coalition is long gone and the USA is once again alone shouting into the void.

      The USA has fired all its bullets when it comes to Iran and has nothing left to fire except the potus mouth.

  • Will Turkey leave NATO for Sino-Russian Shanghai Cooperation Council?
    • China is well aware of how to manage a chaotic world because they have been doing it for 5000 years.

      Read Sun Tzu's "the Art of War" if you have not already done so (there are excellent English translations available for free on the web).

      The USA is a arrogant middle school kid compared to China. As long as China gets the resources it wants and no Chinese citizens are hurt, China does not care what dictators do to their own citizens nor to adjoining countries, BUT if a small country upsets China, the Chinese have no problem "fixing" the problem quickly and if necessary violently.

  • Will Trump bolster the Military-Industrial Complex?
    • Armed drones of all sizes have either been prototyped or are in production.

      Air-frames are capable of withstanding far more stresses than a human can. If an aircraft ever approached its mechanical stress limits, the human inside would be a puddle of jelly, so it is perfectly logical to eliminate the human inside.

      Note also that outside the USA , the government sets the price it will pay native weapons makers, so they get their toys for much lower cost and complexity than the USA, where private greed ensures there is lots of complexity to hide huge profits.

    • @William - there are so many basic design flaws in the F-35 that they will never be "worked out." There is no such thing as a "versatile" aircraft. The best aircraft are ones that are purpose deigned for a particular mission.

      Why do you thing Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, etc offer so many different models of commercial aircraft? To minimize the cost and complexity by matching the aircraft to the mission. Yes their aircraft often share components but the designs are focused on distinct mission.

      The F-35 is a kludge mess of massive design compromises so it will cost far too much and do no mission well or even adequately.

      Your thinking about non-USA aircraft is dated, myopic and flat out wrong. The days when the "best" stuff came from the USA are LONG, LONG GONE and smart buyers are well aware they can get better stuff for less from non-USA sources.

      After trump insults most of the world's leaders, there will be no market for the F-35.

      BTW - do you really think the competitors are going to sit around and wait for the F-35 to eventually fly in 2050? They are selling reliable good hardware right now.

    • Actually - the F-35 will not be a viable export aircraft due to its high costs and very bad flight characteristics. So far, the only fools to think about using them are the Israelis and I suspect they will regret that decision over time.

      China, Russia, Europe all have much better, cheaper aircraft for sale.

      But you are very correct that they designed the supply chain to minimize the chance that congress would kill it.

      As I noted, I do not expect that the F-35 will be killed for several years (it will eventually die after the costs become untenable and enough pilots get killed), I just pointed out it SHOULD be killed.

    • One real quick way to save some money is CANCEL the F-35 program.

      Some of the HARD lessons I have learned over the years designing lots of different types of technology . . .

      - Complexity leads to massive failure - The F-35 is massively complex because they threw in everything including the kitchen sink and the Drano.

      - Targeted, focused products are ALWAYS better than multi-purpose products - By trying to design one aircraft to meet hundreds of different mission profiles, the aircraft is terrible at all mission profiles. One of the lessons Iran learned is, to make "good enough," focused weapons systems - this leads to excellent performance for very low cost.

      - Stable systems always perform better - the F-35 is aerodynamically unstable without the real-time computer control - As noted in point #1, these control systems will fail (computers always fail because it is impossible to test every possible scenario).

      The bottom line is it would be far, far better and cheaper to make several much less complex aircraft that are targeted to specific mission.

      Mark my words, the F-35 aircraft will fail a lot and be on the ground (or carrier deck) more than it is in the air.

      There are lots of USA and European companies that can supply very adequate aircraft almost "off-the-shelf" for far less than the F-35.

      The F-35 is the worse combination of bad product design and HUGE cost over-runs.

      It is long past time to quit throwing good money at this worthless project.

      Of course, I know my little rant will be ignored because the fly-boys must have their bright shiny new toys no matter the cost. Of course when the planes start killing the fly-boys, they may wish for a more stable plane.

  • 5 Trump Headlines more outrageous than the "Hamilton" Tiff
    • I disagree completely.

      When you pay to see a performance you just have to accept that not everything will be to your liking. If you don't like the performance, just quietly leave.

      It is not rude to confront a tyrant.

    • Actually the whole idea of theater is to get people to think, so presenting an "afterword" is perfectly OK.

      If people don't want to have to deal with the message of a performance, do not buy a ticket.

      Note also that one of the foundations of this counrtry is the ability to speak our mind in a public setting. As you saying that the performers don't have that right? I find it somewhat hypocritical of you to be unhappy about the performers of a play about basic liberties speaking their mind to a politician.

      In reality we need to confront trump, pence and the rest of the "merry band" whenever and wherever we can.

  • Bad Rain Falling: Who's to Blame for our Trump Catastrophe?
    • A non-vote is actually a vote!

      As has been well documented a non-action is the same as an action.

      As Gandhi noted:

      "Actions express priorities"

      When people do not vote, their ACTION is expressing a desire for whatever the actual voters decide, no indifference.

    • Yes!

      it is mathematically impossible for a third party candidate to win a national election.

      You may not like the math, but math ALWAYS WINS no matter what your fantasies.

      If you want something different, then you will have to reform one of the major parties from the inside.

      CGP Grey explains it all . . .

      link to

      Note that there are ways to reform the political process so it is more open (see CGP Greys other videos)

      BUT .. . .

      neither dominate party has any incentive to change the rules, nor set up non-gerrymandered districts.

      I learned long ago to deal with reality instead of fantasies because reality ALWAYS WINS in the end..

  • Will Trump do a deal with Iran or try to Overthrow its Government?
    • Trump strikes me as a dummy that is easily manipulated by people he "trusts."

      While I would hope he would try to "deal" with Iran, I anticipate he will go the war route fairly quickly. This is very possible because the congress critters in the last few decades have totally ignored their constitutional duties and have let administrations just kill whoever they want whenever they want.

      There are still a lot of bruised egos in Washington that are angry that Iran threw out the USA puppet and has successfully ignored the USA boycotts for decades. Unfortunately these bruised egos VASTLY overestimate the USA military capability against Iran (even after the massive defeats the USA has suffered since Vietnam).

      Iran has been extremely paranoid about a USA attack and for the last 30+ years has built a very deadly, multi-layer defensive structure that will kill LOTS of Americans if we attack. Any attack on Iran will cost the USA huge amounts of blood and treasure and the USA will eventually have to withdraw in defeat.

      This is assuming that Russia and/or China don't come to Iran's defense. If Russia and/or China enter the war, the USA is completely toast and will no longer be a world power.

      Iran is NOT the weakling that the dummies in Washington think it is. It has excellent defensive weapons designed to make the lives of invading Americans short and meaningless. Iran has carefully chosen weapons that have 3X to 100X the "bang for the buck" that American weapons have, meaning that Iran can spend a lot less and still be able to defeat the USA.

      Attacking Iran would be vastly more deadly for the USA than the Vietnam war and the Afghan wars combined (remember we are still dying and losing in Afghanistan).

      The USA has reached the limits of its military power so dealing is a better option, but as we have repeatedly seen USA egos can not accept reality so they continue to waste what little wealth we have left, on more wars.

      This next war will NOT end well for the USA.

      If the people in the flyover states are unhappy with their lot in life now, BOY will they be unhappy after trumper gets the USA defeated in Iran.

  • Will Trump really be Isolationist? Or will he March us to War?
    • Any USA air attack on Iran will just get lots of USA airman killed and anger Iran.

      Iran has built a very deadly multi-layer air defense system.

      - Long range = Russian S-300 and Iranian/Chinese designed and built S-400 clones - These can easily take out B-52 aircraft, B-2 aircraft and most other types of aircraft and cruise missiles. We don't have enough operational B-52 to have lots shot down near Iran.

      - Medium range = Iranian clones of the Russian BUK (which has been very deadly in Ukraine)

      - Short range - Iranian designed missiles based on older Russian designs.

      Plus Iran has a very deadly anti-ship force.

      - It is rumored that Iran has the Chinese DF-21D "carrier killer" for which the USA has NO DEFENSE other than to stay more than 1000 miles from Iran. While this could work OK, it requires any aircraft launched from the carriers to midair refuel a MINIMUM of two times - refueling aircraft are EXTREMELY vulnerable. Also there is extreme pilot fatigue from five to six hour missions with dangerous refueling.

      - The entire shoreline of the Persian gulf is lined with medium range ship killers. Any USA ships in the Persian gulf are "sitting ducks" because there is minimal room to maneuver.

      - Iran has also deployed a lot of small submarines with the ability to hide very well in the shallow gulf waters and fire supercavitating torpedoes for which the USA has almost no defense.

      - Then there are the remote controlled and suicide controlled "fast boats" which can "swarm" a ship and overload the ship defenses.

      So the air-force and navy are screwed, what about the land forces - Army and Marines?

      They are just as screwed, because Iran has over 500K TRAINED and battle-hardened troops, PLUS several million military capable "civilians" who will gladly kill every American that sets foot in Iran. Iran also has enough weapons for those millions of people that will want to kill Americans.

      The bottom line is the USA would suffer a massive, humiliating defeat and the USA military leadership and USA intelligence leadership KNOWS THIS. Which is why they will resist any attack on Iran.

      The USA can NOT win, ONLY lose.

      BTW - this scenario assumes that Iran does not destroy all the Saudi oil infrastructure, plunging the entire world into a massive depression which will ensure the entire world HATES America. It also assumes that neither Russia nor China helps Iran, which they are both likely to do.

      Since the USA would be doing this against all international conventions, Only Israel and Saudi Arabia might help.

      Israel is a small country and would rapidly deplete its resources trying to help (and the USA would not be able to replenish those resources). Saudi help is worse than nothing because of poor training and leadership.

      Attacking Iran is an extremely stupid thing to do, but the USA egos are so bruised, they just may try it.

      After most of the USA military die in Iran, then what?

  • Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East
    • Time delay and an over abundance of oil . . .

      The middle east is lagging Asia and Latin America by about 40 years due to the unique characteristics of the middle east.

      Asia and Latin America had to develop new social structures without having the excessive wealth created by oil. That is, they had to work everything out with limited resources.

      If you take the long view of history, and power shifts, you can see a parallel for much earlier times in Asia and Latin America with where the middle east is today.

      The middle east started later and has moved slower because the ruling class had so much wealth they could ignore the structural problems.

      I think in the next 50 years the middle east will evolve in a similar manner as the other post-colonial areas.

  • Trump Vows to Deport up to 3 Million Undocumented Migrants Immediately
    • How?

      As the Nazi showed (yes I know Godwin's law), "rounding up the usual suspects" requires a massive "removal" machine that costs a lot of money.

      Just where is trumper going to get the money? Will the "fiscal conservatives" in congress be willing to spend BILLIONS on this little adventure? Note that congress could have funded a "beautiful wall" any time in the last two decades, BUT they have refused to even consider it.

      As for the work force needed to fill the ranks of the "new brown shirts," there appear to be a fair number of racists so once the money starts to flow from congress, it should be no problem finding race warriors.

      Of course there might be a few problems like deporting actual Americans, the employers that will hide their low wage employees, and the usual "liberal elite" who will fight all the way, but the "brown shirts" should be able to do their job just fine.

      In the end, what I think will happen is lots of noise and photo ops, but nothing will actually be done except drive the undocumented further underground where employers can more easily exploit them. That is, the political elite will once again screw the folks in the flyover states.

      On the other hand, if conditions for the undocumented become dire enough (the economic benefit is not worth the danger), many undocumented just may decide to "self deport." While this would make the USA racists happy, it will NOT create any jobs for the racists but it will drive some companies out of business and increase the cost of many goods.

      Every action has both intended and unintended consequences and often the intended consequences fail to happen and the unintended consequences are terrible. the USA as a whole, just may come to regret the actions of the racists.

  • Do Trump Insiders' links to Netanyahu, Iranian political Cult, Spell Trouble for Tehran?
    • Oops, I forgot about "Nuclear Winter."

      If trumper dropped enough nukes on Iran at the right time an altitude, we could be screwed for over 20 years.

      I am sure if trump triggers "Nuclear Winter" the rest of the world will be glad to share their food and energy with the USA. Yea, I would not hold my breath on that.

      FYI - Nuclear winter is when the debris carried into the upper atmosphere by an air burst of a nuclear weapon causes the earth to cool dramatically within a few months leading to famine because of much lower food production. Think mini ice age. This has ALREADY happened several times in the earth's history such as in 1815 with the eruption of Tamboraas.

      here is a video with a further explanation . .

      link to

    • I am sure the folks in Asia and the west coast of America will love all that radioactive contamination they will receive.

      Using nukes on Iran will get the USA nuked.

      Remember that Russia and China are backing Iran.

  • Four years of Trump could really sink the planet
    • Economic trade "trumps" good intentions.

      Please keep in mind that smuggling and tax avoidance is one of the oldest human activities. Tariffs are just the "cost of business" that will be ignored whenever possible.

      One of the reasons the USA siogned on to the Iran nuclear deal was because the "global embargo" was rapidly falling apart because too many nations wanted to trade with Iran.

      BTW - even thought the USA has had strict trade embargoes against Iran, Iran was easily able to purchase USA helicopters and spare parts in 2015.

      Basically all international "punishments" are ineffective if not totally useless.

    • Who exactly is going to PAY for that research?

      Who exactly is going to PAY for the construction and long term maintenance of your "magic machines?"

      Note that businesses ONLY do things that make the business owners filthy rich, so "big business" is probably not going to do it.

      And why should other countries do it if the USA just gets a free ride?

      Dream on . . .

      BTW - Not every problem can be solved with technology, often because of basic physics, chemistry and thermodynamics.

  • Israeli Minister: Era of Palestinian State is over, w/ Trump Victory
    • The Israelis, with the tremendous help of the USA, have successfully eliminated any possibility of a Palestinian state. Now Israel will have to figure out what to do with millions of unwanted non-Jewish humans currently living within their defacto borders with Lebanon, what is left of Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

      Since, as you noted, giving rights to the non-Jewish would dilute the power of the Jewish residents, there is almost ZERO chance of that happening. Humans just do not share power without a gun to their head and no one is going to force the Israelis to share power, especially not the USA.

      That leaves only one ugly option - ethnic cleansing. Over time, Israel will find creative ways to force the Palestinians to leave Israel and become stateless humans. Stateless because no nation on earth, especially a deeply racist country like the USA would take any of the Palestinians.

      This ethnic cleansing is going to create a massive time-bomb for Israel that could eventually lead to the destruction of Israel. The Israelis think they are being so cute with their double-speak and slow ethnic cleansing, but it will come back to bite them over time.

      This is going to get UGLY and the USA will probably regret helping Israel. On the other hand, with all the nativism building in the USA, the USA just may throw Israel overboard.

  • Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally)
    • Why do companies hire humans?

      While that is a simple question, few if any Americans have ever asked that question and close to zero Americans know the answer. Because few Americans know the answer, many terrible public policies are "approved" by the populous . . .

      The ANSWER is real simple . . .

      Companies hire humans for ONLY TWO reasons . . .

      (1) The DEMAND for the company's product or service exceeds the capability of existing humans employees. That is, the existing company work force can not meet the product/service demand in a reasonable time.

      (2) The company has not yet purchased technology to replace most of the humans and give them the company flexibility to rapidly expand and contract with demand.

      Unless the CEO's sister insists that the CEO hire his worthless nephew, businesses never hire excess numbers of humans because it is quite simply a waste of company wealth.

      Once people understand that excess DEMAND is the ONLY reason companies hire humans they should understand that tax policy and many of the other "solutions" that politicians propose are WORTHLESS because NONE of the "solutions" create DEMAND, NONE.

      If people understood the demand basis for employment, then they would understand why companies are frequently willing to work existing employees for longer hours rather than hire more humans, which was done following the 2008 crash.

      Nothing that trumper proposes will increase demand and in FACT many of his proposed policies will decrease demand making fewer jobs available.

      The basic REALITY is the lesser educated humans in the USA have a very dismal future and NOTHING trump proposes will alter that fact one bit.

      They are going to be very disappointed.

    • There is no way to bring down urban housing costs (which is why I am now in the Midwest instead of SF).

      If the "free market" is allowed, housing costs will only go up because the scarcity of build-able land and the costs of construction.

      While a single family house can mostly be built with cheap "undocumented" labor, not even that "cost saving" can keep the cost low.

      Once a city has to resort to multi-family structures, the skill level of the workers needs to increase a lot, which means higher costs.

      Sure, more complex buildings can be built with "undocumented" near-slave labor, BUT the quality of the housing will be dangerously low. But if a city is run by republicans, those dangers can be ignored by the housing safety organization.

      Now if you are serious about lowering housing costs, then the "free market" must be abolished with the state controlling land costs, high building quality standards, worker pay regulation and developer profit restrictions. In other words completely public housing with subsidized rents.

      Since Americans dislike "socialism" there is close to zero chance that housing in cites will ever go lower until the next big economic bust which further accelerates the elimination of jobs by replacing workers with technology.

      BTW - "socialism" is the OLDEST (50000 years so far) form of group governance and works very well for a majority of people - only the greedy and egotistical suffer under socialism.

    • When a robot that costs less than one human being can displace three to five humans, and a company can get low interest loans to buy the robots AND USA tax law treats "capitol investments" vastly different from labor costs, why would any company not get rid of as many humans as possible. The deck is so stacked against most workers it is almost sad.

      BUT the flip side of the technology is companies with lots of robots do need some highly skilled humans to keep the robots running, yet because of the destruction of the USA education system (starvation funding, teacher demonization, high tuition etc), companies can not find these highly skilled workers. There are still high paying middle class jobs out there, but they REQUIRE lots of training and few of the surplus workers appear to be able or willing to make the personal investment needed to get those jobs.

      There are jobs that coal mines can get, but they require lots of training and they will have to leave their ancestral homes in the Appalachian hills to get them. There is zero reason any company would locate a modern business in Appalachia where infrastructure is poor, education is poor and the population has no modern skills. Unless the USA or state government is willing to subsidize rural jobs (essentially pay most of the cost) there is no valid business reason for any business to locate jobs there. Robots only care about cheap land, cheap energy and decent transportation. Humans are far too expensive even at US$1/hr.

    • So you are saying that we should have minority rule?

      And the fears of isolated, uninformed people should set the agenda for the majority?

      How does it help the country if a fearful minority (less than 30% this time) prevent the USA from dealing with the realities of current times?

      You might want to note that while the "flyover states" are getting their revenge right now, eventually the majority is going to gain power and severely punish the minority.

      The wold will NOT stand still and the people that have been marginalized by progress are just going to have to adapt because their mythical past is NEVER going to happen.

      The electoral college rewards stupidity of the minority.

      California is an example of what happens when the urban majority eventually mobilizes - Conservative rural far northern California and the Central valley now have zero power to even participate in the discussion because they were so recalcitrant in years past. Their concerns are now completely ignored because they reused to share power when they had it. I think the reason the conservatives refused to share power is because their world view is so skewed and unrealistic.

      Right now the flyover states control things, but their power will eventually go to zero and they will be worse off then they are now.

      Over time the population centers will have all the power.

    • Keep in mind that the decision to repalce workers with robots is mostly economic.

      These days, with the cost of robots decreasing rapidly, replacing just one human might pay for the robot and if the robot does teh work of multiple humans, the payback period can eb as short as a few months.

      Also, remember that robots are covered by USA (and other country) tax laws as an "investment" in the business, NOT as labor. Frequently the entire cost of a business investment can be taken directly off the net income line resulting in a lower or non-existent tax bill.

      Yes your tax dollars could be paying for the replacement of workers by robots.

    • It is very easy to have supply exceed demand theses days because the cost of production are getting lower due to technology.

      So yes, it is easy to have "too many workers" when so few are needed to produce all the goods and services need by demand and then some.

    • This is why trump will fail.

      Starting with the industrial revolution, machines slowly eliminated jobs that required human muscle. Since the machines had no ability to "think," humans switched to jobs that controlled machines rather than do the actual labor.

      NOW, all those machines have the ability to "think," often better and faster than humans.

      When machines were first developed, they cost a lot of money, but we have now developed the ability to make machines and their "brains" for almost zero cost.

      As a result, very quietly, for over 50 years, mechanical technology controlled by non-human "brains" has been eliminating most human jobs. Because technology INCREASES in capability and DECREASES in cost exponentially, humans simply can not compete.

      The basic REALITY is human "labor-saving" devices have now eliminated most human labor and there is absolutely NOTHING trump or congress can do about that. Their ideology will prevent them from doing what actually needs to be done.

      The many white, poorly educated people that voted for trump in hopes their lives would improve will soon discover that their lives will now be worse. Unfortunately they will probably just double-down on their racism, anti-intellectualism and extreme greed rather than take positive steps to improve their lives through education and comprehensive social programs (which will disappear).

      The USA (and the world for that matter) is going through an extreme change where it takes less than 3 billion "producers" to provide ALL the goods, services and food, that 7.5 billion "consumers" need and want. That is, there are over 4 billion humans that are "unemployable" and the human social structures that have existed for over 10000 years are unable to cope.

      Things are going to get much worse, especially for most trump voters, before they get better.

      BTW - as a quick measure of just how fast things have changed . . .

      My first "personal computer," a mere 40 years ago (1976), was a "fully loaded" DEC PDP-11/45 which was ~2.5 feet deep, ~5 feet high and ~15 feet wide and cost over US$300,000 ($1.4 million in 2016 dollars).

      Today, I can buy a Raspberry Pi-3 computer that is HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of times more powerful, for less than US$50. Raspberry Pi and its competitors also make slightly less capable computers for as little as US$5.

      Computers and software are so cheap that there will be no need for most humans in just a few years - Then what will we do?

      I can post LOTS of other examples where technology has eliminated most human jobs over the last 50 years, but most people are not consciously aware of this rapid and profound change.

      A video to think about . . .

      link to

  • Top 5 Times the FBI intervened to Help the US Right Wing
    • The whole world "knows" the Saudis are funding ISIS, but it is politically expedient to not confront the Saudis royalty directly.

      Note that the POTUS was the person that made the decision, along with Congress, to sell weapons to the dissuade. It was NOT just Clinton. The USSOS position is NOT that powerful.

      Not only that but what you describe is perfectly NORMAL diplomatic behavior by every country on earth.

      Basically, Clinton can not be indicted for any crime, let alone convicted as EVERY "investigation" of Clinton has concluded. There is no "treason."

      As for people being "careless" with government documents that covers almost 100% of everyone that has ever been employed by the USA government and as noted by Comey, no sane prosecutor would ever file the charges. In other words THERE IS NO CRIME.

      The bottom line is even though your damaged mind sees "terrible crimes" there are actually NO CRIMES.

    • BUT . . .

      Americans should keep in mind that Russia (and China, Iran, Israel and a dozen other countries) has hacked many computers controlled by the USA government!

      There is nothing on the Clinton computer that is not also available on many hacked USA government computers.

    • ACTUALLY - it is very, very easy to search trough 30GB of data very quickly these days because we have these things called computers.

      Because I though 650000 emails sounded like a large number I did some research on my own business computer and found that 650000 typical emails are ONLY about 30 GB of data and as Edward Snowden has pointed out, it is very, very easy and fast to search 30 GB of data for specific patterns.

      Every second of every day of the week, Google searches far more than 30 GB of data to help you find the optimal cat video. Actually every second of every day, Google searches terabytes of data.

      One of the email folders on my business system has almost 10,000 emails in it and my simple dual core system easily searches that to find a specific email in less than a second.

      So yes, the FBI, once it got its act together, definitely did a through search of wiener's system and discovered that all of the emails were duplicates of stuff they already had.

      The obvious question is why Comey didn't have the search done BEFORE he opened his fat mouth.

      And once again, republicans FAIL at MATH.

  • The Hatred that Trump's Lies will Leave Behind
    • Plus, the world really is going through a drastic social change due to technology.

      The simple reality is right now, due to technology, less than 3 billion humans can easily produce ALL the goods and services needed by the7.5 billion people on earth.

      That is, over half the humans are on earth are not needed to produce things but are only available consume them. When half the humans are only consumers this upends the entire economic models that have been in place for centuries.

    • Actually - the USA borders are about as secure as any borders can be, especially as long as the USA borders are. Note that MOST of the "illegal" people in the USA did NOT walk across the border but FLEW over it with a valid visitor or work visa and then simply didn't go back home.

      The national debt is almost meaningless because the USA fully controls its currency and can manipulate it to eliminate the debt overnight if it wanted to. BUT the group that the USA owes the most is . . . USA citizens. So we owe the debt to ourselves.

      - While the tax laws currently favor companies that eliminate USA jobs, it is important to note that Americans are doing this to themselves by electing people that do this for them. If Americans really wanted a better economy, they would elect democrats who would likely change the tax laws to favor people over companies. BUT NOTE most of the jobs that have been lost in manufacturing over the last several decades are NOT due to international displacement but to cheap, fast, reliable technology - the robots are everywhere. Robots are so cheap, that even changing the tax laws will not incentive companies to add more humans.

      BTW - fascism can NOT fix any of the structural problems the USA has, but will simply make things worse for a majority of the humans.

    • The republican coalition has always been strange.

      - A small part of the republican party are economic elitists that want to concentrate wealth in just a few hundred people with the rest of the humans in the USA as near slaves. Think feudal England. Because their policies are not very popular with the general population, they have had to disguise their goals and align themselves with other groups.

      - Lots of "entitled" white middle class. Typically these people do not have higher education. While the economy was doing OK, these people were like republican sheep. Now with the economy eliminating middle class wealth, these people are becoming angry.

      - Racists. When the democratic party embraced racial equality, the 25% of the population that is extremely racists, had to align themselves with the republicans in hopes of having enough numbers to take power. Part of the reason trump has a stable floor of support is there really are 25% to 30% of Americans that are extremely racist.

      Now with rapidly changing demographics and economics (due mostly to technology and bad tax law), the republican coalition is falling apart with the very small core constituency unable to hold it together.

      The racism will continue because it is human nature to blame others for a person's own failures instead of examining what they personally did wrong. But because whites are decreasing as a percentage of the American population, they will lose power. BUT no human willingly gives up power, they always fight to the bitter end.

  • Does Trump's lag prove the end of White Christian America?
    • Heartland and southern white Christians are getting whacked from all sides. They are not only losing political and social power but also economic power and there is absolutely NOTHING they can do to reverse the trends.

      - Demographic trends show whites will continue to decline as a proportion of the total USA society. This is not just because of immigration (almost entirely legal, BTW) but a lower white birth rate. Even if whites were to suddenly increase their birth rate, the change would not really be reversed for decades, if at all. With a decline in population proportion comes a permanent decline in political power.

      - Demographic trends show that religion in general and Christianity in particular are declining in popularity. This is a slightly delayed mirror of a similar trend in Europe and many other parts of the globe. A illustration of the decline of religion in America is the number of "mega churches" that have had to consolidate or close. Also many of those that SAY they are religious are actually only marginally active, so most surveys of religiosity are VASTLY inflated. Humans are notorious hypocrites about their beliefs. Given all the sociological evidence, it is likely that religions will continue to decline to the point of irrelevance.

      - The BIG problem though, is the severe economic decline of white Christians, many of which either did not complete school or only have a high school degree. Their economic power has been devastated, mostly by technology trends which are causing technology to increase in capability AND decrease in cost in an exponential manner. No human can match the exponential changes brought about by technology.

      The white Christians are seeing rapid loss of power, sociological, political and economic, and they are extremely angry. BUT rather than try to adapt and thrive, they have chosen to follow the well documented human trait of fighting a losing battle to the bitter end. They will lose in the end.

      In REALITY, neither Trumpoer or any political entity, can "fix" their problems because there is no "fix." The racial demographics trends are NOT going to change. The religious demographics trends are NOT going to change. The economic trends are NOT going to get better.

      The realistic things that white Christians should do are:

      - Accept that they will not have as much power and form coalitions with other groups. This will mean they will have to compromise their hard stances on most issues.

      - Understand that religion is a personal thing, be tolerant of others and know that the government can not legislate morality. They will just have to accept that their views are a minority view.

      - Adapt to the new economic environment. This means much more education and the willingness to move for economic gain. Virtually ALL of the jobs that have disappeared from America, are gone FOREVER and will NOT come back even if the USA were to build a giant economic wall preventing all imports.

      In other words, instead of anger, the white Christians should just quickly mourn their mythical past and learn to live with the reality of the present.

      The past is past and the future is vastly different, so adapt.

  • Israeli Jim Crow: US-led 'Peace Process' Completely Collapses
    • How can Israel "win" in the long term?

      Sure, Israel is doing OK today, but how long will that last?

      The USA has HUGE internal problems which will, over time, cause Americans to focus internally and walk away from the Middle East.

      While Israel has lots of "war toys," the reality is all of the war toys produced around the globe have all converged on identical capability. That is, the USA/Israel war toys have reached the point of diminishing return (cost vs capability) and all the non-USA war toys are now equivalent to USA/Israel war toys. In other words, Israel has no military superiority.

      While the post-colonial restructuring of the middle east is still currently a mess, over time it will settle down. Arab and Persian states will stabilize and start to cooperate particularly as they are forced to diversify their economies as global energy production changes.

      Just as Australia eventually had to face the fact they are an Asian region country not a European country, Israel will have to face the reality that they are a middle east country not a European country and will eventually have to deal with their neighbors on a peer basis or risk a war they can not win.

      To me, it appears that Israeli are very arrogantly focusing on the present day with no ability to see where their actions will lead in the future. The idea of Palestine may be dead, but what will follow it?

      Based on how power constantly flows over time and how technology has drastically changed the capabilities of all countries, I do not foresee a very good future for Israel.

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