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Total number of comments: 644 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:47)

Spyguy68

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  • How to Impeach an American President
    • One slight quibble . . .

      The Constitution writers deliberately made the grounds for impeachment very vague with the intention that if the president angered enough congress persons and senators, they could simply remove him for being a jerk. No real crimes need to be proven.

      So in reality, if 218 congress people and if 67 senators don't like the president, then the president is simply thrown out on his ear REGARDLESS whether any real crime was committed.

      BUT . . . as the TV person noted, right now, trump has not yet angered enough republicans and even if a substantial number of republicans, but less than 218/67, become convinced that trump has to go, the democrats may decide that it is strategically better to let a deeply wounded trump remain in office instead of dealing with Pence, knowing that trump's ego will not allow him to simply resign and leave the rotten mess for Pence to regret ever running for VP.

      The next four years will be fun to watch now that my healthcare and SSA are less in danger.

  • Grassroots Resistance forces Republicans to Postpone Health Care Vote
    • The bill FAILED on Friday causing Ryan to escape from WDC in embarrassment and trump to be extremely angry at Ryan, his son-in-law, democrats, Americans and everyone else on earth.

      The emperor does not like being told "NO."

  • Does Trump's slashed Foreign Aid Budget give China the Advantage?
    • "Does Trump’s slashed Foreign Aid Budget give China the Advantage?"

      In a word, YES

      Between trump slashing the aid and the state department budgets, China will have an open field to do whatever they want, which will be making as many friends as possible by spreading all their excess dollars around via major investments that will better the lives of he people instead of making it easier for the government to make war.

      Just like when USA companies PAID Chinese companies to take the USA IP, the USA is now handing the world to china on a gold platter with a big, ornate "T" on it.

    • But how much more?

      Why make bad loans to trump when an equal amount will deliver HUGE benefits when loaned or given to other countries?

  • New Scientific Evidence that Middle East may become Uninhabitable
    • One report was from the CIA and the US military intelligence.

      The USA intelligence services and the USA military are well aware of the dangers of climate change, but they are unable to convince the people they work for, since the people they work for would have to admit publicly they have lied all these years.

      Basically the political leadership only wants to increase their personal wealth and bail out before the brown stuff hits the fan, except they don't realize that by the time the brown stuff hits the fan, the rich will have no safe place.

  • Kellyanne "Inspector Gadget" alleges Obama Microwave-Camera Surveillance
    • Why does any "real news" organization even talk to Kellyanne let alone give her any air time?

      Let her spout her delusions on Fox and ignore her.

      No "real News" organization should let her anywhere near their studios or news rooms.

      It has been WELL DOCUMENTED that she lives in a delusional fantasy land so nothing she says has any value.

  • Addicted to Racism: Why Populists Literally get off on Bigotry
    • Over time, the white so-called "christians" are going to discover just how "not special" they are and it is going to be emotionally extremely painful.

      Most of the people they subjugated between the 1500s and the 1900s have now caught up and in many cases (most of Asia for one), they will soon surpass the Europeans and Americans and there is absolutely NOTHING the white christians can do about it except weep and wail.

      Shear numbers show that the white christians can not maintain supremacy Sure they can try to fight their becoming just another humans on earth instead of as "superior race," but they will lose.

      This is part of the reason why the USA is in such turmoil. The "others" are now starting to be highly competitive with a laser focus on education and achievement. Something the USA has not focused on at all for decades.

      The transition of power is going to be very painful and like all previous transitions of power, the losers are not going like it.

  • Texas GOP tried Gerrymander away Latino, Austin Votes: Fed. Court
    • The laws should set limits on the GEOMETRY of every voting district:

      - a MAXIMUM of eight straight line sides on any voting district.

      - The longest side can not be more than 1.5 times the length of the shortest side.

      Sure districts with geometric limits might still be gerrymandered, but it would be much harder and much less precise.

      Of course we should also remove political leaders from the process of setting the boundaries.

  • Let them eat iPhones: Jason Chaffetz on Health Care & the Poor (Young Turks)
    • This will come back to bite the republicans.

      Some REALITY that far too many do not understand . . .

      - The total amount of health care required in the USA is a FIXED, and increasing in COST. That is, while there is no way to know what particular health care each individual will need, we KNOW almost to the penny how much the USA, in aggravate, will spend on cancer, heart disease, and every other type of health care.

      - NONE of the health care proposals can decrease the AMOUNT of money the USA spends on health care, all they can do is shift the cost around and make everything more expensive. The republicans are trying to shift the costs to heath care providers, the poor and elderly instead of the wealthy. This will NOT lower the costs, but merely bankrupt huge parts of the USA population and kill an increasing number of people that do not have to die.

      - Health care really is a classic case of "pay now or pay even more later." In the end, every person in the USA will pay a lot more for health care, even the rich. The bills will come due and will have to be paid by society because individuals will not be able to pay.

      - Using the metrics "average healthcare cost per person" and healthcare costs per GDP, the USA is the WORST in both metrics. In fact the next country in line spends HALF of what the USA does and every other country is even less than that. That is, the USA could provide Medicare for all and probably cut total healthcare costs (per person and per GDP) by almost 50%! If the USA adopted a national health program like the VA where most medical services are provided directly by the government (no insurance companies and no for-profit medical services), the cost could decrease by almost 65%!

      - Americans are extremely stupid when it comes to healthcare are economics.

  • Dirty, Hot, Deadly: The Real Trump Scandal is What He's done to the Environment
    • China has an energy problem due to massive sociological and technological changes over the last 50 years.

      Although most Americans do not know it, China has been a major power center for most of the last 5000 years. Basically China only lost power between the mid 1700s and the mid 1900s due to the European empires having more military power. Since the death of Mao, China has made 300 years of progress in less than 50 years. Now China is back to being a major power center and there is NOTHING the USA can do about it. The Chinese leadership is not afraid of trumpette and his band of idiots.

      The Chinese middle class has returned, is growing and is now larger than the USA population.

      Because of the growing middle class and the transition from agrarian to a brains based economy, China needs LOTS of cheap energy while improving the quality of life for the citizens. As a result, China will flood the world with cheap solar panels and power walls because the USA and the rest of the world are now just "extra markets" after internal needs are met. Combining the internal market with the "extra markets" gives enormous manufacturing scale.

      China will indeed be a major player in the green change because it benefits them a lot. They will also apply Sun Tzu's ideas and embarrass trumpette every chance they get just to keep him on the edge of insanity which will make China a very attractive partner for most of the world.

      Basically, just as USA companies, in search of more profit, handed China most of their IP for free during the last 50 years, the USA will now drive most of the world to politically partner with China because it is the adult on the earth.

      I learned long ago to never underestimate China. The world has changed dramatically since the mythical 1950s and trump is only going to accelerate the decline of the American empire (which is a poor extension of the UK, French and Spanish empires).

      I think China will do just fine and totally frustrate the Americans that want to cling to the last rags of the USA empire.

    • I find it "interesting " that while China has learned the reasons why EPA type control is necessary and is rapidly putting many EPA type regulations in place (albeit with death penalties) , the USA is killing many EPA type regulations.

      If both counties continue on their current paths, living in China could end up being much, much nicer than living in the USA (unless you are a Chinese polluter, then life could be very short).

      China's problem s were caused by basic greed combined with no regulation, which they are changing for the common good. Now the USA is going to let basic unregulated greed determine everything.

      I am sure that will work out really great.

    • I suspect the law suits from California will be fast, furious and numerous.

      I am old enough to remember the many law suits that used to be in the courts where states and cities downstream of polluters sued constantly. Back then the polluters realized that the thousands of law suits were going to bankrupt them so they welcomed the EPA regulation to stabilize the situation.

      I suspect that current polluter managers have no knowledge of the mess from those days and how many companies were endangered. I KNOW that the bots that trade stocks these days have no knowledge of the danger the companies will face in just a few years from law suits that will drain profits.

      Then again the current managers of the polluters plan on making their personal wealth as quickly as possible and be long gone from the companies before the brown stuff hits the fan. This is why most of CEO pay should be deferred for ten years so that if the CEO makes a decision that negatively effects the company they will never get their deferred pay - It will change the mind set of CEOs.

  • All the President's Generals: Do they Want War with Iran?
    • Any country that uses nukes will quickly regret it. including the USA.

      Using nukes on Iran will not only kill millions of Iranians, but ALSO kill lots of Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis and lots of other humans living east of Iran. Note also that after a week or so, the explosions over Iran will contaminate the USA agricultural areas (California and Midwest) and I am sure Americans will just "love" eating radioactive contaminated food.

      Then there is the "slight" problem that three of the nations that would be extremely negatively impacted by an attack on Iran are nuclear nations with ICBMs that can reach the USA. China just may decide to retaliate directly instead of brutally punishing the USA economically.

      Given the huge disaster any USA nuke strike would be, I would hope the generals would simply ignore trump. But given how insane trump is and how insane some of his followers are, it could happen.

      BUT . . .

      not only would the "short term" effects of such an attack be extremely bad for Americans, but the long term effects would be even worse. I suspect that Americans would have to hunker down inside the USA and slowly starve because most of the world would be looking to kill Americans.

      So yes trump could do it, but it would probably be the last thing he every did and multiple generations of Americans that survived the retaliation would have miserable lives..The empire would go out in a huge blaze.

    • What is even worse for the USA military than a Russian S-300/400, is the S-400 clone that Iran and China have worked together on. Not only is the hardware better, but the Iranians and the Chinese have vastly improved the software. Flying any USA aircraft or cruise missiles into Iran will be a very dangerous venture.

      As for USA ships, not only are there thousands of Sunburn missiles, but also small subs designed to work well in the Persian gulf that fire supercavitating (200 MPH) torpedoes. Plus, it is highly likely that Iran has either the Chinese DF21D "carrier killer" or a clone which means that USA carriers have to stay at lest 1000 miles from Iran. This causes extreme pilot fatigue because any mission from a carrier REQUIRES at least two in-flight refuelings and decreased munitions load to compensate for all the fuel needed for the mission. And of course all the fuel used to avoid falling from the sky because of S-400.

      Iran has been paranoid about a USA invasion for over 35 Years and has dedicated LOTS of resources to making the best, most deadly, lowest cost defense systems possible. When they couldn't buy what they needed, they "borrowed" core technology expertise and designed their own. Iranian weapons systems are just as capable as any designed in the USA and because there is no industrial complex profiting from the weapons systems, Iran can produce far more than the USA. The USA WASTES over 60% of their military budget because of the "new toy" syndrome and the profitability of the weapons makers.

      Hopefully the generals have taken the intelligence data to heart and KNOW that attacking Iran would be terrible for the USA, BUT given the huge egos and delusions Americans have, I will not be surprised if the USA invades and gets severely beat, the "generals" will be "shocked" at how badly the USA loses.

      Iran is NOT a good place for the USA to attack and Americans will not like the result.

      BTW - the prediction of a massive USA loss is based on Russia and China just watching. If either decides to help Iran, the USA loss will be even worse.

  • Trump covers Rockwell: Sometimes it Feels like, Obama's Watching You
    • Obama is "too nice" to sue trump.

    • Several points to consider . . .

      - White Christian Americans are losing economic power. But not because of the "others" but because technology is eliminating most human work. This can NOT be reversed.

      - Rural (mostly white christian) America is depopulating because there is not enough economic activity to support more than a minimal population. People just do not want to live in rural areas and there is no reason for any business to operate there.

      - Most of the world is non-white and non-christian so the possibility of white christians being dominate is a delusion. There is no reason for white christians to retain power.

      The bottom line is the last vestiges of the old white christian empires (UK, french, Spanish, dutch and USA) are quickly dying off and white christians are indeed losing economic, political and social power and they do not like being part of the riff-raff. They will brutally fight to the bitter end , but will lose eventually,. Unfortunately they will damage themselves a lot in the process.

      The flow of power constantly changes throughout history with no single group retaining power for very long, but each group that loses power resists the loss of power.

    • Realistically, If the USA and Russia start a war with China, China will win.

  • Sorry, Trump, China's cut-back on Coal Dooms Industry
    • Keep in mind that by abandoning the non-carbon competitive landscape to China and Europe, the USA is PERMANENTLY dooming itself to being non-competitive since the expertise to catch up can not be bought only learned during the development phase.

      So while the USA is protecting the carbon energy companies, it is dooming the USA to be a second rate nation over time buying energy technology from other countries.

    • And as I have noted, solar and wind follow the technology capability and cost curves so there is no way for hydrocarbon energy to compete.

      China's and Europe's pushes for non-carbon energy will constantly drive solar and wind toward "zero" cost.

    • Unfortunately, mountain top solar plants are impractical due to the problems of transporting the energy from the remote mountains to the users in the cities.

      California faced a similar problem when they started putting solar farms in the remote desert. Since California needs so much energy, they paid to put in a new electrical energy backbone from the deserts to LA.

      BUT . . .

      California still has not increased the capacity of the north/south backbone, so the energy can't be transferred to northern California.

      While it is "technically" possible to build new backbones from the Appalachian mountains to eastern cities, the costs would be very high compared to building across an open desert.

    • Energy economics dooms coal.

      Coal is nothing more than stored solar and geothermal energy and it is much more efficient and cheaper to just use the two "primary " sources of energy directly.

      From a human perspective, the only primary and "permanent" energy sources are solar energy, which includes wind and hydroelectric, gravitation (tidal), and earth geothermal. All other sources of energy are derived from the primary sources and have limited viability.

      All the hydrocarbon based forms of energy are finite. All the "easy" to obtain coal, oil and gas have already been used up. Now humans are having to use increasing forms of exotic and expensive technology to extract the remaining hydrocarbons, which makes hydrocarbon energy increasingly expensive versus the primary forms of energy, which are "free" after the technology to harvest the energy is perfected.

      While USA high-tech companies try to harvest the most energy per square meter (often at high cost), China has chosen to harvest the lowest cost energy per square meter. The result is less efficient harvesting requiring a larger energy harvesting area, but at a very low cost per watt of energy. The lower efficiency systems are also much less expensive to manufacture. As a result, China and India will very likely exceed their goals of replacing hydrocarbon with "permanent" energy.

      Chinese leadership KNOWS how much energy the country will require for most of the population to thrive and they know that the cost of using hydrocarbons to do that is an impossibly high number. Which is why they have invested in "permanent" energy because once the harvesting systems are in place, the maintenance costs are low and the energy is "free." The fact that the quality of live will dramatically increase in China without the problems of hydrocarbon energy is an added bonus.

      As for the USA coal miners, they are doomed for two MAJOR reasons -

      - Robots - Robotic capability is INCREASING in a near exponential fashion and the costs are DECREASING in an accelerated linear fashion. PLUS in the USA, robots are considered a "capitol investment" under USA tax laws, so their entire cost can be deducted from a company's tax bills over a few years. That is, the USA taxpayers pay for the robots. Also when a mine collapses, the robots are just left under the rubble and the insurance pays for more (newer, better) robots with no nasty headlines plus robots cost less than humans..

      - Energy economics - as noted above, the market for coal is rapidly decreasing because other forms of energy are much less costly. Already natural gas has replaced coal in most power plants in the USA and the same is happening across the world. Close behind gas are the "permanent" energy harvest and storage systems, which also follow the two technology curves (exponential INCREASE in capability and linear DECREASE in cost). There are too many coal producers and not enough buyers. A classic collapsing market that will end with only a very small number (one or two) highly automated producers supplying an exotic niche market. We have over 10000 years of history showing how this ends.

      Basically, coal mining jobs will NOT increase but continue to decrease as more and more mines close.

      The cruel reality is other than coal, there is no reason for any business to locate in "coal country" so there will not be any other jobs replacing coal jobs. Virtually all "modern" jobs are "brain jobs" that require extensive skill development. There are virtually no jobs for people with less than an AA degree or a Journeyman level certification. And the jobs that exist are located near population centers where employers have the highest possibility of finding the skill they need.

      The REALITY is the USA government is going to have to provide FREE skills development and moving assistance for the coal miners so they can move to where jobs are. Yes, they will have to abandon the hills that their ancestors moved to, in search of jobs when there were none where they came from. The hills of "coal country" are no longer a viable economic area and should be left to nature to turn back into wilderness.

      * Yes, I know that republicans are loath to use any tax dollars to actually help humans instead of companies, but if enough people get angry, maybe they will do it anyway - pure fantasy on my part.

  • With Trump, has the Israeli Right Wing caught the Car?
    • While Apartheid may be "successful" in the short term, it will FAIL MISERABLY in the long term, then what?

      The history of humans over the last 10000+ years shows that power never remains static and oppressed humans ALWAYS eventually throw off their oppression and cause the oppressors immense pain.

      So while Netanyahu may partially "succeed" in the short term, I suspect he is setting the stage for the end of Israel which may make life for all Jewish people around the globe worse off.

      I just do not see this working very well for Israel over time.

  • "Get out of my Country!" White Terrorist Shoots Asian-American Engineers in Wake of Trump Visa Ban
  • Buyers' Remorse: Americans think Trump is bad at almost Everything
    • The big question is WHY do so many people (especially men) hate on Clinton?

      Just looking at Clinton's very long record of accomplishments without putting her name on it, is very impressive. She really was the best qualified person to ever run for president.

      I don't know you husband reasons, but most of it appears to boil down to pure sexism.

      All the garbage written about the Clintons has proven to be lies, so why should anyone believe them other than wanting an excuse to cover over their real extremely prejudiced reasons?

      BTW - every company on earth has a "private email server" run by computer professionals.

  • Is Israel's Netanyahu running Rings around the inexperienced Trump?
    • Netanyahu is conning the conman and endangering the long term future of Israel.

      Trump does not have the intelligence to know when he is being conned and he has a enormous personal bias against Muslims, so he will indeed ignore the Palestinians and let Netanyahu make a huge number of very bad long term mistakes.

      The Israeli people are going to sleep walk into a huge and possible very deadly mess and when the brown stuff hits the fan, whoever is POTUS at the time (possibly trump if it happens before he "leaves" office) , will throw Israel overboard in a heartbeat because Americans will not want to be on the losing side with Israel. Americans are only "friends" with Israel as long as Israel does not cause harm to Ame3rincas.

      As for Iran, trump will again show his bias against Muslims and sabre rattle against Iran, BUT both the USA military leadership and the Israeli military leadership KNOW that any military action against Iran would have terrible results for the USA and Israel, so they will undercut both Netanyahu and trump.

      So trump will give Netanyahu a blank check and Netanyahu will screw everything up and Israelis will pay a BIG price down the road.

      Hubris is so easy to do and so hard to recover from.

  • Trump endangering rest of Us to hunt down the Law-Abiding Undocumented
    • #09 - Technology is eliminating jobs at an exponential pace, which means that no matter how many workers we "retrain," most will NOT be employable. This is the BIG problem demonstrated by a small five person company able to have multiple millions of revenue. It just does NOT take very many humans these days to create and make a highly profitable product or service. The USA (and the world for that matter) has a huge excess of humans that we do not need.

      #08 - The kids are going where the jobs are. If a person is starting their career, why wouldn't they do that, especially when it is so obvious there is no future in the rural areas. Most jobs these days are IP based and companies locate where they have the biggest pool of skilled brains, so the brains move to where the jobs are. If the older rural people were not so "stuck in the past," they would also improve their brains and move to where the jobs are.

      #07 - Global trade is nothing new. Remember the original Silk Road? The major changes are (1) the USA military invented shipping containers that make movement of goods super efficient and cheap - the last quote I got to ship a 40' container from Hong Kong to LA or SF was less than US$1800. (2) the USA military invented a high speed global digital communication network that allows everyone on earth to share all the world's knowledge. Basically, there is no going back no matter what trump wants, especially since no country is self sufficient in all the goods and services that are needed for humans to survive today.

      The hiring problems you mention (#01 - 06) are actually a problem all over the world, not just in the USA, but the USA tends to have these problem in higher quantities. Part of the reason for these poor hiring practices is the excess of humans has caused employers to look for the mythical IDEAL employee instead of a reasonably good employee.

      Basically the rural people in the USA are permanently screwed by forces that no POTUS or congress critter can control. Until they embrace socialism, instead of emotionally lashing out at the world, their lives will just get worse. There is a very valid reason why socialism is he dominant for of governance on the earth - it works best.

    • There is no real "undocumented" problem.

      What there is, is a very real white, christian, rural loss of both social and economic power that they can not emotionally deal with in a rational way.

      Due to technology, the "heartland" and south of the USA are losing eco0nomic power because most of the jobs that were done by "warm bodies" (humans with less than an AA degree or a Journeyman certificate) have been eliminated by technology. There is no reason for any company to operate in the Midwest or south when the few highly skilled workers they need are on the coasts where living is better.

      So the Midwest and south are depopulating, which angers the people still left there. While they would never take any of the jobs "undocumented" people do because the jobs are beneath their dignity, they resent that the "undocumented" have jobs when the white people don't and the white people can't process being angry at the white people that have screwed them

      Coupled with the loss of economic power the people in the Midwest and south also see humans that are darker than them getting more political power because of demographics and they resent the fact they will have to share power instead of being the"master."

      This really is about emotions driven by delusions and racism so reality and facts are useless with the people screaming the loudest about "undocumented" people.

      This is really about shifting economic and social power and for over 1000 years humans have not dealt with it very well. The losers always fight to the death and he winners eventually get so tired of the resistance, they often mistreat the losers when the power shifts far enough. Humans are rarely capable of transferring power in a rational manner, especially when there is caste shift mixed in.

  • Israeli, Palestinian officials react to Trump's shift away from 2-state solution
    • Again, what is Israel's "end game?"

      Israel can easily unilaterally declare the Jordan River as its eastern border because very few countries will make a big stink about that.

      BUT . . .

      Then what does Israel do about the millions of non-Jews that live inside the new Israeli border? In real world terms, Israel does not have very many options:

      - "Round up the usual suspects." That is, round up all he non-Jews and ship them out of Israel. But to where? I can not think of any nation that would accept millions of poor, angry refugees even if Israel paid the receiving country (which would bankrupt Israel). Note that the USA would especially not take any refugees.

      - Oppress in place. That is, make small, impoverished, concentrated ghettos throughout Israel similar to the native American reservations in the 1800s or the ghettos in Europe during WW2. Since the humans in the ghettos would have no hope of a "normal" life, they would eventually be as massive powder keg leading to massive violence. This could also lead to massive BDS from countries other than the USA.

      - Fellow Citizens. Follow the 1900s USA example where native Americans have FULL USA citizenship and the ability to live anywhere in the USA and vote and travel freely. Of course this would lead to Israel being a secular state, not Jewish.

      - Kill zone. Of course Israel could just kill all the non-Jews to prevent the eventual explosion from the oppressed or deported.

      All indications are that Israeli have NOT thought about what happens when they no longer have to pretend the non-Jews have any rights. It does not appear that Israeli have a plan, they appear to think the non-Jews will simply, "magically" disappear, which based on 10000+ years of human history is a completely invalid assumption.

      No matter what Israel decides, eventually eh Mid East is going to explode without a fair compromise with the Arabs and Israel will be the big loser.

      So much hubris, pride and delusion. The likely end to this mess is fairly obvious and it is NOT pretty for Israel, but there really is far too much delusion.

  • Could Trump's War of Words with China turn Hot?
    • I think Putin is smarter than tangling with China.

    • After the USA loses, China will ensure that the USA is strip mined to pay our debts in full.

    • FYI - S-400 systems can easily stop cruise missiles and China has LOTS of operational Chinese/Iranian designed clones of the S-400.

    • China has a community focused culture, whereas the USA culture tends to be more "rugged individual" focused.

      A six to one population difference coupled with a "community" culture will pretty much ensure the USA loses badly.

      To understand just how fierce China can be, look at their 5000 year history and read Sun Tzu's 2500 year old "the art of war" which has proven, REPEATEDLY, to be extremely accurate.

      The USA would be very foolish to pick a fight with China

    • I forgot about the subs.

      The only reservation I have is USA sub designs have been optimized to be either boomers or fast attack.

      - Boomers are designed to be missile launch platforms with few other capabilities.

      - Attackers are designed to be smaller and faster to destroy opponent's boomers and fast attack subs.

      Laying mines requires different technology on board the sub, so while either type of existing sub might be retrofitted to sort of do the mine mission, the result would be sub-optimal.

      As for restricting shipping, China would be LEAST effected by the loss of trade because it has a HUGE internal market. Also, china could quickly ramp up the usage of the Silk Road giving it access to most of the world's markets over land instead of via the sea.

      Sure, China would lose the USA market, but the USA market is relatively small (compared to the entire rest of the globe).

      Basically any war between the USA and China would cripple the USA far worse than China.

      As I noted, the USA would be humiliated. After China "won" it would not bother to waste its money occupying the USA, it would simply leave the Americans to starve in the rubble.

    • Some "interesting facts" . . .

      - Military spending does **NOT** equal military effectiveness or ability to control any particular situation. Yes, the USA military spends an ungodly amount of money, BUT a significant part of that spending is wasted mostly on military suppler profitability. For example the USA F-35 is marginally better than existing USA (and non-USA) aircraft, but costs orders of magnitude more than most of its only slightly less capable competitors - wasted money. Comparing what the USA wastes on the military and what China (or Iran, or whoever) spends on military is NOT a valid comparison, especially since **ALL** "war toys" are based on the SAME science (physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, etc) and all are based on the SAME technology derived from the sciences. Essentially most wealthier nations are EQUAL in military capability. That is, the USA does **NOT** have any military superiority.

      - Chinese DF-21D "carrier killer." While there is some debate in USA military circle as to just how dangerous the DF-21D is, there can be no doubt that it greatly complicates the lives of USA carrier crews. The most optimistic range for the DF-21D is 1000 miles and the pessimistic range is about half that. In either case, if the USA carrier has to stay out of range and expend lots of resources just defending itself, that will severely limit the capability of the 30 or so aircraft on the carrier. How far the carrier has to be from the target determines how much extra fuel the aircraft need to carry (limiting munitions loads) or how many times they have to do very exposed refueling. If the aircraft have to refuel inbound to the target and outbound from the target, that means many fewer sorties and much higher risks especially from long distance, deadly and accurate anti-aircraft systems like the S-400 and its Chinese/Iranian clones.Note also that long transit times to the target and multiple in-flight refueling vastly increase air crew fatigue causing very costly mistakes (missed landings, etc.). BTW - USA carriers only go about 35 MPH so during the DF-21D flight time, the carrier has moved very little and defending against something dropping on you at Mach 10 is somewhat difficult.

      - China will NOT back down. Unfortunately only a minuscule number of Americans have even a moderate understanding of the Chinese culture, so Americans are almost guaranteed to miss all the subtle warnings the Chinese will give and let their extreme pride (hubris) send them right off the cliff. While the Chinese PREFER to solve situations through negotiations, they have no problem brutally settling a disagreements to their satisfaction. Trump is no match for the Chinese government and his big mouth will lead him into a big trap. China has had over 5000 years to learn how to effectively deal with a noisy upstarts like trump.

      - There is a very good reason why there is a heavy Chinese influence throughout Asia - China has been heavily involved with all of Asia for thousands of years. Other than a two hundred or so year period (1750-1950) when "western" empires controlled Asia, China was the dominate power for the previous 4000 years and now China is reasserting that dominance and will simply shove the USA aside. There is nothing the USA can do to change this and trying to do it militarily will just get the USA humiliated.

      The world is changing the the USA is losing power. Trump can get his panties in bunch about it, but there is realistically nothing he can do about it. Americans will just have to accept that their egos are going to get knocked down multiple notches.

  • Give us your Huddled Scientists: France woos US Climate Researchers, Inventors in age of Trump
    • As Friedman noted, the world is indeed "flat" when it comes to knowledge.

      Every country on earth that is connected to the global communication networks has access to all the world's knowledge.

      This is why all nations are virtually equal when it comes to "war toys" and war tactics.

      I have been on the Internet since long before it became public (ARPAnet days) and helped developed some of the technology that is in wide use today, so I have seen just how "universal" technology is now. There is no need to "push" technology to countries since it is already ubiquitous. In reality, no country has any real "technology edge," everyone is equal.

      While humans fight losing power very hard, there is no way to prevent power shifting, so over time the once powerful nations ALWAYS have the power drained from them.

    • Between China's very pragmatic and generous offers to its expats to come home and the US belligerence against non-USA creative people, China is winning hands down.

      Note that China is working hard to change aspect of its culture and political system that hinder creative people so the country benefits from the creative energy of the ex-pats.

    • While most humans are fairly intelligent there are a limited number of humans that are highly intelligent in very useful areas.

      It turns out that concentrating these highly intelligent humans in a particular geographic area tends to make that geographic area wealthier than areas with slightly less intelligent humans.

      The smarter non-USA governments are realizing that now is a good time to strip-mine the USA for raw human talent and concentrate it in areas of their own country to increase their wealth.

      Even though I am now retired, my linked-in profile is still active, so I will NOT be surprised to start getting "interesting" emails over the next few years. For many years I have received "friendly emails" about Asian opportunities and suspect that I may start receiving European emails.

      One of the things we had to learn real quick in silicon valley is that our intellectual property generators walked out the door every night and if we didn't treat them OK, they would keep walking to our competitor. Given how many of the most intelligent humans in the USA did were not born in the USA, it is very probable that given the right incentives, they will just walk out of the USA to some other place on earth where they are more welcome.

      I suspect that trump does not realize that brains are the new generators of wealth and brains have feet.

      Other nations have spent lots of thinking trying to come up with ways to pry more talent out of the USA and into their own country. Now trump has handed them the golden key.

  • Could Trump stumble into a Mideast War? It has happened before to Headstrong Presidents
    • Attacking China or North Korea, especially with nukes will just get the USA destroyed. Essentially, attacking China is suicidal.

      Unfortunately I suspect that far too many Americans have never thought about that.

      BTW - nuking China, will contaminate most of the USA food supply in California and the Midwest within a month - ooops.

      Even if China didn't retaliate, there would be the "slight" problem of whether to die of starvation, freezing from nuclear winter or radiation poisoning - "fun choices!"

  • Trump's Travel Ban is to Keep US Snow White: Take it from a Chronic Interviewee
    • The Chinese sneakers will be replaced by nothing because the USA does not have the manufacturing capability.

      The USA does not have the manufacturing engineers needed to build the new robotic factories that would be needed to produce anything in the USA. Existing factories are rusting junk incapable of being "restarted."

      To manufacture in the USA would require USA companies to spend huge amounts of the cash they are sitting on to even start the process and no USA CEO will make that long term investment when his job depends on next weeks numbers.

      As noted, the more the USA withdraws, the more interwoven the rest of the world will become so everyone but the USA thrives.

  • Trump's Coming "Islamo-China" War . . . or, Whatever
    • Note that **ALL* wars COST both the "winner" and the loser because wars require resources be taken from the society and turned over to the war machine where the resources are literally burned up in a massive fire.

      Sun Tzu noted over 2500 years ago that wars are the least productive way to deal with difference between groups. This is a lesson the Chinese have mostly internalized, so China will avoid war with the USA if possible, but Sun Tzu also advised that is war can't be avoided, then use as much brutality as necessary to end the war in your favor. China can decimate the USA even without using nukes.

      As I have noted elsewhere, Iran is a lot more powerful defensibly than Americans understand. All the war simulations so far have shown the USA being humiliated by Iran.

      So not only will the USA very likely lose any wars it starts, but the damage to the USA society could be extreme with the country bankrupt and most people unemployed and starving. Note that unlike the USA helping Europe and Japan after WW2, the rest of the world will NOT help rebuild the USA after the war, but will actively work to disable a possible competitor.

      War would destroy what is left of the USA.

  • Taking Iraq’s Oil
    • It is stupendously EASY to make oil stay in the ground for as long as the Iraqis want it to stay there.

      Even if the USA flooded Iraq with millions of troops (which the USA does not have nor can it afford), oil infrastructure is so fragile that it is easy to stop the flow.

      For example, a simple Thermite bomb on a well head (thank you Youtube for the instructions) not only sends the oil up in flames but create a massive hazard to other wells.

      Additionally, most oil infrastructure is "custom hand built" so once it is blown up it can take as long as several years to rebuild it, assuming that no one is trying to blow up the replacement.

      So the bottom line is the USA is not getting the oil and trying to take it will just ensure that someone else profits and the USA loses even more.

  • Here we go Again: Trump Admin Threatens Iran
    • Someone needs to sit trump down and explain the real world to him before he screws the USA.

      - The China International Payment System (CIPS), which is an alternative to the US controlled SWIFT network, is on-line and growing. It will allow any company on earth to freely trade with any other company on earth in several different currencies (but NOT US dollars) without any USA interference. Even if a company is "delisted" from SWIFT, they can easily do business on CIPS. Not only will this blunt USA sanctions, but also reduce the number of dollar transactions. Note that no matter how trump huffs and puffs, China will just politely tell him to go f*** himself and keep implementing CIPS.

      - Iran has been paranoid about a USA invasion for over 35 years, so during that time, they have meticulously studied USA weapons and tactics, then they put together an extremely deadly defense network. The anti-aircraft network is mutilayer with S-400 type systems, BUK type systems and lots of other "fun stuff." In addition to the air defense systems, they have implemented anti-ship systems that the USA has no defense against other than to stay away form Iran. IF (big IF) Americans were to actually land on Iran, they would be slaughtered because Iran has a huge, well trained army, plus there are several million citizens that are armed and ready to defeat the USA.

      - Sure, trump could nuke Iran, but it would lead to the end of the USA because the rest of the world would retaliate economically.

      The bottom line is attacking Iran is a fools errand and most USA military leadership KNOWS this as does Iranian leadership, so trumps threats will snot achieve what he thinks they will. trumps threats will simply make him look more foolish.

    • The USA LOST in Vietnam, then Afghanistan (as did most of the other invaders over the centuries), then Iraq.

      What makes trump and his minions think that the USA would not lose in Mexico, Iran and any other place trump feels needs a whipping?

      At one time the USA had weapons superiority,

      BUT . . .

      That is no longer the case. The rest of the world has "caught up" with the USA in both war toys and tactics. In fact, the rest of the world has far surpassed the USA, because they have developed weapons that are equal to anything the USA has, BUT COST as little as a tenth as much as the USA. The USA WASTES over 50% of the money it spends on the military with most of the money going to private companies (in many countries the government runs the weapons factories so there is no profit motive).

      Given that there has been several simulations that show that the USA would be humiliated in a war with Iran and that most, if not all, USA general officers have seen these results, it is surprising that Flynn would make such hollow threats.

      While Iran has NOT built any offensive weapons, they have designed and built an impressive array of defensive weapons that would make any invasion very, very deadly even if Russia and/or China didn't intervene.

      For example, China has developed a "carrier kill" with a 1000 mile range. The USA has NO DEFENSE for this missile, except stay 1000 miles form China. There are numerous reports that Iran has acquired this technology from China.

      In conjunction with China, Iran has developed an antiaircraft system equivalent to the Russian S-400 and deployed it.

      Iran is NOT going to back down. While they do not want war, they will protect themselves and humiliate the USA in the process.

      The cost of a war with Iran on the USA will be so high, that the USA could end up bankrupt.

      This will NOT go well for the USA.

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  • Trump Can't Make America Great Again without Immigrants
    • Any farm or ranch that is not a family corporation has extremely incompetent lawyers and CPAs.

      Every state and the USA government give LOTS of benefits to family farm/ranch corporations such that any farmer/rancher would be a fool to not take advantage.

      A family farm/ranch corp (typically a C-corp or S-corp) is immune to Estate taxes. To transfer who controls the farm/ranch, it is a matter of redistribution of the stock and there are zillions of non-taxable ways to do that.

      If you know of any one that still has a single proprietor farm or ranch, tell them to get new lawyers and CPAs and form a C-corp (it costs a LOT less than people imagine).

    • No.

      Who could they revolt against?

      - Big business? They NEED the goods and services that big business provides and big business will simply ignore any rules the Luddites put in place. Remember that merchants have been ignoring trade and tax rules for over 200 years.

      - Government - there is nothing a governments can do to stop technological progress that doesn't negatively impact their citizens.

      - Each other?

      As CGP Grey notes in his very well done video, the Luddites ALWAYS LOSE.

    • So you plan on failing in your own unique way?

      NC can not survive as a isolated entity.

    • Yes,

      Robots and technology in general INCREASE in capability in a near exponential way and robots and technology DECREASE in cost in a linear fashion.

      It is completely impossible for humans to adapt and avoid being replaced with technology.

      This video encapsulates the problem . . .

      link to youtube.com

      The Luddites ALWAYS lose.

    • The rural areas of the USA will continue to depopulate for several very valid reasons . . .

      - The boomers are dying off and are not being replaced and the jobs they did are not being done any longer.

      - Due to the ubiquitous media (TV, Radio, Film and cell based Internet), most farm/ranch kids are well aware that they can have much easier and generally more fulfilling lives by moving to the cities. My own family saw this 15 years ago when the family cattle ranch was sold because the older members of the family were dying (ranching is hard) and none of the kids in the extended family wanted to run the ranch. BTW the ranch was purchased for the water rights and was taken out of production of cattle and animal feed).

      - Due to technology, farms and ranches are becoming much more efficient and much less labor intensive. When I added computers to the family ranch, the records were much more accurate and the profitability increased. Now there are many inexpensive systems that work even better than the relatively primitive stuff I used 25 years ago. Things like GPS guidance systems for field preparation that increase yield by 10% just by accurately spacing crops for optimal growth. Now drones can be launched over the farm every few days (or daily if need be) to measure things like moisture content, solar radiation and even sugar content then this data is downloaded into a laptop where it is analyzed showing areas that need more or less watering and when crops are at optimal harvest.

      - With fewer people on each ranch/farm and with Internet shopping, there are fewer reasons for towns to exist, so the jobs and people leave the towns. In a way, Internet shopping is a new twist on the ancient "catalog shopping" that was done in the 1800s & 1900s. Back then, the small town store only stocked what could be sold in a year and everything else was a catalog purchase and was shipped in from "back east." We did a lot of "catalog" shopping on the family ranch because the nearest town was over 75 miles away and the nearest big cities were each about 350 miles away (the USA west has LOTS of empty space). Now pretty much anything a ranch/farm person wants or needs can be found with a few clicks and will typically arrive in less than a week (FedEx, UPS and USPS deliver pretty much anywhere in the USA).

      - As Juan notes, robotics will eliminate most jobs in the next decade. There is no way to prevent this. What jobs that remain will be located in cities where people have much nicer environments. Right now, there are high skill jobs that go begging in the Midwest and south because the people that live in the area do not have the skills and the people that have the skills take one look at the weather (often bad) and the culture (often none) and the education (extremely BAD) and say "no Way." For example, there is a small agricultural robotics company in southern Wisconsin that is looking for engineers with no luck. The jobs look like fun for a "hands on" type of engineer, but what do the spouse and kids do while the engineer is playing with the robots? I suspect that the little agro robot company in southern Wisconsin will have to eventually move to either Madison, WI or the Chicago area to have a better hiring pool even though their customers are on farms all over the Midwest.

      The bottom line is there is zero reason for many people in the USA to produce kids or live in rural areas. As a result, the GOP has a huge demographic problem. While most of the land in the USA is GOP territory, that land is depopulating, where as the population centers are being badly mistreated by the GOP, so the GOP has no long term chance.

      BTW - Women have been controlling their fertility and terminating pregnancies for a mere 50000 years and they are not about to stop just because some men tell them to. So, the USA birth rate will continue to decline regardless what draconian laws are put in place. The lesson humans can not seem to internalize is if there is a human need for some product or service, regardless of the laws, that market need will be fulfilled. Given the technology we now have to control fertility and terminate pregnancies, there will always be people and organizations that will fill that market need. Again the GOP is shooting itself in the foot by trying to satisfy a minuscule part of the USA population.

  • The Dutch to Trump: We have the Second best Words
    • Trump is going to be mocked by so many people, he will not know who to be angry with from moment to moment. He will go into anger overload.

      Then when he reacts, the world will mock him ever more.

      Unfortunately the world will also treat Americans like they are all trump supporters, meaning things will get worse for American tourists and American business people around the world.

      This is not going to end well for America. We are all going to pay a high price for the stupidity of a minority (but voting) part of America,

  • Netanyahu vows Israeli squatter settlement expansion in Palestinian E. Jerusalem
    • So what happens ten years from now?

      Everyone in Israel seems focused on the next months with no regard to how all of their actions will turn out after they ignore the probability of massive, negative unintended consequences.

      Why do Israeli think this will turn out OK over the next few decades?

      Given the behavior pattern of humans over the last 50,000 years (as documented in their own religious documents) these actions will turn to ashes over time.

      From a tactical point of view and ignoring the long term consequences, this is a great time to gut-punch the Arabs living west of the Jordan River.

      BUT . . .

      History clearly shows brutally oppressing humans works OK for the short term but is guaranteed to lead to massive retaliation in the long term and while the retaliation can be suppressed for a short period of time, the ONLY thing the short term suppression achieves is making the retaliation more massive and brutal.

      I can not find ANY documentation where the Israel describe how this will turn out in the long term. Probably because their delusions are obvious and confronting the delusions would lead to a terrible reality about the future.

      So help me understand how this is likely to play out over the long term, not just over the next few years. I understand that over the next few years, the USA will let Israel do whatever they want and kill whoever they want, but then what?

      What is the long term?

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil
    • FYI - On Wednesday, London because the 15th European city to have direct freight rail service with most Chinese cities. While trump is running around causing trouble, China is quietly building a global web of interdependence.

      This will NOT end well for the USA

      link to money.cnn.com

  • 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,

      BUT

      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 youtube.com

      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 youtube.com

    • 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 youtube.com

  • 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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