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Total number of comments: 743 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:47)


Showing comments 743 - 701

  • There’s No ‘Free Market’ Solution to Health Care
    • We KNOW, to a very high degree of accuracy, exactly how much of each type of health procedure and medicines we need to provide to the 300+ million Americas. No matter how we slice and dice the American population into meaningless groups we still KNOW what these groups will need.

      We can NOT change this reality of demand very much and "free markets" can NEVER do anything to change this demand. People will continue to get cancer on a random basis. People will continue to have accidents on a random basis. People will continue to have heart events on a random basis. Since we have eliminated most basic research and preventive care we can not lower the demand.

      The demand is pretty much fixed by nature so all we can do is manage the supply to minimize the total cost to society and eliminate as much greed as possible.

      There is a very good reason why every other nation on earth pays less than HALF what the USA does and why over 30 other nations have BETTER healthcare. They have eliminated as much greed as possible with STRICT government management of healthcare.

      Healthcare is a monopoly.

      I live in a Midwest metro area of about half a million and we have ONLY three major healthcare providers, but they all work together and often share resources. These three have no business reason to undercut each other on prices and decrease their profits, unless the government TELLS them what they will earn.

      Virtually every other city and town in America is the same or worse.

      Elko Nevada has a single hospital and a single doctor owned clinic. The nearest other major hospital is 300 miles away in Reno or Salt Lake city, which is where critical cases are flown to. In addition to the usual stuff (heart incidents and cancer), the hospital sees a lot of auto accidents from people traveling on I-80, none of which is planned but based on statistics, the hospital KNOWS they will have steady business that is only slightly modified by the weather. Since most of the car accidents are not locals, they charge the maximum they can to patch people up so the locals with no health insurance, pay a little less. basically they are cost shifting.

      Even large cities have defacto monopolies because the distance from one major healthcare center to the next is far enough that most people can not either get the transportation or tolerate the time to travel.

      The bottom line is, the USA will have to go to single payer eventually (like every other nation on earth), because the "free market" healthcare system will collapse because it is economically extremely inefficient. We just keep shifting costs around rather than forcing the cost to a minimum through severe government control.

      When single payer tells the service providers what they can earn, costs will go down, but not before then.

      All we are arguing about right now is who will pay for the healthcare we MUST provide, and who will die due to poor healthcare.

      Healthcare really is a case of . . .

      "Society pays now or pays even more later," because the DEMAND for healthcare can NOT be managed, only how much we pay.

      Americans are such fools - the solution is easy but greed and jealousy is strong in Americans.

      BTW - Epipens sell in the USA for US$600+, but the EXACT SAME epipen sells for LESS THAN US$100 pretty much everywhere else on earth and is often less then US$50. This is because the governments tell the drug companies what they will sell stuff for if they don't want their patents voided and local companies given the ability to make the products. This is why AIDS drugs are so inexpensive in parts of Africa. The governments threw out the USA/EU drug companies, ignored their patents and let Asian drug companies set up manufacturing plants in the African countries where the Asian companies make a nice profit without paying the original patent holders.

      The rest of the world knows how to get good to excellent healthcare for low cost.

  • If we don't Dump Fossil Fuels *Now*, we're Sticking our Kids with $530 Trillion in Debt
    • Carbon capture is technical BS.

      Carbon capture, while not entirely impossible technically, is economically prohibitive. Sure we can do magic things in a controlled lab setting but when we try to do stuff in the real world, it simply does not work. At the same time we are wasting billions on trying to keep carbon energy going, the non-carbon energy costs are heading to near zero.

      The simple reality is we do not actually have a way for carbon atoms to magically do what we want them to do because of basic chemistry, basic thermal dynamics and basic nuclear physics.

      Carbon based energy has no future, period and thinking that it may have one is a waste of time and human energy. why do we keep grasping at these straws instead of doing what we KNOW works?

  • Now they hate Universities: Trumpie anti-Intellectualism infects GOP
    • Universities are ECONOMIC ENGINES.

      While post high school education (community colleges, trade school and universities) also helps people learn how to think, one real practical effect is increased economic activity around the school.

      Some of this economic activity comes from businesses providing services for the students (beer & pizza) and staff (copying, etc).

      BUT . . .

      A significant amount of new economic activity comes from new businesses started by students and/or staff that is generated from new knowledge they have acquired. That is businesses based on academic research. This can be huge.

      BYU-Idaho is a great example of this. In 2001 the LDS church converted a small 2-year school with about 7,000 students into the third campus for BYU system. The new campus has the same high quality academic standards that the other two campuses have had for over 100 years. The student population is now about 20,000. Since 2001 there has been a huge increase in economic activity surrounding Rexburg, ID. Some of this was due to the increase in number of students and staff, BUT there has also been a large increase in new businesses that are result of academic ideas.

      UC Merced (the newest University of California campus) is following a similar pattern.

      One of the reasons the SF Bay Area is an economic powerhouse is that it has over 10 major universities, many world-class.

      - Stanford University
      - Santa Clara University
      - University of California - Berkeley
      - University of California - San Francisco
      - California State University - San Jose (SJ State)
      - California State University - East Bay (Hayward)
      - California State University - San Francisco (SF State)
      - California State University - Sonoma (Sonoma state)
      - Mills College
      - St Marys College

      And the list goes on . . .

      Basically, republicans appear to not understand the VALUE of universities but seem fearful that humans will learn to think and run away from republican ideas that have been documented to be failures.

    • There is a very valid reason most USA K12 schools are having a hard time finding all types of teachers, but especially STEM teachers.

      Labor markets are the ultimate "free market" in that the item a business is "renting" (employing) walks out the door every day and can choose to never come back if the conditions are not good. Silicon valley figured this out real quick which is why the wages for engineers are so high.

      BUT . . .

      Americans want two directly opposite things:

      - Super high quality education, and

      - Super low cost education.

      It is IMPOSSIBLE to have both.

      Teachers are not just mechanically spewing information but are transferring knowledge, therefore they have had to prepare for a minimum of 2 years. But that preparation also prepares them to be an asset in many other parts of the economy, meaning that K12 schools are competing with many other companies that value their employees much more highly and burden them with a lot less BS.

      While non-college educated people are having a terrible time finding work, college educated people are often in short supply and can find work with little problem.

      Quite simply, if Americans want quality education, they are going to have to raise taxes and pay teachers more and burden them with a lot less BS. For example, hire social workers to handle the social problems in schools instead of asking the teachers to do it and try to transfer knowledge. Yes this will mean twice as many people working in the schools, but education will be much better.

  • S. Africa ruling party will downgrade ties with Israel over Illegal Occupation
    • Israelis simply do not care.

      No matter how many countries "yell and scream" at Israel, Israel will simply go on with their long term plan to take all the land and drive out the Palestinians one way or another. As long as the USA protects Israel and Europe does nothing, life will just go on in Israel.

      Now, if Europe and other parts of the globe started to actually DO THINGS (actions) that effect Israel negatively, then maybe Israelis might start to listen.

  • G19 outmaneuvers climate Rogue Trump, ignores Donald & Ivanka
    • OK - Close to worthless as there is not much profit margin downstream from the oil, so trying to increase the price of oil will just decrease the market for oil even more.

  • When will gasoline cars be illegal? France throws its Beret into the Ring
    • Trains use diesel-electric for very good reasons.

      The next step for trucks is probably constant speed diesel-electric with batteries to handle surges and recover energy from braking.

      Also for trucks, hydrogen replacing diesel is a possibility.

      In the long term quick replace battery systems will probably be what trucks end up with. This would be similar to the "pony express" model then swap out the battery for a charged one and keep going.

    • Slight quibble - batteries are NOT semiconductors but energy storage devices that use atomic level Chemistry to store energy.

      Unfortunately we are approaching the limits of atomic chemistry to make energy storage devices that store lots of energy in a small space. There are some chemical combinations that will store energy with a higher density, but they can't be manufactured commercially nor are they safe around humans.

      That being said, Li-ion batteries are very light weight and have very good energy storage density and we are now producing them for very low cost. Often 18650 batteries (3.7 VDC, 3200mh) can be purchased for as low as US$ 5 each in small quantities and in large quantities as low as US$ 1 each.

  • G-20: Germany aims to isolate Trump on Paris Climate Plan
    • China, India, Europe and increasingly every country except the USA, realize that as non-carbon energy is perfected, most countries will have almost "free" energy to sustain a high standard of living. Once energy costs get low enough, then manufacturing becomes cheaper.

      Even extremely poor nations are starting to get almost free energy for LED lighting, transportation (electric mopeds) and communication (cell-in-a-box and cheap smart phones) from non-carbon energy the standards of living are getting much better.

      The USA is definitely on the wrong path to a dead end.

  • New Neocon Mantra: Hit Iran, b/c like Soviet Union, it is Collapsing
    • Europe and Asia are going to RUN, not merely walk away, from the unholy alliance of USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia and MEK. The USA is definitely picking the LOSING side.

      Like all countries, Iran has its internal differences, but one thing I am sure of is any attempt by the USA and/or Israel and/or Saudi Arabia to try to destabilize Iran by helping the MEK will UNITE Iran AGAINST the MEK and its backers. And I suspect after all the "bad will" trump spread around Europe this week, Europe and Asia will happily help Iran.

      This is not going to turn out well for the USA. When will we purge the USA government of the irrational Iran haters?

  • RIP Internal Combustion gasoline Engine: Volvo Goes Electric
    • About those batteries . . .

      Due to chemistry, physics and atomic physics, the chances of having higher capacity, faster charging batteries commercially available in the near or mid-term future is very low.

      As the laptop, pad and cell phone designers have learned, it is far easier to do very sophisticated power management than to "wish" for better energy storage. While Tesla and others have done this a little in current designs, we can expect to see a lot more of it in the future, probably with AI on-board the vehicles carefully controlling energy flow by the millisecond.

      The current driving cycle probably wastes a significant amount of energy.

  • Congress must take back the car keys of Perpetual War from Trump
    • I doubt if congress will do it because, while they are legally required by Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution to declare war, almost none of the congress critters wants to go anywhere near a record of them voting for war. Congress critters would much rather the president blunder into war and they can condemn him if the situation goes bad.

  • What's with the Victorious GOP's obsession with Civil War?
    • The USA has some very real problems,

      BUT . . .

      instead of addressing them, people are ignoring the root causes and looking for some ghost to blame.

      - Income inequality is terrible causing the erosion of h e"middle class." The USA should be using laws and tax code to strip the wealthy of most of their wealth (no human needs more than US$ 250K/year to live).

      - Most of the 99% are losing economic power and more and more are slipping into poverty. Most of these people are white christians.

      - Technology is eliminating he need for many human workers causing people without a MINIMUM of an AA degree to be unemployable.

      - When people lose employment due to technology, the government is making no effort to help the people adapt.

      - And the list goes on . . .

      The older, white, male, christians are indeed LOSING political power, economic power and demographic power and like all humans for the last 50000 years who have lost power, they are angry about their change in status (the human ego can be a real problem).

      In an ideal world, we would acknowledge (but not exploit like trump does) the very real changes that are happening and develop ways to manage that change is a rational manner.

      BUT . . .

      being egotistical, greedy humans we will not.

  • Top 6 Things Trump didn't know about Herat when he barred Girl robotics Scientists from US
    • While the USA openly no longer values non-whites, the same can not be said for other countries.

      Ever since I "retired" (thanks to an incompetent CEO) from a large multinational company, I have received numerous invitations to teach computer engineering at Chinese universities where I would be treated very well.

      Note that the classes would have been taught in English because many Chinese engineering students know English so they can read all the latest technology journals and send questions to the authors.

      Now that China and many other countries in Asia and Europe have INVESTED in their universities and have recruited professors from around the globe, including the USA, many of these universities are of equal quality to American universities. Most of these non-USA universities have much better lab equipment than USA universities.

      I have worked with some of the graduates of these universities and have found them to be extremely knowledgeable and creative, just the type of individuals that ACTUALLY make a country great (unlike fat blowhard real estate developers).

      BTW - at the same time, the republican governments in the USA (federal and state) have been defunding education (K12, community college and university). Such are the "new" USA priorities. Kansas is so bankrupt due to republican policies their schools are failing.

      Americans appear to be eagerly trying to make the USA much less great.

    • Stupid short-term actions usually have very bad long term consequences.

      Although I do not know the exact technical details about the robot the girls designed, based on my own robot design background, I can offer some ideas about what they achieved for non-technical readers.

      - The CPU is likely 32-bit and based on either ARM or Intel technology. ARM technology is what is in all smart phones and tablets while Intel technology is in almost all powerful servers, like the Google servers we all rely on, as well as laptops and desktop. In other words the girls are learning more about the future than most kids in the USA. BTW - Raspberry PI single board computers with quad-core 64-bit ARM CPUs cost less than US$ 50.

      - The operating system is probably Linux but may be Windows 10 (MS is giving it away on Raspberry pi and Intel systems). That is, a very powerful operating system.

      - In addition to the powerful operating system and hardware, the girls have learned how to make all the power do useful things by using very comprehensive programming technology.

      Basically, the girls are learning skills that everyone in "coal country" should be learning but most in "coal country" are extremely resistant and the few that may be willing, have no way to gain the skills because their republican controlled states refuse to help them get the skills.

      One possible long term consequence to this mean-spirited blunder is, the leader of a country that has a disagreement with the USA (China?), could invite the girls to demonstrate their robot to the country's leadership and then the leader could offer the girls a "full ride" scholarship to the top engineering school in that country. This would reinforce to the world that the USA is no longer the leader of the globe.

      And before non-technical users think that that would not be much of a prize, they might want to check out how highly rated the top technical universities in China, Russia and the EU are. the non-USA universities are now doing more original research and making more inventions than USA universities. While USA universities have struggled with funding, especially a lack of federal funding, countries in Asia and Europe have been pouring resources into their universities and their universities have caught up and in many cases moved in front of USA universities. The USA has been investing in war while most other countries have been investing in their youths.

      USA priorities are all wrong.

  • Top 5 things Trump is doing to us Worse than insulting Mika
    • Lets be PERFECTLY CLEAR . . .

      We KNOW, with very good accuracy, just how much of each type of healthcare service we have to provide to the 300+ million humans in the USA. We can not predict exactly who will have a heart attack on any particular day and time, but we have a good idea how many humans in the USA will have one, on average, each and every day of the week.

      What we are arguing about is WHO WILL PAY THE BILL AND HOW MUCH that bill should be.

      The republicans do NOT care how much healthcare costs or who pays as long as the healthcare providers make huge extremes of profit and that wealthy do not contribute a dime toward paying the bill. In other words, they want to screw the American public for fun and profit and transfer as much wealth as possible from the poor to the rich while killing off as many of the riff-raff as possible.

      IF Americans can ever understand this basic idea, then maybe they will realize two things . . .

      - A single risk pool must include every human in the USA to share the payment as fairly as possible. American egos and racism MUST be eliminated so everyone shares in the costs that will happen no matter what we try to do.


      - the risk managers MUST be able to tell the healthcare providers what they will get paid for each and every healthcare event and that trying to "game the system" will result in the healthcare provider going to jail for a large portion of the rest of their lives (at least we will not just shoot them like some countries do).

      In other words, if the USA needs to take all the best features of the "socialist" healthcare systems the rest of the world uses and create a USA "socialism-lite" version.

  • Back to Quagmire: Beware endless US Troop Escalations in Afghanistan
    • Half baked military engagement is ALWAYS a loser action.

      If the locals are not willing to die for their side then there is nothing the USA can do to change the situation and should just accept the situation and leave.

      All indications are the Taliban are more mentally into the fight than the Afghan army, so no matter how many "advisors" (actually mercenaries) the USA dumps into the country, the situation will not get any better.

      If the USA wants to defeat the Taliban, they will have to put several hundred thousand USA troops on the ground to die in large numbers until all the population is dead or subjugated. The it will have to install a puppet government and protect the (fake) government with several hundred thousands troops forever at great expense to the USA taxpayers and cannon fodder "donor" families.

      The USA can NOT do anything in Afghanistan that has not already been tried by the loser Brits (THREE TIMES) or the loser Soviets, or any of the losers that have attacked Afghanistan over the last several thousand years and went away defeated.

      The USA has LOST in Afghanistan and we should just admit it and walk away from a losing action. There is NO WAY the USA can "win" in any sense of the word in Afghanistan.

  • Syria: Russians alarmed, Washington Befuddled, by White House threats
    • Note that the new base will be ringed by S-300 systems because Russia is rapidly replacing all their S-300 systems with S-400 systems resulting in lots of surplus S-300 systems.

      Having a Russian base near Damascus will complicate USA regime change attempts.

      It is long past time for the USA to just accept Assad and quit trying to play the grand master in a losing game.

  • Turkey abandons High Tech Future by Banning Teaching of Evolution
    • The simple REALITY is due to technology, the earth now has a huge excess of workers.

      That is, **ALL** the goods and services needed or wanted by the 7.5 billion humans on earth can easily be provided by about 4 billion humans and that number is decreasing by the day as technology eliminates the need for humans in most activities.

      So, in the coming decades this will mean that less and less humans will be able to find jobs. It appears that there will soon be 25 humans competing for every available job on earth and the ones with the best trained brains will be the ones that succeed.

      Basically what is happening is religious based education which ignores REALITY in favor of the myth, will end up handicapping young adults who will not have a good background in the sciences and math.

      Of course the students that understand how their education is handicapping them just may rebel and in the end reject religion.

      Anti-intellectualism will not succeed in the end, especially in a world where the entire earth's knowledge is available to most people 24/7/365 and censoring the Internet is an extremely complex and mostly losing proposition. Nations that over censor the Internet, will lose out in the global economy.

      What puzzles me is why parents would doom their kids to a miserable existence rather than want them to get well educated so they can succeed in a future world. All to protect some myths.

  • Trump May Already Be Blundering into the Next Middle East War
    • Iran does NOT want war with the USA, BUT they will not be pushed around by the USA and Russia will be glad to help them if the USA attacks.

      Iran will try to send diplomatic signals for the USA to back off, but trump is too stupid to understand and he has decimated the state department so there are few left that can even shout at him to stop, even though he will not listen.

      Iran will probably NOT make an first strikes but will react very forcibly when attacked.

      The real problem is trump has a "divine right king" mentality and he will do what he wants regardless what is actually best for the USA. Trump is all ego and no thought, similar to a certain German ruler that made lots of mistakes due to ego during the 1930s and 1940s.

    • Unfortunately Americans will pay a very high price, both individually and as a country.

      The possible opponents are all capable of brutally punishing the USA military if not winning outright.

      The costs will be many Americans dead and economic bankruptcy.

      Iran has been preparing very carefully for USA invasion for over 35 years and they are prepared to brutally punish the USA if not drive it back to the USA in defeat. Iran has carefully studied USA tactics and has developed counter-tactics. Iran has carefully studied USA weapons and has developed very effective counter-weapons. Basically Iran has the capability to severely wound the USA even if no one else helps, BUT both Russia and China have publicly said the y would help Iran.

      If the USA pushes too hard in Syria, the USA will find itself in a war with Russia and Iran which it will lose badly after paying very high costs.

      The bottom line is if the USA starts a war, either deliberately or by stupid accident, it will permanently damage itself and its economy and most Americans (the 99%) will have much worse lives.

      FYI - the USA does not have the manpower to fight a war without drafting millions of Americans. in the REAL WORLD technology can not replace humans when it comes to war - armies still need cannon fodder. I wonder how Americans will like that?

  • Trump's Folly: Oil is a Worthless Commodity and Saudi's Crown Prince Knows It
    • Carbon energy can not compete with non-carbon energy for several reasons:

      - All carbon energy that can be harvested for very little cost has already been used up. All the carbon energy left requires more and more costs to harvest. Long term the cost to produce a kilowatt of carbon energy will have to go up.

      BUT . . .

      - The cost of non-carbon energy is decreasing every day as the technology evolves. That is, non-carbon energy technology is following a curve very similar to CPUs, memory chips, image sensors, etc.

      - Right now we have a carbon energy glut because conversion from carbon energy to non-carbon energy plus massive energy conservation has drastically lowered the demand for all forms of energy much faster than most people anticipated and that trend is accelerating.

      As a result, as professor Cole noted Saudi Arabia is sitting on an asset that is losing value by the day, especially as most countries (but not the USA) have figured out for any country to thrive by 2050, it MUST be energy self-sufficient so their wealth is kept at home and not drained by others.

      So by 2050 at the latest, Saudi Arabia will have no market for its oil, just like coal producers are running out of markets for their product right now. Within a few short years there will be no active coal mines in the USA because they will not even be able to give coal away (unfortunately, due to USA politics, the coal workers will be in terrible shape - instead of fighting market forces the USA should be educating and moving coal miners to other parts of the USA).

      I helped designed some of the technology we have today and I see non-carbon energy following the SAME PATH which will make carbon energy producers into the buggy whip makers of today.

  • Green France: Macron bans Fracking and welcomes US renewables Scientists fleeing Trump
    • Low cost, reasonably accurate weapons that can be produced by the thousands are the "winners." This is why the AK-47 is so ubiquitous. AK-47 built in the early 1950s are STILL in use killing humans in large quantities because the design "just works.".

      This is why the USA will get devastated by Iran when the USA attacks. Iran has designed and made thousands of inexpensive, reliable and accurate missiles and other weapons whereas the USA has a few very expensive ego boosters for the USA officers.

      The main reason I strongly dislike the F-35 is, it is extremely complex and based on my almost 45 years of engineering experience, I know that complex stuff breaks a lot. From a practical engineering standpoint, the F-35 is a total mess and I will not be surprised that it fails spectacularly in combat.

      BTW - USA companies have out-sourced the knowledge of how to build low cost reliable products to Asia.

    • Right now - it is a race between Europe and Asia (mostly China) to figure out the "best" combination of broad spectrum solar energy harvesting and low cost manufacturing.

      The USA is not even in the race anymore for a few simple reason:

      - Lack of political will. As the article noted, Europeans and Asians are INVESTING heavily in non-carbon energy, not only to clean up the atmosphere BUT more importantly to ensure they have enough low cost energy to ensure their economy continues to thrive. Non-USA countries are well aware that all the "cheap" carbon energy has already been used up and the costs of future carbon energy can only increase particularly as more and more suppliers run out of stuff to sell.

      - USA "magic bullet" obsession. USA companies and universities are obsessed with finding the "magic bullet" rather than finding the "best" low cost practical solution. This is the reason why many "magic bullets" developed on small scale in USA labs never scale up to commercial production. For example, the technology you cited is very expensive to manufacture and may never be manufactured at realistic costs. that is, the cost per installed kilowatt is vastly higher than ordinary medium efficiency Chinese panels. Americans tend to want to make the "optimal" product whereas the Asians and Europeans are looking for the lowest cost per kilowatt.

  • All Signs from Trump Point to a Coming Conflict with Iran
    • Iran does not need nukes.

      Iran already has more than enough conventional weapons to make the entire Mideast one giant pile of rubble.

      Per the IDF there are over 50k very accurate missiles pointed at Israel right this minute, which is why the IDF leadership told Bibi to shut up about attacking Iran.

      Iran has been preparing for over 35 years for a massive USA attack and has developed the engineering and manufacturing infrastructure to make any attack EXTREMELY PAINFUL for the attackers.

      The USA might be able to devastate Iran, but in the process the USA will be devastated and will never be powerful again.

    • The blowback from a USA nuclear strike will end the USA.

      Remember that there are three nuclear nations downwind of Iran (China, India, Pakistan) and all three now have the capability of nuking the USA with ICBMs.

      The downwind nations will be "very unhappy" that their food supplies are contaminated by the USA blasts.

      BTW - guess who else is downwind of Iran - the USA food supplies in California and the Midwest - there is a very good reason why EVERY nation on earth no longer sets off nukes in the atmosphere - it contaminates everyone's food. Note that even NK tests underground - not even NK is crazy enough to do it in the air..

    • All empires end.

      What really differentiates the ends of empires is how much the former empire implodes and how quickly.

      Americans seem to want the implosion to be spectacular, quick and as damaging to the USA as possible.

      Rather than manage the end of the empire, the USA seems to making decision based on how much damage they can do to themselves.

    • The USA treasury use of the SWIFT banking network to "punish" Iran is just driving most countries on earth to use the new Chinese version of SWIFT. As countries move to the Chinese network, the USA loses all ability to monitor all transactions and Chinese banks gain revenue by hiding transactions from the USA.

      And if the USA tries to punish Chinese banks (mostly controlled by he government), the Chinese will just make it harder for USA companies to operate in China, making Chinese companies wealthier and USA companies poorer.

      Basically, the USA is handing China global leadership on a golden platter inscribed with a big "T."

  • The Millennial's Palace Coup in Saudi Arabia: How Dangerous?
    • @my comment - Iran can do a LOT more damage to KSA than KSA can do to Iran.

      Iran has thousands of very capable missiles and a three tier and very deadly air defense network that will make short work of the KSA air-force.

      Whereas KSA has a small number of Chinese DF21C and very bad pilots driving very expensive USA made air toys.

      Iran is NOT a nation to take lightly.

    • As long as the new king pays off his cousins well enough, there will not be coup.

      The Shia minority does not have the military might to break off from KSA. Even though the KSA military is very substandard, it is still better than any Shia minority.

      As for a war with Iran, Iran holds all the cards. If KSA gets too annoying, all Iran as to do is drop a few hundred of their very accurate (and low cost) missiles on the KSA infrastructure (most custom built) and KSA will have zero income. Note that anti-missile systems have an extremely poor record in real world combat.

    • Attacking Iran will NOT lead to "regime change."

      Any country that attacks Iran will get its head handed to it in a paper sack.

    • It depends on whether Trump listens to the military who have already figured out that attacking Iran is a stupid idea.

      Oooops - I forgot, the petulant trump child does not listen to any adult.

      So on with another losing war where the USA wastes a few more trillions of dollars it does not have, because it vastly under-taxes its rich citizens.

      Yes, grab a beverage of choice (preferably one that numbs your brain) and grab an unhealthy snack (it will not matter after the USA loses) and watch the fun on your HDTV.

    • Muhammad bin Salman should keep in mind six things:

      - The greatest sin in all religions, that leads to the worst downfall, is PRIDE. Saudi Arabia is no better than Iran and trying to be the top dog in the middle east by force can easily lead to failure because throughout history virtually all hubris (pride) leads to terrible failure.

      - Wars always bankrupt nations that start wars.

      - Iran has been preparing for a USA invasion for over 35 years and has developed the infrastructure to design and manufacture very excellent, low cost weapons. Any invasion of Iran will be EXTREMELY COSTLY to the invader. BTW - I know of at least two simulations (done in the west) that show the USA being DEFEATED if it attacked Iran so Saudi Arabia will do far worse. The Saudis may also want to think about why Israel has never attacked Iran (the IDF leadership realized that they would lose as much as half their invading aircraft and the 50k missiles pointed at Israel would turn Israel into a pile of rubble)

      - Iran has friends who will gladly help out because it will weaken the USA and Saudi Arabia.

      - Iran's army has over a million battle-hardened soldiers (more than the USA army and marines) and tens of thousands of very accurate missiles (they just sent two into Syria to great effect).

      - Saudi Arabia is doing the exact opposite to the principals that Sun Tzu wrote several thousand years ago - Principals that have been proven, repeatedly, to be the best to follow.

      In the end I expect the Saudis to very pridefully attack Iran and get their heads handed to them in humiliating defeat because that is just what prideful, arrogant humans do.

  • 3 mn will own 70% of US Wealth generated by 320 mn by 2021
    • I find it fascinating that the 99% are so willing to let the 1% have all the wealth when the 99% could very easily strip the 1% of all their wealth (there have been many revolutions in history that did just that).

      I have almost damaged my brain trying to figure out why so many Americans, so willingly vote to screw themselves.

      is the reason . . .

      - basic racism - can't take wealth from rich white folks because the non-white lives may improve?

      - basic greed - the 99% deliciously think they may be rich someday (not a chance) so they don't want to be taxed when they reach nirvana.

      - paranoia that the 99% will lose even more if the rich feel deprived (hint the rich do NOT create jobs).

      - something else?

      I just do not understand why the 99% don't just take everything the wealthy have.

  • In March for 1st Time, 10% of US Electricity came from Wind and Solar
    • Economically, it would be far less expensive for the state to just pay laid off coal workers a "basic wage" for the rest of their lives than to waste the money on extremely expensive coal plants that will just get more expensive over time.

      Australia, like all countries has an excess of workers, so rather than waste money on projects that make no economic sense, just to employ a small number of humans, just take part of the money that would be wasted and pay the ex-worker directly.

    • Also add a wind turbine (there are some really nice ones coming on the market this year) and keep a lookout for the Chinese versions of the Tesla "power wall."

      You could become totally energy self-sufficient.

      BTW - also look to replace all your high energy usage stuff with newer low energy stuff and add insulation to living spaces.

  • Making America a Pariah again?
    • Military "adventures" WASTE huge amounts of a country's wealth and can easily bankrupt a nation overnight.

      Yes the USA is in economic decline internally because of extremely bad wealth distribution and the "rotten " USA middle emotionally know they are screwed, but the middle has blamed the WRONG people and chosen the WRONG way to minimize their pain.

      The SIMPLE REALITY is all weapons are based on technology and these days EVERY NATION is EQUAL when it comes to technology and weapons.

      That is, the USA does NOT have any military advantage and any more wars will simply bleed the USA wealth like a butchered pig bleeding out.

      The bottom line is the USA COULD vastly improve, but it would need to slash its military spending by 75% and raise taxes on those making more than $250k to Eisenhower post WW2 tax levels. Then spend the money on rebuilding middle America, eliminating all carbon based energy and educating far more Americans.

      In other words redistribute the county's wealth to the people that generated it rather than those that are stealing it.

  • Trump's new Clash of Civilizations: Carbonites v. Greens
    • Carbon energy is finite and will have to increase in cost as the supplies decrease.

      Whereas harvesting solar energy (sun and wind), earth's internal energy (geothermal) and gravitational energy are limitless and DECREASING in cost.

      Basic energy economics says the carbonites will LOSE and lose big. Carbon energy just can not compete with almost free non-carbon energy.

      Throw in newer, much safer, nuclear power systems and the handwriting is on the wall . . .

      This is the "last gasp" of the carbon energy folks and trump is betting the future of the USA economy on the losing side.

      China, India and Europe will WIN BIG while the mid east, Russia and the USA will lose big.

  • Sorry, Trump, Electric Car sales doubled last Year, dooming dirty Fossil fuels
    • Actually not true . . .

      The economics of non-carbon energy versus carbon energy are all in non-carbon's favor.

      Chinese companies are very, very good at designing and making hardware and Indian companies are very, very good at making software. Between the two, the carbon energy market is going to be heavily battered over the next few years.

      Chinese companies are focusing on four things:

      - Solar energy harvesting systems that are real inexpensive and reasonably efficient.

      - Wind energy harvesting systems that are real inexpensive and reasonably efficient.

      - "powerwall" type energy storage systems that are real inexpensive and reasonably efficient.

      - Low energy usages devices (LED lamps, etc).

      As those four hardware technologies drive the costs through the floor, I expect Indian software companies to work with Chinese hardware companies on developing very efficient energy management systems to make the Chinese hardware even more reliable and inexpensive.

      This is the trick the laptop and smart phone makers figured out - make very energy efficient hardware then layer on top, very good energy management technology so the resulting merger of technologies results in very powerful and efficient systems.

      Even without non-carbon subsidies and even with the tremendous public subsidies the carbon energy folks get, the economics will still drive carbon energy companies into bankruptcy.

  • GOP Rep. urges US Terror alliance with ISIL against Iranian civilians
    • If the USA follows Rohrabacher's Suggestion, Americans will NOT like the massive defeat the USA will suffer.

      Iran is NOT the "weakling" that Rohrabacher thinks it is and ISIS hates the USA even more than they hate Iran.

      More uninformed BS from USA politicians.

  • As Comey Bolsters "Obstruction" Case, could Trump be Impeached?
    • READ my note above . . .

      Like many people with little to no understanding of the USA constitution, you assume that congress has to have a "reason" to impeach and remove the president, BUT

      That is NOT true.

      Although you try to discount Comey, in REALITY, he is far, far more credible than trump.

      As this plays out, trump will consistently lose and will have his ego battered daily.

    • Don't bet on it . . .

      Trump supporters, while very vocal, are actually a minuscule part of the USA electorate and they are going to be harmed the most by trump's policies (although they will try to blame anything else).

      Trumps policies are so damaging to the USA he will probably get the thumping of his life if he chooses to run again.

      Personally, I expect trump to resign long before 2020 because he will be losing on so many fronts, his ego will not be able to handle it.

      If the republicans lose the house in 2018 trump will probably be impeached and removed from office (actually he will resign before he gets kicked out).

      The trump era is the "last gasp" of the economically dying rust belt and south. Over the next few years the major economic centers will forcibly take power away from the dying areas that have lots of land but very small populations.


      Impeachment is NOT a judicial process, but is a political process where any time a president angers 218 congresspersons and 67 Senators, the two houses can throw a president out on his ear for ANY REASON or no reason at all besides they don't like him.

      Right now republican philosophy is all about power - getting it and keeping it to benefit a few very rich people. They simply do NOT CARE about the USA and the 300 million minions that live in the USA.

      While trump is a major crook and is severely damaging the USA, he is not yet endangering republican power to screw the non-rich and enrich the wealthy, therefore he will not be impeached.

      Only when republicans feel they are in danger of losing power will they drive trump from office.

      Considering how many republicans still try to protect trump, it will be a long time before trump is gone and he will probably resign rather than get savaged every day by everyone with a way to savage him. Trump's ego can take only so much battering before he will retreat claiming "victory."

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  • US faces risks as Trump misreads the Middle East
    • Iran's weapons systems are actually extremely impressive. Many are engineered in Iran to be extremely accurate and effective while having low cost. Essentially Iran gets far more "bang for their buck" than the USA, Israel or Saudi Arabia.

      If the Saudis attack Iran, several things will probably happen . . .

      - Most of the Saudi jets will fall from the sky because of Iran's massive S-400 and BUK anti-aircraft network (the S-400 are actually Iranian clones of the Russian system but with massive improvements and the BUKs are similar clones).

      - Iran will destroy most of Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure. Note that all oil infrastructure is "hand-built" so once it is destroyed it can take as much as three plus years to rebuild.

      - Then things will go down-hill for KSA from there.

      - At that point, the USA will probably try to help KSA, but will suffer massive damages. Note that Iran is rumored to have at least one Chinese DF-21D "carrier killer" so the USA carrier will have to stay at least 1000 miles for Iran to ensure they stay afloat.

      Iran's weapons and troop strengths are impressive to those that are not blinded by the USA "bright shiny object" school of military.

  • Who needs Trump: State Policies driving huuje advances in Wind Power
    • There is a very good reason why every farm in the Midwest had a wind-powered water pump since the 1800s - a steady supply of water for the house and livestock..

  • US Reputation under Trump Tanking, Costing Economy Billions
    • For any business to survive, let alone thrive, there MUST be demand for the business products or services.

      If there is no demand, there is no reason for any business to hire any humans. And, as robots become exponentially more capable while at the same time drastically decreasing in cost, business can meet their demand with even fewer humans. Therefore even if the USA actually did increase its exports (it will not), fewer humans will be employed rather than more because business will "invest" in inexpensive robots rather than extremely expensive humans.

      As for demand . . .

      After WW2, the USA exported lots of stuff because the rest of the world was not capable of producing the stuff humans wanted. The USA reputation was high and had lots of stuff to sell.

      BUT . .

      In the 1960s -1990s, the rest of the world built new factories using the latest technology while USA businesses used their wealth to make the owners richer rather than rebuild their now ancient and inefficient factories. Now USA business were not only competing with each other, but with better products from around the world.

      BUT . . .

      Instead of investing in USA factories, they just closed them and had stuff made at the newer factories in other parts of the globe. Eventually people around the globe realized that the USA branded stuff was actually designed and made elsewhere and started buying directly from the non-USA maker with their funny sounding brand name (ie. Xiaomi or Lenovo [ex IBM]).

      NOW - every human on earth has a wide variety of sources for very high quality stuff (the stuff only the USA made 50 years ago), therefore the FEELINGS people have about a business and its country of origin becomes very important.

      Basically, the USA hubris is starting to catch up with the USA. The USA has treated the rest of the world with contempt for over 50 years and now people have a way to "punish" the USA for that contempt.

      Trump will NOT succeed in increasing exports very much because every country on earth wants to use exports to increase their wealth and the USA no longer has any unique products or services.

      Why buy a USA product when a product of equal or better quality can be purchased cheaper from a much friendlier country?

      If trump wants to succeed, he will have to have a personality transplant and be 100% less belligerent and 100% much nicer.

  • Pope to Trump: Climate Change is Real and we have to act in Solidarity
    • Solar (permanent free energy), wind (which is just solar in a different form) , geothermal (the earth's "permanent" heat) and tides (universal gravity) are ALL much much less expensive to harvest than nuclear.

      While there are much safer systems than light water reactors that are designed to FAIL, nuclear is still a very expensive way to harvest energy.

  • Trump in Absolute Monarchy during Iran's Election
    • Keep in mind most of the stuff going to KSA is extremely over-priced USA junk which is overly complex and very prone to failure in usually spectacular ways.

      KSA is getting far less than it thinks.

      On the other hand, Iran has developed a very good arms industry that makes excellent, efficient and accurate weapons that cost very little. Iran is more than a match to the bloated KSA military.

      Basically the KSA military has more money than sense.

    • American egos got bruised when the Iranians threw out the USA puppet and that has colored the USA actions for 35 years.

      You are correct that the Iranian actions are a DIRECT response to the deadly threats the USA spews against Iran on an almost daily basis.

      Iran has very valid reasons for being extremely paranoid about the USA.

    • Juan is correct.

      Over the last 35 years I have helped introduce several different technologies to the world and the adoption process has been remarkably similar.

      Just this evening I explained to an environmental engineer how China is ramping up a army of robots to make:

      - Reasonably efficient, very low cost solar panels. China is doing this primarily for internal usage but India and USA are secondary markets. Note that China wants to stop paying higher and higher prices to other nations for carbon energy. They want to "harvest" all the energy they need using inexpensive technology they have perfected.

      - Reasonably efficient low cost house/small business wind turbines.

      - Low cost clones of the Tesla Powerwall, based on standard 18650 Li-ion cells (used in laptops, etc). The competition between Tesla (which is ramping up to flood the west with powerwalls) and the Chinese clones will be fierce and result in high quality powerwalls for very low costs.

      Typically technology introductions have a fairly nice 15% to 20% up slope until one day the slope shoots through the roof exponentially ( the "hockey stick" adoption curve) . The global adoption curves for non-carbon energy are very nicely following the "traditional" technology curves.

      Remember that not only does technology increase in capability over time, but the costs DECREASE over time which is the exact opposite of carbon energy economics. All the low cost carbon energy has already been turned into carbon dioxide. All the remaining carbon energy will get increasingly complex to extract and will get increasingly more expensive. The globe will probably never "run out" of carbon energy, BUT it will soon become far to expensive to use for much of anything .

  • Are Iran and Saudi Arabia Heading Toward War?
    • As I noted above, while some Israeli politicians think that war with Iran would be "great fun," the very professional Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Mossad (Israel's CIA/MI6) are very much against any attempt because they are well aware just how dangerous Iran's CONVENTIONAL weapons are.

      Yes, Iran does NOT need nuclear weapons (or "dirty bombs") to make Israel and /or Saudi Arabia a huge pile of rubble since they have a huge number of very accurate conventional weapons - the number is several orders of magnitude more than Israel's mythical anti-missile systems (that have the usual high failure rate of all anti-missile systems). That is, long after Israel has fired off all its anti-missile systems, Iran will still be able to rain destruction on Israel.

      Iran is NOT a pushover and in the last 35 years has educated a large cadre of brilliant engineers who KNOW how to make very effective, deadly weapons that cost very little to produce. Iran gets a lot more "bang for its buck" than the USA or Israel or Saudi Arabia.

    • The Saudis should be real careful what they "wish for."

      War with Iran would be devastating to Saudi Arabia since Iran has spent the last 35 years developing extremely deadly defensive weapons such as LOTS of very inexpensive but accurate medium range missiles that can destroy all of KSA's oil infrastructure and make living in any KSA city very dangerous.

      Iran has also prepared for a major USA attack, so any Saudi, Israeli and/or USA attack will be very costly. There is a very good reason Israel has never attacked Iran - the IDF bluntly told Bibi it would fail miserably and lead to massive deaths in Israel. Per the IDF there are over 50,000 very accurate and deadly missiles pointed at Israel (the IDF actually said over 100,000 but I discount their rhetoric because it was during budget discussions).

      Saudi sabre rattling is based on delusions of grandeur and if they follow through things could fall apart for the Saudis real quick.

      Sure the Saudis have lots of extremely over-priced USA war toys, but they do not have that large of a trained military and it appears that much of that training is not very effective.

      In the mean time, Iran has quietly been building a very well trained and very well equipped military and thanks to the USA invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iranian military is very battle-hardened.

      I suspect that when the Saudis give into their hubristic egos, they are going to quickly regret it and will have to sign a peace treaty with Iran that will make Iran stronger politically and help the Saudis avoid bankruptcy (all wars drain treasuries, especially when the military and war toys makers are vastly over-paid).

      Trump's cheer-leading for a Saudi/Iran war (even though the US military is well aware just how bad it will turn out for the Saudis and the USA) will just further marginalize the USA on the world stage.

  • GOP not the party of 'Security' as Intel Allies Flee Trump
    • Who is the "big dawg" on earth, changes minute by minute as is well documented by 10000 years of human history.

      One of the key characteristics of humans is their immense ability to delude themselves and practice hubris on a grand scale.

      The USA is NOT the "big dawg" anymore and in fact it could be demonstrated it never has been.

      Every nation does what is best for its top 5% and may even care a little about the other 95% some what. Over the centuries, countries have learned how to con each other in the nicest possible ways, so even when the USA egos think they are "top dawg" they really are not and often pay heavily for the help the USA gets.

      If other nations decide that screwing the USA is in their best interest, they will screw the USA because they know in the end, the USA has no real leverage over them. The USA is vastly more weak than your delusions let you understand.

      So Yes, the USA is going to have very negative consequences for all the trump screw-ups.

  • Could Comey Memo lead to Impeachment of Trump?
    • Actually that is not entirely correct due to the 25 amendment to the Constitution.

      If the president is unable (or unwilling) to perform his duties (it is always a male human), under the 25th, the vice president becomes the president.

      Then the new President nominates a successor who becomes Vice President if confirmed by a majority vote of both Houses of the Congress.

      Note that the new vice president can be anyone that meets the regular requirements and does NOT have to be any of the positions listed.

      So if trump gets booted out, Pence becomes president and he can nominate anyone he wants to be vice president. Since this is a politician decision I suspect a zillion candidates will come out of the woodwork. Note that while the republicans have a slim majority in both the senate and house, the republicans are so fragmented, that pence may just have to find a candidate that is somewhat acceptable to the democrats to get the person through past the congress critters.

  • American Workers in Age of Trump just aren't being Paid Fairly
    • There are some simple reasons why American workers are getting screwed . . .

      - The "rugged individual" syndrome (basic selfishness) where American workers refuse to unionize to ensure fair treatment by companies.

      - Technology is eliminating most jobs. In many cases robotics is lots cheaper than any human no matter how uneducated the human is.

      - Robotics means the USA has a HUGE excess of uneducated workers. That is, the supply vastly exceeds the demand. When supply is high and demand is low, prices (wages) go through the floor

      - Americans, who will NEVER be rich, care far too much about how much the rich pay in taxes instead of electing politicians that will tax the rich to the maximum. Personally, I have no problem with anyone that makes more than US$250k/year paying 99% tax on everything over US$250K. NO ONE needs more than US$250K/yr to live.

      - Americans have zero understanding of macro economics, so are easily sold a HUGE bucket of lies.

      - Americans vote republican out of racism and greed - "we can't have those non-whites getting one cent more than the poor whites." That is, Americans vote out of pure ugly emotion never in their own self interest.

      If Americans actually thought about their futures, they would vote progressive all the way and transfer as much wealth as possible from the rich to the poor and middle class (those making less than US$250k/yr).

      BUT . . .

      Because that would be "socialism" and Americans will never do that, even though socialism is a very good social construct.

  • Is China Now the Adult in the Room? Xi and Macron Consult
    • It is unlikely the USA will return to a leadership roll primarily because the USA culture is not well equipped to deal with a world where most humans are unemployable. That is, where technology eliminates most jobs.

      Most other countries on earth have a more "communal" type culture whereas the USA, because of its unique history, tends to have a more "rugged individual" type culture. The dissonance between the need for more "communal" type changes to the USA culture and the founding myths is going to cause massive turmoil in the USA which will focus the USA inward preventing the USA from providing global leadership.

      Part of why trump was elected is because huge parts of the USA can no longer ignore the changes that technology has made, such as depopulation of small towns, and the USA culture has no mechanism to deal with the changes.

      As for China, people should remember that except for a 200 year period (1750 - 1950), for over 5000 years, China was a MAJOR regional power and they have written records of every mistake they have ever made and their culture actually pays attention to those records. So Yes, China is going to move cautiously to minimize mistakes.

  • How America's Myth of the Infallible Generals gets us in Trouble
    • If the USA pulled COMPLETELY out of the Mideast (including all contact with Israel), Russia would mostly leave (except for some warm water ports) and China would simply be a customer looking to stop buying as soon as they can have their own energy sources (solar and wind).

      The Mideast is a mess almost entirely because of the USA, UK and France. Right now the USA is the only one of the three actively stirring the pot.

      As for what would happen if the USA withdrew; sure there would be bloodshed, but probably not as much as everyone thinks.

  • China cancelled 100 Coal Plants but Trump going the other Way
    • BTW - Even Walmart got caught on the "wrong" side of the rapid shift from incandescent lighting to LED lighting. My local Walmart has what used to be very expensive LED light bulbs from less than a year ago in the "clearance" section, BUT even with significant discounts from the original price, the bulbs are still much more costly than the recent LED bulbs in the lighting section .

      Yes, Chinese factories have now ramped up to produce billions of very inexpensive energy efficient LED bulbs while still making a profit.

      When I converted my entire house to LED bulbs I saw a nice decrease in my total energy usage that quickly paid for itself.

      The USA electric producers have discovered that with the rising price of coal compared to other sources, energy conservation is much cheaper.

      Coal is dead because non-carbon energy is RAPIDLY killing it.

  • China's covering a Football field with Solar Panels Every Hour in Quest to End Coal
    • Even as coal demand world-wide decreases, the cost of coal will continue to increase because humans have already extracted all the cheap, easy to extract coal.

      At the same time that the cost of coal will increase, the cost of non-carbon energy will drop through the floor as the technology to harvest and store non-carbon energy improves in an exponential fashion.

      In China, most leaders have no ideological need to defend carbon energy, especially since China has to import much of it, which obligates them to be some what subservient to other countries (something they do NOT like). As a result, Chinese leaders have no real problems forcing a rapid change that increases the countries energy resources, lowers the cost of energy and improves the quality of life.

      Unfortunately far too many in the USA are tied to carbon energy so they fight change rather than cheer newer, cheaper non-carbon energy.

      Once again , a 5000 year old culture based on "community"is better than a 200 year old culture based on the greed of the individual.

  • How Many Defeats have Americans bought with $5 Trillion in War Costs?
    • Even if the USA were to commit its entire population and all its wealth (what little it has left) to war, it would probably still be defeated quite simply because the entire world is now awash in war toys equal to or better than anything the USA has or will have and the other humans on earth are equally as good at killing humans.

      For about 200 years (1700 - 2000), Europeans, then the Americans had better weapons and slightly better training,


      Those days are long past.

      - Personal weapons like the AK-47 and its various clones are readily available. Per CJ Chivers, there are well over 100 million now and thousands more are made each and every day.

      - Group weapons like aircraft, missiles and similar stuff are based on technology and the whole world has access to the same technology and there are LOTS of equally intelligent competitors around the world applying that technology to weapons.

      Basically, there is no way for the USA to win any future war. All the USA can do is waste even more treasure.

  • John Oliver: Equal access to Internet once More Threatened
    • As countries start hunting down and destroying "fake news" sources (and legitimate sources they find "inconvenient), the ISPs and community groups are going to find that any controversy starts becoming very expensive.

      For example many nations on earth are starting to punish Facebook for "hate speech" and it is driving Zukerburg crazy. No matter how much he screams "free speech," many countries are either fining the company a lot, jailing executives or simply blocking the company via the DNS servers they control. Note, before condemning this behavior, please realize that the USA government which controls huge portions of the DNS system has taken over thousands of sites (mostly for USA copyright "infringement").

  • Trumpcare is the best Advertisement for Nationalizing Insurance
    • Note that we have over 100 years of medical data and we KNOW very accurately HOW MUCH medical activity will take place in the USA and that while we can some what effect that usage rate, the change is incremental, not large over time.

      While we can not guess exactly which human will have which medical event, we KNOW with great detail that X number of humans will have Y medical event within any given year.

      So what we are really arguing about is how to PAY for all the medical events the totality of Americans will have.

      Right now, Americans have CHOSEN for largely racist and delusional reason to have the system we have which cost almost TWICE as much as the next most expensive system on earth rather than do the logical thing of combining the best practices of all the other healthcare systems. That is, the USA could cut its medical costs in half overnight by eliminating the current system, but they will not because it will be against the USA culture.

    • USA culture of "rugged individualism" that has been part of the USA myth since the 1700s

    • Actually Microsoft does NOT have a monopoly and Windows 10 is very excellent and far better than the alternatives. And yes, there are two technically mature alternatives to Windows - Linux (FREE!) and MacOS. Your company is NOT forced to use Windows, but made a business decision to purchase from Microsoft.

      The situation is the same for office packages. There are many alternatives to MS office and some are even FREE - LibreOffice, OpenOffice, Google Doc, WordPerfect, etc.

      To see just how many choices you have go to

      link to

      In reality there are a lot of "hidden" cost to using alternatives to Microsoft that most people do not consider when they complain about MS.

    • There is no monopoly on news.

      This site is a fine example and there are a large number of similar news sources around the world. With the global communication system we have now, it is easy to find reality if a person looks for it with an open and curious mind.


      The PROBLEM is most Americans have no desire to learn all the ugly truths about life in the USA, especially since much of reality CONFLICTS terribly with the myths that people believe and it is extremely mentally painful to have to discard myths.

      People would rather live with their delusions than take the energy and mental pain of dealing with reality.

      Lots of psychological studies have show just how gullible humans are which is why Fox news and conservative talk radio can make so much money by telling constant lies.

      The problem is NOT the MSM, but the basic laziness of the news consumers who just want their bias and myths confirmed and not have to make any changes in their lives - that is allow the to go through their delusional lives instead of having to use energy to deal with reality.

  • Uh, oh: French Left can't bring itself to Vote for Macron
    • You are correct that MOST people make political choices based ONLY on emotion not rational thought.

      And emotions are easily manipulated because most humans have very low self confidence and there is ALWAYS another human that is perceived to have an easier life for people to hate.

    • Don't any voters on earth understand BASIC MATHEMATICS?

      Election math is a very, very simple BINARY choice . . .

      - A vote for the "least worse" choice is a vote for a better future.

      - A vote for the "worst worst" choice is a vote for a much worse future.

      - A non-vote is a vote for a much worse future.

      - A vote for any choice but the two "leaders" is the same as a non-vote for a much worse future.

      Elections are ALWAYS BINARY even when there are more than two choices, so a vote for the "least worse" choice is ALWAYS the best action. A vote for the worst choice or a vote for a minority choice or a non-vote is ALWAYS the worst action.

      Note that trump won ONLY 26% of registered voters. That is, 74% of voters dislike or hate trump but he still gets to screw up America to the best of his ability.

      Why is it so hard for humans to understand this basic math?

      When so much is on the line, vote like your life depends on it and stop the emotional BS.

      CGP Grey has a very nice explanation that anyone should be able to understand . . .

      link to

      It even has very nice French subtitles.

  • India's Electric-Car Plans could Leave Trump & US in Dust
    • The four long haul freight rail companies (yes there are only four left) are actually quietly rebuilding their rail systems so they can haul more freight, faster (double tracking). They are doing this to increase the capacity to move containers from the coasts to the interior at about 100 MPH.

      But you are correct that the USA is a follower. Part of the problem is the USA culture . . .

      - tends to no longer plan ahead. Americans tend to wait until some thing reaches critical danger then put in place a slap-dash high cost fix.

      - That is, Americans are completely unwilling to pay high enough taxes to fund massive infrastructure building. Americans prefer zero taxes to reliable, efficient infrastructure. Don't believe this, just look at the ACTIONS of Americans, not what they say.

      - "Not invented here" syndrome. Instead of improving stuff from the rest of the world, Americans want to re-invent the wheel. In other words, basic stupid pride (hubris).

      - is obsessed with designing "magical" stuff, not making OK stuff cheaper to build and sell. This is because the culture wants the HUGE profits that come with unique stuff instead of the small but steady profits from making lots of stuff cheaply. China is cranking out billions of low cost medium efficiency solar panels and wind turbines while USA companies want to make super high efficiency stuff that can cost up to 10x to buy. The higher cost negates the higher efficiency.

      Basically the USA culture is causing Americans to make the WRONG political and technology choices.

    • I hope this scales . . .


      I have seen far to many energy storage technologies that work great in the lab but either can not scale to billions of units (manufacturing problems, etc) or have unanticipated consequences when used in global volumes.

      For example, a small number of internal combustion engine powered vehicles don't do much harm, but billions of ICE type vehicles are a MAJOR problem for humanity.

      There is a MAJOR need for super high density energy storage that is safe for humans, but the solution will have to be extremely cheap to make otherwise it will not be competitive, especially for home usage (powerwalls).

    • Actually, most companies on earth have standardized on either the Tesla cell or the18650 cell as the basic building block for their power banks. because both are plentiful and getting cheaper by the day.

    • This is somewhat true. Based on my discussions with battery engineers (I used to design laptops and other portable electronics), the energy density of Li-ion is close to maximum we can safely do. Other batteries can be very dangerous to humans.

      BUT . . .

      Just as the computer engineers have come up with creative ways to manage energy consumption, I think transportation engineers will be able to mitigate the lack of more advanced batteries.

      For example, Tesla has done some very creative things with aluminum and light-weight composites to minimize energy usage.

    • Charging will soon be "free" due to massive implementation of solar and wind energy. As India and China implement solar and wind energy, the costs will follow the usual technology "hockey stick" adoption curve.

      As for the batteries, it is well known that Li-ion battery banks typically have only one one or two standard 18650 cells go bad. So the other good cells can be recycled into new battery banks (lots of home power-wall DIY folks are already doing this)

  • Can Progressives Mobilize to Save the Middle Class?
    • No

      The USA middle class can not be saved unless Americans are willing to embrace "socialism light" and be willing to drastically reshape society to deal with the FACT that technology has eliminated most middle class jobs.

      The reshaping will have to be the opposite of the path trump and his cronies are on. That is, the wealthy and businesses will have to be heavily taxed and society will have to provide a basic sustenance for all but the wealthy.

      The simple reality is the USA has a large excess of workers and no hope of ever changing that situation so social structures will have to change to reflect that.

      BUT . . .

      The USA myth of the "rugged individual" will prevent Americans from making the necessary changes. They will fight "socialism" to their last breath rather than make the necessary changes to deal with reality. Myths die hard - just talk to trump voters.

  • Trump's Warmongering on Steroids: But who Supplied the Steroids
    • When the situation gets worse and the "brown stuff hits the fan," trump can start firing generals, but since there is NO MILITARY SOLUTION, the situation will just keep getting worse until some general that cares more about the USA and his employees than his ego tells trump he will have to rebuild the state department and give them the ability to make "really bad deals" that will be the best them can get (sort of what Obama did with Iran- he got the best deal possible, but far from the "ideal" deal Americans wanted).

      In other words, the USA will have to admit it does not control the world and other people have their own agendas and the USA has to work with the rest of the world as best as it can

  • As Scientists March, Will Trump give away US Science Lead to China?
    • FYI - China has already launched its SECOND aircraft carrier on 29 April 2017.

      link to

      USA sources think it will be operational by 2020, but given how wrong they were about the operational capabilities of the first carrier, the new carrier will probably be operational by late 2018.

      Note how disparaging the CNN story is about the alleged "inferiority" of the Chinese carriers while failing to note most other nation's carriers use a design similar to the Chinese design.

      While the USA brags about their engineering, China, Iran and many other nations quietly make "war toys" that are very effective and much less expensive than USA war toys.

      USA Hubris know no bounds.

    • Nobel prizes are worthless except to the very old men (mostly) that are essentially getting a "life time" achievement award.

      Nobel prizes are awarded multiple decades after the "achievement" and do not reflect current states of knowledge.

      Note that in just over 50 years (less than two generations), Chinese scientists and engineers have already caught up and are now AHEAD of most western scientists and engineers. Yes, they reverse-engineered lots of 1960s technology, but then rapidly implemented it on a massive scale and completely re-engineered it much quicker than Americans have ever been able to do.

      In some ways the Chinese are lucky in that they had nothing to unlearn or discard so they could charge ahead while USA companies were extremely resistant to just scrapping the stuff they had and rebuilding everything. Even today, most USA companies are unwilling to take a few years of losses and to completely rebuild their business to better compete with Chine. They would rather try to rig the game as long as possible, but China is advancing so fast that instead of having imaginal decades ahead, most USA companies may only have a few marginal months left.

      This is the BIG problem the USA has, USA businesses are so focused on next months profits, there is no though given to what happens next year. Also there is a mindset in the USA that no one can ever be better than the USA so USA businesses constantly get blind-sided by the advancements in Asia, even though the Asian business, scientific and engineering press make most of the advance public. USA businesses are too arrogant to even read the English versions of the Asian press (I do though), let alone try to learn Chinese.

    • For almost 5000 years China was a MAJOR regional power and heavily influenced all of Asia, which is why there are "china towns" all throughout Asia.

      Then in the 1600-1700s the Europeans sprinted ahead and for about 200 years China was subservient to the "west."

      BUT . . .

      Over the last 60 years or so, China has managed to catch up with the west and in many areas of science and technology they are now surpassing the "west." The "west" helped by providing lots of help in exchange for exploiting China as much as possible, but once China achieved parity, they quickly left their "western" counterparts in the dust.

      Now in many areas, robotics, manufacturing, non-carbon energy to name a few, China is the clear world leader And as noted in the the article and comments, China is INVESTING, not in war (like the USA), but relationships and advancing their capabilities ahead of the USA as fast as possible.

      Chinese leadership has drawn on 5000 years of community based culture to enhance the future of most Chinese, unlike the USA which has followed the teachings of Ayn Rand and glorifying the ruthless individual. Since WW2, the USA has wasted trillions of dollars that could have been used to vastly improve the lives of all Americans instead of just a few because of racism and "rugged individualism."

      Americans will react very negatively to the rise of China, but will find that they have wounded themselves because of hubris.

      America has made some very, very bad choices and they will have severe consequences in the coming years as the economy declines. I fully expect that over time, Asia and Europe will eclipse the USA.

      BTW - the "flyover states" clearly have a deep anti-intellectualism mindset which prevents them from understanding how the world is evolving.

  • Is Trump Taking Us to War Everywhere?
    • The "weak" are not so weak any more as I noted above. In fact many nations on earth are more than a match for the USA military, especially as Super390 notes if the USA forces are spread thin.

      In every category of weapons, other countries now have sufficient firepower to cripple and in many cases DEFEAT USA military.

      Military weapons are based on technology and due to globalization, the vast open communications networks and the accelerated optimization of technology while driving down the cost, it is now possible for even medium size nations to out-gun the USA.

      There are two basic reasons for this (1) solid, high performance technology is readily available to every nation on earth for cheap prices (2) the USA vastly wastes every dime they spend on weapons technology.

      Some examples of cheap technology. . . Quad-core 64-bit 1.2 GHz Raspberry Pi computers cost US$35 . . . Linux is free . . . GPS chips without the USA restrictions are readily available . . . detailed global mapping software and data is free . . . There are over 100 MILLION AK-47 and equivalent weapons on earth with thousands more being made each and every day . . and the list goes on and on.

      Sure the USA has high-tech (barely flyable) F-35s but they are pretty much useless in most battles the USA will fight.

      "Friends any come and go but enemies accumulate" and when you have enough enemies you can't win.

    • Wars WASTE a nation's wealth and over time destroys the nation.

      While war seems to be a "glorious" manifestations of a nation's pride, the REALITY is war is simply a wasting away of a nation.

      Trump campaigned on "America First" but his actions clearly say lets destroy America as quickly as possible out of pure greed driven hubris.

      While the USA has spent large amounts of money on war toys, most of that money was wasted buying "gold plated" jink (F-35 is the most recent example). So in reality, the rest of the world is more than capable of making the lives of American soldiers, sailors and airmen short and useless.

      The world is awash in war toys that are equal to or better than anything the USA has, so when the USA starts wars because it can't control the situation with negotiations, the USA is more likely to lose than to win.

      It is long past time for the USA to give up the Empire mentality and just do what is best for Americans in America instead of trying to control the rest of the people on earth who have no desire for any USA control.

      The USA can NOT win the current and coming wars in any sense of the word "win." The ONLY thing the USA can do is lose or lose extremely badly while destroying itself.

  • The Coming Muslim Century: Bad news for President Bannon
    • They can not succeed - another waste of energy, time and money by trump and the republicans.

    • There are a LOT of people that are "christian " in name only. That is, they do not actually practice any religion on a daily or even a yearly basis.

      The LDS church keeps very detailed member records and in a typical ward (congregation), as many as 35% of the people listed on the member records are inactive. Note that this is after very aggressive attempts to get them active.

      This "christian in name only" situation is why the republicans could become more centrist and ignore the very minor christian conservatives if they wanted to. The christian conservatives do NOT have the numbers they claim to have.

  • Don't want to lose the Next Mideast War? Don't Fight One
    • If you want real change, you should understand the math and work to change one of the two active parties. CGP Grey explains . . .

      link to

      In reality, you only have two choices and in many states you are even more restricted because of closed primaries.

      California has changed the math slightly by having open primaries where everyone competes in the primary to get one of the two general election spots. This tends to weed out extreme candidates for more "centrist" candidates.

      Note also that most voters (in the USA and other countries) do NOT make rational voting decisions. Example the trump voters that voted for more jobs that economically can not exist.

  • 40% of California Grid Power from Solar, Sometimes Costs less than Nothing
    • Yes

      All that is needed is the POLITICAL WILL to make the investment in non-carbon energy and to drive out carbon energy.

      All the technology exists today and is getting cheaper by the month.

      Investment today means near free energy for the rest of time.

      This "almost free" energy concept is why China is investing so much today. By 2030 china may not need to import any energy from other countries and will be spending much less for energy internally meaning a massive increase in social capability with very low cost.

  • In 3 months, Trump has Charged into 4 Mideast Wars, to no Avail
    • No message actually sent.

      It was just a very expensive fireworks display because it has been very well documented that air power is actually a very ineffective form of warfare.

      To understand this, you might want to note that Nixon literally "bombed the sh*t" out of Vietnam with dozens of B-52 bombing runs every day.

      YET . . .

      The USA LOST big time in Vietnam.

      As for Russia, then can more than hold their own against USA attacks in Syria. If the USA escalates, USA aircrews are going to start dying in large numbers. The USA is NOT the "mighty warrior" everyone things it is, especially when USA taxpayers do not want to spend any money fighting for others.

      BTW - the number of people killed by the saran gas is minuscule, meaning that who actually used the gas is impossible to determine and there is a very good chance it was NOT the Syrian military. This "gas attack" was more for TV theater" than actual combat.

  • 1 in 50 new Jobs in US is in Solar Energy, despite Trump
    • Last night I was watching videos from the Discovery/Science channels program "how its made" and realized just how few humans were in many of the videos. Most of the things that are made theses days, whether it is in the USA or some other part of the globe, are made by heavily automated processes with very few humans and as robotic engineers increase their expertise and technology costs go down, fewer and fewer humans sill be needed.

      link to

      link to

      Unfortunately as super390 notes, there is a large amount of racism in how the labor displacement is handled.

      BUT . . .

      As a little bit of a defense of the lack of action to deal with the automation, most of the automation takes place over an extended period of time. That is the old "slow boiled frog" situation. To the workers, the automation appears to arrive "overnight" but in reality it is slowly increased until the day the remaining workers look around and discover that there are very few humans left and they will be shoved out the door sooner than later.

      This problem is going to get much worse until Americans realize that socialism is a much better social contract than social Darwinism free markets. The rest of the world has figured this out, so maybe the USA myths will eventually die.

    • Economics dooms carbon based energy no matter how much trump tries to keep it from happening.

      For every joule of carbon energy we harvest, the cost can only go up because over the last 150 years humans have extracted all of the carbon energy that was easy and cheap to extract ALL of the carbon energy that is left, will cost increasingly larger amounts of wealth.

      On the other hand as I have pointed out several times the cost of harvesting solar and wind energy is decreasing while the technology improves at an exponential pace. Note that wind is actually just another form of solar energy,

      In many parts of the globe right now, non-carbon energy costs have decreased to well below the direct carbon energy costs (not including the additional indirect costs of carbon energy such as global climate change, etc.).

      Basically, the energy users are looking at the hard economic numbers and running away from carbon energy and anything trump does to try to slow that transition down will fail in the long term and damage the republican party.

      I realize the coal miners (like the cod fishers of the northeast) do not like losing their lifestyles, but instead of trying to fight the inevitable end of coal, they should be voting for the politicians that will give them the social services they need to start a new life in other parts of the USA where jobs exist.

      Yes they are going to have to leave their "beloved" mountains and start their lives over because there is no economic reason for any modern business to locate in coal country because the area has NOTHING a modern business needs.

  • Asian Doctor Violently Pulled Off US Plane by Security Guards
    • Paramedics were on site very quickly

    • This had nothing to do with race, but with one very stupid man.

    • Nope you are wrong.

      Once no one "volunteered," the passenger management system randomly chose which tickets to void.

      At that point there were no volunteers, just people that were involuntarily being denied flight. The people that were denied flight had their ticket refunded and received additional compensation per both USA and International law.

      Once the volunteer option was completed, then all the others that left the aircraft were "denied boarding."

      Note that the legal term "denied boarding" applies no matter where the person physically is, whether they are in the waiting area or already on the aircraft. Once a person is in "denied boarding" status, they no longer have any right to fly and must, by law, accept compensation as defined by law. They have no right to be on the aircraft and must vacate the aircraft. If they feel they are owed more compensation than the law requires they can sue after the fact, but they can not hold an aircraft and the other passengers hostage.

      If you are denied boarding and are on the aircraft, get off and argue with the ground management, but do not hold the aircraft hostage as that can legally be considered air piracy.

    • You make an INVALID assumption that there was another flight.

      Note that LOTS of people commenting on this are making a LOT of very invalid assumptions.

  • We are heading for the warmest climate in half a billion years
    • Economics . . .

      Arctic extraction is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE in practical terms not just because of environmental danger.

      Shell and several others have already seen that the cost/reward equation is badly reversed and it will only get worse as China floods the world with cheap non-carbon energy technology.

      Simple economics is going to leave most of that Arctic carbon in the ground.

      Also thanks to Trump, the cost of carbon energy is going up. Destabilizing the middle east further makes the price of carbon energy increase and makes non-carbon energy even more of a bargain.

      The technology adoption curve looks like a hockey-stick - it is a gentle slope for a while, then at some random moment in time, the adoption becomes exponential, shooting through the roof.

      Taking the long view, carbon energy has no future because non-carbon energy is super abundant and the technology cost curve ensures that non-carbon energy will get cheaper by the day.

      Heck, even though climate change will make life for all living things on earth extremely problematic, it will ensure LOTS of low cost solar energy for the survivors.

  • Washington's Supreme Hypocrisy on Chemical Weapons and Civilian Deaths
    • Congress and the Constitution.

      What trump just did, is technically prohibited by the USA Constitution. Obama followed the Constitution and asked Congress for a declaration of war (actually its equivalent called the "Presidential war powers act") , which congress refused to even vote on. If Obama had ignored the hostile congress, he would have been impeached withing days.

      Why didn't congress vote? Quite simply because most Americans are sick of war and the waste of USA treasure and lives. Most Americans simply want better lives for themselves and do not care how many other humans on earth die. Any congress critter that had voted for more war would have had a hard time hanging on to their job.

      Trump may be able to get away with a simple (and ineffective and wasteful) "fireworks display" but if he goes any further he will pay a huge price and will be putting his presidency further in jeopardy.

      If enough congress critters start fearing for their jobs due to war, the republicans just may throw trump out. Contrary to popular notion, impeachment only needs the president to anger 218 house members and 67 senators and he is gone. No actual crimes need be proved which is why the Constitution is so vague.

      As Obama quickly came to understand and is taking trump a LOT LONGER to understand because he is much dumber, is there are no easy answers to international situations and most "solutions" range from extremely bad to really, really terrible.

      In fact, often the "best" solution for the USA is turn on the TV to a nice comedy and ignore what is happening elsewhere.

  • ISIL: Imbecilic Buffoon Trump leading America to Extinction
    • No - they are NOT all that "smart," but just the usual greedy power hungry blind people that are usually in power.

      Remember that people in power are NOT there for community gain, but for PERSONAL POWER and wealth.

      CGP Grey has interesting take on the whole thing . . .

      - The Rules for Rulers

      link to

      - Death & Dynasties

      link to

  • Why $54 bn for Pentagon won't fix US Security
    • Energy and climate change have been identified by USA intelligence groups and the USA military as the KEY dangers for the USA, NOT Islam or any of the other things the USA politicians keep ranting about.

      AND the USA is FAILING to realistically plan for either threat because Americans are psychologically incapable of planning for the future (anything beyond three days).

      China and Europe are furiously working to manage both problems by developing and implementing non-carbon energy systems instead of wasting huge amount of wealth on war toys.

      A few decades from now, China, Asia and Europe will have viable economies with abundant low cost energy and much better environments because of their investments and the USA will have . . .

      nothing but rutting war toys and a terrible standard of living. As Gandhi noted ""Action expresses priorities," and Americans have clearly decided that stupidity is their priority.

  • Are Progressives Suffering from Trump Fatigue?
    • Actually, racism is a very valid starting point.

      It has been evident for over 1000 years that the white christians felt they were "special" and deserved to rule. Just look at the Spanish missionaries that destroyed entire populations all across the Americas because the white christian people were "clearly superior" to the natives. The same thing happened all over the European empires.

      Now, due to demographics and technology, the USA white christian middle class is losing both economic power and social power and they just do not like that.

      Technology, robotics, global trade and global communication are causing vast shifts in global power and finally killing off the old European empires which the USA attempted to continue after the Europeans failed. This end of the USA empire is causing Americans to lose their "privileged" status and they react as any good racists would - attack the new power structures.

      The democrats lost the "trump voters" because they were unwilling to LIE to the voters and say that the future would be like the past. All the democrats could offer were ways to minimize the painful transition to lower power for white christians, not a false promise of regaining power. Trump had no problem with outright lying to the delusional voters.

      The bottom line is EVERYTHING trump said was a LIE and things will NOT get better for the white christians, only worse. They basically cut their own throats because they do not like losing power to the "others."

      Because it is extremely;y emotionally painful to admit they screwed up completely , they will continue to support trump even as they lose everything. Humans with low self esteem and low knowledge base are emotionally incapable of admitting they are wrong and to change their behavior.

      What the democrats have to do is ensure the people with brains, regardless of their religion or skill color get out to vote because the trump voters are less than 25% of the population. Trump voters should just be written off as incapable of thinking or acting in their own self interest.

  • The simple Number that will Defeat Trump's attempt to Roll back Obama Energy Policies
    • FYI - More about Tesla Power Packs . . .

      link to

    • Carbon based energy is nothing more than stored sunshine and we now have the CHEAP technology to harvest solar energy directly making "stored" carbon energy a very EXPENSIVE energy form.

      China and Europe are BIG drivers of non-carbon energy because carbon energy has always been very expensive in those areas since much of the carbon energy was imported from other places.

      Chinese leaders understand that for China to continue exist and thrive, requires millions of gigawatts of cheap energy and there is no way for carbon energy to meet that need because all the "cheap" carbon energy has already been used up. Sure technology and robotics can slow the rise in carbon energy extraction and transportation costs, but not by much and the investment is a waste of money in the long run. One of the reasons the USA oil companies pulled out of the arctic region is because the extraction and transportation costs far, far exceed the costs of non-carbon energy that is available today and as the non-carbon energy technology improves exponentially over time (years not decades), the costs will go down even further.

      The trump energy plan is a false future that will deliver the global energy markets to Chinese and European technology companies on a golden platter with a nicely embossed "T." Once again , trump screws Americans and Americans are thrilled with their "action president." Such dumb rubes (and yes, I know they hate being called dumb, but their actions are really, really dumb).

      BTW - Energy storage is the next big market and Tesla is the only USA company playing in that market but the Chinese are rapidly catching up and will soon be able to under-sell Tesla which wants to be the Tesla of energy storage not the corolla of energy storage. While there can be a profitable niche market for "high-end" stuff, the major profit is selling lots of low profit stuff.

      So, the USA is "investing" in dying industries (carbon energy, etc.) while China, Korea, Asia and Europe are investing in the future - I wonder how that will work out?

  • 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.

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