Member Profile

Total number of comments: 836 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:47)


Showing comments 836 - 801

  • Top 5 Lessons from the History of America's Defeats
    • Also, while Japan, Germany and for that matter all of Europe, China and Asia, had to completely rebuild after WW2, their industrial infrastructure is from the 1950s and beyond.

      At the same time, USA companies were enjoying boom years supplying the world that couldn't supply itself until the early 1970s. As a result, USA companies refused to invest any of their wealth in replacing old infrastructure.

      As a result, by the 1970s, the world just bypassed the USA in capability and USA companies started losing market share to non-USA companies that could produce better products, for less cost. While the non-USA labor costs were somewhat lower, it was not that much. Non-USA companies were just more efficient and because there was less greed passed the savings on to customers.

  • As N. Korea Summit Looms, Trump's New Security team are hardly Diplomats
    • I fully expect trump will be humiliated by Kim and Xi and walk away with nothing but a clear public message delivered directly to the USA public that the USA will be brutally defeated if it attacks North Korea.

      No matter how much trump whines, NK will NOT give up its nuclear weapons and ICBMs, just like China, Russia, UK, France, Israel, Pakistan, India and the USA will not give up theirs.

  • Saudi Prince: War with Iran in 10-15 Years w/out new Sanctions
    • Iran has a vastly different weapons philosophy that the USA, KSA and Israel.

      Iran has carefully researched each of the countries that have threatened them over the last 35 years and has identified the best, low cost weapons that will cause the attackers the most pain, then designed and manufactured the weapons in bulk so they can overwhelm any attacker.

      The USA, KSA and Israel have instead wasted huge amounts of wealth producing extremely complex systems prone to simple failures. These have been produced in limited quantities, so when Iran defends itself, Iran can easily afford to use multiple types and quantities of weapons to take out a single USA/KSA/Israel system and still have lots of weapons in reserve.

      BY the time the USA/KSA/Israel lose, Iran will still have lots of reserves.

    • Actually, China has publicly said they will help Iran if the USA, Israel and/or KSA attacks.

    • As I noted above, the rules are rapidly changing and KSA is NOT in tune with the new economic and power realities.

      KbS is a typical ego driven dictator and very few have the vision to deal with reality.

    • Global economics are going to neuter the USA, KSA, and Israel and reward Iran.

      Over the next 10 years all the economic power will shift to Asia away from the USA. The USA is going to be trying to stay afloat economically and will have no resources to sustain any wars abroad. Trump is correct that the USA is losing power but his "cure" will NOT fix the problem, just make it worse.

      KSA's ONLY asset is oil and the economics of energy are changing FAST.

      MbS has a simple choice:

      - Neuter the Islamic fundamentalists in KSA and rapidly yank KSA into the 21st century, educating and using ALL their human resources (including women) while not letting their ego get in the way. OR

      - Get their panties in a bunch and waste all their resources trying to knock Iran down, probably by war. While Iran is also Islamic, they have chosen to not waste resources like female brains and they have chosen to design and build their own "good enough" weapons while KSA continues to buy expensive USA war toys.

      Based on the much better thinking in Iran, I suspect that KSA's ego war with Iran will lead to KSA's decline.

  • Wind & Solar Rising: Has world disillusionment with Nuclear Power reached China?
    • At the same time there are many companies in China that are trying to take the stationary power storage business away from Tesla by making systems that are almost as reliable as Tesla, but less expensive.

      As home and business power storage systems decrease in cost, the electrical grid will decentralize and there will be less need for "base power."

  • Could China oil Exchange & Green Energy pull the plug on the Dollar?
    • While there could be decreases in global oil production within five years, the shift to non-carbon energy, even in transportation will be much farther along than now. Other than the USA, most of Europe and Asia are rapidly decreasing their usage of carbon energy because it just makes so much sense from an economic standpoint.

      Note that China is well ahead of their non-carbon energy targets. I think India is also moving fairly fast. As China and India shift off carbon energy, there will be a big hole in the market demand, so even if there is a decreased supply, the demand may closely match and the price may be some what stable.

      Most countries (other than the USA) are well aware that non-carbon energy is now CHEAPER than carbon energy, so they are investing as much as they can to convert as quickly as possible.

    • China has very quietly but openly been building an alternative to the USA controlled (but UK owned) SWIFT financial transaction network that does NOT use US dollars. China has been setting up alternatives to the USA controlled international development funds. Often offering much better terms that the USA.

      Basically, China has looked at the financial structures that allowed the USA to manipulate international finance and duplicated them (and often vastly improved them).

      Now China has most of the structures in place to provide alternatives to all the USA financial structures, all based on a basket of currencies (but NOT the USA dollar). That is, the world can now afford to throw the USA overboard and continue to function very well.

      Oops . . .

  • Pompeo's rise at State will make Mideast war more likely
    • Iran buys almost nothing from the USA, so even if the USA puts direct sanctions on, the sanctions will be meaningless.

      The USA has only two other non-war options:

      (1) Use the SWIFT network to try restrict financial transactions between Iran and other countries. This will just lead to the end of SWIFT because China has quietly built up a competitor to SWIFT that does not use USA dollars. If Iran can move most of its financial transactions to the Chinese network, they can simply ignore the USA. Which will, of course, deeply anger trump.

      (2) Indirect sanctions on non-USA companies. Given all the "America first" BS trump has yelled at other countries, I suspect that most other countries will work very hard to protect their companies and will simply tell trump they "see nothing." If trump persists, the USA has LOTS of soft targets that other countries can hit hard (google, Facebook, IBM, Boeing, etc). Trump has told other countries they should be looking out for themselves and very few if any counties still view a relationship with the USA as a "must have."

      Then there is war, which the USA will lose badly for all the reason I have noted before. The "quick version" is

      - Iran has hundreds of thousands of low cost but very effective weapons whereas the USA has a limited number of very expensive and unreliable war toys.

      - Iran has over a million soldiers and about 25 million people that can be armed fairly quickly. They will be killing Americans on their home turf. Very rapidly the cost of attacking Iran will be tremendous for the USA, especially with the USA having inadequate taxes.

      Of course, all of these extremely negative consequences mean nothing to the egotistical trump and there are no republicans that will attack trump to minimize the damage to the USA.

  • Trump's Plan to use Fossil Fuels to dominate the Globe
    • It is real hard to dominate the world using carbon energy WHEN . . .

      - Everywhere else on earth is switching to non-carbon energy. It is hard to sell to a rapidly shrinking market.

      - The rest of the earth is replacing the USA dollar with a basket of currencies.

      - the cost of the combination of solar, wind and power-walls for homes and businesses is VASTLY less expensive that carbon energy.

      As with everything trump, he is delusional about the real world.

  • Is The Internet A Luxury Or A Right? (Video)
    • There is NO TECHNICAL REASON why everyone in the USA can't have low cost, high speed Internet.

      In fact, everyone on earth uses the SAME EXACT broadband technology, non-USA people just use it better for less.

      The reason Americans have poor internet access is simple government failure.

      Outside the USA, most governments realize that having universal, low cost, high speed internet is NECESSARY for the economic future of the country. That is, for the elite to thrive, everyone has to have the internet. As a result, most countries either have state controlled low cost, high speed Internet or the state TELLS the commercial internet providers what they can charge people and what speeds must be provided. NOTE that even when the private internet providers are mandated by the state, they are STILL PROFITABLE.

      In contrast, the USA government is more interested in making sure the internet companies have huge excessive profits rather than ensuring the long term economic viability of the USA.

      Just like trump is trying to kill non-carbon energy for the short term gain of carbon energy companies (but long term LOSS for the USA) , Trump's minions are trying to do the same thing to the Internet.

      Physical Broadband consists of:

      - Central office common hardware which is now dirt cheap regardless of the transmission media (telco cable, coax cable or fibre).

      - Physical cable, which, if it is over 15 years old, has probably been fully expensesd and has a NPV of US$0.00. That is, the cost has been deducted from the taxable income which means the USA taxpayers paid for the cable in addition to the rate payers (yes, the good old "double dip").

      - Terminal devices which have a ONE TIME wholesale cost of about US$20.00, even though many internet providers require the user to "rent" these for about US$10/month or more - sweet scam.

      - When the components are added up and interconnect charges are added along with the cost of the internet company's CEO aircraft, the actual cost to provide physical internet is about US$5/month.

      Cell Wireless broadband consists of:

      - Wireless base station (AKA cell site) - these now typically cost less than US$150k for the 4G electronics and whatever local land, enclosure and tower costs are. Again, these costs are considered capitol expenses and are taken off the company's taxes.

      - Terminal device which have a one time wholesale cost of US$20 to US$300, but are usually purchased by the user from a retail vendor.

      - Even if there are only a few hundred terminal devices in a cell area and assuming a five year write down, the cost should be about US$20/month

      Metro Area wireless broadband consists of:

      - Wireless base station with radios, land, enclosure and tower. These are less expansive than 4G cell data because the frequencies are generally less expansive and the equipment design is easier.

      - Terminal device with radios and antennas usually mounted on the highest part of the building pointing toward the base station. Th wholesale costs are generally less than US$50.

      The bottom line is, if the USA government actually cared about USA citizens and the economic future of the USA, everyone in the USA could easily have low cost (under US$30/month), high speed internet and the providers would still make a nice profit (but not the excessive ones they do now).

      BTW - the equipment is now so cheap and the "cook books" on how to set up a rural internet co-op are so available, there is no real reason under-served Americans can't build their own ISP co-op and bypass the communications companies.

  • Not Fighting Climate Change cost $1.5 Trillion Last Year & it is only the Beginning
    • Note that many of the heavy polluters in the Midwest are doing the exact opposite of what trump wants because they remember the many lawsuits they lost when the states downwind sued in the 1970s.

      Right now the eastern states are gearing up to sue the USA EPA and the Midwest states again, so companies are trying to get ahead of the suits and change their businesses to minimize the damage.

      That is, coal plants are being removed from service as quickly as the companies can do it.

      Basically, economic REALITY is making trump decisions moot and meaningless.

      I suspect that eventually companies are going to get tired of being in court a lot and will lean on congress to create something like EPA-2 that the president can't side-step.

  • Solar & Wind: How free electricity would change the world (Economist Video)
    • The cost of the technology to harvest and store energy will never be "free," but after the probably very low initial technology cost, the ongoing costs will be very close to "free."

  • Saudi Arabia: The Coming Crisis in the Kingdom
    • FYI - in the REAL WORLD anti-missile systems have a huge failure rate due to basic physics.

      Basically, shooting down a missile is like shooting a bullet with another bullet over a one mile distance. Even a 0.001% error can cause the two to miss each other.

      Yes both missiles are more "intelligent" than a bullet, BUT the physics prevent flight path changes that cause too many forces on either missile.

      An easy method to get an attack missile through an anti-missile barrier is to have multiple intelligent warheads such that even if on or two warheads are miraculously destroyed others live on to destroy targets.

      While anti-missile systems can somewhat deal with multiple warheads, that just means that half a dozen very, very expensive anti-missile missiles have to be used every time. Because anti-missile missiles have to be extremely "intelligent " to have any chance of working they cost as much as ten times as each missile they are trying to destroy. That is, the attacker can fire off ten missiles for the same cost as the defender's single missile. and even if one of the ten is destroyed, the other nine fly right by and destroy stuff very accurately.

      Note that an Israeli "Iron Dome" battery has ONLY 60 missiles (US$40k each) and once they are all fired, the battery is just a couple of dead trailers until the battery is reloaded (a several hour process). Israel has between 10 and 15 operational batteries. That is, Israel can ONLY stop a MAXIMUM of 900 missiles. BUT there is the "slight" problem that the iDF has documented that there are over 50000 missiles pointed at Israel.

      KSA is extremely foolish to think anti-missile systems, that have a long history of FAILURE, can protect its citizens. They would do far better to NEGOTIATE with their opponents and sign treaties, but their egos and regressive religion prevent that.

  • Exodus of Climate Scientists to France only the Beginning if GOP Guts Grad Education
    • Economic foot shooting.

      The most vibrant economies on earth are driven by education and research, yet the extremely wealthy that rule the GOP, do not understand that their wealth is dependent on the very education and research they disdain.

      As the USA destroys its education system, the USA will quickly become an economically backwater nation. and the rich white folks will discover that the non-white people that will be generating the future wealth will NOT share it with the USA 1%.

      Basically the rich white 1% of the USA are destroying their own future and wealth and transferring the wealth to Asia and Europe.

      Basic greed and self-centered behavior coupled with deem ignorance leading to massive foot shooting.

  • FCC about to Destroy Internet w/out Understanding how it Works
    • All of which will lower the USA standard of living adn decrease USA wealth.

    • NOTE the FCC ONLY controls the USA portion of the GLOBAL internet, so other countries that value the Internet as a national resource rather than a golden calf to be milked will continue to have fast, inexpensive access to most of the world's knowledge which is stored outside the USA.

      BTW - I suspect that non-USA sources will "borrow" USA content and make it available for free to the rest of the world, so only Americans will have to pay.

      As I noted, other countries see the internet as a national resource so when USA information sources try to charge non-USA users or stop the flow of data to alternative sources outside the USA, they will encounter governments that will laugh in their faces.

      Once again, republican government screws Americans and lowers their standard of living.

      Why would anyone that wants good future ever vote republican?

  • Trump-Mideast: Much More than a ‘Kiss of Death’ to Palestinians
    • All the analysts appear to have missed the fact that energy dynamics are vastly different now than in the 1970s.

      Europe is becoming less dependent on carbon energy by the day and any threat to European energy needs will just accelerate the shift from carbon energy to non-carbon energy. Solar and wind are now well proven technology and Chinese and European companies are ramping up their competition to the Tesla power storage systems.

      The triad of solar, wind and storage combined with existing hydro and nuclear, could fairly quickly eliminate the need for carbon energy, especially if the price rises.

      So instead of increasing the resources for the Saudis to foolishly attack Iran, war could permanently eliminate most of Saudi Arabia's markets. Saudi Arabia essentialy has no other economic activity except for carbon energy.

      While the decrease in carbon energy markets will also effect Iran, the USA embargo on Iran with the resulting huge increase in Iranian science and engineering capability will position Iran to join other countries supplying non-carbon energy technology.

      In other words, Saudi egos may drive them to attack Iran, but the big loser will probably be KSA.

  • How Trump's Jerusalem Move Just Helped Iran Win the Mideast
    • Having carefully studied 5000 years of Chinese history, I try to take the long view and when I do, I do not see a good future (actually any future) for Israel.

      While Israel might try to stick the USA with the financial burden for a while, the USA has so many internal problems, that eventually the "America first" idea will cause the USA to cut all support for Israel. In other words, throw Israel overboard with an anchor tied to them. It may not happen in the next few years, but it will indeed happen as the USA economy sinks for all but the most highly skilled.

      Once the moneybag is empty, Israel will be in deep trouble.

      As for Jordan, it does not have a viable economy so the addition of millions of refugees will lead to a another ISIS like country. Even with limited USA support, Jordan can not handle the refugees they already have.

      As for the Israelis not leaving, well that is only partially true. The "best and brightest" will eventually get tired of living in a constant war zone and with a global shortage of highly skilled workers, they can easily leave. Once the "best and brightest" leave, the Israeli economy will start to tank, eliminating resources needed to keep wars going.

      While some Israelis are indeed irrationally passionate about the "new Israel" most just want to live OK lives and when the conditions get too bad, they will do the exact same thing all humans do when conditions are bad in one place and much better in an other - they move.

      The Palestinians have nothing to live for, and will get killed by the Israelis anyway, so they may as well make Israeli lives are miserable as possible while they are waiting to die.

      This is going to get ugly.

  • Another way Trump will get us Killed: to move US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
    • Dahlan is seen by Palestinians as an Israeli stooge who can not deliver what the Palestinians want.

      If Abbas shuts sown the PA and resigns, Dahlan will not be able to capture any power. He will be just like the puppets the USA has tried and failed to install around the world.

      Dahlan does not have a power base in Palestine.

    • It is generally NOT a good idea to anger 1.7 Billion humans, especially when many of those humans have nuclear weapons.

      Sure, Israel can threaten the Muslims with nuclear attacks, BUT with the temple mount cleared of the Muslim holy buildings, there would be nothing to stop the Muslims from nuking Israel.

      In reality, if Israel attacks the dome of the rock, they will be committing suicide.

      Basically a significant number of Israelis are flat out delusional, thinking they are the center of the universe when in reality, Israel is a miniscule and insignificant country.

      When Israel pushes the muslim too far, they will pay a huge price, possibly to the point of being driven out of the Mideast completely.

  • Trump still wants Expensive Coal but the Market wants Cheap wind & Solar
    • As I have noted before, the combination of inexpensive residential/small business solar arrays, inexpensive residential/small business wind generators AND inexpensive residential/small business powerwalls (Lithium battery arrays), dooms carbon energy.

      Even if carbon energy tries to completely automate (eliminating most humans), it can NOT be competitive with the solar/wind/powerwall combination which will continue to expand capacity exponentially and decrease costs linearly over the next few years .

      Unfortunately, other than Tesla competing in the powerwall market, USA companies are ignoring the revolution, often because the USA government is so biased for carbon energy instead of doing what is BEST for the entire country instead of a few carbon energy billionaires. Note that Asian companies are investing as heavily as Tesla to try to take a big share of the powerwall market from the USA. Asian and European companies have already taken the residential/small business solar array and wind generator markets away from the USA because of USA government big mistakes.

      Trump and his "friends" are dooming the USA to be a minimal participate in the non-carbon energy market, shifting a huge number of jobs to Asia and Europe.

      So sad.

  • As Flynn cuts off WH, top 4 Alleged Crimes he could sink Trump with
    • trump's base (less than 20% of Americans), hates the rest of Americans with a deep passion. His base really thinks they are the only "true Americans" and the rest of the folks in the USA are misguided at best and spawn of the devil at worst.

      This is why FACTS make no difference to trump supporters, they are off in their own delusional fact-free world and NOTHING will change that.

      A video that explains more . . .

      link to

  • Will Fleeing Puerto Ricans ever return home from the Mainland?
    • Why should they?

      The economic reality is Puerto Rico will be a total mess for decades and most people from there will be much better off anywhere in the USA, even in the poverty ridden south.

      The USA was founded on people leaving their terrible homes forever and starting a new life in the USA.

      Since the people of Puerto Rico are currently USA citizens (I will not be surprised if the republicans try to take that away), they may as well take advantage of that MAJOR perk and permanently relocate to the USA mainland.

      Yes, they will have to learn English and will have to deal with the extreme racism against Hispanics in the USA, they will still be better off.

      There is a very good reason why people from other Hispanic countries try to sneak into the USA and the people of Puerto Rico do'd even have to sneak - they have a USA passport!

  • World's Cheapest Solar Power in Mexico a Coal-Killer
    • With a medium solar array, a residential wind generator and a powerwall, virtually ALL USA homes and small businesses can be completely self sufficient. NOTE: the prices for the three components are DECREASING by the day.

      Right now Chinese, Indian and European companies are investing billions on automated production lines for all three components, driving the prices down. BTW - very few USA companies are making the investment.

      The bottom line is, solar/wind/powerwall is a basic no brainer for even the people in the Yukon.

  • Protests as Trump promotes Coal at Climate Summit in Berlin
    • From a purely economic opportunity standpoint, "fixing" climate change is the next huge economic opportunity that the USA will completely miss out on.

      While the Luddites in the USA are ignoring reality (staring them in the face), the economically ambitious are racing to reap the profits of converting from carbon energy to non-carbon energy.

      The world NEEDS energy for humans to function, LOTS of energy, so the non-carbon energy market is HUGE.

      BUT . . . .

      The USA is totally ignoring that market and letting Europe and Asia solve the problem while making the profits.

      Eventually there will be only a minuscule market for carbon energy and the USA will have almost zero income from carbon energy while at the same time be years behind in the non-carbon energy markets where Europe and Asia will have essentially shoved the USA out of market and the USA citizens will have to buy their non-carbon energy resources from Europe and Asia at high cost.

      There is no future in carbon energy markets and the USA is dooming its economy by not rapidly walking away from carbon energy.

  • Lebanon's Big Crisis, and What Saudi Arabia could Lose
    • The 100000 missile amount came out in budget negotiations in the Israeli legislature, so since all military leaders tend to hype the threats when asking for money, I discounted the amount by 50%.

      Either amount is more than enough to make most of northern Israel into one big rubble heap. This would destroy the Israeli economy since a majority of the population and industry is within range of the missiles.

      You are correct that the missile technology has gotten MUCH, MUCH better since the early 2000s. This is because the basic weapons technology has gotten BOTH better and cheaper. In some cases, a country (other than the gold plating ones like USA and Israel) can get three very accurate missiles now versus one less accurate missile at the start of the 2000s.

      Most analysts, especially USA based ones, can not seem to understand that a computer with a quad-core, 64-bit, 1 GHz CPU, a decent GPU, 1 GB of memory and up to 32 GB of storage, running FREE Linux OS, costs LESS than US$ 50. Couple that with Open Street View's very accurate FREE maps and a "hacked" GPS chip (the USA restrictions on altitude and speed have been removed) and a very nice guidance system can easily be built for less than US$ 100. The rest is just basic rocket science and chemistry that is well understood by now.

    • It is very likely that most Israeli MILITARY leadership is against any invasion of Lebanon because, as the IDF has publicly noted, there are over 50000 missiles pointed at Israel.

      If Israel starts a war with Lebanon, most of northern Israel would become a rubble heap. And Israeli ground troops would not fair very well either as Hezbollah is very battle-hardened with very good leadership with lots of depth (the death of a single leader would not stop the resistance).

      Israel has less than 1000 anti-missile missiles, so after they are all expended, Israel is a sitting duck for the tens of thousands of missiles that would follow (Yes, anti-missile technology is a complete failure).

      In the long term, the Saudis and Israel are setting up their demise.

  • Iran's Khamenei to Putin: Isolate US by dumping the Dollar
    • All part of "Silk Road 2" which China is actively advocating. China wants a secure, stable way to trade with most of the world that the USA can not interfere with.

      Right now, China is concentrating on connecting Europ and Asia, but I will not be surprised if China builds a rail tunnel under the Suez canal or the Red Sea so it has direct rail access to Africa.

    • China will not attack the US dollar directly, but . . .

      For many years, China has been quietly dumping USA dollar debt. Even though China has been low-key, their actions have been noted in the Asian financial and technology press (most of which publish in English as well as Chinese, Japanese, etc). While the USA is an important market for China, China's Asian and European markets, where they will trade in other currencies are becoming their dominate trade markets meaning less dollars to deal with.

      Remember, China is a "long term" culture versus the USA "short term" culture.

  • Will Trump's Iran moves Backfire, Enabling Hard Liners?
    • It is important to understand that direct USA sanctions on Iran are WORTHLESS since the USA and Iran have almost zero economic interaction. All USA direct sanctions can do, is cause USA businesses to lose revenue from sales to Iran.

      BUT . . .

      The USA will probably try to impose indirect sanctions via actions against non-USA organizations that trade with Iran. For the most part, these will probably fail and will lead to unintended consequences to the USA.

      It is very likely that non-USA governments will push back HARD on the USA if it tries to hurt non-USA businesses. In the case of China, businesses will use shell companies to hide which companies are actually doing business with Iran and the Chines government will use any USA indirect sanctions to further weaken USA companies in Asia.

      Then there are the two competing global financial transaction networks. SWIFT is owned by the UK, but controlled by the USA. China owns and controls the competing network. As the USA tries to use SWIFT as a blunt weapon in its war on Iran, more and more transactions will move to the Chinese network where they are hidden from the USA. The more the USA pushes, the more businesses and governments will shift to the Chinese network. This could eventually lead to SWIFT becoming a small regional network (USA only?). Note that SWIFT mostly trades in dollars whereas the Chinese network uses a "basket" of currencies, so any major shift would make the dollar less valuable.

      The global sanctions were falling apart when the JCOPA was signed and I just do not see any country besides the USA reinstating sanctions. I do see them finding ways to insulate their businesses from USA indirect sanctions, especially since DJT has personally insulted so many world leaders. I suspect there are many world leaders that are looking for a way to quietly screw DJT (and unfortunately all Americans in the process).

  • The economic case for solarizing Puerto Rico's power grid (Video)
    • Just as China has driven down the cost of non-carbon energy production, Chinese companies are now looking to compete with Musk and drive down the cost of energy storage using EXISTING technology instead of waiting for some future where some magical storage system will burst on the scene.

      This is why China is beating the stuffing out of USA researchers. Instead of making exotic magical stuff, they make usable technology cheaper. So while Chinese solar arrays have to be larger than the more efficient USA arrays, they cost 50% less per kilowatt. The same goes for wind generators and it will be the same for energy storage systems (powerwalls).

      BUT . . .

      The real problem for the USA is terrible investments. The USA continues to waste money on carbon energy while sometimes investing in magical "perfect" energy systems that will MAYBE work someday, whereas China just uses existing technology on a LARGE scale to make the country better today.

  • France plans to double Solar & Wind to 40% of Electricity by 2030
    • Almost "free" energy is becoming a reality and nations that want the best possible future are INVESTING in low cost energy.

      From a human time perspective, energy created by the sun (solar, wind, tides, hydroelectric, etc.) and the earth (geothermal) are the ONLY permanent, low cost energy sources. Carbon based energy sources are finite and short term (as well as polluting the earth).

      As technology drives down the cost of harvesting the energy created by the sun and earth, it becomes laughably insane to continue to waste financial resources on carbon energy.

      Historically, technology CAPACITY INCREASES in an exponential manner while at the same time, technology COSTS DECREASE in a linear manner.

      Switching from carbon energy to energy derived from the sun and earth is the ONLY reasonable investment and the countries that do this sooner than later will be big winners in the long term. Countries that wait for whatever reason seems "correct" to them will only suffer longer and more.

      The technology for harvesting energy from the sun and wind is already well established and will only get better and cheaper over time as will the technology to store energy (powerwalls).

      The USA is shooting itself in the foot with a shotgun by clinging to carbon energy.

  • Elbaradei: Trump Propaganda on Iran Nuclear Deal like Run-up to Iraq War
    • BTW - Space-X follows a similar design philosophy with the Falcon 9 missile - simple to build and launch. Notice how successful they are becoming?

  • Germany: Immediate Danger of Mideast War if Trump dumps Iran Deal
    • The "wild card" is China.

      So far, Chinese leadership has been publicly polite to trump's version of the USA, BUT given China's 5000 year history, I suspect that the leadership is getting downright angry with trump. China does NOT want war either in the Mideast nor Asia. Wars cause lots of additional problems.

      China just wants to create a very successful 21sty century nation where most people are reasonably happy. China is NOT looking to conquer the world and control billions more people (they have already done that and discovered it is nasty and a bad idea).

      Right now, Chinese leadership is sending daily subtle messages that trump has no capacity to hear, let alone understand, so I wonder how long before Xi Jinping and his team just decide to confront the USA directly and "bitch-slap" trump publicly and then let him know he has no power over China? Basically humiliate him. I realize that trump will try to retaliate, and discover just how impotent he is.

    • Page: 8
    • Two different parts of Israel . . .

      - The military leadership in Israel KNOWS that killing the Iran deal is very, very BAD for Israel because a USA war with Iran will devastate Israel leaving it mostly as one giant rubble heap. The military leadership has already run the simulations and KNOW that it is suicidal for Israel to attack Iran and if the USA does it, Israel will suffer massively. Per the IDF leadership, there are over 50000 reasonably accurate, very deadly HE (non-nuclear) missiles pointed at Israel (actually the published number was twice that, but I discount it because it was during budget discussions). The reason Israel has not attacked Iran already is the Israeli military leadership told Bib to go sit in the corner and shut up. Bibi is angry with the IDF and is trying to box them in by using DJT to start the war so the IDF will then have to defend Israel (based on simulations, probably not successfully)

      - Then there are the "greater Israel" politicians, especially Bibi, that want to conquer the entire Mid east and make all the Muslims subservient to the mighty Israelis. These people are delusional and have no chance of success because once they light the fuse, the bomb will go off in their face. BUT they still want to light the fuse because they just can not stand being a small backwater minority instead of global leaders like their "god" says they should be.

      So just like the USA, Israel has both adults (IDF) and delusional ADHD pre-K children (Bibi). Unfortunately in both countries, the delusional ADHD pre-K children are in charge instead of the adults.

      Per the simulations I have seen, this can very rapidly get very, very, very BAD for the USA and Israel and most Israelis and Americans are going to be shocked at the almost over-night devastation to their lives.

      This is NOT going to turn out very well for either the USA nor Israel. Iran is more powerful than the politicians in Israel and USA give them credit for

  • "Push her down the stairs”: Trump, US Misogyny and Birth Control
    • Why do women vote against their own best interest?

      I just can not understand why so many women vote to have worse health care, lower wages, and all the other junk women have to deal with, especially when women are a MAJORITY and can easily have everything they need from government by just asserting themselves.

      For over 50000 years women have been trying to control their fertility and terminating pregnancies. As time has gone on, we have better and safer ways to do both, yet "modern" women are letting men control their lives. WHY?

      I really do not understand why women do this. I know that I do not let other people control my life, so why do women?

      What am I missing?

      BTW - if the data is correct, over half the women in the USA have either had an abortion or have a close friend or relative that has had an abortion - it is that personal.

  • Trump Finally Ditches the Iran Nuclear Deal, but at What Cost?
    • If Iran plays this smart, Iran will be a BIG winner and the USA a BIG loser.

      There are two types of economic sanctions: direct and indirect.

      - Direct sanctions are when country "A" refuses to do any economic activity with country "B" to "punish" country "B."

      - Indirect sanctions are when country "A" threatens country "C" to prevent country "C" from doing any economic activity with "bad" country "B."

      Note that the USA has had direct sanctions on Iran since 1979 and just like the USA direct sanctions on Cuba, they have done absolutely nothing because the USA, contrary to their own delusions, is NOT the only quality supplier and market on earth.

      To actually get Iran to the negotiating table, the USA persuaded many other countries on earth to also sanction Iran. Once Iran signed the agreement, all the global sanctions were lifted. Now the USA wants to put all those sanctions back in place by threatening the other nations.

      BUT . . .

      Trump has threatened so many nations, over so many things, that very few nations will probably be willing to participate in any further USA sanctions, leaving the USA isolated.

      Of course, that will just cause trump to try to damage the countries that will not go along with the USA. Unfortunately for trump, the rest of the world can economically thrive without the USA and any attempt to use the global financial transaction network as a club, will just cause further withdrawal from the USA controlled SWIFT network, further isolating the USA.

      As long as Iran does not give the non-USA counties reason to change their minds, most nations will probably ignore the USA because they are tired of USA bullying.

      It is important to remember that most nations have industries that directly compete with USA industries and given an opportunity to make the local industries wealthier and hurt the competition, they will do it.

      Trump is shooting the USA industries in the foot.

  • Is Trump setting US course toward War with China?
    • Pretty realistic.

      One thing I might add is the attack could easily come from INSIDE the USA from refrigerators and toasters because American companies are going gangbusters for the "Internet of Things" concept without implementing ANY security.

      Due to the economics of IoT devices, most IoT devices have:

      - a 32-bit or 64-bit multi-core CPU running at 1 GHz or more. These are usually based on the ARM technology that is also used in almost all smart phones, pads and Raspberry Pi computers.

      - 1 to 4 GB of memory (or more)

      - As much as 64 GB of storage

      - Linux or Linux/Android operating system. 32-bit or 64-bit depending on the CPU.

      Basically the IoT folks have miniaturized a 2012 desktop to the size of a thermostat.

      All of this is vastly more capability than most IoT devices need, but due to the way component economics works, anything with less capability would cost more to make. It is vastly cheaper to use more powerful but lower cost components than to build a device that exactly meets the design requirements.

      As a result, most IoT devices have lots of unused capacity. Combine this with lax to zero security and anyone that want to disrupt the USA has a vast army of robots sitting in thousands of houses.

      I have been pointing this out to the IoT community for years and exactly zero companies have listened.

      - - - -

      In addition to the IoT bots, the USA suffers from "gold plating" of the war toys due to the egos and profit greed of the military and suppliers. Whereas China, Iran and most other countries get a LOT more "bang for the buck." than the USA. American weapons suppliers and the Pentagon deride the "simple" weapons that the others use, but an analysis shows that the simple weapons are actually MORE EFFECTIVE that the extremely complex weapons the USA uses. This can be seen in the last several wars where men with 1947 technology (the AK-47) easily defeat "modern" USA soldiers and air force.

      The next war is NOT going to end well for the USA.

  • US will Ease Restrictions on Drones, Expand Usage
    • The next counter-escalation will be for anti-drone technology (great business opportunity!).

      Note that drones are NOT as "stealthy" as people think and due to physical constraints are actually easy targets. Iran has brought down several USA drones and Israel has brought down several Iranian drones operated by Hezbollah.

      It is very likely that many other countries have quietly brought down other USA drones, but obviously the CIA will want to keep that quiet. Note also that the USA has crashed many drones due to technical problems (weather, lost comm, etc) and pilot error due to high stress. Just because the pilot isn't being subjected to the g-forces of actual combat, there are still both heavy physical and psychological stresses.

      Most drones can not be in-flight refueled (hard for real pilots to do let alone remote pilots). As a result, drones have to trade off time in air (fuel usage) versus weight, speed, altitude and stealth. The more of any of these characteristic, the quicker the fuel is expended and the shorter the flight.

      There is a very good reason the drones only carry one or two Hellfire missiles which are small, short range and low ordnance yield. Adding weight sucks the tanks dry quickly.

      Of course as the USA kills more humans indiscriminately, the more chances others will do the same to USA citizens around the globe and maybe even at home.

      Drones are NOT "cost-free" and like all the mistakes the USA makes, the blow-back will be terrible for Americans.

  • Iranian Leader: Trump is "Disturbed," speaks like a Cowboy or Mobster
    • Actually, the physical and intellectual resources are going to Asia not the USA.

      The Europeans and Americans may think they are "hot stuff" but Asia, especially China, has been the global power leader for 4800 of the last 5000 years. And during those 200 years, Asia went from a feudal agricultural society to a massive industrial powerhouse.

      Americans are just being delusional.

  • Trump blasts Iran for backing Syria, ignores Russia, Praises Saudis
    • As I have noted before, Iran has had 35 years to carefully analyze USA military strengths and weaknesses, often up close, in neighboring countries. Iran has also spent valuable capitol on building the human and physical infrastructure needed to have a cost effective, efficient and deadly defensive capability (note that the USA capability is extremely costly and usually ineffective, but can be deadly).

      As a result, Iran will successfully defeat any USA attack and humiliate trump, while also hurting the USA economy.

      China and Russia will help Iran because it will severely weaken the USA and increase the power of China and Russia.

      Trump is BADLY misreading the situation and the USA is going to get burned.

      Iran is NOT as weak as trump thinks it is.

  • How GOP plans to repeal Health Care will blight millions of Lives
    • Healthcare is really about "pay now or pay more later."

      We KNOW, in great detail, exactly how much of each type of healthcare will be needed over the next year in the USA. We do not know exactly what human will need, what healthcare, but overall we have a very exact picture.

      This AMOUNT of healthcare is fairly stable over time because the drastic lifestyle changes that would be needed to lower the usage by a small amount is not something we humans are capable of doing for sustained periods of time (I keep quitting soda every few months only to start back up - I KNOW it is bad for me, but I still relapse like all humans).

      What we are arguing about is how to manage the COST of this NEEDED healthcare and who pays.

      Costs = Currently the USA makes no effort to control costs because of the "free market" myth. As a result of extreme greed in all parts of the healthcare deliver system, costs keep going up and NOTHING that has been proposed does anything to limit the costs. BTW - "Free market" is totally useless for controlling costs as has been documented a zillion times. Costs MUST be controlled by a government decree.

      Who pays = Most of the humans in the USA do not have the wealth to pay for healthcare directly, so various "insurance" schemes have been put in place. BUT the wealthy that can afford to pay for healthcare directly do not want to participate out of pure "i got mine, screw you" attitude.

      In an ideal system, healthcare deliver costs would set by the government and the total cost of healthcare would be spread across society on an ability to pay basis where the wealthy would pay their "unfair" share.

      Right now the USA pays almost DOUBLE what the next most expensive nation on earth pays with no better results.

      That is, the USA could CUT its cost almost in HALF just by taking all the best features of the the healthcare systems of other countries and throwing out the USA system.

      BUT because of the USA culture and basic greed, the USA will continue to have a healthcare crisis for quit a while.

  • Israeli Right Wing Faction Announces a Plan for Ethnic Cleansing
    • Go where?

      The Israelis have not thought this through.

      Exactly what country, given trumps's "sovereign first" policy, is going to take millions of poor refugees?

      I do not see Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or any other country taking Palestinian refugees.

      What I do see is Israel going from a relatively quiet war zone to a massively "hot" war zone as other countries either covertly or even overtly providing weapons to the Palestinians (of course the "democracy for everyone" USA will supply Israel with as much lethal stuff as possible).

      This is NOT going to turn out like the Israelis think because they are fighting against reality. In fact, over time, this could lead to the end of Israel.

      This will not drive out many Palestinians, BUT will drive out many highly skilled Israelis that realize that living in a constant war zone is a terrible way to live when there are so many BETTER options.

  • Russia rebuffs Israeli demand for 40 mi. Buffer with Iran in Syria (Haaretz)
    • Russia currently has surplus S-300 systems in Syria to protect Russian aircraft and airports. Russia has LOTS of other surplus S-300 systems that could easily be given to Syria.

      Note that Russian has replaced most of their own country's S-300 systems with better S-400 and early versions of the even better S-500. Also, Iran has effectively cloned the S-400/S-500 by reverse engineering the S-300 that "magically appeared" in Iran and vastly improving it. They shared the technology with China so both Iran and China have more advanced systems than Russia.

      Basically Israel is screwed because Syria can get advanced anti-aircraft system from several sources (Russia, Iran or China) that can easily shoot down most Israeli military aircraft soon after they take off from Israeli bases.

      BTW - Per the IDF the number of missiles pointed at Israel exceeds 50,000 with many being the newer, highly accurate versions (actually the IDF said in budget discussions that there are over 100,000 missiles, but I have discounted that number due to the usual military hype during budget discussions).

      Right now as the globe transitions from physical labor to brain labor and the post WW2 baby boom is dying off, there is a global shortage of good highly skilled brains so anyone with a decent brain in Israel can easily find a nice place to live outside the perpetual war zone known as Israel.

  • What will Iran do if Trump tears up the Nuclear Agreement?
    • Follow the money . . .

      Quietly, behind the curtains, The world financial structure is changing. China is building a modern, financial transaction system that rivals the UK/US controlled SWIFT system. This network prevents the USA from seeing any transactions and prevents the USA from blocking any transactions. The more the USA threatens the integrity of the SWIFT system, the more countries and businesses move transactions to the Chinese network.

      Basically the USA threats to European companies are becoming very hollow.

      It is important to note that smuggling and evasion of financial restrictions have been in existence thousands of years before the USA ever existed and the USA leadership is no smarter than the kings and rulers that the world has had for thousands of years.

      Over the next few years if Iran can keep its cool, they will discover that they can thumb their noses at the USA because the USA is becoming more impotent by the day.

      With careful diplomatic management by Iran, the USA can be blunted and Iran will thrive, much to the frustration of the USA leadership.

  • Bannon & Trump lost Long ago: White Christians not a Majority in US
    • The white middle class decline can NOT be fixed by any elected person, so electing some one to fix the unfixable is just crazy.

      The things that are causing the decline of the middle class, especially the non-college middle class, can not be changed:

      - technology will continue to replace most human employees with robots because robots are now cheaper than US$3/hour Chinese workers, let alone USA workers. Automation means only a few HIGHLY SKILLED workers are needed.

      - Global communication allows services to be provided from anywhere across time zones.

      - Global transportation allows goods to be shipped for very little added cost from anywhere to anywhere. Right now it costs less than US$2500 to ship a standard 40 foot containers from Shanghai to LAX.

      Basically, less than half the 7.5 billion humans on earth are needed to provide ALL the goods and services that are needed by the 7.5 billion. About half the humans on earth are "excess" with only the most highly skilled having stable wealth.

      Trump will FAIL to fix the problem, just as Bernie or Clinton would have.

      They voted with their emotions for a delusional dream.

    • There is a very good reason why white Protestant, Mormon and Catholic churches keep having to close church buildings. They are losing members by the day, mostly young, leaving just a small number of older members.

      I am familiar with the Mormon congregations in the SF Bay Area which keep getting smaller and smaller, even though the missionaries still try to recruit new members (usually unsuccessfully).

      The leadership of the republican party is trying to ignore the huge demographic bomb that is going to go off soon as their "base," consisting mostly of old, white "christian," racist men and women, disappears before their eyes. Instead of trying to build a new base, which would involve drastically changing their core beliefs, they are trying to extend the time they have left as long as possible.

      Literally their old world is dying a little more each day.

      Right now the republicans may have lots of "real estate" but that "real estate" is mostly empty and getting more empty by the day because there is no longer an economic reason for most of the towns in middle America to exist. Farmers can easily travel 30+ miles to shop and do their banking instead of the old 5 to 8 miles. This means farm towns spaced 10 to 15 miles apart are not needed. Most of the rest of the towns were based on resource extraction and over the last 100+ years we have extracted most of the resources and any future extraction does not require very many humans due to robotics.

      basically, the republican base that is losing economic and political power can not get any better, just get smaller.

      link to

      link to

  • Trump "presidency" as Ponzi Scheme: Madoff in the White House?
    • He and his kids may discover that screwing the folks in America will be a fatal decision. They may discover that not even presidential pardons and hiding in Russia help when people are out for blood.

      Trump and his friends may discover that they have boxed themselves into a very dark corner.

      I suspect that in a few years, many of the people that are part of the scheme will find they have much less (possible close to zero) that they anticipated.

  • On top of everything, Will the Middle East run out of Water?
    • With proper investment, the Mideast should not run out of water,

      BUT . . .

      Most of the governments in the Mideast are poorly run, so it is unlikely that the investments will be made.

      We have, TODAY, the technology to extract "pure" water from the ocean in large volumes. While the water technology is energy inefficient, we also have the technology to harvest all the energy needed from the sun at a very low cost.

      In addition to "making" the water, we now have very efficient technology to use minimal water to grow and harvest lots of food as well as for human consumption. There are water-less urinals and toilets and low usage sinks, showers and baths.

      All that is needed is for the countries of the Mideast to spend their wealth on completely rebuilding their infrastructure for a long term future instead of wasting their wealth on 747s for the rulers.

      Less booze for the rulers and more for the water, sewage and food infrastructure.

  • Deporting Dreamers will cost US $400 bn. over 10 Years
    • If I were the President of Mexico or one of the other Latin countries with Dreamers in the USA, I would follow the example of China and India and actively recruit the dreamers by providing financial incentives for them to bring their skills "back home."

      Both China and India very actively recruit their citizens that have been educated in and worked in the USA, since they bring a huge amount of soft skills that are needed to advance both countries to the point they can supersede the USA.

      Mexico could provide incentive like low cost housing, good jobs, and education assistance at top non-USA universities in Europe or Asia.

      A good friend of mine from Nigeria graduated from a major USA university then stayed in the USA to work for a large multinational USA company. But one day, the president of Nigeria asked my friend's father to have him come home to help build the country. My friend reluctantly did as his family asked. In the last 20 years, he has helped build an electronic finance system in Nigeria and helped spur the nationwide cell network and inexpensive cell phones so almost everyone in the country can exchange "money" electronically. By luring my friend from the USA , to Nigeria, the small country vastly improved. I have several friends in India and China that have done similar things, especially after the USA voided their H1B visa.

      Mexico should embrace the Dreamers as a way to spit in trump's eye.

  • Texas Wind turbines went right on Turning under Harvey's impact, as Refineries Shut Down
    • Total blind BS.

      Everything designed by humans can and does fail catastrophically for unanticipated reasons.

    • No "light water" reactor is ever "safe." They are either unsafe or very, very lucky.

      The "light water" design can NEVER be made "safe" only slightly less catastrophic.

      Note that there is LOTS of engineering data that shows that "light water" reactors are inherently unsafe which is why there have to be so many backup systems on top of backup systems.

    • While the "light water" nuclear reactors used in the USA can NEVER be safe because the design is extremely flawed, there are nuclear reactor designs that are designed to fail safe, not fail catastrophically.

      I do not know why the USA has done so little research on safe reactor designs and focusing only on trying to compensate for the massive flaws in the"light water" design.

      Note that "light water" reactors were originally designed for ships and submarines which are surrounded by cooling water, so a catastrophic failure is automatically managed when the ship or submarine sinks. Land based reactors have no possible backup.

      Non-US researchers have designed small scale test nuclear reactors that fail in a safe manner, but no one has made on on a commercial scale yet.

      Nuclear may still be a viable alternative if (big IF) safer nuclear reactor designs can be implemented. Especially ones that do not create so much nuclear waste.

      A mix of non-carbon energy systems , including nuclear is probably the optimal mix for the future since relying on a single source, like we do now with carbon energy, is a not a good idea.

  • As Trump probes move against Iran, IAEA certifies its Compliance with Nuclear Deal
    • Except that Iran could be as bad (or worse) as attacking NK or Afghanistan.

      Iran has been expecting a USA attack for over 35 years and has built up the military infrastructure to not only make the USA regret any attack within a few days but to probably DEFEAT the USA and send it home with severe long term damages.

      Note that on its own, Iran can severely damage the USA, but if China and/or Russia decide to help, then the USA is toast.

      Attacking Iran is a BIG (repeat BIG) mistake that the USA will regret for generations.

      Unfortunately . . .

      the current USA administration is not well regarded for having any intelligence only anger and hubris, so the USA will probably blindly attack Iran and get its head handed to it on a gold platter engraved with a stylish "T."

    • Some important points in the essay need to be emphasized:

      - All the nuclear treaties prevent inspection of military sites that are not declared nuclear sites. This was put into the agreements by the USA and the USA is required to conform to this agreement. Even declared nuclear sites have very stringent protocols for inspection and it is often by external inspection (via satellites, etc.) rather than on-site physical inspection. Iran has gone far beyond the requirements that the USA has met by allowing physical on-site inspection of all their declared nuclear sites.

      - All nuclear facilities emit trace identifiers which can be detected by sensitive instruments external to the site and Parchan has NOT been found to emit any of the trace identifiers, even during the previous on-site inspections.

      Basically this is a provocation by the USA and everyone on earth sees it as a provocation by the USA. The USA will get limited support.

    • Agreements between sovereign states has ALWAYS been based entirely on trust (or the exchange of children via marriage) as there is no additional enforcement mechanism, such as neutral courts to force both sides to conform to an agreement. The UN tries to moderate bad behavior by member states but if the USA wants to be a total jerk, the UN has no way to stop it.

      In the past, the USA had reasonably sane administrations that walked away from only a few agreements. The USA has walked away from agreements since the first day of the USA, but most were minor and later resolved, usually peacefully.

      Now the USA has an administration that does not understand that walking away from MAJOR agreements damages the ability to get any agreements in the future and damages the credibility of the USA to get other nations to go along with the USA position.

      With Iran, the USA is rapidly painting itself into a very dangerous and unsustainable corner where the USA will lose all credibility.

      Due to past USA behavior and the erosion of the good will left over from WW2, the USA no longer has the ability to just do what it wants and have the rest of the world just go along. The rest of the world now has the ability of thriving on its own and no longer needs to curry USA favor, so will no longer just "go along" with the USA.

      Unfortunately far too many people in the USA are living in the early post-WW2 era and do not understand the USA can no longer take unilateral actions.

      While the USA can walk away from its part of the Iran agreement, the rest of the world will probably NOT go along with the USA and will definitely NOT allow the USA to attack Iran.

      Note that just the USA walking away from the agreement will have no effect on Iran and the rest of the world since the USA has no legal trade with Iran (Iran does buy USA products through third parties all the time).

  • China smashes 2020 solar power target, leaves US & Europe in Dust
    • This should NOT be surprising.

      Humans need personal energy (food) and community energy (fire, electricity , etc.) to thrive.

      The Chinese leadership KNOW that over 50% of the population, at a MINIMUM, MUST have sufficient personal and community energy for the leadership to stay in power. Right now, carbon energy is used for community energy, BUT the leadership is well aware that carbon energy has huge costs that can NEVER go down, only up. As carbon energy costs increase, the number of humans in China that can afford carbon energy will go down, threatening the leadership.

      To stay in power, the leadership MUST find another energy source. One that is "permanent," inexpensive and not controlled by any possible opponent.

      Solar, wind (derived from solar) and hydro electric (derived from solar) are all inexpensive and long term after an initial investment. The only "problem" with solar and wind is night usage, but Tesla has invented a solution which the Chinese are rapidly implementing - Powerwall (stationary Li-ion storage systems).

      By making a investment in solar, wind and powerwall production capacity, China is able to ensure that a majority of their population will have the community energy to thrive.

      In the process, China has developed several industries that will provide export wealth for many years to come, especially after the USA discovers that it is non-competitive because it uses high cost carbon energy. At that point in time, Americans will also discover that they are so far behind on solar, wind and storage technology and carbon energy is draining so much wealth from their economy, they have no choice but to buy from China than build their own.

      Americans are "famous" for the lack of long term investment because the people in leadership today will not profit immediately. Whereas Chinese leadership has a 5000 year old cultural imperative to invest for the long term.

      FYI - China will surpass their 2030 goal by a huge margin. It is not unimaginable for China to be completely off carbon energy by 2035 instead of the projected 2050.

      Culture really can determine the future.

  • Afghanistan: Pentagon Admits it Low-Balled Public on Troop Levels
    • Anything less than a million USA soldiers is a WORTHLESS waste of USA wealth and humans.

      Per the USA military counter insurgency manual (fm3-24), To stabilize the Afghan population, the USA would need a MINIMUM of 700,000 troops (roughly a million when movement into/out of the combat zone is factored in). Anything less and we can NOT be successful. The USA military KNOWS this very well.

      BUT . . .

      Of course, the USA congress would have a fit of panic over their jobs if trump actually asked for a million troops for Afghanistan, which is why the current "reality show" troops are still on the ground.

      Basically, no one in USA political leadership has the courage to just declare "Victory" and leave and let Iran and Pakistan deal with Afghanistan which they both want to be a stable buffer between their two countries.

      Resources ;

      link to

      link to

      link to

  • US Prepares for More Airstrikes in Afghanistan
    • All the "good targets" are long gone and the "insurgents" have long ago learned how to function well even while bombs fall on dirt piles.

      The "insurgents" do not need infrastructure to defeat the US military, so there is no infrastructure to bomb other than civilian houses. This of course just makes the locals hate the US military even more.

      At this point in time, USA "air power" is worthless and just wastes jet fuel and bombs. Apparently the USA military has learned NOTHING from Vietnam where the NVA readily defeated the south and USA soldiers while the USA dropped more tons of bombs than during all of WW2 on a smaller area (note that we are still finding un-exploded WW2 bombs).

      After basic infrastructure is bombed, air power becomes more worthless by the day. After the initial invasion, with millions of USA troops on the ground, the only somewhat effective aerial weapons are attack helicopters and A-10 Warthogs. The fighter jets, as was clearly demonstrated in Vietnam, are worthless - they fly far too high and far too fast to target individual fighters and after a short time there are no "big" targets to destroy.

      This is entirely a PR stunt for the TV cameras and serves no useful combat purpose. I suspect that the pilots constantly blow up the same "cinematic" spot because there is nothing left to blow up.

      Keep in mind that Afghanistan did not have all that much infrastructure to blow up in the first place, so there is none left.

      More "fake news" to continue the Afghanistan "reality show" to keep trump from having to admit defeat. If trump really cared about America (he does NOT), he would pull every American out of Afghanistan and turn it over to Iran and Pakistan who want a stable country between them.

      This is all about trump's ego.

  • Was Hate's Reach into US Public Extended by Internet?
    • Yes . . .

      I sell stuff on eBay because it gives me access to far more potential buyers than selling on Craigslist or via my local newspaper which only cover a small geographic area. Buyers are not concentrated in a small geographic areas, but sparsely distributed all over the USA and globe.

      The number of racist, hateful people has probably not increased by a huge number, BUT before the Internet, they were isolated and only able to connect with a small number of like-minded people within a small geographic area.

      BUT. . .

      Just as I was able to build a global community to discuss esoteric technical issues via ARPAnet then later the public internet, people scattered all over the globe can now easily connect about thousands of unique shared interests.

      In this respect, the hateful are no different in that they now have a "safe" space to congregate and share their hate. Given that these type of people contribute NOTHING to the advancement and stability of humans, the best thing society could do is return them to geographic isolation.

      These type of corrosive people are no benefit to society and their speech should be suppressed. Note that much of the globe does just that.

  • Kushner tells Abbas Israeli Squatter Expansion can't be stopped b/c Netanyahu Gov't would Fall
    • The Israelis have painted themselves into a corner with no viable solution.

      While many Israelis wish that the non-Jews west of the Jordan river would just "magically" disappear overnight, that is just not going to happen, so Israelis are going to have to find a "reasonable" solution.

      BUT that is going to be extremely painful for Israelis.

      Some possible solutions:

      - Israel pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to each non-Jew to get them to "self deport" to some other place on earth. There are two big roadblocks to this . . . (1) Israel does not have sufficient wealth to do this and USA taxpayers would scalp any USA politician that tried to help and (2) no country on earth is willing to take millions of refugees even if they are not as poor as most refugees. This is especially true with technology eliminating as much as 75% of the jobs in some countries. No country wants to displace their own citizens from jobs and replace them with refugees. But if the refugees can't get jobs they will be a revolution waiting to happen.

      - Israel "rounds up the usual suspects" and simply forcibly drives them from Israel. Even with trump cheering them on, this will collapse very quickly since Israel would quickly find that its economy would tank due to severe economic pressure and no country on earth will allow the refugees.

      - Basically, Israel is stuck with millions of non-Jewish humans living west of the Jordan river that will never go away.

      - Israel no longer has the option of giving up lots of land, water and cash (to compensate for past Israeli mistreatment). Israel has no capability of removing the settlers and clearing enough hectares of usable, contiguous land to create the country of Palestine. "Separation" is no longer possible, which why the USA insistence on separation is pure BS and just a placeholder to prevent an immediate crisis (push the ugly problem onto the next USA and Israeli governments).

      - So Israel can not "remove" the problem by making Israel "pure" Jewish west of the Jordan river, nor can Israel create a small non-Jewish state west of Jordan river.

      - Realistically Israel has only one option left - integrate the Jewish and non-Jewish humans west of the Jordan river into a single multi-cultural society, which will be extremely painful for Israelis.

      - If Israel does not integrate their society, then the current non-Jewish minority (soon to be a slight majority) will become more angry and violent and Israel will have a defacto low level war with lots of humans dying on both sides. Over time this will drive those with sufficient wealth and/or skills to move to other places on earth where living conditions are better (that is the people will choose to not be living in a long term combat zone). This will hollow out the Israel economy and the country could end up collapsing economically.

      Given the mythic rhetoric that Israelis have used for almost 100 years, I do not see any peaceful resolution to the situation Israelis have created.

      The hubris (pride) is extreme in Israel.

  • Take that, Trump! 5% of California New Car Sales now Electric
  • Will Trump's Arpaio Pardon encourage more civil rights violations?
    • The pardon will not prevent Maricopa county from having to pay out over $80 million due to losing law suits (and more law suits are making their way through the courts).

      If I were on the county board, I would push to sue Arpaio for the county losses since it has now been proven in court that what he did was illegal.

  • Is Trump planning permanent occupation of Afghanistan?
    • basically, the ONLY function the USA troops in Afghanistan will be performing is "force protection."

      That is, they will be completely focused on keeping each other alive until it is time to go home. For all practical purposes, they will do nothing else.

      Sure, they will leave their fortified compounds, but they will be heavily armored and will avoid all contact with the local population because there is no way for the troops to differentiate between a "friendly " local and those that will harm them.

      Any time any armed group in Afghanistan wants to kill Americans, they will be able to do it and melt back into the population.

      Basically this is a suicide mission to protect trump ego.

      Ho Chi Min understood Sun Tzu very well and followed his advise to strike the enemy where they are weak and hide in plain site when the enemy is concentrated.

      There is no possible way the USA can "win" in Afghanistan. All we can do is push out the ego busting retreat as far as possible.

  • Trump flip-flops on Afghanistan, opts for Years-long Quagmire
    • Bannon got one thing correct . . .

      THERE IS NO MILITARY solution to Afghanistan.

      EVERY group that has attacked Afghanistan has left after humiliating defeat. Heck the Brits tried it three times and suffered humiliating defeat three times.

      The size of the USA forces in Afghanistan are too small to do anything but try to keep each other alive and run up huge costs for taxpayers. To actually conquer the 35 million Afghanistan population (sort of) would require two to five million USA soldiers with the USA suffering a 10% to 20% death rate. These numbers are based on the USA Army insurgency manual which you can get here:

      link to

      There is no way for the USA to WIN in Afghanistan, PERIOD.

      At this point it is all about ego. No president wants to be the one that "lost Afghanistan," especially super-inflated ego trump.

  • Trump fires Bannon: Who are the Winners & Losers Globally?
    • The USA can NOT, repeat can NOT, win a trade war with China.

      The USA will get its head handed to it by China and the rest of the world that will side with China. There is NOTHING the USA can do to force China to change any of its policies.

      China may be willing to negotiate various issues, but it will never give into threats.

      Like most uninformed Americans with super inflated egos, bannon has no idea about how much power China actually has and how much 5000 years of culture fine tunes a society.

      bannon is flat out delusional when it comes to China.

  • Neo-Nazi Website forced on to 'Dark Web' as no ISP Wants Them
    • Walking away from bad customers is a company's right, but in this case there is the added benefit of minimizing legals problems.

      The Internet is world wide so while hosting companies might only suffer major PR problems in the USA, they could find that they could no longer do business in many other countries, such as Germany.

      For example, the DNS addresses assigned to GoDaddy could end up being blocked around the world even though only a small fraction of the huge number of addresses assigned to GoDaddy were used by the Nazi.

      Dumping one bad customer protects the rest of the hosting company's customers.

      Eventually the Nazi sites will find refuge at a hosting company in some obscure country that cares more for cash than morals and can bribe the local government to keep the other nations away. BUT while the site may be up, it will not be very accessible and will be a target for hackers wanting to practice there craft on a site that can't get any law enforcement help.

  • 'Locked & Loaded' Trump's 1960s Cowboyism re: N. Korea & Venezuela
    • The USA "rugged individual" myth is alive and well and has polluted a great deal of the USA society from war to healthcare to education to just about everything.

      Even though the people that were actually successful in the USA for the last 200+ years did so in GROUPS, the myth still persists.

      Just beneath most of the disagreements in the USA are the very selfish "rugged individual," "I got mine, screw you" myths. We still believe that an individual can accomplish anything and if some one needs help, then they are weak or immoral or have character flaws.

      In reality, the fir trappers relied on native Americans to a large extent and were not the lone explorers the myths perpetuate. The ones that tried the "lone explorer" idea were the ones that quickly ended up dead. The same goes for the homestead farmers that settled in the Midwest. They needed their neighbors and that little town 5 miles away to survive.

      Basically humans have survived for 50000 years because of community, NOT "rugged individuals."

      As Juan noted, we need to discard the myths and deal with our extremely complex world in a community way because "might makes right" has proven to be a disaster for thousands of years.

      BTW - why are most towns in the east and Midwest about 10 miles apart. See here:

      link to

  • Should Western Countries be Selling Masses of Arms to Saudi Arabia?
  • Kissinger pushes Iranophobia, fear of 'radical empire' as ISIL declines
    • The British then USA empire is dying slowly.

      After WW2, instead of the USA just letting the old British and French empires break apart and let the locals figure out their own power structure, the USA essentially took it over as much a it could.

      This is how the USA ended up in Vietnam, Iraq and so many other countries.

      As Nicholas notes well Kissinger was one of the proponents of the USA empire and does not have the ability to examine his original thinking because it would be emotionally painful.

      We definitely need to IGNORE people like Kissinger becuase their mistakes are very, very obvious by now as we deal with the aftermath.

  • "Fire & Fury" or "Shock and Awe": it is always the start of a Quagmire
    • There is no such thing as "tactical nuclear weapons."

      What you are actually talking about is slightly smaller nuclear weapons that are just as deadly for everyone on earth as the slightly bigger ones.

      How would you feel if someone set off "tactical nuclear weapons" a few hundred miles from your home? Now you have an idea about how China and Japan would react to having the USA nuke NK. Basically south Korea would be uninhabitable and even if Japan might be marginally habitable, all its food sources would be contaminated.

      As a bonus, do you realize that after a week or so, all the radioactive junk that would be blown into the air would be contaminating YOUR FOOD SOURCES in California and the Midwest? Enjoy the crunchy radium isotopes.

    • The USA can NOT defeat NK in even six months time.

      Sure, the USAF can kill lots of civilian humans and create lots of rubble piles, but the NK military has carefully hardened their military sites and will be able to make life in SK and Japan very tenuous at best for a long time. NK military can also make the lives of invading USA soldiers very miserable and short.

      Before you get all hyper about USA military, remember that the rag-tag USA colonists were able to defeat a much better British military in the 1700s and the Vietnamese were able to defeat the USA in the 1970s. A NK homeland protector with an AK-47 can kill a lot of invading Americans.

      In the real world, much of the USA "magic" war toys are worthless, as evidenced by the USA defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan. USA soldiers are still getting killed in ambushes in both countries.

      The USA military is no where as powerful as the myths pretend.

  • America's Passionate Intensity: What Rough Beast Slouches toward Mar-a-Lago?
    • BTW - No political entity can "create" private sector jobs (public jobs, yes, but NOT private jobs).

      ONLY market demand can create private sector jobs. That is, a private company has more demand for their product or service than the existing HUMAN labor force can produce. Human labor is an EXPENSE that all profit driven companies will try to minimize as much as possible. This is why automation (robotics) is being implemented at a breakneck pace. Automation costs are DECREASING not increasing like labor and often the political entity's tax policy lets automation be deducted from any taxes.

      Right now in the USA, most companies can easily meet demand for their products or services with existing labor force and in many cases as they implement further automation, they have an excess of humans.

      No human can compete with a robot for most human labor activities, so in many cases transferring labor to a "lower cost" location does not make economic sense when humans can be eliminated entirely. Right now, in most countries, USA EU and Chain in particular, the cost of money is so low that buying more automation is almost a "no brainer."

    • Gerrymandering can be minimized by using simple geometry based rules:

      Every voting district MUST meet these rules:

      - No district can have more than 10 sides. A side being a straight or curved line as defined below. A district can have as few as three sides.

      - all districts must contiguous. That is, no "islands" inside another district.

      - All sides, except for one curved line as defined below, MUST be straight lines running east/west or north/south or 45 degrees from cardinal directions.

      - One side can be curved based on "natural boundaries" such as shorelines for oceans, lakes of rivers or for ridge-lines along the top of mountain chains. Any curved lines should be required to have clear written justification that can be challenged for free by any citizen.

      These simple rules would eliminate most of the worst gerrymandering.

      Sure, AI computer programs can still be used to optimize districts for either political party, but districts would tend to be closer to even than the "magical;" shapes that are now used.

    • Humans are no longer needed for most work, therefore it is impossible for most humans to find "useful and rewarding work."

      This is just the basic REALITY of the world we live in.

      This simple fact that less than 3 billion humans are needed to provide all the goods and services the entire 7 billion humans on earth want or need means the entire global social structure must eb rebuilt to match reality.

      Unfortunately this means that there will be more than a few losers who will fight loss of power and wealth to their last breath.

      The ride is going to be really bumpy

  • The Mask Is Off: Trump Is Seeking Pretext for War with Iran
    • Israel and Saudi Arabia are worried they will not survive if there is a strong country in the region and they are probably correct since both countries are unstable for the long term.

      But the instability of Israel and Saudi Arabia is because of basic flaws in the country, not because of Iran.

      Israel could become a lot more stable by negotiating with the Arabs and giving up lots of land, water and cash for compensation, but Israel's greed and hubris is huge and is unlikely to change unless outside forces make them. Internally, Israel is a mess and getting worse by the day.

      Saudi Arabia is also a mess internally. The deal with the devil the Sauds made with the very extreme religious sect and the way they have managed their society has enured a bad future for KSA. Some of the new leadership is trying to moderate the problems, but the paths they have chosen are not going to improve things enough to prevent a social collapse over time.

      Iran is strong and getting stronger so even if he USA attacks, Iran should be able to recover much quicker than the USA will after the USA gets humiliated in defeat.

  • As Trump leaves Paris Accord, Wind jobs are fastest growing in US next Decade
    • Most coal workers are being replaced by robots so even the ongoing coal jobs are going away.

  • GOP Jet-setters in Climate Denial: It is getting too Hot for your Plane to take Off
    • Flying into Phoenix, Las Vegas and other desert airports has always been a "thrill ride" during the summer due to the uneven heating of the surfaces leading to invisible thermal towers causing lift shear in the flight paths. The additional heating is causing the "thrill ride " to become worse.

      As for the lift problem, it can be very hard to deal with. Many years ago I was working for the USAF at Hill Field near SLC. The altitude is about 5000 feet and during the summer we had lots of problems getting DC-9 air freighters launched. The birds would arrive empty all day long and get loaded. Even though we had 2.6 mile runway (~13.5K feet - enough for a B-52), the planes could not get enough lift if the surface temperature was over 90F, so the planes were parked on the old B-52 parking spots until the sun went down. Then we would drive the length of the runway taking the temperature to calculate the air density. once the air density was sufficient to launch a bird, we sent one off. The aircraft would taxi to the extreme north end of the runway, put on their brakes and run up the engine to max power. When the tires started to skid, the brakes would be released and the aircraft would travel toward the houses at the south end of the runway. The pilot would hold the aircraft nose down to maximize the speed then just before the south fence, the pilot would gently raise the nose to just clear the fence and houses and slowly fly off. This is know as a combat take-off and airlines only use it at a few airports due to the fear it induces in the passengers. When I was flying much smaller and lighter aircraft in Vietnam we used a similar technique to get as high as possible, as fast as possible, to minimize aircraft damage from ground fire - it was always a "fun ride."

      Some technical notes . . .

      - The newer wings on commercial aircraft are already optimized for lift and economy, so there is very little that can be done to improve the aircraft wing performance in low density air. Buying new aircraft or replacing the wings will not be a good economic option.

      - Not only is lift lost , but so is propulsion. the turbofan engines lose a lot of power when the intake air temperature is so high. At altitude where the air is often near or below freezing the performance will be better, but the aircraft has to go through a lot of hot air to get there.

      - As noted, runways are difficult to extend, BUT note that Hill field has a very long runway and we still had to wait until after sundown to launch the birds and used the ENTIRE length of the runway to get loaded DC-9 freighters into the air.

      - The only viable option for the airlines is to limit weight by leaving some passengers or freight behind or under-fueling the aircraft and adding a fueling stop to a normal non-stop.

      The bottom line is more expensive travel to hot areas.

  • Trump's Worst Nightmare: Mueller's Grand Jury Subpoenas Russia Documents
  • Top 5 Great Power Realist Reasons Trump is Wrong on Immigration
    • The global competition for brains is fierce and the USA is rapidly losing appeal.

      Every year EE Times (a global technology publication) does a global engineering salary survey that is carefully done to make the comparisons as realistic as possible.

      Over time an interesting thing happens. Because engineers are mostly free to move around the globe, a MAJOR finding is engineers are paid approximately equally around the globe. so engineers have a similar lifestyle in China as they do in the USA (actually these days better) That is, engineers don't move for money, but the move for:

      - intellectual stimulation. that is, the opportunity to work on challenging projects. With the USA cuts in primary research and the INCREASE in Asian and European research, engineers are accepting jobs out side the USA. Remember, Frances pledged to take all the USA climate engineers and scientists trump was throwing away. This was treated as a joke in the USA, but France was dead serious about it.

      - Engineers want to live where they and their families are treated well socially. many non-usa engineers not perceive the USA as a bad place to live.

      So the bottom line is the white, English speaking people that will come to the USA may not be that large and many not be enough to make the economy better.

      Like all trump ideas, this will also FAIL badly.

  • The Most Dangerous Game in the World: Trump guns for Iran
    • Mid term (or even possibly short term) the USA dollar is in deep brown stuff.

      China and the rest of the earth are redefining global currency markets making the USA dollar just one of many units of exchange with the Chinese RMB being added to the mix. To facilitate this , China and most of the other countries on earth are building a new financial trading infrastructure that will essentially ignore the USA.

      As the carbon energy markets collapse due the RAPID introduction of almost "free" non-carbon energy, the need for US dollars will decrease because every other good or services can be traded in many different currencies.

      China and many other countries have long resented the control the USA has, because of the dollar valued trade and now the infrastructure and conditions to change that are becoming a reality.

      Hopefully, the change over will be gradual enough for Americas to wake up, drastically change their government and mange the transition. BUT given how much hubris Americans are capable of and the probability that the change will happen quickly, things could get real strange in the USA.

      As a clue to how America will react just look at how Americans have ignored automation for almost 50 years and they STILL are unable to deal realistically with the situation, but continue to flail and scream about terrible "others."

      Between extremely wasteful empire wars and ignoring reality, America is a real mess and on a path to a lot of pain.

    • Trump can NOT cancel the Iran agreement with the UN. The USA does NOT have that power (contrary to trumps delusions of grandeur)

      All trump can do is screw USA companies out of economic opportunities in Iran and rant like a child that he will "tear up the agreement" while the rest of the world will simply ignore him and life will go on.

      Then when trump is ignored he will threaten other countries, who will ignore him until he does something to their economic interests, then they will retaliate hard against USA companies. the other countries may even take the US to the security counsel where the US could lose 14 to 1 before they have to use their veto.

      Note that the USA attempts to threaten countries with the SWIFT financial network, is driving lots of countries to partially or fully switch to the new Chinese developed financial network to prevent the USA from disrupting their trade. The more countries switch to the Chinese network, the weaker the dollar becomes because the Chinese network uses a "basket of currencies" for transactions , but not USA dollars.

      Basically everything trump does causes massive harm in the USA and drive more and more countries toward China.

      "Good job trumper"

    • It appears that Americans are going to have to learn the hard way after they FAIL to understand that Iran has suffered over 100 years of abuse by the Brits, the USA , Israel and Saudi Arabia.

      I think that Trump, the Saudis and the Israelis will attack Iran and get their butts handed to them on a golden plate embossed with a ornate "T."

      For over 35 years, Iran has . . .

      - planned to make any attack by the USA and its criminal friends as painful for the attackers as possible.

      - Developed a deep pool of science and engineering talent, so Iran can develop the weapons technology to make Americans cry in pain. Note that the USA WASTES over 75% of its military budgets on ego boosting war toys, whereas Iran has focused on developing and producing large quantities of very effective, but low cost weapons. Iran gets far more "bang for their buck," than the USA.

      - Carefully analyzed USA battle tactics and developed very effective counter tactics, plus the USA has conveniently made sure that the Iranian military get lots of live-fire practice defending Iraq and Syria from Saudi supported rebels.

      - Iran's engineers have developed some unique enhancements to Russia and Chinese technology which they have shared with China, making them both much stronger. In exchange, China may have provided Iran with DF-21D "carrier killers" for which the USA carriers have no defense other than stay 1000 miles from Iran and China. Note that if the USA carrier has to stay out 1000 miles, that means an additional 2000 miles of flight time for the USA naval pilots PLUS a MINIMUM of two additional inflight refueling (always a slow and stressful event). Pilot flying extremely long and complex missions make lots of mistakes. some of which get them killed.

      - Developed a very, very deadly antiaircraft network that extends over 200 miles from Iran and goes up to 50k feet altitude. This starts with the very deadly, long-range S-400 clone Iran and China developed (derived from the Russian S-300 systems that "magically" appeared in Iran and China). Add to this, an Iranian clone of the deadly medium range Russian BUK, PLUS an Iranian designed short range missile system and it becomes very hard for USA, Saudi or Israeli pilot to survive very long.

      There is a very good reason why Israel has not attacked Iran. The IDF leadership looked at what it would take and realized they could lose over half their aircraft and since Israel has over 50000 missiles pointed at it (IDF numbers), Israel could end as one big rubble pile after retaliation. The IDF leadership point blank told the political leadership if the USA wouldn't commit suicide for Israel, Israel would just have to shut up.

      As for the Saudis, their military is poorly trained.

      The bottom line is, while it is extremely stupid to attack Iran even if China and/or Russia don't help (they probably will), the American hubris is huge and Americans still carry a grudge over the Iranians punishing the USA for over 100 years of abuse by the Brits and the USA. How dare Iranians pay the USA back for the terrible things the USA did?

      I doubt that anyone in trump land has any clue as to why it is so dangerous to attack Iran.

  • Tesla 3 Arrives: Beginning of End of Climate Change? (Video)
    • No Tesla has a huge technology head start.

      Turbine cars went away for a simple business reason. Gas turbine engines are very expensive to build, requiring much higher precision than a standard gas or diesel engine. Turbine engines are used on aircraft because they are more efficient than gas engines at altitude, providing higher power to weight rations allowing the aircraft to fly faster with less fuel.

      link to

      At this point, all the other car makers on earth, including GM, are playing catch-up to Tesla's huge technology head start.

      Plus GM has a huge corporate culture problem. Even after Toyota showed GM how to build better cars for less, using UAW union labor at the joint GM/Toyota plant in Fremont, CA, GM was unable to make the transition at its other plants. Even today GM plants are less efficient than Toyota plants.

      BTW - that GM/Toyota plant eventually closed because Toyota had excess USA production capacity (GM was not building cars there). Now that plant is owned by Tesla. When Tesla purchased the plant for a bargain basement price, they were using less than 25% of the space, so Tesla probably still has lots of room to grow.

  • Shell, terrified of EVs, expects 'low forever' Gasoline Prices; it is too Optimistic
    • No

      Shell does not have enough resources to buy even a small portion of the solar and wind manufacturing businesses around the world.

      Not only that, but most countries will not allow shell to buy the local companies. In particular, China will "just say no" to any attempt by shell to buy Chinese companies. China does NOT want any foreign control over its solar industry as they consider it a national security priority. China wants to have the entire country using "free" solar and wind energy as soon as possible so China has no financial obligation to any other country.

    • Guess what organization is heavily pushing non-carbon energy research . . .

      But you are correct, fewer USA wars = lower carbon energy usage = HUGE cost savings to the USA taxpayer.

    • The ubiquitous 18650 Li-ion cell is already being recycled into battery packs for power walls and cars.

      link to

  • Want Iranian Democracy? We had one & CIA overthrew it
    • Americans that have not had a massively destructive war on their doorsteps for over a hundred years, have no way to conceptualize what it feels like to have some other country bomb their homes on a regular basis.

      Heck, just look at the MASSIVE over-reaction Americans had to 9/11 which is a minor attack compared to what Americans do to many countries on a regular basis.

      So we over-react, but can not understand why other humans react the same way toward the USA.

  • Is Trump's Cabinet Collapsing?
    • The middle east is a British and French explosive disaster, kept on the burner by the USA.

      As for the Israelis, their own hubris is endangering their future. They are compounding the terrible errors of the past 100 years . . .

      - The Brits should never have "promised" the Jewish people a homeland, especially one that was already inhabited by other people for over 1300 years.

      - The Brits should have never allowed the Jewish people to invade Palestine.

      - The Israelis should have been happy with the huge amount of land the UN gave them, but they wanted all of the land.

      - The Israelis should have given up lots of water, land and cash to get peace with the Palestinians, but they did not want to give up anything.

      Now most Palestinians have pretty much given up hope and it appears that many have decided that if the Israelis are going to kill them, they will kill as many Israeli as they can in the process. Israel will have "low grade war" for a few more years.

      Eventually the rest of the middle east will complete decolonization and the inter-Muslim fighting will cease and hen the Muslims will unite in getting revenge for the Jewish invasion.

      Unless Israel NEGOTIATES a reasonable agreement with the Palestinians, I do not think Israel will survive in the long term, especially after the USA empire is mired in debt and internal fighting.

      Unfortunately Israeli arrogance and hubris is huge and blinds them to the reality that they can not be the "top dog" forever and when (not if) the fall comes, the results could be extremely tragic for Israelis.

    • too true

    • So-called "Terrorists attacks" are just another form of small scale random acts of violence and has been noted . . .

      "No organization, no matter how brutal it is, can ever protect its members from random acts of violence ."

      Random human violence is inevitable and we should not be surprised when it happens nor should we over-react. We should just clean up the mess, grieve the dead and go on with life.

      Humans have been dying from random acts of violence for over 50000 years and it is not going to stop - just get used to it.

      So yes, there will be so-called "terrorists attacks."

    • Reality bites . . .

      - Sessions - I suspect that Jeff Sessions will NOT resign, so trump will have to fire him and suffer huge consequences because I suspect that session will not go quietly into the night, but will work to bring trump down.

      - Tillerson - I think Rex Tillerson will resign soon and leave the state department in complete disarray, which NK, Russia and China will use to their advantage. In the mean time the Pentagon and the spooks are going to be going crazy because the Pentagon and spook leaders KNOW that State is needed to accomplice the best international relationships for the USA.

      - McMaster - while he is blinded by the Force majeure syndrome (apply more force to any problem), he may understand that there is no future for the USA in Afghanistan and is just trying to make good theater until the USA quietly declares victory and leaves. Like everyone that has been defeated in Afghanistan, he may leave soon in frustration.

      - Mattis - Mattis is probably feeling the pressure from the lack of state help and right about now may be more focused on protecting the troops from an irrational president than trying to expand or start any more wars.

      - Huntsman - I wonder when Huntsman will withdraw from the Russia ambassador position. Hopefully he talks to Tillerson before he goes any further.

      The BIG problem for the USA is when the so-called adults bail out (hopefully bashing trump in the process), is who will replace them?

      All the somewhat competent idealists will shun working for trump, so the only likely candidates are all going to be dumber than rock "yes men" with either extreme right wing agendas or looking to increase their person wealth as quickly as possible before trump goes under.

      Things are sinking fast and the GOP has no one that seems to care and will not do anything to save the USA.

      The USA empire is going out with a bang.

      As Abraham Lincoln noted . . .

      "All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

  • 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?

  • The U.S. Empire is 'Fraying' and 'Collapsing': Pentagon Study
    • Wars waste resources that are needed to maintain the warring country's standards of living.

      It really is a matter of "guns or butter."

      After the war stops, ALL the warring nations will have lower standards of living and in many cases the nations will be entirely bankrupt.

  • 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.

Showing comments 836 - 801