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Messages - JimD

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The rest / Re: Mueller Investigation & Cohen Investigation
« on: May 27, 2018, 01:45:56 AM »

I call BS on that last response.  You know exactly what you were saying and so do I.  The Russians didn't get Trump elected incompetent Democrats did.  The solution is staring everyone in the face but they are afraid to look at it.


The American people ARE responsible for what they have.  They let control and democracy slip away from them because they are in general uneducated and disengaged and just worried about their little lives and not anything else.  They still have the ability to take back control and then folks won't have to whine about decisions their leaders make which make them uncomfortable.

A big percentage of the population fully believes the world is a harsh place and strength is the only way to survive.  They have no real issues with what the empire does.  But then we get endless whining from all the others about how horrible everyone is acting and how wrong it is.  But that other group, if they had their shit together, would have no trouble being in control and making the decisions as they see morally fit (and let us not get in a discussion of whose morals are better as neithers are worth much at all).  But what do they do?  They put in D's which are no different than moderate R's, and who are fully purchased by the 'Deep State' as we like to call it, who talk the talk but walk the empire, execute the neo-liberal economic model, pretend they care about minorities and the poor but don't really do anything for them, etc.  There has been no fundamental difference between Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, H Clinton and even Trump.  They all are and were working for the empire.  But empires have no soul and they don't care about nice or moral or ethical.  They care about power, control and wealth.  I have been there and done that.  You want to change something you have to work for it and maybe die for it.
But they are not going to do it are they.  And it is because they actually prefer the way things are because they live the rich life and, because they feel a little guilty about all that (morals!, ethics!) they make themselves feel better by pretending that they care about this and that but the system just won't let them make things better.  Cop out. BS.

The rest / Re: Mueller Investigation & Cohen Investigation
« on: May 26, 2018, 11:32:03 PM »
ASLR:  Assange's potential indictment is predicted on the assumption that the US Intelligence Community have some small semblance of professionalism:

"I suppose it doesn't really matter. "

Quite. The intelligence agencies have wanted Assange for a long time. Any excuse will do. As for their professionalism, well they have professionally lied and tortured and killed for a long time, but that's about as professional as they get.

Clearly some people dont have a problem with that.


Hmm....  As a person from that world I would have to respond that you guys don't know what 'professionalism' means.  Either that or your are really trying to describe something else and have chosen the wrong word.

Being a professional means that you are highly educated and skilled at the job requirements, you execute the job in an efficient calm dispassionate mature manner, and that, in the case of military/intelligence officers, you follow your orders reliably.

Don't forget that our folks in the 'service' are duty and honor bound to support and defend the US (the Empire).  It is not their place to make policy, set strategy, determine foreign policy positions, be nice and kissy faced, or any of that kind of stuff.  They are YOUR warriors YOUR soldiers and they go where YOU send them and follow the orders that YOU give them. And sometimes they die for you and sometimes they kill for you.  But what they do is what YOU have told them to do.

If you don't like what they are doing then give them different directions - and they will then do that.  Like the professionals they are. 

People bad mouth a lot but the American People are responsible for what their warriors do.  Period. Full stop.

I did a lot of things I still have bad dreams about but I did what I swore I would do.  I would have loved having someone else in charge so I would have had different orders.

If you personally don't agree with the directions they are executing then WIN a fucking election for goddamned once and make some changes.  And please try not to pick a war mongering piece of shit like Hillary Clinton as your candidate so that you won't be responsible for someone like Trump getting elected next time.

The rest / Re: 'Deep State' Fact or Fiction
« on: May 26, 2018, 11:02:59 PM »

Nice topic

From my experience of having spent a career deep in the bowls of the military/intelligence machine I would state with total conviction that a 'Deep State' does exist.

But not as some imagine it.  For instance this from your first post..

"In the United States the term "deep state" is used within political science to describe influential decision-making bodies believed to be within government who are relatively permanent and whose policies and long-term plans are unaffected by changing administrations.

..absolutely does NOT exist.  This is conspiracy crazy stuff from spy books and movies.

But if you take this quote.

The term "deep state" was defined in 2014 by Mike Lofgren, a former Republican U.S. congressional aide, as "a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process."

I would say that pretty much hits the nail on the head.  With the addition of those of very substantial old money wealth also having significant influence.  But this term far predates Lofgren and 2014 as I used to use it and hear it in conversations at work back in the 1980's. It has been rattling around for ever.

The Deep State is not an secret organization sending little missives down to the President and Congress telling them what to do.  It does not work that way.  What it does is basically provide the strategy and direction of the country.  It works to maintain the Empire and grow it when possible, it sets the ideological parameters which govern the political parties, it chose the neo-liberal economic structure which the D's and R's adhere too, it chose globalization at the expense of the workers, and so on ad infinitum.

You can see the workings of the Deep State in its reaction to the reforms and govt structure put in place by FDR.  It lost control then and spent decades working its way back into full control.  Ideologies were reworked, goals towards deregulation set in place, resetting the tax structure to strongly favor the wealthy, using various forms of propaganda to steer the voters emotions towards voting against their own interests, maintaining a permanent state of war, taking over the free press so that we have corporate control over almost all media, deepening the surveillance state whenever possible, and so on.

You select your ideological precepts, find political scientists and economists to provide a paper basis for your goals, push candidates who will attempt to implement your desires via new laws or by revoking old ones, work hard to undercut the political power of your opponents, work to cripple the public school systems, create armies of lobbyists and thousands of 'think tanks' to push your agendas, stuff the courts with pliable judges (corporations are people for instance), and so on.  All stuff we have witnessed over the last 40 years. 

The US is a democratic country in name only.  Voters have virtually zero actual influence on policy, the voting of our officials, and, of course, we don't actually vote for the top 2 positions even though we pretend to.  Our directions are set by the 1%, the captains of industry, the leaders of the MIIC - the Deep State.

This is not to say that there is complete consensus among them.  There is always strife between humans and different ideas and power structures.  But there emerges, if not a full consensus, at least enough of one to enable movement in a general direction to take place.  Change comes slowly in such a system as the need for new approaches are identified and adaptations made.  Thus we have destroyed most of what enabled the working class and middle class to have decent lives over the last 40 years - and the mainstream D's and all the R's worked hard to make this happen as their masters wished them to do.

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: May 26, 2018, 10:19:40 PM »
It is very rare for someone to best the original but here are several.

Disturbed - The Sound Of Silence [Official Music Video]

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Voodoo Child (One Night In Texas)

Gary Moore - Parisienne Walkways - Live HD

Others to good to describe

Joe Bonamassa & Tina Guo - "Woke Up Dreaming" - Live From Carnegie Hall: An Acoustic Evening

Leonard Cohen - A Thousand Kisses Deep

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - If This Is Goodbye (Real Live Roadrunning) OFFICIAL
a tribute to the victims of 9/11

Chris Rea - The road to hell (long version CD) HD

Sarah McLachlan - Angel [Official Music Video]

sarah mclachlan - i will remember you

Estas Tonne - The Song of the Golden Dragon
stunningly good

Hmm...I may be getting carried away.  Guess I have to go listen to some music - it is one of the best drugs ever invented.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 25, 2018, 11:02:08 PM »
You want to read something which demonstrates in spades why the D's have big issues.  I would read it twice and think about the implications.  Here you go...

Keep in mind the 2020 reelection campaign was started on inauguration day, or some 2 1/2 years before anyone else ever has done such a thing.  This is maybe sleazy but it is really innovative and is already paying dividends.

....The humble surroundings and small staff belie an ambitious, well-funded operation. While even Parscale describes Trump’s 2016 campaign as “ragtag,” he’s making sure the 2020 effort won’t be. Before any major Democratic candidate for president has raised a dime, the president’s 2020 campaign has already raised over $40 million. Trump Make America Great Again, a joint fundraising committee with the RNC that can transfer money to the Trump campaign, has raised another $34 million....

...The campaign was running Facebook ads even before Inauguration Day, according to multiple people involved with the effort. And that has continued with over 5,900 Facebook ads purchased just in May, according Gary Coby, a consultant on the campaign and former director of digital advertising at the RNC. Trump’s 24.5 million Facebook followers dwarf every other active politician in the country (Barack Obama has 55 million) and recent changes to the algorithm weighing against political content will make it much more expensive for would-be competitors to build a following this large.

Outside of Facebook, the campaign already has 18 million email addresses and phone numbers with an investment strategy aiming for 40 million by Election Day 2020,...


...And the money is rolling in this time.

The Republican ultrawealthy have jumped aboard the Trump train, ..... The RNC and the Trump 2020 campaign are already in daily communication with each other......and are both spending millions to build upon Trump’s strength with small-dollar donors and expand their supporter lists. The RNC also changed its rules and disbanded its primary debate committee in a move that will make it more difficult for any potential primary opponent.....

...The RNC has raised over $180 million and is also pouring its money into building up its files of email addresses and cell numbers along with a ground game infrastructure that can easily be redeployed toward 2020 after the midterms — lamely dubbed the “permanent data-driven ground game.” The committee’s field team of 300 staffers and over 13,000 fellows who went through a six-week training (compared to 5,000 last cycle) had knocked on over 5 million doors as of this week. Since January of this year, the RNC has also added over 96,000 new small-dollar donors with an average donation of under $30....

They have already knocked on over 5 million

Well you can get the picture.  The game has changed and you better be on your toes and working like a (family blog)ing dog or you are going to get hammered.  They are trying to take the strengths from Trump's 2016 campaign and its innovations, the fundraising tactics of Bernie, and the big dollar traditional R donor base (who were well paid with the tax cuts) and meld them into a fundraising juggernaut.  Money talks and BS walks as they say. Beating this machine is not going to be easy.  They are 'serious' the opposition serious?? Beats me and that becomes your answer as if it is not obvious they 'are' serious then they are not.

The rest / Re: GOP Losing Ground for the 2018 Mid-Term Election
« on: May 25, 2018, 04:24:14 PM »
An item for this topic which will work against the R's is the rise in fuel prices.

High fuel prices hit the lower incomes much harder than anyone else so this does have some potential to impact the election if they continue for long. Though it is worth pointing out that Trumps core is mostly middle class and not poor and thus somewhat immune to the fuel prices. But it is the overall economy which is key and a downturn of any kind is bad news.

With prices rising so far there will certainly be a surge in production efforts and most all of that will be via fracking.  A counter balance to the high prices on workers will be that in a few of the red states there will be a surge in employment in the fracking businesses and this will improve the economic situation for some.  An interesting dynamic which may have some impact.  It is always possible that the administration/congress uses their power to tax (or not) and intervenes in the market to help their political cause also.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 25, 2018, 04:16:28 PM »

I wouldn't put too much weight on any single poll.  538's synthesis of multiple polls hasn't shown recent improvement for the Repubes.  As I type this, it's 40.4 for Rs and 45.1 for Ds.



Of course not, but the polling trend has been strongly against the D's and that matters.

As to the accuracy of 538 I would point out that their methodology had Hillary winning by a huge margin the day before the election - so they are not exactly a source above all others.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 24, 2018, 04:30:44 PM »

The same thought has occurred to me.  I kind of hope it is not true however.

Given that Bernie is about as far to the right as I can come politically I don't have much of a dog in this fight. 

The Progressives working with the mainstream D's (the moderate Repugs in our country) I think of as sort of like the anarchists in the Spanish Civil War - the 'liberals' of the D party (the communists in that war) are going to sacrifice them and lay the blame on them when it is their own actions which result in defeat. Then they are going to work with the 'victors' and help them strip the country bare.

But this is the tide of history when the empire is in decline.  A declining resource base necessarily results in a lot more losers than winners.  And those with advantages see threats to them and will go out of their way to protect those advantages when in other circumstances they might have been more inclined to spread them around a bit.

(I had to go look up TYT as I did not know what that was.  Sort of like the refs to the right wing guy the other day - Alex Jones - who I did not know who he was. I find it interesting that so many always seem to think that one cannot figure things out for themselves by some kind of scholarship and assume one gets their opinions from the media.  Which I guess is true for most people.)

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 24, 2018, 03:39:34 PM »
And another says it is now dead even.

Reuters poll shows Republicans leading generic ballot for first time
BY BRETT SAMUELS - 05/22/18 01:39 PM EDT

Republicans hold a slim lead over Democrats in a generic ballot among registered voters, a new Reuters poll found, marking the first time the survey showed the GOP ahead in this election cycle.

The poll showed 38.1 percent of registered voters said they would vote for a Republican candidate if midterm elections were held today, compared to just under 37 percent who said they’d vote for a Democrat.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 23, 2018, 11:33:32 PM »

I just dropped in and have not been following this discussion, but I assume you are just talking in a utopian sense??

There is zero chance of your global tax being implemented any time in the next 15 years at best as I am sure you know.  Most likely never before there is substantial collapse as global politics and security concerns will outweigh any such types of cooperation.  On top of that there is no such thing as sustainable development with any thing even close to the current global population.

In the meantime the US is training the Ukrainians for an invasion of the East to try and solidify our recent coup there and the Russians will respond to that - as we want them to.  Our leaders are doing everything they can to find an excuse to hit the Iranians militarily (and are certain to hit them economically) so we can expect the Middle East to deteriorate even further - if not descend into complete chaos.  Afghanistan will continue for years most likely and then there is the fluid situation with NK (which may have the highest chances of some kind of improvement).  The Europeans (if they actually have enough courage) must at this time start walking away from US dominance and that will lessen cooperation on items like global taxes and dealing with climate change as they will be stepping outside the US Empire umbrella and will have to devote more energy and wealth to getting by without us.  Or will they double down on being the cast of characters who help keep this train running.  The time is close where it is either stick with us or move on.  What are they going to do? Global cooperation? What is India going to do?  China? Are they not going to put their interests first? When times get tough how often does anyone sacrifice for strangers and competitors?

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 23, 2018, 10:38:25 PM »

This coal power plant is being reopened for blockchain mining
The now shuttered coal-fired power station on Australia's east coast will offer cheap power prices to blockchain operators...

...World mining of bitcoin (probably the most well-known blockchain application) currently uses about as much power as the country of Singapore.

IOT Group and Hunter Energy want to get around that, offering cheaper power to companies in the blockchain field and hopefully enticing international operations to base their operations in Australia.

According to a spokesperson from Hunter Energy, it expects roughly 5% of the energy from the power plant will be used for blockchain related processes.

Hmm wonder what the other 95% is going to be for. 

Real life is so much better than the movies. Popcorn pls!

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 23, 2018, 10:21:09 PM »
Bad news for Dems: Trump’s rating is rising where it counts in California

All that talk of a Democratic blue wave sweeping congressional races in California could be for naught if a new poll is on target: It shows President Trump’s approval rating surging to 50 percent in Orange County, site of four tight races that could determine if Republicans hold the House.

A more popular Trump is bad news for Democrats, who are trying to grab seven GOP-held congressional districts statewide that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, including the four in Orange County. That would give Democrats a big jump on their goal of flipping 23 seats nationally to regain the House.

Democrats are banking on the president’s unpopularity to help them win those seats. In April, the nonpartisan Berkeley IGS Poll indicated that Trump had just 38 percent support in Orange County. A March poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California indicated that a mere 36 percent of all adults in Orange and San Diego counties approved of the president.

Two months ago, Republican pollster John Thomas did a survey in Orange County that found Trump’s approval rating at 43 percent. But last week, his poll of 450 likely voters in the county showed that 50 percent of respondents viewed the president favorably. The margin of error was three percentage points.

March 36%
Now 50%

This is a horrible trend for the Dems. 

A CBS News poll released Sunday showed that 68 percent of the adults surveyed thought Trump’s policies “were responsible for the current state of the economy.”

“We’re having a November-level effort and it’s June,” Wessel said. “It’s a life-or-death situation for progressives and we’re treating it like such.”

Here in AZ where I live the Dems are invisible pretty much.  Even though I consider Sinema the Blue Dog running for Senate a moderate Repug I have tried to volunteer for her campaign repeatedly since last Oct and have had 2 totally minor responses - they need to get their act together (her opponents are crazy people). I don't see urgency here at all. My neighbors are actually very happy with Trump and support for him seems highest ever.

The politics / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: May 22, 2018, 06:45:42 PM »
This is great (as in an interesting bit of prose).

A version of the what-for from the blob.

Is Trump on board?  Umm....NOT!

Summary of the Building a Sustainable International Order Project

What has been the grand strategy of the United States and its allies in shaping the postwar order?

Is the strategy behind the postwar order, and the order itself, still viable?

What policy changes are required to sustain U.S. interests in shaping the international order?

The growing threat to the rules-based postwar order has become a defining feature of current discussions about world politics. Over the last two years, a RAND project team, working with outside experts, has sought to understand the existing international order, assess current challenges to the order, and recommend future U.S. policies to advance U.S. interests in the context of a multilateral order. This summary report of that project, Building a Sustainable International Order, outlines the overall project’s basic findings and lessons.

Key Findings

Major findings of the study
Because of both internal stresses on leading democracies and rising pressure from such challengers as Russia and China, the order is under unprecedented strain — but retains areas of persistent strength.

The order has value for U.S. interests and constitutes a significant form of U.S. competitive advantage by offering a supportive, multilateral context for U.S. objectives and values.

The international economic order has been the engine of the wider geopolitical order.

Orders grow out of broader realities in world politics, such as the degree of shared interests and values among leading states — but once institutionalized, the structure and habits of an order can shape state preferences and behavior.

The order must become more multilateral and shared.


An agenda for revitalizing a meaningfully shared order should begin with a renewed effort to build strong ties within the informal community of countries who have strongly invested in the order, including value-sharing democracies and some other partners.

Create a more shared order that takes seriously the demands for a more culturally diverse approach and does not privilege Western influence.

The United States must work with other leaders of the postwar economic order to develop a strategy for sustaining the economic elements of a shared order. Such an agenda would include efforts to reaffirm support for the WTO and its dispute-resolution mechanism as the shared way of resolving disputes, fight back urges for tariffs and nontariff protectionist measures, and enhance the stability of the global financial architecture. The United States should use the institutional framework to begin a dialogue on mechanisms to enhance equality and fairness in economic outcomes.

Develop a powerful but noninterventionist agenda for liberal value promotion that is more likely to sustain multilateral support.

Invest in mechanisms of intergovernmental collective action and nongovernmental organizations.

Clarify — and prioritize — baseline rules for conduct in international relations specifically focused on trade openness and nonaggression.

Use the normative and gravitational power of the order as the foundation for strategies regarding China and Russia.

Another thing showing the lack of design expertise are repair costs.  Mature auto manufacturers go to a lot of trouble to make sure items like described here do not happen.

Note a picture of the dent being discussed shows you could cover it with your hand.  The kicker here is that it is obvious that Tesla will never be able to afford to build and ship the $35K version of the car when a very simple bit of damage costs 20% of the value of the car to fix.

Only a person devoid of reason would think that there are not many similar issues which are going to come to light in the future.

In an article published over the weekend by Clean Technica, the author details how a small dent in a front left fender of a Tesla - caused by hitting a parking sign that the car's cameras also somehow missed - ultimately cost the shocked owner nearly $7,000 to fix and replace. The author of the blog was stunned by the price tag:

I decided to file a claim and asked the body shop folks to coordinate the repair with my insurance company. After a few days without any meaningful updates, I asked my insurance company (Liberty Mutual) what was the hold-up. The claims specialist told me, “Well the shop’s estimate was a bit higher than we expected.” How much higher? “Nearly $7,000, of which $5,000 was labor.” I had heard that the Model S was expensive to fix, mostly due to its all aluminum construction. But the Model 3’s “simple design” and the planned use of steel over aluminum where possible was supposed to make things like this less complicated (and less costly). It turns out that there is still quite a bit of aluminum in the Model 3, as you can read about in articles like this one.

And the cherry on top: to replace the fender on the vehicle, there was a significant amount of the car's body that needed to be removed, racking up thousands of dollars in labor charges:

But more complicated and labor-intensive than the painting is the “R&I” — short for “Removal and Installation.” To repair this fender apparently requires removal and reassembly of much of the left side of the car, including all of the trim pieces, moldings, and the driver’s mirror, as well as the front bumper. And when you reinstall the front bumper, you also have to “aim” (re-calibrate) the front distance sensor. The repair also required disassembly of the rear seats in order to access (and disconnect) the high-voltage battery connectors. Apparently, they do this so as not to electrocute the folks working on the car (always nice to not kill anyone).

The insurance company balked at the estimate and sent their own adjuster. So a few days later, I got the news: the second adjuster’s estimate was not far off from the shop’s own appraisal. It was around $6,250 — about $500 lower than the original appraisal. So the insurance company approved the repair, and I had to wait a few more days for the shop to finish the work.

We can only guess that if baseline Model 3 orders ever do ship, customers will be equally as shocked by what should be soaring insurance costs, given the extensive amount of labor and cost involved with making such a small repair, for a company which was all about rolling out the next big thing while support and maintenance was only a casual  afterthought.

The Elon/Tesla haters are going to have to get to work tomorrow morning and come up with new ways to carry their attack forward.

Oh, ok.  I guess your religious convictions can withstand any dose of reality then. I wouldn't want to damage your fragile psyche.  All praise the glorious leader..Musk!..Musk!..Musk!

So now the 3 most prestigious auto quality and design companies (Consumer Reports, Edmunds and Munro) have purchased and evaluated the Model 3 and are consistent in their evaluations in that the car is a mediocre design, not that well built and not high on any build quality list.  Guess they are just haters and have no reputations for honesty. And, of course, the fact that they have shown no ability to make a profit means absolutely nothing.

Do you people have any idea how irrational you come across as?

Consumer Reports, Edmunds observe significant problems with Tesla Model 3 test cars
Long braking distances and infotainment gremlins are top concerns

The rest / Re: AI - Another way to end civilization???
« on: May 22, 2018, 03:49:24 PM »
Princeton Dialogues of AI and Ethics: Launching case studies

The impacts of rapid developments in artificial intelligence (“AI”) on society—both real and not yet realized—raise deep and pressing questions about our philosophical ideals and institutional arrangements. AI is currently applied in a wide range of fields—such as medical diagnosis, criminal sentencing, online content moderation, and public resource management—but it is only just beginning to realize its potential to influence practically all areas of human life, including geopolitical power balances. As these technologies advance and increasingly come to mediate our everyday lives, it becomes necessary to consider how they may reflect prevailing philosophical perspectives and preferences. We must also assess how the architectural design of AI technologies today might influence human values in the future.

The rest / AI - Another way to end civilization???
« on: May 21, 2018, 06:32:05 PM »
This topic is for ASLR  ;D

We have tumbled around the floor a few times over this issue.  I consider it another one of the existential threats to humanity and to be avoided at all costs.  I'm for my species right or wrong I guess. ASLR (if I have this wrong he can correct me) does not discount the possibility of where AI could lead us and sees that path as just as legitimate as any other form of evolution.  Humans go the way of the Neanderthal (who's DNA we all still carry) and are supplanted by the new AI Sapian (who carries some of our DNA in a sense).  It is just evolution so to speak. And maybe the AI Sapian will be more caring, ethical and moral than his flawed predecessor - or not.

So today I am as usual out and about looking for something interesting to read among the daily vomit which floods our computer screens and what do I find but the best single piece on the 'issues' presented by possible future developments in AI. Many of the things I find alarming about potential AI developments are laid out there in exquisite detail and well beyond my capabilities to articulate (wish I was that smart - and at 94 yrs old too - maybe there is still hope ha ha).

And the article is by Henry Kissinger no less (yes that Henry).

One of the items which has been missing in the AI discussions I have seen to date is the take on its issue from a really first class mind.  Kissinger has provided us one.  What I mean when I say a first class mind needs some explanation I suppose considering Kissinger's checkered past (if this reference is obscure to you there is a fruitful bit of history for you to bone up upon).  I am not aware of any first class minds being deeply involved in the creation of AI nor among those promoting its creation.  This is largely due to the AI field being a very nerdy item buried among a sea of technology issues somewhat outside of the awareness of those among us sapiens who are actually capable of deep thought.  Deep thought being an area of human endeavor pretty much outside of science, math and physics.  As my son informed me once, when I urged him to use his huge intellectual gifts in math and science to make a career, that he did not want to work on the easy stuff in life, but rather the hard stuff which really required one to think.  He found tech things easy because there was really only one right answer (hard as it may be to find) while the really difficult things like ethics, morals, philosophy, religion, history and the like were extremely difficult because there was no single right answer and many times no right answer at all.  Hard to argue with that.

To Henry's piece.

How the Enlightenment Ends
Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.

The problem.

As I listened to the speaker celebrate this technical progress, my experience as a historian and occasional practicing statesman gave me pause. What would be the impact on history of self-learning machines—machines that acquired knowledge by processes particular to themselves, and applied that knowledge to ends for which there may be no category of human understanding? Would these machines learn to communicate with one another? How would choices be made among emerging options? Was it possible that human history might go the way of the Incas, faced with a Spanish culture incomprehensible and even awe-inspiring to them? Were we at the edge of a new phase of human history?

Or were we sitting at the cusp of the end of history?

AI, by contrast, deals with ends; it establishes its own objectives. To the extent that its achievements are in part shaped by itself, AI is inherently unstable. AI systems, through their very operations, are in constant flux as they acquire and instantly analyze new data, then seek to improve themselves on the basis of that analysis. Through this process, artificial intelligence develops an ability previously thought to be reserved for human beings. It makes strategic judgments about the future, some based on data received as code (for example, the rules of a game), and some based on data it gathers itself (for example, by playing 1 million iterations of a game).

But precisely because AI makes judgments regarding an evolving, as-yet-undetermined future, uncertainty and ambiguity are inherent in its results. There are three areas of special concern:

First, that AI may achieve unintended results. Science fiction has imagined scenarios of AI turning on its creators. More likely is the danger that AI will misinterpret human instructions due to its inherent lack of context....

Second, that in achieving intended goals, AI may change human thought processes and human values. ...If AI learns exponentially faster than humans, we must expect it to accelerate, also exponentially, the trial-and-error process by which human decisions are generally made: to make mistakes faster and of greater magnitude than humans do. It may be impossible to temper those mistakes, ...

Third, that AI may reach intended goals, but be unable to explain the rationale for its conclusions....Through all human history, civilizations have created ways to explain the world around them—in the Middle Ages, religion; in the Enlightenment, reason; in the 19th century, history; in the 20th century, ideology. The most difficult yet important question about the world into which we are headed is this: What will become of human consciousness if its own explanatory power is surpassed by AI, and societies are no longer able to interpret the world they inhabit in terms that are meaningful to them?

The Enlightenment started with essentially philosophical insights spread by a new technology. [Printing press] Our period is moving in the opposite direction. It has generated a potentially dominating technology in search of a guiding philosophy.

AI developers, as inexperienced in politics and philosophy as I am in technology, should ask themselves some of the questions I have raised here in order to build answers into their engineering efforts. The U.S. government should consider a presidential commission of eminent thinkers to help develop a national vision. This much is certain: If we do not start this effort soon, before long we shall discover that we started too late.

(Start soon before it is too late.  Sounds a bit like climate change does it not?)

Technology is not what makes us humans.  Religion, morals, ethics, philosophy and the like are - what becomes of them?

Seems to me we look at a perfect example of why there is a Precautionary Principal.

Anyway have an interesting read.

The rest / Re: A must read
« on: May 20, 2018, 05:03:39 PM »
A Pulitzer prize winner.

Charlie LeDuff anticipated all the problems that Trump’s election made plain to the rest of us—then he fell into the Hole himself.

The politics / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: May 19, 2018, 05:32:17 PM »
I wrote this last night (in another context in response to a note about our latest school shooting) and thought I'd share it here. But don't forget that despite the awfulness, the majority of humans - not just in the US, but everywhere - are people of simple good will. When we give in to tyranny, we let ourselves down, but it's not always easy. I get that you hate the US, and by connection me as a US citizen, but this is not helping. The endless listing of our crimes over the last century: do you know any Germans? They blame me too!

If you want change, please support in all places (Europe is not immune to demagoguery) and every chance you get, the humanitarian movements that need to resist, for example, the fascists coming back into power. Dividing good people from each other and ignoring outright evil will give victory to the evil.

Just to be clear, I am not taking this personally. I am putting it in the "I" voice because I want people to deal with a real person who is suffering and wants to do her possible to overcome the evil. Using "they" or "those people" makes it easier to excuse oneself.


"Why do Americans not take better care of their democracy?"

Depressing. Day by day, I feel degraded by the hatred and lies. I cannot defend it. It is indefensible.

After you accused me of misogyny for disagreeing with you I generally don't bother to read your posts - I should have skipped this one and will be more careful in the future.  However...

Your assumption is incorrect in every possible way. To wit:

I am an American who served it for my adult life and I love my country deeply.

And you completely misunderstand the conversation.

Many Americans spend a lot of energy denying (deliberately ignoring) the ugly realities of what our country has done and is doing (see many of Rob Deckers posts) and by these actions are roadblocks to fixing our faults and becoming the kind of 'good' people we are always trying to claim we actually are.  And this is the point of the conversation.

America is an empire.  Period. Full stop.  We have in the past brutally acted like one and on most occasions we still do.  We cannot become what we want to be unless we openly recognize and accept our past and present (this is what Germany did and what we need to do now). Then we resolve to do better. thus the pointing out of crimes which every American bears responsibility for - if you are a member of a gang then you are responsible for what it does. We have to accept responsibility.

This is the road to becoming a better place.

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: May 18, 2018, 04:59:29 PM »
MANY OF THE world's amphibians are staring down an existential threat: an ancient skin-eating fungus that can wipe out entire forests' worth of frogs in a flash.

This ecological super-villain, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, has driven more than 200 amphibian species to extinction or near-extinction—radically rewiring ecosystems all over Earth.

This is the worst pathogen in the history of the world, as far as we can tell, in terms of its impacts on biodiversity,” says Mat Fisher, an Imperial College London mycologist who studies the fungus..


The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: May 18, 2018, 04:53:34 PM »
Recycling is collapsing globally.

Prices for scrap paper and plastic have collapsed, leading local officials across the country to charge residents more to collect recyclables and send some to landfills. Used newspapers, cardboard boxes and plastic bottles are piling up at plants that can’t make a profit processing them for export or domestic markets.

“Recycling as we know it isn’t working,” said James Warner, chief executive of the Solid Waste Management Authority in Lancaster County, Pa. “There’s always been ups and downs in the market, but this is biggest disruption that I can recall.”

The tedious and sometimes dangerous work of separating out that detritus at processing plants in China prompted officials there to slash the contaminants limit this year to 0.5%. China last week suspended all imports of U.S. recycled materials until June 4, regardless of the quality. The recycling industry interpreted the move as part of the growing rift between the U.S. and China over trade policies and tariffs.

The changes have effectively cut off exports from the U.S., the world’s largest generator of scrap paper and plastic. Collectors, processors and the municipal governments that hire them are reconsidering what they will accept to recycle and how much homeowners pay for that service. Many trash haulers and city agencies that paid for curbside collection by selling scrap said they are now losing money on almost every ton they handle.

The upended economics are likely to permanently change the U.S. recycling business, said William Moore, president of Moore & Associates, a recycled paper consultancy in Atlanta.

“It’s going to take domestic demand to replace what China was buying,” he said. “It’s not going to be a quick turnaround. It’s going to be a long-term issue.”

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: May 18, 2018, 04:07:50 PM »
Bitcoin estimated to use half a percent of the world's electric energy by end of 2018

His estimates, based in economics, put the minimum current usage of the Bitcoin network at 2.55 gigawatts, which means it uses almost as much electricity as Ireland. A single transaction uses as much electricity as an average household in the Netherlands uses in a month. By the end of this year, he predicts the network could be using as much as 7.7 gigawatts--as much as Austria and half of a percent of the world's total consumption. "To me, half a percent is already quite shocking. It's an extreme difference compared to the regular financial system, and this increasing electricity demand is definitely not going to help us reach our climate goals," he says. If the price of Bitcoin continues to increase the way some experts have predicted, de Vries believes the network could someday consume 5% of the world's electricity. "That would be quite bad."

By the end of next year at the current rate of increased energy consumption bitcoin calculations will consume electricity equivalent to all of that generated by renewable sources. By the end of this year it will consume 25% of all electricity generated by renewable resources. We sure seem to be spinning our wheels don't we.

The politics / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: May 18, 2018, 06:14:42 AM »

in post 818 you had this.

" “the U.S. has overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, crushed some 30 liberation movements and supported tyrannies from Egypt to Guatemala (see William Blum’s histories). Bombing is apple pie.” Along the way, Washington has crassly interfered in elections in dozens of “sovereign” nations, something curious to note in light of current liberal U.S. outrage over real or alleged Russian interference in “our” supposedly democratic electoral process in 2016. Uncle Sam also has bombed civilians in 30 countries, attempted to assassinate foreign leaders and deployed chemical and biological weapons."

but you left out the date of all that.  It was after 1945 we did the above.

Between 1900 and 1925 we also did the following... just in Latin America.

The US militarily intervened in
Honduras in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, 1925
Cuba in 1906, 1912, 1917 thru 1922
Nicaragua in 1907, 1910, 1912 thru 1933
Dominican Republic 1903, 1914, 1916 thru 1924
Haiti in 1914
Panama in 1908, 1912, 1918 thru 1920, 1921, 1925
Mexico 1914
Guatemala 1920

Such lists open ones eyes.

US troops in the Philippines in the late 1890's and early 1900's routinely used rape and mass murder as a pacification method and this was reported on in US newspapers and no one seemed to think it wrong.  I have books with photos showing US troops waterboarding Philippine prisoners (about 40% of whom died during the procedure back then).  When a US marine unit lost a battle on the island of Samar the US commander ordered US troops to kill every man on the island over the age of ten - and they did (estimates of the dead run towards 100,000 men and boys).  US newspapers of the time reported on the raping as if it were standard when dealing with such rebels (who after all were the same rebels who had fought the Spanish for independence for 20 years and were our allies against the Spanish - until we took over and wanted it for a colony). 

Empires have no conscience. American exceptionalism.

Science / Re: 2018 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: May 11, 2018, 01:19:06 AM »
Trump White House axes Nasa research into greenhouse gas cuts

The Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10m (£7m)-a-year project which remotely tracks the world's flow of carbon dioxide, is to lose funding.

Science magazine reports that its loss jeopardises the ability to measure national emission cuts - as agreed to by nations in the Paris climate deal.

The rest / Re: Fukushima leak emergency: LIVE UPDATES
« on: May 10, 2018, 04:25:02 PM »
The gift that keeps on giving.

Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the “second worst” nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Professor Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the report’s Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News then, “Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.”

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has estimated that about 900 peta-becquerels have spewed from Fukushima, and the updated 2016 TORCH Report estimates that Chernobyl dispersed 110 peta-becquerels.[1](A Becquerel is one atomic disintegration per second. The “peta-becquerel” is a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion Becquerels.)

The politics / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: May 10, 2018, 01:34:29 AM »
...The Richest Households Evade About 25% of Taxes Owed by Concealing Assets and Investment Income Abroad

When we apply this distribution to available estimates of the macroeconomic amount of wealth hidden in tax havens (Zucman 2013, Alstadsæter et al. 2018), we find that the top 0.01% richest households evade about 25% of the taxes they owe by concealing assets and investment income abroad. Throughout our research, we maintain a clear distinction between legal tax avoidance and illegal evasion. Thus, this estimate only takes into account the wealth held offshore that evades taxes; it excludes properly declared offshore assets. When we add the tax evasion detected in random audits, total evasion in the top 0.01% reaches 25-30%, versus 3% on average in the population (Figure 1)....

Think what this means to the citizens of many countries.  Because their govt cannot collect the taxes owed this often results in more national debt and a reduction in services.  And it of course makes the rich even richer.....

The politics / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: May 10, 2018, 12:47:13 AM »
Follow the money.  As they say.

Interesting reading.

....Trump appears absolutely determined to undo as much of what Barack Obama accomplished as possible. In addition, the sheer perversity of his personality may well explain today’s action. But it may also be useful to follow the apochryphal advice that Watergate’s famous “Deep Throat” offered to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in All the President’s Men, particularly in the unbelievably corrupt swamp of the Trump era.

Indeed, today’s unpopular announcement may have been exactly what two of Trump’s biggest donors, Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, and what one of his biggest inaugural supporters, Paul Singer, paid for when they threw their financial weight behind Trump. Marcus and Adelson, who are also board members of the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition, have already received substantial returns on their investment: total alignment by the U.S. behind Israel, next week’s move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and the official dropping of “occupied territories” to describe the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Adelson, for his part, was Trump and the GOP’s biggest campaign supporter. He and his wife Miriam contributed $35 million in outside spending to elect Trump, $20 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund (a super PAC exclusively dedicated to securing a GOP majority in the House of Representatives), and $35 million to the Senate Leadership Fund (the Senate counterpart) in the 2016 election cycle....
...Between them, the three billionaires account for over $40 million in pro-Trump political money. In the 2016 cycle, the three were also the source of 44% of individual contributions to the CLF and 47% of those received by the SLF, the biggest spending campaign finance vehicles for House and Senate Republicans.

Trump and the GOP are deeply indebted to anti-Iran deal billionaires who aren’t afraid to advocate for policies that push the country closer to another war in the Middle East.

The rest / Re: A must read
« on: May 08, 2018, 08:52:01 PM »
Are you in a BS job?  Most likely.

...For a number of years now, I have been conducting research on forms of employment seen as utterly pointless by those who perform them. The proportion of these jobs is startlingly high. Surveys in Britain and Holland reveal that 37 to 40 percent of all workers there are convinced that their jobs make no meaningful contribution to the world. And there seems every reason to believe that numbers in other wealthy countries are much the same. There would appear to be whole industries — telemarketing, corporate law, financial or management consulting, lobbying — in which almost everyone involved finds the enterprise a waste of time, and believes that if their jobs disappeared it would either make no difference or make the world a better place....

...If one includes the work of those who unwittingly perform real labor in support of all this — for instance, the cleaners, guards, and mechanics who maintain the office buildings where people perform bullshit jobs — it’s clear that 50 percent of all work could be eliminated with no downside. (I am assuming here that provision is made such that those whose jobs were eliminated continue to be supported.) If nothing else, this would have immediate salutary effects on carbon emissions, not to mention overall social happiness and well-being.

It would figure that an article like this would have the longest link in history.

Science / Re: 2018 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: May 08, 2018, 01:02:26 AM »
Forgot this part from the article above.

...Neither tourism nor aviation are currently covered by the 2015 Paris climate treaty, which calls for capping global warming at "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit),...

I have trouble thinking that was anything but great industry lobbying. I wonder what other business segments were conveniently left out?

Science / Re: 2018 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: May 08, 2018, 12:59:48 AM »
I've mentioned many times that to get emissions under control you have to shut down the global tourism industry.  Here is why...

Domestic and international tourism account for eight percent of greenhouse gas emissions, four times more than previously estimated, according to a study published Monday.
The multi-trillion dollar industry's carbon footprint is expanding rapidly, driven in large part by demand for energy-intensive air travel, researchers reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"Tourism is set to grow faster than many other economic sectors," with revenue projected to swell by four percent annually through 2025, noted lead-author Arunima Malik, a researcher at The University of Sydney's business school...

...As in decades past, the United States is the single largest emitter of tourism-related carbon emissions, with other wealthy nations -- Germany, Canada and Britain -- also in the top ten.

But emerging economies with burgeoning middle classes have moved up the ranking, with China in second place and India, Mexico and Brazil 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively....

...The total number of air passengers is expected to almost double by 2036 to 7.8 billion per year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

7.8 billion is a scary number. Those are not going to be electric planes.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 08, 2018, 12:29:19 AM »
President Donald Trump's approval rating is holding steady in a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, but his numbers on handling several key issues are climbing, as almost 6 in 10 say things in the country are going well.

Overall, 41% approve of the President's work, and 53% disapprove. Those numbers are about the same as at the end of March.

On the issues, however, Trump's numbers are climbing. Approval is up 4 points on the economy to 52%, the first time it's topped 50% since March 2017; up 5 points on foreign trade to 43% approval; and his numbers on immigration have improved 4 points since February, with 40% now approving. On handling foreign affairs, Trump's approval rating tops 40% for the first time since April of 2017, though the increase since March is not statistically significant (42% approve currently)...

Wow.  6 in 10 think things are going well. lol

As always it is the economy and national security which are the most important.

North Korea and Iran will have a dramatic effect I expect.  We will see what that effect is....  Gas prices are rising fast and this is a big negative on the economy of course - screwing with Iran could make them worse so those two items might work against each other.  Any good news on NK will be a big boost.

Bob I want some of your coolaid.

This is NOT what one does to make a healthy company at all. If Tesla had management which had serious manufacturing skills they would never have structured the company the way they did in the first place. But to do this the way he has done it will be a guaranteed disaster as literally no one will provide the guarantee he demands as they will be afraid for their jobs.  So he is going to get an immediate reduction in production and huge personnel problems.

Musk has no idea what he is doing on the manufacturing end of the business.  He is all about marketing some flashy idea and getting a bunch of people to give him money to play with.  Tesla is not even close to being a viable company yet as is obvious from its financials and what is happening in how it treats is workers and is living off of free money from subsidies and foolish investors.  Musk behaves incredibly badly over and over again and just gets the most incredible passes (it makes me wonder why so many here can't stand Trump as they play a lot of the same games with both the truth and how they treat people).

Try this one on for size.

These points which Peters brings up actually count and are important.

How likely is it that Tesla can survive now that the big companies with real expertise, deep pockets and are making money have decided the time has come to move into this market segment.  Tesla is doing almost everything sub-optimally and will have to pay a price for doing it eventually.


Read this and tell me this is a healthy company in any way. Musk has screws loose.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 07, 2018, 01:08:39 AM »
.... the policies employed by the USA in Iraq arguably contributed to the rise of ISIS.

Arguably they did, indirectly, contribute if your really twist your thoughts.

But that does not mean "we gave them arms and funding" as Kyle and Alex Jones suggest, nor does it mean that Obama was the founder of ISIS as Trump blurts out.

First let us get back to the point of the topic as this stuff is way off.  Second I can't help responding to the trolling by Rob.


I am not going to be polite here because there is no point.

Stop being an idiot please.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  I gave you plenty of links which if you had bothered to read you could not have come to any other conclusion but that the US has funneled arms to Al Queada and by proxy (through giving arms to groups who were subservient to them) to ISIS in Syria.  There is tons of evidence from reliable sources including the US govt.  When we gave arms to groups which immediately turned them over to Al Nusra or just flat joined them on several occasions there could have been no doubt that our personnel absolutely knew what was going on.  I also know this from my former time in the USG.  This is 'easy' stuff.  To deny it blows any possible credibility for you completely out of the water.  This crap of yours "Arguably they did, indirectly, contribute if your really twist your thoughts."  is just another instance of some US apologist avoiding responsibility.  Read some history for craps sake! Actions have consequences and US lack of taking into consideration the possible downsides to policies resulted in the rise of Al Queada and later to the rise of ISIS.  Just a fact of life. It is called blowback. 

So yes the US is completely responsible for providing weapons to those entities in Syria because we knew where the arms were going to end up.  We also are fully knowledgeable of the Saudi's doing the same thing.  And Bush is responsible for ISIS because they started an unjustified and illegal war in Iraq and ISIS was formed in the US pow camps by captured Al Queada combatants during the conflict. You reap what you sow.

One could tattoo the facts on some peoples foreheads and they would say show me the evidence anyway because they could not figure out how to read it in the mirror. If you can't reason there is no point in participating. Just because you have not seen it written down in black and white from a US policy document does not give you an excuse to deny it exists. 

The arms transfer info does not come from right wing news sites as you imply. It comes from the international press observing who we gave the arms to and what those people did with them, and from the US Special Operations operatives who were on the ground providing the arms. The ops guys complained bitterly about it.

There is no upside to being a dumb apologist for US actions which are immoral, unethical, that hurt our national security, that helped the folks who perpetrated 9/11 and killed a few friends of mine not to mention almost killed me a few times. I fought in these wars for years long before 9/11 ever happened and you could see these issues and trouble coming as sure as the rising sun (but of course it was not written down so it would have gone over your head). 


This should probably be in a separate post as I am not putting you in Robs box I am just saving time.

..First, the Republicans did not take over the warmongering distinction until Reagan. Prior to that, the Democrats held that title.  ...

A reading of history would show that this statement is completely wrong.  There has never been a time in the last 150 years where any president of any party in power did any thing but rush into a possible conflict with open arms.  Warmongering (or Empire building as it is better known as) is a fully bipartisan policy and has been since at least the 1840's.  And my native american relatives would respond to that statement with a "When did you say this started again!!? Kimosabe. Try about 1620."

Anyway folks back to the topic.  (ahh Sidd is on it - I should have written faster)

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 04, 2018, 04:36:36 AM »

I have never heard of the Kyle guy before but he knows what he is talking about.


I keep pointing out that the facts matter for Tesla - to little effect I admit.  But...

There is one rule that applies to Tesla: The more it sells, the more it loses. Not exactly an ingenious business model. Total revenues – automotive and energy combined – rose 26% to $3.41 billion in Q1. This 26% increase in revenues caused a 114% jump in net losses.

I have made the point before that Tesla loses money on every car it makes and the more it makes the more it loses.  This is not a sound business model.  Period.

In terms of living up to its projections, well forget it. Tesla’s projection of producing 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of last year has long ago swirled down the toilet. The projection has been replaced with other projections that have since swirled down the toilet as well. In reality, in Q1, Model 3 production averaged about 800 per week.

For a few weeks in April – so this is Q2 – Tesla said it built a little over 2,000 Model 3 vehicles a week. But then Tesla disclosed this:

Model 3 gross margin remained negative in Q1 due to temporary underutilization of our manufacturing capacity, which was in line with our expectations.

In other words, Tesla admits that the more Model 3 vehicles it builds, the more money it loses. So at this rate, the Q2 losses are going to be an even bigger zinger.

I see lots of foolish excitement about how many Model 3's were produced in Q2 like this is a 'good' thing.  But because Tesla is all screwed up it is a BAD thing.  One could reasonably project that Q2 loses will jump towards $1 billion.  This is a death spiral.  They have little time left to fix it.

Cash flow was a horror story. In the quarter, Tesla burned $398 million in its operations and another $729 million with capital expenditures, including “Payments for the cost of solar energy systems, leased and to be leased,” and “business combinations.” This adds up to a total of $1.13 billion in cash, POOF, gone in three months.

Tesla design, build, reliability and all that are well documented by the Munro tear down.  He referred to the Model 3 as a below average car overall. Some very good points and many others which were ugly.  This is real data from folks who are experts in this stuff.  It counts and has meaning in terms of both where they are and where they need to go.  This is the real world of manufacturing not the internet.

In other words, “manufacturing hell,” as CEO Elon Musk had so elegantly put it last year, will continue to reign, which is not a good thing for an amateur manufacturer in a world full of pros.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 03, 2018, 03:54:33 PM »

Black male support for President Donald Trump doubled in just one week, according to a Reuters poll on presidential approval.

A poll taken on April 22, 2018 had Trump’s approval rating among black men at 11 percent, while the same poll on April 29, 2018 pegged the approval rating at 22 percent. It should be noted that Reuters only sampled slightly under 200 black males each week and slightly under 3,000 people overall.

Trump experienced a similar jump in approval among black people overall, spiking from 8.9 percent on April 22 to 16.5 percent on April 29...


The Kanye West effect.

I'm dizzy now.  Think I will take the dog for a walk.

The rest / Re: A must read
« on: May 02, 2018, 06:31:00 PM »

I dropped this link in the Cafe topic for Neven a few days ago.

It describes advances in agricultural automation/robots. Note the strawberry picker will eliminate 30 workers for each machine.  The automation in ag is astonishing.  These types of advances will stongly orient towards much larger farming operations as they are perfect for the use of capital to buy the equipment and then use it efficiently.

These trends are exactly the opposite of what most of us think ag should be doing as we fly straight into the storm of climate change.

Surviving climate change absolutely requires we dramatically reduce population. Automation/robots dramatically change the demand for low skilled workers.
Declining carrying capacity means we will be short of food for everyone.
Rich people have no intention of giving up their lifestyles.

So.  If our policies, cultural desires, and technological trends are left to themselves the above leads to a straightforward solution does it not?  I for one have been saying for years here that, if we are unable to adjust civilizational practices to deal with climate change in a manner which takes care of everyone (as we are clearly not able to do) then we will take the opposite approach.  And that approach is to allow the situation to 'prune' the excess growth.  That is, we can't feed everyone, we have no pressing need for people with no skills or who are in excess to needs so it is just easier to 'arrange' for them to not be able to find viable ways to survive.

A harsh argument.  But also a rational and logical one.  TPTB seem to be making this choice to me.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 02, 2018, 06:13:03 PM »
In the midterm elections the Democrats will not hesitate to throw Hillary under the bus, because she has retired from politics, so why not use her as a straw-man to knock down:..

...Republicans are the ones looking backward, Democrats say — because the GOP has nothing else to talk about as Republicans try to maintain their grip on power. ...

I would argue very strongly that Hillary has 'not' retired at all.  And that the Repugs are always talking about national security and the economy.  To try and claim that they are a one trick pony is just bunk.

We see Clinton constantly interjecting herself into the media stream.  Whether it be to argue that she was treated unfairly during the election "They were never going to let me win." ( for instance, hawking her books (which are another attempt to rehash the election and keep her in the limelight, thru her political machine exerting strong efforts to maintain control over the DNCC, initiating fund raising for the Clinton Foundation again, running around giving speeches all over the place, etc.

This is not what a defeated Presidential candidate does who has retired.  Just think about all the other failed politicians from the last 20 years who are equivalent to her and that one heard basically nothing from them after their defeat. 

She makes it very easy for the GOP to use her still as a motivator of their voters and potential voters (and it really works well).  If she were really trying to help the Dems win she would be as quiet as a church mouse.

Being an extremely liberal person politically and living in a really red political location helps me monitor what the changing moods are among the Repug supporters.

During the last election I could clearly see that Trump had an idea of how to tap into their issues and that Clinton and the Dems were utterly clueless.  I caught flack all over the place for saying that the Dems were in trouble.  The day that Clinton spouted her "deplorables" comment I turned to the wife (who is as strong a Clinton supporter as you could imagine) and said she is going to lose.  The wife got tears in her eyes and said "yup".

A year ago here I could see the dawn of realization in many here that this coming election was likely to upend their cart.  They were a bit down about it and also somewhat accepting.  The sentiment was best get done what we can in the next two years.  But then, over time, they grew comfortable with the antics of Trump as they realized that a host of the dismantling govt policies they were in favor of were still going to happen.  They just sort of ignore Trumps craziness and, in some cases, they are even starting to think that his wacky approaches (as long as they are supported by a good cast of serious Repugs) will result in actual successes. Trumps and the Republicans support is much stronger now than it was a year ago.

The mood is on a strong upswing and motivation and involvement is climbing again.  Add in the possible great press from some kind of success in NK (which would be totally legitimate from any perspective), going after Iran hard (assisted ably by the Israeli's), more immigration debacles and there is certain to be an significant upswing in polling for the Repugs.  Note: it only takes a few percent change to turn elections the other way. Success in the NK thing all by itself will probably pull a few percent toward the Repugs overall and especially in the states like Penn, Mich, Wisconsin, AZ and so on. Repug and Independent America is always very concerned about National Security. 

Plus there is absolutely going to be a huge amount of money pour in from the right to support their candidates, the Dems are going out of their way to sabotage leftist and progressive candidates (thus killing young enthusiasm and hurting their own cause), Clinton is staying in the news, and so on.  These factors will naturally close the polling gaps.

The election is along way off still and a host of random events can impact it in either direction as always.  But the trends are towards a much closer election than they were 6 months ago.  Six months from now I really do expect that the polling will indicate an extremely tight race. Esspecially if the economy is still growing and the national security situation is getting better.

I don't have any desire to be hitting this topic every day as what we are talking about is trends and they take time.  Let's see where we are in a month and then another month after that.  That timeframe should show some kind of movement which is measurable. Cheers.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: May 01, 2018, 09:09:58 PM »

Snapshots in time and having so many sources (some with agendas, some less than competent, and some trying hard to get the data right) leaves at all times a murky picture.

That being said.  Are you actually serious in that you do 'not' see that the situation is deteriorating for the Dems?  The trends seem pretty clear.

Pointing this out is no different than pointing out that some set of data indicates a catastrophe may be coming (like data on ice in the antarctic for instance). One has an option of using the data to make a plan to change the outcome. If there is time.  Is there still time?  Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the actions of both sides.  But if one side does basically nothing and the other tries hard? Well then ...shit often happens.

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: May 01, 2018, 08:58:47 PM »
I've told you to stay out of my ocean for the last time....

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: April 30, 2018, 11:19:13 PM »
If you need a laugh (well for some anyway - as some of you might actually take this seriously).

The Rapture Index (yes That rapture)

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: April 30, 2018, 11:08:20 PM »
Off topic but a very interesting bit of data.  It turns out my vote (or lack thereof) did win the electoral college. I have been robbed.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: April 30, 2018, 10:54:51 PM »

While it is not clear to me why Netanyahu's claims about Iranian intensions are an example to Democrats blowing the election again, I do not doubt that Netanyahu and Trump are playing tag-team on this issue and certainly Trump will use Netanyahu's statements to 'blow up' the Iran deal on May 12th.  Such any action by the Trump Administration may well further isolate the USA from its European allies, and in the worst-case might led to war in the Middle East.


My bold.


This is an example of the Repugs executing a strategy designed to help them 'win'.  No it is not an example of the Dems doing anything.  But it highlights what they are 'not' doing.  And that is creating a viable strategy and then executing it in a disciplined manner.  It matters not in the US election what the countries in Europe think about what Israel just did as nobody here cares what the Europeans think (no offense intended).  That is just a fact.  But this will 'sell' like crazy to the US public and that is what the strategy intends.

The Dems have historically been hopeless at the kind of political intrigue we are seeing here (Machiavelli would be proud of the Repugs) and that is what I am getting at.  They need to get tough and professional very quickly or they are going to get hurt.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: April 30, 2018, 10:46:53 PM »
With a hat tip to TerryM & Daniel B., it can be risky business (i.e. it can be a risky strategy for improving America) waiting for the (corporate) Demos to blow the election again:

: TerryM  Today at 07:16:57 PM

Is waiting for the other side to implode a strategy? (snip)

Thus you reiterate my point of this topic.

The 'trends' are not in favor of the Dems in Nov.

Ever since the last election the Dems have been coasting on the huge surge of animosity to Trump (look at the 5000 posts here on the blog about that) and bad poll numbers for Trump and the Repugs.  Yup there were a handful of special elections that went the Dems way but the key point I am making here is this:

Momentum from Nov 16 is fading away and the Dems have no other strategy in place.  Trumps poll numbers are getting better where it counts 'for him' (see below).  What is going on with NK and now today, Iran, is huge and very bad for the Dems.  The damn refugee caravan that Trump has been bitching about just arrived at the border. This really plays into his hands as literally several bus loads of them getting there was on TV. Another windfall for the Repugs.

Poll numbers are closing towards even.  This is catastrophic.  Look at this data from my link today:

This is data for millennials from 18-34

Two years ago, young white people favored Democrats over Republicans for Congress by a margin of 47 to 33 percent; that gap vanished by this year, with 39 percent supporting each party.

The shift was especially dramatic among young white men, who two years ago favored Democrats but now say they favor Republicans over Democrats by a margin of 46 to 37 percent, the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed....

...The shift away from Democrats was more pronounced among white millennials - who accounted for two-thirds of all votes cast in that age group in 2016....

White millennials are 55% of the demographic but account for 66% of those who vote!!!!

Republican approval of Trump is around 80% from a week ago and the NK/Iran/Immigrant buses will push that higher.  Folks in the middle will be pulled to the right some and especially if the NK/Iran issues go the way they are looking likely.

Boom!!! This is devastating data.  If the Dems don't reverse this trend (and with the economy, NK/Iran stuff it will be crushingly hard) then the projection has to go towards an even contest in Nov and that is the same as a Dem defeat.

The Dem 'assumptions' look pretty nice but the 'trends' are not in their favor.  It is a long time until Nov and this is hardly over, but they need to quit punching their potential allies who are leftists and progressives or they are going to be eating dirt the day after the election.

The rest / Re: A must read
« on: April 30, 2018, 10:16:15 PM »

Yes the jobs analysis numbers were done for the US.  It wold be asking a lot to try and get numbers for places like India and China due to a paucity of data.  But the same trends would apply as this is technology based change.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: April 30, 2018, 10:13:21 PM »
This is a big deal


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has evidence Iranian officials were "brazenly lying" when they said Iran wasn't pursuing nuclear weapons and that the Islamic republic is keeping an "atomic archive" at a secret compound.

"Tonight, I'm here to tell you one thing: Iran lied -- big time," Netanyahu said late Monday during an address from the Israel Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv.

Calling it one of the greatest achievements in the history of Israeli intelligence, Netayahu displayed what he said were files that demonstrate Iran planned to continue pursuing a nuclear weapons program despite the 2015 deal it brokered with the international community....

Well this is big news.  Now being former US intel I can say with certainty that this needs to be taken with a grain of salt from the actual 'is it real' standpoint.  Maybe and maybe not.

But that does not matter a whit in this case as there will be no way to prove it a fake and Trump and company are going to take the hand-off and run for the goal line. This is the way it is done folks.  I would bet pretty strongly that the agreement is blown up and the Iranians will have to renegotiate or they will face a complete reconstitution of strong sanctions. 

There is absolutely no way this will not help the Repugs in the polls and in Nov.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: April 30, 2018, 06:45:12 PM »
The Economy - Number 9 from post #1.

If you are losing the millenials then your demographic trends, which the Dems are assuming all go their way, disappear and you are toast.  There better be a counter to this or there is real trouble.

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) - Enthusiasm for the Democratic Party is waning among millennials as its candidates head into the crucial midterm congressional elections, according to the Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll.

The online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.

Although nearly two of three young voters polled said they do not like Republican President Donald Trump, their distaste for him does not necessarily extend to all Republicans or translate directly into votes for Democratic congressional candidates....

The state of the economy is always the single most important factor when folks walk into the voting booth.

The rest / Re: The Dems blow the election again
« on: April 30, 2018, 06:29:36 PM »

Thus the exact point of this topic.  It ain't over till it's over as they say.  Complacency is a lethal condition in politics. Looking back never works.

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