Thoughts on Events the Week of May 6

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 15, 2019

Trade and Tariffs: I have opined previously that I looked forward to the time we would be competing economically with China, rather than militarily, and how unfortunate it is that now we have gotten there, our economic brain trust is a pack of atavistic hacks ill equipped to compete with China in checkers, let alone in global economics.

Our president is a fan of tariffs, which are about the most discredited tool in the economic competition tool box, incredibly stupid and counterproductive, so of course Trump is all for them.

Barry Goldwater was a pioneer in the Republican efforts to drag the U.S. back to the 50s. Trump wants to drag us back to 1930, when the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was enacted, with devastating consequences, and, in the opinion of most economists, exacerbated the Great Depression. Just the Donald’s kind of idea.

Injustice: Count me among those Americans who have read (almost) all of the Mueller Report so far available to the public, which clearly doesn’t say what Attorney General William Barr says it does (read he’s lying through his teeth). I have also read a piece in The New Yorker magazine on Michael Cohen, properly titled “Fall Guy,” and the two documents taken together raise questions of fairness and justice.

Cohen is a weak-jawed scum bag and a crook. He deserves to be in jail for the crimes he committed on his own, and others at the direction of Trump. And Cohen is in jail now, where he should be. But you cannot read the two documents without wondering why Trump isn’t in jail too. Cohen is guilty, but Trump is equally so regarding those crimes they did together. It is clearly justice unjustly applied.

Enemies Foreign and Imaginary: New Yorker Magazine also had a lengthy article about John Bolton recently. Bolton is genuinely nuts. He advocates preemptive nuclear strikes against our enemies, which include just about everybody, but including certainly, North Korea, Iran and Russia.  

We haven’t had anybody this nuts in a position of responsibility since Air Force General, and vice presidential running mate of George Wallace, American Independent Party candidate in 1968, Curtis Le May. Le May advocated for a nuclear war against Russia, and said a nuclear exchange with the USSR would be “winnable.” Since then, everybody except Bolton has come to realize that a nuclear war is not winnable by anyone on any level.

Bolton should not be in the White House, and should be kept as far away from the nuclear launch codes as possible, perhaps, say, on the Moon. Instead, he is at the ear of the most impulsive, malleable president in history, who listens to this guy. Keep this in mind when you hear the Administration talk about Iran.

The Moon: Speaking about the Moon, scientists are all jacked up to go back there. Everybody’s, doing it. The early Moon explorations were primarily to further science (and missile technology), but these new ones are precursors to mineral extraction, and to create a station from which to hop scotch across the solar system for extractions from other planets.

Some scientists promoting these ideas refer to the Moon as “the eighth continent,” a specious characterization, which implies the Moon is within easier reach than it actually is and will be easier, and by implication cheaper, than it will be.  

I detest this kind of thinking. I have no objection to extracting minerals from other planets or moons generally, but the way it is sold, gives us excuses to continue to squander and abuse our resources on earth, in much the same way that religion’s preaching about life everlasting lets people off the hook for taking care of where we are, and are always going to be.

As for the hop scotching, that’s an even stupider idea. I’m sorry, we may be able to hop scotch to planets, moons and even meteors and asteroids nearby, but we are never going beyond, because we cannot travel faster than the speed of light, and the next “hop” beyond our solar system is at a distance of light years. Get real, people. Spend the money on making Earth better instead.

The only good news in all this is that companies are taking on some of the expense instead of tax payers. The bad news is that corporations are generally easier to hack for technology secrets than government technology.

Status of the States: South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham brings home the cup for a second week in a row, for saying in public that Donald J. Trump, Jr. should ignore the subpoena issued to him by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham is on the Senate Intelligence Committee! This is an egregious abdication of his oath of office in the Senate, in order to kiss the ass of President Trump. Graham has his lips so firmly attached to Trump’s ass he cannot even see the Senate. Maybe he will succeed in becoming the worst pig part there.

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