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Monday links

  • “We are all serfs on Google’s farm.” An online business person looks at Google’s power, quite apart from its ability to control and censor searches.
  • Cancer treatment for $5? So far there’s only proof of concept in animals.
  • Wow. Now there’s a twist in that Utah nurse-vs-cop story. It’s now cop-vs-cop. (H/T ellendra in comments.)
  • How many times do we have to rebuild the same flood-damaged house? Asks Jim Bovard.
  • Texan (and American) resilience will prevail, writes Kevin D. Williamson.
  • Global warming causes … wait for it … car crashes.
  • Want to grow the economy? Stop heeding economists.
  • Still think Neanderthals were a bunch of thick-headed morons? Seems they were distilling tar 200,000 years ago, before modern man came on the scene. One scientist thinks he knows how they did it.
  • Somehow, I don’t think sitting down and having one more talk with North Korea is going to do the job, folks. And I say this as someone who lives in a place where, if the NK crazoids miss Portland or Seattle, they may hit someone very dear to my heart … namely me.
  • And on a related subject: 18 plans that went awry. In three steps. Illustrated.

17 Comments

  1. R.L.Wurdack
    R.L.Wurdack September 4, 2017 12:17 pm

    In terms of global warming…

    After breathing smoke all weekend (from the Oregon fires that the state is ‘too poor’ to fight) I did a quick, back-of-the-envelope, calculation. The one big fire, by my calcs, has already contributed more CO2 to the atmosphere than all the gasoline burned in Oregon last year. I didn’t bother with computing the other interesting contributions to the air/Earth. The hood of my truck was covered in ash and the sun is blood red.

  2. Desertrat
    Desertrat September 4, 2017 2:03 pm

    I was still around in the workaday world when the big arguments about floodplain insurance began, particularly in coastal areas.

    I was on damage survey in the Corpus Christi area the day after 1970’s Celia. I watched the ongoing residential construction on the barrier islands thereafter. I later worked with Herb Saffir and Bob Simpson, learning “insider” stuff about hurricanes.

    Mr. Bovard Is spot-on with his commentary.

  3. trying2b-amused
    trying2b-amused September 4, 2017 2:10 pm

    I think the DC crazoids are the real threat.

  4. Claire
    Claire September 4, 2017 5:56 pm

    I think both the DC crazoids and the NK crazoids are threats.

    But the NK crazoids are farther around the bend if they really think they can threaten other countries with hydrogen bombs and not — finally — have people get seriously upset about them.

  5. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard September 4, 2017 6:36 pm

    Thanks for posting the link, Claire, And thanks very much, Desertrat, for your comments & insights. Still mystified why folks think that Congress will someday “get it right” – with this & about 900 other federal programs.

  6. trying2b-amused
    trying2b-amused September 4, 2017 7:47 pm

    . . . if they really think they can threaten other countries with hydrogen bombs and not – finally – have people get seriously upset about them.

    It’s much more likely they think they can convince people the cost of attacking them is unacceptably high. And, no matter how odious the regime, its fear of being attacked is not irrational.

  7. Claire
    Claire September 4, 2017 8:04 pm

    They may be trying to do tell the world that the cost of attacking them is unacceptably high, trying2b. I agree it’s not irrational for them to fear being attacked (though NK is so well protected by China’s clout that I don’t think the U.S. or anybody else is really that inclined to attack them).

    OTOH, everything they’re doing and claiming now making it more, not less, likely that somebody (I hope not us) will take some form of decisive action against them.

    If they actually perceive themselves as taking purely defensive measures, they could simply say: “We have no intention of using these weapons offensively but we’ll have no hesitation whatsoever in using them if we are attacked.” Instead … jeez, flying missiles over Japan … boasting of their ability to reach the continental U.S.

    Defense? I don’t think so.

    I can grant that in the mind of some monomaniacal lunatic who needs to impress millions of his own oppressed citizens that could seem like smart, tough defense. But either the NK leadership totally fails to understand the attitude of the people they’re threatening or they actually do intend to attack first.

  8. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 4, 2017 11:40 pm

    NK is so well protected by China’s clout that I don’t think the U.S. or anybody else is really that inclined to attack them

    I keep remembering the Iran hostage crisis, November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981.

    The USSR and other communist countries were supporting the anti-U.S. side, but the wheels were coming off the USSR’s economy. One way to resist a regime change is to start an external conflict. IMHO Iran taking hostages was a Soviet shot across our bow.

    President Carter tried to negotiate his way out of the mess, then staged an ineffective rescue attempt. It became the longest hostage situation in modern history, 444 days.

    I doubt it was a coincidence that the hostages were released the day Ronald Reagan became President, and eight years later the Iron Curtain fell without even a threat of nuclear confrontation.

    I don’t think China’s political situation is as healthy as the msm thinks, North Korea is an order of magnitude more fanatical than the Iranians, and there’s a loose cannon in the White House.

    Interesting times.

  9. trying2b-amused
    trying2b-amused September 5, 2017 12:26 am

    It is a popular meme in the U.S. media to say that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “crazy” as he undertakes to develop [and demonstrate] a nuclear bomb and a missile capacity to deliver it, but he is actually working from a cold logic dictated by the U.S. government’s aggressive wars and lack of integrity. [emphasis and text in brackets added]

    Indeed, the current North Korea crisis, which could end up killing millions of people, can be viewed as a follow-on disaster to President George W. Bush’s Iraq War and President Barack Obama’s Libyan intervention. Those wars came after the leaders of Iraq and Libya had dismantled their dangerous weapons programs, leaving their countries virtually powerless when the U.S. government chose to invade.

    In both cases, the U.S. government also exploited its power over global information to spread lies about the targeted regimes as justification for the invasions – and the world community failed to do anything to block the U.S. aggressions.

    And, on a grim personal note, the two leaders, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, were then brutally murdered, Hussein by hanging and Gaddafi by a mob that first sodomized him with a knife.
    . . .
    The dishonesty that now pervades the U.S. government and the U.S. mainstream media represents another contributing factor to the North Korean crisis. What sensible person anywhere on the planet would trust U.S. assurances? Who would believe what the U.S. government says, except, of course, the U.S. mainstream media?

    Remember also that North Korea’s nuclear program had largely been mothballed before George W. Bush delivered his “axis of evil” speech in January 2002, which linked Iran and Iraq – then bitter enemies – with North Korea. After that, North Korea withdrew from earlier agreements on limiting its nuclear development and began serious work on a bomb.

    Yet, while North Korea moved toward a form of mutual assured destruction, Iraq and Libya chose a different path.

    In Iraq, to head off a threatened U.S.-led invasion, Hussein’s government sought to convince the international community that it had lived up to its commitments regarding the destruction of its WMD arsenal and programs. Besides the detailed declaration, Iraq gave U.N. weapons inspectors wide latitude to search on the ground.

    But Bush cut short the inspection efforts in March 2003 and launched his “shock and awe” invasion, which led to the collapse of Hussein’s regime and the dictator’s eventual capture and hanging.

    In Libya, Gaddafi also sought to cooperate with international demands regarding WMDs. In late 2003, he announced that his country would eliminate its unconventional weapons programs, including a nascent nuclear project.
    . . .
    By October 2011, Gaddafi had fled Tripoli and was captured by rebels in Sirte. He was tortured, sodomized with a knife and then executed. Clinton, whose aides felt she should claim credit for Gaddafi’s overthrow as part of a Clinton Doctrine, celebrated his murder with a laugh and a quip, “We came; we saw; he died.”
    . . .
    Meanwhile, back in North Korea, the young dictator Kim Jong Un was taking all this history in. According to numerous sources, he concluded that his and North Korea’s only safeguard would be a viable nuclear deterrent to stave off another U.S.-sponsored “regime change” war – with him meeting a similar fate as was dealt to Hussein and Gaddafi.

    Since then, Kim and his advisers have made clear that the surrender of North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal is off the table. They make the understandable point that the United States has shown bad faith in other cases in which leaders have given up their WMDs in compliance with international demands and then saw their countries invaded and faced grisly executions themselves.
    . . .

    How ‘Regime Change’ Wars Led to Korea Crisis

  10. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 5, 2017 9:35 am

    What if Japan (or South Korea for that matter) said if NK didn’t stop what they were doing then they would go nuclear, how long would it be before China said; hey wait a minute, maybe roping NK in may be a good thing after all.

    If China does not support NK; NK would change their ways quickly IMHO.

  11. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson September 5, 2017 9:36 am

    As to NK, I say ignore them. No sanctions. No talk. No threats. No maneuvers on their borders. No nothing. Just go on with life.

    The less attention that little tin-pot dictator gets, the better.

    Am I putting my head in the sand? Maybe. Maybe he’ll try to take over SK. Maybe he’ll bomb Japan or Guam. Lots of people may die as a result. But what’s the option? We bomb them first…and lots more people will die?

    NK has nothing to gain by initiating force against an otherwise non-threatening neighbor. They know full well they are not strong enough or wealthy enough to attack, conquer, and administer another country. Any attack by them would be their undoing.

    I don’t know if NK would attack anyone. I doubt it, but it is possible, and it is possible a lot of people would die. But I GUARANTEE that if we attacked them a lot of people would die. I’d rather live with the uncertainty than die with the certainty.

  12. Claire
    Claire September 5, 2017 9:52 am

    “Since then, Kim and his advisers have made clear that the surrender of North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal is off the table. They make the understandable point that the United States has shown bad faith in other cases in which leaders have given up their WMDs in compliance with international demands and then saw their countries invaded and faced grisly executions themselves.”

    Even if everything in that long comment is true, trying2b, (and the audience here certainly isn’t inclined to trust the MSM or consider the fedgov benign and peaceable) it wouldn’t change the fact that NK leaders’ behavior is doing the OPPOSITE of preparing to defend itself. In actions and words, they claim aggression.

  13. trying2b-amused
    trying2b-amused September 5, 2017 4:35 pm

    “. . . they claim aggression.”
    Claire, I honestly don’t understand what you mean by that. All I can say is: And DC doesn’t, to a FAR greater extent? Same for behavior is doing the OPPOSITE of preparing to defend itself.

    Ron Johnson @ September 5, 2017 9:36 am:
    Well said, Sir. One hundred percent spot on. I would add only that ignore them. . . . No nothing. will, unfortunately, never happen, because a good boogeyman is a terrible thing to waste.

    Comrade X @ September 5, 2017 9:35 am:
    . . . how long would it be . . .
    Just as long as it is now, because the primary reason China supports North Korea is to keep the US Army away from China’s border. However, if Japan and South Korea having nukes is the price of getting the US military out of Japan and South Korea, it may well be worth paying.

  14. Claire
    Claire September 5, 2017 5:07 pm

    All I can say is: And DC doesn’t, to a FAR greater extent? Same for behavior is doing the OPPOSITE of preparing to defend itself.

    I agree. To say that the NK government is behaving aggressively is not at all to excuse the eternal aggression and meddling by the U.S. government. But regardless of what the fedgov has done, is likely to do, wants to do, etc., NK is behaving not as a country that intends to defend itself but as a country itching to attack others.

    If NK leaders imagine they’re showing the world a defensive stance, they’ve misjudged the world they’re facing. If they actually believe it’s pure defense to shoot missiles over Japan and threaten to nuke the west coast of the U.S., then … well, not for one moment is it possible they actually believe that.

    Their behavior — regardless of how wronged they have been or how wronged they feel they are — amounts to “suicide by cop” on a global scale.

  15. trying2b-amused
    trying2b-amused September 5, 2017 10:14 pm

    . . . well, not for one moment is it possible they actually believe that.

    Claire, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree about this. I won’t carpet-bomb the blog with text again, but if you’re interested in why I disagree, What the Media isn’t Telling You About North Korea’s Missile Tests won’t take too long to read and makes the case about as clearly as it can be made.

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