Closing Thought–03Oct18

Ever notice that when the science of Physics is mentioned there is very little thought for the women in the field…….that oversight may well be a thing of the past…..

You see that a woman has finally won the Nobel prize for Physics…..

Three scientists from the United States, France, and Canada have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for advances in laser physics, including the first woman to take home the prize in 55 years. The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences on Tuesday awarded half the $1.01 million prize to Arthur Ashkin of the United States, and the other half will be shared by Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada, per the AP. Strickland is the third female laureate in physics, but the first in more than half a century, reports the BBC.

The academy says Ashkin developed “optical tweezers” that can grab tiny particles such as viruses without damaging them. As the Guardian notes, “this means scientists can hold even living cells in place, allowing them to probe their inner workings.” Strickland and Mourou helped develop short and intense laser pulses that have broad industrial and medical applications. The Nobel panel’s explanation: “Ultra-sharp laser beams make it possible to cut or drill holes in various materials extremely precisely—even in living matter. Millions of eye operations are performed every year with the sharpest of laser beams.” (A CERN scientist just got suspended for saying physics was built by men.)

Congrats to Ashkin for her award…..a much deserved one at that.

I must be off like a dirty shirt…..see ya later….chuq

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Who The Hell Is This John Andre?

I apologize for this post should have been posted yesterday and I had a brain fart and I missed the day.

But I bet that you have heard of Benedict Arnold, right?

Andre was the British officer that was handling Arnold for the betrayal.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the execution of Andre in 1780……..

On this date in 1780, the honorable British Major John Andre got what Benedict Arnold had coming to him.

Piqued that his (quite considerable) brilliance in the field did not earn honors he thought his due, General Benedict Arnold contrived to betray West Point to the British during the American Revolution — the plot that made his name a synonym for treachery.

As the scheme ripened, the turncoat asked Sir Henry Clinton for “a personal interview with an officer that you can confide in.”

Enter Clinton’s adjutant John Andre, head of British Special Intelligence.

The dashing officer, well-liked in society on either side of the permeable divide between Tories and Patriots on the continent, slipped into Haverstraw, N.Y. to make the arrangements. On his way back — when he already thought himself safely clear of American-held territory — he was nabbed with the incriminating documents.

http://www.executedtoday.com/2008/10/02/1780-major-john-andre-benedict-arnold-west-point/

There you have some more American history…..I enjoy give it and I hope you enjoy learn it.

Class Dismissed!

Space And Space Rangers

Apparently I am the only blogger that has an opinion on the new “Space Force” being offered by Trump and some of his minions.  But first this idea is NOT Pres, Trump’s….it was also offered up by Pres. Obama in 2009……https://lobotero.com/2009/01/06/militarization-of-space/  So if follow the accepted logic and Trump hates everything Obama then he should back away from this immediately. (that was my small humor for this post)

I have been following this story since it first broke and have been writing about it as often as I can…..but just a reminder of my talents (that was humor also)….https://lobotero.com/2018/09/27/space-the-final-frontier-again/

Now that the idea is firmly set in the Pentagon there is a scramble to see where it falls in the ranking of the military…..then there is the Guard…….

President Donald Trump’s recent decision to seek congressional support for a separate Space Force is reminiscent of President Harry Truman’s similar action after World War II, when the nation contemplated a separate Air Force.

President Trump, similar to President Truman, reached the decision based on his judgment that change is necessary for national security. Space is critical to our national security on multiple levels. And consistent with the Constitution, Congress and the president must agree to form any new service.

As lawmakers began their deliberations, the Trump administration directed the Defense Department to develop a plan presuming congressional concurrence. The Air Force, which has the lead on the effort, offered its advice in a Sept. 14 memo outlining the path to creating a separate Space Force.

The memo is astonishing and disappointing in its recommendations for one of the nation’s most valuable military assets. It would fold “any” current National Guard space units into a federal Space Force Reserve.

https://www.airforcetimes.com/opinion/commentary/2018/09/30/the-nation-needs-the-guard-in-space/

More thoughts for the new “Space Force”……will it patrol the Moon after we build bases there?

Leading military space strategy experts are pondering the role of cislunar space in the context of President Donald Trump’s plan to establish a U.S. Space Force.

Just how valuable is that stretch of space between Earth and the moon’s orbit? Might this celestial real estate become hot property as an extension of military arenas in low Earth orbit, medium Earth orbit, and geosynchronous orbit?

Given forecasts of 21st-century activity on and around the moon by both private and government entities, could this be an economic area of development that needs protection in sthe years and decades to come? [In Photos: President Donald Trump and NASA]

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/would-trumps-space-force-patrol-the-moon/

China has been a competitor of the US for decades……and it appears that the competition may extend into Space…..

The Chinese military seems to agree that the current U.S. approach to space is hindered by some serious shortcomings.

If the United States is to maintain military advantage in space, as President Trump has promised – and as his new Space Force is meant to do –  U.S. policy and strategic decisions should be informed by an understanding of China’s ambitions to become an “aerospace superpower” (航天强国) – and how the Chinese military has reorganized itself to seek dominance in space (制天权).

Start with the way space is characterized in China’s military strategy: the “new commanding heights in strategic competition.” Once a sanctuary for U.S. satellites that have fostered unparalleled military capability, space is now recognized by Chinese military strategists as a critical U.S. vulnerability. Without reliable space support, U.S. capabilities for global C4ISR and precision strike will fail, and the U.S. military could be reduced to a level of merely mechanized warfare, by the assessment of one Chinese defense academic.

https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2018/09/china-has-space-force-what-are-its-lessons-pentagon/151665/

There we have as much information as I can find at this time about a new and approved way for the Pentagon to waste taxpayer money.

 

NAFTA Vs USMCA

In 2016 Trump and I had something in common…..we both disliked NAFTA….the only difference was he could do something about it and I could only bitch about it.

US, Canada and Mexico have come to an agreement on trade and NAFTA…..

Canada and the United States reached a deal Sunday night for Canada to stay in a free trade pact with the US and Mexico. In a joint statement late Sunday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the agreement “will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.” The new deal, reached just before a midnight deadline imposed by the US, will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Trump had called a job-killing disaster.

The agreement reached Sunday gives US farmers greater access to the Canadian dairy market. But it keeps a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison and offers Canada protection if Trump goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on cars, trucks, and auto parts imported into the United States, the AP reports. “It’s a good day for Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as he left his office. Canada, the United States’ No. 2 trading partner, was left out when the US and Mexico reached an agreement last month to revamp NAFTA. US-Canada talks bogged down earlier this month, and most trade analysts expected the Sept. 30 deadline to come and go without Canada being reinstated.

Of course Trump’s new replacement for NAFTA has a nice ring to it……USMCA

America’s free trade pact with Mexico and Canada may be alive, but the same can’t be said for the NAFTA moniker. Once the new deal was arrived at Sunday night its new name was announced: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. President Trump weighed in on the name during a Monday press conference, saying, “It has a good ring to it.” It’s also “a great deal,” he said per USA Today, one that should “pass easily, really easily … in theory there should be no trouble.” Congress needs to approve the agreement, and it needs to be ratified in Mexico and Canada as well. As for how one should say the name, Trump didn’t read it as a word a la NAFTA but spelled the letters out: U-S-M-C-A.

CNBC reports that while much of the deal echoes that of NAFTA, there are pivots in terms of how the dairy and auto industries are handled: US dairy producers’ access to Canadian markets will increase, while Mexico and Canada scored a win in terms of an exemption on passenger vehicles, pickups, and auto parts from potential tariffs. CNBC has much more, including details on changes that will could up the price of cars made in Mexico, which could push more of these jobs north of the border.

NYTimes op-ed states that USMCA is worse than NAFTA…….

North American business leaders are breathing a sigh of relief after Canada agreed, at the 11th hour, to join the revised North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Mexico. But before they break out the Champagne, they should look at the details.

Although the revised deal brings much-needed modernization in areas such as e-commerce and intellectual property, the media spotlight on Canada has obscured a bigger problem for the region: Under the new terms, North American trade is headed off the rails and, perhaps along with it, political stability south of the border.

But leave it to the master of business, the grad from the Wharton School, to negotiate a deal that has LESS trade in it……

The United States, Canada, and Mexico have completed their renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Being nothing, if not creative, negotiators named this revamp the “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade,” or USMCA for short. While the namers get an F for imagination and creativity, they receive an A for self-evaluation skills, as they aptly removed the term “free trade” from the title. The USMCA does not advance free trade in the world.

There are more than a few labor and manufacturing provisions in this bill that will, no doubt, lead to higher prices for American consumers. There is a sourcing requirement, which mandates that 75 percent of automobile parts be produced in North America, otherwise that automobile cannot enter duty-free. Not only are the costs of auto parts already rising due to President Trump’s trade dispute with China, they will now rise even further due to the requirement that manufacturers use more expensive domestic parts that could have been imported more cheaply.

https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2018/10/02/leave_it_to_trump_to_negotiate_a_deal_that_leads_to_less_trade_103433.html

Is that a technique known only to those that study at Wharton?

How to cut a deal where there is less trade than the previous deal.

Do You Know The Way To Cameroon?

I am proud to say that I am getting new followers from Africa my newest are from Rwanda and Cameroon……so I thought that I would make a more concerted effort to give news and views from Africa.

In the past my posts have been mostly for North Africa because I knew that region better from having worked in the Middle East and North Africa.

A group that I have done work with in the past, International Crisis Group, have issued a conflict risk alert for October 2018 in Cameroon.

Image result for cameroon images

Today I want to post on the events in Cameroon……

Cameroon, where elections are due to take place this week amid widespread discontent at President Paul Biya’s rule, continued fighting against Boko Haram in the north and a worsening conflict in the Anglophone region. Cameroon’s international partners should use the days ahead of the polls to push the government and Anglophone separatists toward a ceasefire; after the vote, they should throw their weight behind an Anglophone conference organised by religious leaders which could be a first step toward a national dialogue.

I have written about a problem brewing with the troops that are handled by the US Special Ops group……(please be warned that the video is pretty explicit) https://lobotero.com/2018/08/01/cameroon/

Since the problem came to light the US is sticking with the group that has murdered women and children…..

The women were slapped and shoved down a dusty road. They were blindfolded and forced to the ground. Then they, and two young children, were gunned down — 22 shots from assault rifles fired at close range — by men in military uniforms.

In July, The Intercept was the first media outlet to publish the complete, unedited footage of this murder of four civilians by members of the Cameroonian armed forces — a key U.S. military ally in the region — drawing on extensive investigative work by experts at Amnesty International. The government of Cameroon quickly dismissed reports that its soldiers were involved in the atrocity, calling it “fake news.”

https://theintercept.com/2018/09/27/cameroon-video-execution-forensic-analysis/

Sad to say that US has sided many times with the wrong people and it usually comes back to bite us in the ass.

Another problem is the US does not have the best foreign policy people in place at this time…..the leaders of our international relations are not the sharpest pencils in the box…..most are warmongering tools of the M-IC.

Sad to say yet again that nothing will change for the better as long as this administration remains in power.

Afghanistan–October 2018

Another WAR that the media is trying to ignore as best it can……the MSM will spend hour upon hour on blind speculation but an actual blood war there is little…..and that is where I come in.

As a student of war and its consequences I will always post on the developments of this conflict….not a popular topic and warrants few “visits”…..but it is important that I keep my reade5s informed.

Awhile back Trump and the Neocons were considering using “security contractors” to fight the US role in Afghanistan (these are mercenaries plain and simple….call them anything you like but they are blood thirsty tools)….it was a serious consideration…..but now Afghanistan has put the brakes on this idea…..

In reaction to the possibility of privatizing the Afghan war, President Ashraf Ghani said he will not allow “foreign mercenaries” to operate in Afghanistan.

Addressing the 3rd Mayors National Conference, the president said the Afghan government forces have enough potential and have managed to save the country from “collapse”.

“You should know that the work which is done by Afghans cannot be done by any foreign mercenary and foreign mercenaries will never be allowed in this soil,” Ghani said.

https://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/afghanistan-will-not-allow-%E2%80%98foreign-mercenaries-ghani

Hopefully the idea of privatizing the Afghan War has been put to bed….forever!

The US has been fighting in Afghanistan for 17 years and the question oftwn arises….is there a path for peace in Afghanistan?

At a time when the Taliban are gaining ground in Afghanistan, Afghan government losses are mounting, and regional partners’ views on the conflict are shifting, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has not given in to pessimism. On a September 7 visit to Kabul, Mattis expressed optimism about the existence of “a framework” and “open lines of communications” between U.S. diplomats and Qatar-based Taliban representatives that he believes might lead to an intra-Afghan reconciliation process that would end nearly two decades of war. He also reassured Kabul’s leadership that the United States will stand by the Afghans until there is lasting peace and stability.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/09/12/can_peace_be_won_in_afghanistan_113794.html

Believe it or not….in a country that has none nothing but war since the 1980’s it is a good thing when I read there is a beginnings of a peace movement in the country…..

In May 2018, a group of seven Afghans in the mostly Taliban controlled province of Helmand set off on a more than 370-mile peace journey to the capital city, Kabul, sparking a nationwide movement.

Residents of Helmand have been paying a high price ever since the province turned into a battleground between Afghan forces and the Taliban. The catalyst for the peace march was a car bomb attack during a wrestling match in March that killed 14 people.

The protesters began with a hunger strike and a sit-in protest in the province’s capital, Lashkar Gah, within 24 hours of the suicide attack to demand an end to the violence. The activists held meetings with both the government and the Taliban, but when no results were produced they decided to walk to Kabul to further advocate for their peace message.

https://truthout.org/articles/how-afghanistans-peace-movement-is-winning-hearts-and-minds/

None of these stories will make the news for they do not lend well for speculation and besides the MSM has its hands full trying to control the SCOTUS story.

My readers can be sure that I will always report on war in  all its shapes for war is not a necessity that the US needs to embrace.  There is a world of peace but not according to the ideals of the Neocons.