Nukes For China

We have heard all the spurious arguments for the nuke policies for Iran and North Korea……but what about a strategy for a nuclear power and one of our biggest opponents? China.

A diverse range of external stimuli, including technological trends and geopolitical shifts, is leading the strategic community of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to reconsider existing nuclear policy, strategy, and operations. According to Chinese open sources, U.S. global conventional precision strike systems, U.S. missile defenses, and India’s nuclear weapons modernization, among other threats, could shake the PRC’s faith in longstanding nuclear doctrine and posture. The 2013 Science of Military Strategy confirms that “the nuclear security circumstances facing China in overall terms are trending toward complexity.”   In response to such challenges, some Chinese analysts have proposed loosening the no-first-use policy and undertaking quantitative and qualitative improvements to China’s nuclear forces.

A departure from enduring nuclear policy and strategy may also reflect China’s growing power and sense of purpose as it seeks to reshape its surroundings and accelerate the erosion of the U.S. position in the Western Pacific. Indeed, Chinese analysts are exploring Cold War history in Europe, from which they may be drawing lessons about the vulnerabilities of U.S. extended deterrence in Asia. While it remains unclear how and to what extent Chinese nuclear strategy will advance Beijing’s expanding ambitions, the internal debates suggest that China may be increasingly inclined to adopt a more coercive nuclear strategy.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/07/17/chinese_nuclear_weapons_strategyleaning_towards_a_more_proactive_posture_part_ii_external_drivers_of_potential_changetechnical-military_developments_and_perceptions_of_credibility.html

China continues to confront the US and its Asian allies on many fronts and yet the president is concerned over a country that is not yet a nuclear power…..where is the sanity there?

I believe you ignore China’s nukes at your own peril.

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Is It Deja Vu or Vuja De?

Sunday and I want to wax psychological.

Most of us know what is meant by Deja vu….or do we?

After I graduated from college, I backpacked around Europe with a few friends. It was the first time I went to Europe. Our first day in Athens, we got off a bus, and suddenly I was standing in front of a restaurant and shop, and I was sure that I had been there before. I knew that I hadn’t been there, of course, but it was a powerful experience of déjà vu.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ulterior-motives/201001/what-is-d-j-vu

There are ways that your brain processes the phenom of Deja Vu…..

If you’ve ever had déjà vu — that feeling that what you’re currently doing has already happened — then you know it can feel like being in the twilight zone. However, there are things your brain is trying to tell you when you experience déjà vu. While déjà vu can make you feel like you’ve known someone, or been somewhere, in a past life, it might be all in your head, according to science. This actually makes me feel kind of bummed, because I like the idea of past lives. Scientific American reported that small seizures in the brain responsible for memory formation and retrieval could be the reason something suddenly feels familiar despite your having never experienced it before.

“With déjà vu, a brief synaptic misfiring might occur in these areas, creating the illusion that the event has occurred before,” Alan Brown, professor in the department of psychology at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, told Scientific American. These mini seizures are nothing to worry about, and Psychology Today noted that up to 70 percent of people report experiencing déjà vu, which is French for “already seen.” If you’re one of them, there might be some things your brain is trying to tell you when you’re experiencing déjà vu.

https://www.bustle.com/p/9-things-your-brain-is-trying-to-tell-you-when-you-experience-deja-vu-8334677

Now you know!

What does Vuja De mean?

It is a feeling…… “something like this has never happened before”

Time to sit back with a cold beer and watch my friend MoMo go about stalking that squirrel in the middle of the yard….she is a source of amusement….and a major irritant to the damn squirrel.

Have a day…..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A New Source Of CO2

This Sunday I have been waiting for MoMo to give up on that damn pesky squirrel so I thought I would write a post or maybe two….

Most of us know that CO2 is a atmosphere destructor and we have many sources that will need to be controlled it we are to survive (that is my opinion and I doubt if those deniers will agree)

The week after T/S Barry and all has returned to normal…..over 100 temp humidity around 90%…..makes A/C a welcome necessity.

Enough bitching about Summer in the South…..

I read an article that points to a large source of CO2….and it is on-line…..

Our porn-viewing habits are leaving a filthy footprint on the planet.

Video streaming accounts for around 60 percent of all data flow online, which means it also accounts for over 300 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Since almost a third of streamed video content is pornography, online porn pumps out around 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, more than the annual output of Israel. 

These figures come from a new report by The Shift Project, a French think tank that aims to limit climate change and our dependence on fossil fuels. In light of their findings, they argue that our digital consumption should be considered when looking at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, just as driving gas-guzzling cars and eating loads of red meat are. They also call on policymakers and architects of the digital space to consider the impacts of online services when designing digital technologies. 

https://www.iflscience.com/environment/online-porn-pumps-out-as-much-carbon-dioxide-as-a-small-industrial-country/amp.html

Here is another way for zealots to attack porn…..but that would mean they would have to think for themselves….something I feel they are not capable of doing.

As long as I am on the topic of CO2……we are always looking for a way to generate electricity that does not screw up the air quality…..and CO2 is a major contributor to air pollution…..but what if we could use it to generate electricity?

The world is quickly realizing it may need to actively pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to stave off the ill effects of climate change. Scientists and engineers have proposed various techniques, but most would be extremely expensive—without generating any revenue. No one wants to foot the bill.

One method explored in the past decade might now be a step closer to becoming practical, as a result of a new computer simulation study. The process would involve pumping airborne CO2 down into methane hydrates—large deposits of icy water and methane right under the seafloor, beneath water 500 to 1,000 feet deep—where the gas would be permanently stored, or sequestered. The incoming CO2 would push out the methane, which would be piped to the surface and burned to generate electricity, to power the sequestration operation or to bring in revenue to pay for it.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-solution-use-carbon-dioxide-to-generate-electricity/

Just a few thoughts for a Sunday…..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Saturday Thought–20Jul19

We are about to celebrate 50 years since our historic moon landing in 1969.

Us old farts can remember where we were when the news broke….I was on R&R from Vietnam in a bath house in Bangkok waiting for my happy ending.

Let’s look back……

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1930-) became the first humans ever to land on the moon. About six-and-a-half hours later, Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. As he set took his first step, Armstrong famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy (1917-63) announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972.

https://www.history.com/topics/space-exploration/moon-landing-1969

This was exciting news when it was taking place….and years afterwards there has been a conspiracy grown up around the achievement…..our “One Giant Step” thing was not so notable….I am talking about the Moon Landing Hoax….

Despite the extraordinary volume of evidence (including 382kg of moon rock collected across six missions; corroboration from Russia, Japan and China; and images from the Nasa Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the tracks made by the astronauts in the moondust), belief in the moon-hoax conspiracy has blossomed since 1969. Among 9/11 truthers, anti-vaxxers, chemtrailers, flat-Earthers, Holocaust deniers and Sandy Hook conspiracists, the idea that the moon landings were faked isn’t even a source of anger any more – it is just a given fact.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jul/10/one-giant-lie-why-so-many-people-still-think-the-moon-landings-were-faked

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

FYI Saturday

While IST is basically a political and foreign policy blog I do try to write stuff on the weekends that can be FYI…..

Food and food prep is always a good topic.

I have worked as a chef in the past and I do all the cooking for me and Sue…..I like to cook and I also like to point out the trends and fads that may not be a good move.

This Saturday it is the use of coconut oil for food prep.

Just a couple of short years ago, it seemed that coconut oil could do no wrong. Practically out of nowhere, it was being touted incessantly as a “superfood,” thanks to claims that it helps burn fat and curbs hunger, among other impressive feats. Just recently, however, a Harvard professor fired the metaphorical shot heard ’round the world by saying that coconut oil is “pure poison.” This came not too long after the release of updated guidelines by the American Heart Association (AHA), which urged people to steer clear of saturated fatty acids, among them coconut oil.

The leap from “superfood” to “pure poison” is pretty big. Like, Grand Canyon big. So, which is it?

Not surprisingly, the answer lies somewhere in the middle, and could even change again once more research is done. Melissa Majumdar is a registered dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She points out that, despite popular and prevalent claims to the contrary, currently there’s insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of coconut oil for issues like diabetes, weight loss, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and thyroid problems.

https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/coconut-oils-superfood-pure-or-poison.htm

A few friends have taken to using coconut oil to cook with and I have shown them the report on their choice…..just to be FYI.

Now I admit I use to love Bananas Fosters….that flaming dessert…..now speaking about fire with food……

Another fad that baffles me is the trend of sushi…to me it is bait on a plate…..but now it appears that it is bursting into flames…..

The same phenomenon that causes overheated compost piles to spontaneously combust has been causing fires in sushi restaurants. The culprit is deep-fried tempura flakes, also known as agedama or tenkasu, which have been linked to five restaurant fires in Wisconsin alone, the New York Times reports. Fire investigator Kara Nelson says the flakes, used to give sushi rolls some crunch, are made by deep-frying batter, putting it through a colander, and letting the mixture rest in a bowl for hours, often overnight. She says the dense piles often do not allow heat to dissipate properly and they end up igniting after anywhere from three to 10 hours. Security camera footage from a Madison restaurant showed the mixture combusting six hours after it had been left to cool.

“As they deep fry it in batches, they put it into a colander or a mesh strainer in batches, so they’re basically adding heat every time,” Nelson tells Wisconsin Public Radio. She says the batches were sometimes piled together in a metal bowl, which trapped the heat. “So the heat builds and builds, and once it hits ignition temperature, that’s when a fire occurs,” Nelson says. She says her department has been trying to spread the word about the fire hazard. Her department recommends spreading the batter out on a baking sheet so heat can dissipate—and says restaurants should make the mixture in the mornings so they can keep an eye on it during the day instead of leaving it unattended overnight.

One last FYI topic for this Saturday……not so much about cooking just a new fad……

We go get a facial, pedi-cure, manicure….but now there is a new trend (there is always a new trend)…..a butt facial….yep you read that right…a butt facial…..

RPK spent years as Dr. Lancer’s star aesthetician before opening her own skin-care studio in Beverly Hills last year. “The butt facial has been a summer time request for a while,” Khalsa tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But a lot more people are wearing thongs or very high-cut swimwear.”
 
Her customized treatment (prices from $150) starts with a thorough cleanse followed by an exfoliant “which might be manual or dermabrasion or a chemical peel depending on the client,” she says. The methods includes zapping any blemishes with a high-frequency device to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, hydrating and a final spell under an LED light panel.

Speak of cooking….time for breakfast my favorite meal…..plus MoMo needs her meal as well and Ignore her at my own peril.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The Call For “National Service” (Again)

Looks like the political “idea” of the week will national service…..Mayor Pete made news with his reiteration of his plan from a couple months ago…….https://lobotero.com/2019/04/23/petes-national-service/

More news on Mayor Pete’s plan……

Pete Buttigieg hopes to see 1 million more young people volunteer to serve their country, and not just in the military. The Democratic presidential candidate, who signed up for the Navy Reserve after college and was deployed to Afghanistan, announced a plan Wednesday to create new service corps opportunities centered on senior care, climate issues, and community health, the Washington Post reports. One year of service would entitle participants to student loan relief. Buttigieg has spoken of his military experience as transformative, especially the connections he formed with people of different backgrounds and beliefs. “You shouldn’t have to go to war in order to have that kind of experience,” he said in a statement, “which is why I am proposing a plan to create more opportunities for national service.”

There’s a demand for such opportunities, Buttigieg says. The acceptance rate is 13% for AmeriCorps, 25% for the Peace Corps, and 20% for the military, per Vox. The Democrat’s plan would immediately raise the number of available national service positions from the current 75,000 to 250,000, per Politico. The recruiting emphasis would be on students at high schools, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and vocational schools, and anyone between 16 and 24 who isn’t in school or working. The program would be run by a chief service officer and would aim to eventually establish a pipeline for as many as 4 million high school graduates every year to enter national service. The potential cost wasn’t specified. Buttigieg said he hopes that “Where did you serve?” someday becomes as basic a question in a job interview as “Where did you go to college?” is now

Mayor Pete is not alone in his call for a national service…..Gen. McChrystal also thinks a “national service” is a stellar idea….

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal led U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan during his long military career. He was in charge of Joint Special Operations Command, the nation’s premiere military counter-terrorism force. But, quoting Abraham Lincoln, McChrystal told “CBS This Morning” Monday the greatest threat to the U.S. isn’t abroad.

“Describing what would destroy the United States, the greatest threat, he said there’d never be a foreign power who could do that. If we would die, it would be by national suicide,” McChrystal said. “I think that’s true.”

The general said people learn responsibility through experience and the ability to serve.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/retired-general-stanley-mcchrystal-advocates-for-one-year-national-service-campaign/

Back in 2008 when the idea was floated by the two presidential candidates….I was not impressed but a lot of water has rushed under that bridge…….today I see it as a way to pull this country back together from the massive divisions that are tearing it apart.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2008/09/12/national-service-not-lip-service/

https://lobotero.com/2019/04/23/petes-national-service/

 

North Korea And Nukes

While the mindless are focused on the so-called “Squad of Four” the world continues to suck….but that is alright we can start a new mindless chant.

We have all sorts of “good” news on North Korea at least according to Our Own Beloved Supreme Leader…..the most important thing that the Trump admin is thumping its chest over is the possibility that DPRK is that the nukes may soon be a thing of the past…….

The assumption that North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons, no matter the security guarantees or economic incentives, may finally be put to the test according to a report that the Trump administration is considering a groundbreaking diplomatic proposal to end its decades-long commitment to maximum pressure.

Based on comments from an unidentified source in the White House close to the diplomatic effort, Yeonhap News reported on July 11 that the Trump administration is considering an offer of 12-18 months of sanctions relief on critical coal and textile industries in return for North Korea dismantling its main nuclear complex in Yongbyon and a continued freeze on nuclear weapons development. The administration is also said to be considering a declaration ending the Korean War if Kim Jong-un’s government agrees to this proposal.

Why North Korea May Relinquish Its Nukes

But Not So Fast!

Seems the rhetoric is the same.

North Korea on Tuesday suggested it might call off its 20-month suspension of nuclear and missile tests because of summertime US-South Korean military drills that the North calls preparation for an eventual invasion, the AP reports. The statement by the North’s Foreign Ministry comes during a general deadlock in nuclear talks, but after an extraordinary meeting of the US and North Korean leaders at the Korean border that raised hopes that negotiations would soon resume. The comments ramp up pressure on the United States ahead of any new talks. “It is crystal clear that it is an actual drill and a rehearsal of war aimed at militarily occupying our Republic by surprise attack and rapid dispatch of large-scale reinforcements,” the foreign ministry of North Korea said, per Business Insider.

North Korea has had longstanding antipathy toward US-South Korean military cooperation, which the allies call defensive and routine but the North sees as hostile. At the dramatic June 30 meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump, the leaders agreed to resume nuclear diplomacy that had been stalled since their failed second summit in Vietnam in February. Despite the seeming mini-breakthrough, there has been little public progress since. North Korea wants widespread relief from harsh US-led sanctions in return for pledging to give up parts of its weapons program, but the US is demanding greater steps toward disarmament before it agrees to relinquish the leverage provided by the sanctions.

NK’s new constitution seems to refute the notion that they would give up their nukes….

North Korea released an amended version of its constitution last Thursday, in which the preface continues to identify the country as a nuclear weapons state. This language indicates that Kim Jong Un’s true intent for nuclear negotiations is to preserve his nuclear arsenal despite U.S. demands for verifiable denuclearization.

North Korea’s legislature, the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), revised the constitution when it met in April, yet Pyongyang did not release the full text of the revised document until last week. One notable change to the constitution is Kim Jong Un’s new status as North Korea’s official head of state, a position previously held by a figurehead. The SPA also deleted multiple references to the Songun, or “military-first,” policy of Kim’s father, former leader Kim Jong Il. This may point toward a stronger emphasis in Pyongyang on economic reforms and strengthening the nation’s science and technology sectors. It would be a mistake, however, to infer that Kim Jong Un is shifting his objectives away from national militarization.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/07/15/amended-north-korean-constitution-reaffirms-kim-jong-uns-steadfast-faith-in-his-nuclear-arsenal/

Looks like Kim is trying to play Trump ….again.

It could work because this situation, the nukes and DPRK, is the only thing that he, Trump, has to offer the world as far as foreign policy goes.

The three key actors in the Korean Peninsula crisis are demonstrating why a solution should be anchored in an international coalition and international institutions. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un shows signs that he is ready to trade nuclear and ICBM capabilities for security and economic development. US President Donald Trump appears prepared to make a deal, but his advisors and political party oppose UN sanctions relief. And South Korean President Moon Jae-in has so far been unwilling to articulate and promote a deal that would attract Trump and Kim.

Time to internationalise diplomacy with North Korea

What Trump is doing with NK is not diplomacy but rather an ego trip…if it works I will be surprised and will give credit where credit is due.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”