Wednesday assorted links


#1. " soon would put a man on the Moon. And if it could do all this, it ought to be able to do yet more wonderful things, "

Seinfeld said people would be more complacent and less angry if we didnt land a man on the moon. "They cant make a prescription bottle top that is easy to open? I am not surprised they couldn't land a man on the moon."

I'm still very offended by all the transgender pronouns I'm hearing. I almost never want to leave the house.

Why does thiago boast of sensibilities superior to those apparent in the brute; it only renders him more necessary (dependent) beings.

Jordan Peterson
or more empirically more likely
middleclassweatherman /working hero
ryan adams

check out the guitar solo on
gosh I love toast

ryan adams is at redrocks on the 14th
hey that is tomorrow

Unfortunately, Trump's video reminds me of this:

DJT looked deeply into Un's eyes and got a sense of his soul.

The Trump video is really bizarre; even though I broadly support him, I cringed throughout. Who knows though, maybe it'll work. Given that Dennis Rodman is apparently now America's top diplomat, nothing would surprise me.

It's just a pity that the linked WaPo article is, to put it mildly, a pack of utter lies - not to mention the terrible clickbait title. They claim that the video contains "a montage portraying North Korea as some sort of paradise" - when the montage is obviously about what North Korea could become if they play ball. Even Pravda would be ashamed to publish that.

The title is not clickbait, at least anymore than any headline is. As noted by this quote - 'They are playing a propaganda video before Trump presser. Not kidding. What is happening??!!' — Andrew Beatty

'Clickbait' is a stylistic gripe - if you disagree, fine, that's your judgment.

The fact that the article is based around a gigantic lie is the much more serious point.

'The fact that the article is based around a gigantic lie'

Um, a reasonable person would assume that a reader would know that North Korea has no high speed trains, for example - 'Suddenly, two huge screens on either side of the empty podium came to life. Soaring music boomed over the speakers, and the reporters were bombarded with a montage portraying North Korea as some sort of paradise.

Golden sunrises, gleaming skylines and high-speed trains. Children skipping through Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang. North Korean flags fluttering between images of Egyptian pyramids, the Taj Mahal and the Lincoln Memorial.'

Your belief that this depicts today's North Korea is not really tenable, though that is based on the idea that a typical reader would already know that North Korea also lacks gleaming skylines.

"Your belief that this depicts today's North Korea is not really tenable"

That's not his belief and you know it, so why be a POS?

It's what he does.

Tuesday originally wrote 'They claim that the video contains "a montage portraying North Korea as some sort of paradise"'

I cite the text and point out why one can assume that Tuesday's claim is untenable at best.

Would you approve of this improved summation instead - 'Your belief *that anyone believes* that this depicts today's North Korea is not really tenable.' Because you are right - Tuesday does not believe that North Korea is a paradise, he just apparently thinks everyone else is stupid and/or ignorant, and thus would believe in the Post's 'gigantic lie.'

Read it again, buddy. I made no claims about North Korea being a paradise.

The Washington Post makes the following claim: -- Trump's video portrays North Korea as a paradise --

This claim is factually false. And yes, probably quite a few people will believe it - particularly those who didn't watch the video or were not really paying attention when watching it.

'Read it again, buddy.'

You are right, which is why the immediate comment you are responding to says this - 'Would you approve of this improved summation instead - 'Your belief *that anyone believes* that this depicts today's North Korea is not really tenable.''

For the second time, here is the quote from the article - 'and the reporters were bombarded with a montage portraying North Korea as some sort of paradise.'

The ambiguity associated with the lack of an actual future tense in English does not go away when you decide to rewrite what the Post said using the present tense - 'Trump's video portrays North Korea.'

It just means you rewrote the text, then claim your rewriting proves the Post engaged in telling a gigantic lie.

'And yes, probably quite a few people will believe it'

And to repeat - do you really think ' everyone else is stupid and/or ignorant, and thus would believe in the Post's 'gigantic lie.''?

The entire world - outside of North Korea - has known for decades what an impoverished country it is.

In what way is it "propaganda"?

Well, from the article, one possible reason that Western reporters thought it was North Korean propaganda - 'Some journalists, unable to understand the Korean-language narration, assumed they were watching one of Pyongyang’s infamous propaganda films. “What country are we in?” asked a reporter from the filing center.'

Well, no one that we know of actually said that. One reporter heard some Korean language and apparently couldn't understand what country he was in (Singapore).

Propaganda is when they do it. When we do it, it's fake news.

The video was crass but a brilliant strategic move. Trump needs to convince the world that a deal with North Korea is a win for everybody. This is particularly important for Kim, who *needs* this to look like a win for his people.

Two years ago I thought there were only two possible outcomes for North Korea: A radioactive puddle, or millions of starving and unskilled refugees. Now we have a third option: Global investment brings N. Korea into the developed world.

Trump can't just say this in a speech. The media will ruthlessly pick the idea apart, and the public probably won't even care.

Instead he puts together a whacky video that he knows will proliferate across the whole world in hours.

The video sells the idea far more convincingly than Trump could have done with words alone (trumps words have zero or negative credibility) and people are so busy talking about how strange the video is that they don't even challenge its content.

I'd venture a guess that almost every person who has watched the video thinks that the chance of N. Korea reaching a solution is the same or higher than it was prior to Shanghai. And a lot of people have watched the video.

I agree. This was a good move and the tactics used were probably the only ones that might work.

Perhaps it takes a narcissist to convince a narcissist.

Convincing NK that it is in their best interest to join the international community is so very clearly the best resolution to this conflict.

It’s a win/win for everyone involved, save maybe for the millions of “handmaids” that have been butchered, starved, or worked to death in concentration camps in NK...

But in any case, bravo for Trump here. Perhaps some good will come out of the worst president in American history after all.

Anti-trumpers should drop their desire for Trump to fail at everything and give credit where credit is due. This was well played if even for all the wrong reasons (who knows really at this time).

For the sake of the common good, let’s roll with this and leave the final justice to God. No one escapes final justice.

"Perhaps some good will come out of the worst president in American history after all." How much good can you really do on Netflix?

Apparently more than you can do running a scam at Trump University.

Scam at one college (not even Trump )is worse than the scam at a thousand US colleges? Not even close. Stupid comment.

"Convincing NK that it is in their best interest to join the international community is so very clearly the best resolution to this conflict."

Again, what does it tell North Korean leaders they do not know already and how it takes care of their fears of liberalization.

mebbe the video is like a dondraperdoritos ad for a new
orangeflavored dorito
at halftime on superbowl sunday a day
when your more evolutionararily more
apt to try a new flavor of doritos

As I said, maybe it'll work. I can buy that it gets more exposure and is somehow more immune to criticism than if he just said it. Scott Adams, whose judgment is much better than mine on matters of persuasion, thinks it's the best thing ever.

To Pat (below), I disagree about who the target audience is. Sure, Kim Jong-Un and his government are a big component of the audience - but clearly Trump wanted to persuade the American public with it too. Otherwise why show it to a huge room of reporters?

Trump is a very stable genius playing some 7D chess, amirite?

Or... even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

Christopher Johnson McCandless
her son, ilt=41

The offices of the newspaper The Riverdale Press are firebombed in the Bronx. The attack came shortly after the paper published an article defending Salman Rushdie over his book the Satanic Verses. feb 28 1989....alexander supertramp 189, alex and suptramp, crick and watson

Matthew 3:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

"Or... even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while."

Over and over, and over again. I'm good with that.

'Two years ago I thought there were only two possible outcomes for North Korea'

Well, in 2013, the idea of international investment was also in play - and yet, here we are, 5 years later.

As noted in an article from 2013 - 'In a bid to revitalize his country’s moribund economy, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants to ramp up foreign investment. This should be cause for celebration among the long-suffering North Koreans—but is it a good move for Kim? Considering that foreign money and capitalist enterprise directly contradict “self-reliance,” the founding tenet of the North Korean state, the country’s young dictator’s strategy might be a dicier idea than he realizes.

Of course, Pyongyang has cautiously allowed a small amount of international investment in the past. But Kim now looks to be planning an economic overhaul geared toward attracting foreign capital, tapping German expertise to lay the groundwork for that influx, according to German media. This marks the latest sign that Kim is extending experiments with global trade that picked up at the end of the tenure of his late father, Kim Jong-il. As of a year ago, around 30 European companies had invested in North Korea, Businessweek reported.'

I'm trying to recall why the US was discouraging NK investment...there was something...oh - right. The breach of the non-proliferation treaty and development of nuclear weapons!

Also, the people who could only imagine two options in North Korea - nuclear war or mass refugee crisis - have massively stunted imaginations. After all, the most likely result was the status quo - North Korea an international pariah due to violations of the NPT, but the regime maintaining a firm grip on thing at home, with the tacit support of China.

Herewith I insult Mr. Rodman.

Dennis Rodman could not have been less successful in dealing with PDRNK than was each State Secretary since, and including, President Carter.

All the "smart kids" and their Ivy League theories have been busts. That's a less-reported cause for the widespread wailing and gnashing of teeth over Trump.

Donald Trump thinks Kim Jong Un is a noble soul who is deeply misunderstood by the world.

In other news, two Norwegian legislators nominated President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. He should be nominated three or four more times over his six-and-one-half more years as President.

Calling Trump a "dotard" is still the sickest burn of all time.

I respect ross Douthat but his article is like this: I shunned the face of man; all sound of joy or complacency was torture to me solitude was my only consolation—deep, dark, death-like solitude. --mary shelley

I expect most Americans to find the video to be ridiculous but they are not who the makers of the video want to pursuade.


for that, for that

Disagree with this quote from #4: "Seven billion people inhabit planet earth. Of those alive today, only a small number will leave a lasting impact."

Pareto Principle dictates 20% of the effort makes up 80% of the outcome. Small is up for debate.

The entire statement assumes implicit values would be generally agreed on. Who has greater "impact", a father on welfare, a teacher, a professor of English Lit, a Physicist, a clerk at Starbucks or a neurosurgeon? It is utter nonsense to think that the "impact" we attribute to one person or another is in anyway objective.

Who has greater "impact", a father on welfare, a teacher, a professor of English Lit, a Physicist, a clerk at Starbucks or a neurosurgeon?

Depends on their WAR (wins-above-replacement) ratings, doesn't it? A below-average neurosurgeon who took a residency slot from somebody who would have done better should be considered to have a net negative impact, no?

The forum where we all get ro vote on the value of all goods and services is, likely what we should use to determine value. Even though the government badly distorts market it hasour best instrument for measuring the preferences of the public at large.

'It’s very effective' at making people think that North Korean propaganda was playing before the President of the United States of America appeared.

There is an old Doonesbury cartoon where a certain character, after seeing Elvis bring George Bush out before performing, says to Trump (yes, really) - 'See, this is why I got off drugs. Who can tell the difference anymore?'

Two megalomaniacs in Singapore, both lying through their teeth thinking the the others and the world has bought their unique version of hokum. Trump, by far, certainly seems the one buying it...

4. Is it me or do Asians know how to play Donald Trump? Kim gets Trump to stop military exercises with South Korea and drop trade sanctions and the US gets a whole lot of nothing in return. China gets Trump to protect Chinese jobs (?) and drop sanctions against ZTE and again, the US gets what in return? Ivanka and Jared meanwhile get a couple of Chinese business deals approved the same day. Art of the Deal or Art of the Steal?

Are you aware that China just unilaterally lowered import tarrifs?

No, of course you are unaware. The media doesn't dare mention this because it might be considered a Trump win.

Maybe the media doesn't report Trump's wins because Trump doesn't have many wins.

That seems like all the more reason why they SHOULD report the ones that exist

They do but it gets drowned out by another unforced error that is Trump's tweets. That and his millions of scandals.

Yeah, it looks like Kim gets to keep his nukes. You can kiss denuclearization goodbye. Trump is living up to his conman image after all.

You have it all wrong. Trump lets Kim keep the nukes because he's playing 5D chess while Kim is playing Chinese checkers. Chess. But with more dimensions. All part of the very stable genius plan.

The video was "effective" at accomplishing what, exactly?
NK hasn't committed to doing anything, there isn't a framework or plan to make anything real happen, and all that I can see being different today than 10 years ago is that now NK is a legitimate state, armed with nuclear weapons which it would be insane to ever let go of.

Oh, and they may get a boodle of cash to remain safely in power.

It was an effective humiliation of the US

#1 _ Interview with a Foolish Lawyer

Our U.S. Congress is irresponsible & dysfunctional -- therefore, the simple solution is for Congress to pass a new law requiring itself to be responsible & functional.

Brilliant ! And this gem comes from a prestigious law professor.

How did lawyers ever get such a bad reputation with the public (?)
Wonder if there are any lawyers in Congress....

Tyler linked Ian Bremmer on Twitter. I like that one better. It covers a lot of ground and shows how some positive and negative takes can be true at the same time.

Do newly minted import tariffs on steel and aluminum count as deregulation?

#5 - It's amazing that Williamson needed such a long post just to say that the rejected Swiss proposal amounted to a clear separation of the payments system from the financial system. He doesn't like the proposal because it amounted to a centralization of the payments system in the Central Bank (something that Perón did in the late 1940s). Since he acknowledges to know little about the consequences of such separation (today it'd be much easier to implement except for the strong opposition of commercial banks), he invites economists to study it further. Don't expect it to happen, however. One implication could be the end of monetary policy as we know it --one of the few toys that academic and professional economists can rely upon to earn a living.

Alas some sort of censorship software stops me watching the video.

BTW, on rational expectations and rational markets ... we all shorted coal and nukes, right? Because 3 cents per kWh solar is harshes their plans.

The EIA estimate for solar entering service in 2022 is 60 cents per kWh.

It is one of the more amazing things at the EIA can "predict" future rates higher than the current market.

You're talking about ONE project.

The iPhone was ONE phone.

For the heck of it, I looked that up.

On Tuesday [September 12, 2017], the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that utility-grade solar panels have hit cost targets set for 2020, three years ahead of schedule. Those targets reflect around $1 per watt and 6¢ per kilowatt-hour in Kansas City, the department’s mid-range yardstick for solar panel cost per unit of energy produced (New York is considered the high-cost end, and Phoenix, Arizona, which has much more sunlight than most other major cities in the country, reflects the low-cost end).

I spent some time looking into it and the EIA numbers are old. And that Levelized cost was predicted per Watt, not per kWH.

The current low figure is around $0.06 per kWH. That's till higher than the marginal cost of coal and natural gas. But the trends are good for solar.

Off topic trolling as usual (but not as bad as TR). Eliminate the subsidies and see how well the solar hucksters do in places less ideal than sunny, arid climates and deal with the duck curve.

Drill, baby, drill!

I do what I can to impart a little bit of wisdom. And capitalism.

Nevada Power, a utility owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has signed a deal to build more than 1GW of new large-scale solar in the US, with power purchase agreements starting as low as $US21.55/MWh, a record low in the US

To be honest I also thought you'd appreciate something non Trump news.

You forgot the 30% tax credit, and Nevada (unlike that socialist hellhole Germany) qualifies as a sunny, arid climate ideal for solar. No mention of a solution to the duck curve either.

TDS is more amusing.

Who is trolling now? One article I linked talked about that tax credit, the other named 6 cents (damn good) as the unsubsidized cost.

Update your priors people. You are viewing 2020 technology with 1970s perspective.

Some of us have better things to do than to try to read every last one of your stinkin' replies to other commenters on this even stinkier comment system before replying to you.

As I say, I'm just trying to help you with those erroneous priors.

My "priors" are not erroneous. Solar ain't a silver bullet despite the agitprop from its boosters (as several people note in the responses).

Keep digging, though, and you may find the next oil or gas field!

I'm glad you have moved to the La La Land of imaginary goals like silver bullets!

You must have me confused with these folks residing in the La La Land of the SF Bay Area:

"Low-cost solution to the grid reliability problem with 100% penetration of intermittent wind, water, and solar for all purposes"

No one on this page claimed that "the large-scale conversion to 100% wind, water, and solar" was imminent.

This is about marginal change to the grid as new technology becomes available.

Then there's no reason for us or rational markets to dwell on it.

There is. It makes you very, very upset. That deeply gladdens my soul.

I think this is the same reason we have babies getting split up from their mothers at the border. Pat yourself on the back for the world you have created.

Families are split up because Trump made it so. He's President after all. Elections have consequences. If you don't like it, then vote.

Oh no, agitprop! What are we going to do? This is how you know solar is winning. The desperate name-calling from Saudi boot lickers.

TDS is fun! You should try it before you knock it. Really easy to do too. You'll have lots of fun. I guarantee it!

Solar and wind even without subsidies already beats coal. Cloudy places like Germany are perfectly content with the choices they make. Now let's take away all the subsides for oil which includes stateside tax breaks, ground water pollution from fracking, and supremely expensive things like Middle Eastern wars and we'll see how well that works out. Not having to kiss the ring of Saudi Arabia is also a plus that cannot be discounted.

Yes, effective at *what* would be good to know.

OK, since Anon7 demands related news, you all know what #2 was about, right?

A further, very serious, note on this: Trump just said Kim Jong Un was "tough" when he murdered people to maintain his bloody dictatorship.

Some of us spotted Trump as an idiot-authoritarian in 2016. If we are surprised by anything now, it is how openly he wears it.

It's very amusing when you're being VERY serious about your TDS, though not as amusing as when you're being supercalifragilisticexpialidocious serious.

Here's the weird thing about Derangement Syndromes. In the past it was about people floating weird conspiracy theories, things that were not supported by fact.

Now, because of this "special" presidency, people say "TDS" when they want to wave off true facts and real news.

Well, I think you were behind on your prior is here too. Basically everyone knows that the conventional meaning of TDS is dead. It died a gruesome death sometime in 2017.

Today "TDS" has a flipped meaning. It is about the people who hide from the news, to maintain a siloed (erroneous prior) view of the world.

Trying for supercalifragilisticexpialidocious serious, I see.

You have the real TDS, don't you. Don't you,

Just can't #resist being supercilious about how very serious you are, can you.

That is some serious comedy when yo think about it.

The final fallback of the new TDS is "no one think about the president!"

TDS is good for you, you should try it. I've made so many more friends with TDS, Dems turn out to be good drinking buddies (they split Uber fare!). My life has been a whole lot of fun now that we can ALL make fun of Trump. Try it, you might like it.

When the true facts get this weird, what do you do?

Perhaps Donald will do a video for Iran.

Donald and the Mullah.

Playing this weekend at local theatres.

Maybe Donald can remake that latest Star Wars movies. What a stinker it was.

#4 A more appealing model for North Korea.

That's no less a fantasy. The reality:

A dictionary:

TDS - conventional (previous administrations) derangement. Believing crazy things, unsupportable by facts in evidence. Wild guesses. Conspiracy theories. Birthers, 9/11 Truthers, etc.

New TDS - unconventional (current administration) derangement. Avoiding real things, true facts, because they might threaten your worldview.

New-New TDS - that feeling when the true news stream is so constantly horrible, bizarre (example below) that you, as a contrarian to your core, think it can't be this bad. It looks so bad it must be good!

An observation and a question on morality.

The observation: I find the old Leninist term "useful idiot" better than "tankie."

The question: suppose you could get North Korea to denuclearize, and normalize relations, and get a peace treaty, and start of the process of moderate liberalization in North Korea that we have seen in China, and reduce the odds of conventional war. All you have to do is make a great deal of effusive and dishonest flattery of narcissistic psychopath, feeding his vanity. Would you do it? Would Kant? Would a utilitarian? That is the choice Trump may have felt he faced with Rocket Man. We will see how the choice turns out.

I have noted that the Democrat liberals blasting Trump never attacked Nixon for shaking hands with Mao (!!!) or the Soviet leadership in 1972. Or FDR's being buddies with Stalin (!!!).

And yet what would the Repub conservatives have been doing to Obama if he did exactly what Trump is doing with Kim? Rhetorical question.

I might be somewhat utilitarian, but for me there is no hesitation that you should flatter Kim if that helps toward liberalizing this country. In general, I can't think of the question of what to do with dictators and autocrats (including "legitimate" kings) in other terms than "utilitarian". For instance, "Louis XVI must die or the revolution is not absolute", as Robespierre said, in other words "for the revolution to succeed and be irreversible, Louis XVI must die", is to me a valid reason to kill Louis XVI, if we assume it is correct and that the French revolution is a good thing. In the same way, I am happy that Ben Ali is enjoying long vacations in KSA instead of rotting in a Tunisian prison, because it may help overthrow other dictators in the future, by encouraging them to flee rather than fight.

China anf Xi have shown North Korea a path forward. I'm not sure Trump and America are critical to it. Now that Korea is secure as a nuclear power they can think about their next transition. What they probably have in mind is a "modern" authoritarian state.

I do think it is foolish to take North Korea at face value on "denuclearization." Is Trump doing that? Are you?

Joining with Stalin to defeat Hitler and the Nazis is rather different than flattering Kim Jong Un in order to...flatter Kim Jong Un. Meeting with Mao also helped exploit the Sino-Soviet split and ensure the creation of fissures in the communist world.

Context, as always, matters.

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