Showing posts from November, 2018

Nurturing Our Greatest Asset? Not So Much.

The Greatest Asset Any Country Has Is Its... WORKFORCE!
Just contemplate what makes up the United States workforce.  These are just the Ms and the Ss

It's pretty mind blowing to see the longer list, A to Z.
And it takes ALL these people, doing ALL these jobs and doing them well for our nation to get its business done. I.e. our workforce has got to be the best in the world for America to keep being the great place to live, raise families, and be the envy of the world for what we can do and what we stand for. A great workforce must be: Paid adequately Healthy Well educated Well Trained Treated fairly Given opportunity and Have high morale
Who is making sure America continues to have a great workforce?  Is it the Department of Labor? (Pshaw!) Is it Big Business? (Some yes, lots of no) Is it Small Business? (As best they can with their finances) Is it our great Public Education system? (Vastly underfunded as it is) Is it our Labor Unions? (Weakened, demonized)
OK, can we say our work force is NOT bei…

Here Come the Drone Swarm Weapons

And it looks like our military is getting ready for them.
I put this in the "good news" column, a rarely seen journalistic event these days.

These are just some of the electronic weapons the U.S. has in development. The story is in Aviation Week's e-newsletter here.

I'm in the habit of worrying out loud about how the Chinese are developing and deploying weapons that challenge the military supremacy of the U.S., one of our diminishing list of advantages in this troubled world.  No word on how they are doing in electronic warfare terms.  I would note that the largest, most successful drone manufacturing company in the world is DJI, a Chinese company.

Drone Swarm credit

Please Forward to Your Tree Hugger friends

THREATENED (by pending new logging rules)

...some of the last remaining old-growth stands of cedar, spruce, and hemlock on Earth.

Why? So that ancient timber can be harvested by the lumber industry. It will be sawn into immaculate, knot free, straight-grained, super expensive boards and beams. Where will they be used? Super expensive mansions and commercial buildings, of course. The  profit from this process (super, of course)? Nearly all will go to the executives and stockholders of the large timber companies.

It's a twofer! We can do irreparable damage to one of the last great temperate forests AND worsen the wealth disparities in the world. Can't get much worse than that, IMHO.

This is all happening at The 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest, located along the coast of southeastern Alaska....WAY UP THERE WHERE SONNY PERDUE (and our Prez) THINK WE WON'T NOTICE.  (Snarf, snarf)

The Pew Trusts noticed. Here's the stunning article.  

I just read it. Yay! I thought. Now we …

Stock Tip

Uh, Oh... Your Big Pharma Stox Might Be In Trouble!! (...along with your Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Twitter stox.)
As power shifts hands in Washington, a top analyst predicts an unavoidable war over rising drug prices by john carroll — on November 20, 2018 08:34 AM EST And [if you are a Republican] you can blame it on the Democrats. Hooray for our team! (Whichever)

Of course the Dems think the Big Pharma folks are ripping us off with continuing price increases for the drugs that keep a bunch of us alive.   Because, you know... profit!

scooter duffworx, Commentator w/tricks

Sneaking In My Advocacy for Single Payer    Single payer HEALTH INSURANCE, that is.
I've mentioned that I am an almost-compulsive "comment" writer on several newspaper sites. Haven't I?
Well, maybe two or three a day!  Whenever I see the chance, I sneak in something supporting "Medicare for all," "Single payer" or whatever. Check these three tap dances.

Washington Post -  David Ignatius: Hypersonics should make a Sputnik moment. 11.7.18 duffworx
Is the U.S. now even capable of a Sputnik moment? I'm worried that it's not, based on the 45% who apparently long for a plutocratic autocracy, yet are repelled by anything so "socialist" as keeping our workforce healthy with Single Payer, much less an national industrial policy. It's not just AI where the Hand of the Market is fumbling; the Chinese just demonstrated quantum radar - which greatly deteriorates our super-expensive stealth fleets. And don't get me started on hypersonics, su…

News You Probably Haven't Seen

And This Just in Our Little World from Southern New Mexico to Central Colorado Why you missed it if you don't live here. Hint: It's "evironmental" news

Here are a week's worth of big-time serious news, collected the New Mexico Political Report, a newsletter.

•On Sunday, wastewater from a well operated by BPX in southern Colorado leaked into the Animas Citizens Ditch and Animas River. As a precaution, the cities of Farmington and Aztecboth shut down the intake pumps that draw drinking water from the river. The Durango Herald and Farmington Daily Times

That's the same river system that took the hit from the Gold King Mine spill. 

• Fortunately, no one was hurt on Wednesday at a Noble Energy site when thousands of gallons of diesel fuel ignited inWeld County, ColoradoSmoke was visible in Denver and residents living within a mile of the accident were evacuated. ABC Denver Blair Miller

(BTW,  Colorado’s recent amendment requiring oil and gas wells be set back 2,500 fee…

Really Rotten Loser

The Judge Who Threw a Tantrum [Texas politics, doncha know]
Ousted GOP judge randomly released a group of defendants because that’s “what the voters wanted”*

MIFFED! (Ex-)Judge Republican Glenn Devlin arbitrarily released a bunch of juvenile defendants (some dangerous) because "That's what the Democrats wanted!" after he lost his race.  Very mature of you, Judge. (Kind of Trumpian, though.)

Judge cartoon credit
*Story source;  Story source 2

The NRA, Masters of Bad Timing

Whoo boy... The NRA Steps in It Big Time One day before the Thousand Oaks shooting

NRA: "“Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control,” the NRA tweeted. “Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves.” (Like call the NRA!)

Surgeons: "...

Replying to @NRA You’re never the ones elbows-deep in someone’s body trying to keep them from dying of their gunshot wounds. You’re never the ones telling someone their loved one is dead. Come into my trauma bay and deal with the results of your insanity with me, or stay out of MY lane.
292 5:53 AM - Nov 9, 2018
Plus a

Lovable Billionaire Immigrant*

Born in Russia, Dual British and American Citizenship Gives $200 Million to Harvard for Translational Medicine  ("Translating" scientific discoveries to actual drugs and treatments)
Amidst all the anti-immigrant shouting, there is the hard truth that new immigrants are America's most successful class of entrepreneurs.  Some 25% of all successful new startups in the country were founded by immigrants. Something about picking up and moving from one's country of origin to a new life in America identifies smart people with powerful risk-taking instincts. Check it out.

America's super power is it's diversity. 

* Those darn immigrants

There Goes the Stealthiness

Quantum Radar Can See the Stealthiest
Those Darn Chinese Did It Again...

China Shows Off First Quantum Radar PrototypeNov 5, 2018Aerospace Daily & Defense Report *

You surely know I'm worried about China taking the lead in critical fields**. This latest could be the most expensive (for us) yet, making our super-expensive stealth weapons quite visible.

How Many Billions Has and Is the U.S. Spending on Stealth?  QUITE A LOT, ACTUALLY.  $Billions and Billions and Billions (read "Trillions")

Here's the way it works (for "how does it work?" fans) The principle of quantum radar is well understood. The device creates a stream of entangled photons, which is then split into two streams. One of them is converted into a microwave frequency that is transmitted and reflected like a traditional radar. The other str