Thursday, August 10, 2017

President "Mouth" needs to end international tantrums. He is correct it is best leveled at McConnell. I find his wife's employment in the Executive Branch unconstitutional.

North Korea doesn't have to threaten Guam in order to have the attention of the region. There are many people within reach of missiles from North Korea.

April 19, 2017

Burrowed into hard granite (click here) mountain faces and protected behind blast doors, 15,000 North Korean cannons and rocket launchers are aimed at the glass skyscrapers, traffic-choked highways and blocks of apartment buildings 35 miles away in Seoul ― and the U.S. military bases beyond.

In a matter of minutes, these heavy, low-tech weapons could begin the destruction of the South Korean capital with blizzards of glass shards, collapsed buildings and massive casualties that would decimate this vibrant U.S. ally and send shock waves through the global economy....

The idea that North Korea has miniaturized nuclear weapons is somewhat irrelevant. North Korea is probably building a nuclear defense, but, it is nearly not necessary considering the growing distaste between Russia and the USA.

April 12, 2017
By Brian Wang

Russia in considering upgrading future T-14 main battle tnks (click here) to use the 2A83 152 mm gun instead of its current 2A82 125 mm gun. The 2A83 gun has a high-speed APFSDS shell with a 1,980 m/s muzzle velocity, only dropping to 1,900 m/s at 2 km.

However, Russian engineers have so far kept the 125 mm-size gun, assessing that improvements in ammunition could be enough to increase effectiveness, while concluding that a larger bore weapon would offer few practical advantage....

Think Ukraine.

The problem with miniaturized nuclear weapons goes far beyond North Korea. It is the state of play between countries that is reaching a fever pitch. North Korea is only part of it. NATO and Russia need to end their tensions and begin to rebuild peace into Europe and Asia. Donald Trump is useless in resolving the tensions in the world. Somewhere Trump spoke to Putin and made a blood pact between the two with the idea they could end nuclear proliferation and bring about peace. It's crazy. Trump is about money and Putin is about power. Who is being the fool?

Oh, by the way, Ukraine doesn't need ICBMs to defend itself. Think about it.

Russia really should appreciate peace and non-proliferation more than ever. Peace is to Russia's advantage. Nationalist politics is really not the way to go. 

How's it going, Vlad? Was Trump worth all this trouble? Really?

I really do believe the USA mission in Moscow is a good beginning for rebuilding trust with the next presidential elections, right?

April 20, 2017
By Clifford Krauss

Houston — Exxon Mobil (click here) is pursuing a waiver from Treasury Department sanctions on Russia to drill in the Black Sea in a venture with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, a former State Department official said on Wednesday. An oil industry official confirmed the account.

The waiver application was made under the Obama administration, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, and the company has not dropped the proposal.

The proposal is now before the Trump administration at a delicate time in Russian-American relations, with rising tensions over the war in Syria and a looming congressional inquiry into reports of Russian efforts to influence the United States presidential election.

The appeal did not come up during Senate confirmation hearings for Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, who was Exxon Mobil’s chief executive before his nomination by President Trump and was known to have a strong working relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. At the time, Mr. Tillerson and other company officials said they had not lobbied against the sanctions, which were imposed on Russia in response to its military intervention in Ukraine....

The Black Sea? Really? You mean the place where Crimea sits? That Black Sea? The place where NATO member Turkey is? That Black Sea?

April 21, 2017
By Clifford Krauss

Houston — The Trump administration (click here) delivered a setback to Exxon Mobil on Friday, announcing that it would not grant the oil giant a waiver from sanctions against Russia that would allow drilling in the Black Sea.

The decision, reinforcing barriers erected by the United States over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, was another sign that President Trump has been unwilling or unable to improve relations with the Kremlin early in his term, after pledging as a candidate that he would seek a thaw.

“In consultation with President Donald J. Trump,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a terse, prepared statement, “the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions.”

The prospect of a waiver had drawn denunciations from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. When news of Exxon Mobil’s proposal emerged this week, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, wrote in a Twitter post, “Are they crazy?”...
I would change lawyers if I was Paul Manafort, too. He is not the end of the investigation, there was an internet connection between banks in Russia and the Trump Organization during the time of sanctions by the Obama Administration.

With a grand jury in place, the indictments will be forthcoming.

A lawyer (click here) connected to murdered Putin foe Sergei Magnitsky has been thrown from a window in Moscow. He was a witness for the U.S.

The investigation of Russian meddling needs to realize their subjects might be in the sights of another group of interested parties.

Manafort was involved with Yanukovych. He is a very sensitive subject for Russia. I am impressed the FBI did as well as they did in entering his home. Well done. The information could not be in better hands. I would think Paul Manafort would breathe a sigh of relief to know records were no longer an issue for Russia.

I don't find Donald Trump's answer to a Russian order amusing.

To begin with, the American embassy anywhere in the world is sovereign territory. This is land consented to by Russia to conduct diplomatic relations and as a place where visiting Americans can find a friendly face. The Russian president ordered the USA to remove three-quarters of its staff. What is left, the security personnel and the Ambassador?

When a country becomes this hostile toward a diplomatic mission and diplomatic relations with the USA there is a more dangerous current within that demand. I don't see any Americans leaving Moscow. If Russia sees it differently it needs to make its case. The sanctions stand and their presence in the Ukraine is illegal by every measure of any diplomatic document that exists.

The American mission is beautiful. It respects Russian architecture. The Russian government needs to make its intentions known as to why the demands are being made to end the mission in Moscow.

July 30, 2017
By Neil MacFarquhar

Moscow — President Vladimir V. Putin (click here) announced Sunday that the American diplomatic mission in Russia must reduce its staff by 755 employees, an aggressive response to new American sanctions that seemed ripped right from the Cold War playbook and sure to increase tensions between the two capitals.

In making the announcement, Mr. Putin said Russia had run out of patience waiting for relations with the United States to improve.

“We waited for quite a long time that, perhaps, something will change for the better, we held out hope that the situation would somehow change,” Mr. Putin said in an interview on state-run Rossiya 1 television, which published a Russian-language transcript on its website. “But, judging by everything, if it changes, it will not be soon.”

Mr. Putin said the staff reduction was meant to cause real discomfort for Washington and its representatives in Moscow....

Day traders love Trump's tandrums. Bubble is over though.

These graphs show increases for the past five days. 


Since it was first fielded, Raytheon’s Patriot has been used by five nations in more than 200 combat engagements against manned and unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles, and tactical ballistic missiles. Since January of 2015, Patriot has intercepted more than 100 ballistic missiles in combat operations around the world; more than 90 of those intercepts involved the low-cost Raytheon-made Guidance Enhanced Missile family of surface-to-air missiles.
Those engagements were possible because Patriot is built on a foundation of more than 3,000 ground tests and over 1,400 flight tests.
Each and every time Patriot is tested or live fired, engineers uncover new ways to further improve or enhance the system.  The improvements are necessary because the threat is constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated.
When enemies attack, governments must be ready to defend their soldiers, citizens and infrastructure. That’s where THAAD comes in – one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world

Scientists have a real opportunity to engage the public with "Chasing Coral."

August 8, 2017

The ecological and economic value of coral reefs (click here) has long been understood, and the negative impacts of human activities on reef systems are well documented. This wealth of knowledge however, has not prevented the devastating and widespread decline in coral reefs.

The new documentary “Chasing Coral” about coral reefs will have its Tallahassee premiere from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Challenger Learning Center. After the film Dr. Sandra Brooke, coral researcher with FSU Coastal and Marine Lab, and Budd Titlow, professional wetland and wildlife biologist, author and photographer will participate in a 20 minute question and answer session. The movie is free; doors open at 6:30 (donations accepted).

Coastal development, fertilizers and pesticides have caused chronic water quality degradation that has increased turbidity, nutrient levels and pollutants in waters that were once crystal clear. To sensitive marine life, this is the equivalent of us breathing badly polluted air....

Add to that the new film by Al Gore and the conversation takes a real place in American lives.

Coral reefs support jobstourism, and fisheries. (click here)

Healthy coral reefs support commercial and subsistence fisheries as well as jobs and businesses through tourism and recreation. Approximately half of all federally managed fisheries depend on coral reefs and related habitats for a portion of their life cycles. The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates the commercial value of U.S. fisheries from coral reefs is over $100 million.

Local economies also receive billions of dollars from visitors to reefs through diving tours, recreational fishing trips, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses based near reef ecosystems.

Despite their great economic and recreational value, coral reefs are severely threatened by pollution, disease, and habitat destruction. Once coral reefs are damaged, they are less able to support the many creatures that inhabit them. When a coral reef supports fewer fish, plants, and animals, it also loses value as a tourist destination.

The National Marine Fisheries is not the only economic hub. Wall Street has a real reason to worry. The oceans have been some of the new focus for the pharmaceutical industry.

Coastal Protection: (click here) ...Coastlines protected by reefs are more stable, in terms of erosion, and are also a source of sand in natural beach replenishment...

Fisheries: estimate shows fisheries benefits account for $5.7 billion of the total $29.8 billion global net benefit provided by coral reefs. Sustainable coral reef fisheries in Southeast Asia alone are valued at $2.4 billion per year. These numbers do not take into account the value of deep-sea corals, which are themselves home for many commercially valuable species and thus additional fisheries value.

Medicine: Many species found in coral ecosystems produce chemical compounds for defense or attack, particularly the slow-moving or stationary species like nudibranchs and sponges. Searching for potential new pharmaceuticals, termed bioprospecting, has been common in terrestrial environments for decades. However, bioprospecting is relatively new in the marine environment and is nowhere close to realizing its full potential. Creatures found in coral ecosystems are important sources of new medicines being developed to induce and ease labor; treat cancer, arthritis, asthma, ulcers, human bacterial infections, heart disease, viruses, and other diseases; as well as sources of nutritional supplements, enzymes, and cosmetics. The medicines and other potentially useful compounds identified to date have led to coral ecosystems being referred to as the medicine cabinets of the 21st century by some, and the list of approved and potential new drugs is ever growing.

Tourism and Recreation:... One estimate places the total global value of coral-reef based recreation and tourism at $9.6 billion of the total global net benefit of coral reefs.

China got the best Trump deal.

October 8, 2017

Commenting (click here) on the recent reports that the Trump administration "appears to be granting Chinese banks dealing with North Korea a temporary reprieve from threatened US sanctions" after Beijing backed UN Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang, Russian political analyst Alexander Vorontsov told Sputnik that it is an obvious example of blackmail.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that "the Trump administration appears to be granting Chinese banks dealing with North Korea a temporary reprieve from threatened US sanctions to give Beijing time to show it is serious about enforcing new UN steps against Pyongyang."...

...Alexander Vorontsov, the head of the Department for Korean and Mongolian Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russia Academy of Sciences, told Sputnik that the US employs a 'carrot and stick' policy against China and is doing so in a "very pushy manner."...

An article in the state-run (click here) Korean Central News Agency written by an unnamed spokesman from the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that sanctions by the "hooligan" US have "only worked to redouble the indomitable spirit of our army and people, united as one following their leader… and increase the DPRK’s self-defensive capability." 

There is no reason for a Korean dictator to be nice and back away from war. This man has no chance for life for all the murders that have occurred under his regime. He isn't interested in progressing to a peace strategy. It is not as though his regime are liberators and radically committed murder to relieve the people of oppression.

It looks like India consumers are ready for a trade agreement with local USA governments. Governors need to take notice.

August 10, 2017

A recent survey of Indian consumers (click here) has suggested that 83 percent prefer Chinese goods over Indian ones, reports the big circulation Hindustan Times.
It showed that Indian consumers felt goods made in India were expensive, while Chinese goods are better value for money, and of better quality.
The online poll of 9,873 people by an Indian research company measured attitudes to similar products.
In all five surveys were carried out, asking whether Indian consumers preferred to buy Chinese goods, and if so whether that was true of all categories of goods.
Some 38 percent of those questioned said they favored Chinese durable consumer goods like mobile phones and other electronic devices, 15 percent would buy household and decorative products, and 10 percent would buy gifts items. Some 37 percent preferred Chinese goods in all the above-mentioned categories.
On the other hand, Indian consumers had higher expectations of Chinese goods. A total of 96 percent of consumers surveyed wanted the "Made in China" label clearly marked so that they could more easily decide whether to buy Chinese goods or not....

The VIX is what the markets are looking toward to thrive in the Trump years.

Trump adds another element to investment. He is not the typical USA president. If he ever decides to be a moral man he could actually improve the activity of the markets to reflect benevolent choices. 

I think South Korea needs to prepare for a conventional war. Seoul is on the DMZ. 

A pre-emptive strike will span a conventional war. 

If there is a sincere threat the people of Guam need to be provided real options. ALL the people, not just those with potential for a plane ticket.

This is a British website so the time of day is different.
August 10, 2017
By Alice Foster

NORTH Korea is preparing a missile strike near the US territory of Guam after dismissing Donald Trump ‘fire and fury’ warning as nonsense. Here are live updates and breaking news on North Korea v the USA.

11.30am: China keeps low profile as North Korea threats escalate (click here)
Beijing has kept a low profile in recent days after Donald Trump ignored China’s calls to calm tensions with North Korea by making his 'fire and fury' threat.  
Conflict on the Korean peninsula would affect China and in worst-case scenarios unleash a radioactive cloud or waves of refugees into its northeast. 
10.50am: Britain back UN process not Donald Trump's 'fire and fury' 
First Secretary of State Damian Green responded to Donald Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ warning by saying the “sensible way” to proceed is through the UN.   
"It is obviously in all our interests to make sure that nothing escalates," Mr Green told reporters during a visit to Edinburgh.

"We are very strongly in support of the UN process, which has and continues to put pressure on North Korea to stop acting in an irresponsible way, and we will continue strongly to support the UN process which will, I hope, help to de-escalate tensions."...                           

Homeowners need to provide greater incentives at every turn. Every home should have the opportunity to use solar energy.

Utility infrastructure still needs maintenance and requires employment. The sell back is an option that should be examined, but, the clean energy agenda is more important than ever. Utilities need to get used to that idea and address their business model. There will be little to no growth of methane use and/or any other fossil fuels. Clean energy cooperatives should be considered as a real option for energy production.

I thought the free market was the preferences of the USA. No? 

When are petroleum subsidies going to end? Petroleum products are ancient energy and should not be subsidized.