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Comment Re:That's great.. (Score 1) 81

Luckily, we have a fair number of historical examples drawn from the lower-tech world of competition for the water of a given river between multiple parties that live along it.

Atmospheric moisture flows require more sophistication to track and exploit; but conflict patters should be pretty similar. Good thing land wars in Asia never go poorly!

Comment IBM is MAKING NEW JOBS in the US (Score 5, Funny) 154

Last year they had only 422,000 jobs in the US, but this year they will be increasing that to 397,000 jobs! It's a win for everyone - more jobs, more cost savings, and 397,000 US jobs. How can you possibly argue with that?

Oh, and chocolate rations are going up again, too.

Comment Re:Own goal! (Score 2, Insightful) 109

Except, it's a non-fungible choice.

The US has led the free world for 70+ years, and is taken for granted by its allies and even the neutrals - the US military protects them, so they can spend $ on butter not guns (and then out-compete US industries). The US taxpayer's checkbook funds their social spending so they can complain freely about what a shithole America is.

We're spending $billions on foreign aid...that we have to BORROW FROM CHINA. That's like taking out a mortgage so you can continue making donations to United Way.

I've always been an internationalist, moreso than most of my peers but even I recognize that while of course there is enlightened self-interest in foreign aid, we've built a culture of world-addiction to American sacrifice. We're done spending blood and treasure to try to drag some shathole country into the 20th century, to say nothing of the 21st. ISIS is a problem? Yep, maybe fix your own country instead of fleeing to a nicer place. You're overwhelmed with troublesome refugees? Maybe a coast guard or even some semblance of border security is YOUR problem, we're not taking any of them.

No, I would say instead that a few years of China will help the US enormously

Submission + - President Trump Signs Executive Order to Withdraw from the TPP (freezenet.ca)

Dangerous_Minds writes: President Donald Trump has signed an executive order for the US to pull out of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It was a campaign promise he is seemingly following through on. The agreement would have instituted laws that would unmask DNS registrants trying to protect their privacy, added criminal liability to the circumvention of a DRM (Digital Rights Management), mandated government spying on online copyright infringement, and even allow enforcement of copyright laws even when infringement does not take place. For many, the move represents a significant blow to the future of the agreement.

Comment Re:Any opinions on thorium? (Score 4, Informative) 286

The main problem is that the "Nukes = BOMBZ!" crowd has so poisoned this country's regulatory structure with regards to nuclear power, that you have to have more money than Gates just to talk with them. Let alone starting up a project.

Then you have to set aside millions to defend against lawsuits.

Basically all these "dealing with fucking idiots" costs, NOT the budgeting for decommission and cleanup, is what skews the costs of nuclear so damn much.

Basically we need nuclear to get off fossil fuels in the near term.

If we can rebuild our grid system to accept distributed inputs better, and give battery storage tech another generation or two, it's ENTIRELY possible that renewables like wind and solar, augmented by Hydro and some minimal use of nuclear could supply this entire country.

Some other things that could help.

Adopting newer building codes that go beyond "Well, this worked in 1939!" But adopting codes that would specify mew buildings at least come CLOSE to NetZero standards. Doing so would increase construction price a few percent. But, ultimately, the homeowner would get all that money back when selling the home. Money burnt (literally) on monthly utility bills is cash you'll NEVER get back.

Hell, simply reinsulating and re-facing the exterior of an existing home can DRASTICALLY bump up the energy efficiency of the home.

Better education of builders on newer technologies like SIP panels and ICF (and moving away from pure "stick" construction).

Reducing energy use like this, better than any "green energy bling" is what will motivate people to look into things like rooftop solar and energy storage.
Right now, most homes consume a ridiculous amount of power. Even if nothing's going on.
Decimating power usage, and now people can get away with a modest battery array and an affordable solar setup that begins paying back IMMEDIATELY.
And then, if you have a whole bunch of cloudy days, because your house is running more efficiently, you can stretch your battery usage longer or charge up from the grid during cheap, off-peak times.

Submission + - Trump withdraws US from TPP 1

MrKaos writes: On his first full day in office, US President Donald Trump has lived up to his promise of killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

President Trump began recasting America's role in the global economy on Monday, canceling an agreement for a sweeping trade deal with Asia as one of his first official White House actions.

Trump has told union leaders the TPP “wasn’t the right way,” and that he would pursue one on one deals with countries rather than multinational agreements.

News of the order is being carried by CNN, BBC, and The Guardian.

Comment Cheaper than Shipping? Hardly. (Score 4, Informative) 356

In case anyone was wondering, shipping costs have NEARLY NOTHING to do with this.

The Ocean Freight industry - particularly Trans-Pacific East-Bound (ie China to US) has had long term overcapacity issues for a decade, Depending on who you're talking to, essentially for every $100 they make, the industry has been spending $105-$110 for more than a handful of years.
It got to a point that last year, you could ship a truckload of cargo from Hong Kong to Brazil port to port for $50.

https://www.flexport.com/blog/...

They're not quite that bad anymore but still, you can ship a truckload from China to Los Angeles cheaper than the cost of delivering that load from the port to a point in Metro Los Angeles.

Comment Re:Sad to see Trump... (Score 4, Insightful) 356

I don't know that it's fair to attribute this to Trump (and I voted for him). However, even if it was, why would this make anyone sad? Are you so partisan that you would actually lament the fact that 50,000 people in Pennsylvania are going to have new jobs? Have you become so cold and heartless that you would have people suffer just to advance your own political agenda?

I'm old enough to remember a time when the Democratic Party stood up for the working class; when they were the party of compassion; when they stood up for civil liberties like free speech. Sadly, the party has long since left all that (and me) behind. And if the last election was any indication, a lot of people in formerly blue states think the party has left them behind too, states like Pennsylvania.

 

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