Thursday, March 29, 2018

Renewables are shifting the nature of the economics of grid scale generation.

The NYT had an interesting report on the shifting economics of natural gas power plants.

Again nothing is going to change soon, but it appears that with the growth of solar and wind energy technology, it is now cheaper and faster to construct a solar/wind plant than a natural gas powered plant.

It may be recalled that natural gas was proposed as a solution to the problems of coal (large transport costs and high maintenance costs due to soot and other nasty byproducts) - and it did very well in the US. With all that excitement about natural gas in the US and Europe, half the world lit up with conflicts over "plaza rights" for natural gas pipelines (recall Unocal in AFG, BTC under Russia, Kirkuk-to-Turkey, Iran-Pakistan-India, Shia Gas v/s Sunni Gas in Syria, Yamal-I/II in the Ukraine, NordStream under the Baltic etc...) .

Now it turns out that after going to all that trouble to bring down the marginal costs associated with natural gas power plants - the capital costs of constructing a natural gas powerplant are becoming too high *relative* to renewable plants.

While renewable plants suffer from plant load factor issues at the individual location level, if they are spread out over a large enough area - then these factors are not as much of an issue. If the wind doesn't blow in my plant in Arizona, it will be blowing in Colorado or Montana, and I can just buy excess electricity from there.

It is important to note that the total installed natural gas capacity is far in excess of what wind or solar produce today and electricity generation accounts for about 35% of all gas consumption, but that may not be the case in the future if investment scenarios in natural gas powered generation are driven by asymmetric capital costs.

And if you are wondering about coal, here a relatively recent analysis by the EIA [2].

This could lead us to two places.

1) A scenario in which natural gas producers pay pliable politicians (GOP) to hinder the growth of renewables until they have had time to dump their natural gas power plant options on unsuspecting and ill informed investors (this seems to be going on right now with Rick Perry's DOE) or

2) A scenario in which natural gas producers are engaged in a more constructive discussion on how to shifts patterns of natural gas usage to support the development of renewable sources. I am talking about things like biogas and district heat grids that displace existing and inefficient oil heating in cities. This is happening in places like the Netherlands and Denmark- those Dutch and Danish folks have their heads straight on this issue.

I fear we Americans have our heads stuck too far up our own asses to to something as intelligent as what the Danes/Dutch are doing. We will likely continue to invest in an antagonistic relationship between natural gas producers and renewable energy options.

And with that we will remain wedded to dated ideas of conflict with places like Iran.

And to think - we were once the leaders in district heating!! Back in 1882 New York City had the first district heating grid in the world.[1]

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What Trumper are really about.... my best guess.

We have seen Trumpers support their chosen leader through controversies that would melted steel. Nothing seems to shake their support of him. Even when he withdraws from positions that they professed to be "reasons" why they support him and he hangs them out to dry - they still swear support for him.

This has baffled most observers and I feel a points to a ridiculously simple but frightening conclusions about Trumpers.

A lot of people feel Trumpers are single issue types. That might be accurate but the single issue though is not racism or misogyny or economics - but it is entitlement culture.

One of the drawbacks of being such an incredibly rich and powerful nation is that we suffer from the greatest sense of entitlement among large fractions of our population.

Perhaps the dramatic way to see this is that we have an entire generation of boomers that paid about 15% of their annual income for something like 40 years (max). Assuming that their income and Social Security + Medicare amounts grew at roughly 5% per year on average - the total amount of money stashed away in the social security + medicare fund for each individual is about equal to about a year or so their current annual income.

Assuming that their expenses comes down by a factor of four from when they were earning (unlikely given how many are juggling multiple mortgages and poor health but lets assume that is feasible somehow) - they have at most 4 years of expenses that can be supported through Social Security and Medicare.

Given most boomers are living almost 20 years beyond their retirement. There is absolutely no way to get that 4 years worth of SS+MC funds to stretch out for 5x the amount of time. A majority of boomers will tell you that this is money they paid into and money they are owed - which is correct - but only for about 3-4 years - not more. You will never get anyone from that generation to ever admit they didn't set enough aside for retirement. [Apparently PolitiFact looked at this a decade or so ago].

This is what happens when you have a large chunk of the population that is overwhelmed by a sense of entitlement.

One of the worst aspects of entitlement culture is the notion that you can get away with doing extremely stupid things - that either there will be no consequences or the consequences will be acceptable (because you thought about it for like 4 secs).

I believe Trumpers subscribe to this entitlement culture more than most others. They are most disturbed by its erosion by the winds of reality.

Everyone knows that toxic ideas of misogyny and racism are bad for society.
Everyone knows that supporting a narcissistic authoritarian leads to social and economic ruin. Everyone knows that inhaling politcal propaganda from a shithole like Fox News or Breitbart.  Everyone knows that excessive tribalism is bad for politics and for your nation's economy.

But because these people so blinded by their sense of entitlement - they are pushing hard on all those things.

The core calculation is that "I will not be personally held to account" or "Even if I am held to account, I won't really be affected by the price".

That is what IMHO is going on - pure entitlement.

I don't think Trumpers grasp the reality of the Social Security and Medicare fund - they don't grasp that despite all the false promises of Trump and the GOP - the fund will run out. And when it does - Boomers will be reliant on the Millenials and Gen Xers for their survival. Given how they have behaved - that life support will come at an extremely high cost to the ego.

Michael Cohen is fast becoming a major liability for Trump

Stormy Daniels revelation that her baby was threatened by someone claiming to represent Trump's interests is a real problem. The incident appears to have happened around the time that she was in negotiations with Michael Cohen who was representing Trump's interests in the legal sphere.

A lot of people have similar stories of Michael Cohen - he is not a very competent lawyer and he has this gangster vocabulary he likes using. It is not clear if he thinks of himself as some kind of Sopranos character but he talks like one. This sparks a lot of suspicion - that Trump had Cohen threaten Stormy's newborn child. That is a very bad look for Trump.

You might say that Trump is held aloft on a steady fountain of misogyny and racial hate, what does it matter if he threatened Stormy's infant? Yes that is correct - but there is a problem. Like any can of worms - there is never just one worm and each worm is connected to another worm.

There are several women who accused Trump of raping them and they all claimed they were intimidated. One of these cases involves a woman who claims she was 13 years old when she was raped by Trump.

In general the average Trumper won't be bothered by Trump's sexcapades. I feel that these people are vicariously living via Trump's public persona. When  Trump get some - his supporters feel like they got laid too. This factor was at work with Bill Clinton supporters back in the day too. There was "Heck Yeah I'd tap that..." factor at work back then, we are seeing a similar factor at work now.

Bill Clinton was subject to an impeachment process on grounds of lying about sexual misconduct and it failed largely because the people accusing him had massive sex scandals of their own. The unstated fact that kept Bill Clinton in power despite accusations of predatory behavior was the knowledge that if he fell - his political opponents would meet a similarly end.

Where IMHO the Trump situation differs from Bill Clinton's situation. Bill Clinton was never accused of raping underage girls - Trump is. Another important point that is lost on most Trumpers is that the Clinton's are politically spent. Trump still has to survive his first time.

As the Stormy NDA failure demonstrates - it is basically open season on Trump. With new cases will come more embarrassing disclosures about Michael Cohen's lack of basic legal skills and his reliance of extra-legal intimidation.

As the vultures gather to feed on his decaying professional form - Michael Cohen will likely try to reach out to OSC Mueller and offer up stuff that incriminates Trump.

This is not going to work for Trump.

So unless Michael Cohen agrees to be Trump's Hagen... my guess is he will be "Seth Riched" or "Vince Forstered" by Trump.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The rising threat of a WN/2A armed insurrection

Driving ethnic subnationalism in adversary states is a very important subversion technique and the RIS are masters of that art.

For those just tuning in.

RU and the US have nukes pointed at each other. However RU nukes are NOT "tippy top" as you might have heard a certain suspected RIS asset tell you. They are the opposite of that - the guidance systems & propulsion systems are not great and most RU nukes are aging , and replacement is not economically feasible. This is undermining RU security in a fundamental way, and they ideally want the US to pay for refurbishing the RU arsenal since they can't afford to do it themselves. 

Unfortunately US does not have have the money to refurbish own nukes much less RU nukes and has for the last two decades been aggressively pursuing ballistic missile intercept technologies. These technologies are far from mature, but they are cheaper to explore than refurbishing old nukes. The RU is naturally jealous of the US lead here given how little the RU has been able to do on this front due economic and political problems over the last thirty years.

It is in the RU interest to undermine the perceived US lead by causing similar economic and political problems.

A full blown armed insurgency inside the US driven off the very ethnic group that forms a large part the police and military is an ideal way to achieve the RU goal. (An analogy to this in India would be Pakistan driving Sikh/Rajput/Jat/Kshatriya caste chauvinism - all three communities are disproportionately represented in Police and Military and any impact on their performance is a  kick in India's nuts.)

The 2016 election has caused significant damage to US political infrastructure. Thanks to the expanding RIS control over Right Wing media like NRATV, Fox News etc... and unconventional channels like Facebook, Twitter etc... it appears a significant number of white men have been subverted to the idea that the US as nation doesn't really work for them. Once such views are formed - even in a minority of people - they become very hard to displace. As the target invests in these ideas, they become a defining part of the target's identity.

By playing on fears of loss of a social dominance, too many young white men have been pulled into a funnel that ends in a kind of "stochastic" terrorism. Drawn to discord groups, Reddits etc... the men are pushed into committing acts of violence against perceived peer competitors. The result is an expanding wave of apparently random violence against POC, sexual minorities and women. The core of the movement are a loose association of WN/2A groups that seem to have gathered around the rough agenda of preserving access to "assault weapons" like the AR-15.

This suggests that control of large numbers of rapid fire weapons and military ammo is key to these groups. It makes sense - those weapons are to the US what the AK-47 was to the Punjab and Kashmir insurgency - an instant replacement for the failing man's penis - a restorer of lost potency. One might even think of it a kind of machine gun variant of piquerism - ploughing the enemy's flesh with bullets from the man who holds the AR15. Yeah - it is really that fucked up.

What makes this worse IMHO is that police forces across the US are unprepared to cope with this threat. They have neither the training, nor the weapons not the mindset to fight this kind of war. They will be about as effective as the Punjab Police was in the early days or the Afghan police are presently.

One of the first acts of the Trump guys was to shut down an FBI program aimed at identifying and containing high risk individuals. This low level program was a great tool to keep violence levels managed. With such an open assault on counter-subversion at the national level, the USG will not be able to clearly visualize the threat.

In this climate, a WN/2A led "tet offensive" seems likely.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Trump holds a gun to the economy's head

The market intensely dislikes two things - bad economics and unproductive war. 

Bad economics disrupts productivity - if there is an established flow of resources to production centers to points of sale - bad economics spoils that flow. There are all kinds of resources (physical/financial/information) and there are all kind of production centers. Most of these are linked in ways no one can predict or claim to know. Disrupting productivity in one stream produces non-trivial effects in other teams. 

Unproductive war (like the shooting wars of old or the civil wars of today) destroy production centers and consume manpower. This ends productivity in a very fundamental way as capital resources decline precipitously and control over those resources becomes contested at a very high level. 

By opening the door to a trade war with so many US international trade partners (China, Canada, Mexico, etc...) and simultaneously appointing John Bolton as the NSA - Trump has created both problems at once.

Everyone - even the smallest businessman - knows you can't overload the system like this. It falls apart completely and that outcome favors no one. 

I am guessing that Trump (and his patron Putin) know this all too well but with Mueller so much closer to putting them behind bars for the rest of their lives, Trump has decided to put a gun to the economy's head as a whole. 

I see the worried faces in the NatSec community - people know how bad this is and that millions will die from this deadly combination of events. 

It is easy at this point for people to say - "Well then have Mueller back off - that will calm Trump down and we don't have to do this" but that doesn't work either. As I had discussed in my earlier post,  ending the Mueller investigation will make Trump think he is emperor. When he thinks like that he will move aggressively to eliminate his liabilities (Nazis, 2A guys - this means you) at that point these "liabilities" will launch a civil war. So that outcome will be even more damaging to the economy than whatever trade wars Trump attempts to ignite and whatever real wars Bolton tries to set up.

A flip side to Trump putting a gun to the economy like this is that those rich Midwestern farmers who voted Trump in, will feel the pain that their Great Generation ancestors felt when the elected Hoover and he put Smoot Hawley into effect. The situation with Ag debt/asset ratios is already pretty bad, Trump's attempt at a trade war with China will backfire on his supporters. There is little one can do about that - one only gets what one puts in. 

The same is true for Bolton, he is in public service today because he skated responsibility for his role in triggering the Iraq war. A lot of people got away with that, but if he triggers another war, he may find himself being handed over an international criminal court as a war criminal. Again - the man loves war so much - he might actually enjoy the prospect of being the target of a Nuremberg style proceeding (yeah he is like that). One cannot protect people from the consequences of their own actions. 

By appointing Bolton (the poster child for Bush era Warmongering Elitist) as NSA and with the exposure of the "electronic brain washing" by Cambridge Analytica of old white men in the US, I feel a subtle fissure has opened up inside Trump's vaunted "base". We are not at the point where his base is openly questioning him, but even one question asked openly by those in the base - will cause his fragile ego to shatter. 

Trump really expects his base to follow him like sheep being to the slaughter. He no more expects questions from them - than a farmer expects questions from the pigs he is about to kill.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mr Putin's big problem

The problem with pretending to be an omnipotent dictator greater than God is that people expect you to live up to the image you have created.

Per RUGov that 56M votes were cast for Putin and allegedly 74M voters turned up to vote. You see this is "slightly better" than Putin's own projections that he would make the "70-70" i.e. 70% turnout and 70% of the total votes cast.

But as Sergei Shpilkin's analysis indicates, 10 M votes were "ballot stuffed".

If you take this in conjunction with RUGov's figures - we see that 46M votes were cast for Putin in an election where candidates like Navalny were debarred, and only 64M voters actually turned up to vote.

This means Putin's numbers are really 58-68 when he said 70-70. And even with Navalny's name taken off the ballot he isn't able to make his count without outrageous ballot stuffing.

This is bad.

This means that people inside the Grand Duchy of Moscow now openly know that Mr. Putin has feet of clay.

The exact consequences of that are hard to predict, but most likely they will ask Putin for more "baksheesh" to keep him in power. As the RU economy continues to struggle due to the sanctions, the likelihood that Putin will have the money to pay them diminishes. This most likely means they will start pocketing more from "the take"*.

That kind of behavior creates problems. Problems that have no easy solutions.

All this will make Putin very uncomfortable in the time ahead. It is not clear whether he will attempt to use CBRN based terror strikes as a leverage tool to push for an end to sanctions. I suspect he will be tempted as the wallet dries out in Moscow.

* "the take" is a flow of cash inside RU. It makes its way to the top, but if greedy hands sink too deep into it, then there will be problems for the top.

Fall of the House of Trump

We knew it was long coming but we are at the point where the outer facade will begin to crumble.

The Cambridge Analytica interview with Channel 4 news is pretty damning. It is clear that while "micro-targeting" based marketing is not a viable technique, Cambridge Analytica was actually only posing as a "micro-targeting" firm. It was in fact a dirty tricks machine that was pursuing a no holds barred campaign to malign Trump's opponents. The money trail to Cambridge Analytica runs via Robert Mercer and the GOP, but its poisonous roots appear to be crawling with RIS operators. The exposure of Kushner and Trump to this is devastating. This is a direct charge of election tampering - a charge that is much worse than "collusion" or even obstruction. This is straight up treason.

Perhaps Trump will survive the fall of the House but "Javanka" and the boys will not. Neither will *any* of the enablers. This may explain why Trump Jr's wife chose a criminal defense attorney to litigate her divorce. The criminal attorney is there primarily to see that she is not embroiled as an accessory in whatever Trump Jr has been up to. She (like other "complicit" people) will seek to build a firewall between herself and the fall of the house. I do not know if she will succeed.

What exactly happens next for Trump himself  depends on the lawyers he chooses. And therein lies the rub. Trump is good at attracting gangster types like Cohen, he is not good at attracting competent people. This sort of legal-gangster stuff works real well in the private sector where corporations wrestle with each other and beat down the little guys, but IT DOES NOT WORK AT THE GOVERNMENT LEVEL.

 If one attempts the same stupid shit Trump pulls in his private business at the US Government level, everyone ends up in jail including the lawyers. So in his desperation, Trump is attracting the scum that are typically at the bottom of the barrel. The lawyers he is pulling on his team know exactly what I have said above. They will not do anything to actually defend him in court or before Mueller where it really matters. They will instead put on a show in the media and bill him a ton of hours. The end result will be that Trump will be completely blindsided by the OSC. His own lawyers will shake him down.

In this climate Trump will become even more mentally unfocused. He will drop commitments and obligations that he has towards his own stakeholders. He will be completely focused on his own survival and less and less so on the people he made promises to.

Trump was Putin's big investment in the US - he was Putin's last hope for getting the sanctions lifted. As that hope diminishes, and Putin runs out of money to keep his political machine running - he will become more and more erratic. The Skirpal attack is merely Putin's way of saying be nice to me or I will use CBW on your unprepared population. This is not as I had earlier suspected a desire to slap MI6 in the face, it is a warning to Trump. A warning that IMHO Trump will ignore cause he is too busy with saving his own skin.

As for the mass of supremacists that thought he would be their agent in the WH, well they are going to find out that he has no real interest in their well being. They will act out in ways that lead to more deaths and because of the peculiarity of the reporting system - the US itself will not recognize their actions as being coherent or coordinated until the violence levels are quite high.

So - expect more mass casualty incidents in the US.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Will the Trump problem solve itself if he is allowed to appoint himself President for Life?

We have witnessed a fantastic attrition in the WH in the last week. The most stunning of these dismissals of course Rex Tillerson, but I was quite impressed with the speed with which Trump's bodyman McEntee was kicked to the kerb for financial fraud. We are told McMaster, Kelly and Sessions are on the out as well. It is only a matter of time before they are all fired by Trump.

And then Trump bragged about how he made up facts at a head of state level meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau. Seeing as Canada is our biggest trading partner for food products - one can only wonder how the midwestern farmers that voted for Trump felt like after that little admission. I am sure Trump will walk that back amidst shouts of "Fake News" etc... but still you gotta wonder what's going through a Trumpers head these days as everything is visibly falling apart.

This brings me to my deepest insight of the day.

It was quite clear at the beginning of the 2016 electoral cycle that the mass of negative emotions triggered by Prez Obama's election (and re-election) among White baby boomers was going to play a major role in the outcome. The extent to which the GOP and Trump would collude with RIS to produce a desired electoral outcome was a bit of a surprise, but perhaps it should not have been.

In some ways this was necessary because with the pre-eminence of the millenial generation and the easily weaponized nostalgia of the White boomers, when the political contract was rewritten - the White boomers wanted it changed. Unfortunately there was no way to do it as it was too costly and White boomer productivity was not sufficient to cover the cost so the only way to do this was to get some stupid chumps in Russia to fund it.

That said - it came with a price, and that price tag has made me extremely uncomfortable.

I have watched with great concern as toxic ideas were deliberately vented to push Trump into the White House. As a result of such venting the GOP was devoured by its own pet Great White Shark - that beast which derives its strength from unrealistic supremacist expectations.

But that said I must wonder if it makes sense to allow Trump the maximum possible latitude to do his thing. He has indicated he wants to become Prez for Life. Let him think that is what he has achieved. If one does that - then he will become even more capricious and high handed in his behavior towards his own loyalists and like Tomi Lahren kicking her pet dog, Trump will eventually kick his pet Great White Shark.

That will most likely have one of three outcomes.

A) The Great White Shark will die as Trump's kick severs its last remaining brain cells.
B)  The Great White Shark will devour Trump.
C)  They will take each other down.

We have seen the Great White and Trump carefully circle around each other after the Charlottesville assassination. But at the time the The Great White Shark just swam around occasionally gnashing its teeth (recall that interview with the dude who said he would like to see a president whose daughter was not married to a "Jew"?) - and Trump mostly stood still slowly wandering his way through circular statements.

But if Trump thinks he has become Prez for Life, then he will not be willing to brook any kind of push back from people he thinks he has promoted via his brand (I mean seriously who would have heard of guys like Alex Jones, Matt Hiembach etc... if Trump hadn't promoted them?) He will demand complete loyalty and being who they are these folks will refuse it.

The same with the 2A types.

So this will probably create exactly the kind of pressure needed to resolve the complications created by the present situation.

Again this will not pay for the change the White boomers want - but allow Russia an exit from this disastrous investment. The White boomers will continue to pay the costs for cleaning up this carnage (The GOP will make sure that their social security/medicaid/IRAs are robbed to pay for the clean up) but at the very least RIS will be able to walk away from this*.

All one has to do right now - is allow Trump to believe he is an emperor. His fragile ego will do the rest.

* I say nothing about Putin - how could I do that? That is an internal Russian matter.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

The Skripal Affair

A few comments on this Skripal assassination attempt in Britain.

My initial reaction to this was that perhaps Skirpal had violated the terms of his release and gone back to "active" status. But there is no indication that this was actually the case. Quite frankly he is too old to get back in the business.

It appears that a siloviki faction (what we call "securocrats" i.e. the caste of intelligence and security professionals who staff the IC) was keen to see him punished for revealing the names of active duty RIS agents during his time as a paid agent of the MI6. When we contrast this with the Siloviki behavior towards Skripal when he was held in their custody and then traded for an RIS asset in MI6 custody - it doesn't add up. If they hated him that much why wait so many years to do this?

Even if we assume that the RIS asset to be recovered was of greater intrinsic value to RIS than Skripal. The siloviki would only have kept him alive and well until they had their trade and then killed him right after the trade was over. The UK has been piss poor with protecting defectors against RIS hit squads, so again why wait so many years?

This "waiting period" issue pushes us towards three extremely worrisome possibilities

1) The siloviki were not aware of the extent of Skripal's treachery and became aware of it relatively recently. This would point to a breach of the UKIC. These are not unheard of, but to know the true nature of Skripal's contributions to MI6 would require a very highly placed agent inside the UKIC. We may be looking at another Philby level penetration.

2) There is a shift in siloviki thinking - perhaps someone has been recently promoted to a position of influence. It is not uncommon for intelligence communities to inbreed, i.e. recruit people who are relatives of serving or fallen officers. While such people are loyal to a fault, they are also capable of holding personal vendettas and grudges. If such a person is promoted, they may pursue a private agenda. These are not uncommon either, but to see it pursued in a place like Putin's Russia is odd. It suggests that Putin is not in control of his own siloviki caste. That opens the doors to all manner of unpleasant things.

3) Putin ordered the hit to send a message to other RU dissidents and anti-Putin forces that are sheltering in various parts of the world.  And the message reads "You cannot be safe if you oppose me, I will hunt you down and kill you." This is also plausible given how the Naytsa Rybka situation and the rate at which Trump advisers are shopping out RU contacts to OSC Mueller. The flip side of this would be that Putin feels threatened by external pressure points. Again this is to be expected, the RU election is a formality - he will be elected, the only question is whether there will be enough turnout for him ("70-70"). If his turnout is lower than projected, it will severely impair confidence in his ability to lead in the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Bearing in mind that the Russian election is merely a facade for a complex set of power rearrangements inside the Grand Duchy, Putin should feel pressured especially now that his flagship "Operation Elect Trump" is completely falling apart and the GRU is left holding the toilet seat!

I do not know which of these three possibilities is more likely to be the dominant dynamic. I am leaning towards the last possibility as I feel Putin's election is a farce but his continuation in power is a more nuanced affair - a balance between the cost of keeping him and the cost of replacing him. If I were a member of the Russian elite, I would be hard pressed to make a choice - both costs seem quite high and Russian economy is in a depression.

In any other country the easiest thing to do would be to wash the bad political debt in a hotly contested election where the loser was chosen in such a way as to carry the burden of the previous failure (what one calls "anti-incumbency") and the victor was decided long before the election took shape. But in Russia, that option is off the table. Centuries of autocracy have predisposed the elite to agreeing loudly with someone they privately would like to shoot out the mouth of a cannon.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

"Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day."

With this seemingly off the cuff remark - Trump once again declared his complete disregard for democracy.

While his supporters will jump to his defense saying "its a joke", or he's just saying that to "bait liberals" or support his dictatorship coz "we're stupid like that and he'll let us kill and rape all the dark skinned people we want"

And liberals will rage about his unsuitability of office, his declining mental health and his corruption.

.... but none of that will change the facts.

The facts are very simple.

Trump stands *effectively* accused of treason. Neither he nor his aides nor family will survive the Russia investigation. A best case scenario is they will end up in jail. A worst case scenario is that they will be slaughtered by Russian spies trying to cut off all visible links to Russia and avoid a nuclear confrontation that Russia cannot win*.

As Trump knows this better than any of his supporters or aides or family, he also knows that the only way to dodge this outcome is to declare himself "Emperor for Life". That is his ONLY way out. He cannot surrender to the FBI and sell out his own family before they sell him out (The Russians will still slit his throat if he does that). He cannot run retire (or switch places with Pence) and avoid the blow (there is no sacrificial goat he can offer that is big enough to appease both the USIC and the RIS which are very keen to reduce the risk of a global nuclear war).  He cannot keep spraying shit on FoxNews and hope that people will forget this treason. He cannot hope to keep dumping his follies on the GOP's political fortunes even though they would not have a penny to their name without his Russian helpers. These is NO WAY out but to push for dictatorial powers.

People think (IMHO foolishly) that dictatorial powers come from a legally visible break with constitutional law. There is no reason it has to be legally visible. It can all be done in a legally subterranean fashion - by using pliant bureaucrats, over-ambitious nobodies and a broken oversight mechanism.

Trumpers of the world will rejoice the destruction of the "swamp" by their God Trump. But as their God indicated in his comments on "Taking the guns away first and then doing the due process" - they will be the first to feel his wrath.

Surely 2A advocates realize that a dictator will *HAVE* to take guns away from the general population if he is to impose his will on them? 

I don't know if there is an appropriate time for this - so I am going to say it.

Dear Trumpers -

Kindly pull your heads out of your collective asses- Trump is coming for your Guns. 

You know - the guns you keep under your pillows to shoot black people ad FBI agents who want to ask you questions about what exactly you have in your "medicine" cabinets - yeah Trump is coming for those guns - 

He is coming for them and your NRA is more loyal to Trump than it is to you. 

Good Luck
ps. You can call me an IC/"Deep State" Stooge - but you know this is coming. Or were you dumb enough to think you can trust an NYC billionaire who "says stuff just like you want to hear".

* Putin's little show and tell about novel Russian nuclear weapons that defeat American NMD systems was so pathetic that I feel the worst I suspect about the accuracy of Russian inertial navigation systems must be true. I have long suspected the Russians never perfected their gyroscopy and gradiometry tools and this translated into a horrible CEP on the missiles. Add to this the persistent problems in Russian metallurgy and we have a very low OAR for Russian nuclear delivery platforms. This binds the Russians to large missiles with extremely high yield warheads. It is fine in practice but servicing them is problematic when your economy is smaller than that of the Netherlands. That is why Putin lied about his "nuclear powered cruise missile". That is why Putin used a seven year old animation about MIRVs striking Florida. By representing them as massive operational successes, Putin drew attention to his own failures to secure Russia from nuclear attack and exposed himself to political misfortune. He is like a wounded animal now, he has few options.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Significant Arctic Temperature Fluctuation

The temperature of the Arctic region has spike to 45C above normal.

What makes this exceptional is not just the scale of the fluctuation but the fact that this spike has occurred at a time when the Sun has not yet risen in the region. As most of you may be aware - the Sun does not rise above large parts of the Arctic during the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere - so to see the temperature rise 45C above normal is shocking (See below).

Based on our understanding of the interactions between the various Rayleigh Benard cells in the Northern Hemisphere, we can surmise that the Arctic temperature spike and the European cold wave. We call that kind of thing a "Polar Vortex" in the US.

Enhanced melting rates in the Arctic will bring the possibility of massive coastal flooding much closer. At the very least - all that moisture will have to go somewhere so we can expect torrential rain in places where it has never occurred before.

This will impose a major burden on the emergency response mechanisms and necessitate the investment of regular military personnel in humanitarian roles.

This Arctic temperature spike event should have triggered a massive national security review in the US and every last bit of data on emergent trends in climate data should be put under the microscope, but with Donald Trump still sticking his head in his ass - nothing is going to happen.

This is plain fucking nuts.