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Portrait of the Artist On Deadline, 6/9/18

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 10:42
I have exactly one week to finish The Consuming Fire. I have, well. A lot to go to be done. I am taking this picture now so you have an idea of what I look like as I begin this marathon sprint. When I finish the book, I will take another picture. I think the […]

The Gray-Eyed Goddess

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:00
Ever since I was little, I’ve loved Greek mythology. And since the beginning, Athena has been my favorite being in all of mythology. You may say I’m biased, but today I’m going to tell you all the reasons why Athena is literally the best. And to be fair, I’ll also mention the times she was […]

New Books and ARCs, 6/8/18

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 16:11
This might be the biggest stack of new books and ARCs I’ve posted in a while — and it has quality as well as quantity. Anything here that you would want to make its way into your own reading stack? Tell us all in the comments!

Voez

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 19:23
Howdy, everyone! Today I have a game in mind I thought y’all might find interesting. It’s called Voez and is a rhythm game made by Rayark, which has also made Cytus and DeeMo. I’ve always loved rhythm games. I used to play Dance Dance Revolution on the PlayStation 2 back when I was, like, six, […]

Hay Baling, 6/7/18

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 18:41
And now, one in an occasional series of reminders that in fact I live in rural America: Here’s my neighbor, in the hay field across from my property, baling the summer’s first crop of the stuff. After the hay’s been cut and baled, the field basically looks like my yard for a while, until the […]

The Big Idea: Joshua Viola

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:35
When Joshua Viola first thought up the idea of what would eventually become Denver Moon, he realized that what it really needed was collaboration. How did Viola make that happen? Time to find out. JOSHUA VIOLA: You never know when a story idea is going to turn into something you are proud of or something […]

Everything Is Awesome!

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 20:10
Hello, everyone! Today I found out there is going to be a sequel to the cinematic masterpiece known as The Lego Movie, and it’s called The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which just makes me laugh, honestly. I wanted to share this with you all because I think the first one is just so fantastic and […]

Mortality, morality and politics

Contrary Brin - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 13:31

Step by step, across four decades, American conservatism has reversed almost every stance on responsible personal morality.  Their love affair with casino lords and gambling is just one aspect that would have infuriated their own, Greatest Generation parents. Also, the divorce rates (and perversion rates) of their politicians. 

Or think of any American strength that helped to win the Cold War. Strong alliances, superlative science, a confident civil service and justice system and officer corps, a basic sense of shared purpose, clear recognition of the adversary, and the moral high ground. Can you think of one - even just one - that has not been systematically demolished by Putin's people at Fox, the GOP and now their agent in the White House? Go ahead. Name one. The entire mad right now kvells over Kremlin masterminds because they switched from hammer and sickle pins to orthodox crosses.

I have a dream that residually sane Republicans out there are planning a summer conference, even “convention.” Mitt Romney is certainly trying to organize one. But what we can see of McCain, Flake, Kasich, Collins, Murkowski and the rest suggests they haven’t more then three inches of spine among them.

== Politics and mortality == 

Does looming mortality affect your mood? Or is it the other way around? CBS News notes: "The 10 states with the lowest probability of premature death were: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Washington.

"But the news wasn't good for all states. The 10 states with the highest probability of premature death included: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

"For young and middle-aged folks, there was hope in the majority of states. The odds of dying for adults aged 20 to 55 declined in 31 states and Washington, D.C., from 1990 to 2016, the findings showed.
"But in 19 states, young and middle-aged adults didn't fare as well. Decades of declining mortality rates were reversed in these states. And, in New Mexico, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Kentucky and West Virginia, the probability of death for that age group not only stopped decreasing, it actually increased by 10 percent over the study period."

Any person with sense would say: "it may not be the fault of the governing party in those states. But anyone who says it's not a factor should bear a burden of proof."

Hence the all-out war on "proof."
== Were we boomers ‘poisoned’? It would explain a lot! ==
I’m going to give this soapbox over to a member of our Comments Community, here at Contrary Brin – one of the oldest and smartest such communities anywhere on the Web. 
Duncan Cairncross took note of the incredible science that has shown how the rise (in the 1970s - 80s) of U.S. crime rate was decisively correlated to lead in paints, in gasoline and in the air that young people breathed. The bills that banished this poison from gas and paints etc. (and see where I played a small role in this reform!) were among the most important ever passed by any legislature, ever, across all of human history. And the resulting eventual drop in crime rates (there were other factors, but none as important) proved decisively which political party – for all its many flaws – is in favor of children and the people and the future.  
What Duncan did was take a logical extension of this story, beyond youthful crime to the same generation’s pathological later politics. Over to him:
The Effect of Lead in Petrol

"The correlation between increases in violent crime and the later decrease in violent crime is very strongly linked to Lead on our Petrol and to it's removal. This can be seen U.S. State by State where the reduction in violence is linked to when that specific state made the transition and other in counties where the transition from lead was made a different times

"Lead exposure was related to the amount of petrol burnt - Which increased from about 250 Billion miles driven in 1930 to about 500 Billion in 1950, 1 Trillion in 1970 and 2 Trillion in 1980. I found "Gas Lead in tons per 1000 people" It starts at 0.3 tons in 1937 - moves up to 1.3 tons in 1972 then drops to 0.3 tons in 1986 

"So who got poisoned?
- The "Greatest Generation" 1905 - 1925 were adults
- The "Silent Generation" 1925 - 1945 - would have been slightly effected
- "Baby Boomers" 1945 - 1965 - the early boomers would have ingested some lead - and as the years went by the last of the Boomers would be ingesting twice as much lead as the early boomers
- "Generation X" 1965 to 1984 covers the very peak - and the drop off 

"So the Boomers and Generation X were poisoned as children! That accounts for their statistically-worse behavior during their twenties, when young males are most prone to ant-social behavior. Only then I was wondering if there was an effect on later voting patterns! When Boomer males are less violent, but just as prone to snarling rages due to… well… brain damage?

"May I assert a hypothesis: this is why so many of the Baby Boomers voted for Trump. 
And why the "Millennials" appear to be working out so well - behaving better than we did by every measure."                   -- D.Cairncross
Brin here. How much sense this makes. Indeed, the Millennials I know are nearly all nicer, calmer people than we indigation-junky boomers.  Hey, kids!  Come out in November and rescue America! Rescue the revolution. Rescue humanity.
== Addendum ==

Look historically at who fought against the "meddlesome laws that removed lead. The very same folks -- and even the same Ad agencies and public relations firm - certainly the same party - that cried out: "Tobacco is harmless!" Revisit Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. 

Also: "Cars don't cause smog!" "Non-whites and women cannot excel." "It doesn't matter that urban rivers are catching fire." "An endless war on drugs is such a great idea!" "WMDs!" And so many other credibility-destroying nostrums.

Liberals, don't get too smug! You've had some howler-insanities, like desegregation through forced school bussing. And the "chain migration" rules for legal immigration. You are right a lot more often. That don't make you perfect.

And finally.....
Dr. Shannon Hader - running for Washington's 8th Congressional District - is a perfect example of what I've been calling for. A Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, combining scientific training with medical compassion, with military-style crispness and discipline. And I happen to know she is also open to fresh ideas. 
Consider - wherever you live - finding the nearest such candidate, even for state assembly, and pulling out the stops. Register young people. Offer incentives to vote.
Oh, and a Stargate?... The super-duper unbelievable (really) reason for the coming war with Iran.
. . ...a collaborative contrarian product of David Brin, Enlightenment Civilization, obstinate human nature... and http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/ (site feed URL: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/atom.xml)

John and Athena Talk About Stuff, Episode One: Deadpool 2

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 18:57
Athena and I thought it would be fun to try an occasional podcast with the two of us, in which we talk about entertainment we’ve both seen and possible other topics as well. So, in the spirit of trying new things, here is the first edition of John and Athena Talk About Stuff. In this […]

An Now, an EXCLUSIVE Sneak Preview of the Work Currently in Progress

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 12:39
That’s right, here’s a short, available-nowhere-else excerpt from The Consuming Fire, coming in October from Tor Books! Are you ready? Are you ready for this? Are you hanging off the edge of your seat? Well, here it is! “A lawyer is here.” “Toss him out a window.” “Her, actually, I think.” “So toss her out, […]

Thoughts of a Personal Nature

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 17:50
Writing for a blog is weird. It’s been really difficult for me to decide what to write about, so difficult in fact that it’s led to me not posting as much as I want to because I just have no idea what to write about. Everything I’ve posted has been surface level; the reviews, my […]

FYI

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:03
The sequel to The Dispatcher may have been announced in this New York Times article about audiobooks. And before you ask, yes, there will be a print/ebook version as well, some time after the audio publication.

More Photography!

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Sat, 06/02/2018 - 20:35
Happy 2nd of June! Today I am very busy cleaning out my closet and sorting things that I brought home from college, so I’m going to share some more of my photos with you! Last time, there was a lot of people asking what camera and lenses I use. Everything on the last post and […]

Space Pioneering: the passion and dream continue! (But leave the dusty Moon to others.)

Contrary Brin - Sat, 06/02/2018 - 15:07
I just returned from the International Space Development Conference at the LAX Sheraton in Los Angeles, where I had the honor to MC the awards luncheon, presenting to my friend (and NIAC colleague) Frank Drake the Pioneer Award for profound contributions to humanity’s outward vision.

Other award recipients and honored guests included Jeff Bezos, Freeman Dyson, Buzz Aldrin… and Toni Weiskopf, legendary publisher of Baen Books, presented the Baen short story award winners.
photo by Nadia DrakeThe day before, I gave a talk about Defense and Potential Conflict in Space at Northrup-Grumman and - with my son Ben - got a fairly close look at the James Webb Space Telescope, being assembled for launch soon. (We’ll all be biting nails!)
The evening before that, I gave a talk about Our Place in the Universe at UCLA for the annual Julian Schwinger Colloquium.
And next week I fly to Washington meetings for the NASA Innovative and Advanced Concepts program (NIAC) and at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. Plus an event for the nascent DC Museum of Science Fiction.   (See my calendar at http://www.davidbrin.com)
So, all in all, a very spacey month! 

Which leads me to zoom back to something almost every space enthusiast (and I love you guys) seems to accept romantically, while ignoring actual facts. I'm talking about the self-destructive allure of the USA getting mired in a “return to the moon.”

== Building Mars abilities, so we can stay ==
For starters, I have nothing against Mars. In fact, I think it is a fine, mid-distant objective - a lure to entice us onward. An "inspirational goal," according to Scott Pace of the National Space Council. Alas, as a near term goal, it has problems. A rushed Mars program would have to use the Apollo Method, seeking a single, short-term victory lap. 

Compare two kinds of expeditions, to the top of Mt. Everest... or to the South Pole. In both cases, you spend 90% of your time going back and forth, building a base camp that lets you build an advance camp, that lets you supply an assault camp. With Everest, the aim is tourism and glory. When it comes to the South Pole, the U.S. wasn't first; but when we went, we stayed. And the scientific benefits have been huge. Still, everything needed by humans at the pole must be supplied from "Earth."

Mars expeditions will only make sense when we have truly sophisticated methods. Foremost, ISRU (In-Situ Resource Utilization) facilities, not only on the Martian surface, but also on Phobos, that can extract and store volatiles, like water, for use not only as fuel, but also in closed life support (CELS) systems.
(Note: like everyone else, I am dazzled by Elon’s spectacular plans for skyscraper rockets! These would up-end the economics and timing in terrific ways. But the order in which things should be done does not change. We still need ISRU and CELS and some asteroid work before Martian trips will be sustainable for reasons other than glory.)
If ISRU provides tons and tons of water (and oxygen and fuel) stored at both locations, then the cost of repeated (instead of one-off) Mars missions plummets and their odds of success go far higher. This effect quintuples if there are also automated greenhouses, using that water to grow food. (Indeed, Elon's original idea was to send a greenhouse to Mars  To demonstrate how CELS will bring the dream closer.)
Those techniques (ISRU etc.), happen to be the same ones we can develop by doing asteroids as our near future project.  So, Mars lovers truly should also be asteroid lovers, especially since Phobos is the key to Mars, and Phobos may be a volatiles-rich asteroid!
== Back to a … dustbowl? ==
None of this can be said about the sterile, empty, and — at least for now — useless lunar surface.
A deliberately provocative assertion. Can I back it up?  

First, recall how I cited Scott Pace, a few paragraphs back. Here he explains the New Presidential Space Policy, that the U.S. should Return to Moon. By all means listen in.  Better yet, get and read "The Moon: Resources, Future Development and Settlement," cited in the image you see here. 

Alas, though, I see no reason to back down.

1- Other than small amounts of polar ice, there is nothing of tangible value on the lunar surface. Nothing. Let me repeat that. Not one thing. 
Truly. Try asking any of the lunar guys to back up their arm-waved “resource” justifications, by showing us any actual, actual lunar “ores.” Except possibly for scattered meteoritic iron, such ores are not even theoretically possible. 

(See below an addendum explaining "ores" and how they came about on Earth and asteroids... and why I'll eat a bug, if you find any high quality ores on the moon.)

Or demand that they justify their assertion that the moon is an ideal “way-station” on the way to Mars.  It sounds logical, but it’s not true! Not at all. Not even a little bit. The numbers make that clear.
2- What about that lunar ice?  My doctoral advisor James Arnold predicted polar ice! I rejoice that it’s there… 
…and it belongs to future lunar colonists. For us to rape them by stealing their water for rocket fuel would be a crime, especially since the water and/or fuel would have to be hauled out of a gravity well, with a polar penalty! None of which is true for the vastly richer sources of water elsewhere.
3- Andy Weir (author of “The Martian”) wanted to write about a lunar colony in ARTEMIS. He wracked his brain for any economic justification for such a colony, and found only one reason to make a near term lunar settlement: tourism.
It’s why the U.S. went, as a nation, in the 60s!  It’s why (symbolic glory) the Chinese, Russians, Japanese, Indians, Europeans and billionaires are desperate to plant flags and dusty footprints on that useless plain. 

Indeed, it's why some business should invest in lunar capabilities!  Because making money off tourists is a perfectly legitimate business plan!
Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway4- Hence, a Lunar Orbit Station makes sense! Set up shop above the moon. For one thing, it could peer down and search for ores-n-such to prove me wrong!
Plus, instead of being tourist-suckers, let’s sell tourism! Charge hotel and landing services for all those symbolism-obsessed lunar Apollo-wannabe tourists! Charge the Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Indians, Europeans and billionaires! 
A lunar orbit station is also perfect for analyzing asteroid samples and testing methods for human deep space flight. That was the plan approved by all the sage NASA advisory panels who actually know stuff and weighed all factors, till symbolism-obsessed politicians over-ruled everybody who actually knows stuff.
== The two biggest reasons not to get trapped in dusty quicksand ==
5- Dig-it. There is no reason for Americans to repeat past glories when we could be accomplishing things that only we can do

Read that twice. Why repeat what we did ages ago? Things the Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Indians, Europeans and billionaires are eager and ready to do?
Let’s do things they can’t!
6- Oh, then there's the dust itself. Nasty, nasty stuff. Sharp, brittle grains that... oh, look it up.

7- Prediction.  If we start a big “return to the moon” push, for American glory, it will prove expensive. And suddenly, a GOP president will declare a diplomatic victory! Remember when the jingoistic “Space Station Freedom” suddenly got transformed into the “International Space Station”?  Well, Trump and/or his successor will brag and preen over a great new agreement to do Return to the Moon jointly with China and Russia, yippee.
And, of course, this will require technology sharing.And yes, every single U.S. advantage and trade secret and advancement will be given away, while those nations get cost savings for their symbolism-tourism. America - and posterity - get nothing.
8- Finally, my biggest objection is guilt by association

“Back to the moon” has become a central catechism of the Republican Party. The very same people who are waging all-out war on science - and every other fact-using profession - are also the folks shouting “back to the moon!” 

Seriously, this is no coincidence. The correlation is perfect. And while guilt-by-association may be less than mature, in this case it is spectacularly apropos. Those who are trying to cripple every single aspect of U.S. science also want NASA to fritter away our one chance to lead the new space era, by repeating an insipid obsession with useless, dusty footprints.  This is what the sworn enemies of science and progress want.
That fact should be enough for anyone.
Ad Astra.
==

Addendum on why there are few useful "ores" on the moon.


Why are there fractionated - or already partly-refined “ores”-  on asteroids, but not on the moon?  Refinable ores are the result of some kind of natural separation process… or else the delivery of something already separated.
-  On Earth the separation processes usually involve water flows, sometimes volcanism, or else meteoritic impacts.  Most of Earth’s metal sank into the core, long before the Moon formed from Earth’s light crust.
- Most asteroids come either from volatile-rich comets, or else from a shattered proto-planet. Millions are from that planet’s core. So, you have some asteroids rich in water (which should be fairly easy to harvest, using the "baggie" method), and some that are stunningly rich in almost already refined metal.
- The moon started metal poor (from Earth’s outer crust). No water separation processes. Some scattered meteoritic iron (that came from guess where?) A little water at the poles. 
Oh… and Helium3! Mythological, with no actual evidence and no known customers.  Next time someone like Scott Pace armwaves vague reasons for shifting all of our efforts to the Moon, do ask for specific studies weighing the likely wealth and benefits that real scientists have assayed to be actually present on the lunar surface, and actual tradeoffs of the "way station" argument. If he doesn't offer decisive links... well... you know.
. . ...a collaborative contrarian product of David Brin, Enlightenment Civilization, obstinate human nature... and http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/ (site feed URL: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/atom.xml)

Sunset, 6/1/18

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 21:22
Almost a platonic ideal of a sunset, really. Have a great weekend, folks. I’ll be spending mine writing.

New Books and ARCs, 6/1/18

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 16:30
First of June, First of June, summer reading is starting soon! And here are some new book and ARCs to be thinking of for your sunny summer enjoyment. What here looks refreshing to you? Tell us in the comments!

My Herb Garden!

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 15:19
Hello, everyone! Today I’m going to be showing you my brand new tiny little herb garden! As many of you know, I thoroughly enjoy cooking, and cooking often involves the use of herbs and/or spices. I’m sure many of you have experienced the struggle of needing 1/4 tsp of a spice and not having it […]

A Non-Intern Take on Solo

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 15:47
I liked it, quite a bit in places, and (snarking aside) I can also see why it did (relatively) underwhelming business in its first weekend: it’s light in the way Star Wars films haven’t been before. Star Wars films have had humor, and have had snark, and have had quips and banter (usually through the […]

The Big Idea: Brenda Clough

Whatever (John Scalzi) - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 09:42
What happens when a science fiction writer goes back in time? A serialized novel following up one of the most intriguing woman characters of 1859! Brenda Clough explains how she got from here to there for her series A Most Dangerous Woman. BRENDA CLOUGH: I have always thought of myself as an SF and fantasy […]

Sour & Hot Korea… and Two Scoops of Crazy. And a Democratic ‘civil war’?

Contrary Brin - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 20:31
Today we’ll offer up a firm prediction about the “Korea Mess,” that no one else out there has offered. (That I know of.)

But first:

== What ‘struggle for the Democratic soul?’ ==
The worst thing that Americans - (the “Union” side of this phase of the Civil War) - can do is let Confederate/ Kremlin/Fox provocateurs divide us again. They are trying to incite a “fight over the soul of the Democratic Party.” A struggle that’s 99% illusory. Read this incredible piece showing that Blue America is hardly divided at all, when it comes to actual issues and policies.
In The New York Times, David Leonhardt writes, “Stacey Abrams and Conor Lamb are supposed to represent opposite poles of the Trump-era Democratic Party. She is the new progressive heroine — the first black woman to win a major-party nomination for governor, who will need a surge of liberal turnout to win Georgia. He is the new centrist hero — the white former Marine who flipped a Western Pennsylvania congressional district with support from gun-loving, abortion-opposing Trump voters. 

"But when you spend time listening to Abrams and Lamb, you notice what doesn’t fit the storyline: They sound a lot alike.”
Know this. If you buy into the notion of some “struggle for the soul” of the Democratic Party, then you are likely either a genuine Marxo-leftist — a legitimate position, but be open about it — or else a Fox/Kremlin troll… or else one of their sappy tools. You are - at best - no help at all.
== Prelude to giving Kim a win-win-win ==
Headline: Trump's lauded North Korea summit increasingly looks set to blow up in his face.” And this is surprising, how?  The agenda of Kim Jong Un should be as plain as the nose on your face. Though, like your nose, you cannot see it. 

Consider. Kim must reduce his huge conventional military, or North Korea will be a smoking economic ruin and portions of the army might become dangerous to him. 

He also desperately needs a reciprocal draw down of U.S. and S.K. troops and assurances of general safety from regime change.

And... aid. Eased sanctions and  yummy foreign aid.
But here's the key point: his nukes - (achieved with major outside help by powers who have more control over this than anyone admits) - were never a "crazy man's way to lash out."  Once you have them, nuclear bombs are cheap! 

And hence this prediction: Kim will never negotiate away retaining half a dozen nukes as a deterrent, though he'll likely hand over some as bargaining chips - plus foregoing any further production - in exchange for a general slashing of expensive conventional armies... plus the "incentive" of massive aid already promised by Trump.

Kim knows that DT cannot walk away from this table.Trump is desperate for a "Nobel" win. He will do anything for it. So Kim will insist upon:

- half a dozen nukes to deter "regime change" and within striking distance of Seoul.
- a slashing of all conventional forces, including his own which are bankrupting him.
- ending sanctions and lots of aid.
- face-saving gestures to help Trump, symbolically.

Why that last item?By blaring a "tough, great deal" for the U.S., ol' Two Scoops might save his political heinie here at home... 

...which is the wish and need of Vladimir Putin, desperate to protect his greatest asset.  Oh, and there will still be 5 or 6 NK nukes, which can deliver an EMP to us at any point, while Kim's sponsors and masters retain plausible deniability.
Sound paranoid? Conspiracy-ish?  Please, instead of reflexively sneering, tell me exactly which part? What part of this win-win-win-win isn't plain as... oh, yeah.  You cannot see your own nose.
 == Who benefits? ==
Okay, let’s dive into those common themes of the Trump Presidency.  Amy Siskind is keeping a list of everything Trump and company does that violates norms or pushes us toward authoritarianism or violates humanity. Her first book, "The List", covers the first year of Trump's presidency.
My own version of this is to cite the ancient expression “cui bono”?  Or who benefits? Asked by the detective in every crime story.
Case in point: After Trump announced his prescription drug plan to cut costs... the stock of every single pharmaceutical company skyrocketed. Every study shows that one thing - allowing government agencies to negotiate prices (now insanely forbidden) would make the biggest difference. Two Scoops explicitly forbade that. 
Or take another, much more urgent example: The top beneficiaries of ending the Iran deal were the Iranian mullahs, plus the war hawks on both sides. And any actual war will benefit Putin by raising oil prices, but above all, giving Russia a Persian Protectorate. 

Think down-range! How would the U.S. defy such a merger? How could a US-Iran war have any other outcome that the Kremlin "saving" Iran by extending its umbrella? Seriously, offer up a scenario 1% as likely... 

...and who do you think benefits from Trump's steady demolition of our alliances?
Again re North Korea? With every prisoner release and such, look ... at... who... benefits.
Trump, the Saudis, Putin, North Korea, and the Iranian mullahs... but...

The ones I can't figure out are the Israelis. Superficially, an alliance with Trump and the Saudis vs. Iran seems to oppose Putin and make sense... but there is no underlying logic based on actuality. Yes, an Israeli-Saudi detente might benefit both, and Iran makes a good bete noir. But if any deal includes the Palestinians (giving Trump a triumph) then the whole Iranian rationale for hatred of Israel dissolves.

Are the Israeli leaders really so stupid that they see this wholw trend benefiting them?
Spread the meme. Ask: "who benefits?"


. . ...a collaborative contrarian product of David Brin, Enlightenment Civilization, obstinate human nature... and http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/ (site feed URL: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/atom.xml)
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