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David Brin
60,769 followers -
Futurist, Science Fiction Author, Scientist. Advocate for a Transparent Society.
Futurist, Science Fiction Author, Scientist. Advocate for a Transparent Society.

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At an event for military men and women, the President of the United States ordered service personnel to engage in politically partisan activity, violating both law and custom going back two centuries. At a Boy Scout gathering, he segued from the Scout Oath to screaming that "Obamacare is death!" while he demanded pure loyalty to the Presidency... that he never gave Barack Obama. Earlier he declared his power to pardon to be unlimited. All in the last 24 shrill hours.

Tomorrow, the US Senate will be asked to vote on a bill that ONE senator - Mitch McConnell - wrote and that almost no others have seen, that went through no committee hearings, no negotiations, no deliberation or what used to be called politics. The GOP screamed in 2009, when dems held only 10 months of hearings in only three committees. Now the Republicans have completed their long transition to demanding that the greatest legislature in the world become a caudillo's rubber stamp.

The adults in this nation are noticing, and we shall see how many of them have the courage to stand up. There are 6 GOP senators who could - if they were American heroes and not sniveling cowards - help save the nation by bolting and forming a new party. There are two Supreme Court Justices -- Roberts and Alito -- who might truly save the nation by ending gerrymandering, decisively and forever. If they were Americans.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/24/politics/trump-boy-scouts-rally/index.html

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There's a lot of buzz because it was announced at the AGU meeting that the moon's lava flows suggest there's some water in the lunar mantle. Does this prove that I am wrong and there truly are accessible resources on the moon... other than small deposits of ice at the poles?

Sorry. The moon has lots of good stuff. But almost none of it is FRACTIONATED or separated into highly concentrated ores. On Earth this mostly happened from geo processes, especially water streams above and below ground. In asteroids it happened because a proto planet broke up. Nothing like such processes happened on the moon. If there is mantle water, it is in parts per million and you’d need to dig very deep, then crush and melt the rock. Good luck with that.

http://www.newsweek.com/water-moon-researchers-mantle-volcanic-material-641200

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From Scout: "On Friday, James Clapper, Former Director of U.S. National Intelligence, and John Brennan, Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke with CNN's Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum about Trump, Russian hacking, and national security. The entire hour-long conversation is a must-watch, remarkable for the candor and urgency expressed by two world-class intelligence minds.

Said Clapper: “One of the things I’ve recommended to the Senate Intelligence Committee is that maybe there should be a requirement in the future that before all presidential and congressional elections, 120 days before, the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the FBI should say what’s the state of cyber intrusions that are designed to compromise the integrity of the electoral system,” Clapper suggested.

Clapper, of course, was referencing the tension the Obama administration faced between sharing what it knew about Russian interference with U.S. citizens and being perceived as trying to throw the election for Hillary. But while the U.S. may have been the most prominent example of international hacking designed to skew the outcome of its election, it certainly will not be the last.

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China: Abandoning their ancient superstitions ... and embracing OUR ancient superstitions!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/world/asia/china-western-astrology.html

When Young Chinese Ask, ‘What’s Your Sign?’ They Don’t Mean Dragon or Rat
BEIJING — China, the birthplace of the Chinese zodiac and some of the world’s oldest and most sophisticated fortunetelling techniques, has a new obsession: Western astrology.

What remains a largely niche interest in the West has in recent years become a mainstream cultural trend in China, especially among the younger generation. At dinner tables and in coffee shops, friends and strangers trade the latest gossip and tidbits about their astrological profiles.

Agh, so the selflobotomization of the west is now affecting other possible sources of civilization.

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Billionaire Nick Hanauer spoke up three years ago to warn his fellow moguls that, if unfairness, cheating and wealth disparity (skyrocketing to levels last seen before the French Revolution) weren’t addressed soon, “mobs and pitchforks will be coming for us.” Now Hanauer talks about the wave of resentful populism that Donald Trump tapped, and how Trump was able — for now — to get the resentful marching for oligarchs and not against them. A temporary respite, he says, calling on the old money and Wall Street and inheritance lords to see their own long term self- interest, and join the tech zillionaires in choosing moderation, not parasitism.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/18/to-my-fellow-plutocrats-you-can-cure-trumpism-215347

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Weekend posting "Moore's Law's demise and the crisis of expertise."

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/07/moores-laws-demise-and-crisis-of.html

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All around the world, scientists are building repositories of everything from seeds to ice to mammal milk — racing to preserve a natural order that is fast disappearing. Both disturbing and reassuring in some ways… though I admit some pique that the description of “life arks” in EARTH (1989) gets no mention.




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For all his many faults, John McCain is an adult and an American and not totally allergic to facts. In other words - not a confederate cultist helping to hijack U.S. conservatism. Recall how Donald Trump mocked McCain with: “I like people who don’t get captured.” That’s just the tip. In this linked article, a Koch-ist shill decries John McCain for saying that Vladimir Putin is more dangerous than ISIS. But let’s be clear: Vladimir Putin - who I do admit and avow to be a genius — is organizing an "axis" of like-minded autocrats that stretches from Ankara, Damascus, Minsk and Tehran through its pivot in Moscow through the Altaic region to include now Manilla, with much friendly cooperation by Beijing. The shared narrative - that democracy is decadent and useless and dangerous and that the Western Enlightenment must be brought down - is now the core and driving philosophy promoted by the right-wing oligarchy in America, as well. Given that this campaign has achieved a principal goal of discrediting -- in the eyes of 1/3 of Americans -- every single profession that deals in facts, from, science and journalism to the US military Officer Corps...then yes, this foe is vastly, vastly more dangerous than ISIS.

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/03/john-mccain-thinks-vladimir-putin-is-a-greater-threat-than-isis-hello-senator-the-world-is-calling/

Now Fox is shrilly calling the Clintons “Russian Stooges” for having done some paid speeches. Um, it ain’t the pay, guys, it’s the favors. Trump just ended US support for the moderate rebels against Putin’s pal Assad. “Adoptions” was and is code for wanting the Trumps to end US sanctions against Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the Donbass.

As for Hillary and Barack? They were Enemies Number One and Two to Putin. They gave Russian hedgemonism its worst setback since the fall of the USSR, when we supported the people of Ukraine chasing out their KGB-puppet president and turning to the west. Putin and the Moscow press DIRECTLY credit HC and Obama with that. Directly, and declared vengeance.

Tell us, oh, Fox. How do you explain away that? Oh, Don’t have to. Your viewers do not care about verifiable “facts.”

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Pungent and on-target, as always, Robert Reich describes all the things that Donald Trump has done, promises to do or in in the process of doing for Vladimir Putin, and the things Putin has done in return. And while these do not prove a subornation by collusion or blackmail, Reich shows that’s the simplest explanation. After all, half of the pro-Putin actions don’t just help Moscow, they actively hurt us. Can you offer a simpler explanation? http://robertreich.org/post/161358902975

Alas, Reich leaves out half the list! Like waging war on every American expert profession (now including the intel community and the officer corps. Like rattling sabers at Iran so they’ll move closer to Russia. Like slashing our R&D efforts, burning our future seed corn. Like inciting civil war instead of negotiated politics.

Oh, and “adoptions.” The right’s code word for striving like mad to give Putin relief from sanctions including the Magnistky Act. Oh, and this week? The US backing out of supporting the moderate, anti-Assad rebels.
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The ability of our confederate neighbors to concoct excuses for the plantation lords seems to have no limits. Now that it’s openly admitted and proved that the Trump family, the Trump campaign manager and the GOP leadership all actively salivated over and sought Russian help, the new Fox line is “why didn’t Obama speak up?”
https://newrepublic.com/article/143853/republicans-know-russia-scandal-america-deserves-answer

Now we know why. Because Obama did try to negotiate with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan on a joint statement deploring any foreign meddling, in compromise language that would be non-partisan. It was the president’s job to be cautious and judicious and not leap to yell (remember those days?) What was the response?

Mitch McConnell threatened Obama that if he even mentioned the “Russia Thing” in public, the GOP leadership would accuse Obama of election meddling. No matter how much FBI and CIA evidence was presented to those two, the response was the same. In other words, outright, deliberate, partisan treason.

Oh, but more and more grows clear. I have wondered for some time where’s been the reporting on Donald Trump’s mob connections. What? You are shocked? Shocked that a casino owner and slumlord might have been involved in international money laundering?
https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate

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