October 22, 2017

Let Us Hope

...that we don't come to envy the penguin, who in his passing is thus spared seeing what is to come.


The US bomber force is now gearing up to go back on 24 hour nuclear alert, for the first time since the end of the cold war. Actually, this is probably not a bad thing per se' as the current situation was making them vulnerable and of limited utility for deterrence. However, in a related development, the U.S.A.F. is recalling retired pilots to active duty which indicates sufficient unpleasantness afoot that there is a non-trivial potential for penguin envy. 

Shinzo Abe's LDP party has just won the two thirds majority in Japan's legislature needed to amend their constitution and thus is expected to amend or rescind article 9 of Japan's constitution. This ought not to cause too much alarm, as a nation unable to use military force to defend itself and its allies is not really a nation as much as it is a vassal of whoever it is allied with. However, the Japanese let this stand all through the cold war and Abe is not particularly loved in Japan. The fact that things are going to worms in East Asia to such an extent that the generally pacifist Japanese public is signing off on this now...with Abe as its standard bearer is a worrying sign.

Chinese president Xi Jinping has had himself and his platform written into the Chinese Communist Party charter at the recent 19th Communist Party congress. He had previously reversed Deng Xoaoping's post Mao policy of checks and balances via a division of authority by having himself named the head of basically every department/ministry. He is now listed as one of the 3 great leaders along with Deng Xiaoping and, more worryingly, the greatest mass murderer in history. The Party unanimously voted to remove all of the Deng era restrictions on how many executive positions he can hold, term limits and retirement age and formalizes his already de facto status as absolute head of state, head of the Chinese Communist Party and leader of the People's Liberation Army. 

In surely unrelated news, it appears that China is fitting their new Coast Guard cutters for ramming(!?)
The Communist Party’s People’s Daily made the purpose of these ships crystal-clear, stating they were designed to have "the power to smash into a vessel weighing more than 20,000 tons and will not cause any damage to itself when confronting a vessel weighing under 9,000 tons. It can also destroy a 5,000-ton ship and sink it to the sea floor.”
The rest of the linked article postulates a major Chinese Military adventure either against Taiwan or Japan (ultimately both) starting around 2020. That opinion piece is backed up  up by several other articles published over recent years.

In other China news, As part of his general crackdown on all things double-plus ungood, the new party Chairman will oversee the implementation of social infrastructures heretofore only dreamed of by the Stasi. Yes, social media will finally make the telescreen reality

Remember that our techweasels are facilitating this. 

 

North Korea appears to be ramping up bioweapons production. This is actually very hard to confirm and its not like the DPRK's having a scary bioweapons program is news, but this post needs some DPRK clickbaitery, so here...and here and here. In related clickbaitery, there are reports that the mountain that the DPRK has used to test its nukes is about to implode fall over, sink into the swamp and release gobs of radiation. This story seems a dubious allocation of ones limited anxiety reserves, which are probably more productively spent preparing for a DPRKEMP

Poland is increasing the size of its army by 50% in anticipation of international mischief.

Quartz identifies another single point failure mode for our financial system (actually there are just over 30 GPS satellites and 24 are needed to have the network globally accurate).

Fear not! One courageous group of Americans has a plan to make everything better.
Over 4,000 Facebook users have RSVP'd—another 33,000 are interested in attending—to the Nov. 8 event being held in Boston that is literally titled "Scream helplessly at the sky on the anniversary of the election." 

Remember that Grape the Penguin will not have to deal with any of this.



Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:54 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Well, things can always get worse, you need to look at the bright side.  It looks like the Saudis are building a pseudo-arcology named Neom that will focus on Biotech and advanced AI.  The Saudis, who are also big investors in the Vision fund, expect Neom to be a major concern in the 2030s.
Possibly relevant

Posted by: stargazera5 at Wed Oct 25 19:50:50 2017 (0oc59)

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