Friday, September 28, 2018

Are "Reptilian Aliens" Controlling Earthly Events And Entering Our Political Domain Via High Officials?

If one closely examines frozen images of Brett Kavanaugh's visage during yesterday afternoon's Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing - especially when he has his fangs bared (in between crying) - there is definitely a Reptilian resemblance.  Could it be Brett is one of the Reptilians from Draco that many believe are intruding into Earth's political environment these days? Who knows, especially after his histrionics yesterday afternoon.  But I leave it an open question for some to consider.  Hmmm.....Reptilians, Republicans.  There is a kind of concordance!  But is it real?  

Let's proceed further!

According to one review (by Michael Salia)  of the book Alien World Order:

" Len Kasten provides a coherent account of the history and imperialistic activities of Reptilian extraterrestrials on Earth and the Milky Way galaxy over millennia, using the work of Robert Morning Sky, Stuart Swerdlow, Alex Collier, and other primary sources. The scope of Reptilian influence over human elites and society is breathtaking and provides an explanation for many of the historical ills afflicting humanity. Kasten peels back the layers of secrecy even further to reveal the dire situation we collectively face today--where our political leaders are vassals for imperialistic Reptilian aliens--and the need for an informed citizenry to take back their sovereign destiny."

Okay, first let's settle down and grasp that the possibility of an advanced reptilian (or "post-dinosauroid") species is not totally out of the question, Indeed, paleontologist Dale Russell - Curator of vertebrae fossils at the National Museums of Canada, actually arrived at a feasible advanced reptilian hominid, e.g.
No photo description available.

This entity was based on, first, investigating an alter-paleohistory of what would have unfolded on Earth had the dinosaur-killing asteroid 65 million years ago, never struck. Russell argues that had the dinos then survived, they would have gotten smarter and also displaced the much smaller mammals then beginning to emerge. Ultimately, the evolution would have led to a "large brained, reptilian biped with enormous eyes, three -fingered hands and even a navel". (Source: 'The Extraterrestrial Encyclopedia', pp. 103-04)  The latter also would have had to develop the capability for live birth, as opposed to egg laying.

But - is it rational to make a major leap from such possibility to claiming an advanced guard of Reptilian aliens is living among us - presumably arrived from distant planets - and interfering in our lives and politics?   I somehow doubt it, though watching Kavanaugh intermittently bare his inner reptile yesterday makes one wonder.

Following on, if Kasten's arguments are to be believed, we on Earth have been lulled into electing Reptilian aliens or  confirming and nominating their collaborators into high office,  thereby influencing events.   This had me wondering if  the Kasten cult would even pin Pizzagate on the Reptilian overlords.   But don't for a moment think that this  crackpot conspiracy ideation is accepted by only a few. In fact, in a WaPo piece from 5 years ago (written by Philip Bump) we learn:

"As 12 million Americans "know," the United States government is run by lizard people (or, to be scientifically accurate, reptilians."

Don't howl with laughter yet. The best is yet to come. Breaking down the malarkey from one book by David Icke, Bump writes:

"Thousands of years ago, the reptilian beings [from the constellations Orion, Sirius, and Draco] intervened on planet Earth and began interbreeding with humans. Not physically, however, but rather through the manipulation of the human coding, or DNA. Icke states that it is no coincidence that humans have fundamental reptilian genetics within their brain."

First let's clarify that Sirius is not a constellation but a star. As for Orion and Draco let's  try to grasp  that all constellations are merely coincidental patterns of stars at widely differing distances. They do not form a coherent, bound whole, in other words.   They are purely random, temporary configurations, on to which humans  have superimposed imaginary images: bull, lion, crab, fish or whatever. Even as I write these words, the stars which make up the zodiacal constellations are speeding in different directions. There really is no such thing as a fixed star, on scales of cosmic time anyway. In about one hundred thousand years, none of the star patterns seen today will even remotely resemble a "Lion", or "Archer" or "Bull" or anything else

Second,  this "fundamental reptilian" aspect simply refers to an ancient brain region left mostly intact by the process of evolution. No reptilian meddling needed.

Bump also lists the assorted attributes by which one can tell if a person has merged with or been influenced by a reptilian. The common signs (according to one source:

-  predominance of green or hazel eyes that change color like a chameleon, but also blue eyes"

-  true red or reddish hair"

-  "low blood pressure"

- a sense of not belonging to the human race"

-  "UFO connections"

-  "love of space and science"

-  ""unexplained scars on body"

-  "capability to disrupt electrical appliances"

- "alien contacts"

-  "deep compassion for fate of mankind"

So wait.  I have 7 of the listed attributes, does that make me a reptilian alien?  I seriously doubt it. (Janice does too.)

Bump goes on:

"Good list! So let's see if we can pinpoint our lizard overlords based on these hints. For example: Who has eyes that are green or hazel or blue but which may change to be different colors? Maybe you"

He then follows up by applying the criteria list to known politicos and ends up with the following lizard people:  Barack Obama (who also has a knack for killing flies), Joe Biden, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Donald Rumsfeld.

As one examines the names and the purported reptilian evidence, it is easy to see it's all based on subjective dot connection (i.e. Obama is found to slap away often at flies, emulating the typical lizard). In other words, it doesn't add up to anything.  My advice? Treat the Reptilian overlord conspiracy about the same way you'd treat Pizzagate.

Is Brett Kavanagh  a Reptilian alien then? Nope. Just your garden variety, pussy-grabbing asshole who's hoping a bunch of R (for Republican, not reptile)  assholes put him on the high court.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Senate Confirmation Hearing Descends Into Partisan Knife Fight In P.M. - As Kavanaugh Bawls

"BWAHAHAHHAA! Them Dems Is So Disgusting.....!  WAAHHH!"

Question:  When 11 angry, entitled white men with  ‘R’ after their name channel their hate and frustrations into a heavyset female prosecutor to take down a fragile, female sex assault victim – so THEY don’t look bad- what do you get?  Ans.: A Battle Axe!

 And so it was Thursday that the Senate confirmation hearings for accused sexual molester Brett Kavanaugh descended into a full fledged farce,  when the 11 male members passed on their responsibility for questions to Rachel Mitchell – a Maricopa County AZ  prosecutor.  The strategy in using this woman was clear: The Repukes wanted a battering ram – or even battle axe- to tear down the victim’s defenses and render looking like either a phony or fraud.   It didn’t work!  As MSNBC cohosts Lester Holt and Casey Hunt –put it, Mitchell didn’t lay so much as a mitten on courageous Christine Ford.
Speaking in no nonsense, but emotional overtones, Dr. Ford made her sobering opening statement and followed it up by her compelling revelations as well as the impact of the whole thing on her life and her family.   Most appalling was her reference to being called “some of the most vile names imaginable” as well as being  subjected to a barrage of death threats from clearly mentally deficient degenerates.  Rather than face such a woman – bowed but unbroken – the Republican Senate Judiciary misfits chose to use a female avatar (Rachel Mitchell) to do their questioning for them. So terrified were they of the negative optics – for THEM – of besting up on a traumatized woman.

So the pussies had to get another woman to do their dirty work for them – a puppet trick if ever there was one.  In fact, the whole time I was watching Mitchell’s grilling of Dr. Ford (the first three questions) it was plain to see they were all marked by legalistic mumbo-jumbo framing, and hyper fine splitting of terms - all designed to trap Dr. Ford into perjury or inconsistencies.

Mitchell’s dual role itself almost invited a kind of schizoid approach given she had to play both defense lawyer and prosecutor.   The problem was that the “prosecutor” came out way too much when interviewing Dr. Ford and the defense lawyer came out way too much to favor Kavanaugh. In this way the whole event could be seen as one long grandstanding show designed to confer false credibility on “Booze ‘em& Bang ‘em” Brett.  This in order to expedite an unholy rush to judgment,….errr ….confirmation of the arch liar and pussy grabber, for tomorrow.
So no wonder John Clune, a Boulder CO attorney for Deborah Ramirez referred to the Senate hearing bluntly:

This feels like a setup, designed to obstruct the truth  and guarantee a political outcome.”

 In other words, just like the Warren Commission- concocted by LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover.  But in this case, the lies and M.O. were exposed from the get go.  This was especially in the P.M. session when the Reepturds and Kavanaugh dropped any pretense of an apolitical, non-partisan process and turned full rabid rat on the 10 Committee Democrats  - depicting them as the uber villains.

Led by the likes of  Southern Chauvinist Drama Queen Lindsey Graham - pitching his own hissy fits and squawking ‘mob rule” – even as he whined "this is the worst process I've ever seen". Etc.  But we know that what he really meant was too such transparency and democracy had found its way through the hoopla and nonsense.    But the whiny little bitch's biggest outburst was left for last, when he screamed in a high pitched, falsetto voice:

"Boy, so y'all really want power! I hope to God ya never get it!"

Totally failing to grasp, amidst his scripted convulsions, that HIS lot has failed to use ANY power, i.e. in checks and balances, to stop Trump's excesses. So yeah, someone with balls has to take the reins, Little Lindsey.

As for Janice's reaction to Graham's selective hysteria - well I dare not repeat it in a family -oriented blog. :(
Chuck Grassley, the octogenarian Reeptard fossil overseeing this farce,  belched earlier with a gusto that nearly invited a myocardial infarction:
“The goal is to depoliticize the process and get to the truth instead of grandstanding.
REALLY?  Could have fooled me, Chuckie, old boy!

Cutting out all the fulsome codswallop let serious observers agree that the aged imp had to know the design of this “hearing’ was specifically to accomplish what he didn’t want: politicization AND grandstanding.  That occurred the second he and his Reepo swine decided to forgo an FBI investigation focused on Dr. Ford's further claims – and instead offer up a “he said, she said” circus.
We also know this is true because generally an FBI first pass investigation NEVER delves into a
candidate's high school years - unless red alarm bells go off as they did here. But those alarms delivered the justification for Grassley, Hatch and Co. to obfuscate and spin using their predominant numbers on the Committee. 

But. Whoa,  Nellie! The afternoon scene  devolved into a full -on partisan knife fight,  even eclipsing Lindsey Graham's drama queen displays.  This as the 11 Reeps - unable to tolerate any further pussy footing -  finally took the reins from Rachel Mitchell's hands, leaving her to sit and stew. Predictably,  they literally went ape shit barking in rage at the Dems for their unseemly efforts to tear "a good man" (actually, Bill Clinton's chief inquisitor)  down. Meanwhile, their boy toy Brett didn't help the situation by alternately going "livid and tearful" according to a Financial Times observer.  Brett bawled and howled at various points how he'd never be able to coach his daughter's team again and his family had been dragged through the mud.   Oh, and he might never be able to teach at Hah-vahd again, poor thing. Well, shoulda thought about that when you were a young, entitled punk at Georgetown Prep, mate. 

The spectacle was the most maudlin and sickening since Edward Muskie was reduced to tears in a presidential campaign decades ago (he was the  Dem VP pick at the time). By any standard, the unhinged drama on display this afternoon ought to sink Kavanaugh's chances -  but don't bet on it. The Repukes lost all sense of shame as  well as irony long ago when they opted to get into bed with Donnie Dotard - aka the pussy- grabber- in- chief.

 The American people deserved much better than what they got today, but like the Warren Commission 54  years earlier, the powers- that- be believe the people must be treated as fragile infants for their own good.  Thus, like the WC we got another fraud and farce, only this time for thankfully less money wasted in the end!  That's a 'W' considering Kavanaugh's checkered past, as more voices have made his impacts on them known.
 Yes, the Reeptards may ram this tainted, tear jerking scumball through tomorrow, but in the court of public opinion it will be a fail - and they will pay even more heavily in November. 

See also:
Voting Matters, But Staying Engaged Matters More

Update - Sept. 29th:

It now appears GOP  Senate Judiciary Committee member Jeff Flake has balked at being the 11th vote for the general Senate confirmation to go forward. Flake, after being confronted by two female activists in an elevator, has now requested that the FBI extend an investigation into Kavanaugh's HS background.  Trump, incredibly, has likewise approved the move, giving the FBI a week to complete the investigation. 

The "5G' Hype - If 5G Is So great Why Are So Many Mobilizing Active Resiustance?

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5G,  ...the "Fifth Generation" - putatively the greatest thing since sliced bread  - expanding and realizing the "internet of things".   SO you can communicate with your fridge, your car, your TV, anything - any device in the home  you desire. . So why are so many not seeing it as such a benefit and are actively mobilized against it?

The essence of the problem roiling most communities, can be gleaned from the attached graphic.  The manifestation of monstrous towers laden with cellular antennas has enraged many - even forcing a lot of towers to come down. Case in point?  Residents of Denver's Riviera Apartment were astounded when they confronted a 30-foot tall green pole appearing a few feet in front of their building entrance.  The unsightly contraption, installed by Verizon Communications Inc. was designed to improve telephone service in the area but residents complained loudly about the placement. Months later, it was gone.

But you can bet this is only the 'first shot' in a continuing resistance as in the months ahead millions of Americans encounter similar poles or notice antennas sprouting on utility poles, street lamps and traffic lights - and all over their neighborhoods. This is because all four national cellphone companies are pushing to build out their networks with a profusion of small local cells to keep their data hungry customers  satisfied - oh, and lay the groundwork for the much ballyhooed  fifth generation or 5G service.

But while their first line customers may be happy many other citizens aren't and that includes official in cities that don't want their locations looking like something out of a techie horror thriller. But never mind, more than 100,000 small cells are already wired up across the U.S. according to industry research firm S&P Global.   In addition, state and federal policy makers are mostly backing the wireless carriers.  Federal Communications Commission rules passed in March exempt small cell deployments from certain historic preservation and environmental reviews.

In other words, if intruding cell structures, polls are built near historic preservation sites - say a Civil War era home - or near a lake or special reservoir, there will be no need to review the proximity issues or effects.  Further, a bill now in congress would deem small cell applications granted if local governments fail to act within 31 days.  Dozens of state laws, as in the case of fracking (like here in Colo.) also restrict local government control over cell projects.

Despite these aggressive moves for implementation, the risks of 5G systems are becoming ever more apparent even as their environmental impacts are criticized.    Truth be told, almost every 5G advance comes with a new set of security worries.  The biggest concern by far is the expected flood of connected household devices- many of which have already been  hacked (like child bedroom monitors) and also used in denial of service attacks. (Such as one in late 2016 that caused major services such as Netflix and Twitter to be unreachable for a day).

Experts also fear that - with 5 G- the telecommunications system itself will become so central to everyday life it will create an inviting huge target for malicious actors.  There are also real worries that  5 G will make it easier for hackers to turn autonomous vehicles and implantable devices (e.g. pacemakers and Watchmen) into lethal weapons.)

According to Bruce Porter, chief information security officer at Expel Inc - a cyber security startup in Herndon VA:

"As 5G facilitates a vast expansion of networks and devices they will start to become large targets and ripe for attack. We have a fairly large problem ahead to figure out how to secure all the components of 5G".

Instilling more trepidation, U.S. vulnerability could grow if domestic companies lose the race with foreign companies to dominate 5G technology. (Especially if an American company for example, comes to rely extensively on Chinese technology)

Incredibly, many U.S. officials insist their approach to securing the 5G future is working so far, despite the fact there have been no real world, live stress tests on the system.  According to one FCC Republican,  Brendan Carr:

"It's a challenge. No way around it. But it's something everyone I've talked to is taking seriously".

Well, we'll see how seriously if an when the next central meridian, coronal mass ejection collides with planet Earth.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

When Will 'Muricans Grasp The Next Stock Crash Is Around The Corner?

Examining the prime financial news of the last three weeks it's clear we're headed for another crash. The only question is 'when?' When it comes to irrational exuberance, it’s never if there will be a bust but when. Examples:

Automated Trades Seen Worsening Swings (Sept. 5)

"The growing influence on markets of algorithmic traders and trend-following funds - which use automatic directives - potentially makes markets more vulnerable to sharp swings if everyone starts to sell at once."

"Investors who gorged themselves on Turkish delight and Argentine beef have had a rude awakening in 2018—the two countries are at the heart of a broadening crisis that has sent emerging-market currencies tumbling.

In Asia, one name keeps coming up: Indonesia, which also has a growing trade deficit—and lots of foreign debt."
"Hong Kong's stocks fell into a bear market Tuesday, another casualty of an international selloff driven by trade tensions, a stronger dollar and worries about the resilience of developing economies.It is the latest sign that stocks around the world are feeling the pressure of the trade fight, exposing the global market's fragility to the sparring between the U.S. and major trading partners in Europe and Asia."
And perhaps most worrisome:

Retiring Soon? Plan for Market Downturns - WSJ

Wherein we read:
"For each year in which a bull market persists, workers become likelier to retire. But those who leave the workforce now—the ninth year of the longest U.S. bull market—are potentially setting themselves up for a tough stretch that could test their portfolio’s long-term resilience.

Why? When the stock market becomes historically expensive, as some metrics suggest it is today, research shows it’s often a harbinger of below-average future returns."
All of these (and more) are screaming alarm - but who's paying attention? Anyone? Perhaps not because too ,many are drowning in irrational exuberance. Trump, always exuberant when talking about himself and his putative accomplishments, loves to boast about how well the American economy is chugging along. The stock market reached its all-time high at the end of August. In its second quarter this year, U.S. economic growth was 4.1 percent. Unemployment remains below 4 percent, and inflation remains moderate. Even wages are going up.
Irrationality enters the picture because there’s little if any connection between Dotard's spurious  policies and the outcomes he lauds (since these trends began before he took office). Also, the prosperity that has resulted from this economic expansion has largely been enjoyed by the wealthier sectors of society. Finally, Trump’s economic fever dream is fueled by an enormous and growing amount of debt.

This is an issue I've warned about in many previous posts. For example, citing a Financial Times report  dated April 17, ('IMF Sounds Alarm On Excessive Global Borrowing') :

"The world's $164 trillion debt pile is bigger than at the height of the financial crisis a decade ago, the IMF has warned, sounding the alarm on excessive global borrowing.  The fund said the private and public sectors urgently need to cut debt levels to improve the resilience of the global economy, and provide greater firefighting ability it things go wrong.

Fiscal stimulus to support demand  is no longer the priority the IMF said Wednesday in a report published at its spring meetings in Washington. "

To fix ideas, let's note here that "support demand" refers to support of  "aggregate demand", i.e. getting citizens to spend more - which was the basis for the Trump-GOP tax cuts. This was an incredibly bad play given how much they will add to the debt, and deficits going forward, and how little they will contribute in terms of a job picture already near full employment. 

The IMF warning goes on noting what is most worrisome:

"World borrowing is more than twice the size of the value of goods and services produced and 225% of global gross domestic product. This is 12 percentage points higher than the peak of the previous financial crisis in 2009."

And the U.S. is singled out as a debt offender, e.g.

"Vitor Gaspar, the director of fiscal affairs at the  IMF, singled out the U.S. for criticism, saying that it was the only advanced country that was not planning to reduce its debt pile - with the recent tax cuts keeping public borrowing high."

In the above context, although Trump promised to balance the books if he became president, he’s done the opposite. The deficit for this year will rise to $890 billion (it was about $660 billion when Obama left office). The shortfall in government expenditures will rise above $1 trillion next year. Deficit spending makes sense during a recession. But what Trump is doing now is essentially allowing the rich to siphon the cream off the top, providing the middle class with some skim milk, and leaving the sour dregs for everyone else. 

And to the point of Vitor Gaspar,  government revenues are actually falling, which is what small-government advocates are secretly cheering: less money, less government.  But they are perversely courting disaster.   Further, it’s not just the government that’s in hock. Total household debt reached a new high in August: $13.3 trillion. That includes a record amount of student debt ($1.5 trillion), an ever-growing amount of mortgage debt ($9 trillion, which is perilously close to the $10.5 trillion it reached during the mortgage crisis in 2008), and an overall credit card debt that just surpassed $1 trillion for the first time.

Then there’s corporate debt which is now set to be on rocket power given the corporate tax cuts.  Companies have taken advantage of low interest rates to borrow like crazy. This summer, corporate debt hit a new high of $6.3 trillion. Worse, the cash-to-debt ratio, which was 14 percent in 2008, has dropped to 12 percent: that’s $1 in cash for every $8 of debt.

Economists are quick to reassure the public that all of this debt is not catastrophic. After all, the economy is humming along. America doesn’t look like Greece. But in fact debt is like a hidden hive of termites eating away at the foundation of your house. You don’t see anything wrong except a bit of sawdust and the faint sounds of consumption. And then one day, you’re sitting at your kitchen table and, boom! You’re sprawled out in your basement with the wreckage of your house around you.

Currently,  as I noted in my previous post on the Reep tax cuts,  the U.S. government owes $21 trillion, which is slightly more than the household and corporate debt combined. The owners of U.S. debt include federal agencies like Social Security (which currently runs a surplus that it uses to buy Treasury bonds), the Federal Reserve (which bought a lot of debt during the financial crisis to lower interest rates), mutual funds, and banks.
Foreign countries also hold about a third of the debt. China and Japan own a little more than a trillion dollars each, followed by Brazil, Ireland, the UK, and Switzerland.In ordinary times, foreign ownership of U.S debt is uncontroversial. Countries with revenue surpluses need a safe place to park their money. And the United States has never defaulted on its sovereign debt, unlike Greece or Argentina.

But these are not ordinary times. With the sharp downturn in U.S.-Russian relations, Moscow decided this spring to unload 84 percent of its holdings of Treasury bonds. That amounts to about $87 billion, a considerable sum.  In addition,  Japan got rid of $18.4 billion in Treasury bonds in the spring. In the first half of 2018, Turkey unloaded 42 percent of its holdings in U.S. debt. Both countries currently have trade disputes with Washington.

The big player, however, is China, and right now the Trump administration is escalating its trade war with China. Trump just announced tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports after targeting $50 billion of goods in the first round. China retaliating with more tariffs of its own is one thing but another possibility  is  devaluing its currency. An even more potentially devastating action would be to follow Russia’s example and sell its stake in Treasury bonds.

Each of these bond selloffs is akin to a gambler cashing in his chips. If the house lacks the money to pay the guy, then all hell will break loose- and that casino - like a Trump casino - wil be a loser and not last long.  In the U.S. case, each selloff of Treasury bonds creates even more instability in the markets and all that is then needed is a trigger to incite a shitstorm and crash, such as the Utility Forecaster predicted at the beginning of the year.

An even more somber warning: Americans (1 in 3 homeowners who earn less than $30,000/yr.) are now using home equity loans to cover their day to day expenses.  ('Americans leveraging their homes to pay bills', Denver Post, Business, p. 5K, Sept. 23)

My hypothesis is the trigger will likely arrive via algorithmic trades (see topmost header), and a massive lockstep selloff - leading to a crash of 50 to 60 percent.   In other words, a lockstep in asset prices - subject to algorithmic trading-  could lead to a "multiplier" sell-off effect that would overshadow a normal correction, So if 10 percent is a normal correction and the DOW was initially at 25,000 or so, that would mean a loss (total) of 2500 points.  If this is a multiplier effect at work, we could instead be looking at a  50 percent correction, or a 12, 500 point drop    If you have $100,000 parked in your company's 401(k) you might be lucky to see $50,000 in it at the end of the trading day.

Then there is the not wholly unrelated surmise of economist Martin  Feldstein (WSJ,  Save Interest For Rainy Day', July 27th)  who wrote:
"The downturn is almost certainly on its way. The likeliest cause would be a collapse in the high asset prices that have been created in the exceptionally relaxed monetary policy of  the last decade. It's too late to avoid an asset bubble. Equity prices have already risen far above their historical trend.  The price -earnings ratio of the S&P 500 is now more than 50 percent higher than the all time average, sitting at a level reached only three times in the past century.

The inevitable return of these asset prices to their historical norms is likely to cause a sharp decline in household wealth and in the rate of investment in commercial real estate. If the P/E ratio returns to its historical average, the fall in share prices will amount to a $9 trillion loss across all U.S. households."

Feldstein basically is predicting a   $10 trillion drop in U.S. household assets, warning:. “When the next recession comes, it is going to be deeper and last longer than in the past,”

Again, is anyone paying attention? I somehow doubt it. Too many are enamored of and trapped in Dotard's  asset bubble of irrational  exuberance.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Social Investment Stipend or UBI - One of Them Is Needed In The Age of AI

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In his recent major article in the WSJ Review section by  Kai-Fu Lee:
The Human Promise of the AI Revolution - WSJ

We are informed that :

"Recent history has shown us just how fragile out political institutions and social fabric can be in the face of disruptive change.  If we allow AI economics to run their natural course, the geopolitical tumult of recent years will look like child's play"

He is referring here to the rise of reactionary, authoritative governments - not only here in the U.S. with the Trumpite Cabal, but in Hungary, Poland, and Italy as well as Germany.  For sure, no one in his or her right mind wants to see the ascendance of powerful and aggressive fascist dictators a la Mussolini and Hitler.   But as Jay Bookman aptly noted('The New World Disorder Evident Here, Abroad', in The Baltimore Sun, December 15, 1997):

"The global economy has been constructed on the premise that government guarantees of security and protection must be avoided at all costs, because they discourage personal initiative. In times of crisis, however, that premise cannot be sustained politically. In times of trouble it is human nature to seek security and protection and to be drawn toward those who promise to provide it. That is how men such as Adolf Hitler, and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin came to power, with disastrous consequences."

Those are tough words to process but they are invaluable as a lesson in not forgetting the past, or how certain catastrophes arose.  Lee and other authors, most notably Andrew Yang in his book 'The War On Normal People' make that case cogently and that the rise of AI in human job displacement would well and truly mark catastrophe . Or it might mark promise, if we get our economic heads screwed on straight.

Regarding the approaching  economic cataclysm, Lee writes (ibid.):

"In the coming years people will watch as algorithms and robots easily outmaneuver them at tasks they've spent a lifetime mastering. I fear that this will lead to a crushing feeling of futility and obsolescence. At worst, it will lead people to question their own worth and what it means to be human."

Lee is referring to the fact too many people, especially Americans - but also likely many Germans- see our personal worth tied to the pursuit of money and success. This is how a capitalist, consumption society has programmed us and admittedly it is difficult to break that programming.

Lee's thesis in effect, comports very much with Yang's and we already know the major inroads AI is making to displace humans even now.  Barely a year ago, for example, I cited a WSJ  report ('Firms Leave The Bean Counting To The Robots')  warning that AI -based robots would soon be taking over CFO and accounting work across the land. That would essentially displace all those humans currently holding such jobs and likely pulling down big bucks in salary.  The article noted:

"One of Statoil ASA's newest employees, Roberta, spends her days in the energy firm's treasury department searching for missing payment information and sending out reminders.  Her boss, Tor Stian Kjoolesdal, said  Roberta's heavy orkload would improve overall efficiency in the group."

We then learned "Roberta doesn't have a last name, a face or arms. She is the first piece of robotic software to work in the Norwegian company's treasury department - part of Statoil's push to automation, robotics and artificial intelligence."

The piece went on to note that finance execs at Nokia Corp., Royal Dutch Shell and Orange SA were developing their own Robertas. Also:

"Two thirds of large global companies  expect to automate some or all of their finance department tasks over the next two or three years, according to new research by Hackett Group Inc. Hacket's report is based on benchmark and performance studies at hundreds of  large global companies."

The reason offered for the changes  in the WSJ piece was straightforward , direct:
"The new technologies are designed to cut costs, liberate workers from time consuming repetitive tasks and - in many cases - reduce finance and treasury department employee numbers."

I cited Jim Hightower  in the same blog post, who provided more inisght:

"With corporations socking away massive profits and the labor market still tight why are worker's wages stuck at miserly levels? One big reason is that corporate boards and CEOs have their heads stuck in a dreamy future. Nearly every economic sector is spending vast sums of money on workers p just not on human workers.

While few Americans are aware of it, bosses are investing in hordes of sophisticated autonomous robots powered by a cognitive technology called artificial intelligence. Instead of paying a decent wage to you, corporations are buying millions of these cheap, human-esque thinking machines in order to take a shocking number of jobs away - well, from you!"

So at the very least we can agree the AI specter is real and happening now.  There are, of course, differences on what the scale of displacement will be. But on discussing the changes (during a 2016 visit to Barbados)   with Alan Emtage - creator of the Archie search engine, which preceded Google -  he made it clear that by 2032 there would be virtually no jobs left that were exclusively human -conducted.  "Possibly with the exception of plumbers!" he mused.

So the question, as Lee frames it, is: What can be done?   He cites the "founders of the AI age" and how they feel "a mix of genuine social responsibility and fear of being targeted when the pitchforks come out."   Also, that many have seized on the idea of UBI or a universal basic income.   Andrew Yang agrees these techies for a UBI solution and that it is a sensible solution to mass joblessness.

However, Lee doesn't necessarily buy it nor does Edward Glaeser who reviewed Yang's book ('The Cure For Poverty?' July 10, p. A13).  Glaeser takes the  über  'Debbie Downer' position  that UBI will be no great "catalyst to human creativity" as Yang claims.   He offers this bit of history instead as a cautionary note and a pessimistic check on any rank optimists:

"50 years of evidence about labor supply in the U.S. suggests that giving people money will lead them to work less."

To which I would reply, 'So what?'    If that's what they choose to do with their time, work less or not at all, that is their choice. The purpose of UBI ultimately is not to produce a next generations of Picassos or Einsteins, but for people permanently displaced from their work to keep body and soul (figuratively speaking) together.  To keep food and shelter available.  Thus, all the labor reduction citations Glaeser makes are really irrelevant because they dodge the central pout.  He also appears to forget - or maybe he never learned - the famous words of FDR:

"Necessitous men cannot be free men"

In other words, it is NEED or want (for shelter, clothing, food etc.) that defines limits to liberty not work per se. UBI then addresses the issue of need first and foremost, so as to prevent the multiplication of men who perceive they are not free - and so reach for the nearest strongman who promise them that.  Give them UBI - say the usually cited stipend of $12,000 per annum, and they won't resort to strongman,  fascist populists. Doh!

Kai-Fu Lee's Review article is much more practical in terms of solutions, offering the annual stipend - but with the small  volitional aspect ("participation requirements wouldn't dictate the lives of citizens") to actively engage in assorted civic contributions.   So instead of "UBI" he calls it a Social Investment Stipend.

In terms of citizen contributions, he defines three general areas: care work community service and education.  Adding:

"These activities would form the pillars of a new social contract, rewarding socially beneficial activities just as we now reward economically productive activities."

Indeed, the former are clearly more important now in a world that can hardly tolerate further growth which translates into more pollution, more resource depletion (including of water) and more global warming.

In terms of the details for each:

"Care work would include parenting or home schooling of young children, assisting aging parents or helping a friend with mental or physical disabilities.  Service work would focus on much of the nonprofit and volunteer groups - leading after school activities, guiding tours at parks or collecting oral histories from elders in their communities,
Education activities could range from professional training for the jobs of the AI age to giving classes that turn a hobby into a career."

The beauty of Lee's solution is that there is no pretense of generating an explosion in. creativity in the displaced populace. Rather, the same old service skills that have always been used (and needed in human society)  will also be in the age of AI. 

More cogently, Lee's solution puts  the kibosh on Glaeser's Neoliberalish- ranting about how such UBI-type stipends would trigger a "dystopian jobless future", i.e. of millions of wastrels, alcoholics and layabouts.

Whichever way we roll, we need to seriously consider implementing one of these solutions, and probably  before 2025 - if not sooner.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Basic Solar Electrodynamics Revisited

X1 Solar Flare of March 29, 2014: Full Disk View

The X-1 class flare (extreme upper right) that erupted on March 29, 2014,  likely in a quadripolar sunspot group governed by anomalous electrodynamics.


The subject of electrodynamics is critically important in understanding the energetic, spatially localized events on the Sun, such as spicules, subflares and large flares, as well as CMEs (coronal mass ejections).  This is particularly in connection with the more complex magnetohydrodynamics of solar active regions that spawn the localized events.  All electrodynamics begins with the famous equations of James Clerk Maxwell.  In general, Maxwell’s equations will be expressed in vector form:

i)  Ñ X H  J    + D / t     (A current density J arises from a magnetic field)

ii)               Ñ X E  - B / t       (A magnetic field can arise from an electric field)

iii)             Ñ ·0     (There are no magnetic monopoles)

iv)             Ñ ·r            (Charges are conserved)

In addition, there are three “constitutive relations” that allow any of the above vectors to be re-cast in slightly different forms:

v)  D  =   e E

vi)  Bm H

vii)= s E

In the equations above, H represents the magnetic field intensity, B is the magnetic induction, E the electric field intensity, D the displacement current, and J is the current density. The constants, e  and m, denote the permittivity and the magnetic permeability – each for media. In vacuo, the constants used are: e 0  and m 0 and the speed of light can be expressed:  c =  1/ Öe 0  Ö m 0  .

One can also obtain the wave equations from the Maxwell differential (vector) equations. For example, take:

Ñ X H  J    + D / t    

Take  the current free (J=0) case and we know: 

D  =   εo E    and     Bmo H

Take  the curl of both sides of the vector equation in H:

Ñ X  Ñ X H      Ñ X  (D / t)


Ñ X  (D / t)  =   Ñ X (εo  E / t ) = εo  [Ñ X (E / t )]


Ñ X (E / t)  = - 2 B / t2


 - 2 B / t2    =  -  mo 2 H / t2


Ñ X  Ñ X H    εo (mo 2 H / t2)  = -mo εo (2 H / t2

But by a vector identity:

Ñ X  Ñ X H    Ñ · Ñ ·H -   Ñ 2 H

But:   Ñ ·H =    1/ mo (Ñ ·B) = 0

So:   -   Ñ 2 H   =    -mo εo (2 H / t2

Or: Ñ 2 H   =    mo εo (2 H / t2

Which is one of the wave equations in terms of H.

Writing all the component wave equations  out:

2H x  / x2  =   moεo  2 H x / t2

2H y  / x2  =   moεo  2 H y / t2

2H z  / x2  =   moεo  2 H z / t2

1.       Solar Physics formulation of  Electrodynamic Laws:
In solar applications, D and H are seldom  - if ever – used, and neither are m  and e  . For example, for  Maxwell equation (i) one is more apt to make the following changes:

i’)  Ñ X (B/m 0 )  J    + (e 0 E) / t    

leading directly to:

Ñ X B  =  m 0 [J    + (e 0 E) / t ]

If:  (e 0 E) / ® 0,  Then:

Ñ X B  =  m 0 J    or:  curl B =  m 0 J   

This is the solar version of Ampere’s law.

The solar version of Ohm’s law is generally modified for finite conductivity, s to obtain:

= s (E + v X B)

However, there are special cases for which one defines a “frozen in” condition. Obtaining the particular condition depends on the laboratory, solar or space physics situation and context.  
Adopting the first condition and allowing v = 0 we find:

Ñ X B  =  m 0 [s E ]

Now, take the curl of both sides:

Ñ x (Ñ x B) =   m 0 s  (Ñ x E)

Also, we have from a well -known vector identity:

Ñ (Ñ · B ) - Ñ · Ñ =   m 0 s  (- B / t )

From Maxwell’s divergence free equation (iii):

(Ñ · B )  = 0

So the previous equation (on substitution) reduces to:

B / t   =   Ñ 2  B  /  m 0 s  

Which has the form of the standard diffusion equation:

r / t  =  D Ñ 2 r   

Where D denotes the diffusion coefficient, in this case:

D  =  1/ m 0 s   

This has dimensions of (length) 2 divided by time. In effect, a sample length scale for consideration would have:

L’ =   Ö (t/  m 0 s )

 Such that for all times t’ < < t, the magnetic field and the plasma can be considered to move as one. This defines the term frozen in.

2.       Solar Physics formulation of frozen in condition & Ampere’s Law

In solar physics the formulation is a bit more complicated and begins with re-casting Ohm’s law for current density:

E = J / s   -  (v X B)

Again, take the curl of both sides of the equation:

Ñ X E  =  Ñ X J / s   -   Ñ X (v X B)

But:  Ñ X B  =  m 0 J      so that:

JÑ X B /  m 0


Ñ X E  =   Ñ X Ñ X B /  m 0 s  -   Ñ X (v X B)

This leads to the end result:

B / t =   Ñ 2  B /  m 0 s   +   Ñ X (v X B)

Note that the first term on the right is exactly analogous to the plasma diffusion term derived in the lab plasma context. One can think of it in terms of resistive “leakage” or the diffusion of magnetic intensity across the conducting fluid.  The second term containing the velocity is a convective term and one can think of it in the solar context as the appropriate representation of the frozen in condition for magnetic field lines in solar plasma.

Whichever term becomes dominant will depend on the time and length scales and the magnitude of the magnetic Reynolds number  Âm   . If   Âm   >> 1 then diffusion can be ignored, otherwise it can’t. It is commonly expressed:

Âm  =  L VA / h

Where L is a typical length scale for a given solar environment, VA   is the Alfven velocity and h  is the magnetic diffusivity. The infinitely conducting condition applies for  h   -> 0.  This implies zero electrical resistance so if magnetic field lines aren’t cut, e.g. as shown here:

Plasma flow cutting field line

Then the field lines must be frozen into the plasma. Hence, the frozen-in condition, high magnetic Reynolds number and infinite conductivity all mean the same condition for solar plasma.

Ampere’s law in the solar context:

A more general form of Ampere’s relation is given by:  

B d  ò òS     J  dS  =  m 0  I

Where I denotes the ‘enclosed’ current,     denotes the closed line integral around the closed curve C and  ò òS  denotes the second surface integral over S enclosed by C. 

In S.I. units it then becomes:

 2p÷ B÷     =  m 0 I

So that:  ÷ B÷     =  m 0 I/  2p

Where   m 0   =   4p  x 10-7  H/M

The total current can also be expressed, in terms of the z-component of magnetic intensity;

IT  =  2 pr B z  / 0.012

Ampere’s law in its vector identity form is often written:

curl H  = J    or  curl B =  m 0 J

where ‘curl’ is a complex mathematical operation using partial derivatives for a certain coordinate system, such that for example:

curl B  =   [1/r er         ef              e z]

                    [/r        /f          / z]

                    [   Br         rBf                Bz  ]

For cylindrical coordinates, such as applicable to solar loops to a fair approximation. This can also be further simplified for one-dimensional modeling, cf.

with B = (0, Bf , Bz ) provided:    /f/ z = 0.

Then:  curl B  =  [0     - Bz /r         1/ r  //r   (rBf)]

which is the exact truncation value of the Lundvist Bessel function solution.

In solar physics situations, the force –free assumption dominates so that:

J  X  B  = 0

In general, we incorporate the “force –free” parameter (a)  into the solar version of Ampere’s law such that:

curl B  =  aB

 And since: curl B =  m 0  

Then:   a = m 0 J  / B   and  J = aB / m 0


Curl B = Ñ X B  aB  = (m 0 J  / B ) B         

This is the mathematical starting point for the treatment of an evolving force-free field.  For a potential (current-free) field a = 0 so that Ñ X B  =  0. This is the simplest case, i.e. in which no magnetic free energy is stored.

As an example, consider using the basic 1-D curl:

curl B  =  [0     - Bz /r         1/ r  /r   (rBf)]

From the preceding curl elements:

- Bz /r   = aB f       

1/r  / r (r B f  )  =   aB z     

Whence,  for variation in one quantity:

B f    = 1/a ( d B z  / dr ) 


1/r   d/dr (r B f   )  -  a B z        =   0

Now, substitute the top equation into the bottom and multiply through by (-a) to get:

1/r  d/dr (r d B z  / dr  )  +  a2 B z        =   0

which is a form of Bessel’s differential equation. If  B z  is finite on the r = 0 axis, then the solution may be written (Lundqvist, 1951)[1]

B z      =   Bo Jo (aR)         and          B f   =   Bo J1 (aR)

where Jo (aR)  is a Bessel function of zero order, and  J1 (aR) is a Bessel function of first kind, order unity. 

Note for the special case a = 0 we get what is called the current-free condition for which there is no residual free energy to be extracted.  On the other hand, for any region for which a > 0, there exists MFE to be extracted, e.g. for solar flares.


1)Take the electric field E to be in the x-direction and write out an expression for curl E.

2)For E in three dimensions (x, y, z) show that:

div curl E = 0;

3)For a particular solar active region the magnetic diffusivity is h  »     327.6 m2 /s

If the length scale is L »   10 7 m  and the Alfven speed is VA  = 103   m /s, then find the magnetic Reynolds number for the region. From this assess whether the magnetic field is frozen in or not.

4) The vector potential A is often written as: B = curl A

Write out the full mathematical form for curl A in rectangular coordinates.

5) (a) A solar loop has an estimated diameter of 1.1 x 10 9   cm. If the longitudinal magnetic field (estimated by vector magnetograph) is Bz  » 0.1 T, estimate the total current.

(b) A steady current I flows through a hollow cylinder of radius a  and is uniformly distributed around the tube. Let r be the distance from the axis of symmetry of the tube to a given point.

Find the magnitude of the magnetic field B at a point inside the tube.  What is the magnitude of the magnetic field B, at a point outside the tube?

6) For the problem 5(a), using the same quantities, estimate the force free parameter, a.  Typical solar values of  a associated with coronal loops are of magnitude »  10 -10 m –1.   How does the value you obtained compare?

[1] S. Lundqvist, Physical Review, Vol. 83, p. 307, 1951.