“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

North Korea, Again

‘Sanctions not working but only give Pyongyang time to master ballistic & nuclear programs’

The Russian-Chinese ‘double freeze’ initiative seems to be the only viable solution to the Korean crisis, former US diplomat Jim Jatras has told RT, warning that the tensions could soon reach a point of no return, where hundreds of thousands of people will suffer.

RT: The UN Security Council has just adopted new sanctions on North Korea. Now, this particular test missile, does it change things?
Jim Jatras: I think there will be a very strong response and reaction from Washington on this. I don't think they look at any missile or any test of a nuclear weapon that North Korea does as ‘just another test.’ I think they look at it as an incremental step in developing a capability that in the minds of American policymakers, not entirely unfounded, is at some point going to be a threat to the United States.

So when new sanctions are passed with the stated intention of causing North Korea to reign in their program and seems to have the exact opposite effect, you think at some point someone is going to say, 'Gosh, this isn't working really well', and try to figure out something new. I do not know if we are there yet.

RT: You mentioned that the new sanctions which have been put in place does not seem to work. What can be done?

JJ: Well, unfortunately, I think there are some people that do think there is a military solution. If you read the American media you see from various points in the political spectrum all the time people say: ‘Now is the time to act, we must do something militarily about North Korea while we still have time.’ And they say that knowing that it could have a devastating impact on the lives, ending the lives of hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of Koreans, maybe put us in the position where we are at war with China. But they are willing to undertake that risk. I do not think that makes any sense.

On the other hand, if we talk about diplomacy, then we really have to be talking about trading something for something. If we want the North Koreans to reign in their program then what are we willing to do to back up in some respect? Against something like the Chinese 'double freeze' proposal which is considered a complete nonstarter by Washington policy makers.

RT: You mentioned the ‘double freeze’ initiative – proposed by Russia and China – where North Korea freezes its missile tests, while South Korea and the US will stop military drills. Yesterday, South Korea conducted military drills, and now we see this test from Pyongyang. Does this mean we moving further away from a diplomatic solution to the conflict?

JJ: So it seems. And I think the next thing we have to see will be the reaction from Washington and Seoul after this latest North Korean missile test. My guess is we are going to see more saber rattling, more tests, more decapitation drills, more transfer of advanced weapons to South Korea. There is even talk that South Korea now wants to have American nuclear weapons stationed on their territory.
It seems that the knee jerk response here is to say. ‘Okay, the sanctions and threats against North Korea did not work, they continue with their test, so now we have to come in with more military exercises, more threats'. And then we'll be surprised when they keep testing their weapons.

RT: This entire situation that has been developing this year is far beyond the usual DPRK-US tit-for-tat. Do you think the latest missile, flying through another country's airspace, will be treated differently? How are we going to have a military response on that?

JJ: Well, they have fired missiles over Japan before. And frankly, I think they are likely to do that again. I think we are at the point where the quantitative and incremental developments end up taking on a qualitative aspect, that we are nearing the point where there either has to be some backing down from this military confrontation, that has to be mutual, and we have some sort of diplomacy, or something is going to happen, somebody is going to do something that gets us past the point of no return. And as I say there are people here in Washington already advocating that. It is not at all thinkable in the minds of at least some of the policymakers here.
RT: President Donald Trump said after the UN Security Council adopted sanctions Monday, that the resolution doesn't mean a lot and can't be compared to what could come later. What reaction can we expect from the Trump administration?

JJ: That is a good question. As I’ve said, we’ll see the stepping up of the military drills and deployments in South Korea. We also hear calls for even tougher sanctions. Well, ‘gosh, we were reasonable on the American side, bringing to watering down that resolution in the UN in order to bring in the Chinese and the Russians along. That did not work. We’ll probably go back and try to press them for even tougher sanctions.’

As we know, the United States wanted a complete cut-off of oil going into North Korea, we wanted a freeze on the personal assets of Kim Jung-un and other top members of the government. That did not happen either. So I’m sure we will go back to the well on that.

I don't know if the Russians and the Chinese will go along with that. I sometimes have a sense that what they are doing is allowing Washington to spin out its rope, to see how far they want to go with this, try to moderate it, and hoping that at some point people here feel that they’ve reached a dead end and will think of something else. But I do not know, but I think it is a very dangerous strategy on their part if they think they can somehow humor Washington into a more moderate stance.

‘Time to try diplomacy, sanctions only give Pyongyang time to master ballistic & nuclear programs’

Most Americans and South Koreans support a diplomatic solution to the crisis, Simon Chun, a member of the Korea Peace Network has told RT.

“Seventy-one percent of Americans, whether Republican or Democrat support diplomacy, as well as over 80 percent of South Koreans support diplomacy,” Chun pointed out, underlining that the “most important variable will be public pressure.”

“Those people who support diplomacy who have patiently waited for sanctions to work, they are going to say, ‘enough is enough’, it is time to try diplomacy,” the activist believes.

"I also think that there is great public and also international pressure for diplomacy. Russia and China strong support the 'double freeze.' And I think this is a very viable approach."
Chun also explained that sanctions have so far done nothing to halt Pyongyang's nuclear development, and that it's time for a “policy change” in Washington.
“Sanctions have not worked, they are not going to work, and it will just give them [N. Korea] more time to master its existing ballistic and nuclear programs,” Chun told RT.


  1. Time to send in Rodman with a signed b-ball for Kim Fatty III.

  2. North Korea has repeatedly vowed to continue these tests amid what it calls U.S. hostility — by which it means the presence of tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Japan and South Korea. Robust diplomacy on the issue has been stalled for years, and there's little sign that senior officials from Pyongyang and Washington might sit down to discuss ways to slow the North's determined march toward inclusion among the world's nuclear weapons powers.

  3. Forty-one years ago, Antonio Inoki, one of Japan’s most popular professional wrestlers, faced off against Muhammad Ali in a bout that critics called a farcical publicity stunt.

    This week, some commentators leveled similar criticism at Mr. Inoki, now a 74-year-old member of Japan’s Parliament, as he returned from North Korea, where he said he had visited a zoo, sipped ginseng wine and discussed nuclear diplomacy with high-ranking officials.

    1. visited a zoo, sipped ginseng wine and discussed nuclear diplomacy with high-ranking officials

      That is a "confidence builder", as my dad used to say.

  4. Last month the US Defense Intelligence Agency estimated 60 nukes in inventory.

  5. 2 months ago the Pentagon estimated that they have:

    < 50 launchers for medium range No Dong (800 miles)
    < 50 launchers for intermediate range Musudan / KN-11 (2,000 miles)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.


    1. I heard some current military guy mention possibly emp-ing the Norks.

      I was wondering how small these EMP attacks can be, and whether we might be turning the lights out in Seoul as well.

  7. The origin of zero is NOT ISLAMIC: First evidence of the symbol is discovered in the Indian Bakhshali manuscript dating back to the 3rd century
    By Pamela Geller - on September 14, 2017

    For years I have debunked the bogus claims of Islamic supremacists and their leftwing lapdogs in the media, cultural institutions, teachers, activists, etc. of claims of Muslim inventions. The origins of numerous scientific, medical and technical inventions claimed by Muslims were actually stolen from conquered peoples by Muslim invaders. The zero has long been one of those claims. Wrong. History has been scrubbed and manufactured Muslim myths are presented as fact.

    It has long been one of the world’s greatest mathematical mysteries, but experts believe they have finally cracked the origin of the zero symbol. Scientists have discovered evidence of the symbol in the Indian Bakhshali manuscript – a mathematical text discovered in 1881

    The Bakhshali manuscript was found in 1881 but has never been dated
    Researchers used radiocarbon dating and found that it dates to the 3rd century
    It contains a dot symbol throughout, which was develop into the zero symbol in the sixth century
    It has long been one of the world’s greatest mathematical mysteries, but experts believe they have finally cracked the origin of the zero symbol.

    Scientists have discovered evidence of the symbol in the Indian Bakhshali manuscript – a mathematical text discovered in 1881.

    Carbon dating indicates that the manuscript dates from as early as the 3rd century, making it the world’s oldest recorded origin of the zero symbol that we use today.

    By Shivali Best For Mailonline, 14 September 2017:

    It has long been one of the world’s greatest mathematical mysteries, but experts believe they have finally cracked the origin of the zero symbol.

    Scientists have discovered evidence of the symbol in the Indian Bakhshali manuscript – a mathematical text discovered in 1881.

    Carbon dating indicates that the manuscript dates from as early as the 3rd century, making it the world’s oldest recorded origin of the zero symbol that we use today.

    Researchers from the University of Oxford conducted the first ever radiocarbon dating on the Bakhshali manuscript and revealed that it dates from as early as the 3rd century – five centuries older than previously believed.

    This means that the manuscript predates a 9th-century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, which was thought to be the oldest example of a zero.

    1. Professor Marcus du Sautoy, who led the study, said: ‘Today we take it for granted that the concept of zero is used across the globe and is a key building block of the digital world.

      ‘But the creation of zero as a number in its own right, which evolved from the placeholder dot symbol found in the Bakhshali manuscript, was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics.

      We now know that it was as early as the 3rd century that mathematicians in India planted the seed of the idea that would later become so fundamental to the modern world.

      ‘The findings show how vibrant mathematics have been in the Indian sub-continent for centuries.’

      The zero symbol that we use today evolved from a dot that can be seen throughout the Bakhshali manuscript.

      The zero symbol that we use today evolved from a dot that can be seen throughout the Bakhshali manuscript
      The zero symbol that we use today evolved from a dot that can be seen throughout the Bakhshali manuscript
      The Bakhshali manuscript was found in 1881 by a local farmer.

      The manuscript was buried in a field in a village called Bakhshali, near Peshawar, in what is now a region of Pakistan.

      Since 1902, it has been housed in the Bodley Library at the University of Oxford.

      But it will go on public display at the Science Museum in London as a centrepiece of the major exhibition Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science and Innovation, opening 4 October 2017.
      Rather than being used on its own, the dot was used as a ‘placeholder’ to indicate orders of magnitude in a number system – for example, the zero denoting a lack of tens in 101.

      While the use of zero as a placeholder was seen in several different ancient cultures, including the Mayans, the researchers say the symbol in the Bakhshali manuscript it significant for two reasons.

      Firstly, this dot evolved to have a hollow centre that we see in the zero symbol today.

      And secondly, it was only in India that this zero developed into a number in its own right, when Brahmagupta, an Indian astronomer, wrote a text called Brahmasphutasiddhanta in the sixth century, which is the first document to discuss zero as a number.

      The Bakhshali manuscript was found in 1881 by a local farmer. The manuscript was buried in a field in a village called Bakhshali, near Peshawar, in what is now a region of Pakistan
      Previous studies have suggested that Bakhshali manuscript dates from between the 8th and 12th century, based on the style of writing.

      But the new carbon dating reveals that the manuscript, which consists of 70 fragile leaves of birch bark, is composed of material from at least three different periods.

      Richard Ovenden, librarian at the Bodley Library, which houses the manuscript, said: ‘Determining the date of the Bakhshali manuscript is of vital importance to the history of mathematics and the study of early South Asian culture and these surprising research results testify to the subcontinent’s rich and longstanding scientific tradition.’

      The Bakhshali manuscript will go on public display at the Science Museum in London as part of the exhibition Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science and Innovation, opening 4 October 2017.

    2. The iconography of ancient Egypt of the Pyramids came from India via the trade routes.

    3. When the Aryans filtered into India they tried to substitute some of their own ways of thinking, but such thinking mostly got changed and assimilated to the older Hindu outlook.

  8. .

    There is just something about Nicki Haley that truly irritates me. Hearing her speak is like listening to fingernails being scraped down a blackboard.


  9. .

    Anyone else here been caught up in that Equifax security breach?


    1. I cancelled out one card, and got a new one with a new number.

    2. Leo Laport says don't use their web "checker:" It's phony - people have put in random names, etc and gotten "answers."

      ...says they ask you for the last 6 digits of your Social!

      Why not just send the whole thing hither and yon?

    3. Equifax's hack checker is a hot mess -- here's what to do

  10. I cancelled my credit cards, requested a new one and made a statement to the banks that they do not have my permission to share my information with Equifax.

  11. On Monday, I will do the same with my checking accounts.

  12. It's a sad truth today: it' awfully hard living without credit cards or bank cards of some type, and a cell phone.

  13. I am concerned about auto bill payment. I do not believe we have the whole story.

  14. Who knows how deep Equifax is tied into the credit card issuing agencies and the banks?


  15. PSA: no matter what, Equifax may tell you you’ve been impacted by the hack

    Those hoping to find out if their Social Security number and other identifying info was stolen, along with a potential 143 million other American’s data won’t find answers from Equifax.

    In what is an unconscionable move by the credit report company, the checker site, hosted by Equifax product TrustID, seems to be telling people at random they may have been affected by the data breach.

    I started noticing most people who’d tested out the site in my Facebook and Twitter feeds had been given the message that they may have been part of the millions whose information was affected. It stood to reason that was likely, given the scope of the leak would affect possibly one out every two people I know in the country.

    However, I then decided to try it out for myself. First, I entered my real information…and received the bad news.

    “Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information may have been impacted by this incident,” the site said.

    I was then encouraged on the next line to continue my enrollment in TrustedID Premier. I was not aware I was enrolling in anything simply by giving my information. I had been instructed to add my last name and the last six digits of my Social Security number only to find out if I’d been impacted.

    So then I decided to test the system with a different last name and six random numbers. I used the more popular English spelling of my last name for this purpose, entering “Burr” instead of “Buhr” and entered six random numbers I don’t even remember now.

    Sure enough, this made-up person had also been impacted. I tried it over and over again and got the same message. The only time I did not get the message I’d been impacted was when I entered “Elmo” as the last name and “123456” as my Social Security number.

    1. Others have tweeted they received different answers after entering the same information.

      The assignment seems random. But, nevertheless, they were still asked to continue enrolling in TrustID.

      What this means is not only are none of the last names tied to your Social Security number, but there’s no way to tell if you were really impacted.

      It’s clear Equifax’s goal isn’t to protect the consumer or bring them vital information. It’s to get you to sign up for its revenue-generating product TrustID.

      Earlier it was revealed executives had sold stock in the company before going public with the leak. We also found TrustID’s Terms of Service to be disturbing. The wording is such that anyone signing up for the product is barred from suing the company after.

    2. I think they discovered the hack in JULY!

    3. "The wording is such that anyone signing up for the product is barred from suing the company after."


  16. I'm signing on with QUEFAX CARD SECURTIY LLC, securing all your financial dealings and working out of Detroit, Michigan.

    They even send holders of a QUESEC card dividends 'when possible'.

    Brand new product on the market, but already promising first dividend 'soon'.

    At only $99.99/ month a month, it's a steal, which is actually what it advertises itself as being, 'a steal at any price'.

    Contact at 1-800-QUE-CARD right now.

    Lines are open.

    I did.

    1. If you read the 30 pages of fine print you will find that:

      "The wording is such that anyone signing up for the product is barred from suing the company after."


      Nothing to worry about though. That is standard in the industry, and is intended to protect 'the stockholders'.

      QueFax is a closely held family corporation, listing two stockholders, some guy named Quirk, and a dog.

    2. Nice guy in spite of the fact that he hates Indian Women.

    3. Being Polish gets one a one/third discount.

    4. And I haven't even mentioned QueFax' bitcoin investor program....

    5. Better than cash: It's a clone.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Bitcoin is as worthless as a soggy golf score card.

      Go with Silver and Gold from Que Capital,LLC, trading out of Detroit, Michigan.

      What's in YOUR wallet ?

  17. Embarrassing failure of 'key' ballistic missile by Seoul raises questions of readiness

    South Korea suffered a failure of one of its homegrown intermediate-range missiles after launching it following North Korea's latest missile provocation.

    In June, a South Korean presidential spokesman called the missile "a key component in our kill chain."

    The malfunction of the missile raises questions about whether Seoul is fully prepared to handle a large conflict with Pyongyang.

    It comes as North Korea reportedly has a new submarine nearing completion that can stay underwater longer and fire ballistic missiles.

    Jeff Daniels | @jeffdanielsca
    Published 4 Hours Ago | Updated 52 Mins Ago

    Perhaps....perhaps....this new Nork sub should suffer an a massive undersea failure of undetermined nature on its sea trials in deep water.

  18. Armed Men Try To Rob Bar. Who Was In The Bar At The Time Made It A Very Bad Idea
    Posted at 8:30 am on September 15, 2017 by Tom Knighton

    Robbing a bar might seem like a solid idea. For one thing, inebriated patrons have slower reaction times and thus easier to deal with. For another, due to many states freaking out over the possibility of someone carrying a firearm having a drink, bars are no-go places for concealed carry license holders.

    Assuming, of course, criminals think that far ahead.

    However, one thing the crooks in our story this morning weren’t expecting was for the bar to be full of police officers at a retirement party for one of their own.


    Police arrested two men quicker than ever on Tuesday evening after they attempted to rob a bar at gunpoint, where a group of off-duty cops were also having a retirement party.

    Local authorities said the two masked men who held up Monaghan’s Pub in Baltimore, which sits just across the street from a police station, barged into the business demanding money from the register before taking off.

    “I’m sure that they weren’t planning on there being a large room filled with police officers,” Baltimore County police Officer Jennifer Peach told WBAL-TV .

    Peach said the officers were gathered in the main room of the bar for the celebration when an employee was held up at gunpoint.

    The employee knew the bar had a number of officers in it, so he went and alerted the officers, who then chased down the two suspects.

    Yeah, it’s a little disappointing. I was kind of hoping it would be like this scene (Warning for language, thus not safe for work):


    Still, the alleged bad guys were caught, arrested, and no one got hurt.

    Isn’t it funny, though, how many states won’t recognize a private citizen’s right to carry in a bar–regardless of whether he consumes any alcohol or not–but police officers are free to do so?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not begrudging our boys and girls in blue carrying anywhere they want. They can and should be carrying at all times. Even (especially?) in bars where people can easily get stupid and try to start stuff with deadly weapons such as broken beer bottles, knives, or firearms they bring into the bar illegally.

    Instead, my point is about the rest of us. Had this situation been two guys wanting to hurt people while robbing a bar, and the police officers not been there, there’s literally nothing anyone could have done except become a victim.

    Luckily, that wasn’t the case this time. The good guys caught the alleged bad guys and, if convicted, these bad guys will have to explain how they were dumb enough to rob a bar filled with cops while they’re in prison. Frankly, that kind of adds to the punishment if you ask me. Luckily, though, the court won’t consider that if and when sentences are passed down. At that point, only their crime will be considered.

    Assuming, of course, they don’t end up with some ridiculous deal that keeps them out of prison and on the street despite committing a violent felony. In this day and age, that’s a possibility too.

  19. .

    Deuce ☂Fri Sep 15, 06:17:00 PM EDT

    I cancelled my credit cards, requested a new one and made a statement to the banks that they do not have my permission to share my information with Equifax...

    Deuce ☂Fri Sep 15, 06:22:00 PM EDT

    I am concerned about auto bill payment. I do not believe we have the whole story.

    It would be nice if you were able to isolate dealings through Equifax but unfortunately everything you do with them you have to duplicate with the other two agencies in order to gain any protection at all and even then it's no sure bet. And unfortunately, the other two companies appear as incompetent as Equifax.

    Trying to get anything done online is a joke, no problem if you want to buy one of their products but try to get your free credit reports (much less a credit freeze) is almost impossible. Who the hell would buy a security product from these dolts?

    I plan to go to the bank tomorrow to see what I can do. I know you can put limits on how much you allow to be taken out by AMT but I'm not sure about the other stuff. I pay all my bills except credit card by direct withdrawal. I've got double authentication set up on my investments. I'll see what the bank has.

    Our state attorney general has asked that anyone impacted by the breach report it to his office. Hell, everyone is affected and it's not just the $10 for a credit freeze (times 6 over for me and my wife). But as I get older, every day is more valuable to me. After screwing around with this stuff for the last week, I figure these guys have already bilked me out of 5 figures.


    1. Give everything you have to your trusted kids before you die, then die with uncollectible credit card debt.

      That's what I've always done.

  20. They're all a bunch of ass holes.

    I see today I am paying interest on a card that was supposed to be 'interest free' for a year.

    They will be hearing from me when I work up the required energy and disgust.

  21. The URGE that gives us Truckee -

    Science #WhoaScience
    SEP 15, 2017 @ 10:00 AM 22,617

    Proof Of 'God Playing Dice With The Universe' Found In The Sun's Interior

    Starts With A Bang
    The Universe is out there, waiting for you to discover it
    Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
    Ethan Siegel Ethan Siegel , Contributor
    NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory / GSFC
    At the photosphere, we can observe the properties, elements, and spectral features present at the outermost layers of the Sun. But it's the processes taking place in the core that provide its true power.

    Deep inside the Sun's interior, the fusion of lighter nuclei into heavier ones causes a tiny amount of mass to be lost, converted into energy via the famous E = mc2. At temperatures of 4,000,000 K or above, all the way up to 15,000,000 K in the Sun's very center, hydrogen and helium isotopes build their way up to more stable elements, releasing energy and providing all the power that washes over every planet in the Solar System. Yet despite these incredible energies, the protons in the Sun's core would never be able to begin this chain reaction if the Universe were completely deterministic. It requires the wave nature of quantum mechanics to make it possible, proving that Einstein's famous statement, that "God does not play dice with the Universe," was false.

    Paul Ehrenfest
    Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, discussing a great many topics in the home of Paul Ehrenfest in 1925. The Bohr-Einstein debates were one of the most influential occurrences during the development of quantum mechanics.

    In the 1920s, the world of physics was swept by two major revolutions: General Relativity, which put forth spacetime and the fact that matter and energy curved it as the cause of gravitation, and quantum mechanics, which detailed that all the particles in the Universe also acted like waves. Because of some fundamental properties in quantum physics, it was inherently a non-deterministic theory, meaning that you could only talk about probabilities of certain outcomes occurring, rather than knowing what would result from a particular setup. Two of the most important physicists of the time, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, had a number of famous (and public) debates over whether the Universe was inherently deterministic or not, with Einstein arguing yes and Bohr arguing no.

    Wikimedia Commons user Berndthaller
    The hydrogen atom, one of the most important building blocks of matter, exists in an excited quantum state with a particular magnetic quantum number. Even though its properties are well-defined, certain questions, like 'where is the electron in this atom,' only have probabilistically-determined answers.

    All the way up until his death in the 1950s, Einstein refused to believe, as he called it, that "God played dice" with the Universe. There must be some underlying laws, he reasoned, that determined which particles would behave in which particular fashion, and that it was only a failure of our experimental or observational capabilities that prevented us from seeing the real truth of the matter. When quantum physics was first developed in the 1920s, however, there were only two fundamental forces known: gravity and electromagnetism. The nuclear forces were still unknown, which almost meant that the source of the Sun's power — nuclear fusion — was unknown as well. If only Einstein knew about this, he could have realized how mistaken he truly was!

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      Wikimedia Commons user Kelvinsong
      This cutaway showcases the various regions of the surface and interior of the Sun, including the core, which is where nuclear fusion occurs. The individual particles in the core, however, do not have properties that lead to nuclear fusion without quantum physics.

      All told, by looking at the power output of the Sun, we measure that it emits a continuous 4 × 1026 Watts, which means that inside the Sun’s core, a whopping 4 × 1038 protons fuse into helium-4 every second. If you consider that there are some 1057 particles in the entire Sun, of which a little less than 10% are in the core, this might not sound so far-fetched. After all:

      These particles are moving around with tremendous energies: each proton has a speed of around 500 km/s in the center of the Sun’s core.
      The density is tremendous, and so particle collisions happen extremely frequently: each proton collides with another proton billions of times each second.
      And so it would only take a tiny fraction of these proton-proton interactions resulting in fusion into deuterium — about 1-in-1028 – to produce the necessary energy of the Sun.
      So even though most particles in the Sun don’t have enough energy to get us there, it would only take a tiny percentage fusing together to power the Sun as we see it. So we do our calculations, we calculate how the protons in the Sun’s core have their energy distributed, and we come up with a number for these proton-proton collisions with sufficient energy to undergo nuclear fusion.

      Wikimedia Commons user Sarang
      The most straightforward and lowest-energy version of the proton-proton chain, which produces helium-4 from initial hydrogen fuel.

      That number is exactly zero. The electric repulsion between the two positively charged particles is too great for even a single pair of protons to overcome it and fuse together with the energies in the Sun’s core. This problem only gets worse, mind you, when you consider that the Sun itself is more massive (and hotter in its core) than 95% of the stars in the Universe! In fact, three out of every four stars are M-class red dwarf stars, which achieve less than half of the Sun’s maximum core temperature.

      Kieff/LucasVB of Wikimedia Commons / E. Siegel
      The classification system of stars by color and magnitude is very useful. By surveying our local region of the Universe, we find that only 5% of stars are as massive (or more) than our Sun is.

    2. Only 5% of the stars produced get as hot or hotter as our Sun does in its interior. And yet, nuclear fusion happens, the Sun and all the stars emit these tremendous amounts of power, and somehow, hydrogen gets converted into helium. The secret is that, at a fundamental level, these atomic nuclei don’t behave as particles alone, but rather as waves, too. Each proton is a quantum particle, containing a probability function that describes its location, enabling the two wavefunctions of interacting particles to overlap ever so slightly, even when the repulsive electric force would otherwise keep them entirely apart.

      E. Siegel / Beyond The Galaxy
      When two protons meet each other in the Sun, their wavefunctions overlap, allowing the temporary creation of helium-2: a diproton. Almost always, it simply splits back into two protons, but on very rare occasions, a stable deuteron (hydrogen-2) is produced.

      There’s always a chance that these particles can undergo quantum tunneling, and wind up in a more stable bound state (e.g., deuterium) that causes the release of this fusion energy, and allows the chain reaction to proceed. Even though the probability of quantum tunneling is very small for any particular proton-proton interaction, somewhere on the order of 1-in-1028, or the same as your odds of winning the Powerball lottery three times in a row, that ultra-rare interaction is enough to explain the entirety of where the Sun’s energy (and almost every star’s energy) comes from.

      NASA / Solar Dynamics Observatory / Atmospheric Imaging Assembly / S. Wiessinger; post-processing by E. Siegel
      A composite of 25 images of the Sun, showing solar outburst/activity over a 365 day period. Without the power of nuclear fusion, which is made possible through quantum mechanics, none of what we recognize as 'solar output' would be possible.

      If it weren’t for the quantum nature of every particle in the Universe, and the fact that their positions are described by wavefunctions with an inherent quantum uncertainty to their position, this overlap that enables nuclear fusion to occur would never have happened. The overwhelming majority of today’s stars in the Universe would never have ignited, including our own. Rather than a world and a sky alight with the nuclear fires burning across the cosmos, our Universe would be desolate and frozen, with the vast majority of stars and solar systems unlit by anything other than a cold, rare, distant starlight.

      It’s the power of quantum mechanics that allows the Sun to shine. In a fundamental way, if God didn’t play dice with the Universe, the nuclear flame that powers the stars would never light, and the life-giving fusion that occurs in our Sun's core would never come to be. Yet with this randomness, we win the cosmic lottery all the time, to the continuous tune of hundreds of Yottawatts of power. Thanks to the fundamental quantum uncertainty inherent in the Universe, we've achieved a chance at existence. Fiat lux.

      Astrophysicist and author Ethan Siegel is the founder and primary writer of Starts With A Bang! His books, Treknology and Beyond The Galaxy, are available wherever books are sold.

  22. 86 Hindus killed in Rohingya jihad massacres, 200 Hindu families flee Myanmar
    By Pamela Geller - on September 15, 2017
    We continue to see wildly unbalanced coverage of jihadi wars and insurrections across the world. Despite the unspeakable blood and carnage shed in the cause of Islam, the media works furiously to paint Muslims as the victims. There is no better example (except for Israel) than Burma.

    Why doesn’t the media ever ask, why is it that everywhere Muslims immigrate, there is conflict? The higher the population, the bigger the conflict. Why is that?

    In the AP’s reportage of the Islamic terror, true to form, the AP blames the victim warning of “fear of reprisals,” beating us about the head with the Islamophobia club.

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    Buddhist monks have to carry guns for self-defense (there’s an oxymoronic visual for you). Think about that. Don’t buy the Muslim myth of victimhood in Burma at the hands of Buddhists. What’s comical is that Buddhism really is a religion of peace.

    “Stop Rohingyas in Indian soil as they are another Jihadi threat in India and the butchers of humanity,” Struggle for Hindu Existence, September 14, 2017:

    Manoj Anand | AsianAgeOnLine | Guwahati | Sept 13, 2017:: In the ongoing onslaught against Rohingya in Myanmar, at least 86 Hindus have lost their lives while over 200 Hindu families are reported to have fled to the forest areas to escape the onslaught of Burmese Army and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

    This is what the migrant who managed to cross over to Bangladesh from Myanmar told local television reporters on Tuesday.

    Claiming that houses of Hindu residents were also set on fire by the Army, the migrants are now taking shelter in Cox Bazar area of Bangladesh said that hundreds of innocent people have been killed in trouble-torn Rakhine state of Myanmar.

    1. Admitting that majority of those killed and targeted are Rohingya Muslims, Kalu Seal, one of the migrants who managed to escape from Myanmar, claimed that the Burmese army and ARSA stormed into their localities and started killing hundreds of people by slitting their throats or stabbing them. After killing their family members, they burnt their houses only to let them escape with their life.

      Another migrant, Ramani Dhar, was quoted by local television as saying that few masked men stormed into their village which changed the course of Rakhine State forever. Dhar blamed the Burmese army and ARSA for the fire that is turning Myanmar into ashes now.

      It is significant that around 3,00,000 Rohingya have entered Bangladesh in last two weeks although Bangladesh has already been hosting 400,000 Rohingyas for three decades.

      According to official statement of Bangladesh, currently the total number of Myanmar nationals living in Bangladesh has reached over 700,000, a huge challenge for Bangladesh.

      Bangladesh had repatriated 236,599 Rohingyas to their homeland through a bilateral agreement in 1992 also.

      __Asian Age.

      There’s a big misconception about the violence in Burma that has caused severe casualties to both Rohingya Muslims and Burmese Buddhists. Therefore it is important that a fair assessment to this issue is done to shed light on the grey areas and enlighten those who are clueless on the subject.

      The Rohingyas are a Muslim minority who migrated from Bangladesh and reside in Myanmar. The community procreated in large numbers within a very short period of time without any family planning and considerations to limited resources, because of which the native community in the area has became a minority and deprived of their own lands that were grabbed by increased population of Rohingyans.

      Read more at .

      In an article published this weekend, Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar called for his followers to prepare for action in Myanmar and warned the country to prepare “for the thudding sound of the footsteps of its conquerors”. “We have to do something, and do it urgently”, read the article, published in the group’s house magazine, al-Qalam. “The entire Muslim ummah [nation] is feeling the pain of the Muslim nation,” Azhar wrote in his regular column in al-Qalam under the pen-name ‘Saadi’. “It is because of the sacrifices of the Myanmar Muslims that the ummah is waking up and we are seeing this new awakening among the Muslims of the world.

      Read more at .

      A new video posted on social media showed the group’s leader Abu Ammar Jununi flanked by two masked men with assault rifles and saying the recent violence was in response to harassment from Myanmar’s security forces and blockades of Rohingya villages.

      He called on international aid groups to stay and help, but the United Nations is evacuating all non-essential staff for the region.


  23. Hillary Again -

    September 16, 2017
    New Hillary Emails Warrant Special Prosecutor
    By Daniel John Sobieski

    New emails unearthed by Judicial Watch confirm that the Clinton Foundation was in fact a pay-to-play influence peddling operation far more worthy of a special prosecutor than imaginary Russians colluding under Trump Administration beds. It is time for President Trump to keep the promise he made in the presidential debate to indict Hillary Clinton for her crimes:

    About 20 minutes into the debate, Donald Trump delivered a menacing threat to Hillary Clinton. “If I win,” he warned, “I’m going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception.” …

    “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Mrs. Clinton observed.

    “Because,” Mr. Trump replied “you’d be in jail.”

    The emails fully incriminating Hillary are part of of documents obtained by Judicial Watch under a court order forcing the State Department to find the documents it said it couldn’t find, didn’t have or was too understaffed to look for:

    Judicial Watch today released 1,617 new pages of documents from the U.S. Department of State revealing numerous additional examples of classified information being transmitted through the unsecure, account of Huma Abedin, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, as well as many instances of Hillary Clinton donors receiving special favors from the State Department.

    The documents included 97 email exchanges with Clinton not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 627 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over, and further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to department.

    The emails show intentional mishandling of classified material and coordination between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation which involved the State Department granting favors and access to Clinton Foundation donors. Some of the emails were undoubtedly among the 33,000 Hillary Clinton and her operatives destroyed even though they were under Congressional subpoena.

    Former FBI Director James Comey, who exonerated Hillary first and conducted a sham investigation later, concluded, usurping the authority of the attorney general, that Hillary Clinton could not be indicted for her crimes because she lacked “intent,” even though the law imposes no such requirement. These new documents and emails indicate clear intent and purpose and the failure to produce them was part of the cover-up for her crimes. Among the examples cited by Judicial Watch in the documents:

    The new documents show that Clinton donors frequently requested and received special favors from the State Department that were connected to the Clinton Foundation.

    On July 14, 2009, Gordon Griffin, a XL Keystone lobbyist, sent an email to Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band, asking if Band could get him into a Council on Foreign Relations dinner at which Clinton was speaking. Band forwarded the email to Abedin, saying, “Can u get him in?” Abedin replied: “Yes will get him in.” Band was a top aide to President Bill Clinton and co-founder of Teneo. Griffin was a major donor to

    Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential campaigns….

    1. On September 11, 2009, Terrence Duffy, chairman of futures brokerage firm CME Group, a donor to the Clinton Foundation, asked Clinton to arrange “government appointments” for him in Singapore and Hong Kong. Clinton, using her address, forwarded the request to Abedin, “fyi.” Abedin responded to Duffy’s email, saying she would “follow up” with Duffy’s secretary, Joyce. Duffy gave $4,600 to Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign; CME Group paid Hillary $225,000 for a speaking fee and has donated between $5,001 and 10,000 to the Clinton Foundation. …

      On May 5, 2010, major Clinton Global Initiative member, Clinton Foundation donor and real estate developer Eddie Trump forwarded to “Dougie” Band a request for assistance from Russian American Foundation Vice President Rina Kirshner to get the Russian American Foundation involved in a State Department program. Band forwarded the request to Abedin, saying, “Can we get this done/mtg set.” As Judicial Watch previously reported, the State Department doled out more than $260,000 to the Russian American Foundation for “public diplomacy.”

      Major Clinton donor Bal Das, a New York financier who reportedly raised $300,000 for Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign, asked Abedin on November 11, 2009 if Hillary Clinton could address the Japan Society at its annual conference in 2010. Clinton did speak to the Japan Society’s annual conference in 2011.

      Collusion with the Russians, anyone? How about Hillary Clinton’s collusion with the Russians in the Uranium One deal which gave Russia control of 20 percent of our uranium supply in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation?

      Clinton played a pivotal role in the Uranium One deal which ended up giving Russian interests control of 20 percent of our uranium supply in exchange for donations of $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a federal crime. As Clinton Cash author Peter Schweitzer has noted:

      Tuesday on Fox Business Network, “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Breitbart editor at large and the author of “Clinton Cash,” Peter Schweizer said there needs to be a federal investigation into the Russian uranium deal then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved after the Clinton Foundation receiving $145 million from the shareholders of Uranium One….

    2. Discussing the Clinton Foundation receiving $145 million from the shareholders of Uranium One, he continued, “Look there are couple of things that are extremely troubling about the deal we touched on. number one is the amount of money $145 million. We are not talking about a super PAC giving a million dollars to support a candidate. We are not talking about campaign donations. We are talking about $145 million which by the way is 75 percent or more of the annual budget of the Clinton Foundation itself so it’s a huge sum of money. Second of all we are talking about a fundamental issue of national security which is uranium -- it’s not like oil and gas that you can find all sorts of places. They are precious few places you can mine for uranium, in the United States is one of those areas. And number three we are talking about the Russian government. A lot of people don’t realize it now, in parts of the Midwest American soil is owned by Vladimir Putin’s government because this deal went through. And in addition to the $145 million Bill Clinton got half a million dollars, $500,000 for a 20-minute speech from a Russian investment bank tied to the Kremlin, two months before the State Department signed off on this deal. It just stinks to high heaven and I think it requires a major investigation by the federal government.”

      As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized, donations to the Clinton Foundation even played a factor in the refusal of Hillary Clinton’s State Department to designate Nigeria’s Boko Haram as a terrorist organization for two years:

      Hillary's emails may be only the tip of an iceberg that could include Clinton Foundation donations to shield Boko Haram from being designated a terrorist group and her brother's involvement in a Haitian gold mine….

      Last month, the Washington Post reported on another deal involving Rodham that could prove politically embarrassing and damaging for his sister. It seems that he sits on the board of a company that got a coveted gold-mining contract from the government of Haiti after the Clinton Foundation sponsored relief work in Haiti.

    3. In interviews with the Post, both Rodham and the chief executive of Delaware-based VCS Mining said they were introduced at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, which seems more and more to be an unseemly mix of charitable work with the political and business interests of Clinton Foundation donors.

      And then there's Hillary's strange dealings regarding the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram, which just recently pledged its allegiance to the ever-expanding Islamic State -- dubbed the "JV team" by President Obama, who has yet to make good on his pledge to degrade and destroy them.

      Last May, we wondered why for two years on Hillary Clinton's watch the State Department refused to designate a Nigerian Islamist group as a terrorist organization. This group has murdered thousands as it wages a real war on women. As Josh Rogin at the Daily Beast reports, the Clinton State Department "refused to place Boko Haram on the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011" after the group bombed the United Nations headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.

      Sen. David Vitter, R-La., sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last week asking for all of Hillary's records relating to Boko Haram and her reluctance to designate it a foreign terrorist organization.

      Vitter also requested all of Hillary's communications with Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian construction tycoon who has donated millions to the Clinton Foundation. Vitter noted that Chagoury had a financial interest in the potential impact of designating Boko Haram a terrorist group

      How many of the more than 30,000 "personal" emails that Hillary deleted from her private account relate to these matters? Is that why she needed a private email server? We need to see that server. It might provide, er, a veritable gold mine of information.

      The documents obtained by Judicial Watch constitute an equally valuable gold mine of information. President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have a chance to right a great wrong here. Director Comey tried to put the fix in for Hillary by not convening a grand jury, moving to have a special prosecutor appointed, and by not showing up for a cursory interview of Hillary which was not done under oath. The infamous tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch was merely the frosting on this cake.

      Comey deserved to be fired for letting Hillary Clinton skate and he isn’t out of the legal woods himself yet. But Hillary’s crimes in fact cry out for a special prosecutor. As Judicial Watch concludes:

      “The emails show ‘what happened’ was that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin obviously violated laws about the handling of classified information and turned the State Department into a pay for play tool for the corrupt Clinton Foundation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The clear and mounting evidence of pay for play and mishandling of classified information warrant a serious criminal investigation by an independent Trump Justice Department.”

      Lock her up -- and while we’re at, how about Huma Abedin and James Comey as well?

      Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.