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The 16th 21st Century


 


As much as I (along with Ben) enjoyed the Neil deGrasse Tyson version of Cosmos, the original version still stands the test of time and holds my fascination. In the early 1980’s I consumed the book while underwater aboard USS Michigan. In an era before easily available videotapes, I tried desperately to catch reruns on PBS while in port. Today, the DVD’s stand proudly on my shelf, one of the designated “Most Important” items that I never pack away when I move about. The set is a prize and while it will no doubt, eventually be replaced by streaming versions (as yet not available), it remains one of my “go-to” watches when I am feeling contemplative.

In one of the episodes, Sagan talks rather extensively about astrology and its impact in both history and science. It is remarkable, that today, in the 21st Century, when we are knowledgeable enough to understand that the positions of stars and planets cannot possibly impact our lives, astrology not only remains but flourishes. Much like the mid 16th Century when, for a coin, a street astrologer would cast a horoscope, we pay for internet access to get the same thing.

Why do we do this? Is it really as simple as “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?


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Welcome to the 21st Century


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Amazon has been playing the fiddle… the tax fiddle. Some cities are waking up today and realizing how much of a tax burden they dodged by NOT getting the new Amazon HQ2 Divided by 2. Unfortunately for New York residents, it’ll cost them at least $43K each…

The answer is the same that’s it has always been.

Ballistic Missile Submarines are what the Battleship was in 1914. They represent the power and prestige of a nation. Unlike Aircraft Carriers they cannot “project” power nor can they control Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCS). in reality, the grand Battleships of the Great White Fleet and the British Home Fleet couldn’t either. Those tasks fell to lesser, faster and more mission diverse ships. But Boomers… they represent something Mahan never really contemplated in Naval Power. The ability to deliver nuclear weapons anywhere in the world in less time than it takes to order a takeout pizza.

SSBN’s are seen as a “Second Strike” system, which will cause a potential adversary to think twice. Thus, rational opponents are “deterred” by the presence and viability of the deliverable weapons. And now India has announced that it has this capability. They don’t actually have it yet, but it is inevitable.

The Seattle Mariners have managed to get themselves into some Political Incorrect hot water. In Wisconsin, a High School dance photo went sideways when a photographer asked the kids in the picture to do something politically incorrect. The obvious question is “How does this keep happening in the 21st Century?”


The Wonderful Thing About Not Working



We are watching Seattle literally eat itself over the Amazon tax.

The wonderful thing about spending a weekend not working is that one has time to think about things. Which, technically, is working after all because I make my bones by forming opinions about things about which I have spent time thinking. So I guess I spent the weekend working after all. In addition to battling the lawn into submission.

Nevertheless, after thinking about some things, specifically the Iran Nuclear Deal, I am puzzled about the Iranian reaction.

After the whole “Death to America” spectacle in the Iranian Consultative Assembly, what happened? Did Iran automatically announce that they were unilaterally withdrawing from the agreement? Isn’t that what you would think that they would do if they really believed that the US abrogating the agreement was harmful to it?

Politics as usual means that, whichever side of the aisle you think has your best interests at heart, Congress will on the one hand try to pass laws that are clearly Unconstitutional because they believe that people who vote for them will like the law, while at the same time refusing to pass laws to fund Treaty actions that leave Military Aircrews basically abandoned on the ground in Russia.

Yes. That Russia.


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