Wow! The Grizzly bear chair, presented to President Andrew Johnson, by Seth Kinman, California trapper and hunter. Now that is a presidential gift, even if Andrew Johnson was the only President other than Bill Clinton to be impeached by Congress. Maybe it was simply the sheer awesomeness of this chair that prevented Congress from removing Johnson from office. After all, how can you kick a guy out of the presidency when he isdoing his presidential thing while sitting in the Grizzly Bear Chair!
And where is the chair now? Did Johnson take it with him and use it himself in private life until it got so thread bare that he threw it out? Is it even now sitting in some musty crate at the Smithsonian? Where is it! Could it show up unexpectedly on Antiques Roadshow? Imagine the price!
Everyone is nervous about the crazy North Koreans and the sharp elbowing between the two big boys in the neighborhood, the U S and China.
Keep in mind that although the Chinese like to consider the Yellow sea to be their playground, and can be trusted to support their client and ally North Korea, to go to war with the U S would be highly destructive to their country even if that war occurs solely in Korea.
That is because they are dependent for food and fuel on their trade with the rest of the world, and those trade routes are long and vulnerable. In a shooting war with the U S, they could count on that trade coming to a quick end, as the U S still has massive clout with the rest of China's trading partners and can put huge pressure on them to cut the Chinese off. Even without the cooperation of the rest of the world, the US could militarily cut off China's trade without too much trouble. If this occurred there would be immediate shortages of food and fuel, which would put a quick choke hold on the Chinese economy, not to mention their war making ability.
This the Chinese are well aware of.
We don't normally think of China as a fragile state, but the odd co existence of capitalism and communism there is in fact necessary for the Communists to stay in power. Without the ability to keep most of their population employed, the Communists know that revolution would occur, and they would all go the way of Nicolai Ceaucescu. Even now, in the best of times for the Chinese government, there are frequent strikes and acts of civil unrest across the land, which for now are easy for the authorities to control, but would not be if the scale of these disturbances were to increase. Remember that they barely survived the Tien An Men Square protests, which was only brought under control with the brute force of soldiers and tanks. The leaders of China know that their authority to govern comes not from the consent of the governed, but from the barrel of a gun. They also well know that unless they satisfy the rising expectations of the people, that brute force will avail them nothing, and they will be thrown out and replaced suddenly. Those aspirations would with certainly be rudely dashed, perhaps permanently, due to the economic consequences of a war with the US.
While a war would bring the Chinese people together patriotically for a while, it would, at the very least, hugely impact the mercantilist economy in China for the worst, and could in fact easily bring the economy to it's quick destruction if their trade with the rest of the world grinds to a halt. Don't even consider the effect if the US decides, during a Chinese war, to cancel China's treasury bonds! There is nothing like smell of a trillion plus in dollar equity going up in the smoke of war with one of your biggest trading partners!
The Chinese are well aware of all this.
Finally, there is no guarantee that they could win even a conventional war with the U S, let alone one that goes nuclear due to the crazy desperate acts of their client state. In China, to lose a conventional war in their backyard to the U S would be a loss of face so severe that this alone could fatally damage the Communist government.
So in summary, and recognizing that nothing is guaranteed except that the unexpected will always happen sooner or later, there is very little to gain, and that at great risk, for the Chinese in a war with the U S. What China is now really is a creation of their economic interconnectedness with the rest of the world, and there really is no going back to an earlier existence. We should hope that they are making that very clear to the North Koreans right now.
Barista shoots armed robber center mass and leaves him dead on the street. The fact that the barista was packing leads me to surmise that such social interactions as armed robbery might be somewhat common in the area.
These include the revelation that it hid itself from monitoring systems, so that as it slowly destroyed the Iranian nuclear program, the control software couldn't identify what was going wrong. The Iranians ran diagnostics that the worm fooled into reporting that all systems were running properly, even as one centrifuge after another suffered damage.
Further, the worm reported back to to two servers, one in Denmark and one in Malaysia. However, no one can now find these servers.
Once the Belarussian company discovered the worm, it naturally posted on a security website about what it had found, asking for help identifying the worm. Almost instantly, this was discovered by the worm, and access to the security site in question was denied for twenty four hours, allowing the worm that much time to erase it's tracks.
Although the worm has infected over 100,000 computers worldwide, it has damaged only those involved in the Iranian nuclear program.
The complexity of this is unprecedented, and no hacker could possibly have done it. It is a military weapon.
However, to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program so that military action is not needed is grounds to award whatever group or organization that did this the Nobel Peace Prize. The lives saved, both Iranian and other wise, are very significant.
It's tough being a public figure, because sooner or later you will mangle something you are trying to say. However, it is also good to remember, as a public figure, not to throw stones when you live in a glass house.
Serious gold miners always melt down their placer into easily stored bars. Here is an example from a website for gold miners. Boy, I'd sure like to have a few of these buried in a mayonnaise jar in the backyard.
This is over 11,000 dollars in beautiful yellow gold you are looking at here.
Hey Obama, whatcha gonna do now? I say nuke em. If the Norks want to play with fire, teach them and every other two bit dictator what will happen. The threat of this worked for decades during the cold war, and nuclear devastation of the North will send a clear and unmistakable message to Iran, China, Venezuela, etc., not to mess with a peaceful neighbor who is allied to the United States.
So on this sleepy Sunday afternoon, I got bored, so I loaded up the daughters and headed for the "hill" to see how much snow had fallen in the mountains.
We didn't have to go very far before we found this winter wonderland. This scene is on Shake Ridge Road, above Pioneer. That is actually somewhat low in altitude, although it does snow several times a year in this area. Based on this drive, it looks like we are building a pretty good snow pack so far this year.
Snow on this years Fall colors makes a great picture, in this case Black Oak leaves.
On the way back down, we passed through the little gold rush town of Volcano. This is a remote town that only has a few people still living there, but then that is part of the charm.
Back out on the plains, we saw a flaming sunset. We three certainly enjoyed our little jaunt up and then back down the mountain. Tomorrow, it's back to school and work.
This sort of disaster happens in the Western world all the time, right? In China, it's just a big "oops," because they can put up another one in only six days. How long it stays up, well, we just have to wait and see.
Click the link for more pictures and a engineer's explanation of what happened.
Forensic research into the Stuxnet virus has determined that it in fact is designed to send enrichment centrifuges wildly out of control. As to where it originated, this article only says that Israeli government officials get broad smiles when they talk about how much damage it has probably caused to Iran's nuclear program.
Apparently the Iranians have had hundreds of their centrifuges self destruct.
The story of this would make super spy George Smiley smile.
One should also know that it isn't just people, in the generic sense, that are leaving the high tax states, but productive, risk taking people. The people who make business and jobs. The people who will generate tax income for the state.
Therefore, we can also use this statistic to predict which states will be de facto bankrupt in five to ten years on the outside, which will be full of slackers, illegal aliens on the dole, and full of run down, derelict, crime ridden cities.