David Knights' Weblog

September 16, 2019

Cuba

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 4:37 pm
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Looks like oil is getting scarce in Cuba.  I don’t think, despite what the government says, that this problems is temporary or will go away.  As PDVSA produces less and less oil, lless and less of it will make its way to Cuba.

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September 9, 2019

Walking the dog #1

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 10:00 am
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I’ve been a cat person most of my life.  While, my family had a small dog or two when I was younger, I’ve never really been a dog person, until recently.  About a year or so ago, my older daughter’s desire for a dog could be put off no longer and the modelwife and the girls adopted Charlie, who is a very good dog.

Charlie

One thing that comes with dog ownership is walking the dog.  It has the virtue of getting me out and moving when the weather is nice and getting me the exercise that I might not otherwise get.

Well, as I was walking the dog the other night, I was thinking about the recent incident in Russia wherein an explosion took place and radiation was released.  As I’ve said before, I think that Russia is, pretty much, a paper tiger, though one with nukes.  Russia doesn’t have the money to maintain the forces it does have, much less a bunch of extra money to pour into weapons development.  This makes the attempt to develop a hypersonic, nuclear powered cruise missile all the more irrational, or does it?

This is the thought that occurred to me as I was walking Charlie.  Because Russia is so cash starved, deep down they know that they can’t keep up conventionally.  In fact, their attempt to prop up their man in Syria is a drain on their meager resources.  Given this situation, investing in “Hail Mary” types of technological leaps makes a certain sense.  Very similar to what Germany did in the latter stages of WWII, pouring money into the V-1, V-2, etc.  It is even possible, but unlikely that one of these long shot investments might pay off and result in a great leap forward that staves off impending Russian military irrelevance.  I doubt it, but you can’t completely discount the possibility.  Viewed in that light, the recent radiological incident makes a bit of sense.

August 27, 2019

Venezuela

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 1:47 pm
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A grim report on the current hell that is Venezuela.  Looks like the rats are looking for an exit.  On one hand, if you let them off, then maybe the suffering of the people ends sooner.  On the other hand, you let them off and this will happen again.  Examples need to be made.  In spite of my sympathy for the Venezuelan people, they ultimately did this to themselves.  If you try and vote yourself free stuff, this is what happens, Every. Single. Time.

July 13, 2019

Unsustainable

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 12:59 am
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Japan is in demographic free-fall.  At this rate China won’t have to take any action, they’ll just wait until Japan is to weak to respond.  Given that Japan is the strongest US ally in the region, this has a long-term impact on US policy as well.

 

June 22, 2019

Common sense

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 6:46 am
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Too often it is lacking in many of our policy discussions.  Actions to protect the environment seem especially vulnerable to virtue signaling rather than common sense analysis.

June 20, 2019

Brexit

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 2:19 am
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Best Brexit explainer I’ve read.

June 6, 2019

Spaceflight

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 12:42 pm
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A big part of routine spaceflight is about economics.  This isn’t well appreciated by the general public.  This column summarizes some of the advances that SpaceX is making in regard to those issues.  If SpaceX can routinely fly reusable rockets on a weekly basis, then a fleet of even 5 rockets translates into 260 launches a year.  More launches= lower costs= a truly fast development of this new frontier.  What a time to be alive.

June 4, 2019

Shades of 2007/2008

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 11:12 am
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This is up in Canada (BC), which is having its own special issues with the housing market, mostly related to foreign money driving a real estate bubble (an now a crash), but this is a microcosm of what was going on all over the US, particularly in FL, AZ, NV and CA in 2007 which led to the great crash of 2008.  These people are playing with fire, and because of the government bailout the last time, I fear that no one has learned any lessons.  I am not a great fan of increased government regulation, but this is one area where I make an exception.

June 3, 2019

It breaks your heart

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 11:40 am
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Stories like this.  Seeing kids die of treatable ailments.  Socialism sucks.

May 29, 2019

Venezuela update

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 9:45 am
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Its been a while since we reviewed the situation in Venezuela.  Frankly, its like passing a car accident on the road.  You slow down and look. You don’t want to, but you do.  If you are like me every time you do you say a quick silent prayer for the safety of those involved.  The same goes for Venezuela. On one level, it is fascinating to watch a country fall apart in real time.  Also, while watching it happen, you have to remember that the Venezuelan people got themselves into this mess by voting for “free stuff”.  That doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.

UPDATE:  It is even tough on the criminals

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