October 15, 2019

Saturday Brunch, September 14, 2019

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Part of this post actually came out yesterday. I apparently scheduled it for the wrong date.

I’ve been feeling light-hearted this week, so most of this post is in the same vein. Hope you don’t mind my silliness.

Let’s start with the sports. The NFL season got under way last week. Did you watch? I have to say that its getting harder and harder for me to get excited about football (what with all the concussions, commercialization and Patriots winning again). The ratings have declined the past few years; it will be interesting to see if that is a trend or a blip.

Are the Miami Dolphins tanking? Sure seems like it, since the had a fire-sale of their best players. After losing by almost 50 points in their opener, a lot of their remaining players were apparently calling up their agents, asking to be traded. On the plus side, they do have a cool new logo: 

Also a plus:

To American football fans in Miami

19-year Bianca Andreescu won the women’s half of the U.S. Open, becoming the first Canadian to win Grand Slam singles title. Sounds fair! Right?

A Champion horse failed a drug test. Last year, Justify won the Triple Crown, one of the most storied achievements in sports. His owners later sold his breeding rights for $60 million. But The New York Times has learned that the colt failed a drug test and should not have run in the first Triple Crown race, the Kentucky Derby. Instead, the California Horse Racing Board took over a month to confirm test results, then quietly moved to drop the case and change its rules, retroactively clearing the horse.

Have you heard of the Mountain of Hell cycle race? Yeah, it seems you and 1,000 other race down a frozen mountain at speeds up to 130 kph.

 

Two thoughts on this next video: 1. That is a magnificent catch and teamwork. 2. This is the weirdest game of baseball I’ve ever seen.

 

Speaking of baseball, I’m not saying it’s booooring…but you won’t see this at a Rugby match:

Cubs fans make giant snake with beer cups

This is how you baseball fan 🤣🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺 🍺🍺🍺🍺

Posted by ESPN on Monday, September 2, 2019

 

How about a round of tag from a World Tag Chase tournament?

 

One last sport-related item: this is apparently a thing, now.

 

“Hasbro announced a new version of Monopoly” is a sentence you could write every week. What is it this time? Ms. Monopoly. In this version, women players get 20 percent more money at the startup and every time they pass GO. It is supposed to “start conversations” on sexism and the wage gap.

Ms. Monopoly is meant to celebrate women's empowerment by giving women a head start in the game.

So basically you have a game which was strictly gender neutral, now giving a large advantage to one gender (with the implication that this gender could not compete otherwise). I…I just wish there was a word for a concept like that…

Mangayamma Yaramat really, really, wanted a baby. But it seemed destined not to be. Mangayamma and Raja Rao, an agriculturist, got married on March 22, 1962, and had been childless for the past 57 years. She could not succeed in her attempts to conceive even after visiting several hospitals. But she never gave up her desire to become a mother.

Mangayamma gave birth on Thursday, at age 74 (her husband is 80).She had twins, who were conceived via in vitro fertilization with her husband’s sperm and a donor egg.

No jokes on this one, but just a question: Is this a good thing? What should be the cutoff age?

Is STEM ruining American education? Jared Woodard thinks so:

But the technology pushed into schools today is a threat to child development and an unredeemable waste. In the first place, technology exacerbates the greatest problem of all in schools: confusion about their purpose. Education is the cultivation of a person, not the manufacture of a worker. But in many public school districts we have already traded our collective birthright, the promise of human flourishing, for a mess of utilitarian pottage called “job skills.”

Liberal arts education, which has always given a central position to mathematics and the sciences,2 will only be harmed by the recent push to “get more STEM in schools,”3 because today’s STEM has only a cosmetic relationship with the sciences. STEM ideologues and real educators are pursuing very different goals. The purpose of edu­cation in the sciences is to cultivate children as knowers in and of the world. The purpose of STEM programs is just to create more of a certain kind of worker.

STEM ideologues and real educators are pursuing very different goals. The purpose of edu­cation in the sciences is to cultivate children as knowers in and of the world. The purpose of STEM programs is just to create more of a certain kind of worker.

Technology, even in the narrowest commercial sense, depends on the liberal arts—pursuits that are subject neither to the practical demands of society nor to its untrained desires—to provide the higher ends that technology serves, as well as the new thinking on which it is based. The blatant commercial wastefulness and impracticality of number theory, not to mention literature or playing the violin, offers hints that those pursuits are priceless rather than worthless.

The sciences and mathematics have a historic place in the curriculum, and technology does not, for the simple reason that the latter is not inherently “about” anything. Absent human contributions on specific topics, cut off from the subject matter of academic work, technology is nothing—an electron microscope without any samples, darkened VR goggles, an empty spreadsheet. Specializing in techne as such means trying to teach people to be good at “making” without having any idea of what to make, or why to make it.

Woodward concludes his essay with these penetrating words:

This fight is not just about jobs or middle-class college admissions hysteria. Joseph Ratzinger gave the most penetrating comment of all on what is at stake in a sermon that predates the internet and social media, delivered during Lent in 1973:

The machines that [man] himself has constructed now impose their own law on him: he must be made readable for the computer, and this can be achieved only when he is translated into numbers. Everything else in man becomes irrelevant. Whatever is not a function is—nothing.

The Common Core standards, adopted now in most states, include sets of functionalist requirements for meeting key goals. Many of the English language arts anchor standards, for instance, require that children cite evidence and write (and thus think) in patterns that can more easily be graded by computers.38 Here is the triumph of tech­nology over wisdom and learning: Submit to Tech in Every Matter. We are Eliot’s human engines, humanity made readable for the computer.

A short history of baths in literature: “Baths are very comforting: gentler, calmer than showers. The slow clean. For a while, though, across a patch of nervous books in the mid-twentieth century, baths were troublesome. They were prone to intrusion and disorder. They were too hot, too small, too crowded with litanies of junk: newspapers, cigarettes, alcohol, razors.”

Great article from the Babylon Bee: More E-Cigs Being Disguised As AR-15s To Avoid Ban

U.S.—According to a new report, more e-cigs are being disguised as AR-15s to avoid a looming White House ban on the devices.

Upon hearing that President Trump was looking to ban the devices, vaping companies quickly began looking for ways to circumvent the new regulations. Then, they came up with a solution: design the vapes to look like a hunting rifle.

The disguised devices include a switch for selecting a fire mode, from semi-auto and burst fire to “Sick Vape.” The devices are fully functional AR-15 rifles. Should a federal agent ask if you have an illegal e-cig loaded with high-capacity Raspberry Hurricane cartridges, you can just turn down range and fire off a few rounds to show them it’s actually just an assault rifle.

Also from the Bee: John Bolton Waves Goodbye, Returns To Sea To Be Walrus Again

 

Okay, that’s it for this week. Let’s close with some 2019 finalist pictures from The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. I’ve added some silly captions, but would love to hear yours in the comments.

“This week on Mythbusters…”

“You want a piece of me, bro?”

“He’s right behind me, isn’t he?”

“Guess what? I’m a vegan!”

“Ralph, are you even trying to dance?

“Hello ladies…guess who’s back on the market”

“Calm down?? Whaddya mean, calm down??”

“So, a hippo, a lion, and a hyena walk into a bar…”

“Okay, Okay, what’s your bright idea?”

“Why did I push ‘send’?”

“Help! The vortex is pulling me in!”

“Stop! In the name of love!”

“Trust me, I’m a proctologist”

Just relaxin while dad and mom read the Saturday Brunch

“Ralph, check out my new dance moves”; “Dude, you’re just embarrassing yourself”

“Is hunting season over?”

“Oh My. Karen is wearing white after Labor Day!”

“I wish for a tree full of nuts this winter”

“I am NOT amused”

 

“Stop it. Stop it. You’re killing me.”

And every bunny was Kung Fu fighting…

Comments

  1. Help! Have I lost a day??

  2. If STEM is ruining American education (oxymoron?) it is probably not STEM per se. It could be because of the heavy cost of student loans and the widening gap of income equality that pushes the American Dream (TM) out of reasonable reach for so many that to have a grasp at achieving it requires an education with viable economic benefits: i.e. as certain kind of worker rather than a knower in and of the world.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      “””The purpose of edu­cation in the sciences is to cultivate children as knowers in and of the world.””” . . . it seems presumptuous of Mr. Woodard to define the purpose of education.

      Most people I know pursue education in the interest of economic opportunity; and when was that not true? Except for those who already had economic advantage. If this is the Jared Woodard I think it is, “Former derivatives trader & broker” turned Philosopher (like ohhh so many), the term “elite projection” comes to mind.

      On the other hand: “””The only technology linked to a meaningful improvement in test scores was that old standby, a projector.””” Yep, I think the mix of technology and education – core education like Math – is not a winning one. But there is so much money to be made selling technology . . . back to that economic motive.

      “””The “Digital Divide” was, until it turned out to be false, the idea that….””” WHAT? What? What? Yea, this has to be the Woodard I think it is.

      • Agree about education. Education for the purpose of cultivating “children as knowers in and of the world” is a luxury for those with parents of means.

      • Daniel Jepsen says

        The idea that education is about more than just economic advancement goes back at least to Plato.

        • Wouldn’t Plato have sad something more along the lines that the purpose of education is to enable the student to know and love the good? Isn’t that quite different from making them “knowers in and of the world”?

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          Sure, it goes back to Plato. Yet for nearly everyone from the shipwright’s apprentice to the community college student Education has been about economic opportunity.

          A high-brow view of Education in conjunction with a sink-or-swim perspective on society or public policy must raise questions.

  3. Pellicano Solitudinis says

    I think this got put up by accident. Wrong day and what seems to me to be an incomplete post.

  4. You have no idea how good this mis-post makes me feel. My frequent mistrakes have increased with age. Thank you.

  5. senecagriggs says

    After last night; TWO HORSE RACE: Biden or Warren.

    • If you’re right, then one of those two will be getting my vote in November 2020.

    • a Biden, Warren ticket?

    • Burro (Mule) says

      Could someone please explain to me how Joe Biden is still the front runner after last night? He seemed kind of dazed and confused. Castro handed him his tuchis at least twice last night. Uncle Joe’s invocation of Obama was a little spooky. I’d vote for Obama again, over Trump, but Biden would have me throwing my vote away. Again.

      Liz Warren was on fire.

      I want to vote Democrat, but Lord, they are an aborting mess. If I have to vote for an abortifacient I want to vote for someone who won’t kill babies who survived the term of pregnancy eighteen years later in stupid wars. At least someone who didn’t vote to go into Iraq.

      • Burro (Mule) says

        PS – Jorge Ramos was on fire too. Easily the best moderator I’ve ever seen for either political party.

        But he definitely wants a majority Spanish-speaking country. I mean, I wouldn’t like it, but I’d do OK, but ask yourselves how well you’d do. Its kind of where the rubber meets the road on this immigration debate.

        • Well, I’m not doing that well right now, with all the old white guys calling the shots; what have I got to lose?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Could someone please explain to me how Joe Biden is still the front runner after last night? He seemed kind of dazed and confused.

        What I understand is that Biden is the type of personality who does not do well in a debate situation. He’s apparently pretty good outside of it, but debate situations (especially when there are so many debaters all trying to WIN) tend to overwhelm him.

        If it comes down to Biden vs Warren, I’ll take Biden.
        Problem with a Biden/Warren ticket is it could shape up as a Woke version of McCain/Palin; Biden/McCain win then die in office (Biden’s age/McCain’s heart problem) and SHe who is Most Woke/God’s Righteous Choice takes over.

        I want to vote Democrat, but Lord, they are an aborting mess.

        Unfortunately your only alternative at this point is Take the Mark of the Trump on forehead AND right hand like all the other Good Christians. Take it or leave it.

        “BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY! THERE”S NO INTELLIGENT LIFE HERE!”

      • I agree with ya. There was a time when Biden might’ve been a viable candidate, but man… it’s tough to watch him looking dazed and confused and THEN consider that, by time he would be president, another year will have gone by AND he’d have to then serve 4 years. I just.. I just… don’t think I could check his box…

        • senecagriggs says

          The fascinating thing about Joe Biden to my way of thinking; if he get’s elected, who will actually be pulling the levers of the Presidency because I don’t think Joe can any longer and we’re STILL 15 months out or so of the new president taking over.

          Either it will be Joe’s chief of staff or Potus by committee. That’s my best guess – for what it is worth.

          • Could be OK if he picked good staff…

            • Better than the guy we have there today, who says that he leads using nothing but his Great instincts.

              • senecagriggs says

                Oh that’s true. Nobody doubts that Mr. Trump actually does call the shots in his Presidency.

                • No doubt people nearby put a bug in his ear up alongside a little flattery and finesse him into going in the direction they prefer; until somebody else puts a bug in the other ear, and moves him in a different direction, etc. Then you mix in the bugs getting into his ears from listening to his favorite FOX TV flatterers, sycophants and advisers. But no matter what, no matter who suggests it or who redirects him, he believes he himself came up with whatever the latest genius idea was, that his infallible instincts have yet again led him to being the Greatest Ever.

            • Well, the great Coryphaeus did fire that reprehensible neo-con walrus John Bolton.

              I guess a stopped clock can be right twice a day.

              Two things the T-man has done that I approve of; he condemned Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and he didn’t go to war with Iran.

              Yet

              • And I approve of the criminal justice reform legislation that he supported., as well as not going to war with North Korea, despite the fact that they get to keep their nukes. Btw, now that Bolton is gone, Trump’s also less likely to do much about Venezuela., which I also would approve of. If he avoids war with Iran, that would be great too.

              • the war drums have started again

            • senecagriggs says

              Could be! Group leadership has both good and bad strengths.

              • the nation has a Constitution that protects us from a Trump-dictator, as long as the House and the Senate and the Supreme Court are not corrupted . . . . . at least the House is conducting its due diligence these days . . . . the Senate? boot-lickers, frightened sycophants, keeping ‘silent’ or groveling but unable to perform in service to the Constitution’s requirement for ‘balance of powers’, in short, most of our senators are scared dudes who grumble privately but will go against the trump. The Supreme Court? God have mercy!

                Moscow Mitch at the helm of the ship, yep. It’s chaos going into hyper-gear as ICE prepares for urban warfare (srsly), punctuated by an echo of the crying of Rachel weeping for her children

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  And just on the radio today, I heard something from the debate — Warren or someone yelling “We’re going to Take Away All Your Guns!!!!” followed by wild cheering and thunderous applause, with Joe Biden being the only one who objected (Constitutional objection).

                  After that, even I’m getting convinced that a President-for-Life Trump is all that stands between Us and Them. They have just ratcheted it up another notch up the Crazy Tree. How long before it becomes Them Or Us, To The Death?

                  • Let’s get the facts straight. O’Rourke said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take away your AR-15, your AK-47.” That’s a long way from “We’re going to Take Away All Your Guns”. There’s nothing crazy about that statement, or that legislative goal, except that America’s gun craziness has made it sound crazy to advocate strongly for rational gun legislation. I would say that O’Rourke’s tone and rhetoric were politically unwise, because they easily lead to the the kind of false perception you expressed in your comment.

                    • I think O’Rourke is a breath of fresh air . . . . he is from El Paso and those are his people who were massacred so he spoke his mind freely, not manipulatively

  6. LOVED the animal photos! So wonderful especially just now in all the present chaos . . . . thank you

    “The Peace of Wild Things”

    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

    (Wendell Barry)

  7. What, no news about Jerry Falwell, Jr.???

    The critter photos are cool, however.

  8. RE: Monopoly – it’s problematic on many levels. First, it is premised on predatory venture real estate practices (INSERT POTUS JOKE HERE). Second, it was actually invented by a woman to demonstrate the problems of predatory venture real estate; a man nicked off with the design and lobotomized it into the game we know today (truth! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_board_game_Monopoly ). Third, if Hasborg really wanted to simulate the experience of women in the high levels of corporations, the should have included a d20 in each box that female players would have to roll before the game starts – unless they roll a ’20’, they can’t play. (That’s a snide joke about the real life percentages of women CEOs, for those following at home.)

    And lastly… Monopoly is boring as hell. 😛

  9. Are we sure the bunnies aren’t actually dancing?

  10. I sold my breeding rights but did not get nearly so much.

  11. heat lightning
    flashes across the stars
    like fleeting dreams

  12. RIP, Eddie Money.

  13. Rampaging Chipmunk says

    Hey guys. I’m looking for some theology books/authors to read. I of course am aware of NT Wright and Peter Enns from reading iMonk so starting with them seems good. What books of theirs should I start with?

    • I like Graeme Goldsworthy for biblical interpretation, and Jerram Barrs for evangelism.

    • Anything by Robert Capon.

    • Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel.

    • N.T. Wright: Surprised by Hope.

      Lesslie Newbigin: Foolishness to the Greeks; The Gospel in a Pluralist Society; or The Gospel as Public Truth.

      Thomas Merton: New Seeds of Contemplation (essays); Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (journal entries).

      Julian of Norwich, Showings. Some of the best insights into the Cross, creation, and the Trinity I’ve ever read.

      • Randy Thompson says

        Yes to all the aforementioned.

        I would add two more:

        Fleming Rutledge’s “The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ” and Matthew The Poor’s “Do You Love Me?”

        • I just ordered the Fleming Rutledge book from AbeBooks. I’m sure I read an article by her a while back and was impressed.

          Almost finished reading Fr. Stephen Freeman’s Every Where Present, from Chaplain Mike’s recommendation. Good stuff. You were probably in on that discussion.

          • anything Kathleen Norris,
            and the writings of the many great metaphysical poets of the British Isles
            and Heinrich Heine of Germany
            and Thoreau and Emerson
            and . . . . .

            it is that which ‘resonates’ within you when you read it that has meaning for you specifically . . . . something that echoes in your own soul from your own unique DNA . . . . genetic memories of ancient days . . . what is reborn anew again in your consciousness in a way that is ‘original’ so that something of eternal value has not died with the ancient ones, but has found a home again for a time, renewed, something both of ancient days and yet ever new, and now specifically original to your own soul

            “The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact, makes much impression on him, and another none. This sculpture in the memory is not without preestablished harmony. The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray. ”
            (Emerson, ‘Self-Reliance’)

    • Karl Barth’s Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (don’t worry, Barth is not talking about anything remotely like American evangelicalism) and The Humanity of God; anything by Rowan Williams.

      • Robert, have you read anything by Karl Rahner, or is it even Christian of me to ask? I’m wondering if he’s worth a look, or does he drive one to universalism.

        Oh, well, I’ve read some Capon as a result of this blog, so what the heck.

        • I’m not familiar with Rahner, so I can’t answer your question. But being driven to universalism is not such a bad thing. Barth was open to universalism, and may have even been a hopeful universalist, but he refused to draw a conclusion on the issue because he believed to so would imply that one had plumbed the mystery of God’s freedom.

    • Robert Capon. Anything you can get your hands on.

    • Wright. Newbiggin. Julian of Norwich.

      Also:
      -St Athanasius, “On the Incarnation” [get the old version translated by Sister Penelope (“a religious of the CSMVS”) with the preface by C.S. Lewis}. Be aware that the word “mind” isn’t our intellectual faculty; it is that aspect of us that is able to perceive God.
      -St Irenaeus of Lyon, “Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching”. Both of these are short books.

      Anything by Fr John Behr of St Vladimir’s Seminary.

      Dana

      • Your comment reminds me of Lewis’ warning that when reading theology or anything else, we shouldn’t unfairly privilege the present over the past. Old books have much to teach. Yet the vast majority of books recommended on this thread are very recent, as these things go. In answering Chipmunk’s request, we seem to be inclined to think that the newer is better and truer than the old, and that he is looking for suggestions informed by that idea.

      • Hey Dana, I was at a picnic this evening and the pastor of the little church here on the island mentioned some of the same books you’ve recommended, Athanasius On the Incarnation, especially with the C.S. Lewis introduction, and also John Behr. So now I have to read them. He’s a Gordon-Conwell grad and did a lot of his studies in patristics at the Orthodox seminary in Brookline. Interesting stuff. He’s going to dig out a copy of Athanasius for me.

    • Many of the recommendations here are good. I’d add that almost anything by F. F. Bruce is probably pretty good.

  14. Randy Thompson says

    Thanks for the video of the baseball fans making a “snake” out of the cups .

    I’ve found what goes on in the stands is as interesting as what’s going on in the field!

  15. I come here on Saturdays for the levity, and Daniel… you provide it.

    The cricket play… Wow, just about as cool a play as you’d see in any sport.
    Tag… Ridiculous, yet somewhat intriguing, too.
    STEM… Well, you can either join the STEM movement or decide you want to work fast food your entire life. (Partial exaggeration for effect, partial not.)
    The Babylon Bee e-cig/assault rifle thing… that’s fine satire right there!!
    The animal memes are hilarious, but give some of the pushback you received last week for the cat meme you probably should’ve included a notation that “no animals were harmed in the creation of these memes (at least by the meme-creator)”.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      STEM… Well, you can either join the STEM movement or decide you want to work fast food your entire life. (Partial exaggeration for effect, partial not.)

      While they still hire bags of meat to work fast food.
      I’ve heard of an automated burger-flipping machine that prepares the entire burger without the need for anyone. Add automatic touch-screen ordering and ping-your-smarphone payment app (No Cash – Cards or App only — like a lot of upscale places in San Fran) and all you need at a burger chain joint is the Manager/Assistant Manager on watch and a computer service tech on gig covering all the joints in the area.

  16. I don’t mind your silliness, it’s the whole reason I come for Brunch.

    I cannot boycott NFL games because I wasn’t watching any before. I’ve just never been a fan and there is nothing to read into that, I find it boring but do watch NCAA college football, SEC games specifically, with religious fervor. Johnny Carson made political jokes but never took one side or another. He believed when you did that you excluded part of your audience. The nation has never been more politically divided so if you take any political stance in a public forum you automatically lose half the audience. When the kneeling during the anthem became an issue, I think the NFL forgot who their fan base was. All generalizations are false but I’m going out on a limb; the majority of NFL fans are middle aged men that drink lite beer and vote Trump. The target demographic for NFL games is not made up of social justice warriors. I’m not saying that’s good, bad, right, wrong or otherwise. I’m saying that’s how it is. The Army, Navy and Air Force all have football teams, Starbucks and HuffPo do not.

    • –> “When the kneeling during the anthem became an issue, I think the NFL forgot who their fan base was. All generalizations are false but I’m going out on a limb; the majority of NFL fans are middle aged men that drink lite beer and vote Trump. The target demographic for NFL games is not made up of social justice warriors. I’m not saying that’s good, bad, right, wrong or otherwise. I’m saying that’s how it is.”

      This analogy doesn’t completely work, but I’ll use it anyway…

      If baseball had had that same attitude, Jackie Robinson would’ve never been allowed to play.

      • Debra Kendall says

        “All generalizations are false but I’m going out on a limb; the majority of NFL fans are middle aged men that drink lite beer and vote Trump.”

        “In 2017, the NFL estimated roughly 45% of football fans were female. Last night, ratings were down about 3% overall from Super Bowl 51 in 2017 and the lowest in eight years, but women constituted about 49% of the 108 million-plus people who watched the game.” Forbes

        Replying to Clark, I know men like to think it’s a grown man’s game, but I’ve been watching since I was a kid. I’m 55 now, and I know the call as soon as the flag hits the field. Step outside of your bubble and have a look around from time to time.

  17. Oh, and thanks for the cute little aminals.

  18. Klasie Kraalogies says

    Thanks for the cricket snippet. It is the greatest team sport in my opinion!

  19. It’s a good thing that Bolton is out and banished to the Walrus Sea.
    It means less chance of military adventurism spiraling out of control… and …well, I’ll just leave it at that.

    • Yeah, Trump will roll over for Iran, just like he did for North Korea. I’m fine with that. You just can’t stop nations from developing nuclear capability, whether in weapons or energy technology, if they have the resources and the will to develop them. It bothers me that Trump will basically just repackage Obama’s Iran agreement, put his own stamp on it, and claim it is a great victory for himself when it’s not, just the way he packaged capitulation to North Korea as a victory of tough diplomacy, when it was all phony bluster followed by equally phony hand-holding. But with Bolton out of the picture, the peace is far more likely to be maintained.

      • until it’s time to wag the dog

        then comes the war as a distraction to save the trump

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “We’ve been sitting on all these nukes for years. Why don’t we ever use them?”
          — Donald J Trump (i.e. SCRIPTURE!)

  20. But with Bolton out of the picture, the peace is far more likely to be maintained.

    I do not think so. I think he-who-shall-not-be-named-in-a-Saturday-Brunch is capable of lobbing a few missiles as a distraction from his various and growing problems. Although I do think he’d like to keep North Korea’s “great beaches” intact as long as possible, for investment purposes.

    ‘”I said, ‘Boy, look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo?’ Instead of doing that [‘exploding their cannons into the ocean’] you could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective, you have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle, how bad is that, right? It’s great,” Trump said.’

    Oh, let’s stay tuned and keep praying. And what to do about those attacks on Saudi oil facilities…

    • I wonder if the potential gigantic increase in the price of oil will lead to the recession that is in our future.

      • We only get about 9% of our imports from Saudi Arabia. Given the usual post-Labor Day drop in gas prices, it may end up as a wash. Of course, if further conflicts in that area emerge, all bets are off.

        • It depends on how quickly Saudi Arabia is able to get oil production back to normal. Forbes has an article that claims that if they don’t get back to normal in a few weeks, prices could go up to $100 a barrel. Saudi Arabia naturally has assured the world that it will be back to business as usual in a short time, but they can hardly be trusted. We’ll see.

          • Considering the bulk of their economy is predicated upon oil revenue, they have incentive to get back to normal capacity soon. I wonder though going forward what the effects of the attack will have on pricing mechanisms. The fact that drones could so easily remove over 5MM barrels of production per day will be in the back of the minds of traders. I could foresee premiums being included in prices as risks get factored in, based on the possibility of the sheer potential number of barrels that could be taken off the market in the course of attacks like this.

            • I don’t doubt that the Saudis desire to get back to business as usual, as quickly as possible; what I doubt are their assurances that they have the ability to do that, and in a matter of weeks. I don’t trust their assurances in the least.