Health Futures Blog
1 month ago
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Red Line Alert
After viewing the carnage in Kiev, President Obama warned Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych: “We have been watching very carefully and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters.  There will be consequences if people step over the line”.   Like Syria, right?  If Yanukovych steps over the line, Obama will tie himself in an embarrassing knot and then ask Congress what to do.  Ukrainian authorities are quaking in their boots. 
This time, you can bet that Vladimir Putin will not bail him out… 

Red Line Alert

After viewing the carnage in Kiev, President Obama warned Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych: “We have been watching very carefully and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters.  There will be consequences if people step over the line”.   Like Syria, right?  If Yanukovych steps over the line, Obama will tie himself in an embarrassing knot and then ask Congress what to do.  Ukrainian authorities are quaking in their boots. 

This time, you can bet that Vladimir Putin will not bail him out… 

2 months ago
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Revolution in Ukraine?
How badly do the Ukrainian people not want to be restored to Russian colonial status?   25 Dead, 240 injured in bloody clashes in Kiev.  Bread and circuses in Sochi, deaths in Kiev. This is the other side of Putin’s foreign policy. 

Revolution in Ukraine?

How badly do the Ukrainian people not want to be restored to Russian colonial status?   25 Dead, 240 injured in bloody clashes in Kiev.  Bread and circuses in Sochi, deaths in Kiev. This is the other side of Putin’s foreign policy. 

2 months ago
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The Forgotten War
Scenes of carnage from Aleppo, one of numerous Syrian cities being transformed into heaps of smoking rubble by an intractable civil war.
It’s completely believable that we Americans could not have done anything meaningful to avert this chaos, which has claimed 130 thousand lives so far, and shows no sign of burning itself out. Iraq, where we spent a futile eight years, seems headed in the same direction.    It’s still painful to think about people starving to death amid siege conditions in what was once a cradle of Arab civilization.  

The Forgotten War

Scenes of carnage from Aleppo, one of numerous Syrian cities being transformed into heaps of smoking rubble by an intractable civil war.

It’s completely believable that we Americans could not have done anything meaningful to avert this chaos, which has claimed 130 thousand lives so far, and shows no sign of burning itself out. Iraq, where we spent a futile eight years, seems headed in the same direction.    It’s still painful to think about people starving to death amid siege conditions in what was once a cradle of Arab civilization.  

2 months ago
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Coming Soon to A Power Substation Near You?
This WSJ article details a methodical and well planned sniper attack on April 16, 2013 on a PG&E substation that supplies the Silicon Valley! http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304851104579359141941621778?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories
The article says drily that this wasn’t a situation of Billie Bob and his buddies getting tanked up and firing a few shots.  It was a Special Forces quality assault with automatic weapons, preceded by someone entering and disabling a nearby fiberoptic telephone conduit “in a way that could not easily be repaired”.  The shooters marked their firing lanes with small piles of rocks, and aimed for the cooling reservoirs of oil around the transformers, not the transformers themselves.  After 52 thousand gallons of oil leaked out, the seventeen transformers burned out.  It took a month to repair the damage.  
THere has been speculation that our energy grid is vulnerable to cyberterrorism-e.g. to hacking that would shut down the grid.  This article chillingly suggests that the physical grid itself may be an even easier target, and that a surpassingly small number of similar attacks could knock out power to “most of the country”.   

Coming Soon to A Power Substation Near You?

This WSJ article details a methodical and well planned sniper attack on April 16, 2013 on a PG&E substation that supplies the Silicon Valley! http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304851104579359141941621778?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories

The article says drily that this wasn’t a situation of Billie Bob and his buddies getting tanked up and firing a few shots.  It was a Special Forces quality assault with automatic weapons, preceded by someone entering and disabling a nearby fiberoptic telephone conduit “in a way that could not easily be repaired”.  The shooters marked their firing lanes with small piles of rocks, and aimed for the cooling reservoirs of oil around the transformers, not the transformers themselves.  After 52 thousand gallons of oil leaked out, the seventeen transformers burned out.  It took a month to repair the damage.  

THere has been speculation that our energy grid is vulnerable to cyberterrorism-e.g. to hacking that would shut down the grid.  This article chillingly suggests that the physical grid itself may be an even easier target, and that a surpassingly small number of similar attacks could knock out power to “most of the country”.   

2 months ago
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Does This Look Like Revolution to You?
These remarkable photos from POLITICO show the “protests” against the nearly bankrupt and destitute government of Ukraine, as it edges closer to returning to being a Russian satellite: http://www.politico.com/magazine/gallery/2014/01/ukraines-song-of-ice-and-fire/001582-022535.html?hp=pm_1#.UuKILfYo5DQ
It isn’t even front page news… 

Does This Look Like Revolution to You?

These remarkable photos from POLITICO show the “protests” against the nearly bankrupt and destitute government of Ukraine, as it edges closer to returning to being a Russian satellite: http://www.politico.com/magazine/gallery/2014/01/ukraines-song-of-ice-and-fire/001582-022535.html?hp=pm_1#.UuKILfYo5DQ

It isn’t even front page news… 

2 months ago
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I Knew That!
This new report, in the Onion, confirms what we all knew: that lake ice grows safer as more beer is consumed: http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-lake-ice-grows-safer-to-venture-out-on-with,35001/?ref=auto

I Knew That!

This new report, in the Onion, confirms what we all knew: that lake ice grows safer as more beer is consumed: http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-lake-ice-grows-safer-to-venture-out-on-with,35001/?ref=auto

3 months ago
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Our Next President?
Virginia’s Larry Sabato says:  don’t be so sure.  And I agree with him.  She burnt herself to a crisp as Secretary of State.  She could live on the Vineyard and earn $3 million a year on the lecture circuit  working maybe four days a month.  Don’t bet on a second President Clinton.  
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/hillary-clinton-2016-elections-102400.html?hp=f3#.Ut5kp_30

Our Next President?

Virginia’s Larry Sabato says:  don’t be so sure.  And I agree with him.  She burnt herself to a crisp as Secretary of State.  She could live on the Vineyard and earn $3 million a year on the lecture circuit  working maybe four days a month.  Don’t bet on a second President Clinton.  

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/hillary-clinton-2016-elections-102400.html?hp=f3#.Ut5kp_30

3 months ago
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Glendora Fire Up Close
It’s a little late/early for Santa Ana winds, that blow off the desert and turn LA’s hillsides to tinder.  I’m glad we don’t have them in Virginia.  Just earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados…

Glendora Fire Up Close

It’s a little late/early for Santa Ana winds, that blow off the desert and turn LA’s hillsides to tinder.  I’m glad we don’t have them in Virginia.  Just earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados…

3 months ago
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Great Moments in North Korean Leadership
News reports suggest that the deposed Number #2 person in North Korea’s government, Jang Song Thaek, and several of his colleagues were executed by being stripped naked and  fed to a ravenous pack of hunting dogs.  http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/03/22156917-kim-jong-uns-executed-uncle-was-eaten-alive-by-120-hungry-dogs-report
Apparently, Kim Jong Un, the maximum leader and 300 of his colleagues witnessed the hour long ordeal. One can only wonder how many of them plan on plotting against Kim.   Makes the ancient Romans and Khmer Rouge look like humanitarians.  

Great Moments in North Korean Leadership

News reports suggest that the deposed Number #2 person in North Korea’s government, Jang Song Thaek, and several of his colleagues were executed by being stripped naked and  fed to a ravenous pack of hunting dogs.  http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/03/22156917-kim-jong-uns-executed-uncle-was-eaten-alive-by-120-hungry-dogs-report

Apparently, Kim Jong Un, the maximum leader and 300 of his colleagues witnessed the hour long ordeal. One can only wonder how many of them plan on plotting against Kim.   Makes the ancient Romans and Khmer Rouge look like humanitarians.  

4 months ago
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The ACA Implementation Poster Boy
The old adage runs:  When you’re in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.   The Obama Administration, mired in implementing healthcare.gov, released on Twitter through its field organization Organizing for Action… “Pajama Boy”  The slogan:  wear pajamas, drink hot chocolate, talk about getting health insurance, followed by Twitter and web links.
There followed the predictable firestorm of snark: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/12/pajama-boy-sweeps-the-internet.php
One does not know whether to laugh or cry… 

The ACA Implementation Poster Boy

The old adage runs:  When you’re in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.   The Obama Administration, mired in implementing healthcare.gov, released on Twitter through its field organization Organizing for Action… “Pajama Boy”  The slogan:  wear pajamas, drink hot chocolate, talk about getting health insurance, followed by Twitter and web links.

There followed the predictable firestorm of snark: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/12/pajama-boy-sweeps-the-internet.php

One does not know whether to laugh or cry… 

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