Thursday, November 30, 2017

It seems that Donald Trump is confident about passing his tax cuts

A planned meeting between Trump and "Nancy and Chuck" (the democratic party leadership in Congress and Senate) was abruptly cancelled. The operative part of Trump's tweet on the issue was that "there was no deal". Apparently everyone was supposed to meet in Donald Trump's office and decide what give and take would occur before the debt limit was raised on Dec 8th to allow the US government to function.

Anything that steps away from a "deal" on a debt limit rise usually attracts negative momentum on the markets, but around the same time the DJIA and BTC began to rally. This seems like the opposite of what one would expect.

I think this signals that Donald Trump is convinced he can pass the "tax cuts". Given how little his government has had to show for itself, he is keen to keep up the appearance that he is capable of delivering something - however ridiculous it may seem to others. During the earlier situation with the "Obamacare repeal" - there was the desire repeatedly expressed on Capital Hill by various GOPers - that they just wanted to "pass something" otherwise they would "look bad", Some of what we are seeing on the Tax Cuts or the "Cut Cut Cut Act" is that kind of sentiment. The GOPers are tired of looking like a bunch of complete incompetents who can't get anything done.

As we all have probably guessed by now, the GOP has drafted the bill and given how much the average GOP guy on the hill earns, the bill is largely designed to give themselves a tax cut and everyone else below them will be shafted. Most GOP voters and Trumpers are too stupid to grasp the fine print of the tax bill and will support it out of their tribal mentality or they will support it with the vague sense that it will somehow kill their peer competitors more than it will kill them personally.

It seems that Secy Mnuchin is lying when he says he has an analysis that the "tax cuts will pay for themselves". There is no such analysis. No one appears to have actually read a copy of the tax bill and I am sure that Mitch McConnell will use his usual tricks.

So given how badly this is driven by the desire to make it look like Trump and the GOP actually did something. My guess is that it will go through.

In other news - Roy Moore is back in the lead in Alabama. Again not surprising given its Alabama we are talking about.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Why are you worried about the Gujarat elections? Seriously who cares what happens there?

Every time around the "suspicious death" of Judge Loya is brought up, all the bhakts say "Oh no... it is a nothing burger, it's all about Congress winning Gujarat elections."

Err.. okay but I have questions.

0) Since when does an election in Gujarat get decided by how a CBI Judge in Maharashtra died three years ago? In what universe does that make sense? How many elections have you fought again - hundreds, thousands? and you still think this is an electoral issue?

1) If Modi was such a superstar as CM, why would Gujaratis want to embarass him by voting for anyone else in his home state? I mean seriously - ask yourselves is this even possible? It is nonsense. That man is the closest thing Gujarat has to a "gaurav" (Greatness) since Morarji Desai and he doesn't even drink  you know what.  He has inherited the mantle of the Gujara-Pratihara empire, will Gujarat ever step away from that? (Yes I know they did historically but you have yourselves pointed out to me that history never repeats itself... All that bullshit you dish out about never allowing the pillage of Somnath to occur again.. don't you atleast believe it yourself?)

2)Let us suspend my disbelief - let's say that Gujaratis are fed up and they will forget all that is stated above. If Modi is so badly close to losing Gujarat to an old and failed caste formula ("KHAM") by Congress and AAP - is that because he was a bad CM five years ago or because he is bad PM now?

3) What difference will it make to Emperor Amit Shah Jahan if the Gujarat election is lost? At worst he can dismiss his Prime Minister and Yogi can be elevated to the PM's chair or if Yogi is found unsuitable there is always Sakshi Maharaj or better still Suraj Pal Amu? - And if nothing works Subramaniam Swamy is there and if not him then Tejinder Bagga. So why worry? You can keep killing Muslims for whatever reasons - Love Jihad, Gau Raksha, Just-Being-Muslim, Being-Parsi-with-Muslim-Sounding-Name etc... no one will stop you.

4) Also what is the worst that can happen? So BJP loses in Gujarat... and then what? who will form the government? these Congress and AAP guys? Have you looked at their faces? How long will that government last? 1 day, 10 days, or 100 days? And then what? When all the criminals are in your pocket and so is the supreme court  what is there to fear? Let them be CM for a few days and you can engineer riots at the first opportunity and stop the movement of goods out of Kandla. Your industrialist friends will be up in arms in ten seconds and you can dismiss the government.

So why are you so worried about Gujarat elections being lost?

Don't be afraid, the country's name will be changed to the Holy Padishahi of the Most Exalted Emperor Amit Shah Jahan, the Most Magnificient, Omniscient and Omnipotent.

Who needs a constitution anyway? Who needs fundamental rights? who needs a Supreme Court and these pesky elections? When the leaders are righteous and the people are pious and the women are pure? Does one need democracy? I think not.

One can simply issue a one line instruction to every CIU or STF in the country and tell them to fill a quota of encounters. That will ensure sufficient piety is maintained and there is stability and order.

So my brothers and sisters, rejoice and sing noel, and bow your head down in sajjada - for out of the ashes of the Old Republic the Emperor hath risen.

* Also to my friends in the RSS, - Please start celebrations immediately, because otherwise Ishwar Baheti will be visiting your house early tomorrow morning and btw don't think he doesn't know what your texts and telephone calls are, you know who owns Reliance right? Okay? Got it. Chalo bhai... as long as everything is explained clearly.  

Monday, November 27, 2017

The "Suspicious Death" of CBI Judge Brijgopal Loya inaugurates the reign of Emperor Amit Shah Jahan

When Modi's gang was up for election in 2014, I told whoever was willing to listen to me that these people have an unspeakable darkness in their heart. And that if they were given access to power they would do horrible things.

It seems I was right to feel this way. 

Based on what I have heard now from the relatives of the late Judge Loya, it seems that a conspiracy was hatched to murder Judge Loya by fellow judges. At least one of those conspirators was allegedly a Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and this person (Justice Mohit Shah) was later promoted to the Supreme Court. This was all done to get Amit Shah off the hook for orchestrating the Godhra Ahmedabad violence cycle.

In all my years of following counter insurgency and terrorism in India, I have never seen anything like this. I have seen magistrates and judges killed, their families slaughtered by criminals but I have never seen Judges conspire to kill each other. This is completely out of scale with anything in the past

The credibility of the entire judiciary in India has been severely compromised by this action. The judicial system is already straining under the massive weight of cases. People routinely complain about "justice delayed and justice denied". This act by Justice Mohit Shah (allegedly the BIL of Amit Shah) has made everything come crashing down.

I have tried to explain this to several people who seem to love Modi and think highly of Amit Shah, but I seem to be making little progress. They reduce everything to the immediate context of the elections of Gujarat and they disclaim all responsibility for the Modi-Amit Shah mess. They do not understand that the Gujarat elections will not be decided on the basis of what happens to some judge, they will be decided (as they always have been) on caste equations altering GOTV dynamics.

Amit Shah and Mohit Shah have inflicted a mortal blow on the Indian judiciary. This CANNOT be undone. People already suspected that there was corruption in the Judiciary, the decisions of the college of Judges were slanted by money, now they will see it as an inherently partisan and criminal entity.

Every decision taken by the Supreme Court of India will be subject to the "I wonder if Amit Shah or Mohit Shah influenced this?" question. Such a collapse in perceived impartiality is fatal to the Indian justice system.

When the main judicial system of the land fails, private justice systems will take its place. This has happened before in Iran after the fall of the Shah and in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code will be reduced to the status of toilet paper. Why bother with either of those? why bother with going to the Supreme Court? Just go to Amit Shah and Mohit Shah instead - they will give you the judgement you seek for a price!

Why go to civil court or arbitration? just call Jay Shah and for a fee he will give his dad's opinion on the issue. After all its not like the Supreme Court of India will do anything to stop him. If any judge steps out of line, RSS worker Ishwar Baheti will make a few phone calls and visit their family early in the morning!

Why go to parliament to declare a national emergency? just do it from the PMO. Which bureaucrat will oppose you? you can just purge them. You can purge the Army, the Intelligence Services, the Police and the Reserve Bank. Who will disobey you? No one because the Supreme Court will not take a decision that goes against Mohit Shah and Amit Shah.

You were worried when people said "Indira is India"? well get used to saying that the Sun rises and sets inside Amit Shah's arse because that where your head is permanently stuck inside.

Welcome to the reign of Emperor Amit Shah Jahan*!!

*And Congratulations to the RSS for bringing this glorious vision of India to reality!! And what next Sri Satsangchalak? exploit this and destroy the Indian judicial system with its English style emphasis on the laws of precedence? and replace it with RSS approved courts of "Hindu Opinion"? Maybe we can just have all the Judges take the RSS oath? and membership of the organization that allegedly does not maintain membership charts (but somehow operates a complex international financial system)?

Monday, November 20, 2017

"Anti-Gravity" Propulsion Systems - II (Historical Stuff)

In the beginning of the 19th century, engineers began to apply the ideas of physics and thermodynamics to the construction of high quality artillery. This love-fest between the art of war and the world of physics soon grew to encompass flying machines and motor engines. By WWI - the marriage of physics and the war machine was going strong, and deadlier and more accurate weapons were being invented all the time. Like wayward children these inventions spread across the face of the earth and rapidly enhanced mankind's ability to extinguish itself. 

WWII programs like the Manhattan Project and Hitler's Wunder Waffen (Rockets) were the most terrifying of the pack that this abominable pair has brought into the world.  And the success of those efforts paved the way for more such horrors to come forth. 

As the copulation of Physics and the War Machine was always a secretive act, an alternate information handling system emerged to keep track of when these two got it on. Buried deep within national bureaucracy and secure from external review, this technical underworld became a center of great power as it was able to seduce and guile many a leader with dreams of unimaginable power. It was able to get funding by promising things that were far beyond human ability to comprehend or deliver. 

I feel the "anti-gravity" project is an example of this kind of thing. 

I don't think everyone was all bad but the Nazis were the worst when it came to this. While SS Major Werner Von Braun was using inmates from nearby concentration camps to work on his V1 and V2 rockets, a certain SS Maj. Gen. Hans Kammler was allegedly headed up an anti-gravity program. When the Third Reich fell these bastards defected to the Allies via Op Paperclip and Op Osoaviakhim. Von Braun came to the US, I suspect so did Hans Kammler. And even if the US went to great lengths to make sure they didn't get up to their usual genocidal tricks, these people became a bad influence on the US for the decades to come. The Russians ofcourse had their own pet Nazis[1].

There were several public indications that the USG had an intense interest in anti-gravity research. But like research into various aspects of Uranium and Plutonium refining these open sources all dried up. It makes sense that the USG sought to hide this as after all there was a (Cold) War on ... if you didn't know. And the last thing they wanted was those Godless Commies getting their hands on it. 

I feel the combination of the US fears of Communism and the influence of washed up Nazis created a unique climate in which a number of anti-gravity related IRAD (Independent Research and Development) activities were set up. I am hoping that Nick is able to shed light on some of those projects. I suspect most of these were scams - people promising performance way ahead of what was realistically knowable and I am certain these projects were administered by USG personnel with law degrees instead of science degrees. That always makes for a perfect scam. 

One interesting window into that world came in the form of the "Gravity Research Foundation" which was set up by Roger Babson [2]. This entity initially attracted all the weird people that were trying to cash in on the "anti-gravity" scam. The number of crazies that hung out over there was a good gauge for the extent of the scam. Over the decades the real physicists who needed funding for publicly audited academic research took over and kicked out the crazies. Today this body helps those who do some of the most advanced academic research into gravity. 

I have a very hard time believing stuff about Aliens. Given the age of the universe, I think it more likely that we are one of the first sentient species in this part of the galaxy. 

I suspect that most of what we hear about Aliens at Area 51 is a security measure put around this "anti-gravity" research. That kind of security measure is common when it comes to protecting spy plane projects and so on, but I suspect it is also meant to deflect too many uncomfortable questions about the details from other sources as well for example:

Engineer: "How does the strong force couple to gravity at this energy scale?"
Manager : "We don't know but the Aliens told us that we can use element 115 to do this". 
Engineer: "Oh that makes sense, I'll get back to sawing this log."


SAIC Auditor: "What is the line item on your project sheet labelled "Hookers, Blow and Expensive Booze in Vegas"?" 
Manager :"Umm... that is for our other project, you know the one that is code word, the stuff on the lake bed near ..."
SAIC Auditor:"Aliens..."
Manager : "Yeah... that one"
SAIC Auditor: "No worries, I hear you, just doing my due diligence"

Okay maybe that is a bit too harsh and cynical, but that is just me, I have (some would say) an overly sensitive bullshit meter, and this Alien/"Anti-Gravity"-space time bending-intergalactic travelling stuff really sets that off. 

If there are any actual Aliens and real scientists out there collaborating on helping mankind reach for the stars, my apologies to you. 

I mean to cause you no offense, my skepticism is merely informed by decades of watching humanity bullshit itself off a cliff. 

"Anti-Gravity" Propulsion Systems - I (Technical Stuff)

Nick Cook has started a YouTube channel that tells us about his journey through the lore of a secret US quest for an anti-gravity propulsion system. I highly recommend watching this channel as it will provide for serious entertainment. Nick is able to weave a compelling narrative, he has also had a ring side seat into the murky world of Black Budget aerospace research. And the science side is super interesting.

I just want to tell you all a bit about the science side and help twist out the confused nonsense that one often hears from UFOlogists in this area.

The word "anti-gravity" is used in the public domain to describe ways to overcome gravity and go up instead of down (towards the earth's surface). There are five basic/known ways to do this

1) Buoyant lift - Hot air balloons, hydrogen filled or helium filled airships all rise above the earth because the density of the gas inside them is lower than the density of the air around them. Gravity actually pulls heavier air down and that pushes the bubble of less dense gas inside the balloon up. [1]

2) Aerodynamic lift - this is the way an airplane works. The flow of air over an aerofoil shape generates an upward force on the shape. At high enough speeds, this force can overcome the weight of the wing and achieve apparent weightlessness. [2]

3) Electrohydrodynamic Lift - An electric field can move ions in the air. These moving ions in turn drag air molecules with them. The resulting air flow can be used to generate lift. Very few demos of this exist - owing to the fact that electric fields required are large and we don't have compact power sources. This is sometimes referred to as the Biefeld Brown ioncraft[3]

4) Magnetic Field Skimmers - The earth (and every other massive object) has a magnetic field. If you create a magnetization gradient, you can create a force that opposes gravity. It is actually quite challenging to precisely control the magnetization gradient in a material, and the easiest way to achieve this is to create a very large but tunable magnetic field gradient using opposed magnetic poles. (This is the Boyd Bushman idea [4]).

Apart from this three other ideas have been suggested as candidates for reducing gravity

1) "Strong Force/Gravity A": This is the idea that came from Bob Lazar who claimed to have worked on an alien inherited technology at S4 near Area 51. The problem with this approach is that there is no known example of the strong force extending beyond the confines of an atomic nucleus. There is just now some evidence of a Quark Gluon Plasma in the data at RHIC in Brookhaven, but the idea that one can create a large long range strong force fluctuation is unsupported by openly available data. Simply put - the Strong Force exists - but we don't know how to control it like that. [5]

2) Other sub-nuclear forces - All the arguments that are used by Lazar to claim the Strong force is capable of opposing gravity, are equally applicable to other ideas we have of sub-nuclear forces. Clearly something must happen when a star collapses into a black hole - we don't know how the nuclear forces (which become intensely repulsive at those densities) interact with the gravitational pressure. There appears to be a huge diversity of high density objects in space, so its not like gravity or the sub-nuclear forces win out every time. Again we know this stuff goes on but we have no real way of controlling it.

3) "Fifth Force"/"Dark Energy" - There is a lot of evidence on extra-galactic lengthscales that something is causing the universe to expand. If gravity was all that was out there - then all the matter in the universe would collapse into a single point (or equivalently space time would curve infinetely) but something is out there making space time flatter. We do not have any real knowledge of this. All the ideas of bending space-time over large distances would run into the physics of these unknown forces. So anything in this arena is very far out as our understanding goes.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Who is actually pulling the trigger in Saudi Arabia?

There is an unspoken, unwritten rule among the sons of the Saud - that no one shall spill pure blood.

That rule was broken last week.

In a naked power grab, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman launched a purge of all those who might have opposed his claim to power. He was encouraged to this by Trump via Jared Kushner.

As a result of this power grab - two Saudi princes are dead. Prince Mansour bin Muqrin was killed in a helicopter crash near Abha[1], and Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd was killed "resisting arrest"[2, 3].

News reports had indicated that Prince Miteb bin Abdul Abdullah, the head of the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) had been dismissed [4].  This development had unnerved a great many people as the SANG literally keeps the peace in KSA.  The SANG basically guaranteed that the unwritten and unspoken contract was held in place.

By disabling the SANG conflict resolution mechanism, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman set in motion a conflict that could only end with more Sudairi blood being spilled.

The commander of the SANG now reports to an "Anti-Corruption Committee" chaired by Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In the days of old, SANG was really a wrapper around something called Vinnell Arabia. This agency despite it's mercenary appearances was critical to the security of the world's oil supply.

I don't think that SANG would ever spill royal Saudi blood.

I suspect whoever is pulling the trigger is not part of SANG.

Friday, November 03, 2017

So.... about those H1Bs

Everyone loves to hate H1Bs.

They take American jobs, they work longer hours for less money, they speak in strange languages, they eat weird foods that make the cafeteria smell, they drive badly, they don't understand our culture, etc... etc...

Far be it from me to grudge you a pet peeve, but here is some stuff about H1Bs you might not hate quite so much.

(If you are Steve Bannon, then you kind of hate everyone and everything cause you are just that way... so this won't make much difference to you).

1) H1Bs were hired because Gen X didn't have enough manpower - As the US became more prosperous, it became very expensive to manufacture in the US. As heavy industry left, the US economy became more dependent on software driven growth. There simply weren't enough people in Gen X or Baby Boomer Cohort II to meet the demand for software programmers. That's why so many H1Bs were hired. This injection of cheap labor allowed the US economy to remain viable even though industrial production shifted overseas.

2) H1Bs are like cheap oil (the US can't do without it) - Today there are a lot of Gen Y/Z people, so you might expect that the H1B intake reduces, but it won't - because H1Bs are the "cheap oil" of the labor market. Even with the pressure on the labor market from millions of millenials entering the workforce, the price of the labor in the US will remain high. This has nothing to do with "avocado toast" type factors, but with the cost of education in the US. With the USG spending so much money on entitlements for its aging Boomer population, it can't afford to fund the large numbers of educational institutions need to train all the millennials. So Gen Y/Z ends up bearing a greater fraction of the cost of education, this raises the cost associated with hiring a millennial. With high ranking execs demanding high raises and salaries, it is not possible to pay a large workforce comprised of poorly trained millennials. With boomers expecting their IRAs to keep growing forever, companies have to keep showing rising profits. So the only option is to get cheap labor - i.e. H1Bs or outsourcing.

3) H1Bs buy houses at inflated prices - This would seem like something you could use against them, but this is actually good for the US. When H1Bs buy houses, they often do so with cash they have earned here or with money they have converted to dollars from whatever they may have inherited from elsewhere. This is an effective wealth transfer from their home country to the US.

4) H1Bs pay social security and taxes even if they don't stick around to collect them - As so many H1Bs go back to their country after a few years, they never collect on the social security and medicare contributions they have made. This ensures that aging Boomers have more of a social security and medicare benefits than they would have had if they had if the same benefits had been paid by Gen Y/Z workers.

5) H1Bs pay visa processing fees - For every application that is made for an H1 visa, the US treasury gets a nice chunk of fees. These fees allegedly go towards paying most of the processing costs but there is plenty left over.

Now before you start with "its not about legal immigrants - it's about illegal immigrants" - Actually the same thing works in a modified form for illegal immigrants. They aren't going away any time soon either unless robots become a thing - and you will need cheap H1B labor to make robots happen... etc.. .etc... etc...

I can't make people stop hating the H1B system - there is always going to be something people don't like about it. Someone somewhere is always going to lose a job or a sense of job security from this kind of import.

That said - if you want to end this program - then you should recall the parable of the goose that laid golden eggs.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

NYC attack - Jihadi spectacular or RIS riposte?

We have two things going on at the same time and it isn't clear which of them is at play in the NYC events.

ISIS has suffered massive losses in Syria, Iraq and Marawi. The result of this has been irreparable damage to the ISIS brand. This predisposes them to seek out spectaculars that inspire participation and donors. It is not clear to me how and entity that has lost its HQ coordinates such attacks across the length and breadth of the planet. If this NYC attack is ISIS - then this is their second big international operation after Niger.

With the defection of George Papadopoulous, RIS operations have taken a big unexpected hit. As I discussed earlier - they rely on an "A Team" to maintain a fragile sense of nuclear security. If the Papadopoulous defection put that organization at risk, then they are going to do something to send a strong message to USIC. The message probably reads something like "Do not mess with our assets or we will fuck you up".

In the past we have heard that there are suicidal people that seem to want to push up the ISIS brand even though they have no visible contact with ISIS. This always stuck me as a bit odd, if you were a homicidal narcissistic type - you would want all the credit to go to you.  Why would you want to give all the credit to ISIS which did nothing to help you?  And why does ISIS only claim credit for these events days after the fact? So either these people aren't a homicidal narcissist or ISIS actually helped them or both.

In her fantastic work R Callimachi pointed to a network of PGP encrypted instant messaging apps that were used in a patchwork fashion by ISIS inspired attackers to communicate with ISIS control room.  If one were to break into the devices of these "Lone Wolves" I wonder how many of them would show this kind of contact with ISIS HQ.

This brings me to another interesting point - most of these PGP encrypted messaging apps are hosted in RU. Telegram is a major favorite of the ISIS Jihadi community. Everyone swears that Telegram is penetrated by RIS because of the funny thing that happened around the mansion of the guy who runs the company.

Another point that always sticks out to me is the extent to which RU backed sources go to blame "HTS" (nee Jabhat-Al-Nusra) as a CIA backed entity. Whenever possible Russian sources fill YouTube with vids of Russian bombers "hitting HTS hard" etc... The RU guys are always willing to point out that HTS volunteers come from the US and that they are able to freely travel through western nations. They point out that that US friendly regimes in the ME back Sunni extremists wherever possible. All this is to project the HTS as a ultimate problem in the ME.

The US OTOH maintains that the true "bad guys" in Syria/Iraq are ISIS. First person accounts from the region point to ISIS being a Iraqi Sunni front run by the dregs of the Saddam era Mukhabarat. Those guys were pretty pally with the RIS. There is also information about Chechens entering ISIS ranks and we are told by RU sources that Kadyrov is stand-up guy - very aligned with Putin.

So if I accept the RU premise that HTS is a CIA proxy/ally - can I also accept that ISIS is a RIS front/ally?

And then what am I really looking at in NYC?