Saturday, May 19, 2018

Another Mass Shooting In Texas - But Some States Aren't Tolerating This BS Any Longer

Santa Fe HS student Paige Curry declared a sense of inevitability about school shootings. In fact, that only applies to states like hers that fail to act with new gun laws.

And yet another school shooting, the news of which came over wifey's Daily Kos cellphone feed yesterday a.m. barely minutes after she got her coffee. "What the hell is wrong with this damned country?" she yelped.    "Everything!" I replied, "And more than you can know as long as that human pustule blights the White House." (Referencing NY Times' Roger Cohen's  op-ed reference to "moral rot" now taking over our nation.)

She agreed and then went on to describe the god-awful news of the 16th shooting this year at a school during school hours that caused injury or death. Combined, the tally of the previous fifteen incidents is 21 deaths and 46 injuries -  this time at Santa Fe High about an hour outside of Houston. The only relatively positive aspect that could be found is that the shooter didn't use an AR-15 but a shotgun and .38 revolver. Which was bad enough, ending up killing 10 though with an AR-15 the total easily could have been doubled.

The deaths and injuries in Santa Fe happened three months after 17 students and staff were shot dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida, generating an immense amount of activism and attention, but has not so far translated into meaningful political action, well at least at the federal level. As I will show, however, a number of forward looking states have taken matters into their own hands, convinced Trump is a bought and sold whore for the NRA.

Noteworthy here - and relevant to the case I will make - is a  television journalist’s interview with  Santa Fe student, Paige Curry, which went viral on social media.   The reporter asked:
Was there a part of you that was like, ‘This isn’t real, this would not happen in my school?’” 

Curry gave a rueful semi-laugh, and replied,
 “No, there wasn’t.  It’s been happening everywhere, I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too.”
A truly sad declaration disclosing resignation and a pervasive learned helplessness that infects too many in this country.. But must it be so? No, not at all! TX Governor Greg Abbott declared in the wake of the incident that "this is one of the most heinous attacks we're ever seen in the history of Texas schools" then added: "We need to do more than just pray for the victims". Indeed, but what?  Since the mass church shooting in his state, then the Parkland massacre, Abbott hasn't done a damned thing to alter the dynamic so his end question of  paralysis is weird.  Meanwhile, other states have made tangible progress to dispel the "learned helplessness" in the face of NRA obstruction.

For example, Gov. Rick Scott in Florida, after Parkland, pushed the state's GOP dominated legislature and got a robust new gun law that included: implementing a red flag law that enabled law enforcement to remove a gun from a person at risk, raised the minimum age to purchase a gun, added a 3-day waiting period and banned bump stocks.

Meanwhile, Vermont's Republican governor also signed a bill raising the purchase age, banning bump stocks, limiting the size of magazines  and requiring all sales to go through a licensed dealer.   Following similar suit, Maryland - also with a Repub governor- enacted a red flag law, banned bump stocks  and forbade any domestic abusers from owning guns.

The latter is also the law now in deep red Kansas.

Meanwhile, New York also tightened up its laws and Oregon closed its so called "boyfriend" loophole. Neighboring Washington state banned bump stocks and Rhode Island joined Flordia and Maryland with a red flag law.

All of this follows  Connecticut's lead, which has passed sweeping legislation in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting., 

As  CT  Gov. Daniel Malloy made clear on Chris Hayes' 'All In' , the states can do much more when the federal government won't.  His example, also pertains to other states, e.g. Massachusetts, which requires not only passing a state -approved gun safety course first, but also being licensed - as one would if getting a car - as well as fingerprinted.

Why are the states more successful in gaining passage of key gun laws, which seem to falter at the federal level? According to Gov. Malloy:

"Frankly, I don't think the NRA has the level of influence by demand in state capitols , because they are not paying for it.... Look, I don't care how late you come to the table, just get it done in your state.

Let me give a statistic. Last year the state of Texas saw more than 3, 500 dies as a result of gun violence. In my state it was 172.  Taking into account population difference, 12.6 per 100,000 lost their lives due to gun violence in Texas compared to 4.6 in my state. You can make your state safer.

You can be part of changing the culture that death is okay as part of some idealized notion of what the constitution says."

What were the "best practices" that Connecticut did to reduce the level of gun violence? Gov. Malloy named the following:

- Implemented background check and a 3-day waiting period

-  Banned assault weapons and bump stocks

- Banned large capacity magazines.

Malloy notes:

"In the last four years, as a result of what we did, Connecticut has had the largest drop in violent  crime of any of thee fifty states. And thirty percent better than the next nearest state. And look, it's not just about violent crime. Children are killing themselves because they found a parent's gun. How much more likely is it that someone in your home will be killed, or kill himself because of a gun, or the gun will be stolen as part of a crime.... Now at least, we also have formed a consortium of states - including Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts to do our own gun research and publish it."

Good points! Too often glossed over by the NRA's vocal minions. And as Malloy noted at the end, which ought to provoke a head snap to attention for Greg Abbott:

"I understand that Governor Abbott is embarrassed that he had a mass shooting at a church and now a mass shooting at a school, and 3,500 people a year die of gun violence in Texas. But hey listen! Join us! Do something about it and make your citizens safer by passing sensible gun laws."

Malloy's take is that states either take action like his state and Florida, or they "cower" in front of the huff and puff of he NRA.

 If Greg Abbott wants to do more than say prayers in the wake of more shootings in his state maybe he ought to listen to Gov. Malloy!

Of course, if Abbott does find the courage to make common cause with Malloy, he will have to expect blowback from gun nuts, such as we're now witnessing in Boulder, e.g.
A man named Steve joins about 200 gun supporters at a rally in downtown Boulder on April 21.
After that progressive burg now has a rule prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons and outlawed high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. Owners of the large magazines and bump stocks have until July 15 to dispose of or sell them.

But in the wake of passage,  the hardheads, goofballs and nuts, who don't grasp there is no 2nd amendment protection for assault weapons (according to the 2008 SC case District of Columbia vs. Heller) cf.:
have kicked up a ruckus with a protest. This has been led by radical libertarian gun nut and talk show blowhard Jon Caldara. He is now suing the city to have his way, but my bet is he is wasting his time and money. He also needs to back away from his fake news sites and re-read the Heller decision again.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Nun Who Needs To Educate The "Little Sisters of the Poor" About Being Pro-Life

What is the pro-life position?  What defines it? Is it truly pro-life without qualification or only up to birth? And if resources are denied after birth, is that still pro-life or only pro-life to birth, hence only pro birth?
In previous posts I've not held back from criticizing the Little Sisters of the Poor for their backward and myopic stance on artificial contraception as part of the ACA - which they have mightily protested having to accommodate.  I've pointed out, for example, that logically, the Little Sisters "can't have it both ways".   You cannot proclaim you're against abortion but then protest the best means to reduce abortions, which is artificial birth control
The Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious zealots have argued constantly and vocally that their precious "pro life" beliefs are being "disrespected" by being forced to pay for contraception for their employees. This is even after President Obama loosened the rules, i.e. so the religious institutions didn't have to pay for the contraceptives directly (their insurance companies did), and they still squawked.
But given that artificial contraception is the optimal way to family plan, and hence  avoid unnecessary abortions, if you cut out affordable access to  the first you will have to expect the second. You can't have it both ways: No contraception and no abortion. To me and many others, if abortion is the last thing we want then we permit control of family planning via artificial contraception. It is deliriously unrealistic to expect poor or even moderate income families to simply make 'baby roulette' bets with their lives. Yet that is what these Catholic false dogmatists expect.
Now, an outspoken nun - Sister Joan Chittister-  has added critical insight to the abortion issue by exposing - as I have in previous posts - that being pro- life means a hell of a lot more than protecting it up to birth.  What she has done is exposed the total hypocrisy in much of the  pro life babble of the Right  as when she pointedly states (in recent quotes from assorted media, e.g. Daily Kos):
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion that makes you pro-life. In fact, in many cases your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born and not a child fed, not a child educated or a child housed.   Why would I think you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life, that's pro-birth."
But see, pro birth doesn't cut it, if subsequently feeding,  housing, educating kids is not on the horizon.  But that is the M.O. of the repukes who even now are pushing a farm bill that includes cutting food stamps. And this cutting will largely affect families with kids. So those repugs who are pushing it cannot really be pro -life even if they might pass a smell test for being pro -birth. 
Sister Joan's zeroing in on spending tax money cuts to the chase. Because now we can further generalize by asserting all those in favor of cutting taxes are absolutely not pro-life, and maybe even not pro-birth. Why not pro-birth? Because prospective mothers - who might fancy having a kid or two - will now think twice realizing after parsing the tax cut bill and seeing  that there won't be anything to support the family later: no child care, no food stamps - or not enough - if they are needed, no relief to do with student loans, and even cuts to their parents' Medicare support. 
Indeed, given taxes are critical for support of an expanding population, to maintain any quality of life over multiple dimensions, then tax cutting is anti-life to the core. It effectively says: "We don't give a crap how many people there are in need, how many more have been born and need medical and other services, we aren't providing them."
For example, take the cruel and austere stance of Walter E. Williams, the deranged libertarian prof at George Mason University who recently scribbled in one of his syndicated op-eds:
Before the massive growth of our welfare state, private charity was the sole option for an individual or family facing insurmountable financial difficulties or other challenges. How do we know that? There is no history of Americans dying on the streets because they could not find food or basic medical assistance...During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, charities started playing a major role.
Of course, any sensible person with an IQ over room temperature would know this is errant twaddle. First of all, in Williams' bygone era of charity support the U.S. population was only around 100 million, compared to 330 million today. With a vastly greater number of people to support, and also factoring in inflation, there is no way that charity alone would provide for all the families in need today.
The housing shortage alone, with supply outstripping demand, is creating enormous hardship. Many families in the Denver area must lodge at cheap motels or in public shelters - like the family below. This is through no fault of their own.
Michael Lee, 38, looks at a water bottle his daughter Kayah Lee, 6, brought back as her mom, Cristal Olko, 32, and sister, Kemani Lee, 3, look on at the
Trulia recently estimated that only 29 percent of homes listed on the metro Denver market are affordable, and that was to those workers earning at least $70, 790 in 2015.  This from The Denver Post, April, 8, p. 10B.   The median listing price for homes on the Denver market now is:   $529,000
The average teacher and cop wages are significantly less than the $70-k figure, and with median  rents now running nearly $2,100  a month for a typical Denver area apartment. Hence, it doesn't take a math genius or Mensa member to run the numbers to see that after accounting for a domicile (whether rent or mortgage) and utilities, food - say to feed a family of 4 - there will be scant disposable income left. Hence, the need to supplement via food stamps.
But despite these facts and stats, Williams has the chutzpah to insist there is "no material poverty" in the U.S. Rolling out the hackneyed trope that most poor families still have stoves, bathrooms,  TV sets and maybe even a/c  for a room or two - or at least a fan. To which I retort: So what? You'd prefer they give up what few "luxuries" they have, build mud huts and live like swamp rats? WTF are you, a useful idiot - out to appease your libertarian masters at George Mason U.?

But Williams points up the very core issue Sister Joan Chittister is all about.  That if you are going to adopt an austerity position concerning social benefits then you can in no way be pro-life. No matter how long and hard you proclaim to be such.  Clearly, since Williams is adamant he wants no federal taxes increased to support what he calls a "welfare state" we can conclude he is emphatically not pro- life. The very fact he'd invoke private charity to cover people's needs indicates he's smitten - like most libbie academics - with the easy cop out.

At the core Sister Joan's moral stance against pro-life hypocrisy is based on the realist POV that population increase beyond resource availability leads to destitution.  We call such a condition  "overshoot" and it is illustrated in the diagram below in the radical divergence between population and resources by 2030. Even conservative UN scenarios suggest that if current population and consumption trends continue, then by the 2030s we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us.  This is shown in the following graph:
Factoring into this is that  every energy conversion pollutes and degrades the natural environment we depend upon. Hence, the more people, the more energy conversions and the more rapidly we descend into a high entropic, high waste world. Classic pro-lifers like the Little Sisters, the Pope and others fail to appreciate that every energy conversion process has as an accompaniment entropy, or disorder. In most cases this appears as waste heat, as well as pollutants.  Worse, they're willing to welcome millions more births but then bemoan spending on cancer treatments, needed drug , treating water fouled from lead poisoning or other health needs when the waste factor comes home to bite.  They deliriously want the extra babies, the burden of more and more human life - but refuse to take responsibility for paying (via taxes) the inevitable extra costs. 

This is what Sister Joan is all about and she deserves to be applauded for it:  One of the few moral realists amidst an amoral or pre-moral culture wedded to illusion.

Update:  Title X, our nation’s family planning program, which began in 1971, provides funding for a wide range of birth control and preventive health services to clinics or public and nonprofit entities serving poor women, many of whom are women of color, uninsured women and/or adolescents. 
Now, Title X is under attack by the Trump administration—which has announced that it intends to impose a gag rule preventing doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers at these clinics from providing any information about abortion to their patients or referring them to abortion providers.  This again confirms the Trumpies and their lackeys in the GOOP party are not pro-life, they are pro-birth. They don't give two craps about post - birth  life given the tax cut they passed at the end of last year will now require enormous cuts to everything from food stamps to Medicaid and health care for kids.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Selected Questions- Answers From All Experts Astronomy Forum (General Astronomy Information)

Question: i need information on astronomy, anything...what it is, it's history,
etc... thank you. Wolfie, Tacoma Park, Md

Answer:   'Astronomy' is actually quite a vast area to try to explain at one time
because it includes a number of large sub-disciplines:

astrometry - the study of star positions and how these change over time
with celestial coordinates

celestial mechanics - the prediction of the future positions of the
planets, Moon, etc. using orbital elements

 stellar astrophysics - the study of the physics of the stars, and their
evolution, changing properties

 solar physics - the study of the Sun, its physics and properties, as well
as terrestrial effects

radio astronomy - the study of celestial objects using sensitive antennas designed
 to receive signals  in the radio spectrum

galactic dynamics  - the study of the dynamics and physics of the galaxies, galaxy 

clusters, and their origin, evolution, 

cosmology - the study of the large scale structure, origin and evolution of the universe.

Each one of these - particularly the respective history of each sub discipline - 
would probably take several large books to even survey, far less 'explain'. 
What this shows is that like many other scientific disciplines, astronomy has grown
and developed beyond simple description or being one simple science. When
people become astronomers today, in fact, they have to specialize in one
area, say solar physics - they can't just do astronomy. It's too much!

As for the history, or any one part of it, as you can gather from the
above it's far beyond the scope of any practical (and even partially
complete) response here.  Hence, rather than expect a concise set of 
information it is better to go out and get basic books to learn the 
knowledge and master the principles on your own.

Many of the basic books are somewhat dated, but the essential (foundational)
 knowledge  and physical principles remain intact. One of the best is Sir Fred
 Hoyle's 'Frontiers of Astronomy' which  is  available online:

His textbook, 'Astronomy and Cosmology - A Modern Course' is also excellent
and very readable.  Both of these books provide astronomy insights across a wide
spectrum of subjects. 

As for a concise history of astronomy as an overall subject, an excellent book
 to read - which should be available at any public library- is:

'A Short History of Astronomy: From Earliest Times Through the Nineteenth
' by Arthur Berry, Dover Publications, 1961.

If you are serious about garnering more information about astronomy and its
 many facets, the  approach I've outlined here will be a major help - as well as
 the books cited.  You can, of course, also find numerous other good texts on
your own simply by use of appropriate Google inputs.

Senate Intel Conclusion Proves House Investigation Is Bogus And Nunes Is A Traitor

"This conclusion is bittersweet for the country because unity is the best antidote against Russian interference or interference from any country. ..So the House Republicans are now isolated. Isolated from the bipartisan report from Senate Democrats and Republicans, isolated from the intelligence community assessment and just isolated from the facts."     - Rep. Eric Swalwell, last night on 'The Last Word'

 Now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has issued its conclusion - that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and this was to help Trump - it stands in stark contrast to the  conclusion of the House Intel Committee led by chairman Devin Nunes.  Which of these is bogus, and which is the conclusion you can trust? The answer boils down to one of essential character of the prime actors and in the case of the House Committee, we have a traitor - Devin Nunes - leading the charge. This was to offer political cover for Donnie Dotard. Hence the House investigation's conclusion isn't worth any more than that of the Warren Commission confected by LBJ, about an ounce of doggie lickspittle. See e.g.

As I observed in that post:

"Who would ever have believed another abominable "investigation"  like the politically motivated Warren Commission's could ever be resurrected again? For those who need a memory jog, this charade was conceived by LBJ to provide protective cover for himself by launching into a pseudo-investigation of the assassination of JFK.   Like the just concluded House Intelligence Committee - largely run as a charade to protect Trump by his water boy Devin Nunes- the Warren Commission was designed as an elaborate foil to protect Johnson."

And  quoting former Justice Dept. specialist and spokesperson Matt Miller:

"This Intelligence Committee Report is a farce in so many ways. It's a farce in view of what happened - allowing witnesses to come in and refuse to answer questions and then no follow up, no subpoenas, no attempt to hold anyone in contempt. And it's a farce in claiming Putin wasn't  trying to elect Trump. Not just because the intelligence agencies have concluded otherwise, but a grand jury of 23 average Americans returned an indictment that explicitly said the Russians were trying to elect Donald Trump. They're ignoring that evidence completely ." 

And as for Devin Nunes, we know he's a traitor and consummate bad actor with deplorable character from his actual actions which those of us who've paid attention have tracked from last year's antics, e.g.



That Nunes is a bad actor and purposefully disruptive agent became obvious in the midst of another records dispute last month. Then the little wretch threatened to hold Assistant AG Rod Rosenstein in contempt, or impeach him. This was if the DOJ did not grant access to a nearly complete document (including FISA warrant) used to open the Russia investigation. The sleazebag rat attempted to exercise power far beyond his warp and woof. Fortunately, Rosenstein rebuffed him and the other GOP Toads with a rate media appearance that he wold not give in to "extortion".

All of which has pointed to the House Intelligence Committee as a smokescreen and political disinformation unit to protect Trump, as opposed to adhering to the  Constitution and getting at the truth. This is why the House Intel Committee found "no evidence of coordination between Russia and Trump's campaign."   This in 180 degree opposition to the Senate Committee, which has been left to act the part of the sole adults and show the House investigation for the clown act it is, and who Nunes really is. A transparent vermin - perhaps 2-legged roach- who professes not to want to hurt any source, merely to "get documents related to his investigation".  Absurd when one considers he has refused to even question all key parties in the investigation, including Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks,  George Papadopoulos -  who had admitted contacts with the Russians long before Christoper Steele's dossier emerged. Also:

-  Carter Page, deemed a key Russian agent, implicated from 2013 via intel intercepts and other communications, and:

- Wilbur Ross, who had become head of a Cyprus bank that helped Russian oligarchs launder money e.g.

Taken in context and all his actions (since last year)  in concert, Nunes M.O. is clear: to sow discord and court endless conflict to provide cover for the traitor Trump.  There is no issue or ambiguity on that. And by providing cover for a traitor, Nunes has shown himself to be of the same breed.

In Nunes' most recent encore, he's issued increasingly bold demands for access to some of the Justice Department's most sensitive case files.  As former DOJ spokesman Matt Miller has pointed out, the release of such files into Nunes' hands would disclose highly confidential methods and sources, including intercepts from foreign agents who would then be compromised. In other words, Nunes has reprised his M.O. as an infamous traitor in the sordid series of continuing escalations, confrontations.  As I said in an earlier blog post, this bastard needs to be hung, drawn and quartered. (Janice has suggested burning in a dumpster fire after.)

In the latest episode, reported in the NY Times four days ago ('Wielding Threats, Nunes Attack Justice Dept'.) we learn this deranged punk "demanded more documents and related materials for his investigation into allegations of surveillance abuse by federal law enforcement officials".  His reckless mission pitted this miscreant not only against the DOJ, but the FBI and intelligence community and intel -linked sources inside Trump's WH itself - all of whom warned "the disclosure could endanger a long time source who is aiding the special counsel's investigation."

A normal and honorable citizen would respect such warnings, understanding that exposing this source is no more justified than how Valerie Plame was exposed in the Bush Jr. era..  But Devin Nunes is no normal, honorable citizen, he's a traitorous rat who's dedicated himself to butt kissing Trump and put what little reputation he has on the line for that primo traitor,
Image result for Trump as Traitor
Not to be outdone, WSJ harpy and  long time Trump stooge Kimberley Strassel tried to come to Nunes' rescue in her last disinfo piece,

Bloviating and blurtating that:

"I believe I know the name of the informant, but my intelligence sources did not provide it and refuse to confirm it. It would therefore be irresponsible to publish it."

Not to mention, putting your own neck into Robert Mueller's noose!  But the rest of her screed merely regurgitates all of the House Intel conspiracy theories and Nunes' own psychotic ideations, e.g. "the FBI played dirty in its surveillance warrant against Carter Page."  No, they did not it was totally justified given Page had met with FSB agents and the meeting documented by foreign (e.g. German, UK, Dutch) intercepts.

In the end, the Senate Intelligence report puts the kibosh not only on Strassel's outlandish ruminations but on Nunes' and his collaborators' perfidy and treachery.  To see more details of its report, go to:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

As I Predicted, Kim Jong Un Has No Intention Of Giving Up His Nukes

"Stick it up your you know what, Dotard! No Nobel For Yew!"

In two previous posts I predicted that all this yap about a N. Korean summit in which Kim Jong Un agrees to give up his nukes was total balderdash. I also stated flatly that Trump, aka Dotard, was counting his bribe money before it was dispersed by anticipating a Nobel Peace Prize like Obama received.  This asshole isn't even fit to lick the bottoms of Obama's wingtips, far less get an award from the Nobel Committee. Besides, why would that august organization tarnish its image and credibility in perpetuity by awarding a peace prize to a criminal traitor?

But the Dodos occupying the rat warrens of Trumpdom can't see beyond their grifter natures and simply couldn't admit that Kim wasn't going to just hand over his nuke and ballistic missile program which he'd invested thirty years building.   Indeed,  these Trumpie morons remain convinced that the North has shown some kind of good faith by tearing down a nuke test site (at Punggye-Ri). They still haven't gotten the memo that this site - based on more recent satellite radar imagery- was kaput anyway,  So the North isn't giving away anything at any cost to them (ditto in releasing the 3 prisoners). See e.g.

As I noted therein:

"The chances of the North "dismantling" its nukes are roughly the same as the Cleveland Browns winning the next two Super Bowls with their latest Boy Wonder QB, Baker Mayfield.  It ain't gonna happen!  You can take that to the bank. The North and Kim have not invested the past 30 years -  including recruiting rocket scientists from the former Soviet Union - to give it all up now on a whim, baseless media speculations, or Trump's braggadocio and threats. No way in hell!"

How could I be so certain Kim wouldn't capitulate to the exorbitant, excessive U.S. demands? Because I knew he wasn't a fucking idiot like Trump - who actually gave Kim every reason not to cooperate by tearing up the Iran nuclear deal. If the U.S. couldn't be trusted to complete a deal with a still non-nuclear power, why the hell would it do so with a nuclear power like the DPRK?  It also didn't help that "Ripper" Bolton got on Face the Nation Sunday and started barking like a rabid dog about how North Korea could be brought to heel using the same template as with Libya, (Recall 8 years after Ghaddafi gave up his weapons program he was overthrown and killed.)  This prompted North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye -Gwan to respond to Bolton's blurtations thusly:

"It is absolutely absurd to compare the DPRK, a nuclear weapon state, to Libya"   adding on Bolton:

"We do not hide our feelings of repugnance toward him".

Lest anyone forget, let's also recall it was the bombastic,  bellicose Bolton who wrote a piece in the WSJ advocating for a pre-emptive war with North Korea. (Feb. 28, The Legal Case For Striking North Korea First' ).   Bolton, screwball that he is, actually tried to invoke a "necessity" based on  an 1837  'test of necessity' formulated by Daniel Webster.  (Webster's test referred to when British forces invaded the U.S.  to destroy the steamboat 'Caroline' in 1837. It had been used by Canadian rebels to transport weapons into Ontario.)

So add it all up: The Bolton WSJ piece, Trump's subsequent appointment of Bolton as national security adviser, then pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal  - with Bolton again barking endless threats including to the Europeans if they don't fall into line and administer further sanctions. In this morass of betrayal and arrogance why wouldn't Kim find any excuse not to partake in some sham show summit for Donnie Dotard's ego?

Now we know North Korea has abruptly cancelled high-level talks with Seoul and threatened to pull out of a planned summit with Donald Trump if the U.S. continues to insist on the regime giving up all of its nuclear weapons. A North Korean official said the country had no interest in a summit with U.S.  if it was based on “one-sided” demands to give up nuclear weapons, according to state media. (I also suspect that Bolton's vow of multiple "on site inspections" , raised the specter of American snoops prowling all over the Hermit Kingdom, which spooked Kim and his defense ministers, Generals.) 

Citing first vice minister of foreign affairs Kim Kye-Gwan, North Korea’s central news agency also said the fate of the US summit as well as bilateral relations “would be clear” if Washington speaks of a Libya-style denuclearization for the North.  Of course, for all intents, after what's transpired, this summit is D.O.A. Put a fork in it. The statement added that Trump would remain as a “failed president” if he followed in the steps of his  predecessors.

Kim Jong Un himself gave the game away by admitting:

 “We are no longer interested in a negotiation that will be all about driving us into a corner and making a one-sided demand for us to give up our nukes and this would force us to reconsider whether we would accept the North Korea-US summit meeting.”

The statement came after North Korea cancelled a meeting with South Korean officials just two hours before it was due to start on Wednesday, in protest at joint U.S. -South Korean military exercises, codenamed Max Thunder.   For North Korea, the presence of bombers in joint US-South Korea drills triggered painful memories of the 1950-53 Korean war.

According to U.S.  Air Force estimates, bombing raids by B-29s caused more damage to North Korea’s urban centers during that conflict than that seen in Germany or Japan during the second world war, with the U.S. dumping 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea compared with 503,000 tons during the entire Pacific war.  No surprise the North still nurses a grudge, or that it went on to develop its own nuclear weapons program as well as long range ballistic missiles which it is never going to give up - contrary to all the hegemonic fantasies of the Trumpies.

Yes, there is a slim chance, perhaps with probability 0.0000000000001, that some form  of talks might yet occur in Singapore. But it will be no more than a show, an optics display. And at the end, there will be nothing to show for it, and certainly no promise or expectation of any Nobel Peace Prize for Donnie Dotard.  The North Koreans and Kim learned only too well of U. S. treachery in deals from how it treated Iran, see e.g.