North Korea warns the United States that any US-driven Regime Change will result in Countermeasures

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 6th, 2014

Week in Review

North Korea is apparently in desperate need of food and/or energy.  As they are being especially belligerent of late.  When they want stuff they do some belligerent things.  Like a petulant child.  The international community then steps in to ratchet down the tension.  And gives something to that petulant child to shut them up for awhile.  But North Korea’s belligerence seems exceptionally belligerent these days (see North Korea says US ‘hell-bent on regime change’ by CARA ANNA, AP, posted 4/4/2014 on Yahoo! News).

North Korea on Friday accused the United States of being “hell-bent on regime change” and warned that any maneuvers with that intention will be viewed as a “red line” that will result in countermeasures.

Even North Korea is mocking President Obama about red lines.

Pyongyang’s deputy U.N. ambassador Ri Tong Il also repeated that his government “made it very clear we will carry out a new form of nuclear test” but refused to elaborate, saying only that “I recommend you to wait and see what it is…”

Ri blamed the U.S. for aggravating tensions on the Korean Peninsula by continuing “very dangerous” military drills with South Korea, by pursuing action in the U.N. Security Council against his country’s recent ballistic missile launches and by going after Pyongyang’s human rights performance.

Ri also accused the U.S. of blocking a resumption of six-party talks on its nuclear program by settling preconditions and said Washington’s primary goal is to maintain tensions and prevent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula…

North Korea walked away from the six-party nuclear disarmament talks in 2009 over disagreements on how to verify steps the North was meant to take to end its nuclear programs…

Using the initials of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name, Ri said, “The DPRK has been making strenuous, hard efforts, very generous, toward easing the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, but ignoring all this generous position of the DPRK and its proposals, the U.S. went ahead with opening the joint military drills, very aggressive nature, and they’re now expanding in a crazy manner the scale of this exercise.”

This is the problem with being a reclusive communist regime.  Yours is a world based on lies.  You lie to your people. You lie to the world.  You lie so much that you lose any connection to reality.  Nuclear tests.  Ballistic missile launches.  An atrocious human rights record.   Walking away from six-party nuclear disarmament talks.  And yet they say they are being generous and working hard to ease the tensions on the Korean Peninsula?  Tensions one would conclude North Korea caused based on Pyongyang’s deputy U.N. ambassador’s statements.  Do they not see this?  Or do they believe that the world will believe whatever they say?  No matter how big the lie?

It makes one wonder if that ‘red line’ comment was a clever dig at President Obama.  Or just a coincidence.  For Vladimir Putin may be able to pull off a clever dig at President Obama.  But when it comes to geopolitics Pyongyang deputy U.N. ambassador is no Vladimir Putin.  For he is an autocrat.  And understands the use of power (military and economic).  The threat of using power.  And uses it to take what he wants.  Unlike the North Koreans (who can only make nuclear bluffs-they can’t cut off someone’s energy supplies like Putin can).  Or president Obama for that matter.  Who makes ‘red line’ declarations but fails to do anything once a red line is crossed.

A little regime change would be nice in North Korea.  No doubt their people would like to live without those horrible human rights abuses.  And the international community would like not having to deal with these recurring tantrums.  But regime change will be painful.  And costly.  Especially for South Korea.  Who will probably have to feed the North Koreans after their regime collapses.  And bear the burden of reunifying the Koreas.  With the United States no doubt having to pick up part of those costs.  For the last thing they want is instability on the Korean Peninsula.  But with the Obama administration slashing the defense budget the last thing they want is another nation to rebuild.  So it is highly doubtful that the U.S. is “hell-bent on regime change.”  Unless there was an inexpensive way of doing it.  Which there rarely is.

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Condom use falls and HIV Infections rise in South Africa

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 6th, 2014

Week in Review

The left is intolerant of so many things.  Cigarettes.  Sugary beverages.  Hamburgers.  And our lack of exercising, our insufficient consumption of fresh fruits & vegetables and our unwillingness to buy electric cars.  So they have implemented a lot of taxes, subsidies and regulations to alter our behavior.  To make us behave more ‘correctly’.  And they are always telling us what we should and what we should not do.  Except when it comes to sex and drugs.  No.  Here they pass out free birth control.  And make marijuana legal in Colorado and Washington.  Despite all of that unfiltered first, second and third-hand smoke.  Odd how these things pose no risk to us unlike drinking a large sugary beverage.

And it’s just not in the United States.  All around the world those on the left are telling their people how to live correctly.  Except, of course, when it comes to drugs.  And sex.  Because kids are going to have sex no matter what we say.  And if we tell them they shouldn’t it’s only going to make them want to have sex more.  Although it is funny that argument doesn’t hold up for cigarettes, sugary beverages, hamburgers, etc.  No.  For these they can roll up a newspaper and whack us across the nose all day long.  Figuratively, of course.  But when it comes to sex it’s more of a, “Whoa, now, let’s not say anything hasty here.  For who are we to say what is right or wrong for an individual?”  But with rising HIV infections perhaps we should be telling our sons and daughters that something bad can happen from having sex.  And they would be better off if they didn’t have so much of it before entering into a monogamous, long-term relationship.  For if we did and they did over 10% of our populations would not be infected with HIV (see Condoms rebranded in South Africa as HIV infections rise by AFP) posted 4/3/2014 on Yahoo! News).

South Africa is seeking to rebrand its free condoms to appeal to young people after a new study showed rising HIV infections and flagging contraception use, the health department said on Thursday…

South Africa has the world’s highest number of people living with HIV, a crisis that has seen millions of people placed on a vast state-sponsored treatment programme.

Around 6.4 million people — 12.2 percent of the population — were living with HIV or AIDS in 2012.

During the Eighties we didn’t know any better about HIV.  But we do now.  Even young people.  It’s why we give them free condoms.  Because of the risk of HIV (among other risks).  So it’s frustrating to see risky behavior in young people.  Especially those living in a nation with the highest number of people living with HIV.  When 12.2% of the population lives with HIV or AIDS it can’t be a secret that HIV is a serious risk.  But young people still engage in risky behavior.  Which is useful to those on the left.  For it helps them win elections.  For they are the cool party that doesn’t think drugs are all that bad.  And that a little promiscuity isn’t going to kill you.  “You’ll be fine,” they say on the left.  “As long as you don’t smoke a cigarette, drink a sugary beverage or eat a hamburger you should be able to enjoy all the sex and drugs you want to.  Because sex and drugs can’t hurt you.  Only those other things can.  Well, those things.  And global warming.  Those are the things to worry about.  Not catching HIV or AIDS.”  At least this is the message they’re giving our kids.

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Not Everyone signing up for Obamacare is paying for Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 6th, 2014

Week in Review

The big question in the Obamacare signups recently released by the Obama administration is this.  How many people have actually sent a payment into their insurance company?  For signing up for health insurance doesn’t mean you have health insurance.  You have to pay for it first.  With ‘first’ being key.  As anyone who has paid a health insurance premium knows.  You pay for next month’s health insurance this month.  That is, it’s cash before delivery.  As the insurance companies need the cash before they can pay any benefits.  This is the way all insurance has worked since the dawn of insurance.  First money goes into an insurance pool.  Then said insurance pool pays insurance claims.  The money must come first.  There’s just no other way for it to work.

So, is the money coming first with Obamacare?  As it turns out, the majority of it is.  At least, according to a leading federation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans (see Blue Cross group sees Obamacare premium payments at 80-85 percent by David Morgan posted 4/2/2014 on Reuters).

A leading federation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans said on Wednesday that it is receiving premium payments from 80 to 85 percent of its new Obamacare health insurance customers.

The estimate, released by the Chicago-based Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, reflects enrollment activity among 35 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 47 of the 50 states, including plans sold by WellPoint Inc, from October 1 through February 1…

If the Blue Cross Blue Shield payment rates held true for enrollment across the board, between 5.7 million and 6 million of the 7.1 million would actually be enrolled in coverage.

So that means the Obama administration is overstating the enrollment numbers from 18.3% to 24.6%.  And between 1.1 million and 1.4 million haven’t paid for the Obamacare they signed up for.  Of course, that’s assuming that the 7.1 million were all new Obamacare enrollees into private health insurance plans.  And not those who signed up for Medicaid who will never write a check for their coverage.  Which will not help the insurance companies pay for the expanded benefits mandated by Obamacare.

So the Obama administration’s numbers are suspect to say the least.  As is the continued existence of the private insurers.  For if they don’t get 7+ million signing up for Obamacare (with a heavy concentration of the young and healthy who will file few claims) the cost of caring for the old and sick will bankrupt them.  Of course if this was the plan all along the Obama administration could at least claim something in Obamacare was working according to plan.

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Even a Climate Scientist finds the Alarmist IPCC Report too Alarmist

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 6th, 2014

Week in Review

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a new climate report.  And based on that report we’re all doomed.  Melting sea ice, thawing permafrost, floods, droughts, heat waves, cold waves, rain storms, blizzards, etc.  In other words, weather.  Weather the IPCC apparently believes is unusual.  Caused by manmade global warming.  Of course one wonders what they would say caused the glaciers to recede back from the equator to the poles long before man was even around to cause warming.  Or why ice at the poles now is normal when they were once ice-free.  Man wasn’t around polluting the planet back then.  But you know what was around back then?  The sun.  Sunspot activity could have been causing the Pacific Decadal Oscillation back then as it is now.  But one thing is for sure.  Man couldn’t have melted the polar ice caps completely.  For we’d have to discover fire before that could have happened.

An IPCC insider pulled his name from this report as he did not like the alarmist nature of it.  And the fact that they were very selective with their climate modeling (see IPCC Insider Rejects Global-Warming Report by Alec Torres posted 4/3/2014 on National Review).

Richard Tol, a professor of economics at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and an expert on climate change, removed his name from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. While he considers much of the science sound and supports the underlying purpose of the IPCC, Tol says the United Nations agency’s inflammatory and alarmist claims delegitimize the IPCC as a credible and neutral institution.

“In the SPM [Summary for Policymakers], and much more largely in the media, we see all these scare stories,” Tol tells National Review Online. “We’re all going to die, the four horsemen of the apocalypse . . . I felt uncomfortable with the direction [the IPCC report] was going…”

He took his name off of the final summary because he felt the IPCC did not properly account for human technological ingenuity and downplayed the potential benefits of global warming…

One prediction has it that crop yields will begin to fall dramatically, a statement “that is particularly not supported by the chapter itself,” Tol says. “What it completely forgets is technological progress and that crop yields have been going up for as long as we’ve looked at crop yields.”

Beyond misleading statements on agriculture, Tol says the IPCC report cites only the maximum estimate for how much it will cost to protect against sea-level rise associated with current climate-change predictions…

The report also stresses that global warming will cause more deaths due to heat stress, but ignores that global warming would reduce cold stress, which actually kills more people than heat stress each year.

Tol is far from a conspiracy theorist, but he nonetheless thinks the IPCC has built-in biases that keep it from adequately checking alarmism.

First, there is a self-selection bias: People who are most concerned about the impact of climate change are most likely to be represented on the panel. Next, most of the panelists are professors involved in similar academic departments, surrounded by like-minded people who reinforce each other’s views. Those views are welcomed by the civil servants who review the report, because their “departments, jobs, and careers depend on climate being a problem,” Tol says.

This is the problem with climate ‘science’.  It is not very scientific.  Science is the competition between theories.  And the never-ending attempt to disprove previously held theories.  This is what makes good science.  For theories that hold up to every attempt at disproving them leave fewer and fewer theories that could possibly explain the data and experimental results.  But when you exclude those opposing theorists from the process the ‘science’ is decidedly one-sided.  And the ‘scientists’ are more cheerleader than scientist.

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Free Market Forces punish Lululemon for selling See-Through Yoga Pants

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 6th, 2014

Week in Review

When women go out in public they usually put on clothes.  They may be more comfortable walking around in their underwear.  But they don’t.  For most women are modest that way.  They don’t want people to see their underwear.  Clothes manufacturers understand this.  Which is why they manufacture clothes.  To hide what women wear underneath.  This is why women hold their skirts down on windy days.  So they don’t blow up and show what’s underneath.  Pants are a great alternative to this.  As they can’t blow up.  No matter how windy it is.  But pants aren’t without their risks, apparently (see Lululemon prevails in lawsuits over yoga pants recall by Reuters posted 4/4/2014 on The Globe and Mail).

A lawsuit accusing Lululemon Athletica Inc of defrauding shareholders by hiding defects in its yoga pants that led to a costly recall should be dismissed, a U.S. judge has concluded…

The case arose after shoppers found that their yoga pants containing the company’s proprietary Luon fabric were too sheer. That culminated in a March 2013 recall and a loss of roughly $2-billion of market value.

Selling see-through yoga pants to women who are buying yoga pants to hide what they’re wearing underneath is not a good business model.  And once they realize that they are see-through they aren’t going to wear them anymore.  Worse, they’re not going to buy them anymore.  Which is about the worst thing that can happen to a business that was selling those yoga pants.  Throw in a recall and the financial damage is devastating.  Which is why this was probably an accident and not a coordinated plan.  For it’s inconceivable that anyone would think that women would never notice that the world could see their underwear while they wore these yoga pants.  Even if no one ever said anything to these women the odds are that another woman who owned Lululemon yoga pants would see how see-through they were.  And check herself out in a mirror to see how see-through her own yoga pants were.

Now, do we need federal regulators to inspect the transparency of yoga pants?  No.  We don’t.  All we need are free market forces.  Because no business wants to go through what Lululemon is going through.  For there are no cost-saving short-cuts in the world that can offset that kind of financial damage.  We may be stuck with Obamacare as the government is forcing us by law to buy it.  No matter how bad it is.  But there is no law forcing women to buy Lululemon’s yoga pants.  So the only way they can sell yoga pants is by pleasing the women who buy them.  And exposing their underwear in public unbeknownst to them is probably not the best way to accomplish that.

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