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UPDATE: The Doomsday Clock


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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced the symbolic Doomsday Clock a notch closer to the end of humanity Thursday, moving it ahead by 30 seconds after what the organization called a “grim assessment” of the state of geopolitical affairs.

 

“As of today,” Bulletin president Rachel Bronson told reporters, “it is two minutes to midnight.”

 

In moving the clock 30 seconds closer to the hour of the apocalypse, the group cited “the failure of President Trump and other world leaders to deal with looming threats of nuclear war and climate change.”

 

The organization — whose board includes 15 Nobel Laureates — believes “the world is not only more dangerous now than it was a year ago; it is as threatening as it has been since World War II,” Bulletin officials Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert Rosner wrote in an op-ed published Thursday by The Washington Post. “In fact, the Doomsday Clock is as close to midnight today as it was in 1953, when Cold War fears perhaps reached their highest levels.”

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I still have hope...

 

North Korea calls for reunification with South Korea: report

By Brett Samuels -

 

 

http://thehill.com/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_small_article/public/north_korea_1_0.jpg?itok=RtEYKFsK

© Getty Images

North Korea on Wednesday called for unification of the Korean peninsula, with state media saying all Koreans should “promote contact, travel cooperation between North and South Korea,” according to Reuters.

 

The announcement came after a joint meeting of government officials, Reuters reported.

 

The message reportedly called for a de-escalation of military tensions on the peninsula. State media also warned against foreign influence, saying Pyongyang will “smash” those who oppose reunification, Reuters reported.

 

The Korean peninsula has been divided into North and South Korea since 1945.

 

Tensions between North and South Korea have cooled in recent weeks. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said during a New Year's Day address that he would be open to talks with South Korea.

Leaders from the two countries have since engaged in discussions for the first time in years, and North Korea said it will send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

 

President Trump has taken credit for the improving relations, pointing to additional sanctions his administration has placed on North Korea.

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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I still have hope...

 

North Korea calls for reunification with South Korea: report

By Brett Samuels -

 

 

 

http://thehill.com/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_small_article/public/north_korea_1_0.jpg?itok=RtEYKFsK

© Getty Images

North Korea on Wednesday called for unification of the Korean peninsula, with state media saying all Koreans should “promote contact, travel cooperation between North and South Korea,” according to Reuters.

 

The announcement came after a joint meeting of government officials, Reuters reported.

 

The message reportedly called for a de-escalation of military tensions on the peninsula. State media also warned against foreign influence, saying Pyongyang will “smash” those who oppose reunification, Reuters reported.

 

The Korean peninsula has been divided into North and South Korea since 1945.

 

Tensions between North and South Korea have cooled in recent weeks. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said during a New Year's Day address that he would be open to talks with South Korea.

Leaders from the two countries have since engaged in discussions for the first time in years, and North Korea said it will send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

 

President Trump has taken credit for the improving relations, pointing to additional sanctions his administration has placed on North Korea.

 

I'll join your hope, however, with the possibility of Korea's reunification and Trump in the picture we may be advancing toward war with North and South Korea.

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I'll join your hope, however, with the possibility of Korea's reunification and Trump in the picture we may be advancing toward war with North and South Korea.

Possibilities like these get me wondering just how long Trump, and the U. S., will actually be in the picture.

 

We can't seem to get rid of Trump ourselves, not yet anyway, but other countries have got to be noticing that U. S. commitments aren't what they used to be with him in the Oval Office. If I were South Korea, or Japan, or any one of a number of countries who have historically tied their fate to the U. S., I'm pretty sure I'd be taking matters into my own hands and looking around for other partners.

 

I'm certainly no expert on international relations but, when you've hitched your wagon to a country with a leader as mercurial and unreliable as Trump, it seems like common sense to look for other relationships that are more reliable and trustworthy than the U. S. can offer under Donald Trump.

 

If North Korea and South Korea can forge a better relationship, where's the harm in trying? And if China wants to step in as a guarantor of security, why shouldn't the mantle be passed?

 

I'm expecting the U. S. to lose stature in any number of historical relationships if our reputation for reliability becomes further tarnished. And the worst part is that we won't get it back just by getting rid of Trump, as long as we're perceived as being capable of electing someone else like Trump.

 

How long it will take to reduce our ability to shape world policy is anyone's guess, but dismantling the State Department, undercutting the Secretary of State, and relying on tweet diplomacy is not a recipe for staying relevant internationally.

 

If we can't get rid of Trump and undo his damage, my hunch is that other nations will try to get rid of us and undo our damage.

'If anyone objects to any statement I make, I am quite prepared not only to retract it, but also to deny under oath that I ever made it.' - Tom Lehrer

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Possibilities like these get me wondering just how long Trump, and the U. S., will actually be in the picture.

 

We can't seem to get rid of Trump ourselves, not yet anyway, but other countries have got to be noticing that U. S. commitments aren't what they used to be with him in the Oval Office. If I were South Korea, or Japan, or any one of a number of countries who have historically tied their fate to the U. S., I'm pretty sure I'd be taking matters into my own hands and looking around for other partners.

 

I'm certainly no expert on international relations but, when you've hitched your wagon to a country with a leader as mercurial and unreliable as Trump, it seems like common sense to look for other relationships that are more reliable and trustworthy than the U. S. can offer under Donald Trump.

 

If North Korea and South Korea can forge a better relationship, where's the harm in trying? And if China wants to step in as a guarantor of security, why shouldn't the mantle be passed?

 

I'm expecting the U. S. to lose stature in any number of historical relationships if our reputation for reliability becomes further tarnished. And the worst part is that we won't get it back just by getting rid of Trump, as long as we're perceived as being capable of electing someone else like Trump.

 

How long it will take to reduce our ability to shape world policy is anyone's guess, but dismantling the State Department, undercutting the Secretary of State, and relying on tweet diplomacy is not a recipe for staying relevant internationally.

 

If we can't get rid of Trump and undo his damage, my hunch is that other nations will try to get rid of us and undo our damage.

 

I believe you are spot-on. The one valid truth for which the next President will be able credit Donald Trump is "I was handed a mess."

  • The massive re-staffing of government agencies alone is going to be gargantuan.
  • Attempting to stabilize the national deficit fueled by the Trump tax reform (which will probably require tax increases and/or program cuts).
  • Repairing/salvaging international relations (the S/hole countries in particular).
  • Getting back on board with the climate accord, as well as our own EPA.
  • Re-establishing Wall Street/banking/consumer protection regulations.
  • Somehow generating a sense of co-worker unity within Congress.

And, a bunch of other stuff I can't think of right now.

 

Come 2020, we the people had better think long and hard about which candidate we want in the Oval Office.

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I believe you are spot-on. The one valid truth for which the next President will be able credit Donald Trump is "I was handed a mess."

  • The massive re-staffing of government agencies alone is going to be gargantuan.
  • Attempting to stabilize the national deficit fueled by the Trump tax reform (which will probably require tax increases and/or program cuts).
  • Repairing/salvaging international relations (the S/hole countries in particular).
  • Getting back on board with the climate accord, as well as our own EPA.
  • Re-establishing Wall Street/banking/consumer protection regulations.
  • Somehow generating a sense of co-worker unity within Congress.

And, a bunch of other stuff I can't think of right now.

 

Come 2020, we the people had better think long and hard about which candidate we want in the Oval Office.

 

See the problem Here is that the STrumpets DID think before voting and we got Trump ! And THEIR views aint gonna change..... There aint no Family Values about their decision... No Siree !!!!!

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Come 2020, we the people had better think long and hard about which candidate we want in the Oval Office.

Because in 2016, there wasn't much thinking... or even voting, since a great many Americans didn't bother. The bigger celebrity won, if not exactly fair and square thanks to an antiquated electoral process. In hindsight, this hopefully will be the last time many supported a candidate based solely on his entertainment value on TV and internet video extracts. Regrettably he is STILL getting extremely high ratings in viewership and has made both TV and internet news "Trump TV all the time" even if he also has the lowest job approval ratings in US political history. Everybody must slow down on a highway to examine a car crash since it is the thing to see. All this does is make most Americans hate all politicians and all aspects of "government". Not that HE even gives a damn. That was the problem with his arch rival that last election: she fussed too much about "being liked" which only made her less liked. HE certainly loses no sleep knowing he is disliked. People who have this much seething rage and thirst for destruction generally don't care how likable they are.

 

On the plus side, there are those protest marches that many corporate media outlets are trying hard to under-report and downsize in importance. Yet as they grow, it will be less difficult to do so. Perhaps many Americans are waking up from their media-entertainment-induced sleep?

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I'm glad to hear that some of us still have hope. (Although I would like to know if that requires drinking for breakfast.)

 

Robinson Meyer, who is an associate editor at The Atlantic and covers technology issues, thinks what most of us are is numb. ("Many Americans know that the world has gotten more dangerous in the last few years ... but the necessity of daily life has compressed that fear into an ignorable background hum ... yes, the situation is terrible, but who has time to feel something about it?")

 

Thus the title of his new piece, "Shrugging Toward Doomsday."

 

This probably won't entice you to read it, but it's loaded with issues we ought to be losing sleep over (most of them with links to disturb you even more).

 

If you decide to read it, even you optimists will probably want to keep the bottle at hand ...

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/doomsday-closer-than-ever/551507/

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"Not since 1953, when the United States and Soviet Union both began hydrogen-weapons testing, has the clock been moved so close to the final hour."

 

Key differences between 1953 and today: the Republican in the White House actually listened to others, Korea was still divided but the war had ended, Stalin was officially dead and Marilyn Monroe was very much alive in CinemaScope.

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