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Sunday, November 12, 2017

NOT A WONDERFUL WORLD

There are some things happening around the world that make no sense to me.  Let me start with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of Barack Obama's proud accomplishments.  Eleven of the 12 partners this weekend signed the agreement:  Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Note that China is missing.  That is because this effort was orchestrated as an anti-China move.  There originally were twelve members, but Donald Trump, as in the Paris Global Climate Change Agreement, summarily withdrew the USA.

Why?  All this had something to do with Trump's desire to deliver on his campaign promises, and, certainly, erase anything to do with Barack Obama.  During the Presidential Campaign, Trump was so deprecatory about China trade unfairness that the TPP was perfectly made for him.  But two things happened.  First, he now needs China's help with North Korea.  Second, the agreement, as all American trade agreements tend to be, is, indeed, replete with accommodations by the U.S. that compromise our industries.  We really have too long been too nice.  I actually agree with Trump on this point.

Shifting into more ominous developments, the Middle East is showing signs that could trigger the next energy crisis, and worse:
  • Qatar has not resolved a serious diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.  Qatar is about the size of the Big Island of Hawaii, but has 2.5 times more proven natural gas reserves than the U.S., being 3rd in the world.
  • Something is happening regarding Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Hezbollah, Yemen and Israel.  Saudi Arabia "kidnapped" the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and actually asked Israel to attack Lebanon.  Somehow, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, mysteriously has been involved in some of these actions.
Then, again, there remain a few certainties, as for example on Saturday night:

UPDATE, with video Roy Moore got the Saturday Night Live treatment tonight, with a cowboy-dressed Mikey Day as the Alabama judge, telling Beck Bennett’s Mike Pence that he’d marry his accuser to make things right with the boss – Vladimir Putin.

If you can stand a 30-second ad, watch this clip. SNL was especially caustic.

A second surety is world air pollution.  India remains where Los Angeles was in the 1950's.  This weekend United Airlines suspended flights into New Delhi.  Air pollution index highs up to 671 were why.  Here is the current map:

There is a 743 figure from Bangalore, but note that Coahuila, Mexico is at 815, and Istanbul, Turkey is up to 999.  Sometimes dust storms cause problems in Israel.

Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii?  34.  Beijing?  73.  But, ah, wait until January when people turn on their electric heaters run on electricity supplied by coal power plants.  Also, too, Beijing is in a basin, like Los Angeles, so troublesome air flow will compound the problem.  I've seen numbers as high as 1400 in Shenyang, one of many industrial cities worse than the capital.  Delhi today?  Down to 316 at the American Embassy.  Yet, in the suburbs, still at 743.  How bad are these numbers?

Air Quality Index
(AQI) Values
Levels of Health ConcernColors
When the AQI is in this range:..air quality conditions are:...as symbolized by this color:
0 to 50 GoodGreen
51 to 100 ModerateYellow
101 to 150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Orange
151 to 200Unhealthy Red
201 to 300Very UnhealthyPurple
301 to 500HazardousMaroon
Note: Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI. Follow recommendations for the Hazardous category. Additional information on reducing exposure to extremely high levels of particle pollution is available here.
100 (orange) is unhealthy, 300+ (maroon) hazardous.

Ah, but I can't begin your week with all this negativity, so let me end this posting with Satchmo's What a Wonderful World.  Also, what about Iz's gift to the World.  Access, click on full screen, increase the volume and start your day right.  We live in the only world in the Universe.  Let's make it wonderful.

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