Gongol.com Archives: June 2014

Brian Gongol

June 13, 2014

Threats and Hazards Russian bombers skirt America's coasts off Alaska and California
It's time to re-inject a little of the old Reagan-style twitchy eye into our foreign policy stance. An America that telegraphs all of its plans well ahead of time, boxes itself into a corner at every diplomatic turn, and never threatens to reach for its (metaphorical) six-shooter once in a while is no use on the global stage. From a diplomatic standpoint, the worst thing a country can become is too predictable. For the good of the good nations of the world, we have to look just a little trigger-happy once in a while so that the world's bad guys think twice about getting too bold. The world is not completely full of rational actors, and some of the most irrational occasionally become heads of state. These are not people who respond to long lectures about "red lines", and in implicitly giving them latitude to do whatever they want by standing by wagging fingers and backtracking on threats, we harm the rest of the world that (reluctantly or not) acknowledges our unique role as a benevolent superpower.

Health Next-generation genome sequencing should help improve cancer treatments
By figuring out the genetic state of the tumor, oncologists can figure out how to hit it with the right drugs

Business and Finance Expect the Federal Reserve to keep pumping cash into the economy
The Producer Price Index actually went in reverse in May, by a small amount. Nobody -- nobody! -- wants deflation to take hold.

News Trump plasters name in giant letters across Chicago tower
Two things: First, nobody should take Donald Trump seriously -- he's an exceptional self-promoter, and that's all he ever has been. He doesn't own as much real estate as the public perceives; he puts his name on things and gets other people to front the money, so of course he's going to go to extremes with self-promotion. Second, where are the adults in Chicago's administration? When Mayor Rahm Emanuel waits until long after the sign was approved by his own people to put up a stink about it, one has to wonder whether there's any credibility left in the local municipal management. He's running for re-election, even though the city is riddled with shootings and hundreds of millions of dollars in the hole.

News VOA headline: "China offers to help Iraq"
China is heavily invested in Iraq's oil production, so they have an economic interest in preventing the collapse of the government there. But the Chinese government has also been quite aggressive about establishing relationships with governments around the world in order to preserve access to things like natural resources. What will we think if China sweeps into Iraq militarily -- by invitation or otherwise? If the country falls into disorder only to be re-ordered with the help (or under the thumb) of China, what will have one of the most expensive American military endeavors of the 21st Century have really produced?

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