Korea North and South

North Korea has a population of 22 million and South Korea 44 million. If the US launches a first strike on North Korea, the North will retaliate, and according to this article, 1/3 or 15 million people in South Korea will die within a few days. Millions more in North Korea will die when the US retaliates, probably with nuclear weapons.

Trade war with Canada

Donald Trump has just launched a trade war with Canada to protest low milk prices that are hurting some dairy farmers in Wisconsin. His method of compelling Canada to submit is to tax Canadian exports of wood to the US. That tactic has been tried in the past and has failed repeatedly over the past 30 years. If Canada wants to sell their wood in the US for less rather than for more, we should let them. Putting a tariff on their wood will hurt Canadian jobs and US consumers who will pay more for new houses. It won’t help Wisconsin dairy farmers.

This may be an example of the famous Trump negotiating style: bully the little guy and then stiff him by not paying. If it truly is the Trump style, he is going to face mounting resistance. Mexico has already refused to pay for the wall and North Korea is unlikely to respond positively to our show of force. Ted Cruz’s suggestion that we use drug trafficking seizures to pay for the wall is taking money out of the US Treasury, US taxpayer property, not property of Mexico.

Venezuela part 2

Venezuela by Terri Willis. Venezuela is the country at the top right-hand side of South America. It is about twice the size of California, has about as many people as North Korea and is afloat on a sea of oil. In fact, it has more oil than either Russia or Saudi Arabia. Currently the country is in a state of economic turmoil, in part because of US economic sanctions. Some goods, like toilet paper, are in short supply. In the past, the CIA has tried to foment regime change, and I suspect that the CIA is again involved in the latest turmoil. I have no proof yet, but I am looking into it.

Rather than allowing ExxonMobil to aid Russia in developing its oil or fighting to protect oil suppliers in the Middle East, I think that we should mend our relations with Venezuela and help its people return to prosperity. It would be cheaper in the long run to obtain oil imports from nearby and peaceful Venezuela than from faraway strife torn areas of the globe. Let the Russians and the Middle East look to their interests while US stays clear.

Please see Venezuela | CIA and FBI

French election

Today in France, there is a presidential election. Marine Le Pen is expected to do well. She represents the far right and may be labelled as a populist, but really is a fascist. In difficult economic times, desperate people will make disparate choices at the ballot box. Here in the US, people voted for Trump in the hope of change and in Britain, people voted for Brexit. These are choices that people would not make in more prosperous circumstances.

Uruguay

Uruguay by Marion Morrison, part of the Enchantment of the World series from Scholastic Inc. Scholastic publishes this series on most nations of the world. Elementary, but informative, I know of no other introductory books as useful as these. Whenever a hot spot is in the news and you want useful background information, turn off the tube and curl up with the relevant volume. You’ll learn much more useful information. Uruguay, by the way, means river where there are birds.