Meet a Teen Who Commutes to School Every Day — in a Driverless Car


Kyla Jackson and her mom, Samantha Jackson…and a WAYMO autonomous ride

❝ For the past year, Kyla Jackson has been one of the only teenagers in the world who gets a ride to high school from a robot.

When she’s ready to start her day, Kyla summons a self-driving car using the Waymo app on her phone. Five minutes later a Chrysler Pacifica run by the autonomous vehicle arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., stops at her home in Chandler, Arizona. She slides open the door, fastens her seat belt, and hits a blue button above her head to set the car in motion. It’s a minivan covered in goofy-looking sensors, but it’s the coolest ride at her school.

RTFA. Interesting – and very cool.

Summer job gets some help from Brother Blue, Sister Blue

There are couple kinds of people who end up as coppers. These are the best.

5th largest economy in the world ignores crap Trumponomics. That would be California.

❝ Just about every policy Donald Trump imposes to make his America great is opposed by the world’s fifth-largest economy. That would be California, which is growing faster and outperforming the U.S. in job growth, manufacturing, personal income, corporate profits and the total return of its bonds. The most populous U.S. state, with 39.5 million people, supplanted the U.K. as No. 5 in the world with an equivalent gross domestic product of more than $2.7 trillion, increasing $127 billion last year…

❝ Trump attributes the prosperity of the U.S. economy during his 17 months as president to his evisceration of environmental regulations and other consumer protections, abandoning the Paris climate accord, aggressively deporting undocumented immigrants, prohibiting people from certain nations (mostly majority Muslim) from emigrating to the U.S., prosecuting sanctuary cities for protecting immigrants, cutting taxes most for corporations and the rich, and appointing a Supreme Court justice who just wrote the 5-4 decision limiting the rights of tens of millions of workers.

Jerry Brown, California’s longest-serving governor, takes the opposite approach, and his state thrives. California is the global leader among governments committed to safeguarding the planet from climate change. Corporate California’s revenues from clean energy companies dwarf those of the other 49 states or any country. The state’s auto emissions law, now contested by the Trump administration, is the nation’s most stringent. The legislature voted to become a sanctuary state, preventing police from participating in federal enforcement or asking people about their immigration status. The same assembly also made California the first state to declare a $15-an-hour minimum wage and to require solar panels on new homes. Its citizens approved Proposition 30, temporarily raising personal income and sales taxes to fund education.

Raising taxes to provide better education for your kids and peers? What are they thinking of? Right-thinking patriots know that’s way subversive to Real American Chump ideology.

Pentagon censoring war news

❝ [We have] an increasingly adversarial relationship between Defense Secretary James Mattis’ Cabinet department and the reporters who cover it. Chief among the complaints, according to defense reporters who spoke to POLITICO, are declining access to Mattis and other military officials, as well as a sense that reporters are not receiving the information they need to keep the public informed about America’s military activities.

Mattis has not briefed reporters on-camera in the Pentagon since April, while his chief spokesperson, Dana White, has not done so since May.

❝ Kevin Baron, the executive editor of Defense One, said Trump’s simultaneous war on the press and hyperfocus on media have combined to fundamentally change interactions inside the Pentagon.

“It’s definitely like no time that I’ve ever seen, and this is my 10th year on the Pentagon beat,” he said. “We used to have the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs side by side in briefing room at least once a month, and if we didn’t get once a month, we complained. We’re so far beyond the way things used to be, and it’s all because of Trump.”

“In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.” Hugo Black, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1971.

Human Bankers Are Losing to Robots

❝ Something interesting happened in Swedish finance last quarter. The only big bank that managed to cut costs also happens to be behind one of the industry’s boldest plans to replace humans with automation.

❝ Nordea Bank AB, whose Chief Executive Officer Casper von Koskull says his industry might only have half its current human workforce a decade from now, is cutting 6,000 of those jobs. Von Koskull says the adjustment is the only way to stay competitive in the future, with automation and robots taking over from people in everything from asset management to answering calls from retail clients.

I imagine that Sweden’s labor culture will require, enable, a fair amount of retraining and education as required to meet this critical change in professional employment. Do I think anything comparable will be the response in the United States when similar job cuts take place?

That’s a rhetorical question, right?

Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone expected to be larger than the state of Connecticut this year

❝ Scientists have predicted the dead zone, or area with little to no oxygen in the northern Gulf of Mexico, will become larger than the state of Connecticut by the end of July. The dead zone will cover about 6,620 square miles of the bottom of the continental shelf off Louisiana and Texas. While there are more than 500 dead zones around the world, the northern Gulf of Mexico dead zone is the second largest human-caused coastal hypoxic area in the world.

Although this forecast has been the average size for the past 31 years, it is more than three times larger than the goal outlined by the Hypoxia Action Plan, which is about 1,930 square miles. Efforts to reduce the nitrate loading have not yet demonstrated success at the watershed scale…

❝ Nutrients from the Mississippi River watershed, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, fertilize the Gulf of Mexico’s surface waters to create excessive amounts of algae. When the algae decomposes in the deepest parts of the ocean, it leads to oxygen distress and can even kill organisms in the Gulf of Mexico’s richest waters. These low oxygen conditions threaten living resources including fish, shrimp and crabs, which humans depend upon for food and industry…

Why worry about dead sea life when you still can drill for oil, eh?

Trump’s ignorance is costing the U.S. billion$ in foreign investment


The cult of Trump

❝ Beyond the cost of President Trump’s trade war with longtime US friends and rivals, his policy of economic nationalism has taken a toll in another important sphere: Net inward investment into the United States by multinational corporations—both foreign and American—has fallen almost to zero. As I pointed out in a posting in Foreign Affairs this month, this shift of corporate investment away from the United States will decrease long-term US income growth, reduce the number of well-paid jobs available, and accelerate the shift of global commerce away from the United States.

❝ A few months ago, I developed in Foreign Affairs the potential emergence of a post-American world economy resulting from Trump’s aggressive bilateral bullying and abandonment of the rules-based international economic order. Today this post-American economic world, one where all investment is more uncertain and politicized—because the US government acts toward businesses as any self-enriching autocracy would—is increasingly on its way. That is apparent in business decisions about large, long-term investments, such as the building of major production facilities; foreign takeovers of, and mergers with, US companies; and investment in research facilities and workers.

Any time I note an upcoming appearance by Adam Posen on Bloomberg TV I try to remember to set the DVR to record. Often, he’s on Tom Keene’s Surveillance early morning show. That’s early morning in NYC – 2 time zones ahead of northern New Mexico. Fortunately, the Bloomberg folks are pretty smart about recognizing demand for top-shelf economists and the analysis they provide – and snip and save those episodes for their app.

Playing the trading game is too much work for an old geek retiree like me. But, I never intend to stop learning about the world around us and he’s a helluva source on the economics side.