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Sun, 28th May 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “Video” Category

North Korea Releases Video Simulating War With The U.S.

Earlier today, Vladimir Putin warned that “the situation in Korea is deteriorating” and joined China in urging all sides to “avoid belligerent rhetoric.” It was not clear what spooked the Russian president to escalate the rhetoric over North Korea, however in a move that will hardly help deescalate tensions, a North Korean propaganda outlet released a video clip on Thursday, which showed a simulated attack on the White House and declaring that “the enemy to be destroyed is in our sights.”

The video was released just days after North Korea conducted large-scale artillery drills, showing off conventional weaponry that can easily reach South Korea’s capital, Seoul. It also comes one day after the entire Senate was gathered at the White House to receive a briefing from Trump’s top generals on the situation in North Korea. At the same time, the US sub, USS Michigan, which carries Tomahawk cruise missiles, docked in the South Korean port of Busan this week. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, along with the destroyers and cruiser that make up its strike group, will arrive in the Korean Peninsula area this weekend.

The clip was released by a North Korean website (Meari, or Echo) showing photos of the White House and aircraft carriers with a target on them, as if they are in the crosshair, the WaPo reported earlier. It then showed simulated footage of an aircraft carrier exploding into flames, with the caption: “When the enemy takes the first step toward provocation and invasion.”

 The 2½ -minute video included scenes from the huge military parade that North Korea organized April 15 to mark the anniversary of the birth of the state’s founder, Kim Il Sung. It also showed footage of North Korean artillery and missile launches.

 Against the backdrop of missile launches, the caption read: “We will show you what a strong country that leads the world in nuclear and missile technology is capable of.”

A similar video, showing missiles arcing over the Pacific and leaving a U.S. city in flames, followed by images of a burning American flag and a cemetery filled with white crosses, was shown during a concert held April 16 and attended by Kim.

While North Korea is best known for its bombastic rhetoric and exaggerated propaganda, in recent weeks it has ramped up its output as tensions have risen. On the other hand, the country has abstained from engaging in more missiles tests (either successful or otherwise) or nuclear bomb tests, prompting some to speculate whether the recent intervention by China may have impacted Kim’s behavior.

On the other hand, if indeed the US has managed to sabotage North Korea’s missile technology as the NYT alleged several months ago, and has launch control, what Kim wants may no longer be relevant and the only variable is having all key US military assets in place before a simulated war with North Korea becomes all too real.

Bill Gates talks about a robot tax

A main problem is that income tax is the single most-effective government invention. It’s almost impossible to avoid. It’s taken away by the government before workers even get it. If they’re owed money, they have to petition the tax authorities to get it back after year end.

Contrast that with corporate taxes. The money is accumulated in the company first and it can be hidden and shuffled and offset or offshored to keep it away from the government.

That gets to the crux of the automation problem. If the taxes balanced out, it would be no net difference for the government. The money would come from corporate profit taxes.

But even if it did net out, you could make the argument that the robot should be taxed at a much higher rate. First, you now have to support or retrain the worker when he used to support himself. That’s a major disruption.

Munger’s Musings: Trump’s “Not Wrong On Everything”; “Young People Should Shop Less, Learn More”

Charlier Munger, the 93 year old billionaire vice chairman of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway who once said Trump was not “morally qualified” to be President, seems to be warming up to the new administration.  Well, at least he doesn’t think Trump is quite as bad as Hitler anyway, which is a start.

In speaking with a group of investors and students for nearly two hours yesterday at the Daily Journal’s annual meeting, on a wide range of topics, Munger said that he’s “gotten more mellow” when it comes to Trump and is now convinced that “he’s not wrong on everything.”  Per Yahoo Finance:

 “Well, I’ve gotten more mellow,” Munger said at the Daily Journal’s 2017 meeting on Wednesday, adding, “I always try to think about the good as long as it’s not good.”

“He’s not wrong on everything. And just because he isn’t like us, roll with it. If there’s a little danger, what the hell, you’re not going to live forever anyway.”

“And when Donald Trump says he wouldn’t touch Social Security and Republicans have all kinds of schemes for revising Social Security — I’m with Donald Trump. If I were running the world … I wouldn’t touch [Social Security].”