I’ve got to stop paying any attention to the news, for my health

This has been a week of despair, mostly.

And you all wonder why I’ve found enjoyment in studying the lives of spiders this year. There’s a reason: I’d rather immerse myself in the study of a species that isn’t full of stupid evil assholes.


  1. raven says

    Trump went to Vietnam to negotiate with North Korea…and the talks collapsed almost instantly. The self-identified deal-maker flopped, and flopped hard.

    That was a pathetic show of pure incompetence even for the Trump regime.

    Normally, the staff does all the negotiating and outlines the areas of agreement and disagreement.
    The summit is mostly just a photo op, although there can be further negotiations on points that the underlings couldn’t resolve for one reason or another.

    The two sides were very far apart and neither side intended to negotiate a meaningful deal.
    It was just a wasted trip for both the USA and North Korea.

  2. Steve Bruce says

    Well, the India Pakistan situation has been hopefully defused (for now), the disgusting war mongering Hindu nationalists and irresponsible news anchors notwithstanding.

  3. says

    Trump went to Vietnam to negotiate with North Korea…and the talks collapsed almost instantly. The self-identified deal-maker flopped, and flopped hard.

    There is a subtext there that people seem to be ignoring. The North Koreans never put disarmament on the table, except in the context of “if the US disarms, we will, too.” They are reasonably enough trying to set up a reduction in sanctions and normalize relationships with the south, now that they are a nuclear super-power. That’s what (they think) nuclear club membership entails – and I think they’re actually right about that. So do the South Koreans, who would be pretty happy to attempt some rapprochement except the US keeps overruling them and insisting that North Korea must bow to our will.

    The North Koreans have been fairly clear about all of this, all along. They were even clear about it while they were developing the nuclear weapons. Trump, basically, went there expecting to talk Kim into paying for Mexico’s wall, or something, and Kim told him he was wrong, and Trump stormed out.

  4. says

    It was just a wasted trip for both the USA and North Korea.

    Kim got to have some tourism time in Vietnam, and look like a Real Statesman(tm) and accomplished something else that North Korea has wanted for a long time – he was able to negotiate as a peer with the US president. He summoned Trump for lunch, and Trump came. It’s just like when Lucy gets Charlie Brown to kick the ball while she holds it; she is able to demonstrate control over him at no cost to herself.

  5. Jazzlet says

    Kim even answered a question a journalist threw at him, something he’s never done before, but which will no doubt be added to that picture of the ‘Dear Leader Kim’ that is projected in North Korea

  6. cherbear says

    Credit cards, banks, and credit reporting companies. How the hell did they get so much power to eff us over? Apparently if you use credit counselling to become debt free its a NEGATIVE strike on your credit report? How the heck did we end up in this world? Sorry for the rant. Credit and banking has become a subject near and dear to my heart.

  7. hemidactylus says

    Surely there’s a couple books somewhere full of charts and graphs the show the world is becoming a more peaceful and flourishing place despite the negative bias of the recent news cycle. Cheer up.

  8. Ed Seedhouse says

    Actually I find the failure of the N.K. talks encouraging.
    Venezuela worries me a lot more because I think the thugs in power are fixing for a nice little war to rally the base.

  9. Gregory Greenwood says

    “Limited nuclear war”

    Doesn’t everyone know already that such a concept is an oxymoron? No matter how tense things might get between two countries, the fact remains that nobody ever wins any nuclear engagement – there are only ever losers in that kind of war.

  10. michaelumilik says

    I am scheduled to go trekking in Kashmir in May. No way will there be a war, ’cause everything’s been done booked. Besides the Chinese are so heavily invested in Pakistan there is no way they’d approve of anything threatening their newly built infrastructure there.
    Well, that’s my version and I am STICKING to it.

  11. says

    IDK Tarantulas also struck me as the Lenny (of Mice and Men) of the arthropoda. Can’t we agree that Tarantula Hawks are evil stupid assholes?

  12. birgerjohansson says

    I think Shelob was underrated -that critter did not pretend to be anything but a predator.
    And to reference the Reagan thread, Shelob might have been more competent.

  13. susans says

    Trump says that he doesn’t like to plan in advance, he just goes in and gets it done. How could that possibly go wrong?

  14. says

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a career intelligence officer; watching all your work be handed to a family of hucksters, just looking for a buyer. I wonder why nobody has killed them yet.

  15. says

    @Gregory Greenwood
    The only way to win a nuclear war is to be the only one who has nuclear weapons. It’s a brief window and it’s long gone.

  16. flange says

    Donald Trump does have one thing in common with spiders: He’s an invertebrate liar.

  17. jrkrideau says

    @ 4 Marcus
    We probably have to assume that Kim gained points with most of the world’s leaders as the reasonable one.

    No one is going to believe Trump’s tale especially when the counter-story from N. Korea makes solid sense.

    This could turn into tacit support or even willingness to turn a blind eye to some sanction-busting if they interpret the summit as evidence that the USA is not negotiating in good faith.

  18. markkernes says

    Not sure there is such a thing as a “limited nuclear war.” Once one H-bomb drops, nuclear-armed dictators around the world will look at that as the start of the “season.”