When I was young, I recall the comfort I got when the adults would talk about the big issues of the day. I could tell that they had the issues well in hand.
Today I heard an interview with Hank Paulson, Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke where they talked about the triggers of the 2008 Financial Crisis. Listening to that interview I again noticed a feeling a comfort as they discussed the events of that crisis. Here is the interview (and it’s a good listen if you have the time):
Later in the same program that contained that interview, I heard a report that the new tariffs were beginning to give rise to significant practical harm to U.S. businesses. I also heard a report that the stock market had taken a significant nose-dive.
In that contrast — with Hank, Tim and Ben on the one side and a different group on the other side — I realized that I have the opposite feeling about the current economic situation.
I have a feeling like there are NO adults in the room.
And I have a feeling like there is no minimum safe distance from the calamity that this current government could wreak.
And it scares me.
I hardly ever get to do math. Mind you, this isn’t real math, but it involves large numbers, a white dwarf and a black hole.
I’ll start here: Science Daily just announced that a team from Michigan State University using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA’s NuSTAR, and the Australia Telescope Compact Array, have apparently found a white dwarf orbiting a black hole.
That’s not necessarily news if that was all there was to report, but the key finding is that the distance between the white dwarf and the black hole is only about two and a half times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
I’ll let that set in. A star is hanging out within spitting distance of a black hole. And, the star hasn’t fallen into the black hole’s event horizon yet. The team from Michigan State believes that the star won’t fall in anytime soon.
How can that be?
Answer: The star apparently makes one full orbit every 28 minutes.
Yes, it’s orbiting VERY fast — like more than 8 million miles/hour fast.
So, I promised math.
* Average Distance from Earth to Moon = 239,228 miles
* Two and one-half times that distance (which is the distance between the dwarf and the black hole) = 598,070 miles
* Circumference of a circle = C = 2 π r
* Thus the orbit of the dwarf around the black hole is = 2 π (598070) = 3.76 million miles
* If the dwarf travels that distance in 28 minutes, then it’s speed is greater than 8 million miles/hour.
That’s just astounding.
I’m putting this here because 140 characters are just not enough to do this justice….
From a New York Times Editorial published in Sunday’s issue:
Let’s begin with what the public can know for certain. President Trump had no evidence on Saturday morning when he smeared his predecessor, President Barack Obama, accusing him of ordering that Trump Tower phones be tapped during the 2016 campaign. Otherwise, the White House would not be scrambling to find out if what he said is true.
Just contemplate the recklessness — the sheer indifference to truth and the moral authority of the American presidency — revealed here: one president baselessly charging criminality by another, all in a childish Twitter rampage.
The Times reported on Sunday that the F.B.I. director, James Comey, was so alarmed by Mr. Trump’s fact-free claim — which implicitly accused the F.B.I. of breaking the law by wiretapping an American citizen at a president’s behest — that he was asking the Justice Department to publicly call it false. In other words, the F.B.I. director was demanding that Justice officially declare the president to be misleading the public.
This is a dangerous moment, which requires Congress and members of this administration to look beyond partisan maneuvering and tend to the health of the democracy itself.