JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Joel Pett)

In other news, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee today that the Fed probably won't be able to adequately respond to the next recession because rates are already so low.

The current low level of interest rates “means that it would be important for fiscal policy to support the economy if it weakens,” he told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.

Powell said that the Fed would resort to tools it used in the last recession if it’s again forced to lower short-term interest rates to zero.

Meanwhile, European parliament has voted in favor of signing a free trade agreement with Vietnam, giving European business a leg up over American businesses after Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that included Vietnam.

Finally, scientists working for the Dutch government are proposing the construction of massive dams to completely enclose the North Sea and protect northern Europe from rising sea levels caused by climate change and global warming.

A Dutch government scientist has proposed building two mammoth dams to completely enclose the North Sea and protect an estimated 25 million Europeans from the consequences of rising sea levels as a result of global heating.

Sjoerd Groeskamp, an oceanographer at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, said a 475km dam between north Scotland and west Norway and another 160km one between west France and south-west England was “a possible solution”. [...]

The cost of building a so-called North Sea Enclosure Dyke, estimated at between €250bn and £500bn, amounts to barely 0.1% of the combined GDP of all the countries that would be protected by it, they calculate.

Programming note... early this afternoon I learned that a longtime friend passed away in her sleep on Sunday night. I've just been sitting here stunned for hours and haven't written anything. I didn't even realize what time it is. I'll try to be back here tomorrow or Friday.

  • Draxiar

    Be well JM…you don’t owe us a thing. Do what you need to and take the time you need to. We’ll be here when you return.

  • MadJuana

    As muselet says “take the time you need for yourself.” Condolences on the loss of your friend.

  • Georgie

    So sorry, take care.

  • mnpollio

    You have my condolences. I lost my mother last month and the shock, loneliness and desolation (on top of what was already going on in the world) is staggering and I can barely get out of bed in the morning. Plus the second guessing as to why I did not rush to do things with her that we had been planning instead of putting them off for better days that will now never come is numbing. They say it gets better over time, but I am thinking not so much, especially with the world trapped in such a dark place.

    • MadJuana

      The hurt does “soften” over time, but yes, it can take awhile. Remember the love and remember to take care of yourself,

  • So sorry, Ashby. Take care of yourself.

  • muselet

    I’m sorry for your loss, Ashby. I’ve been lucky not to lose too many friends, but every time is wrenching.

    “… I haven’t really found any lessons in death other than I wish it wouldn’t.” –Joss Whedon

    Take the time you need for yourself. We’re big boys and girls; we can fend for ourselves for a while.


  • Very sorry for your loss.