Beyond the Cusp

September 27, 2016

Nation State or International Integration

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The election this fall is not about Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Taliban, or other security. It will not be about most of the items the media is talking about. What it is about is the economy, jobs, employment, wages, and everything about the economy but not in the obvious ways being discussed. Where will this next Presidency balance? The main item is which way does it benefit the United States most, continuing internationalism or returning to nationalism.

 

The media and most politicians are pushing this global economy, global integration, global cooperation, global solutions while hiding a dirty little secret, they are selling global as the solution while having the United States and the advanced nations pay for everything while equalizing the global playing field, whatever that means. We had a debate last night and we heard more of the same. Clinton claimed more globalism and taxes on the rich and Trump tried and may have meant to sound like Reagan. What they were not telling the people is that Clinton was using the same internationalism where the world matters more than the United States so in order to equalize the world the United States and the advanced world has to bleed to allow the rest of the world to catch up and then all will be well and how wonderful the world can be. Trump is actually claiming that every nation take their own and put them first and attempt to allow the nations who are leading the world to continue to be the leaders and then assist other nations in making gains and follow and give them access to advances as they are able to implement these advances. So, which way will work best. That depends on which nations one decides should be permitted to advance their own interests than to share with the world.

 

Internationalism is wonderful if your country is on the receiving end and not so wonderful if you are being bled to bring the other nations up to their level. The problem with that are many of these nations that are presumably being given advances in order to raise them to the same level are led by dictators who are enriching themselves and not making their nations any closer to the advanced world as that does not directly benefit them. What these dictators are not being intelligent about is that had they advanced their nation they would have enriched themselves in the process. They are not even thinking nationally rather than internationally. Internationally is a recipe for disaster as it inhibits the leaders from leading and demands that the least efficient be granted the largess while the leaders are placed in financial straight-jackets. Internationalists place a stop sign where all nations must park their own business and park their nation by the side of the highway and wait for the rest of the world to reach an equal position. The problem is that many of these nations, which they are waiting for to reach the same point, are themselves broken and not gaining and will never catch up as they are not even making any effort to reach the next level. Internationalism believes that making all nations equal will solve the world’s problems and inequalities, despite it not ever bringing the rest of the nations to first world status.

 

 

World Map with Borders Deemphasized

World Map with Borders Deemphasized

 

Nationalism is the opposite view which allows each nation to advance at their own rate and still demands that the first world assist the developing nation but does not demand they try to make equal those nations so dysfunctional that they are the closest thing to an economic black hole as can be found. Nationalism rewards each nation for their efforts and allows each nation to gain at their own speed. Allowing the leaders to lead gives other nations a target and proven path they can emulate but without national gain by the wealthiest nations to blaze the trail for the others to follow. The basis for nationalism is it allows each nation to set their own monetary policies and is against unifying monetary policies as such a system is flawed and destroys the lesser productive nations which has been proven by the European Union Euro which has benefited Germany while leaving Greece behind. Nationalism allows each country to do the best for their own people and society. That does not mean that nations which are developing should not be aided and it is in the interest of the most advanced nations to assist those nations who are developing and making the right choices and allowing them to benefit from the experiences of those nations who have traveled those roads before them. But those nations which are completely dysfunctional cannot be assisted as long as their governance is broken and until the nation decides to change their dysfunctions there is no reason to throw good money after bad.

 

Internationalism is a wonderful, feel-good policy filled of kind words and low on actual results. Internationalism demands that all nations be made to give according to their ability and the funds are granted to countries according to their needs. Internationalism demands open borders allowing free immigration with no limits or criminal and other background checks or other limits or restrictions. The policies sound as if they will allow all nations equal opportunities in word while defining this policy as bringing all nations up to the same level and making things fair for all nations. The truth is that this is accomplished by tearing down the greater nations while benefitting some of the least deserving nations who are corrupt criminal enterprises more than they are actual functional nations. Rewarding the worst while impeding the best prevents progress and will constantly restrict progress and the discoveries of new technologies and new systems which would result in assisting those nations seeking a better future to implement the proven methods. To get an idea on the difficulties caused by internationalism there is a perfect example which we can observe, the European Union. How has that equal currency been working for over half of Europe who are not Germany or Britain but are Greece, Spain, Italy and even France and many of the former Warsaw Nations. The common currency has taken the small differences of economic production where the agrarian economies which work on a different production level having to survive with the same policies of the industrial and other highly developed nations.

 

World Map and Relative Wealth of Nations

World Map and Relative Wealth of Nations

 

Permitting each nation to perform at their highest level and to their full potential will set target paths for other nation to follow along the proven road set by the highest performing nations. Progress is the fuel that raises all nations in turn. Progress provides the test paths and allows developing nations to benefit from their more advanced nations but only when they decide to advance. No nation could be forced to grow their economy and advance their national infrastructure and when a nation refuses to advance itself then forcing the rest of the world to wait for such a nation to reach an equative level is ridiculous and counterproductive. Internationalism is wonderful idea if it could function as promised. Nationalism is the dirty sounding word which is accused of being selfish because it benefits the wealthy nations and prevents developing nations from ever reaching the top level. The obvious fault is that accusation is completely false. If nationalism prevented up and coming nations from ever becoming the top nations were true then China would have ruled the world, Spain would be a leading nation, Greece would be the top nation in Europe, Egypt would be the most advanced nation in construction and engineering, Persia would still control East-West trade routes, Portugal would be a great power with colonies throughout the world, and the Hittites would be the great power in the norther worlds of Europe through to Turkey. Top nations change and have changed throughout the history of the world while nationalism was the rule of the world. Internationalism has caused massive stagnation as the world as a whole is not permitted to advance because the leading nations are held back presumably for the benefit of the lesser nations. This will always be a supported philosophy as there will always be more developing and undeveloped nations than leading nations as only a few nations will be in the top ten percent, which is why it is referred to as the top ten percent. Internationalism has been working so well over the past twenty to thirty years since 1979 while the rest of history was pathetic and without economic advancement advances by all nations and we are still using salt as a currency, aren’t we? The progress from salt as money to salt as something on almost every dinner table was a result from nationalism, not internationalism.

 

Compare the two with eyes open and the preferable form, open competition or controlled advancement, the choice could provide opportunity or a slow decadence and eventual decimation. Internationalism is welfare on an international scale much in the form of the Soviet Union and the initial Plymouth Rock Colony which would have starved if not for the Native Americans who grew and hunted for surplus for the winter and had sufficient to teach and feed the Pilgrims. After that experience of all get all they need, while most gave nothing in effort, they introduced a new program where each family kept a percentage of what they grew and the remainder was shared, the amounts of food skyrocketed. That is the balance which nationalism can produce, the most advanced achieve at their highest level and those developing nations learn from those leaders and in time some will replace them as they eventually falter. That is the secret of effort based economies, the people or nations at the top changes with time when another makes decisions which make them even more profitable as the other sinks under likely bureaucratic waste. You decide.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 18, 2016

American Election, Self-Absorbed, Ignoring World Crises

 

Spend time reading the distressing news coverage of the upcoming American elections and the subjects vary from the superfluous to the mundane all the while ignoring anything more serious than illegal immigrations from Mexico or the American economy. Most of the coverage zeroes in on misspeaks and gaffs while attempting to gloss over Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and ignoring all things concerning foreign policy, especially her time as Secretary of State, Benghazi and the loss of four American lives including an Ambassador, the Clinton Foundation contributions for favors potential scandal and any other foreign policy problems facing the United States, Europe or the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This is nothing new as American elections are almost always about the economy, jobs and the manufactured crisis which usually activates in October and has been even given a name, the October surprise. Not all elections require the emergency October surprise which is usually targeted at one of the candidates to make them appear weak or unprepared while the other will receive a last minute bounce just in time for election Day. Even the political considerations are usually a secondary affect in the election and in recent elections it has become a popularity contest. One would easily believe that the elections are actually the American public voting en-masse for class president and not the presumed most powerful man or woman in the world. As long as the candidate is perceived as the most personable and least threatening, then they need only motivate their base and make a final push with slick advertising campaign using all forms of media including radio, television and internet, especially social media. The social media campaign is largely handled by younger voters and volunteers so whichever candidate has the greatest number of youthful volunteers has an advantage in the final push on social media. There is one final area of effect which comes from organized media including talk radio, television news and commentary, radio news and entertainment shows on both radio and television such as the Tonight Show, South Park, Saturday Night Live, Howard Stern and any and every entertainer imaginable. It has been the contest of personalities since President Bill Clinton played saxophone to prove his suitability and his being in with ‘it,’ and it all depends on what the meaning of it is, that may have pushed him to victory despite some negatives which had been hounding him. Some present that President George W. Bush was elected due to scare campaigns pushed on conservative talk radio which resulted in his election. President Obama has been all about the cult of personality.

 

All of this about an election between two people with the highest negatives ever coming into the election campaign and their final push. Many have pointed out that the choice is between a self-absorbed lunatic clown and a crooked untrustworthy liar. Talk about between a rock and a hard place; this election is truthfully exactly that. The choice is also described as total unpredictability against predictable deceit. Obviously the choices in the upcoming Presidential Elections in the United States could easily be said to leave a little to be expected better than the available choices. The problems were legion in the primaries of both parties. One party used power politics and back room dealings to force the choice to the promised one while the other permitted in numerous places anybody to vote and as they had over fifteen choices at the start. This permitted one to take an early lead due to name recognition and being the sole personality who received media coverage beyond any advertising the rest could manage combined. This led to both parties having regrets and second guessing as to whether the candidate they ended up with on their ballot was necessarily their best choice. With the candidates they ended up presenting, Hillary Clinton on the Democrat Party side and throwing out Donald Trump on the Republican side, both parties are limping with the choice they became stuck with. The Democrat difficulties were evident outside and within the convention in Philadelphia while the Republican problems have been far more evident as one group of party elites coming forward demanding some way be found to disrupt and intervene to block Trump all the way up to a vote taken in the convention rules committee where the elites were silenced by an overwhelming rejection of their attempt to release delegates from their obligations in order to get the selection past the first ballot and hope to then introduce a candidate the elites found more presentable and aligned to the party elites. The difference is on one side the elites cherry picked the candidate they desired to present while the other part the elites were shocked and dismayed by the choice which came from the primary votes cast across the nation. In either case there are going to be elites sore about the choice no matter which party wins.

 

Of all the items about this election, the hardest of things will be predicting who will win. We can count on one fact which will be soothing, polling will not be anywhere near as accurate as in the past as many of the voters only own cell phones so they may not be polled by robo-calls. Further, many younger voters are very difficult to poll and older voters are already telling pollsters that they will likely not be sure which candidate they will support until Election Day morning, some not until the levers are before them and still others have mentioned closing their eyes and never looking at the paper record as they prefer not to know. There has already been a perfect example of how horridly polling has proven. Donald Trump won primary after primary while polling kept claiming he was about to crash and burn and pull out of the primary elections disgraced and head hanging low. On the other side the polls initially claimed that Bernie Sanders would be a laughing stock and have little if any effect on the primaries which was to be a contest between Clinton, Chafee, Webb and O’Malley and if needed Biden could come in late and save the party. Bernie was not supposed to create the Bern yet had the primary system in the Democrat Party had been weighted more towards the voters in the primaries; he might have stolen the candidacy from Hillary just as President Obama had done. So, Trump was supposed to burn out while Sanders was never supposed to Bern. Go figure.

 

Presidential Rivals Not So Different on Far Too Many Positions

Presidential Rivals Not So Different
on Far Too Many Positions

 

So the election drive is lining up at the start line and the red lights at the top of the tree just blinked off and the first yellow bar is lighted and about to continue down soon to hit green in now in the middle of August and then the candidates are heading down the quarter year sprint with election Day as the finish line. Just as in a drag race, the start is more smoke than flashing down the track as they try to get initial traction and pull out first ahead of the field. We have a number of third party candidates with Gary Johnson representing the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein representing the Green Party, Darrell Castle representing the Constitution Party and a number of what can only be called lesser party and completely independent candidates. Yes, most, if not all, of these third party candidates and independents have no possible path to the Presidency for no other reason other than lack of credibility, lack of money and complete lack of media coverage unless they say something so ridiculous that it all but disqualifies them from the human race, then they would get one day coverage. So, the reality is by early November the world will know who to fear and what kind of fear they will have by the end of the third week of the new year. So, until then we get to fantasize and guess what will be coming in the next year when President Obama retires to write his memoirs and, if you believe rumor, work on his resume so he can be the next Secretary General of the United Nations. One thing for sure, Obama is still thinking big and the problems with him heading the United Nations are beyond imagination. What causes me to wake at night in a cold sweat is the thought of Obama as head of the United Nations and Bernie Sanders as President of the United States, at least I can put that nightmare to bed.

 

The talk shows and media have been having a field day with Donald Trump but after his last appearance he appears to have been forced by whatever means were necessary to follow a script to the teleprompter letter to the letter to the letter. This will provide the media with a very boring Trump for as long as his discipline holds out. Hillary Clinton, on the other side, appeared to have some very sticky legal predicaments until she officially became the Democrat candidate for President. Now the FBI, CIA, State Department and Attorney General’s Office are all in her corner and have been instructed to make everything disappear. Well, not so much disappear but more to pass along as not really all the prosecutable as technically things are not as clear as they may have appeared to the public and things are far more complicated than we the stupid old public could ever understand. There are finessing situations which demand delicate treatment and assessments so complicated with oblique and acute angles which are not actually complementary leaving room between legal and illegal and Hillary and Bill Clinton were playing in that grey area between the lines. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has said some wild claims and some were contradictory to earlier statements, as the media has made sure we heard about, and thus who knows where Trump stands on anything. That will be as close to honest reporting on either candidate as they will lie one into public menace number one and lie the other one into the White House if at all able. It is a sad day America has reached when the mainstream media takes sides on elections becoming almost a spokesperson repeating every accusation against one side while pampering the other. I would love to say the American Presidential race will be exciting but I cannot do so. I can promise that we will try and find things worthy of reporting or commenting upon but really this election looks like we will be facing more of the same for the entire campaign which will eventually become overly tedious. Imagine how our friends in the United States will feel as they will receive little if any real news between now and Election Day. For the average American the entire world just went black and nothing exists outside Hillary and the Donald. The world will continue on and things both good and horrific will continue to happen around the world but little will occur making the evening news as the election blanks out everything even if World War III were to begin, assuming it has not already.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

August 13, 2016

Ecology the Economy and Global Pollution

 

There are so many arguments where it is apparent that much of the ecology demands are in direct conflict of interest with the state of the economy. Of course it does not need to be this way or even an actual issue for the Western and post-industrial world. Technological advancements have even led to coal powered plants in the advanced world putting out next to nothing in emissions into the atmosphere compared to those same plants forty or fifty years ago. We can excuse many of the youthful ecology warriors as they did not live when smog was an actual problem and those days where one really needed that gas mask they are so anxious to claim will be necessary at today’s standards. There were days where visibility in Los Angeles was limited to half a block and days when a temperature inversion turned Denver, Colorado into a city under an orange bowl of trapped air. There were any numbers of times when the Cuyahoga River actually caught fire and Lake Erie could not support fish. All of these were the real ecological tragedies of the past and where we are today carries no measure of comparison. The air and water quality today is a taste of what we considered would be heaven on earth back in the fifties, sixties, seventies and early eighties though much had been gained by the mid-eighties. One cannot imagine what it was like in those rough and tumble days when the ecology movement started and great and close to unbelievable gains have been accomplished.

 

What was it like back in those dirty and horrific days, you ask. Well, allow us to try and explain. Air quality was very much like Beijing, Karachi or New Delhi and rivers were close to the conditions of the Ganges, Yellow and Buriganga Rivers (see images below). The greatest ecological problems facing humankind today are not the cities and rivers in much of the United States or Europe as much as they are in the developing world, particularly China, India and other nations almost always exempted from United Nations and other ecological requirements. Giving the worst polluting nations a pass on meeting standards and instead demonizing and requiring ever more difficult and approaching impossible standards of the advanced nations is ignoring the real problems that are damaging health and the state of the world. The United States and Europe could cut their air and water pollution by fifty percent or even seventy-five percent and it would not come close to improving world air and water quality as it would require the developing world to improve their air and water quality by a mere five to ten percent. Cleaning up the air and water in the developing world, especially the rising industrial nations like China and India could make huge strides. It is not as if what is being asked is all that impossible or even difficult to achieve as the science and industrial know-how already exist and much of it is off the shelf and install and you are good to go. If the financial burden was demanded almost exclusively from the developed world it would be an investment which would indirectly and directly affect the quality of life in the post-industrial world as the air and water of these developing nations does have an influence on the air and water quality worldwide. If the cost of installing and manufacturing the necessary pollution control systems for many of the industries which have been shifted from the developed world to the developing world, in some cases simply to avoid the ever more stringent pollution demands and requirements which the post-industrial world had challenged their industries to meet, there could readily be made improvements leading to decreasing pollution in these parts of the world easily attaining halving their pollution which would be a giant stride and would exceed any possible reductions quantitatively than anything possible in the rest of the advanced world. As stated, the required technology already exists and would simply require production and installation which in many cases would simply be an add-on system to already existing power plants and industrial facilities. One example would be the carbon scrubbers for coal fired electrical generation facilities which could cut CO2 easily by fifty percent and the costs would not be exorbitant making such one easy place to begin. Water filtration systems placed between factories and rivers could make a huge difference and finally using more advanced systems and procedures for handling recycling and sorting of trash could not only benefit air and water quality but also lead to reduced costs on the society into the future with the gains in health being just one benefit which should be an aim for all humankind.

 

Examples of Worst Air and Water Pollution Today

Examples of Worst Air and Water Pollution Today

 

The problem is one of numbers which is easily explained. Any pollution standards have thus far been coming from the United Nations and related NGOs and other agencies. Many of these have their leadership and decision making committees predominantly made up from the member nations. The United Nations lists the developed (post-industrial) nations as being North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. They list the developing nations as Africa, Central and South Americas plus Mexico, Caribbean, Asia (excluding Japan), Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand. Of the nearly two-hundred nations in the United Nations there are approximately one-hundred-forty developing nations with only fifty-five post-industrial nations. It does not require a degree in higher mathematics to understand why almost all pollution requirements are placed on the fifty-five post-industrial nations while the one-hundred-forty developing nations are excluded from any and all pollution reduction or restrictive requirements. Until the developing world takes responsibility for the health and safety of their own citizens, this lopsided insanity of improving air quality and reducing water pollution in the post-industrial world manages to improve the measureable levels of pollution in the world by, at an estimated best case scenario, a mere five percent at the most generous of measurements, the most rudimentary and basic pollution controls put into use by the developing world would drop world pollution levels at near the exact same percentage as these nations would improve their air and water quality.

 

Let us assume the developing world installed the most rudimentary pollution controls equivalent to those installed by 1980 in the post-industrial world, with financial and production assistance from the post-industrial nations where the only investment these developing nations would provide was the manpower to install these devices and assure their working order, the world pollution levels would be reduced by approaching, if not exceeding, fifty percent. That is correct what you read, cut pollution worldwide in half or better. Imagine what a relief on the planet and that ever over-blown strawman of climate change. If the propaganda which claims that cutting pollution by fifty percent could save the planet, and then demand that the post-industrial world meet that challenge when their total pollution consists of less than ten percent of world pollution makes it impossible to clean the planet while granting the nations with the highest pollution contributions a complete pass, it makes no sense. If the United Nations Climate Control Agencies really want to protect the planet and truly reduce pollution levels, they will need to swallow hard and demand some accountability by those very same nations who exempt themselves despite contributing over ninety percent of the problem. It is not that they do not realize their double standard cheating makes cutting pollution impossible as they are adding to world pollution at many times the entire production of pollution in the post-industrial world’s yearly output monthly. Let us repeat that for clarity. The developing world’s monthly increase of pollution outweighs the entire pollution of the post-industrial world for the whole year. That is comparing increases against total output, a concept which is hard to get one’s arms around. Should the developing world simply hold the line on their levels of pollution, it would do over ten times the saving than if the post-industrial world somehow curtailed their entire pollution yearly output. That puts the entire problem into an easy context. Does the world think it could demand that the developing world at least improve the systems they are installing daily and have their pollution output reduced by a marginal amount which could do so much without even touching their precious systems already in place? Do you think you could be capable of doing that, please?

 

There has been a series of Olympics in recent years held in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012, and the current Olympics in Rio de Janeiro; all summer games where air and water quality and safety of athletes and tourists is more challenging as people will be outside in and around the Olympic Park making security a definite challenge. Air quality and especially water quality were particularly poor in both Rio de Janeiro and Beijing. In the Beijing Olympics China found it necessary to actually suspend all manufacturing and limited electricity usage for two weeks before the games and still the air quality, though better than normal for the city, left something to be desired. London, was a city with a history in the early days of the industrial revolution for having no direct sunlight hitting the streets and windows tinted with coal dust and smoke permeating into homes and stores interfering with every activity and worsening the health of all within its metropolitan area. The modern day London is literally a walk in the park with clear skies, clean water and no foul aromas as in London’s past. London could be used as a model for places such as Beijing and Rio de Janeiro as well as the rest of the emerging world. The modern nations could encourage such a cleaning up of the air and water of these emerging cities by providing even previously used and now retired scrubbers, reverse osmosis units and other technologies demanding only that the receiving country provide workers to install and trained in managing and upkeep and the entire world would benefit. Unfortunately there are too many who make their living complaining and this would place many of the ecology fanatics out of work and having to find something constructive to make their living; though we are sure they could find a new cause to make their living complaining and never lifting a finger to remedy the situation.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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