Beyond the Cusp

June 24, 2016

Venezuela is Just the Latest Example

 

Socialism is the greatest form of magic and it can work wonders under one small technicality; those in charge must be capable of predicting everything and every need weeks before they occur. There have been some great minds and some not so great minds which have attempted to master this simple little but key problem. They have never succeeded and likely until we have some extremely advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capable of figuring more computations and be inspired and intuitive as well, even AI will not save the day. Unfortunately for Venezuela they were relying on Hugo Chavez’s daughter and the rest of his crony socialists which has led to the riots in the streets because when the government gives everything and its fails, everything fails right along with it. The people are suffering as there is no food, no electricity, nothing, not even toilet paper. Venezuela is on the fast track to join that other socialist utopia, North Korea as that was the system they were emulating. What were they thinking? Anyone looking at North Korea and thinking, ‘hey, maybe we should try that total socialist thing and see how it works for us geniuses,’ is asking for ruin for their people. But what they saw in North Korea was the ruling elite who were living large and eating good and they looked no further than the feast served in the palatial grounds of the Kim family and thought, we can live large too. They didn’t look at the people who have been eating grass and the bark off of trees. North Koreans have it so good that they are trying to sneak into China where they see a world of plenty. Maybe China has found a secret to make socialism work as China is socialist, right?

 

So, since China might have found a secret, perhaps looking back at the socialist history and see what their magic bullet turned to be. Back when Mao Tse-tung initiated his socialist communist utopia of a planned production and state run farms and factories, they had such a failure that it is still unknown how many Chinese paid with their lives as a result of that first famine produced by crop and other farm failures. Estimates run from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions to hundreds of millions to unimaginable millions. The only Chinese who were safe from father Mao’s wonderful central planning were the peasants living in the furthest reaches of China in the remote farmlands who raised their own crops and were self-sufficient. Mao Tse-tung and his central planners then came up with a brilliant idea based on those remote peasants and allowed the farmers to work and plant as they saw fit and permitted them to keep sufficient food to feed their communities. But the factories still were under central planning because the communists understood the needs of the people. There were often shortages of particular items and sometimes unforeseen demands which were completely unexpected and there would be a lag time and waiting lists grew for such things as cars, televisions and other thought of luxury items. Housing became more sterile and stark as central planners placed a higher emphasis on quantity over quality and function and basics over appearance and luxury or even comfort. The people wanted more and knew about the rest of the world despite the attempt to control their news from the outside world. Mao Tse-tung gave in areas to the better minds but still retained much of the control centrally and thus restricting reactive production which led to continued waiting lists and production lagging demand sometimes by years. Mao died and the communists with time made a fateful decision as their economies could not meet their directive goals. They let loose of a degree of control and allowed for a select group of entrepreneurs, some free enterprise where industry owners were permitted to keep some of their profits providing they met the expectations and projections. This stimulated their economy and this led to meeting projections and industrial and economic growth beyond anything they had previously attempted. This led to economic growth rates sometimes surpassing 9% annual gains and brought the Chinese economy into the modern age and spawned the rise of a middle class, a new concept in socialist governance. But China was no longer a purely socialist system and it was the free enterprise which was permitted economic freedom which spawned the growth rates.

 

I can hear the questions asking what would happen if the growth rate slowed or even, heaven forbid, hit a recessive downturn. Well, that would be an easy one to answer with only one problem, the Chinese economy had been so repressive that the last decade plus, as they liberalized their economy and allowed more and more of the economy to be a semi-free demand economy with free enterprise, that they only recently finally reached a point where their gains slowed and failed to meet expectation and fell below their desired, if unreasonable, 9% per year and the initial signs are what some might call ominous. The central planners are showing signs of throwing out the baby with the bathwater as they are showing indications of returning to form and taking back the control over production planning thinking they can plan better than the profiteers as their decisions are empirical and not driven by guessing and risk taking. There is a positive side to this and that is we will see if after having witnessed the methods of for profit manufacturing and investment that the central planners might have an improved ability at decision making. Even if the central planning takes back sufficient control that the wait lists return and they end up where they were before their first experiment in free market economy, then their second experiment in free market economy will be the same inevitable success that they had the first time. The reason a free market economy works is that it is driven by greed, a vice which has never been vanquished from the human spirit and as long as there is greed, then profit based economy will work the best in satisfying the greed of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie as all gain from such a driven system. This could lead to a cyclical Chinese economy with it going in spits and starts as the free market produces growth until the inevitable recession. The central planners then clamp their control back over the economy and as that fails they resort to free market until it slows and back and forth and back and forth and eventually one will prevail. The likely winner, for the benefit of the Chinese people, will hopefully be free market and the central planners simply resort to governing wisely as we have always been taught the ancient Chinese rulers had managed when they were not fighting against one another in order to consolidate their control. The one thing that can be learned from the Chinese who found their way to allow for free market economy when central planning failed to meet the people’s demands is that even central planners can sometimes know when they have failed before it is too late.

 

Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie Lead to the Revolution

Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie
Lead to the Revolution

 

That is the problem with too many socialist governments, even those which are based on a free market economy but use socialist programs to redistribute wealth more evenly and to provide retirement income so nobody gets left out in the cold. When these programs reach a point where they outstrip the resources then either taxes need to be increased or other means of making the programs affordable even if they must cut back on their benefits. When the taxes are too high in order to presumably pay out welfare and retirement benefits the economy can still collapse into freefall such as was the case resulting from the 2008 economic downturn, bust if you insist, and Greece, Spain and others found themselves so deep in the hole that the economy was unable to recover. This was further exacerbated by the fact that they are on the Euro which receives much of its value based on the combined economies of the European Union which include Britain, Germany and other nations whose economic output is far greater than Greece thus Greece could also not support the value of the Euro which furthered their problem. The single currency may result in the end of the European Union if the nations being damaged by the single currency decide to leave so they can manage their own currency. Add into this the Brussels Eurocrats dictating immigration policies and forcing refugees into countries which feel threatened by the refugee situation. This will be a further demand on the economies of the nations taking in the refugees and you have another stress that will force more nations into economic difficulties. There is much to look at going forward and Europe is on the leading edge of the coming problems many which will result from the many and varied conflicts and other problems ongoing in the Middle East and North Africa, things we will most certainly cover here along with the other items of particular interest around the globe. In the meantime, let us hope that Venezuela figures out where they went wrong and change their economic means and systems to something which at least can feed and provide a few other necessities and even the luxury of toilet paper soon and the people can stop rioting and work and produce for their own enrichment and not just the enrichment of the central planners who apparently decided their wealth mattered more than the people and are now facing an ugly truth, they were wrong. We could hope for the people of North Korea as well, as their new leader, Kim Jung Un is apparently unbalanced and seems to believe if he is doing well the people should be happy enough by that knowledge even if they lack for virtually everything including decent food.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 19, 2016

The Inevitable Democrat Disaster and Conundrum

 

Hillary the Inevitable is looking more and more like Hillary the Impeachable with a date with a different kind of contest where the inquisitors are Senators and Representatives. Or worse, things could be slowly creeping towards an indictment resulting in an incarceration instead of a coronation. But even if Hillary the candidate Clinton avoids becoming Hillary the convicted Clinton, she still has a very dubious future in taking the Democrat nomination to run for President starting late summer or early fall. Should Hillary escape the ominous clouds roiling on the horizon, she is facing an uphill battle against Bernie Sanders who basically tied Hillary as it took her winning six coin tosses in six different caucus locations. Imagine the buzz about such unbelievable luck had these very same six-for-six coin tosses gone for Bernie Sanders. New Hampshire there was no need for tie breakers as Bernie Sanders won over Hillary by twenty-two points and his campaign received a healthy influx of donations which will all spell additional advertisements and other efforts boosting Sanders’ campaign and possibly bury Hillary’s campaign. Hillary was not expecting to be challenged, especially by a self-proclaimed Socialist, with a capital S, and a Jewish one at that, who always ran as an independent from Vermont and caucused with the Democrats. Where having a first Jewish President would be some worthy accomplishment which would in this day and age come with some expectations, especially for a liberal, concerning Israel and even more-so should this Jew be running under the Democrat banner in this election year where the Democrat candidate is expected to continue President Obama’s policies.

 

Regarding Israel, Bernie Sanders could be one of the few who could out-despise Israel and do far more damage and still for the hard-core anti-Israel and anti-Zionist Bernie Sanders being Jew would still be accused of supporting Israel and bowing to their demands on policies. Please believe that nothing could be further from the truth. We believe that the full extent of Bernie Sanders Jewishness consists of his parents were non-practicing Jews and he claims no real affinity with the fact that he was born as a Jew yet he had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony. “These were working class assimilated Jewish-Americans, and that culture is very deep in his bones,” Abbey told JNS.org regarding Sanders’s upbringing. Sanders also spent time on an Israeli kibbutz following his graduation from the University of Chicago in the 1960s. Yet in Congress, Israel has been far from the forefront of his agenda, taking a backseat to issues like income inequality. Meanwhile, Senator Sanders has been rather averse to some things concerning Israel, was first to boycott Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and other disparities which indicate that Bernie Sanders very well may throw Israel under the bus if it serves his ambitions to reach the White House. More can be read here at JNS.org.

 

We believe that he has already adopted the BDS side of the political street especially since he has chosen to use J Street, an anti-Israel group of Jews who use the bludgeon of “Peace in their time” to bash Israel into unrecognizable pieces claiming Israeli Zionist and nationalists are the sole impediment to peace and claim peace would already have been achieved if only Israel would offer the Arabs a deal which gives them their area of land and half of Jerusalem. J Street also claims that Israel is lying about not having ready access to the Jewish Holy Sites as Abbas has stated there is no problem for Jews to visit such places as Joseph’s tomb if they simply get permission from the Palestinian Authority (PA), something the PA claims had never been done, a lie as numerous times such has been sought and the answer was silence and claims that no such request was filed with them to visit these sites because the sites Israel claims are their Holy Sites are actually recognized Mosques and are all under consideration by UNESCO to be granted recognition as such as Islamic Holy Sites. UNESCO was the organization which recognized PA statehood and admitted them as a member state after their United Nations status was upgraded by the General Assembly two years ago. This is the J Street which will be referred to as a Zionist and pro-Israel group which is prejudicial against Palestinian statehood when push comes to shove.

 

 

Bernie and Hillary Waiving

 

 

The Senator’s other foreign policy advisors according to the candidate himself is the Arab American Institute as well as Jim Zogby as his Middle East and other foreign policy advisers. These bring his support for Israel even further into question and one might conclude that Israel is a non-Issue and that Senator Sanders was truthful when stating he would take a balanced approach to the Israel and PA issue as well as other problems concerning Israel. Where that leaves us is looking straight at “take a balanced approach to the Israel and PA issue” as the bromide solution which means he will come down on Israel as the problem and expect little to nothing from the PA when it comes to making peace as Israel, particularly Prime Minister Netanyahu and anybody not on the leftist approach are the real problem. He believes that if Israel would simply see the problem from the Arab side they would understand that it is a religious attachment they have to the land and that they would be open to sharing any of the Jewish sites from antiquity. This is a position which Bernie Sanders likely has been advised is an honest appraisal of the situation as this is close to word for word the J Street and PA answer over peace and claim that such discussions should be left for the two governments to discuss but first there must be a settlement acceptable to the Arabs.

 

What such a position leaves out is that according to the Arabs and the PA there are no Jewish Holy Sites for the Jews to visit. There never was a Temple, Jewish or otherwise before the al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock were built on the site where Abraham almost sacrifices Ishmael and the story claiming it was Yitzhak is a Jewish deceit they have claimed for years so as to steal a Muslim Holy Site. According to the PA there exist no Jewish Holy Sites because the Jews never lived in the Middle East and that they have been the only residents of the area going back many thousands of years. Islam is based partially on the ‘fact’ that the Jews (and the Christians after them) have blasphemed by altering the Quran, the true Bible as given by Moses, an Islamic Prophet, to their ancestors and that Mohammad came to correct the corruptions of the Jews and Christians who attempted to steal their holy faith and use their own bastardized version to make claims on all the Islamic Holy Sites and was one of the reasons for the war between the Muslims and Jews which started with the surprise assault by the Jews which the believers in Islam prevailed by the will of Allah and is further proof of the falsity of Judaism. This side of the argument has likely not been completely and honestly given to Bernie Sanders as that would make what they believe untenable Senator Sanders. Before anybody accuses me of calling the Islamic view as liars, allow me to explain that they are simply being good Muslims and observing the Islamic command of Taqiyya, nothing more and nothing less.

 

Still, there are those in the silence of the backroom control over the political machine who would wince at the proposition that a Jew be allowed to represent their party in an election for President and so have serious issues with Bernie Sanders. These are the sources seeking an answer to the inevitable crash and burn which is the Hillary campaign and had first pushed for Vice President Joe Biden to run so there would be another candidate where Hillary could place her delegates upon bowing out of consideration when her problems catch up with her. There have been numerous rumors and rumors of rumors that any numbers of other candidates were approached but none wanted to appear to be taking on running against Hillary. The Democrats appear to be stuck between a security risking felon and a Jewish candidate for President, leader of the free world. We can expect every stop to be pulled out to prevent what may end up an unstoppable runaway campaign barreling down the last legs of a race which was apparently unbeatable campaign once again laying in shattered pieces along the path to victory. Thusfar that is what appears to be in the cards. Bernie Sanders opted to run against a certitude that the candidate was going to be Hillary Clinton with almost every super delegate in her pocket. All she had to do was go through the motions, make a few speeches and appear to be actually actively campaigning when in reality the decision had been made that this time the candidacy belonged to Hillary and it was hers to lose. All that would be required from her would be to give the same almost identical stump speeches and perhaps allow an interview with the media who would be carefully chosen as would be the questions they would ask, each of the chosen feeling great privilege to ask that one question from the anointed one. One can almost imagine Hillary Clinton singing that Beatles classic song, “Yesterday,” and particularly these lines from the song,

 

“Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday.”

 

Now we get to watch how the Democrat Party will treat a situation where their choices for placing on the ballot are between a clean elderly Jewish Senator or a possibly criminally indicted former First Lady who was married to President Clinton which the party rewarded her standing by their man with a Senatorial seat from New York, a place she needed to buy a house with the money they did not have after leaving the White House dead broke possibly needing to sell the silverware which disappeared along with the letter ‘W’ key on most of the computers. When she basically was lack-luster at Senator and she demanded a shot at the top position she was favored in 2008, the initial “inevitable tour” which crashed and burned as Barack Hussein Obama beat her like a drum and “stole” the nomination. Now, eight years and a disastrous run as Secretary of State we are witnessing the “inevitable tour, take two,” which appears will also crash and burn as Bernie Sanders has all the magic attracting the youth and will also have the standards of a Democrat candidate gets and putting the two together, a viable and believable shot at winning. It will depend largely on who survives on the Island where they appear to vote people off by not voting for them and the show is down to the final six. So stay tuned and see if Hillary finally grabs the ring or does Bernie steal it from her having her slowly burn and demand possibly to be his running mate and who will survive the Island where one wishes he could simply tell his competition, “You’re Fired,” but this is no reality show. This is the real and only reality show where the winner gets to face the barbs and scorn of the media as they try to destroy your life in any way they can. This could become the comedy sensation of the fall lineup, we will just have to wait and see. Imagine a Bernie does the Trump tour on Presidential Island race, what fun.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 6, 2016

Iowa Results and Insights

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The biggest lesson we learned was that the media placed far too much emphasis on the caucuses. What we learned was that in cases where there was no definitive winner, then the entire choice would come down to a coin toss, how perfectly random. In the six instances where these rules were applied it was apparent that team Hillary got to call the coin-toss and call them they did. Apparently Bernie Sanders was perfectly happy to allow her team to call it, “Heads we win and Tails you lose.” And in six caucuses that appears to have been the call as Hillary either won each or Bernie lost, either way, Hillary went forth and declared a great victory while Bernie, being Bernie, claimed he and his supporters gave it a good fight and promised to continue the “Revolution” on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and beyond. When one looks beyond the primary delegates to the “Super Delegates” which are more or less decided by the Democrat Central Committee, one sees the reality of the delegate race as Hillary has 357, Bernie has 14 and O’Malley has 2 all going towards garnering the 2382 delegates needed to win.

 

We learned that Hillary can place way too much emphasis on her phantasmal ability or luck by her precinct chairs abilities to call coin tosses. Her grand claims of victory soon turned to sand in her mouth and she probably sputtered and spurted still insisting she had a mandate. Perhaps she was looking at the super delegate count which is made up of party hacks and people of whom Hillary had their FBI files on another server which was not used for State department e-mails but whose contents would be just as interesting to the voting public but has zero chance of ever seeing the light of day as it would be burned as soon as it was taken in as evidence. There are far too many people the files held there could damage and who have the power to destroy evidence just as well as Bill and Hill have proven capable. We also learned that Bernie has excited and tapped into an interesting voter group, the young and first time voters. Some of these first time voters have been of sufficient age to vote before but have now found their candidate. This is a large part of the voters eight years ago which propelled Obama into the White House and are just as likely to spoil Hillary’s last chance saloon and give her a really bad case of déja vu hiccups as she watches another upstart, this time a seventy-four year old hippie socialist who never let go of the dream from his college days, or is it daze? Should Bernie Sanders pull this off he will have proven that Hillary is fated to never grasp the golden ring in politics and Bill will never hear the end of how it was supposed to be hers but that Obama beat her and then Bernie the crazed lunatic stole it and it just was not fair. I guess nobody ever had the nerve or the suicidal tendencies to tell Hillary that life quite often is not fair. We learned also that Bernie had a solid and faithful following and that his challenge to the chosen one is real and very possible no matter how many delegates Bill can line up on Hillary’s side as in this day and age of the voters, as a collective intelligence, choose the candidates and the final elevations of a President. We also have seen the inside of the “Feel the Bern” generations and they are coming on strong and this might make Bernie Sanders the more electable Democrat and the real candidate the Republicans should fear facing.

 

The Republicans gave us a different message. The evangelicals, the Christian Right, was supposed to decide the Iowa vote and put one of two candidates on the short list for failure; they did not come through that way but have written the last swan song for Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz needed to corral, he is from Texas you know, the Evangelicals but he somehow lost about half the herd which left him limping into first place by a small margin, though it was a landslide by Hillary standards. Ted Cruz did do well as many had predicted claiming that the majority of the polling numbers for ‘The Donald’ (Donald Trump from here on) were mostly fictitious and when the time came to actually support a candidate, these polling numbers would prove to be a phantasm and disappear. Well, they actually did but not as far as predicted and Donald Trump has proven he is for real and will become a viable and potential winner should he start to actually express serious steps and reasons for his bombastic statements and clarify them into a reasonable platform people can stand behind. Ted Cruz, as wonderful as his supporters claim, will very likely fall flat in New Hampshire and rebound in South Carolina and Florida though it will remain to be seen if that is sufficient for him to remain in the race. After the caucuses in Nevada and Colorado it will be definitively decided who is the acceptable alternative to the establishment choice which appears currently to have fallen from Jeb Bush to Chris Christie to John Kasich and now on the Marco Rubio. Other than Cruz, Trump and Rubio who finished in close proximity to one-another, the rest should start taking stock of how much is this worth pursuing and what actually are your actual chances of emerging from the background in a positive manner. The media will ignore you until you make a mistake, and then they will crucify you until you fall on your sword; trust me, I’ve been there. For a good number, probably larger than those willing to vote for him, Ben Carson leaving will be heart-wrenching. We want so much to just once have the nice guy who refused to go negative and was an exemplary person whose life reads like a storybook where underprivileged youth from the worst part of town rise to prominence and was not only a success but also a solid positive force and contribution to society become Mr. Smith Goes to Washington except with a much happier result as he rises above the political machinery and does great and wonderful things lifting the nation by his inspirations. That would have been Ben Carson but perhaps this is better as the media have not torn him to shreds which would have come next had he shown he might succeed. The media will praise you to the hills and as soon as you start to succeed, partially due to their building you up, they will tear into you until you let out a personal secret, say that one time you lost your temper, we all have at least one such moment, and then that will become your defining moment as if nothing else you ever accomplished really made up for the momentary weakness when you were eight years old.

 

 

Mr. Carson Goes to Washington

Mr. Carson Goes to Washington

 

 

So the result in Iowa placed Ted Cruz momentarily in the cat bird seat with Donald Trump close behind and Marco Rubio in tightly behind Donald Trump. There being merely 8,500 votes between the three out of close to 175,000 they finished in a photo finish which their margins only looked large compared to the difference, or lack thereof, between the top Democrat candidates who basically resulted in a dead heat. The reality hopefully will become obvious to the three that for the race to be determined honestly then one of the non-establishment candidates will need to bow out if the other will have even a chance of taking the nomination. Should all three remain in the race and the contest continue to have similar results then there will be the definite possibility that at the Republican Convention there will be no definitive winner and as long as the three remain holding their delegates to their vote then there will be an arranged result which is basically a fixed convention where a candidate is chosen in some back room with some establishment and insiders making a choice and then bringing their golden boy forward and sweeping the convention as the party machinery steamrolls any opposition and presto, Jeb Bush is brought forward as the great hope of the party and we end up with the potentially lowest turnout election percentage in American history as we end up with that dreaded Clinton-Bush family rerun of the 1992 election without the drama or concern as the people show their disgust by staying home. Should this scenario become reality, then there need be a slight Constitutional Amendment making every Federal elected office have an additional choice at the bottom such that the people can demand better choices than the party line who has scratched the most backs and it is decided to reward them by making it their turn for the House of Representatives and then later the Senate and finally, for the real party hardliners, the Presidency by voting for “None of the Above” and if “None of the Above” receives the greatest plurality then the parties must find new candidates and a reelection will take place six weeks later, so they better choose well and somebody the people would rally to or they could face embarrassment after embarrassment and perhaps allow a primary if it is a Senate or House of Representatives for unaligned people to attempt to gain ballot access and allow the highest independent vote getter to also be on the ballot as it is doubtful such a person could do any worse in the performance than some of those currently in office. We really need to get better quality candidates and until the parties are forced to consider that they have to win over the people or face challenges from what are usually referred to as Joe-six-pack meaning it as a pejorative label when actually that may be a person who would do a far better job of representing the people with their being from amongst them. Still, there are the gems amongst a sea of party functionaries and the quality, or lack thereof, of the candidates on the average ballot simply proves George Washington correct when he claimed, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” Enough said.

 

We regret that nowhere in the conglomerate of offerings is there a single candidate with military service in their background. Some of the candidates I doubt could reduce their self-worth to a sufficient level to survive basic training nor would they know when to stand on principle and when to stand down as that is also something they test in basic training and for the select few who respond accordingly they offer them to attend OCS which is the one way that an enlisted man can become an officer, and maybe a gentleman. The world stage being what it is, we believe would be best served by somebody who has served and our first choice would be Lt. Col. Alan West.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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