Beyond the Cusp

January 14, 2016

President Obamas Last State of the Union Address Finally

Part I

As the President takes to the podium to deliver his State of the Union Address, his final by all estimations, takes place with the pall of Ten American Sailors being held by Iran and the President announced ahead of his speech that he would not, repeat, not be mentioning the sailors as the Commander in Chief which explains why we prefer to call him the Ditherer in Chief. We have been told to expect to speak on broad terms and demand that the American people and Congress are responsible for making a President ‘all that he can be,’ to use that well-worn to death phrase may, we beg your forgiveness. He opened with praise for the Republicans in Congress caving on a budget likely to push the debt ceiling necessarily over twenty-trillion dollars and mentioning that there is a serious prescription drug abuse problem. The nerve of the man who made fighting drug abuse, specifically prescription drug abuse and heroin use a central theme of his as far back as 2010 and likely farther and now he claims the nation needs to tackle this problem as if he had not already promised that by 2015 drug use would be down by a measurable percent and instead it has drastically increased. It is almost as if the White House battle against drugs worked as well as his running of guns into Mexico in order to find the drug cartels when he could have simply asked the DEA except that plan was more to set-up a straw man to target funds and use as a central theme in a anti-Second Amendment campaign, and it might have gained traction except when an United States Border Agent was murdered with one of the guns provided by the White House Department of Justice gun scheme which began by providing thousands of firearms to the drug cartels right across the border in their blinded by hate of guns which Americans, according to President Obama himself “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” as previously stated. If things continue like this we will be very glad he promised a short speech.

 

Laundry list time, and that right after he claimed he wanted “to go easy on the traditional list of proposals for the year ahead” started off “I’ve got many such as helping students write computer code to personalizing medical treatment and I will keep pushing for the things I believe need to be done.” Oh joy, here we go! Ready to rock-n-roll with the targets ladies and gents, let’s start with “fixing the broken immigration system, protecting our kids from gun violence, equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage, all these things still matter to hard working families.” He wants to focus on the next five years. Five years, a five year plan, where have I heard that idea before, a five year plan, Oh! I remember, uncle Joe Stalin was big on Five Year Plans as was that jolly rotund individual, no, not Santa and while on that, take down those Christmas lights already, the other fat man, Mao Tse Tung, they both loved five year plans to death and that was exactly what they were, five year plans that starved millions to death. Oh even better, Ten year plan and beyond, then you will know you have entered the Twilight Zone. (queue music) He’s noticed change; wonder if it is the same change the rest of us see. Change that is reshaping the way we live, way we work, the planet, our place in the world. Umm, yea, and it don’t look like change we want or should want but I bet we are about to hear how wonderfully he has worked to bring us these changes. What a wonderful list of things we just heard and then for the clincher President Obama claims we have “everything we need for security and prosperity for generations to come,” and we’ll settle for finishing this generation handing a better world to our next generation and he probably thinks a world on the edge is better because at least the United States stayed out of things. Little hint, that is the problem, but we don’t expect you to see that because as you said, it is in that spirit we have made progress since President Obama’s rise to power, that is how you see it, right? You rose to power as the Caesars did in ancient Rome and that is why you had those Grecian pillars behind you for that acceptance speech in Denver, or your coronation and accepting the crown of might and the orb of power and the scepter of wisdom, I have those things correct, right? “That is how we recovered from the worst financial crisis in our history,” President Obama stated and I immediately thought that he had to be referring to the Great Depression of the 1930s because we still have yet to recover from the one you expanded upon in a manner even George W. Bush would have been amazed had he failed so spectacularly, but the President was referring to his handling of the financial crisis which has placed the largest percentage of the working force either working part time at as many as three jobs to earn the income one would have provided before Obamacare, where the largest percentage of the workforce has completely surrendered and have ceased even pretending to seek employment, and where graduates from the nations universities, even the finest of schools, are so desperately under employed or given wages that similar graduates fifteen years ago would have scoffed upon. But no, the President continued to spectacularly amaze us with further claims of greatness by listing his greatest failures domestically telling us, and a paraphrase as I really cannot continue rewind and suffer through his complete and willful blindness to the misery and hardships he has caused at home in the United States and throughout the world and the full ramifications will not be finished rippling back and forth through the world for at least another decade or more. The President continued his hall of shame bragging about his, as he put it, “we” as he had the Democrats who forced some of these monstrosities that plague the nations going forward as he listed the great reform of the healthcare system which when first released refused to permit people to remain logged into the site long enough to find out their doctor was not on the list, their healthcare was inadequate and thus cancelled and their premiums would necessarily skyrocket, if not immediately, within the next five years as that is the first five year plan. Then he claimed the reinventing of the energy sector. Does he mean by fracking which his administration did all it could to kill, the Keystone pipeline which the administration did kill, Solyndra which received half a billion dollars and failed, and the following list of only administration failed energy companies which received millions as hundreds of thousands just do not make the grade there is so many larger fish; Amonix, $20 million; Bright Source, $1.6 billion; Beacon Power, $43 million; Ecotality, $115 million; A 123 Solar, $279 million; Evergreen Solar, $527 million; Ener1, $118 million, and the equal number of eco-companies who lost hundreds of millions but still the greatest fail was in trust as money was thrown down known black holes simply to reward people who formed these companies and received gargantuan salaries and then declared bankruptcy and nobody batted an eye and they walked away fat, happy and wealthy with a wink and a nod. The final special notice was the Fisker Karma (pictured below) plug-in hybrid with an A123 battery system of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars failed during a test by Consumer Reports magazine and is reported to have been a fire hazard on wheels. The repair to make the vehicle useable will run around $67 million which contributed to A123 filing for bankruptcy. Fisker Automotive had designed a very attractive vehicle but the battery problem will necessarily set that project back and might even cause Fisker Automotive financial difficulties due to this unforeseen problem which was not of their doing. BMW hybrid 3-Series and 5-Series cars and GM’s all-electric Chevy Spark also were presumed to be run on A123 battery systems and also will need new sources.

 

 

Fisker Automotive Karma Failed Testing as A123 Lithium-ion Batteries System Failed and Presented a Fire Hazard as Pictured on Right

Fisker Automotive Karma Failed Testing as
A123 Lithium-ion Batteries System Failed and
Presented a Fire Hazard as Pictured on Right

 

 

Continuing onward; President Obama continued with a claim of providing more benefits and better care to our returning troops and veterans; and secured the freedom, wait for it, in every state, wait a little more for emphasis and this is huge and serious, to marry the person we love; (lick lips so as to look as we are using great effort) and such progress is not inevitable, which was the argument for same-gender-marriage, and it is the result of the choices we make. Now comes the ‘shame on you’ part of the speech where the American people are told of their shortcomings. How will they face the future and the challenges he wants to know. Will they have fear, turn inward and against each other or display confidence (something he knows so much about when talking of himself and all he has accomplished but what he refused to represent America as having as he approached the world leading from behind and cowering from every threat except one, the one threat he faced as it needed to be corrected and cut down just as America needed to be taught a lesson, and that nation was Israel, carrying on.

 

Now come the four questions Americans have to answer, big questions, and yes, I kid you not, four questions, next he will be reading from the Haggadah. 1) How to get all involved with opportunity and security in this new economy: return to the old economy which worked well until you and the Democrats further exploded the debt and removed opportunities. 2) How do we get technology to work for us in like repairing climate change: well, applying standard to China and India might help as the United States had met climate change challenges better than Europe or any other nation on any continent with only Antarctica producing less pollutants and climate change gasses per square mile than the United States and Israel. 3) How do we lead the world and keep it safe without becoming its police: not by leading from behind and pulling out of every dangerous situation and allowing the likes of the Islamic state, you remember them, they’re the Junior Varsity. Mr. President, you have given us seven years examples of how not to accomplish that and only Hillary Clinton is even less prepared than you were but at least she might get upset one morning and take some brash move out of anger as she was a tad bit peeved when she awoke and some idiot got her anger riled and she just told the Joint Chief of Staff to handle it and make sure she never hears from them again, and then she would have been far more adroit at getting the world to sit-up and pay attention as they never die for you. 4) How do we make our politics reflect what is best in us and not what is worst: reverse every last one of your foreign policy decisions and attempt to get the United States and the Western World out of the hole you helped dig that the third world would bury all of us given another eight years like yours.

 

President Obama just claimed that the United States has the strongest, most durable economy in the world. This is not supposed to be comedy hour at the local pub, is it? Now he says that the United States is in the longest private sector job increase in history. OK. Job creations, whatever and then the whopper, unemployment cut in half: yes sir, after you cut the work force by anywhere from five percent to fifteen percent and these numbers do not include those graduates from college who had to return to their parents’ house and reclaim their bed room from grandma’s sewing room and they are now taking care of grandma with their BA degree in renaissance literature and library science. Industry surge that created nine hundred thousand new jobs in the past six years, which is one hundred fifty thousand a year, and he is touting that as an accomplishment as otherwise he would have used a percentage increase per year which was likely near two percent, not exactly write home to mom in Indonesia, is it. Did he just say, While cutting our deficit by three quarters? Yes, he did, PULEEEZE!! I’m afraid I will explode listening to too much more of lies, deceptions, misrepresentations and we are not even one third the way through. Can I please stop now? Oh, I’m suffering so you do not have to except by reading this laboriously strange article.

 

Ah, the problem is ATMs replacing bank clerks and automation replacing workers because the cost of workers skyrocketed with Obamacare and next he wants to force the entire fast-food industry to automate as many $15.00/hr. jobs as they can with a living minimum wage when minimum wage jobs are where you prove to your first employer he did not make a mistake hiring you, not a support your family job and they never should be. Too many workers and insufficient jobs and many of the work seekers are not unemployed because they have not been able to find one of those one hundred and fifty thousand jobs created in manufacturing each year and too many of them are out of work bank clerks. And worldwide competition is only true because America’s employers are unable to afford American workers as the price due to government demands, regulations, stipulations and healthcare requirements amongst the highest corporate taxes in the world. It is no wonder they are fleeing to even Europe such as Spain where they have workers who are capable and a situation where the employer has all the advantages as Spain is indeed working to get employers, especially employers who need many busy little hands doing repetitive jobs which are not yet automated and cannot afford the price of business in the United States. The one area where the United States does have one of the finest pool of workers is in high skill work such as electronics but that is automating and price of production is making pass/fail without repair of failures a viable option. As far as the rest of the jobs, as Ray Kurzweil divined and he will tell you the humanoid robotic worker is only fifteen years away and then none of you will have jobs unless you are a futurist or a politician and for many of the same reasons except futurists are at least entertaining.

 

Almost every dramatic pause even some despite rousing applause, President Barack Hussein Obama bites his lower lip as if this is so important and he is concentrating so unbelievably hard reading the words somebody else wrote and he has been studying and even making changes so it would be easier for him to read, remember the tonal intonations which is sitting on either side (and possibly straight before him projected on the podium) and likely in a screen centered in front all hidden from view. He has already slipped once or twice and halfway made the eyes slightly squinted and chin stuck forward and his head tilted back making for the near perfect Mussolini pose which he would take as a side stance often when before purely Democrat crowds who apparently loved it. We appear to be entering the special dimensional-shifting, trans-dimentional,  intra-perceptibility, rose-colored-lensed-interferometer, and reality-free-video-generating-display where up is forward and backwards is left and he is she and who is he and we are all in Ulpan and that means that if not for what the President managed through Herculean efforts to manage the economy and if instead those others who have impeded his every move had been in charge things would have been so much worse and if only the Democrats would have kept all the power then the entire economy would be more fantastic that what President Obama managed to salvage. Now that we have cleared up who is to blame for the difficulties. We need to look at where all Americans agree, oh, I just can’t wait for this part. All Americans agree we should provide pre-K for all just in time for my second childhood, every student hands-on computer and math classes to make them job ready, recruit more and great teachers, affordable college for all, no student should start in the red, not probably green, blue and eggshell are fine; and we, there goes that plural reference to himself, and the rate of payment has been put at ten percent of nothing, because that is what too many college graduates are making, nothing. Moving along, provide free two years in community college, onward and upward as the United States college age child deserves benefits and protections that provides a basic measure of security that is where Obamacare comes in and saves the day but there are needs such as wage insurance and advanced training, plus food stamps didn’t cause the crisis, Wall Street did.

 

The President claimed there are outdated regulations which need to be changed, not eliminated, just adjusted to reflect how government can grab more of industrial might through costly regulations which agrees with his appointment of Cass Sunstein as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs whose job it was to go through the entirety of Congressional Legislation and find what laws could be utilized to write additional regulation so as to be as onerous upon the American economy as possible. Now he is going to complain about record corporate profits because as any good little socialist redistributionist, corporations are not in business to make money for the owners and the shareholders as they are the wealthy, and that includes all of you with 401K retirement plans which are reaping those record profits for your retirement. You and they did not make those profits, government did and thus government should be permitted to spend those profits as they please.

 

The problem is not immigration, too much of it illegal with the blessing of the Obama White House and nearly every White House going back to Dwight David Eisenhower, and Yes, I am old enough to remember. It is corporate board rooms putting immediate profits ahead of long term principles, otherwise known as redistribution of profits which is what corporate taxes, highest in the world, EPA regulations, codes, fines, and a whole hearted and cold hearted attempt to put coal powered electricity out of business through compensatory regulations which make any planned coal fired plant a sinkhole that swallows investor monies and makes currently operating coal fired plants on the brink of insolvency and soon bankrupt and out of business despite the fact that three quarters of the power generated in the United States is from coal. They are also working on doing away with as many dams, even with electrical generators hydro-powered inside, on the destruction list for the fishies. Workers and small businesses and, well, let’s say it, the businesses government decides to protect and favor are to be granted freedom and liberty to make money as long as they remain small and under government influence otherwise they will become another big company just making profits and enslaving the world so those, including any we helped get this far last year, big companies, and we all know who they are apparently, must be brought down until they answer to government control and don’t you dare call me a fascist. And we can have a brighter future if I, President Obama, can direct where corporate profits are spent, not necessarily with shareholder, though I realize they must get a few dribbling drabs, but most must benefit the country and be spread throughout which can only happen if we steal, I mean tax, these profits at insane levels and then government taketh away and government giveth, just like in my bible. We must be fair, or is it fare for those making money, those evil capitalists.

 

President Obama just referred to NASA in the 1960s beating the Russians to the Moon; this from a man who constantly had people refer to the almost $2.5 billion that NASA receives, suggesting cutting the fat from the NASA budget would be our savior ignoring the percentage; and these are actual percentages they never tell you, that should the entire, E-N-T-I-R-E, entire NASA budget be completely destroyed and NASA disbanded entirely it would not cut the budget by even one percent. We would lose almost all our discovery programs, no longer have the NASA Big Gun experiments and that wonderfully photogenic man with his almost childlike amazement at how wonderful his job is playing in a high tech sandbox and testing what-ifs through shooting pellets and making explosions he studies. FYI, I really like that man as he exudes the love for discovery that is infectious and I am hoping it spreads. The truth is the NASA budget is three-quarters of one percent of the budget, or less than the average amount of pork placed into any omnibus budget bill like the one just passed by probably Wyoming. I am not sure I can take this; he is comparing the immigration from the mid-nineteenth century through the first half or so of the twentieth century with modern immigration of which two-thirds are illegals from Mexico and the Americas south of Mexico. Sorry Mr. President, but that bird not only does not fly, it is known as the Kiwi and is only found today on shoe-polish lids.

 

President Obama just appointed Uncle Joe; get your gaffs here, Biden as the person in charge of curing cancer. I like Joe, he is overly abundant in amusement and a smile a minute, but in charge of curing cancer, cancer will never have had a better ally than Joe in charge. The Israelis are researching a way of making using nanobots which carry a miniscule flake of gold and they find cancer cells and burrow deep into the cell and even into the nucleus such that a simply radio-frequency signal transmitted days after they were released into the body to seek out only cancer cells and bore into them such that the RF wave causes them to explode and take the cancer, and only the cancer cells with them and leave the surrounding healthy cells almost entirely untouched and the dead cancer cells the body will know how to take out the garbage and the Israelis are seeking more efficient nanobots to make them more affordable and end cancer and genetic diseases and so much more health risks of the past.

 

Well, this will have to do until tomorrow as we are close to half way through. Stay tuned to tomorrow broadcast of how the blogger’s stomach churns with more summaries, snide remarks, guffaws, critiques, reminders of reality and Joe Biden worthy gaffs. Until then my loyal readers who brace the inanities for that rare but priceless kernel of truth, and then there is our commentary giving rare credit where any credit can be found. Until tomorrow.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 2, 2015

Russia Assisting United States Facilitating Nuclear Super Iranian State

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With the silent blessings from the Administration of United States President Barack Obama, Russia is continuing on their steady path of nuclearizing and militarizing the theocratic government in Iran. The recent announcement that Tehran and Moscow have entered into an agreement to build two additional nuclear reactors in Iran and that building will commence on the first immediately came right on the heels of the announced near term provision of the delivery of sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missile batteries rather than the delayed delivery which was originally announced in order to pacify Israeli concerns and active opposition to the eventual delivery. This has been an ongoing debate which had been put on hold as sanctions made any delivery impossible over the past two years. With the lifting of certain sanctions unilaterally by President Obama, the delivery of the S-300 antiaircraft systems as well as construction on the next two nuclear plants made construction possible. Further, the release of funds to the Iranians also facilitated their being capable of affording moving forward on these somewhat troublesome initiatives. When these developments are taken individually and outside the context of the recent military offensives backed and supported actively by Iran the case for alarm has mostly been avoided. Israeli concerns and protestations have mostly been swept aside and neglected as a blind, deaf and dormant media has reported on these activities with minimal interest or challenge to their potential ramifications.

 

If the initiation of two additional nuclear facilities being aided by Russia in Iran and the delivery of one of the more advanced air-defense systems being delivered by Russia to Iran were not sufficient to cause loss of sleep and a furrowed brow, perhaps some additional released information might give one pause. There have been recent intelligence reports which claim to have discovered something most astute observers had known for some time, that the North Koreans and the Iranians have been cooperating in their mutual programs to develop advanced missiles including ICBMs as well as cooperation on nuclear weapons research. There have been so many instances where one was able to witness the presence of North Korean scientists at the launch trials of new missile technologies and the presence of Iranian scientists at numerous North Korean nuclear and missile tests that there might have been smoking gun evidence even to the most casual observers of collaboration by the two nations. Additionally, when North Korea protested the loss of several of their technicians and scientists resulting from the Israeli bombing of a nuclear reactor main complex being constructed in Syria apparently of a variety used for plutonium production in North Korea on September 6, 2007, this should have raised further concerns of cooperation between Iran and North Korea as this was certainly a means by Iran to build such a production facility while removing any suspicions from their door by building the nuclear facility in Syria. It is reported that the two nuclear sites the Russians will assist in the productions will be light water reactors which are far less adaptable to the production of plutonium. Below are before and after aerial photographs of the main building struck in the Israeli raid.

 

 

Before and after photographs of Syrian nuclear site, located in the Deir ez-Zor region bombed by Israel on September 6, 2007, preventing the remote location of nuclear facilities for weapons manufacturing by use of Iranian proxy Syria. Raid was initiated by the Israelis after United States refused cooperation or action claiming the site was not a nuclear weapons site. North Korean observer scientists and technicians were apparently killed as per North Korean complaints against Israel for the raid.

Before and after photographs of Syrian nuclear site, located in the Deir ez-Zor region bombed by Israel on September 6, 2007, preventing the remote location of nuclear facilities for weapons manufacturing by use of Iranian proxy Syria. Raid was initiated by the Israelis after United States refused cooperation or action claiming the site was not a nuclear weapons site. North Korean observer scientists and technicians were apparently killed as per North Korean complaints against Israel for the raid.

 

 

These developments between the Russians ad Iranians have not received even the slightest protest from President Obama or his administration, especially Secretary of State Kerry who recently visited Moscow on an apologetic mission seeking Russian assistance in the removal of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad after attempting to make amends for recent administration efforts to protest Russian activities in the Ukraine. The mission failed on all accountings and things will apparently continue at pace with Russia assisting Iran who are assisting Syrian Dictator Bashir al-Assad. Secretary of State Kerry’s meeting with the Russian leader really got off to a cold start as Russian President Putin arrived for their meeting three hours late offering no reason or apology while expecting one which was given dutifully by Secretary Kerry. After insults and apologies were exchanged, Secretary of State Kerry got down to the actual groveling requesting Russian assistance in ending the confrontations in Syria between numerous rebel groups including the al-Nusra Front (an al-Qaeda affiliate) and ISIS amongst others. Despite Secretary Kerry’s greatest of efforts, little cooperation was arranged as President Putin gave all requests the cold shoulder but left the door slightly opened that perhaps future arrangements might be arranged. It was slightly after this meeting that President Putin announced the earlier than hinted delivery of the S-300 antiaircraft batteries to Iran, an in your face move as stark as could be imagined to Secretary Kerry, President Obama, Israel and the West in general. Now with the announced start of two more nuclear reactor sites, the Russian buildup of Iran is proceeding apace and potentially picking up steam. One can only assume that either President Obama actually approves of the strengthening of Iran or knows that he is powerless due to his puerile and pathetic prowess towards foreign policy practices despite posturing passivity pretending to prideful restraint.

 

This has been the produce from a foreign policy initially given grand but vacant gestures climaxing in various forms of contrite concession, gratuitous genuflections and pompous speeches all designed to present an image of America pleading forgiveness on bended knee humbled before her betters. This introduction was probably the sole truism in all foreign affairs fermentations which eventually produces a poisonous brew of crossed red line after red line, feigned commitment always falling short of the promised mark and general ineptitude which gave green lights to every bad player with grand designs to pounce on the open opportunity presented by a United States in remission so as to permit the world the room to repair all the ill effects from an overbearance of American past use or power. Nowhere in President Obama’s repertoire has there been room for even the slightest of doubts as to the malignance of American policies despite all evidence of best intentions of attempting to right the wrongs, including her own. To President Obama America was the bully who stole the other nations’ riches by economic plundering or through enhancing dictatorial powers while making them and the United States wealthy on the plunder of the poor and downtrodden placed under the dictatorial thumbs thus supported. Nowhere did President Obama and his cauldron of fellow haters of their nation, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, and even the First Lady amongst others, some under the direction of the likes of George Soros, one of the preeminent America and Israel haters of the lot, did any of them ever consider what might have been the consequence of a world without American efforts. This has what has driven the foreign policy of President Obama, a foreign policy deviously applied hidden by apparent indifference, apathy, failure, and devoid of influence. The policy was to facilitate a multifaceted power structure to balance out America making her but one player amongst a plethora of actors, most aligned to oppose American might.

 

The plan was to empower Russia to take Europe, China to take Asia, Iran to take the Middle East and Africa, and a combination of players to restructure the Americas while the United States would be left relatively weak and gutted financially. The play began over two decades ago with the election of William Clinton who would take up where President Jimmy Carter had left off. President Clinton planted seeds in the military with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy and taking the peace cash bonus by cutting back military spending and enhancing social spending as well as supersizing the Community Reinvestment Act which eventually forced the housing bubble and related crash. President George W. Bush does not get the pass conservatives are apt to grant him as he was the originator of the monetary spending called Stimulus Acts or Quantitative Easing (QE). President Bush started QE-1 which was subsequently followed by QE-2 and QE-3 which required serious borrowing shooting the debt up to over seventeen-trillion dollars. This figure was attained with an additional investment made during President Obama’s first year in office when he pushed through legislation greatly increasing social spending on programs with some extreme cases leading to near and even over tripling the budget of many departments and programs. These new levels of budgetary spending became the new baseline thus massively increasing the spending on these departments and individual programs leading to runaway government largess and profligate social spending. This new levels of spending has had an additional and planned effect, it makes increasing Defense Department spending impossible for the foreseeable future. This will lead directly to the United States having to pull back on her military presence beyond her borders. What is remarkable about this is that President Obama has, by taking the most extreme of leftist defense and foreign policy positions managed to make the dreams of the furthest right wing paleo-conservatives dreams of isolationism come true. This has been the most perfect example that the extreme right and the extreme left both desire identical results for diametrically opposing reasoning and political positions. The end result will be a world devoid of the American influence anywhere near the levels of the past seventy-five years. President Obama will get to see his dreams almost realized as the United States power cannot be eclipsed by any single Presidential actions over even the full eight years. The risk is if the American people follow President Obama with another President of like mind that the United States might be taken from the world stage until only drastic measures force her to return. An empowered China, Russia, Iran and rising Islamist powers may bring either a Sunni-Shiite reckoning resulting in untold damage to much of the world or a Sunni-Shiite alliance which will present another world power vying for preeminence. Where and how far the world will spin without a strong power for freedom allowing for dictatorial Communism, theocratic supersessionism or whatever a resurgent Russia may become after Putin sees the last of his reign in power to be the tripartite powers dividing up the world and potentially remaining unopposed until one of the three turns on another thus upsetting the balance and leading to who knows what horrors in the ensuing bloodbath. The world may be entering a dark time and Israel may stand alone as the sole person with a flashlight in the darkness.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 3, 2014

Enough with the Peace Process Already

There has been a rumor around the office that some people might be getting tired of endless repetition of the same basic material just from a slightly more oblique angle covering on the failures that are the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process and the potential damage Secretary of State and his boss, President Obama, are planning to do to Israel with full knowledge and vile intent. That possibly being true, and our own recognition that we may have exhausted the subject for maybe a number of hours, maybe even a day or two, so don’t say we never heed suggestions. So, without much further ado, on we go to today’s subject.

 

First up, let’s tackle the reputed economic recovery in the United States. We have been told that the housing market has begun to return to a healthier outlook as more houses are selling. Prices of homes for resale have still not returned to the inflated prices of early 2008 but they are moving from their low points. The Christmas sales were still less than hoped but still showed some signs for hope. Unemployment is still a disaster as there is now an entire class of young people who are probably permanently unemployed with little or no hope of reentering the workforce. There have been more jobs available to replace the positions lost during the bust which started in 2008. The difficulty is that these new job opportunities are either part time or low paying service sector positions and some are offered only as the employee acting as a sub-contractor thus freeing the employer from any healthcare requirements which will result from Obamacare going forward. The real sign of a recovery that almost every report relies upon is the records being set by Wall Street. So, what is the truth about the economic recovery and should we feel that perhaps the worst of the economic downturn is over.

 

First up, we should address the increasing home prices. The reality is whether the increasing prices of housing is simply responding to inflation because of the weak dollar or are houses actually accruing real equity. There is an easy way to compute whether or not houses are accruing equity or simply responding to the weakness of the dollar. Choose some commodity which has proven value other than gold, silver or other precious metals. My particular favorite is a top of the line Mercedes; but Porches, Bentleys or even gemstones also work well. You find how many of whatever metric you have chosen if you sell your house and spend all of the proceeds on that item, Mercedes, two carrot diamonds, Porsche 911 GT3 or whatever item you chose. Then allow a period of time to pass and repeat the procedure with the new price your house will sell for say after a year or two. If you are able to buy more of the same model but the New Year’s model, not the two year old model as it has to be new car to new car comparison. My bet is that most items you will discover that you will not be able to purchase any more of your control item than you had at the earlier price. The same test can be used to rate stocks or anything else that one uses for investments for the future. Much of what is currently appearing to be gained equity and profits is really simply the result of a devaluing dollar. But even if this is true, the fact that housing sales are increasing is something to be glad to see and that is very true.

 

The real question is what the prospects are going forward. With the appointment of another follower of the principles of Keynesian economics to head the Federal Reserve we can expect that Janet Yellen will fully support the continuation of President Obama’s stimulus policies trying to utilize Federal Government spending as the best way to invest in the economy. One might think that the past seven years of Presidents Bush and Obama stimulus spending with no real economic recovery to show for what has resulted in almost one trillion dollars per month added to the debt that at least a few would have figured out something was not working and the policy might have been flawed. The debt has risen to dangerous levels and as soon as a real recovery should begin the rising interest rates will make the debt payments untenable. There have been estimates that should the interest rates reach five percent the payments on the debt would approach a minimum of one third of the Federal budget. That should be a sobering truth that should worry any economist who desires to be honest and considers their predictions to have any realism. The real problem would be if the economy began to show signs of runaway inflation, then the Federal Reserve would need to consider some way in which they could reduce the speed of the increasing economic engines in order to corral inflation. The quickest and easiest way available to the Federal Reserve to slow runaway inflation is to raise interest rates. This is where the Federal Government runs into a problem as increasing interest rates will soon make the debt payments unmanageable. The Federal Government could influence the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates at the lower rates but only if they are willing to hike taxes significantly. Either through higher interest rates or seriously higher taxes are the sole solutions to runaway inflation as it is necessary to remove available levels of funds in order to curb inflation. Inflation is often the result when there is more cash available in the market which can occur when government increases spending in order to stimulate the economy. The problem during this economic period of lethargy has been that despite huge injections of cash into the system, there has been only a slow recovery. Eventually the economy has to respond to the available cash which currently is sitting in many of the major banks, the same banks whose top officials make up the Federal Reserve Board. Once the banks see that they can make gains investing their money by loaning as the interest rates increase the funds sitting in the banks will be loaned and thus enter the market. This inflow of additional funds into the economy will cause inflation, and the amount of funds currently sitting in banks could pose a huge influx of available funds which would give velocity to great volumes of monies thus pushing inflation. Things could become interesting as never before in history has such a reserve of available funds been resting in banks not circulating but with a potential to almost quadruple the amount of funds currently in circulation. That will result in rapid inflation and a perceived economic emergency which will require a miracle to solve without forcing a default on the debt.

 

Another problem we can talk about that is not part of the Middle East is the expanding influence which Russia is gathering. Russian President Putin appears to be steadily putting the Warsaw Pact back together under a different name. The current victim is the Ukraine which had been negotiating with the European Union. This caused Russian President Putin great amounts of consternation. In an attempt to ease his discomfort, Putin threatened the Ukraine to cut off all trade including any petroleum and natural gas sales and flow in or out of the Ukraine unless they rejected the trade agreement they had worked on for more than a year with the European Union and instead signed a trade partnership with Russia and basically gave Russia reserved status and sole trade partner. Putin’s threat worked and this has been a repeat occurrence of late. The people of the Ukraine have been protesting in the thousands to the point that they have closed down the central areas of the capital, Kiev. The leadership of the protests has requested assistance from the European Union and the United States. They have listed the questionable and outright illegal financial transactions on line hoping that the Western powers would assist their protests by freezing these funds of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. Where expecting the European Union to stand up against Putin is a fool’s game, the United States in normal times would be a reliable friend who could place some pressures on President Putin preventing his bullying the neighboring nations into strictly Russian oriented trade relations. In the past the United States had, somewhat foolishly, gone to the furthest corners of the planet in order to foster democracy with varying levels of disaster. The Ukraine is actually one place where democracy might have had a decent chance of succeeding but, alas, the United States is sitting this decade under President Obama (OK, only eight years) on the sidelines refusing to act in any conflict, situation or even golden opportunity. We are so sorry Ukraine as you will now face the same rejection from the Obama Administration which the Green Revolution leadership and the hopes of the thousands of Iranians which included businessmen for the first time ever in numbers who also hoped for assistance against the Ayatollahs from President Obama who refused to even discuss their plight, it did not serve his agenda of fundamentally transforming the United States from a beacon of hope into a dark recess of silence in the face of any challenge in the wide world. President Obama not only sat emotionless while the hopes in Iran were snuffed out violently, and is doing a repeat performance on the hopes of the people in the Ukraine, but also turned steady and solid former allies of the United States into snubbed and insulted nations wondering why their friend had turned so cold. The American people have not turned cold, only the resident of the White House has forsaken America’s friends. Unfortunately, so many believed the hype and were deprived of a truthful press as much of the liberal press decided that supporting the greatest domestic realignment and permanent change of government responsibilities completely disregarding almost every Constitutional limitation on the Federal Government rather than report anything that might have hurt the chosen one from reelection. That only required a complete ignorance of all things foreign policy and also ignoring the known disasters coming down the pike due to Obamacare. The foreign policy attitude of President Obama was made evident very early, like within the first few months, with his treatments of one of the United States longest and strongest allies, Britain, by sending back the present from the British in the form of a bust of Winston Churchill, giving presents which were completely inappropriate such as recordings of his own speeches to the Queen and video tapes which were unplayable on European video players to the Prime Minister. But what’s a few snubs between friends.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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