Beyond the Cusp

May 8, 2016

North Korea Threat Update

 

Recent satellite surveillance of North Korea has shown a greater number of vehicles parked and coming and going from the nuclear test control center just a few kilometers away from their actual test site though little activity has been photographed at the test site. The lack of photo evidence of deliveries or activity at the actual test site could be timed to only be visible between the known scheduled overfly times of the satellites which are not exactly a well-kept secret. This activity is additionally suspicious as the Party hierarchy has opened the first full congress of its ruling party since 1980. Ruling Dictator Kim Jong Un will be in attendance but the media will not as the Party Congress is being held behind closed doors. This has raised the suspicions that Kim Jong Un may be using the Congress to shuffle leadership positions and a capping of the Congress with another nuclear test of a hydrogen thermonuclear device as exclamation point launch. This would be their fifth nuclear test and possibly the third of their hydrogen bomb.

 

Taking all of these events and potential for a shakeup of the leadership along with the mixed but largely successful testing of launching of ballistic missile from a submerged, it has become obvious that virtually every city on Earth has now become within strike range from North Korean missiles. The size and range of such a submarine launch has not been determined but it is thought the current proven booster used in the tests only have about a two hundred kilometer range. Still, this placed most Capital Cities of Western World nations within range, particularly the United States. The progress made in new weapons and weapons delivery technologies has made North Korea a threat to many nations in their immediate area from Japan to China and Russia and beyond with their submersed launch capability. Should there be a nuclear test by North Korea then much of the bellicose sabre rattling may require a more serious consideration as to whether any of their threats may have actual substance.

 

Analysis from 38 North said the imagery of the Punggye-ri test site control center has shown really heavier than usual activity as noted above. The suspicions were raised as this increase in activity coinciding with the Party Congress and the fact that Kim Jung Un would be personally leading the Party Congress and that it was an all-inclusive Congress, a rarity in North Korea. The fact that both events appear to be scheduled so close together, this has raised the interest of the experts and amateurs in putting forth their thoughts on the reasoning and what the results might be. Prognostications are always a tricky business, especially for bloggers whose sources do not exactly include Pentagon experts, but we try anyways. We are expecting some shake-up of the Party mid-level officials altering the preferred individuals for future top Party positions. The high level Party officials will likely not be shuffled though some alterations of responsibilities may be switched from one department to another most likely to improve efficiency. If there are higher level changes, they will rotate around military commanders. We expect the officers who worked on the submarine submerged launch capabilities to be honored at the meeting and perhaps some leading people put on their next project while junior commanders will take charge of completing and perfecting the submerged firing capability to assure it approaches perfection and dependability and potentially attempting to attempt launches from deeper depths.

 

Should there actually be another test of a thermonuclear device, we can expect the leadership to perfect a miniaturized warhead deliverable through the submerged launch booster thus making the weapon truly a threat worldwide. They may also have them working on a thermonuclear warhead which will have a selectable yield programmed before deployment thus permitting selecting the desired yield such that any additional collateral damage could be minimized. The one side effect from any test will be the providing of the United States and other nations to gather more data and perhaps discern the intended use of the weapons. There are those who theorize that the hydrogen device is not being used as a thermonuclear device in the traditional blast-wave destruction mode but as a super EMP (electromagnetic pulse) device. The amount of damage a normal atomic bomb produces as an EMP would be capable of bringing down the North American electric grid blacking out Canada as well as the United States. The advantage of using a thermonuclear warhead as a super EMP device is quite frightening as the additional power for any usage would also apply to it being utilized as a Super EMP which could be detonated even at any height and simply relatively close to the optimum location and still produce sufficient EMP energy to more than make-up for any miss of the optimum location and height for the detonation.

 

Those whose job it is to worry and discern all things North Korea and has to keep everything updated will necessarily be watching, listening and monitoring as things progress and then making the reports, some of which will hopefully be made public so we all can use it. Meanwhile, we will keep an ear to the ground and listen for the reverberations as well as the ramifications of any nuclear test, missile launch or artillery barrages emanating from North Korea which has become less stable and even less predictable under Kim Jung Un which likely has added to their cooperation and technology sharing with Iran which makes both nations additionally dangerous. The world must contemplate Iranian missile technology married to North Korean nuclear weapons technology and additionally North Korean submarine submerged launch capability and both North Korea and Iran have become dangerous and hegemonic in their ends of Asia and the Middle East. They are a constant threat to all nations anywhere near either one and only India and Israel are capable of challenging them, and those could become hard pressed should an arms race be launched, especially in the Middle East which any such race will see Saudi Arabia buying all the devices they would initially require from Pakistan and then use whatever plans they would need from Pakistan and potentially raw materials as well. Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Oman and potentially any combination of MENA (Middle East North Africa) nations could develop or otherwise acquire nuclear weaponry and the delivery systems turning the MENA tinder box into a nuclear tinder box where everyone is smoking, heavily and too many are being careless with where they throw their lit matches. There is one situation paralleled to this which makes North Korea seem less threatening which can be found simply looking past India to the heart of the Middle East. There you find Iran threatening all and backing the worst of the worst all while making promises to wipe all of Israel from the map. Iran has recently tested some modified and improved ballistic missiles which have sufficient range to strike France but when having an exercise with testing launches of ballistic missiles they had on them “Israel should be wiped off the Earth” written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic, after all, must have the easy to read propaganda for the home front. Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t that!

 

 

Israel must be wiped out written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic after all must have the easy to read propaganda for the home front Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t thatWhen having an exercise with testing
launches of ballistic missiles they had on them
“Israel should be wiped off the Earth”
written on the missiles in Hebrew and Arabic,
after all, must have the easy to read propaganda
for the home front. Sure frames their mindset, doesn’t that!

Beyond the Cusp

 

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April 15, 2016

Where Have the Zionists Gone?

 

With the Jewish support for Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders being gauged and taking flak from Jewish Republicans and many Zionists even from the Democrat Party, some editorialists are wondering why the relative silence challenging the Jewish support. Many believe, whether backed by fact or not, that Hillary Clinton would be better for Israel of the two Democrat hopefuls challenging to represent the party in November. There is an easy answer to this quandary by simply looking at the voting record of Jewish voters in the last two Presidential elections where in the United States close to 80% of American Jews supported President Obama while over 80% of Jewish Americans residing in Israel voted against President Obama. This provides the answer that the vast majority of Zionists have already realized their dream and made their move to Israel and those who remain as Jews residing in American have drifted away from concerns about Israel and aligned with leftist politics over concerns for support of Israel.

 

 

Israeli Flag

Israeli Flag

 

 

We realized this when we were preparing to realize our dream and make Aliyah to Israel and the reactions of the congregation in Oklahoma. Where the Rabbi was very supportive and the few Republican conservatives were also supportive the majority had one simple question, why were we going to Israel and what was our problem with living in America, was that not good enough for us? To many of these Jews moving to Israel was not a realization of the Jewish dream of returning to our ancient home as much as it was performing an act of hatred and loss of faith in the United States. The reality was that the decision which brought us to Israel was made by one of us around fifty years earlier as a youth who realized very early that the pull to return to the Jewish homeland has grabbed them and had decided that once all the parents were cared for the time to realize the dream would be addressed. Where that obligation was met in a way unanticipated, we came when it had been satisfied or at least started the paperwork. It is remarkable how difficult it can be to document an entire life to the satisfaction of governments, any government. After many, many months we had completed our documentation and realized we had had full lives, or at least almost a book’s worth of documentable life between us. We still want the best for the United States and will vote and even continue to vote for our former Representative though we will not likely vote on the individual questions which dot every election ballot but as we still have friends and a son residing in our former district we still want the best for them and will likely consult to make sure we grasp the choices for the different candidates.

 

Yes we participate and vote here in Israel and are beginning to understand the parliamentary system of voting for party and their lists and realize its shortcomings which have granted us a greater appreciation for the direct election for the American President as against getting whoever the party that makes the governing coalition decides should be Prime Minister. In order to vote for the person you want to be Prime Minister you need to accept the slate of party ministers listed and hope the ones farthest down the list, the ones you know virtually nothing about, and neither do most others you talk with, are in the government as you need the party of the desired Prime Minister get the most seats. So, everywhere has its appeal and its not so appealing which makes sense on some level and thus wherever one goes there are those benefits and deficits and the sums often are quite surprisingly near identical. So, for those friends who wondered why we would leave America and who claimed we would regret the move we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there are things where the United States has great advantages over life in Israel and then there are some things so much greater in Israel. The straightforwardness of politics in the United States and the variety of products available in the stores and malls in the United States have no equal we have found thus far and we are comparing places of relative same size populations except we have yet to spend a week in Tel Aviv (which we have sort of renamed Los Angeles) which might have everything materialistically while the quality and social life here is beyond imagination as the people are by in large very much more accommodating and friendly and it is so much more natural to just be Jewish, no surprise there.

 

The reality is the Jews remaining in the United States are wholly Americanized Jews with almost none if any Zionists remaining in any congregation. The American Zionists are here in Israel with some exercising dual citizenship and others having completely transited and are Israeli only. A small number reside in both nations as they have business interests in the United States which require their presence so they make regular visits, business trips, to the United States. Many of the Jews from the United States and the Anglosphere are retired and some still make trips back to their native country as they have family and this means grandchildren, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and other events which they choose to attend. Some of us have insufficient funds for such luxuries and making such a visit would take a concerted amount of savings to make such a trip so any such trip would be extensive as we would desire to visit family and friends which lie spread across the United States.

 

 

Let’s Run Them Up Any Flag Pole and See Who Salutes Them Smartly Showing Your Love of Freedom and Feel Free to Add Your Flag if the Moment Grabs You as You See This Pair of the Flags for Freedom

Let’s Run Them Up Any Flag Pole
and See Who Salutes Them Smartly
Showing Your Love of Freedom
and Feel Free to Add Your Flag
if the Moment Grabs You as You
See This Pair of the Flags for Freedom

 

 

There is one last advantage in Israel, the climate. With no snow or ice along the coast and residing a mere five blocks from the Mediterranean Sea one could claim to have retired to the Riviera of Israel as the weather here resembles San Diego more than anywhere else in the United States, especially Michigan, Oklahoma or the Washington D.C. area where winters can be more disasters caused by serious snowstorms. We would like to say we miss these wintery mixes, well; actually no we don’t miss such wintery blustery weather. We will take the mildly chilly and wet winter weather which makes a serious winter bluster for as long as six to ten weeks where it actually can get into the low 40o F which when it is also raining means hunkering down in place and waiting it out until it at least stops raining. Here in Israel there are those who don their winter coats while others wear their shorts and sandals no matter the weather, even the most blustery of days. Guess which group are Sabras, local Israelis. For those who do not know, a Sabra is both a native born Israeli and a cactus and both are said to have a prickly outer layer but a soft, gushy and sweet inside which in the cactus is edible and in native Israelis comes out as soon as you make a connection with them. The majority of Israelis speak English and many speak Russian as well as Hebrew. There is said that there will be an influx of French speakers we just do not know where they may settle.

 

The one misconception we encountered from our American friends is that due to terrorism living in Israel is unsafe and outright dangerous. We have gotten a handle on the reality and after some research found some unexpected realities. Crime in the United States has a greater possibility of striking one’s life than crime and terror combined in Israel. The similarity is that as long as you avoid known places where such threats are more likely one can mitigate almost completely any threat from anything untoward. So, all things considered, at least for us, Israel has a better quality of life though some things a very different. Instead of living outside of town and relying completely on a vehicle to get around we live right next door to City Hall and can walk nearly everywhere we need to get to in town. When we need to go elsewhere such as for medical appointments the Israeli trains are clean, comfortable, affordable and convenient. For places the trains do not have tracks there are options such as busses or shared taxis which hold eight to twelve people and are very reasonably priced and will drop one near or at where one needs to go. The only drawback is they pick up at set locations so one might need to walk almost a whole kilometer to get to the pickup points. Basically, a car is a luxury and one which is not really necessary. Will we get a car some day, perhaps but such is not a priority. Meanwhile life is good and the Zionists do appear to almost all reside here. The Jews remaining in the United States, as everywhere where Jews are largely assimilated; well, should they continue to have an easy acceptance, they will assimilate and likely cease to be practicing Jews and within two generations be completely secularized and not identify as Jews. Then again, the situation could turn ugly slowly across the entirety of the Western World even including the United States and these assimilated Jews who thought they were completely secularized and not actually Jews would find themselves treated as being very Jewish and if they are fortunate they will be able to get to Israel where whatever the drawbacks, at least being a Jew is not one of them.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 14, 2016

One Shot Out of Four is All We’ve Got

 

Europe appears to be hell-bent on committing suicide and not exactly taking the slow road about it. The introduction was all Angela Merkel with her promise to have room to absorb 800,000 Syrian refugees a year for the foreseeable future. The invitation appeared to reach a few more than the planned 800,000 and apparently somewhere towards three or four times as her presumed limit. The response was so monumental that every European country could have been a new home to their own half a million and some received that gratis before they could act to close their borders. A few countries saw sanity and kept their borders closed except for those on a train passing straight through without even stopping for a break and a brew. Now Europe in many parts is experiencing the pleasures of refugees running wild, and it is not a reality show title but the reality running loose on their streets. New Year’s Eve celebrations had some extra and unwanted gusto especially for any native women venturing out anywhere, especially the central train stations in any city, sizeable or quaintly small. There are many looking to the United States hoping that the electorate will realize the threats now straining the bounds of civility poised to dissolve all sanity along with all the Western World’s graciousness. The threat is impolite, boorish and horrifically violent. But the American public appears to be enamored with electing a high school senior class president than a leader of the democratic, free, liberal Western World.

 

There were seventeen Republican candidates and four Democrat candidates well into the campaign and we are now down to four apparent survivors and three of the four would be just as Americentric as President Obama has been with a similar isolationist policy outlook. Their presidential outlook would stop at the border and would only differ in their treatment of the southern border with Mexico where one promises to build a wall while the others would install an easy access walkthrough with neon lights claiming open for business. The only one who understands the threats facing our world and the distinct possibility of a new dark ages shrouding any further scientific advancement ending the hopes for a bright future with promise of medical miracles and exploration reaching out and taking the first baby steps into the cosmos all hanging by a thin thread which requires our constant vigilance and protection, our constant mending and reinforcement; otherwise it breaks and we plunge back into the darkness of suspicions and loss of curiosity. That begs the question of what are the possibilities that civilization which prizes curiosity and ventures into the unknown always striving to find the next challenge and then meeting it with inventiveness and spirit constantly striving to know more, to understand why, how and sometimes even what might be the next discovery, the next level to strive and reach beyond what the last generation accomplished. That is what hangs threatened and with it the hope for cures for diseases, crop yields and fresh water derived from land now unusable and water unpotable, new energy generation which is green, plentiful and affordable. The world of machines with artificial intelligence and automation replacing tedious jobs freeing mankind to chase dreams and pursue that which was beyond belief just a few decades back. What is at stake is whether we will continue to strive for new technical heights and progress matching or exceeding that which took us from Kitty Hawk and a flight of 12 seconds and 120 feet to the moon in 66 years. Where will man be when the next sixty-six years has passed and it is 2035? Will we be reaching Mars and have built a space station with space dock for building the next generation of space travel built in space purely for space and have a moon base with monitoring telescopes of every variation taking advantage of the lack of interfering atmosphere? Will we be chasing a thousand dreams or will we be locked in an eternal conflict pitting one against his brother where no one wins and society and advancement are the biggest losers? Where do we wish to go with the future? That is the only question which should be on the minds of every voter in the United States, Europe and the entirety of the advanced industrial and information world as there truly are clouds on the horizon and that horizon is falling closer and closer and in some places it seems to have arrived bringing the threat of an eternal darkness. We have choices. They neither are not necessarily pleasant choices nor are they easy choices. Nobody enjoys even discussing the choices but we have been here before and we had better not make the same mistakes again as the consequences are far more dire this time around the merry-go-round.

 

 

One in Four Knows the Score For if Wrong you Choose Your Freedom You Lose

One in Four
Knows the Score
For if Wrong you Choose
Your Freedom You Lose

 

 

Every election which comes will be the choice and we need to choose studiously and with great caution. The last time we faced such a threat it was from amongst our own house and we almost threw away our last hope. We cannot afford to make such a mistake again as the weapons of war have changed and even an intelligent high school science whiz-kid is capable of building an atomic bomb for his science fair project. Such a bomb would be clumsy, large, and require a cement truck to carry it making it undeliverable, but such could still be driven in said cement truck to its target. We played games and pretended that it is beyond the scientific and industrial ability for North Korea to produce a deliverable weapon and we now realize how wrong we were as they are capable of placing a device on a medium range ballistic missile and striking anywhere in Japan, South Korea, China, Hawaii, Australia or anyplace within that radius and within a few years that missile will be an ICBM capable of reaching anywhere on the planet with a thermonuclear warhead. We are pretending currently that Iran is thus limited and that is a pipe dream which could be turned into a nightmare at any time. The reality is that these countries have scientists just as capable as any in the free world as they attended the same universities often at our expense as a matter of if we allow them scientific advancement they would be less likely to wage war. What if we were sorely mistaken? After all, we allowed North Korea to advance and produce such weapons and the means to deliver them very soon to anyplace on the planet, likely they already are capable of such. While we are listing nations in some of the trouble prone areas known to have nuclear weapons we can add Israel, Pakistan and India to the list. These are in addition to the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and with the technical knowledge we can add Japan, Canada, Taiwan and likely quite a few more if they felt a pressing need. All in all the world is armed to the brink of turning much of the planet into a smelting pot of smoking ruins incapable of supporting much if any life, let alone human life. The world has never been closer to the theme of the movie On the Beach as it is today and the one guarantee is each day places that alternative that much closer. Where nuclear disarmament is a wonderful idea and would be a great stride towards a safer world, until there is a surefire method of assuring complete compliance worldwide it is just that, a nice dream.

 

The time is approaching where we begin to be on the wrong side of the warning given by Winston Churchill when he explained the choice fast approaching his England and the free world of the 1930s, the same world which relegated him to obscurity as they called him an old fool and a war monger and then turned to him to save them when they realized almost too late the monster they had allowed the time needed to become all but unstoppable. We should heed that warning as well as Winston Churchill stated to his peers saying,

 

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.

 

My driving question is where is and who can be our Winston Churchill as we need to find that individual before it is too late. Reviewing the leaders of our carious nations and there are a few candidates but none who possess the full range of guts, intellect, eloquence, command of language and that spark necessary to lead into the teeth of adversity with steadfastness and audacity all while bringing forth the nest from others elevating all in their midst. The combination required comes around only once a century and I pray it is not so soon that Winston Churchill was that person for our time as well. One need remember that he warned of Hitler when none cared to listen, he warned of communism and coined the phrase Iron Curtain which he said had fallen over half of Europe and opposed FDR and the virtual surrender to Stalin but bowed to necessity of a second front and he warned of another dehumanizing catharsis which took on the disguise of a religion. Perhaps he was the man for our season as well and we will have to take his guidance and fight for his memory and allow his words to steel our nerves for the storm that approaches. There is a storm brewing on the horizon and we can only hope there will be sunlight when we reach the other side.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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