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

 

August 11, 2013

World Claims Iran is an Israeli Concern But…

Just for fun let’s take a quick look around the world and sample a few of the various beliefs and ideas concerning Iran; the Iranian nuclear program; the Iranian governing leaders; and Iranian influences including Syria, Hezballah, Lebanon, Hamas and a few other select places around the globe. For our first stop let’s pick China where Iran is seen as a source for oil and a place where investments have great potential along with some severe risks but as long as one can be patient, the potentials far outweigh the risks. Well, being China where time is measured in generations and framing events in such a way as to encourage them to go by fast, is slowly creeping its way into society, and is renowned for patience and no matter the urgency of whoever is the governing power. The people themselves have great faith in the long picture where centuries are the basic unit and each generation simply makes their contribution and then passes everything to the next generation to make their contribution with no real urgency to complete it in any single generation. China looks at Iran and visualizes great potential for development over the long haul going forward. China sees the current sanctions placed on Iran as a minor inconvenience as they have exempted themselves from obeying them and the rest of the world appears to accept this situation. China has continued to use Iranian oil and has invested in the Iranian energy markets for development. China has no real worries over the Iranian nuclear program and has developed a relative trust and good faith relationship with the Iranian leadership. China, when one gets down to the basic views, has no real problems with Iran and does not view Iran as any kind of threat, especially as far as China is concerned.

 

Next stop, Russia. The Russians also have relatively friendly relations with Iran. Much of the impetus behind this friendship is simply the Russian foreign policy, which places Russia on the opposite side of any foreign policy taken by the United States. The United States and their European allies have placed sanctions on the Iranians so the Russians naturally will seek to have good relations with Iran. The catch is that some within the Russian military and their foreign services have their suspicions and concerns over Iran as they view Iran as a potential future adversary and as a country which will become overly expansive at some future point. They have seen how Iran has slowly extended their subtle influences initially to Syria, then Lebanon, then a while later after the United States pulled out into Iran and there have been signs of Iranian influences meddling in Turkey. Russia has also seen Iran make some operational friendships with nations in South and Central America with their strongest relations with Venezuela and Nicaragua. And finally there have been the attempts by Iran to gain sources of Uranium from nation in the African Continent. Despite all of these potential problem areas the Russians have taken the side of backing Iran to some extent especially in any areas where Iran causes the United States troubles. As far as Iran having any potential as an immediate threat, the Russians appear to pretend that there is no imminent problem emanating from Iran and they downplay the existence of a nuclear threat being something requiring immediate action. The Russian view of Iran in much the same manner as China except that much of the Russian comfort with Iran is simply in order to counter the United States and make any action against Iran as difficult as possible.

 

Europe makes an interesting study of duplicitous behavior where one hand does not coordinate or even appear to know what the other hand is doing. On one side the Europeans have been even more strident than the United States when it comes to placing sanctions upon Iran over their troubling nuclear program. As time has passed and the concerns over the Iranian nuclear program have built the Europeans have often taken the lead in ratcheting up the sanctions but do not expect anything stronger than sanctions from the European nations or even the European Union. The Europeans have absolutely no interest in taking any form of military actions and would need to be pressed very hard to even have them actually state they approve of any military action. The European nations believe that having the Iranians develop nuclear weapons would be an extremely negative result as it would very likely trigger a nuclear arms race of the nations of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Such an arms race, especially a nuclear arms race, might even spread beyond the Muslim World and include much of the rest of the developing world in Asia, Africa and South and Central America. Resulting from such an arms race would be the uncertainty that some of these new nations with nuclear weapons might not be as averse to actually deploying them initiating an escalation forcing a similar response and all the horrors assigned to such an eventuality. But the Europeans comfort themselves in that they themselves are not likely to be directly targeted by any of these nuclear weapons and the theater where they might be deployed are most likely to be sufficiently distant so as to prevent the effects from reaching their shores. And then there is the simple fact that the European nations are not financially or militarily capable of launching and sustaining such operations.

 

Looking now to the United States we realize that what they say and what their actions appear to convey are not in sync. Every time that President Obama is pressed to discuss the Iranian nuclear program and the potential threat it poses his reply is exactly the same stated with the same bored meter displaying no emotion and just a hint of aggravation at having to state his presumably well-known position once again as he states, “I will not allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon.” His iteration of this claim definitely lacks the enthusiasm as another of President Obama’s repeated claims, the one where he claims, “bin Laden has been killed.” One might think that President Obama was leading the charge at least regarding sanctions but the United States often appears to need to be dragged kicking and screaming into any new sanctions which the Europeans had applied weeks or months earlier. The reality that betrays President Obama’s actual lack of resolve has been through his meetings and other dealings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. To say their relations have not quite been stellar is a bit of an understatement. President Obama appears to view any meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu in a similar vein as root canal surgery as he knows full well that no matter what else will be discussed he will be receiving an earful on Iran and the immediate dangers of not mounting a concrete plan to assure their nuclear program end now. President Obama is content to address the Iranian nuclear program and state how the Iranians are between twelve months to two years from being capable of building a nuclear weapon. The problem with this assessment is that this has been the stated prediction for when Iran would reach the point of no return since 2008 which does pose an obvious question, could Iran really be that incapable that over a five year stretch they have made little to no progress on their clandestine nuclear program? The final summation of the United States view is that if the Congress were making the decision there would be a greater possibility of military intervention preventing Iran from completing their nuclear weapons drive than if it is left to President Obama working with the State Department. The method they both have concluded would be the most intelligent and likely to succeed policy direction is a combination of sanctions along with diplomacy, and should these fail then Iran should be prevented from actually deploying their nuclear weapons through the use of deterrence by the same mutually assured destruction threat which managed to prevent a nuclear war from breaking out between East and West during the Cold War.

 

The last nation to consider is Israel. There has been much expectation that eventually Israel will launch a military action to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. Israel has also been guilty of stating their prediction of when Iran would reach the red line of being capable of producing a nuclear bomb, namely it has been two years off for as long as memory serves. Over the past year and a half intelligence services in Europe and the United States have determined that an Israeli military action against Iranian nuclear sites was imminent. At each of these moments a high level appointee from President Obama’s Administration, most usually from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Department or State Department has made an unannounced and probably unscheduled trip to Israel to hold emergency conferences with Prime Minister Netanyahu and related high level members of the IDF, Israeli intelligence services and the Prime Minister’s Security Cabinet. There has been a recent escalation by the Administration and President Obama against Israel to send the message that the United States will not tolerate any military interventions by Israel and is ready and willing to go to whatever lengths is necessary to undermine and intervene against such Israeli offences even against Syria, let alone Iran. This was behind the recent revelations from unidentified high United States sources from within President Obama’s Administration identifying Israel as the origin of attacks that destroyed weapons stores either in Syria or Lebanon which were reported to have been Syrian, Iranian or Russian weapons systems which may have been destined for Hezballah. These obvious leaks identified four recent attacks as having been committed by Israel including reporting the exact nature and method of attack. These intentional but unofficial leaks had an obvious intent at crippling Israel’s ability to use their normal method of denial leaving such attacks to be unproven as to who committed them. By embarrassing Israel and removing any doubts over Israeli actions President Obama has been sending Israel a definitive message that they shall not be permitted to commit any military action in a clandestine nature as there will be leaks revealing the truth of these operations. This is a definite betrayal of trust as Israel is suspected of giving the United States a heads-up before or at the time of such military actions as a courtesy and to prevent any misperceptions or conflicts between the two allies’ forces. One of Israel’s declared red lines has been any transfers of weapon systems which would significantly upgrade Hezballah military capabilities. This has included such systems as MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems), Surface to Ship Missiles such as the C-803 (YJ-83), anti-armor systems, chemical weapons as well as their delivery shells or systems and other game-changing weapons systems. Under these conditions Israel would be unable of mounting an attack on the Iranian nuclear weapons sites without the United States revealing the intended attack once the United States was informed of the impending action. So, apparently the United States has decided that Israel must not be allowed to attack the Iranian nuclear programs and President Obama will go to whatever length and use any resource at his disposal to betray the Israelis and protect the Iranians from fearing any surprise attacks from Israel. So, what will prevent the Iranians from producing nuclear weapons at their chosen time? Nothing; and that means that nothing will stand in the way of the worst of the worst fears and ramifications of such a development.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 4, 2011

How Soon We Have Forgotten Promises Past

We are less than a century past World War I, the War to End All Wars; how’s that working out for you. Also, we are around two generations after World War II with some of the most barbaric actions ever perpetrated by mankind with things like the Bataan Death March; the rape of Nanking; the brutal fighting on the Russian front with horrendous casualties on both sides; the fire bombings of Tokyo, Dresden, London, and others; and the Holocaust which systematically killed over 12 million people, among them six million Jews and countless aged, disabled, mentally challenged innocents, Roma, and political prisoners in camps set up to produce death in factory conditions. Now we are fast approaching yet another cataclysmic eruption which is promising to be the greatest cataclysm of all time.

When one thinks back over the period of men living in some semblance of legal framework, be it even as humble as the most basic of units, the city state, all told human civilization is no more than fifteen thousand years old. During that entire history peace has been the exception rather than the rule. Despite the stated intention of mankind to live in peace, security and some semblance of serenity, we have instead practiced war since we were wandering clans; then again as tribes, cities, city states, countries, empires, monarchies, all the way to modern societies. Until the use of nuclear weapons brought a conclusion to World War II, each series of conflicts seemed to bring higher levels of death in each century when compared to the previous century. During the history of man, there has not been one invented weapon which we did not avail ourselves in its usage, including the nuclear bomb. The only consolation is that this century either mankind will find a path to peace or mankind will find a final peace with none left to bury the dead. Those, it appears are our choices and the prognostication does not bode well.

Once again this past week Saudi Arabia declared their intention to continue their civilian nuclear program and added with brazen honesty that should Iran become nuclear weapon capable, then that would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East in which Saudi Arabia does not plan to be left out without their own arsenal. I remember a dream I had after watching my first Nostradamus show with the Quatrain mentioning the last World War which started “Out of the country of Greater Arabia Shall be born a strong master of Mohammed, He will enter Europe wearing a blue turban. He will be the terror of mankind. Never more horror.” The narrator interpreted this with a reference to this person coming from Iraq. As usual, my dream and subsequent thoughts on this particular Quatrain has always substituted Iran as the land that produced this blue turbaned terror, and I do realize that the Iranians are actually Persian and not Arab in their ancestry. With the Saudi proclamation of intent not to be left behind should Iran go nuclear, I am starting to think I may have been wrong and the truth may end up with the most obvious choice, Saudi Arabia. Wherever this person originates, if such should ever exist (I have little faith but a curious interest in Nostradamus and all supposed seers and their supposed predictions), the recent arousal of the Muslim world and their reemergence onto the world stage with another expansionary fit, we would be wise to be ever watchful as it appears that the Muslims do not consider nuclear weapons as something the usage of should be avoided but rather as the final equalizer making even the most backward and insignificant military force as formidable as the greatest powers on Earth. This view portends their intention of using nuclear weapons as a first strike attempt to level the playing field, if not tilting it in their favor, against longstanding enemies which they have never been able to best in conventional wars. These forces are obviously Israel, the European countries and the United States.

Where this whole situation becomes interesting is when we start to figure out where and against whom the resurgent Muslim forces, should they unify and actually start a conflict of aggressively expanding their influence and possessions, would use their first strike nuclear weapons. Contrary to the going thought, I do not believe their first target would be Israel, nor do I think their attack would use missiles as the delivery system. My thoughts are that they would indeed use a massive missile launch as a diversionary tactic to draw attentions away from their actual nuclear delivery systems. Their first strikes would most likely be against either the United States or Great Briton. Let’s look at each in greater detail.

First, we will look at the United States as that scenario is far more straight forward. Despite the appearance thus far of the success made with the use of stealth jihad by the numerous Islamic front groups, many of which have one of three initial sources; the Wahhabis with their Saudi oil money who finance Fatah, the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade; the Muslim Brotherhood which also is behind Hamas, al-Qaeda and other terror groups; and Iran who are the financiers of Hezballah as well as Hamas and al-Qaeda. It is my contention that these groups are approaching the end of their influence as more and more Americans are getting wise to their tactics and goals and will reject and resist them with ever growing solidarity. Yes, we will always have those ever so unamusing useful idiots such as those who are attempting, as I write, to get out of a Greek port and confront, peaceably of course, the IDF Navy in the name of relieving the nonexistent humanitarian crises in Hamas run Gaza on the ever so aptly named ship, the Audacity of Hope. But these people are an extremely small minority whose major ability is to be excessively loud in their protest that they are being denied the right to be heard. Even the dead can hear these imbeciles. Once these Islamist superiority “civil rights” groups are revealed for the fifth columnists they truly are, their effectiveness will end as will their being welcome on American shores. This would force the Islamists to resort to a more violent approach. It is towards this end that Iran is currently placing their longest range missiles in Venezuela and is probably attempting to arrange a similar deal to stage launch stations in Nicaragua with the ever sympathetic anti-American Daniel Ortega. These bases will not be used to launch nuclear tipped missiles as having nuclear weapons in these locations would be detected and cause a confrontation before Iran was ready. The worst these weapons might carry would be biologic or chemical weapons but most likely would have explosive and incendiary warheads or even possibly dummy warheads as they would be used as a diversion from their actual attack, which would probably be of a nuclear nature. Their main attack would be launched from ships, or subs if they can procure any missile capable varieties, which would arrive at their launch locations times within minutes of the scheduled launch to minimize or eliminate any suspicious loitering time at station. This would be a version of their swarm tactic of attack, the same style of attack as the Iranians have practiced in many of their war gaming. Most of the initial targets would be within three to four hundred miles from the coasts thus allowing the minimal amount of time to react and intercept moderate range missiles. A secondary attack would probably come subsequent in an attempt to hit targets further inland. After such an attack, the United States would have to resort to massive casualty attacks upon whoever is suspected of initiating the war.

England, and Western Europe as a whole, is a different scenario all together. The Islamic infiltration and stealth jihad is far more developed in Europe and the Muslims have succeeded with their immigration jihad by a combination of newer arrivals being from among radicalized Muslims while also radicalizing second and third generation Muslim youth using their lack of assimilation into European society. Where many have expressed the feelings that Europe is a lost cause and the Islamists will simply win through the ballot box and intimidation, I must disagree. Looking back at history, the Moorish Muslims had near complete control of the Iberian Peninsula, yet the Spanish and later the Portuguese threw off the Islamic yoke starting around 1492 as well as expelling their Jewish populations. In time, the Muslim influences throughout most of Europe was forced to retreat and well before World War I the Ottoman Empire had lost its hold and was teetering at the precipice. It was solely due to outside support from Russia, among others, that the Ottoman Empire did not collapse until after World War I when it no longer was feasible to continue the façade. There is one thing that Europe has been extremely proficient at throughout its checkered history, and that is spilling large amounts of blood in viscous wars, pogroms, purifications, and just plain old simple wars. Eventually, the Europeans will react against the aggression of their Muslim minority and after a great amount of bloodletting, they will return to their semi stupor until the next catastrophe is upon them. I seriously doubt anybody reading this will believe me, so let’s just leave it at that and wait and see, OK? Thank you.

It is finally time to address why Israel, despite all the protestations, will not be the first target of the next Muslim Islamist wars of expansion. There are a number of reasons; the most prevalent one is the Islamist and Muslim leaders know that they must have that one unifying hatred to keep the people unified, especially if things start to go horribly wrong and their forces start facing defeat. There is no replacement for Israel and the Jews controlling the world to explain away even the worst of all possible scenarios in the Muslim world. They have been using the battle cry of it is the Jews since the first days when Mohammed first began his conquests in the Arabian Peninsula. The first people he destroyed and/or exiled were the Jews. The other problem is the Muslim leaders all know full well what the Samson Option is which the Israelis will employ as they go down if they should realize all is lost. They are aware that Israel, like the biblical Sampson, will bring the entire house down should they fall. On that day, may G-d forbid such a day, the world will know exactly how many nuclear weapons were in the Israeli arsenal by counting the number of Muslim cities throughout the world that no longer exist and multiply that number by three. The Islamists realize that even should they defeat Israel, by doing so they will no longer have the ability to carry the fight any further, thus they are forced to leave Israel for last so that Israel would be unable to take away the Muslim victory and final realization of World conquest. So, Israel represents two essential parts of the Muslim plans to conquer the Earth. Should things not go well, Israel is their scapegoat upon which all blame can be placed. Secondly, Israel will be the final conquest as doing so earlier would bring an overwhelming force to bear should they succeed and a simple humiliation if they should lose once again to little Israel. So, those who believe that they can rest assured that the Islamic conquest will begin with Israel, do not sleep too comfortably, you very well might be terribly wrong in that assumption.

Beyond the Cusp

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