Beyond the Cusp

April 28, 2016

It’s Final and It’s Clinton and Trump


Sure it is still possible for Cruz/Kasich or Bernie Sanders to steal the limelight with the teaming up of Cruz/Kasich to temporarily stop Trump or for Bernie to turn the world on its head and win the nomination outright, but pigs have a better chance of flying. So we may as well face it that the United States election will place a criminal against an egotistical buffoon. Such a choice will likely produce the smallest turnout for a Presidential election in American history with over half the eligible voters blowing off the election out of sheer disinterest. The election will be won by whichever of the two candidates sickens their base less than the other. Call it the election where large portions will be voting for the one that makes them less ill. The question must seriously be looked at as to what each Presidency would look like and what the world can expect.


Hillary will quite likely be the more predictable of the two as she will be a true leftist performing exactly as advertised. She will continue to spend on social issues taking it from the military. She will cut the NASA budget and we will hear repeatedly about the billions of dollars going to NASA and how such expenditures cannot be justified when the social issues are so dire. She will raise taxes even further on businesses forcing even more companies to flee from what will be an even more oppressive atmosphere. Amnesty for illegal immigrants will be a given and will include a number of millions additional from the troubled Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The flood gates will open for Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi, Libyan, and who knows where else from the failing MENA nations and will be brought in as Europe refuses to accept millions of these immigrants and their nations of origin will disavow them leaving them as people without a country until Hillary rides to their rescue. All financing will be returned to Planned Parenthood. All this and more will result if Hillary has a democratic Congress, especially if they remake the rules preventing filibusters in the Senate by requiring a mere majority vote for cloture as was enacted early in President Obama’s first term.


Clinton vs Trump

Clinton vs Trump


There will also be a push towards raising the minimum wage above $12.00 and eventually up to $15.00 an hour. This will speed up the automation of fast food service centers, calling such a restaurant would be a stretch. The first company amongst the burger giants to come out with a completely automated service and retrieval and cleaning using robotic servers and cleaning robotic units, especially if they appear humanoid but still obviously robotic to avoid that gulch where they are too humanlike but just enough off to be spooky. We believe the term for such robots are they are in the Uncanny Valley where they freak people out and make them uncomfortable. Unemployment will skyrocket along with the minimum wage hike as more and more jobs simply disappear either through automation of certain sectors of industry or simply fleeing to Asia and other places of lower production costs.


There will be pressure by the green movement to tighten pollution standards and a strong push to tax gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles to higher prices making electric vehicles more attractive. Expect a European style carburetor tax or even cylinder tax with a tax based on number of cylinders where production of a car has such a tax pushing the prices skyward. Gasoline taxes will also push gas to European levels or higher. Expect a mileage tax to be levied with GPS mileage tracking systems required on all cars including retrofitting older vehicles. If such a requirement makes keeping your old vehicle on the road too expensive to install the GPS mileage tracking system, enjoy walking or the bus. Automated trucking with self-driving vehicles will become more common. This too might also be another item built into the GPS mileage tracking where every vehicle signals its GPS location, direction and speed which can be read by the automated vehicles to assist them in driving decisions. Such systems could also automate speeding tickets as your speed would be recorded at all times and exceeding the speed limit could result in an automated system sending you a ticket for each violation. Who needs speed cameras when the vehicle itself can turn itself in for speed violations? Cities might even enact car free zones where vehicles are forbidden forcing people to use mass transit. All this and more could be a result of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.


Donald Trump will be far more difficult to predict as it will depend largely on whom he appoints as his Cabinet and advisors. The biggest danger of a Trump Presidency would be if his policies become unpredictable, especially in economic programs. Should he start one set of economic programs and after five or six months not have the results he desired so he changes the game and again every four to six months then investors will sit on their money as such a game would become too risky and they would turn into risk adverse investors placing their investments in predictable sectors or overseas. Trump might react to pressures from ecology lobbies and make some concessions and it would depend on which as to the effect. CAFÉ standards might be increased demanding higher MPG ratings for vehicles. Taxes on businesses would likely be lowered which would be a positive; and minimum wage, where it may be raised, would not approach $15.00 which would permit for lower unemployment numbers.


Certain advances are going to be unavoidable. The driverless automated trucks are coming and there is no preventing that short of making them illegal, not going to happen. Mileage taxes will be levied by the individual states even if not done by the Federal Government. Requiring GPS reporting mileage and possibly constant recording and reporting trip data to the government is coming and will be used to try and force driverless vehicles to replace human drivers even before the technology is perfected, though it is very close, which is why it will be unavoidable. Trump might actually listen to the car manufacturers and allow for hydrogen powered vehicles as an alternative to electric cars. What the ecology lobby does not want people to know is that electric cars do little to lessen pollution and just change the location of the pollution as charging the electric cars requires greater output by power plants most of which burn fossil fuels with extra demand making up for the pollution presumably not produced by driving gasoline powered vehicles. The hydrogen powered vehicles exhaust is water vapor and its main pollution is thermal as the exhaust is in the form of steam predominantly. Perhaps some system could be installed which would permit some degree of condensation before release into the atmosphere, but the efficiency of such a system would need to be proven before any great claims could be made.


The area where either a Trump or a Clinton Presidency would be most in doubt would be foreign policy. Hillary might be more willing to intervene militarily and then leave too quickly after declaring job accomplished which may or may not be a better policy providing the parties understand that intervention remains an option if things are not improved after any regime change. Another Libyan style disaster would serve nobody. Trump, on the other hand, is a complete unknown and the sole plus is that as a complete unknown and with his reputation as being somewhat unstable and capable of flying off the handle, other nations might be tempered in their desires to test a President Trump. There will always be at least one foreign country which will test any new President and how they react to such a test can set the mood for the remainder of their term. After the Bay of Pigs disaster Khrushchev tested President Kennedy by shipping nuclear capable missiles into Cuba sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis and the rest is history. Needless to say there were no more tests after President Kennedy literally blockaded Cuba and prevented any additional missile deliveries and demanded the removal of those already in place. Things got a good deal quieter after that faceoff.


What will be the test for the incoming President? We predict it would likely come via the situation in what used to be Syria and potentially Iraq and could be either from Russia or Islamic State. There is the already existing threat in the South China Sea with the Chinese literally building and arming islands right in the heart of the existing sea lanes forcing shipping to detour adding hundreds of miles to the routes between Japan and Asia as they need to circumnavigate around these Chinese newly-fashioned and militarized islands. These also could be utilized to prevent any reinforcement in a timely manner of Taiwan should China finally attempt to make good on their standing threat to restore their province which they claim Taiwan actually should be. Then there is the challenge which is sure to be presented by Iran as they continue to flaunt their disregard for any limitations presumably set by the Iran deal which likely was simply an agreement that Iran not announce or test a nuclear weapon until after President Obama has set off for golfing and placing his Presidential Library between the ninth hole and tenth tee next to the clubhouse on his Presidential Golf Course. Foreign challenges are always an area where second guessing is commonplace as nobody can predict everything accurately as there is always that surprise awaiting around every corner. The one predictable item is foreign powers are less likely to challenge Trump than they are Clinton. That might be a very seriously bad mistake, period. Hillary Clinton could be their worst nightmare if she was having a bad hair day when they pushed her; she could be far more vicious and unpredictable than Trump could ever be. Trump, though potentially unpredictable, would at least be relatively logical even if that logic might be unfathomable to some. Hillary Clinton would be simply terrifying should she feel threatened or being made a fool of or made to appear hesitant and weak as she would be more likely to overreact to any situation and press it to unnecessary levels or even use overwhelming force where a strong show of force without pulling the trigger was all that was necessary to end the threat peacefully. We have far more trepidation when it comes to Hillary over Donald when it comes to foreign threats despite both being unpredictable. No matter which wins there will be no telling the results until either has settled in and the initial actions and reactions have been initiated.


The final item is Israel. Trump will depend on who his advisors are on foreign policy, but we believe he will be more even handed and accommodating regarding Israel once he is made fully appreciative of the situation. Trump will need to weigh what the Pentagon and Defense Department give him and what the State Department tells him. With such conflicting information, he will necessarily have to choose and hopefully will have visited Israel and talked to both sides and gotten his measure of the land. Hillary Clinton will likely make President Obama appear to have been a supporter of Israel and best of friends with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We already are fully aware of the lack of good relations between Bibi and Hillary and the special hate she holds for Israel. Expect the chill between Israel and the United States to become an ice age under Hillary with no possible thaw and open threats to become commonplace from the White House to Jerusalem. There will be nobody to answer the calls from Hillary as her animosity is well known in Israel and she will manage to even alienate the Israeli left within the first year of her screeching demands for Israel to surrender completely to Abbas. Any dealing with Hillary by Israel would be suicidal. Trump may initially be an unknown but would at least not enter the situation convinced of their preconceived notions as Hillary would be, and she would be completely anti-Israel no matter what lies she told AIPAC.


Beyond the Cusp


August 30, 2012

New Fuel Efficiency Regulations Huge Hidden Effect on Ecosystems

During the distractions of both Hurricane Isaac hitting New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and the Republican National Convention and the affirmation of the Party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the Obama Administration rolled out new CAFÉ Standards that automobile manufacturers are going to have to meet in the future. The new standards are set by the Transportation Department in cooperation with the EPA and were announced to gradually increase to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The Administration made a claim that each car owner could save as much as $8,000.00 in fuel savings per year. An Administration spokesperson related that the automobile manufacturers were enthusiastically supporting the new standards, like they actually have any choice or were allowed much in the way of influence and input as to the attainability of meeting the new standards. But what about the little other changes these new standards will force. Exactly how will these higher standards actually affect the average car buyer? But first, let us look at the great affects this move will have on the ecosystems.


The first and most evident is these higher gas mileage vehicles will likely have lower emissions with the higher mileage requirements. They will have less metal, which is a good thing; and likely a lot more plastic parts, which is a bad thing. The higher priced vehicles will be using high tech materials such as carbon fiber and ceramics which is a mixed bag as it depends on the manufacturing processes which will determine their affect. They will also have a different influence when the vehicles are recycled, some of these newer materials may not be as easily recycled as are steel and aluminum, two items we are very practiced at recycling and have been for a very long time, especially iron and steel. And should the automobile manufacturers make revolutionary new discoveries for production using radical and exotic materials, the recycling or proper manner of disposing of these new items and materials will also have an impact on our ecological society and the health of both. As is often the case, the new CAFÉ Standards will introduce a whole new series of ecological challenges which will need to be addressed. Now we can look at some of the other changes these requirements may bring forth.


There was no mention reporting on how much more the average car will cost consumers which may take a decade of actual savings in fuel, which never do quite make it to the heights that are expected. Then there is the added dangers from cars which will have to be made lighter which will force automobile manufacturers to use even thinner aluminum, more plastic parts in the more economical models, which is not necessarily a good change, or more carbon fiber parts in the high-end vehicles, which is a very good thing for those who can afford those models. So, for the most part and on average, those people who are restricted due to finances or other reasons are relegated to purchasing the lesser priced cars which will contain lighter body panels, possibly made from plastics or extremely thin alloys of aluminum will be in cars that have a much lower survivability quotient in case of an accident. On the other side, with the use of advanced carbon fiber in the higher priced models, those driving these vehicles will have a much higher survivability quotient. So, once again the initial impact of higher CAFE Standards will force many younger drivers into lighter and more dangerous vehicles along with those who can only afford a modestly priced model and the wealthy and those who manage to afford the high end vehicles will be driving much safer vehicles. On the other side of the coin, likely the safest people on the roads may very well be those who are unable to purchase a new car and continue to drive an older vehicle from today’s CAFÉ Standards or even older ones. It reminds me of the joking I used to share with my daughter when she was reaching driving age and I would tell her I was planning on getting her an early 1960s Oldsmobile for her to drive. That inevitably got the always ready reply of, “Oh Dad!”


Every time they change the CAFÉ Standards I remember the horrors of a vehicle I bought back when the earliest of these standards took effect. If the wind were to gust over 35 MPH that vehicle could be made to change lanes without even moving the steering wheel. Needless to point out that such things were not fully appreciated at the time. I eventually found the way around CAFÉ Standards; simply keep every vehicle you purchase for fifteen or twenty years until the wheels fall off or worse. After about five or so years your older vehicle becomes one of the heavier ones on the road. This was especially true for my years with my mini 4X4, one of the original small SUVs. I have been fortunate in that most of the vehicles I have owned lasted particularly long times. I have now decided that perhaps I might want to begin to plan on a new car before these CAFÉ Standards rise too high and the vehicles go into their next stage in their eventual evolution to becoming trikes with doors. I am definitely not looking forward to cars with handlebars in place of steering wheels.


Beyond the Cusp


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