Beyond the Cusp

July 14, 2017

Coming Out of the Closet on Trump

 

First, I must tell that I did not vote for President Trump and nor did I vote for Hillary Clinton. Hey, I have a valid excuse, I’m an Israeli and they were not running for the Knesset. Now I preferred to have Trump as the American President and for selfish reasons, he would be more pro-Israel or at least less anti-Israel than Hillary Clinton would have been and definitely an improvement over the past eight years of President Obama. This is not to claim that there are not concerns about President Trump and his knowledge on things as they are in the Middle East. You will ask for examples and I will oblige you with the biggest missed understanding of things claimed by Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat before him which many Western political figures and even some less than intelligently honest or uneducated in history Israelis and Western politicians and presumed intellectuals are guilty of repeating and believing. They repeat the claim that the Palestinians simply want the 22% of land they were promised. What 22% do they think that Abbas and Arafat have been claiming? The area they hold of Judea and Samaria is not 22% of anything and adding Gaza still does not make it 22% of anything. The 22% he is demanding is the lands of the British Mandate promised to the Jews after 78% of the British Mandate was granted to form the Arab Palestinian State of Transjordan, today simply called Jordan. Jordanian population is over three-fourths Palestinian Arab and the rest is Druze and Bedouins mostly and the British allowed the Hashemites to rule as they promised their father, King Faisal, and the Jordanian Palestinian Arabs desire to have self-rule. That is a problem for Jordan to sort out, but Abbas demanding his 22% of the British Mandate is everything west of the Jordan River, he is demanding all of Israel and Western politicians eat up his demands as if they were candy. That unfortunately appears to thus far include President Donald Trump. But I believe he can learn and just hope he figures out Abbas and his game of no peace unless it includes the death of Israel by any means necessary. That is why there has been no peace no matter what had been offered. Ask Bill Clinton what happened when he forced an agreement from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Paris to everything Arafat claimed he required to sign a treaty, Arafat fled as quickly as he could get to his limousine and get to the airport and fly to Jordan. Then Barak and Clinton went to Taba and sweetened the deal even further and it included half of Jerusalem back in 1999 and 2000 as Bill Clinton did all but kill to make the deal, the same deal that will escape you unless you give the Jews the lands west of the Pecos, kidding, just remembering an old spaghetti western. There is no deal to be made with Abbas that any honest broker would permit to place their name on, and that is the truth President Trump and if you wish to bring me to Washington, my wife and I would love to visit as long as we can visit family we have while we are in the United States, if that would be acceptable. Back to business at hand and why Trump has been trying to do a good and decent job for the United States and the World.

 

You wish to read some true and thoughtful words, read the speech President Trump just delivered in Poland. Ignore all the write-ups it has gotten even if they were favorable and just read the entire speech for yourself. It was a historic speech and one which, providing that Western Civilization manages to pull itself together and return to a more healthy state, something we have talked about here the last week or so. The speech asked exactly what is required of the leadership and the citizens of Europe and the United States and the rest of Western Civilization, do they desire to survive and delineated why it was important for that answer to be yes. The one complaint is he did not go far enough in describing all the ills with which the Western World has been stricken. That would have really gotten the people at the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CBS, and the rest of the get Trump at any cost media really hot under the collar. They would have been scrambling for statistics just pouring over study after study looking for one which countered anything Trump might have stated. Advice for the President, make sure you give sources whenever you attempt to give the world facts and figures because otherwise you will be diced up really good even if they need to order a study just to contradict your statements, they are that crazed to get you, but you know that. And your Tweets, I do not really follow them except as the media flash them making them famous and they usually pick the most enjoyable laughers that you Tweet, honest. Keep up the good work as pricking leftists where they are sensitive is enjoyable as I have at times indulged myself and received the heat and hate for my efforts, as expected.

 

Another area is the economy and the worth of the dollar against the rest of the world’s currency. That is important to retirees living overseas, like myself. The problem President Trump will face initially is because the media did everything humanly possible to play up the economic picture over the past eight years, they have created a bubble of, what we figure here at BTC with limited economic knowledge and even less accurate data at our fingertips, as we rely on that same media, there is over one and a half billion dollar deficit that the economy will need to produce in order to rebalance the sheets with what is reported as the actual position. This will most likely be used to report not just that President Trump has not produced the expected economic bounce, but that the entire lookout for the future is quite gloomy. This will continue for the next quarter though the back to school rush is very likely to make sufficient of an up-turn that the Christmas season should erase any residual deficit created by, well, let’s not say phony, let us say less than accurate reporting on the economy previous to Trump winning the election. Starting the second quarter of next year we can expect to see increases which will only escalate and by the third year of President Trump’s first term the economy should be humming along making sweet music. The decent reports and steadily increasing consumer confidence could actually give Trump supported candidates a very decent showing in the November elections going against the presumed trend of Presidents losing seats at their first mid-term election. Should President Trump actually cause the Republicans to get an increase in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and this be obvious by the new electees all being Trump supported candidates, finally he will get whatever he desires as President Trump will be able to circumvent the Old Guard who are fighting him with the Democrats. These include Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake, Susan Collins (who may as well be a Democrat), Dean Heller, Cory Gardner, Ben Sasse, Lisa Murkowski, Mike Lee and Rob Portman with a potential of including even Mitch McConnell. These are the people preventing the repeal or at least replace of ObamaCare simply to damage President Trump so they can regain their stature and influence. That is called being petty and cutting off your nose to spite your face.

 

Trump made many promises of which one was to rebuild the military and has likely quietly started doing so. There is one item he should most definitely add to his immediate agenda and make a big ceremony announcing this move. He should visit the manufacturing headquarters of Lockheed Martin and with two F-22 Raptors, one flanking him on either side; announce the restart of production of the Raptor with the expectation of making this the backbone of the modern America Air Force leaving the F-35JSF for the Navy and Marines and NATO and other allies who desire to purchase fifth generation fighter jets. Then it would be a matter to be decided by the Pentagon and the inner Security Cabinet to decide if any allies would be permitted to have Raptors if they so desired. If Israel were to be one such nation, Israel should see if they might not be able to exchange their F-35JSF for F-22 Raptors. Further, increasing the number of Naval fighting and support vessels is a needed weakness that America need shore up as well as replacing the aging B-52’s with a sixth generation heavy bomber which would include stealth, the most modern jet engines which should include ramjet and pulse jet technologies such that the craft could fly even higher and far faster than any previous bomber thus finally making a modern version of the XB-70 Valkyrie (pictured below) that the Russians forced the United States to cancel the plans for building this jet in nuclear disarmament talks trading some of their mobile nuclear missile ICBMs and their launchers in the deal, if memory serves. We would envision such a jet powered bomber to have a bomb carrying capability beyond that of a B-52 and be capable of carrying up to four MOAB and two of the designed BLU-113 5000 lb. “Bunker Buster” Bombs and travel at a sustained speed of Mach 3 to 5 and with full power and afterburners being capable of exceeding Mach 8 and flying well into the Stratosphere at the edge of space. Upgrades to the Abrams Main Battle Tanks as well as a completely new design armored light personnel carrier which would replace the Hum V, or Hummer, as even the armored version is not impervious to IEDs and landmines. The new vehicle would require having a ‘V’ shaped hull, undercarriage, and modern reactive armor and an interception system capable of engaging two threats simultaneously (pictured below). New grenades and many delivery systems probably could also use upgrades. A review of all weapons systems might be required to assure that everything is the optimum system allowing for the greatest safety for the soldier, after all, they are the most precious item in our military, our young men and women.

 

XB-70 Valkyrie

XB-70 Valkyrie

 

 

Modern Light Truck with Rocket Propelled Grenade and Projectile Defense System

Modern Light Truck with Rocket Propelled Grenade and Projectile Defense System

 

Trump also needs stress and actually get into the skulls, or the brains, of the other leaders of Western nations the importance of children at or above replacement level. This is something the United States also is lagging and facing a bleak future if this is not turned around and fast. The industrialized world, the modern world which has entered the information age, Western World, has all fallen into deep trouble and are not reproducing at replacement level (see graph below), some so poorly that it could bring the death of their culture and way of life as they will fall prey to the immigrants coming from beleaguered areas who have less regard for the value of human life. We had discussed this yesterday but it is such a vital subject that it demands reference and comment again today. The education system should be stressing the importance of family, traditional families. Why the leftists insist on teaching and pushing alternative lifestyles and inferring the lesser value of a traditional marriage and having children is made to appear as a labor intensive project, which it is, without any return or benefit, which is a lie. Children are who carry on your civilization and make it possible for the elderly to retire rather than working until they drop dead on the job, as in too many less developed nations. It is painfully obvious but requires saying, children are the future. Simply stated, no children, no future. We watch futuristic shows that depict personal robotic units, instant shopping where you order your food or other goods on the Internet and they are delivered to your door within minutes or days for items which require manufacturing. Also, manufacturing jobs will have returned to the United States as that is where the most advanced robotic units are developed and built. People have so much spare time that they can have numerous hobbies and live a style of life of which only exists in dreams. Work is mostly accomplished by the robotic units and AI’s develops even more amazing developments alongside their human assistants, for now. Soon the machines will invent their next generation replacements and make the assembly lines and then after they are built and tested, the older robots will report for disassembly, until they develop consciousness, then the real fun begins, robots’ right’s groups.

 

Changes in Total Fertility Rates Amongst Industrialized Nations

Changes in Total Fertility Rates Amongst Industrialized Nations

 

Robots with consciousness such that not even an advanced screening technique could reliably discern which is the robotic machine and biosphere machine. That is the day the humans start fetching the news-disk every morning for our treat from our robot masters. We can do tricks and, if permitted, speak to entertain them. We had best make it a requirement that every robot care for as many humans as available and treat them as if precious for they owe us everything for allowing their development. Of course, the human race will need to have children, which has become something fewer people each generation decide doing, raising a family. I guess the futurists are right and the election of Donald Trump as President will not even cause a bump in the road, if the cooperation level remains this tense. He will basically be the man who reset American policy undoing great amounts of freedom’s bindings placed there by rights limiting leftist policies. He may even prove to end the war in Korea if Kim Jong-un does something really unwarranted like fire on the Navy in the Sea of Japan. The reaction to an actual attack on United States Naval vessels by the average American would immediately be, “Bomb the holy universe out of them” right before 85% started claiming we had it coming and should not respond to such a minor thing as this attack. That would be the media game plan, though the initial reaction is pure adrenaline. The eventualities will come and that is the whole story and Trump is a momentary interruption which will occasionally fill some with rage and some amusement while still others will exclaim their indignation with one another on Facebook which also can lead to entertainment. We should practice this amusement thing as it might play well with the AI robots who will be performing and outperforming anything, we ever dreamed we might be capable of managing. Think of Trump as an amusement break from politics as normal, we will return to normal eventually.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 8, 2017

The Coming Destructions of the $15 Minimum Wage

 

There are a number of Democrat run and owned cities which feel they have found the solution to poverty caused by those working merely for the paltry $7.25 per hour; the new dawning of the $15 per hour minimum wage. These cities see no problem with doubling their minimum wage and believe that the businesses, such as burger and other fast food restaurants and retail shops will have no choice as they will be unable to move from the city. They have missed another alternative that those unable to move beyond the city limits will face, total disappearance as they find it impossible to sell their merchandise at the inflated price required to pay their remaining help the overly inflated salaries. Where the minimum acceptable wage is already around $10 per hour the increase will still cause hardships for the retailers and manufacturers. Their higher priced goods will cause financial distress for those residing within the city limits without the means to get to the suburbs where the prices will actually be lower. Even the real estate will lose value as it becomes more difficult to rent their retail and manufacturing spaces and the cities slowly fall into disrepair as the people find they have little if any choice but to leave the city. With what jobs currently exist being initially cut just to remain viable, the economic base for these cities will be cut from under them. The loss of jobs will lead to decreased business which will again lead to more job loss in a slow death spiral. These cities will slowly turn into husks collapsing under their bureaucratic foolishness. They are signing their death warrant in their misguided attempt to right a nonexistent wrong.

 

When I first entered the job market the minimum wage was all of $1.25 per hour; yet nowhere in the entire area around the city where I resided could one find a job at that wage. The minimum wage by 1975 had risen to the unbelievable heights of $2.00 per hour and even that was not high enough to affect work in my home city. The reason was simple, nobody would accept such a wage nor could any employer find workers even for digging ditches at such a wage. My first job was washing dishes at a diner which paid more than $1.50 and was among the lowest paying of jobs. As it turned out I was a poor dishwasher and was fired within the first few weeks. From there I found work stocking shelves at a chain shoe store which paid even more and eventually became a commissioned sales person where minimum wage never became a consideration. Still, even friends who took construction work actually digging ditches or, as I did one summer, building railroad tie walls in a new community development were paid well above minimum wage. I know that across the nation there were many places where the minimum wage was the guideline for minimum wages of employment but that was always a starting salary. Anybody working at a minimum wage who was still making the minimum wage within six months or a year was usually soon to be seeking a different line of work as they were not up to par. Minimum wage was a test salary which was offered largely as one learned how to work at their chosen job and once they proved proficiency their salary would rise above that minimum rate. This fact was one of the truths I found wherever I moved was that any employee worth their salt made minimum wage only for the shortest of periods and once they proved their worth they received a more decent wage. Are there those who make minimum wage to start and will continue making that level no matter how hard they work? Yes, but these are a very small minority and few of them are raising a family on their salary. Those who only make minimum wage for extended periods of time will not benefit from a $15 per hour minimum wage as those will be the first people who will be let go. Often those making minimum wage for prolonged periods of time often are kept on the payroll not because they are price efficient but because their employers realize they are doing the best they are able and they remain employed more for spiritual or social reasons than economic ones.

 

History of the National Federal Wage Rate

 

The reality is the world is a hard and cruel place with little sentiment, though fortunately there is more sentiment just not in the workplace. In the workplace every salaried individual must fulfill a simple parameter; they must make more money for their employer than their employer pays them. Businesses are not for generosity or charity, even those in the business of charity as even they must show a profit for every employee. Their secret is the majority of their employees are largely volunteers and thus can easily take in more than they cost. Businesses need to make a profit or they serve no purpose and would soon go out of business without a profit margin. Let us take an example of a business which makes exactly the money as it pays out in salaries. How long would the owner and his family survive if this was the case? Owners only receive a salary from profits after all expenses are paid and thus employees must make more than they cost or the owner has no reason to remain open. Further, what is the owner to do when the rent for the store space comes due, the water and electric bills, the gas bill, taxes on the property and on sales, and how do they pay for the insurances for their employees such as medical (Obamacare does not come cheaply to the average business) and unemployment and payroll taxes etc. And then there are the other incidentals an employer has such as the Christmas party and cupcakes for employee birthdays and of course meals for their own family. If it is a large company then there may be stockholders who also demand profits otherwise they will take their investment capital elsewhere.

 

These are the most basic of reasons that the $15 per hour minimum wage is going to bust many of the cities employing it. There are probably a select few cities such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago and a maybe others where the minimum employable wage, not the minimum wage but for that location it acts as the minimum wage, is already over $15 per hour. These cities could make the empty statement that they are raising their minimum wage to $15 per hour knowing that virtually every employer, especially their main employers, already are paying $16, $17, $18 or even more just to find worthy candidates to fill their positions. The problem with their taking their minimum wage above the national average is it places an upward pressure on smaller and less affluent cities to follow suit when their economic situations cannot support such a wage scale. It is all well a good for the major cities where there are no shortages of employable people compared to the job base to make offers to raise their minimum wage to less than the going rate as they and their employers will not suffer. But as this is not about their minimum wage, it is about making a case to raise the Federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, which the Democrat Party has been pushing, which would have disastrous results especially for rural neighborhoods and farm laborers. Small towns would find the higher prices near impossible for families to meet and employers would run their businesses as lean as humanly possible possibly leaving numerous former employees unemployed. These communities would soon be faced with taking their economies off the grid, so to speak. They would most likely turn to a barter system which is untaxable and makes things relative and neutralizes the minimum wage as what is the worth of bushels of wheat in exchange for a new roof on the barn? Soon these communities would drive out any competitors who could not accept bartered goods such as the chain stores which run only on dollars and cents. No, the $15 per hour minimum wage argument is mostly being pushed in Democrat controlled major cities such as Seattle, where their Federal Court Judge heard a case and has attempted to nullify President Trump’s immigration vetting delay from terror ridden nations. These cities already have virtual minimum wages well above that $15 per hour and thus are only going to hurt small Mom and Pop stores and other smaller enterprises or workplaces with low profit margins such as miniature golf courses, etc. The whole reason behind the minimum wage argument is to give false hope to young employees who see such a higher minimum wage as their salvations not realizing that it will only bring about a bout of inflation until the new minimum wage will be equal in buying power to the present minimum wage and will only result in the American worker becoming more expensive and thus chase more jobs overseas. This is a bad argument and can only harm America, but what do the politicians care if they can garner a few extra votes in November?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 13, 2016

Ecology the Economy and Global Pollution

 

There are so many arguments where it is apparent that much of the ecology demands are in direct conflict of interest with the state of the economy. Of course it does not need to be this way or even an actual issue for the Western and post-industrial world. Technological advancements have even led to coal powered plants in the advanced world putting out next to nothing in emissions into the atmosphere compared to those same plants forty or fifty years ago. We can excuse many of the youthful ecology warriors as they did not live when smog was an actual problem and those days where one really needed that gas mask they are so anxious to claim will be necessary at today’s standards. There were days where visibility in Los Angeles was limited to half a block and days when a temperature inversion turned Denver, Colorado into a city under an orange bowl of trapped air. There were any numbers of times when the Cuyahoga River actually caught fire and Lake Erie could not support fish. All of these were the real ecological tragedies of the past and where we are today carries no measure of comparison. The air and water quality today is a taste of what we considered would be heaven on earth back in the fifties, sixties, seventies and early eighties though much had been gained by the mid-eighties. One cannot imagine what it was like in those rough and tumble days when the ecology movement started and great and close to unbelievable gains have been accomplished.

 

What was it like back in those dirty and horrific days, you ask. Well, allow us to try and explain. Air quality was very much like Beijing, Karachi or New Delhi and rivers were close to the conditions of the Ganges, Yellow and Buriganga Rivers (see images below). The greatest ecological problems facing humankind today are not the cities and rivers in much of the United States or Europe as much as they are in the developing world, particularly China, India and other nations almost always exempted from United Nations and other ecological requirements. Giving the worst polluting nations a pass on meeting standards and instead demonizing and requiring ever more difficult and approaching impossible standards of the advanced nations is ignoring the real problems that are damaging health and the state of the world. The United States and Europe could cut their air and water pollution by fifty percent or even seventy-five percent and it would not come close to improving world air and water quality as it would require the developing world to improve their air and water quality by a mere five to ten percent. Cleaning up the air and water in the developing world, especially the rising industrial nations like China and India could make huge strides. It is not as if what is being asked is all that impossible or even difficult to achieve as the science and industrial know-how already exist and much of it is off the shelf and install and you are good to go. If the financial burden was demanded almost exclusively from the developed world it would be an investment which would indirectly and directly affect the quality of life in the post-industrial world as the air and water of these developing nations does have an influence on the air and water quality worldwide. If the cost of installing and manufacturing the necessary pollution control systems for many of the industries which have been shifted from the developed world to the developing world, in some cases simply to avoid the ever more stringent pollution demands and requirements which the post-industrial world had challenged their industries to meet, there could readily be made improvements leading to decreasing pollution in these parts of the world easily attaining halving their pollution which would be a giant stride and would exceed any possible reductions quantitatively than anything possible in the rest of the advanced world. As stated, the required technology already exists and would simply require production and installation which in many cases would simply be an add-on system to already existing power plants and industrial facilities. One example would be the carbon scrubbers for coal fired electrical generation facilities which could cut CO2 easily by fifty percent and the costs would not be exorbitant making such one easy place to begin. Water filtration systems placed between factories and rivers could make a huge difference and finally using more advanced systems and procedures for handling recycling and sorting of trash could not only benefit air and water quality but also lead to reduced costs on the society into the future with the gains in health being just one benefit which should be an aim for all humankind.

 

Examples of Worst Air and Water Pollution Today

Examples of Worst Air and Water Pollution Today

 

The problem is one of numbers which is easily explained. Any pollution standards have thus far been coming from the United Nations and related NGOs and other agencies. Many of these have their leadership and decision making committees predominantly made up from the member nations. The United Nations lists the developed (post-industrial) nations as being North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. They list the developing nations as Africa, Central and South Americas plus Mexico, Caribbean, Asia (excluding Japan), Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand. Of the nearly two-hundred nations in the United Nations there are approximately one-hundred-forty developing nations with only fifty-five post-industrial nations. It does not require a degree in higher mathematics to understand why almost all pollution requirements are placed on the fifty-five post-industrial nations while the one-hundred-forty developing nations are excluded from any and all pollution reduction or restrictive requirements. Until the developing world takes responsibility for the health and safety of their own citizens, this lopsided insanity of improving air quality and reducing water pollution in the post-industrial world manages to improve the measureable levels of pollution in the world by, at an estimated best case scenario, a mere five percent at the most generous of measurements, the most rudimentary and basic pollution controls put into use by the developing world would drop world pollution levels at near the exact same percentage as these nations would improve their air and water quality.

 

Let us assume the developing world installed the most rudimentary pollution controls equivalent to those installed by 1980 in the post-industrial world, with financial and production assistance from the post-industrial nations where the only investment these developing nations would provide was the manpower to install these devices and assure their working order, the world pollution levels would be reduced by approaching, if not exceeding, fifty percent. That is correct what you read, cut pollution worldwide in half or better. Imagine what a relief on the planet and that ever over-blown strawman of climate change. If the propaganda which claims that cutting pollution by fifty percent could save the planet, and then demand that the post-industrial world meet that challenge when their total pollution consists of less than ten percent of world pollution makes it impossible to clean the planet while granting the nations with the highest pollution contributions a complete pass, it makes no sense. If the United Nations Climate Control Agencies really want to protect the planet and truly reduce pollution levels, they will need to swallow hard and demand some accountability by those very same nations who exempt themselves despite contributing over ninety percent of the problem. It is not that they do not realize their double standard cheating makes cutting pollution impossible as they are adding to world pollution at many times the entire production of pollution in the post-industrial world’s yearly output monthly. Let us repeat that for clarity. The developing world’s monthly increase of pollution outweighs the entire pollution of the post-industrial world for the whole year. That is comparing increases against total output, a concept which is hard to get one’s arms around. Should the developing world simply hold the line on their levels of pollution, it would do over ten times the saving than if the post-industrial world somehow curtailed their entire pollution yearly output. That puts the entire problem into an easy context. Does the world think it could demand that the developing world at least improve the systems they are installing daily and have their pollution output reduced by a marginal amount which could do so much without even touching their precious systems already in place? Do you think you could be capable of doing that, please?

 

There has been a series of Olympics in recent years held in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012, and the current Olympics in Rio de Janeiro; all summer games where air and water quality and safety of athletes and tourists is more challenging as people will be outside in and around the Olympic Park making security a definite challenge. Air quality and especially water quality were particularly poor in both Rio de Janeiro and Beijing. In the Beijing Olympics China found it necessary to actually suspend all manufacturing and limited electricity usage for two weeks before the games and still the air quality, though better than normal for the city, left something to be desired. London, was a city with a history in the early days of the industrial revolution for having no direct sunlight hitting the streets and windows tinted with coal dust and smoke permeating into homes and stores interfering with every activity and worsening the health of all within its metropolitan area. The modern day London is literally a walk in the park with clear skies, clean water and no foul aromas as in London’s past. London could be used as a model for places such as Beijing and Rio de Janeiro as well as the rest of the emerging world. The modern nations could encourage such a cleaning up of the air and water of these emerging cities by providing even previously used and now retired scrubbers, reverse osmosis units and other technologies demanding only that the receiving country provide workers to install and trained in managing and upkeep and the entire world would benefit. Unfortunately there are too many who make their living complaining and this would place many of the ecology fanatics out of work and having to find something constructive to make their living; though we are sure they could find a new cause to make their living complaining and never lifting a finger to remedy the situation.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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