Beyond the Cusp

March 9, 2018

Back on the North Korea Merry-Go-Round

 

Once again, we hear out of Pyongyang the idea of giving up its nuclear weapons in return for U.S. security guarantees of nonaggression and which will also soon add the demand for food, energy and monetary aid. Speaking with reporters about these developments, President Donald Trump was quoted by AFP as having stated, “I believe they are sincere.” President Trump further stated, at a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, “I hope they’re sincere,” soon adding an ominous, “We’ll soon find out.” Further commentary from President Trump claimed, “I think they’re sincere also because of the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea.” President Trump added, “(China) can do more but I think they’ve done more than they’ve ever done for our country before.”

 

Vice President Mike Pence in Washington added to the President’s message stating, “Whichever direction talks with North Korea go, we will be firm in our resolve. The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear program. All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.” Yes, he actually demanded that Washington needs to see North Korea take concrete steps toward denuclearization.

 

The story appears to have gone something like this, starting from the beginning. President Trump took office and North Korea celebrated with additional missile and nuclear tests on an increased rate. President Trump and many Western Leaders became incensed protesting with great words of accusation and threats of embargoes. There were even threats of annihilation from invasions, conquering of South Korea by the North Koreans, North Korea threats to nuke Guam, President Trump threatened to destroy North Korea in return of their attacking anyone and most of all there was the hope that China would exercise some restraint on their “pet attack dog” Kim Jong-un.

 

This series of events lead us to fall into some kind of hazy trance, it was as if we were living something over once again which had been promised to have been settled and done before. When we emerged from the haze, still with thoughts swirling and slowly crystalizing we realized we were no longer in this century, we had magically been sent to the ending decade of the Twentieth Century. We were not in the scene but observing from above looking through some clear, glass aperture. We were at a newsstand with all the major newspapers of the day and an old man watching the news on an old television. They were talking of the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. The date was October 18, 1994, and the headlines pretty much say it all. The New York Times headlined with, “U.S. and North Korea Agree To Build on Nuclear Accord.” Reading further, with haste, as we cannot be sure how long we will remain here, the article stated the following,

 

The Clinton Administration announced tonight that United States and North Korean negotiators in Geneva had reached a broad agreement that would freeze North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and allow the resumption of international inspections.

Administration officials said the agreement included some concessions by Washington, including arranging for American allies to build in North Korea two modern nuclear power plants valued at several billion dollars. The Administration also agreed to a delay in the inspection of two nuclear waste sites that were expected to reveal evidence of North Korea’s production of weapon-grades material.

Administration officials hailed the agreement — worked out over three weeks of tense negotiations — as a breakthrough. But after an 18-month dispute marked by stinging rhetoric, broken promises and failed negotiations, Administration officials remained wary that there could still be problems carrying out the accord.

Administration officials said North Korea committed itself to phasing out its five-megawatt nuclear reactor, freezing construction of two larger reactors and rejoining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
“Personally, I think it is a very good agreement,” Robert L. Gallucci, the chief United States negotiator in Geneva, said tonight after closing the round of talks that seemed close to collapsing on several occasions. “Broadly, it is an acceptable, and very positive agreement.”

With North Korea isolated and distrustful of the West, Administration officials said they agreed to delay inspections of the waste sites in part to allow for time to build trust with North Korea. The expectation, they said, is that in a few months or perhaps years Pyongyang would allow the inspections of the nuclear waste sites.
Administration officials insisted that they would not back off their insistence on such inspections and that North Korea would never receive technology from the promised new light-water reactors until inspections of the waste sites are carried out.

In another concession, the Clinton Administration backed down on its demand that North Korea quickly send to another country the 8,000 spent fuel rods, from which enough plutonium could have already been obtained to construct four or five bombs.

Under the agreement, those rods will remain in a cooling pond in the North for a considerable time, perhaps more than a year. But Administration officials insisted that those rods will ultimately be shipped to a third country for reprocessing.

Mr. Gallucci said the agreement reached today would now be sent to Washington and Pyongyang for final approval. He said the agreement served the interests of the United States, South Korea and Japan, all of which are concerned about North Korea’s ambitions to become a nuclear power.

He said he planned to fly to Washington on Tuesday to consult with senior Administration officials and leading members of Congress. If the agreement is endorsed, he said he would sign it on Friday in Geneva with North Korea’s chief negotiator, Kang Sok Ju.

 

The haze slowly encompasses our entire group and off we float again feeling all weird and strange. After a brief period, well, we think it was brief but cannot really be sure, as we may have dreamt for some period, we cannot be sure. The haze is parting and, and, and we are looking at the same newsstand and all looks pretty much the same. Wait, the man is somewhat older and has a white and grey streaked beard. We can see a paper, well, we see the date first, just as before, and it is January 29, 2002. The headline starts to come into focus as does the name of the newspaper, the Washington Post with the headline reading, “Text of President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address.” Part of the article appears highlighted and is becoming clear enough to read, and some words are bolded, strange, but helpful. The passage reads,

 

Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.

Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September 11, but we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.

Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror; while an unelected, few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade.

This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.

 

Here comes that haze again and really feeling sleepier this time. As we are pulling back there came another headline from the Guardian stating, “North Korea withdraws from nuclear treaty.” Well, too late to read more, it has faded. One can only wonder whether we will arrive back in our own time or are there to be more stops on this strange trip into the past. Waking as the haze thins and we could be back, we are looking at a CNN web page and it is, wait, it is from March 1, 2012 and the headline reads, “North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activities for food.” There is a picture and three or four paragraphs visible. Here is the picture as we were gifted a copy which came along with us by some miracle and below that the story we were permitted to see. Again, there was one part bolded allowing us to fix this as during the time with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama and the unprecedented amount of aid being provided to North Korea.

 

The Picture of Kim Jong-un and Some Generals

The Picture of Kim Jong-un and Some Generals

 

North Korea has agreed to halt nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and enrichment activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for food aid from the United States, the State Department said Wednesday.
The state-run North Korean news agency, KCNA, announced the agreement separately.

“Today’s announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction. We, of course, will be watching closely and judging North Korea’s new leaders by their actions,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee.

In return for the moratorium on nuclear activities at this key site, the United States has agreed to a package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance to North Korea.

 

The haze returns and this time we are sure we are nodding off. The time seemed to pass faster, though that may be due to our not being fully conscious. The haze lifts and we are back at our computers feeling a little groggy and disoriented, as expected, we guess. We have no idea how long we were gone, though we can tell you there is a different show on the television, which is impressive as the new Smurf movie had just started as we left. We were quoting President Trump and Vice President Pence and how they believe that North Korea will be earnest and will negotiate in good faith. Perhaps they need to go on our little time travel revelation that every President before them going back at least three Presidents as our trip was not all inclusive. If nothing else, we are positive that there were likely headlines on July 27, 1953, celebrating and noting the Armistice between the United Nations forces led mainly by the United States and the Communist forces consisting of North Korea and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. Below please find President Dwight David Eisenhower announcing the negotiations to establish an armistice pausing the Korean War. This was an armistice which is merely a time-out which has resulted in saber-rattling threatening to resume the conflict periodically ever since.

 

 

There has been a pattern with North Korea. They used to threaten to resume the war which held the threat of many casualties on both sides and potentially the near complete destruction of Seoul, South Korea followed by similar destruction throughout North Korea with the main targets being military assets. Nobody in the West desires such a renewal of this horrific conflagration. We always would like to believe that the same is true for the leaders of North Korea, but apparently one can never be sure, as the result of each episode has proven. Originally, North Korea would only make these threats when their nation was desperately in need of food, oil for electricity and including other necessities as North Korea has a very limited economic energy. Most of their economic production relies on the sale of coal and other minerals mostly to China and some limited subsistence farming. This leads to crises from malnutrition to absolute starvation of large sections of their population. With each passing of the leadership, the frequency of these crises would increase. Kim Jong-un has tested the resolve of every President since taking over after his father, Kim Jong-il, on December 17, 2011. Kim Jong-un immediately started to test Barack Obama continuing the crisis started by his father during the Presidency of George W. Bush by launching missiles anew and advertising the progress being accomplished at the Yongbyon nuclear complex. This eventually led to the partial capitulation as stated above with the food for promises President Obama accepted on March 1, 2012.

 

Now we are hearing of President Trump triumphantly claiming he believes that Kim Jong-un is negotiating in earnest and with respect, as we quoted above of President Trump claiming, “I think they’re sincere also because of the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea.” and “(China) can do more but I think they’ve done more than they’ve ever done for our country before.” This shows once again President Trump’s lacking in depth of knowledge of history, recent or otherwise. Somebody, any of the generals, needs to inform him that he is being taken and that there is not an earnest bone in Chubby’s, sorry, we mean Kim Jong-un’s body. Kim Jong-us is playing the President and his belief that everyone thinks and treasures peace and reaching agreements as much as he. The Art of the Deal has to be sometimes not making any deal, as the other side is not dealing honestly. They are simply attempting to play for badly needed sustenance and other vital requirements. This has been the North Korean policy for the past twenty years. The North Korean economy is spent entirely on weapons, the military, nuclear research and keeping Kim Jong-un entertained, wined and dined in the manner in which he has become accustomed, which is quite lavish. Any nourishing provisions will largely be given to those in the military and the remainder of the population will be largely left to fend for themselves the best they are capable. Many people have been reportedly eating grass and bark off of trees, insects and anything else they can find which is at all edible. The one thing that Kim Jong-un has shown a desire to do is unify the entirety of the Peninsula, under his rule, of course. Any negotiation reached with Kim Jong-un today will be worthless by the end of May, as he believes that he is destined to be the leader of humankind.

 

Should President Trump be very fortunate, any agreement he reaches will last through the end of his time in office. The one thing the world can count on is that as soon as there is a new President, Kim Jong-un will be launching missiles, probably threatening San Francisco this time and testing nuclear weapons possibly even above ground in total disdain for all treaties. Kim Jong-un believes that the Western nations are soft and stupid and will fold before his demands every time. He knows that he will eventually get a leader elected to South Korea who will agree to some form of unification possibly with some form of shared leadership. Once the unification has been established, Kim Jong-un will slowly move his military throughout all of South Korea and, once in place, he will likely murder the South Korean leader and take rule of the entire peninsula using the wealth of South Korea to feed and assist the people of the now former North Korea and build as many missiles and nuclear warheads as he is able. Once he has attained the level with which he feels he is sufficiently well armed, then he will threaten and this time possibly force a confrontation. Within a couple of years of any future unification of the peninsula, the people of the former South Korea will be facing the same deprivations the North Koreans face today. The wealth and manufacturing of South Korea will be wasted and falling into disrepair as it is not required for maintaining his military, the only item he actually cares about other than the missiles and warheads. The entirety of the South Korean industrial infrastructure will be used to construct more military equipment, more planes, more tanks, more ships as Kim Jong-un sees himself as a conqueror and the leader of the world should he get half the opportunity. That is the man President Trump is about to trust, a man who only believes there are two kinds of people, those who are strong and meant to rule and those who treasure peace.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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January 24, 2018

Congress Allows Government Funding, for Now

 

Congress reached an agreement to fund the government, as most people have heard. Their idea of funding the government is a three-week stop-gap measure and not an actual budget. Reports told that DACA amnesty supporters were furious that the Democrats permitted funding without any guarantee of amnesty. In reality, it should be those supporters of the wall who should be disappointed with this so-called compromise. The DACA amnesty is not the main bone of contention when compared to building protection on the borders. We were wondering if anybody out there has kept count as to how many times the wall has been promised and then pushed off and never considered after gaining the promised prize of amnesty again. Does anybody remember when President Ronald Reagan exchanged amnesty for border security and a wall across the majority of feasible regions to be financed the next session of Congress? We fully expect at some point the Democrat leadership to offer holding a vote next year for funding building the border wall. This is the ruse used by before and even getting to the point of voting for funding initially but when the time was imminent for building, the funding was mysteriously diverted elsewhere. The Democrats have supported a border fence as stated by President Barack Obama in his speech in El Paso, Texas on May 10, 2011. Allow us to first quote the President and then show a picture of his completed fence for discussion. President Barack Obama stated fence along the border with Mexico is “now basically complete.” But he continued on to describe the whining he expected from Republicans over his wall stating,

“We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time.”
“They’ll want want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.”

Jim DeMint wrote the response to President Obama stating, “Five years ago, legislation was passed to build a 700-mile double-layer border fence along the southwest border…This is a promise that has not been kept. Today, according to staff at the Department of Homeland Security, just 5 percent of the double-layer fencing is complete, only 36.3 miles.” So, was the fence completed as stated by President Obama or do the Republicans have an argument that the fence was not built as promised. Below is a picture of the fence near San Miguel, Arizona, part of the seven-hundred-mile fence described above.

 

Picture of the Fence near San Miguel, Arizona

Picture of the Fence near San Miguel, Arizona

 

The promised double fence, does this really appear to be what was promised? Granted, there are two different sized posts but does that make it a double fence? Then we are told that this fence is designed to stop vehicles from crossing the border. We are willing to bet that most of us were under the impression that the entire idea behind a double fence was to prevent people crossing, with or without a vehicle not to mention it is doubtful that most people crossing at this location are coming across on vehicles from dune buggies to recreational vehicles but rather they would probably be walking. We seriously doubt anybody thinks that this fence would prevent people walking across the border or matches the concept of a double fence by any rational concept of a double border fence designed and built to secure the border. Surprisingly, we actually believe a double fence requires two distinct and separate fences in relative close proximity equally difficult to traverse with an enforcement dirt track between them providing an area for ease of enforcement personnel patrolling in vehicles and responding to sensors and other alarms (see image below).

 

This is What We Believe a Border Fence Looks Like

This is What We Believe a Border Fence Looks Like

 

Now we have cleared up the definition of a double fence, which is why we advise the members of Congress desiring a real double fence include pictures, diagrams and other necessities so there will be no confusion as to what they mean by a double fence. The coming debate over the fence and the DACA refugees who are, and never forget this part, illegal immigrants who face deportation for crossing the border illegally, granted not of their own choosing as their parents brought them when they crossed the border illegally. The pivotal word is illegally. All the claims to the DACA having Constitutional rights are a bogus argument meant to allow these illegal immigrants to get around enforcement by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agents. Constitutional rights are for United States citizens which illegal immigrants are not. If the government was to dispatch ICE agents to one of the rallies supporting the DACA individuals and they were to arrest those announcing their being a, “proud child of an illegal immigrant whose parents brought them across the border,” to hold for a hearing and potential deporting, they would be well within legal rights to do so. Such has not been done nor have the ICE agents been ordered to even monitor these events. We guess that perhaps those enforcing the immigration laws are not the heartless beasts described in the media.

 

The DACA illegal immigrants should be treated with dignity and understanding with always in the background the fact that they are illegal perched over the proceedings. Those who were too young to have some say in their being smuggled into the United States should have that taken into account. If a DACA individual has no other criminal record should be permitted to stay once they have shown proficiency in English, United States Laws, the Constitution, and American Customs. But those with further felony convictions or several misdemeanor convictions, those should be deported. It will not be up to us to decide their fate, but they should be given a brief and defined period of time to come and apply for asylum, thus having a hearing on whether they deserve asylum or deportation. Those who do not voluntarily apply for a hearing should be deported as soon as possible after the grace period has passed. Providing hope and a fair and reasoned approach with the promise of fairness is what should be offered but making the grace period’s beginning dependent upon completion of the border fence would also be fair. Exchange of a period of a few weeks or months while requiring the completion of the border wall is only a fair and true offer which if refused would reveal whether or not the Democrats are being honest about the wall and remove their ability to later pull the funding by placing the grace period after the wall being completed. The grace for the DACA “children,” as most of them have grown into adulthood, must be placed as secondary to building the wall so as to finally guarantee the wall being constructed this time around. Time will tell.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 13, 2017

The Thrill Returns

 

Chris Mathews used to speak of the thrill running up, or was it down, his leg whenever he heard a speech by President Barack Hussein Obama. We will not be hearing about him having some form of similar reaction to speeches by Hillary Clinton. Well, we might, but at least it will not be because of speeches by a President Hillary Clinton, at least for now as the United States voting public is very difficult to predict. If we remember correctly, after rejecting Richard Nixon they eventually did elect him President, and then threatened to, and very well would have, impeached him over the Watergate break-in. Well, back to thrills and body parts. The Democrats for the past several months after the election were all but calling for FBI Director Comey’s head on a pike and would have danced jigs, or at least felt a thrill, well, at least a tingle at his being fired. Yet, the funniest thing happened the other day. After the news broke of James Comey being fired, a fair number of Democrats came before the media to protest the firing of the man they had just a day earlier desired humiliated or possibly have his head on a pike. Such a change overnight, it makes one wonder what could be at play here. Let us not leave you in suspense, we have detected a trend in the Democrats, and, strangely enough, the media as well.

 

We have noticed that the Democrats have reacted with great horror and shock at every turn, no matter what the actions of President Trump. This particular time it is most interesting as some in the media and with the Democrats ridiculed Trump claiming he was keeping Comey on as the Director of the FBI as payment for Comey destroying Hillary’s opportunity to become President with his ill-timed press conference announcing the reopening of the investigation of the Hillary e-mail probe. This might have worked well but for one small item, Trump does not keep people in positions simply because they perform a favor or two in his service. Further, as FBI Director, Comey was not performing any duties in the favor or service of the Trump campaign. Comey was caught between a rock and a hard place as the laptop computer taken in an investigation of former Senator Anthony Weiner inappropriate sexual e-mails to an underage girl as the laptop also contained hundreds of communications between Hillary and her closest and trusted aid and Anthony Weiner’s former wife, Huma Abedin. With literally hundreds of new e-mails to go through and review, what was a responsible FBI Director supposed to do, wait until after Election Day and the votes were counted and then tell the media of the reopened investigation or tell the media immediately about reopening the investigation. What to do, what to do? Imagine the soul-searching done by James Comey with this weighty decision keeping him up probably all night long pacing the floor from his bedroom to his kitchen, back and forth all night long until morning breaks and finally with the rising sun he makes his fateful decision. He made his press announcement and the Democrats went berserk all but calling for his head on a pike. What was surprising was the rapidity with which the media reported this earth-shaking news, but then it was a bit more than even they could keep silent about. Then Hillary lost the elections and the media had to join the Democrats on demanding Comey’s head on a pike as the only others who could be blamed was the media themselves. So, that is where things were for a good stretch with most Democrats and the leftist media blaming Comey for telling the media about resuming the investigation and not hanging Trump out to dry over the Russian interference. But things in Washington are not always set in stone as much in a quagmire of oozing swamp, which had not been totally drained yet.

 

Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin

Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin

 

Then, after the Inauguration, the media and Democrats had a second angle from ruining the chances for Hillary being elected, his ongoing investigations into the Russian interference in the election, another reason given for Hillary losing the election. Of course, there were those who griped that Comey was possibly stalling the investigation into the Russian interference and this brought them back to Comey being a tool of President Trump. That all came to a critical point where everything changed when President Trump unceremoniously dumped Director James Comey this past week. Suddenly, James Comey was the victim of a terrible vengeance over the FBI ongoing investigation of the Russians influencing the elections. Then there is one small problem with the expectations over the Russians influencing the election. In the words of Senator Dianne Feinstein, as covered by the Los Angeles Times, there has been absolutely no evidence of Russian interference or influencing of the election and Hillary Clinton actually might have managed to lose the election on her own merit. But there, if you listen to some of the conspiracies, James Comey had to be fired because the FBI was getting very close to proving Trump worked with Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton and impeachment was just a few more days, weeks at most, away. Unfortunately, the FBI reports that they also have found no evidence that implicates the Russians as interfering or influencing the elections or even their coordinating with Wikileaks to interfere or influence the elections. The FBI and the CIA are both not closing, but they are no longer investigating the Russian election quandary. The Senate has ceased their investigation. The House is likely not far behind. Simply put, that investigation has proven to be a dry well and that is the reality which those still screaming over need to get their arms around.

 

The question is what will be the next reason where demands come for investigations, as it must be provable that Hillary Clinton actually won the election and belongs in the White House, if only the people were told the truth. This has gone from one reason to the next and appears to be running out of excuses and evils which require investigations and whatever else can be demanded which, if things go as truth will out, or so the anti-Trump forces keep informing us, that Hillary won the election and even at this late date can be placed in the White House and Donald Trump can be placed in prison for the rest of his life as he deserves for stealing what is rightfully Hillary Clinton’s. How long will this continue? Well, that probably depends on how long Donald Trump remains President. For the meantime, we had all better get used to Facebook and other social media being constant yelling about the dirty deals Trump made with Russia and how he is mismanaging the nation and soon the world will explode and everything is all Trump’s fault, and that’s the truth. And if you are upset about this, well, there is one piece of advice we can give you, get used to it, period. Things will remain like this until the correct people are in charge and the adults have returned to the positions of power. The question now is, who will be feeling a thrill in the near future and why.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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