Beyond the Cusp

July 22, 2016

The Lens that Clears the Vision, Thomas Sowell

 

Whenever one sees an article written by Thomas Sowell one can safely believe it will be entertaining, instructive and likely to clarify to its crystalline essence whatever subject or conjecture on which he is writing. Thus was his recent article on his favorite subject, as he is a renowned economics professor, income inequality and why everything in life is not fair or evenly distributed. He writes on this from varying angles always providing examples which even the lesser and uneducated in economics will fully grasp. His example this time was precious as it showed two examples in one lesson, something he likely intended. Apparently somebody seeking high and low for inequality recently attached onto a new cause célèbre which is as silly as it is laughable, the uneven distribution against women at the highest levels of chess. To use another of Prof. Sowell’s examples, this is like asking why midgets are so underrepresented in the NBA or the NFL, as one would have to conclude there has to be some position they would excel at making them desirable. As Prof. Sowell makes as his main point, not that many women, especially young women in high school or college desire playing chess, not even the most nerdy (my observation), and you find largely male membership in Chess Clubs and competitions. My observation was the under-representation of females on the Math Team in my high school of over three-thousand students where there were two out of twenty plus members on the math team, including one reluctant me (long story includes threats of failing grades from my math teacher and faculty advisor to the math team), and we elected one as the team leader. Still, even representation would have required eighteen additional female students or cutting the team down to two boys and girls and being disqualified as each team must have eight members to compete. If memory serves me correctly, there were no girls, young women, in the chess club or on the team and, knowing the fellow nerds who populated these groups, these boys would have killed to have a young woman, or any woman, join their club and team and such a person would have been treated as a goddess or something close.

 

Professor Thomas Sowell

Professor Thomas Sowell

 

Anyway, back on subject. As Prof. Sowell makes clear, the top positions in chess are computed by games won and lost and against whom. I had an uncle by marriage who was a rated chess master with competition points and he never was able to rise higher than competing in local area and sometimes had qualified for state wide competition but never higher. We played a game of chess; he destroyed me eventually, where he commented that I had a head for the game and played a very disorganized but effective game. He wanted me to start entering tournaments and studying the game seriously. Anyone who knows me knows I take very few things seriously, even politics, and find amusement wherever I can find some. Yes, this presidential race in the United States should provide me entertainment galore, or will it be entertainment of gore? I expect it will be a mud-slinging contest with blood drawn on both sides and whoever wins will emerge a walking wounded with wounds the press will allow to heal or continue shooting at depending who wins. End tangent. Chess positions do not care what gender you are, what race you are, what religion you worship or even if you have a religion at all, they care about your proven record and nothing else. One gains points for every win even if it is minuscule as one would gain beating me in a first round match of the Northwest Israel Chess Tournament, if there is one. I am unranked and likely would need to find a more local tournament, say one from my apartment complex, all two buildings of it, or slightly larger (being in Israel I suspect there is a high density of chess players with any serious players). Should you be ranked and placed against a past champion and lose there might still be points, I am not sure how their ranking points are gained, and should you win there would be a larger number of points than beating little old me. So, if a woman, and my guess is there are many ranked women players even if few if any are in the top ten, were to amass serious points and rise in the ranking then she would rate entering the top level tournaments. This is where things get sticky as one might point out that since men hold the top spots, a woman might be on edge and off her game facing all male competition in a tournament. So what are the tournament managers to do, give her a tranquilizer to calm her, which would definitely be an egregious interference and led to investigations that they were attempting to keep her from winning. Believe it or not, they do not simply give women one-thousand competition points for showing up and men two-hundred-fifty-thousand competition points for showing up. They give points for winning games and only for winning games at the beginning and on throughout competition the big points go to winners and others, well, it’s tough when you lose.

 

As Prof. Sowell points out, life is full of examples of inequities. Jobs, wealth, careers, sports, and any other category one can measure even including numbers of the population and numbers of registered voters, both of which women have the slight advantage of fifty-one or two percent against men being forty-eight or nine percent. Women could elect nearly an all women Congress with at least three-hundred out of four-hundred-thirty-five Representatives and easily sixty-five Senators against thirty-five men. President would equally be a woman should only women support their candidacy. This is an important statistical fact which will be very important in the coming Presidential Election as if for any reason Hillary Clinton does not win the Presidency, it will not be because she was a woman and men did not support her as she would win if women and only women voted for her in high nineties percent so Hillary loses only if she does not win the votes of all women. And do not for a minute think her advisors do not know this as it is partly what is behind the “First woman President” sloganeering which is aimed at the whole of the population but is even more targeting women as with the women’s vote Hillary could win with almost no male votes. Hillary is counting heavily that she can win and force a high turnout of minorities, women high amongst them, and swing as many married women to vote for her despite their husband voting for Trump or third party candidates as splitting the household votes by gender Hillary can win hands down as she knows she likely has the singles vote in her favor. The Presidency is Hillary’s for the taking and if she loses, it will be solely because she was unable to convince sufficient women to vote for her and Trump somehow wooing these women voters. With the accusations against Trump and his public history of divorce and other alleged and some proven activities, he should have some degree of difficulty winning the women’s vote. His one saving grace has been that his hosting of women’s pageants and reality television without even the suspicion of improprieties, there is little proof of him acting in any manner other than respectfully over the years of such involvements. Any such accusations which may appear now seemingly out of the blue, they should be considered to be opportunists or politically motivated attempts to take advantage of his candidacy and probable desire to end such intimidations with minimal publicity. The problem, as we see it, is that even if advised to fold before such challenges as quickly and quietly as possible, Trump will be more likely to take these challenges on directly and very publically when he feels assured of no actual wrong-doing. As far as Trump is concerned, if he can win the suit, he can also play this as campaign advertising of his being above board and forthright in his dealings. This is something we will have to observe as the campaign quickens this fall.

 

There is another front that will be brought to the fore, the companies in which Donald Trump has invested and went bankrupt, some almost immediately. One need know about finances at the level that Donald Trump lives in as they sometimes are purchased companies which have assets or other qualities which are required by other assets. In such instances a failing company can be restructured and made profitable providing it can be purchased or merged with other assets or with a structured payment schedule to meet obligations and thus bankruptcy is a means of saving as much of an investment as is economically sound. These bankruptcies are an intricate and necessary part of investing and making the needed adjustment to gain a return on your investment. It is the same as when one buys a new car and trades their older vehicle as the down-payment. When would you trade in your thirty year old baseline truck which barely functions and has not been driven in ten years, in a regular trade-in or when the dealer offers that if you can drive it in they will give you $5,000.00 in trade-in? The answer is obvious and investments are exactly the same, you do what maximizes your return or, in a bad situation, what minimizes your losses.

 

It would be wise to remember that business is business and politics is not. Politics is all about painting your opponents as the greatest evil the world has ever witnessed. This can be accomplished easily with anyone whose life took place outside of politics as the political world is completely opposite of the business world. In politics it is all about looking at inequalities and promising the masses at the bottom you will give them monies from those at the top. This is due to the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of those at the bottom for everyone to ten at the top. A truth which no politician will tell you is that somebody earning two-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars a year is in the top ten percent and those earning over seventy-five-thousand dollars a year are the top twenty-five percent. If minimum wage is pushed to fifteen dollars an hour, that is slightly more than thirty-thousand dollars a year for a forty hour week, that currently in comfortably in the top fifty percent. As it is not possible to have even minimum wage earners be in the top fifty percent, what does one think will be the result? The result is that employers will invest in the construction of robotics to perform these minimum wage jobs just as Wendy’s has already done by replacing cashiers and delivery people from their burger operations and made it an automated system. Similar but less polished systems existed in the 1950’s and were called automat food stores and were big because it was in these years that the minimum wage was increased above the median salary for workers. When this is what happens and those positions which used to be below median salary are forced by minimum wages to be above median, then they will be minimized or erased from the job market as they become unsupportable. When politicians tell you that a company is making undue profit, they are spinning an evil tale that making profit, the driving impetus of all businesses, is an evil when in reality if a business comes close to breaking even and producing no profit, the seeming desire of politicians, then the entire operation comes under inspection and the weaker links are optimized, automated, or cost-lotted out to another company and the people in that department stand for some or all to lose their jobs. Business is in business to make profits and profits tend towards the top but all gain when the company gains as then there are more funds for salaries. All business models have a set percentage they denote as for salaries and the management is tasked with seeing that salaries remain within those guidelines. Often management is granted a bonus for keeping salaries in check and not exceeding their budgeted amount. Anything below budget will then be shared with a set percentage, usually under five percent, is given to the manager for keeping salaries below target. That is simply how business functions at all levels as the vice-president of a company gets a bonuses for keeping costs, including salaries, below target for expenditures, thus giving management limits and limiting managements’ salaries under their control.

 

On another side, when a candidate claims they can control government spending, especially a presidential candidate who is from the business world, they are ignoring an important reality, they answer to Congress as equal branches and not as president to underlings. Congress can adopt an agenda and has the power to overrule a Presidential veto with a two-thirds vote in both houses. Should Trump win the Presidency he will not even have the total support of the Republicans in the Congress and probably none of the Democrats so he will be facing an adversarial Congress and will have only one means of defeating an objectivist Congress, the will of the people. This was what President Reagan used and made possible with his common sense appeals to the people he made during numerous policy speeches he gave in prime time. We expect a President Trump would need to do likewise as his appeal will be dependent on the support of the public. The one thing Trump would have in his favor is that many people who may not have supported his candidacy and voted for Hillary Clinton or one of the third party candidates (leftist liberals all including the Libertarian Party and of course the Green Party) might support some even if not all of his policy positions and thus legislation towards those ends. Where I find Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan to be somewhat a slur, I would change it to “Make America’s Greatness Known (Evident) Again” as a better and more accurate representation as America is still the world’s leading nation despite the efforts of the past eight years. As far as Prof. Sowell might say, we need a President to bring all America into the best and most competitive edge over the rest of the world so America can shine bright again. The secret for doing this is actually simple; America needs to make everything using smarter and more accurate precision and the highest possible quality and dependability and that will place America at the forefront again. America needs to be amongst if not the best over the rest making America worth the extra cost because the product is worth the extra cost. This is why the majority of the world buys American military equipment and how Israel, Britain, Russia, China, Czech Republic, Germany and a select group of others manage to sell their military equipment. Israel triumphs in avionics and command and control systems for military uses while the Czech Republic makes some of the finest accuracy rifles and dependable assault grade weapons and Germany has a high quality main battle tank every bit as good as the American Abrams and the Israeli Merkava and Russia has the best fighter jets per ruble using less technology dependent systems thus easier maintenance. These are simply proof that when you make the best for a certain price range then you will own that market and America needs to reclaim some markets which though not languishing have been inhibited from moving to the next level by regulations and tax policies which do not reward such improvements. That is it plain and simple and do not sweat that somebody makes more money than you, work harder and deserve that money and you will find you too will advance. Sometimes you might even be required to take a different position in your or in another company for a little less or the same but that is just another opportunity to prove oneself and take off from there. After all, you only make master point in chess by beating somebody who already earned their own masters points and the better chess players you can best, the higher the points you will earn and it is all about amassed points and nothing else.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 8, 2016

Who to Believe Over North Korea H-Bomb Test

 

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un’s word is truth, at least in North Korea where even looking at him askance will put you before a firing squad within the hour providing Kim Jong-Un doesn’t just have you shot on the spot. Knowing this, the rest of the world cannot put any real weight behind any unverified claims coming from any sources in North Korea including any journalist, western or otherwise, reporting from Pyongyang. Still, any explosive tests which register as in excess of a five on the Richter scale had to come from a very impressive explosive test. I remember when the North Koreans first tested a nuclear bomb and the measurement showed a yield of between four and five kilotons where some Western experts suggested that the North Koreans had simply loaded four or five kilotons of high explosive in the test chamber and detonated the entirety of the charges within a few milliseconds. Personally, I would find pulling of such an explosion using high explosives in a single mass more impressive and far more difficult than building a nuclear bomb producing the same yield. Within days there were the final reports which showed that the North Koreans had truly tested a nuclear device but it was relegated to being a crude device which was not likely a deliverable device. It took a couple of weeks before some experts put forth the premise that if the North Korean device had been designed to generate an EMP output, it would have been a fairly high radioactive signature and low yield of the size detected and that their having accomplished this would have been quite an impressive and threatening development. When the North Koreans tested another device with only a slightly higher yield, more in the range of the devices first used against Japan ending world War II, there was official admissions that there had been sufficient radioactive measurements detected by both satellite and earth bound test instruments.

 

 

North Korean President for Life Kim Jung-Un Signaling that He’s Number One!

North Korean President for Life Kim Jung-Un
Signaling that He’s Number One!

 

 

So, where does all this leave us, the average and confused person worried about our stock prices, the new boss at work and all the other life troubles and mysteries? Honestly, waiting for more information on which to base a credible assessment, but since when had lack of concrete data ever stop us from giving it the old college try, whatever that is. There was one piece of so very vital and unbelievably obvious information in two out of every three articles we read informing us the reader that Hydrogen bombs are much more powerful and much more difficult to make than nuclear bombs. Well, thank you Captain Obvious. Now that we are all so vastly more well informed, let us venture forth. We also had the boilerplate reaction from South Korea expressed so succinctly by South Korean news agency Yonhap reporting that the South Korean government issued the following response to the test, “South Korea will cooperate with regional partners to make North Korea pay a price for its hydrogen bomb test. We strongly denounce the North for conducting the fourth nuclear test as the North pushed ahead with it despite repeated warnings by the international community.” Additionally there was the report that the United Nations Security Council will be holding a special meeting to discuss the recent test, which has garnered significant international worry. Well, guess we can rest assured that the Ace number one whiz kids from New York in Turtle Bay are on the case so we can all sleep assured of absolutely nothing.

 

Perhaps we should find out what the experts have to say now that the political absurdity class has chimed in with their normal blather. Despite the seismic shockwave of moderately impressive magnitude, we did not feel a thing so we are with the experts here; experts say a hydrogen bomb most definitely would have had to generate one many times as greater than what was measured, OK, with them on that as attested, nothing felt here. Oh, strike that, our science advisor said not to be silly, we were way too far to have felt anything, and we are reporting from the wrong planet, what? Oh, wrong side of the planet, whew, was getting worried. Bruce Bennett, an analyst with the Rand Corporation was quoted telling the BBC, “The bang they should have gotten would have been ten times greater than what they’re claiming. So Kim Jong-Un is either lying, saying they did a hydrogen test when they didn’t, they just used a little bit more efficient fission weapon, or the hydrogen part of the test really didn’t work very well or the fission part didn’t work very well.” Chinese military expert Du Wenlong made a similar statement which many have taken as further proof that the test was a dud or simply not as advertised, a hydrogen bomb. This sounds so much like the initial reporting on the first nuclear test by the North Koreans where they claimed they would have gotten an explosion nearly a factor of ten times with a real nuclear device only to find out later that there are actual nuclear devices which such a low yield is the exact signature their test or even use would produce. When further data was gathered it became obvious that there were anomalies still present at the test site which might have been induced by an extremely large magnetic pulse, exactly what would have resulted from an EMP device, or so many nuclear scientists reported. I was waiting to hear from President Jimmy Carter as he, after all, received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946 in physics and in the Navy he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. He was also chosen by Admiral Hyman Rickover for the nuclear submarine program. He was assigned to Schenectady, N.Y., where he took graduate work at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics, and served as senior officer of the pre-commissioning crew of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine. Would we have finally had him speak on something he was actually trained to know? Maybe not, we might have been expecting too much from old Jimmy.

 

Every expert simply had to show us their credentials were valid by pointing out that nuclear bombs are fission and hydrogen bombs are fusion, glad they cleared that up. Now let us muddy their simplistic description. A regular nuclear bomb actually detonates in two stages. The first stage is a high explosive charge which either propels a bullet into a core forcing them to reach critical mass and produce the nuclear fission or shaped charges are carefully triggered using flash detonators as they provide the separation of detonations such that only the triggered section of shaped charge explodes when its particular detonator is triggered and these flash detonators fire with very accurate timing far beyond the capability of a normal detonator and this compresses the fissile material which cause the nuclear explosion. Despite there being two stages to the nuclear fissile explosion due to critical mass being achieved, only the nuclear explosion would be detected by satellite monitoring as they monitor the flash wave of light. For a hydrogen bomb there is the a nuclear fissile explosion, a normal nuclear bomb, which then forces the fusion by reaching sufficient pressures and temperature for the fusion of hydrogen atoms and these emit two separate, though closely sequenced flashes which can be detected by satellites. These satellites use a system referred to as ‘bang meters’ which if they receive the double strike with the correct separation they know a hydrogen bomb has been detonated. The United States, Russia and probably China if not others have such detection satellites in orbit so if the North Koreans did detonate a hydrogen bomb successfully these and other satellites would have reported the test almost immediately and the main nuclear powers would have received such data almost immediately so any ambiguity on their part is completely intentional.

 

On the completely trustable front, White House press secretary Josh Earnest suggested Pyongyang was lying, according to comments carried by Business Insider quoting him as saying, “We’re obviously going to continue to look at this by monitoring the situation, assessing the available data and evidence,” Earnest said, adding, “But the initial analysis is not consistent with the claims that the regime has made of a successful hydrogen-bomb test. There’s nothing that’s occurred in the last 24 hours that has caused the U.S. government to change our assessment of North Korea’s technical and military capabilities.” Well, that ought to settle it and we bet that President Obama likely called President Carter and after speaking about his brush with cancer got down to the important stuff, like if President Carter had viewed the tapes of President Obama and his problematic sand trap golf swing and as a side not requested President Carter’s expertise on the North Korean hydrogen bomb test at which point President Carter likely blamed the test on Netanyahu and the IDF. Then there was the State Department spokesman John Kirby who issued a statement positing that, “The United States government judges North Korea to have conducted a nuclear test yesterday. We strongly condemn this violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions.”

 

What do we know for sure? North Korea has definitely tested a nuclear device magnitudes more powerful than any past nuclear test. Whatever knowledge was gleaned from this test will be, if it already has not been, shared with their scientific fellow scientists in Iran. Additionally these two powers have shared technical developments and carried out test for each other for quite a number of years now. Both sides are gaining knowledge without having to test these items within their own national borders thus North Korea gains rocket and missile as well as other weapons systems while Iran can test new nuclear designs in North Korea thus appearing to have observed at least that part of the nuclear agreement. Whether the device was fission or fusion, it was considerably more powerful than any previous test. The Western World is playing down any significance of the test despite whatever nervous feelings may be being felt in Europe knowing that Iran will benefit from this North Korean tested nuclear device. We have not received a straight answer about the complete knowledge that Western Intelligence Agencies actually know about this nuclear test in North Korea right down to whose design was being tested. We cannot rule out the probability that this was a joint effort between Iran and North Korea and if this was just a more efficient nuclear test, then we need to ascertain if the device was weaponized through miniaturization such that the device can readily be fitted to the Ballistic Missiles both Iran and North Korea possesses. There are more additional questions than there have been official statements and this is not likely to change in the near future and will only come to the surface if somebody leaks the true reality to the news services and they see fit to run with this potential bombshell of information. We cannot rule out Russian assistance in these events or anybody else. So, all we can do is pray and wait to see what comes next. North Korea has previously tested such devices twice in rapid succession; so we can expect a second test within the next four to six weeks. Such developments are simply further proof that the world keeps getting more and more dangerous and we are rushing forward without a care that the brakes are out and the downhill grade has increasing steepness and the only consolation we can take is it will be a wild and dangerous ride.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 7, 2015

The World After President Obama

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There are those amongst my friends and acquaintances who fear that President Obama will declare Martial Law after instigating some false national emergency whose borderline irrational fear mirrors that of those who feared the same from President George W. Bush. There is too much precedent for such to occur and President Obama will step down and give way to the duly elected President in mid-January of 2017 after the 2016 November elections. The question remains what shape will the world present to the next President and what shape will they find the United States presenting them, allowing for actions to steer the United States after their inauguration. The one point that needs to be made is this assessment is made with absolutely no regards from which party or who will be the next President as we can cross that bridge when we reach it. The first thing is the President will face his power on foreign policy will start from a position of actual weakness not felt by the United States since the start of World War II and actually in worse condition than at the end of President Carter or any other. They will be facing a situation where every branch of the military will have had bordering neglect of weapons systems and other vital maintenance with potentially the nuclear deterrent and missile systems in potentially the worst shape with some munitions in such disrepair as to require their destruction and the necessary systems for producing and upgrading these vital assets also teetering on exhausted supplies and neglected condition as to make their management a simple case of dereliction of duty caused by strangled funding and intentional degradation ordered from the highest places. They will find the senior officers to be largely made up of a weakened corps of merely ‘yes men’ and actual pacifists who believe the United States military would best serve the world in the capacity to deliver aid but not necessarily deliver force of arms beyond the shoreline with the exception of utilizing drones and other stand-off weapons partially due to depleted manpower caused by decreased funding and the paring down of the military leadership through neglect to make efforts to retain the officer’s corps.

 

The rebuilding of the military power will take a concerted effort and require massive funding increases which will make any promise of reduction of the tax burden near to impossible to deliver on in the first two years without simply patching some of the most serious areas of military weakness due to nearly eight years of intentional neglect and lack of concerns for the consequences. There will be the need for some of the cancelled military productions and for consideration of developing modern replacement for some of the oldest of the vital systems. The B-52 heavy bombing corps is utilizing airframes mostly built before 1990 and using systems designed originally in the early and mid-1950s and receiving upgrades restricted to that airframe and other limitations due to restrictions resulting from the designs being of antiquated designs and technologies which would require extensive restructuring of the basic airframe which would more likely be better served by replacement of the B-52 fleet with a new long-range bomber designed with forward looking technology. Even the B-1 and B-2 bombers are utilizing old technology and would require a complete overhaul of systems and even design. The Air Force may be better served with considering a completely new strategy where the pilots of fighter squadrons no longer were seated directly in the aircraft but instead flying the fighters from remoted position of a dedicated stealth aircraft where multiple fighters are controlled from relative safe stand-off positions. Such remotely controlled aircraft could retain much of the size of the current airframes which now being remotely controlled the airframes could be designed with intent of making high-G maneuvers previously impossible to execute due to having a pilot onboard the aircraft. Such a fleet utilizing such design parameters would revolutionize air combat for the future in ways thought unimaginable just ten years ago. The same considerations could be utilized in many modern systems when their next redesign is due especially armored combat vehicles using similar control systems allowing for the replacement of crews with automated systems which would permit decreased size and vulnerability of profile while retaining the accuracy and armaments of modern warfare armored systems. Replacing the infantryman with a robotic system is not yet feasible but should be a priority task presented to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) with an expected rollout of several prototypes each providing the same abilities with additional features possible only in a robotic system. These systems would still require human operators who would make final decisions of when to shoot and when to stand down. It is doubtful that the American population is ready for terminator styled soldiers operating independently reliant solely on advanced AI (artificial intelligence) units quite yet, but even that would be a presentable concept when considering the demands that any military action place risk on the troops minimizing any possibility of human casualties.

 

The stress on military upgrading and rebuilding is simply due to the requirement of a force to back up policy is required if one intends to have a positive position in dealings with other nations or a defensive position which by requirement is overtly careful so as not to provoke anger or rejection knowing that the military is unable to back up and enforce policies and other demands including protection of the homeland and its interests overseas. This is crucial because the next President will be facing difficulties of the United States’ own making across the globe. Europe will be facing economic challenges which will render their policies being ever more defensive and cautious with numerous European nations facing unrest within their borders. The potential for an explosion of bloodshed within the European continent is becoming not only a future threat but approaching transforming into an imminent threat uncontrolled illegal immigration will be approaching the tipping point where the European culture will become challenged which will push the European indigenous population to the point where the decision will be the same as it has been throughout human history when two disparate and opposing cultures reach the point where the minority population decides to attempt, through intimidation and other threats, to impose their norms on the ever shrinking and aging majority replacing their culture and supplanting them as those wielding power going into the future. Should Europe when so challenged react in the fashion which has served them in the past, with such response as often typified be referencing the Inquisitions, the result will be just as or even more horrific. Europe as a whole has a very disturbing history of open warfare between competing positions which were demanding for far lesser changes in the culture causing horrific wars even including civil conflicts within one’s borders. The possibility of similar response today is all too real. One need not look that far afield to bear witness to such results where internal forces rise up and before all is decided, outside forces enter the war hijacking it to forcefully take over the nation wracked already in violence in an attempt to install a new set of leadership just as dictatorial, just as oppressive, just as cruel and potentially even more barbarous than the one being overturned. Such disasters even threaten to redraw the maps casting the formation for the sham and relativity designed solely to enrich foreign investments. Such is what is being fought over and is the main reasoning given by ISIS who is intent on supplanting both the former dictator and those who sought to replace their dictator with a modern system most likely with elected representation resulting in what is oft referred to as a democracy. Should ISIS prove victorious, there will be a new leadership in the form of a Caliph, an old title being restored so as to impose an old dictatorial leadership who takes their claim to the throne based on historic familial relationship to former Caliphs all the way to Muhammad thus adding a religious basis for their power. Such a religious tyranny would be very similar though diametrically opposed to the theocratic dictatorship of Iran, the other eight-hundred-pound gorilla in this struggle. The third leg of this societal struggle would be represented by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi who has yet to be fully defined and is the sole representative desiring to inspire his nation to become the towering example of how an Arab and Muslim state is capable of using elections as the tool for actually choosing the national governance but also guaranteed to be free and open elections even should he be defeated, and then comes the real test as to whether or not the newly elected leader after President Sisi also chooses to continue the liberal march into modernity or chooses to install themselves as the unchallengeable leader of Egypt. Meanwhile, there are three distinct powers currently vying to lead by two of these and the third simply has desires of surviving the current assaults on its existence which has been an active fight since its inception in May of 1948 and has been pressed to remain on the cusp between militaristic power and start-up nation with a thriving economy wishing only to be unleashed by the restraints necessitated by a constant threat of war.

 

The largest challenge looming on the horizon and very possibly to explode before the end of President Obama’s remaining time in office is of his own doing. The potential for the start of a struggle that would forever change the world may have started once President Obama completes his own set goal of bringing Iran back into the world of nations. The manner in which President Obama set out to perform this miracle would have entailed defanging Iran and then inviting them to join the nations of the world with peaceful intentions by Iran. Instead we have a United States President blindly charging forth demanding this will be his legacy, the making of Iran a coequal partner of the Middle East. The one unavoidable fact is that just as Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) will be his domestic policy legacy; just as, if not more, dreadful will be his foreign policy legacy as Iran becomes a nuclear power which will have established a basic arsenal of deliverable nuclear warheads consisting of minimally a dozen and more likely three to four dozen with at least one third being thermonuclear warheads (hydrogen fusion warheads). This will place Iran well ahead of whatever plans Saudi Arabia may have in place. This announcement may come at any moment all dependent upon the extent and advancement of the Iranian nuclear weapons program. The truth is the world has absolutely no clue as to whether or not Iran already possesses a number of nuclear warheads hidden away from the prying eyes wandering across the skies both orbital and others ground based aircraft. The one truth we do know is that once it becomes obvious that Iran has become a nuclear power, then it will not take numerous other Middle East nations to develop and start building their nuclear weapons arsenals. This new weapons conflict may be solely restrained by the availability of Uranium in any form to be enriched to weapons level of over ninety-percent and then its merging with the rest of the warhead. Below is the list of known nuclear weapons states and an estimate on their numbers of warheads. Once Iran has announced or been determined beyond a reasonable doubt to be armed with nuclear weapons, then the list below will become somewhat obsolete as it is rumored that Saudi Arabia has a standing agreement with Pakistan to purchase approximately one dozen nuclear warheads just so Saudi Arabia will be covered while they acquire and build their own weapons thereafter. One can also expect that Egypt and Turkey would follow suit and develop their own nuclear weapons systems. The breakdown of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also referred to as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), will tempt certain other members to choose to opt out and develop their own nuclear weapons. Some nations may decide to develop and build their own nuclear weapons while retaining their place on the NPT committees. Some of the other nations which might decide the time has come to join the nuclear club include Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Taiwan and Japan to name a few that came to mind. The nuclear club is perched to become a far larger club of nations where its membership will no longer be the reserved of the very elite but start to resemble another useless body, the United Nations General Assembly which has become a place where the barbarians sit in judgement making decisions that carry no weight behind them beyond the media attention they generate.

1) Russia 7,500
2) United States 7,100
3) France 300
4) China 250
5) United Kingdom 225
6) Pakistan120 (estimated)
7) India 110 (estimated)
8) Israel 80 (estimated)
9) North Korea < 10 (estimated)
10) Iran ??

 

The final stage is China and her continuous efforts to claim the South China Sea and all the islands found within that general area. The problem is there are other nations who claim these islands and who hold claims just as valid. There is a chance of a conflict here though one has to imagine that China is the eight-hundred-pound gorilla of Asia as her size and modernized army with weapons to match and including nuclear weapons. This is the main reason that Japan, Taiwan and even the Philippines might all be slowly reaching the conclusion that if they are to prevent China taking over the islands one after the other inexorably slinking towards their main Isles thus posing an ever growing threat to these Island nations, they are considering that which would have a decade ago been unthinkable, joining the nuclear armed nations so as to have equal threat potential against China. More as an aside than a warning, one must also remember that the most recent Russian madman, Putin, has delusions of reestablishing Greater Russia and now that China and Russia are back on speaking terms, they have been talking of an alliance for sharing technological advances, nuclear technology, weapons research and development. This has an ominous side in that most terrorist groups have either Russia or China at the head of their supply chain. All taken in, we find the nation of the United States with a military that many have pointed to as merely having the strength the United States could project at the very start of World War II, Russia and China ascending, Iran, supported by Russia and China, being handed nuclear weapons and a very large industrial scale systems to construct said weapons from where they will begin to exercise power over the Middle East and perhaps beyond to Central and South America through Venezuela and Cuba being aided by Russia who appears poised to reacquire the lands of Eastern Europe and Central Eurasia, reestablishing the concept of a Greater Russia. Additionally there is China with an ever more capable navy claiming and taking one island after another while claiming all of the South China Sea and threatening to replace America as the preeminent power in the Pacific including the coastal areas in South America and made all the worse as the United States had gifted China with owning the ports at both ends of the Panama Canal even before the turn of the calendar to the twenty-first century.Then Iran has as luck would have it control over the Straits of Hormuz through which almost all of the Middle Eastern oil is transported to the world and is taking control the straits of Bab el Mandeb through their proxy in Yemen, the Houthis, which grants them control over the Suez Canal as this is where the Red Sea enters the Gulf of Aden leading to the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the world thus granting Iran control over one third of the world’s trade and oil while China controls the busiest sea in the South China Sea as well as the second busiest canal in the Panama Canal. How much more change can the world hope to endure?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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