Beyond the Cusp

November 3, 2017

Israel Can be Instrumental in Building South America

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu just visited Buenos Aires, Argentina where he gave an important speech. The importance of the Prime Minister’s visit cannot be overstated as this was the first visit by a sitting Israeli Prime Minister to South America and as such it carries much weight. His every word will be over analyzed by the media and we will leave that to those who hang on every syllable seeking a single note on which to pounce. So let them have their joys. Meanwhile, Israeli companies and investors could and should follow-up on the Prime Minister’s comments and introductions. Still, at this point we are obliged to quote a few of his words which we will allow the privilege of standing on their own. Prime Minister Netanyahu, after the exchanging of pleasantries, stated, “The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is an innovation nation. The power of innovation is endless. New industries are created from thin air literally. They create wealth very rapidly.” The Prime Minister then made what we feel was the main point of his visit and all he said presenting an invitation and request all in one breathe with this pondering, “This meeting, this event today marks this change in our ability to cooperate, so I want to make it clear that we welcome all Argentinian companies to come to Israel with the Deputy President and subsequently later on in the second half of the year with the President. We welcome all Israeli companies to come to Argentina and share the ability to produce value.”

 

The remainder of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech could have been an introduction of a university professor speaking of the course syllabus for an economics class. But this introduction and invitation for an exchange of companies to mutual development was also extended to Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes when he and the Israeli Prime Minister met in Buenos Aires during the trip. There has been must interest in South America and in working to initiate relationships of mutual value as well as assistance with development when necessary and possible. Israel’s hopes to have a positive effect in South America where welcomed as has been done in numerous African nations where Israel has assisted in medical developments and treatments as well as introducing methods of agriculture, water purification, irrigation and other technologies where they are useful and assisting development. The needs and interests in South America are of a different nature and of a greater technological nature. Still, just as in Africa, water purification including desalinization and clean energy are valuable technologies as well as communications and other areas where Israel has developed advanced systems. Exchanges of ideas and production can only benefit all nations. For a small introduction to the Israeli hi-tech industries and their global connections one can read this article for some insight.

 

Africa and Israel and South America

Africa and Israel and South America

 

This also gives Israel an opportunity to display the real Israel to this area of the world and that could be the beginning of an effort to dispel the radicalized view which has infected much of the world through efforts such as the BDS movement and other anti-Israeli efforts which have spread throughout the world. Through the Israeli people having direct dealings and contact with others throughout the world and showing their best side, these lies can be defeated. The best answer to the propagandas spread about Israel will be the Israeli people, the Jews, Bahá’í, Bedouins, Christians, Druze, Arabs and Muslims, yes, Arab Muslims who live, work, play, relax, swim, worship and every other right given to Jews is shared by every other citizen of Israel. Through interaction with people in other nations, such truths become known and through the truth Israel will be exonerated in the eyes and minds of the world. There are rewards to be had by every nation, every person, every company and for Israel too from sharing and showing the truth to all. That is the opportunity that Prime Minister Netanyahu has spoken for and is the opportunity for Israel to better her image and for the world to benefit from these efforts and the gifts and knowledge Israel can and has willingly shared with others and is now being offered to the nations of South America willing to have an honest exchange.

 

The good news is trade and exchange with Israel will benefit the nations of South America as well as Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu was correct when he said, “The power of innovation is endless. New industries are created from thin air literally.” He was also quite correct, though slightly immodest, when he prefaced that with, “The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is an innovation nation.” This is the atmosphere which people breathe in Israel which is what brings with it success. What helps other nations is they bring that excitement, that innovation and that attitude with them and share these wonders wherever they wander. This brings with it great opportunities and often great successes. Apart from the added inputs, innovations and perspectives Israelis gain working with people from other nations, Israel gains by showing the truth of what makes up Israel, what Israel offers, who Israelis are and every aspect and truth which is Israel. This gives others the opportunity to know some of the truths which are Israel and Israelis and what is so precious to Israelis about Israel itself. This is as important as are the other opportunities and advantages of trade for Israel and those with whom Israel trades. It is that it is a trade which is of mutual advantage and that serves all parties, and that is another truth which will be born out. We hope that the nations, especially the democratic and free nations, of South America will take full advantage of the invitation and the opportunity offered and that all parties have the greatest experience and gains possible. Prime Minister Netanyahu has tried to open these doors and now we just have to see who decides to take that first step.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2016

It’s Final and It’s Clinton and Trump

 

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

 

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

 

Clinton vs Trump

Clinton vs Trump

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 19, 2014

Does a Renewable Energy Source Exist to Replace Coal?

There are rumors that President Obama actually desires making coal use for generating electricity or powering anything from locomotives to furnaces unusable by regulating and adding governmental costs making it financially unfeasible. So, that begs the question of what in the universe can we find to replace coal to produce the almost sixty percent of electricity currently facilitated by coal. There has been the suggestion that these coal fired plants could all be converted to natural gas. Besides the enormous expense of switching from coal to natural gas being prohibitive, not all the coal plants are capable of being easily transformed to coal and others might be more readily and financially affordable to switch to oil fired plants, also a target of the ecological lobby for extinction right behind the death of coal, so that would only be a temporary fix at great expense. Replacing the coal plants with nuclear fueled generation plants would take far too long to bring then on-line and producing as the first set of new regulations and fees on the coal plants are set to be applied this year. President Obama fully intends to keep his promise to make coal too expensive to be a viable fuel for electrical generation. The drive to force the United States to reliance solely on renewable energy production is well on its way to fruition. Coal is simply the first step and it will only be a matter of time before all carbon fossil fuels will be regulated and financially pressured out of business. So, what do we use that is reusable to produce electricity in the future or do we simply return to a pre-electricity society and using candles to light our homes at night and sweaters and blankets to warm us in the cold of winter?

 

The claim that solar power has become viable is a bunch of eco-propaganda. Hydrogen powered plants are not feasible as it is still far too energy intensive making the hydrogen in quantities necessary to generate sufficient electricity to meet the current needs, let alone the likely increase in the future. If fusion power had been made even possible it might have provided a sufficient alternative to coal. The real problem with finding an alternative to coal is the simple enormity of the demand as there does not yet exists any eco-friendly fuel that could even be considered a viable or available alternative. The one renewable source of fuel that currently exists is the venerable tree but even wood could not be renewed fast enough to actually serve the purpose. There would be other side-effects to attempting to use trees as a replacement and renewable fuel source for coal; it would not leave any wood for furniture, boats, baseball bats, crochet mallets (not an earthshaking loss) or numerous other items many of which are enhanced by the beauty of wood with its natural grains and other qualities. Wood from trees provides a building material unequalled and unreplaceable for many numerous applications. Simply burning trees to make electricity would first of all still produce the same pollutants as coal, as trees left to age deep underground long enough might become the coal in the future, and secondly would denude the world’s forests in a very short time thus making trees actually not workable as a renewable fuel source. Maybe we need to slow down just enough to realize a workable and affordable plan to replace coal as the main provider of electrical generation and phase it out rather than tax and regulating it out with no plan in place to allow modern life to continue. Do we need to find a cleaner fuel than coal? Probably, but coal has been made cleaner and many, if not most, coal fired plants have been modernized and are far cleaner than they were just twenty years ago. Technology has been working to find cleaner and renewable energy sources and will, with time, find the next fuel source. Until that discovery has been made and a reliable and affordable replacement fuel is found, it might be prudent not to burn down the bridges to coal power quite yet. The other thing that needs to be kept in consideration, coal is one of the most cost efficient methods of producing electrical power and without coal fired electrical generation much of the newly developing nations would not have the electrical power necessary to continue their evolution to modernity. With time and the added affluence that will come with advanced abilities and technologies these nations too will transfer to cleaner energy generation. The one truth we have learned from the experiences of European nations, the United States and the rest of the first world nations are that with affluence and advancing technology the amounts of pollution produces as a byproduct of industry and power generation steadily decreases. Should governments apply pressure to facilitate the switch to cleaner energy? Yes, but not at such a price as to make life so expensive that the level of comfort for the majority of the people is destroyed because power becomes too costly. The idea is to progress as quickly as possible without leaving any large numbers of people behind and unable to adapt to the new energies. Time, effort, research and eco-friendly considerations are necessary for progress in energy generation but so is compassion, economics, feasibility studies and a steady, methodical, well-thought-out setoff plans is also necessary if the entirety of society is to be brought into the new eco-energy age as a whole, and that should be the plan, not just a bull-rush, damn the torpedoes, full-speed ahead.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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