Amazing Scientists and Engineers in North Korea

Japan controlled Korea from 1910 until the unconditional surrender documents were signed ending the Asian portion of WWII in 1945. Just days earlier the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and rushed into the northern portionof Korea before the armistice agreement was signed. When the United States suggested a partition at the 38th parallel the Russians agreed instantly even though the capital, Seoul was just 35 miles south of the 38th parallel. The influence of the Soviet Union was a critical factor in establishing a communist government in the North with Kim Il-sung as the leader. Since control has followed family lines with his grandson, Kim Jong-un, the current leader. Kim Jong-un was raised along with his generation to detest America. Kim Jong-un wastes his whole life anticipating and preparing for an attack by America. He is the perfect stooge to fall prey from outside influence.

They tell us that as late as April 2016, North Korea tested an engine designed to power an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). On June 23, 2017, North Korea again tested a new rocket engine for an ICBM. Less than two weeks later North Korea launched another ICBM that flew only 37 minutes but we are told it demonstrated the capability of reaching Alaska, Hawaii, or Seattle. The ICBM launched on July, 28, 2017 was even more impressive since Los Angeles, Chicago, and New your were supposedly within range.

In March 2016, a photo was released of a North Korean war head with the assessment that it was too large to use in the nose of an ICBM. On August 8, 2017 the same photo was released with a proclamation from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), that North Korea had produced miniaturized warheads for ICBMs.

The story of the missile and warhead development is not believable. No technical program as complex as rocket design or warhead development progresses at such a rapid rate. A window into the truth was opened on August 14, 2017 when the New York Times revealed the North Korean advancement in missile technology was traced to a Ukranian company that was a prime source for the Soviet Union missiles during the cold war.

There is an obvious link between Russia, Putin, the Ukranian company that manufactures missiles, and North Korea that has not appeared in the news or as a statement from any of the U.S. intelligence organizations. Putin has a backdoor deal to stick a finger in Donald Trump using North Korea’s young blustering dictator as his puppet. Notice the similar technique used in the North Korea story and the drip, drip, stories about Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. A missile story released or rocket fired followed by a pause until the story started to fade from the news, then miraculously there would appear another item of interest. The published articles were not always success stories but even failures had silver lining. If the rocket had successfully lifted off the launch pad it would have circled the globe. The next time you see a picture of Putin with a big smile on his face you will know why. He is making fools of North Korea, the United States, and Donald Trump all at the same time!

The American Dictator – Part 2

“I love war” the man says in a video. Joe Scarborough, a tried and true Republican quotes him as asking, “Why don’t we use our nuclear arsenal?” Yet, 63 million people succeeded in electing him President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the most expensive military in the world at a time when Congress refuses to even acknowledge that it is the responsibility of Congress not the President to declare war.

The Republicans have unleashed a mad dog! Even though we are still engaged in the 16 year war in Afghanistan and the 14 year war in Iraq which are still stumbling along, the dictator wants at least one war with his name on it. He views Putin as a hero and buddy. He seems to admire the way Putin decided he wanted Crimea so he stole it. Then Putin wanted more, just like our dictator does. So Putin sent troops and equipment to Syria. Our dictator saw this and drooled. Now our dictator has attacked an airfield in Syria, threatened Iran, and threatened a young dictator in North Korea. Bigly mistake as our dictator would say if he actually understood his actions. Kim Jong-un was raised by a bitter old man that never got over the Korean “police action” and spent years from 1953 until his death in 2011 hating America and teaching his country to hate America while he amassed a paramilitary of 6 million troops. The son, Kim Jong-un was taught to hate America and firmly believes we intend to invade North Korea. Our dictator is taunting Kim Jong-un by sending warships, defensive rockets and making unnecessary threats toward North Korea. He has provided Kim Jong-un with the perfect excuse to take military action to protect his country. He may not strike the American military directly but it is only 60 miles from North Korea to Seoul, the capital of South Korea and Japan is within easy reach of North Korean missiles.

Our dictator aggravates the situation by insisting we go it alone and be the big dog on the international stage. He seems to work at insulting potential and existing allies. He insists upon a wall between the United States and our neighbor to the south, Mexico, and pretends he has the authority to force them to pay for the Dumb Wall of Trump. He has imposed a tariff on lumber from Canada and insulted Germany when he refused to shake hands with Angela Merkel. He snubbed China when he accepted a phone call from Taiwan and called China a currency manipulator. Now he has to eat his words to beg China for help with North Korea. The people in England circulated a petition to prohibit him from visiting their country and the royal family because they find him so distasteful. He accused Iran of playing with fire after they launched a missile test and put them “on notice”. He ended a phone call prematurely with Australia’s prime minister. Australia is one of the few countries we have a positive trade balance with and they have provided military support in our ill conceived wars. History would view our dictator in a much better light if he ended military actions we are involved in and made more friends around the globe.

One might think the Republican members of Congress would march to the White House, bang on the door and set the dictator straight. But they don’t do that. Why? Because many of them are as dumb as he is!

This article is also published in the Garland Democratic Voice monthly newsletter at www.garlanddemocraticvoice.com

 

Is the Climate Changing?

I’ll let you in on a secret right now. I’m not going to answer the question in the title. It certainly seems like the climate is changing. The ice is melting at both poles and storms and severe weather at least appear to be more frequent.  But 50 years ago we didn’t and couldn’t predict and track storms weeks in advance or track the weather in such detail.

Are humans responsible for all or part of the climate change? I won’t answer that question either. So why am I bothering to write this article? That question I can answer. In spite of reading several books that support the theory of climate change and multiple books written by deniers that mostly just whine because they feel they don’t get the coverage they deserve, I still have some very basic questions.

1) The only chart I have seen of the earth’s average temperature as a function of the amount carbon dioxide in the atmosphere shows the temperature rise before the carbon dioxide increases. That was explained as being an anomaly associated with ice core samples. A lame explanation!

2) Why have they selected the earth’s average temperature as a metric? To simplify the argument, assume you average the temperature at my house with the temperature in death valley. Of what value is that? If the temperature at my house and death valley go up at the same time, or both go down, or if they go opposite directions what have we learned that affects life or the environment?

4) There is a great debate about the magnitude of the temperature increase in the near and distant future. While some predict cooling most predict the earth’s average temperature will increase between 1  and 6 degree C  by the end of this century. On a typical day in Garland, Texas the temperature will increase by 20 or 30 degree C on without an environmental disaster and this goes on day after day year round!

5) When I walk my dogs, the temperature drops significantly with cloud cover or going from bright sunlight to a shaded area in a matter of seconds. How do the computer programs predict cloud and water vapor effects with any accuracy?

6) Is 300 or 400 parts per million of carbon monoxide thousands of feet above the earth really significant?  A cartoon in the Dallas Morning News summed up this issue very nicely. What about the other 999, 650 parts per million?

I support cleaning up the atmosphere for health reasons. Give our children a break, particularly those near or downwind from a power plant. But I would still like to find believable data showing that human behavior is a major factor casing climate change!

 

The American Dictator

I’m going to venture into a realm I probably shouldn’t but I feel a need to. My wife and I are recovering from the shock of the election results. It’s not easy. Every day Donald Trump scrapes the bottom of the barrel for his cabinet based on their net worth or the number of stars on their shoulder and mostly their loyalty to him,

In my previous post I discussed his personality in terms of a playground bully. When that bully becomes an adult those characteristics become much more ominous. The dictator believes he is the only one that can govern a country. Donald Trump said, “I am the only one that can solve these problems.” The dictator amasses as much personal wealth as he can because he believes he deserves it and he cannot trust others with it. The dictator shares is wealth only with those in his inner circle of people he trusts and even then only if he feels he absolutely has to share it. The dictator demands absolute loyalty. The first action of a dictator when he takes office is to replace the military leadership with military leaders that are absolutely loyal to him. “I know more than the generals.” “I will fire the generals.” At least 4 retired generals are being considered or have been chosen for cabinet positions including the Secretary of Defense. A dictator jails or destroys his political enemies. “I will jail Hillary Clinton.” A dictator is thin skinned and loses his temper at the slightest provocation. Twitter posts for weeks over trivial issues. Since the dictator cannot trust others. He has little use for their advice and cares even less about their opinions of him or his policies. The dictator blames all problems on others because he cannot make a mistake.

It is extremely troublesome to have a President-elect that said: “I love war.” “Why don’t we use our nuclear arsenal?” Admitted he groped women because he could as a celebrity. The list is too long to continue here. I’ll let someone else write the book.

What the hell were voters thinking? Do they really think a guy that claims he is worth $10 billion dollars knows how they live and will look out for their interests” A guy that has trampled over employees and contractors in bankruptcy proceedings while he walks away with money falling from his pockets isn’t the friend of the middle class. Look at the group he has chosen for his cabinet, billionaires and generals so he isn’t bothered by mere millionaires and other riff-raff. Well, I hope 4 years from now the Trump voters can brag that they were right and I was wrong but obviously I don’t believe that now! We need to keep a close watch over this character! He will give corporations all kinds of tax breaks but it will produce very few jobs here. The big corporations that could actually make a difference are already sitting on over $2 trillion stashed overseas they could invest here.

 

The International Trade Deals are Killing Us – Part 9

Donald Trump seems to understand the trade deficit is a major problem but he has no idea how to solve the problem. Here is my assessment of Mr. Trump or as I like to call him Donald T. Rump!

The Republican nominee for President has characteristics and mannerism that are very troubling. He lies then denies he lied even when shown a video of him telling the lie. His mannerisms are typical of the bully on the fifth grade playground. He cannot withstand any kind of criticism and everything bad is someone else’s fault. He cannot believe anyone else could be smarter, have a better idea, or do something better than he can. He constantly uses adverbs and adjectives to ensure we understand how superior he is to the rest of us. He consistently accuses others of doing things he himself does especially lying. This is a characteristic of a spoiled child!

In the primary calling his opponents names was his idea of a joke: low energy Jeb, lying Ted, etc. Neither friend or foe was exempt from his attempts to embarrass them. The sad part is millions cheered him on like it was a kick-boxing contest. He hasn’t even been elected yet but is making his excuses for his loss already blaming the rigged system and the media. How the hell he can blame the media puzzles me. He doesn’t buy advertisement time because stories about him crowd the airwaves from dawn to dusk. Everything he does is what you would expect from a bully!

His self-centered personality shows clearly in this business history of bankruptcies and vendors he left behind unpaid after the vendor fulfilled the contract while he walks away with money dripping from his pockets. He is selfish and inconsiderate. No one else matters! He tells us he wants to deport our neighbors and split families even though they are law abiding and hard working. He wanted to change the judge in a lawsuit he was involved in because the judge’s name sounded Mexican to him.

“Trust me, I have an excellent brain!” is not a policy. He gives us no meaningful or acceptable solution to our problems. He’ll destroy ISIS immediately. How, when, who? He had to ask why we don’t use our nuclear weapons! He is going to tell China what? Where is he going to turn for loans to cover our annual deficit if China says no? He is going to unilaterally scrap the free trade agreements? Of all the people on this earth, he should be the most aware of the economics of such an action. He thinks all nations should have nuclear weapons. Has he ever heard of North Korea? Is he aware of Kim Jong-un and his goal of building a missile with a nuclear warhead that can reach the United States?

If the Republican nominee should walk into the White House in January he says he will replace many of the Generals. That is a typical move by a dictator to ensure he will have the support of the military if anyone opposes him. His hero is Vladimir Putin, whom he considers to be a great leader. Look at those he has chosen to be in his inner circle. A previous lobbyist with strong ties to Russia was his chief of staff until his personal history became public knowledge. A man from Breitbart known for using lies and insinuations to destroy political opponent’s reputation and careers. My advice to those with assault weapons to defend themselves against the United States Government. Hang on to them. You may well need them if this self-centered character gets elected as our President Putin’s buddy. Neither Mr. President or Mr. Dictator sounds right for addressing a TZAR!

This was first published in the Garland Democratic Voice. www.garlanddemocraticvoice.com Sept 2016

The International Trade Deficit is Killing Us! – Part 8

I don’t have a lot of confidence the TPP will be defeated. Politicians are too slick for that. A good example is school board bond issues. They announce them shortly before a municipal election. They know turn out will be atrociously low and the people that do vote will mostly be those that will gain financially from the bond. The results have very little to do with actual school needs or even the way the money is spent. That is how a small city like Allen, Texas ends up with a $60 million football stadium for a high school. The politicians will likely try to push through the TPP during President Obama’s lame duck period after the election in November but before he leaves office in January. They may wait until Hillary takes office but I doubt it. There are still a lot of people that oppose the TPP.

Too many America don’t have the foggiest idea what the TPP  is or understand the consequences. At the Texas state Democratic convention I spoke to a crowd that was almost totally opposed to the TPP. I told them between 1976 and 2015 international trade had siphoned over $10 TRILLION from our economy. Only one woman seemed to understand and react to that comment. Sometimes life is frustrating! I hope this blog has at least a little impact.

The International Trade Deficit is Killing Us! – Part 7

To summarize, the United States cannot continue on the path we are on. International trade is draining over half a trillion dollars a year from our economy and there are at least two more trade deals in the works, The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) negotiated by the same people or people with the same beliefs. They will continue to relinquish our dollars and our sovereignty to other countries.  Along with many other countries we face the burden of an older population retiring, collecting Social Security, and needing medical attention from Medicare. Add to that two expensive wars and the defense budget coupled with homeland security, the CIA, the FBI, the TSA, and the NSA. Add a Congress that refuses to raise taxes and you have a disaster. The only thing keeping us afloat is a large printing press and the willingness of other nations to loan us money by buying treasury securities. In the 1960s and 1970s the Japanese started buying assets in America, Now China is fussing about American dollars and wants to buy assets here also. The ultra-rich won’t see any difference for a while but the rest of us will. Our lifestyle will continue to degrade. Fewer jobs will be available because jobs will continue to flow overseas and be automated. More people will be trapped in poverty. Retirees will see their benefits cut. And with a Congress that can’t see beyond the end of their nose we will sink into being a third rate country before we come to our senses. I would be glad to be wrong but I do not believe I am! We need to change our course, slowly but steadily until we are on the road to prosperity again. To start reject the TPPA and the TAPA free trade agreements.

If you would like the other side of the story go to www.ustr.gov but beware and check their “facts.” They don’t hold up when you review the history of trade deals.

Don’t forget to visit our website to see other issues of interest: www.garlanddemocraticvoice.com

 

 

The international trade deficit is killing us! – Part 6

When you look at the objections to Britain’s membership in the European Union they mirror the cries of U.S. citizens, some legitimate and some not. Migrants are taking jobs from Americans, they work for lower wages, and they pose a security risk. The rich are getting richer and the rest of the country is left behind. Wages are stagnant or falling. Rules and regulations are inhibiting businesses. There is too much poverty.

While the UK is subject to rules and regulations from the EU, we slowly being subjected to international laws from various sources that control international interaction between nations and directly or indirectly what nations can do within their own borders. The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement (TPP or TPPA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are two examples where we allow a small group of international lawyers to make decisions that can override laws, rules, or regulations that may be intended to protect the health or life of U.S. citizens just to enhance the profit of a corporation. A foreign corporation can also sue the U.S. for imaginary profits it might have made if our government hadn’t enacted a law or regulation. I understand completely why some in the UK were upset about being subjected to EU rules or laws. At one point in our history it was called taxation without representation. I don’t agree with their solution and I do not recommend a tea party or revolutionary war.  They have not thought enough about the consequences! We will see how the new Prime Minister Theresa May handles the political mess she has been handed. Good luck!

The International Trade Deficit is Killing Us – Part 5

Now it’s time for you to do the thinking and answer the questions. How could TRILLIONS of dollars and millions of jobs flow overseas and not be a major concern for our government? 435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 senators, the president and cabinet members each have a staff and yet no one (except possibly Ron Paul) has raised the trade deficit as a serious issue until now when the TPP has captured some attention. WHY? This didn’t start yesterday. It basically started in the 1960’s with the Japanese automobiles crossing our borders. Then President Nixon opened the door for China in the early 1970’s and the world rushed in. Why would our government want to ship manufacturing jobs overseas? With those manufacturing jobs goes the standard of living for the middle class, fewer tax payers, higher deficits, and increased national and personal debt.

In cases of dispute the TPP and NAFTA allow a panel of three international lawyers to pass judgment with no appeal allowed. There is no protection from conflict of interest or corporate influence. TransCanada could and probably will sue the United States for the mythical profit they lost because we barred them from putting the Keystone XL pipeline in the Ogallala aquifer that furnishes drinking water for millions of people and the irrigation water for about one third of our agricultural production. That pipeline was intended to carry dilbit, the product mined in Canada bitumen, diluted with 30 to 50 percent petroleum product similar to lighter fluid. What could go wrong? They had to dig up a large portion of the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline for poor welds only a few months after it started operation. In the dispute TransCanada  could claim they lost $2 trillion and the decision would be made by 3 people with no idea what dilbit is or if they actually did lose that much.

Is it a conspiracy, ignorance,  or is it simply that people key positions believe they are doing the right thing but don’t understand the consequences of their actions? Why are they edging us toward an international governing body that can override our own laws and regulations even those intended to prevent harm or health issues within our own borders? Why would they allow foreign corporations and subsidiaries of U.S. corporations sue our government for fictitious profits they claim based only on speculation? Why would they not protect us from higher prices for medications? Why would they fail to tell us what country our food comes from and let us decide if we want to buy it?

Each of us has to decide for ourselves the answer to those questions. But don’t forget, we are part of the problem. Every time we buy something that doesn’t say “made in America” some portion of the purchase price goes to a foreign country. The technology to make that item was also exported making it very difficult to revive that industry in this country. You have to work hard to find an American made products. They have us trapped in their net!

This is NOT an endorsement of Donald J. Trump or as I call him Donald T. Rump even though our trade deals are an issue in his campaign. That overgrown bully would get nowhere on the international stage trying to impose his bullying on other countries.  He has no solutions for anything!

The International trade deficit is killing us! – Part 4

I took my time writing about this section of the TPP because I’m not an attorney and the investment section is somewhat complicated. I had heard several people on TV discuss this but I wanted to find some reliable written sources. So here goes.

Chapter 9, Investments, grants foreign investors, foreign  corporations or subsidiaries of a domestic corporation, the power to sue a government because a government law or regulation restricts the corporate activity and reduces the EXPECTED profit they would have received if the government had not intervened. If the government being sued loses the lawsuit the government can be liable for the lost income and the cost incurred by the corporation. The decision is made by a panel of three private sector attorneys, not a court of law. Their decision cannot be overturned or appealed in a court of law.

This section allow foreign corporations to sue a government that passes laws or regulation intended to protect residents of a country from harm such as environmental, safety, health, or financial regulations to protect savings or retirement funds, or other government functions.

The wording in chapter 9 is similar to the wording in many of the free trade agreements including NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement). Foreign corporations have already sued because of government actions regarding climate change, mining safety, energy, clean water, clean air, toxins, labor,  and other issues and collected over $400 million through investor-state cases.  Tribunals have ordered over $3.5 billion in compensation and a potential $35 billion is still possible in pending cases. The first thing I thought of when this section got my attention was the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada was less than truthful about Keystone XL and the tar sands from the beginning but they may well go after an amount approaching a trillion dollars they might have made if their fairy princess clicked her heels.

The TPP is like a candy jar for international trade litigators! Is this how you want the government to spend your tax dollars?

More to come at a later date.

The international trade deficit is killing us! – Part 3

Before I begin my discussion, I would like to make sure you feel welcome to comment whether you agree with me or not as long your comment is civilized. Just click on “Comments” on the left side of the screen.

NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, has received a lot of negative press. Mostly for good reason. On the positive side the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce credits NAFTA with two decades of gains in trade, growth and jobs. (NAFTA TRIUMPHANT, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce publication in 2012, available online) On page 5 they present numbers from the years 1993, 2000, and 2011 to back up their claim of increased exports and imports. They are correct, there are more imports and exports. What they gloss over is in 1993 we had a positive trade balance of $1.8 billion, in 2000 a negative balance of $65 billion, and in 2011 a negative $61 billion. To bring you up to date, the trade balances for 2013, 14, and 15 are a negative $60 billion, a negative $61 billion, and a negative $66 billion. A negative balance means we imported more than we exported and the difference flowed out of our country, is no longer available to use for constructive projects, and is money we must borrow from foreign governments maybe not directly, but indirectly. What good negotiators we have looking out for us!

No one knows how many total jobs were created or lost due to NAFTA. There were too many complicating factors such as the internet boom and the 2009 recession.

If NAFTA was the only lemon trade deal we could live with it. More immigrants are returning to Mexico than are coming north. I hope that is because job opportunities are improving in Mexico. $60 billion a year should create a lot of jobs.

If you want information on other trade deals go to www.garlanddemocraticvoice.com and read the TPP supplement titled,  “Stop the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement.”

Enough till later or we both will get bored!

International trade is killing us – part 2

There is no doubt that when we go to the store and buy just about anything it is made in another country. Even if we try to buy American we almost always fail simply because the product doesn’t exist. Estimates of factories that have closed range from 40,000 to 50,000. That is a hell of a lot of jobs and family income lost. To add to the misery, many of those who have found employment either work for less per hour or work only part time.

There are legitimate reasons for large corporations to want manufacturing facilities in other countries. We are only 5 percent of the world’s population, 315 million people. China has over 4 times as many people, 1,400 million. But that doesn’t mean that corporations should turn their back on the United States. When they do, they are killing the golden goose! If they simply left enough manufacturing in the states to supply the demand in the United States, people would have better paying jobs, more money would be in circulation and corporation would share in that extra cash floating around. You might look at it as trickle up economics.

More to come but more now might put you to sleep.

Introduction – Part 1

For 5 years I have researched and written articles for the Garland Democratic Voice. (garlanddemocraticvoice.com) Many of them have dealt with national problems, the debt, the deficit, unemployment, Social Security, Medicare, etc. When I was doing the research for the Tran-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) a light went on. Congress is cutting the budget for every program they can. Why? Because we don’t have the money to spend! How can that be? We have lost over 10 TRILLION dollars in international trade deals like the NAFTA. Now we are about to expand the problem with the TPP. The problem is so bad, we lost over a TRILLION dollars in just the two years 2014 and 2015 combined. Most of the arguments about why that is so are bogus. I’ll explain later.