The North Korean Solution
But that article doesn’t go far enough. Clearly, a military solution is out of the question at this time because of the horrendous amount of death and destruction it would wreak upon adjacent South Korea, the vacuum it would leave once the present North Korean regime is destroyed and finally, the danger of a last-resort turning to nuclear weapons by North Korea once they see that their defeat is imminent.
(The only way a military solution would work is if we have, and I don't think we do, the technical capability to render the North Korean traditional military forces on the border with South Korea harmless, at no cost to us or to South Korea. It would have to be some sort of 'cyber' action comparable to the Israeli 'Stuxnet' assault on Iran's nuclear program. If we had such a capability today, we probably would be using it on the North Korean nuclear and missile program. And I have no reason to believe we can do that.)
So despite our Commander in Chief's ill-thought-out and intemperate remarks about what we can do regarding North Korea's bellicosity, we can forget about a military solution. The only value it has for us is that it can be used as a threat to counterbalance North Korea’s threat to use nuclear-armed ICBMs against the United States. They don’t want to do that, regardless of what they say, since it would result in their country’s immediate destruction any more than the United States wants to send in troops or attempt to destroy North Korea’s missiles and nuclear weapons resulting in the a great number of deaths and wide-spread destruction in South Korea. Seoul is but thirty miles from the North Korean border.
These two threats balance one another. Having already achieved that may be considered a victory for North Korea. That we let them get to this point is a tragedy. Previous administrations, Democratic and Republican, have let it happen, not wishing to "make waves" affecting our more significant economic relationship with China.
It is pretty clear what we would want to get out of such negotiations. We would want a limit, or freeze, on North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapon program so that they would stop threatening the United States and its allies on the eastern Pacific rim (Japan, South Korea, Philippines, etc.) North Korea would want the threat of interference by the United States or South Korea in their regime to disappear. That threat doesn’t really exist but North Korea maintains that it does to justify their weapons buildup and to maintain tight control over their population.
Cutting a deal with so repulsive and oppressive regime as there is in Pyongyang, provided the Chinese go along with it, would be disagreeable to many Americans but that might be the direction in which negotiations will have to go. Some may say that such a solution smacks of what happened in Munich in 1938. Appeasing Adolf Hitler did not stop him. But there were no international guarantees to that agreement, which any detente with North Korea must include. And I don’t think Kim Jong-un’s goals are as geographically encompassing as were Hitler’s. Neither do I think he is suicidal.
Wait a Minute
sitting in the White House has served as an enabler for the white supremacist gangsters
who created the tragedy which has just taken place in Charlottesville.
is at his best when he is in an attack mode, and that is demonstrable by those
whom he has attacked for no reason other than that is the way he does
things. He attacks the press. He still is attacking his Democratic opponent
for the presidency. He attacks his
predecessor in office. He attacks the
Affordable Care Act. He attacks
immigrants, especially Muslims. He attacks Comey, Mueller, Sessions and McConnell in the
same manner in which he attacked those against whom he was competing for the
Republican presidential nomination. Head-on,
sidewise, by innuendo … whatever seems the best attack mode at the moment. He frames his response to North Korean
threats with ill-considered attacks, implying actions he has given little
thought to. The kind of tactics two-bit
real estate dealers use are his stock in trade.
holds off on attacking those for whom he may have some use. The bigots of America supported him for
President. Ask them. They think that
down deep, he is their friend. And because
he does not go out of the way to specifically and directly attack and denounce them,
they are encouraged. They pay attention to what he "doesn't say" and read between the line of what he does say, or tweets. And after all, didn't he bring one whom they revere, Steve Bannon, into the While House? They appreciate that he limits his criticism to generalities and
doesn’t call them out for what they are, white supremacist racists. He doesn’t speak those words, and by not
doing so, he enables them! And that makes them believe they can get away with breaking the law. (There may be a future use for Guantanamo yet.)
to the great dissatisfaction which many Republicans in the House and in the
Senate, whose party name he has permanently sullied, already have for our PEFAP. They refuse to follow his wishes in regard to
health care, the Russia investigation and increased sanctions on that country. It is only a matter of time before they completely
disassociate themselves from him, denounce him, bounce him and get on with Making
America Great again after the harm our PEFAP will have done to the country.
*PEFAP is an acronym for “Poor Excuse for a
Religion and Politics - The Vatican is a Player
Religion and politics
are difficult to separate. In some
Muslim dominated countries, such as Iran, they are synonymous. When a country calls itself an Islamic
Republic, it makes no bones about its government’s relationship to God. The connection is far more tenuous elsewhere and is in fact close to illegal in some Western democracies (even though the
British monarch is still a “defender of the faith”) where many faiths exist and
where none have locked-in political status.
Nevertheless, in the
United States we find that evangelical Protestant Christians, conservative
Roman Catholics and Orthodox Jews generally tend to vote Republican and favored
Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Recently, the President signed an executive order removing the financial
threat from the IRS faced by tax-exempt churches when clergy speak out on
behalf of political candidates. Supposedly that would violate their First
Amendment rights. (I disagree.)
Right now this issue is
coming to a head in the Roman Catholic Church where conservative American
bishops are often at variance with a much more liberal stance taken by the
Church outside of the United States and particularly enunciated by Pope Francis. An extremely interesting article on this
issue appeared in the New York Times last week WHICH YOU CAN READ BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE. Read it, please.
in a Name - Two is Better Than One
Which company would you rather buy your detergent from: Proctor & Gamble (one of their original wrappers shown above) or the Cincinnati Soap Company? (Actually, P&G was started by two guys with those last names, brothers-in-law, back in 1837 in Cincinnati.)
Sears & Roebuck, Barnes & Noble, Crosse & Blackwell all instill the same sense of solidity and permanence. Two names are stronger than one. But BJ’s discount warehouse recently changed its own house brand from Berkley & Jensen to Berkley-Jensen. Yet you still get the feel of dual ownership in that hyphenated version. Competitor Costco manages to get by with just one name on its own products, Kirkland.
And which do you prefer, the duality of the Mercedes-Benz name or just plain "Daimler" which is actually the name of the well known automobile manufacturer? Herr Benz and Herr Daimler started the operation and Mercedes was actually the name of the daughter of the man who became their top marketing guy, Emil Jellinek, who paired it with Benz' name. Jellinek's biography is a story of its own.
Their strength is their reliance on one another. When one of them goes in back to wash his hands, the other one can keep scooping out Cherry Garcia for customers. Same thing might hold true for Horn & Hardart or Dean & DeLuca. There's an illusion of strength in numbers. It's all a matter of perception. But we must never forget that's all that it is, and that goes for everything mentioned above, perception of an illusion!
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