Closing Thought–01Feb17

It’s Only A Matter Of Time!

The Kim family of North Korea has been a thorn in the ass of the world since the 1950’s….they have managed to stay in power for over 60 years….Kim the Elder was the main force that caused the Korean War….his son Lil Kim #1 took up where daddy left off and then he dropped dead and his son Lil Kim #2 took over and the nuke stuff just kept getting worse every year…

Bur recently a defector has provided some much needed good news about the situation in North Korea…..

North Korea is on a “slippery slope” toward a “popular uprising,” says a former diplomat who defected from the country last year. Thae Yong Ho went on to say that Kim Jong Un’s “days are numbered,” the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the New York Times, Thae spoke to reporters Wednesday, part of a series of interviews he’s been giving since December. He’s the highest-ranking North Korean defector in decades. Thae says he “wasted the first 50 years of my life” but that now he’ll “be a man of action,” dedicated to bringing down Kim’s regime in North Korea. He says it’s the outside world’s job to “spray gasoline” on North Korea so that its people can “set fire to it,” the Guardian reports.

Thae says Kim’s grip on North Korea is loosening as technology makes it easier for outside culture to spread there. TV shows from South Korea and movies from China are smuggled across the border in cellphones and flash drives. Thae says with greater views of the outside world, North Koreans will soon realize “they have the right to live freely.” In fact, he says dissent is already spreading among both ordinary citizens and the elite. But he says the world must not compromise with Kim; international sanctions are working. Sitting down with Kim would give him a victory he desperately needs, and defeating Kim is the only way of solving the growing North Korean nuclear problem, Thae says.

Just how reliable is this guy?  Is he for real?  Is this possibly some sort of international intrigue?  Do we believe or do we proceed with caution?

Thank you my friends for spending part of your day with IST….

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Can You Remember Ukraine?

My main interest is that of conflicts around the world and one of them has fallen off the front page and by doing so then no one seems to care about the situation….

There has bee a ceasefire in place for almost 2 years so the interest of the world slipped on to something else…..but like most armed conflicts there is always more happening than we know…..

A quick rundown……

The war in eastern Ukraine that simmered quietly for months has erupted in a lethal bout of fighting in recent days. The violence, which killed at least eight Ukrainian soldiers and three on the pro-Russian side, shifted the front lines by only a few hundred yards in several spots, but potentially complicates American efforts to improve relations with Russia. – New York Times

Ukraine says one of its soldiers has been killed in the country’s east, where fighting between government forces and Russia-backed separatists has flared over the past four days. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine have launched an offensive to recapture a city on the border of the territory currently controlled by separatist groups, according to a U.S. diplomat. – Washington Examiner

Editorial: Could it have been just a coincidence that Russian-backed forces in Ukraine launched their biggest offensive in months the day after Vladi­mir Putin spoke by phone with President Trump? Somehow, we doubt it. Rather, the volleys of Grad rockets and heavy artillery that have been raining down on Ukrainian army positions since Sunday look a lot like a test of whether the new president will yield to pressure from Moscow. – Washington Post

Yet another crisis waiting to happen and the Trump team needs to focus on prevent it from becoming an all out war.

Another region that bears the need for study is the region that perplexed Clinton in the 90’s….the Balkans

Ethnic tensions are rising in Kosovo, setting the stage for an early test of U.S.-Russian relations under President Donald Trump in a Balkan country where U.S. troops keep the peace decades after a NATO air campaign ended Serb rule over the Albanian population. – Stars and Stripes

You see there is more happening in the world than protests…..

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

One of Trump’s many campaign promises was that he would put together a infrastructure plan that would sure up our aging infrastructure…..on this I will agree with him whole-heatedly…..but my problem is just where will the money come from when he also promises the rich more tax breaks…..

There is always two sides to every proposal and I tried to give my reader both…..these two are from this blog, IST……

Source: Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Program–Part 2 – In Saner Thought

Source: Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan – In Saner Thought

My problem is that the GOP hates welfare for people but will do everything in the power to help corporations get their corporate welfare…..but Trump’s plan is something new……”Developer Welfare”…….

More on this below……

Source: Developer Welfare: Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

If he is successful getting his infrastructure plan installed….where will the cash come from?  Without new revenue then social programs will take the hit and wealthy developers will make the profits…..further dividing America along economic lines….

While infrastructure desperately needs upgrading…but this plan as it is now is not the answer this country needs.

On A Side Note:  Remember all the ink that Righties blew through on Obama’s vacations and golf games?  Well, it seems that Trump will go on vacation this weekend…

‘President Donald Trump hasn’t been in office even 10 days and is already scheduling his first vacation to start this coming Friday. He will be taking a trip to his Palm Beach club at the Mar-a-Lago resort and stay there for the entire weekend’.

Will he play golf too?

My money is on there will be NO mention of this on the Right wing blogs….any bets?

There is so much more…..remember when our new dude promised that to make health care cheaper that would negotiate for lower drug prices?  If so and you believed the lie then you are about to be disappointed…..

Source: Trump won’t try to renegotiate prescription drug prices.

America’s Second Civil War

For around 25 years the US has been in the middle of a second civil war….this time there is no death and destruction but rather fought with ideas and political theater…..

I recently read a great piece in that conservative icon, the National Review…….

It is time that our society acknowledge a sad truth: America is currently fighting its Second Civil War.

In fact, with the obvious and enormous exception of attitudes toward slavery, Americans are more divided morally, ideologically, and politically today than they were during the Civil War. For that reason, just as the Great War came to be known as the First World War once there was a Second World War, the Civil War will become known as the First Civil War when more Americans come to regard the current battle as the Second Civil War.

Source: American Culture – New Civil War | National Review

I do not agree with some of their suppositions the fat is that ………The very soul of the nation is at stake.

South China Sea And The World Of Tomorrow

Our new leader has a wealth of situations that could turn ugly at any moment……the Middle East, probably but the one that needs a close watch is that of China and the South China Sea situation……

A good analysis of this comes from the Cipher Brief……

Few security challenges are as vexing as the South China Sea. With multiple claimants and murky claims, the contours of the conflict can be difficult to grasp. In recent years, China has used ambiguity, asymmetry, and incrementalism to assert control over parts of the South China Sea. Meanwhile, the Obama administration attempted to draw red lines against “reclamation, construction, and militarization.” Yet, Beijing nevertheless reclaimed, constructed, and militarized all seven of the features it controls in the Spratly Islands.

Incoming Trump administration officials have indicated that they will adopt a more forceful approach to Chinese activities in the South China Sea. As the administration develops this new strategy, U.S. leaders must decide which Chinese actions they can deter at an acceptable level of risk. In so doing, they should evaluate eight potential South China Sea crisis scenarios:

Source: Red Lines and Red Carpets in the South China Sea | The Cipher Brief

But another reason this bears scrutiny is something that was reported recently……

In the harshest warning yet that China is actively contemplating a worst case scenario for its diplomatic relations with the US, a senior Chinese military official said that “a war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality.The remarks, first reported by the SCMP, were published on the People’s Liberation Army website in response to the escalating rhetoric towards China from America’s new administration, and as Beijing braces itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security.

The commentary written by an official at the national defence mobilisation department in the Central Military Commission – which has overall authority of China’s armed forces – also called for a US rebalancing of its strategy in Asia, military deployments in the East and South China Seas and the instillation of a missile defence system in South Korea were hot spots getting closer to ignition.

Source: War With US Becoming A “Practical Reality” Chinese Military Warns

Asia is looking like a new “hot spot”……North Korea and China seem to be the most threatening…..at least at this time……

Trump needs to take that damn ego and put it in a desk drawer and get down to work…Twitter will not solve this growing problem.