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by Jerry Mooney
As the year winds down, it’s impossible not to breathe a sigh of relief. It has, after all, been a year of Trump and Brexit negotiations. And, the tempestuous political climate has certainly taken its toll. While we can’t be sure what the next year has to bring, it seems at the moment as though things couldn’t get much worse.
The main political issue on our minds is, of course, North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Not a day goes by without some terrifying update on the situation. Most recently, a missile has been released which would be capable of reaching as far as Washington. While the test run led to some issues on re-entry, the fact that such a missile exists is enough to send fear through most of our hearts.
Of course, it’s taken awhile to get to this point. Tensions between North Korea and the U.S. have been brewing all year. While some of us initially hoped Trump could calm the situation, we were bitterly disappointed by his improvised and provocative speech, where he promised that North Korean threats would be “…met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”. Since then, the situation has only worsened, with Trump’s national security advisor declaring this week that the potential for war is growing each day.
Indeed, from the outside, the situation seems pretty hopeless. Neither Trump nor Jong Un look willing to back down. It’s no wonder, then, that many of us are left wondering just what the threat levels are. Despite blown up statements from various members of Congress, many of us are left wondering how real the North Korean threat is. Should we be preparing bunkers and stockpiling food?
While it’s difficult to judge what two such impulsive figures will do, it seems safe to say that we’re not on the brink of war just yet. We seem to be in an antagonistic stage, which has yet to turn into anything more sinister. Bear in mind, too, that no country WANTS to use nuclear weapons. Doing so would spell mutually destroyed destruction, and has kept us safe from large-scale warfare since the days of the cold war.
It’s also fair to say that most of our fear comes from the unknown entity of North Korea. This is the most secretive nation in the world. In fact, it’s near enough impossible to gain an accurate representation of life here. Tourists are shown a very slanted idea of North Korea. The closest picture we can gain is from defectors, like Yeonmi Park, who have come forward and shared their stories.
Kim Jong Un has built his personality by feeding into that mystery. It’s thought that even his age (33) is just an estimate. While many of us fear the unpredictable behavior of Trump, at least we know facts regarding his lifestyle. The same just can’t be said for the North Korean leader. Hence, we have no real way of knowing if he’ll follow through on his seeming provocation.
That said, research can help us gather a picture of Kim Jong Un which may help to put some people’s minds at ease. By unraveling the mystery, we can certainly understand his motivations a little better. Here are some of the facts that you may not have been aware of.
Few of us think of Kim Jong Un as an educated man. Certainly, the media often depict him as someone who doesn’t use logic when making decisions. But, like many world leaders, Jong Un’s education was top notch. During his teen years, he studied under a pseudonym at one of Switzerland’s top private schools. On top of which, he also has two degrees to his name, one in physics, and another as an Army officer.
In short; this isn’t a trigger-happy man who doesn’t know what he’s doing. While some reports claim that Jong Un leads his army with no training, it just isn’t true. Plus, anyone with a physics degree will be fully aware of the risks related to nuclear weapons.
There also seems to be a general idea that Kim Jong Un doesn’t really travel anywhere. Perhaps it’s because North Korea seems like a whole world away. Many of us have this idea of a leader who hasn’t seen much of the world and has lived a sheltered existence. Again, it isn’t true. As mentioned above, Jong Un spent most of his teen years living abroad. There are also reports of young visits to China and Japan. In fact, Jong Un even has a favorite jet; the Ilyushin IL-62, as featured on this list of the top five Ilyushin aircraft. Admittedly, there have been no reports of his leaving the country since becoming leader in 2011. Plus, planned UN visits haven’t come to fruition. Most people suspect this is down to fear. But, it would be incorrect to assume that travel has never been on this leader’s cards.
To demystify the persona a little more, it’s worth noting that Kim Jong Un is a massive basketball fan. When he was younger, he was an avid supporter of Michael Jordan. He’s even developed a close friendship with retired NBA player, Dennis Rodman, who he’s met on various occasions. He’s also rumoured to have an extensive collection of Nike shoes. These are hardly hobbies you would automatically associate with America’s enemy number 1.
The history of North Korean weapons
It’s also worth finding out a little about North Korea’s nuclear past. While no one can deny that tests have come more to the fore this year, that doesn’t necessarily mean that nuclear warfare is a completely new concept for North Korea. In fact, the country’s missile program was initially developed in the 1970s, with the help of the then Soviet Union. But, in 1985, North Korea signed a little something called the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Still, things haven’t been plain sailing since then. As early as 1993, The International Atomic Energy Agency had questions over North Korea’s dedication, nearly resulting in their pulling out of the treaty. Jump forward to 2002, and Bush highlighted North Korea as a country which was ‘seeking weapons of mass destruction’. Later that same year, he revealed that North Korea had admitted to a secret nuclear arsenal.
In 2003, North Korea withdrew from the NPT agreement and declared its nuclear weapons. Testing then started in 2006, and North Korea and America have been involved in disputes on the matter ever since. While North Korea did originally accept a settlement of $400 million to close its main nuclear reactor, this doesn’t seem to have solved anything, with more tests taking place in 2009. In fact, as it stands, there have been six nuclear tests, only two of which were conducted this year.
So, what does it all mean?
A look at the facts does prove that things are getting worse. After all, the two tests from this year have been on intercontinental missiles. But, remember, Kim Jong Un is an educated man with a degree in physics. More than even Trump, this is a man who knows the risks of a nuclear arsenal. And, if North Korean spokespeople are anything to go by, this is more about defence than attack. That said, it’s still worth noting that, as things heat up between the two leaders, our futures look increasingly uncertain. All we can do is keep an eye on the news, and hope the two countries find a way to settle their differences.
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of zenruption and Jerry Mooney Books and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter.
By Nigel Hilton
We live in an age of protests.
Given the current occupant of the White House, it is perhaps unsurprising that protests are seemingly a weekly event. People are protesting in defense of the current status quo; others are protesting against the government and its politics. This is a situation that is unlikely to change over the next four years.
It’s hard to disagree that anyone has the right to protest; in fact, it’s considered to be a fundamental human right.
However you feel about the cause of a planned protest, as a business owner, you’re probably more than a little nervous. If you hear that there’s a protest or march planned that will incorporate your business location, your mind probably fills with worrying images. You think of what cities have a tendency to look like in the aftermath of protests; destruction, graffiti along shopfronts, and general chaos that takes several days to recover from.
While we all accept the democratic right to protest, that doesn’t mean that you have to just sit idly by and wonder if your business premises are going to be in good shape the next morning. Here are a few useful preventative steps you can take, to ensure democracy has the chance to be heard without your business premises suffering for it.
1) Protect From Graffiti
Graffiti is an absolute pain to remove, even when it’s relatively fresh. No business owner wants to see their premises covered in various scrawlings; it’s not quite the welcome environment you might hope your customers will experience!
As in most cases, prevention of graffiti is better than the cure. Use anti graffiti film to cover windows and shop frontage; this film should also offer some measure of protection should anyone try to scrape the glass itself. If someone should graffiti on the film, you can remove it and replace as you see fit– far quicker and more effective than having to replace glass.
2) Remove Expensive Equipment
If a protest becomes a riot — unlikely but possible — there is always the chance that your premises might be breached. If this does happen, then you’re going to want to ensure that your most valuable assets are protected. Remove as many computers as you possibly can, as well as your most valuable stock items from the shop floor. You can either take these home with you for the duration of the protest, or lock them in a storage cupboard.
3) Check Your Security System
Talking of locks, the best way to prevent your premises from being breached is to check your security system is working as it should. If it hasn’t been tested in over a year, then call the company who installed your locks and cameras– they can visit just to check everything is in good working order.
Remember: Not all protests and marches turn violent or destructive, so there’s a good chance the measures you have put in place will never be tested. If, however, you prefer the peace of mind the above can afford you, then there’s no harm in taking the steps you deem necessary to achieve that.
By Nigel Hilton
It was meant to be over.
That was how the media portrayed the Republican battle to kill off Obamacare once and for all. After the defeat of the first bill, and then the decision to forgo a vote on the ill-fated Graham-Cassidy bill, it was meant to be over. The Republicans had failed in their biggest political quest; everyone who relied on Obamacare could breathe a little easier.
Except it’s not really over at all. In fact, it very much looks like the fight is just beginning.
Trump’s War On Obamacare
Donald Trump, unlike any other president before him, seems to be defining his presidency onto not being Barack Obama. He’s not particularly bothered about being President Donald Trump; instead, he focuses on being President Not-Obama. It’s widely believed this obsession with rolling back all of Obama’s political victories dates to the infamous moment Obama openly mocked Trump, and even now, it’s still a defining moment for 45. It might just be the moment that made him consider a move in politics; it was that important to the famously thin-skinned Trump.
So, of course, Trump has always had Obamacare in its sights; it is the very definition of the man who occupied the office before him. It has his name; his advocacy– all the things that Trump desperately wants to separate himself from. While Trump has occupied some of his time with rolling back other legislative victories of Obama’s — such as the Paris Accord for climate change, or the Iran nuclear weapons deal — Obamacare was always his primary target. That was the one he really wanted to kill.
Then The Republicans Failed
Not once, but twice. So would Trump finally see that this was a political issue that he should leave well alone? No. Instead of using conventional legislation, he’s declared war on Obamacare through a series of Tweets and executive orders. He plans to undermine Obamacare to the point it’s no longer feasible, actions which — according to https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/ — may even be illegal.
So Where Does This Leave Patients?
For the moment, Trump’s actions haven’t quite been felt yet– but they will. If you use Obamacare, you have to start thinking of the future. For example:
- Start saving money for your premiums in years to come. Having a nest egg set aside to either pay for insurance or pay for hospital bills directly will come in useful.
- If you have an illness or disability as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch with the likes of https://hm-attorneys.com/personal-injury/ to see if you can claim compensation– you might not be able to continue to receive insurance coverage for existing conditions when Obamacare finally falls.
- Call your representatives and defend Obamacare if you believe the policy is politically worthwhile continuing. The more complaints that representatives receive, the more they may be bolstered to look for alternatives.
What Happens Next?
As mentioned, it will be some time before the true impacts of Trump’s latest actions are felt. Many believe that the Republicans have now abandoned the idea of legislatively ending Obamacare, so they are relying on asset-stripping and the executive branch to do what they couldn’t. Over the next few years, Obamacare may die a slow death rather than being snipped away in an instant– so keep an eye on the news to see how the situation develops, and — most importantly — what might replace it.
Image Taken From Pexels
By Sharon Jonrd
It’s always tough when life doesn’t go your way. If we lived in a perfect world, then nothing bad would ever happen, and we would all live your lives happily in peace. Sadly, that’s not the world we live in and, like it or not, sometimes disaster is going to strike. Not only that but, knowing the cruel sense of humor that the universe so often has, it usually strikes right at the moment when you’re least equipped to deal with it. When that happens, it can feel as though your whole world is falling apart, but that’s not the case. To help you deal with disaster a little bit better, here are a few sadly common disasters and how you can make sure that they’re not the end of the world.
Being in any kind of accident is traumatic enough without having to worry about the fallout from it. Sadly, the fallout can often be worse than the accident itself. If you get hurt at work, then the pain that it causes could well be the least of your worries. After all, if you’ve had an accident, then that could mean that you’re unable to work which leaves you unable to earn a living. This is especially unpleasant when you know that it wasn’t even your fault. That’s where organizations like https://www.fmelaw.com/queens-workers-comp-lawyer/ come in. If you’ve been injured or left disabled by something at work, then they can help you avoid falling into financial ruin because of it. After all, there’s no reason why you should pay the price for someone else’s negligence.
There are few things worse than losing your job. Just like with an accident, if you’re not working then you’re not earning, which can lead to some serious financial issues. The best thing that you can do if you end up losing your job is to get right back on the horse. It might be tempting to sit around feeling sorry for yourself, but that’s not going to do you any good. Make sure that you’ve got a fully updated resume and that you’re consistently looking for work that you might be suited for. Job hunting is never fun, but it’s something that you need to do.
A household crisis
Waking up in the morning to discover that half your home is underwater is one of the most common nightmares for a lot of people. Again the only real way to avoid letting this turn into a total disaster is to be prepared. Make sure that you have plans in place in the event of any kind of household disaster so that you and your family are always as safe as possible. Having some sandbags in the basement and knowing the ways to get out of the house in the event of a fire might seem like overkill but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Sure, these kinds of things are never going to be easy to deal with. But if you’re prepared and you know how to deal with them then it’s going to be much harder for them to make you feel as though everything in your life is falling apart and it will be that much easier to get back up and move on with your life.
By Sharon Jones
The global society is currently at somewhat of an unstable stage. Many different political events are happening all around the world at the moment that will shape civilization for the next few decades. It’s impossible to predict how things might pan out, but it’s important that everyone understands the situations as they are right now. The events and issues mentioned in this article could make or break the countries involved. So, it’s possible that people will see some significant power shifts during the next few years.
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Threats made by North Korea against the US
North Korea is one of the most fascinating countries in the world according to most experts. That is because it’s an isolated nation that doesn’t seem to have evolved for the last forty years. Those who visit the country claim it’s like traveling back in time to an era best left in the past. However, there is no getting away from the fact that leader Kim Jong Un invested a lot of money in weapons recently. He’s also made some pretty violent threats against Donald Trump and the American people. If the conflict of words descends into war, millions of people could die. Indeed, with Russian and Chinese backing, North Korea could essentially start World War 3.
Britain voting to leave the European Union
The British people recently voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. While experts like Antonio Horta-Osorio from Lloyd’s Bank say the EU will survive, there is a lot of confusion at the moment. Nobody knows how the UK will design their final deal, or whether the country will manage to leave without sending millions in compensation payments. However, the way in which the situation plays out could affect every nation on earth. It’s important to remember that the UK government has a hand in almost every economy on the planet. So, any financial problems could affect less wealthy countries and ruin their trade relations.
France falling victim to hundreds of attacks
Most people will have seen some of the terrorist attacks happening in France since just after Brexit on their TV screens. The people living in Paris and similar areas will only take so much before they begin hitting back. That could mean individuals who identify as Muslim could soon face immense persecution if they choose to reside in France. Indeed, the country has already banned the burka, and far right groups are on the rise. Naziism has once again become a problem in Europe, and many other societies might have to worry if that philosophy begins to spread.
The political situations outlined in this article will shape the future of the planet for the next generation. While it’s important to remain positive, there is no getting away from the fact that things look set to take a turn for the worse. Still, there is always a way to solve problems of that nature without resorting to blood and conflict. It’s down to political leaders to use their intelligence rather than their weight to address those issues for the rest of the people.