Trilateral best deal

THOSE OF YOU THAT KNOW THIS MAGAZINE know we don’t endorse products and we don’t involve advertising or advertisers in our editorial content. The reasons for this are many and strong, but largely editorial involvement in advertising invariable leads to conflicts, deceived readers and irritated suppliers. The whole practice, as is in evidence, is remarkably unbrilliant.

Kerry Knudsen

That said, I don’t want to be prevented from saying something that needs said, so I want to mention Combilift. Combilift has never advertised with us, and possibly never will. They should, but that is not the objective of this note. Full disclosure: I have been to Ireland twice in 10 years to see Combilift, both times at their expense. So it took me 10 years to decide to write about it.

On first blush, the original Combilift looks and acts as if it’s a forklift. And it is, of sorts. However, it specializes in the kinds of long and fragile loads we run into in the wood industry. Functionally, its four-way steering system allows the machine to travel sideways with long loads and change the direction of travel by 90 degrees with the flick of a switch.

This is not the same as the zero-turn-radius lawnmowers, etc., that are all the rage today. The deck and cab of the truck remain in the same orientation, but the wheels rotate and the truck, itself, takes off crab-wise to what was the right or left.

You need to see it in action to appreciate the savings in time and space that some of our readers could realize. You can see for yourself at https://combilift. com/products/c-series/.

They are, admittedly, pricey, but certainly worthy of a cost:benefit analysis. Time and space are pricey, as well. I would be interested to hear your opinions.

All eyes are on the international stage this month, as U.S. President Trump readies himself for the first-ever summit between the U.S. and North Korea. Trump is getting a lot of credit, and well he should, but there are other pieces of the puzzle.

If we put ourselves in Kim’s place, we can see some salient facts.

First, following Kim’s last nuclear test, most observers suggest the inside tunnel(s) of the testing facility collapsed. This was followed by the escape of some radiation from the top of the mountain.

Since this mountain is on the border with China, two things are possible. First, Kim may no longer have a testing facility to decommission. Second, China may not want radiation floating across the border. In either case, Kim may not have a program any longer, so may want to parlay and cut his losses.

Also, the treatment and death of U.S. captive Otto Warmbier did not play well, and China has enough to answer for on human rights without that. It is possible that Kim, seeing he still had three U.S. prisoners (not “hostages”), wanted to get them out of his hands fast, before something, even accidental, happened.

So Kim becomes all warm and fuzzy, and Trump can make a deal.

Taking a broader look, North Korea has been a primary supplier to Iran’s nuclear program. Therefore, if you look at the relationship in a trilateral sense, between North Korea, the U.S. and Iran, you can see that some of Trump’s accomplishments with North Korea are likely to affect Iran. Fissionable materials come to mind.

In that case, North Korea’s relationship with Iran may become a big liability in negotiating a “best deal” with Trump. And this may leave Iran a bit lonely unless Russia wants to stick its head up on its own instead of using Kim as a proxy.

With no friends and with newly reinstated sanctions enforced by the States, Iran may be a bit more reluctant to go using its own nuclear-testing mountain. It appears those things may be impossible to replace, and Israel seems both feisty and irked, and it has a history with nuclear mountains in Iran.

History teaches us that bullies disarmed become either submissive or suicidal. The mullahs could do either or both, all because of North Korea, and Trump will get all the credit.

At press time, Kim is threatening to kill the summit. This comes right after he was caught hiding nuclear weapons. Too late, in my opinion, but we’ll see.

Call me a cynic, but some things just tickle me.

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