Beyond the Cusp

December 25, 2016

Israel; Whose Land is it Anyways?

 

This will be a short piece, or so is our intent. We have been watching another argument as to whether a piece of Judea and Samaria where parts of Amona are situated is Jewish land or Arab land. Without demanding deeds or other proof, the leftist Israeli Supreme Court decided that since if an Arab is monetarily for real estate they own they will be put to death by their semiautonomous governance under, you will love this, former Jordanian law which makes selling land to a Jew a capital offense. Thus if an Arab claims land on which Jews reside, the Jewish homes must be destroyed as the land may not be purchased. Jordanian law when they were removed from their illegal occupation over half a century ago? Who does such insanity? The Palestinian Authority and the Israeli left are mostly fanatics who are definitively anti-Zionist and fully a subsidiary of European governments, the European Union and European NGOs who masquerade as human rights groups watching out for Palestinian Arab rights but not their betterment. They have no regard or care that the Arab Palestinian has no right as to how to profit or dispense their land and never want to either as they prefer being able to dismantle their homeland piece by piece. By their standards we should bring a Palestinian Arab’s claim from, oh, say Beverly Hills, who claims to have owned the lands under their leadership’s home and see what the Supreme Court, and they as well, would do. If they did not order a demolition in Tel Aviv then we would reveal a sad case of hypocrisy. But let us look for a moment on land and who really owns it.

 

Who owns land which had been occupied and lived on as long as the State of Israel as defined as from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea all depends on the when. That is, to what period of time are we referring? Remember the Canaanites? Well, during the time of Abraham they were ruled by several kingships so no one entity ruled the lands we will define as Israel for this exercise and as a form of simplicity. The Canaanite lands were, at times, conquered, and thus owned, by the Hittites. So perhaps we should reference Hittite law. Then often the Hittites were pushed out and replaced by the Egyptians (not the same people as the Egyptians of today) so perhaps we should be applying the appropriate law of Pharaohs. After the Exodus the Israelites were ruled by individual Tribal leaders and overall by the Prophets and Judges who applied Torah law and their own Hashem directed judgements which would require some extremely special people who are likely rarer than hens teeth. Then Israelite Kings Saul, David, Solomon etc. also owned the lands so perhaps a return to their laws, Torah laws. The Babylonians occupied these lands so perhaps we need apply Babylonian law. Then Israel was a semiautonomous province of the Persians which would demand a mix of Torah and Persian laws of Cyrus the Great through a series of successive kingships. Then there were the Greeks, the Polemic Greeks, the Assyrian Greeks, the Romans, Byzantines then finally the first Arabs of the Caliphate, then a series of Arab and Kurdish rulers, then the Ottoman Turks, then the British. Apparently about the only world powers not to ever have possessed these lands are the French, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Netherlands, the United States and the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Obviously, when it comes to whose laws under which Israeli society, even in the territories, should be ruled, there could be many differing views depending which governance you prefer over the past almost five millennia.

 

Grand Seal of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick

While we are talking about such things as what rules, should all of Lebanon south of the Litani River be ruled under the laws of the Israelites when the Twelve Tribes were ruled separate placing much of that land under the Tribes of Asher, Naphtali and Dan? Then there is the question of what rules for Syria. While much of Syrian history had a similar set of rulers by kingdoms similar to those which ruled over the lands of Israel with the biggest differences being the French instead of the British and the Assyrians and some of the Kurdish and Arab rulers using Damascus as their capital city making them a kind of home body, there was a period under the rules of King David and Solomon when Syria was conquered largely by the Israelites. Egypt has had outside rulers. Iran used to be Persia until recent history and was at one time ruled by the Mongols. The United States consisted of a great number of Native American nations, parts were ruled by the French, the Spanish and the Russians and both Texas and Hawaii were at one time nations of their own (the Republic of Texas and the Kingdom of Hawaii). The Kingdom of Hawaii was established in 1795 and in 1810 the entirety of the archipelago was unified when Kauaʻi and Niʻihau joined the kingdom willingly and without bloodshed or war. Absolute power was vested in the King by a Constitution drafted in 1887. The succeeding Queen attempted to return to the “old ways” but she was overthrown in 1893 largely at the hands of the American plantation owners and American society. Hawaii remained a Republic until annexed by the United States in 1898 and was finally made a state on August 21, 1959. Descendants of the monarchy are alive today but who would be the rightful heir to the throne is debatable with many likely to claim that lineage, but the need is unlikely to arise except maybe to marshal a parade. Many, if not every, nations have had multiple claims to sovereignty over their soil. The British, Spanish and Arabs are three of the largest colonial powers with only the Arabs continuing to hold rule over most of the lands they conquered between 622 and 750 (see map below). One could easily claim that the Arab expansive empire has been the longest enduring of empires with the longest history of colonialism. But when your religion claims that the entirety of the world was made simply to be placed under your rule, perhaps such explains why in their minds they have been denied their rightful ownership of everything.

 

Islamic Expansion

Islamic Expansion

 

Back to Israel and which rules should be followed. If one were to ask which legal system has ruled Israel the longest, that answer would surprise most other than students of ancient history and Torah. The area of Israel was ruled by the Israelite people (incorrectly referred to as Jews because Jews was a shortening for Judeans which were those of the Kingdom of Judah which was the southern kingdom when the Israelites split into the northern kingdom of Israel which contained ten tribes and the southern kingdom of Judah with two tribes, see map below) were ruled by Torah. The strictness of its application has wavered during those times but it was the basis of rule from the time of Joshua through the times of Prophets and Judges and through the Kingdoms ruled by Saul, David and Solomon and a presumably beyond though many of the observances grew lax at times causing misery and troubles for the Israelite people. Even after the Kingdom split into northern and southern kingdoms, both presumably remained ruled by Torah though again exactitude was not maintained. Jewish history blames the eventual conquest of Israel and Judah and all other conquests on the lack of observance by the people as a whole, something which does have a ring of truth about it. Under such history, perhaps Israel as a whole should be following the Torah and we are not ones who would argue with such.

 

Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and Surrounding States

Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and Surrounding States

 

Israel becoming a Torah observant nation where Torah rules would be the source for the laws of the land would present many a difficulty. The first item is the applicable laws for the society would be the Oral Law. In ancient Israel (and Judah) the Oral Law was exactly that, oral. As such the Oral Law could be adapted to different societal needs. As the situations and the civilization changed, some might say advanced, we will call it transitioning to new discoveries and realities, the Oral Law was flexible enough to adapt to the changes. These alterations in the law would be gradual and likely not overtly evident as time passed. The Prophets and learned Rabbis, pending on the period, would advise on Torah and the level of stringency demanded to keep the Oral Law within the guidelines of Torah which while not changing the revelations within the Torah would come out as understanding of the world around us progressed. When the Romans spread the remainder of the Judeans to the far corners of the Roman Empire the Rabbinate decided that as the people were now dispersed there needed to be a more defined and stringent Oral Law and this situation necessitated writing the Oral Law into codified texts. This resulted in a work over many generations where the Talmud was written. None of us are Talmud scholars so we will not even attempt to describe the discussions and how conclusions were reached or any of the other particulars and leave that to individual interests to spur any further research. Warning, understanding Talmud can take a lifetime of intense study and where a formal education cycle averages seven years.

 

The Talmud is defined as having two components: the Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה, c. 200 CE), a written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism’s Oral Torah, and the Gomorrah (c. 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible. Whatever the definition, the important item are the dates when it was debated generally and compiled. While more commentaries have followed, one would not find corporate law or other required rules for a modern society in its pages. Yes, much of it might apply but too much of modern life is outside the strict definitions and other sections have been relegated unnecessary by modern conveniences. Much of the writings deal with day to day living as a Jew and observances and other religious determinations as it was composed as a religious guide as the Jews were living under sets of secular laws other than Torah or Jewish law and the Talmud simply was the guide to maintain a Jewish compliant life. Israel requires a complete set of laws if the nation of Israel were to come under Torah law. This would require a whole new and different Oral Law which would be partially written codes and social laws which would hopefully largely remain oral and flexible. As stated above, it was an Oral Law for a reason but the life and society were quite a bit more simple two to four thousand years ago and the laws were largely interpersonal relations and simple property rules. The laws were few enough that they did not require being written though we can be assured that records were kept and laws governing taxes and the like were written though they were subject to change at a moment’s notice. When it comes to fees and taxes, at least that has not changed as anyone attempting to understand IRS codes fully understands. So, before Israel can even consider becoming a nation once again ruled by Torah, the Rabbinate need get very busy composing a new Oral Code of Law which is complete enough to justify trusting Israeli society to Torah judges. Just for the record, these Torah judges should be appointed by some combination of the Rabbinate and the people in each community where the communities have the greater say in who will stand in judgement of their lives. This will take quite a while and we would bet that by the time the new laws are ready and approved that Israel will have evolved to a point where such a change will be welcomed.

 

One last note, for those waiting for the reaction to the Security Council vote, tomorrow, hopefully tomorrow.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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October 9, 2016

Palestinians After More than Philistine Lands

 

The Palestinian leadership and spokespersons have made the false claim repeatedly that they are the descendants of the long dead Philistines and claim they are simple demanding their ancient homelands. There are any number of problems with this narrative starting with, but not ending with, the fact the Philistines were of Greek descent, not Arab. Then there is the little inconvenient fact that the Arab expansion from their ancestral homelands of the Arabian Peninsula waited until well after the Roman Empire had fallen, somewhere around 625 of the Common Era. All these and other little equally inconsequential truths aside there remains the one as to what exactly were the Philistine lands. Truth be known, the Philistines being a people of the sea held solely coastal cities with their five capital cities being Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and Gath. This would relate to Ashdod as the northern most city and continuing down the coast including Gaza on to approximately the Egyptian border possibly extending into parts of norther Sinai Peninsula. This would be about half again more land than Gaza which is currently held by Hamas and is sometimes referred to in editorials as Hamastan. Claiming to be the Philistines would rule out the entirety of their claims to lands of the West Bank, but why let realities get in the way.

 

Tribes of Israel and Land of the Philistines

Tribes of Israel and Land of the Philistines

 

What brought this on was reading some of the overly forgiving eulogies rightfully praising Simon Peres at his state funeral last week. The picture painted of Peres was one of a man whose life was spent in the unswerving desire for peace and of a gentle soul who was next to faultless and was the measure of understanding. I would have liked to have known of the man described, but that is often how eulogies are, aggrandizing those traits the world found laudable while ignoring those which did not meet the world’s universal measure of greatness. Thus almost none mentioned that Simon Peres was the driving force which drove the building of the experimental reactor at Dimona which could be used for the production of nuclear weapons grade materials, and his deals to acquire French Mirage jets which served as the backbone of the early Israeli Air Force as well. They omitted his support for settlements in what many once believed were lands which at best could have been thought to be negotiable Israeli lands and other Zionist endeavors which assisted in building a strong and viable State of Israel in the 1950s and early 1960s before Peres remade himself into a leftist icon and the man who pursued peace regardless of the consequences and never once saw any of the difficulties resulting from his actions. Simon Peres was a force of wild abandon that wreaked havoc as it broke down every argument and logical caution all in the name of Oslo.

 

Once he had drafted and brought the Oslo Accords, forcing them upon his own nation and government using every coercion and international pressure in order to force Israel to kneel before the altar of Oslo, as if it were the Golden Calf in the plains before Mount Sinai during the Exodus, and the results were similar in both cases. Simon Peres sold the chimera of land for peace and made such into an idolatrous religion with the Oslo Accords as the idol of worship and constructed a virtual Shrine of Oslo where land for peace was to be worshiped and the term Oslo was a sainted and holy word. This idolatrous cult diverted many an Israeli just as idolatrous cults of the Philistines, Egyptian, Hittites, Edomites, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans stole Israelite souls throughout Israeli history. In many of the times past the Israelite people and later the Jews were punished for their taking of false gods and worship of idols in place of Hashem. Some have postulated that the terrorism could have been interpreted as divine retribution for the worship of the doctrines of Oslo over the Commandments in Torah. There are many wisdoms and truths about the Land of Israel in Torah which we are not to question but to protect and serve to make them holy and dedicated to the worship of Hashem as commanded in Torah. Perhaps it would be of interest for this lay person to tell of the few with which even I am familiar.

 

First and foremost, the land of Israel belongs to Hashem and Hashem has assigned the Israelites, many call us Jews but that term defines Jews everywhere while Israelites are the Jewish People who have remained through time or returned to these ancient and holy lands thus making us separate in one aspect from other Jews, to tend and care for the lands of Hashem and the lands will care for us for as long as we keep Hashem’s Commandments. Hashem gave us these lands to sustain us as a reward for living by the Commandments of Torah and the lands will be bountiful in measure with our obedience and pure worship of Hashem as Commanded in Torah. There are more than Ten Commandments, there are six-hundred-thirteen Commandments, Mitzvot, in Torah and the Rabbis have added quite a number of regulations, one might call them, over the years as listed in Talmud and other doctrinaires. We are to follow these directives from Torah as if our lives depended upon them because they actually do depend upon them if the land is to support us and keep us. Those who do not follow Hashem and do these Commandments will be “vomited from these lands” as the lands will reject the sinners. After the last exile which lasted almost two-thousand years we hope we have learned this one truism at long last.

 

There are instructions as to how we are to face those living in the lands which Hashem was to give us and this should probably apply to the modern times as well. We are to give these people three alternatives, each less hospitable than the previous one. The most hospitable is they are welcome to remain in the lands and we will not settle where their cities exist as long as they leave us in peace to follow Hashem and they agree to obey the Noahic Code of seven commandments upon which all civilized nations are to be based according to Torah. These are not dissimilar to the Ten Commandments but are slightly less demanding (see image below). Those agreeing to this may live within the lands and will be afforded equal protection from outside attacks and be treated as equals with equal rights and be free to live providing they reside peaceable and obey the Noahic Code, the Devine Code of seven universal commandments.

 

Noahic Codes

Noahic Codes

 

The second choice is they may choose to leave the lands entirely. If they choose this they will be afforded ample time to gather their belongings, herds, moveable property, vehicles, wagons and household goods and leave to choose a new homeland and we promise not to harm them, chase after them or bring upon them undue hardship once they have left for their future new homelands. Granted, this was much more easily achieved when the Israelites came to the Promised Lands after the exodus from the exile in Egypt (Mizraim). Of the Canaanite Tribes there were a few who chose to remain and did so in peace, some chose to leave and went forth from the land unhindered, but most chose the last alternative to their dismay and eventual demise. The third choice is to bring war against the Israelites and to try and vanquish us. Those choosing to take this stance and bring war face the ultimate response, annihilation. In case of war we are instructed by Torah to bring complete and total war against those who choose to treat us with violence and we are instructed to kill them to the last individual and to destroy their cattle, goods, and all that is theirs so as to wipe their name from history from that point forward. Total war is what we are described to bring against those who bring violence against us in Hashem’s lands.

 

This is not how we have treated the violences brought against us and instead have sought to make a peace with those who have chosen war. Peace cannot be made with people whose stated desire is your eradication. Reading even the school books that the Western nations of Europe as well as the European Union, United States, Canada, Australia and the United Nations have paid for in full and some have sent representatives to review the content of the texts and approved them and they state that the Jew in Israel is a mortal enemy to the Palestinian who must murder them wherever they find them. This is taught over and over again in every class imaginable and such is reinforced through plays and exercises where they reenact the murder of IDF troops and Israeli Jews. They have children’s shows on television where they sing songs about the heroic martyrs who murdered Jews and how they too will murder Jews when they are older. The governments of the world know of these textbooks which they pay to have printed. They know of these children’s television shows and the summer camps which are paramilitary training camps which teach the genocidal murder of all Jews worldwide. The world governments and most of the academics know of the naming of parks, schools, summer camps, soccer teams, sports tournaments, streets, squares, mosques and buildings of all types after murderers of Jews, or terrorists, of what they call blessed martyrs which is their term for suicide bombers who successfully murdered Israeli civilians including often numerous Arab Israeli citizens. The world knows of these things and gives it tacit approval all the while condemning Israel for any defense put forth to protect Israeli civilians. The western nations, especially the United States, demand that Israel remove blockaded streets, remove checkpoints and allow Palestinians free access into Israel basically instructing Israel to not enforce the borders with Palestinian Authority semi-autonomous regions knowing full well that doing so will provide clear access for terrorists into Israeli cities where they can and will murder Israeli civilians and then when these attackers are prevented from murdering Israeli civilians by police and they are shot the world protests the extrajudicial killing as if there had been no threat to life despite the terrorists already having stabbed or shot any number of individuals often resulting in deaths or permanent debilitating injuries which scar, disfigure and disable the victims for life.

 

There is a term in history, more of an explanation really; it is the theory that Jewish blood is cheap, often costless and inconsequential. This was true in much of history both in Europe and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) area under Islamic rule and Greek and Roman before that. One example were the Crusades where when they had numerous troops who were not battle-hardened and had never tasted blood (killed a man) they would assault Jewish towns and ghettos somewhat for sport and for the experience of killing so that when they reached the holy lands they actually had mastered their weapons and no longer gave killing a second thought which made them better soldiers. This training also made the slaughter of entire towns and cities in the holy lands easier on the soldiers’ consciences as they “purified” (rid) them of their non-Christian peoples. Do not believe this was only a Crusader practice as there was also purification in the Islamic world where they too were readying armies for the conquest and spread of Islam and often also for retaking the Holy Lands. As Jerusalem was of obvious value above and beyond that of any normal city as well as was Bethlehem and Nazareth, the Muslims were particularly driven to hold these cities simply to deny the Christians their prized possessions which they found made them lesser fighters, or at least that was the theory.

 

Once these cities, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem had finally been conquered, the next city of premium value and declared the third most important city for Islam became Constantinople. It replaced Jerusalem which had previously held that title until it was finally secured and defended and proven beyond the ability of the Christians to challenge. They treasured Constantinople so much they even gave it an Islamic name, Istanbul. Once they had finally broken through the walls of Constantinople and taken the city and renamed it Istanbul, they went the additional step of taking the Hagia Sophia, the largest and most decorative cathedral of the world at that time, and transformed it with the addition of four minarets and named as the Aya Sofya First Imperial Mosque of Istanbul (modern picture below where it now serves as a museum covering its entire history). The Hagia Sophia has had a spotted history of grandeur and falling into gross disrepair as well as suffering a number of earthquakes and one pillaging. Today it has had most of its frescos restored and the plaster removed to reveal others once again displaying its grandeur as a museum open to the public. One can only hope this grand structure and example of glorious architecture remains in all of its historic beauty for posterity but that will remain to be seen.

 

Aya Sofya First Imperial Mosque of Istanbul Hagia Sophia Museum

Aya Sofya First Imperial Mosque of Istanbul
Hagia Sophia Museum

 

Once the Muslims had taken Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul it eventually fell to the Ottoman Turks, themselves Muslims, and to the allies after World War I after which it was returned to Turkish rule as Turkey remained as a nation in the aftermath of the Great War. They needed a new third holiest city for the conquests to continue. This did cause some differences of opinion as there were three separate cities which served at times holding the honor of greatest target of Islamic armies. The Islamic armies of the west which had invaded Europe by crossing the Gibraltar Straights and entering Spain, or Andalusia as the Muslim named the area, first gave the honor to Madrid and then Barcelona as the third holiest city in Islam, simply the manner in which the next targeted assaults intended to conquer were named. The Islamic forces then took most of Portugal so quickly along with Spain that Lisbon, as far as we could discern, was never so honored. The next target was France and the Muslim forces had experienced no real opposition of consequence so set their sights high and named Paris as their next great conquest. They ran into a problem somewhere around Tours, France in October of 732, where the forces under the leadership of Charles “the Hammer” Martel who defeated the Islamic forces in such a definitive battle that they were turned back out of France and back into Spain.

 

Meanwhile, as well as much later in history, the next target was in the west of Europe where the Islamic Ottomans targeted Vienna. The interesting item here is the Ottomans made two separate attempts to take the city laying siege to the city in 1529 and again in 1683. The Ottoman Empire led by Suleiman the Magnificent made the first attempt to take Vienna laying siege to the city for almost three months when nature decided to turn upon the Ottoman forces. First there came rain storms which destroyed what tunneling efforts had not already been defeated by the defenders of Vienna. The frontal assaults broke first at distance by the use of arquebus, a rifle-like hand cannon (see image below), and at closer range the use of long pikes broke the assaults. This was followed by an early and particularly heavy snow leading to a rout where many supplies and artillery were abandoned and many men captured. This led to years of conflict between the Austria-Hungarian forces backed by Spanish and Holy Roman forces against the Ottoman Empire forces leading eventually to another attempt at taking Vienna.

 

Arquebus, a rifle-like hand cannon

Arquebus, a rifle-like hand cannon

 

Beginning on July 14, 1683 the Ottoman forces under Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha and Kara Mehmed of Diyarbakir initially fought their way to the walls of Vienna and laid siege to the city. The siege held for a couple of months until September 12, 1683, when relief forces arrived to relieve the city. King John III Sobieski of Poland had prepared his forces for a total war of relief for the city of Vienna during the summer of 1683. He requested and received guarantees from all the neighboring countries and backed by the Holy Roman Empire states for a pact of nonaggression while he mustered his entire army to march to relieve Vienna. His forces arrived and backed by Holy Roman Cavalry leaving sufficient forces at key junctions and guarding all bridges to sustain resupply of his forces, King John III Sobieski defeated the Ottoman forces laying siege to Vienna and broke the stalemate thus setting his name into the history books as the man who began the eventual defeat of the Ottoman Empire and broke their advances into Europe once and for all. Thank you for tolerating this trip through history though off topic. I do tend to ramble.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 28, 2016

The State Versus Religion and Family

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In the most recent times there has seemingly been a war waged over who is responsible for raising children. This battle was best epitomized when Hillary Clinton came out and stated at the 1996 Democrat National Convention as if it were established fact, “It takes a village to raise a child,” (Full Speech Below). The entire speech may have been her best presentation despite her almost Al Gore like metered cadence throughout the entire speech though once in a while she appeared almost attached to or excited by what she was proposing and her meter increased briefly. But the advice that the village, a euphemism for the government, is vitally interested in the raising of the child is a direct threat to the stability and autonomy of the family. This has become the watchword for the school teachers who receive additional training through approved courses which instruct that the teachers and school nurse or other medical officer and the principal are the first line of defense against improper ideas and concepts from being introduced to children because parents have been known to introduce archaic religious “indoctrination,” their phrasing, not ours, which must be instead replaced with the new age socialized concepts where the whole society teaches that which is beneficial to the society instead and above that which is beneficial to the family. The society is known by another name, another reference and that is government. But before we can even address the war against parents and government as the first parent of every child, we must first look back at an earlier conflict between science and religion which morphed into a battle between government and religion and has brought us to the world we have today.

 

 

The first concept required is to realize that all relationships whether private, public, familiar, governmental, religious and whatever; can be studied as living entities where the healthy and most adaptable grows in scope, influence and power and the lesser entities wither and eventually die. The earliest times in human existence, even before Homo Sapiens appeared, the basic unit was the family. This was because most of the groupings were clan based and one could tell your stature, standing, history and almost everything else about you by your name as it was an indicator of to what clan from which you arose. Different clans would have cooperative agreements often sealed with the exchange of women to show good faith and create and actual binding between the two families. This also served genetic diversity thus avoiding to some extent the genetic failings such as hemophilia and other disorders. With time clans merged to forge stronger and more capable collections which would supersede the family or clan unit. These groups were the first tribes which granted greater genetic diversity. All of this arose before the first modern man but was instrumental to development of complex society. The tribes grew to include numerous clans with some better at hunting and others at gathering knowing what was and was not edible while still others showed aptitude for healing and tending the young. In these more primitive conditions there were those whose task was the care of the youngest children but as they grew they would be trained in the skill they showed the best attributes by others such as a huntsman would train the young hunters, the gatherers would train the next generation of gatherers and so on. Tribes also began the concept of history, then simply known as the story. The story was one which was uplifting and always made the hunters as great warriors defending the tribe and the gatherer who risked life regularly trying new untested fruits and vegetables and if they survived and approved the tribe would add another plant to their diet which could have allowed the tribe to use previously unexplored lands. Such a person who would live to old age was likely rare but one who had along with the oldest hunters who reached an age where their use became telling of the stories. These positions evolved to become the job of an entire group who were to be the first priests who would eventually weave a set of codes which made the first religions.

 

With the onset of herding and farming, the time of city-states appeared and by now the tribal leaders were chosen by some method of testing or perhaps a single family’s eldest surviving son at the time of their father’s demise became the next ruler and the age of government had begun. It is important to note that the family was the initial and earliest defined obligation followed by clan and then tribe. With tribe we had the loosest governmental forms but religion grew into an actual class with priests who may have also been a warrior class which led the defense or assaults taken on by the tribe. Finally, about the time of the first cities, which would soon become city-states, did actual government take root amongst mankind. This was the first time that there would be actual laws enforced with proscribed punishment or at least delegating the one who proscribed the punishment for a particular crime. There came formalizations with religion already having led the way in this and they were followed by government. There came positions assigned with likely the first being the close guards who protected the ruling figure, then the ranking members of an enforcement group, the forerunners of modern police and judicial system. Often times the judicial system was also run by the clerical priest class as they were also the most learned class. This started the initial conflict between religion and government, even when a wise leader tied religion and government, blurring the difference and thus granting themselves the highest position in governance and religion. This was exactly what the Pharaohs of Egypt did when they proscribed for themselves a godly aura and was closely imitated by the Caesars of Rome.

 

There were a few exceptions to the basic complete authority of the governing leader or even the governing and clerical leaders which we have discussed a few times before, and that was the Torah which was the founding document for the Israelites who became over time today’s Jews. The rules given approximately three-thousand to three-thousand-five-hundred years ago were the framing of some of the ideas used by the Founding Fathers when drafting the United States Constitution leading to the proposed tight restraints on the Presidency. Such restrictions such as a President being withheld from granting themselves property or wealth derived from their knowledge of government workings nor could they simply invent and apply laws without the consent of Congress and were made answerable to both the Congress or the Supreme Court should they stray from the defined limitations of their office. These concepts along with the right of a state to leave the Union if they would so choose and do so in a prescribed manner and other limitations on a President were badly damaged or destroyed by Abraham Lincoln who basically became the government during the Civil War as he all but declared formally a State of Emergency permitting the President all but unopposable powers. Still, the limitations which were first set in Torah, the laws given at Mount Sinai in the book of Deuteronomy 17:14-17 which found their way even presumably to the present day in limits on the President of the United States and were placed as the very first laws limiting the powers and impositions of Kings where it read:

14  When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,”
15  you may indeed set over you a king whom the Lord your God will choose. One of your own communities you may set as king over you; you are not permitted to put a foreigner over you, who are not of your own community.
16  Even so, he must not acquire many horses for himself, or return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, since the Lord has said to you, “You must never return that way again.”
17  And he must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.

 

Meanwhile, somewhere between the gathering at Mount Sinai where the Israelites responded to the coming giving of “The Law” said, according to many translations, “We will obey and we will listen,” and today in much of Europe and the developed world where the people would not even listen to the religious codes and laws, let alone obey them as religion has been supplanted by government and the new priests are the lawyers who believe themselves the ultimate interpreters and applicators of the law twisting it to their will and whim. At some point around the rise of Persia and the rise of Rome religion and government became permanently separated in what would become Europe and much of the rest which came under either Greek or Roman rule. This began the contest between the two main centers of power outside the family unit. At that time the two still crossed boundaries with government infringing on religion for their advantage and religion infringing on government very much to their advantage. A sign of both comes as part of the Inquisition. Where it was an obvious usurpation of prosecutorial powers taken into the hand of the Church striping that power for the priest class who acted as judge, jury and often executioner, their prosecutions were also abused by government to destroy adversaries or other challenges to the throne or regional power structures. At the same time King Philip II of Spain used the purification edicts from the Church in Spain to raise and launch the famous invasion fleet of the Spanish Armada against England and Queen Elizabeth I which ran afoul of vicious storms and the fleet of English gunboats which were smaller, faster and more maneuverable capable of passing between the huge troop carrying Armada frigates who when firing at the English fleet had their shot pass over the top of the low slung English ships and simply blasted the other Armada ships in their own fleet. Almost all of the Spanish ships sunk and the remainder limped home and that ended this threat to England and its Church of England, a Protestant Church closely tied to the Tudors after being created by Henry VIII. The creation of the Church of England was another perfect example of religion out of the needs of the ruling monarch. Henry VIII needed a divorce which the Pope refused him; so he made his own Church after he went home.

 

Spanish Armada of Giant Frigates Holding Hundreds of Troops and Cannon Ports Only capable of Shooting Over the English Fleets Comprised of Sleeker and Low Slung Ships with Deck Cannons and by the Hand of G0d Seen as the Weather

Spanish Armada of Giant Frigates Holding Hundreds of Troops
and Cannon Ports Only capable of Shooting Over the English
Fleets Comprised of Sleeker and Low Slung Ships with
Deck Cannons and by the Hand of G0d Seen as the Weather

 

Over the ensuing years as science explains more and more of the unknowns and all appears to be explainable, the place of religion has diminished in the developed world. The need for religion to explain those things we did not understand had been greatly diminished but the final understanding is just as far out of the grasp of science now as it has ever been. The question surrounding the why, what and who caused the explosion which science has named the Big Bang is unknown and seemingly will remain unknown for the foreseeable future. Using Einstein’s equation of E=MC2 where ‘C’ is the speed of light which is times itself and multiplied just by the weight of the objects in our own little solar system and one gets a very large number and should that computation be done for all of the presumed objects just in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and that number almost becomes unimaginable and finally, if we add the viewable estimated number of Galaxies which the Ultra Deep Field Hubble Telescope took of a postage stamp piece of the sky thought to be virtually empty by all previous observations and that number is unimaginable by the average physicist, let alone the rest of us (see image below).

 

Ultra Deep Field Hubble Telescope Picture Each Smudge and Pinprick of Light is an Entire Galaxy

Ultra Deep Field Hubble Telescope Picture
Each Smudge and Pinprick of Light is an Entire Galaxy

 

Using science as a weapon of ultimate destruction, government in the developed world has assailed religion attempting to make any religious belief or system presumably archaic, its practices the equivalence of a rain dance, the prayers comparable to a voice at a séance, and its commandments, covenants, decrees or other rulings as the equivalence to Ouija board revelations. Concurrently government has replaced religion as the determiner of right and wrong, the provider of charity, the reason for a Sabbath renamed weekend, collector of alms as an integral portion of taxes and slowly rendered any expression of religious observance unacceptable in public. About the only suppressive action government has yet to take concerning religion has been to make religion illegal. The reason is likely because should they actually make religion illegal, religion would likely make a comeback just because it was outlawed. Especially any reference to Judaeo-Christian ethics,codes, holidays, prayer, deity, prophet or Bible passage, the government put the final clasp subduing even the slightest religious thought from the marketplace of ideas. Meanwhile, ignoring the dangers, those in governments are permitting Islamic religious teachings claiming that it is study of culture and comparison of governance and civics. This plus an extra-judicial importance placed on a statistically insignificant threat posed by anti-Islamic acts which have remained relatively constant since 2002 after a noticeable rise in the second half of 2001 while anti-Semitism acts are rising in some locations many folds but these acts are minimized or completely ignored. There have been those who have theorized the governments’ in the developed world preferences for Islam stem from the Islamic anti-Semitic and anti-Christian ethos and actions. This may also be behind the initial rush for European and developed nations taking in of “Syrian refugees” while not considering taking in Christian refugees facing persecutions in the Sudan and other nations in the Middle East and North Africa.

 

Finally we get to the family and the initial start of governmental infringements on the family unit. One of the initial assaults on the family used the equality for women fight to weaken any male claim of being better suited at any particular field of employment due to the differences which were previously thought to differentiate men and women. The most ridiculous of the denied differentiations was the strength requirement as it was agreed that strength requirements for men had to be restructured for women such that they required a similar percentile for women to be passed. One of the first to be altered was the strength testing to be a firefighter. The requirement for men to carry a full body double along with his fire suppression and breathing gear including wearing the mask down two flights of stairs and out of a building under fire simulated conditions had to be scalable. They had to take the weight of the dummy and scale it to meet the same percentile as women as it took for men to pass as well as scaled gear weight and so forth. This required new sized dummies and smaller breathing apparatus and other expenses just to train and test women applicants. The argument made by one Fire and Rescue company in court that in an actual fire the size of the person who may need be carried would not be scalable was rejected when they had a number of fire squad captains admit that they often set an order of people entering a building or if inside chose the largest and strongest to be tasked with such carries and thus the test really was not about actually carrying a real person from the building but actually a strength test and thus would meet those requirements for scalable testing. This argument was also the initial scaling of military combat arms testing including for Ranger, Green Beret, Seal and other special forces testing and training. The real aim was just as much blurring differences between men and women and removing any male dominated jobs from having such as their label. This blurring has continued that there exist work environments where the surname for all employees has been simplified to the unisex denotation using the letter ‘M’ for both genders. Then came the real punch to the gut, when some schools began to use a new picture book titled “Heather Has Two Mommies,” to depict that a family was not the conventional one of a Mom and one Dad. Such attacks were later continued with any combination which desired the status of a ‘family’ to be so denoted.

 

The gender wars and war on conventional definitions continued and we even saw women enter the military training at all levels until today women have been cleared to serve in any combat role even in actual combat condition, though this has not been tested to the best of our knowledge, not even in Europe where such equanimous ideas go to be tested. There was the court challenge against the classical definition of the family in a number of states establishing the right for other than heterosexual couples to adopt children. Eventually, we suspect, that multi-coupled relations will also seek equal rights in adoption as well as tax codes dealing with deductions for married couples where communal communities will be permitted treatment as what will likely be referred to as a ‘greater family’ or a ‘communal family’ and demand they receive treatment equal to a traditionally defined family. Eventually, through whatever means are required, the definition of what constitutes a family will be so weakened such that a person suffering from having multiple personalities will be able to be granted status as a family. Then, as with religion, the government will claim that they are the ultimate family and thus children will be raised by a licensed individual who will soon become a government employee much in the manner that teachers are now government employees. In an age gone-by, some name it the frontier age but really was anywhere a town was small enough and in an unpopulated area where there is no overseeing governance, when the citizens, particularly parents, desired a teacher who was knowledgeable in what was called the three ‘R’s (Reading, wRiting and aRithmatic, they were very adaptable) the wealthy peoples or person would hire a teacher and the one-room schoolhouse would be erected by the townsfolk and that was how early schooling was accomplished. Eventually the town would grow where grades by age groups, usually the young, middle and advanced groups, and multiple teachers were required, where in some fortunate places the wealthy people still provided the salary for the required teachers but eventually the entire community would jointly provide the teachers’ salaries with each parent paying their share according to the number of children they placed in school. This would eventually become some form of taxation collected by the governing body who also hired teachers and this will eventually become the department of child-rearing with the law eventually requiring all children to be raised from birth by the government.

 

Caring, educating and making every individual dependent on the state for everything from birth to death, cradle to grave care, thus makes everyone completely comfortable with doing exactly what the governing bodies demand. Just pray that by that time some overseeing the governing has been taken over by a self-repairing computer system and not by very fallible human politicians such as the wonderful and kind imbeciles who are elected or appointed in far too many societies for such to become all-powerful. Still, it is the nature of any organism, be it an individual organism, a collection of similar organisms, a collection of differing mutually beneficial organisms, a collection of balanced organisms, a collection of prey and hunter organisms, an organism composed of a collection of organ or any other imaginable system of organisms as such as today’s political class where they are dependent on others on which they prey (we are somewhat unsure which class they fall into to be honest) which exist in the many strata which we find defined in our modern society. The government grows by replacing existing and often very functional systems by meddling and regulating until they have subsumed the entire system and then they start to lower the expectations such that they are able to claim by the lowered standards how government run programs are superior. They will always point to the area where by their own defined criteria they prove to be superior. Often the criteria they point to first is inclusion as they will find groups which was at the margins or preferably outside the margins of the private run systems were capable of including and claim superiority due to the sheer numbers served. This has been evident most often with schooling where minorities of students are able to afford private school and the public education system serves all including those who would be unable to afford private school at the current cost. What they hide is that should they give parents a voucher which can only be used for attending private schools, that the very students they point to would easily be able to afford private school education. The truth is that there would be an entire market of schools which would educate children for less. The same would very likely be true in other government run institutions, but government has two basic advantages; first is they accomplish the assigned tasks with the minimal amount of effort from the people served and, even more importantly, they can make their providing of the assigned services required to be provided by government trained and licensed individuals thus making only government the sole provider by law/regulation.

 

The last thing which is an evil by which government grows and makes the government the beginning and the end in all places government desires to control is the power of laws made by fiat and without review by elected officials. The Federal Government is the most guilty of this intrusion and dictation over the people without review by the people’s elected representatives. This mechanism is known as regulations. The House of Representatives and the Senate will all too often pass legislation which sets goals and not mechanisms and then assign the flushing out of the how to accomplish these goals to a cabinet or department within the government to figure out who, what, where, when and how these goals will be defined and met. They do this without any input beyond the vague and often amorphous set of goals even leaving the final definitions of the goals and then formulate regulations. http://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10871/Sunstein/ target=blank>Cass Sunstein was appointed by President Obama to be his Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Regulatory Affairs and assigned to review existing Federal Laws and find those laws which would allow for new and varied regulations to be fashioned in order to complete desired acts, actions, positions and requirements desired by President Obama and his team of Czars so that they could accomplish policy goals without involving Congress. Many of the regulations which Cass Sunstein wrote will lay waiting for complimenting laws and regulations to be passed or written and then they will also be applied. Very few if anyone other than the President and his former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs actually know all of what was found, written and sitting waiting for the appropriate time that these regulations will be required for government to accomplish another expansion of its powers. The regulatory route is what is most vital for government to grow and expand into new and various areas.

 

Sometimes one is required to look back centuries and research deeply into cultures and societies in order to see that which has changed. One area where this is particularly true is printing. There have been some radical advances in printing made because of computers but that is more in preparation as when printing mass numbers of items such as newspapers and books, the methods used have remained very constant since the invention of moveable type which was where each letter of the alphabet and each number from 0 to 9 along with spacers and punctuation were made on individual pieces as blocks and thus could be arranged in any order. With enough of each particular block one could print many pages of the same letters very quickly. Before that invention printing was done by a specialist carving out a master copy reversed often in wood and it would be used but had a limit on how long they lasted. Additionally, the letters carved into the master were permanently in place and could not be used in another page. A whole new master would need to be made. Before this method, things were even slower as the only people making books were a few crafts-people known as calligraphers and specialist Monks trained in calligraphy. Books in these times as well as anything else we would print today and requiring more than one copy were all made each copy by hand individually. The Monks trained in calligraphy would spend their entire lives on one book if many, many copies were required and those who had the finest styling and abilities would be permitted to make copies of the Bible. Making a Bible was the highest form of calligraphy. There are still some who are studied in this art who are hired to make such books and these books are rare, often one of a kind, and are extremely expensive, some priceless. There are still books and scrolls made today by hand. Torah scrolls are one such example and are written by trained Rabbis who often spend years making a special Torah scroll and months making normal Torahs. Just for the record, the government used to hire private companies to make their respective printed material such as pamphlets, maps, tourist informational material, records of Congressional actions and other necessary items. Today most of these are printed by the government with a vast number done at their Pueblo, Colorado printing facility. Of course all money is printed by the government at the mint. Thus far, schoolbooks are written and printed by private companies often following set guidelines set by, you guessed it, regulations. These regulations are changed at intervals as the government, the Department of Education, change their requirements or decide to emphasize different concepts. From some of the most recent textbooks we have read, it appears that much of what we were required to learn in school has changed drastically and not necessarily for the better. Concepts such as whole word recognition which replaced phonics and sounding out worlds, new math or newer new math, and history as well as civics texts have changed drastically. There is a reason so many college educated students know so little about history and government which may make for great fun on the Lettermen Show but is less funny when these same people vote. The lack of making informed choices was made, if one follows the news, obvious to many ‘informed experts’ by the two choices made as the candidates for President by the two major parties. We believe it could have been worse, but it might have been better. Our closing remark is a quote from Thomas Jefferson. It may be a reference to Jefferson’s comment to his nephew Peter Carr, “State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.” As noted in Jefferson to Peter Carr, Paris, August 10, 1787, in Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 12:15.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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