Beyond the Cusp

June 19, 2016

Ill Placed Anger

 

President Obama made it so very clear, Omar Mateen was a ‘homegrown’ and a ‘lone-wolf’ from some unidentifiable deep well of violence which had ‘nothing to do with Islam, the religion of peace.’ The President was quite guarded of what we have come to identify as his precious ideological visions as to what exactly makes up Islam. Of course the President was far less coddling and defensive when it came to those who are not on his team. Here President Obama had pointed and viciously delivered vindictive over their audacity in criticizing his reluctance to tie Omar Mateen’s violent murderous spree naming it as ‘radical Islamist’ sharply attacking with precise words, President Obama shot forth, “For a while now the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize the administration and me for not using the phrase ‘radical Islam.’ That’s the key, they tell us. We cannot beat ISIL unless we call them ‘radical Islamists.’ What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?”

 

If this sounds vaguely familiar, then perhaps we can be of some assistance in identifying the similar phrase and where it came to be used. The culprit was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responding to Republican questions and sniping at her by their insistence to getting what she saw as an statement about Benghazi they could use against her in her coming predicted run for the White House when an exasperated Hillary Clinton lost her temper and let loose a storm brewing, her lips spitting out, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.” (emphasis ours)

 

Both seeming temper tantrums had something similar, they were both triggered by a refusal to actually name Islam as being at the root of the terrorism and that Islam has a radicalization problem which many on the left wish to refuse recognition and instead would prefer to protect Islam from its own radical elements than anger a growing constituency. These defenders of Islam refuse to allow the recognition that there exists Imams who are radicalizing Islamic believers in frightening numbers. They refute any ties between the Islamic State and Islam which are why they prefer to refer to the Islamic State as ISIS or ISIL without identifying what the first ‘I’ in each set of initials refers. Both were lashing out at political adversaries attempting to deflect their pointed accusations which were presumably attempts to viciously attack all Muslims and those who defend them. These attacks are almost universally aimed at Republicans and Donald Trump specifically. What would be amusing, if it were not for the mounting death toll, have been the opposing claims that those who claim a link between Islam and terrorism are needlessly generalizing thus potentially alienating peaceful Muslims while the other side claims they are refusing any relationship between radical Islam and the majority of peaceful Muslims.

 

Both sides actually agree on one particular item, that it will take the assistance of the majority of Muslims who are peace loving to save Islam. Where they differ is naming the challenge. The conservatives have no difficulty naming the enemy as the radicalized Islamists while the liberals blame misguided individual who uses their Islam as their excuse and there are select Imams who do a disservice to Islam with their radical message. The main differences come down to a single question, is the presumed numbers of innocent and peaceful Muslims really the vast percentage or are they an insignificant minority mostly found in the Western World. Then there are the precious Imams whose ‘sermons’ like those of the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was targeted for death by the CIA in 2011, are capable of reaching disaffected youths in their native language and turn them into weaponized Muslims in the next killing fields. Orlando was the most recent of these and the most deadly. Before Orlando, Florida there were others including San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015; Chattanooga, Tennessee on July 16, 20125; Morganton, North Carolina on December 18, 2014; Moore, Oklahoma on September 25, 2014; West Orange, New Jersey, on June 25, 2014; Seattle, Washington, on June 1, 2014 and Skyway, Washington, on April 27, 2014. These places and dates were from “What Makes Islam so Different?” The fact that most, if not all, of us cannot or do not remember these events even had we heard of them, is more a reflection on the media and their attempt to cover up Islamist terrorism as it does not fit their worldview and reflects poorly on President Obama the nation while under his and the Democrats handling of the narrative. By even simply listing these attacks on American citizens makes me guilty of feeding the too pervasive Islamophobia. The insanity becomes all the more perverse when one finds out that Islamophobia is not a fear, rational or irrational, of Muslims but rather the thought crime of implying that Islam could contain a radical and violent faction and that is just plain racist.

 

This is where the United States, almost every square millimeter of Europe and all too many segments of Israeli society have sunk. The leftists have so perverted the waters of communication that relating truths is a social misstep and going there may make you a social pariah which would mean not being invited to the next ten million Brie Cheese and Chianti parties. Oh my, how will we ever survive?

 

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

 

One thing we have been berated with is that in the upcoming American Presidential race there are two choices; one is sensitive, humane, understanding, loving, caring and simply wonderful while Donald Trump is boorish, impolite, hateful, vindictive and an all-around evil individual, but the media is trying to not be judgmental, simply reporting the facts. The choice is being presented as if one candidate will bring to the world peace and tranquility through intelligent and thoughtful beneficial rule while the other guarantees brash, America first the world be damned and taking the world to war and back to nationalistic barbarity. We see the choice somewhat different. We see one candidate bringing defenseless European socialist madness where the nation will go bankrupt, but not until our grandchildren will be in charge, so live it up while the charade lasts; or nationalist let’s see how much of what was once a great nation can be salvaged and turned away from following the European Union down the rabbit hole into a debt ridden death spiral. It is getting very close to too late and another four years of Obamanomics, and especially eight more years, will take the once great nation which reached from shore to shore with shires of golden wheat in between will fall to a point where feeding her own people may prove difficult as the creditors will take the entirety of our food production as it will be the last morsel with which to repay for the senseless spending. Yes, when it comes to socialism there is too much of what appears to be a good thing because, as Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.” The United States long ago ran out of other people’s money and has been living on monopoly money for quite some time as they found a new source; they electronically just kept adding money to the supply. This works for as long as interest rates remain near, at or below zero but once interest falls below zero the entire house of cards and fiat money crashes and the people resort to burning the money come winter as that is cheaper than paying the utility bill.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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May 29, 2016

Why the European Union Will Die

 

After our Brexit article some inquired why we claimed the European Union would die, or more aptly, implode, as we had stated at one point. A few expressly pointed to the fact that there were signs of economic recovery and that the steps taken by the European Union were working to bring the troubled nations, especially Spain and Italy, back from the brink. While it would be quite a blessing should the European Union make a recovery of unparalleled dimensions resembling the great periods of the post-World War II era but the likelihood is slender as there is not about to be another Marshall Plan as the United States too is facing lean years and will be working on their own recovery for the immediate future. The challenges to the Western World are mounting and if not addressed and some mitigation found the refugees flowing into Europe and North America on top of the brutal effects the refugees are placing on Turkey and more so on Jordan threaten to topple leaders as the strains on the economies will be extensive.

 

The challenge for Europeans as well as Turkey and Jordan will be to alter the manner in which they treat refugees and those who come from foreign extraction and to integrate them into their society rather than all but forcing them to live in autonomous zones separate and anything but equal. The French produced a 2,200-page report, “Banlieue de la République.” The report had numerous suggestions and goals which could be enacted which might alleviate some of the difficulties but are unlikely to see the light of day. The challenges listed in the French report can easily be applied to the other nations, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Britain and other nations will be a test of whether Europe can adapt and commit to integrating those who are unlike the native population as unless the Muslims are integrated and have opportunities the probability of rioting and radicalization rises. We are not equating lack of work and the other poverty and similar tags which have often been blamed for terrorism as not even claiming that their frustration and lack of address of grievances by government will produce terrorism, we are identifying such as a drain on the finances and budgetary balancing will be a factor which may tip the scales from an affordable situation to a destabilizing financial drain. Such situations can also be exploited leading to rioting and lawlessness. The same is true for Turkey and Jordan as their economies are not so vigorous such that they can integrate the thousands upon thousands of refugees which are streaming across their borders. Jordan has the added problem of refugees streaming in from Iraq as well. Even Israel is feeling some financial effects as she is called upon increasingly to provide medical treatment both for refugees as well as injured fighters from the various factions in the Syrian war zones, many of which are bordering the Israeli Golan Heights which makes Israel the best place to get emergency treatments. 

 

What will come about is the death of the European Union as a super-governance or providing a standard currency and economic plans as it has been the disparate rules and economic plans which are not universal which has caused much of the problems. With the work week standard being a 40 hour week we find that those who do work from national average to another are surprising in the numbers we were able to find from 2013 with Greece leading at 42.0 and the Netherlands with a mere 30.0 (see below).

 

European Average Hours Worked by Those with Employment

European Average Hours Worked by Those with Employment

 

The next important, actually vital, statistic is the unemployment rate by nation. We found records for 2014 and 2015 graphed (see below) where the lowest recorded at 5% for Austria followed closely by Germany and with Greece and Spain hovering at about 25%. During our researching we found that Youth unemployment usually ran from half again to around double the figures for population in total.

 

European Unemployment by Country for 2014 and 2015

European Unemployment by Country for 2014 and 2015

 

Another measure of the health of an economy is the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measurement where the lower the percentage the healthier the national economy. The percentages range from Sweden at 38% all the way to Greece at 157%. (see below) The one regularity which one has seen consistently was that Greece and Spain are at the end of the figures which are least desirable and Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian nations tend to be the most desirable positions which also explains why these nations rated amongst the happiest of nations in Europe. The main rational behind these numerous graphs and statistics was to generate the vast disparity between many of the European Union nations and to point out why the sharing of a singular currency, the Euro, places strains and limitations on the necessary monetary policies each individual nation has at their disposal as well as economic policy restrictions. For those at the disadvantaged end of the scales their not having their own adjustable currency means that they must make allowances in policies to the largest economic powers as they drive the European Union’s viability but while doing so they imperil the lesser economies.

 

Debt Expressed as % of GDP for European Nations

Debt Expressed as % of GDP for European Nations

 

The difficulties the European Union is facing goes beyond the individual national monetary and fiscal policies and the single currency enforcing economic policies of the strongest power nations upon the least national economies thus perpetuating their difficulty and in most cases condemning them to deficit spending and an ever rising debt load with little if any recourse. The financial difficulties are aggravated further by the bureaucracy in Brussels which continues to grow and demand more and more treasure be skimmed from the economy of the entirety of the European Union nations. This results in an ever more drastic effect upon the economically weaker nations sending their finances ever further into the red. The European Union regulation are simply one more drain on every economy throughout the European Union and once more the effect is disproportionally more dramatic on the weakest once again. When one observes the growth of the European Union Legislation and Legal Action Surge one starts to realize exactly where and why the European Union will eventually legislate itself out of existence.

 

Growth in European Union Legislation And Legal Action Surge 1973 to 2008

Growth in European Union Legislation
And Legal Action Surge 1973 to 2008

 

The vote next month will tell the story and will very likely be the last chance for the Western World to finally start to turn away from socialism and its guaranteed outcomes instead of simply providing a guaranteed equality of opportunity and a level playing field. Initially when the precursor of the European Union started, the European Common Market, it worked well as it basically created a low or no tariff zone within Europe for its member states. By the time it had grown and transited into the European Union it was already showing signs of becoming a super governance which was obviously heading to becoming the central power over the entirety of Europe. This was made all the worse by the fact that many of those in positions of influence and power were unelected individuals who need not report to any individual nation as they were employed to look out for the European Union and not babysit or hold the hand of any one country. From this humble beginning the European Union began to write large edicts. Many were about certain levels of pollutants one might put into the air, water or ground and also writing the procedures for handling and disposing of poisonous chemicals. Many of these regulations were quite important such as where to store spent nuclear fuel rods safely. The European Union also set standards for each nation on pollution control due to agreements entered into either by the nations or the European Union. Soon the European Union has become a super government which rules in a dictatorial manner with the individual European nations being incapable of altering their relations once a decision has come down from on high in Brussels.

 

This is part of what has galled many British voters and it is only the youth who have graduated within the past decade and probably left university knowing less than they went in but are now assured that they know everything and it will be their charge to come out and teach those out in the workforce what is the only approved manner of performing any work. They will expound regularly the complaints about income inequality and how it is not fair that older people receive higher salaries just because they have proven their ability, which, they will tell us, is a form of ageism except this particular time it is the youth at a disadvantage. Once the youth of today become a majority, be prepared for their instruction in college to come to the fore in our society and Capitalism will disappear and Socialism will become the new perfection of society and our national problems. They will address the income inequality by setting a maximum wage one will be permitted. Let us assume we have two people, one making 35,000 Euro per year and another making 250,000 Euro per year. Without even addressing how these two individuals came to be making such different amounts but will defer to the one making the higher wage and simple make the difference far less. Their newly adjusted salaries after the equality of worth standings are applied result in the first gentleman going from making 35,000 Euros per year to making 95,000 Euros per year and the gentleman who once made 250,000 Euros per year will now be making 135,000 Euros per year leaving the government with 55,000 Euros in redistribution fees. This will be the future when the youth get to make all the decisions across Europe and then slowly the rest of the Western World. Between an economy teetering on the point of exasperation and a flooding of refugees who are largely seeking the government relief and expecting the government to feed, clothe and house them and pay them salaries as they were told was their right upon arrival. The refugees seeking such as this will be the lesser of the problems as there are those who upon arrival disappeared into the woodwork and have yet to be found and it is these individuals who are most likely terrorists planted within the midst of the Europeans and the Americans and Western nations as ticking time bombs primed and ready to detonate at a moment’s notice.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 28, 2016

Brexit, Obama, Cameron and the EU Elites

 

What do Brexit’s opposition, President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron and the European Union Elite have in common along with the British Treasury, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development? They all are using hyperbolic, exaggerated paranoid economic forecasts of doom and gloom pitched with great arm waving and volume. Those supporting the British Isles leaving the European Union are equally voluminous and strident. There are entire lists of arguments favoring each side as well as dire predictions of horrific disasters with which to attack each side. So, where is the reality which a sane and measured approach of scientific study would support? The sad truth is that no such rational and unemotional report has actually been released and for good reason, leaving the European Union is a completely unprecedented occurrence. The best thing we can do in approaching Brexit is to simply add another opinion which in reality is not that different from every other opinion out there, the best we can reason out and then we will wait and see what happens should the vote go the way we would advise, but we so not expect to influence too many Brits as the other thing that has been polled is that the populace is divided mostly by age and everybody has chosen and are unlikely to compromise on their assumptions. The older generations, possibly because they remember the pre-European Union Britain, favor Brexit while those who have lived entirely as members of the European Union do not support rocking the boat. Perhaps it does break down to whether you lived in a period when Britain was not just another national entity lost within the folds and bureaucracy known as the European Union.

 

The one thing which the British have done which would facilitate their leaving the European Union much more easily than most other European Union nations is the British kept the Pound Sterling as well as accepted the Euro. This may prove to be one of the smartest decisions the British have ever made as eventually, whether it is next month or not all that far into the future of humankind when the European Union finally tears itself apart as the economic strains of retaining Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Poland and Germany as a single economic union while continuing to allow each of the aforementioned nations to rule themselves and make their own economic decisions within some unenforced presumed limitations which would have made minimal difference anyway. So, there will come a time when Britain will be leaving the European Union or the European Union will be leaving Britain along with every other member nation as it melts down from economic hemorrhage. The one thing which is easy to predict is what will happen if Brexit is voted down next month, nothing, absolutely nothing as the entire world will continue with possibly a slight amount of sighs in Brussels and a few perplexed looks from some of the financial wizards across Europe and in the United States as all their studies and predictions of the perils that Brexit will entail.

 

Pound Sterling

Pound Sterling

 

The question which needs examination is what will happen should Brexit pass. The only honest answer is that we have no idea, none at all. President Obama has predicted that should Brexit pass that Britain will lose out in every manner especially in trade with other nations. President Obama threatened that Brexit passing will necessarily place the British at the back of the line in trade with the United States. The President did not explain why this condition would come to pass; he just claimed that would be the result. Perhaps somebody should inform President Obama that first he cannot place anybody at the back of a line which does not exist and unless he was going to place trade sanctions on the British, there was nothing preventing their trade continuing with the United States without suffering any change as membership with the European Union has little effect on United States trade with Britain. The trade between the two nations would simply revert to the same manner as before Britain joined the European Union. Sure there would likely be some legislation passing through the Congress and being sent to the President reverting some of the trade regulations clarifying trade relations but even that would likely be more a reassurance than any drastic alteration such as what President Obama threatened. Even should President Obama veto such legislation, it could be readdressed come January 21 immediately after the new President is sworn in and it is doubtful that whomever should be in the White House would make any difference as such legislation is fairly innocuous and there would be little reason outside obstinacy for a veto.

 

That will not prevent us from offering our point of view. The immediate advantage the British would gain is they would no longer be constrained by the monetary policies of the European Union and the Euro. The British have had the advantage in setting some form of monetary policy free of European Union regulations as they did maintain their old currency, the Pound (we love the old term of Pound Sterling as it sounds so provincial and proud). The British also have their natural relations with the Anglosphere nations of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States and a few other more minor English speaking nations. Such a natural set of trading partners being made simpler by a common language grants Britain an easier transition should Brexit pass and they be free to trade under their own desires free of European Union constraints. Further, the British economy would no longer be having some of their resources diverted to support those nations which are in financial meltdown which is causing an ever more serious crisis one after another. Despite the economic restructuring and presumed limitations placed on spending pressed upon those nations suffering economic difficulties ranging from slow economic growth after the 2008 worldwide financial meltdown which began with market collapse in real estate and mortgage collapse due to lax lending standards which were dependent upon rising real estate prices to complete financial freefall such as the collapse in Greece, these nations often ignored these limitations regarding them as impinging on their national pride and being so draconian that they prevent their addressing the economic needs to climb out of their difficulties. Whatever the reasoning, the strain these failing economies place on the productive nations is slowly strangling their monetary gains, threatening to drag them down the same drain with the financially crippled nations. This could be the main reason for the appeal to many British and the reason that establishment supporters of the European Union desire to persuade the defeat of Brexit as they fear an even faster decline of the European Union should the British economy be removed from the sum total of the European Union economy.

 

What those who have as their desire the continued existence of the European Union fear most is Brexit passing as they are completely aware that Brexit would be the first and far from the last nation to exit the European Union. The reality is well known, once Britain leaves the European Union the writing is on the walls in Brussels, the end is nigh. How much longer would France or Germany remain should the British economy become positive and surging forward with a bright future becoming apparent? The answer is not long, weeks, months, but definitely not years. As the European Union is seen as the best stalwart against another ruinous European war and the only manner where the continent of Europe can fairly compete with the United States, China, Brazil, India and any other up and coming economic powers; the European Union core believers are of the mind that only as a unit does the European nations have any hope of competing with any form of equality with the far larger economies and simply larger nations which have the advantage that size brings. The European Union members see their union as the enabler of trade advantages and refuse to see that they are simply another layer of regulatory strangulation and further taxation depriving the nations and some companies from greater profits. They claim that without the European Union such companies as Airbus could never have been created and survived as it was the European Union which allowed the separate nations to work as if a single unit. The reality is that the nations would cooperate as doing so increases their financial strength and in this world of information technology the old differences and impediments which often strangled trade with tariffs and protectionism would not return as the new reality so obviously rewards cooperation between nations and so many of the corporations are now international in nature that nations no longer benefit from such measures. That is the reality and the British remember the freedom of pre-European Union Britain and with any luck, they will be able to reason and influence those without such experience and Brexit will pass and strike a mortal blow to the European Union.

 

Counter to what numerous economists claim, and luckily this is not a universal opinion, the European Union is not the answer to the problems faced by the troubled economies such as Greece, Italy and Spain but rather the result of the Economic Union and its common currency, the Euro. Whether Brexit passes inflicting a mortal wound to the European Union or if we need wait for the European Union to reach its inevitable implosion, the individual nations reverting to their natural independent currencies will initially cause some difficulties but will soon be able to alter their currencies in relation to one another and thus permit the struggling nations to have a devalued currency permitting them to have economic advantages of lower manufacturing costs and thus an economic advantage that accompanies such. That will bring a new vitality which is impossible when they must share an equal cost rate against Germany as the two nations are as different as night and day. Greece and the other struggling nations are closer to an agrarian or light industrial base while Germany is a heavily industrialized and entered the information age and has robotic manufacturing in many industries making a similar currency preposterous in the max. Brexit may just be the key to freeing Europe from Brussels and the self-appointed crowned aristocracy which has placed themselves over a continent for far too long and have reached well past the point where they have gone from a unifying and strengthening of the continent to a detractor which now regulates Europe slowly into a stagnation which was unavoidable as the simple fact that the European Union was an unelected oligarchy which thought itself above the people and not for or of the people and saw the people and individual governments and the nations as merely pawns in their social and economic games and misadventures. There may never be a study done which will find exactly when the European Union went from a path for greater economic growth and strength to a drag upon the continent and a guarantee of a slow but inevitable decline as the bureaucracy grew to the point that it became a ponderous beached whale no longer capable of reacting to financial needs and instead squelching any vibrancy making responding to changing economic forecasts next to impossible. The European Union has gone from a force for European economic cooperation to a farce siphoning off an ever increasing price dampening economic activity.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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