Beyond the Cusp

September 4, 2016

Foundations of Pay to Play

 

The Clinton Foundation, or should we call it the Clinton’s Fundnation, where donations of varying sizes were deposited often in direct correlation to the length of time they were granted with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Well, not all the visits with Secretary of State Clinton were linked to contributions to the Clinton Foundation; some were linked to very impressive payments for speeches by one former President William Jefferson Clinton. Of course we are told that there is no smoking gun or definitive proof or actual links, well, provable links. It is remarkable the degree to which far too many highly placed law enforcement agencies and individuals voluntarily develop tunnel vision. It is a miracle they can drive a car safely with such obstructed eyesight. Yet the news has been filled with reports about the horrors and downright dastardly practices and unconscionable business relations which apparently have plagued Donald Trump over the years. We can only assume that previously law enforcement and business oversight and enforcement departments have suffered an equal measure of tunnel vision when it came to policing the business deals of Donald Trump. Of course the surprising item is the lack of law suits brought against Donald Trump if so many of his business dealings were actually as fraudulent as we have been led to believe. There was one business venture though which truly could have qualified as fraudulent had it actually made the guarantees or promises claimed by the media, and that was Trump University. Fortunately for Donald Trump the only actual guarantees given by Trump University were that one might be able to benefit and enrich themselves with the lessons and they would receive a diploma and a picture of them with the facsimile of Donald Trump. The picture with the cardboard Mr. Trump was only worth slightly less than the wisdom one might have gleaned from the lessons. So, there has seemingly been loads of the blind leading the blind in law enforcement around both Presidential candidates if the media reporting on one and the claims of ignoring direct evidence on the other are to be believed. This leads to one big question, which one is the least crooked and least seriously soaked in criminal behavior and thus the lesser choice to be President.

 

I know what you’re thinking, where am I going with this and that I sure started with some twisted and tortured lack of logic. Well, why should editorial commentary here be any less confusing and in the dark than the rest of the media? If you answer is because you have come to expect better, then thank you for your confidence and read on, it will hopefully be worth your time. The problem is that far too many of the politicians are crooked as a broken and twisted ancient oak tree with the varieties of corruption, insider trading (which is actually legal for members of Congress and the members of the Administration of the President), bought and paid for political hacks, politician turned lobbyist and other crimes of unimaginable complexity and criminal behavior obvious even to the most casual of observers which reach out from the rotting central core of the political tree in the ever outward reaching branches seeking new and more imaginable ways to deceive and steal. Are there some politicians who are clean, respectable and trusted to work for their electorate? Astonishingly, yes. Unfortunately they are also the politicians shunned by the opposition party and their own party and unfortunately cannot seem to get together on issues due to their different beliefs and political orientations. If only there were some means of getting the true representatives of the people to work to clean up the rest of the political quagmire, that would be simply grand. Unfortunately most of the truly honest representatives of the people fall into one of a few categories, socialists even bordering on communist, religious conservatives often referred to as the religious right, and the true believers of causes which are as varied as often separate be the narrowest of degrees yet still chasing mutually exclusive dreams as one can paint. There are likely more than a dozen of causes which come under the ecological umbrella from save the whales or the seal cubs to save the rain forests as well as stop acid rain who sometimes protest with the save the oceans and even save the polar bears who have been taking care of themselves quite well. Then there are those who want electric cars, hydrogen cell cars, universal transports which take everyone to their destinations, public transport such as busses, light rail or subways and those who want to ban all vehicles which run on petroleum even including aircraft and the rigs without which we would soon have less choices of food and other goods, but that is not their concern. There are some who desire making the United States a Christian based nation where Christianity would become the recognized religion of their state or even the nation. And then there are our favorites, the constitutionalists who simply desire to have the United States return to the limitations intended by the Founding Fathers.

 

Founding Fathers of the United States

Founding Fathers of the United States

 

Those chasing causes, dreams some call them, are probably the least harmful as they are easily predictable and can be clearly understood. The less than honest politicians are also predictable once their motivations and those who own their pocketbook are understood. There are those who have so many positing bribes, sorry, contributions and charitable donations, which work their way back to the politicians through nefarious and twisted paths making them not so obvious. Let us say that a politician or group of politicians receive contributions to their campaigns and to supportive political action committees (PACs) as well as donations to charities or other groups who also contribute to the election campaigns where all this cash finds its way back to the politicians and they simply promote a bill which provides funding for some aid package helping the poor or the sick in impoverished nations which in turn buy drugs or food using much of the aid from the United States from those who initially arranged the funding from the varied sources for their campaigns. The twisted paths and the indirect funding leads to crossing the eyes of any investigations such as there is nothing directly untoward making these actions prosecutable. There are thousands of scams which have been operating for more years than any care to admit. Ask historians or political studies professors and one can learn that these problems assisted in the fall of empires past and have predated writing. There are theories about what is the oldest profession and it very well may turn out it was politician and the first politician was the individual who convinced the leader of their clan that they needed a religion and they should be the priest or medicine man or any position which did not require brawn as much as brains. That politicians got to eat without having to hunt as hunting was dangerous and too often the hunting parties came back minus one or more members while priests or medicine men stayed at the camp near the fires and out of the rain.

 

We have come a far way since then and now we have entire echelons of politicians in layers upon layers doing all sorts of functions. But in modern society the politician is not the greatest menace, just the most efficient ones where the greatest concentration of money can be found. The menace are those faceless individuals who sit in offices and cubicles making up rules and regulations and even law in some instances when directed to flesh out legislation which is all too often loosely written and paints broad swipes leaving room for interpretations and that leads to mischief. There was a temporary position a number of years back which was referred to as the Regulations Czar whose lead individual was Cass Sunstein known officially as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. The position was directed to review laws and legislation from the last fifty years or so and define or formulate new regulations which could be enacted with a special emphasis to use these reviews to enact and formulate regulations supporting policies the Administration was having difficulty passing through Congress. How many thousands of additional regulations were discovered hiding in laws recent or ancient we probably will never discern. Things have gotten to a choking point with the numbers of regulations, requirements and other rules holding an equivalence of laws that the average citizen cannot be expected to even have knowledge of the extents and depth of what is considered illegal and can place one on the wrong side of the law in court. The sad truth is difficult to put one’s arms around but be it the United Statesor be it Briton or any nation in Europe or potentially the entire world, the reality is we all break laws as part of our normal everyday lives and the criminality of living increases by thousands of new laws and regulations annually. This is the real criminal output of politicians who are paid to pass laws which outright or through inferred regulations give those who can pay an advantage over the rest of the population. This is the crooked legacy which is almost as criminal as the money stolen from our pockets through taxes, fees or higher prices so that others can benefit from corrupt politicians. This is why elections matter and primary elections this year proved to be the surprising ones which mattered. In the United States the choice is between two political forces either of which will provide the media, and especially us if we choose, more to cover than they will know what to do with. One will have half the media screaming about the illegalities with the other half excusing it while the other will have half most of the media claiming they are completely lost as to what are the motivations of the actions from the White House and others will play the game of guess what’s up next. Either way we will have plenty of news we just as soon would rather tune out, but it will affect our lives and the effects will be anywhere from minor inconveniences to drastic enough to threaten the entire planet. The real problem is none of the candidates, including third party, have even an inkling about the state of the world and what needs be done to repair the most egregious of the difficulties or threats, and it will be some of the threat which will offer the greatest danger if not mitigated and mitigated right out of the gate. Many will claim that will simply cause more difficulty but indifference to the world of problems has worked so well that we’ll gladly risk actually addressing threats and problems over leading from so far behind you may as well not be there at all, which too often was the case, Benghazi anyone? Please America, choose well.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 1, 2016

Trump Selling Opposition of Establishment Vision

 

Trump is running a campaign empty of substance, which are the claims from the Establishment and the other Republican candidates opposing him. Trump getting red faced and frustrated when attacked simply feeds the everybody is out to get him, the same exact feeling which much of the populace also feels as their health costs have tripled, the coverage is so limited that it is the cause of much of the increased health costs because the system is not designed to deliver healthcare but to transfer funds to the lower third or even half of the population, the people on public support and who pay no taxes. Even if Trump or a Republican President with a Republican Congress redesign Obamacare into Republicare, the system will still become cumbersome and loaded down with regulations and impossible hurdles to get proper care because government does not do healthcare. Government does regulations and compartmentalization all of which is the antithesis of good healthcare which requires everyone to have access to one another and their opinions. Government had proven to be very poor at interfacing differing areas of every agency and healthcare will end up being no different. The lack of interconnectivity is a large part of the problem in Veterans Healthcare and the public version will be even worse as there will be that many more patients to tangle up in forms, requests and what we from the military knew as SNAFUs, Situation Normal All Fouled Up.

 

One of the main reasons that Donald Trump has won three primaries in a row and might well outperform his rivals today, Super Tuesday, has much to do with the Republican Party deciding that it was best to front-load many of the primary elections when states clamored to place their voting as early as possible. This was seen as important because everyone wanted their race to be the one which put the candidate over the threshold thus making their state appear to be the important and pivotal primary state. It was the race to the front a number of years ago which pressured the parties to change their primary as nobody wanted to have their state primary elections after one candidate had necessarily won making their election results meaningless. This has allowed Donald Trump to make a grab for delegates a viable stratagem by simply playing to the crowds as the one being ganged up and mugged by his apparent closest rivals, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Their tactic to reveal Trump as an empty suit would have had far greater effect had they started earlier and had the time to reveal his lack of any form of plan, as Trump has basically made a campaign around his phrase of, “I’m going to make America great again.” He is basically running a campaign as this election’s Hope and Change candidate offering change we will all hope will change the stuff needing change or the people will lose all hope. The other candidates would have served themselves far better had they come up with a theme around which they actually built their argument as that would have given them a rivaling theme and one with substance and not relying on hot air, something which has lifted Trump like a hot air balloon. The other two main rivals attempting to poke a hole in Trump’s balloon has left them standing on the ground while he soared to apparent victory.

 

 

Trumps Vehicle to the White House A Hot Air Balloon Filled With Hot Angry Rhetoric

Trumps Vehicle to the White House
A Hot Air Balloon
Filled With Hot Angry Rhetoric

 

Again, it is really possible that there will emerge a winner by the Ides of March and the United States will be left fearing two-thirds of a year of Trump being Trump. What is even more astounding has been the Republicans and not so insignificant number of Democrats who have claimed they want a president with substance and grit with an actual and explained plan to move the United States back to its preeminence in the world, and Donald Trump has captured their minds and left them giddy filled with some intoxicant. The intoxicant is a slogan which expresses the electorate’s desires which claiming “I’m going to make America great again,” fills that need and many believe that there is a real plan behind the slogan. The frightening thing is that President Obama had a plan to go along with his “Hope and Change” and “Yes We Can” sloganeering in 2008 elections. Those slogans and electing the first Black United States President simply intoxicated the American public and here we are two terms of Hope and Change later. The one thing many Americans are now claiming is that those Changes were not what they had Hoped they would be. Eight years ago nobody challenged President Obama to define the Change we were presumably Hoping for so that left it up to each individual to define the Change and that gave them Hope. Here we are eight years later and it appears that the presumed thinking party had fallen for a phrase and no plan, which may prove just as intoxicating as President Obama’s sloganeering. The question the Republicans need to ask themselves is will “I’m going to make America great again,” as a campaign slogan last through to the elections or will the balloon burst and the Republican hopes of taking the White House dwindle and completely blow away on the wind, the same wind they had hoped would change the ownership of the White House.

 

We have been hearing an argument that we do not need another sloganeering campaign despite its appeal and they have claimed that nobody has won based on a slogan before President Obama attempting to pin his election on Hope and Change as an illusion the nation cannot afford another such President. The sorry thing is there have been numerous Presidents elected simply due to an inspirational catch phrase, though often also filled with actual plans and positions deeper than “Make America great again.” President Eisenhower had a slogan which was festooned across the country and it proved accurate that, “I Like Ike,” won the nation’s hearts. The fact General Eisenhower managed the victory in Europe during World War II probably aided his run for the White House. There were cryptic slogans such as Theodore Roosevelt whose single word slogan, “Bully” both won him the White House and redefined that word to mean a winner, a successful achiever and to have the advantage in speaking giving us the terminology “Bully Pulpit.”

 

 

Bully was Theodore Roosevelt slogan and theme

 

Through American history there have always been slogans, some of which proved memorable enough to outlast the campaign and even the candidate such as: ‘Don’t Change Horses in Mid-Stream,’ ‘All Power to the Imagination!,’ ‘Better Dead than Red,’ ‘Four More Years,’ ‘Vote for a Change,’ ‘Remember Pearl Harbor!,’ ‘Remember the Alamo!,’ ‘He Kept Us Out of War,’ ‘Think Globally, Act Locally,’ ‘We are the 99%,’ ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,’ ‘Tippecanoe and Tyler Too,’ ‘The Buck Stops Here,’ ‘There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch,’ ‘Workers of the World Unite,’ and one which sounds eerily applicable to one of the current campaigns, ‘No War but Class War.’ The idea of finding a catch phrase which resonates is as old as politics and even predates elections as slogans can be used to start or end revolutions or can be used to win wars and get the public roused. Rosie the Riveter was used to sell war bonds along with an entire and ongoing campaign which came from an actual advertising agency contracted by the government. Without slogans much of politics would simply be dry rhetoric stating facts, lying about facts, stretching and mutilating facts leaving at least a shred or two of truth in them and the other things as old as politics, mud-slinging. During the 1796 elections between Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams, Jefferson supporters described Adams in an article run in Philadelphia as, “old, querulous, bald, blind, crippled, toothless Adams.” In 1828 Presidential election Andrew Jackson was described in a Cincinnati newspaper by John Q. Adams supporter wrote, “General Jackson’s mother was a COMMON PROSTITUTE brought to this country by British soldiers. She afterwards married a MULATTO MAN, with whom she had several children, of which General JACKSON IS ONE!!!” and lastly from the 1800 Adams-Jefferson campaign we get this gem describing John Adams as a, “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” The name-calling today is tame and respectful compared to the early years in politics where anything was fair game including big whoppers of lies.

 

The way to prevent sloganeering of winning the primary campaign in a single burst of well-planned buffoonery would be to spread the primary elections out with the states with sizeable numbers of delegates evenly spaced with them slightly weighted towards the middle to end of the season as they are the likely states where the fight will be the most revealing as we really need to know which candidate has the right stuff to survive an attack calling them a, “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Such a lengthening of the campaign such that it represents a solid four month campaign where the people could really get to compare and contrast the candidates and they will be pressed to give greater insight and depth, not that such things tend to actually matter any longer. Now the elections are decided by the media and the operatives with the people caught in the middle. “I’m going to make America great again.” That is a great slogan and would be even better if we knew how. With President Obama who won not just one but two Presidential campaigns on little if any substance we do not need another sloganeer. The first was sold as Hope and Change. Well, we all hope for better days to come and change is inevitable as the laws of physics explain all too muddled in the math for many of us to understand. Who doesn’t understand this Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann formula from Analytic Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory shown below?

 

 

Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann formula from Analytic Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory

Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann
formula from Analytic Algebraic
Geometry and Number Theory

 

The problem is obvious; most of us will start to pay attention to the primary elections in our respective states, if we even bother to vote, about a week, maybe two, before the election is held. Then we see who our equally clueless friends are supporting, maybe look up something on-line and then as all too many people too busy to take the time and carefully analyze each candidate’s positions and other pertinent items, not like all who read articles here as they obviously have done and followed since the first person announced over a year ago, thank you Dr. Ben Carson, and finally turn on the radio to hear the news and vote for whoever is ahead in the polls as they want to vote for the winner (yes, I knew somebody who voted with that exact reasoning, voted for the winner). This election in the United States, and if everything does not collapse, or worse, implode, then also the next few Presidential and Congressional elections will decide the fate of more than the United States. They may decide whether the world enters World War III before the United States has redeployed her military so as to have them dispersed and thus many surviving a preemptory strike which simply destroys the power generation grid leaving the people to die a slow death of starvation and Americans shooting each other over a piece of bread or a jar of peanut butter, chunky, of course. That also might decide where the remnants of Europe escape to as the tensions in Europe begin to boil over and fighting breaks out in the streets. What is important for all in the free world to remember was a one singular shameful event where people stood and watched and some shot pictures but nobody stepped forward to lead and prevent this gruesome event from the afternoon of May 22, 2013, a British Army soldier, Fusilier Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was attacked and killed by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, southeast London and beheaded.

 

 

Fusilier Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Honored Posthumously in Parade

Fusilier Lee Rigby
of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Honored Posthumously in Parade

 

That a crowd watched and did nothing will be the critical moment when many of us discovered that the world we thought we knew was dead and soon a critical question will be imposed on the Western World, the question of will you stand for your privilege and way of life or will you as well surrender before the coming storm, before Islam. So, which will it be? We and many fear the answer might just be silence, the worst kind of silence which comes right before the storm, and it will be a storm like has been unheard for a very long time.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

March 13, 2014

Putin Threat Harbinger of Greatest Danger to America

Putin made an unveiled, direct threat focused to cause President Obama to stop and consider if he really desires to enter a financial war with Russia when he threatened to end his nation’s practice of utilizing the Dollar as their reserve currency. In many ways such a threat is an empty one holding little credence as very few nations would accept the Russian Ruble in payment for resources or other transactions between nations and would still demand that Putin pay them in Dollars or at least Euros. But that is this very moment and the future does not promise that the dollar will continue to be the reserve currency of the world. That begs the question of what will become the world’s reserve currency and what will such a change do to the power and credibility of the United States?

There have been many in the recent few years who have sought to find an alternative to the American Dollar as the reserve currency of the world. Most of those proposing such oppose the United States though they are not adversaries on the brink of actual war. These nations all have a couple of items in common. They are all developing nations recently joining the advanced industrial world and are entering the information economic world and are struggling to be on a par with the United States. For the reason of gaining an advantage of equal footing with the United States, many of these nations have proposed a multi-currency reserve usage if not their currency replacing the Dollar. Now there are those who believe that virtual is better who talk of a world currency driven by demand to set its value such as the bitcoin. Where the bitcoin is a quaint idea and the whole concept of a virtual universal currency, such an idea has one very glaring drawback, no nation is going to go willingly to such a system that is outside the political control of governments, though such would provide a useful reality in the monetary markets of the world. Bitcoin is an unlikely choice as the originators are not quite as well connected as would be required for nations to trust such a system thus bitcoin would need to compromise with international political powers before they could be accepted as the new universal currency. Expect some more prominent and well know entities to enter the market of virtual money with Pay-Pal, which is mostly Dollar centric, having already taken steps in that direction.

Some of the major competitors to the Dollar are the European Euro; the main reason behind the European Union was to establish a trade center equal to the United States market and the establishing of a currency to rival the Dollar, the Chinese Yen and a few others. Which nations and currencies are vying for the title of the replacement currency for the Dollar is unimportant as long as the Dollar retains sufficient stability and recognized value making it the continued universally accepted currency. Even those places which have decided to accept currencies other than the Dollar still rely on the Dollar for the setting of the value of the other currencies thus even when using the Iranian, the Chinese Yen or the Euro; these currencies are accepted in trade depending on their value as measured against the Dollar. So, even if you are paying with some other currency, your bill is still being charged in Dollars and your payment is in an equivalent amount of another currency.

So, what will it take to change the reserve currency of the world? One large step would be to have OPEC begin to use a different currency for purchases of crude oil. There is a reason the Dollar is often referred to as the Petro-Dollar, because the true value of the dollar is the amount of oil that can be purchased with a set amount of Dollars. Thus far, the only places accepting alternate payment for crude largely have been Iran. The reasons are obvious; Iran is attempting to weaken the Dollar as part of their offensive against the United States and the Western nations. The real test would be if the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and especially Saudi Arabia were to stop accepting Dollars and choose another currency or group of currencies in payment for their crude oil. Even should these nations simply start accepting alternate currencies it would weaken the value of the Dollar and would be the initial step to the devaluing of the Dollar to the point that it would be dropped as the reserve currency of the world. If you question what affect such an event would have on the United States if the Dollar of today ceased to be the reserve currency of trade tomorrow, you only need look to the nation that once before minted the dollar that was the reserve currency of the world, Spain. The Spanish dollar which was the originator of the phrase “pieces of eight” as it was a bar of gold that was able of being separated into eight equal pieces that was the currency of trade. Part of the reason behind this was the Spanish exacted a serious penalty for anybody caught shaving their dollar, death. We need to remember the death of the Roman currency system and possibly a large contributor to the death of their empire was the shaving of Roman monies by, at first, the most unscrupulous and eventually it becoming almost commonplace such that it became necessary to weigh each Roman coin before accepting its value.

The Dollar is currently being shaved by a new destructive force, inflation. Because the United States has adopted the practice of simply printing monies in order to finance the government stimulation of the economy, a practice with a dodgy history and limited effect currently, there is going to come a time of rampant inflation in the United States which will result in a drastic devaluation of the Dollar. This devaluing of the Dollar will hurt far more peoples than simply the American public; it will hurt any nation holding large reserves of Dollars. This looming threat is also behind many nations’ nervousness with holding any excessively large amount of Dollars or American certificates or bonds which are Dollar based. This is what urged China to finally stop purchasing more American debt by buying bonds backed by Dollars. This, in turn, led to the Federal Reserve purchasing the Treasury Notes necessary to print additional Dollars, a practice which has artificially sustained the stock market prices and is leading them to new heights. This is an empty valuation as with time the Dollar will have to fall compared to the other currencies of the world which will make the higher priced stock market return to a value that truly represents its actual worth. The real fallout of this eventuality are the other nations whose currencies are directly tied to the Dollar and any nation with excessive holdings in Dollars as well as all those heavily invested in American companies’ stocks which are valued in Dollars. The first signs of the near universality of the effect of a devalued Dollar have been displayed each time the Federal Reserve had threatened to stop its constant Quantitative Easing which is a euphemism for making money, Dollars, out of thin air, and never a good idea. The nations whose currencies took direct hits resulting from such Federal Reserve threats are the nations most vulnerable due to their heavy investment in Dollars. This is what was behind the Chinese fire sale selling off a large portion of their Dollar reserves a few years back. That sell off came within six months of China refusing to purchase additional Treasury Notes, i.e. Dollars. Yes, the Dollar has become extremely vulnerable and yes, the Dollar may very well be on the verge of a collapse and no, we have no idea what the far ranging effects on the economies and currencies of the world when the American Dollar falls beyond the cusp into a great chasm of debt riddled valuelessness. We may not have to wait decades for an answer, but it would be best to never be in the position of realizing that everything we thought had value had become worth the cloth/paper it was printed on and not the value the pretty designs and numbers inferred. That will be a day of reckoning, a great and painful reckoning.

Beyond the Cusp

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.