Beyond the Cusp

October 22, 2016

I Have Seen This Campaign Before

 

I have seen this exact style and lack of truth in an election built entirely on one overriding misdirection repeated ad-nauseum. I reserve the right to keep you guessing and in the dark, just as the media coverage of the American Presidential Election has and will continue as they have chosen and scripted their coverage for one side, Hillary Clinton’s coronation. One might ask why there has been so little a cry from the Republican elite and leadership. The reason has much to do with their complete lack of pushback against Donald Trump’s initial success while their golden candidate, Jeb Bush, completely crashed and burned without any Republican emergency response team to douse the flames. They were assisting and even secretly arranging in quiet ways Donald Trump’s victory as this was necessitated for a Hillary Clinton victory in the general election. Any honest and readily supportable Republican candidate with the possible exception of Ted Cruz, unsurprisingly the sole Republican who had any hope of toppling the Trump nomination, would have beaten Hillary like a drum. That was the requirement the Republican Party power brokers delivered upon just as directed in the Hillary coronation directive handbook which everybody appears to be playing by except The Donald. Thankfully The Donald is extremely well adapted for the role of the unscripted wildcard.

 

There was an excerpt from the comedy show “Third Rock from the Sun” where John Lithgow’s character boils over (normal for his character) about the election and the anguish mixed with insanity he suffers over how to decide through all the lies and confusion (see video below) and Jane Curtain’s character quotes, rather loosely, Winston Churchill about the horror that is Democracy as a form of government. If you are a Lithgow fan, as am I, then you will love this. This is also unfortunately how all too many voters in America are likely feeling and this confusion does not stop at the shores, it extends to wherever people are involving this election into their lives. Unlike Lithgow, many will not be burdened with having to make that fateful choice; only Americans can be so cursed. Some have defined this election as between a crook and a megalomaniac. Well, it could always be worse; they could both be megalomaniacal crooks which some claim is also the case. Our solace is that even if we still resided in the United States, our state is the second most extreme such that there is no chance of countering the overwhelming majority which makes all predetermined. What makes this election so beyond most not overly familiar with American political theater and how most of the states are all but preordained to vote one party or the other with near 100% accuracy. What this produces is the election will rest on as few as five swing states to a maximum of a dozen potential swing states. As Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida alone could elect Hillary Clinton if she wins all three, the election may be all but decided early. If not then after Ohio, Illinois, and a remote Michigan swing will end all expectations as after that Colorado and New Mexico are unlikely to make the difference, but one can never be too sure. Imagine if it has been announced that Hillary will win and then, against all the odds, California goes for Trump. There would be a lot of news anchors with egg on their faces at that.

 

 

The nicest thing about the American election is that the tense and shrill back-and-forth screaming and accusations being exchanged blow for blow will all be decided within two and a half weeks. The less than nice thing is whoever wins will be the President of the United States for, at a minimum, four years. Whichever candidate prevails, the media will be filled with either criticisms or adulation every day from inauguration through their run for reelection. The one thing of which we can all be assured is that the next President of the United States will take office facing more than the usual set of challenges facing them immediately as they take office. The world has seen perilous times with ominous omens and exceedingly high threat indexes but rarely at the levels as all indicators press are rapidly approaching. The state of the world begs the question of why anybody would actually seek the Presidency at this time. The obvious answer would be either an inflated, larger than life ego or an overbearing feeling of being preordained and whose time has finally come though overdue. Looking at the two candidates we find that we have one of each, imagine that. Who could have imagined such an interesting election where only two personality types would seek the Presidency and then get both personalities? Usually one candidate appears so much more fitting the times and they rise to the office but here we have two. With both fitting one of two differing profiles, the voters will need to decide which candidate as well as which profile and then which is more necessary to face the coming difficulties and possible scenarios which will likely present themselves in the upcoming months and years.

 

This is not an election to envy the American voting public as if they were to choose poorly, the world will pay a horrific price, perhaps things which completely change the world as we know it today with massive change of the progressing of civilization and the laws by which we are governed. There are few points throughout history where the right person is in the right position when their world needs their type, style or quality of leadership. Even more unlikely has been the right person elected where they ward off a coming threat. Probably the most obvious example was British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as having the worst possible qualities for leadership facing the rise of Nazi Germany. Fortunately the British made a better choice once they realized that a war for survival was upon them choosing Winston Churchill. We can only hope that the world does not face a repeat of such as what led to World War II. The world would be far better off avoiding any war which would sink any sizeable parts of the world if at all possible.

 

Centers of World Conflicts

Centers of World Conflicts

 

There can be little doubt that the world is once again approaching another central pivoting point where a future for the foreseeable future will be determined. If one were to plot out a logical future, it would point to a failing of technology to prove decisive in a coming conflagration. The main and possibly only hope the advanced Western technological edge would have to preserve the underlying social structures of passivity, full equality, gender blending, sexual independence, complete tolerance and the abhorrence of the use of force is if their technology can circumvent the fierce religious observance and intractability following the strictest interpretations of their religious dogmas as possible, demanding the conquest and submission of all who are in any way different. Their strictness in observances leads to intrareligious inflexibility forcing rejection of those following even the slightest difference of interpretation or of historic views of the passing of leadership such as the detestations which existed in Christianity during the reformation. The world is shrinking in unprecedented ways and rapidity which is forcing the disparate religions, societies, governances, philosophies and every other predispositions that separate the varying formations of humanity closer and into competitions which forces clashes in every manner of difference possible. The resolutions of these conflicts will determine the future, or even if there is a future, of humanity. This makes every election worldwide and especially in the West, especially the United States as the flagship, and the manner of succession in undemocratic lands and the resolution of wars before their effects spread endangering other lands, as with Syria, and in such a manner as to advance peace and not more conflict. Bringing conflicts to an end and preventing future conflict while advancing intersocietal tolerance are the most important of the coming challenges we are going to face as a planet. Whoever can advance strong, flexible, determined, intelligent, intuitive leadership with an understanding of the needs and respects demanded by others and being capable of incorporating such in their negotiations and even more urgent and feverish emerging engagements and confrontations would prove to be the most intelligent of leaders. Such a leader would also be required to choose wise and capable advisors with diverse backgrounds so they can present the widest of potential venues and paths forward. As the ancient Chinese curse read, “May you live in interesting times,” and we most certainly are doing exactly that.

 

Oh, and where have I seen this campaign before? In a comic book come television show then movie series, Batman. There was an election in Gotham City between Batman and Penguin. Penguin ran a campaign based on how you always saw him in the company of police while Batman was always in the company of arch villains asking, who would you prefer as Mayor, one who keeps company of the police or someone who is always in the company of arch villains and criminals? (see below) Plot killer, Penguin won the election, of course. The result, well, that is the question after every election, isn’t it.

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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October 6, 2016

Put Some Ice on that Microaggression and Grow-up

 

Microaggressions and Trigger Warnings placed on books and films and university classes? Who thought up this asinine system which sounds like the acceptance of the adult-child? Trigger warnings on classes because their subject matter might upset somebodies identity or other hang-up is what maturity was supposed to cure. University was the last place that transitory management called life was presumed to get people past their childhood hang-ups. The university should have simply had freshman orientation inform every student as a group that they were about to be treated like adults who had stepped out into the real world. But this all actually makes sense if one carries the protect the child from any harm child-rearing which was started after World War II and first applied in part to the Baby-Boomers. These were the kids whose parents rushed them to the doctor or the Emergency Room at the first sniffle, sneeze or cough. Where did we expect such activity to lead? Where did parents think, if they ever thought about this, that forcing or, at a minimum, pressuring their children to take band and learn a safe oboe or violin instead of Home Economics which exposed their daughters to dangerous items such as sewing machines, stoves, ovens, or Shop Class which exposed their sons to the threatening world of power tools or even manual impact devices and manual torque converters (hammers and screwdrivers) which could put an eye out, would lead to later in life their children feeling inadequate and unable to cope with life for themselves. Their children would never use such items; they would hire others to do such work. Make them learn to cook when they can make reservations on the cook’s night off. Fix a railing using tools was out of the question when the handyman could be paid to take such risks thus saving their sons the challenge and danger. This was some of the psyche of parents in the late 1940’s through the late 1960’s and into the early 1970’s as the Baby-Boomers were brought into adulthood. The excuse always was that they meant well and that repaired the scars, not.

 

Not every parent was like this. But even some of the less protective parents refused to permit their son to play football or other “dangerous” sports where concussions were a potential danger as their child was going to use their head for higher purposes and thus must be guarded from any and all damage. They did not realize the damage they were performing. Then, we Baby Boomers began to have the next generation and now the protection racket went mainstream. Again there were the risk adverse parenting methods and some which prepared their child for the real world. Parents who had more than two, three children at the most were irresponsible and probably would let them risk injury while growing up. How absolutely thoughtless they acted. Some of the Baby-Boomers refused to have even one child as they were overcome by the “me first” complex where any complication that stood between them and complete self-fulfillment was to be avoided, shunned like the monster under their beds as children. They served themselves and no other and would usually pair up to pretend they were a family, a childless family as it even gained terminology. But those who had children, or more often child, were tasked to see them through life free from any trauma. Bicycles were to be ridden with full safety gear including helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, hip pads and whatever could protect their precious little bundle of joy short of wrapping them in bubble wrap. Baseball the batters wore helmets and shin guards and forearm guards in case they were struck by a pitch. Perhaps teaching them to dodge would have been preferable but that required extreme coordination and was less than 100% effective. Better safe than sorry became the parental watchword.

 

Child Decked Out to Ride in Safety

Child Decked Out to Ride in Safety

 

With each generation having fewer children than the number of parents is a mathematical proof for eventual extinction. Ask Russia or Europe where birth rates are all well below the 2.1 children per woman replacement rate where zero growth and zero shrinkage is presumed to take place. A healthy population would have that ratio of babies to women closer to 2.5 and often much higher. But keeping junior safe from all those terrible threats and dangers out in the world takes up all their time, who has time for a second or third or heavens forbid, a fourth child. Their children never need worry about the real world as they will go to university for a decade plus and get sufficient degrees such that they will never need use tools other than a pen and paper, they will be professionals, doctors, lawyers and never work with their hands when their brains have been so cultivated. This was raising a psychosis, not actually a child, never ever considered raising their child for anything short of a professional practice and an easy and good life as defined by the child’s parents and their grandparents who would need to be consulted on virtually every choice the actual parents found difficult. The big questions would be, do we expose little junior to life on a farm as there are so many dangerous things like hay forks and tractors with plow blades and junior will definitely never need to farm. Even if junior wished to act like farmer Joe, he would do so with a trowel and raise roses or other respectful things like strawberries or tomatoes, though the latter might be too much of a challenge. Of course the parents chose a safe environment for university and these universities had to please those who wrote the checks that paid for the $100,000.00 per year or more before dorm costs, fraternity or sorority costs plus books and a weekly generous allowance so they could have safe fun and safe everything.

 

Universities became more about coddling precious and gentle, all so innocent and unaware adult-children over education. They had mandatory classes to explain how dangerous and injurious certain words and phrases could be and that the university would not couch the use of such language from its staff or students. Students were to respect their fellow students above all else so all could have a safe university experience. Life became all about safe experiences which never challenged the protected child. Nobody ever thought to simply tell a child struck by an errant pitch to simply, “Put some ice on it and take your base.” Instead an instant diagnosis was performed like triage and both batter and pitcher, the victim and the abuser were made to shake hands and make up for their acts which potentially harmed another child. This way each wears a scar, one having what we used to call a bruise but now parents refer to such injury as a contusion as none of these parents would call such a bruise as that would be so low-life talk that is totally unacceptable in their circle. It all becomes about appearance and a contest over whose child will be the most successful. There will be arguments where they decide if a lawyer supersedes a family practice or general practitioner or does a heart surgeon supersede the lawyer; then they arrange for the child to leave to seek the greatest career. Not until they are safely through receiving their law degree or training as an intern can parents relax knowing they completed the task of raising a perfect child.

 

These perfect children still have not been exposed to reality. Imagine an intern assigned one Saturday night, though it could be any night, to work in the Emergency Room in a large and prestigious hospital in a now less than desirable neighborhood. Are they prepared for the cursing and swearing they will hear? This is such a stark introduction to the world of colorful language they are likely to receive. Imagine a man comes in with a severe knife wound and there is already another man with a gunshot wound. Does anyone believe life thus far had prepared them for the language and possible actions should these two patients see one another? The level of animosity which will be displayed by both these fine and upstanding belligerents will only be outshone by the brilliant repertoire of language which will be used. If an elderly physician witnesses this confrontation he would likely have something witty and condescending to one or both men as he would quite likely tell one to, “Put a sock in it,” and the other to, “Put some ice on it and I’ll get to you when you act like a man.” Neither swears one iota but both said firmly and resolutely could have the effect of shutting down the conversation. The existence of a number of the city’s finest and security on location assists with the physician’s demands. The young adult-child intern is likely completely unprepared for such a scenario and would run to their safe space away from the noise.

 

One cannot honestly believe that parents are shelling over such gross amounts of money to have their offspring protected from reality by the very institution which is presumed to be preparing them for life in the corporate jungle. These ill prepared adult-children will get eaten alive by anybody raised spending any amount of time on what we call the mean streets. The streets educate a child into an adult with great alacrity providing a wide range of experiences. First and most obvious is the colorful language. Nothing is merely gnarly, a word possibly within the adult-child’s vernacular, but is more probably f&#$ing gnarly or bodaciously gnarly sh^t or other equally colorful adjectives used. An injured person’s language who was in the knife against a gun fight and was shot or stabbed and deeply injured and cut to the bone will use language that might be truly shocking to a Marine, though no Marine worth their salt would show shock or surprise, and life threatening to the sheltered adult-child. Emergency Rooms come as trigger warning free zones and sans safe spaces. They are reality in its most raw form with people attempting to fake injuries so that a physician will write them some prescription for some pharmaceutical drugs, most likely pain killers but sometimes pep pills. Tell the one in a muscle shirt in Detroit in February that he does not need the medication he is demanding and that a Tylenol would be just as suitable as what he demanded for his pain. Listen to the language as the physician tells the gentleman that he is being discharged and recommended to take two Tylenol every three hours as necessary for pain. The next experience comes without warning and with nowhere to run as there are no safe zones and the threats of physical violence are such that the adult-child never even knew could pass from a civilized person’s lips, welcome to the real imperfections in the real world. These youths are not being served any good purpose protecting them from contrary ideas or the more colorful side of language along with threats of violence made by real people in real situations in the real world. Things are far from antiseptic in reality but perhaps that will change and everybody will be more civilized and the world will see the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” and we can all live as John Lennon had dreamed to “Imagine” and all will then have no need of trigger warnings and everywhere will be a safe zone. I, for one, dread such a day as there would be no free thought or further development as it is the rough and tumble of our world which necessitates change and that agitation is required to make those changes and discoveries, Rock On!.

 

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 27, 2016

Nation State or International Integration

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The election this fall is not about Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Taliban, or other security. It will not be about most of the items the media is talking about. What it is about is the economy, jobs, employment, wages, and everything about the economy but not in the obvious ways being discussed. Where will this next Presidency balance? The main item is which way does it benefit the United States most, continuing internationalism or returning to nationalism.

 

The media and most politicians are pushing this global economy, global integration, global cooperation, global solutions while hiding a dirty little secret, they are selling global as the solution while having the United States and the advanced nations pay for everything while equalizing the global playing field, whatever that means. We had a debate last night and we heard more of the same. Clinton claimed more globalism and taxes on the rich and Trump tried and may have meant to sound like Reagan. What they were not telling the people is that Clinton was using the same internationalism where the world matters more than the United States so in order to equalize the world the United States and the advanced world has to bleed to allow the rest of the world to catch up and then all will be well and how wonderful the world can be. Trump is actually claiming that every nation take their own and put them first and attempt to allow the nations who are leading the world to continue to be the leaders and then assist other nations in making gains and follow and give them access to advances as they are able to implement these advances. So, which way will work best. That depends on which nations one decides should be permitted to advance their own interests than to share with the world.

 

Internationalism is wonderful if your country is on the receiving end and not so wonderful if you are being bled to bring the other nations up to their level. The problem with that are many of these nations that are presumably being given advances in order to raise them to the same level are led by dictators who are enriching themselves and not making their nations any closer to the advanced world as that does not directly benefit them. What these dictators are not being intelligent about is that had they advanced their nation they would have enriched themselves in the process. They are not even thinking nationally rather than internationally. Internationally is a recipe for disaster as it inhibits the leaders from leading and demands that the least efficient be granted the largess while the leaders are placed in financial straight-jackets. Internationalists place a stop sign where all nations must park their own business and park their nation by the side of the highway and wait for the rest of the world to reach an equal position. The problem is that many of these nations, which they are waiting for to reach the same point, are themselves broken and not gaining and will never catch up as they are not even making any effort to reach the next level. Internationalism believes that making all nations equal will solve the world’s problems and inequalities, despite it not ever bringing the rest of the nations to first world status.

 

 

World Map with Borders Deemphasized

World Map with Borders Deemphasized

 

Nationalism is the opposite view which allows each nation to advance at their own rate and still demands that the first world assist the developing nation but does not demand they try to make equal those nations so dysfunctional that they are the closest thing to an economic black hole as can be found. Nationalism rewards each nation for their efforts and allows each nation to gain at their own speed. Allowing the leaders to lead gives other nations a target and proven path they can emulate but without national gain by the wealthiest nations to blaze the trail for the others to follow. The basis for nationalism is it allows each nation to set their own monetary policies and is against unifying monetary policies as such a system is flawed and destroys the lesser productive nations which has been proven by the European Union Euro which has benefited Germany while leaving Greece behind. Nationalism allows each country to do the best for their own people and society. That does not mean that nations which are developing should not be aided and it is in the interest of the most advanced nations to assist those nations who are developing and making the right choices and allowing them to benefit from the experiences of those nations who have traveled those roads before them. But those nations which are completely dysfunctional cannot be assisted as long as their governance is broken and until the nation decides to change their dysfunctions there is no reason to throw good money after bad.

 

Internationalism is a wonderful, feel-good policy filled of kind words and low on actual results. Internationalism demands that all nations be made to give according to their ability and the funds are granted to countries according to their needs. Internationalism demands open borders allowing free immigration with no limits or criminal and other background checks or other limits or restrictions. The policies sound as if they will allow all nations equal opportunities in word while defining this policy as bringing all nations up to the same level and making things fair for all nations. The truth is that this is accomplished by tearing down the greater nations while benefitting some of the least deserving nations who are corrupt criminal enterprises more than they are actual functional nations. Rewarding the worst while impeding the best prevents progress and will constantly restrict progress and the discoveries of new technologies and new systems which would result in assisting those nations seeking a better future to implement the proven methods. To get an idea on the difficulties caused by internationalism there is a perfect example which we can observe, the European Union. How has that equal currency been working for over half of Europe who are not Germany or Britain but are Greece, Spain, Italy and even France and many of the former Warsaw Nations. The common currency has taken the small differences of economic production where the agrarian economies which work on a different production level having to survive with the same policies of the industrial and other highly developed nations.

 

World Map and Relative Wealth of Nations

World Map and Relative Wealth of Nations

 

Permitting each nation to perform at their highest level and to their full potential will set target paths for other nation to follow along the proven road set by the highest performing nations. Progress is the fuel that raises all nations in turn. Progress provides the test paths and allows developing nations to benefit from their more advanced nations but only when they decide to advance. No nation could be forced to grow their economy and advance their national infrastructure and when a nation refuses to advance itself then forcing the rest of the world to wait for such a nation to reach an equative level is ridiculous and counterproductive. Internationalism is wonderful idea if it could function as promised. Nationalism is the dirty sounding word which is accused of being selfish because it benefits the wealthy nations and prevents developing nations from ever reaching the top level. The obvious fault is that accusation is completely false. If nationalism prevented up and coming nations from ever becoming the top nations were true then China would have ruled the world, Spain would be a leading nation, Greece would be the top nation in Europe, Egypt would be the most advanced nation in construction and engineering, Persia would still control East-West trade routes, Portugal would be a great power with colonies throughout the world, and the Hittites would be the great power in the norther worlds of Europe through to Turkey. Top nations change and have changed throughout the history of the world while nationalism was the rule of the world. Internationalism has caused massive stagnation as the world as a whole is not permitted to advance because the leading nations are held back presumably for the benefit of the lesser nations. This will always be a supported philosophy as there will always be more developing and undeveloped nations than leading nations as only a few nations will be in the top ten percent, which is why it is referred to as the top ten percent. Internationalism has been working so well over the past twenty to thirty years since 1979 while the rest of history was pathetic and without economic advancement advances by all nations and we are still using salt as a currency, aren’t we? The progress from salt as money to salt as something on almost every dinner table was a result from nationalism, not internationalism.

 

Compare the two with eyes open and the preferable form, open competition or controlled advancement, the choice could provide opportunity or a slow decadence and eventual decimation. Internationalism is welfare on an international scale much in the form of the Soviet Union and the initial Plymouth Rock Colony which would have starved if not for the Native Americans who grew and hunted for surplus for the winter and had sufficient to teach and feed the Pilgrims. After that experience of all get all they need, while most gave nothing in effort, they introduced a new program where each family kept a percentage of what they grew and the remainder was shared, the amounts of food skyrocketed. That is the balance which nationalism can produce, the most advanced achieve at their highest level and those developing nations learn from those leaders and in time some will replace them as they eventually falter. That is the secret of effort based economies, the people or nations at the top changes with time when another makes decisions which make them even more profitable as the other sinks under likely bureaucratic waste. You decide.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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