Beyond the Cusp

April 10, 2015

It’s an Upside-Down Topsy-Turvy World

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Many times we look at things the way they are and simply scratch our collective heads and wonder: When did the world go off the tracks? Who was at the helm asleep? Am I the only one who sees things like this? How did it get so bad? What went wrong? How can we get things straightened out? Will I and the few others have to take this on alone? And the biggest question: Where do we start? Let us start with the good news which is that you already have taken that first step as have millions of others. The bad news is that yes, it is going to seem like we the so few are initially going to have to attempt this alone. But the outlook had more good news than bad because slowly more and more of us are waking to see the problem. Unfortunately, all too many of us are having great amounts of difficulty taking that first step towards a new tomorrow. The reason for that is we are trying to use the tools which created the problem to repair the damage and that simply cannot work. We need to look deep in our hearts to find what has been missing. Many, myself included, see that much of the solution can be found in religion and the lessons it teaches and its focus on family, children and the future. Without these three ideas and ideals and all that is built around them, there is no solution and what we are fighting for is ridiculed and belittled as superstitious religion. The idea is to take the entirety of any future into their own hands and reserving it for their children and only their children, not for the rest of us. They still want us to have children just as long as there are not too many of them and they are willing to perform the menial functions in service of their betters.

 

The problems with much of society today are the ideas that we are to live our lives for ourselves and to maximize our own pleasures. Just look at the solutions and where they lead. If you are pregnant and are not ready to give up your lifestyle or not financially ready to afford a child or any of a million reasons in modern society for not starting a family, then simply have an abortion and do not let anyone tell you that it is selfish and you are killing a human life. You have your life and your reasons and can think for yourself. Empower yourself and you can always start a family later, when you are ready and after you have had as much fun as you deserve so don’t let it bother you, you are doing the right thing. Anyways, you did not actually plan this pregnancy and have not taken the necessary preparations for having such a burden right now, later when you are settled and have achieved that level and reached your potential, then you will be ready and you can start your family, after all, there is that promotion at work and just think what this would do to your chances of advancing? This reasoning has become so prevalent in societies across the advanced world that as many as half of all pregnancies in those communities result in abortions. This has cut the number of children being born to well below replacement level and those societies are slowly eradicating themselves, some doing so not all that slowly. The greatest occurrence of this style of thinking is plaguing Europe where there are insufficient births to produce the numbers which their society needs to replace the workforce and provide the resources for continuing the healthy operation of the society.

 

Throughout the Western World there has been a steady decline in babies born to each generation placing an ever increasing burden on each individual member of the next generation to provide sufficient taxes to care for the retired from the previous generation who are living longer and longer lives thus demanding more financing to cover their senior benefits. The youth are seeing this burden and realizing that there is no possibility of these benefits being there for them when they retire. Eventually, and more likely sooner rather than later, the youth are going to revolt against this retirement arrangement and might very likely place a cap on the age where people can continue receiving these benefits if they have the ability. The problem they will face is that there will be more people close to or already receiving these benefits for them to be voted out of existence. It really is a self-perpetuating problem. What is the solution? Simple, have more children and stop listening to those who constantly tell you that the planet cannot support that many people because unless an unforeseen widespread disaster were to strike, the earth could produce three times the food simply by bringing modern technology to the areas where farmers are still using what can only be described as primitive methods of farming. The lack of having sufficient children in each generation to at least meet replacement levels is a large part of the societal problem being faced as in order to have the present society function even at the previous generational level there comes a need to allow larger and larger numbers of immigrants often from areas which are less advanced and requiring training to meet the job requirements and permit the continued function of society. Of course the same safety net which was designed for a society with a work ethic which has been lost to too much of modern societies such as those causing the problems in Europe where the native population and its societal norms rapidly becoming the minority and their social norms being replaced by an alien set of societal norms and this is racing to the tipping-point beyond which there will be no turning back.

 

The simplest reason behind the failure of Western society is that it has stopped investing in the future in the most basic manner, offspring. Having children was a directive of religion as part of the concept of be plentiful and multiply. Modern society says experience and enjoy the pleasures and wonders of the plenty the world we have built provides and don’t worry about tomorrow, it will soon be here and yesterday gone, and that is a part of the problem, we allow too many yesterdays to be gone and unalterable and often each generation has experienced life to a later age before having families, so much so that the childbearing years have passed and many couples have one child or even no child. Replacement levels are approximately two and one tenth children per woman in the society. The problem comes when a large portion of the society has under this reproductive replacement rate placing a larger portion for replacement level reproduction on the remaining women making the new replacement level to rise to as high as five children per reproductively active young women.

 

The source of the lack of children in a society comes as a direct result of the ethos of live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself. This is the sirens’ call which combined with the accusation that religion had no place in modern society as science is the new religion and where to turn for our answers. Religion has been belittled as something society has left behind along with all those other superstitions such as the existence of G0d. The claim has become that there is nothing higher than mankind and that we are to be subservient to the newest provider of all freedoms, the all-powerful State. We are no longer to seek the reason for our rights coming from our Creator but from the structures we have placed over us to rule though we continue to retain our right, for the time being, to elect our representatives. The proof of how powerless the individual has become one need not look any further than the numbers of bureaucrats who are tasked to facelessly craft the regulations and actual enforcement codes required allowing for the legislations passed by the Government to be enforceable. The idea for replacing religion with government and the guarantor of our freedoms to the State and not from our Creator the transformation has been completed where the State is now responsible for our freedoms and as such can restrict or even do completely away with any freedoms which are not specifically enumerated as coming from forces outside of government, and even these are being circumvented whenever possible or, at the very least, being defined as coming under enforcement by the State and eventually at the pleasure of the State. This transition changes the society into a social-democratic republic which is based on the rules from man leading to have made our governance under the rule of man more than the rule of law. This eventually leads to a society where there are the elites who see to the definitions of the law and their enforcement and the rest of the society which obeys the regulator’s rules. This is an impossible task as there exist far too many codes, laws and regulations on the books thus causing a situation where if government desires to turn a person, say an individual attempting to change the way the rules are enforced from the rules of men to a more lofty goal of living under the guidance of a higher truth which protects our freedoms making it so that no man is able to take away our rights, such a person threatens the all-powerful State and leads to the State proving the futility of challenging the rule of man which stands over our societies. Still, no matter how difficult it may result in being or how steep the challenge, we need to restore a higher authority for our laws and protector of our individual rights because should one look throughout history we will witness how mere mortal men cannot be trusted to safeguard our individual freedoms as only by claiming and forcing the society into believing that their freedoms are issued by government and thus can be positioned to lord over the rest of the society. As long as we permit the State to define our liberties and freedoms we will remain as slaves to the governing mechanisms and the men who sit faceless meting out regulations and taking or granting those freedoms and liberties which used to claim our Creator as their source as now the State claims that power. We should return and place our faith where it belongs and as much of our coinage cries out, In G0d We Trust and never, ever in man we trust as man is fallible and greedy and G0d is all knowing and all caring. Where would you wish to place your trust, in some unknown and unseen bureaucrat or in the all-seeing and beneficent G0d? I know where I place my future and the future of my family though we also understand that mankind is capable of great strides, they will never reach a point where they are even remotely comparable to the Almighty, praised be His Name and His Glorious Kingdom for the L0rd our G0d, the L0rd is One.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 3, 2013

Who Blinks First in Egyptian Stare-Down?

UPDATE: Morsi removed by Egyptian military, with head of the Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour placed as interim President and tasked with forming ruling council and setting up new elections for new Parliament and President.

As if there were not enough explosive conflicts and standoffs around the world with a cluster centered within the ever troubled Middle East with Iraq sliding back into Sunni-Shiite violence with multiple bombings each week, Afghanistan is slowly being subsumed by the resurgent Taliban which is refusing to even talk with representatives of the United States vowing instead to simply wait for the last of the troops to depart so they can retake power; Turkey is facing ongoing Shiite demonstrations and riots; Libya still has residual tribal conflicts preventing any effective unified governance to unite the nation; Yemen has dual civil wars with Sunni-Shiite violence in the north and al-Qaeda terrorism in the south; Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq are being overrun by refugees from Syria; and civil war continues unabated in Syria with much of the country virtually destroyed and the death toll well over a thousand innocent civilians just one part of the toll. Now Egypt has entered into a stare-down between the Muslim Brotherhood standing behind President Morsi against the Military each demanding they take control of the escalating situation addressing how to resolve the massive demonstrations threatening to devolve into a civil war. So, let us continue our coverage and attempts to make sense of the threats developing in Egypt and try to identify the probability of a peaceable resolution versus the outbreak of another Middle East civil war.

 

On Monday, the Supreme Council which leads the Armed Forces gave President Morsi until Wednesday to reach a solution ending the strife from the demonstrations and riots between the pro-Morsi and the anti-Morsi factions. Responding to the military’s ultimatum, President Morsi released a statement decrying the military’s declaration explaining it had no authority as it had not been cleared by the Presidency which could only cause confusion and not settle the serious problems. Taking the confrontation into the virtual world, President Morsi released another statement via the Egyptian Presidential Twitter account where he posted, “President Mohammed Morsi asserts his grasp on constitutional legitimacy and rejects any attempt to deviate from it, and calls on the armed forces to withdraw their warning and refuses to be dictated to internally or externally.” I am not exactly sure what the use by Morsi of electronic social media to get his message out is supposed to imply unless his aim was to make a statement that the social media was not solely the domain of those opposing his Presidency. This defines the situation within Egypt’s borders where at some point on Wednesday either one side will blink and allow the other to prevail or Egypt may fly beyond the cusp and into the fiery chasm of civil war.

 

Meanwhile, the situation had claimed between one and two dozen lives and injured hundreds and possibly over a thousand people sufficiently injured as to require some degree of medical treatment. In the city of Minya, in front Al-Rahman Mosque, Al-Ahram newspaper reported that number of pro-Morsi people gathered and marched to Palace Square in order to confront where hundreds of anti-Morsi protesters were staging a sit-in against the recently appointed Islamist pro-Morsi Governor. Upon their arrival the confrontation took a horrific turn when they fired at the anti-Morsi protesters. There report did not include if there were or the numbers of casualties whether injured or killed. Either way, this was the initial use of firearms which very well could be but a precursor of much worse events escalating at some point on Wednesday.

 

Reports on Tuesday claimed the Egyptian military had drafted a political plan which suspends the Egyptian constitution, dissolves the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist dominated Parliament, and replaces the President and Parliament with an interim council with the Chief Justice taking the lead position staffing the council with civilians from different political backgrounds and experiences making up the body of the council. President Morsi has completely rejected this idea or any other proposal which includes removing him from office or calling for early elections. Morsi is demanding that the current elected government must be allowed to settle the differences finding a resolution to end the demonstrations. He has warned the military to rescind their ultimatum and sworn to resist by whatever means are necessitated should the military continue on their current trajectory. As we stated yesterday, this will be a test which will reveal the truth that the Muslim Brotherhood does indeed possess military arm with which to enforce and support President Morsi and the Parliament remaining in power and resisting the demands for early elections. Thus far the numbers of demonstrators have slightly favored those opposing President Morsi which should be expected as more often than not those demanding changes in governance turn out in greater numbers than those who have no demands or complaints about those in power and their actions. Should violence explode on Wednesday, then we can expect the numbers supporting President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to appear in far greater numbers. Add to this that any organized forces which the Muslim Brotherhood probably can call up to utilize as a form of shock troops and you have the makings for the start of another Syria style civil war in Egypt by the end of the week. I guess the Arab Spring has firmly advanced through the Summer and Fall and now we have definitely entered the Arab Winter, a cold long Arab Winter.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 2, 2013

Egyptian Military Clamps Forty-Eight Hour Lid on Protests

Egyptian Commanding General Abd al-Fatah a-Sisi has announced that President Morsi and his government have forty-eight hours to find a solution to the political unrest after which the military will step in and impose a solution. This comes on top of the resignation of four of President Morsi’s Departmental Ministers, the Tourism, Parliamentary Affairs, Communications and Environmental, which would lead one to think that Morsi will be required to call new elections. Adding to the ministers fleeing a stricken presidency, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr resigned late last evening Egyptian time. This was in response to demonstrations which featured over a million protesters turning out across the nation calling for new elections and only slightly less turning out to support the continued rule under President Morsi. The main headquarters of the Peace and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm which Morsi leads, was ransacked and stripped of its furnishings and other supplies including televisions, computers, furniture, body armor and anything else worth stealing before the building was firebombed destroying anything left inside. The Muslim Brotherhood personnel had been escorted from the building earlier in the day Monday.

 

In a separate incident it was reported that hundreds of Alexandria police officers publicly declared their support for the anti-government groups. Further reports informed of Egyptian tanks gathered in Sinai along the border with Gaza presumably in order to secure against any possibility for Hamas forces to enter Egypt with the intent of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. It was likely feared that Hamas would serve in a similar role should violence break out as Hezballah is currently serving supporting President al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War. It appears the Egyptian military is taking every precaution in order to minimize having Egypt break down into violence and even a civil war similar as has happened in Syria which would have been predicated on Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood not rejecting their ultimatum. This will not be the case as the Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the military’s ultimatum.

 

The response from the Muslim Brotherhood came via the Al Jazeera network where Yasser Hamza, a member of the FJP’s legal committee, was quoted claiming, “Everyone rejects the statement of the armed forces. Solutions will be in the framework of the constitution. The age of military coups is over.” This is basically a declaration of intent to fight by and with any and all means possible by the Muslim Brotherhood aimed directly at the military. This reverses the whole state of affairs from immediately after the military issued their demands. Now the ball is back in the court of General al-Fatah a-Sisi’s court to take the next move. So, now all eyes and ears are tilted towards the military in anticipation for how they will react to this fusillade from the Muslim Brotherhood. If the military should back down it will allow the Muslim Brotherhood to take whatever measures they deem necessary to continue with President Morsi in office. Then the one action which might force a military intervention would be if the Muslim Brotherhood in the name of the governing powers decided to forcibly bring an end to the demonstrations. By taking such a move they will have proven that Morsi is not all that different than any other tyrannical leader making his government no better than the Mubarak government when they initially attempted to silence the demonstration against them. So, what does the future hold in Egypt that is the big question.

 

The most likely future no longer depends on what Morsi says or does, on what stance is taken by the Muslim Brotherhood, or even whether or not the military pushes back immediately by enforcing their forty-eight hour deadline; it depends entirely on the opposition demonstrators who are demanding Morsi step down and hold new elections. Should these people remain in the streets demanding new elections then there will be a confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the demonstrators which inevitably leads to a confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military. We have been on the receiving end of endless propaganda advising us that the Muslim Brotherhood is, as Intelligence Chief James Clapper was quoted, “The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam. They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera…..In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally.” It looks like we are about to witness exactly how much the Muslim Brotherhood  will have “eschewed violence” and “have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt” by their response to the demonstrators seeking to hold new elections. If James Clapper was correct we would see a referendum over whether or not new elections were something the majority desired, a sort of vote of confidence in Morsi by the people and if their vote indicated the need for new elections then the Muslim Brotherhood would put forth their candidate under their Freedom and Justice Party brand and hold new elections. Personally, I do not think Mr. Clapper’s view is going to hold up and we are much more likely to see that the Muslim Brotherhood is very willing to employ violence.

 

Egypt is very likely to go over the edge and may become a second Syria, something the world definitely could do without. We are going to witness the Muslim Brotherhood taking off the nice presentable suits and ties and returning to their more Hamas-like origins. One needs to remember that Hamas is simply the Muslim Brotherhood branch if the Palestinian neighborhood. Should the protesters continue their public outcry for new elections then we will see the unfortunate result which is inevitable when those who hold absolute power, or at least believe they hold absolute power, are confronted with a challenge of what they see as their right to rule unopposed. We saw it in a small scale in Egypt in the lead up to Mubarak stepping down, and again in Libya when Gadhafi refused to step down, and are still witnessing in Syria as the two sides completely and utterly destroy the nation over which they fight. Judging from their initial successes the anti-Morsi demonstrators are not going to back down mainly because they rightfully see their nation’s whole existence in the balance of whether or not they prevail. They have witness a year of devastating damage to the Egyptian economy, infrastructure, energy supplies, trade, tourism industry, monetary reserves, and the erosion of their freedoms. They watched the Muslim Brotherhood strong-arm a Sharia based Islamist Constitution and follow that up with a steady output of laws which aimed to erode personal freedoms and put all of Egypt under a Sharia observant system. There have been a series of what can only be described as pogroms against the Coptic Christians, the Shiite communities and anybody else who may have been suspected of opposing the continued rule by the Muslim Brotherhood. These oppressive attacks had actually been on the rise more so of late especially against Christians. With their liberties and freedoms being encroached by the Morsi government, the pro-democracy supporters in Egypt likely saw the one year anniversary of President Morsi’s time in office as an appropriate opportunity to voice their discontent. Now that discontent will be put to the test and their sole hope is for the military to enforce their timely ultimatum.

 

We will likely witness the response play out throughout the day, today. It is possible that violence may have broken out in earnest by the time this article gets posted and you have the opportunity to read it. We can all hope that any violence can be avoided and the people’s will is permitted to be voiced, but we also know that is probably just a dream. The Muslim Brotherhood possesses sufficient supporters within the military such that should the military attempt to impose their ultimatum there will be some units who will side with the Muslim Brotherhood against their fellow soldiers as in Egypt alliances of brothers in arms are not as strong as the ties to Islamic fellowships. One of the interesting developments to watch out for is on which side will the Salafists fall? While they are even more radical Islamists than the Muslim Brotherhood and thus one would be lead to think they would join with the Muslim Brotherhood, the reality is there is no love lost between these Islamist rivals. The Salafists would just as soon see Morsi toppled in the hopes that they would be able to take the lead over Egypt. Where the Salafists voted with the Muslim Brotherhood on the Constitution and the laws implementing Sharia, they have no loyalty beyond assisting the application of Islamist Sharia Law over Egypt. We might also look for any interference from Iran through the Shiite population though that is not a high probability as Egypt’s Sunni population has an overwhelming advantage in sheer numbers.

 

The report that hundreds of Alexandria police officers publicly declared their support for the anti-government groups will bear some watching as they would serve as the first line in defense of the protesters should Morsi order the demonstrators to be dispersed. This is even more true as it would be special units within the national police who would most likely be the first line units deployed in such an effort. We will eventually see units being deployed who are enforcers for the Muslim Brotherhood and have been enforcing the modesty laws and other decrees of Sharia which were only semi-officially implemented. Should the demonstrators be fully backed by the military, or at least the majority of the military who are more loyal to Egypt than the Muslim Brotherhood, then we may be facing a repeat of Syria styled civil war in Egypt. This would present a real problem for President Obama and friends who have invested so much in their backing and complete faith in the Muslim Brotherhood. President Obama wrongfully supported the candidacy of Morsi and was overly pleased at his being elected. Now President Obama will need to choose between his Egyptian savior Morsi and the pro-democracy demonstrators. As we recall President Obama initially tried to take both sides semi-backing Mubarak but soon deserted Mubarak completely demanding him to step down for the good of Egypt and the World. We will get to see if the same maturation process will take President Obama from the Morsi support system onto demanding Morsi step down and allow for new elections. No, President Obama will remain faithful to his good friend Morsi and especially to the Muslim Brotherhood. There is not likely to be any surprises from Washington until it becomes, if it ever should, obvious that Morsi will be dethroned. In the meantime we here will watch and provide whatever spiritual support we can to the protesters in the extremely slim chance that they can actually drag Egypt politically into the spirit of the Eighteenth Century or even better, the democracy wave of the Twentieth Century.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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