Beyond the Cusp

February 1, 2015

Political Styles of Fancy, Function, Fantasy, and Far Futures

 

In case you just awoke with a ringing headache and returned from the woods to find your sleepy little town had grown exponentially and your house replaced by a strip mall and everyone when you told them your name queries where have you been, you were reported missing years ago and your tail includes dwarves bowling in the woodlands, the Republican money machine just won the midterm elections again. If such news is distressing, simply remember back to the last Presidential elections when it was rumored that the Democrat machine and money bought another Presidency for Barack Obama. Simply put, whichever side wins the election was the one which was bought by their big money contributors and political machinery. Have you ever bothered to stop and wonder what happened to the other side’s machine and money when they lost the latest round of elections? Do you really think that one side spent all the money one election cycle and in return allowed the other side to spend in the next election, something that an alien watching elections news coverage might be honestly trying to figure out. The truth is that they both spend about the same every election and the sore losers have to find some small factoid on which to blame their loss; as anybody who is, thinks, in the know, or however one defined reasoned and rational, which makes their political views the sole and superior choice, would most certainly have voted for their candidate allowing them to have won except for the illegal money spent by the other side, thanks to some loophole which must be closed immediately, and paid them to vote against their better knowledge or whatever. What is remarkable is that this line of thought is universal wherever people are fortunate enough to actually have governments chosen through proper elections where one’s votes are capable of affecting change in the government through legal elections; so be glad if after every election cycle there are those complaining that the other side bought the elections.

 

But what do we really mean when we claim the elections were bought? The phrase originates in times when buying an election actually meant buying an election by paying people to vote for a particular candidate. This was not a regular occurrence and was only feasible before there was the existence of a freestanding media which was not dependent upon the whims of the local governments. This slowly became the reality as the media started merging and coverages reached beyond a single city or borough thus beyond being owned by an interesting party or collection who were capable of owning the media in the same manner as they owned the politics as represented in old westerns where the people finally found an honest sheriff or entity who ended the evil cattle baron and his ranch hands who were all second rate gunslingers, most of which ended up dead by the end of the movie or left town after the Lone Ranger and Tonto road into town. There are stories whose validity is often questionable of elections where political bosses, whatever or whoever those amorphous entities might be, would give people a hundred dollars to vote for their candidate. There may even be people claiming such in elections today though such would be even more difficult to believe as even the most politically driven media would expose such. The truth is that even if you believe that FOX or SKY news is biased or that CNN or BBC are biased in the opposite direction, both sides are held to task and kept honest as whichever side which employed such boorish tactics would be revealed by the other side’s media thus the free press has ended any possibility of money for votes frauds. Despite this there are still claims that elections are bought, be it by the Koch brothers, George Soros or Sheldon Adelson. How is it possible for such claims to still exist?

 

Elections are bought the same exact way that everyday products sell their wares, an attractive advertising campaign. Basically the golden nugget in any campaign, political or otherwise, is a catchy phrase or concept which captivates the attentions of the public. In the 1950s the golden political nugget in Presidential campaigns was a catchy little slogan of “I Like Ike.” Call it the “Where’s the Beef” or the “Pause that Refreshes” of the political era. Of course it did also help that Eisenhower was also the man who defeated Hitler. Still, had General Douglas MacArthur run for political office, something feared by those thinking he might run on the other party’s ticket, there would have been a need for a different slogan though it would have fell to minds more inventive than mine to concoct such a slogan. Basically politics is the ability to influence people to support your candidate by making them appear to be the person of the hour or the solution to all society’s ills. In the United States the slogan of “Hope and Change” titillated the minds of the American public, especially the younger voters who turned out like never before. This was despite the fact that very few actually understood what the Hope was and what Changes it would incur. The secret was that “Hope and Change” allowed each individual to substitute whatever they desired for hope and thus define what the hope would change. If many of candidate Obama’s speeches are analyzed his definitions for hopes and changes were often amorphous and undefined allowing for those listening to still be able to define these terms to fit their desired outcome. Eventually such undefined terms become defined, and when they are defined through the actions and policies enacted by the politician who gets elected by such terminology, that becomes history which makes them rather difficult to alter going forward, something President Obama’s opposition is finding out as time passes in the United States.

 

Sometimes the election revolves around the personality where the candidate becomes the definition of the campaign and thus causing a cult of personality. This situation often results in a warping of the electoral processes and even an end to the electoral processes altogether. One example of such would have been Hitler who once he became Chancellor of Germany proceeded to consolidate all political power and became a dictatorial ruler ending the necessity for future elections. Another example of a cult of personality has been Russian leader Putin who has been Prime Minister or President of Russia where the real power of governance followed him from one office to the other and back again without anybody challenging his absorbing the right to rule no matter the office he held. With Russia hitting some difficult periods economically his future holding of power may hit a crucial test. It will remain to be seen how long Putin will remain in power and exactly how far he might be willing to go to retain power no matter the consequences.

 

Then there are the different forms of elected governments, the forms of democratic governance. There are Presidential systems where the President is chosen directly and the parliament or congress is elected separately. There are Parliamentary systems where the parliament is directly elected by voting for parties which present lists of candidates in lists to fill the slots depending on the numbers of positions they are awarded as their percentage of votes received and then the parliament has some system by which the Prime Minister is chosen to lead the coalition. There are also different forms of the elected house or houses of power. The United States has the House of Representatives and the Senate where the House of Representatives are elected with each state given their share of the four-hundred-thirty-five seats according to their population and the Senate is comprised of two positions per state. Then there is the parliament in many nations where the entire nation elects representation by voting for parties or there may be parliamentarian seats assigned to districts where individuals are elected. Parliaments can be unicameral, bicameral or possibility of any numbers of entities. Some parliamentary systems have two houses, one elected by individuals and the other by party lists. As for which form of democratic representation is superior is probably still being determined. The only thing we have established is a truth best put into words by Winston Churchill, a somewhat common situation here, where Winnie said, “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Who can argue with that?

 

Actually, that is where mankind has shown the prerogative to constantly believe that their new idea has to be better than the previous as it comes reflecting on all the errors and difficulties previous attempts by man had failed with their efforts. But the latest is not always the greatest and the old tried and true may prove to have been false in all manners except that as the old and true it was what had become comforting as it was known and accepted. The British once thought they had attained the ultimate in governance with the enacting of the Magna Carta as now the King’s power was no longer absolute and deigned as coming from G0d but to be bent by the advisings by the other men of position and stature, the barons from whence the power of the military was formed when the crown required defending against foreign foe. The United States believes they have struck the perfect balance between popularist governance and select governance of a wise body of the chosen; and they may have been correct but that will never be known as they perverted their governance with the passing of the Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the United States Constitution and established direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. This removed the representation of the States themselves who had previously chosen their Senators through appointment by their elected bodies, some appointed by the governor and approved by the legislators while others were elected by the legislators. What was unnecessary about the Seventeenth Amendment was that the states were already empowered to choose their Senators by whatever means they saw as preferable which did not rule out their using direct elections had they believed such was to their advantage. But instead the Federal Government instigated the new requirement for Senators to be elected in a similar method as were the Representatives in the House. Some historians have posited that the Seventeenth Amendment was not properly ratified by sufficient numbers of states but was rushed and enacted despite this small problem as eventually sufficient states did ratify the amendment, just not within the time period set forth in the Constitution. Whatever the best form of governance, perhaps someday it will be found and when it is, my bet is the United Nations will be left to be wanting and hopefully dissolved and replaced with a body noble enough to realize its power should be wielded only responding to lengthy and tempered debate which has exhausted all avenues of investigation of alternatives and ramifications and then allowed for adjustments inspired by admissions of former inadequate thought which had seemed prudent at the initial time.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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July 13, 2014

World Enters Save Hamas from Israeli Annihilation Mode

This is the scenario that many have been fearing would come to be during President Obama’s time in the White House. Mind you, George W. Bush was no better and there really has not been a United States President which understood the situation in which Israel exists nor appreciated the frailty and vulnerability of the Israeli position. This lack of understanding was framed perfectly when George W. Bush visited Israel the first time while he was governor of Texas and when given a sky high look at Israel in an IDF helicopter responded to the commentary by the IDF General who pointed out that they had just flown over the narrow section of Israel which before the Six Day War, Israel was a mere nine miles wide, “In Texas, some of our driveways are longer than that.” In every war which Israel had defended her right to exist, regardless the enemy or how many nations and fronts Israel was forced to fight, as soon as Israel had gained the upper hand or appeared poised to make and solidify actual gains and make changes necessary for Israeli existence, the world enters a mode to save Israel’s enemies from reaping the destruction their aggressive attacks had brought upon them. After the Israeli responses to belligerent and hostile actions and stated threat of annihilation and of being “driven into the sea” in the June 1967 Six Day War and the October 1973 Yom Kippur War when Israel had turned the tide of battle and went on the offensive and was approaching Cairo as she was in 1973 or preparing to cross the Suez Canal as was the case in 1967 or driving on Damascus as was the case in both wars; then the world including the United States demanded and threatened all forms of retributions should Israel not heed the demands for them to cease winning and retreat from the line of battle and surrender lands and critical areas gained at great cost. After the Six Day War the United Nations issued Security Council Resolution 242 which insisted that despite being the defending nation and having responded to numerous casus-belli and legally having gained territory which under international law Israel was entitled to retain, Israel was tasked to return lands from amongst those she had gained in exchange for peace. In other words, Israel was made to sue for peace by offering the defeated aggressor nations land begging them to grant her peace. In any similar situation with the nation turning the tables and gaining territory from a defensive war that nation would be permitted to retain those lands and even evict the citizens of the defeated nation from those lands. This was definitely the case after World War II where sections of previous German territory were ceded to France and Poland as a form of retribution for damages and hardships caused by the war. In that same war the Soviet Union retained iron fisted control over virtually all of Eastern Europe all the way to the fall of the Soviet Union. The demand that Israel return portions but not necessarily all of the land after the Six Day War has been slowly redefined with copious amounts of assistance from Arab propaganda to the point where Israel is now facing demands that she surrender every inch of lands gained and who knows what else in the future.

 

Now Israel is poised to deal Hamas a serious, if not fatal, blow and destroy much of their terrorist infrastructure including their rocket factories, smuggling tunnels and the tunnels they plan to utilize for abducting Israeli soldiers or civilians; the world is starting their howling for the Israelis to stop and end the horrors. You might ask what horrors. Well, the horrors that the world has witnessed by watching the YouTube and seeing the videos showing the massive destructions resulting from the Israeli assaults. Just to assist your knowledge about how one need be careful when believing these deceptive videos, here is a link to the BBC commentary about them which even gives examples showing their current use to claim this was taken in Gaza just this past day or so and then revealing their actual origins which include pictures from the Syrian civil war and from bombings in Iraq by al-Qaeda and others. Despite the BBC debunking, these pictures of horrific violence and damages will be touted even in government and NGO offices and used to claim that Israel is committing borderline utter and total destruction. The Security Council has already called for a ceasefire urging Israel and Hamas to respect “international humanitarian laws” and stop the loss of life. The Council expressed “serious concern” over the “protection and welfare of civilians on both sides which is more than they said during the kidnapping and three week search for the Israeli teens and the accompanying steadily increased rocket and mortar firings into Israeli civilian populations from within densely populated regions of Gaza including adjacent to schools, hospitals, mosques and within market places. President Obama has insisted from the very first day that Israel cease their hostilities and allow him to use his office and influence to arrange a ceasefire. Apparently Israel has wisely ignored his demands for whatever reasons. Our belief is they have seen the results of President Obama when negotiating and figured they would get a better deal if they could just get President Obama to represent Hamas in any peace talks. Russian President Putin took some time off from reconstituting the new Russian hegemony to call Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and demand he heed the warnings and cease all belligerence against Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations, also known as terrorist groups, immediately of face harsh and difficult times as the entire world would turn against Israel. Also calling to give their backing for Israel to be a wet jellyfish and just go completely soft and cease their efforts to destroy Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Palestinian Revolutionary Council (PRC), al-Qaeda in Gaza, ISIS, People for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the other lesser known terrorist entities and make whatever sacrifices which may be necessary to make peace were British Prime Minister Cameron, French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel. Then there are the foreign and domestic leftist NGOs who always condemn Israel first, last and foremost. The reason these cries of pity and have mercy for mercy’s sake are not being as effective and mostly ignored is because this time the game has changed and changed drastically.

 

The new game has nothing to do with the weapons available to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the rest as they have had these various weapons for some time now. The difference is that now Hamas and the rest are using these longer ranged rockets to strike at the heart of Israel including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and the central plains. Israeli society cannot survive if Hamas is allowed to indiscriminately fire rockets even at a rate of once or twice a week into these areas. The targets are no longer just Sderot and some kibbutzim, the targets now are the heart of Israel and include many powerful and influential people. Is this a horrible condemnation on Israel that she would accept Hamas et al to target Sderot which is a fairly small and moderately priced community along with the few kibbutzim to absorb rockets and mortars from out of Gaza but as soon as North Tel Aviv, and there will be those who will claim this is the real and actual reason for the Israeli’s heavy response, where many wealthy, connected, and financially and societally influential citizens then Israel is willing to go out and defend the people. Whatever the reason for some of the more jaded people, it really is the fact that this threatens the entirety of Israeli economic areas and covers close to eighty percent of Israel with Hamas and Islamic Jihad striking close to Haifa in the north and easily reaching Jerusalem in the east and even overshooting Jerusalem last night and striking Bethlehem which is Palestinian Authority governed areas. That is what makes these situations different and posing threats unknown until these attacks.

 

In defense of Israel only responding when the center of the nations was threatened, Israel has gone into Gaza twice before when only Sderot and the kibbutzim were attacked, so Israel would and did respond to protect these areas as well. The difference is Israel realizes that this time she must not leave Hamas in a position to simply rearm and attempt to destroy Israel again. What the world refuses to realize is that the Palestinians do not particularly desire to defeat Israel to take her land; they simply want to destroy Israel and commit to a genocidal murdering of the Jews residing in Israel. When you realize that this is the end game desired by the leaders and members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and despite protestations to the difference, also the desired goal for the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas, then you can see why they attack even knowing they cannot defeat Israel and risk bringing down an unholy assault unseen in modern times. This is also how Iran might use their nuclear weapon, in an effort to destroy Israel, not conquer it or liberate the area for the downtrodden Palestinians, just wanton destruction of the Jewish State so that they can claim to be the true leaders of Islam. It is because Hamas and Islamic Jihad have raised the stakes to threatening the end of Israel that Prime Minister Netanyahu must ignore the demands from around the world and finish this assault and completely devastate Hamas, Islamic Jihad and every single other terrorist groups or individual and leave the remaining Palestinians sufficiently fearful that they use stories about the summer of 2014 and how death struck those who dared defy Israel’s right to exist and how whenever they hear the deep-throated growls of military jets to remember that they bring with them the threat of death incarnate and the children learn to fear the sounds of those jets and the sounds of battle tanks rolling towards their town and never again give any thought to destroying Israel even if it is simply from abhorrent fears. Instead of filling the hearts of those in Gaza, the base of support for Hamas, Islamic Jihad et al, Israel continues to provide over seven tons, often more than twelve tons of food, medical supplies and even building supplies which are repurposed from building homes, hospitals, schools and water treatment plants to making rockets and digging smuggling tunnels and tunnels into Israel for sneak attacks and to abduct soldiers or civilians much like they abducted Gilad Shalit. What is even more perplexing is Israel has continued to provide supplies of water, electrical energy and fuels for the Gaza electrical generation unit in order to make the difficulty of the conflict less intrusive and striking panic by attempting to retain some degree of normalcy for the presumed innocent Palestinians. Does anyone for one minute think such actions would be taking place at all if the tables were turned and Israel was depending on Gaza, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria or anywhere else for her power and food needs? Of course not, that would be unthinkable.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 16, 2012

A Foreboding Election Approaches

Americans are facing an election which will be a crucial reckoning point for the future of the United States. This election is coming much sooner than most of us think as it takes place not on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, but earlier on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is facing a recall election on that date that was brought about in an act of vengeance instigated by the unions angered by his placing restraints on their previous near unlimited bargaining powers. Despite facts which show that even stricter restrictions are placed upon the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) than Governor Walker requested be placed upon Wisconsin State Employees Union branch of the AFSCME Council 24, AFL-CIO, reactions from the union and related other unions was immediate, severe and fanatical. Many of us will remember the teachers union joining with the other Wisconsin State Employees Union in occupying the rotunda of the Capital Building and closing down the government for a number of weeks. But the truth went far beyond simply the Statehouse or even Madison, the Wisconsin Capital.

The demonstrations often seemed to threaten to potentially turn into violent riots which required a strong police presence to protect those employees who were attempting to simply perform their jobs as well as the members of the State Legislature, one of which was caught on film being chased by a mob of demonstrators. The revolt went what some felt may have been beyond reason when the union members went to stores in Madison and beyond demanding that store owners place signs declaring their support in the front windows of their stores. In some cases it was reported that the store owners were threatened with boycotts or even the possibility of violence and damage to their stores should they not display the required supportive notices. In the final note, the unions sponsored petitions for a recall election in order to remove Governor Walker claiming his actions were ruinous to Wisconsin, the people, and to the unions in particular. This effort proved to have sufficient support to force the special recall election where Governor Walker will face off against Tom Barrett, the current Mayor of Milwaukee. He defeated Kathleen Falk, a former Dane County executive who had been seen by some as labor’s preferred candidate, in a recent primary. Now Wisconsin will vote on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, and send a message to the rest of America’s politicians.

Should Governor Walker be defeated it will send an ominous message to the Governors and Mayors throughout the United States. To even consider taking on the unions and attempting to reform entitlements by limiting the powers and influences of unions in bargaining will be seen as political suicide. A Walker defeat would empower unions to run roughshod over State Governments and permit them to demand even the most ridiculous pension plans, health insurance packages, job security guarantees, and any other one-sided salary and benefits packages without any restrictions or reason. All limitations currently in place would vanish and every State would soon be facing the same financial challenges currently challenging some of our largest states such as California and also Wisconsin. Such a result in this recall election would immediately put an end to the proposed austerity proposals in places such as New Jersey as a simple threat of open opposition by the unions would likely intimidate many of those in the State Legislatures even if the Governor decided to risk going forward with their plans for reforms. These same ominous clouds would roll over city mayors, county governance, and any community in which their work force is unionized. The unions would also have a renewed attraction in those places where thus far the unions have yet to gain a foothold.

By defeating and unseating a sitting governor, the unions would be in a position to threaten every state government country-wide leading to financial challenges with which many states and cities would be unable to cope. One result from this would be every level of government would need to find additional resources to cover the increased demands that would follow just as sure as the sun rises in the east. State employee unions would be demanding sweet deals covering health, life, education and other packages as well as increased wage demands. This could very well lead to higher property taxes, State income taxes, sales taxes, State fees for services, gasoline taxes and every other manner of revenue generation. This would work to kill any recovery which we may be feeling and very possibly force another downturn in the economy. The affects would not be immediately felt, but would sneak into the machines that are the governing sections of American society and eventually reach a tipping point in one state after the next. This coming recall election for Governor of Wisconsin is one we should watch and watch with great concern.

Beyond the Cusp

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