Beyond the Cusp

January 19, 2017

One Single Change Would Wipe Out 90% Congressional Corruption

 

If you spend any time on social media you can only come to one conclusion, graft is everywhere except with the less that powerful. The wealthy get away with everything up to and even including murder, though murder is the toughest one to escape. Congress has far too many members who spend three terms, or even two, and if one is astute, one term and walk away as multimillionaires. Many people ask as to how this can be. Many understand and know why this can be and often is. Senators and Representatives are covered by laws which exempt them from insider trading. So if there is a defense bill coming to a vote and the members of Congress know that in six weeks it will pass, it will easily give company XYZ a multi-billion dollar contract which is hundreds of times more than their budget for the previous five years combined. XYZ stock is selling at $1.23 a share six weeks out, so many, but not all as they take turns according to seniority, buy a thousand shares. The bill passes and Wall Street lights up and within two days that stock now sells for $327.77 a share. The Congress members sell their stock at this point making over $325,000.00 for a six week and two day investment in a stock because they cannot be charged with insider trading. This simple trick goes for much more than defense legislation and at every level of government. In the little township, county, city or borough where you live they repair roads, bridges and build parking garages and hire companies to manage all kinds of government projects. Going into such contracts these are often small family businesses with under twenty-five employees and just initially making stock options. That places their stock initially on the volatile IPO (Initial Public Offering) market which is usually the home for high risk, high reward investors and not for the faint of heart. But when you know that a small operation is about to receive a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract that market becomes far less risky and investing becomes a sure bet. This is the sleight of hand, crooked investing which can be found throughout government at all levels. Often those who would prosecute such criminal acts are also clued in on investments when the opportunity is great enough to allow a broad group to make huge benefits without actually raising too much attention. This is why you find so much money going into governmental elections and influencing because the returns are far beyond the pittance invested. Giving a number of city electors a hundred thousand dollars into their election funding and then after they defeat their opponent who received one fifth the amount they will receive multi-million dollar contracts and the city electors investing wisely become millionaires within a few years and move to Tahiti if they are smart, or buy their own newly charted island and refuse extradition to the United States.

 

This is nothing new as it has been how the Senators in Rome maintained their wealth and how the Caesars ruled over these Senators distributing government monies to those who supported them and not the others. The first Caesar, Julius Caesar made a single mistake, he kept the money with the people and refused to feed the graft machine which was the Senate and the commanders of the legions. This resulted in his big day on the Senate steps where he was made into a pincushion using tens of knives as the pins with the final pin, some claim the fifty-first knife, plunged into Caesar’s back by Brutus, “Et tu Brutus?” Wars were fought throughout antiquity to steal the wealth and enrich the King and their closest advisors and generals who commanded the troops protecting the King and winning their wars. Eventually rulers figured out they could simply tax their subjects and by taking a small to modest amount from each subject reap great wealth. Some rulers made the fatal mistake of figuring that if a modest amount granted great wealth, then doubling the tax would double their wealth. That failed as once you cross a critical point draining from the economy the economy becomes unstable and the gravy train dries up and the people revolt. So many greedy kings found their people to be revolting right before they met the guillotine, the sword or other form of execution, some far less noble at the hands of the rabble. Governmental systems have changed, governing has not. Governing is still how to provide the people with sufficient services and comfort while stealing as much as the market will bear enriching the governing. Can this poisoning of government be rooted out and extinguished? Probably not for as Campaign Finance Reform should have taught the people of the United States is that no matter how you rig the game and what you do to take the money from the hands and supporting structures of the elected public servants, they will simply invent some way around the laws, appear not to actually control what they are forbidden, have an indirect but close knot control of these funds and will make away with the wealth in the end. What is more diabolical and evil are those high government employees who are just below the appointed position who are civil servants, thus presumably untouchable by those in power, gaining wealth through careful investing and manipulation of portfolios to take advantage of information which comes across their desks as part of enacting the particulars of legislations. This has gotten far more prevalent as the legislation leaves the entirety of the building and enacting the structures to fulfill the demands of vague legislations thus allowing much of the distribution of contracts and such to these civil servants. There is little chance that these civil servants are all so clean as to not make investments or find other means of enriching themselves. There are far too many very wealthy government employees whose salaries are less than twenty-five thousand dollars a year, how did they become wealthy? Little problem in figuring that out, is there.

 

Shine a Light on Corruption

Shine a Light on Corruption

 

Money is the grease which oils the wheels of government. That remains true to this day and will likely remain true far into the future. The opportunities to become wealthy from being in the right place to hear the next outlay of millions of dollars by government cannot be eliminated until the government is trusted to machines, and then the question will be who monitors and runs the machines. All we can do is alter where the weakest links are placed and thus who gains from inside information. The history of mankind has in part been the history of seeking perfect governance and the failure at virtually every juncture. There was once a governance which was as close to that perfection people seek but is unwieldy as the people must have the faith to trust their safety and protection from other nations and their invasions or other entreaties to an entity they cannot know and claim daily their inability to understand their ruling entity trusting the messengers who claim to be the sole recipients of that wisdom. This was the ruling by Hashem over the initial Israelite Tribes through the prophets and judges. There was not government largess to benefit from its wealth and how it was distributed as all was in the hands of Hashem and there were no government programs. Roads were made by people traveling between locations using the same route which eventually packs the ground making a clear and obvious path, not what you would desire to drive your brand new Lexus across but perfectly fine for your donkey. Even the advances far, far back around 1100 BCE forced the Israelites to demand to have a King like the neighboring nations to lead their army and protect them from the threats emerging around them and Torah records that Hashem told the Judges and Prophets that should the Israelites demand some form of governance to provide them security, then they should be permitted such governance. This resulted in their taking a king asking the leading prophet to anoint their king leading to King Saul. Saul was not the worst of kings or the best, but his reign led directly through some odd circumstance to King David and then King Solomon which was the shining period where the tribes of Israel were united into a singular nation which conquered lands up to the Euphrates River (see maps below showing Twelve Tribes, King David and Solomon conquest and the promised lands for Israel according to treaties from World War I). Following Kings were less successful with the eventual downfall which coincided with a king who was an idolater and placed idols inside Solomon’s Temple, a low point for the Tribes of Israel. Over the next centuries the Israelites managed to throw off tyrants or be granted autonomy under the sovereignty of a greater power. The Israelites were even permitted to build the Second Temple which included Herod building what is today the Western Wall, built over six hundred years before the founding of Islam and about a century before the birth of Jesus. Herod made himself great amounts of wealth, sufficient to build himself a mountain with a castle and burial crypt in the Northern Negev and live a lavish life of opulence simply by giving the people what they demanded, the Temple Complex, and collect taxes in order to provide the people their desires while fulfilling his own. This has been the formula of effective governance for centuries both before and since, especially since. Many of the iconic public works projects, if investigated and audited meticulously would reveal that many within the government and closely tied to people in the governance and especially with the planning of public works gained great wealth. Be the works be a huge clock in the middle of London, a great dock providing thousands of new jobs in Amsterdam or almost any public work one could mention.

 

Left side map depicts the division of the Promised Land amongst the tribes and right side map compares the modern promised land from the Jordan west to the Mediterranean Sea compared to the maximum of area during King David’s and King Solomon’s reigns.

 

So, how can the vast majority of this corruption, this theft of the public treasure be prevented? The quickest would be to subject politicians and public servants (government workers) to the same laws as the public and demand an accounting of their incomes and investments as well as careful auditing of all contracts. Make all government bids by law be the final price charged with no cost overruns, no additional surprises, and no adjustments or new demands during production that allow for fudging numbers and hiding payouts. Adding that whatever the estimated date of delivery be set such that any time overrun resulting in a percentage of the initial payments budgeted being returned to government as a means of compensating the public for these delays. This would force defense contractors to make realistic and exacting bids instead of making a lowball bid knowing they can increase the cost through delays and cost overrun demands after the initial bid is accepted. The F-35 JSF is a prime example with it coming to delivery a good part of a decade late with cost overruns and technical problems resulting in the price of each fighter costing a good deal closer to double the expected and quoted price. Had these costs been included in the initial bid it is quite possible that the bid might have gone to a competitor. The current development and bidding system used by government contractors, especially in the defense industry, is to guess at what it might cost and to make a bid at three-quarters of that estimate completely confident that the remainder and more sufficient to make the profit desired as well as cover any difficulties along the way. This is a legalized form for guaranteeing theft. If, on the other hand, contractors were made to provide what they promised for the price they bid, and not a plug nickel over, then the bids would be far more realistic and shades higher to cover the expected of the unexpected, or should we simply call it the unplanned snags and other complications. This would allow the government and the voting public, should they be interested, to understand, and know ahead of time, exactly what projects will cost. Currently the public knows that the quoted bids are a ruse and perhaps if they were guaranteed these bids would be the exact delivery price the public might take a real interest. As things are, why bother with the bidding when one really need wait as long as a decade to find out the actual delivery price because there is little or no actual oversight.

 

Government needs to become a business, not a joke, a poke in the dark where truth is a rare commodity and concealed misappropriation the rule of thumb. If a butcher ran his store as governments are run his scale would be off by 10% and he would often have his thumb on the scale as well. Nothing would be as it appears and the rule of buyer be wary would be most necessary. Governments, when designed in democratic based nations, are presumed to be open and to be overseen by the people who by being informed can make solid and reasoned votes for their representatives. Oh, if only this were true. The reality is we elect our candidates or parties, pending on whether we have a representative democracy or a parliamentary system, according to elaborate shows designed to thrill and titillate the public with elaborate deceptions designed to sell the product making it appear more responsible than the governance’s results. The entire production is very Hollywood and just as much a fantasy. This all results in a governance just as deceptive as are the campaigns and the people depicted therein. There is an easy way which we can attest from our experience in running a campaign for the United States House of Representatives where we spent at most $10,000 and received more voted per dollar than either of our high priced opponents despite not quite garnering 3% of the vote (still the record for third party candidates where we ran). Now we feel it is important to point out that this was a campaign for a job which pays $174,000 per year (current salary) for two years for a total of $348,000 total before having to run again. Our two opponents each spent very close to the same amount on their campaigns which was estimated to have been that one spent $1,200,000 and the other spent $2,200,000. These figures for our opponents do not include PAC and Party funds and advertising. Please explain how that explains spending for a job paying $348,000 which only one of us had even a dream of showing a profit unless something else was going on. And Americans complain they cannot figure out what is wrong with their governance. Of course this is not something peculiar to the United States but exists in every government across the world. Democratic nations probably suffer the least from such deception as they do kind of have to answer to the people and when the people get upset, that distress trumps all else. In dictatorial regimes the difference is far more marked as the ruling elite get the best of what is available, that is when there is a best of available to be had. In those places suffering the worst governances imaginable, such as North Korea and Venezuela, eating and having even the necessities can be considered an extravagance. Until we return to Hashem ruling the people or machines keeping humans as their pets, there will be those people using the government for self-enrichment. Always has been and always will be, or so it appears.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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July 23, 2016

If Only Americans Would Remember

 

It is a sad fact that the public schools and too many private schools place little if any importance on teaching history, both American and World Histories. The students do not learn about the start of democracy in Athens, one of the numerous Grecian city states before their unification by Alexander the Great. Plato lived amongst the denizens of the Athenian democracy and he saw the tyranny of the majority which he equated with mob rule and thus placed democracy just above tyranny as the worst forms of governance. The deficiencies he saw in the Athenian democratic government led to probably his greatest work on governance, “The Republic” where he devised representative government which would safeguard the minorities protecting their interests from being trampled by the majority while still empowering the majority to hold their proper place of importance in governing. It was partly this work from Plato written before the birth of Jesus that was part and parcel of the governing bodies the United States was fashioned by. There were other political philosophers who were mostly English and some French and the minds of some of the best educated persons in the United States in their day and even then they initially got the balance slightly skewed towards the states in a excessively loose federation and the Constitution was their second attempt and the solution which was decided though imperfect, as anything fashioned by man will be, they felt it was as close as they could get and the amendment process would provide the needful, and only the needful, adjustments to their work.

 

The impetus for the American Revolution is another point which would be very poignant and prescient for students entering the age for voting as the colonists demanded no taxation without representation and were revolting over a tax on tea of 3%, yes, 3% and only on tea. This would seem crazy with the total tax on the average American household reaching from a low end average of 12% to an upper end average of 35%, both many multiples of a 3% tax on one product, even if it was the one product every household purchased as they were still British. That tea tax was the straw that broke the camel’s back and brought on a revolutionary war and the shot heard round the world. It really was as soon after came the French Revolution and other British colonies protesting their taxes but they did so without leaving the realm, at least not at this period of time. Still, free people in elected governments everywhere owe a great deal of thanks to the British aristocracy as they started the entire idea that people had rights. Of course their claim was barons and land owners had rights which they would wrest from the crown with the drafting and signing by the king, after a hard fought war in which he realized he could not prevail as much of his army belonged to the nobles suing for rights, of the Magna Carta. From that document was derived that a King’s power was not absolute but dependent on the advisories and consents of the principled landowners which with the centuries became citizens in good standing and are resting on a precipice teetering towards the consent of all who can claim to be affected by said governance, as an example is the position of certain universalist leftists that everyone on planet earth (for starters we can only guess) be permitted a vote in elections held in the United States as all are affected by American hegemony from which they believe evil begins and a world influence would perfect the nation and its governance. The truth be told, the barons and landowners of 1215 England were prompted by the Bible, in particular the Old Testament limitations placed on kings should the nation of the Israelites ever decide to be as other nations and choose a monarch which they eventually did. These limitations were first set in Torah, the laws given at Mount Sinai in the book of Deuteronomy 17:14-17 which placed the very first laws limiting the powers and impositions of Kings where it read:

 

14When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,”
15you may indeed set over you a king whom the Lord your God will choose. One of your own community you may set as king over you; you are not permitted to put a foreigner over you, who is not of your own community.
16Even so, he must not acquire many horses for himself, or return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, since the Lord has said to you, “You must never return that way again.”
17And he must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.

 

The Prophets went further throughout the Old Testament adding other limitations and requirements for Kings with probably the most humbling and for providing lessons in humility, not that it always had that effect, each King was required to write his own Torah in his own hand and then read the applicable verses for each day at his morning prayers. Of course enforcing this was somewhat problematic as the Prophets power was in his wisdom and the desire of a King to receive wise council but should a King be all full of themselves then they would brook no advice or limitations and would inevitably stray from Torah and the people would suffer under their rule. Should you read the Magna Carta you will see much of it places moral as well as power limitations and demands of the King in exchange for the support of the barons and landowners who also provided the knights for defense of the realm.

 

What is most interesting in the limitations of the Magna Carta was that it was not very much different than the Brexit vote in Britain and the anti-establishment movements in both of the major parties, Republican and Democrat, in the United States. Donald Trump first is not a true right wing conservative which is often the presumed candidate despite their choices since Ronald Reagan have been centrists with the occasional right wing leanings, while the Democrat race was fixed from the start as the party establishment controls close to 40% of the electors so Hillary only needed to garner ten to twelve percent of the remaining electors to win which left Bernie Sanders out of contention almost from the start needing to garner 100% of the remaining electors going into the initial super primary day of March 1, 2016. Truth was nobody was going to disturb the coronation of Hillary Clinton as this was arranged after the 2008 loss to Barack Obama in order to pacify the Clintons and not have them pull their followers and big money donors from backing President Obama in both elections. Still, Bernie made a mess of the centrist game Hillary had hoped to run on and now she is stuck so far into the left wing bleachers that it is doubtful she can find center field by election day and even if she should she will find one Donald Trump already there and not out of breath from the long run from the bleachers.

 

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

 

With taxes at record levels since the Carter Administration it is little wonder that the people are seething against the party elites. They have watched their taxes rise to support programs they did not desire and with record numbers of illegal immigrants and the back alley importation of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern “refugees” being hidden in small communities so as to attempt to secretly skirt the main cities and thus not upset the ignorant masses as they would never figure this out with the internet and all the other means for news to reach the people, even the most insulated voters. Their secreting the “refugees” into small communities and largely in states which vote traditionally Republican and that Hillary would not need in order to win in the Electoral College, they hope that nobody will know their little dirty secret until it is too late. Remember that Hillary is promising that the United States has not done enough and she plans on increasing the importation of “Syria refugees” by one-hundred-fold. That would mean she plans on bringing tens of millions of these so-called refugees and believe me she means to do exactly that. The Democrats want to make America failed through and through with no possibility of ever making a recovery. That is not to claim that The Donald would be any form of savior, but we are sure there are many who after researching the third party candidates who are seriously voting Donald Duck or Porky Pig, but may we suggest for amusement sake we all write in Daffy Duck as long as some of us are choosing a duck and avoiding a Donald?

 

Kidding aside, the coming elections for President of the United States and for the makeup of the Congress have never been as serious as they are this election. After eight years of “leading from behind,” the time is ripe for a resurgent America to return roaring onto the scene. Allowing Europe and the United Nations to lead the way on the world stage is tantamount to treason for endangerment of the nation and, with that, the world. Never has a nation left as large a vacuum at the top with the closest comparison being the fall of the Roman Empire which is what allowed the first Islamic Expansion and another is obviously imminent with Europe ripe for the taking if their collective trees can be shaken at their core. Eastern Europe is still emerging as they recover from their Communist Dark Ages while Western Europe teeters on the edge of liberal poised suicide as they stand frozen with fear as their nations prove as vulnerable as their flags pictured below. Their churches deserted and Mosques sprouting in every town, village and neighborhood and where the call to prayer five times each day have replaced the tolling of the church bells echoing in the countryside. Still, there is time for Europe to pull themselves together and defeat this rising hatred seething within their bellies and extinguish the fires currently spreading across Old Europe and soon to threaten New Europe.

 

Draw the Prophet Mohammad Cartoon Demonstrations and Rioting Across Europe, the World of Islam and Beyond and the World Appears to Have Forgotten the Lessons Gained II

 

If ever there was an election making the “None of the Above” vote we have previously suggested be adopted by Constitutional Amendment, this election is it. The way the system would work is to win the election or electors a candidate would be required to surpass 50% to gain those votes or gain office. People would have all the candidates listed plus a slot in each elected office for “None of the Above” which would count in the total to find the 50% figure. If “None of the Above” got 20% of the vote then a candidate would be required to garner at least 72% of the remaining votes to surpass the 50% threshold. Should “None of the Above” receive one-third of the vote then the needed would be a full 75% of the remaining votes. Obviously this would force the parties to come up with candidates the people truly would want to vote for as they would have an out should neither party and third party candidates really appeal and this would also make third party candidates more likely to get a second look if the main parties gave the public choices such as they have in the mind of many Americans with the Presidential race.

 

So, voter discontent ran overboard in both of the main parties. The party which valued the choice of their public ended up with a novice real estate developer and investment underwriter who often goes off the rails when unscripted and has an ego larger than Alaska and is an anathema to many of the elite in the party itself while the other party had absolutely no confidence in their public so they ensconced a near majority of their delegates under the tight-fisted control of the party elite requiring whomever the elite chose to get such a small number of delegates that Daffy Duck could have won with such support. Still, even with the elite support, their candidate came out bruised and damaged heading into their convention while the other party had few well known names support them and speak at the convention as they were likely still trying to figure out where they ran off the tracks. So we have two third party candidates either of which would be a comfortable fit with one or the other of the Democrat Party contestants for their spot on the ticket, one with Hillary and the other Bernie in our humble opinion, a Democrat who was promised her turn to try and be the first woman President, also her strongest running point, and the Republican a left of center ego whose id is probably just as attractive as that ego and perhaps if he promises to listen to his subconscious, he would appear a safer bet. That’s your choice America, have at it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 16, 2016

Short Primer on the Turkish Constitution

The Coup in Turkey must be seen in light of the Constitution of Turkey of which there can be more than one at any given time. The one the government runs on can be different than the Founding Principles of the Republic of Turkey (an approximate translation) while the leaders in Turkey often make small changes kind of personalizing the constitution to their tastes. The Founding Documents (as we will refer to them) task the Turkish Military with keeping Turkey a secular democratic nation and to guard against any Islamist takeover of the government or a dictator cancelling elections and ruling by fiat (not just a small car). The military was prepared to remove Erdogan once before and had told NATO command as Turkey is a member of NATO. Turkey has also been attempting to join the EU, perhaps they can replace Britain now, and back then really thought they were close. The EU backed strongly by George W. Bush demanded the Turkish military back down because civilized nations do not do things this way. Erdogan having gotten wind of this replaced most of the Generals with his puppets. Still, the Turkish military, even with Erdongan’s puppets, take their Constitutional duty very seriously plus a number of these puppets have retired and younger officers promoted and we believe it is these commanders pulling to change the government and undo the Islamization done by Erdogan.

 

George W. Bush followed by Barack Obama produced Recep Tayyip Erdogan

George W. Bush followed by Barack Obama produced Recep Tayyip Erdogan

 

So the military acting on their Constitutional duty to keep Turkey secular are attempting a coup, something which would have been easy back in 2005 but will be more difficult as Erdogan controls a very militarized set of police forces and has his own military he keeps as a personal guard. The free world will be fed this blah blah blah coup evil blah bad coup, blah blah no true democratic nation operates blah blah and so forth. Know that when Kamil Ataturk ruled Turkey at the end of World War I and the end of the Ottoman Empire which was ruled from Turkey, he made a Constitution as a Muslim man who understood the Islamic directives for Islamist Sharia to be the law of the land but had seen how democratic nations with their individual freedoms and market driven economies had made mincemeat of the Ottoman forces with modern weapons and individual soldiers who were independent and could operate without being told every little order and he wanted Turkey to emulate this model and set up a secular state. He knew there would be leaders who would, either on their own or bending to popular will, would try to in stages enshrine Sharia.

 

Turkey has had a number of coups to remove leaders attempting to take dictatorial power or enact Sharia or other Islamizations. Erdogan was getting away with his Islamization and march towards Sharia but probably crossed the line for even his own generals in the last elections. What occurred was the Kurdish Party won far more votes than ever before feeling empowered by the Kurds stand against Islamic State and in Iraq against everybody else both Shia and Sunni. The Kurds, for the record, are predominantly Sunni but as Kurds are spurned by the Arabs as lesser human beings at best. This why the Kurds always need stand alone and why they took the lead and were largely responsible for rescuing the Yazidiz from the mountain siege which saw girls and women throw themselves off the cliffs rather than fall to then ISIS forces. This meant that Erdongan’s “Freedom and Justice Party” (which is neither freedom nor justice but Islamic Sharia oriented) did not have a clear majority of the seats in the Parliament and would need a coalition. Erdogan does not share power so he made sure that the coalition he could easily have made refused to allow any majority coalition forcing a redo on the elections. In the weeks between the elections his enforcers killed any number of Kurdish candidates who were elected and terrorized other parties’ supporters and other niceties. Needless to say, his Party won an overwhelming majority and he restarted his Islamization at a quickened pace as he saw that he might not continue to have such support in the future and he desired to become Caliph of the new Ottoman Empire starting with conquest of Syria, or what is left of Syria. With a modern military and NATO weaponry he could carry this out and as long as he left the Alawite coastal area where the Russians are located alone he would easily crush the Kurds and the other less able factions. But Erdogan saw he had a time limit to operate, until the American elections.

 

Erdogan had President Obama in his pocket and can do anything and his BFF in the White House would bless it as really needed. Should Clinton lose and Trump become President he would not be able to do as he pleased and get away with it. Even Hillary might pose difficulties as she would not desire such a conflagration on the front end of her Presidency and won knows after that. As things are Erdogan saw he needed to strike while the iron was hot, so to speak. His military seeing his ambition and his probability to engage in a war, which would eventually pace them fighting Saudi Arabia, Egypt and potentially Israel, were probably not the happiest Generals in the world, because they realize, as Erdogan does not, that they would lose badly in the end. Erdogan only sees him as world ruler as the Caliph of the great and final Caliphate which conquered the world for Allah. He believes that is his destiny and reality be damned. The military is very reality oriented and do not desire damning reality as reality will smack you back and hard. This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

 

Now we will just wait and see who wins and pray that Turkey has a restored Constitution and election sometime in the coming year as that would be a huge step in the right direction. What is almost comical is the threat of a new American President, Clinton or Trump, but definitely Trump, has already started paying dividends. It is sad that the vast majority, say 85%, will not see this as anything but some war somewhere they cannot find on a world map and know not that it was what ruled the Ottoman Empire (if they know there ever was an Ottoman Empire) and may will never even know that there is a war in Turkey. I kind of had forgotten how little attention the average person takes in world affairs as long as they are not bothered in some way. I guess as long as it is over there and not here what do I care is a theme everywhere, it is sad.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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