Beyond the Cusp

July 19, 2016

Some Ideas Never Die; Such as the Oslo Accords

 

Truly some ideas never die even when they have long passed their use-by-date. The Oslo Accords are one such set of ideas which died the day that President William Jefferson Clinton handed to Yasser Arafat, after beating Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak into complete submission, everything he had demanded and Arafat walked out without a word and started the Second Intifada. It was later revealed that Arafat had planned the Second Intifada as the Palestinian answer to not getting their demands at the Camp David negotiations and still insisted that Israeli resistance to a common peace was the reason for the violence. Over a thousand Israelis were murdered and tens of thousands were injured, many with permanent and severe damage from the bombings with bolts and screws lodged permanently next to their spines, hearts and other organs or jammed into their brains all inoperable due to location. Many lost limbs, an eye or both eyes and other disfigurements. The Second Intifada, on top of Arafat refusing to make peace even after his terms were met, defined the situation and should have been the post mortem for the Oslo Accords. Arafat’s understudy and successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has often made clear to any willing to translate his Arabic speeches that the only peace he will allow Israel is the peace of the grave. As the pro-Palestinian protesters throughout Western countries chant ad-nauseam, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine must be free.” The word ‘free’ in this chant has a double meaning, the obvious that all of Israel is Palestine and secondly that every Jew will have been eradicated as Palestine must be Judenrein. Abbas has flatly stated even in English that should they be forced into accepting a shared state beside Israel, it will simply serve as the launching pad for the remainder of the conquest and eradication of the Zionist Entity. Even his saying Israel is difficult for this man and his band of minions.

 

What is truly sad is not only the number of Western leaders who remain sold on the Oslo two states for two peoples principle; it is the number of Israeli military and intelligence leadership who also are still sold on these lies and deceptions. There never has been any Oslo agreement because the understanding of the two sides were as divergent as possible. Israel saw them as the opportunity for peace and cooperation and the Palestinian leadership, with the support of the Arab world behind them, saw it as taqiyyah, a deceit used against an infidel in order to advance Islamic interests and conquest. The concept of taqiyyah is well established and understood by any first year graduate student in Middle Eastern studies programs; and if not, they should find a different area of study. The problem is that peace is such a universal and central structure in Western thought and philosophies, as are negotiations and dealing honestly and forthrightly, that to believe that things are otherwise is difficult, though possible if one tries and concentrates on exactly what the other side says to their own people. What makes things more difficult is that the liberal leftist media and populations refuse to allow themselves, under any circumstance, to believe that peace might be impossible to attain in any situation. If the left today were faced with the onset of World War II, they would negotiate and negotiate until the free world consisted of some small atoll in the South Pacific surrounded by Japanese and German naval vessels, and they would be negotiating still. There is also the little fact that Israel is seen as the Jew amongst nations and as such has a separate and impossible set of expectations which are made worse by the leftist Jews, such as those who make up J-street and other similar groups, who also apply this absurd demand that Israel sacrifice and sacrifice with no end to how much or how far the sacrifice demanded be, as they are not the ones who will pay the price. Some have even gone so far as to claim, what do the Israelis have to lose in sacrificing for peace as they can always come and live in the United States. This is, in and of itself, an absurd piece of illogic not to mention, history has shown what happens when Jews face death and try to rely on the good graces of the Western nations.

 

We recently read an article on Politico targeting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu over his disagreement with the outspoken and mostly retired military and intelligence corps, and how such a disagreement is leading Israel dangerously close to fascism. It was the author’s, and we trust the editors’ as well, that Israelis would be better led by its military and intelligence officers than under their elected leader. The article is titled Netanyahu vs. the Generals and went on and on endlessly stating the same tired logic as if repetition and quoting every last individual supporting the spitefulness against Netanyahu would eventually wear the reader down. The piece might actually be the opening shot across the bow announcing the candidacy of Ehud Barak for Prime Minister. Small hint to those in agreement, should Israelis have a choice between Ehud Barak and virtually any moderate or even extremist right wing politician, Barak would lose convincingly. Where his reputation is not nearly that of Guy Fawkes, the disasters attached to his time as Prime Minister preclude his ever holding that position for as long as Israelis have memories of his atrocious policy choices, of which the hasty and disorganized routing retreat from Lebanon is just the beginning of the highlight reel. For the record neither of us supported Likud and in one case, at least, Bibi Netanyahu was much of the reason why as there are numerous other Likud members who would very easily garner our votes, but that is up to the Likudnics to decide. We realize that changes take time, so time will tell.

 

British Mandate as prescribed division between Arab State of Jordan and Jewish State of Israel

British Mandate as prescribed division between Arab State of Jordan and Jewish State of Israel

 

As far as peace with the Palestinians, we need realize that the term Palestinian once meant the Jews residing under British Mandate rule while at those times the Arabs were known as Arabs or Palestinian Arabs as compared to Palestinian Jews. One also need remember that this was during the period when both Jordan and Israel were simply the Mandate. Eventually the plan was enacted and Jordan became the Arab State and Israel the Jewish State. The most obvious difference was Israel permitted Arabs, whether practicing Muslims, Christians, Jews or any other or no religion, to remain residing with full rights as citizens, while Jordan expelled any Jew ever to come within their area under their control. That was made most evident after they conquered by force of arms in an offensive war parts of Judea and Samaria, renamed it West Bank, and evicted every last Jew under pain of death, gifting their lands to people favored by the government and destroyed every Synagogue and Jewish religious academy within said lands. The adopting of Palestinian by the Arabs was just one part of their adoption of all of Jewish history with some simple adjustments in an effort to claim them and not the Israelites, the Jews, were the earliest surviving peoples from these areas. Anybody familiar with Judeo-Christian religions knows this to be a deceit and even more so if they are knowledgeable of Islamic and Arab history, as the Arabs did not venture forth from the Arabian Peninsula until the Seventh Century. That date is almost, if not, two millennia after the Israelites arrived from their Exodus from Egypt; one might be familiar with this as there is a book of the Old Testament with the same name. If we were to count from the times when Abraham first arrived in the land, we would need close to another half of a millennia if not more. Their deceit can only last as long as people continue to give their lies credence, which they do at their own peril. Such brings us to our next discussion, the awakening of the Western World.

 

For most of the past century plus the casualty of Islamic violence has been the Jewish communities in the area of Israel both before the birth of the nation in 1948 and continuously afterwards starting with the invasion by multiple armies the morning of her birth. India and Russia had rather publicly covered conflicts and numerous African nations have also been subjected to violence as have much of the Balkans. Then there have been the intra-Islamic violence. It has only been the turn of the Twenty-First Century which has brought continued and sustained Islamic violence to the Western World. What is going to be instructive is exactly how the developed world reacts to the onslaught of Islamic violence. Of further interest will be whether or not their views and demands upon Israel are altered even in the slightest as a result of these experiences. Russia has shown Israel a fair degree of respect and freedom to act as necessary while not giving full measure as they also keep relations with the Muslim nations such as with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria; for it is with Syria they hold their Mediterranean warm water Atlantic Naval ports.

 

Beyond this, the longest standing restrictions on Islamic activities belong with Japan. Many are unaware but Japan has always refused Muslims permanent residence status in their lands. Further, Muslims may not own property, may not operate a business and the worship of Islam is banned. Needless to point out but no Mosque may ever be built on Japanese soil. Muslim tourism is permitted but any Muslim tourist caught conducting any form of Islamic instructions or otherwise attempting to spread the word of Islam is summarily and immediately deported along with their entire family; and if with a group, then the entire group is deported. The Japanese treat Islam as if it were a dread plague that once taking a foothold could threaten life on their islands. If the news is accurate, and we see no reason to disbelieve our sources, Cuba has recently refused permission for a Mosque to be built on their island, Cuba, that’s right, Cuba! Angola is but the first in alphabetical order of African nations enacting some limit if not outright ban on Islam.

 

In Europe the latest trend has been in opposition to Angela Markel‘s open door policy for Muslims with Norway having deported many hundreds resulting in a better than 50% drop in felonies. This is allowing their police to attend to other functions rather than putting out crime emergencies twenty-four-seven for the first time since the ‘refugees’ began arriving. Additionally there have been reports of attacks against Mosques and Muslims with some areas becoming so unfriendly that the Muslims are deporting themselves back to their home nations. The Czech Republic has flat banned Islam from their country declaring it to be an evil. Muslims in Ireland have reached the conclusion that they are less than welcome and in Belfast, as a start, the Muslims have been departing for home sweet home and this appears to be the trend across all of Northern Ireland. The British Home Secretary is preparing legislations which, though not expressly stating their application to Muslims, are aimed at curtailing anti-social behavior and allowing greater leeway in deporting or using other lesser methods to control an out of hand situation. The Polish Defense League has issued a warning to Muslims against their continuing certain behaviors and sixteen states have drafted legislation banning Sharia. A number of states in America are entertaining laws banning Sharia or any foreign code of laws all aimed at preventing the use of Sharia. China has imprisoned twenty-two Imams for preaching hate and anti-China themes and has executed eighteen jihadists. China is additionally stamping out any campaigns for separatism especially in the largely Islamic western province of Xinjiang. Muslim prayers are banned in government buildings and schools in China. Our last example of such measures comes from the Netherlands where a group of Ministers of Parliament are calling for the closure and destruction of all Mosques. One Minister stated “We want to clean Netherlands of hateful Islam.” He did not differentiate hateful Islam from any other form of Islam. Speaking on behalf of the right wing Party for Freedom, a nationalist party, Minister of the Dutch Parliament Machiel De Graaf stated, “All Mosques in the Netherlands should be shut down. Without Islam the Netherlands would be a wonderful, safe country to live in, as it was before the arrival of Muslim ‘refugees’.”

 

The world appears to slowly be awakening to the real face of Islam; a violent and unruly cult more desirous of ruling the world than of acting in what the rest of the world believes is a religious manner. Every other previous imperialist religion, Christianity, Shinto, Hindu and any others, have all been reformed and now stand side by side with all these religions seeking peaceful coexistence and mutual assistance. The exception to this rule is obvious, Islam. When Mosques are discovered in numerous countries to contain more rifles, grenades, bombs and bomb making material than prayer rugs and prayer books, then there is a definite problem. As the developed world realizes, along with the rest of the world, this threat for what it is, it is hoped that they will apply their learned knowledge to the situation in Israel. This could finally allow the solution which should have been applied immediately after the Six Day War, Israel attaining her originally promised borders, which includes the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and those previous Jordanian citizens and their families deported to the Arab nation of their choosing willing to receive them, or into Syria. The double standard cannot be continued after the truth has been driven home that Islam does not play well with others and is treacherous to the continued health of any nation it inhabits. What is good for the European nations and the world in general must, in all fairness, also be permitted Israel. To do otherwise is pure anti-Semitism, and this time that is an accurate accusation and an accurate application of the terminology.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 13, 2015

A Chance America Riding Off Into the Sunset

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There has been speculation about what role the United States will play on the world’s stage as threats abound of various severities and natures almost everywhere one looks and still we hear from United States President Obama that he awaits final strategy and complete plans laid out before him from the Pentagon before he can act. This excuse from President Obama for not committing to some plan of action sounds unrealistic, especially as it is well known even personally after having served in the United States Army, the Pentagon has plans, War Scenarios, for near any contingency which might arise. This makes President Obama’s excuse of not having any plans before him sound quite lame. Even had the Pentagon not had an exact battle plan in place when ISIS first reared their ugly heads and started chopping heads, especially since some belonged to the United States, you can bet the Pentagon went to their files and had cobbled together six ways come Sunday for dealing with ISIS which probably had added contingencies for removing Bashir al-Assad from power and potentially addressing the Iranian nuclear issue as well. The one thing is, they were not short of was plans. The only thing necessary would be for the President to choose one and they would be implementing within forty-eight hours. Each set of plans would have in the full layout exactly which units were trained for that exact mission and which of those units was at full strength and had a ready status. They would have decided whether or not to use the ready actions units of which at least two brigades of Army would be on immediate deployment status and I can assume the Marines, Navy and Air Force have similar plans for immediate response to any call up.

 

We can trust the Pentagon has plans and that all the President need do is pick up that phone he claims he could use to call for action if Congress did not pass his legislation in a timely manner and instead call the Pentagon and request their actions and plans be presented. Then he could pick up that pen with which he threatened Congress to use to write Executive Orders and use it to sign off on a plan of action and then write an Executive Memo to the leaders in Congress informing them of the impending actions and the Pentagon would take care of the rest. There is one contingency for which the Pentagon likely has plans but would be unable to implement them until the President ordered them to follow and support somebody else’s initiation of actions. That is President Obama’s famous plan of leading from behind, better known as following which often is the action of those too cowardly to commit to actions and stick their neck out, something which would be risky against ISIS but the President can go ahead and stick his neck out, the military would be out in front and would do or die even knowing that in the end the President would claim the glory, after all he took out Osama bin Laden haven’t you heard. Leading from behind is not an option on this crisis but President Obama is not one to make definitive decisions which might have him owning his actions. President Obama would rather simply follow and take only that action was dictated by somebody else, the United Nations, the European Union, NATO led by another member, actually President Obama would follow anybody, well, anybody but Israel. Were Israel to engage ISIS, it would not be a complete surprise if President Obama gave weapons to ISIS through some obscure middleman leader of another nation who might be supportive of ISIS though doing so would be risky. But until somebody else takes the lead we can expect more excuses over action from the White House.

 

One wonders if President Obama has even requested the Pentagon produce their plans for dealing with ISIS and said plans actually called for the United States to sit this round out. We can figure that the United States is loath to send troops back into Iraq after being pulled out by President Obama in a manner that military planners had informed the President was a premature action which would cause more problems than it could solve. The one problem leaving a residual force would not have addressed was President Obama winning reelection on his promise to bring our boys home come something (keeping it family friendly) or high water. The Pentagon may have been requested to provide plans which would include supporting UN or EU or NATO action taken to facilitate leading from behind at which time the Pentagon action would most likely be exactly what we are seeing, doing nothing waiting for somebody else to take the initiative so they could follow thus leading from behind again allowing President Obama to risk nothing which actually making a choice and lead would mean. But this begs a question; what happens if the United States is about to return to her historic role of isolationism where the United States trades with her friends and with her enemies but on a lesser scale and dares not interfere in worldly matters allowing them to work themselves out without United States interventions. United States entering an isolationist perspective would only allow her deployment of troops to be limited and almost always to support trade more than worrying about such trivialities as world balance and defeating evil, that’s better left to the knights of Europe who have always done this before. Of course this before was before the United States encouraged Europe to stop their militarism and that the United States would spread her umbrella and cover them so they could turn to less harmful pursuits such as taking on debt and squabbling amongst each other, just this time no world wars starting in Europe, that was the deal the United States imposed on Europe. But now it appears the United States may be folding up that umbrella and claiming not to see the storm clouds rising out of the Middle East, a denial which is difficult to swallow.

 

The going theory is that the United States will return to the role of the world’s police and enforce the good behavior between the nations extending force projection where needed. That is not the historic tendency of the United States after any major conflicts; her historic stance has been a laissez-faire attitude of simple sitting back keeping her hands politely to herself, which is the norm from the United States. The average American knows little about world affairs and cares even less. The average American was defined by President Clinton in his initial campaign for the Presidency with his slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.” The stupid in this case was George Herbert Walker Bush (the elder and first Pres Bush) and the elections proved it as President Bush did not gain reelection largely due to his having broken his promise of, “Read my lips; no new taxes,” and then was forced to raise taxes by a Democrat Congress in order to get his budget passed with the military spending not slashed by the Congress. The election of President Clinton over reelecting President Bush was all about domestic policies over foreign policies.

 

You start to talk about foreign policy with the average American and their eyes gloss over and they drift into some zombie like state all catatonic and in shock after the first two or three sentences. Talk about immigration, taxes, domestic hot-button issues, government spending of which all is unnecessary except those they are or will receive, and the economy then you will engage in a sometimes heated debate. Talk about money and they will listen, talk about something happening in the Mille East or Asia and they will repeat what the media stated, that is bad, that is good and those people sure have as rough time, but then they will turn it back to how the government needs to take care of things at home first. The average American has all the sympathy you could ever ask for and they will donate more to charities than any other peoples on earth but when it comes to sending their young men off to fight in what they mostly see as somebody else’s war, then they need a ton of convincing and President Obama surfs waves, seldom makes waves when it comes to world politics. The President came from a past as a community organizer, read rabble rouser causing trouble to force government actions usually spending more money of which they get the lion’s share, and knows little outside of Chicago, let alone outside of the United States. He treats foreign policy as if it was a plague and to his outlook, as well as many Americans outlooks, simply does not go past the horizon and possibly not past the water’s edge.

 

We can bet that should the Democrat candidate become the next President, they too will do little as they can in foreign policy. We need remember that the Democrat candidate will not likely be Hillary Clinton but more likely somebody not even announced as of yet. Ms. Clinton’s campaign van has the wheels flying off and the engine is about to quit. The van is driving down the road to oblivion. But what if it is the Republican candidate, you inquire. There we need to find out who will take the lead and which ones do not survive the first three or four actual primary votes. We can make some specific and general observations. Rand Paul is an isolationist libertarian who believes if the United States hurts nobody then nobody would target the United States. Of all the governors and ex-governors running, only Jeb Bush might be a President inclined to use military force and actually have an active foreign policy. Others have claimed that they will repair the United States relations with Israel as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia largely undoing some of the changes made under President Obama. Still, such actions do not necessarily mean a return into Iraq to defeat ISIS unless it becomes a dire threat to the stability of the Middle East. Only Senator Marco Rubio has direct experience with foreign policies as he in on the Senate Intelligence Committee which gives him access beyond the average Senator under the need to know doctrines. Almost any Republican candidate becoming President would easily take four months to a year to become fully briefed on every hot-spot that the Pentagon had plans and counter plans and different options under each plan and time granted each. Such amounts of information is why the President has a Secretary of Defense whose staff is divided so they can divide their work and attend to each contingencies. Still, the final decisions and person who must form the overall foreign police and who has to call in the troops for action when deemed to be necessary lies with the President and the President alone. That is one of the reason it is said that it is lonely at the top. We still have no real available input that any of the Republican candidates would press for an interventionist approach to foreign policies.

 

Likely the most pressing foreign policy might already have their hands tied should President Obama make any Iran nuclear deal somehow into a treaty without gaining Congressional affirmation. Such a decade long deal would actually prevent the next administration from taking any actions without smoking gun style proof that Iran had broken the agreement but as the agreement includes steps all the way through twelve years with little margin for change in the terms or even the terminology during that time period with the Iranians presumably free to complete their desired goal of deliverable nuclear warheads and the ICBMs on which to place them after ten years according to President Obama’s own admission which would leave them at a minimum two years to produce as many weapons systems as they are able starting with an unknown amount of LEU (low enrichment Uranium) with which to work and all of that Uranium a simple two day’s processing to be made weapons grade HEU (highly enriched Uranium over 90% purity) and then they would be capable of molding the cores and producing actual weapons. All of this is a guess of what the eventual agreement will appear to say and Iranian compliance to the terms and inspection protocols as well as their answering numerous questions about previous work performed largely by the military which Iran insists is an unprecedented and unnecessary invasion of their privileges and privacies. So, when it comes to the Iranian nuclear program the next President may be acting with his hands tied and possibly looking at a negative response from a nuclear armed Iran claiming their dominion over Iraq and dismissing the need for United States interference in their area of control which they will claim includes Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and who knows where else by January 21, 2017 when the next President takes office. After Iran there will be other situations such as Russia and their low-grade war with the Ukraine and its possibilities, China and their expansion Islands being built and potentially taking territorial control semi-legally over the entire South China Sea giving them control over one of the most active shipping lanes in the world. Speaking of choke points for shipping, Iran already has menacing control over the Straits of Hormuz where almost one third of the world’s oil is shipped by tankers and may through their proxies in Yemen, Houthis can also threaten to control the Bab-el-Mandeb which would cut off the southern exit of the Red Sea making the Suez Canal unusable and the Israeli southern port to the orient and Africa blockaded, a casus belli which could lead to a state of declared war by Iran on Israel and Egypt as both would have their shipping access to the world impeded illegally as Iran would have no other excuse other than they could close all shipping. These are just the top three and none of these includes the ISIS threat which may grow to the point where Iran and ISIS meet on equal footing with ISIS having gained an Air Force even if of a limited nature, and tactics which are prone to working, at least working well against the Iraqi army. ISIS has had far less success against the Kurdish Militias such as the Peshmerga (literally “one who confronts death”) and the People’s Protection Units (known as the YPG). These have held the northeast parts of Syria having an astonishing turning point in the city of Kobanê as well as the northern third or so of Iraq where the Kurdish forces saved thousands of Yazidi and whose Yazidi Militias have joined ranks with the Kurdish Militias. We could continue to the other continents and their probabilities for causing distress but that would leave Antarctica as probably the only safe haven if you desired no strife, or at least not yet.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 7, 2015

The United States Lost Republic to Democracy

 

While a complete democracy is neither desirable nor practical, yet the United States has irrevocably moved steadily closer and closer to outright democracy since the first days of her founding under the present Constitution. The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments which were debated and selected from an original thirteen and sliced down to a nice round number, ten, gave the first step in that direction by delineating the rights which were included in those guaranteed the people as they were gifts from the creator mentioned so specifically in the Declaration of Independence which many of the Founding Fathers believed was a part of the founding documents which defined the society and its governance just as much as the Constitution. As time progressed the Federal Government gathered unto itself more and more powers stealing them either from the States respectively, or from the people. This was from the government which supposedly was restricted by Amendment X which read, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The Founding Fathers were divided into two groups, the Federalists and, of course, the anti-Federalists with one group desiring to balance the governance in favor of the most local governance as possible while the others believed that centralized powers were required in order for the governance to rule the entire nation. The first attempt to fashion a weak central governance over the newly liberated English colonies, the Federated States of America, was a dismal failure as without any powers to raise money and left at the mercies of the charity of the individual States the government very soon ran aground and became high, dry and out of funds. So, the United States of America’s Constitution was America 2.0 and made with powers given the central government unconscionable the first time around. Had the Federal Government continued to be restrained and restricted to its original powers then the United States would probably be in better shape and the European powers would still have militaries of sufficient size and capabilities that they would not be dependent upon the United States to be the sole determining force of NATO and the European Union would have died long before the Euro became the bane of Greece and the lucrative coinage for Germany. But the changes that put the final knife into the Constitution slashing it and tearing it and signaling the end of that Amendment X and the State’s rights it presumably protected came in along with the end of many individual rights for the individual American just before World War I began on July 28, 1914.

 

Earlier in that fateful year Amendment XVI established the income tax with the promise from the politicians that it would only tax the most wealthy one percent of the population and would never be permitted to become a burden on the average person and on that promise likely being the clinching argument allowed it to be ratified into law on February 3, 1913. As any American will attest, the income tax became far more than burdensome on the average person but also grew to such a point and the IRS which it founded gathered such information that the government through provisions and added regulations eventually could tell the average person their expenditures throughout the year and was rumored jokingly that the IRS could look up the color of the guest towels hanging in your bathroom. Now the Federal Government can tell you a whole lot more than the colors of items you have purchased, the extent and particulars of your every investment and virtually anything anyone might care to know about your life, your purchasing habits, your diet where you go on weekends for fun, where you vacationed the last ten years, the make and mileage on your vehicles and just about any other detail imaginable, and people worry about their privacy. Privacy in this world died a long time ago somewhere right before data mining and agreements between governments arranging for each to spy on the other’s citizens and then provide the information upon anybody that the other requested which eventually led to the decisions to forget the middle-man and simply for each nation to spy on their own citizens making everything so much easier and less complicated.

 

A short time later the Amendment XVII was ratified on April 8, 1913 establishing for the direct election of each State’s Senators instead of allowing each State to decide the methods their Senators were chosen. Previous to this Amendment to the Constitution most States chose their Senators in a various number of procedures with the two most used being the Governor choosing the Senator as each came up for election and possibly having to present them to the State’s legislature or higher branch of the legislative branches to have them approve the selection with some States requiring a larger vote for approval than a simple majority. The other method was for the Senator to be selected by the legislative branch of the State government and in most cases have them approved by the Governor under the same rules as legislation was passed or vetoed by the Governor. This Amendment took away the individual State’s ability to have their voices heard in the Federal Government making the Senate simply a less populous House of Representatives having both wings of the bicameral legislative governance chosen directly by the people. The reasoning presented was that the people were more knowledgeable as a group or mass intelligence than any combination of State Governors or legislatures in choosing the Senators. There was also the claim that State level politicians were too corrupt which was laughable as the majority of Federal legislative politicians were simply the most competent of the people in State governance. This was amidst the populace movement where the average citizen was presumed to have better sense when the whole was allowed to speak as through elections. What was completely ignored was that the Founding Fathers had planned for the Senate to be the legislative branch representing the States’ governance such that the Senate would guard over State’s rights and protect the powers of the State and limit the influence the Federal Government could have over them. This change brought on the slaughtering of the States individually and collectively such that they have long ago seen their powers slowly but inexorably misappropriated, stolen even, by the Federal Government which now faced no opposition from the individual States. This also allowed the Federal Government to control the individual States by demanding that the State acquiesce to the demands and whims of the Federal Government in order to receive funding such as requiring that the States meet caloric and vitamin requirements and curtail the choices offered the children otherwise not receive a large amount of Federal school funding which is earmarked for the lunch and other food programs. Further, the Federal Government has come up with this wonderful manner in which to place onerous demands on the States through unfunded mandates. These are programs that each and every State is required to carry out according to Federal regulations or even actual laws but for which the Federal Government no longer funds the program dumping the entire mess upon the States to finance. The numbers of these programs increases every year and this is partially due to the Federal government attempting to release itself from onerous financial obligations which were laid out in legislation for some program every State is required to carry out and funds were set aside for the first so many number of years and were presumed to be funded further by the Federal Government but somehow down the road the Federal funding ceased but the mandate continued and the States found themselves on the hook to finance program after program as the Federal Government cut off the flow but did not cut out the requirements.

 

Both of these Amendments to the United States Constitution were ratified but under suspicions of fraud. One was found to have received the final ratification a few weeks or a couple of months beyond the set time allotted for ratification to be permitted, Congress claimed that somehow this had been covered by some extension despite no such allowance stipulated as possible by the Constitution and the other was not ratified by sufficient States falling a couple short. Well, World War I struck on July 28, 1914 and the RMS Lusitania on May 7, 1915 was sunk by a German U-boat and American lives were lost as a result. There has been debate ever since the sinking as to whether the RMS Lusitania carried weapons or explosives for use in the war which was vehemently denied by Britain and the United States as well as the other allied powers and the debate has persisted and apparently will continue forward. Meanwhile, President Wilson argued against joining the war while simultaneously demanding that the U-boat attacks not target indiscriminately and especially avoid any further attacks upon civilian craft like the RMS Lusitania. Wilson was already stoking the public to allow an American effort join the efforts while also campaigning on a platform that he kept the United States out of the war. United States President Woodrow Wilson finally demanded a Declaration of War and the Congress responded giving him his desired declaration of war on April 6, 1917. As the initial Declaration of War identified only Germany as the nation the United States had declared war upon, this proved to be untenable; so after President Wilson again requested a Declaration of War and Congress did comply as they declared war on Austria-Hungary on December 17, 1917. The United States never actually declared war against all of the forces fighting against the allies who also consisted of the Central Powers, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. World War I came to an end on November 11, 1918 and by this date the horrific pandemic known as the Spanish Flu had broken out and some of the troops brought the virus home with them which caused the pandemic to break out and spread across the United States. By this time the two Constitutional Amendments numbers sixteen and seventeen were faint memories pretty much lost in the fog of the decade which followed them with the war and the flu who had time to be concerned about the potential of inconvenience of two little Amendments. Unfortunately, as was learned many years later these two little Amendments proved to be anything but minor little legislative additions to the Constitution but rather major changes in the breadth of Government powers and the depth of their effect to be felt years later. These two Amendments may have been the most influential pair of legislative action ever passed and ratified since the Bill of Rights was passed. These Amendments laid the framework by which power became centralized in the Federal Government and provided the funding through direct taxation of the people and stripping the States of choosing their own representatives within the central government thus liberating the Federal Government from any limitations by the States nor could they protest directly the absorption of the powers which had previously been within the control of the individual States and subjugating the States beneath the Federal Government’s heel without recourse.

 

The change in how Senators were to be elected directly by the people simply made the Senators nothing more than super representatives with two permitted per state. Now the United States had entered the point of no return sliding almost completely into democracy and definitively no longer a republic. Benjamin Franklin was queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation, “Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” and Benjamin Franklin answered bluntly and directly to the heart of the query stating, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Never in the history of founding of nations has the situation been so accurately assessed nor has the problem been predicted as how the Governance will be altered eventually unraveling the delicate balance between the individual States and the Federal Government. It is said that one can assess any Governance by a simple measure; just determine which side is the more fearful of the other and should the Government be more fearful of the people than are they of the Government, then you have freedom but if the people are fearful of their government than the government is of them, then you have tyranny. With all the branches which are appointed to make the general rules and stipulations and requirements from the people now directly elected with the exception of the President, the United States is teetering on the edge and about to fall beyond the cusp and into the electing of the President directly ending any vestige of a republic. The direct election of Presidents has been proposed and one of the most dangerous legislative suggestions which recently was rejected for yet another time by the Oklahoma Legislature which would have demanded that the Electoral representatives for the State vote for the winner of the popular vote by the entire nation while ignoring the will and votes of the citizens in their own state. Should that legislative effort win in sufficient states which would provide an electoral victory then all any candidate would need do is campaign in the cities and areas with the greatest concentration of people to assure himself victory in the popular vote and completely ignore the less populated areas such as Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Maine and all of the rural areas in every state. This idea is simply the latest manner to circumvent the Constitution and make the Electoral College an abstract and ancient methodology to be forgotten except by those few who major in ancient manners for electing leaders in city-states and nations; a major just slightly more useful than Indo-Chinese Love Sonnets of the Ming Dynasty.

 

So, as we can see the United States has slowly but inescapably moved towards a total democracy. There have been calls in the last couple of decades as computers have made this possible for the United States government, as a final act, provide everybody over the age of eighteen a voting tablet which is dedicated to one function and only one function, listing the legislative issues and bills currently up for voting and tallying every citizen’s vote. Each citizen of voting age would be permitted to cast their vote on anything plus they could present legislation they desired to see placed before the people and seek a qualifying number within a reasonable time to continue to be eligible to remain on the list of proposed legislation. This number would slowly rise over at most two months and at that predetermined time, if the proposed legislation has attained the highest level of approvals it would qualify as a piece of general interest and the suggestion would be listed as a Bill and then have two weeks for everyone to vote. Should a Bill be passed it wound be passed on to the President much as things work today. Do not expect such to occur soon as it would require career politicians to vote such into law and thus make their chosen profession obsolete.

 

Still, the United States today is much closer to being a democracy than it is to the republic envisioned by the Founding Fathers and once those populists on the extreme left or the Federalists on the extreme right get their way, then even the President will be selected by straight majority voting. All it would probably take is for a popular candidate which one side felt was undeniably the best choice to win the popular vote but lose the election. Then another ridiculous exhibition of populist insanity would boil over and press through some version of directly electing the President and the United States will have completely been transformed into a democracy. Nothing happens in a bubble and everything has its originating source. The movement to a democracy rather than a republic is that with a democracy it is possible and made more likely for government to become a case for mob rule in which the mob would be the more populous states which is those with the most cities, the most megalopolises. When the cities are given the rule, then what happens to the needs of rural America? We are seeing the effect of cities ruling as the most dominant force in government in California where the water allotments were made over the years to favor the cities over the farmers. Now there are stretches of farmlands which are just acre upon acre of brown dusty soil with dead crops which simply were not provided with the necessary irrigation water at the most critical growing part of the season and these crops and lands are now almost worthless. The family farms will cease to exist due to not being able to pay for their last seeds which never had a chance to grow and will be forced fiscally to sell their lands to the mega-farm industry. This all because the people in the city pressed their allotment of water over that of the less populous farmers were able to and the farmers simply lost their last crop and now are finished. This was a sad example of how straight democracies can destroy an entire segment of the population simply by pressing the mob’s desire for green lawns, full swimming pools, green parks and water amusement parks and a myriad of other needs for water in the big city. The farmers had a similar need but lacked the muscle to lobby the government either at the State or Federal levels and thus lost their crops and many will lose their farms. Once the industrial farm corporations gain ownership of enough of the farmlands, then they will have the lobbyists and they will have the clout to get the irrigations water turned back on and limit the lawn watering city dweller to only be permitted to water their precious lawns on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. They may scream bloody murder but at least the farms will return to producing food and not just dusty soil. This entire water battle has and will play out across the United States over time and perhaps teach some of us the values of indirect governance over straight mob rule democracy.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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