Beyond the Cusp

November 4, 2016

As the Pacific Far East Crumbles Away

 

Eight years of steering the United States away from even the slightest whiff of conflict or controversy leaving virtually every former ally stuck out in the wind swept stormy seas of fate have started to leave some palpable damage along the Asian Pacific Rim. These damages may only last until the few weeks after the next Presidential Inauguration or may be cemented with more to follow; it all depends on the coming, and it can’t come too soon, American Elections. The slow tear between Washington and Manila may have just torn well past the turning point as the State Department may decide to hold on an agreed arms shipment for the Philippine Police because a single Senator, Benjamin Louis “Ben” Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, informed them he would block such a request. It seems unusual for an already approved arms deal would be held, maybe cancelled, because a single Senator raised his displeasure unless his displeasure was requested from a higher source who preferred hiding in the shadows this close to the election. No reason to risk the Philippine and other related votes in what might be a closer election than the media has painted. The reason, apparently, for Senator Cardin demanding the weapons be withheld was due to the violent manner in which the Philippine authorities are carrying out their resolute and determined crackdown on the drug lords and their criminal enterprises. The claim is that the Philippine government is using extrajudicial killings against the drug gangs because obviously there is little chance the drug gangs might be resisting the efforts to close their operations down. It is interesting to note that extrajudicial killings is exactly the same charge made by leftist Europeans, leftist Americans and the Arab lobby to throw at Israel whenever a terrorist is killed instead of coddled like a harmless puppy.

 

In nearby Malaysia, Premier Najib Razak also had some suggestions for Washington, though he directed them at the West in general referring to the former colonial powers when he cautioned, “It is not for them to lecture nations they once exploited on their internal affairs.” He was referring to the July lawsuits filed by the United States Justice Department implicating the Premier in a money-laundering scandal referencing more than three and a half billion dollars which were allegedly misappropriated. The Justice Department charges could not have anything to do with Najib is looking to strengthen ties with China and his recent six-day visit to Beijing. The United States State Department cannot be overly happy as Premier Razak’s China visit followed on the heels of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit. Not to worry folks, it’s all part of fundamental change President Obama promised in his October 30, 2008, speech where he stated, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” We would say job well done except that the entire job is not near finished. Yes, the news from the Far East, particularly the Philippines and Malaysia, but many allies of the United States have held silently strong knowing, or at least hoping and praying, that the United States would return to its former policies and things returning to previous normal. The four year hopes died hard and the eight year prayers will be determined within the coming five days even if there are states making recounts.

 

Malaysia Philippines and Indonesia

Malaysia Philippines and Indonesia

 

There is a theory that no matter the results of the Presidential Election there is one coming end of term surprise from the White House, a surprise President Obama wants the visceral satisfaction of performing personally. This is one that is so personal that President Obama may even take a vacation and visit Turtle Bay and the United Nations in order to call a Special Session of the Security Council to hear a proposal to solve what he has determined is tantamount to the root of all problems in the Middle East if not the world, solar system, galaxy or potentially the entirety of the Universe and all creation, Israel and the formation of an Arab State for the ‘Palestinians’ in Judea and Samaria with East Jerusalem as its Capital City. President Obama would be sure to relate how the recent UNESCO decision which removed all Jewish and Christian connection to the Temple Mount or the Old City of Jerusalem, which is most of East Jerusalem, and that it is solely a Muslim Holy Site thus would serve as a natural capital for a new Islamic Palestinian nation. This would be his argument along with the seeming international itch to take away a fair sized additional chunk of the lands originally promised for the Jewish State and form yet another doomed to fail Arab Muslim State reneging yet again making a mockery of international treaties. The only surprise would be such a move being vetoed by one of the other four permanent members of the Security Council; Britain, France, China or Russia. Is such likely? In a word, “Yes.” As to which one, that remains to be seen. Our guess has three in the following order least to most likely, China, Britain, or Russia.

 

That leaves a single pair of questions. One is whether nations which have started to distance themselves from the United States could be gathered back to the warm bosom of Washington and all the wondrous prizes that includes? Should the next President and advisors in the administration return to a more traditional set of policies, then time will reset most relations. Some of those who have moved away or distanced such as the above mentioned Malaysia and Philippines and includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and an additional small selection largely in Eastern Europe will move further from United States orbit unless concerted and deliberate efforts are expended. Even then the chances of returning all will prove near impossible. Nations such as Iraq and Egypt may be lost for the foreseeable future as Russia and China pick up influence. Still. The majority of estranged nations would gladly return given the slightest of efforts. That is the good and the bad side, but there is a worse possibility.

 

What could be worse than losing as many as a half dozen or potentially more lost due to the changes made during President Obama’s Administrations? Well, the continuation of this path which is and always was an idea which found favor in the State Department no matter the President and their policy preferences. Many Presidents since some time after World War I and the infestation of Progressive, Leftist anti-American policies siding with virtually every enemy of the United States changing hands while the highest levels nurture whatever opposing force of the moment that faces the United States with the chain simply altering as the leadership is always passed to those supporting the subversion. These State Department employees are Civil Service workers who are protected by Civil Service rules and very strong unions, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) or the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE). There have been instances where these unions have been suspected on working on campaigns, something quite unethical if not illegal. Should the advisors from the State Department continue in their privileged positions for setting foreign policy, then the current damage will only come closer to becoming permanent and the United States losing her position as leader of the free world. There are those who are claiming that continuing the current policies will lead to the death of the free world. Our comment is to say not so fast. There are places where freedom is still strong and others where freedom is slowly growing. Will there be a terrible and rough period? There are always such, the areas affected simply change with time. Hope should never be lost as cycles are a constant and things constantly change and that is unavoidable. As for what level of hope one should hold? Wait just a bit and we will get back to you on that.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 10, 2016

How Could Gun Control Lower Gun Violence?

 

This has been a basic question where conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, gun owners and advocates against gun control advocates have wrestled and neither side has ever found the magic, pardon our word usage, silver bullet to end the violence resulting from criminal firearm usage. Every time there is a dramatic milestone reached as was recently in Chicago where they reached five-hundredth homicide of the year or a dramatic firearms related death toll resulting from firearms usage such as the Orlando club shooting or the string of homicides in San Bernardino for the anti-gun forces to rush to blame the guns even if the real culprit was terrorism as in Orlando and San Bernardino. There is the demand for long waiting periods, deeper background checks, limits on firearm purchases per person per year or any of a number from a plethora of inventive laws which would presumably end criminal purchases of firearms at gun shows, gun stores, private sales or other legal forms of firearms purchases. This begs a simple question, how many criminals are purchasing their firearms legally. Yes, there have been some tragic cases where a person legally purchased the firearms they use all too often in violent mass shootings such as too many school shootings or mass public shootings such as in movie theaters or nightclubs or as vengeance workplace violence or even terrorism. These tragic cases often are the first criminal act of the shooters and they went through all of the existing checks and even if further checks and wait periods were enacted they would have had little if any effect beyond waiting periods causing them to plan longer and delay their shooting sprees but not preventing them. Still, over ninety percent of shootings are committed by people with criminal records who already would be unable to walk into a gun show or gun store and purchase a firearm legally and most of the firearms used in these crimes are often stolen weapons which were bought illegally from nonstandard sources which operate beyond the law. The idea that making legal firearm purchases more time consuming, burdensome and legally tangled with more and more layers of paperwork and legal hurdles does nothing to prevent criminal firearm purchases and the politicians know this and the crime data records prove this. So why if these facts are well known and understood do the politicians continue to call for restrictions on firearm purchases and even have many calling now for the repeal of the Second Amendment and the complete ban of legal firearm ownership despite all evidence pointing to this leading to increased firearm use by criminal elements as they then are assured they will be the only people armed in any criminal incident.

 

There are at least two easily understandable reasons for the politicians calling for more restrictive laws. The most obvious is their receiving funds for making such demands coming from the anti-gun lobbies who will love such legislation and will spend liberally supporting political campaigns for those supportive candidates. Another reason is the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) who also favor more firearm laws as each law, regulation and licensing required by law increases the numbers of government employees required to process and handle the additional forms, research, background checks, license issuing or renewal and any other directives and requirements such legislation demands. These are two of the most active groups a candidate can get behind them in order to finance their campaign. The other reason which looms over the gun debate even more than campaign finances is the general lack of real information and education of the public, especially in most major metropolitan jurisdictions. This is largely due to the complete lack of intimate knowledge, education, training or even the slightest use of a firearm by the majority of the voting public. With a smaller and smaller percentage of the population having served in the military, especially suburban residents, and even less training in firearms in such organization as the Boy Scouts and other youth groups and there no longer having any firearms training in summer camps, the public is generally unfamiliar with firearms and many even developing a symptom bordering on maniacal fear of firearms to the point of hyperventilating at the sight of a gun other than on the belt of a uniformed police officer. Additionally, the use of firearms in entertainment venues such as movies displaying firearms in ways which are wildly inaccurate such as handguns or rifles firing well over one-hundred rounds without ceasing fire for reloading even firing six-shot revolvers twenty or thirty times before changing to another weapon or reloading, has fueled misconceptions of the lethality and practical use of firearms which if applied to swords would have the sword being capable of killing merely by removing it from its scabbard. Another misconception furthered by the entertainment industry is the range at which weapons, particularly handguns, are lethal. With shots being taken with a 9mm or a 45cal semi-automatic handgun at well over a quarter mile, 440 yards or four and a half football fields (pitch) which is a highly dubious range even for a really good marksman, but that is the short end of impossible shots as many a movie aficionado can attest. I have actually seen neighbors shrink away when friends and I would return from the outdoor public range and transport normal handguns and a few hunting rifles from the trunk of the vehicle into the house for cleaning and once had an extremely paranoid neighbor call the police claiming that terrorists were meeting in my place with dozens of guns and other weapons. The police were not all that amused but as two of my friends had Federal Firearms Licenses and one had a Class III Weapons Permit and worked at a gun store, they were forced to allow us to retain our weapons. The neighbor was frantic that we were not taken away in chains and the arsenal confiscated. Ah, reliving the good old days of my misspent youth.

 

Dianna Rigg as Emma Peel in The Avengers

Dianna Rigg as Emma Peel in The Avengers

 

The truth is that should the anti-gun and anti-weapons fanatics get their way, we will be eating steaks with butter knives if the vegans allow us to continue to eat slabs of cows. This claim is made as there have been calls in the United Kingdom, or at least in London and other cities of the Isles to make knives beyond six inches illegal which would make a number of carving knives and my bread knife illegal and some steak knives I have seen such as the ones at a restaurant in the United States and likely elsewhere called Outback. By our figuring, if these fanatics against weapons of all venues got their way, we would no longer have forks and instead be using sporks with our butter knives. The people who wish to make life so guarded that even the roads are made soft enough that falling will not scrape an elbow or a knee really have lost all sense of excitement and see danger not as a challenge to be overcome but a peril which must be eradicated so even the most inept cannot harm themselves no matter how recklessly they address life’s challenges. Where if they desire to round every corner in their homes and pad every piece of furniture while only using safe utensils such as butter knives and sporks and eat only the most bland fruits and vegetables rushing to the doctor’s office at the first sneeze or cough, let them live such lives but do not force your phobias on the remainder of us who wish to live lives dangerously using real forks and steak knives just to eat an apple because we love the thrill of the hunt. Truth be told, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution was argued in the Federalist Papers as being the last line of defense against and to prevent Government Overreach and assure the Constitutional limits on Government power was in the hands of the people.

 

Safe Knife and Spork of the Future

Safe Knife and Spork of the Future

 

These people who claim that the gun is evil are carrying paranoia to an extreme beyond reason. I am willing to bet any of these people that a fully loaded handgun of any caliber could be placed on my kitchen table and sit there in the open for a full year and nobody I know would pick it up or fear it and it is highly unlikely, to the point of absurdness, that it would ever injure, let alone murder, anybody during that year or any number of additional years. I am willing to bet that they could not produce one person who robbed a convenience store who was claiming the firearm walked up to them, grabbed them by the hand and dragged them to the convenience store forcing them to rob it. Yet these same people would claim it was the gun if that same person had shot the clerk and simply wounded him requiring three stitches and a band aid. The tired old phrase that it is the person who commits the crime and not the firearm is true but there are those who insist on believing otherwise. They will claim that had the criminal not had the gun they would not have committed the crime. Somehow we believe it is more likely that the criminal would easily be able to buy a gun from, wait for it, another criminal if they were without a gun and believed one was needed to commit their crime. They would not go to Joe’s Gun Emporium or the county fair gun pavilion or any other legal means, they would go to a well-known criminal world individual and purchase a gun and for a few dollars more a gun without any serial number as it had been removed. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the criminal world will sell you guns made to order for the right price. It probably comes as a shock to the gun control supporters that there exist individuals who actually sell guns illegally and if they desire making it more difficult for criminal elements to use firearms, then the people they need to prevent from selling guns are the criminal elements and not the local gun store. Are there those gun store people who might sell guns under the table? Probably, but they are a rare minority and eventually they will be caught which every gun owner will be glad and hopes such a person is put away for a very long time. Gun owners are responsible citizens and are just as abhorred at criminal gun use as the next person, even the anti-gun lobbyist. Nothing would make gun owners happier than for every gun to be legally owned and never used for a criminal purpose and for not another person to die from gun violence. As far as gun accidental deaths, when you can figure out how to end the fifty-thousand plus vehicle deaths each year on the American highways and streets, then we can worry about the few hundred accidental gun deaths. It is nice to keep things in perspective and every gun death is a tragedy as is every premature death. But please let us remain sane and address the more serious causes of accidental deaths such as swimming pools and bathtubs, honestly folks.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 5, 2015

Bernardino California and What the News Refuse to Cover

 

First, this attack broke numerous gun laws which could have been enforced, would have made the assault far more difficult and may have saved lives. The attackers wore body armor and were armed with fully automatic weapons, the real assault weapons. In order to even own either takes having an Federal Firearms License (FFL) which requires a deep background check and regular forms which must be filed with the purchase of any class three weapon which includes every fully automatic weapons. Body armor requires an even more serious background check and regular renewal which includes a background check including speaking with neighbors and coworkers and needs to have an actual purpose for holding such a permit. Reasons include being a collector which requires more frequent license renewals and the licensing of each weapon. Body armor takes a special permit which is beyond difficult to qualify having. Add that California may be one of the strictest states for owning firearms. Odds are that Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik probably had none of the required licenses or other requirements nor did they purchase these weapons themselves; somebody else made a strawman purchase, which in and of itself is quite illegal, and then likely passed to another person who transfers these weapons and the body armor, which had to be bought in the correct size range. How many hands these weapons and body armor changed before arriving at our perpetrators, Syed Farook’s and Tashfeen Malik’s hands, possibly mere days in advance for them to become familiar with wearing the armor and shooting while armored. So, first up, just getting Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik the weapons and armor there were numerous laws, federal, state, and potentially local laws transgressed. So there is actually no real need for more laws as much as there is a need for better enforcement, and that starts at the borders as well as at those who deal in such weapons and armors. Another troubling item was their relations reportedly with Muzammil Siddiqi who also made statements to the press claiming that the attack had nothing to do with Islam. Considering Muzammil Siddiqi’s background, that statement has less validity than any person off the street’s opinion, any random person.

 

 

Muzammil Siddiqi chairman for the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, advisor on Islamic and Muslim Affairs with the FBI and current spokesperson Council of American Islamic Relations

Muzammil Siddiqi chairman for the Islamic Shura Council of
Southern California, advisor on Islamic and Muslim Affairs with
the FBI and current spokesperson Council of American Islamic Relations

 

 

Muzammil Siddiqi is working with CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations) which is in reality a community relations and organizing group which works to defend and strongly object any relationship between Islamic groups, Muslims or Islamists and acts of terror. They have been known in the past to object to the police looking for terror suspects at mosques and Islamic groups challenging them to prove why such groups might be more productive a place to seek such suspects than Jewish groups or Synagogues. But working with CAIR is a step to the mild side as Muzammil Siddiqi previously worked with ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) where he had a closer relationship with terrorists, not just one off terrorists which are beginning to be encouraged again outside of Israel, meanwhile, in Israel the constant drive to push terror crescendo carries on with Abbas and company pushing all the activate buttons they can, and they know these buttons well as they are installed through the propaganda routines taught in the schools, purported on social media and spread in much of the music which is part of why the Arab youths in East Jerusalem and other Arab towns within Israel have become danger points, not all but even one more is one more too many. Siddiqi has been promoted by the FBI as one of their go-to people when addressing terror attacks and other items Islamic to include Muslim sensitivity training for FBI agents and other training and warning materials along with the entirety of the approved Muslim FBI relations manuals. It would not be surprising if Siddiqi had something to do with the removal of Islamic terror from FBI and Military Manuals. Stephen Tidwell backed Siddiqi’s roll as a moderate in 2007 assistant director of the FBI division in Los Angeles and has been quoted stating, “We have a very strong relationship with Dr. Siddiqi.” Let’s cut to a finish which will prove the character and all we really need to know to figure out which side we can place one each Muzammil Siddiqi. While working as chairman for the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Muzammil Siddiqi vouched for and arrange for Imam Mustafa Kamel Mustafa to give a presentation. Imam Mustafa Kamel Mustafa is also known by the name of “One Eyed Cleric” and was the mastermind of the first World Trade Center Bombing in February 26, 1993 in which six were murdered and one-thousand-forty-two were injured.

 

Next we need to look into the possible motivations for this cold blooded murder and the reason behind the mass shootings by a husband and wife team of the coworkers of the husband attending a Christmas Party which apparently the Muslim husband chose not to attend but apparently chose to crash the party and shoot up all of his coworkers with an accomplice, his wife, along to assist in his designs. There are a number of clues from news services around the world which paint a wholly different story possibly because the foreign media has no dog in the gun control fight as do most of the mainstream media, the White House and the State House in Sacramento, California. So, what have the news services found out and reported that may have been missed in some of the media in the United States media desks. One item we already alluded to, namely that the party was a Christmas Party and Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik had been becoming excessively and strictly observant Muslims over the last couple of years. Daily News reports that according to Farook’s father, he stated that his son “was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.”

 

The final brick in the terror attack wall which brings memories of a work confrontation I had with a fellow employee one night and later received some news which confirmed how fortunate I was the incident did not lead to any escalation. Another worker made a friend who worked near him nervous as he was the warmest five foot five inch tall Jew from the Ukraine who had lived through enough troubles and the constant Quran reading six foot coworker had spoken gruff so I returned the attitude being at least larger than my friend. This particular Quran reading employee is currently safely placed in a deferral penitentiary as he was convicted as the leader of a terror cell. In this current case Nicholas Thalasinos, age 52, was one of the fourteen fatalities; he also had heated debate with co-worker Syed Rizwan Farook two weeks before the San Bernardino rampage. Nicholas Thalasinos’ wife, Jennifer Thalasinos mentioned their having had a heated discussion where her husband claimed Islam was not necessarily a peaceful religion while Syed Farook claimed that Americans had no real understanding of Islam, “They got along,” she said. “As far as I know, got along with everybody. That’s what’s so shocking.” Further, Farook’s neighbor told the paper that over the past two years, Farook exchanged his Western dress for Islamic gowns and grew a beard. The actions and that they continued their assault until they died as martyrs, the conclusion is that Farook and his wife were jihadists who killed in order to kill in the name of Islam. These are a few of the facts which throw a completely different story, but in the United States there cannot be anything that even resembles a terrorist strike. You decide which story makes greater sense.

 

 

Victim Nicholas Thalasinos, age 52 and surviving wife Jennifer Thalasinos

Victim Nicholas Thalasinos, age 52 and
surviving wife Jennifer Thalasinos

 

 

Before you go off dismissing the foreign news, remember that according to the Administration the Fort Hood shootings in November 5, 2009 by Army Major Nidal Hasan was not a terrorist attack, it was merely workplace violence. Never mind that Major Nidal Hasan was not wearing his army uniform that fateful day, he was wearing traditional Islamic clothing and was screaming “Allahu Akbar” as he moved up and down the Soldier Readiness Processing Center where unarmed soldiers were processing in or out of Fort Hood. There are other such instances where initially the attack was referred to as anything but a terrorist attack into anything but a terrorist attack until they were left with no other choice. This is just another example of those in power refusing to admit to reality and instead substituting their own approved agenda. The same stories are being spread about the Islamic State and the delusions that Turkey has not been the lifeblood for the Islamic State, arranging for their entire personnel and weapons importation and selling their oil on the international markets providing Islamic State with at least earning $40 million a month from oil sale. The biggest shock the people of the United States are going to have once President Obama has left the White House is all the realities that start to become known as the troubles the world faces are revealed. Or there is always the possibility that the next President after taking office and is asked for an appraisal of the problems the nation faces the President will answer, “Somebody was walking around and decided to shoot up a loud Christmas party or may have been workplace violence but really, now, what difference does it make!?”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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