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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January 2, 2017

Philosophical Meanderings on Death

 

Many philosophers and deep thinkers, including those from the medical fields who work most closely with death, have written great volumes on the subject of death from numerous and diverse directions. They use technical jargon, some Latin, words with more syllables than appear necessary and even try discerning from experiments exactly what death is. Theologians talk of death as a passage but once they try and explain passage the, what or where they get all confusing and they go into their diffusion through use of sublimely defined terminology and references to writings by other theologians who were equally vague or tripping on some strong hallucinogenic drugs. This will be none of these as this is just as much my recounting of experiences and putting feelings as well as descriptions as best as I am able of three separate, though two are related and the other describes the differences from the others, times I have had a brush with death. This will not be as much a definition than a description of events as best I can recall, and these are, if I may borrow a description from soon to be ex-Secretary of State Kerry from his descriptions of his battles which resulted in his three Purple Hearts from Viet Nam, “etched firmly into the crevasses (he likely was saying ‘crevices’ but with his overly-pronounced Bostonian accent it sounded more like crevasses) of my mind,” or something equally and grandly pathetic. Anyway, let’s proceed on to the actual subject.

 

My first brush with death was the one I almost forgot, and had my life never come close again I would have completely forgotten, tucking all away deep in the back of my mind, which is that part of your mind that gives nightmares and is only freed up by future traumas. It was Christmas vacation, that means long enough back in time that Christmas was a word used in people’s lives and had yet to be replaced by ‘Winter’ when describing school vacations, public events and the reason there is a big pine tree in the town circle but is no longer adorned with festive lights after Thanksgiving and on into the new year, now it sits there blankly and blandly staring as if to ask, “Now what am I to do?” My family had gone to warmer climes for the holiday and I had just finished swimming in the pool but had not made it to the edge. I sank, threw a hand up out of the water waving it frantically, or so it felt. This was the deep end of the pool and I was not able to stand or reach the bottom so I waved, then slower, then I began to feel warm and then I jerked upright sitting on a stretcher throwing off a sheet from my face. I heard a thump and turned to see the attendant at the rear of the stretcher fall back to the ground, he apparently had bounced after feinting. I was in the hotel lobby, not the pool, but I was also confused enough not to question this. They checked me out after I finished spitting out water from seemingly everywhere within including coughing it from lungs and spewing it from wherever. That was what I remembered for years about my drowning experience. That was approximately fifty or so years back from this writing. Not much insight except the mind really prefers to tuck these remembrances away, far, far away where you will hopefully never find them. You all know the place; it is that place you put things to be safe and then can never find them again, that kind of put somewhere safe. Safe from even yourself.

 

Moving along around twenty years and we are parking the car and going into the Auxiliary Administrative and Out Patient Building of a major hospital in the City of Brotherly Love. It is a late Friday afternoon before a three day Memorial Day weekend and I was to be the last patient. We were fifteen minutes early but apparently some patients had cancelled and likely headed to the beach rather than that doctor’s office. The staff was in a hurry to get my brain scan done and probably head to the beach and join the rest of Philadelphia’s population. These were those primitive, pre CAT scan days of medicine where they pumped copious amounts of radioactive iodine into your bloodstream and then took passive radiation X-rays where there is no beam of electrons, it just reads the isotopes shooting out their particles within your circulatory system, and thus lighting up everything. Well, they were really in a hurry so they hooked up the IV, increased the flow rate asking all the while, “Are you feeling dizzy?” I was not so I told them so and they had the stopcock almost all the way open position and they went off to prepare the exam room. I did start to feel dizzy and inhaled to say something but never made it that far. I felt warm and odd, a very weird but not uncomfortable odd which is indescribable. Then I realized that what I was looking at was me sitting there with my wife sitting next to me likely daydreaming as she had nothing she was supposed to be doing except driving when we left. I looked down and floated around doing a 360o turn thinking that this was rather strange. Just as I thought that I transitioned to a new place and all new scene and realized that I had not had a body during this entire series of events. It was dark with a faint thin line of light and I was moving towards it but there was no real sense of motion like wind rushing by, simply I was approaching the line of light and as I got closer I started to hear voices and then joined conversations. The closer I came the more conversations we were sharing all at once, each separate, different but all equally understood at the time. The voices then slowed and became one very piercing, loud, booming, deep voice which stated with urgency for me to, “Step forward and stay or turn now.” For reasons I cannot explain now and could not then, I turned and woke in my body just as the defibrillator screeched to full charge. I gave a yelp type sound like a scared puppy. They internally discharged the paddles into the unit. They had stopped the IV and they returned to the room leaving a nurse to watch me, probably should have done that originally.

 

My Argument with Death

My Argument with Death

 

While I waited the three or four minutes for their preparations to be completed I looked at the strip they had printed out likely for the required report when you kill a patient. After later working in a hospital I now know that allowing or having a patient die are two different actions that a hospital defines. While allowing patients to die can depend on such little items such as end of life family decisions leading to a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ (DNR) notation on the door, to homeless people whose Medicare has run out, these people are allowed the ‘dignity’ of death. On the other hand, having a patient die is something to be avoided at all costs and everything possible is done to revive patients who forgot to keep breathing. This is because the legal department does not like working, especially responding to wrongful death suits as these cost hospitals million and even tens of millions of dollars. Back to looking at my strip which contained heart wave (EKG) and four channels of Electroencephalogram (EEG) and realized I had done something impressive. There was no heart-rate with close to almost five minutes and just under three minutes of no brainwaves.

 

That evening after having something to eat I sat back in my recliner rehashing through my memories of that day’s events. Everything was still quite clear to me and the something that did not fit entered my thoughts. The events were not exactly the same but that loud voice was the same. My drowning returned to be relived in memory. I had gone quickly from thrashing to warm to somewhere else where I was moving forward to a distant point of light which grew ever so slightly wider when something blocked my continuing and that voice ordered me, “GO BACK!” There was no debate, no choice, just this overwhelming and undeniable movement of turning and going back, but back where? Then I sat up and realized where. The rest is above with the poor attendant getting the shock for the week in a job which probably sees it share of the unusual. The similarities of these two events struck me and have stayed with me. The confusion was that the second time I was granted to choose. The drowning was not meant to be and that was rectified, I was not permitted passage beyond, period. This second time was what was intriguing more so than troubling. The concept that one can choose whether or not to die makes for interesting debate, even if the debate was all in my head. This choosing whether or not you pass that point of no return, and that point in apparently somewhere during the transition where you are already accommodating and acclimating oneself for the next phase of our continuing existence.

 

This inner debate may have been critical in my last episode, my last brush with death thusfar. This time there was no out of body experience though I did not realize that I was actually having my fight in the hospital, I thought it was more metaphysical, thoughts of actions rather than actual actions. I was to find out differently. This story does require some back information, my friends, please put up with one last telling or jump to the next paragraph. This starts off on one evening living in Green Country, Oklahoma where there are no tumbleweeds, no cacti, no barren rocks and sand but rather trees, bushes, grass and real cattle country. I was about to turn in while wiffy was still playing away on the computer. I lied down and just felt wrong, so I took an accounting of what I was feeling. I had no chest pain but tingling in the insides of both arms, legs felt heavy, vision was clouded at the periphery, a general sense of weakness and ill of ease. As I listed these and more I realized that I had just listed every secondary symptom of a heart attack. I interrupted wiffy and told her we needed to go to the hospital. She informed our son that Dad was having a heart attack and she was taking me to the hospital to which he showed minimal interest, with some side-eyed disbelief, as I recall. Despite there being an Emergency Squad stationed less than a full block away at the Firehouse, we chose to drive to the hospital. Advice, if you think you are having a heart attack, get an ambulance otherwise they tend not to believe you. Wiffy (who shall remain nameless) let me off at the entrance, as you really do not want to make your spouse who may be having a heart attack walk too far, and I walked ten feet to the desk. The lady receptionist asked if she could assist me and I told her I was having a heart attack plainly, calmly, as if telling her she was raising nice looking tulips. She asked if I had chest pain and I responded that I was not. She then questioned why I thought I was having a heart attack. I told her I was exhibiting nearly every secondary symptom and listed five or six. She inquired why I thought these were signs of a heart attack so I told her I was a bio med-tech and had worked for a dozen years in a thousand bed heart centered hospital in Washington D.C. and was familiar with many diagnoses including heart attack. She had me sign a form and asked me to fill it out when Wiffy arrived and I handed her the form and my insurance card. The receptionist had an orderly politely show me to the back area in a corner to a bench filled with more people all of whom looked rather less than joyful. Arlo Guthrie described this in Alice’s Restaurant as the ‘Group W Bench’ which is where they send people they do not quite believe are having a problem and are likely trying to obtain drugs for a night’s entertainment, self-entertainment that is. Fortunately for all involved, they did take blood and sent it off to the lab, possibly but not necessarily with a STAT order. Anyone who has been in a five hundred bed or better hospital with a major Emergency Department knows that blood work sent to the lab takes from thirty minutes to forever to be returned. Mine came back in under ten minutes and all of a sudden there are eight nurses making me as comfortable as I desire in my own room and three doctors examining me and a tech hooking me up to an EKG monitor. I assumed they had found a particular protein in my blood sample.

 

I was given a room fairly soon thereafter in a ward where I was the only patient who was conscious. Their treatment while hooking me up to this, that and the other was not particularly taking my comfort into account treating me more like a cadaver in Nurse College than a conscious, feeling patient. This soon upset me as one particular insertion was attempted with minimal if any lubricant and I went off! We finally struck a compromise where I would inform them of any need to take that measurement and we would go from there. Wiffy left later that night as I apparently was resting peaceably so she missed the fun. Sometime after midnight, my recollection is around 2:30ish in the morning I felt a familiar presence. My old friend had come for me once more and was insistent that this time was the time. We proceeded to argue and a fight broke out with my insisting that I was not leaving this mortal plane and my old friend insisting somebody was leaving with her and my name was at the top of her list, or some other silly insistence.

 

From what I was informed by overhearing nurses talking as if everybody was in a coma, they really were not used to conscious patients in this ward, there had been a death soon after our scuffle had ended. Apparently I was fighting anybody who came anywhere near me and had caused a commotion resulting in people trying to contain me. The number of people was consistently around ten to twelve people who had formed a ring around me to contain me. That seemed correct as that was the number there when I apparently returned consciously to this world from fighting apparently still in my body physically but my mind operating in a netherworld between places. I must have been aware of my surroundings to some extent because when I realized where I was I found myself on the floor in the middle of the ward open area surrounded by nurses and four or five large either male nurses or orderlies. They inquired why I had ceased trying to get up and I told them the truth. I stated, “The bald guy keeps throwing me on the ground, so why get up?” This appeared to baffle and please them and they assisted me back to my room, hooked me again to the monitors and intravenous pump leaving the bald guy to watch me, probably as intimidation. Apparently, during my argument I was also talking in the real world and, as I did serve some time as a United States Army infantryman, had chosen some colorful declarative terminology during our scuffle. The doctor the next morning was not upset about the physical altercation as he was about my choice language as this was a Catholic Hospital and I would be refused care if such continued. I assured him that there would be no more problems.

 

That was me near-death and apparently in-body experience and as I was told by my cardiologist, the hospital had initially written me off not expecting me to survive the night. I had under 10% heart function and was told I would definitely require having an internal defibrillator as part of my treatment once I was strong enough. They had been able, after a week of treatment, to place two stents (Israeli stents) into arteries on my heart and cleared apparent blockages. Much if not most of my left ventricle was black in color, not deep red, black. The cardiologist who performed my catheterization and follow-up has given us a detailed description when giving us the good news of my one year heart function tests. I had cleared 50% heart function tests (a measure of heart efficiency and output where over 50% is low end norms for a man in his 60’s and sufficient to not require any internal medical equipment, no defibrillator, no pacemaker, no nothing. My cardiologist all but danced a jig whenever we met as he had doubted I could clear 33%, let alone match what had been a boast of clearing 50%, I actually hit 51%, which was remarkable and to have only a small scar on the heart muscle which was one-third black is my personal miracle, Baruch Hashem. But our subject is not completely about survival but the challenge called death.

 

What I have come to find is that death comes in more than one form. The most pleasant is the form where you are permitted, with limitations, to neaten up and do whatever last items you might need such as saying good-bye to everyone, apologizing to an old friend for some stupid act, whatever it is and then when you are ready you agree you go quietly and peaceably to the next part of our journey. This might even include after you have been struck by a bus and are in two pieces ten feet apart and death will ask if you are ready implying you should use great haste if there is anything left to do. If one were to refuse to go quietly, allowing them to see their present state would be sufficient for them to agree to leave. Medical science cannot treat such injuries. Then there is the more insistent messenger of death, angel of death if you prefer, who comes bearing an order with your name on it, not at the top of a list of candidates, just one name and you are it. No choices, no moment to say good-bye, just that split instant where your face turns blank and then you are gone off to the next stop. We all go to the same next place and we make our way there as best we can. That was the gist of what I was told that one time I was graced with conversing.

 

There is no want in the next realm as we have no bodies to feed or care about upkeep, we are simply thoughts bundled in a sheath of energy. We can talk but in concepts and a kind of enveloping understanding. The interesting part is you can take time; apparently, to be alone with your own thoughts or you can have one-on-one or small group discussions or have as many separate conversations with groups, individuals or any combination thereof. Your identity remains whole and intact and you have the same feelings you had when on the Earthly plane but without the actual body. Whether that wanes over time or what happens after you have spent time in the next realm, that I do not yet know and likely one cannot know that and return here to your former physical self. Can one return, I honestly do not know but from my one experience my question is why would anyone wish to return? Is the next realm our final place or is there something beyond that where we would later transgress into? I cannot answer that any more than a zygote can fathom the life ahead of them and eventual death. The closest I ever found myself was as a potential seed about to be planted to grow in the next realm. By planted I do not in any way imply anchored as tour spirit, your next self, is free to do as it pleases within whatever physical realities exist in a place where energy is the means of communication and existence. There is nothing but a small ball of energy which is the essence of all you ever were, a crystallized energy with no absolute form or restriction of location as you can obviously exist in near endless and innumerable conversations and interaction simultaneously, so there is really little if any restriction known as location to our physical selves. Imagine conversing with every person who ever lived and all having knowledge base which becomes a sense of singularity of all but one still remains with a knowledge of self. Everything is mixed into a larger entity with every part interacting with the others and still you can feel like you move about though the mode of travel is thought energy, you move as per your thoughts much as the physicists describe quantum theory. Perhaps the best of descriptions of the interactions in the next realm, it would be described as similar to quantum entanglement except one can entangle with multiple others and the spin is up to you or as Einstein put it, “spooky action at a distance.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 4, 2016

Foundations of Pay to Play

 

The Clinton Foundation, or should we call it the Clinton’s Fundnation, where donations of varying sizes were deposited often in direct correlation to the length of time they were granted with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Well, not all the visits with Secretary of State Clinton were linked to contributions to the Clinton Foundation; some were linked to very impressive payments for speeches by one former President William Jefferson Clinton. Of course we are told that there is no smoking gun or definitive proof or actual links, well, provable links. It is remarkable the degree to which far too many highly placed law enforcement agencies and individuals voluntarily develop tunnel vision. It is a miracle they can drive a car safely with such obstructed eyesight. Yet the news has been filled with reports about the horrors and downright dastardly practices and unconscionable business relations which apparently have plagued Donald Trump over the years. We can only assume that previously law enforcement and business oversight and enforcement departments have suffered an equal measure of tunnel vision when it came to policing the business deals of Donald Trump. Of course the surprising item is the lack of law suits brought against Donald Trump if so many of his business dealings were actually as fraudulent as we have been led to believe. There was one business venture though which truly could have qualified as fraudulent had it actually made the guarantees or promises claimed by the media, and that was Trump University. Fortunately for Donald Trump the only actual guarantees given by Trump University were that one might be able to benefit and enrich themselves with the lessons and they would receive a diploma and a picture of them with the facsimile of Donald Trump. The picture with the cardboard Mr. Trump was only worth slightly less than the wisdom one might have gleaned from the lessons. So, there has seemingly been loads of the blind leading the blind in law enforcement around both Presidential candidates if the media reporting on one and the claims of ignoring direct evidence on the other are to be believed. This leads to one big question, which one is the least crooked and least seriously soaked in criminal behavior and thus the lesser choice to be President.

 

I know what you’re thinking, where am I going with this and that I sure started with some twisted and tortured lack of logic. Well, why should editorial commentary here be any less confusing and in the dark than the rest of the media? If you answer is because you have come to expect better, then thank you for your confidence and read on, it will hopefully be worth your time. The problem is that far too many of the politicians are crooked as a broken and twisted ancient oak tree with the varieties of corruption, insider trading (which is actually legal for members of Congress and the members of the Administration of the President), bought and paid for political hacks, politician turned lobbyist and other crimes of unimaginable complexity and criminal behavior obvious even to the most casual of observers which reach out from the rotting central core of the political tree in the ever outward reaching branches seeking new and more imaginable ways to deceive and steal. Are there some politicians who are clean, respectable and trusted to work for their electorate? Astonishingly, yes. Unfortunately they are also the politicians shunned by the opposition party and their own party and unfortunately cannot seem to get together on issues due to their different beliefs and political orientations. If only there were some means of getting the true representatives of the people to work to clean up the rest of the political quagmire, that would be simply grand. Unfortunately most of the truly honest representatives of the people fall into one of a few categories, socialists even bordering on communist, religious conservatives often referred to as the religious right, and the true believers of causes which are as varied as often separate be the narrowest of degrees yet still chasing mutually exclusive dreams as one can paint. There are likely more than a dozen of causes which come under the ecological umbrella from save the whales or the seal cubs to save the rain forests as well as stop acid rain who sometimes protest with the save the oceans and even save the polar bears who have been taking care of themselves quite well. Then there are those who want electric cars, hydrogen cell cars, universal transports which take everyone to their destinations, public transport such as busses, light rail or subways and those who want to ban all vehicles which run on petroleum even including aircraft and the rigs without which we would soon have less choices of food and other goods, but that is not their concern. There are some who desire making the United States a Christian based nation where Christianity would become the recognized religion of their state or even the nation. And then there are our favorites, the constitutionalists who simply desire to have the United States return to the limitations intended by the Founding Fathers.

 

Founding Fathers of the United States

Founding Fathers of the United States

 

Those chasing causes, dreams some call them, are probably the least harmful as they are easily predictable and can be clearly understood. The less than honest politicians are also predictable once their motivations and those who own their pocketbook are understood. There are those who have so many positing bribes, sorry, contributions and charitable donations, which work their way back to the politicians through nefarious and twisted paths making them not so obvious. Let us say that a politician or group of politicians receive contributions to their campaigns and to supportive political action committees (PACs) as well as donations to charities or other groups who also contribute to the election campaigns where all this cash finds its way back to the politicians and they simply promote a bill which provides funding for some aid package helping the poor or the sick in impoverished nations which in turn buy drugs or food using much of the aid from the United States from those who initially arranged the funding from the varied sources for their campaigns. The twisted paths and the indirect funding leads to crossing the eyes of any investigations such as there is nothing directly untoward making these actions prosecutable. There are thousands of scams which have been operating for more years than any care to admit. Ask historians or political studies professors and one can learn that these problems assisted in the fall of empires past and have predated writing. There are theories about what is the oldest profession and it very well may turn out it was politician and the first politician was the individual who convinced the leader of their clan that they needed a religion and they should be the priest or medicine man or any position which did not require brawn as much as brains. That politicians got to eat without having to hunt as hunting was dangerous and too often the hunting parties came back minus one or more members while priests or medicine men stayed at the camp near the fires and out of the rain.

 

We have come a far way since then and now we have entire echelons of politicians in layers upon layers doing all sorts of functions. But in modern society the politician is not the greatest menace, just the most efficient ones where the greatest concentration of money can be found. The menace are those faceless individuals who sit in offices and cubicles making up rules and regulations and even law in some instances when directed to flesh out legislation which is all too often loosely written and paints broad swipes leaving room for interpretations and that leads to mischief. There was a temporary position a number of years back which was referred to as the Regulations Czar whose lead individual was Cass Sunstein known officially as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. The position was directed to review laws and legislation from the last fifty years or so and define or formulate new regulations which could be enacted with a special emphasis to use these reviews to enact and formulate regulations supporting policies the Administration was having difficulty passing through Congress. How many thousands of additional regulations were discovered hiding in laws recent or ancient we probably will never discern. Things have gotten to a choking point with the numbers of regulations, requirements and other rules holding an equivalence of laws that the average citizen cannot be expected to even have knowledge of the extents and depth of what is considered illegal and can place one on the wrong side of the law in court. The sad truth is difficult to put one’s arms around but be it the United Statesor be it Briton or any nation in Europe or potentially the entire world, the reality is we all break laws as part of our normal everyday lives and the criminality of living increases by thousands of new laws and regulations annually. This is the real criminal output of politicians who are paid to pass laws which outright or through inferred regulations give those who can pay an advantage over the rest of the population. This is the crooked legacy which is almost as criminal as the money stolen from our pockets through taxes, fees or higher prices so that others can benefit from corrupt politicians. This is why elections matter and primary elections this year proved to be the surprising ones which mattered. In the United States the choice is between two political forces either of which will provide the media, and especially us if we choose, more to cover than they will know what to do with. One will have half the media screaming about the illegalities with the other half excusing it while the other will have half most of the media claiming they are completely lost as to what are the motivations of the actions from the White House and others will play the game of guess what’s up next. Either way we will have plenty of news we just as soon would rather tune out, but it will affect our lives and the effects will be anywhere from minor inconveniences to drastic enough to threaten the entire planet. The real problem is none of the candidates, including third party, have even an inkling about the state of the world and what needs be done to repair the most egregious of the difficulties or threats, and it will be some of the threat which will offer the greatest danger if not mitigated and mitigated right out of the gate. Many will claim that will simply cause more difficulty but indifference to the world of problems has worked so well that we’ll gladly risk actually addressing threats and problems over leading from so far behind you may as well not be there at all, which too often was the case, Benghazi anyone? Please America, choose well.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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