Beyond the Cusp

August 31, 2016

The Bloodletting is About to Strike Election Rhetoric

 

The combination of Donald Trump’s infamous acceptance of personal attacks against his business acumen and denials about his self-worth in billions of dollars and Hillary Clinton’s lack of real qualifications other than gender and susceptibility to attacks on her integrity, honesty, and dedicated corruption, there will be much muckraking, ridiculing, disparagement and name-calling. Both sides will trade blow for blow, assault for assault, insult for insult, derision for derision and snideness for snideness. The effect of both candidates taking to the low road will simply act to snowball the crudeness and vulgarity of the exchanges until it serves the purpose one side has intended, driving people from voting for either candidate and going shopping at the mall, watching movies at home, cleaning out the garage or even cleaning the gutters and windows; anything to take their minds from the elections due to the disparaging carnage of the campaigns. You want to ask why either candidate would desire forcing people to be so revolted from the nature of the campaigns such that they prefer not voting or voting third party just as long as they are not responsible for electing either candidate as both would appear unacceptable as the leader of the free world. It would be a campaign gone so low that no revulsive act or revolting comment or other conduct beyond the pale would be left out as each candidate tries to out-defame the other with all decorum left long behind. So, why would either candidate take this as their planned campaign strategy? Because one of the candidates will need for the turnout to be as low as can possibly be forced and may be willing to do whatever it takes to reach such a point.

 

Donald Trump would like to keep diehard Democrats from voting and would desire to have what has been identified as the Trump voters get out and vote. Still, he would not desire for low turnout all the way across the board. Donald Trump may have a core group of voters who would come out to vote for him no matter what, but such voters would make up but a minor set of the public. On the other side, Hillary Clinton is fully supported by the power elite in the Democrat Party and they have core constituencies which would vote for the Democrat candidate regardless of any distraction or detraction. This means in a super low turnout where only the core voters from each camp came out to vote, Hillary Clinton would swamp Donald Trump and coast to possibly the largest Electoral College wipeout even possibly surpassing the Reagan near sweep in his second election to the Presidency. With a depressed turnout of a general and sweeping measurable amount where record low turnout was recorded in every state, Hillary Clinton could conceivably even win in Oklahoma and Texas only losing in Wyoming to Donald Trump. So, we have a reason for taking the election campaign to such a low point that large sectors of the electorate was so revolted by the nature of the campaign they refused to support either candidate. So, that raises the question of whether or not Donald Trump could show the class not to respond in kind to such a berating assault on all levels from an intentional classless campaign by Hillary Clinton. Many claim that he would lack the necessary self-control to resist such attacks.

 

We have already seen Donald Trump at his worst during most of the republican primary campaign especially in his exchanges with FOX’s Megyn Kelly and the exchanges about the size of his hands in relations to something far more crass and even an attack on the wife of Ted Cruz or about the facial attractiveness of fellow candidate Carly Fiorina. These were definitely Donald Trump at his worse. We can only wonder if we have seen Hillary Clinton at her worst.

 

Blame Game Starring  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Blame Game Starring
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

 

The problem and main reason that the campaign of Hillary Clinton for President would be going low is because of her lack of a laudable record which she can tout. Her short stint as Senator of New York was about as lacking in highlights as any on record. Her record as Secretary of State is fraught with problems as it brings into the conversation Benghazi, e-mails and the record with Libya and the Arab Spring; all of which her campaign probably would rather avoid. Even her time as First Lady there was her disastrous attempt to secretively fashion a healthcare system which even the Democrats in Congress refused as well as the entire bimbo explosions including Monica Lewinsky who could also be referred to as the “devil in the blue dress.” For those with really good memories for trivia, they may even remember Hillary Clinton making a comment about how she could have settled for staying home and baking cookies as a disparaging remark. Truthfully, Hillary Clinton has more challenge potential than accomplishments in her political history with some definitive explosive mines which if triggered could prove devastating. Many a political advisor had pointed to disparaging Donald Trump as a look at how horrible and distasteful a person Trump is and would be as President and he is completely unmanageable and unpredictable and sell herself as stable by comparison without ever pointing to any qualifications on her side and simply throwing accusations at Trump hoping he explodes and self-destructs. The less reaction the Clinton Campaign elicits out of Donald Trump or his campaign personnel, the more radical and shrill the Clinton campaign and echo-chamber mainstream media will become claiming ever more absurd and insane accusations against Donald Trump. Every last bankruptcy any organization, company or other business interest has ever experienced, every little old lady who may have been evicted to make room for any project which Trump or any related group was involved in and the thousands coming out of the woodwork filing suits against Trump over Trump University false representation and other suits over anything conceivable will be filed hoping to bury Trump under quantity of assaults even if many have absolutely no quality or substance. Everything will be launched at Donald Trump hoping anything sticks while the lawsuits will expose Trump to bad media coverage and hoping to tie him up with so many lawsuits such that he has no time to campaign. The assaults will be ever escalating only to evaporate as soon as Election Day arrives.

 

Ugly, ugly, ugly, thy cause is Clinton and everything ugly which can be implied, applied, decried or provide to shame candidate Trump claiming his being unfit to hold the office of President. All will be pulled from the deck in order to deflect any and all attention from the suitability of Hillary Clinton holding the office of President. The entire Clinton campaign will be composed around the unsuitability of Donald Trump and some light suitability qualifications pertaining to Hillary and of course the fact that she would be the first woman President, probably her only true qualification, if being the first is something the Americans should use as the singular qualification for President. Rather than beat this dead horse, possibly the only thing that Donald Trump will not be accused of killing, we should just bow aside and let the candidates test one another and see if Donald Trump can remain calm and scripted and how completely out of her mind a calm Donald Trump will send one Hillary Clinton and how the media will blame her meltdown on Donald Trump’s misogynistic tendencies.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 5, 2016

Ancient Thoughts and the World Today

 

I read an e-mail article which listed what it claimed in its title to be “20 Quotes From Ancient Greek Philosophers That Liberals Still Don’t Understand” and four of these in particular got my brain reeling, drowning in swirling daydreams and thought perhaps it might be fun to share. I found myself gravitating to three philosophers where one was the most gifted student of the other and the other their sole peer. Below are the thoughts in decreasing order of relevance, or at least in ease of application and understanding. This dictates we tackle them in reverse order working from the sublime imperatives from which we then reach the inevitable brutal and undeniable truth.

 

“Republics decline into democracies and democracies

degenerate into despotisms.” – Aristotle

 

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs;

when he first appears he is a protector.” – Plato

 

“A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion,

a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” — Socrates

 

“The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered

by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.” – Plato

 

 

Plato Socrates Aristotle

Plato Socrates Aristotle

 

That places our starting point with Plato and the concept, “The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.” This is true in every government which depends on the opinions of the people discerned through an elective process. Be the system parliamentary, republic, direct democracy or other form where the voting public consists of eligibility of the greater part of the adult electorate and where promises gains votes those promises will come fast and loose. This will inevitably lead to greater and greater promises which will become more and more immediate often inventing problems and difficulties which are designed for easy quick solutions which can be readily enacted and implemented despite there being no reality to both the invented problem and an easy answer. Everything becomes something which requires an immediate solution and this demand continues to grow and now the people soon demand that even the greatest difficulties of the world be solved with the same brilliance, alacrity and without difficulty or complications. The expectations have become unrealistic but then when the people are demanding miracles, those who desire to hold office will make promises which they know cannot be solved with promises which they know will never be solved and only lead to greater problems as the half measures designed as quick actions which are definitive, definitive failures causing more and deeper problems. The demand for immediacy by the public eventually leads to the need for a savior.

 

That brings us to the next quote from Socrates which states, “A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” This is where taking the false promises of charlatans who are the sole makers of empty promises selling them as definitive solutions to the most knotty and complex of problems starts us down a slippery slope. These have the ability to sell a framing of the problem in such a way that their solution appears obvious but nobody seems to think why if the solution which now appears so simple, easy and immediate that it did not appear for the last body of officials. Nobody wants to question whether the defining of the problem has been molded and crafted simply to facilitate the elevation of the individual and not done to reach a viable solution. These charlatans always play emotional weaknesses and know the desires of the people more than they understand the problems but emotionalism plays well, think Donald Trump with one difference, imagine Trump with a solution to the Middle East which is easy, immediate and apparently just hidden from view in such a way that only Trump could see it. Of course Donald Trump has not put forth such a solution and instead has simply sold that things will be great, trust Trump, great. Well, it is so completely different than Yes We Can. Both “Make America Great Again” and “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth” are empty boasts on which all problems can be put aside as the personality is sufficient to repair every problem. These set up a system of morality which is made of empty platitudes that caught the people up in an emotional defining of the world and choosing a leader purely on emotion which eventually leads to disappointment making the situation primed for the next step.

 

We go back to Plato where we read, “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” When the solutions are minimized such that false solutions become the norm, we reach a mire so deep that only a savior is believed to be the only possible solution. A person who is charismatic and has a plan, a plan that sweeps the public up with the promises, causes them to fall head over heels for the man with the plan which will heal their nation and restore it to greatness and return every glory which was once true and real. The savior and restorer of the greatness are seen as one who will revamp the government and streamline the process and accomplish that which formerly was not possible. The protector comes with promises if only you can and will trust what he knows must be executed to bring about the future promised by this protector. The promise is that once they are loosed from the restriction built into government and being freed from the tethers designed to limit and constrain government, but the savior cannot be constrained by such petty inconveniences. The releasing of the tethers and streamlining the methodology leads only one place, tyranny, and tyranny inevitably leads to one thing, despotic ruin.

 

This last revelation finished the slide defined so accurately by Aristotle who stated, “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.” The Republic was seen as the finest form of governance no matter the style, be it direct elections, parliamentary or anything between or alongside where the people hold the power and the government has to respect the people’s power. With time the republic governance reaches a point where their society actually needs minimal government and definitely does not need any interventions, new laws, programs or anything else but the government has to find relevance in order to form promises around which will grant them the support of the people and result in their next election. This leads to demagoguery and populism which tend to bring an end to the slow and deliberate governance and replace it with governance which has a tendency to divide the populace into groups based on positions on issues, some real and some manufactured by the politicians themselves. Such governance works by promising larger groups of citizens benefits which will be paid for by smaller groups treasure, usually unwarranted wealth made by abusing the workers and these political riders of white horses topped with a wide brimmed white Stetson hat riding off into the sunset after collecting the votes of the masses. This results in a government which will end in bloated inefficiency where the promises have far outstripped revenue collection and has built a deficit which only grows along with the government. The collection institutions are inefficient often using half the collected wealth simply to finance their department making it obvious an impediment to balancing the budget as that cost is rarely figured into the formulas promoted by the political charlatans.

 

As noted above the situation reaches some critical point where the population is primed for a savior, the one who can return sanity and prosperous times. This promise keeps growing and as this savior has made some progress they start to complain how the government itself is preventing them from rescuing the society from itself. Slowly but surely they strip down the government taking over one layer after another until they no longer stand for reelection, their continued leadership has been accepted as permanent. Soon the other governing bodies are replaced with sycophants and lackeys making them simply the echoes of the dictator allowing for them to hold ultimate power and makes for efficiency in all operations which saves revenue which further permits the dictator to show success after success.

 

But even an all-powerful dictator runs into problems eventually as they too continue promising more and more until it becomes necessary to find new sources of revenues. This has historically led to wars which eventually make for the end of the rule of dictators as once they start to attack neighbors, the neighbors are likely to form alliances and end the spread and conquest of the dictator and after conquest the people may eventually make their way back to representative governance. The one rule is that the generation which falls and allows the rise of a demigod will not return to free governance with it more often taking many years, even centuries, before the people will be permitted to rule themselves. This is evident today as Europe and the Western world is slowly lurching its way down that well-worn path to ruin while developing nations have shown a sign of seeking to develop representative republic governance, what Aristotle, Plato and Socrates all believed was the most favorable form of governance.

 

Where on this merry-go-round your nation is can be figured simply by measuring the freedom each has as an individual and the size and scope of the governance. In all situations where the people are more powerful than the government and are capable of changing the entirety of their legislature and their leaders with regular elections, that would point to a society with a great deal of freedom and is a republic. With the power shared or favoring the government agencies over the people, then one is likely no longer in a republic but in a mere democracy, a good place from which an engaged population can turn things around. But if the governance is under a single person or small cabal which is unelected and not dependent on the approval of the people and rule as they wish, that is the final stop of a democracy where it dies and will not be reborn during the lifetime of any of its citizens, even any infants born during the year of the final elections, a meaningless election at that.

 

That is both the end of freedom and the start of the path back to liberty, freedom and the rights of man. The unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of humankind has never known freedom or even truly elected governance and probably never will. For this majority of the planet will require great expenditures by the free world to instruct, educate, form and develop the basics, principles and understanding of the mechanisms required. After the entire world finds itself on the merry-go-round where we slide from freedom to despotism and finally revolution and a return to republic and the new optimism which will eventually end in disappointment until humankind learns to control their appetites and refuse to follow demigods who promise perfection and untold riches and joys, delivering none of them and few promises being realized. Perhaps that is our fate or maybe we will eventually learn to control our slide of our own personal weaknesses. Perhaps we will learn and our species finally break free of petty differences, greed and acting in a manner which eventually leads to our subjugation when our greed outpaces our good sense. Perhaps.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 16, 2016

Requiem for Europe

 

Europe has survived former presses by Islam and done so with great glory. The first was when the Crusades responded to the surging Muslim Arabs out of Arabia in the Holy Land. These surges into the Holy Lands with the intent and oft success in liberating lands and even Jerusalem may not have kept the lands from eventual Islamic ascendancy, but it did prevent the further surge of Islam into Europe. Constantinople had stood for years against the battering by Islamic forces with catapults, ballista and similar siege equipment but the walls built to withstand any attack of its day did exactly that and Constantinople withstood every barrage thrown at them. It was the eventual equipping the forces of Islam with the newest of weapons, the siege cannon (see picture below) which caused its fall. These were not any normal cannons nor did it throw normal cannonballs. The stone cannonballs weighed hundreds and hundreds of pounds (or kilos) which would bounce across the ground retaining most of their speed and eventually they brought down the walls that had stood since the height of the Roman Empire. The fall of Constantinople revealed the secret weapon of Islam, the renaming; so as to end the former period and reference and restart the history, making it purely Islamic with no reference to the glories of the past. Thus Constantinople was renamed Istanbul and as Istanbul the city had no former existence as a Roman or Byzantine city; Istanbul was purely Islamic while Constantinople now no longer existed in this new history.

 

 

Great Turkish Bombard Siege Cannon Utilized by Mehmed II in his Siege and Breaking of the Impenetrable Great Walls of Constantinople

Great Turkish Bombard Siege Cannon
Utilized by Mehmed II in his Siege
and Breaking of the Impenetrable
Great Walls of Constantinople

 

There was another assault on Europe from the west with the moors spilling across Spain into France, appearing to be unstoppable. The Moors simply ate up one city after another and another beating one force of Christian Europe after another. Finally a French army commanded by a German set a strategy to stop the Moors. Their plan was to not fight the main body of the Moors; they simply had forces meet the main body and slowly fall back allowing them to surge forward. The French main heavy horse cavalry swept in a wide arc around the main body and set down upon the camp and supply lines and destroyed the food and reserves of weapons and destroyed the supporting military mechanism and people, leaving the front unsupported. They then set upon the fight from the rear and succeeded in breaking their lines. With no support and no food or reserve troops, the Moors assault into France had been thwarted. The commander was Charles the Hammer Martel.

 

There were pushes from the West as well with one of the most famous coming and laying siege to Vienna. The city was holding but required that the siege be broken or the Islamic Turks would extend out of Istanbul (Constantinople) and set upon the rest of Italy and threaten Rome itself. One King offered to lead his entire armies and break the siege relieving Vienna and protecting Rome. There was a catch which he demanded a set of promises from every neighbor and king of every petty fiefdom to protect his borders and hold from attacking while his entire army led by him set forth across a thousand miles and relieve Vienna. The king was the ruler of Poland, King John III Sobieski and his forces broke the siege and liberated Vienna on September 11 and 12, 1683. This stalled the push into Europe and saved Europe once again.

 

Now Islam is making a new assault on Europe and the European leaders are actually inviting Islam into their nations as their negative population growth leaves there a demand for workers; and while the economies were healthy and demanding workers, things were great all around. The surging economy of twenty years finally ground to a doldrums where growth has slowed and the demand slackened and now the young Islamic population is finding there is little demand for their employ as hiring is at a standstill. Add to this the flooding of Syrian refugees as well as refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and other places across the Islamic world. There is little work and their native society is at direct conflict with the European liberal lifestyles. This has shown itself during the New Year’s Eve celebrations where the women, who were scantily and immodestly attired which was a signal that they were loose and simply asking for lecherous treatment and were open to sexual advances. The reactions of these new refugees sent a ripple of discontent and fear through the women who were receiving treatment and indecencies which they did not understand. The police were handcuffed by demands from their superiors to not arrest the refugees as they required certain leeway and understanding while they would adjust to their new lives. Many did not adjust and expected their new societies to adjust to their demands and the rules and inhibiting societal rules from the lands they had fled. This was a clash of civilizations; one the liberal socially uninhibited modern society facing an invasion of inhibited socially, strictly structured, and socially stunted, demanding women to live shuttered existence ruled by a retrograded strictly restricted and socially shuttered life. What will be the result of this clash will depend on the worth the liberated Europeans place on their social liberated lifestyle against their refugee’s demand that their rules replace those which Europe has developed since the reformation and the renaissance and the political liberation of the people from the stunted social structure of the medieval Dark Ages. Thus far all appearances point to the replacing of liberal Europe with some dark and foreboding repression and stunting of their social fabric. This diseased repression will eventually threaten the United States and only strong leadership will be at all capable of preventing the complete closure of liberal democracies being subjugated and inhibited until they become Islamic theocracies with the stunted social structures mirroring life in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and possibly falling before the Islamic State as they dissolve themselves through weak and unworthy leadership. The backwards bending of the rule of law replacing it with the rule of foreign inhibitive oppression where nothing can be permitted to offend the sensibilities of the Islamic invaders, the invaders invited to conquest by the weakness and spinelessness of their leadership. Will Europe survive? They probably will not if the current actions are any indication of their future.

 

While Europe appears to be lost, or at least failing to act in self-defense, and failing to stand against the waves of barbarians; the United States may fair better if they choose the proper leadership. Fortunately, the United States, as usual, is running as much as a decade behind Europe. The threat is likely to advance upon the United States somewhat faster than a ten year delay as the current leadership is taking the right steps to allow the United States to admit large numbers of potential disruptors who will attempt to impose their stridently restrictive societal rules upon America. The American societal structure is more independent than the somewhat stunted European societal structures and thus more difficult to over whelm, but that does not make America invulnerable as nobody is immune to societal disruptions. With Europe poised to collapse before Islamic hordes crashing their shores and stunting their societal freedoms in an attempt to refashion their society into an Islamic one, they will rename the great structures making the great Cathedrals into Mosques and rename the iconic buildings removing their former references and now have them attest to their Islamic greatness. The Leaning Tower of Pisa could be renamed the Bent Minaret of the Caliph, the Eiffel Tower simple redone in a Green Patina Eiffel Tower and Big Ben might be renamed the Great Clock of Allah with Buckingham Palace named the Grand Mosque of London; that is assuming London is not renamed as was Constantinople. The great museums will be destroyed and the art works burned, the statues smashed, the David transformed into marble ruins and the Vatican transformed into Mecca II and the place the Europeans will be permitted to use for their Haj.

 

 

Eiffel Tower from the Past to the Future?

Eiffel Tower from the Past to the Future?

 

Europe managing to turn the tides around and salvage their history and societies will only happen if they find the soul which made Europe great and capable to strive into a future with any promise. The likelihood that the Europeans will find that spark depends on whether they are willing to return to the Christianity which permitted their survival and resistance to Islam in periods past. Without such a return to their religion, Europe will lose as those who are fighting for something greater than themselves will always defeat those fighting for comfort and personal existential existence. Those fighting for Islam and Allah will defeat those fighting for nothing more than their comfortable, secularist, laissez faire, free society as such a lifestyle are designed around this abhorrence for violent behavior, the only thing which could save Europe. Will the United States be willing to fight the good fight or will America also fall due to their abhorrence to fighting the good fight which will take generations upon generations with no end in sight. There is a Chinese curse which decries that one live in interesting times, well; we are indeed living in interesting and dangerous times. Will the survival of a society outside of Islam come down to China and Asian nations or will it fall to the world against Israel, a battle already written about almost two thousand years ago with an ominous tale which depends on miraculous forces beyond out mere mortal imaginations ability to behold. These times may get more interesting than anybody is capable of imagining. The first battle will be fought in Europe, assuming the Europeans actually believe their lifestyle and societal norms are worth fighting for. Will they fight or simply fold without even a whimper?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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