Beyond the Cusp

October 2, 2016

A Prayer Need be on Every Trump Supporter’s Lips


If one were to take a poll of answers of what prayer and number one concern should preoccupy every Donald Trump supporter’s lips and minds, they would get a wide and varied plethora of answers. Many would say their concern and prayer would focus on his being able to focus on the game plan and path laid out by his handlers and advisors. Others would pray for him to develop discipline as that is the most apparent trait of which Donald Trump has a deficiency. Then there is the general wish for him to stay on message of exclaiming Hillary Clinton’s numerous short-comings. There are those who want the e-mails in slot one with others wanting Benghazi to lead the list while others want the financial shenanigans and the Clinton Foundation misadventures. Some want that she sold State Department and other favors for donations to the Clinton Foundation or to her campaign funds and related 501C NGO’s, to be broadcast at every turn. Others simply want her to be pressed by Donald Trump in the remaining debates forcing her to exhibit the nasty temperament she tries so hard to conceal to be forced out on the stage of those world broadcasts. Almost all of these prayers and concerns focus on Donald Trump proving that Hillary is not fit for the office while exhibiting his qualities to be President. Believe it or not, all of these concerns or prayers miss what probably could be the single most important item, Hillary’s health and other problems remaining contained long enough for her to reach Election Day still on the ballot.


The problem comes for Donald Trump is that he and Hillary Clinton both have monstrous negatives with groups of the population that would never have voted for any Democrat or Republican. These people are not the problem for either candidate because diehard Democrats disgusted over Donald Trump on the ballot and similarly dedicated Republicans reviled by Hillary Clinton are all equally of no concern to either candidate. Now Democrats who are fighting their conscience in order to vote for Hillary Clinton and Republicans fighting their revulsion to vote for Donald Trump are very important as are those who are choosing third party or even voting across their party line and supporting the other major candidate are of paramount importance to both candidates. These are the voters who will be deciding this election and may even bring some surprises in any purple state and potentially even solid blue and red states. This means that both candidates are fortunate that their opponent also has a similar difficulty in retaining their party’s support. With both candidates facing a challenge in getting out their party vote, as many in each party are less than enthused over their party’s candidate, it will come down to which candidate gets their supporters to the polls and possibly gets sufficient disgusted members of their opponent’s party to the polls to vote for the opposing party. There is one more item which will have an effect one way or potentially the other; and that is Hillary Clinton’s health. So, what are the signs?


First Debate with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

First Debate with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump


Well, Hillary Clinton completely collapsed at a 911 memorial ceremony. The claims that she had been suffering from pneumonia leaves other suspicions. Her smiling and almost chatty disposition and apparent robotic-like movements have left rumors that Hillary had been filled with questionable medications or stimulants to allow her to make it through the ninety-minute debate last Monday. That smile which gave the appearance of the smile worn by The Joker in the Batman movies simply fed suspicions as to what ailment of afflictions Hillary Clinton suffers. Those who continue to believe that Hillary Clinton is the next best thing to the coming of a Messiah, she has no problems and her recovery from pneumonia was nothing less than more proof of her monumental and near godlike recuperative powers. The collapse, coughing and lack of appearances including refusing media access in any unscripted scenario such as answering questions after any appearance simply added fuel to the rumors of the problems causing Hillary to avoid public appearances. Hillary has even held to a sparse number of campaign appearances presumably because she was in debate preparations, apparently for well over a month. Who knew Donald Trump might pose such a challenge for the presumably overly qualified and superior candidate Hillary who is immeasurably more qualified by any comparison reported by the mainstream media. Apparently preparation was that thorough and lengthy and who are we mortals to question Hillary Clinton, the inevitable one.


Here is why Donald Trump supporters had best pray that Hillary remains healthy because Donald Trump is not prepared to face any other Democrat candidate. Should Hillary Clinton fall so ill as to withdraw from the campaign and resign as the Democrat candidate then the Democrats could choose virtually anyone to take her place. This would mean that Donald Trump would need to destroy this new handpicked candidate in the remaining two debates or face a humiliating loss. Imagine the excitement that would be resultant from Hillary Clinton leaving the ticket and Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden be placed as her replacement. Each would bring a decisive alteration and the Hillary supporters would likely be beseeched by Bill Clinton to support the new candidate as this would be the best tribute they could provide and this would please Hillary and Bill Clinton and who could resist such a supplication. Additionally, there would be the additional supporters which would start coming out of the woodwork and the Democrats would soon have their entire party excited to support their candidate and Donald Trump would be facing an invigorated Democrat Party while the Republican Party would remain in its current dismal state with entire wings of the party contemptuous of their Party’s candidate. Remove Hillary and place any normal candidate with anything even approaching normal negatives and baggage, even if false identifying as a Native American or not being an actual Democrat but instead a dedicated card carrying socialist independent, would not work to the detriment that Hillary Clinton provides for the candidacy of Donald Trump to allow the necessary hope for him to win the Presidency. No, the only Democrat candidate which would allow any hope for Donald Trump to win the Presidential elections would be a Hillary Clinton and none other so her health is of paramount importance to the Trump Camp if he is to have any hope of being elected President. So, Trump supporters would be advised to add Queen Hillary having good health to their nightly prayers or whatever supplications of which they partake if they hope for Donald to have any hope of a chance to win come November 8, Election Day.


Beyond the Cusp 


August 26, 2016

The Potentially Unavoidable Apocalypse


There is a coming apocalyptic war which will spill throughout Europe into the Middle East and may result at some point to one side using nuclear weapons should that option become available and there is no reason to believe it would not as making a nuclear weapon in modern times is just a few steps higher than making a weapon with normal high explosives. Thermonuclear weapons might require a small cadre of dedicated physicists but a nuclear device such as the ones used against Japan are within the ability of many intelligent high school graduates as their construction is available on the internet for any enterprising individual to research. The difficulty, if there is one, is gathering the fissile materials; from there it is a simple matter of machining and choosing your designs. This is a horrible truth to place over the heads of millions of innocents who will pay dearly when the coming war enters its main and determinative battle phase. Imagine the war in Syria and spread it over the better part of three continents and potentially throughout the entirety of the globe with few exceptions. Add in a final set of battles using nuclear weapons, initially the fifteen to twenty-five kilotons and soon after breaking into megatons and thermonuclear weapons such as the type held by major nuclear powers and available to any nations willing to put the necessary effort into their production and there easily could be some non-State factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood or neo-Nazi supremacists who have sufficient resources, talent and safe areas of operations that they also could produce such weapons once they gain access to the necessary materials. Before such a calamity reaches the doorsteps of our lives we need to ask where this war could begin.


The sparking point could be simply anywhere in Europe and it will not begin with any nation as much as a civil war started by the populations themselves. The triggering point would be a massive multi-city coordinated terrorist event where the people in the stricken localities start a war with the claimed intent of vindicating those murdered in the terror attack. Such an event could start the spiral into a more general war with many people caught in the crossfire similarly to what happened in Syria except this would have spread across Europe city by city until it involved national armies breaking from their officers and stepping in to assist the people, or at least that was their intention. Once tanks start to roll on the streets the civil unrest would enter a completely different phase which would snowball until it became another war starting in Europe but this will range far outside of Europe. Many of the terror enterprises are loosely interwoven and could respond to the escalation taking over the military hardware and troops of sympathetic or easily toppled rulers in order to gain the use of military weapons. This could soon spread in such a manner as to include many European state actors pulled into a conflict which would be quickly getting completely beyond the control of normal safeguards as both societies begin to call for the saving of their way of life, their freedoms and the customs and other particulars they hold dear and are comfortably familiar with. Once it becomes nation against nation it will then call upon like-minded or treaty bound allies into the fray and from there it does not stop easily. People discount such events leading to such a conflagration but as they have not studied history they are not aware on what simple actions have dragged humanity into costly and often destabilizing conflicts. Take the second most costly war in history, World War I. This war began with the assassination of a royal family head, the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo by Achille Beltrame as the Archduke and his wife were shot while riding in their car after taking a wrong turn. The real attempt to assassinate Archduke Francis Ferdinand had been set along his scheduled route but a sympathizer saw him passing his location and took advantage of the opportunity believing he was serving his oppressed people and never expecting the horrors of World War I to come as a result of a few bullets into one world leader and his wife. The people called for revenge and soon thereafter it got beyond any local conflict and the entire globe even to include Japan were honoring treaties or simply choosing one side or the other. World War I was more about honoring treaties than revenge for an assassination and that is what is frightening about the world today.


Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg top left: in Car Immediately Before Assassination, Top Right Lying in State bottom picture Pictured with their Children Official Portrait

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
top left: in Car Immediately Before Assassination, Top Right Lying in State
bottom picture Pictured with their Children Official Portrait


Mutual defense treaties which require entire groups of nations to jump into a conflict once a member demands assistance exist and NATO is simply one such treaty. NATO, as an example, could be called to assist any member state who has become embroiled in a conflict which they feel they might require greater assistance. NATO had an interesting set of members of which Turkey is one of the longstanding members due to their strategic control of the Bosphorus Straights which control access from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from there the Atlantic Ocean and the world. These narrow waterways were essential for Russia to deploy her ships and thus the NATO powers bribed and forced Turkey into NATO in case there became a time when the West would desire to blockade the Russian Black Sea fleet from gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea. It really is that simple and Turkey just sent tanks into Syria. The picture of how an intervention can be conducted under the idea, which is obvious when one looks at the bombings in Turkey, which violent attacks originate from the terror groups within Syria who are adversarial to Turkey and their government and President Erdogan in particular. What would be the ramifications should Turkey’s President Erdogan be assassinated or an attempt was made on his life but failed only grievously wounding him but leaving him to survive. By the time he came out of surgery which saved his life the war could have already been started and Turkish jets bombing targets in Syria, specifically the western holdout areas of the Alawites and Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. It is also the base for the Russian fleet in Latakia, Syria. We may remember the near tipping point reached when a single Russian fighter jet was shot from the skies over Turkey, or at least seemingly over Turkey as it was attacking within Syria and these fast aircraft have large turning radii. Now imagine an airstrike which missed the Syria barracks in Latakia and instead struck the Russian docs sinking two Russian warships and killing fifty or a hundred Russian sailors. How long before Putin declares war on Turkey who then calls in their NATO marker and instant World War as Russia too has such agreements with the likes of China, Iran, some Arab League nations and other eastern Asian nations. The Arab League would necessarily side with Russia believing that Turkey would be incapable of standing against such forces and not figuring on Europe and the United States and Anglosphere nations backing Turkey. Doubtful such will happen, but there was a presumed coup in Turkey recently and that could have turned out much different if it had been a serious coup threatening the governance.


One item that bears keeping in mind, wars seldom start where or how we expect them to. They start with a relatively insignificant shot from one rifle or crossbow or a sword placed within some leader of a following religiously, politically, or even a cause. The Arab Spring, or Arab Winter as we had predicted, began with one vegetable hawker committing suicide in protest of unfair taxes and laws and self-immolating and Tunisia exploded followed by Egypt and down the row of dominoes giving us Syria and also Libya thanks to some overactive interventions from far away in Washington D.C. and someone leading from behind and an overanxious Secretary of State seeking another feather for a Presidential run seeing and grasping what appeared to be a golden opportunity for nation building. Somewhere in these plans things unraveled and we have a dysfunctional Libya with warring tribes and terrorist entities. It, like Syria, is an open hotbed and perfect location for a terrorist group such as the Islamic State to manufacture the bombs of their choosing. One has to figure that at some point the Islamic State has come into weapons such as nerve gas or even radiological materials of weapons grade uranium. One can only guess what their true capabilities might include. Once a nuclear device has been manufactured, it would easily be deliverable to anywhere in Europe including Great Britain. It could be built and concealed inside a cement truck and hidden under a load of dried cement resulting from a traffic holdup which allowed the load to set in the truck. Who would chip away at half a ton or more of cement to inspect the vehicle and once inside Turkey it could easily transverse the entirety of Europe taking it to any European capital city or large metropolitan area for a nuclear terror attack. What comes after such an attack? Yep, there is no telling but it would not be good, that much we can count upon.


Riots can spread and become to have a life of their own and who knows where such could lead. Terrorism can spark unrest which could easily get out of hand. Ultra-nationalist right wing parties are gaining strength throughout Europe and these parties preach an active approach to what they term is an invasion, and who knows for sure, they could be right. Can anyone tell me the results of passing a law to expunge a nation of all non-citizens referring to them as a risk and a threat which the country no longer believes they can allow? Should one incident get out of control with some troops opening fire on unarmed civilians which they are gathering for deportation under the auspices of the new citizens’ only laws, what would come next? Once one nation cleans their population of all foreign noncitizens and shipped them over the border to the next location? Where would this lead once the majority of a continent has cleansed themselves of everyone who is not just like their pure racial idea of their country and there are a few million dispossessed people, what happens to what is now an enraged army of people? Currently the Middle East and Northern Africa are roiling points and Europe is not that far from exploding into riots and other uncontrolled violence any one of which could result in some very undesirable turns of events leading to greater areas of violence stopping who knows where assuming they stop at all. The world at present is a powder keg and it would not take much to light the fuse, assuming it has not already been lit.


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


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