Beyond the Cusp

November 24, 2016

If We Lose then Everybody Loses

 

The demonstrations (riots) occurring across the United States largely in the major cities, especially Democrat Party strongholds claiming that Trump is not, can not and never will be their President refuse to abate. Apart from this being a definite example of delusional denial, it is also much ado about nothing as the rules on how the office of President is chosen has been known for well over two-hundred years and all contenders understood the rules going in. It is not like Hillary Clinton has even shown the slightest designs or desires to challenge the results. There has been a number of disgusting results turn from these examples of bad behavior with one of the most egregious was the beating of a fifteen year old Rockville, Maryland High School student by numerous classmates for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. This was far from the only casualty from the protests where stores have been breached with their windows smashed and merchandise stolen. In one case a Starbucks Coffee store was broken into and coffee mugs were stolen and used as projectiles thrown at the police. Numerous other reports have surfaced of Trump supporters or just some refusing to join the protests being pummeled and beaten simply for not agreeing with the mob. For those who agree with these activities I have a simple question, what would your reaction have been if Hillary Clinton had won the Electoral College vote but lost narrowly in the popular vote and Trump supporters took to the streets rioting and beating Hillary supporters? If that would have struck you as indefensible, as I would hope it would, why are the current malcontents then tolerated. If Hillary supporters and all who voted for any of the candidates other than Trump, especially respected members of those groups, would come out and denounce these rioters then perhaps the United States could start working towards healing.

 

Civility is the basis for civilization and what allows disparate groups to coexist despite differing opinions. Elections are presumably the peaceful means for choosing leaders which has presumably been accepted as a replacement for generals or others leading their band of armed insurrectionists and taking the seat of power by force. That is the alternative which these demonstrators, especially those causing damage and beating anyone thought to be from the opposition, and the reason elections were initiated. Changing government by revolution every time a sizeable and well-armed group decided they should lead coming in and murdering the current leaders and destroying much of the capital city and sometimes leading to a major civil war destroying much of the kingdom all just to make a transition in power might be considered paying too high a price when compared to simply voting. Is this the system which is now being proposed by those rioting in the streets? Do any of them really believe they are going to get their way and Hillary Clinton will suddenly become the next President because they are rioting and destroying property? Lastly, what gives with the governors and mayors who are permitting such lawlessness? And lastly, enough with the ridiculous Trump supports the KKK or the Nazis or white supremacists of any stripe. That is no more true than Hillary Clinton being called a Communist or an Anarchist simply because some well-know Communist sympathizers or Anarchists came out supporting her, as I am sure there were at least a few. Just because some malcontent from any extreme on the political spectrum comes out in support does not make the candidate a supporter of the extremists represented by the particular claim of support. We do not control which crazies support a candidate and often cannot fathom even why there might be any reason for such support. Donald Trump has little to no actions in his past which infer in the slightest that he has a bigoted bone in his body. He is not a racist, anti-Semite, homophobe, sexist or even misogynist, though some might try to argue the last due to his action in decades past when male-female relations were quite different than today.

 

Anti Trump Demonstration

Anti-Trump Demonstration

 

Then there is the claim that the Electoral College is unfair as it grants a resident of Wyoming as carrying greater weight than a resident of California or Texas or New York or even Alaska. Oddly enough, that was the whole idea of the Electoral College. When the Constitution was drawn up the founding Fathers realized quite quickly that any candidate for President if they could win New York and Virginia by wide margins could lose nine of the remaining eleven states and still win the election. This, in their thoughtful minds, seemed to give Virginia and New York far too much power and they needed all the states to sign onto the new Constitution. Remember the Federated States of America was the dysfunctional governance where the Federal government was too weak to run the nation and the country was disintegrating. The Constitution was the grand compromise which gave the smaller states significant additional representation in choosing a President simply by adding two Electoral Votes, one for each Senator, to the number of Representatives and thus making it so all the states would be represented in the White House. As the United States grew and Wyoming became the least settled state per square mile, Wyoming receives the greatest benefit of the Electoral College system and California is likely harmed the most followed by Texas, but it all works in the end as Wyoming still has but three Electoral Votes and is seldom the deciding state. We need remember that without the Electoral College system the United States would never have come into being and the Federated States of America would have dissolved into individual states and more resembled Europe economically, militarily and in all too many other ways, Alaska would still be a part of Russia, Hawaii would still be a Spanish colony or an independent nation, Texas would either be its own nation or still part of Mexico after Santa Anna beat the Texas militias. And Wyoming would still be Wyoming all alone and pretty much ignored as nobody would want to take the time or energy to conquer her. Wyoming would be pretty much unchanged as any invading army would need to defeat a number of states before reaching Wyoming and then would stand little chance against the mountain men who know their woodlands and highlands very well and live as they please even now. Lastly, Wyoming has some of the most breathtaking views that can be found anywhere within the United States, and that comes from having lived there.

 

In closing, can we do something which has gotten the United States through tougher and more distressing times than anything a President Trump can cause. The country is nowhere near as divided as many seem to wish to have it appear. You might have heard of this other time when brother took up arms against brother and the nation was divided into the blue and the grey and we fought a Civil War, a real Civil War and not just civil unrest. We realize you believe you are fighting a civil war, but trust that you are not and should you actually become that violent, well, let us just warn that you would not like how that would end. The United States survived President Grant, it survived President James K. Polk who did not even campaign but was elected due to two things, the party he represented had the election in the bag and his opponent ran on the slogan of, “Who the h3ll is James K. Polk?” Perhaps if his opponent, who is just as nameless today as then, had campaigned with his name in a slogan instead of his opposition, perhaps he might have won but instead all anyone knew was both sides were preoccupied with James K. Polk. He ran against Henry Clay who was one of the founding members of the Whig Party. We even survived a President who pretended to have a middle name, well, middle initial because all the great Presidents had a middle name. Thus we had President Harry S (for nothing) Truman sometimes stated by his contemporaries as Harry ask for nothing Truman because persuading Harry Truman was wasted effort as he drew his own course and never deviated from a decision and was the reason for a sign on his desk which faced the door reading, “The Buck Stops Here.” We survived a President who was an avid big game hunter, went hunting with the Czar of Russia and spent as little time in Washington as possible, a man who despite great wealth gathered a group of roughnecks and went to war because it would be jolly fun, yep, President Theodore Roosevelt. The United States has survived virtually every kind of President imaginable, Harvard educated, Yale educated and self-taught, raised in luxury and poverty, military men and pacifists and somehow the United States has developed a life of its own which manages to always return to a central pillar based on equal freedoms being granted to ever wider portions of the nation’s peoples. One example was due to President elect Donald Trump who opened his Palm Beach resort called Mar-a-Lago; he insisted that it be opened to everybody including specifically Jews and Blacks, something never permitted in “exclusive” resorts, clubs and other venues breaking this barrier which held into the 1990s. The outrageous fact here is not that it was Donald Trump who broke the barrier and fought a running battle with the city officials for over a decade because of his inclusive policies but that Palm Beach had such rules in place into the 1990s and was still regarded as an all American resort town, now that is unbelievable and a truth that needs more emphasis. Still, if we all calm down we will survive the coming four years and then we can review whether Donald Trump was more President or clown and if clown, replace him and get on with life. Thank you.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 21, 2016

The Real Reason Behind $15.00 an Hour Minimum Wage

 

There are all the usual reasons behind the proposing of a $15.00 an Hour Minimum Wage and it has little to do with actual minimum wage. One of the standards for an increase in the minimum wage is and has always been the unions. Many unions have salary agreements based on the minimum wage. This means increase the minimum wage, and union salaries automatically get a boost. When union salaries get a boost, then union dues get a boost. If union dues get a boost, the union leaders get more money for their own wages and for political donations. As political donations go higher, then incumbents get support of more PAC monies and this cements their job for life. So, in the end the politicians raise the minimum wages and the donations to the parties and their own campaigns increase thus making it that much more difficult for some upstart young man with the dreams of repairing the system to ever have a chance and the system is comfortably maintained. But even more is at stake this time around.

 

The introduction of ObamaCare forced employers of minimum wage employees to cut their hours to thirty hours so many positions became four six-hour days or three eight-hour days thus producing a twenty-four hour workweek. With these hours it also made it easy to establish seven-day-a-week, twenty-four-hours-a-day coverage by employing four shifts of six-hours/four days a week, and three shifts of eight-hours/three days a week, and presto-chango the twenty-four/seven week scheduling was covered. This actually worked out cleaner and easier to now cover the twenty-four-seven workweek than it had been with the forty hours a week which left weekend scheduling which often had two twelve-hours-a-day weekend staff which led to poor performance as twelve hour shifts have proven to be overly taxing on the individual worker according to many studies. The twenty-four hour workweek solves that problem very tidily. This caused a different problem in that the forty hour a week minimum wage earner now being reduced to twenty-four hours per week part time work placed an undue strain on the finances of anybody attempting to live on a minimum wage salary. The solution, make a twenty-four hour workweek pay close to what the forty hour workweek had paid in salary. The current Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour making a forty hour work week pay $290.00 and if one were reduced to a twenty-four hour workweek one would need a salary of approximately $12.10 per hour and if working a mere twenty hour workweek would require a salary of $14.50 per hour. This makes a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage a slight increase in pay and would actually cover a minimum wage using the twenty-four hour workweek of $9.00 per hour for a forty hour week. (For a list of minimum wages by state see here.)

 

Where this would be a nice explanation, there is even further reasoning behind this and that is the idea which has begun to be floated of a minimum livable salary for everybody. This idea is a guaranteed minimum annual salary paid by month which would be given every citizen of voting age regardless of their work status. This living wage would be based at, you guessed it, the $15.00 an hour minimum wage and be set just a mere $1200.00 per year less than working the forty hour workweek at $15.00 an hour. The worker at this imaginary line would earn an annual salary of $31,200.00 per year and the guaranteed monthly minimum would be $2.500.00 per month or $30,000.00 per year, a mere $1,200.00 less than the standard forty hour per week at $15.00 an hour minimum wage. Thus if you worked one of the twenty-four hour part time workweek at $15.00 an hour your salary would equal $18,720.00 per year thus you would receive a check each month of $940.00 each month bringing your salary up to the guaranteed yearly rate of $30.000.00 a year. Further, when this guaranteed minimum wage would be enacted ObamaCare would already have been amended into a single payer healthcare system exactly like those failing healthcare systems throughout Europe thus there would no longer be any need for the twenty-four hour workweek and employers could resume having forty hour workweek employers unless they found the part time system to their advantage. With the minimum wage at $15.00 an hour and working a forty hour workweek one would be being paid $31,200 per year, a dizzying $1,200 more than the guaranteed minimum salary. For that minuscule difference to make a difference there would need be a earned income credit for people not collecting anything on the guaranteed minimum salary making employment even at minimum wage for full time forty hour workweek more attractive otherwise there would be even more people forgoing working and just taking the guaranteed salary, something which would likely occur no matter what the incentives.

 

Tech Workers of the World Striking

Tech Workers of the World Striking

 

The libertarians and conservatives would likely gasp and potentially come close to having a stroke at this idea and it will be strongly resisted but in time reality would force some system similar in nature to this even if initially at a lesser guaranteed minimum salary. The reason will become evident in the near future as Wendy’s is going to provide stores with an automated cashier and likely when possible automated food delivery as well. We can expect as robotics improve and become less temperamental (known as more dependable in the automation and artificial intelligence community) there will be more and more positions worked by automated employees, otherwise known as robots. In industrial positions, the first to automate, the robotics need not resemble humans in any manner other than wielding tools, even should those tools resemble appendages. In human interaction the initial AI robotic interface with the public or other employees will likely obviously appear robotic even if their actions appear close to natural. Their mode of transportation is more likely to be wheeled for speed and stability but expect bipedal as walking robotics become more stable and safe. Their appearances will also go from R2D2 to C3PO to so human in appearance it may be next to impossible to tell the robotic organisms from the human employees except the robotic employees will not get all of the jokes and will be pranked constantly by those who feel a need to show their greater imaginations. Eventually the robotic organisms will even match or exceed us in these fields as well though they will likely only use such areas of their programs as a defense mechanism and in getting revenge on their human tormentors.

 

The future will present the problem that almost all low skill and even moderate and eventually all but the highest level requiring human traits such as imagination will be filled largely by robotic organisms. Robotic organism lawyers will have sued to have them referred to as organisms even if we lesser humans insist on using the robotic label in order to feed our egos and to make ourselves feel superior in some esoteric manner. There will be no reason why robotic organisms cannot teach school having a human reference person available to assist when a robotic organism has difficulty interacting with biologic lifeform students but such humans will be mostly bored and will probably be able to back-up many scores of robotic organism teachers. Waiters, stockroom workers, sales positions, almost any position will eventually be filled by robotic organisms such that we will eventually reach a point where humans will only need work if they so choose. All of this is dependent on our robotic organisms at the least being amused at our presence or needing us to be consumers for their products. Of course there is always the science horror possibility that they will perceive us as unnecessary and eliminate us. There is one position which will be legally restricted from robotic organisms being employed, politicians. There are already long-haul truck companies starting to look into automated tractor trailers for inter-city long-haul truck routes which is being fought against by the Teamsters Unions. No surprises there. There will be no preventing the use in more and more positions of robotic organisms even if at first it will be a bit of a novelty, it will soon thereafter become a necessity for doing business as the company using robotic organisms will have a large advantage over one using old fashioned human workers. Competition will lead to replacing human organisms with robotic organisms even to the point of their using robotic organisms as the supervisors until they realize that robotic organisms do not require supervisors, just repair technicians which can also be robotic organisms. It’s the future and that is part of the $15.00 an hour minimum wage which will lead to the $2,500.00 a month individual minimum wage. The only thing we would like to request is please do not kill the messengers as was the case in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 29, 2016

Treating Terrorism in a Modern Democratic Governance

 

Terrorism and a Democratic free society pose problems which are not present in any of the totalitarian style governances such as Communism, Monarchies, Fascism or Religious totalitarianism. In these governances the security forces can literally close down almost all activity relegating their populations to carefully orchestrated movements. Work transportation can be set by government, shopping for groceries can be set to limited times and all other such commerce limited extremely or closed for the time period of the emergency. By turning the society into regulated movements with careful choreography then anything not conforming to the plan is immediately obvious and a concentration of forces will quickly return things to the ordered schedule. In such a society the comfort of the people is secondary to security. If a society is prepared to give up all freedoms for the appearance and possibly improved security, then security will be increased, but at what price. In a Democratic form of governance the people’s freedoms come before anything the government desires to do and the people presumably set the level they desire on freedoms and government works around those freedoms.

 

Let’s look at a simply example that any man will understand and women will be amused though they would never admit so. It is Sunday morning and there is a one day sale at the mall and her favorite department store is adding additional savings above those the mall offers on purchases. Of course the Big Game comes on at 2:30 PM in the afternoon and it is approaching 11:00 in the morning and she demands that the two of you go have brunch at the mall and do a “little” shopping. Hopes of seeing the Big Game getting dimmer and dimmer, you do what any husband knows is the less painful thing and ready for the mall as quickly as possible so maybe, just maybe you will catch the last period of the game where you will have to provide your own level of excitement that the rest of the game presumably had generated. In a democracy such a decision would be voted upon and hopefully in the entire community men would all watch the game and the women, or most women, would converge on the mall and all would be happy. The real world is never that smooth and the bumps are always unexpected and raise the ire with government as somebody has to be blamed and they are as good a target as anybody, especially when you are changing the burst tire after hitting a pothole at fifty miles an hour on your way to work. You know the boss will be less than understanding, so the government is all to blame for not repairing the road; and if they are repairing the road, then why during rush hour making you late for work. Face it, government is always wrong, period.

 

So, terrorism, where is it that life sits on this. First thing is we all know that the routine of insanity we go through at the airport with the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) experts makes life miserable and searchs every octogenarian while ignoring any profiling which might prove effective. This is the very TSA which misses detection of 90% of items in tests run by the agency itself. This government employment boondoggle offers somewhere between none and a miniscule amount of professionalism or competence and adds nothing to the safety of flying. We all know that if each airline was responsible for their own security, then we would see automated detection systems installed around the concourses and they would work together to provide such airtight security systems which have proven well over 90% effective in detecting suspicious persons. One of the, if not the, safest airports in the world, Ben Gurion outside Tel Aviv, has some innovative security as described in this article. But then Israel had little choice but to be on the top of security and anti-terror systems, and there lies one of the greatest terror fighting tools Israel had to develop and was likely the most difficult, but establish this system they have.

 

Israel is the one place you see just as many people running towards the explosion or gunfire of a terror attack as are fleeing. The ones heading towards the attack are IDF personnel with weapons (yes, the IDF soldiers trained in use of their weapon in the public sphere carry their weapons with them 24/7 and consider themselves always on duty), police, security personnel, first responders, health care professionals, emergency care personnel, motorcycle first responders (they treat survivors and perform triage and necessary emergency life-saving treatment such as stopping bleeding and immobilizing injured areas etc.), and armed citizens licensed to carry weapons (in Israel to own a weapon you must pass a course or have proven training in public use of weapons as all owners are encouraged during heightened security times to carry their weapon and these were many of the responders who saved lives during the stabbing intifada recently faced in Israel). People you pass every day on the streets and in the halls in Israel may very well be the person who saves your life in the instance of a terror attack and this does not cover others with military and security expertise who are retired or in new professions who also are likely to run towards the attack instead of away. A trained public is the first and best line of defense but takes decades to get trained and functioning as intended.

 

But Israelis have developed systems which work with minimal input or even independently monitoring entire crowds of people looking for particular actions some of which are subconscious but found by researchers to appear on people who should be suspected and potentially watched more closely. Another system asks each individual four simple questions which are as innocuous as anyone could be asked and upon the facial expressions it picks out things which would be mostly unnoticeable to even a professional but are cues to subliminal indicators and uses these to warn of potential criminal or terrorist activity potentials. These systems have been tested in trials and have proven their effectiveness. Within a couple of years such systems will be placed in airports, malls, movie theaters, at public events, sports stadiums and across the length and breadth of many major metropolitan areas monitoring everything people do throughout the monitored areas. These systems may become so sophisticated as to be capable of using even marginally decent camera images or cities might offer purchase subsidies in exchange to hooking their systems up to the city surveillance systems expanding their web even more intrusively. But currently we need to rely on more basic human fallible systems with people watching and taking off our shoes and who knows what else just to fly off to visit the grandkids or whatever. The United States has established a frequent flier and wealthy folks go around for airport security where one goes through a precheck and is given a biometric card such that a finger print or other measure scanned and matching the card electronic record they pass right through shoes still tied and belts in place without the aggravation and indignity of the TSA rigmarole.

 

Currently most terrorist prevention must be carried out in secret and without the public being aware of their successes. We will most definitely hear about every fail as that will be the headlines for days, possibly weeks. When they fail then their following investigations are often very public which puts the government in a tough spot as the public demands to know what they have discovered and what is being done to assure such an attack never again strikes their fair city and government needs to keep much of what they learn and what they plan to do and change in their techniques known only to them if these changes and new lines of information are to remain effective. New procedures and lines of gathering information and other intelligence gathering systems must remain unknown to the terrorists in order for them to remain viable. That is why much of what we are told after a terror attack seems so lame, lame the terrorists already know or can know and it will not make their operations more efficient and capable of being undetected, everything else must remain hidden for the people to be best protected. Such secrecy is technically undemocratic and more autocratic making those involved in such security aspects of life more informed than the average person on the street. For reasons which are less than logical many people get all forms of upset when they know the government is not being fully open with them, especially on a subject as vitally important as terrorists and the dangers they pose. On another side, would the public expect that every physicist working on the latest nuclear warheads as government workers reveal everything about their work in the New York Times? Of course not, that would be foolish and dangerous. Defending against terrorism is exactly the same, it needs to be kept unknown generally if it is to serve to the advantage of the nation and make everybody that much more safe.

 

That understood, there is still much we can know which will not compromise or stop terrorism. We can know that the Islamic State is not the JV and where the average terror fighter in the Islamic State is not Kobe Bryant, their top planners and bomb makers are Kobe Bryant as far as their line of specialties are concerned. That is important for us to realize as is the fact that they want the entire non-Muslim world to either convert to Islam, pay a special tax to them for the privilege of not becoming a Muslim or dead, and by dead we mean as painfully, embarrassingly, and video-shockingly as humanly possible. Anybody who has watched their videos they chose to showcase to the world realized that they are as imaginative as they are sick and mentally disturbed. What else we need to realize is that these people are considered great minds who are making Muhammad’s and Allah’s dreams for the world be realized. Think Inquisition and you begin to realize that the Western World already survived and moved past the concept of a single world religion. Some religious groups in the West moved beyond that earlier than others, but no need to go into that.

 

The other thing one need realize is there is no such thing as religious terrorism. All terrorism is political. Your religion can drive your politics but terrorism is all about who rules over who and that is political. Catholicism, also known as The Church, was as much a political body as it was religious. Think Cardinal Richelieu against King Louis XIII and Queen Anne (of Austria) and the Three Musketeers? The Church in France had their own armies and the King had two armies, one of the Realm with which he would defend France herself and a royal guard, the Musketeers, who protected the crown mostly from British intrigues and the forces of Cardinal Richelieu. There was another French Monarch who was very well appreciated by the Church; his name eventually became Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, King of the Franks and protector of the Church. Those were earlier times when a small kingdom could come close to conquering half the known world; think Ottoman Empire where a small tribe from northeastern Turkey conquered much of the Caliphate and held the lands of Middle East and Northern Africa slowly losing ground before being felled during World War I. One could say that the world changed breaking between before and after World War I. Before World War I where the world had empires and royalty ruled absolutely and post-World War I where the Ottoman Empire and Austrian-Hungarian Empire were split into individual countries and the rule of Kings and Queens in Europe gave way to representative governments and the Middle East and North Africa were ruled as colonies presumably to prepare for eventual representative governments which proved expensive and was untenable leading to simply deserting these nations soon after World War II and soon after dictators rose to rule in the vast majority of these countries and their arbitrary borders were much to blame and are now collapsing.

 

What will rise to replace the dictatorial monarchial governances in the Middle East and North Africa will also have much to do with the potential of terrorism growing worse or lessoning into the future. Democratic governance with a separation of Church, Synagogue, Mosque and State will result in a decrease in terrorism as each elected government will face the threat as well as the West and will thus find their bases being destroyed by the governments of the countries they use as their bases currently. On the other side there is a possibility that something of the ilk of the Islamic State could become resurgent and reinstate the Caliphate on the lands which originally constituted the Ottoman Empire and striving to reestablish the entirety of the original Caliphate which at its largest stretched from Spain and southern France ending at Tours, see Charles the Hammer Martel, all the way through then Persia stopping in northern India, see Taj Mahal. The likelihood of an empire rising across the Middle East and Northern Africa are very low as long as there is an elected and largely secular government in Egypt. I would be more concerned with a Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt than the Islamic State as Egypt has a very modern and powerful military as far as equipment of arms. They have modern fighter-bombers, tanks, rifles, artillery along with support, control and communications systems. Most of their current systems are from the United States with some older USSR equipment and are contracting for modern, state of the art Russian equipment. The Saudi Royal Family also stand in command of a modern military as does Iran who have the advantage that much of their equipment is manufactured in Iran. Then there is Israel, the cork in the bottle as many a military expert has referred to her. The instability in the Middle East and parts of Northern Africa is rife with terrorist entities, some intertwined fighting one another such as Islamic State, al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda), Hezballah (Iran/Syria) and numerous smaller terror entities all embroiled in the remains of Syria and into Iraq and then the tribal groups some aligned with Islamic State, some with al-Qaeda and still others Muslim Brotherhood and some just for themselves in the imbroglio formerly known as Libya, aka the mess that Hillary made.

 

Cardinal Richelieu against King Louis XIII and Queen Anne of Austria

Cardinal Richelieu against King Louis XIII and Queen Anne of Austria

 

The solution to bring much of terrorism to an end is not that simple. One of the people at the forefront of this and with the correct idea is the current, as of this writing, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who has called for a religious reformation of Islam and demanding that a path forward must include the ability for Islam to exist amongst the other religions and under secular governance and end its supremacy complex where it demands it be the sole religion and rule over everything which can be within its domain. Islam currently has no limitations on the extent of its domain and demands at a minimum it rule over the entire earth and that every person be a Muslim, eventually the exact same sect and potentially even learning from the same Imam. Wars in Islamic history have been fought over which leader was the legitimate leader of all Islam and that remains a point of contention to this day. There is the split between Sunni and Shiite which is the largest divide plus there are the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al-Qaeda and who knows how many other lesser sects or teachings all of which claim to hold the only true and pure form of Islam. As we have said here is the remarkable similarity to Highlander as in the end, there can be only one. Some of this is a direct result of the creed of an old Arab Bedouin saying: “I, against my brothers, I and my brothers against my cousins, I and my brothers and my cousins against the world (the stranger).” This mentality refuses anything or anyone different and is incapable of incorporating anything new or different into their lives or their ethics and politics. This is what has led to centuries of warfare as it was once the belief of humankind the world over. The initial expression of treating the stranger as a welcome guest was formalized in the Old Testament as was exemplified by Abraham and the way he would greet strangers by doing everything to be a gracious host. But such has not become the accepted norm around the globe with many cases as far from the norm as possible. Some areas on the globe have even moved further from such an open and accepting model. Much of the world still sees the other as a threat and as something or someone to be conquered or worse, destroyed completely. Until the world reaches a community of inclusiveness, terrorism will exist as a method to intimidate and destroy the other, the more technologically and often sociologically advanced and accepting ethos from what classically would be called the barbarians at the gates, or within the gates, depending on the realities. Many in the West are not seeing the barbarians at their gates and are opening their gates wide to allow them in in the mistaken belief that their great loving and accepting nature will win them over. History teaches us otherwise. We once before lost the technologically most advanced culture to the barbarians even if Rome had devolved spiritually and socially. The question is will we repeat that history again. The last time it brought on a darker age for much of the globe and allowed another culture to spread across much of the known world stopped only at some of the least expected of areas. Will we watch the world take a huge step backwards? More than likely as there is an entire liberal elite who thinking they know all better than anybody else are rushing headlong to disaster just to prove they were right, what if they are wrong?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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