Beyond the Cusp

July 1, 2015

When Our Traditions All Fall and Fail Us

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Shared traditions and agreement on common goals are the glue which holds societies together. Without these familiar items as the glue there is no need to fear threats from without as the society eventually will tear itself apart from the inside. You want a current example of such a society all one need do is look to the Middle East and pick a nation which is crumbling and intertwined in a destructive civil conflict and you have your example. Syria is all too obvious as Bashir al-Assad had a view of his Alawite minority should be defended by the Druze militias acting as his personal army and all the aid he needed from Iran in arms and even soldiers as things began to go wrong. Bashir al-Assad’s father held the nation together with the glue of fear of his wrath while the son is nowhere near the fearsome leader imbuing strength and competence like his father and before one knew it he was challenged and failed. When an iron fist and the fear of it visiting your little corner of the world is all your nation has holding it together, then you better be ready to use it and use it without mercy or else you are doomed. Such nations are destined to fail from the outset as sooner or later one falls victim to the el-Duce syndrome where the people revolt against your leadership as soon as your power comes into question even if it was your alliance with one megalomaniac that collapses and the next thing you know you are strung up in the town square for a week or so. When the Soviet Union began its surprisingly rapid crumbling from the inside, a friend asked if this was real and if it was, what would be the sign to look for that would signal it was irreversible. As for if it was real, let us say I was as in shock as the next person. As for the sign signaling this truly was the end, that was the easy part so that is what I tackled using that to hedge my answer on belief. I simply told him that I would believe this was the end when Nicolae Ceaușescu fell in Rumania, and sure enough he was the last of the leaders to fall and he fell almost as hard as the European Axis leaders at the end of World War II. The other modern day examples of such failures are Saddam Hussein’s Iraq where the three main societies within have each gone their own way whether by choice, the Kurds in the north, by default, the Shia who hold the power of the governance now, and those who lost outright, the Sunni who are now caught between two enslavers, the Shia government of Iraq and the murderous hordes that are ISIS and they have nowhere to turn as neither the Kurds nor the Shia have any love left for them as they were seen as the cruel oppressors who benefitted from Saddam Hussein’s rule and are now collecting the payment for his sins. Libya is the final example where without a strong leader or the perception of such the entire society reverted back to tribal divisions and will remain each tribe to themselves against the other tribes forming and breaking alliances as it fits them without any possibility of reinstituting a central government which has reach more than twelve blocks in any direction from central Tripoli. There are even those who blame the collapse of the Roman Empire on their failure to incorporate Roman culture, rules and societal structures on those they had conquered at the fringes of their empire which eventually led to the downfall which is a concept with a share of its validity.

 

If such failure of the Roman Empire came from the fraying at its edges of the application of a singular set of societal norms, then we are today witnessing the death throes of the United States as their common heritage and societal norms are currently under assault in the courts where laws are being fortified in defiance of the traditional culture ripping things apart in such a manner as to make the separate, even disparate, parts of the society unglued from each other which may lead to the collapse of that society. The latest and possibly second most destructive tear just was handed down by the Supreme Court with their universal acceptance of same-sex marriage as the law of the land. The real culprit which will eventually topple the United States and potentially all of Western society is multiculturalism which stands that one must honor all others and their customs and no universal set of shared standards can be allowed to stand unassailable by the many and varied lesser cultures within the society. There was a time not that long ago where gun ownership was near universal in the United States and now in most of the major cities gun ownership is not only shunned but illegal which has led to rampant crime as now the criminals do not need a firearm to make them equal to any victim they choose as all they need is two other fellow miscreants to forcibly take anybody’s money by force of numbers, though there are those who prefer not sharing who simply use a weapon, not even necessarily a gun. Then there are those cultures which are forced into remission and made to hide their identity or to regress into enclaves where their numbers provide protection. The day is coming and coming rapidly to the United States shores and is awash over Europe which is pushing the Jews out of society despite the Jews having mostly adopted what was sold to them as the societal norms. The Jews have been consistently seen to be on the leading edge of every trend which came along and was considered enlightened. They were among those marching for civil rights for blacks in the fifties and sixties and have remained supporters of equality of the races through to the current times. They have been at the forefront of the march for gay acceptance and even same-sex marriage. Now that the Jews are the ones being shunned from the college campuses, and trust that which enthralls the masses in the colleges today will be the mainstays of the society ten to twenty years hence; there are already signs that there is sufficient an undercurrent in American subcultures which already hold anti-Semitic feelings which are now slowly emerging from what many would claim were the same centers from which Jew hatreds grew in Europe in the rise of the Nazis. One of the things people seem to forget was the rise of the Nazis had two epicenters and the college campuses were just as important if not more so than the reemergence amongst the rest of the areas blamed for this resurgence of Jew hatred as the ideological leaders more often came from the ivory halls of academia which was also one of the first places that the Jews were banned, from either attending or teaching in the universities. How much longer before such purges strike Western nations’ colleges and universities. It already happens on many campuses for a period every year during the heights of Israel Apartheid Week or during pro-Palestinian celebrations which have started to resemble the pogroms of Russia and the Inquisitions and other cleansings in Europe where the Jews were singled out for exclusion from the society often simply by their being expelled with only the possessions they had packed in a suitcase or two readied ahead of the pitchforks and angry mobs wielding them and other times by simply removing them permanently often burning them at the stake and other methods the crown would demand during their frenzied assault on the other, the Jew.

 

When that befalls western culture once again it will have started in the exact same place but with a slightly different target, the unfitness of the unborn. The undertaking has traditionally been referred to as Eugenics Movement. The idea of eugenics reaches back at least as far as Plato who called for the formation of a guardian race of selective breeding of those who were of superior mind and body, the mating of the cream of humanity to produce a master race. Sound familiar? Francis Galton, the half-cousin Charles Darwin, had taken his relative’s work on evolution and the survival of the fittest and applied it to be used within the human populations to breed the perfect human being and for the removal of those who were inferior. He coined the word Eugenics and eventually it became a course of study in the universities leading to a movement started around a core of its most ardent and adamant proponents and the rest is history. What is less well known is that the forefront of the Eugenics movement formed in the United States and its acceptance was so universal that it was from the United States that the most strident proponents of eugenics emerged. Such names at the front in founding the eugenics movement in their day and up to today are the poet Carl Sandburg, the aviator Charles Lindbergh, the mother of Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger, the Perfect Human Society and an interesting proponent in current times, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel who was instrumental in the drafting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Obamacare. People might be shocked to be informed that Planned Parenthood has not always been the equal provider of alternatives for those who either desire preventive methods to avoid pregnancies or alternatives to carrying, their terms to birth of the child, a fetal mass to its conclusive child bearing as it would cause the mother undue mental stresses and interfere directly with their pursuits in life, it originally was used to sterilize those seen as unfit to have children thus forcing a eugenics program which was, as it is today, centered in minority neighborhoods. Providing you desire to seek the reality that is Planned Parenthood all one need to do is to research Margaret Sanger and her relationship with what we would today refer to as black genocide, it is not a pretty picture. There comes now another eugenics styled movement and this time the target will be traditions, the very traditions which were the glue of Western culture and society for the last two millennia.

 

The scissors that cut the pages into confetti will be forged by multiculturalism where no culture is to be preferred because we are blinding ourselves to such observations and the axe which will sever the binding making the job of the scissors even easier will be the axe taken to the Judeo-Christian culture and in particular to cut the binding of that book which professes that there are such things as good and evil, there is such a concept as right and wrong, that a life lived with proper restraints is life to be pursued, the book that once graced nearly every house and every hotel room across the United States and now a book scorned as old, out of fashion and obsolete, but the Bible is that book which we could learn where our new follies will lead, they will lead to the same place they have always led, ruination and the destruction of all that made the Western World strong. Choosing to lose ourselves in a culture of any culture of the moment is the culture we desire to raise up, but we cannot raise up debauchery and the damnation of human life as equal to the pursuit of a good life spent rejoicing in the gift that life provides and not seeking some manner of faith which demands of us surrender or die, such is a choice without a choice. We need return to our former ideals which permit those whose cultures differ to continue such practice in their private times and spaces such as their homes and houses of worship, but also we demanded they accept our cultural rules when in public. The Western culture allowed for certain irregularities such as special religious clothing being worn in public and even providing areas for prayer permitting such did not interfere with the performance of one’s job and was committed off the clock and on the individual’s own time as the whole cannot be forced to pay them for their private time spent praying and not producing things of mutual gain as that is what working at a job is, producing things for mutual gains, a cooperative effort and a central pillar of our traditional society.

 

Schools were a place where we learned about our mutual culture and were able to master those basic tenets which supported the society, and where we learned how to think and not so much exactly what to think though guidelines were imposed and what was out of bounds was ingrained. We even learned to cooperate through sports where we also learned the easy joys of winning and even more importantly how to cope with losing and thus with failure. The best amongst us learned that failure was not the end but rather a stop where we reassessed our priorities and assumptions making changes where we found things in error or lacking altogether and then proceeded on towards our ultimate goal. Further we learned, were we that fortunate, lucky even, that failures come in the thousands and that success comes only to those willing to fail and fail repeatedly and learning from each failure where we diverted from our goals and how to get back on track. Are there ideas whose failure is guaranteed and where one can never fully achieve the goal? Yes. We can never make a machine which is 100% efficient as in all things there is that degree of wasted effort, effort which does not contribute to the completion and realization of the goal. In a machine that goal is the product such as a generator making electricity; we use water, steam, explosive fuels all to drive the generator to make electricity but there are losses to friction and pushing the generator against the resistive magnetic forces induced in the coils which does not directly produce the electricity but which must be overcome. The same is true in life. Sleep is something our bodies must submit to or we will eventually collapse and possibly die. Still, it is sometimes in our dreams that the spark bursts forth solving some vexing problem which assists the project to completion. Such is an exception and even that spark was not the only dream we enjoyed or endured, and there were the periods of sleep which were used as a dedicated means of repairing and preparing the body for the next day. Another item which obviously diverts us from achieving goals but may be necessary in order to reach our goals are the failures along the way. Lessor peoples will allow failures to prevent them from trying and just surrender to their failures. That is not an intricate part of our society until recently when we found ways of rewarding those who become mired in failure.

 

Another casualty in our modern society is the loosening of the moral structure. In the lives of the vast majority of the population, and to a limited extent to all of the population not restricted to an asylum (do we even have asylums any longer to care for the elderly and the comatose?) as we all wear clothing though some wear far less than others; we all eat and sleep as nature insists on these; and we all live and let live because if large segments of the society, and it need not be more than ten to twenty percent of a society, take to being belligerent and resorting to murdering those who they fear or refuse to submit; then the society will fracture and it will soon become a free-for-all with every faction against the rest; see Libya, Syria or Iraq for current examples. What many do not realize is this is rapidly becoming the definition of Western culture. The society of the Western World has become unmoored and without an anchor with which to tie off and provide immovability, permanence and the Western World has rapidly been cranking the centerboard retrieving it from below the boat allowing the winds to blow us as they may while our ability to steer the boat has failed without the centerboard. That centerboard was western Judeo-Christian ethics and the anchor was the ideal of hard work will produce and provide for one and one’s family and charity would take care of the few who for reasons often beyond their control are unable to find a place within our society. We did not used to change our society such that everybody’s quirks or the beliefs of those coming to our shores being used as a cudgel with which to beat and force us to alter our religious and social structures which we have held dear fashioning our societal norms around and have worked just fine for us and is tried and true. Therein lies the current problem, we in the West have doubted our own culture while allowing another culture whose adherents have little doubt that it is superior to all the Western World has ever known and that the Western World must be cowed and beaten into submission, and that is termed our surrendering to Allah. Do not mistake Allah for the same as G0d in our Judeo-Christian society as Hashem does not demand surrender but instead reason, trust and faith. The easiest manner to present a difference is to look at the lineage of belief. In Judeo-Christian ethics the line of faith flows through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob while Islam and Allah follow the lineage of belief through Abraham, Ishmael and Mohammad. Perhaps this is as good a place to stop before I get into deeper troubles and this is way more sufficient amount to chew of for one day. With any luck I’ll get into this stranger side of my reasoning after a decent period of rest. Thank you all for reading this far and may your life be blessed only with those failings which aid you in your journeys and make you a stronger and better you, even if others spend some time confused at what you are trying to say, and boy have I spent time on that bus.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 30, 2012

Is Romney the Cure for Obama Care?

Many conservatives remain in a state of shock and disbelief after the Supreme Court decision upholding the Constitutionality of the Affordable Health Act, aka Obama Care. As these opponents to Obama Care regain their equilibrium, they begin to approach the actions which may be taken in order to revoke Obama Care and return the country to some semblance of sanity. From many directions the cry has begun to take all measures necessary to both prevent the reelection of President Obama and elect Romney to be the next President. Such a call demands we assess whether or not a Romney Presidency would actually be the cure-all which so many are now claiming. The numbers of conservatives who are new advancing Romney as the cure is surprising, especially when you remember where these people stood during the Republican primaries. Many of these same proponents for a Romney win had likely taken a number of stands through the primaries moving from one challenger to the next as each made their initial move to the head of the pack only to fall short. A change of direction and support of proportions this massive that similar transformations are rare in all of political history are not something the average person can fully grasp and recover from with ease or too quickly. So, let’s answer the question as to whether or not having Mitt Romney be elected in November will be the panacea for the United States and the Constitution that many are claiming he will be.

 

The first hint as to what the problem would be under a Romney Presidency was revealed not so much by the press conference he gave announcing his reactions and views concerning the Supreme Court upholding of Obama Care but was more evident from the sign emblazoned on the podium which read, “Repeal and Replace Obamacare.” This slogan drives one to tend to accept the “repeal” part of the sign on Obama Care while one must demand an explanation what is meant in the “replace” part of the message and also why anything needs to be replacing Obama Care once it has been repealed. There have been some prophetic comments made during his campaign since he tied up the Republican nomination in response to queries concerning Obama Care. On a number of occasions Mitt Romney has proudly proclaimed that he believes that parts of Obama Care are exemplary and deserve to be preserved. He has further commented that he would definitely keep the more popular items such as keeping adult children on their parent’s insurance through age twenty-six, outlawing refusal of insurance coverage or increasing rates for people who have preexisting conditions and that these preconditions must be covered as well as other provisions which he will reveal in time. Now, is this the solution you were seeking? Did you want to have Obama Care Lite, aka Romney Care, or did you wish for overturning the entire package? Many staunch conservatives desire the complete overturn of everything included in the thousand-plus pages of the entirety of the Affordable Care Act so as to include a number of other sundry items within the legislation which had nothing to do with healthcare or health insurance. One example was a different set of laws pertaining to various obligations and requirements in owning gold as well as some additions to the tax codes. We must insist on everything that was included in this nefarious piece of legislation be expunged from the books and hopefully history as well.

 

On a further note, even if a Romney Presidency did actually intend to eliminate every iota of the Affordable Health Act, the question remains of could he manage to push the Congress to pass the necessary legislations overturning everything. The most obvious roadblock to refuting Obama Care is the necessity for attaining the sixty votes in order to pass in the Senate. Even deeper we find that very likely some Republicans may not choose to repeal the entirety of the legislation simply for the fear of setting such a precedent. There is always the hope that an equal or greater number of Democrat Representatives and Senators would cross over and assist in the repeal since the majority of their constituents support them doing this. But the truth must be recognized that a President Mitt Romney will most definitively not repeal all of Obama Care because, as he has stated in various speeches, Romney has strong desires to retain many of the stipulations and regulation within Obama Care which he fully intends to keep or reenact should the entire legislation be overturned. That is not removing Obama Care, it is managing or massaging Obama Care. We must recall one item about Mitt Romney’s personality and style, he is not so much an innovator or inventor, he is a manager who adjusts and reorders ideas and procedures to increase efficiencies and maximize affect. This should make anybody nervous regarding his actions towards Obama Care. Fear and trembling is very much in order no matter which candidate is elected President in November as it is a choice of degree, not direction.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2012

Can the Deficit Bomb be Defused?

The shrill, apocalyptic discourse about the debt crisis usually will include terms which make the problem appear insolvable. We hear the same harried discourse about college loan debt, credit card debt, and indebtedness in general. Everything is weighed as being the next possible bubble to burst causing the next calamity. All this frenetic rhetoric adds little to the discussion making finding a path to sanity and a solution even more difficult. The solution is the same for our entire society as it is for the government and each sector where a problem has been identified and validated as real and is not just more fear mongering. The truth of the matter is many of us have faced this problem in our own lives at one time and found our way clear simply by doing what was necessary and acting responsibly. Responsibility is the problem as expecting our elected officials to act responsibly, maturely, and with restraint is like asking a fish to give up water. Our political class has addicted themselves to spending whatever it takes to buy their own reelection. Since many of those in the political class have been doing so little in the way of productive work beyond seeking reelection, they have become incapable of performing anything which passes as productive labor and have become the same nature of drag on our economy as any other addict. So, what are the solutions and how can we put our society and country back onto a healthy path?

The first and possibly most vital step would be to break the cycle of politicians constantly being in reelection mode. What might tend to work would be to put in place a combination of term limits and a way of minimizing the frequency the politician needs to face elections. We could place a limit of three terms on both Senators and Representatives with a slight adjustment to the terms of our members elected to the House of Representatives. Instead of having them face election every two years make the elections slightly less necessary. When a Representative is elected for their first term they serve the customary two year term. If they are reelected to a second term it lasts four years and if they are reelected to the third and final term they serve six years. This way we allow the Representatives who the people most approve of their performance get to serve longer but are still limited to a maximum of twelve years but only need to face election a total of a maximum three times. Senators we simply limit to three terms and the six year terms they currently serve should be just fine. This would at least end the near constant election mode currently imposed on Representatives. But what do we do next?

There is a need to make sure that our Representatives and Senators have some form of productive work, or at least not counter-productive work. Currently the system allows them to just seek reelection and pass legislation which, once passed, move on and never look back. One simple method to achieve this would be to make it such that all legislation contains a sunset clause which would force them to readdress each piece of legislation every ten years after it was passed into law. This would at least take away some of the time currently spent inventing new legislation, often needless legislation. We also need to do away with the ability of our elected officials to add pork and miscellaneous amendments to popular or funding bills which they are sure are going to pass simply to either sneak something through the legislative process that would likely not stand the full inspection if it stood alone or sends monies back to their home district or state to some supporter of particular note who they feel an obligation to reward. This can be accomplished simply by implementing a single subject rule for all legislation which would restrict any amendment to a piece of legislation to those which directly apply to that legislation and not some extraneous subject or unrelated expenditure.

One item that would end much of the problems we face would be for the Supreme Court to redefine the Commerce Clause and severely limit the scope and inclusiveness of the current interpretation. What is beautiful is just such an opportunity is presently being addressed by the Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court Justices reach their decision later this year, presumable sometime this summer, on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care) they have that golden, once in a lifetime opportunity to redefine this ruinous interpretation which has allowed the Federal Government to grow beyond any measure of restraint. Redefining the Commerce Clause to a strict and narrow definition might enable not only restricting any future growth but actually lead to the imposition of Constitutional limits forcing the limiting and narrowing of the Federal Government. In the best of all cases, such a redefinition would actually allow a challenge against those departments which strict constructionists have long held are not Constitutional or are at the least are contrary to the intent of our founding Fathers. We can dream, can’t we?

The next item we need to address is the method we currently use to implement regulations. We need to no longer allow faceless bureaucrats to initiate regulations and put an end to the Congress passing bills which assign the implementation of the law to those in the Administrative branch of the government. We must have our elected officials actually take the time to flesh out the entire span and depth of the implementation of the legislations they pass. We need to have those who are held responsible through the ballot box to write the regulations rather than allow people beyond the reach or influence of the people. The problem with the current system is that the “Secretary” of a department is tasked with implementing the regulations, guidelines, penalties, fees and the rest of the items necessary to flesh out some vague legislation passed by Congress. This allows for endless growth in the numbers and scope of regulation that are implemented from any single piece of legislation. This is made all the worse due to the fact that by expanding the scope, reach and numbers of regulations under any law allows the department to hire more positions for enforcement and implementation thus giving an incentive to the people currently tasked with applying laws to make the regulations as impossible and expansive thus ensuring job security and additional positions thus growth of the department making more room for advancement. We must end giving regulatory responsibility to those who gain directly by additional and impossible over-regulation.

The final item is profligate spending. We have many redundant positions and departments within the various alphabet soup of agencies and departments who perform what is politely referred to as redundant activities. They actually get in each other’s way making both groups less efficient. I would not be surprised if an investigation of the mechanisms of our government would reveal agencies where one side implements or places some function in place and then another agency is tasked to come along behind them and remove or undo whatever was committed by the previous groups actions. Such a cycle could become very efficient at enlarging both groups as they would both be able to put in requests for additional personnel as their challenge would obviously never by minimized. We also need to allow for the people on an actual government jobsite some discretion to allow for leniency in the application of regulations so something which is obviously sufficient to satisfy the intention of some rule but is technically not covered by the exacting parameters. I have an example from my college days when I worked on a HUD house remodeling it to fit HUD regulations. The back porch did not meet code so we had to tear it down and replace the porch. The code demanded certain supports be present and this porch had no supports at all so it had to be rebuilt. A team of six college youth, myself included, worked for close to ten days with pick axes and sledge hammers breaking down this unstable porch which did not meet the HUD regulations. It took quite some time to manually chop down a porch which measure twelve feet square and eight feet tall made out of a solid block of reinforced concrete. It occurred to me that this might have not needed the wooden supports every no more than sixteen inches but the HUD inspector insisted it be rebuilt to code. This is the kind of worthless waste that probably exists in way too many places where the government enforces its arbitrary rules and regulations. Once we pull back on the spending, make our elected officials implement the particulars and regulations thus at least limiting their numbers which has to benefit businesses which would give the economy a boost, and bring the Federal Government under some control limiting its growth rate, then we can begin to whittle away on the deficit and once that is eradicated, we can then begin to pay more than just the interest on the national debt. Imagine an America without any national debt. Now there is a dream worth pursuing.

Beyond the Cusp

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