Beyond the Cusp

February 20, 2018

If Only the Media Showed Self-Control

 

There has been proof that these mass shootings cause more mass shootings. They are almost contagious as if it were a virus spreading throughout the population, particularly the youth. Another item we know is that there is the notoriety aspect. Perpetrate a mass shooting and instantly your name is shot around the entirety of the media, you are on every televisions screen and your name is in every newspaper and magazine. Sure, you might spend the next twenty-years or possibly less in prison, but you are now famous. That is the one side which the world can control. Where is my evidence of this? Well, how about what the Oregon shooter who we will not name wrote, “A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. … Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.” Then the Fort Hood shooter noted and posted on Facebook, from the same article, “These bastards have perfected their way of attacking by studying previous massacres to gain publicity and their minute of fame as a villain.” In the article, Mona Charen referred to a website which supports the same idea we will explore, it is called No Notoriety and puts forth the simple concept that if the media would leave these names out of their reports and the cases were tried with no media allowed and a closed courtroom, then the big name aspect would be gone, no notoriety, no motive, no fame thus one large reason taken away.

 

That would be one great way to take a bite out of these shootings. Will it end these mass shootings? Unfortunately, this only addresses one aspect and there are so many other reasons starting and not ending with but including mental illness, pure hatred, depression, drug abuse and all the other reasons which drives these shooters. Still, if these shooters are denied any notoriety, then we will likely and fortunately have less of these events. Removing one driving motivation is and always will be on the plus side of the equation. Whatever society can do to take away one reason driving the school and other mass shootings is to the benefit of society. The problem is the media would claim that it is the right of the people to be given news, all the news and any attempt to limit or silence the media from reporting every iota of any and every news story would be the start of the slippery slope to censorship of the news and an end to the First Amendment protections. Of course, this is the same media which shows absolutely no reservations to restrictions of the Second Amendment in order to presumably to bring an end to the same mass shootings. So, apparently, according to the media, it is just wonderful and cool to erase the entirety of the Second Amendment but the First Amendment is sacrosanct. Perhaps they are unaware that the entireties of the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments, are all protected by the Second Amendment. Further, nobody is trying to silence the media; there is simply a request for self-control when reporting on mass shootings. The other way of preventing the media from reporting these names, the authorities need to control their release to the media of these names and the trials should be kept under gag orders silencing the opportunity for the names to be made public. What would be the last resort would be for judges to intervene and impose a gag order silencing the media and everybody else from reporting the names even if they managed to become known. The problem with this idea is the foreign media would have a field day reporting the names and would work overtime to get the names of every shooter just to scoop the American media. Once the European media would release the names, there would be no way of continuing to prevent reporting of the names in the United States as they would just be quoting the foreign media claiming according to foreign reports, the shooter was identified as John Doe.

 

Various Firearms

Various Firearms

 

But there is another solution to the school shootings which the left will scream bloody murder rather than listen to reason. The NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has repeatedly stated, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Israel had a mass school shooting back in 1974 when terrorists attacked a school in Maalot. Israel took the novel approach and armed teachers, in particular, IDF reservists from the infantry teachers who were trained in firearms. They also offered those teachers who desired training the necessary classes and proficiencies before arming them as well. As reported in Arutz Sheva in an article titled, “Israel proves the NRA’s arguments,” they tell all about this and other means Israel has faced violence and defeated it through armed civilians including bring the Stabbing Intifada to an end by simply requesting that all Israelis with legal right to carry weapons, do so and protect the peace. Israel took the opposite route to eliminate violence perpetrated against its schools and as a threat on her streets, she decided to give the innocent protection by arming citizens who had military training or those who had received training in firearms and they became the arm of keeping order which could be places where the military or police were not. This added the fact that now a terrorist or other perpetrator could not tell simply by looking around for police or military personnel and seeing a clear coast know that they would be the only armed individual and thus in control as any civilian might be equally armed and there may even be multiple people armed to respond in preventing a terror attack or other crimes, particularly shootings and with armed teachers, especially in the Israeli schools. Terrorists have reported to police that they more often will attack Haredi Jews because of there being less of a chance for them to be carrying weapons. That is an example of how effective arming the populace can be and should be a warning to the Haredi that they might want to change the equation which makes them a greater target for crimes and terror attacks.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 19, 2018

The Destruction of Civility

 

Some cynics I know whose idea of civility is simply saying, “Who cares,” claim that civility is overrated and not really required in the world today. Our thought when hearing this is that we have a question we silently pass over in our minds of whether civilization is necessary in these people’s world or is that too overrated and not really required in the world today. We believe that civility is a prerequisite for civilization for without the cooperation and polite exchange of ideas, civilization ends up in tatters and will not function. The United States and much of the world are heading for a collapse of their common civilization which in the end will be traced by those who come along to study the failings of Western Civilization will conclude that first there was a breakdown in civility which was instrumental in the downfall of the civilization. There will likely be many theories on what drove the people to such a point that they no longer could find any common ground and to totally dismiss one another leading to total societal dysfunction and dissolution breaking the civilization down. The common theme will likely include the breakdown in communication where the various divisions in the society would refuse to accept any contrary view demanding that only they have the right path and because they know they are correct, they never need to tolerate the idiots on the other side or who hold contrary opinions.

 

In the United States, the lack of civility is so obvious that it has caused people to actually unfriend people on Facebook and other social networks banning receiving any posts from these former online friends. Europe has suffered from varying degrees of political poisoned discourse where political differences would lead to uncivil behavior between groups. What is even more worth noting is that some of this behavior can occur between groups whose politics appear to be of the same ilk, either left or right, nationalist or universalist, libertarian or authoritarianism or other definitions of political thought where two parties fall into the same general definition yet go after one another as if they were opposing adversaries having disagreements over near everything, not over slight differences. The levels of incivility in politics has reached levels not seen since probably the 1860’s and the slavery abolition movement. According to Wikipedia, covering political incivility, “Eight out of 10 Americans believe that the lack of civil discourse in the political system is a serious problem. Eighty-two percent of American respondents to a 2011 survey felt that political advertisements were too “nasty” and 72 percent believed that political commercials that attacked the opponent were “inappropriate”.” The levels and amount of political and public incivility have become even more overblown and in some ways appear to be cracking the very fabric of the society. When marriages have broken up over the spouses having voted for opposing candidates in the last Presidential elections, business partners have dissolved their businesses in order to go their separate ways after their disagreements in the last election, and family members have declared other members of their families dead to them over their votes in the last election are all signs of excessive dysfunction and an excessively high level of incivility to points where it could easily become harmful to the society itself. Such fracturing in a society has to be something very dangerous and destructive which could lead to a societal breakdown or a breakdown of the political system.

 

Either societal or political fractures are of such destructive capabilities that either can lead to the destruction of any nation no matter its size or presumed sophistication. The United States is one nation to have survived the ultimate fracturing of their nation which resulted in their Civil War. The recovery from that division and war took a great deal of effort and time but was facilitated by an eventual forgiveness between the two sides and the coming industrial revolution which massively altered the face of the society and the need for slaves to work on the plantation farms. They were replaced by tractors and harvesting machinery which replaced manpower. America had entered the age of machines and she never looked back. Now their society is facing new threats where the two sides in the political front have drifted so far apart that there appears to be no common ground. Politics is dependent upon there existing neutral ground where the two opposing parties can meet when designing and passing legislation and keeping the government functioning. When the two separate sides, be they a ruling coalition and the opposition as in much of Europe or the two main parties as in the United States, there need be some area where the opposing sides can meet finding common ground for the common good of the nation. But when the two sides feel that they must oppose everything from the other side no matter what because their voters refuse to admit there can be any agreements, then the attitude is poisonous enough to cause a complete breakdown of function by the government. All which would be required to bring such a government into collapse or bring a coalition to calling for a new set of election is for a few members of the majority to fall out of line and join the opposing side ending any majority.

 

Civility

Civility

 

This is partially what President Trump has been facing with the ‘Never Trump’ Republicans throwing the Senate completely beyond any ability to accomplish anything meaningful. When one political party is voting as a block against every effort and a sector of the majority party have decided to support the minority party, such a situation easily would lead to what appears to be a virtual coup. But the problems in Washington D.C. are a small part of the problem which could be resolved by the midterm elections, especially if President Trump can gain support in the Senate against historic records. But the political split which is so severe in the United States is also echoed in the public. The split in the United States is easily defined, the people on the coasts and living in the major cities and the more rural citizens and those in smaller cities and towns. The split also is between those who are religious attending church or synagogue and those who are secularists. This might be another reason why the two sides are so far apart and cannot find anything in common. One can only guess whether the split will heal or if one side of the political split will become preeminent and eclipse the other side. We anticipate that the arguments currently invigorating the United States may subside once one side prevails. The one thing we can likely guarantee is this conflict will continue throughout the entire Presidency of Donald Trump and possibly beyond should President Trump be reelected and Vice President Pence follow him into office. We can see the eventuality of the Republican moving even further to the left while their base moves further to the right which will destroy the party. Once such becomes apparent, then the Democrats will begin to win every election as why vote for the Republican if they represent pretend Democrats when you can elect a real Democrat. Eventually the former and now disgruntled Republicans and the remnants who remain truly conservative establish a new party, the Republicans will merge with the Democrats and a new split will appear, but this may be too late to prevent the United States becoming exactly the same as the European nations which will be the end of the Western World as they will no longer have any military to protect them. Without the United States military, the West will collapse and fall to whoever decides to take them over and that will be the death of democratic governance.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 18, 2018

Coming Wars from Iran

 

Where the coming war actually began is rather difficult to pin down. Was it the recent drone incursion into Israel? Probably not. Was it any of the missiles launched from Yemen at Riyadh? Also unlikely. Was it the Second Lebanon War started by Hezballah to cover actions in Syria both at the behest of Iran? Again, it was probably not. Was it the war Hamas fomented through launching a near uncountable number of rockets daily onto civilian targets covering half of Israel? Once again, this was not it. The start of the war coming from Iran did not begin or even originate in Tehran or anywhere else in Iran, it began just over six-thousand-three-hundred miles away in Washington D.C. The coming wars from Iran plus the current wars from Iran, namely Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen as well as Saudi Arabia, Israel and the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council all started with the foreign policy of President Jimmy Carter who ousted the Shah who was, be it ever so slowly, moving Iran towards a democracy, and implanting the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a religious man and thus incapable of having warlike intentions and obviously a peaceful man, as assessed by President Carter.

 

Even this grievous error in judgment, which placed the Iranian people into a totalitarian regime which has enslaved the people to the religious whims of their Supreme Leaders, originally Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini followed by the current Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. They have imposed a strict Shiite Islamic rule where the vast majority of the wealth is spent on weaponry and the comfort of the leading Ayatollahs and their selected henchmen who are tasked with giving the appearance of a democracy. Iran is a democracy if a democracy is defined as free elections where one may vote for any of the preapproved candidates chosen by the Guardian Council, an appointed and constitutionally mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran. No matter how many political parties pretend to have a say in who is elected to office, the only party that matters is the Grand Council and those candidates they approve. The Iranian Grand Ayatollah and Supreme Leader official name is Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution. This Islamic Revolution refers to their designs to bring Shia Islam to all of the Muslim World replacing Sunni Islam as the predominant variety of Islam. After taking control of the Islamic world they have not completed their revolution as they intend to fulfill the Quranic command to conquer the world spreading Islam to every corner making it the sole religion, and in the case of the Grand Ayatollah, that would have to be Shia Islam. This is the sole aim of the Iranian regimes and is not conditional on the person who is the Supreme Leader as it is conditional part of their being the Supreme Leader.

 

Grand Ayatollahs Ruhollah Khomeini and Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei

Grand Ayatollahs Ruhollah Khomeini and Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei

 

The error in judgment by President Carter was probably survivable as Iranian oil production was waning as infrastructure fell from disrepair and lack of investment as the Iranian leadership was more interested in building their military and supporting terrorism throughout the Middle East and beyond. They all but established Hezballah, support Islamic Jihad and oft times Hamas as well as establishing a base for training and launching attacks on the Americas located in the South American Continent in an area called the Tri-Borders Region located where the three nations of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil border. Iran used this location from which to launch the two deadly raids on Jewish sites in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first attack came on March 17, 1992, on the Israeli Embassy murdering twenty-nine individuals, four Israeli civilians and twenty-five Argentine civilian workers plus one terrorist suicide bomber along with injuring two-hundred-forty-two civilians. Islamic Jihad Organization claimed responsibility for the attack while Hezbollah operative Imad Mugniyah was charged by Argentina with participating in the bombing of the Israeli embassy. Then, a little over two years later, on July 18, 1994, Iranian operatives bombed the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) where eighty-five innocents were murdered with another three-hundred-plus were injured. The attack was suspected to have Hezbollah and Iran involvement as Ansar Allah, a Hezbollah front, claimed responsibility for the bombing. Argentina has attempted to no avail to gain extradition of several Iranian officials they have evidence participated in the planning and execution of these attacks.

 

Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Building Bombing Aftermath

Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina Building Bombing Aftermath

 

Iran is currently behind a number of wars and internal struggles. These include conflicts concerning Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon with additional attacks having been launched against Saudi Arabia, Israel and Afghanistan while also training revolutionaries in Bahrain and finally the issue of “Export of Revolution,” defined in both the Iranian constitution and the founding statute of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as an essential part of the Islamic Republic. This is the concept that the Islamic Revolution of Iran, which was the name given the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, which demands that their eventual aim is the conquest of the entirety of Earth and the spread of Shia Islam to every person residing therein. It is the central concept of the Iranian government and the promise made by the Supreme Leader to “Export the Revolution” which guarantees that Iran will spread their influence. The Iranians are not foolish or lacking in planning as they use proxies and foreign leaders in their Exportation the Revolution to the far reaches as witnessed in Buenos Aires with the attacks on the Israeli Embassy and on the AMIA building. The Iranians are the financiers, military trainers and backers as well as a logistical resource of the largest and most expansive terrorist group on the planet, Hezballah. Most people think of Hezballah and immediately think Lebanon and attacks on Israel but Hezballah also is an active participant in the Syrian and Yemenis civil wars as well as the main force behind the Tri-Border Region and any operations planned and originating from that terror base. Their potential for spreading terrorism to any point on the globe is something that Iran has envisioned for some time, and through Hezballah, they have established this ability and the proof has been that there are a number of terrorist attacks that have been traced potentially to Hezballah but have yet to be proven.

 

Iran has consistently stated their desires to destroy Israel and to gain control over the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. Iran is suspected of having orchestrated the recent broadcasts by Qatar calling for the internationalization of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina taking them from Saudi control placing them under control of a board of the several Islamic nations to include, of course, Iran. Saudi Arabian spokespeople from the government expressed that the Qatari broadcasts were the equivalent to a declaration of war and demanded that such calls cease immediately. Qatari officials declared they never made such a demand and that the government was not responsible for the broadcasts, as they do not control al Jazeera. Of course, nobody in Saudi Arabia believes the Qatari denials and neither does anybody with even the slightest knowledge of Qatar, al Jazeera, Iran and the Middle East. The reality is that Iran is escalating the level of threats on both Saudi Arabia with the broadcasts calling for the internationalizing of Mecca and Medina and with Israel with the launching of an advanced drone into Israeli territory this past week. Iran is behind much of the violence in the Middle East along with those who are taking advantage of the chaos such as Turkey who has begun a war with the Kurdish regions in northern Syria. Iran’s apparent intents currently are to push Saudi Arabia into moving against Qatar over the al Jazeera provocative broadcasts after which it would not surprise us if the Iranian response would be their own assault on Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates from which they could then assist Qatar without the need for an amphibious assault against Saudi Arabian forces who would already be in Qatar.

 

Their other target is Israel who they are hoping they can continue to provoke responses which Iran will use the European Union and United Nations as well as other European nations to proclaim Israel the aggressor. It would not be beyond reason to fear Iran pressing Hamas to initiate another conflict with Israel by once again launching rockets starting with a few smaller rockets per week escalating eventually to closing in on one-hundred missiles and rockets over most of Israel every day. The international media will all but ignore the escalation as once they run one article covering a single launch of even a half dozen launches with limited range, they will see no reason to mention the ever increasing numbers or the increasing range as they will claim it is all more of the same which they had covered. They will claim that it is not news unless something drastic occurs, say an Israeli response. Then the world media will cover the Israeli response making it appear as if Israel is overreacting to a few rockets and only five or six paragraphs into any coverage will the actual number of missiles are being fired into Israel and the fact that as far north as Haifa as well as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and everything inbetween has rockets raining upon them. Once Israel responds and beginning on the second day the new story will be the number of people dead on the two sides and how so few have been killed in Israel, while more are dead in Gaza. We have all seen this fiasco during the last Gaza war and the reasons will be the same this time, Hamas does everything to maximize civilian deaths on their own side while Israel has invested millions to make their population as safe as possible. But why should reality get in the way of demonizing Israel and making it appear that the Jews are evil and unworthy people who are hypocrites in claiming they want peace. The European media and much of their leadership and people take great pleasure in making Israel and Jews appear in as bad a light as possible as it makes them get that feeling of superiority they crave. This is one of the more nefarious forms of anti-Semitism with which we are all too familiar.

 

Iran will continue their provocations through drones, Hamas, Hezballah and possibly even Syrian launched missiles. They will continue to taunt Saudi Arabia hoping to provoke a military response. We will eventually see Iranian offensive attempting to get Jordan involved in a conflict probably using Hezballah or Syria and possibly both. Their intent with Jordan is to gain a greater front against Saudi Arabia by forcing either Syrian conquest of Jordan or Hezballah installing an Iranian puppet government after overthrowing the King possibly using the Palestinian people. Iran has been attempting to gain inroads on the Palestinian Authority (PA) through which they could also gain a path reaching the Arab population in Jordan. Should Iran ever get control of the PA they would probably wait for Mahmoud Abbas to be replaced either through a coup or through waiting for his passing as he is over eighty years old and his health is questionable. This or the ever present possibility of Hamas taking over the PA as they did in Gaza which would also bring the currently PA controlled regions within Iranian influence. Should Iran ever take control of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina one could expect them, in time, requiring that those making the Hajj adopt Shiism hoping to find a more peaceable means of replacing Sunni Islam with Shiite Islam. Do not think that Iran does not have designs further afield as Iran would take aim on Europe through financing terrorist groups using Hezballah and the IRGC to make inroads through offering weapons, training, explosives and financial support. Iran has grand and extreme designs for the future of the world under their oversight and eventual control. With the nuclear breakthrough likely in the near future, if they have not already established themselves clandestinely as a nuclear power, it is only a matter of time before the world witnesses their first attack of nuclear terrorism. We can only hope it will not take such a horrific wake-up call before the world realizes the potential violence under design by Iran for our futures.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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