Beyond the Cusp

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

 

Advertisements

October 31, 2017

As the Republican Party Turns

 

Republicans have a unique opportunity if they are willing to take it. This is something which does not come around very often. As a matter of fact, this opportunity is so rare that most people live their entire lifetimes and never get such a present. The Republican Party itself was born out of just such a time as these. It was before the Civil War and the big issue of the day was slavery and whether it was an ethical practice or needed to be ended for humanitarian, social, ethical and moral reasons. The two parties were being torn apart by this very issue though they mostly stood on opposing sides. The complete history of the major parties of the United States throughout its history is chronicled at government and constitution.org and was used as reference for this article. The Democrat-Republican Party between 1825 through 1829 dropped the Republican title and became today’s Democrat Party. The National Republicans in 1832 became the Whig Party. It was not long before the Whig Party had some serious difficulties over the slavery issue and had major subgroups within split to become the Free Soil Party and this brought both parties to difficulty as neither had sufficient unity of followers to defeat the Democrats. In 1854, the remnants of the Whigs and the Free Soil Party rejoined becoming the National Union Party. The National Union Party won the Presidency in 1860 with Abraham Lincoln. Upon Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Jackson was sworn in as President and renamed the party the Republican Party and this was the actual birth of the Republican Party. With each change of name, the leadership of the parties had gone through changes and the citizens who joined had the ability to determine the basic ideology for the party going forward. The Republican Party was born on the slavery issue determined to end slavery while the Democrat Party tried to preserve slavery as the states in the south where the Democrat Party strength resided was dependent upon the slave labor to run their plantations, or at least the moneyed interest who ran the party supported slavery. So, on the initial slavery issue, the Democrats were supportive of the slave owners and the Republicans supported the freeing of the slaves and ending slavery in the United States.

 

Perhaps now we can jump forward a few years to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its passage in the Congress. Common knowledge which is portrayed by the mainstream media and in election material is that they passed on Democrat votes and the Republican Party was in opposition. That is not entirely true and in reality contains shreds of misinformation. So, allow us to portray the actual votes as recorded by Wikipedia. The original House version was passed by a vote of 290 in favor and 130 opposed which is a 69% in support and 31% opposed. There was a filibuster in the Senate requiring a cloture vote in the Senate which succeeded with 71 in favor and 29 opposed needing merely sixty votes to succeed. The Senate then voted on their version with an even more impressive 73 in favor and 27 opposed which was a 73% in favor and 27% opposed. The House then voted on the returned Senate version voting 289 in favor with 126 opposed which yields a 70% to 30% favorable vote. Now for a by party breakdown which is where it gets interesting. The original House version garnered a Democrat Party of 152 in favor with 96 opposed yielding a 61% to 39% favorable margin. The Republican Party also passed the act voting 138 in favor with 34 opposed yielding an 80% to 20% favorable margin. Cloture in the Senate had the Democrat Party vote of 44 in favor and 23 opposed yielding a 66% to 34% favorable vote and the Republican Party vote of 27 in favor and 6 opposed yielding a 82% to 18% favorable vote. The final vote in the Senate on their version was Democrat Party voting 46 in favor and 21 opposed yielding a 69% to 31% favorable vote with the Republican Party voting 27 in favor and 6 opposed yielding an 82% to 18% favorable vote. The House vote on the Senate version was Democrat Party voting 153 in favor to 91 opposed yielding a 63% to 37% favorable vote with the Republican Party voting 136 in favor to 35 opposed yielding 80% to 20% favorable vote. The reality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 vote was that it was an overwhelming passage by both parties. Further investigation is another development. This reveals that the Democrat Party vote passing with respectively 61% and 63% House favorable votes and 66% and 69% Senate favorable votes with the Republican Party 80% and again 80% House favorable votes and 82% and again 82% Senate favorable votes. The reality is that the Republican Party had a higher favorable percentage in every vote compared to the Democrat Party which is slightly different than what is often portrayed. The next year voting on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was as follows. The Senate vote went Democrat Party voted 47 in favor, 16 opposed and 4 did not vote yielding a 75% in favor while the Republican Party voted 30 in favor with 2 opposed yielding a 94% in favor. In the House of Representatives, the Democrat Party voted 221 in favor, 62 opposed and 10 not voting yielding 78% in favor and the Republican Party voted 112 in favor, 23 opposed and 5 not voting yielding 83% in favor. Once again, the bill passed with overwhelming support but once again the Republican Party voted 94% Senate favorable and 83% House favorable while the Democrat voted 75% favorable Senate and 78% House favorable making the Republicans once again voting in higher percentages than the Democrats, the opposite of what the media and common knowledge have evolved to.

 

Republicrats against Democans

Republicrats against Democans

 

Since the Civil War, the Democrats made quite a change and the Republicans remained on the side of equality. It does make one proud that both of the parties are supporting equality these days. Now to the opportunity the Republicans have and the Democrats really could use, the ability to alter the policies of their party remaking it more to their desires. The less fortunate Democrats appear stranded watching their part move leftward to the point of absurdity with a good number signing on to support Senator Sanders Medicare for All plans and desiring that a support abortion on demand as a litmus test for candidates to receive any central party funding. Meanwhile the Republican electorate is facing a wonderfully delicious selection between the Senator McCain branch and the Trump wild party or maybe the Mitt Romney wing as Mitt’s niece Ronna Romney McDaniel serves as the Chair of the Republican National Committee or there is the Bush dynasty who still has Jeb sitting in their bullpen. The thing is that the great choices will come fast as 2018 is approaching and with a number of the squishy left-leaning Republicans announcing their intentions to retire, there are some wide-open seats where fresh blood can be elected. Then there is the Steve Bannon wing of the party which is wide open to anyone who has never held political office and can prove their conservative credentials or at least promise to listen to Mr. Bannon when needing advice and on how to vote, though probably proving to be a true conservative and able to decide for yourself might be a wiser path. What would be a good start in the path to remaking the Republican Party might be to try something not done in a very long time, choose candidates who actually have never held office but make an impression and who the community know and who will stand up for the people and their interests and not the lobbyists or corporate interests. It might also be nice to elect people who will actually do as they campaigned and not talk the talk but find walking the walk just too difficult to actually bother to try. The fact that the Republican candidates campaigned for seven years on repealing Obamacare and voted near countless times to repeal Obamacare while President Obama was there to veto their bills thus protecting them from actually standing for something but apparently were not all that serious as they became incapable of doing it one last time once they had a President who was waiting to sign their repeal of Obamacare. Perhaps that might be their first task after the election and any who fail that test can be replaced in 2020 and then again in 2022 until the people have the Republican Party they desire, or should we say deserve. Some claim they have what they deserve now referring to President Trump, and those who agree that Trump is making an interesting President and actually standing for policies that are truly conservative. That would make a good start. But we will have to see what candidates present themselves in the primary elections. Perhaps some amateurs, real, normal people will step up and risk the trials and tribulations of running for public office and all the examinations, inquiries and other invasions it will take. Be advised that the task is monumental and it is of great assistance to have a reputation at your house of worship and perhaps some community service clubs and other reputable institutions in the community to assist with the efforts and provide a base from which to launch a campaign. Take that as words and suggestions from those of us who have been there.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 10, 2017

Taking Care of Syria Quietly Whether for Good or for Bad

 

One might even say that Israel is addressing all sides of the Syrian debacle. Israel has struck military targets, given treatment to those requiring medical attention, taken in a limited number of Syrian refugees and made sure their efforts were acceptable to the main outside, non-Muslim powers invested in Syria. That is most definitely a comprehensive and sensible Syrian plan. The nation doing what must be done and providing true humanitarian assistance is, most remarkably and surprisingly, Israel. What makes all that Israel has done is that there remains no peace agreement between Israel from the original 1948-9 war brought against Israel at her birth which included Syrian military and attacks across and down the Golan Heights. There is also no peace from the 1967 Six Day War or the 1973 Yom Kippur War or any of the other times Syrian forces tangled with Israel such as the air war and other confrontations in the early 1980’s in the First Lebanon War. Since the two nations are still officially at war and Syrian entities have launched missiles, rockets, mortars and bullets over the border targeting Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) stationed along the Golan Heights, any actual fighting coming from Israel is once again of a defensive nature and simply securing the border and keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of Hezballah as well as heavy weapons systems. But Israel has been crucial on many fronts in this fiasco called the Syrian Imbroglio.

 

The latest Israeli strike against Syria came midweek of the first week of September where Israeli air forces destroyed a military target presumed to be a chemical weapons plant. Syria reported the strike occurred just prior to three in the morning near the western town of Masyaf. The site also contained advanced missiles intended for Hezballah terrorists who are fighting at the behest of Iran supporting Bashir al-Assad. Israel had previously struck convoys carrying similar advanced weapons towards Hezballah bases within Lebanon, a nation now run by the Hezballah terrorists for all practical matters. Syria is claiming that this is a new first for Israel to attack a research facility while also making sure to mention there having been almost one-hundred Israeli sorties flown against Syrian targets. They admitted that the majority have been against convoys carrying resupply of munitions, not agreeing with Israeli claims that these were resupply of Hezballah positions in Lebanon which means they were intended to be launched at Israel. Striking dangerous items in Syria which are arranged and paid for by Iran is not a wholly new thing as there was the bombing of the presumed construction of a North Korean nuclear reactor for the production of fissile material, plutonium, in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria (see before and after images below). The New Yorker magazine gave a complete story from the first suspicions through the entangled mess the United States almost made of the entire threat and the final Israeli striking without informing the United States out of fear of the surprise being blown. One telling following event was when the North Koreans leveled a complaint over the loss of at least ten workers and engineers during the Israelis strike at what was not a nuclear reactor, or was, the North Koreans denied the accusation at first claiming the structure was not a nuclear reactor but failed to give another description. Why such strikes as the nuclear reactor and the more recent strike on the chemical weapons missile production plant are left for Israel to perform and are not taken on by the Europeans or the United States is a question which will never be answered, and possibly seldom if ever asked.

 

Syrian Reactor Chamber and Support Structures at Nuclear Processing Plant for Nuclear Weapons Being Overseen by North Korean Nuclear Scientists Before and After Bombing

Syrian Reactor Chamber and Support Structures
at Nuclear Processing Plant for Nuclear Weapons
Being Overseen by North Korean Nuclear Scientists
Before and After Bombing

 

Returning to the treatment of presumed civilians from the Syrian civil war which has more fighting groups than any civil war with which we are familiar. The solution was to allow each group to choose a secure section along the Israeli-Syrian border to leave their injured, be they fighters or civilians. Israel has then, no questions asked, treated the injured and ill returning them to the same locations where they were deposited for treatment such that the correct group receives their civilians and fighters (they are all presumably civilians as they are not in uniforms and are devoid of weaponry). Israelis have proven their high regard for life with repeated treatment of Gazan and Arab Palestinians even to include relatives of, as well as high-ranking officials, and just ordinary people in need of better medical care than available in their own hospitals. Treating people from the Syrian meat grinder of a war is just more of saving lives, something Israel has provided to many far and wide especially after disasters where Israel is often among the first to have a hospital up and running. But we are supposed to be talking about Syria, so back to the subject.

 

Israel has also had to strike numerous convoys which carried advanced weapons such as MANPADS and other high technology anti-aircraft missiles, larger missiles including some potentially capable of multiple warheads and other advanced weapons which could potentially change the balance of power between Israel and Hezballah. Never mind that Hezballah, thanks to Iran and Syria for funneling rockets and missiles into the terrorists’ hands, possess very likely over one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles of varying lethality and range from small rockets with range of under twenty-five miles to their largest with a range of approaching four-hundred-fifty miles (see image below). These rockets and missiles provided by Iran and transported through Syria endanger every Israeli and also Jordanians and Egyptians should Iran choose to order such a strike as they have transformed Lebanon into an Iranian outpost. Still, Israel willingly treats people who very well may come back to attack and murder Israeli civilians, not just her military personnel. Such generosity is unusual to say the least but Israel honors life while they honor death, as we are so often reminded by Palestinian Authority spokespeople, Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders, Hezballah leadership and countless others from Iran to Morocco, or so it often seems. Perhaps that is why there are so many rockets and weapons in these areas, many aimed at Israel and possibly even more they aim at one another, and so many hospitals and clinics spread throughout Israel and why Israel builds more anti-missile systems and shelters throughout the country. That is definitely why Israel treats those who need medical treatment regardless of their origins or how they came to require treatment.

 

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

Hezballah Rocket & Missile Threat

 

The truth is that often Israel has been known to act in a manner, which is obviously not the way, which would be considered normal anywhere else in the world. Israel goes to great lengths to save lives, even the lives of her enemies and even the people from a nation with which she remains at war with for the last sixty-nine years (Syria). The Israelis, actually the Jews, treasure life to an extent beyond reason. Still, there are limits even to the Israeli love of life and when the choice is directly between the lives of Israelis, all Israelis, are being weighed against the lives of her enemies, then Israel will act in what the rest of the world considered rational behavior should they face such a choice. That is when the world demands that Israel should have acted opposite the very direction they would choose and they demand Israel apologize for defending herself and protecting her own. One can only wonder what would happen if Israel acted as the rest of the world would when facing similar difficulties. Should Israel ever act as if she were a normal nation and toss the concerns for life to the winds of war, then there might be a cleansing, the very cleansing which Israel is accused of committing whenever a single terrorist is killed to end their murdering innocents. Perhaps the insane charges against Israel for even a single death of a terrorist is brought because the expectation of Israel is to be the marvel she can be in every situation regardless of what rationality dictates. Israel has shown magnanimity and generosity in so many ways and beyond any rational expectation that now, it appears that the world expects that to be the norm rather than the exception. Well, it would be nice if that were the reality, would it not? The reality is many in the world use Israeli generosity as the rod with which to beat her attempting to berate her into committing suicide. The world should be warned that pushing the good to a breaking-point is a senseless and dangerous exercise. The situation, largely thanks to the willful blindness of the world, has reached a point where Israel will have little if any choice should her enemies attack once more. The situation has reached a point where delicacy and fighting simply to push the inevitable back another few weeks or months has come to that tipping-point where such has become a suicidal act. The next war pressed by Hamas or Hezballah will quite likely have to be fought as an all-out effort as their arsenals have reached the point where they have a potential to completely decimate Israeli life. This will undoubtedly shock even Israel’s friends and there will be serious deliberations in the United Nations Security Council and somewhat less serious deliberations as the General Assembly has its most heated debate over what terminology is appropriate for this round of their condemnations of Israel. In the end, the United States will need use their veto or the world will treat Israel as a pariah amongst the nations. It will mean nothing in reality as the truth will be known by all even if they refuse to accept such, or so they will act. We need remember that it was the United Nations who derided Zionism as being racism and has never missed an opportunity, real or imagined, to discredit or denounce Israel. It is when some arm of the United Nations lauds Israel that the world should wake from their slumber and applaud the rarity. Perhaps the news about this time will allow them to take an honest look and begin to appreciate the nation who heals their enemies and does so for free.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.