Beyond the Cusp

May 5, 2016

Ancient Thoughts and the World Today

 

I read an e-mail article which listed what it claimed in its title to be “20 Quotes From Ancient Greek Philosophers That Liberals Still Don’t Understand” and four of these in particular got my brain reeling, drowning in swirling daydreams and thought perhaps it might be fun to share. I found myself gravitating to three philosophers where one was the most gifted student of the other and the other their sole peer. Below are the thoughts in decreasing order of relevance, or at least in ease of application and understanding. This dictates we tackle them in reverse order working from the sublime imperatives from which we then reach the inevitable brutal and undeniable truth.

 

“Republics decline into democracies and democracies

degenerate into despotisms.” – Aristotle

 

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs;

when he first appears he is a protector.” – Plato

 

“A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion,

a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” — Socrates

 

“The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered

by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.” – Plato

 

 

Plato Socrates Aristotle

Plato Socrates Aristotle

 

That places our starting point with Plato and the concept, “The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.” This is true in every government which depends on the opinions of the people discerned through an elective process. Be the system parliamentary, republic, direct democracy or other form where the voting public consists of eligibility of the greater part of the adult electorate and where promises gains votes those promises will come fast and loose. This will inevitably lead to greater and greater promises which will become more and more immediate often inventing problems and difficulties which are designed for easy quick solutions which can be readily enacted and implemented despite there being no reality to both the invented problem and an easy answer. Everything becomes something which requires an immediate solution and this demand continues to grow and now the people soon demand that even the greatest difficulties of the world be solved with the same brilliance, alacrity and without difficulty or complications. The expectations have become unrealistic but then when the people are demanding miracles, those who desire to hold office will make promises which they know cannot be solved with promises which they know will never be solved and only lead to greater problems as the half measures designed as quick actions which are definitive, definitive failures causing more and deeper problems. The demand for immediacy by the public eventually leads to the need for a savior.

 

That brings us to the next quote from Socrates which states, “A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” This is where taking the false promises of charlatans who are the sole makers of empty promises selling them as definitive solutions to the most knotty and complex of problems starts us down a slippery slope. These have the ability to sell a framing of the problem in such a way that their solution appears obvious but nobody seems to think why if the solution which now appears so simple, easy and immediate that it did not appear for the last body of officials. Nobody wants to question whether the defining of the problem has been molded and crafted simply to facilitate the elevation of the individual and not done to reach a viable solution. These charlatans always play emotional weaknesses and know the desires of the people more than they understand the problems but emotionalism plays well, think Donald Trump with one difference, imagine Trump with a solution to the Middle East which is easy, immediate and apparently just hidden from view in such a way that only Trump could see it. Of course Donald Trump has not put forth such a solution and instead has simply sold that things will be great, trust Trump, great. Well, it is so completely different than Yes We Can. Both “Make America Great Again” and “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth” are empty boasts on which all problems can be put aside as the personality is sufficient to repair every problem. These set up a system of morality which is made of empty platitudes that caught the people up in an emotional defining of the world and choosing a leader purely on emotion which eventually leads to disappointment making the situation primed for the next step.

 

We go back to Plato where we read, “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” When the solutions are minimized such that false solutions become the norm, we reach a mire so deep that only a savior is believed to be the only possible solution. A person who is charismatic and has a plan, a plan that sweeps the public up with the promises, causes them to fall head over heels for the man with the plan which will heal their nation and restore it to greatness and return every glory which was once true and real. The savior and restorer of the greatness are seen as one who will revamp the government and streamline the process and accomplish that which formerly was not possible. The protector comes with promises if only you can and will trust what he knows must be executed to bring about the future promised by this protector. The promise is that once they are loosed from the restriction built into government and being freed from the tethers designed to limit and constrain government, but the savior cannot be constrained by such petty inconveniences. The releasing of the tethers and streamlining the methodology leads only one place, tyranny, and tyranny inevitably leads to one thing, despotic ruin.

 

This last revelation finished the slide defined so accurately by Aristotle who stated, “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.” The Republic was seen as the finest form of governance no matter the style, be it direct elections, parliamentary or anything between or alongside where the people hold the power and the government has to respect the people’s power. With time the republic governance reaches a point where their society actually needs minimal government and definitely does not need any interventions, new laws, programs or anything else but the government has to find relevance in order to form promises around which will grant them the support of the people and result in their next election. This leads to demagoguery and populism which tend to bring an end to the slow and deliberate governance and replace it with governance which has a tendency to divide the populace into groups based on positions on issues, some real and some manufactured by the politicians themselves. Such governance works by promising larger groups of citizens benefits which will be paid for by smaller groups treasure, usually unwarranted wealth made by abusing the workers and these political riders of white horses topped with a wide brimmed white Stetson hat riding off into the sunset after collecting the votes of the masses. This results in a government which will end in bloated inefficiency where the promises have far outstripped revenue collection and has built a deficit which only grows along with the government. The collection institutions are inefficient often using half the collected wealth simply to finance their department making it obvious an impediment to balancing the budget as that cost is rarely figured into the formulas promoted by the political charlatans.

 

As noted above the situation reaches some critical point where the population is primed for a savior, the one who can return sanity and prosperous times. This promise keeps growing and as this savior has made some progress they start to complain how the government itself is preventing them from rescuing the society from itself. Slowly but surely they strip down the government taking over one layer after another until they no longer stand for reelection, their continued leadership has been accepted as permanent. Soon the other governing bodies are replaced with sycophants and lackeys making them simply the echoes of the dictator allowing for them to hold ultimate power and makes for efficiency in all operations which saves revenue which further permits the dictator to show success after success.

 

But even an all-powerful dictator runs into problems eventually as they too continue promising more and more until it becomes necessary to find new sources of revenues. This has historically led to wars which eventually make for the end of the rule of dictators as once they start to attack neighbors, the neighbors are likely to form alliances and end the spread and conquest of the dictator and after conquest the people may eventually make their way back to representative governance. The one rule is that the generation which falls and allows the rise of a demigod will not return to free governance with it more often taking many years, even centuries, before the people will be permitted to rule themselves. This is evident today as Europe and the Western world is slowly lurching its way down that well-worn path to ruin while developing nations have shown a sign of seeking to develop representative republic governance, what Aristotle, Plato and Socrates all believed was the most favorable form of governance.

 

Where on this merry-go-round your nation is can be figured simply by measuring the freedom each has as an individual and the size and scope of the governance. In all situations where the people are more powerful than the government and are capable of changing the entirety of their legislature and their leaders with regular elections, that would point to a society with a great deal of freedom and is a republic. With the power shared or favoring the government agencies over the people, then one is likely no longer in a republic but in a mere democracy, a good place from which an engaged population can turn things around. But if the governance is under a single person or small cabal which is unelected and not dependent on the approval of the people and rule as they wish, that is the final stop of a democracy where it dies and will not be reborn during the lifetime of any of its citizens, even any infants born during the year of the final elections, a meaningless election at that.

 

That is both the end of freedom and the start of the path back to liberty, freedom and the rights of man. The unfortunate truth is that the vast majority of humankind has never known freedom or even truly elected governance and probably never will. For this majority of the planet will require great expenditures by the free world to instruct, educate, form and develop the basics, principles and understanding of the mechanisms required. After the entire world finds itself on the merry-go-round where we slide from freedom to despotism and finally revolution and a return to republic and the new optimism which will eventually end in disappointment until humankind learns to control their appetites and refuse to follow demigods who promise perfection and untold riches and joys, delivering none of them and few promises being realized. Perhaps that is our fate or maybe we will eventually learn to control our slide of our own personal weaknesses. Perhaps we will learn and our species finally break free of petty differences, greed and acting in a manner which eventually leads to our subjugation when our greed outpaces our good sense. Perhaps.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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January 10, 2016

Disturbing Dreams Near and Far

 

The nightmares can also come from our subconscious mind and strike while we are walking, gazing out the window, watching what passes for television or simply staring into the far end of the room but not really seeing anything as you’re listening to your mind. For me this often happens when I am sifting through articles and reading one which just did not quite measure up to expectations so you continue seeing the world but hearing a different tune, or set of thoughts. OK, maybe I’m a bit different getting stories weaving between two extremes, in this case the near reality which is going to have serious consequences as the masses try to continue to differentiate between the events in their world from the events in the Middle East.

 

The recent Islamist terrorist shooting in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, where fourteen people were killed and twenty-two people were seriously injured and the terror couple were caught traveling on their way to another location and had the SWAT team not been at a training exercise with all their equipment and vehicles within a few miles from the last reported position and were able to intercept the Islamist couple and end their rampage before they reached their next location and victims. It was discerned the couple had planned to continue their murder rampage until stopped. The very recent execution style assault on a Philadelphia police officer where thirteen bullets were fired at Officer Jesse Hartnett while he was in his patrol car with the self-declared jihadist and suspect, Edward Archer, told homicide investigators he “pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, he follows Allah, and that is the reason he was called upon to do this.” Below is coverage from ABC in the United States with video of the assault and the officer responding and giving chase miraculously despite three bullets in his left arm making it unusable yet Officer Jesse Hartnett managed to shoot and wound the assassin leading to his being captured.

 

 

 

 

I can barely hold my excitement to hear President Obama explain how this has nothing to do with Islam because the man was deranged and though he was responding for the Islamic State which we all know had been contained by President Obama’s coalition and they too are not Islamic as Islam is the religion or piece, oops, did I misspell that, so sorry. The truth is that there have been numerous terror attacks since initial World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993 where a truck loaded with explosives detonated at approximately seventeen minutes past noon and killed six people and injured more than a thousand people causing a reportedly half-billion dollars in damage. It is claimed that the main terrorist players were rounded up and caught though we will never know for certain. The one certainty was that the plotters were all Islamists and they were driven by the same book, the Quran, which is actually two books written in two cities and two opposing viewpoints, the Medina Quran and the Mecca Quran representing the contrasting periods and fortunes in Muhammad’s life. The followers who finally recorded the modern Quran almost two centuries after Muhammad’s death decided that the verses they attributed to Medina were to supercede those written after the original supernatural inspirations Muhammad received in a cave outside Mecca from spiritual visitation of the Archangel Gabriel as the Medina’s verses served their motivations of conquest and spreading Islam and their rule by their swords. The people the FBI claimed were the main forces and minds behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing are pictured below.

 

 

World Trade Center Original 1993 Bombing FBI Top Seven

World Trade Center Original
1993 Bombing FBI Top Seven

 

 

The ringing sounds of Islamic terrorism is something Israelis do not candy-coat, though the level of violence required for even Israeli politicians to actually label an act as terrorism is often beyond belief. Huge stones, cinderblocks, firebombs and mob massing and surrounding a car using tire-irons and bats to break the windows and assault the occupants are not reported or commented on as terrorism unless there is a rising of emotion of the Israeli people or they cause a fatality or something else forces such an attack into the news cycle. Shootings where the shooter does not injure anybody, or worse, are often simply dismissed as harassment, not actual terrorism, and we don’t even have anyone once known as Barry Soetoro for the media to run to for the wisdom of the ages or at least the Maison Blanc. The proof is the stabbing terrorist attacks which hit the news cycles at the end of September and into the third week of October and since have gotten spotty coverage at best but these stabbings have continued at near the same pace and silence even in much of the news in Israel. Arab attacks and murderous intents and actions against Israelis are not newsworthy.

 

On the other hand, especially in Haaretz, the Duma Jewish perpetrated arson terror attack was given constant daily deep coverage and was considered a national disgrace, and it was. But why was that two Jews who acted possibly out of frustrations similar in magnitude and importance to these youths as the Arab’s are constantly excused for their acts because of frustration but Israelis, especially Israeli Jews are supposed to be above such distresses and act more morally and never give in to such distress in their lives and just bear anything and everything and never lash out in violence. Such would be a nice thing if the world were anywhere near perfection but the world is not. If the world was perfect the promises to the Jews and the Zionist Congress that all the lands west of the Jordan River would be sacrosanct reserved throughout time immemorial but that had been made into a mockery. Stabbings daily and that is considered just the price of being a Jew in the Middle East as if the half of the Jewish families in Israel who lost all as they were forced from the Muslim lands where their families had lived through good times and not so wonderful times where being a Jew brought scorn and abuse and times of acceptance or at least passivity and were suddenly facing increasing belligerence and violence forcing them from their homes and businesses leaving all wealth behind. These Jews arrived mostly in Israel and were met over the first decade of Israeli existence by a core of Jews who had been residing in Israel and an equal number of survivors from Europe and the death camps and knowing they too could never go home again and were leaving all behind. The real miracle was that these difficulties never produced any refugee camps or any sob stories to the world on how things which were done to them were so terrible that all they could think to do was sit in an apartment complex and wait to be returned to a place that likely no longer exists and for that they have basically sacrificed three and four generations of their family as they are held behind high fences and barbed wire and some even with guards by their own fellow Arabs.

 

So, Arab refugees from the late 1940’s through the 1950’s and through the 1960’s are to be supported by the world and because their leaders refuse any settlement which does not end the existence of a Jewish Israel. Now Europeans and much of the third world as well as Barry Soetoro, oops, I meant President Obama all insist there must be almost another quarter of Israel sacrificed in the name of peace and equality. This sacrifice would include the most emotionally, religiously and historically precious locations to be surrendered and placed beyond the ability of Jews to easily visit. Just as today it requires a military guarding force provided by the IDF using cover of darkness to visit Joseph’s Tomb despite promises by the Arab authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and their lead liar, I mean negotiator, Saeb Erekat; their promises for these other locations would be equally as false this time as they proved last time. This is the great deal which sacrifices what was promised lands by the League of Nations and presumably by the United Nations but instead of returning lands stolen through act of war started by at the least a half dozen Arab States in 1948-9 to the rightful nation who liberated these lands west of the Jordan River and the world knows all of this but refuse to even permit the Jews their Promised Lands in peace. There is only one Jewish States while there are twenty plus Arab States with Hamastan founded from lands stolen by Egypt and then stolen again by Hamas founding their own little fiefdom and the world wants us to allow another rocket launching failed state all along the high ground overlooking the heart of Israel giving the rocket launchers line of sight to correct their aim. Unlike Hamas who in Gaza are shooting over expanses of desert where the land is less developed, the other state proposed by the worlds arbiters of what is fair to handicap Israel want to place rockets to fire where every rocket would be bound to strike something unless intercepted by Iron Dome which would mean requiring Israel to fire a ten to twenty thousand dollar interceptor at every last fifty dollar rocket. That would be a surefire economic disaster in the making eventually, and not all that eventually, such would bankrupt Israel which somehow appears to be the plan.

 

But the world is about to realize the real danger of terrorism in this world. The levels of terror attacks suffered in Israel will never be visited on the world, and for that we here at BTC are glad as nobody should be forced to suffer the constant terror levels suffered in Israel. Israel has worked to keep the price on both sides to a minimum but this latest Intifada if it continues to escalate as it has shown is likely the price will become very high on both sides. No matter the level the terror rises to in Israel as the other shoe is preparing to drop and, as the Reverand Wright would say, “The chickens are coming home to roost.” The first show has been the sporadic terrorism throughout the developed first world but nothing even remotely comparable to what Israel faces. That will become a closing gap as time passes and the Islamic State and Iran each try to make the biggest splash in Europe and the United States with al-Qaeda and Taliban amongst others also in the mix seeking fame and followers. The world thinks what they will; as soon, when the Islamic State, Hezballah and other injected terror leaders who are amongst the ‘Syrian refugees’ and lone wolves each seek the glory of constant news coverage and their fifteen minutes on the world’s stage, will erupt in a symphony of terror. When Iran decides it’s their turn to take center stage, then the real horrors will begin. Iran has not had Hezballah training terrorists in the Tri-Border Region in South America since the 1970’s and possibly even earlier for nothing. Hezballah has trained terror cells and inserted into the United States and others in Mexico working with the Cartels.

 

 

Tri_Border Region of South America Terror training haven and Iranian proxy state in the Americas and Base of operations for the 17 March 1992 Israeli Embassy Bombing murdering 29 injuring 242 and the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) 18 July 1994bombing murdered 85 injured over 800 and now we must add the murdered Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman to AMIA fatalities

Tri_Border Region of South America Terror training haven and Iranian proxy state in the Americas and Base of operations for the 17 March 1992 Israeli Embassy Bombing murdering 29 injuring 242 and the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) 18 July 1994 bombing murdered 85 injured over 800 and now we must add the murdered Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman to AMIA fatalities

 

 

These plans have been in the works for decades and the level they will unleash will be horrific and will cause an upheaval as the people demand of the government protection even at the price of their freedoms being temporarily curtailed. Those freedoms will never be restored as once gone government will feed on the added powers. Once drinking the intoxicant that is the power of a police state, always will continue the police state. That story has been written and been the last stage before the democracy dies throughout history and in every case the people always claimed the same thing as they would sing these words as they watched all hope slowly dim, “It can’t happen here.”

 

 

 

 

Sing the extra verse with the ending fade out:
Honest, it can’t happen here; can it, well, please tell me, truthful or not, it can’t happen here. If I say it, sing it, shout it out drowning the news and those screaming about doom, then it can’t happen here, can it?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 3, 2013

The Liberty Crushing Mechanism Being Built

Back starting in junior high school my mother tortured me with a habit that ended up as a defining pillar in life, she had me read Section A and the editorial page of the Washington Star newspaper which was at the time the competitor of the Washington Post and the more conservative of the two. To give one an idea for reference, one of the editorial writers I developed a liking for back then was Mary McGrory until the Washington Star went bankrupt and Ms. McGrory began writing for the Washington Post which came with an equally compromising shift in her writing slant. I began to notice all the way back in the late 1960s that it appeared that the two parties were working in a form of tag team good politician bad politician game while both of them worked towards building something nefarious. What I began noticing in my misspent youth was that when the Republican Party was in power the Congress passed legislation which increased the powers of the Administrative branch of government while the Democrat Party when in power concentrated on regulations derived from actual legislation which limited personal activities and restricted freedoms and liberty. What I noted which made everything that much more problematic was that often the new laws and regulations were not being enforced, simply passed and then ignored. It eventually occurred to me that the intent was to set all of these restrictive laws and regulations and the accompanying departments and enforcement personnel were set in place but left unenforced waiting for a later time when all of these regulations and laws would be enforced all within a short period probably during a government induced emergency at the clarion calls of the population demanding order and protection from government.

 

Over the years this trend has held such that when the Republican Party held the Presidency and a plurality if not majority in the houses of Congress, the laws granting powers to the Administrative branch or the differing agencies with intelligence, defense and enforcement were empowered while when the Democrats held power laws and regulations which were passed mostly had to do with redistribution of resources and wealth along with restrictions on personal liberties and freedoms. What drew my attention to what was passing mostly beneath the public radar was the simple fact that most of these new rules and regulations were enacted but were not enforced. They all resided dormant on the books and were seldom returned to the surface and utilized in their initial intentions. I even went out on a limb when writing a paper for my civics class, yes I am old enough to have had a civics class in public school, I wrote an opinion paper where I stated that I predicted that the United States would move inexorably towards a society and economy more aligned with the Soviet Union while the Soviet Union would move inexorably towards a society and economy more aligned with the United States and the two nations would exchange places politically. Needless to point out that before 1970 such a paper was not exactly well received and my grade barely attained above total failure. I would love to have that paper regarded today.

 

My reading over the years and listening to those supposed experts of political subtleties have only reinforced my suspicions that there is some future expectation towards which laws and regulations have been passed, written, put in place and then only noticeable by their complete lack of enforcement waiting for some future situation where such laws and regulations will be required to fully transform American society and the lives of what will then be citizens transformed into subjects. There have been some actions recently and in specific places where progressive policies have been enacted and enforced leading to a glimpse of what may be the future awaiting everyone should the restrictive instituted laws and regulations be completed and finally activated. Probably the best example could be Mayor Bloomberg in New York City and the draconian regulations he has had enacted mostly restricting such items as smoking, large drinks, salt levels and other food and nutrition related restrictions. Between making smoking even outside virtually illegal, outlawing salt, trans-fats, and numerous other supposed food toxins and dangerous substances and also limiting the largest size soda one may purchase, New York has been transformed into a dream society for the strictest food Nazis. Where restricting such habits as smoking and healthy eating will likely be restrictions brought about through government enforced healthcare, there are almost inestimable numbers of restriction throughout all other areas of life and particularly political activities which will come under close to dictatorial and draconian restrictions and overview by government once the entirety of the designed Big Brother mixed with Brave New World limitations and restrictions on personal activities and political pursuits put in place are finally dusted off and enforced taking away from every citizen their previously believed guaranteed rights restricting and limiting the powers, influences and allowable challenges to the complete controlling power of the government which has taken on nearly unlimited power almost instantly simply by applying laws, regulations and other powers enacted but concealed through lack of enforcement for such a long time that nobody will understand where or how such power was instantly assumed by the government. The real problem is that there will be little recourse and those who rise to challenge the new super government will be secreted away from the rest of the public and labeled as conspirators opposed to the state and disloyal. Unless a decent sized fraction of the governed awake to this long term subordination of the populace, the government will eventually rule over us with the same brutal laws enforcing their will as existed before the Magna Carta and the other revolutionary ideas which provided rights to the people. Returning to a system giving the ruling class absolute power has been a secretive aim of government ever since the people rose up mostly since the Eighteenth Century and took control of their lives and over those who governed them. It will be a terrible shame and an awful day when those hard fought for rights die under the boot of oppressive governance.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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