Beyond the Cusp

March 17, 2019

The Divide and the Wall

 

There is no more perfect measuring tape depicting the divide between those who desire government as usual and those tired of the monster in Washington D.C. which has been named the “Deep State” which envisions minions of the state huddled in their offices and cubicles making rules for the rest of the nation without any recourse by the people to select or remove these bureaucrats. This has been an existing threat to the freedoms and liberties of every American for decades. Some ask where did this “Deep State” originate and how did they gain so much power and influence over even everyday life? That is an interesting question which brings to light the bad attitude many lawmakers really have for their constituents. This story starts as a result of gross mismanagement of the economic front combined with the demands of World War II imposed atop the former problem. The first person to go on the record and warn the people of this growing threat was, from an unsuspected person, President Dwight David Eisenhower. President Eisenhower had probably one of the deepest understandings of how the government functioned and how the unchecked growth in the Federal Governmental Powers would eventually lead to an oppressive state where the rules had become so complex and often contradictory that anybody could be arrested for even the most casual and daily activity. Between his serving as the Commander of all Allied Forces in the European Theater, he learned the tact needed to work with the political; and as President, he came to envision the potential that the Federal Government could grow to threaten the people and the nation. He referred to this threat as the “Military Industrial Complex” but he saw deeper as mentioned in his parting speech given as he prepared to leave office and retire from public life, which we have included below. This additional threat he foresaw was for a technological elite who through computing power, money and control over information would hold the power to control much of life and even potentially take dictatorial control enslaving even the governance of the country reducing the people to pawns they moved as they desired. This short speech is well worth watching as President Eisenhower hits the nail on the head explaining the potential problem which has slowly come into focus and we are witnessing today.

 

 

Today, we have as President a non-politician Donald J. Trump, a figure who has proven to be divisive unlike any before him. He managed, as has every Republican from Eisenhower forward, to alienate the Democrat base and their far left set. Trump has also managed to distress the elite Republican guard, also known as the Country Club Republicans who mostly reside in New England but run for office in states such as Texas, Utah or anywhere else they may have a second or third vacation home. Then the far right has become disenchanted with Trump, as he has not turned out to be the hateful White Supremacist they had desired. This is one group which President Trump gladly refuses to give cover as their actions for hating others is repugnant to him. We realize that there are a fair number of people who like to believe that President Trump is aligned with those hate filled people of the far right, but President Trump has nothing for those hate-filled people on the far right any more or less than he feels about hate-filled people on the far left. There have been a few actions by President Trump which have been for the betterment of the American public, though some will deny this with every ounce of their energy. These liberating actions, though, will only prove helpful if the people actually observe, learn and then act upon what they have learned and observed. The biggest item on this list is the revelation of the “Deep State” which is the fulfillment of America ignoring the warnings from President Eisenhower. His warning of a military industrial complex taking control of the governance and using the government to their benefit without concern for the betterment of the people was likely ignored and soon forgotten and the monster grew to the point where it has enveloped much of industry and all of government. Their claim is that when they gain, the people gain, but from what we have witnessed, the people do not gain as much nor as fast thus allowing the elite from the industrial techno-military and dark programs complex to have also engulfed the media and academic worlds into a shadow government. This has been further enhanced by the machinations by the full array of management of numerous bureaucracies, virtual independent or mutually dependent fiefdoms, with their eternal demands for more financing to solve the problem they caused with their previous solutions leading to their never-ending cycles of demands. This has permitted the government to grow to the point where control became difficult and very soon thereafter moved far beyond any point where control was even remotely conceivable. This was greatly aided by the Congress being remiss in performing their Constitutionally defined duties and consecutive White Houses which permitted such delinquency in regard of the Constitution and singing incomplete legislation leading to an ever-growing government bureaucracy.

 

Deep State and the Swamp

 

The problem arose when the issues became more complicated, complex, technical and beyond the ability for the average member of Congress to get their arms around. This led to the forming and passing of legislation which did not set laws but rather set vague and generalized goals with the notation for the actual laws, in the form of regulations which Congress has assigned to have equal weight as a law, to be filled in by certain chosen departments within the government and often ending stating any other departments, as determined to be necessary. This permitted virtually every department within the government to make regulations and then set up the enforcement requirements within the agencies leading to the perpetual growth of the departments which for the bureaucracy which is the swamp President Trump alluded to draining. The unavoidable result of this system are the web of regulations which have already become almost innumerable in scope leading to regulations both requiring on one hand and forbidding on the other hand of acts, reportings, and other requirements such that nobody can comply with the entirety without potentially transgressing another regulation when complying with an original regulation. This is the perfect storm required for the government to be weaponized against the very people it was designed to protect. Anyone who owned a small business or even a Mom & Pop store realizes day in and day out trying to meet the regulations they know or have been advised to follow. When they are fortunate, the government leaves things at that, but should somebody decide to target such operations, they simply seek out some regulations, or some group of regulations, which can be applied to their business forcing them to attempt to keep abreast of these demands which can and likely will become overwhelming and often results in their business falling victim to over-regulation forcing them out of business. Moneyed interests can even twist laws to the point of breaking in order to gain their desired results. Such appeared to be the case in the “Kelo v. City of New London” which involved use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. The Supreme Court decided five to four that the city had the right to force owners of private residences in an area where the city desired to place high-rise condos and a shopping mall had the right under eminent domain to force out the owners of homes, some had been family residences for generations, simply because the new development would provide greater revenue through taxes remitted and thus the development was in the best interest of the people which outweighed the property rights of individuals. Many were very upset with this decision as it put monetary concerns ahead of the individual and their rights. Now, any governing body can decide to take over any neighborhood if the planned replacement will be more profitable for the governing body, individual rights be damned. We hold out hope that in some future this decision will be overturned.

 

This brings us to the Trump Wall along the Mexico-American border. The present fight, some might even say war, between President Trump and Congress over funding the wall reached a new plateau this week with the House of Representatives and the Senate both passing legislation voiding the State of Emergency declared by the President by which he could get the funding despite Congress. As should have been expected, President Trump used his veto and sent the legislation back to the House of Representatives so the Congress could work on procuring an override to the Presidential veto. It is almost a given that the proponents of this legislation will never be able to get the two-thirds vote necessary in both houses. Yes, there were twelve Senate Republicans who voted for this legislation yet it still only passed the Senate by a vote of 59-41, well short of the sixty-seven required for an override. The mere fact that twelve Senators from presumably Trump’s own party would cross over to rebuke him so flagrantly is simply further proof that the President is not supported by the mainstream of either party. President Trump is honestly the President without a party, he just borrowed one for the time being and many of those Republicans who see their control threatened are quite put out, one might even say they are furious. This veto will soon become another Trump derangement where it will advance their precious “Impeachment Clock” one more tic closer to toc. Thusfar, the “Impeachment Clock” has had an operational problem in that it continues to tic but cannot advance, as it is unable to find the required toc to complete the cycle and move ahead. Thus, the “Impeachment Clock” will forever be stuck at just under three minutes to eleven and never count on to high noon and an actual impeachment trial in the Senate.

 

Impeachment Clock

 

The wall along the border will possibly begin in fits and starts but will not be completed even should President Trump be reelected. The only way the wall gets built is if the United States can elect a new President who shares the vision of controlling the border but is at least measurably less contentious. As any Republican elected for the foreseeable future will be treated exactly as President Trump has been treated, the wall would require a Democrat to build it. Any Democrat attempting to build the wall will not see a second term as he will have alienated his entire base as “intersectionality” has a required position in favor of open borders, and as long as the left demands rigid obedience to their chosen mantras which include but are not limited to, open borders, Israel is racist, renewable energy over fossil fuels, free college, free healthcare, Israel committing genocide, Zionism is racism, global warming-climate change will destroy the world and a host of other items approved by the Social Democrat Party. The people behind these far left positions have taken control of the Democrat Party with the old-school Democrats hanging on for dear life hoping not to fall within the sights of these leftists and face a primary challenge. The new left has proven their ability to unseat even long-sitting representatives such as when Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, once seen as a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader of the House, lost to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a primary race. The Democrat Party will be facing an inevitable and inexorable slide to the far left and demands for making the United States into their idea of a socialist utopia. Unfortunately, there has never been a socialist utopia which incorporated a group larger than a community as socialism depends on the ability to shame those who demands more free things without toting their own share of the work required. Pure socialism worked in the Israeli Kibbutzim but Israel herself necessitated moving from a largely socialist governance to a more capitalistic governance where even the healthcare system, which covers everybody with a set minimal level of care, has four companies which offer the basic required plans as demanded by government and each adds their own flavor to that package plus offer higher degrees of care for additional process. Then there is the other story about the ills caused by collectivism in the Plymouth Colony and the “Third Thanksgiving” and how injecting a little ability for self-gain increased their work levels and productivity. We have often held that man is not a perfect being and some amount of greed is to be found in all people. This makes a system based on needs over production will always lead to an ever increasing list of demands over an ever shrinking productivity, which deems socialism to failure whenever people, and not ants or bees, are concerned. Meanwhile, in a more capitalist system those who have needs simply have to work smarter, harder or both in order to gain those needs. Not as obvious, if one can find the means for having others work and produce for them, they will gain even greater rewards. But socialism aside, since only a Republican President will favor building the Mexico Wall, and any Republican will face the level of hatred which President Trump faces, this may doom the wall to failure. Those who desire claiming that President Trump is being treated differently than other Republicans must have missed out on Bush Derangement Syndrome during George W. Bush’s Presidency or have not been born or was not old enough to remember the taunts and insults hurled vindictively at President Ronald Reagan whose movie poster of him with the chimpanzee “Bonzo” claiming that he was second fiddle to a monkey, and they were not referring to the film. The wall is not going to be completed no matter the steps taken by the President and the swamp cannot be drained as it has reached a size beyond the human capacity to take down any faster than it was built, which is now approaching three-quarters of a century if we take President Eisenhower’s warning as the beginning of the problem. We can only hope that the swamp can be contained, then we can work at draining it. Until them, Americans can assist draining the swamp or enlarging the swamp, there is no neutral on this issue.

Beyond the Cusp

 

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June 8, 2013

Do You Love Big Brother Yet?

If you are among those who do not believe that the Federal Government has not achieved the equivalence of the Big Brother qualities from George Orwell’s book “1984”, then you probably disagree with Tea Party conservatives, not that that is necessarily wrong. It is very likely that most Tea Party chapters would probably disinvite me from their membership within a year if I were to join one of their chapters. That aside, the scandals currently demanding front page top of the fold coverage really does resemble themes from 1984 with a small flavoring of Aldous Huxley’s book “Brave New World” included. Exhibit one is the new National Security Agency (NSA) data storage complex that recently held its official ribbon cutting and was proclaimed open for business. Of course for the NSA’s meaning of open for business means that all your information is allowed in but can never leave while you may not get in or even approach the complex. This data storage complex is claimed to be capable of storing every email, instant message, Facebook post, Twitter message, phone call (cell or landline), search engine returns on your searches,  and all other electronic communication everywhere in the world in real time for the next century and beyond. Do you remember in the late 1980s and early 1990s when there were people whispering in hushed tones of the conspiracy that was listening in on everybody’s phone calls and later on monitoring all Internet traffic named Echelon? Well, that turned out to be valid paranoia as Echelon actually did exist but became obsolete before the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century, thus the Echelon replacement that has probably been on line for the past couple of years even if it was just completed. There is no reason that the front end could not have been being fed all of our data while the back two-thirds were being installed. Presumably, this new Echelon on steroids complex is not only capable of monitoring and recording every electronic communication across the globe, it can theoretically even monitor your every keystroke as long as your computer is connected to the Internet including the backspace key, so they will know what you send in a message and what you rethought and deleted.

 

As this is discussed and everybody gets to add their two cents worth and the rumors and suspicions expand to the point that paranoia seems to have taken hold of everybody’s imagination, we still may not be capable of uncovering all the myriad of abilities these monitor gathering systems will actually possess. I remember the early days when the rumors of Echelon were the buzz of the conspiracy minded and it was otherwise being debunked as all in the imagination of a paranoid few. Within the decade we found out that the paranoid few were actually the well informed. So, taking that into consideration, I might tend to give credence to much of the most extraordinary theories that I hear. Why not as it can only serve to give me reason to be as careful as I can in sharing. Of course blogging is not exactly the best way to keep your head down, but at least I will not be owning the newest game systems with the camera and on-line links. Between monitoring computers and phones, using cell phones and anti-jacking car systems as GPS locators to track our movements, anything with a camera or microphone to monitor video and listen to our conversations, drilling our children through psychological testing, smart meters and appliances, networked cameras with face recognition software everywhere in public, along with whatever else their tiny little minds can invent to follow, monitor, categorize, analyze, and eventually predict future actions, why get all worked up as the Government will do what Government will do and there is little we can do to prevent them. I would rather know what they are doing than have them do everything serendipitously. Do I approve or like the idea of being under the proverbial microscope? Not really but then I have adjusted to such as after attaining ballot access for the United States House of Representatives, I have very likely been on a watch list for quite some time. Truth be told, major companies have been collecting as much information as they could in order to predict purchasing habits. I realize that this data mining by the Government is far more nefarious and invasive than most would like and it would serve them best to support candidates who will actually curb and rein in the levels of invasive monitoring without a warrant.

 

The real debate concerns exactly where will the Government go with this high level of data being available? If it were just the Government it would be one thing but it is so much more. All the way back in the good old days of the Presidency of Dwight David Eisenhower (the 1950s) the President made a speech with an ominous warning that we are now finding out was quite prescient. President Eisenhower warned that the people needed to be wary of the “Military Industrial Complex” by which he meant the large companies and the Federal Government as well as State and Local Governments. President Eisenhower foresaw a future where a group of too big to refrain companies teamed with the Government in order to apply undue pressure and influence over the public and affect their lives adversely. President Eisenhower feared a future where the Government in partnership with major corporations would have such an ability to control and influence society with such an iron fist that nobody would be beyond their controlling influence and nothing would be private from the snooping and controlling interests and invasions of this out of control behemoth. The one question we all likely have foremost in our minds is, “When will we know for certain that this has gone too far?” One sign might be the availability of a channel where they have a continuous program depicting an evil entity that has been identified as public enemy number 1 and it is advisable that when things are going poorly in your life you should tune to this special channel and yell at public enemy until you feel relieved. OK, so that might be too odd even for government. Well, how about if you begin to notice at most Starbucks there are middle age and older men and women dressed in heavy clothing regardless of the weather and season sitting there endlessly nursing a mocha java mumbling something, almost a whisper. If you get too curious and stand close to one of these poor souls you can hear them repeating slowly, painfully, endlessly, “I love Big Brother.” When these people begin to appear it is too late to worry, it is even too late to run, just join them now and maybe the government will leave you alone.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 10, 2013

President Obama Inadvertently Identifies Historic Economic Ailment

President Obama continued his assault on Congress threatening that they could be responsible for a murder. The victims of this Congressional threat are, according to President Obama, thousands of jobs and the continued improvement we have supposedly been enjoying in the economy. The method with which Congress will bludgeon the economy and jobs to death is the death by thousands, nay, millions of cuts via sequestration. According to President Obama, if the Congress does not accept his proposal to match any spending cuts with equal measure of tax increases through the removal of loopholes and credits, then uncountable numbers of jobs will be lost or never filled as without government subsidies sectors of the economy will relapse into a recession-like collapse. This is the fate the Congress will force on a hapless country where its people are thirsting for the continued supply of government milk to suckle and care for them supplying them with jobs and seeing to their every need. Well, at least this would be reality if those who believe in big government as the solution for everything were to have their way. What President Obama has managed to do with his threats is to point to one of the most dire situations confronting the United States today. Actually, this has been a growing problem since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and greatly enhanced by Lyndon Baines Johnson and numerous other assists along the way to the present. The pinnacle of this monster which has been built one bad idea after another was the farce that some companies, banks, investment, insurance, and other chosen favorites of those in power being sold as too big to fail and thus deserving of millions upon millions of taxpayer’s money. Since the too big to fail was not an Obama original but was inspired by the original bailout which was committed with the approval and blessings of President George W. Bush.

The problem is that such a large percentage of the economy and way too many of our major companies rely almost entirely on government largess, tax allowances, contracts, and in a surprising number of cases, their entire margin of profit. That is one of the problems which rarely is discussed when the entitlement debate comes under scrutiny. There are always numerous pundits willing to blame it on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps, and any of the other programs which assist individuals. When was the last time the evening news covered the amount of farm aid that goes to ADM, a huge agricultural conglomerate, or timber allotments granted to Weyerhaeuser and Georgia Pacific, or the any of the numerous generous funding of other industries or the customs, tariffs, and other regulations which are used to give advantages to the chosen few? No, the only government funding which is ever challenged are those which go to people, which many will claim are bad enough, and never those given to industrial giants and other large firms who often hold numerous politicians hostage to the funding these firms can put together come campaign time. The story about whose funding pig gets gored when the government decides to take austerity measures to avert fiscal crisis will almost always end with the piggy with the least cash affords the least protection. It is the same game as local, city, county and state governments take when they face times of economic hardship. The first cuts that are threatened are always police, firefighters, libraries, teachers, and the closing of parks and other recreational facilities. They never discuss ending their personal Lear Jet used to fly around the state, the limousines used to take them to dinners and other functions, the helicopter used to make grand entrance at public gatherings, or any of the myriad of perks many of which we regular people would never ever dream exist but are what makes their positions so prized that they make careers out of “public service”. I have always defined their “public service” as the elected potentates allowing the peasants to pay above and beyond the necessary so that they may feel their privileges to which they have become accustom.

Actually, there is a very cozy relationship between big business and big government, something which we were warned would be the end of the American experiment by, of all people, President Dwight David Eisenhower. Yep, Dwight D Eisenhower, the President who gave us such Constitutional projects as the Defense Highway Bill establishing the Interstate Road System for emergencies where it would allow the transport of any and all military transport and fast response by government and which in such times the public would be barred from utilizing, and the Defense College Scholarship Act which gave promising students scholarships in order to assure that we would have sufficient numbers of well-educated youth for use in an ever more advanced weapons and other systems which would be necessary for the competent operation of the military. President Eisenhower claimed to care about the Constitution and sold these programs not as being giveaways to the public for their private betterment or any such nonsense, these were purely programs which would supply necessary and desirable results for the competent and efficient utilization of the United States Military. So, the man who warned us about the, his words, “Military-Industrial Complex” also used the military in order to fund the interstate highway system and give student grants and scholarships because such investments were necessary for an adequate military of the future. Talk about your self-fulfilling prophesies.

The problem with a coupling of big government with big business is that such an arrangement discourages inventiveness, competition, efficiency, and eventually economic growth. If certain companies have an arrangement with government, nothing formal or written, just an understanding between the leadership of both parties and the ownership of the companies, sometimes the two are one and the same as many of our Congressional leaders are heavily invested in the same companies, then it becomes much more difficult if not impossible for a smaller company to come along and compete. As soon as a small company gets a foothold and gives the slightest of hints that they might pose a challenge, a threat to the larger established company, if that company can utilize government to change the playing field making it more difficult on the smaller company, then innovation and other possible benefits of competition are snuffed out. Imagine if the carriage industry of the horse and carriage era had an undue influence on government such that laws could be passed which made it impossible to operate motor vehicles on public roads, we would still be watching carefully where we stepped when crossing the street. Companies such as Ford, Packard, Studebaker, and others would never have been allowed to replace the horse drawn vehicles as government could have enacted laws preventing such progress. This sounds ridiculous but there were such laws implemented in some places. Motor carriages were required to have a man walk ahead of them with a flag by day and a lantern by night warning any people who were riding in their horse drawn carriages that a noisy, smelly, frightening motor vehicle was coming.

So, thank you President Obama for pointing out one of the difficulties plaguing our economy, namely that too much of our economy and too many companies are completely addicted and dependent on government monies which damages the competitiveness and equality of opportunity which damages economic progress. With your plea to the Congress, you have, likely inadvertently, made likely the strongest argument in favor of allowing sequestration to strike government spending thus cutting the effect of government on everything back in size. Perhaps, once we find we can survive just fine with less government across the boards, then we might enact planned sequestrations for the future and continue to make cuts with such abandon until government has been shrunk down to a more manageable size. Who knows, if we allow this to go far enough we might even actually return to Constitutional governance and thus return the real American dream. In case you have lost sight of the real American dream, allow us to remind you. The Founding Fathers had a new and previously unimagined idea which had never before been attempted in the history of mankind. Their revolutionary idea was that man; regular, everyday, run-of-the-mill man was capable of governing themselves. Mankind did not need a King or an oligarchy of his betters to lord over him and direct his life because without their higher wisdom and abilities the common man would be lost and all would fall to pieces in ruination. Instead, the Founding Fathers saw mankind as being fully capable of knowing what was best for him and through self-government they would be able to provide adequate, nay, superior governance than that or any potentate or collection of self-righteous individuals who placed themselves above the common man. Simply put, they did not find the simple man to be that simple. Today we are faced with a megalomaniacal governance that had run afoul of the Constitution and no longer believes in the common man but does believe that the common man must be ruled over by his superiors. We do not need superiors and anyways, you in government are supposed to be working at our pleasure, not the other way around. Read the Declaration of Independence, it is also a founding document if not the founding document. Right there it explains the place of government, to serve at the pleasure of the people having only those powers delegated to it by the people. Perhaps it is time to have a vote of the public and let the people once again decide how much government we need. That is our right and someday soon we just may exercise that right.

Beyond the Cusp

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