Beyond the Cusp

July 23, 2016

If Only Americans Would Remember

 

It is a sad fact that the public schools and too many private schools place little if any importance on teaching history, both American and World Histories. The students do not learn about the start of democracy in Athens, one of the numerous Grecian city states before their unification by Alexander the Great. Plato lived amongst the denizens of the Athenian democracy and he saw the tyranny of the majority which he equated with mob rule and thus placed democracy just above tyranny as the worst forms of governance. The deficiencies he saw in the Athenian democratic government led to probably his greatest work on governance, “The Republic” where he devised representative government which would safeguard the minorities protecting their interests from being trampled by the majority while still empowering the majority to hold their proper place of importance in governing. It was partly this work from Plato written before the birth of Jesus that was part and parcel of the governing bodies the United States was fashioned by. There were other political philosophers who were mostly English and some French and the minds of some of the best educated persons in the United States in their day and even then they initially got the balance slightly skewed towards the states in a excessively loose federation and the Constitution was their second attempt and the solution which was decided though imperfect, as anything fashioned by man will be, they felt it was as close as they could get and the amendment process would provide the needful, and only the needful, adjustments to their work.

 

The impetus for the American Revolution is another point which would be very poignant and prescient for students entering the age for voting as the colonists demanded no taxation without representation and were revolting over a tax on tea of 3%, yes, 3% and only on tea. This would seem crazy with the total tax on the average American household reaching from a low end average of 12% to an upper end average of 35%, both many multiples of a 3% tax on one product, even if it was the one product every household purchased as they were still British. That tea tax was the straw that broke the camel’s back and brought on a revolutionary war and the shot heard round the world. It really was as soon after came the French Revolution and other British colonies protesting their taxes but they did so without leaving the realm, at least not at this period of time. Still, free people in elected governments everywhere owe a great deal of thanks to the British aristocracy as they started the entire idea that people had rights. Of course their claim was barons and land owners had rights which they would wrest from the crown with the drafting and signing by the king, after a hard fought war in which he realized he could not prevail as much of his army belonged to the nobles suing for rights, of the Magna Carta. From that document was derived that a King’s power was not absolute but dependent on the advisories and consents of the principled landowners which with the centuries became citizens in good standing and are resting on a precipice teetering towards the consent of all who can claim to be affected by said governance, as an example is the position of certain universalist leftists that everyone on planet earth (for starters we can only guess) be permitted a vote in elections held in the United States as all are affected by American hegemony from which they believe evil begins and a world influence would perfect the nation and its governance. The truth be told, the barons and landowners of 1215 England were prompted by the Bible, in particular the Old Testament limitations placed on kings should the nation of the Israelites ever decide to be as other nations and choose a monarch which they eventually did. These limitations were first set in Torah, the laws given at Mount Sinai in the book of Deuteronomy 17:14-17 which placed the very first laws limiting the powers and impositions of Kings where it read:

 

14When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,”
15you may indeed set over you a king whom the Lord your God will choose. One of your own community you may set as king over you; you are not permitted to put a foreigner over you, who is not of your own community.
16Even so, he must not acquire many horses for himself, or return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, since the Lord has said to you, “You must never return that way again.”
17And he must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.

 

The Prophets went further throughout the Old Testament adding other limitations and requirements for Kings with probably the most humbling and for providing lessons in humility, not that it always had that effect, each King was required to write his own Torah in his own hand and then read the applicable verses for each day at his morning prayers. Of course enforcing this was somewhat problematic as the Prophets power was in his wisdom and the desire of a King to receive wise council but should a King be all full of themselves then they would brook no advice or limitations and would inevitably stray from Torah and the people would suffer under their rule. Should you read the Magna Carta you will see much of it places moral as well as power limitations and demands of the King in exchange for the support of the barons and landowners who also provided the knights for defense of the realm.

 

What is most interesting in the limitations of the Magna Carta was that it was not very much different than the Brexit vote in Britain and the anti-establishment movements in both of the major parties, Republican and Democrat, in the United States. Donald Trump first is not a true right wing conservative which is often the presumed candidate despite their choices since Ronald Reagan have been centrists with the occasional right wing leanings, while the Democrat race was fixed from the start as the party establishment controls close to 40% of the electors so Hillary only needed to garner ten to twelve percent of the remaining electors to win which left Bernie Sanders out of contention almost from the start needing to garner 100% of the remaining electors going into the initial super primary day of March 1, 2016. Truth was nobody was going to disturb the coronation of Hillary Clinton as this was arranged after the 2008 loss to Barack Obama in order to pacify the Clintons and not have them pull their followers and big money donors from backing President Obama in both elections. Still, Bernie made a mess of the centrist game Hillary had hoped to run on and now she is stuck so far into the left wing bleachers that it is doubtful she can find center field by election day and even if she should she will find one Donald Trump already there and not out of breath from the long run from the bleachers.

 

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

 

With taxes at record levels since the Carter Administration it is little wonder that the people are seething against the party elites. They have watched their taxes rise to support programs they did not desire and with record numbers of illegal immigrants and the back alley importation of tens if not hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern “refugees” being hidden in small communities so as to attempt to secretly skirt the main cities and thus not upset the ignorant masses as they would never figure this out with the internet and all the other means for news to reach the people, even the most insulated voters. Their secreting the “refugees” into small communities and largely in states which vote traditionally Republican and that Hillary would not need in order to win in the Electoral College, they hope that nobody will know their little dirty secret until it is too late. Remember that Hillary is promising that the United States has not done enough and she plans on increasing the importation of “Syria refugees” by one-hundred-fold. That would mean she plans on bringing tens of millions of these so-called refugees and believe me she means to do exactly that. The Democrats want to make America failed through and through with no possibility of ever making a recovery. That is not to claim that The Donald would be any form of savior, but we are sure there are many who after researching the third party candidates who are seriously voting Donald Duck or Porky Pig, but may we suggest for amusement sake we all write in Daffy Duck as long as some of us are choosing a duck and avoiding a Donald?

 

Kidding aside, the coming elections for President of the United States and for the makeup of the Congress have never been as serious as they are this election. After eight years of “leading from behind,” the time is ripe for a resurgent America to return roaring onto the scene. Allowing Europe and the United Nations to lead the way on the world stage is tantamount to treason for endangerment of the nation and, with that, the world. Never has a nation left as large a vacuum at the top with the closest comparison being the fall of the Roman Empire which is what allowed the first Islamic Expansion and another is obviously imminent with Europe ripe for the taking if their collective trees can be shaken at their core. Eastern Europe is still emerging as they recover from their Communist Dark Ages while Western Europe teeters on the edge of liberal poised suicide as they stand frozen with fear as their nations prove as vulnerable as their flags pictured below. Their churches deserted and Mosques sprouting in every town, village and neighborhood and where the call to prayer five times each day have replaced the tolling of the church bells echoing in the countryside. Still, there is time for Europe to pull themselves together and defeat this rising hatred seething within their bellies and extinguish the fires currently spreading across Old Europe and soon to threaten New Europe.

 

Draw the Prophet Mohammad Cartoon Demonstrations and Rioting Across Europe, the World of Islam and Beyond and the World Appears to Have Forgotten the Lessons Gained II

 

If ever there was an election making the “None of the Above” vote we have previously suggested be adopted by Constitutional Amendment, this election is it. The way the system would work is to win the election or electors a candidate would be required to surpass 50% to gain those votes or gain office. People would have all the candidates listed plus a slot in each elected office for “None of the Above” which would count in the total to find the 50% figure. If “None of the Above” got 20% of the vote then a candidate would be required to garner at least 72% of the remaining votes to surpass the 50% threshold. Should “None of the Above” receive one-third of the vote then the needed would be a full 75% of the remaining votes. Obviously this would force the parties to come up with candidates the people truly would want to vote for as they would have an out should neither party and third party candidates really appeal and this would also make third party candidates more likely to get a second look if the main parties gave the public choices such as they have in the mind of many Americans with the Presidential race.

 

So, voter discontent ran overboard in both of the main parties. The party which valued the choice of their public ended up with a novice real estate developer and investment underwriter who often goes off the rails when unscripted and has an ego larger than Alaska and is an anathema to many of the elite in the party itself while the other party had absolutely no confidence in their public so they ensconced a near majority of their delegates under the tight-fisted control of the party elite requiring whomever the elite chose to get such a small number of delegates that Daffy Duck could have won with such support. Still, even with the elite support, their candidate came out bruised and damaged heading into their convention while the other party had few well known names support them and speak at the convention as they were likely still trying to figure out where they ran off the tracks. So we have two third party candidates either of which would be a comfortable fit with one or the other of the Democrat Party contestants for their spot on the ticket, one with Hillary and the other Bernie in our humble opinion, a Democrat who was promised her turn to try and be the first woman President, also her strongest running point, and the Republican a left of center ego whose id is probably just as attractive as that ego and perhaps if he promises to listen to his subconscious, he would appear a safer bet. That’s your choice America, have at it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 6, 2016

Iowa Results and Insights

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The biggest lesson we learned was that the media placed far too much emphasis on the caucuses. What we learned was that in cases where there was no definitive winner, then the entire choice would come down to a coin toss, how perfectly random. In the six instances where these rules were applied it was apparent that team Hillary got to call the coin-toss and call them they did. Apparently Bernie Sanders was perfectly happy to allow her team to call it, “Heads we win and Tails you lose.” And in six caucuses that appears to have been the call as Hillary either won each or Bernie lost, either way, Hillary went forth and declared a great victory while Bernie, being Bernie, claimed he and his supporters gave it a good fight and promised to continue the “Revolution” on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and beyond. When one looks beyond the primary delegates to the “Super Delegates” which are more or less decided by the Democrat Central Committee, one sees the reality of the delegate race as Hillary has 357, Bernie has 14 and O’Malley has 2 all going towards garnering the 2382 delegates needed to win.

 

We learned that Hillary can place way too much emphasis on her phantasmal ability or luck by her precinct chairs abilities to call coin tosses. Her grand claims of victory soon turned to sand in her mouth and she probably sputtered and spurted still insisting she had a mandate. Perhaps she was looking at the super delegate count which is made up of party hacks and people of whom Hillary had their FBI files on another server which was not used for State department e-mails but whose contents would be just as interesting to the voting public but has zero chance of ever seeing the light of day as it would be burned as soon as it was taken in as evidence. There are far too many people the files held there could damage and who have the power to destroy evidence just as well as Bill and Hill have proven capable. We also learned that Bernie has excited and tapped into an interesting voter group, the young and first time voters. Some of these first time voters have been of sufficient age to vote before but have now found their candidate. This is a large part of the voters eight years ago which propelled Obama into the White House and are just as likely to spoil Hillary’s last chance saloon and give her a really bad case of déja vu hiccups as she watches another upstart, this time a seventy-four year old hippie socialist who never let go of the dream from his college days, or is it daze? Should Bernie Sanders pull this off he will have proven that Hillary is fated to never grasp the golden ring in politics and Bill will never hear the end of how it was supposed to be hers but that Obama beat her and then Bernie the crazed lunatic stole it and it just was not fair. I guess nobody ever had the nerve or the suicidal tendencies to tell Hillary that life quite often is not fair. We learned also that Bernie had a solid and faithful following and that his challenge to the chosen one is real and very possible no matter how many delegates Bill can line up on Hillary’s side as in this day and age of the voters, as a collective intelligence, choose the candidates and the final elevations of a President. We also have seen the inside of the “Feel the Bern” generations and they are coming on strong and this might make Bernie Sanders the more electable Democrat and the real candidate the Republicans should fear facing.

 

The Republicans gave us a different message. The evangelicals, the Christian Right, was supposed to decide the Iowa vote and put one of two candidates on the short list for failure; they did not come through that way but have written the last swan song for Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz needed to corral, he is from Texas you know, the Evangelicals but he somehow lost about half the herd which left him limping into first place by a small margin, though it was a landslide by Hillary standards. Ted Cruz did do well as many had predicted claiming that the majority of the polling numbers for ‘The Donald’ (Donald Trump from here on) were mostly fictitious and when the time came to actually support a candidate, these polling numbers would prove to be a phantasm and disappear. Well, they actually did but not as far as predicted and Donald Trump has proven he is for real and will become a viable and potential winner should he start to actually express serious steps and reasons for his bombastic statements and clarify them into a reasonable platform people can stand behind. Ted Cruz, as wonderful as his supporters claim, will very likely fall flat in New Hampshire and rebound in South Carolina and Florida though it will remain to be seen if that is sufficient for him to remain in the race. After the caucuses in Nevada and Colorado it will be definitively decided who is the acceptable alternative to the establishment choice which appears currently to have fallen from Jeb Bush to Chris Christie to John Kasich and now on the Marco Rubio. Other than Cruz, Trump and Rubio who finished in close proximity to one-another, the rest should start taking stock of how much is this worth pursuing and what actually are your actual chances of emerging from the background in a positive manner. The media will ignore you until you make a mistake, and then they will crucify you until you fall on your sword; trust me, I’ve been there. For a good number, probably larger than those willing to vote for him, Ben Carson leaving will be heart-wrenching. We want so much to just once have the nice guy who refused to go negative and was an exemplary person whose life reads like a storybook where underprivileged youth from the worst part of town rise to prominence and was not only a success but also a solid positive force and contribution to society become Mr. Smith Goes to Washington except with a much happier result as he rises above the political machinery and does great and wonderful things lifting the nation by his inspirations. That would have been Ben Carson but perhaps this is better as the media have not torn him to shreds which would have come next had he shown he might succeed. The media will praise you to the hills and as soon as you start to succeed, partially due to their building you up, they will tear into you until you let out a personal secret, say that one time you lost your temper, we all have at least one such moment, and then that will become your defining moment as if nothing else you ever accomplished really made up for the momentary weakness when you were eight years old.

 

 

Mr. Carson Goes to Washington

Mr. Carson Goes to Washington

 

 

So the result in Iowa placed Ted Cruz momentarily in the cat bird seat with Donald Trump close behind and Marco Rubio in tightly behind Donald Trump. There being merely 8,500 votes between the three out of close to 175,000 they finished in a photo finish which their margins only looked large compared to the difference, or lack thereof, between the top Democrat candidates who basically resulted in a dead heat. The reality hopefully will become obvious to the three that for the race to be determined honestly then one of the non-establishment candidates will need to bow out if the other will have even a chance of taking the nomination. Should all three remain in the race and the contest continue to have similar results then there will be the definite possibility that at the Republican Convention there will be no definitive winner and as long as the three remain holding their delegates to their vote then there will be an arranged result which is basically a fixed convention where a candidate is chosen in some back room with some establishment and insiders making a choice and then bringing their golden boy forward and sweeping the convention as the party machinery steamrolls any opposition and presto, Jeb Bush is brought forward as the great hope of the party and we end up with the potentially lowest turnout election percentage in American history as we end up with that dreaded Clinton-Bush family rerun of the 1992 election without the drama or concern as the people show their disgust by staying home. Should this scenario become reality, then there need be a slight Constitutional Amendment making every Federal elected office have an additional choice at the bottom such that the people can demand better choices than the party line who has scratched the most backs and it is decided to reward them by making it their turn for the House of Representatives and then later the Senate and finally, for the real party hardliners, the Presidency by voting for “None of the Above” and if “None of the Above” receives the greatest plurality then the parties must find new candidates and a reelection will take place six weeks later, so they better choose well and somebody the people would rally to or they could face embarrassment after embarrassment and perhaps allow a primary if it is a Senate or House of Representatives for unaligned people to attempt to gain ballot access and allow the highest independent vote getter to also be on the ballot as it is doubtful such a person could do any worse in the performance than some of those currently in office. We really need to get better quality candidates and until the parties are forced to consider that they have to win over the people or face challenges from what are usually referred to as Joe-six-pack meaning it as a pejorative label when actually that may be a person who would do a far better job of representing the people with their being from amongst them. Still, there are the gems amongst a sea of party functionaries and the quality, or lack thereof, of the candidates on the average ballot simply proves George Washington correct when he claimed, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” Enough said.

 

We regret that nowhere in the conglomerate of offerings is there a single candidate with military service in their background. Some of the candidates I doubt could reduce their self-worth to a sufficient level to survive basic training nor would they know when to stand on principle and when to stand down as that is also something they test in basic training and for the select few who respond accordingly they offer them to attend OCS which is the one way that an enlisted man can become an officer, and maybe a gentleman. The world stage being what it is, we believe would be best served by somebody who has served and our first choice would be Lt. Col. Alan West.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 10, 2012

We Need a None of the Above Election Ballot

There are two peculiarities about elections in the United States that have become evident over the years. The first is that less than half of the registered voters often actually vote and approximately half of those eligible to vote actually register. This means that a candidate who receives one fourth of the votes of people eligible to register can win an election. The other is when asked why people did not register, or when registered did not vote; the number one reason is neither, or none, of the candidates were appealing enough to be worth the effort to vote for them. When you figure in the number of people who vote and admit their vote was more of a vote against the other candidate than a vote for the candidate they supported then you see the real problem with politics in the United States. That is the second main problem, the real or perceived dearth of candidates who are worthy or can cause sufficient excitement as to be worth people’s time and efforts to support. For this reason, we would like to suggest a few changes which can be made by each state and with sufficient number of states adopting the None of the Above Over Fifty Percent Law, we could possible make this the method for all elections for any office in the land. Here is how this would work.

The first thing necessary is to make all elections for office require a candidate to receive over fifty percent of the votes cast. Secondly, the ballot would have one extra choice beyond the candidates listed for office which would be “None of the Above” and votes cast for such would count towards the total when figuring the required fifty percent. And, if we could add one last item it would be to simplify ballot access to be a candidate thus making it far easier to qualify for ballot access as the current laws are prohibitive both financially and set the bar almost beyond any possibility to reach. I can attest to this having actually qualified for an election and ended up spending more funds simply to qualify for the ballot than I had to use for the actual campaign. Granted, such a system for elections might also require holding the first ballot earlier in the year, probably the Tuesday after Labor Day in September. Should a ballot have more than two candidates running for office, then the top three vote recipients would then run in another election held one month later at the first Tuesday in October. If none of the three are able to surpass the fifty percent marker, then the top two get to run in another election two weeks later. Once the ballot reaches two candidates and should neither make the fifty percent mark then their parties would select two new candidates and another vote would be held one month later and from then on it would be, as it is sometimes quoted, rinse repeat as necessary. Hopefully we would eventually find a candidate that would receive sufficient support, otherwise that seat would go unfilled until a candidate was found that the people would support.

To make this workable, we would also need to make one adjustment for voting on legislation in any of our legislative bodies where in order for a piece of legislation to win passage it would require over fifty percent of the possible number of representatives possible if all seats were filled. Let’s take the United States House of Representatives as an example. The full House of Representatives has four hundred and thirty five seats. If after an election cycle only two hundred and fifty eight seats were filled while the rest were still going through additional votes in order to have a candidate be elected by a true majority, this situation would not affect the necessary votes required to pass a piece of legislation. Simply put, in order to pass legislation, the bill would require two hundred and eighteen votes in favor no matter the number of Representatives present at any session. Thus, if as in our example there were only two hundred and fifty eight Representatives elected at the start of a Congressional session, then any piece of legislation would still require the two hundred and eighteen votes in favor to pass thus allowing no more than forty votes against or not cast to pass. If thirty seven voted against and four Representatives were absent or abstained, then there would be no possibility for that legislation to pass despite having overwhelming support of those members of the House of Representatives who were currently seated. Such a change would protect those districts who had not found a candidate worthy of over fifty percent voter support. And anyways, would hamstringing government such that it became near impossible for them to pass even more legislation requiring even more regulations and other restrictions on our freedoms really be that bad of a situation?

I would even go as far as favoring a constitutional Amendment that except in cases of extreme emergency where the President had called the congress back for the necessity of the security and function of the country, the Congress would meet from January until the Ides of March (March 15th) every election year. This would restrict them to meeting for two whole months every other year. Under such restrictions, we could even make the positions honorary and only pay our Senators and Representatives a minimal wage set and paid by each state as they see deserved. With such a change we would open the position up to those who truly desire serving the people and not career politicians whose only real desire is to accrue great wealth at the people’s expense. These restrictions would very likely produce Senators and Representatives actually worthy of receiving that true majority vote and make the “None of the Above” vote on the ballot that much less appealing. Currently, I might be voting “None of the Above” on most of my ballots and I sure would like to be voting for a worthy and true public servant instead of these self-serving vermin who seek office currently.

Beyond the Cusp

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