Beyond the Cusp

February 24, 2017

Never Ending Trump Media War

 

The recent press conference where President Trump took an equally adversarial role in his treatment of the media as they have been doing in their waging war upon the President guarantees us fireworks for the next four years. The only question is how much nastier this warfare between the fifth estate and the President will become. Between the President claiming the media is inventing the news and other “fake news” accusations and the media claims that President Trump is a fascist who is overthrowing the Constitution and appointing a Cabinet which will serve only Wall Street and will crush the working man turning employees into indentured servants or worse, slaves; who is stretching the truth more depends on which side you fall. For those without a side in this war it becomes tiresome and detracts from the one essential service the news media is supposed to provide, actual news we can depend upon and actually use. The sooner the media gets past the results of the election, which they thusfar have refused to accept, the sooner they can get back to providing reports on actual events instead of editorials day in and day out on how awful the world is since Donald Trump became the Pretender in the White House. What makes the news war with President Trump all the more distressing is that it feeds the social media war against President Trump.

 

Should one dare tread the pages of Facebook or follow Twitter feeds you are fed a near constant diet of anti-Trump regurgitated articles, links and comments. People with whom you used to have normal relations exchanging pictures of pets, children, families and other mundane events of life and now all they appear to be capable of posting are reposted articles, opinion pieces, links or, if you are fortunate, original editorials on how awful President Trump is and how he is a threat to the world as we know it or how unfair the media war against Trump is and how their recklessness is a threat to freedom and the world as we know it. One can only assume from the evidence, especially if you just arrived from one of the recent planets NASA claims might support life, is that the Earth is teetering on the edge of oblivion. The sorry truth is that if the world actually were teetering on the edge of oblivion we would not know this as the media is too busy with their wall-to-wall get Trump campaign on one side and the defaming the media war on Trump from the other outlets. Where are those old friendly headlines about the newest baby born at the zoo? Speaking of those headlines, my wife and I have had one of our computers on a link watching and waiting for a pregnant giraffe to give birth as our distraction for the day and thus far a whole lot of chewing one’s cud but no calf as of this writing. One takes their distractions where one can find them these days.

 

One may ask whether we voted for President Trump and we can honestly report that we did not, then again we chose to not vote in the American elections as we do not reside in the United States. Who we supported is also of little matter as our preference did not relate to how the person sitting in the White House would serve the American people but rather which would be more advantageous in certain areas of United States foreign policy and foreign relations which should be sufficient to indicate which candidate we had favored, we will not go so far as to say support as we neither voted for nor contributed to the campaign of anyone in the United States election. The only real care we had was that our former Congressman be reelected which we can report that he was and this makes us happy as we have family living in that Congressional District. We can honestly tell that we are not exactly happy that the media and many Americans are so completely obsessed with the result of the election that they refuse to allow everything to return to some semblance of normalcy and simply await the next elections to try and change whatever it is they disapprove of from this past election.

 

This is how the United States political system is supposed to function, you have an election, somebody wins and somebody loses and the losing side works harder the next election and the winning side attempts to fulfill their election promises. That is another item which has us confused. President Trump is doing exactly what he promised his supporters he would do if elected. We understand that it is somewhat unusual that a politician actually fulfills their promises and with such gusto as President Trump has set about doing exactly what he had promised. It may be understandable that if you were against Trump’s platform that his doing as promised would be upsetting to some extent but just because you do not like his performing as promised, this does not make his coming through on campaign promises an impeachable offense. Unfortunately for the Trump impeachment club, President Trump has yet to actually break any laws unless you believe the Russians fixed the election for Trump because he and Putin are as close as bosom buddies can be storyline. That would prove to be an impeachable offense but first it need be proven and even the FBI has stated that there were no Russian interventions on the voting or the election as best as they have been able to find. Of course if you believe that President Trump has somehow corrupted the FBI, then there may be a more serious problem than any of us, including the media which even they have not claimed such, have realized and if you have actual evidence, then perhaps you should contact the FBI immediately. Without any actual proof of Russian interference, then the election stands and as unfortunate as such may be for you, President Trump has yet to commit an impeachable offense.

 

Trump and Putin

Trump and Putin

 

Then there are the claims that because of General Michael Flynn’s resignation as President Trump’s National Security Adviser over Russian contacts and lying to Vice President Pence actually being a criminal offense under the Logan Act, that too has been cleared from having any validity by numerous sources including even some from the Obama administration. The fact that in the two hundred years that the Logan Act has been on the books that there has been one charge, and even that one was not prosecuted, and never a single guilty verdict should indicate the improbability of making any such charge stick. If one were to chase that wisp of smoke then they would also have to bring charges against Hillary Clinton for her early 2016 secretive meeting with the Chinese. WikiLeaks presumably held a Podesta e-mail showing that a former State Department official with close ties to Hillary Clinton met with an ambassador to China attempting to facilitate a secret “off the record” meeting between Clinton and the ambassador to discuss China relations with the United States. What’s good for the gander must also be good for the goose, or something like that.

 

What would be interesting is if the people who really are gunning for President Trump did find a smoking gun and succeeded in forcing him to resign ala Richard Nixon and Vice President Pence being sworn in only to find himself trapped and also needing to resign ala Spiro Agnew and the next in line being sworn in, imagine the schadenfreude felt by many on the left end of the political spectrum when Hillary Clinton is not sworn in but Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan is being sworn into office. This makes the President, from all the efforts to remove Donald Trump and Mike Pence with the aim of placing Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office, the very much more conservative and likely even more hated Paul Ryan sitting in the Oval Office as President of the United States and would indeed be a classic case of schadenfreude. What would the media do at such a point in a possible but unlikely future scenario? Perhaps it might be best to settle down, accept the election results and not seek to eliminate Donald Trump and Mike Pence as that simply results in President Paul Ryan.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 7, 2016

Finally It is Your Turn to Speak, So Speak Loud and Clear

 

After over a year of he said, she said, they said, the time is here for the only opinion that matters. It is the time that you the voters will say and then it should be settled and the world will hear your answer; or will they? There are those Liberals who in their holier than thou selective memories claim that Donald Trump is the only candidate to claim that the election system can be gamed. Apparently the cries of “Selected, not elected,” over the 2000 election of George W. Bush and the Florida hanging chads recounts where there were so many challenges and recounts that all the holes ended up pushed through on some ballots making them void. The same cries were heard four years later over Ohio and Barack Obama claimed before Election Day that should he not win it could only be through voter fraud, so that should be all for claiming that Donald Trump is entering new areas of calling into question the validity of the system. Hillary Clinton has claimed that the Russians are going to steal the election for Trump because Putin is convinced that Trump would be the easier pushover and more willing to work with Russia than Hillary would be. Actually the only commentary attributed to Russian President Vladimir Putin which has any shred of validity was his fears that Hillary Clinton being elected threatened starting next world war. It matters little tomorrow on this important but relatively ignored subject as the first order of business is to get past the initial casting of ballots and their initial counting.

 

Hillary Clinton – Vladimir Putin – Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton – Vladimir Putin – Donald Trump

 

That reported initial registration of election results may actually decide the victor and do so completely overwhelmingly that there would be no viable means of challenging the results. Either way, this would be a result which would best serve the American people and ultimately the world. A smooth, court free, uncontested election will always bring the smoothest of transitions. That would be the most preferable means to transfer power especially in this election whose process and integrity has proven so acrimonious and has produced challenges to the system even before the Election Day voting has begun. There has been complaints of an uneven playing field in the media from both camps while there have been claims of Russian interference favoring one side, the election of Trump; while raising claims the entire Wikileaks e-mail stories have been a Russian ruse and those claimed e-mails were never sent nor crossed that server nor had Ms. Clinton broken any law or committed any questionable actions which might have compromised the national security. This claim has gone well beyond the claim that Hillary Clinton was cleared from suspicions to the entire e-mail investigation was chasing after a Russian fabricated ploy to assist electing their pawn, their Manchurian Candidate who would do Putin’s bidding, Donald Trump. One can only wonder what comes next.

 

Then there are the polling numbers. This election has witnessed swings in the polling which often appeared to precede certain critical events and news stories throughout the campaign. The most recent came the last week of the election where the Clinton lead all but disappeared bringing Trump within striking distance and this slide arrived a full four days before FBI Director Comey reporting his reopening the e-mail investigation as New York investigators looking into child sexual misconduct revealed the existence of thousands of backed-up copies for the communications coming in and out of the office of close Clinton aide and confidant (if anyone can be considered to be that close and intimate with Hillary) Huma Abedin. These records were found on Huma Abedin’s estranged (and downright strange) husband, disgraced former Representative Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer which was seized as part of the New York police investigation of his sexting an underage girl. This will get very messy.

 

Here are some rumors which have surfaced as a result of this investigation and how it will affect the e-mail scandal investigation. These back-ups will definitively prove that Hillary Clinton, along with top aide Huma Abedin, acted loose and careless with Top Secret and other highly classified and sensitive information, e-mails, documents, files and reports. There will be overwhelming evidence that such compromised information had been shared or allowed access by people without the proper clearances, Anthony Weiner for one and Clinton Philippine housekeeper Marina Santos for another who was indicated to have printed out such intelligence and information while working at Clinton’s house in Washington, D.C. Then there appear to be references to actions and fetishes in which others outside the Clinton camp, though they may not be spared once the onion has been completely unraveled, who may have committed and continue such acts which would warrant ethics investigations at the very least and criminal investigations in the worst case scenarios. The full extent will not be known nor revealed for quite some time though some people may fall well before the investigation reaches its final conclusion. Some of this information has been verified by trusted people.

 

The one item in all of this we would love to see brought into the light is the uranium deal where it resulted in Russia gaining the mineral rights to one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. One of the crucial signings of approval came from the State Department which was under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at that time. Russia gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013 and each step of the way there did result in a flow of cash to the Clinton Foundation. Further, a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin paid former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow. This was the bank which was promoting Uranium One stock and stood to make sizeable profits in the process. It was Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining financier, who orchestrated his first big uranium deal which initiated these transactions and which was completed with Mr. Clinton at his side. The two men had traveled to the meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan in Mr. Giustra’s private jet. This deal was a major victory for UrAsia, Mr. Giustra’s then company which soon saw its future brighten significantly when it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia. Uranium One was controlled by UrAsia investors which included Ian Telfer, a Canadian who later became chairman and Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million. Mr. Giustra donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation in or around the months following the Kazakhstan mining deal. It also turns out that Ian Telfer made a $2.35 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. More detailed information can be read showing deep involvement of both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the entire train of events and includes State Department approvals and one could say accommodations all in a New York Times article. A full disclosure of how twenty percent of United States mined uranium is sold to Russia by a Canadian friend of the Clintons receiving every necessary accommodation and authorization while Hillary was Secretary of State and known to be able to pressure other Cabinet Secretaries to follow her lead in providing permissions and licenses all while the involved Canadians are contributing millions upon millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Something here just does not figure and we would bet there are even higher and bigger fish to catch in this little pond, really big fish.

 

Meanwhile, tomorrow the American people will speak. We can expect, if this is at all even close, for the losing campaign to kick off the challenges followed soon behind by the winning party just to assure they are not excluded from the efforts to gain electoral votes. There may even be a challenge to the integrity and manner in which the Electoral College is arranged such that it can oppose the winner of the popular vote. We could hear that tired complaint about how Wyoming voters are way over-represented when compared to California or New York thus making those residing in such populous states being denied equal representation. This complaint has been answered ad-nausea pointing out that this was the actual design and is functioning such that, at least for the Presidency the smaller states get privileged representation as a barrier against pure democracy mob rule. This is a result of the equality the states enjoy in the Senate, so live with it. Of course if the losing side did not carry lonely and most sparsely populated Wyoming, then this argument makes perfect sense to those on that end of the Electoral College. Further claims will be filed in every state where the margin of the loss was under 5%, even 10% with both contesting as many as possible in order to topple the initially announced winner or to retain said position. Who knows what court challenges and other lawsuits will be filed but the process for validation will likely take the United States well into Thursday before the candidate at the wrong end of the vote starts to run out of options, but they have lawyers to address this until the Supreme Court ends the misery, which with a four-four split with one open position left by the passing of Justice Anthony Scalia this past February, the court may not be of much assistance.

 

We will see what the American people desire and the level of their interest by the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote. This is something we have always been troubled about. The President who should represent all the people is often only receiving one-third of the potential votes which could have voted and less when including potential to be registered voters. The math is sickeningly easy to do but a touch more difficult to explain. First we need to start with the adult population over eighteen which numbers at approximately 236,000,000 out of the approximately 309,000,000; or around two-thirds. This is the entirety of Americans legally eligible to vote give or take a million. Of these only 70% on average are registered to vote and a mere 60% actually vote. These results in only 42% of eligible voters actually vote in an election. We can safely claim that no more than 45% of voters actually do vote and it is considered that taking 55% of the vote represents winning in a landslide thus a big winner receives a mere 24¾% of the total number of people who meet the requirements for voting (representative graph by age group below). It is true, candidates need only persuade one-fourth of people eligible to vote in order to win, providing it is the right one-fourth.

 

Graph by Age Representing Voter Registration and Activity and Apathy

Graph by Age Representing
Voter Registration and
Activity and Apathy

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 30, 2016

Why We Think Trump Had Said NATO is a Problem

 

Donald Trump is doing something of which very few of us will ever understand the difficulty. For people used to blurting out whatever is on their minds, damn the consequences, it becomes even rougher row to hoe. Being of a similar mold and having attempted a run for office you quickly realize that there are some truths you hold close and can never reveal as they are one of many blocks of Kryptonite. The problem arises at some point where your natural nature breaks through and you start to speak one of those truths which must not be spoken and as they start to slip your lips you recover just short of the hidden nugget within which is the real poison to your campaign, so you quickly and abruptly end your sentence as smoothly as possible. The media, the darling little devils, are a devious lot and when they smell an opening, they are like jackals on carrion tearing at the carcass of the bedeviled thought seeking that hidden nugget. When Donald Trump complained about NATO, I got the sense that his problem was not the financial costs as he maintained upon further pressure from many media types. As Trump is closer to a third party candidate where there is no Republican running, he has been pestered and hammered from both ends of the media and his rather combative nature tends to allow for more unforced, though coerced or due to carefully laid traps, misspeaks and half-speaks leading him ever further down the rabbit hole, and wonderland is the worst place for a politician to end up as there it most certainly ends with the Red Queen screaming, “Off with his head,” pointing at them. And who wants to be executed by a horde of red animated playing cards? Such has been the NATO issue and the reason is far more potentially intriguing than the answers we have been giving, not that we disagree with having those nations incapable of providing the troops required to field NATO adequately to its demands having to pay the United States for making up the difference.

 

Thinking of what else Donald Trump might have been told which could include NATO it became obvious when it leaked into our ears, well, before our eyes really, the answer to the riddle and it concerns one of our pet problems with the world, Kurdish independence. The plan is to make Syria a collection of autonomous cantons with the Syrian government responsible solely for those items which cross the borders such as main roadways, money, national defense and others. The first canton mentioned was for the Kurds in the north and northeast of Syria. This was leaked as part of a report by respected Turkish journalist Mahmut Borzarslan who gave information we received in one of our memos from American Center for Democracy concerning a plan being brought forward initially in Syria by the Russians. The initial laying out of the plan while receiving all-out support by the Kurdish representatives was roundly dismissed as pure fancy with no hope of acceptance by the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad be their position less tenable than they may yet realize. What makes this all the more interesting is that the Kurds would be natural allies to the United States as they have proven extremely helpful in Iraq allowing American forces to concentrate on the bigger problems while they basically ruled and kept straight the entire northern third of Iraq and assisted with the pacification of Mosul. Further, the Syrian Kurds, with assistance from their Iraqi cousins, have had the greatest success against the Islamic State defending their own held areas while liberating other areas with some of the toughest fighting coming for control of the city of Kobanê, which they accomplished with some assists in the form of targeting Islamic State positions with bombings, and a remarkably few at that. The Russians will soon point out that if Bashir al-Assad desires to remain among the living and rule over anything he will need to realize two things, he can only hope to rule an Alawite Canton and only that with the second, Russian assistance and if he desires the second he will need to accept the first. This he will understand even if the Russians need ground their planes, silence their artillery and retreat their forces to hold only Latakia and protect their naval instillations there.

 

There is no means on Earth which would make this idea acceptable to President Obama as his new best friend forever and darling of the Muslim Brotherhood since the fall of Egyptian President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government has been Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The removal of Morsi and his gang of undesirables proved the Egyptian people more knowledgeable than the United States President and State Department, the latter not that difficult a feat as it takes minimal common sense and does not require literacy, calling on even the military to retake power as they would be a kinder and more beneficent master. The added problem is where Donald Trump and NATO come into the picture. Turkey is a member of NATO due to their geography. They hold the southern front on Russia, formerly the Soviet Union and the reason for NATO, and control the Dardanelles, the waterway and series of straights leading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and the world and also the Russian access to a warm water access to the Atlantic Ocean (see map below). Being a NATO member, Turkey could claim and likely verify terrorist threats against her by Kurds being aided and secluded by Syrian Kurds making a case for it being an act of war. As attacking Kurdish region of Syria would place Turkish fighter aircraft in space over Russian zones and might even draw Russian assistance to the Kurdish side as the Kurdish actions have aided Russian interests, they could demand military assistance under the NATO Charter. Should the United States enter such a conflict in even the smallest of means; one could bet the Kurds would have no alternative but to request Russian assistance even simply to provide air cover to prevent bombings as the Kurds have no air forces and likely minimal if any air defenses. Remember that Turkey has already downed a Russian fighter jet under somewhat questionable conditions and Russia is not a nation to forget such and jump at an opportunity to repay in kind and then some. This could quickly get out of hand with Russian and NATO, potentially including United States, aircraft in combat against one another. Does any rational person really want to see where such could lead?

 

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards Across the Black Sea then Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

From the Sevastopol Docks and Shipyards
Across the Black Sea then
Through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles
to the Mediterranean Sea and thus the Atlantic Ocean

 

For this reason and numerous others, it will be best left until after the United States Presidential Elections and the late January inauguration before any serious negotiations on such a solution can have any hope to progress. This is where Hillary Clinton can claim that Putin would prefer Donald Trump as both she and dear Vlad know theirs would be a tumultuous relationship at best and adversarial at the very least. If there is to be any cooperation between the United States and Russia on Syria and a host of other areas, then Donald Trump need be the next United States President. Hillary Clinton has already made it clear that her foremost foreign policy objective will be to humble and force Putin to bow before her will from the very first moments of her reign. This is also one of the main unspoken fears, dare we say horrors, many foreign policy theorists and experts foresee. The guaranteed irritant on so many trouble spots and potential disasters would result from a continuation of an American shirking of international responsibilities. Should America continue leading from ever further behind soon to never even arrive, added to a focus on pressing only Russia and President Putin frustrating him while continuing to arm “rebels” in Syria, could lead to an ever greater set of conflicts. Add the blindness to Islamic pressures and subversions would bring much of the ensuing violence down initially upon Europe and soon thereafter on the United States as well. As learned, or not, from both world wars, the United States sitting on the sidelines refusing to lead the powers of democratic governance, freedom and liberty against the powers of darkness and human bondage; be it physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise; only prolongs the insufferable carnage and adds, nay, multiplies the numbers of combatants and innocent civilians slaughtered and can even place the final outcome in doubt as was the reality in World War II where had the Nazis broken through Stalingrad and connected to the Arabian oil fields the outcome may have been very different. Of course should Donald Trump become complacent concerning the possible designs Vladimir Putin may be considering for Eastern Europe and many of the former Warsaw Pact nations, that too could lead in a very threatening and dangerous direction. Oh the trials and tribulations of trying to run the world with so many other actors filling the stage. The solution in Syria will never resurrect the visions of Bashir al-Assad and he may become the sole obstruction to an agreement all the other groups agree with once the Islamic State has been vanquished, an inevitability no matter who wins the election. Such a position would make Assad a problem for Russia, and even worse, for Putin which would make Assad no longer desirable. That would be a very nasty place to be standing surrounded by Russian military and special agents and further, Bashir al-Assad is not unreplaceable with a new and compliant Alawite leader and there are likely quite a few just waiting for such an opportunity. Assad should remember the Arab Code, “Me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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