Beyond the Cusp

October 29, 2016

The Potentially Imminent Syria Sinkhole

 

First please allow a small personal note. I had a senior moment two weeks ago today and am now typing left-handed as the right hand resembles a plaster club and is even less usable than normal. Surgery was performed on the one finger I was unable to set; so physicians, surgeon types, were employed. Now back to our regularly scheduled editorials and other stories.

 

There is way too much talk about Syria and what the Western nations, particularly Europe and more-so the United States must do to address the problems being exasperated by the horrific five years of the ongoing warfare. Much of the talk centers around seven major topics: refugees, no-fly-zone, safe-zone, containing Russian expansionism, ending the rule of Bashir al-Assad, strengthening the Iraqi government’s hold on central Iraq, and establishing America’s position, standing and unrivaled hegemonic superiority across MENA (Middle East and North Africa). On concluding the discussion of the pitfalls and awaiting disasters surrounding each and every one of these subjects, we will carry them to their inevitable conclusion if any of these paths are followed and then pinpoint exactly where things went off the tracks leading to each of these now end alternatives, disastrous alternatives. Let us simply start with some of the best of news for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the initial starting point for much of these situations were initiated during the President George W. Bush Administering of the area and even stretch back to principally French, British, Italian as well as the rest of the Allied Powers from World War I and particularly Sykes-Picot Agreement and the underhanded meddling for fifty years on average after a thousand years and more of Arab and Islamic rule. Let us look at what all this has wrought.

 

The Sykes-Picot Agreement is the underlying deceit which set the Middle East and eventually North Africa into a situation where the untenable borders set levels of internal intra-tribal rivalries vying for supremacy once the borders were released as independent nations. There are two dirty little secrets as to why to this day the nations which constitute MENA are a cauldron of explosives always roiling and why Europe is blamed. Europe gets the blame as they were the ones left holding a region where borders were traditionally meaningless and each tribe ruled by the oasis and wells they controlled. For over a thousand years either an Arab, Kurd, Alawite, Tripolitanian, Cyrenaican, Fezzan, Wahhabi, Houthis or a dozen others and this is indicative of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan and throughout MENA and beyond (see map below). There are multiple clans, tribal and even nation of origin divisions throughout the “Palestinian” populations in Hamas controlled Gaza, Fatah controlled areas of Judea and Samaria and within the “refugee” population (a fair number of which are now also Syrian refugees or Islamist rebels in various groups including al-Nusra and Islamic State presumably fighting against one another). The warring tribes rapidly led to one tribe being the dominant leader often through favor and arming by the departing Europeans or due to historic realities from the Ottoman Era or the Caliphate and even back to the Byzantine and even the Cyrenaic Greeks. These tribes ruled each country as drawn out by the Sykes-Picot Agreement often requiring an iron fist style dictatorship. The nations surviving the best, a relative term, would by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, the Gulf Oil Sheikdoms and Israel. The world of MENA is very much in flux and it will take quite some time and a great potential for violence beginning within and having a strong predisposition to drag much of the world into the coming maelstrom if the world leaders continue on their current course.

 

Sample of Potential Tribal Influences which Could Decimate the Borders of Saudi Arabia and Has Split the Borders of Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya

Sample of Potential Tribal Influences which
Could Decimate the Borders of Saudi Arabia and
Has Split the Borders of Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya

 

Let us look now at the pressing seven problems starting with the refugees now streaming into the West from all across the MENA nations and beyond into the Horn of Africa and Central Africa. Other than Jordan and Turkey there are no other Arab States taking in refugees and Jordan is keeping them in camps with the intent of their returning to whatever remains of Syria if and when the war ends. Turkey is either placing their refugees in camps, largely women and children, or passing the men mostly with sufficient women and children, around fifteen percent on a good day, for Western media to have their touching pictures to pluck heartstrings. The reality is the flow of selected refugees is an infiltration and when their population breaks ten percent they become bold and past twenty percent they turn belligerent and start demands backed by violence to force their religious edicts and demands on the rest of what has now become a victim population. Once the Islamists pass thirty to forty percent the war begins and continues until the Sword of Islam has submitted the population or the prey of Islam grew in strength and found their reason to stiffen their backbones and stand breaking the Sword of Islam. There will be no middle ground as Islam, in its current Islamist form, allows no middle ground. Either all will be Islam or few to none can be Islam. That is why Europe, the United States and the rest of the world taking in Muslim refugees need demand changes before allowing another refugee to enter. First, the numbers of women, children and the elderly must outnumber the numbers of fighting age men. Second, the refugees will be required to pass a rigorous vetting process which validates their standing past, present and, with hope, future. Third, and possibly most important, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and other stable Islamic nations must collectively take in twice the numbers of refugees than the rest of the world. Forth, the refugees must take an assimilation program and allow them to be placed outside of the Muslim concentrations taking work and show true assimilation efforts or be returned from whence they originated. These refugees have long not been from Syria as they are from failed nations lacking order or a working economy as well as infiltrators, organizers and training personnel from various Islamist organizations and terrorist forces including but not limited to the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, Hezballah, IRGC (Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution; Persian: سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی or Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), Hamas, al-Nusra Front (which left al-Qaeda according to the United States State Department and has been cleared to receive weaponry, training and other assistance –cash- and is a favorite of the Clintons) and numerous less or even unknown terror groups. The entire refugee system and assimilation of Muslims needs to aid them in learning, understanding, experiencing, appreciating freedom and finding the higher self-worth which comes from an independent life which once existed within Islam in their Golden Age. This could be the last hope of kindling the spark of freedom and liberty of the soul deep within Islam and perhaps finding a path to mutual acceptance instead of perpetual conflict.

 

The remaining six problems have no solution other than a hope and a prayer. They are all the result of grievous errors in judgement, poor planning, a foreign policy based in defeat, the removal of American presence and a total and singular White House policy to destroy the American influence and assistance in building a world based on mutual respect, liberty, freedom and basic human rights and instead encouraging tribalism and fracture of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and all other Western influences which were seen as an unwanted and negative influence over what was believed to have been the peaceful influences Islam had initiated during the years of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphate before that. Someone making these decisions apparently must have missed the five hundred years of Arab and Islamist conquest and the intertribal violence which necessitated numerous severe crackdowns on such problems over the reported thousand years of peaceful existence. The problem was where it oft arises with Western nations who become tired of winning demanding their forces be brought home leaving a vulnerable and usually untenable situation so unstable that if things actually do not deteriorate immediately, then some unfriendly force has likely replaced the Western presence. This time the United States got some of both, Iraq became Iran West and Syria collapsed into a war with more fronts than a strip mall.

 

The premature withdrawal of United States forces from Iraq has had the actual desired effect permitting Iran to establish their presence in southern Iraq and the opportunity to expand into central Iraq permitting Iran to soon establish a second front in support of their interests in Syria, namely Bashir al-Assad. Talking about Syria and Bashir al-Assad; the United States has lately been claiming that their interest is in working out a change of power in Syria but whining that the Russians interests are interfering with any progress. Has anyone ever wondered and remembered how and why Vladimir Putin got his oversized Russian foot in the door. If our collective memories are still firing on all cylinders, then Vlad the Invader (as opposed to Vlad the Impaler as pictured in their element) was all but invited into Syria when President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to issue the “Red Line in the Sand which Bashir al-Assad would pay dearly from United States decisive and determined military action should chemical weapons be used back in 2012. That broad and definitive line got thinner and thinner and faded and faded turning pinker and pinker until it completely faded. Then came Vladimir Putin to the rescue and he has remained guarding Bashir al-Assad and his Mediterranean Sea military ports. Then there was Libya.

 

Vlad the Invader vs Vlad the Impaler

Vlad the Invader vs Vlad the Impaler

 

Libya was the culminating point where the Arab spring was going to be revitalized. Instead there was another power vacuum created and the nation fell back into its tribal factions while the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood backed terror organizations set up shop. One such group was in Benghazi where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her inner circle made the deal of a lifetime procuring Stinger Missiles for al-Nusra or who knows. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith were to arrange the transfer. The deal went sour resulting in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods all were murdered. There were reports that Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods held their position for eight hours before being subdued in a swarm of mortar fire. For reasons never made overly clear, there were no military or other assets available to ride over the hill and save the good guys. This is how we all got to this point and we are supposed to forget the past eight years of foreign intrigue and foreign affairs which have lighted so many fuses any one of which could be the initiator of the war of Gog and Magog while others lead directly to World War, which one are we supposed to be on, three, four, five or twelve? Those are the easy items to trace but then one must figure on a nuclear armed North Korea with a few more nuclear weapons than the CIA wants to admit, say maybe a cool fifty or hundred more with more than half either thermonuclear weapons or bombs made using the Soviet Union’s plans for their super EMP device. Additionally there is the little problem of Iran also building their own nuclear arsenal probably using the identical weapons plans they received from the North Koreans in exchange for advanced rocketry designs and testing of the North Korean ICBM designs. Well, we really need to continue with this foreign policy direction just to see if aliens are going to drop from the sky and save Earth. The coming ride is going to be interesting; as in the Chinese proverb, “May you live in interesting times.” Well, it will be interesting.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 9, 2016

Israel is the Nation in Need of a Constitution

 

Israel is not going to change all that soon as the thirty to fifty people who run the nation are quite happy to fiddle while things slowly burn down. Part of the problem, and it is a large share, is that over half of those who run the government are not elected but all but self-appointed. There are the Justices who sit on the Supreme Court and the Attorney General, The Supreme Court selection for replacing a retiring Justice is one of, if not the, item which should top the list of systems which require change. Currently the Supreme Court Justices are chosen by a committee consisting of nine members. These are the Justice Minister who acts as the Chairman, a Cabinet Member chosen by the Cabinet, a Pair of Knesset Ministers usually one from the coalition and one from the opposition, two members of the Bar Association and finally the Chief Justice and two other Supreme Court Justices who are often chosen due to seniority. This starts to look like a conspiracy to continue the same policies with no real ability to alter the path when one additionally looks at the committee for selection of the Attorney General which consists of five members; a retired Supreme Court Judge, a former Justice Minister or Attorney General, a Knesset Minister tapped by the Constitutional Affairs committee of the Knesset, an attorney chosen by the Israeli Bar Association, and one legal expert chosen in the subjects of civil and criminal law chosen by the heads of the university law schools in Israel. When all it takes to select a Supreme Court Judge is five votes and three are cast by current Justices, one vote from the current Attorney General who is themselves appointed on the advice partly of a retired Supreme Court Judge, a former Justice Minister and an attorney from the Bar Association and you have what can be conveniently called an echo chamber and it becomes sufficiently evident why the Supreme Court votes almost to the Justice exactly the same as the Supreme Court has since its inception. Add to that the interpretation of the law such that the Justices operate under the auspices of the concept that everything and anything may be brought before the Supreme Court for a final decision.

 

One interesting thing is the Israeli Supreme Court consists of fifteen Justices where one could fairly say that the majority, vast majority, are left leaning or so far left the middle ground cannot be seen through the fog and rose colored glasses. The Supreme Court may appoint any number of judges to hear cases often with as few as three to as many as all fifteen for the most serious of cases brought to the court. Further, for the decade from 2000 through 2010 the Israeli Supreme court heard over 11,000 cases each year. The Israeli Supreme Court can be petitioned directly to hear a case without having it first heard in a lower court. This process is abused by NGOs, often NGOs registered in Israel but primarily funded by foreign governments. Quite often if an NGO states as its aim to serve the support and importance of human rights and/or the rights of minority and oppressed peoples, then you can bet that NGO is financed by the European Union, European governments and foreign NGOs so as to conceal their actual financiers. In any other Western Democratic or Republic such NGOs are required by law to be registered as foreign agents and are not granted official standing as an NGO representing that nation. Israel has twice passed such legislation only to have these very same NGOs bring suit in the Supreme Court where the laws were shot down and nullified. One need keep in mind that the Knesset input in selecting Supreme Court Judges is minimal when one remembers that should the opposition Knesset Minister vote with the Chief Justice and two other Supreme Court Justices and any one of the Bar Association lawyers that makes five votes and the judge has been appointed. The Prime Minister gets no real input and the Knesset does not need to ratify the choice, or simply put, the people have little if any influence on the Justices sitting on a court which has ruled that it can strike down any law, rewrite any law and all but, and possibly including, write laws they feel are necessary or would further empower the Judiciary over the remainder of the government and the people. We have also seen instances where the heads of the Police forces have banned people from visiting areas of the country including the currently extended ban forbidding Ministers of the Knesset from ascending to the Temple Mount. There was a recent case where the Security Shin Bet under the guise of investigating a crime rounded up teens and young men as young as twelve and held them without legal counsel at a secretive location refusing to allow their parents information about their child and used what in many nations would be considered at the least coercive measures and at the extreme torture to try a force confessions from youths they knew were innocent but whose suspected political leanings were not to the head of the Shin Bet’s liking.

 

One young man was held for almost ten months, refused to be permitted to attend his first son’s birth, ritual bris (circumcision), and whose major crime was supporting the Hilltop Youth, a group of youths who support nationalist and Zionist policies and desire a return to Davidic Rule, have never committed an act against the government, most serious offense they commit is camping out and building rudimentary outposts on hilltops overlooking trouble spots which are less dangerous when being surveyed by these youths. The young man in question though had committed a grievous crime, Meir Ettinger committed the crime of being the grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a Zionist and Nationalist Rabbi who argued for his causes and predicted the future extremely accurately before being struck down in New York City after giving a talk. His murderer was acquitted as his act of assassination was seen by the Jury as justifiable as the Rabbi had “extremist views” deserving of being shot. These “extremist views” were best expressed as “Am Yisroel Chai” (עם ישראל חי) , the People of Israel Are Alive, and he also continued the cry of “Never Again” which is a chanting that means the Jews will not go silently to their deaths ever again and murdering Jews will have a price. As was known by even the average Israeli who pays attention to anything political, Meir Ettinger and his friends in the Hilltop Youth were innocent of any wrongdoing and they were hauled in, denied council, denied parental access, held in a secretive location, arranged orders to allow stressful interrogation and extreme interrogation techniques and were sleep deprived for up to three days until their bodies shut down from exhaustion, placed in uncomfortable position, stripped of clothing and made to sit in metal chairs and even denied to have showers or change of undergarments. This was beyond anything used on actual terrorists who when denying and refusing to cooperate have been released for lack of evidence while here their evidence was they knew these kids were guilty of something even if it was not what was being investigated.

 

Another problem are the Basic Laws, laws passed by a simple majority just as any other legislation but deemed special and thus take their place as part of an ever growing excuse for a Constitution. Most of the Basic Laws were passed from 1948 through the early 1960s when Israel was an agricultural socialist society with many Israelis residing on communal farms. These Basic Laws have their place but as they can be amended, refuted, and new ones passed should the Knesset decide any law passed belongs incorporated into the Basic Laws such that they tend to lose their importance and meaning as they can be rescinded by a simple majority vote. Then there is the problem that the Supreme Court can also decide which ones can be amended, removed, added, deleted, twisted, beaded, braded, twisted, spindled and mutilated at will by a majority vote of the Knesset or orders from the Supreme Court. This again placed the judges of the Supreme Court as the ultimate rulers of the land and the Supreme Court had granted the Supreme Court absolute authority over all parts of everyday life including silencing us if they so choose to do so as it was Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak (August 13, 1995 to September 14, 2006) stated that all things are in his writings some of the following:

 

Aharon Barak, “Judicial Philosophy,” pp. 477 and 485

In my eyes, the world is filled with law. Every human behavior is subject to a legal norm. Even when a certain type of activity-such as friendship or subjective thoughts-is ruled by the autonomy of the individual will, this autonomy exists, because it is recognized by the law…. Wherever there are living human beings, law is there. There are no areas in life which are outside of law.

 

Barak, “The Constitutional Revolution,” p. 30

The basic values of Judaism are the basic values of the state. I mean the values of love of man, the sanctity of life, social justice, doing what is good and just, protecting human dignity, the rule of law over the legislator and the like, values which Judaism bequeathed to the whole world. Reference to those values is on their universal level of abstraction, which suits Israel’s democratic character, thus one should not identify the values of the state of Israel as a Jewish state with the traditional Jewish civil law. It should not be forgotten that in Israel there is a considerable non-Jewish minority. Indeed, the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish state are those universal values common to members of democratic society, which grew from Jewish tradition and history.

 

Barak, “Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation,” p. 208

When the attempt fails, and the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish state cannot be reconciled with its values as a democratic state, there is no escape from the need to decide. This decision must be made, in my opinion, according to the views of the enlightened community in Israel. This is an objective test, which refers the judge to the full set of values which shape the character of the modern Israeli.

 

Barak, “The Constitutional Revolution,” p. 34

If up until now judges were given “conventional weapons” to deal with legislation by way of interpretation and the creation of Israeli common law, now judges have been given “nonconventional weapons,” which allow nullification of legislation which does not observe the Basic Laws’ criteria.

 

This was a definitive part of Aharon Barak’s judicial philosophy which devolved, not developed, as his tenure on the courts and in practice where he gained contempt for the Zionistic, nationalist conservative swing the people of Israel took over his lifetime. The gaining of a distinct and traditional Jewish, and in many cases Israelite, determination and movement from secularist to a religious Zionistic populace where he saw the only way to salvage the utopian leftist dream was for ultimate power to be vested in the Judges which by their manner of selection remained stuck in 1958 Israel with its collectivist society and socialist governance could be maintained even if that required the judges to decide on each law if it should stand or be struck down or even rewrote to the judicial review standards which precluded change. His view of such is further described as we continue.

 

United Mizrahi Bank, p. 352

With legislation of [the new Basic Laws] a substantial change occurred in the status of human rights in Israel. They have turned into constitutional rights. They have been given supra-legal constitutional status. A “regular” law of the Knesset cannot change them. Regular legislation cannot infringe a protected human right unless the demands set out in the Basic Laws are met. Nonobservance of the constitutional demands turns the regular statute into an unconstitutional statute. This is a statute which bears a constitutional flaw. The court can declare its invalidity.

 

There is this infamous quote often attributed to Barak is that “everything is adjudicable,” which was often presumably the motivation and empowering ideal through which the meaning was taken that the High Court should be able to rule on any matter, including cases involving Israeli military activity in Judea and Samaria and breaches of civil liberties, and not just on issues relating to national laws. Even if Aharon Barak had not stated such, the courts in Israel today, and especially the Supreme Court, are acting as such and seldom refuse a case where they are the sole practitioner of whether legislation passed duly by the representatives of the people who instructed the members of the Knesset with their support to produce legislation as an unwritten contract bound in the ballot box now sits beneath the raised gavel which determines whether or not the people and their elected officials are capable of self-governing or are they merely children who have no right to address the issues of the day as they see fit. This is why it is long past time for the Knesset to appoint a select committee, they may wish to make sure the Supreme Court does not get wind of this as they would strike down the committee as a threat to the state and its omnipotent judiciary, and direct them to draft a Constitution based on the theories of limiting the power for a King such that he collects no amassed wealth and must serve the people faithfully and beyond their best abilities. A solid Constitution which places all before the people’s elected officials to decide and limits judges except in the most drastic and obvious of errant departures into forbidden grounds protected by the constitution and not the will of the adjudicator, are left to apply the law faithfully and with the intents of the people. A Constitution which places the police, military and secret services under civilian control and where any officers or enlistee speaks out defaming the state or its elected and appointed individuals which are empowered by the people is punished under codes of proper conduct for military personnel in uniform or representing the State. The Knesset should remain as the house which appoints the Prime Minister but the second half of the legislature should be directly elected by the people. The nation of Israel could be divided into proper districts. These Israeli Voting Precincts for Upper House might be considered as the Negev, Jerusalem & Area, Coastal Plain & Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, Sharon Valley, Western Galilee & Mt. Carmel, Sea of Galilee & Valleys, and Upper Galilee & Golan with each receiving with Five Seats Each for forty seats plus, Three Super Districts; The North (Western Galilee & Mt. Carmel, Sea of Galilee & Valleys, and Upper Galilee & Golan), Central (Jerusalem, Sharon Valley and Tel Aviv), and the South (, Coastal Plain & Dead Sea with the Negev) with Five Seats Each for a Total of Fifty Five.

 

Israeli Voting Precincts for Upper House Totaling Fifty-Five

Israeli Voting Precincts for Upper House Totaling Fifty-Five

 

The Upper House described above, let’s call it the New Sanhedrin, will ratify appointments to the cabinet and senior appellate judges including the Supreme Court. The Knesset (lower House) as stated will appoint the Prime Minister. This method allows the Parties to make their coalition and the Knesset would run exactly as it does now with elections when their term ends after four years while the New Sanhedrin terms will not be dissolved should the Knesset coalition crash and burn, they will serve three year terms with the vote being taken every three years on a set date on the Hebrew Calendar. With the Prime Minister who was appointed as the leader of the coalition and was initially tapped by the President, who will remain being chosen as they are now, after all, we would not want to end the good old party people never change ever and the same problem people show up just in a different Cabinet Ministerial location so that the incompetence gets spread through all of the government. That is why the small adjustment where the Cabinet Ministerial position first have to be validated by both houses thus there will be less if any invent a cabinet post to make this one feel important and receive additional pay while preening around. Then the people placed in these positions must be approved by the New Sanhedrin upper legislature. Hopefully this will lead to placing people from outside the Knesset body into Cabinet posts such that the person responsible for an area of the government actually knows something about the work the department actually performs.

 

The shuffling of the deck chairs on the HMS Knestitanic sailing the icy-waters of incompetent Ministerial appointments will come to an abrupt end. One example is the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, who during his career thus far he has held Minister of National Infrastructure, Minister of Transport, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Strategic Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs and currently is Minister of Defense. Either Avigdor Lieberman is one of the most intelligent and diversely capable or he had to be ill-prepared in at least one of his positions. Ehud Barak is another regular Minister having been elected not only to hold many varied positions but also served in cooperation or as a member of a number of parties. Israeli politics can confuse even those familiar with parliamentary systems as politicians make new parties, merge parties and change parties sometimes like they change socks. Tzipi Livni has headed two parties while serving in four, where one was a merged pair of parties. Her Career began and appeared steady and content with Likud but then Ms. Livni got the idea that she was destined for greater things and saw her opportunity with Ariel Sharon and his breakaway party from Likud forming Kadima which has a mixture of numerous Ministers from other parties across the political spectrum from Likud to Labor. Kadima started to fail after Ariel Sharon fell into a coma eventually passing. Rather than bite the bullet and join a party Tzipi Livni founded her very own party with some of the remnants from Kadima and a few others who believed there was opportunity as the signs were right, well, almost. Her party was called Hatnuah, meaning “The Movement.” Then she saw this party sinking fast and she made herself an opportunity to share the Prime Minister position with Labor Leader Isaac Herzog. Then problems began as it was noted she was not bringing the numbers of voters hoped and the Labor rank and file felt they were sacrificing too much to gain too little and the Zionist Union, the merger of Labor and Hatnua which the media wanted to defeat Likud that there found Zionist Union defeating Likud going into election day by a margin of 24 to 21 on average. The election result was slightly different with Likud garnering 30 seats while Zionist Union did receive their 24 but obviously insufficient to lead a coalition. This bode poorly for Livni who if she desires a future may have to simply swallow hard and join Labor and hope to rank sufficiently well enough to gain a seat in the Knesset. Tzipi Livni has been Leader of the Opposition for which she is eminently qualified as she has spent much time opposing everything while sitting in the opposition or in the government. Her other positions is a list of many positions including Minister of Regional Cooperation, Minister Without Portfolio (for which she is eminently qualified), Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Minister of Housing and Construction, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Justice. She must be a very capable person. The advantage of having a bicameral legislature which divides responsibilities and a Constitution which defines every branch of government with specific capabilities, responsibilities and limitations, and it is the limitations which often are the most important. The described government arrangement for Israel with a bicameral legislature with the Knesset remaining as currently configured but with the courts made at least indirectly controlled by the people rather than controlling the people and everything else it desires while all but replacing its Judges all but by themselves without any limiting factor within the control of the people. The arrangement was just an idea for the sake of offering and starting the discussion and not a serious suggestion unless the Israelis, my fellow Israelis, read and decide that the framework described has potential as an idea with which to start a national conversation. The described system also would encourage the Prime Minister to find some ministers from outside the government or assure that those chosen from within the government actually are competent and not just blindly pretending to manage something they actually do not understand. The real reason for this discussion is to limit the judges, especially the Supreme Court which even cancelled the financial agreement made on order to start production of the offshore gas fields demanding that the profits be invested in welfare and other socialist, virtually communist, programs because the people who invested in the drilling and took all the chances and took the risks should not reap benefit from their venture, not when foreign funded HGOs can petition the Supreme Court to spread the wealth making sure they get a share with which to further attempt to destroy Israel. That should have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2016

It’s Final and It’s Clinton and Trump

 

Sure it is still possible for Cruz/Kasich or Bernie Sanders to steal the limelight with the teaming up of Cruz/Kasich to temporarily stop Trump or for Bernie to turn the world on its head and win the nomination outright, but pigs have a better chance of flying. So we may as well face it that the United States election will place a criminal against an egotistical buffoon. Such a choice will likely produce the smallest turnout for a Presidential election in American history with over half the eligible voters blowing off the election out of sheer disinterest. The election will be won by whichever of the two candidates sickens their base less than the other. Call it the election where large portions will be voting for the one that makes them less ill. The question must seriously be looked at as to what each Presidency would look like and what the world can expect.

 

Hillary will quite likely be the more predictable of the two as she will be a true leftist performing exactly as advertised. She will continue to spend on social issues taking it from the military. She will cut the NASA budget and we will hear repeatedly about the billions of dollars going to NASA and how such expenditures cannot be justified when the social issues are so dire. She will raise taxes even further on businesses forcing even more companies to flee from what will be an even more oppressive atmosphere. Amnesty for illegal immigrants will be a given and will include a number of millions additional from the troubled Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The flood gates will open for Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi, Libyan, and who knows where else from the failing MENA nations and will be brought in as Europe refuses to accept millions of these immigrants and their nations of origin will disavow them leaving them as people without a country until Hillary rides to their rescue. All financing will be returned to Planned Parenthood. All this and more will result if Hillary has a democratic Congress, especially if they remake the rules preventing filibusters in the Senate by requiring a mere majority vote for cloture as was enacted early in President Obama’s first term.

 

Clinton vs Trump

Clinton vs Trump

 

There will also be a push towards raising the minimum wage above $12.00 and eventually up to $15.00 an hour. This will speed up the automation of fast food service centers, calling such a restaurant would be a stretch. The first company amongst the burger giants to come out with a completely automated service and retrieval and cleaning using robotic servers and cleaning robotic units, especially if they appear humanoid but still obviously robotic to avoid that gulch where they are too humanlike but just enough off to be spooky. We believe the term for such robots are they are in the Uncanny Valley where they freak people out and make them uncomfortable. Unemployment will skyrocket along with the minimum wage hike as more and more jobs simply disappear either through automation of certain sectors of industry or simply fleeing to Asia and other places of lower production costs.

 

There will be pressure by the green movement to tighten pollution standards and a strong push to tax gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles to higher prices making electric vehicles more attractive. Expect a European style carburetor tax or even cylinder tax with a tax based on number of cylinders where production of a car has such a tax pushing the prices skyward. Gasoline taxes will also push gas to European levels or higher. Expect a mileage tax to be levied with GPS mileage tracking systems required on all cars including retrofitting older vehicles. If such a requirement makes keeping your old vehicle on the road too expensive to install the GPS mileage tracking system, enjoy walking or the bus. Automated trucking with self-driving vehicles will become more common. This too might also be another item built into the GPS mileage tracking where every vehicle signals its GPS location, direction and speed which can be read by the automated vehicles to assist them in driving decisions. Such systems could also automate speeding tickets as your speed would be recorded at all times and exceeding the speed limit could result in an automated system sending you a ticket for each violation. Who needs speed cameras when the vehicle itself can turn itself in for speed violations? Cities might even enact car free zones where vehicles are forbidden forcing people to use mass transit. All this and more could be a result of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

 

Donald Trump will be far more difficult to predict as it will depend largely on whom he appoints as his Cabinet and advisors. The biggest danger of a Trump Presidency would be if his policies become unpredictable, especially in economic programs. Should he start one set of economic programs and after five or six months not have the results he desired so he changes the game and again every four to six months then investors will sit on their money as such a game would become too risky and they would turn into risk adverse investors placing their investments in predictable sectors or overseas. Trump might react to pressures from ecology lobbies and make some concessions and it would depend on which as to the effect. CAFÉ standards might be increased demanding higher MPG ratings for vehicles. Taxes on businesses would likely be lowered which would be a positive; and minimum wage, where it may be raised, would not approach $15.00 which would permit for lower unemployment numbers.

 

Certain advances are going to be unavoidable. The driverless automated trucks are coming and there is no preventing that short of making them illegal, not going to happen. Mileage taxes will be levied by the individual states even if not done by the Federal Government. Requiring GPS reporting mileage and possibly constant recording and reporting trip data to the government is coming and will be used to try and force driverless vehicles to replace human drivers even before the technology is perfected, though it is very close, which is why it will be unavoidable. Trump might actually listen to the car manufacturers and allow for hydrogen powered vehicles as an alternative to electric cars. What the ecology lobby does not want people to know is that electric cars do little to lessen pollution and just change the location of the pollution as charging the electric cars requires greater output by power plants most of which burn fossil fuels with extra demand making up for the pollution presumably not produced by driving gasoline powered vehicles. The hydrogen powered vehicles exhaust is water vapor and its main pollution is thermal as the exhaust is in the form of steam predominantly. Perhaps some system could be installed which would permit some degree of condensation before release into the atmosphere, but the efficiency of such a system would need to be proven before any great claims could be made.

 

The area where either a Trump or a Clinton Presidency would be most in doubt would be foreign policy. Hillary might be more willing to intervene militarily and then leave too quickly after declaring job accomplished which may or may not be a better policy providing the parties understand that intervention remains an option if things are not improved after any regime change. Another Libyan style disaster would serve nobody. Trump, on the other hand, is a complete unknown and the sole plus is that as a complete unknown and with his reputation as being somewhat unstable and capable of flying off the handle, other nations might be tempered in their desires to test a President Trump. There will always be at least one foreign country which will test any new President and how they react to such a test can set the mood for the remainder of their term. After the Bay of Pigs disaster Khrushchev tested President Kennedy by shipping nuclear capable missiles into Cuba sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis and the rest is history. Needless to say there were no more tests after President Kennedy literally blockaded Cuba and prevented any additional missile deliveries and demanded the removal of those already in place. Things got a good deal quieter after that faceoff.

 

What will be the test for the incoming President? We predict it would likely come via the situation in what used to be Syria and potentially Iraq and could be either from Russia or Islamic State. There is the already existing threat in the South China Sea with the Chinese literally building and arming islands right in the heart of the existing sea lanes forcing shipping to detour adding hundreds of miles to the routes between Japan and Asia as they need to circumnavigate around these Chinese newly-fashioned and militarized islands. These also could be utilized to prevent any reinforcement in a timely manner of Taiwan should China finally attempt to make good on their standing threat to restore their province which they claim Taiwan actually should be. Then there is the challenge which is sure to be presented by Iran as they continue to flaunt their disregard for any limitations presumably set by the Iran deal which likely was simply an agreement that Iran not announce or test a nuclear weapon until after President Obama has set off for golfing and placing his Presidential Library between the ninth hole and tenth tee next to the clubhouse on his Presidential Golf Course. Foreign challenges are always an area where second guessing is commonplace as nobody can predict everything accurately as there is always that surprise awaiting around every corner. The one predictable item is foreign powers are less likely to challenge Trump than they are Clinton. That might be a very seriously bad mistake, period. Hillary Clinton could be their worst nightmare if she was having a bad hair day when they pushed her; she could be far more vicious and unpredictable than Trump could ever be. Trump, though potentially unpredictable, would at least be relatively logical even if that logic might be unfathomable to some. Hillary Clinton would be simply terrifying should she feel threatened or being made a fool of or made to appear hesitant and weak as she would be more likely to overreact to any situation and press it to unnecessary levels or even use overwhelming force where a strong show of force without pulling the trigger was all that was necessary to end the threat peacefully. We have far more trepidation when it comes to Hillary over Donald when it comes to foreign threats despite both being unpredictable. No matter which wins there will be no telling the results until either has settled in and the initial actions and reactions have been initiated.

 

The final item is Israel. Trump will depend on who his advisors are on foreign policy, but we believe he will be more even handed and accommodating regarding Israel once he is made fully appreciative of the situation. Trump will need to weigh what the Pentagon and Defense Department give him and what the State Department tells him. With such conflicting information, he will necessarily have to choose and hopefully will have visited Israel and talked to both sides and gotten his measure of the land. Hillary Clinton will likely make President Obama appear to have been a supporter of Israel and best of friends with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We already are fully aware of the lack of good relations between Bibi and Hillary and the special hate she holds for Israel. Expect the chill between Israel and the United States to become an ice age under Hillary with no possible thaw and open threats to become commonplace from the White House to Jerusalem. There will be nobody to answer the calls from Hillary as her animosity is well known in Israel and she will manage to even alienate the Israeli left within the first year of her screeching demands for Israel to surrender completely to Abbas. Any dealing with Hillary by Israel would be suicidal. Trump may initially be an unknown but would at least not enter the situation convinced of their preconceived notions as Hillary would be, and she would be completely anti-Israel no matter what lies she told AIPAC.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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