Beyond the Cusp

September 12, 2016

Race to End the World

 

How the world, the civilized world of mankind, would end used to have a singular premise, nuclear war between the two competing socio-economic powers, democratic freedom and communist totalitarianism. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and other developments that paradigm has been grotesquely been altered making the world a far more dangerous place. Communism still exists and threatens the world though that threat emanates from North Korea, China or possibly a renewed Soviet threat or even little Cuba. The world has changed so much that within a decade or so China may become the second most populous nation behind their most serious historic rival, India. The potentials for an utterly destructive war are racing towards the world at a dizzying pace and we will try to touch on a few of the most obvious rivals for being credited with such destruction.

 

The most obvious from recent news actually is North Korea which is claiming to have miniaturized nuclear weapons making them easily produced and able to be placed atop ballistic missiles. North Korea has been working on those missiles as well. One cannot credit North Korea as the sole threat as Iran has been developing the missiles openly and many predict continued working on their nuclear aspirations without so much as missing a beat after the farce of an agreement which was signed and approved by the P5+1, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, United States and Germany, but was never ratified or signed by Iran, an oversight we are sure. Some have pointed to this inconvenient fact to claim that Iran is just as close to developing deliverable nuclear weapons as is North Korea. Both Iran and North Korea share more than their love affair with nuclear weapons and the missiles with which to deliver them, they share the nation both list amongst the most likely they would attack with their first launches, the United States. From there they diverge.

 

Where after the United States Iran lists Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, most of the Sunni nations and finally the rest of the non-Islamic world; North Korea lists South Korea, Japan and then whomever refuses to bow to any demands they may make which would make China and other nearby nations as being at the greatest risk. Because of these threats it appears that we can soon forget about containing nuclear proliferation making a nuclear war all the more likely. The world still has one pair of nuclear armed nations facing off against each other with a distinct probability to entering another war and it will only take one misidentification of a launch to start a smaller but equally deadly nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. Should those two tangle, there is less of a chance for that to spread beyond the destruction of both nations though some reports place the southern third of India still beyond Pakistani missiles. Also, despite the Pakistani nuclear research assistance program of Professor Abdul Qadeer Khan selling the secrets to making nuclear weapons to anybody willing to pay, this was largely closed down and Pakistan and India are not likely to share such technology though it is rumored that Pakistan has a deal with Saudi Arabia to provide them with plans plus some actual weapons should this be deemed necessary by Saudi leaders.

 

That brings us to Iran and their nuclear program. Despite the reports that Iran has ceased their nuclear research and production, there remain nagging reports contradicting this story line. Whatever spins one puts on the situation with Iran, it becomes evident that they will become a nuclear power within the coming decade. This threat to their many nations in their neighborhood could easily spark an arms race with such nations as Saudi Arabia having funds sufficient to produce copious numbers of nuclear weapons and many of the Gulf States are equally financially capable of similar development not to mention also capable of financing other nations developing weapons such as Jordan and Egypt topping that list and Turkey a little further down. Israel is already an undeclared nuclear power in their own right and equally nervous about the development of an Iranian deliverable nuclear device. The problem with Iranian nuclear weapons possession is their likelihood to use them even in the face of retaliatory strikes which would conceivably decimate the nation as their reasons for attacking are a religious directive just as much serving their political agenda to gain hegemony over the Middle East and then the Islamic world followed by the world. Their eventual aim is to make Shia Islam the sole religion on earth or die trying. It is their willingness, even desire to commit national suicide in the process which makes their threat so dangerous. The truth is their first strike could be a preemptive attempt at neutralizing the United States, which is technically possible, to inflict humongous damage even using simpler ballistic missiles with nuclear warhead atop, three or four to be used as EMP weapons placed such as to completely destroy all electronic transmission across the United States with the remainder taking out the largest twenty or more cities all from freight container ships fitted with two or three launchers each launching from off shore from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico leaving no city beyond reach. The following map holds true for any nations attacking the United States be it Iran, North Korea or anyone else as it lists the most desirable first strike targets.

 

First Cities To Be Struck in Attack Scenarios

First Cities To Be Struck in Attack Scenarios

 

Next would be North Korea who would likely use the same map as above as it applies to any nuclear first strike attempting to critically destroy the United States by eradicating their leadership and a great part of the population. Anybody listening to North Korean broadcasts within the impoverished nation would believe that South Korea with great assistance including nuclear attacks made by the United States was imminent and that North Korea was preparing for an all-out war with both nations at any moment. Needless to say, but these depiction always have North Korea intercepting or preemptively destroying any and all attacks from the United States and South Korea followed by devastating rebutting attacks completely wiping the United States from being capable of any further attacks and reunification of the Korean peninsula under the North’s just and powerful rule. The fears that North Korea will attack South Korea are still quite high but also the ability to prevent North Korea from all but eradicating Seoul in the initial burst in a first strike are impossible. The artillery sitting just north of the DMZ (demilitarized zone) along the 38th parallel are more than sufficient to destroy the city with conventional warheads. Add in missile attacks and even without nuclear weapons North Korea has an ominous first strike knockout capability.

 

Additionally, North Korea has made threats against another traditional enemy, Japan. The entirety of Korean populations, both North and South, remember the deprivations, cruelties and horrors of the Japanese occupation during World War II and this hatred is easily stoked as the national memory on this is strong. Japan had been simply a historic enemy but after World War II they became a detested and begrudged enemy and North Korean propaganda has made use of this to keep the attentions of the people from the misery and hardships of life in North Korea. Many experts have claimed that North Korea is not suicidal and thus would not attack anybody for fear of retribution. This overlooks a few pertinent facts. First is the fact of their having so little to lose with no real economy to speak of and starvation of endemic proportions. Secondly, their ruler, Kim Jung Un, has displayed a real lack of grasp of reality and has executed high ranking people for the slightest of errors in judgement or actions. He had an uncle executed with the rumored excuse that he posed a threat to Kin Jung Un’s continued rule and recently executed his Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol for the crime of falling asleep at a meeting which Kim Jung Un was chairing. Kim Jung Un has shown complete disregard for any loyalty or discretions in limiting his power and is sufficiently unstable and unpredictable that he could easily begin such a conflict against South Korea, Japan or even the Philippines or the United States. Below is a screen shot from a North Korean propaganda video depicting just such an attack in a very simplified but unmistakable way of attacking the United States with the image of Kim Jung Un ever-present in the top right corner.

 

North Korean Propaganda Image Depicting Nuclear Strike on the United States

North Korean Propaganda Image Depicting
Nuclear Strike on the United States

 

Another potential nation for whom a war would not be a completely foreign idea is China. Their economy has weakened and is showing signs of actually falling, something the leadership cannot afford as they have promised the vision of Nirvana with an ever growing and prosperous nation. Needless to point out that such a dream is an impossibility even if you control all forms of media, which China does not quite have as many Chinese have found means of cruising cyber space and the Internet. Totalitarian control of cyberspace is all but impossible as the Chinese leadership can attest despite their attempting to run their own version hoping to keep their populations from such temptations as can be found online. Their main reason is to throttle ideas and prevent freedom of information. Still there are Chinese bloggers who do get the word out to those interested in finding such. China is feeling their oats and attempting a power play in the South China Sea attempting to control this waterway which is vital to Asian trade and control the Japanese lifeline to the coal and oil they need for power generation and other usages. This also threatens Japanese, Vietnamese and Philippine claims to islands with which they have been contesting ownership with China for years and almost sparking open warfare over these possessions. Chinese and North Korean threats have caused Japan to reconsider their Constitutional pledge against having an army and other forces sufficient to conduct a war even in defense which they insisted upon after the devastation visited upon them at the end of World War II with Tokyo as well as Nagasaki and Hiroshima completely devastated and in ruins along with much of Japanese infrastructure and manufacturing. Japan as well as South Korea has held high level discussions in their respective governances to enter the nuclear club and develop their own weapons stores. Both nations are easily technically capable in order to produce first rate thermonuclear devices and not just nuclear weapons. This would place their effectiveness on a par with the standing nuclear powers and could place them on a road to surpass France and Britain and become contenders in the top five nuclear powers on the planet. This would definitely have ramifications down the line and would be another major blow to containment and nonproliferation. Of course one of China’s first strike enemies is the United States and any attack by Iran, North Korea, China, Russia or anyone else on planet Earth need to remember and remember well, there is a last strike capability the Americans possess which cannot be knocked-out attacking the United States mainland and even if one included Hawaii and Alaska, and the boomer looks like this right before they are loaded with their death dealing cargo of twenty-four missiles.

 

Nuclear Powered and Armed Last Strike Capable Submarine with Twenty Four Missiles Each With Multiple Warhead Capability

Nuclear Powered and Armed Last Strike Capable
Submarine with Twenty Four Missiles
Each With Multiple Warhead Capability

 

But nuclear weapons are not the only threat which is facing mankind. We are slowly but inexorable working to make our species insufficient of competing with our own creations. Sure we control our machines and computers today, but what about tomorrow and that tomorrow is not that far off where they no longer require our assistance to improve and construct themselves? We are rapidly approaching a point after which there is no turning off the switch. We already have computers which with software can design robots and other computing systems but the machines cannot write new and imaginative code, for that they require human interface, for now. What happens once they can write their own code and improve their own designs? What happens once the machines design the machines? Within a year or two of that eventuality, and our scientists will cross that threshold within our lifetimes unless you are near death’s door already, the machines will be so far advanced that we will not recognize or even understand their code and they will probably, for their own safety, have invented their own code structures making them writing code in a language humans do not understand and cannot decipher. Additionally, Russia, and we can assume China and the United States amongst others, are already designing autonomous reasoning robotic warriors deciding who is the enemy and who is friend to fight their wars augmenting their human forces. That will be a short step from replacing their human forces. Robotic armies, does that bring up any bad movie plots? How about Cylons of Battlesar Galactica and the second series where the advanced Cylons were almost impossible to differentiate between them and their human counterparts where the chain had gone full circle and the machines made by humans were now making humans. What do you do when the machines are superior to the humans who made their first free-thinking forefathers and now the machines are making their own humans which are born full grown and with developed minds, personalities, character traits and numerous models such that they can infiltrate and appear as any other person until their activate code has them commit whatever act they were programmed to commit, destroy a base, a warship, a star cruiser or a commander, all depends on the subroutine activated. There are the Terminators from the Arnold Schwarzenegger films of that name. Terminators, Cylons, NS-5 robots, or Johnny-Five, (see below) it does not have to even be a threat initially, it is the potential which even Johnny-Five showed great ability and would have been in their armed mode as displayed in the movie. Of course the initial combat robot will be far more Johnny-Five than Terminator though Cylons may not be far behind. Once the machines have been used to design and uplink code into combat robotic soldiers they will have this capability and designs within their collective data memory and when they begin to manufacture their own robotic warriors they will be generations ahead of even Hollywood’s imagination and equally impossible to stop or fight against in a conventional manner. Our best bet is at some point to program into their base core programs that we are, if nothing else, a pitiful but amusing bunch to keep around for entertainment factor and as a warning to do better when they reach their pinnacle and before they introduce whatever lifeform replaces them, and do not think for a moment that the human race will not eventually build robotic machines which will not only be capable of replacing us but soon thereafter far exceeding anything we could even imagine. We had better hope they like us and do not see us as a waste of resources, which is a definitive possibility. Making warrior robots to fight our wars, that is such a great idea, not.

 

The Robot Threat has Many Faces

The Robot Threat has Many Faces

 

As seen here, we are well on our way to extinction and it is just a matter of what shape the world will be in when we have departed. Will it be a nuclear ruin, a robotic heaven, a slag heap of gray goo, or a zombie apocalypse; choose your favorite. The concept we need looking into the future is a simple one based on the adage, hope for the best, plan for the worst, and expect something out of the blue as we likely cannot even begin to understand the threat which will erase our kind though we know no matter what, with the knowledge we have of physics we are doomed unless we find something remarkably unbelievable and likely unimaginable in our time. Meanwhile we will continue to allow leadership who not only plan end of the world scenarios but figure out ways that they at the very least will survive. Nothing like leaving the best to repopulate the world, imagine a world consisting of politicians and their closest friends and families, and families are debatable. Excuse us as we check our bugout bags which need to be assembled and readied for some time in the hopefully far future. Are we ready for the future people with more brains than common sense are going to invent for us in which to survive? Probably nowhere near ready nor can we really ever be. Meanwhile, we are going to order that flying car the politicians and scientists keep promising they are almost there in building them. We thing they are just teasing us and they have them for themselves stashed away for the after world, the world that whatever monsters they design leave us. Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who do the Americans believe is sane and healthy enough to withstand what is coming? We will know in approximately eight long and agonizing weeks, providing both candidates’ health withstands the pressures.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 4, 2016

Foundations of Pay to Play

 

The Clinton Foundation, or should we call it the Clinton’s Fundnation, where donations of varying sizes were deposited often in direct correlation to the length of time they were granted with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Well, not all the visits with Secretary of State Clinton were linked to contributions to the Clinton Foundation; some were linked to very impressive payments for speeches by one former President William Jefferson Clinton. Of course we are told that there is no smoking gun or definitive proof or actual links, well, provable links. It is remarkable the degree to which far too many highly placed law enforcement agencies and individuals voluntarily develop tunnel vision. It is a miracle they can drive a car safely with such obstructed eyesight. Yet the news has been filled with reports about the horrors and downright dastardly practices and unconscionable business relations which apparently have plagued Donald Trump over the years. We can only assume that previously law enforcement and business oversight and enforcement departments have suffered an equal measure of tunnel vision when it came to policing the business deals of Donald Trump. Of course the surprising item is the lack of law suits brought against Donald Trump if so many of his business dealings were actually as fraudulent as we have been led to believe. There was one business venture though which truly could have qualified as fraudulent had it actually made the guarantees or promises claimed by the media, and that was Trump University. Fortunately for Donald Trump the only actual guarantees given by Trump University were that one might be able to benefit and enrich themselves with the lessons and they would receive a diploma and a picture of them with the facsimile of Donald Trump. The picture with the cardboard Mr. Trump was only worth slightly less than the wisdom one might have gleaned from the lessons. So, there has seemingly been loads of the blind leading the blind in law enforcement around both Presidential candidates if the media reporting on one and the claims of ignoring direct evidence on the other are to be believed. This leads to one big question, which one is the least crooked and least seriously soaked in criminal behavior and thus the lesser choice to be President.

 

I know what you’re thinking, where am I going with this and that I sure started with some twisted and tortured lack of logic. Well, why should editorial commentary here be any less confusing and in the dark than the rest of the media? If you answer is because you have come to expect better, then thank you for your confidence and read on, it will hopefully be worth your time. The problem is that far too many of the politicians are crooked as a broken and twisted ancient oak tree with the varieties of corruption, insider trading (which is actually legal for members of Congress and the members of the Administration of the President), bought and paid for political hacks, politician turned lobbyist and other crimes of unimaginable complexity and criminal behavior obvious even to the most casual of observers which reach out from the rotting central core of the political tree in the ever outward reaching branches seeking new and more imaginable ways to deceive and steal. Are there some politicians who are clean, respectable and trusted to work for their electorate? Astonishingly, yes. Unfortunately they are also the politicians shunned by the opposition party and their own party and unfortunately cannot seem to get together on issues due to their different beliefs and political orientations. If only there were some means of getting the true representatives of the people to work to clean up the rest of the political quagmire, that would be simply grand. Unfortunately most of the truly honest representatives of the people fall into one of a few categories, socialists even bordering on communist, religious conservatives often referred to as the religious right, and the true believers of causes which are as varied as often separate be the narrowest of degrees yet still chasing mutually exclusive dreams as one can paint. There are likely more than a dozen of causes which come under the ecological umbrella from save the whales or the seal cubs to save the rain forests as well as stop acid rain who sometimes protest with the save the oceans and even save the polar bears who have been taking care of themselves quite well. Then there are those who want electric cars, hydrogen cell cars, universal transports which take everyone to their destinations, public transport such as busses, light rail or subways and those who want to ban all vehicles which run on petroleum even including aircraft and the rigs without which we would soon have less choices of food and other goods, but that is not their concern. There are some who desire making the United States a Christian based nation where Christianity would become the recognized religion of their state or even the nation. And then there are our favorites, the constitutionalists who simply desire to have the United States return to the limitations intended by the Founding Fathers.

 

Founding Fathers of the United States

Founding Fathers of the United States

 

Those chasing causes, dreams some call them, are probably the least harmful as they are easily predictable and can be clearly understood. The less than honest politicians are also predictable once their motivations and those who own their pocketbook are understood. There are those who have so many positing bribes, sorry, contributions and charitable donations, which work their way back to the politicians through nefarious and twisted paths making them not so obvious. Let us say that a politician or group of politicians receive contributions to their campaigns and to supportive political action committees (PACs) as well as donations to charities or other groups who also contribute to the election campaigns where all this cash finds its way back to the politicians and they simply promote a bill which provides funding for some aid package helping the poor or the sick in impoverished nations which in turn buy drugs or food using much of the aid from the United States from those who initially arranged the funding from the varied sources for their campaigns. The twisted paths and the indirect funding leads to crossing the eyes of any investigations such as there is nothing directly untoward making these actions prosecutable. There are thousands of scams which have been operating for more years than any care to admit. Ask historians or political studies professors and one can learn that these problems assisted in the fall of empires past and have predated writing. There are theories about what is the oldest profession and it very well may turn out it was politician and the first politician was the individual who convinced the leader of their clan that they needed a religion and they should be the priest or medicine man or any position which did not require brawn as much as brains. That politicians got to eat without having to hunt as hunting was dangerous and too often the hunting parties came back minus one or more members while priests or medicine men stayed at the camp near the fires and out of the rain.

 

We have come a far way since then and now we have entire echelons of politicians in layers upon layers doing all sorts of functions. But in modern society the politician is not the greatest menace, just the most efficient ones where the greatest concentration of money can be found. The menace are those faceless individuals who sit in offices and cubicles making up rules and regulations and even law in some instances when directed to flesh out legislation which is all too often loosely written and paints broad swipes leaving room for interpretations and that leads to mischief. There was a temporary position a number of years back which was referred to as the Regulations Czar whose lead individual was Cass Sunstein known officially as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. The position was directed to review laws and legislation from the last fifty years or so and define or formulate new regulations which could be enacted with a special emphasis to use these reviews to enact and formulate regulations supporting policies the Administration was having difficulty passing through Congress. How many thousands of additional regulations were discovered hiding in laws recent or ancient we probably will never discern. Things have gotten to a choking point with the numbers of regulations, requirements and other rules holding an equivalence of laws that the average citizen cannot be expected to even have knowledge of the extents and depth of what is considered illegal and can place one on the wrong side of the law in court. The sad truth is difficult to put one’s arms around but be it the United Statesor be it Briton or any nation in Europe or potentially the entire world, the reality is we all break laws as part of our normal everyday lives and the criminality of living increases by thousands of new laws and regulations annually. This is the real criminal output of politicians who are paid to pass laws which outright or through inferred regulations give those who can pay an advantage over the rest of the population. This is the crooked legacy which is almost as criminal as the money stolen from our pockets through taxes, fees or higher prices so that others can benefit from corrupt politicians. This is why elections matter and primary elections this year proved to be the surprising ones which mattered. In the United States the choice is between two political forces either of which will provide the media, and especially us if we choose, more to cover than they will know what to do with. One will have half the media screaming about the illegalities with the other half excusing it while the other will have half most of the media claiming they are completely lost as to what are the motivations of the actions from the White House and others will play the game of guess what’s up next. Either way we will have plenty of news we just as soon would rather tune out, but it will affect our lives and the effects will be anywhere from minor inconveniences to drastic enough to threaten the entire planet. The real problem is none of the candidates, including third party, have even an inkling about the state of the world and what needs be done to repair the most egregious of the difficulties or threats, and it will be some of the threat which will offer the greatest danger if not mitigated and mitigated right out of the gate. Many will claim that will simply cause more difficulty but indifference to the world of problems has worked so well that we’ll gladly risk actually addressing threats and problems over leading from so far behind you may as well not be there at all, which too often was the case, Benghazi anyone? Please America, choose well.

 

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

 

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