Beyond the Cusp

July 25, 2014

Israel Hated Similar Reasons as is the United States

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One of the mantras heard in the condemnation of Israel in the current struggle to end the rocket bombardment and destroy the infiltration tunnel networks of the Hamas terrorist forces is that while there are hundreds of casualties being suffered within Gaza there are relatively little damage and a near unbelievable lack of noticeable casualties amongst the Israeli populations and cities. This lack of such disaster spread throughout Israel is due to two basic facts, first, the Hamas rockets are unguided and inaccurate with the majority landing in open areas thus doing little other than difficult to measure psychological damage simply from the repeated sirens and the having to hurriedly head for shelters and spend anxious minutes or longer in tense anxiety and second, the next to impossible success of the Iron Dome interceptor batteries which have downed approaching perfect interception percentage which has spared Israel the damage and casualties which previously would reached frightful levels. Take away either of these two factors and Israel would be showing similar levels of damage and significantly higher casualties than are being witnessed in Gaza despite the facts that Hamas places their civilians in the path of dangers and risks their lives in order to attempt to prevent attacks on something they value more than their people’s lives, their rockets to launch in the hope of murdering as many Israelis as possible while Israel invests whatever is necessary to prevent any harm from coming to her civilians. For those hanging on every new broadcast hoping for news of a highly successful attack which brings devastation to those Israelis, it will only take one failure of the Iron Dome batteries which are tasked with protecting Tel Aviv for your dreams to be unfortunately realized. In central Tel Aviv are tall office buildings with ten having forty or more floors and one that clears fifty which could be struck by a Hamas rocket and some of their largest are capable of doing sufficient damage to collapse one such skyscraper making such a strike the worst terrorist strike in Israeli history with a potential of thousands of murdered Israelis as a result of that one rocket which might get through. Those who hold the disparate death tolls and damages as their reason for despising Israel and throwing their sympathies to Hamas in empathy for their greater losses are damning Israel because of her success at protecting her population.

If instead of measuring by damage taken one were to measure the presumed disparity by number of explosive bombs and warheads launched or dropped and number of attempted ground mission and took the period of time leading up to the Israeli ground assault beginning you might be surprised. This comparison does not include the over a thousand rockets launched by Hamas into Israel before Israel launched her first bombing mission and only those rockets and attempted infiltrations by Hamas measured against the number of Israeli bombs and commando raids. The explosive comparison had slightly over a thousand-five-hundred Hamas rockets while the Israelis retaliated with slightly over two-thousand bombs with Hamas having attempted around a half-dozen infiltrations against a single naval commando mission by Israel. When one looks at the attacks and attempts to impart damage, destruction and casualties on the other side the conflict between Israel and Hamas becomes far more even contest with the measurable difference being in the preparation and success in defending and protecting ones people from those attacks.

This holding Israel at fault because of her being the stronger and more technologically advanced also ignores one of the most vital and important facts, Israel did not initiate this war and Israel removed every last Israeli and removed every IDF troop and base from all of Gaza in August of 2005. When people point to the blockade it needs to be pointed out that when Israel removed their presence they tuned the greenhouses and working businesses worth millions of dollars behind for the Gazans to utilize giving them functioning and profitable operations and did not impose any blockade on Gaza until after Hamas took control of Gaza in a bloody and violent coup defeating the forces of the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas. As long as the Palestinian Authority was governing Gaza the Israelis felt little need to clamp strict control over the ports in Gaza but this sense of security dissipated when Hamas which is sworn to the destruction of Israel and the eradication of Jews worldwide stipulated in the clearest possible language in the Hamas Charter and is a unifying theme taught in their schools and portrayed throughout their media.

Anybody who has attended one of the liberal arts colleges or universities and received lectures from professors holding the typical anti-capitalist and anti-American views such as often lectured by such as Noam Chomsky you would be familiar with their anti-American programs. They claim that American culture is polluting the world and tainting the natural culture and altering societies claiming that this societal culture creep that is Americanizing many of the cultures in the third world presumably destroying these primitive cultures which they claim are superior to the crass American culture as the more primitive cultures presumably live in harmony with nature. They also claim that the United States is the worst polluter of nature in the world, something far from borne out by actual unmassaged statistics. Was the United States a large pollution engine a number of decades ago? Yes, though not necessarily the worst. The truth is that since the 1970s the United States has been the only nation that has actually met and surpassed the stringent requirements set by the Kyoto Protocols despite the fact that the United States never signed on to these standards. Another canard is that the United States economic wealth has stolen from the less developed world their share of wealth because since the available wealth is presumably constant, their claim, not mine, then by obvious measurement, by the United States having so much wealth they have to have made it unfairly by robbing the poorer nations. What they are intentionally suppressing is that wealth is not a constant and the United States historically has been the greatest creator of wealth.

What, you need some proof that wealth is constantly being created? To use the most obvious proof that wealth grows over time and directly proportionally to technological advancement one need look no further than ancient human history, real ancient human history. Original ancient man, as in Homo erectus, our ancient ancestors hunted with spears and possibly bow and arrows and the keeper of the fire would be put to death if he permitted the fire to be extinguished and was responsible for transporting the embers to spark the fire when the tribe migrated. We could now trend the advances and thus creations of wealth through the ages with the Greeks and Romans who used plumbing, aqueducts and relatively complex weaponry compared to spears but quite primitive and useless against modern weaponry. Then we see what we have today with buildings covering large swaths of Europe and the United States, automobiles and other items which not long ago were considered luxuries or were not yet invented. All of these are indication of increased available wealth and by claiming that American culture and production methods are ruinous to less advanced nations is actually a form of elitism which is using false arguments to keep the third world less advanced and inferior to the technologically modern world by claiming that their lack of modernity is a state of existence that needs to be preserved. Where this is actually more destructive ecologically can also be described by researching the production of a simple product which has been in existence for numerous centuries, the production of charcoal. Modern charcoal is produced using electrical heating elements with the wood chips placed in a chamber which is filled with CO2 which minimizes escaping pollution while the tried and true old school method is to make large piles of wood chips and allow them to smolder such that the ones buried in the center are oxygen starved and are made into charcoal but produce heavy amounts of smoke and if a large area is used to mass produce charcoal with numerous large mounds smoldering away the area can become absolutely toxic. Which way would any intelligent ecological activist desire to have people worldwide produce charcoal, with modern equipment or the good old fashioned way which is still used in much of today’s world? Criticizing the United States for having a worldwide cultural influence and a greater proportion of the world’s per capita wealth is a form of primitivism and a rejection of advanced technology. This is found in a number of other elitist fads such as rejection of most technological advancements in agricultural preferring “natural” products. The same crippling anti-success jealousy which has infected much of social academia is behind much of the anti-Americanism as it is also behind much of the anti-Israel hatreds. This is most evident in the condemnation of Israel for protecting her people while sympathizing with Hamas because they appear disadvantaged by the resulting casualty numbers and destruction of infrastructure despite the actual number and size of explosives launched by each side being relatively equal, and actually favoring Hamas if one includes the three week buildup of rockets fired into Israel before the initial Israeli response to those attacks. But it is so much more noble to favor the underdog and it gives one a sense of superiority but cannot be assumed to grant them any moral advantage, that takes a more reasoned, systematic and unemotional examination of facts and actual numbers and not kneejerk emotional spontaneous reactions.

Beyond the Cusp

April 22, 2014

The Boston Marathon and the American Spirit

One year after the horrendous terrorist bombing perpetrated by the Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, brothers who were born in Chechnya but spending the decade before their hateful and despicable act of terror in the United States, the Boston Marathon was held today. One would have been fully justified and it would have been understood had the crowds been small, miniscule even, simply due to memories of the senseless carnage at last year’s Boston Marathon. Instead the finish-line, the scene for last year’s carnage, was crowded layers deep with people welcoming and cheering the runners as they completed the race. There was some of that never say die, look any threat in the eye and then walk towards the danger, the spirit which many have claimed had been lost and no longer was a part of the new modern America. Trust that this may be the America that many have not seen, as currently the Americans most in the focus of the cameras are those surrounding the political elite and other so-called special people. The average American has not changed and is still there working and playing hard. The real American never gives up hope and this is a good thing as hope may be the only chance for much of a future when the bills for the reckless fiscal policies reach their unalterable endpoint and the bills come due. Then we will see the real Americans picking up the pieces and moving forward rebuilding a new and improved America though it will take decades, possibly a century or more. But today they got to see a race and reward those who accomplished completing a Marathon, quite a feat if you have ever tried to run such a distance. The Boston Marathon was a tribute to the spirit and determination of the American people to never allow anything to blunt their spirit or deter their determination or place any challenge before them and expect it be unconquerable. The American people, the people we rarely get a glimpse of until the times are dire and they are most needed, are the ones who refuse to say quit and they will be the ones the world will turn to and place their hopes when the economic consequences start to topple national economies one upon another. Today we got to witness that the American spirit still lives and the heart of the heartland still beats steady and strong, even in Boston. I would wish it not be a necessity to explain that this is a tribute to the American people, the ones who toil to produce the ideas, goods and treasures in great abundance and who pull the wagons of civilization, commerce, freedom, liberty and human dignity despite all else that surrounds them simply because they are driven to provide and care. These are the Americans which the world seldom witness as the world is often only provided a censored scene framed around the political and other leadership, many of whom portray America in the worst possible light thus doing a great disservice to the average American, because the average American is anything but average.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 23, 2013

Aid Seeking Oklahoma Republican Reps Denied Hurricane Sandy Aid

There will be factual but misleading commentary and quotations in the coming week condemning the elected Congressional representatives from Oklahoma for accepting Federal assistance in the recovery from the EF-5 tornado that utterly destroyed much of the small Oklahoma town of Moore. These statements will claim that those Oklahoma politicians who had voted down the initial $50 Billion aid package to assist the Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and the Northeast when it was before Congress are now being simply greedy in expecting funds for the recovery from the tornado. The main targets will be these conservative Republicans; Senator Tom Coburn, Senator James M. Inhofe, Representative Jim Bridenstine, Representative Markwayne Mullin, and Representative James Lankford. Both Representative Frank Lucas and Representative Tom Cole will be free from blame as they supported this legislation, well, they may receive a pass now but come the next election this vote may be used against them for supporting such massive unnecessary pork included in this legislation. And it is the included pork spending which makes the blame game unprincipled and purely a political witch hunt in an attempt to gain political points by disregarding the actual truth.

The legislation which allocated generous funding to assist and enable full recovery from much of the damages incurred during Hurricane Sandy still did not utilize even half of the $50 Billion. The greater part of these funds went to numerous projects or to supplement existing programs which had absolutely nothing to do with hurricane Sandy. Many of the expenditures went to numerous states and locations untouched by Hurricane Sandy and even to some which have never been touched by any hurricane in recorded history. These were the expenditures which the Oklahomans in the House of Representatives and the Senate voted against and they had made their positions very clear back in Oklahoma. Furthermore, there is not going to even be a vote on relief aid for the tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma as FEMA has a surplus of funds at this point and all outlays will fall well within already allocated emergency funds set aside for just such emergencies. The difference for Hurricane Sandy was in order to fund the repairs after that disaster had to come from spending above and beyond allocated spending thus the discussion was to allocate supplemental spending. This is a normal situation which has happened before and will happen again in the future simply because some years storm and other emergency disaster recovery allocations are less than budgeted and other years it will exceed allocated spending. The evil which is hidden in the example of Hurricane Sandy was the practice of attaching additional spending for pet items, most often funding items within a Senator or Representatives State or District, often to reward major financial supporters of their campaigns, to legislation which is obviously necessary such as emergency spending, defense budgets, and other pressing or popular legislations thus guaranteed to pass. This is a convenient and efficient way of hiding what is in reality unnecessary expenditures from discussion, debate, or media coverage while guaranteeing passage and allocation of these somewhat nefarious spending items which would suffer defeat and embarrassment if their sponsors were to submit legislation solely for the approval of such expenditures.

The hiding of pork and pet project spending within unrelated legislation is an old trick of the political class but has, like so many other underhanded and circuitous measures, exploded over the last fifty years. There is another legislative misdirection used by politicians by which they pass legislation for items which they are fully aware that should they support it straight out they would be pounded come the next election as their constituents would hold their feet to the fire for supporting something the voters would find undesirable, odious even. What is done is there are three versions of the legislation presented for consideration, each one worded just sufficiently different to make each one appear to be different. This can be accomplished by changing technical terms or making less direct references within the bill such that it is a difference without a difference. Then our Representatives and Senators can vote against at least one variation while they agree on which one will be passed, maybe all three will be passed and still allow any who need to have cover for opposing the legislation is also met. Another misdirection used was a favorite of retired Texas Representative Ron Paul who would add copious amounts of pork to guaranteed to pass comfortably legislation and then he would make a grand pontification denouncing all the pork in said piece of legislation and, after demanding a roll call vote, proudly vote against the legislation into which he had placed the pork for his district. When his reelection campaign was hitting the home stretch he could wave his vote against a bill containing pork for his own district as dyed in the wool anti-pork purist despite knowing full well that the pork would safely pass and his district receive the largess he intended for them. Representative Ron Paul was one of the most successful practitioners of this method of deceit.

These are simply a pair of ways our Senators and Representatives mislead and outright lie to us and still manage to do every dirty little trick necessary in order to build government and spend all of the citizens’ tax monies to buy the votes to keep them in their cushy jobs in Washington or each state capital. There is one method which will never see the light of day unless “We the People” demand that such be made into law, or better yet, made into a constitutional Amendment. What is necessary to end these practices is single item legislation requirement where each piece of legislation must state exactly the measure or condition it will address and then every article, addendum, and amendment must be justified as to how it addresses the defined subject of the legislation. Such constricting rules will never be imposed by our elected representatives because such would end much of their little games and secrets through which they enrich their big money supporters and even often find channels that put more cash directly into their own wallets. Single item legislative requirement would not be the end and cure-all but it would be a solid step towards curbing runaway spending which we currently suffer from in almost immeasurable amounts. Once we have corralled the spendaholics in our government, perhaps then things will become easier to observe, then further steps towards honest and forthright political service can be demanded and excesses finally be rendered to the past. Everybody is allowed to dream and sometimes that first step, the dream, can lead to actual achievements. Truth be told, if you never dream it, you will never achieve it, so let’s get the dreams started and the necessary changes introduced into the discussion.

Beyond the Cusp

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