Beyond the Cusp

November 30, 2014

What the Post Ferguson Riot’s Commentaries Taught Me

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After having the unpleasant experience of reading a small number of articles through which the reactions from numerous American Jewish rights groups officially released statements, amongst these groups included two statespersons from the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) plus spokespersons from JCPA (Jewish Council for Public Affairs) and AJWS (American Jewish World Service); the commentary from these and other rights groups were virtually interchangeable. The only addition to the Jewish rights groups’ commentary was the addition of mentioning how Jews should be more sensitive to racial injustice due to the historic injustices the Jewish people have faced over the dozens of centuries, an addition which probably was more destructive than it was informative. It is not that the Jews have not suffered from injustices since the times of slavery in Egypt to the current problems facing Jews across many European cities, on campuses throughout the world including within the United States, across the Arab and Muslim worlds, and even within the borders of Israel from terrorist groups and oft even from fellow Jews who have joined those for whom the simple existence of Jews in Israel is sufficient offense in their hearts and minds; it is that such prefacing is unnecessary and even more-so if it is being implemented in order to spur an emotional response from other Jews, as these were general statements which would be published throughout the United States and potentially beyond and as they appeared to separate the Jews from the rest of society and place within them a special ability to be the adjudicators of social justice, an ability based on offenses which the majority of Jews have never experienced, especially in the United States. But what was also a basis for most of these commentaries was the implication that there had been a miscarriage of justice by the grand jury not deciding to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown on that fateful day in Ferguson, Missouri.

 

What struck me about these virtually identical reactions to the grand jury’s verdict was not so much their refusal to even consider any of the evidence from the investigation but their ability to automatically side with the rioters cause and complaints even as they claimed that the rioting was not an appropriate answer. Then came their broadening their convictions of American society for not having actually made any real progress over the past half a century since the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 and the presumption that racism was still rampant across American society. They then went on in many cases to point to particular evidences that such racism was still prevalent which included such items as that black students are suspended or expelled from our public schools at a much higher rate than white students, a higher rate of arrests and convictions and longer jails sentences for black Americans over white Americans, and, as was stated in one commentary, “there are many other examples that show the continuing racial divide.” These cited perceptions give away the progressive liberal perspective which shapes the lens with which these rights groups view the world and how they simply accept every canard which paints American society with a broad brush of having made no progress over the last fifty years despite the glaring evidence that shows a world of change has taken place transforming American society into a virtually post-racial America. The reason these groups refuse to credit the average American and the society they collectively produce with having made any progress is because if progress has been achieved then they have less of a cause celeb with which to bludgeon the social fabric and demand continued funding in huge proportions in order to continue to collect their over bloated salaries and pontificate ponderously at great length about the ills of society which their social engineering will eventually lead the way to an enlightened society. These are the same people and the same perspective which looks across the United States and continues to believe that there has been no progress in combating pollution and feel that the air quality, water quality and the general levels of pollution are identical to what is was fifty years ago. They continue to believe that Los Angeles is smog bound, Denver sits in a brown dome of polluted air, Lake Erie is still choked with nitrates and no fish live within and the Cuyahoga River still catches fire every summer. I guess the correct concept here would be for these people to wake up and smell the roses, even on the banks of the Cuyahoga River which if it is flashing anything it is the bright sunlight through the crisp clean air sparking off the scales of the tiny fish living in that once polluted river.

 

The main realization that came over me was how these same Jewish organizations could continuously protest that they knew best how to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict if only those Israelis in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ruling coalition would listen to their sagely wisdoms. These were the same American Jews who agreed with one single idea from the entire eight years during President George W. Bush’s administration; and that was the idea for Israel to pull up every last single Jewish resident, every last IDF and other security forces, every single Jewish business, farm and factory from within the entirety of the Gaza Strip and turn it all over to Arab rule trusting that Mahmoud Abbas would then transform the areas freed of any Jewish influences into the Arab version of Hong Kong or Shanghai. Well, as we all know, that worked out just exactly as predicted, just not how they had predicted and instead became the Hamas run rocket launching and tunnel headquarters financed and armed by Qatar and Iran and dedicated to wiping out Israel and then murdering every Jew on the planet. Now many of these same geniuses are the ones in the fore calling for Israel to repeat this disengagement this time with Judea and Samaria so that the rest of Israel can enjoy the same horrors as Sderot and the Gaza Strip kibbutzim and towns with twenty-four/seven rockets raining down on their lives except this time the rockets will be falling on the most densely populated and industrial heartlands of Israel as well as onto Ben Gurion International Airport really giving President Obama reasons to ban all commercial flights into Israel as well as most of the world joining in on that boycott. Simply put, such an idea would be the fastest way to guarantee either the death of Israel or the final war between Israel and any Arab presence between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Such a move would lead within a few short months to an us or them situation leading inexorably to a final war.

 

One might think that there would be a name for people who no matter the evidence they refuse to alter a single iota of their perfect little plan to right all the wrongs in the world. Those who constantly will point out the obvious truth which makes their presentation of these tried and failed ideas worth another go around, that being that they were not the ones entrusted with the reins of power and if they would be trusted, then this time it will work as it should in a perfect world. Never mind that their promise sounds remarkably like the promise made by those who have tried these exact same ideas before when they were the ones promising they could make it work. I think I have figured out what the appeal of making such ridiculous and absurd claims has to be; they have noted that those who made this claim before and failed just as miserably as every other attempt at righting the ills of human societies, those leaders lived extravagantly with every opulence and overindulgence imagined by man and never suffered for want of any sort and were completely removed from the squalor and degradations that they were causing. Perhaps that is their hope for getting it right, that it will be right from their viewpoint and not so much the rest of us. Whatever Pollyannish thinking they try to pass off as eternal wisdom they are selling as the solution, be it for the rioting resulting from the correct verdict reached by the Ferguson grand jury or their solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, be assured that any prudent and wise person should steer well clear of their suggestions and take a more reasoned route which has proven prudential and workable in the past rather than trust those who claim that if only we let them take charge this time all will be well. Somehow calling these people progressive is almost as absurd as when we referred to them as liberals as they are about as close to libertarian as they are to progress, true and real progress.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 26, 2012

So Many Meaningless American Voters

Up front we encourage everybody who has strong, honest, compelling feelings about who they desire to win the Presidency to vote in the November United States Presidential Election. Vote in person or make the necessary arrangements to cast an absentee ballot. If you have strong feelings about a Township, City, County, State, Congressional or Ballot Issue that will be on the ballot, go vote and be heard. If nothing else, everyone who votes is heard even if it is simply as a number in a column in some registry that will be recorded for posterity, in this way your vote holds immeasurable value. But let us be rational and honest here. The vast majority of Americans voting in the Presidential race are casting votes which will have absolutely negligible if any impact on the election. If you live in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, or any number of true through and through Democrat bastions and you are voting for anybody other than the reelection of President Obama, you are wasting your time more than likely as these states are not in doubt. On the other hand, if you live in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming or any of the dyed in the wool Republican Strongholds, your voting for anybody other than challenger Mitt Romney is going to be meaningless.  By meaningless is that it will have absolutely no effect upon the final Electoral College vote. Sure, if Romney breaks 45% in Maryland or Obama breaks 45% in Wyoming, that will make news and there will be talk about how no State is truly out of the running and how candidates cannot take any State for granted, but that will be the limit of such a result. Such anomalies will be useful only to those of us writing editorial columns to use to denigrate the victory as being so very close and how the candidate could have lost or does not have such a mandate, but other than such posturing it will not make one whit of a difference.

 

None of this is of any surprise to most of us and is kind of liberating to an even smaller group. Among this small group are those who will be pounding their chests about their brave vote for some third party candidate and how they fought bravely against the two party monopoly. Humor them though I have a feeling there will be a greater number of such people this time around. It will not change the end result but it does mean there is some hope of real change coming. Some of us have felt this coming change for a while though not in sufficient strength to actually matter. Hopefully, that may be in the wind and blowing closer every day. There are two groups in our society who may be on the vanguard of such a change. One group are the true believers who may have thought the Occupy Wall Street Movement was the start of a new vision for the future. The other group is the combination of the Tea Party and the 9/12 Movement who are currently attempting to bring about change through the Republican Party and either will take over the leadership of the Republican Party or we may see the birth of a new political force named The Tea Party. But for this election, that day has yet to arrive. Despite the fact that this election will remain as a choice between the Democrat incumbent candidate and the Republican elite chosen candidate, the first election where a sea change may sweep in and surprise the establishment elite has begun as a small wave, a little swell in the middle of the ocean, but that swell, like its counterpart in nature, will possibly become a tsunami as it comes closer to fruition and crashes onto an election day shorefront in the near future. As many know, the two established parties have rigged the system so as to minimize any challenge to their preeminence and made the successful formation and election of a candidate from outside their ranks extremely difficult. There is evidence that there exists a large and growing number of Americans who have simply had all they are going to take from the corrupt two party system where a small elite cabal controls the path to election victory and power. The masses are growing restless and that can forge a new path to office and a new set of rules where for the time being the people’s will is heard and refuses to remain stifled.

 

In the near future we have the Presidential Election this November and a campaign in full swing. We will hear on the news almost nightly what one candidate or the other said today at some rally or in a press release or in response to questions from the press at a conference or when pressed at an appearance. Of course, depending on which news source you view, the slant will favor one candidate or the other. For most of us everything we hear will simply echo how we feel as most people tend to watch the news reports from people who share their views whenever possible. This trend has grown even more intense with the flood of choices between the internet and cable and satellite news sources providing both a wider range of choices and allowing a personal choice that is very tailored to one’s views. This has had two related affects upon the voting public. The first is new people often are so isolated into their particular viewpoint and do not receive any news or information which is contrary to their own viewpoint that they may actually start to believe that everybody believes as they do as they seldom if ever have cause to interact with news or people who hold differing views. This leads to the other effect which is an inability to understand or accept any results which are contrary to one’s seemingly universally held positions as such results run contrary to everything they have seen, heard or discussed with others. This is much of the reason why the American society has become so polarized and partisan. Most everyone has the ability to live in a closed world where everything with which they interact is a reflection of their beliefs and views. Some claim that this phenomenon is very debilitating as it secludes people from dealing with opposing views and leads to a more isolated existence insulating one from new or different ideas thus causing a kind of political and social tunnel vision. This is often exhibited by people expressing complete bewilderment when confronted with results from elections and such which are diametrically opposite of those which they expected. You will know you are witnessing such when you hear somebody claim, “This makes no sense because I do not know anybody who would have supported this.”

 

The most obvious side effect of this phenomenon is that the candidates for President only end up campaigning in those select States where the outcome is not yet a guaranteed known. President Obama is not going to waste his time attempting to gain a majority of the voters in Oklahoma or Wyoming as they are two of the most conservative States. Likewise, Mitt Romney is not going to spend much time in Massachusetts or Maryland as this would be a waste of his resources. What is possible is each candidate making appearances in States they already know they are going to win for two basic reasons. The first is they are guaranteed a huge turnout of wildly supportive and friendly crowds which will play well on the nightly newscasts. The second is that even though a Candidate is guaranteed to win a particular State, you do not want your supporters to think that you are taking their support for granted; you will want to spend some time, energy and resources as thanks for your support events in these places. To figure out which States are the ones where it is very possible that every single vote will be acutely important, just observe which States where both candidates spend the majority of their time, campaign appearances, advertising dollars, and have every locally known celebrity and politician hitting the stump for them and, of course, appearing with them giving laudatory speeches and introductions. The one advantage for those who do not live in what is called a swing state is that they do not have to suffer through the final ten weeks push with endless campaign commercials on their local television and radio networks. The local politicians usually only have sufficient funding for two or three weeks of such heavy hitting the airwaves while national candidates have not only their funding for commercials, there are Super PACs (Political Action Committees) running advocacy advertisements which are actually candidate ads carefully camouflaged in order to get around campaign laws and restrictions.  So, if you live in one of the swing states, you have our sympathy as you endure the last few weeks of being berated and barraged by campaign glitter, and the rest of you, enjoy the quiet and do check and see who it is that your fellow voters are going to choose so you do not get caught claiming, “Who won? How? I don’t know anybody so idiotic as to vote for them!” The rest of us will appreciate not having to explain and you very likely do not want to know why or how, just accept that they did win, even without the votes of anybody you know.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 20, 2012

This Election We Have a Real Choice

Many pundits have aptly described Obama’s campaign for the Presidency last election as a fill in the blank campaign. Candidate Obama never spoke of a definitive or explicit policy or idea he planned to pursue and instead simply expounded on the slogan of “Hope and Change”, which allowed each individual to define those terms as they pleased. This was the perfect campaign for a total unknown as it allowed each person to define Obama as the person best suited to match their desires. After almost a full term, we the people have a better idea what it is that President Obama aims to do and we can now define what exactly “Hope and Change” mean and how President Obama intends to “fundamentally change America” should we vote him a second term. This means that should President Obama win a second term, those who have claimed they were fooled by his “Hope and Change” message and who thought he meant something completely different when he stood for “fundamental change in America” no longer have the luxury of claiming ignorance. This time around, Barack Obama will be running on his record no matter how much he wishes to blame Congress as not cooperating as we have seen first-hand the real Barack Obama.

But that leaves us with the question of who is Mitt Romney and what does he stand for? Obviously, it is not enough to know that Mitt Romney is a wealthy person who saved the Salt Lake City Olympics and was on the board of a venture capital company, Bain Capital. We need to know what Mitt Romney’s political lineage is. We know he was once the Governor of Massachusetts and that he had some very liberal beliefs and actions. His term began in January of 2003 and ended in December of 2006 as he did not gain reelection. There are those who would claim that Mitt Romney failing to be reelected as Governor of Massachusetts is actually a recommendation just like his having actually ever won that office should count against him. Candidate Romney this time around claims that he has matured, aged, and become wise and much more conservative in the years since serving as governor. He has given a turning point for his transformation from “pro-choice” to becoming “pro-life” and has said that much of what he claimed when politicking in Massachusetts was somewhat complex where much was said with consideration of the realities of the liberal leanings of the state of Massachusetts, and not all these positions are his personal beliefs. Anyway, the Mitt Romney we have today is not the same Mitt Romney who ran for Governor of Massachusetts and a President Romney will not be like the Governor Mitt Romney. These excuses and claims have many true conservatives very nervous. Yet, they are also fully cognizant that if not Mitt Romney, they will have a second term of Barack Obama. This likely scares them even more than does the idea of a President Romney. Still, it appears that many hard core conservatives are going to need some real and solid convincing before they will be comfortable with voting for a President Romney.

This presents a peculiar picture of the coming election. We have the Democrat candidate being an incumbent President Obama who in many ways has let down the most fanatical of his supporters and base by not producing an agenda as stridently socialist as they expected. Yet, President Obama also has been perceived as possibly too far left which has made many centrist and swing voters nervous about supporting him for a second term as they fear he would swing off scale leftward since he would not be facing another election in 2016. On the Republican side we have the most conservative members and many in the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party not fully satisfied that Romney is the man who will rope in the government and return the government to within their strict Constitutional boundaries. Then there are the pro-life people in the Republican Party who must wonder which Mitt Romney will take the White House, the pro-life Mitt of the present campaign or the “I will do nothing to change Massachusetts law concerning “Roe vs. Wade” Governor Romney. So Mitt Romney also has the extreme wing of his base less than one-hundred-percent convinced he’s their man. This is the crucial stress point of this election.

The winner of this election is not necessarily the one who wins the most “swing” or middle of the road votes; it will be who gets their base excited and to the polls. The swing voters are most likely going to split at most sixty-forty and more likely fifty-fifty leaving the election to be decided by percentage of base support that make it to the polls. This election will not be won by who moves the furthest to the center but by who goes furthest from the center and really excites their radical wing of the base. In the Democrat and Republican Parties there exist approximately thirty percent of their voters sitting at the extreme polar opposite ends of the political spectrum. For the Democrats these are the socialist progressives and for the Republicans these are the constitutionalists, individualists, and Tea Party members. Neither candidate, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama need worry about those single-issue voters as they have those locked up even before the Primary Elections began. The Democrat candidate is guaranteed the pro-choice vote, the gun control vote, the ecologist vote (though some may be reluctant or choose third party), the affirmative action vote, and on and on down a litany of leftist pet causes; while the Republican candidate is guaranteed the pro-life vote (though some may be reluctant or choose third party), the pro Second Amendments vote, the anti-tax vote, pro-business vote, and on and on down a litany of rightist pet causes. What is going to matter is the percentage of these voters they can give sufficient reason to actually go and vote. Right now it would appear that President Obama is winning this part of the campaign for President and Mitt Romney still has a hard hill to climb to secure these voters.

Meanwhile, look to the press to constantly keep asking questions about which candidate is moving to the center and which one has caught the heart of the independent voters. This is a ruse which the Democrats know to ignore and to continue playing to their base by keeping their campaign left oriented. If the Republicans prove true to form, we can expect Mitt Romney’s campaign to move towards the center after the Party Conventions just as was the case with Bob Dole, George W. Bush (though he was castigated as far right by the media which actually may have helped his campaign), and most recently with John McCain. This was especially true of Senator McCain where his move to the center was so complete that he had campaign staff almost literally gagging his Vice Presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, so as to prevent her seriously conservative message from ruining his campaign which was aiming for the center of the political spectrum.

So, what should we be looking for as Election Day nears and the polls will likely all be within the margin of error? The first thing is to ignore ninety-percent of what you hear from the mainstream press. Look for internal polls which show the level of expected voters who say they will definitely be voting when they are asking those who make up the Party’s base. Whoever appears to be getting out their base most efficiently will likely be the winner. We can pretty much ignore the polls of all eligible voters as that is just some nonsense thrown out to try and add another dimension to the coverage though all know full well that these polls are next to meaningless. The most important polls for President Obama and Mitt Romney will be the under thirty voters and the over fifty voters, simply the numbers who plan to vote in both cases, and whichever poll indicates that more total people, that is total people and not merely percentage, will determine the winner of the election. So, our prediction is this, whichever candidate gets the most votes from the combination of voters under thirty and those over fifty will be the winner of the election. We fully expect that the voters between the ages of thirty and fifty to pretty much split right down the middle within a margin of plus or minus four percent which will leave the voters at the age extremes in control of the electoral decision. Of course, there are many events such as a Middle East War, the blockading of the Straits of Hormuz driving gasoline prices through the roof, or a myriad of other surprises which could drastically change everything and you can bet we will get right on any such event, well, within a few days of the event as we tend to react somewhat slowly at times. But rest assured, we will be sure to predict a winner before Christmas.

Beyond the Cusp

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