Beyond the Cusp

March 17, 2014

Random Thoughts Roundup

Let’s start with the mysterious disappearing Malaysian Boeing 777-200ER flight number 370 which dropped off of radar by turning off the transponder beacon and disappeared leaving no trace, or at least none yet discovered despite a massive search. The debate initially was had the aircraft crashed into the seas or been blown into a million small bits at 35,000 feet. Then the question was about whether or not it had been hijacked and the introduction of two Iranian men who boarded the flight using stolen passports and identifications. Now this story has birthed a plethora of different possible scenarios even to include the theory that the plane was hijacked or diverted with the cooperation of the pilot and co-pilot and taken to some location where it may be utilized in a future terror attack. This would leave two huge questions; who stole it and what are they going to do with the over two-hundred passengers and crew that came along with the purloined aircraft. The theory gaining the most credence here has been that the plane was indeed diverted and taken by some terrorist sponsors with ulterior motives all of which are not necessarily terrorist acts. The fear is the terror sponsors who arranged the theft of a plane full of innocent people had more than the future use of it in some form of terror attack and that entity was Iran. The fact that the plane was initially reported to have turned off its transponder but that its engines had continued to search for a Boeing satellite to which it could download flight engine characteristics for use in reporting any malfunction or necessary maintenance for four hours after the plane dropped from flight leads one to pretty much rule out it having experienced a catastrophic malfunction or been destroyed by a terrorist bombing. The latest reports now claim that the plane had continued to fly for approximately seven hours after it dropped from identifiable view and that it initially took one of two regularly utilized flight trajectories one of which would have taken it over Thailand and the other across India. The flight path that would lead to the Bay of Bengal, then aiming for Iran becomes a logical target and seven hours would have placed the plane likely somewhere in or around southeastern Iran. The Iranians, other than being the world’s leading terror sponsoring nation, likely would love to have a couple of modern Boeing engines for reverse-engineering along with the avionics systems and other advanced guidance, control and possibly even the entertainment systems. Then, the utilization of a modern passenger airliner for delivering possibly an EMP or other nuclear device would enable the Iranians to use virtually any size weapon and not need to engineer a missile deployable miniaturized warhead. With an entire Boeing 777-200ER airliner at their disposal, the Iranians could place virtually anything one could dream up onboard and very likely escape most detection systems simply by assigning it a believable or actual transponder sequence and have the aircraft fly along recognized and heavily trafficked flight paths eventually reaching anywhere on the planet after making at most three fueling stops. Reaching the heartlands of the United States would only require a flight from Iran to Libya for the first refueling stop, then flying on to Venezuela for the second fueling stop, and finally straight north across the heartlands of the United States detonating an EMP device at 35,000 ft. over St. Louis fulfilling one of Iran’s main chants at protests, “Death to America.”


Another hot issue is the Ukraine, the Crimean Peninsula, Russian troops and Russian President Putin, or as we like to refer to him, Vlad the Invader. There have been rumored reports that Russian troops attempted to enter a region that lies just off the northeast coast of Crimea called the Arabat Spit. This reputed encroachment comes on the same day as the vote by the citizens of Crimea as to whether they desire to remain as part of the Ukraine or if they prefer to be returned to Russian rule. There will be many commentators posturing and posing questions and scenarios no matter what the reported outcome of the vote. What I may think the citizens of the Crimea should decide is irrelevant but what is relevant is who is counting the votes. Does anybody honestly believe a reported outcome of a vote where Vlad the Invader is responsible for counting the votes and validating the totals, honestly? After all, it was a likely hero of Vlad the Invader, Joseph Stalin who said, “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” With the recent past of Russian elections as an indicator, can anybody honestly have any faith when the person who counted the votes granting Vladimir Putin back-to-back victories in elections for Russian President followed by a win for not only Vladimir Putin as Prime Minister, but his able and helpful acolyte and flunky Dmitry Medvedev as Presidential Place Holder who stepped aside at the next election which, of course, Vladimir Putin won back the Presidency. Odds are the world will never know the actual results of the vote from the Crimea and that may be as good as it gets as anything other than their opting for Russian rule would only increase the probability of open warfare breaking out. Don’t even expect that taking the Crimean Peninsula will be the end of this crisis as one can pretty much bet the farm that Vlad the Invader is not yet finished invading. Part of the proof for this conjecture leads to another Ukraine news story.


In Kiev on Sunday, Zalman Hetzklovich and his wife, an Israeli couple, were walking in Independence Square. The initial thought has to be, what were they thinking? As if there is not sufficient excitement and danger available in some places in Israel such as Sderot when the Gaza rockets are launching as they have over one-hundred times just this past week, this couple decided to vacation in Kiev in the Ukraine during a Russian invasion in progress? Well, they got their excitement and then some. The Hetzkloviches were set upon by eight men wearing Ukrainian uniforms and carrying clubs who leapt from a van. The couple disobeyed the call for them to stop reportedly said in Russian and ran jumping into a taxi to make their escape. As reported by Zalman Hetzklovich “I understood that if I didn’t run at that moment it would be the end of us. I stopped a taxi and got in with my wife, asking the driver to get us out of there. The attackers surrounded the car and demanded the driver stop. The driver stepped on the gas and knocked over the rioters, who succeeded in damaging one side of the cab. The driver was able to drive one block away until he reached a traffic jam; we saw the pursuers were back, and had gotten into their car, starting to chase after us.”


The Hetzkloviches were able to flee from the taxi and made it to a nearby synagogue where they took refuge. Chairman of the Kiev Hatzala emergency rescue organization, Rabbi Hillel Cohen, took the initiative and notified the authorities of the situation and then made arrangements to fly the couple back to Israel Sunday night. Rabbi Cohen reported that the authorities “apparently the government in Ukraine is dealing with more pressing problems at the moment.” Rabbi Cohen himself had just been released from the hospital Saturday after recovering from a stabbing wound in his leg he received as he was attacked on Thursday night by an anti-Semitic mob. One interesting anecdote about the situation the Rabbi found himself a victim of was that the medical responders who treated his wounded leg before transporting him to the hospital were volunteers whom had been trained only two weeks ago by the organization Rabbi Cohen runs, the Hatzalah Kiev, an aid organization which provides medical assistance and training as well as other community services using volunteers. There have been numerous reports of gangs of anti-Semites accosting and assaulting Jews in Kiev and in other locations within the Ukraine. Some of these mobs have been reported to be speaking Russian though there have also been reports of uber-nationalists who were among the rebels who recently aided in the overthrow of the Russian backed governance. It is thought that the Russian agitators have chosen to victimize the Jews in order to instigate further violence and force general unrest. There was a report of a synagogue being firebombed and another synagogue in the Crimea was reportedly defaced. This is not completely unexpected as acts of anti-Semitism have been on the increase in the Ukraine just as they have all across Europe and even in the Americas. Rabbi Moshe Moskowitz reported in a recent interview that many Jews he had spoken with have expressed a desire to leave the Ukraine and take up residence in Israel. One cannot blame them as such a move would apparently place them in a safer environment. Let us all hope that the crisis in the Crimea and the Ukraine does not escalate any further thus making it possible for a more significant and violent confrontation to spread even further, a distinct possibility if world history is any indicator.


Beyond the Cusp


November 5, 2013

Immigration Reform Next Debacle on the Horizon

Amnesty for those illegal immigrants among us, called undocumented workers by our political elite even if they do not work and are collecting welfare and other government benefits, disguised under the name of “Path to Citizenship” will be at the heart of the immigration legislation to be considered by the Congress and backed by the President, the Democrats and most of the Progressive Republicans, also referred to as RINOs. Their claim, false as it may be, will be that these undocumented workers are simply honest people here seeking to find a better life for their families and deserve our sympathy for the plight they might face in their homelands and only number a mere eleven million unfortunate souls living in the shadows. If the politicians were to be honest they would be talking about the twenty million plus illegals of which a sizeable percentage are unemployed and collecting government handouts, whose children are in the school systems, use our hospital emergency rooms and often are paid in cash and do not pay any taxes to offset the expenses incurred through their unlawful presence within our borders. We will be fed the line that they are mostly law abiding despite the fact that their very presence is violating our immigrations laws every day and they came into the United States surreptitiously going around the immigration laws and are now to be rewarded with being placed anywhere in the line for citizenship instead of being deported and made to go through the legal process. There will be examples paraded before the public chosen to bring forth torrents of sympathetic tears as we are told of their plight, their fears of discovery, the hardships they endured and a million other superfluous reasons that we should reward their illegal actions. The biggest lie we will be told has little to do with the individual illegal immigrants but will be a repeat of the lie which was used to sell amnesty as part of immigration reform last time, that the laws will be fully and meticulously enforced and the borders sealed so that we never have this problem again in the future. The last amnesty named the Immigration Reform and Control Act passed in 1986 permitted approximately 2.8 million illegal aliens to be admitted as legal immigrants into the United States. This too was proposed as the final, one time, never to be repeated act of grace and amnesty after which the Congress and the President were to get serious about enforcing the border. Somewhere the ball got dropped somewhere between the President signing the bill and the ink drying on the paper.


Once again the American people are being told false promises by politicians who do not truly represent the majority of the American people or of their own constituencies and are instead answering to either moneyed interests who find employing illegals as a money saving way of doing business or to party bosses who see these illegal aliens as future voters who will beck their party for office in future elections. Every promise that the supporters of the new euphemism for amnesty will use to sell this legislation is a reworking of the plain truth or a bald faced lie to disguise their real intentions and make the legislation appear humanitarian and respectable worthy of support by any good hearted American. Never mind that the act of entering the country broke the laws of the federal government and thus the laws of the land where they now claim their special need expecting all else to be forgotten or at least forgiven. The politicians will tell us that there will be a penalty to be paid, a fine to allow these people of honest intent to prove their promise to be good citizens and obey the laws but then the bill will have clauses allowing for the same political system to forgive the fine allowing a path around making any act of contrition thus relieving them of any debt paid to erase the stain of their illegal entry. There will be clauses which we will be informed demand and will force the politicians to address and secure the border though another vote made late some Friday afternoon or evening will relieve them of this burdensome obligation. After the failures from the rollout of Obamacare and the news that Obama lied and millions of people’s health insurance died we should be more wary of politicians bearing promises of rosy futures. Yet there will be sympathetic articles in the news and speeches crafted to pull at the American people’s heartstrings, something the world over know are some of the most giving owners of heartstrings the world over, and the result will be another twenty million legalized illegal entrants and a border no better secured going forward than the last time these very same promises were paraded before the American people. Last time it was 2,800,000 instantly legalized immigrants who had illegally entered the country and this time it will be probably 28,000,000 instantly legalized immigrants who had illegally entered the country. That is ten times the number last time so can we expect in 2040 we will have yet another serious discussion over what to do with the illegal immigrants who simply came here for a better life for their families, after all there are only around 280,000,000 of these wonderful people needing our sympathy. My only question is where does it end? Will it require the United States of America to collapse and no longer be the nation of hope for all the downtrodden of the world before we are no longer asked to forgive and forget all past illegal acts and embrace the lawbreakers because we are such soft hearts? That would be a horrible price and should that ever become reality, my bet is Americans fleeing into other countries in order to find a better life for their families will not be met by even the smallest glimpse of sympathy. No sir, they will be arrested, thrown into prison, mistreated and thrown back across the border to where they came from. Don’t believe me then just research the laws in Mexico for those entering illegally and think again.


Beyond the Cusp


October 24, 2013

Rethinking Pollard Case in Light of US Spying Revelations

There has been a cascade of accusations over the release of sensitive information which revealed the broad and expansive spying including taping of every phone call of leaders of presumed friendly governments including but not limited to France, Germany, Mexico, and others as more information is leaked by Snowden from within the protected safety of Russia. The depth and amount of trivial and needless snooping that included private conversations by the leading politicians of numerous nations casts a dim light on any justification which could be offered. The usual everybody does this will not likely cover these episodes since they included snooping far beyond the norm that might be seen as necessary for national security. Nothing will excuse the taping of private calls and simply taping everything in a massive sweep without limits that resulted in thousands of conversations being intercepted. Sometimes just because something is possible and you have the capability it does not then equal that doing so is a good idea. With this embarrassment there is one last country that it would be interesting to have revealed as being subjected to such interception of communications, phone conversations, e-mails and other electronic communications would be Israel. Do I suspect that Israel was likely singled out for even deeper penetration and interception quite possibly of everybody in the Knesset and at all related to the government or in a position of influence. This would likely have been the first nation which President Obama would have given explicit instructions to intercept everything possible.


If the Israeli intelligence agencies have proof of spying by the United States, instead of making a public scene and crying over spilled milk they should instead propose to President Obama and the other people who would need to be persuaded that Israel will keep this evidence on the quiet provided that the spying ceases immediately and that Johnathan Pollard be immediately released and allowed to return to Israel. In order to make this easier for the United States the Israelis could promise not to make any huge deal and to simply make note of Johnathan Pollard’s release in their news reports and not hold celebrations or other such events which may be uncomfortable for the United States. After all the main objective is the release of Johnathan Pollard so he can spend the rest of what is left of his life with friends and family and among those he knows instead of continuing to hold him in solitary confinement.


There should be no reason to go through the truths that have evolved since Pollard’s trial where the State Department convinced the Judge to throw out the agreement which had been reached under which a guilty plea was entered due to false information that many who knew of the entire affair have come out and verified the entire hate-filled affair. Evidence that was used to vilify Pollard included his presumably giving information to foreign nations that he did not have a sufficiently high security clearance to even have access to any of these names and assignments. There was no way as a map and satellite inspector who mostly read maps and sought out details such as rocket positions both in place and mobile and other military information for the Navy Department had absolutely no access to State Department or CIA records which he was accused by both departments of having stolen for enemies despite the reality that he gave information to Israel on Iraqi developments including their nuclear program which was presumably to be given them by treaty but that too was blocked by the State Department, Defense Department and the CIA. When it is revealed that the United States has been spying on Israeli politicians, that information should only be released after giving President Obama the opportunity to keep it understood but quietly ignored in exchange for the release of Johnathan Pollard.


Beyond the Cusp


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