Beyond the Cusp

December 8, 2016

With Trump Comes Stark Reality

 

Already this last year of the Presidency of Barack Obama there has been a dozen terrorist attacks which have been verified as such. In one mere twelve hour stretch in September the American people found out it may not be safe to go shopping in a mall in Minnesota, go running a five kilometer not so fun run in New Jersey or walk window-shopping on the streets of New York City without risk of terrorism striking and potentially injuring or taking one’s most precious life. The United States has faced car bombings, remote detonated bombings, suicide bombings and shooting sprees where the attacker was only stopped when shot dead by an armed citizen or law enforcement officer. All of these terrorist styled attacks were first perfected against Israel where initially they received minimal notice by the Western World media as it was just Israel. Often any reporting on such terror attacks in Israel were covered in such a manner that it appeared as if the Israelis had shot the terrorist who then retaliated with his bombing, shooting or whatever attack as the title was often Palestinian shot by Israeli Defense Force or Palestinian Killed by Israeli Police or other misleading phrasing. As such attacks spread to Europe and across other Middle East and North African Arab nations where their Christian, Kurdish, Hindu or Buddhist minorities were often the targets with some attacks were Sunni-Shia violence and these made the reporting even in Israel more accurate. Now that attacks have spread to the United States the reporting has become stark noted by the insistence after each attack initially the authorities deny any possible tie to terrorism and warning against jumping to any conclusions that Muslims were at all involved in the attacks. Eventually the reality brakes through and the terrorist ties were obvious to the most casual of observers from the start and are finally admitted.

 

The lag time between attacks being perpetrated in Israel and their coming to the United States has thus far been measured in years if not decades granting Americans a reprieve from the more recent types of attacks used in Israel. Apparently this lag time has been shortened considerably with the terror attack at Ohio State University. The car ramming and following stabbing spree until shot by law enforcement officer November 28th brought that lag time down to the slimmest of measure as such are only the most recent of attacks even in Israel. This is not good news for Americans as there are no safe spaces from car rammings and stabbing attacks making everyone almost everywhere potentially under threat. The last couple of years in Israel had seen numerous car rammings which were all part of what was informally referred to as the Stabbing Intifada which has tailed off but not really completely come to an end. We all pray here in Israel, as you do in the United States, that this will be the only time you suffer from such an assault on your persons and communal safety; but we all know the unfortunate reality. Once a new form of terror attack is used it will continue until mitigating means are found for defeating such attacks. Here in Israel train stations and bus stops now have thick five centimeter diameter, cement filled posts a embedded deep into the pavement protecting the people from vehicle rammings. Stabbing attacks are only avoided through vigilance and a communal reaction making the attacker into the hunted as through mutual defense we are all safer.

 

Recently, though largely uncovered by Western media, Israel suffered yet another massive terror assault upon the entire nation through forest fires largely set by Arab arsonists. Neighboring nations, including Croatia, Greece, Jordan, Egypt, Italy, Russia and Turkey, responded with firefighting manpower and equipment for which we are grateful. The United States sent its “Supertanker” which is the largest firefighting aircraft in the world. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a coalition of eight fire trucks and 40 firefighters which were used largely in Judea and Samaria as nowhere was immune from the horrors. In the single week during the final days before the rains came but whipped by the high winds accompanying seasonal weather changes Israel suffered one-thousand-seven-hundred-seventy-three separate fires which consumed approximately thirty-two-thousand acres with most located in the Haifa region. In some cases fires were set and once the fire-stations responded fires were set at the station houses themselves. Despite over a hundred people suffered injuries there were no fatalities this season. Over five-hundred homes were completely destroyed while tens of thousands were evacuated at some points. As of last counting there have been over thirty arrests of arsonists all of whom have proven to be Arab terrorists. Apart from the horrific damage to the parks and some neighborhoods the next most distressing reality of this past arson season was the repeated lack of coverage in the Western media once again the reality of “it’s only Israel” coming through loud and clear. There were no Israeli lives lost and, just as important if not more so, no terrorist arsonists shot resisting arrest or in the act of setting fires. Had a single arsonist been shot or otherwise injured, the cries of using disproportional and unnecessary force would have echoed from Rome to San Francisco and from Athens to Chicago and all stops inbetween. Instead, with lack of recriminations to be aired against Israel, the wave of arson was met with deafening silence.

 

The recent car ramming and stabbing attack does pose as a warning shot before the bow on the streets of America as it signaled a closing in the delay time between introduction of a newer terror wave in Israel and its application in the United States. We have already witnessed the use of ramming in Europe with the van being driven through a Nantes, France crowded market injuring almost a dozen and killing one victim plus the absolutely horrific Nice, France assault where a van filled with grenades and weapons was driven through a crowded 14th of July Bastille Day celebration killing eighty-four people, which included several children. The short delay from the wide use in Israel of car and vehicle rammings and stabbing attacks to their use across Europe and then to the United States bodes a troubling future for all three. Other places across Europe and Canada suffering ramming terror attacks have been but not limited to Glasgow International Airport attack in Scotland; Dijon, France; plus another attack with the Saint Jean sur Richelieu attack which occurred in Quebec, Canada on October 20, 2014. Now with the Ohio State University attack the United States has suffered its second vehicle ramming, the other being the SUV attack at the University of North Carolina. Then there were the greatest and most horrific rammings of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center Towers, Pentagon and the foiled attack which was brought down by the heroes of that day, the passengers on Flight 93 southeast of Pittsburgh.

 

Nice, France Van Terror Attack Carnage

Nice, France Van Terror Attack Carnage

 

The fear now should be from arson attacks, especially those set upwind a relatively short distance from built-up areas such as apartment complexes, business parks and housing developments. Also vulnerable would be deserted areas within some of America’s cities where a fire could be sparked that would then threaten downtown areas where urban renewal borders deserted areas yet to be rejuvenated. There should be some research performed to determine if previous fires may have been started as a form of terrorist attack as such arson attacks often target not only forest and scrublands but also target close-by developed regions. Israel has faced these firestorm attacks twice yearly, the spring winds and the fall winds which provide the necessary impetus for the use of directional winds to fan flames towards their real target, people. One can only pray that through vigilance and the formal fire-watch systems in place in the United States Park Systems stems any arson and other fires before they can rise and threaten people’s lives and property. Sufficient damage occurs already and needs little boost from intentional arson fires set with damage of people and structures as their actual target. Then there were the recent fires in Tennessee which are still being investigated by authorities.

 

But with the coming of the new administration of President Trump there will be a new attitude towards terrorist attacks and how they are treated by the FBI, Justice Department and other enforcement agencies within the government. No longer will the initial reports be that there is absolutely no indication that what appears to have been a terrorist attack actually is a terror attack. Rather any caution shown will still recognize that terror is always a potential cause and if it looks like terror, feels like terror and sounds like terror, then there will be the recognized likelihood that terror was a possibility. Under President Trump there is not to be the candy-coating of reality and the American people will be trusted with being given truth, often unvarnished truth as they will finally be seen and treated as grown-ups who can handle the truth. There will be no condescending hierarchy who claim that the American people cannot handle the truth and that only they, the elite have the capability to handle the truth and thus they claim they stand on the wall deciding what you deserve to know and what you must be protected against. We will have to wait and see which Americans are capable of handling the unvarnished, unsoftened, straight truth and which Americans will be demanding safe-spaces placed and trigger warnings with their newscasts. With a more open and honest evaluation of reality and the inclusion of the American people in the decision process by having an open debate, the United States will likely return taking their place as a leader of the free world. It will likely make most Americans pleased to be treated as the adults they presumably are, and we pray we have not misjudged our friends across the waves. It will be wonderful to have an ally back.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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January 26, 2016

What if Trump Trumps the Competition for Nomination?

 

Trump is still there against almost every prognosticator and editorial writer who keep interpreting polls and explaining how when people have to actually vote they will become serious and then they’ll vote for a serious candidate. Initially that serious candidate was Jeb Bush who flamed out really fast, then it became Governor Scott Walker but he soon decided to walk on home, then it became Senator Marco Rubio who has slowly sunk into the more of mediocracy and now the latest is former Ohio Governor John Kasich who is in third and a fairly distant third which will likely also fade in the setting poll numbers after Iowa, New Hampshire and North Carolina. The betting line now is after Trump, providing Trump snags victories in Iowa, New Hampshire and North Carolina, who will have polled well enough to have a reasonable standing to attempt to catch the nomination starting from behind, a not completely unheard of happening and, except for blessings in the Torah of second born sons, only considered expected in elections and the last two months of baseball season and a few other sports. The latest New Hampshire polling we were able to locate a poll out of New Hampshire which placed Donald Trump at twenty-seven per cent, John Kasich at twenty per cent, Marco Rubio at ten per cent, Ted Cruz at nine per cent, Chris Christie nine per cent and Jeb Bush eight per cent, with at least fifteen percent undecided as of the polling with some obviously supporting Rand Paul or Mike Huckabee and wise enough not to admit so. What is interesting about these polling numbers is that Senator Ted Cruz is receiving much of the bloviating all a titter, not to be confused for a twittered, about the Donald-Cruz one-on-one bashing, smashing, slamming, screaming with blood flowing and bruises and contusions on the stage and some Twitter smears in one-hundred-forty characters or less free-for-all. Now we see a poll of real people, not to accuse media personnel as being other than real or people but me thinks they would all protest too much and break the one-hundred-forty characters or less Twitter limits, and Cruz is in single digits making his chances as remote as expected from the start. So, what are we to take away from all of this?

 

Firstly, there is a lot of room for improved polling for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and anyone else still in the race and below Senator Jeb Bush and his eight percent polling and that the media elite and controlling editors apparently have their own agenda. Let’s look at the media, or at least a wide swath of the media and even FOX from what we have seen and read. The media will push candidates which either have little hope of becoming the nominee such as Ted Cruz, one they expect would be a weak candidate against the expected Democrat candidate which will likely be Hillary Clinton or potentially Bernie Sanders. In either case, the universal choice happens to be the front-runner Donald Trump. The media was handed the perfect storm when Ted Cruz and Donald Trump held a one-on-one, mano-a-mano, slugfest which carried on for almost a week and was the only news event as all else fell off their radar screens. The media is simply giving their largest audience exactly what they are paying to hear, and that is whatever is the most sensationalistic and bombastic news with all the gory details and particulars their money can buy. The media live and breathe in the cities and the media which has a much larger area to cover is completely different and that is what conservative talk radio serves and they are covering the rest of the field and even they find they need to invest an inordinate amount of time covering the Donald Trump phenomena as that is where their audience desires to hear about because it affects them as well.

 

 

Democrat Front Runners Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders

Democrat Front Runners
Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders

 

 

The particulars about this year’s Republican race and the media covering it until the news is up to its neck in coverage of the Donald has part of its root in the fact that the Democrat race is a two person race from the outset and the only real question there is Hilary, Hilary and more Hilary. Bernie Sanders is sneaking up on the media because they did not believe the crowds he was drawing with his carnival like atmosphere were real because the media had been told by the Democrat establishment that they had piled all of their apples into Hilary as it was her turn. Well, the people have different ideas and Bernie has lit up their interest and he is now the face of the true believers on the left and the antiestablishment candidate. When the media realizes that Hilary had a credible challenger, even if it is Bernie Sanders, the media will clump around them and squeeze until the pressure breaks him or the primaries are over and all of a sudden Bernie will be their man and he was their man all along because Hilary was just too much yesterday’s news. If, or dare we say when, Bernie Sanders finished off the last gasp from the Clinton ‘machine,’ the question will be does the Clinton machine now swing in behind Bernie or will they hold their cards and donor lists close to their chests and hope he fails so they can begin claiming that 2020 was their target year all along. That decision may decide if there is a Clinton machine left after this race as if they do not back Bernie and he wins, that will be the end of it, done, over. Be that such as it may, the crash and burn by Hilary twice in a row and in both instances to what everyone claimed were too weak and unknown candidates who had one thing Hilary lacked, excitement. Hilary never ran for the nomination and simply waiting for what she claimed and honestly believed was inevitable, the White House and status as the first woman President and she offered nothing more and a whole lot less.

 

The Donald is proving that there is no inevitability in politics and that it truly has become a circus. Like Hilary on the democrat side there is Jeb, it’s my turn to be President, Bush who thought when he had the walk-in victory well in hand when he was the only candidate we had heard of and all the money was flowing his way, the republicans were almost giddy with the idea of another Clinton/Bush contest they figured they could win simply by showing up. Well, this year is looking anything but set in their ways, establishment backed Party politics and the people have finally decided it is their country and their Party and they are going to do what they desire and not just follow the Party line drawn for them. This is going to be the year of the populace come what may and the establishment is not what they want in either side. There is no ‘anybody but Bush’ line in the Republican race. The race was Jeb’s to lose and it appears he has done exactly that, lost it. What started this insanity which is quickly becoming the mainstream effort if, for no other reason, because that is the story the media may have caught onto right at the onset when Donald Trump, old Clinton friend and cohort grabbed large audiences to his appearances just as much to laugh and at some point turned and supported him just as Bernie has been doing on the Democrat side.

 

 

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

 

 

So, what happens if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination? The question is more as to what will the Republican establishment do should Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination? It is important to remember that Donald Trump does not need the permission of the Republican Party as much as they will need his stamp of approval as he will have already passed the baptism by fire the campaign threw at him and came out on top. Further, Donald Trump does not need to rely upon the Party money to back him and he does not need the Party permission once he has won the nomination and he might do all that much better without the support of the Republican Party establishment. The favor the Republican Party elites would hand the American public would be for them to refuse to accept Trump as their candidate after he wins hands down the elective process and they deny him his rightful place through manipulating the Convention voting or other controls the Parties hold over their nomination processes in each state and in a larger part over their convention voting itself. It is still possible in both parties to win big in the primaries and still lose by a fairly surprising margin in the convention vote.

 

How is that, you ask? Without going through a ton of confusing math, here are the basics. Just because you win a state’s primary, do not go counting those delegates quite yet. Many states have adopted to use some method other than the winners take all allocation of their delegates. They get as confusing as having each voting district winner getting that delegate and the final delegates which would represent the Senators that state has in Congress usually going to the winner of the state overall but that can be altered and given by the Party bosses as they see fit. There are also the super delegates which are controlled by the elitists of the Party by which they retain some degree of control over who wins the nomination. Then there are all sorts of devious manner in which any selection process can be swayed and be controlled by the Party elite through such means as releasing the delegates from their presumed sworn obligation to vote as they were legally instructed by the states and then lean on the delegates seen as most likely to be susceptible to pressures and other manners of ‘buying’ their vote. Then there is the old adage that it is not who wins the election but who counts the votes that matters, also known as the Stalin approach to politics. After all, it was Joseph Stalin who pointed out this little fact that, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” So, assume it safe to say that as long as Donald Trump does not win the necessary number of votes outright, even going down to the Congressional seats level and delegate by delegate count, then the often referred to as the powers that be will control who the candidate representing the Party and then appoint the person most likely to lose and have their political career ended once and for all. There are serious consequences for crossing the people when it comes to negating the power of their votes. That is a part of the animus against President Obama as he takes matters into his own hands bypassing the Congress.

 

Finally, just as Donald Trump could do by running as a third Party or no Party candidate, the Republican elites could put their influences and resources behind a third Party candidate either overtly or covertly using all sorts of weapons the largest of which is their influence over money. The Party establishment could decide suddenly that the Presidency is less important than winning Congress and claim in panicked desperate soundbites that they must, in order to save the Party, take all the Party monies and use them to elect every office other than the Presidency thus taking huge sums of money and other resources from the Presidential campaign with the most damaging part being the voter rolls and donations from the Presidential candidate in the final two to three months. Against Donald Trump such a move would be suicidal as he could finance his entire campaign without a penny from the Party but his slogan of win against the dirty money; after all there is nothing cleaner than a candidate using their own money to mount their campaign. Any nefarious or clandestine manner used to steal the campaign from the obvious and going away victor from the primary system would simply be the final nail in the Party coffin as when it comes down to it, what makes a political Party if it is not votes from the public, so ignore them at your own peril.

 

So, now Donald Trump is the Party candidate and will be listed on every state’s ballots as the republican nominee for President, now what? This is where the runner meets the road and we stop using these silly catch phrases as this is where the sloganeering gets decisive. The slogans are chosen and the campaign commercials are shot and the final race to the finish has been run and it is Election Day. There are numerous kinds of Republican and Democrat voters. There are the voters who always vote Party line, the absolute, who else would they vote for base. There are the base behind each candidate which may place some voters who were a different candidate’s true supporter who now must choose between two people they did not support or chose to stay home and watch the Gilligan’s Island Marathon on the who are we kidding channel. It are these stay at home my guy lost and I’m going to pout on election day hoping that if the Party candidate fails they can blame the Party for not seeing your infinite wisdom and intelligence when you supported candidate X and the Party foolishly tempted fate choosing candidate Y. The thing which has changed in politics has been the importance of turning out your Party’s base supporters which, except in the most unusual of cases, is not simply the important thing but the most vital thing in the universe. Elections here in the Twenty-First Century are not won on winning the middle voters, the average voter, as almost none of those voters who will cross ideological lines and even Party lines exist any longer. There are all kinds of single or three issue voters and the candidate needs to turn as many of these from their Party’s voters out to the polls. This is why many politicians have mastered talking out of both sides of their mouths simultaneously and some even manage saying three things at once all while stating nothing at all. This is seemingly more important for the conservative candidate as they have far more to lose if they do not hold true to every single issue which gets tricky when there are opposites within your Party structure. The easiest issues are gun rights and abortion. There are those Second Amendment voters on both sides of the abortion issue just as there are pro-life voters on either side of the gun issue. There is no way of parsing these dichotomies which will produce a guaranteed victory and all one can hope to do is tell the truth and hope they have not hurt themselves too badly.

 

These such issues are often far more damaging for conservatives because liberal media types will always attempt to peel back supporters by asking pointed and sharp edged questions on the most contentious issues hoping to cut voters away from the conservative candidate one-by-one if need be and conservative media will question them similarly claiming to want to present the truth to the voters. In elections there is such a thing as too much truth, especially for conservative candidates as each truth may cost them the election. This is especially true in the Presidential elections as there are far more liberal voters who will hold their nose and vote for the liberal party candidate, the Democrat just because they are not that evil person over on the other side of the ballot. Conservatives need a reason to vote for you and not just I’m not that other person, I am the Republican as that does not walk the walk or even talk the talk according to all too many voters. Those who claim they cannot vote for Trump because he used to be a liberal would likely not have liked Winston Churchill as he was among the left when he was young and somewhere during World War I he became a conservative and an ardent proponent of being prepared to fight a war when it is easily won rather than refuse to face facts that a storm is brewing. He had a number of great sayings on just that subject but I would rather use a different category on which he was also a great and wise discerner of humankind. Sir Winston Churchill stated, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” That’s a great stopping point, till tomorrow.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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