Beyond the Cusp

March 5, 2017

Republican Distress Self-Inflicted

 

The Republicans appear to be in disarray and acting as if they are completely unaware of the fact that they control both houses of Congress and the White House and are in the catbird seat exactly as the Democrats were the first two years of President Obama’s two terms. They are capable of setting the rules in the Senate such that they would have sufficient votes to ensure cloture by requiring a mere fifty-two votes ending any filibuster. The Democrat use of the so-called nuclear option set the precedent for adjusting cloture to fit your needs when you have the majority in the Senate. Yes, doing so would allow for the Democrats to do similarly when they gain fifty-one seats in the Senate and who does not believe they would do exactly as such anyway. The Republicans instead are fighting with the White House declaring the President’s budget dead on arrival. This is a party in need of better leadership as currently they are wasting their first and possibly only opportunity to prove they are the better option by acting as a whole to enact their vision for the United States.

 

I hear people demanding what we would propose if we think we have the answer. Well, perhaps they could actually get everybody on the same page instead of having a different set of priorities for every twenty or thirty Republicans. They need to have the Senate choose ten Senators and the House of Representatives choose twenty-five or thirty Representatives and have these people meet with the President and each Cabinet member in a series of meetings taking a week out of their schedules. Initially the President on the first day along with his preferred advisors should meet with the delegations and set a general structure for the ensuing week or even two and have the President and everyone else at the meeting express their preferences and ideas and have them discussed in a general sense setting up a framework. Then they should have meetings with cabinet members and the President each morning and then return and meet with the Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate each with their own chosen delegates such that everybody has some input and in the end they reach a consensus which is acceptable to the President and his Cabinet and advisors. Once this framework has been set, then the House of Representatives and the Senate can begin to work on the enactment of these ideas putting them into action. These agreed upon initiatives should be enacted through the House of Representatives and the Senate in quick order and signed by the President getting a basic set of accomplishments enacted and presented to the public as actual accomplishments in the next election cycle. If their ideas actually capture the minds and match the ideas of the population in the majority of the nation, then the Republicans can reap the rewards and press forward with even more action and accomplish what they promised in the first place.

 

President Trump National Security Advisor McMaster Speaker of the House of Representatives Ryan President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate Hatch

President Trump National Security Advisor McMaster
Speaker of the House of Representatives Ryan
President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate Hatch

 

The first thing they need do is revamp healthcare. An idea we would like to suggest is to keep the choice parts of the current system adjusted to make them include competition between the many insurance companies. Much of healthcare need be taken from the employers and returned to the people such that their demand for the most and best options and the insurance companies need meet their hopes at an acceptable price, this will bring healthcare costs back down within reason. Further, the government need remove most of the regulations, reporting requirements and other unnecessary paperwork which has completely destroyed the concept of a single doctor working from their home in the neighborhood where their patients reside as had been the case before the government needlessly intervened and destroyed affordable healthcare. The government should only require that insurance policies cover major medical allowing people to decide to pay for any minor care out of their own pockets. The one idea which the government should make illegal would be controversial but in the long run would produce lower medical costs, and that is to make group policies illegal such that companies, unions, and other groups such as retirement groups or social groups from offering insurance to their workers or members. Make individual policies the sole type of health insurance allowed and only require minimal coverages. We suggest only what used to be considered major medical which would include emergency rooms treatment with a deductible, surgical procedures, any hospital or clinical procedures again with a deductible, and hospital stays with a deductible. The deductibles would depend on the cost of the coverage with the less expensive coverage having a higher deductible while there could be specialty additional coverages which would cover these deductibles but this should be banned from health insurers offering. Such a system would produce insurance affordable at any level such that younger and healthier people could take the risk of higher deductibles and with people paying for most of their own healthcare we would see prices become lower for most standard healthcare needs. The main way to cut healthcare costs would be to put a cap on rewards for malpractice suits and make one vital change, the lawyers losing any malpractice suit would be responsible for both sides’ court costs and lawyers’ fees within set limits. This would lead to fewer malpractice suits as lawyers would be very careful to only take such cases which they felt quite sure of their case and winning the case, period.

 

There are probably many other means for lowering court costs which we have not included which the Congress could enact. Removing regulations and paperwork would be one of the greatest means to relieve the burden on physicians who have had to form groups to defray the clerical costs imposed by both government and insurance companies who often are demanding additional paperwork simply because the government demands they file paperwork. Government is once again the greatest contributor to the costs of a commodity which they also demand everybody purchase. This is simply something the people’s need should have to accommodate and not employers or government as that is the current system which the people declared broken and becoming overly expensive with far too many forms. The government should never have the power to add costs beyond reason to an industry and then require the people purchase said product. As happened with car insurance, whenever the government demands people to purchase a commodity the price of such commodity will naturally skyrocket reaching the limit of what the people are capable to pay, not the actual required cost of the commodity. Simply ask yourself what would you charge for widgets if the government required every person to purchase one widget every month? You would price them set the highest price the market would bear rather than a competitive price because every other widget salesperson would be doing the same. The highest probability is all widget salespersons would agree to set an inflated price where all would become wealthy beyond what any normal competition would prevail had the government not required people to purchase your product. That is simple reality of life and not rocket science, or advanced economics. The proof of this theory has been the cost of health insurance since Obamacare hit the market. This is why competition must be returned to the health insurance markets and as much government involvement must be removed back to bare bones or less. No government involvement would be the most preferred state of healthcare. But first the Republicans need to unify and find some leadership which can work well with President Trump, both by leading when necessary and following when Trump is leading constructively. We can only hope.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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March 3, 2017

Jewish Divide Over Trump Very Telling

 

Here’s a news flash that the media thus far has refused to mention, there are many Jews who support President Donald Trump. The media has been quite vocal of those Jews who are vehemently protesting the Trump Presidency. Probably the most telling example has been the Senate hearings to approve his Ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman. We will gladly grant the media that President Trump’s choice for Ambassador to Israel of David M. Friedman is a novel appointment when compared to previous appointments made by all the previous Presidents throughout Israeli history. There have been Ambassadors, Middle East Special Councils, Palestinian Israeli Peace Ambassadors and all sorts of other appointments made concerning Israel and her Arab neighbors plus the fact that American Ambassadors to the United Nations often have to interdict in matters concerning Israel, especially in United Nations sanctions against Israel often brought by Arab and European nations at the behest of the PLO or Palestinian Authority (PA) which have more often than not been vetoed by the United States Ambassador.

 

All of these past officials have more often than not been career Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) with the remainder have been political appointees. There have been more than a few of the most recent Israeli Ambassadors and Special Appointees who have been Jewish and thus touted as being most obviously as pro-Israeli. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Some in particular, Thomas R. Pickering, Martin Indyk and Denis Ross have been some of the most antagonistic to the Israeli cause. Both Martin Indyk and Denis Ross were said to be very much favorable to Israel because of their being Jewish which is like claiming that someone had to be favorable to illegal immigration across the southern border because they were Hispanic, an insult and very likely false. Indyk and Ross attempted to force Israel to make concessions in exchange for empty promises which had been given by the PA before and never acted upon or immediately broken often with an in-your-face attitude. David M. Friedman is a different Jew, he is also a Zionist. This is a first for an Ambassador to Israel and many Israelis are expecting great things if only our leaders can be bold, even brash for a change. Some here in Israel have placed David M. Friedman as being to the right and more Zionist than Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu or most of the other Ministers of the Knesset. Additionally, Israelis have begun to believe that President Trump will be good for Israel providing Israel acts good for Israel.

 

Additionally, Orthodox Jews mostly voted for President Trump over Hillary Clinton while Democrat Jews voted almost universally for Hillary Clinton and are extremely upset by her loss and screaming mad over President Trump. During the hearings for Ambassador David M. Friedman there were Jews disrupting the hearings blowing Shofars. Traditionally the sounding of the Shofar other than as part of religious observance has been used as a warning sign often used as an alarm that enemies were advancing or other calamity. Sounding the Shofar at the hearings for the new Israeli Ambassador they were meaning that a calamity was occurring threatening Jewish lives. Their actions were over the top as no lives were being endangered and no emergency was coming for Jews and if anything this appointment was going to be good for Israel, a new page in appointments of advisors to Israel.

 

This brings us to what for us is one of the saddest things we will ever discuss, Israel and the American Jewish left. Often at demonstrations denouncing Israel some of the most virulent demonstrators will come from leftist, liberal Jews. These Jews are more attached to their leftist principles than they are to Torah and Israel. These are Jews who will never consider making Aliyah and were the members of our Synagogue who when we made Aliyah asked us why in the world we would want to go live in Israel of all places. They were stunned that somebody they knew would do something which was such an anathema to them. These were the same members of the Synagogue who had to get past the horror that we might actually be Republicans as we had admitted. Many initially thought we were joking and trying to be funny and some when they realized we actually were Republicans never spoke with us again. Israel has actually become a divisive issue in the American Jewish community.

 

For Jewish Democrats it is a serious problem. There are still a goodly number of friends to Israel remaining in the Democrat Party but their numbers are diminishing and some have actually needed to go underground in their support. Pro-Israel Jews in Reform Synagogues have to act like the Marranos during the Inquisition where they practice their Judaism silently and with little visible evidence at home and were good Catholics in public even to going to church daily and every action including rosaries and confession to avoid the Inquisition and the tortures and death sentences which would be their punishment if their being a Jew was ever rooted out. These new Marranos support Israel but must do so while in conversations in Synagogue or at Temple functions, as most Reform Synagogues refer to themselves as Temples; something less Jewish in its identity, these Jews either remain silent on issues Israel or denounce those sensitive issues such as Bibi Netanyahu, the greatest force of evil in the Middle East.

 

Horned Netanyahu

 

For far too many American Liberal Leftist Jews, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has been the reason why President Obama was unable to make peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis and had Netanyahu simply followed the instruction, the orders from on high at the Oval Office, then Israel would have peace. There are no arguments which they would ever accept and they honestly believe that the Arabs would be happy if only Israel would surrender everything to the Green Line and half of Jerusalem and all the terrorism and demands would end. Never mind that Mahmoud Abbas refuses to even say, let alone guarantee, that the terror and violence would end with such an agreement, he has instead stated that any agreement would be but the initial step to the removal of the Zionist entity and that all resistance, that would be terrorism, would continue until the Zionist entity has been eradicated and the Jews defeated completely. Never mind that in Gaza there is Hamas which has promised to murder every Jew on Earth which includes these American Leftist Jews who happily claim that Hamas can be reasoned with. One would think with the history of the Jewish People, especially their recent history, specifically since the last century, that when some group of extremists claim they have designs for the complete annihilation of the Jewish People they would take things like that very seriously.

 

That Israel, and even additionally President Trump to the point of violence and lost friendships, have become the two most divisive issues in the Jewish community is the saddest commentary one could imagine. Israel, the hope and the prayers of Jews for thousands of years now a matter for derision and splitting the community is beyond sadness. Israel and Jerusalem, the final desire of every Seder is, “Next year in Jerusalem” and Psalms 137, Song of Babylon, which demands that as a member of the Jewish People, Jerusalem must be our first love and, allow me to quote, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill (strength). (And) May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my (chief and most important) joy.” Yet somehow Israel, and even the surrender of the Old City of Jerusalem and the surrendering of the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives Cemetery, has become a sticking point, an issue for debate and for too many simply something too trivial to be bothered with when supporting those for whom Israel is a bother is the real issue. How can Jews unfriend other Jews or shun them in the Synagogue because they support Israel. They demand, ‘how can one support Israel’ which is simply just for those other Jews, those religious Jews, those Jews who are just too Jewish and the ones the anti-Semites hate. They believe that because they support the right causes and they rub elbows with the right people that should the anti-Semites ever get their dream again and Jews are hunted down that they will be granted exceptions because they are those good Jews. They do not realize that to an anti-Semite the only good Jew is a dead Jew. But these Jews would gladly sacrifice those Zionist crazies if it would advance their standing at the club, or even sadly their Synagogue. We hold some truths to be very troubling and beyond our ability to accept. How can there be an ingathering when so many Jews refuse to even accept the concept of a Jewish State, a Jewish People or of Hashem and instead view their Synagogue as just another social club. This makes one remember that a minority of slaves left Egypt with Moses and a similarly percentage returned after they were liberated from Babylonia by Cyrus the Great and the majority either remained in Babylon or migrated to the major cities of Persia.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 1, 2017

My Guilty Verdict of Identity Political Sins

 

I awakened this morning realizing the horrid truth that I am an affront to identity political fears. Of all my sins, probably my most egregious is that I am a male. Not just male but also heterosexual. Well, I may as well admit to my further crimes, I am white as well. At least I do not fit the final box on the White, Male, Heterosexual privilege chart, I am not a true WASP as I am not Protestant. But as it turns out, I may be in an even worse category; I am a Jew, and not just a Jew but a Zionist and conservative Jew. I may as well admit it as it has cost me dearly in the past making me a pariah in more than one Synagogue across the fruited plains and both coasts as well. But I am even worse than the run of the mill White, Male, Heterosexual, Conservative, Religious and pro-Israel individual, I am proud of my guilt because I know that there is no real guilt to be had. The only true sin I have committed is not having any difficulty owning up to my presumed guilt and will gladly profess my preferences before my accusers. Of course this simply infuriates them further as they only gain advantage when people like me act ashamed and defensive to their accusations. Me, I simply revel in them and laughingly watch as those who would greedily stand pointing out my guilt over my groveling and writhing body on my face and begging forgiveness as they haughtily instruct me that I must confess my sins. They cannot utilize someone who refuses to beg and instead stands proudly before them stating that sure I am exactly what you accuse me of being, so what! That is the wrong stance and they are used to people that apologize for their sins, not reveling in them and using the identities as a badge of honor that it should be and not a sash of shame. I will not eat humble pie nor will I claim to be sorry for my accomplishments as I earned each and every one and none were simply given to me because of my so-called privilege.

 

You see I refuse to play by the rulebook of Identity Politics. This book states that in order to win every argument one only need accuse the other side of committing some unforgivable sin. The person is white or male or heterosexual or conservative or belongs to any group which can be cast as a majority, well, except being male as men are actually a minority. Their rules are to hit any sensitive spot where they can accuse you of being one of the deadly privileged kinds of personhood and if no prime example exists, then they just throw accusations until they hit a nerve. The accusations start with the obvious but let us say their adversary is someone such as Star Parker who is an American syndicated columnist, Republican politician, conservative political activist, author and very attractive (see below). Her disqualifying identity is that she is famous and even more unapologetic than I. They would strike her for being a known conservative and a Republican and those would be the last words they manage before she would tear them apart piece by piece. That is a side effect of proud and informed conservatives; we usually are not at a loss for words. But even those of us who are capable of giving as good as we get, if not better, is that we are defenseless against the current dilemma, the massive attacks such as are showing at Republican politicians’ town hall meetings.

 

Star Parker

Star Parker

 

Protesters exploded in anger after a chaplain prayed in the name of Jesus at a town hall meeting in Louisiana hosted by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy. They did just as decent, or should we say indecent, a job heckling at a decorated Viet Nam veteran when he attempted to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The hecklers shouted things such as, “Pray on your own time. This is our time,” and “Amen. Let’s get on with it,” while others insisted, “Separation of church and state” and so on and so forth. Chaplain Sprague told the media, “I’ve never been shouted down throughout a time of prayer like that,” adding “I’ve never been in a situation like that. It’s sad there wasn’t honor and respect for God.” Cassidy said in remarks reported by the Times-Picayune, “Wow, they booed the name of Jesus.” Some mentioned that they were suspicious as to the origin of these disrupters as they claimed people from their area would never have acted in such a manner. Our sense was it had been noted that there were numerous vehicles which arrived early with out of state license plates which we found to be suspicious explaining why the event had been hijacked with some of the locals betting that the disrupters were likely paid for their disruptive and disgusting performances. Their providers likely should be happy as it appears they got their money’s worth.

 

 

This has been the recent explosion across the width and breadth of the United States at numerous conservative town hall meetings held by Republicans. These have been in concert with the events we spoke of in our article from yesterday titled, “The Left and Their Dream with the Shadow Government” where there have been concerted rioting taking place in major liberal cities and college campuses with many locations security personnel and police instructed to stand back and allow the “demonstrators” space to express themselves. In an event not too long ago where Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to give a performance or something at the University of California Berkley Campus where because he was perceived as a conservative speaker, he is more libertarian than conservative, there was a riot staged with the campus police instructed not to interfere resulting in over one-hundred-thousand-dollars damages to the campus before everything calmed. He was denied speaking so their actions were rewarded and this will serve Berkley, the birthplace back in the 1960’s of free speech, poorly and probably just serve to encourage a much larger disruption the next time anybody considered controversial is invited by anybody to appear.

 

All of these actions have been far from amusing and have served to reinforce that my making Aliyah was the correct action even though my doing so had nothing to do with American political scene, it was the result of a promise made to myself when I was quite young, nine to be exact. My wife probably would have preferred my informing her of this little item before we were married and the look on her face when I announced we were moving to Israel one evening in passing as if it was simply another casual remark. Her reaction was less than casual and in the end we made the trip and it has made us both quite happy to be here. She still holds dearly to her Americanism and the politics are a sort of interest though she does not dwell politics quite as I do. She spends more time socializing and having events with other ladies and groups, often dragging me along (well, not always dragging as I do enjoy many events and am going to pay for admitting this). Perhaps we can take less of a panicked look at events in the United States, at least far more relaxed than our friends still back there, especially those residing near and about the nation’s capital. That space allows for a more unattached review where things do not strike us as if it were right outside. For that we have our own set of political and other possibilities which take center stage over the events in America, as they should. Still, we at BTC still need to stay up to date on events back in the United States in order to write on them, so we still know and react to events, just do not need to worry if the demonstrations will be coming down our street or block our way to the store or wherever. As stated, for that we have our own difficulties from time to time.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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