Beyond the Cusp

November 5, 2016

Republican Disarray After Trump, Only if They Blow It

 

There have been numerous articles attempting to discern exactly what the Republican Party will be like after its foray with the Donald. They try to figure what effects he is going to have on the candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as State races for legislatures and governorships. There are all different levels of panic to excitement. Some are excited thinking that the increased voters may mean a stronger voter turnout which will raise all candidates as these voters are most likely to vote for the party ticket rather than only voting for Donald Trump as that is the easiest path and these are lower information voters who are more likely to just pull the single lever for the Trump party rather than voting for each office individually, an occurrence the Democrat Party is more familiar with than are the Republicans. This is a new and untested ground for the Republican Party and more so than most will ever know. Has anybody actually bothered to ask the Donald if he is really willing to surrender control of all his companies and real estate interests for four or possibly eight years placing them in a trust where he will not be managing his holdings? I mean seriously now folks, can anybody see Donald Trump walking away from his wheeling dealing which is really what he lives for. Does he in the end really want to be President, or are we watching the dog caught the car by the rear wheel and now is stuck driving the car? He will be the center of attention between now and the end of his term should he actually prevail, something looking more certain as the clock ticks down to Tuesday. There is where the drama will peak and Trump will do the unthinkable and still hold the future of the Republican Party in his hands and he will play it for maximum exposure of the Donald before he makes the final fateful step which will astound most of the pundits, the media and the entirety of the Republican Party, win the day carrying the House of Representatives comfortably and give the Republicans a minimum of fifty-seven and possibly as high as 62 in the Senate. Yes, Donald Trump could be sitting in the catbird seat with a filibuster-proof Congress if the Republicans can find their way to work with him. Not to worry, they won’t.

 

Of course all this is pure conjecture but in one manner it would be wonderful to see a true and total Republican Congress with the same theoretical license to do whatever they can agree upon just as was the case for the Democrats for the initial two years under President Obama. Thankfully the wheels came off of that cart fairly quickly and before the world ended and the destructiveness was mostly repairable with Obamacare needing the largest repair, removal and replaced with a completely open system countrywide for all insurers with take and carry benefit for all plans. There could be options for tax breaks for companies paying percentages of employee chosen plans giving everybody total control. Returning to major medical plans with a basic plan required for any insurance that would cover Emergency Room, Trauma Center and major surgeries with rate of coverage set by a board of major hospital directors chosen every five years by the top five-hundred hospitals by some pre-set formula which would include their accepting Medicare and Medicaid pricing as set by the board and approved by Health and Human Services and the Senate also voting as if this were an actual treaty requiring a super-majority. This would guarantee bipartisan agreement. This base pricing could be used for a national defined plan which all insurers could use as their guideline for a general basic coverage plan.

 

The one part of such unilateral Republican control is there would no longer be the excuse by the Republican leadership of, we did not have the complete control of the House, the Senate, power to end filibusters or, their favorite, we did not have the White House. No more excuses and just let the Congress show the world what plan the Republicans really got! Turn them loose and let the legislation fly. Not to worry folks, they will hit a log jam within weeks, more likely days and even within hours or minutes. They would, in a word, choke. The main problem the Republicans suffer is the one thing Trump offers to teach them, bravado. The Republicans are afraid to lead, timid and only comfortable pointing out what is broken in their opinion and then lamenting their inability to do anything about the problems. Given total control they would continue to shuffle their feet, looking at the ground, mumbling senselessly, wandering around lost in the wilderness of their own making. They have no dynamic leadership. They did once under Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America, a plan. Imagine that, an actual plan laid out, defined and actually almost followed. Eventually the Republicans did what they do best and shot down their leader because the media picked him apart while they watched on playing the helpless damsel in distress sobbing over her miseries as their presumed White Knight was pounded into the mud by professional muckrakers. What leadership has the Republican leadership or the rank and file shown with their control of Congress as they have handed President Obama victory after victory with budgets including every item with every dollar as requested? One would have at the very least thought they might have, at the very least, demanded more money spent investing in improved care through privatization of the Veterans’ Administration’s healthcare system changing it to an insurance plan open to any and all insurers with guaranteed rates equal to Medicare system rates. This would have freed the veterans to receive care locally, virtually anywhere other than living in a log cabin in Nowhere, Montana. They might have fought to end the downward spiral in defense spending when compared with all the increases in Welfare, Food Stamps and Unemployment costs or demanded that $15.00/hr. minimum wage for military personnel and their pay scale to be based on a forty hour week plus ten hours overtime pay (trust this infantry veteran, most soldiers, especially the privates, work at least an average of well over fifty hour weeks with extra duties such as guard duty, going to the field, weapon training plus yearly qualifying, physical training plus annual testing and a myriad other additional often busy work). These would have been easy initiatives and would have placed a spotlight on some actual problem situations and not on men who claim to be women using any bathroom that fits their life-choices.

 

A complete Republican victory with Donald Trump as President would not necessarily be the disaster the media has painted. Remember, this is a media which has gone step-for-step with every single idea the Democrats have suggested and even initially carried the water for Obamacare and are now backing the Democrat plan of government run healthcare exactly the same that the following countries found to be impossible to afford; Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Russia and any other where the tax rate is under 80% of income with allowances for food, housing, clothing and transportation. When the government allows refunds for food, housing, clothing and transportation; they are dictating how you live and all but defining what you are permitted to spend on food, housing, clothing and transportation. Does such a system sound good to any regular-work-hard American? That is the European Plan that President Obama and a President Hillary Clinton are targeting for America and with a European level military unable to afford ammunition to train with. When we read articles reporting that NATO national military personnel are required to run around in training exercises yelling, “Bang, I shot you, you’re dead,” and that passes for training, we worry what is wrong with these countries. What is wrong is they are not responsible for their defense, the United States is responsible because as NATO defines itself it goes something like this; from each nation as they can provide, from the United States whatever is required to complete the task any NATO nation leaves hanging in the wind. Force the United States to train yelling, “bang bang, you’re dead,” will leave the Western World vulnerable to conquest using swords as swords are a superior weapon to a rifle without bullets, and any invader will have real rifles with real bullets and will not react by claiming, “you got me,” after a NATO soldier screams, “bang bang, you’re dead.” Trust us on this one, really.

 

The choice comes Tuesday, the counting will take the rest of the week unless the victory is definitive, the lawsuits another month or two and the appeals even longer. There is a possibility that the inauguration just might take place on the perfect Saturday, April 1, 2017, April Fool’s Day, and it will be the biggest joke, bet nobody will be laughing, they will be too darned sick and tired. Sick and tired of the wasted time, money and credibility. Sick and tired as the American Representative Constitutional Republic will have been assassinated and lying next to death’s door in desperate need of some serious reckoning. So sick and tired that it is doubtful she will receive the necessary attentions and restoration of faith in the system, the leaders, the nation any time soon. That is the saddest thing about this fiasco disguised as an election. The disgust may be made more palpable by the apparent lack of decency, competence, qualifications and general revulsion one or both candidates elicit from each member of the electorate, but they are not the source of the revulsion, just one more product of the end of America.

 

This was not the original target for the end of this piece, but we rarely end where we started. The disarray coming after this election will encompass both parties. They have each been laid bare for all to see the rotted core filled with the diseases of hatred for the other, distrust of all, the required demand for the lowest expectations, the lowest denominator as the norm and the lack of desire, nay, even ability to repair that which has been left to fall into disrepair. People will ask how things got here and the answer is an easy one. Just open your eyes and look around you and for all that is holy take off the rose colored glasses, the beer goggles, the fractured lensed party glasses and put down the weed, booze, drugs, sexting, or whatever consumes you that is in that little box you so feverishly share everything that amounts to the nothing that is your current life. Too many of us are lost and are too busy becoming even further lost to notice. We started down this road when our materialism surpassed our reason and replaced our faith, well, became our religion. Hashem, The Big Guy who made all of it, or so we used to believe, was put aside for just a short while as we worked harder for that new car. After the car we moved for a bigger house, then that little vacation cottage, those new computers, stood all night in the rain for that next must have gadget, the newest i-Phone, and on and on endlessly until we forgot completely about Hashem.

 

I was right there with many and got lost in living for the now and for the me. Sure, we all peeked up every so often, glanced around, did the traditionally right thing and then dove back in. We lost religion because we had science and a new religion, human rights, animal rights, right to anything and everything while forbidding others from deviating from our chosen things because we, our group knew better than any other group. We pressed for laws which made our cause the right, moral and now legally enforceable right. There were a few hiccups as differing views clashed. The big issues were such as but not limited to abortion, guns, marijuana, free healthcare, free college, minimum wage, military size, military weapons systems, war and peace. The eventuality due to high demand lives and higher taxes both parents worked and in some families one parent worked two jobs, had to keep up the old image, you know. Flat screen television, fifty-two inch display, 3-D, 7.1 surround sound, build on a theater room for the next party, it was never going to end and then we wondered why we had a coronary.

 

Meanwhile, who had time to assist with homework, providing we ever made time for having a family? Time and interest in the children’s schooling also fell by the wayside and the PTA became the teacher’s union more so than a shared parent-teacher relationship. The schools gave us what we wanted, good grades though often so inflated as to be meaningless. They left real schooling somewhere back a ways and replaced it with social programming of our youth who now knew of the evils of capitalism but were unable to define it, global climate change, racial inequality, gender inequality, LGBT life choices, and the new relativity, not Einstein’s but moral, gender and ethnic amongst others. Multiculturalism became the watchword where no single culture was preferable to any other and that included the tribes of cannibals and headhunters, communists and socialists, anything but that one dreadful, awful, despicable culture, Judeo-Christian culture, the old ways that built Western Civilization. No, we had to move beyond our little corner and our petty ways and go and try those other cultures which were all equal while all were preferable to the old way, that demanded far too much civility and culture need not be civil in order to have a civilization.

 

The Narrow Path

The Narrow Path

 

The new multicultural civilization would embrace everything different than our past, that civilization was built on faith and decency, or so it claimed. Faith was long dead; humiliated from the town square and who was it that got to define decency. Assuredly we could each define decency for ourselves, provided it was not defined in the morality based on that old book we had presumably discarded long ago. The children were prepared to forge that new world whose foundation was firmly planted in shifting sands which were so undefined and meaningless that everything was near collapse. We were approaching the cusp and beyond the cusp was a great and bottomless void. The edge had watched many a great civilization fall beyond the cusp to fall into the darkness never to return. This was how greatness of civilizations died, not from withering attacks but from withering within. They first hollowed out the principles upon which they were built and then with the inner structure destroyed, they simply collapsed from their own weight. They all died from their internal injuries, one after the other marching straight into the abyss awaiting their eventual arrival as they passed beyond the cusp. They all had lost their way and strayed from the narrow path turning right or left, it matters not as the cliffs of ruin line both sides and one can pass beyond the cusp going either way, right with dictatorial systems controlled by a single lunatic or left where a horde of self-proclaimed wise men act just as need of an asylum as the single loon and who rush beyond the cusp into the void with equal abandon. The path is as pictured above, narrow and perilous for any who lose their compass and stray from the good path, the narrow way.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 7, 2011

Israel and the Student Driven Tent Protests

From a combination of steep cost of living and a slowly growing economy, the student tent protests were born seemingly spawned directly from the cottage cheese protests. The tents have largely been packed up with the start of school, but the core of leadership is determined to continue with even a remnant of the protesters until their demands are met and, quoting one protester as best I can recall, we will continue until the welfare state has been resurrected from the remains that the government destroyed. This sounds so wonderfully social, dangerously like the social in socialism that has likely completely destroyed Europe and is on the verge of critically damaging the United States but in Israel their economy has avoided the terrors striking much of the world’s economies of late due to government guiding their economy slowly away from its socialist past. But, these young people are demanding that the something for nothing past with communal shared sacrifice for the good of the whole be revived. Never mind that Israel has one of the healthiest economies and has been growing steadily for quite some time, these students know what is needed even before they have tasted the realities of life after college.

The often heard complaint from many protesters is that the government is simply not responding to their demands and they refuse to be ignored. They point out that they have learned how Israel once was so communal and socialist and perfect but the Netanyahu government and the right has destroyed the great social wonderfulness of Israel. But the economic truth shows a different picture where the gains made economically by the moves away from government owned industries by Netanyahu when he was Treasury Minister under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon selling off government run operations which, by the nature of such moves to private enterprise from a central government run economy, made those making the winning bids becoming excessively wealthy while also raising the sum wealth of Israeli society. Such changes often take some time to even out, especially in a country as small as Israel where in many industries there will usually be one company holding a near monopoly, and with a little more patience the Israeli economy will spawn challengers to today’s temporary leading companies as more people start companies and competition makes its inevitable adjustments which also will act to moderate and equalize the wealth. But students being fed a steady diet of the wonderfulness of social inclusiveness that result from the implementation of a socialist economy where the state spreads the wealth are not exactly the people with the kind of experience one needs to run a real and functional society. They have not yet entered the real world outside of college where many of these very same college students will become members of the wealthy class and many will probably have their love of socialism severely tested.

In a final analysis it is necessary to inspect one other claim being made by the protest leaders, namely that their protest gathered over a million Israelis. This is an interesting claim as they are adding the inflated estimates from an enchanted press, which lavished these protests with meaning and numbers well beyond belief, using totals from five Saturdays of events. Even the most liberal estimates these Saturday extravaganzas never reached a million participants no matter how many leading name bands who performed for free. Honestly, do they really want us to believe that those crowds of youth, many even younger than college age, who gathered at the end of the summer in a place where free bands were performing, attended the event simply for political reasons? Please, give me a break. These students demand that the Knesset and the Prime Minister who were elected by the entirety of Israelis and have a commanding coalition must be forced to live up to and meet the demands of college students because they know more than the rest of the country combined electoral representation. Polls taken as the end of summer was closing in has shown that should new elections be held today, the Israeli electorate would increase the size of the Parties in the coalition as well as the far leftist parties while the one Party, Kadima, who were the most connected and attempted to identify and gain from the summer protests would pay for that support by losing as much as ten seats. Well, so much for the student revolt being the most popular thing going. Perhaps the students should go back to class and when they have the experience of real life and have actually been elected to run the country, then they can decide how to run the country and make their dreams come to fruition. Of course that will depend on their ideas not being changed by that most cruel of teachers, experience. It will also depend exclusively on their ideas being acceptable to the electorate and not just the north side of Tel Aviv.

Beyond the Cusp

August 13, 2011

What Will Make America Great?

After the recent downgrade in the credit rating of the United States by Standards and Poor’s from AAA to AA+ but retaining the negative future outlook, I guess it is time for the follow-up article to “What Made America Great?” Right now there is no shortage of people claiming the times of a preeminent America are over and all that is left is to watch as America declines and is eventually laid to rest. I am sure there were those who made this same mistake during the 1930s and the Great Depression. There is an urban legend of this type of thinking which claims that Charles H. Duell, who was Commissioner of the United States Patent Office in 1899, resigned claiming that, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” He obviously lacked the imagination which blinded his ability to imagine even greater inventions to come in the future. America will need to ignore such attitudes and simply pick herself up, maybe let out a sigh, and then get back to doing what made America great, working smart as well as hard. This time smart may be far more important than hard, but dedication and setting seemingly impossible goals are among the things America’s future must hold if she is to, like the Phoenix, rise from the ashes. Well, that may be a bit too drastic an analogy as America is still the preeminent world power and is still unrivaled in virtually every field, so it is more like getting back up to speed after an overly slow, disorganized, costly pit stop.

The rejuvenation of the economic engine that has proven to be the greatest producer of wealth and progress ever known to man, must first be released from the restraints and governors limiting the free spinning of invention and removing the sludge of years upon years of stifling tax code bandaged beyond recognition and removing the regulation clogged filters restricting the flow of fuel all of which have limited its output. America is not suffering from a lack of intelligent, determined, and dedicated workers. What America needs to first realize is the need to be provided with new sources of inexpensive energy independent from foreign control, boycotts or other restrictions beyond American control. This means developing every source of domestically provided energy, be that fossil fuels, green energy, nuclear power, or sources yet to be invented or discovered. Research and development of so-called green energy is important but the immediate solution is still fossil fuel based with nuclear power being the next energy source that can be brought on-line. Green energy is the power of the future and we need to plan to meet that future and not rely solely upon the sources of energy we currently utilize. Then we need to revive our stricken infrastructure. Some of it simply is in need of repair, some needs to be replaced and all of it could benefit from upgrades.

President Obama’s love affair with high speed trains is not entirely a bad idea. Trying to place these high speed trains on the same tracks as our commercial trains is a bad idea for a number of reasons. The most obvious is that the old rail systems would limit top speeds to under 120 MPH, which is not exactly my idea of high speed rail. We would need an entire new rail system which would be best built on an as economically feasible and done as much as possible by private industry. The initial placement of such a rail system would be between San Diego up through Los Angeles on to San Francisco. The other location where such systems may be profitable would be from Washington D C through the coastal cities to the northeast. Until we can produce a rail system that is capable of speeds that would allow trains to rival the convenience of air travel with an equal or superior safety record predicted, this will not be possible. The most promising system would utilize a monorail design powered by electromagnetic Maglev systems. Such a system could be built entirely below ground or a combination of above and below ground rails depending on conditions. The main consideration is to make such a system as fast as plane travel and considerably less expensive with the profits coming from volume which is the main strength of rail systems for transporting people from one point to another. Plus, replacing a large amount of domestic plane flights in our most crowded airspace would be a desirable objective. But such train fantasies are in the future. As the saying goes, you have to walk before you get on a Maglev.

Americans have been known worldwide for ingenuity even if one of our Patent Office Commissioners did possibly say that we had run out of new idea and all inventions were already invented. What we need is very simply for government to allow the freedom for people to dream and then live that dream and not be required to fill out forms and rules that eventually squash all the inventiveness out of even the most ingenious minds. Government, with all the regulations, bureaucrats and other blockades to productive and free enterprise is strangling the inventiveness and risk taking out of America. We need to refrain government, not people. The time has come to simplify, better to totally revamp the tax code and place a sunshine limit on all regulations so that they must be reconsidered by Congress periodically. If nothing else, forcing Congress to review all the old regulations should hopefully prevent them making new ones for quite a while. We need also to make it that only our representatives are allowed to make regulations and not some government pencil pushing careerist trying to make things impossible without their position to assist and guarantee his employment. Simply put, it is time to tell Washington, “Enough!” And this time we really mean it.

We need to push enough and support new faces and fresh ideas, especially the idea that American are still not simply a can do but a will do nation and all we need is to be allowed the freedom and opportunity to show and we will produce miracles. For my entire life I have watched as the world in the United States has slowly but inexorably closed in and shut down removing one freedom after another until America is slowly becoming unrecognizable. It is going to sound silly, but I want my old America back, with a few adjustments as we all know not everything was right, but the less regulation was correct. Perhaps we should return that which was great while keeping the progresses made towards a more acceptive and open society, after all, we’re Americans and if we can dream it, we can do it.

Beyond the Cusp

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