Beyond the Cusp

June 28, 2017

What Political Message Have Elections Taught?

 

What we need do is to seek out what politics or which politicians invigorated their electorate and the means and methods they used which proved more effective than the others did. To do this we need to look at elections of the Twenty-First Century starting with George W. Bush and ignoring third party candidates, as that has been the way of things. In the 2000 election, we saw George W. Bush running against Albert Gore. Both of these candidates are so exciting that we can refer to one as watching grass grow and the other as watching paint dry. When it all was over it came down to divining the desire of voters and hanging chads and a Supreme Court decision calling the circus to a close with the winner according to the final count before the bell rang being grass growing, George W. Bush. So, this was politics as it had been in the Twentieth Century, a form of politics which died in this century as it no longer plays in the climate of reality TV such as naked survival, alone in the worst climates on earth and we are waiting for the how long can you stay in a viper pit without being bit, losers are buried. How far is television from the Roman Colosseum?

 

The next election in 2004 we saw George W. Bush running for reelection against John F. Kerry. The most interesting item in this election also kind of explains who won and why. John Kerry’s middle name does not really start with an F, or it starts with an F, ends with an F, and is one letter long which is an F. John Kerry was running for the Senate in Massachusetts and decided that having the initials JFK would really help him sound more like John Fitzgerald Kennedy and gain some of the shine and famous recognition using the same initials as the most popular figure in Massachusetts politics. So, in his normal fashion of faking it, he faked three serious injuries for which he required Band-Aids to get three Purple Hearts within four months which he wrote up the recommendations himself and that got him sent home early, so adding the F to the middle of his name was child’s play for this faker. So, this was an election between grass growing and a liar and a fake who nobody believed or really trusted so grass growing won again, only bigger. Again, this election was old school and boring and nothing to see there either.

 

On we go to the 2008 elections and finally the start with the new age of American politics. Here we have a contest between Barack Hussein Obama and John Sidney McCain. John McCain was extremely competent in carrying on the Republican Party technique of being grass growing, and he did it extremely well, much to his detriment. The Democrat candidate, Barack Obama, was fireworks and all about the politics of you. This is where you are defined by policies which excite the younger voters as if they are excited with your policy positions, they will volunteer and climb the Himalayas if that is required to win. And unlike former generations where the young were not interested in politics, the latest couple of generations are all about policy and politics. They are idea driven and can be caught up in a good campaign if it makes them believe. Barack Obama had the idea of the first Black President which got the left wing all a titter and ready to make history, and for the older voters, it was the making history and proving they were not racist. But the youth, though exited by the mantra of first Black President, required much more. The youth needed to know what it was that Barack Obama was going to stand for and what drove him and were to be his policies. This was where he hit it out of the park. For the most part candidate Obama was whatever you wanted to believe, that was his love too. President Obama was the master manipulator of the thoughts of others. His eloquent and smooth delivery and the wording left everyone painting their own picture onto a blank canvas. Barack Obama masterfully would talk both sides of every issue he talked about leaving the listener to decide what they believed and then it appeared that so did Barack Obama. He was noncommittal talking in double circular ovals and squiggly lines leaving everyone assured that yes was maybe while no was why not and all of it was but wisps of smoke which when one finally emerged dizzied and befuddled they would soon decide that what they heard had to be what they wanted to hear and thus Barack Obama was all things to all people. There were those who realized that he was not standing for anything and they tried to call attention to the con-game being played by Barack Obama and you will never guess what they were called by the mainstream media. You might think they were called, “Racist,” but that would be exactly correct. Any discontent or criticism of Barack Obama was labeled as racist and bigoted thus being able to simply deflect any criticism and parry truthful accusations not allowing anything negative to be applied thus we witnessed the initial settling of the whole of the media with the smallest of exceptions aligned as the supportive propaganda arm for the Democrat Party. So, in the end we had a contrast between watching grass grow against a three-ring circus advertised as the greatest show on Earth. Guess which won. Nope, no watching grass grow, this time that lost and lost big. But do not let that shake the Republican Party because in 2012, they gave us watching grass grow once again in the form of Mitt Romney and got a repeat performance of 2008, they lost. So we had Barack Obama two in a row using excitement and selling political positions or the appearance thereof.

 

So, here we come to 2016 and all kinds of insanity. The Republicans came out with seventeen candidates. One was Jeb Bush who had more campaign funds than all the rest of the candidates combined. He was such a great example of watching grass grow that he never got past the first couple of primaries. The remaining candidates were various types of grass growing, some latex paint drying along with enamel paint and some good old oil paint drying, one serious former CEO, one world famous neurosurgeon and a circus barker. The nice thing was all of these candidates talked their best on policies and were pretty much all the same; well, except the circus barker who had policies mixed with ridiculous statements and tone of controversies. Guess who won? You got it, the circus barker won.

 

Meanwhile, over at the Democrat Party there were only two candidates, one was a traditional candidate and the other a wild eyed, far left, older politician who often screamed out policy positions and really wound up the young supporters and he was excited right along with his youthful supporters. This was an interesting primary where the wild, screaming policy-wonk started off really slow but caught fire about one-third the way into the primaries and with plenty of time to close. The standard and favored candidate started fine but bogged down in malaise and lack of feelings and absolutely little to no policy positions. Actually, this candidate spent much of the time fighting accusations of mishandling e-mails or misconduct of different varieties which questioned their character and trustworthiness. The wild leftist was closing and the supporters were getting wildly excited thinking they just might have a chance to win it all when the word came down, there were even more super delegates which consists of Senators and Representatives from Congress, members of the Democratic National Committee and notable Democrats, including such as former presidents and vice presidents and Democrats of note. This came to contain sufficient, apparently, numbers to assure that the conventional candidate wins because the Democrats already had their rallying cry, elect the first woman President.

 

The Democrats had zeroed in on one of the things which had won for President Obama, the theme of being the first Black President, thus Hillary would win as the first Woman President. They ignored the excitement the youth had for what they believed was a candidate who understood their concerns and knew the policies they desired. The Republican candidate who was cast as a clown and a carnival barker by the media, virtually all media uniformly could but laugh at candidate Donald Trump. So the scene is set, the stage lights on and the show begins. The campaign was one which was more incongruous, bizarre and incoherent as any we have ever witnessed, including the one in which we were participants as third party candidate for the District Eight in Maryland’s Seat in the United States Congress.

 

In this one, we had Hillary doing her best possible job of character assassination against Trump while he left the candidate assassination to the media and the realities of her history. Trump also relied on the media to carry his talking points as he mixed them with outrageous statements. The barker did do one thing different, and that was he talked purely message and positions on the economy, immigrations, terrorism and rebuilding the country to lead the free world again and he stuck with that message at every campaign rally which he did almost constantly. The other spent their time accusing the other of being unserious as a candidate who did not deserve to be President while she was due the office as the first Woman President plus she had done all the right things to be owed the Presidency. There was one report which nailed the reality and why Donald Trump won and this theory was, those who supported him ignored his Tweets and listened to his positions while the media ignored his positions and believed his Tweets.

 

Conclusion time for what does it take to be successful as a Presidential candidate in the Twenty First Century. The simple way to put it, you need to concentrate on message, message, message. The youth vote is the secret as they are also the volunteers which can carry a campaign. The youth in this generation realize that leadership of the nations, and possibly the world, is important and that it is your beliefs and positions on critical themes such as the economy, foreign policies and interactions which includes immigration, foreign interventions and the wisdom and what reasons it would take to cause the United States to send troops, what one would do in any situation which required an American response such as if a foreign nations crossed a “red line” or threatened an ally. These are questions they want to hear about but they also have some dangerous ideas themselves. Many youth still are in the grips of the socialist, anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, rejectionist theories they were pumped with by their professors in university.

 

Many have not experienced sufficient situations in life to understand the long-term effects of some of their favorite pet policies. The most dangerous of these is fighting income inequity which they were told is a great evil. There is an easy way to point out the destructive effect of this idea, and that is to compare a ditch digger (which will soon be a robotic position along with almost all minimum wage positions) with a surgeon, we like to use brain surgeon. These positions would never be considered to be worthy of receiving equal pay thus are two positions which contain a huge income inequality. Much of income inequality is driven by knowledge, experience and responsibilities. These students have been told of CEO’s who make millions of dollars a year for making obvious decisions, or at least that is the way it is presented and their professors love to point out how the students themselves could make these same decisions given the opportunity. That is a lie as these professors have little if any idea what decisions managers make and there is a simple and necessary policy about managers. Managers need to earn close to or preferably more than those they manage and a CEO manages people who make six and seven figure incomes, make decisions which concern billions of dollars, make decisions which effect thousands of employees and with one swipe of the pen can cause ten thousand people to be fired or two thousand to be hired, all this also decides the health of their company. Often you will hear of a CEO who comes to a company, fires one third of the employees, closes three of the seven manufacturing plants, ends all but four of the company’s products and loses one-billion dollars the first year and only makes three-hundred million the next year and was lauded as a genius. This CEO was brought back to his company and where we may have a few points slightly wrong, the losses and gains in profits are accurate and the man saved the company, his name was Steve Jobs and the company was Apple.

 

What sounds like a failure may be an intelligent realignment as the slimming of a company to make it more competitive. Another person may have added employees and appeared to grow a company by making twice as many numbers of the same products but as sales collapsed that year he was a disaster. Another myth is that companies are in business to employ people. Wrong, the company is in business to make profits for their stockholders and that might require automation and reduction in workforce as McDonalds is in the process of trying to do. This idea of a $15.00/hr. minimum wage sounds wonderful unless you are seeking a starting position job because compared to current jobs, almost half of minimum wage jobs might disappear should the minimum wage be jumped by so much. Raising the minimum wage simply prices any number of jobs right out of the job market. How does that happen, don’t the companies have to keep somebody doing that job. Well, yes, and let me give you a great example. We will assume we own a shoe store which has a decent business and we have four full time sales people and five part time sales people and a stock person who also sweeps the stock room, vacuums after the store closes and keeps the stock room straight. Now some goody-goody decides to up the minimum wage by fifty percent. Well, now one of the full time sales people, the one closing the store which will often be the owner who will run the vacuum and clean the bathroom and runs the stock and there is no longer a stock person. We would also let at least one part time sales person go, the one with the lowest sales average and possibly one full time sales person and the owner would work opening to closing and might have their wife or one of their children work some hours when business peaked around Christmas. Now how did the raising of the minimum wage help the stock person? Are they making more money or are they making less.

 

What will almost doubling minimum wage do? Things have consequences and many of these consequences are not taught in university, they are learned in life and life is a very demanding instructor. Those of us who are fortunate never have life teaching them many lessons; those are truly blessed people who need to be thankful for their life. Automation and robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are going to alter the job market drastically and the higher the minimum wage is placed the faster many jobs will disappear. For a good example one need look no further than auto manufacturing. There used to be near to if not over one hundred people on an assembly line which made maybe twenty cars a day way back when. Now there are less than twenty people on an entire assembly line including sub-assemblies which we did not count in the above description and these lines can put out twenty cars an hour and within the next twenty years the number will drop to under ten and even five while even more cars will be produced. This is reality and as we know the ATM machines led to less tellers at the bank and the ones there are usually bored stiff and many banks have management level people who are also assigned to do teller position work when volume required such. Also, ditch diggers have been replaced by a backhoe, twenty diggers, gone. This will become true for every job even to lawyers and auditors as AI takes ever-greater powers.

 

ATM vs. Bank Teller

ATM vs. Bank Teller

 

Some jobs have been altered drastically by modern technology. Auto mechanics now must be trained on diagnostic equipment and specialized tools and how to handle electronic ignitions and make adjustments through programming the modules in the engine and elsewhere. Wrenches, well they are still required as are screw drivers but hammers are a thing of the past, well, not completely, just do not get caught adjusting anything with a hammer if you like your job. Trains no longer need anyone to drive them as they are becoming automated, even the subways as they modernize. There will soon be automated trucks driving the roads and there will be automated cab drivers and in our lifetimes, we should live the necessary twenty to thirty years, all cars will be automated and selecting human driver will have your car emit a signal and do not be surprised if you get additional scrutiny by police just waiting for you to make a human mistake. Eventually driving a car will be illegal which will make life interesting. Your windows will be computer screens which can show you anything except where your car is going, as they do not wish to scare you to death. Fully automated roads will have no traffic signals and the cars will speak to one another and miss each other by millimeters and it will presumably be safer than it is now. Things are going to start becoming unrecognizable and for many our age it already has. When the AI gets to the point that it can design the next generation AI and can design the manufacture of the next generation AI we had best practice our best puppy dog begging eyes and being really cute as our place will be as the robot’s pet. Hopefully somewhere they will place in the robotic basic program along with the twenty (the original were three) Isaac Asimov Laws (but I-robot showed the problem with his laws so we are guessing it will take a few more) includes one which requires every robot to have at least one human pet it cares for and that the number of human pets is a status symbol. The changes are coming and humans are soon to be as obsolete as dogs presumably are to the running of any city, we may require a few but those will be replaced with robot dogs real soon.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 27, 2017

Can President Trump Cure the Ills of America?

 

The United States new leader, President Donald J. Trump, promised to “Make America Great Again.” The real question should be can he cure the United States of her illness. This disease has numerous symptoms of which we will cover a few of the most threatening. The first on the list is a sinister little one which hides in plain sight. The current reproductive rate is 1.84 children per woman which is well below the 2.33 reproductive rate necessary for maintaining a nation’s population. This simply means that the United States will have fewer workers to support an aging population and this will only grow more and more serious over time. The only obvious solution is to allow for immigration, eventually massive immigration. From all expectation, any large immigration program will lead to a rebalancing of the predominant population statistics in the favor of whichever groups of foreign nations contribute to the immigration. The most readily available populations are from Central America and South America. This has been the trending for the past decades which is leading to a growing Hispanic population which is rapidly becoming the largest minority population and with time they will become the predominant population. There is a fortunate trait in that the vast majority of such immigrants hold similar religious identities and have a Judeo-Christian ethics and history which will make for a merging of the populations and not as much a shock to the culture or as much a threat for large changes in laws and outlook of the resultant population. Should the United States instead bring in immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) there would be an inevitable confrontation between the emerging culture and the currently existing culture. If history is any indicator, an increasing Islamic minority would at some point lead to an actual confrontation which the aging Judeo-Christian community who would most definitely loses.

 

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

 

This problem has been traced from demographic studies to have a direct relation to the legalization of abortion after the 1973 Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade decision leading to nationally recognizing a legal right for a woman to obtain an abortion. The good news is that the numbers of abortions have steadily decreased over the past few decades. The not so great news is that this has not led to any measurable increase in the reproductive rate as was expected. Demographic studies have shown that couples are waiting until later in life before getting married. This had led to the obvious postponement of starting families and, as in most cases both husband and wife are professionals with careers, they often put off having a family until even later leading to many couples having a single child , or worse, deciding not to have children at all. Societal studies have also seen a trending in millennials for their deciding to forgo marriage, children and even permanent relationships instead settling to have small groups of friends who have open partnerships or some simply leading singular lives dropping in and out of relationships never desiring to become involved in a permanent relationship. Perhaps these individuals will settle down later in life but that will likely lead to a childless relationship as they may wait until past the point of fertility. Whatever the future, the current trends indicate that the only solution to the American childlessness will be through immigration and praying that the new immigrants prove immune to the childless culture as they come from a more reproductive friendly culture.

 

Islamic immigrants would also have a higher reproductive rate than the current American culture. The one catch is that it has been found that as financial wealth of a society increases, reproductive rates plummet. This was what has struck Europe and has been given as one of the reasons the political rulers have been allowing a free import of Syrian and other MENA refugees. Whether such a program was a good idea or a potential allowing for an infiltration leading to an eventual takeover by Islamic policies is something which is still being debated. Time may settle that debate before any conclusions are forthcoming. The one certainty is that many of the existing European populations are not overly excited about the newcomers and may be voting in a whole new and opposing set of leaders as elections sweep across the continent. Should Europe start to become an Islamic based society, then that may play well for solving some of the system shock for the United States as many of the elite, and any others with sufficient means, would flee Europe for the apparent safety of the United States. Much of this future will depend on socioeconomic developments and for the existing confrontations and other dangerous situations not developing into a far broader set of conflicts leading eventually to an all-encompassing conflict. This might actually have the effect of shocking the current Western World out of its self-serving egoism and realizing that there is only a future if there exists a prodigy to which to hand over that future and that depends on having said prodigy. Having such a revelation sweep Western society would be a blessing though it would be preferable for it not to have to be impressed through some horrific conflict as such changes have been initiated in previous eras. Such conflagrations have also brought down empires which not much earlier had been considered a permanent fixture assured forever into the future. The lesson there for the United States is that nothing remains on top forever, not Rome, not the British, not the Spanish, not the Egyptians, not Alexander’s Greeks and not even China, one of the longest continuous empires still existing and asserting a presence in the modern age.

 

Another serious illness striking the United States is the political divide which has not only grown wider this century but has also grown far nastier and more toxic. This past week proved this beyond any shadow of doubt. When President Obama was first elected in 2008 there was disappointment on the Republican side but most Americans hoped for the best. Many were disappointed but still believed there was hope and President Obama was reelected. After the 2012 election there was a smattering of protests which were nonviolent and largely quiet. The media made sure they had a short self-life by largely ignoring their existence. This present Inauguration brought back the protests and cries of foul from 2000 except with far more violence and vitriol. Madonna spoke of dreaming of blowing up the White House. That was quite far overboard as that would be such a waste of the rebuild after the War of 1812 which was finally completed in 1817 and President James Monroe moved into the new and improved White House. The demonstrations were boisterous and somewhat over the top including the burning of President Trump in effigy. The problem was with the violent actors who destroyed property, attacked police, attacked injuring innocent people who were simply attending Inaugural Dances including the insulting, spitting upon and injuring of a Gold Star widow and her sister. Spirited protests and debate are one thing and destruction of property and assaulting people and police is a completely different and unacceptable form of protest and should be considered beyond the pale. People work and depend on those places for their families and futures and the destruction of their workplaces hurt innocents and since a good many of these places were in major cities, especially those in Washington D.C. where over 90% voted for Hillary Clinton, most of the people hurt by these unscrupulous acts were Hillary supporters. Whatever the presumed excuse, such violence, if left unchecked, only grows and eventually leads to the destruction of the society.

 

The other problem with the violence was that it was presumed to be in support of groups which resemble numerous fascist entities of the past such as the infamous Brownshirts which used violence in order to scare the German people into demanding the government do something, anything, just end the violence. Once the people agreed to the government assuming emergency powers giving them absolute power, the Nazis wiped out the Brownshirts replacing them with the SS who became the new enforcers. The possibility that hidden somewhere within the leftist ranks are those seeking a repeat from history, using the rabble to stir up sufficient troubles at some point in the future to takeover and put in place a dictatorial fascist governance is all too possibly the end result. This has been the manner in which virtually every democratic based government has fallen throughout history; so saying it could not happen here is a fool’s gambit. Many of the demonstrations resembled the Red Guard demonstrations at the beginning of the Communist takeover of Russia deposing the Russian Provisional Government which was democratically elected in a limited vote and was presumed to be setting up a democratic form of government when the Communists decided they didn’t need any democracy, they simply desired replacing one dictatorial government with another. Caesar also replaced a democratic republic of Rome relegating the Senate into an echo chamber until they decided to depose him old school. The assassination of Caesar did no good as all it did was immortalize his name making it the title for the reign of dictators until the fall of Rome centuries later. Obviously saying it cannot happen here is a blindness that no democracy can afford. Reportedly, American Abolitionist and liberal activist Wendell Phillips on January 28, 1852 speaking to members of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society stated,

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day or it is rotten. The living sap of today outgrows the dead rind of yesterday. The hand entrusted with power becomes, either from human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 26, 2017

Perhaps Netanyahu is not the Answer

 

There is the possibility that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is not the one who makes Israel whole and annexes Judea and Samaria. What if the answer comes from another source, another place and another person? We prayed and realized that what needs to be will be and Hashem will have his designs, desires and will completed, just not necessarily in the manner which is most straight forward. But first perhaps we should share that which we expect and then try to figure out the remainder of the puzzle.

 

We know that Prime Minister Netanyahu had a brief conversation with President Trump on the phone this weekend. We know the call lasted under thirty minutes and that the end result is President Trump has invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit in February in Washington D.C. We can extrapolate that one of the men, more likely President Trump, refused to talk about any plans or the “peace process” preferring to talk mano-a-mano so that Trump can take the measure of Bibi and ascertain what truths he is able to glean and judge the Israeli position on everything from there. We need to remember that President Trump prefers to take the measure of people in person and often gets it right when feeling the pulse of the other people face to face. President Trump is a people person and not likely as much prone to discuss things of an important nature with a person he has no yardstick established or any real measure of the person as to their truthfulness and the validity which can be assigned their words. President Trump can likely see a huckster from a mile away after dealing with some of the greatest showmen and women on the planet in New York real estate and other ventures around the world. Trump may not have the wealth he claims but he does have the sense for business and the ability for deal making where a deal is possible. So step one with Israel is to take a measure of Bibi and at the same time ascertain to what extent Israel has been the problem and what extent the victim.

 

So what is step two? Step two is taking a measure of Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab or Palestinian side of the equation. The one truth we know about Mahmoud Abbas is that he believes himself to be a slick trickster who easily plays on European ingrained anti-Semitism with great success. He hit a chord with President Obama and Obama virtually went to work for Abbas against Israel. Now Abbas is going to try and out hustle a hustler and that will be an interesting scenario. The question is not will Donald Trump see through Abbas, it is how long it will take before he sees through Abbas and his façade and lies. We doubt it will take too long as the very first item Trump will see is a simple visualization. His discussion with Bibi will be all about peace and what Israel would do for peace and little if any demands of the Arabs other than peace and recognition that Israel exists and will continue to do so. Abbas, on the other hand, will also talk of peace but will be setting goals and demands to be met in order to even sit down and talk about what other demands he can make before the world peace is permitted to even be mentioned. That is when and where Trump will see that Abbas does not desire peace, he is after a military victory through negotiations. Trump has likely run into Abbas type people throughout his childhood and has maybe been taken by a few of the first hucksters, but he has also hit the big leagues and dealt with the likes of the Reverend Sharpton and his ilk. Trump will see what is what and who is who and quickly make his reconnaissance and all which will remain is his solution. That might take up to six months to a year depending on time invested.

 

Mahmoud Abbas, Donald Trump and Benyamin Netanyahu

Mahmoud Abbas, Donald Trump and Benyamin Netanyahu

 

That brings us to step three, the deal. This will at best be a conference possibly in Abbas’s home court of Paris, France. Netanyahu will also be invited and both men will be told to bring their advisors and be ready to get the deal done. The pot may be sweetened by inviting the French President and his advisors and even invite another Abbas facilitator, the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and whomever she would like to be her escort and figurehead advisor. There might even be the chance for the evil one, at least according to the New York Times, Vladimir Putin brought onboard just for that extra panache. Once the stage is set, the show can commence. By the time this confab has been arranged, The Donald will already have spoken with both of the main members of this conference, Abbas and Netanyahu, and have reached his verdict and little if anything will be capable of changing that mind. Trump will know which he believes is the honest broker and which is the huckster attempting to pull one over again. Trump may already have a fair idea and be predisposed in one direction and everything else is part of the show, we have to put on a show as how often does one get to play on a stage this grand and elaborate in front of the eyes of the world. This is a once in a lifetime appearance and President Trump will make the most of his opportunity. Do not for a minute as the conference unfolds believe it will not go exactly as President Trump desires as he is the main attraction, the master of ceremonies and the man who can deliver the goodies.

 

The fact that there has been talk that President Trump was thinking of assigning Jared Kushner, his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law, to be his special representative to settle the Israel-Palestinian conflict speaks volumes, both quantity and decibel level, about the direction Trump is leaning. Trump has met Netanyahu before and knows the man well enough to already have a good picture of his virtues and drawbacks. Trump probably has a line on Abbas and company as well as probably has their positions and bluster all summed up. The meetings now are to dress the bride for the ceremony, and only one of the potential bridegrooms get to go home with the prize while the other gets a bouquet which will rapidly wilt before he gets home. Could things turn around, sure, and I could become Trump’s Ambassador to Shangri-La and live forever in a garden paradise hidden away in some remote valley in the Himalayas. President Trump has been hiring some extremely high level firepower for much of his Cabinet and as personal advisors despite the brouhaha over his Secretary of Education pick, Ms. Betsy DeVos. By mentioning that he was considering appointing his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law to negotiate between the Israelis and Palestinians, he was signaling that his mind on the subject was made up and appointing what appears to be as biased a person in favor of Israel as humanly possible was just Trump’s way of signaling his direction. Discern what you may about his direction from such an obviously skewed choice.

 

So what remains is the set-up of the match, just like the UFC, you bring each fighter before the media, separately in this case as having them together would make for too ugly a scene and this has been choreographed to the final blow. Then you allow the media to get a feel for each side’s training camp and give everything the build-up of an impossible deal. Finally, you gather the top people, often these are Hollywood types to fill the first three rows for the UFC main event mixed in with former champions, but here it will be leaders such as we mentioned above and who you add to the list of top EU and other European officials along with Putin and possibly whoever replaces Ban Ki-moon as United Nations Secretary General and if some Arabs desire to come along, all the better. Putin will either be briefed on what to expect before he is invited to make sure he desires to be seen alongside the final deal as will a select group of others. Then there will be the three or four days of drama in the media as to whether Trump can make the deal or not, but the deal was already formulated and all but finalized beforehand and Trump is holding all the cards including, of course, the Trump Cards. When the pressure has almost peaked, as if it peaks then Abbas will spout some crazy, over the top demands and disappear showing up back in Ramallah launching the next Intifada. So, anticipating the point at which Abbas does his usual disappearing act, Trump will alert the media, close the airport and trains stations preventing anybody bolting, and the next morning the main event will take center stage, as we intimated, possibly Paris or perhaps Rome, it is beautiful there in the Spring. Trump will appear in a large press room before all the cameras and reporters with Bibi Netanyahu on one side and Abbas on the other side. Abbas will be wearing his usual “there are cameras in front of me smirk.” One can see the image below of that exact smirk which he wore when he was pictured center of the front line for the procession mourning the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher Market terror attacks. The fact that it was more a funeral than a parade is obvious from the other faces in the picture. But please never tell to Abbas such truths as that might cause laughter to accompany the smirk, especially if he knows that it was all the result of a terror attack. One need remember that terrorism is his trade coinage.

 

Mahmoud Abbas smirking while at remembrance rally for Charlie Hebdo in Paris after terror slaughter of a dozen writers and cartoonists for the satirical magazine.

Mahmoud Abbas smirking while at remembrance rally for Charlie Hebdo in Paris after terror slaughter of a dozen writers and cartoonists for the satirical magazine.

 

Before such an audience is where Trump would like to make his grand finale, but he also might end up settling for something far more low key if he decides to allow Abbas to bolt, thus hanging his side permanently. Walking out on Donald Trump because he would not give you all of the candy will not play well. Since Abbas is demanding the entire bowl of candy and demanding the Jews be removed so he can enjoy all of the candy from the Jordan River of chocolate to the Mediterranean Sea of Skittles, his idea of a good Israel is no Israel. That has been the Palestinian chant taught to college students and leftist protesters across Europe and North America and anywhere else pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been bought and paid for including the defining, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine must be free.” That sure leaves a whole lot to debate over, especially when it really is the only solution Abbas can accept as that is exactly what he has promised and so often that the people do not care or remember that there were possibilities that it would have to happen in stages. After President Obama and his grand schemes and promises and Abbas doing all he could to out-promise Obama, the Arabs expect they have already won. Nobody has told them there is a new sheriff in town, and he is taking names and numbers. At this point everything is conjecture but we feel pretty confident things should play out in some manner similar to what we have vaguely described above, or at least we like to think they will.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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