Beyond the Cusp

April 14, 2016

One Shot Out of Four is All We’ve Got

 

Europe appears to be hell-bent on committing suicide and not exactly taking the slow road about it. The introduction was all Angela Merkel with her promise to have room to absorb 800,000 Syrian refugees a year for the foreseeable future. The invitation appeared to reach a few more than the planned 800,000 and apparently somewhere towards three or four times as her presumed limit. The response was so monumental that every European country could have been a new home to their own half a million and some received that gratis before they could act to close their borders. A few countries saw sanity and kept their borders closed except for those on a train passing straight through without even stopping for a break and a brew. Now Europe in many parts is experiencing the pleasures of refugees running wild, and it is not a reality show title but the reality running loose on their streets. New Year’s Eve celebrations had some extra and unwanted gusto especially for any native women venturing out anywhere, especially the central train stations in any city, sizeable or quaintly small. There are many looking to the United States hoping that the electorate will realize the threats now straining the bounds of civility poised to dissolve all sanity along with all the Western World’s graciousness. The threat is impolite, boorish and horrifically violent. But the American public appears to be enamored with electing a high school senior class president than a leader of the democratic, free, liberal Western World.

 

There were seventeen Republican candidates and four Democrat candidates well into the campaign and we are now down to four apparent survivors and three of the four would be just as Americentric as President Obama has been with a similar isolationist policy outlook. Their presidential outlook would stop at the border and would only differ in their treatment of the southern border with Mexico where one promises to build a wall while the others would install an easy access walkthrough with neon lights claiming open for business. The only one who understands the threats facing our world and the distinct possibility of a new dark ages shrouding any further scientific advancement ending the hopes for a bright future with promise of medical miracles and exploration reaching out and taking the first baby steps into the cosmos all hanging by a thin thread which requires our constant vigilance and protection, our constant mending and reinforcement; otherwise it breaks and we plunge back into the darkness of suspicions and loss of curiosity. That begs the question of what are the possibilities that civilization which prizes curiosity and ventures into the unknown always striving to find the next challenge and then meeting it with inventiveness and spirit constantly striving to know more, to understand why, how and sometimes even what might be the next discovery, the next level to strive and reach beyond what the last generation accomplished. That is what hangs threatened and with it the hope for cures for diseases, crop yields and fresh water derived from land now unusable and water unpotable, new energy generation which is green, plentiful and affordable. The world of machines with artificial intelligence and automation replacing tedious jobs freeing mankind to chase dreams and pursue that which was beyond belief just a few decades back. What is at stake is whether we will continue to strive for new technical heights and progress matching or exceeding that which took us from Kitty Hawk and a flight of 12 seconds and 120 feet to the moon in 66 years. Where will man be when the next sixty-six years has passed and it is 2035? Will we be reaching Mars and have built a space station with space dock for building the next generation of space travel built in space purely for space and have a moon base with monitoring telescopes of every variation taking advantage of the lack of interfering atmosphere? Will we be chasing a thousand dreams or will we be locked in an eternal conflict pitting one against his brother where no one wins and society and advancement are the biggest losers? Where do we wish to go with the future? That is the only question which should be on the minds of every voter in the United States, Europe and the entirety of the advanced industrial and information world as there truly are clouds on the horizon and that horizon is falling closer and closer and in some places it seems to have arrived bringing the threat of an eternal darkness. We have choices. They neither are not necessarily pleasant choices nor are they easy choices. Nobody enjoys even discussing the choices but we have been here before and we had better not make the same mistakes again as the consequences are far more dire this time around the merry-go-round.

 

 

One in Four Knows the Score For if Wrong you Choose Your Freedom You Lose

One in Four
Knows the Score
For if Wrong you Choose
Your Freedom You Lose

 

 

Every election which comes will be the choice and we need to choose studiously and with great caution. The last time we faced such a threat it was from amongst our own house and we almost threw away our last hope. We cannot afford to make such a mistake again as the weapons of war have changed and even an intelligent high school science whiz-kid is capable of building an atomic bomb for his science fair project. Such a bomb would be clumsy, large, and require a cement truck to carry it making it undeliverable, but such could still be driven in said cement truck to its target. We played games and pretended that it is beyond the scientific and industrial ability for North Korea to produce a deliverable weapon and we now realize how wrong we were as they are capable of placing a device on a medium range ballistic missile and striking anywhere in Japan, South Korea, China, Hawaii, Australia or anyplace within that radius and within a few years that missile will be an ICBM capable of reaching anywhere on the planet with a thermonuclear warhead. We are pretending currently that Iran is thus limited and that is a pipe dream which could be turned into a nightmare at any time. The reality is that these countries have scientists just as capable as any in the free world as they attended the same universities often at our expense as a matter of if we allow them scientific advancement they would be less likely to wage war. What if we were sorely mistaken? After all, we allowed North Korea to advance and produce such weapons and the means to deliver them very soon to anyplace on the planet, likely they already are capable of such. While we are listing nations in some of the trouble prone areas known to have nuclear weapons we can add Israel, Pakistan and India to the list. These are in addition to the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and with the technical knowledge we can add Japan, Canada, Taiwan and likely quite a few more if they felt a pressing need. All in all the world is armed to the brink of turning much of the planet into a smelting pot of smoking ruins incapable of supporting much if any life, let alone human life. The world has never been closer to the theme of the movie On the Beach as it is today and the one guarantee is each day places that alternative that much closer. Where nuclear disarmament is a wonderful idea and would be a great stride towards a safer world, until there is a surefire method of assuring complete compliance worldwide it is just that, a nice dream.

 

The time is approaching where we begin to be on the wrong side of the warning given by Winston Churchill when he explained the choice fast approaching his England and the free world of the 1930s, the same world which relegated him to obscurity as they called him an old fool and a war monger and then turned to him to save them when they realized almost too late the monster they had allowed the time needed to become all but unstoppable. We should heed that warning as well as Winston Churchill stated to his peers saying,

 

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.

 

My driving question is where is and who can be our Winston Churchill as we need to find that individual before it is too late. Reviewing the leaders of our carious nations and there are a few candidates but none who possess the full range of guts, intellect, eloquence, command of language and that spark necessary to lead into the teeth of adversity with steadfastness and audacity all while bringing forth the nest from others elevating all in their midst. The combination required comes around only once a century and I pray it is not so soon that Winston Churchill was that person for our time as well. One need remember that he warned of Hitler when none cared to listen, he warned of communism and coined the phrase Iron Curtain which he said had fallen over half of Europe and opposed FDR and the virtual surrender to Stalin but bowed to necessity of a second front and he warned of another dehumanizing catharsis which took on the disguise of a religion. Perhaps he was the man for our season as well and we will have to take his guidance and fight for his memory and allow his words to steel our nerves for the storm that approaches. There is a storm brewing on the horizon and we can only hope there will be sunlight when we reach the other side.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 8, 2016

Sanders Foreign Policies Even Worse than Obama

 

Democrat candidate for President attempting to catch and pass Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, has less foreign policy knowledge and absolutely no grasp of the Arab Israeli conflict beyond that of President Obama and Possibly even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. His knowledge on these issues and others were illuminated by the Washington Post using an interview from the transcript from the New York Daily News interview by their editorial board. We took both and other commentaries and attempted to choose those items which we found the most revealing concerning those items we here hold in value. We will attempt to use his own words wherever convenient and not overly challenging.

 

One somewhat rare plus was Senator Sanders answer to the question of whether Israel should be left as a Jewish State to which he replied “Of course (pauses) that’s the status quo.” From here things get murky at best and otherwise troubling. After some urging Senator Sanders finally fleshed out some visions he holds including this quote, “Here’s the main point that I want to make. I lived in Israel. I have family in Israel. I believe 100% not only in Israel’s right to exist, a right to exist in peace and security without having to face terrorist attacks. But from the United States’ point of view, I think, long-term, we cannot ignore the reality that you have large numbers of Palestinians who are suffering now, poverty rate off the charts, unemployment off the charts, Gaza remaining a destroyed area. And I think that for long-term peace in that region, and God knows nobody has been successful in that for 60 years, but there are good people on both sides, and Israel is not, cannot, just simply expand when it wants to expand with new settlements. So I think the United States has got to help work with the Palestinian people as well. I think that is the path toward peace.”

 

Uncle Bernie Wants You

Uncle Bernie Wants You

 

Well, that does leave some wiggle room for policies that range from full support for Israel to Israel needs to save the Arab Palestinians from their own leadership. Israel must make sure that the Arab Palestinians have sufficient employment, reasonably priced homes and apartments, sufficient resources and plenty of opportunities and fiscal success. That would be the same as demanding that the British assure the economies, health, and general prosperity of the Australians, Indians, Pakistani, Americans, Israelis, Jordanians and all their other colonies succeeded when they were granted freedom and self-government and France do the same for her colonies and the Spanish and Portuguese all supported and maintained a functioning economy and government and the people had health care and everything at a similar level as is available in the colonizing nation. This expectation is ridiculous beyond measure as Israel was herself a colony which suffered an assault intent on genocide immediately starting on the morning of Israeli independence where Israel lost the areas which would come to be known as the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This thinking falls into the trap that the Jews of Israel having worked and established successful businesses and making revolutionary discoveries, new software and hardware, innovative medical procedures, and developed a system which provides opportunity to develop intuitive new concepts allowing for intellectual freedoms leading to successful ventures but the world, including Bernie Sanders, see Israeli success as stealing opportunity from their Arab neighbors who are impoverished because if Israeli success. Such reasoning is insane as well as faulty.

 

When Bernie Sanders was challenged on the 2014 Gaza War he danced with great skill around committing to supporting one side or the other. Eventually a longer answer which had some red meat to it was presented. When asked pointedly, “And I’m going to look at 2014, which was the latest conflict. What should Israel have done instead?” where Bernie struck forth replying that, “You’re asking me now to make not only decisions for the Israeli government but for the Israeli military, and I don’t quite think I’m qualified to make decisions. But I think it is fair to say that the level of attacks against civilian areas…and I do know that the Palestinians, some of them, were using civilian areas to launch missiles. Makes it very difficult. But I think most international observers would say that the attacks against Gaza were indiscriminate and that a lot of innocent people were killed who should not have been killed. Look, we are living, for better or worse, in a world of high technology, whether it’s drones out there that could, you know, take your nose off, and Israel has that technology. And I think there is a general belief that, with that technology, they could have been more discriminate in terms of taking out weapons that were threatening them.” And when the New York Daily News pressed further on the Gaza conflict of 2014 and the Arab Palestinian casualties Bernie provided a slightly deeper view stating, “I don’t have it in my number…but I think it’s over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.”

 

Bernie Sanders Says, “Shhh, Quiet it's a Secret”

Bernie Sanders Says, “Shhh, Quiet it’s a Secret”

 

These are the most egregious quotes from the transcript that we found with simply a cursory review doing a few simple searches for keywords such as Gaza, Israel, Human Rights and Crimes. The real root problem of Senator Sanders making such statements derives not from any validity that they might have, nor from the fact that these claims are coming from a candidate for President of the United States as they have because they come from the Jewish candidate for President of the United States. That fact makes these statements all the more credible and gives them the veneer of truth and places their validity beyond repute making them valid and truthful accusations because of their source more than anything else. When Bernie Sanders uses such statements that place the number of civilians killed, and he may as well say murdered, by the IDF at 10,000; even though he qualified it with the fact that he did not have the exact number and was working from memory, it validates that number as a point any detractor of Israel can now use with impunity. Add the rest of the quote which reads, “My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been and now you have the makings of admitted war crimes by the IDF.” And add in the earlier quote where Senator Sanders stated, “You’re asking me now to make not only decisions for the Israeli government but for the Israeli military, and I don’t quite think I’m qualified to make decisions. But I think it is fair to say that the level of attacks against civilian areas…and I do know that the Palestinians, some of them, were using civilian areas to launch missiles. Makes it very difficult. But I think most international observers would say that the attacks against Gaza were indiscriminate and that a lot of innocent people were killed who should not have been killed,” and that simply adds more fuel to the fire. It will not matter that Senator Sanders is not an expert or that he is not an ardent supporter of Israel or that he has voted against Israel funding and defense packages as his desired use for such funding is in social spending and domestic spending and he would all but cancel all defense spending in favor of his pet social issues spending is all meaningless. The only thing which those who oppose Israel Defense Force actions and Israel generally will see is the Jewish candidate has made these accusations thus they will take on a life of their own and these quotes will be used everywhere as they can be quoted in context with no fear that Israel’s defenders can cut them down when they can be attributed to Senator Bernie Sanders.

 

This is part and parcel of the problem with much of what Senator Sanders says on the campaign trail where he plays fast and loose with facts and factoids which it often appears he just makes up figures and his own facts using anything which will sound right and further his campaign. Should these facts and figures result in throwing Israel under the bus, then it must really suck to be Israel as all is fair in the arena of the hunt for that November candidacy spot on the ballots. These quotes we found here all came from a transcript which has been published and is now a part of the public record and there is nothing that can be said which will erase or excuse the fact that they have been added to the arsenal of quotes which will now be used repeatedly with the full veneer of truth. There are those who claim rightfully that Israel does not spend sufficient time, money or effort to counter the many mistruths, half-truths and outright lies which are spread far and wide against the Jewish State. Where such is a valid point, statements such as these by the Jewish Presidential candidate and you have something which cuts much deeper, the seeming proof due to their source. Senator Sanders making such statements would grant such statements validity but Jewish Presidential candidate Bernie and these accusations take on a life of their own and can now be used with impunity claiming them to be the gospel truth. Where we would not think to demand that Senator and Presidential candidate Sanders state, though we wish we could invalidate some of his statements, full and uncompromised support for Israel, antagonism is not a supportive policy position. Even if we were to have the reach his statements have, we would not have the instant credibility he gives to them simply by his being Jewish. Such things and truths about facts are not fair but then that is life and life never was promised to be fair. When Senator Sanders talks, there are legions of Israel’s detractors who are documenting his every expressed factoid as the gospel truth as only a Jew could express them. It matters not if Bernie expresses truth or simply grabs numbers from the thin air, either way his statements will be quoted time and again and marked up as truth and no amount of proof will be capable of erasing their stains on the reputation of Israel or her soldiers. That is the crime here, and it is a crime, will be the irrefutable truth set in stone by the Sanders campaign and the listings of the presumed crimes committed by Israel, the IDF and in their name as attributed by the Sanders campaign. The entire election taken into consideration, there is but one currently viable candidate who fully supports Israel, and it just had to be Ted Cruz, didn’t it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 21, 2014

Upcoming Midterm United States Elections, a Slightly Different Look

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Who is ahead in the different races depends on the state and even on the political leanings of the news or talk shows one follows. If you go to polling it gets even more confusing. Not only are the polls often slanted depending on who ordered the polling but it also depends on what the subject the poll is covering. Here are a few examples from some polls. A CBS poll recently showed that fifty percent of those responding said the Democrats are the party that “cares more about the needs and problems of people” while only 34 percent chose the Republicans. Meanwhile, the Republicans have a nine point lead concerning the economy, an eleven point lead on foreign policy and a twenty-one point lead on addressing terrorism in an October CBS poll. So, who wins; the party of the people or the party which appears to be more competent? These numbers are nothing new as often the Democrats have polled well on sympathy and feeling the people’s pains while the Republicans historically win on foreign policy and confronting threats from the outside world. The fact the Republicans are polling slightly ahead of Democrats on the economy is not nationally definitive enough to be applied to every race. The probability is that in the traditionally Democrat leaning states the Democrats will probably poll even or ahead of the Republicans while in traditionally Republican states the Republicans will poll ahead. The place where that mere nine point lead for the Republicans becomes evident will be in what is often referred to as the ‘purple’ states where the parties have split the wins between them would thus likely give the Republicans a slight lead on the economy. Unfortunately that may not transfer to votes as there is also the personality of the candidates as well as the effectiveness of their campaigns and whether there are third party or independent candidates on the ballot and from which side they will draw away votes. Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates tend to take more votes from Republicans while Green and sometimes Libertarian Party take more votes from the Democrats. But other than their campaign, their affability or their campaign commercials and use of media and social networks, the most important determining item will simply be which party gets the voters to the polls, period.

With this year not being a Presidential election year, the national party machines are operating but there are far fewer volunteers and fewer funds for them to make a large determining difference. This means that it will be up to the State and even more local party machines and the candidate supporting campaign staff which will make up a significant part of the get out the vote efforts. States with Gubernatorial elections this election will have more party influence than those without. What makes these midterms so difficult to make predictions is because there is no real enthusiasm evident in the electorate and it is very possible that both of the major parties will suffer from miserable voter turnout and thus calling the elections near impossible. There will be some states where polling data is so skewed to one candidate that there is almost no challenge to picking the likely winner short of an unseen stumble where the leading candidate is caught in a criminal act or other compromising situation. They do not even need to actually be guilty as that will depend on a court of law, but such accusations can sway the court of public opinion and that is exactly what elections are, the court of public opinion choosing those they feel are less guilty of potentially bad leadership. That has been the truth in all too many elections in the United States in recent times where people are literally trying to choose which evil is less harmful. Some have gotten to the point that they have finally refused to vote for the lesser from two evils and they refuse to ever again vote for evil no matter how slight. These voters are demanding the parties to put forth candidates who are capable of leading and representing the people with integrity and virtue. This might even lead to making a third party or independent candidate to have a real possibility to take elections and possibly change the American political landscape once again. Perhaps it is time for a new political movement as the last great movement was the Abolition Movement which birthed the Republican Party and the Whig Party was laid to rest. The more likely bet is that the two major parties have so slanted and poisoned the election laws throughout the United States that it has become next to impossible for any third party or independent candidate to make the ballot, let alone have any funds remaining should they manage to make ballot, and trust I know from where I speak. This is really a sad problem as this may prevent a new direction to be proposed and placed before the American electorate and instead continue forcing them to choose between two toxins, progressive Democrats who want to double the size of government every decade, or the progressive Republican who wishes to slow government growth so that it doubles only four or five times each century. Since both the major parties are in favor of growing government and the sole difference is exactly the rate of growth the American people can rest assured that over time the Republicans will seem like the Democrats of a few decades back while the Democrats will be breaking new ground which the Republican will fall in love with a few decades hence. Should this trend not be reversed soon the United States will continue in decline and only accelerate with time.

Beyond the Cusp

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