Beyond the Cusp

November 16, 2018

Challenges in the United States

 

Currently there are two regions of great challenges in the United States, one mostly physical the other completely manmade. The physical is in California where two massive and deadly forest fires that have raged beyond control destroying homes, communities and anything in their paths. Firefighters are battling around the clock to attempt to bring these disasters under control thus containing them, extinguishing the fires, and then hunting down the last of the hotspots, no small task of its own. Entire towns such as Paradise are going to require being completely rebuilt which will only come to be providing the inhabitants and commercial entities decide to return and not simply relocate elsewhere. One fire was presumably started by a campfire or may have been downed electrical wires sparking the exceedingly dry grasses and then, whipped by steady and strong winds, quickly spread and became an inferno. Being a former firefighter, when asked about forest fires such as what is consuming California in both the north and south, I slowly shake my head solemnly saying that despite training in structure and aircraft fires, I have never worked on fires such as these and considers myself to be extremely fortunate to have never faced such a fury. We cannot even imagine the furies loosed in California, hoping and praying that they manage to prevent any further losses of life. The death toll at the last count we have seen was approaching sixty while the numbers of missing topped one-hundred. The numbers of missing leaves fears that the number of fatalities attributed to the fires is not known and will likely rise. There is little one can add to the newswires coverage of the disasters in California which leaves hoping that things eventually come back to normalcy.

 

California Wildfires

California Wildfires

 

The other challenge is in counting ballots in numerous states including Maine, New Jersey, New York where two races remain, Texas and Utah which is just about the house of Representatives. Then there are the states where Senatorial races are still in doubt which include Florida and Mississippi. Lastly are the races for Governor in Florida and Georgia which are still in recount. Most of these have been resolved and have largely gone to the initial winner while in Maine there is an unusual means of voting where people cast tanked votes which are used in case no candidate reaches a majority rather than merely a plurality. This has led for the Republican incumbent Representative Bruce Poliquina to file a lawsuit in a federal court trying to block Maine from tabulating ranked-choice voting ballots. The governor’s race in Georgia appears to be an attempt to count sufficient votes such that neither candidate gets an outright majority and merely a plurality in order to force a runoff election which would usually favor the Democrat candidate, if voting profiles from the past would hold. The real contests, at least by the coverage, appears to be, where else, but in Florida and particularly in Broward County and West Palm Beach, OH MY!

 

If a recount hinging on Broward County and West Palm Beach, Florida sounds familiar, it should, as that was one of the focal counties in the 2000 Presidential recount in Florida between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The problems in West Palm Beach was presumably accepted ballots were mixed with some of the rejected ballots. The problems in Broward County are over which ballots require recounting and which should not even be acceptable for the recount. Needless to point out, everybody is getting involved and the accusations of voter fraud abound. The bright side have been the cartoon with Sesame Street figures mostly including the Count have been a feature in many places with the figures claiming they are headed to Florida to teach them how to count. Unfortunately, these recounts are of a far more serious nature than to which such cartoons allude. We very well may see a number of these recount races result in court battles where the result will be cries of, ‘Selected, not elected,” coming from the losing side, a standard set in the Bush-Gore recount and the Democrats protesting the Supreme Court ending the recount process leaving Bush the winner, by court selection, we are to presume. Whatever the results of these various recounts, hard feelings will remain and the winner may ultimately pay should they face the same opponent in their next election where that election will be cast as some form of recount of the former to determine the truly legitimate winner. Of course, that vindication will only count if your personally favored candidate wins in that election and without the necessity of a recount and definitely not needing going through a court battle. There have been claims, which we have attempted but been unable to verify, that in the recounts for Congressional and Gubernatorial elections since 2001 that, depending on which claim you run into, the Democrats have won the vast majority or the Republicans have won the vast majority. In the ever more important side where the initial winner resulted in having their victory overturned by recount, we again have competing claims which will depend on which echo chamber from which you get your news as to which one you will hear. We hope that whichever side you prefer is the only side whose victories you will read and none of the victories by that mean and horrible other party. Always remember, elections set up a temporary opportunity to get out next elections and try that much more to avoid the messy recounts and the vitriol they engender.

 

Voter Reality in Most of America

Voter Reality in Most of America

 

For those who are in the inconsolable department and are suffering election trauma, may we offer a solution. There are numerous places where one can move where such trauma inducing acts such as elections will never again invade your life. Such places as North Korea, Cuba, Russia, Eritrea, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Viet Nam, Angola and Iran, to name a few, where they have predictable election results or no elections, well no true elections where there is any doubt months before on who will win and are places one can move to be rid of election meltdowns. We would probably even advise against taking a vacation in most of these nations, but perhaps elections have become so fraught with anxiety that some might actually desire a more regimented governance where every day you know who the leadership is, well, until the other form of election occurs, the always fraught with danger popular uprising or its cousin the coup. Personally, we kind of prefer true and democratic elections, be they a pure democracy, republic, parliamentary or other more innovative form or representative governance and are happy that they turn out to sometimes be messy, it gives us things to comment on and proves that the people actually care about elections, well at least the forty to sixty percent of registered voters who vote in a population where often at best two-thirds actually bother to register. The only question we often want to ask, if in too many places you have a candidate win with sixty percent of the sixty percent of eligible voters voting who from a population where only sixty percent of eligible people register, does anyone realize that means they did not even get twenty-two percent of the people who are eligible for voting and they are declared the person the majority chose? Well, they do refer to these elections as a voluntary representative democratic process which kind of takes the fact that all too many people are anywhere from the most fanatical to somewhat ambivalent to completely unaware and uncaring to make a society. The one thing I do advise those who think that making voting mandatory is, do you really desire people who are currently too lazy to register along with those who do not care sufficiently to vote actually choosing who represents those who do care and actually make a point to vote? Personally, we would not mind if voters had to actually provide two things their candidate actually proposes to support in order for their vote to count, but that would be requiring people to actually take the elections as seriously as they should, and we know that such a requirement would drive the voting public down to next to nothing. As for if such would improve the system we will let you decide, in the meantime, we will continue to vote for those whose positions we prefer in the elections we are legally permitted to vote, and we promise to vote once and only one each.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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November 9, 2018

The Courts Cannot be Completely Independent

 

Recently, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked expressed her dismay and disdain for the attacks which have been leveled against her from those in the opposition. This immediately led to their slamming her conduct regarding the appointment of the next police commissioner, and her approach towards the court system. If you wish to read the bile spouted by the likes of Yair Lapid, never at a loss for self-congratulatory rhetoric; Shelly Yachimovich, still believes she should be leader of the Zionist Union and Prime Minister; and Meretz Chairman Tamar Zandberg, it’s Meretz which speaks for itself; an article can be found here. The actual dispute can be put in much clearer and more succinct language, they are upset because they are not, have not been and probably will not be in power for a while. They are especially upset with the Justice Minister because she is not appointing far leftists to the courts and does not agree with their choice for the new police chief. That is their complaint, why are you not running the government how we demand and instead following the mandate of the people who make up the coalition and in particular are from your party. (We must be honest here and report that Jewish Home is the party in which we belong.) Somehow, we are willing to bet this does not surprise many of our readers. We would like to actually discuss one point which was brought forward to refute the disgruntled leftists, where Ayelet Shaked stated, “You have never been fans of the court, you really want it to be a submissive body rather than an independent and strong one. As long as it serves you, it is the center of justice, the minute it rules in a slightly different way; you are ready to burn the place, no less.” She hit the nail on the head and pounded it home, which is probably why they attempted to savage her on social media. Well, at least they played to their ever shrinking base.

 

The left in Israel in particular and the Western World generally, believe that especially the highest court of the land should be the most powerful arm of government and the arena of all final battles. They desire that the court be able to strike down any law even Constitutional Amendments, or Basic Laws in Israel, and even beyond. Their hopes is that the court can change the intent of any law, write new laws and put them into action, change anything in the legal system and they must always be of the most liberal of justices it is possible to appoint. You are seeing examples of their acts in the United States with Justice Kavanaugh. They want the courts to supercede the law, to act above the law and be supreme with the power of a god. I am sure that if they were to get their wildest dreams, they would desire that the Supreme Court could summarily change who won the election simply because they desired the other candidate. This is another reason that Judges must always be from the left. This had been the case for years in Israel as the left ruled undaunted and unchallenged in Israel from 1948 until the election of Menachem Begin in 1977. The means by which replacement Justices were chosen for the Supreme Court were also slanted such that the court itself had a generous influence over who was chosen to such a point that opinion articles often claimed that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court basically named his own Justices. Well, it eventually had to happen, a conservative became Chief Justice and there was a conservative Justice Minister and between them, the face of the court has been altered. The Justice Minister also was responsible for some alterations by which some of the unilateral power of the court was transferred to lower courts where proof was required to be presented rather than a complaint filed and a ruling made out of thin air. No longer can an NGO simply present a claim that Jews are residing on Arab land and have their homes destroyed without showing any proof. These were necessary changes but the latest brouhaha was over Justice Minister Shaked politely informing the Supreme Court that she did not care how many people filed complaints against the new Nationality Law, they were not to overturn this law because it was enacted as a Basic Law, the closest thing that Israel has to a Constitution. Again, the left desired a court which had unlimited and unfettered power.

 

Let us discuss what power courts should and should not have. Interpret the law is within the boundaries of a Supreme Court, but lower courts should be restricted to the application of the law as currently interpreted. Even the Supreme Court should take care when altering the meaning of a law from its original intent, this is partially why the debate with Kavanaugh over how he would interpret intent of the law. The courts cannot be above the law; no branch of the government should be above the law. Courts should never be permitted to make law out of their own desires simply because they see the need for such a law. A court with such power could completely alter a society with highly unpredictable results. There is a reason that the branch of the government which is assigned the power to make laws has the greatest numbers of people from the widest representation of the people, the people must have the greatest influence on the laws, as they must live within them. Courts should have stringent and defined limits on altering or ordering a new election such as signs of tampering with the way the ballots were cast or in the way they were counted. They should need proof beyond any doubt and this would include such tampering such as having more votes cast than there are registered voters, an area where there is a sizeable population with some definable variety in affiliations resulting in 100% of the votes falling to one candidate, verified proof that additional ballots were injected into the count or additional votes were used to replace actual votes and other provable reasons. Courts actually should have limited or no influence beyond recommendations upon request as to whom will be chosen to replace a retiring justice. Courts should, over time, change with the variations in public opinion though their lagging such changes is to be expected when their justices are chosen to serve lifetime on the bench, or until a mandatory retirement age if such is the law. Courts are not the law but the application of the law. Legislatures write the laws, Prime Minister or Presidents sign them into the books and then and only then the courts get to apply the law as written. The courts do not get the power alter the wording, alter the punctuation nor add or omit words as they believe the law should have been written.

 

Israeli Supreme Court building

Israeli Supreme Court building

 

Back we return to the situation in Israel. The left is becoming downright dejected and forlorn. Their biggest upset is with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaken as she apparently has, in their opinions, broken their favorite toy. They and the Supreme Court for seemingly nearly forever had ruled over Israel as they pleased often to the chagrin of the elected officials, but because of concessions to seemingly moderate parties in the coalition being granted Justice Minister, the courts, especially the Supreme Court, ruled supreme. Along came Ms. Shaked and things began to slowly change. The tide of change started to escalate, but was still quite leisurely. Things really did not appear to be all that different and there had been no explosive volcanic upheavals but suddenly they realized that there had been a seismic shift and they had apparently been asleep. It was probably easy for them to sleep through the changes as things had been going their way pretty much from 1948, so after a while it appeared that things would never change. Things have this way of sneaking up on people and once they notice, it is often far too late to do much about the changes. This is where the frustration and anger originates and the left is furious that Ms. Shaked broke their Supreme Court Muppet Puppets. Their Supreme Court Muppet Puppets were no longer a complete set and the new replacements were not going to just rubber stamp the leftist agenda, and this must not be tolerated. The fact that they are this upset is close to real joy over here but we refuse to get complacent because, as Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Of course, he was also purported to have written, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” While we have little problem with the first quote, the second is a bit extreme, but Barry Goldwater had something to say about that as well, stating, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Perhaps that is sufficient wisdom for one writing.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 31, 2018

New Israel Fund Targeting the Heart of Israel

 

Most, or at least many, are fooled into thinking that the New Israel Fund (NIF) is a charitable NGO which has to be doing wonderful things for Israel; nothing could be further from the truth. Reality shows that the NIF’s aim is to completely remake Israel into their utopian image where it becomes just a democracy which has no Jewish identity, is completely nonsectarian, accepts anybody seeking refuge, and has no defining image or soul. Many people will ask, so what is so bad about that? Let us look a little deeper into what would result. First things which would happen is that Israel would be overrun by Muslim refugees, both those from wars such as in Syria and those simply seeking to escape their failed nation such as Iraq, Libya or Somalia. Further, the NIF wants to solve the Arab-Israeli Conflict by making Israel the nation state of all her “citizens” by incorporating Gaza including Hamas and Islamic Jihad plus the Palestinian Authority along with five to eight million “Palestinian Refugees” because Israel is protected by the rule of law. They believe that Israel is successful because it is a democracy and that it being the home for the Jewish People had nothing to do with that success. They believe that even after the Jews of Israel become a minority overwhelmed by the Arab numbers that Israel will remain a pluralistic state with equal rights for all because that is what the law states. There is no possibility that a nation of ten to twelve million Arab Muslims, the majority of which belong to one of three terrorist groups, and just short of seven million Jews, Christians, Bahá’í and other non-Muslims could never be turned into a Sharia State after the first election with the new demographics. They actually do realize all of this but hate the Jewish faith, and particularly religious Orthodox Jews with such a fervor that they would gladly sacrifice Israel just to prove that their secular humanism is superior in oh so many ways. They are so tragically wrong but believe that their superior morality would win the day and make everything wonderful. Further, most of the membership of the NIF does not reside in Israel and many of them who do are not in Israel permanently and spend most of their time in Europe and North America.

 

The tragic horrors that would follow the successful implementation of what the NIF claims they desire would be sufficiently worrisome, but they have a new idea they are preparing for launch. They have decided that the elimination of their nemesis would be the best means to their ends, and the end justifies the means. They have decided they will drive a stake through the beating heart of religious Zionism. They have released a booklet in Hebrew which we attempted to translate but had formatting problems we were unable to address. The parts of their booklet which we were able to get the gist of shows them targeting religious Zionism with their first and foremost target being the Jewish Home Party starting with Naftali Bennett and going from their to Ayelet Shaked and should they continue eventually almost the entirety of our staff would become targets. They also will be targeting selective members of Likud, of course including Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, and are hoping to elect somebody more to their liking and taking control of the political government in Israel by placing their political allies in the far left into the Knesset. They are following the example of the means by which minority interests took political power through the destruction of those parties with which they disagreed. They plan on using media attacks on their political opponents with ad-hominem attacks on individuals and using Lawfare to destroy others. They will be using fringe leftist groups they almost wholly finance and thereby control. The NIF has used similar tactics in dispossessing Israelis living beyond the Green Line by presenting often-fraudulent claims by nonexistent Arabs to owning the lands where Jewish “settlers” resided to the Supreme Court while filing the claim in lower courts knowing that the Supreme Court would rule before the other case came to trial. Once the Supreme Court had ordered these homes be destroyed, they then withdrew the lower court filing thus never having to prove the legality of their ownership claim. Eventually they simply ignored filing with any court other than the Supreme Court. Part of their problem now is that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has changed the political tenor of the Supreme Court and further transferred all land claims, including decisions for house destructions, to the lower courts where proof of these claims will be required. This is why the change in tactics and particularly their desire to hurt the Jewish Home Party from whence the Justice Minister came. Eventually the NIF project will meet with failure if for no other reason than the love for Israel throughout the religious Zionist and secular Zionist members will overcome any and all obstacles to save our nation and its being the home of the Jewish People.

 

Now more on who are those who make up the NIF. The majority are Jews, very misguided Jews. Later we will address what can be done to prevent their efforts from taking any traction, but first about their main membership, the active arm of the NIF. They work a double blind game. On their fundraising side, they are all charm and warm thoughts about the future of Israel. They leave particulars mostly to each person’s imagination. They paint a picture of an Israel which is a copy of the United States, an America in the Middle East. They claim that it will be warm and welcoming to all allowing their targeted donators believing that this warm welcoming will resemble the type and procedures being used currently. They do not tell what they really wish to do; they would rather play the Zionist and trick people into donating. Some here are reformed leftists who know how they work the fundraising, they glad-hand people schmoozing telling them all along the wonderful nirvana they will be forming with their funds and how they support all the correct other NGOs and how NIF is a clearinghouse for funding wonderful NGOs. The reality is they do donate to these other Zionist NGOs but well over 75% of their monies go directly to far leftist causes many of which work towards the replacement of Israel with an Arab majority state and the slaughter of the Jews upon their conquest completion. The NIF is either blind to this reality or do not care as their goal is to replace the Jewish religion with secular humanism which cannot occur as long as the Orthodox Rabbinate remains intact. The NIF is loosely connected to the Open Society Foundations and receives generous donations and approval from George Soros, never a friend to Israel. Their tactics come almost directly out of the Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals which is in reality an instruction manual for subterfuge and the overthrowing of a democratic governance and the destruction of the government it so powers. Saul Alinsky starts the book with a dedication of a sort shown below.


“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”  

 

What could we ever add to that? The main point is that the NIF will use any method to establish their vision from direct misrepresentation to deceit to outright lies. Their mission, in their minds, is so important that to save the world from Israel as a religious Jewish entity they are willing to practically sell their souls to perdition.

 

The way to bring the attempted tyranny of the NIF to an end would be to simply not give them any funds. That would injure them as they receive, and would continue in increased amounts to receive, donations from those with whom they share common cause. There are, unfortunately, more than enough Jews who believe that Israel should be an open country more like Canada or the European models of France, Italy and the rest of Western Europe. These Jews get upset by the tactics used when Israel defends herself and the NIF can be honest with them about wishing to take over the government through the ballot box, at least so far, and make Israel simply wonderful. They claim theirs is the only solution to the Arab Israeli Conflict and to continue to insist that Israel is the Home of the Jewish People is to continue that war forever. In this, they would be correct, but not for the reasons they provide. They blame Israel for every Arab-Israeli war since 1948, including the initial war started immediately after Israel was declared a nation. The problem is not Israel, for Israel would accept a real peace at any point, but not the peace the Arabs desire. What is frightening is the peace the Arabs desire is the end result the NIF is driving to achieve. A pluralistic state where under the guise of accepting the Palestinian refugees Israel is overrun by Arabs and the Jews lose. The only solution the Arabs will accept is the death of the Jewish State and many would go further and desire the death of the Jews. NIF is willing to meet them halfway and allow Israel to be ruled by the Arabs believing that they would treat the Jews well.

 

Bronze Star of David

 

Educate those who love Israel that the NIF is the path to the destruction of Israel. Any Zionist who contributes to the NIF is allowing for Israel not to be the destination they desire to hopefully soon move. The best means for self-declared Zionists to counter NIF is even easier, make Aliyah and come home. Every Zionist does more for Israel when they reside in Israel. Your Zionism for building the Jewish State does not end once you step off the plane into the lands Hashem gave us, that is actually only the first step as you realize once here. There is so much that needs doing and the NIF supports none of our dreams. The building of the Last Temple, or Third Temple if you prefer, to the building of Jerusalem and the fulfilling at long last the instructions from Hashem to settle all the land and then to be a Light unto the Nations, something Israel is already accomplishing, and so much more. Live to be an example and show that a Jew’s place is Israel no matter how well you are doing in the diaspora. You will be better in Israel simply because you are in Israel and the remainder will take care of itself. If you are an executive, open a branch office in Jerusalem and another in Tel Aviv and realize the wonders which are Israel. Better, you also make yourself the person responsible for the Jerusalem office and bring your family home, to Jerusalem where you cannot be any more home than there. Jews building Israel into a strong economic wonder, all while your becoming closer to Judaism than you have ever felt, is the wondrous prize you receive simply by relocating to Israel. It is simply magical what this nation does every single day; it is a complete and total miracle in working order. Sure, we have a few wrinkles to iron out; it is a country and not a mythical destination.

 

The main efforts to prevent the realization of the NIF vision are to become united in the cause of saving both Israel and traditional Judaism. This is not going to be an easy task to accomplish. Naftali Bennett’s suggestion that the Rabbinate be unified with a single Chief Rabbi would actually be a great first step. Further, Judaism need find the path for unifying the separate variations within the faith. Another means towards this end would be the establishment of one singular prayerbook and set of prayers. The unifying of the service and other practices which will require debate on accepting some new holidays such that all Judaism has a singular calendar with the same holidays which we all celebrate is also a necessity. Fragmented Judaism provides a weakness which we, as a people, have suffered from throughout our existence and has been our downfall previously. Unless traditional Orthodox Judaism becomes established such that it combines all Jews who are religious from the Ethiopians to the Haredi all operating from the same set of rules and practices, Israel will suffer from the fragmentation which currently infects life, both religious and political. On the other front, Zionism, it is necessary that the passion which drives us must be shared and invested into the souls and hearts of as many Jews as possible. The way to prevent the NIF from weakening Israel and Judaism is by steeling Judaism which can be performed by rallying around Israel through Zionism. The final step is we need to find a path to forgive one another and blur our differences allowing a general merging of our faith into a single Judaism, an Israeli Judaism infused with Zionist nationalism, and this may be the greatest challenge that modern Israel faces. One would think that remembering the loss of the Second Temple due to our infighting and indifference to those with whom we have but the slightest differences would have left some memory and feelings of guilt which would drive us to unite. That is our challenge and we need find the path where we all become a single faith with Torah as our central pillar.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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