Beyond the Cusp

March 18, 2017

Freedom is a Wonderful Thing to Have and a Horrible Waste When Lost

 

Let us start our discussion today with some information directly from another article titled The Pelosi Principle by Terry Jeffrey written for Townhall. The article was about the Republican replacement for Obamacare which while not being everything many of us would want, was still a better deal for much of America. This quote though tells a lot about what has gone terribly wrong with American society and paints a dim view that this can ever change as both sides of the aisle agree that the old way must die and government prevail. The article states, “Both Republicans and Democrats have rejected the principle of subsidiarity that once governed American health care: Individuals who could not pay for their own care were covered by private, particularly religious, charities and local governments.” Despite everything else, at the base of the opposition to Obamacare was the opposition to the Nanny State and its insistence on being all things to all people. Forced government insurance was just the latest outrage where government demanded they be given the responsibility for our care and as usual their ideas left much to be desired.

 

This problem has been a long time coming and is not about to wane any time in the future without a near revolution by the American public. Not a real, grab the gun off the mantle, revolution but one where the American people take the power back from the government by selecting a whole new type of political representation, regular, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (or watch at end of article) representation. This would have to be an all-encompassing movement which will only arise when things reach an intolerable level and when failure means the end of the democratic process because the government has even assumed making the choices as to who will lead and who is subjugated. One can only hope that such a time is not quite yet upon us, though with some of what has occurred there have been claims and fears from both sides that the other is attempting to take control of the governing processes and end any true freedom of choice. History has proven that one side’s claims are merely an excuse for them to enact just such fascist governance and the other side’s claims are actually valid fears. But this article is to tell the story of how we reached this point.

 

This all started with something everybody would know from history if such was still taught in the public and private school systems. Not all schools are delinquent of such but far too many are which has made ask the average person in the street history and civics questions something which makes for great laughs while others of us just shake our heads and fear for the future. We know that a people who do not know from whence they arrived at this day will have no idea where they will be going as the tomorrows pass. The beginning of our story is the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, especially the Bill of Rights. One should read the Declaration of Independence as it is a litany of things in a governance which should be feared and the people should ever be watchful against their reoccurrence. There is a political theory which describes the cycle of governance from bondage to freedom and back to bondage called the Tytler Cycle of Power in Governance (see below). There have been many debates in universities back in our day and hopefully these debates continue as they raise awareness and strengthen societal awareness in the upcoming generation. The debate in my day over where in the circle we stood was over which it might be; Selfishness, Complacency, Apathy or Dependence. Nobody ever claimed Abundance and a few would claim we were on the verge of Bondage and the others were completely beyond consideration. One can only wonder where the debate would go today.

 

Tytler Cycle of Power in Governance

Tytler Cycle of Power in Governance

 

We got to wherever in the cycle we actually stand from a time when faith was high and courage was felt by a strong and steady leadership and their following and from that they struck forth and gained liberty. The American Revolution was led in many communities by their religious leaders who were men of sword and musket as well as the Bible. These men made up the Black Robe Regiments and were why the British often burned churches and would hang clergy on sight if they were at all suspect of preaching about freedom from bondage and King. The Revolutionary War was fought by people of faith and courage who gained freedom and a new nation. There were few large cities and nothing even approaching a modern city with London being amongst the largest in that day and Boston, New York and Philadelphia being amongst the largest cities but still the denizens were largely self-reliant. This was the way of life in early America and this was how it remained until sometime into the mid-1800’s. The problems began in the largest of cities which would be found on the eastern seaboard, west coast and along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Within the largest cities people began to depend on certain public services. There was the water systems replacing the need to draw one’s own water, sewage replacing digging your own outbuilding, trash pick-up, and public transportation which was often bartered out to a private service whose owner often became quite wealthy as did the private purveyor of any other service which the cities licensed.

 

The services provided through public/private contract or by the government directly such as police forces, judicial systems, street maintenance, street lighting, gas lines, fire departments and as time went more and more provided by the cities. Then there were the specialty services which cared for services which many of the people either found distasteful or were simply incapable of doing for themselves. Some of these services had always required a professional but many had also been performed by the average person before the advent of large cities with a professional core of providers whose prices were controlled by demand and number of people providing such services. Examples include the obvious such as shoeing horses, blacksmithing, locksmith and others and then ones we have forgotten in our modern world such as chimneysweeps, milkman, ice deliveries and other such services. Some still exist in smaller towns or rural areas or as specialty service in cities. What these specialty and general services started was the first stages of dependence which as long as it is kept to essential services is fine, but it did not remain this way. There used to be a safety net which provided for those people who were down on their luck or simply had fallen from the normal routines of the society and were dependent on the good graces of others for their sustenance and other needs. These people were served by religious groups, the churches, synagogues and other religious congregations and charitable organizations. This was the way of things for over a century until the onset of the initial takeover by the government which began with unemployment insurance which was not any form of insurance as much as it was a tax and spend means for government to reduce the power of people and increase the power of the government. This was followed by Social Security and soon thereafter adoption services were slowly subsumed by the government.

 

This continued with the government granting college scholarships first through grants for veterans through the G I Bill and then loans and Pell Grants. The largest expansion of the government came under Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Great Society which enlarged or created such programs as Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, National Endowments for Arts and Humanities, Public Broadcasting, Cultural Centers, Homeless Shelters and a plethora of other programs all based on a simple principle, the government was going to save people from being preached to just to receive help as the religious institutions were forcing people to suffer. They were saving the world from religion. In time the governments also provided the cities with transportation funds to assist public transportation in an attempt to replace the personal vehicle, environmental assistance and codes, consumer protection because people were incapable of not buying substandard goods, public housing so those on welfare could live without shame in any neighborhood where section eight housing was declared which was anywhere except the most exclusive neighborhoods, labor regulations and it continued into every realm of life even eventually to include the water permitted to be flushed by a toilet.

 

The government did not stop there and they are currently working on the next and near final stage of their plans to completely control all of society, the replacement of the children from parenting by amateurs. That is the theory behind the plan proposed by Hillary Clinton with her claim that “it takes a village to raise a child.” She made an entire book from the idea, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us in which she gave examples of such as African villages and spent most of the book encouraging new programs and government controls over ever more of people’s lives. Some of the programs and ideas coming out from her writings include Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, Community Policing, the Brady Bill, Amber Alerts, immunizations, State Children’s Health Insurance Program, financial regulation, expanded Child Tax Credits, Minimum Wage increases, and the one making so much of the news of late, Universal health care. Government appears targeting even more of our lives and taking from us every choice as to how we live our lives, what we teach our children, what we are allowed to drive, where we are allowed to drive and how we can raise our children. Some schools have told their students that their parents do not have the power to deny them use of a telephone, forbid them access to a computer, refuse them their rights to watch what they want on television or other means of punishment including spanking, grounding or forcing them to eat foods they dislike and told students as early as first grade that they can report any violations of these rights by their parents to the school and then the school will report their parents to the government and the problem will be taken care of and they will have their rights respected. That is true, the child has inalienable rights which a parent may not infringe and amongst these rights is anything they desire. Of course once the parent has been duly punished for ignoring these rules, the child will just love the foster home and the parenting they will receive there.

 

One can only wonder where this will end and many will tell you it will not end, or at least not end well. There is actually no limit any longer as to how far into your life government can impose. Already the wild stories that the government can turn on the camera attached to your computers, the camera attached to your phone (always keep them camera facing the table), turn on the microphone to your computers or phones, and have microphones and cameras spread all over your town or city and can also monitor any cameras which are electronically monitored despite what you have been told by the security company, every keystroke made on your computer and a log of every web location you have visited, and darn near anything else with soon coming to any electronic device bought new will also be able to report the amounts of electricity used as well as your electric, water, gas or other meters reporting your use and any notable changes such as a guest visiting (additional use especially during times you are not usually home) but all this only if you reside in the United States or are under suspicions by the NSA, CIA, FBI or any other intelligence agency including allies of the United States as the intelligence services of the Western World are capable of collecting every electronic piece of information on virtually every person within the United States, its protectorates, any ten nations the United States chooses with the exceptions of India and China (really way too many people) all with some abilities to spare. The problem is calling up the data on any one person unless specified in advance is a bit tiresome but then there are numerous government employees whose tiresome job it is to extract exactly just such data on demand, lucky them, or on their own whim if they can cover their tracks. The claims by President Trump that his phones were being listened to are true but then so were probably mine and yours and your best friend, worst enemy, and the past five-thousand people you have passed on the street because everybody has had their information gathered because it is far more simple to gather all the information than to choose whose you actually need. With the NSA’s new data center in Nevada outside Reno (pictured below) that is a simple deed and they can store all of it to be retrieved as required at any time. It simply requires the personnel to do so and that they also have.

 

National Security Agency NSA Utah Data Center

National Security Agency NSA Utah Data Center

That is where freedom now stands in the United States and much of the world today and that is the real problem we all face. But do not worry; most of us are of little concern so as long as we behave as expected we are safe. We hope that reading Beyond the Cusp is not a triggering exercise for which your data would be pulled up, but why worry as too many things likely will do the trick anyways.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

 

 

March 14, 2017

America and Judaism Share One Great Concept

 

Most nations and religions trace themselves to some great person who was responsible for their greatness and in some form or another deify that individual. For nations the examples are legion. Rome traced to the two children raised by a she wolf, Romulus and Remus, China was unified by a leader who was born of a dragon which brought him to China where he unified the separate kingdoms forging a great power, England has King Arthur and the Camelot myth and so on it goes. Christianity gave us Jesus, Islam gave us Mohammed, Buddhism gave us Buddha, Taoism came from Tao and so forth with each religion traced to a person who is raised above other men and in some way deified or immortalized. What follows will likely not sit us well with many readers but is presented for thought and not as any claim that the two seminal foundings were directly related beyond their emphasis on the sanctity of the human spirit and its enabling by the Creator, by Hashem.

 

But with the United States there was no one individual though George Washington is regarded as the father of the nation nobody would claim that he founded or singularly established the country. His greatest feat was giving up power when he could have continued as President until his death thus establishing the temporary power of the office instead of making it into a form of elected monarchy. The American idea was the world of the Founding Fathers, a group where though many people may choose one they prefer, none is more vital to the forging of the United States than the others. Sure we credit Thomas Jefferson with writing the Declaration of Independence but this only came about because John Adams deferred and chose him because he was a talented writer and an amiable person where, as John Adams is credited with stating in persuading Thomas Jefferson claiming when Jefferson claimed Adams was the stronger writer and better at expressing himself claimed that was why he could not be its author because he was far too disliked and anything he wrote would be torn apart by many of the others. James Madison is credited with crafting the initial wording of the constitution but again it became the work of all the signatories in some means or another. The United States is not traceable to a single person but instead to singular ideals expressed in that Declaration of Independence and a form of governance delineated in that Constitution and those are the two pillars upon which America rests.

 

Judaism is similar in that there were great people but no individual can be credited with establishing the religion. Granted when Hashem altered Avram’s name making it Avraham and Sari became Sarah, this would be the seminal point where the Covenant would be made and circumcision the sign of the contract which was to be undertaken by every male; yet the religion itself is transferred through one’s mother and not the father. To be a Jew one is required to have come from a Jewish mother. But Avraham received the Covenant with Hashem; he did not codify Judaism and did not write the Torah. Torah was transcribed by Moses which was why he is referred to as the lawgiver. But Moses transcribed Torah and led the Israelites from Egypt which is told in Torah in Exodus and retold in Deuteronomy. Moses went to great lengths to refute any deification including assuring that he would have no burial location which would be known so as to refute any worship giving all due credit to Hashem. Joshua was the leader of the Israelites when they conquered the Promised Land. Hashem kind of left out that after leaving Egypt the Israelites were going to have to conquer the Promised Lands but that was the way of forming a nation and claiming your place among nations in those early days of humankind. There also were numerous Judges and Prophets who ruled the Israelites but none were greater than the others in reflection and thus none were ever made to be more than wise and knowledgeable men. King Saul was the first Israelite king and was deficient in many ways but did preserve the nation passing it to King David more by default than any other means as the battle which claimed Saul’s son and heir to the throne also threw Saul into such grief that he took his own life, not the most glorious of endings. From King David the throne passed to King Solomon. King Solomon was regarded as one of the wisest of men but also had great failings chief amongst them were the inadequacy of his children who brought great harm upon the Israelites or Hebrews.

 

Torah the Founding Document of Judaism with Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights Founding Documents of the United States of America

Torah the Founding Document of Judaism
with Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights
Founding Documents of the United States of America

 

What is less known by many is that the Jews were the remnants of the Israelites. The kingdom ruled by Kings Saul, David, Solomon and so forth broke into two kingdoms with the northern Kingdom called Israel and the southern Kingdom named for its larger tribe, Judah, named Judea. Israel consisted of ten tribes and their priests and was conquered by the Assyrians and never actually heard from until modern times. These became known as the ten lost tribe of the Jews but were really the ten lost tribes of Israel. Jews are the remainder of the tribes of Benjamin and Judea and the Priestly classes, tribes, of the Levites and Kohanim. These two tribes basically merged into the entity of Judea and the people were the Judeans, obviously. With time people grew lazy and did not care to actually say Judeans so it eventually shortened to simply Jews. Judea traced back to Judah and Benjamin to Benjamin, two of the sons of Jacob. One need remember that when Judaism relates to Avraham it is almost always referenced as Avraham, Isaak and Jacob as these were the Patriarchs buried in Hevron in the cave bought by Avraham in which to bury Sarah. Still the story of the Jews hinges greatly on Jacob’s twelve sons but one was responsible for the survival of the entire family, Joseph. This was one of the more unusual stories amongst many unusual stories. Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers but because of this act he was in the right place at the right time to become a favored one of Pharaoh and was placed as Chancellor over Egypt second only in power to Pharaoh himself. He managed resources of food saving Egypt from a great famine and saved his family as well. This led to the eventual enslaving of his family which was then brought forth by Hashem through the vessels which were Moses with Aaron. As is said, the rest is history except in this case it is more accurate to say the rest is the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament and then history as that story has had a rebirth which was foretold in the Bible with the formation in a single day of the nation of modern Israel in its ancient homelands, though that is still being contested the eventual forming of Israel will include its ancient lands even if that takes a thousand years.

 

Judaism and the United States owe their formations to many individuals with none more vital than the rest and neither would exist if not for all of these great people all of whom were guided by principles and forces beyond their comprehension. Did these people know they were a part of something far greater than themselves, of course they did. But each group had the guidance of great people when required the most and both claim that Hashem is an integral part of their formation as a nation. Neither deifies any individual and instead when they use the term Creator their reference is to the Creator of all things as told in Genesis and both Judaism and the United States of America claim to owe their creation to that very same Creator and both claim the view that mankind was imbued and “endowed by that Creator with unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These principles are found throughout the laws and preaching in Judaism and were carried forth in Christianity and found their place in the Declaration of Independence where they were once again ensconced in the human mind and established repeatedly but most forcefully in Torah and thus made available for Thomas Jefferson to include in his declaration.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

May 30, 2016

And You Blame Israeli Governance

 

Israel recently made a few adjustments incorporating Yisrael Beitenu into the ruling coalition permitting a more stable government, as the former coalition stood on the whims of as small as a single Minister changing sides. There was the assigning of a pair of Ministerial special assignments one of which granted the Defense Minister position to Avigdor Lieberman replacing Moshe Ya’alon who had been somewhat of a disappointment and had fomented mistrust of the leadership in the governing coalition and there were rumblings in Washington DC. There were the echoes of the whining made by the opposition here in Israel in the halls of the White House. We understand that you wish to destroy the Israeli Prime Minister simply because Bibi Netanyahu had the guts to oppose your gifting nuclear weapons to Iran, a regime which regularly threatens to wipe our nation from the map. Further, there are those in Iran who wish to remove the Jewish presence from the annals of history by murdering every last Jew on the planet, including Bernie Sanders, even with his opposition to anything Israel, that would not save him. These threats from Iran would also include your friends and anti-Zionist allies J-Street and a great number of donors to Democrat Party coffers every election cycle. You slander Minister Lieberman with claims that he is an extreme right wing crazy who only desires war when he has screamed for the opportunity to make peace at any reasonable cost. Then again, you continue to fund Hamas which also calls for the murder of every last Jewish man, woman and child on the planet, not just those in Israel. You back Mahmoud Abbas as our partner for peace despite his refusing your every request for him to take a meaningless step of just saying that Israel is the State for the Jews or give any other signal that there was even a crack of light shining through the door proving that peace was possible. Abbas all but spelled it out for you that the only deal he will accept is for all of Israel to disappear and the Jews dead. But you claim regularly as does the highest people working in the Department of State that Israel is the source of all the problems in the Middle East, Asia and Africa and that they are not sure but also in Europe and the Americas. About the only accusation which has not been leveled against Israel is that we are waging a war or causing one against the Emperors in Antarctica as if these Emperors are all penguins.

 

Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump What a Choice This Will be for the American People

Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump
What a Choice This Will be for the American People

 

We understand President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry that you hold a great amount of animus towards Israel and even though nobody in our government would be so bold, we can demand that you end your maneuvering against the ruling coalition in Israel. We do not call for your replacement and never, despite your wild accusations and claims, did we even endorse candidates running against you when you ran for President in 2008 or when you ran for reelection in 2012 like so many including those in your Cabinet and advisors in the White House and even alluded to by you yourself. Israel, unlike the United Stated where the Democrat Party has regularly provided entire campaign specialists, companies and organizers to run the campaigns of the opposition to the current government as you did with the entire Presidential campaign specialists V-2015 headed by Jeremy Bird, the man responsible for your reelection campaign’s success. They were to assemble a door to door grassroots campaign mirroring your campaign success here in Israel and denying Netanyahu any hope for victory. Politics in Israel do not fit well with deceitful practices and your meddling may have actually assisted Netanyahu by giving many a reason to vote against outside meddling in Israeli affairs. But we are used to such as Bill Clinton dispatched James Carville and company to run another campaign which got Netanyahu defeated, a similar move to what you were attempting. Despite your campaign pointing that Israel was working to defeat you, Bibi did not even state a preference for you or Mr. Romney in the last election.

 

One last item we can bring up even if those sitting in the ruling coalition are too polite to mention, please just give your anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism a rest as you will be out of office soon and you do not even have the support of Congress when you try to act against Israel. There are likely officers throughout the United States military that if ordered to wage an attack on Israel would simply retire their commission and probably any number of troops who would face prosecution under General Courts Martial or at least an Article 15 for refusal to obey a lawful order rather than fire a single round at an IDF soldier. Do not feel dismayed when these would become verified by the members of your Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Pentagon as we have the same types of soldiers here who would never raise a weapon against the United States. Actually, if you ever wished to make a documentary on Israeli views of the United States you would find that the United States is loved here in Israel. The average Israeli believes the United States is the cream of the crop and Israel’s greatest ally, even after all you have done we still feel that way. When your name is brought up many will claim that anything you did denouncing or working against Israel must have had a great reason but that we were not privileged enough to have all the information. Then there are some who are not wearing blinders and know you, Mr. President and soon to be citizen Obama, for exactly what and who you are and know that you hold a special place for Israel in your heart and that is as long as that heart beats you will back anything which would destroy Israel. We know that there are many in the State Department and Foreign Service who would go to any length to hurt or cripple Israel. We know that when you or Secretary Kerry discusses Israel it is with the intended goal of its demise by any means. This may have, in part, made your granting Iran a path to nuclear weaponry, as long as they wait for six months after you leave office to announce their first test, with the intent on using them to destroy Israel. We understand and will celebrate your leaving office and know that even Hillary Clinton cannot do as much to damage the special relationship between the Israeli and American publics.

 

As far as your Democrat Party and the fact that compared to the Republican Party the Democrats are the enemies of Israel, the majority of Jews are leftists liberals first and Jewish somewhere further down the line and totally unsupportive of Israel in a large part. We remember at the last Presidential Democratic Convention that they voted down a motion to include friendship with Israel and that Jerusalem be her Capital City or the mention of Hashem, though you were going to use a more Christian name, in the Democrat Party Platform and it was only included because the chair declared the motion passed despite the obvious refusal by the floor. The proof is below for anybody to hear and bear witness with the video below makes obvious. We understand the soft spot you hold in your heart for Islam made obvious by your reference that the Muslim evening call to prayer as the prettiest sound you have ever heard and that much of that stems from your childhood in the Far East and your earliest education in a Muslim Madrassa. We understand your solid opposition to almost anything Israel which was also framed well by your relations over a twenty year span with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and your friendship with the Minister Farrakhan and too numerous a list of your personal advisors and friendships. We even understand your otherworldly view of the United States and the evils performed by Western Colonialism and that you view Islamic colonialism as simply the natural order of the world and ignore the almost fifteen centuries of Muslim expansionism and colonialism as they have conquered and held much of the Middle East and across all of North Africa and are now making threats and moves to take over Europe by infiltration and use of their democratic governance to simply populate them out of existence. We understand there are leftists who back this Islamic takeover and that they are fools who believe that they will share power with the Islamic influences. They are as deadly wrong as any in the past who has had similar delusions. We also know that it will be up to the individual European citizen to awaken and save their continent or they will go the way of the Dodo bird.

 

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There may be little that Israel can do as long as we are so opposed and maligned by the President sitting in the White House and many here recognize that should the next election produce a President Hillary that we in Israel will be facing four more years of your foreign policy regarding Israel. We understand that Bernie Sanders’s first appointment to the Platform committee on his way to providing the five people he has been allotted was James Zogby, a recognized, open, adamant and ferocious pro-Palestinian, pro-Islam and Israel hating individual who has called for the destruction of Israel. We understand that the Democrat Party which for so long has supported Israel is drifting away from that point and is soon going to completely go over to the other side. Despite this, there will be legions of leftist American Jews for whom Israel is more an annoyance than an issue for their support and that is their right and choice. What we also realize is that the Republican Party will continue on as the friend of Israel and that a large portion of their Christian supporters are also the best friends Israel could hope to have. Their advocacy has outshone many leftist Jewish organizations in supporting Israel. There are still some here in Israel who treat these Christians with some trepidation as they suspect that they have ideas of converting Jews to Christianity, let that be as it may. We should also know that the average Israeli is strong enough in our faith that such is not a real threat and for those who fear such apparently need to have a little more faith and confidence in their fellow Jews to stay the course as we have for close to three thousand years. After all, there may not be quite as many Jews as we have averaged throughout our history but we are still here as a testament to the love and power of Hashem and know that any apparent difficulty allowed to befall us was likely deserved as the Prophets had foretold of every single calamity and even our eventual return here to our ancestral lands a final time, and we are here to build a future that is the blessing of Hashem and we will tend Hashem’s garden here in Israel as we are meant to do. Our faith and Torah are all we need to survive even the worst possible events in America and hope that our mutual friendship will remain a central theme in both of our societies. That would please the vast majority of Israelis greatly and their desires in this area could prove to be a blessing for both nations and both peoples. We wish America well and will also watch, not meddle but watch the American elections this fall with great amounts of hopes and fears just as so many others around the world. The interesting thing is the Israeli society is split amongst the candidates and much of the discussions here are identical to those being carried in the United States. This can be proven by simply reading the English versions of Israeli media and very quickly such becomes evident which is another reason why the two nations were made to be allies. The last bit of interest is that the Founding Fathers of America admittedly used portions of Torah when crafting the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution including the limiting the power of a President such that they serve the people over other interests. May that become the watchword for the next administration as that too would serve both peoples and nations well.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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