Beyond the Cusp

November 6, 2017

Immigration Roulette

 

Let us take a moment to express our shared grief over the mass shooting in Texas. Quoting directly from the Los Angeles Times, their report stated the following. “…weekly song and prayer service at First Baptist Church Sunday when a man clad in black, wearing a tactical vest and carrying an AR-15-style assault rifle, pulled into the parking lot, got out and opened fire.” We would like to amend this as he had a rifle which is shaped almost exactly like an M-16, which is an assault rifle, but differs in that the selector switch only has two positions, “fire” and “safe” and does not have either the “Auto” or “Three Round Burst” selections the M-16 true assault rifle may have. That makes this simply a single shot for each pull of the trigger mean-looking and elaborate hunting rifle which is less accurate and has a lower bullet velocity than the regular .223 cal. hunting rifle. “Soon the man made his way inside, and kept shooting, and shooting, and shooting.” “As the gunman exited the church, a neighbor with a gun opened fire on him, forcing the attacker to drop his weapon and flee in his SUV. The neighbor and another bystander in a truck followed in hot pursuit until the gunman drove off the side of the road, mortally wounded — perhaps by one of the neighbor’s bullets, or perhaps by his own.” “Kelley was in the U.S. Air Force from 2010 to 2014 but left with a “bad conduct” discharge and was sentenced to 12 months’ confinement after he was convicted of assaulting his wife and their child, according to an Air Force representative.” This was probably not a terror attack and this man was not an immigrant, he was simply a home-grown lunatic who bought his gun legally as mental health physicians are hard pressed to not list their clients as insane as this would make their lives even more stressful. This time the Air Force made a mistake and should have listed this man as needing mental health guidance and surveillance and maybe the system might have worked and he would not have had access to firearms. Now we present our intended article and our prayers for the people in Texas and elsewhere touched by this tragedy.

 

The long-standing program carrying the name of “Diversity Visa Lottery” has received quite a deal of inspection, conjecture, divination, suspicion, postulation, inquiry and all other forms of opinionizing over the past week or so as a result of the Manhattan terror attack murdering eight people in a well protected bicycle lane. There was a tree lined median a few yards wide and two curbs between the bidirectional bicycle lane and the street (see below). An Islamic State sworn follower and terrorist from Uzbekistan, Sayfullo Saipov, entered the United States on one of those Diversity Visa Lottery visas which are distributed, just as advertised, by lottery with less than adequate vetting. This Diversity Visa Lottery Program is designed to bring immigrants into the United States from nations where historically there has been lower numbers of immigrants. Translated into English, this means that it is designed to bring immigrants from the MENA nations (Middle East and North Africa) which are largely Arab Muslim nations. These are also the nations from where a higher than average number of terrorist attacks originate.

 

Street Separated by Tree-Lined Median from Bicycle Lane

Street Separated by Tree-Lined Median from Bicycle Lane

 

In Israel, the IDF and intelligence forces have an understanding from which towns and camps the greatest number of terrorists originate. They even know which families from which terrorists have come from, often more than one, and also who are the people who order and execute these horrific attacks. The problem is the vast majority of those planning and training on through execution of terror attacks reside within the areas under complete Palestinian Arab control of either Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Area A of Judea and Samaria of the disputed areas. These areas are beyond the legal authority of all Israeli forces who may only enter to arrest suspects with the permission of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. These people are protected as they operate with the blessings and often as members of the Palestinian Authority. One could conclude that these individuals have a form of immunity. Israel still places their checkpoints, both permanent and theoretically random checkpoints, in such places such that the areas from where there is a greater than average terrorist attacks originate. This and the wall, which was placed just as carefully, has reduced the number of terrorist bombings, shooting and other attacks and have been reduced by such an extent that one is probably almost as likely to be a victim of a terror attack in Paris. So, what is the potential safety of offering entry visas to potential immigrants from the Islamic world by lottery?

 

Fortunately, this comes down to mathematics, an area we have sufficient background to do with some degree of ability. We will use the figure often bandied about by the media that merely ten percent of Muslims from the MENA region who immigrate are likely to be terrorists. We will be kind despite our suspicions that the actual percentage is considerably higher. Now the Diversity Visa Lottery Program in its current version was signed into law in 1990 by George H. W. Bush (Bush I). This means that it has been in effect for at least sixteen years. We will average down to fifteen for simplicity sake. The law allows fifty-thousand immigrants in each year. The math from here becomes very simple, fifteen years of fifty-thousand immigrants each year has permitted seven-hundred-fifty-thousand immigrants and if ten percent could potentially be terrorists, that means that the Visa Lottery Program very probably has allowed seventy-five-thousand terrorists into the United States and will add an additional five-thousand terrorists every additional year it continues with its current lack of vetting and randomly handing out visas to anyone who applies. There are other considerations which we are overlooking such as the potential that al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Hezballah and other terrorist groups would not see this program as their personal invitation to easily infiltrate the United States and inundate the State Department personnel with their terrorists applying for an entry visa under the Visa Lottery Program. So, the seventy-five-thousand terrorists should be taken as a low-ball figure.

 

This program has quite probably done exactly what the administration has feared and was the reasoning behind President Trump’s temporary immigration restrictions from the very nations included as participants in the Visa Lottery Program until more severe vetting was put into place. Unfortunately, the administration appeared to be in desperate need of a lawyer or at least somebody with knowledge of the English language who could have made the wording of the travel restrictions somewhat less offensive and perhaps exacting enough to pass muster. Then again, that may never have been possible for the leftist judges in Maryland and Hawaii when one thinks of it. Perhaps that might be a good place to look next, the politics, as this is our area over which we usually write. It was rather peculiar that Senator Schumer, always one of the first to rush to the microphones after every shooting to demand “tougher gun control” came out with this statement after the Manhattan terror attack, “I guess it’s not too soon to politicize a tragedy. President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be focusing on the real solution — anti-terrorism funding — which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget.” I guess his experience politicizing every national firearm event makes his an expert at recognizing such acts.

 

Now for the shocker, we agree, this politicizing of every tragedy by one side or the other is not helpful and might even be further radicalizing the politics of both sides. Political extremism has become one of the bigger problems in the United States which can be traced to the political class as much as the media. One must feel for those moderates who have been completely erased from the political debate. Imagine the discussion in which there are three Trump true supporters, three ardent Hillary Clinton supporters and as many people who were really stressed and conflicted over which candidate to give their support. We would bet that the entire debate discussing what is needed in the United States would consist of six people, the two extremes, screaming back and forth often using choice language while the moderate people who would likely have the best hopes for the future cowering from the extremist who have completely abducted all the air from the political room. We really feel for the moderate Americans, assuming that any actually exist since the election. Everything we have witnessed has indicated that somebody killed the moderate people who believed in reasoned debate and working together to find solutions to the problems. Imagine if the Congress and the President worked together and instead of immediately throwing the other side to the wolves after every event. If there is a mass-shooting the Democrat and Republican Progressives all run screaming that all guns must be made illegal, or usually they demand that assault rifles be banned even when the weapons used were all handguns. When there is a terror attack, the other side demands that every immigrant be inspected and vetted to the nth degree. There are other polarizing subjects and almost every political discussion is how it is necessary that Washington find the solution.

 

Well, being some of the people who have their own extreme position, we are Jeffersonian Liberals, which means we support the originalist interpretations of the Constitution; we believe that demanding that Washington fix every problem is the problem. We believe that it is time for the States to take back their powers which Washington has stolen. The first step would be to abolish the Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII), take back the right of the States to determine how their Senators are chosen, and recommend that this power be returned to the State governments to make that choice. The original intent of the Constitution was for the House of Representatives to be the people’s house representing the will of the people and the Senate to be the State’s house representing the States and protecting the individual states and their rights from being infringed by the Federal Government. If one looks back over the history of the United States, the debt and sheer number of regulations and actual sheer oppression accelerated significantly after the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment. That act nullified the voice of the States allowing the Congress to mandate edicts to the States and take power from the individual states and vest in Washington making everything instead of a problem each state could address for themselves into a Federal problem. That was the death knell for State’s rights and the end of the Republic making the United States just another Democracy on its way to bankruptcy and eventually to some form of tyranny be it a fascist dictator or a communist all-powerful central government. That should be sufficient pontificating for today, thank you for reading.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 15, 2012

Santorum Wins, Newt Soldiers On, Romney Still in the Lead

The first report I heard this morning on last night’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi along with caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa just had to mention Mitt Romney after referencing any of the other candidates. It went something like this; Santorum won both southern primaries in Mississippi and Alabama while Romney came in a competitive third also coming in behind Gingrich. Romney swept the caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa. Santorum will pick up around forty delegates while Romney will garner fifty. Gingrich coming in second will add over thirty delegates to his count leaving Romney still comfortably in the lead.

 

The main themes of the news last night appeared to be that despite winning both primaries, Rick Santorum was still going to lose ground because of the delegates being assigned in the Pacific Islands. It was further pointed out that Rick Santorum can only win should Newt Gingrich leave the race and that possibility was hashed out until after Gingrich spoke showing all indications of continuing to the bitter end. This slid the conversation to how Mitt Romney winning the nomination was now guaranteed and an overly long string of attempts to rationalize the reasoning behind Newt Gingrich remaining in the race. I thought maybe I might share my insights on the rest of the Republican delegate race heading for the Convention.

 

I have a little difference of opinion with the so-called experts and pundits about Gingrich remaining in the race will solely work to thwart any chance for Rick Santorum to win the nomination outright. The reasoning for this line of thinking is based upon the primary belief that almost every vote won by Gingrich would have otherwise been a vote for Rick Santorum. I find this a difficult point to swallow. While I will grant that very likely three fourths of the Gingrich support is diverted from Santorum with fifteen to twenty percent are taken from Romney, the remainder very probably would have sat out the primaries. Some of my thinking has been due to the fact that in many states the numbers of votes being cast in the Republican Primaries have been higher than the average as the race is tighter and more competitive and thus stirring up increased participation. The real question is what is Newt Gingrich thinking which has him believing that he can actually win the nomination?

 

My theory has it that Newt Gingrich does not believe he is going to win the nomination any more than does Ron Paul. Newt also resembles Ron Paul in that he believes he is the only candidate representing his views which is a vitally necessary message which must be professed no matter what the consequences. I suspect Gingrich has another reason to remain to the bitter end, and that is because he believes that he and Santorum together can garner sufficient delegates to prevent a first round nomination of Mitt Romney thus leading to that mystical political state, a bartered convention. Should the Republican Convention end up unable to give any of the candidates over fifty percent of the vote, then the bartering and maneuvering begins. If the divide is such that Romney has less than fifty percent, say forty-five percent, with Santorum a close second at say thirty-nine percent and Gingrich holding fourteen percent with Ron Paul holding the remaining 2 percent, insufficient for Ron Paul to put anybody over the top. This places Newt Gingrich in the spot of king-maker as whoever he backs would easily win with their delegates added together. My suspicion is even more absurd as I can easily envision Newt Gingrich presenting himself to the Convention as the sole candidate not destroyed by the process as both Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney had focused their aim on each other leaving Newt safely on the sidelines away from the mud-slinging.

 

For those who claim that the only result that can come out of Newt Gingrich remaining in the race taking most, but not all, of his votes and delegates from supporting Rick Santorum thus keeping him from winning outright have overlooked a small matter. My thought is that when Mitt Romney falls short of the necessary delegate count we will find that this will be due to the small but still measurable number of votes and delegates stolen away by Newt Gingrich and simply having the votes he took away from Santorum being insufficient to have put him over the top anyways. So, it is possible that it will be better for Santorum to have Gingrich in the thick of things instead of dropping out of the race. Finally, should we end up with a brokered convention, actually a convention that goes past the first vote casting before reaching a nomination, it is more likely that Rick Santorum would be able to enlist the support from Newt Gingrich than would Mitt Romney. The drawback would be that after a certain number of ballots have been held, some states release their delegates from their elected obligations allowing them to vote for whoever they choose. This would very likely lead to the so-called Republican elites making the decision on who would be the candidate. Even if this was not the real reason for a Romney win, it would be suspected should he not have reached the magic number of delegates through the primary process and a perceived back-room deal appeared responsible for a Romney candidacy. Such a perception would weaken Mitt Romney’s campaign from the outset which might affect the outcome of the national election in November. The best result for the Republican Party is for one candidate, whichever one is less important than the manner, to win the nomination outright through the primary votes and not reliant on super delegates or other non-elected delegates being the deciders.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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