Beyond the Cusp

October 1, 2017

So You Didn’t Think We Were Serious?

 

Back about a year ago, the Republican base went to the primaries and chose what had to be the most vulnerable, most crazy, most eccentric whack-job out of the entire list of seventeen candidates. Then the Republican base turned out in numbers sufficient to elect that very Whack-job President of the United States. Still, the establishment did not believe that perhaps the base finally was not going to take it any longer. Then, until yesterday, this same group of Republicans elected every single person that President Trump backed until the choice of Roy Moore instead of Luther Strange, and Roy Moore was the outsider in that race. The one time Trump sided with the Republican leadership and backed their candidate, he lost and the outlier, the more unusual candidate wins. Perhaps there were two messages in the Alabama election, one to President Trump demanding he stay with the story that won him the election and go for everything he promised because they have his back and the other was to the Republican leadership demanding they get with the program and start with repeal and replace Obamacare, complete Tax Reform, no easy path for DACA or any other illegal immigrants and all judges had best continue to be like Gorsuch, true conservatives who will not wilt with time. The Republican base, their mainstream, regular Joe and Jill are demanding that they be listened to and that they demand changes from business as usual. Number one is that the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare be kept. Second is complete and total Tax Reform like President Trump promised on the campaign. Lastly, no amnesty for illegal immigrants as promised, none. No more Mr. and Mrs. Nice voters, that is their promise.

 

The Republican Party has not had a real majority since Newt Gingrich and the contract with America. The Republican base is now believing that the promises made by President Trump and the claims made by Republicans over the past several years are the new contract with America and are expecting action, not infighting and main players in the Republican Party deciding that their ego means that they cannot allow Trump to succeed. The professional politicians may have decided that Trump must fail in order to teach the electorate a lesson about sending a non-political professional to Washington and expect them to accomplish what they promised. These professional lifetime political hacks are insisting on teaching the public a lesson about how the political structure works and how only those who have paid their dues and served lower offices and worked their way up the ranks are to be permitted to run for the Senate, for President. But they have miscalculated in thinking that they are going to teach the public a lesson.

 

The people know who these people are though after a few important lessons they decided to play things closer to their vests. During the first vote to repeal Obamacare there were seven Republicans who voted against the three plans including Lamar Alexander, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Rob Portman and a selection of others which voted against at least one of the three plans. Since then there have been two who have submarined any hopes for repealing and replacing Obamacare, John McCain and either Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski. The last two are very liberal Republicans who come from states which will reelect them so they are safe and John McCain is doing this largely because of his principles. He was against Trump from the start, in the closing of the primaries and probably secretly desired his loss in the general election and was a “Never Trump” leader through and through. He has decided to make it his life’s purpose to see to it that President Trump becomes an embarrassment in order to make sure that no outsider ever again tries to enter politics without paying their dues and working within the system. For Senator McCain it is all about the system, the system which has kept him and his cohorts on both sides of the aisle in power safely spending other people’s money until the national debt of the United States has cleared twenty-trillion dollars and is a threat to every man, woman and child in the United States.

 

The people have had enough, well, at least many Republicans. These are not the elites within the society, they are the regular people who have worked in a factory, a mill, a coal mine, or some other job which where it may not have been the most satisfying occupation, it paid the bills, put food on the table and kept a roof over that table. They have watched as the coastal elites and their corrupt functionaries from both parties have taken a once functional country and changed the face of the nation through bribery to gain votes and turning neighbor against neighbor and breaking the nation into bands of special interest groups each one pitted against the rest and used to keep the same people who caused the problems in office promising ever more government in order to fix those exact problems their last great idea caused.

 

Let us take healthcare as our example. Way back when the entire insanity started, they came up with Medicare for the elderly to be taken care of against rising healthcare prices. Why were the prices rising? Well, it might have had something to do with increasing regulations, restrictions, and paperwork which slowly forced the neighborhood doctor to need to hire an assistant to handle the paperwork and then another to file even more paperwork and then they made it all but illegal through regulations for a doctor to operate from their home. The doctors then would join and have a clinic which brought more regulations and paperwork. Then they went after the insurance companies forcing increases in rates and that influenced healthcare costs. The huge lawsuit monetary rewards forced hospitals and insurance companies to settle without going to court even if they were not at fault, as they could not afford to risk a trial. Then along came Medicaid and medical costs jumped even higher. During President Clinton’s first term, they attempted to pass Hillarycare but public protests prevented that from passing. President Obama got a very similar plan passed by using the Democrat supermajorities in Congress all without a single Republican vote. Everyone has seen how well that has worked out but still there are parts of that disaster which people are demanding be kept because they give something for nothing. Now, in order to repair the damage done by Obamacare they want to have the government take over healthcare completely because that has worked so well absolutely nowhere. Every nation with such plans has virtually no military and is totally dependent on the United States for their protection. What they do have is long wait lines, rationed care, and a crumbling healthcare system with moribund of any advances in medical care and treatments. Total government healthcare has been an unmitigated disaster and will drive the United States to complete and utter financial ruin where there will be no funds left for infrastructure, no military funding, almost nothing but healthcare which will still be underfunded and taxes will need to double or more. And all that the people have to do is sacrifice one of, if not the best, healthcare system in the world. It is currently mortally wounded and if Obamacare is not repealed and healthcare returned to the public realm, then that will bring the end of the United States in more ways than just healthcare.

 

The system is broken and it is going to take drastic measures to roll back the Federal Government and put the genie back into the bottle. The promises of something for nothing sound wonderful and if you are on the receiving end and in the bottom forty-five percent of the tax bracket and pay no taxes, then it really is something for nothing. If, on the other hand, you are in the top twenty-five percent of earners, you know, the super-wealthy, those making over $75,000 a year, then it is not something for nothing as you get to pay for yours and two other peoples something for nothing and often you do not even get to have your something. The sad thing is even if the people wise up and come to their senses and realize that they are being had because if only they would pay their own way, then prices would fall, taxes would fall and eventually the debt would start to be paid. The first step is to minimize the ever-increasing deficit spending which adds more than half a trillion dollars to the debt each year. Once the deficit spending has been curtailed which will require sacrificing programs, often popular programs, then work can begin on the actual debt. One of the first realizations which the people must reach is that the government cannot raise children better than parents, cannot help the needy better than charities and religious institutions, and that private will always be an improvement over public programs. Finally, the best means of addressing any problem is locally, even down to each individual neighborhood. The entire idea of the United States Constitution was for each state to be more powerful than the Federal Government with the Federal Government addressing things with restrictions placed upon it by the Constitution as stated in the Tenth Amendment which states,

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Tenth Amendment

 

The simplest explanation of the concept put forward by the Tenth Amendment is that primarily each person is most responsible for his or her own business. Next up is the family which is supposed to assist the individual especially with things they are not able to handle alone. Next would be the neighbors, the community, your religious institutions, the city government, county government and finally the state government would each handle those things beyond the lesser level. The system is presumed to work best which is closest to the people and the problem. The final step of having the Federal Government handle a problem is the system of last resort. The Founding Fathers believed that if each locality tried to take care of the every day activities and problems there would be literally hundreds of differing systems and the ones which worked the best would be copied and used until somebody tried and found something better but that things would be kept at the lowest governmental level such that the people could keep a close watchful eye on their governance. That went away with the onset of the progressives and their egalitarian movements which put forth that the level of government which could affect the widest good should be tasked with doing so. That turned the Tenth Amendment on its head and basically started the idea that everything was to be handled by Washington D.C. and that the States, Counties and Cities would only be required to do those items which the Federal Government would task them to do and otherwise behave and wait for the big boys to handle their problems. That led to one size fits all solutions which were not tailored to localities in any manner and often resulted in waste and the more local governments having to fix things which they should have done themselves and thus would not have been anywhere near as broken. But why mess with such a perfect way of making even more of a mess.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 27, 2017

Can President Trump Cure the Ills of America?

 

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

 

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 22, 2016

Israel Iron Dome Can be Their Asian Diplomat

 

China is spreading their wings blanketing much of Asia in the shadow staring up the claws and talons of the Chinese dragons armed with missiles covering every corner of her neighbors. South Korea, Japan and the Philippines face the combined threat of an expansive reach, possibly overreach from China and the growing ballistic and nuclear potential from North Korea and all from shorter ranged ballistic missiles, just the ones the Iron Dome is so proficient at intercepting. Israel has good relations with much of the Asian nations such as India and also China and could always use a few more friends. The recent test by North Korea of a nuclear device which had the highest yield of any device thus far tested by the secluded and often surly in their relations with the neighboring nations, especially South Korea and Japan , has led to a troubled area with furrowed brows. Israel has the perfect solution for addressing potential threats from North Korea and their rockets, missiles, mortars and even artillery rounds with a highly successful interception rate in the neighborhood of ninety percent. The Iron Dome systems have proven their effectiveness against actual war time footing in the last Gaza conflict. Israel could offer the Iron Dome to these nations in a very affordable and mutually beneficial exchange where for every so many units purchased the nations also finance the production of an additional Iron Dome system for Israeli use. Such an arrangement would be of obvious benefit to all the nations involved in such an arrangement. The United States who had been assisting with the production of the Iron Dome in exchange for access to some of the research and operational data of the system and the production of some of the system’s units by the American company Raytheon has already taken their pound of flesh. Such an arrangement would benefit all involved and would provide Raytheon business in the production of their section of the systems thus also benefitting the United States.

 

Why would Israel seek to offer their most proficient indirect weapons fire interception system to foreign Asian nations when there are presumably agreements with the United States for further production of additional units? The recently signed defense agreement signed between Israel and the United States set into motion a steady reduction in monies reserved for Israeli defense industries. This may reflect on further financing the Iron Dome systems in Israel independent of influences in Washington D.C. Whether Israel will continue to have a friend in Washington D.C. will be heavily dependent upon the results of the coming elections for President as well as for Congress. Israel needs to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. These last eight years have placed relation between the White House and Jerusalem in the most parched regions of the driest and hottest desert known to man and depending on the election the next four years could just as easily be more of the same. Neither candidate for the Presidency has made foreign policy the main theme of their campaigns which is understandable with the American public more focused on the economy and jobs caring little about the rest of the world beyond reducing legal and ending illegal immigration until the economy warrants the need for foreign workers. Both candidates will necessarily concentrate on the economy first and foremost and foreign relations will be a back burner issue unless events cause the American public to sit up and take notice and keep their attentions. The American public has a remarkable ability to look up and see beyond their borders only if the noise is loud enough but even when they do look up, they return to their daily concerns with unfathomable speed continuing as if their attention had never been diverted. The resilience of their ability to focus on everyday life and only passing attention beyond their drive to and from work, their job or finding one, and their family, disregarding the remainder of the world as if it was a bothersome mosquito whose droning wings are but an aggravation is their best coping method and the world’s bane.

 

 

This may be to the detriment of Israel as well as other nations who may depend on the United States government and particularly the White House actually looking beyond their borders when the most pressing problems echoed by the media is jobs, jobs, jobs and the economy and in an extreme situation, immigration. Terrorism, well, only if there are a series of devastating attacks within the United States itself with potential for momentary interruption if there is striking news from abroad, but such news passes from the news and the attention span of the busy Americans is brief for anything not immediately on their view screens. The news networks in the United States spend more time on the weather and even more on sports with little room for international news which they run through as quickly as possible avoiding it altogether when possible as their advertisers know the public and the public cares more about the cat rescued for the little girl from a tree or some viral video than they want hard news. It is no wonder why the United States Congress and the White House are hard pressed to tune into the international front when they are rewarded almost uniquely for taking care of the home front leaving the world to do as it will. The American citizens believe that the two great oceans protect the United States just as much if not more effectively than the military. One would think that the terrorist strikes they have suffered would have disabused them of this notion, but like any normal person, the average American prefers to believe that they are safe and comfortable within their little cocoons with the remainder of the world locked out. Granted the United States is the size of a continent and reach from ocean to ocean and are bordered largely by Canada and by Mexico for a far shorter southern border which most Americans simply would love to see it closed but unless pressed mostly do not place that concern at the top of their to worry list.

 

What does this have to do with Israel? Well, their future has been tied to the United States in the defense area since they terminated the Lavi fighter project and went with American aircraft and have remained dependent on the United States for their aircraft ever since. The future of this relationship has been harshly affected for the worse under President Obama and the fear is should Hillary Clinton be elected in November that relations will not improve under her leadership. As far as Donald Trump is concerned, many claim relations would be improved under a Trump Presidency but still there are many unanswered question as Donald Trump is still largely an unknown. The current aircraft Israel is expected to receive from the United States is the F-35 JSF which has been experiencing serious delays and problems. There has been serious concern that the F-35 JSF will not be truly combat ready until sometime in the early to mid-2020’s with 2025 not an unreliable prediction. Israel’s main enemies are able to purchase superior Russian aircraft which are combat ready today such as the SU-35 or any of the newest Chinese aircraft which are also combat ready. This could be a detrimental situation which Israel can ill afford as she is extremely dependent on air superiority. Iran is currently sitting with the ability to purchase entire fleets of these aircraft with the monies they received from the United States from the Iran Deal and the loosening of sanctions, the payments for the release of hostages or repayment for nondelivered arms after the Shah was overthrown in 1979. There have been rumored further cash payments to Iran for undetermined reasons by the Obama administration. How much additional payment Iran has or may receive is unknown and probably the full amounts granted to Iran may never be fully understood. This has created further concerns for Israel as has the recent delivery by Russia of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile and tracking systems to Iran which have seriously upgraded the Iranian air defenses around their nuclear sites.

 

Sukhoi Su-35

Sukhoi Su-35

 

Israel could seriously upgrade their defenses against rockets fired from their neighboring threats such as Gaza and Hamas and Lebanon and Hezballah who between them have easily over one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles. Such numbers are the very serious reason why Israel would be very pressed to increase the numbers of Iron Dome systems and further develop their other systems and deploy them in order to be capable of defending against any missiles fired from Iran or potentially other enemies. This means the manufacture of David’s Sling and the Arrow II systems and further developing of these systems to improve them seeking the impossible, perfection of interception of all range of missiles and other armaments fired at her people, that is what Israel could gain from such deals. Further, Israel could strengthen her relations and perhaps develop closer relations with new nations. Israel recently made inroads sharing a visit with Japan and has good relations with the Philippines after assisting them with their recovery after the horrific typhoon which struck that nation. Israel could also seek to have improved relations with South Korea and with the troubling developments and concerns over North Korean sabre rattling and their close relations with Iran with the two nations sharing scientific and military research developments Israel has more in common with these nations than many might see at first glance. Israel could develop these relations using military trade as an inroad and develop further trade relations as time and relations develop. One can never have too many or too varied friends and with systems such as the Iron Dome Israel has a very enticing calling card.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

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