Beyond the Cusp

November 29, 2018

Why the Left Hates Competitive Education

 

First, please allow us to define “Competitive Education.” All Competitive Education entails is allowing there to be competition in educating our most precious asset, our children. Whenever this is suggested, big money from the Teachers’ Unions and Labor Unions in general start claiming that if we go away from general public education, then there would be no schools operating in the inner cities, the children will all receive subpar education, only the wealthy children will be permitted into the best schools and a myriad of false accusations and strawman arguments which a casual investigation would reveal their complete vacuity. The accusation that only the wealthy would receive a decent education is so absurd simply because the wealthy already are not sending their children to the public schools and are instead using Competitive Education in choosing in which of the elite academies they will educate their children. They often make their determination after a serious assessment of their child’s particular needs. If their child is rebellious, they might decide that a strict academy where they children wear uniforms and rules are strictly applied and if their child has a learning disability, they choose a school which is suited to such challenges and lastly, if their child shows a particular proclivity towards some subject or ability, they would choose appropriately. But the omniscient overlords of the public school system wish to deny to everyone who is not wealthy the exact same system which the wealthy are able to afford. What if instead of forcing everyone into the one size fits all and often-subpar education system provided by the government, after all, name something the government provides which has proved superior to the same service provided privately. We often immediately hear that law enforcement, and we agree that the level of protection provided by those dedicated individuals who choose to train and provide law enforcement are above the average, but we will also point out that the wealthy often have private patrols and other applications of security which augments, and in some gated communities replaces, publically provided law enforcement.

 

Allow us to make a few other potential areas where the identical argument about public education would apply and we would like to see how many would prefer the government take over these other areas of products, after all, education is a product in which we are given limited and too often no choice beyond the location where we reside to determine the educational level our children will receive. The first and most obvious would be grocery stores. After all, without the government providing our groceries, how do we know that just because we live in a poor neighborhood that we are not going to receive second or third rate food choices or no food choices? Would we not desire that the government provide grocery stores with government distributed groceries and government employees stocking the shelves and as cashiers and every other position right down to government run farms to assure the right measure of fertilizer is used and only approved pesticides which will not harm the environment and water rationed to prevent runoff and on and on. This was how food was grown, harvested and distributed in Soviet Russia as well as a number of other socialist nations such as Zimbabwe which had been the highest food producing country in Africa and when a new governance took over the entire economy and placed their own people to raise their crops and tend their herds and they became the least productive food producing country within a matter of three or four years, the length of time it took to replace all the existing farmers, or at least most of them. We already have heard that people want healthcare provided from the government. In our studies of such systems, we have found one which performs adequately and it does so by allowing competitive healthcare facilities and private hospitals and physicians and with the competition for members in the separate plans offered by these companies, quality remains quite high and prices remain relatively low. In the purely one size fits all nations there are prolonged wait times for surgical procedures, cancer treatment, diagnostic tests (the one place the system in our preferred nation could use an upgrade), permission to see a specialist, for physical therapy and so many other items and unlike our preferred nations where private practice is permitted as long as you also provide a set amount of your services in one of the plans, most of the socialized medical systems forbid private practices. What about socialized, government clothing? Everybody gets the same styles from which to choose. China had this at the start of the Mao Zedong rule and it was wonderful seeing all the happy people dressed identically. Let’s face it, there is nothing that the government does better than private providers, with the grave exception of military power, something which any sane people would never entrust to private companies as then the wealthy would have too much power.

 

School House

School House

 

So, let us talk private schools and see what we can learn. First and foremost, there would be testing which would demand that students meet a minimal level of education in the necessities such as reading, writing, arithmetic, history, civics, sciences and even physical training for a level of fitness. The way these schools would be largely financed would be by having the monies currently spent on education divided by the numbers of students and the money would go to each school with each student. This would set a level of tuition which the most basic schools would charge with specialized schools potentially charging a higher tuition. Special needs education students would receive an additional amount divided from the current additional expenditures on a per student rate as the general education funds were divided. The general education schools could also provide specialization with the level required in the other subjects still requiring to be met. With private schools, the better schools would receive more students and be able to fill classroom sizes which could be regulated such that class sizes could not exceed a set figure, probably thirty or less as per regulations in each state. The states could be placed back as the primary sculptures of their school systems through their specific requirements. It would make sense for schools in central Nebraska to be more oriented to farming and such technologies while schools in the major cities would have less of an emphasis in these areas. Such decisions are best left to the individual states and counties, as they understand the requirements of their communities far better than would any bureaucrat in Washington D.C., where the current curriculums are mostly regulated. The testing regimens could be set at a level desired as minimal acceptable requirements from Washington D.C. but the specific requirements should be left to the individual states to determine any additional emphases. The better schools would survive and spread as their reputations spread and those whose level of proficiency was of a lesser quality would soon go out of business. Another advantage of such a system is that these schools would be answerable to the parents and far more approachable than the current public education systems which in many instances have virtually no means for parents to have any measurable influence. Teachers also would be rated individually and as such be more inclined to add to their education and become more qualified as well as staying up to date on the latest changes to their subject matter. We know that most of these reasons are an anathema to the teachers’ unions; who once a teacher gets tenure, they can coast along with no fear of being removed from their position. Further, the teachers’ unions in the majority of instances have become political influence peddlers and less education monitors. Their main interest is the continuation of schools as is and bigger salaries, less required class time, more specialized advisors, more counselors, administrative positions and a myriad of items with little if any influence on the level of education provided.

 

The argument is that schools would not be provided to remote regions such as low density farming communities or to many central areas in major cities where there are problematic reasons for low performance and other scare tactics. The city argument is ridiculous, as the students in these areas would take with them a premium fiscal incentive to provide education. This alone would be a great incentive as money talks. The arguments that in some areas the schools would choose not to admit troubled youths could be remediated by providing an additional scale for payment for schools taking any youth who had been expelled from another school. These children could be considered to be youths with special needs. Such schools should be given some additional leniency concerning their maintaining order in their classrooms. Further, an allowance might be made to have law enforcement officers stationed at these schools which would tend to blunt any precocious student deciding that they were permitted to have a violent outburst. Further, the schools would be responsible for student safety and in preventing the kind of incidents which have become all too common in schools. These incidents have occurred despite the availability of psychologists and other professionals placed in schools who are supposed to see such problems before they occur and not to provide the reasons why such events take place after the fact. With schools free to accept and expel, the environment in the classroom will become more conducive to learning, a major plus. One of the greatest problems in discipline was when because of costs, reform schools were dropped and new age approaches of placing discipline problem students into normal regimens in the claim that such an environment would prevent their acting out, and this was applied even to students who it was known had violent tendencies. Some schools may even provide special programs for just such students where a more regimented system where outbursts are not tolerated and other older tried and true methods applied to such students. Not everything is better just because it is a new approach; sometimes the old-school approach is more effective. Most difficulties would have applications which, as long as there is a need, there will be somebody to fill the niche, often at a price.

 

Schools could once more offer a series of hands-on job training giving student a skill which they could become licensed and qualified for apprenticeships or trade school certificate which would create graduates who could take any of the myriad of unfilled positions in what we derogatorily refer to as manual labor. There is nothing wrong with making a living using hands-on skills such as carpentry, plumbing, roofing, electronics repair or any of the many other skilled professions. We must refer to them as skilled professions and as an alternate route for those who choose to create actual physical objects which create the houses, malls and other structures or that repair medical equipment and other electronic items or even factory work with assembly, calibration and testing. Below is Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe in a suit speaking at the Independent Women’s Forum where he was awarded the Gentleman of Distinction award speaking about the growing gap of jobs which need filling which do not require a college education and the burdensome debt which comes with it. We also can bet that when they make education free for everyone, these free educational opportunities will exclude the menial positions, the way the elites in the ivory towers refer to those of us who perform the jobs which keep their worlds running smoothly with plenty of items produced by people without a college education. The stigma placed on these honorable professions is really doing our children a disservice as instead of running up a debt to gain a degree a youth could apprentice in a profession or even go to Caterpillar’s free school too become a heavy equipment operator and where they will place you in a job near whatever city you desire. For the professionals out there with the six-figure incomes, a heavy equipment operator after four years on the job which includes the first year with Caterpillar will match your six-figure salary working near New York or other major metropolis.

 

 

Many parents argument for why they are unable to place their children into a private educational facility is cost. For those who claim that their children are their most precious darlings of their lives, to them we simply ask, are such darlings not worth a small outlay of funds beyond what the government provides for worthwhile to provide the best for them? With the government outlays per student now given to the child to take with them, the cost of that private school may just have come within the reach of many such a parent, and would that not be worthwhile for them to finally be able to place their children in the schools they desire? The answer to both questions should be a resounding, “yes,” and is another reason privatizing education is something whose time has come. What will happen to all those educators currently in the public school system? Well, they will be able to find jobs with these private schools which will start to appear almost like weeds once they know that the money is there. Competition will keep the prices in check and competition will provide the best teachers receiving the higher salaries. Can you imagine teachers being given raises commensurate with the results of the education they provide the children and the decorum they manage in their classes? Schools will retain their best teachers and slowly weed out those whose methods and results prove to be less than expected. Those who are back to thinking that private schools would be a horrific idea, would you also desire government grocery stores and government clothing stores along with your government education system. Education is a lot like the weather, so many people complain about it but nobody does anything about it. Maybe the time has come to try something different. As Einstein was reputed to have said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” The reality is that the United States had private education for much of its history and the argument for public education was made to provide every student with an equal education which followed the prescribed curriculum such that the workforce would have a standard upon which they could depend. Many of the current results from the government run schools lays lie to such result, as many school systems no longer provide equal education in their schools or even an adequate level of education. Colleges at all levels are finding that they are required to provide remedial education in the most basic subjects without credit for incoming students often adding another year to their time required to graduate. What does this tell you about the level of education the average student are receiving in government schools; perhaps we should try something else and see how it turns out. We would love to see a state decide to try private education taking whatever Federal money they receive and taking the money they provide and dividing it into a per student amount. They could even sell off their school buildings to any system and making sure that different systems are provided with these facilities thus increasing competition. If any state were permitted to try this as a test case and the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. could permit their control freak tendencies to go into remission just for one state, then that could be the test case and any problems addressed as they are encountered. Imagine if such a test were permitted in, oh let’s pick someplace which would represent the nation as a whole, how about Illinois as it has Chicago plus a fair number of decent sized and small metropolitan regions as well as some rural farming communities thus it just might make a representative test case. Would it be simply unthinkable to Americans to accept private education where they would actually have to make decisions as to their children’s education? They choose the food their children eat, the clothes they wear and almost every other aspect of their life, but education which should be amongst the most important items just has to be trusted to the government. That simply does not make sense and is completely counterintuitive.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 21, 2018

America Can be a Fickle Friend

 

Sometimes we believe that the leadership of Israel is oblivious to signs and signals they should be receiving from the rest of the world. In particular, Israel has this predisposition to see the United States as the perfection of nationhood and a fast friend forever. This is a belief that reaches to almost every corner and the vast majority of individuals throughout the land. At times we have attempted to warn or at least shake these beliefs warning that the United States is not sworn to protect Israel and there is no overriding reason that they have other than electoral politics. Electoral politics in the United States have changed and changed drastically. There were early warnings of what a single election could do when President Jimmy Carter attempted to force Israel into granting the Palestinian Arabs complete sovereignty over all the lands still remaining after Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as part of that peace deal. Fortunately, both Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat refused this demand from President Carter and threatened to complete the deal without him in the picture. President Carter not being in the picture was unacceptable politically, thus he settled for what the two leaders had agreed. Then there has been the record since President Carter left the White House of his constant degrading remarks and efforts against Israel which have led some to think he might have a streak of anti-Semitism. We would offer to settle that posit as positive, Carter definitely has a wide streak of anti-Semitism covering much of what he does concerning Israel.

 

But the warnings were only to get worse. President Clinton had Yasser Arafat visit the White House more than any foreign leader in his eight years as President and pressured Israel mercilessly to give ever more concessions and fortunately, Arafat refused to break from his demand that Israel be destroyed. Fortunately, President Clinton was not willing to go quite that far. Then we had George W. Bush, touted as the greatest friend Israel ever had in the Oval Office, who along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who pressed Israel into the Gaza give-away and the destruction of the lives of nearly ten thousand Israelis, some of whom are still attempting to recover. Moving right along we come to President Obama who presented Iran with the means, the path, the right and the funding to build not just a nuclear device, but to build an entire thermonuclear arsenal and the ballistic missiles and ICBMs on which to place those warheads. President Obama even gave Israel a parting present with a shot aimed at the Israeli heart with UNSC Res. 2334. This resolution would have all but denied any Israeli or Jewish claim to the Temple Mount, the Old City of Jerusalem, Jericho, Hevron, Shechem and the heartlands of Judea and Samaria, the regions where most of the history of the Jewish People unfolded. Yet the Israelis, both within the government and amongst the people continue to believe that the United States is a friend who will never act to harm Israel. We just hope that they are correct and such never comes about, but to bet your future on this is nothing short of foolhardy.

 

Allow us to delve into another act which we believe has done near irreparable harm to Israel and could become life-threatening if not countered immediately. Once upon a time, not all that long ago, Israel had developed a war-plane which she had almost begun production. Along came the United States who noted, ‘Hey, our friend, Israel, we have an aircraft very much like yours. How about we sell you ours and you scrap yours?’ Israel pointed out that theirs had a longer range, was slightly better at the kind of activities Israel required. The United States did not give up as they really did not desire this Israeli plane competing for sales in the arms markets, so they offered, ‘Tell you what, we will throw in an equal number of our other aircraft and then you will have even more planes and abilities. We will even guarantee you, Presidential promise, aircraft into eternity giving you air superiority.’ Well, who could turn down twice the planes and an eternal guarantee?’ The problem is when you tell Israel and the Jews it is an eternal guarantee, we think in terns of thousands of years and the United States not quite two-hundred-fifty years old, how do they know of eternity. So Israel received her F-16s and F-15s and now the F35s but was refused the F22s despite the fact that the United States has provided Saudi Arabia and other Arab neighbors F35s which kind of ruins that promise of guaranteed air superiority which the F22s would have provided. Granted, the versions of these aircraft all carry the version letter ‘I’ as the Israeli versions all have modifications which are secret (really) which allows the claim that they provide air superiority. The war-plane Israel had designed and scrapped was called the Lavi and was a beautiful aircraft to look at as well as having uncontested abilities (see picture below).

 

Lavi the Lost Dream

Lavi the Lost Dream

 

We have previously stated much of this in our previous article How Bad do Americans Want to be First in Space?, but we have no problem repeating ourselves. Oh, you’ve noticed. Well, at least that’s settled. The first thing is that Israel must no longer outsource any part of her defense industry. No more reliance on Germany for submarines, United States for aircraft, and whomever for Littoral ships. Should any one of the nations providing Israel with necessary and vital military equipment decide to no longer provide their military equipment, then there could be a dangerous and difficult to repair hole in the IDF and their war fighting capability. We will concentrate for our example on aircraft. What would Israel be able to do if in ten to twelve years, when the next generation of fighter aircraft with whatever the latest marvel designed into it becomes available, when Israel turns to the United States to purchase these marvels and the answer is not to sell them to Israel because Israel is so difficult to deal with. These aircraft are not exactly designed in a few weekends on the side, they take a few years to imagine and another couple to design and still longer to build. Basically, what it comes down to is that if Israel desires to be prepared for such an unpleasant surprise, she needs to begin working on this immediately. This is something which is of vital national defense priority level issue which likely has not even reached the debate stage. There is another reason that Israel should plan on designing her future aircraft, and it has little to do with whether or not the United States will continue providing her with aircraft, it has to do with national pride and independence from foreign influence, which can only come with defense and financial independence and not having to rely on any other nation.

 

Israel also is a sizeable recipient of United States foreign aid monies. This causes some discontent amongst American citizens who claim that Israel can afford to care for herself and the United States can use the three billion dollars or there abouts better at home. Surprisingly, this argument is not made concerning Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, South Korea and the rest. Below we have a pair of graphs, the top being Israeli GDP which will come into play, and the bottom is United States aid to Israel by year. Looking at the aid to Israel graph there is one unmistakable but unavoidable as well as remarkably obvious thing, real aid to Israel did not come into play until around the early 1970s. What is interesting about that is this was about the same time as Israel was granted a deal providing Israel would remove herself from making fighter aircraft. This has permitted the United States to have one less competent aircraft manufacturing nation which is technologically advanced and could have built aircraft which might, and probably would, have sold for less and been decent rivals to any American aircraft. This means that one would have to take into consideration how much influence the United States would have lost and sales they might have missed if Israel had built the Lavi and gone on developing even more advanced stealth aircraft and beyond. The other obvious item is that the aid has leveled out for the last thirty years plus at approximately three-billion dollars. Back in the early 1970s, Israel needed the aid money, as what the United States provided was almost equal to the Israeli GDP. Today, well, not so much as Israeli GDP means that the United States aid to Israel is but around 3.5% of her GDP. Should Israel decide to present the United States with the following deal, one can only wonder how it would play in the media. The deal is that the United States can keep its money except for providing parts as agreed for the aircraft Israel has purchased or received (simply terminological difference), then Israel would be freed to start to manufacture their own fighter aircraft and other military aircraft as they desire or see fit. Let us try and imagine the response in the media as that might be amusing.

 

 

United States Aid to Israel

United States Aid to Israel;
Note the lack of aid until Israel agreed to not produce a better F-16 style fighter jet in 1971

 

We imagine the initial reaction to be shock, disbelief and many claiming that Israel was making a huge mistake. This would be true in both national news media. The Israel Prime Minister would be recommended for psychiatric evaluation by Haaretz and others might actually agree. The American President would be pilloried by the pro-Israel lobby and given acclaim by the alt-right and far left (unless a republican and then omit far left). Congress would immediately pass dozens of legislations which would spend the three-billion dollars ten times over. Eventually, the truth of the full effect of this move would become apparent. What would the United States gain, three-billion dollars a year, a mere 10% of the annual budget and likely a mere 5% by the time this occurs. What would the United States lose, the technological alterations which Israel makes for her aircraft some of which the United States adopts in their next series, a direct line to all Israeli anti-missile software and hardware such as the Iron Dome System which has already been utilized to update and improve the Patriot Systems, a real war zone test facility as Israel was the test base for United States aircraft in an actual combat situation and numerous other items on the periphery. What would Israel lose, three-billion dollars per year, a mere 3.5% of GDP and having her aircraft designed by the United States. What would Israel gain is a whole series of what would result in wonderful things. Israel would now need to design her own aircraft, build her own aircraft and maintain her own aircraft. This would mean some very nice high-end engineering jobs and the opening of a complete new line of engineering in which jobs would be available in Israel. There would go along software design jobs and soon thereafter manufacturing jobs, and these would be well paying manufacturing jobs. This would add to the GDP lessening the impact of the lost funding from the United States, as taxes would be collected all along these new job paths. More jobs in high paying fields and well paying manufacturing jobs leads to more retail jobs, restaurant and virtually every area gains when there are more workers receiving higher paychecks. Israel would also have entry into the lucrative fighter aircraft market, the exact market which led to Israel being dependent on the United States for her aircraft. In the end, the Israeli Prime Minister would be lauded as having been a man of vision and might even ride such approval to a whole decade as Prime Minister. These are the risky kinds of bold steps which make or break people’s political careers and can make their legacy. Imagine what kind of aircraft Israel might produce with stealth so good we cannot show you a picture because it is invisible. Well, we can dream and joke, but really, what would Israel design.

 

Going along that path, we have an idea of what Israel would design as a sixth-generation fighter aircraft. The aircraft would be one third smaller than current fighter aircraft and have five times the missile carrying potential all in hidden pop-out and fire compartments. Believe it or not, it would have guns with tens of thousands of rounds which would fire at the target designated by the pilot automatically computing best-shot probabilities. The plane would easily be capable of thirty-G and maybe forty-G turns with no ill effect on the pilot, because the pilot is not in the aircraft. These stealthy aircraft would be remotely flown leaving more room for fuel and armaments and requiring less protection as there is no pilot so no armored cockpit. The plane would be controlled by a wideband light source with each plane responding only to its own frequency and coded sync pulse. Should longer-range missions be necessary, there could be a limited number of piloted versions or a special aircraft could carry numerous control pilots and fly miles behind keeping a squad of the fighters for its protection while the rest carry out missions. They could be given missions which could be flown completely without human input once the aircraft took off just as Tomahawk cruise missiles are fired except this aircraft returns after the mission. Using friend-or-foe identification, these aircraft could fly intercept missions to prevent incoming aircraft from invading Israeli airspace flying completely autonomously. Any aircraft Israel designs will have other ramifications such as development of materials and systems which could make cars safer including self-driving vehicles. This type of manufacturing might even lead to an Israeli car manufacturer who could make one limited edition high-end sports car as well as some mass produced family and midrange priced vehicles. Perhaps Israel will make the breakout for an electrically powered vehicle which charges more rapidly with sufficient range to cover all of Israel on a single charge or they could also provide charging stations spaced strategically around Israel and sell the charging systems to nations interested in the vehicle. Starting with producing an all-Israeli fighter aircraft could lead to an all-Israeli Littoral class warships and an all-Israeli submarine.

 

Why stop there? Israel could build herself a spaceport (see map with our projected site below) and join the space race. Rockets are something Israel has already developed, but she does not have a heavy lift launch craft for developing a manned space program. A spaceport, some would claim, makes too much of a high-profile target for terrorist attacks. Oh, and the Dimona reactor and the twin nuclear power stations in Haifa as well as every flight in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport are exactly what? Let’s face it, all of Israel is a high value target with the most precious being her people. Israel has announced that their nonprofit SpaceIL and the government-owned corporation Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) aim to launch a robotic lunar landing mission atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida this December. How much more pride would there be if instead of atop a foreign company’s rocket from a launch site in the United States it read from atop an Israel designed and manufactured rocket from the spaceport south of Beersheva. There would be Israelis gathering at a safe distance to watch such a launch and those unable to get there would be glued to the television sets. This would be something over which almost every Israeli would get excited. Additionally, if there was the foresight to make the spaceport with multiple launch facilities and an adjacent special runway which could land any plane carrying parts from other countries, Israel could enter into the space launch business. The different gantries could each be tailored in such a way as to fit any requirements. There could be an additional area which would be flat and very solid where those self-landing reusable booster first stages could touch down safely away from anything of value, just in case. One can never be too safe. Israel might even place a second international airport fairly close to the spaceport such that in the future there could be travel to Israel for space tourism.

 

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

 

Back from dreaming and to the more immediate. Israel needs to plan for a future where the United States either cannot or chooses not to provide any form of aid and denies Israel purchase of her aircraft. As stated above, this is something which requires planning well ahead of the event. The problem we see is the growing number of extreme left politicians and some mainstream liberal politicians who have an adversarial relationship concerning Israel. The numbers of anti-Israel, and in too many cases also anti-Semites, politicians come from both parties with the Democrat side having Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders, Steve Cohen, Gerald Connolly, John Yarmuth, Tammy Baldwin, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Michael Capuano, Andre Carson, William Lacy Clay, Emanuel Cleaver, John Conyers, Danny Davis, Peter DeFazio, Rosa DeLauro, John Dingell, Donna Edwards, Anna Eshoo, Luis Gutierrez, Martin Heinrich, Jesse Jackson Jr, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Betty McCollum, Jim McDermott, James Moran, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Charles Rangel, Laura Richardson, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Pete Stark, Nydia Velazquez, Chris Van Hollen, Henry Waxman as well as these on the Republican side including Steve West, Arthur Jones, John Fitzgerald, Corey Stewart, Bill Fawell. Oh, wait, we left out the newest darling of the Democrat Party from New York who believes Israel is a problem but we have doubts that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could even find Israel on a globe even now after a month of heavy duty coaching.

 

The reality is there is still more than enough anti-Semitism, anti-Israeli and anti-Zionists living on the right, mostly the far right or alt-right almost all of which, while many may support President Trump, the President does not share their hatreds but on the left, specifically the far left and the new-leftist socialist supporters there is an even larger and growing group who fit into this classification. Those on the left are more of a problem than those on the right as the right and alt-right anti-Semites, who oppose all things Jewish including Israel, are an isolated group who represent a small and very slowly growing group who are nowhere near becoming a political movement. The new-leftists, leftist socialists, and far leftists are far more of a problem because they are the future of the Democrat Party and, as much as it pains us to say this, they are the future of the United States. The education system is spitting out these programmed youth with ideas right out of Bernie Sanders early campaign points. Free everything for everyone, including but not limited to medical care, education, food, housing, guaranteed employment and a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage. The rich or the government will pay for all these free things because the rich and especially the government have a never-ending supply of money and the rich got their money by cheating the poor out of their rightful money. These are the youth vote which, should they become excited about a candidate, when garnered can put somebody into the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. These are the voters who more often tend to not remember or not care enough to vote. That was then and now many of these youth are being politicized by the education system and made to feel disenfranchised as well as energized to elect those who support the same things their teacher taught them about how socialism is the best system and free things is how it should be. These are the voters who in a dozen years will rule the roost and will be choosing who runs the United States. This means that Israel had better awaken to a future without United States aid and weaponry and having to depend upon her own people and resources. That is the challenge for Israel, the challenge for the United States is to survive and do that which is best for them, and if that places Israel out in the cold, so to speak, then Israel will adapt.

 

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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