Beyond the Cusp

June 27, 2012

Ancient Israel Time is Finally Coming Due

From the time of Abraham, followed by the miracle of the Exodus and Israel’s leader, the Lawgiver Moses, leading to the beginning of the taking of the Promised Land under Joshua, on to the building of a true nation by King David which led immediately to the building of the Temple by King Solomon, even through the hardships of the Babylon Exile and the near countless conquests by empire after empire from Persia through the Greeks and finally ending less than merciful Roman conquest that lead to the near two thousand years in the wilderness of the Diaspora, a people have been forged who have finally returned to their national home with a unique history intertwined with the experiences from every corner of the world and are finally on the cusp of realizing their true destiny. Now the Children of Israel face likely their most insidious of challenges, economic success with a pampered class of the permanently disgruntled. These children of discontent were on full display with their temper tantrum and extremist displays when the authorities actually refused to allow them the same license to disrupt life in the center of Israel’s cities with a replay of last summer’s tent protests. Their aim is to again protest the unfairness of the society which will not allow them to begin life at the top of the heap replete with all the comforts of their adolescence generously provided by their parents who had reached the pinnacle of long years of diligently toiling at their professions.

This denial of the indignant class to once again set up their disruptive tent cities in the heart of the Israeli hubs of commerce and business marks the beginning of the end of this hijacking of the Jewish faith by the liberal elites of Western civilization. As Jews, we have seen this play out numerous times over our history with likely the most memorable being the Bar Kochba revolt against the Greek Seleucid Empire of Syria in 165 BCE which is celebrated during Chanukah. This revolt was, in reality, more than a simple revolt against the Seleucid Greeks, it also was a battle against those Jews who had adopted a corrupted version of Judaism that knitted Greek culture into its practices and had adopted many of the Greek philosophies and practices. They were referred to as Hellenized Jews and were rejected by their brethren who saw their corruption of Torah and their incorporation of Greek practice into their Judaism as a form of idolatry making their Jewish practices compromised and impure. One of the initial killed was one such Jew when a Jewish priest from Modiin, Mattathias the Hasmonean, started the revolt by thrusting a spear through the Hellenistic Jew who had been willing to bow to idols and then the commander of the Greek soldiers which spurred his five sons and those who answered his call, “Those who are for G0d, follow me!” set upon and killed the squad of soldiers. Hopefully this rejection of the modern Hellenized Jews will not require such violence but will end simply due to a resurgence of traditional Judaism. What makes this even more hopeful is that we are witnessing two completely separate and different series of events within modern Judaism. A recent <a href= target=blank> article reports,</a> “New York’s Jewish population is on the rise after decades of decline. Researchers credit orthodox birthrates. The change was attributed to birthrates in the orthodox Jewish community, particularly in Chassidic circles. Forty percent of New York City Jews now identify as orthodox, up from Thirty-three percent a decade ago. Nearly three out of every four Jewish children in the city are growing up in orthodox families.” Similar results have been evident throughout most Jewish populations, especially within Israel.

This return to traditional Judaism and the sanctification of a people is a necessary prelude to the building of the Holy Temple and a complete return to fulfillment of all of the six-hundred-thirteen Commandments as spelled out in Torah. It is then possible for a new age of humankind to rise up and bless the Earth with peace, understanding, kindness and a mutual respect among the peoples that is written of in most prophetic works. As far as what other occurrences and events will befall humankind and whether these will be pleasant or turmoil depends on the course taken by the nations and the peoples. Looking over human history one would not be condemned for believing that before we attain a Divinely inspired world we will first face some horrific events and calamities. I have always held out hope that humankind will come to realize that more can be accomplished by assisting one another than is accomplished through conflict or chaos. Unfortunately, that Pollyannish worldview is often smashed to pieces simply by reading the daily news stories, but one can always hold out hope. But first it is necessary to work towards satisfying those necessary initial steps before we are able to even begin to work towards building that perfect society which most everyone at least secretly hopes is somewhere in our future. Even if it is beyond our days, we can only pray our children will witness such developments. After all, it is our hope of a better future which is part of why we bother to raise our children giving them our hopes and dreams to pass on until they become reality.

Beyond the Cusp

June 10, 2012

We Need a None of the Above Election Ballot

There are two peculiarities about elections in the United States that have become evident over the years. The first is that less than half of the registered voters often actually vote and approximately half of those eligible to vote actually register. This means that a candidate who receives one fourth of the votes of people eligible to register can win an election. The other is when asked why people did not register, or when registered did not vote; the number one reason is neither, or none, of the candidates were appealing enough to be worth the effort to vote for them. When you figure in the number of people who vote and admit their vote was more of a vote against the other candidate than a vote for the candidate they supported then you see the real problem with politics in the United States. That is the second main problem, the real or perceived dearth of candidates who are worthy or can cause sufficient excitement as to be worth people’s time and efforts to support. For this reason, we would like to suggest a few changes which can be made by each state and with sufficient number of states adopting the None of the Above Over Fifty Percent Law, we could possible make this the method for all elections for any office in the land. Here is how this would work.

The first thing necessary is to make all elections for office require a candidate to receive over fifty percent of the votes cast. Secondly, the ballot would have one extra choice beyond the candidates listed for office which would be “None of the Above” and votes cast for such would count towards the total when figuring the required fifty percent. And, if we could add one last item it would be to simplify ballot access to be a candidate thus making it far easier to qualify for ballot access as the current laws are prohibitive both financially and set the bar almost beyond any possibility to reach. I can attest to this having actually qualified for an election and ended up spending more funds simply to qualify for the ballot than I had to use for the actual campaign. Granted, such a system for elections might also require holding the first ballot earlier in the year, probably the Tuesday after Labor Day in September. Should a ballot have more than two candidates running for office, then the top three vote recipients would then run in another election held one month later at the first Tuesday in October. If none of the three are able to surpass the fifty percent marker, then the top two get to run in another election two weeks later. Once the ballot reaches two candidates and should neither make the fifty percent mark then their parties would select two new candidates and another vote would be held one month later and from then on it would be, as it is sometimes quoted, rinse repeat as necessary. Hopefully we would eventually find a candidate that would receive sufficient support, otherwise that seat would go unfilled until a candidate was found that the people would support.

To make this workable, we would also need to make one adjustment for voting on legislation in any of our legislative bodies where in order for a piece of legislation to win passage it would require over fifty percent of the possible number of representatives possible if all seats were filled. Let’s take the United States House of Representatives as an example. The full House of Representatives has four hundred and thirty five seats. If after an election cycle only two hundred and fifty eight seats were filled while the rest were still going through additional votes in order to have a candidate be elected by a true majority, this situation would not affect the necessary votes required to pass a piece of legislation. Simply put, in order to pass legislation, the bill would require two hundred and eighteen votes in favor no matter the number of Representatives present at any session. Thus, if as in our example there were only two hundred and fifty eight Representatives elected at the start of a Congressional session, then any piece of legislation would still require the two hundred and eighteen votes in favor to pass thus allowing no more than forty votes against or not cast to pass. If thirty seven voted against and four Representatives were absent or abstained, then there would be no possibility for that legislation to pass despite having overwhelming support of those members of the House of Representatives who were currently seated. Such a change would protect those districts who had not found a candidate worthy of over fifty percent voter support. And anyways, would hamstringing government such that it became near impossible for them to pass even more legislation requiring even more regulations and other restrictions on our freedoms really be that bad of a situation?

I would even go as far as favoring a constitutional Amendment that except in cases of extreme emergency where the President had called the congress back for the necessity of the security and function of the country, the Congress would meet from January until the Ides of March (March 15th) every election year. This would restrict them to meeting for two whole months every other year. Under such restrictions, we could even make the positions honorary and only pay our Senators and Representatives a minimal wage set and paid by each state as they see deserved. With such a change we would open the position up to those who truly desire serving the people and not career politicians whose only real desire is to accrue great wealth at the people’s expense. These restrictions would very likely produce Senators and Representatives actually worthy of receiving that true majority vote and make the “None of the Above” vote on the ballot that much less appealing. Currently, I might be voting “None of the Above” on most of my ballots and I sure would like to be voting for a worthy and true public servant instead of these self-serving vermin who seek office currently.

Beyond the Cusp

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