Beyond the Cusp

June 21, 2019

Meeting Rafi Peretz

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:54 AM
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My regular readers know that we really like Rafi Peretz, the current leader of Jewish Home and likely to lead the United Right depending on future negotiations between the various parties with similar interests. We obviously support Rafi Peretz for even to hope that once the people of Israel meet this remarkable man, he will increase the importance of the Zionist movement for both religious and secular as we believe he would not reject anybody who honestly loves Israel as he does. I have also reported that I am a member of the Jewish Home Central Committee. We feel assured that it is not giving away any secrets as the news likely reported on our decision to support the same election agreements both for the party and the coalition should it be reestablished which is likely. The rumors about the move to place Ayelet Shaked at the top of a combined list should the New Right also join the United Right with one place claiming improbably that she was intending to join as an independent candidate leaving the New Right partner Naftali Bennett behind. Where we might see opportunity should Shaked and Bennett split up their long-term apparent agreement, this would also pose some interesting future decisions.

 

I would like to give my impressions of Rafi Peretz whom I was fortunate to meet running into him, almost literally, on my way into the Central Committee meeting and once more before leaving the event. I was given the good fortune of spending some time in conversations with him. I also met Ben Dahan who was hurrying, so was not able to get a good read of the man and as the interaction was so abbreviated that I feel that any commentary about him would be unfair to our readers and to him. To give a review of the meeting, to put it simply, it was as bland as expected. There were the regular speeches by a few of the officers, a reading of the new business, the vote, Rafi Peretz gave the closing address and then everyone descended from the seats to meet Rafi Peretz. I went to the stage and this was where I met Ben Dahan where I thanked him and told him it was his articles amongst other items which persuaded us to become members of the Jewish Home Party; but that is a tale for, well, never, it would be boring. We can add that the trip down and back was a pair of adventures as initially the trains were not running from Nahariya; so it was necessary to take a bus to get to the train one station south. Coming home I managed to be dropped off at a different station than the one I used on arriving, which claimed that my train would be on track 1 which was closed and there were almost no workers at this station that I could ask. I got home and this is how the story ends. So, first an obligatory picture of myself with Rafi Peretz on our way right before exiting the building.

 

Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz and I

Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz and I

 

Rafi Peretz is a man with a very interesting past. When he took over the Jewish Home Party after Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked decided to leave Jewish Home, we did some research on him reading many of the articles. General (ret), Rabbi Rafi Peretz entered the IDF and flew combat helicopters initially and by the time he retired as a Brigadier General he was serving as the Chief Rabbi of the IDF. If such a life of a man going from attack helicopters on to become the Chief Rabbi is not the basis for a novel which then would become a movie, then perhaps what he has done since leaving the IDF would allow this to qualify. Rabbi Peretz formed a Yeshiva in the Gaza region when, in August 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon executed the Gaza withdrawal removing all Israeli presence down to reinterring the dead and erasing all record of their presence being left behind other than usable buildings and the million-dollar greenhouses. Rabbi Rafi Peretz was undeterred and restarted his Yeshiva in the Shomron. Rabbi Peretz is a man who obviously is not easily deterred and a person who intends to complete anything he agrees to undertake. He has stated that he intends to remain at the top position in the United Right coalition though he will gladly accept others who wish to enter in a reasonable manner. These are personal ideas of BTC and not official Jewish Home positions, a necessary disclaimer.

 

My meetings with Rabbi Rafi Peretz were unbelievably pleasant and he was a very personable person. He does not come across as most political people we have met, and since we ran a campaign for the United States Congress for the Eighth District in Maryland, we met two up close and personal as we debated a number of times and appeared at numerous of the same locations. Further, growing up in Washington D.C. area, I also have met any number of politicians sometimes as customers of a store I managed or in public casually as well at events. Of all the politicians I have had opportunities to meet, very few felt as real, honest and personally involved and interested in those around them. Chairman Peretz is warm and willing to do all the things which make people feel comfortable and is willing to talk and exchange with others as equals. I am not going to reveal our discussions or any of the points but he was patient and willing to go the extra yard. He willingly waited to meet everyone who waited to talk with him without hurrying away despite the meeting going fairly late. You understand, some of the speakers took full use of the microphone. The fact is that he had no entourage which many politicians use as a means of avoiding having to be approached by too many people on their way out the door. I understand that as a Central Committee member, I do get a special situational advantage for bending the Chairman of the Party’s ear. Still, my impression is that Chairman, Rabbi Peretz would spend the time to listen and give the proper time and respect to the people who wished to approach him with questions or simply to get a measure of the man. My belief is that we need to get him out and before as many Israelis we can emphasizing towards our base. This includes any Zionist, religious Zionists or Secular Zionists and those between. Rafi Peretz could become a future leader of the State of Israel and she would be in caring and strong hands. Any man who has performed with excellence as a combat helicopter pilot, then becoming the IDF Chief Rabbi, founding a Yeshiva and having it pulled from under him by the Gaza withdrawal forcing him to make a difficult decision in which he took his students out of Gaza orderly and without attacking the IDF troops, reforming his Yeshiva and finally answering the call to restore order to the Jewish Home Party in our hour of need; can return respectability and decorum to the leadership of the party. If Prime Minister were a directly elected position where the different party leaders competed in a two round election where the top three from the initial where all the party coalitions were included and, if none received over fifty percent then a final competition between the top two, he would have a very presentable chance of winning. But Israel has the system they desired, or at least what was decided back at the beginning of the nation. Israel could be placed in worse hands than those of Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz, retired Brigadier General, Yeshiva Rabbi, IDF Chief Rabbi and beginning as a combat helicopter pilot. I would also like to thank him for his kindness in our interactions.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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June 18, 2019

Election Roller-Coaster Taking Abrupt Turns

 

There have been a few spins and fast turns of late. Some revealed opportunism while others clarified the politics of others. Some were potentially expected and known while others leave one scratching their head as two leaders of one party appear to be heading for different goals. There are some facing an upwards climb in order to remain at the top while others see them simply dancing on in and taking whatever position they desire making any demand they wish. Some of the above may be hyperbole, but it has been a fun and interesting ride this past week leaving much to ponder. Where it will all fall out is anybody’s guess. Likud still expects to form the next coalition and the United Right plans on retaining what they fought over so desperately to put together. Blue White Party is working on damage control on two fronts. First, they are seeking to tone down the anti-Haredi messages and are requesting that Yair Lapid not be so out front and take a quiet seat allowing the all-knowing generals to lead. This is their, as one writer put it, “Rolling out the Generals.” This was a left-wing tactic which has been used before with the most memorable being Ehud Barak, who as having been a general would know every right move. Well, that one did not pan out as prescribed in the campaign and he was soon voted out of politics, then in, then out again and so on. One person not toning down the we give the Haredi too much so it is time for them to serve in greater number in the IDF is Avigdor Lieberman, who has created his own loop-de-loop, more on this later.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

Let’s start with Likud, the party expecting to put Bibi Netanyahu back in as Prime Minister. The reality is that they are very likely correct in their supposition unless the unexpected should befall us. Please do not take this as supporting Bibi Netanyahu. What must be granted is that Bibi Netanyahu has fulfilled the expectations that he invented himself. He has made the Likud believe that only he as their leader can lead Israel safely. This has allowed the Likud Party to remain as the mainstay of right-wing political expectations and prevented any mass exodus supporting anyone else. Bibi Netanyahu has also seen to the fact that nobody within the party is permitted to challenge his position. Those who do are often politically decimated or given a position which removes them from contention but also is such that one would be insane to refuse the appointment. This has led to Bibi Netanyahu leading his party for an unprecedented amount of time and as his party is the most prominent on the right, he will be the longest serving Prime Minister in Israeli history and will remain as such for the foreseeable future as his accomplishments politically are unprecedented in a democracy. Netanyahu will remain as the Israeli Prime Minister into the future until he, or Sarah Netanyahu, decide that it is time for him to retire and probably seek the position as President, something he is very likely to be given.

 

Meanwhile, there has been a call for a unity government with Likud Joining the Blue White Party along with the rest of the left-wing parties including Yisroel Beiteinu, where we are to expect their leader, Avigdor Lieberman, to be given the Ministry of Defense. This call was made by Avigdor Lieberman who was responsible partially, if not largely responsible, for the collapse of the last Knesset coalition. Lieberman has been suspected of socialist leanings and only joining right-wing coalitions simply to receive those guarantees of positions and monetary support for the Russian immigrants he represents. He is doing exactly that which party members expect, he is supporting the interests of his members. His problem is that his constituents are slowly decreasing as a percentage of the voting population. Avigdor Lieberman knows that any renowned achievements he might still be able to make have to come sooner rather than later as he might not have a later politically. One thing we know is that he desperately wants to be given the Ministry of Defense as from there he believes he can force Haredi into serving in the IDF. What is not being noticed by the media and others when covering Lieberman and this issue is that the Haredi are entering the IDF and National Service in record numbers without anybody pressing the issue. Reality is that the more the Haredim are pressured, the stiffer and more widespread their resistance becomes. Simply leave things to progress naturally and there will be little difference between the Haredi and the rest of the population when it comes to IDF and National Service entrants. People are very much a liquid of some unknown sort which will naturally flow more easily than being pushed which is immediately pressed back against and resisted. The Haredim entering the rest of society when it comes to working, IDF service and National Service volunteering, will probably be more easily attained the less aggressively it is pressed upon them. Sometimes, simply leaving it all up to Hashem and the problems often cure themselves. If only the entire world would take that very same approach.

 

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett

 

Now allow us to discuss the variations for the future of the New Right Party. This was the effort by Naftali Bennett for him to establish a secular and accepting of religious Zionist party. His efforts appeared to many to be as if he was forming a party which would be Likud Lite, the slender and more flexible Likud which would annex most of the major settlement communities in the Shomron. They formed this party by taking the top two people and another of the Ministers from the Jewish Home Party leaving their former party lurching as it sought new leadership. The New Right rocketed immediately to twelve to as much as fourteen mandates in polling. We warned people that this was not going to last and their future would be better invested in remaining with Jewish Home. We were almost universally ignored. Well, Jewish Home anchored a three-party coalition and cleared threshold comfortably while the New Right floundered and failed to reach threshold by the slimmest of margins. Now at one extreme we have Ayelet Shaked, or at least people claiming to represent her, making moves to bring the New Right into the United Right providing that they replace Rafi Peretz at the top of the ticket with Ayelet Shaked. This has not sat well with Rafi Peretz who after being wrestled from retirement with little desire if any to enter politics into leading Jewish Home and their rebuilding after Bennett and Shaked bolted to form their own party. Now that he has taken over this responsibility, the retired General, former Chief Rabbi of the IDF and combat helicopter pilot, he is not the type to leave a job half finished. Rafi Peretz has stated that he intends to remain as the head of the United Right. But wait, there’s more.

 

At the same time there have been reports that Naftali Bennett has been trying to attract Moshe Feiglin to form a coalition of his Zehut Party with the New Right as the almost two mandates which Zehut received would easily put the New Right over the threshold to enter the Knesset. This begs the question as to how one party will be capable of making deals with two separate parties. Perhaps there is some trouble brewing in the New Right leadership. They have apparently forgotten rule one of a partnership, communication. Then there is the other possibility; they may have decided to attempt separate paths taking whichever one proves to show the most promise. In the interests of Zehut, the offer by the New Right would guarantee Moshe Feiglin making his way into the Knesset without having to compromise on any positions as they would go their separate way after the election. This might not work as well for Moshe Feiglin should there be a greater coalition of the United Right including both the New Right and Zehut which might gain the United Right an additional five or possibly as many as seven additional mandates and allow for Likud and the United Right along with the Haredi Parties, potentially they might be able to choose only one of the Haredi Parties forming a coalition without any need for Avigdor Lieberman. This possibility of a right-wing and Haredi coalition without Yisroel Beiteinu being required to clear the sixty-one mandates to form a coalition. This would be the intrigue of the pre-election machinations except for the one known, the real suspense is what ploy will Bibi Netanyahu use in the closing days to agitate and awaken his base and the other question is at whom will Bibi target with his coming emergency, all hands on deck call which we are expecting. Bibi would not let us down, would he?

 

The Labor Party is also running around with much of a frenzied emergency. One of the most successful parties in Israel history and the sole leaders of Israel politics are now facing with the distinct possibility of not clearing threshold for the first time. They are looking both to the right and the Blue White Party and to the left to Meretz Party to find anybody to throw them a life-preserver and help pull them across threshold and back from oblivion. This is one of the major results of the Israel public moving to the right as well as becoming more Zionist and religious. Labor, a secular left-wing party has been left behind. Add in the Blue White Party and the excitement they cause with their four generals and their claim that as generals they are far more suited to lead the nation than Bibi as he never reached such high rank and thus must not be as prepared to face the security threats facing Israel. We predict that Blue White might not be favorable to any approach from Labor Party as it would not provide sufficient number of votes to make the surrender of two or possibly three seats on their party list. Labor and Meretz merging would be a more natural fit and could potentially lead to a permanent merger forming a somewhat stronger far left party. They would bridge the entirety of the left between the Arab lists and the Communist party to the Blue White Party. A Labor Meretz merger would garner them likely two additional seats in the Knesset and is the only means for Labor to guarantee to get anybody into the next government. This has a potential to change in favor for the Labor Party as they are choosing new leadership and with change there is always the possibility of the unexpected.

 

Lastly, one last means of solving the apparent confusion between the two leaders of the New Right, Naftali Bennett who is wooing Zehut and Ayelet Shaked who is making approaches to the United Right and still make Rafi Peretz happy as well. First thing is to set the record straight that Rafi Peretz is and will remain at the top of the United Right with Bezalel Smotrich occupying the second position. Then simply dangle having Ayelet Shaked reappointed to the Justice Ministership as part of their criteria for joining the coalition. This would make many within the parties of the United Right somewhat more motivated, Ayelet Shaked would be receiving something she covets far more than a top slot on the ticket and possibly not becoming Justice Minister to finish her work there and Naftali Bennet could continue to take the remainder of the New Right, those who would not follow Ayelet Shaked, and he could join with Zehut. Making any offer to either Ayelet Shaked or Naftali Bennett after their disgraceful bolting from Jewish Home and almost destroying the party has to be seen as generosity seldom found in politics. The only reason we advise that this is a decent idea is due to the work Shaked has already performed at this post and it would be of benefit to Israel for her to complete her vision. Any further tweaks could be made along the road. The only other item is we bet that this election Bibi Netanyahu emergency get out the vote last minute revelation will target Avigdor Lieberman and might be sufficient to prevent his party from clearing threshold, and providing Bibi with what he believes is justifiable revenge.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 4, 2018

The Democrat Party has a Religion

 

This religion is something rather new and special. The most notable of its elite members include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib who have been all the rage in the news as part of the latest “Year of the Woman” and two are members of the latest surge in leftist politics, the Democratic Socialists. This formerly fringe wing of the Democrat Party also had an impressive showing in state elections. The best known Democratic Socialist used to be Bernie Sanders, but with the success of the youth from the party, you can bet good old Bernie will be tossed onto the trash heap of history while these more newly minted leaders take to the fore. The Democrat Party itself has been slowly but inexorably sliding leftward as was made obvious by the impressive showing of Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primaries for President against Hillary Clinton. There have been claims, never echoed by Senator Bernie Sanders, that Hillary only won the primary election through cheating, slight of hand, party suppression and backroom deals and other shenanigans. Cheating in elections by the Democrats, who could have ever imagined such a thing. What is frightening is that these Democratic Socialists are not the only ones out on the farthest left limb of the political tree, they are joined by stalwarts such as Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Jim McDermott, John Conyers, Sheila Jackson Lee as well as some lesser known names like Kara Eastman, Susan Wild, Scott Wallace, John Fetterman, Jan Schakowsky, Pete Stark, Bob Filner and here are fifteen Senators who voted with Senator Bernie Sanders 95% of the time or greater; Sherrod Brown, John Kerry, Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse, Patrick Leahy, Tom Harkin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Richard Durbin, Jeanne Shaheen, Ben Cardin, Frank Lautenberg, Jeff Merkley, Barbara Mikulski, Roland Burris and Ted Kaufman. These are all members of the Democrat Party in Congress who have bonafides as leftists; those so far to the left they cannot even see any Republican with whom they could share any positions.

 

Not to be outdone, over the years the Republican Party has slid leftwards as well and currently stands for issues more similar to any 1954 Democrat Congressional candidates than to the majority, if not all, of that year’s Republicans running for Congress. The entirety of the United States political structure has moved leftward and by doing so has alienated a large segment of the American people, especially the voters. This is partly why Donald Trump was elected President; he was the closest thing anybody had seen to a true, through and through candidate with core conservative positions. That brought out the vote from large, Yuge even, numbers of true conservatives as they were finally excited by the positions stood for by a candidate for President. What was another reason is they saw a conservative who knew how to fight like a leftist and who did not meekly hide from controversy and gave as good, if not better, than he got. This has infuriated the Democrats and especially their most leftist voters who came out in droves for the midterm elections. All things being even, the election was closer to a draw than a victory for either side. Trump improved his hold on the Senate which will permit his nominations to move forward while the Democrats took back the house which will place stumbling blocks before the President in everything he attempts to do and is also likely to bring charges of Impeachment against the President, charges which will die in the Senate thus they are mostly to satisfy the leftists demands that at least the charges be brought forward.

 

The real problem with those on the far left is that it is no longer a political position, as it has become their religion. Their politics has developed a dogma from which one may not deviate otherwise they will be ostracized and be shown similar dishonor as one would have shown any heretic who had been excommunicated in the Middle Ages. We have discussed how those showing up to the Chicago Dykes March in 2017 flying the Rainbow Flag with a Star of David emblazoned upon it were refused permission to march as they were opposed to BDS and the replacement of Israel with an Arab state, and how the next year at the same march they were again rejected while many marched with the flag of the Palestinian Authority. This leftist religion has as it basic belief structure socialist politics mixed with Secular Humanistic doctrine. They have taken the approved of political policies and intertwined them into one megalithic position which they call Intersectionality. Through this definition, the numerous approved political positions are protected from being denigrated by contamination of those unapproved political positions. Intersectionality rules out any political positions which support Israel even within the Green Line. This was decided by Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez, all supporters of Louis Farrakhan. Part of their refusal to allow anything Israel is anti-Semitism in its finest. Many of those who have adopted the religion of leftist political dogma demand that anyone who has a Jewish background take rabidly anti-Israel and anti-Zionist positions, sometimes requiring that they sign affidavits proclaiming their opposition to all things Israel. There is no other nation anywhere on or off planet Earth where any similar demand is made to refute any support one might have. That makes this entire Intersectionality and leftist positions and the Democratic Socialist wing of the Democrat Party squarely anti-Semitic because of these positions and demands.

 

Those who desire to join the Democratic Socialists and adopt their far leftist doctrine are entering into a quasi-religious order in which many of the membership are watchers who enforce the purity of mind and heart of all members turning upon any who have even a momentary slip and potentially taking a wrong position. They have strict codes of belief and dogma which makes demands that the members place nothing before the positions of their party hierarchy. Everyone is forced to support all the approved positions with the same exuberance as they have for their own most closely held views. They also are required to emote equal hate for every political position which is unapproved by the high priests of the far left. When it comes to President Trump, for him only the greatest rejection and animosity to an extent that they have uncontrolled bouts of antagonism bordering on violence against any television upon which his visage appears. Their religious celebrations are, in many ways, very reminiscent of the “Two Minutes of Hate” George Orwell’s novel 1984 where Emmanuel Goldstein has been replaced by President Trump or Israel; they are of relatively equal evils. Imagine the Intersectionality Temple where one prays through sheer unrestrained and unending spite is heaped upon the mere representation of President Trump placed before the pews. Here is where your true path to acceptance is won. This is where you make your commitment to support only those causes which further the liberation of those selected minorities who have been deemed downtrodden and where you take out the proper revenge against the Christian, white males as they have held power and suppressed all others. Here is where you can vent the purest of rages against the ultimate evil, the double whites, the Jews. This name was derived for the Jews in order to claim that the Jews are in the top one-percent even above the Christian, white males and as such require a special form of hatred.

 

President Trump and Intersectionality’s Two More Years of Hate

President Trump and Intersectionality’s Two More Years of Hate

 

Such revolutionary leftists believe that their positions in politics are always altruistic and truly rewarding for all people. Thus, they become the true elites who are the only people who fully understand all the intricacies which afflict our world allowing for them to claim that they should control all the levers of power and the wealth such that it can then be evenly divided allowing all to benefit. Needless to point out that those whose position allows for them to distribute wealth eventually will decide they require additional funds in order for them to avoid such theft. These self-appointed elites often do not understand why what is occurring is occurring and will make rash judgements eventually striking out at balancing the books. Often, such governance begins to collapse causing panic, as power structures become fluid and the money worthless. This scenario is exactly the one warned about by our functionary elites. The very policies demanded will bring our lives full circle and result in the collapse of the system through, more often than not, mismanagement of money, which is often the cause. Still, there are many a slip between the plate and the lips. Often this is the challenge which the make or break point where a fiscal response is required. Thus, in the end, every society will come down to money and how it is handled. In small unit societies, socialism can and will function quite adequately as everyone knows what job each person does and they will be able to hold each person accountable for completing their tasks. Unfortunately, the best group to have tried socialism only to have it fail were the Pilgrims coming to America from Britain. They initially used a system where everybody assisted with the farming and construction as well as any other jobs that required doing. Everyone shared equally in the food produced and use of the buildings plus having them work on additions to your house. Some people worked more diligently than others and soon they found they were coming up short in food and other material goods. They tried tweaking the system to no avail and finally had to try something drastic. They permitted each farmer the same size plot of land and everyone was to be allowed to retain forty or fifty percent of their grains and crops for their own families. This brought forth a bounty of crops to the level of excess. Human greed is a strong and powerful motivating factor. Anything which attempt to feed greed’s voracious appetite will fail but any system which uses the wants as a motivating and driving factor will succeed beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. But the Social Democrats know that they can employ Socialism correctly and their form, which is no different from that of others, will really produce beyond any capitalist’s dreams. We have heard this sirens song before and found those promises to be empty. The proponents of every world order imagine themselves as the benevolent ruler which is not as wonderful as it first appears, as it does not take into account those leaders who will follow after them. Such altruism is to be enjoyed warily for what the future will hold, but not necessarily a desired working model. Simply look into Jewish history where King David followed by King Solomon and Israel flourished. After that Israel suffered one catastrophe after another eventually leading to the destruction of the Second Temple and being dispersed throughout the Roman Empire and beyond in an attempt to end all belief in Hashem.

 

There are two ways to have governance which will respect the rights of all their citizens and provide the means such that they never stray too far from their ideals. The first is a nation based on a document which seriously reflects the ideal of the American Declaration of Independence and the government is structured based very closely to the American Constitution with the Bill of Rights and every half century the nation strips all the laws from the books, dismisses all the government workers, dissolves all the new departments not included in the initial founding and the nation starts again from scratch. There are new elections and those who held office in the previous half century are barred from returning to government and the same goes for government employees. This prevents the development of some form of governance within the government which is unelected, what is currently called the Deep State. The other is the one described in the Torah where Hashem is the true ruler of the nation and the people follow the Laws from the Torah. Should they decide to appoint or elect a king or other ruler, they would face serious limitations in their ability to gain wealth. Under Torah, those who seek to govern are required to serve the people and depend on the support of the people for their sustenance. In this way, good leaders whose prophesies prove true and beneficial are rewarded and the others find an urgent need to find a different occupation. Here to, there is not supposed to be hierarchal lineages as each King is to be anointed by Hashem and chosen by prophesy. Such governance required a people willing to live the life as defined in Torah with some modifications such as replacing animal sacrifice with providing sustenance for those who tend the Temple in Jerusalem and the people provide for the celebrations of the pilgrimage holidays. A Torah bound society is set around a more simple life but would actually still be a functional form of governance even today. All governments which are the product of human invention will erode from their pure beginnings leading to the problems seen today in much of the developed world where the governance has become bloated and unmanageable leading to government running wild over the rights and against the expectations of the people. There will always be the need for a reset taking the fat and waste out of the government regularly if it is expected to function and truly serve the people.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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