Archive | December, 2012

The Politically-Schizophrenic Obama v. “The Fiscal-Cliff:”

28 Dec

President Barak Hussein Obama of the United States is a charismatic, and a smart politician with extraordinary oratory skills. In spite of his skills, Obama is a mediocre communicator, and a poor leader.
It seems to come easy for President Obama to deal with supporters, but the young American President seems to have a very difficult time when functioning in a hostile environment. President Obama is Politically-Schizophrenic, he often capitulates on important issues at the expense of pragmatic consideration. What can we expect from the most recent “fiscal cliff” negotiations?
Will the real Obama stand up!
President Obama, a capitulator extraordinaire, is also a consummate politician; the two are now on a collision course, how will it turn out!
As the nations, Capitulator in Chief (C.i.C.) President Obama cannot let the fiscal cliff to actually take placed, if that happens too much of his political base could suffer.
As the consummate politician, President Obama’s base would lose faith in the President if he capitulates on raising taxes on the rich.
What to do? What will our [politically] schizophrenic President do?
Since President Obama is known for his ideology over his pragmatism, one may guess that the President would
However, letting the “cliff” occur, his fundamental base, America’s minorities would be the one to suffer and feel the consequences more than anyone else.
The sticking point in this whole confrontation, is one that has the least impact on the real economy, it is: The “millionaire,” tax, or taxes on the rich.
This is where politics become the driving force behind America’s fledgling democracy, this is where the very young (in historical terms) Representative (or, Jeffersonian) Democracy is put to the test. Will the “good of the people,” outweigh political consideration? Would long-term viability overcome petty short-term political consideration?
With a stroke of the pen President Obama can avoid the cliff, but so can the Republican Congress. The sad part is that the singular most contentious item has the least to do with the actual economic recover the is being attempted, it is “taxes on the rich!”
To both parties the taxes von the rich is a symbol of political philosophy. The amount of money in question would not put a dent in the national debt, neither would it deprive the wealthy of their fortunes, but it symbolizes the two parties’ views of the world, views that may damage the United States democracy beyond repair.

“Selective” firearms licensing, versus banning; a way to 2nd amendment compliance:

19 Dec

Selective firearms licensing versus banning; a way to 2nd amendment compliance
Militia, weapons, and the second amendment: The case for licensing [some] arms, versus confiscation
The Swiss, and Israelis have very small standing armed forces, they count on militia, or reserve, if you wish, for protection. Member of the militia are in control and possession at all times.
Members of artillery units do not take cannons home, neither those who drive tanks, or operate large machine-guns, bring their weapons home; the process is control by the practicality of situations on hand.
When the second amendment was written, why did it speak of “well organized milia,” at the same time it spoke of the right of citizens to bear arms? To rational people the two are connected, the right to bear arms by citizens who are a part of the nations organized militias was protected, not just for “the man in the street.
However, let us assume that those who feel that the second amendment applies to all law abiding citizens, the term “arms” must be reviewed. Did that apply to arms available at the time, or was it to include all arms available in the future? Those who wish for guns as means for self defend would argue that by limiting guns to those available in the past would only put them at a disadvantage since the ones who the wish to defend themselves against would have the advantage of advanced weaponry.
Since there are millions guns in hands of American now, confiscation, even only assault weapons, or large capacity magazine would be impossible. An attempt to do so would create such outcry, perhaps even a revolution, that the country could not survive. What is the alternative, one may ask? Licensing is the obvious answer.
One can ban future sales of assault rifles, and high-capacity magazines, but require licenses for present owners of such weapons. Caught with such devices without a license should be subject to severe penalties.
One need to prove that one can drive, and that one can see, before one can acquire a driver’s license. To own a gun one would be required proficiency, to be clear of criminal, or mental record, and to understand the safe use of the gun one wishes to own.
Provisions for those who already own guns, such as pistols, hunting rifles, and the likes, to not require licenses, owners of assault rifles would be required to acquire a license.
The gun issue is a serious issue and must be handled with care. Selective licensing, and “management” of ownership may be the answer, banning and confiscation would unravel such a mess that it could destroy the Republic, or at least cause such a change in its nature that it would not be anything like the country that we now have.

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Gun Licensing, & Resistration: A Goverment imperative!

16 Dec

Public Responsibility versus guns: The case for gun registration, and licensing!
Even though the constitution does not make driving a citizens right, and owning arms is, the fact that both represent potential danger to the public, both must be treated in a similar manner!

There are many interpretations of the second amendment to the United States constitution, mine would suggest that it meant to allow members of [Government] “approved” militias to carry arms that may be required to defend the country. That notwithstanding, let us assume that the second amendment applied to all [law abiding] citizens, did it include artillery pieces (since when the constitution was written, there were no assault rifles, machines guns, or other weapons that were capable many people in a short time?)
The United States constitution was designed to have a country with small government, giving its citizens the rights, and responsibilities to take care of themselves, and function in a manner consistent with integral parts of society. The Government role was to deliver the mail, and protect the populace. Since the country was formed was expanded a great deal, will continue to grow, but must its growth must be checked.
The constitution advocates a great deal of individual freedom, but it ensures that the “right of the many supersede the right of the few.” In other words minorities, of any kind, including individuals, are to have full rights unless said rights conflict with that of the majority. Please note, CONFLICT, not just be different.
Assuming that those who feel that the second amendment is covers all law abiding citizens, how can the Government protect people, such as the children who were shot in December 2012 in their Connecticut elementary school.
Removing assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and fully automatic weapons should not find too much resistance, but other guns pose nearly as much public danger:
Requiring gun owner to register guns should ne no complicated than requiring drivers to acquire driver-licenses. It also suggests that proficiency shooting, safety, and mental competence is reviewed. This no more than drivers who must pass eye sight tests, and prove that they can drive.
There will be right-wing objections and those who suggest that these are the first steps towards confiscating, but protecting “public good” is in question, and is more important than are objections from a small group of zealots.

The Connecticut carnage: An issue of “national morality,” not gun control!

15 Dec

The Connecticut carnage: An issue of “national morality,” not gun control!
What does the Connecticut shooting say about the United States? What does it say to Americans, what does it say to the rest of the world?
Based on the most recent Presidential election one can assume that about 47% of Americans, perhaps more, since out of the 95% of African-Americans, and a significant number of the 70% of Latinos, also believe in the “traditional” G-d. Actual numbers still suggest that more than half of Americans believed in the “traditional G-d,” one must ask, how is that belief reconcilable with the carnage in Connecticut, with the killing of nearly thirty innocent people?
In the last two years, Bashar Assad of Syria slaughtered some 40,000 civilians, including many children, the man caused the slaughter in order to maintain power, and the world, until very recent days , allow him to continue; why?
How can we show outrage at twenty-seven American civilians killed, and ignore 40,000 Syrians? The answer is simply! We, our Government, are responsible to the wellbeing and safety of our own people, and we are bound to do so within the Judeo/Christian tradition that our country is built upon; we are not responsible, although must be concerned about, inhumane, and barbaric acts by rogue sovereigns around the world.
From time to time, I would allow myself to think that Mike Huckabee is a rational person, and then he destroys that vision. Neither G-d, nor religion has anything with an unstable individual’s irrational or even violent acts. If there is a G-d, and if G-d is the Creator of the human race, the fault for having violence would be strictly the responsibility of said G-d.
The recent shooting does bring to question “national morality,” if there is such thing. The “nation” is not a homogeneous entity, it is made up of individuals with different make-ups, views, and sense of morality. Short of Government imposed control of what individual should be allowed, and what individual should not be allowed “on the street,” one must count on morality to be taught at home, in schools, and by “the country.”
Gun control is not the answer! Adam Lanza’s guns were acquired legally, yet this most gruesome act followed.
In part, Government morality, and assumption of responsibility, may help improve the situation. Yesterday there was talk of releasing a very damning report on “torture,” by the Government. When it is released, based on what is now known, the people responsible, regardless of how high in Government they may be, should be punished. Government should demonstrate that in these United States immoral acts are not tolerated, schools and homes should follow; such behavior may help, let us all hope!
The aftermath of the shooting in Connecticut should not be silence! The United States of America should use the opportunity to bring to the forefront the need for supporting moral behavior, be it here, or anyplace on the Globe! We must assume responsibility for our actions, demonstrate resolve to live a moral life, and do our best to make all others to do the same.

Palestinians: “Virtual-victims,” through effective propaganda!

13 Dec

Palestinians: “Virtual-victims,” through effective propaganda!
In the year nineteen thousand and forty eight (1948,) Five formidable Arab armies vowed to destroy the newly established State of Israel. Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan Syria, and Iraq which does not even have a common border with Israel, informed Arab inhabitants of the territory of their intent to destroy Israel, to “drive the Jews into the sea,” and that those Arabs living in the are must leave, only to be able to return in a short few days to reclaim what their’s plus the much better cultivated Jewish land. The attacking Arab armies also had help, in money, weaponry, and volunteers from Libya, and the Gulf States.
Representing many hundreds of millions of people, the Arab nations were defeated by the tiny, just established State of Israel, a country with a Jewish population of just about one million people. The Jews who fought for their country were ill equipped, outnumbered, and poorly trained; many were just newly arrived refugees from Europe, many from the Soviet Union. The Israel Defense Force (IDF,) now known around the world as an elite military entity was a disgrace by all military yardsticks that one may wish to apply, but it soundly defeated the highly trained and well-equipped Arab armies.
The loss of its attempt to uproot the Jewish State marked the beginning of present day “Palestinian” refugee problem, a problem, that through effective Arab propaganda, “the world” learned to blame on Israel, while in reality it was created by the Arab nations of the region.
One can discuss the following attempts by Arab nations to destroy Israel, numerous terrorist attacks by Arabs against the State of Israel, but all these are generally known facts.
The issue of Arab refugees is multi-faceted; the Arab nations who created the problem, in spite of being oil-rich are not willing to absorb refugees into their societies. In addition, many of those who left the land are still clinging to the hope that they can get it back, as the Arab leadership has been promising them for many years.
Those Arabs who elected to remain in Israel, in large part are will accepted and have a high quality of life, higher in general than that of many Israelis. There are Arabs in Tel-Aviv/Jaffa, Akko/Haifa, Jerusalem, and numerous Arab villages across the land where one can witness affluence, beautiful mosques, and a very satisfied population.
Moving on to Gaza. The world press would make one believe that Gaza is an overpopulated refugee camp; it is not. Gaza is a booming sea side city with a population density less than any major US city, smaller than that of Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, or Haifa in Israel…The “victims,” in Gaza, if there are any, are those peopled that Hamas, the governing body of Gaza, often uses as human shields. Short of Hamas mission to de4stroy Israel that causes retaliation from Israel, from time to time, people in Gaza are privileged to live in a beautiful seaside city with all the amenities the world has to offer. No, the people of Gaza are not VICTIMS of Israel, they are a part of a thriving community, but one that elected a terrorist group as it leaders, and from time to time must pay the penalty for that choice,
Unlike any other time in history, the Jewish State returned land it captured in defending itself in order to acquire peace. Israel, for example, returned the oil-rich Sinai to Egypt, for years it lived by the motto: “Land for peace,” but that did not detract its enemies, most Islamic nations of the world, who are still determined to destroy it, Fatah (which is, indeed, the Palestinian Authority, now “Palestine,”) Hamas (another part of “Palestine,”) and Hezbollah all have provision in their charters calling for the destruction of Israel; who is the victim here?
When I sit here in the apartment that we have in Tel-Aviv and look at the beautiful, well kept, and always well-attended mosque and the park that borders the mosque, and see the numerous well kept Arab families, I do not see victims. There are numerous well-dressed Arab families at the park as walking on the promenade by the sea, I have not witnessed any old, or poorly maintained cars driven by the Arab families around us. The Arabs at the shuk seem to buy everything in sight, no signs of depravation; where are the “Victims?”
A few weeks ago, the sirens sounded in Tel-Aviv/Yaffo, at that time, and only at that time, the Arab residents were as much victims as were the Jews residing in the area. At that time, thanks the Creator, we were all only victims of fear due to Israeli/American “iron-dome,” not of the actual destruction the Iranian missiles could have caused if not stopped in their tracks.
Relentless propaganda continues to paint “the “Palestinians” as VICTIMS, they are not. If anything, the ”Palestinians,” and their allies would like to make all Israelis, all Jews, for that matter, into victims, they all, collectively are on record as wishing to destroy Israel, and many would like the Jewish people disappear from the face of the earth! .

Mideast: An Obama/Clinton foreign-policy cliff?

7 Dec

Is US Foreign-Policy cliff steeper than it Financial counterpart? Or, could Syria’s WMDs spread to rogues? The Financial-Cliff would affect the quality of life of most Americans, and others around the world; the foreign-policy Cliff could yield catastrophic results that in addition to affecting the quality of life, would likely cause significant loss of life, and generally irreparable geo-political realignment, and long-term problems.

Bashar Assad replaced his father as President of Syria without any descendible skills, nor any G-d given talent to do the job. Not being the oldest in his father’s line of succession, his appointment was resented by both his family, and those higher up in the Syrian hierarchy. Upon assuming the role of President, the young Assad set up to prove that he is a worthy replacement to his father.

Promising reform, the young Assad instead exercised harsh rule, and reduction in the human rights of his people. In many ways, Bashar Assad was asking for a revolt so that he can prove that like his father he can put one down. Bashar Assad now reached 40,000 slaughtered civilians, matching, or perhaps surpassing his father in that category. Since all his efforts to date did not return control of the country, continuing to suggest that he is not a skilled as his father was at governing the nation, Bashar Assad is now rattling the chemical weapons sword, and may well use it against his people.

It would indeed be a sad day if Assad use chemical weapons against his people, it would be catastrophic should Assad led rogue entities acquire such weapons to use for their own unsavory interest.

Some alarming scenarios include the supply of chemical weapons to Hezbollah, and to Hamas, both organizations like Assad’s Syria, clients of Iran. Additionally, should those factions rebelling in Egypt, the Middle East could be covered by a poisonous cloud that will affect, either directly, or indirectly, the whole world.

Obama’s Achilles-Heel: The foreign policy-cliff! Syria’s threat looms large!

“Leading from behind,” as the Obama Administration did during the revolt in Libya, was a “go-ahead” signal to people living in North African and Middle Eastern dictatorship, that they would be supported should they decide to overthrow their governments. The naive United Stats Administration read situations when dictators are removed as moves towards democratization, when in most cases these moves were really designed to expand Sharia rule.

In Libya, the Benghazi fiasco was a clear message to the US that its influence would not be what it was under Gaddafi, and Mursi “power-grab” in Egypt is a “red-flag” for the whole region. Add to that the situation in Syria, a nation with a large arsenal of chemical weapons and you have a formula for disaster.

The situation in Egypt is extremely alarming! Egypt, a country with the largest Arab Muslims in the world, is an important hub for the region, and beyond. A well-educated population, with a significant size intelligentsia, is going to resist a religion-based autocracy. Countering that is a strong Islamic Brotherhood (IB) that Mubarak kept silent for many years.

Coming out of his role in brokering the cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, Mursi was riding high. In his glory, the Egyptian President misread his people and assumed dictatorial powers over the nation, an action that blew up in his face. Egyptians proved not to be sheep ready to be led to the slaughter.

Should Mursi’s proposed constitution, one based on Sharia Law pass, the situation in Egypt could become dire. Egypt could then become a religious autocracy with a charter that includes the termination of all treaties with Israel, a charter that will not make the country recognize Israel as a sovereign nation; a formula for a potentially large armed conflict in the region. Should Mursi constitution fail and a more secular constitution emerges, Egypt could be an early Christmas present to the region, and a key for a new level of stability.

Moving right along to Syria. Assad had now surpassed his father in the number of civilians that he slaughtered in an attempt to hold on to power. The 40.000+ dead were not enough to secure power for Bashar Assad; to the contrary, he is now weakened beyond anyone’s imagination. As a cornered wild animal, Assad, a man who is not known for logical behavior, may well resort to the use of Syria’s enormous chemical weapons arsenal. The internal conflict in Syria has already reached Turkey and Lebanon, should Assad start to use his chemical weapons and force the Western Powers to get involved, one can never predict how far the conflict might spread.

With Hamas and Hezbollah both having significant presence in Damascus, how soon before Syria, under orders from Iran, its mentor, would make sure that Hamas and Hezbollah have chemical weapons? Should the situation expand that far, all American interests in the region, including tens of thousands of soldiers in the Gulf, and on ships in the Mediterranean, in Turkey and elsewhere, are going to be in Harm’s way; can the United States continue to sit on the sidelines?

America’s fiscal-cliff is alarming; it could affect the quality of life of all Americans. The North Africa, Middle East foreign policy cliff, on the other hand, left unchecked could terminate the lives of hundred of thousands of people, including many American, and is likely to spread.

The Obama Administration must act immediately, it must take decisive action before the situation in Syria bring chemical weapons into play, and spread!

The virtual “Palestine:” A UN aberration?

1 Dec

The renown historian turned politician, Newt Gingrich, an ex-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, during the 2012 United States Presidential campaign stated that “Palestine,” was a twenty-century invention, or an aberration, if you will.

Never throughout history there ever were a sovereign Palestine, the United Nations vote, at best, created a “virtual” state. The creation sovereign without national boundaries, no formal capital, and no vote in the United Nations, just the obligation of member, none of the privileges.

Since while holding a League of Nations Mandate over “Palestine,” the British Government, without legal authority split the greater “Palestine’ into two countries, “Palestine,” and Transjordan, which was then made in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The United Nation, through its 1947 vote went on to split what was left of “Palestine,” into [Arab] “Palestine, and Israel.

Without getting into the gory details of how the Arab nations of the region, on several occasions, attempted to destroy Israel, suffice it to say that between the actions of the British Government during its mandate, and the Arab nations attempts to destroy Israel, million of “Palestinians” became refugees. However, since the majority of Jordanian people are “Palestinians,” one must wonder why the West Bank should not be annexed to Jordan.

There is a somewhat different situation in Gaza. Gaza is not governed by the Palestinian Authority, and would, through the natural order of things, fit into Egypt, when it settles its political issues.

At best the recently recognized “Palestine,” without borders, without capital, and without even voting rights in its creator, the United Nations, is a virtual, not a tangible entity, but yet with the responsibilities of a sovereign member of the United Nations, of the International Community, if you will!