Friday, January 6, 2017

Get A Lift From LYFT! The Settlement Issue Remains Unsettled and Will Because It Pays Palestinian Leaders Well! Who I believe is Trump. Mail Chimp Facts!


As I have posted in past memos, our oldest  grandson is the LYFT executive who brought his company to Detroit and he is doing quite well.

LYFT is a competitor to Uber and based on our personal experience is somewhat cheaper and the service is comparable if not  a bit better.

LYFT operates in Savannah. (See 1 below.)
Information regarding the Settlement Issue.

I would add these thoughts.

Israel was attacked from day one of its establishment.

Israel has, fortunately, won every military engagement. If it had not, surely the entire Israeli population would have been slaughtered unless the world community stepped in to save them (Think Syria or Christians living in The Middle East today to get some idea how successful that would be.)

Jews are not welcomed in Arab/Muslim countries yet many Arabs and other races live in Israel. In fact, Israeli Arabs may complain but they seldom, if ever, choose to leave. Black Americans complain, riot and constantly seek betterment, as is their absolute, moral and Constitutional right, but you never see waves wishing to return to other countries from which they were immorally taken.

Iran has openly stated, along with others Israeli enemies, they seek total annihilation of Israel

To the victor belongs the spoil, particularly territory, is an established fact and has been accepted as even having legal roots.  Particularly is this the case when the victor was the one  attacked. This has never applied to Israel.

The Palestinians are not even wanted by their own. Jordan's former monarch slayed them by the thousands. The Saudis do not want them.  Egypt does not want them.  Iran does not want them. Iraq does not want them. Turkey does not want them.  They have been used as a political football/pawn to keep the Arab/Muslim pot boiling and to serve as a basis/excuse for Arab/Muslim tribal animosity to perpetuate itself.

Israel has resettled million of refugees.
Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders have used their own people's plight to stay in power, to bilk the West of billions of dollars/ransom and after over 60 plus years, with help from the U.N., still have refugee camps.

Finally, The Colonial Nations divided The Middle East without logical and/or moral regard. When they abandoned control of their former empires they created the problems of today.  If you go back to that totally disregarded thing called history, Jews, not Palestinians ( which was a clever name conjured up by Arafat for political purposes) occupied this land for thousands of years. This is land they lost when they were conquered and forced to leave. As a result of 20th Century wars Israelis did not seek but won, they recaptured land they historically occupied, lived in, cultivated and built upon.

(Keep this in mind if you read 2 below.)
Trump to P.A - Jerusalem is not your capital. (See 3 below.)
How do I look at Trump?  Trump is not a difficult personality, when viewed as a builder businessman on the one hand, when viewed as a non-orthodox politician, he is more complex, unpredictable and even an enigma in terms of what he might be thinking or likely to do.

I believe his background, as a businessman, is more a determinate of how he will react as a politician. Since he will be confronted by issues he has never had to concern himself with and thus, will receive information he has never had to digest, this is the area that concerns and confuses those who truly try to judge him fairly and objectively.

For those who hate him, are ideologically hide bound or so bent out of shape, including the mass media, who cares what they think.  Why should anyone care what  "Hollyweeders" think?

I expect he will pull back from some of his more extreme statements and positions on a host of issues because he is a pragmatist first and not an ideologue.  This is why he is not a Republican in the traditional sense and often wanders off into Liberal La La Land on social issues, just as I often find myself.

I have no doubt he is serious about rebuilding our military, making the V.A an organization that truly serves deserving veterans, intends to improve education for all, wants very much to see the economy improve and taxes and health care become more common sense driven because this will encourage the free market and capitalists to invest in America and open employment opportunities for those shut out by Obama's economic lunacy.

In the matter of foreign policy, I believe Trump will be practical, use common sense but when he digs his heels in he will implement unlike Obama who was a patsy/pansy.

I think his relationship with Putin will be better than GW's or Obama's but he is not blinded by the man.  He has every right to distrust the politicization of our intelligence agencies and other branches of government because they have been. Obama wrecked the Justice Department, EPA, The IRS and State Department and the various agencies that dealt with immigration, among others.

Trump's problem is his rashness, his off the cuff pronouncements and the need to retract because he is not the most informed man to occupy  the office but he is smart enough to learn  from his bruises.

My greatest concern is not so much Trump but  the opposition from  Schumer and Pelosi and external threats by those who also mean us harm. Schumer and Pelosi are captives of far left ideology and Obama's pressure to protect his legacy and this is poison that Trump will have to endure and learn to handle if he is to accomplish his "bucket list."

He will also have the mass media shooting at him at every turn but he has proven he knows how to handle them, more or less, However, their constancy and mis-reporting can get under his skin and cause him to respond in ways that will make for more negative news.

I remain upbeat for the first time in 8 or more years.  I hope events will reinforce my optimism because that is not my general attitude.
My computer geek set me up on Mail Chimp because those asking to be placed on my memo list grew too large for Google to handle and I was constantly having my computer shut down .

Mail Chimp  is a privately held start up in Atlanta and sends me feed back as to:
a) who reads my memos
b) what country they are from
c) various other impressive read outs.
One of which compares my category, which is politics, with other comparable web sites.

My average readership, which changes with every memo, is :

  • My List average (Politics) 30.0%
  • The Industry average (Politics)19.7%

Thus, it would appear, statistically speaking, my readership is some 10 points higher, or viewed another way, 50% greater  than comparable political webs. Thank you to my loyal readership. 

1)Lyft eyes profitability as it triples its yearly ridership numbers

Ride-hailing service Lyft Inc. said this week that it is on a path to profitability and had more than doubled its quarterly ridership from the year prior, as it trims incentives and tripled its total rides in 2016.
“We will significantly take down our [cash] burn rate in 2017,” John Zimmer, the president and co-founder of Lyft, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. Zimmer added that Lyft is ending many incentives for drivers, including payments for working during peak times or for using the company's navigational app.

 Overall, the San Francisco based company said it had 52.6 million American rides in the fourth quarter, a major gain from the 21.1 million it logged during the same period a year earlier. It had 162.5 million rides in 2016, triple what it had in 2015, and 12 million riders who used the service at least once in the last year.

"In December, Lyft recorded 18.7 million rides, more than double from the previous year and up about 13 percent from November. Crosstown rival Uber dwarfs Lyft’s ridership," the Journal reports. "Uber said Wednesday it had roughly 78 million rides in December in the U.S., compared with 62 million in July when it last disclosed monthly ridership."

The gains are welcome news for Lyft, which has had a tumultuous year, including rumors of a possible sale and the news in July that it was losing as much as $50 million monthly.

Zimmer confirmed that loss rate at Fortune's Brainstorm Conference after being asked if rumors that Lyft had promised investors it would only lose that much a month were true. Zimmer said they were, but hedged the remark by saying the company looks at it differently, Fortune reported at the time.

A funding round with General Motors in early 2016 valued Lyft at around $5.5 billion.

"Still, Lyft has been dogged by questions about its long-term health, particularly after it hired boutique investment bank Qatalyst Partners LP, which is known for helping tech companies find a buyer. Lyft has nearly $1.3 billion in cash on hand, down slightly from earlier this year," the Journal reports.

"Mr. Zimmer said Lyft isn't for sale, though he declined to say whether Qatalyst was still under retainer, and said he plans to eventually take the company public."
2) 7 Things To Know About Israeli Settlements By Greg Myre & Larry Kaplow

Palestinians and Israeli activists run away from tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against the construction of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley, in the West Bank, on Nov. 17. (Majdi Mohammed/AP)
When Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War, no Israeli citizens lived in the territory. The following year, a small group of religious Jews rented rooms at the Park Hotel in Hebron for Passover, saying they wanted to be near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, one of the holiest sites in Judaism (as well as Islam and Christianity).
The Israeli government reluctantly allowed them to stay “temporarily.” From that beginning, hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews now reside in the West Bank, citing religion, history and Israel's security among their reasons for being there.
But the Palestinians, along with the rest of the world, see their presence as one of the key obstacles to a peace agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state.
The issue returned to the headlines last week when the United Nations Security Council voted 14 to 0 to condemn Israeli settlements. The United States, which often vetoes resolutions critical of Israel, abstained and allowed the resolution to pass.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded angrily, unleashing a stream of accusations against the Obama administration. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended the U.S. position Wednesday in a lengthy speech that repeatedly admonished Israel over settlements.
Here are seven key things to know about the settlements:
1. Settlements are growing rapidly
The term “settlements” may conjure up images of small encampments or temporary housing, and many have started that way. But they now include large subdivisions, even sizable cities, with manicured lawns and streets full of middle-class villas often set on arid hilltops. Israel is constantly building new homes and offers financial incentives for Israelis to live in the West Bank.
When the Israelis and Palestinians first began peace talks after a 1993 interim agreement, the West Bank settlers numbered a little over 100,000. Today they total around 400,000 and live in about 130 separate settlements (this doesn't include East Jerusalem, which we'll address in a moment).
They have grown under every Israeli government over the past half-century despite consistent international opposition. Hard-line leaders like Netanyahu have actively supported them. Moderates and liberals have also allowed settlements to expand, though usually at a slower rate. The settler movement is a powerful political force, and any prime minister who takes it on risks the collapse of his government.
You can click here to see data on the settlements and a detailed map from Peace Now, an Israeli group that is opposed to settlements and closely monitors them.
2. Settlements complicate efforts for a two-state solution
Critics of settlements say they've intentionally been established in every corner of the West Bank, giving the Israeli military a reason to be present throughout the territory and making it impossible to create a viable Palestinian state. The settlement locations and the roads that connect them make Palestinian movement difficult.
The settlements are just one of many obstacles to a peace deal. Drawing boundaries, the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees, and myriad security questions — including terrorism — are equally challenging, if not more so.
A Palestinian man walks near a construction site for new Israeli housing in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa in September. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as a capital of a future state and object to Israeli building in the eastern part of the city and throughout the West Bank. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital. (Mahmoud Illean/AP)
And as the settlements grow, it will be increasingly difficult to remove a large number of them, a tactic known as “creating facts on the ground.”
3. The distinction between East Jerusalem and the West Bank
Shortly after the 1967 war, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, which is part of the West Bank and had a population that was then entirely Palestinian. Israel declared the entire city to be Israel's “eternal and indivisible” capital.
No other country recognizes Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, with the United States and others saying the city's status must be determined in negotiations. This is why the U.S. and other countries have never moved their embassies to Jerusalem. Most are in Tel Aviv.
The Palestinians, meanwhile, claim the eastern part of the city as their future capital.
Around 200,000 Israelis now live in East Jerusalem. Combined with the roughly 400,000 settlers in the West Bank, about 600,000 Israelis now live beyond the country's 1967 borders. That's nearly 10 percent of Israel's 6.3 million Jewish citizens.
While the Israelis tend to speak of East Jerusalem and the West Bank as two separate entities, the Palestinians regard them as a single body — the occupied West Bank.
4. What does Israel say about settlements?
The settlers and their supporters cite the Jewish Bible, thousands of years of Jewish history, and Israel's need for “strategic depth” as reasons for living in the West Bank.
They also note that Israel took the territory from Jordan, which has since relinquished its claim to the West Bank. Therefore, the settlers argue, there is no legal sovereign in the territory.
However, no country, not even Israel, considers West Bank settlements to be sovereign Israeli territory. As we noted, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and administers it as part of Israel. But Israel has never annexed any other part of the West Bank.
The settlers want to be formally incorporated into Israel, but that would ignite a major controversy. For now, Israel regards the West Bank as “disputed” territory that has been under the Israeli military since the 1967 war.
5. How about the Palestinians?
From some Palestinian cities, there are clear views of Israeli settlements — and new construction — on nearby hillsides. And in most settlement neighborhoods, there are wide areas of empty hillside closed to Palestinians, which Israel says are necessary buffers for security.
Palestinians see them as visual proof that their sought-after independent state is being taken from them. Palestinian leaders have opposed peace talks in recent years while, as they see it, Israel is building on land that is part of those talks.
6. Has Israel ever dismantled settlements?
Yes, on a few occasions, most notably in 2005, when it removed all 8,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip. Israel decided these small, isolated settlements were too difficult to defend in a territory where the Jewish residents accounted for less than 1 percent of the population.
The evacuation of the settlements was deeply divisive within Israel, and Israel's security forces had to drag some settlers from their homes kicking and screaming. The episode demonstrated that Israel could remove settlers, but it also showed how much friction it creates inside Israel.
7. What are the proposed solutions?
Kerry on Wednesday outlined the general approach: land swaps. Under this scenario, the largest Jewish settlements, which are near the boundary with Israel, would formally become Israeli territory. In exchange, Israel would turn over an equal amount of its current land that would become part of a Palestinian state.
In addition, settlements deep in the West Bank, far from Israel, would be disbanded. It would be a difficult political move for an Israeli prime minister, but it would also be difficult for a Palestinian leader to accept a peace deal without removing settlements.
Greg Myre is the international editor of Larry Kaplow is NPR's Middle East editor. 

2)Trump’s team is reportedly in contact with the Palestinians but has set a new tone regarding negotiations with Israel. 
 World Israel News Staff

President-elect Donald Trump’s transitional team has recently been in contact with the Palestinians on how to proceed with diplomatic negotiations.
Israel Radio, in a report on Tuesday, quoted sources within Trump’s team and among Palestinian Authority officials who affirmed that the contacts were taking place.
In the report, an unnamed “senior official” working for Trump is said to have asked a senior Palestinian official why they would object to moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to western Jerusalem.
The official replied that there should be a parallel move, that Washington should establish a US embassy for “Palestine” in eastern Jerusalem and one for Israel in the west side of the city.
The Palestinians envision the eastern side of Israel’s capital as its own. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be the final death blow to the failed peace negotiations, the Palestinians have threatened.
The Trump official reported replied that “there is no Palestine, and Jerusalem is not your capital. If you stop the incitement to terror, put in place full economic transparency, stop acting unilaterally at UN bodies and accept a US embassy in west Jerusalem, we (the US) would consider a US diplomatic mission in Ramallah and call upon the Israelis to enter into serious negotiations with you on a long-term relationship.”
The Palestinian official then demanded that Israel stop construction in Judea and Samaria, as well as in eastern Jerusalem, adding that negotiations for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders should promptly commence.
According to sources from both sides, the two senior officials agreed to stay in touch, while no final commitments were made

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