Beyond the Cusp

April 23, 2014

Who Really Suffers from All Those Reputed Phobias?

We hear the accusations all the time. This one is Homophobic, that one is Islamophobic, etcetera etcetera. The latest headlines was about the forced resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich because of his insensitivity towards homosexuals as donating to the efforts to pass California Proposition 8 referendum which, according to the dating website OkCupid which initiated and led the witch hunt against, as they accused, the unacceptable presence of this Homophobic CEO. Then there was the cancelled honoring by Brandeis University of Ayaan Hirsi Ali with an honorary degree and her giving the commencement speech after CAIR accused Ayaan Hirsi Ali of being an Islamophobic. She is a leading advocate for the human rights for women and girls within Islamic society who suffer many of the same horrors such as female genital mutilation, arranged marriage and other horrific incidents which she had experienced before escaping to the Netherlands while supposedly traveling to Canada to be married to an older man whom her family had sold her into marriage. These events have become sufficiently common that perhaps a little look into the aspersions cast and the actual ones who suffer from some phobia.

 

For the sake of convenience, we will use the Eich resignation as the example which will likely serve to make me also a victim and sufferer of Homophobia, but what is life without taking small risks. The accusation against Mr. Eich was that he was obviously Homophobic due to the evidence that he had contributed to the efforts to pass Proposition 8 in California which would have made the legal definition of marriage to be between one man and one woman. This automatically made Mr. Eich guilty of hating same sex relations and the people who were in same sex relationships. It could not have been about retaining a traditional definition of the institution of marriage which has been one of the underpinning definitions of Judeo-Christian society. But according to website OkCupid and others this meant that obviously Mr. Eich hated all homosexuals and was an evil and terrible person who obviously was incapable of being a CEO and running a software company. Never mind that the homosexuals employed by Mozilla who were interviewed had never had any problem and there existed no examples of Mr. Eich mistreating anyone over their sexual orientations. Actually, Mr. Eich was generally lauded as being fair and without any noticeable preferential treatment or any disparaging treatment when it came to his interactions in all his years working in various positions, including supervisory positions, from the very founding of Mozilla. Still, he crossed the line of actually performing a political act expressing his First Amendment rights and he was made to pay by those who simply disagreed with his opinion. This, according to every article I have read, made Mr. Eich guilty of being a Homophobe. Somehow I do not think so.

 

The definition of a phobia, according to Dictionary.com, is: “a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.” Had Mr. Eich actually suffered a phobia towards homosexuals he would probably have had great difficulty functioning in any large size company or even being in any unscripted area as such a fear would likely have paralyzed him over the worry that someone near him might be a homosexual. Obviously Mr. Eich had no such problems operating in a normal situation where he probably was fully aware that there were people who were homosexuals present and according to some of those very homosexuals, he was fair and treated them with no malice or preference giving them exact and identical treatment as he did heterosexuals. If any group suffered from Homophobia, it was the board of Mozilla and OkCupid, both of which reacted in a panic when they were informed of Mr. Eich’s political contribution to California Proposition 8. It was initially OkCupid that went apoplectic over Mr. Eich’s contribution and subsequently the Board at Mozilla which by pressuring Mr. Eich to step down also displayed Homophobia. Both of these groups acted in a seemingly uncontrollable panic going to the extreme of destroying a well-qualified individual’s career and placed his future into the ash heap of history ending any possibility of Mr. Eich ever again holding a senior position in any other corporation.

 

This is because so many in society today suffer from numerous phobias. The fear of having some special interest group accuse you or your corporation or officer of your corporation of some form of phobia, be it Homophobia, Islamophobia, Ecophobia (also called anthropomorphic global warming denial) or fill in your own subject-phobia, then the panic sets in followed by contortions to supplicate the accusers on exactly what and who needs to be sacrificed in order to satisfy and serve as ample penitence for the great offense that had obviously been unfeelingly committed. This reaction is the real and actual phobic response and not the presumed sinner who was pointed out and became the subject of societal scorn. Those who agree with the removal by Mozilla of Mr. Eich or the retracting of the honorary degree by Brandeis University for Ayaan Hirsi Ali are the true people suffering from an acute case of Politicaphobia, defined as any politically correct reaction demanding the humiliation or shaming of any person in order to satisfy some special interest group which expresses usually imagined and manufactured indignance to some event or person because they crossed their accepted definition of what is necessary for society to be properly sensitive and advocating the politically correct attitudes demanded in our societies. We could even exchange the term Politicaphobia for all the multitude of the current phobias that exist today as having one term would make it that much easier for the excommunication of every insensitive person who transgressed thus causing the calls for some form of Politicaphobia to be satisfied and the offender properly chastised.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 22, 2014

The Boston Marathon and the American Spirit

One year after the horrendous terrorist bombing perpetrated by the Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, brothers who were born in Chechnya but spending the decade before their hateful and despicable act of terror in the United States, the Boston Marathon was held today. One would have been fully justified and it would have been understood had the crowds been small, miniscule even, simply due to memories of the senseless carnage at last year’s Boston Marathon. Instead the finish-line, the scene for last year’s carnage, was crowded layers deep with people welcoming and cheering the runners as they completed the race. There was some of that never say die, look any threat in the eye and then walk towards the danger, the spirit which many have claimed had been lost and no longer was a part of the new modern America. Trust that this may be the America that many have not seen, as currently the Americans most in the focus of the cameras are those surrounding the political elite and other so-called special people. The average American has not changed and is still there working and playing hard. The real American never gives up hope and this is a good thing as hope may be the only chance for much of a future when the bills for the reckless fiscal policies reach their unalterable endpoint and the bills come due. Then we will see the real Americans picking up the pieces and moving forward rebuilding a new and improved America though it will take decades, possibly a century or more. But today they got to see a race and reward those who accomplished completing a Marathon, quite a feat if you have ever tried to run such a distance. The Boston Marathon was a tribute to the spirit and determination of the American people to never allow anything to blunt their spirit or deter their determination or place any challenge before them and expect it be unconquerable. The American people, the people we rarely get a glimpse of until the times are dire and they are most needed, are the ones who refuse to say quit and they will be the ones the world will turn to and place their hopes when the economic consequences start to topple national economies one upon another. Today we got to witness that the American spirit still lives and the heart of the heartland still beats steady and strong, even in Boston. I would wish it not be a necessity to explain that this is a tribute to the American people, the ones who toil to produce the ideas, goods and treasures in great abundance and who pull the wagons of civilization, commerce, freedom, liberty and human dignity despite all else that surrounds them simply because they are driven to provide and care. These are the Americans which the world seldom witness as the world is often only provided a censored scene framed around the political and other leadership, many of whom portray America in the worst possible light thus doing a great disservice to the average American, because the average American is anything but average.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 21, 2014

Safest Place for Jews is in Israel?

Where the most honest answer to the question of where is the safest country for Jews to live in could be argued, there is ample evidence to answer that that nation is Israel. For much of the world the Jewish population is not significant enough to be considered a place where a sufficient Jewish culture exists that it is unlikely such places would ever be considered as a desirable location for Jews to take refuge from any country where oppression or even subjugation and persecution of the Jews is a real problem. So, initially we can narrow the choices down to nations which have a sufficient Jewish population and infrastructure placing the bar to be cleared at fifty-thousand which leaves those listed in the table below.

 

Country Core Jewish Population Proportion of Country Population Enlarged Jewish Population Proportion of Country Population
Israel 6,014,300 75.4% 6,332,900 79.394%
United States 5,425,000 1.728% 8,300,000 2.644%
France 478,000 0.751% 600,000 0.943%
Canada 380,000 1.089% 500,000 1.433%
United Kingdom 290,000 0.459% 360,000 0.570%
Russia 190,000 0.133% 380,000 0.266%
Argentina 181,500 0.445% 330,000 0.809%
Germany 118,000 0.144% 250,000 0.305%
Brazil 107,329 0.049% 125,000 0.064%
Australia 97,335 0.3% 135,000 0.613%
South Africa 70,000 0.137% 80,000 0.157%
Ukraine 65,000 0.143% 130,000 0.286%
Hungary 48,000 0.485% 95,000 0.960%
Mexico 40,000 0.034% 50,000 0.043%

 

 

The first thing that becomes obvious from the table is that Israel is the sole nation with a majority Jewish population and that even the United States having a comparable total Jewish population has less than three percent Jewish population even using the most generous of figures which includes all citizens who would technically be considered to be Jewish whether or not they practice the faith or even consider themselves to be a member of the Jewish community. There are not even fifteen nations which can be considered to have a Jewish population equal or above fifty-thousand people and the percentage of Jews as figured against the World’s total population is barely one-quarter of one percent, virtually an insignificant percentage of the whole.

 

So, narrowing the selections to these nations and a quick purview reveals that many of these nations have situations which would make them far less than ideal places for Jews to seek refuge. Nations which have had sufficiently notable anti-Semitic incidents or attitudes would include Hungary with the Jobbik Party gaining in strength and representation in their parliament, the Ukraine with the general levels of violence and the issuance this past week of a notice demanding that Jews register with the government and pay a fee or be deported (though the authenticity of this legal notice has been challenged and denied by all parties in the region), Russia which has a long history of anti-Semitism and from where a steady stream of Jews have emigrated since being permitted to leave starting in the 1970’s, United Kingdom and France which have had increasingly violent and frequent incidents of anti-Semitism leading to significant increase in Jewish emigration with many leaving for Israel or the United States and with the murder of a Rabbi and three young school children at a Jewish institution in the French city of Toulouse being the most publicized incident. Then there are those nations which have other problematic situations which would render them less desirable and less viable which remove from the list Mexico as well as likely Argentina, South Africa and Brazil. To be completely honest, the only likely destination outside of Israel would very likely be restricted to the United States and Canada, so let us consider them next.

 

The comparisons between the United States and Canada are very similar with the main difference is that any overt anti-Semitic event is far more likely to be reported worldwide if it occurs in the United States than if it occurs in Canada. The latest of such examples occurred immediately before the Passover holiday in Kansas City where Frazier Glenn Cross (aka Frazier Glenn Miller), 73, has been described as being a “raging anti-Semite” who has posted online on different white supremacist and new-Nazi forums that state “No Jews, Just Right” along with calls to “exterminate the Jews.” He was also reported to have been a senior member of the KKK. Additionally, in numerous major cities including New York, Philadelphia and others there have been reports of what has been called the “knockout game” where youths and young adults will one-punch a complete stranger as they, often as part of a group, are simply passing on the street. It has become obvious that the favored target of these assaults has been those who by appearance appear to be Jewish. These acts are simply the most publicized though hardly a week goes by where a synagogue or Jewish Community Center or other Jewish facility is defaced with hate slogans and swastikas emblazoned on them. The frequencies of these anti-Semitic acts are likely equal proportionally to the population between the United States and Canada. Despite the obvious slow but steady increase in such acts of hatred against the Jews has been documented, the level is probably within what many Jews would find as tolerable, though no level can be considered acceptable, and thus would not rule out either Canada or the United States as a place of relative safety where those Jews who feel threatened could take up residence and begin a new life feeling more secure. That leaves a comparison on how these two nations compare with Israel as offering a safe haven for Jews seeking to escape intolerable anti-Semitism in their home nation.

 

There is quite a bit to say in recommending Israel as the best place for any Jew to take refuge when the threats in their native country have grown unbearable and portend extreme danger. There is no feeling of self-conscience wearing religious objects which in too many other places has the potential to instigate acts of violence against the wearer of Jewish symbols such as a Yarmulke. Most of the restaurants and food stores sell kosher foods. The majority of the members of the military, police and other security organizations are Jewish and the percentage of religious Jews is steadily rising. All the Jewish holidays are recognized and appropriately celebrated. Almost the entire of pre 1967 Six Day War Israel is very safe and secure with crime being almost completely unheard of. The sole threat is from terrorism, especially in regard to the Temple Mount where Palestinian Arabs riot frequently as they have realized that when they riot they are seldom arrested and any Jews on the Temple Mount are escorted immediately to safety and Jews are often banned for the remainder of the day in a response to these riots. With the Israeli police aiding the rioters in achieving their goal of preventing any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, it is no wonder they continuously riot there. Still, all things considered, a Jew is far safer living in Israel than anywhere else on the planet. Adding the feeling of being in your true homeland and it becomes difficult to believe that anywhere else could be thought of as home for a Jew other than Israel. Perhaps that day is coming and doing so far faster than anybody could have foreseen.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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