Beyond the Cusp

August 26, 2014

Why Palestinian Israeli Conflict Appears Open-Ended

The recent flaring of violence between the terror groups of Gaza, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others, with the seemingly weekly ceasefires almost all of which broken within hours by rockets flying over the Gaza border onto Israeli farms, towns and cities usually to minimal damage is just the latest flare-up in the series of Arab attempts to prevent or destroy the Jewish state which dates back to before the beginning of the last century. The exception recently was the tragic death of Daniel Tregerman, an innocent four year old who had as one of his idols the Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi. Then there was a set of somewhat baffling events in which the Israeli Shin Bet security agency along with an assist from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) where their actions over the previous few days in arresting over ninety Palestinians and uncovering and confiscating a large cache of weapons, explosives, grenades and other tools of war all while uncovering a coup plot by Hamas to topple Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority through a series of terror attacks and performing the actual coup during the ensuing confusion similarly to the coup by Hamas in Gaza over five days of June 2007. People were surprised and even shocked when the different anti-Bashir Assad groups began fighting each other almost more regularly than they did the Syrian military. This should not have been such a surprise as the same differences defined the rift between the nationalist Palestinian Authority and the religious jihadist Hamas and allied groups such as Islamic Jihad. The difference is simply their motivational driving force, secular nationalism which can have religious overtones but religious purity is not demanded or a high priority while the jihadist places adherence to Islam as paramount and as the central driving force it inevitably drives those who lead these jihadist groups to take their Islamic adherence to such extremes that they have earned a special label of Islamist extremists. The jihadist becomes such a purist adherent to Islam that they classify the nationalists as heretics, disbelievers or apostates; all of which are to be punished by the sword. This is the driving force behind Hamas needing to destroy and replace the Palestinian Authority; it is all a matter or religious purity versus the unbelievers or those whose belief does not meet the jihadist standards.

 

Fatah was the originating organization which bridged Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Arafat and the rest of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists into recognized, by the United States and Europe, acceptable peace partners for Israel to now be able to find some common ground. This provided the basis for the two state solution and the heart of its theories being the canard of land for peace. After this transformation Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas were no longer defined as terrorists and instead became men who represented the epitome of peace and compromise, or at least that has been the mantra repeated religiously by Western national leaders and the concept shoved down Israeli throats requiring ever more force as time has removed the layers of lies which have clouded the entirety of the Palestinian-Israel peace process, something which has as its origins the Arab-Israeli conflict which was simply rebranded to make Israel no longer the victim of the larger Arab world into the oppressor and occupier against the helpless Palestinian people. The war is still between the Arab world and Israel but the name was changed to dupe willing Western leaders from supporters of Israel, a position which was growing more difficult as Israel proved capable of defending herself, to mediators who could be fair and even-handed or even Palestinian sympathizers with growing animosity towards Israel. This devious plan worked to perfection and the fruits can be viewed around the Western world where anti-Semitism had grown right along with anti-Zionism and anti-Israel hatreds with the same old canards and blood libels being reinvented and given a twenty-first century face and told and accepted around the world. The most repeated accusations revolve around that Jews control the world’s governments making them do their bidding, control the media, control the banks, and steal the blood or organs of non-Jews to give to Jews or to use in the making of Matzos. In numerous Arab and Muslim nations the slanderous hoax perpetrated by the Czars in a publication they had authored and printed called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which purports to detail the plan whereby the Jews, all 0. 2% of the globe’s population, will take complete control over the world is only outsold by the Quran and Mein Kampf, which says even more about the Arab world and its preoccupation with eradicating the World’s Jewry.

 

The root source of the problem can be traced to the positions taken by the separate Palestinian groups. Islamic Jihad and Hamas have near identical views and definitions of their goals in fighting Israel and the Jews. Both groups believe in liberating Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea which means destroying all of Israel. The place where these two groups have a degree of difference is when it comes to what to do after destroying Israel and murdering the Jews of Israel. Hamas believes that immediately after murdering all the Jews of Israel they must proceed to murder the remaining Jews worldwide, while Islamic Jihad places that task as a future event to be completed as part of making Islam the sole religion in the world. The Palestinian Authority also believes that all of Israel is occupied Palestine and that Palestine stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea but they believe that initially the Jews could be permitted to live as long as they were under Muslim rule, paid the Jiyza tax and accepted their Dhimmi status and acted sufficiently cowed and subservient. All of the Palestinian leadership aims for a one state solution all the while some will agree to support a two state solution. This is their use of taqiyya which permits a Muslim to lie to an infidel for the cause of advancing Islam, thus agreeing they want a two state solution. Their acceptance of the two state solution is simply a way station on their way to their way to their preferred one state solution and the complete destruction of Israel. The Palestinian Authority, the group which falsely claims to adhere to the general ideas of the two state solution aim to maximize their gains before accepting the final borders and settlement. As they will forever believe they can force more concessions out of the Israelis, especially with the assistance by the anti-Israel Western NGOs and governments. They see such things as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as proof that they have the support to push Israel to the cusp of economic ruin with the extensive assistance of the West’s useful idiots and their invaluable assistance. Add a hostile set of politicians who speak loud and proud of their hatred and denunciations of Israel from around the world, Mr. George Galloway who recently declared, “We have declared Bradford an Israel-free zone. We don’t want any Israeli goods. We don’t want any Israeli services. We don’t want any Israeli academics, coming to the university or the college. We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford, if any of them had thought of doing so. We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same.”

 

Despite the fact that the Palestinian and Arab representatives will not cease their animosities and violence against Israel, Israelis and Jews particularly; the real reason this conflicts appears destined to remain into the foreseeable future revolves around much of the current Israeli leadership. There is a sizeable segment of the Israeli leadership who willingly believe the platitudes and lies which Mahmoud and others speak in English to the Western mainstream media and who ignore the loud, brash and hateful rhetoric spoken by these very same Palestinian leaders when they speak in Arabic, their native language. It is an apparently virulent condition which has infected the reporting and agendas of many Western nations and national leaders. Despite glaringly contradictory evidence and actions any casual observer would be able to perceive, these useful idiots demand that the two state solution has not been given sufficient effort, sufficient time, sufficient investments, sufficient candy canes and chocolate bunnies. These fools remain blind and tear into an uncontrollable rage whenever anybody dares speak against their beloved negotiations to find the magic sacrifice that Israel must finally make that will seal the deal on that ever elusive two state solution. Their overriding obsession drives them to castigate other Israelis as being those who have destroyed the atmosphere and poisoned the wells which are necessary to nurture the environment such that the perfect two state solution can be grown and tended lovingly bring a period of Messianic tranquility and harmony where the lamb will lie with the lion and their Kalashnikov AK-47s will be ground into fine dinnerware, and their mortars into knitting hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

 

Even these delusional peace-blinded fools are not the final resting place for the blame or for not ending this perpetual cycle of violence, a cycle that at this immediate juncture is the closest it has ever been to being solvable. The most frustrating and simultaneously infuriating item about all of this is that the three people who could bring all these impasses and frustration to a close if only they would open their eyes and see. There are a select few who are calling for the necessary first step to reaching the solution even if their visions may fall a little short of a complete solution, they perceive the new path and at least desire to take a bold new approach. Those at the very top, the ones most essential to break with the past are the one’s listening and fearing the most blinded in their midst while demeaning and attempting to silence the ones who bear the message and the path to peace, real and palpable long term peace. The main culprit, as most have probably ascertained, is Prime Minister Netanyahu who is backed in this misadventure by Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon. Both of these politicians have the inbuilt fear which will eventually cower even the strongest of politicians while blunting and softening their initial rough edges, those pronouncements which are often only existant within the young or inexperienced in the political arena, making them docile and fearful of again going boldly beyond the lines drawn by the not so loyal opposition. Additionally is the IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz who commands an IDF which has displayed the greatest unity and spirited enthusiasm to complete their mission and surpass expectations with a willingness to answer any challenge with what is known in military circles as ‘can do’ yet his main driving idea is to end the current mission Defensive Edge before it becomes once again necessary to reenter Gaza and face the potential additional losses such an eventuality would entail. Saving his men’s lives and health have to be one of a commander’s highest concerns and it should be a driving consideration in their every decision, but it also must not become such an obsession that it paralyzes their ability to apply force when appropriate out of a desire to avoid further casualties. The protection of the IDF weighs on each of these Israeli leaders but is hopefully not acting as a paralyzing element; there exist too many other such forces which need no additional help.

 

The final puzzle piece, which makes the inability of the very top of the chain of command to act even more unbelievable, is the unity of the people of Israel. There is a unity beyond that anyone has witnessed since decades ago. The Israelis are fully behind their leadership doing whatever it might take to bring peace and security to the south of Israel and the ever widening areas which have come under the striking range of the Hamas rockets. They have witnessed miracles which have shown even the biggest skeptics that G0d is on their side and with their efforts. The three misses by the Iron Dome battery protecting Tel Aviv had its crew, especially the commanding officer, beside themselves with concern as the rocket’s trajectory according to all the data provided by their equipment placed it delivering its deadly explosive warhead on central Tel Aviv where it could have killed thousands of innocent Israelis, Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Druze and others. Perhaps the description given by that unit commander best tells of their shock and awe experience. His report, anonymous, as to reveal his name might endanger him or his family, stated, “A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon) or a central Tel Aviv railway station. Hundreds could have died. We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident. Suddenly, Iron Dome (which calculates wind speeds, among other things) shows a major wind coming from the east, a strong wind that…sends the missile into the sea. We were all stunned. I stood up and shouted, ‘There is a God!’ I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.” What more can be said except finish the job and do that which is right and would benefit the people of Gaza as much as the people of southern Israel, both of which are living under the threat of Hamas violence, the Israelis to rockets, the Gazan people to random murders for the sake of retaining control over the people by violent oppression. Free Gaza and Israel from the brutalities and terrorism of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and those others who would act to continue to persecute both of these peoples.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 15, 2014

Let’s All Celebrate the End of “Joblock”

A new term has been coined in Washington DC to describe virtually every job I have ever had over my forty plus years of employment with one or two exceptions. Even though the majority of the employments I have held can optimistically be classified as joblock positions which lacked the spiritual fulfillment of a supposed non-joblock position, not once was the primary reason that I worked at these positions hinged on the health insurance provided. The health insurance was a perk, not the main reason for working, the main reason was called a salary. I even had one position which I remained in a few years longer than the changed management team was tolerable, due to their generous retirement plan, but never have I kept or taken a job because of the fantastic health insurance, even when I worked for a leading thousand bed hospital in a major American city. So, I am led to wonder what the world must be like for those politicians who believe that people are working in order to have health insurance or some health care plan. Then, I should not be too critical of people who mostly have never held an actual real-world productive job and spent their entire lives, since running for Junior Class President, running for the next position where they simply sold influence and invented requirements for those not as influential as they and their fellow political class members. But the recent past since the CBO report that Obamacare will eliminate over two-million job seekers there has been a parade of Democrats and Administration people speaking on the great advantages of people being freed from the necessity of working for one’s health insurance will be for Americans in the future under Obamacare.

 

I have been trying to look at the bright side of this situation and not dwell on the fact that taxes will necessarily skyrocket, to use a phrase Obama liked to apply to electrical prices after Cap & Trade gets passed, in order to pay for the health insurance for those no longer victimized by joblock, and I may have found a few. This now explains why Obamacare forces parents to provide coverage for their non-joblocked children up to age twenty-six. The reasoning must be that by twenty-six even the most ardent refusenik avoiding joblock will have figured out that a salary is another bonus of joblock and surrendered to taking a joblock position even if they must explain to their future employer their demand for health coverage over their need for a salary. It also explains why the Democrats are pushing to raise the minimum wage one more time, for now. They are making it so that there will be no entry level positions forcing people into joblock. Now those tasks will either be outsourced or demanded of lower management or the new guy depending on the size of the company. We will now finally allow more starving artists to starve in good health. After visiting some art museums a few years back I decided we had enough artists and judging by the “art” and their price tags, I would like to call for an investigation to find out how they could be starving. As an example, one group of pieces consisted of pieces of driftwood painted one color and they were named “Yellow Driftwood #4” and “Green Driftwood #7” and I wondered how did they manage to sell any color driftwood numbers 1, 2, and 3? This will also be a new approach to minimizing the unemployment rates as it will manage even better than the Obama Presidency to encourage people to leave the job market thus removing any possibility that they will be counted among the unemployed still seeking employment. Perhaps the government will see its way to making the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) pay all the new self-proclaimed artists some form of subsistence remittance kind of similar to welfare so the funds they receive can find new avenues for their use.

 

The introduction of more people simply enjoying a life of leisure will stimulate the leisure industry which supplies the tools for such pursuits though how these people will have funds to purchase anything is still a mystery. Then again, it also explains the rumblings in the political circles, particularly the far left, that are calling for a guaranteed minimum wage which having this many idly avoiding joblock will make a necessity. There has to be additional item I have failed to realize as this is nowhere near sufficient plans to keep the over two-million people who will not become job seekers employed in other pursuits. Of course, if I understood the implications from some of those speaking in favor of this set of statistics, they were speaking more as if most people will simply not be working the long hours they currently work and instead will have part time work. Of course this part time work will always be under thirty hours per week thus not providing any health insurance making the position a non-joblock position. You see, only those positions which provide health insurance qualify as joblock as nobody takes a full time position except for the health insurance. Who needs a full time salary; especially if they can simply get the minimum wage up to a more respectable level of say twenty-five dollars an hour. I am still scratching my head trying to get my arms around the concept that all these years I was laboring away simply for the health insurance, who knew?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 23, 2014

Politics Teaches All About Language and Statistics

Many commentators decry the state of political debate complaining about the polarization and the ever increasing gap between the right and the left. They tend to see nothing to be gained as gridlock and harsh discourse is all they are able to see but there are lessons if not in the actual debates, then in the way the arguments and validations are fashioned. Language is probably most defined by the position of the user’s politics more than any dictionary could ever intimate. There are key words whose meaning is in doubt until one realizes whether the user is arguing from the right or the left of the political spectrum. One such word which is brutalized by both sides is equality, especially when applied to the economy and the consequences of the different degrees of wealth as well as opportunity. Where one side using equality it means that the result after everything has been said and done and the government has acted will result in near equality in levels of wealth while the other side defines equality as everybody working in the same system under the same rules on a level playing field thus having the same opportunity and any difference is determined by many factors of which they will stress the extent of effort and natural abilities. One side believes that equality means leveling out the inequities resultant from the disparate outcomes while the other believes that at birth we all start with the same potentials for the most part and any differences result mostly from efforts and being able to grasp opportunities and that government should not be there to take from the successful to give to the less successful.

 

Another word which has unique definitions is charity. One position is that charity should be left to the individuals or to religious and private organizations and should never be a consideration of government as government enforcing charitable giving through taxes and redistribution is simply a form of theft. The other definition claims that the inequities are too great and that many are too greedy and selfish resulting in the necessity for government to enforce some degree of charity otherwise the needy would end up neglected. The definition of a fair tax is another area of disagreement where one side would claim that a fair tax would levy the same percentage in taxation on every citizen while the other side holds that a fair tax would levy the percentage in such a way that those with more wealth and income would pay at a higher rate while those below a predetermined level of income would be left untaxed. Experiencing the uses of words in the political domain constantly provides examples of how varied and opposing words can be used in supporting opposing ideas and ideals. Probably the most mangled words are those used as the names of the sides in the political arguments. Somebody who is called a liberal no longer means that they are a libertine who believes in individual independence with minimal interference by the governing bodies. A conservative does not necessarily hold views which demand that things remain exactly as they are or desires a return to how they were in the recent past. Those claiming to be independent voters often have a voting record which would rival the most ardent party member of any of the parties and simply claim to be independent in order to avoid having to explain or defend the party which they actually support almost without exception. Another term which has been completely coopted to mean, in many cases, whatever position you desire to support is choice. Those who support the Second Amendment adamantly claim that people should be free to have the choice of whether or not they wish to own a firearm and that as long as the individual accepts all the responsibilities and consequences of carrying a concealed weapon, they should be free to exercise that choice. There is the pro-choice position which most are familiar with where it allows for women to have the option available to terminate a pregnancy. Many libertarians claim that people should be allowed to have the choice to use drugs and claim that the War on Drugs interferes with personal choice and freedoms. Libertarians actually are very liberal when it comes to choice as they support personal independence almost to a fault. The one place where choice is often restricted to the point of absurdity is within the walls of government where they seem determined to pass laws which restrict people’s lives to the point where there will be no opportunity for choice as they will all have been legislated out of existence.

 

The one place where words are most often twisted and manipulated in order to produce a predetermined and defined desired result is in polls. Many polls which are commissioned by PACs, organizations, political parties and virtually any other source one can determine what the end expected result is simply by inspecting the phrasing of the questions. Politics is a place where words are tortured and polls are where they are executed. Even the time of day chosen to take the samples or the location where the polling is taken also will determine the results. Often polls will use emotional phrases which engender a certain reaction early in the poll in order to skew the rest of the answers to the poll questions. This is not to say that there are no polls which are crafted fairly with great attention paid to using unbiased wording and phrasing and avoiding hot topic words which might skew results, but these types are usually commissioned by businesses and not political entities. Polls can be slanted by having qualifying questions which limit those who are questioned and included in the tabulations, often this is done by age though whether one is employed or regularly votes are other qualifiers often implemented.

 

The other thing which is often related to polling that is mutilated and twisted in order to portray a particular political position is statistics. As the old saying goes, “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” Statistics when utilized in politics is the precise science of massaging numbers to produce a predetermined result. One easy to understand example is the wealth gap. If one takes the statistics of those who are in the top ten percent of income earners and those in the bottom ten percent of income earners over a period of years the result will currently show that the income gap is growing significantly. But if instead one takes the people in the initial year who were in the top ten percent and those in the bottom ten percent and followed these individuals over the same time period the income gap will be shown to have shrunk. The reason for the disparity is simple, the people in the top and bottom ten percent change from year to year and those initially in either extreme will both slide towards the median income over time while other people take their place at the extremes. Thus, if one wished to exaggerate the income inequality they would use the first set of statistics while if instead one desires an accurate description of the fluctuations in income and the constant flux with people changing their income potentials as they move through life and their opportunities and conditions change, then the second set of statistics will serve you better. Another way of misrepresenting numbers but not necessarily statistics is by comparing apples to oranges, as the adage states. An example was the claim that Warren Buffet’s secretary paid greater amount in taxes than her boss. There is a very logical reason but the emotional response to this truth is being played for all it is worth when this unequal and unfair comparison was used. The taxes they were referring to were payroll taxes which are levied on one’s salary, not one’s wealth. Where Warren Buffet has great wealth and most of his wealth comes from investments, he thus has little salary per se but has wealth which would be taxed under capital gains while the secretary does have a salary and pays income based taxes but she likely pays negligible if any capital gains taxes compared to her boss. Language, statistics, numbers, emotions and truth all take a back seat in the political arena if not a total vacation. The real lesson is we need to take care and carefully inspect anything we are presented with which has political implications as when politics is in play the truth takes a well-deserved holiday.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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