Beyond the Cusp

February 25, 2014

Synagogue Firebombed in Ukraine

The place is Zaporizhia, southeast of Kiev, where the community’s Giymat Rosa Synagogue was firebombed by unknown assailants on the night of February 23, causing minor damages. The building showed the scars from traces of a fire on the facade of the balcony. The fortunate news is that there were no casualties and the authorities have promised to take precautions and to do whatever was necessary to arrest those responsible. The neck of a glass bottle was found near the area damaged by the fire affirming that a Molotov cocktail was the cause of the fire which also confirmed the suspicions this was the result of an intentional act. There have been other threats by forces from both the now deposed government including some threats made by government police and other threats came from elements from among the opposition protesters. The Ukrainian police claimed the Jews were behind the opposition to the government while those from the opposition were blaming the Jews for supporting President Yanukovych and his cronies and as such responsible for the deaths of opposition demonstrators shot by the government police. This is not a new situation for Jews living in a nation going through internal turmoil such as civil wars and other uprisings.

 

Even the United States had a major incident where Jews were victimized being held responsible for working against the government of the United States. This event came immediately after the end of the United States Civil War (War Between the States) when General Ulysses S. Grant as the military governor of the Kentucky Territory (governing the areas including Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi) ordered all properties, homes, cattle, horse and other assets confiscated from the Jewish residents and for them to be removed from the areas under his charge. Despite this situation being countermanded immediately as reports reached the White House, such while commemorative was too late to avoid much of the damage as the reversal of Grant’s orders took over a week before the new orders reached the area. Communications were quite a bit slower and the confusion quotient was fairly high, but there was no excuse for the order to have been given in the first place. If it could happen that Jews were singled out for scorn and blame without any proof of actions and chosen as others of equal or greater responsibility were not so treated is an anathema to any civilized society. Let us hope that nothing similar occur anywhere throughout the Ukraine which thus far appears unlikely.

 

Still, the Jewish communities in Kiev particularly and throughout the Ukraine have beefed up their security in response to the increased tensions. Reports from within the communities throughout the Ukraine tell of them putting their activities on hold out of safety concerns. There have also been arrest warrants issued for President Yanukovych and various members of his Administration over the violence perpetrated by security and police forces during the months of the demonstrations. Meanwhile, President Yanukovych was reportedly seen to be in a southern port in the company of Russian Marines. The area he was reportedly currently hiding is an area that is among those aligned with Russia as the majority of the citizens are Russians who were imported into the Ukraine during the reign of the Soviet Union in order to serve as a cause for Soviet forces to be injected and the rest of the Ukrainian population pacified. If there will be any shove back from Russia, it will be in response to petition from these Ukrainians as many may prefer to remain aligned and even ruled by the Russians. There have already been reports of demonstrations against the new government and calls from those demonstrating for the return of President Yanukovych as the duly elected President of the Ukraine. The struggle for the heart and soul of the Ukraine is not yet a settled disagreement and the potential for additional violence is still high enough to cause serious concerns until the new government has been elected hopefully as scheduled for May 25. A prayer for the people of the Ukraine and for calm to be the rule and not the exception and for the nation to heal and come together once a new government has been elected. Let us call for patience and for all anticipation be for changes through the ballot box and not the baseball bat.

 

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 6, 2014

Israel’s Illegal Immigrant Disaster

The illegal immigration problems in Israel have the identical overt ramifications as any other issue in Israel, namely that the United Nations, Left and far Left NGOs, the European Union and a whole list of foreign nations are all condemning Israel and demanding that Israel give full rights and comforts to these illegal entrants into their country even as much of the rest of the world is deporting the very same peoples who illegally enter their borders. Even putting the double standards aside, there are numerous other problems these unwelcomed invaders are posing purely within Israeli borders. Many of these illegal immigrants originally come from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya and other nations throughout Africa with almost all these peoples transverse from three to as many as seven nations, risking death in many such as Egypt where illegal migrants are often shot instead of arrested, in order to reach Israel, their intentionally chosen goal for obvious reasons. There are the obvious problems caused as many of the illegal immigrants have no employment and are even often virtually unemployable as they have little education and do not speak any of the languages commonly found within Israel. This leads to either their living in overcrowded apartments when they are able to arrange to rent living space. Many live on the streets and in bus stations and other public buildings turning them into dangerous and unusable locations. There are also the personal hygiene problems of every conceivable nature which simply add to the difficulties posed to the neighborhoods where the illegal immigrants tend to congregate. There have come to be entire areas such as some parts of Eilat and much of South Tel Aviv, both areas are where the most affordable housing exists and is where many workers from the lower end of the financial ladder reside as well as elderly on fixed incomes and others who cannot afford to live elsewhere. These people now face a situation where by sundown they must already have retreated to their homes and locked themselves inside for their own safety. Women residing in these neighborhoods are not safe going out alone even during the daylight hours and many elderly are too frightened to leave their houses to visit the doctor, purchase their prescriptions or even shop for food as they fear physical assaults from some of the illegal immigrants who own the streets in some areas.

 

Another side to the problem is the police have not provided sufficient coverage to make the streets safe for people to use and go about their day-to-day lives. The reason this is a problem has a number of facets which include but are not limited to lack of sufficient manpower to patrol all of the areas, fear that unless the police go in force that individual or paired officers do not pose sufficient threat of force and would often be outnumbered facing both superior numbers and able bodied adversaries who would show the officers little or no respect and would fight and resist any actions against them, and then even when the police do arrest or detain groups of these illegal entrants there are liberal leftist NGOs which provide bail and legal representation to them claiming that society owes these illegals a fair break and we need to understand their plight. Needless to point out, these liberal leftists come from neighborhoods where there are no illegal immigrants plaguing their streets threatening the citizens in their neighborhood so placing those from among the illegal community who do get arrested for acts of violence back on the streets poses no threat to the leftist do-gooders.

 

And that ties into the most troublesome item in the efforts to address the illegal entrants problem. Where the government has finally taken steps to secure the Israel-Sinai border and stem the influx of illegal entrants, the efforts to find solutions for those already in country have not been very effective. The Knesset for its part has passed legislation allowing for the restraining and keeping the illegal entrants in custody while their cases are deliberated and it is decided if they are actual refugees who would face threats to their lives or freedom if returned to their native lands or if they are simply illegal immigrants seeking a better life living in a society which provides them with supposed employment opportunities or where they can live on government support via the societal safety net which was intended for citizens of the nation, not for freeloaders coming from the outside world. Thus far the Israeli Supreme Court has struck down each attempt thus far to address the problems. The current Knesset passed legislation is currently under, or soon will be; challenge by Leftist lawyers whose main aim in life is to make sure that not a single illegal entrant is sent back to their home nation or is inconvenienced in any manner. The reasoning given is that Israel needs to be a nation of refuge for all people who are in need and should forget about the idea and ideals that Israel is and should act as the home of the Jewish People. These far leftists condemn Zionists as narrow minded bigots and agree with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who recently was quoted claiming, “I want to see a liberal, Zionist Israel, not a conservative, nationalistic one.”

 

One has to know that when the leftist claim they desire a liberal Zionist Israel they define such as a nation where Jews are welcome as is everybody else and where there is no thoughts of actually defining the State as a Jewish State and where religion, especially Orthodox Judaism, holds no special place and should receive no special treatment. They believe that Israel would be best served if it became a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, socialist state where everybody and every outcome are guaranteed equal by the government and in order to prove that this liberal Israel does not regard Israel as the Jewish state it must denigrate and work against any religious Jewish agendas. This is what is behind a number of other contentious issues such as the demand by the secularists and leftists that the religious Bible studying adults must serve in the military even if that requires them to give up their dedicated Bible studies. It is behind the Women of the Wall fight to demolish the Orthodox hold of the Kotel, the plaza and Western Wall complex, and who demand that the main area be realigned to fit their demands despite the fact that the vast majority of Israelis desire the rules to remain the same. These ladies were even offered an area recently developed close to the main Kotel where they could hold their style of services and practice their form of Judaism but they demand that they be allowed at the main area and the rest of those wishing to follow Orthodoxy should use the somewhat smaller new area despite the fact that these women are a small minority. Even if they should prevail, then the newly renovated and prepared area would become the new central place for Jewish prayer. Would that then cause them to demand that area in the future? My guess is it would be exactly what would happen.

 

Israel is at a crossroads where her future is on the line; the Leftists recognize this and are in full-fledged panic. They look at the landscape of Judaism in Israel and note that they are rapidly becoming a smaller and smaller minority. They currently hold many of the government positions and have representation beyond their numbers in the courts and are using these cudgels to bludgeon Israeli society to bend to their beliefs and practices. The leftist also realize that despite the billions of dollars being poured into extreme leftist NGOs by the European Union, European governments, and numerous international leftist NGOs that they are facing a desperate situation and within twenty years Israel will more resemble Judea under King David but with a high tech economy and modern conveniences, than a modern, multi-ethnic socialist dream come true. They believe that if they can just push hard enough and get their agendas established that they will be able to make the socialist societal dream which began with the progressives of the early twentieth century into a wondrous and splendid reality. At the root driving their dream forward is the idea that Judaism and socialist humanism are basically identical and that because of this, they are the real Jews and by solving all the world’s ills through government interventions and programs they can implement a messianic perfection which has been unattainable until now. The fact that their schemes and dreams can never work in practice does not matter because true ideologues do not concern themselves with little matters such as reality. And a final point, many of these leftists believe that if Israel will just get rid of those religious fanatics, anybody who does not worship at the alter to the idol of political correctness and socialist humanism all of which has many of the same qualities as did the Hellenist Greeks, as well as those nationalist Zionists, then they can establish their perfect society free from want or blemish of any kind, where all are equal with a select few, mostly their fellow travelers, are just a little more equal than the rest, and crime and want can be vanquished and a peace can be had with the Palestinians if only those obstinate people in the government would realize the errors of their ways and accept the new world order offered by these international secular-humanist NGOs. Please, save us from those who claim they know all the answers as in reality we do not even know the extent of the questions yet.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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