Beyond the Cusp

May 10, 2015

American Anti-Semitism Alive and Flourishing

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What happened to Pamela Geller with her being raked over the coals for provoking the attack by a pair of ISIS wannabes by insulting Muslim sensitivities and asking to be assaulted as she had invited people to draw the prophet Mohammad and was honoring those instigators from Charlie Hebdo who also provoked an assault by Islamic enforces of the Sharia. Pamela Geller had gone beyond accepted speech and had all but yelled “fire” in a crowded theater or its equivalent which was unprotected speech. After all, did not Ms. Geller have this coming as she had been tweaking the noses of Muslims everywhere at every opportunity with her support for the Apartheid State of Israel and its genocidal policies towards the Palestinians whose lands they occupied. She had been a defender of the indefensible, a stick in the eye of every sensible person, an itch which just had to be scratched out of existence and came close to finally getting her just rewards there in Garland, Texas. The real problem with these provocative actions of Pamela Geller was the fact that she always had innocents who she would inevitably place in danger and this time one of the guards who checked the invitations of the participants who received a bullet to the leg before the off-duty traffic cop who managed to shoot and kill the two ISIS wannabes in a flash of an exchange of bullets where the two would-be jihadists were encased in full body armor armed with AK-47 .30-calibre high powered rifle rounds capable of penetrating straight through the light chest-protector armor worn by the officer who was shooting back with the Glock version of a M-1911A-1 semi-automatic pistol firing .45 caliber pistol rounds which was incapable of doing more than leaving the smallest of indentations to the heavy body armor and would only prove effective by a shot to the head or a number of shots to the exact same location fired at close range. The wannabe-Jihadists likely thought they were invulnerable against the handgun used by the officer who, unbeknownst to the world, was probably the highest scoring officer in his department every year during qualifying as he placed head shots, the only place the officer could strike the assailants and do any damage, on both assailants as they moved towards the entrance dispatching both to Allah within fifteen seconds from the first shot. Pamela Geller is so absolutely fortunate that the officer at the front entrance was so cool under distress and engaged in a lethal firefight with all the odds stacked against him yet he calmly set his aim at the one place the assailants were vulnerable, a target of less than a square foot on each attacker and struck them both while under a hail of bullets fired from the two AK-47s which would have proven lethal if any round had struck the officer in the torso or head; yet he remained uninjured and saved the day for all inside the event, a real and perfect hero whose name must remain unspoken such that he does not become a target for other Jihadists but who knows he is a hero.

 

The above is the gist of the coverage Pamela Geller has received from the mainstream media from both ends of the political spectrum. She has been berated by both those on the left and those on the right though a few brave individuals on the right have bothered to place the blame where it belonged, to the two heavily armored jihadists who came guns blazing with ineffective fire and were put down by very effective and well placed shots which put an end to their assault almost before it began. So few, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly and CNN’s Piers Morgan both proved the exception and stood with Pamela Geller and the First Amendment guarantees of the freedom of speech, all speech, especially political and controversial speech as popular and easy, uncontroversial and uncontested speech needs no protection, only that speech which is likely to draw opposition or hatreds with threats of violence to silence one is the speech which requires protection from the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. How soon we forget that the speech which requires protection is solely such speech which is most likely to ruffle some tail-feathers which requires protection such that freedom of speech is one of the five protected items in the First Amendment and the officer at the front entrance used the Second Amendment for the exact reason it is the Second Amendment and the enforcer of the First Amendment freedoms and the rest of the rights listed within the Bill of Rights and those from without but still guaranteed free men everywhere though some will face the scorn of their governments and its peoples who, like the majority of the United Stated mainstream media, refuse to step-up to protect the very Amendment which guarantees their very existence and rights to deliver the news, all the news and not just the light news of flower shows and other events having no controversies, having no enemies of freedom who will always attempt to silence those who brace the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and outrageous speech needful of the protection of the Second Amendment and the willingness for the rest of us to protect by echoing their words loudly bringing them into the light where the haters fear to tread.

 

But speaking to protect Israel and her people, the Jews, is no longer affordable speech and has been relegated to the darkness hidden in the shadows where it is spoken only in whispers for to do otherwise brings forth those who would slay us for less. On numerous college and university campuses whenever there is a counter protest in response to a pro-Israel rally, the pro-Israel rally is more often than not made to pack up and end their rally even if the pro-Israel rally had been set and received all the required approvals and the counter rally was apparently an impromptu response which occurred as a popular response. These counter rallies are often just as planned and have even been known to have approached the administration of the college or university demanding that when their demonstration begins it would be wise to close down the pro-Israel rally before anybody was injured as to allow the pro-Israel rally to continue would be an affront to their demonstration and a provocation to violence. A study performed by the Louis Brandeis Center in Washington resulted in findings that over half of Jews had been subjected to or witnessed an anti-Semitic act in the past year with a sizable number having witnessed or suffered multiple such acts. In the majority of instances the student was advised to let it pass rather than file a complaint. It is becoming more common on American university and colleges for Jewish students to be forced to prove their disapproval of Israel or face what can only be described as hate actions which will only be terminated once they have performed a mia-culpa and satisfactorily renounced any pro-Israel feelings. Student body election candidates have been requested to sign agreements whereby they promise to refuse any trips to Israel offered them by numerous Jewish organizations which have Zionist support but they are not made to sign any similar promise against Israel tours offered by pro-Palestinian or Muslim outreach organizations. When such petitions are brought to the attention of the administration there is often a lax attitude claiming such petition demands of the candidates cannot be turned away as such is simply freedom of speech issue. One can only wonder what their reaction might be if the petitions were made from the opposing viewpoint. Many of the anti-Israel campus efforts are well-organized, well-financed and often work in partnership with one or more parent organization which will arrange for additional support for any counter-rally in order to force the termination of any pro-Israel rallies. These coordination of events are mostly occurring on major universities and have turned particularly disconcerting in California university systems. The America college and university campus is rapidly becoming a hostile environment for Jewish students, especially any who are religious or particularly pro-Israel. One can only wonder how much longer before Jewish students are simply found unacceptable to attend college or university in many of the mainstream campuses in the United States. Another item to keep in mind and this is an item of great foreboding, or at least should be taken as such, what one witnesses on the university or college campus today will be main-stream in society a decade later. Imagine the average large sized company being slowly forced to let every Jewish employee go if they hope to keep order in their company and avoid unrest and potentially rioting at their front door threatening all their employees not to cross their demonstration lines and those who refuse the warnings find their vehicles damaged or destroyed when leaving that day. How many vehicles need be damaged before their employees are afraid for their lives and inform their superiors they will be unable to return to work until the demonstrators’ demands are satisfied? Whatever you so please do not make the same mistake the Jews in Germany during the Weimar Republic and even the initial two years after the Nazis initially took power and tell yourself, “It cannot happen here. We have an advanced and open culture where everybody is treated equally.” This is not true on many college and university campuses right now, how much longer before it invades the society when sufficient numbers of students have been so conditioned at their university or college? It most definitely can happen in the United States and has already started in Europe. How much longer before the United States society and governance is demanded to turn on Israel and then soon followed by demanding they turn against their Jews? Twenty years? Ten years? Five Years? Watch your local university and college campuses and see what happens should a pro-Israel individual be invited to give a presentation and see if they are permitted to speak freely. There was one instance last year where one such speaker was permitted to give his speech he had prepared but was told there might not be anyone attending their lecture. This was almost the case but a couple dozen students braved all opposition and the event was transferred at the last minute to a classroom and not the school’s auditorium. The even more frightening question is how long before these activities and hate campaigns move to the high schools and permeate the entire school curriculum. Think this is impossible? Check your school board or the textbook committees in your state and see what choices they have made for history and other course books. These school boards and particularly the state committees that choose the textbooks are often being infiltrated by people who choose books which omit mentions of Jews from their history lessons and show Jews in a dark light when they are mentioned. The history lessons and often the reading assignments in English classes include subtle anti-Semitic phraseology and in some cases outright anti-Semitism. This is an insidious creeping infestation of the secondary school curriculum and is slowly moving into earlier and earlier levels of education. Do not simply think that this is impossible and cannot happen in the United States as that has been the response throughout history and in just about every case it did happen here and the people eventually accepted it as an inevitability and would make the excuse simply asking, “What could I do against the whole of society?” It would do well for every person of good faith to remember and be mindful of the warning which was initially sounded by John Stuart Mill though also often credited to Edmund Burke which stated, “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” The variant most often heard and probably more familiar goes something like this, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So, when you see this evil approaching do not rely on your neighbors to launch into action, take the charge and lead them to action, the feeling of empowerment to have acted and thwarted such evils is reward in and of itself, the gains of society are immeasurable.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 16, 2015

Anti-Semitism Rising Yet It Can’t Happen Here

 

Any sane person, one might think, would not doubt that anti-Semitism is rising in the four corners of the globe. While that is true, each admission of that carries an additional modifier. That modifier is the exact same modifier used by Jews everywhere from the beginning of Judaism as a major religion, “It can’t happen here.” Now, that modifier always has some accompanying rationalizations such as the following: We Jews are an intricate part of the society; we are accepted in society; we are seen as judges, lawyers, businesspeople, and are even elected to positions in government; we Jews are accepted and assimilated; and my favorite, this isn’t Nazi Germany, this is America. There is one item from the previous which has always puzzled me, how it is such an intelligent people, as Jews presumably are, can misunderstand that their being assimilated does not infer automatically that the population has assimilated them into the whole. There are other qualifiers and whatever one you can dream up is probably used by some Jews somewhere. What is really ridiculous is when there are leaders of Jewish society, the central pillar around which the community seeks wisdom and guidance, the Rabbis who when asked, “Should not the Jews leave here and seek someplace less threatening to live?” They answer, “No, of course not. Why would you suggest that? This has been our home and the homes of our families for generations. We have a lot invested in this community.” And my favorite and usually their final rationalization, “The authorities have promised to help us and keep the peace and guard against any further anti-Semitism.” Do not get me wrong, they honestly feel that these rationalizations are completely valid and hold water. They refuse to see that the actual realities have struck holes in their every argument.

 

Things in Europe are at the worse and mostly beyond the cusp range of realities; so I will stick with the queries and responses we received when we began telling the other members of the congregation with whom we had a familiar friendship. First allow me to point out that those with whom we still converse online and the Rabbi all supported our making Aliyah and gave it their blessings if not their desire that it be they who were going to live in Eretz Yisroel. But the others gave responses such as, “Why would you want to go there? You are leaving the United States? But things are so much more civil here. Aren’t you worried about the terrorism? And our favorite, you will be returning here within a year once you see what it is like in Israel. I’ve been there and I know. Those naysayers were wrong. We’ve been here well over a year and are loving it. I, myself, have never felt more comfortable and accepted as I have here and can only imagine how much more so once we have mastered Hebrew, at least master enough to, through spits and starts, get through an entire thought.

 

That little anecdotal trip down memory lane was to point out we have seen this attitude play itself out in our own experience. Of course, as mentioned, our friends all expressed their longing to make Aliyah and come to Israel and many expected to do so in the near future, but time will tell on that. Getting to make Aliyah as a Jew is no longer you show up and announce that you are Jewish, kiss the ground, and be granted immediate citizenship. The paperwork we filled out made a pile almost rivaling the stuff we brought with us. OK, that was a bit of an exaggeration. Still, the process for us was a little complicated and took over two years to complete and during that time it had its many ups, downs and why would they need to know this questions. Eventually we completed the process and many of the items we were puzzled why they were necessary proved not to be required but was stuff they gathered for statistical reasons. OK, so you were collecting mega-data, why didn’t you just say so, we’ve heard about Edward Snowden, we would have understood, honest.

 

Our making Aliyah had to do with a young nine year old boy promising himself, the worst promise you can make because it requires you to either complete the promise or let yourself down, that when the time came and all things in America were fulfilled he would retire in Israel, something the wiffie really might have preferred knowing about before we got married, but she already knew I was a bit strange, right, quite strange, well, if you insist, beyond the cusp strange! There, I’ve admitted it, happy? Still, it may have been the most advantageous thing we ever did as it changed our lives for the better and really opened up our lives much as a rose stretches out its petal to greet the morning sun and drink up the warmth and the blessed energy G0d has seen in His wisdom to provide for that rose bud so tightly shuttered to awaken stretching out revealing its beauty and spreading its fragrance for all to inhale and exclaim that this is a beautiful day. That is how we awaken here most mornings.

 

Back to the subject which is as horrific and threatening as our returning home to Eretz Yisroel was rewarding and enriching. The news we read about places in Europe such as Malmo, London, Toulouse, and numerous other places are horrific and makes us feel for those Jews residing amongst such hatreds it amazes us that they don’t simply pick up their lives and come to Israel. Surprisingly, even including all the terrorism within the Green Line in Israel, you are still safer in Israel than you are from crime in the United States or Europe, surprising but true. Yet not only do these people continue to live in places where their lives are under threat both day and night, but their Rabbis all tell them it is the Jewish thing to do to remain in defiance to the threats. Where in all that is holy is that written? Looking back over the past year or so in the United States, pulling solely from news stories, I am able to remember we have had some horrific acts of anti-Semitism. There was the Rabbi visiting family in Florida walking to synagogue in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood who was approached by two youths, at least younger adults if not teens, a brief exchange of words, the sound of gunfire and the two youths walked away calmly leaving the Rabbi sprawled out dead on the pavement. The Florida local police listed this as a robbery gone bad, as if the youths had no realization that religious Jews, which the attire of the Rabbi was obvious, do not carry money or items of wealth on the Sabbath. There have been near countless desecration of Jewish cemeteries or the Jewish section of a cemetery yard throughout the United States and ten times worse in Europe. There have been desecration committed against Holocaust memorials often accompanied by writings on such structures of “Jews to the gas,” “Hitler was right,” “Jews get out,” “Holocaust was a myth,” “We are the new Holocaust” amongst numerous other defamations of this ilk. Then there was a stretch of time where a “game” which became known as the “knockout the Jew” game where a member of a group of youths as they passed somebody sporting Jewish identifying clothing would attempt to one-punch the targeted Jew at a minimum knocking them off their feet or knocking them unconscious, scoring howls and celebratory knuckle tapping in recognition of this person’s singular accomplishment. Eventually this happening caught sufficient attention from the authorities, especially after one elderly man died from his wounds from striking his head on a curb after being struck as part of this fun game. There have been defiling of synagogues with such an event just this past week in Gaithersburg, Maryland. which is located in Montgomery County. which is heavily Jewish with a percentage of eighteen and two-tenths. That is actually a very impressive percentage when one figures in the percentage of people in the world who are Jews, a whopping two-one hundredths of one percent, for those who might be having difficulty with realizing how small a percentage that is, allow me to reference it in other ways, 0.02% which mathematically comes out to 0.0002 Jews per unit of population, one would require counting out a section of any random grouping of people from around the world a staggering five-thousand people in order to have relative assurance that there would be a single Jew in the group. Perhaps placing a bit of writing that Mark Twain once wrote about the Jewish people will be far more impressive than anything I could ever imagine up, so the rest is from Mark Twain’s essay “All Things are Mortal but the Jew”* also referred to as “The Eternal Jew.”

 

If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.
His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him.
He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.
The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.
All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 
* “Concerning The Jews,” Harper’s Magazine, 1899
The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, Doubleday [1963] pg. 249

October 23, 2013

Final Look at Lessons from the Government Shutdown

The shutdown of the Federal Government has passed and things have presumably returned to normal, whatever normal is. The government workers who were furloughed will be receiving their regular pay so they will not be losing money and basically had a short paid vacation without using any of their paid days off. That has appeared to be a dangerous statement to make as those who are of the opinion that the shutdown of the Federal Government was the most dangerous and near catastrophic and reckless act in modern history have catatonic fits screaming something about the government workers had to wait an extra week from their normal pay cycle to receive their salary and don’t we realize that the grossly underpaid government workers all live hand to mouth and paycheck to paycheck and could go hungry, be evicted from their apartment or their house be foreclosed and countless other financial disasters befall them as a result. Never mind that I can assure you that there were no such catastrophes as if one government worker had faced such a personal tragedy the mainstream media would have had them in studios being interviewed 24/7. So, what were the lessons that we should have garnered from the government shutdown?

 

One of the first is that there exist far too many people whose specialty is hyperventilating while screaming about how the sky is falling as they run about with an acorn on their heads. OK, I exaggerated as they did not actually need the acorn. The predictions that the government shutdown was going to destroy the recovery and place the economy into a possible meltdown were pure fantasy and the reports that the government shutdown resulted in over two billion dollars of lost economic activity is simply further proof that way too much of the national economy and the GDP are tied to the government. One story was how West Virginia farmers lost their entire year’s worth of crops because the Department of Agriculture was mostly furloughed and that resulted in their crops not being sprayed with fertilizer and pesticides. If this is a true story then there is a serious problem existing behind the scenes and my bet is that the farmers are not covered by the Federal Insurance Policy unless their every action concerning their crops is first approved by some government overseer. This person is probably a relative to some higher official or some Congress person’s friend who simply stamps every request to take actions in taking care of the crops and might actually not even be able to care for an air fern themselves and knows even less about farm crops. Just about every horror story that was trotted out was also very likely a story that at any other time would have been a report on the obscene intervention of the Federal Government in people’s and business’s everyday life and activities. But there was far more to learn other than the government has grown well past its supposed Constitutional limitations and has permeated far too much of our lives and businesses.

 

Another lesson we learned was that in reality we have three political parties and two of them are working hand in hand against the American people and are simply in office to get reelected and to enrich themselves and their fellow politicians and big donor friends. The two main parties are the Democrat Party and the Progressive Elitist Wing of the Republican Party which also accounts for almost the entire Republican leadership in the Congress. That leaves the smallest party which are those few politicians who are honest in their desire to serve the public which elected them and are willing to go out on a limb and fight for what their supporters want no matter the cost. Where currently most of these public servants are from within the Republican Party, there are some from both the Democrat Party and one Independent that I can think of. I will likely get nailed for this but Bernie Sanders is one of these public servants who campaigns on the exact items and positions he takes while in office. Senator Joseph Lieberman was another such and that cost him the support of his own Democrat Party at the end of his career despite his getting the last laugh as he turned around and won reelection as an independent for his final term in the Senate. The lesson which Joseph Lieberman learned during his final run for the Senate is the same lesson that Senator Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz and Senator Michael Shumway “Mike” Lee along with a number of Representatives from the House who are referred to as the Tea Party Conservatives, whether they are so affiliated or not does not appear to matter as it is a label that the powers that be are attempting to make into a slur and a criticism, are all learning as the leadership and the Progressives from their own Republican Party are reading them the riot act and will likely do everything in their power to unseat them even if it results in a Democrat being elected as they would prefer a Progressive and party be damned. The cannibalistic nature and disrespect shown by these progressives is very revealing and clearly displays their lack of tolerance for anyone who they see as in opposition to their progressive big government programs.

 

One of the most viscous and unseemly of these has been Senator John McCain with the most dangerous one being a man who works his dastardly deeds in the dark recesses behind the scenes named Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. There is one more gentleman in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives whom I feel must be mentioned as they not only are one of my Senators but also my Representative in the House and both men who have proven honorable during this last budget battle, Senator Jim Inhofe and Representative Jim Bridenstine. Senator Inhofe was one of the few established long serving people who took part as a substitute assisting in Senator Cruz’s twenty-four-hour filibuster and Representative Bridenstine has been a reliable Constitutionalist after winning election against the sitting Republican whom everybody had predicted would easily win reelection. Surprise! What we have learned is there is a political movement building that honors the Constitution and is behind a drive to reestablish Constitutional checks and balances, small government, renewed State rights, and an end to the bloated and wasteful over-spending that the bill which ended the shutdown was a perfect example of the problem. There was a set-aside of over one-hundred-fifty-million dollars for the widow of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg, a multi-millionaire at the time of his death. They also budgeted an additional two-plus billion dollars for a dam project for the preservation of the downstream lands. While the entire project concerns both Ohio and Illinois as well as Kentucky, the vast majority of these funds will go to Kentucky which just happens to be Senate Minority Leader McConnell. The most interesting item about this project additional subsidy is that it was proposed by California Senator Barbara Boxer in a not so subtle attempt to allow Senator McConnell to claim that he had nothing to do with the proposed funding as a leading California Democrat Senator Boxer proposed it and he had nothing to do with the idea. The truth is that this was simply a perfect example of one progressive giving a helping hand to a fellow progressive. The Democrat and Republican labels are no longer as important as is their view be it either Progressive big government or Constitutional limited government. There may be a new alignment coming with either a reclaimed Republican Party or possibly the Tea Party label might become a real political party and as soon as it has it will need to be watched and scrutinized from the very outset in order to hold them to their principles, something that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats follow their principles from the middle of the last century, the twentieth century. If spending is not brought under rational control soon then the United States will fail and go the way not of Rome, but of the Weimar Republic. That would be a very sorry state that would rock the entire world and put many national economies in dangerous and precarious states. What will you say when you grandchild asks you what you were doing when the Congress and the Federal Government took the United States over the cliff and into a financial abyss of oblivion?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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