Beyond the Cusp

March 23, 2015

Never Seen the Problem so Plainly Stated

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Often we hear about how people are surprised when an obviously conservative candidate wins an election where nobody has ever remembered reading a pro-conservative editorialist or especially a news columnist. Nobody knows of any conservatives where they work, at their country club or social club, nor are there any in their union, bowling league, classic car club etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I found the problem which stands behind this situation described by Rabbi Professor Dov Fischer titled Conservative “Marranos” and the Absurd Charge of Racism. Below is the last part of the first paragraph which left me in shock and feeling a sharp pinch of sadness and emptiness as one might hope that such a respected Rabbi could hold conservative positions, especially on many social issues where Torah and the laws of Judaism would give him the backing and freedom to at least express such views with impunity and free from the affects others of us have suffered when speaking our minds similarly.

Throughout the West, we conservatives must be careful when we speak, toe political lines that are drawn for us, hide our true political beliefs and voting preferences, and basically live the life of political Marranos or Conversos. We must join unions that we do not wish to join, must advocate programs and leisure activities that we do not wish to advocate, and we must hide furtively until, once every two or four years, we can vote in secrecy.

 

Once my initial shock and sadness passed, I was left with a sense of anger as, oddly enough, I have always had the exact opposite reaction when presented with false boundaries and leftist expectations that, under peer pressures, all will wilt and obey the societal bounds and act as those self-labelled all-compassionate expect and enforce, lest one transgresses at risk of ostracization. I decided to read the remainder of Rabbi Fischer’s article where he described the reactions in the United States and especially in the great White House and around the world where Israel has become the great apartheid state replacing South Africa who having defeated the real apartheid now leads the anointing of Israel as the new enforcer of apartheid politics, after all did not the Bibi again win against the great reformers who accept the European credo and would blindly obey and follow their betters down the path to oblivion. The meat of the article went to explain how politics is a different animal in Israel than it is in the United States, Europe and other citadels of freedom of the Western world. There is the explanation that in Israel we allow a political party whose defined aim in their declarations of principles is to dissolve the Jewishness of Israel and expel or subjugate the Jews and put in place the very Palestinian Arab state which is at its very core not far distant from the same madness that engulfed the continent of Europe and almost the world in the last great conflagration. When at the end of a brilliant description explaining that the phrase Bibi utilized to rally any last vestiges of support from the Zionist, nationalist and right wing voting blocks to get out and vote as a measured grass roots effort financed and manned by leaders from outside of Israel were attempting to hijack the elections and seize power and influence in order to command Israeli obedience to their desires which would in short time mean the end of Israel as the one and only Jewish state, the last refuge the Jewish people have for a safe place, a refuge and blessed haven to which they will be able to escape as the world once again turns mad with red shot eyes and an inner rage for Jewish blood and from there who knows the next victim of the coming madness, perhaps religious Christians who remain dedicated to ancient and outdated parchments and even still believe that the Constitution and the Bible were written in stone and not living, breathing documents whose interpretations depend on the end desire to redefine all norms to fit their unholy societal demands. The article explains that there is a force in the darkness which does desire to squelch all opposition and extinguish the flames of freedom and compassion in the world and install in the place of liberating doctrines a religiously enforced straightjacket which will break the will and end the dreams of the millions who lead the assaults on the battlements of Israeli society as that is the identified instigator that has unsettled an old, dormant, expellent force which seeks dominance over all societal norms and the final implementation of their holy order, though which form is still being debated, by force of arms. The point was made that none of these paragons of all that is fare and knowledgeable were to expound their doctrines in any of the societies such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran or many others of similar ilk that they would soon be meted out their just rewards for thinking beyond their canonical precepts meant to place all societies under its order. Then he relates how after expressing our honest desires we will again have returned to our basements and reassumed our placid facades we use in our daily excursions in the public eye.

 

It has always been my experience that it is best to exhibit those exact traits which best and most deeply depict standing on what is defined as the right wing, conservative or sometimes even Neanderthal behavior and risk the immediate recoil as if close proximity might cause them to be infected as if your political and societal beliefs are akin to a disease which one must quarantine for the health of their society. Does such an initial reaction make existence somewhat difficult initially, of course it does and must be expected. Once you have exhibited that you are quite comfortable existing within their space though an orbital radius is placed around you into which none initially and eventually only the brave dare be seen entering, let alone such trivialities as conversing or even sharing a joke or relating an anecdotal experience from the weekend as such interactions risk contamination. This cannot last indefinitely and slowly but inexorably your societal peers will find that you are not a monster and will not cause them contamination or other afflictions but that you actually share many of the beliefs they themselves accept as we are all raised in the same society which has rules which are universal, it is just that such rules are mostly about conduct and politeness which makes society possible. With extended exposure your fellow travelers will inevitably realize that what you consider right and just is very similar to those things they once believed but have since slid down that slippery slope which you have often warned about and upon realizing this some may even attempt to climb back from their proximity further down the slippery slope which actually will eventually be the death of their society as at the bottom of that slope nothing is worth defending and complete surrender to the great call of empty nothingness where every act no matter how perverse, iniquitous or reprehensible can be condemned lest you be condemned for the bottom of the slope is a society with no standards and nothing is enforced as being beyond acceptance. No society so defined can continue to exist as it becomes a society completely enthralled with self-indulgence to such an extent that even the idea of sacrifice of the self to raise the next generation becomes too burdensome that the idea that it takes a society to raise a child finally becomes simply the society must raise the child and children are given over to specially trained teams who know the best manner for raising the child and every child is molded or forced to obey the rules of inclusiveness and to abhor those who claim that some actions are beyond acceptable behavior as the self-indulgent new define morals and conduct such that nothing is too much or against acceptance except maybe having expectations that all have self-respect and a code of conduct which does limit behavior and set standards, real standards and not an anything goes unbounded limitless standards-free society. Those who are right wing are simply the morals which are necessary to restrain society from swinging so far from center that any hope of a return to those basic beliefs which once produced a society which was productive and functional believing in itself and the ideals which were worth extending to the next generation and knowing that it was the greatest of all accomplishments to raise children instilled with values which guided them to exceed the accomplishments you attained and built a better and more compassionate society which had structure worthy and even beyond what you might have hoped for. There is nothing more honorable than raising a child who exceeds your accomplishments and is making a better parent than you were when raising your child as they took those things that were right and true and took a different path avoiding many of the errors you committed and you realize they are in fact committed to doing what you had strove to do, be a better parent than your own parents and by producing a greater grandchild that they too can be proud and feel they too contributed to that wondrous hope for the future. Does such a society go off the rails, of course that is a possibility which is why as parents we never stop teaching and hopefully we never stop learning for learning is the first step to teaching.

 

The truth of being a right wing, religious and attempting to lead a righteous life is something which it is never too late to start. Many of us who are on the right were leaders of the charge down that slippery slope but had an epiphany and realized that the bottom of that slope was a waiting disaster and where we should be headed is back to the top of the hill. Of course we who have taken this path realize that the top of that hill awaits the fact that it is but a foothill and beyond is another slightly higher foothill and in the distance is a mountain that so very few of us ever even reach the bottom of its craggy and high cliffs which are seemingly impossible to scale. I am hopeful but unfortunately uncertain that there are those still alive today who are somewhere upon those stratospheric heights holding fast to those principles which all too many of us have little knowledge or understanding of such thoughts. The truth we do know is that to have such thoughts must be wondrous and fulfilling. It is that knowledge which guides those who hold conservative standards and believe in that higher truth which we have realized is atop the hill and not at the bottom of that grassy, wet, slippery slope no matter what the promises of ecstasy and unlimited freedom for even freedom must be limited by boundaries, even if the only boundary one recognizes is that their freedom stops at the next person’s nose. One can punch the air, punch the heavy bag, punch the light bag, but one may not punch the person next to them as that infringes on their freedom. Thomas Jefferson once stated about a neighbor’s religious beliefs but can be more generally applied very simple truism, “If it doesn’t break my arm or pick my pocket I don’t care which religion a person pursues.” If only everyone today could apply that to political beliefs instead of initially treating any conservative as a leper, a societal pariah, as for the most part it is all we would ask or expect as decent behavior of a group of people who pride themselves with their so-called acceptance of others with different beliefs for is that not exactly what a conservative is, a person who believes differently, or is it that we arise in you a twinge of conscience, a pang of guilt of something dear that is now misplaced or a hunger to be able to return to your lost values; whatever it may be, listen to that call and find a direction which leads more efficiently to that fulfilling satisfaction that you have a craving but have become lost in the direction to best for which to find it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 10, 2015

The Leftist Conspiracy, Israel, Europe, the United States, and Beyond

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Elections, media hype, political mass rallies, press control, universal currency and world governance are all leftist fronts where the extreme leftists are pushing the implementation of their socialist humanism ideals no matter the cost or the great dangers of potential dire results. The initial target in the West is the redefinition of religion from Judeo-Christian to Secular Socialist Humanism which seeks to establish a new world religion that will serve their aims to make a better world. This has led in many Jewish congregations in the United States and Europe to the redefining of Tikkun Olam from being a form of self-improvement first and having a communal accomplishment of improving each member leading to a more righteous community and thus making a more fair and caring world instead to improving the world which is designed as a socialist paradise where income inequality has been reduced, providing it does not impinge on the level of luxury of the leftists lives who are implementing this new equality of incomes, and the setting of a livable minimum wage instead of an actual simple minimum wage. They often demand that there be green areas set where there can be no building, limits on the heights for buildings and building freezes within cities and at the same time rent controls and affordable housing and rent subsidy housing but usually not near their neighborhoods. They pass completely meaningless nuclear free zone laws despite the fact that there have been absolutely no intentions to construct any such power plants. Sometimes they also pass zoning restrictions against coal or other carbon based power plants despite there being no power generation plants placed or proposed to ever be placed within their neighborhoods. There is a perfect example representing the nuclear free zone concept exists straddling the border between Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington D.C. in the Nuclear Free Tacoma Park which was declared a nuclear-free zone in 1983 by then-mayor Sam Abbott. Unfortunately for the Takoma Park library which had purchased new computers to replace their relics in June of 2012 they realized they had made an unforgivable error, the computers were Hewlett-Packard computers and Hewlett-Packard had been contracted to work on nuclear weapons thus making these computers not kosher for use within their nuclear-free zone. The city council gave the library a waver after a couple of months of severe hand-wringing. Strange but true. Another classical case of leftists hoisted with their own petard.

 

What I have noticed is that more and more as time passes is that leftists will use the world media, which they largely control, and other resources even to the point of populating rallies paid for by leftist groups or even other government agencies under leftist influence or from nations already under leftist control in order to influence elections in other Western nations in order to assist leftist parties to win elections. This has become very evident in the current Israeli elections and has an interesting twist which proves that this has been set-up and planned for quite some time leaving only exactly how deep this conspiracy had reached. First off to get back to the front end of this what very well might be a mad and crazed conspiracy theory we need to get back to the reelection campaign of President Obama. Throughout the campaign there was a theme that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was actively supporting Republican Mitt Romney in an attempt to unseat President Obama by instructing the Jews and supporters of Israel to put Romney into the Presidency because Prime Minister Netanyahu could not get along with President Obama. This little theme kept creeping into the campaign despite repeated denials in interview after interview by Netanyahu. Reality did not interfere with the story as it was just a given that Prime Minister Netanyahu personally could not get along with President Obama no matter how much President Obama gave in to Israel on, how much he worked to protect Israel, often even from herself and specifically from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own extremist demands and attitudes which will only destroy Israel and lose her all the nations which used to be her friends. Nobody could quite understand this false conspiracy between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama.

 

Move back a bit before going on to the Israeli elections in 2013 to the government of Prime Minister Sharon in its post-Likud Kadima mode when the disengagement from Gaza was imminent and it was not until the last possible moment and only after great amounts of needless debate and hemming and hawing before leaving the government. This caused many to question which Netanyahu valued higher, his friendships especially when being called into question and his Zionist views which he claims are so central to his political life. Then came his winning the Prime Ministership in 2009 and his appointing of Ehud Barak as his Minister of Defense which led to some to question how deep Ehud Barak’s influence was being felt in cabinet decisions and how far the fact that Ehud Barak was Bibi’s commander in the IDF. This came to a head when President Obama demanded an extended building freeze beyond the Green Line which ended up being enforced for ten months despite support by the public to resist making such a sacrifice. Then came the elections in 2013 which returned Benyamin Netanyahu to Prime Minister and his first move was to include Tzipi Livni and her new Party’s paltry six mandates and appointed her to be Minister of Justice and made her the lead negotiator with Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab Authority government in Area A of Judea and Samaria. There have been rumors and even some unconfirmed reporting that there was another building freeze put in place to please President Obama and to placate Mahmoud Abbas and company. Now we are entering the last stretch of another election which this time places Tzipi Livni in direct opposition to Prime Minister Netanyahu as she has allied herself with the Labor Party and Yitzhak Hertzog.

 

It seems to be almost a theme in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political career to have former Likudniks who have drifted, some even fled, away from Likud and the Zionist and right leaning camps to post-Zionist, and in Tzipi Livnis’s case, far leftist camp about as far as one could get from their Likud beginnings as they possibly could. This election has become a three ring circus with every ring and every act being some version of the theme, “Anybody but Bibi.” This has been the theme from Yair Lapid, Tzipi Livni, Yitzhak Hertzog, Zahava Gal-On and who knows how many other party leaders and NGOs. Where this Israeli election has the normal interference from the European Union and numerous European governments but there is a repeat of the Netanyahu opposition in 1999 when President Clinton sent James Carville and company to do everything possible and funded their efforts against Bibi. This election it is President Obama who sent Jeremy Bird and a group called either V15 or V2015 which is organizing as massive a grassroots door knocking army and has virtually unlimited funding as OneVoice which was recently awarded $200,000 for future projects by the United States State Department. This may be the first time that the United States State Department has financed the efforts to unseat a sitting Prime Minister of an ally in his nation’s elections. The efforts being put forth to beat Prime Minister Netanyahu is code-named “Anybody but Bibi” but is all about electing Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Hertzog and prevent the formation of a Zionist or right wing government. This has gotten to the point where even President Reuven Rivlin has come and spoken of his desire if the election appears to be close and no clear victory is won to bring the two main parties, Labor/Hatnua and Likud together to form a so-called unity government with the intended design to formulate some new manner of electing the Israeli governance which will make it more difficult to topple a government and force the government to function with the elected people rather than holding elections every year to year and a half as so many Parliamentary governance like all those dysfunctional across all of Europe, or that is how it is being sold. All of these different packages are all designed to assure that there not be another Bibi dominated government and to prevent the formation of a Zionist and right wing government which will not cooperate with President Obama which is the result most sought by the leftist interference from the United States and Europe.

 

The really odd thing about the V15/OneVoice campaign theme is based on a simple word, “Change,” just change without the pairing with hope. Maybe the campaign genii from the Obama reelection campaign and also veterans from the 2008 initial election of President Obama using the mantra of “Hope and Change” and the so very rhythmic chanting of, “Yes We Can!” was just too easily recognized so instead they decided to go with something appropriate and simple but definitely unrecognizable, new, fresh and completely original so they came up with, “Change.” No hope included, just change, not even yes we might, just change, but everybody knows the real chant is anyone but Bibi. The V15 people necessarily never mention OneVoice and try not to allude to President Obama or overtly that they are campaigning for Hertzog and Livni, they just stick with the change of government and anybody but Bibi though everybody knows what that means, and it does not mean Deri from Shas, Bennett from Jewish Home or any of the others though most would be acceptable as long as they would not include Bibi in their coalition. But the truth is if you are attempting to defeat Bibi Netanyahu then you are campaigning for Hertzog and Livni. Further, if anyone cares to listen to what Hertzog and Livni were screaming about for the weeks leading up to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent addressing of the United States joint session of Congress then you heard their entire campaign platform. Their plan is to repair the relations between Israel and President Obama by dutifully obeying any and everything that President Obama demands from them.

 

This means that they will gladly withdraw all Jewish Israelis from all of Judea and Samaria as well as East Jerusalem and pull back behind the Green Line even without meeting with Mahmoud Abbas. This they will perform so as to allow President Obama to force Abbas to then agree to take the lands and hopefully accept them and agree to end his demands and make peace. Perhaps this is when the hope enters the formulas. Thus far nobody has addressed one little potentially troubling scenario, what happens should Mahmoud Abbas take the now purged lands which have been made Judenrein as he demands and refuse to make peace demanding instead that Israel accept some five-million Arab refugees within their now truncated borders and even then he actually says that he will still not make peace until all the Jews have been removed from his greater Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Is this where the Hopeless Changes would be enforced and Israel made to accept every last Arab claiming to be a refugee regardless of their ancestral history? As I said, nobody has addressed this and I can assure you this will be exactly what will occur should Livni and Hertzog be given the opportunity to form and coalition and they succeed in forming a government predicated on accessing to every wish of President Obama in his mad quest for peace in the Middle East and his winning another Nobel Peace Prize.

 

If this interference in the Israeli election works for the international forces of the socialist extreme leftists then all of the Western nations can expect a full court press to place leftist government into power wherever it proves possible and then the attempt to impose a One World universal currency, a deal that the Russians have been very strongly proposing and supporting and have run into a singular blockade, the Chinese thus far are refusing to accept such a currency and are willing to continue using the dollar as their currency is defined as a set value against the dollar so it behooves them to retain the dollar as the petro-dollar and the reserve currency of the world. If for a moment anyone believes that the making of a universal currency will work please take a long and hard look at Europe and the Euro. The same problems that Greece is facing as their economic plans did not fare well when compared to Germany or any other Euro nation. One cannot have a common currency unless every nation using that currency agrees to centralize their economic governance. That simply means if there is a world currency then there must be a world governance. That is the desire of the leftists and is why they are allying themselves currently with the forces of Islam as they view their militancy as the fastest route to a single governance over the world except the leftists believe they will be able to redefine Islam to transform it into their secular social humanist governance and have overlooked the slightest of problems, the Islamists will be so very busy murdering these very same extreme leftists for their beliefs, especially for their liberal views over women, abortion, same sex marriage, alternate lifestyles, drinking of alcohol and virtually everything else they accept even to the way they dress. The misadventure starts with the election coming within two weeks in Israel, March 17, 2015 to be exact, and if in any way Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is not chosen to form a Zionist coalition, or if he does not choose a Zionist coalition, then there will be endless interference and meddling in every election coming for the foreseeable future.

 

In some manners and ways even should Netanyahu be chosen to form the next government that is far from guaranteeing that he will form the kind of government required from him if Israel is to survive the calamities coming in the next few years. Obeying every dictation out of Washington, the White House in particular, would be a recipe for disaster and could very possibly signal the end of the Jewish People. In some ways it might be better for the survival of the free world and the Jewish People if one of the following were to be chosen though all are a longshot but are probably necessary for Netanyahu to choose in forming his government and the parties and their leaders are Jewish Home and Naftali Bennett, United Torah Judaism and Yaakov Litzman with Moshe Gafni, Yachad – Otzma and Eli Yishai and finally Yisrael Beiteinu and Avigdor Liberman. As things appear currently the polls are showing the race too close to call and in many ways it appears that whichever side between Netanyahu and Livni/Hertzog is given the nod to form a coalition will very probably succeed. Should Netanyahu allow his seeming personal problems with Naftali Bennett force him to refuse to bring Jewish Home in at all then he would be faced with accepting either a unity government which will cause problems and lead to a short-lived governing coalition which could easily be brought down. If the fears that some have expressed that Netanyahu’s Zionist streak may not be as wide or as deeply held as many have been led to believe and that his wavering on that point might cause him to make a unity government to honestly address the election processes and make a new and less fragile manner of governance might mean more to him. Additionally, there have been reports of some difficulties between President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu which also could come into play. Thankfully we have only a matter of days to scrutinize the elections and then all will be revealed and the die cast and our fates determined.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 15, 2014

Future and Hope for the Western World

 

The future is determined just as much by the nurturing and education provided for the next generation during their youth, formative years and on through their years of education and initial introduction into the workforce as it is by their genetic makeup which is still provided by the natural selection that leads to determining who their parents are. Where we may be on the cusp of great breakthroughs in genetic engineering and closing in on providing parents with choices for genetically altering their future child’s DNA makeup and thus provide for what are called designer children, we have yet to get beyond the cusp and make such opportunities acceptable to the general public. I am sure that should the time come and we are able to literally design a child, leaving only the most minor possibilities of any unseen crisis, and produce a next generation of geniuses, but thus far we are not quite beyond the cusp and stepping into what may be a very strange new world. Once we arrive at the point where the first designer child is produced successfully and a healthy, intelligent, beautiful and handsome wonder-child is born, I suspect rather than being met with cheers and adulation of being the first child in a new era of humanity, we will instead face mobs of protesters demanding this kind of monstrous building of abomination of nature be immediately outlawed and only naturally conceived children be permitted. Of course these demonstrators will eventually tire of their objections, or at least making a public display of those objections, and designer children will be as common as are naturally selected children of today. The problem would be when only designer children or minimally selected pairing of best case DNA from the natural parents for children will be required in a means of aiding natural selection and optimizing the next generations.

 

No matter how close to what is deemed perfect human children biological research may permit society to produce, all of that is worthless if the education system they are given is not up to the optimum level that might be possible. This is apparently a subject of great debate amongst two different generations, the parents of young children through college age young adults and their grandparents whose educational rigors did not grant the wide array of course selection nor did it have the advantages of computers, the internet, social media, and all the other advantages, difficulties, challenges and new educational theories such as the currently very seriously debated and in many cases rejected system known mostly as Common Core. All of that debate aside, the objection appears to be most prevalent amongst the grandparents who look at some of the signs they have observed and the sometimes unbelievable ignorance revealed by numerous interviews and test results given to children in elementary education through to college and university students even those studying for advanced degrees such as Masters and Doctoral programs.

 

One of the glaring recent examples was the interviews of random students at Harvard about current politics and historical questions mostly pertaining to American history. Only a minority could identify Vice President being currently Joe Biden. An even smaller percentage identified John Roberts as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Where I would forgive the average High School student not knowing who was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, these were students at Harvard and whom will be the leaders and shapers of the future of the nation and many of whom will become the lawyers and judges, possible even Supreme Court Judges even to the high position of Chief Justice. These were presumably the crème de la crème of American education; these were students at Harvard. As disturbing as those results may have been, there have been numerous tests performed on students from middle school, there cannot be anything named junior as in junior high school as junior gives of a connotation of inferior and might damage sensitive psyches, high school and through all levels of college which have produced similar indications that the education system is not up to par or students are simply not retaining anything about civics, government or history. The levels displayed often appear like they could use these youths as the stars for a sequel to the movie, and I am reluctant to even let it be known to the world I even have viewed this movie, Idiocracy.

 

Perhaps some examples of questions which stymied so many students, and granted that some of these interviews were handpicked to make the point that there is something amiss in the American, and very likely across the Western World, education systems are in order. When students cannot identify who was the President of the United States during the Civil War as President Lincoln, and I would have even taken President Jefferson Davis assuming the student was from Alabama, Georgia or any of the other southern states which made up the Confederacy, or they cannot name which country from which the United States fought to gain their independence and name Britain or England there is a problem with the education system. Students were unable to name the three branches of the United Stated Federal Government as the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. These are not trick questions setup to fool or mislead the students; they were straight forward and elementary questions. I almost understand when people attending an anti-nuke rally or other ecological rally against pollution or some other similarly themed action are willing to sign a petition to restrict one of the worst greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere named dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) as they are likely to simply take for granted the petition seekers are representing an actual cause celeb and are not pranking them so they do not fully ingest the question and are just signing to support a similarly themed petition, or so they think. In reality, water vapor in the atmosphere is the greatest of the greenhouse gasses but is also so vital to our existence and the existence of virtually every land animal and plant that we accept its presence as vitally necessary so the petition is not false, simply misleading as no such cause has arisen. Asking who the allied powers were in World War II and against whom they were fighting is not a question which should be as great a challenge for the student population in high school or college. Naming the date that we celebrate the United States gaining its independence as the fourth of July is not that difficult. Probably the worst display was on a late night show where they were giving examples of the dumbest of the dumbest set of answers found from archives to history and civics questions from random universities (and I know these were extremely handpicked but with this question that should have been impossible for anybody to miss the answer) and they could not name what nation the United States fought in the Spanish American War. I am at a loss for words to explain how utterly unbelievable it is that there actually were students who guessed at the answer. Some of the examples were, France, the southern states (they did not even call it the Confederacy), Europe (at least they got the right continent even if they missed the actual nation), the Soviet Union, and of course now we get Britain and England. Most of us have heard these questions and answer combinations which would usually be considered outtakes except they were the exact kind of answers they were seeking. I am aware that it probably took quite a number of interviews of students rushing between classes, but still some of these questions are way to basic to have been missed by anyone.

 

Then there is the final point which recently hit the news and was not so much of a surprise as it was the depth and near universality of the criminal deceits that a university would go to simply to have a stronger and more talented football or basketball teams. One of, if not the, best commentaries on the scandal that broke from the University of North Carolina (UNC) was Phantom courses disservice to black students by Walter Williams. In my ‘innocent youth’ I remember the jokes that at some universities there were student athletes taking courses such as Advanced Basket Weaving and other inane and ridiculous courses but never did we imagine phantom courses where students were given grades sufficient to have them retain player status and not be prevented from taking the field due to academic deficiencies. What makes these crimes even worse is that professors received payment for teaching a class that did not exist in reality. These courses were placed within the school for specific social science curriculum and the student’s grade was determined by what was required for their academic qualifications to play their sport as was the number of these courses each student athlete was assigned to raise their averages. These courses and the inflated grades also gave the university the required diversity representation within the student body to qualify for certain Federal Government grant programs which means that these courses were a part of intentionally defrauding the Federal Government and the tax payers of the United States. These frauds, which can be expected, or something similar, to exist in many a university which fields competitive football and basketball teams, are likely to be revealed elsewhere should this investigation be broadened, as it deserves to be, to other universities where such courses may exist. I am sure that other sports programs are likely to be scrutinized and such scrutiny will produce even more and similar problems and frauds.

 

This fraud and any others existing in the American university systems also uncover another even more serious problem, the lack of quality educational opportunity within the public school system as a whole and with particular problems within the schools which serve those troubled neighborhoods which allows certain students to disrupt the education of the entirety of the classes offered. When students are given a passing grade for the reasoning of social promotion both the student and society are being cheated. A major component of this problem is the Federal Government and its various programs and minimal requirements for schools to receive full funding and not be classified as a troubled, problematic or whatever title might be used to classify a school as substandard which places the teachers and administrators of such schools under focus and scrutiny. Needless to point out that such scrutiny due such a rating is anything but friendly and their demands go beyond the schoolroom and into the main office and often will force changed at the top thus great pressure is placed on teachers to assure that every student passes the testing. This produces what is often referred to as teaching to the test where the class becomes practiced in answering the actual questions on the test potentially without having ever studied or been exposed to anything outside of the test regimens. Additionally, over the past couple of decades there has been a litany of schools where cheating on the qualifying tests have been revealed. These deceptions range from teachers prompting the students while they are testing to changing students’ answers to allow for them receiving a higher rating and preventing the school from losing its standing academically.

 

These practices of altering test answers, teaching solely to the test, social progressions through the school system without failing, giving the students answers for the test while they are taking the test and so many other defrauding of students and society has other ramifications such as graduates from high schools not having the ability to read, write and perform elementary mathematical skills. Some of these student athletes learn very early on that they will be exempted from academic requirements and will receive special attention and reprieves which allow them to pass and continue their academic ratings such that they remain eligible for playing their sport. One has to wonder what future many of these athletes will have when they graduate from college still unable to read, write or do elementary arithmetic, not even mathematics, not even the very basics. Providing the student athlete who was granted grades which were not a true accounting of their abilities or actual learning manages to be accepted to a college because of their false grade point average (GPA) and are unable to make the team in their sport or even other less money generating sport, how can they ever pass an actual course when the first time they are being pressed to actually display learned knowledge and retention. In some cases such students may not even be able to write their name beyond block capital letters? They have a high school diploma which they are incapable of reading and will likely have failed and been academically dismissed from college and now need to find work and they realize they have no skill or capabilities that qualify them for employment except menial labors or, if they are fortunate, some trade, operating equipment or performing a specialized skill such as welding or were taken on to apprentice for such a skill such as carpentry or plumbing. The problems arise when there are nowhere near sufficient jobs which require largely physical strength and stamina and then many of such educationally-challenged students who are incapable of filling out an application to receive their paycheck or the required W-2 tax form are unable even to get those jobs. Even more distressing is that the level of knowledge which students taking the required classes to receive a teaching license will also have received an education which potentially will leave them with inadequate levels of knowledge to be fully capable of teaching most courses. This in turn hurts any student who was assigned to have the under-qualified teacher and the cycle begins anew. The areas which have the highest numbers of unqualified or under-qualified teachers are the sciences and mathematics. These particular courses to be qualified as a teacher of mathematics or the sciences are far more rigorous and require numerous hours in higher level mathematics and whatever science one would choose such as biology, physics, chemistry and the numerous others. Since there is a dearth of teachers who become qualified to teach mathematics or the many sciences, the result is that teachers with a general teaching degree end up covering teaching mathematics or some science class despite potentially never having seen that level or even having taken related courses and still be put in a place where they must show proficiency. This begs the question of what would be the advantage of designing students with astronomical IQs if the education system is so broken that it can only provide one with a sub-prime level of education and knowledge. Perhaps the near future we will have a society of brilliantly ignorant young adults holding graduation certificates that hopefully they can actually read. If there exists one school which does not prepare their students with a decent and complete education then as a society we have failed a good number of children which is something which should be eliminated. Our greatest legacies for the most of us are our children and grandchildren and the generation beyond, we must not fail them from the very start with a failing school system; we must not simply trust the education system and should teach them as best we are able. As for any disruptive students who make an education near to impossible we must have a school which deals solely with such students with provisions to take them to those classes thus allowing the rest of the students who are seeking knowledge to receive their lessons without disruption and even intimidations which make learning impossible and murders their future in the process.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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