Beyond the Cusp

November 5, 2016

Republican Disarray After Trump, Only if They Blow It

 

There have been numerous articles attempting to discern exactly what the Republican Party will be like after its foray with the Donald. They try to figure what effects he is going to have on the candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as State races for legislatures and governorships. There are all different levels of panic to excitement. Some are excited thinking that the increased voters may mean a stronger voter turnout which will raise all candidates as these voters are most likely to vote for the party ticket rather than only voting for Donald Trump as that is the easiest path and these are lower information voters who are more likely to just pull the single lever for the Trump party rather than voting for each office individually, an occurrence the Democrat Party is more familiar with than are the Republicans. This is a new and untested ground for the Republican Party and more so than most will ever know. Has anybody actually bothered to ask the Donald if he is really willing to surrender control of all his companies and real estate interests for four or possibly eight years placing them in a trust where he will not be managing his holdings? I mean seriously now folks, can anybody see Donald Trump walking away from his wheeling dealing which is really what he lives for. Does he in the end really want to be President, or are we watching the dog caught the car by the rear wheel and now is stuck driving the car? He will be the center of attention between now and the end of his term should he actually prevail, something looking more certain as the clock ticks down to Tuesday. There is where the drama will peak and Trump will do the unthinkable and still hold the future of the Republican Party in his hands and he will play it for maximum exposure of the Donald before he makes the final fateful step which will astound most of the pundits, the media and the entirety of the Republican Party, win the day carrying the House of Representatives comfortably and give the Republicans a minimum of fifty-seven and possibly as high as 62 in the Senate. Yes, Donald Trump could be sitting in the catbird seat with a filibuster-proof Congress if the Republicans can find their way to work with him. Not to worry, they won’t.

 

Of course all this is pure conjecture but in one manner it would be wonderful to see a true and total Republican Congress with the same theoretical license to do whatever they can agree upon just as was the case for the Democrats for the initial two years under President Obama. Thankfully the wheels came off of that cart fairly quickly and before the world ended and the destructiveness was mostly repairable with Obamacare needing the largest repair, removal and replaced with a completely open system countrywide for all insurers with take and carry benefit for all plans. There could be options for tax breaks for companies paying percentages of employee chosen plans giving everybody total control. Returning to major medical plans with a basic plan required for any insurance that would cover Emergency Room, Trauma Center and major surgeries with rate of coverage set by a board of major hospital directors chosen every five years by the top five-hundred hospitals by some pre-set formula which would include their accepting Medicare and Medicaid pricing as set by the board and approved by Health and Human Services and the Senate also voting as if this were an actual treaty requiring a super-majority. This would guarantee bipartisan agreement. This base pricing could be used for a national defined plan which all insurers could use as their guideline for a general basic coverage plan.

 

The one part of such unilateral Republican control is there would no longer be the excuse by the Republican leadership of, we did not have the complete control of the House, the Senate, power to end filibusters or, their favorite, we did not have the White House. No more excuses and just let the Congress show the world what plan the Republicans really got! Turn them loose and let the legislation fly. Not to worry folks, they will hit a log jam within weeks, more likely days and even within hours or minutes. They would, in a word, choke. The main problem the Republicans suffer is the one thing Trump offers to teach them, bravado. The Republicans are afraid to lead, timid and only comfortable pointing out what is broken in their opinion and then lamenting their inability to do anything about the problems. Given total control they would continue to shuffle their feet, looking at the ground, mumbling senselessly, wandering around lost in the wilderness of their own making. They have no dynamic leadership. They did once under Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America, a plan. Imagine that, an actual plan laid out, defined and actually almost followed. Eventually the Republicans did what they do best and shot down their leader because the media picked him apart while they watched on playing the helpless damsel in distress sobbing over her miseries as their presumed White Knight was pounded into the mud by professional muckrakers. What leadership has the Republican leadership or the rank and file shown with their control of Congress as they have handed President Obama victory after victory with budgets including every item with every dollar as requested? One would have at the very least thought they might have, at the very least, demanded more money spent investing in improved care through privatization of the Veterans’ Administration’s healthcare system changing it to an insurance plan open to any and all insurers with guaranteed rates equal to Medicare system rates. This would have freed the veterans to receive care locally, virtually anywhere other than living in a log cabin in Nowhere, Montana. They might have fought to end the downward spiral in defense spending when compared with all the increases in Welfare, Food Stamps and Unemployment costs or demanded that $15.00/hr. minimum wage for military personnel and their pay scale to be based on a forty hour week plus ten hours overtime pay (trust this infantry veteran, most soldiers, especially the privates, work at least an average of well over fifty hour weeks with extra duties such as guard duty, going to the field, weapon training plus yearly qualifying, physical training plus annual testing and a myriad other additional often busy work). These would have been easy initiatives and would have placed a spotlight on some actual problem situations and not on men who claim to be women using any bathroom that fits their life-choices.

 

A complete Republican victory with Donald Trump as President would not necessarily be the disaster the media has painted. Remember, this is a media which has gone step-for-step with every single idea the Democrats have suggested and even initially carried the water for Obamacare and are now backing the Democrat plan of government run healthcare exactly the same that the following countries found to be impossible to afford; Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Russia and any other where the tax rate is under 80% of income with allowances for food, housing, clothing and transportation. When the government allows refunds for food, housing, clothing and transportation; they are dictating how you live and all but defining what you are permitted to spend on food, housing, clothing and transportation. Does such a system sound good to any regular-work-hard American? That is the European Plan that President Obama and a President Hillary Clinton are targeting for America and with a European level military unable to afford ammunition to train with. When we read articles reporting that NATO national military personnel are required to run around in training exercises yelling, “Bang, I shot you, you’re dead,” and that passes for training, we worry what is wrong with these countries. What is wrong is they are not responsible for their defense, the United States is responsible because as NATO defines itself it goes something like this; from each nation as they can provide, from the United States whatever is required to complete the task any NATO nation leaves hanging in the wind. Force the United States to train yelling, “bang bang, you’re dead,” will leave the Western World vulnerable to conquest using swords as swords are a superior weapon to a rifle without bullets, and any invader will have real rifles with real bullets and will not react by claiming, “you got me,” after a NATO soldier screams, “bang bang, you’re dead.” Trust us on this one, really.

 

The choice comes Tuesday, the counting will take the rest of the week unless the victory is definitive, the lawsuits another month or two and the appeals even longer. There is a possibility that the inauguration just might take place on the perfect Saturday, April 1, 2017, April Fool’s Day, and it will be the biggest joke, bet nobody will be laughing, they will be too darned sick and tired. Sick and tired of the wasted time, money and credibility. Sick and tired as the American Representative Constitutional Republic will have been assassinated and lying next to death’s door in desperate need of some serious reckoning. So sick and tired that it is doubtful she will receive the necessary attentions and restoration of faith in the system, the leaders, the nation any time soon. That is the saddest thing about this fiasco disguised as an election. The disgust may be made more palpable by the apparent lack of decency, competence, qualifications and general revulsion one or both candidates elicit from each member of the electorate, but they are not the source of the revulsion, just one more product of the end of America.

 

This was not the original target for the end of this piece, but we rarely end where we started. The disarray coming after this election will encompass both parties. They have each been laid bare for all to see the rotted core filled with the diseases of hatred for the other, distrust of all, the required demand for the lowest expectations, the lowest denominator as the norm and the lack of desire, nay, even ability to repair that which has been left to fall into disrepair. People will ask how things got here and the answer is an easy one. Just open your eyes and look around you and for all that is holy take off the rose colored glasses, the beer goggles, the fractured lensed party glasses and put down the weed, booze, drugs, sexting, or whatever consumes you that is in that little box you so feverishly share everything that amounts to the nothing that is your current life. Too many of us are lost and are too busy becoming even further lost to notice. We started down this road when our materialism surpassed our reason and replaced our faith, well, became our religion. Hashem, The Big Guy who made all of it, or so we used to believe, was put aside for just a short while as we worked harder for that new car. After the car we moved for a bigger house, then that little vacation cottage, those new computers, stood all night in the rain for that next must have gadget, the newest i-Phone, and on and on endlessly until we forgot completely about Hashem.

 

I was right there with many and got lost in living for the now and for the me. Sure, we all peeked up every so often, glanced around, did the traditionally right thing and then dove back in. We lost religion because we had science and a new religion, human rights, animal rights, right to anything and everything while forbidding others from deviating from our chosen things because we, our group knew better than any other group. We pressed for laws which made our cause the right, moral and now legally enforceable right. There were a few hiccups as differing views clashed. The big issues were such as but not limited to abortion, guns, marijuana, free healthcare, free college, minimum wage, military size, military weapons systems, war and peace. The eventuality due to high demand lives and higher taxes both parents worked and in some families one parent worked two jobs, had to keep up the old image, you know. Flat screen television, fifty-two inch display, 3-D, 7.1 surround sound, build on a theater room for the next party, it was never going to end and then we wondered why we had a coronary.

 

Meanwhile, who had time to assist with homework, providing we ever made time for having a family? Time and interest in the children’s schooling also fell by the wayside and the PTA became the teacher’s union more so than a shared parent-teacher relationship. The schools gave us what we wanted, good grades though often so inflated as to be meaningless. They left real schooling somewhere back a ways and replaced it with social programming of our youth who now knew of the evils of capitalism but were unable to define it, global climate change, racial inequality, gender inequality, LGBT life choices, and the new relativity, not Einstein’s but moral, gender and ethnic amongst others. Multiculturalism became the watchword where no single culture was preferable to any other and that included the tribes of cannibals and headhunters, communists and socialists, anything but that one dreadful, awful, despicable culture, Judeo-Christian culture, the old ways that built Western Civilization. No, we had to move beyond our little corner and our petty ways and go and try those other cultures which were all equal while all were preferable to the old way, that demanded far too much civility and culture need not be civil in order to have a civilization.

 

The Narrow Path

The Narrow Path

 

The new multicultural civilization would embrace everything different than our past, that civilization was built on faith and decency, or so it claimed. Faith was long dead; humiliated from the town square and who was it that got to define decency. Assuredly we could each define decency for ourselves, provided it was not defined in the morality based on that old book we had presumably discarded long ago. The children were prepared to forge that new world whose foundation was firmly planted in shifting sands which were so undefined and meaningless that everything was near collapse. We were approaching the cusp and beyond the cusp was a great and bottomless void. The edge had watched many a great civilization fall beyond the cusp to fall into the darkness never to return. This was how greatness of civilizations died, not from withering attacks but from withering within. They first hollowed out the principles upon which they were built and then with the inner structure destroyed, they simply collapsed from their own weight. They all died from their internal injuries, one after the other marching straight into the abyss awaiting their eventual arrival as they passed beyond the cusp. They all had lost their way and strayed from the narrow path turning right or left, it matters not as the cliffs of ruin line both sides and one can pass beyond the cusp going either way, right with dictatorial systems controlled by a single lunatic or left where a horde of self-proclaimed wise men act just as need of an asylum as the single loon and who rush beyond the cusp into the void with equal abandon. The path is as pictured above, narrow and perilous for any who lose their compass and stray from the good path, the narrow way.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 29, 2015

Social Fabric is Being Torn Apart

 

The social fabric since the urbanization caused by the industrial revolution has taken the majority of mankind out of a rural setting and thrust us into a more urban environment. The question which should be occupying a large part of those pondering the future is how will our society adjust the social fabric when approaching one third initially and within this century well over three-quarters of what we consider now as the workforce not only not having gainful employment but no opportunity for employment as more and more occupations are performed by robotic systems. In a recent study Oxford University researchers have forecast that machines might be able to perform half of all jobs in the United States over the next two decades, and by implication the same will be true for the rest of the Western and Industrial nations and beyond. Once robotic workers are capable of executing an occupation, that occupation will be on a fast track to making the human employee a luxury, no employer will be capable of wasting further investments and instead will automate or perish before the competitors who have automated their workforce. Our societies throughout the world will need to adjust to a permanent unemployable class which will far outstrip the active workforce projecting sufficient tax revenues no matter what the taxation rate to support the remainder of society. But do not fret as the price of production and delivery of most goods will be delivered at a great savings which will continually become more efficient and less expensive to produce.

 

One example I recently read of compared the human workers to a former workhorse which powered much of our production either by providing the raw power or was at least required to bring the products to the public. This power and transportation utilized animals such as plowing with an oxen or mule, horse drawn wagons transporting goods from production to the consumers and any other animals mankind once relied upon. In our modern age the sole use for animals is recreation or as a raw material such as sheep for wool and food, cattle for food, dogs and cats as pets and so on with the animals no longer being used as a source of power within modern and industrialized societies. Where the horse drawn wagons and carriages were commonplace on the city streets of New York, Washington D.C, London, Paris and across the world; now a horse within the city limits for transportation is relegated today as some form of recreational use normally reserved for tourists such as carriage rides offered around Central Park in New Your City or central tourist areas in London and Paris and so on. This has caused a drastic drop in the horse population where they have become something that relatively wealthy people keep for their own use and the noble steed has passed its use-by date. The most telling replacement was made painfully obvious when at the start of World War II some of the finest cavalry troops saw their last in the Polish Army until January 27, 1947, when the 1st Warsaw Cavalry Division was disbanded. The initial breakout of World War II saw the attempt to use horse cavalry, as pictured below, in the field against German tanks; one can guess the end result was not too good for the cavalry.

 

Polish Uhlan cavalry armed with the wzor 35

 

The use of machinery initially to aid and augment human workforce was the driving technology of the industrial revolution. Power was initially provided by draft animals or water powered systems some of which have been found dating back well before the Industrial revolution to the Roman Empire. Eventually animals were replaced with steam engines followed soon thereafter by more efficient engines such as the internal combustion engine and also the use of electricity to power the factories using electric motors. Whatever the use in the modern factories of the industrial revolution it could be traced back to either hydropower or petroleum and natural gas powered electrical generators or direct use of fossil fuels as in trains, planes and automobiles. The terminology often used to describe the current stage is the information age though one could make an argument for the full utilization of programmable mechanisms. Such systems can trace their history back to the card operated weaving machines which often were water powered used in the making of cloth fabrics. With the development of the microchip we have seen an explosion in the variety of automated machines and had their size drastically reduced and made more agile and adaptable. These robotic units can be programmed or taken through a routine by a skilled operator and then allowed to simply repeat the process it was ‘trained’ to perform. Electronic automating has taken leaps forward to a point where virtually any manual task can be performed by an automated system even to the point of self-driving automobiles, buses, trains, trolleys, trams and other conveyances. Modern airports have installed moving floors to remove the necessity of having to actually walk to your terminal to board or disembark your flight. The exacting standards can and will be facilitated, and will only become more versatile in material and intricacy, as 3-D printing continues to be developed and integrated into the modern, fully-automated factory with robotic employees and a minimal human presence to basically monitor operations and hit the ‘stop’ button in case of, what will be made less common, an emergency or breakdown. What is frightening is there are robots being developed which would facilitate the repair of such a breakdown.

 

One thing I can attest to from my own work experience is that the printed circuit integrated boards have reached a level of sophistication and the manufacture of the integrated circuits made so affordable that the vast majority of these boards, or even modules, are less expensive to replace the entire part of the unit and send the malfunctioning board to be recycled or even destroyed (in an environmentally sensitive manner, of course). One industry which has turned to automation in a big way has been the automotive industry, both in their products and the assembly of the product (pictured below). The muscle of a robot is one of its major benefits as it never tires of doing its assigned tasks, never takes a break, is rarely ill or out of commission, does not complain and is very efficient. The latest addition to the productivity and versatility of the robotic assembler is that the software is almost to the point where a robot will be fully capable of replacing the majority of service jobs as well. In the future there may well be some upscale stores which will offer their patrons a level of service advertised as the most personal service one could expect, and such a boutique would actually have real flesh and blood people. What will be amazing is those people may even approach the efficiency, attentiveness, level of service and any other category except for speed and acute knowledge of the entirety of products available but otherwise just as good service as one can get from an automated shop. The basic for such a machine requires a special set of electronics which will have a microprocessor board which will contain any number of required CPUs (central processing unit), Memory ICs (both read/write and worm, write once-read many), support data ICs holding the AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the various switching, logic gates, and drivers (all of which look a lot alike to the chip displayed below). The current form of Artificial Intelligence in a robot can take many various forms each with their own special abilities and limitations. Some you might choose to have around the home to do the cleaning and be a walking-talking data base to provide information or even take your selfies and post them on Instagram, Facebook or whatever is the latest and greatest once we all have our personal assistant. (see below)

 

Modern Automotive Robotic Assemple Line

 

CPU Central Processing Unit Integrated Curcuit

 

 

Robotic Personal Assistant and Augmentation Suit

 

The predictions are that humans as a part of the workforce will be limited to personal touch niche and specialty markets but manufacturing will be fully automated within the next fifty years. Some of the effects of just sending many manufacturing plants overseas have had a huge debilitating effect of employment and pay scale of average incomes. Additionally, the United States has faced this drain in particular and it is not simply the income of the workforce which has driven many manufacturers overseas but rather the additional restraints and extra costs of making many products which drove them from American soil. The cost of pollution controls are quite stringent by comparison to the near nonexistence of such laws and restrictions in China and other markets. Taxes are another driving force pushing these jobs overseas. One has to realize what the extra costs with compliance with all the labor laws, inspections, building codes, noise limitations and the additional costs of employees with the new addition of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which in and of itself has produced an expected quirk as far as new hires in the United States. Where part-time work for people employed from twenty to twenty-nine hours per week has increased measurably, some estimates place it as high as twenty-five percent with the average assessments placing it at approximately twenty percent but on the other end. Full-time employment figures have not only not increased as well but in most assessments has dropped approaching five percent. College graduates can expect lower starting wages with many even working in their field starting at below fifty-thousand dollars a year. This is after at the minimum of four years at an average cost of over one-hundred-thousand a year for room, board, books and other supplies and fees. There are also a record number of college graduates who have been forced to accept employment in other fields and at positions which do not require a college degree, and we are not talking about those who majored in Renaissance French Sonnets of the Sixteenth Century.

 

The coming explosion in robotics will be from two perspectives. The first will be the rapid advancement of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to levels where one would have some degree of difficulty determining if they are speaking with an actual person or a computed employee, basically a telephone operator robotic unit. There is work being done now that has computer programs that write the codes for use in robotic systems. There are cad/cam software programs which enable the computer to design the systems to meet specifications using modular designs which are becoming as complex and intricate as anything produced previously by human beings. The truly frightening thing is that we may soon have robots designing and programming their own improved models and able to implement the manufacture and production of their improved design. This also implies that robotic systems in the not too distant future will also be capable of rewriting their own software and improving themselves for their own purposes. Once the machines begin producing more powerful and more capable machines and are capable of writing the programs allowing these improved robots the ability to supercede the level of competence of the initial robot we will have, as the human race, made ourselves superfluous placing us beyond the cusp and onto the endangered species list as we will have just as much relevance to robots speaking their own invented language and, who knows, inventing their own programming language which will completely shut human kind out of the formula. Let us hope the robots of the future find us to be cute little humans and get a good laugh at the humans posting their exploits on the internet. The robots are coming, the robots are coming and many of them are here already and they are assisting the government in watching you.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 16, 2015

Britain’s New Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn

 

British Labor Party elections were held this past Saturday and the results, though not much of a surprise as polling predicted the result, are saddening with the confirmation of the party’s new leader and likely candidate for the Prime Ministership should Labor Party win the next election cycle placing Jeremy Corbyn in 10 Downing Street and leader of the United Kingdom. The warnings were sounded though, as I live far from the British Isles, I am unsure if the mainstream British media relayed the warnings of Mr. Corbyn’s past and present alliances and acquaintances and his preference to align with Hamas, Hezballah and others who hold anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views, politics and racial disregard. British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday, according to the Independent, “The Labor Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security.” Prime Minister Cameron continued claiming, “Whether it’s weakening our defenses, raising taxes on jobs and earnings, racking up more debt and welfare or driving up the cost of living by printing money, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party will hurt working people.” He concluded pointing out, “This is a very serious moment for our country,” adding, “the Conservatives will continue to deliver stability, security and opportunity for working people.” Guess there might be no need to ask Prime Minister David Cameron how he really feels, do we?

 

 

Britain’s New Leftist Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Anti-Semite, Anti-Zionist, Anti-Israel, Pro-Arab Palestinian, Hamas and Hezballah Supporter, Pro-Islam, Relativist, Anti-Life Abortion Supporter, Socialist, Anti-Capitalist and Supporter of Freedom From Religion

Britain’s New Leftist Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Anti-Semite, Anti-Zionist, Anti-Israel, Pro-Arab Palestinian, Hamas and Hezballah Supporter, Pro-Islam, Relativist, Anti-Life Abortion Supporter, Socialist, Anti-Capitalist and Supporter of Freedom From Religion

 

 

The problem is while it is true that the end of the Prime Minister’s rant did plug his own Conservatives Party claiming that they would “continue to deliver stability, security and opportunity for working people,” his warnings about the new Labor Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn and the company he keeps along with his political positions are completely valid regarding the effects they could have if all his announced positions and intended economic policies were to be passed. The list of Jeremy Corbyn’s core policies, politics and relations include defending anti-Semitic and extremist clergyman Vicar Stephen Sizer after he was sanctioned by the Church over a Facebook post which suggested that the Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks, has appeared as a regularly featured guest on former KKK leader David Duke’s radio show to rail about “Jewish” or “Zionist” conspiracies, in 2009 invited members of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist representatives to appear and speak before Parliament, reducing the British military even further, raising taxes on the ‘wealthy’ and unilaterally disarm all of Britain’s nuclear weapons. Add his familiarity with far-right Holocaust deniers, supporting conspiracy theories blaming Israel and the Jews for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an unknown target as the passengers of Flight 93 brought their plane down in a field near Shanksville, Pa. Actually I have read at least a half-dozen articles and the list of reasons that Jeremy Corbyn would be a disaster for the people of the United Kingdom outstripped my mind’s ability to keep track of at least half of the problems given. The election of Jeremy Corbyn would probably have much the same effects which President Barack Hussein Obama executed on the United States except on the United Kingdom.

 

There will probably be many who will claim that the election of Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labor Party will result in a loss of half their representatives in the Parliament as many British Citizens will flee Labor and vote for the Liberal Democrats, for Conservative and Unionist Party or even Green Party. There were many in the United States who said the same thing about President Obama in the 2008 Election only to end up as shocked as Hillary when Obama walked off with the win in the primaries and then strode into the White House besting Senator John McCain and then won the in 2012 gaining second term beating Mitt Romney.

 

What was extremely shocking was the success President Obama gained from Jewish voters after he insulted and showed complete disdain for Bibi Netanyahu and disregard for Israeli security by giving it simple rhetoric but also refusing to deter Iran from their efforts to reach nuclear weapons capability. President Obama further pulled all American troops out of Iraq while overturning Syria and drawing red lines over Bashir al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons and then backing away and turning into a shrinking violet. Further, he was failing to address any Middle East or North African revolutions while taking a leading from behind allowing others with similar timidity to lead. President Obama almost appeared to enjoy turning allies into enemies, embracing the worst of the worst as new friends all of which climaxed when American Embassy personnel and the Ambassador to Libya were left without proper security leading to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith, a State Department communications specialist, in the initial confrontations while in the second round Libyan al-Qaeda terrorists killed Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two CIA security contractors and former Navy Seals who were defending the annex from the rooftop.

 

Somehow this disaster was ignored by the media, pushing any serious investigations until after the election, a full fifty-six days later. This was but one of a number of atrocities and legally questionable acts the media either kicked the can down the election path past November or never investigated at all. Such election facilitation by ignoring particularly damaging information by the mainstream media until after the elections is simply media abusing their power and taking sides by refusing to fully report on a damning story which might have altered the election results. We will see if the British media steps up to the plate and does its job reporting the reality whether it gores their sacred cows or not. This next election in Britain promises to be a very contested and, in many ways, crucial to the continuation of democracy around the world.

 

There is another item which took place in Hevron this past weekend that I wish to address. This one is good news for a change, so humor me and enjoy some happiness. The events started with a group of five Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Yeshiva Students, tourists from United States, who took a wrong turn while driving to the Machpela Cave, the Cave of the Patriarchs. They soon found themselves surrounded by Arab young adults and teens who proceeded to throw rocks, cinder-blocks, and firebombs at their car setting the vehicle on fire. Having been forced from their burning car, the five American Yeshiva Students were set to be attacked by the mob which had gathered. Suddenly the five youths felt an arm pulling them to the side of the mob and soon after they were pulled from certain death into the house of an Arab. Confused and bewildered they soon were made to understand that they were safe and would remain in this hero’s house until the Israeli security detail appeared which it finally did, one hour later. The security forces escorted the young men back to safety and their vehicle. A 51-year-old local resident was the hero risking his life and his own safety to rescue five bewildered Yeshiva youths from the United States. California carried the “As soon as we saw that a riot was starting,” Hamadiah told a reporter, “my family and I managed to bring them inside. We gave them water to drink and tried to tell them that they were safe, though they didn’t speak Arabic.” To step up and go against the most radical to help a stranger knowing that doing so will bring scorn and potential danger is an act of heroism. When all around you have lost their humanity and to still act out of compassion for your fellow man and not simply go with the prevailing sentiment, be it stepping up to save those young men from the raging mob or saving those being persecuted in World War II German territory, to go against what would be easiest to do and do what is right when so few around you still even know what is right and goodness, that is being a hero. Having all in your family assist is an expression of hope that indeed we can work out the differences, at least with those who continue to grasp firmly to their humanity in the face of the torrents of hate around them.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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