Beyond the Cusp

March 19, 2017

Why the World is Poised to Die

 

The world is precariously teetering on the very brink of oblivion. The reasons are a collection of small offences most barely registering as merely a small paper cut but still the world is bleeding from millions upon millions of paper cuts and thin slices from a blade as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. Many of these cuts were inflicted early in many a child’s life and they, like a hemophiliac, cannot deter the flow as these effects continue and can only worsen as life continues and demands more from every individual. The spring-force of the initial cuts begin with their early education. Way back when we attended public schools, teachers either chose the profession because they were dedicated to instructing young minds and took great pride when any student from their classes shone forth later in life and even more so should that student mention teachers without name who were the fountain that began their quest which led to their accomplishment. The rare teacher who gets actually named was often slightly embarrassed and would deflect the honor demanding it was shared with their fellow teachers. The teachers never gave going on strike for higher paychecks as denying the children even an hour of their best efforts was beyond their mindsets. These were dedicated individuals. Some of our teachers were conservative and may have even been (gasp) Republicans. I had one teacher who drove a different Cadillac to school each day with hardtops in the winter and convertibles in the spring and I learned later in life that he owned a summer camp for children which stood on a few hundred or so acres of woodlands which he owned. He was a rather wealthy man who had other incomes and never needed to teach or even have the summer camp but he loved children in a healthy way and just enjoyed watching them thrill at accomplishment or just fun. Teachers’ highest desire was to have students achieve in which they would take quiet pride and use it to have them strive to do even more. We never heard a teacher complain about their pay level or over a student who was difficult. Of course it was also when a teacher could strike a child in their class as a form of discipline. If your teacher had struck you, once and never very sharply, it was something you prayed your parents never heard of it as they would add their own corporal punishment which was always far harsher than the teacher.

 

But the failing education system is just one aspect of the threat. Another threat is the destabilization of large segments of the world. The greatest areas currently are within the Middle East, Northern Africa (MENA) as well as the Horn of Africa. These are areas caught in seemingly unending wars and in many instances one side is backed by either Iran or Islamist terrorist forces such as Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, ISIS (Islamic State) or criminal elements such as the pirates found off of Somalia. The three main wars are found in Libya, Yemen and Syria. Additionally there are nations caught in economic collapse or extreme poverty often due to economic policies which failed disastrously. Such nations include North Korea, Venezuela and Somalia. These nations suffer from starvation and deprivations beyond belief by most of us for which we should feel very grateful. The people stuck in these nations whether suffering unending destruction from wars or economic collapse cannot have any part of a normal life. These destabilized regions are capable of impacting beyond their borders through massive refugees straining the economies of neighboring countries to the point where if their economy is not sufficient to support the influx, their economy can also collapse from the pressures. Other problems can come from massive influx of refugees from one set of customs, conventions, systems or acceptable comportment. These strains on the societal fabric can be just as destructive as financial pressures can be on an economy. Put the two together and the result is often violence as the two clashing societal standards make for such systemic shock that the refugees generate a level of unacceptance that it becomes threatening to the existing native populations. The most visible of these threats currently is manifested in Europe where the refugees from the problems tearing through the MENA states and the Horn of Africa plus Afghanistan and Pakistan (and even Turkey) have been flooding Europe and the threat of similar influx into the United States was what influenced President Donald Trump to do exactly as he promised during the campaign and invoked an end to accepting immigrants from seven MENA nations, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. We are not about to get into the legality or morality of the ban insisted upon by President Trump, we are just recognizing that President Trump was simply reacting to these forces in discussion without caring about the particulars of law and ethics, just the effect, which was to preserve societal calm and, as stated, decrease the likelihood for terrorists to enter the United States along with the refugees from nations where checks of any kind were difficult if not impossible. Every one of the mentioned nations is in some form of distress with no real and functioning governance. That is the recipe from areas of disasters and importing disasters is often not a good policy.

 

Further, we are experiencing a challenge to the Judeo-Christian ethics which has guided the Western World for much, if not all, of the last few centuries. This challenge is coming from the Islamic world and Islam. Once before there was a fear of cultural invasion when there was a sizeable influx of Chinese and other Orientals largely to assist in building the railroads. These Orientals were mostly Buddhists and also brought with them opium as part of their social habits and because there were those in the United States who were making quite a profit from the sale of opium and its derivatives. Where there was some disruption, especially the opium influence, it was short-lived and limited in its scope. Even this was dispersed and dissipated as their influence spread as the railroad extended eastward, their numbers became lessened as a percentage of the general population at any location beyond San Francisco. The city was of sufficient population size to absorb the Chinese who remained largely within their small area which today is still known as Chinatown, and became a tourist attraction and the place of a thousand Chinese restaurants. The United States survived that influx as these immigrants stayed to themselves and with time acclimated to Americanism. There were numerous immigrant waves subsequent almost all from Europe. The Italians, Germans, Irish, and with each group they faced discrimination as they learned the language and customs, which were quite different than Europe but the religious customs were familiar. With time they all became Americans and there were few problems with these groups. The next influx of refugees which had only a cursory introduction to America were from Viet Nam. These particular refugees were eager to learn and become fully American as they were fleeing the Communist takeover of their nation and saw the United States as their saving grace.

 

These experiences would lead one to believe that the United States would be capable of making Americans out of any refugees. What need be made clear is that in each of these groups were not so much Americanized by the people of the United States as much as these refugees desired to become Americans. One might then posit that the same would hold for the Islamic communities given time. The only metric we have for measuring this has been the refugees and their incorporating into European society. If this is the only measure, then there is a problem as the Muslims have fallen into two distinct groups, those willing to become more European and those demanding that Europe become Islamic. Let this be made clear, they are not demanding that Europeans become accommodating and accepting of Muslims but rather that the Europeans must submit to Islam and make Islam the main faith superior to all others and that the Muslims should govern all of Europe. They further threaten war and terrorism should they not be accommodated completely and all their demands met. Directly proportional to their increased presence sexual predation of women has directly increased, terrorism has increased only lagging slightly behind the numbers and crime in general has increased also proportionally.

 

There are those who have claimed that these increases have not been seen in the United States. That may be the case but then the United States has also not seen the same increase in percentages as has many nations in Europe. Further, the nations with the least percentage increase of Muslims have seen little if any increase in their criminal numbers while the nations with the greatest increases in percentage of Muslims have had notable increases in some cases leading to blowback from their native populations. In the United States it should be noted that there are areas where Muslims have taken control of entire neighborhoods and made them fairly inhibiting to non-Muslims and uncomfortable for those non-Muslims who have refused to leave their homes for whatever reason. Those who had fled these neighborhoods often claimed the Muslims had destroyed their formerly peaceful neighborhood. One example is Hamtramck, near Detroit, Michigan. There are also Islamic only camps where they hold military style training and place armed guards at the front gates denying even law enforcement from entering. One such location in New York is the hamlet of Islamberg neighboring the Town of Hancock, New York and located 145 miles northwest of New York City. Muslims who have come to the United States over the years have all blended in well. Statistics show that there are two groups of Muslims where this is becoming far less the case. Where the most recent refugees were as high as fifteen percent which may have terror ties according to some reports and a mere five percent by more moderate assessments, either could become a problem as their numbers increase which is why vetting becomes important. Even vetting will not prevent the second, a ticking time bomb, as the children of Muslims are more likely to become radicalized than their parents were, especially disaffected teens looking for meaning in their lives making them targets for the radicalizers to prey upon. Also more likely to become radicalized are converts who often adopt the most radical forms of the religion. All of these require more careful vigilance which was what was once said and attributed to many, including Thomas Jefferson but never proven, there is the admonition that, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Perhaps this is the solution, this and a good vetting system and an engaged public in elections and the education of the children, the most precious resource we have.

 

Burning Israel Star of David

 

There will be a final sign when the world is about to change and enter one of its darkest periods in all of its history. That sign is one that people are screaming hysterically will be brought forth because the President is Donald Trump, but that is not the case. This event will occur under a President who will more than likely have received over three-quarters of the American Jewish vote. This President and the supportive Congress, which will be of the same party, will have had overwhelming support from many Jewish agencies and groups such as the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Anti-Defamation League but will likely be opposed by the Zionist Organization of America. This President and his Congress will force through laws which will seem appropriate for the time and will be claimed are not targeting Jews as they slowly pass laws which conflict with Torah observance in the name of public safety. Eventually this government will allow the expulsion of Jews from the Universities and then their refusal to be licensed and licensing revoked to practice law and then medicine and slowly draw the noose around the Jews necks. All the while there will be prominent Rabbis who will make excuses for these moves against the Jews finding some absurdity to keep the majority of Jews sleeping as to do otherwise might cost them their reputation as a good left leaning liberal. Will Jews be placed in camps at some point? Probably not as they will slowly be forced from any position other than the most marginal in the public and the whole while they will continue to vote for those who favor these restrictions because that will be considered the right thing to do. Eventually, any Jew with an ounce of self-respect and love of Torah will leave the United States and travel to the lone nation where Jews are permitted, Israel. The Jews remaining in the United States will continue blaming Israel for their woes and never blink in taking every opportunity to protest Israel as the source of their problems, and not leadership like the current leadership in the Democrat Party. I do not need to name names as we have done so before but what I will point to is the actions of Jews currently who after voting for Hillary and then turning on President Trump and labelling him as an anti-Semite which is just the perfect example of what we are referring to as Hillary was the one who would have tried to destroy Israel and bring in as many Jew-hating people as humanly possible in the hopes of empowering the Democrat Party with new strength built on the prospect of crushing Israel and the Jews. The inability of the American leftist Jews to see what is plainly before their eyes bodes poorly and is the very reason that this future is all but guaranteed. It is so very sad and we wish it were not so, but just look at the actions of the ADL during these acts and threats against Jewish institutions and see where they fall should one of the people found for making these threats turns out to be a leftist, they will rush to their defense. That is why we fear the Jews will vote for their own persecution and ignite the End of American Freedom and bring about the End of American Exceptionalism.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 14, 2014

Israeli Politicians and Leaders Do Us a Favor Please

Sometimes it really does appear that Israeli politicians are either stone-cold-deaf or have a tin-ear incapable of recognizing when they hear others repeating the same criticisms they so loudly pronounced to every press and social media venue available to them. One might think they would have noticed when United States Secretary of State Kerry used the excuse that current Israeli political leaders and former Prime Ministers have said what I said as the reason he should not have been criticized for his initial comments they might have taken notice. Secretary Kerry’s actual words were, “(I)f I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution. In the long term, a unitary, binational state cannot be the democratic Jewish state that Israel deserves or the prosperous state with full rights that the Palestinian people deserve. That’s what I said, and it’s also what Prime Minister Netanyahu has said. While Justice Minister Livni, former Prime Ministers Barak and Ohlmert have all invoked the specter of apartheid to underscore the dangers of a unitary state for the future, it is a word best left out of the debate here at home.” Where I feel assured that Secretary Kerry would very probably have still used the unfortunate Apartheid slur even without any Israeli present or former politician having also used the phrase in a similar manner, the fact he could throw the, well you all said it first, excuse back in our faces makes Israel appear petty for being upset over the Apartheid slur. It sure makes it next to impossible to justify indignance and to take insult when some foreign leader or politician or some NGO issues a press release which quotes our own politicians or former IDF, Security or Intelligence Officers making the same accusations. For that reason alone Israeli politicians and other spokespeople should choose their phraseology and wording very carefully and refrain from making reckless, inflammatory, derogatory or provocative statements which will most assuredly be providing ammunition for the unending throngs of detractors to utilize in their attacks upon Israel. Certainly requesting that those who are supposed to be representing our little nation to be respectful with their choice of language when speaking about Israel, especially in forums where those who live to denigrate Israel and Israelis, cannot be such a monumental task that it is beyond reason.

 

Then there is the little problem that exists throughout the Knesset, both between the parties in the opposition and also between the parties within the coalition. First off, being in the opposition does not mean that one needs to make derogatory and inflammatory remarks to every statement made by any of the leadership within the coalition. Yes, we know that Labor Leader Isaac Herzog and Meretz Leader Zahava Gal-On are opposed to virtually anything which Prime Minister Netanyahu says, stands for or supports. We also realize that you are not too fond of Jewish Home Leader Naftali Bennett and his support for any Jewish presence beyond the Green Line. Would it be ridiculous to suggest that you allow your voting record speak for you at least once in a while instead of running to every outlet and screaming insults about every single item they say even when it is said solely in the Knesset? And what is this backbiting between Tzipi Livni and Naftali Bennett or Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Netanyahu and any number of other intra-coalition sniping which appear regularly in the media. Could we not simply keep some of the inflammatory interpersonal taunts and ridicule more private? Every last piece of dirty laundry does not need to be paraded in full view for the world to see. And on another note to those in the ruling coalition but who believe that they would make a better Prime Minister than Bibi Netanyahu; your party did not get the mandate and thus you are supposed to be in a supportive role, not a combative role. Sure, we know you believe that it was simply a travesty of justice that you were not chosen to lead the government and that you are sure as you are that the sun rises over the Judean Hills every morning that should there be an election tomorrow that you would be chosen to be Prime Minister, please wait for the election and should you get your chance, then we will know for certain what kind of Prime Minister you would make. Just because you are the leader of one of the parties within the coalition does not mean that you are an equal partner to the Prime Minister, he actually does get to lead and make some of the big decisions and you are presumably to work with him. If you have a disagreement or a better idea, try talking to him in private or at least in the setting of a committee hearing and not on the evening news, Facebook, Twitter or the front page of every newspaper. Oddly enough, despite the fact that as Israelis many of us believe we also would make a better Prime Minister, when we argue the points it is not transmitted throughout the world to be heard by every person with animosity in their hearts towards our little country of Israel. Think of what damage your tirades and all too public arguments and disagreements will have on Israel and remember that Israel comes before your pride and ego.

 

There is one last item that brings many of us great sadness. This is to our beloved Rabbis who we respect and look to for moral guidance and exemplary leadership. It really pains many Israelis when we read that one of the supposed pillars of our society and those who we look to for examples of piety and guidance in living by the Torah and in a righteousness manner are found to have taken bribes or acted in other manner of deceit or shame. It is bad enough when politicians disgrace themselves but when one of our Rabbis does so it causes us to feel some amount of disgrace as well. We try to live well and in a manner which any Rabbi would comment there is a righteous person but how are we to act with restraint, respect and in a righteous manner if those whose lives are supposed to define righteousness and honor act shamefully. Granted the numbers of such scandalous events are few, but even a few is more than we should need to be burdened by. Just like our political leadership, the religious leadership provided by our Rabbis reflects on the name of Israel before the world as well as it reflects on all that is Jewish. When one of our Rabbis sins in such a manner it tarnishes each of us a small amount. As bad as that is, it is incomparable to the pain we feel when we read of a Rabbi who has acted shamefully transgressing our trust and setting a poor example. Please, for the sake of those who take inspiration from your deeds, for those impressionable who are easily influenced, for those whose trust you sustain, for all who seek betterment from your actions and for the sake of Torah which you represent, act with all this and more in mind as all the great goodness performed by the many is tarnished and shamed by the thoughtless and corrupt actions of any one from amongst you. For all of us act always in a manner reflecting the best and representative of Torah and then you and we can expect the same from those you influence by your acts. Be a blessing amongst the people of Israel and Israel too will be blessed by you and by those you touch.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 14, 2014

Israel and Her Jewish Problem

While I understand there are Jews who are not Zionists but even the vast majority of these non-Zionist Jews still do not take an antagonistic position when it comes to Israel. Many of these non-Zionist Jews may become Zionists given the right stimuli and certain situations. That aside, I cannot understand why any Jew would go beyond being a non-Zionist, and would actually take an antagonistic, anti-Zionist position seeing wrong in every action of the Jewish state. I am even more baffled when those who hold such an anti-Israel view also choose to remain living in Israel if they feel the Jewish state cannot do anything right and it causes them such angst and embarrassment. But even more puzzling is that a group of Rabbis from Israel have taken up the Palestinian cause against Israel to the point of manufacturing grievances and aiding the Palestinians in their lies when they assault and caused major physical harm to fellow Jews. This happened recently in an incident near Eish Kodesh where a large mob of Palestinians from a neighboring village used trucks and assistance from Palestinian police to corner and abduct Israeli hikers and dragged them to a remote house at the outskirts of their village beating them even after IDF troops arrived and eventually bartered their release. Thanks to video reports depicting, recounting and praising the Palestinian actions but which contradicted the claim that they intercepted the Jews entering their town with the intent of doing damage by committing what are called price-tag crimes, these videos distributed by the Palestinians showed their chasing down the small group of two dozen Jewish hikers across fields assaulting them with rocks and clubbing them when they had sufficiently closed the distance. Despite the evidence to the contrary, the IDF subsequently arrested a number of the youngest Jewish hikers largely to interrogate them to force a confession to validate the Palestinian story line. This was simply the latest example of the truth being inconsequential and any claims made by the Palestinians being taken as the unadorned fact never to be questioned by Israeli authorities when the subject is the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.

 

As long as there are Israelis in positions of authority who will believe any lie they are told if it reinforces their disdain for the Jewish residents of Samaria and Judea and also any claims against religious Jews then Israel will continue to have detractors who quote these Israeli leaders before the world as they condemn Israel at every turn. I am not sure if it is due to these authorities fearing or having feelings of animosity against religious Jews and/or Jews living in the settlements, as residents of Judea and Samaria are maligned by their detractors, which drives them to believe any charge which supports their intolerance. Where I would want the authorities to investigate any reports of criminal activity, the over the top persistence that authorities have taken against these two sectors of Israeli society makes one question their real motives. The fact that much of the political elite in the Knesset, the Prime Minister’s office, the Attorney General’s Office, the Courts and other government institutions often do not react and investigate what appears to be an obvious series of injustices one after another finding the truth and communicating it immediately, instead there is often animus displayed when many government officials are queried by the press about such instances, an animus which is totally unjustified if one simply would have inspected the record which shows that the Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria along with the religious communities have almost uniformly been found innocent despite the herculean efforts to find them guilty of anything they can throw at them. Israelis need to demand of their government that they support all the citizens of the nation, especially against spurious accusations originating out of pure animus from Israel’s enemies. The problem is that in order to do so the Israeli citizenship would need to challenge far more than those in government but would need to challenge the hierarchy of the individual parties and the manner in which Ministers of the Knesset are chosen. Those parties which use exclusively a primary system without any interference from the Party officers would not require as much of an adjustment as those where their lists are decided in back rooms by the so-called elite of the party. In any case, there needs to be some manner in which a person can run for a seat in the Knesset and gain that seat independently from the political machines run by the individual parties. Establishing such a path would allow for populist candidates who lack party influence but have general popular support are able to run and gain a seat in the Knesset without having to bribe some established politicians into forming a party in the hopes of gaining at least the minimum percentage to be rewarded seats.

 

Israel has sufficient enemies throughout the world without having her own citizens turn against her and makes consistent attempts to destroy the nation at every turn. Honest questioning is one thing and universal rejection of almost every policy and decision is something worthy of question. Many of these Israeli Jewish detractors hold Israel in such dispute that they have even, as Yariv Oppenheimer of Peace Now has, taken the side of those whose stated intent is the destruction of the State of Israel. Such actions border on if not qualifying the perpetrators as traitors to their country, yet these very same people are often the go-to-first people by many from the far left media within Israel as they also back anybody who takes a stand detracting Israeli efforts. Between these and the existence of Ministers of the Knesset who also take every opportunity to speak against Israel from within the Knesset itself, such leaves the defenders of Israel with a rough road to tread always up a steep slope and filled with obstacles in order to counter the damage and lies spread to a world seemingly veraciously hungry to believe every accusation leveled at Israel. One of the Knesset Ministers was a former advisor and aide to the late Palestinian arch terrorist Yasser Arafat yet is permitted to hold a position in the Israeli Parliament. When running for the Knesset, this Minister was validated by the Israeli Supreme Court as a valid candidate who could not be restricted from entering the Knesset simply because he used to be an aide to the arch enemy and stands for the eradication of the Jewish State. Israel has to get past its peculiarity of questioning its every action and going to the greatest of lengths to see every side of every issue and investigating every accusation to be completely assured that they had done nothing untoward before announcing any position which is supportive of its citizens, military, officials, and general positions. Perhaps it might be possible that Israel find the courage to believe in itself and refute these scurrilous accusations until somebody else has taken the time to attest to the validity of an accusation before apologizing for every action even before their own full review has been completed. Israel must stop apologizing for existing and instead demand the respect she deserves but will never receive until she believes in herself. That confidence will come once the Jews realize that they deserve a nation as much if not more than any other nation’s peoples.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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