Beyond the Cusp

September 17, 2017

Argument for Free Speech, Old Style

 

The college scene is not what many of us remember it being. We knew a place where all sides met on the stage of debate. Professors would take the opposite side of every student and force them to defend their positions. This built confidence and forced everyone to understand their own side and the opposition side just as well. Why know the other side, that would be the question from students today. Their response to any opposition is to shut down all discourse and disallow their opponents from speaking at all. There are some serious deficiencies with that approach, namely what do you do when you no longer have complete control over the debate and the new rules are defend your position or shut up. That is called the corporate world or the business world. Even a salesperson needs to shop their competition such that they know why their product is superior or how best to show their product or ideas to perspective clientele. In the real world you cannot just show up to a convention with baseball bats and cans of paint and try and intimidate your competitors as doing so will soon put your company out of business and you in prison. The real world, that’s the place you end up after college, demands more from you than running to a safe-space and grabbing a coloring book or cuddling with kittens or puppies. They demand that you actually produce and then they grade you, it’s called your annual review, on your performance against the other employees. I realize for many of you coming from a liberal arts education, or should we say indoctrination, will find the real world filled with triggers, microaggressions, full-on aggressions, challenges and not one single safe zone outside your parent’s basement, will be quite a system shock. Your current college education costing your parents $50,000/year or more is leaving you dreadfully unprepared for the horrors awaiting you out there in the real world.

 

If we have gotten your attention and you now are wondering what you can or should do, we do have some advice. The first thing you should do if you are remotely capable of handling something in the hard sciences, change majors and probably schools and take a hard science where opinions are not important, only facts in these parts, real provable facts. Engineering is demanding and dependent upon mathematics, seemingly the courses which most Liberal Arts majors have the greatest fears and trepidations over. Differential Equations will be your nemesis that stands in the way for a fair share of engineering majors. Let us assure you that it is not that horrific, just remember and learn to use the quadratic equation. It works much the same and they keep that a secret until about three weeks before the final just to make you learn how to do proofs. Just get through the course as once in the real world much of the equations and solutions are performed by calculators, very nice calculators. Other courses include Mathematics, Physics, Cosmology, Chemistry and Biology, which all are straightforward sciences. Computer Sciences and numerous Computer fields also exist but we would recommend avoiding simple repair as that field is slowly disappearing and will require ever increasing competition over fewer and fewer positions. But first, you are going to have to look inside and make some decisions.

 

College is supposed to be an adventure through which you find out who you are and what you are made of. This requires meeting challenges head on and often failing at them. Failing at a challenge does not mean you fail a course, it means you need to do some more work and prepare better for the next time. If your professors were honest and sure of themselves, they would challenge you honestly and debate and they would usually win, as they are slightly older and hopefully more knowledgeable. The same professor would defeat you when you took one side and then in the same class defeat the next student who took the opposite side. A good professor can argue both sides equally well and defeat every student except that rare student who surprises his teachers. Such students were prized, not scorned back when we went to college and was often given more challenging assignments. You want to become that student because challenge is presumably why you are in college. College is where you can try different ideas and find the ones which will define you for most of your life and it is up to you to find these core beliefs, not for some leftist professor to assign you core beliefs. When you have a good and solid education as your base, then you do not need be afraid of people who oppose what you believe because you know your side and the weaknesses of their position and this makes you the one holding the power. That is real power, not a mob of masked zealots wearing black and threatening people while preventing those they oppose from speaking. Somebody who honestly believes an opposing view would debate the speaker during question and answer and prove their beliefs to be a better solution. These people using violence and claiming that all ideas they do not support are hate speech and must be banned are insecure and afraid of honest debate and will not have any power outside the university. What job would they be hired for anyways? What skills have they shown? What prowess? What proficiency? What competence? What ingenuity, resourcefulness or useable mastery have they shown?

 

Are you getting the idea here yet? University or College is not just a place to drink beer or whatever and smoke whatever you wish and other recreational activities; you are also supposed to prepare yourself for the remainder of your life. Many of you who have demanded trigger warnings about courses which might challenge your beliefs or even slightly make you feel uneasy or who demand safe spaces where nobody can say things which might offend you are not going to be prepared for anything except a world controlled by robotic creatures who are programmed to keep a certain number of humans alive as their pets; you will be fully capable of being a robot’s pet. But let us for a minute take your beliefs and inspect their viability in the real world. Let us also inspect a world made to honor and respect your sensitivities and also another person your age with the same degree as you and identical grade point average and all the same recommendations. The two of you are perfect bookend, and like bookends, your composure and beliefs are exactly opposite. So we have the two of you identical in all ways but holding opposite views and sensitivities. Now you are both working in the same company and the company has extremely progressive tendencies except they are unfeeling so they do not fully understand that safe spaces are supposed to be exclusively for protecting left wing ideology holders and are supposed to be closed to people like your opposite who have right leaning ideas, remember you are bookends, you on the left, then all the books and then your opposite on the right. Now somebody starts defending President Trump and his policy to hold immigrants from six Middle East and North African (MENA) nations and you get all flustered and feel threatened by this person so you run to the designated safe room where you grab a coloring book. Now right after you leave another employee berates this person as a racist and spouts collective ideas and your opposite now feels challenged and afraid and also runs to the safe room and starts holding a puppy. In your world, what happens when the two of you start to discuss the situation and the argument out in the office? You are both in a safe room so your opposing beliefs cannot be offensive or is your opposing viewed bookend not permitted feelings? That is the problem with the real world, even if they had safe spaces they would be sued to make them equal opportunity safe spaces.

 

But we hear Google and many other Silicon Valley giants have found a solution to this kind of problem, namely selective employment where only those people who hold correct thinking views, which agree with the left, are safe in their employment. We are waiting for the next step where some employees gather together, go to management, and inform on the conservative in their department. Will this poor unfortunate be dragged into an office and badgered to determine whether they are truly one of those? What after that, maybe told to take an Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and if they score too right of center with their indicators they are fired. Then the witch-hunts will start and those companies will start to tear themselves apart and that will be their downfall. There was an entire nation which fell because of this exact deficiency in their community.

 

Destruction of the Second Temple

Destruction of the Second Temple

 

The Israelite nations had fought and gained their freedom from the Greeks and were once again united and were one people. Even though the Assyrians and then Romans conquered their lands, they remained united. They fought the Romans and gained their freedoms only to be reconquered when Rome sent many Legions such that the Roman Legions about equaled the number of Judeans (Jews). Imagine a conquest where there are almost as many soldiers as people. The Romans appointed a King over the Judeans who the Romans lazily and with scorn simply referred to as Jews (pronounced Juze). The people turned one against their neighbor. Gossip became the main form of communication. This made the people very argumentative and restless. Some groups blamed the Romans for their troubles while many simply blamed their neighbor, their employer, anybody but their own actions. This made the province more difficult to manage and eventually the Romans decided to remove the central institutions and erase the Jews from the earth like they had so many other tribes of people. They burned the Second Temple and stole all of the holy objects with one glaring exception, the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark simply seemed to disappear completely from the face of the earth. The Romans searched but were unable to find even a trace of where it might have been taken, hidden, or even carted out of the nation, absolutely no trace, and this was immediately after the Temple was destroyed and it presumably was within the Temple just before the destruction. The exception was most evident on the Arch of Titus, the Roman General who paraded through Rome with the artifacts he stole including the great seven armed candelabra (see image below). This was supposed to be the end of the Jews as many were taken to Rome as slaves. Another seventy years later and thousands more Jews were sent to the far corners of the Roman Empire and the Jews were given the same treatment as the Carthaginians and numerous other Roman enemy tribes who were rebellious against Rome.

 

Islam in its current Jihadi form refuses to permit the colossal works such as Titus’s Arch on the Via Sacra in the Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy (above) or the Arc de Triumph stands in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l'Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, Paris, France (below) as such works either predate Islam, Titus’s Arc, or have no reference or meaning in Islam, Arc de Triumph, thus are simply distractions from Muhammad and Allah and as such are deserving of destruction. These also represent great victories or are standards or national monuments and as such must be brought low before they inspire some future generation to reassert their national pride. Without such reminders of a past independent from Islam it is far easier to keep the people in a state of submission.

Titus Arch

 

The name of the Carthaginians remains solely because of the Punic Wars and Hannibal and his elephants taken over the Alps. Why are there no Carthaginians to be found today, or more amazing, why are there still the Jews? We can answer that question with a single word, Torah. Judaism does depend on a land to flourish and the land depends on the Jews to produce, it is a marriage arranged by Hashem. But the land of Israel belongs to Hashem and the Jews are tasked with caring for the land belonging to Hashem. Our covenant is written in a single document that describes what is expected of us and how we are to live, Torah. We can carry our binding law and all we need with us and as long as there are Jews anywhere near, we will become a community. While we follow Torah, we will thrive; to not follow Torah will lead to our downfall. By the way, idle talk such as gossip is one of the things we are taught to avoid, both speaking and hearing and especially being the conveyance of such. Gossip cost us our Temple, our homeland, our communities but Torah saved us from extinction. Torah will bring our lands and communities back and Israel will thrive as long as we follow and do as we are expected by Hashem, it is all in Torah. That too is a challenge and takes understanding and often the accepting differences of opinion. As some claim, give me two Jews and they will produce at least three opinions. If you read the Talmud, you might be pressed to believe that to be true.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 26, 2015

The Ninth of Av is our Tribute and Remembrance of the Temples and their Destructions

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Please forgive me if I get preachy or seem overly sentimental but that is what even the name Jerusalem means to me. Additionally to the destruction of both Temples, the First Temple by the Babylonians and the Second Temple by the vindictive Romans who did all in their power to render unto the Jews the same dispersions that ended Carthage, and the sin of the spies and all the other calamities tied to the Ninth of Av (Tisha b’Av), I add my sister’s passing exactly a week after the ninth. This year the Ninth of Av is observed has been pushed one day to the Tenth as such sorrows must not be expressed on the Sabbath conditions permitting. The Ninth of Av has become the collection date where some liberties are suspected such that every ill and evil edict or calamity of every sort is claimed to have some reference to the Ninth of Av. Some of the horrors which fell on this fateful day include the expulsions from England on July 18, 1290 CE, expelled from France on July 22, 1306 CE, and from Spain the edict of expulsion was signed on March 31, 1492 CE, and the Jews were given exactly four months to put their affairs in order and leave the country which fell on July 31, 1492 CE, all the Ninth of Av. Then there was the sin of the Golden Calf, August 15, 1096 the start of the Crusades and the killings Jews often suffered succumbing to the blades of the Crusader knights who had not previously killed in order to desensitize them to killing such that they would not hesitate in battle and thus be killed before they served the charge of the Church. Start of World War I was August 1–2, 1914; SS commander Heinrich Himmler formally received approval from the Nazi Party for “The Final Solution” on August 2, 1941; on July 23, 1942 (Av 9, AM 5702), began the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka, all dates coincide with the Ninth of Av. Modern events which land close to the Ninth of Av were AMIA bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 and injuring 300 on July 18, 1994 and Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, also known as the “Disengagement plan”, “Gaza expulsion plan”, or Hitnatkut, August 15, 2005 both fell on Tenth of Av. Needless to add that numerous other calamities were rumored or simply had memories re-date events to bring them into line with the Ninth of Av but even without fudging dates there are probably numerous other events throughout Jewish history where lesser horrors fell on the Ninth of Av and as such individual services of these groups would include their individual commiserations.

 

The observance of the Ninth of Av itself is a fast day spent in remembrance of historic calamities, some self-imposed but most disasters thrust upon the Jewish people, some times to all or the majority of all Jews and other times to large enough communities that we all remember and mourn and others only affecting a smaller community which we all remember but the singular community bears a special lament. Any way your congregation or community grieves over the mutual and individual historic injustices, expulsions, transgression and pogroms we must also hold that hope that for all our families will soon spend the next Ninth of Av together living in our own ancient lands rebuilding the Temple for the final time and soon return to lives as Torah spells out and this time can we please remain true remembering every Ninth of Av what has stormed our people when we strayed and were dispersed as punishment for our transgressions. May your fast lay easy upon you.

 

Temple Institute concept for what building the Third Temple in modern day Jerusalem would appear like from a distance with modern buildings of Jerusalem in the background. May their vision and this concept figure become fact and fulfill our desires for unity and a single Temple and House for Hashem in our midst. May this dream be fulfilled before the next Ninth of Av so our lament will be lessened.

Temple Institute concept for what building the Third Temple in modern day Jerusalem would appear like from a distance with modern buildings of Jerusalem in the background. May their vision and this concept figure become fact and fulfill our desires for unity and a single Temple and House for Hashem in our midst. May this dream be fulfilled before the next Ninth of Av so our lament will be lessened.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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