Beyond the Cusp

September 7, 2012

Easy Solution to Israeli Kindergarten Teacher Crisis

It has been a colloquial truism that no good deed goes unpunished. The Government version of this is when you mollify one group’s demands you will create a new group with opposite demands. This is exactly what has occurred in Israel with their attempt to make life more affordable for young families by lowering the age where children are allowed into the public education system. As an immediate consequence, kindergartens now have younger students as they had to be extended to accommodate these younger children. This caused an easily solved situation, a need for more kindergarten teachers. This was no sooner resolved before a far stickier problem was raised. The teachers who were given responsibility for younger children are refusing to be responsible for diaper duty. Honestly, I really cannot blame them. As a grandparent, I love my grandchildren, even the youngest among them, as when diaper duty time comes around, I simply feign to have completely forgotten how to change a diaper. Put a diaper on the precious young one using a customized version requiring only one safety-pin and you are relieved of such responsibility on grounds of senility.

Despite the above dodge for diaper duty, grandparents and other retired individuals are vital part of an obvious solution. Since the teachers union very likely will back the teachers one-hundred-percent on their refusal to take on this sticky problem, my suggestion would be to ask for volunteers to act as teachers diaper aides. Actually, assign these volunteers to care for all hygiene related obstacles the teachers have opted to decline. I feel that once the schools let it be known that they require teachers’ aides to assist with the youngest and newest of the school’s pupils, one of two scenarios will play out. The first is the obvious marshaling of a ready, willing, able and enthusiastic small army of retired and other volunteers will be lining up actually anxious to garner one of what I believe will be prized positions. The other scenario is that upon seeing the large number of volunteers who are actually anxious and willing to give complete and loving care to these children, the teachers just might reconsider as for many of these youngest children a teacher is less necessary than an honest caretaker. Either way, the children will likely receive better care either from caring and loving volunteers or teachers intimidated into performing everything necessary to fulfill the requirements caused by the extended school coverage. Nothing like somebody willing and able to take your job and not requiring a large paycheck or desiring a union to put a good scare by the threat of being replaced to push people to perform not only at a higher level but also willing to go to whatever ends may be required. Either way, the children will hopefully gain the best care and treatment not only available, but the best care and treatment possible.

Beyond the Cusp

February 9, 2012

Egypt, Obama, and Present & Potential American Hostages

Way back at the beginning of what transformed into the Arab Winter, known by the optimistic term Arab Spring, and freedom was presumably breaking out all over the Arab Middle East, numerous pro-democracy Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) were represented by numerous optimistic representatives who dreamed they were assisting the removal of a viscous dictator and replace it with a democratically elected liberal governance to uphold the Western standards of human rights, equality, religious freedom, equal rights for women, and equal rights of minorities of all kinds. These dreamers honestly believed they would make a difference and that a new age of unparalleled change towards a society based on enlightened principles which would be a close resemblance to modern society in Europe and the Americas. Somewhere between Tahrir Square and the election of a Parliament dominated by Islamists made up of largely the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists something went off the tracks onto a tangent which for these Western activists was completely unanticipated. Despite the potential for reality being far darker with significantly less freedom rearing its head in the form of the election results, these idealists remained in Egypt in order to continue the fight for a better and noble new society. Unfortunately, the last forty or so dreamers remaining in Egypt were now seen as a threat to the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood who, with willful compliance of the ruling Military Council, decided that they were now useful idiots which had been made unnecessary. Having outlived their usefulness, these Western representatives have had their passports and papers confiscated, informed they were not to leave Egypt, and have now had charges filed against them for belonging to unrecognized NGOs which were now illegal and had no right to operate in Egypt. Among these victims of the new Egyptian government were nineteen Americans which included the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. This latest development does pose some interesting questions about what will be the reaction of the Obama Administration, especially to the detention of American citizens and how far will Egypt go in pressing to actually hold these people, hold trials, and possibly imprison them.


Thus far, there has been no ultimatum or demands for the release of these representatives for NGOs who were there with the blessings of these very same groups and parties which was so completely happy to allow these same people to press for and assist in bringing about the end of the government of Hosni Mubarak, but now found them no longer useful and have gone to the same predictable extreme in disavowing the now useless freedom workers. There have been so many similar examples throughout history of such utopian dreamers that we have coined a phrase to describe them, useful idiots. This is not to imply they lack intelligence but that they refused to see that they had been utilized for a completely different result than they had intended to bring about and were soon to become a threat to those who had taken advantage of their accomplishment and had hijacked the events and the systems. Their willful blindness led them to continue to push for their idealistic outcome despite everything which had gone awry and now placed them in the sights of the new oppressors who would go to any extent to end any potential for opposition, which places these people in extreme danger. They have now been trapped, charged, and may face trial and confinement which should be considered as a hostage situation. Fortunately, some of the American fugitives of conscience were able to take refuge in the United States Embassy in Cairo. This may lead to a situation where the new Egyptian government might demand that these people be turned over by the Embassy for trial and probably conviction and imprisonment under threat of attack of the Embassy. Hopefully, the American Embassy personnel have been instructed to refuse to turn over United States citizens for a ruse of a trial followed by prison terms of possibly five years length. The problem is that I would not put it past the Muslim Brotherhood, and definitely not beyond the Salafists as they would relish such, taking the United States Embassy by force and holding the American personnel hostage. I actually fully expect that this scenario is in our future and we will end up with a repeat of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, except it will be the Egyptian Hostage Crisis. Thus far, the Obama Administration has been actively attempting to increase foreign aid to Egypt and expedite the transfer of the funding to these same people who are currently threatening American citizens. Sometimes I just have to ask whether or not the Obama Administration could look any more like the Carter Presidency on steroids. Should the worst occur out of this coming crisis with Egypt it will be so much like, as Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again!”


Beyond the Cusp


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