The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

FOLLOW THE LIEDER

 

Despite his brief thirty-one years, Franz Schubert was one of the most prolific composers of the classical age.  Among other compositions, he had more than six hundred secular songs (lieder) to his credit.  “Die Forelle” is one of the most charming and best known of these.

I’m fairly certain that when Schubert composed this song he was thinking little more than of an encounter between the fish and fisherman – which ended badly for the trout.  But as I listened to this lovely song I thought to myself that there is a clear analogy between the story Schubert told and our world today.

Perhaps you’ve heard President Obama’s recent statement that, “This is the world’s most tranquil period in human history.”  I know that he recently went to Colorado to fund raise.  Perhaps he stopped at one of the recently opened marijuana shops and picked up a stash of weed.

Domestically we have an influx  of illegals entering the country.  Sadly, some of them are trying to escape horrible conditions in their home countries and we all, if we are compassionate, have concern for them – whether they are children or adults.  But before we offer our largesse to these visitors, ought we not have at least as much concern for our own citizens – particularly our black citizens – who live in our inner cities and are subject to as much violence as any of these newcomers?  Two thirds of American voters believe that is the case.

In addition to NSA spying on everyone in the world with a phone or an email account we now find out that the CIA which is supposed to operate only internationally has been prying into the private affairs of U. S. senators.  More is being revealed daily that the “phony scandal” at the IRS seems to be a calculated plan to destroy the administration’s opposition politically.  Whether the sole perpetrator of the conspiracy was Lois Lerner or whether others were both willing and involved participants remains to be learned.

We as a nation have now given Obamacare it’s worst approval rating since it began to be implemented.  This FUBAR law has yet to see its most important implications but those will be coming soon as insurers review their pool of customers (as best they can as there are many who think they are insured but are regularly being denied coverage since healthcare.gov’s back end still isn’t function correctly despite the system’s $800 million cost) and consumers who don’t like the law now are in for a big surprise as they receive their premium notices for 2015 and the employer mandate kicks in finally.

Internationally – well, where do we even start?  There is a mini war going on in Ukraine.  Two weeks after the downing of MH 17 there are still the bodies of eighty victims rotting in the fields.  An Ebola epidemic is breaking out in west Africa – with possible worldwide consequences should it be exported.  Hamas has already broken this weekend’s 72 hour cease fire with Israel – hours after it was adopted.  ISIS claims to have taken over and is now in control of Benghazi, Libya.  This list is far from complete.  If this is tranquility then it is hard for me to imagine what turmoil must look like.

With this litany of issues that are fomenting, what do we see our government doing?  The quick answer is that like our clever fisherman who stirred up the waters to muddy the hapless trout’s perspective, the administration is trying to focus the public’s attention on things like a purported impeachment effort (this is pure hype) and the injustice that heaps opprobrium on any caring citizen because of the Washington Redskins team name.  To quote one of my favorite political pundits of all time, Charlie Brown, “Good grief.”

The president and his administration have added an entirely new meaning to the expression, “Muddying up the waters.”  It’s only a shame that those who voted for a second four year Obama administration and now regret that decision hadn’t the perspicacity to see what so many of us realized in 2008 and got hooked when the waters were still clear.

HATE CRIMES

As I’ve previously written, the phrase “hate crimes” seems to me to be redundant.  Not a lot of crimes are committed out of love – except perhaps in France where crimes of passion are considered to be mitigating in a person’s defense.  Toujours l’amour.  Hmm, as I think about it, perhaps Bill Clinton, Anthony Wiener, Bob Filner and Eliot Spitzer are really French men camouflaging themselves as Americans.  Of course, this list of noted over-libidinous politicians is hardly complete.

But here in America we have decided that some crimes are so bad that they need a special classification – hence, “hate crimes”.

Crimes that are committed where the  motivation is race, homophobia, Islamophobia, are examples of some of those crimes that we categorize as “hate crimes”.  There is no need to detail examples of race crimes as we have Al Sharpton for that.

As to homophobia, even though the classification didn’t exist at the time we have no further to look than Chicago back in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s where Democrat Mayor Richard J. Daley used to encourage the police to raid gay bars on a regular basis.  There was some suspicion that the motivation wasn’t an anti-gay bias as much as a way to increase the local police’s income by shaking down the bar owners for payoffs.

And then we have our pernicious hatred of Muslims which takes its shape in the form of Islamophobia.  Virtually anything that is negative which can be said about Islam – or at least the way in which a significant portion of Muslims practice it – (see Egypt) are carefully overlooked by our media.  Our sensitivity is so deep that our government has deleted phrases such as Islamophobia, jihad and Radical Islam from the government’s internal training and instruction manuals – as though that will make the concepts underlying these terms go away.

If it were that easy, I would actively be campaigning to remove the word Obama from those same documents.

Returning to the country of Egypt for a moment, I know that you’ve heard that there is something going on there akin to a civil war because even President Obama took time out from his active golfing schedule to spend a few minutes yesterday to comment on the subject.

In his brief comments, Obama chided both sides and advised that they should set down their arms and talk with each other.  Great advice – unless you’ve seen any of the footage of what is happening in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt.  It’s very hard to get people who have opposing views to sit down and deal with their differences rationally.  It’s impossible to expect that sort of conciliatory attitude when you’re dealing with a mob.

If you haven’t been keeping up with developments in Egypt, the civil war which is raging essentially pits the interim, military-backed government against those who think of themselves as part of the Muslim Brotherhood.  They’re the group who are the embryonic form of political association that transforms itself into things like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.  (You’ll remember first hearing about them if you flip back to 9/11/01).

They’re the group in which Huma Abedin (Mrs. Anthony Wiener), Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, was raised and whose mother is an active member.

They’re also the people who have burned 39 Coptic Christian churches in Egypt – a fact that was omitted from the coverage that I saw on CNN and CBS and NBC (although NBC did mention that “a few” churches had been burned in the riots).

Coptic Christians, with about a ten percent representation in the total Egyptian population are certainly a minority.  They are being specifically targeted by the Muslim Brotherhood since they are, after all, infidels and their places of worship are being destroyed in this effort.

With over 2000 mosques in America, you and I both know the outrage that would ensue if one of those were targeted and damaged or destroyed.  The immediate outcry would, of course, include the term “hate crime”.  So why is there so little outrage about the plight of Coptic Christians among those in the administration and those who report the “news”?

I’m not sure what the answer to that rhetorical question is – but the phrase “double standard” comes to mind.

copticchurch

DO YOU REMEMBER J. C. ?

The year was 1976,  two hundred years after the founding of the country.  And as we did every four years, we had an election in which we chose the new head of the executive branch, the President of the United States.

In the past we had selected quite a few from Ohio, but Massachusetts and New York had seen some representation as had, of course, Virginia and other states as well.  They had been lawyers, and educators and businessmen, those whom the country tapped on the shoulder and said, “Please serve and lead the way.”

But this year it was different.  We hired a former peanut farmer from the state of Georgia for the job – a man by the name of James Earl Carter, Jr. to serve as our 39th president.

Well, the new president’s background brought a lot of laughs in our big cities.  And his brother Billy, a notorious alcoholic and family “black sheep” brought a lot of laughs in the taverns throughout the country with his antics and attempt to introduce his very own brew, “Billy Beer” into the beverage aisles of our supermarkets.  And laughing was okay.  We needed a few chuckles to keep our minds off all the problems we had to face.

In our heart of hearts we knew that Gerald Ford should have been elected president but for the fact that the country was in an unforgiving mood.  A lot of us were still mad at him for pardoning former President Nixon.  Heck, that pardon downright smacked of politics and a lot of us were offended at that.

Well, those of us who believed that Jimmy Carter’s election would prove to be a national disaster were at least proven to be moderately correct.  Of course, he had a lot of issues to deal with which, in fairness, he had inherited from previous administrations.  But the Annapolis grad tried to take ownership of those and work us through them.

Some will say he didn’t do a great job of it.  In fact, there was no absence of criticism from the press in those days, critiquing and systematically reporting on his failures.  It must be tough waking up in the morning, knowing that a few hundred papers across the country are politely calling you a jerk.

President Carter was, in my mind, doomed to failure with his policies.  Of course, I bring a bit of prejudice to the table and will freely admit it when I tell you that I hadn’t voted for him.  Just so you know.

But, as much as I was sure he was heading us down the wrong path, I never questioned the integrity that he showed while in office – or for that matter in the many years in which he has been absent from it.  You see, even though we disagree with someone else’s vision, it’s at least comforting to know that they sincerely believe in it.  And that gives us hope that maybe our analysis will be disproven and in the end it turns out that they were actually more far-sighted than we were.

I know that a lot of people mocked President Carter when he was asked whether his Christian values had ever been compromised by a sexual liaison with a woman other than Rosalynn his wife.  His answer that he had, “Lust in his heart many times,” brought on a bunch of sniggering at the singles bars and in the corporate lunch rooms.  But the way I looked at it, I thought it was refreshing that he had the honesty to admit it.  Not all men at that time or later would prove to be so candid.

Pretty much as many of us had expected, President Carter’s policies, however well-intentioned, didn’t extricate us from our problems of a bad economy and high inflation.  His efforts to find a true and lasting peace in the Middle East which he tried to hammer together in the Camp David accords didn’t quell the violence and bloodshed and hatred.

But probably the thing that sealed his fate as a one term president was his taking ownership of the Iran hostage crisis.  After negotiations with the Islamic terrorists who had captured our embassy and personnel in Tehran had failed, he ordered that a rescue attempt be made to free them.  This resulted in the deaths of eight American servicemen.  It would take well over a year before the hostage members of our diplomatic corps in Iran were returned to American soil.  Well, at least they all came home alive.

It’s probably fair to say that President Carter would be better remembered and perhaps thought of if his successor, Ronald Reagan hadn’t been so darned successful in repairing the damage to the economy and American spirit that he had inherited from his predecessor.  The eight years of the Reagan presidency helped get America back on its feet and we all breathed a sigh of relief that we were finally, once again, headed forward.

But in deference to our 39th president, I still hold the opinion that he was an honest man.  During his term in office I never doubted that he acted out of sincere belief and not merely to gain some political advantage.  I guess that’s what people used to call “good character”.  I still believe that about him.

Perhaps there is too much news, too much violence, too much posturing, too much Kim Kardashian and those of her ilk that occupy our thoughts these days for us to pay much attention to a former president – or at least this former president.

So it may be understandable why, when former President Carter made a statement the other day that has profound implications, not one single American newspaper reported it.  Not one.

Or maybe there’s another reason that the only newspaper which dared to think it relevant was of foreign origin:

“The United States no longer has a functioning democracy.”

– Former President Jimmy Carter (quoted in “Der Spiegel”)

DO YOU REMEMBER FORT HOOD?

It’s nearly four years since the November 5, 2009 shooting spree at Ft. Hood which left 13 people dead and 32 more injured.  The sole suspect in what is the worst incident on a U. S. military base in history is one Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan who himself was injured and is now paralyzed from the waist down.

Maj. Hasan was a psychiatrist assigned to the base and has admitted that he was responsible but that his actions were justified.  In his theory, he was “protecting the lives of others” – specifically the sworn enemies of the United States and everyone else left in the world who is civilized – the Taliban.

At the time the shooting took place, Sen. Joe Lieberman described this as  “the worst act of terrorism since 9/11.”  The senator, as you may know, is not known for clinging to what might be described as “right wing” positions – having amassed a record as one of the most liberal senators in the upper chamber.

Notwithstanding the good senator’s contentions, the Department of Defense classified the incident as a matter of “workplace violence.”  That it was indeed violent is beyond dispute.

The victims:

Michael Grant Cahill, Civilian

MAJ. Libardo Eduardo Caraveo

SSGT. Justin Michael DeCrow

CPT. John P. Gaffney

SPEC. Frederick Greene

SPEC. Jason Dean Hunt

SSGT. Amy Sue Krueger

PFC. Aaron Thomas Nemelka

PFC. Michael S. Pearson

CPT. Russell Gilber Seager

PFC. Francheska Velez (Pregnant when killed; the fetus also died)

LT. COL. Juanita L. Warman

PFC.  Kham See Xiong

So after four, nearly four years, the jury consisting of 13 Army officers have been selected and the trial is finally set to commence on August 6, 2013.  That should be good news to the American people who want justice in this matter – and who, incidentally, have been paying the accused’s $80,000 a year Army salary ever since he went out to bring Taliban-style “law and order” to the Army post.

Apparently this fact came to the attention of Congress.  This week a bill was introduced which would stop the payment of any military who are accused either of a capital offense or of sexual misconduct until after their case was adjudicated.  Had this law been in place for our military personnel (as it is for those who hold civilian positions within the military), the taxpayers would be about $300,000 less in debt.

In addition to Hasan’s salary, the Army has spent approximately an additional $4,000,000 providing him legal advice (he’s representing himself in the trial) and for other matters including his housing, medical care and for administrative expenses.

Now in the ultimate scheme of things, $4.3 MM is not a huge sum of money by government standards.  But the sad part of this is that because the Department of Defense classified this as “workplace violence,” the families of the victims have not received either medical or pension benefits to which they otherwise would be entitled.

I’ll be curious to see how much coverage of this trial is presented to us by the media.  I know that I, for one, will be watching to see the outcome of not only the trial but whether we do the right thing and retroactively pay benefits to the families of the victims.

They say that “Justice is blind.”  The Ft. Hood massacre suggests that she may also be incurably stupid.

THE WRONG VOWEL

Many of my friends used to encourage me to audition as a contestant for “Wheel of Fortune”.  Well, it wasn’t high on my priority list of life accomplishments – but they were right – I would have done very well if I only could have avoided spinning into the dreaded “Bankrupt” wedge.

After work, a few of us would get together and conduct our own game while watching the show at our favorite dispensary of adult beverages.  We would each ante five dollars a round and the winner would collect the pot.  After awhile, my friends wouldn’t let me play any more because nine times out of ten I walked off with the cash – sometimes solving the puzzle before any letters had been called.

I guess being excluded is one of the prices you pay for being too successful in America.

It always amazed me while working on these not-too-difficult puzzles why contestants would ask to buy a vowel that obviously had no place in the answer.  Perhaps it was the nervousness generated by being on the show with hundreds in the audience and lights blaring at their faces.  Or maybe, they just weren’t all that smart.  Frankly, I’m more inclined to go with the second explanation.

Lately I’ve been reading a large volume of material on blogs and from other sources on the Islamifacation of Europe.  Some of those writings have also expressed concern over the same issue going on in the United States.  The community of Dearborn, MI being one with a highly concentrated Muslim population, as an obvious example where clashes have occurred between Muslims and Christians.

We are also told through our MMM (Mindless Mass Media) that once we have resolved all violence by enacting serious gun control legislation, one of the other top priorities of the Obama administration is a thorough review of our immigration policies.

America has welcomed foreigners to our shores throughout its entire history.  It has often been described as “The Great Melting Post”.  We might have come as Italians or Germans or Vietnamese or Filipinos, but over time and generations we have become Americans.  We have absorbed American culture and in some ways we have been absorbed by it.

We may have maintained some of our cultural traditions, remembering our roots, but those have never superseded the norm of what American society generally accepted, nor have the minority ever had the temerity to insist that their way should be observed to the exclusion of the majority’s views and beliefs.  Until now.

There is an underlying theme to what I have read about the Muslim presence in virtually all European countries to which they have immigrated.  That theme is an extension of Islam itself.  “Islam is the one and the only true faith and all must become subject to it or be annihilated.”  That theme has been played and re-played in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and is now being played once again in the United States.

In ancient times, Islam overwhelmed the Christian population in Egypt, converting or killing those who refused to acknowledge Muhammad as the Prophet and Allah as God and today only ten percent of Egypt’s population are members of the Coptic Church.  And they are fearful for their lives and for their families as they are often the victims of what we would describe as “hate crimes” were the same things to be committed here.  But there are no hate crimes in Islam when it comes to unbelievers – and no tolerance of those who do not subscribe to their doctrines.  In fact, murdering these people is a part of the Islamic mission.

Clearly there is a disparity of world view between Islam and the Judaeo-Christian traditions on which America was founded.  One of our fundamental principles is that in America we can choose to be a member of a particular church or synagogue or mosque or choose not to want to associate with any form of “organized religion”.  We are free to choose not to believe in God or to question his existence.  That is not the case for those citizens where Islamic Sharia law is the law of the land.

While countries based on a Judaeo-Christian outlook are actively involved in being “open-minded” and inclusive about Islam, in no way does Islam reciprocate that viewpoint.  The lack of insight into the true spirit and goals of Islam can be seen among Rabbis, Ministers and Priests and in the congregants whom they serve.  Simply put, they have shaped their view of Islam based on their sense of generosity and inclusiveness which is their world view.  But that is not the world view of Islam – which is to become the one, the only religion and to dominate the entirety of the world’s population.

Now there are those who are “secularists”, who believe that Islam is “just another religion” and nothing to worry about.  Perhaps they missed the events of 9/11/01 and the thousands of other incidents of violence brought against non-Muslims worldwide since then by adherents of what is euphemistically described as “The Religion of Peace”.

These apologists within our churches and within our government are either blind or stupid.  Or they are active agents for a political system, Islam which has as its stated goal, world domination?

How our liberal friends can speak of the horrors of women’s inequality in the United States and turn from examining the conditions of women in Muslim countries which include acid scaldings, “honor killings”, denial to the right of receiving an education and the fact that in the Koran women are accorded only half the benefits of men in most things including inheritance, is far beyond my understanding.

Thanks to the Internet, these sorts of stories are reported on a daily basis.  Are these the actions of civilized societies?  Are they any less terroristic in nature than what Adam Lanza perpetrated in Newtown, CT?  Or are they even more horrid because there are not twenty-six people involved as victims, but hundreds of thousands, if not millions?

Europe is rapidly discovering that their policies of accommodation to “Muslim sensibilities” is leading itself into a yet deeper hole.  Because the more they grant to those Muslims who have immigrated to their countries, the more these same people are demanding.  There is no end to their voracious appetites – until they have brought about either the conversion or the decimation of the cultures in which they have placed themselves.

When we have a President and a State Department making statements that, “The incident in Benghazi was due to the reaction of a spontaneous mob’s protesting a demeaning film made about the life of the prophet Muhammad,” in denial of the facts which were apparently well known at the time these statements were made, one can only question the motivation of the speakers.

No conclusion we reach, whether it was merely dishonesty intended to minimize the political consequences of the murder of four Americans; pure ignorance; or willful collaboration with a political movement that has as its goal bringing down Western and American civilization is a pleasant one to contemplate.  But I know of no others that make any sense.

That we have transparent borders is obvious by the number of illegal aliens who make their way every day into this country.  And we are focusing our discussions on the question of immigration with an “I”.  Perhaps that is the wrong conversation to be having.

Maybe we, and many European countries, should instead be asking the reasonable question of our Muslim residents, “If things are so to your distaste and dislike here, wouldn’t you be happier in a country in which you have to ask for no accommodations because you will be able to enjoy living in a homogenous place where everyone else shares your values?  Wouldn’t you be just so much happier if you were to emigrate with an “E” to one of these places?”

Pat, I’d like to buy a vowel.

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