by Reid Fitzsimons (note that this is written the day following the terrorist attack in Nice, France)
Reasonable people, not just provincial redneck hicks, can divine a correlation between Islam and these rather persistent terrorist attacks, the toll of which is not insignificant. The perpetrators are running pretty much at 100% in the yelling Allahu Akbar thing, and they aren’t, to the chagrin of progressives, declaring themselves to be conservative Christians slaughtering in the name of Jesus. The Ivy League educated powers that lead us are quite vehement in instructing the ignorant masses there is no association between terrorism and Islam, with the caveat that there would be no benefit in stating such if it was true, which makes us conclude they suffer from the Islamic Culpability Denial Syndrome, or ICDS.
Characteristics of ICDS include ignoring that the perpetrators of terror unequivocally state they are Muslim and are acting on behalf of Islam, that they have historically received material and philosophical support from “legitimate” Islamic oriented governments (including our new BFF Iran), and the brutal and perpetual Islam on Islam violence. Combined with the paltry denunciations of violence done in the name of Islam by people who might reasonably be considered Islamic leaders both internationally and in the US, in both political and religious realms, ICDS is baffling. ...continue reading →
Today, in reaction to the horrific and tragic events in Orlando, FL, President Obama made an emphatic statement to the American people, as follows:
My fellow citizens, I am outraged and terribly saddened by the slaughter of innocent people by a terrorist, and am prepared to act boldly using all the power and authority invested in me by a pen and smart phone. First I will review the known facts so there will be no misperceptions and that the steps I am declaring today will engender no significant opposition.
In the early morning hours of June 12th, a 29-year-old man named Omar Mateen entered the Pulse Nightclub and murdered 49 people. Mateen was a US citizen born in NYC of Afghani parents and has been described as a devout Muslim. He apparently became radicalized and pledged allegiance to ISIS, or what I prefer to call ISIL because the L stands for Levant and it makes me sound smart and sophisticated, as most people don’t know what it means. We know without question that Islam is a religion of peace so that any violence committed in the name of Islam cannot be violence committed in the name of Islam. Hence, after consultation with a myriad of experts, professionals, and lawyers, including people working for the US Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division and the Southern Poverty Law Center, we have determined the following to be true:
The Target Corporation, which describes itself as “an upscale discount retailer” and operates almost 1,800 stores, has recently emphasized its commitment to transgender activism, specifically where it pertains the to use of its bathrooms. Brian Cornell has been at the helm as the CEO since August 2014 (total compensation since his affiliation $28,164,024) and recently made a statement, largely in Q&A format, to address any concerns his bathroom policy has engendered.
His preamble reiterated Target’s diversity philosophy: "individuality may include a wide spectrum of attributes such as personal style, age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, physical ability, religion, family, citizenship status, socio-economic circumstances, education, and life experiences." He added the following: “We live in exciting times, from not only a corporate/business perspective but from a cultural one. We at Target believe the greatest human endeavor is to facilitate people in finding personal fulfillment and satisfaction in life. We are proud to be at the forefront in advocating for people too long marginalized by society simply because of the manner in which they gender identify. We believe the greatest gift we can give our valued customers is a shopping experience where all feel welcome, accepted, and embraced regardless of such factors as sexual orientation or gender identity.” He then answered questions asked by customers about Target’s bathroom policy:
There are those who don’t always accept the premise that the impoverished in America, as compared to the realm of the truly poor in non-developed countries, are hapless victims of extrinsic factors. Within this perspective is a belief that bad personal choices are made in the continuum of life that either keep people impoverished or disallow them to rise above it. In other words, individual poverty in America can’t always be traced back to Big Corporations and societal oppression in general, but that opportunities for education, to obtain marketable skills, and to establish a secure financial foundation are lost out to greed and pleasures of the here and now. People with this view are referred to as conservatives, often with pejorative adjectives attached. If we were actually honest we would admit that state lottery tickets aren’t routinely purchased by the economically self-actualized, but by people who can least afford them. One cannot smoke dope, shoot heroin or methamphetamine, or drink to excess with regularity as a means to success. Money used for tattoos and body piercings could probably be spent more wisely. Conservatives are more of the Morning in America mindset, whereas progressives tend to find themselves stuck in a narrative based in some cruddy New England textile mill from the early 20th century, allowing them to deflect blame for individual and societal failings.
There is an undeniable temptation, when considering Melissa Click, to compose a juvenile limerick in regards to her surname. Having admitted this and successfully resisted it we can move on.
Melissa Click, in her mid-40s, first entered our consciousness in November 2015 during commotions for social justice at the University of Missouri, Columbia. These were largely the progeny of Michael Brown and all that he entailed, and spearheaded by student government President and U of M 2015 Homecoming King Peyton Head, who is worthy of a brief detour. President Head is a child of actual privilege in that (his bio suggests) his father has been present throughout his life, and the pseudo-privilege that so distresses the social justice activists in that his father obtained the level of school principal in the Chicago school system, indicating a certain financial comfort. His privilege is fully mitigated, however, by his being a young black man and apparent homosexual.
Barak Obama is a liar, which is not a preposterous thing to say. Bad people lie and good people lie. Sometimes lies are told out of cowardice, other times to help a person through a troubled period, sometimes to facilitate a seemingly greater good, and other times to facilitate a selfishly desired goal. At times people lie to themselves, at times to others, and sometimes to both. Politicians are probably more accomplished liars than average though some are notoriously unskilled and hence entertaining, Richard Nixon, Gary Hart, and John Edwards being examples. The Clintons are not particularly adept at lying in that the truth eventually reveals itself. Their success is based more on the concept found in the lyrics of Are You Lonesome Tonight- “I'd rather go on hearing your lies than to go on living without you.” As difficult as it may be for a rational person to accept, just as there are people who actually watch and receive pleasure from morning network news programs and reality shows, there are masses totally enamored with Bill and Hillary. The Clintons may not be particularly adept liars but they know their intended audience, and this has served them well for many years.
Note: the following article began as a brief e-mail to my brother (explaining some of the syntax), which somehow grew into 5 pages. Despite being too long and somewhat rambling, it makes points and arguments rarely, if ever, seen elsewhere.
I was going to add a few comments in regards to our discussion/argument about what you called immigration reform, though I think you were being a bit disingenuous and really meant support of an open border type policy (in theory Donald Trump rounding up anyone with a Hispanic sounding name and placing them in Mexico-bound boxcars could be deemed immigration reform). However this touches on a related topic of interest to me- the significant similarities between progressive liberals and Evangelical Christians, so I’m going to go ahead and write an excruciatingly long article for posting on an internet blog. I hope you are inclined to read what follows, which includes some outside the lines ideas in regards to immigration reform.
Thanks to Reid's son Forest for introducing me to this book. If you buy it, or buy anything else from amazon.com, please shop at smile.amazon.com instead of www.amazon.com, and select The Virunga Fund as your beneficiary. It won't increase your price, but amazon will make a donation to Virunga.
Book review: Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, by James C. Scott.
Prototypical scheme: A wild forest was designed by God, or by Darwinian evolution, to "succeed" as an ecosystem capable of sustaining a bio-diverse assortment of plant, animal, insect and bird species (and many other kinds). Modern "scientific" forestry, on the other hand, in its early stages, focused on maximizing board-feet of lumber produced, and chose mono-culture: a whole forest of trees of a single species, planted in rows. Many such projects worked for a few years, then failed as the whole forest ecosystem collapsed for unforeseen reasons involving complex interdependencies. The key insight is: these projects, and many others like them, were promoted as "modern", "scientific" and "rational", but were nevertheless unsustainable.
After the recent terror attacks in France, the instinctive response of people of faith all over the world was to pray for Paris, and to encourage others to do so. For others, who consider religious faith problematic, the response was different: “Don’t pray for Paris”. The subtext to those opinions was clearly: religion is part of the problem, so it can’t be part of the solution.
The first of those responses (prayer) has deep historical roots. Thoughtful people will wonder about the second: is it a new idea, or has it been tried before? If it has been tried before, what were the results of the earlier trials? Hearing news of the Paris attacks, many of us remembered John Lennon, who wrote 40 years ago: “Imagine…no hell below us, above us only sky.” John identified the objective of that dream as “..all the people living life in peace.” Clearly, if John were still among us, he would have been among those saying, “Don’t Pray for Paris”.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfbph4VCVtk
Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others- Winston Churchill
Clothes and courage have much to do with each other- Sara Jeannette Duncan
Upuntil today I could have searched the recesses of my cultural knowledge and concluded there is a person named Blake Lively and associated the word celebrity with the name. For some reason I happened to notice a trending now headline stating, “Blake Lively Shuts Down Preserve.” My initial assumption was that this Blake Lively person is one of those PETA-type celebrities who pose nude under the banner of “I’d rather go naked than wear fur,” and had been operating some kind of animal rescue organization. Being tangentially simpatico as a philosophical vegetarian for over nine years, my first thought was it is kind of a shame- so many celebrities offer grandiose statements or make ridiculous symbolic gestures pertaining to the progressive cause of the moment, but here was one that actually did something. Sadly, in the realm of “say it isn’t so,” I discovered Preserve is a largely commercial website featuring the “Stories and Creations of Artisans.”