The ISIS Play Book

How did Adolf Hitler manage to get so deep, push so far and take over so much territory before the allied powers saw the writing on the wall and struck back? After all, he told the world what his intentions were back in 1925 (Volume 1) and 1926 (Volume 2) in Mein Kampf. It wasn’t until ten years later, in 1936, that the Nazi military marched into the Rhineland. What was the rest of the free world doing for ten years? Didn’t anybody READ Mein Kampf? Roosevelt? Churchill? Stalin? Frank from Ohio? Anyone? Hitler’s moves were hardly surprising. He TOLD us what he was going to do. Wasn’t Mein Kampf grounds for an early intervention?

Every election season, at least here in the United States, the major contenders for the White House release campaign books. Within the pages, the candidate tells us exactly his/her positions on the hot topics of the day. Mein Kampf was no different. After 1926, after the Reichstag fire, after the Night of the Long Knives, after Kristallnacht, after (enter atrocity here), where were the future opponents of the Nazi regime? Why did it take the actual 1939 invasion of Poland for reasonable minds to act?

It is unacceptable to claim that it wasn’t until 1933 that Mein Kampf was officially translated into English (or any other language), as if to say that non-German speaking world leaders had to wait until the publishing world got them a readable copy. As Hitler was breaking the Treaty of Versailles like a communion wafer, world leaders, especially the French and Russians who were near paranoia in their feelings about a regeneration of German power, would have found someone to read it to them. Don’t ya think?

Sir Winston Churchill read Mein Kampf. He even wrote about it in the late 1930s. Apparently, President Franklin D. Roosevelt read it and warned about the peril of the Jews under a Hitler regime. Yet I can’t find any indication Stalin read it. But the fact is, no one felt the urge over the years leading to war to take pre-emptive action. It is justified to say, even in the most laziest of terms, that perhaps the stance was taken that what Germany did within its borders was its own business. But when they marched into the Rhineland, why didn’t anyone put Mein Kampf together with it and have an “Ah Ha” moment? Then Austria and Czechoslovakia yet, not a batted eyelash. It took the full scale invasion of Poland for righter reigns to move.

Feel free to count up the above question marks and go seeking answers but I’ll leave it here for historians to sort all that out. What we know is that enough people read Mein Kampf to have made an early difference but no one took Hitler’s words seriously. No one moved beyond the op-ed piece or speech or essay to prevent Hitler from carrying out the plan he so boldly notified the world of. The “why” is history, the lesson, is our future.

ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, (also known as ISIL, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) this plague is currently romping around these two countries, rolling over anyone who gets in their way. They’re literally rolling them over, shoving crucifixes into the throats of children, carrying out actual crucifixions, murdering and maiming everyone and anyone that isn’t like them. And they seem to have sprung up from no where. A few months ago, ISIS was a blip. Now it’s taken enough territory to declare itself its own country. And they went from speck to unavoidable stain via blitzkrieg…just like ole’ Adolf. When ISIS was taking territory in Syria, America was more concerned about overthrowing Assad. In fact, the United States was assisting those who opposed Assad with weapons and funding. Surely some of that ended up in ISIS hands. Yet now that ISIS has breached the border and run a muck in Iraq, it’s Hitler-Takes-Poland all over again. America is about ready to team up with Assad to fry the bigger fish. If only America hadn’t funded the enemies of Assad in the first place, if only there was an intervention when Hitler rolled into the Rhineland. If only…

Did anyone see this coming? Those of us who remember September 11, 2001 did. Did anyone besides me, at least since 9/11, bother to read the book that those nineteen hijackers and their funders used to justify the attack? Osama Bin Laden et al justified their attack with the Qur’an. They justified it by the Word of God, as they believed is written in the Qur’an. It might have been a good idea if world leaders, especially those in the United States, took an evening or two to read it.

The Qur’an is said to have been written circa early to mid 600s AD. It is said to have been written by Muhammad, an unextraordinary merchant who, at the age of forty, claimed to have been visited by the Archangel Gabriel who dictated over many years what eventually became the Qur’an. Let’s stop here a minute. Now find a copy of the Qur’an. They’re free and online. Copyright law expired around 700AD. Open it up at random and read a few pages. If you think this was the dictation of an Archangel, you’re nuts. Yet millions world-wide believe this. And some of them base their lives and actions on the literal translation of this horrible piece of literature, this fraud. ISIS is one of the worst offenders the world has ever seen. They are so vicious that their parent group, the notorious al-Qaeda, disowned them. When Ayman al-Zawahiri won’t even hang with you because you’re too violent, that says something.

If you haven’t read the Qur’an, you will remain confused as to what justifies ISIS in its actions. If you haven’t’ read Mein Kampf, you won’t know why Hitler did what he did. Look, this is easy, when your enemy has a play book, READ IT! In the case of the Qur’an, read any page to see how its complete make up is based on how to punish the unbeliever. In many areas, it instructs Muslims to not befriend the Christian or the Jew (although it does lament the deeds of Moses and the older prophets, including Jesus). Read the countless ways anyone not of the Muslim faith is to be tortured, maimed and killed. Sure the Bible has its share of vicious passages but the Qur’an is one big vicious passage. Where as you can (and thankfully most Christians and Jews have) abandon the savagery found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, you can’t do that with the Qur’an. If you wished to remove the intolerant passages from the Qur’an, you’d have to throw away the whole book. The Qur’an is one big threat and list of punishments for unbelievers.

Some argue that Muslim extremist groups like ISIS have nothing to do with Islam. They claim that the reason young men join these groups is for a sense of purpose, to be part of a greater conflict. They join to earn a glory or praise that they’re not getting at home. They claim that these men lack employment, education or have an all around geopolitical outrage over American imperialism. And they point to the men’s general lack of “understanding” the Qur’an and Islam in general. All or some of these things are partially true, perhaps in the ranks of the groups’ “muscle”. But, at the same time, many participants are well educated and well financed. Remember that Osama Bin Laden came from a wealthy, large family who owned a world recognized construction business. Ayman al-Zawahiri, current head of al-Qaeda, is a doctor from Egypt, having a masters degree in surgery. Also, Mohammed Atta, hijacker pilot of flight 11 on 9/11 was studying to be an architect. Ziad Jarrah, hijacker pilot of flight 93 was studying aerospace engineering. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, considered the mastermind of 9/11, has a bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering – from an America university. And Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current head of ISIS, has a masters degree in Islamic Studies. You’d think he’d know what Islam is all about. And look what he’s doing with it.

These are not uneducated men. The common denominator is Islam. And they may have been angry at the United States for supporting Israel and infringing in the Middle East but it comes from a belief that Islam should take precedent. How many countries has the United States meddled in, yet, it is only from Muslim extremists that planes come crashing into our buildings as retribution?

It only happens with Islam. There is no ISIS or al-Qaeda equivalent in the other two monotheisms. Yet, there are poor, uneducated, purpose seeking Jews and Christians who aren’t cutting off the heads of other faiths. No, if it wasn’t for Islam, there would be no ISIS, no al-Qaeda. And I beg to differ with the apologists who want to give every excuse but Islam as a reason for their behavior. These thugs do understand the Qur’an. There is nothing to misinterpret about “kill them (unbelievers) where ever you find them.” (2:191) or anywhere else in the numerous, countless verses that say the same kind of rhetoric. And a constant state of warfare is expressly prescribed for the budding Muslim where it reads, “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” (2:216) In other words, ye sprouting Muslim, you may not like it, but Allah knows what’s best for you. So fight.

Since the Qur’an is the play book of ISIS, there is no reasoning with them. There is no chance to talk our way out of whatever atrocity they will eventually come at us with. ISIS takes the Qur’an at face value, carries out Allah’s orders to torture and kill unbelievers (this goes for Muslims who are not in line with ISIS’s version of Islam – yes, there are different versions of Islam just as there are different parties in Christianity). There is only one way to deal with them and that is for the strength of secular governments to push back, with force. It is not because force is all they understand. On the contrary, these are not entirely stupid people (as noted above). They just follow a stupid ideology. This must be addressed with violence because, as I said, this is not an enemy you can negotiate with. For them, it’s convert to Islam or be killed. They will not accept the west to live in peace with its freedom of all religions. They will not rest their guns until Islam is supreme. So before this cancer (as President Obama rightly called it) grows and strangles civilized society, civilized society must fight back. And we better do it quick. Mohammed Atta funded the 9/11 attacks on a mere $400,000. ISIS is earning millions per day on the black market from seized oil fields. Imagine what they can do.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in my brief review (because there isn’t much else to expand upon) of the Qur’an, you can find it here, at Goodreads. It’ll save you the trouble of reading this piece of garbage in its entirety, although I’d still recommend it.

The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste

In 1989, the Industrial-Metal band, Ministry, released one of the greatest records of all time (my opinion, of course) entitled, The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. I spent about two hours locked in my room with the volume cranked up to eleven. And that was just on the first track. It took me the third-or-so hour to reach the second track. I kept playing the first track, Thieves, over and over and over and over and…

That’s about as close to a religious experience I ever had. Locked in solitary with my kind of chanting. Unless you count the several times I’ve listened to Smiths and Morrissey records in a similar environment. But the The Mind album, along with the band’s name, (Ministry) and that first track, (Thieves), go hand-in-hand, speculating on a flock’s mind being stolen away by thievery, well, I’m reaching. Or preaching? Joseph Smith says he was contacted by the Archangel Gabriel, shown hidden golden tablets and then tasked to translate them. So if that shit can be bought, so can mine with an Industrial-Metal band from the eighties/nineties. But where as I’m good enough to tell you that tidbit of spiritual revival, I’m not about to insist you get into Ministry. Or follow my Ministry. Or do as I say. Others would. Others do. Others take their conversions, their revelations, and force them upon others. Some do so with life and death consequences.

Some say that gay marriage cheapens marriage but I think heterosexual couples have already done that by allowing more than fifty-percent of them (in the United States) to terminate. And that number doesn’t count those who feel locked in, not wanting to waste the past by throwing away the future. A more reliable scale of testing would be to spend more time asking heterosexual couples how happy they are. Have a one-to-ten scale of questioning if you like, but grading rates of success, true success of happiness until death duly parts. That would be a more accurate portrayal as to whether or not heterosexual, monogamous couples are the best. But you’d have to match them over years of sampling of long time homosexual marriages (as well as other arrangements, like polygamy). I don’t believe enough time has passed to get a good sampling.

I respect the human mind way too highly to let some use theirs so carelessly. Heterosexuals who waste their upper-most-body-matter telling homosexuals they can’t be married is one such exercise. Other wastes are allowing the brain in one person to ban the space travel of another brain that constructs a machine to allow him such an adventure. The former doing so on behalf of an invisible being that; while was capable in the distant past of creating the entire universe, now feels compelled to ban his most precious creation to explore it. Or, regarding human relations, if said being is all that powerful, why does he care where you put your genitals?

The common denominator in the above cases is a religious one. Those against gay marriage are against it for religious reasons. They may use the word “tradition” but said tradition is a religious one (albeit faulty as, biblically and Qu’ranically speaking, a male may have many wives). In any case, the holder of the view that homosexuals can not marry claim to just be messengers, pointing out that the commanded Order comes from a higher power – God. Who are they to bend the judgment of God? Anyone can read the Order for themselves in the Bible or Qu’ran, right?

That’s precisely the problem. Joseph Campbell said, “Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.”

When my daughter discusses the ongoings of her relationship with her invisible friend, I humor her, ask questions concerning the nature of this friend. But should this rite of childhood never pass, its time to seek psychological counseling. So when I see grown adults engaging is such behaviors, well, I can respect the person but I can not respect the belief. Christopher Hitchens wrote, “If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.” I concur. Is it any coincidence that the religion of the child is the religion of the parents?

You could never point to a five-year-old child and claim this child is a Republican child. You could never put a Detroit Piston’s jersey on a one-year-old and claim this child is a basketball fan, particularly of the Detroit Pistons. And you can’t label a child a Muslim or Jewish child. Just because the parents are something doesn’t mean the child is too. Those choices are adult choices. And when adults make said choices to be those things, we can only then use the label.

It’s why I’m so hard on religious talk. It’s why I protest so highly against indoctrination of children. In all other lines of inquiry, a child taught a certain subject has the right to ask questions, has the right to conduct his/her own experiments to replicate the findings. And, if what that child had been told turns out to be wrong, text books can change. Not so with the Holy books. There is no room for discussion or engagement. It’s written down by mystics of old and you obey. That’s it. No questions. And if a Holy text says homosexuals can not marry…

Or can not eat anything that mixes meat and dairy,

Or can not cut the hair on the side of your head,

Or can not touch a dead pig (bacon!),

Or can not…then you can not.

The above are a few prohibitions in the Bible. There’s plenty more. I won’t list them all for you. If you wanna check out the entire list, check into any hotel room in the United States. The Gideons were kind enough to litter every establishment with a Bible for your perusal. We can be thankful that most Jews and Christians don’t follow the rules of Leviticus and Deuteronomy to the letter, don’t pass down the ludicrous to their children. The Golden Rule, I suppose, is practiced by most while the more “primitive” Orders are discarded. And while I may snicker at someone who believes in a magic Jewish carpenter who died two-thousand-years ago and will return soon to fix things, I kinda gotta shrug sometimes and say, “Well, what’s it to me?” My friends and family (and total strangers) who practice in the Judea-Christian faith generally leave me alone. Sometimes we even have rather fine, engaging discussions.

At worst, Judea-Christians try to use the force of government to ban homosexual marriages or put prayer back in school. They don’t draw swords. And yes, there is the occasional wacko assault on a doctor performing abortions. But these are more Man Bite Dog stories than regular occurrences. Bull horning or trying to legislate based on the Bible is one thing. Ramming a 757 into your face is another.

From it’s very beginning, the United States has been at war with the Muslim faith. Documented here, I pointed out that 9/11 was a continuation of that war. And it continues to this day. Where as all other religions get mouthy or try to force themselves through legislation at worst, Islam is the only religion on the physical offense.

In every debate, we must pick our battles. In the contest with reason and logic on one side and the authority of religion on the other, the former is the clear winner. But should we spend our energies shouting down all practices of Woo? Resources are limited. If there are a number of parasites eating away at the host, shouldn’t the most time be spent on the worst pest?

Christians, Jews, Jains, Buddhists, astrologers, alchemists, Urantians, they pale in comparison to the mayhem Islam has caused. It is Islam that we must be confronted head on. It is Islam where we must spend most of our time. This isn’t entirely about 9/11. This is about the day-to-day censorship and life threats (and executions) that come from them.

Let us be reminded of the case of Umm Nidal, noted for counseling three of her six sons to commit suicide attacks against Israel. Let us be reminded of the ever present Al-Qaeda. Let us be reminded of the Boston Marathon 2013. Let us be reminded of the treatment of Daniel Pearl. Let us be reminded of every journalist, musician, author, or otherwise that said a sour word against Islam. Let us be reminded of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a well known critic of Islam and a supporter of women wishing to withdraw from the binds that Islam offers them. Born in Somalia, Ms. Hirsi Ali, herself, suffered the ritual of female genital mutilation at the age of five, was chastised by family to participate in an arranged marriage (which she refused) and eventually sought political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992. She went on to hold political office in the Dutch House of Representatives from 2003 to 2006. She is well published with four books on the subject of women in Muslim communities and her own life within. Finally, Ms. Hirsi Ali heads the AHA Foundation, a non-profit in the United States set to protect women from the abuses of Islam. With all her accomplishments, Ms. Hirsi Ali has been awarded several times by various agencies and was supposed to be awarded an honorary degree by Brandeis University located in Waltham, Massachusetts on May 18, 2014. But said degree was withdrawn when Muslim groups protested. Why? Because of everything I just told you about her. Apparently, the Muslims who protested the degree are upset because she’s been an ardent critic of Islam and their hideous practices. And, I’ll state it again, these practices include female genital mutilation, forced marriages, kept/beaten women, honor killings, etc, etc. which is what she’s been most opposed to.

Being denied an honorary degree is one thing. Having one’s life threatened: Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote the screenplay to the 2004 film, Submission. Directed by Theo Van Gogh, said film shows female women, Muslim women, abused through the permission of Islam. And like Salman Rushdie, who after publication of The Satanic Verses, found himself rushed into protective custody because of Muslim death threats, Ms. Hirsi Ali and Mr. Van Gogh were treated to the same negative applause. But while Ms. Hirsi Ali remains alive, Mr. Van Gogh was not so lucky. On November 2, 2004, he was assassinated at the hands of a Muslim man who took his Holy Book a little too seriously, a little too “At-Face-Value”.

The American University, western universities, have long been harbors of learning and higher education. Places where young adults go to ask questions, conduct experiments, challenge old thesis. But the Brandeis University/Ayaan Hirsi Ali censorship case isn’t a secluded man chews hide of canine. A few weeks ago, both the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois were scheduled to screen the documentary, Honor Diaries but found their events cancelled, again, at the behest of uptight Muslims groups. What was the problem this time? Honor Diaries documents the testimony of nine Muslim, Muslim, women, telling the stories of genital mutilation, honor killings and submission in the name of the Faith. Yet, instead of taking the opportunity to admit the problem, correct the problem, and walk out of the Dark Ages, the Council on American-Islamic Relations chose to complain. And to complain loud enough to cry “Islamophobe” and have the screenings cancelled. Think about it. This was their chance to absolve themselves from the barbaric practices, to come out and say, “Yes, yes, it was done in the past. But we’re up to speed now.” But no. Their choice to shut it down suggests complete acceptance of these practices into the present age.

A few months ago, pop music star, Katy Perry, released her music video for Dark Horse. In that video, Ms. Perry, playing a queen of some sorts, punishes a subject by zapping him with a lighting bolt from her fingers. The bolt lands on the man’s chest, upon a necklace with a pendant engraved with the word, “Allah” and kills him. Out came the petitions and demands for censorship because it is apparently blasphemous. The Muslim outcry was enough that Ms. Perry had the video edited to remove the pendant. Why? What was she scared of? (See Ayaan Hirsi Ali).

Those who call for censorship or violence in the name of Islam are not only granted an exception but have their bad behavior over looked. On April 10, 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Cat Stevens. Cat Stevens supported the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s call to murder author, Salman Rushie. after publication of his, Satanic Verses. Amazing! Imagine if Fred Phelps were more than the instigator of the “God Hates Fags” protests outside military funerals. Imagine if he started first as a major figure in music or literature. Would he be welcomed like Mr. Stevens…or, I mean, Yusuf Islam? Religion allows the unallowable.

Why is it that a university or author or other talent can lodge criticism or outright eviscerate any other religion without cause for apology or reversal? What is it about criticizing Islam that is so different, so life threatening? The fact is, a display by an artist of a crucifix submerged in a bottle of urine may furrow brows, but a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb on his head can get you killed.

I urge you to consult the Qur’an itself for the answer. This is the bases of Islam. Read where it is expected to put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, to abstain from friendship and alliances of unbelievers and to punish people who ignore the “revelations”. Then you’ll know why. Then you’ll know Al-Qaeda. Then you’ll know Umm Nidal, Osama Bin Laden, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. You’ll know those terrible minds and why western, secular, reasonable organizations cave. Self preservation.

Regarding Islam, Sam Harris wrote in The End of Faith, “…in the year 2006 a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get 72 virgins in Paradise. Western secularists, liberals, and moderates have been very slow to understand this. The cause of their confusion is simple: They don’t know what it is like to really believe in God.” In other words, we are witnessing Muslims, enough to make an impact, taking the Qur’an at face value and not plucking out the parts that should have been extinguished along with the Biblical Order to stone to death disobedient children. Islam, it appears, is the last of the Woo, last of the nonsense that remains a real threat to civilized society.

Am I being unfair, presenting the worst of the worst? I’ll let Ayaan Hirsi Ali have the final word. After a speech where Ms. Hirsi Ali was confronted by two Muslims claiming she misrepresented Muslims, she was quick enough to note, “Then why do I have to travel with armed protection?”

We can not be canceling television shows and publications and movie screenings because someone is offended, not here, not in the town of Thomas Jefferson. Muslims have managed to make it happen because of the extreme in their group, engaging in assassinations and fatwas over the smallest of things. Do not let a religion, one alledegedly founded on a man claiming an angel dictated to him like Joseph Smith, tell you what you can read, see or feel. Do not let them steal the ideals of western universities. Do not allow them to be the thieves of our children’s higher learning and well being. You can start, simply, by pushing play.

An Alcoholic, Letting His Body Die

There’s a reason why airlines instruct passengers to put their own oxygen masks on first before assisting anyone else in case of an emergency. Everything has to be good at home before you can help on the outside. Everything must be plentiful within, and then consider trimming the excesses in the direction of your choosing. Ever since French ships sat in the cool waters off the coast of Yorktown, allowing Washington’s smashing victory over Cornwallis, the United States has felt the need to keep paying it forward. And it does so without noticing that its own oxygen mask has several leaks and it’s on crooked. From World War I to its sequel to policing the world, America, it ain’t got time to breath.

United States President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, John Kerry, have been pushing for a military strike against Syria. A strike with the goal to punish President Bashar Hafez al-Assad for a chemical attack on August 21, 2013. East to North-East of Damascus, chemical weapons were used in areas mostly populated by opposition forces. And while it’s usual when the right hand is cut, it’s the fault of the left, we don’t know in this case. Each side is blaming the other for the attacks. While the Assad government says they are not responsible, the rebels / opposition says the Assad government is. Maybe members of the government military acted without Assad’s orders? Maybe an offshoot of the rebel camp in possession of chemical weapons decided to stage a false-flag attack against itself? We don’t know. At this point, it’s he said, she said.

But let’s assume Assad gave the order. On the opposition are members associated with Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and other like minded people. Ones who take the Qur’an at face value. Ones who want to bring back the Ottoman empire. Ones who were all AK-47 in the air when skyscrapers came crashing down in Manhattan on September 11, 2001. Do we really want to take their side? Maybe. History has shown that the United States gets on the side that benefits it and it’s interests (whatever that happens to mean to those in charge at the time). Saddam was our buddy in the 80s, then our enemy afterwards. Osama Bin Laden was our buddy for a bit too (he just didn’t know it). We’ve made treaties with the Indians, then ignored them.

Setting aside the acquisition of Indian lands of North America and then sparring with Mexico to complete the Manifest Destiny, the United States has meddled in foreign governments for over the last hundred years or so. The first dot on the map can be found on January 14, 1893, when John L. Stevens, minister to Hawaii, conspired with others to overthrow the Queen of Hawaii in favor of “American Interests”. American sugar growers appear to have been the benefactor. It was the first documented case of an American government official engaging in an overthrow. The United States Marines were used to overthrow Queen Liliʻuokalani because she had enacted a Constitution that curtailed the power of non-natives. Oh, I’ve dealt with this before. On a different ground, but it’s part of the same problem. Americans going around, bossing others, picking sides then getting nailed by the other side, then siding with them then having the picked-over-kid punch back. Sigh. If you really want a detailed account how the United States has been overthrowing foreign powers since that fateful meeting of Minister Stevens, see Steven Kinzer’s, Overthrow. Title isn’t hard to remember.

So while the United States goes around thumping it’s chest in the name of human rights, all the while being more concerned about American Interests, what is it about Syria that has Secretary John Kerry all hard and bothered? Considering U.S. history of interventionism, what does Syria have? I mean, this can’t really be about the use of chemical weapons, can it? I don’t wanna say chemical weapons are the same as a good punch in the throat but essentially, the U.S. didn’t bother involving itself when Syrians were killing other Syrians (and travellers who came across the border to help) with conventional weapons. Death by baseball bat and firearms is greeted with simple furrowed brows from Washington. In other words, we have a military build up going over there not because people are being killed, but because chemicals were used. Kerry isn’t pissed a hammer was used to crush a skull, he’s pissed someone did it with a sledgehammer.

It can’t be about U.S. worry that this civil war will spill into neighboring countries. It can’t be about Hezbollah possibly gaining the upper hand and having more influence to assault Israel. It can’t really be about oil again, can it?

And do we really want to get into a religious war? After World War II, the Allies divided up the Middle East, creating artificial borders among several different sects and beliefs. It’s been more of a Middle East Culture than a Crisis to see them go at each other ever since. By taking one side over another, we’re insulting one side’s God. Ugh. September 11 redux on the horizon.

I wish I had the answer. I simply don’t know why we’re over there. Especially when…

I’m just about finished with Detroit – An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff. If you want to see where every major American city is headed, give this a look. I take this book personally as I live in a suburb of Detroit and work in Detroit itself. I’ve worked east, west and down town Detroit. And I’ve moved in and around the two cities within, Hamtramck and Highland Park. I work at a street level position where I travel the neighborhoods, meet with those who live in this dying D-Town. Detroit is the sideways mask with leaking holes in our own country. I look out my office window and it might as well be down town Beirut circa 1986. While Secretary John Kerry is handing money to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, we’re seeing nature reclaim once beautiful houses. Everyone who drives through for the first time has the same reaction: “Beautiful architecture…or, was beautiful architecture.”

2008 brought on a financial crisis close enough to the crash of 1929 that we all thought it was the 1930s again. Big banks were bailed out of their debt but home owners were left with theirs. The price of gas went up, and SUVs started getting torched by owners who could no longer afford them. Jobs were lost, some never to return. And Detroit just kind of stood there and said, “Welcome to the party”. With a city who has an ex-mayor in jail, on his way to prison, a few circuit court judges under investigation and a once circuit court, then supreme court judge, in prison, Detroit’s a tough town.

I still love my dying town. Why? Because it hurts to fall from the Penthouse but not from the gutter. Detroit has a chance to rebuild itself. It was made for two-million people and now houses under seven-hundred-thousand. Services are being stripped and neglected. Some days, the garbage isn’t picked up. Street lights have been off for years. The police have ten-year-old vehicles. Detroit could come back, not as it was, but as a new entity. But it can’t if all the money is being siphoned out by crony politicians (Kwami Kilpatrick and gang) and tax dollars sent to Washington. And then Washington turning around and nation building here and there and everywhere.

Why save oil interests in the Middle East when the city that pumps out the cars isn’t pumping out cars anymore? Or home owners have no homes to heat? There’s a trend in Detroit of urban gardening. I’m seeing more plots of land being taken up for this, more abandoned properties being used for good. Maybe it will expand. I’ve even seen groups of young people, black and white, banding together moving into Detroit from the suburbs, buying up whole city blocks for practically pennies, and building their own communities. And since there’s a lack of police resources, these little communities have been policing themselves, creating their own boards and rules. Little paradises or something. Maybe Detroit will be the first Libertarian, self-run oasis. Phoenix style. I’m kind of excited to stick around and be part of it. “It’s only after you’ve lost everything, you can do anything,” said a favorite character of mine.

I can’t predict the future but maybe decades from now, Detroit will be the model for other large cities on the verge of decay. But whatever happens, America must secure America first. It must adjust its own mask. Stop moving money out of local areas and into Washington where it can send warships whenever it feels like it, on the flimsiest of evidence. And for Christ’s sake, Washington, don’t insult my intelligence and say things like, “Trust Us” when you claim to have evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Saying something over and over again doesn’t make it true. You’re not a five-year-old. And neither am I.

Sissy Journalism Fails to Cut at the Roots

Benghazi. Benghazi. Benghazi. For a week now, the angle to come at this has plagued me. What are we dealing with? What’s the story? A terrorist attack spawned by an anti-Muslim movie? An unchecked riot? A lie from the Obama Administration about what exactly happened? What’s the biggest thing worth covering here? Who cares, right Hillary?

In discussing this issue with my partner here at Freedom Cocktail, Alan J. Sanders, he encouraged me to ask why the Fourth Estate, the press, isn’t going after the Benghazi issue. Why is the Fourth Estate not upholding its check on government tyranny, largess and cover-ups? Why has the Fourth Estate failed in its duty to cover the Obama Administration’s lies about Benghazi? While I agree more hunting on this matter would be a positive thing, I think there’s a bigger, more neglected story here.

Then, this morning, on The Libertarian News and Commentary Facebook page, they displayed a picture of a car with this bumper sticker: Critical Thinking: The Other National Debt. Sometimes, the angle writes itself.

The most frustrating, yet enjoyable part about writing is the quest. Most writing isn’t done at the computer. Most writing isn’t done hunched over a leather bound journal. Most writing isn’t done on a yellow legal pad. Most of my writing is done while I’m driving, lying on the couch, staring out my window, watching my kids play in the front yard or wandering through a museum. These are the times when a writer plays hide-and-seek with the topic at hand. And once found, then, and only then, does he pick up the pen.

The story surrounding Benghazi is big. It is not just about Benghazi, this story spans back to American beginnings with war with the Barbary States. This story runs through America’s history culminating at its worst on 9/11. And it has most recently shown itself in Boston where two Muslims, taking the Qur’an at its word, caused chaos during the marathon.

This story is so big…and the Fourth Estate seems to care only whether or not Benghazi was the result of a terrorist attack or an uncontrolled riot and how far the Obama Administration went to cover up negligence.

Hillary Clinton may have been somewhat right regarding the Benghazi incident; in that, what difference does it make if it was “…because of a protest or…because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans?” In either case, what Benghazi was was a continuation of Muslims, holding to Muslim belief per se, going after the infidels. Yet the Fourth Estate remains silent about it. Instead they want to know if the Obama Administration covered up a terrorist attack by using a cover story about stirred up Muslims over a YouTube video. It kinda-sorta doesn’t matter. In either case, we’re dealing with stirred up Muslims who really believe.

Since its beginnings, the United States has had to bump and grind with Muslim, not extremism, but Muslim belief per se, as defined in the Qur’an. The Qur’an makes no mistake that unbelievers are condemned to be tortured, killed and maimed in the name of Allah. There are over one-hundred passages in the Qur’an calling it the duty of a good Muslim to wage war against the unbeliever, that the duty of a good Muslim is to “Slay them wherever you find them” Qur’an (2:191-193).

The banter over Benghazi, the fact that Muslim belief per se is the problem, is not being addressed by the Fourth Estate. I am quite sure the problem is that the press is scared to step on the toes of a religious belief and seem insensitive, while those very toes deserve to be crushed. The press is bogged down with whether or not the Obama Administration lied about what took place. And, while this is a worthy path to travel, the bigger, and neglected, story is that we still have a lot of medieval thinking fuckers out there with no regard for human life unchained by their Holy Book’s rules.

We are lucky that most Muslims don’t take every word of the Qur’an as action items. We are also very lucky that Jews and Christians have cherry picked the pleasant parts from the Old and New Testaments and conveniently forgotten (or ignored) the passages calling for forms of torture and butchery on par with the horrors in the Qur’an. Wouldn’t it be quite awful if modern Jews and Christians still stoned to death unruly children? (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Or if they demanded a God-Given right to own slaves? We are lucky indeed, that the modern world of scientific findings and a maturing social collective has weeded out, for the most part, the practice of such ancient thinking and customs. We are lucky most people, even though they continue to call themselves Jews, Christians or Muslims, have chosen to remain friendly and civil to each other, to practice their customized versions of old religions and not infringe on their neighbor’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are lucky that most people, regardless of religious belief or lack thereof, do practice critical thinking, reason and logic on a regular basis.

* Critical Thinking.

* Logic

* Reason

These attributes, if practiced regularly and routinely, can save us from future Benghazis, Boston Bombings and future Manhattans. If only the people responsible for those atrocities had thought it out critically, they might have seen how misinformed they were. These, attributes, if ingrained in youth, can save kids from gun violence through either neglect, misuse or out-right abuse. It can also save kids from taking candy from strangers or losing their lunch money to the latest playground scam. It can save adults from get rich-quick schemes, being taken by a “psychic”, falling for a charismatic leader with poor intentions or anything else in the Land of Woo. These attributes and these alone, should become habits, practiced in every aspect of life, and these alone will save you from being taken in by liars, deceivers and con-men. Even if they turn out to be members of the Obama Administration who spun Benghazi to put themselves in a better light.

The Fourth Estate should be showing the face of an authoritarian group of Muslims trying to bring back the Ottoman Empire. It should be exposing this for what it is: One group of people wanting to tell the rest of us how to live and committing violent acts when we don’t do so. Instead, we’re caught up in more trivial matters. Until we pull up our big-boy pants and address the real cause of Benghazi, Manhattan and Boston, we’re going to get hit again. It is here, I wish more journalists travelled. It is in these waters, the more serious truth seekers should be wading. It is in times like these, I truly miss journalists like Christopher Hitchens. We need more Hitchens.

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