Anger and Hate never solved anything

There are many things we need in America, but this is about what none us need – RIGHT NOW! But trying to articulate things we don’t need from a positive life view has proven difficult, so don’t judge me too harshly for the effort if I slip into being a cynic.

We don’t need:

  • Nastiness
  • Occupation of ICE headquarters
  • Throwing chicken poop at restaurants
  • Fighting against economic growth
  • Lack of cooperation in Congress
  • People attacking government employees on the street
  • Anger between friends over policy matters
  • Media talking-heads inflaming events
  • Iran to pursue more terrorism
  • North Korea to screw up
  • Weak leaders in Congress
  • To pursue the Clinton email scandal
  • Worry about overturning Roe vs Wade
  • Anyone trying to block the Supreme Court nomination
  • Young Socialist causing problems
  • To undermine the President that would weaken our Republic
  • Republicans unwilling to find a solution to illegal immigration
  • Hate being posted on social media
  • A Godless society in America
  • No Labels to quick working hard
  • Any extreme political ideas leading the fight
  • Prolong the Russian collusion investigation
  • Perpetual fighting with no progress
  • Democrats blocking a path to citizenship for all illegal residents of America
  • Johnny Out-of-my-Depp, Keith Ellison or California Mad Max talking hate
  • To punch anyone at a rally
  • Schumer, Meadows or Jordan preventing progress on issues

PEACE, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING IS WHAT WE REALLY NEED – RIGHT NOW!

Immigration made America great

People from all over the world have left desperate situations to come to the land of opportunity – America.

Be they from war torn countries or starving from famine, weary folks packed up their children and what little they had to come to Lady Liberty.

Immigrants, after months of difficult travel, arrived at one of the many immigration centers and waited hours, sometimes days, to register all family members to enter this country.

My grandfather talked about the pride he felt after patiently moving through the process at Ellis Island to be granted the chance to become an American.

Respecting legal immigrants

It is unimaginable the difficulties that immigrants must face to make such a journey. It is hard enough to move into a new apartment or house in another the state!

The respect I have for legal immigrants seeking the American dream counter balances the complete lack of empathy I feel for immigrants that have entered this country illegally and been got breaking the law.

Yes, it is illegal to enter any country on this planet without proper processing! Try crashing the border of Canada or running through the passport control center in Germany. Simply hiking and crossing an unmarked border can get you labeled as a spy in the Middle East.

The rule of law

America is a standing example of the rule of law. America is supposed to be a country of consistently applied rules. And while not perfect in its application, the pursuit of the ideal sets us apart.

We are now seeing the very negative impact of what happens when a White House administration doesn’t follow this ideal.

The previous WH practiced a “catch and release” policy regarding illegal immigrant families. This was done to avoid the perceived political negativity of properly enforcing the immigration laws of America. This is yet another example of Obama’s weakness and duplicity.

Two wrongs make a right?

Does NOT enforcing the court ruling about unaccompanied children mean it is ok to NOT enforce immigration laws? I don’t think so.

A letter to those that don’t understand

Without any knowledge of our middle eastern history, the norms of our social structure and the conflicts that we have carried in our hearts for hundreds of year…it seems impossible for those of western culture to understand us.

From the earliest days in our history, we have known war. Our story is one of conflict and being conquered, then ruled by a foreigner. Even when we have lived in peace for centuries with our cousins, the Jews, in the land of Israel or enjoyed a peaceful, integrated, cooperative, rich and respectful life living amount others Jews and Spaniards in Western Europe….we were attacked by true believers. We were treated as infidels. We were killed by our brethren. Our friends, families, wives, and children were killed because we respected other people’s right to be happy and believe in a god.

Our countries have been raped by outsiders and the lines have been redrawn on your maps without consideration for our territorial heritage. These territories were established for many reasons, but these reasons were given no respect by western governments or their League of Nations. This lack of respect for our history and the traditional territories that our forefathers established, has created many of our middle eastern problems. Western leaders have drawn their own lines on the planet, to mark off a territory of like minded people….but not us….we must live within other other’s drawn lines.

Just imagine if one day someone decided that Ireland should be part of England….or that New York City is now part of your New Jersey because of uninformed beliefs….

We watched from afar the Irish Republican Army fight in the name of religion and freedom…some called them terrorists. We read of the great battles that occurred in the history of the US…..Battles for territory and belief….the Native American extermination….the great Alamo….the bloody conflict over territorial economic strength disguised as your Civil War. Is any of this history so different?

As we learn and watch, these struggles seem no different to us….but you rationalize them because you understand your struggles….you made the emotional commitment to see this struggle through….the only difference is the judgement exercised westerns. This judgement is based on western civilization concepts, not based on our heritage, beliefs and matters of family, tribe, village or territory. None of these matter to the arrogance of western government.

Can you imagine what would have happened if the government of Russia would have decided to send troops to calm the racial conflict during your riots in Watts territory?

Or if the German leaders decided there was great injustice in Haiti due to the human suffering created by a government that cannot control its own country?

Is there that much difference to our conflicts in the Middle East?

From time to time our people have had hope for a better, more peaceful life. The “Arab spring”, as it has been called by western media, was a brief moment of optimism. We all felt the movement, which was birthed through social media, would be a real chance for our young adults to begin the change our pattern of destruction and hate that infects our culture. But it appears that we are not yet ready. The small group that help lead this effort has been silenced by the majority of proud, but ignorant people that can’t stand the idea of freedom.

Our “spring” has been hijacked by the perpetual cycle of brother against brother, neighbor fighting neighbor and the very real possibility that we will never see a peaceful coexistence with our people and neighbors.

Over the millennium we have learned to live under strong leadership. Our leaders have always been the only thing we know….dictator….strong man….military coup….all of these have impacted us. We have lived in a state of caution most of our lives, therefore, we are not ready to think in western terms of democracy. We simply don’t have the right social background to understand the responsibilities of this democratic approach to living.

Is it possible that the “Arab Spring” may have been the worst possible outcome for the people of the Middle East that just want to go about their daily lives?

Maybe the only thing we respect and respond to is the structure provided by a strong-armed leaders. If you are a student of mankind, did not strong leaders, (dictators, if you will) help to determine and further the growth of man dominance over this planet. Our history is filled with great men of history….men that ruled with the sword….little compassion and fear. Men that granted freedom to those that swore allegiance to the ruler is how we have lived.

The recent unrest and death in Egypt and Syria is a result of the “Arab spring” being dismantled by people that can’t stand freedom and would rather fight than live. Both these countries had established a peaceful life, their people generally lived well and there were no random attacks or bombings. But look at what our Islamic brothers are doing to one another! Fighting for what? To unleash the life of chaos that existed before Suleiman?

It appears that some of our population…at least those willing to die….want to control the direction of our life. This Islamic fundamentalist minority is the real problem for the future. Those of us that just wish to lead a quiet, respectful, Muslim life are more afraid of our brothers with their extreme beliefs and practices, than any thing the West could do to us. We are afraid to speak out against their actions, we are afraid to stand up for our families and we are afraid because our enemy now hides in our towns disguised as one of us.

Are there any other believers that are not afraid to stand against the extremist people in our life?

This fundamentalist group, wants us to live under Shira law. This is a harsh life that is suppose to represent how our prophet lived in the 6th century. But only these people believe the stories of how our beloved leader lived during his rise to lead Islam. Many scholars have told us he lived like a man with the weakness of men.

The law part of this Shira life creates a world of dos and don’ts, a life of extremes, a life where circumstances does not matter, a life of fear, a life without the desire to be better and a small life tightly contained by the lack of possibility. Shira law creates a life suited for those people that can’t stand the idea of freedom.

As you can see…..the West can’t fix these beliefs because Western leaders don’t understand how we think about such matters.

Most of our young adults can’t find any meaningful direction in their life. We have practiced our daily prayers, because it is what we do. Most of us really don’t understand the words, but we say them because we want to be a believer. The people of our country and others are having more children than ever before.

But what will we do with all these children? Will they have a meaningful life as they grow up?

In our town, over 25% of the adults under 30 can’t find meaningful work. We have been forced to find work and endure great humiliation to support our families….moving through checkpoints….having walls built through my hometown cutting off family members for one another.

In the Jerusalem the stories of Muslim homes being invaded by Israeli Defense Forces to move out the Palestinian home owners, while “settlers” (place-holder Jews) are moved in by the Army, is an unimaginable challenge to our proud history.

How can this human rights violation be ignored by the US leaders? US leaders concern themselves with factories that make cheap clothing, or with living conditions at FoxCon city in China, but not the quiet, respectful Palestinians that have lost their land, homes, economic opportunity at the hands of Israeli government. Hollywood stars visit Africa or Haiti because of dying children. Our children are dying here everyday and with them dies our future. But the western media won’t show the images of checkpoints preventing women in labor getting to a hospital and having their child die, or the images of Israeli built walls that prevent us from working our vineyards.

Our people are desperate for a new life. Where is our Gandhi? Where is our strong leader with a peaceful heart? Great men like Martin Luther King help to change the future of America, just like Mandela led South Africa through its evolution. Our Islamic leaders lack this purity of love for their fellow Humans, they work to blame the infidels for our Middle East challenges, they pursue power through hatred. When do we solve our own problem? Shiite versus Sunni….I am not even sure I understand why my brothers fight each other. I am a Muslim. I pray five times a day. We honor the same prophet, yet we fight and die about ancient history. Where is our Gandhi?

If there no man or woman with a quiet confidence and the strength of will to lead us out of our past, our people will continue the cycle of destruction. This destruction destroys our great cities, erodes our faith in fellow man and does more to set us back on the world stage than any effort of the west. Please…..my Muslim brothers and sisters, we are the enemy! Where is our Dr. King?

So…..we have come to accept the fact that the people of the Middle East…. mostly Muslim through faith…. are mere shadows on the deserts sands to the west.

The West cannot understand. People from outside won’t solve our problems. It must be us! Where is our Mandella?

Tariq Ali

West Bank

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Disclaimer – this is a cut and paste of a letter from 2014 that I thought is still relevant today with the Syrian mess and the Iran still working to create conflict.

LEADERSHIP IS NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST!

Leaders help people to see what is possible by painting a vision of a future state.

Have you heard of a weak leader?

Nope. Why? Because they simply become irrelevant in the history books.

It is the strong leaders, the disruptive leaders, the change agents – that’s who makes a lasting impression.

Political leaders – Lincoln, Roosevelt, Grant, Bush 2 – all were relentless in their political ideals and beliefs – one led the USA into and through a civil war, another led us through a loss of confidence when NYC was attacked….each led us through difficulties to a new possibility.

We still talk about leaders the revolutionize American industry – Ford, Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Rockefeller. Leaders like Lee Iacocca that led the turnaround of a failing car maker. Jack Welch led GE to mammoth success.

Modern day leaders of technology – Gates, Jobs, Bezos and Musk. None of these people achieved their greatness because they were whimps.

They each had a vision that wouldn’t be denied and if you have read any history or biographies – these men were ruthless in their pursuit.

Strong leadership in America is a must. President Trump may be exactly what we need after allowing so many of our principals and ideals to be compromised by the last White House leadership.

This week’s effort with North Korea may be a really good start to American leadership’s reemergence on the world stage. Now…if only the media would get their head out of their ass!

Bouncing between the Constitutional Guardrails

As we all contend with the political discord and the associated tribalism, I would recommend this book. Author Meacham weaves a story of hope based on enduring pursuit of the American ideal. He recounts an imperfect history of America, including all its ugliness and the struggle of Presidents that are simply human beings.

While reading this historical perspective of politics and the shifting sands of our two party system, I began to form images that reflect how the uniquely American process consistently produces better results for all people than anywhere else on the planet.

Remember the slot car. Little cars that ran on an electric track. The cars would go round and round until they went a bit too fast and flipped off the track. The figure eight track seems to be representative of the relative positions taken by the members of our two party system. Republicans and Democrats are always connected, but their positions evolve not based on any firm beliefs, but only to win the next election.The slot car track is a great image that represents the ebb and flow of our political parties. Over time they easily shift positions, not based on beliefs, but on the desire to win the office. It is hard to find a true Republican or Democrat position if we examine things from a historical view. Each run circles around the other forgetting where they started and having no idea where they are headed.

But by the end of the book, I settled on a hopeful image of a braided rope. Like a braided rope, you need to pull it apart to try to identify the strands. Unfortunately, by pulling it apart, the rope becomes weaker. But when pulled tight, the braided rope becomes stronger.

Ken Burns’ jacket cover comments best captures the hope expressed by those that believe in the American dream and its power to be recused by its pursuers.

Feminism and Porn

I am so confused. Maybe I missed something, but I always thought that porn was viewed as degrading women. A woman that used her body to satisfy a faceless man in too many ways to mention here, was never viewed as empowering a woman. But for some reason, all that has changed.

According the horrible TODAY show segment hosted by Megan Kelly on NBC, it seems like there is a new face of modern day feminism – and it is the porn star Stormy Daniels.

During the opening segment of Kelly’s show, she and two side kicks set out to humiliate Rudy Guiliani for comments he made about Ms. Daniels and her credibility. I have provided the link below so that you can decide for yourself. http://thehill.com/homenews/media/391218-megyn-kelly-defends-stormy-daniels-being-an-adult-film-star-does-not-make-you

Near the end of the segment one of the side kicks talks about women in the porn business as “career woman” that take their business seriously. They are “movies directors and business owners”. Porn uses physical violence against women, degrades them, evaluates their ability to shallow (or not) and emphasizes their skills, but only from the nose down. So how does that opinion balance with what I thought was the feminist view of porn?

So I figured I needed to do a little research on the bizarre evolution. No, I’d didn’t watch any porn! But I did find an article on a web site, http://www.apracticalwedding.com written recently that sets out to re-define feminist porn. WHAT…FEMINIST PORN? https://apracticalwedding.com/where-to-find-feminist-porn/

It is a well established fact that pornography is a major societal problem. Yet, somehow it has become kinda’ normalized, due to all of us becoming desensitized to using sex to sell everything.

A recent TED Talk presented by NPR evaluates porn and the impact on young people. High schoolers are using porn for “sex lessons” and the narrator believes this has fed into the “hook up” mentality through out our society because after all….it is just sex. According to one college student, it is easier to “do 8 or 9 shots and ask a girl to hookup, than it is to ask her for a date”. Jesus, helps us!

I am not sure if the SCOTUS definition of porn “I know when I see it” still has any relevance, but I am sure that if Stormy is representative of the idea of a new feminist champion….we are screwed and it won’t feel good.

Rights can lead to Wrongs

With our country’s history, there should be no one surprised by this latest round of political unrest and manifested deep divide over beliefs and future direction. American history is one of philosophical and political differences.

The roots of the 13 colonies are due to political and religious differences. The Revolutionary War was a struggle for independence from British rule because of “taxation without representation.” The longest period of peaceful coexistence between political factions is from 1777 to 1860, but even then there was trouble brewing.

The American Civil War didn’t begin in 1861 at Fort Sumter. The American Civil War really began thirty years earlier with the first Articles of Secession being drafted in Charleston S.C.

The issue of slavery was first and foremost a cause of the Civil War. But in no small measure, we must include other factors that led to this brutal war between countrymen.

    • The fear of the northern industrialization versus the agricultural legacy of southern States was very real, as Charleston SC was the richest city in the Union at the time.
    • States’ Rights versus federal law was a very influential factor.

What makes the United States of America?

It is in the name – united. The United States of America came together via the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with all its Amendments. This obligation to a national rule of law – NOT the rule of man – allowed for all the possibilities that still makes America the most desired country to become a resident of (legal or illegal) on this planet.

But what happens to the united part of our name, when States’ Rights seem more important than the national rule of law? The United States of America is experiencing the problems of a dissenting state. The Governor of California believes it is OK to undermine our national laws by magically becoming a sanctuary state. (I researched legal history and couldn’t find anything). The Oakland, California Mayor has decided to openly challenge federal law by aiding criminals to avoid arrest.

We need to be careful

In the 1830s, the first Articles of Secession planted the seeds for America’s only Civil War. Could the citizens of this country be waiting for our own clash of civilizations? We all must lean towards the middle and find common ground or this culture war that is brewing will escalate from political hatred and uncivil discourse to something that I hope no one needs to ever experience.