Monday, November 22, 2010

Get Real

All this brouhaha, Dear Gentle Reader(s), about pat downs and scanners at the airports makes one wonder.

Do we really want the perceived enemy to know exactly what to expect at the security points in our airports?  Do we want him or her to know not to expect to have a full body scan or to know there will be a pat down which won’t disturb “junk”?

If someone is so convinced of the rightness of their cause that they will recruit pregnant women to carry out a suicide mission, do we think they won’t somehow ask, or trick, grandma to carry some explosives onto a plane? 

How often do we read of some unfortunate soul who kills a child of their own to save the child from an unhappy life?  Do we think that religious fanatics are less capable of such an atrocity?

If it keeps the potential bomber guessing, then whatever the Department of Homeland Security comes up with is pretty much fine with me.

Don’t give murders a road map.

Trust, but verify.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

An omitted step

Thomas Friedman, Dear Gentle Reader(s), is a provocative writer.  One can’t help but think while reading his columns, agreeing and/or disagreeing.  Today’s on-line column edition, “Long Live Lady Luck,” is a prime example.

Friedman writes about how lucky we, in the U.S., were to have escaped 5 efforts to bring, once again, death to our shores via Al Qaeda plotting.  He also writes about what we should do to stop “the savage madness .”  As usual with most of the writing found in similar arguments, Friedman chooses not to address the subject of Koranic interpretation which is used for justification for this “madness.”

Friedman writes,

When Muslim jihadists are ready to just gun down or blow up unarmed men, women and children in the midst of prayer — Muslim or Christian — it means there are no moral, cultural or religious restraints left on the Islamic fringe. It’s anything goes. And it’s becoming routine.

Then he discusses moral and cultural restraints, but not religious.

Christians believe that Jesus came to reform the Abrahamic religion of the day.  Perhaps that underlying belief makes it easier for Christians and some Jews to “modernize” their religions than it is for moderate Muslims to do the same for theirs.

Religious writings were written for a specific people at a specific time, dealing with specific problems.  We choose to believe that those writings are applicable to our own day, but to insist that the intervening years of development of human understanding of the human condition count for nothing could well be as blasphemous and arrogant an insistence as anything ever. 

Change is part of The Plan.

Writing is, in essence, metaphor.

We should remember that, we should teach that—especially if we want to address all the ways to end the “madness.”

Trust, but verify.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

A quick question

It’ll never catch on, Dear, Gentle Reader(s), but what do you think would be the result if, at every Congressional committee hearing which allowed, or requested, non-Federal government testimony, to have the very first question for each testifier be, “How much money, and to whom, have you contributed to a Federal election campaign, either at the general election level or the primary election level, in the past five years?”

That would be one way to keep track of monies expended in political campaigns, as well as to whom it was directed.

Cui bono—who benefits?  Until we know that, we don’t know enough.

Trust, but verify.

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