My Boilerplate Discussion of Islam Caveat Page

I’ve got a couple ideas about blog posts I’d like to make in regard to Islam and the state of the relationship between Muslims world-wide and America. When I started writing, I found that 80% of my post was taken up bowing at the altar of political correctness with all sorts of qualifications and caveats written to prove that I am not a hater of Islam just because I comment on the unsavory behavior of some of its adherents.

So, I’m writing this, my Discussion of Islam Caveat page, to which I can link to from any future post which happens to contain the words “Islam” or “Muslim” or, god forbid, “Muslim terrorist” or may contain anything remotely critical of the Prophet, Islam or it’s adherents. That way, no one will confuse me with David Duke, Adolf Hitler or Juan Williams.

– I work with Muslims and find that they are decent, hardworking and generally fun to be around.
– I would welcome a mosque in my neighborhood.
– Most Muslims are not terrorists.
– Muslims are responsible for a lot of good things, like algebra, zero and the word “sheriff”, without which Bob Marley may have never become famous.
– When Muslim terrorists strike, they usually claim Muslim victims.
– Most Muslims in America have assimilated and are productive members of our society.
– In many places around the world in which Islam is the dominant religion, all is sunshine, flowers and unicorns.
– I would welcome a Muslim next door neighbor.

Tax Me, Please

Last week I turned 47. Literally my first thought when I woke that morning is that I’d probably be doing the exact same thing 23 years from now. I can envision getting up, showering , shaving, eating breakfast, petting the dog, kissing my wife and going to work when I’m seventy years old.

I’m consigned to this fate because, as has become painfully obvious, our country has no money to pay for the benefits (Medicare, Social Security), which I have been led to believe I earned during my working decades, in my decrepitude. I predict also that the government will make it prohibitively expensive to touch my 401k before I enter my eighth decade. By the time I’m 62, or 65, I’m thinking that the Chinese will have grown tired of financing America’s elderly, so “elderly” will be redefined upward. “65” may be the new “55”.
Continue reading “Tax Me, Please”

Reality TV

Although Reality TV has been with us since the television became a fixture in the American home, the genre took off in the early part of the millennium, thanks in part to a programming void left by a writers’ strike nearly a decade ago. Reality TV ostensibly throws groups of “ordinary” people together to chronicle how they react in usually stressful, competitive situations. Many “reality show” participants find themselves having to choose between acting in their own self interest versus that which is best for a group and a team. The producers of these shows rig them so as to produce the maximum amount of conflict (read: drama) between the show’s participants. The result , through careful editing, is that these individuals (meant to be mirrors of our society), often show up on our screens as very small, mean spirited people guided by nothing more than myopic, short term self- interest.

Life doesn’t get any more “real” than what transpired at the San Jose Mine in Chile over the last two months or so. The mine collapsed in August, burying alive thirty-three miners. For seventeen days these men did not know whether or not they’d be rescued. As a group, they shared very scarce resources and organized so that the strength of the group might sustain group’s individual members. On the surface, valiant Chilean rescuers, aided by people and governments world-wide, labored mightily on what may have been a futile mission. That both groups of people were able to sustain their efforts for 69 days toward the ultimate goal of rescue under the most stressful conditions is, I think, more a testament to the character of humans than anything we see on “reality” TV today.