Archive for September, 2010

Riddle: How Many CNN Reporters Does It Take to Write a One-Page Article On Morality? Answer: Two.

September 17, 2010

Yesterday, two children who go by the strange and possibly made up names of Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate spent their whole summer vacation coming up with a one-page article entitled: “Our Moral Code is Out of Date.”  They submitted it to their fourth grade teacher who immediately emailed it to CNN and it was of course summarily published on the CNN website.  By the way, for any of you public high school teachers who would like to use this CNN primer as a short-cut to actually doing your job, you may find the article here:

 //edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/09/16/brook.moral.code.outdated/index.html

(Just do me a favor and don’t tell anyone I sent ya.)

Anyway, I, for one, was very interested and excited to learn just how our morality–being around for two thousand years or so–had suddenly gotten out of date and was in need of an extreme makeover.  I mean, since CNN has been a premier (tee-hee) news agency for about two or three decades, you would have thought they might have jumped on this story earlier.

Anyway, if I understand what these two kids are saying, our morality is out of date because Christianity (there ya go, blame those damn Christians again!) screwed up.  By failing to predict the advent of the industrial revolution and the benevolent greed of the robber barons and their modern-day P.C. equivalent (e.g. Bill Gates), the Bible and other similar undisclosed texts have basically become obsolete, and hence let us down. Until, in the words of the authors, “science, freedom and the pursuit of personal profit” are embraced, our morals cannot truly be caught up with the morality of September, 2010. Now, what the shifting standards of moral relativism will be like in October, 2010 is anyone’s guess, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait for CNN to find two more smart fourth graders to explain it to us.

Oh, by the way, there is just one little thing in the article written by these kids that should be pointed out: They assume that “giving money away to strangers” is not a morally significant act inasmuch as morality is only about pursuing one’s own happiness.  Assuming, for the moment, that their definition of individual morality  is the correct one, since when does the personal decision to give one’s own money away fail to meet the definition of the pursuit of happiness?

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Mosque Mania!

September 14, 2010

Yesterday, the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf called on “moderate” Muslims (and others of the moderate persuasion) to take control of the debate swirling around the controversial proposed Ground Zero mosque, known as Cordoba House.  1

Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations 2 —a self-described research center that dedicates itself to understanding the world “by better comprehending global trends,” Imam Rauf said that America has let “extremists hijack the agenda.” 3

The Iman (who for some reason reminds me of a Bond villain) had some other things to say.  First, that he is a devout Muslim and that he prays at least five times a day as required by Muslim law.  But that he’s also just a regular American, that he pays his taxes, pledges allegiance to the flag, and that he’s even a Giants fan don’t-cha know!  (Personally, I would rather he’d said he was a Jets fan, but that’s just me.)

In light of all the controversy surrounding the Cordoba project, when asked about whether it was necessary to build a mosque at Ground Zero, this regular, reasonable American said that his answer is still “a categorical yes.”

Now, I actually agree with the silver-tongued Imam that the voices of reason should attempt to regain control of the discourse regarding the mosque, but for those of you who are just joining the story now, let’s examine some items of recent history:

Item One:

When asked last month by the Governor of New York, David Paterson, to meet in order to discuss the possibility of moving the mosque to another location, the Imam and the developer behind the project categorically refused to meet and rejected any offer on the part of the Governor to help them find a different site.

Item Two:

When Donald Trump, in an attempt to end the controversy, made an offer to purchase the proposed mosque site for 25 percent over and above the value of the property, the lawyer representing the Imam and the project developer rejected the offer calling it a cheap publicity stunt.

Item Three:

Last week, the Imam appeared on CNN and said that if the mosque is moved at this stage it would mean violent attacks against the United States and that “if we don’t handle this crisis correctly it could become something which could really become very, very, very dangerous indeed.” 4  (Now, I’m no expert on criminal law, but that sounds a lot like extortion to me.)

Item Four:

During the same CNN interview, wherein he fielded a battery of tough, investigative questions by fourteen-year-old Soledad Obrien, he said that he would provide complete information that would make transparent all the murky details behind the syndicate of backers on the mosque project, including whether any of them are affiliated with terrorist organizations. (We are still waiting on that, by the way.)

Item Five:

The Imam has made statements in the past about: America being an accessory to 9-11, about America having more blood on its hands than Al Qaeda, about having America become compliant to Islamic Sharia law, and about how Hamas is not really what he would call a terrorist organization. But let’s not dwell on the past.

So where was I?  Ah, yes – moderate Muslims.  Well, as I said, I agree with the smooth-talking Imam that moderate Muslims should control the discourse. But what I am wondering about now is whether the Imam actually knows of any.

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Notes:

Fn. 1:  The proposed name for the planned Ground Zero mosque—Cordoba House—refers to Cordoba, Spain where Muslims built a great mosque as a symbol of their conquest of Spain during the Islamic invasion of the 8th century.  The building of mosques on conquered ground is standard practice in the Muslim world: a kind of triumphalism or a planting of a flag of victory. 

Fn. 2: This august body is apparently populated by great world thinkers such as movie actress Angelina Jolie and T.V. anchorman Brian Williams.  See: http://www.cfr.org/about/

Fn. 3:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/09/13/new.york.imam/index.html?hpt=T2

Fn. 4:

 http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1009/08/lkl.01.html

Al Gore: Extremist in Chief

September 2, 2010

 

Extremist

A few months ago, in a posting on this blog, I had dubbed Bill Clinton an extremist. Indeed, I anointed him “Extremist in Chief.”  You can read that entire posting by clicking here:

 https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/bill-clinton-extremist-in-chief/

Well, perhaps I went a little overboard with those remarks and I was wrong for that.  Bill Clinton is not the Extremist in Chief; his former Vice-President, Al Gore, is.  And to back that up, I draw your attention to the words of Bill Clinton himself: 

“Before the bombing occurred, there was a sort of fever in America… the fabric of American life had been unraveling. More and more people who had a hard time figuring out where they fit in, it is true that we see some of that today… Criticism is part of the lifeblood of democracy. No one is right all the time. But we should remember that there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws… We are again dealing with difficulties in a contentious, partisan time…. Fifteen years ago, the line was crossed in Oklahoma City. In the current climate, with so many threats against the president, members of Congress and other public servants, we owe it to the victims of Oklahoma City, and those who survived and responded so bravely, not to cross it again.”

At the time, Bill Clinton was criticizing the Tea Parties and trying to tie them in with nuts like Timothy McVeigh—saying, essentially, that the Tea Partiers should shut up and go home before they encourage some lunatic to do something nasty.  This of course was, and still is, all part of a concerted effort to marginalize and identify ordinary Americans as extremists simply because they object to the liberal, big government policies of the Democrats.

So what does this have to do with Al Gore?  Nothing really, until yesterday.  Yesterday, a crazed eco-terrorist, James Lee, was shot dead during a hostage standoff at the Discovery Channel Building in Silver Spring, Maryland after they “ignored his ideas for a TV show.”  Luckily, no one else was hurt.

James Lee

Among other wild ramblings found in posts by Lee on the Internet, he stated that humans are ruining the planet and that the Discovery Channel and its parent company Discovery Communications should develop programs to sound the alarm.  Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d say “Kate Plus Eight” makes a very compelling argument for birth control (and I’m not even talking about her kids.)  But I digress.  Lee’s alleged manifesto adds: “Nothing is more important than saving … the Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels. The humans?  The planet does not need humans.”  1

First of all, I don’t think I would’ve given such primacy to the Squirrels.  And, excuse me but, “Froggies?”  But I digress again.  Also among statements made by Lee, he claims to have experienced an “awakening” when he watched Al Gore’s environmental documentary “An Inconvenient Truth!” 

Well, there you have it Ladies and Gentlemen!  An admission: Al Gore made him do it.  By selling his alarmist, extremist view of the world to an America that is in a “sort of fever” Al Gore was just asking for trouble.  So I say we commence investigating this Gore character immediately.  Let’s look into him, his family, his friends, his finances, his supporters and all their families and friends and finances.  Who knows, they’re probably all crazed eco-nuts just like James Lee!

And I am sure, taking him at his own words, that no one other than Bill Clinton himself would agree.

Notes

Fn. 1:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38957020/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/