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Another Perspective

Brainwashing and the Jihadist Agenda

By 11.25.15

In all the reporting, analysis and dissection of the events in Paris in which jihadists murdered innocent people, then pulled the plug on their suicide vests and blew themselves up, I have yet to hear anyone truly look deep enough into the motivation of the young people who did this horrific deed.

We’ve heard talk of terrorism, of building a caliphate, of the defeat of Western civilization and expansive clichés of what went wrong with our worldwide intelligence services, the new strategies of warfare in the digital age and hundreds of other glib explanations and proposals for defeating the forces of jihad.

But no one, it seems, ever got to the real nub, the act itself, the heart of the issue: Why did these young people, and hundreds before them, weaponize their bodies and destroy their lives after randomly massacring innocent people while shouting “Allahu Akbar” as if the act itself were an approved religious practice as interpreted in the Koran?


Something Else to Give Thanks For

By 11.25.15

Maybe you don’t need more things to be thankful for, but in case you do here’s a suggestion — private businesses, their owners, and their employees. The ways private businesses improve our lives are so numerous and so frequent it’s all too easy to take them for granted. 

For example, if your experience is anything like mine, you are treated almost like an old friend at most of the businesses you patronize. Take Target, as an example, since it’s likely you have one in your area. As you enter one of their stores employees there are likely to ask, “How’s your day going?” They make you feel welcome. When you check out they tell you to “Have a nice day.” Of course, that kind of behavior is not unique to Target. It is the rule, not the exception when you interact with any private business.

That kind of experience makes our days more pleasant. If we aren’t having a good day, it can help raise our spirits. These are behaviors that are widespread and significant. What makes them happen?

The Current Crisis

The Return of a 47-Year-Old Headline

By 11.25.15

I was thumbing through an old magazine over the weekend. It was 47 years old to be exact, and I came across a surprisingly prescient piece entitled wittily, “The Arab, the Jew, and the Pickle.” What particularly caught my eye was that the piece was written by me in what is now called The American Spectator. Imagine that. In it I argued that Israel had no other choice but to resist its enemies. They were all around little Israel and they were hostile to the utmost. Any sign of weakness would put the state of Israel in mortal danger.

Sports Arena

Football on the Brain

By 11.25.15

To me, watching professional football on cold fall Sunday afternoons is certainly one of life’s great pleasures.  Judging by the TV ratings the NFL generates, I’m certainly not alone in that sentiment.  Professional football players display equal parts athleticism, ferocity, and bravery, and are, as the overused cliché states, truly America’s modern day gladiators.  The games themselves offer what you would want from any good soap opera: good guys and bad guys, dramatic turns of events, and cliff hangers. And now that Christmas has been turned into happy holidays by the PC crowed, it can be argued that the Super Bowl, the pinnacle event of the National Football League, is the last cultural experience we as Americans all share.

Special Report

Rough Stuff From the Bully Frontrunner

By 11.24.15

One need not violate Godwin’s Law to recognize that there’s something deeply troubling about a leading presidential candidate having no objection to his supporters “roughing up” a vocal dissenter. But that was Donald Trump’s reaction after several attendees at a Saturday rally in Birmingham, Alabama “shoved, tackled, punched and kicked” a well-known local activist who began shouting “Black lives matter!” during the campaign event. As Trump put it on Fox & Friends the next morning, “Maybe he should have been roughed up” because Trump’s “fans” found the man “obnoxious.”

Another Perspective

Be Thankful But Alert

By 11.24.15

Like tens of millions of Americans, I will be travelling this this week for Thanksgiving weekend.

At the best of times, Thanksgiving travel is chaotic. Whether it be long lines, heavy traffic, weather and air and ground transport personnel not having any greater idea of what is going on than you, getting from point A to B can be a stressful affair.

This anxiety is now compounded by the recent terrorist attack in Paris at the hands of ISIS. It is believed that an attack is imminent in Brussels and that city is on lock down. Paris and Brussels are an ocean way, but ISIS poses a threat on our shores too. As much as it delights in killing Europeans, nothing delights it more than killing Americans. Following the Paris attacks, jihadist websites boasted, "The American blood is best, and we will taste it soon." Thanksgiving weekend would be an opportunity for ISIS to taste ample amounts of American blood.

Main Street U.S.A.

On Liberty and Thanksgiving

By 11.24.15

The first Christmas tree on our block popped up the day after Halloween. Soon enough, garlands of white lights began to adorn neighborhood trees and doorways. It’s Christmas — except that it’s not. From what I can see, Thanksgiving has yet to be acknowledged, much less observed.

I have no particular observations to make concerning our new habit of compressing all our October-December commemorations into “The Holiday Season.” I’ll remark only on the eclipse of Thanksgiving, which could be due to a number of factors. Perhaps it’s the lack of compelling decorating themes, as contrasted with Halloween and Christmas. Another cause might be growing disdain for the Pilgrim Fathers, who were racist and sexist (by 2015 standards). Oh — and there were those guns they carried around on their shoulders for the sake of slaughtering helpless animals! What kind of an example would they be to socially concerned modern people?

The Environmental Spectator

Report Concedes Failure in Green Smuggling Effort to Co-opt Evangelicals on Climate Change

By 11.24.15

Without the evangelical community’s involvement, efforts to build a “broad coalition to pass major climate policies” are “doomed,” according to a just-released report from New America—a nonprofit group that claims to be “dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age.”

“Spreading the Gospel of climate change: an evangelical battleground,” according to E&E News, offers an “autopsy of evangelicals’ influence on U.S. Climate law.” While the efforts “failed,” the report concludes it is “not a lost cause,” as the authors posit that “there is an untapped potential for environmental activism in the world of evangelical Christianity.” The closing words are “it is a battle worth fighting.”

Special Report

Campus Follies

By 11.24.15

The anger convulsing colleges and universities is heartbreaking. Fifty years of good-faith efforts to broaden opportunity, diversify faculties, and promote inclusion for students of color seem to be going up in smoke.

At dozens of schools nationwide, a small but vocal number of students insist an intolerably hostile racial atmosphere permeates campus life. An activist corps no more authentic than the Occupy Wall Street movement stirs the hate pot, pushed forward by cheering media. To wide dismay, faculties and administrations applaud Black Lives Matter-style indictments and cower before student insults.

The accusations are vague and often delusional. The phantom of “white privilege” marks claims of supremacy, institutional racism, and indelible race-based injustices. These follow on recent campus outrages over rape culture and sexual violence, heteronormativity and transgender rights, climate change, and any number of emotional progressive causes.

Political Hay

Trump and the Mosques

By 11.24.15

Here are the headlines: 

• “Pastor at St. Margaret Mary Parish resigns amid FBI investigation.” The opening, from a TV station in Kentucky:

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – Father Stephen Pohl resigned on Thursday, Aug. 20, from his position as a pastor of the St. Margaret Mary Parish.

Pohl is under investigation by the FBI and is accused of taking inappropriate pictures of children.

• “FBI investigates possible child pornography at Independence church.” This headline is out of Independence, Missouri, the story opening reading:

INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) — The FBI is investigating an Independence Catholic church following what they say were two downloads of child pornography.