Friday, August 23, 2013

Mr. President, Leave Ben Alone

I was listening to a bit of the EIB Network this morning in the car while waiting for my wife to drop off something and return. Rush Limbaugh was discussing the state of the American level of political priorities and revealed that actually has a Remove Ben Affleck From Batman Role petition up on their site. What makes this trivial matter something worth my time writing this is that normally for all petitions on if they receive more than 100,000 votes on any petition President Obama has promised to make it a priority for him or his cabinet to address whatever that particular petition is concerned about. Rush was trying to point out the fact that many Americans have a very low threshold of understanding of what is really important and I would have to agree with him as there are already well over 5,000 signatures on this petition just in the few moments it has taken me to write this one paragraph. The big question is - Will Mr. Obama use his political influence among the Hollywood elite to forcibly remove Mr. Affleck, a staunch supporter of the President? If this were any other time in history, I’d take odds that someone as important and powerful as the President of the United States wouldn’t even spend a second on this issue; but, we live in different , crazy times today, and I patiently await the Affleck Presidential New Conference.

Now on to something more important and that is:

I’m not sure why the harping on ole Ben. He is an excellent, Academy Award winning writer, an exceptional director, a good producer and a fine actor, plus he is married to the beautiful Jennifer Garner so his ability to make fairly good choices isn't in question, at least not since 2005 when they married. His portrayal of George Reeves (1950′s TV Superman) in “Hollywoodland” was stellar and his multi-Oscar winning film “Argo” was stunning to watch as was his equally mouth-dropping performance in “The Town.” In fact, the only B-rated performances from him were “Daredevil” and those two horribly unmentionable pieces of tripe called “Gigi” and “Jersey Girl.”

But, we all have those moments in whatever career we are engaged in that we wished we hadn’t decided to do this or that. So let’s see the tally: He has made nearly 50 films in his 32 year movie career and a couple were mediocre and 3 were atrocious. You'd be hard pressed to find any actor with that many films under their belt that didn’t have a flop or two, including the likes of a De Niro, Pacino and Walken.

So, please, leave Benny alone!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

There Can Be No Gray Areas For American Muslims

The following is purported to be an open letter sent by an American Airlines pilot after the 9/11 terror attacks. It addresses his concern for all American's safety, regardless of race, creed, religion or color. His concerns are primarily addressed to the American Muslim community and why after 9/11 there can no longer be any gray areas for them. While the true authorship cannot be fully attested to after rigorous investigation by several parties, has intially classified its origin's as "Undetermined." The reliability of its authorship is irrelevant to the quality of its content which should be the measure of its veracity and intent. While it has made the internet rounds on more than one occasion I feel that another look at it as we near the 12th Anniversary of 9/11 is warranted. In my humble opinion this is one of the best written and purely non-racist, honest and non-hateful open letters I have read since that awful event. There has been a lot of the kinds of progress within the American Muslim community that the author expressed he wanted to see while a lot more is needed. If one thing is clear, the words of this letter SCREAM the need for understanding between two cultures that have for too long been worlds apart.


By: Captain John Maniscalco

I've been trying to say this since 911, but you worry me. I wish you didn't. I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country. But you don't blend in anymore. I notice you, and it worries me.

I notice you because I can't help it anymore. People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now. I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.

On September 11, ARAB-MUSLIMS hijacked four jetliners in my country. They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others. They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings, killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers. The Palestinians celebrated, the Iraqis were overjoyed as was most of the Arab world. So, I notice you now. I don't want to be worried. I don't want to be consumed by the same rage, hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists. But I need your help. As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.

How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim Americans and the Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in OUR communities under the protection of OUR constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter MORE of the same good neighbors and children?

The events of September 11 changed the answer. It is not MY responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults. It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me.

I want to know, I DEMAND to know and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America ... Do you pledge allegiance to its flag? Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car? Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation; that He will protect it and let it prosper? Or do you pray that Allah will destroy it in one of your Jihads? Are you thankful for the freedom that this nation affords? A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country? Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice? Do you love America? If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it.

Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions YOU are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the United States of America . Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent, because I worry about who you regard as innocent.... No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks, because I worry about what is un-provoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy; I am interested only in action. What will you do for America - our great country - at this time of crisis, at this time of war?

I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets. I want to hear you chanting 'Allah Bless America '. I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military. I want to see a commitment of money, time and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.

The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack. Many of these people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities. You know them. You know where they are. Hand them over to us, NOW! But I have seen little even approaching this sort of action. Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter. You have disappeared from the streets. You have posted armed security guards at your facilities. You have threatened lawsuits. You have screamed for protection from reprisals.

The very few Arab/Muslim representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating. They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States proves who was responsible before taking action. They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed towards them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing 'leaders' like Kadafi, Hussein, Farrakhan, and Arafat.

If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up. What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, pure, and true, when your 'leaders' ARE teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance? It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohammed incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion. A form that has been demonstrated to us over and over again. A form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide. A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world. A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air. A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth. A form whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.

We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter, to take away that which is so precious to us -- our rights under the greatest constitution in the world. I want to know where every Arab Muslim in this country stands and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to DEMAND it. A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family.

I am pleading with you to let me know. I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American...... But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance, and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand. Until then, "YOU WORRY ME!"

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