A Few Practical Words on Islamophobia

The number of Muslims in the world is somewhere between 1.6 bil. and 2 bil. That’s a really hard number to fathom. Too many to assimilate through conversion. Too many to kill with bombs. And certainly too many to paint with one broad brush.

By comparison, at it’s height the number of active ISIS fighters was around 30,000. That number is easier to understand. Let’s say it’s the number of people at a Major League Baseball game.

If you created a bar graph where 1.6 bil. were represented by a 6 inch bar, the bar representing 30,000 would be imperceptible. Try to let that sink in.

The extremists claiming to represent Islam are, no doubt, extremely dangerous. When they strike, it gets magnified by ubiquitous media. It’s a scary thing.

But here’s the deal. There is a war of recruitment going on.

You really, really don’t want to piss off 1.6 bil. otherwise benign citizens. Angry, unenlightened, fearful rhetoric against Islam is a very dangerous thing. When this gets spouted by your leader, it increases the chance that you will become a target for the bad guys. It lessens the chance that the good Muslims will cooperate with you.

That’s just stupid talking.trump

We have to live together on this planet until we die. There are passages in the Quran and the Bible that, when wielded by the wrong people, are extremely intolerant and inhumane. Over time we must decipher, evaluate and, ultimately, evolve into compatible communities.

I have faith that all people are generally good, but easily manipulated by angry rhetoric and hidden agendas.

Love your neighbor.

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I recently took some grief for saying I felt safer in Indonesia than walking the streets of New Orleans at night. People were quick to point out that I was a man in a misogynistic culture.

True.

However, one thing I will point out is that there are over 340 mil. guns in the private sector of the United States. If properly organized, that fire power could conquer much of the world without using our military.

In Indonesia it is almost impossible to get a license to own a weapon. Just something to think about.

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The Alternative Candidate

At this point I imagine there is not much left to say about our major party presidential candidates. The facts are out there along with the possible endictments, law suits, and conspiracy theories. Pundits have analyzed and spun like gyroscopes. Emotions are flying. Rational thought is as rare as finding an albino manatee in a blue bikini. It has been, at times, envigorating, but more often embarrassing.

Over the years I have often wondered how nuts and tyrants around the world have come to power. How could people allow such a thing? Ahmadinejad, Gadaffi, Idi Amin, Kim Jong Un – Don’t try to complete the list for me, your head might explode. Yet my egocentric view of the world has never allowed for the possibility that something like that could happen in the USA. Maybe I was sleeping or swimming in denial during the last Bush administration.

Alas.

As I write this Senator Sanders seems to have been effectively eliminated. I confess his candidacy was the one which gave me hope for the future. It was nothing short of inspirational to see younger voters in the primaries, unsullied by the Cold War propoganda machine that brainwashed an older generation of Americans into thinking any mention of socialism was traitorous, embracing the idea of standing up to the established oligarchy. Yay, young people!

So that leaves us with the remaining candidates, and me searching for something constructive to say. Something not said often enough. Here goes: Consider making your vote really count.

We are told there are only two sides to the coin – steered into a corner where only two candidates exist. Any other candidate appearing on the ballot is just a waste of toner. Perhaps that is not true.

What is irrefutable is the fact that both major parties have handed us candidates with record breaking negatives. And the media continuously directs us to chose between Wall Street Wonder Woman and Assclown Man Baby. It’s as though there are no other choices.

But there are.

If you believe in small government and don’t want to be associated with Assclown Man Baby, you may want to consider the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

If you are like me and feel disappointed by Senator Sanders losing in the primary, you may want to consider another Progressive, Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Send a message to Wall Street Wonder Woman that she’s not necessarily entitled to Sanders’ supporters.

However, you will probably need to work for sufficient information to make such an important decision. Network and cable news services are probably not going to help you with this.

What we have learned so far is that our democracy is far, far from perfect. The system of PACs and super PACs, delegates and super delegates, convoluted caucuses, etc. – with each state doing its own thing ultimately is not democratic at all.

If you are a Conservative in a blue state throwing all its electoral votes to the Democrat candidate, does your vote really count? Of course the same can be said of the Liberal voter in a red state.

If you really want to thumb your nose at the establishment, consider voting for the underdog. If enough people do that who knows where it may lead?

That’s my plan.