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Control of Cultural Achievements

CRSPRThere is no denying the great cultural achievements of western civilization, its technological brilliance.  Virtually all modern innovation, and most of contemporary science comes from Europe and North America- a handful of countries representing a small fraction of the world’s population.  Not coincidentally, these are the regions of the world where democracy and economic freedom have flourished. The German-American Jewish anthropologist Franz Boas (1858-1942) put it this way:

The poorer in cultural achievements, the greater the number of ingrained rules and proscriptions which work to determine every action.”

The corollary is that we can expect societies with fewer rules, with greater freedom to have greater cultural achievements, whether the steam engine or CRSPR gene editing technology.

Limits and Freedom

Every culture imposes limits on its members. Incest (however defined) or murder are pretty much universal.  In many societies, the social structure tells people their obligations, rather than some authority figures. There is “cultural freedom” to do as you please within the bounds of acceptable behavior.  A free person is in harmony with his culture.

There is also a concept of moral freedom, which is action in accord with the supreme reason (human, not godly reason) which governs the universe.  It’s expressed in the general will of the members of a society.

It’s to the general will that the individual must address himself to know how far he ought to be a man, a citizen, a subject, a father, a child, and when it is suitable to live or die.”

The philosopher Diderot explained that the general will was truth discovered through the power of reason.  Once that truth had been discovered, whoever refused to accept it was “either insane or wicked and morally evil,” an enemy of humanity.

Cultural and moral freedom are not the same.  The former changes over time.  It responds to undirected shifts in circumstance, be they technological, economic or social.  Moral freedom on the other hand presupposes a universal, timeless truth which transcends, or rather over-rides the individual’s ability to choose.

The Cultural Achievements of Political Correctness

Here we have the ideological basis for political correctness, for the moral fascism sweeping contemporary Western societies, condemning their cultural achievements, their science, their progress.  The supreme reason governing the universe does not allow for deviance.  In socialist countries, this reason is embodied in the State.  In democratic nations, the intellectual elite, considering itself trained in advanced reason, considers itself as the personification of that supreme truth.  The elite considers itself the West’s greatest cultural achievement.

In the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early part of the twentieth century, the primary concern of Western democratic governments was the

the cultural achievements of the Reign of Terror

The Reign of Terror

protection of individual rights.  In the twenty-first century progressives encourage the state to embody the supreme reason which they have discerned.  The concern of liberal governments is collective, rather than individual choice.  Conformity to universal reason is necessary for the sake of humanity.  Dissent can get you fired, or, as some would wish it, jailed.  Language must use contrived jargon reflecting the reasoning of those who express the proper moral order of the universe.  Violence becomes a political right in promoting the general will.

The Cultural Achievements of the Reign of Terror

Portland anti-Trump riot

Riot against democracy

It’s the same ideological foundation as failed Marxist totalitarianism.  It’s the same foundation as the Reign of Terror which followed the French Revolution.  To disagree with unfettered tolerance of aberrant behavior, abortion on demand, social housing, race / gender quotas or even gender-restricted washrooms, is to sin against reason, against morality.

The Cultural Achievements of Twenty-One Thousand Rules

During his years in office, President Obama’s administration imposed twenty-one thousand new rules and regulations upon American consumers and businesses.  The progressives who supported him were just as industrious, attempting to regulate behavior, language, thought, and religion.  The urge to regulate has been pervasive in Western democracies.

Western civilization has a great record of cultural achievement, technological and scientific innovation.  If our societies continue to increase “the number of ingrained rules and proscriptions which work to determine every action,” this record of achievements will be ended, to the detriment of all humanity.  This indeed goes against morality, against reason.

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A Black Hole in His Heart

Bekenstein

Dr. Jacob Bekenstein, ZL

The groundbreaking theoretical physicist Dr. Jacob Bekenstein died on August 16, 2015, at the age of sixty-eight. Although not well-known in popular culture, he played a key role in developing ideas which transformed much of modern physics. He was the Polak Professor of Theoretical Physics for many years at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Racah Institute of Physics. Hebrew University is one of the targets of the BDS campaign to boycott and isolate Israel.

It’s easy to boycott a place: don’t go there. It’s easy to boycott a thing: don’t use it. It’s a little more difficult though when the thing is ubiquitous in society, such as much of modern medicine, or the technology behind most computers and cel phones. It’s difficult, but it’s possible. Despite his declared support for the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel, the physicist Stephen Hawking has failed to give up the communications technology which allows his disease-racked body to talk to the world. It runs on a chip designed in Israel.

It’s even more awkward to boycott an idea, especially when that idea is the foundation of your most important accomplishments: the theories that brought you fame and honor, the work your reputation is built on. Stephen Hawking anyonewhoboycottswon’t boycott or give up his communication system. Nor will he boycott a physics theory from Israel, which powers the ideas he communicates.

A Black Hole in His Heart

Hawking is famous for his work on Black Holes. His two-faced support of the BDS movement demonstrates though that Hawking’s greatest disability is the black hole in his heart, not his disease. Neil Radow, a physics student at Bar-Ilan University eloquently explains the issues at hand.

*****

Israel, BDS and the Hawking Hypocrisy

We’re under attack through the BDS- Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions- movement. Particularly jarring is the academic boycott. That seemingly intelligent people have such a misguided view of the region is astounding. Not so long ago, the most famous living scientist, Stephen Hawking, joined the boycott.

Not only is his choice upsetting, it is- in his case- particularly hypocritical. Crippled by a horrible disease (Lou Gehrig’s syndrome), Stephen Hawking to all accounts is a story of success against all odds. Almost completely paralyzed, he moves and talks via machine; his robotic voice is recognized the world over. Despite his disability, Hawking has made important contributions to such fields as M-Theory (Superstring Theory) and the so-called “wave function of the universe.” His most important contribution, however, was his work on Black Holes. In 1974, Stephen Hawking showed that Black Holes emit radiation. This discovery earned him investiture as a Fellow at the Royal Society. Indeed, Black Hole radiation is now known as “Hawking Radiation.” The discovery proved that something actually does escape from Black Holes, as opposed to what had been previously believed. The new physics theory excited the science world.

Hawking’s work, like that of all science and scientists, is highly derivative. In this case, Stephen Hawking’s prediction of Black Hole radiation was derived almost entirely from the work of one man, the Israeli physicist Jakob Berkenstein, who passed away on August 16, 2015. Berkenstein has made many contributions to physics- particularly in the field of Black Hole thermodynamics, and was a professor of physics at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Of note, Berkenstein predicted that Black Holes would have entropy, essential to Hawking’s later prediction of Black Hole radiation.

The Bekenstein–Hawking entropy formula for a black hole

The Bekenstein–Hawking entropy formula for a black hole

To understand why, one must first understand what entropy is. For laymen entropy is often defined as the state of disorder of a system. A more accurate description in scientific terms is, however, more difficult. A complex system (i.e. group of different gasses in the air) can be thought of as a deck of cards. If the cards are arranged in order- aces, twos, threes, etc.) that represents the system’s state of highest order, or lowest entropy. Any other arrangement of cards in the deck is a higher entropy configuration. Therefore, entropy could be defined as the number of microscopic arrangements of particles that would be indistinguishable on a macroscopic level. In this example of a deck of cards, any random order of cards could be considered a high entropy state. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy in a closed system will nearly always increase. It is important to note that this is a statistical law: entropy of a system CAN increase, it is just exceedingly unlikely. This tendency of entropy to increase is often cited as the reason that time flows in only one direction – the so-called arrow of time.

When Stephen Hawking first read Berkenstein’s paper, he found it hard to believe that Black Holes have entropy. Eventually however, he accepted the results and built upon them, to make the most important breakthrough of his career. Hawking realized that if Black Holes have entropy, they must have a temperature (heat). He was even able to calculate what this temperature must be – the larger the Black Hole, the lower the temperature. If Black Holes have heat, he conjectured, then they must, too, emit radiation. This turned Black Hole physics on its head. Prior to Hawking’s discovery of Hawking Radiation, it was generally believed that nothing could escape from a Black Hole. According to Stephen Hawking, not only is this incorrect, but all Black Holes will eventually evaporate away to nothing. Today, most scientists accept this to be true.

A little over a year ago, Hawking was invited to the residence of Israeli President Shimon Peres for a conference about moving towards the future. Hawking initially accepted the invitation, but backed out at the last minute, a decision influenced by pressure from Palestinian academics and American radical linguist Noam Chomsky.

Despite its support by Hawking and others, the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) is inherently misguided and, in the case of Hawking, extremely hypocritical. If Stephen Hawking wants to boycott Israel, he should retract his previous findings, which would have been impossible without the work of Israeli physicists on which it is based. ∞

Neil Radow

*****

It’s traditional upon hearing about the death of someone you know of to say “May his memory be a blessing.” Not many people outside the world of physics know about the life, death or works of Dr. Bekenstein. We can say with certainty that his memory is a blessing, that his science and brilliance is a blessing that in the long run benefits all people. Despite Hawking’s professed boycott, the black hole in his heart cannot dim the brilliance that shone from the Racah Institute of Physics. Despite many attempts to portray Israel as a black hole in the world, despite the BDS desire to make it into a closed system, Israel will continue to astound its detractors with the science, wisdom and righteousness it radiates to the world. Dr. Jacob Bekenstein and Israel continue to be a light unto the nations.

Baruch Dayan Ha-Emet

Baruch Dayan Ha-Emet

Your comments are welcome
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The Physics of Lynch Mobs

cropped-SCOTTS-2ibxcg1

For Every Action There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction

Forces always occur in pairs. For example, when you push a cart, the cart pushes back against you; when gravity pulls you down against the ground, the ground pushes up against your feet. When you fire a rifle, you feel the recoil. When gravity pulls down on a neck in a noose, the rope pulls up. Whether it’s a jet plane, a rowboat or a baseball bat, Newton’s Third Law of Motion shapes just about everything in our lives that can be touched or felt.

This is a basic law of physics; it’s not a philosophical or theological principle. Nonetheless, it can give us some insight for understanding why the world is moving backwards at the same pace it’s advancing. At the same time that spacecraft travel beyond the outer reaches of the solar system and cancer is treated through genetic engineering, the Islamic Caliphate is fighting the same brutal wars as a thousand years ago. At the same time that the United States has its first black President, it experiences the same, or worse race riots as fifty years ago. This time though, it can’t be blamed on the powerlessness of black people. A black President, Mayor, Prosecutor, Congressional Representatives and policemen in Baltimore all attest to force being exerted, pushing the lives of black people. Is racial progress pushing upwards? One can certainly make a strong argument that black people in high positions are in control of black lives in Baltimore. Yet there seems to be an equal force pushing down.

Schrödinger’s cat / drug dealer

Sir Isaac Newton first presented his three laws of motion in 1686. By the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, scientists realized that really, really tiny things didn’t obey Newton’s Laws.  The rules used to understand the motion of a bullet or cart couldn’t be used to explain how an electron or atom works.

A thought experiment (one that was not performed, but took place only in the experimenter’s mind) was devised by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who imagined a quantum experiment with a cat:

cat good bad newsA cat is placed in a steel box along with a Geiger counter, a vial of poison, a hammer, and a radioactive substance…  Until the box is opened, an observer doesn’t know whether the cat is alive or dead—because the cat’s fate is intrinsically tied to whether or not the atom has decayed and the cat would, as Schrödinger put it, be “living and dead … in equal parts” until it is observed.  In other words, until the box was opened, the cat’s state is completely unknown and therefore, the cat is considered to be both alive and dead at the same time until it is observed.

This is counter-intuitive; it defies reason. Cats are either dead or alive. One can say that Schrödinger used the experiment to highlight the limits of Quantum Mechanics when applied to practical situations. The cat is actually either dead or alive, whether or not it has been observed.

Let’s consider a variation on the experiment. The steel box will be the back of a police van. The Geiger counter, the poison, hammer and uranium will be an unused seat belt, drugs, and protruding bolts. Instead of a cat, we’ll place Freddy Gray, a convicted narcotics dealer in the box, possibly busted in the midst of a drug deal. To increase the uncertainty we’ll add a witness who did and did not see Gray deliberately trying to injure himself.

Was Gray both dead and alive in the box? What took his life: was he poisoned by drugs, killed by a protruding bolt. Was it decay from a beating? Did someone hammer him with a police baton? The box has been opened, his death as been observed.  Though we lack crucial information, a verdict has been demanded in the name of justice; in the name of blind justice.

Back To The Future of Lynch Mobs

Lynching is the execution of an offender by a mob without due process of law. In the United States approximately 4,742 individuals were killed this way between 1882 and 1968; of the victims, 3,445 or 73 percent were Black. Some of the lynchings were preceeded by trials, but angry crowds, often stirred up by the press, could tip the hand of justice against the accused. Newspapers provided graphic and grizzly reports, using language that implied that the victim was indeed guilty, and deserving of his fate.

Leo Frank lynch mob

The lynching of Leo Frank

With very few exceptions the practice had pretty much died out by World War II. It was no longer socially acceptable. Although the American justice system is far from perfect, it does offer advantages over mob rule. In theory, evidence is gathered to determine guilt, appropriate charges are laid, and a judge or jury issues a decision based on the evidence.

Have we gone through a time warp, or is it Newton’s inexorable law of motion? Great racial progress has been made in the American justice system. There’s a black Attorney General, black Supreme Court Justice, black prosecutors, black police… Rarely is a black person tried by an all-white jury.

Yet despite this progress, we have lynch mobs in Ferguson, Miami, and Baltimore. Stirred up by the media, motivated by race-baiters such as the President, the mayor and the prosecutor, sympathy riots spread throughout the United States. Justice can only be served, they all said, when the police are convicted. When the people whose job it is to uphold justice have determined the desired outcome before the trial, there is no justice system, there are lynch mobs.

Entropy

boxes3

entropy illustrated

Entropy is a function of thermodynamic variables, with cosmological and social implications. It’s a hypothetical tendency for the universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity in which all matter is at a uniform temperature (heat death). Based on this, in 1854, Hermann von Helmholtz made what is probably the gloomiest prediction in the history of science, that the universe is dying. Physicists of the day presumed that the underlying laws of physics (then assumed to be Newton’s laws of mechanics) are symmetric in time. Such laws, which made no distinction between past and future, gave rise to a directed arrow which we know as time.

There are many explanations, many discussions around this enigma (all beyond the scope of this essay). We should ask though, is humanity working towards a state of maximum homogeneity, in which all people are uniform? Racial equality, the end of discrimination is a worthy ideal, but when it’s all we focus on, we reverse time’s arrow, and re-create the lynch mobs of a century ago. Are we bringing ourselves to a social equivalent of heat death, with government officials promoting lynch mobs?

 Schrödinger’s Lynch Mob

In a previous essay, we cited Schrödinger’s association of consciousness with learning; adapting to change, learning from experience, transforming humanity. The racial upheaval that’s taken place in the United States shows a society that hasn’t learned, hasn’t adapted, not even to the changes it has wrought upon itself. A society that has lost consciousness. A society that has yet to realize that the election and elevation of people merely based on race rather than qualification will have an equal and opposite effect, that is the degradation of all races, the degradation of that society. The relentless push towards homogeneity will result in the heat death of burning communities, and of order and organization in society.

 

Note:

Dr. Amanda Peet (the physicist, not the actress) recounts the joke that sociology is applied psychology, psychology applied biology, biology applied chemistry, and chemistry applied physics.  Physics is a fascinating field, which grows more so with each new day. Quantum and cosmological weirdness provide a basis for philosophizing on many grand ideas. But people are not quantum objects (though they are made of them). Societies are not governed by the laws of thermodynamics. Physics concepts are applied in this essay as metaphors, not scientific statements.  They are used to illustrate.

 

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Phase Transition: What Can We Kill?

What is the difference between humans and animals? What right do we have to take the lives of the latter for our own benefit, whether for research or food? It’s a

ethical issue?

ethical issue?

challenge often repeated by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who compare the slaughter of chickens in abattoirs to the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust.

We are, after all, made of the same stuff: sinews, muscles, blood and bones. If we get technical and look at genetic structure, we’re hardly distinguishable from chimpanzees. And if you look at the occasional viciousness of chimpanzees, you can argue that our behavior is also hardly distinguishable.

According to many Amazon Indians, animals are people, or at least see themselves as persons. The visible form is merely an envelope which conceals an internal human form. A Jaguar sees the blood of its prey as beer, its own fur as decoration; it brings food home to its wife and children. Our species cannot see through the concealment. Jewish mysticism also tells us that skin is a masquerade, redirecting attention from what it obscures.

Jaguar with prey

Jaguar with prey

Some may argue that we are endowed by God with an immortal soul, and that sets us apart from the animals. It’s a good hypothesis, but unprovable. Should an enlightened creature such as man use speculation as the axiom which defines his moral parameters?

Others may say that it’s higher intelligence that gives us the right to exploit and consume our fellow creatures. If that’s the case, I’m morally entitled to be a cannibal, because I’m much smarter than most people; there may be a few people entitled to dine on me. Intelligence alone doesn’t do the trick.

What about consciousness as a criterion? I reviewed this issue in an essay on the creation of the world. Briefly, the cat physicist Erwin Schrödinger addresses this difficult question:

Therefore consciousness is associated with those of its (nervous system) functions that adapted themselves by what we call experience to a changing environment…. I would summarize my general hypothesis this: consciousness is associated with the learning of the living substance; its knowing how is unconscious.

Chimp Phase Transition

sn-chimpsH

Chimps killing chimp

We parted company with chimpanzees about six million years ago. Our species made its first appearance about two hundred thousand years ago, and has been slowly improving ever since. We’ve built grass huts, brick houses, glass skyscrapers. We eat tubers dug from the ground, genetically improved grains, animals we’ve hunted or tamed. Our cousins the chimpanzees are still swinging from trees.

We’re complex creatures; some of that complexity the result of natural selection, some simply through random mutation of no specific benefit.   Where do we draw the line? Where is the demarcation point, the phase transition between ourselves and the animal kingdom?

Bucket of Phase Transition

There’s an old children’s’ riddle:

  • Q: What weighs more- a pound of steel or a pound of feathers?
  • A: They both weigh the same.
  • Q: So which would you rather have dropped on your head?

Let’s modify that riddle:

  • Which would you rather have dropped on yourhead- a bucket of di-hydrogen monoxide, or a bucket of di-hydrogen monoxide?

    di-hydrogen monoxide bucket challenge

    di-hydrogen monoxide bucket challenge

This question is sillier than the original version unless we set up some parameters, such as the temperature of the di-hydrogen monoxide in the bucket. It then becomes a question of having a bucket of water or ice dumped on you; the former getting you soaked, the latter possibly cracking your skull, though essentially they are both the same thing.

So it is with mankind and animals. We are the same amino acids, the same proteins, flesh and blood. We’re practically the same genetic blueprint as our close relatives, the chimps. We know now that genes only tell part of the story. Epigenetics, the study of heritable changes in gene expression that occur without a change in DNA violates the Mendelian principles we were taught in high school biology. The diet of our parents, intergenerational trauma (such as the holocaust) have effects which are passed on to future generations.

Women as meat

Women as meat

So knowing that we share the flesh, that we share the genes of a violent and brutish ape does not tell us anything significant about ourselves. At some fuzzy point in our millions of years of evolution there was a phase transition: we changed from ice to water to steam (or vice-versa, if you prefer). We evolved from graphite to diamond, both solid phases of carbon. We are, after all, carbon based life forms, whose existence is dependent on rare triple nucleus encounters amplified by quantum effects.

Species Phase Transition

detonate diamond

Phase diagram for carbon

In quantum phase transition there are many competing interactions in the vicinity of the critical point between phases, so that minute changes in the control parameter will favor one type of order over another. For water, the important parameter is temperature: cold di-hydrogen monoxide is a solid. When extremely hot, it’s a gas. For carbon we look at pressure; at high pressure the carbon of a pencil lead becomes a diamond. Many say that it’s population pressure that led to the development of agriculture and civilization, to the development of us. What were the “competing interactions” affecting the phase transition that brought humanity into existence?

What is our order? Are we animals, or something different? Are we pieces of coal, or diamonds? Is our consciousness a God-given soul, or an epigenetic fluke? Are we chickens headed for the abattoir, or creatures with the gift of free will?

Humans are a species. We can breed, exchange genetic material with each other, regardless of race or ethnicity. There has been a phase transition, raising our species above animals. It’s up to each one of us whether we choose to remain there, or phase transition back to animal, to ice, to a lump of coal.

Phase regression diagram for humans

Phase regression diagram for humans

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A Different Kind Of War

A Manifesto

Redefining the Battlefield

Our civilized world is in a different kind of war, aimed at dragging it back to the 8th century.  Our values are the enemy’s main weapon against us.  We must adapt if we are to survive.

Forget “religion.” Forget “nation” and “geography.” Don’t even think about “ideology” or “economy.” The enemy in this war includes our citizens, our co-religionists, people on the other side of the world, and our next-door neighbors. The civilized world, regardless of race, religion or region is in an apocalyptic conflict, aimed at dragging the world back to the Dark Ages, and the old categories are keeping us from fighting back.

Forget the meaning of war. Forget the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention on the rules and regulations of war. Those are for armies, countries, civilized people. This is a irrelevant in a different kind of wardifferent kind of war

Some combat takes place on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. Other battles are on the streets of Ottawa, Paris, Boston and Montreal. Some involves the execution of soldiers; some, of shoppers. The aggressor in this war wants to browbeat his opponents into acquiescence; this doesn’t always entail killing. Sometimes the threat of violence is enough to cancel a lecture, silence a critic. The police are among the first to advise compliance in order to avoid trouble. They certainly don’t want to appear Islamophobic.

Cops are good for dealing with criminals. They are not equipped for war. Our legal system is not equipped for this different war. And so, we are losing.

 

Islamophobia- a different kind of war

Islamophobia

We lost on 9/11.

We lost in the Madrid, the London bombings.

We lost in the Boston Marathon, at Parliament in Ottawa, in the relentless barbarism in Nigeria.

…and countless more.

Body_Scan_Pic

airport security scan

We lose every time we go to the airport and  give up an hour or so to have our bags and bodies scanned.

We lose every time we use a phone, send an e-mail or look at a web page, because these are no longer private acts. They must be scanned by security, looking for plots by our enemies.

We lose whenever an organization fears to publish its address, when security guards or even soldiers have to protect religious institutions. When we can’t go into certain areas of our cities, because they are under control of the enemy.

We lose when dissenting opinions are shouted down or their speakers beaten up. When those opinions can’t be given voice, for fear of offending vengeful, violent people. Free speech is good and we are all Charlie Hebdo, but we don’t want to end up like Charlie Hebdo.

Kenyan Church after attack

Kenyan Church after attack

A Different Kind of War Strategy

It will get worse unless we prepare to fight back. We need different tactics, for this different war. Here are some suggestions:

  • Ban immigration, ban temporary visas from regions where our defeats are celebrated, where our enemies are admired; places such as Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and North Africa.
    • Canada has a long tradition of favoring immigrants from particular countries. It’s time for Canada and the U.S. to discriminate on the basis of origin.
  • Anyone who goes to fight on behalf of an enemy or terrorist entity shall be considered guilty of treason if he is a citizen or legal resident.
    • If he’s on temporary visa, the visa shall be immediately cancelled and the person deported.
    • The death penalty for treason must be restored, with a process that does not lead to interminable delays.
  • Mosques must report to police the identity of new converts,so they can be monitored.
    • Some people find violence and savagery exciting. Tired of online game warfare, they want to go to the next level, and think that Islam will get them there. The Imam of the mosque of Martin Couture-Rouleau, the convert who ran over two soldiers in St. Jean, Quebec, understood the problem, and cooperated with the RCMP. Such cooperation must be mandatory.
    • This discriminatory practice needn’t apply to other religions; their converts are not killing in the name of their new beliefs.
  • Jailed radical Muslims must be isolated from other prisoners, to prevent jailhouse radicalization or conversion.
  • Prisons must develop and apply effective intervention programs to minimize radicalization of inmates.
A War to Protect Civil Rights and Liberties

“Civil rights” are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or “discrimination”) in a number of settings — including education, employment, housing, and more — and based on certain legally-protected characteristics.

  • TheCivil Rights of the majority,and of peaceful minorities must be protected by civil and criminal law.  This includes (within the confines of law)
    • Ability to hold meetings
    • To publish and disseminate information
    • To dress according to their religion without fear of violence
    • To peacefully espouse their religious traditions and attend services.
    • To support the political and social causes of their choice.
      • All without fear of violence.
  •  A person’s right to advocate for a cause shall not interfere with the right of others to work, or to carry on their business.
    Modern taxi service

    Modern taxi service

    • The right to practice a religion shall not oblige an employer to compromise his business in order to accommodate religious beliefs and practices.
    • If a person freely takes on an obligation, he cannot excuse himself from it because of religious issues
      • If a person takes a job as a bartender, he cannot refuse to serve alcohol. If he’s a taxi driver he cannot refuse service dogs because of his religion. If his faith forbids dogs, let him find a different job.
  • Anyone on a visa who interferes with civil rights of others shall immediately have his visa cancelled.
  • Anyone interfering with normal activities (civil rights) of Canadians shall be held financially responsible for the consequences.
  • Anyone causing financial loss though demonstrations or related political activities shall be held financially responsible.
  • Anyone sponsoring or organizing such interference, whether directly or indirectly shall be held financially or criminally responsible.
  • The Tides Foundation of San Francisco funds environmental protests in Canada. Such protests include obstructing the operation or
    "Useful Idiots"

    “Useful Idiots”

    construction of national infrastructure. The anonymous donors who fund such activities through Tides must be held accountable for the damage they cause.

  • Calling for the death of people because of their race, ethnicity or religion shall be deemed a criminal act.
  • It shall be illegal to conceal one’s face when in public place, except as part of organized activity with permit from appropriate authorities.
International Economics and Propaganda in a Different Kind of War

The economic success of Western civilization is premised on capitalism, i.e. the free flow of capital between economic entities.   Any interference with the flow is bad, in principle. However when the entities have another purpose beside economic advancement or are trying to gain a surreptitious advantage, they must be controlled. When a CNOOC, a Chinese company bought a large stake in a Canadian energy company it gave the tyrannical Chinese Communist Party a direct hand in Canadian energy development. It didn’t take long for it to start reneging on the commitments it made to get regulatory approval.

Petronas Towers, Malaysia

Petronas Towers, Malaysia

Petronas, owned by the government of Malaysia also has significant stakes in Canadian energy companies, including infrastructure. Malaysia is sixty-one percent Muslim. This in itself need not be a problem, but the country is quickly sliding towards fundamentalism and violence. A past Prime Minister was a vicious anti-Semite, and the current one has praised the strength of ISIS fighters.

In Saudi Arabia and the gulf Emirates, the governments, the energy producers and the worldwide wealth they control are essentially the same entities. The Saudis are the second largest shareholder in Fox News. They have a growing influence in the American press and entertainment industry, and they are not shy about using it.   When environmentalists oppose North American energy development, when they create obstacles that delay projects and add costs, the Saudis gain a competitive cost advantage. Sometimes the environmentalists know who is funding their work, sometimes they are clueless. Either way, they are serving the regime that has funded the worldwide spread of radical Islam.

By funding North American environmentalists, by engaging in an energy price war, the Saudis are trying to gain a surreptitious advantage. Petronas, the Saudis and CNOOC are not simply foreign capitalist entities. The former two are connected to those who have undertaken the different kind of war against us. The latter two are part of aggressive, anti-democratic regimes with no respect for the values of Western civilization. They must not be allowed to influence us in our battle.

  • Megyn-Kelly-FNC

    Employed by Murdoch and Alwaleed

    All voting control of subsidiaries of state-owned entities must be firmly and clearly separated from the regimes that own them.

  • Western governments shall be entitled to place auditors within the subsidiaries to ensure that decisions they make are for normal business purposes only.
  • Subsidiaries of state-owned entities shall not be allowed to engage in public relations, political lobbying or community affairs, whether directly or through funding of other groups.
  • Subsidiaries of state-owned entities shall not be allowed to invest in the press, entertainment media, or online social networks.
 A Different Kind of War Entails a Different Kind of Sacrifice

In previous world wars, populations related to the enemy were placed in internment camps, to make sure they weren’t working to destroy us from within. Loyal Canadians and Americans were rounded up, and treated horribly. We don’t want to do that again. It’s more than probable that the vast majority of Muslims are loyal citizens of the Western countries they now inhabit (there is no way to properly quantify this). But we can’t ignore the many radicals dedicated to our destruction.   We must make sacrifices, such as suspending some of  our values— the ones that are being used against us.  We must fight back. Pretending that a different kind of war is not really a war is the path of appeasement on the road to surrender.

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.
                                                                                    – Ayn Rand

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A Deadly Epidemic, More Dangerous Than Ebola

ebola_map_sep5_fpThere are many diseases afflicting the world today.  Some have immediate and horrifying consequences while others may seem benign until it’s too late to do anything about them.  Health authorities stumble around, looking for ways to protect the populations, but run into barriers of cost, politics, human and constitutional rights.  We don’t know what deadly epidemic to be more afraid of, or whether some unknown ailment is going to do us in.

There are many frightful things that we’re aware of.  Ebola is highly contagious, and President Obama refuses to close the American border to people from the most affected regions of West Africa.  He’s even sent troops to help combat the disease, but with questionable protection they may be infected, or at least carriers when they return home.

The fast-spreading respiratory virus EVD68 sent over a thousand otherwise healthy children to hospital in a short period, killing a dozen.  The disease can be lethal and fast: a mother put her healthy four-year-old to bed, and he was dead by morning.  Many suspect that the flood of Central American children Obama allowed into the U.S. played a large role in the sudden spread of the disease.  They’re probably wrong.

Chagas disease is being called ‘the new AIDS.’  Spread by a bug that defecates a parasite into the victims’ bloodstream while

Chagas Symptom

Chagas Symptom

they’re asleep, it can lie dormant for decades before causing serious cardiac, esophagus or colon problems.  It is endemic to Mexico, Central America, and South America, where an estimated eight million people have the illness, most of whom do not know they are infected.  If untreated, infection is lifelong and can be life threatening.  It was once largely limited to Latin America, but now the illness is spreading north because of travel and immigration.  It’s estimated that four hundred thousand Americans are currently infected.

Smallpox Among the Aztec

Smallpox Among the Aztec

Smallpox was devastating to the American Indians, who possessed no immunity to the disease imported by early European colonists.  Populations were decimated, societies thrown into disarray.  In Europe the Black Death of the 14th century had similar effects.  Many say the plague was largely responsible for the collapse of feudalism.  Interestingly, some contemporary researchers have argued that the Black Death was Ebola, rather than bubonic plague.  The latter travelled too slowly, and the former matches the old descriptions of the

The Black Death

The Black Death

symptoms of the Black Death.

The Subtle Deadly Epidemic

There’s a much more subtle epidemic afflicting the world in the twenty-first century.  Like Chagas, many victims don’t realize they’ve been infected; there are no clear symptoms.  Yet just as the Black Death led to the end of feudalism, this plague can weaken, perhaps even bring an end to our contemporary society.

And of course, there are those who try to profit from it- not big drug companies, not insurance companies, but the people who create the policies by which America is run.  ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber said that the law was written in such a way as to take advantage of “the stupidity of the American voter.”

In the 2008 elections, Americans elected a young president with no job experience and few accomplishments to his name.  They made a man with no military experience into the Commander In Chief of what was, at the time, the world’s most powerful armed forces.  Their alternative was a war hero, decorated for his selflessness, with a long, distinguished career in government.  Obama’s track record as President is as distinguished as his list of accomplishments before becoming leader of the free world.

According to some polls Canada may be poised to elect a Prime Minister who’s done even less than Barack Obama, whose CV stops short at acting, substitute teaching, and leading a major political party.  A politician who is so shallow that he fulfilled the technical requirements of becoming a Muslim while visiting a mosque.  A would-be Prime Minister who wants Canada’s contribution to the fight against ISIS to be limited to advising their victims how to keep warm in winter.  Tell them how to use a blanket while they wait to be raped or beheaded.  It’s ludicrous, but  Justin Trudeau is ahead in the polls.

In the November 4th election, voters in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC, approved marijuana legalization, joining Oregon, Washington State, Colorado and others in making it legally safe to toke.  It’s not news that stoned people are less capable of making informed decisions than sober people.  Losing the ability to make informed decisions, perhaps permanently, doesn’t seem to be a concern to voters.

And how is it that Christianity (whether the Church of England, the Catholic Church, German churches, or others), which is under attack from Muslims throughout the world, dedicates so much effort to extending the hand of peace to Islam?

Excerpt From Louisiana Literacy Test

Excerpt From Louisiana Literacy Test

In 1964, the state of Louisiana implemented a voter literacy test, with the purpose of disqualifying black voters.  The test was deliberately obscure and poorly worded, requiring a score of 100% to pass.  In 2014 the test was administered to a group of Harvard University students.  None of them would have been allowed to vote in 1964 Louisiana; they all failed.

In 2014, Jesse Watters asked ordinary Americans questions posed to new citizens about the basics of the American government; most were stumped.  What do the 13 stripes on the flag represent?  How many Senators are there?  Who was President of the United States during World War II?  Answers to the last one ranged from Ronald Reagan to George Washington.  Three out of twelve people passed the standard citizenship test.

The deadly epidemic is clearly out of control.  Stupidity is rampant.  It’s not just a matter of genetics, lack of education, too much alcohol or marijuana.  Stupidity is also a disease, or at least a viral condition.  An innocuous microorganism, previously known to affect green algae, was found to affect cognitive functions including visual processing and spatial awareness.   “Of the 90 participants in the study, 40 tested positive for the algae virus.  Those who tested positive performed worse on tests designed to measure the speed and accuracy of visual processing. They also achieved lower scores in tasks designed to measure attention.”  Or, as The Independent put it, it’s a virus that infects human brains and makes us more stupid.  (This is not a joke; it’s real)

This possibly explains why seemingly normal people think that George Washington was President of the U.S. during World War II.  Why many people support a potential Prime Minister who wants to teach people who are being raped, sold into slavery, or beheaded, how to use a blanket.  Why the architect of Obamacare knew he could count on the stupidity of the American public to get his legislation through.

animal testingThe deadly epidemic has the potential to destroy our way of life.  Firstly, stupid people will not be able to create the art, develop the technology, and build the cities that have advanced our civilization, improved our health, and lengthened our days.  Stupid people will demand that governments spend money it doesn’t have, while lowering taxes.  They can’t understand that arithmetic has universal relevance; governments aren’t exempt.

They will make bad decisions about what to eat, going along with every appealing food fad.  They’ll reject vaccines, based on simplistic pseudo-science.  They’ll campaign against the fossil fuels that power their cars, heat their homes, and are made into ubiquitous plastics.  They’ll oppose animal testing for new drugs, even when that means potential lifesaving medicines are delayed for vaccineyears, or kept entirely off the market because they can’t be proven safe.

If stupidity is a disease, then we can’t hold people responsible for their actions.  It provides another justification for expanding the social safety net.  Making dumb choices in one’s life will be just another sign of a disability, another excuse for doing nothing with one’s life.

Is there a cure for the stupidity virus?  We can’t look at the Centre for Disease Control for assurance, if we judge them according to their response to Ebola.  If we were conspiracy theorists, which we’re not, we could speculate that the CDC is actively spreading this deadly epidemic in order to help the administration advance its agenda.

Our society is facing viral stupidity, genetic stupidity and willful stupidity– ignoring truth in order to reach the ideologically correct response.  The bad decision making by ordinary citizens, the selective truths promoted by the media, the absurd agendas of politicians, western civilization seems headed towards dissolution and darkness.

Is there something we can do?  Vigilance seems to be the only non-medical response.  We can guard against willful stupidity and our own bad choices.

 

Your comments are welcome

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Dangerous Religion

Dangerous Classification

Classification can help you sort things out, make informed decisions.  If someone was to threaten you with a gun, it would be helpful to know whether it was an assault rifle or a Nerf gun (soft foam bullets).

Nerf assault rifle

Dangerous weapon?

Sometimes classification can be used to obscure, to prevent the making of informed decisions.  The Obama administration classified the Fort Hood massacre of 2009 as workplace violence, even though the perpetrator had been in touch with Al Qaida just before.  The death of a teenager throwing Molotov cocktails at civilians was classified as “tragic.”

There is a debate going on whether the Ottawa shooter at the Parliament Buildings was driven by a dangerous religion or mental illness.  The classification of his motives is a meaningless discussion.  He was a terrorist.

The Hanging Original art by Esti Mayer

The Hanging
Original art by Esti Mayer

Another example of misleading classification is the concept of “religion.”  It has countless definitions; some positive, many pejorative.  They reflect the many different  aspects of life it contends with, from environmentalism to disease, from meditation to massacres.  Is a belief system that has no compunction about slaughtering non-believers in the same category as one that says life is sacred?  In the same category as a system that declares all humans have a right to religious freedom?   While Christian and Jewish fundamentalists may at times be annoying, they threaten no one’s life in the name of God.  Does anyone fear a pious Hindu?

A religion is a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful , pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a  general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.”
– Clifford Geertz

When we bring Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, shamanism, animism, etc. all into one big category, religion, it says they are all similar.

Dangerous Assumption

They’re not.  A mosque is not a church, which is not a synagogue, which is not an ashram.  Their symbols are different, their beliefs are different, but most importantly, their actions based on those symbols and beliefs are different.  If we assume that leaders from all religions promote peace and kindness, like Pope John Paul II, or the Dalai Lama we will be unable to respond when they act otherwise.

Dangerous Religion

ottawa-suspected-shooter

Homicidal terrorist

When homicidal youth flock to only one particular system of beliefs and symbols, that system deserves its own, unique classification.  When the historical death toll of that system dwarfs all the others put together, we can’t say it’s like Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism or any of the others.  It’s not.

 

 

 

Your comments are welcome

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Happy Quantum New Year

Our four-billion year old world came into being 5,775 years ago, with the creation of man.  So… Happy New Year.

happy_new_year

A Scientific Explanation

God, as a kid, tries to make a chicken in his room

God, as a kid, tries to make a chicken in his room

This Wednesday evening, September 24, 2014, marks the five thousand, seven hundred and seventy fifth year since the creation of the earth.  This celebration may be a little problematic for many people, because there’s a great deal of solid evidence that our planet is an awful lot older than that.  On the other hand, who wants to miss a good New Year’s party?

Don’t fret: there are two ways to deal with this scientifically.

The first is that time ain’t what it used to be.  The physicist Gerald Schroeder points out that the “days” mentioned in the Biblical story of Creation were not the same twenty four days we know now.  Those are a function of having a sun, and that was only created on the fourth day.  Using relativity theory to explain cosmic time, Schroeder explains that the modern science is in sync with the Creation account of Genesis, provided one doesn’t view the latter from an extreme literal perspective

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, on the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. (Genesis 2:4)

Keep in mind that the original text was in Hebrew.  Holding literally to a translation opens you up to problems.

Amit Goswami, a physicist from another religious tradition, uses quantum mechanics and the Uncertainty Principal:

Suppose we ask, Is the moon there when we are not looking at it?  To the extent that the moon is ultimately a moonquantum object (being composed entirely of quantum objects), we must say no—so says physicist David Mermin.  Between observations, the moon also exists as a possibility form in transcendent potentia.  (p. 59)

Goswami explains that ultimately the components of the material world exist as a probability function.  It takes a conscious observer to collapse the probability, so those components seem to us as a real, material universe.

What’s consciousness?

Does a cat have consciousness?  It is only in material realism that consciousness is something merely to be possessed.  Such a consciousness would be determined, not free, and would not be worth having. (p. 59)

We turn to the cat physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who addresses this difficult question.

catTherefore consciousness is associated with those of its (nervous system) functions that adapted themselves by what we call experience to a changing environment…. I would summarize my general hypothesis this: consciousness is associated with the learning of the living substance; its knowing how is unconscious.

It’s not merely looking for a warm cave when the weather gets cold.  Schrödinger sees the conscious mind as one that transforms itself.  “For we ourselves are chisel and statue, conquerors and conquered at the same time.”  Not only did we chisel and conquer our minds: when we became human we began to conquer, or at least subdue the world.  Primitive agriculture  chiseled the earth to our needs.  But some insects, even amoebas are also primitive farmers.  Surely the Bible wasn’t addressing them.

egypt_animalsPeople have farmed for at least ten thousand years; little plots of land barely fed the people who worked them.  It was only with the use of  metal in the Bronze Age that we began to effectively chisel our world, with irrigation and better tools.  Farming became communal, whether through cooperation or brutal authority.  Humanity became the agent changing the environment which our consciousness adapted to.  Humanity took control, and that control is what defines humanity.  Man was created when he began to create himself in the Bronze Age.  At that point, existence moved forward from being transcendent potentia, to the world we know and subdue.

This happened 5775 years ago, according to the Jewish count.  It happened for Jews and non-Jews alike—for all human beings.

A personal New Year message:

Our consciousness, our lives are our own responsibility.   Our behavior is our own choosing.  On the anniversary of humanity’s taking responsibility for itself, it is appropriate for every single person to examine his actions of the past year, and resolve to make better ones in the coming year.   I wish you a year filled with right decisions.  Although we can never know where our choices will lead, I wish you results that bring health, contentment, and understanding.

Happy New Year.

 Your comments are welcome

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Are You A Man or a Mouse?

SmartMouse

A More Human Mouse

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently spliced the human gene associated with language into the brains of a mouse.  While the rodents didn’t say anything about the experiment, they were better able to find chocolate in a maze then regular mice.  This is perhaps another example of science mimicking science fiction.  In H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau an evil doctor attempts to humanize wild animals through surgery and psychological conditioning.  The animals rebel, overturning the pseudo society that the doctor tried to create.  The MIT mice are docile so far, lacking the drama of Dr. Moreau, or Planet of The Apes.

The joining of human and animal isn’t shocking for many aboriginal Americans; for them the animals see themselves as human,

Wari girl and friend

Wari girl and friend

just with a different form.  For example the Wari’ of Brazil know a jaguar kills its prey with tooth and claw, and eats it raw.  But for the jaguar, or rather, from the jaguar’s point of view, he kills his prey with arrows like the Wari’ do; he takes the prey home, gives it to his wife and tells her to cook it.  While jaguars look like cats to the Wari’, in the eyes of the jaguar humans look like pigs, like prey.

It’s not good to be a pig or a mouse when a jaguar is hunting.

A Mouse is Always Prey

jackal

more honorable than ISIS

There’s of course another group of people, over thirty thousand strong by current estimates, who simply erase the boundaries between human and animal behavior.  The members of ISIS, while retaining human form, are more like predatory scavengers.  According to Franz Kafka,  jackals are disgusted by Arabs.  Certainly, the jaguar bringing a meal home to his wife is more noble than the humans who chain a little girl to a fence.  Even a jackal is above that.

The blending of species through grafting of human genes into mice has the potential to advance our understanding of memory, cognitive flexibility, and the evolution of the brain.  The blending of species by the predatory behavior of ISIS scavengers has the potential to reverse centuries of human social, intellectual and moral development.  The Island of Doctor Moreau is a happy children’s tale by comparison.

under arrest

Syrian girl and foe

ISIS thus challenges the civilized world to respond: does it meekly acquiesce to the rape and enslavement of women, the torture and beheading of children?  Or does it act boldly to eradicate such savage, inhuman beings?  Will Western civilization behave as a man or a mouse?  It’s dangerous to be a mouse when jaguars, jackals, or ISIS supporters are on the prowl.

 

Your comments are welcome
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It Used To Be Easy To Conquer The World

It’s still easy, if no one resists

It used to be easy to conquer the world; it wasn’t a very big place. The Mauryan empire of ancient India was no more than five million square kilometers, but included over forty percent of the planet’s population.  The Mongol Empire was six times that size, covering one fifth of the land surface, but only held twenty-five percent of the population.

Conquer the known worldIt’s much harder to conquer the world now.  We can monitor every square meter of its one hundred forty-nine thousand square kilometers.  It’s a huge world, but progress made it small.  The Romans shrank the world with their road-building programs.  The Mongols’ horsemanship enabled them to create their empire.  The British Empire (seven centuries later than, and the same size as the Mongol Empire) depended on sea transportation to bring distant places within reach.

In the twenty-first century the internet, surveillance satellites, security videos and personal camera-phones have made the world smaller yet.  We know more about somebody half a world away than our next door neighbor.

Today, the instantaneous world of electric information media involves all of us, all at once.  Ours is a brand-new wold of all-at onceness. Time, in a sense, has ceased and space has vanished.  Like primitives, we now live in a global village of our own making, a simultaneous happening.  The global village is not created by the motor car or even the airplane.  It is created by instant electronic information movement.  The global village is at once as wide as the planet and as small as the little town where everybody is maliciously engaged in poking his nose into everybody else’s business.  The global village is a world in which you don’t necessarily have harmony; you have extreme concern with everybody else’s business and much involvement in everybody else’s life.”- Marshall McLuhan

Does that mean we have seven billion neighbors?  If so, what is our responsibility to them?

The Bible is pretty clear:

Don’t stand idly by the blood of your neighbor; I am God.”

do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor

Simply stated, we should not allow our neighbor to die if it’s in our power to prevent it.

Eighty million people were killed between 1000 and 1525 AD when Islam tried to conquer India.  Few, if any people in the West would have known about it, and had they known, there would have been little they could have done.  Indeed, the West was preoccupied not letting Islam conquer Europe.

Tens of millions of people were killed during Communist China’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution.  The government of the People’s Republic of China keeps the actual number a closely guarded secret.  It might have been eighty million.  It was more likely around forty million.  People in the West knew something terrible was happening, but China was (and is) a secretive country.  Could the West have done something?  Yes.  A difficult war could have brought down the Communist government.  Tens of millions could have been saved, but millions would have died in the process.

And we didn’t know much about them.  They weren’t our neighbors yet.

Atavistic Hatred Original art by Esti Mayer

Atavistic Hatred
Original art by Esti Mayer

In a 1994 genocide, Hutu death squads slaughtered eight hundred thousand Rwandans.  The world’s superpowers knew something bad was about to happen, but they stood idly by.  President Clinton described his failure to intervene as one of the biggest regrets of his presidency.  Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire was Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda.  His desperate calls for support to stop the slaughter were ignored.

 “Still, at its heart, the Rwandan story is the story of the failure of humanity to heed a call for help from an endangered people.

It wouldn’t have taken a massive, dangerous military intervention.  Nonetheless the world stood idly by as the blood of its neighbors was spilled.  Would this have been, in McLuhan’s words, maliciously poking our nose into everybody else’s business?

What about the invasion of Iraq- the one that overthrew Saddam Hussein.  Was that maliciously poking our nose, or obeying the Biblical (you can also call it “moral”) dictum of not standing idly by the blood of your neighbors?  President Bush described Iraq as an exporter of terrorism.  Its leader was a genocidal despot, who used chemical weapons against his own people.  The President argued that Hussein was perilously close to deploying weapons of mass destruction against other nations; whether this was true is still a matter for debate.

President Bush applied the principle of not standing idly by, as well as another Jewish teaching (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 72a) that “If someone comes to kill you, arise [preempt him] and kill him first.”

Iraq in 2014 is a malicious corner of our global village.  Neighbors from other Muslim lands such as Chechnya or Britain are forcing their religious beliefs on Iraqis; the ground is soaked with the blood of those who resist.  Do we stand idly by?

a promise

a promise

And that other principle that President Bush applied: if someone rises up to kill you, it is your obligation to preemptively kill him first.  The Sunni extremists now slaughtering everyone within reach have promised to come to New York, and not as tourists.  Where they go, their goal is to conquer.

Can we say that current events in Iraq are not our concern?  That we don’t care about the blood of our neighbors, or that ISIS is rising up to kill us?  The world is too small for that attitude.  The people of Mosul are our neighbors.  They and their ISIS tormentors live in our global village.

The Roman roads, the Mongol horses and British ships led to world domination.  There’s another group out there that wants to conquer, and they’re using the digital highways developed by Western civilization to wage their war to attack.  Do we stand idly by our own destruction?