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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Viral "Arab/Muslims Worry Me" Letter

by Captain John Maniscalco, American Airlines Pilot

I've been trying to say this since 9/11, 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 neighbours 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 [America] 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 unprovoked to you. I am not interested in any more sympathy; I am interested only in action. What will you do forAmerica - 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 F.B.I. has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the W.T.C. 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 Khadafi, 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 grey areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance, and it is up to YOU to show ME, where YOU stand.

Until then, "YOU WORRY ME!"
Posted here because the opinion piece makes a lot of sense.
The origin of this work is in dispute. The usually-reliable verification website states that it was printed in a less vitriolic form in the Hyattsville, Maryland Gazette (under the title “An open letter to my Arab-Muslim neighbors”) on 12 October 2001, credited to a Kevin Daly of Beltsville, Maryland. The piece first appeared on the internet in June 2002; although there is a real pilot licensed by the F.A.A. named John Maniscalco, efforts by Snopes to verify authorship led to 'dead ends'; the somewhat opinionated Snopes entry is dated August 2007.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

August 2014 Quotations (61)

"The energy of the mind is the essence of life."
~~ Greek philosopher Aristotle [384-322 B.C.E.]

"Facebook is not your friend, it is a surveillance engine."
~~ internet activist Richard M. Stallman

"The political machine triumphs because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority.”
~~ Will Durant [1885-1981]

“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.”
~~ Charles Dickens [1812-70]

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."
~~ Frederick Douglass [1818-95]

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
~~ Elbert Hubbard [1856-1915]

"The philosopher ought never to try to avoid the duty of making up his mind."
~~ Mortimer J. Adler [1902-2001]

"The supreme crime of [organized religion] to-day is that everywhere and in all its operations and influences it is on the side of sloth of mind, that it banishes brains, it sanctifies stupidity, it canonizes incompetence."
~~ Upton Sinclair [1878-1968], in "The Profits of Religion: An Essay In Economic Interpretation" (1918)

"Seek the truth or hide your head in the sand. Both require digging."
~~ Andrew Nolan

"Unless we love and are loved, each of us is alone, each of us is deeply lonely."
~~ Mortimer J. Adler [1902-2001]

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
~~ Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
~~ Norman Vincent Peale [1898-1993]

"I fell in love with cinema because I preferred this life instead of real life."
~~ Claude Lelouch

"The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
~~ Plato [428?-327? B.C.E.]

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
~~ John Kenneth Galbraith [1908-2006]

"The most important fact about Spaceship Earth: an instruction manual didn't come with it."
~~ R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983]

"The map is not the territory."
~~ Alfred Korzybski [1879-1950]

"There's a moral here somewhere."
~~ Anthony Lane, New Yorker Magazine critic

"The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy."
~~ Alex Carey, in "Taking The Risk Out of Democracy" (1996)

"Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it."
~~ Maya Angelou [1928-2014]

"I'd like to believe an accumulation of experience has made me a sort of a grown-up person, so I can have judgment and taste and whatever."
~~ Maurice Sendak [1928-2012]

"The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine."
~~ televangelist Mike Murdock

"It is never too late or too soon, it is when it is supposed to be."
~~ Mitch Albom

"What you owe yourself is to work for your living; what you owe your neighbor is not to interfere with his work."
~~ Ayn Rand [1905-82]

"No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted."
~~ Aesop [620–564 B.C.E.]

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
~~ Thornton Wilder [1897-1975]

"There's nothing [that] you can't prove if your outlook is only sufficiently limited.”
~~ Dorothy L. Sayers [1893-1957]

"It is better to live one day as a lion, than a dozen years as a sheep."
~~ Louis L'Amour [1908-88], in "Flint" (1960)

"There are no fresh starts in life, just new opportunities to screw up."
~~ Steve Lopez

"Nobody ever listened himself out of a job."
~~ Calvin Coolidge [1872-1933]

"A basic proposition of epistomology . . . is that an observed fact requires no proof; it simply IS, self-demonstrating."
~~ Robert A. Heinlein [1907-88]

"One must have the mind of winter to behold the nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."
~~ poet Wallace Stevens [1879-1955]

“Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by production.”
~~ Ayn Rand [1905-82]

"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything."
~~ Edward John Phelps [1822-1900]

"Only the impossible happens. The Universe is impossible. You and I are impossible. And there it is."
~~ R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983]

"It's hard to know when to respond to the seductiveness of the world and when to respond to its challenge . . . I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world."
~~ E.B. White [1899-1985]

"Salad is not a meal!" ~~ guys' saying

"Whosoever plants a tree / Winks at immortality"
~~ Post-It poem by Felix Dennis [1947-2014]

"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't."
~~ boxer Jack Dempsey [1895-1983]

"In the future there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders."
~~ Facebook, Inc. COO Sheryl Sandberg

"The chief trick to making good mistakes is not to hide them – especially not from yourself."
~~ philosopher Daniel Dennett

"Repetition makes us feel secure and variation makes us feel free."
~~ poet Robert Hass

"There is no such thing as perfect security, only varying levels of insecurity."
~~ Salman Rushdie

"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."
~~ Coco Chanel [1883-1971]

"Children need models more than they need critics."
~~ essayist Joseph Joubert [1754-1824]

"The battle to halt global warming, aka 'climate change', is over. We lost."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"People are hungry for stories. It's part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history. It goes from one generation to another."
~~ Louis 'Studs' Terkel [1912-2008]

"Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober, not to make us sad but wise."
~~ H.G. Wells [1866-1946]

"The great advantage of living in a large family is that early lesson of life's essential unfairness."
~~ Nancy Mitford [1904-73]

"Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person."
~~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [1859-1930]

"They don't call women 'the opposite sex' for nothing!"
~~ G.E. Nordell

"All cats are libertarians: Completely dependent on others but fully convinced of their own independence."
~~ showed up on Twitter circa 2009

"As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen."
~~ Winnie the Pooh character, as written by A.A. Milne [1882-1956]

“A library card is the start of a lifelong adventure.”
~~ Lilian Jackson Braun [1913-2011]

"It's ironic how in America the colors red, white, and blue represent freedom until they're flashing behind you."
~~ syndicated comedian Argus Hamilton

"Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses."
~~ Marilyn vos Savant

"Ninety-nine percent honesty is the foundation of any relationship."
~~ line from 2014 movie "What If"

"The Koch Industries have a philosophy that profits are above everything else."
~~ Bill Koch, on "60 Minutes"

"The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention."
~~ Sir Francis Bacon [1561-1626] (tacked to the darkroom door of American photographer Dorothea Lange [1895-1965])

"Whether humanity makes it or not depends on the way [that] we behave today."
~~ R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983]

"The one thing that can change most of our problems is dancing."
~~ rock legend James Brown [1933-2006]

"Hydraulic fracturing IS pollution until scientifically proven otherwise."
~~ G.E. Nordell

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
~~ William Shakespeare [1564-1616] Page

{each set of blogged quotations are then posted at the Working Minds website, alphabetical by author}