Severe Restriction

Severe Restriction

Imagine a bomb exploded in your hometown today. It was in a messenger bag that belonged to a person sitting in a popular restaurant in the heart of “restaurant row.” The bomber reached into the bag and detonated the device shortly after 12:00 noon, lunch time – the busiest time of day. Many people, including the bomber, died. Many others were wounded. Some seriously.

What likely conclusions can you draw about the bomber in this imagined event? Was the bomber tall or short? What was the bomber’s favorite color? Did the bomber like music, own a pet, have a favorite food? How about the bomber’s religion? Is it not easy, ridiculously easy, mind-numbingly easy, to identify—with almost complete confidence—that the bomber envisioned above was a follower of Islam?

In a few months time Americans will elect the 45th president of the United States. One candidate has called for severely restricting entry into the United States of people who follow the religion of Islam. Critics of severe restriction argue that Islamic terrorists are a small percentage of a much larger peaceful group. Critics argue it’s wrong to judge a peaceful majority by the actions of a violent minority. And critics are quick to point out that many religions have a history of violence. These arguments are delivered with demanding intensity; as if they are capable of alleviating the effects of Islamic terrorists. What nonsense.

All followers of Islam voluntarily read the same texts and voluntarily pray to the same god. As a result, some voluntarily destroy themselves and many innocent others. The pace of these despicable acts is rapid and uninterrupted, rendering percentage analysis irrelevant. And arguing against severe restriction on the basis of historical perspective is more than irrelevant, it’s irrational. The truth today (and for many, many days in the past) is that only one religion regularly produces suicide terrorists. If this was untrue—if suicide terrorism was not practically the exclusive act of Islamic terrorists—then the first two paragraphs of this article would not resonate.

If the situation we find ourselves in today presents any advantage, it is that suicide terrorists are, almost without fail, associated with a specific religion. That association provides a means to restrict suicide terrorists from performing their cowardly acts within the borders of the United States. To ignore this opportunity is, in a word, unimaginable.

Severe Restriction
31E20242(R01) • Jun 01, 2016
Photo ©
Britt – Fotolia.com

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

It’s observed by both the devout and the mindless attendants of good taste. It suggests day-to-day life in America dulls appreciation. It prescribes a yearly twenty-four hour period of thankfulness as a restorative. Its name is Thanksgiving. And it would be a terrible thing if it were true.

Life in America is neither dulling or dull. Life in America is brilliant; made so mindfully and continuously by the very day-to-day experience the fourth Thursday in November misrepresents.

Daily life is the result of a process started 3.75 billion years ago when energy from a small yellow dwarf star joined forces with pre-biotic chemicals located on one of eight nearby orbiting planets. The crowing achievement of this process (so far) is the human brain, a unique biological structure, in which, somewhere, is found the human mind.

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Talent

Talent

Talent

Every drummer’s “ten best” list contains the name Buddy Rich. From seasoned pro to beginner, Buddy is universally recognized as the master. Why? What made Buddy so good? The answer is talent.

Talent is natural ability. It is separate from, and paramount to, knowledge, character, and discipline. A popular and enduring principle concerning talent is summarized by the claim: “Anything is achievable so long as one works at it enough.” This woo-woo gobbledygook philosophy is utter nonsense.

The result of “working at it” is experience and experience cannot generate talent. It’s true that experience can develop talent. But it’s equally true that talent must exist before development can occur. Any philosophy or guiding principle that treats talent as a product, instead of a prerequisite, will lead to an infinity of headaches. Speaking of which…

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Idea Fuel

Idea Fuel

Folks occasionally ask, “Where do your ideas come from?” I usually answer, “I don’t really know.” That’s true. I don’t really know. But I have an impression. It’s an impression rooted, as ideas are rooted, in convictions.

Convictions are the primary and invisible tendencies, drives, and impressions that fuel ideas and actions. Convictions are tricky because they work silently, on their own, secreted from (and paradoxically by) the mind. The process works like this.

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