Daily Wisdom

January 30, 2007

American Soldier

Artist: Toby Keith
Lyrics for Song: American Soldier
Album: Shock'n Y'all

I'm just trying to be a father,
Raise a daughter and a son,
Be a lover to their mother,
Everything to everyone.
Up and at 'em bright and early,
I'm all business in my suit,
Yeah, I'm dressed up for success
from my head down to my boots.

I don't do it for the money,
there's bills that I can't pay.
I don't do it for the glory,
I just do it anyway.
Providing for our future's
my responsibility.
Yeah I'm real good under pressure,
being all that I can be.

And I can't call in sick on Mondays
when the weekends been too strong.
I just work straight through the holidays,
And sometimes all night long.
You can bet that I stand ready
when the wolf growls at the door.
Hey, I'm solid. Hey I'm steady.
Hey I'm true down to the core.

And I will always do my duty,
no matter what the price.
I've counted up the cost,
I KNOW the sacrifice.
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dyin's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with honor,
'Cause freedom don't come free.

I'm an American soldier, an American.
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand.
When liberty's in jeopardy
I will always do what's right.
I'm out here on the front lines...
sleep in peace tonight.

American soldier,
I'm an American... soldier.

An American soldier. An American.
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand.
When liberty's in jeopardy
I will always do what's right.
I'm out here on the front lines...
sleep in peace tonight.

American soldier.
I'm an American.
An American.
An American... soldier.

January 26, 2007

Bumper of my SUV

Hat tip to Camojack...

Artist: Chely Wright
Lyrics for Song: Bumper of My S.U.V.
Album: Everything

I've got a bright red sticker on the back of my car,
Says: "United States Marines."
An' yesterday a lady in a mini-van,
Held up her middle finger at me.
Does she think she knows what I stand for,
Or the things that I believe?
Just by looking at a sticker for the US Marines,
On the bumper of my S.U.V.

See, my brother Chris, he's been in,
For more than 14 years now.
Our Dad was in the Navy during Vietnam,
Did his duty, then he got out.
And my Grandpa earned his Purple Heart,
On the beach of Normandy.
That's why I've got a sticker for the US Marines,
On the bumper of my S.U.V.

But that doesn't mean that I want war:
I'm not Republican or Democrat.
But I've gone all around this crazy world,
Just to try to better understand.
An' yes, I do have questions:
I get to ask them because I'm free.
That's why I've got a sticker for the US Marines,
On the bumper of my S.U.V.

'Cause I've been to Hiroshima,
An' I've been to the DMZ.
I've walked on the sand in Baghdad,
Still don't have all of the answers I need.
But I guess I wanna know where she's been,
Before she judges and gestures to me,
'Cause she don't like my sticker for the US Marines,
On the bumper of my S.U.V.

So I hope that lady in her mini-van,
Turns on her radio and hears this from me.
As she picks up her kids,
From their private school,
An' drives home safely on our city streets.
Or to the building where her church group meets:
Yeah, that's why I've got a sticker for the US Marines,
On the bumper of my S.U.V.

January 18, 2007

Muslims Upset At The Wrong People

According to some recent articles like the one at MSNBC HERE, some Muslims are offended by TV shows like '24' which portray them in a bad light (i.e., as 'terrorists'). They are even complaining to FOX suggesting that Muslims should be shown in "more positive portrayals".

EXCUUUSE ME! HELLOOOOHH!! The vast majority of terrorist violence today is perpetrated by MUSLIMS. If you do a Google search of "terror" on a daily basis, you will soon begin to realize that the words 'terror' and 'Muslim' seem inextricably linked. Sure, there are other terrorists in the world... Basque separatists, the LTTE 'Tamil Tigers', and even the KKK is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. And then there's the IRA and Sinn Fein in Ireland, etc. Terrorists come in all flavors: Marxist-Leninist, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Irish, French, Japanese, Cuban, American, Central American, South American and African. There are animal rights terrorists and environmental terrorists.

But the vast majority of recent terrorist acts (and the most deadly) seem to have been committed mainly by Muslims. In America, 9/11 was perpetrated by Muslims. In London, 7/7 was perpetrated by Muslims. In Madrid, 3/11 was perpetrated by Muslims. The Bali bombings were perpetrated by Muslims. The terrorist acts in Iraq (which occur almost daily) are perpetrated by Muslims. Palestinian Muslims perpetrate terrorist attacks on Israel from Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon. Muslim Iran threatens the destruction of Israel, and supports Muslim Hezbollah terrorists, Muslim Palestinian terrorists, and Muslim Shiite terrorists in Iraq.

Muslims were behind the terrorist attacks at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich Germany. Muslims seized the U.S. embassy in Iran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in 1979-80. Muslim Iran used Muslim Hezbollah to bomb the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Muslims were behind the hi-jacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985. Muslims were responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Muslims were behind the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. Muslim Iran was behind the Khobar Towers terrorist attack in 1996. Muslims were responsible for the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.

The terrorists in the Philipines are Muslim. The terrorists in Indonesia are Muslims. The violence in France is being caused by Muslims. The Chechen rebels are primarily Muslims. The separatists in northwest China are Muslim. The Danish cartoon riots were caused by Muslims. The July 11, 2006 bombings in Mumbai, India are believed to have been the work of Pakistani Muslims. The New Year's Eve bombings of December 31, 2006 in Bangkok Thailand were most likely caused by the Islamic separatist movement in that country.

Osama bin Laden is Muslim. Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was Muslim. Al-Qaeda is Muslim. The Taliban are Muslim. The Abu Nidal Organization is Muslim. The Abu Sayyaf Group is Muslim. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is Muslim. Ansar al-Islam is Muslim. Hamas is Muslim. Hezbollah is Muslim. Islamic Jihad is Muslim. Jemaah Islamiya is Muslim. The Mujahedin-e Khalq is Muslim. The Palestine Liberation Front is Muslim.

For a full list of all the Islamic terror attacks in the last three months, click HERE. Then, scroll down to find links to other listings of Islamic terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001. If the numbers are accurate, Muslims have been responsible for 7,220 terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001. That is an average of 3.7 Muslim terrorist attacks every day since 9/11. If the numbers are correct (and they may be low), then Muslim terrorist attacks have killed at least 38,105 people and injured at least 57,628 since September 11, 2001.

By far, the greatest percentage of current threats to the United States comes from terrorist groups that are Muslim. Fully 27% (the largest single category) on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations are Islamist groups in the Middle East.

So, why do Muslims get a bad rap at FOX and Hollywood, representing Muslims as terrorists? D'UH! Gee, I don't know... beats me! Muslims shouldn't be upset with FOX. Muslims should be upset with Muslims.

January 14, 2007

The Psychology Of Islamic Violence

Let me say up front that I am not a psychologist and don't pretend to be one (I don't even play one on TV). However, I was questioning what might be the fundamental root causes of Islamic violence (particularly "Islamist" violence), and decided to look at it from a clinical perspective. One goal of such an excercise, of course, would be to see what a professional psychologist might consider to be a potential "cure", or if in fact there is even hope for "treatment". My findings were not very comforting.

I started my research, by going straight to the Internet (where I do 99% of my research these days). I found the following articles on the psychology of violence:

  • The Psychology of Violence, Intimidation & Hate written by Dr. Thomas O'Connor
  • Violence Has a Home Address written by the Staff of Psychology Today
  • Demonstrating the Power of Social Situations via a Simulated Prison Experiment an unattributed article at the web site of the American Psychological Association
  • Obeying and Resisting Malevolent Orders an unattributed article at the web site of the American Psychological Association
  • Family-Like Environment Better for Troubled Children and Teens an unattributed article at the web site of the American Psychological Association

  • I won't go into a long technical discussion citing various passages from these articles. You can read the full articles yourself if you wish. But here is what I gleaned from the above articles...

    All violence is aggression, but not all aggression is violence. Some aggression, such as intimidation, can be non-violent. Violence is a case of aggression where physical, not psychological harm, results. One accepted definition for aggression is: "behavior intended to injure or harm another person or group of persons either physically or psychologically". The definition of violence then, would be: "behavior intended to injure or harm another person or group of persons physically".

    Violence and aggression may be committed for a variety of reasons, and determining the motivational mechanisms behind all these reasons would be a tremendous undertaking. There are literally dozens of theories about the causes of aggression. Some would clearly NOT apply in the case of Islamic violence, while others would be far more likely.

    Violence is predominantly a male phenomenon. Murder, for instance, is committed by males at least 90% of the time. The "maleness" of serious violence and aggression has led most researchers to suspect that either biology (testosterone) or socialization (how males are raised) might be involved as causal factors. Islamic society, and in particular fundamentalist Islamic society (i.e., Sharia Law) places a high value on the male gender and a lower value on the female gender. In overtly male-dominant societies, one would expect to encounter higher levels of violence.

    Some attribute violence to biological factors. These might include such things as: birth trauma; alcohol or drug ingestion by the mother during pregnancy; prenatal dietary deficiencies; traumatic head injury via abuse or accident; exposure to toxic materials such as lead or cadmium during childhood; hormonal or chemical imbalances; neurological problems, etc. I think it is safe to assume that we can eliminate biological factors as a major source of Islamic violence. Islamic violence is too widespread to be attributed to such narrow causes.

    Sociological factors causing violent behavior include such things as: negative early life experiences; glamorization of violence in the culture; the influence of pornography; and the unintentional encouragement of aggression by being raised around guns and weapons. I think we can rule out pornography as a major source of Islamic violence. On the other hand, all the other sociological factors listed here clearly apply. For example, the negative early life experiences of being raised in a violent society. Violence is glamorized in many Islamic lands, especially by the Palestinians. Guns seem to be rampant in the Islamic world. Guns are fired into the air on virtually every occasion: weddings, births, deaths, elections, holidays, etc. While in themselves guns are not a cause of violence, their widespread availability and everyday use in a culture that glamorizes violence, reinforces the idea of violence as a tool for routine use rather than as a method of last resort.

    Vengeance-motivated violence is perpetrated by people who are angry with their victims over some perceived injury to themselves, whether real or imagined. Some are delusional (most often paranoid), and all believe that they are the true victims. Here is another clear source for much of Islamic violence. Muslims are taught in the school, in the mosque, and on TV, that 'infidels' are the cause of all the problems in the world. Islamists constantly imagine perceived wrongs against their faith or their lands, which must be redressed.

    Bias-motivated violence, as with bias crime, is perpetrated against a victim that is identified as a member of some group toward which the perpetrator feels animosity. Collective violence like mobs, lynchings, crowds, and riots, can be similar to bias-motivated violence when the object of the collective violence is a person, place or thing that is identified as belonging to a group which has offended the perpetrators. Islamic violence is often so motivated. Consider for example the Danish cartoon riots.

    Mission-motivated violence, as the name suggests, is perpetrated by people who feel they are on a mission to eliminate some sort of evil in the world. This kind of violence is most closely associated with the profile of terrorists. The mission of such terrorists can be secular as well as religious (for example, eco-terrorism). This is the kind of violence that we would attribute to Islamist terrorists.

    According to a report by the American Psychological Association, the roots of violence are in the home. The greatest single predictor of violence is a personal history of violence, claims the APA. Additionally, parents who themselves have a history of violence raise children with a greater than normal chance of becoming violent.

    Violence is not a natural state; it is learned by the young when observing parents and peers. Nor is it the inevitable result of anger or impulse. Violent actions by parents and siblings can exacerbate a child's already violent nature, creating a "trajectory toward violence."

    Societal influences help foment violent behavior. Images of violence actually have the longest-lasting impact of all contributors to violence. Prolonged exposure to violent images increases the fear of becoming a victim, desensitizes violence, and heightens the viewer's appetite for similarly engaging in violence.

    But family is the mediating variable. Children with strong family bonds are at lower risk for becoming violent than children from less cohesive families, even when they have demonstrated a violent nature. So, according to the APA, if violence begins at home, then so should prevention. Parents should monitor and control their children's exposure to violence. Violent parents need to learn better ways to interact with their children and to get help fast if children exhibit aggressive behavior. Parents need to learn how to deal with anger and frustration in less aggressive ways.

    In 1971, a team of psychologists designed and executed an unusual experiment that used a mock prison setting, with college students role-playing prisoners and guards to test the power of the social situation to determine behavior. The research, known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, has become a classic demonstration of situational power to influence individual attitudes, values and behavior. So extreme, swift and unexpected were the transformations of character in many of the participants that this study -- planned to last two-weeks -- had to be terminated by the sixth day.

    The study was conducted this way: College students from all over the United States who answered a city newspaper ad for participants in a study of prison life were personally interviewed, given a battery of personality tests, and completed background surveys that enabled the researchers to pre-select only those who were mentally and physically healthy, normal and well adjusted. They were randomly assigned to role-play either prisoners or guards in the simulated prison setting constructed in the basement of Stanford University's Psychology Department. The prison setting was designed as functional simulation of the central features present in the psychology of imprisonment (Zimbardo, Maslach, & Haney, 1999). A full description of the methodology, chronology of daily events and transformations of human character that were revealed by this research can be found HERE.

    The major results of the study can be summarized as: many of the normal, healthy mock prisoners suffered such intense emotional stress reactions that they had to be released in a matter of days; most of the other prisoners acted like zombies totally obeying the demeaning orders of the guards; the distress of the prisoners was caused by their sense of powerlessness induced by the guards who began acting in cruel, dehumanizing and even sadistic ways. The study was terminated prematurely because it was getting out of control in the extent of degrading actions being perpetrated by the guards against the prisoners - all of whom had been normal, healthy, ordinary young college students less than a week before.

    The application of this study as it relates to Islamic violence is that Muslims who may feel trapped (i.e., the "prisoners") within their own culture will act "like zombies totally obeying the demeaning orders" of their superiors. Likewise, Islamic leaders (i.e., the "guards") will tend to crush any forms of rebellion they suspect might upset their authoritarian rule and may even become cruel and sadistic in an effort to maintain order as they understand it.

    In the early 1960s, Yale social psychologist Stanley Milgram, PhD, conducted an experiment whose purpose was supposedly to study the effects of punishment on learning. The experimenter told the subject that his job was to teach a learner in an adjacent room to memorize a list of word-pairs, and every time the learner made an error, the teacher-subject was to punish the learner by giving him increasingly severe shocks by pressing levers on a shock machine. There were 30 levers whose shock values ranged from a low of 15 volts to the maximum of 450 volts. (In actuality, no electric shock was involved. The "learner" was an actor who only pretended receiving them, but the subject did not know this.) Despite the learner's increasingly pitiful screams and pleas to stop, a majority of subjects (over 60%) obeyed the experimenter's commands to continue and ended up giving the maximum "shock" of 450 volts.

    We did not need Milgram's research to inform us that people have a propensity to obey authority; what it did enlighten us about is the surprising strength of that tendency-that many people are willing to obey destructive orders that conflict with their moral principles and commit acts which they would not carry out on their own initiative. Once people have accepted the right of an authority to direct our actions, Milgram argued, we relinquish responsibility to him or her and allow that person to define for us what is right or wrong.

    Milgram's discovery about the unexpectedly powerful human tendency to obey authorities can provide a reference point for certain phenomena that, on the face of it, strain our understanding -- thereby making them more plausible. Clearly, the implications of Milgram's research have been greatest for understanding the Holocaust. But it can likewise explain why there have been few calls against Islamic terrorism or violence by "average Muslims" worldwide.

    In the late 1960’s, psychologists Elaine Phillips, Elery Phillips, Dean Fixsen, and Montrose Wolf developed an empirically tested treatment program to help troubled children and juvenile offenders who had been assigned to residential group homes. These researchers combined the successful components of their studies into the Teaching-Family Model, which offers a structured treatment regimen in a family-like environment.

    The model is built around a married couple (teaching-parents) that lives with children in a group home and teaches them essential interpersonal and living skills. Not only have teaching parents' behaviors and techniques been assessed for their effectiveness, but they have also been empirically tested for whether children like them. Teaching-parents also work with the children's parents, teachers, employers, and peers to ensure support for the children's positive changes. Although more research is needed, preliminary results suggest that, compared to children in other residential treatment programs, children in Teaching-Family Model centers have fewer contacts with police and courts, lower dropout rates, and improved school grades and attendance.

    1) Islamic society, and particularly Sharia-dominated Islamist society, appears to be prone to violence for the following reasons:
  • It is an overtly male-dominant society, and violence is a male-dominant phenomenon.
  • Unlike other religions, Islam not only condones violence but indeed prescribes it in many circumstances.
  • Violence is glamorized in Islamic culture. For example, Palestinians have been known to dress their toddlers in simulated explosive belts, suicide bombers are hailed as herose, and some Muslims even practice self-flagellation.
  • Children are not only raised around guns, but in fact guns are fired into the air on virtually every occasion, which leads children to assume that violence is a tool for routine use rather than a method of last resort.
  • The Islamic religion is viewed as supreme and must be imposed on the rest of the world. All other religions are seen as heretical and must be eliminated.
  • Violence is taught in the schools, in the mosques, and on TV as a legitimate means of achieving one's goals, and the Koran is quoted in support of such claims.
  • Bias is taught in the schools, in the mosques, and on TV. For example, Jews and Christians are referred to as monkeys and pigs. Non-Muslims are viewed essentially as sub-human.
  • Muslims are constantly imagining perceived wrongs against their faith for which vengeance must be exacted. Consider for example, the Danish cartoon riots.
  • Islamic terrorists believe they are on a mission from Allah to destroy the infidels, eliminate evil from the world, and spread the Islamic faith.
  • Violence is a learned behavior, and Islamic society spends a great amount of time and money training its people in violence.

  • 2) Eliminating violence from Islamic society any time soon appears to be an impossible task:
  • Violence is a widespread phenomenon in Islamic society rather than merely an isolated case of aberrant behavior.
  • Societal influences which foment violent behavior are unlikely to change where violence is not merely taught in the home and the culture, but it is glamorized.
  • Violence is learned quickly and develops quickly, while peace and non-violence are not.
  • There are few, if any, heroes of Islamic non-violent behavior to act as responsible role-models for Muslims.
  • Muslims who respect authority will tend to obey even the malevolent orders towards violence issued by their leaders.
  • Establishing the Teaching-Family Model in Muslim homes seems hopeless unless it comes from the Islamic leadership... and the leadership seems bent on arousing more violence rather than quelling it. Or, in the best of circumstances, they simply ignore the reality that they are continuing to teach bias and violence in their schools and mosques.
  • Eliminating guns and weapons from Islamic society seems highly unlikely considering that some Muslim countries purposely feed guns and weapons to Muslims around the world in an effort to create strife with their neighbors. Other countries including Russia, China, North Korea and even some European allies seem willing to sell such weapons to these rogue nations as long as the price is right.

  • 3) We can expect that the fighting between Islamists and non-Muslims will continue and probably intensify until the Islamists recognize the right of other religions and cultures to co-exist peacefully... or until we or the Islamists have finally been defeated.

    January 12, 2007

    Wafa Sultan Speaks Out Again

    If you loved Wafa Sultan the first time, you'll love her again this time, in a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, interview about the Danish Mohammed cartoon controversy.

    Special thanks to A. Habib (my Egyptian, Coptic Christian friend) for bringing this to my attention.

    January 09, 2007

    My Apologies

    Hello Viewers! My apologies for a dull, boring experience here at the "View" lately. I've been so busy posting daily reports over at "Victory Against Terror", that I've been remiss in my duties here as a neo-con, right-wing-conspiracy nut-case, routinely slamming the looney, liberal, moonbat, kool-aid drinkers on the left!

    Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to have had so many great stories to report on about our successes in the War On Terror all over the world! In fact, I'm actually surprised at how many good stories there are out there (most of which don't get a lot of play in the MSM).

    Unfortunately, it hasn't left me much time to bash the libs. (AWW SHUCKS!) To make matters worse, I'll be travelling on business for a few days and probably won't be posting anything, anywhere, for a few days. For those who are interested, I'm going out to "Mitch-chee-gon"! (Sorry Libby... couldn't resist). I will be in the vicinity of the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek airport. Therefore, all Michigonians(?) are hereby requested to tell me exactly how close I came to actually visiting them.

    BTW, I've been getting repeated bounce-back from Beerme's E-mail address. Does anybody know anything about that? Send me an E-mail if you have info.

    Hope to be back on line by Sunday. I will try to post something worthwhile then. In the meantime, let me leave you with this...

    President Bush will announce his new tactics in Iraq tomorrow. I use that word "tactics" for a reason. I don't believe GW will change his "strategy" (or "strategery", as some quote him). The word strategy implies "big picture". GW's big picture is to WIN, plain and simple. He wants to beat the terrorists. He wants victory. He wants success. He wants a democratic Iraq where Iraqis live in freedom and in harmony. He envisions an Iraq that is a future U.S. ally. Just as Germany and Japan were once our enemies, but are now friends... so he envisions Iraq someday.

    The last thing that GWB wants is to retreat and surrender Iraq to the terrorists... or to the insurgents... or to Moqtada al-Sadr... or to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. GWB will not declare defeat just because Nancy Pelosi, or Jack Murtha, or Ted Kennedy, or Dick Durbin, or Barack Hussein Obama want to run up the white flag. When the going gets tough... GWB gets tougher. At least, that's what I believe.

    Unlike many of his "colleagues" on the other side of the aisle, GWB has a spine. I believe it has stiffened in recent days. And I believe we will hear a great message tomorrow.

    God Bless America. God Bless the President of the United States. God Bless Iraq. And God Bless all my friends in cyberland (you know who you are!).

    Oh, and by the way... thanks for "Viewing"!