Saturday, September 13, 2014
This title is long and I was wording the title as to not to offend or provoke anti Islam rhetoric, but as an observer and a person who doesn't desire any evil intent towards any one. I wonder and ask myself, why is it that people that like to kill, rape, and torture use the religion of Islam to commit Terrorism. With the recent, growth of ISIS and the horrible beheadings of the two innocent American journalists, Foley and Solklof; Americans woke up to another evil Terrorist group using Islam as the inspiration to create an Islamic state. A Qaida has broken up into different groups like Al Nusrah Front, the Taliban and Al Shabaab, Ansar al Shari'a, ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah just to name a few. These groups get destroyed and then pop up again; after they break up into independent groups with more funding from their wealthy sponsors.
Why is Islam attracting so much distortion of their religion by extremists? This question is important for Americans and the West to understand because if we don't, we will find our selves fighting Islamic extremists forever. As one group is dismantled another rises with disgruntled violent youth attracted to their brand of distorted Islam. Many American prisoners in jail join the religion of Islam; there is a strong conversion rate of inmates joining this religion.
There is a reason that no one wants to discuss the Islamic radicalism issue because of being afraid of being labeled as racist or Islamaphobic. There has been no terror groups that have used Christianity, Judaism, Confucianism, or other religion as an Inspiration to violence and Terrorism. Extremists are being taught intolerance of all western culture and religions, not only by online radicalism, but by many of our Muslim Arab allies in the Middle east.
Our supposed allies in the Middle east, countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan; these countries have strict Islamic conservative moral laws. There are countries such as Iraq which has had centuries of religious in fighting between Shiite and Sunni Muslims that were controlled under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. The US went to war in Iraq and toppled Hussein, it left a Shi'ite leader that appeared to be an ally of the US, with Maliki; but this leader quickly turned to Iran as an ally. Maliki decided to start the old hostilities of the two religious sects fighting for power and persecuting Sunni Muslims. Many of these Sunni's joined ISIS and now we see the current mess in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia has many of the wealthiest Muslim Arabs in the region, many of these wealthy citizens contribute to terror networks like ISIS, and A Qaida. In addition, many of these nations in the middle east are intolerant of western religions. Westerners can not enter Mecca; and many school aged boys are taught in madrasas that teach them to memorize the Koran in addition to hate any non believers of Islam; in addition to anti-western idea logy. The Saudis practice Wahhabism, very strict conservative form of Islam with strict morality police to enforce strict Shari'a law. Men and woman are lashed for breaking moral laws and are beheaded for crimes. There is the lack of human rights and physical torture and punishment in these societies. As in many of these Middle eastern nations that chose to live in the 13th century when it comes to their laws, disregarding human rights. Qatar is an ally of the US, but they allow the Taliban to hold an office in their country as if this terror network is a business entity; the Qataris have provided funding to terror networks in the region and have a lot of influence among terrorists groups; as proven in recent Gaza and Israeli peace negotiations. Pakistan's military was hiding and protecting Osama Bin Laden; when the Americans secretly went into Pakistan and killed him. Egypt, ironically our closet ally in the region had most of the 911 hijackers come from their country; and recently sentenced many journalists to years in jail for aiding Terrorism for reporting the news. Turkey is becoming a pro-Islamist regime with recent Prime Minister stating that woman should not laugh in public; passing restrictive Islamist conservative laws despite recent corruption uncovered by local media. Bahrain is a country that enjoys many western investors and tourist dollars and has decided to declare Shari'a law for his country men and for any western tourist that violates those moral laws. Despite these countries expanding terror networks by spreading anti western hatred and extreme ideology; and providing funding for these terror organizations to flourish. By the same breath, these nations claim to be our allies by allowing us to have our military bases near to fight extremists that they themselves aid and create.
Why is it that America has to fight these Muslim countries conflicts when they won't fight for themselves, they just lie back and watch us provide all of the funding and blood of American soldiers to fight the extremists they create. As in the recent case of Iraq, these soldiers were trained, they had the huge numbers of soldiers, along with the best American weapons. The first sign of actual fighting these men decided to give themselves up or run away allowing ISIS to get their hands on American weapons. If Iraqis won't fight for themselves, Americans should not be placed in harm's way for a country with a short memory span and no appetite to protect their own country.
American policy has to seriously address the hypocrisy of our allies in this region; if not addressed Islamic extremist Terrorism will continue to grow as there is a constant war of religious distorted ideology. ISIS wants to create a caliphate with their vision of extremist Islam; many of their victims are fellow Muslims so why would they kill their own people? I could never understand how any religion can be used for the purposes of killing innocence in the name of it. It is a contradiction of how evil people will use false arguments to attract gullible, monstrous evil youth from around the world to join their cause, as in ISIS.
America has to change its policy in the Middle east; US diplomats instead of ignoring our allies role in funding and fostering Terrorism. The US needs to address the issue with these nations and convince them that they should stop allowing their wealthy citizens from funding these terror groups such as ISIS because this group is only one of many with global ambition of taking land and countries as part of their caliphate. These nations are in danger of being annexed next even if they do aid these terror networks; there are no loyalties in alliances just greed and ambition as any dictator aspires too. To the citizens of countries that aid ISIS be careful what you wish for, you just might get it in spades.
Middle eastern countries that do not comply with cutting funding to terror groups in the region should have their US aid cut; in addition have state department alerts to traveler's and American businesses about the relationships of Terrorism by these nations contributing to these Terrorist groups. The lack of tourist and investment dollars from America and western European countries should affect their economies significantly, to change their support to these terror groups. The old adage Money talks; most of the western countries provide tourist dollars to places like Egypt and Bahrain.
Americans are afraid of what has been seen by this evil ISIS group but what is surprising is the amount of westerners joining this group. Many young woman and men being duped into joining ISIS, when they get there a whole different reality sets in for them. There are many young men that embrace the violence and have even died for this cause; as the young Florida man, who became a suicide bomber.
Congress has to step up and create laws addressing Americans leaving American soil to commit acts of terror here and abroad. Extreme penalties should be in place for these people committing these acts of terror or planning to join an Islamic terror group that includes decades in prison. The death penalty for the death of innocent victims being killed during their affiliation with terror group; and other measures to stop Americans from travelling abroad to join terror organizations.
Western countries have to work with western Muslim Imams to create effective messaging against Islamic extremist ideology on social media globally. Countries need to block and flag extremist jihadist social media pages, sites and blogs to stop online radicalism which is a threat to the world. This will be a war of messages and a fight of good against evil in the world.
The world has to know that Islamic terror groups are killing more Muslims than westerners, so what is the point of accusing the west of killing Muslims around the globe. As these very same terror groups are the ones truly killing their own people in the name of Islam. When President Obama spoke to the nation about ISIS and about this organization not being an Islamic organization; many pundits criticized the comment since it is seen as denying how Islam is being used by terrorists. The message by the President was not only for the US audience but for the international community watching; President Obama is forming a coalition to include Muslim Middle eastern nations and the West to fight against ISIS. By addressing the nation, President Obama did not want to blame the religion of Islam or Muslims to begin forming the coalition needed to fight this global threat. These Muslim nations will have to make a choice of truly joining the coalition that will protect their own interests in the long term; or continue to aid ISIS watch the caliphate grow and annex their territory.
Posted by A.R. Cruz at 10:48 PM
America is becoming more of a service oriented business society, meaning that many jobs are being created in industries that can't be sent abroad such as restaurants, shops, car repair and health care. Many of these jobs are low paying because of the supply of out of work Americans.
Americans need to create their own small businesses, the creation of independent business owners opening in their towns is what is needed to create economic growth. There has to be less bureaucracy for small business owners and inventors to create, apply for patents and manufacture their own new products for job creation in America.
Immigration reform is one way this economy can be repaired, many of the immigrants already in the US are working in an under ground economy, and are not paying taxes. These 11 million illegal immigrants are contributing to the US economy in their purchase of goods, housing and payment of utilities; many have children born in the US that have become dreamers, college educated citizens and current college students that have never known any other home than the US. These dreamers can not come out of the shadow for fear of deportation. The anti immigrant crowd in America does not realize that by doing nothing, these 11 million are being granted amnesty now; they can't come out of the shadows like all Americans but they can still continue to work, and live in America in these underground local economies. The more delay if fixing broken immigration system; the more opportunity for illegal immigration to continue to grow and the less opportunity to protect the border.
These are some issues that could repair our US economy if these issues were resolved. Mean while, Americans have to create their own opportunities since a broken Congress will not do anything to fix our problems domestically and internationally. Boehner was seen on you tube playing with a mechanical monkey and this is what the House speaker of Congress does with his vacation time. Congress took a five week vacation and came back on September 6th, they are slated to remain in Washington DC for another two weeks and than they go again on vacation until the after the election 0f 2014. These folks get paid over 174,000 and take more vacation than the President, you wouldn't know according Fox news.
Because of Congress inaction, local towns need to create their own jobs by opening small unique business that will attract from all over the US or other countries. On MSNBC on a Sunday show called your small business there was a woman who opened her small business quilting and teaching classes, she began holding you tube classes and she attracted so many visitors to her town seeking her instruction in quilting that the main street of the town started to open a hotel, restaurants, shops in order to accommodate the influx of tourists from the US and around the world. The town before her business was deserted in Michigan, and she single handedly brought back the town economy just by one unique business playing on You tube and creating huge fan base for her product and her individual teaching style of quilting. The show is always on Sunday mornings at 7:30 in the mornings, the show has a site with episodes of the show and great tips for small business growth geared towards small rural towns at https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/yourbusinesstv/ .
Some ideas for a small business niche are
a mobile hair stylist that brings the salon to home bound clients,
mobile upholstery service that recovers small furniture
lawn service that includes vegetable/flower bed weeding
scrap metal collector that brings unwanted appliances and all metals to recyclers
an estate sales coordinator that performs the estate sales for the client
a cleaning service that performs house foreclosure cleanings where residents leave lots of garbage.
an errand personal shopper for the homebound or elderly
a companion that drives elderly or disabled to medical appointments
up cycling old furniture to create new pieces an example an old dresser chest could become a new bathroom vanity.
Create personalized customized crafts such as wood doll houses, miniatures, embroidery and hand crafts
Make a family recipe into a food product and sell at local bakeries or flea markets
Wash windows and screens for homes
power wash homes and sheds
become a blogger for a local business in area
Become a social media advertising guru, if you know how to drive traffic to local business sites.
Local food grocery delivery service
These are a few ideas on unique opportunities that are considered niche jobs. There are options for small towns to find a method of creating jobs without the aid of government or state. Only an idea, and an amazing You tube video to get your startup going.
Posted by A.R. Cruz at 6:04 PM
Michael Brown, one of many black men shot down in the streets unarmed. There is an epidemic in the US, and there is a backlash to a changing America. This scenario will continue because of the inherent racism in this nation; the stereotypes that are perpuated from both sides of the aisle. The self segregation of our neighborhoods and the lack of understanding and empathy of realizing that all people regardless of race and social class have value in this society.
Until these issues are addressed we will continue to see unarmed black men shot in the street. Racism is a cancer destroying our nation rooted deep in the recess of slavery. One race of people owned another race of people for over 300 years in the Americas.
The years of reconstruction and Jim Crowe laws allowed African Americans to be discriminated and be treated less than human in the South and mid west. The civil rights era of the 1960s granted protections from the federal government to regions of the country to end segregation, to vote and end discrimination. Although, the federal government has created protections and programs to aid minority communities; it hasn't eliminated the problems that still exist in America. Racism can't be eradicated with a government program; only through people realizing that racism is wrong, unfair, unjust and unwarranted, that society will change; as the laws will reflect in its changes. The first step towards ending racism is to stop self segregating our selves into distinct neighborhoods; this creates an educational system where your zipcode determines the quality of your education and keeps us from really knowing each other. The only cure for the ignorance of racism is knowledge of a neighbor's culture and that applies equally to both parties.
Stop stereotyping different ethnic groups; everyone stereo types each other whether we realize it or not. People don't think they are racist until something happens. American society is afraid of blacks and hispanics that are deemed as gang members or thugs; simply due to their clothes. There is a lack of understanding of each other because we fail to put each other in each other's shoes; no real connection unless at work or at school. For the most part do not live in the same communities, and don't really care to reach out to different communities; only choose to judge each other. When someone thinks they are better than another, there is no humanizing or empathizing with them; that is what has to change.
As Americans we have deep wounds in this country that are still open and haven't been cured. There are deep societal inequalities that have negatively affected minorities, who play by the rules and can't seem to go further in their career. There is a sense of hopelessness and despair since the deep divisions of this nation have been exposed openly. For years these issues would rise due to the media coverage after the death of an unarmed black teen; then later media leaves; and nothing ever changes. The justice system does not work for everyone in America and that is known;because the law is technical, prosecutors are ambitious, and the out come is reliant upon the best representation. With so many factors, Justice is not always just. The Trayvon Martin case is an example of miscarriage of justice because of an unarmed teen that had skittles and ice tea was followed by his murderer. The only witness to the event was the murderer himself and that was good enough for a jury of mainly white woman to decide that he was justified in killing this teen. During the trial, Martin was placed on trial even though he was the victim; since the acquittal of Zimmerman, this man has shown his instability being stopped by the police numerous times and being let go. This shows that Zimmerman had an understanding of the justice system and knew how to get out of situations using the law.
When there is a clear misjustice in the system, people lose trust, and convince themselves that it is not designed for everybody, only for whites, the rich and the corrupt. In the 1990's the OJ trial showed deep divisions, in my personal opinion; OJ got away with murder by having the best attorneys to represent him. The timelessness of the same racial and social class issues in our Justice system continue despite all of the past killings. Nothing changes after all of the talks, the protests and the ideas.
We never see a white boy being shot in the streets because we don't see them as a threat. Society sees hoodies, pants hanging down, caps turned on a side or face bandanas as threatening and criminal. Especially, if black or hispanic in an urban area; and these communities know it. They have to live with it, and in hopes that they won't encounter that next scared police officer or a Zimmerman second amendment gun totting wannabe police type.
About two months ago, an elderly white rancher in Nevada named Bundy and many extreme right wing militia supporters pointed assault weapons at federal agents attempting to confiscate cattle because of millions of dollars of unpaid cattle grazing fees. This man and his supporters pointed assault weapons at these federal officers even sniper weapons, and not one of them were arrested. In fact til this day, no one has faced charges, nor have they have been arrested for pointing those weapons at those agents. These people at the ranch were white men expressing their second amendment right; but if some black or hispanic did the very same thing as Bundy and his supporters, you can guarantee there would have been a massacre by the federal agents. There is no way that a minority would have been able to point an assault weapon and a sniper rifle at these agents and not be dead today; and the troubling fact is that as minorities WE KNOW THAT. Those societal injustices, the norms that Americans accept; is how black man are seen through a prism of not being regarded as valued people. That is why Michael Brown is one case and why this will continue to happen in America?
Posted by A.R. Cruz at 4:32 PM