The professionals who are employed to compose headlines
for news stories, or headlines for advertisements, are very
skillful . . . and that is why they get paid the big bucks. Here
are two of those headlines which caught our attention this
past week, and the apparent thoughts behind them.
IS THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FALTERING?
And this one:
IF 12 FULLY LOADED JUMBO JETS CRASHED
EVERY, YEAR, SOMETHING WOULD BE DONE
Followed by this sub-head:
Every year nearly 6,000 teens die in car crashes
In a systematic way we will look at them in order.
For several days we have experienced around the clock
discussions, warnings, expressions of concern, stories of
heroism, rejoicing and sorrow, all with respect to the bridge
collapse in Minneapolis.
Simultaneously we have been presented with reports of
warnings from Al Qaeda about upcoming attacks of
horrendous nature on America, Great Britain, etc. Somehow
there seems to be a logical link between those two widely
Think back to the two major attacks on American soil.
We recall the events at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,
when Japan, a recognized and definable nation, without
appropriate warning unleashed a major attack on U.S.
military facilities in Hawaii. The immediate dead from the
attack numbered about 2,500. The direct cost in dollars is
inestimable. President Roosevelt said it was "a day that will
live in infamy."
We also remember the more recent attack, some 60 years
later on September 11, 2001 when an enemy known only as
Al Qaeda launched an attack on the East Coast, primarily on
New York City, with immediate dead numbering about 2,700,
and again, the cost is inestimable. The definition from
President Roosevelt is applicable, perhaps even moreso.
The difference between the two attacks is very important. In
the case of Japan, it involved a nation with armies. In the case
of Al Qaeda, the brain child of Osama bin Laden, the ultimate
enemy is a man, not a state, with devoted followers rather than
armies. There is no headquarters, no national capitol, no
national boundaries. The organization, as such, is stateless,
yet global, is more religious than political, and is driven by one
idea, the desire to destroy the United States, drive all Western
ideas from the Arab world, and ultimately unite all Islamic
countries into one entity without any national boundaries.
Despite constantly recurring threats from Al Qaeda and other
terrorist entities, there have been no further attacks on U.S.
But there have been extremely serious effects from other kinds
of "attacks" on this nation. Not at all an exhaustive list, but
consider these few examples: Hurricane Katrina in 2000,
wiping out most of New Orleans as levees gave way; The
"Station" night club fire disaster in Rhode Island in 2003;
the dam collapse and flooding in Michigan in 2003 and the
dam collapse and flooding in Kauai, Hawaii in 2006; the Sago
coal mine disaster in West Virginia in 2006, and another this
week in Utah; the Virginia Tech campus murders in 2007; the
"Big Dig" tunnel collapse in Boston in 2006; and now the bridge
collapse in Minneapolis last week.
Each of these events has had a profound effect on life in this
nation, which was in many ways equally or even more serious
than an attack by Al Qaeda on a target of their own choosing.
And now the media, as prophets of gloom, outline the
potential bridge and dam disasters across the country, as the
infrastructures of the nation age to the breaking point. We are
greeted daily by estimates like these: "30% of the nation’s
bridges are in dire need of repairs," or "Thousands of dams are
at the point of collapse," or "30% of America’s infrastructure
is in bad shape."
Al Qaeda, the Terrorists, seem almost impotent, as we look
back on 5 years since the attack of 9/11 with no further attacks
on U.S. soil, but interspersed through recent years are the attacks
on the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998;
the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen harbor in 2000; the attack
in Madrid, Spain in 2004 and in London and Glasgow just a few
And the attacks in Iraq, in Israel, in Afghanistan and elsewhere
in the Arab world continue.
We here in America, in supposedly "Christian America," continue
in the grip of the convoluted logic: "All Muslims are not terrorists,
but all terrorists are Muslims." It is a strange religion that we are
asked to embrace as peace-loving, when its tenets include the
killing of "infidels" or nonbelievers in Islam. But the utter
strangeness is that adherents of Islam are killing, beheading,
members of their own religion and destroying the mosques and
holy places of other elements of the Islamic faith.
We dare not consider as meaningless the continuing threats
from Al Qaeda. The intelligence agencies of other nations offer
conclusions very similar to those from our own intelligence
Nor can we ignore the dangers from our own internal
problems. The second headline reminds us of a different, yet
extremely serious ongoing problem. If, indeed, 12 jumbo jets,
A-340 or 777, or 747, each loaded to capacity of 500 or more,
should crash in one year, the impact both nationally and
internationally would be unfathomable.
Yet each year in the U.S. approximately 6,000 teenagers are
killed in auto accidents and such stories barely merit modest
headlines, or any mention on TV. There is abundant evidence
that we need to lift our heads up out of the sands of unconcern
where, like the legendary ostrich, we have hid from the facts of
life, and focus our concern on some of the real day to day
problems which face our nation.
Interesting quote for today: The commander for Northern
Command, the American operational region that includes North
America, Air Force General Victor Renuart, told the Associated
Press on July 25, "I believe there are [Al Qaeda] cells in the
United States, or at least people who aspire to create cells in
the United States. To assume that there are not those cells is
naive and so we have to take that threat seriously."
Afterthoughts . . .
Too busy for God; that is the conclusion of a five year study
involving 20,000 Christians in 139 countries, in an age range
of 15 - 88. According to the Christian Post, 4 out of 10 of the
respondees say they "often" or "always" rush from task to task.
It is interesting that Christians in Uganda, Malaysia , Kenya
and Nigeria were less likely to be so busily engaged. Even so,
on a worldwide basis, 6 out of 10 Christians agreed that "the
busyness of life gets in the way of developing my relationship
with God," "often" or "always." Not an encouraging picture.
With sound and pictures; that is the latest Al Qaeda ad,
featuring a picture (altered of course) of President Bush and
President Musharraf of Pakistan, standing in front of the
White House which is on fire and blazing intensely. The words
"Soon . . . God willing" are imposed over the picture, and are
repeated several times.. The full length video is expected to be
released soon. Probably not at your neighborhood video store.
An interesting comparison to make a point is offered by
Gary Bauer in his "End of Day" column on August 3: "What
do you call a photograph of a small plastic crucifix immersed
in a glass of urine?" If you are part of the Liberal establishment
you might call it ‘modern art.’ ... Now what do you call a Koran
submerged in a toilet? If you were part of the Liberal elite you
would call it a ‘hate crime’ and a felony punishable by up to
two years in prison." Mr Bauer uses these illustrations to help
highlight a perverted double standard that has emerged in this
country in recent years, whereby the Islamic religion is elevated
to a protected status while the Christian faith is made the root of
all the problems that America is facing today. He makes a good
point, as always.
A date that will live in frustration; just over 17 months
away: February 17, 2009. That is the date when literally 10s
of millions of analog TV sets will suddenly become inoperative,
or just another piece of furniture. That is the date when by law
digital TV becomes the rule, rather than the exception. It has
been rumored about for a few years, and has largely been ignored.
But now it is a sure thing,and within understandable time limits.
Just an advance notice: FYI.
"It’s like deja vu all over again," to recall a familiar Yogi Berra
quote. In months past we have mentioned the City of Hamtramck,
Michigan where by law the Muslim calls to prayer are permitted to
be broadcast over public address systems covering the entire city.
Now in a further step in that direction, 4 Muslims are seeking seats
on the city council, and if successful, they will join the Muslim
member already in office, giving them 5 out of the 6 council seats
and control of the city, and in a position to enact Muslim laws
governing all city residents. This is not something to laugh at. Yogi
Berra may be right. And remember the story of the nose of the
camel slipping under the tent.
Almost another Berra "deja vu." Last week we mentioned the
transgender Police Commissioner in San Francisco. This week the
interesting situation concerns the lesbian Fire Chief in San Diego.
(Yes, it is another California city.) For the San Diego "Gay Pride"
parade a few days ago, Chief Tracy Jarman ordered four firemen
to appear in uniform and drive one of the fire trucks in the parade.
The men protested, but were forced to do so. They reported they
had been subjected to lewd (sometimes filthy) remarks during the
long parade route, and now their attorneys are seeking permission
to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against the San Diego Fire and
Rescue Department. Chief Jarman claims she has participated in
the parade for 15 years and has always regarded it as a "fun event."
Probably so ... probably so.
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