2017 A To Z Challenge – O

Challenge2017*

I am an Optimist.  Not a cockeyed optimist.  Not a naïve, ‘everything will turn out right’, optimist.   Not a wide-eyed, slack-grinned, Pollyanna, ‘everything is great’, optimist.  Not a Little Orphan Annie, ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow’ optimist.  Not even one of those Optimist guys who goes to monthly urban-improvement meetings.  I just always hope for the best from people and society.

letter-o

On the other hand, I’m also a flint-hard-minded, cynical realist. I hope for the best, but expect the worst from people, and I’m seldom disappointed, Trust – But Verify.

The optimist thinks that we live in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears that that statement is true.

During my childhood, alone in my neighborhood, I sometimes reached out to other children (guys) living blocks away, to show them things I’d discovered during my solitary explorations. Almost without exception, whatever was not stolen, was destroyed, preventing further enjoyment by them, me, or the rightful owner.  It’s still an all-too-common attitude in the world today, which I just don’t understand!  😯

I would like to believe that, with the information age, and increasing education and technology, the world is slowly rising to be a better place.  Certainly, within the more civilized sections, torture and arbitrary executions have mostly disappeared.  Then I see militant Islam terror attacks against Christian countries, and one type of Muslim killing and driving out another.

Islamofascists are trying to control/prevent the dissemination of information and concepts that they do not approve of, especially via the internet. That genie (if you’ll excuse the expression) is already out of the bottle.  I hope that the tipping point has been reached, and, no matter how many AK-47s or Semtex explosive they use, knowledge and social freedom will still continue to spread.

In the western world, it seems restricted to acts like a local LGBTF-friendly church recently having its entryway sidewalk graffitied, “The Church Shall Remain Holy.” Since they are welcoming the same sort of social rejects that Christ did, they feel that they are holy, and plan to have another artist ‘frame’ the graffiti, and seal it with a transparent coat, turning it from an act of hate, to an inclusive act of love.

So much of life has become polarized – Blue States vs. Red States – White Supremacists – tear down historical statues – Fundamentalists trying to drag society back into superstitious days.

I hope!
I hope!
I hope!

I don’t think that I will live long enough to see very much total improvement. I’d like to say, ‘Two steps forward – One step back’, but often it seems like 12 steps forward, 11 steps backward.  I hope that progress will continue.  I hope that my children and grandchildren will live in a better world than the one that I did.  I am optimistic!

***

This is the closest that I’ve finished a blog composition before posting, since I wrote my first 13 directly into WordPress. It was completed only a half an hour before my self-imposed schedule said that it was to be published.  I don’t even think it was because of my procrastination – more like, I just couldn’t organize my thoughts, and decide where it was going.  Since I’m supposed to have three, in a Word file, ready to go at all times, I’d better get going at P, Q, and R.  😳

A View Of Islam

Koran

This is a good reminder.  It doesn’t matter if it is a German’s view, or a Brit’s or a Canadian’s, an Aussie’s, or whatever.  It better become the prominent view in the US as well.

To one and all ~ This is well worth the time to read. We all need to wake up before it is too late for our children and grandchildren. Please peruse this one.  

A  German’s View on Islam  

This is one of the best explanations of the Muslim terrorist situation. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The author of this is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist, a man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.’ 

‘My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

‘We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.’

‘The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.’

‘The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.’

‘The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

‘History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.’

‘Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.’

‘Now Islamic prayers have been introduced in Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa, too, while the Lord’s Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?). The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.’

‘In Australia, and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the Halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft has the Halal emblem just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation’s shores.’

‘In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.’

‘As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts – the fanatics who threaten our way of life.’

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just ignores this post, without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.

Extend yourself a bit and send this on. Let us hope that thousands world-wide read this, think about it, and send it on before it’s too late, and we are silenced because we were silent!!!

 

 

 

Flash Fiction #64

Pool

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast

IN THE SWIM

His engineering consulting firm had finally taken off. The obvious benefits included some nice income. He had been able to purchase a small estate property beyond the city.

One of the drawbacks was being away from his home and family, sometimes for weeks. His wife had been pushing for an in-ground pool. “The kids would love it!” He said he’d do some research. She replied that she’d already been checking. What a surprise.

His latest ‘three-week project’ had stretched almost six weeks. When he finally returned home, she dragged him to the rear door. “How do you like our pool?”   😮

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

***

Twin Towers

Unlike many weeks, I waited till Friday, to post my Friday Fictioneer story. By doing that, this is 9/11! Fourteen years ago today, the Twin Towers fell. The snake is still in the Garden. Remember! Respect! Refuse to capitulate!

Hug A Thug

Terrorist

Adopt a Terrorist..!!

This is a BRILLIANT piece… and just too good to miss reading. I thought, here is a bureaucrat who is worth his salary – and perhaps a raise.

Canadians know how to handle complaints. Here is an example.

A liberal Canadian female wrote a lot of letters to the Canadian government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She demanded a response to her letter.  She received the following reply:

From: National Defence Headquarters
Maj. Gen. George R. Pearkes Bldg., 15 NT,
101 Colonel By Drive Ottawa , ON
K1A 0K2 Canada.

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces, who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa. You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself… we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defense, to be called ‘Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers’ program, or “L.A.R.K.” for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided, on a trial basis, to divert several terrorists and place them in homes of concerned citizens such as yourself… around the country, under those citizens’ personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is your detainee, and is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. You will be pleased to know that we will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with your recommendations.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome those character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere ‘cultural differences’. We understand that you plan to offer ‘counseling and home schooling’, however, we strongly recommend that you hire some assistant caretakers.

Please advise any Jewish friends, neighbours or relatives about your house guest, as he might get agitated or even violent, but we are sure you can ‘reason’ with him. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless in your opinion, this might ‘offend him and his sensibilities’.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills either in your home or wherever you choose to take him while ‘helping him adjust to life in our country’.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters except sexually… since he views females as a form of property, thereby having no rights, including refusal of his sexual demands. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him.

You also should know that he has shown violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I’m sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of ‘respecting his culture and religious beliefs’ as described in your letter.

You take good care of Ahmed and remember that we will try to have a counselor available to help you over any difficulties you encounter while Ahmed is adjusting to Canadian culture.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the “PROPER WAY TO DO OUR JOB AND CARE FOR OUR FELLOW MAN”.

Good luck and God bless you.

Cordially, Gordon O’Connor

#492

Flash Fiction # 24

Patio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loss Of Innocence

“It was a long drive, all the way from the prairies, down here to Ottawa. On the last nice day of autumn, it’s nice to be able to sit at an outdoor patio, having a coffee, right across the street from the Parliament Buildings.”

“I wonder what all those Mounties are doing??!”

“They’re chasing that guy!”

“Looks like he’s got a rifle!”

“Don’t be silly. This is Canada – people don’t run around with rifles!”

“DAMN! They’re shooting!  Quick, get inside!”

“Must be a foreign tourist! How would a tourist get a gun?”

“I’m going back to Calgary, where it’s safe!”

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her weekly photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

What Canada Isn’t

Canada is a great country, whose one identifying characteristic is, that it doesn’t have an identifying characteristic. Those of us who deal with non-Canadians, spend great amounts of time and effort explaining to the rest of the world, what Canada isn’t.

We are like the middle child in a family. We have to explain to the Americans, that we are not English. We have to explain to the British, and the rest of the world, that we are not Americans. We explain to the French, that even the Quebec portion isn’t French. Vive le Quebec libre somewhere else, monsieur DeGaulle. De gall of dat man, heh?

We are not a colony anymore, and we are not ruled or led by a European county. We are an independent democracy, but we are not Jingoistic about it. We provide socialist support for our citizens, but we are not communist. Although we are a country of large geography and small population, and have acquired the reputation for being a well-mannered Mr. Niceguy, we are not a pushover. Anyone who saw the movie Argo, viewed a piece of American-made hype, but got that message.

We aren’t equipped with a huge set of Armed Forces, but we aren’t afraid of getting our hands dirty, and the job done, to the point that we aren’t often called on to prove it.

One of our home-grown comics, who moved to The States because we aren’t rich enough to afford to pay our best performers what they deserve, said that Canada is a subtle flavor – like celery. But remember, celery is strong and crisp, with lots of fibre….and so are we.

Some of our Provinces, Territories and areas have their complaints and demands, as the siblings in any family do, but we are not coming apart at the seams as the Balkans, and other SSRs did. Canada is not a country which imprisons, executes or oppresses social, ethnic, political or religious minorities.

Canada is not perpetually covered with ice and snow. It is not inhabited by toque-wearing lumberjacks, living in igloos. Canada is not an exporter of wars, aggression, terror or ideology. Canada is not a bucolic backwater, because Canada is not afraid or incapable of adapting to rapidly changing, social and technological climes.

Canada isn’t a troublemaker, or a creepy neighbor, partner, or ally. All in all, what Canada isn’t….is a bad place to live, work or visit. Y’all come now, y’hear?

Canadian Flag

 

But ……………………………Canada Kicks Ass

The preceding political message has been brought to you by a Citizen and booster, as proud of the many things that Canada isn’t, as the many exemplary things that his country is.

 

My Sauce Got Goosed

Here in Southern Ontario, we recently had two men charged with terrorism.  They were Muslims who had immigrated here, gone to the trouble to become citizens, and then allegedly plotted to load a train passenger car with explosives.  The Big Bang was to occur when the train was half-way across a railroad bridge above the Niagara River, on its way to the United States.  The loss of life and property damage would have been horrendous.

Fortunately, police got wind of the plot, and arrested the two before they could proceed.  One of the pair immediately lawyered up, and denied the whole thing.  The other genius is demanding a lawyer who will argue that he should be tried under Sharia law.  He claims that the laws of the country should not apply to him, and that the Koran should be the only book to judge his actions.  Good luck with that!  Even Muslim lawyers are backing away, because they know that the Canadian Penal Code must be the one to apply.

Opinions online, and in op-ed letters are unanimous.  How dare you think that you can use your religious beliefs and your holy book to justify illegal activity!  You live here in Canada.  You have to obey the laws of Canada!  Okay now, come along with me.  We’re going to take a little trip to visit KayJai, in Newfoundland, for another lesson in religious entitlement and intolerance.

Several years ago, the Province of Newfoundland did away with Catholic separate schools.  They were rolled into an all-encompassing Provincial school system, and the pertinent laws stated that no religion would be allowed to display any religious symbols in the now-secular schools.

Recently, a parent filed a request to the Provincial School Board, to have a Christian cross removed from above the door of a previously Catholic school in St. John’s.  Saint Matthew’s School, if you care.  The school board has acceded to the legal request, but, oh, the howls of Christian anguish.

In an attempt to stick a finger in the dike, to keep special religious treatment and benefits from leaking away, the female spokesman       (-woman?, -person?) for the parents association has started asking stupid questions.  “What harm is a cross doing to the student, or the complaining parent?”  The same, but opposite harm that taking it down would do to you.  The complainant does not have to give a reason, but you must obey the law.

“Why do we have to take down our cross, when only one person has complained?”  For the same reason that I have to stop robbing banks, even if only one bank manager has complained.  It’s against the law, and you don’t get to obey just the laws that you like.  “What’s next?  Will we have to take down our Saint Matthew’s name, too?”  Well, if you keep bitching and dragging your feet on this request, that might indeed be next.  Cut your losses and play nice with others.

I’m not saying that hanging a cross and blowing up a bridge are equally serious offenses, but they’re both firmly planted on the Yellow Brick Road of religious intolerance and social disobedience.  If attitudes and actions are not modified, it doesn’t take much to proceed from one to the other.  I am reminded of the book-burning scene in the movie, Footloose.

I am both amazed and disgusted that Good Christians will decry and deny application of Muslim sharia law, and the validation of the Muslim holy book, but will haul out Catholic benefits and the Bible to justify their own selfish and illegal behavior.  They both equally feel that the laws of the country should not apply to them, and their holy book should supersede Provincial legislation.

The Bible may be a great book, and Christian principles may be grand, but, they don’t hold a monopoly.  They should not be shoved down others’ throats, just because they’re nice.  Everyone has the right to go to Hell in his own way.  In the Bible, Jesus ordered that we are to “Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.”  Cast off your feelings of inferiority and insecurity!  Live, and let live!

End of yet another anti-bureaucratic religious rant!  We will return you to your regularly scheduled program of fun and foolishness in a couple of days.

In a sad post script, a Good Christian couple in Pennsylvania believe in “Divine Healing”, but not in obeying Man’s laws.  They have caused the death of a second son in three years from pneumonia, by not taking them to a doctor or hospital.  Accommodation of religious beliefs does not extend to allowing the death of children, even your own.  They have been charged with third degree murder, for failing to provide the necessities of life.