Friday, August 29, 2008

David Update

A short note as the Sabbath begins-
David's operation went as well as we could have hoped for! Total removal of what he calls "The Alien Thing" with the least possible cutting involved. I am sure that all the prayers, energy and blessings that so many of you have sent his way have made a tremendous difference! Thank you all and bless you for your generous spirit.
He is hurting but healing and I know that the knowledge of your concern has buoyed him as much as it has me!
Thank You All from the Bottom of My Heart
YBM

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prayers, Please!

Breath of the Beast deals mainly with the political and contentious but it is still a personal blog. So, although you, my readers, have mostly been drawn here for the marketplace of ideas, I have sometimes tried your patience with my own personal requests and agendas. Permit me one more of these.

I would like to ask you for your prayers for my second youngest son, David ben Yaacov (for those of you who are Jewish and use the mother’s name too, Mom’s name is Ravital bat Avraham). David will undergo an “urgent” operation this Friday 9/29 to remove a tumor that has shown “rapid growth and cellular changes”. David is ten yeas old and has Neurofibromatosis and will probably be OK after this operation but OK is a relative thing with NF. He is likely to need more of these operations, especially in the next eight or so years of pubescence and adolescence.

Dave has already been through a great deal in his life. Before Ravital and I adopted him and his little brother Yishai from Ukraine, (the picture here is them dressed in their new clothes -ready to leave Ukraine Dave is on the right)they suffered through the death of their biological father (bone cancer- probably from an NF related tumor that was not understood or properly treated over there) and a year in an orphanage. I can assure you he is a good deal more courageous than I am about this.

Let me be clear, my friends, I am asking for your prayers only, we have insurance and a good life. If you would like to do something tangible for David a card (you can send them to David at the Second Draft PO Box 590591, Newton Centre, MA 02459) or a donation to the NF, inc. website or even one the Second Draft Website in his honor would be very nice indeed but not nearly as important to us as your thoughts and prayers.

Until I can return with good news right after Labor Day, blogging will be suspended here for a few days. I do have what I think is a very important post that I have been working on for more than a week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Young Frankenstein Teaches Leftism 101

I don't know about you but after the last three posts, I am ready to try to find some humor, however macabre, in the situation.

Here is the text book demonstration of how to be a Modern Liberal- no, I mean Socialist- er that is- Communist- oh, ah, now its Progressive- yeah, thats, it Progressive; taught by Dr. Frodrick Frankensteen (or whatever). First, class, let's watch the film:

By the numbers now here's how it breaks down( for each instance the line from the dialog is in red, the rational is in grey and a current example of Progressivethink is in blue):

  1. “Frankensteen not Frankenstein” Your grandfather gave your name a bad reputation so change it to disguise who you are. Call it by a different name and no one will know. Liberal is no good, neither is socialist or communist so let’s go with Progressive- Even if the whole world says “You’re putting me on- You have nothing to do with progress.”
  2. “…the rates have gone up” Just agree, its only money – don’t even ask how much. We wouldn’t want a confrontation… Oh sure we’ll just raise taxes and spend more.
  3. “I’m a rather brilliant surgeon, perhaps I could help you with that hump.” Don’t even get to know the people or examine the malady, be conceited and arrogant enough to immediately assume that you can cure whatever is “wrong” with other people and minister to their spiritual needs. Obama, President of Europe and the healer of our nation.
  4. “What hump?" (awkward pause) “Lets go!" There is no denial of the obvious that cannot be answered with an even more blatant denial of the obvious. If CAIR and The Muslim Brotherhood say that there is nothing to fear from political Islam ("What terrorism? We are the religion of peace"), then we all should just ignore the pattern in all terrorism done in its name- “War is not the answer.”
  5. “Walk this way, this way” accept and adopt any other way of doing things other that the one that is most natural and efficient. As when the Archbishop of Canterbury declaring that the magnificent, fair and just British legal system must adapt to the influence of the misogynist, religiously intolerant, arbitrary and brutal Islamic Shari’a system.
Damned if this doesn't shed some light on my posts about the humorlessness of The Left (here and here). It is hard to have a sense of humor when you are so rigid, pompous, self important and dependant on half-truths and fictions that the least snicker in the background makes you wonder if your facade has been broken and everyone is laughing at you. As kundera said, “No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.”

Just go back and look at the great development of expressions on "Frankensteen"s" face between "Eyegore" saying, "What hump?" and Frankensteen's "Lets go!" His looks seem to say "Yikes, he can't deal with the fact that he has a hump! I in danger of humiliating him, not by making fun of the hump but merely by stating that I noticed that he has it. If I insist that he really has a hump, he might humiliate me by insisting that my name is really Frankenstein. That would be intolerable. Oh well, if he is deep enough in denial to say 'What hump?' maybe I can just Move On and we can just pretend nothing happened here and ignore all these lies and misconceptions and proceed."

This is another thing The Left and the Islamists have in common. Vast networks of interdependent fictions and denials that explode in the presence of laughter- just look at the "Mohammed Cartoon Crisis".


But, then, you can always gloss it over if you declare that everything is relative. 
Oh, by the way, on your way out folks, please, sign the petition against moral relativism.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Meeting on the Dark Side of the Moon


My friend Jeramayakovka wrote an interesting comment to my last post. Referring of the Islamist’s constant refrain of loving death more than life he wrote:
"In those Hamas remarks, I hear a strategic taunting based on raw willpower. The message is to win. And in order to win, to intimidate. A deathcult, if you will, but in service to a nuts-and-bolts strategy"
.
To which I replied:
"Very thought provoking comment. The way insecurity and weakness flip-flop with determination and desperation is a very unstable dynamic.
Bottom line, I think is that while they are destroying themselves we have to spend our energy on minimizing the damage and death they cause... Hitler, after all destroyed himself, but the rest of the world waited far too long to begin helping him do it.
Thanks for making me think"

While I still think there is some validity to both J’s comment and my reply, on reflection I have come to see that there is a deeper, more elegant and (in a way) simpler truth. I have come to see that, granting that this is a stratagem, consciously applied, it is also a compulsion- an irresistible impulse. As such, it is also a clear-cut, unambiguous, text-book diagnostic symptom of the presence of fascism.

No, the love of death is not just a ploy or bluff. It is the central argument of fascism in action. In my post on totalitarianism and why the Jihadists are truly fascists, I quoted Louis Menand writing in the New Yorker:
“The distinctive feature of totalitarian societies is that everyone, including (in theory, anyway) the dictator, can be sacrificed in the name of a superhuman law, a law of nature or a law of history.”

Menand went on to quote Hannah Arendt:
“Totalitarianism strives not toward despotic rule over men but toward a system in which men are superfluous,”

That is why they can (have to!) say they love death. That is what we are fighting- the meaninglessness and expendability of the individual.

Let's be clear. It is not just Sarah Philipps and 269 other innocent people on an airliner or three thousand people on a bright September morning, YOU do not matter in their system. No individual does- the concept of an individual with a life, possessions and any expectation of privacy is null and void.

That is why they disdain freedom and democracy, because under freedom and democracy you, the individual, matters the most. This also clears up a few questions that periodically plague us.

This is, for instance, what the far-left collectivist Progressives have in common with the Caliphate Islamists. It is precisely why, even though they are diametrically opposite each other on so many issues, they find common cause against those of us who love life and think we matter.

It is, maybe, even the ultimate explanation for Jew hatred among those groups. After all, the first assumption of Judaism is that God gives the individual the responsibility to behave as best we can. There is an expectation that what we do and how we do it matters- not just to God but to each other and the future of the universe. This is one of the wellsprings and strengths of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

It is as though, ill-equipped to compete intellectually, morally or economically with western democratic success, they have removed themselves from the planet of liberty and reason. There, on a close but barren moon they do a wary dance of cooperation. Unable to fully accept each other in the light of day, the Islamists went as far east as they could and the Leftists went as far west and they have met to form an alliance of ignorant conspiracy on the dark side of the moon. Agreeing to remain blinded to each other’s contradictions by the darkness there, they conspire against the free, green and hopeful world they envy and despise.

Addendum:
Please, don't forget my last post and that Sarah Philipps' Birthday is only two days away. I plan to place flowers and a copy of the signatures to the petitition on the monument in Newton Centre Park on her birthday and I would like it to be a lot bigger than it is now. So if you haven't yet signed this is you opportunity! Please, email this link to your friends and family too!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Birthday Gift for a Dead Girl


I live next to a lovely suburban park in Newton, Massachusetts. It might be the last place where you would expect to find it but, if you pay attention, you will feel the breath of the beast here too.

Between my dogs and my kids, I manage to find quite a few excuses to spend time on the benches in the park. There is one bench in particular- in a very nice corner of the park where two streams converge. This bench is very near to a playground so that the sound of playing children is often in the background; but it faces away from the play area- as if to look away and brood.  It is a cool spot, under the shelter of several big, old trees so there is shade from the summer sun and the cruel winter winds are muffled.

I often sit on that bench, starting out there in solitude, only to find myself in the company of a young woman whom I will never meet. There is a little bronze plaque affixed to a rock here and it conjures her presence. Sometimes, I remember to contemplate her fate.



This coming Friday, Aug. 15, 2008, will be Sarah S. B. Philipps’ birthday. Her life ended at twenty years old when a bomb, apparently planted by agents of the Libyan government took her life and the lives of 269 others.

You see, December 21st, four months and six days from Friday, will be the twentieth anniversary of her death. She died on Pan Am flight 103 when a charge of Semtex plastic explosive (supplied to Libya by the then communist country of Czechoslovakia, hidden in a radio  and fused to a timer, some say, by Palestinian agents and smuggled onboard through lax security in Malta by a Libyan) blew a hole in the Boeing 747 causing it to disintegrate at altitude and smash into Lockerbie Scotland.

Sarah would have been forty this Friday- had she lived. Here is a clip from the memorial page for her on the Syracuse University Web Site
"Sarah left behind a legacy of laughter so compelling that her best friends can't help but remember her with a smile. Her parents describe her as bright, funny, friendly, and beautiful. She loved people, beaches, ski slopes, sunshine. She was going to be a clever publisher or a witty lawyer, a tender wife and mother, a sturdy citizen. Where Sarah was, there too was laughter and joy."

For the last few days, ever since I noticed that Sarah’s birthday was approaching, I have done a great deal of research on her and on Pan Am 103. I was hoping to be able to tell a story with assurance and clarity but I find that I cannot. I have gone over the history of the incident. I’ve rooted through the record of the legal and diplomatic efforts to bring justice to the perpetrators and closure to the victims’ families. It is taken me a very long way from this bench under these shady trees.

I have followed the trail to forlorn monuments as in the first line of a USA TODAY article about one of Sarah’s mother’s many visits to Lockerbie. It seems she always visits the place where Sarah's body came to rest after being thrown clear of the falling airplane. “They found her face down in the Scottish turf, still strapped into seat 21F.” 

Sarah’s mother Elizabeth, like so many other family members had to endure the horror of forensic photographs, listening to graphic court testimony and bearing the knowledge that someone murdered her beloved child out of ancient angers and scabrous hatreds of which she was entirely innocent.

It is a dismal business- young lives cut short, families shattered- here is another piece from that USA TODAY article:
"Just before her death, the young woman and her mother spoke by phone. Sarah had just taken a bus trip from London to Edinburgh and was enthralled with Scotland. ''Mommy, I love Scotland. You must promise me you'll travel here with me,'' Sarah said to her mother.
Instead, the tragedy ''stole her future from us,'' her mother says. Elizabeth's thoughts this weekend are of the wedding that won't happen, the grandchildren left unborn, the trip to Scotland they will never take."

And then there is the confusion and contention that still surround the quest for justice. Even though Libya has accepted responsibility for the attack on flight 103, there is an ongoing controversy in which it appears possible to some knowledgeable observers that the train of guilt might not be so clear and that other Islamic groups and causes were involved. Even as recently as this summer there have been revelations that unsettle the memory of Sarah and the other victims. Going to the various memorial and victims’ family’s sites I am overwhelmed by the confusion and unresolved pain. How to account for the blood and pain? How could another human being have done this to all these innocent people- the ones who died and the ones who loved them?

We want to find meaning and salvation in such devastating loss. We want to bring healing out of the pain. To do this we often look within ourselves. We know that, painful as it is, self-criticism is the key to improving and growing. This is one of the finest and healthiest traits of Western Civilization but it is crucial that we know when it is to our own detriment and how to look outside ourselves when necessary.

This little monument declares that her friends from her class at Newton North High School recall her “bright presence and love of life.” I have no doubt that they remembered her accurately. This is the glory of the Judeo-Christian tradition as it has come to fruition in America. We love life and we hold it sacred. It is the very banner headline of our national mission statement- The Declaration of Independence, that we are entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

The reason why Sarah never reached 21 years old is that whoever it was that killed her (the convicted Libyans or the rumored Palestinians) do not feel the same way about life. They love death more than they do life. Now, before you go off thinking that I am a racist or a religious bigot consider this:
The spiritual source of the modern Islamist movement and the founder of The Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna wrote about this at length in one of his seminal works.
Matthias K√ľntzel quotes al-Banna at length in his excellent book Jihad and Jew-Hatred:
"According to al-Banna, the Koran enjoins believers to love death more than life. Unfortunately, he argues, Muslims are in thrall to a "love of life." "The illusion which had humiliated us is no more than the love of worldly life and the hatred of death." As long as the Muslims do not replace their love of life with the love of death as required by the Koran, their future is hopeless. Only those who become proficient in the "art of death" can prevail. "So, prepare yourself to do a great deed. Be keen on dying and life will be granted to you, so work towards a noble death and you will win complete happiness."

He died in 1949 but al-Banna’s words echo through all of the blood-letting of Islamists up to the present from Bin Laden’s twisted Fatwas...
“I say to you William (Defence Secretary) that: These youths love death as you loves life.”

...to Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah who noted after a prisoner exchange:
“We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.”

Still not convinced? Then watch this:
This lovely fellow is Fathi Hammad a spokesman for Hamas Listen to what he says. “An industry of death… the women, the children, the mujihadeen and the old people…” and again the same refrain, “We desire death like you desire life”.

Only when we realize that they are not kidding about this and that they will not stop atrocities like the bomb on Flight 103 by themselves will young people like Sarah be safe to live, laugh and pursue free and happy lives. We must not let ourselves become discouraged by the fact that we are not perfect- We must recognize how much better our world is than theirs. We dare not flag or be daunted by the knowledge that they mean to sacrifice even their own children, women and elderly to destroy us; we must defeat them to save not only our children but theirs as well.

If there is any salvation and healing to be gained from Sarah S. B. Philipps’ fate and memory, it must be that we need to remember this basic difference between who we (and by “we” I mean all of western civilization- The U.S. and Israel in the vanguard) are and who the people are who killed Sarah in the name of their angry, life-hating amalgam of politics and religion.

Won’t you join me in honoring her fortieth birthday by rejecting and speaking out against the moral blindness with which many of us, in the name of "correctness" or as a polite avoidance of chauvinism we find ways to equate our civilization and its all too real faults and errors with the real fascism and bloody designs of the Islamist death cult? Give Sarah this present, tell her: "You have not died in vain, Sarah, we remember and we have learned."

Please sign our petition as a pledge to speak up for western civilization: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/recognize_evil/