I have the “No Comment” section but this video deserves a comment and an ‘attaboy. Cardinal McCarrick has gone on record, when others have shirked the responsibility of calling for justice, in calling for the equal rights of Muslim Americans like any other religious group in America. His statement was clear and unequivocal in asserting that Muslim Americans have the same rights as any other religious group. For many that statement is a given, but in today’s America hatred has relieved people of their moral compass and courage and too many have decided to stay silent in the face of bigotry’s steamrolling over the American conscience. I am happy that there are still a few people who, to paraphrase Sarah Palin, have decided to ‘put their man pants on’ and face the problem of religious bigotry head on. For that reason merely posting this video under the No Comment doesn’t do justice to the Message. The Cardinal deserves a heart felt thanks from the rest of us who have decided to sit this battle out; perhaps what he says here will give one the push they need to join the fracas. There’s a lot of work to do before we can say America has realized its potential.
The Founding Fathers wanted government to make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof prescient in their vision that doing so would lead to a fragmented Nation, but racism has driven those who aspire to power to insist that their religion should reign supreme in the body politic of America because it’s what this country was founded on. We’ve disputed that notion a time or two here.
ConsortiumNews’ writers have weighed in heavily on this subject in a series of thought provoking articles. This one examines how Christianity has morphed into something that allows its followers to wage war, death and destruction on enemies real and imagined and in the process stray far away from its core values.
The first Christians tried to be faithful to Jesus’s commandments to “put away the sword,” ”do not repay evil for evil,” “do unto others that which you would have them do unto you,” “do good to those who persecute you,” “pray for those who despitefully use you,” “love your neighbor as yourself,” “turn the other cheek,” “love your enemies” and “love as I have loved you.”
Jesus’s earliest followers regarded the human body as the holy temple of God here on earth, and, knowing that violence to a holy place was considered an act of desecration (and therefore forbidden), they refused to kill or maim other children of God, and therefore they also refused, out of conscience, to become killing soldiers for Rome.
Martyrdom, in the first three centuries, was regarded as the ultimate act of social responsibility. And the church flourished!
The Roman Emperor Constantine first recognized Christianity as a valid religion around 311 CE and he made Christianity the official state religion within decades.
He showered the now-legal church with the goodies of the Empire and the Christians accepted them, not aware that property, dominative power, wealth and the tight connections to militarism were eventually to become curse for the church.
Before long Christians began endorsing, and then participating in, un-Christ-like acts of homicidal violence in war.
n 311 CE, you could not be a Christian and be a killing soldier in Rome’s army. By 416, you couldn’t be in the Roman army unless you were a Christian! It had all turned around in 105 years, and Christianity has been a war-tolerating religion ever since….
Massacres of non-Christian “infidels” in the Crusades were soon followed by massacres of fellow Christians. In the Middle Ages, the organized church actively persecuted, tortured and murdered millions of women who were feared as intellectuals, midwives and “witches.”
The use of atomic bombs against the civilian targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was perhaps the spiritual low point in Christendom’s history of un-Christ-like cruelty and inhumanity to man.
It is a little known fact that Ground Zero for the second bomb was the largest Christian church in the Orient. The Nagasaki Urakami Cathedral and most of its members were vaporized in nine seconds by an all-Christian bomb crew on Aug. 9, 1945. American Christianity remains unrepentant.
And then there was the horrific example of German Christianity, easily Nazified because of its historical connections to Prussian militarism, and therefore allied to Hitler’s policy of perpetual war.
Many “good Germans” had good-paying healthcare-related jobs but they found themselves obediently participating in the extermination of the mentally and physically deformed “useless eaters.”
Many “good Germans” earned their livings participating in the oppression and extermination of gypsies, homosexuals, trade unionists, liberals, communists and Jews; and many churches consented to those atrocities by their silence.
The Jewish Holocaust occurred in part because the German churches had, for centuries, falsely blamed the Jews for killing Jesus (a myth), ignoring Jesus’s commandment to “love as I have loved you.”
The movements of Gandhi, King and Jesus, as well as a multitude of other examples of successful nonviolent, faith-based resistance movements throughout history, are proof that nonviolence can work, but they are only for the faithful and the courageous.
Far more courage is demanded of unarmed resisters who may be forced to jail or to their deaths, than is asked of modern super-patriotic warriors who do battle using highly lethal, high-tech weaponry that almost guarantees their physical survival.
Most likely the founding fathers were good students of history. They realized that if the State endorsed one religion, Christianity for example, over another it would lead to the corruption of that religion which could be easily pliable in the hands of the omnipotent state and thus loose its religious character and meaning. Maybe that’s why they weren’t too keen on insisting that America was to be a Christian nation; they possessed crystal balls that allowed them to peer into our future and see how religion could metastasize into large mega churches with their own television stations that would swindle people out of their money and their souls while feeding them into the meat grinder of an expansionist state that needs bodies to fight wars of empire. This might be one of the endearing legacies of our founding fathers, that in refusing to refer to America as a Christian country they hoped that would make us more Christian. Sadly, such is not the case.
‘Not all Muslims are terrorist but all terrorists are Muslims’, so goes the ‘phobes chant when talking about the dangers of an imagined enemy, the Shariah welding Muslim fanatic. What they don’t say is all non-Muslim terrorists aren’t categorized as such. Rather they are given more inert sounding names like manic depressive and charged not with terrorism, but with ‘placing a bomb’ inside a federal building and thus fall beneath the terrorist radar. Such is the case with this guy, Gary Mikulich. His bomb sat in said federal building for over a month, is that fodder for a conspiracy theory or what, before it was discovered, which goes to show you all the money you can squeeze out of everyday working Americans and give to Homeland Security can’t buy security if people don’t do their jobs. This electrical engineering genius made a bomb and put it in front of a federal building with the intent to kill people, yet he’s not charged with a terrorist related offense. So what good are the terrorism laws if we don’t apply them equally to all? It should be apparent that the law is designed to single out a group of people , not law breakers, in order to effect a blanket condemnation of all members of that group. Shame on you America….you’re still as bigoted as ever.
Give credit where credit is due for leadership to Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois for his principled stand on the rights of Americans of the Muslim faith to equal protection under the Constitution. Remember his face please….it’s the new face of LEADERSHIP in America where everyone else seems enamored with bigotry and demagoguery, for now, Durbin has refused to give in to that.
During the course of our history, many religions have faced intolerance. It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter’s commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights
First the “good” news. The folks in Tennessee are removing religious references from the bill they wanted to introduce regarding foreign laws not being applied in state matters which would amount to treason and a 15 year jail sentence. It was obviously designed to persecute Muslims. The state’s lawmakers were too dumb to realize they are pawns in a much bigger battle between American jurists who assert the right to reference other countries’ laws in their decisions and those xenophobes who vigorously opposed that idea. More on that later.
But, and there’s always a “but” isn’t there? For every step America makes forward they seem to take several back. Check out this story of a true blue American Muslim who was put on the no-fly list because he refused to cooperate with federal officials who want to infiltrate America’s Muslim population. Seems his refusal to do so was based on his family situation, he’s married with 4 children and probably doesn’t trust the government to help support his family while he’s out and about spying on people…….isn’t that the kind of self-reliant, no trust government but do for self citizen the “Right” and their neo-con allies wanted?…….and most likely he’s not too keen on the idea because he doesn’t feel comfortable being around Muslims, since according to him he’s gone to church with his Christian wife more times than he’s been in any mosque.
Finally there’s this bit of crab barrel politics of an aspiring politician who wants to make a name for himself on the backs of America’s Muslim population. A black David Duke or a blacker Allen West, the Florida congressman of the same political bent, Herman Cain has taken his Godfather’s Pizza moniker a bit too seriously. You remember the one don’t you, ‘the pizza you can’t refuse’ slogan that rocketed that franchise onto America’s consciousness back in the 80s. He thinks that the idea of religion and not being able to choose extends to America’s Muslims as well. What’s more dastardly about Cain is he joins a long list of former slaves who now want to be slave owners, emotionally and mentally that is. He hasn’t learned anything from the history of his people or his country; he’s too drunk with success and money to realize the error of his ways, but he wants to be president of the United States. The more things change…….the more they remain the same.
I should have titled this ‘birds of a feather’ because Louis Farrakhan has joined the ranks of such notable Islamophobic bigots as Pamela Geller in support of Libyan president Ghadafi against the dissidents in his country who are seeking to oust him, but for entirely different reasons. Geller seems to think that Ghadafi’s opposition is encouraged by the omnipotent Muslim Brotherhood or other similar “islamists” who want to devour the world by killing and or converting all one person at a time. She’s cast her net therefore with the Libyan president who she claims, ‘not that Libya has been good under Gaddafi – hardly. But there are degrees of evil. The situation can always be worse, and little matches the anti-human brutality of Islamic regimes in the twenty-first century.’
Farrakhan, equally vitriolic when it comes to racist tendencies, therefore seems to share a common interest with Geller and I find that mildly amusing in an ironic and unexpected kind of way. Both will adamantly disavow one another but one can see where there is divergence in goals there is usually divergence in means or opportunity. Geller and Farrakhan, two peas in a pod, nurtured by the same soil, nationalism and racism. They should both go center stage, join hands and bow; they deserve one another.
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It’s a shame Ron Paul isn’t more popular among conservative voters who claim to be real conservatives. I know the reason why he isn’t is beccause he’s against wars of aggression and believes in the principle of blowback which states America should expect consequences for infringing on the territorial integrity of states it unilaterally condemns. That doesn’t make him very well received among those in the war party who claim America has the right to go wherever it wants. It’s very likely his pointing out the hypocrisy in the GOPs desire to cut the budget by defunding NPR and not stopping another one of its wars for empire isn’t going to land Paul any friends in his own Party either. Take a look.
There’s something to be said for comedy in these times. It can remove you from what is troubling, or it can make you reflect more, become more introspective with the issues surrounding your life. Jon Stewart fills the gap nicely for the latter, using his routines to provoke a stinging response to the plain idiocy of the world today.
Sometimes however you just find something that is off the charts; it neither makes you laugh nor think, but rather it’s so comically insane all you can do is shout out in anger over the absoluteness craziness of what the author most likely wants you to take seriously. This news story about al-Qaeda’s magazine for women falls into this category. It is something out of a Hollywood script
There are exclusive interviews with martyrs’ wives, who praise their husbands’ decisions to die in suicide attacks.
The slick, 31-page Al-Shamikha magazine – meaning The Majestic Woman – has advice for singletons on ‘marrying a mujahideen’.
Readers are told it is their duty to raise children to be mujahideen ready for jihad.
And the ‘beauty column’ instructs women to stay indoors with their faces covered to keep a ‘clear complexion’.
They should ‘not go out except when necessary’ and wear a niqab for ‘rewards by complying with the command of Allah Almighty’.
No doubt this is a government intelligence operated rag designed to gather as much information as it can from those who buy, read or write to it for future operations, so my advice to you is don’t even ‘go there’. Who’ve read here all that you need to know about it here which is, laugh, bellow or ignore it, but don’t touch it.
Meanwhile on a serious note, Lesley Hazelton continues to impress. We spotlighted her video here on the Quranic interpretation of Paradise, but now she weighs in on the matter of the Islamophobia insanity that’s gripping the world today, by equating it with anti-Semitism. To anyone who has felt the brunt of racist injustice, it is clear it’s the same…that is to say racism directed towards Jews is the same as the kind directed towards Arabs…a social injustice that must be eradicated.
I recognize that anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are two sides of the exact same coin: the stereotyping of millions of people by the actions of a few. That is, prejudice.So it’s particularly painful, let alone absurd and self-defeating and dumb, to see that some Islamophobes are Jewish. And equally painful – and absurd and self-defeating and dumb – to see that some Muslims are anti-Semitic.
“Islam” did not attack the US on 9/11; eighteen people with a particularly twisted and distorted idea of Islam did. “The Jews” do not shoot Palestinian farmers in the West Bank; Bible-spouting settlers with a particularly twisted and distorted idea of Judaism do.
The Quran is no more violent or misogynistic than the Bible. In fact it’s less so. If you insist, as Islamophobes do, on highlighting certain phrases, then you should turn around and do the same with the Bible, which you will find ten times worse, with repeated calls for the destruction of whole peoples. Only the dumbest, most literal, hate-filled fundamentalist, Jewish or Muslim, takes the rules of ancient warfare as a guide to 21st-century life.
Clarity, finally; there’s nothing about this pronouncement that’s funny. It’s short and sweet, to the point and really shames those who’ve given in to the dark side of human behavior and ascribe collective guilt on entire groups of people because of self-harbored hatred, distrust or dislike, and yes it is true every one can be racist if that is what they do.
The folks at Loonwatch.com have called Rep. Peter King’s hearings Thursday political theater. I think it’s something much more sinister than that; rather it is an attempt of bigoted King to legitimize legal oppressive measures against America’s Muslims, much like what is trying to be enforced by several state legislatures throughout the country. Yet, for all the impressive pomp and ceremony of a congressional hearing that King could muster, there is no, absolutely no substance to his premise that there is any radicalization of America’s Muslim population by American enemies, perceived, imagined or real.
First comes this bit of news totally overlooked by King and his Republican colleagues on the committee that the number of incidents of “terrorism” is not at all worth the effort and tax payer money King has invested for his charade
The number of Muslim-Americans engaged in terrorist acts aimed at the U.S. declined in 2010 from 18 to 10. Including domestic and international targets, the figure dropped from 47 to 20….
“We have a tremendously efficient system of international and national news services that sift through all of the violence that occurs around the world every day and finds hints of Islamic terrorist intention, and then sends news of those incidents to the news services and to our TVs and newspapers and blogs,” Kurzman said. “The result is we end up with a skewed perception of the prevalence of Islamic terrorism.”
In total, he says, 11 Muslim-American terrorists are responsible for killing 33 people since Sept. 11. Per capita, Muslim Americans are more likely to engage in terrorism than the general population, but the threat is still miniscule in the context of the more than 15,000 homicides that occur in the U.S. each year.
Perhaps it might be more accurate to say that per capita Muslims are more likely to be “charged” with committing acts of terrorism as the news of the arrests of the “terrorist” cell in Alaska underscores, where instead of being charged with terrorist related acts, these defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, arson and kidnapping instead. What has happened and what King’s hearings help further is the notion that only “Muslim Americans” commit terrorism and are or should be charged with the offense, making it politically correct to associate the charge only to that group of Americans while anyone else seen as committing similar offenses are less threatening to the existence of the body politic. King therefore, despite his pleas to the contrary has given in to political correctness of American bigots by underscoring a myth, not a reality as the first link above demonstrates.
However, it’s nice to see that there are some, besides the Muslim community and in some cases in spite of it, who are resisting the temptation offered by King to become bigots like himself. It’s very heartening to see that two minorities, Asians and Jews, once tarred with the brush of American racism still remember its lessons and are asking King to be as civic minded as they in respecting citizenship.
Last week, Rep. Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.), who as a child spent several wartime years living behind barbed wire at Camp Amache in southeastern Colorado, denounced King’s hearings as “something similarly sinister.”
“Rep. King’s intent seems clear: To cast suspicion upon all Muslim Americans and to stoke the fires of anti-Muslim prejudice and Islamophobia,” Honda wrote in an op-ed published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
and again, here
Jewish historical experience remembers that not too long ago, we too were the victims of suspicion and hatred based on our religion and ethnicity. The actions of the few should not condemn the many, and every religion has its teachings both of violence and of peace. Jewish tradition demands that we remember the heart of the stranger, because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. If one minority can be singled out for congressional hearings or restrictions on places of worship, anyone can be.
I doubt King will listen. He’s far to emboldened by the insulated cocoon of racists, Islamophobes who have taken him under their wing to advance a political reality he is too eager to carry out, but it’s nice to see that the spirit of liberty and the resistance to this part of our culture still lives. These are indeed dark times for our country….I’m glad Jon Stewart is around to liven and lighten things up……..even if it’s momentary.Vodpod videos no longer available.
So we’re off. The congressional committee hearings on Muslims in America, run by NY Republican Peter King have begun and already they are full of false assertions. King, caught in one of many lies outlined below, has found a way to appeal to the fear and hatred of Americans for other Americans, fostering and encouraging it. In doing so he has exposed himself for the race baiter, demagogue and Islamophobe he really is. Don’t think so? Take a look
Kudos to investigative, now op-ed journalist Robert Parry for nailing what’s behind the Right’s new victimology game being played out during the Obama Administration. Everyone is NOW up and arms about TSA and their behavior at airports around the country. Strange I never heard such outrage when TSA was ransacking through our luggage during the Bush years. Parry
the wallowing in “victimhood,” especially among relatively privileged groups like white American Christian conservatives, can be particularly dangerous because these groups hold substantial political and media power. Thus, they are largely insulated from the consequences when some unstable individual carries out violence in reaction to their angry propaganda.
We saw this in 1995 when right-wing anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building. Though some on the Left linked that terrorist act, which killed 168 people, to the hateful rants of right-wing radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, the mainstream Washington press corps quickly rallied to Limbaugh’s defense.
Similarly, within hours of the Tucson shooting, which left Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition with a bullet hole through her brain, former Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz was out with a commentary establishing a defensive perimeter around former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who had put Giffords’s district in a rifle’s crosshairs.
Like others on the Right, Palin also has favored violent rhetoric in discussing the need to strike back at Democrats who supported health-care reform during the last session of Congress, as Giffords had done. “Don’t retreat, RELOAD!” Palin urged her followers.
While deeming Palin’s language and imagery “highly unfortunate” and “dumb,” Kurtz absolved Palin and other right-wingers of any responsibility for the Tucson slayings and termed any linkage a “sickening ritual of guilt by association.”
“It’s a long stretch from such excessive language and symbols to holding a public official accountable for a murderer who opens fire on a political gathering and kills a half-dozen people, including a 9-year-old girl,” Kurtz wrote from his new perch at TheDailyBeast.com.
We can only imagine how different the reaction would have been if a Muslim political activist had made inflammatory comments toward members of Congress and one of those targets had been gunned down. The U.S. government would be devising novel legal theories to lock the Muslim up along with many of his friends.
You can find the entire article here and I strongly encourage you to read it!
We’ve often spoke here about people whose views and opinions about their fellow Americans are so outdated and beyond the pale such dialogue belongs in the dust bin of American relics. David Yerushalmi’s name needs to be added to the list. He is one of the forces behind the emergence of this latest American phenomenon popping up in state legislatures across the country, called anti-Shariah legislation. Yerushalmi and his minions have managed to frighten people in state governments into thinking their citizens want to “impose” Islamic law on others, the US Constitution notwithstanding, and therefore a clear and definite curtailment of the rights of Muslims to practice their religion is necessary to stop a threat that only exists in the minds of Yerushalmi, et.al. The et.al who agree with this xenophobe is the Republican Party who has taken up the banner of Islamophobia in trying to enact this legislation. If anyone has any misgivings about the GOP, they should dispel them now; it has gone over to the dark side and become the party of racists and war mongers. How else can you account for them embracing someone as avidly racist as Yerushalmi.
this is a guy who endorses the principle that “Caucasians” are superior to blacks and that Jewish liberals are a cancer in the U.S. body politic. The nearest Jewish “intellectual” antecedent I can determine would be Meir Kahane. But Yerushalmi’s views are far more radical than Kahane’s. The only difference is that Kahane embraced violence as a tool in his campaign against Arabs and anti-Semites. The latter-day Jewish Islamophobe, an attorney, is far too slick for that. He merely suggests that all non-citizen Muslims in the country be deported and many of the rest thrown in concentration camps. In Yerushalmi-world, any Muslim who espoused Sharia would earn him or herself a 20 year stay in the federal pen.
But there’s more
Stop the Madrassa leader David Yerushalmi also condemns democracy in the United States and, in comments that evoke classical anti-Semitic stereotypes, says he finds truth in the view that Jews “destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.”
Yerushalmi, a national advisory board member, counsel and de facto treasurer for Stop the Madrassa, wrote regarding conservative criticism of Israel, Zionism and Jews: “Much of what drives it is true and accurate.” Conservatives’ primary “critique,” he said, “is that the Jews of the modern age are the most radical, aggressive and effective of the liberal Elite.”
“One must admit readily that the radical liberal Jew is a fact of the West and a destructive one,” he wrote. “Indeed, Jews in the main have turned their backs on the belief in G-d and His commandments as a book of laws for a particular and chosen people.”
In Israel, he said, other than the ultra-Orthodox, “Most Israelis are raging Leftists, and this includes the so-called nationalists who found a home in the ‘right-wing’ Likud political bloc or one of the other smaller and more marginal right wing parties.”
In Yerushalmi’s world, there is no room for dissent, even from his anti-semitic, fascist ramblings. His organization, Society of Americans for National Existence, SANE, declares, it ‘is dedicated to the rejection of democracy and party rule and a return to a constitutional republic’. You can read more about this darling of the Republican party who is more worthy of legal remedies to stop the spread of his anti-democracy message than even the strongest al-Qaida operative, here and here. The fact that his ideas have found traction in todays America is both troubling and an indication of how backwards American politics have gone.
This is the beginning of the American thirst for blood which the country has inflicted on itself and all those who live within its borders
The idea of collective punishment, a Biblical idea steeped in the Judea-Christian ethic, continued with the onslaught against the Japanese during World War II
Some of the oldest immigrants to this country’s shores faced the wrath of American racism for no other reason than they were different
Now for the new occupants within America, the mantle of an oppressed and vilified minority at the hands of Americans is passed
Our country’s history is one full of xenophobia and bloodshed. Looking back at the historical perspective of its impact on the American fabric, it is as senseless and irrational now as it was then. Not one of the groups who’ve born the brunt of this disease should now participate in its spread among Muslim Americans, but unfortunately many of the past recipients of American violence are not perpetuating it against their fellow Americans. All of the wars we’ve fought to preserve the American way of life, mean that we’ve fought to preserve this part of our nature, our irrational hatred for those things different from ourselves. This is our history, this is our fate.
No, it’s not by the red horde (native Americans) or the brown horde (Muslim Americans). Rather it’s from fear mongering elected officials who’ve given into the politics of fear and are attempting to enact legislation that would make it illegal for a particular religious group to practice their faith
Increasing media attention is focusing on Republican state lawmakers who have proposed a bill that would make following Sharia a felony punishable by 15 years in jail.
The bill, by state Rep. Judd Matheny of Tullahoma and state Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, states that it exempts the peaceful practice of Islam, but it also labels any adherence to Sharia “which includes peaceful religious practices ” as treasonous.
We’ve written about the Oklahoma attempt to do the same thing with the initiative they asked for voters to approve during the last election. We wrote about that misdirected political stunt here and here. The Tennessee bill is even worse than what Oklahoma proposed and some of the worst America has to offer are on board with this attempt to deny Americans of their right to religious freedom.
the bill was drafted by none other than Pamela Geller associate David Yerushalmi, a raving racist who has written that “blacks” are “the most murderous of peoples,” who advocates criminalizing Islam itself and imposing 20-year sentences on practicing Muslims, and who wants to return to a pre-Bill of Rights Constitution, restricting voting rights to white male land-owners.
The irony is we’ve often heard how Islam wants to return people to the 8th century, but now it’s being opposed by “enlightened” Americans who want to return this country to the darkest days of American history, when Africans were slaves and women were disenfranchised, when we fought one another over the right to legally oppress human beings.
What those yelling from the sidelines don’t realize is any attempt at removing the rights of the “hated group” of the day, could end up with the abolition of their rights as well which is why every American should resist the attempt to de-legitimize or marginalize the rights of ANY American. Why don’t Americans understand that?
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This is the life for some who live in America. For too long, America has allowed itself to be divided along lines of color, ethnicity, and now religion. Our failure to address each of the previous wrongs we have inflicted upon members of our society mean we will continue this progression of oppression and racism which will only lead to the demise of our way of life. Far greater than any hostile state we have had to face in our past, the biggest and greatest threat to America has always been Americans and their lust for violence and bloodshed. The Civil War, an antiquated battle fought over a century ago, still stands as the biggest killer of Americans of any war since, including all the ones we’ve fought with the latest gadgetry.
Unfortunately, we don’t reflect on that; instead we sweep it under the rug and or ignore it altogether; which only increases our peril. Wake up America!