6/26/2007

Feeling Lucky, Punk?

This afternoon, I opened a fortune cookie to find a message inside which read "Three days from now is your lucky day". Now I don't usually take stock in mass produced messages stuffed inside MSG laden treats manufactured in conditions I'd rather not know about, but this one struck me as being so definite, that I placed it in my wallet. I thought about the message, and even imagined what it meant by "lucky day". Would I win the lottery? Maybe I would finally sell my book? Who knows, but then it started me to think some more.
Some days on my way home, on the parkway in front of the Save-A-Lot, there is an older man sitting with a hand lettered cardboard sign, exclaiming how he's sick of being hungry and homeless. And I feel lucky, that I have a job, not necessarily the best paying job, and my boss sometimes can be a jerk (but then whose boss isn't?), but there are aspects of it I enjoy, and it keeps me from being that man. It makes me appreciate the things that I have, which is not much, but then I really don't desire a whole lot anymore, as material things don't matter to me like they used to.
I put the fortune in my wallet between two pictures of my sons. Everyday I think of them, I feel lucky. I may not get to see them as much as I would like, but Im know of other fathers who rarely see their children, so I feel lucky. Then there are the fathers who don't want anything to do with their children, and that makes me feel lucky that I care about mine.
A couple of years ago, I began to take stock of my life, and I realized that it wasn't about accumulating things. There was a time when I thought I was perfect, but then I gave up drugs and realized I was far from it. So I began to try to improve myself, not physically (although, admittedly, I could stand to get in better shape and lose a few pounds)but spiritually. I took an assessment of what was really important, as opposed to what I thought was important, and came upon the conclusion that we all could lose the things we value the most, so it's best just to enjoy what you have while you still have it. The best way to change the world is to change ourselves.
I know sometimes I sit here and gripe and complain about the way the country is headed, but I feel lucky that I can still do that. So I try not to get mired in the negative, because things can always get worse, better to appreciate what I have. So, to parphrase Ed Grimley, everyday is my luckiest of lucky days.

32 comments:

Lily said...

I hear you, Lew. This is the Lew I care so much about, and why.

Mary said...

I just stumbled in here and what a gem of a post. Great thought and so true.

Dusty said...

Lew, this personal post was awesome, it really hit home with me. thank you for posting it.

Catmoves said...

Very moving, very appropriate. Thank you.

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http://www.cnsnews.com/news/viewstory.asp?Page=/Commentary/archive/200706/COM20070615b.html
Radical Islam's 'End-Game'
By Frank Salvato
CNSNews.com Commentary
June 15, 2007

A friend of mine said recently, "We shouldn't even be there. Let them kill each other. I mean, that would solve the problem. Right?"

I thought about that statement as I read the news coming out of the Gaza Strip. As Hamas and al-Fatah literally battle to the death for supremacy in their region, it is crucial that we take the time - right now - to understand what it is they're fighting about. The truth is our lives depend on it.

To look at the situations in Iraq and Gaza as separate conflicts is to view them in a naive and overly simplistic way. True, the battles taking place in Gaza are more akin to a civil war, if in fact a civil war can take place without a recognized country to govern. And the battles taking place in Iraq are almost completely instigated at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists hell-bent on creating chaos with violence while destroying any chance of democracy in that nation. But what the less visionary among us are deficient in understanding and neglectful or deceitful in not addressing is the reason they are fighting, their goal, their end-game.

Many anti-war activists and members of the American Fifth Column insist that the reason radical Islamist terrorists -- insurgents or militants as they like to call them -- have taken to jihad against the United States and the West is because of the encroachment of our culture into the 7th Century Middle Eastern culture in which they exist. They point to Osama bin Laden's 1996 fatwa against the US and the West citing the presence of Western military personnel and installations as the catalyst for al Qaeda's Islamofascist aggression.

While these points may very well be the justification used by the cadre of terrorist organizations originating throughout the Middle East for attacks against the West, it doesn't explain their propensity for Arab on Arab, Muslim on Muslim violence. It doesn't explain the original catalyst for the conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims and it certainly doesn't address the Islamofascists' goals.

The specifics surrounding the original cause for conflict between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims are disputed by both camps. But both factions concede that it stems from a disagreement over the direct succession to Mohammed, to the Caliph. This subject requires more space than can be afforded here. What can be addressed here is the "end-game."

That Islamofascist aggression advanced through the use of terrorism is taking place around the world against members of every faith other than Islam is a testimony to the fact that radical fundamentalist Islamists are engaged in an intentional conflict of global conquest. Terrorist attacks in the name of Islam have taken place in Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Spain, Britain, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Somalia, Algeria, Sudan, South America and the United States - to cite a short list - against, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and even conformist and non-fundamentalist Islamists.

When one examines the facts and logistics of Islamofascist aggression - both in history and modern times - it is hard to argue that the basis for this aggression is Western influence on the Islamic culture. If this were the sole reason for Islamofascist aggression there would be no excuse for attacks in the name of Islam on the Hindus or Buddhists or in any nation that doesn't embrace Western values such as Thailand, Somalia or most of Indonesia. Yet, the slaughter of innocents in the name of Islam does take place against these people and in these non-Westernized regions.

By acknowledging these facts - and they are indisputable - we can dismiss the argument that the US and the West have brought the wrath of Islamofascism upon ourselves, which is the basis for the argument used by the anti-war movement, the American Fifth Column and disingenuous and opportunistic politicians.

What, then, is the catalyst for Islamofascist aggression and what could be so powerful as to produce legions of suicide bombers and those willing to die, without reservation, for their cause?

While the many elements of this subject are complex, together they indicate an overall agenda that is not.

In almost every declaration and action of the Islamofascist, from Osama bin Laden to Hassan Nasrallah, Ayman al Zawahri to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the goal is the same: the successful establishment of a global Islamic state - or caliphate - ruled under sharia law. This notion is not a supposition on my part. Rather, it is an accurate observation, based on understanding and acknowledging the actions taken and the words used by each of these fascist leaders (note the correct usage of the word fascist).

In his 1996 fatwa, Osama bin Laden proclaimed, "...O you horses (soldiers) of Allah ride and march on. This is the time of hardship so be tough. And know that your gathering and co-operation in order to liberate the sanctities of Islam is the right step toward unifying the word of the Ummah under the banner of 'No God but Allah'...Our Lord, shatter their gathering, divide them among themselves, shaken the earth under their feet and give us control over them..."

It should be noted that to bin Laden, the Ummah is considered a figurative nation comprised of all Muslims and all Islamic nations.

In 2000 bin Laden declared, "...Afghanistan is the only country in the world that has the Shari'ah. Therefore, it is compulsory upon Muslims all over the world to help Afghanistan. And to make hijra to this land, because it is from this land that we will dispatch our armies to smash all kuffar all over the world."

In October of 2005, during his address to the United Nations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "From the beginning of time, humanity has longed for the day when justice, peace, equality and compassion envelop the world."

And in a speech to Friday prayer leaders he said, "Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi."

It should be noted here that Ahmadinejad believes - as do most Shi'ites - that the 12th Imam (or Muhammad al-Mahdi), according to their interpretation of the Quran, will bring "peace and justice on earth" by establishing Islam throughout the world. This equivalent of the "second coming" would take place when the world has fallen into chaos and civil war emerges between the human race for no reason.

If we are to take the leaders of the Islamofascist movement at their word - and the leaders of the United States and the West have been delinquent in accepting the declarations of fascists in the past, so much so that world war has ensued - we can only surmise that the battles taking place between Sunni and Shi'ite factions in Iraq, Gaza and elsewhere in the world are for dominance in what they perceive as an inevitable global Islamic Caliphate.

It is crucial that the United States government - and all the governments of the West - dispense with the political infighting that currently holds hostage national unity and the collective will, so we can defend ourselves from the inevitable full-scale confrontation with an emboldened and strengthening Islamofascist movement. The first step to achieving this unity is an honest, comprehensive understanding of the enemy. The education to achieve that end must begin immediately.

Make no mistake. We are essentially re-visiting the ominous days of 1938. It took everything that the freedom loving people of the world could muster to vanquish evil then. This time we may not be so lucky. This time the forces of evil will have nuclear capability.

Nvisiblewmn said...

Good post, Lews. In the interest of not getting mired in the negative, did you know you're supposed to add the words "in bed" to all fortune cookie fortunes? So, what yours was trying to tell you is "Three days from now is your lucky day in bed."

Lynn@ZelleBlog said...

Whats going on with all these deletes?

No Blood for Hubris said...

Fine post.

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I observed your age as 251 in your profile. Is it true??...ha ha...just kidding. Anyways good post..

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