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Mr Bin Laden Tear This Wall Down

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 441)
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You say, you want to help the Palestinians, but most of them still struggle in poverty. How are you helping anyone? Having been born into a privileged life, you use your wealth toward death, destruction, division, and sorrow.

Here is an old saying for you to ponder: "Give a man a fish, you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime." How are you helping the people of the Middle East, learn how to help themselves, with your millions of dollars?

You have wasted your money, and time, on a message of hate. It is easy to incite young people with the message of intolerance and violence. What a shame, when you think of all the people you could have helped

You could have helped the Palestinian Red Crescent or Iraqi Red Crescent.

God knows, they need all the help they can get. By the way, God and Allah are the same Supreme Being.

Who is Isa Al-Masih? You are an educated man, and you know the answer.

You are killing your "cousins." The Christians are not your enemy, and we should put the past behind us, for the mutual benefit of mankind. Judaism,

Christianity and Islam, have sacred ties, so why keep the fires of hate going?

You have personally supervised the killing of Iraqi children by suicide bombers and car bombs. What have these Moslem children ever done to you?

Granted you and I are not the same religion, but why do fundamentalists, of all kinds, try to destroy everything, they don't understand? A religious fundamentalist is the same, whether he is a Christian, a Moslem, or a Jew, all of them drink from the same "fountain of hate."

As for the presence of Western soldiers in "your lands." By your actions, you have provoked them, when, by your life of privilege, you were in a key position to negotiate. Now, you cannot raise your head from your cave without thinking about assassins, around every corner. You must live your life as an outcast.

It is too late for you to personally negotiate for peace, but you are still in a position to stop the violence now. You should declare an end to hostilities, and disband your cause, for the benefit of all mankind.

In the words of John Lennon, " Give peace a chance." You cannot undo what you have done, and you will be pursued for the rest of your life, but Allah may forgive you, if you set the wheels in motion - toward world peace.

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America The Dictatorship

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 269)
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Incrementally, but noticeably, the United States is shedding its democracy. Hard-won civil liberties are willingly sacrificed for the sake of illusory added security. Institutions are stacked with political, partisan appointees who do their puppetmaster's bidding. Laws are openly broken and the Constitution flaunted with breathtaking callousness and an ease that would have been considered unthinkable on September 10, 2001. I wouldn't be surprised if the forthcoming presidential elections are suspended due to this perpetual "state of emergency".

Largely ignorant of history and thus devoid of any meaningful or helpful perspective, people shrug off this doomsday scenario. They forget that Rome - a four hundred years old republic with venerable institutions like the Roman Senate - gave in to tyranny in the space of four years. The same goes for ancient Athens, the first truly participatory democracy on earth, transformed by wars into a hideous dictatorship.

America's is a malignantly narcissistic culture. Its denizens believe counterfactually that it is the richest, most virtuous, freest, society on earth. Reasonably, they are convinced that everyone is destructively envious of them. This renders them paranoid and violent. An early and observant traveler, Alexis de Tocqueville, noted this siege mentality and warned that the United States is walking a thin line between freedom and authoritarianism.

It is this ingrained belief that the world is hostile and harsh that will likely undo the American experiment. Psychology teaches us about projective identification - a defense mechanism that forces people around you to behave the way you are accustomed and expect them to. Treating everyone as a potential enemy usually turns them into ones.

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Drug Trade Accounts For Forty Percent Of The Afghan Economy

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 558)
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The voice on the radio suddenly forced its way into my conscious awareness. Absolutely staggering, I felt it deep in my gut with no uncertainty.

Forty Percent of the Afghan economy is from illegal drug production and trafficking. More disturbing is the fact that the United States has nothing that can replace the drug trade for Afghan entrepreneurs.

As I contemplated these hard hitting statements, I found myself imagining how different our world could be if we just stuck to some basic tenants of common decency.

Yet, what does this say about our world, where such an obscene industry can thrive? It's not just the growers and traffickers that are contributing to the problems, but the users of the end product. Those users ultimately feed the entire industry's cash flow.

Considering the Afghan drug problems alongside illicit drug trade around the world, there has to be an incredible amount of drug users to support the global market for drugs. Why? Is it really about the high, or is it about escaping the sober realities and pain of human life? It seems that we never hear anyone talking about this aspect. Life is often painful. Whether you are poor or rich, there are all kinds of problems and challenges that we human beings face.

How appealing a drug addiction and the escape it provides must be to the user. In some ways, it may even be understandable.

Facing life and its challenges head on is NOT for the timid. But, we are all faced with life nonetheless and there is no escaping that for the rational and sober minded person. Sure there are moments of pleasure that provide temporary relief but how long do those moments last? How long before the next problem rears up to block our path arrives?

For some, the moments of pleasure and happiness last longer and not so long for others. That may be related to a whole host of factors including socio-economic ones.

So what can we do? Not much as it turns out, for a simple reason. It is a fact of our very existence that free will exists. Each person makes his own choices. More laws won't change what people do when they think that they can't be seen.

Perhaps a greater degree of personal happiness and contentment would prove to be more attractive than the lure of drug use. As you may have heard, "history tends to repeat itself". And why is that? Maybe the human condition doesn't really change that much, only the scenery and technology change, while the basic conditions of human life stay about the same throughout the ages.

If that is true, and similar conditions existed in the past, how were they dealt with back then? One of the western world's most revered philosophers was Socrates.

Socrates talked about virtue. He discussed things like Truth, Beauty and Goodness with his students. Today, Master Li Hongzhi expounds on Truthfulness, Compassion and Endurance. Perhaps contemplation of these things can bring greater contentment and personal happiness? With happiness and contentment, there may no longer be as strong a catalyst for feeding a drug addiction.

One thing is fairly certain. Due to the existence of free will, only each individual can choose for himself the path he wishes to tread.

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Solving The Immigration Problem

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 722)
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Nothing President Bush said last night (5/15/06) will have any real impact on illegal immigration. I hate to criticize the President but that's my professional opinion. I have several payroll companies that prepare payroll for businesses around the country.

Immigration, legal and illegal, is driven by the opportunities offered in this country. Those opportunities exist because we have the "Three Rules of Wealth" as I use to call them when I taught High School.

"Rule of Law" You know the rules and they don't fundamentally change, and you know the consequences of your behavior if you violate them.

"Private Property" You get to own the tools of wealth creation. Tangible and intangible assets that let you create profits. ""Rule Number One" guarantees this"

"Free Enterprise" You are not restricted to what you can do as long as you follow "Rule Number One" using "Rule Number Two."

You are not going to keep people out when these rules apply to them even if they are illegal. If they did not apply employers would steal from illegal immigrants, banks would just seize their accounts, school districts would turn away their children, hospitals would refuse to treat them, etc.

So how do you keep illegal immigrants out of the country? Cut them off from the opportunities that the "Three Rules of Wealth" provide. How do you do that?

First you must have a perfect system of identifying citizens and legal aliens. Sorry, but it means a national identity system. Which, by the way, solves the big ongoing criminal problem of identity theft. Why not just make the illegal immigrants carry an ID card, because they won't.

Second, penalize businesses that hire illegal immigrants severely. Make it a felony to hire an illegal. All businessmen like an edge. Some currently get the edge by hiring cheap illegal labor and taking advantage of it. No business is wrongly hurt if the playing field is leveled. If average wages go up they go up for every company and everybody raises their price to compensate. This will also appeal to the conservatives because once illegal immigrants can't get a job many will go home.

Third cut off all benefits for illegal immigrants. No schools, no free hospitals, no food stamps, no welfare, no sanctuary, no government benefits no nothing. No prison either. Hard labor until they pay for there transportation out of country. If their country of origin wont take them hard labor till they someone does or they die.

Fourth seize their bank accounts, seize any property they own, take their cars and houses. Remember they are criminals the moment they cross the border without documents or overstay their visa. Give half to the person that identifies them as an illegal and half to the government.

My guess is in 30 days after this plan is enacted that 90% or more of all illegal immigrants will have left the country. When you take away all opportunity in this country, the opportunity however meager, in their country of origin will seem desirable.

Children of immigrants that are citizens can not be deported. That is part of the "Rule of Law". If their parents who must leave don't want to take them then set up orphanages until they are 18. Educate, feed, house, cloth, and care for them. They are fellow citizens after all.

Is this harsh, yes of course. Nothing else will stop people from seeking a better life. You must make what they have where they came from to appear to be better than what is available in the United States. Nothing less will do. Otherwise the strong, motivated, hard working people of the world that want a better life for themselves and their families will continue to come hear regardless of the current penalties that they know are not enforced.

Do I agree that this is what we should do. Absolutely Not.

This is no way to treat people. But nothing less will stop them from coming and coming and coming. Which is not necessarily bad. If people are going to come here we want strong, hard working, motivated people like our own ancestors that emigrated here or survived the imposed hardships of slavery and lived through it. How to integrate them into the "American Dream" is a whole different discussion.

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Bird Flu Worst Case Scenario

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 695)
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There has been a lot of buzz about bird flu or the avian influenza and how it could become a global pandemic. What would a pandemic really mean? The federal government just launched a 7 billion dollar program to help the prevention and out break of a bird flu pandemic. There have only been 83 deaths from avian flu worldwide since 2003. Health experts have not yet seen evidence of human to human transmission. So what does it mean? And why is everyone so worried about a pandemic?

This new strain of flu virus would be more resistant than other normal flu strains and if it turns into a form that passes easily from person to person, we would have little immunity to it. Millions could become ill and millions would die. Once it starts to spread it could move rapidly around the world infecting millions and affecting the lives of everyone. The World Bank, which has estimated that a bird flu pandemic lasting a year could, cost the global economy up to $800 billion. The economic toll on the world economy will be catastrophic. What is the worst-case scenario and how might it develop?

Here is how a bird flu pandemic might unfold:

Outbreaks of avian flu in birds continue in several additional countries outside of Southeast Asia including Russia, Africa and the Middle East

Human cases of bird flu increase

Health experts confirm first human-to-human transmissions

Flu screening is stepped up at airports around the world for passengers coming from infected countries

Health care workers show signs of increased exposure

Air travel spreads virus to all corners of the globe within 3 months

First confirmed human transmission cases appear in Europe Russia, and the United States

Outbreaks continue, becoming more widespread reaching epidemic status

Regional stockpiles of antivirals quickly dwindle, new high volume production and distribution is 6 months off

International flights are reduced or eliminated to help contain spread of the flu

Billions are lost on international commerce, affecting millions of jobs around the world

US imports from Asian factories halted as Asian workers fall ill, US inventories drop

International trade devastated

US economy feels effects of loss of productivity due to millions of workers out sick

Financial markets hit by panic selling, gold prices soar

Run on banks as investors convert to cash

Hospitals see surge in flu patients overwhelming staff and supplies, only those most likely to live given access to limited available ventilators

Healthcare workers and first responders out sick or stay home to care for ill family members

Public events are canceled and schools are closed

Government offices closed, non essential services shut down

Social services reduced or eliminated. Services still functioning are overwhelmed

Public transportation halted

Air traffic halted due to air traffic controllers, airport staff and flight crews out sick

Interstate commerce greatly reduced with truck drivers, warehouse and rail workers out sick

Food deliveries, gas deliveries, other essential supplies all reduced or eliminated

Grocery stores close due to shipments being eliminated

Food distribution chain from farm to stores breaks down

Travel restricted, quarantines mandatory, enforced by National Guard

Widespread looting and riots over food shortages and access to healthcare

Local, State police and National Guard overwhelmed

Social structure breaks down

Domestic violence increases as people are forced to stay home

Loss of workers affects all businesses across the economy, including finance, sanitation, utilities, internet, distribution, energy, retail, tourism and travel

Utility outages increase as coal shipments are reduced and minimum required staffs at power plants and water plants are out sick

Funeral homes are overwhelmed as bodies stack up

2nd wave of pandemic bird flu hits

Global economy will take years to recover from catastrophic losses and loss of trained employees who died

Does the above scare you? Think it won't happen? Well this is the exact scenario your local, state and federal governments are training and planning for. How would you survive? It has always been recommended to keep 3 days of supplies on hand to survive a natural disaster. We have seen how the federal government handles natural disasters. The above scenario isn

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Delta Force To New Orleans

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 306)
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If you are wondering why the United States can send troops around the world, but failed to respond to a domestic emergency in a timely manner, you are not alone. Expect the lack of planning for emergency relief, in the aftermath and devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina, to be the subject of a federal investigation.

The National Guard arrived in large numbers on Friday, September 2nd, but how is it possible that the poor people of New Orleans were left four days to fend for themselves? Doesn't the United States have a rapid deployment force? Yes, we do, and many large military installations are within an hour of the Gulf Coast, when traveling by air. Many more military bases are within two hours of the devastation.

On Sunday, August 28th - one day before Hurricane Katrina landed on the Gulf Coast it was labeled a category 5 hurricane. So, what was the emergency rescue plan? Was anybody planning any rescue efforts on Sunday night?

As luck would have it, Katrina turned out to be a category 4 Hurricane. Can you imagine the devastation, if this storm had been worse? Some parts of New Orleans are 10 feet below sea level and a system of levees, normally, keeps the surrounding water out.

Referring to the Federal response for relief help, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said, "They don't have a clue what's going on down here." Mayor Nagin's remarks are an understatement. Logistically speaking, this is not as complicated as a relief effort to Somalia.

President Bush said, "A lot of people are working hard to help those who've been affected. The results are not acceptable." He is not kidding; if we can airlift food and weapons to Afghanistan, why is delivery to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans a problem?

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How To Send Care Packages To Troops Overseas

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 345)
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Care packages for troops on duty overseas are not only needed, but are still the best way to say 'thank you'. While most basic needs of troops are already provided for, there are always certain items that are in short supply.

For example, prepaid phone cards are the best and most useful things to send troops overseas, according to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, whose phone campaign is called Help Our Troops Call Home. Prepaid phone cards can be sent to individual troops or to any troop via a service such as the American Red Cross. As well as phone cards, send a batch of blank greeting cards, so that troops can remember loved ones back home.

Food and beverage items that remind troops of the tastes and smells of home are always cherished. Small individually packaged items such as instant coffee, hot chocolate packets, and sugar packets, are always needed. Instant food items such as breakfast foods, instant soup mixes, and ready-to-eat meals and salad kits, are ideal. Also, individual packs of snacks, such as chips, peanuts, pretzels, cereal and granola bars, brownies, cakes, candy and gum. Chocolate items are a bad idea, because chocolate melts.

Personal items, such as T-shirts, hats and gloves, flip flops or shower shoes, and shoe polish are great.

Other items such as sunscreen and lotion and wrap around sunglasses are vitally important as many troops are stationed in very hot areas. Other hygiene items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, Band-Aids.

Entertainment is a luxury that troops need. Send items such as movies DVDs and music CDs, magazines, handheld electronic games, and playing cards.

But most of all, send cash. In this post-911 world some items may have difficulty getting through and the military's supply system is already overloaded. Sending cash, while less personal, is often quicker and more practical. A quick Internet search will bring up websites with lots of information on how to send cash or packages to troops overseas.

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Should Illegal Immigrants Be Allowed

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 571)
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As the nation sputters forward into a new problem of illegal immigrants, neo-conservatism and budget crisis we must wonder what to make of it all. The signals are confusing.

On the one hand we have illegal immigrants who have had to hide from the law, work in poverty like conditions and do not have the same access to education that we have. We believe they are hardworking people truly trying to make the best life they can. They have the American work ethnic that has been lost on so many native born Americans.

However, there is a negative side to illegal immigrants that isn't always mentioned. Illegal immigrants have made a choice to come and live under the conditions they now find themselves. No one forced them to move from their native lands and hide away in the U.S.

Recently, immigrants took to the streets and protested potential laws that would make it a felony to be an illegal immigrant in the U.S. They sang the national anthem in Spanish and waved Mexican flags. Is this appropriate to insult the country you want to join?

A total of 11 million illegal immigrants hit the street having major protests in excess of 400,000 in Los Angeles and Chicago. Similar gatherings were found in Houston and San Jose. They chanted, "We are not criminals" and "We want to stay!"

As Muslims we have two responsibilities when it comes to immigration policy. We must support our host nation in policies that are deemed to protect our collective whole and we must thwart those efforts that are destructive to people. What does this mean?

Illegal immigrants are simply illegal. They have broken the law; have traveled hundreds of miles to sneak into the country and work for cash under the table. They use our schools, our medical benefits and take away jobs from our countrymen. Hypothetically, if we opened up our borders and let everyone immigrate to the U.S. without hindrance than our country would cease to be one of the wealthiest in the world. That means your wages would decline because there will always be someone else to do the work for cheap. In essence, employers would use their workers until they were worn out and then get another truck load full. Workers would loose their bargaining power. Would it be such a great place to live then?

We must understand that the laws are enacted to protect our American standard of living, maintain fair employment and keep the nation competitive. Once this batch of illegal immigrants becomes citizens there will be another group forming behind them. Where will the cycle end?

Does that mean we should abuse them? No! It does mean that they should be removed and sent back to the countries in which they came. It does mean that we have consistently and routinely treated illegal immigrants much better than any other nation. In what other great nation can illegal immigrants gather in such a public display of protest and not be put under mass arrest?

This may not be the answer that we are looking for nor may it be what many of the Islamic and Muslim papers are reporting yet they may be more concerned with U.S. bashing than protecting. No matter which way you slice the onion we need borders no matter how much it makes us cry.

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Alaska Drilling Is It Necessary

(category: Current-Events, Word count: 383)
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Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has become a controversial issue when Republicans included the measure in a major defense bill. According to Democrats and moderate Republicans the piece of legislation was embedded in a major defense bill that couldn't be turned down. The total bill passed 306 voting for it and 106 against (House Approves drilling, 2005).

The new defense bill will hopefully reduce the federal deficit by 40 billion over the next 5 years (House Approves drilling, 2005). In addition to deficit reduction some of the money will go for military supplies, helping hurricane victims and subsidizing heat to those in poverty. Republicans feel that the measures are necessary if the White House fiscal obligations will again be on track.

In 1987 a report directed to Congress indicated that there were 26 major oil fields in Alaska (Adams, 1995). These oil fields could potentially supply 10 billion barrels pumped at 365 million barrels a year (Cowen & Doggett, 2005). It would take over 27 years to remove all of the oil.

Even though, without doubt, that the oil revenues would help the economy and the local Alaskan population, the necessity of protecting one of the U.S.'s largest natural reserves remains unresolved. Native peoples who are strapped for cash and rising oil prices which damper the nation's economy are pitted against environmentalists who want to protect the multitudes of endangered species.

Since humans love to consume and make little effort to conserve natural resources there must be a balance against damaging natural preserves further in an attempt to furnish people's needs and protecting unspoiled land. By keeping the area relatively untouched businesses and governments will be forced to upgrade their fuel efficiency reducing the nation's dependence on natural resources. By opening the ANWR to only a small amount of oil mining instead of the full array of oil companies proposed by the government we can help push the nation into a stronger economic future that is less dependent than competing nations.

Adams, Jacob (1995, June). Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Barrow, Alaska. Artic Circle. Extracted December 19th, 2005 from

Cowen, R & Doggett, T. (2005, December 19th). Senate Takes up Alaska Drilling. Netscape News. Extracted December 19th, 2005 from

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